The A.A.E.E.I.O.

2 Conversations

Authors Against Early Entry Interventions Organization

The Purpose

I began this organization in hopes to regulate and raise the awareness of submission and Guide Entry processing on h2g2, and moreover to protect those who author Guide Entries on h2g2. With the new changes to h2g2, especially the changes made to the way Guide Entries are submitted for approval, there must be safeguards in place to protect the integrity of an author's work. My main goal is to, hopefully, work to see those safeguards implemented.

This movement is not a means to "bash" or "slam" h2g2; please do not use it as such. This is a serious effort to realise the problems found within the Editorial and Submission systems, and to work to change them for everyone's benefit.

The Reason

After being absent from h2g2 for many months (and having missed the introduction of Scouts and Peer Review to the submission system), I returned to find an Entry I had written ages ago edited, and in the process of being approved for the Guide. I vehemently opposed this decision, as you can see here and here. The reasons I opposed this decision were numerous, but mainly:

  1. I didn't want my partially completed Entries taken and turned into Guide Entries (essentially re-written, not Sub-Edited) when they were never intended to be so in the first place; and

  2. I didn't like having what I'd written turned into a Guide Entry without receiving any notice whatsoever of the decision to do so.

The Methods

The current means of turning a researcher's Entry into an approved Guide Entry are:

  • The researcher recommends their Entry to be approved on the Peer Review Page. If a Scout likes what he or she likes, they will then recommend the Entry to a Sub-editor, who will then edit and revise the piece in preparation for approval into the Guide.

  • Or, conversely, a Scout may find an Entry he or she likes and will directly recommend it to the Peer Review and then on to a Sub-editor, skipping the step of author recommendation. The author of the entry may or may not be informed of the decision to approve and edit their Entry for the Guide, although it is recommended in the Peer Review guidelines.

For more information on the Peer Review method of accepting Entries into the Guide, visit here.

The Problem

If an author feels that his or her entry is ready to be submitted into the guide, and then recommends it to the Peer Review to be submitted into the Guide; or if a Scout finds an appropriate Entry to be submitted, and checks with the author to ensure that it is not a "work in progress", then this system should work brilliantly. The problem arises, however, if a Scout recommends an Entry that is not finished or was never intended to be an approved Guide Entry, especially without author notification.

Simply because the Peer Review guidelines encourage Scouts to notify an author of the decision to approve their work, that doesn't mean they will. I have been informed several times that if an author is absent from h2g2 or can't be reached through postings, Scouts are nonetheless still encouraged to continue on with the approval process of that author's Entry.

Say for instance, you were in a car accident and put up in the hospital. You had started an Entry, but working on it is the furthest thing from your mind. You return to h2g2, only to find that unfinished Entry has been Reviewed, Edited (with all the missing bits filled in by someone else), and Submitted for approval. That Entry essentially becomes someone else's project at that point.

The Solutions

Currently, the only way to keep an unfinished work from going through this process is to add a warning line at the top of the Entry (e.g. "Work in progress"). On a site such as this, that extra step should be superfluous. One suggestion would be for h2g2 to add a "Do not make this Entry available for submission" button (or something to that nature) on the edit page. Or, more simply, this problem can be avoided by requiring Scouts to receive an author's approval before commencing with the submission formalities.

While both h2g2's and the BBC's policies on author copywrite issues (as seen in the House Rules and the Terms and Conditions) vary in leniency, it is important to note that:

"..anything you create on h2g2 is done under the condition that you grant us a non-exclusive license to distribute and edit the material in any way that we want, and in any media."

Problems within the editing process may well be alleviated if the author of an Entry is given some small say as to how their works are represented within the Guide. By ruling out and guarding against further "sneak" approvals into the Guide, h2g2 will be taking a step in the direction of greater user satisfaction.

Sometimes Why...

Think of this as a sort of "Author's Bill of Rights". There would be no h2g2 Guide if there weren't people who wanted to contribute to it. Therefore, the utmost respect should be paid to those who are working to help h2g2 reach its goal of building a comprehensive, searchable online Guide. And the utmost respect should be paid to ALL Entries created within the framework of h2g2.

If you would like to support this cause, please contact the members of the h2g2 Team and voice your concerns. Let them know that an author's works in progress on h2g2 MUST be kept safe from submission in order to protect their integrity. Encourage them to find ways to keep this unfortunate situation from happening again. Help to see that one day, a section on "Maintaining the Author's Integrity" will be included in the submission Guidelines.

Be truly proud of what you contribute on h2g2--stand up for your rights as an h2g2 author!

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