There were two good forum discussions:-
1. At DNA Forums.
2. At the "GENEALOGY-DNA" Rootsweb List. You need to look at multiple threads in both their February and March archives, but most are in February.
Most of the discussion hovered around our own "elephant in the room", which is the historical accumulation of membership we have now who do not meet our aimed-for criteria of having a pedigree link back to a name-able COUNTY within Britain or Ireland. I suppose I'll keep discussing this in everything I say.
A very nice topic for a blog was given by this post, which asked "What information is gained that would not be gained thru ysearch?" Thanks warwick!
First we have to break this question up: are we asking what extra information will be gained by an individual who joins the project, or are we asking as a community what information is gained by the project as a whole, for the community as a whole.
For an individual, especially if your main interest is genealogy, I can not emphasize enough that although this project's existence can and will help you indirectly, the most important thing you need for genealogy is a surname project, or any similar tightly-focused project. Genetic genealogy revolves around those. Do not treat the British Isles Project as a replacement for that. We are working on the big picture, and background information which can support surname projects.
However, as part of a community of people wanting such support information, the project definitely does aim to provide something different to not only ysearch, but also smgf, and yhrd.
...And being different is the key. Collecting data for the British Isles is not the type of job where one can realistically aim to have the best database in every way, so that no-one need ever use another database. All such data-collecting is so fraught with problems that what we really want are several different data collections so that we can compare them, and then get a feeling for where likely biases might exist in one or all of them.
So what we aim to do differently, is as follows (but maybe people can add a few and we can come up with a standard list). The following applies to Y DNA for now...
- We are collecting detailed SNP results, which SMGF can not easily give you.
- A large percentage of our data will have more STR markers tested than by SMGF.
- Our data (or right now I should say the hard core of our data) will also be high quality in terms of having pedigrees back to counties of origin.
- Ysearch unfortunately contains many doubled-up or dummy haplotypes, as well as errors in terms of marker conversions or ancestor information, and should not be used in raw form.
This means we are going to have results which reflect something closer to the British Isles before industrialization, and going back towards the relative stability of the Middle Ages. (See the first post.)