The process for adding and changing entries in JMdict/EDICT has two stages:
- an initial "submission" stage in which a contributor proposes a change, which could be a new entry, a change to an existing entry, or the deletion of an entry. Anyone can make a submission - there is no need to be registered, and there is no need even to provide a name or nickname, although is is useful if people identify themselves as it is helps editors if the contributor has a record of consistent and good-quality submission. Some of the information available to assist contributors includes the quick overview to entering/editing entries, and the full help file. Contributors should make sure that:
- - the proposed entry is correctly formulated
- - the appropriate part-of-speech tags are included
- - references are provided. This is extremely important, as without appropriate references you are declaring that you know something and that it should be accepted unchallenged. Editors may simply reject the submission if there is no supporting evidence.
- - other information should be provided as appropriate.
- a review/approval/rejection stage. Submissions are placed in the database as "pending". They are visible to anyone, and anyone can propose changes to them. Eventually the pending entry or amendment(s) will be closed off by one of the registered editors. In doing so the editor can either approve the entry/amendment(s), at the same time making minor changes to the format or content, or reject the entry/amendment(s). In the case of rejections editors will leave reasons in the "Comments" field. If an editor believes that major changes are needed, he/she will usually propose the changes and leave the entry as "pending" to be reviewed by another editor. In assessing a proposed new entry/amendment, the editor(s) will be looking at:
- - the format, making sure that everything is complete and consistent
- - the content, in particular whether the glosses/translations are supported by the references or quotations
- - the relevance of the proposed entry. A number of submissions are made for compound nouns or expressions for which the meaning is quite obvious. In general such entries are only accepted if the meaning is something other than the "sum of the parts".
- - whether a proposed new entry is a variant of an existing entry, and if so whether it would be better handled as an amendment to the original.
Note that unlike other projects such as Wikipedia, the JMdict/EDICT dictionary is not a completely open-source database which anyone can alter. It is curated by the editors, and contributors make proposals for the editors to consider.
The details of the change(s) to the entry, the references and comments, and the submitter and editor, are maintained in the database and form a permanent and visible record of the development of the entry. Note that details of rejected edits do not form part of the full record of the entry.
The Comments field associated with each edit should only be used to pass on information relevant to the entry and the edit in progress. It is not a blog, and certainly should not be used for extraneous information, personal remarks, criticism of other contributors or editors, etc. There is a mailing list for more general discussion of issues.
In general editors do not approve their own amendments. The main exceptions to this are small formatting changes, adjusting cross-references, correction of mistakes, etc.
On occasions an editor may wish to contact the person making the submission to discuss aspects of it, and it is useful if an email address is included. Email addresses can only be seen by editors who have logged in to the database.