Soure citations where I found them or should they be changed?

+4 votes
I did much of my research many years ago before the internet.  I saw many original records and transcribed them myself. For example In Edinburgh, Scotland it was possible to see the original birth marriage and death registers up in the dome, accompanied by an official. I am finding that some of my source citations are being changed to a link to the website of Scotland's People. I understand this means people can then access that themselves. Is this the correct procedure?
ago in Policy and Style by Sarah Jordan G2G2 (2.4k points)
YOU should be stating where you found the sources, and cite them that way.

If someone is changing your citation to a link to Scotland's People, that's wrong.  

If they are adding the SP link as an additional resource, that's fine because that does allow others to check for themselves if so inclined.

Sarah, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but after reviewing  a few of your Ancestors Profiles, yes WikiTree Members can make some of these changes per WikiTree Guidelines on Sources.

Example: John Mackay  The Sources listed are as follows.

  1. Clyne Parish Register
  2. Clyne Parish Register
  3. son Andrew's birth cert and the marriage cert
  4. certificate
  5. Mina Mackay
  6. Iain Laing

I'm afraid these are not considered real sources, they're more like hints.  Under WikiTree Guidelines, this Profile could be listed as Unsourced. A Source can't be just a name, it must include the bona fides of why you chose this source.  Like a newspaper article, a Source should contain the Who, What, Where, When, Why and in some cases, the How.

For instance:

No. 4 is just listed as certificate.  As it references his death in the Biography, I have to guess it is his death certificate.  If this was a record you personally viewed and transcribed, please include the data from the record and in this case the How.

* (What) Death Certificate, (Who) John Mackay, (Where) place of death, (When) date of death, (Where) record location, (Why) this is implied as you are reporting his death, and (How) if this was a personal transcription from a record you personally viewed, state that and the date. i.e. Personal Transcription - July 1999

Nos. 5 & 6,  Mina Mackay and Iain Laing.  Who are they and how is their testimony relevant to the Profile?  How  and when you acquired the information from them is important.

When you see the Sources as they are listed on John's Profile, you recognize the Who, What, Where, When, Why and the How. Which is perfectly fine for your personal record keeping in your files at home. I and others can't, on WikiTree we need a clear Source.  A Source on WikiTree is your body of proof as to why you included this record for that Profile.  So if a Member comes along and changes No.4 from "certificate" to a link to the actual record that contains all of the data and possibly an image of the record, this is permitted on WikiTree. A Source requires clear identification of where any information on the profile came from. The best or more specific information available wins out.

You know the Sources are good, I believe you that these Sources exist, but as WikiTree plans to be around for a long time, someone 50 years from now may not be as amendable.wink

1 Answer

+6 votes

Hi Sarah. My view is that it would be helpful for people to provide links to Scotland's People in addition to your sources, not instead of them. A comparison between the two could be useful. Not everybody will want to pay to see the full records on the website. Your transcriptions from the originals remain very valuable.

ago by Jim Richardson G2G6 Pilot (209k points)

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