What's legitimate for the review field, and which flags when?

DiscussãoFlaggers!

Aderi ao LibraryThing para poder publicar.

What's legitimate for the review field, and which flags when?

Este tópico está presentemente marcado como "adormecido"—a última mensagem tem mais de 90 dias. Pode acordar o tópico publicando uma resposta.

1rsterling
Mar 6, 2011, 2:06 pm

Since this has been coming up on a couple of threads again, I thought it might be useful to distinguish some of the cases. I'm actually not a very active flagger, so don't take this as a call to flag more; I just wanted to try to sort though some of the cases, to see what is and isn't considered legitimate, and when and which flags are and aren't appropriate.

In each of the following cases, if a review consisted entirely of this, would it be legitimate? If not legitimate, which flag is appropriate?

1) A member's own description of the book.
2) A copied and pasted description from someone or somewhere else (e.g. back cover, or Amazon description), without quotation marks or an indication of the source.
3) A copied and pasted description from someone or somewhere else (e.g. back cover, or Amazon description), but with quotation marks and an indication of the source.
4) A copied and pasted review from someone or somewhere else (e.g. a published review) without quotation marks or an indication of the source.
5) A copied and pasted review from someone or somewhere else (e.g. a published review), but with quotation marks and an indication of the source.
6) A link to a review the member him/herself wrote on another site (blog, newsletter, whatever).
7) A link to a review that someone else, but not the member, wrote (e.g. in an academic journal, a website, a blog.

Some previous Talk threads and discussions, several from this group, that might be useful points of reference:

blue vs. red flags - reviews copied from back of book
http://www.librarything.com/topic/71753

Copied Reviews
http://www.librarything.com/topic/22790

copied book descriptions?
http://www.librarything.com/topic/28797

Not a review
http://www.librarything.com/topic/89745

Question about flagging as "not a review"
http://www.librarything.com/topic/75371

Wikithing: Review
http://www.librarything.com/wiki/index.php/Review

What's wrong with my review?
(Discussion of Tim's famous "No!" review)
http://www.librarything.com/topic/44327

2rsterling
Mar 6, 2011, 2:07 pm

My own thoughts:

1) Debatable. Possibly blue-flag if no evaluative content at all. Personally I tend to blue-flag very lightly, and give people the benefit of the doubt in such cases.
2) No. Blue flag and probably also red flag for copyright violation.
3) No. Blue flag. Maybe red flag (could this constitute copyright violation.
4) No. Red flag for copyright violation. Also debatable whether it can actually count as a review for LT, since the member didn't actually write a review, so maybe blue flag.
5) No, still not appropriate by site norms, since it's not the member's own review. May or may not be a copyright violation, depending on how much is quoted. And since the member didn't actually write a review, maybe "not a review" blue flag.
6) Yes. This is allowed on LT.
7) No. This is not acceptable because it's not the member's own review. (I remember seeing a few cases like this when I first joined, and thought it might be legitimate, but after discussing it in Talk, other members said it was not.) Blue flag for "not a review." But NOT redflag, since no copyrighted material was actually copied.

3lilithcat
Mar 6, 2011, 2:22 pm

I basically agree with everything rsterling said, with the exception of 1). I think a member's description in the review field is perfectly fine.

I must say that I'd rather see a description with no critique, than a critique that tells me nothing about the book's contents. At least the former will give me an idea of whether it's the kind of book I'll like.

Compare "Good yarn, enjoyed the different perspectives on the same situation. The main character was such an arogant {sic} knob but it was a great story" with "Mr March, the father gone away as an army chaplain from Little Women is the protagonist of this novel that imagines what could have happened to him, using the life of Louisa May Alcott's father, Bronson Alcott, as an inspiration." (In each case, I have quoted the entirety of the review.) The second is merely descriptive, with no "evaluative content". But in my opinion it is much more helpful to the prospective reader than the first.

4Heather19
Mar 6, 2011, 9:59 pm

Reviews written by anyone else, whether credited or not, do not belong in the review field. Almost all of the ones I've come across I've red-flagged; I don't know everything about "fair use", but copy/pasting entire reviews can't possibly be completely okay.

A review from the specific user, or a link to their own review, is fine. A link to someone else's review (or a link to a generic website about the book, as I've seen a lot recently) is not okay. With links, I just blue-flag them if they aren't appropriate.

A long time ago a few of my reviews got flagged, and it seemed to be a case of #1. I had written (what I thought was) a fairly good summary of the book, but I guess I didn't add enough opinion to it. Personally, I never flag "summary" reviews unless it is very obvious that there is no personal opinion in there at all. Something like "Amy and Mitch go to the zoo" I might flag, but most longer summaries are going to have *some* sort of opinion.

