Help:Reviewing revisions

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The SABR Encyclopedia uses the FlaggedRevs extension to MediaWiki to provide a process for reviewing and tidying submitted edits before they are shown on pages. This article describes guidelines for reviewers in evaluating edits.

[edit] General guidelines

Reviewing should be fast. Reviewing most contributions should not take a lot of your time. The objective of the review process is to avoid egregious errors, whether deliberate or accidental, in facts and in formatting. Think of the review process as triage: you're looking for serious problems in the submitted edits, and, if there are none, you are identifying what other actions might need to be taken on the article.

The 30-second rule. As a reviewer, you are not responsible for making the article perfect. As you look at edits, you will no doubt see things you might want to clean up. A good rule of thumb for this is the 30-second rule: if it is something you can do in 30 seconds, do it; if not, consider tagging the article for later cleanup instead. The time limit of 30 seconds is a guideline, and you can adjust it to your tastes. The important question is whether the change is something that is much easier for you to do now, while you're looking at the article, than it would be to come back to it later. Cleaning up simple typos, punctuation, and so forth probably fall in this category; go ahead and tidy them up as you go. Significant copyediting or wikification is probably best left to later -- and may be something someone else can do. In those cases, tag the article appropriate, and approve.

Use templates to indicate further actions. At Help:Cleanup resources and Help:Disagreement, there are lists of templates you can use to flag articles that require further action. Ask yourself: if time were no object, what changes would I make here? If there are wiki links missing, or more formatting could be done, consider flagging the article with Template:cleanup-wikify. If sources are missing, add Template:cleanup-sources, and add an entry in the talk page indicating what additional sources should be tracked down and provided. If the new edit makes changes in demographic data, consider flagging the article with Template:disagree-person-demographics, and make notes about the disagreement on the talk page. And so on; this list is not exhaustive of the possibilities. Perhaps you will later come back and take care of some of these actions yourself; but, also, perhaps someone else will be able to pitch in and help as well.

Some comments on demographics. Especially outside the population of Major Leaguers, demographics (including given names, name spellings, dates and places of birth and death) for people is largely uncharted territory. Names are not always reported carefully, and, especially prior to about World War II, players routinely misstated their ages. Going forward, we can help bring some order to this situation by being sure to include source citations in articles. However, in many cases, we do not have a source listed from which the demographic data originated. Choosing the appropriate action when a contributor proposes a change to demographic data requires judgment. The most conservative approach is to revert the change, add Template:disagree-person-demographics to the page, and describe the discrepancy, including known sources, on the talk page for the person. When the change is not clear-cut, this is probably the best approach, since the talk page can serve as a forum for hashing out the truth, and a record of the process.

[edit] Case studies

[edit] New information suggesting errors in identification

Case: In December 2009, edits to the page of James Sampson, using the 1952 Pioneer League Index as a source, mentioned his brother was Willie Sampson of Yuma. As we have it at the time, James' career only has engagements in 1956 and 1957; meanwhile, Willie is listed both at Yuma in 1952 and at Magic Valley in the Pioneer League in 1952. This suggests that the 1952 engagement should be transferred from Willie to James. However, the source is not enough to be conclusive -- it would not be unusual for a team to sign a brother of a current player. Furthermore, there are engagements in 1954 and 1956 currently listed as belonging to Willie, some or all of which might instead be James'. Since the source predates those engagements, this leaves that question unresolved. In fact, had it not been for the original note there were siblings, one might suspect both careers belonged to the same person.

Action: Accept the revisions to James' demographic data, and add a Template:disagree-person-career tag to the top of both pages, adding a brief note to the talk pages of both men indicating the possible confusion.

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