No Articles Grandfathered

This happens: An author who submitted an article 1-2 years ago will update his/her article (most likely they are changing something in the resource box) and then the article gets rejected by one of our editors because the standards that we review with today have risen since the original acceptance.

I wanted to explain why we don’t grandfather old articles: You can reasonably predict that every month the quality standards rise on what we’re able to accept and rather than going back retro to reject previous articles we’ve accepted because they no longer meet a newly updated editorial standard, we apply the new standards to all new submissions and any articles that are edited post-original-acceptance.

Is it fair? Probably not. Are there some gray areas where our editors have a very difficult time being hyper consistent, yes. Do we hear about it every day? Yes, members remind us consistently when they think their article rejection (I prefer non-acceptance) happens… quick to point out prior articles that are similar that we accepted (perhaps even one of their competitors).

For the greater majority, this is a non-issue. Standards will always rise on a very frequent basis and because we re-review every article that is edited as if it were a new article submission…the current standards of the day will be applied.

12 Comments »


1

It actually sounds very fair to me and also a great way to continually improve the overall quality of the site, without having to invest a huge amount of time going back and re-reviewing everything.

I’d have no problems with it if it happened to me, because if I’m a true professional, I’d want my copy to be as perfect as it can be – and if you guys help to improve that, I should be grateful, right?

As for consistency, people are human – different days, different moods, different focuses – it happens, but EzineArticles has been mostly consistent from what I’ve seen.

No complaints here.

Comment provided June 18, 2007 at 11:10 AM

[Reply]

2
Pamela Beers writes:

Standards have always been and will always be a hot topic for me. I was brought up in a family that stressed doing things well, from mucking stalls to writing articles.

Being an educator, I am well aware of standards. Personally, I don’t think U.S. educational standards are high enough. But then, that’s another topic.

As a freelance writer, quality articles, no matter what one’s interest is, need to be written with the highest standards in mind to preserve credibility as a writer as well as personal integrity.

Again, EzineArticles goes to great lengths to honor those standards. Thanks staff

Comment provided June 18, 2007 at 12:22 PM

[Reply]

3
Denis Bonneau writes:

Maybe I’m shooting myself in the foot by saying this but I would rather challenge myself to keep up with a higher standard than stagnate. Having said that, if one of my articles is rejected, I would like to know why, so I don’t repeat the same mistakes.

Cheers,

D

Comment provided June 18, 2007 at 5:46 PM

[Reply]

4
Lance Winslow writes:

Well it give the individual a chance to pony up and use their current skill level to improve the past article right?

Comment provided June 19, 2007 at 6:25 AM

[Reply]

5

Hi Chris and everyone!
I faced the mentioned problem with my article number one, because it was not an article I wrote for the Ezine, but something I wrote to promote my first ebook only, a pure ad. However, it was accepted the first time I sent it. I was on a hurry, I didn’t read any orientation. I sent my article as if it was an ad and I forgot about it.
Later, Chris sent me an invitation to comment his article and suddenly I woke up and understood what this Ezine was and how much I could do writing here! I started writing original articles exclusively for this Ezine.
But some day I noticed my resource box was not as it should be because I was not sending people to my site. In the beginning I didn’t read anything about that either! So, I fixed my resource box. However, my articles had to be accepted again! and my article number one was not accepted! I had an advice telling me I could improve it, but I didn’t want to. I thought I could better write articles specifically for the Ezine from the beginning. It was a favor for me to delete that article; it didn’t fit in my article collection! I was ashamed of it, because later I understood that it was not supposed to be accepted. But I guess it was accepted because I was saying there that I’m a writer. So, the Ezine members thought that perhaps some day I could write good articles for the Ezine! what really happened when Chris showed me what I had to do here!
This example shows us that sometimes some articles are accepted because the Ezine makes an exception for some reason, but it doesn’t mean that the first reasons that made the Ezine accept these articles can justify their acceptance later.

Comment provided June 19, 2007 at 10:36 AM

[Reply]

6
KokPang Yeo writes:

Hmm…

I see no problem with what Chris and the EzineArticles staff are doing with re-submission.

