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What can I do if I don't live in Ghana?

  • If you already know the meanings or origins of any place names in Ghana, tell us!
  • The project needs to be publicised as widely as possible in order to be successful, so tell your friends and relatives about it.
  • Send website links to people by email, and put links on websites if you can.
  • Encourage school-children in Ghana to get their schools involved.
  • Do a bit of research yourself when you visit Ghana.

Can I get help with expenses?

Unfortunately, this research project has no funding and is not profit-making, so it is not possible at present to offer any financial incentives or reimbursement. Anyone who helps, has to do so on a voluntary basis.
Inevitably this means that research cannot be done so speedily, because it would not be fair to expect researchers to make journeys to places specifically for the purpose of the research, but only if they have other reasons for going. This is regrettable, but at the moment there is no alternative.

There are, however, some non-financial incentives. Whatever information is sent to the project will be put on the Input page of the website, and the researchers' names will be shown there. Similarly, if there were ever enough information to make a publication, e.g. an academic paper in a journal, or a small book, then all contributors would be acknowledged. This means that anyone who visits the website will see both the work done and who has done it. It also means that researchers who apply for a job where experience of field-research or interview-research is important would be able to cite this work in their curriculum vitae.
Regarding any future publications, it is not intended nor expected that there will be any financial profit from the research. So if there were any royalties due, they would then be used to further the research, and it might then become possible to make small payments for expenses. But this is a remote possibility, and is not likely to happen in the foreseeable future.
Volunteers are therefore advised to make their research an expense-free activity, unless they are happy to use some of their own funds. When a researcher has the chance to visit a place for some other reason, then an opportunity may be found to ask some local people questions. On some occasions it may be possible ask for permission to speak to a local chief or village elder, which would be a privilege and valuable experience.

Can I take part if I can't get on the internet?

Certainly! Send a message now here, giving your email or postal address and saying how you would like to take part in the project. Details will be sent to you.

How do I get started on my research?

If you have not yet been in contact with GPN:
  1. Contact us here, or at to tell us how you would like to participate, e.g. as Language Consultant, Roaming Researcher, or School Co-ordinator.
  2. Go to the Tools page and download/print and read the attached files.
  3. Look at Map Squares and copy/print the areas you are interested in, e.g. (1) your present location, and (2) your hometown area. If either of these is close to a square boundary, it would be a good idea to have the square(s) on the other side of the boundary also.
  4. Go to Place Lists and follow the link to download place lists for your chosen areas.
  5. Tell us which areas you have chosen so that you can be sent a list of places showing what information is already on the database.
  6. Start asking questions!

How can I know if someone has already found out the meaning of one of the towns in my area?

Check the subpage for your region in The Database. If the town you are interested in has a link to a toponymy record, click it to see what information is already there. If you discover something different from, or additional to, what is recorded, it can be added. We want to get as much information as possible.

Can my school put items on the GPN website?

Yes, if they are relevant to the project. Information submitted about place names will be automatically posted on the Input page. But if you have an announcement or an interesting report, perhaps a story to tell about a research experience that would be of interest to others, please send it in. GPN reserves the right to edit any submitted material to ensure suitability for internet posting.