User:Calmer Waters/DYK...From Hook to Main Page

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After working awhile at Did You Know, you will notice many mistakes which tie-up hook nominations, slowing down their progression to the main page. In some instances, these mistakes will cause the nomination to be declined.

It is because of this, I have provided an in-depth, step-by-step set of instructions on how to nominate an article, submit an eligible hook, verifying another editor's nomination, and promoting a hook to a preparation area.

This is to be used as a reference to new DYK contributors, admin-candidates, and new admins with limited experience in this field.

The nomination template[edit]

The hook[edit]

The hook is the selling point for getting readers to view the article you are nominating. The following will assist you in getting your nomination approved and keeping your submissions from failing DYK eligibility.

  • Make it interesting! Find a fact within the article that is well sourced that would be appealing to a large number of readers.
  • Make sure the fact presented in the hook is also in the article.
  • Ensure that it is less than 200 characters in length. The hook itself should be concise (fewer than about 200 characters, including spaces).
  • Ensure all included wiki-links within the hook are direct links and not redirects or disambiguation pages.
  • The hook must be mentioned in the article and cited with an inline citation since inline citations are used to support specific statements in an article. Sometimes the information contained within a paragraph is referenced by a single source. This in return causes the cite to be placed at the end of the paragraph. As this is acceptable for the article itself, for DYK it would also need to be cited directly after the hook.
  • Many times editors will suggest an alternate hook for your entry. Please check back often and provide feedback, both on any concerns raised and opinions on alternative hooks offered.

The article[edit]

New[edit]

The article must be new to be featured in DYK. Current consensus states that a new article is one that is no more than 5 days old and may not consist of text spun off from a pre-existing article. There are two types of new articles:

  • A newly created article either created on the main space or developed within an editor's sandbox and later moved into the main space.
  • An article in which the prose has been 5x expanded within the last five days. This includes stubs, redirects, and other short articles. This also includes the text that is expanded in the user space and later pasted into the article in the main space.

Note The content with which the article has been expanded must be new content, not text copied or taken from other articles.

Length[edit]

There is also a length requirement to be featured on DYK. The length of prose can be checked by using the DYK check tool (instructions provided two sections down) by adding the script provided to your monobook.

  • A newly created article must have a minimum of 1500 characters of prose (ignoring info-boxes, categories, references, lists, tables, etc.)
  • A newly created list must also contain a minimum 1500 characters of prose. This can be attainable by focusing on the header describing the features and content in the list.
  • An article can also be determined to be too short if it does not adequately cover the topic of the article. This means that it should not be a stub class article. Failure to satisfy this requirement may result in a decline of the nomination at the discretion of the selecting reviewers and administrators.

Hook[edit]

The fact presented in the hook must be contained within the article. This fact also must have an inline citation placed directly after the end of the sentence containing the hook's fact. It can not be placed only at the end of the paragraph containing the hook. In addition, the article in general should also use inline, cited sources. Many reviewers will decline promoting a nomination based on lack of inline citations (this does not include the plot portion of an article).

No bare URLs[edit]

The article should have the references listed in expanded form. Bare URLs are often declined, due to leaving an unfinished look to an article. Articles with good references and citations are preferred. These sources should be properly labeled; that is, not under an "External links" header. Uncited articles are not likely to be chosen.

Example of a bare URL:

1. http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2008/may/03/featuresreviews.guardianreview2

Example of the same references expanded:

Armitstead, Claire (2008-05-03). "On yer vélo: Claire Armitstead takes a tour round France with the Ondaatje prizewinner". Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 2009-11-04. 

Neutral[edit]

The article dealing with living individuals are reviewed according to policies on BLPs and carefully checked to ensure that no unsourced or poorly sourced negative material is included. Articles and hooks which focus unduly on negative aspects of living individuals should be avoided.

Additional rules[edit]

These additional rules were copied from Wikipedia:Did you know/Additional rules (last updated January 29, 2010). These rules are based upon current project consensus (except for those numbered E1-E5) and include the various rules pertaining to both the submitted hook and qualifying article(s). This is meant to help the reviewer both evaluate the hook and to assist informing the editor of any possible issues.

