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Last updated: 19 Sep 2019

collections-publisher: Storing the status of step-by-steps

Date: 2019-09-02


The "status" of a step-by-step is determined from data about the step-by-step, e.g. if there is a draft_updated_at date but not a published_at date, then it has a status of draft etc.

That worked until now, when there were only had 4 statuses:

  • draft
  • live
  • scheduled
  • unpublished changes

Implementing the 2i workflow will need the addition of least three more statuses:

  • submitted for 2i
  • in review
  • 2i approved

This will make the code to determine the status from the surrounding information very complicated.

What status information is needed?

As well as knowing what part of the 2i workflow a step-by-step is in, the step-by-step also needs to know if it has been previously published. This is so that the correct options are given to users to discard their changes. For example, if a step-by-step has previously been published, it can’t be deleted.

2i workflows

There are two "happy path" 2i workflows that a step-by-step can follow

A new step-by-step is created

Action Publication State Workflow State
Create new step-by-step Draft N/A
Makes changes to step-by-step Draft N/A
Submit for 2i Draft Submitted for 2i
Claim Review Draft In Review
2i Approved Draft 2i Approved
2i Requests change Draft N/A
Publish Published N/A
Schedule Draft Scheduled
Unschedule Draft 2i Approved
Delete Draft N/A

A published step-by-step is updated

Action Publication State Workflow State
Update published step-by-step Published N/A
Make changes to step-by-step Unpublished changes N/A
Submit for 2i Unpublished changes Submitted for 2i
Claim Review Unpublished changes In Review
2i Approved Unpublished changes 2i Approved
2i Requests changes Unpublished changes N/A
Publish Published N/A
Schedule Unpublished changes Scheduled
Unschedule Unpublished changes 2i Approved
Discard Draft Published N/A
Unpublish Draft N/A

Status assumptions

  • Can only publish if workflow state is 2i Approved
  • Can only schedule if workflow state is 2i Approved
  • Can only Claim Review if workflow state is Submitted for 2i and the Claimer is not the same user as the one that submitted for 2i
  • After 2i has been approved, the user can submit for 2i again
  • If the 2i reviewer requests changes, the workflow state is reset and the 2i workflow starts again
  • Can only delete a step-by-step if it’s never been published
  • "live" will be renamed to "published" to be consistent with the other publishing apps.


Create a new field in the database to store a value of status that allows values of:

  • draft
  • published
  • scheduled
  • submitted_for_2i
  • in_review
  • approved_2i

"draft" and "unpublished changes" mean the same thing in regards to their position in the publishing workflow, so if they are consolidated it won't be necessary to keep track of separate publication and workflow states. The presence of a published_at date can be used to determine if something has been previously published, as it is now.

That means the 2i workflow can be simplified.

2i workflow

Action Starting Status End Status
Create new/update published step-by-step N/A or published draft
Makes changes to step-by-step draft draft
Submit for 2i draft submitted_for_2i
Claim Review submitted_for_2i in_review
2i Approved in_review approved_2i
2i Requests changes in_review draft
Publish approved_2i published
Schedule approved_2i scheduled
Unschedule scheduled approved_2i

Other actions

  • Delete: Only if step-by-step is not scheduled or been previously published
  • Discard Draft: Only if step-by-step is not scheduled and has been previously published
  • Unpublish: Only if step-by-step is not scheduled and has been previously published


  • It will be easy to expand the allowed statuses to include factcheck statuses.
  • It will be easier to query and filter step-by-steps by status.
  • The status can be used by internal change notes to give a better description of what has changed.


  • Extra validation will be needed to ensure that a status can be set. E.g Cannot set to in_review if there is no reviewer recorded.
  • Existing step-by-steps will need to be updated to store a status.


Accepted, 2019-09-03.