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GUIDELINES CLARIFICATION: On selecting a magazine for moderation, please look at the Correction Record to see if it is one which has already been partially corrected and moderated, and then re-released. If so, please look at the pages marked as having corrections 'To Do' first, and un-check those boxes if the problems have now been resolved. If these pages look correct, you may proceed to accept the magazine correction. However, if 'Assorted, on various pages' has been recorded, then please examine ALL pages subsequent to this as though the magazine were being submitted for the first time. If in doubt, don't hesitate to consult!

Page Index

All our volunteer text correctors know that there can sometimes be a substantial time lag between submitting a magazine for approval, and receiving notification of the moderator's decision. This in itself can be frustrating! If some further amendments are then requested by the moderator, a further lapse of time ensues. All this while, the corrector is not enabled to start correcting a further magazine. The main reason for this is that our small in-house team (2-3 people) all have an additional range of duties in addition to moderation, and so we are not making sufficient headway with the volume of magazines waiting for approval—which is added to every day.

While at present, the Online Text Correction project is going very much to plan—at this rate we may well achieve the target of 100% completion by the time of Dickens's Bicentenary in February 2012—we would very much like our Text Correctors to enjoy a faster turnaround, and at the same time, offer experienced and skilled Correctors an additional way of contributing to the project. To this end, we've developed an Interface to allow you, as someone who has already had their Text Correction of at least one magazine approved, to moderate magazines corrected by other volunteers.

Advice is given at every step on how to do this. As you can imagine, there are some areas where judgements are quite fine. The balance between declining a magazine for one reason or another, or making a few key corrections oneself, and accepting it, is not always obvious. Some imperfections matter more than others! All this is made clear in the steps and notes to our new Online Moderation interface, which we hope you will enjoy using. We'd love to have your feedback on how you find it: please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with your comments and ideas.

9-step plan for Online Moderation
  1. Log in with your usual username and password
  2. Hover over the 'Online Moderation' tab on the Homepage, and read the 'Getting Started' guide.  At the end of the Guide, is a note of your 'Moderator Status'. This will indicate if you are eligible to become a moderator. If you are, and would like to, please click on 'update' to update your status. Now proceed to 'Waiting for Approval' on the Online Moderation dropdown menu.
  3. On the resulting table of magazines awaiting approval, you will see the magazines are sorted chronologically by 'Days Waiting'. Please select the first that you see, and click on 'Correction Record,' as the Text Corrector of this magazine will have been waiting longest. You will be taken to the 'Correction Record' for that magazine.
  4. Under 'Options / For the moderator...' select MODERATE, and confirm your choice. (You may give up your moderation of this magazine at any time, by pressing 'Cancel' under the moderator options here.) You will now see a message that says: "Thank you! You can now moderate the magazine...."
  5. Scroll or jump down to 'Page Details' and proceed to open up each page in the 'Editor View' by clicking on 'Edit'. To the right of each page, is a checklist where you can indicate any changes/errors that you think need to be made or fixed. Fix any yourself that are easy and quick to do; otherwise mark them as 'To Do.' Each category of change/error has advice and criteria for the moderator, available by hovering over the blue information symbol. Exit and click on 'Read' to check that the text is correctly formatted. Click on the Flag icon to return to the magazine correction record. If the page needs further editing, click once more on 'Edit'. (N.B. Do not attempt to moderate the magazine via the Pencil icon on the page view).
  6. Having annotated the 24 pages, and consulted the moderation criteria as appropriateplease proceed to the 'Moderation Summary' page. This is on the 'Magazine Record' page, under 'Options / For the moderator...'
  7. Click on 'Accept' if you wish to accept the text correction. A summary of the changes you have fixed yourself will be attached to this notification as a 'PS' so that the corrector can learn from this if/when they volunteer to correct another magazine.
  8. OR Click on 'Decline' to decline. The corrector will be notified, in a polite e-mail that summarises the categories of change that are needed. They will be given a direct link to your page-by-page annotations in the Magazine Record, as well as an option to release the magazine for correction by another volunteer.
  9. You may now log out, or select another magazine to moderate (or correct).
Correction Categories

Here is the complete checklist of categories of correction, each of which individually we consider important enough as a criterion for deciding whether we accept the correction work on a magazine, or ask for some further modifications to be made (i.e. decline). The descriptions and items of advice are all available as pop-up notes on the new Online Moderation interface.

