Jargon related to Project Management

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Jargon Guides

Organizations and specialized activities develop their own sets of specialized terminology, or jargon, and DP is no exception to that. Accordingly, we have developed some FAQ-like Jargon Guides you can access in order to learn some of our lingo.

The LONG DP Jargon Guide, and the Jargon Guides related to The Guidelines, User Roles, and Workflow contain acronyms and terms you will likely encounter as a new volunteer at DP.

Other Jargon Guides contain terms that are a bit more specialized. The Group Activities Jargon Guide will become especially relevant to you if you start using Jabber. The remaining Jargon Guides shown in the Jargon Navigator box relate to the specific activities mentioned in their titles.

If you come across an acronym or term that isn't mentioned in one of these Jargon Guides, please ask about it in one of the DP forums.

Detailed suggestions on how best to add and edit Jargon-related information can be found at Help:Jargon.

See also the PM FAQ.


(HOLD) has been replaced by a newer Hold functionality that allows PMs the ability to place holds on projects on a per-round basis.

(HOLD) was a special command word that a Project Manager could insert at the top of a project's Project Comments so that the project would not leave any 'waiting' state. This prevented the project from moving on to further rounds in cases where the PM wanted to evaluate the status and decide on the next step.

The "(HOLD)" string (without the quotes) had to be the first six characters in the PCs in order for the command to work.


(nopmq) is a special command word that a Project Manager can insert at the top of a project's Project Comments so that the project will not go through his or her PM Queue.

The "(nopmq)" string (without the quotes) must be the first seven characters in the PCs in order for the command to work.


see copyright clearance

copyright clearance

Copyright clearance (or clearance) is Distributed Proofreaders's verification that a document meets the public domain and copyright criteria established by the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation.

CP: Content Provision/Provider

Content Providing/Provision (CP) is the process of providing the page images used in proofreading, either by scanning a book or harvesting the images from an online source.

Also a person who does such work (Content Provider, or CPer).

If you are interested in becoming a CPer, visit Access Requirements.

You can automate some content providing tasks by using guiprep and guiguts. For more information you can see the Content Providing FAQ.


db-req is the alias to use for database requests.


dpscans is a special directory on the DP server, accessible via the Remote File Manager. (Accessed via the script: http://www.pgdp.net/c/tools/project_manager/remote_file_manager.php)

Content Providers, OCR Pool volunteers, Project Managers, and others upload zip files to their dpscans folders. These zips may contain images, text, illustrations, and occasionally music files to be loaded into projects.

Once all the project files are ready, the PM "loads" the files from his or her dpscans subfolder into the project itself. This copies the files into the active project database and means that the "original" files in dpscans can now be deleted.

Before June of 2010, access to dpscans was via ftp. After malware-infected files were found in dpscans, ftp access was disabled, and a basic script was provided. The script has been enhanced, and was released in November of 2015 as Remote File Manager.

(This is a brief overview; a squirrel could give a much more technically accurate and detailed description.)


  1. Abbreviation for difficulty level found on the Project Search results page.
  2. Page diffs, or "diff files," created as a project works its way through the rounds.

diffs/diff files

Diffs (short for differences) are the changes made to the text of a project's individual pages as it progresses through each round at DP. The term can also refer to the Webpages at DP where you can view such changes. A "diff" doesn't necessarily mean there was something wrong on a page, just that the page text coming out of the subsequent round is different.

Proofreaders often help themselves improve their proofing and formatting skills by examining and analyzing their diffs. See Checking your diffs for more details.

difficulty level

A difficulty level classification of BEGINNERS ONLY, EASY, AVERAGE or HARD is assigned to every Distributed Proofreaders (DP) project to indicate its overall difficulty.


Each project is assigned a genre by its Project Manager. Each project's genre will display on its Project Page, and in the Genre column of the Project List on each round's "home" page.

There are approximately eighty different genres from which a PM can choose, but they can basically be classed into two categories: form-oriented genres, and subject-oriented genres.

  • The form-oriented genres describe the form or structure of the project's text. Examples of this type of genre include Bibliography, Correspondence, Essay, Periodical, Poetry, etc. There is also a Mixed Form genre which indicates that the project uses more than one form.
  • The subject-oriented genres, which are much more numerous than the form-oriented genres, describe the subject or content of the project's text. The subject genres range from Adventure to Zoology, with Other being a choice as well.

