Project completeness checklist

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DP Official Documentation - Content Providing and Project Management
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These are things to check for when reviewing a project for completeness. It may be useful for PMs, CPers, PM Mentors, PFs, Squirrels and others who need to review projects and check for problems.

Some of these checks can be done many different ways. Several methods are described below.


Not a duplicate project

The DP in-progress check checks PG, DP, and David Price's list. It's also a good idea to search at DP Canada (DPC). Not all projects at DPC are clearable by PG, but some are, and they often wind up being posted at PG.

The DP in-progress check is a good tool to have, but it's often good to check PG, David's List and a DP search individually. The script itself has a warning: Do not rely solely on the information returned by this script.

Remember, also, that David's List includes information only for clearances issued in the previous five years. Any notifications of duplicate clearances apply only to those approved in the previous five years, and are not necessarily sent out in a timely fashion. There are many projects at DP that have clearances that are older than 5 years.

When you search, use the shortest unique string you can -- sometimes PMs will shorten the title, sometimes they will use an alternate title. Sometimes it's a good idea to try multiple different options. Punctuation does matter. An ampersand is not the same thing as the word "and". You may also want to do an author search.

Check for a source

Most projects are currently created using scans available online. If a link is not given in the project comments, check. Even projects that are listed as 'DP Internal' may have matching editions online. It is often advantageous to have access to multiple matching editions, if possible.

Proofing Images

No duplicate or missing pages

This is easiest to do with all images stored on your computer (rather than using DP's page details listing). Using whatever method works for you on your computer, open access to the proofing images in your image viewer, and use the viewer's controls to move from one to the next.

  • Look at the page numbers as you go to ensure that they are sequential; use whatever zoom is necessary to read the numbers. Be careful around blank or unnumbered pages to ensure that the numbering makes sense and nothing is missing.
  • For index pages, be careful to check that the index is complete, especially if the last page of the index ends exactly at the bottom of the page, or especially if it seems to end early in the alphabet. We have seen projects where the last page or two of index were missing, and that is hard to notice. We only caught it during formatting, and might not have caught it then if a formatter had not asked "why did this index end in entries for the letter N?". It's much better for the PM to discover those missing pages, rather than risking having a project we won't be able to complete.
  • If the project has split pages, check for reference images (reference images are strongly recommended); if there are no reference images, this is a good place to use the online source mentioned above.
  • If the project is illustrated, with tipped in plates that don't have page numbers, compare the plates with the List of Illustrations, if there is one. Most of the time, un-numbered plates should be either preceded or followed by a blank page. Occasionally, plates will be printed front and back of a single leaf, but it is very common to see back-to-back plates printed one-sided with two blanks in between. Make sure that there are actually proofing images for all the plates. Some of the older projects did not include proofing images for plates.
  • Sometimes proofing images of illustrations may be missing captions, even though a caption is listed in the List of Illustrations. This can occur either because the caption has been cropped off when the images were processed (especially if the illustrations are larger than a typical page of text), or because the caption is on a tissue insert which has been discarded. If possible, look at the raw scan set to check for a missing caption. See Get image links for a TIA item for information on obtaining individual raw images from TIA scansets if they're available. Tissue inserts should be included as proofing images, front and back, if they aren't blank.
  • Sometimes a scan set may have had blank pages removed (e.g. Biodiversity). If possible find an alternate scan set to check for deleted blanks if the pagination appears incomplete.

When in doubt, the Library of Congress, British Library and worldcat can be useful tools for helping to spot missing pages (or to verify that nothing is likely missing) by inspecting the catalog entry description of the physical volume to see if that aligns well with scans of a physical volume that shows anomalous page numbering.

Reasonable file size

Page scans are normally around 50 kB. If any are over 100 kB, there may be a problem.

  • Method: If you have access to the script, use Project Quick Check to see if there are any page images over 100kB.
  • Method: If you have downloaded the images to your own computer, separate the images into proofing and illustration images and open the folder containing the proofing images; sort the listing by file size. Look at the largest ones.
  • Method: On DP, view the project page at detail level 3. Near the bottom click on the link View/Replace Images or View Images Online. The proofing images will be listed at the left; look for file sizes that are over 100 KB.
  • Method: On DP, go to the page details. The url should end with "show_image_size=0"; change the zero to a one, and an extra column will appear near the left showing the image file size in bytes. Scroll through and look for any that are over 5 digits long.

