Wikipedia talk:Featured article candidates

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2013

Jul 10: Infoboxes: time for a fresh look?

2010

Nov 15: A guide to the Good Article Review Process
Oct 18: Common issues seen in Peer review
Oct 11: Editing tools, part 3
Sep 20: Editing tools, part 2
Sep 6: Editing tools, part 1
Mar 15: GA Sweeps end
Feb 8: Content reviewers and standards

2009

Nov 2: Inner German border
Oct 12: Sounds
May 11: WP Birds
May 4: Featured lists
Apr 20: Valued pictures
Apr 13: Plagiarism
Apr 6: New FAC/FAR nominations
Mar 16: New FAC/FAR delegates
Mar 9: 100 Featured sounds
Mar 2: WP Ships FT and GT
Feb 23: 100 FS approaches
Feb 16: How busy was 2008?
Feb 8: April Fools 2009
Jan 31: In the News
Jan 24: Reviewing featured picture candidates
Jan 17: FA writers—the 2008 leaders
Jan 10: December themed page
Jan 3: Featured list writers

2008

Nov 24: Featured article writers
Nov 10: Historic election on Main Page
Nov 8: Halloween Main Page contest
Oct 13: Latest on featured articles
Oct 6: Matthewedwards interview
Sep 22: Reviewing non-free images
Sep 15: Interview with Ruhrfisch
Sep 8: Style guide and policy changes, August
Sep 1: Featured topics
Aug 25: Interview with Mav
Aug 18: Choosing Today's Featured Article
Aug 11: Reviewing free images
Aug 9 (late): Style guide and policy changes, July
Jul 28: Find reliable sources online
Jul 21: History of the FA process
Jul 14: Rick Block interview
Jul 7: Style guide and policy changes for June
Jun 30: Sources in biology and medicine
Jun 23 (26): Reliable sources
Jun 16 (23): Assessment scale
Jun 9: Main page day
Jun 2: Styleguide and policy changes, April and May
May 26: Featured sounds
May 19: Good article milestone
May 12: Changes at Featured lists
May 9 (late): FC from schools and universities
May 2 (late): Did You Know
Apr 21: Styleguide and policy changes
Apr 14: FA milestone
Apr 7: Reviewers achieving excellence
Mar 31: Featured content overview
Mar 24: Taming talk page clutter
Mar 17: Changes at peer review
Mar 13 (late): Vintage image restoration
Mar 3: April Fools mainpage
Feb 25: Snapshot of FA categories
Feb 18: FA promotion despite adversity
Feb 11: Great saves at FAR
Feb 4: New methods to find FACs
Jan 28: Banner year for Featured articles

For a "table of contents"-only list of candidates, see Wikipedia:Featured articles/Candidate list and Wikipedia:Nominations Viewer.
For a list of foreign-language reviewers see FAC foreign language reviewers.

Image/source check requests[edit]

New archiving processes[edit]

What is the new criteria for archiving FACs? Historically, FACs with no meaningful support at two weeks were closed, and articles that came to FAC with clear deficiencies were also closed (articles were expected to appear ready, and FAC was not treated as peer review). Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Pancreatic cancer/archive1 has been open for more than a month, there is no support, and I noted uncited text in the first few days the FAC was open-- that text remains uncited more than a month later. NuclearWarfare noted a source that was needed for comprehensiveness a month ago, and that comment has still not been addressed. Is FAC now being treated as peer review? In an environment of declining reviewers, why are we leaving FACs open with issues unaddressed for a month? This is but one sample. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:14, 4 January 2015 (UTC)

