Particularly, we revel in opportunities for collaboration. For me, whenever I find something that has been difficult to track down, or even if I merely happen upon a serendipitous discovery while looking for something else - I can hardly wait to share it. Likewise, I am like a child at Christmas whenever someone is able to hand me something that I need.
Put another way - anything that any of us has collected/compiled/discovered, etc. is made available to anyone who wants it - a gift that should be, and is, cherished and appreciated.
All of the above is true, but let me add this on behalf of myself and every other researcher - you can have whatever I have, but if you got it from me, I want to be cited as a source.
Not because I created anything, or because I "own" the material; facts are facts, after all, no matter who brought them to light. Right?
I want credit, a nod in my direction if you will, for one simple reason - it's because I want other researchers to contact me. Information flows both ways - I may have additional data that they can use, and they may have some for me.
If someone sees the fruit of my work in somebody else's published genealogy - or, more likely nowadays, an online family tree - without citation, you can imagine the untold potential opportunities that may be missed.
Collaboration is not only what makes this hobby so satisfying, it's what makes it work.
So, I hope all of you reading this will make a pledge with me - in appreciation for all of those who have paved the way before us, and for those we meet along the way - to show that we are grateful, out loud, and in writing.
Happy Hunting -