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Provisional Research Workflow

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Revision as of 22:05, 8 October 2006 by Anonymous1 (Talk | Contributions)

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The idea is to provide a scalable, volunteer-driven service to aid workers and others in the field to be able to send back questions and get good quality, reliable answers a good percentage of the time.

We'll trace an email from an aid worker through the process to get an idea of how it would work.

1. Jane sends her email to the How To Live Wiki Google Group.

The email sits in a moderation que. Any one of the moderators can check that the email meets the group criteria before allowing it through. Those criteria are:

  • it is not spam
  • it has sufficient information to constitute a meaningful question in broadly speaking the right area for the HTLW (How To Live Wiki) crew.

Though it is tempting to do more vetting here, that would be a mistake. Moderators here provide only the very slightest filtering function, for reasons we'll go into in a moment.

2. Jane's email goes out to everybody on the HTLW list

This is where the main work gets done. All the volunteers get all the emails which are sent to the list, although I expect many will use filtering software to reduce the flow in areas outside of their expertise and interest. If a volunteer decides to champion a query, they will:

  • Make a new HTLW page which includes the text of the original question
  • Email the HTWL list, and Jane, the author of the question to say they have escalated the question to the Wiki, including a link to the HTLW page.
  • Re-edit the page if time permits adding any additional information or resources that seem relevant to the question.

A volunteer may also know of an answer to the query in the database and choose to reply directly to the person asking the question.

An email which is not championed will remain visible in the archives of the Google Group indefinitely. I expect that most questions will not be championed due to resource constraints. We'll do what we can.