Since I just posted above, I'll post here too. Yes, the process is now slower. Speaking only for myself, I enjoy the longer process. It's less charged, there's less pressure, etc. Beyond that, peer review is almost completely gone (this goes to the diminishing editor base mentioned in my previous post up-page) so that's a step that can't be counted on anymore. In terms of volume of work, to me it makes sense to work out issues in a longer period rather than archiving, waiting two weeks (lots of people do nothing at all during those two weeks), gathering yet another set of reviewers and having the coords go through all the necessary record-keeping. It's a little more slow, it's different than it used to be, but imo, it's working fine. Now that I've written this, I'll go take a look Johnbod's FAC. Victoria (tk) 16:59, 4 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, though I have been taking a break from this, partly because there was so much other editing going on there. I'll only say, re Sandy's comment, that the article also received what is by today's standards a pretty busy peer review, both in terms of review comments, and editing without commenting. There are indeed some early points unaddressed, but on the whole the issue with this FAC has been an excess rather than a lack of activity, and that of course is a good thing in general, though on several points reviewers have had differing views, and I have in some cases left these for now to see if a consensus emerges. I do intend to include NW's source, but to describe it as "needed for comprehensiveness" is rather OTT if you ask me. Johnbod (talk) 17:33, 4 January 2015 (UTC)
It's my thought that nominators and reviewers are generally content with the way things are run in this area. I think the adage "don't tamper with a working system" applies. JMO.--Wehwalt (talk) 13:58, 5 January 2015 (UTC)
What is it that is working? We have probably a quarter of the FAs on the books out of compliance, and we are using increasingly scarce resources here to promote increasingly fewer articles, while both pages are taking much longer. The overall result remains-- FAs are losing value as outdated, deteriorated FAs are left on the books, while FAC is used as Peer review. Scarce resources could be better used; I'm not seeing at either WP:FAS or Monthly stats what is the working system you mention. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 12:45, 12 January 2015 (UTC)
What is more important, the statistics, or the reviewers? If the reviewers and nominators are content, and I see very little criticism of the present system by those who regularly nominate and review at FAC, then where is the problem you you are harping on? And your points seem to deal mostly with FAR, while mine with FAC, so i would suggest you have not fully responded to my points. They are separate processes, and people can be involved with neither, one, or both, as they please.--Wehwalt (talk) 23:19, 12 January 2015 (UTC)
And as for "scarce resources", I do remember your reaction when TCO, in his report, suggested that the scarce resources of content contributors might be better directed. How are these "scarce resources" any more community property or to be directed by others than the writing choices TCO questioned in his report? How are they to be disposed of or directed on a community page?--Wehwalt (talk) 23:23, 12 January 2015 (UTC)
Could one of the coords please answer my question? A FAC has been listed for over a month without the correction of uncited text. Are coords now expecting reviewers to enter Opposes for closing a FAC which is not progressing? Do coords no longer feel empowered to make these decisions without an oppose? Or are coords happy with FACs running over a month when issues that were raised in the first days have yet to be addressed? Whatever the new process is, it would be good to spell it out, because it is discouraging to visit and revisit and revisit a FAC that is not progressing; this has happened on multiple FACs I've reviewed this month (not to single out pancreatic cancer). SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:07, 5 January 2015 (UTC)
The coordinators often archive unopposed FACs that have little activity, as we've always done. A good many were culled before Christmas, several for that very reason. This is a holiday period so I think granting an extra week or two's grace to extant FACs is reasonable. Now that we're nearly a week into January, I expect we'll begin archiving more. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 02:05, 6 January 2015 (UTC)
I don't think there is now any uncited text, and the FAC has certainly been "progressing", with edits on FAC to the article (not by me) every day over Christmas, rather impressively. I have done a lot of catching up today, and will be working on it again tomorrow. So I hope to be able to ask reviewers to revisit shortly. Wiki CRUK John (talk) 03:16, 6 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, John, but so much time has elapsed that I will now have to re-review the entire article, which is discouraging and I'm unlikely to be motivated to re-do the work. And I don't believe my question has yet been answered, so I will take it that the answer now is that reviewers should be more aggressive in opposing when work isn't progressing. The holiday reasoning doesn't work for me: if nominators can't get to comments over the holidays, they shouldn't nominate over the holidays. (That's along the lines of: we are short on reviewers, reviewer time is at a premium, so let's not waste it.) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:09, 6 January 2015 (UTC)
To answer the question "Is FAC now being treated as peer review?", I'm going to say "yes", functionally if not formally. Based on my own experience bringing Voting Rights Act of 1965 to FA status, I opened a Peer Review for it on March 8, 2014, and I posted notices of the PR on many relevant WikiProjects. Not a single editor commented, and it was automatically closed a month later by the bot. I then opened an FAC, and while it went slow (much slower than two weeks, though not as slow as many other concurrent nominations), people provided substantive input and the article was eventually promoted. This is only one anecdote, but from what I've seen, it's not an uncommon tale. I agree this may not be the ideal situation, but given how Peer Review has been almost entirely deserted (with a few exceptions), it's better for article quality and editor morale that nominators receive PR-like comments, and a longer timeframe if necessary, at FAC. Whether or not this needs to be etched into the rules, I'm not sure; it may be better to allow some of these processes to continue to evolve organically in response to changing levels of reviewer availability for PR and FAC. –Prototime (talk · contribs) 01:40, 12 January 2015 (UTC)
Generally that is right, ie typical, these days, but as it happens Pancreatic cancer had a pretty full one by today's standards, at 44.5kbytes, with at least 4 editors involved (+me), and one very thorough review of all sections. I wonder if publicizing Peer Reviews intended for future FACs here in a little box would help? Perhaps not. Johnbod/ Johnbod (talk) 09:39, 12 January 2015 (UTC)
My question/concern, Prototime, involves more than the problem that is also happening at peer review. It is that articles unprepared for FAC, or on which work is not progressing, would have been archived in the past, for two reasons: a) it is assumed that articles at FAC are prepared, and b) articles that are ill-prepared sap scarce reviewer time and could be prepared off-FAC. Bringing an uncited article to FAC (and then leaving it uncited for a month while it is at FAC) is much different than bringing an article to FAC that got no commentary at peer review.

