Is your Surname registered?

Our 2,768 members have registered
2,405 study surnames with us
and a further 6,120 variant names.
Mar 012018

The Guild webinar, Gathering Data which is part three in our  7 Pillars Series. The webinar is still available to view to non-members, but for a limited time – viewing is available until the end of 3rd March 2018, London time. You can watch the webinar and download the handouts HERE

We had a number of questions from those that watched live and will be sharing the answers from the two Paul’s below. You can also see the first Q & A responses HERE

Q  Do either of you keep a research journal or make notes on research planning, and if so, what tools do you use to keep it?

A this is the answer from Paul Featherstone:

The only thing I use is the facility for tasks in my software, if for instance I need to buy a certificate to prove something I will make a task that sits in the program shows against that person but does not show in any output, apart from if I run a report on tasks.

Comments from other Guild members are:

A written research log and spreadsheets can be used to record what has been searched, the results of searches, including negative searches. Also linking into what needs to be searched next, perhaps as a result of a search already conducted.

Q  Is it legal to download a whole web site of information?

A We had a discussion around this question as it raised a number of points.

Every member of the Guild and researchers in general do need to exercise some caution in this regard and ensure that there is no breach to Copyright regulations which are variable depending on the country of residence  and ensure that they are not breaching the terms and conditions of the site they are using. That said, researchers conducting One-Name Studies are only extracting the information for their particular surname AND using that data in a form of their creation and should for good practice be citing their source material. With sound use, scrapers are a tool enabling members to do faster what they would do anyway.

Where anyone downloads material, whether in part or completely, and uses the exact format of the source site then that would be a breach of copyright. Furthermore, it is not necessarily the data that is copyrighted, but the manner the information is shared in.

Members who have registered a study with the Guild of One-Name Studies are personally responsible for the data contained within their study.

It is possible to use applications such as Outwithub or to save material using Evernote which has a clipper and enables the saving of an entire web page. Where that is being done it is generally done for the personal use of the study owner who at some point in the future uses the data, with citations and acknowledgements and not the material in entirety. 

Q  Are there Scottish names in the One name studies?

There are a whole variety of surnames being researched, some are surnames whose origins are in the British Isles, others have their origins outside of the British Isles. The quickest way of seeing what surnames are being researched is to use the search box on the right hand side of the website and insert your surname of interest.

Sometimes a surname is already registered in which case do contact the member, they would be delighted to hear from you and you can find the email address on the profile page. Other occasions a surname is not registered, but appears in the indexes which are a members benefit. Sometimes the surname is not registered, but is a variant of another surname and the profile of that surname will be available to you.

And finally, the surname might be an interest of member, that means they have listed it as an interest but have not registered as a global study yet, perhaps they are not sure they want to progress, or they have another study which is unrelated already registered.

Perhaps you are at the point where your surname of interest is not registered in which case you could register the surname!

Q  Do either use Evernote for optical word recognition/ transcriptions? 

A Paul Howes gave this reply:

I use Evernote.  I find it useful to make notes for myself, such as my monthly newsletter, or a list of certificates I want to buy, or families where I haven’t yet finished reconstruction, general to do lists.  Its platform independence means I can access and use it wherever I am, which is absolutely its best feature for me.  I recognize that I probably do not use it to maximum effect yet, though. 

I also have a general feeling about One-Name Studies that it’s easy to get out of balance.  Just as a business has to balance Sales and Production, a One-Name Study has to balance data gathering with analysis, in my opinion.  So I do not like the build up of data.  If you have too much data, it’s easy to lose track and drown in complication.  I would rather pass over individual data items and come back to them later if I cannot slot them in to my existing database immediately.  Evernote could be a way to capture that information without feeling guilty!

Q  Are these programs platform specific. Mac vs PC?

A Paul Howes gave this reply:

Yes, it seems that most scraping programs are platform-dependent, meaning that you have to use a different one on the mac versus a Windows-based PC.  Some programs, like Outwit Hub, have different versions for different platforms. 

Thanks for the questions at last week’s webinar. The next webinar will take place on 20 March and you can register for that and others in the series HERE

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