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What is the purpose of the Acknowledgements section of a profile?

WikiTree's nine-point Honor Code includes these two points:

  • VII. We give credit. Although most genealogy isn't copyrighted, researchers deserve credit for the work they've done.
  • VIII. We cite sources. Without sources we can't objectively resolve conflicting information.

The rationale for point VIII about sources is clear to all experienced genealogists.

The rationale for point VII about credit is less clear. It is to acknowledge those who have contributed information but:

  1. they are not primary sources being cited, and
  2. they are not the member making the contribution and therefore are not automatically credited in the changes.

Acknowledgements Sections

You may wish to include an == Acknowledgements == section at the end of the text/narrative section of a profile.

There are generally two reasons to do this:

First, if the research you are adding is built on the work of someone else. For example, you may be citing primary sources such as census records but those sources may have been originally found by a family member or another genealogist and you want to give them credit for their work.

Second, if a significant amount of work was done by a WikiTree member other than yourself and you feel that the depth and importance of their contributions may be overlooked in the changes feed.

Acknowledgements are not formal requirements. They are optional. They are special thank-yous.

Acknowledgements are usually unnecessary

It's important to remember that credit for the creation of the profile and all specific edits on any given profile page are tracked in detail on the Changes page, the member's Contributions list, and in all related Activity Feeds. That's the wiki way.

When you are making a change, it's not necessary to credit yourself for the change. Your edit will be recorded in the Changes.

If a contribution fits in a source citation, that's where it belongs. For example, if someone has personal direct knowledge of the fact in question, they should be cited like this: "Jane Smith and Paul Jones were married 17 June 1970 in Ithaca, New York."<ref>Personal Knowledge, [[Smith-99999|Jane Smith]].</ref>

Acknowledgements for merged-away profiles

You don't need to acknowledge those who created duplicate profiles that were later merged. The creation, editing, and merging of duplicates is tracked just like other contributions. Look for a history item like this:

X edited the data for Y (Merged Y-2 into Y-1)

Clicking "Y-2" in this example would lead you to the changes made to that profile.

If you feel that a contributor added a lot of valuable information to a profile that was merged-away, and you think it's easy to overlook their contributions in the Changes, you may wish to give them a special mention in the Acknowledgements, but this is optional. It should be done if you feel that the person contributed substantive, beneficial information (e.g., well-written narrative details, well-researched source citations).

This page was last modified 21:11, 19 February 2022. This page has been accessed 15,499 times.