My suggestion is that part of our reviewer problem at FAC and FAR is because the pages are so stalled, and processing things so slowly, that it becomes demotivating to work on these pages. Why have archiving processes changed to allow an uncited article to be at FAC for a month, and why are FARs which are closeable left open for weeks? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 10:04, 12 January 2015 (UTC)

My thought on this topic in general is that while we hope articles submitted to FAC meet the criteria or are close to it, the other review processes are often a bit hit or miss. No one is the best judge of their own work, and finding others competent and willing to review at other processes can be difficult. So articles are going to come here not in perfect shape. We have very few FA when you consider the scope of Wikipedia, and it's worth a little extra grease and effort to push one past the finish line, both for the article's sake, and more importantly, the nominator's, who may submit again if encouraged, and who may not be heard from again if met with a rubber stamp "FAC IS NOT PR". I had thought that this more flexible and nominator-friendly approach had been generally accepted. And while we're on the subject, perhaps it is time, since many new proposals are being made, to get rid of (or at least modify) the fifteen day disqualification to nominate after a failed FAC. Or give nominators one free pass every year.--Wehwalt (talk) 11:54, 12 January 2015 (UTC)
None of your commentary addresses bringing an uncited article to FAC. That is not a small problem to be addressed at FAC; that is an indication of a premature nomination.

I disagree that we should modify the two-week wait time between failed noms, particularly when WikiCup has increased the points for FA, and we are likely to see the old problem repeat if that is relaxed. The "one free pass every year" would be too hard to track, and I've not noticed noms being held up because of archiving (on the contrary, with FACs running for months). SandyGeorgia (Talk) 12:41, 12 January 2015 (UTC)

I don't see that it would be difficult. Whenever a person used a pass, it would be listed on a page. With so many coordinators, I'm sure one can find the very limited time it would take (next to nil, I'd imagine). I don't imagine a "pass" would be used very often, and one per person per year is unlikely to result in a flood. Are you sure your problem is not with proponent, rather than proposal? And given the fact that you are in touch with the coordinators by email, would it not be better to ask questions like the one above by email if you are puzzled about their policies? Doing it this way seems overly dramatic.--Wehwalt (talk) 22:29, 12 January 2015 (UTC)
I don't see the benefit to waiving the 15-day timeframe before renominating an article that didn't pass. That was implemented way back in the day when I was a coordinator, because there were editors abusing the process. It was highly annoying as a coordinator and as a reviewer to see an article that wasn't FA-ready be nominated again, almost immediately, with minimal changes. Reviewers tended to start ignoring those, so it didn't help the nominator anyway Karanacs (talk) 22:44, 12 January 2015 (UTC)
I think it is a legacy of a more authoritarian time, like the ex-points system at TFA. Possibly the coordinators have the statistics on the use of the 15 day time out during 2014? Then we might all gain information we might find useful.--Wehwalt (talk) 23:02, 12 January 2015 (UTC)
I'm not understanding what benefit removing that limit would have, especially if we're already allowing nominations to be open longer and, in theory, get more feedback and give nominators time to make any improvements requested. Karanacs (talk) 23:08, 12 January 2015 (UTC)
Let's await the stats, shall we? Other requests for stats have been promptly answered so I doubt we shall have long to wait.
@Wehwalt: Doesn't look to me that we've ever maintained stats for this sort of thing but I did cast a look over the archived noms last quarter 2014 for some facts and figures, and you can let me know if it's the sort of thing you were after. Sixty-three FACs were archived in Sep-Dec. Of these, I gave five of the nominators the option to re-nominate in less than the usual two weeks owing to lack of feedback at the archived nom. One nominator took up this offer, the rest did not. I was asked by a sixth nominator if I'd consider waiving the two-week rule for their renomination and because I considered it to be on the cusp of the 'minimal feedback' convention, I asked them to wait a week or ten days (they eventually renominated after two weeks). @Graham Beards: pls feel free to add anything. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 02:36, 14 January 2015 (UTC)
It's helpful, thanks. There are additional statistics that might be helpful, but I don't see this going anywhere right now, so I'll bide my time on this one.--Wehwalt (talk) 13:35, 15 January 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Outdenting to add a couple of comments. I'd prefer not to waive the 15-day rule; I agree with Karanacs' comments above. I'm generally OK with the slower pace of FAC these days. Of course I'd like it to be quicker, but I think the answer to that is more reviewers, not dropping things from FAC more quickly. So long as reviewers are willing to oppose, and not just comment, when they feel an article is not ready for FAC, then I think we're OK. I wouldn't like to see a FAC sit with multiple opposes and little action for weeks without being archived, but I haven't seen that happen (though I don't read many FACs other than the ones I review). Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 23:17, 12 January 2015 (UTC)

To Wehwalt, I’d also prefer to keep the two-week rule, remembering that the coords can and do grant exceptions if an archived FAC has received little feedback. Further, I’ve no issue with discussing things on this talk page (I already replied to a specific query earlier in this thread), even when it does indeed seem to be a bit of a storm in a teacup. To wit...