A re-submission is a new application as far as I’m concerned – even if it’s just a changing of a spelling of a word. I don’t think EzineArticles keep a copy of the original article before the edit, do they? How are EzineArticles supposed to know what has been changed? So the solution is to treat the edited article as a new submission and assess it as such.

KokPang

Comment provided June 20, 2007 at 9:07 PM

[Reply]

7

KokPang,

We attempt to track the history of every members interaction with the site so that we can save the day or prove what really happened when complaints come in.

In fact, one of the projects we’re working on is going to alert an editor as to what percentage of an article was edited and which sections of the article was edited (title vs summary vs body vs resource box, etc).

Comment provided June 21, 2007 at 3:43 PM

[Reply]

8
KokPang Yeo writes:

Chris,

Wow! You folks are working on tracking the % and section change of an article? This is what I call quality service to the writers.

Really appreciate all the good work you and your team have done and will continue to do.

KokPang

Comment provided June 21, 2007 at 8:49 PM

[Reply]

9
Jennifer Thieme writes:

I understand the reasons for not grandfathering, but I have encountered this myself when trying to edit an older article. In all honesty it’s a little frustrating. I was not changing the resource box, but editing a simple typo. The article got rejected for the word count. This was during the time when the word count went up from 200 to 250. What I learned was, “Leave your older articles alone, even if they need a little work.”

What I’m trying to say is that one undesired consequence of the “no grandfathering” rule may be that authors will become unwilling to edit older articles at all, even if it really does improve them otherwise.

Comment provided June 26, 2007 at 7:26 PM

[Reply]

10
Lance Winslow writes:

Indeed, I had the exact same thought and even mentioned it in our Online Think Tank.

Comment provided June 26, 2007 at 7:35 PM

[Reply]

11
Amy writes:

Personally, I can see this from two sides. One as a writer, the other as a publisher. As a publisher who uses this site, I want only quality articles to be there. It’s a huge waste of time to go through articles that are outdated, have invalid links, or are just ads for websites dressed up as articles. That said, as someone who just updated their articles to keep them current, and got rejected, I have some other thoughts.

This is like putting a band-aid that on a wound that really needed stitches. Just because an article has extra links doesn’t mean it isn’t worth reading. Just because it is older, doesn’t mean it isn’t valid. Really, if you want better quality, doesn’t that start with current article submissions? And beyond that, wouldn’t a better method be to have someone go through your database and start weeding out the articles that don’t meet current standards? You have to have a way to start in a certain year, and go through the older ones first. There are tons of articles that are probably not of your current standards, but a lot of those people also wouldn’t take time to follow-up years later and make sure they are still current. Why punish those of us who have?

Just my very big $.02 – LOL. As I said, this doesn’t really solve the problem, as tons of older articles that are hidden ads are still in there, still polluting the pool. Someone should be cleaning them out, or visitors should be able to rate an article to help you do your cleaning. Quality doesn’t always have to do with external links. ;)

Comment provided September 18, 2007 at 1:52 PM

[Reply]

12

Amy,

Thanks for the private and public feedback.

I’ve reviewed your account.

First, visitors every day complain about articles and every single day we evaluate and make remove/reject decisions to use the user-generated feedback to improve the quality of the site.

Second, I believe you’re specific case is one that is unfair because when I reviewed your articles, if we lived in a world where every member was reasonable with their self serving links… we wouldn’t have had to make a policy to draw the line in the sand on the link count for both self-serving and non-self serving….

In other words, you suffer because too many people prior to you have spammed us with endless excessive links in their articles.

Also, in your specific case, we can’t easily figure out if your links are self serving or not as it appears you’re trying to give resources in the form of links.

In conclusion, sorry… the reality is that we live in a world where too many authors abuse links in articles and I believe that wasn’t your intent, but apologize that you’re impacted by our no grandfather rule.

Comment provided September 18, 2007 at 2:20 PM

[Reply]

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment

Please read our comment policy before commenting.