Closing pro-level KudoZ prematurely – revisited
Thread poster: Kim Metzger

Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 12:44
German to English
Mar 10, 2009

Years ago in the early days of KudoZ, there was a huge outcry from contributors about questions asked and then abandoned by askers – about askers not closing their questions and not awarding pointZ. The site responded quickly and instituted reminders to askers to close their questions and later added mechanisms to prevent askers from asking additional questions if they had a certain number of questions still open. The site clearly takes this very seriously.

While it's nice for askers to be rewarded for their efforts, premature closing is an even greater problem, in my opinion. It's a problem that has been discussed over and over again for many years now. When askers close their questions prematurely, i.e. before members have had an opportunity to ask for and receive adequate context, before peers have had an opportunity to evaluate answers, before members in different time zones have had an opportunity to participate, in short, before the full KudoZ process has been given an opportunity to unfold, members are justly upset. It's a greater problem than unclosed questions because in many instances the practice results in questions for which there is no good translation.

This kind of conduct by askers causes enormous frustration among non-points hunting members who still believe pro-level KudoZ can develop into a fine glossary for future reference. And of course it's frustrating to spend a lot of time and effort researching a challenging question and then to come back only to find the question closed with a poor answer.

Some very fine citizens of the community have opposed any requirement for questions to stay open for a minimum period of time: 12 hours, 24 hours, etc. One argument they advance is that once they've received what they're looking for, they don't want others to waste their time on it. They happen to be members who know what they're doing and don't tend to fit in the bad asker category. To them I say, waiting a while before closing your questions is a small price to pay for the health of pro-level KudoZ.

I know the site has stated that KudoZ is for "timely help-type questions", with the emphasis on timely. Never mind that "timely" can also mean sloppy and inadequate. Site management doesn't think the emphasis of pro-level KudoZ, i.e. questions asked and answered by professional translators, should be on quality. To serve that purpose, they have given us Glossary Building KudoZ, GBK, which many consider a farce. With regard to KudoZ, we have been told, "the fact that an archive of previously posted terms with suggested translations has been built is a planned, yet peripheral, benefit."

For those of us who still take the "peripheral" benefits of pro-level KudoZ seriously, establishing a minimum period before allowing questions to be closed would be a giant step in the right direction.


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 13:44
SITE FOUNDER
The situation has not changed Mar 11, 2009

Hi Kim,

As you said, the idea has been discussed and evaluated several times, with members expressing opinions on both sides, and although askers are given clear recommendations to keep the question open (for some of the reasons you cite), the decision has been made not to hold a question open in cases where the asker wants to close it.

To say that "Site management doesn't think the emphasis... should be on quality" is absolutely wrong. The guiding principle in this decision is point 6 from the ProZ.com cornerstones document. Call it freedom of (asker) choice, if you wish.

Henry


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Alicia Casal  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 14:44
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Sometimes: Mar 11, 2009

The answer I was looking for but couldn´t find is given pretty soon: I do know it's the right one for my translation.

Only in such cases I grade the Kudoz immediately.

Is this wrong?

Alicia


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 13:44
SITE FOUNDER
No, it is not wrong, Alicia Mar 11, 2009

Alicia Casal wrote:

The answer I was looking for but couldn´t find is given pretty soon: I do know it's the right one for my translation.

Only in such cases I grade the Kudoz immediately.

Is this wrong?

Some would say yes. The site position is this: it is recommended that you leave the question open for 24 hours. However, you can close the question sooner if you feel it is appropriate to do so.

By the way, some answerers appreciate knowing that an asker has already been helped, as this saves them the time in answering.


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Alicia Casal  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 14:44
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Thanks Henry: Mar 11, 2009

Besides, when I find the answer absolutely suitable for my translation, I prefer to grade the Kudoz for fear of forgetting to do so.

I'd like to add that I generally provide the answerers with a lot of information, on another occasions I post my previous research.

Alicia


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:44
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Wait a couple of hours... please! Mar 11, 2009

Alicia Casal wrote:
The answer I was looking for but couldn´t find is given pretty soon: I do know it's the right one for my translation.
Only in such cases I grade the Kudoz immediately.
Is this wrong?


In my opinion it is better to leave questions open for a couple of hours, the reason being that other people with more experience in the matter at hand might give you important insight that could help you change your mind about an initial answer that looked OK to you.

I have seen so many cases in which the asker thought "Oh, Ok!" and had to regret it later (with the additional work of editing glossary entries and confusing future Kudoz visitors) when someone with direct experience in the matter added another reply.

Two things should be reconsidered:
- Closing immediately (waiting a couple of hours does not do any harm to you)

- Thinking that it's no use to add things to closed questions (sometimes it's a must to correct a quick and dirty choice)


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Kristina Kolic  Identity Verified
Croatia
Local time: 19:44
Member (2007)
English to Croatian
+ ...
Asker should refrain from closing prematurely Mar 11, 2009

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:
In my opinion it is better to leave questions open for a couple of hours, the reason being that other people with more experience in the matter at hand might give you important insight that could help you change your mind about an initial answer that looked OK to you.


I fully agree with Tomás. I have seen many KudoZ questions closed by the asker a few minutes or an hour or two after being posted, which had to be subsequently edited when it became clear to the asker, on the basis of the "disagrees" and comments and suggestions made by other peers, that he/she had selected an incorrect answer.

Therefore, I think that Kim's suggestion would be very useful since it would minimize the need for a moderator to edit any prematurely closed question. A minimum period (e.g. 12 hours) before closing would result in better quality and higher reliability of KudoZ answers and KOG entries. The asker could always post a comment to indicate the answer that he/she considers to be the most appropriate, but others would still have the possibility to make other suggestions without the feeling that nothing can be done to change a wrong entry.


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