Rewards for correcting commerical companies data.

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Rewards for correcting commerical companies data.

Postby AndrewA » Fri May 03, 2013 6:27 pm

I am currently working on transcribing 1841 data for Sussex Parish Clerks, while undertaking this task, I will sometimes switch to view the census documents on Ancestry. I notice how many errors there are in thier data, which may then also explain why Find My Past advertise they have the most complete census records, anyway I have made odd corrections in the past but time is too short to go about editing Ancestry data, is this selfish of me? well no i dont think so.

Why shoud I give a lot of time and resources to a company by editing thier data whos aim it is make profit? What do I get out of it? I already use Find My Past and have better results. IF they were to give free subscription time to people who find genuine errors, then yes that would be great, but they dont, so I wont.

What are your thoughts on this?
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Re: Rewards for correcting commerical companies data.

Postby Antie Em » Fri May 03, 2013 8:21 pm

I absolutely agree Andrew - I have spent hours making amendments to Ancestry Census transcriptions and even more hours transcribing for FreeBMD. Still hoping to get rewards..... Think I will e mail them :?
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Re: Rewards for correcting commerical companies data.

Postby SRD » Sat May 04, 2013 7:30 am

Whilst I'm happy to send corrections to free sites I'm not happy to do the same for paid for sites.
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Re: Rewards for correcting commerical companies data.

Postby MarkCDodd » Mon May 06, 2013 3:00 pm

Genealogy is a sharing hobby.

I have corrected hundreds of errors on Ancestry and FMP over the years and it bothers me not a single bit!

Why should others who are starting in the hobby and not as experienced as me suffer because they couldn't find a record due to transcription errors?

Most of the indexes on Ancestry and FMP are done by non-paid amateurs.

The companies buy the rights to the indexes.

FMP and Ancestry have purchased quite a few from the Genealogical Society I belong to.

So go ahead, don't let them know about transcription errors.

Being ignorant of the error is not going to cost them a single cent and only you have benefited from your discovery.

Or you could let them know and then they will spend time and money checking you are correct and fix the error to the benefit of countless other genealogists.
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Re: Rewards for correcting commerical companies data.

Postby AndrewA » Tue May 07, 2013 8:48 am

If Ancestry was the only source for records, then yes maybe correcting every mistake I come across would be right thing to do, but it is not. There are plenty of other places were you can obtain the same doucments, records and indexes, which turn out to be more accurate than those on Ancestry. Ancestry.com made over US$ 300,000,000 , yes thats right, Three Hundred Million US dollars Gross profit in 2011. 2012 Q4 Total Revenue $131.1 million, Up 26% Year-Over-Year

A company making that sort of money has more than enough resources to employ thousands of skilled people to check or re-enter data, or maybe they do and all the mistakes come from where they are being tight and outsource to India and non-English speaking people guess what the words are.

So my point is still valid, why should a commercial company whos end game is to make as much profit as possible, benefit even further by having members who already give them money through subscriptions, make corrections to thier data for free? Its a huge con and the users of Ancestry are being used as free labour, which means more profit for the share holders. If Ancestry was a not for profit charity, then we would not be having this discussion.
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Re: Rewards for correcting commerical companies data.

Postby MarkCDodd » Wed May 08, 2013 2:53 pm

My point still stands. Your refusal to inform them of errors only harms other genealogists, not Ancestry.

If there wasn't a profit to be made then a small fraction of the indexes available would never have been done.

We would be back the the 1990's where you visited the archives and libraries and spent hundreds of hours to find the records now at your fingertips.

Genealogy is one of the world's most popular hobbies.

Ancestry provide a service that millions of people are willing to pay for.

They have earned their profit and provided value for money to their customers.

They do employ thousands of transcribers around the world but they are concentrating on new records.

Who in their right mind would spend the time and money required to redo the BMD or Census when it has been shown that a very small percentage of transcription errors have occured?

I subscribe to Ancestry, The Genealogist and FMP. They all have transcription errors despite many years difference between their transcriptions.

99% of the time when I look at the physical form I can understand why the transcription error was made.

Very rarely do I see something obviously wrong.

So even if they revisited the original documents they would more than likely still produce the same transcription errors.

In fact if Ancestry has a bad transcription then you are almost guaranteed The Genealogist and/or FMP will also have a transcription error for the same record.
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Re: Rewards for correcting commerical companies data.

Postby AndrewA » Wed May 08, 2013 10:41 pm

I am not begrudging ancestry or any other company making an obscene amount profit, I am also the first to recognise that the commercial rewards from publishing records and archives has saved millions of records from the fire or bin, but it would be nice to see some of that money spent on correcting the data.

If ancestry was the only source for census data, then I would whole heartedly agree with you that not making corrections is harming the researchers. However, Ancestry is not the only source for these records, far from it, infact other companies and non profit organisations have far more accurate data than Ancestry does. I see this time and time again when searching, yes Ancestry might have the nicer features and bells and whistles, but whats the point when the data is so wrong it will never return the records required?