Additional article length rules[edit]

  • A1: 1500 characters means including spaces.
  • A2: The prose portion of the article, which must be 1500 characters, excludes (in addition to categories listed in the rules) block quotes, headers, images and captions, the "See also" section if any, the references section, Table of Contents, edit buttons and all superscript like [6] and [citation needed].
  • A3: DYK qualifying characters: To count the number of characters in a piece of text, you will need to use a JavaScript extension like User:Dr pda/prosesize.js (instructions on the talk page), a free website like this, or an external software program that has a character-counting feature. Prosesize.js is the preferred counting method, and usually carries the most weight at DYK, because it counts only the prose as defined by Did You Know rules, thus avoiding mistakes and providing an impartial settlement of disputed counting.[1] Note: The character counts indicated on "Revision history" pages are not accurate for DYK purposes as they include categories, infoboxes and similar text in articles, and comments and signatures in hooks on this page.
  • A4: Fivefold expansion is calculated from the previously existing article, no matter how bad it was (copyvios are an exception), no matter whether you kept any of it and no matter if it was up for deletion. This may be a bad surprise, but we don't have enough time and volunteers to reach consensus on the quality of each previous article.
  • A5: If some of the text was copied from another Wikipedia article, then it must be expanded fivefold as if the copied text had been a separate article.

Additional article link rules[edit]

  • B1: The hook must link to a qualifying article. "Qualifying" refers to the many rules (including these Additional Rules) regulating the quality of that article.
  • B2: Don't capitalize your article as it appears in the hook, just because that's how it appears in the article. Capitalize it only if the word would normally be capitalized, even if you weren't linking it.
  • B3: Piping the article link is sometimes discouraged, but many hooks are better when the link is piped, and show on the Main Page that way. Disambiguated article titles like Gene Green (baseball) are always piped like this: '''[[Gene Green (baseball)|Gene Green]]'''.

Other additional rules for the hook[edit]

  • C1: No redlinks in the hook.
  • C2: Don't falsely assume that everyone worldwide knows what country or sport you're talking about.
  • C3: A hook introducing more than one article is an exception to the hook length rule. If your hook introduces more than one article, you can do a basic calculation by subtracting the number of characters in the bolded character string for each additional new article beyond the first. If having done that the hook length is still 200 characters or less, it is probably an acceptable length. If it is over 200 characters after the subtractions, it may still be considered eligible if the hook is reasonably compact and readable, but such hooks will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • C4: No space before the question mark.
  • C5: No external links in the hook.
  • C6: If the subject is a work of fiction or a fictional character, the hook must involve the real world in some way.
  • C7: If the hook uses a possessive apostrophe after the qualifying article, use {{`}} or {{`s}} to keep the bold text and the apostrophe distinct e.g. "... that John's house (etc)?" If the article is in italics (e.g. a ship's name), use the slightly different templates {{'}} or {{'s}} e.g. "... that HMS Hood's anchor (etc)?"

Other additional rules for the article[edit]

  • D1: No items that have been on DYK before (pre-expansion, for example).
  • D2: Wikipedia, including Wikipedia in other languages, is not considered a Wikipedia:Reliable source.
  • D3: References in the article must not be bare URLs such as http://example.com – according to Wikipedia talk:Did you know/Archive 29#Reference section.
  • D4: Articles nominated for deletion won't be used unless or until they survive the deletion process.
  • D5: The article is likely to be rejected for unresolved edit warring or having dispute tags. (Removing the tags without consensus doesn't count.)
  • D6: There is a reasonable expectation that an article which is to appear on the front page, even a short one, should appear to be complete and not some sort of work in progress. Therefore, articles which include unexpanded headers are likely to be rejected. Articles which fail to deal adequately with the topic are also likely to be rejected. For example, an article about a book that fails to summarize the book's contents, but contains only a bio of the author and some critics' views, is likely to be rejected as insufficiently comprehensive.
  • D7: "Five days old" means five days old in article space. You may write your article on a user subpage and perfect it for months. The five days start when you move it into article space. Such moves are often overlooked when enforcing the five day rule, so we may need a reminder. But if you merge the edit history when you move, we might not believe you moved it.
  • D8: "Five days old" really means about eight days in Swahili :) . That is, if your article was created or expanded after the last day listed in Template talk:Did you know#Older nominations, it is likely to be approved.
  • D9: If your article contradicts an existing article, the contradiction should be resolved one way or the other before your article is approved. Don't expect Did You Know regulars to resolve the contradiction for you.
  • D10: If there is a stub tag, it should ordinarily be removed if the article is long enough for DYK.
  • D11: Multiple sources are generally preferred, though more leeway may be given for more obscure topics.
  • D12: To some extent, Did You Know approval is a subjective process. No amount of studying rules, almost-rules and precedents will guarantee approval, nor will violating any rule guarantee disapproval. Just because an unfamiliar criterion isn't listed, doesn't mean you can't be disqualified. The subjective decision might depend on an attempt to circumvent the details of the rules, especially if the attempt doesn't address the underlying purpose of improving the hook and article.

