WeRelate:Suggestions/Unsourced category

It would be nice if there was a way pages with no sources at all or those only with mysource 'sources' could be autotagged with an unsource label. Perhaps from there a user could see on his MyRelate tab pages that he is watching that are unsourced. Reason I ask is because when I first got here I had trouble figuring out the source process and Ive been coming across older persons of mine with no sourcing at all (which I am slowly correcting).

And then a sort of side suggestion that need not be part of the main suggestion - perhaps pages that remain unsourced for say - at a 3 year mark - are auto deleted. This would be helpful for when Ive had to 'prune' a New England colonist of false parentage taken from LDS files but the person who created the page is MIA - alot of hit and run users on WR will upload a GEDCOM never to be seen again, but we're left with all these bad ugly pages.

The first suggestion has been debated before, at least among the admins, and the outcome (I think) were the little question marks that currently appear if there is no citation. I'm not sure what happened to the idea of auto-categorizing, or of the idea of letting a user see his own unsourced pages, which would be more useful and wouldn't necessarily require a visible category. I could support that so long as it does not include MySources - many of those are fine sources (the obvious junk of .ged and .ftw files is now excluded), and converting them into Sources where necessary is a different and lower priority project than sourcing what is unsourced.
So you know, there is a manual category called Category:Sources Needed that's also added when you use the template Sources needed. The template Cn can also be used for specific pieces of data to tag it Citation needed.
The side suggestion I don't support. While I've been in that spot and sympathize with the thought, this would throw a number of babies out with the bathwater, and for that reason similar suggestions have been rejected before. There have been a number of changes over the last few years to make the types of problems you're seeing less common - gedcom size limits, source merging, restrictions on how far back new users can go in gedcoms, which aim to prevent the same issues without blanket deletion.--Amelia 10:11, 20 August 2012 (EDT)
Concur with Amelia against purging unsourced pages. I've run into a lot of them and often enough, if you are motivated to chase them down, you're led to the sources. Torrey, in particular (the versions providing sources) are helpful in this effort. When you can't find sources, the phrase "no credible evidence" is quite handy for detaching immigrants from unproven antecedents; however, my tendency is to leave the "unproven" people in place in case someone turns up something later. The scholarly journals; e.g., NEHGR, TAG, NYGBR, keep coming up with new stuff on well-studied families.--jaques1724 13:53, 20 August 2012 (EDT)
I didnt mean a mass purge, which is why I gave a very long 'countdown' time (eg 3 years), but alot of those pages are probably never going to be able to be improved, they are complete guesses. I suppose I care more about the first part of my suggestion, but IMO it would only be useful if it were auto-done. Could also help create a statistic to see what percentage of the site is sourced and what is not. MySources I suppose my problem with them is that there really shouldnt be a difference between a 'source' and a 'mysource', and the majority if what IVe seen under that heading has been garbage (however it was intended).
I couldn't disagree more strongly with the suggestion that Source and Mysource should be equivalent. Of the 11 Mysource:jhamstra pages only one has been formally published and therefore a candidate to be converted to a Source. One more is a town history that was publicly distributed but would not show up in a library catalog. The other 9 are privately distributed but nevertheless carefully compiled family albums, histories, etc. These will never be publicly published nor should they be. Nevertheless they are excellent (though not perfect) sources of information about persons directly known to the compilers or to relatives directly known to the compilers. In modern times these have largely replaced the old family Bibles that people used to record their immediate and extended families. They are not inherently more or less accurate than public records - I have found errors in both. But they are an important part of the historical record of my extended family. Dropping private sources from WeRelate would be a HUGE dis-service to those of us who are using this site to publish our reconstructions of our own extended families.
Not all relevant source documents make it into the public record - in fact when it comes to family histories most primary sources will never be published. I just returned from cleaning-out my father's personal records. They included many more old photographs, letters, diaries, funeral and burial records, etc going back several generations. In due course they may form the basis for additional contributions to WeRelate but they will never become Sources.
--Jhamstra 15:00, 24 August 2012 (EDT)
I would strongly second Amelia's comments regarding unsourced pages. I have created many such pages and if someone deletes them they have destroyed a lot of useful work. Not all contributors to WeRelate are professional (or amateur) scholars who have time to document every last thing they do. For example, I have generally included source citations for my direct ancestors (on either Person or Family pages) but have generally not taken the time to duplicate all of those same citations for their siblings, in-laws, etc (which would be 10 x the total amount of work). If you bother to click the relationship links on the un-sourced pages you will almost immediately arrive at pages that cite the relevant sources.
When I first joined WeRelate we had an online discussion about source-driven versus person-driven data entry. Given that there is no efficient way to enter a source and then link all the Persons and Families where it applies, I simply do not have the time to complete this to some people's satisfaction.
There are also other reasons why I have chosen not to show sources on some pages. You may not be pleased with all of my work but that does not mean you should invoke a "statute of limitations" and delete it after 3 years. If this Wiki is not designed to survive my existence in cyber-space then I have contributed a lot of stuff to the wrong place.
On the other hand I too am wondering what is the basis for the ostensible family trees that link some of my early New England ancestors to British nobility, Anglo-Saxon, French and Norse royalty, etc. However I lack the expertise to work on that part of the database so I generally leave it alone except for flagging a few highly implausible relationships when I find them.
--Jhamstra 15:22, 24 August 2012 (EDT)
Isnt the whole point of this website to be sharing of 'the best sources' to avoid the pitfalls of private trees with unsourced information? I dont know about you, but although I may not do all of the siblings in my first go around with a family group, if I am not going to source all of them I usually wont add them at all. Later on though I have gone back and added and sourced all the siblings. I am willing to put in that time on the site to set a good example of what a ancestry website should be. Your pages are probably not what I mean by unsourced pages being left around for years, although you IMO should hope to obtain a source most everything you have with at least something. I mean the basically unprovable 'genealogies' that, like I said, have been created as 'ancestors' of especially New England colonists. Ones that are implausible or disproved I remove the link to but the pages are still there. But my first point still stands. I havent heard a good objection (or really any objection) why an unsourced page couldnt be autotagged with a friendly, non intrusive category at the bottom of the screen, which could then show up in the dashboard, which a user could use to figure out which pages hes watching are unsourced with a goal to go back and fix this. 'Opt-in' categorizing would not be as effective. My problem with MySource isnt so much what youve said. Its more than there is alot of duplication of bad non sources within it that are left when people upload a gedcom. Perhaps junk Mysources could be identified (note - I dont mean family histories - I mean things like 'Mysource/OneWorldTree') and allow for a speedy delete category that any user can add when he sees one?
As I commented shortly after joining WeRelate, the most effective way to promote best practices in any software application is to make it as easy as possible to do the right thing - in this case apply a Source or Fact to multiple members of a family simultaneously. This request was discounted because it did not fit-in well with the GEDCOM standard which drove the evolution of WeRelate. If the implementers of WeRelate do not have time to help me do my job in the "right" way then why should they expect me to spend 10 x of my time on repetitive data entry. Regarding the idea of flagging or automatically purging junk sources (which I personally find annoying) I would be happy to see this done. Since many of these junk sources seem to come from GEDCOM uploads, the place to start would seem to be the GEDCOM upload itself. Beyond that my first candidate for automatic flagging or purging would be Source:GEDCOM. --Jhamstra 10:42, 11 November 2012 (EST)
I'd rather see a Source:GEDCOM or whatever than no source at all -- citing a GEDCOM source tells me how reliable the data are likely to be.--GayelKnott 11:46, 11 November 2012 (EST)