There are many style and policy reasons for our community and the Global Cemeteries Project to want to present original biographies and content, not simply copied text from other websites such as FindAGrave and BillionGraves. Original content is the type of data and information (e.g. biographies, images, research, etc.) that you create yourself, using completely original elements. There can be no other original story or third-party oversight. If the information you are providing to WikiTree is being copy/pasted and/or uploaded from another website, this content is not original and should not be used.
Rob Ton, who wrote an explanation in G2G, said that: "Writing our own content necessitates reviewing the facts, and this gives an opportunity to look for errors and inconsistencies that have not been found before. Copy/pasting material can rob us of the opportunity for an additional review of the facts. Tying back to credibility, when material is copy/pasted en masse, it gives the impression that it has not been checked against other sources, whether it has or not."
As a general rule, we do not copy-and-paste content we find on another website, even if we were to believe it is not copyrighted. Instead, we should use source citations or to link to similar or related data, such as the Find A Grave template.
Our community's Honor Code states:
- 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.
It is never acceptable to present the work of someone else without giving them credit. It's best if this takes the form of formal source citations.
WikiTree's Global Cemeteries Project vs Find A Grave
Find A Grave's mission is to find, record and present final disposition information (including images and biographies) from around the world as a virtual cemetery experience. This virtual cemetery experience focuses more on cemeteries, than individual profiles and verified sources.
- ↑ "Definition & Meaning 'Original Content'". dictionary.university. 2019.
- ↑ Rob Ton, “Should wikitree have a policy on copying public domain text?”, WikiTree G2G message board, 11 Oct 2014
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