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Group Administrator Guidelines for FTDNA Projects

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  • #61
    The rules regarding project administrators and moving or upgrading members to a more specific project needs some leeway. The R1b gateway project is a good example of that and has done more to get people to SNP test than any other project I can think of. The R1b gateway project needs to be able to automatically enroll them to the correct subclade project such as the R1b-L21 or R1b-U106 subclade projects. It’s mission critical. Perhaps only certain gateway projects should be allowed to enroll members in to another project as a compromise. Also, those gateway projects should be prominently suggested when a haplogroup prediction is made by FTDNA from 12 STRs.
    On the other hand, nobody without my permission should be able to order any test on my DNA, period. After reading this thread, a fail-safe method should be set up to prohibit an administrator from accidentally testing someone's DNA without permission. An explicit opt-in sign up button or other method is needed.
    I'm not a project administrator, but I do appreciate them.
    Joe

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    • #62
      Originally posted by Donald Locke View Post
      In my humble opinion, the better route is to state it on every DNA project that by joining a DNA project the participant is giving his or her permission for the project to upgrade their DNA tests.
      Donald,

      Please think about this from the project member's perspective.

      Individual projects don't own their members, or their members' DNA. People join many different types of projects -- surname, haplogroup, geographical, heritage, etc.

      As a knowledgeable customer / project member, I would personally never give my project admins implicit rights to order tests on my DNA any time they want just by virtue of joining their project. Does that mean I shouldn't be allowed to join the project? Of course not. Would I be happy to have a project offer to pay for one of my upgrades? Absolutely, as long as they ask for my permission first -- each time. Of course, this is my own feeling on the matter. You may very well have some project members who are happy to let project admins order whatever they want on their DNA. But you can never make that assumption, so it's best to play it safe and ask for permission, if they haven't already given you their permission.

      Here's another scenario:

      I manage my deceased grandfather's DNA kit. Should I allow the admins of the *5* different projects where I've joined my grandfather to order more tests whenever they want, without my permission, and use up his remaining sample? No way! Any further testing that gets done on these samples will be MY decision -- not that of a project admin who doesn't know anything about my grandfather, may not even know that he's deceased, certainly doesn't know about the problems that I've already had getting results from his samples for further testing, etc. And this situation absolutely should not prevent me from having my grandfather, with the results that he already has, participate in projects.

      Bottom line: Project admins need to keep in mind that they're dealing with people and with DNA samples that are not unlimited -- project members can't just be viewed as kit numbers and results that are interesting to the project. And situations like these are precisely the reason why such a statement needs to be included in the project admin guidelines

      Elise
      Customer & Project Admin since 2005

      Disclaimer: I have a consulting arrangement with Family Tree DNA. However, the comments above are my own personal opinions, not statements made on behalf of Family Tree DNA.
      Last edited by efgen; 9 March 2014, 10:16 PM.

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      • #63
        I agree with you Elise. But there also must be some compromise and common sense to the rules too.

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        • #64
          Originally posted by jbarry6899 View Post
          "Any external website should specify that the DNA results are from Family Tree DNA. "

          Because of the inadequacies of FTDNA's autosomal project support, our project has an external website, open only to project members, that integrates autosomal matches from several sources. This provision would seem to prohibit that or require that an inaccurate statement be made.
          The way I read this guideline, it's just intended to ensure that Family Tree DNA is credited on external websites that display results from Family Tree DNA. It doesn't dictate exactly how Family Tree DNA should be credited and it also doesn't say that other sources of results should not be credited. Perhaps just a slight edit to the wording may be needed for clarification, but otherwise, I think this one is quite simple and to the point.

          Elise

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          • #65
            I too manage my deceased grand father's Y DNA test and I would not appreciate another project Admin using his sample up on needless upgrades. So on that I do agree with you.

            I take this quite personally because I have spent years building up trust and gained respect by all my participants, many of whom have given me their expressed permission to do upgrades, but I did not keep those emails giving me that permission to upgrade because I could not see the future changes to the rules by FTDNA.

            I am beyond frustrated because the project has $81.00 in donations that is specifically intended to go towards one participants Y DNA upgrade who is now deceased whom I had his expressed permission to upgrade his 67 marker to 111 marker. We were just waiting for the rest of the money to come in to be able to do that upgrade, and now it seems it is all for nothing, he is deceased and I can not get permission from a dead person and I had no idea FTDNA would change the rule on me so I didn't save the email with that permission.

            And I will add that this specific upgrade was VERY important to me personally because this man in England of my surname is a 65/67 match to me and why we were collecting donations to help pay for his 111 upgrade.
            Last edited by Donald Locke; 9 March 2014, 10:43 PM.

