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Thread: Finding articles in need of fixing

  1. #1

    Finding articles in need of fixing

    From a newbie: is there a way to search for articles that haven't had any corrections done? I'm happy to do any kind of corrections, but I don't know how to tell if a particular edition of a newspaper has been 'fixed' already without opening every individual article.
    Similarly, if there are particular projects underway that need help (eg fixing the Canberra newspapers as part of the Centenary this year) is there a way to find out how I can help? Otherwise my article selections are pretty random...

  2. #2
    There may be some better suggestions, but in the meantime...

    You could pick a particular newspaper and start working on it from the beginning.

    Or just do a search on a random word, and you will see a note under every article that has been corrected saying "Text last corrected on...". If that note is not there, then the article hasn't been corrected.

    It has previously been suggested that articles have a tick-box to indicate whether they have been corrected in full. Possibly Trove staff have already included that in their software "wish list".

  3. #3
    Adult Member KerryRaymond's Avatar
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    I don't believe there is any magic way.

    But what seems to work for me is to just search for key words I am interested in for other reasons. Then scan down the list of the first page of search results, most of which will contain a "snippet" (about 3 lines of text from the article). If the snippet is full of garbage characters, then it's an article that needs text-correcting.

    Not a perfect solution, but you tend to end up either with an article you wanted to read or one that needs text correction. I usually restrict myself to Article or Family Notices when I do this. There's a lot of advertising needing text correction but I tend to lack enthusiasm for that task :-)

    Kerry

  4. #4
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    Although it might seem like a good idea, it would really not be useful to mark articles are "corrected" when somebody has done a bit of work on them. Quite often, for example, somebody has corrected just one item in a series of family notices, and marking this as having been corrected could deter others from looking at it and finding that it has not been done. Other contributors have made a habit of correcting three or four lines, then abandoning an article. So that would simply not work.
    Suggestion: find something in which you are interested, be it gardening, politics, military history, genealogy, then enter a key word or words in the Search box on the home page. Take it from there. You can limit the search by date, by newspaper; you can eliminate advertisements by clicking on article. Once you start, one thing leads to another, and you will soon find that you have more leads than you can handle.
    Currently, I am working through the SMH for August-September 1939, to see what people were saying and thinking and predicting about the outbreak of war. (This led me by a side-track to November 1914, which engaged me for a few days.) So far, I have reached only about 29 August, as I keep getting side-tracked by the antics of Jack Lang, the development of the trans-Tasman air service, and other interesting bits that appear on the same page. There is still plenty to do, and there is no hurry. Go for things in which you are interested; otherwise the correcting becomes a boring burden.
    PS: Clicking on "Show corrections" for an article on which somebody has already worked will quickly show you whether the whole article has been done, or just a few lines.
    Last edited by Catessa; 25-02-2013 at 04:32 PM. Reason: Addition

  5. #5
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    All of the above will work.

    Another way if you wish to correct whole editions of a particular paper is do a blank search and then click "refine search" and select date, the particular paper, check what types (eg advertising- but I think you will lose interest in correcting them) and then sort by earliest first. By leaving the search words blank it will pick up all the articles in the specified editions.

    Catessa's tip is the way to go. You start off broad and then find something interesting and see where it takes you. You then can use tags or lists to link them together. You find some fascinating stories about events or people, tragic or humorous. When the Underbelly series was on Television I noticed that a lot of people started looking for articles on Tilly Devine and tagging them. I looked in my local paper ("Townsville Bulletin") and found the relevant articles of her misdeeds up this way and tagged them appropriately. It all goes to break the monotony.

    I take my hat off to the correctors who daily plow through the Family Notices. Can be very tedious but certainly the most important corrections for Family Historians.

  6. #6
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    I heartily endorse what Michael has said. This genealogical material is very valuable, but it is among the most difficult for correctors and researchers alike, as so often the material is virtually illegible, with many lines missed, and names so distorted that the original text is unsearchable. I have done some family notices and examination results, but neither my eyes or my patience will stand it for long.
    One of the problems with going to the earliest copies of a paper is that this is exactly what somebody else has already done, especially with the major papers, so you have to start hunting forward, perhaps for a long way.

  7. #7
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    Another project I think that is worthwhile, given that the 100 year anniversary of World War I is coming up, is correcting articles that report on the lives and fates of individual soldiers, and/or lists of soldiers on honour rolls, casualty lists, etc.

    On a daily basis newspapers were reporting snippets of letters, reports, home-comings, etc. in regard to individual soldiers, especially in regional papers. Honour rolls for schools, churches, public halls, clubs, council areas, etc., were also being published on a regular basis as part of the drive to get more recruits.

    The State Library of Victoria has funded the digitising of many regional Victorian newspapers for the years 1914-1918 ahead of the centenary. So you can pick a regional newspaper and work through systematically searching out all the names and experiences of World War I soldiers. I have been slowly doing this for one regional newspaper and I have learnt a lot about World War I that I didn't know, and it has been very interesting gaining a contemporary perspective on the war and the sense of duty that the nation felt toward 'The Empire'. But on the other hand, a referendum on conscription was held and failed to pass.

    A very useful resource for this work, when names are difficult to read, is the National Archives website, where all the Army personnel records for World War I are available for viewing. I find I end up spending a lot of time reading through those as well !!


    Note: if searching for Honour Rolls, a lot of newspapers were still using the spelling "Honor" at this time.

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    I think choosing something that interests you - a surname; a location; a sport (the list goes on) - is the way to go. Save your search and work from the top. You can resave your search as you work through the dates. You never know where it will take you. There's a heap of stuff to be corrected but there is no way of discovering whether the whole article is 'done' unless you look but even if it has there's often small things missed so checking the work of others is also editing well done. Catessa said this but looking at 'Show corrections' rather than opening the article is quicker. That way you can see how much has been done.

    I am currently working on court cases from the mid 1800s but did spend a lot of time correcting articles on shipwrecks. Sometimes I do some family notices but I find the deaths of small children and huge lists of soldiers saddens me and puts me off correcting so I tend to avoid that. I try to finish articles that I start and those really long ones you can come back to by looking at YOUR 'text corrections' page.

    The advertising and probate pages are full of interesting lines. Really whatever you do doesn't matter. Take your pick and have fun!

    Jane

  9. #9
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    It is also useful to note that, when you enter a search term, the results are displayed in what the computer decides is order of "relevance". You can change this so that you get "latest first" or "earliest first".The "earliest first" is the best way to follow the progress of a single event, such as a court case.
    (To old hands: sorry for stating the obvious, but it took me a while to notice this facility.)

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Catessa View Post
    Although it might seem like a good idea, it would really not be useful to mark articles are "corrected" when somebody has done a bit of work on them. Quite often, for example, somebody has corrected just one item in a series of family notices, and marking this as having been corrected could deter others from looking at it and finding that it has not been done. Other contributors have made a habit of correcting three or four lines, then abandoning an article. So that would simply not work.
    It has previously been suggested that articles have a tick-box to indicate whether they have been corrected in full. Possibly Trove staff have already included that in their software "wish list".
    Was thinking of it being only for articles corrected in full (i.e. not for articles only partly corrected)
    e.g. "Tick this box if article has been corrected in full" (or whatever wording).

    Of course, that doesn't mean that there won't be occasional errors to be picked up, but it would help overall.
    The thought being to help researchers or students choose what articles to use (e.g. for "cut and paste" quoting) and for correctors to choose what articles to correct.

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