Directive #2d, Standards Working Group Review Guidelines: Review Comment Template

1. Guidelines for presentation of comments for FGDC reviews

The purpose of these guidelines is to make it easier for Standards Working Group (SWG) members to resolve comments on FGDC standards proposals and public review draft standards. The attached template will ensure that SWG members have a smoother and more efficient method of correlating, sorting, and evaluating comments.

Reviewers shall send an electronic version of the comments to the FGDC secretariat, p, Preferably as an attachment to an e-mail. The format of the file should be Microsoft Word (version no higher than 7), WordPerfect, Rich Text Format (RTF), ASCII plain text, or html. If ASCII plain text is used, use a comma- delimited format or other character- delimited format that can readily be imported into a tabular format.

2.  Each comment should be separated and structured as follows:

Correct Presentation of Comments

Organization Paragraph/ subpara/PG# Figure/ Table/ line # Type of comment Comment  Proposed change
USGS-1 2.5   G Paragraph found very difficult to understand Please refer to FGDC publication X.X for treatment of similar treatment of topic
USGS-2 3.10 Table 6 T Improper use of mathematical equation Proper equation for these examples is E= mc2
USGS-3 5.3   E "Fedral" misspelled Correct spelling "Federal"

Organizational Code – the affiliation of the reviewer (i.e., USGS, NOAA, Census, etc.) followed by a numerical identifier for the comment (example USGS – 1, USGS – 2, USGS……….); if comments are being sent by an individual or individuals rather than by anorganization as a whole, the name of the reviewer preceded by organizational affiliation if any. (USGS-Pearsall-1).

Paragraph/subparagraph number/ PG # - identification of paragraph, subparagraph, and, optionally, /or page number.

Table number/Figure number/Line number (if relevant) - identification of tables, figures, and line numbers, where applicable.

Type of Comment- Comments fall in one of three categories: general, technical and editorial. The reviewer shall classify a comment in one of the three categories.

• General (G) these comments normally address larger areas of the document being reviewed. They include paragraphs or sections so confusing that pointing out a specific sentence or issue is virtually impossible. General comments overlap technical problems in many cases.

• Technical (T) technical comments are comments that affect the technical accuracy of the document.

• Editorial (E) editorial comments, as an example, identify typographical errors, misspellings, or improper sentence structure and similar problems, to mention a few. 

Comment - indicates the problem/ question the reviewer has identified. Comments should be as specific as possible, and pointers to specific references should be provided whenever possible .

Proposed change - Proposed changes s are probably the most important facet the reviewer can provide to the editor of the document. A proposed change such as "rewrite paragraph" is not very useful to the editor. Specific changes and or guidance is needed to ensure that the question /problem is correctly addressed and adjudicated.  

3. Examples of poor comments

Incorrect Presentation of Comments

Organization Paragraph/ subpara/PG# Figure/ Table/ line # Type of comment Comment  Proposed change
USGS -1 2.5   G Paragraph found very difficult to understand........... Rewrite paragraph (Does not provide sufficient information for the editor to work with: comment may be skipped over).

(Inappropriate: use only one identifier)

3.10 Geospatial elements (figure/table number needed as minimum) T Improper use of mathematical equation (Missing proposed change and/ or pointer)
USGS -3 Chapter 2 (Not specific enough)   All (not an option: comment will be ignored) Misspelled word (Missing proposed change and/ or pointer)

Download a Microsoft Word template for presentation of comments.