Wikipedia:Peer review

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Wikipedia's peer review process is a way to receive ideas and feedback from other editors about articles. An article may be nominated by any user, and will appear on the list of all peer reviews. Other users can comment on the review. Peer review may be used for potential good article nominations, potential featured article candidates, or an article of any "grade". Peer review is a useful place to centralise a review from other editors about an article, and may be associated with a WikiProject; and may also be a good place for new Wikipedians to receive feedback on how an article is looking.

Peer reviews are open to any feedback, and users requesting feedback may also request more specific feedback. Unlike formal nominations, editors and nominators may both edit articles during the discussion.

To request a review, or nominate an article for a review see the instructions page. Users are limited to requesting one review at any one time, and are encouraged to help reduce the backlog by commenting on other articles. Any user may comment on a review, and there is no requirement that any comments may be acted on.

A list of all current peer reviews, with reviewer's comments included, can be found here. For easier navigation, a list of peer reviews, without the reviews themselves included, can be found here. A chronological peer reviews list can be found here.



Everyday life[edit]

Sailor Moon[edit]

Previous peer review

This article is one of the high-importance articles for the WP:ANIME project and I think it would deserve to be developed to at least GA status.

It was once promoted to GA back in 2007. However, it was soon delisted due to failing the GAC and relisted in 2009 and then delisted yet again for sourcing problems in 2013. Despite being subjected to some disputes in the past the article has been stable for the past few weeks. At this point, I think it would be best to get some consensus from experienced editors as to what should be concentrated on, what could (or should) be removed, and so on, so that we can prioritize on what aspects of the article should be developed, and in what ways they should be developed.

Thanks, Lord Sjones23 (talk - contributions) 09:04, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

(Peer review added on Friday 18 July 2014, 09:04 UTC)----

Loyalty to Loyalty[edit]

I've listed this article for peer review because I think it has the potential of being a GA. Like the previous PR for Mine Is Yours, the sections I'm worried about are Background and Inspiration. I'm wary if there should be more or if the latter section needs to be retitled. Other than that, I'm curious to see what I need to do if this article has a little ways to go before being a GA. I look forward to your comments on how I should tackle this article.

Thanks, ~~DepressedPer (talk) 08:43, 12 July 2014 (UTC)~~

It's very well-written, but there are a few very minor things that caught my eye on a cursory examination:
  • Yesteryear links to a disambig, but it shouldn't.
  • In the "Background" section it isn't clear enough that it's the band that's responding to the Pitchfork review as opposed to anyone/anything else.
  • Also, if I'm remembering correctly you shouldn't use contractions if they're not part of a quote.
  • The sentence "Amongst the thirteen tracks off the album, they deal with a variety of philosophies and politics that range from contemplating suicide, crisis of faith, anonymity, alienation, public security and job satisfaction." could be better worded, maybe to remove "amongst" and "they". Also, it should be cited because I'm not sure where these assertions come from. Jinkinson talk to me 22:41, 12 July 2014 (UTC)

(Peer review added on Saturday 12 July 2014, 08:43 UTC)----

Sonic X[edit]

Sonic X is my last GA before I'm going on Wikibreak. It passed tonight, and I'm only sticking around for another day, maybe, while a discussion relating to a GAN I'm reviewing boils over. Anyway, I'm interested in making it only the fifth FA of WP:ANIME (not a value judgment; they just focus on GAs more), so I'd like comments to help with that goal. I have two main concerns, elaborated thus:

  • Plot. Obviously, it's a very long section, but then again, Sonic X is long for an anime and it includes copious original characters that aren't covered elsewhere in Wikipedia. Does it need to be significantly cut down, and if so, how?
  • Is the screenshot appropriate? I don't feel that it adds much more than a slightly chubby incarnation of Cosmo and an abbreviated look at the main setting of season three; it doesn't show the Metarex, for example - yet I don't know what to replace it with. (If you've also seen the show, please try to recommend something better.) Full discussion is on the talk.

Otherwise, talk about whatever you think needs fixing, such as wording. Thanks, Tezero (talk) 02:29, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

The reason why many anime/manga articles don't pursue FA status is due to the lack of high-quality sources that are made available to most editors of WP:ANIME. Some members rely on Amazon to show some release because certain sites have become expired. Its a good thing to remember that every article can become GA if the topic is notable and sources are there, but not all of them can be featured.
But with that said, the article is very short in various sections such as Creation and Development, Music, and Reception, it should really be extended further by getting the most coverage it can possibly get.For a series with a good reception, it usually has more extensive development section. The plot is indeed way too long, and it has to be captivating and as FA puts it "brilliant". So you could probably summarize it better. Probably make summarized versions and organize it by seasons. I'[m not sure if the DVD boxes count as quality sources, but if they do, then that's fine. Lucia Black (talk) 06:06, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
Lucia Black, what could I use the DVD boxes for? What do they typically include?
And there's very little on the show's Japanese production and writing (though there is an alright amount for the 4Kids dubbing specifically); I think anime studios are traditionally pretty opaque, and most development info in anime articles comes from the manga, which Sonic X doesn't have. Tezero (talk) 13:51, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
There could be more, you never know. Like i said, not all articles can become FA. Lucia Black (talk) 16:46, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
Lucia Black, as it happens, I've found quite a lot more. I'll start adding it in soon. Took ages to find, though. Tezero (talk) 19:59, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
Alright, Lucia Black, I've pretty much worked it all in. I'm a little worried about the reliability of Impulse Gamer, GamesFirst, NintendoLife, and The Next Level; do you have opinions on them? Either way, I think that I could expand Reception enough using what I know to be reliable, and Creation and development is probably long enough for FA as it is (it's as long as Shadow the Hedgehog's). Tezero (talk) 21:29, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
Lucia Black, since you have not yet responded, should I take it that I should investigate the reliability of these sources myself? Tezero (talk) 13:38, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
@Tezero: I was away for a while. but I after taking a look, everything has been expanded appropriately. The only minor issue is that the lead mentions the edutainment but doesn't mention the other spin-off media. something minor that can be implemented rather easily. Lucia Black (talk) 15:12, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Lucia Black, thanks! I think I'll expand further with the sources I know are reliable while seeking more opinions on the others. And of course, the lead will be fixed. I have some time, of course, because my current FAC will be up awhile. Tezero (talk) 18:34, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

(Peer review added on Monday 7 July 2014, 02:29 UTC)----

Engineering and technology[edit]


I've listed this article for peer review because over the past two years I've put the article through a major revamp. Major changes include the use of reliable sources (instead of forums and such), a clearer split between the two different types of Turboliners, and a more thorough discussion of their use in the Midwest. I'm interested in taking the article to GA status but I believe the article would benefit from a thorough examination by a third party. At least to my mind the history of the Turboliners is complicated and not always well-documented.

Thanks, Mackensen (talk) 22:50, 27 July 2014 (UTC)

(Peer review added on Sunday 27 July 2014, 22:50 UTC)----


Deus Ex[edit]

Previous peer review

I've listed this article for peer review because me and some other editors are gonna be taking this article to FA soon. So any feedback is gonna help!

Thanks, URDNEXT (talk) 01:12, 31 July 2014 (UTC)

(Peer review added on Thursday 31 July 2014, 01:12 UTC)----

The Get Up Kids[edit]

Previous peer review

I've listed this article for peer review because I need new eyes on it, and I'd eventually like to clean it up and submit it for Featured Article status. I'd like to know any broad categories in which this article may be lacking, but particularly small details that may come up in a Featured Article review. I've been editing this article sporadically for years now, and I'm so close to it that it's hard to parse what needs work and what doesn't anymore. Thank you for your time! Rwiggum (Talk/Contrib) 21:32, 30 July 2014 (UTC)

(Peer review added on Wednesday 30 July 2014, 21:32 UTC)----

Shahid Nadeem[edit]

I've listed this article for peer review because I'd like to bring this article to GAC sometimes in the future. As no-one ever review it before and it's out of regular editing so I'd like feedback regarding everything like grammar, prose, inline citations, etc.

Thanks, Captain Assassin! «TCG» 19:12, 30 July 2014 (UTC)

(Peer review added on Wednesday 30 July 2014, 19:12 UTC)----

George Formby[edit]

George Formby was a music hall star, singer-songwriter, comedian and film star—and an unlikely one at that. While still trying to find his place on screen, one film producer thought him "too stupid to play the bad guy and too ugly to play the hero". The producer reckoned without the ukulele, the cheeky grin and the ingrained need of the British to have double entendre and smut in its cultural output. This has undergone a major re-write recently and an FAC is hoped for in the near future. – SchroCat (talk) 22:12, 28 July 2014 (UTC) & Cassiantotalk 22:12, 28 July 2014

  • Images (if I don't say anything, it's okay)
    • File:Montage of George Formby, snr.png - How on Earth is this individual's lifespan only one day?
    • I know you're just playing it safe, but do you think File:Montage of George Formby, snr.png and File:George Formby with friends – April 1915.JPG are actually still copyrighted in the UK?
      • Probably not, but I always seem to get it wrong when I drop it into Commons, so I've played safe here. - SchroCat (talk) 10:33, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
    • File:George Formby - early image when still George Hoy.jpg - You're gonna have a heck of a time arguing that this is not replaceable by a free image.
      • He only played the John Willie character for a few years after the 1921 death of his father, so we're up at the tail end of the free stuff here. I'm still looking for something that is clearly pre-1923, but there is much stuff that is undated and/or unpublished - SchroCat (talk) 10:33, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
    • File:George Hoy (Formby) ad from 1921.jpg - One would think that this is corporately owned, and thus free in the US and Britain (no individual author)
      • I tried that with this, and that argument wasn't considered good enough grounds for being free (something I still strongly dispute for that image), but again I've gone for being safe in the face of some questionable decisions where I'm not sure of my ground! - SchroCat (talk) 10:33, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
    • File:Basil Dean.jpg - If I'm not mistaken there's a template especially for the Bain collection. Might want to use it. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 09:23, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
      • Yep - now added. - SchroCat (talk) 10:33, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

Many thanks Crisco - much appreciated as always, and I hope to be able to replace the John Willie image with something suitable. Cheers - SchroCat (talk) 10:33, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

While Crisco's ukelele gently weeps[edit]

  • exclusively from his father's act, including using the same songs, jokes and characters. - Is "using" necessary here?
  • He started his recording career in 1926 and, from 1934, he increasingly worked in film to become a major star by the late 1930s and 1940s, becoming the UK's highest-paid entertainer and most popular entertainer during those decades. - Become become become become *to the tune of the Wonderful Wizard of Oz*. (I'd split this while we're at it. It gives the impression he worked to become big, not he became big because of his work
  • (ENSA) - since you don't use this acronym in the lead, why have it in the lead?
  • It's more recognisable for most readers in the acronym form, rather than the extended form, so I think it's more helpful in the short form. - SchroCat (talk) 10:51, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
  • win through against some form of villainy, winning - Again
  • Formby's biographer, Jeffrey Richards, considers that Formby - Perhaps the second mention can be "the actor" or "the entertainer"?
  • on people such as the Beatles, - technically the Beatles are a band... entertainers?
  • Since his death Formby has been the subject of five biographies, two television specials, and the subject of two works of public sculpture in England. - Such a subject-ive statement
  • After briefly attending school—at which he did not prosper, and had not learnt to read or write— - Not quite sure "and had not learnt to read or write" is the right tense
  • Why not merge the lone sentence about Formby Snr's death into the following section?
  • compere - link?
  • to mollify her Dean raised Formby's salary for the latter film to £25,000. - So Beryl, as manager, held on to Formby's cash. I can't really imagine how this would have mollified her otherwise. "My husband screwed that ninny you call a film star!" "Well, he's getting paid well enough for it, ain't he?"
  • I'm not sure she held onto his cash as manager, but more as his wife! It seems an odd way to be mollified, but that's what the sources tell us! - SchroCat (talk) 10:51, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
  • In the spring of 1938, - Per WP:SEASONS, "early 1938" is probably better
  • performing Idle Jack in Dick Whittington. - can we say "performing" a character, or is "portraying" better?
  • the king - Link George VI, or replace with King George VI?
  • the Palestine - isn't it just Palestine?
  • Depends. I think—although I'm happy to be told otherwise—that "Palestine" is the common name for the State of Palestine, which has only been around since 1988, as opposed to the geographical region of "the Palestine"
  • I'm afraid I must tell you otherwise. "Palestine" has been around, under that name, since Greek and Roman times, although its boundaries have varied. Most recently, between 1922 and 1948 it was administered by Britain under a League of Nations mandate, after which it disappeared as a political, though not geographical, entity until the aspirational declaration of a Palestinian state in 1988 (a state still waiting to be born). "The Palestine" is incorrect. The whole region of Lebanon, Syria Jordan, Palestine and Cyprus is sometimes refered to as "The Levant", but Palestine alone should be just "Palestine". Brianboulton (talk) 08:57, 1 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Many thanks for the clarification, Brian: "the" has been removed. - SchroCat (talk) 10:38, 1 August 2014 (UTC)
  • travelling 25,000 miles in the process and returning to England in October. The couple travelled in a Ford Mercury that Formby had purchased from the racing driver Sir Malcolm Campbell, which had been converted to sleep two in the back. - Repeating travelling so close together... is there another way?
  • who he had met in North Africa, - whom, I presume
  • He did do on 17 August in a one day visit to the bridges, where he gave nine shows, all close to the front line, standing beside a sandbag wall, ready to jump into a slit trench in case of problems; much of the time his audience were in foxholes. - possible to cut back on the number of clauses?

Overall a pleasant read. Be back tomorrow. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 09:39, 30 July 2014 (UTC)

  • All done, except where commented otherwise, but happy to hear any further comments on those points. - SchroCat (talk) 10:51, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Zimbabwe - Overlinking?
  • the summer of 1954 - WP:SEASONS again
  • Formby returned to South Africa for a tour, and then a ten-day tour of Canada. - Tour tour de force... could we nix a tour?
  • the run was cut short in May when the production was playing in Brighton to small audiences. - Doesn't feel like a particularly strong sentence. You go into more detail after this; I'd suggest letting the detail come first, then mention how the tour was cut short
  • in addition to Beside the Seaside, his only other work - if we use "in addition to", then isn't "other" unnecessary? In addition already includes an exception
  • forty-a-day smoking habit - might want to be clear that this is cigarettes/cigars and not packs (just in case)
  • Formby's final year of work was 1960. That May he recording his final session of songs, - can we finalize a final, nix it?
  • One of the acts in the show was Yana, - Yana who?
  • She was a one-name performer, a la Cher, Madonna or Twiggy. - SchroCat (talk) 22:52, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Might be worth leaving a hidden note. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 01:00, 1 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Done - note x. - SchroCat (talk) 04:13, 1 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Harry Scott—George's valet and factotum—was to receive £5,000, while the rest was to go to Howson - why the shift to "George"?
  • Mr Justice Ormrod - This is obviously a BrE thing, but is "Mr Justic Omrod" necessary, rather than "Justice Roger Ormrod" or something with his given name?
  • I think that would be quite alien to British readers – it certainly jars with me. Unfortunately Bencherlite isn't around to check with, but I'll pop up the batsignal for @Brianboulton: to see if he has a view on how we should/could display the name. - SchroCat (talk) 04:13, 1 August 2014 (UTC)
  • "Mr Justice Ormrod" is the correct British format. Quaint, but necessary (see this usage in a rather good WP article, Horatio Bottomley, recently promoted). Brianboulton (talk) 08:36, 1 August 2014 (UTC)
  • H.J. Igoe, writing in The Catholic Herald, thinks - you're shifting tenses between sentences. The paragraph afterwards is also present, whereas the preceding paragraph is past tense
  • and complicated musical syncopated style = would this be "and complicated syncopated musical style"?
  • although both those performers used pathos and innocence which Formby avoided - didn't your sources just finish saying that Formby got away with talking about sex because he had an innocent air? Also, should there be a comma after innocence?
  • There are two public statues of Formby. - as of?
  • The most recent work to be published - again, as of? — Crisco 1492 (talk) 15:53, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Excellent stuff: many thanks for aloof this: it's hugely helpful, and I hope I've done justice to your suggestions. Cheers – SchroCat (talk) 22:52, 31 July 2014 (UTC)


I'm just starting my review. I noticed, however, the spelling "ukelele". As far as I know the only spelling is "ukulele", and I've altered to this throughout. If by some chance there is an accepted alternative spelling known amongst music hall historians, then I apologise and you can ask me to change it back.

