The Review Process

[GTL]

When a request is submitted to the GTL, it goes through several stages before it is completed. The following describes the stages a review request goes through, in order to help you understand the process and email messages you get from us.

Different stages of a review request

Stage 1:Received and verified

We check that we have the necessary information from the player to process the request. This includes, as a minimum the requesters rank and colour played, as well as, obviously, a valid email address . Furthermore, we run a tool which verifies that the SGF file submitted is correct. Minor SGF errors are corrected.

Stage 2:Assigned

Based on requester strength, we assign a reviewer which is roughly 5 stones stronger than him/her. The reviewer will receive the corrected SGF file and the requesters email address. At the same time, we send the requester an acknowledgement that the request has been assigned.

Stage 3:Acknowledged
no received

The reviewer should acknowledge the receipt of the request and indicate whether or not he will be able to review it within the normal two weeks time. This acknowledgement should be sent to us straight away. Even and especially if he cannot do the review, we need to know this as soon as possible. In that case we go back to stage 2 and assign another reviewer.

Stage 4:Review received and archived

The reviewer sends the finished review to the requester (player) and a copy to the GTL. We then once again verify the review with our SGF checker and the verified version is stored in the GTL archives on our web site. The reviewer is sent an acknowledgement and 'thank you' note.

Possible problems during the process

As you can guess, there are several places where this process can derail, and here are some of the more common ones:

During stage 1:Resubmit request

If the SGF file cannot be understood or we miss any of the above information, the request cannot be dealt with. Yes, we could in principle go through the SGF file and find out who played what, look up their handle on IGS, KGS etc. to find their rank etc... but we can not do this for every received request. The requester will be asked to re-send the review with the relevant information.

During stage 2:1st reminderthencancel

During stage 2. above, we are waiting to receive the acknowledgement from the reviewer. If we do not receive this within 2-3 days, we will send out a reminder. If we do not receive an answer to the reminder within 2-3 days, we will cancel the request and assign another reviewer.
The original reviewer will be marked as 'no response' and unless we receive further notice will not be assigned another review. Note: the cancel email sent to the reviewer indicates this quite clearly.

During stage 3:2nd reminderthencancel

During stage 3. above, we are waiting to receive the completed review. If we do not receive this within 14 days, we will send out a reminder. If we do not receive an answer to the reminder within 2-3 days, we will cancel the review and assign another reviewer.
The original reviewer will be marked as 'no response / broken promise', and unless we receive further notice will not be assigned another review request. We understand that some unexpected events may take place making it impossible to finish the review. But we ask for an explanation once you are available again. You have to understand that by the time we have reassigned the request, more than two weeks have been wasted, and we have approximately double the 'normal' effort which should be required for a request.

Implications and summary

When we reassign a review which for some reason has fallen outside the ideal process, it means that some time has already been taken up. We therefore try to assign these games to reviewers which have a history of answering promptly, without reminders, and keeping the deadline. Implicitly, this means that reviewers which are more 'reliable' will receive more reviews.

Of course, if you as a reviewer are unable to do a review, that is fine. Just let us know straight away, so that we can assign another reviewer without delay.

From the above, it follows that the GTL would run more smoothly if:

Hopefully this explanation has helped you understand why we insist on the time limits set and why we will bug you if you do not keep them. If you have further questions regarding this process, then please don't hesitate to contact us at gtl@xmp.net.

Having said all of the above, you may wonder how often these things happen. Have a look at the current statistics.

Thanks for helping us keeping the GTL going!