I have to disagree with lilithcat about critques that don't adequately describe the plot. The first example given is actually very similar to many of my reviews. I don't see the point in mapping out what the plot was about, who the characters are and how they develop, etc etc... You can get a book-summary from Amazon if that's what you want. In my reviews I usually jump right into how the book made me feel, what aspects of the plot caught me off guard or seemed fake, etc etc. My reviews may not give a thorough picture of the plot, but they do give a very good picture of my reactions, which is really the whole reason I write reviews.

5lorax
Mar 6, 2011, 10:00 pm

1)
A member's own description of the book.

Not a review, but allowed in the review field under LT's rules. Not flaggable.

2)
A copied and pasted description from someone or somewhere else (e.g. back cover, or Amazon description), without quotation marks or an indication of the source.

Copied. Red-flaggable.

3) A copied and pasted description from someone or somewhere else (e.g. back cover, or Amazon description), but with quotation marks and an indication of the source.

Copied. Red-flaggable. (This is an issue that was very, very hard for my students to understand. Copying your entire paper from wikipedia and citing it does not mean you're okay; it just means you're not plagiariazing. They're different offenses.)

4) A copied and pasted review from someone or somewhere else (e.g. a published review) without quotation marks or an indication of the source.

Copied. Red-flaggable with extreme prejudice.

5) A copied and pasted review from someone or somewhere else (e.g. a published review), but with quotation marks and an indication of the source.

Copied. Red-flaggable. In this case I would also message the user. In case 4 it's obvious that they know what they're doing is wrong; in this case they may just be ignorant. But the flag comes first, and the message is an optional courtesy, not a requirement.


6) A link to a review the member him/herself wrote on another site (blog, newsletter, whatever).


Acceptable if the link is working. Blue-flaggable if the link is broken.


7) A link to a review that someone else, but not the member, wrote (e.g. in an academic journal, a website, a blog.


This is the only grey area in the bunch. I'd probably blue-flag this.

6andyl
Mar 7, 2011, 5:23 am

#5

1)

Well it depends what you mean by "description of the book". Description as in plot summary is allowable. Description of the physical book not allowable.

I agree with the rest of your answers.

71dragones
Mar 7, 2011, 6:21 am

>>>>1 rsterling:) A member's own description of the book.
>>>>Not a review, but allowed in the review field under LT's rules. Not flaggable.

I'm not happy that a mere description is allowable in the review field. A good review contains a short synopsis of the book under discussion, but also contains at least a little bit of opinion. Description alone does not constitute a review and should be blue-flaggable in my opinion.

Agreed, 2 & 3 do not belong in the review field and should be red-flagged.

While 4 and 5 might be valid reviews, there is another place for published reviews other than in the review field meant for the member's own review... unless, of course, the published review was written by the member in question... which is possible, if remote. Example: I could publish my own reviews in my local newspaper and then link to them on LT... would be link to somewhere else and would be published review, but would also be mine... Should be more than just the link though to be valid review in my opinion and I would attribute said review to the published source. If the published review was written by someone else there is also the possibility of having gotten permission to post such a review. This should be taken into account before red-flagging... but as I say, published reviews (at least mostly) belong in a place other than that space designated for the member's own reviews.

>>>6 andyl:) A link to a review the member him/herself wrote on another site (blog, newsletter, whatever).
>>>>Acceptable if the link is working. Blue-flaggable if the link is broken.

I disagree. A link is NOT a review, although it may lead to a review elsewhere... The key word being elsewhere... If I'm reading LT reviews, I'm not going to click a link to read a review on another site, so that reviewer is basically wasting his/her time. The same amount of time could be spent copy/pasting the whole review, or at least part of it to LT instead of posting just the link to an offsite review.

Then there is also the issue of broken links. Web servers have technical issues from time to time. When/if a server goes down, links would be at least temporarily broken and thus blue-flaggable... and when/if a server goes down, we usually don't have a clue when/if it will be coming back... (404 error messages are so frustratingly vague and unhelpful) so I like to see at least an excerpt from a review giving the essence of a reviewer's thoughts rather than just a link... and if given preferences mean anything at all, I'd rather see the whole review on LT. It's not that hard to do.

>>>>7 1dragones:) A link to a review that someone else, but not the member, wrote (e.g. in an academic journal, a website, a blog.

A link is a link is a link... NOT a review. Blue-flaggable, but for the same reason as #6 above, not specifically because it's a link to someone else's review. I wouldn't necessarily know the difference anyhow, since I don't click links in the review space.

8legallypuzzled
Editado: Mar 7, 2011, 6:40 am

I agree with lorax, although, like 1dragones, I'm not a fan of "just a link" as a review. I don't visit reviews-that-are-links, so I've never thought about flagging them when the links don't work.

9lilithcat
Mar 7, 2011, 8:34 am

> 6

Description of the physical book not allowable.

In some circumstances, a description of the physical book is, in fact, a review, as with certain artists' books, where it is the physical structure and the design of the book that is the entire point, and there may be no text whatsoever.

