Wikipedia talk:Featured article candidates/archive43

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Pleeeeeease

Mmmmm....

If you are reading this, please grab something and review it. They're coming in droves, and many/most have no reviews or maybe one. I'll treat you to your choice of the top 10 bizarre spa treatments (flaming anti-flu treatment?). Or a beer. --Andy Walsh (talk) 22:19, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

Can't be bothered. Beer sounds good though, what kind of beer? --Malleus Fatuorum 22:30, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
Andy, it's been this way for a long, long time unfortunately. :( ceranthor 22:31, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
I've been meandering through the Irish Cream Ales, but I don't discriminate. --Andy Walsh (talk) 03:12, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
The bitterer the betterer for me... I like IPAs and more hoppiness. Binksternet (talk) 03:29, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
I swear I swear I swear once the damned Sweeps are done I'll be around more, but I gotta' keep trashing old articles right now :) Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 04:43, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
I'm about to go look for something to review, as I have time for FAC tonight for once. However, I just noticed here that there were only four articles promoted in the last week. That's got to be close to an all-time low; or have I been away too long, Sandy/Karanacs? That rate needs to increase. If slow promotion is caused by a poor reviewer to candidate ratio, I think we need to reduce the number of candidates, perhaps by an upper limit on the number of articles actively at FAC at any one time. Mike Christie (talk) 00:58, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
The rate of promotions is down, but it's not as bad as last week suggests. I had surgery on Friday, so couldn't promote on Saturday, but put 15 through on Monday. So last week's data isn't representative. (I hope :) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:17, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

Ack. Thirteen nominations have been added since I promoted a day and a half ago, and we're up to 52 again, so either we get more reviewers, or we archive sooner. Ideas? FAC is becoming peer review. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:37, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

Yes, FAC has effectively been peer review for some time now. :-/ Binksternet (talk) 20:46, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
A few things are at play, I think. We have noms that are getting archived and then re-appearing less than a month later with minimal intermediate work performed. There is the Wikicup going on, so we have the customary flooding of all parts of the system with nominations with little to no reciprocal involvement. The biggest problem is just lack of substantive reviews, though. Perhaps we could move to archiving noms with no substantive reviews after a week. --Andy Walsh (talk) 21:14, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps we don't need reviewers as much as we thought, I see one candidate promoted on two supports, one of which consists, in its entirety of (wonder if I should blockquote) "Looks good, I'd support it." the other a very good review by you, Andy. Perhaps a temporary exigency until we get more reviewers? I should say that the candidate article looks fine, just wondering if we are relaxing requirements temporarily.--Wehwalt (talk) 21:36, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
I realize that I do not come around here much but I have a possible suggestion. In an effort to eliminate the FAC being used as a peer review, simply require a peer review prior to submission. That way its already had the chance of being peer reviewed and hopefully some of the issues will be worked out prior to getting here. --Kumioko (talk) 21:54, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
Not a bad idea, though I would throw in an exception if the article is GA or A class, or if the principal editor has at least (to throw out a number) five FA's. Even then it should be very strongly recommended.--Wehwalt (talk) 21:58, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
I think that even the graceful-under-pressure PR triumvirate who finally snap under the extra load; sadly, we can't solve FAC issues by shoving the problems to other areas. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 22:11, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
Concur. I don't know how they do what they do today, frankly. I've also tossed around the idea of requiring a substantive FAC review for every nom, but that's problematic in its own right. --Andy Walsh (talk) 23:17, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
PR is under nearly as much strain as FAC. Still, we don't want to be passing unsatisfactory articles because a couple users give drive-by support. —Aaroncrick (talk) 00:37, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
To be frank, some folks have lots of experience but nominate with the same types of major problems all the time, or need major nags to overhaul the entire article. For a person with more than 5 passed articles of a respective category, they should really then have a 90%+ pass rate, excluding withdrawals because of needing to go on a wikibreak and what not. YellowMonkey (bananabucket) 00:46, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
Well, if we aren't getting reviews, FACs are lagging for three weeks, and people aren't opposing, I 'spose the only option left for me is to aggressively archive on my own (as I just did with Methylphenidate, since I edit medical articles, can see it was completely unprepared, and nom wasn't significant contributor) and pass articles with no opposes even if they haven't gotten independent review. But I'm all ears, and would like to hear what others propose to break this logjam. Karanacs and I will get beat up on talk for unilateral decisions: goes with the territory, I 'spose ! SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:43, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
Well yes, that kind of thing can happen at FAR as well, sometimes in reverse when people can't be bothered checking a half-cleaned up article and just say keep to get it over and done with. While for the 50%+ uncited article, only one reviewer is needed (or none, really) YellowMonkey (bananabucket) 00:46, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
If it is an issue that too many users are using FAC as a PR - in that the amount of work that it would take to get the article actually up to FAC standards would entail a lot of non-trivial work - (Trivial would be: alt images, MOS punctuation fixes, ref format fixing, the odd poor word choice or misspelling. Non-trivial would be a large need of references, poor writing style, or questionable summary of content) - then maybe we need to quick-fail those FACs. Mind you, I would expect those that recognize a quick-fail to comment as such, and leave the final decision to quick-fail up to Sandy or the like to remove it as they already do with incomplete or inappropriate noms. This is not meant to knock at the nominator or editors involved, but as a real facet that FAC is not PR. --MASEM (t) 01:38, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Well, OK, but I'd still like to know if Amazing Grace means a change of policy, whether one support with review plus one perfunctory support plus the nominator equals a featured article in this time of reviewer shortage. As I said, it appears a very worthy article and Andy did a nice review of it; is that sufficient?--Wehwalt (talk) 22:14, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

Seems like if we nominate we should also be prepared to review. However, those of us here posting are probably not part of the problem. Preaching to the choir, perhaps? I'd say if there isn't a substantive review by 10 days, then something could be shelved. Auntieruth55 (talk) 01:03, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
I've seen the queries about Amazing Grace and Muhammad al-Durrah; if we don't have reviewers, the page is stagnating, and articles are staying at FAC for three weeks, I'm forced to exercise discretion (unless y'all, or Karanacs, have other suggestions, which is why I'm all ears ... the problem isn't subsiding). I'd certainly not like to have a change in policy, but in the absence of reviewers, I've got to make the decisions (and take the heat). SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:19, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
I queried Sandy about Amazing Grace myself, fearing it would attract negative commentary. I was well prepared for the article to stay in FAC for another week or two. There does not seem to be a procedure to bring further FAC-like scrutiny on an article other than its talk page and FAR. I'm open to either. If there are problems with Amazing Grace, please feel free to discuss them on the talk page or my talk page. Or FAR if they weren't also hurting for reviewers. Or de-list it as an FA and I'll renominate, whatever. What is preferable given the limited resources? --Moni3 (talk) 01:26, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
Yep, Moni let me know her concern when I promoted (and that she hadn't gotten more reviews), but it got a solid content working over at GAN, Moni knows how to deal with the "technicals", and no one was weighing in after weeks, and Laser gave it a good review. But no, I would not like to have a change in policy; I'd like to have reviewers, and not have decisions left to me. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:37, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
Amazing Grace and Muhammad al-Durrah? I've missed something. Auntieruth55 (talk) 01:36, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
Amazing Grace, promoted with scanty review after several weeks (see above), and Muhammad al-Durrah incident, promoted over one Oppose that changed several times after being at FAC for three and a half weeks with no other opposes, queries raised on my talk page. As Wehwalt has noted, those closes were a departure from my past closes, as were my archives today, because in spite of many pleas of concern here, we're not getting reviewers. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:41, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
thanks. It seems to me that if FAC requires a peer review prior to a nomination, then that will slow down the nominations, but peer reviews aren't always as stringent as one might wish. For example, the A-class review in Military history is far better than most peer reviews, as are the GA reviews in MH. It looks like there should be some kind of review system prior to a nomination, but even that has exceptions. I remember one nomination not too long ago (about a woman who saved some children from a fire, and then died in the fire herself, something in Victorian England), nominated after no reviews, which was a superb little article (short, succinct and clear). Seems to me also that the commentator above mentioned that some people bring the same mistakes (I do it, and I've seen others do it too) to the nomination. With various contests going on, editors are not giving as much as they are getting. Auntieruth55 (talk) 01:54, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
With PR I suspect that sometimes the reviewer won't give a detailed review if the author makes the same errors over and over again, or is a recalcitrant and tries to nag their way out of improvement; some of the most perfectionist writers often receive the most detailed reviews. YellowMonkey (bananabucket) 02:16, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
It's the old old problem though. There's no kudos in reviewing, so anyone who does it is being altruistic, when they could instead be writing something of their own, and getting a bit of recognition for it. --Malleus Fatuorum 01:59, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
This will probably sound idiotic, but would it be possible to somehow make FAC more... user-friendly (for lack of a better word); I know that whenever I nominate an article for FAC, infrequent though it may be, I would also like to review one or two others in turn. However, with the amount that the FAC standards have tightened up in the last little while, I (and I'm sure many other editors) find it daunting to do so; what if we consider the article to be good quality and support, but it's actually missing something substantial that is not obvious to us at first from a quick perusal of the criteria? I know that this worry has prevented me from reviewing articles in the past, and that includes GAN and PR as well. It leaves FAC with just the usual editors, which leads to stagnations like we have now. MelicansMatkin (talk, contributions) 02:19, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict) The regulars know who the constant reviewers are, and value them. But you're right; the reward for reviewers is not sufficient to bring in enough good ones. I think we should cap the number of articles at FAC, as I've suggested before, but if that is not done and standards don't weaken, then a slowdown at FAC is unavoidable. Mike Christie (talk) 02:21, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
(ec) there is no point in showing every instance of the same problem. I won't do it, at peer review, in grading papers, at ACR, GAR, or here. If the editor can't find it on his or her own, then so be it. oppose. :) Why should I spend the time marking each and every instance of the same issue, when the editor should be able to find it. Auntieruth55 (talk) 02:24, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