"Rules" sometimes invoked but lacking a consensus[edit]

  • E1: Does the first word always have to be "that"?
  • E2: Can there be multiple sentences in a hook?
  • E3: Is IMDb a reliable source? Previous discussion here.
  • E4: Occasionally someone objects to linking an unfamiliar word to Wiktionary on the front page, but such objections have always been overruled.
  • E5: Do the 11 characters in " (pictured)" or the 27 characters in " (specific object pictured)" (i.e. including an introductory space) count towards the 200 character limit?

Rules listed elsewhere but often overlooked[edit]

  • F1: Space after the ellipsis.
  • F2: The link to your article should be in bold type.
  • F3: The first sentence should end with a question mark.
  • F4: For a hook with an accompanying picture, the string (pictured) is all in italics, including the brackets.
  • F5: WP:DASH.
  • F6: MOS:NUM#Numbers as figures or words.
  • F7: Wikipedia:Manual of Style (titles)
  • F8: "a 'new' article is no more than five days old. This does not include articles split from older articles", although an article sufficiently expanded from a section of an older article can be a fivefold expansion. The word "fork" is sometimes used to mean Wikipedia:Splitting.
  • F9: The piped redirect guideline WP:R2D, as clarified by Wikipedia talk:Redirect#Link here (which may be archived by the time you read this). This guideline and its applicability to the Main Page are controversial, but if you disagree, please comment at Wikipedia talk:Redirect so those who wrote the guideline can have their say.
  • F10: WP:ADVERTISING

Other recurring issues[edit]

  • G1: Authors often complain that requests for changes don't come until the time for responses is about to expire. However, most reviewers prefer to review the end of the list, because the oldest hooks are the first priority, and they can't keep up with the volume of submissions. That isn't the ideal situation, but it explains what happens. Similarly, authors wonder if their submissions are rejected or forgotten. But as the submission is still on the page, it will stay there until it either gets approved and accepted, or until there is an Symbol delete vote.svg for rejection, or until there are other negative comments which should be promptly answered to preserve the hook's eligibility. Hooks for the updates are usually chosen from near the bottom, even though they are marked as "Older nominations". Some relevant statistics here.
  • G2: To calculate fivefold expansion since a specific day, which I will call July 18, 2008 for definiteness: 1. Count the characters in the prose-only portion of the current version. 2. On the history screen, click the latest time stamp before July 18, not the first time stamp for July 18. 3. Divide by the prose-only characters on that screen.
To explain the counter-intuitive step 2, I emphasize the difference between an edit's change, which you see by clicking "last" on the history page, and an edit's result, which you see by clicking the time stamp on the history page. Although an edit's change and an edit's result are listed on the same line, the edit's change really comes between that edit's result and the previous edit's result. Similarly, an edit's result really comes between that edit's change and the next edit's change, even though an edit's change and an edit's result are shown on the same line.
Example. On January 1, 2006 a 100 character stub is created. At 1:00 on July 18, 2008, the 100 characters are expanded to 1000 characters. An hour later at 2:00 July 18, 2008, the article is further expanded to 2000 characters. When I say it that way, the expansion is clearly 20x and qualifies for Did You Know. But to count the 100 characters, they wouldn't be listed as 1:00 July 18. The 100 characters existed on July 18 before 1:00, but the 100 characters were the result of the previous edit. So you would have to click the 2006 edit to count the 100 characters, even though 2006 is much too old for Did You Know. If you made the mistake of clicking the first edit for July 18, you would get the result of that first edit and therefore miss the change of that edit, and count 1000 characters, resulting in 2x expansion and an unjust disqualification.
  • G3: So why don't the additional rules combine with the other rules? Two answers: #1 is that they are combined with the other rules with a link. #2 is that we don't have a consensus on what to put into the integrated rules, in part because no one has proposed such an integration in a complete form. See Wikipedia talk:Did you know/Archive 29#5x expansion.
  • G4: These additional rules are intended to describe the consensus, not to prescribe it.