A good example, I spent weeks trying to locate Elizabeth (SMITH) Heath and her children in the 1891 census using Ancestry, it wasnt until I decided to go to the library and used Find My Past, that I found the census entry first time, as they had the correct transcription, where as Ancestry had the HEATH's listed as CASTLE, which was the name of the family living next door.

It is in the interest for Ancestry to have as accurate data as possible, especially if the want to give new people a good experience, too many people using ancestry have been put off almost instantly as they find zero records of the people they are looking for. If Ancestry they want the users to correct the data, then they should reward that in some way.

So I ask question again, why should I waste my time and effort correcting mistakes on Ancestry without any reward, when I am simply improving a service offered by a commercial company, who will benefit financially from the collective efforts of people making corrections for them for free.

I will not be blackmailed or pressured into making corrections with the threat that I am harming other researchers and hurting the field of Genealogy, especailly when that data is readily available in numerous other places.
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Re: Rewards for correcting commerical companies data.

Postby MarkCDodd » Thu May 09, 2013 9:37 am

If you did a survey of the people on this board you would find that if they subscribe to a paid service they are limited to one.

So the data may be available in different places but only if you can afford it.

The free sites, such as FamilySearch, purchase the rights to many indexes from FMP, Ancestry and The Genealogist.

So you are subject to the mistakes in those indexes and if you wish to see the original documents to check for errors you must have a paid account.

The only free BMD index is supplied by freeBMD.

That is the BMD index used by Ancestry so the same transcription errors occur in both but you can see the original documents for zero cost.

There is no other free UK BMD.

Many of the companies have been waiting for funding from the UK government to finish the indexing project, I think it was called Magpie, started in about 2007 and stopped half way through.

The UK Government were funding a complete re-indexing with cross reference to age and parent names on birth for instance. Parent names on weddings etc.

This would provide similar indexing to what we have in Australia whereby you do not have to purchase a certificate to get far more information.

I think they were at least 50% of the way when funding ended and no more money has come forth.

That is another reason why somebody like Ancestry would be hesitant to invest in an inferior indexing project.

That is why neither FMP or The Genealogist did the cross indexing even though their BMD projects were started and finished in the last three years.

The Genealogist paid for far more expensive photographing techniques than Ancestry or FMP so the documents their indexers work from are much clearer.

So they tend to have less errors than either of their competitors but they are a premium service that is far more expensive than the others.
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Re: Rewards for correcting commerical companies data.

Postby AndrewA » Thu May 09, 2013 8:59 pm

Actully, those of us in the UK can access all the paid subscription sites for free by visiting the library. Sure it might not be that easy or convenient for some people, but netherless, the full paid versions are available for fee, that is Ancesty, Find My Past and The Genealogist. The best thing as well, is that you do not even have to use the libraries computers, my local ones are slow tanks, instead take your laptop and when logged in to the library network, you get to access these websites under the libraries account using your own laptop.
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Re: Rewards for correcting commerical companies data.

Postby MarkCDodd » Fri May 10, 2013 12:04 am

The Genealogist is by far the best for Shropshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire parish records.

They also have the non-conformist records of which the index is available on FamilySearch.

They have done a pretty good job of the injury and hospital admission lists from WW1.

Hopefully FamilySearch will open up all of their images to non church members.

At the moment you can only see them whilst they are being indexed.

Church Members can see the images as well as the indexes.
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Re: Rewards for correcting commerical companies data.

Postby SRD » Fri May 10, 2013 7:44 am

AndrewA wrote:Actully, those of us in the UK can access all the paid subscription sites for free by visiting the library. Sure it might not be that easy or convenient for some people, but netherless, the full paid versions are available for fee, that is Ancesty, Find My Past and The Genealogist. The best thing as well, is that you do not even have to use the libraries computers, my local ones are slow tanks, instead take your laptop and when logged in to the library network, you get to access these websites under the libraries account using your own laptop.

Not completely accurate I'm afraid, here in my part of Wiltshire only Ancestry is available at the local library and there's no wifi either.
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Re: Rewards for correcting commerical companies data.

Postby AndrewA » Fri May 10, 2013 9:33 am

SRD wrote:
AndrewA wrote:Actully, those of us in the UK can access all the paid subscription sites for free by visiting the library. Sure it might not be that easy or convenient for some people, but netherless, the full paid versions are available for fee, that is Ancesty, Find My Past and The Genealogist. The best thing as well, is that you do not even have to use the libraries computers, my local ones are slow tanks, instead take your laptop and when logged in to the library network, you get to access these websites under the libraries account using your own laptop.

Not completely accurate I'm afraid, here in my part of Wiltshire only Ancestry is available at the local library and there's no wifi either.

Oh dear, not good, i stand corrected that means I was lied to by the library staff, unless they just refering to Hampshire.
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