FamilySearch Wiki:Patrolling

From FamilySearch Wiki
Revision as of 03:11, 29 April 2011 by VasquezJL (talk | contribs)

Jump to: navigation, search

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 Moderator rights.)
  2. Click here to get a list of new pages to patrol.
  3. Click on the Namespace dropdown, then on all, then click Go to show the pages needing to be patrolled in all namespaces
  4. Click on Hide patrolled edits to only show those pages that need patrolling. That should show you all the items highlighted in the color orange. New pages created that are not in orange were probably created by someone else with Moderator rights; their pages do not need to be patrolled. 
  5. 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.
  6. Talk/Discussion Pages:
    1. On Talk/Discussion pages, we are looking for something different. We are looking for:
      • Questions that patrons ask
      • Problems, concerns, or other issues that may need to be resolved
      • Trends that may indicate larger concerns or issues to resolve
        Each of these items may be handled differently. When you see them, bring them up to the patrolling team to discuss.
    2. If the item is a question:
      1. Add the {{Patron question}} template to the page. (Once the question is answered, the {{Patron question}} template can be removed.)
      2. If the question is about the information in the main article:
        • Answer the question if you know the answer (and remove the {{Patron question}} template).
        • If you can't answer the question, the {{Patron question}} template will tag the question so it can be reviewed and we can make sure it gets an answer eventually.
      3. If the question is not about the information in the main article, such as a research or product question, it doesn't belong on this page. Add a note to refer the patron to the forums to ask their question. Once the patron asks their question on the forum, delete the entire question from this page.
    3. If the item shows a problem or trend that may indicate larger issues, bring it 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 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, click on the contributor to see if they have created a user page so you can learn more about them (their user page may be blank if they have not yet added anything). From there, under Toolbox, click on User Contributions. Review the contributions this user has made to the Wiki to learn more about who they are and what their interests are. Use this information as you talk with them to discuss their interests and goals in the wiki.
  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 can add a note to the Talk page of the article in question. The contributor will see that this information was added and can come and view it. If the problem is more extensive such as multiple pages added to the Wiki outside of scope, you may want to email the contributor directly through the "Email this user" option you see in the Toolbox while on the userpage.
  4. Educate the contributor: Let the contributor know what the policies and guidelines are. Link to the Purpose and Appropriate Topics article, and if applicable, quote the article as wel.
  5. Help them find alternatives: Generally, people post valuable information but it is outside the purpose of the Wiki. In that case, the Try another wiki page lists other places where this kind of information can be shared.
  6. Help them be successful in the Wiki: New users generally add this kind of content with good intentions, not realizing what the scope of the Wiki is. After we help them understand this, it will be important to find out what their genealogical goals are so that we can help them become successful contributors.
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 used in a situation where many pages of content were added to the Wiki that was valuable but outside the scope of the Wiki. 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, and if it is on just one page it's ok to just add something to the talk page:
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 very valuable to 
________________, it is not part of the purpose of the Wiki.

We would like to help you find ways to contribute your information where it will be seen by
those who are looking for it. There is another page in the wiki that might help with that: 

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)