Why isnt there an easier way to add sources?

+12 votes
I am pretty computer savy, but find the way to add sources very confusing. Putting information between Brackets, command prompts, etc is hard and DOS like. If it was made easier more people would like the sight more and be willing to put trees on it.
in WikiTree Tech by Kathleen Racine G2G Crew (530 points)
retagged by Mags Gaulden
Anne gives great information about adding sources. I will add that it is the nature of the beast. WikiTree is a Wiki and as such, learning a bit of Wiki-formatting is a part of the adventure.  Mags

I agree its not easy.

There are some efforts to make wikipedia editing easier see video. No plans/dates when we have it in Wikitree

To those of us with ADD, this is overwhelming. I have learned quite a few things about WikiTree, and I love it, but
I wish there was a Help Project for those of us who are compromised even more than most. I have a lot to share.

2 Answers

+14 votes
Best answer
Kathlene, Welcome to Wikitree and the G2G.

If you want to add your sources in an easier way please feel free to do so <ref></ref> is our standard method, but no one will beat you up if you did something like

John was born(1) and then under sources

(1)Johns birth certificate.

I always think of the <ref> </ref> like a set of parentheses -

John was born - parenthesis, but instead I type in <ref>, Then type in your source information, another parenthesis (but instead I type in </ref>) so <ref> John's birth certificate, etc. </ref>

Then all you have to do is make sure this is at the bottom

== Sources ==
<references />

Just as a tip, On the right side of the profile, in edit mode, == Sources ==
<references /> is there in a nice copy/paste format.

Now, I will say I had to read those directions many times, before I got it second nature. It will get that way and fairly quickly. You've only been here two days.
by Anne B G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)
selected by Mags Gaulden
+4 votes
Kathleen all I can say is I agree with you. I'm currently working on the PGM profile for George Aldrich:


I'm getting ready to add my 20th citation and many of them are used many times each. So that means probably about 70 - 100 <ref>'s total in one biography.

Editing this way is not fun. And because the text is not very readable during editing I think it makes the final text more prone to grammar and spelling errors, etc. too.

I have over 25 years of experience with computer programming and I have no problem doing it by hand if I have to. But this is 2015 - why the heck don't we have a WYSIWYG tool for citations? This is so 1990's :)

I also worry that otherwise qualified genealogist who would like to help but don't have these skills are getting weeded out of projects were we need them most.

I'm not sure if this is an issue that WikiTree can fix but possibly we could start an open source project on sourceforge.

In the meantime Kathleen we have to just put up with it! Are you in? :)

Let's take an example:

I state a fact in this sentence.<ref>John Doe. The book. (JD Publsihing. Boston, MA. 2015). p 4.</ref>

You see how this works? Just put a <ref> on either side of the citation but the end one you add the "/" like this </ref>. That's really all there is to it.

The citation between the <ref> and the </ref> markers will turn into a nice footnote. So you’ll want to practice this.

Now get fancy with it!

The next trick is adding “Name=” so you can reuse the same citation again:

I state a fact in this sentence.<ref Name=John>John Doe. The book. (JD Publsihing. Boston, MA. 2015). P4</ref>


Now I can reuse it later by just adding this:

I state a new fact in this sentence.<ref Name=John/>

And that’s it! The <ref Name=John/> thingy will bring up the same citation.
by R B G2G6 Mach 3 (40.0k points)

Im not sure what more i need to do but it is very important to me that i add a source for my mother. Isnt this content enough?

< ref>Phyllis Healey Obituary from Dirsa-Morin Funeral Home,298 Grafton Street, Worcester, MA, 01604 and posted in the Worcester Telgram and Gazette [ http://hosting-24781.tributes.com/obituary/show/Phyllis-G.-Richards-2986805]Cite error 4; Invalid<ref> tag; refs with no name must have content

The "opening" parentheses looks like this:   <ref>

The "closing" parentheses looks like this: </ref>

You're missing the correct "closing" parentheses.
Kathleen if you change the privacy level to green I can help you edit the profile and then you can see how I did it. I used to live across the street from a Healey family in Essex Junction, Vermont. I'm sorry for your loss. You can try cut and pasting this and use it as a template:

== Biography ==

Phyllis G. (Healey) Richards was born June 8, 1931 in Burlington, Vermont and died June 3, 2003 in Worcester, Worcester, Massachusetts.<ref name=obit>Obituary published by Dirsa-Morin Funeral Home,298 Grafton Street, Worcester, MA, 01604 and posted in the Worcester Telgram and Gazette accessed Jan 21, 2016. [http://hosting-24781.tributes.com/obituary/show/Phyllis-G.-Richards-2986805 Link to obituary]</ref>

Her husband Arthur L. Richards died in 2000.<ref name=obit/>

She is buried in St. Johns Cemetery, Lancaster, Massachusetts.<ref name=obit/>

== Sources ==

<references />
You almost got it! I can still see the ref tags. I'd have to see what you posted to know why. Let me know if you can change the privacy level. You can always change it back to yellow.
Down to the bottom under:

== Sources ==

Make sure you have this:

<references />

And remove any other sources. Like don't put the <ref>Phyllis Healey Obituary from Dirsa-Morin Funeral Home</ref> down under == sources ==. It should show up by itself. The only thing that should be under ==sources is the <references /> thing.

Give that a try.
Thanks Roland for the help, I changed the privacy levels to green. It still says I lack sources but I really have very few sources. BTW the Healey family came from Vermont. Plus I heard Aldrich name and been to Dorchester and Braintree. Small world!
It has to be the green with the white background symbol like this one:


I'm referring to the unlock symbol. The one with the green background won't let me edit it.
There should be a Category:Unsourced thing at the top - just remove that. You have one source.
Vermont opens adoptions records I think after 100 years since the date of birth. So you can get her adoption records (if any) on what would be her 100th birthday. They are very helpful too. You may be able to petition the court to get them earlier.

Hi Kathleen,

There is a way to use the same tags but organize them to get two benefits:

  • The bio section only has a single tag wherever a footnote (linking to a source citation) is needed.
  • The citations themselves all appear together, which makes them easier to find when you're looking for them.

​​The view page looks almost exactly the same when you do it this way - it's only the editing page that is much easier to read and work on.

This is the way the Holocaust project recommends profiles be written and there is a HolocaustProfileTemplate that shows what the view page and edit page both look like.  You can copy what is displayed for the edit page, paste it into a profile you're working on, and then just change the tag names and citations to whatever is appropriate for the bio you're writing.

If you have any questions or would like any assistance, just let me know - I'll have your back!

Nice Gaile!

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