As you might imagine, a given project can fit into multiple genres, including a form-oriented genre and at least one subject-oriented genre. For example,

could conceivably go in Art, Biography, Mixed Form (correspondence, illustrations, essays, etc.), and the generic Non-fiction genres, and possibly others. A PM can assign only one genre to a project, however.

Different PMs will make the choice between multiple possible genres for a particular project in different ways. Some may choose to never use form-oriented genres. Some may always use the "more generic" genres such as Non-fiction or Other when having trouble choosing between more specific options. Some PMs will try to have their projects as widely-distributed across the genres as possible, choosing the genre in which they currently have the least presence. Other PMs will choose between alternative genres by picking the option which puts the project into the shortest release queue.

Thus, when looking for a project which deals with a certain subject, it is helpful to keep in mind that projects on that subject will likely be "scattered" throughout many different genres.

Queue Genre Categories

Here are the Genre Queue Categories

These are the currently available Genre options for Projects:

  • Adventure
  • Agriculture
  • Animals
  • Anthropology
  • Archaeology
  • Architecture
  • Art
  • Astronomy
  • Autobiography
  • Bibliography
  • Biography
  • Biology
  • Business
  • Chemistry
  • Collection
  • Comics
  • Cooking
  • Correspondence
  • Crafts
  • Diary
  • Dictionary
  • Drama
  • Economics
  • Education
  • Encyclopedia
  • Engineering
  • Essay
  • Folklore
  • General Fiction
  • Geography
  • Geology
  • Grammar
  • Health
  • Historical Fiction
  • History
  • Horror
  • Horticulture
  • Humor
  • Instructional
  • Juvenile
  • Law
  • Linguistics
  • Literature
  • Mathematics
  • Medicine
  • Military
  • Mixed Form
  • Music
  • Musicology
  • Mystery
  • Mythology
  • Natural Science
  • Nature
  • Non-Fiction
  • Periodical
  • Philosophy
  • Physics
  • Picture Book
  • Poetry
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Recreation
  • Reference
  • Religious
  • Romance
  • Satire
  • Science
  • Science Fiction
  • Short Story
  • Sociology
  • Speech
  • Spirituality
  • Sports
  • Technology
  • Travel
  • Veterinary
  • Western
  • Zoology

Hands-on PPer

A Hands-on PPer is a PPer who is actively involved in a project, often from the time the project is created. The PPer has the opportunity to make style decisions (such as how to represent odd characters in proofing or how to denote unusual aspects of the formatting) before the work has gone too far in the process. This helps to ensure a measure of consistency so that it becomes easier to post-process it when it finishes the rounds.

By advertising for a Hands-on PPer, a Project Manager is requesting help with a specific, challenging project. The expectation is that the PPer will be available to answer questions as they arise, and the PM will defer such decisions to the PPer.


LoC and LOC are the standard abbreviatons used to refer to the Library of Congress (U.S.).


See (nopmq).

Page Details

A table of information about all the individual pages in a project is referred to as the project's Page Details.

The Page Details information for a project can be viewed by clicking on one of these links on the Project Page:

  • Images, Pages Proofread, & Differences: shows details for all the pages in the project
  • Just my pages: shows only your DONE and IN PROGRESS pages in the project (useful for projects with lots of pages)
  • Detail Level 4 (link at the top and bottom of the Project Page): shows the project's Page Details below the Project Comments on the Project Page

PCs: Project Comments

The Project Comments (PCs or PC) is a section in a Project Page, containing information specific to that project. These comments should be read before you start proofreading or formatting in that project. If the Project Manager (PM) wants any exceptions to be made to the regular Proofing Guidelines or Formatting Guidelines for the project, they will be noted here; instructions in the Project Comments override the rules contained in the Guidelines.

This is also where the Project Manager (PM) may give you interesting tidbits of information about the project or its author.

PM: Project Manager

The Project Manager (PM) is the person in charge of a project and its progress through the rounds. The ultimate goal of the PM is to help the project be as consistently proofed and formatted as possible for the PPer. One way the PM (usually) does this is by writing Project Comments.

