New Article QC Process Lag Question

If you’ve been following the changes we’re working on… you know that we’re very close from changing our 2nd human QC article reviewers from POST to PRE. That means instead of our quality control team reviewing articles after they were made live; they will be reviewed before the article is made live.

This change has created a new problem of what to do with the article being reviewed during the time lag between the 1st editor approval and the 2nd QC editor’s approval?

We’ve narrowed it down to two options and would like your input:

  1. Option #1 is to lock the article down after it is reviewed and approved for the few hours to a full day before our QC team (editor #2 that touches your articles) can review the approval of the 1st editor.
    • Upside to this is that it’s the easiest for us to implement, gives internal credit to the editor for having touched the article, and would be the fastest path for an article to move from review to approval to approval to live on the site.
    • Downside is that the author would NOT be able to edit his or her article once it’s been reviewed by the 1st editor during this time lag span of a few hours to a day.

  2. Option #2 is to let the Author edit the article after it’s been approved by the 1st editor, but the action of the Author editing their article would cause the article to be put to the back of the review line.
    • Upside to this option is that the Author retains control over being able to fix problems within their article before it goes live on the site.
    • Downside to this option is our editors will be doing work that is wasted and anytime an Author edits his or her article, it’ll take longer to approve because it’ll move to the back of the line.


Your thoughts on Option #1 or #2?

21 Comments »


1
J writes:

I’d go with #1.

Why? Because it makes things more efficient for EzineArticles AND forces writers to submit higher quality stuff or they get penalized by being put in the back of the line.

Basically, it’s faster for all involved except people who hog your time and create hassles.

Just a side note from me personally. I write my articles at EzineArticles, not beforehand.

What I do is I write the article then submit it. But then if it needs edits, I edit it for the 5 minutes or less after I just submitted it.

Your editors are really quick sometimes with my articles (live within 15 minutes… a good thing), but speaking for myself… if you can have a 5 minute lag time after an article is submitted so I can edit it without getting caught in that “lockdown”, that’d be great.

Actually, this won’t be a big deal with me for long since I’ll be changing my submission patterns with the premium account service.

How would this affect the premium accts? Just a thought, maybe have premium members continue on with “1 post live” approval as an added benefit? Just a thought.

Comment provided June 30, 2008 at 10:41 AM

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2

The one thing we know for sure: Premium express speed members will still have to go through the 2 human review process… they will just have their articles brought to the front of the editor and QC queues first.

Because we’re only anticipating 1-2% of our members using the Premium speed service option, I’d like to keep our focus on what’s best for the 98% of our members who will be going through this process of 1st editor approving their article, the lag time, 2nd editor QC’ing the 1st editors approval.

Comment provided June 30, 2008 at 10:54 AM

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3
Bob Hilke writes:

I agree with J – we should implement #1. It appears option #1 would provide the fastest path to publication for authors who submit quality articles, and if it is necessary to prioritize then let’s accommodate good quality submissions. It will provide an incentive for authors to carefully review their article before submitting. And if it makes things more efficient for the EzineArticles staff, then it will also be the better solution for everyone involved.

Comment provided June 30, 2008 at 10:57 AM

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4

I’d go with option number one – it makes things easier for you guys, and authors can always fix any errors once the article goes live.

Comment provided June 30, 2008 at 11:02 AM

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5
Dave writes:

I like #1 as well. The time that the article is “locked down” won’t change my submission pattern at all.

Comment provided June 30, 2008 at 11:30 AM

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6

Option #1 seems better all around. I think I’d rather see my articles published as quickly as possible. Of course, that means I’m responsible for making sure my article is ready to go when I submit it, and hopefully it won’t need further editing. If I need to edit, my article is going to go back to the end of the line anyway, so I’d rather see articles that are ready get published quickly.

Comment provided June 30, 2008 at 11:33 AM

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7

I’d like to share the option I was leaning towards:

#2

Reason: It’s the ‘high service’ or ‘user-centric’ option that has a higher cost to us to absorb, but delivers a more consistent and available experience to the user.

Logistically, option #1 is the easiest for us to implement…and will cost significantly less to support.

With option #1, we could anticipate that an Author would be very upset if they couldn’t edit their article once it goes into a locked state… that might even cause them to try and DELETE the article to resubmit it; only to become even more angry when they find out they can’t resubmit an article that has been deleted because of anti-gaming filters already in place.

BUT, it’s most likely that an author will catch and edit their article within an hour or two from submitting it and it’s less likely that they would edit it multiple hours or days later when the 1st editor does his or her review/approval of the article.

Let’s go another day with member feedback before we make a decision so this process can move forward.

