Can we add a ==Records== Heading between ==Biography== and ==Resource Notes== please?

+10 votes
632 views

Everything has a proper place except the vital records that are being transcribed and put on the profiles. Can we please get a Records Heading between Biography and Research Notes where the transcriptions of primary sources can be recorded? I know not everyone will use it but there are a lot of us who will.

== Biography ==

== Records ==

== Research Notes ==

== Sources ==
<references />

in Policy and Style by Louis Heyman G2G6 Mach 7 (70.6k points)
Do you have an example of where you have used this format so that we can get a better understanding of what you would put in that section?
I agree with Chris Little.  These sit better in the Sources.  Put the source citation followed by <br> to give a line break, then add the data.  See [[Treloar-178|Elizabeth Ann Treloar]] (1846-    ) as an example.
Are

==Records==

and

==Sources==

not the same??
Full transcriptions of primary records are not the same as source citations. Some contributors have found it very useful to include a compilation of records transcriptions within the profile, where the records are much easier to read than when the transcriptions are embedded in footnotes.
== You can put anything you want ==
Ben: There is a short list of elements that can be put between == and ==. It's the === heading level that's more open-ended.
The software doesn't prevent it, but it's contrary to Wikitree policy/guidance.

Could you post a link to that policy/guideline, Ellen?

I've looked at various pages related to formatting, but could find no specific statement that use of non-listed main headings is contrary to policy/guidelines.

While we are encouraged to use sub-headings, we don't seem to be discouraged from using additional main headings: Help:Biographies

https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Help:Biographies#Text_Sections describes the required and optional second-level sections, specifically Biography, Sources, Research Notes, and Acknowledgments.

After that, the section https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Help:Biographies#Optional:_Additional_subsections indicates that additional subsections may be created as third-level subsections.

Right at the top, it says "Here are recommendations and best practices". It's required for "best practices," not required generally.

9 Answers

+23 votes
I have always put transcription extracts in the sources, especially if the source is difficult to access, perhaps offline or behind a pay-wall, so do not see why we need a special section.

Some transcriptions could also be quoted as part of the biography narrative.
by Chris Little G2G6 Mach 3 (36.5k points)

Hi Chris, I see Debora Talbot agreed with you and also gave an example profile https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Treloar-178. I don't know if you agree with her and her example profile. She should have placed her comment here, then we have been on the same page.

According to Debora's example she uses <br> tags which are not an approved WikiTree tag. Probably because it is HTML 4.01 standard (You know for those old browsers) and just not as portable today in for example XML. I would advise her to rather use a colon which is a recommended tag on WikiTree. and she can also read more about editing tips

My next problem besides that it is Familysearch copy and paste data into which we will not go into now. (You can on your own read in G2G  regarding copy and paste data from other sites. Familysearch adjusts their transcriptions to suit their database to make the data searchable)

I am referring to a transcription from a valid source that you would like to have appear below the sources heading. That means that my most important information and the research work I am proud of will be referenced below Research Notes as well, that is Research Notes which contains speculations, and references to other unsourced websites etc. I am sorry that in my mindset that just does not work for me. 

I hope you will see my advice as assistance and not as criticism. 

Ignoring the niceties of formatting mentioned in subsequent comments, I agree with Chris that these methods work for me.

The 'Sources' section acts very much like cited footnotes. If a transcript is very long, then it can be on a freespace page,  rather like an appendix.

So on Dunkley-203, I have transcribed the baptismal entry and the marriage cert.and they are  within the sources section. I've also partially transcribed the relevant line from each census entry (sometimes I enter the whole household) These are all from images of the original record; not indexes.

On the other hand in  Bond-4302, I chose to include three transcriptions within the text (under subheadings Escape on St Bartholomew's day and Death and burial. ) Bond's will however was far too long for the page. The transcript is on a linked freespace page.
Hi Helen,

Sorry about those. They shouldn't be on the thread anyway. I looked at both profiles and each have merit in its own way.
+15 votes
I would put longer transcriptions in a file and attach those to the profile and shorter ones  do as Chris Little suggested. Then use appropriate short extracts in the bio if it helps the narrative. Too much in the profile’s bio section and you will lose readers.
by Doug McCallum G2G6 Pilot (424k points)
Hi Doug

I know the type of profile with mile long text's that you are referring to. I do agree with you on that point.
+32 votes

There's literally nothing stopping you from doing that on profiles that you're working on, so long as they aren't project protected or face an encumbrance from another member. I'd recommend that you just give it a try, rather than seeking approval for creating a new standard that will affect everyone: Often it's best to demonstrate for others a useful idea, since nothing is written in stone - and best practices evolve over time.