Different PMs have different styles. Some provide a handful of books that they pre-process themselves, then during proofreading monitor the project threads closely, and finally post-process the project themselves; others provide large quantities of books and rely on others to PP them. Other PMs fall somewhere between, perhaps closely following some books, while only glancing in on others, as questions are asked in the project thread.

If you are interested in becoming a PM, visit Access Requirements. If you are a new PM, see the Project Managing FAQ.

PM Queue

A PM Queue is a certain type of release queue which helps ensure that a minimum of one project is available in a given round for a specific Project Manager. PM queues are available for P1, P2, P3, and F2.

PMs can request that PM Queue(s) be set up for themselves by contacting db-req.


See Portable Network Graphics.

Portable Network Graphics

Portable Network Graphics (PNG or png; file extension .png) is a lossless compressed image file format.

PP: Post-Processor

Post-Processing (PP) is the process of formatting and reassembling the pages of a project after it has completed the rounds of proofing and formatting. (Also called Post-Proofing.)

Also, a person who does such work (also Post-Proofer, or PPer).

If you are interested in becoming a PPer, visit Access requirements.

See also the Post-Processing FAQ, and Hands-on PPer. For more PPing resources in the DP wiki, see Post-Processing Advice. For LaTeX projects, see LaTeX postprocessing guidelines.

Project Comments Biography

Several Project Managers like to include background information on the author in their project comments. To help each other "recycle" the content instead of having to start from scratch each time, biographical information is stored for several authors.

To include this type information in one of your projects, see How to Use a Biography for your Project Comments

To see which authors have biographical information already available, see the Authors page. The author names and (where known) dates of birth and death are listed.

If you don't find who you're looking for, that same page is used to add your material for others to use.

project discussion

See project thread.

Project Facilitator

Project Facilitator (PF) is an administrative position at Distributed Proofreaders, similar to that of Site Administrator. A Project Facilitator's primary function is to help Project Managers, but only when the PMs need it. A PF can do anything a PM can do, with the difference that the PF can do it for all projects.

Visit DP Administrators to see a list of current Project Facilitators, and see this thread for more information.

project forum

See project thread.

Project Hospital

The Project Hospital is an ad-hoc clearinghouse for projects with problems that prevent them from being completed. These can include (but are not limited to) damaged, duplicate or missing pages, missing or poor illustrations, lacking copyright clearance, duplicate projects, and poorly prepared projects (huge page or illustration scans as proofing images).

The Project Hospital is currently outside the main DP workflow, though it is intended that the process become more formalized in the future. The current "patients" are listed on the Project Hospital page.

The Project Hospital page enables better tracking of projects that need to be fixed, to prevent them from being left in broken states indefinitely if the person who found the problem forgets about it.

Project Page

Each project going through DP has a sort of "home page," called its Project Page, which serves as a nexus to the various resources on the DP site related to the project. The Project Page provides basic information about each project, including its PM, PPer (if assigned), difficulty level, genre, Special Days (if any), its current stage (round, etc.), the date it was last worked on, its Project Comments, a link to its project thread, and other information. The page can be displayed in four different levels of detail.

Project Pages are customized for each individual DPer, providing easy access to the last five pages that each proofreader has started but not completed, and the last five pages each proofreader has finished processing in that project's current round. Access can also be gained to other pages in the project, including the "diffs" for the project, via the Page Details.

project thread

A project thread (also project discussion, project forum) is a thread in the DP forum dedicated to a specific Distributed Proofreaders project.


See release queue.

release queue

A release queue (also queue) is a holding area for Distributed Proofreaders projects to be released into the rounds for proofing or formatting.

Special Days

Special Days are days (or sets of days) when specific projects which have topical significance are released from the release queues for proofing and/or formatting.

type-in project

A type-in project is a Distributed Proofreaders (DP) project that does not have an OCR text when it is made available for proofing in P1.


An uberproject is large-scale, multi-volume Distributed Proofreaders project.

ZIP archive

See ZIP file.

ZIP file

A ZIP file (also ZIP archive, file extension .zip) contains one or more files that have either been stored intact or been compressed to reduce file size, using the ZIP file format. Wikipedia's article has more detailed information about the ZIP file format and ZIP files.