10lorax
Mar 7, 2011, 9:06 am

7,8>

I'm not a fan of pure description as reviews, either. But site policy is that they're okay, so I am very, very conservative about blue-flagging. The slightest hint of blue flags being applied to something that someone, somewhere, considers to be a review gets people calling for the abolition of blue flags altogether.

11andyl
Mar 7, 2011, 9:44 am

#9

OK. I was thinking about the "St. Martin's Press New York 1990. First Edition, First Printing Near Fine," type of description.

12jbd1
Mar 8, 2011, 1:24 pm

Since it has at least a little to do with this, please consider tuning into a conversation I'm hoping to get going on some aspects of the spam-fighting on LT. Thanks!

13jbd1
Mar 8, 2011, 1:30 pm

Also - would it be helpful if I put together a sort of guide specifically for review-flagging? Or would that just be more of a nuisance than a help?

14rsterling
Mar 8, 2011, 9:44 pm

13 - Yes, I think a wiki page with guidelines on review flagging could be useful, especially if it could be linked ("for more details..") within the short text that comes up when you do click on a flag.

152wonderY
Maio 20, 2016, 8:46 am

Review by the author which includes a link to purchasing it:
http://www.librarything.com/profile_reviews.php?view=Jerreece_Jackson

I red flagged it.
Is that correct?

16lilithcat
Maio 20, 2016, 9:20 am

>15 2wonderY:

No, there is no rule against an author reviewing his own work, and, as far as I am aware, there is also no rule against such links in a review (whether or not it's by the author).

17gilroy
Maio 20, 2016, 9:41 am

>16 lilithcat: The difference here is it's a link to purchase, not a link to a review site. I'd say that was a red.

18lilithcat
Editado: Maio 20, 2016, 9:43 am

>17 gilroy:

I understand that, but, again, I know of no rule against that. (I'm not saying there shouldn't be, just that I haven't seen such a rule. I also wish that the statement that author reviews are marked as such was actually true!)

19lorax
Editado: Maio 20, 2016, 10:02 am

>18 lilithcat:

I also wish that the statement that author reviews are marked as such was actually true!)


Me too. Want to bump the RSI?

(I'm not optimistic, though. Last July it was "at the top of the list" and in 2010 they were "working on an icon".)

20gilroy
Maio 20, 2016, 10:09 am

>18 lilithcat: How does that not fall under the rule against author self promotion? That would be my reasoning behind a red flag.

But that leads into a whole discussion of is a review appropriate for a link to sales, and I really don't have my arguments lined up to defend my position against it. :)

212wonderY
Abr 25, 2017, 4:37 pm

Author quotes other reviews in her "review."

https://www.librarything.com/work/17311350/reviews/140884971

22Bookmarque
Abr 25, 2017, 4:43 pm

Yeah that's subtle.

23rybie2
Abr 25, 2017, 6:01 pm

21> 21> About as subtle as the 8 or so entries of praise she added as "published reviews" of her book, or the advertising instead of copyright for author photo (https://www.librarything.com/pic/5777393).

I did delete the faux published reviews, but haven't patience enough to deal with her and the wall of spam on the author photo.

24gilroy
Abr 25, 2017, 8:14 pm

She changed her review to JUST a link to her website ... of quoted reviews.

Anyone note her profile against the advertising? I'm going to if not.

25lilithcat
Abr 25, 2017, 9:35 pm

>23 rybie2:

I've left a comment on the photo asking her to remove that material. If she doesn't do it by tomorrow, I'll flag that photo and re-upload it without the advertising.

26lilithcat
Abr 26, 2017, 5:45 pm

>23 rybie2:

The author has removed the offending material from the photo.

27rybie2
Abr 27, 2017, 12:15 am

>27 rybie2: Ahhh, my eyes thank you.

28gilroy
Abr 27, 2017, 5:15 am

Review is gone too

29MrsLee
Maio 21, 2017, 5:56 pm

I just reviewed The Silverado Squatters. In posting my review, I came across two others who posted rather large bits of the book material. One, which seemed mostly quotes, was not flagged, the other, which also was mostly quotes, but smaller bits, was flagged as not a review.

I don't understand. Not sure if this material is still under copyright or not. Regardless, it is allowable to quote small portions of a work, is it not?

I counter-flagged the one which had been flagged, because in my view, either both deserve flags or neither one does. Both have the reader's own words as well as the quoted material, albeit not very many of their words.

30lilithcat
Maio 21, 2017, 6:07 pm

>29 MrsLee:

If the quotations are within a larger review, that's fine. The problem arises if the "review" consists only of quotations.

It may well be that the second was not flagged because the person who flagged the first one didn't see the second. Or, and this may be more likely, it's because one reviewer simply put in a bunch of quotes, while the other used the quotes to support a point the reviewer was making about the book or writing.