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            • #66
              Originally posted by efgen View Post
              As a knowledgeable customer / project member, I would personally never give my project admins implicit rights to order tests on my DNA any time they want just by virtue of joining their project. Does that mean I shouldn't be allowed to join the project? Of course not. Would I be happy to have a project offer to pay for one of my upgrades? Absolutely, as long as they ask for my permission first -- each time. Of course, this is my own feeling on the matter. You may very well have some project members who are happy to let project admins order whatever they want on their DNA. But you can never make that assumption, so it's best to play it safe and ask for permission, if they haven't already given you their permission.

              Here's another scenario:

              I manage my deceased grandfather's DNA kit. Should I allow the admins of the *5* different projects where I've joined my grandfather to order more tests whenever they want, without my permission, and use up his remaining sample? No way! Any further testing that gets done on these samples will be MY decision -- not that of a project admin who doesn't know anything about my grandfather, may not even know that he's deceased, certainly doesn't know about the problems that I've already had getting results from his samples for further testing, etc. And this situation absolutely should not prevent me from having my grandfather, with the results that he already has, participate in projects.
              The more I think about this the more I agree. And if Family Tree does allow project administrators to purchase upgrades without the kit owner's permission, I hope they will send everyone an email clearly explaining this, because if this policy is adopted, I will want to withdraw my father from every Italy and other project I have enrolled him in, simply to preserve samples of his DNA. He's up in years and his health is very fragile. I probably couldn't get another sample, which is why I asked FTDNA to send an extra vial when I purchased a test for him. Who knows? Full genome sequencing at an affordable price may be available in a few years! Or some other test I may want to use his DNA for. My agenda is finding ancestors in the last few hundred years. A project administrator's agenda may be what happened 50,000 years ago and he or she couldn't care less about my ancestors!

              I purchased the original kit and I should have the authority to say what the DNA is and is not used for. How much DNA would be left if 5 different project administrators decided they could purchase whatever upgrades they chose?

              Comment


              • #67
                MoberlyDrake, I hadn't given it all the thought I should have when I posted my objection lol.
                And like you, the more I thought about it, it is a decent rule, but as I just explained in a previous message, I am frustrated at the sudden rule change because of my specific situation.

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                • #68
                  I will also make it very clear, in my 10 years as an Admin of 4 DNA projects, never have I ordered an upgrade with out the expressed permission of the participant. Just something I would never do because I know just how important those swabs are!

                  So I retract what I posted earlier, I was wrong.

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    In regards to the off site project web pages.
                    If my Locke DNA project web page is not in compliance with FTDNA guild lines, I expect FTDNA to contact me directly to address that issue so I can get it in compliance.

                    In the nearly 10 years my off site project web page has been online, I have not gotten one complaint from anyone at FTDNA, so I presume my off site project web page is ok, at least until I hear other wise.

                    http://lockeroots.home.comcast.net/~...oots/DNA1.html

                    Comment


                    • #70
                      Originally posted by Donald Locke View Post
                      I am beyond frustrated because the project has $81.00 in donations that is specifically intended to go towards one participants Y DNA upgrade who is now deceased whom I had his expressed permission to upgrade his 67 marker to 111 marker. We were just waiting for the rest of the money to come in to be able to do that upgrade, and now it seems it is all for nothing, he is deceased and I can not get permission from a dead person and I had no idea FTDNA would change the rule on me so I didn't save the email with that permission.
                      Donald,

                      My personal opinion as a project admin is that you should be OK in this situation. As long as the member did give you permission in writing in the past, you should be able to place the order through the GAP using project funds.

                      If, however, you need Customer Support's assistance with placing the order for some reason, then you may have some difficulty since you no longer have the documentation to show Customer Support that the customer did indeed give permission.

                      Also, if this member's kit is now managed by a family member or someone else, then it may be best to get in contact with the kit manager to ensure that they are aware of the prior arrangement so that they're not surprised when they receive an email notification saying that a test has been ordered. Of course, if no one took over management of the kit, then this is a moot point

                      Elise

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                      • #71
                        research papers

                        Thank you for this Rebekah,

                        It would not be inconceivable for me to want to write an article in the future for the Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society (JCHAS) or a similar publication in the future. Some guidelines on how we should represent data and how to obtain permission from members would be helpful.

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          Joining Members to other Projects

                          I would like to see the phrase "without the members' expressed consent" added to the item
                          "Add Project members to other projects or move a Project member from one project to another."

                          A number of my surname project members are not very computer-savvy and I have often offered to join them to, say, haplogroup R1b-whatever project in order to get guidance on which SNPs to test next. Of course I do this ONLY with their expressed permission.

