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Help: Moderating items submitted for publication

How to Moderate and Publish a Page on Virtual-Lancaster

If you are interested in becoming a Virtual-Lancaster moderator, please email

You can only Moderate and Publish a page on Virtual-Lancaster if you have been granted Moderator access permissions by the Site Administrator.  
If you can't see a link to the Dashboard at the top of this page you do not have Moderator access. 

You can find content pending moderation by following the Dashboard link. All content submitted for publication is listed under the 'pending revisions' heading. 

When you have selected an item for moderation click on its 'edit' tab. 

The content of the item MUST conform to VL terms of use

See the VL Help Pages for guidelines on submitting a listing, an event or an article

A revised item may only be moderated and published if the 'Ready for Publication' box has been ticked by the author.

Editing an image. You can edit an image by adding tags. An image is inappropriate for the VL website if it is unsuitable to be seen by a minor. This would include images trading on violence or sex. These should be removed. We don't use children's images without the signed, written consent of their parents/guardians. This is difficult to store in perpetuity. Therefore where images of clearly identifiable children have been supplied by anyone other than their parent or guardian these should be removed or edited to become unrecognisable. You can make a note that you have done this in the Revision log message field. This can be found by clicking on the 'Revision information' tab towards the bottom of the page on the left. 

For News and Feature items, you will have to decide whether the piece is suitable for publication in VL. 
The critical factors are:

  • Legality - Don't publish stuff that isn't legal. That which is reported to be a fact, must actually be one. It's surprising how the nicest people can bend the truth. Check their facts. Reliable writers substantiate their claims with evidence. 
  • Validity - Don't publish untruth. If an author has misrepresented a fact, or presented a guess or an assumption as a fact, without grounds, where it is not critical to the item you may edit or delete it and leave a Revision log message explaining the deletion. 
    Where it is more significant you should contact the author directly or leave a Revision Log message and inform them that the item cannot be published, or of any changes / deletions that would be required to make it eligible for publication.  Reliable writers provide links to their data sources. 
  • Uniqueness - Multiple news reports of the same thing with the same content are not needed. Each published item should contain new content. All other things being equal (which they seldom are), we would give preference to authors with a positive track record of published contributions, particularly in the subject area of the item. 
  • Relevance - published content must be relevant to our local readers. Remember, people always have the option of publishing their material in their own personal blog sites. 
  • Quality - The item should make an interesting and credible read. We do not want to alienate our readers by serving up substandard content. 
  • Work required - Factual news reports may sometimes require substantial editing / re-ordering of the content in order to make the information they contain more web-ready and accessible to our readers. There's a limit to how much time you can afford to spend on this. If it's too much you should contact the author directly or leave a Revision Log message and inform them that the item is not ready for publication, advising them of changes / deletions that would be required to make it eligible. 

See the VL Writing Guide for guidance on basic publishing standards and conduct, and on how content should be organised and presented.
When editing you must make every effort to remain true to the author's original intention and unique voice. If you are in doubt, contact the author and check. 

If you don't agree with an item that doesn't contravene the VL terms of use that's your prerogative. But, as a VL Moderator, you can't mess or interfere with or block or delete another author's work merely because it's not what you would have written.  Once it is published you can add comments to it expressing your views or write your own article. 
If you can't bring yourself to moderate a piece, don't just leave it or stall, contact Admin and pass it to somebody else. 

If you really agree with an item don't just give it a free pass. Make sure it fits the VL criteria on every count. You don't do a cause any favours by publishing twaddle about it. 
If it's authored by someone you know, friend or foe, you'll have to decide if you can be impartial, and if they will respect your impartiality. If it's potentially 'no' to either of those, contact admin to arrange a different moderator for their contributions. 

Unsuitable content: Where an item or a substantial part of an item is unsuitable for publication because it contravenes VL policy you should contact the author directly or leave a Revision Log message and inform them that the item cannot be published, or of any changes / deletions that would be required to make it eligible for publication.  

Where the change required is a minor deletion, and does not alter the message and intention of the item, you may make the change and publish it.  You must create a revision log message including a copy of the deleted text and the date, explaining the deletion and reminding the author that they can re-edit the item and submit a new revision for moderation and publication to overwrite your changes if they wish. 

Where you see unintended typographic or spelling errors or broken links, please correct them. Where errors of grammatical construction are concerned exercise discretion. Each author has their own style and voice.

Where links are very long, replace with hyperlinked text. 

Revisions: Sometimes, with the benefit of hindsight, authors are tempted to go back and rewrite a News Story so it looks more prescient than it originally turned out to be. Please bear in mind that our news items form an archive of what was perceived and reported at a certain point in history. We do not permit this history to be rewritten. 

If you do make necessary changes, you will need to click 'Save' at the bottom of the page. This will put the item back into the moderation queue in the dashboard where you can select it again and go to the Revisions tab to publish.

If you do not need to make any changes, you do not need to click 'Save' but should go straight to the 'Revisions' tab at the top right corner of the page in order to publish it. There click on the 'Publish' link. On the next page click on the 'Publish' link below the item. Visit the published item to make sure it displays correctly. 

Thank you for your vital contribution to the website.