There have been no big “policy changes” in the way FAC operates over the last few years. As Mike and others have noted, the pace may have slowed somewhat because there are fewer reviewers (throughout all areas of WP, not just FAC/FAR) and we want to ensure as much as possible that articles get the commentary they need to determine consensus; we still insist on image reviews, source reviews, spotchecks for new nominators, the two-week rule (unless leave is specifically granted), notification of major contributors, etc, etc. Sometimes FACs do become de facto Peer Reviews. That’s not the preference but, generally speaking, if such FACs look like they’re heading for consensus to promote then I’ve allowed it, otherwise I’ve archived them. How complicated or controversial a subject is can play a part in this too. There are plenty of instances where premature noms are quickly archived, same as ever. Much of FAC coordination is a judgement call, as we have no rules about precise timings for example and have always been cautious about instruction creep, but it seems to me that the majority of the FAC community considers this a positive rather than a negaitve. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 01:25, 13 January 2015 (UTC)

I thank you for your views, Ian. Do you have those stats? I'd like to see them.--Wehwalt (talk) 01:42, 13 January 2015 (UTC)
Lunch break over, will see about it tonight unless someone beats me to it... Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 02:03, 13 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. Continuing the colloquy, there are no big policy changes, agreed, because many of the rules are unwritten and have to be learned (in my view that's a barrier to entry but I don't want to discuss that right now). Because so little is graven in stone, much of it comes down to the persons involved and how they deal with it as nominators, reviewers, and coordinators. And I would say that FAC, at least until recently, has been very different from FAC say in 2007, or 2010 or even at the start of 2012, and much for the better in my view. I do not wish to see us return to that time, of an in-crowd and an out-crowd, and Raul's talk page used to denigrate those he did not like. I will go so far as to say that I will bestir myself, despite my usual torpor in FA administrative matters, to prevent it.--Wehwalt (talk) 02:46, 13 January 2015 (UTC)
And I'm pointing out that, yes, something has changed (uncited articles remain at FAC for a month, and that is a BIG change: I believe I'm in a position to know :)). But it appears that I've gotten all the answer I'm going to get on the matter. I'm not understanding why the answer has not been easy and direct (we now do X because of Y), but perhaps it's a misunderstanding somewhere along the way, and I do appreciate that Ian has attempted to answer. Anyway, for me as a reviewer, it is must discouraging and de-motivating to work on pages that aren't moving, and it would help me as a reviewer to understand the reasoning for the change, so I can know how to review. The take-home message seems to be that one has to be prepared to Oppose more often, and engage in lengthy peer-review type FACs, which is a timesink, IMO, when reviewer time is something we are short on. As an example, on pancreatic cancer, a full review would have been much more productive if the article had been cited; so much changed in the month until it was finally cited, that the entire article would have to be re-read to support. On that ultra-long article that Curly Turkey copyedited (can't remember what article it was), the review would have been much more productive if it had been closed earlier with the suggestion to trim and bring it back. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 04:01, 13 January 2015 (UTC)
I'm not sure how, with the lack of any meaningful PR processes outside of FAC these days, that it's better to tell editors to come back to FAC after they "fixed" the article. While it takes more time to conduct a PR-like review of an FAC over the course of a month, that may be the only way some articles ever reach FA status because that's the only opportunity the nominator will have to receive adequate feedback from other editors. I agree that this is far from ideal, but with reviewer participation so low in all areas of Wikipedia, it's the hand we've been dealt. That doesn't mean every subpar article nominated here needs to be kept open endlessly, but if an FAC is receiving meaningful feedback and improvements are being made, I see little benefit in rushing to archive it when doing so may hamper an article's improvement and damage editor morale. And while it may take more of a reviewer's time to conduct a PR-like review, it's really up to each individual reviewer to decide whether they think that's time well spent. –Prototime (talk · contribs) 06:34, 13 January 2015 (UTC)

Adding the bronze star[edit]

Hi everyone, I’ve noticed people still sometimes manually add the bronze star, i.e. {{featured article}}, to the top of FAs following promotion. This isn’t necessary as Hawkeye’s FACBot takes care of it, along with updating article history and closing the relevant FAC page. The bot runs regularly (usually the same day) so just be patient to avoid duplicating effort. Tks/cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 01:29, 12 January 2015 (UTC)

New FAC and FAR coordinators[edit]

In case anyone missed it, the FAC and FAR coordinator proposal has closed, and all suggestions were carried. The FAC and FAR instruction templates have now been updated to reflect that:

Thanks SandyGeorgia for putting the proposal together, Risker for closing, and of course everyone who stopped by to comment. Special thanks to Ucucha and Dana for all the hard work they put in over the years, and thanks/congrats to all the new coords! Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 14:06, 12 January 2015 (UTC)

Picking what to review[edit]

I'd like to hear from other reviewers how they pick an article to review, partly because I wonder if we could be more efficient about allocating our review effort, and partly just because I'm curious. Here's how I do it.