Detailed comments to follow. Brianboulton (talk) 16:44, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

Mea culpa, I'm afraid, although in my defence the OED lists both, but with ukulele being the more common standard. It could have been worse: Plum Wodehouse spells it "ukalele"... - SchroCat (talk) 17:16, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
For the encouragement of doubt, I see from the OED's list of sources that Dorothy Sayers used "ukelele", and Rupert Brooke spelled it "eukaleli". Hope this makes things less clear. – Tim riley talk 17:24, 29 July 2014 (UTC) 17:23, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
First batch of comments
  • "In 1923 he made two career-changing decisions – he purchased a ukulele, and he married a fellow-performer, Beryl Ingham, who became his manager and transformed his act, insisting he dressed on stage in black tie and introducing the ukulele on stage." Repetition of "on stage" is a bit bumpy, also: "dressed in a black tie" – and nothing else? No wonder he was such a hit. Could be "formally dressed"? I think, however, the sentence would be best split at "his act", followed by (suggested wording): "She insisted that he appeared on stage formally dressed, and introduced the ukulele to his performance"
    • Swapped as suggested - SchroCat (talk) 08:11, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
  • "On film the media historian Brian McFarlane writes that Formby portrayed..." Surely: "The media historian Brian McFarlane writes that on film, Formby portrayed..."
  • "After the war his career declined, and he toured the Commonwealth, and continued to appear in variety and pantomime." I'm not sure of the first "and"; it would perhaps read better as "although"
  • New paragraphs should not start with pronouns.
  • It's not necessary to describe Richards as "the academic". "Formby's biographer Jeffrey Richards" will do fine.
  • My view is that verbatim quotes should be used sparingly, if at all, in the lead. You have several, including the somewhat trite (sorry) ""his passing was genuinely and widely mourned". I'd be inclined to drop the last-mentioned, and briefly paraphrase the others – if you want the exact quotations thy should be in the main body of the article.
    • I've dropped the trite one and re-worked all but one, which I can't bring myself to lose the final one! I'm happy to be pushed to get rid of that one too, if you feel it doesn't fit properly. - SchroCat (talk) 09:03, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
Early life: 1904–21
  • "for clarity" unnecessary.
  • My feeling is that the abbreviation "Sr." for "senior" is an Americanism. Certainly I don't recall seeing it in English texts, and the online references I've seen to Formby senior call him "Senior", "Sen." or Snr". I haven't searched far and wide, so I may be off-track with this, but if you do wish to adopt the Sr form you will need to lose the full stop, as that's definitely against BritEng practice.
    • I got rid of one full stop and will look for more; I would be more inclined to use Snr. Cassiantotalk 23:39, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
      • I've cleared the others out and moved the GF Snr article to the BrEng version too. - SchroCat (talk) 08:11, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
  • "identified as" → "identified variously as"
    • Swapped as suggested - SchroCat (talk) 08:11, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
  • On the matter of young George's education, it would be interesting to know how his parents were able to sidestep the legal requirements for compulsory elementary educution, in force since 1880. Maybe the law wasn't strictly enforced.
    • Swapped as suggested - SchroCat (talk) 08:11, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
  • "considered a lost" → "considered lost"
  • "with the last-known copy destroyed in 1940" → "the last-known copy having been destroyed in 1940"
Beginning a stage career: 1921–34
  • "The performance prompted Formby decided to follow in his father's profession..." – something wrong there
    • Indeed there is, not now though. Cassiantotalk 23:47, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
  • "As he had never seen his father perform live, Formby found the imitation difficult and had to learn his father's act, songs and jokes". It would be interesting to know how he learned them, and who from?
  • "In the show he was billed as George Hoy—the surname was his mother's maiden name—explaining later that he did not want the Formby name to appear in small print". The sentence goes wrong after the probably unnecessary insertion. Suggested rephrase: "In the show he was billed as George Hoy, using his mother's maiden name—he explained later that he did not want the Formby name to appear in small print".
  • "his mother would support him financially" – conditional tense inappropriate: "his mother supported him financially"
  • "still is father's material" – that ain't right for sure.
    • Nope - although now tweaked - SchroCat (talk) 08:11, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
  • "The second big event..." – I'm not sure you've defined what was the first; taking up the ukulele, adopting the Formby name, dropping the John Willie character? Perhaps replace "The second big event " with "Another significant event..."
    • Swapped as suggested - SchroCat (talk) 08:11, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
  • I'd also be inclined to reconstruct the rest of the sentence: "...was his appearance in Castleford, West Yorkshire, on the same bill as Beryl Ingham, the Accrington-born champion clogdancer and actress who had won the All England Step Dancing title at the age of 11." (you should link Castleford)
    • Swapped as suggested - SchroCat (talk) 08:11, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
  • "the ceremony was kept from Eliza" – no need for the passive voice. "...they kept the ceremony from Eliza"
    • Swapped as suggested - SchroCat (talk) 08:11, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
  • "had to appear as witnesses" → "appeared as witnesses"
    • Swapped as suggested - SchroCat (talk) 08:11, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
  • "Upon telling her the news" → "upon hearing the news"
    • Swapped as suggested - SchroCat (talk) 08:11, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
  • "and to take lessons in how to play the banjo properly". This is the first mention of the banjo, which should be linked. Had he been playing it before, not properly, or was this his introduction to the instrument?
    • Tweaked to show ukaleli, or similar - SchroCat (talk) 09:15, 30 July 2014 (UTC)

More will follow Brianboulton (talk) 22:36, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

Many thanks for all the changes so far: I look forward to further comments. Cheers - SchroCat (talk) 09:15, 30 July 2014 (UTC)

It's slow work (I tend to mull over every line) and I'm halfway through the war/Ensa section. Here are some further comments:

Burgeoning film career: 1934–40
  • I can't help feeling that quoting Dean's reply to Beryl verbatim is unnecessary, in an encylopaedia article, especially as this is a "reputed" comment rather than confirmed. A magazine biog might be a different matter, but it seems out of place here.
  • "and while it did not impress the critics" - the "and" doesn't seem right in view of what's gone before. Maybe delete the "and", & replace the preceding comma with a semicolon? Worth trying, anyhow.
  • We don't normally parade the credentials of biographers, thus "the cultural historian" can be safely deleted.
  • "because of her action" → "because of her actions"?
  • I'd replace the semicolon before "regarding the star of the film" with a full stop. It's really a separate sentence.
  • "Sill and all" is presumably a typo (but if I were an editor and one of my reviewers wrote "he doesn't do too bad" I'd sack him on the spot).
  • ""comparatively bland", but "with the exception..." The "but" is somewhat intrusive. Why not: "comparatively bland ... with the exception..." – although you may be averse to ellipses.
  • The problem is that I've reversed the text from the source: "a clutch of songs which—with the exception of the one which would become immortal—were comparatively bland", which is why we have the slightly awkward form here. - SchroCat (talk) 05:37, 1 August 2014 (UTC)
  • "who directed five of Formby's films" → "who went on to direct five of Formby's films"?
  • The sentence beginning "Although Beryl was furious..." has a colon followed by a semicolon, which is rather overdoing it. Personally I'd put a full stop after "fruitless", delete the unnecessary "to her", and begin a fresh sentence with "Dean informed her..."
  • "In early 1938, discussions with Dean over the next film, It's in the Air, were troubled when he informed the Formbys that Banks would return to direct and Walsh would again be the leading lady". A bit heavy footed: suggest "In early 1938, Dean informed the Formbys that in the next film, It's in the Air, Banks would return to direct and Walsh would again be the leading lady". This is a complete sentence, and should not end with a semicolon.
  • "Kimmins returned to directorial duties" - "continued his directorial duties" would be more accurate as he had directed Formby's two previous films
  • Shouldn't "Rolls-Royce" be hyphenated?
  • Just to clarify: Formby received £10 a week from ENSA, but "between 1938 and 1942 he was the highest-paid entertainer in Britain", so this was clearly not his sole source of income.
Second World War: service with ENSA
  • I've slightly altered the first sentence, but I'm still not altogether happy. Dean co-founded ENSA, rather than "took the position" of head. I also think the last sentence of the previous section ought to be absorbed into this paragraph, or else we are reading about Formby joining ENSA twice.
  • How does it look now? Bringing Formby's joining down into the section allows a bit more of a re-write. - SchroCat (talk) 05:37, 1 August 2014 (UTC)
  • I imagine the success of Let George Do It! in Moscow and the US came a little later than 1940. The Soviet Union was Hitler's ally until June 1941, and the US was neutral until December 1941
  • trawlermen" is one word
  • "He and Beryl also set up their own, such the OK Club for Kids, whose aim was to provide cigarettes for Yorkshire soldiers" – word missing after "own"?
  • "Cinema-goers" requires hyphen
  • "Cinema-goers had begun to tire of war films, and his next film..." Avoid if possible the "film" repetition, e.g. "his next venture..."
  • It's not clear whether the gold cufflinks were a gift from the king.

More tomorrow. Brianboulton (talk) 23:32, 31 July 2014 (UTC)

  • No problem on the speed: there's absolutely no deadline on this at all and we're more than happy to wait for your comments. All covered, bar the one point. Thanks again, and we look forward to the next batch. Cheers - SchroCat (talk) 05:37, 1 August 2014 (UTC)

(Peer review added on Monday 28 July 2014, 22:12 UTC)----

His Last Vow[edit]

I've listed this article for peer review because after the GA review, and a bit of feedback from J and the Dr (J Milburn and Template:Dr. Blofeld), both seemed positive. J advised taking it to peer review to see what needed doing before hopefully the next step is taken.

Thanks, Matty.007 09:10, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

(Peer review added on Friday 25 July 2014, 09:10 UTC)----

Mac DeMarco discography[edit]

I've listed this article for peer review because I would like to nominate this discography for featured list status soon and would like to know what I could do to make the article better.

Thanks, Littlecarmen (talk) 15:43, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

It looks mostly good, but the lead section seems to need some work; in particular, it should be a bit more detailed about what critics thought about his albums. Also, it should probably start with a sentence like "The discography of Mac DeMarco... consists of X albums, Y EPs, etc. ..." Jinkinson talk to me 13:55, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
@Jinkinson: Thank you! I have added information about what critics thought about his albums released as Mac DeMarco. The work he released as Makeout Videotape wasn't reviewed, so I didn't add anything about that. WP:DISCOGSTYLE says "It is encouraged to avoid direct replication of the article's title in the lead—therefore, it is also recommended to avoid bolding of the title in the lead sentence." though, so I didn't change the first sentence. Littlecarmen (talk) 15:16, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

(Peer review added on Thursday 17 July 2014, 15:43 UTC)----

Jumping Flash![edit]

Interested in building this article up to a FA standard (I'll nominate once all comments have been addressed), any comments will be very helpful!

Thanks, Jaguar 12:54, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

For this to reach FA, it's going to need at least another paragraph in Development. I'd suggest that you begin by using more information from the sources you already have. For example, the preview in Next Generation mentions, "SCE hopes that Jumping Flash will be remembered as the first appearance of a new platform star with the same longevity as Sonic or Mario." The article, however, does not discuss Sony's ambitions for the game. Thibbs has a preview from GameFan as well. Also, the Reception section is so thin that I wouldn't have let it slide at GAN. You have a ton of reviews linked in it already; just include more information from them. It should have at least three paragraphs of review summaries, if not four. JimmyBlackwing (talk) 21:17, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for the comments, I couldn't agree more on the development. It should definitely be expanded; I'll try and squeeze as much as I can out of those sources to produce a couple of more paragraphs. If it affects the FA criteria, do you think I should turn it into a 'development and release' section for more coverage? Jaguar 11:29, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
That's a good idea. Go for it. JimmyBlackwing (talk) 19:43, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

(Peer review added on Wednesday 16 July 2014, 12:54 UTC)----

Money in the Bank (2011)[edit]

Previous peer review

I've listed this article for peer review (again) because I would like to nominate this article for FAC (again). I brought the article through a stringent GA review from an experienced editor in the professional wrestling field. Also, it's about time. The last professional wrestling-related Featured Article was passed in 2012, and the one before that was passed in 2009. I welcome any and all comments, even if you're not familiar with wrestling, I'd be interested on if it's understandable to you.

Thanks, starship.paint ~ regal 03:19, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

Comments from InedibleHulk[edit]

I'm familiar with wrestling, unfamiliar with this process. The article looks alright to me, though. InedibleHulk (talk) 02:15, July 22, 2014 (UTC)
No problem. Thanks for your evaluation! starship.paint ~ regal 11:58, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
A question for you, InedibleHulk. Do you think that in the Aftermath section, "Punk later regained the WWE Championship at Survivor Series by defeating Del Rio." that it would be relevant enough for this event (MITB 11) to mention Punk's 434 day reign? starship.paint ~ regal 12:01, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
I forget how those angles tied together, so can't say how relevant it seemed. Sorry. Like I say, I'm getting too old and the booking is getting too fast. InedibleHulk (talk) 12:39, July 24, 2014 (UTC)
I doubt it. I'm not really part of this system (man). I'll root for you, but I don't want to get that involved. I'm more Otto than Principal Skinner. This might be a job for Will. InedibleHulk (talk) 07:30, July 31, 2014 (UTC)
Okay. Hopefully when the Featured Article nomination comes along? You're right, this is a job for WillC ... who's already done it, because he was reviewer that approved this as a Good Article. >_> starship.paint ~ regal 12:24, 31 July 2014 (UTC)

Comments from LM2000[edit]

  • Is there a reason why The Canadian Online Explorer, The Sun, and Dave Meltzer aren't linked in the lede?
  • "On the following episode of Raw, McMahon attempted to sign Punk to a new contract to ensure that the WWE Championship would stay in WWE" Italicize Raw.
  • "The Wrestling Observer Newsletter later awarded the event the Best Major Show for 2011, while the main event won the Match of the Year" Italicize Wrestling Observer Newsletter
  • "However, Triple H interrupted and announced that the WWE Board of Directors" Would linking Board of directors (note lower case) be a good idea?
  • "Punk later regained the WWE Championship at Survivor Series by defeating Del Rio" Link to Survivor Series (2011)
All the previous are settled. Good catches!
  • Perhaps mention the historic length of Punk's second reign?
I did mention it originally, but WillC said it was more relevant to Punk's career than to the event (MITB '11) itself. Perhaps I will query Hulk.
Always good to seek another opinion. If it was there before Will suggested removal and I felt that it was missing after the fact then maybe it was just Will. Clearly it is not a major issue either way.LM2000 (talk) 14:26, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
  • "Bryan actually did manage to hold on to the World Heavyweight Championship until WrestleMania XXVIII, where he lost it to Sheamus" Something feels off about this sentence... perhaps a WP:NPOV vio underestimating Bryan. Also link WrestleMania XXVIII.
Wiki-linked and reworded. But the portion is referring to Bryan's original wishes to wrestle for the WHC at Mania when he first won MITB, which is mentioned earlier in the paragraph.
  • "During Laurinaitis' rule, he feuded with CM Punk and later John Cena,[57][58] until he was fired in June 2012 in the storyline.[59]" He was fired at No Way Out (2012), that's more precise than June 2012. "in the storyline" may be superfluous.
Added No Way Out. The storyline thingy is for uninformed readers unfamiliar with kayfabe, LM2000. starship.paint ~ regal 12:01, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
It reads better now either way... too many "in"s for my taste in the previous version.LM2000 (talk) 14:24, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

(Peer review added on Monday 14 July 2014, 03:19 UTC)----

Fit for an Autopsy[edit]

I've listed this article for peer review because cacaw

Thanks, TheWarOfArt (talk) 04:58, 13 July 2014 (UTC)


This is an undeveloped stub, not an article. Completely unready for any form of review. Also, give a sensible reason for requesting the review, or don't expect any interest. Brianboulton (talk) 21:15, 13 July 2014 (UTC)

Also, TheWarOfArt, please note only one peer review per person is allowed to be open at once. I see you have two others, so some will have to be closed. Taylor Trescott - my talk + my edits 23:57, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

(Peer review added on Sunday 13 July 2014, 04:58 UTC)----

The Game (mind game)[edit]

I spent roughly 2 hours making this edit to the article and I think it's as good as I can get it. Some sections may be a little too detailed or contain stuff that doesn't need a mention - I'd like a second opinion as to whether everything mentioned is relevant and notable. Following two quickly-failed good article nominations a few years ago, I'm trying to get this to GA status.

