Our research projects require the following deliverables upon completion of the research.

  • Research Calendar/Log and Report(either combined into one deliverable or two separate deliverables) (Download Template.)
  • Digital images of all documents found for this project

Note: For some projects, you may also need to submit additional deliverables. For example, lineage projects may require a worksheet. Other projects may require a GEDCOM file of the records that you found or access instructions for a tree you updated or created.

We have two examples of research reports research report 1 and research report 2 that you can use as examples of what an ideal report looks like.

In every request for research, the PM will assign you a due date for each of these completed deliverables (documents/records, calendar, report). If you cannot meet this due date, either work with your PM to change this due date well in advance of the deadline or please do not accept the project in the first place. If you accept a project and miss the deadline, you may forfeit some or all of the agreed upon payment unless you have notified your PM at least 5 days in advance and received written permission to meet a new deadline. If a Researcher is more than 5 days late on a deliverable, he or she will forfeit all pay for this project and the project will be assigned to a different researcher unless the PM in conjunction with the Vice President of Research and Production agree otherwise. Our PMs do not send out reminders that the due date is approaching.

Please submit deliverables in an editable format (preferably in Microsoft Word and JPG images) so that any needed changes can be made. Please note that all deliverables created are owned by Genealogists.com.

In order to ensure a consistent look and feel to our reports, we have created a list of minimum requirements for all deliverables that Quality Control will be verifying in your deliverables. Please complete this checklist and submit along with your deliverables (Download Checklist.)

In addition to these client deliverables, researchers are required to provide written project updates via email every 10 business days. These updates need not be lengthy, but should capture the current status of the research, including whether there is any issues or concerns. Researchers may forfeit any or all of the project payment if these updates are not timely. Our PMs will not be sending out reminders that an update is needed.

Research Calendar/Log

  • Create a calendar/log for every research project. Note that the calendar/log can be incorporated into the research report and need not be a separate deliverable.
  • Record ALL sources examined, including the search parameters. Be sure to include offline searches that show you leveraged the power of our network of hundreds of researchers around the world. (Include even negative searches so that the client can clearly see the value of the research they purchased, regardless of the results.)
  • The basic idea with a citation is to make sure that someone else could find the exact same source with little effort based on the provided details.
  • Do not include family trees in your research except as clues/hints. They should not be cited in research reports as sources.
  • Number pertinent documents accordingly in ascending order.
  • When finished, send the images along with the calendar/log in an editable format (preferably MS Word) to your Project Manager who will review and send to Quality Control. (See QC Process.)
  • Include key pieces of information to help us identify the exact source such as:
    • Location of archive: A large percentage of the sources should be from offline locations
    • Microfilm/fiche: Title of the collection and volume examined, film number, volume and page number of record found (if applicable)
    • Book: At least the title of the book and author. If specific page and volumes were copied, include as well.
    • U.S. Federal Census records: Census year, Place, ED, Page/Sheet, household head’s name.
    • Other Ancestry.com/MyHeritage type databases: Title of the database searched, details about the record found (search parameters in comments).
    • Other Sources: Type of media, title of the collection, location. Details about what was searched and/or found in the comments.

Research Report

We have two examples of research reports research report 1 and research report 2 that you can use as examples of what an ideal report looks like.

  • A report needs to be created for any project unless your Project Manager notifies you otherwise, in writing.
  • The following document presents a quick reference guide to help you with grammar and style when writing your report. Download Reference Guide.
  • Every objective should be addressed in the report whether or not you were able to accomplish it.
  • It should be written in third person. It is not written to the client, but for a general audience who may read the report in the future. (i.e., “A search was made for the ancestral family in the 1860 U.S. Federal Census,” not “I searched for your ancestors in the 1860 U.S. Federal Census.”)
  • Include footnotes within the report that include the source citation from the calendar. After the citation, include “Document #”.
  • The report should explain why certain records were looked at and what was important about the information located in those records. The report helps the client see our process and understand why certain steps were taken. Clients should see clearly that your time was well spent regardless of the outcome. Clients should see that the records would most likely not have been found if they had done their own research.
  • The report must not recommend that the client seeks out a particular record; instead, the researcher should obtain that record for the client through our network.
  • It is not necessary to discuss every record found. For example, if you find a family in the 1870-1930 censuses, explaining every single census in great detail will get take up a lot of report writing time. However, it is important to mention that the family was found in those records, provide detail on one or two, and then pick out key pieces of information that are important for meeting the project objectives.
  • Researcher sends report to the Project Manager in an editable format (preferably MS Word), not as a PDF. Note that the PM will review and then send the report to the Quality Control (QC) department for review. (See QC Process.)
  • Researchers can put their initials at end of report, but should not include first or last name, and never their own company name.
  • Researcher copyrighted material cannot be accepted. Research done within each project constitutes “work for hire,” meaning Genealogists.com holds all rights to use, modify, and sell Researcher created materials.
  • The report should have the following basic structure:
    • Introduction paragraph(s) that explain the project objectives and starting information provided by the client.
    • Body of the report should explain the research you performed to accomplish each objective, including searches made, key findings (or lack of findings), and analysis of records.
    • Summary should recap the objectives and how the research worked to reach those goals and restate some of the key findings and next steps.
    • Next steps should highlight the specific items that should be researched in the follow-on project based on what was found or not found in this project.

Digital Images (Documents or Records)

  • You only need to submit digital files. JPG format is preferred. Hard copies are not required unless specifically requested in the research request (such as certified documents).
  • Please do not turn in census records and other documents that have lots of black space around them or are crooked. Straighten and crop where possible. The free program Irfanview can easily do this for you; however, be sure you reply No to the prompt to install extra programs.
  • Please do not turn in documents where the individual or family is zoomed in on and removed from the context of the whole page. At times it may be important to provide a second page of the same record with an enlarged section, but please include a copy of the whole page in context so that the client can get a feel for the kinds of records in which their ancestors appeared.
  • Whenever possible, provide copies of the original records, not indexes or transcripts.

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