The English-Spanish + Spanish-English + Spanish forum moderators compiled long ago some "CRITERIA FOR THE RESPONSIBLE USE OF THE TERMS HELP SYSTEM". They were presented in the Spanish forum, were commented and fine-tuned, and they have been in use ever since for the KudoZ activities of the a.m. sub communities.
I can't remember if they have been already presented in their English version to the general public, but I am including here Cecilia Avanceña's excellent translation from the Spanish original. Again, they are not ProZ official policy but used in the EN-SP 4 SP-EN pairs, but I believe they can be useful as reference.
CRITERIA FOR THE RESPONSIBLE USE OF THE TERMS HELP SYSTEM
The following points are recommendations that stem from the accumulated experience of many ProZ.com members. They are aimed at improving coexistence in our sub community and at maintaining the excellence of the KudoZ system as a tool for our colleagues as well as for those who simply need to consult terms, without necessarily engaging in the activity of translation.
The moderators are professional practitioners and ProZ.com members who voluntarily dedicate a part of their time to making sure that these objectives are fulfilled. They are not intermediaries or arbiters between parties, except in cases of possible site abuse. Possible conflicts should, in principle, be resolved through direct communication between the members concerned, although it is acceptable to have recourse to moderators in case of doubts and, as a last resort, to debate upon the problem in a respectful and well-founded manner in the site forums.
In the event of site abuse, one of the sub community moderators will activate a warning message to the member concerned. If the person persists in his/her attitude, his/her access to the terms help, forums or job sections may be blocked, either temporarily or permanently.
1. KudoZ is an aid for colleagues who are having problems with some term or expression. The answer selected by whoever formulated the question receives between 1 and 4 KudoZ points, which serve to indicate level of competence in a given language pair and in a particular specialization.
2. As all our colleagues know, context is fundamental for the translation of a term. Hence, in order to obtain a proper answer, sufficient contextual information should be provided and, if possible, the country to which the translation is addressed.
3. Given the high visibility of the system, it is important to show professionalism in all of its activities. It may be particularly damaging to the image of an answerer who responds to questions without a mastery of the specialization and, above all, the target language involved.
4. It is recommendable to limit copying and pasting from Internet pages when answering, above all when no changes are made to improve legibility. The direct pasting of complete pages of search engine results is not recommended. Hits are not the same as references, may confuse the asker and impair the visibility of other answers.
5. In posting a question, the asker also demonstrates his/her competence. In particular, it is not proper to resort to the Pro level in order to present complete sentences, sentences with phrasing problems or problems that generally involve the mastery of language, which would be better resolved under Monolingual. The posting of consecutive sentences involving more than 10 successive words from the same text or paragraph is not acceptable.
6. It is considered abusive to post a large number of questions that suggest that the asker has taken on work for which he or she is not qualified and is resorting to the site to supplement his or her deficiencies. In principle, it is considered site abuse to post more than 15 questions a day. If, for justified causes, the asker has to exceed this limit, it is recommendable to post an explanation with each question.
7. It is considered abusive to post questions coming from translation tests. Taking into account the average length of such tests, the ignorance of more than 2 or 3 terms possibly indicates that the translator accepted a test in an area in which he or she did not have sufficient experience. Even then, the asker is expected to indicate that his questions come from a test, so that answerers may decide whether or not to offer their help. It should be kept in mind that the persons administering the test may see the questions being formulated.
8. You may help the asker reach a decision through the peer grading system, which allows you to express your degree of support for an answer (agree-neutral-disagree) and add an additional comment. An agree indicates the answer that you would select. In some cases, it may be possible to agree with more than one answer. It is then recommended that you explain why so as not to confuse the asker and transmit an unprofessional image to others.
9. In the event of disagreement with an answer, pejorative or offensive language should be avoided and the motives for disagreeing should be justified, so that they may serve an educational purpose and help the asker to reach a decision.
10. In choosing an answer, the asker should opt for that which he or she considers most useful for the purpose of resolving the original doubt. One suggestion is to evaluate the importance of personal explanations, the references provided, peer grading, etc. In general terms, given two similar responses with a comparable degree of justification, preference should be granted to that which was received first.
[Edited at 2003-12-14 17:56]
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