When more than one of these are in combination, across various pages, we would almost definitely decline to accept: mindful, of course, of the generosity and skill of the volunteer corrector in having navigated their way to the point of submitting a magazine for approval in the first place. As you will know from having completed one successfully yourself, they can be frustrating as well as fascinating! A concise version of this checklist will be available on each page of the magazine you will be asked to moderate, in such a form that you will simply have to check the relevant box or boxes in order to indicate to the corrector what to revise. Where we have tried to indicate the amount or frequency of uncorrected errors/procedures not followed that would result in correction work being declined on first submission, we hope that any lesser amount or frequency of errors would be more swiftly and simply removed by the moderator, i.e. you, in the course of moderating. So some of your decisions will naturally be shaded by the amount of time your are willing or able to dedicate to tidying up!

If you come across a problem that falls outwith these categories, please email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with the magazine details and the nature of the problem and we will deal with this directly.

Correction Categories

Category Description Advice for the Moderator
Footnotes Occasionally you will come across footnotes (maximum one or two per magazine), which, if they come at the foot of column 1, break the flow of text in the main body of a page. For the time being, we suggest relocating the footnote to the bottom of the paragraph of body text in which the footnote symbol (usually '*') is inserted, using the 'cut and paste' keys: Select/Control+C to copy; Control+V to insert. Footnotes are infrequent in Dickens's journals (an exception being Bulwer Lytton's 'novel', 'A Strange Story' in 'All the Year Round'). Please consult the FAQ, which recommends relocating the footnote to the bottom of the paragraph of body text in which the footnote symbol (usually '*') is inserted, using the 'cut and paste' keys: Select/Control+C to copy; Control+V to insert. It will probably be simple for you to do this as moderator; thank you.
Images Missed place holder tags for image(s): please insert {image:} with a one to ten word description after the colon e.g. '{image: banknote}'. If the image contains text, e.g. handwriting, use '{image: text: [contents]}', where the square brackets contain the wording. Images are rare across Dickens's suite of publications (apart from the 'Household Words Almanac', which is not released for OTC). Pictures or images of text (e.g. handwriting) should be replaced as the FAQs indicate. Please do this yourself (thanks).
Paragraphing Please rejoin paragraphs that have been split across columns within a page, but not across two pages. Put each article title, including those split over multiple columns, into one paragraph. Each paragraph you see in the original should appear within its own paragraph box in the Text Editor, even if only a short line of dialogue. New paragrpah boxes are created simply by pressing ENTER. This can be a common area of difficulty, and one which would take too long for a moderator to fix, if the Text Corrector has misunderstood the instructions. Feel free to decline a magazine if there are serious paragraphing problems on 4 pages or more.
Quotation marks As of 16th November, the rule for both single and double quotations marks has changed. Spaces between words and quotation marks should always be closed up. If the latest magazine correction was begun BEFORE 16th November 2011 (see Correction Record/Text correction log, for the date on which the last text correction was begun), please do NOT DECLINE if the corrector has failed to close-up spaces between words and speech/quotation marks. However, if the latest magazine correction was begun AFTER 16th November 2011, then a consistent failure to do this is grounds for declining the magazine.
Assorted, on various pages Your moderator has come across assorted kinds of correction that need implementing. These have been noted carefully on the 'Correction Record' for the first few pages examined. As these seem to be quite consistent, not every page has been consulted, so if you are willing to implement these changes, please check THROUGHOUT the magazine, even on pages where there is no note beneath the thumbnail on the 'Correction Record.' Thank you very much! If, after examining various pages, you see that there are consistent categories, such as those described above, needing attention, you may decline a magazine without examining all its pages. Please note carefully all the categories of problem on the various pages you do examine, then check this box on the last page you look at.
