The Master Profile designation is a tool provided by Geni to help improve the World Family Tree [see http://www.geni.com/worldfamilytree]. A Master Profile (or MP) is easily identified by the green MP badge on the profile, after his or her name. The Curators can mark a profile in the Big Tree as Master Profile. Many Master Profiles will also contain a curator text box at the top of the profile, with essential data about the person or a message from the Curator for that profile.
The word "Master" has many meanings in English. It can mean "exceptional," but it can also mean "primary," as in the main profile that others should be merged into. Any public profile could become a Master Profile. Celebrities and nobility are often MPs. There are many reasons to have MP profiles.
- The best reason is to show that this profile is well researched and is reasonably complete.
- Sometimes a profile is subject to frequent vandalism. Curators can lock such a profile to prevent further problems but a profile cannot be locked unless it is an MP. Curators can either lock the entire profile or lock just specific facts. If you need access to a locked profile, contact the Curator for that profile.
- The MP designation is used as a guide when merging profiles. Unless there is a curator text box advising you otherwise, the MP is the standard by which to decide if you should complete the merge.
- A cluster of profiles may all be made into MPs at the same time, when there could be confusion over similar names. Suppose John Doe had a son named John Doe and a nephew named John Doe. John Doe the son had a son named John Doe and nephew John Doe had a son named John Doe. In that case, the Curator would make MP of ALL the profiles and will add essential information in the curator text box at the top of each profile to prevent errors.
- A "shell" MP may be created when there is not much data on the person in the profile. The shell shows that this profile is in the correct place in the tree and can be used as a merging guide.
The Overview tab on the MP often contains valuable or interesting information about the person profiled, but not every MP will have this write-up. As Curators write the Overview, they strive to include certain basic information found on the list below. Each Curator has his or her own writing style and their MP's will reflect that style. Please be aware that the Curator creating the MP for the profile may edit the Overview data for clarity, change formatting for reading ease, and will remove duplicated material.
Curators are not the only ones who can write the Overview material. Every Geni member is encouraged to contribute by writing the Overview. You are also encouraged to help by adding data and sources to the Overviews, and to make them as ready for the MP designation as possible. As you work on your profiles, add as much of the following information as you have been able to locate to the Overview:
- Full name also with aliases and other main languages if appropriate, and their function, work or title. Also "Disambiguation" - warnings of usual mix-ups - where necessary.
- Names of parents, spouses and children in a neat list
- LINKS (include headline) to sources like
- Foundation of Medieval Genealogy
- Official websites of royal houses in Europe
- Links to private webpages where people have uploaded their trees (like Rootsweb etc), especially when this is the only source that can be found, and the webpage shows solid research.
- Actual (copied) information and citations from MedLands, Wikipedia and good, approved Sources (which will be different for different areas) with references.
- Bibliography and Sources where appropriate
- Additional links, where the link provides background or more material than used in the Overview.
Sources are an important part of the Master Profile. Data used to determine facts about the profile can be made into documents and uploaded to the Source tab. Links are also uploaded and cited easily through the Sources tab. Please cite all documents so others know what information is contained in it. Please refer to http://www.geni.com/projects/How-to-Do-it-Video and http://help.geni.com/entries/462387-how-to-upload-documents-to-geni to learn more about adding sources to your profiles. Properly cited sources will create little source icons on the profile's data in the upper pane.
Only a Curator can make a profile into a Master Profile, however, any Geni member can ask to have a profile made into a Master Profile. Review the information above. If you have a profile that meets these standards, paste a link to the profile in the Geni public discussion for curators: my profile is good enough to be a Master Profile! (http://www.geni.com/discussions/83475). A Curator will look over your profile and contact you if there are questions. Once everything is resolved, the Curator will post back in the discussion that the MP has been made.
A good example of a Master Profile is http://www.geni.com/people/Col-William-Randolph-of-Turkey-Island/6000000011289796731. Starting at the top of the profile, you will note the following items:
- Curator text box with data specific to this person.
- Photo relating to the person profiled. A photo or portrait is preferred, but gravestones, maps, or pictures of the person's home are all acceptable. The source or ownership of the portrait or photo should be included on the media tab.
- No extra information in the name fields. This enhances search capability. Instead, the Display Name contains a property name, which helps to avoid confusion when merging with this profile.
- Completed dates and location for birth and death appear in the data section, along with the names of parents, name of spouse and names of children.
- The sources tab shows that multiple sources were used to verify data on the profile. The small icon after items in the data section shows that the information was gathered from these sources.
- There is a well-written bio of this person on the Overview, telling you more than just dates and names. Reading this Overview helps the reader to learn about the person profiled.
- Children are listed on the overview, using bullet points for ease of reading.
- Disambiguation note - see the statement just above the list of children, stating that sources vary on dates for the children.
- At the end of the bio is a list of additional sources. Note: some of these links are used as sources and appear on the sources tab. The balance help the reader to learn more about this person or about the time in which he lived.
- If the membership has done a good job getting a profile ready for the MP status, you might find a thank you note from the Curator.