Thanks, Bilorv (Talk)(Contribs) 10:14, 6 July 2014 (UTC)

Comments by Forbidden User[edit]

  • This article needs expansion - even the shortest GA is more than one-third longer.
Define "long" - the second recently listed GAs I looked at, Volvopluteus michiganensis, is just 18 characters longer than The Game and is only 10,000 bytes. Bilorv (Talk)(Contribs) 19:36, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
  • The "strategies" part should be expanded in particular.
Expanded - take a look Bilorv (Talk)(Contribs) 19:36, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
  • "Reception" is another part that should be expanded.
Started to expand - probably could add a bit more Bilorv (Talk)(Contribs) 19:36, 15 July 2014 (UTC)

Overall: As it is not very notable, chances of making this GA is rather low. However, if you can do the expansion (and don't forget to request copyediting from WP:GOCE), you may actually work this out.Forbidden User (talk) 14:57, 15 July 2014 (UTC)

I thought WP:GOCE is only for articles that have serious prose issues and need cleaning up. I didn't think it would apply to articles like this with (I would hope) reasonably good prose. Bilorv (Talk)(Contribs) 19:36, 15 July 2014 (UTC)

(Peer review added on Sunday 6 July 2014, 10:14 UTC)----

Geography and places[edit]

Demographics of Nauru[edit]

I've listed this article for peer review because I would like to nominate it for GA. However, I want it to go though a peer review to get some feedback on how to improve it. I have made the page according to Demographics of Croatia (another GA), and I think I have done a good job thus far. Thank you in advance for any comments.

Thanks, —Michael Jester (talk · contribs) 00:10, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

I see that the name conforms with the Croatia article, but Demogaphy appears to be preferred to Demographics. See Wikipedia talk:WikiProject UK geography#"Demography" being changed to "Demographics" as a section heading. Dudley Miles (talk) 14:46, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
I'm more than happy to change the article name, but 1) how would that affect the peer review and 2) I see that UK is the only country (from what I've found) to have demography instead of demographics. Demography of Australia, for example, redirects to Demographics of Australia.—Michael Jester (talk · contribs) 22:45, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
I suggest you raise this at the Talk page above. If you mention that the article is at PR you might get someone expert reviewing it. Dudley Miles (talk) 21:32, 28 July 2014 (UTC)

(Peer review added on Friday 18 July 2014, 00:10 UTC)----


Æthelstan A[edit]

I've listed this article for peer review because I hope to get this article at least to GA and I would like feedback on getting it to that level.

Thanks, Dudley Miles (talk) 19:34, 30 July 2014 (UTC)

(Peer review added on Wednesday 30 July 2014, 19:34 UTC)----

Frederick Brewing Company[edit]

I've listed this article for peer review because I just did a major rewrite of the article and I would like some feedback on things that I can do better. I've never had an article go through peer review, GA, or FA before. I didn't really have anything specific about it that I wanted to have reviewed. I've listed it under history because the company no longer exists. Its recent history, but history still.

Thanks, Zell Faze (talk) 20:10, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

(Peer review added on Tuesday 29 July 2014, 20:10 UTC)----

Matthias Corvinus[edit]

I've listed this article for peer review because it has just gone through a major restructuring and expansion and it clearly needs some improvement before GAN.

Thanks, Borsoka (talk) 13:16, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Copyediting comments. - Dank (push to talk)

  • "He began reigning under his uncle's guardianship, but he took the reins": reigning -> his rule
  • "Matthias strengthened his rule after a 5-year-long period of struggle.": I'd delete this topic sentence, since I didn't know what "strengthened his rule" meant until I read the paragraph.
  • "In order to increase royal revenues, Matthias introduced new taxes and regularly collected extraordinary taxes.": Delete "In order to increase royal revenues"; that's implied.
  • "Matthias overcome their rebellion": ... overcame ...
  • "an important Ottoman border fort on in 1476.": ... fort, in 1476.
  • "one of the largest collection": ... collections
  • "the first country which adopted": the first country to adopt
  • "the monarch wandering among his subjects": the monarch who wandered among his subjects
  • I got down to the end of the lead. The prose is engaging. - Dank (push to talk) 01:38, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
Dank}, thank you for your time and comments. I modified the lead. Borsoka (talk) 02:34, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

(Peer review added on Wednesday 23 July 2014, 13:16 UTC)----

Johann Conrad Weiser, Sr.[edit]

I've listed this article for peer review because I started this article back in 2009, and have monitored the article, ensuring high quality, and searched for new information to include. I need some feedback into how I could bring the article above the C-class rating, and possibly achieve good article status in the future. I am currently out of ideas on improving the article, so any feedback would be appreciated.

Thanks, — AMK152 (tc) 16:47, 17 July 2014 (UTC)


  • The lead is far too short to give a good summary of the article. I would go (briefly) into such points as who the Palatines were, why they fled Germany, where Hunter was governor of (presumably New York) what the dispute was about and how it led to his downfall.
  • Is it known when he married?
  • " He fought during the Nine Years' War and served as a Corporal in the military." This seems the wrong way round. Perhaps something like "He served as a corporal in the army of the Holy Roman Empire, and fought in the Nine Years' War of 1688 to 1697 between a coalition of European powers and France."
  • "Soon after the birth of Conrad Jr" I would give the year. Is it known whether he was the eldest son?
  • "The Germans were to produce tar from the trees, but they were unsuitable." I do not understand this. The wrong sort of trees?
  • "to governor Robert Hunter." Governor of New York?
  • "But, despite the fact that Hunter had let the Germans go free, he threatened the Germans not to move to Schoharie, or he would see it as rebellion" I do not understand this. Go free from what? "he threatened the Germans not to move to Schoharie" is ungrammatical and seems out of place they had already been there for some time at this point.
  • "The government of New York was displeased with the Germans, despite having left New York." Why despite?
  • "to make deeds for the Palatines" What deeds?
  • "The German deputies" What deputies?
  • Who is Vrooman.
  • Walrath grew tired - tired of waiting?
  • "By this time, Hunter had resigned as governor" This appears to say that Hunter had decided to move but in the lead it says that the representatives contributed to his downfall. This needs explaining.
  • This is an interesting article but I found some of the language unclear and hard to follow.
  • The family association publication would not generally considered a reliable Wikipedia source as it is self-published. I would use alternative sources where possible. Dudley Miles (talk) 19:59, 31 July 2014 (UTC)

(Peer review added on Thursday 17 July 2014, 16:47 UTC)----

Natural sciences and mathematics[edit]

Endometrial cancer[edit]

I've been working on this one for awhile and am looking for a mid-development/pre-GAN review. Any thoughts would be welcome. Thanks, Keilana|Parlez ici 01:11, 27 July 2014 (UTC)

  • Well done for tackling this topic, Keilana. Some general advice and pointers. JFW | T@lk 20:40, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
    • I would expand all technical terms (e.g. pyometra) on first use. (The pyometra article is mostly about veterinary medicine, by the way!)
    • I would move lifetime risk from "Risk factors" to "Epidemiology".
    • The "Pathophysiology" section is exclusively about molecular biology but doesn't say a lot about how this leads to proliferation, invasion, metastasis. For the lay leader this may be confusing. I am not sure how much there is to say about the tumour microenvironment, but it might need covering.
    • The term "evaluate" is rarely used in British English and perhaps an Atlantically neutral term might work better.
    • Would the "classification" section be more effective if it was presented in the form of a table?
    • The same applies to the FIGO staging.
    • In the "surgery" section, the reason for performing mastectomy in type II cancers is not explained. Presumably this is prophylactic?
    • In "add on therapy", which tumor marker is associated with endometrial cancer? Is this a reference to Ca125?
    • I would integrate "Complications of treatment" with discussions about the respective treatments.
    • "Treatment of recurrences" is technically palliation rather than cure, and perhaps this should be emphasised.
    • Some of the references are not secondary sources (e.g. much of the "Quality of life" subsection.

(Peer review added on Sunday 27 July 2014, 01:11 UTC)----


I've listed this article for peer review because…

User:Peter coxhead did a lot of good work on this article about a pretty obscure plant few are likely to ever see, and an article few are likely to ever read. I am starting the WP:GAN process, and the instructions say to first ask for a peer review, so here it is. This is my first time doing this, so please correct any errors I make in doing this.

Thanks, FloraWilde (talk) 21:58, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

(Peer review added on Sunday 20 July 2014, 21:58 UTC)----

Alkali metal[edit]

Previous peer review

The first article I started rewriting in 2011. It is one of the most important periodic table groups (the others being noble gas, FA, and halogen, C) and I intend to make it an FA, as it deserves no less.

Thanks, Double sharp (talk) 15:57, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

Parcly Taxel[edit]

Right, let's get started, eh?

  • Media are completely fine, appropiately licenced, no worry about them.
  • I'd object to the serial comma (as can be seen in the first sentence) – British English is used here. For example: characterized -> characterised in the third sentence.
  • The sections should be arranged like in fluorine now.

I could give more comments later but I am stuck up with fluorine's FAC… I need promotion now. Parcly Taxel 01:46, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

I rearranged the sections. A thorough check for British English will be done later. Double sharp (talk) 07:28, 26 July 2014 (UTC)
Actually, scratch the resectioning: it's kind of hard to follow F because this article has extra sections (this is because it's a group). Double sharp (talk) 07:30, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

(Peer review added on Saturday 19 July 2014, 15:57 UTC)----

Radiocarbon dating[edit]

I've listed this article for peer review because I would like to get it to featured article level. I've done a fair amount of work on it, and have created two sub-articles, in addition: radiocarbon dating samples, and calculation of radiocarbon dates. These are linked, per summary style, from the appropriate sections of the article. I'd like feedback on anything that would be required for FA -- this means not the subarticles, but if there's anything in those articles that should be brought up to this article, I'd like to know. Conversely, if there are other sections where the article could be shortened by making another subarticle, I'd like to know that too.

Thanks for any feedback. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 01:55, 2 July 2014 (UTC)

Comments from Aa77zz[edit]

I've looked at this article in past and I'm impressed with the recent improvements.

Physical and chemical background
  • You show the decay of carbon-14 in a figure but do not explain what the symbols represent. Consider including the breakdown inline as in the Carbon-14 article:
\mathrm{~^{14}_{6}C}\rightarrow\mathrm{~^{14}_{7}N}+ e^- + \bar{\nu}_e

with an explanation of the symbols. Perhaps mention that beta particles are electrons.

I've added the equation, and an explanation; the symbols don't perfectly match the svg image, which predates my involvement with the article. Is the image useful now? I see a couple of problems that would need to be fixed if I were to keep it: the symbols are slightly different, e.g. for the electron and anti-neutrino; and the explanation of decay includes a reference to the ratio, 1012, and the fact that the decay reduces that ratio. This is not addressed in the text at this point. I have an svg editor and can change the image if necessary, or it could just be cut. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 10:34, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
I think the picture can be removed as it doesn't add anything to the article - and could confuse. Why does the first equation have N+ rather than simply N? Aa77zz (talk) 10:56, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
I've removed the picture. The plus was added in this edit; the edit summary was "balance the charge", and I see that it does that, but I'm not convinced it is any clearer this way. I left it on the assumption that this conforms to a standard in these kinds of equations, but perhaps that was wrong. Should I cut it again? Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 01:18, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
I still don't understand why the nitrogen has a plus in the C14 creation reaction. The symbols represent nuclei (not atoms). There are 7 protons and 8 neutrons on either side - ie in terms of charge +7 on each side. Perhaps there is some subtlety that I'm not aware of. Have you an authoritative source? Aa77zz (talk) 14:27, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
I found a source and removed the +; the source does not include it. I assume the reason the other editor added it is that 14N would have 7 electrons, and 14C would have six, so the electrons would not balance; they must have considered it as an atomic equation, rather than as a nuclear equation. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 19:57, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
  • "The ratio of 14
    to 12
    in the carbon exchange reservoir is 1.5 parts of 14
    to 1012 parts of 12
    ." -> The ratio of 14
    to 12
    in the carbon exchange reservoir is approximately 1.5 parts of 14
    to 1012 parts of 12
    Done. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 10:35, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
Principles of the method
  • "The ratio of 14
    atoms in the original sample, N0," The article introduces the ratio here while N0 has been defined to be the actual number. I can't see an easy solution without adding complication.
    Good point; this was confused. I've had a go at fixing this; let me know if that's an improvement. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 10:43, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
  • The text uses carbon-14 rather that 14
    . Is this deliberate?
    No, it's just carelessness. Fixed. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 10:46, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
Errors and reliability
  • Counting statistics. The example is for counting beta particles. If, as I suspect, dating nowadays uses AMS exclusively, then perhaps it is not such a good example.
    I can't tell if beta counting is still in wide use. I suspect it is, because it's a lot cheaper to build a beta counting lab than an AMS lab. The most recent source I have that unequivocally talks about the continuing use of beta counting is Walker's Quaternary Dating Methods, which was published in 2005. I have noticed that Groningen and Belfast, two of the best known labs, have converted to AMS, which certainly implies that AMS has finally overtaken beta counting as the best way to get a precise radiocarbon age. I haven't been able to find a source that definitely states beta counting is on the way out. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 10:57, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
  • I don't think you need the equation here. It follows directly from the text and doesn't lead anywhere.
    OK, cut. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 10:58, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Beta counting: If dating by counting beta particles is no longer used then perhaps this section could be shortened.
    See comments above. I am planning to ask an archaeologist I know to do a "subject-matter expert" review, and perhaps he'll be able to settle it, or will know someone who knows the answer. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 10:59, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
    Also, in looking for something else I noticed that beta counting is still discussed as a current method in Malainey's A Consumer's Guide to Arcaheological Science, which was published in 2011. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 11:09, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Accelerator mass spectrometry: Are the details of a mass-spec device really necessary? Also you could point out that AMS but not beta counting can determine 12
    (and hence fractionation).
    I think the picture is helpful, mainly in showing the streams of 12
    , 13
    , and 14
    separated as the output of the device. I think readers who aren't clear on the text will immediately understand what AMS does when they see that picture, even if they don't quite understand how it does it. I cover the details of AMS internals partly because the need to add the accelerator component was a big deal; it added a huge amount of cost, and was the main reason why AMS did not spread more quickly once it was clear it worked well. Do you feel these details are a digression?
    Re fractionation: I found one source saying that some AMS facilities can also measure fractionation in the sample, so I'll add something to that effect. I'm a bit surprised that the source says only some facilities can do this; I can't see why all facilities wouldn't be able to. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 11:20, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
  • I'm not convinced that you need to mention that uncorrelated errors are added in quadrature. This is more "How to" - which wiki is not. I don't think the "The output of CALIB" fig adds very much.
    The secondary sources spend a fair amount of time on the question of how to combine errors. I think a reader not familiar with statistical errors is going to naturally make the mistake in red in the "calibration error" graph; it would seem sensible to take the outside bound of both sigmas and treat that as the one sigma error on the result. So I think something should be said. I know when I first looked at the INTCAL graphs and saw the error bars, my reaction was "why don't they show those errors in the textbooks?" and the answer is because the error is added to the radiocarbon age reading before using the intercepts. I wouldn't mind simplifying the explanation -- perhaps if I take out the equation, and just use the text description?
    Maybe the CALIB figure doesn't add what I wanted it to. What I wanted readers to see from it was that it produces a probability distribution, not just a range. I picked that particular date range so readers could compare the output to the intercept method on the other graph. The intercept method gives the illusion, which several sources comment on, that the date is definitely within the range; the probability method makes it much clearer that sometimes the date is going to be well outside the given range. Do you feel this information is adequately conveyed by the text? Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 11:46, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Using the both titles "Notes" and "Footnotes" is confusing. I suggest Notes/References/Sources
    I would like to keep "References" to refer to the list of works, since that seems to be the standard -- WP:FNNR says any heading can be used but says "References" is the most common here. I agree "Notes" and "Footnotes" isn't ideal, but I think there would be a similar confusion between "References" and "Sources". How about "Endnotes" for the text notes, and just "Notes" for the footnotes that simply give the source? Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 12:12, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
  • There are many little problems with consistency.
  • Do first names come before or after the last name?
  • Do initials have punctuation?
  • When there are two initials, is there a space between them?
  • Some References (Sources) use templates, others not. The are many tiny differences: "and" or "&" introduced, period after isbn etc. I suggest all use templates (editor1-last= etc)

