Absent and Inactive Volunteers

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DP Official Documentation - General

This page describes Distribute Proofreaders' procedure when a volunteer is absent from the site for a significant period of time. Roles such as P3, F2, P2 Mentor, Post-Processor, Post-Processor Verifier and Project Manager require regular practice and it is necessary to keep up-to-date with changes to role-related policy and procedures.


P3, F2, and P2 Mentors Absences

After about a year since they last visited the site, any access they have to P3, F2, or as a mentor, is revoked. This is so that volunteers returning after a long absence, who may be rusty, have to brush up their skills again before working in sensitive rounds. Guidelines change and skills deteriorate without practice.


Where PPers haven't renewed checked out projects by visiting the project page within 90 days, the project is liable to be reclaimed under the PP reclaims process.

After approximately a year of absence, Post-processors' names may be removed from all PP projects they have reserved and any PP projects they still have checked out will be reclaimed.

Direct-Upload PPers perform a difficult and essential job in preparing and uploading the final versions of our books to Project Gutenberg. It's a role that takes considerable skill, regular practice, and awareness of updates to practices and procedures. Therefore, Direct Upload PPers who have been absent from DP for over a year may have their Direct Upload access removed. This is in line with our policy with other skilled long-absent volunteers (PPVers, P3, F2, P2 Mentors, etc.).

Naturally, we are always pleased to see absent PPers return to DP. Just as we do for returning PPVers, returning Direct Upload PPers would be asked to PP one or two projects to show that their skills are up-to-date before direct upload access would be restored. Mentoring would be provided in cases in which they needed additional assistance.

If you keep projects in PP for longer than a year while continuing to renew them, you may be contacted for an explanation of what the problem is with moving forward on the projects in question.

When Direct Upload is granted, individuals are informed that they must remain active in the role to maintain their access (and skills).

Post-Processing Verifiers

PPVers play a key role in helping train our new PPers. It is important that their skills and knowledge are kept up-to-date through regular PP/Ving work and participating in forum discussions.

PPVers who have been absent from the site for over a year will have their PPV access revoked. Should they wish to make a welcome return to PPVing at a later date, they will be asked to PP one or two projects to demonstrate that their skills are still fresh before their access is restored. Other PPVers and the PPV coordinators are encouraged to provide any advice or assistance needed to get returnees back to active duty.

Project Managers

If Project Managers have projects actively in the rounds and know that they will be away from DP for more than a day or two, they should drop a note to one of the PFs to ask that the PFs (as a group) look after those projects during the absence.

After an absence of at least 365 days PM access may be reduced to "limited" (unable to load any new projects and cannot move projects from Unavailable).

At that time any projects that have not reached PP or been posted to PG will be evaluated:

  • broken projects will be placed in the Project Hospital and may be reassigned to the squirrels' PM Orphaned account.
  • viable projects will be put up for adoption, (hopefully) announced in the forums
    • assigned PPers will be given first option to be the adoptive PM.
    • possibly a (hold) may be placed on the projects which would allow them to finish their current round, then wait until a new PM is assigned.

If long-absent PMs return (after over a year off-site, for example), they will not re-acquire projects that have been reassigned and they may be asked to get reacquainted with the site, brush up on the latest guidelines, do some more proofing or foofing to meet the current PM requirements and, in some cases, recruit a PM Mentor before their full PM access is restored.

Active volunteers who have been Inactive in a Role

At DP our volunteers often work very hard to attain a specific role or capability -- P3, F2, DU, PPV, P2 Mentor, and PMs. However, for a variety of reasons, some volunteers stop being active in those positions at some point. If volunteers continue to be listed for functions they do not perform and might very possibly have difficulty doing without retraining, it can be very difficult for other volunteers to know who does what at DP and for administrative volunteers to know how many people are really available to work in given areas. It can also be problematic to the quality of our work should a volunteer return without retraining after a long period of inactivity to a function. Moreover, some functions entail enhanced access such as larger mailboxes which are not required if the volunteers don't perform the specific function.

Access removal for volunteers who are inactive in a role but active on the site

Access to these roles should be removed if the volunteer has been inactive in that role for 2 years or more and is otherwise active at DP. If it's clear from other indicators that the volunteer has not lost the skill needed to do the role in question, access could remain for longer.

Contacting the volunteer who is still active at DP but inactive in a role

The volunteer should be contacted in a friendly manner before access to a role is removed and the e-mail should state that, if we don't hear back, the access will be removed.

If the volunteer wants to continue as active in the role, he or she may be asked to show that the skill has not been lost and mentoring may be provided to assist skill updating. When assigning a role, volunteers will be alerted that access to that role may be revoked if they don't use it because of the need to keep their skill updated.

Roles that were never exercised

This has occurred in the cases in which, some time ago, volunteers were granted a role but for some reason never used it. We will treat those like volunteers who have exercised the role.

(The information above is drawn from forums area (here and here.)

To comment or request edits to this page, please contact lhamilton or wfarrell.

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