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Let's try to make the voting system better
Thread poster: Irena Pizzi

Irena Pizzi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 01:07
Italian to Bulgarian
+ ...
Apr 12, 2008

Dear all,

even though I am a quite new member of proz I would like to bring some considerations about the last contest to your judgement.
The voting system as I see it presents some flaws...I do not mean in general, it is just that it does not work properly in the English - Russian pair.
This is why I believe that an independant contest jury (of affirmed professional editors, linguists and translators) that would "filter" the entries at the first rounds of the contest may help to make the voting system море precise and the results more acceptable to the participants.
As long as we have just one criterion to evaluate an entry - "I like it"/"I do not like it", and sometimes also "I think I know whose translation is this" we will always have quite subjective results and there will always be issues and misunderstandings of the kind we had this year.
I think it may prove helpful to introduce more criteria and more rigid requirements to the submitted entries. The final voting would be made as usual by the prozians, but only after a thorough preliminary selections based on the quality of the translation, respect to the letter and the spirit of the source text etc.
I would be very grateful for your opinion, hope that what happened during this contest never happens again.
And one last thing: I think it is a good idea to make the votes public, imho, this is the best way to see things clearly. Saying this I mean to make public the names and ID's of the persons who voted in the 6-th contest, to be more precise in case if somebody did not understand what I was talking about.








[Edited at 2008-04-13 19:44]


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Katia Gygax  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:07
French to Russian
+ ...
Yes Apr 12, 2008

This proposal has my full support. I think it is a very good idea.

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Yuri Smirnov  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:07
English to Belarusian
+ ...
Agree Apr 12, 2008

Yes, as the result of heated discussions in En-Ru post-contest forum (and not the first time), as it seems to me, there is common interest expressed to have the voting more professional, more objective and more fair (that is not to mean any doubt as to the results of the recent contest, I emphasize — those need to be left intact unless acts of God happen or doping cases are proven).

The idea of a jury has been turning up regularly, and not only in this pair.
I do understand it's tough, I do realize it's a shift in the general thrust of the contest, but, if effectuated, that would settle many problems at one go.

If not, one of the measures that no one seems to be against in our pair is post-factum opening of the votes.

I do understand it's a privacy abuse, I do realize it's not 100% good and must not be set for ever, but for now, again, that would eliminate a lot of painful issues.

Another thing that seems to have been repeated several times is not pulling entries out of qualification stage before the end, preventing abuse with too swift a qualification of some entries and giving a chance to others that may get more pluses after having gotten several minuses. Let people have their chance to say their 'ayes' and their 'nopes'.


There's more to follow, I am sure.


PS. And yes, do correct me, please, if I have worded some of the suggestions that have been supported by most, if not all the participants of the discussion, in a wrong way or added some that no one shares. In the latter case, I ask you to consider them my personal suggestions.


And I emphasize that the initiator of this topic is the winner of the last contest, I have won one contest, too, and there are more winners among those who suggest the changes, so our purpose is not to get the cookie, but to have a contest that would be in line with the general trend and brand of the site — we don't want a PROTEST, we want a real PROZCONTEST.

[Edited at 2008-04-12 21:38]


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Larissa Boutrimova  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 19:07
Member (2006)
English to Russian
+ ...
Good idea Apr 12, 2008

I am fully in favour of making the contest more professional and enjoyable for the participants. The idea of the jury or panel of judges sounds like a good one, provided the judges are independent linguists recognized in the field of literary translation.

I am not sure if this idea could be successfully implemented in Proz contests, but if it could be, it would serve as an excellent solution to many current issues.

Making voters' identities public is another improvement that would dot the i's and cross the t's, especially when some people start questioning the fair play of the participants. It would put a stop to ungrounded speculations and suspicions that cause a lot of unnecessary frustration.

It would be great if voters' identities are made public in the En-Ru pair for the current contest, as things in this pair have got out of control.


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 19:07
SITE FOUNDER
Quick poll: community or committee? Apr 13, 2008

Hi all,

Thanks for this posting. Romina has some ideas on voting and was going to post next week, but since this thread has been posted already, I'd like to take the opportunity to take a mini-poll among contest participants. My question:

If forced to choose one or the other*, would you rather have winners determined by the general community (ie. peers), or by a select "committee"?

A. Community
B. Committee

* It does not necessarily have to be one or the other, but for the purposes of this question please answer the hypothetical. Also, please leave out other options.


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patyjs  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 18:07
Spanish to English
+ ...
Sorry, I'm confused. Apr 13, 2008

Henry, are you inviting only participants in this last contest to answer the mini-poll or previous participants, too?