That is all for now. I hope some of the above is useful. Aa77zz (talk) 13:46, 2 July 2014 (UTC)

Very helpful; thank you very much. I've responded to most of your points above; I will work on the consistency issues and post here again when I think I've cleaned them up. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 12:12, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
I've now done quite a bit of citation cleanup. Please let me know if you still see inconsistencies. Thanks again. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 16:56, 3 July 2014 (UTC)

A few additional comments[edit]

  • There should be cite for the decay equation in the section "Physical and chemical background".
    Done. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 13:07, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Do you really need both equations in the Fractionation section? Perhaps keep just the second?
    Agreed; I've cut it. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 13:07, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Is there some way that the time scale for carbon dating could be made more prominent in the lead? Currently, fifty thousand years is mentioned, but only in terms of the calibration.
    Done; this wasn't really covered in detail in the body either, so I added a note in the "Errors and reliability" section. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 13:07, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
  • For my own curiosity I tried to check whether beta counting is still used by scanning the latest issue of Radiocarbon (vol 56, issue 2). Of the 21 articles that I looked at, 16 mentioned AMS. It was unclear which technique was used for the remaining 5 - but counting wasn't mentioned.
    I wouldn't be surprised if you're right, but I can't find a source that says this. The most recent source that mentions beta counting as current practice is Malainey (2011). I suspect I can get the answer by asking an archaeologist I know, but I don't know how to cite it. I suppose if it does turn out that beta counting is now rare, I could at least reverse the order of explanation in some sections -- though I also like keeping the historical sequence. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 13:14, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
  • I came across an article that might be useful for the "Reporting dates" section:
Millard, Andrew R. (2014). "Conventions for Reporting Radiocarbon Determinations". Radiocarbon 56 (2): 555–559. doi:10.2458/56.17455. 
Thanks; I added some material based on that. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 14:17, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
  • I've made small changes to formatting of the references - aiming for consistency. I find the referencing system used in the article very odd. I'm used to a system in which the short cites including the year rather than the title. The treatment of chapters in edited books is also not what I expect. For #32 the short cite in the Footnotes would be "Schoeninger (2010), p. 446." while the full details in the References would be:
Schoeninger, Margaret J. (2010). "Diet reconstruction and ecology using stable isotope ratios". In Larsen, Clark Spencer. A Companion to Biological Anthropology. Oxford: Blackwell. pp. 445–464. ISBN 978-1-4051-8900-2. 
Notice that chapter titles and journal article titles are normally in sentence case, while book titles and journal titles are in title case.
I agree. I'm going to make this change throughout and come back to your other points when this is done. I think the style I used was simply inherited from when I first began editing Wikipedia, and had paid very little attention to the referencing system. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 10:31, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
Aa77zz, how should journals be handled? Would you suggest they be listed in the references, and a short form used, or should I leave them as they are, cited directly from the footnotes and not listed in the references? Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 10:46, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
I don't have a strong view on this. FAs use both systems - Jimfbeak for example doesn't use the short form for journal article. When journal article are 10s of pages (unlike Science and Nature) then it helps the reader if one cites the actual page. In these cases it makes sense to use the short form- especially if one has several cites to different pages in the same journal article. The short form is not used for web sources.
In writing the above I noticed that you cite Bowman for the Libby's Nobel prize. I usually try to avoid web sources but in this case I would cite: "The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1960". Retrieved 5 July 2014.  This is unlikely to suffer from link-rot. Aa77zz (talk) 13:05, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
I think I've dealt with everything that was cited from a book; I'll hold off on the journals until you comment on how those should be done. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 12:14, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
For edited books I think you've haven't realised that the template automatically does everything for you - and avoids having the year twice. I'll tweak them now. Aa77zz (talk) 13:05, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
Ah. I was going to ask about that duplicated year; thank you for those fixes (and the other tweaks I see you're doing). Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 14:17, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Congratulations on tackling this important topic. The article is clearly written and well referenced. Aa77zz (talk) 07:52, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
    Thanks; I am glad you think so. I'm sure there are more improvements to be made, of course. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 10:31, 5 July 2014 (UTC)

Edited books[edit]

  • In the References section I've now added the page numbers of the chapters in edited books. Previously only Post (2001) had the pages specified. I used google (I'm not near a library). I came across a couple of errors in the authors.
  • "Tunis, C.; Zoppi, U. (2004)" actual has 3 authors and a different spelling of the first author. I've changed it to "Tuniz, C.; Zoppi, U.; Barbetti, M. (2004)." Google preview available here.
  • "Šilar, Jan (2004)" actually has 3 authors, and Šilar is the middle author. It is now "Košler, Jan; Šilar, Jan; Jelìnek, Emil (2004)." Google preview available here.
  • This level of carelessness is worrying (I'm assuming I haven't made errors myself). I haven't checked whether the cited page actually supports the text.
  • On an unrelated issue, in the Calculations section is a sentence: "A common standard sample is HOxII, 1,000 lb of which was prepared by NIST in 1977 from French beet harvests.[55]" The cite is to a chapter published in 1984 available here. This is 30 years ago and the technology has changed enormously since. I suspect that this info is really only of historical interest. Aa77zz (talk) 08:29, 6 July 2014 (UTC)

I understand your comment about carelessness; I knew I wasn't the best at dotting every i, but when I saw the number of corrections you had to make, even before reading your comment above I was planning to apologize to you. I should have done a pass through to find these simple errors before bringing the article to PR. I am sorry you've had to spend your time on this sort of tedious work; next time I bring something to PR I'll do my best to make sure it's clear of these mistakes.

On the Tunis & Zoppi article, I have no explanation for what I did. As it happens, Google Books has two different versions of the book: ISBN 1-58603-424-3 comes up if you search for "Physics Methods in Archaeometry, Volume 154" in This is the one you cited, with authors Tuniz, Zoppi, and Barbetti. There is also one with ISBN 1-58603-385-9, which comes up if you search for "Physics Methods in Archaeometry edited by M. Martini, M. Piacentini". That one shows only Barbetti as the author of the article in the table of contents. However, Tuniz and Zoppi show up in the running head, so it seems to be just an error in that edition; and in any case, since I omitted Barbetti, it can't explain what I did.

For Šilar, the reason I put only one name down as author is that in the table of contents the subsections of that paper are attributed specifically to individual authors, and I assumed I should only give his name in that case. The overall section of the book does have the three authors, but perhaps the title I used should have been the more specific subsection, "Radiocarbon", with page range 150-179?

As for the HOxII, I believe it is still in use as a standard -- it was prepared a long time ago, but testing standard samples is a part of every lab's procedures, and the HOxII standard seems to be still the usual choice. I think I saw a more recent reference that stated this explicitly; if I can find that I will add the reference.

Thanks again for all your work on this. I'm really sorry about the work you've had to do to deal with my mistakes; and I really appreciate the help you've given me. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 11:50, 6 July 2014 (UTC)

I've now added the additional HOxII reference; it appears it is still in use, as of 2007, at least. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 12:46, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
I'm pleased that I could make a small but hopefully useful contribution to the article. Aa77zz (talk) 12:52, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
I've changed the Šilar reference to just the one author, with the title and page range constrained to just the part of the chapter that Šilar wrote alone. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 23:30, 6 July 2014 (UTC)

Comments from Jim[edit]

  • Because the solubility of CO2 in water increases with lower temperatures —You would expect "heavy" CO2 to be more soluble than the standard form, is there any detectable effect of differential solubility?
    I agree this is plausible but I can't find anything about it in the sources, so perhaps the effect is not significant. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 10:05, 9 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Do you need multiple links to dendrochronology and Hans Suess?
    Repeated links removed. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 10:05, 9 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Very comprehensive, good work. My FAs tend to have less technical stuff to aid readability, and to me there is too much on, for example, calibration. However, the fact that you are more diligent than me is scarcely a reason for complaint Jimfbleak - talk to me?
    Should some of that material be moved to a subarticle? My feeling is that calibration is so important that I needed to cover it in quite a bit of detail -- a radiocarbon age simply doesn't tell you enough on its own, and calibration can give quite surprising results. On the other hand, it's still quite a long article, even with the two subarticles I've already created.
    Thanks for the review. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 10:05, 9 July 2014 (UTC)
I'll leave the length to your judgement. Articles like this are more likely to be reviewed by people with a scientific background, so it's probably OK Jimfbleak - talk to me? 06:13, 10 July 2014 (UTC)

A few comments[edit]

Hello, Mike -- Just one comment for now. I may add others later. Will work my way slowly through the article. In the second paragraph of the lead, you have:

"The most important of these was the need to determine what the proportion of 14 C in the atmosphere had been over the past fifty thousand years. The resulting data, in the form of a calibration curve, is used to convert a given measurement of radiocarbon in a sample into an estimate of the actual calendar age of that sample."

There's just a bit of disconnect between these two sentences. I know the sentence before this referred to "much work" that needed to be done (by scientists), and I believe the phrase "the resulting data" was intended to refer to the data resulting from work done to answer the question regarding the proportion of 14 C in the atmosphere, but there's a stretch between "the resulting data" and the "work" mentioned two sentences earlier. You never actually say that that proportion was determined. You also switch from past tense "was the need" to present tense "is used", with no assist to the reader. There is no hint of a connection between the time of Libby's work in the 1940s and actually using the technique today. I'd like to suggest the following wording:

"Research done to answer this question yielded data which, displayed in the form of a calibration curve, is now used to convert the amount of radiocarbon in a sample into an estimate of the sample's actual calendar age".

I would add "now" before "used" so that it reads "is now used", and, just to simplify the last sentence, instead of "used to convert a given measurement of radiocarbon", I would say simply "used to convert the amount of radiocarbon". I hope you don't consider this nitpicking. I just think it would add clarity and improve cohesion of the paragraph. CorinneSD (talk) 20:43, 10 July 2014 (UTC)

I've revised those sentences to "The development of the technique required much additional work; including research to determine what the proportion of 14
in the atmosphere had been over the past fifty thousand years. The resulting data, in the form of a calibration curve, is now used to convert a given measurement of radiocarbon in a sample into an estimate of the sample's actual calendar age." I think this reorganization solves some of the problems you identified. I would prefer to keep "a given measurement of radiocarbon", rather than "amount of radiocarbon", because it's not directly the amount that's measured -- what's measured is the ratio between the radiocarbon and the other carbon in the sample. I also took out "displayed", because it's not really the visible form of the curve that's relevant; it's the underlying data. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 00:59, 11 July 2014 (UTC)

2) In the first paragraph in the section Radiocarbon dating#Atmospheric variation is the following sentence:

"Carbon-dating the wood from the tree-rings themselves provided the check needed on the atmospheric 14C/12 C ratio: with a sample of known date, and a measurement of the value of N (the number of atoms of 14 C remaining in the sample), the carbon-dating equation allows the calculation of N0 (the number of atoms of 14 C in the original sample), and hence the original ratio."

It's not clear to me what is meant by "original sample" or "original ratio". I understood everything else in this section, but not this. Perhaps there is a more precise way to refer to the sample and the ratio. Also, in the phrase, "with a sample of known date", are you referring only to a sample of tree-rings or to a sample of any material? CorinneSD (talk) 21:12, 10 July 2014 (UTC)

This is confusing, and I'd be glad of help in improving the phrasing here. The equation in question is the first one in the "Principles of the Method" section:
N = N_0e^{-\lambda t}\,
The number of 14
atoms in any sample containing carbon is N0; after time t, some of the 14
decays, and there are N atoms left, instead of N0. If a sample is taken from a given tree ring that we know was formed in, say, 1862, we can measure the amount of 14
to be found in that sample now. We can then use the equation to determine N0, which is the amount of 14
that would have been in that particular tree ring in 1862. Since we have a set of tree rings from consecutive years, this lets us measure how much 14
was in the atmosphere in each of those years -- by measuring N, and calculating N0, for each year. So by "atoms of 14
in the original sample" I meant "atoms of 14
that would have been in that sample if it had been taken from the tree ring at the time that tree ring formed."
If you can make this clearer and easier to understand, that would be great. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 00:59, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
@Mike Christie: I took what you gave me, above, and re-worded the sentence. I think it's clearer now. What do you think? I keep looking at the next sentence, the one starting "Armed with...". I think it is a bit long and wordy. I also see your statement, above, that the calculation of N0 was done for each year. I'm wondering whether we can incorporate that. Something like this:
"After calculating N0 for each year using the tree rings, scientists used the results to construct a calibration curve that allows them to correct errors caused by the variation over time in the 14C/12C ratio."
I don't think this is quite right yet. One problem with this wording is that the values of N0 apply to the specific tree-ring sample, not to the year -- that is, N0 is a count of atoms in a given tree ring, not a piece of data about a given year. Hence I don't think we can say "after calculating N0 for each year". I'd also prefer to keep the passive voice, for consistency with the rest of the article, rather than say "scientists". I also think it's better to make "calibration curves" plural; I'll expand on that below. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 11:03, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
By the way, is this calibration curve the same as, or different from, the calibration curve mentioned in the lead? Are there two different calibration curves involved in radiocarbon dating, or just this one? CorinneSD (talk) 15:24, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
I'm not really referring to any specific curve here -- that's why I phrased it as "possible to construct". If you have a set of data that tells you, for example, that in 1055 AD the ratio of 14
in the atmosphere was 1.2 parts per million, and which includes similar information for other years in the 11th century, then if you measure the 14
ratio in a sample of old wood you find, and discover that according to the radioactive decay equations it would have had only 0.6 parts per million of 14
in 1055, you can be sure that that sample of old wood is a lot older than 1055. A lot of measurements have been done on tree rings and other things such as varves, and researchers have put together many different calibration curves using that data. There's a "consensus curve", called INTCAL, that has been around since the 1990s; it represents the collaborative efforts of many researchers in the field. Even that curve comes in multiple varieties, though; one for the northern hemisphere, one for the southern hemisphere, and one for marine samples. It's also been through many iterations: INTCAL13 is the current version, but the 2004 version (INTCAL04) had significant differences. Then there are the curves people assembled before INTCAL, and I believe there are still reasons why a researcher might use a different curve to address specific issues with their data -- for example, if it's known that the marine environment they're working with has different characteristics, the INTCAL curve might not give the best results.
I'm out of time for now (house guests) but will get back to the rest of your comments as soon as I can -- tonight or tomorrow, I hope. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 11:03, 13 July 2014 (UTC)

3) I noticed that you have "tree-ring(s)" hyphenated in Radiocarbon dating#Atmospheric variation but not hyphenated in "Variations in Carbon 14 production". Perhaps you should decide which form you want to use and make them consistent. I don't know whether you want to use the unhyphenated form (two separate words) when its a noun and the hyphenated form when it is used as an adjective. @Rothorpe: What do you think? CorinneSD (talk) 21:21, 10 July 2014 (UTC)

Yes, strictly hyphen for adjective, no hyphen for noun phrase. Rothorpe (talk) 21:43, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
Agreed; fixed. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 00:59, 11 July 2014 (UTC)

4) In the second paragraph in the section "Variations in 14C production", you have "polar excursion" (with a link). Later in the paragraph you have "polarity excursion". Is that an intended variation on the phrase? CorinneSD (talk) 21:45, 10 July 2014 (UTC)

No, it's an error; it should be "polarity" in each case. Fixed. Thanks for your comments so far -- much appreciated. Readability is a real concern with a scientific article, and I hope we can make this as accessible as possible. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 00:59, 11 July 2014 (UTC)

5) In the third paragraph in the section Radiocarbon dating#Physical and chemical background, you have a sentence that begins:

"If it is assumed that the cosmic ray flux has been constant over the last ~100,000 years,..."