                          ... Martin Potter

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                          • #73
                            GA Guidelines - Sugestion followup

                            Rebekah,

                            I wrote with slight modifications ...

                            Suggestion:
                            I would like to see these options on the member's FTDNA personal results page with an option check type box allowing ...

                            1) I give my permission to the Group Administrator to use my provided genealogical lineage for comparison purposes.

                            2) I will allow upgrades by the Group Administrator, if paid by the project. I understand they will send me an email notification prior to upgrading, in case I change my option before the test is ordered.

                            3) I give permission so that my FTDNA DNA results will be posted on the project Non-FTDNA website.

                            4) I will allow the Group Administrator to be my beneficiary, IF no other beneficiary is designated or such designated beneficiary declines via email or in writing to FTDNA.

                            Clarification;
                            This would be on the member's personal results page under myFTDNA - Account Settings - Project Administrator Settings - Choose the amount of access to my settings and information that Project Administrators have. This is in addition to what is there now.

                            Add a check type box for the above four items for each project the member joined. See Suggestions above.

                            When a member quits a project, the options for that project go away. When a member joins a project, the options appear.

                            In this manner, FTDNA members can make an informed choice for themselves regarding the options given to each Group Administrator for each group joined.

                            I also suggest that a link be added to go to a FAQ explaining or clarifying these GA options.

                            John R. Carpenter
                            Carpenter Cousins Project
                            http://carpentercousins.com

                            Carpenter Cousins Y-DNA Project
                            http://www.carpentercousins.com/carpdna.htm

                            Carpenter Cousins Y-DNA Project lineage page
                            http://www.carpentercousins.com/generallineage.htm

                            Comment


                            • #74
                              After thinking about the situation where a surname project is connected with a fee-based "family association" web site, I think I can clarify what I would like to see.

                              As it stands now, at least one of these sites displays only part of the information that must have come from the FTDNA customer profile on its public surname project results page. The information about the earliest paternal ancestor is conspicuously missing, apparently accessible only behind the family association's pay wall.

                              The "rule" should be that NO information obtained from the customer's profile on FTDNA, and intended by the customer to be public, should be restricted behind somebody else's pay wall, if it is not also displayed on the public project results page.

                              I don't accept the idea that a third party can restrict data that the customer intended FTDNA to make visible to all customers and interested parties. To me, this is an abuse that should be corrected.

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                Group Administrator Guidelines for FTDNA Projects

                                "Use a DNA project to promote a business or commercial interest outside of the Family Tree DNA affiliate program."

                                I'm co-admin for a project co-hosting a GOONS One Name Study, for valid Project reasons - recruiting and obtaining relevant data. Necessarily, we promote both, both internally and externally. This would seem to conflict with the above.

                                "Represent Family Tree DNA as the testing company of choice...

                                Group Administrators commit to make best efforts to answer questions from Project members"

                                The above are obviously potentially in conflict, as worded. Personally, I have no problem with the first, as it's my objective general judgement. If, however, my best advice in response to a member question is to use a test from another company, my integrity demands that I give that advice. If that is incompatible with FTDNA requirements, then I will cease to serve as a co-admin.


                                "All websites that are currently (as of March 1, 2014) externally hosted will be transitioned to a Family Tree DNA landing page that links to the external site."

                                More detailed information would be appreciated here.

                                "If a Group Administrator chooses to host an additional website elsewhere, it must follow the same standards as a Family Tree DNA based website. Any external website should specify that the DNA results are from Family Tree DNA."

                                No one with sense will commit to following FTDNA standards, if such are inferior to those appropriate to, or required by, the external site. The use of the definite article implies that all "DNA results" are from FTDNA. Certainly, any FTDNA results must be clearly and unambiguously so labelled, or presented by similarly clear link to FTDNA hosted Project data, but FTDNA has no right to claim data produced by others. Notably for our co-hosted GOONS work, the required standard of inclusiveness is broad and takes no notice of commercial interests.

                                "Because Group Projects are based around DNA Test Results,..."

                                Exclusively so? Where DNA is simply applied to genealogy within a few hundred years, circumscribing Project activity closely to corporate interest may not much harm that of members and admins. When members go beyond just asking, "Who are my relatives and cousins?" and ask, "What am I, whence came I and where were my ancestors in the historical movement of peoples?", then much that is external to FTDNA comes into question. If not catered for within FTDNA, then an external site is the obvious way to go, with most data, Project reasoning and member's conversation residing there.

                                "Provide information or assistance to one project member while withholding the same from another project member."

                                This prohibition presumably requires that if the project collects funds to subsidize or pay for a member's test or upgrade, it must do so for all members. Not much point in an admin who is forbidden to exercise judgement on project management, and not only regarding allotment of limited resources in time and money. . .

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