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 or blitz?

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

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 just before you start working on the article; you should not reserve it some time in advance. You can remove the {{copyedit}} tag at the same time to save other copy editors from choosing the article you're working on. Don't forget to restore the {{copyedit}} tag if you decide to abandon the copy edit for any reason.
  2. When you accept a request listed on the GOCE Requests page, follow the instructions on that page for marking the request {{working}}, {{on hold}} and {{done}}. You can still flag the article with {{GOCEinuse}} while editing it.

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

A: The {{working}} tag in your tally section on the drive or blitz page allows you to record the article you're currently working on. You can also add any articles you'd like to edit during the drive or blitz. It may also help coordinators to notice a potential clash and advise the editors of the risk. This tag doesn't reserve the article for you, because that would require editors to check everyone else's section on the drive or blitz page.

Q: If I edit an article before a drive or blitz begins, would it still count towards my word count?

A: No. However, the Guild highly recommends copyediting at any time, regardless of whether a drive or blitz is occurring.

Q: Can I count articles from the Requests page in my tally even if they have no copyedit tag on them?

A: Yes. If articles posted on the Requests page are eligible for a special award during the drive or blitz, you should mark them in your section with *R. Details of any special allowances for requests are provided on each drive's or blitz's page.

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

A: Yes. We do not encourage this, and it's best to avoid this situation by using {{GOCEinuse}}. However, we understand that in some circumstances, this can occur. In these cases, we will allow both editors to get 50% 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 a 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. 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. You can use other maintenance templates to highlight the problems you've found.

Page size[edit]

Q: I'm confused by the word count measurements in the barnstar awards section (i.e. "At least 2,000 words"). Is this 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 sum of the word counts of all the articles you've copy edited; these are recorded before copy editing begins (see below).

A similar question:

Q: I should 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 word counts before you start working, and that's it. If the article is 1,295 words when you start copy editing it, you post 1,295 words regardless of the article's final word count. You get credit for how much text you had to read, not how much you change.

Q: If I use the word counting script on articles that use bulleted lists tables, not all the words are counted. What should I do?

A: Copy and paste the words—without 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, templates, 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 or blitz, you should generally only count the section that was tagged with {{copy edit-section}}. If you find the rest of the article needs copy editing to the same degree as the tagged section, count the whole article.

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 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). The difference of 6,000 words will be "rolled over" 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 (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 the specific drive. Rollover words do not count towards entries for the leaderboard – they are manually added by the coordinators when individual awards are being calculated after the drive has ended.

Q: I participated in a drive and then missed the next 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 the current one. 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 a high enough total word count to qualify for any barnstars. Does my word count rollover to the next drive?

A: Yes. Participate in the next drive and hopefully you'll have enough to claim a barnstar. If not, your word count and rollover words will be added and 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 a barnstar for each milestone?

A: You will get one barnstar representing the highest milestone reached; any remaining words will be rolled over to the next drive or blitz. If you copy edit 25,000 words, you'll get a Tireless Contributor barnstar for the current drive and 5,000 rollover credit for the next drive or blitz.

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

A: Add a line break using the HTML tag <br/> or use a forward slash / after the name of the editor with the same count, and add your user name after the slash. The award will be given to all the editors that occupy the same position on the table.

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 each 5,000 words in each individual article. For example, if you copy edit an article that has 17,250 words, you get three credits for the leaderboard in the 5k+ category. Credits must be calculated from a single article – you cannot combine two or more articles for 5k+ 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 of the end of a drive or blitz.