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Our Knowledge Base reviewers are Mozilla contributors and staff with experience and skill in writing support documentation. Here are some guidelines for reviewing articles.
Most revisions are made by people volunteering their time and talent. When dealing with the work that people have submitted, assume that everyone has the best intentions and be sure to thank them for their contribution. Remember, you may be the first and only contact that person has with someone from Mozilla. Please make it positive.
The Knowledge Base Dashboard Overview lists articles in order of visits in the past 30 days. The Status column will show which articles need to be reviewed. All revisions should be reviewed in a timely manner, not just the top articles. The Unreviewed Changes list is an alternative way to see what articles need to be reviewed and which revisions have been pending review for the longest period of time (you can sort the list by "Most Recent" and work from the bottom).
Our top articles (more than 100,000 visits per month, about 20 articles for Desktop) account for about 50-55% of all visits to the Knowledge Base. Our top Android articles are those with more than 5,000 visits per month.
It's critical that these articles have the latest information.
Because the top articles have been edited extensively and affect a large number of people, big changes to the article should be discussed first. Feel free to private message other Knowledge Base contributors to ask them chime in. It's best if a consensus can be reached but that is sometimes difficult to pin down. As always, use your best judgement.
The articles with less than 100,000 visits per month for Desktop (or those with less than 5,000 visits for Android) represent the vast majority of our Knowledge Base (about 600+ articles; 45-50% of visits). They cover less common issues and newer products. Here the review policy is more lenient.
When we're first creating an article, it doesn't have any visits at all. So how do you treat it?
The most common task in the Knowledge Base is keeping articles up-to-date. Generally this covers:
Big changes are ones that fundamentally change the existing article. They include:
When you approve an article, you have three different revision levels to choose from:
When approving an article, it's important to thank the editors for their contribution. It's also nice if you can give them feedback. Has their writing improved? Did they do an especially good job explaining something complex? Let them know!
If a revision contains more than just a simple mistake, is a big change to a top article that hasn't been discussed, or is something you don't feel is helpful, you should defer approval. Rather than being a simple rejection, however, a deferral is your opportunity to work with the editor to take make that revision ready for approval. So, please thank the editor and then give specific, constructive feedback about what you feel needs to change in order for the revision to be acceptable. In addition to the comment field when deferring a revision, you can also add a thread to the article Discussion forum with more detailed information and refer the editor to the article Discussion forum. Be sure to give him/her links to any relevant article discussions or guidelines.
Marking an article revision as "Ready for Localization" lets us tell localizers that the English version is done and can be translated without fear that the article will change a few more times before they're done.
When you are approving a revision, if all of the changes needed (needs change notes, article discussion forum) have been done and more are not planned for the current or next release, go ahead and mark the article as ready for localization.
Localization is a lot of work and is often done by just one person. Only the top 20 or so articles get localized in some locales. Our top articles generally don't need any changes other than updates for a new version of Firefox. Since we know what's coming, we try to make sure that all required changes are done before a Firefox release so that localizers can use that extra time for getting their work done.
If you are not marking a revision as ready for localization when approving it (like in the case above), you can mark it ready by clicking the status on the revision's history entry and confirming.
In order to prevent someone translating an article in flux, when you click "Translate article," you are given the most recent version that has been marked ready for localization. Once a new revision of an article has been approved, the article is not added to localization dashboards as needing an update unless the revision is marked with the second or third revision levels AND the ready for localization flag is checked. This also sends out an email notification to everyone watching for articles that are ready to localize.
Articles with next release content are either new articles or content changes to existing articles, that cover functionality introduced in the next release. The following guidelines apply to articles with release-related content:
Release-based KB Editing Timeline (codename: RocKET)
6 weeks before next release / release week for current release
5 weeks before next release / 1 week after current release
4 weeks before next release / 2 weeks after current release
3 weeks before next release / 3 weeks after current release
2 weeks before next release / 4 weeks after current release
1 week before next release / 5 weeks after current release
When approving a revision, you have to decide what, if anything, still needs to be changed. If everything specified in the "Needs change comment" has been taken care of, you can uncheck it (clearing the comment) and approve the article. If there are still things that need to be done, make sure the checkbox is checked and update the comment. This way, we can easily keep track of what work need to be done on articles.
Sometimes people that participate in a discussion about an article make significant contributions to a revision even if they weren't the one to actually edit the wiki. In cases like this, you can edit the list of contributors to an article (on the article history page) to include them. Bonus points for letting them know you did this!
In the case of spam, you should simply delete the revision (click the "X" in its entry in the history view). In the case of mistaken submissions (no changes) and misplaced help requests (the edit is basically a support question), you should defer and include this message in your comments:
It appears you may have been trying to get help with Firefox. If that is the case, please ask your question again here, https://support.mozilla.org/questions/new so that we can better help you.
Sorry for the inconvenience.
Once you've done that you can delete the revision.