A Conversation for The Nearly but Not Quite 'Official' Peer Review Discussion Forum

Peer Review discussion: Some grim statistics

Post 1

AlexAshman


Just a little over three years ago, I looked at a whole month's worth of Edited Entries and worked out how long each researcher had been on the site. I've just done the same again for the last month and ten days, and the resulting statistics are rather grim.

Average number of entries per day

o February 2006: 3
o May/June 2009: 1.67

Average 'Age' of Front Page Author

o February 2006: 3 years, 1 month
o May/June 2009: 6 years, 6 months

Proportion of Front Page Authors who are Volunteers

o February 2006: 65%
o May/June 2009: 84%

Median 'Age' of Authors with an Entry in Peer Review

o February 2006: 2.25 years
o May/June 2009: 3 years


I don't thinking I'd be jumping conclusions if I were to say that h2g2's shortfall in new Edited Entries is largely due to a lack of new writers.

How do we get new authors onto h2g2, how do we encourage them to write good entries for Peer Review, and how do we get them to stay?

If you have any ideas, now would be a good time to share them.

Alex smiley - smiley


Peer Review discussion: Some grim statistics

Post 2

Malabarista - now with added pony

Hmmm - first may I ask why you're using "average" (which I take to be "mean") for the Entries actually on the FP, but "median" for those in PR?

Also, what's the influence of the recent influx of Austrian English students? Without those, it looks even more dire...

What I think is significant is that that group hasn't got the hang of PR and every single one needs to have explained to them individually how it works. And lots of authors post something but never check back. That tells me the system isn't being explained properly.


Peer Review discussion: Some grim statistics

Post 3

leighm

I do appreciate your frustration - but I for one would have absolutely no idea what to write about - and I don't really fancy the idea of a negative response! Perhaps it's just me smiley - sadface

Oh and of course - I don't really understand how it all works - again - probably just me! smiley - blush


Peer Review discussion: Some grim statistics

Post 4

Icy North

Hi Alex.

I agree with your conclusion. It must be obvious to anyone who's been around in that period.

As for what we can do about it, well, if x people reply to this, you'll get x+1 answers.

I'll kick off by saying that we can't necessarily change what other people do, but we can always improve ourselves and then hope to set an example in others. All of us, particularly those of us in volunteer groups should be aware of how effective we are.

smiley - starsmiley - spacesmiley - starsmiley - spacesmiley - star

smiley - modAces need to be sure that they are promptly welcoming a significant proportion of new researchers and that a reasonable proportion of those respond to their welcome post and subsequently participate in h2g2 activities.

smiley - modAll of us, but Scouts particularly, need to make sure that any new submission in PR and EGWW is responded to promptly, even if it's just a 'gosh this is comprehensive - I'll read it and get back to you'. Similarly, no author response in PR/EGWW should be allowed to lie dormant for too long.

smiley - modScouts should make their alloted picks according to the schedule.

smiley - modSub-editors should accept a fair share of edits and turn these around promptly (something I'm not always good at, I admit).

smiley - modCurators and Gurus should respond quickly and accurately to Feedback enquiries (and my experience is that they've always done this)

smiley - modCommunity Artists and Photographers should offer to illustrate a reasonable share of new entries.

smiley - modPost Volunteers, Aviators and Underguide Volunteers should turn around material for their publications promptly and be aware that it is of good quality.

smiley - modScavengers should process a reasonable number of Flea Market rescues.

smiley - starsmiley - spacesmiley - starsmiley - spacesmiley - star

We have some really good volunteer schemes. If we can all be happy that we are pulling our own weight then I'm sure we will start to make a difference. If a volunteer scheme isn't working, maybe through lack of support, then we should feel empowered to raise it in the volunteer forums and find out why.

smiley - cheers Icy


Peer Review discussion: Some grim statistics

Post 5

Vip

Just one thing to add to that very good list of stuff, Icy- ACEs should make sure that they at least mention and briefly explain PR when they make their first posts. Looking back at my time as an ACE, I'm pretty sure I didn't do that and I now wish I had.

smiley - fairy


Peer Review discussion: Some grim statistics

Post 6

Malabarista - now with added pony

Good points all, Icy.

But as to: Community Artists and Photographers should offer to illustrate a reasonable share of new entries.