Additional rules for evaluating other people's hooks and articles[edit]

  • H1: You don't have to be an administrator or a Did You Know regular to comment on a hook, to use a symbol such as Symbol confirmed.svg or Symbol delete vote.svg, or even to edit Template:Did you know/Preparation area 1. Of course the judgments of regulars are less likely to be challenged.
  • H2: You are not allowed to approve your own hook or article.

Rules of thumb for preparing updates[edit]

Users are encouraged to help out by preparing updates on the preparation areas. Note that promoting your own articles is generally discouraged, and promoting your own articles before they have been independently verified is disallowed.

Here are a few rules of thumb to bear in mind when preparing updates:

  • J1: Currently the accepted length of an update is eight hooks. This is not an absolute rule but it is the currently accepted standard length for an update.
  • J2: Make sure to choose a varied selection – don't choose half a dozen biography hooks, for example, or a bunch of hooks about one particular country or topic. Variety is the spice of life. (However, see the following clause for an important qualification).
  • J3: Because of the preponderance of submissions on US topics and biography hooks, it is usually appropriate to have roughly 50% of hooks in a given update on both US and biography topics. That is to say, in an eight-hook update you should have roughly four hooks per update on US topics, and four on biography. These are not mutually exclusive, for example if you have two US bio hooks that would count as both two US hooks and two bio hooks. Note that "roughly 50%" means just that – this is not an absolute; you can have less of either if there are not many currently available such hooks to choose from on the Suggestions page. Note however that as a general rule you should never have more than 50% of hooks on US, biography or any other topic, except when doing so is unavoidable.
  • J4: Also, mix your hooks up. Try to avoid having two hooks of the same general type next to one another in the update (for example, two US hooks or two bio hooks together). Putting several US hooks next to one another in an update makes the update look US-centric, the impact is greatly reduced if you interleave the US hooks with hooks about different countries. In the same spirit, try to avoid putting two bio hooks together, or two hooks on any other subject.
  • J5: Try to avoid putting inappropriate hooks next to one another. For example, don't put a sad hook next to a funny one; it looks incongruous and jerks the reader uncomfortably from one emotion to another.
  • J6: Hooks on the Suggestions page that include images often get verified first. Users sometimes then just go and grab a bunch of the nearest verified hooks for the next update, which can often include several of these verified picture hooks. Not every submitted picture can be featured in the picture slot of course, but since only one picture can be featured per update, try to leave the good picture hooks behind for another update if you possibly can.
  • J7: Consider picking at least one funny or quirky hook if there is one available and putting it in the last (bottom) slot of the update. Just as serious news programs end on an upbeat note to bring viewers back next time, ending on an upbeat or quirky note rounds an update off nicely and encourages readers to come back next time for more.
  • J8: Don't be afraid to ruthlessly trim hooks of extraneous information and clauses. A lot of people who submit hooks tend to overestimate the amount of information that is required, but the end result is a hook that has too much information and is difficult to process. We don't want our readers to work hard, we want to make reading the DYK section as accessible and enjoyable an experience as possible! In general, the shorter and punchier the hook, the more impact it has. As it says on the Suggestions page, the 200 character limit is an outside limit not a recommended length—the ideal length is probably no more than about 150–160 chars. Note however that some hooks cannot be reduced in length without losing essential information, so don't assume that every hook that is 200 characters long requires trimming.


