Breeding Journal "Proof" and "Report" Tips

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Breeding Journal "Proof" and "Report" Tips - Wednesday, June 25, 2014 2:31 PM
As a self-proclaimed veteran report reviewer, I just wanted to share a few tips for folks to consider when compiling your journals which will be helpful when later submitting a report for review.
1.  Use photos vs. videos when possible; if videos are a must, consider a screenshot still as well.  If doing a video, better to embed it vs. just post a link.  Here's why. A) videos may not play back on all devices, B) Embedded videos which show a "still" may not show the "proof" you want them to show (and thus get glossed over) and C) if you just link to a video, links generally get skipped on by as well.

2. If you must use video, keep it short. If I have to watch a 10 minute video to see a 10 second spawning rise at the end, you've wasted over 9 minutes of my personal time. In the past, you could simply say "go to the end" but now that Youtube allows you to edit your videos online, please consider posting concise short ones for your proofs.  LONG ONES are fine too, but from a review standpoint, a highlight version is very helpful and considerate of our time.

3. DATE everything.  Please, whether a picture or video, consider putting the actual date of that picture or video right with it (eg. above or below, and make it bold, maybe italics too).  This is important because if you're back-posting weeks or months of material, the POST dates are irrelevant and don't suffice...some reviewers may look at the post date, with no other date provided, and flag your report because timelines and/or dates don't seem to reconcile with the information you've reported.

4.  While you don't need to document a straight through successful run for MBI reports, it can be helpful.  IF you're splitting thigns up (like you report the first spawning, but then the 1st hatch is the 5th spawning, and the first settlement was your 11th run....) please consider A) still documenting each run from the beginning if possible but more importantly B) include cross references and details in the "other info" area of your report - anything that further explains missing info, disconnected info etc, is VERY helpful in preventing flagged requests for fixes or more info on your reports.

5.  YOU MUST INCLUDE CLEAR SHOTS OF THE BROODSTOCK.  It's amazing how often people forget to do this. We cannot properly verify the species you are working with if you don't have this clearly documented.

6.  Check everything - there should be no missing data, no empty fields either in the journal or the report.  If data is missing, explain why, but also realize that there are only certain pieces of data we will generally accept as "missing", "not observed", "unknown" etc. These are largely subjective calls on the part of the reviewers, and since all reviewers are seasoned breeders, they are likely to know when these omissions are permissible or not on a case by case basis.

7.  Check your units of measurement - we find a lot of people failing to specify units of measurements (eg. particularly on tank dimensions).  Include CM or inch or "...60 X 20 X 40 could be ANYTHING.

8.  Check your dates - MBI has an autofill which is generally very helpful in TRYING to do a lot of the heavy lifting for you. However, it may pull your first spawn date for example, but you might not have any DOCUMENTATION that backs up that first spawn, and your intent might have been to document the 5th one, for which you did have photos / video or what not.  So...double check your dates -they're a common mistake people make.

9.  Double check EVERYTHING and please, use good grammar, proper spelling etc.  Reviewers requested, and were eventually given, the  ability to edit most any field in your report, with the understanding that we are not to make substantive changes to what you submit.  This means we may fix a misspelling we come across, but we will not change your dates or go to your journal to pull missing information for the report.  But beware, reviewers are people too, which means that one or more may miss something, approve your report, but then the last one comes and finds something. If there is a change to be made, either by you, or by the reviewer, the system resets ALL approving votes. So...the more meticulous you are up front, the less back and forth there will be, and the sooner your report will ultimately be approved.

10.  The first report is invariably the worst one.  Stick with it; there is a learning curve. Be courteous, and responsive, and realize that EVERY reviewer has had to play by the same rules as you are being asked to; it's a level playing field for everyone. While rare, reviewers do make mistakes too - if you feel they are in error please do state so and WHY, and elaborate. When it comes to a report, "too much" information is seldom the problem..usually it's "bad" information or "missing" info that gets you in trouble en route to ultimately collecting points, success, rank etc..