Edit before or after merge

+6 votes
Should profiles be edited before or after a merge?  

I would prefer to edit after, but it looks like:

(1) Some are merges are rejected because one or both profiles do not have enough information to accept such a merge.

(2) When the merge is approved and completed the individual making the merge does not accept the corrected Biography and Source information thus requiring a reedit of the merged profile.
in WikiTree Help by Patricia Tidwell G2G6 Mach 1 (10.3k points)
retagged by Robin Lee
Both. I always stuff as much vetted info into the profile I'm working on, and if it holds up against the other, the correct info is already there, so the manager(s) of the other profile have something substantial to work with, and the clean up is hopefully smoother. If their profile is clearly better filled out there is no point doing anything except proposing the merge with reasoning.
My short answer, before.

Longer answer: I'm always working on merges, and I learned the hard way that bad merges take a lot of work to fix.

Ideally, I propose a merge for two identical profiles. Teflon coating for a proposed merge means finding sources for the facts and adding them to both of the duplicate profiles. I make sure I include relevant comments and sources from both of the duplicates and try to respect the style of both of the profile managers.  Its courteous, but its also less work - there is no need for further edits or research when the merge is completed.

On occasion I have to work with one or both profile managers to get the changes made. Sometimes a person or a project needs a day or a week to digest new information about their ancestor, but then the merge is also more likely to be approved before 30 days, and less likely to be rejected.

If I only have access to one of the duplicates, then I do what Bruce suggests, build a complete, sourced biography so the correct information is obvious.
I wish your comment was an answer Laurie, so I could give you "best answer".

3 Answers

+4 votes
I don't think there is a one way or the other answer that can be given.

Sometimes I edit before, depending on whether information needs to be added to one profile to show it's the same as the other, or for gedcom cleanup on one or the other profiles.

Sometimes I edit after, this is especially important if you have two good bios that need to be carefully integrated and really shouldn't be done before.

Sometimes I do a little of both.
by Anne B G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)
+2 votes
Great questions, there are a lot of guidleines out there on merges that most people should be reading.

First, no one should be rejecting a merge because they cannot figure out if it is the same person.   Only obviously different people should have their merges rejected.  See https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Help:Matching_and_Merging_FAQ#What_if_the_data_or_parents_for_the_two_profiles_don.27t_exactly_match.3F and https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Help:Matching_and_Merging_FAQ#Is_it_ever_OK_not_to_merge_duplicates.3F

Secondly, yes, a lot of people do not understand how to edit profiles.   https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Help:Merging   This guide steps you through the process.   

When you notice someone who does not seem to understand the "ins and outs" of the merging process, let them know about the help pages.   That is what makes WikiTree such a great community, is that we share our knowledge.
by Robin Lee G2G6 Pilot (752k points)
+1 vote
Frustratingly, probably before.

Editing before seems redundant and unnecessary, but I've had many merges rejected because there was some slight difference in details for an otherwise obvious duplicate.

Editing before (and probably both profiles), removes all doubt.
by Dennis Wheeler G2G6 Pilot (539k points)
edited by Dennis Wheeler

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