DYK check[edit]

DYK check is a very helpful tool to evaluate both the creation date or date of expansion of an article. It also will automatically calculate the number of prose within an article. This can be used to check both the length of your article and to assist in the verification of others. This also haves the added ability to see whether an article has been moved recently from the user space to the main space.

To insert the tool go to your monobook.js file and insert the following code:

importScript('User:Shubinator/DYKcheck.js');

Verifying other editors nominations[edit]

Any editor who was not involved in writing,expanding, or nominating an article may review it by checking to see that the article meets all the DYK criteria shown above.

Hooks can be tagged with 5 possible assessment results.


Symbol confirmed.svg {{subst:DYKtick}} - No problems, ready for DYK

Using this tag shows other editors that the hook is ready for promotion to the main page and no potental issues are present.

This is used after the inline reference has been verified, along with date of the article's creation or expansion, and the required length. No issues present themselves with either the hook or associated article, hook is appropriately wiki-linked, title of the article to be featured is bold, and sources have been verified as belonging to reliable sources.


Pictogram voting keep.svg {{subst:DYKtickAGF}} - Article is ready for DYK, with a foreign-language or offline hook reference accepted in good faith.

This tag is the same as the above tag, except it is used when the hooked source is either offline (ex. book, journal, newspaper) or a foreign language web site. This is assuming good faith (AGF) of the source.


Symbol question.svg {{subst:DYK?}} - DYK eligibility requires that an issue be addressed.

This tag is to be used when an issue with either the hook or article is present. This should be used accompanied with an explanation of what needs to be addressed or clarified. Also the following template needs to be posted to the nominators talk page, substituting Article with the nomination's article name:

{{subst:DYKproblem|Article|header=yes|sig=yes}}


Symbol possible vote.svg {{subst:DYK?no}} - DYK eligibility requires additional work.

This tag is to be used when a major issue with the nomination exist and must be addressed before promotion can take place. The most often examples for this would be prose that currently does not meet the minimum length requirement. This would also include major issues with the article or hook such as a negative point-of-view of a living individual in a hook or copy-right issues with an article. This tag should be accompanied with an explanation of what needs to be addressed. Also the following template needs to be posted to the nominators talk page, substituting Article with the nomination's article name:


{{subst:DYKproblem|Article|header=yes|sig=yes}}


Symbol delete vote.svg {{subst:DYKno}} - Article is either completely ineligible, or else requires considerable work before becoming eligible.

This tag is used when the article has failed for consideration for DYK. Reasons would include articles that have not been expanded to the minimum length requirements within 5 days of creation. Also, nominations that have not addressed issues within an acceptable amount of time should also be tagged.

Note Please do not automatically delete a nomination without tagging it first. It should instead be reviewed by a second pair of eyes before removal and deletion.

Compiling Prep areas 1 and 2[edit]

For a hook to go from a nomination to the main page it must first be moved into one of the two preparation areas. You do not have to be an administrator to promote a hook and prepare a queue. These are a few rules and tips to help compile a balanced and well prepared queue.

Tips[edit]