Also, if I understand correctly, the suggestion was to have a jury for the qualification round only, and peers voting for the winners. This would be my choice.

However, your poll is worded differently so I would have to choose option A: Community voting for winners.

(I know you said only A or B and no other options so I hope I haven't messed things up!)



[Edited at 2008-04-13 01:50]


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Vladimir Dubisskiy  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:07
Member (2001)
English to Russian
+ ...
mini-poll + Apr 13, 2008

I would say: absolutely Community (for ProZ Contest).

However I would like to use the opportunity to voice the following:

I believe that in order to bring more participants to the contests and make them more 'valuable' (within the ProZ global community) we better have them less often: say max 3-4 times a year (say, Summer Contest, Fall Contest, etc.).

Plus the time frame for submissions and voting should be set once and for all - no extensions no matter what.

Henry D wrote:
My question:

If forced to choose one or the other*, would you rather have winners determined by the general community (ie. peers), or by a select "committee"?

A. Community
B. Committee

* It does not necessarily have to be one or the other, but for the purposes of this question please answer the hypothetical. Also, please leave out other options.


[Edited at 2008-04-13 03:59]


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Yuri Smirnov  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:07
English to Belarusian
+ ...
Committee Apr 13, 2008

B. Committee

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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 02:07
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Iccl Apr 13, 2008

I couldn't care less. This contest is just a game for the major language pairs. Why not let one person anomymously decide who get's the price?
Regards
Heinrich


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Katia Gygax  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:07
French to Russian
+ ...
Mini-poll Apr 13, 2008

My reply is "committee".

However if Irena's proposal can be worked out, I vote for "committee" for qualification and "community" choosing winners.


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elzbieta jatowt  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 01:07
Member (2007)
French to Polish
+ ...
the same Apr 13, 2008

Katia Gygax wrote:

However if Irena's proposal can be worked out, I vote for "committee" for qualification and "community" choosing winners.

I'm voting like Katia.


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ICL  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:07
English to Spanish
+ ...
Committee and community for all voting rounds Apr 13, 2008

See my previous message from yesterday at: http://www.proz.com/forum/prozcom_translation_contests/101929-6th_prozcom_translation_contest:_announcement_of_winners.html .

Henry, I am not sure your poll will serve any purpose if you limit the options to two, when in fact there are clearly other options.

Also, if you are really interested in having overall true feedback from *all* those interested in the contest, you should make the poll more public (in the poll area) or send the poll by email to all Proz.com members.

Those who visit and/or participate in the forums are hardly a complete picture of the *whole* Proz.com community.


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Elisa Comito  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:07
English to Italian
+ ...
Committee Apr 13, 2008

Henry D wrote:

My question:

If forced to choose one or the other*, would you rather have winners determined by the general community (ie. peers), or by a select "committee"?

A. Community
B. Committee

* It does not necessarily have to be one or the other, but for the purposes of this question please answer the hypothetical. Also, please leave out other options.


Committee


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Birgit Richter  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:07
Member (2006)
English to German
+ ...
Committee Apr 13, 2008

- entries should not be rated by the community at all, but by a committee/jury chosen from among the community. Members on the committee or jury should be suitably qualified, the community can decide on what those qualifications should be.
- entries should be rated against certain marking criteria, which should be published. Again, it should not be too difficult to find some experts from among the community who are qualified and able to determine what the marking criteria should be.
- entries should meet minimum criteria before being allowed to take part in the contest.
- for the winning entries the committee or jury should be obliged to explain to the community (and the candidates) why a particular entry won, i.e. in what way they think it meets, or even surpasses the required criteria and in what way they think it is superior to the 2nd and 3rd place.

But if the community would rather stick to the present system (of direct community voting), then at least a system should be introduced that forces anybody who wants to give a vote to justify their decision by quantifying, against a set of criteria, what they think is right or wrong with an entry. Just saying "I like it/don't like it" is far too subjective and can hurt the feelings of those who take the time and effort to submit translations.

Some might argue that in some language pairs there are too many entries. My answer is: hold fewer contests, perhaps no more than one or two per year, so that the jury or the voters have enough time to spend on each entry. I think hose who submit entries deserve at least that.



[Edited at 2008-04-13 13:37]


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Ivelina Todorova  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:07
English to Bulgarian
+ ...
B. Committee Apr 13, 2008

Elisa Comito wrote:

Henry D wrote:

My question:

If forced to choose one or the other*, would you rather have winners determined by the general community (ie. peers), or by a select "committee"?

A. Community
B. Committee

* It does not necessarily have to be one or the other, but for the purposes of this question please answer the hypothetical. Also, please leave out other options.


Committee


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