Last year, Peter Roberts helped us create DNA Confirmed templates so that we could show when relationships were confirmed with Y-chromosome and mitochondrial DNA testing, and to explain how that conclusion was made. For more on this, see:
These templates do two things:
Show the conclusion that DNA has been confirmed.
Give the source for the conclusion.
We'd been assuming that we'd add templates for autosomal and X-chromosome DNA confirmations. Peter has been working on this.
Now that we've added the Confirmed with DNA
status indicator to the database and working on the recommendations for how to use it, I'm wondering if we should be recommending these templates.
The database status indicators do #1 (show the conclusion that DNA has been confirmed) in a more robust way, technically speaking. We can use the database status indicators to do lots of things like illustrate DNA confirmations in trees that wouldn't be possible with templates.
We'd still been assuming we'd need templates for #2, showing the source of the DNA conclusions. But maybe it's better just to recommend typical source citations, i.e. a bullet point in the Sources section of a profile.
I see two advantages in using conventional source citations:
Simplicity makes this easier. The great majority of WikiTreers don't understand DNA confirmation or templates. You don't really need to understand wiki transclusion to use templates, but recommending templates does add some complication to an already complicated set of recommendations. Anything we can do to simplify is good.
Consistency makes this easier. Treating DNA sources like other genealogy sources may help genealogists understand why citing DNA sources is necessary. It seems like every genealogist learned the important lesson about sourcing at some point. Even though DNA sources are fundamentally different from other genealogy sources in some ways, the reason to cite sources is the same. Since advanced genealogists already understand that reason, we'd be leveraging that.
What are the advantages of using templates instead of conventionally-formatted sources?
By the way, even if the recommended style is to use conventionally-formatted sources, people who are using the templates wouldn't have to stop. I think we'd just recommend that from now on they also add conventional sources instead of or in addition to the templates they're using. And we'd remove mention of templates from the basic instructions on usage of Confirmed with DNA.
What do you think?