This document contains some common-sense guidelines to being a Scout. By joining the scheme you will have promised to obey this code of conduct; if you do not want to accept this code, then please let us know as soon as possible.
These following guidelines are not supposed to be heavy-handed: they're just a sensible guide to being a good Scout.
Good Practice for a Scout
Scouts are under no obligation to recommend a specific number of entries in any specific period of time. All we ask is that you are committed to the project and that you let us know if you want to take a break. If you are unable to recommend a batch of entries when it is your day to recommend, it is important that you tell us; we can then find another Scout to recommend that day's entries, and you can rejoin the rota when you have more time to continue.
If at some point in the future you decide that you no longer wish to be a part of the project, please let us know1.
Very few of our Scouts are professional critics. It is very important to the project that the best entries are picked for editing. It is therefore important that Scouts have: a willingness to learn; are prepared to accept feedback from the in-house editorial team; and agree to follow the editorial guidelines for what makes a good entry. While most recommended Guide Entries are accepted into the Edited Guide without the decision being overridden by the in-house editorial team, on occasion decisions are overturned. We are happy to discuss decisions that we have made and give feedback to the Scouts, but it must be accepted that the Editor has the final decision.
Scouts have a responsibility to the Researchers whose work they are criticising and to the other members of the team. It is vital that Scouts are unfailingly polite to Researchers. When posting to the the Peer Review Page, you must always consider the feelings of those whose work you are criticising. Most Researchers are not professional writers, and it is vital that Scouts are positive in their feedback - suggest how to improve entries, rather than simply say that they are not good enough. Scouts who consistently leave tact out of their dealings with Researchers may be asked to leave the group.
One of the cool things about being an h2g2 volunteer is that we let you see new versions of the site before they go live - in fact, your comments are vital in enabling us to get new versions of the site just right.
To enable us to let you see everything, we ask that you do not talk about what you see with anyone who is not bound by this code. We will be explicit about things you should keep to yourself and will let you know if and when you may talk about those things on site - we will communicate this information via the mailing list. Anyone who leaks confidential information will obviously be asked to leave the scheme.
The main reason we need to keep a lid on confidential information is to prevent disappointment in the Community. If we show you a cool new feature and the rest of the site finds out about it, then if we decide to drop that feature (for whatever reason) then we will doubtless annoy considerable numbers of Researchers. It's just common sense, really.
Basic Terms and Conditions of h2g2
This section is just a reminder of the terms you have already agreed to on h2g2, and points out that the same terms apply to the mailing lists and email associated with the volunteer schemes. We're not asking you to agree to anything new.
Everyone who participates in h2g2 is bound by the House Rules of the site. The same rules apply to volunteers' participation in the volunteer mailing lists. It is very easy for messages to be misinterpreted, so it is important that everyone participating in the scheme takes great care not to offend or annoy other members. Anyone being deliberately offensive will be warned and, if necessary, will be removed from the scheme.