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Become an Editor

Why to become an Editor?

The UN Atlas of the Oceans mostly relies on Chief Editor work, supported by numerous Volunteer Editors who can manage specialist subject topics. Their contribution to the management and development of the UN Atlas of the Oceans is crucial to the ongoing success and sustainability of the system. 

If you are interested in contributing to the development of the UN Atlas of the Oceans you can volunteer anytime to submit ocean related information for any of the 4 main access points to the Atlas.

Join today to participate in the development of the UN Atlas of the Oceans Community! 

As an editor you will be: 

  • actively involved in the development and management of the UN Atlas of the Oceans;
  • contributing to ensure that the UN Atlas of the Oceans content remains dynamic, relevant and of the highest possible quality;
  • called to play a key role in promoting and guiding the topic you edit;
  • receiving knowledge and information submitted to you/your topics;
  • linking into a global network of producers and users of information about the oceans.

Moreover, your contribution to our website will be displayed online, raising your profile in the global research community.

It is hoped that UN Atlas of the Oceans visitors will welcome the opportunity to share their knowledge and experience with a wider audience.


Who can become an Editor?

An editor is a Registered Member who has volunteered to act as the content administrator of a particular topic or subtopic.

To become an editor, you are required to have a proven record of interest and ability in the topic for which you are volunteering. You will be asked to include details of relevant expertise and/or experience in your Registration Form (please use the Homepage link) either when you register or subsequently by editing your personal details via the Explorer My Knowledge screen. You can also e-mail your Curriculum Vitae to the relevant Editor.

You will need to dedicate a short amount of time, preferably on a weekly basis, to review and upload the knowledge and information submitted to you which will display in your Explorer Inbox screen.

What does an Editor do?

The editor works under the general supervision of the chief editor who will oversee the creation of new sub-topic(s)/related knowledge(s) and may remove inappropriate or redundant items if necessary.

Once you are an editor your main roles are: 

  • to assess the quality, value and relevance of items which are submitted to you;
  • to edit, move or disconnect related knowledge within your topic area, as required;
  • to organize and construct a useful and valid collection of information on the topic chosen, highlighting important topical issues;
  • to be responsible for approving sub-topics and related knowledge (RK) within your topic(s);
  • to suggest relationship links for topic(s) and connections to RKs within the assigned topic and/or topic tree;
  • to add or accept news items and events and accept or initiate polls on current issues;
  • to suggest linking your personal details to relevant topics in which you have expertise or experience and submit RKs, e.g. news, events, documents, projects, to any topic;
  • to edit abstracts and delete out of date items;
  • to identify and add new material to improve the quality and comprehensiveness of the resource base in the topic;
  • to mark any related knowledge within your topic as "Editor´s Choice".

Besides the editorial work, the editor could also contribute to the overall system improvement by pointing out system problems, broken links or bugs.

How to become an Editor?

If you are interested in being a volunteer editor:

  • register to become a member
  • e-mail the relevant Chief Editor with your Curriculum Vitae, briefly describing your experience in the topic(s)/sub-topic(s) for which you volunteer
  • alternatively, you can add information about your expertise or your Curriculum Vitae in the dedicated space of the Registration Form
  • if suitable, you will be contacted by the Chief Editor and arrangements will be made for you to become an editor.

Please note that the editor role would not constitute employment with the FAO or any other partner Organization.

Before taking over the editor task, you should be aware of the considerable time involved in thoroughly following up this voluntary task. Only if you are prepared to do so, then you should sign up for becoming an editor. The time involved may be reduced at a later stage by assigning sub-editors and dividing the work. In some cases it may be advisable to start with a smaller area of a subject tree where you hold the highest professional expertise. Please refer to the Become an Editor Tutorial for a step by step guide about becoming an editor. 

Members can volunteer to become editors by: 

  • suggesting a sub-topic to a topic: once you enter a topic, you can click on "Suggest a sub-Topic" (top right side of the page) and fill in the "Add a Topic" form
  • suggesting related knowledge (RK), such as news, books, websites, contacts, documents, projects, by choosing the RK in the drop-down list (bottom right side of the page), clicking on "Suggest" and filling in the relevant form.
  • sending an e-mail to the UN Atlas of the Oceans in relation to topics which display "This topic needs an editor" in the blue bar Editors section. This means that an existing topic is already awaiting for an editor.

Forms will be automatically submitted for approval to the appropriate Editor and an e-mail in your Explorer Inbox screen will notify his/her decision.

Before suggesting a new sub-topic or RK, search and/or browse through our website in areas inside and outside your top level topic to find areas of potential duplication.

When choosing a title for your sub-topic: 

  • avoid using acronyms or abbreviations unless they are commonly understood
  • avoid repeating names already used for the parent topic
  • use commonly known language
  • do not use abbreviations and/or symbols to represent words, such as &, +, ´n
  • do not create topics called "General", "Miscellaneous", "Other Topics" or any other variation that implies a collection of general or unrelated links.

After your suggested sub-topic/RK has been accepted you will be the editor/owner of that sub-topic/RK.

Once you are an editor/owner of one or more sub-topics/RKs, you can also add/link/connect other topics/RKs to your sub-topic, as well as make changes to them through the "Edit" form. You can also approve/reject new sub-topics/RKs suggested to your sub-topic(s), or forward them to more appropriate topics. 

  • Please note that:
  • only the Chief Editor and the relevant Editor can edit the parent topic of your sub-topic
  • you are only allowed to edit sub-topics and related knowledge you own
  • you should only suggest links with topics that are extremely relevant to your sub-topic while relationships with topics are recommended if moderately relevant to your sub-topic
  • you may only connect related knowledge to topics, while topics can be related and linked among them.

For more and detailed information on submitting, connecting and editing RKs, please refer to Adding Related Knowledge in our Getting Started page.

How to become a Joint Editor?

A joint editor is a person who volunteers to assist and complement the work of the Editor on an existing topic.

If you are interested in becoming a joint editor of any existing topic, please write an e-mail to the relevant topic editor volunteering to jointly edit the topic.

It is recommended you include details about your interest/knowledge/technical background in the topic for which you are volunteering. The topic editor will notify his/her decision sending an e-mail to the Explorer Inbox screen. 

About Topics 

  • It is possible to navigate into a Topic by clicking on the topic title (left-side bar).
  • The Topic ID number is included in the first line of Topic Overview (please refer to the image below).
  • Topics followed by the @ sign are Linked topics (please refer to the image below).
  • A Linked topic is actually a subtopic elsewhere in the system.
  • A Linked topic is extremely relevant to the current topic.
  • Related topics appear in a list below the list of actual sub-topics.
  • Related topics are moderately relevant to the current topic.