Correcting or notifying errors in Jerripedia pages

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Jerripedia contributors and editors take pride in the accuracy of the site's content, but inevitably mistakes creep in.

There is always a compromise between the desire to produce as much content as possible as quickly as possible, and the need to ensure that the content is error free.

There are over11,000 content pages in Jerripedia and that number is growing daily. Add in over 51,000 images which have been uploaded to the site since it launched in early 2010 and the enormous volume of historical material which has had to be handled by a small team can be appreciated.

The content is subject to regular checks and reviews, but inevitably some mistakes have not yet been spotted, so what can you, the Jerripedia users, do if you see one? Be assured that if someone identifies an error and draws it to our attention, it will be corrected quickly.

Factual content

Our greatest concern is that there are errors of fact in our historical articles, family trees and other material. Jerripedia content has been provided by a large number of historians and researchers around the world, but the majority prefer to send their work to be edited and processed for inclusion on the site by a small band of volunteers. Although their experience enables them to appraise the accuracy of submitted material, the process is not infallible.

If you believe that any material is factually incorrect the best approach is not to amend the page yourself (although the open nature of the site permits such action) but to leave a comment on the article's 'discussion' page, which will be picked up by the site editors. If they are happy that you are right and the original content was wrong, it will be amended. If the situation is not that clear cut, a comment will be added to the article noting that particular content is disputed.

If you are not a registered user you will not be able to edit pages or leave discussion notes, but you can send your comment by email to editorial@jerripedia.org (please use Jerripedia as the subject for your email), and we will ensure that the matter is attended to quickly.

Typographical errors

The type of error most frequently encountered is not a mistake of a factual nature but a typing error - a rogue figure among letters, or a letter instead of a figure in a date; a spelling error; inversion of characters, or any of the minor mistakes which can creep in when large quantities of text are being handled rapidly. Our church records of baptisms, marriages and burials are particularly prone to these difficulties because part of the process used to convert them to the format required for a Jerripedia page is that of optical character recognition. This uses sophisticated computer software to convert a page of text to an editable file, but as sophisticated as it is, it can fail to recognise characters or wrongly interpret them, particularly if the quality of the original image is not good.

In the majority of cases the errors can be very hard to spot - that is why they were not corrected in the editing process - and an occasional 'l' or 'I' instead of a '1' in a date, or a figure '1' instead of a letter 'l' in a name is relatively insignificant and perhaps best left until there is a more important reason for editing the page. Where there is a combination of errors which makes it difficult or impossible to read a record or a passage of text, that is more serious and should be drawn to the editors' attention so that action can be taken.

But be assured that, however trivial an error, if you take the trouble to draw it to our attention, we will not ignore it but take the necessary action as quickly as possible.

Family trees

The most difficult section of the site when it comes to identifying and correcting errors is the 3,200-plus family trees. Many have been submitted by Jerripedia users rather than researched by members of the editing team, and they have to rely on what is sent in. If your own research leads you to believe that part of a family tree is incorrect, please notify us and we will look into the opposing views and take appropriate action.

We would prefer that you do not substitute your own data for what appears in Jerripedia trees, however confident you are that you are right and the tree is wrong, because the submitter of the tree might disagree and reverse your edit, which would achieve nothing. Draw your concerns to the attention of the editorial team by using the discussion page or sending an email, as outlined above, and we will attempt to reconcile opposing views or add a warning note to the tree.

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