As a reviewer when I actually have the energy, it gets to be a pain, because I am the most nitpicky reviewer on earth, and pulling an article apart ain't easy. Its not easy to keep reviewers all of the time, it gets hectic. There's an average of 40 articles daily on this page. Who wants to review 40 articles?Mitch32(Live from the Bob Barker Studio at CBS in Hollywood. Its Mitch!) 02:28, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

FAC nominators should be required to review at least three other FACs before their article can pass. Binksternet (talk) 02:40, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Just to try to focus the discussion a bit, with my two cents :) It's not just a FAC problem; it's Wiki-wide. PR, GAN, and all the noticeboards are backed up and getting scanty input. And if we require nominators to review, we might just get quid pro quos and more backup. We need a solution that accounts for all of this. In terms of too many noms, perhaps we could find a way to deal with specific instances where articles are repeatedly nominated with the same issues? The only thing I can do, from my end, is be more aggressive about archiving, but even for that, I need some reveiwer feedback, and my orange bar goes off endlessly :) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:45, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
I think people spend too long sometimes looking at the prose for typos and MOS. Last week I grabbed a few FACs and found a few content imbalances quite quickly even though I don't pay attention to those topics personally, and it's faster to spot. I think sometimes we aren't always looking in the most vulnerable places for things that need to be fixed YellowMonkey (bananabucket) 02:57, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
More of the nominators would "get it" if they had to review other FACs. I'm not afraid of seeing an increase in cursory reviews as a result of requiring FAC nominators to review three other FACs. I think the overall result will be beneficial. Binksternet (talk) 02:55, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
Would it help to bar re-noms for six months instead of "a few weeks"? That might encourage better preparation. Finetooth (talk) 03:04, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
Then what happens to the ones to the lack of support/opposes or reviews? That ain't fair to have to wait 6 months if you failed for something that wasn't theoretically your fault. Also for Binksternet, I think the 3 for 1 thing might mean, when FACs closed, there would be a sharp drop in noms at all, as no one will want to review.Mitch32(We the people in order to form a more perfect union.) 03:10, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
3 (reviwer) for 1 (nom) thing might be a twofer - reducing the backlog and indirectly increasing the status of good reviewers.
It's harder to see a solution to unpopular topics. MOS and prose are topic-independent, but content and WP:V need some knowledge and interest in the topic. --Philcha (talk) 03:21, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
I'm sorry but I think compulsory reviews are a Bad Idea. A possible effect would be an increase in reviews where the person was doing it just to get it out of the way, and perhaps did not carefully consider the article. Those types of "supports" are much more difficult to overcome if someone else comes in, does a serious review, and finds deficiencies. I know nay-saying ideas isn't solving anything, but I personally can't stand going in and having to oppose over supports where the reviewer didn't carefully check it. Some kind of checkpoint is definitely warranted; the most problematic repeat problems are noms that come in without any series peer review. It doesn't have to be a formal peer review, either -- in many cases, it could just be grabbing a second pair of eyes from the appropriate subject area. Perhaps nominations have to be "seconded" by a peer? I also think our delegates should be able to be more aggressive with archives without being called to task on their talk page every time. I wince every time Sandy or Karanacs' talk page come up on my watchlist with something beginning with "Your closure of ..." --Andy Walsh (talk) 04:23, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
I am happy with the reviews lingering a bit longer on the FAC page as the lesser of several evils. Remember we did get up to 100 before. I'll try to review a few. Casliber (talk · contribs) 04:38, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
When we used to get to 100 FACs, each FAC wasn't bordering on 100 KB long like current reviews; I'm not sure how the trend of line-by-line peer reviewing took hold at FAC. (We used to have more opposes and FACs could be archived and brought back when ready.) Now we have page load problems because the page size is so huge, and reviewer fatigue because FACs are so long. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 04:41, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Malleus is right. FAC reviewers, like all Wikipedia volunteers, are excruciatingly under-appreciated and rarely recognized for their work. Barnstars and such are nice, but there's really no incentive to spend 45 minutes picking through a single article. That said, forcing people to review a certain number of candidates strikes me as a very ill-considered idea, and it would presumably contribute to the problem of drive-by reviews rather than resolve it. It's also a bad idea in my honest opinion to further lower the standards for promotions. FAs should be "Wikipedia's best work", much as I hate that phrase, not "Wikipedia's least-complained-about work". Perhaps we need to make the process more streamline. Give people tools and scripts they can use for reviewing. A final thought: maybe we could try to reach out to scholars, academics, and experts and encourage them to help us along. –Juliancolton | Talk 04:43, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Sandy, about line-by-line reviews, I started doing that (in fact, I'm doing one right now), because I saw other reviewers do it, and so I assumed that's what was required nowadays. Actually, I agree that in many of these cases, it would be better to oppose. The line-by-line stuff (of very basic issues) is more like peer review. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 05:33, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Refocus

Am I beating a dead horse? It's a Wiki-wide problem, not just a FAC problem. GAN has backlogs, FAR is neglected, we have a couple of editors working their tails off already at PR (and producing FAs at the same time), and all the noticeboards get scanty attention and are seriously backlogged. If we want to keep churning out FAs, we need proposed solutions that account for the Wiki-wide problem. I don't mean to sound unsympathetic; we know FAC reviewers are underappreciated, we know some noms are abusive or unprepared, we know FACs are getting longer; what should we change (if anything) other than more aggressive archiving (which is my only plan, unless others disagree)? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 05:13, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

We should promise people some drama. You never see a shortage of attention at RfAR or AN. :-) –Juliancolton | Talk 04:52, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
Well judging by the ArbCom elections, the majority of Wikipedians seem to be happy with or prefer a lurch towards more bureaucratisation. Encouraging people to bite on content would make reviews easier and quicker. So many people at GAN and FAC are afraid of doing that and just scan a long time for grammar errors and MOS inconsistencies. The last time I did a batch of 7-10 sport GANs there were so many American sport GANs where they only had stats of the player/team without bothering to discuss the style of play or team strategy, but it the author seemed rather apathetic about it, but not at FA. I guess they thought it would be ok if I failed it and then re-apply again and wait for a more lenient individual to pick it, something that is less likely at FAC. But in any case, on a FAR it's pointless to do an elaborate prose/MOS check when whole seections are missing or unreferenced and maybe people could deal with some FACs more easily by looking at the content, because on some of the recent FACs I opposed for content that I thought was very obvious and only took about 15 minutes, other reviewers were taking a lot of time scanning for MOS/prose and making a few small tweaks on the same article. As for FAR, I'm not sure why they're so scared not taking 5-10minutes to nom something with 50%+ unsourced bits. YellowMonkey (bananabucket) 05:16, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
We can't make reviewers to do what they don't want to do or enjoy doing; I'm asking what changes we might consider (if any) to the processes? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 05:27, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
I think Wehwalt's idea (expanding on a suggestion of Kumioko's) is very worthy of consideration—an FA candidate must have at least one of the following qualification criteria: a peer review: GA status; A-class status; or a nominator with at least 3 previous FAs to her credit (that should be sufficient to establish one's bona fides). Yes, it is an unavoidable fact that there are vacuous peer reviews conducted and dubious GAs and As awarded. And yes, this would create an extra slog for a few worthy items. On the other hand, as an adjustment to process, it would, I think, eliminate a lot of dross and allow reviewers to focus on more plausibly promotable articles—and that's the point, right?—DCGeist (talk) 05:51, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

I know some editors will place comments on the article talk page (rather than the FAC page) - and once resolved there return to the FAC talk page to support. Should we encourage more folks to do this? PS: Agree we can't make reviews compulsory - I wish teh wikicup had some pointscoring incentive for reviews as well as content. Casliber (talk · contribs) 05:49, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

I wouldn't want to see review comments mixed up with regular talk-page input, unless the review has closed, and the reviewer is becoming a regular editor of the article. But while the review is open, I think it's a good idea to maintain the separation. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 05:52, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
A peer review and/or GA status and/or A-class status and/or a nominator with at least 3 previous FAs per Wehwalt and DCGeist is good for FA. However, as said SandyGeorgia at the top of this section, , "It's a Wiki-wide problem, not just a FAC problem", as the other review queues have similar backlogs. We need to change the ratio between review effort and nomination effort - this is a necessary consequence of simple arithmetic. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Philcha (talkcontribs)
I think we need to be careful about recommending GAs or peer reviews, because they often don't lead to any improvement; sometimes quite the reverse. Sorry to say it, but it's true. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 06:57, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
That certainly hasn't been my experience, and I've looked a lot of GAs. Almost invariably they result in a significantly improved article. Having said that, I still wouldn't be in favour of requiring all FAC candidates to go through GAN, or peer review. --Malleus Fatuorum 15:40, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Question: do we have any statistics there on what %age of FACs are done by those that have already previously nominated FAC? If it is rather high, and that FAC is high because editors are submitting too many FAC in a period, maybe a solution is to discourage a second FAC nomination, say, a month after the previous FAC. We already discourage uses from submitting multiple FACs at the same time, this could be seen as an extension of this. PR does a similar limiting move to prevent people spamming that. Of course, if it is more first-timers than not at FAC, then we can ignore this. --MASEM (t) 06:58, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

