Would it be possible to limit the number of profiles a member can create without providing sources.

+23 votes
206 views
i have recently come across a member who has created about 20 profiles without providing any source information. About a third of them are duplicates of people already on Wikitree. I have preposed several merges, but when there is a conflict in dates, they would be much easier to sort out if source information was provided.
in WikiTree Tech by Joan Whitaker G2G6 Pilot (106k points)
Thumbs up!  :)
Yes very good question.

3 Answers

+7 votes
Sadly there was a requirement to provide a source when creating profiles not very long ago. It was dropped because people were just adding "Personal Knowledge" as a source and that did not help. I love that you want to encourage the addition of sources but I do not see making them a requirement working, as the old saying goes, "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink".
by Dale Byers G2G Astronaut (1.4m points)
Personal knowledge, or something similar would be better than nothing. It would not be appropriate for something over 100 years ago, but people could be provoked into providiing some information.
Well I think they should require it again.

Or at least have some kind of error that shows up if certain fields are not filled in
+2 votes
I would vote for a radio button or check box option on new profiles that could be selected by the creator that would add the unsourced category to the profile.
by Michael Frye G2G6 Mach 1 (14.0k points)
I think people who feel free to create profiles without sources would feel equally free to ignore this option.
Good point. Perhaps a question when the creator hits save that asks, "Have you added a source to this profile? Yes - No.
We're talking about people who signed the Honor Code, but who don't hesitate to violate it.  For them, the answer will always be Yes, along with whatever it takes to create the profile.  Whatever it takes, other than doing the actual work, of course.  :(
+2 votes
This is a sensible idea in principle, and has been discussed on various previous threads.  I think it comes down to how do we determine if sources were provided or not?

Unfortunately there is as yet no useful automated software that does this for Wikitree.  Until that becomes available, it would need person(s) to look at the profiles and make this assessment.  I think that would need to have official Wikitree staff at least involved, and probably more, so would need to be balanced by staffing issues.  Especially if applied to all new profiles.

I suspect also that Wikitree is balancing a strategic need to grow quickly and bring in new users, in order to not be overwhelmed by other players in this one-tree area.  So they don't want to discourage newbies.

A possible approach would be to allow anyone to enter a certain number of profiles easily (as it is now).  Say 100.  (They could be allowed to edit any existing profile without limit.)  Enough to have a useful tree posted here and an interest in Wikitree success.  But in order to add more, they would need to demonstrate some knowledge of sourcing.  Would be more than Pre-1700 certification but less than Pre-1500.  Would certainly need staffing/volunteers, but possibly the number of people wanting to cross this threshold would be more manageable.
by Paul Gierszewski G2G6 Mach 4 (46.9k points)

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