Project: Sourcerers

Categories: Profile Improvement Project | Unsourced Profiles | Challenges



Sourcerers' Challenge

Leadership: Debi Hoag and Wendy Taylor
Facilitators: Laura Bozzay, Bill Feidt

The Sourcerers' Challenge is a challenge to motivate our members to get traditional sources on the many unsourced profiles across WikiTree. While properly formatted DNA Confirmation sources are wonderful, they are not what this challenge is about.

Each month we start a new challenge and encourage everyone, from the newest researchers to the most experienced, to start adding verifiable sources across the tree and tell us about the work you're doing.

Everyone who participates gets the Sourcerer badge. Owl milestone stickers are awarded monthly and yearly based on the totals from using the Challenge Tracker Statistics.


  • Find and add citations for Traditional Sources. Traditional Sources include (but are not limited to) government records, newspapers, books, ephemera, etc. DNA Confirmation statements do not qualify for this challenge.
  • All profiles improved must come from the Unsourced categories or be already present on WikiTree and unsourced - you can't create new profiles and add traditional sources just to up your tally. The goal is to improve the numbers already on WikiTree that need sources. Adding sources will help merges happen, too, which will improve our tree.
  • The tally is of profiles improved, not sources added. Each profile is counted only once, even if you use the tracker after every saved improvement. This is done automatically by the Tracker. The totals page will show only the number of profiles improved; the tracking report for each Sourcerer may show more lines if the tracker was used after each save.
  • If you added a verifiable source, remove the {{Unsourced}} Research Box code. If a source was already present and you only removed the code, you can use the Tracker. Your "Comment for Status Change" would be "Removed Unsourced template from a sourced profile."
  • Use the Challenge Tracker. Be sure to add something to the "Comment for Status Change" box. Showing what sources you're using helps newer researchers see the kinds of records which are available for us to access. The hints in the right column can be used by clicking them or you can type your own.
  • If you attempt to add sources to a profile and just cannot find any, please add a note under a section like == Research Notes == giving where you tried to find records and you can sign it with the four tildes (~~~~) so the date is applied as well. Something like "Looked for John in the US Census records for 1900-1940 and couldn't find him on FamilySearch or Ancestry" would be fine. Or, "Searched google for an obituary and didn't find one." That way the next researcher knows where to start.
  • Sources must be as complete and precise as possible, according to the Sources Style Guide. Online trees found on other sites (Geni, Ancestry, FamilySearch, MyHeritage, etc), ARE NOT valid sources for Sourcerers participating in the Challenges.
  • If the only pre-existing source on a profile is a reference to an online tree, check that tree. If you find sources on the tree, analyze the source to ensure that it is reliable and the evidence makes sense. If so, add the sources according to the examples in the Sources help page. Use the Challenge Tracker to count your improvement.
  • Profiles that you end up finding a duplicate of and merge to add the source count, too.
  • If a profile needs clean up while you're there, please do so! Many are leftover from gedcom imports and need a little love on top of the sources you add. At a minimum, please ensure that the basic required WikiTree headings of ==Biography==, ==Sources== and <references /> are present and in their proper position.
  • If you add a source which names people who don't have profiles, consider adding the needs profiles created category by pasting this line at the top of the bio: [[Category:Needs Profiles Created]]. If there is a location, include that in the format "Location, Needs Profiles Created."
  • In order to ensure fairness and quality, the Sourcerers team conducts audits on contributions from new members, new qualifiers for purple owls, and random audits on existing members. The total number of tracked contributions in a given month are adjusted per the audit results.

How to Join

Each month there will be a new monthly post that is titled "xxxx 20xx Sourcerers Challenge". You can get to it easily using the G2G icon at the end of the Active line in the Calendar. Add your answer in response to the post and begin counting your sourced profiles using the Challenge Tracker. The first of the month following that month (or shortly after), project badges will be awarded. There is no need to do anything else; if you participate one month, you'll get the badge within the next month!

Don't miss any of the new posts; add the sourcerers tag on your followed tags for G2G.


  • Finished: 1 August - 31 August (1 month), Sourcerers Challenge, , Tracker
  • Active: 1 September - 30 September (1 month), Sourcerers Challenge, , Tracker
Use the G2G icon at the end of the Active line to join

Challenge Tracker Stats

Milestones to reach for Owl Stickers

Sourcerers' Challenge Wise Owl Blue Skies Milestone
... reached the Blue Skies milestone by sourcing 50 profiles in the ??MONTH YEAR?? Sourcerers' Challenge
Blue Skies Milestone for tracking 50 profiles with improved sources in one month

Sourcerers' Challenge Wise Owl Red Hot Effort Milestone
... reached the Red Hot Effort milestone by sourcing 100 profiles in the ??MONTH YEAR?? Sourcerers' Challenge
Red Hot Effort Milestone for tracking 100 profiles with improved sources in one month

Sourcerers' Challenge Wise Owl In the Money Milestone
... reached the In the Money milestone by sourcing 300 profiles in the ??MONTH YEAR?? Sourcerers' Challenge
In the Money milestone for tracking 300 profiles with improved sources in one month

Sourcerers' Challenge Wise Owl Royal Effort Milestone
... reached the Royal Effort milestone by sourcing 500 profiles in the ??MONTH YEAR?? Sourcerers' Challenge
Royal Effort milestone for tracking 500 profiles with improved sources in one month

Sourcerers' Challenge Wise Owl Yearly Golden Achievement Milestone
... reached the Golden Achievement milestone by sourcing at least one profile in every month of the ??YEAR?? Sourcerers' Challenge
Golden Achievement milestone for tracking one profile with improved sources each month of the year

Saturday Sourcing Sprint

Saturday Sourcing Sprints are one-day challenges. They're casual mini-versions of the yearly Source-a-Thon held each October.

For details on how to participate and to see current tallies, go here.

This page was last modified 04:27, 31 May 2023. This page has been accessed 63,342 times.