I said it a long time ago: 1) We need the god-king to become a cheerleader, making public pronouncements encouraging folks to do CR at FAC. 2) We need some sort of (informal) FAC training for anyone who shows up. Adopt-a-new-reviewer. Or whatever. • Ling.Nut 07:12, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
I would support this. Only one nomination up at a time, then a certain period of time to elapse between the closure of one and the opening of another. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 07:13, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
That basically penalizes our best people, but does not take into account what is much of the problem: Nominations that just aren't ready. I would stand behind my proposal, expressed above (yes, it is an inconvenience for the new FA editor, but what can you do). However, I would add to that a proposed bypass, that if someone with at least say five FA stars to his/her name is willing to look over and vouch for the fact it is FAC-ready, than it could be nominated. Additionally, I would support having the delegates (as Sandy did recently), aggressively get rid of nominations that aren't ready or have attracted opposes (other than opposes like image opposes, which will go away once you correct your problem).
Additionally, since I haven't posted since early afternoon, I would like to note this. As a FA nominator and sometimes reviewer (I've reviewed three in the past month), I feel it important that I understand what is required for promotion, so I queried Sandy about two of her promotions. This is a matter of routine, just like people sometimes question my actions as an administrator and I readily respond. The query has to do with my making sure I understand the current requirements. As I said above, I think Moni3 has done fine work in Amazing Grace and that article deserved to be promoted. It is important we all understand the process, and not be afraid to ask courteous questions. Misunderstandings can be train wrecks. --Wehwalt (talk) 08:30, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
(ec) Agreed. ::One nomination up at a time is OK. But elapse between the closure of one and the opening of another might demotivate the most productive reviewers. --Philcha (talk) 08:34, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

As of right now I count 15 noms on the page with 3 or more supports and no opposes. If they were passed then the page would not be so long. I'd rather that an article with a review was passed than an article without a review be archived. DrKiernan (talk) 08:54, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Did you check to see if the Supports came from the same WikiProject as the article topic, or the nominator, or look for other connections...? • Ling.Nut 09:14, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
They're mostly FAC regulars, so, I guess your suspicions are justified because they're all part of the same cabal. DrKiernan (talk) 09:32, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

(outdent) Re Wehwalt's proposal (GA status or A-class status or Peer review as prerequisites for first-time FA noms): I support this in principle, but the rules would have to be carefully drawn. For instance, what if an article is peer reviewed, but the nominator chooses to ignore the PR recommendations? Can the article then be nominated to FAC? I am dead against any concept of "passing" or "failing" at PR, which should remain a non-judgemental process. I also worry that some peer reviews are regrettably superficial. I would strongly support the restriction to one FAC per nominator, and a time lapse before the next nom. That seems to make obvious housekeeping sense; it may slow down the most productive editors, but it might help a fairer distribution of that scarce resource, reviewer time. Brianboulton (talk) 11:31, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

That proposal might well reduce the volume at FAC, but I think it would have a big negative effect at PR and GAN. I also don't think a PR would help much except by forcing a delay, because PRs are often not thorough (no fault of the process, just the lack of reviewers). If we have to do this, I think it should be GAN only. That might have the side-effect of encouraging some reviewers here to work at GA too; it would effectively put FA and GA into the same "pipeline" of article quality, which has long been opposed but might perhaps have a beneficial effect on the volume here at FAC. Mike Christie (talk) 11:40, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
I think GAN is wrong for this idea. It has a different focus and a different philosophy. Some editors use GAN as a precursor to FAC but I think the GAN process would inevitably be altered, and not necessarily for the better, if it were a requisite pass\fail before FAC. Further, the quality of GAN reviews varies enormously (and inevitably being the work of one reviewer).Fainites barleyscribs 12:22, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
Is there a quick weeding out process? Could this be formalised? How about combining the idea of nominators with either a certain number of FACs, or A-class and/or peer review, and a pre-nomination panel for those who don't fulfill the criteria. Or does this create second class editors? Fainites barleyscribs 12:24, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

What would be the potential negative effects from placing a temporary moratorium on nominations, allowing only 50 at a time until reviewers pick up? --Moni3 (talk) 12:57, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Or allowing 50 at a time, ever? Mike Christie (talk) 13:01, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
Delays noms by productive reviewers, which would be a big negative. You need to indiscriminate between reviwers and non-reviers. --Philcha (talk) 13:03, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
You queue to queue. I think there is some merit in this because the efforts of reviewers would be more focussed on the ones there to review so there would be a faster turnover of reviews, passes and fails. This would work if the number were limited to say, 30. Fainites barleyscribs 13:06, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
Am I the only one who feels the incessant tug of deja vu? We've been down this road before. We hashed out any number of proposals to somehow restrict the FAC list. Ideas flew fast and furious. People became tense. Then magically the backlog went away, and all was well. Now here we are discussing trimming FAC again; even with some of the same (or very similar) suggestions... trimming the list in one way or another would be nice and mildly helpful, but the key point is the need to attract and retain new reviewers. • Ling.Nut 13:13, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
I don't recall that discussion, but that's not earth-shattering for my holey memory's half-life. We need to attract reviewers but it's not happening. Even I know I need to review and I can't get to it often. So end-run around the part that isn't working. --Moni3 (talk) 13:18, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
Mid-February of last year.• Ling.Nut 13:28, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
At a rough guess - deja vu for those who took part - despair and wonderment for those who didn't. Fainites barleyscribs 15:32, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
  • This may have been suggested before, and if so I apologise for raising it again. What I'd do is to set a strict time limit on the length of time a nominiation remains open, say one week, and at the end of that time a decision is made as to whether to promote or archive. --Malleus Fatuorum 13:16, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
I think that's the best of the options on the table as well. I can see absolutely no logic whatsoever in splitting one queue into two. --Malleus Fatuorum 16:52, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
To address Sandy's issue about the possible calls of gatekeeping: the queue is to be run as a FIFO queue; the oldest article on it takes the place of any article removed from the 10-20 that are at FAC. There is no bias you'd be adding to it. The only thing that could come into here is that you (or any other delegate of FAC) should have more freedom to quick fail noms that are not prepared. Or maybe another approach: if, before the article moves from the queue into the main FAC set, there is some significant issue that has been pointed out that will make the FAC aspect of the task pretty much moot since it cannot likely be resolved in that 2 week timeframe it gets failed then and there. So, for example, Ealdgyth runs through sources and finds several unreliable ones and the nominator does nothing to address it, then when it's time to be moved to FAC, you're free to be the door bouncer and quick-fail it. (Heck, technically, this is the only point you need to step in w.r.t to the queue, as to pass noms onto the actual FAC list). But any steps we take to increase what we consider to be improperly-prepared FACs (mind you, a good step as well) will likely increase the calls of "cabal" on the FAC process, but that still is a step that has to be done. --MASEM (t) 17:44, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
I wouldn't be thrilled with a FIFO queue, as that makes experienced FA writers who put up well prepared noms wait in line behind unprepared noms ... any queue plan would have to address that. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:48, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Queue