Tables The approval of a magazine does not depend on the formatting of tables. If straightforward, correctors and moderators may attempt to format tables; if not, please insert '{table:}' with a one to ten word description of the content, after the colon, e.g. '{table: price of corn}' It is rare for there to be more than one table in an issue of 'Household Words' or 'All the Year Round.' Hence, formatting it using the Page Editor's 'Insert Table' function may not be too complex -- so please attempt it (thanks). On the even rarer occasions when there are lots of tables (e.g. on the final page of a 'Household Narrative') OR it is a super-complex table that looks very messy, then you may delete and replace the contents of each, with '{table:}' adding a one- to ten-word description of the content, after the colon, e.g. '{table: price of corn}'. This means we will be able to find it quickly, and format it ourselves.
Advertisement(s) Final page advertisement(s) have been deleted, when it/they should have been preserved. In most instances, it is relatively simple and quick to re-type the advertisement: thanks. However, if there is (say) more than 1/2 a column of advertisement, or it is particularly fiddly, please decline.
Dashes As of 16th November, dashes present in the page image need to be reproduced exactly using a long ('em') dash from the Symbol/Unusual Characters menu with no spaces on either side. Any magazine selected for correction AFTER 16th November should follow the new rule to reproduce all long ('em') dashes with no spaces on either side. Magazines corrected BEFORE 16th November may follow the old rule (double dashes -- with spaces on either side), but SHOULD NOT be rejected for this, nor should the moderator correct this. A further stage of automated correction will rectify this at a later date. If the corrector has consistently failed to follow either the new or the old rule then please decline the magazine. You may wish to correct occasional errors yourself.
Lineation Lineation (the line length and layout of the magazine columns) has been altered so that it no longer resembles the original. Please restore. Occasionally a corrector will have consistently altered the lineation of every paragraph: decline at once please. Sometimes, however, it is only a question of occasional odd line lengths (e.g. where a broken/hyphenated word has been re-connected, but no new line break inserted). If infrequent, it may be easiest to fix this yourself (thanks); otherwise, decline on this basis also.
Hyphenation Hyphenation (i.e. the breaking of words at the end of lines, columns, or pages) needs to be removed. Please decline if this has been consistently omitted e.g. several times on many pages, or often on a few pages. If there are only a few to be fixed (less than a dozen?) in the entire magazine, it will be easier to fix this yourself: thanks.
OCR Misreadings A significant number of typos (errors in the original transcript) remain uncorrected; these need removing. If you see a heavy proportion of typos remaining on a single page (more than a dozen, say) that suggests the Corrector has skipped or missed them OR if you find quite a few pages (half a dozen or more?) with a few errors, again suggesting the corrector has missed them -- THEN it would be reasonable to decline the magazine on this basis.
Indentations On a significant number of occasions, indentations (sometimes known as a 'tab') have not been removed at the start of lines, as requested. Decline if this occurs 10 or more times per page. An exception is the representation of a poem, where a volunteer corrector has successfully recreated the layout of the poem, including indentations/tabs for lines within verses.
Column breaks Paragraphs are broken between two columns, and should be re-connected. Potentially, there could be 24 places (one per page) where paragraphs remain broken in this way. If a dozen or more remain, please decline; if less, it will be simplest to fix this yourself (thanks) -- but this form of inconsistency is rare.
Remove Masthead/headers/footers Masthead (up to the title of the first item)and/or the page headers (journal title, date, 'Conducted by' etc.), footers, etc. have not been removed. Removing the Masthead only takes 5 seconds! So if this is the ONLY problem with a magazine, we suggest you make the change yourself. However, if over half the pages have headers etc. not removed, you would be perfectly entitled to decline the magazine, and ask the corrector to do this.
Household Narrative: final page formatting The detailed formatting of figures and statistics required on the final page of the monthly 'Household Narrative' has not been completed accurately. Check Tables and Unusual Characters carefully (£ should be used, not 'l.'; s. and d. for shillings and pence should be italicised). (See also 'Tables'). It is preferable if between you and the corrector, this difficult page can be got into shape! Please decline if the tables are very messy and/or the currency symbols are not styled correctly (£ should be used, not 'l.'; s. and d. for shillings and pence should be italicised), and you feel it would take too long do this yourself. Thanks!

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