Comment provided June 30, 2008 at 11:49 AM

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8
Emma Martin writes:

Chris, I think you could prevent most authors from getting mad if is is very clear in the Author’s area that the article is locked down because it is very close to being published.

Right now, we have a Pending, Draft, Live and Problem status headers in the Author’s Area. You could add something like “In Review Queue” or something to show that the article is locked down while waiting for the second approval.

So basically, I vote for option #1. :)

Comment provided June 30, 2008 at 11:58 AM

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9
Audrey writes:

I see pros and cons to both choices.

I do hit submit and then I realize I didn’t choose a category or I realize I used the wrong bio, so within 10 minutes I’ve hit edit.

I’m not sure I’ve ever hit edit a day later. So for me personally, option one would be the better choice.

Now, I know how important customer experience is to the ezine team, so for that, option 2 is the better choice so that there are no complaints, no frustration etc.

Comment provided June 30, 2008 at 12:01 PM

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10
Kathy Koch writes:

Thanks for asking. I’ve been impressed with how often you ask for input. You’re very respectful and I appreciate that. The first option appears to be best. You have every right to prioritize your internal efficiency and authors will adjust.

Comment provided June 30, 2008 at 2:33 PM

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11
Jim writes:

We really have no preference. Sometimes the delay in editing is longer than we like but we can live with it.

However it seems strange that you would need two editors to check a single article. If a single editor could not properly edit the article then they should find something else to do in life.

It is your business to run but seems a waste of money and resources to us. Too much bureaucracy. We prefer the KISS approach.

We are more concerned by the lack of the ability to contact an editor that has sent an article back to us. Simply answering our questions would go a long way to solving the problem. We end up waiting an extended period for customer support to get back to us with an answer or clarification.

In general we are pleased with your service.

Jim

Comment provided June 30, 2008 at 3:59 PM

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12
MJ Dakota writes:

I have to agree with the majority on this one. Option #1 looks to be the better option. The idea of a 15 to 30 minute edit window would also be a great tool. I am just learning this and it never fails I have forgotten to include something.

Comment provided June 30, 2008 at 4:51 PM

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13

Our experience is that many edit their article immediately after submission but it’s really rare when a member comes back 6-18 hours later to edit it again before our editorial team reviews it.

Jim,

Two humans are needed because it’s too difficult to stay on top of 5.5 pages of single spaced guidelines, 90+ different problem article statuses, pages of unwritten rules that help guide the decision making in gray areas in content, and a lack of industry knowledge by our editors who are often fresh out of college has taught us that 2 humans is best.

It’s not that uncommon for any industry to have QC people who inspect & double-check everything.

You say too much bureaucracy and a few hours ago I had another member bite my head off because we aren’t consistent enough in our review of every article in every one of the 569 niche markets we serve. If we simplified our guidelines, the whole system would fall apart overnight.

Our team of ~30+ people touched well over 100k articles in the last 30 days. This is a volume level that needs some rigidity in rules & guidelines to help aid smarter decision making efficiency.

Let me be clear that I’m not complaining about the labor expense/investment required to run the current model that this site is based on… just offering some insights as to why we do what we do. Always open to hearing contradicting opinions.

Comment provided June 30, 2008 at 8:52 PM

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14
Patti McMann writes:

I’ll go with option #1.

Comment provided June 30, 2008 at 9:44 PM

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15
Roy Primm writes:

I’d go with number one, it seems the most win-win for everyone.

Comment provided June 30, 2008 at 10:20 PM

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16
Hendry Lee writes:

I’d go with option 1 too, mainly because I rarely edit articles after they are submitted for review.

That will ensure the highest quality of article before they hit the submit button.

Comment provided July 1, 2008 at 11:06 AM

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17
Paul Godines writes:

I believe number 1 would suit me personally the best. Thank you for asking and not dictating.

Comment provided July 1, 2008 at 4:03 PM

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18
Ed Bagley writes:

Option #1.

Comment provided July 2, 2008 at 5:46 PM

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19
Jo de Jong writes:

From a newbie yet to write her first article, I don’t really like either one and think with a bit more thought you could make some improvement: e.g., perhaps a very high rating by the first reviewer would qualify the article to skip the second reviewer or be put at a higher position in the second reviewer’s queue. If I had to make a choice, though, I’d go with Number 1.

Comment provided July 6, 2008 at 8:50 PM

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20
Lance Winslow writes:

I think given the choice of either option one or two, that I would have to say YES.

Comment provided July 18, 2008 at 12:11 AM

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21
Bracken writes:

I would vote option two! I like the control of being able to edit, just in case. If you need to edit it, its only fair and proper to knock you back to the beginning.

Comment provided February 17, 2010 at 7:08 PM

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