  • Throwing another idea into the ring based on some ideas above (namely fixing the number, fixing the time, and including a queue). FAC becomes FA Queue, where actual FA nominations are created; these can also be quickly-removed if the nomination's problematic. FAC would contain the X oldest submissions (say 10 or 20), and would only be allowed to stay there, at most, for 2 weeks, barring any discretion by Sandy et al. The FA process is then reworked slightly to place emphasis on the articles at the limited FAC queue, allowing for those 2 weeks to be an intense review of the article without necessarily feeling the pressures of a heavy backlog of other submissions. Nor is this meant to prevent anyone from reviewing an entry on the Queue before it's reached the FAC list. Editors submitting articles would be able to estimate within a few days of when they can expect that their article will hit the core FAC list and be prepare to respond (as opposed to the clock starting when they add the FAC to begin with). This is similar to what's already done with "urgents" but I think in practice it sounds less pleading and more a means to focus reviewers on a smaller subset of articles at any time so that FAC doesn't feel overloaded and beyond hope.
  • I would also combine this with a bot/tool that would notify all WProjects that are tied to the FAC that the article is up at the FAC. Some projects already track this, but this would be a request for the project members to come and critically review the article for comprehensiveness and accuracy from the editors that are likely best going to know this as well as the submitter. We have to be careful to avoid language that may encourage drive-by "support"s but I think getting the individual WPs on board is a easy way to help to virtually expand the editor reviewer pool for FACs. --MASEM (t) 14:57, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Could we appoint a small group of the most experienced reviewers, and give them the authority to scan FACs and to archive the ones that any reasonable person would regard as unprepared—the unambiguously unprepared? Not archived as fails, but simply as premature, plus a rule that FACs so archived should not be renominated for one month. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 15:36, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
  • That's a possibility, but could lead to claims of a "FAC cabal". On the other hand, we could also empower director/delegates to do same. Thoughts? A queue is also an interesting idea, where director/delegates feed noms to the page, stopping some of the abusive or unprepared noms, but that could also lead to "gatekeeping" "FAC cabal" claims. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:49, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Does anyone have any actual drawbacks to my proposal? If not, I will write it up and let's see who salutes. Since I am not a member of any WikiProject, by the bye, I would imagine any supports on my articles are fully independent.--Wehwalt (talk) 15:58, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Sandy, so long as it's done only with the clearly unprepared, and not with anything arguably ready, I can't see that it would be problematic. It would also hopefully lead to a culture of articles being more polished before being submitted, because editors wouldn't want to see them archived without comment. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 16:02, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
  • While I like the idea of something along these lines, I am concerned about potential claims of "gatekeeping", "favoritism" or "FAC cabal". It would need to gain wide consensus and broad support. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:15, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
  • And, thinking about this, if we were to go to some version of this, a pre-queue on a separate page might be a good idea, so that only director/delegates can archive FACs actually on the FAC page, and the "other" work is elsewhere with approved FACs moving here, so there's no confusion about who's doing what. But all of this would need pretty broad consensus-- makes me a bit uncomfortable, and seems like creating another level of bureaucracy. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:20, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
  • I don't like the idea, and I'm unconvincd that "clearly unprepared" FACs are a significant problem. --Malleus Fatuorum 16:24, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Still thinking aloud, wanting feedback. My pet peeve is articles that come to FAC unsourced or poorly sourced, as WP:V is a pillar upon which Wiki is based. Worse, articles at FAC get Support even when Ealdgyth has highlighted questions about the reliability of sources used. Unsourced or poorly sourced articles don't belong at FAC; that's a basic, first screening point. Perhaps if we had some sort of pre-queue, the Ealdgyth-type review would be done there before they could come to FAC? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:26, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
I am going to let the discussion circulate for a while before writing up something. Perhaps Saturday. Because if we just "talk", it will go nowhere. We know that. The other alternative, to my view, is to take no action as a community except to back the delegates in turning back clearly unprepared nominations and rebut the inevitable howls. I actually think that is the better course of action.--Wehwalt (talk) 16:37, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
I think that's the best of the options on the table as well. I can see absolutely no logic whatsoever in splitting one queue into two. --Malleus Fatuorum 16:52, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
To address Sandy's issue about the possible calls of gatekeeping: the queue is to be run as a FIFO queue; the oldest article on it takes the place of any article removed from the 10-20 that are at FAC. There is no bias you'd be adding to it. The only thing that could come into here is that you (or any other delegate of FAC) should have more freedom to quick fail noms that are not prepared. Or maybe another approach: if, before the article moves from the queue into the main FAC set, there is some significant issue that has been pointed out that will make the FAC aspect of the task pretty much moot since it cannot likely be resolved in that 2 week timeframe it gets failed then and there. So, for example, Ealdgyth runs through sources and finds several unreliable ones and the nominator does nothing to address it, then when it's time to be moved to FAC, you're free to be the door bouncer and quick-fail it. (Heck, technically, this is the only point you need to step in w.r.t to the queue, as to pass noms onto the actual FAC list). But any steps we take to increase what we consider to be improperly-prepared FACs (mind you, a good step as well) will likely increase the calls of "cabal" on the FAC process, but that still is a step that has to be done. --MASEM (t) 17:44, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Summary of proffered solutions

From the above discussion (which gets harder to follow by the minute), it seems that the main solutions being proffered are along the following lines:-

  • One candidate per nominator at any one time, and a time lapse before the same editor can nominate another (Various editors)
  • Limit the time that any candidate can be on FAC (Malleus and others)
  • Require prior reviewing at GAN, PR or A-class for any nominator's first three noms to FAC (Wehwalt)
  • Focus reviewer attention on a small list of 20 or so, leaving other noms in a FAC "queue" awaiting transfer to the main list (MASEM)
  • Appoint a panel of senior editor/reviewers to filter out the obviously premature FAC noms (SlimVirgin)
  • Give the delegates powers to reject under-prepared nominations (Wehwalt)

Whether all, any or a combination of these will really improve the process I can't say. However, complicated solutions lead to long discussions and little else. Action on the first, second and last of the above could be implemented very easily, without a further layer of administration. Why not give them, or variants of them, a trial for a few months? If they don't work they can easily be repealed. Meanwhile, Wehwalt and others can work up more substantial proposals for their ideas, that can be separately considered later on. Finally (I've said this before), whatever FAC's perceived problems it is beyond doubt that, in the two years since I made my first FAC nomination the general standard of promoted articles has risen considerably. I know how much harder I have to work now, to get an article through. The system may be overloaded, but it's not broken. Brianboulton (talk) 17:45, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Nice summary! SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:52, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
Don't we already have a rule about one article at a time per nominator? Does this just need to be enforced more aggressively? --Moni3 (talk) 17:50, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
The current problem with that is, with up to 70 noms on the page, I miss multiple noms... need help from the community in enforcing that. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:53, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
Ok. Well let's include some nuclear power in the first point, and spell out the second and last points as listed by Brianboulton and put up an RfC (unless this page is watched enough by editors to preclude the need for an RfC). No doubt there will be some discussion with contests as this affects how rapidly articles can cycle through and such, but this is a problem and it should be fixed. --Moni3 (talk) 17:58, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
The first point also contains the suggestion that time should elapse between nominations. That too should be considered ia an Rfc. Brianboulton (talk) 18:46, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
Is it necessary to have a wait time before an editor can nominate another article? Seems to me that if an article has passed a tough peer or AC review, then no reason why it cannot move along to FAC right away. Wouldn't requiring a single editor to wait just encourage groups of editors to nominate an article on which they have not contributed as much, just to get around this? I like several of the other proposals, such as the queue, although it seems we already have one. The articles at the bottom need to be reviewed before the articles at the top. This seems self-evident. Auntieruth55 (talk) 18:18, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
Another thought: one of the things we might do to assist Sandy et al is for someone to summarize the supports and opposes after the article has been under review for a week or so. The massive amount of text under some of these noms is boggling, and hard to wade through. The person who does this could write, four supports, two of them weak, one oppose, for example. Then conclude needs more time for improvement, and then the article could go into a holding pattern, while the editor either improves it or not. After 4-5 days, if improvements are not significant, and oppose or weak supports not clarified, then it needs to go off the list entire (fail?) and come back later. In GA there is a quick-fail process, also, and something like that might make sense here. Or a quick pass process. Just a thought. Auntieruth55 (talk) 18:31, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
An RfC or similarly organized discussion would air out all the things that we don't foresee right now. It will probably come to a point where most FAC participants have to decide what is logistically feasible despite the inconveniences any changes to the nomination process will cause. --Moni3 (talk) 18:29, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

1, 3, 5 and 6 look the most feasible. #1 (limit of noms per person) needs to be enforced more often. #2 (the time limit) and #4 (the queue) do not serve the best of priorities, especially if an article gets no attention. I also noticed the lack of mention of Bink's, 3 reviews for 1 nom, which I don't fully support because we may end up with the reverse situation.Mitch32(We the people in order to form a more perfect union.) 18:25, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

I reiterate my call to consider requiring a "second" to each nomination. The "seconder" isn't claiming credit for the article; they are simply saying they looked it over and it at least appears to be in the general vicinity of WP:WIAFA. The seconder could be the person who performed the GAN, PR, or A-class review, or a SME, or a WikiProject peer. I also like Malleus's #2, because it addresses certain problems the other suggestions don't. For example, editors whose behavior patterns drive reviewers away with will be motivated to change; the other suggestions don't really provide this angle. --Andy Walsh (talk) 18:41, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
I like this as well. I've been driven from here by an editor whose behavior was less than congenial, and actually didn't come back to review, or to submit anything, until I realized that some banning had been done. Having a second with some gumption (that would be important) would also help for newbies, because sometimes the person who thinks the article is ready just hasn't been listening. Auntieruth55 (talk) 18:45, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
This already happens though, albeit it informally. Which of us takes an article to FAC without asking for at least a second opinion on it? --Malleus Fatuorum 18:48, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
True, but how often does the person who gives that second opinion put their four tildas on the nomination? Auntieruth55 (talk) 18:54, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
Never. Why should they? --Malleus Fatuorum 18:58, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
I rarely get another opinion first; and there are probably others like me. But would this idea actually reduce the backlog, in practice? Mike Christie (talk) 18:59, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
I can't see any reason why it would, unless it's intended to be an additional hurdle to choke off nominations.
Do you mean that nobody ever looks at your articles except yourself? --Malleus Fatuorum 19:02, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
I think its not a half bad idea, and I can be the most stubborn editor around, but also I have a hopeful future FAC with a second person that could certify that. I know as its going through an A-class review as I speak.Mitch32(We the people in order to form a more perfect union.) 19:01, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Given that reviewers are missing, how about putting some thought into recruiting some new ones and building awareness of the FAC process? I am sure there are thousands of Wikipedians around who have never seen this FAC page; at least some of them will have the skills and/or subject matter knowledge to review. Here some ideas:

  • Use the Signpost, writing a feature about FAC reviewing.
  • Make a Wiki ad and get everyone here and anyone else we can talk into it to display it on their user page and talk page – just to jog people's memory.
  • Think about editors we have met who might be good at FAC reviewing but have never done it, or haven't done it in a long time; suggest to them they should chip in.
  • FWIW, I'll list the issue as a topic at WP:ARFR. Even if it should fail to get us usable ideas, it may increase visibility of the need for reviewers.
  • Other ideas?

