Re: Online Document Reviews

Subject: Re: Online Document Reviews
From: Janice Gelb <janiceg -at- MARVIN -dot- ENG -dot- SUN -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 12 May 1998 08:50:19 -0700

Bill Swallow said:
> The real task is getting people used to the act of reviewing online.
> We are used to the ol' red pen and highlighter... need to "upgrade" to
> callouts, electronic summaries and revision modes.
> I don't know what documentation you would like to review online, but
> as far as Word files are concerned, I HATE it when I get a paper
> markup back, especially when the file is part of an online
> deliverable. I PREFER all comments and corrections to be made in
> revision mode, this way I don't have to spend my time re-entering the
> suggested changes.

As an editor, I have been hesitant to do online reviews for several
reasons: I don't know which changes the writer will approve and
which he or she won't, I find it difficult to indicate text that
I think should be moved (as opposed to strikeouts or additions,
which are relatively easy), and tracking draft versions is more

Had there not been a foul-up on the STC stem end, I would have
been presenting a paper this year at the conference on using
databases to collect review comments, which I think is the
most efficient way to get SME comments. They can be sorted
for duplicates, and reviewers are less likely to make the
sometimes inane comments they do in the margins of hard-copy
documents (like "????" or "This is wrong" or "Huh?" -- all
of which I've seen!).

This doesn't solve the problem of editorial reviews. Although
I review online material like Help by looking at the online
version, I still find it easier to mark corrections on a
printed copy, and I think it is also easier for writers
to see why I am recommending the change and to choose not
to incorporate those changes with which they do not agree.

-- Janice

Janice Gelb | The only connection Sun has with this
janice -dot- gelb -at- eng -dot- sun -dot- com | message is the return address.

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