Wikipedia:WikiProject Wikify/News/July 2012/Editorials

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Effective Wikification
It is a common misconception that Wikifying articles is limited to adding Wikilinks. While that is a very common aspect of the Wikification process, it is by no means the only aspect. The benefits of Wikifying an article are immense. Wikilinks provide easy navigation to more information and are one of the defining features of Wikipedia. Converting HTML to Wiki markup makes editing easier. Creating articles in the "Wikipedia style" makes the encyclopedia and the articles seem credible. A large, unwikified article, like Billings Gazette makes Wikipedia look less credible. In this editorial, I will address what I believe to be the most important steps to Wikification; although, I will not address them all. I will also address some of the tools available for Wikification and some template information.

As we all know, one of the first things to look for when Wikifying an article are the wikilinks. While having an adequate number of wikilinks is important, it is also necessary to make sure you aren't overlinking an article. This can make an article difficult to read. All links should be checked to make sure the destination is exactly where you want it to go. Wikipedia loses a lot of credibility when someone clicks "the pupils in Mrs. Jones' 4th grade class" rather than "the pupils in Mrs. Jones' 4th grade class". Many times, Wikilinks go to specific sections. In most cases, it is better to create a redirect rather than using a hash mark to create the section link. Articles should also be checked for duplicate wikilinks. One tool for this is User:Ucucha/duplinks. You can use this tool by adding the following to your common.js page.
importScript('User:Ucucha/duplinks.js'); // [[User:Ucucha/duplinks]]

The second most noticeable aspect of Wikification is adding an infobox and sections. Infoboxes are generally easy to create and make the information much more available to the reader. If an article exists on a small town in a foreign country, it may be limited to a few sentences. An infobox should be able to display all of that information and gives the article a more official look. In regards to towns, finding the coordinates and using the map parameter of {{Infobox settlement}} can be essential to the reader. If you have any questions on using any of the infoboxes, feel free to ask at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Wikify.

The next step of Wikification is important for biographies. Two templates should be added to every biography if they don't exist. The first is {{Persondata}}. This allows information to be read by programs and machines. Note that the name should be written in Last, First Middle format. The second is {{L}}. This template should always be substituted. It has 3 parameters and they must all be in the template. The first parameter is for birth year. If it is unknown leave it blank or type MISSING. The second is for death year, leave it blank or type LIVING if the person is still alive. The third applies a default sort key to the article. Remember to fill this parameter in Last, First format.


Note that there are some good tools available for Wikification. In addition to the duplinks tool I labeled above, WP:CATSCAN can be a great resource in finding articles that need to be Wikified. This link will take you to the scan for all articles needing to be Wikified. Feel free to use that and set any other restrictions you like.

There have also been some changes to the template. First and foremost, a reason parameter was added. Now editors are encouraged to add a reason when placing a Wikify tag on an article. While this reason is useful, be sure not to limit yourself as a result. An editor might not write that an article doesn't contain Wikilinks because they feel it is obvious. Another editor might only write that an article needs Wikilinks when the article is also lacking sections. Please Wikify the page in its entirety even if the template doesn't label all of the problems. One of the more useful aspects of the template is in identifying editors who are incorrectly placing the tag. We have a system to notify those editors that it is being placed incorrectly. {{subst:nowikify}} is available for that purpose.

Finally, I will be working on a method to hide the template, rather than removing it, from pages that are incorrectly tagged by AWB. Updates will appear on the main project talk page when I get that done so we can establish consensus for the change.

Thank you all for your work in making Wikipedia look better. Ryan Vesey Review me! 04:39, 25 July 2012 (UTC)