This is the first time that the word "flux" is used in the article, and, I'm sorry to say, I don't know what "cosmic ray flux" means. I believe "flux" is related to the word "fluctuation", but that's just a guess. Is there any way to add a defining word or phrase? CorinneSD (talk) 15:40, 11 July 2014 (UTC)

I've wikilinked "flux"; basically it means the density, or intensity, of the cosmic rays. To say the flux has been constant means that there hasn't been any significant change in the amount of cosmic rays hitting the atmosphere. Is there a better way to say this? Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 01:25, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

6) If you're interested, you can see User talk:Rothorpe#Radiocarbon dating and User talk:Rothorpe#Radiocarbon dating 2, where I asked Rothorpe a few questions regarding punctuation, word order, etc. CorinneSD (talk) 15:42, 11 July 2014 (UTC)

I took a look and I agree with the changes you and Rothorpe discussed. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 02:25, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

@CorinneSD: I think I've caught up with your comments now. Thanks! Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 02:25, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

A few more comments from CorinneSD[edit]

1) I've just started reading the rest of the article. The paragraph in the section "Impact of climactic cycles" is as follows:

Because the solubility of CO2 in water increases with lower temperatures, glacial periods would have led to the faster absorption of atmospheric CO2 by the oceans. In addition, any carbon stored in the glaciers would be depleted in 14C over the life of the glacier; when the glacier melted as the climate warmed, the depleted carbon would be released, reducing the global 14C/12C ratio. The changes in climate would also cause changes in the biosphere, with warmer periods leading to more plant and animal life. The effect of these factors on radiocarbon dating is not known.
I don't know. Maybe because I took a break from reading the article, or maybe just because of my own ignorance of the subject, I don't understand some things here. I understand the first sentence fine. In the second sentence, I don't understand:
"would be depleted in 14C".
That means nothing to me. I know carbon 14 decays over time, so there's less of it as time passes. Is that what this means? Now, if I am correct in supposing that that's what it means, then I don't understand this phrase in the next sentence:
"the depleted carbon would be released". Does that mean that the carbon stored in the glacier, a combination of carbon 14 and carbon 12, would simply at that time have less carbon 14 than it did when the water froze? Does that mean that it would have more carbon 12 in it? Does carbon 14 just disappear, or does it become carbon 12 over time? I guess I'm not clear on what "reducing the global 14C/12C ratio" means. I guess I have to go back to the beginning of the article and read all the way through again. (Are you sure you want me to read to the end of the article? :) CorinneSD (talk) 22:13, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
I now see an explanation for "reducing the...14C/12C ratio" in Radiocarbon dating#Hard water effect. CorinneSD (talk) 22:25, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
I see that phrase "depleted in 14C" again in the section Radiocarbon dating#Hemisphere effect. I'm wondering if it would be clearer if you used the preposition "of" instead of "in" for this particular phrase: "depleted of 14C". That "depleted in" doesn't make any sense to me. CorinneSD (talk) 22:30, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
By "depleted in 14C" I mean that the amount of 14C in the article has been reduced by some amount. To me, "depleted of 14C" would imply that there was no 14C left at all -- it would be short for "depleted of all 14C", whereas I read "depleted in 14C" as short for "depleted with respect to 14C". It looks like from your subsequent comments that you now understand the paragraph, but just to be sure, here's an explanation. The 14C in the glaciers (in dissolved carbon dioxide) decays over time, turning into nitrogen. After, say, 5,000 years, half the 14C in the glaciers is gone. Then when the glaciers melt, the carbon dioxide in them is released back into the atmosphere. The atmosphere still has the expected ratio of 14C to 12C, because cosmic rays were continuing to make 14C while the glaciers were frozen. The melting glaciers release carbon dioxide that has a lower ratio of 14C/12C back into the atmosphere; this lowers the 14C/12C ratio of the whole atmosphere. That would have an impact on the apparent age of something -- a piece of wood from that time might appear to be older than it really is, because it would have this "old carbon" from the glaciers in it. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 01:35, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
You know I'm not a scientist, but I wonder about two things regarding the Radiocarbon dating#Island effect:
1) You have a separate section for "Island effect" but then discount it with one example. You don't mention whose idea the island effect was, or is, or whether any scientists think it does exist. Why mention it if your one example proves it not to exist? I think more than one example is needed.
I've been wondering whether to just delete that section, since the net result is that there is no island effect. Still, the sources mention it, so I think I need to. The sources I have, which are mostly survey works, don't give the originator of the idea. I'll add it if I'm able to find out who came up with it, but I don't think it's really necessary. I don't know if there are any other experimental refutations of the island effect -- the example given is the only one covered in the sources. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 01:35, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
2) I wonder whether the results of that experiment with Seattle and Ireland would have been different if the island were farther from England and the European mainland. What if they had chosen Iceland, or Hawaii -- another island in the northern hemisphere that was farther from any continent? CorinneSD (talk) 22:38, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Good question, but not one I can answer in the article -- that really would be original research! Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 01:35, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

2) In the section Radiocarbon dating#Sample material considerations, in the last bulleted item, would you consider changing "Other types of sample" to either "Other sample types" or "Other materials"? While "other types of sample" is not wrong, it's a little stilted, and the other phrases, because shorter, are more concise, and they are more common. CorinneSD (talk) 23:02, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

I agree; I've changed it to "Other materials". Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 01:54, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

3) In the section Radiocarbon dating#Preparation and sample size, I see several commas that I think are not necessary (again, it's a question of style and an individual choice, but I tend to use commas only when necessary):

"Particularly for older samples, it may be useful to enrich the amount of 14C in the sample before testing. This can be done with a thermal diffusion column. The process takes about a month, and requires a sample about ten times as large as would be needed otherwise, but it allows more precise measurement of the 14C/12C ratio in old material, and extends the maximum age that can be reliably reported."
In the third sentence, I would take out the comma after "take about a month" and the comma after "old material". These commas are unnecessary and slow down the flow of the sentence. The sentence would then look as follows:
"The process takes about a month and requires a sample about ten times as large as would be needed otherwise, but it allows more precise measurement of the 14C/12C ratio in old material and extends the maximum age that can be reliably reported." CorinneSD (talk) 23:12, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

Mike, I saw some more unnecessary commas in the next paragraph, so I decided to go ahead and edit the entire section. Hope you don't mind. (Feel free to undo or change.) As you'll see, I really revised the last paragraph. I felt that the sentences did not flow well the way it was worded. The only problem I see is that at least one of the two testing technologies was mentioned in a paragraph just above this one. Usually, the first time a term appears in an article is when it is linked. Other than that minor issue, you may or may not mind the introduction of the two testing technologies here (rather than earlier). CorinneSD (talk) 23:29, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

I looked through your edits and agree with all of them; you're particularly good at spotting superfluous commas, which I have a weakness for. Thanks for the edits. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 01:54, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Arbitrary section break[edit]

4) I have several questions regarding the section Radiocarbon dating#Beta counting. (I know that to you these things might seem obvious, but to me they are not. I thought you might like to know the places where I get confused or feel that something is not clear.):

1) In the first paragraph, it's not made clear where the sample is actually placed. Also, just for my own interest if not for the article, could you tell me the reason for the carbon coating on the inside of the cylinder?
I can see this isn't clear; that carbon is the sample. I've reworded to clarify this. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 23:33, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
It's much clearer now. Good work! CorinneSD (talk) 02:19, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
2) The first sentence of the second paragraph mentions "bomb carbon". Is this related to the second paragraph in Radiocarbon dating#The Effects of human activity? If so, and the reader fails to make the connection, this might be confusing. Perhaps a little reminder of what it refers to would help. If not, then what is it?
Yes, that's what is meant. I use the phrase "bomb carbon" in that paragraph, but it's a long way back, so I've added a parenthetical explanation. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 23:37, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
3) The fourth paragraph begins, "For both types of counter". Now I know you know this refers to gas proportional counters and liquid scintillation counters, but just before this, at the end of the third paragraph, you mentioned anticoincidence counters. I think for the sake of clarity, you should mention the names of the two types of counter:
"For both the gas proportional counter and liquid scintillation counter,...".
Agreed; done. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 23:37, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
4) In the middle of the fourth paragraph you switch to future tense ("will also be used"). Since you have been using present tense throughout, I think you should stay in present tense. Present tense is appropriate for something that is done on a regular basis. It's part of the procedure. Also, although you didn't mention it, I assume the testing of a blank sample is normally done before the real testing begins. You could incorporate this order in your sentence. (And is the testing of a sample with standard activity also done before the real testing begins?) Regardless of whether you mention the order of these tests, I still think present tense is best.
Agreed; I changed this to present tense. The order isn't specified in the source I used, and I don't think it would matter. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 01:59, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
5) Toward the end of the fourth paragraph, you use the phrase "original sample" again (you will recall that we discussed this earlier). It's not completely clear what "original sample" means. Would you consider using a different phrase? CorinneSD (talk) 16:23, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Reworded; is that better? Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 02:20, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes. It's much better. I'm wondering whether the sentence would be even clearer if you added the adverb "solely" after "due":
"This provides a value for the background radiation, which must be subtracted from the measured activity of the sample which is being dated to get the activity due solely to that sample's 14C".
CorinneSD (talk) 02:42, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Done. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 09:53, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

5) I just started reading the section on Radiocarbon dating#Accelerator mass spectrometry and I found one issue in the first sentence:

1) The first sentence reads:
"AMS counts the atoms of 14C and 12C atoms in a given sample,..."
Do you really want the word "atoms" twice in this sentence?
No, that's debris from an earlier form of the sentence, I think. Fixed. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 02:20, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
2) In this phrase, "negatively charged C- ions", do you need to use the minus sign after "C" when you are saying that they are negatively charged? Could you write "negative charged carbon ions"?
I thought about this and would like to leave this as is. A positively charged C3+ ion isn't the same as a positively charged C+ ion, after all, so the minus sign does add information. I could drop "negatively" without loss of precision, but I think it helps the less technical reader confirm that they understand what they're reading. Do you have any suggestions for another way to phrase this? Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 02:20, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Well, what I was thinking before, but didn't write, was first use the phrase "negatively charged carbon ions" and then put "C-" in parentheses after it, or after "carbon". CorinneSD (talk) 02:46, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
I rephrased this to include an explanation of "ion". How's that? Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 09:53, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
3) The last sentence in the first paragraph in this section reads:
"AMS is more sensitive than beta counting, and can date samples that contain only a few milligrams of carbon, such as individual seeds."
When I read this sentence, it sounded familiar. The last sentence in the section Radiocarbon dating#Preparation and sample size reads:
"AMS labs are much more sensitive and can deal with samples as small as 10 milligrams (for charcoal) and generally require less than a gram of most sample materials."

:While not exactly the same, these two sentences are quite similar. I wonder whether you care to choose the most appropriate place for the information and delete the other one. CorinneSD (talk) 16:44, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Done; I removed the second occurrence. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 02:23, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

6) The second paragraph in the section Radiocarbon dating#Accelerator mass spectrometry begins:

"The use of AMS, as opposed to simpler forms of mass spectrometer,..."
You have already made clear (in the middle of the section Radiocarbon dating#Measurement) that AMS stands for "accelerator mass spectrometry". So, actually, here you are saying:
"The use of accelerator mass spectometry, as opposed to simpler forms of mass spectrometer,..."
I think the two terms should be parallel. Since you can't change AMS, you should probably change "mass spectrometer" to "mass spectrometry".
I see you've already made this change, and I agree with it. I don't know if you noticed, but the first occurrence of "AMS" in the article (here) appears to refer to "accelerator mass spectrometer", rather than "accelerator mass spectrometry"; the form of that sentence makes it difficult to change. I'm inclined to leave it as it is, but if you can see a way to improve it that would be great. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 02:40, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Well, in the third paragraph of the lead I found "accelerator mass spectrometry", with a link. Maybe you could put the initials "AMS" in parentheses after it. Then you wouldn't need "(AMS)" after "accelerator mass spectrometer" later. When scientists use the initials "AMS", aren't they usually referring to the method rather than the instrument? CorinneSD (talk) 02:54, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
I don't want to put the abreviation in the lead, because it's not used till much later in the article. I tweaked the "Preparation and sample size" section to make AMS stand for the method, not the device; I think that fixes it. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 09:53, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

7) In the second paragraph in this section, you describe the necessary testing of two different kinds of blank sample. I also saw a brief mention of both tests just two paragraphs earlier -- the last paragraph in Radiocarbon dating#Beta counting. Do you really feel both are needed? If do you, perhaps the first mention of the tests could be briefer.

I just noticed that the second instance has "a blank sample and a standard sample"; in fact in AMS two kinds of blank are used, as the paragraph goes on to make clear, so I made these plural, which since it's a general discussion avoids the question of how many are used. To your point: I've cut part of the sentence and made an associated tweak. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 09:53, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

8) In the middle of the second paragraph in this section, you have a sentence that reads:

"Two different kinds of blank may be measured: a sample of dead carbon that has undergone no chemical processing, in order to detect any machine background, and a sample known as a process blank made from dead carbon that is processed into target material in exactly the same way as the sample itself."
You have the word "sample" three times. The first two instances are clear. The third one is not. I believe the third one refers to the real sample of which one is trying to determine the age through radiocarbon testing, but it's not clear. It could refer to one or the other of the two samples just mentioned. Is there a way you could make this clear (without using "original sample")?
Changed to "sample being dated". Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 22:22, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

9) In that same section, you have the following sentence:

"Any 14C signal from the machine background blank is likely to be caused either by beams of ions that have not followed the expected path inside the detector, or by carbon hydrides such as 12CH2 or 13CH."
Now, this will really show my ignorance, but here goes, anyway:
(a) Why are there any beams of ions passing through the detector if there is no 14C in this piece of dead carbon being tested? Why is there an "expected path" if there are no 14C ions in this sample?
The beams of ions are formed of whatever is in the sample. The C- ions are not just 14C -- they're 14C, 13C and 12C, in whatever proportion exist in the sample being dated. So even if there are no 14C atoms in the sample at all, there will still be a beam of ions formed of the 13C and 12C atoms. Is there a way to make this clearer in the article? Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 09:53, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
(b) Why would there by carbon hydrides in the detector? CorinneSD (talk) 17:06, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
The source doesn't specify. I believe it's because it's never possible to have the sample completely pure, and with AMS, counting individual atoms that may only constitute one part int 20 million of the sample, even the tiniest impurities would have a huge impact on the measurement if they happen to have the same atomic weight as 14C. I don't think I should add anything to that effect without an explicit source, though. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 09:53, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

That's all I can do now. I just read the "Calculations" section. I need a little more time to get through the rest of the article. I'll get to it either later today or tomorrow. CorinneSD (talk) 17:47, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Arbitrary section break 2[edit]

1) The second-to-last paragraph in the section Radiocarbon dating#Calibration begins:

"When several radiocarbon dates are obtained for samples which are known or suspected to be from the same object, they may be able to be combined."
There is some ambiguity in the pronoun "they". It could refer to "dates" or "samples". The sentence would be clearer if you used a noun instead of the pronoun: "the dates" or "the samples".
Also, even though "may be able to be combined" is not wrong, it is a little tortured. You might consider re-wording this so that the verb is simpler, something like "it is possible to combine the..." or "the...can be combined".
I made this "it may be possible to combine the measurements to get a more accurate date"; I think that addresses both of your points. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 10:04, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I saw that. Very good. CorinneSD (talk) 22:59, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

2) In the first bulleted list in the section Radiocarbon dating#Reporting dates, in the third item is the phrase "at 1 σ confidence". (I don't know what that symbol/letter after the 1 is or what it's called.) In all other instances of this "1 σ" in the article, there is no space between the "1" and the "σ". Here, you have a space. I didn't know if this was deliberate or not. Just thought I'd point it out.