  • If I see anything I feel expert on, I'll review that. This almost never happens.
  • If I feel I owe another reviewer a review of their article, I'll do that next. I try not to do too much of this because I don't want a tit-for-tat reviewing environment, but I do think it's appropriate to thank another reviewer occasionally by reviewing their FAC.
  • Then I start from the bottom of the FAC page and work up.
    • If an article has four or more supports, I skip it.
    • If it has three solid supports and no outstanding questions I skip it unless I think I'd really enjoy reviewing it.
    • If it has opposes that seem reasonable and have not been resolved, and I don't think I can add anything to the discussion, I skip it.
    • If it's a medical article I will usually skip it; this is probably irrational but the standards for medical articles are deservedly high and I'm not sure I can provide a useful review.
    • If it has no supports or one support, then I will usually review it. There's little worse at FAC than failing for lack of reviews. I might skip it if the nominator looks bad-tempered or unreasonable, or if there's a dispute going on on the FAC page, but I'll try to review it if I can.
    • If it has two supports, then I may or may not review it. If there are other old FACs with zero or no supports further up the list, I might do those instead.

I used to try to review three FACs every time I brought something to FAC myself, and I think I've stuck to that on average, but I've recently resolved to try to make it six reviews per FAC of my own, just to increase the reviewing volume. Not sure I can stick to that, but since FAC is slower than it used to be it might not be that hard. I picked six because I've rarely had a FAC get promoted without at least five or six editors chiming in, so six seems about an even payback number. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 01:49, 13 January 2015 (UTC)

Here's how I do it (if I could number your points above, it would be easier. On your points 1 and 2, same. On your point 3, same, because the bottom of the list is where the delegates most need help (that is, closer to closing or promoting).

From that point on, we diverge a bit. If an article is "maturing" towards promotion (two or more supports), I will almost certainly review it, because things are always missed. Even if only minor nitpicks are found, that not only helps the Coordinators in the closing, but it also helps train up nominators and other reviewers on things they didn't know or check.

If a FAC has an Oppose already, or if it is pages and pages of text going nowhere, I'll either skip it or ask why it hasn't been closed (it is unfortunate if we must be more aggressive about opposing ill-prepared noms, but that's the message I'm taking from the other discussion above, so henceforth I will be more likely to oppose the ill-prepared noms, whereas earlier, I would have just mentioned the obvious deficiencies of an ill-prepared nom, which could be closed by the Coordinators without engaging scarce reviewer time in lengthy back-and-forth peer review).

Mike, it is MOST unfortunate that you skip medical articles, because often the prose is too dense, jargon-laden, and difficult to penetrate, and laypersons are needed to review prose, even if they don't feel qualified to Support ... non-medical editors should PLEASE review them for jargon, digestibility, etc. But like you, I have articles I won't review at all. I'll review pretty much any content area: the FACs I won't review are not based on content, rather nominator. Those are FACs from nominators known to either not respond well to critique or requests for change, not address all issues when samples are raised, revert changes requested at FAC once the FAC closes, or nominators who get guaranteed support regardless of the quality of their articles-- there is no point in engaging those nominators or nominations, because either they sap what little review time one has, or the FACs pass even if one points out deficiencies.

Also, Mike, maybe we can get you to review one FAR per each FAC submitted? The number of sub-standard FAs has become alarming, since FAR has been stalled for years. It's much less time consuming than reviewing a FAC, and often it's only a matter of having a look and saying yes, obvious deficiencies, so they can be closed. In a large number of FARs, the FAC nominator is long gone and no one is working on or maintaining the article: FAR just needs a few more folks to opine Keep or Delist. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 03:49, 13 January 2015 (UTC)