  • First, it is highly discouraged to promote your own article and is prohibited if it has not been checked off by another editor.
  • Only choose approved hooks (Symbol confirmed.svg or Pictogram voting keep.svg). This means that an editor has already reviewed the hook for an issues and has stated that it is ready for promotion.
  • At this time each update should have 8 hooks within each prep area.
  • Balance the types of hooks. Attempt to include a variety of different hooks (countries, people, events, items, plants, animals, etc ....)
  • Roughly half of the hooks should be based on US topics. This should be based on the amount of US based hooks available currently on the suggestion page.
  • Shuffle the hooks around so that similar hooks are separated from one another (two bio hooks separated with a hook on an event, or two US hooks separated by a European related hook.
  • If using a sad or depressing hook try to place a funny or uplifting hook next to it.
  • Hooks on the Suggestions page that include images often get verified first. Users sometimes then just go and grab a bunch of the nearest verified hooks for the preparation areas, which can often include several of these verified picture hooks. Not every submitted picture can be featured in the picture slot of course, but since only one picture can be featured per update, try to leave the good picture hooks behind for another update if you possibly can.
  • Attempt to place at least one funny or quirky hook if there is one available in the last (bottom) slot of the update. Ending on an upbeat or quirky note rounds an update off nicely and encourages readers to come back next time for more.
  • Don't be afraid to ruthlessly trim hooks of extraneous information and clauses. A lot of people who submit hooks tend to overestimate the amount of information that is required, but the end result is a hook that has too much information and is difficult to process. We don't want our readers to work hard, we want to make reading the DYK section as accessible and enjoyable an experience as possible! In general, the shorter and punchier the hook, the more impact it has. As it says on the Suggestions page, the 200 character limit is an outside limit not a recommended length—the ideal length is probably no more than about 150–160 chars. Note however that some hooks cannot be reduced in length without losing essential information, so don't assume that every hook that is 200 characters long requires trimming.
  • Each hook must begin with {{mp}} ... that - that is already provided on the preparation area pages.

Procedure[edit]

These easy steps will walk you through the set-up of a prep area.

1. First, Open two windows on your web browser. One set to the suggestion page and the other set to either prep area 1 or prep area 2

2. After finding the hook you wish to promote open up the edit section for that nomination on the suggestion page.

3. Select either the main hook or an ALT and copy the text.

Note as the promoter, deciding between whether to use the original hook or ALT should be based on consensus and an evaluation of comments left by the reviewing editors and nominator. There may be times when multiple hook options are presented; however, only one hook is actually verified.

4. Paste the text on to the Prep area page being sure to include the {{mp}} ...

5. (Image) Following the above tips, when deciding on the lead hook, copy the image template from the nomination and paste it in its entirety over the image holder already located on the prep page.

6. Next copy the credit template from the suggestion page. It will appear as: {{DYKmake|article|user}}

  • Watch for multiple article nominations. These should be bolded. Ensure that each article in represented by a credit template either by pasting or in some case manually placed into the credit template.
  • Place the credit templates in order of the above hooks. This assists the administrator in verifying that all hooks are credited.

7. Save the Preparation area and be sure to include a detailed edit summary including with hook has been promoted. This will assist the administrator who will later move the prep area to the protected queue area.

8. After adding an entry to a preparation area page, remove it from the suggestions page. Ensure both the hook and credit templates have been saved and again make an edit summary stating which prep area the hook has been promoted to. This allows others to return it back to the suggestion page if a dispute arises and clarifies that it was promoted and not deleted due to ineligibility.

9. Perform this again until all 8 hooks have been complied.

Note Only move one hook at a time and be sure to delete the nomination along with all accompanying text after updating the prep area. Be sure to leave a detailed edit summary stating which hook you promoted, leaving a trail in case an issue or question regarding the hook later comes up. This allows quick access to the information rather than "digging" through a large list of edits.

Additional Note as a courtesy, place do not attempt to add hooks to a preparation area if you see on the watch list that another editor is currently updating. This leads to edit conflicts and possible unbalanced queues. It sometimes takes some time to choice an appropriate hook, copy and move the hook and credits, correct any issues with the template set up, shortening hooks, correcting wiki-links, and pasting onto the prep area. An edit conflict along with the long load times of the suggestion page can make for a frustrating situation. Its better to go to an empty Prep area and work on the hooks there. If both are being filled or the other is full, it is best just to try back later. I assure you there will be ample times when there will be the need to have these area filled.

Footnote[edit]

  1. ^ There are other ways to count characters if you don't have prosesize.js installed (although it is fast and easy to install). For example, if you are using Microsoft Word, select the text from the article page (or, in the case of "Did you know" nominations, the DYK talk page) – not the edit page containing Wikitext – then copy and paste it into a blank document. Click "Tools" ("Review" in Office 2007), then "Word Count", and note the "Characters (with spaces)" figure. Other word processing programs may have a similar feature. For Mac users, Apple has a Word counter widget available for Mac OS X 10.4 or later.