You'll find numerous examples of profiles with other sections beyond the minimal 2. And there are other commonly used sections besides "Research Notes", e.g. "Legacy" on Thomas Jefferson (and several others) to describe an individual's post-mortem impact. Other profiles might have a "Slaves" section to facilitate information discovery by the descendants of the enslaved via their former owners. And because profiles are dynamic, I've even seen temporary "⚠ Work in Progress" sections to explain current work being done, as on Martin Van Buren Sr's profile. 

It's a challenge, dealing with real people and historical data: It's hard to have a one-size-fits-all solution to everything. Some things can apply to everything: e.g. a biography to summarize what's known and a sources section to explain how we know it. But the more use-cases that we try to fit, the more convoluted the situation becomes, as described in the xkcd comic, "Standards": https://xkcd.com/927/

In other words, not everything needs to become a standard. 

So consider the options: Just make your own "Records" or "Transcription" section. Alternatively, consider doing it as a subsection of one of the main sections: Just use 3 equal signs instead of two, described in the part about Additional Subsections. Or, if it's a lengthy document and relevant to multiple profiles, you could create a Free Space Profile to hold the transcribed information and then link to that in the references. 

I hope this helps and offers a bit of insight. I definitely appreciate the idea of trying to include as much data as possible, although as mentioned, I don't think that we need a one-size-fits-all solution or standard to address the "how" at the present. 

by anonymous G2G6 Pilot (128k points)
Hi Murphy.

Thank you for taking the time to write a very thorough opinion ☺.

I agree with JN's suggestion that you use a subheading for transcribed data if you want the data to appear above the Research Notes and/or Sources heading.

Otherwise, include them under the Sources heading (even as part of the citation, as Deborah does) or on a free-space (as Dale suggests).

Ideally, though, transcribed data shouldn't overshadow the Biography, which would happen with long transcriptions or numerous transcriptions.

+13 votes
First of all Louis you can put any heading you like on profiles you manage. Having said that I feel the best solution for what you want to do is to create a free space page and link to that from the biography section, that way you are not adding clutter to the profile but can have any length transcription you wish viewable for those who wish.
by Dale Byers G2G Astronaut (1.4m points)
I agree 100%.  I have done several transcriptions of Wills, and have created freespace pages for each transcription.  Otherwise, the profile's page gets just too long.

Hi Dale and Ross. 

Thank you for the suggestion. My experience with Free Space Profiles is a little wacky because once I get started it never seems to stop. For example , I was doing research for this profile. I then started a Free Space page for the extra data and it simply just won't stop . I already found several other progenitors whom had previous unknown or wrong histories. To do it for one profile which became several is good up to a point, but what about the thousands of other profiles I work on?

wow that is a lot of work, and looks real nice on there too - must have been a while that took then - good work

I am going to use the freespace and link to it idea I think from now on for the things that go with several members of a family like census or wills - that seems so useful - but we do like to have that baptismal right word for word in New Netherland Settlers so we can make sure we have LNAB right so I think the ===Church Records=== is the best way to deal with that - and I aim to adopt that practice as well

I aim to try and have nice looking profiles but first I want nicely sourced ones - learning as I go then I return to some I did much earlier and I see that I have learned and it is getting there!
Louis, You are missing my point. From the list of names you have on that Free Space Page you can link that page to a large number of profiles, if you choose to create them, and the images will be able to be used on all of them without doing that work on each one of them. But if you really want to use that header no one will stop you on profiles you manage.

Thank you Dale, Go to the sorting options on the Free Space page and  click to sort the Comments. You will have to click twice to get the data to the top. You will see a list of names. Those with surnames , click on them. The ones which are first names will just take you to data I still have to use.

As you can see it is still very much a work in progress. 

Edit: Right at the bottom of the page you will see a phrase " what links here"

Click on it and you will see that it is still empty, but I have made provision for when I start linking the pages I can see what has been done. Do you still think I am missing the point? 

Dale, the "okay to do what you want if you're the profile manager" is not good advice for any profile that is a common ancestor of multiple people.  That's what the style guide was created for.
Jillaine, I essentially said the same thing as the answer chosen as best but you singled me out and did not comment on that answer. Your comment would have been better as a private message rather than a comment on here.

Hi Dale, 

Most of the answers in this thread are useful and has bearing on the subject. I chose the best answer based on this

 I'd recommend that you just give it a try, rather than seeking approval for creating a new standard that will affect everyone: Often it's best to demonstrate for others a useful idea, since nothing is written in stone - and best practices evolve over time. 

Nobody is wrong but you must remember that new users who know nothing about WikiTree read these threads. I understand Jillian's opinion but she means well and for a good reason

Edit::PS I'm sorry I know my English sucks but I hope the message is good

Louis, I have no problem with your choice of Best Answer and fully support that choice. My last comment was just pointing out that both that answer had the same general intent and yet a leader felt that I should be told that I should not have done that in a very public forum. I feel if my answer was against policy then the answer you chose as best, in fact most answers on this thread, should also be blasted as being wrong.

