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DMOZ: Open Directory Project

Guide for Category Checkers

By critiquing categories for other editors, you can provide very valuable help that will benefit both the editors and the directory as a whole. Conversely, offering new editors misleading advice can cause them to be confused and frustrated. The suggestions contained within this guide are intended to aid experienced editors in helping newer editors.

The Goal of Category Checking

The purpose of the cat check threads is to get editors to understand the official editing guidelines, so they can independently use them as a basis for good editorial judgment and common sense decision making. Official editorial policy only exists in the ODP Guidelines, category specific guidelines, category charters, and some category FAQs. Your feedback should be backed up by these guidelines.

Avoid basing your feedback on opinions or comments made in forum discussions and editor's notes. These sources do not contain official editorial policy, but comments on editorial issues and decisions made in very specific instances.

Unlike other threads, cat check threads provide feedback rather than discussions of editorial issues. To avoid confusion and the proliferation of editing myths, refrain from giving your personal opinion and interpretation of the guidelines. For example, when statements such as "You shouldn't list sites that do not include a postal address" are made, new editors may construe them as rules. This causes problems, as when somebody else advises this new editor to the contrary, they can become confused. If you can't cite guideline sources to back up your comments, make it clear that your comments are not supported by official editorial policy.

Suggested Steps

1. Structure

2. To Include or Not to Include

3. Link Integrity

4. Placement

5. Descriptions

The Positive as Well as Areas for Improvement

Look to see what editor has done well. Constructive criticism is important, but so is feedback on good editing practices. Has the editor found a lot of new sites to add? Is he moving misplaced submissions rather than deleting them? Has he written a useful category charter? If they have done any of these, congratulate them.