TIP # 36
WHEN SOMEONE IS GENEROUS
IS IT YOURS TO SHARE??
In researching, it is common to assume that the people you are dealing with are overall adults.
By this I mean that they have the educational level of an adult carrying the common sense shared by all of us.
Therefore, I cannot understand why a topic such as this one needs to be addressed...but unfortunately the problem comes up all too often.
When working with genealogical research, one of the best and often most available forms of information is that of bartering with other researchers. With the advent of the internet and email, the exchange rate has been increased several fold.
It is also of course a "hit and miss" system as to whether or not the data you receive is accurate or even usable in your own personal family line.
Although it is understood without really mentioning it, some of the data you give to another researcher is undoubtedly bartered with another researcher on down the line somewhere. This is just something that is accepted and most of the time expected.
Also with the internet there exists the opportunity to place your personal data on the internet through a variety of different genealogical websites. When doing this...
DO YOU HAVE ANY RIGHT TO PASS ALONG OR POST SOMEONE ELSE'S INFORMATION??
Especially if you don't know the accuracy level of this info??
All too often I have followed a lead only to find that the submitter isn't really the one who found the info, it was passed along to them and they have no idea as to its accuracy..or worse still I find my own words/research within their postings.
Sometimes, these items are simply speculation on my part--something that was told to them when the information was passed along. However, in posting it, whether they realize it or not they are offering it to others as an ironclad fact. Unfortunately there are those who feel that anything they find on the internet is "absolute and definitive"; instead of a speculative nature.
If you yourself wish to pass along erroneous data; that in itself a really terrible thing to do, then that is one thing. However, when doing so, you should make certain that the info you are passing along is at least YOUR OWN TO PASS ALONG.
As bad as it sounds, some researchers are not quite as careful or accurate as others and they accept every little scrap of info as gospel.. While there are others who document every bit of information and what is speculation they make a plain statement about.
It is terrible that one of the former group gets their hands on speculative info and passes it along as gospel. They NEVER mention that it is speculation.
Once this info is on the internet, it is almost IMPOSSIBLE to get it corrected. It runs the gamut much like the childhood game of "Operator" and is never quite the same as the original researcher actually sent it.
So, once you decide to post something; carefully make a decision as to how accurate something is and use a disclaimer if necessary. If it is someone else's work ALWAYS make a statement regarding the accuracy of it as you really don't know the quality level of the researcher you received it from..