That doesn't seem to make a lot of difference. My attempt to motivate people to write by offering them a drawing failed utterly. Not one person in the target group of people who hadn't written for the Guide in a year or more actually responded; I only had a few requests from regulars. smiley - erm So I suppose the time could be more productively spent. smiley - shrug


Peer Review discussion: Some grim statistics

Post 7

Icy North

Well, I know how desirable a Mala artwork is on an Entry, (and KB and all the others of course) but maybe new authors don't. Is there any way you can promote your artwork more? I try to mention it on EotM. Can you ask the curators to add an "artwork by" credit to all your illustrated entries?


Peer Review discussion: Some grim statistics

Post 8

Galaxy Babe - eclectic editor

I can do that, if it's not done already (it should be)


Peer Review discussion: Some grim statistics

Post 9

aka Bel - A87832164

>>Aces need to be sure that they are promptly welcoming a significant proportion of new researchers and that a reasonable proportion of those respond to their welcome post and subsequently participate in h2g2 activities.<<

And just how do I ensure that people reply and stay around and participate? smiley - huh

I don't understand the following:

>>Post Volunteers, Aviators and Underguide Volunteers should turn around material for their publications promptly and be aware that it is of good quality.<<


Peer Review discussion: Some grim statistics

Post 10

aka Bel - A87832164

The credit is missing here: A47229230


Peer Review discussion: Some grim statistics

Post 11

Malabarista - now with added pony

Thanks, GB. And Icy, for the flattery - but I don't really see much purpose into trying to turn it into a false commodity if it obviously isn't - if it were something that could motivate people, we'd have seen that...

There's even depressingly little response to the Editors' birthday entry challenge. And even a lot of the regular hootooers (but not regular writers) don't see the need to write, ever.

A lot of them claim this is because PR is a "scary" place, with mean commenters and so on. I've not seen a lot of that - not lately - but maybe we need to work on its image...


Peer Review discussion: Some grim statistics

Post 12

Danny B

I've added a credit for Malabarista to the Entry Bel pointed out.

("Curators and Gurus should respond quickly and accurately to Feedback enquiries" smiley - whistle)

smiley - cheers


Peer Review discussion: Some grim statistics

Post 13

Icy North



The point is that Aces should be aware of whether this is happening. Are fewer people joining up and are fewer responding to welcome messages? I've no idea - but if you discover that there's been a change then it's something for the Aces to discuss in the first instance.

I'm just saying that all us volunteers have a job to do. We're all required to make the wheels of h2g2 run smoothly, and we should all be aware of how we are doing.


Peer Review discussion: Some grim statistics

Post 14

aka Bel - A87832164

The trouble is, there are only three Aces who regularly welcome people. There are about two mre who occasionally welcome people. Of the active Aces, only two know the ins and outs of PR.


Peer Review discussion: Some grim statistics

Post 15

Icy North

Well, that's the sort of thing that you should raise in the ace forum. If you need new volunteers, then tell the Editors.


Peer Review discussion: Some grim statistics

Post 16

Malabarista - now with added pony

Hmmm. I'm not sure how you mean "We're all required to make the wheels of h2g2 run smoothly, and we should all be aware of how we are doing." - but if you make it sound like a requirement rather than a volunteer activity, that'll put off new volunteers... Obligation makes me unmotivated smiley - winkeye


Peer Review discussion: Some grim statistics

Post 17

aka Bel - A87832164

>>If you need new volunteers, then tell the Editors.<<

Oh, we have plenty of volunteers. They all start out with enthusiasm, then, after a while, they don't do anything any more. Increasing the numbers won't change anything.


Peer Review discussion: Some grim statistics

Post 18

Malabarista - now with added pony

That seems to be the trouble with all the volunteer schemes. Among which I'm counting the writers...

Maybe we should introduce a Researcher badge for people who have written even *one* Entry, rather than promising them artwork? smiley - erm

We also need more people commenting in PR.


Peer Review discussion: Some grim statistics

Post 19

Icy North



The volunteer pages say exactly what is expected of a volunteer, and the scheme is very accommodating to anyone who needs to take a break from it for any reason.


Peer Review discussion: Some grim statistics

Post 20

Icy North



Again, I would say this is something you need to discuss between Aces in the first instance. There may be reasons.


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