For the broad mass of editors out there who never set foot here, unawareness, forgetfulness and lethargy are the main problem. Awareness and recruitment measures aren't necessarily going to result in an immediate, short-term improvement, but will help the long-term health of the process. Other thoughts: I like the idea that no one should nominate who hasn't recently done three substantive reviews themselves. That in itself is a kind of awareness-building measure, advertising the need. --JN466 19:27, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

  • See WP:ARFR#Shortage of reviewers at WP:FAC --JN466 19:58, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
    • Beating the dead horse again: there are shortages everywhere, it's not just a FAC problem. And I've twice posted at WP:AN and gotten no results. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:08, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
      • WP:AN may not be the best place. It's always the same 250 or so regulars milling around there. Most of those probably know about FAC and just think it's not for them. You'd be better off doing a (user talk) mailshot to all editors with M.A. or Ph.D. degrees -- assuming that learning the WIAFA criteria is easier than getting a degree. --JN466 20:36, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Before this turns into a disjointed discussion without any clear action or resolution, can we focus the remarks about the proposed solutions and begin discussing their merits or lack thereof? Does anyone mind if I create an RfC-like structure so we can organize this a bit? --Moni3 (talk) 20:32, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

By all means. --JN466 20:36, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Subpage for straw poll?

Might help if we made a subpage (or archive a bunch of threads), because if this gets littered with too much discussion, some browsers, including mine, might have problems loading the page. (This already occurs with the actual FAC page, and that's all transclusion.)Mitch32(We the people in order to form a more perfect union.) 22:52, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

== Proposed changes to FAC nomination process == <span class="wikiEditor-tab"></span> In reference to the above discussion,

to address the insufficient ratio of reviewers to articles and assure that article quality is not compromised, the following changes to the FAC process are proposed:

Restrict the number and time between nominations

An editor is allowed to nominate only one article. While the nomination is still active, that editor shall not nominate another article. Following the article's promotion or archival, two weeks shall pass before the same editor can nominate another.

Limit the time span for nominations

An editor shall have three weeks to address all the issues in an article. Nominations with issues still unresolved or lacking any Supports after three weeks will be archived automatically.

Support 2

  1. Auntieruth55 (talk) 20:44, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
  2. Will support for two weeks, but three should be kept as a backup decision to where consensus cannot be made.Mitch32(We the people in order to form a more perfect union.) 20:46, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
  3. Although I'd have preferred two weeks. --Malleus Fatuorum 20:49, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
  4. Support for two weeks. --Andy Walsh (talk) 20:55, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
  5. Support two or three weeks --Moni3 (talk) 21:03, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
  6. Support, two weeks is enough time Graham Colm Talk 21:09, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
  7. Two weeks for starters - but option of three for the longer, more complicated ones, if they are active.Fainites barleyscribs 21:11, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
    Two weeks (delegates having discretion to extend in special cases) Brianboulton (talk) 21:20, 28 January 2010 (UTC) See reason for strike in discussion below.
  8. Ucucha 21:27, 28 January 2010 (UTC) As Brianboulton: with discretion for the delegates when they feel it's needed. Ucucha 21:27, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
    Two weeks is fine, but it should be two weeks from the first substantial comment. If an FAC sits there without attracting comment for 12 days, and on day 13 a reviewer comes with 20 inches of comments, it is hard on the nominator -- it is not the nominator's fault that the reviewer waited 12 days. --JN466 21:37, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
  9. This sets in writing what is being done already by the delegates. --Rschen7754 21:41, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
  10. Sounds good to me, although three weeks is too long. Parrot of Doom 22:06, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
  11. Between two and three sounds fine, assuming that the FAC delegates will be allowed to exercise some discretion in timing (e.g. extending an FAC near promotion a few days if necessary) as has been the norm. Dabomb87 (talk) 22:11, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
  12. Secret account 22:13, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
  13. Isn't this pretty much standard practice anyway? –Juliancolton | Talk 23:23, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
  14. Per Sandy this is the baseline and isn't a change. Two weeks would be better, if we're going to do this. I don't think this is the best answer but it's worth a try. Mike Christie (talk) 02:56, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
  15. Cirt (talk) 03:00, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
  16. Support, even in the case of 2 weeks, with the understanding that this would only apply if an article has no support whatsoever. Also, when you say "unresolved issues", a distinction should be made between issues that an opposer has brought up and a nominator has replied to (with something along the lines of "well that's not a problem and here's why") but not changed in the article, and issues that a nominator has simply ignored and not lifted a finger to address. I'm not sure which kind of issue is meant in the current wording of this proposal. rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 04:48, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
  17. Support at 2 weeks per JN466, allowing the director or delegates the ability to extend the timeframe where appropriate. Imzadi1979 (talk) 06:13, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
  18. Time can change, and there needs to be allowance per delegates to keep an article open. But average should be 3 weeks or bust. --MASEM (t) 07:08, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
  19. This is common practice right now. Karanacs (talk) 17:28, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
  20. Conditional support - I support this on the condition that the previously submitted nomination does not have to be completed before the next one can be submitted. --Kumioko (talk) 20:33, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
  21. I think three weeks is far too long. Support the principle. WFCforLife (talk) 01:06, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
  22. I thought this is happening already. Nevertheless, what if there is no notable review after 3 weeks? What if nobody bothers to read the article? Nergaal (talk) 18:55, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
  23. Support strongly, but two weeks please: we desperately need this. If there are not enough reviewers at a particular time, that's tough—just resubmit it. Very important that the list not be too long. Need to discourage premature nominations, too, and three weeks says to me premature. Tony (talk) 03:24, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

Oppose 2

  1. Concept is sound, but three weeks is far too long and will, thus, limit (or completely remove) effectiveness of the new restriction. No need for new restrictions if they're just going to be impotent. Will support 2 weeks, but prefer 10 days. Эlcobbola talk 21:05, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
  2. Far too many concerns have been brought up in the discussion immediately below, so I do not feel comfortable supporting this proposal. (Besides, then we'll need to codify the exceptions too, and we will be well on our way to instruction creep.) Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 21:50, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
  3. Too long. Two weeks max. Binksternet (talk) 21:58, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
  4. Actually, three weeks has been the outside limit I've been working under for months, and we have a backlog. If it is decided we need a time limit, three weeks is too long. (But please remember I'm just one more "voter" here, my "vote" doesn't count any more than anyone else's ... just explaining why three weeks won't change anything, since that's what I've been doing.) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:39, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
  5. Unsure about concept - this is the current system, which does not work. If we changed it to something much shorter (7-10 days), many fine articles would simply not get reviewed in time and would be archived, causing a lot of ill will among nominators. Awadewit (talk) 22:51, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
  6. Per Titoxd. I see this also as penalising the longer more core articles which are precisely the ones we should be encourageing be developed. Casliber (talk · contribs) 23:02, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
  7. Formerly supporting 2 weeks, now opposing any hard limit. There are worrying implications, see my and Elcobbola's remarks in the discussion section below. Brianboulton (talk) 01:00, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
  8. Content to let the delegates manage this. How would this work anyway? The delegates promote twice or three times a week. Expect the waves to roll in Sunday evening and early Wednesday morning, since presumably the delegates would not do it at 14d 0h 0m 0s, but a their next pr/ar. Likely to be an especial history bent on Wednesdays, as Sandy seems to let Karanacs handle many of those. Expect other system gaming as people figure out how.--Wehwalt (talk) 01:07, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
  9. Oppose any fixed time limit for reviews, per Brian. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 06:28, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
  10. Moved to oppose, per Brian and others below. --JN466 22:53, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
  11. Per Brian and Steve below. Apterygial 00:35, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
  12. I do not think it will solve any problem. Ruslik_Zero 15:23, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

Discuss 2

By all means, if a consensus is two weeks, it can be changed. --Moni3 (talk) 20:52, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

An issue Sandy regularly mentions is articles getting supports only from "involved" editors (for example, from the same WikiProject). What would be done with such an article? I believe the current solution is to leave them open; we may be limiting delegate discretion too far here. Ucucha 21:00, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

That's part of the reason why I adjusted mine to keep three as a backup, as if we have no consensus outside of the internal project, not something I support occurring at all, but what can you do? I feel this should be on the delegate's personal choice.Mitch32(We the people in order to form a more perfect union.) 21:06, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
The delegates are at liberty to give whatever weight they feel is appropriate to both supports and opposes, as I don't doubt they already do to a certain extent. --Malleus Fatuorum 21:09, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