  • I can't say I've got a method, but I have some tendencies. I tend to take a peek at every article that gets nommed, even when I'm not looking for something to review. I avoid FACs by the big names who're guaranteed to have half a dozen supports within days—seems to me like a waste of time. I avoid noms by editors who've given me attitude in the past. Sometimes I'll favour the top of the pile to get things moving, or the bottom to get noms out of the mud. I don't like the idea of tit-for-tat, but there are certain editors who've reviewed my own noms with some frequency, so I'm a bit torn between wanting to return the favour and wanting to avoid seeming clique-ish. Long articles are time consuming, and it's heartbreaking to put a lot of work into them just to see them get archived (happened a bunch of times); short ones that look well organized are easy to breeze through so even if they get archived I don't feel so much like my time's been wasted. The kinds of articles I feel I have anything like "expertise" don't pop up at FAC much. Sometimes I guilt myself into choosing topics I have no interest in (sports, for example), because I know how little interest there is generally in my primary editing area (arts comics). In the end, my choices are pretty capricious. I imagine my response will be the least helpful one you'll get, but thank you for the opportunity to talk about myself. Curly Turkey ¡gobble! 04:19, 13 January 2015 (UTC)
  • I mainly do (thorough) GA reviews, these are often nominated for FAC afterwards, so I feel too "involved" to FA review them. But in both cases, I review articles where I have some kind of expertise (mainly related to zoology and blues-derived music, my other areas of interest usually don't end up at GA/FAC). And I also refrain from reviewing articles with four or more supports. FunkMonk (talk) 06:52, 13 January 2015 (UTC)
  • I review within my area of expertise (zoology/general biology) and other areas I'm interested in (science, history, national parks). I generally avoid entertainment articles (BLP for celebrities, popular movies/music, etc.) mostly because they don't interest me and I have a hard time grasping what constitutes a "reliable source" outside of academia. Unlike FonkMonk, I will review any article I've reviewed at GAN because I'm often encouraging them to develop closer to FA standards. I'm just now returning to FAC after a long break, so I've only been reviewing 3-4 articles per nomination. I would try to find time for more, but most of the articles I'm most comfortable reviewing get plenty of reviews without me. Honestly, I feel the review processes across enWiki (DYK, GAN, and FAC) have been degenerating for a long time. Before I began taking a break, I was a vocal critic of the drive to recruit more editors—instead favoring a drive to recruit more reviewers. (Yes, there are actually a lot of people out there who hate writing but love critiquing and correcting other people's writing... and most of them don't know they can contribute to Wikipedia beyond simple edits.) I, too, would like to avoid a tit-for-tat system, but I always worry that my noms won't catch enough interest and get archived, forcing me to waste time nominating them again and delaying my latest projects. Anyway, the short an simple answer to the question: I review what I'm comfortable with, favoring articles that need reviews to pass or get off the ground. – Maky « talk » 09:32, 13 January 2015 (UTC)
  • I'd say my method matches yours closely, Mike Christie, although I never really thought about putting it to paper. Relatively few articles show up here that are within my realm of professional expertise, so I am usually reviewing outside my zone. I think this is a good thing. --Laser brain (talk) 12:45, 13 January 2015 (UTC)
  • I sorta do what Mike does - but I'm more likely to find something to review on the first stage - I'll review most any history article. I don't touch roads or pop culture subjects (music, films, tv shows, etc). I rarely want to mess with med or hard science articles - the few times I have, I just found it a depressing situation. Ealdgyth - Talk 14:42, 13 January 2015 (UTC)
  • At present my own FAC reviewing is restricted by my TFA responsibilities, but as a general point, per Curley Turkey above, I think it's wrong not to engage with the noms of the so-called "big names". I am always delighted when an unknown or less familiar name comments on one of my FACs, whether or not this leads to a support. In my experience some excellent points have been raised and resolved through such reviews. Brianboulton (talk) 15:48, 13 January 2015 (UTC)
  • I generally pick articles by individuals who I've worked with before (though I still review the whole thing, in as much detail as I can; no back scratching), or, barring that, articles on fairly obscure topics which may not get many reviews. I have generally shied away from medical articles because of the jargon issue, though once in a while I may venture there. If I see something on Asia I'll generally comment there, or a subject I really enjoy (The Fifth Element and Maurice Richard are two of the most recent that fit that category). A lay review is still helpful, after all, because articles have to be accessible to both subject experts and casual readers. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 16:03, 13 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Pretty much I write the only articles in my specific area of expertise, but when I am active I like to review articles in the broader categories that fills in - military (battles, ships), universities, and biographies. Ealdgyth and Wehwalt's articles tend to spark my interest, and I also try to look at some of the sports articles because they didn't always get enough eyes. Unless it is a topic I am really interested in, I tend to avoid FACs that already show a consensus to support. Karanacs (talk) 16:34, 13 January 2015 (UTC)

Tit for tat, and all that[edit]

In comments above, I see some references to "tit for tat" reviewing, portrayed as if it is a bad thing. Of course there are many reviewing relationships at FAC, few of which escape the notice of the coordinators. I think that at this level, we are above the level of "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours", or if we are not, it becomes very apparent through lack of quality text and lack of quality reviews, especially over time. I doubt if lazy mutual backscratching would be a winning strategy at FAC.--Wehwalt (talk) 12:02, 13 January 2015 (UTC)

