Protecting your research

Discussion of Genealogy search sites, software, etc.

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Protecting your research

Postby AndrewA » Sun Nov 10, 2013 2:34 am

Family history and genealogy research can reap certain people large rewards. Ancestry etc gives a number of opportunities for people to copy all your hard work and pass it off for themselves, this is annoying, but especially so if you find out that they are being rewarded for it.

SO how do you protect your research and prove that someone has effectively just copied your family tree? Simple way is to follow cartographers lead. for hundreds of years there have always been problems with maps being plagiarised and illegally copied with little or no proof it was copied, after all two competent cartographers will come up with identical maps, just as with family history researchers.

To over come this, the cartographers invented a small feature which had no overall effect on the maps use, such as adding a small island off the coast, If these features appeared in other maps, then it was obvious that the work was copied. Therefore the same methods can be employed with your family tree. How about inventing fictitious people to be included in your public trees, then when you spot these people in someone else's tree, you know they have just lifted your work.

Make sure that these fictitious people can not be confused with genuine people, pick an unusual name, check if you find anything record wise, you don't want people thinking your fictitious person is a real person if they have it returned with a search. It might be best to leave most details blank, but just enough for it to be included when someone copies your work!
Hit a Brickwall? Have you lost all trace of someone? Do not despair, simply make a note they were abducted by aliens! Don't believe in aliens? No problem, just write them off as having disapeared in a time portal
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Re: Protecting your research

Postby SRD » Sun Nov 10, 2013 8:50 am

I don't have a problem with people using my work, most of it I've got for free from others who've put in a lot of work to present it so why should I bother if others use me as step on their own ladders?
Currently investigating the Hillmans of Sussex.
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Re: Protecting your research

Postby snoopysue » Thu Nov 14, 2013 3:19 pm

I don't mind people copying my research, as long as they say where they got the info. I quote my sources, be them Ancestry, FMP or my aunt. That way people can check my research and make up their own minds.
I've contacted several people on ancestry, to try and track down members of my family and to locate the source of the information only to be told they've copied it from some other tree, and can't remember which one! That is totally useless information for me - I'd like to be able to double check things myself.
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