My final comment on this question is this, It is my personal feeling that to make a heading as you propose would end up being more work than linking to a Free Space page but I do not have the power to stop you from adding the heading on profiles you manage.

Thank you Dale. 

Believe me when I tell you that I have tried several different formats while this thread was active. I changed thread sizes looked at current profiles and still have not decided what to do. The free space page is fine for a lot of data that will "overload" the profile. I have recommended it myself to others in the past. My problem is the small transcriptions of the records which does not justify a free space page.

The other thing I compared is the size of the Headings. In my opinion even our current level two and three headings are very large, too large'

I tested level headings  with level three and four and five headings and it looks much better.

+10 votes
I seldom transcribe vital records and stick them on a profile.  I would have no need for such a heading. Of course, until the day you die, or until someone comes along  and edits profiles you created,  you can use whatever headings you like.  I, for example, frequently use the heading === Research Notes === where I discuss discrepancies in sources, as one example.
by J. Crook G2G6 Pilot (203k points)
Hi J,

With the bad experience I had in the past, with websites changing links and taking data offline to add it to pay sites,  I can only tell you that to upload the images to WikiTree and making transcriptions is the only way to ensure that your research don't get vandalised or discredited. I have also seen smaller sites with very valuable images of records being bought by large websites and then the data just vanish behind paywalls.
Louis,

There is nothing wrong with having a Research Notes section for key data or data which may be difficult to find.

As a matter of style and consistency though I agree with those that say we should limit the number of top level headings.  Is there a problem with using === Research Notes === instead of == Research Notes == ?

Hi Joe,

I see the types of data differently. 

== Biography ==
This is a very nice storyline divided into paragraphs

== Records ==
This is the transcriptions of your Vital Records. The core of Genealogy. Genealogy without sources is Mythology (sic unknown).

== Research Notes ==
This is for research. There are a lot of unsourced data on profiles and I put it here for future research or until proven / disproved. 

== Sources == 
<references />

I don't consider Wikitree a place to store my research finds; I consider Wikitree a place to summarize my research and add sources. But to each his/her own, I suppose.

Louis, 

I understand.  It's just a matter of personal style, and I don't think anything is stopping you from doing it this way.  I personally don't like a narrative biography as I am more focused on what do we know and how do we know it.  As such, I think it is just fine to have a Records section and a Research Notes section.  These are often very important when discussing people where there is disagreement or conflicting sources.  I just make them separate subsections under the Biography.  As I noted elsewhere, multiple top level headings just really stretches out a profile and adds a lot of white space.

== Biography == 

=== Birth === 
Where, when and how do I know.

=== Marriage and Children === 
Where, when, who and how do I know.

=== Death === 
Where, when and how do I know.

=== Common Errors to Avoid ===  
A discussion of all the errors found on the internet and in older sources.

=== Records === 
I wouldn't put everything here - just those key records for understanding a profile.  Genealogy without sources is Mythology (sic unknown).

=== Research Notes === 
This is for research. There are a lot of unsourced data on profiles and I put it here for future research or until proven / disproved. 

== Sources ==  
<references />

+10 votes
Many profiles in the New Netherland Settlers project have === Church Records === as a section within the Biography. It seems to me that this works fine.
by Ellen Smith G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)
Thank you Ellen. I did not know that something similar was already in use.
+15 votes
Two level headings == heading == are restricted to certain headings (Biography, Research Notes, Sources, Acknowledgements)

You can put anything you want into a three level heading === heading ===, so just put your Records into a three level heading === Records ===
by Anne B G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)
Hi Anne B.

Thank you, I can see what you are getting at. I was hoping to maybe get approval for a Level 2 Heading. Maybe, someday..... ☺

Why do you wish it to be a top level (level 2) heading?  

I personally believe we should limit the number of top level headings as a matter of style and consistency.  I also don't like the look of profiles which use a lot of level 2 headings, as they are too large and create too much empty white space.

I actually have been going the other way and using ===== Level 5 ===== headings, as the size of the heading is much smaller and lines up perfectly with the text.  I think it just looks nicer.  See the notes section of William White, Mayflower passenger to see what I mean.

I think Louis' point, Joe, is to have the transcription above the Research Notes heading so visitors to the profile see it sooner.

For that, Louis, a sub-heading would suffice.

But until someone points us to a specific style guideline that says we can't add additional main headings, you are free to use your own judgment on profiles that you manage!yes

+9 votes
I put my transcriptions under my research progress headings when the document or source is not on a free site. If the transcription is long (like a will) or it needs to be included in more than two profiles (like a group of pre 1850 census records used to determine children in a person's household) I will put it on its own space profile and link it to the profile itself in the research progress heading.

I never put transcriptions in my source section. I think it is too confusing to do that.
by Jeanne Howell G2G6 (8.2k points)
+7 votes
Free space page and a link?
by SJ Baty G2G Astronaut (1.1m points)

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