Editing is often the most difficult job on the
BackpackGearTest and BackpackGearTesters Lists. It can also be
most controversial. The following is intended to clarify and simplify the
process of editing reports.
When you post your report to the
appropriate list, it will be checked for completeness, compliance with our
standards, and composition errors (spelling, grammar, etc.) This is known
as Editing, and the person who edits your report will prepend the word EDIT to
your subject line, and provide constructive feedback in the body of your report.
It is up to you to make the changes and either repost your corrected report to
the list (in the case of Owner Reviews) or upload your corrected report to the
website (in the case of Test Reports). The Editors will check the reposted
Owner Review, and then give you permission and instructions on uploading it to
the website. The editors will not enforce technical writing standards, and
as long as you can write on a third grade level, you can write an acceptable
Owner Reviews are edited by those persons appointed as Editors and Edit
Test Reports are edited by the appointed Test Monitor. Other List Members
may also contribute COMMENTS after the appointed Editor has reviewed and
edited your report. The Edits made by your official Editor should be
adopted into your report without fail. If you require clarification or
would like to discuss the Edit with your Editor, you may do so on the list.
This dialog should be polite and respectful.
While comments by other List Members are usually treated as suggestions, it
is in your best interest to make your Owner Review or Test Report as nice as
possible. Edits and suggestions made by List Members should be considered as
constructive criticism and adopted if the writer feels they are appropriate.
It is important to understand that the Editors and Test
Monitors are here to
help you, not to belittle you or to be a thorn in your side. They do a
difficult job on a volunteer basis. The Editors approach their task with a
positive outlook - to provide constructive criticism to Report and Review
authors with an eye on helping to create valuable additions to
BackpackGearTest.org. If you
work with them, and approach the edit you receive as an opportunity to refine
your Report or Review, then everyone will benefit.
When you wish to make a comment on a report, ask a question, or seek further
clarification, etc., from the Report or Review writer, you are most welcome to
do so. Such messages should be treated as normal postings to the group.
The requirements below DO NOT apply. The following only applies where the focus
of the posting is editing. You should insert the word COMMENT at the
beginning of the subject line of your post that is a comment, question, or
request for clarification.
If you wish to discuss gear outside of the context of the report process, you
are encouraged to do so on the
appropriate list: BackpackingTalk
- Who can edit reports?
- Test Monitors and Editors can EDIT reports. Other list members may COMMENT
- ANY such Edit or Comment must follow these guidelines, and the
- The Editors are primarily responsible for Editing Owner
- Test Monitors are primarily responsible for Editing Test Reports.
- If the Test Monitor does not edit a Test Report after five (5)
days, the List Moderator will follow up.
- If any controversy arises from an Edit, the decision of the Chief
Moderator and/or the Senior Edit Moderator shall be FINAL.
- All editorial postings (edits) are to be sent to the list and must
contain the key word EDIT at the beginning of the subject line.
- This allows those who wish to use filters (electronic or
human) to filter as deemed appropriate.
- You may Carbon Copy (CC) the author.
- Acceptable editing practices:
- Acceptable editing is considered to be suggesting fixes for typos,
spelling mistakes and awkward phrasing or sentence and paragraph
structure that does not seem to make sense. Otherwise, let the writer's ideas and style stand.
- Editors and Monitors should check for required content in addition
to spelling and phrasing errors. They should make sure that the
report meets all standards.
- Editors and Monitors may require additional explanations,
clarifications, and more detail on an aspect of the gear.
- In the case of Owner Reviews, an Editor may actually reject the
entire Owner Review outright if it does not meet standards.
- The Editor will provide an explanation of this rejection.
- It is normally suggested in this case that the writer work with a
Mentor to help refine
the review before reposting it.
- When replying with Edits and Comments only include the section of the
original report necessary to get your point across. Do NOT include
the entire original report in your editing mail unless you have
truly made edit suggestions throughout the report.
- When mixing edits, suggestions, and comments in the same message, include
differentiating tags. For instance, the
"EDIT>" flag at the beginning of an edit line, the
"Edit>" flag at the beginning of a suggestion line, and the
"COMMENT>" flag at the beginning of a comment line.
- An EDIT> is a change that the writer is required to make.
- An Edit> is a change that the writer may optionally consider
to improve the report.
- A COMMENT> is a point of discussion within the context of the
- Unacceptable editing practices:
- Both English and American spellings are permitted and should not
- Do not be overly trivial or petty.
- Allow an author's style to stand.
- Only make comma and other punctuation edits when necessary.
- Fix basic mistakes, but do not try to enforce technical
- Responding to edit suggestions
- After you submit a report, pay close attention to list traffic.
List members frequently respond to reports with questions and
- Questions asking about content or requests for clarification should be answered
- Depending on the importance and relevance of the information
revealed by such discussion, you may also consider
adding to (or clarifying the information in) your report.
- Edits by Editors or Test Monitors are considered to be required
- Comments by other list members are considered suggested
- The editorial changes you make to your Reviews and Reports based
on the edits and comments received are entirely at your discretion,
but be aware that if your Review or Report does not meet
standards, it will be rejected.
- If for some reason, you feel the edit suggestions are
inappropriate, you should calmly state your objections to the list for discussion
in case further clarification is necessary.
- If a List Member (who is not your official Editor or Monitor) makes an obviously unnecessary suggestion, just
ignore it. These types of suggestions might just be suggestions
for more popular spellings of words that may have multiple
correct spellings. Examples might include spelling differences
between English and American words such as colour vs. color, and
optimise vs. optimize. Either spelling is considered correct
based on dictionary entries.
- Responding to edits with a harsh or negative attitude will not be
tolerated. If you show that you are hard to work with, you may
not be selected for future tests.
- Further explanations of these policies can be found in