(ec) Archiving articles that have had outstanding concerns for two weeks is fine. Archiving articles that nobody's reviewed after two weeks is fine. My concern would be about articles that get no reviews for thirteen days, and then picks up a couple of thorough ones on the fourteenth. If those reviews had only relatively minor issues, then the nominator could resolve them in two or three days, after which it would be ready for promotion. If it's instead archived immediately after receiving those reviews, then it's just going to come back at some point and spend another two weeks clogging up FAC. I'm just commenting here, rather than opposing, because I don't really have any better ideas, but I wanted to raise this concern. Steve Smith (talk) 21:09, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

That sort of (hypothetical) case is why I have added a rider to my support. But too many exceptions means no rule. A line has to be drawn somewhere. Brianboulton (talk) 21:24, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
However, a new worry has just occurred to me: what if an article has all issues resolved, several supports, no opposes...and then on day 14 a new reviewer wades in with an oppose and a new list of issues? Does that spell curtains for the nomination? I think I had better strike my support until this is clarified. Brianboulton (talk) 21:34, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
Brian, I had the same concern, over the "oppose bomb". I'm not saying someone would do it on purpose, but it's a reasonable concern. --Andy Walsh (talk) 21:39, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
Exactly the same thing already happens, except that nobody knows whih is "the thirteenth day". This way everyone would know. --Malleus Fatuorum 22:04, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
Yes, everyone would know exactly how to stifle a nomination. Not that anyone would, of course. But accidents can happen. Brianboulton (talk) 22:15, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
I have the perhaps cold-hearted approach: the FA process is about analyzing the quality of the article. If actionable problems are found during an established time frame, even if "last minute", doesn't it mean the article does not meet the criteria and should be archived? We're not really here to coddle delicate sensibilities (being "hard on the nominator") and there's no harm done to the article merely because its accession to FA status was delayed by a failed nomination. The urge to allow time at FAC to fix issues is one of the very reasons we have a backlog (FAC acting as PR/triage), and improvements are best undertaken outside of the process. Opposes entered late with an apparently deliberate intention of sinking a nomination might be another matter, however. Эlcobbola talk 22:40, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
I find that approach rather harsh, and the potential for misuse of the system worrying. Do we really want to intimidate people away from FAC? I can't support any time limit that works as a crude cutoff. Delegates must have recognised powers to extend the limit, in circumstances such as I have suggested above and perhaps in other cases. Brianboulton (talk) 00:56, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
Do you have any evidence that this is, has been, or might be a problem? More usually I turn up too late to help save a nomination, not to sink it. --Malleus Fatuorum 04:39, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
I'm sure you do, though under this rule you may not be able to any more. I'm not suggesting that malicious intent is really the problem, though systems shouldn't be open to abuse. But I can imagine how aggreived nominators will feel when this happens to them, even from honest motives. Do we really want a system that has a built-in capacity for harbouring ill-will? I am not, however, suggesting we maintain the status quo. Only, instead of a crude cutoff I would like to see in the FAC rubric something like "Nominations with significant unresolved issues will normally be closed after fourteen days, though may remain open at the discretion of the FAC delegates" - or some such. Brianboulton (talk) 10:06, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
To answer Brian's and Laser's earlier question, before the page became so badly backlogged (that is, in the days when I aimed to keep the page under 30, and pr/ar'd almost every other day), discretion allowed me to let them run longer when the page size was down, but close them sooner when the page size was up. It's not only a matter of, say "two supports, one oppose", rather the strength of the supports and the seriousness of the oppose, as well as how backlogged the page is. For this reason, I have, basically, a problem with any time limits on FAC, as I think that interferes with the discretion delegates need to best manage the page and weigh supports and opposes. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:36, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Should we perhaps limit the length of a review page? Often an FAC will be many times the length of the article itself; this is a major indication that it has turned from a discussion of the overall quality to peer review of each individual sentence. Very long lists of things to do should be on the FAC's or article's talk page. Reywas92Talk 21:29, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
Doesn't this just create a revolving door or articles, like we have now? Only, the articles revolve faster? Awadewit (talk) 22:36, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
Actually, I find the longest FAC pages become long because of content disputes, rather than laundry lists of things to improve; see the Roman Catholic Church FACs. Dabomb87 (talk) 00:57, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

Allow FAC delegates to quick fail unprepared articles

FAC delegates and the director (SandyGeorgia, Karanacs, and Raul654) have the authority to quick-fail articles on first review if they appear to be unprepared.

Reviews for inexperienced editors

Any editor who has three or fewer FAs is required to take an article through GA and Peer Review or A-class review (GA+PR or GA+A class) before nominating it for FA.

Nominators must review three other FACs

A nomination may not pass FAC until the nominator has performed three FAC reviews.

The idea is that nominators will gain a better grasp of the process. The mechanics of this solution are flexible—this RfC is only to gauge interest, not to determine how it is implemented. Binksternet (talk) 22:06, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Reviews for inexperienced editors mark 2

Any editor who has three or fewer FAs is required to take the article through GA, Peer Review or A-class review before nominating it for FA.

Evidence of collaborative editing and reviewing

As collaborative editing is a feature of wikipedia, it is to be expected that all articles in consideration as wikipedia's best work show evidence of some form of collaborative editing and review. This is ideally A-class, GA or Peer Review, but a detailed going-over by another editor on the talk page may suffice. (Casliber (talk · contribs) 23:07, 28 January 2010 (UTC))

A Queue for FAC

FAC contains only the oldest N contributions (perhaps 20). Candidates more recent than these are in a queue: perhaps in a hidden section on the FAC page (that would be the easiest to implement). Delegates would move candidates out of the queue to FAC as candidates are promoted or archived. (This has been proposed a couple of times in the past, and is mentioned above as an option by a couple of editors, so I am adding it as an option here.) Mike Christie (talk) 02:13, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

Restrict the number of nominations but not the time between them

An editor is allowed to nominate only one article. While the nomination is still active, that editor shall not nominate another article. Following the article's promotion or archival, the same editor may nominate another article immediately. (This is a modified version of a proposal above that drew some opposes only on the basis of the timelimit on a second nomination. I am adding it here to see if it can draw support with that clause removed.) Mike Christie (talk) 13:12, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

Support 9

  1. Mike Christie (talk) 13:12, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
  2. I'd be fine with this too. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 13:14, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
  3. --JN466 13:22, 29 January 2010 (UTC) Given my support for "Restrict nominations from an editor after an archived nom", below, this means I only support immediate nomination of another article if the previous nomination was successful. --JN466 20:43, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
  4. Sensible. Binksternet (talk) 16:53, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
  5. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 17:45, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
  6. Karanacs (talk) 18:04, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
  7. Auntieruth55 (talk) 19:57, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
  8. Brianboulton (talk) Would have preferred the original proposal but this is a step in the right direction Brianboulton (talk) 20:05, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
  9. Cirt (talk) 20:07, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
  10. I can live with this, say no more than 3 at a time. --Kumioko (talk) 20:46, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
  11. Dabomb87 (talk) 22:27, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
  12. --Wehwalt (talk) 00:27, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
  13. Awadewit (talk) 01:44, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
  14. WFCforLife (talk) 02:02, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
  15. Makes sense to me. Firsfron of Ronchester 02:03, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
  16. Not particularly fond of this proposal, but I guess it's worth a try. –Juliancolton | Talk 04:40, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
  17. --Andy Walsh (talk) 03:21, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
  18. Support: practical. Being listed at FAC should be a privilege in itself. The cost is great in terms of our reviewing resources. Tony (talk) 03:33, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
  19. Not thrilled but in the interests of consensus am able to work with it. Not too bad a compromise. Casliber (talk · contribs) 04:28, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

Oppose 9

  1. Until we decide how to handle co-noms, I'm opposing. See my "another concern" section below the RFC. Ealdgyth - Talk 19:28, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
    We could say an editor is only permitted to have one nomination up where he has been the lead editor (i.e. the one who added the greater part of the content and citations). Say Malleus made 100 edits refining your article and you added his name to the nomination to honour his contribution. If you made 250 edits vs. his 100, and you basically researched the content, then this nomination would not count "against" Malleus if he wanted to nominate an article that he had researched and written from scratch (or it would not prevent you from including him if he already has an article of his own at FAC). That would be fair to all concerned. --JN466 03:37, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
  2. Heh. :( YellowMonkey (bananabucket) 00:37, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
  3. Strong oppose given delay in promoting articles. If FAC 1 has gained solid support and the nominator is addressing concerns in a timely manner, then I see no need to stop that editor from nominating another article. --mav (Urgent FACs/FARs) 02:24, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
  4. Oppose per above - should not force editors to have to sit on FAs while waiting for one to review. It really doesn't solve any real problem that I can see, only aggravates more productive editors who may have two articles ready for FAC. -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 07:15, 4 February 2010 (UTC)

Discuss 9

This only slightly changes the current situation, where one can nominate once the first nomination has gained substantial support. Does this solve much of a problem? Ucucha 13:23, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

