User:West London Dweller/Tagged versions of articles

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Proposal for multiple editing boards and subsequent discussion at the Village pump[edit]

List(s) of canonical articles?

I am not an admin, and just a minor contributor. I'm aware of the debate in the media about Wikipedia and its utility. It was nice to see Wikipedia being mentioned, if not praised by Bamber Gascoigne on the UK's BBC Radio 4 channel recently.

My proposal is that those wishing to improve the quality and reliability of Wikipedia should form an editorial board (or perhaps several competing boards) and produce lists of versions of canonical articles - i.e. those that have been reviewed by the board and met with approval. Those who agree with the editorial stance of their preferred board or boards could then use the list of canonical articles produced by the board as a filter into Wikipedia. Articles would not then need to be 'locked' against further editing. Ideally, the Wikimedia software could be modified such that an individual could turn on such a filter (or filters) in their preferences i.e. only view or search articles listed by the 'Peer reviewed only' board, or the 'Child friendly' board, or the 'Creationist' board.

This approach does not impose a particular editoral board's view on all users of Wikipedia, and does not hinder the addition of information to articles.

The list of canonical versions of articles would have to be protected to be modifiable only by those authorised by the particular editorial board producing the list.

One possible approach might be to tag particular article versions with a tag indicating approval by a particular editorial board.

I'm not putting myself forward as wishing to set up or participate in such a board - it would be beyond my competence. I think the facility would be useful, and may help to cut down on edit wars.

WLD 10:13, 21 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Its a good idea. In fact it sounds rather like Wikipedia 1.0. See also User:ChrisG's tagging proposal above. -- Solipsist 10:35, 21 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Thanks for the links to those proposals. The scope of the proposal is not a broad as Wikipedia 1.0 - it's not aiming for publication, simply (user chosen) filtering of the online version. It could be used to aid the Wikipedia 1.0 process 'though. I think, from my reading, that it slightly extends the tagging proposal, as I suggest the use of multiple tags, many of which could apply to any one article version e.g. a tag meaning 'checked for lack of copyright violations', a tag meaning 'approved by the Brobdignagian editorial board' and a tag meaning 'approved by the Lilliputian editorial board' could all be on a single article version. As an approach, it's rather close to 'forking' wikipedia, but if you browse with tag-filtering off, you get all articles - it up to you to set a preference saying you'll only view articles approved by the <whatever. editorial board. WLD 11:01, 21 Nov 2004 (UTC)
The category "Editorial validation" has related material, such as the encyclopedic standards forum. Maurreen 11:13, 21 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I think that this is a suitable idea to raise at Wikipedia:Forum_for_Encyclopedic_Standards. I would point out that many of tools to accomplish this already exist:
  • You can link to a specific version of an article. So if any editorial group could recommend specific versions.
  • You could categorise articles that meet your groups standards using the category system.
If you did that you would only have to wait for the validation method chosen for Wikipedia 1.0, which inevitably allow some kind of tagging of article versions and the ability to restrict which version you see.
My difficulty with this idea is that it will produce competing schemes, because different boards will no doubt approve different versions of an article because they will have to edit the article till it meets their standards. You will thus create competing schemes and have no way to bring them together in one article, because the wiki process immediately will create a further versions which may no longer meet the standard of each board.
I could see this working if there was a holistic Wikipedia 1.0 standard which an editorial group worked towards. In effect featuring an article works to an somewhat implicit Featured Article Standard. :ChrisG
Thankyou for your feedback. Please (anyone) feel free to raise at Wikipedia:Forum_for_Encyclopedic_Standards - I'm not sure I know how to do this. I'm glad most of the tools exist as it confirms my understanding of how Wikimedia works, as well as the processes by which Wikipedia is built on Wikimedia. I agree that it would tend to produce competing schemes, but personally, I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing - competition is often regarded as a good thing, and I think it would be wrong to try and impose a single editorial standard on the articles in Wikipedia. To my mind, the 'Wikipedia 1.0 Editorial Board' could the first of many 'edits' of the Wikipedia resource - just as there are different interpretations of symphonies and plays, there is room for different editorial views of Wikipedia. It would also allow for 'sub-groups' e.g. an editorial team that qualifies medical articles, or legal articles, or engineering articles -producing respectively the Wiki Medical Cyclopaedia, the Wiki Legal Concordance and the Wiki Engineering Textbook. I know efforts do this are happening already - I just think (perhaps wrongly) that canonical lists/non-editable tags on particular version could help. Anyway, thanks for listening (reading?) - I have to prepare for my day job now. WLD 22:30, 21 Nov 2004 (UTC)