Why is it necessary to change format of a profile and source method when someone wishes to add information/sources.

+8 votes
257 views
I appreciate all new well-sourced information for profiles but believe the hours of research work that goes into a profile and sourcing method does not need to be changed to add the new information/source.  I do not own the profiles but know what effort was made to build them and find valid sources.
WikiTree profile: Sharon West
in Policy and Style by Sharon West G2G6 Mach 1 (15.4k points)
retagged by Ellen Smith
Which profiles are you asking about Sharon? The link you provided seems to go to your own profile but references an different name in the biography.
An example would help.
This was presented in general terms and not to be critical.  It has happened on several of profiles I have done that had laid dormant in Wikitree as gedcoms and not sourced.  The example is simply this:

My biographies are in narrative form and use inline sourcing.  Others have changed the format to timelines with info that can be found in my inline sources--so much more in the actual historic record--and used their preferred sourcing method.  In fact sometimes added sources that cannot be accessed, have no source, e.g. and did not add any new info just duplicated info.

My effort is to try to do what has been stated regarding profiles already done and feed in my new info.  I do have trouble trying to use some of the sourcing methods used.  Trying to learn by doing.
I've had something like that before. In this case it was someone coming in (even though I was obviously part way through sourcing the profile only the day before) and using a most irritating style that references the same source half a dozen times for age, sex, place of birth, name, marital status, household status, using hashtag numbers that go to a load of gobbledegook with a numbered up arrow that you click to go to  the actual source ref - which still hasn't got the page, volume, roll or whatever references that would make the actual "source" useful.  All this unnecessary bloat obfuscates, whilst a narrative bio style with inline sourcing (one source per paragraph) does it all without repeating the same source over and over.
I like narratives and if it’s an orphan or neglected profile and my family or area of interest I will rewrite. If it’s a well taken care of profile and they just have lists I add my info matching their style and move along.

A few times someone has tried to change the style on profiles I manage   I just change it back

1 Answer

+16 votes
Yes and no.

If someone has provided a well written bio (not cut and pasted which I think should be removed and replaced with cited summaries ) then I would agree that normally I don't think it should be changed.

An attempt should also be made to match the citation style of the original profile creator. If there are inline references  already then I will use that, if there just references below the bio I will use that formula even though it isn't my preferred style.

If there are no sources and as so often happens no biography either then I will add a narrative with inline references to citations.

I have a caveat on that in that I know I did become extremely frustrated with one manager who removes the references tag and on some profiles has inserted inline numerical superscripts by hand (to c and p info). This means that additional information cannot be inserted and cited correctly without mucking up the numbers. I have an interest and have done a lot of research on this family and admit that the last time I put the references tag back  added some narrative and inline references. (so my additional citations ended up cited below the pms)
by Helen Ford G2G6 Pilot (306k points)
Nodding my head in frustrated agreement, concerning well meaning folks, removing the reference tag, while adding something, not useful, to a profile.

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