We cannot go through every line of data that is being digitized, compare it to other data, and then correct it. While the data would be more accurate, the process would be too time-consuming and costly. Ancestry.com (and I'm sure other sites) allow people to compile information and make corrections on their "copy." This is a wonderful solution, if the person knows the data is wrong, but what if the person has no idea?
This topic came to mind because I'm researching my family tree and the data isn't always close to being accurate. Thankfully, I know enough about the family tree to be able to make intelligence decisions about the data I'm using (or so I hope). But I cannot go in and correct what I know is blatantly wrong and that is frustrating.
If you are digitizing material today and making it available, or even archiving born digital materials:
- How do you know that the information is accurate?
- What do you need to tell people about the data, which might help them understand its potential lack of accuracy?
- Can you build-in a feedback mechanism that would allow people to provide corrections?