It's a mistake; I've cleaned it up. That symbol is a Greek letter, sigma; I've added a brief note to that effect when it first appears, in the "Errors and reliability" section. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 10:04, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
I saw that, too. Good. CorinneSD (talk) 22:59, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

3) In this same section, Radiocarbon dating#Reporting dates, last sentence, you have the word "pretreatment". It comes out with a red squiggly line under it in edit mode, indicating that the software does not recognize the word, or has some problem with the spelling. I don't know if it is accepted as one unhyphenated word or not (even the words "unhyphenated" and "bulleted" come out with a red squiggly line under them). Just thought I'd point it out.

I see it unhyphenated in the sources, so I think it's OK. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 10:15, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
O.K. CorinneSD (talk) 22:59, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

4) That same last sentence begins:

"In addition, a recommendation for reporting calibrated dates published in 2014 suggests...."
"A recommendation...suggests..." is a little odd. To recommend and to suggest are almost synonyms, and a recommendation and a suggestion are almost synonyms. You might tighten up the language by saying who suggests/recommends something, or where the suggestion/recommendation comes from or is found:
  • X recommends that...
  • X suggests that...
  • It was recommended that... / It has been recommended that...
  • It was suggested that... / It has been suggested that...
(etc.) (I think "recommends" or "recommended" is best.)
I changed this to "In addition, an article in Radiocarbon in 2014 about radiocarbon date reporting conventions recommends that..." Does that work? Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 10:15, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes. Much better. CorinneSD (talk) 22:59, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

3) In the first paragraph of the section Radiocarbon dating#Interpretation, a sentence begins:

"In these cases a date for the coffin or charcoal is indicative of the date deposition of the grave goods...."
I had never seen the phrase "the date deposition". Shouldn't this be "the date of deposition"?
Oops. Yes; fixed. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 10:15, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

4) Also in the first paragraph is the following sentence:

"These improved field methods were sometimes motivated by an endeavour to prove that a 14C date was incorrect."
I would just like to suggest the substitution of the word "attempts" for "an endeavour". I think it conveys the actual events better, and I think it probably happened more than once, so the plural is probably preferable, but if you don't like the plural, then use "an attempt". Then the sentence would read:
"These improved field methods were sometimes motivated by attempts to prove that a 14C date was incorrect", or
"These improved field methods were sometimes motivated by an attempt to prove that a 14C date was incorrect."
"Attempts" works for me; done. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 10:15, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

5) In the second paragraph in this same section is the following sentence:

"It is not always possible to recognize re-use, if no such signs are present."
There is no mention of specific signs before this. I suppose it refers to whatever signs indicated that the wood of the trackway had been re-used, but that's a mental connection that the reader has to make. I'm wondering whether that clause, "if no such signs are present", is really necessary. Either delete it or add a few words to the clause to clarify "signs", something like,
  • if no obvious signs are present, or
  • if no clearly discernible signs are present, or
  • if there are no clearly discernible signs, or
  • if there are no obvious signs.
I deleted it; you're right that as it stands it requires a mental connection, and after thinking about it I feel it doesn't need any qualifying clause. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 10:42, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
I agree. CorinneSD (talk) 22:59, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

6) In the second paragraph in the section Radiocarbon dating#Impact on archaeology is the following clause:

"it became apparent that these innovations must sometimes have arisen from local causes."
I'm just wondering whether "must sometimes have arisen from local causes" is the right phrase. You haven't been discussing causes of innovation, you've been discussing sources of innovation -- "diffusion through the continent, or by invasions of tribes" who brought new ideas with them. Causes and sources are a bit different. It's more about routes and places where innovations arose. Perhaps, instead of "must...have arisen from local causes", you could use "must...have arisen locally", or "must...have arisen from within the local culture".
Excellent point. I went with "must sometimes have arisen locally". Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 10:42, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
I saw that. I think your choice of the shorter option in both this and the previous item is excellent. CorinneSD (talk) 22:59, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Well, I reached the end of the article, and I learned a lot. Thank you for your patience with my ignorance of the science.

I have two more thoughts:

1) In the section Radiocarbon dating#Calibration, in the paragraph right next to the CALIB output graph, there is the following clause:

"the vertical width of the curve corresponds to the width of the standard error in the calibration curve at that point."
You lost me here. I don't understand "the vertical width", and I don't understand which curve of all the curves in the graph is being referred to.
This is a complicated graph, and I'd like to make this explanation better. The fat grey line that descends from upper left to lower right is the INTCAL13 curve itself. That fat grey line is the same as the area between the two dotted lines in the graph above it -- it indicates that the "true" calibration curve has a 68% chance of being inside that line. If you draw a vertical line at any point on the graph, it will go through the fat grey line. The amount of the vertical line that's actually inside the fat grey line will depend on where you draw the vertical line. Near the middle of the graph, for example, it would go through the very thin downslope of the fat grey line, and not much of the vertical line would be inside the fat grey line. That's what I meant by "vertical width": the amount of a vertical line that would be within the fat grey line at any given point. Can you suggest a better way to phrase this? Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 10:42, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for this explanation. (It's quite clear in itself.) I'll take a look at it again now in this new light, and get back to you.
1) Why would you draw a vertical line? Why would you need to draw a vertical line?
2) I think, instead of using the phrase "vertical width", you should just use the word "width" and explain what you just explained above: "The amount of the vertical line that is actually inside the fat grey line will depend on where you draw the vertical line. Near the middle of the graph, for example, it would go through the very thin downslope of the fat grey line, and not much of the vertical line would be inside the fat grey line. In contrast, if one draws a vertical line through the fat grey line near the right of the graph, more of the vertical line would be inside the fat grey line."
But I still don't see what that means or represents -- what the amount of the line that is inside the fat grey line tells us.
3) Is the "histogram" the entire graph (the one with the fat grey line), or is it just the "fat grey line"? I guess that "fat grey line" is not a calibration curve.
4) I don't understand why you have input data that is a calendar year. If you don't know the date of an object, how would you have a date to put into the calculations?
5) I also don't see the connection/relationship between the kind of bell-curve with an arrow in it at the left of the graph and the rest of the graph.
This is probably amusing your fellow science editors. It's clear that this type of graph is over my head. I understand, pretty much, all the variables that are discussed in the article. I just don't understand the graphs. But, I guess that's all right. Most of your readers will probably understand them. CorinneSD (talk) 19:27, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
I think part of the confusion is probably just practice -- when you've read a lot of graphs you start to get a sense of how to read them, without needing much explanation. We can't explain everything as if a reader has never seen any graphs before, but I think if you understand all the variables, and don't follow the graph, it needs to be made clearer. Taking your questions in order:
1. There's no need for a user of the graph to draw a vertical line; I was using that as way to clarify what I meant by "vertical width". See the next answer for more. I can see that "vertical width" isn't a clear phrase, but let's defer that till you're clear on what the graph actually says.
2. The real point here is your last question -- what the amount of the line that is inside the fat grey line tells us. Here's an explanation that I hope will clarify this. A calibration curve is a graph showing the relationship between a radiocarbon age measured for some object, and the calendar age of that object. The way you use the curve is by plugging in a radiocarbon age (on the vertical axis), reading across, and then finding the corresponding calendar age. But the way that researchers actually construct the curve is the reverse of that -- they take an object of known age, and read across the horizontal axis to find that age, then they measure its radiocarbon age, and go up and put in that data directly above that point on the horizontal axis. So let's say they take an object they know dates from 770 AD. They measure the radiocarbon age, and they get 1260 BP. But their measurement is not perfect -- the result they get is really a bell curve, with 1260 BP in the middle. There's a 68% chance (this is the 1σ range, mentioned in the article) that the result is within 13 years of that date: in other words, there's a 68% chance that an object from 770 AD will give you a radiocarbon age between 1273 BP and 1247 BP. So they go to 770 AD on the horizontal axis, and draw a line from 1273 to 1247 BP. That's the "vertical width" of the fat grey line at that point. The fat grey line is the collection of all the vertical lines they draw by measuring radiocarbon for all the different ages on the horizontal axis. The fat grey line is the calibration curve; it's fat because it's drawn to have 68% confidence that it includes the true number.
3, 4 & 5 are best answered together. The input data (1270 BP in the text) is a radiocarbon age, not a calendar year. I don't think the text makes that clear enough. First, assume that you have a sample of old wood and you've taken it to a radiocarbon lab, and they've told you that the age is 1270 +/1 10 years BP, in radiocarbon years. Now you want to know what that means in calendar years. That's what the CALIB graph shows: how you put in a radiocarbon age and get out a calendar age. There are three parts to the graph. First, the bell curve that is sideways on at the left side is the input data. It represents the lab results. The centre of that bell curve is at 1270 BP; the dark grey section is 1260 BP to 1280 BP -- it corresponds to the +/- 10 years that the lab quoted. (The lab quotes the 68% confidence level.) So we have 68% confidence that the piece of wood is between 1280 and 1260 BP in radiocarbon years. The second part of the graph is the calibration curve -- the fat grey line. Read across from the dark grey section of the input data, and you'll see it intersects the calibration curve at three separate points. Those are three different points where the researchers who constructed the calibration curve found samples that would give a radiocarbon age in that range. Now run your eye straight down from each of those three points in turn to the bottom of the graph. On the horizontal axis you'll see another, irregular, graph. Each of the three parts of the calibration curve that the input data intersects with is directly above a dark grey part of the result curve at the bottom. That curve shows information about how old (in calendar years, since this is the horizontal axis) the sample of wood is. So the curve converts input data (left axis) to output data (bottom axis). In the output curve, dark grey means 68% confidence, just as before, so it is saying that with 68% confidence the wood dates from either 690-720 AD, 740-750 AD, or 760-765 AD. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 01:07, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

2) I saw the INTCAL13 curve in Radiocarbon dating#Calibration. I believe the one shown is for the northern hemisphere. ("The INTCAL13 data includes separate curves for the northern and southern hemispheres, as they differ systematically because of the hemisphere effect; there is also a separate marine calibration curve.") I thought it would be interesting to see the curves for the southern hemisphere and for marine samples for comparison. I think readers who live in the southern hemisphere would find that curve particularly interesting. Would it be possible to provide all three curves, and place them near each other? CorinneSD (talk) 02:19, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

It would, but I don't think it would be helpful to show the complete graphs -- at the scale of 50,000 years across the horizontal axis, I don't think it would be possible to distinguish them for most of their range. It might be possible to take a small range -- say, 1,000 to 2,000 before present -- and give the three graphs over that range, to illustrate that they differ. However, I'm also a bit concerned that the calibration section is a bit long and complex; Jim Bleak, above in this PR, suggested moving it to a subarticle. Hence I'm a bit loath to actually add to this section. What do you think? Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 10:42, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Let me look at the Calibration section again before I reply. CorinneSD (talk) 22:59, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Arbitrary section break 3[edit]

Mike, I decided to go back to the beginning of the article on Radiocarbon dating and read it through once more. I was stopped by the very first line:

"Radiocarbon dating is a dating method that uses radiocarbon, or 14C, a radioactive isotope of carbon."

I feel that "Radiocarbon dating is a dating method" is not especially elegant writing. You've got "dating" twice, and "a dating method" without any hint of what is to be dated with this method is at one and the same time vague and ambiguous.

I'm wondering whether the sentence could be re-worded to give just a slight indication of what the method is applied to, something like this:

"Radiocarbon dating is a method that uses a radioactive isotope of carbon to assign a date to a man-made or natural object or material from the past".

Then you could introduce 14C, and "radiocarbon", in the next sentence. Or, if not that, then perhaps:

"Radiocarbon dating is a method for determining the date of a man-made or natural object or material from the past. The method uses radiocarbon, abbreviated 14C, a radioactive isotope of carbon.

I think with something like this, a reader would be more intrigued and want to continue reading. What do you think? CorinneSD (talk) 23:24, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

My daughter (aged 19, studying physics) read the first part of the article this evening; she burst out laughing at the first sentence because of the repetition of "dating". So I think you're right to object to it! I looked at your version and worked with it some more; I've now changed it to "Radiocarbon dating is a method of determining the age of an object by using the properties of radiocarbon, a radioactive isotope of carbon", and tweaked the third sentence to introduce the 14C abbreviation. What do you think? Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 02:01, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

2) Mike, you're going to say, "Oh, no" with these additional comments. Tell me if you want me to leave off adding more comments.

Not at all! Your comments are very helpful. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 02:01, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

The second paragraph in the lead begins,

"Although the idea behind radiocarbon dating is straightforward, it depends on many assumptions."

I have two points I want to make about this:

1) To a non-scientist, the word "assumptions" has very little meaning -- almost no meaning. 2) If you read the rest of the paragraph, you will see that you don't refer to assumptions again. This leaves the use of "assumptions" in the first sentence exactly what I told you: no meaning -- an empty word taking up space.

This is a good sentence. If you want to keep the sentence, I suggest the word "variables", and perhaps "variables that must be taken into consideration". Then you can mention some of the variables (in simple language). That might be a kind of overview that Johnbod was talking about (haven't decided whether you need a separate overview section or not). The rest of the paragraph -- with the exception of the very next (second) sentence -- kind of mention the variables.

There is a bit of a problem with this paragraph. In the first sentence you are getting into the very beginning of explaining the method. In the second sentence, you start to talk about the history of the development of the method. The juxtaposition of these two sentences creates a lack of cohesion. Then you begin to discuss the variables that must be considered. I think the history needs to be kept separate, or the order of sentences needs to be changed. Do you see what I mean? CorinneSD (talk) 23:39, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

I think a list of some of the variables in simple language would actually intrigue a reader.

The rest of the lead is pretty good. I wouldn't get into the history of the technique in the lead. I would remove this from the lead:

"The development of the technique required much additional work".
I've changed the first two sentences of this paragraph to "The idea behind radiocarbon dating is straightforward, but the development of the technique required much additional work. Research has been going on since the 1960s to determine what the proportion of in the atmosphere had been over the past fifty thousand years." I take your point about "assumptions", so I've cut that part. I left in "required much additional work", though I'm open to changing the phrase: I think it's worth letting the reader know that there was a long journey from the original idea to a workable dating method, including the discovery of problems such as fractionation and reservoir effects. Now that I've removed the mention of assumptions, does this work better? I also changed the start of the second sentence to make it a more direct reference to the work that had to be done. What do you think? Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 10:21, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

Regarding the brief section on archaeology in the lead, can you avoid using "synchronization"? CorinneSD (talk) 23:44, 22 July 2014 (UTC) CorinneSD (talk) 23:49, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Revised. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 10:21, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

I just took a look at the article from beginning to end (quickly). It seems to me that the Radiocarbon dating#Invention section is quite short compared to all the other sections. Is there anything interesting you could add to this section?

Yes, there's a bit more in Taylor. I'll work on that tonight. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 11:06, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Now added. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 20:05, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

Also, it seems, just in terms of length, that the Radiocarbon dating#Calibration section is much longer than the other sections. I know this would be a difficult section to cut down, but, besides being long, it's also very technical. I'm wondering whether you would considering making just a short section for calibration and then creating a separate article. It's not absolutely necessary. There are other technical sections, like "Fractionation". It's really your choice.