Reasonable image dimensions

Proofing images typically should be ~1000px wide (or ~1000px high if landscape). See the page scans wiki for more information.

  • Method: On your computer, open the folder containing the proofing images. Click on the first file. The details, including the dimensions, should appear at the bottom of the window. Go down the list, checking each file. If there are any anomalous sizes, check to make sure that the image really does need to be that large (or really should be that small).
  • Method: In Windows, open the folder containing the proofing images. Switch the “View” mode to “Details”. Right-click in the column headers and in the pop-up menu, select “More…” and check “Dimensions”. Click on the Dimensions header to sort by dimensions. Scroll through the list to identify any anomalous sizes.
  • Method: For Macs, open the images in Preview (all in one window), go to the Tools menu and select Show Inspector. Scroll through the images, keeping an eye on the dimensions for any anomalous sizes.

Good scan quality

Page scans should be legible and properly cropped.

  • Method: Page through the pngs in a way similar to the check for duplicate/missing pages above. Look at each image when zoomed out and glance around the page to check for blobs, folded corners, missing text, etc. On some representative portion of the pages, zoom in to 100% view and look at the smallest text on the page to check that it's legible.

Illustration Images

High-resolution images included for all illustrations

See illustration scans for more details about illustration images.

This is easiest done from your computer. Using whatever method works for you on your computer, open access to the proofing images in your image viewer in one window, resized to take up only half of the screen. In a separate window (resized to fit in the other half of the screen), open access to the high-resolution illustration images. Go through the proofing images until you reach an illustration, and check that that's the hi-res image you have in the other window. Then advance to the next illustration, and go through the proofing pngs some more until you reach that one. Continue through the entire project, ensuring that all illustrations in the proofing text have a hi-res version and vice versa.

If there is a list of illustrations then open that in one window while you go through the hi-res images in the other. Ensure that you have an image for every illustration on the list.

Cover Images

Include a high-res scan of the cover, if there is one. Some PMs choose to provide a scan even if the cover is blank, but this is not necessary. In addition, a high-res of the title page may be used to create a cover. High-res images for title pages should definitely be included if they're in color.

Custom covers should not be included with the illustration scans.


Distributed Proofreaders moved to using UTF-8 encoding for project text in May of 2020. Be aware that if you do not load UTF-8–encoded text files into your projects, the text files will be converted to UTF-8.

Make sure that any characters that you want in your proofed text are in the character suites you enable for your projects. Any characters that you attempt to load into a project that are not in its associated character suite(s) will be rejected on project load. The review page that you are shown when you load text and images into a project will tell you what characters will be omitted, and give you the option of proceeding with the load or returning to the project page.

In addition, there are certain characters that cannot be enabled at all, and that will automatically have substitutions made for them. For a full list of these characters and their substitutions, see Unicode to ASCII mapping.

Sanity Checks

  • Skim through the Image Index. Make sure that the illustration naming makes sense (occasionally, a proofing image will be loaded without a text file, which will cause it to be identified it as an illustration image instead of a proofing image).

Once the project has entered the rounds

If the project has already entered P1 or later, look through the concatenated text file and/or project discussion to see if the proofers have noted problems.

  • Method: At the bottom of the project page (detail level 2 or above), find the "Download Concatenated Text" section. Choose the last round given and choose "the latest text saved...". Click "Download", and then open the downloaded file. Search for [* to find proofer notes.

Project information and comments

  • proper image source credited
  • proper language & genre
  • valid copyright clearance -- if you cannot see the clearance line, ask a Squirrel or PF to verify that the clearance is valid
  • appropriate project comments addressing any complications or unusual items. Make separate sections for proofing and formatting, plus post-processing if you have any instructions to the PPer. See the Write Project Comments section of the PM FAQ.
  • If the project is particularly complex, consider posting one or more sample pages in the project discussion. Make sure they're clearly identified as examples for either proofers or formatters.
  • Check that Project Comments are legible in the Charcoal theme and at least one other theme.
To comment or request edits to this page, please contact Monicas wicked stepmother or DACSoft.

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