Researcher terms and conditions

In addition to the terms and conditions to which you have already agreed to comply with as a registered user of HistoryOwl, the following terms and conditions (including code of conduct) shall also apply if you upgrade to become a researcher. If you do not agree with these, please do not continue with your registration.

  1. Before placing a bid on a puzzle which you believe you may be able to resolve, you will satisfy yourself that you have fully understood what is being asked and made all efforts to ask the requester for any details about this which are not clear to you.
  2. You understand that when a requester has accepted a bid (hired a researcher) you have committed to deliver what has been stated in the query details and any associated correspondence including within the bid placed which you have had with the researcher.
  3. You may delete any bid placed prior to a requester hiring you.
  4. You agree to comply with the Researcher Code of Conduct below.
  5. When answering a query, you will endeavour to do so within 14 working days unless you have given advance warning to a researcher before placing your bid that it may take longer. You can do this within the bid notes box.
  6. You have supplied details about your researcher experience and credentials which are full and accurate and will amend these as and if they change.
  7. You are responsible for the progression and completion of any contract which may arise as a result of a requester hiring you to solve a puzzle for them. This includes the arrangement of payment (if any), chasing up of the same (for researchers who accept payment in arrears), and completion of any regulatory formalities associated with any genealogy business which you may run.
  8. You will make best efforts to resolve any disputes amicably with the requester which may arise before asking for any assistance from History Owl in this matter.
  9. You will report any abuse of the History Owl Service by a requester to History Owl promptly.
  10. You are responsible for paying any taxes from consideration which may arise from any contract you form with a requester for the jurisdiction from which you trade.


Researcher Code of Conduct

You will not:

  1. Bid for a puzzle which you do not believe you have sufficient skills to satisfactorily answer.
  2. Bid for a puzzle which you do not believe you can complete within 14 days unless this has been specifically agreed with the requester in advance or this is stated on the HistoryOwl website in the terms and conditions of your profile.
  3. Pose as a requester in order to artificially boost your feedback or reputation.
  4. Supply information from resources which are not within the public domain.
  5. Withold information found as a byproduct of the research which is likely assist the requester's known research goals.
  6. Publish research done without prior consent of the requester.
  7. Supply copyrighted material without explicit consent from the rightsholder(s). 

You will:

  1. Act honestly and with integrity throughout the whole process.
  2. Be discreet when working with your requesters and respect confidentiality.
  3. Supply your research findings clearly in writing, preferably via email.
  4. State any sources used and strive not to use any questionable ones.
  5. Use original or digital surrogates of sources wherever practicable in the pursuit of the research goals.
  6. Supply accurate transcripts of copyrighted material rather than original or surrogate images
  7. Make best efforts to keep your requester informed at all times of any obstacles which may be preventing your work from proceeding as originally intended.
  8. Supply answers which are clear and complete in respect to the question which was asked.
  9. Provide assistance to requesters who need help to interpret any aspect of your research.
  10. Supply any research conducted in pursuit of the answer which may eliminate various options which were considered to be potential answers even if it was not possible to provide the answer originally sought.

Volunteer indexers for projects (e.g. Catholic Witness Index - CWI)

You will:

  1. Use a source which is available either via a Record Office which holds it, or a subscription to a commercial website where images of the source are available and to which you have legitimate legal access to.
  2. Transcribe images to the best of your ability
  3. Release any batch you can no longer commit to index so that someone else can take it on
  4. Use question marks, square brackets or similar notation for any text you find illegible in the index
  5. Where possible, make use the notes field in the form to describe any particular oddity that you observe which has prevented a transcription from being made
  6. Follow the terms and conditions and code of conduct above for any HistoryOwl research for individuals you may conduct whether now or in the future.

You will not:

  1. Transcribe from the indexed version of a website or copy/paste, download and re-purpose information from such an index into the HistoryOwl provided transcription forms.
  2. Fabricate or guess information which you find unclear in the images

Please click below to indicate that you accept these conditions: