A blog post by Judy G. Russell on her blog The Legal Genealogist was published in July 2016. Judy's words are important and her post should be read by all genealogists.
The expectation of some genealogists that we must share all research that we do, is something we will all be faced with at some point. I call that the GIFS (Genealogy is For Sharing) mentality.
In fact it is not incumbent on us to share anything we don't choose to share. My belief is that those who expect or demand full sharing haven't thought about the reasons why an individual may not choose to share their research or a document or a family photograph.
Sometimes I share, sometimes I do not. Why do I not share all the time?
1. Because sometimes I choose to write a book about my findings. This allows me to spread the information further afield than just one person, and also gives me a small portion of money back against what I spent in time, obtaining documents, travel expenses and so on.
2. Because I have seen my careful, methodical research taken and mixed in with incorrect information, causing a horrific genealogy mess that gets published in an online tree or passed via email to others. In other words, I lose control of the quality of the work I did.
Other times I will gladly share all my research with an interested descendant. It depends on the interaction I have with that person, how willing they are to share in return and what they plan to do with the documents and photos.
I have other reasons for sharing/not sharing but let's hear from you on how you feel about this topic. Meantime please take a few minutes to read Judy's blog post No Right to Sharing