If you look at the section below, yes I think it would solve a problem. It seems unfair for people to have more than one nomination open at a time—and, according to the numbers below, some have more than two up at a time—because it means they're requiring extra time from reviewers, rather than spreading review time between a larger number of nominees. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 15:16, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
Not at a time, they had more than four noms over a three-month period. There were two people with more than four noms, so those did presumably have more than two up at a time, but I don't see the usefulness of adding a rule just to account for those two. Ucucha 15:23, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
But this is what we do now; no change here. The problem has been that the page is so huge, that I miss repeat noms, and need community help to catch them. Also, delegates should have some discretion to allow more than one on the page for special circumstances (suppose a FAC is passing with substantial support but waiting for one OTRS tag, as an example .. ) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:30, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
Actually, we allow people to have more than one nom, as long as the first has gained support. It is my impression that this proposal would prohibit this - that is how it is different. Awadewit (talk) 01:46, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

Addressing opposition

As a delegate, I often get called on the carpet because I archived a nomination even though the nominator was working on it. There has also been a lot of discussion (in this RfC too) about FAC turning into Peer Review as the reviews become more detailed. In an effort to determine consensus for how this process should work (more of an up-or-down !vote on whether the article meets the criteria or a more involved article fix-it-up-shop), I propose that articles can be archived if they have garnered actionable opposition that has not been addressed to the reviewer's satisfaction within 3 days. This would put require reviewers to be more available to strike opposes quickly. Exceptions:

  • nominator or reviewer unavailability (for example, people do get sick and can drop Sandy or I a note, nominator may not have edited since the oppose was registered/reviewer not edited since nominator posted)
  • opposition that refers to POV issues - this usually needs a wider range of eyes
  • Unactionable opposition, or opposition that may be questionable - Sandy or I may need to leave a note on the FAC explaining our decision not to close immediately.

In an article is archived while nominators are working on it in good-faith, the nominator is welcome to renominate it after 2 weeks. Karanacs (talk) 18:04, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

Queue using a marker or collapsible areas

Based on a suggestion on my comment to the queue idea above, in the same manner, the queue idea here is to focus attention on the oldest 10-20 FACs without necessarily preventing comments on others. Some manner of distinguishing these limited FACs from the others on the page would be all that is necessary along with managing the transfer of the FAC from the newer subset to the older one (eg minimal work on Sandy et al.) One way would be to have these at the top of the FAC page and the rest in a "pending" section. Another means is to wrap all the pending FACs into a collapseable manner and thus on load, only the 10-20 oldest FACs would be shown. The exact means is not as important as to the goal - highlighting the oldest FACs. Optionally this can be tied to the time limit for the review - once it is moved to this highlighted section the FAC only has 2 weeks (with allowances) to either be listed or not. --MASEM (t) 19:28, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

Support 11

  1. Cirt (talk) 20:09, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
  2. I think this would be worth trying. Dabomb87 (talk) 22:29, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
  3. May work out better than the present system, where the oldest nominations are languishing at the bottom of the page. Worth a try. --JN466 22:34, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
  4. The simplest approach would just be a line across the page (moveable by the delegates at will) and a request to reviewers to focus more "below the line" than "above the line". I would support this or any similar version. Mike Christie (talk) 22:40, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
  5. Inventive and worth a try. (Easy to remove if it causes as yet unforseen problems).Fainites barleyscribs 00:11, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
  6. Collapsible box, not a line across the page. Binksternet (talk) 00:25, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
  7. Inventive, kills two birds with one stone, and easy to discard if it doesn't work. Imzadi1979 (talk) 00:30, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
  8. Support only if this is fully automated and requires next to no work from Sandy, Karanacs, Raul or any one else - we don't need to create more work Awadewit (talk) 01:56, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
  9. Worth a try, maybe, but I'd rather try the two-week bump-off period first. Tony (talk) 03:37, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

Oppose 11

  1. I agree with giving older noms more prominence. But I oppose the idea of hiding older ones in a collapsible box, as an early review is nonetheless a potentially good review. Hiding the content may cost us that review. Also opposed to the imposition of an arbitrary timeframe. The directors do a good job in this area. They don't need telling when to close a review that has dragged on too long, while having a timeframe "subject to director discretion" is pure creep. WFCforLife (talk) 02:11, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
  2. Unnecessary complexity. I much prefer flipping the order as proposed below. Casliber (talk · contribs) 03:38, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
  3. Simple processes are more likely to invite participation. Making it more complicated will discourage reviews. DrKiernan (talk) 09:47, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
  4. This will complicate handling of FA nominations without clear benefits. Ruslik_Zero 15:53, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
  5. Complicates things needlessly. Any older noms needing feedback are already placed on the urgents list. --mav (Urgent FACs/FARs) 02:28, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

Discuss 11

I'm intrigued by this. It fixes most of my objection to queueing in that this is a display issue rather than a review issue. We aren't prohibiting people from nominating or reviewing at a time that is convenient for them. This seems more like a way of doing the FAC urgents on the main page, which may be worth trying. Karanacs (talk) 22:24, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

I was about to say the same thing ... it sounds like the proposal is to create what would essentially be a "FAC urgents" subsection of the FAC page. Is that correct? If so, I think that's a better idea than a time limit, and Karanacs and I could move the transclusions to Urgents and back ... or Awadewit might be delegated for that, if she's not still sick of Urgents maintenance, since she knows how to do that task. Then we could surely TFD the Urgents template, and kill two birds with one stone. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:21, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
I think you and Karanacs could handle this any way you wanted, and making the urgents a section of the page would certainly fit the spirit of the idea. I could support that. But wouldn't it be simpler (and perhaps fairer, with regard to not moving noms out of date order) to just draw a line across the page at some point and ask for reviewers to focus below that? You could certainly make sure all urgents were below that line. Mike Christie (talk) 23:35, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
Let's figure out the technicalities if the proposal garners support; I think I like the idea, but don't understand about drawing a line, since not all FACs at the bottom of the page are urgent. Some are well reviewed, but awaiting resolution of one big item, for example. Anyway, I can see we're going to have to have a second iteration of this RFC anyway ... once we see what ideas have support, we have to work out the wording for Template:FAC-instructions and figure out how to implement, so we can nail that down then. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:43, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
This would be a lot of work to maintain, if we did not have a bot and an automatic cut off (in some senses, I think a bot would be better, because we could simply remove extra noms rather than taking the time to add everything, every week). I would hope that it would help bring attention to older noms, but if it didn't, we should discard it rather quickly. What about a three month trial? Awadewit (talk) 00:27, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, I don't think I follow. What would be a lot of work? The way I understand it is that the delegates would move either the marker, or the end tag of the collapsible box, or some candidate transclusions, every two or three days, which doesn't seem like a lot of work to me. (Which one they'd move depends on how this would be implemented.) Are you thinking of something different? Mike Christie (talk) 00:57, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
The point is that figuring out which noms should be included is a lot of work - I spent several hours each week doing this for six months for the FAC Urgents list. It means reading every FAC several times a week, at least. It is not the mechanics of the thing that take time, it is knowing if the FAC is actually in need of more reviewers and, if so, what kind. Awadewit (talk) 01:02, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
I understand now. Yes, that is more work. To my mind that means a simple line or collapsible box is preferable to moving noms into or out of a section, but as Sandy says above we should wait to see what has support before debating details. Mike Christie (talk) 01:14, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
If this hinges on a collapsible box, I wouldn't want that ... don't want any FACs not viewable, and don't want to add templates to the page. I was thinking of it as sub-sections of the page. I'm not sure I'm understanding this. Can anyone do a mock-up in a sandbox. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 03:53, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
This is the sort of thing I was thinking of. You would move the "Old" section heading. I copied in a dozen current FACs to give the appropriate feel, but I think if you look at it in the edit window it is simple to manage. I'll let someone else mockup the collapsible box as I agree that non-viewable is not ideal. Mike Christie (talk) 04:24, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
I remain opposed to the wider reaching proposal. But I like this idea. A simple, gentle yet effective reminder. WFCforLife (talk) 02:51, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
Just as a comment: while a marker line (section header, hr run, graphic, whatever) is the easiest to do particularly with the transclusion wikitext approach, it also still puts the problem of the urgents being at the bottom, if the order of entries was considered unchangeable. A collapsible section would keep the order but shrink down the non-urgents to a single line - which the user is free to expand - and would be only a tad more work, and have a presumption that people know how to uncollapse these. But these are not the only way to visually achieve the effect of a non-split of the FAC list while highlighting the oldest entries. --MASEM (t) 01:29, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
And yet another option: if we create two templates that wrap around the already included FAC pages; the main template would just be an effective passthrough, but the other one would add a colored box around it, indicating it as urgent. Turning "on" or "off" urgent is a simple edit then. But that box around it would likely be what is necessary to attract attention (particularly if outlined at the top of the page that these are your Urgents); this keeps the page in chrono posting order but allows for non-consecutive Urgents. But again, the idea doesn't have to work around Urgents specifically. --MASEM (t) 01:39, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

Restrict nominations from an editor after an archived nom

This is refining a proposal above based on feedback. If a nomination is archived, the nominator is prohibited from nominating any other article (not just the one that has just been archived) for 2-4 weeks (timeframe to be determined based on feedback), unless given express permission by a delegate. As Ealdgyth noted below, in October–December 8 editors nominated new articles within a week of an archival of a different nomination; of the combined 24 nominations they made, 20 were archived. This implies that nominators with archived nominations need to spend more time reflecting on why their articles were not promoted so that those lessons can be applied to future nominations.