I've been thinking for a while that calibration deserves its own article. I'll think about this some more. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library)

I think more examples of the use of radiocarbon dating in the section Radiocarbon dating#Impact on archaeology might be interesting for the reader. Would you consider changing the name of that section to "Use of the method in archaeology", or "Application to archaeology", or something like that? CorinneSD (talk) 23:58, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

In my mind, impact and use are different things -- I meant the section to be about the way radiocarbon dating has transformed archaeology, in many different ways. The "reporting dates" and "interpretation" sections were meant to be the ones about how the technique is used in practice. I do have more examples; Walker has several good ones, I believe. How about putting all three of these sections into a new section, "Application to archaeology", as lower level headings? Then I could add an "examples" section before the "impact" section. What do you think? Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 11:06, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Before I answer your question about whether to move the "reporting dates" and "interpretation" sections to a new archaeology section, I need to ask you whether the radiocarbon dating method/ technique is used for anything other than archaeology. If it is, then maybe they don't belong in an archaeology section. Maybe the overarching section needs a different name such as "Practical uses of the radiocarbon dating method", with archaeology as a sub-heading under that. Then "reporting dates" and "interpretation" can go under "Practical uses", too.
If the radiocarbon dating method is used primarily in archaeology, then an archaeology section makes sense, with "reporting dates", "interpretation", and "impact on the field of archaeology" (or something) as sub-headings. Other uses of the method could be mentioned in a separate section. CorinneSD (talk) 19:34, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
It is used outside archaeology; I just did a quick search and found a reference talking about uses in hydrology, climatology, meteorology, ecology, geology and oceanography. I think archaeological radiocarbon testing is the vast majority of work at the labs -- I would guess 90 or 95%, but I don't know. I'll think about this some more; you're right that I can't have this information presented as if it is confined to archaeology.
I'm out of time again; I don't know how much time I'll have tomorrow, but I should have some over the weekend, so more replies then. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 01:15, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

I think if you work just a little more on the lead section, you won't need an overview section. I think this subject is the kind of subject that you can't talk about half-way, in half measures. You either speak about it in general terms (the lead) or, once you get into it, you have to use the technical language and explain the details and how they all relate to each other (as you have done, quite well). It would be very difficult to write an overview that summarizes all the information you have in this article. I think you could refine the lead a little bit and that would suffice. (Are overviews after the lead common in science articles on WP?) CorinneSD (talk) 00:02, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

I haven't seen overviews after the lead section that I can recall, but I don't think that means much. If you can think of further ways to improve the lead, let's do that, then revisit the question of whether an overview is needed. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 11:06, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Arbitrary section break 4[edit]

(I started a new section just to make it easier. I will still add replies in the previous section.)

1) I read the revised first few sentences of the lead. I just wonder about the word "soon" in "soon became a standard tool for archaeologists". Radiocarbon dating was invented in the 1940s. In the section Radiocarbon dating#Impact on archaeology, there is no indication that the method was used in archaeology in the 1950s or 1960s. Will you be adding more information about those decades in "Impact on archaeology"?

I took a look at Taylor (1987) which has some detailed early history, and I think "soon" is justified. I agree this needs to be reflected in the main text; I'll add something to the "Impact on archaeology" section. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 11:22, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Now done. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 15:00, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

2) Regarding the first sentence in the second paragraph of the lead,

"The idea behind radiocarbon dating is straightforward, but the development of the technique required much additional work",

I'd like to propose two changes:

(a) change "much additional work" to "years of additional work"; and
(b) re-word the sentence as follows:
"While the idea behind radiocarbon dating is straightforward, the development of the technique required years of additional work."
If you don't like "while", then "although" or "though" would be alternatives.
(c) I think the addition of a little more would fill out the sentence:
"While the idea behind radiocarbon dating is straightforward, the development of the technique to the point where accurate dates could be obtained required years of additional work", or,


"While the idea behind radiocarbon dating is straightforward, years of additional work were required to develop the technique to the point where accurate dates could be obtained".
I like the last version you give above and have switched to that. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 11:22, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

3) In the next sentence:

"Research has been going on since the 1960s to determine what the proportion of 14C in the atmosphere had been over the past fifty thousand years",

you're using the past perfect progressive tense ("had been going on") where there is no need to. You haven't mentioned any other event or specific time in the past that the research preceded. I'm not sure why it is important to say "since the 1960s" -- I guess this particular research started in the 1960s. May I suggest something like this:

"Starting in the 1960s, researchers worked to determine what the proportion of 14C in the atmosphere had been over the past fifty thousand years".

If you could add to that sentence something that indicates why it was important to know that, or how that helped refine the radiocarbon dating method, I think it would be helpful. CorinneSD (talk) 19:00, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

That's all I have time for this morning, but I'll just mention here that I it wasn't till about 1960 that it became clear that radiocarbon ages were not the same as calendar ages, and a calibration curve would be needed. I thought there was something to this effect in the article -- I'll look tonight or tomorrow. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 11:22, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
I had another look at this and I'm not quite sure what the problem is. I used "has been going on" in the first part of the sentence because the research is still going on, and isn't going to end -- it's an ongoing research project to improve the INTCAL curves. I didn't want to say "research began" or "started" in the 60s because I wanted to emphasize that it's still going on now. Can you explain again what the problem is? Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 17:44, 26 July 2014 (UTC)
I am very sorry. I guess my eyes are not as good as they used to be, or I was tired after doing a lot of reading, and I mis-read that sentence. I thought it said "had been going on", and I see now that it said "has been going on", which is fine. CorinneSD (talk) 01:59, 27 July 2014 (UTC)

4) I have a few questions about the section Radiocarbon dating#Variations in 14C production, specifically these sentences:

"The known fluctuations in the earth's magnetic field strength match up quite well with this oscillation: cosmic rays are deflected by magnetic fields, so when there is a lower magnetic field, more 14C is produced, leading to a younger apparent age for samples from those periods. Conversely, a higher magnetic field leads to lower 14C production and an older apparent age".
(a) I think the phrase "in the earth's magnetic field strength" is a little long with three adjectives before the noun. I would change it to "in the strength of the earth's magnetic field".
Yes, better. Done. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 17:44, 26 July 2014 (UTC)
(b) I thought that strength was normally described with adjectives like "weak" and "strong", with the comparative forms "weaker" and "stronger". Are these not normally used to describe the earth's magnetic field? You have used "lower" and "higher". I defer to your knowledge of standard language in your field, but I just wanted to point out that you also use "lower" later in the sentence to describe 14C production.
You're right; "stronger" and "weaker" are more usual. Fixed. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 17:44, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

5) In the second paragraph in Radiocarbon dating#Variations in 14C production are the following sentences:

"These global geomagnetic reversals, and shorter, often localized polarity excursions, would have had a significant impact on global 14C production, since the geomagnetic field falls to a low value for thousands of years".

Are you saying here that both the global geomagnetic reversals and the localized polarity excursions would have had significant impact on global 14C production because the [global] geomagnetic field falls to a low value for thousands of years?

I don't know, but I think something is wrong with this sentence.

Also, why is only the period of low value significant? Isn't it the fluctuation itself that is more significant?

This next thought is just something to think about. Perhaps a bit nitpicky. I'll let you decide. The phrase "falls to a low value" to describe the earth's magnetic field seems like an unnecessarily vague phrase when before you had used "lower magnetic field" and "higher magnetic field" (perhaps to be changed to "weaker" and "stronger"?). What does "falls to a low value" mean? Does it mean just "becomes weaker and stays weak for a period of time"? What's the "value"? I know you know what it means, but some readers might wonder. CorinneSD (talk) 21:49, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

The references I have don't go into a lot of detail on this, but here's my understanding. The term "geomagnetic reversals" is used for a complete and long-lasting flip of the earth's magnetic field. During the time when the flip is occurring, the magnetic field is a lot weaker, and this causes increased cosmic ray penetration and hence inreased 14C production. This is a global event with long duration. A polarity excursion can be local or global; the discussions of local events appear to refer to changes in magnetic field that only affect part of the globe. A global polarity excursion seems to refer to a "quick flip to and fro". (Aitken (1990), p. 69). Local excursions are thought to have little overall impact on the 14C levels in the atmosphere. Reversals and global excursions are both global events and do have an impact on the global production of 14C.
I agree with your suggested rewording and have made that change. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 17:44, 26 July 2014 (UTC)
Thank you so much for this explanation and the longer explanation of the graph, above. Regarding this explanation, do you mind if I ask you one or two more questions? You write, "During the time when the flip is occurring, the magnetic field is a lot weaker..." Then you write, "This is a global event with longer duration". When the flip occurs, does the flip -- the actual change to the other direction -- take a long time? I should think that would not take a long time. I thought the period of time while the magnetic field is in the other direction lasts for quite a while ("long duration") before changing back. So I don't understand, "This is a global event with long duration". (What, exactly, is the global event "with long duration"? The flip, or the magnetic field actually in the other direction?
Thank you for explaining "a global polarity excursion". I didn't remember reading that in the article, though. Did you say in the article that "a polarity excursion can be local or global"? Do you think it would help clarify the topic to include some of what you just wrote, above?
I've rewritten that paragraph, and I hope it's now clearer; let me know what you think. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 10:50, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
Regarding your long and careful explanation of the graph, I understand the graph much better now. I don't know if you think some of what you wrote could be included in the article, particularly the two points:
1) the way the graph is read and used is the opposite direction from the way it was created by scientists, and that the "fat grey line" is the calibration curve, and
2) that the input is radiocarbon years (which have come from a lab), and one reads the graph from left to right and then down, and the output is the calendar year(s). CorinneSD (talk) 01:59, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
I've added these points, though the graph with the fat grey line is now in the subarticle, so I haven't addressed that directly. I hope this is now clearer. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 10:50, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
By the way, since I have enabled "WikEd" in the Editing section of the selections in Gadgets, I have a collection of tools (many of which I know nothing about) at the top of my edit window. To strike through text, all I have to do is to highlight the text (in edit mode) then click on the capital S with a short horizontal line through it at the top of the edit window, and click "Save". CorinneSD (talk) 02:03, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
I keep forgetting you have WikEd; it's a good tool. Have you tried using the Visual Editor? I use it almost all the time; it definitely has some shortcomings, but it works for most things, and it means you don't have to remember wiki markup syntax at all. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 10:50, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
Arbitrary section break 5[edit]

1) How do you access Visual Editor? Is that something I have to enable in Gadgets?

It's in your preferences, under the Beta tab, rather than the Gadgets tab. It will add another edit button (edit beta) to your edit choices; the existing "edit" becomes "edit source". Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 16:06, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for this information. CorinneSD (talk) 21:14, 27 July 2014 (UTC)

2) Regarding the following sentences:

"Geomagnetic reversals, which changes the polarity of the earth's magnetic field, would have had a significant impact on global 14
production, since during these the geomagnetic field becomes weaker, and stays weak for thousands of years while the reversal is occurring. Shorter lived (and sometimes localized) changes of polarity, known as polarity excursions, could also have affected 14
(a) The verb "changes" does not match the subject "Geomagnetic reversals". I don't know whether you want to use the plural or the general or the general singular.
(b) You have this phrase: "since during these..."
1) If you change the subject to singular, you'll have to change "these" to "this"; and
2) "these" (or "this") by itself is a little unclear. It would be better to add the noun: "these reversals".
(c) You have the following:
"and stays weak for thousands of years while the reversal is occurring".
I'm still not clear on this (and I asked you about it a few lines above this). The clause "while the reversal is occurring" is what confuses me. I know the earth's magnetic field reverses -- what? every few hundred or thousand years -- but is the actual flip, or change to the other direction, something that takes place quickly, and then it remains in that direction for thousands of years, or does the actual flip take a long time to complete before remaining in the new direction for a long time? I think it's a question of language, specifically the meaning of the word "reversal". Is the reversal the actual movement to the other direction, like the flip of a coin from one side to the other, or is the reversal a long period of time in which the earth's magnetic field is in the opposite direction from what it was before? I don't know if I am just being slow to grasp this, or whether the language needs to be more precise. CorinneSD (talk) 15:39, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
Sorry, I didn't really answer this properly above. The source I have (Aitken 1990, pp. 68-69) says this, talking about geomagnetic reversals: "During the act of reversal the strength of the dipole field falls to a rather low value so that there is a strong enhancement of carbon-14 production; the duration is of the order of several thousand years and hence a substantial effect on atmospheric carbon-14 activity is to be expected." This is definite on the question you ask as far as geomagnetic reversals are concerned. For polarity excursions, he goes on to say: "During the millennia of radiocarbon applicability there is some evidence for one or two brief polarity excursions (a quick flip to and fro) but it is not established that these were worldwide rather than localized; only if world-wide would there have been an appreciable effect on radiocarbon activity". I don't think Aitken makes it clear here how long a global polarity excursion would spend in a state with a weak field. Given that both Aitken and Bowman say that there are no global polarity excursions in the last 50,000 years, and hence there's no impact on 14C production from polarity excursions, perhaps the sentences could be changed as follows (including your number fix, above):
Geomagnetic reversals, which change the polarity of the earth's magnetic field, would have had a significant impact on global 14
production, since during these reversals the geomagnetic field becomes weaker, and stays weak for thousands of years during the transition. The field strengthens again as the reversal completes. Shorter lived changes of polarity, known as polarity excursions, could in theory have affected 14
production, but no global excursions are known to have occurred within the last 50,000 years." Then a note, saying "Polarity excursions can be local but local excursions would have had no significant effect on 14C production".
How does that look? Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 16:06, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
Well, I think it's clearer than what was there. The first part of the text you quoted from Aitken does not make clear how long the "act of reversal" normally is. The second part of the sentence says, "the duration is of the order of several thousand years...". I suppose by "the duration" he meant "the duration of the act of reversal", but he didn't make that entirely clear. Your statement, though, is a little clearer when you write, "and stays weak for thousands of years during the transition". That phrase, "during the transition", makes it clear that the transition between the two directions of the magnetic field lasts for thousands of years. Also, the next sentence, "The field strengthens again as the reversal completes", adds additional information. (I wonder how long it takes for the reversal to complete.) I'm just curious, are you using "would have had" because you are describing the fluctuations in 14C that occurred over the millennia that are now represented in the calibration curve? ("Would have had" is conjecture about past events.) In actuality, these phenomena will continue to occur, right? I notice that in the sentences right after this you use present tense ("becomes", "stays", and "strengthens"), and then you go to "could have affected". Are you all right with these changes of tense? I'm not saying they necessarily need changing; I just wanted to point them out so you could check to be sure that's what you want. CorinneSD (talk) 21:14, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
I forgot to add, the rest of what you suggested sounds fine. Perhaps put the last sentence about polarity excursions in parentheses? CorinneSD (talk) 21:18, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
Corinne, can I tell you again how much I enjoy working on text with someone who cares about precision in syntax? It's a pleasure working with you, and I really appreciate the effort you're putting in.
I used "would have had" because we have no direct evidence of the effects, and also because I'm not talking about a specific geomagnetic reversal (since there have been none in the time period of interest to radiocarbon dating (50,000 years)). So it's a combination of counterfactual and subjunctive. Counterfactual: if there had been a geomagnetic reversal, there would have been an effect on 14C production; and subjunctive: whenever such an event occurred, as we know they did, then there would have been an effect. I think that with that in mind the tenses are OK in the rest of the paragraph, since "whenever" isn't counterfactual so I don't think I'm forced into the subjunctive, but let me know if you still see a problem. Re the last sentence; yes, I plan to put it into a footnote -- the kind in this section. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 23:56, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for your kind words. I'm glad I have been of help. I enjoy this kind of work, too. I understand what you are saying. I re-read the paragraph, and it makes sense (although I kind of wonder why geomagnetic reversal is even mentioned if it has had no effect on radiocarbon dating). In the following sentence:
"However, there are no well-established occurrences of either of these events in the recent enough past for there to have been an appreciable effect on present-day 14C measurements",
I don't understand the need for "present-day". Who else but humans in the 20th and 21st centuries would make radiocarbon dating measurements? CorinneSD (talk) 15:34, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
I made the changes outlined above. I agree with your comment about "present-day", but it's moot now as the phrase isn't in the new version of that paragraph.
I think I'm caught up. Do you have any more comments on the article? Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 01:08, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I've made a few minor copy-edits. I hope you don't mind.

I need to go back to this revised section:

"Geomagnetic reversals, which change the polarity of the earth's magnetic field, would have had a significant impact on global 14
production, since during these reversals the geomagnetic field becomes weaker, and stays weak for thousands of years during the transition. The field strengthens again as the reversal completes. Shorter-lived changes of polarity, known as polarity excursions, could in theory have affected 14
production, but no global excursions are known to have occurred within the last 50,000 years".

I like the fact that you've made the paragraph shorter, but there is still something not quite right with the last sentence. I believe, -- unless there is something I'm not understanding -- either global geomagnetic reversals or polarity excursions "could in theory have affected 14C production", so tacking on "but no global excursions are known to have occurred within the last 50,000 years" to a sentence that is only about polarity excursions does not make sense. There is more than one way to fix this. I would like to suggest that you

  • first explain what geomagnetic reversals are, and then mention the two or three types (I think Aitken mentions two types of global ones, but you could simplify to two -- global and polarity);
  • then say that either type of activity could in theory affect 14C production; and finally
  • say that no global or polarity excursions have occurred in the last 50,000 years.

