Editing advice.

+5 votes
114 views

Livingston-39 is managed by New Netherland Settlers. (I guess this means project protected?).
New Netherland is the first project I joined after becoming a Wikitree member and connecting to a long line of New Netherland ancestors.  But until now I have not contributed to any of the profiles managed by the project.  And I do not know if I am still part of the project due to my inactivity. 
I did a little prettying up (minor paragraph spacing, a missing bracket, a source and interesting comment from it) of the bio, but refrained from further spacing (very much needed for ease of reading), because  it is unclear what information this refers to: ("This information is from Vol. I, pp. 42-46 of <i>Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical [. . .]) i.e. the information proceeding, or the information following which emphasizes the need for spacing (since I am an incessant proof-reader, grammarian, etc.).  Spacing is not consistent in the biography, there being almost none in the first part of the biography (needed especially in "The American Family") section, although there is spacing toward the bottom. 
Like I said I refrained from doing anything about needed spacing, partly  because this message popped up: 
"This profile is project protected. Please discuss all significant or controversial changes with project members." when I was doing a little work a profile


I do not know if I  am still included as a member of the project, or if the same message pops up for everyone.  I did not consider the changes to be "significant or controversial" but thought it best to ask for guidance, anyway.  It could be that one of the folks in the project has taken  responsibility for this profile and may or may not want the additional information included with source where I added it, or considers spacing for ease of reading to be controversial.  So I am wanting to "discuss it with project members" or the other manager, not knowing how much initiative from project members (if I still am one) is considered acceptable. 

I apologize if this is the wrong place to bring this up.  I think there is a google group for project members, but I no longer have the link to it and perhaps am no longer a member of the project.

WikiTree profile: Robert Livingston
in Policy and Style by Mary Gossage G2G6 Mach 1 (18.3k points)
retagged by Ellen Smith

2 Answers

+7 votes
Thank you for your attention to this profile, Mary.  You are fully eligible to edit it. It has the New Netherland project as manager, but this is a complex biography that is only partly about New Netherland.

It is a high-visibility profile, probably because of the historical importance of Robert Livingston, so it does need to treated with loving care. However, the fact that it is project-managed and project-protected does not mean it is in wonderful shape -- only that it needs continued project attention. It looks like it would benefit from better care than it may have received. It appears to me (from a very quick skim) that paragraphs and other bits from various sources have been strung together without necessarily paying appropriate attention to chronological order and redundancy of the information. (Also,  some of the copying of paragraphs from other sources appears to be plagiarism.)

I see a need for some thoughtful rewriting, including improving the display. Also, sources need to be checked, and in some cases replaced by more reliable sources. For information about that Hudson-Mohawk source, see http://www.schenectadyhistory.org/families/hmgfm/index.html

And see https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Space:New_Netherland_Settlers_Project_Reliable_Sources for links to the various WikiTree pages where advice is provided on primary records and other good sources for New Netherland.
by Ellen Smith G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)
Grateful for your comment, Ellen.  I have happened upon a number of profiles that needed TLC the  same way this one does, as you described.  I did not realized that a profile that is project protected was not a finished product.  Greatly relieved to know that.
Project protection is a technical feature in WikiTree that restricts LNAB changes, merges, and changes to family connections (parents, spouses, and children). It is for profiles that are liable to be problematic. See https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Help:Project_Protecting_and_Merging for details.

There is a widespread misconception that project protection is a special distinction for profiles that are practically perfect, but that is very wrong.
+2 votes
What I would suggest (being a project leader) is put a comment on the profile about your interested in cleaning it up.  The project leaders will see that and can give you guidance if they have concerns, or let you have at it if they are comfortable.  I would suggest doing edits in small chunks and save.  Partly for ease of seeing changes made in groups, and partly so you don't lose much if there is a glitch (I've learned from lots of experience editing our 5 star and PPP profiles).  I try to group my edits by type, such as reordered in chrono order, made inline refs, made a children list, removed duplicate sources, made named sources, or even a broad type such as source cleanup.  Be sure to enter the changes in the explain your changes box so if someone (a project leader or manager) can easily follow what you are doing.
by Cindy Cooper G2G6 Pilot (163k points)
That's some excellent practical advice.  Thank you.  Seeing how you group your edits, I think I more or less do work on profile in small chunks, similarly, but thought the change box was for when the profile was finished.  There is often way often to much to put in the change box.  Didn't realize that several groups of changes could each be noted in the change box.  So thanks again, for that.

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