Proposal for Change to Default Biography Sections

+6 votes


Though I am a new member (with approximately 1500 profiles), I’d like to make a suggestion. I find myself constantly adding a Research Notes section to the majority of profiles. I like to add information that I might not remember later when I work on another member of the family (e.g., Census notes John Doe’s father was born somewhere) and to let other genealogists know where I’ve searched.

I think each new profile should automatically have a Research Notes section included as follows:

== Research Notes ==

*None (Removed when a note is added or left as is for later usage.)

Relevant Help Pages:

Help: Biographies

Help: Research Notes


This thread is meant to serve as a proposal for:

  1. changing the existing default Biography sections; and

  2. formal adoption of this template by the community as an approved standard.


Following the format of previous G2G proposals, I will add two answers to this question. Please record your vote (for or against) and/or feel free to begin any discussion for additions or changes to the proposal that may be needed by commenting here.

in Policy and Style by Diane Hildebrandt G2G6 Mach 3 (38.9k points)

2 Answers

+5 votes

To show your approval, please upvote this answer: "Yes, I believe that the default Biography sections should automatically include a Research Notes section."

by Diane Hildebrandt G2G6 Mach 3 (38.9k points)
+21 votes

To show your disapproval, please upvote this answer: "No, I do not believe that default Biography sections should automatically include a Research Notes section."

State your reason below as a comment.

by Diane Hildebrandt G2G6 Mach 3 (38.9k points)
I don't really care much either way, but:

1. Not sure it seems worth putting on WT's long "to do" list for changes since it takes only 5 seconds to add "== Research Notes ==" to a profile (maybe 10 if you are a very slow typer).

2. People use (or don't use) Research Notes sections in different ways. I rarely use them and would end up deleting it from most profiles. Before I have built out a bio, all the research notes just go in the bio space. After I build out a bio, all the research notes have generally either been incorporated or discussed in the bio (even if just in a footnote) or discarded because I concluded it was insignificant or irrelevant.

At the very top of the Biography section, it states: It might also include research notes

I think this is sufficient. The proposal would leave biographers having to remove the "research notes" header if not used, which is an extra unnecessary step of work

I don’t see the need for it.
Surely, since most profiles haven't got research notes to be entered, it's going to take more effort to delete a ==Research Notes== heading than it is to type it in if you need it.
For the same reasons that Chase described above.
Following up the comment of Lois Tilton: It MIGHT just says it doesn't have to include research notes. For me the default additional section for ==Research Notes== is just a unnecessary "blow up" of the Biography.
Maybe I'm not reading the proposal correctly, but it sounds like it says the "Research Notes" section should not only be added by default, but should be mandatory just as sections for Biography and Sources are, and say "*None" when there is nothing to say. I disagree and believe it would only add clutter for the vast numbers of profiles with no research notes.

Related questions

+14 votes
15 answers
+7 votes
2 answers
172 views asked May 26, 2017 in Policy and Style by Jerry Dolman G2G6 Pilot (166k points)
+49 votes
21 answers
+39 votes
4 answers

WikiTree  ~  About  ~  Help Help  ~  Search Person Search  ~  Surname:

disclaimer - terms - copyright