One of the things that bothers me is that people above spoke of reviewing between three and six nominations for every nomination they made. If people are really doing this, then there shouldn't be a lack of reviews. I'm beginning to wonder if FAC/FAR should set up a QPQ requirement like they have at DYK. I know I've put in my reviews (5 so far) for my current nomination; and it's frustrating to sit and wait while other nominations continue to get reviews after four or five supports for prose, sources, and images. Although I'm sure no one will admit it, people will gravitate to nominations by particular authors (which may be seen as tit-for-tat) for reasons they may not admit to (e.g. experienced editors write articles requiring minimal discussion during review). I do remember the days of so-called "clique reviewing", and hopefully I haven't been labeled as one of those people. Like everyone above, I chose my reviews back then based on topics within my area of expertise: biology. Therefore I had a tendency to review articles about rodents, fungus, plants, and birds. It just so happened that some of our most prolific writers were also submitting a constant stream of FACs, and in the process, I got to know most of them. It did become a tit-for-tat, but I also branched out from time to time. So I don't see tit-for-tat as bad... especially when there are so many entertainment-centered articles at FAC/FAR. I'm actually surprised these writers haven't formed their own "clique" for quality reviews and elevated standards like the ones several of us gradually created for the life science articles. The same goes for other categories, some of which are very active. One of the nice parts about tit-for-tat is that—at least for people like me—I feel obligated to branch out and review an article not in my field if the article's writer reviews my nomination. As Wehwalt said, it should be obvious when tit-for-tat reviews become lazy mutual backscratching. – Maky « talk » 19:21, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Tks for your comment, Maky -- I'd agree with many of your observations. Re. your first point, I think the editors above do make good on their desire to review several articles for each that they nominate, but they're only a percentage of the total number of FAC nominators, who don't always go out of their way to review. I understand the frustration of commenting on other articles and not seeing so much feedback at your own, but I'm not in favour of a QPQ system. The most experienced FAC editors, like those above, will review anyway, and enforced reviews by the less experienced may not be that valuable. I'd certainly encourage all nominators to review, but I think I'd prefer the less experienced or less confident to come to it in their own time, having gained a good understanding of the criteria, and perhaps observed what goes on at other reviews. Re. your last point, yes, I hope the coordinators will always be able to spot lazy commentary. I think that while total reviewing numbers may have declined over the past couple of years, the number of drive-by or superficial reviews has dropped by at least a similar proportion, and I wouldn't want to see that go up again. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 23:18, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
  • As one of those who brought up tit-for-tat above, I think I should comment. One concern I have is that I have an aversion to appearing clique-ish—that's an allergy I bring over from real life, and I hope it didn't come off as a condemnation of anyone. Another concern I had, though, was that there are certain FACs that we know will get half a dozen or more supports within a week, while others go ignored. As one of those whose FACs tend to hit the bottom of the stack before someone takes pity on it (if then), I suppose I sympathize with the underdogs on the page and thus prefer to review the less-established nominators. It just seems to me that, if there are six reviews to go around, wouldn't it be better if they were spread out over two articles, rather than concentrating on one that doesn't need it? Curly Turkey ¡gobble! 09:05, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

Featured Article promoted in 2013, nominated for deletion[edit]

2012 tour of She Has a Name, Featured Article promoted in 2013, has been nominated for deletion.

Please see discussion at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/2012 tour of She Has a Name.

Thank you,

Cirt (talk) 23:22, 13 January 2015 (UTC)

Removing FA review candidates from FA candidates[edit]

See also Wikipedia talk:Featured article candidates/archive63#One-month trial transclusion of FAR to FAC

Can we remove the pages nominated for FA demoting? It looks kind of confusing since some months ago there were only the articles nominated for promotion. We have separate procedure for that matter, the Wikipedia:Featured article review, so basically the same nominees exist at two different places.--Retrohead (talk) 10:33, 28 January 2015 (UTC)

