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Instructions For Associate Editors

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Getting Started

  • Log in to the OEIS at (see the login button at the top right). Use the same user name and password that you established on the OEIS Wiki.
  • You may see a tab saying "Sequences awaiting review" in the upper right corner. If not, go to This is the main stack of submissions waiting to be reviewed.
  • There are several things you can do:
    • click on "I have reviewed these changes. Mark them ready for approval"
    • or, clean up the edit or new sequence (if necessary, discussing this with the author), by clicking the Edit tab, making changes, clicking SAVE, and then "I have reviewed these changes. Mark them ready for approval"
    • or, if you are absolutely sure the proposed changes are wrong, click on "I want to undo these changes". In general it is better to first add a comment in the box marked "Discussion of this draft" and let one of the Editors-in-Chief make the final decision,
    • or, do nothing, but watch what the other editors are doing, and learn!

Further Advice

  • If two people are editing a sequence at the same time, if the edits are in disjoint sections of the page, both will take effect. If the edits are in the same section, the second person will get a warning and will have the opportunity to combine the edits.
  • If we see a lot of bad edits by someone, we can remove their name from the list of registered users. Let one of the Editors-in-Chief know if you see a need for this.

Watch out for comments where the name does not match that of the submitter

  • There is nothing to prevent someone from submitting a bogus comment, formula, etc., and signing it with someone else's name. One just has to be alert for this.
  • In fact there are many legitimate reasons for doing this - for example, if someone emails me a comment about a sequence, and I add it to the OEIS and attribute it with their name and date.

Correcting errors, typos, etc.

  • Make the corrections using the "edit" tab for the sequence, and also send a message to the author by typing something in the "Discussion of this draft" box. Anything typed there gets mailed to the author, and appears in the "history" but not in the actual entry.
  • This Discussion window can be used for many things.
    • Pointing out the definition of a sequence needs to be modified
    • Correcting a spelling error or typo, etc.
    • Asking the author if a formula has been proved or is only a conjecture
    • Etc.

Rescuing and caching a broken link

  • All too often, link rot sets in, and a link that used to work doesn't any more.
  • When this happens, here is what we try to do.
    • Leave the existing link in place. Let's say, for example, that it is Cino Hilliard, Some PARI Programs
    • Find a copy of the missing page (by searching the internet, the wayback machine, asking the author, etc.).
    • Save the file on your computer, calling it say lostfile.txt or lostfile.pdf
    • Edit the sequence, upload the file. It will then be renamed as say a097928.txt or a097928.pdf
    • Edit the new link to say Cino Hilliard, Some PARI Programs [Cached copy]
    • If possible, ask the author for permission to do this, explaining why we are doing it, and then make the link say Cino Hilliard, Some PARI Programs [Cached copy, with permission]
    • If there are several sequences that reference the web page, do the above for one of them, then copy that same link into all the other entries
    • When finished, there will be two links in each entry, the original link and a link to the cached copy.

Getting access to the "pink" boxes

  • The "pink" discussion boxes are for messages to the author or other people -- for example asking for clarification of a definition, pointing out that something is ambiguous or has been entered in the wrong subsection, etc. For questions that need to be resolved before a sequence can be accepted. For any discussion that won't be part of the final stable version of the entry.
  • As far as I can tell, the only way to get access to a "pink" box is to make an edit to the sequence. Of course this can be a trivial edit, such as adding a missing period.

Remember the "History" is part of the public record

  • This includes comments made in the "pink boxes".

Be careful before changing an existing sequence!

  • If the terms of the sequence don't match the description, then something is wrong.
  • Should one edit the terms or the definition? It depends!
  • There could be a typo in the terms or in the definition. Obvious typos should be corrected at once.
  • But in case of a major disagreement, please consult the author or one of the Editors-in-Chief before making any changes, especially in the case of sequences with a long history.
  • In general, the philosophy in the OEIS is that the terms of the sequence are of greater importance than the definition. Roughly speaking, it is better to change the definition to fit the terms, rather than vice versa. Of course there are many exceptions to this rule.
  • To contact an author or editor, see the "Sending email to an author or editor" section of the Questions and Answers Page For New OEIS wiki page.
  • To see the history of a sequence, click the small "history" link next to the "listen" link.

Deleting a bad sequence

  • To delete a sequence (for example, if it is a duplicate, a poorly defined sequence, a sequence that uses obscene words, a meaningless sequence, etc.), do the following:
  • Go to Edit / Edit Internal Format
  • Erase all the lines, leaving just one line that says "%K recycled" and click "Save Changes", then "I have reviewed these changes..." or "I approve these changes"
  • Important: be very sure before you do this. Consider the following scenario: someone makes an edit to a draft sequence, say adding a code or clarifying a definition, but the changes haven't been approved yet. Then you decide the sequence is a duplicate of another sequence, and recycle it following the above instructions-- but you almost instantly realize your mistake. You currently can't merely undo your changes and return to the previous version with the click of a button, as undo goes back to the last published version, which in the case of a draft is the empty allocated sequence. At this point you have to re-enter each of the changes manually from the history, which is a nuisance. A better policy is to simply propose deletion, and wait for someone else to confirm; there is no rush.
  • When a sequence is finally deleted, be sure to update the Deleted sequences wiki page.
  • Also check that there are no references to the deleted A-number in the OEIS itself and here in the OEIS Wiki.

If you lose the changes

Question: While reviewing changes for a sequence I probably made a mistake. I edited the proposal and saved the changes. Then I wanted to undo MY changes and clicked the button at the bottom of that page; a further page appeared with two buttons at the bottom the lower of which I clicked. The unwanted effect was the disappearance of the proposed changes. Unfortunately, the sequence was no longer on the Pending Changes page. Is that correct?

Answer: Yes, Undo undoes all changes and restores the published version. The changes that the author made are still available in the history though.

Don't touch the "drafts not yet proposed for review" stack

  • Sequences on the "drafts not yet proposed for review" stack are not supposed to be edited without the permission of the author.
  • Don't jump the gun by treating them as regular submissions.
  • Of course after three months or six months, we will have to do something - the best thing then is to write directly to the author and offer to help wrap them up.

Important. Reducing the "Drafts" stack

When you see a sequence or comment in the "Drafts" stack that is ready to be published in the OEIS, please add a note in a Pink Box saying "Please publish these changes in the OEIS".

That way an Editor-in-Chief can approve it right away without having to review it. Of course, if you are an Editor-in-Chief, please click the button that says "I approve these changes. Publish them in the OEIS".

This is important because after an Associate Editor has finished polishing a sequence, weeks can pass before an Editor-in-Chief approves it. This should not be happening.

"War and Peace" submissions

  • If someone has not produced a satisfactory submission in a month, with a huge number of edits, and with Pink Box comments longer than "War and Peace", then reject it and recycle the A-number.
  • It is inconsiderate of people to take up so much time and effort from the editors. Rejecting it is the kindest thing to do.
  • If you think the sequence has some merit, suggest they wait a couple of weeks, and then resubmit a clean version.
  • I recently rejected a submission that had been going back and forth with the editors for 2 months, that had over 125 edits, with Pink Box comments longer than a roll of toilet paper.
  • If someone can't produce a decent submission in a reasonable time, they are just wasting our time.