Wikipedia:WikiProject Military history/News/August 2010/Project news

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The Military history WikiProject Newsletter: Issue LIV (August 2010)
Front page
Project news

From the coordinators

After a nearly year-long hiatus, I am pleased to announce the return of the quarterly Military history WikiProject review awards, which are intended to recognize those among us who volunteer their time and effort to review articles in our peer review and A-class review processes. The presentation of the awards to the eligible members was greeted with enthusiasm—and, in more than one case, surprise that members were in fact being recognized for reviewing these articles. I speak for all members on the IX coordinator tranche when I say that we know that the task of reviewing an article often involves a lot of reading and multiple suggestions, and that it can be both thankless and unrewarding; we thank again every member of the project who has contributed in this area over the course of the past year

A special thanks goes to coordinator emeritus Roger Davies (talk · contribs), who compiled the list of members who had reviewed articles over the last year and tallied the number of articles reviewed to each editor, which allowed us to hand out the awards with great efficiency.

Also, as noted in the last newsletter, September is a coordinator election month, and this particular election will be special since it will mark the official start of the one-year coordinator term as ratified by the community during the March 2010 coordinator elections. After some discussion, we have decided to open the sign-up period for our September election on the 7th, with the elections themselves beginning on the 14th and ending on the 28th. We will be looking for a total of 15 members to serve as coordinators for the X tranche; the most supported editor will be given first refusal on becoming the lead coordinator. If you are interested in running, you are welcome to ask questions of the current coordinator tranche; we will be happy to answer any questions concerning the position and the responsibilities that go with it.

For the IX coordinator tranche, TomStar81 (Talk) 03:44, 2 September 2010 (UTC)

From the strategy think tank

A recent proposal for a post-Cold War task force has sparked a large discussion at the strategy think tank centered on the current role of task forces in our project. With the project hosting a number of apparently moribund task forces, suggestions for reform are ranging from retaining the current system in some form, to removing most of the task forces altogether.

From the Academy: Maintaining articles

If you have been contributing to Wikipedia for some time, the chances are that you have already discovered your niche—that is, those areas in which you have an interest and feel comfortable editing. As your knowledge grows and you begin to take an active role in making sure that articles in your niche remain accurate and up to date, it's possible that over time you will become the articles' primary maintainer.

Maintaining an article is very much like Adopting a Highway: you do not own the road, nor you can not stop vehicles from using the road, but you can make sure that the scenery out the window stays presentable for those traveling down the road

Maintaining one or more articles is a long term commitment. It entails regular visits—perhaps even more than once a day on high-traffic articles—to ensure that the content remains well sourced and well cited, and also free from vandalism, fringe theories, edit warring and other detrimental edits that, if left unchecked, will result in an article's slow collapse. Article maintainers normally make sure any changes to the subject matter are reflected in the article, keeping it up to date. Lastly, those maintaining articles holding a criteria-based quality rating (such as GA, A, or FA-class) usually ensure that the articles remain current with the often-shifting standards of these assessments.

Article maintenance is good for Wikipedia for the simple reason that article maintainers are often very familiar with both the information in the articles and the sources used to write them. However, there is a downside: overzealous maintenance can create problems that, in the worse case scenario, may result in your being banned from Wikipedia. It is important to understand where the line between maintaining an article and being possessive lies, and how to balance your interest in a way that allows all editors to contribute to the articles in your care.

The first thing to appreciate about maintaining an article is that no-one on this site 'owns' any of the articles. This is explained in full at the page Wikipedia:Ownership of articles. In simple terms, if you wish to maintain an article you must also accept that others will edit the page. Unless the edits are obvious vandalism, each edit should be viewed as a good faith attempt to improve the article.

If material that you have added or removed continues to reappear in an article then you may need to establish consensus with other editors as to a proper course of action to handle the material in question. Consensus on Wikipedia is about how our editors work with others, and it serves as a fundamental model for decision making. By inviting a wide spectrum of people to weigh in on a matter you can better gauge where the general mood and feeling for the inclusion or exclusion of certain material lies.

Certain talk pages for articles on Wikipedia sport a {{maintained}} template listing one or more users in good standing who voluntarily maintain the article in question. These users are usually responsible for pushing an article to GA, A, or FA-class, or for adding the inline citations to the article, and as such may add the maintained template as a way of showing others that they have both a strong knowledge of the topic or its sources, and have thoroughly read, understood, and checked the information in the article against sources. If you are intimately familiar with both the material and the sources in an article then you may consider adding a maintained template to the talk page provided that you follow all of the guidelines listed here.