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How to correct text

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Correcting the electronically translated text refers to changing the text in the left hand column to match the text as it was originally printed. Text corrections are saved to the database and will improve the service for all users by increasing the accuracy of search results.

New User Registration:

To correct text, you must first register and create an account.
Menu bar
Click on Register in the navigation bar on the home page.
User Registration Field
Enter your information. (*indicates a required field.) You will receive an e-mail to confirm your registration.
Menu bar
Registered users can log in from the navigation bar on the home page.

Correcting Text:

Once you find a newspaper article you would like to correct and it is displayed on the screen, you can:
Example Popup
Click on Correct article text or Correct page text links on the pop-up menu. (Right click on an article to access the pop-up menu.) You will be prompted to log in if you haven't already done so
or
Example Document
click on the Article Text tab on the left side of the viewer and click on Correct this text.
You can also correct text when viewing the text of the article, which is accessed by:
Example Popup
Clicking on the Text of this article in the pop-up menu
then
Example Text Correction Screen
clicking on Correct this text link highlighted in red.

Edit Mode:

Example Edit mode screen
Once you have accessed the edit mode, the screen is split in two parts: the left side is for editing the lines of text and the right side shows the image of the newspaper article that you will correct.
Example Text Correction Screen
  • Click the line on the left hand side that you would like to correct.
  • A red box will be displayed in the right pane to help you determine what text should be included in the line.
  • Correct the text line by line.
  • Single letters, words, lines or entire articles can be corrected.
Helpful Hint
To better see the image of the newspaper article you are correcting, you can use the magnifying glass symbol in the upper right hand corner or you can use the mouse to zoom. You can also left click and drag to move the article up and down or across the screen.
Example Text Correction Screen
  • Once you have finished correcting text, click Save.
  • For long articles it is recommended that you save every 10-15 lines.
  • The changes you make will take effect immediately.
Example Text Correction Screen
  • You can make further corrections to the same block of text (you can also select another block of text in the right pane to correct.)
  • The Save & next/Next button allows you to move onto the next block of text.
  • Return to viewing mode allows you to exit the edit mode.
  • Clicking Save & exit instead of Save will save the changes and then return you to the normal viewing mode automatically.
Menu Bar
Once you have finished, click Log out on the main navigation bar.

Helpful Hints

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Adding new lines

It is not possible to insert additional lines of text. Occasionally, a line needing correcting will be skipped. If you come across this problem, you can still make corrections. Simply add the missing line of text to the end of the line above. If there is no preceding line, add the text to the start of the following line. Where possible make sure that the start of each line matches the start of the original line of text.

Missing Text

If you come across an article with missing text, please add the missing text to the preceding line. If there is no preceding line, add the text to the start of the following line. Where possible make sure that the start of each line matches the start of the original line of text — that way the missing text will still be searchable.

Deleting empty lines

Currently there is no way to remove blank lines from articles.

Printing

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Example Popup
Articles can be printed directly from your web browser. Right click the article to access the pop-up menu. Click the Clip this article link on the pop-up menu and print from the article view screen.
or
Issue PDF
PDF versions of issues and pages can be downloaded for printing.
Helpful Hint
Please note that printing errors, such as skipped pages and missing lines, can occur when printing directly from your web browser. If you continue to have problems, download the newspaper issue's PDF version and print the article you need directly from the PDF.

Technical Requirements

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In general, you only need a common web browser like Firefox or Internet Explorer to search and browse this collection. To view or print PDFs, you will also need a PDF viewer like Adobe Reader.

Optical Character Recognition

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Optical Character Recognition, or OCR, is a process by which software reads a page image and translates it into a text file by recognizing the shapes of the letters (The NINCH Guide to Good Practice in the Digital Representation and Management of Cultural Heritage Materials).

OCR enables searching of large quantities of full-text data, but it is never 100% accurate. The level of accuracy depends on the print quality of the original issue, its condition at the time of microfilming, the level of detail captured by the microfilm scanner, and the quality of the OCR software. Issues with poor quality paper, small print, mixed fonts, multiple column layouts, or damaged pages may have poor OCR accuracy.

The searchable text and titles in this collection have been automatically generated using OCR software. They have not been manually reviewed or corrected.

To look at the OCR text, select the page/article and click the Text of this page/Text of this article link.

Why should I correct the electronically translated text?

The database that houses the Cambridge Public Library's Historic Cambridge Newspaper Collection searches across the electronically translated text. Much of this text has not been translated accurately due to the poor quality of old newspapers. By correcting the electronically translated text, the database is immediately able to retrieve better search results for users. The overall goal is to improve this remarkable resource and make it freely available to as large an audience as possible.

