Forums: Index > Watercooler > People who help research?

Do we have a page listing people that are willing to help others do research? I know there is a category for those willing to help new people to the site but that is not what I am looking for. For instance I pay for the full subscription to which has a lot of source records especially for the United States. I am willing to look up things on this site for others, given time. William Allen Shade 22:07, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

A page for people to volunteer to help others would be a great idea. Although you did not mention it, I would go further and I think we should ask professional genealogists to list here. There probably should be some ground rules on the "pro page" though so that the page does not become a source of contention. Accredited genealogists should receive special billing and there should be some restrictions on length of blurbs for each person. Folks can go into greater depth on their user page. So long as common sense and civility prevails, I think this would be a welcome addition. Just my two cents. -~ Phlox 22:49, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
Eventually would think we would like a link from the main page to this after it gets a number of people on it. I like the idea of Professional as wells as volunteer look-ups. William Allen Shade 23:01, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia recently discussed a related topic- WP contributors who where being paid to create articles. Jimbo made the following statement in the RFC:

It is not ok with me that anyone ever set up a service selling their services as a Wikipedia editor, administrator, bureaucrat, etc. I will personally block any cases that I am shown. There are of course some possibly interesting alternatives, not particularly relevant here, but the idea that we should ever accept paid advocates directly editing Wikipedia is not ever going to be ok. Consider this to be policy as of right now.

Wikia is certainly different than wikipedia, and in particular it seems to me perfectly proper for a family member to pay a writer to create family history articles here for their family. However, I have a big problem with the idea the potential conflict of interest, especially regarding bureaucrats or administrators using their official powers in exchange for any kind of compensation. It is an issue that may crop up down the road, so it's nice we have some time to mull it over in advance of our global domination of this subject domain. (just kidding?) -~ Phlox 18:57, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

What about having a user subpage that lists all of that user's needs for research, such as census images, newspapers, or some other lookup. Then these subpages can be categorized and if anyone finds time and wants to help someone, they can check out their research needs subpage and see if they can help somewhere. We could even have a special census lookup Project where people can list their request and volunteers can look up these requests when time permits. We could use the Project namespace for anyone interested in creating a project on a particular family or geographic location. This way, others can find these projects, join them, and help others within their project (i.e. I could start a project on my county; others from my county who join the project and have reasearch needs, I could try and help them.) -AMK152(talkcontribs) 19:07, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
Practical suggestion: Why don't we create a template & category "need a hand" to be put on pages that require assistance. It'll probably need a parameter or two "need a hand | USA | 17th century". rtol 19:21, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
Didn't mean to open a can of worms. I just know how expensive some sites can be like and wanted to be able to offer my free assistance when I had time. William Allen Shade 00:39, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

The Help desk is already available for people to ask for any kind of help. We could make it more obvious that that's one of the uses for it. Also, we have a number of help requests lodged on pages such as community forums and the talk pages of places or individuals. They are, or can be, categorized by place and sometimes also by type, e.g. marriage records. I doubt if we need more categorization of that sort. Even "USA | 17th century" is a huge subject, and there would be over a million resources potentially involved in that sort of "need a hand". We have the structures here for people to seek help. — Robin Patterson (Talk) 08:53, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

For offering specific help, people such as Will could note on the talk page of a source they have free access to, or have particular expertise in searching, such as or 1790 census of the United States. And AMK152 can liaise with the USGenWeb group for his county and see whether we can get some cooperation going. — Robin Patterson (Talk) 08:53, 29 June 2009 (UTC)