UESPWiki:Patrollers/Patrolling Guidelines

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General Criteria for Patrolled Edits[edit]

The most important part of the criteria used to mark an edit as "patrolled" is that all Patrollers are using the same criteria. It is important to have uniform standards, so Patrollers can be confident that they do not need to double-check an edit cleared by another patroller.

In general, an edit needs to be factually sound and meet the site's style guidelines to be marked as patrolled. If an edit does not meet these specifications, the Patroller needs to take action to correct these infractions—this may include fixing incorrect grammar, correcting wrong facts, and removing vandalism from the page. (Hint: Opening an edit box in a new window can be very helpful here.)

  • If all required edits have been made, the original should be marked as patrolled.
  • If a Patroller does not know whether an edit is factually sound, or for some reason cannot make all required edits, the Patroller should do any cleanup that he/she is able to do, but the original edit should be left unpatrolled, allowing other Patrollers who are more knowledgeable about the topic to check the edit for accuracy and/or make any other required changes.

If a Patroller comes across an edit which is particularly long or complex, and lacks the will/time to deal with it:

  • If it's a relatively new edit (less than a day old), it may be best to skip that edit for the moment in case another Patroller is able to deal with it.
  • If the edit is more than a couple of days old and is still unpatrolled, it may be necessary to tag the page as one that needs more work. For example, add a {{cleanup}} tag to the article and then mark the edit as patrolled. This allows other Patrollers to know that the page does not contain any vandalism, but the cleanup tag allows it to be easily identified as a page that needs attention.

Multiple Edits[edit]

Whether by multiple editors or a single editor, each individual edit needs to be separately patrolled; there is no mechanism for automatically marking a whole sequence of edits as patrolled. What is most important in evaluating the edits is the final version of the page.

  • If the net effect of a sequence of edits is acceptable, the entire sequence can be marked as patrolled. For example, if an editor added a sentence, then changed their mind and deleted it, the net effect is that the article was not changed, and both edits can immediately be marked as patrolled.
  • If a second edit fixes the only problem with the first edit, both edits should be marked as patrolled.
  • If a complex set of changes was made to the page, you may need to individually evaluate each edit. If you can verify some of the edits (e.g., grammar corrections), you can mark those individual edits as patrolled, while skipping other edits (an addition of an obscure fact) that may be outside of your expertise. Patrolling five of the six edits, for example, allows subsequent patrollers to quickly identify the edit that requires fact-checking.


If you're unsure whether an edit is factually sound, but there's no easy way to find out if it is correct:

  • If it's a relatively new edit (less than a day old), do not mark the edit as patrolled. This allows other Patrollers, who may know the subject better than you, to review the edit and make the correct call.
  • If the edit is more than a couple of days old and is still unpatrolled, then it is possible that none of the Patrollers can verify the information. At this point, somebody needs to make a judgment call about the information. If you are a new Patroller and not comfortable with the options, it is probably best to leave this decision up to a more experienced patroller.
    • If the edit appears correct but is on a topic about which none of the Patrollers are knowledgeable (e.g., one of the older Elder Scrolls games), the edit can be marked as patrolled. In particular, edits made by regular contributors can be trusted to be relatively accurate.
    • If the information is unclear or somewhat dubious, clean up the edit as much as possible, and add a {{Verification needed}} (or {{VN}} or {{huh}}) tag to the edit.
    • If the information seems highly unlikely, move the information to the talk page with an explanation of what makes you doubt the information's accuracy or appropriateness for UESP.

New Pages[edit]

When a new page is created, there will not be a difference link in the recent changes, instead just click the page link and down in the bottom right corner will be a "Mark as Patrolled" button.

  • If a user is creating their userpage, it can usually be patrolled on sight, with the following exceptions:
    • If the page is created for Spam a {{Speedydeletion}} tag should be added.
    • If the page content is inappropriate (swearing, adult content, etc.), the user should be asked to change it, and if particularly offensive, it can either be blanked in the mean time or have a {{Speedydeletion}} tag added.
  • If a user makes a page that won't really belong in the space, if it seems like they would want to keep the contents move the page to their userspace (A sandbox under their username) then put a {{Proposeddeletion}} tag on the original page.
  • If a page is made that will be useful to the wiki but is incomplete, then do what you can to finish the article and add a {{Stub}} tag to the bottom of the page. If the page will be useful to the wiki but is in a first person view or has bad grammar and spelling, do what you can to fix it and, if it still needs some work, add a {{Cleanup}} tag to the top of the page.

Unpatrolled Edits[edit]

By clicking on "Hide patrolled edits" in Recent Changes it is possible to see those edits that have not yet been patrolled. Typically looking at the last 500 edits (e.g., [1]) will show you all of the unpatrolled edits in the system.

  • Some edits may never get patrolled, even after four weeks (the limit for Recent Changes) have passed. However, the goal is to minimize the number of such edits and hopefully limit the unpatrolled edits to pages with known quality problems (e.g., pages with the Template:Quality tag) and hard-to-answer questions that don't warrant a Good Question tag.
  • Patrollers should try to occasionally look over the unpatrolled edits that are more than a day old and see whether they can help deal with any of those edits (see specific suggestions provided in answers to the previous questions). The older edits are the more difficult ones, but somebody eventually has to deal with them.


Talk Pages[edit]

Comments made on talk pages generally do not need much cleanup. In particular, most style guidelines do not apply to edits on talk pages (see Talk Namespaces).

  • If the comment was not signed, add the {{unsigned|username|date}} template after the post.
  • Fix any significant formatting problems.

Once the above points are addressed, if necessary, then the edit can be marked as patrolled (but see below).


Talk pages will often be used to ask questions. If you can answer the question yourself or another user has already done so, mark both the original and the response (if necessary) as patrolled.

If there is no answer, and you cannot answer the question yourself:

  • If the question is of limited scope and interest, leave it unpatrolled and hopefully another Patroller will spot the question and be able to answer it.
  • If the question is one that would benefit the site by being answered, add the {{Good Question|date}} template to flag the question for the wider site readership.

User Pages[edit]

Generally edits made by a user to their own user page can immediately be marked as patrolled. However, patrolling is still necessary to check for problems such as clearly inappropriate language or adding inappropriate userboxes (e.g., adding mentor, patroller, or admin userboxes). If there is a problem, a request should be made on the user's talk page asking the user to modify their page. If the user does not fix the problem within a week, then the user page can be edited to fix the problem.

Other Patrollers/Administrators[edit]

If an edit is made to another Patroller's or Administrator's talk page, normally they should be allowed to patrol it themselves unless their attention is no longer specifically required (e.g., the question is answered or the situation is resolved). This also applies if they are significantly involved in a discussion, or an edit otherwise specifically requires the attention of that person.

Data Format Pages[edit]

The various data format pages (example) can generally be patrolled automatically as long as any changes don't break formatting. There are often cases where the format is not fully understood or where minor mistakes are made which will only be discovered and corrected later by others working with the data. This is understood to be how these pages work, so it's okay to patrol these pages, even if you can't confirm the information.

Patrolling Tips[edit]

For new Patrollers, you can see Patrolling Tips for a list of advice from more experienced Patrollers.

See Also[edit]