How do I correct the electronically translated text?

Correcting the electronically translated text refers to changing the text in the left hand column to match the text as it was originally printed. Text corrections are saved to the database and will improve the service for all users by increasing the accuracy of search results. Below are instructions for how to correct the text. More detailed instructions are available here.

Getting Started

  • To open the edit mode, click Correct this text. You will then be able to make your changes.
  • When you have finished click Save & exit to save your changes and exit the edit mode.
  • Click Save if you wish to save your changes and continue editing. For long articles it is recommended that you save every 10-15 lines.
  • Single letters, words, lines or entire articles can be corrected.

How frequently is the corrected text updated in a newspaper?

The corrected text is updated immediately.

I can't edit the text, can I send you the information as a document?

Unfortunately it is not possible for us to import text supplied to us as a document into the database. We are not able to use any documents you send us.

Why is the electronically translated text corrected on a line-by-line basis?

Each line of the electronically translated text is linked to a location on the article image. Line-by-line correction maintains these links, allowing clicking of the text to move the article image to that location on the screen.

Can I contact other users of this project?

Unfortunately due to privacy issues we are unable to put users in touch with each other.

Can I change my display name and password?

To change your display name and password, log in and click the My Account tab. From here you will be able to update your information. If you have forgotten your password, click forgot password on the log in screen to reset your information.

Why are only some newspaper editions available online?

We are able to digitize and make freely available newspapers that have no copyright restrictions. More issues will be digitized and added to the collection on a yearly basis as they enter the public domain.

How can I find articles in newspapers that are not online?

Later editions of the Cambridge Chronicle and Cambridge Tribune are available on microfilm at the main library. Access to the Cambridge Chronicle from August, 2005 to the present is available for patron use in the library and remotely for Cambridge residents here.

How do I use Advanced Search?

To use the advanced search, click on the Search tab on the main navigation bar on the home page, or click on Advanced Search from the search results page. After typing in your search term(s), you can specify the following:
  • Search within the full article or just the headlines.
  • Display the highlighted text or the image of the newspaper within the search results.
  • Modify how many results per page from 10 to 50.
  • Restrict the publication date. You must include a year. Entering a date only in the 'from' field will search all articles after that date. Entering a date only in the 'to' field will search all articles prior to that date.
  • Search within a publication or all publications.
You may also view your search history.

How do I refine my search results?

The column to the left of the search results is labeled Refine search. This column is a list of filters that group the articles into predefined categories used to refine your search results by publication, category (article, illustration, etc.), decade, or word count. (Word count is particularly useful for genealogists researching birth, marriage, and death notices.) Once a filter has been selected, you may remove the selected filter, by clicking on the 'x' next to the filter under Search limited to. You may clear all applied filters by clicking the Clear all link.

How do I search for illustrated articles?

To search for illustrated articles, enter your search term(s) in the simple search box as usual. From the search results screen in the left hand column under Refine search, go to Category and click on Illustration. In addition, from the search results screen, the title of each article is followed by a short description in brackets (i.e., Col. Higginson's Birthday [Article + Illustration]) Here you can see if an article has an accompanying illustration. Please note that display advertisements are not included these results, and may need to be searched or browsed for separately.

Why is the electronically translated text sometimes incorrect or different to the text that I can read on the newspaper page?

The electronically translated text is created using the process described here. The computer 'eye' that looks at an image and translates it into searchable text is often not as good as the human eye. On good quality images the text is generally translated accurately and well; however if the source material is of poor quality (i.e.. scanned newspapers) the results can vary significantly and translations may include incorrect characters, words, question marks or what looks like 'gobbly gook.' This happens when the computer eye does not see a clear black and white image.

I am trying to find an article that I know contains particular words. Why doesn't this article appear in the search results?

Searches look across the electronically translated text, produced by the OCR process. If the words have not been translated accurately, then the system will not be able to find these terms, even though they may appear on the original newspaper page. We recommend correcting the electronically translated text in these situations to improve searching for other users.

I'm having trouble with Boolean searching — why?

If you are using Boolean operators (AND, NOT, and OR) and you find that every occurrence of the operator is highlighted but not your search term, then you must capitalize the boolean operator. For example, in a search for watchmaker and jeweler all occurrences of and will be highlighted, along with watchmaker and jeweler. You must search for watchmaker AND jeweler (with a capitalized AND) to search for just those terms. You will get better search results.