Wikipedia:WikiProject Guild of Copy Editors/Backlog elimination drives/FAQ

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This FAQ answers the most frequently asked questions regarding the Copyedit Backlog Elimination Drives. Some questions and answers here have been summarized from the talk pages of previous drives for your convenience.

If you have new questions, please do not put them here. If there is a current drive going on, post them on the drive's talk page. If not, post them on the drive's main talk page.


Q: Do I have to be a member of the Guild of Copy Editors to participate in a drive?

A: The backlog elimination drive is open to all–you do not need to be a member of the Guild to participate. However, you may want to consider joining as membership has its benefits. For example, you can place a special "page in use" tag when you are copyediting – {{GOCEinuse}} – and another on the talk page when you finish to record your achievement – {{GOCE}}.

Q: Is it OK for me to "book" articles that I wish to work on?

A: No. The way it works depends on whether the article is tagged {{copyedit}} or is on the GOCE Requests page:

  1. When an article is tagged {{copyedit}}, you can reserve it by placing {{GOCEinuse}} at the top of the article before you start. It is only acceptable to do this just before you start work on the article, not to reserve it some time in advance. It's a good idea to remove the {{copyedit}} tag at the same time to save other copy editors the inconvenience of picking up an article already being worked on, but don't forget to restore it if you decide to abandon the copy edit for any reason.
  2. When you take on an article listed on the GOCE Requests page, please follow the instructions on that page for marking the article "working" or "on hold". It's still a good idea to flag the article with {{GOCEinuse}} as above too.

Q: Then what is the use of the {{working}} tag on the drive page?

A: The {{working}} tag in your tally section on the drive page allows you to record what you're doing at present and any wish list you may have as to articles you may like to edit in future. It may also help drive coordinators to spot a potential clash and advise the editors of the risk. But it doesn't reserve an article for you, because that would require editors to check everyone else's section on the drive page, which most editors don't do.

Q: If I edit an article before a drive begins, would it still count?

A: Unfortunately, no. However, the Guild highly recommends copyediting at any time, regardless of whether a drive is going on or not. Sometimes, grateful editors may reward you individually for your work.

Q: Can we list articles from the Requests page on our tally even if they have no copyedit tag on them?

A: Yes, and if they are eligible for a special award that drive, you should mark articles in your tally from the Requests page with an asterisk (*). Awards for the Requests page may vary from drive to drive. Details will be provided in each drive page relating to this.

Q: Somehow, two editors have ended up working on the same article. Can we share credits?

A: We do not encourage this, and it's best to avoid the potential annoyance by using {{GOCEinuse}} as described above. But we do understand that in some circumstances, this can occur. In this case, we will allow for both editors to get credit for the article.

Q: I have an article that has so many problems (language issues in particular), that it is just impossible for a copyedit to take place. What should I do?

A: If the article appears to be a machine translation or other very poor translation of an article in another wikipedia, you can add a {{Rough translation}} tag and then follow the instructions on the boilerplate that this tag creates. Otherwise, you can remove the {{copyedit}} tag from the article and place the {{GOCEreviewed}} tag on its talk page to show that a member of the Guild has inspected the article.

Page size[edit]

Q: I'm confused by the word count measurements implied in the barnstar awards section (i.e. "At least 2,000 words", etc.). Is this supposed to be a measurement of the total number of words in each article, or of the difference in the number of words between the start and finish of the copyedit?

A: It's the initial number of words in each article before any editing is done.

Another similar question.

Q: I'm new to this project, so just to counter-check, I have to take note of the initial prose size of the article I'm editing, then after I'm done, I have to subtract the initial edit count from the final edit count. Is that correct?

A: No, just note the prose size before you start, and that's it. If the article is 1,295 words when you start working on it, you post 1,295 words, regardless of how the size may change. You get credit for how much you had to read, not how much you change.

Q: If I use the word counter on articles using bullets such as a list (or tables), not all words are counted. What do I do?

A: Just copy and paste the words (minus the Table of Contents, and any references or notes sections) into any word processor that can do a word count, and take the number from there. If using this method, it is recommended that you open the article in an edit window and copy and paste from there rather than from a normal page display. Where possible—and within reason—you should remove extraneous items that would not normally be counted by the prosesize word count tool, such as taxoboxes, images and their captions, references, notes, etc.

Q: How should I approach articles which are only tagged as needing copy editing in a particular section?

A: For the purposes of the drive, you should only count the whole article if it needs copy edit to the same degree as the tagged section. If only the one section is in bad shape, just count that.

Rollover words[edit]

Q: What are rollover words and how does it work?

A: The concept of rollover words was first introduced in the July 2010 Drive, in order to encourage continuous participation by editors. If an editor has a total of 18,000 words in one drive, they will be awarded the Cleanup Barnstar (12,000 words), and the difference of 6,000 words will rollover to the next drive. If an editor has a total of 130,000 words, they will be awarded the Most Excellent Order of the Caretaker's Star (the top barnstar for individual effort for the drive – 100,000 words), and the difference of 30,000 words will rollover to the next drive. Rollover words are only valid from the drive immediately preceding a drive, and are only counted towards an individual's word count. Rollover words do not count towards entries for the leaderboard – they are manually added by the coordinators after the drive has ended, when individual awards are being calculated.

Q: I participated in a drive and then missed a drive completely. Can I use my rollover words from two drives ago?

A: No. You can only use rollover words from the drive immediately before a current drive. Therefore, you should always try to participate in a drive, even if it means just copy editing a few articles. That will be enough to make your rollover words eligible for the next drive.

Q: I participated in one drive and did not have enough to qualify for any barnstars. Does my word count rollover to the next drive?

A: Yes it does. Participate in the next drive and hopefully, you will have enough to claim a barnstar. If not, your combined word count will rollover again.

Awards and leaderboard[edit]

Q: If I copyedit a total of 25,000 words, will I get only the The Tireless Contributor Barnstar or will I get barnstars for each milestone?

A: You will get one barnstar, representing the highest milestone reached, and any remaining words will be carried over. So with 25,000 words, you'll get a Tireless Contributor barnstar for the current drive, and 5,000 rollover credit for the next drive.

Q: What happens if there are already five editors on the leaderboard for the top number of articles category and there's a sixth editor with the same number of articles as #5?

A: Add a line break using the <br> code, or a slash /, after the other person on the same count and include your details. The award will be given to both (or more if there are any others on the same spot).

Q: How does the 5k+ Articles leaderboard work?

A: This award was introduced to encourage and reward editors who copy edit very large articles. You get a credit for every 5,000 words from a single article. For example, if you copy edit a single article that is 17,250 words, you get three 5k+ credits for the leaderboard in the 5k+ category. Credits must be calculated from a single article. You cannot combine two or more articles for credits.

Q: The drive has ended. How long do I have to wait before I receive my award?

A: We try to deliver all awards within 10 days from the end of a drive.