If you cannot say with certainty that no polarity excursions have occurred in the last 50,000 years, then how can you be sure that there has been no effect on 14C production in the last 50,000 years?

If I'm not understanding something basic, I apologize. But I still think that last sentence is confusing. I also still think the jumping between tenses and moods in your verbs is confusing. CorinneSD (talk) 17:15, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

I've had another go at this, and I tried to fix the tense issue too. Here's the revised version:
There are two kinds of geophysical events which could have affected production in the past: geomagnetic reversals and polarity excursions. During a geomagnetic reversal the geomagnetic field becomes weaker, and stays weak for thousands of years during the transition to the opposite polarity. The field strengthens again as the reversal completes. A polarity excursion is a shorter-lived version of a geomagnetic reversal; polarity excursions can be either global or local. During a geomagnetic reversal or a global polarity excursion 14C production increases during the period when the geomagnetic field is weaker. In the last 50,000 years there have been no geomagnetic reversals, and no known global polarity excursions. (Local excursions would have had no significant effect on 14C production.)
Is that better?
To answer your other question, we can't be sure there's been no effect on 14C production, because there might have been a global polarity excursion that hasn't been detected yet. I think that's why Aitken mentions it; if it was certain this was all purely theoretical, it wouldn't be worth commenting on. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 11:13, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
I think it is better. May I suggest an alternate wording? Everything except the last sentence is definition and explanation, all in present tense. The last sentence is specifically about the past.
There are two kinds of geophysical event which can affect 14C production: geomagnetic reversals and polarity excursions. In a geomagnetic reversal, the Earth's geomagnetic field weakens and stays weak for thousands of years during the transition to the opposite magnetic polarity and then regains strength as the reversal completes. A polarity excursion, which can be either global or local, is a shorter-lived version of a geomagnetic reversal and does not significantly affect 14C production. During either a geomagnetic reversal or a global polarity excursion, 14C production increases during the period when the geomagnetic field is weak. It is fairly certain, though, that in the last 50,000 years there have been no geomagnetic reversals or global polarity excursions.
CorinneSD (talk) 14:41, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
I like this version, but there's one inaccuracy: global polarity excursions could affect 14C production. A local excursion would not. Here's an attempt to fix that, based on your version:
There are two kinds of geophysical event which can affect 14C production: geomagnetic reversals and polarity excursions. In a geomagnetic reversal, the Earth's geomagnetic field weakens and stays weak for thousands of years during the transition to the opposite magnetic polarity and then regains strength as the reversal completes. A polarity excursion, which can be either global or local, is a shorter-lived version of a geomagnetic reversal. A local excursion does not significantly affect 14C production. During either a geomagnetic reversal or a global polarity excursion, 14C production increases during the period when the geomagnetic field is weak. It is fairly certain, though, that in the last 50,000 years there have been no geomagnetic reversals or global polarity excursions.
Does that work? Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 22:41, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
Oh. Sorry for that inaccuracy. Mike, this is really your article, so if you prefer your earlier version, above, I wouldn't mind at all. If you really do prefer the latest version, with your correction, that's fine, too. Your last version with the correction sounds fine. What would you think of changing
"A local excursion does not significantly affect 14C production" to
"A local excursion would not significantly affect 14C production"?
I have one more question. I might think an average reader upon reading this paragraph would ask, "If there have been no geomagnetic reversals or global polarity excursions in the last 50,000 years, why is this even being mentioned?" I think it is because it has to do with the measurements that have been taken, and calculations done, on data for the last 50,000 years, to come up with the calibration curves. Is this right? If I am right, I think an average reader might fail to make the connection. I'm wondering whether you think it would be a good idea to add one more sentence at the end of the paragraph to make the connection and explain the reason why all of this is important to know. Or do you think it is enough that it is in a series of sections, each having to do with things that scientists had to take into account when compiling the calibration curves? (I don't have the article open in a separate window; I'm going by memory here.) CorinneSD (talk) 00:39, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
I've made the change, including your suggested revision above. I'll think about the additional sentence you suggest, but at the moment I don't think it's necessary -- the context is a list of things that could have affected 14C production, so I think the reader will follow when reading the article linearly. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 10:06, 1 August 2014 (UTC)

(Peer review added on Wednesday 2 July 2014, 01:55 UTC)----

Language and literature[edit]

The Bread-Winners[edit]

I've listed this article for peer review because…I'd like to nom it at FAC and would be grateful for feedback.

Thanks, Wehwalt (talk) 09:17, 1 August 2014 (UTC)

(Peer review added on Friday 1 August 2014, 09:17 UTC)----

Oxford English Dictionary[edit]

Previous peer review

I've listed this article for peer review because I submitted it as a Featured Article Candidate and the consensus was that my nomination was premature — the article is good, but as-yet not Featured Article standard because of issues with copy, structure, and referencing (as regards the last, I’m fairly sure I can provide a citation for any claim in the article, and that the main thing that needs doing is adding the ref tags in appropriate places referring to existing sources). (Relisted after the bot closed the last one because the FAC was still technically ongoing, then waited 14 days to comply with the rules).

DavidPKendal (talk) 20:24, 2 July 2014 (UTC)

  • The main structural issue I see is that a lot of the paragraphs are very short. Combine them. Tezero (talk) 00:33, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Comments from Tim riley

I enjoyed this article, but it isn't ready for FAC. There are, as you say above, too many statements that lack citations. The second para of "Entries and relative size" has statements about the Dutch, German, Italian, French and Spanish equivalents of the OED all five of which lack a source, and for FA every substantive statement must be verifiable. Other statements lacking an attribution:

  • "Many volunteer readers eventually lost interest in the project as Furnivall failed to keep them motivated. Furthermore, many of the slips had been misplaced."
  • "Minor, a Yale University trained surgeon and military officer in the U.S. Civil War, was confined to Broadmoor Asylum for the Criminally Insane after killing a man in London. Minor invented his own quotation-tracking system allowing him to submit slips on specific words in response to editors' requests. The story of Murray and Minor later served as the central focus of The Surgeon of Crowthorne (US title: The Professor and the Madman), a popular book about the creation of the OED.)"
  • "Most of the e-volume supplement in 1933"
  • Second supplement – most of this section
  • Second edition – paras two and three
  • Relationship to other Oxford dictionaries – last para

Other points:

  • The word "however" occurs eight times. It is almost always unnecessary, and weakens the prose.
  • An article about the OED should not perpetrate the singular "their" – "is able to use the service from their own home."
  • You seem to follow the OED's idiosyncratic usage for –ize endings, but then you have "optimise" rather than the OED's "optimize".
  • Avoid peacock or editorialising terms: its impressive size; a disappointing 4,000 copies etc.
  • "about one per year" – prefer good English to bad Latin: "about one a year".
  • "The revision is expected to roughly double" – it's asking for trouble to split an infinitive in an article that is sure to attract pedants. (I know it's an idiotic superstition that splitting an infinitive is wrong, but it's prudent to avoid the matter if possible.)
  • Duplicate links: you shouldn't have more than one link from the main text to Richard Chenevix Trench, Herbert Coleridge, Onions, John Simpson and XML.
  • References: all printed books should have either an ISBN or an OCLC number: WorldCat will oblige. For preference standardise on either the 10 digit or the 13 digit form of ISBN, rather than have a mixture.
  • Further reading: it is usual to list these in alphabetical order of author.
  • Further reading: Jonathan Cape, the publisher, was not a co-author of Chasing the Sun

Those apart, I suggest you seek a good copy-editing to bring the prose up to FA standard, removing such tabloidese tricks as starting a paragraph, "And so the New Oxford English Dictionary (NOED) project began."

(Peer review added on Wednesday 2 July 2014, 20:24 UTC)----

Philosophy and religion[edit]

Social sciences and society[edit]

Corfu Channel case[edit]

I've listed this article for peer review because I'm rapidly approaching the wall with expanding it. I've expanded the heck out of it over the last few weeks, extensively pulling on offline academic sources, and I think the legacy section is pretty well developed (though I've got another source to go through for that). My main concern is in better summarizing the case history itself. I'm prepping this article for a run at GA/FA and want to make sure the comprehensiveness component gets hit with both barrels.

Thanks, —/Mendaliv//Δ's/ 10:49, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

  • Also, I would kill for more media related to this case. Especially of proceedings before the Security Council at Lake Success, or even a shot of the building where the Security Council met. Even external media is good. I've about tapped out the sources I can access. —/Mendaliv//Δ's/ 17:19, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

(Peer review added on Tuesday 22 July 2014, 10:49 UTC)----

Occitan nationalism[edit]

I've listed this article for peer review because This article appears on an few of the other language wikis. I have been attempting to translate as best as I could, but I need help as my french is very rusty, and it could use English sources. If someone could come in and clean it up that'd be great.

The article on the french wiki

Thanks, Mnidjm (talk) 18:16, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

(Peer review added on Wednesday 16 July 2014, 18:16 UTC)----

Bazy Tankersley[edit]

I've listed this article for peer review because I want to take it to FAC but am in need of outside eyes to determine if it requires additional material or otherwise lacks comprehensiveness. Also, of course, comments on general improvements are welcome! Bazy was a fascinating lady with a great personal story, should be a fun read and review!

Thanks, Montanabw(talk) 19:47, 11 July 2014 (UTC)

Comments by Wehwalt[edit]

  • Given that you mention she was raised among, etc., a mention that Mark Hanna was dead, say by preceding him with "late" would be good.
  • The second to last sentence in the first paragraph could probably be split
  • "Joseph McCormick died when Tankersley was a child. Her mother " I would reverse these and say "Her father ... Ruth McCormick" as I think the reader would be less likely to check on who was who.
  • Possibly it could be mentioned that her relationship with second husband to be during her publisher stint was extramarital.
  • I think you could delete "Arabian horse" (i.e., the second mention of the breed) from the 1st sentence of the last paragraph.
  • " foundation sire, a stallion named" isn't there redundancy here? Obviously a foundation sire is a stallion, right? Could "a stallion named" be deleted? A similar phrasing is in the body as well, same comment.
  • "in those years" seems redundant
Personal life
  • Both here and in the lede I question the capitalization of "Progressive". She was likely progressive, but there doesn't seem to have been a Progressive Republican Party at the time of her congressional service. Her article just says Republican. I would lower case it. Also "Congressman" should be lower case as it is being used as a descriptor, not a title.
  • The wealth of the McCormicks could be mentioned in the first paragraph
Newspaper career
  • I don't think friend needs to be in quotes.
  • Did the Senate resolve that those quotes were true, or was it one senator (I don't have those downloads anymore)?
  • You asked about if the level of coverage here was appropriate. I think it is. She is not well known as a newsperson, but rather for her horse activities and given the limited patience of readers and reviewers, I think you do not have to dig as deeply.
Horse breeding
  • Is the Fifi material really germane to a biography of Bazy?
  • Looking from the vantage of the other side of the river, I would not deem "Potomac" to be "outside of Bethesda", they are several miles apart, which is no doubt trivial in Montana but not so in the Washington suburbs. I would delete the Bethesda reference. If you know the DC suburbs, you know where Potomac is, if you don't, mentioning Bethesda leaves you none the wiser, really.
  • " a Hanstead-bred horse whom she purchased outright by 1959" whom generally to me seems to indicate a person.
  • Could golden crosses be explained?
Tucson AZ
  • "During her years in Arizona, " this seems redundant
  • Her death seems out of place here. I would move it to the Arizona section, together with her support of Giffords and voting for Obama, and the other political matter. That really isn't "legacy". If you want to add to the legacy section, some mention of how many people went through her apprenticeship program over how long might be good.
  • I would mention something the foundation has done since her death. That fits "legacy" a bit better.
  • All I know is what I read in those articles, but it seems comprehensive to me. Are there any areas that you're concerned about? I think it should do OK at FAC, though reviewers are always hard to come by.--Wehwalt (talk) 07:11, 1 August 2014 (UTC)

(Peer review added on Friday 11 July 2014, 19:47 UTC)----

Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman[edit]

I would like some objective feedback about the current state of the article; comments on its format and/or neutrality are welcomed. Any suggestions for improvements would also be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, KeithbobTalk 19:08, 6 July 2014 (UTC)

The first sentence of the lede is almost promotional. It's not lede-relevant to list each and every city where the firm has offices; it's something that belongs in a later section. I would argue the best structure for the first lede sentence is "Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman is an American (or New York) law firm founded in 1993." A list of prominent clients is also not relevant for the lede and gives the impression of being advertising copy.
Why is the history broken up into subsections in such an odd way? What's so different about the firm prior to 2008 when compared with the history since? There should be some clear reason for that sectioning other than convenience.
"In December the firm was defrauded by a private investigator whom they had paid $6,000." This sentence is not neutrally worded and makes a serious criminal accusation. While I see from the sources that it evidently resulted in an indictment if not conviction, it should be phrased to address this.
More to the point, a lot of these historical things are little tidbits strung together. I've had that problem before when writing articles about businesses... it's hard to get past that with articles about companies, and I'm really not sure how to approach it. I think a lot of these detail items, like the hiring of Marcos Daniel Jimenez or the lawsuit of Missy Lapine, ought to be cut entirely. I mean, the motion in the Fairfax lawsuit... while serious in the lawsuit is unbelievably minor in the history of a major litigation firm.
When writing an article like this, I think the goal should be, much like with making an opening statement, to present a coherent story that the factfinder can follow, where factual tidbits flow from one to another (and unlike a closing argument, not drawing conclusions, which would be OR). Give the facts that the sources do, but in a way that a factfinder can connect understand why you juxtaposed them. For instance, why talk about Joe Liebmann, then talk about the Above the Law fake offer story, then talk about layoffs, then talk about the firm being ranked as large? I get it's chronological, but there's no connection other than it all being roughly about the same law firm.
The citations should be revamped. Try using standard citation templates, and where (for instance) you lack an author, just leave the field blank. "Unknown author" is not so great, and your newspaper citations (e.g., NYLJ) should have date information.
That's about all I have. —/Mendaliv//Δ's/ 11:20, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

(Peer review added on Sunday 6 July 2014, 19:08 UTC)----


Miley Cyrus filmography[edit]

I've listed this article for peer review because I want to know whether it can be nominated for featured list or it isn't up to the mark as of now.

Thanks, CyrockingSmiler (talk) 17:11, 30 July 2014 (UTC)

(Peer review added on Wednesday 30 July 2014, 17:11 UTC)----

List of Rosario + Vampire characters[edit]

I am submitting this for peer review so I can get recommendations and feedback in preparation for nominating this for FLC. One of the main concerns that was brought up during the assessment to B-Class was the structure of the character list so I want to get ideas on how to make that better. The content in the article itself is fairly mature now that the series has concluded back in April. Thanks for your time! -AngusWOOF (talk) 22:05, 9 July 2014 (UTC)

I gave the list a thirty second look. Appearances in other media could be argued as OR or trivia since it is referencing another series as a joke with no impact on plot. I suggest finding a better lead picture. DragonZero (Talk · Contribs) 05:18, 12 July 2014 (UTC)

Thanks, will delete. It's a one-off mention, so yeah it can be taken out for trivia reasons. It would be different if someone did a full-on parody of the series for a cartoon segment. -AngusWOOF (talk) 19:58, 12 July 2014 (UTC)
Not sure what to do about pictures. -AngusWOOF (talk) 19:58, 12 July 2014 (UTC)
I see some issues with the extent of the notes to verify certain terms or other issues. It appears mostly OR. What you have to do is use some of these episodes and notes more directly into the prose. Lucia Black (talk) 19:04, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, I have chopped down the footnotes and integrated some of the details into the character description where important. If you could tag which of the footnote and any OR-ish terms that need further integration, that would be great. The "Kapu chuu" and the Shuzen family drink names are sourced by the interview with the author; I removed the WP:SYNTH parts that were assumed related (aqua, gyokuro, issa, jasmine, earl grey). -AngusWOOF (talk) 19:45, 18 July 2014 (UTC), updated 20:22, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

(Peer review added on Wednesday 9 July 2014, 22:05 UTC)----

WikiProject peer-reviews[edit]