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What can we do to improve questions which include references to trees on other websites, especially sites that have large collaborative trees like FamilySearch and Geni.com?

I would like to see any material referenced from elsewhere included in the original question, rather than having a simple link to the profile for reference. This allows us to see the state of the profile as it was at the time the question was written.

Once the question gets past a certain age, there's no guarantee that the profile or branch will even be there the next time someone reads the question and wants to answer. Any person can come along and change the information.

If we do have a link to the profile in question, that allows community members who have accounts to go and look at the state of current research, such as it is. But I think it is burdensome to ask people to go to a second site to access the information, especially if they can't see the full profile without logging into that other site.

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I agree.

All content that is pertinent to the question being asked should be present in the question itself. I think it is OK to provide supporting links as additional background, but there should be no requirement for a potential answerer to follow a link in order to synthesize the question being asked.

I recommend commenting on such questions to remind their askers that the potential answerers of their question are all volunteers who may not have the time or inclination to follow any links before deciding whether or not to read the remainder of their question, let alone find the time to answer it.

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