See above. I'm wondering what specifically troubles you, because it has actually been helpful in bringing more eyes to FAR, which is finally moving again. By the way, FAR is not a nomination for "demotion": it's a page for review of featured status, hopefully with the aim of restoring articles to status! (PS: I have fallen down on reviews both at FAC and FAR because of IRL events, which should be settled now.) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:26, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
That mandate expires tomorrow. Do the FAR coordinators plan to come in and give an interim report and a recommendation on extension? I have been wondering, frankly, about the marginal value of keeping it on the project page, as by now all FA regulars (who are most likely, as Ian alluded to above, to give worthwhile reviews) have had the opportunity to see the change and review the discussion, and are either participating, planning to, or otherwise.--Wehwalt (talk) 17:05, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
I thought there'd been alot more review and movement on the FAR segment than the previous six months, so I thought it was a very good sign......? Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 20:22, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
Sandy, I hadn't started editing Wikipedia yesterday and I know what is the purpose of FAR. The page title reads "FA candidates" so it would be logical only those nominees to be included here. Attracting other editors attention is not a valid explanation for that action, to me at least. I haven't seen a report if there's been increased activity at the review nominees, but again, if we have those pages listed here, then someone might ask why not to merge these two projects.--Retrohead (talk) 21:13, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
Cas, if you think it's a help to you (and I don't want to make life hard for the coordinators) then I would have no objection to a reasonable extension. But I don't think FAR should be a permanent resident and at some point I would like to see an interim report from the coordinators, with the statistics one would expect, to gauge progress toward solving the problem. There were other potential solutions, such as "aging out" articles unless spoken for that could do with more discussion, should alternative ways be sought.--Wehwalt (talk) 00:20, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
I very rarely get involved with FAR so I am commenting mostly as a FAC regular. I don't find the FARs at the bottom of the page a problem; particularly since the nominations viewer makes it trivial to skip over them if I want to. If others would prefer to see them removed I've no objection, but I'm fine with leaving them where they are, and if that helps move them along so much the better. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 00:55, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
I haven't been commenting on any FARs recently (waiting for the first old video games ones to pop up), but I find having it at the bottom of the page helpful for keeping track of them; I'd also point out, as to it being confusing, that the Featured List, Pictures, and Topics projects all include demotion requests on their regular nomination pages without issue. --PresN 20:28, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
Aaah good point PresN. @Wehwalt:, it's not about whether it's a help to me as that is irrelevant. It's about the FAR entries being seen and commented on by more people and hence we are processing them more quickly, rahter than them gathering dust and cobwebs on a page that few people visit. Anyway, I agree that quantifying comments and throughput over a set period would be a very good idea and suggest we do this after another two months (say, end of March). Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 21:46, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
That's fine. Longer if you like.--Wehwalt (talk) 01:44, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

This removal of the separate heading and instructions for the two processes a few days ago does, IMO, lead to confusion about what is on the FAC page, so I removed the noinclude. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 04:55, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

Perhaps a slimmed-down version of the FAR header, appearing only on the FAC page via "includeonly" tags, is the answer? I "noincluded" the instructions because it seemed odd to me to start off with "This page [emphasis added] is for the review and improvement of featured articles that may no longer meet the featured article criteria (no, not "this page", but another page that is transcluded here for additional visibility) and unnecessary to have another copy of {{Fapages}} taking up space. BencherliteTalk 21:33, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
If the transclusion helped to increase FAR-traffic and is kept after the test phase, I'd prefer a slimmed-down FAR-box too, basically 2-3 introduction sentences and a few clear links to the FAR-coordinators and the full FAR-information would be enough. Currently the combined FAC/FAR page has over 5 full screens of rules and information - that's a bit overwhelming (even without FAR it was already crowded with text). A second point: if we keep FAR transcluded, the nominations viewer tool needs a small tweak: Currently this tool hides and shows the FAR-information together with the last FAC-nomination, but should handle it as separate text of course. That should be possible to solve, but I would have to ask the tool's developer (Gary). GermanJoe (talk) 22:20, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

Bencherlite, I am not well versed in how to best take advantage of noinclude tags, but what if ... brainstorming ... we had only one line added to the FAC instructions explaining that Featured article review is a separate process that is transcluded here, with a link to the full instructions at Template:FAR-instructions, so that we could then noinclude the FAR instructions here ?

On the idea of stats, anything above zero is good ... FARs were sitting without attention for as long as six months, and now the page is moving again. PLUG: there are still a couple that could use more eyes. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 13:58, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

FAR small box - draft[edit]

Something like this to go between FAC- and FAR-sections? (Feel free to tweak grammar and content) GermanJoe (talk) 14:34, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

Featured article review (FAR)
Shortcuts:

This section is for the review and improvement of current featured articles that may no longer meet the featured article criteria.
To contact the FAR coordinators for further questions, please leave a message on the FAR talk page, or use the {{@FAR}} notification template elsewhere.

I like it! BencherliteTalk 15:55, 31 January 2015 (UTC)

Request for preliminary advice on potential nomination[edit]

G'day all. I am considering nominating 4th Army (Kingdom of Yugoslavia) for FAC, but during the recent successful Milhist A-Class Review it was suggested that the article might be a bit "list-y" for FAC, and might need to go to FLC instead. Could the coords have a quick look and consider this issue? Any advice on this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Peacemaker67 (crack... thump) 03:35, 31 January 2015 (UTC)

Just scanning it now, looks to be more prose than list to me, hence I'd have thought more FAC than FLC -- but I welcome other opinions... Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 13:49, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
I agree. --Laser brain (talk) 14:16, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
Agree; definitely too much prose for FLC. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 15:14, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
FAC, not FLC, but yes ... too listy for an FA and needs to be better prosified. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:53, 31 January 2015 (UTC)