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WikiTree Sources and Citations

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Profile manager: Chris Orme private message [send private message]
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Why I record my Sources and Citations on WeRelate

I enjoy genealogy and researching my family tree

Like many these days, I have a busy life and like to use the times I find for genealogy in the most enjoyable and productive way I can.
Also, with a background in IT (albeit a long time ago now!) I like things to work efficiently and I am very aware of the need to secure my hard work. We would all like WikiTree to be around for ever but it might not be. Or, more likely, if WikiTree cannot keep up with technological advances, someday we may want to move the fruit of our research to a different platform.

I like my genealogy apps to talk nicely to each other

WikiTree requires sources and citations to be entered as freeform text in the Biography section. This interfaces very poorly with other genealogy systems:
  • Upload of a GEDCOM file to WikiTree needs some serious tidying up for the sources and citations to be pleasant and easy to read (which matters to me). This is a time consuming process, that personally, I find tedious and annoying as I have already entered the data carefully in my “base” system. My view is that as it is transferred in a widely recognised format, only minimal, if any, tidy up should be needed.
  • Download of a GEDCOM file from WikiTree can only send sources and citations as text in a note field. This text also includes all the Wiki markup, which is meaningless to other systems. Each record can take a long time to tidy up, especially if there are many citations.

I love apps/websites that make life easy for me

If I want to correct or amend a source that is cited in many people profiles, I will need to do this once on my secure base system (Gramps), and then turn to WikiTree and make the change in every profile that cites this source (I know which profiles cite this source because it is easy to see in Gramps - not so easy in WikiTree)
If I want to cite a source that I have referred to in another profile, in most genealogy systems this takes seconds. In WikiTree, I will need to find the other profile and cut and past the relevant bits of information. Fiddly, frustrating, error-prone and time-consuming.

My workaround

It is messy using two entirely separate websites to share my research. Although also time-consuming, it is still faster, easier and more satisfying than using WikiTree to share my sources and citations.
A big plus is that, by making sources and repositories shared, WeRelate leverages the benefits of a Wiki far more powerfully than WikiTree in this vital area of genealogy. For example, if I have made an error or omission in describing a source, it may be spotted by someone who visits one of the WikiTree profiles in which I have quoted the source. They may then improve this one profile. In WeRelate if someone spots a source error or omission in any profile and corrects it, that improvement will immediately be reflected in every profile which quotes the source.
I really like WikiTree, and have a big time investment in it but I just don’t have the time and patience to manage the sources and citations the WikiTree way, especially, as I add more people profiles.

Thank you for reading this, I hope it has been helpful

We are all different, so you may have another view or experience. If you would like to contact me, I would be happy to hear from you.

Chris Orme, 1 January 2016


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