4 Replies Latest reply on Feb 15, 2019 10:43 AM by Lauren Algee

    Observations on reviewing


      For the past few weeks, I have been mainly reviewing transcriptions.  I have been working mainly in the Lincoln Letters in "1860: Elected first Republican President and South Carolina secedes."


      I'm afraid I have found few transcriptions that I can accept.  It seems to me that many transcribers don't read the instructions.  I would like to see there be more of an incentive for beginning transcribers to read the instructions.  Is there any way to identify transcribers who had done under a certain number of documents to get some feedback?  Even if it's just a pop-up that says,


      "Before you submit for review, did you: 1) use square brackets to show words that were unclear to you, 2) rejoin words that were broken at the end of a line, 3) transcribe everything on the page, and use square brackets with asterisks around them (i.e., [*Copy*] or [*4355*].  See the transcription instructions for more detail."


      Having these pop-up hints wouldn't require any review by a human. After the user clicks through, the user still could submit the transcription for review as-is.  But MAYBE someone will see something they forgot to do and fix it.


      It's discouraging to be a reviewer and not be able to send much along to the Completed phase.  Also, I don't know when someone is going to come along a review my corrections to the original transcription.




      P. S. I realize that the area of the Lincoln letters in which I am working were part of the early release.  But I still think that not much is being done about transcribers who jump in with reading the instructions.  My early transcriptions weren't perfect either, but I did read the instructions first, and did a lot of the things I was asked to do, such as preserving the line breaks in the original document.  As a reviewer, I find that helpful.

        • Re: Observations on reviewing

          [Editing my earlier post, because I can!]:




          I for one would be happy to push something to Approved when you have a corrected document that needs final review (in reference to "Also, I don't know when someone is going to come along a review my corrections to the original transcription.")


          A  thought i shared in a separate thread (was it with Ethan??) is that if I find a name misspelling that I've researched, I usually add a tag hoping someone will take the hint, and even back it up by their own research.


          I put out a couple of requests for quick approvals when everything was perfect except the file number at the bottom, and that worked, but then I stopped doing that figuring i was just plugging up the forum.... I do like to hit the final APPROVED button, so any time I could do that would be a win-win!




          p.s. I rather like the idea of a pop-up. For myself, even!

          • Re: Observations on reviewing
            Lauren Algee Tracker

            Thanks for sharing this experience, Julianne. As you may have noticed from our recent update to the site, we've recently been working on making the review process smoother. Our next focus will be "onboarding". We hope to improve how people become acclimated to the site and the transcription process, including making our instructions easier to find and understand. We also hope to eventually add a tutorial for beginners. We hope that this will improve the experience for users as well as their understanding and application of how to transcribe. Volunteer stories like this one are helpful in surfacing some of the current friction and what our solutions might look like.


            That said, I often find an error or two even in what are very carefully created transcriptions. We're all human. We want to create good and useful data for the Library, but another key goal is welcoming the public to engage with history in a new way. To that end we want to welcome everyone, giving them permission to try something new and even make mistakes! That's why we have the review process. But also want a productive, enjoyable, and rewarding for our reviewers as well!


            In conclusion, I hear your frustration! We're really interested in this kind of feedback and including your ideas for solutions. So thanks for sharing both!

              • Re: Observations on reviewing

                Lauren, thanks for addressing my concerns.  I have found reviewing easier on my hands than transcribing; I don't have to type the whole document.  So, I do appreciate the people who transcribe, even if imperfectly.  I enjoy solving problems that weren't addressed in the first pass.


                I am also concerned that things don't get to the completed stage with errors that should have been caught in the review stage.