Adding sources as you add profiles

+38 votes
I get this question regularly..."I would like to add my profiles, then go back and add the sources, is that OK".   My answer is WHY?

I guess, I do not understand the two-step process.   As long as I am on the profile, creating it, and obviously I have sources or I wouldn't know anything about the person.  Isn't it easier to just add them at that point?   Am I missing something?
in Policy and Style by Robin Lee G2G6 Pilot (887k points)
I'm with you Robin. My sources are right in front of me when I add the profile.
I'm that way now, wouldn't dream of it. I honestly think there should be some sort of disclaimer in bold, on the page where you click to volunteer, to explain that to new folks.
I like the new shortcuts and features in the Edit text box for existing profiles much better then when just adding a profile.  But I certainly agree its better to add sources you have at the time of creation or right after creation when editing the profile.  Its too easy to forget to go back and add sources.  And what if in the mean time someone else is spending time trying to clean up one of your unsourced profiles.  I often run across notes on profiles that say the profile manager is in progress of adding sources with the last update being a year+ old.
I have one regret from my early days on WikiTree: that I did not add my sources as I added profiles. I do not regret at all that I added all of my ancestors' profiles manually (not through a gedcom), but I'm still finding some unsourced profiles from my first few months on WikiTree. My memory being what it is, it would've been SO much easier to add the source(s) as I went along.

Cheers, Liz

P.S. to answer the question: I didn't add the source(s) as I went because I was just so excited to have found a gr-gr-grandmother in WikiTree that I wanted to build my path to her as quickly as possible. Then I found another ancestor & another... next thing I knew, I was well-connected but by totally unsourced profiles! Back when I joined (2012), I was new to wikis and new to genealogy. I have learned so much and still have lots to learn!
As Liz said, when first starting out the urge to create your tree is very strong and sources are of secondary importance.

I agree with Summer "I think many people are under the impression that WikiTree is like Ancestry, Family Search, etc, where you enter in a name, and things will pop up to help you search and acquire those sources."

Those of us that started on that type of website probably didn't know how to find a source let alone a good one.

Having said that, one should at least add all the source(s) you have when creating a profile. If you need help in the beginning obtaining sources, etc. ask for a mentor, their assistance is invaluable.

8 Answers

+10 votes
Best answer
People work different ways. It is good not to expect everyone to be the same. Sometimes only certain information is available and you work from there. If you are transferring information from a place that has everything than sure add it all. Some of the world is incomplete and uncertain. Sometimes you accumulate information. Sometimes you have a goal of connecting someone to a tree and doing complete profiles is not as important as making the link. When this is the case you put in what you have. Wikitree being a joint project other people can fill in what they find. After all this is a work in progress. People who have complete trees should be tolerant of people with partial information. Making a complete polished profile before adding anything is absurd in many cases. Some information is never going to be completely known. There would never be many women, if the information has to be complete before adding. How many times is only a woman's first name known!
by Sue Hall G2G6 Pilot (172k points)
selected by Lesley Robertson
when I got to Wikitree I was coming back from a several year break from doing the tree thing - my information was all a jumble but I had trees with names and dates and the urge to get the skeleton of the tree up and then find how it should be sourced - go back and add those as I sorted and filed away the paperwork I entered it all from - doing pretty good - I looked just the other day and I have 18 unsourced profiles - and that is mainly my new people on my dad's side that I have not had time to research yet - so it can be done that way - I feel I have been pretty successful in adding my 970 people one by one
+25 votes
Being one of those people who did that, I think i can say the idea behind the thought: I think many people are under the impression that WikiTree is like Ancestry, Family Search, etc, where you enter in a name, and things will pop up to help you search and acquire those sources.  Experienced users now know this is not the case, but as a new person, I did not know that!
by Summer Orman G2G6 Mach 9 (96.8k points)
+12 votes
I'm in an intermediate state.  I do try my best to find at least one good source for each profile I create, but I don't try adding all sources I have immediately.  The reason is that i want to search for more sources when I come back to that profile and also get good links for most all of them so that they're clean.  But that would take a very long time for each profile and i do want to get groups connected and for certain projects such as my Monroe Twp., Licking County, Ohio, USA one.  So I do the minimum + first time around, sources for each major category like parents, children, dates, locations, Biography expansion, and such not.  The third time around, should I live so long, will try to get all good sources available.  Now these steps will probably be phased in.  I'll continue the quick and easy method for new areas of entry, the second step for areas I entered most members of a while back and cleanup mostly for direct ancestors or notables.If I'm working within an area, I'll generallly try upgrading an entire family group.  

And, and perhaps most important, I'll probably change my definition of what a good profile looks like as I go along, So setting my standard in stone would just make me have to go back to it more times in the long run.
by Living Dardinger G2G6 Pilot (449k points)
+19 votes
I will not add a profile without a source, at least the one I used to create the profile from, and can not relate to why someone would create an unsourced profile, I did do it once just to see what it looked like but that was a special case. I try to edit the profiles I manage working from the one's that have the oldest edit date and working forward but I do also try to add others from the source document that I find them on so that I do not have to try and find that source again, I feel that by doing things that way I am working smarter and not harder.
by Dale Byers G2G Astronaut (1.7m points)
+8 votes
I like to create the profile, but click back in immediately and add sources.
by Lynette Jester G2G6 Mach 8 (88.0k points)
I'm with you, Lynette, but I don't think that's what the question is intended to be about - what you and I do is, effectively, adding the sources when creating the profile.

The reason why I don't like to add sources on the original "add new profile" screen is that I already have them prepared and encased in <ref>citation</ref> tags and the system doesn't respect that - it puts them at the end with bullets and wrongly puts them below the <references /> tag.  It's easier for me to paste them in on the edit page after the profile is created than to have to change the bad result if I enter them at moment of profile creation.
Gaile, I'm learning something new all the time. and this old brain is getting tired. I'm now in the process of FIXING 34 DBEs where I had done just that... all below the ref / ...   And yes, when I have add a new profile I nearly always have at least one source ready. if not a whole page of them.  Along with Cat location tags,

Lets stage a sit-in till they fix it for us.
+9 votes
I like to add families of profiles. So I often create one parent with sources and the other parents and all the children without. Then I got through each source and determine if it is valid for anyone else and tuck that source under the name in a extra section I temporarily create. An example is a census that goes with the spouse and multiple children. Or a book that cites the full family genealogy.  Than the copy, delete and add these individual sections to their own profiles. To me it easier to do it this way as Iperfect the source just once.Though I do admit it means getting far less credit for making additions.
by Susan Fitzmaurice G2G6 Mach 6 (63.0k points)
+6 votes
I have been doing a Surname genealogy for over 10 years. So my sources are all by source not the person. Many sources are over 200 pages so almost impossible to add sources before I have the profiles done.

I do try and find the usual sources FAG or Census to add when I start the profile so its not left unsourced.
by Jean Skar G2G6 Mach 2 (28.2k points)
+4 votes
I add profiles one at a time and source them at the the time. I don’t  like to add a a profile without a baptism source (for my old Scotland folk) but I will add a spouse with only a marriage source so the kids can have both parents. If I’m going way back and all I have to keep siblings grouped as siblings is to make a father with only him listed in baptism of children I will but I don’t have a lot like that.
by Joelle Colville-Hanson G2G6 Pilot (155k points)

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