FamilySearch Wiki:Patrolling

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Revision as of 21:32, 30 March 2011 by VasquezJL (talk | contribs)

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When we “patrol” an article, it means that we read it to see if it contains appropriate content. We are not looking to see if subject matter is correct or if it is well written. We expect the contributor to do this. The following steps guide you in the process.

Patrolling Articles

  1. Log in with your username and password. (This requires Administrative or Reviewer rights.)
  2. Click here to get a list of new pages to patrol.
  3. Click on the title of an unpatrolled article. These articles are highlighted in the color orange, and usually appear at the top of the list.
    Note: If there are a lot of orange and white items mixed together, you can click Hide patrolled edits at the top to hide everything that has been patrolled.
  4. Article Pages:
    1. Read through the article. Ensure that the content follows the Guidelines and Policies, as well as the Purpose and Appropriate Topics of the Wiki.
    2. If everything looks ok, scroll to the bottom and click [Mark this page as patrolled]. It appears on the left side of the screen above the categories.
    3. If you find a problem with the content, go to Resolving Content Problems for what to do next. Some potential problems could include:
      • Content on a person's own genealogy, or biographies about specific individuals.
      • LDS-specific doctrine or information that is not research related.
      • Inappropriate content, such as offensive language.
      • Derogatory statements about people, things, etc.
  5. Talk/Discussion Pages:
    1. On Talk/Discussion pages, we are looking for something different. We are looking for:
      • Problems, concerns, or other issues that may need to be resolved.
      • How we can help those who may be asking questions on the Talk pages
      • Trends that may indicate larger concerns or issues to resolve
    2. Each of these items may be handled differently. When you see them, bring them up to the patrolling team to discuss.
Note: When the article is patrolled, it is no longer highlighted on the list of New Pages. If you thought it was patrolled, and the title is still highlighted, refresh the screen.

Patrolling Discussion and Other Pages


Resolving Content Problems in Articles

If the content is inappropriate for the Wiki, add the appropriate Maintenance Template to the page. There are many options for how to handle the concern:

Completely inappropriate content

  • If something needs to be deleted immediately, add the {{DeleteASAP}} template to the page.

Small pieces of inappropriate content within an article

  • If there is a concern about small bits of text within an article - a sentence or even a paragraph - it can be deleted with an explanation in the summary.
  • If the information to be deleted is more extensive, it would be good to put an explanation on the discussion page.

Entire articles outside the scope of the Wiki

  • If the article is about a topic related to genealogy but is outside the scope of the Wiki, such as an article or page about a specific ancestor, or LDS-specific doctrinal information, it will be vitally important to work with the individual to help them understand the purpose and scope of the Wiki, and to help them in the future be able to make valuable contributions to the Wiki.
  • There are a few steps we will take in this situation:
  1. Learn more about the contributor: Look at the History page of the article. From there, ...
  2. Tag the content: Add the {{Content}} Maintenance Template to the page to show that you have taken a look at this information and have begun discussing the issue with the contributor.
  3. Contact the contributor: If it is a minor concern, you ...
  4. Educate the contributor: Let the contributor know...
  5. Help them find alternatives: ...
  6. Help them be successful in the Wiki: ...
Eventually, you may end up adding a Delete template or other Maintenance Template to the page, but not until after you've communicated with the author.
Following is a sample e-mail about major content problems - you are welcome to use this and edit it to help you craft a message to the patron. It will not need to be this extensive if the problem is very minor:
Dear (username),

Thank you for registering and being a part of the FamilySearch Wiki!  You have really 
done a lot of work in the Wiki and we are excited to see you getting involved.

One thing that we would like you to be aware of is the purpose of the Wiki.  The 
content of the Wiki is generally about "instructions on how to find, use, and analyze 
records that are genealogically useful." (See more here:

We noticed that you have ________________ While this information is generally valuable to 
________________, it is not part of the purpose of the Wiki.  The page linked to above 
also states, "__________________."

You are most likely unaware that this is a guideline, and are just trying to contribute 
and add value to the Wiki. We appreciate that!  We would like to help you find ways to 
contribute your information where it will also be seen.  

Another page that might help is 
that gives you some options where you can add information that doesn't necessarily 
belong in the FamilySearch Wiki.

Can you tell me more about your goals for submitting this information and any other 
goals for your genealogy work at this time?  I can help you find ways to fulfill your 
goals by using other resources that we are aware of at this time.  Let me know your 

Thank you again for the work you are doing!
(sign your name/username)