Delegates would grant exceptions for nominations that were archived with no (or minimal) feedback and possibly for articles that had been through other review processes (A-class, GA, PR) and received quality feedback.

Note: updated to 2 weeks as that appears to be prevailing opinion. Also, my intent is that nominators whose previous nomination was archived with no (or minimal) feedback would get an auto-exemption. Karanacs (talk) 19:58, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

Support 12

  1. I support this, for a timeframe of either 2 weeks or 4 weeks. Karanacs (talk) 20:03, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
  2. Having reviewed Ealdgyth's data, I think either a 2- or 4-week wait after any archived nom before any new nom (as determined by other input here, and subject to director/delegate exceptions) would go a long ways towards addressing the FAC backlog, relieving fatigued reviewers, and allowing more reviewer attention on well prepared FACs. (I lean towards two weeks rather than four.) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:11, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
  3. Cirt (talk) 20:10, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
  4. --JN466 20:36, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
  5. Agree with this. --Moni3 (talk) 21:08, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
  6. Sensible. Dabomb87 (talk) 22:30, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
  7. Support. Not ideal but it could work. Mike Christie (talk) 23:37, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
  8. Two-week wait. Binksternet (talk) 00:26, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
  9. Support at two weeks, but could see situations where longer waits could be desirable. Imzadi1979 (talk) 00:50, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
  10. Support, given that delegates can grant exemptions. Eubulides (talk) 01:13, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
  11. Tentative support at two weeks (am worried about nominator morale) Awadewit (talk) 01:59, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
  12. Same as Awadewit. WFCforLife (talk) 02:13, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
  13. Support, assuming some delegate discretion. 4 weeks too long, however. Brianboulton (talk) 19:53, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
  14. Definitely a good idea; stops the roundabout mentality; encourages better preparation. Tony (talk) 03:39, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
  15. Kablammo (talk) 04:44, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
  16. Sounds reasonable for failed noms. --mav (Urgent FACs/FARs) 02:31, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

Oppose 12

  1. See comments in comments section.--Wehwalt (talk) 02:29, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
    Add: I am convinced by Dr. Kiernan's reasoning in his supplemental comments.--Wehwalt (talk) 01:32, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
  2. Frankly surprised at how much support this proposal has garnered. First, it strikes me as very vague. Are withdrawn nominations counted, for example? Second, this violates the unwritten (or perhaps written someplace) rule, "Discuss content, not contributors", as it makes assumptions about a user's capabilities. We're going to assume just because one article isn't up to standard that all articles from a user fall short of the criteria? Finally, I'm opposed to hard limits and deadlines like this. Wikipedia is a collaborative work-in-progress, not a timed test. –Juliancolton | Talk 04:32, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
  3. Cabalistic. Closes off entry to new writers: "You can't nominate another article for FA because you don't have an FA star yet." DrKiernan (talk) 09:56, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
    Confused, that's not what is being proposed. Can you discuss below, DrK, so we can sort the confusion? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:00, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
    The rule is: You can only nominate within 2 weeks if your previous nomination was successful or at the discretion of a delegate. I'm not in favour of initiating nominators into a select group by the bestowal of a star or the beneficence of the promoter, or blackballing nominators who fail the entrance requirements. Besides, I would oppose virtually any addition to the rules that requires two sentences and three exceptions to explain. DrKiernan (talk) 17:39, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
  4. It is punitive and actually not necessary if the above "quick fail" proposal passes. Ruslik_Zero 15:46, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

Discuss 12

I wonder which is worse - restricting people from nominating or simply increasing the fail rate by ratcheting up opposes? Instead of working with people to improve their articles, we could simply "oppose" and say, "sorry, there is no time to copyedit here" or "there is no time to reorganize the article now". Period. End of story. Either the article passes or it doesn't. Awadewit (talk) 20:12, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

The lack of opposes has been my beef since becoming delegate (when I became delegate, we lost a prolific opposer :), and part of the reason for the backlog; unprepared noms hang around too long, waiting for opposes. But I've raised this so many times, that I know it's not going to change; reviewers don't want to oppose ill-prepared noms and then be drug into a peer review-style FAC. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:27, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Sandy. I tracked my reviews last year and discovered that I oppose about half the time. Sometimes when I go on a reviewing kick I've noticed that I may be the only one prolifically opposing at the time. Now that I'm a delegate, I do less than a third of the reviews I used to, which sometimes seems to mean a lot less opposition. A lot of reviewers don't feel comfortable opposing, and we can't force them to do so. And some nominators are so nice and polite that it would make reviewers feel - and look - bad not to offer some advice. Then we end up in the same spiral. Karanacs (talk) 22:05, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
Is the solution to this simply to regard a lack of supports as equivalent to opposes? An article can pass with an oppose—maybe even with more than one oppose—but it can't pass without supports. So it would make sense to focus on the presence of supports, rather than the absence of opposes. I say this as someone who doesn't like to oppose unless I feel the article is clearly not in the ballpark. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 00:04, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
That is how it works now, but that's also why FACs are being carried too long. When we close with nothing actionable, we get beat up, nominators are left angry, articles don't improve, and noms come back right away, still with problems. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:06, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

Unless there's an exception for a nom that was not opposed, but was archived for not achieving enough support.--Wehwalt (talk) 00:29, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

As Karanacs wrote it up, delegates could grant exceptions for those cases. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:13, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
Nah, still think it should be part of the general rule.--Wehwalt (talk) 01:31, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
Wehwalt, I moved this down here for discussion, because I'm not following (could be my cold). Confoozled ... what is the wording you're after, so I can see if we're on the same page? Spell it out as if my brain were full of cotton (it is :) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:35, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
If a nom gets insufficient supports, but no opposes, I think that the nominator should not be restricted in when to do his next FAC. I know the delegates might liberally grant such exceptions, but it may well be that people won't want to be put in the position of even having to ask. I would suggest preceding the existing language with "Except if the archived nomination did not have any opposes at the time of archiving, ..."--Wehwalt (talk) 02:08, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
I don't know. I'm really getting concerned about this proposal. Everyone can have a bad FAC, or perhaps you are going out on a limb doing things a different way, this discourages that. I can see disputes arising over the delegates exercising their discretion. Some would be disinclined to ask for the favor. I think this is a mistake.--Wehwalt (talk) 02:27, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
OK, I see the issue now (I did have cotton brain). There's a big difference between archiving a nom with no feedback, and archiving a nom with opposes. You're saying the two- (or four-) week wait for another nom should be only for noms archived with opposes, not for noms archived with no feedback. And actually, that is current practice; so the only change here would be we're saying no other noms as well, so we won't have nominators putting up back-to-back noms with similar problems. Is your concern lessened if the wait is only two weeks, not four? I'm uncomfortable with four myself. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 03:46, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
I agree, two would be better, but I'm still leery. I'd rather set out in the rule that if it is unopposed, you don't sit in the penalty box. I agree it is current practice, but this discussion is about changing current practice.--Wehwalt (talk) 03:55, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
OK, let's wait for Karanacs to review the wording she put up, but if it's a wait period on FACs with no feedback, I'm opposed anyway. I'm assuming the wait period is when FACs are archived with opposes; it wouldn't be right to prohibit new noms just because a FAC got no feedback. I think we can assume that's not gonna happen, and you're right that whatever wording we end up with should be explicit. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 04:03, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
That's fine. Because you know and I know people are going to scream and yell when it is implemented, it should be clear.--Wehwalt (talk) 04:29, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
I meant that those with no feedback would be automatically exempted from the delay. In those cases the nominator would have no basis to make improvements. I'm more concerned with the editors who repeatedly bring unprepared nominations, and as soon as one is archived they put up another, equally unprepared, nomination. Karanacs (talk) 19:56, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
Those with no "feedback" or those with no "opposes". To me it is moot, as I am opposed anyway because I know there are editors who simply will not go to a delegate and crave their indulgence, but it may matter to others. It doesn't affect me personally because I almost never have an article ready to go when my last one clears the page. And what are you going to do, Karanacs, anyway, if someone with a fistful of FA's, but whose last FA failed in a dispute over, say, the tone of the article, puts up another one which appears perfectly adequate without coming to a delegate and asking pretty please?--Wehwalt (talk) 13:28, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
This is where that whole "discretion" thing comes in. In certain cases when I archive I already proactively leave a message for the nominator, letting them know that they can bring the article back when they choose once X condition is satisfied (sometimes, this is because the nominator stated they are waiting for a book, or we are waiting for images to have stuff done, etc) regardless of the time frame. I would expect that we'd leave more of these personal messages for the noms if a rule such as this were to pass - so the onus would to a large extent be on the delegates to proactively grant the waiver rather than the nominator to request the waiver. If a nominator were to put up a new nom after a previously archived FAC without having already received that waiver somehow, then Sandy or I would have to judge whether the nom should proceed or be removed. This is very similar to how we already do things when nominators have multiple nominations, or when articles are brought back in less than two weeks, or a non-significant contributor has nominated. If we think there is no problem (such as in the example you gave of a highly experienced nominator who had been tring something new in their previous nom), then I'd let the nomination proceed. This is meant to stop some of the editors who repeatedly nominate substandard articles, not those who took a single risk that didn't pay off. Karanacs (talk) 16:47, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
That is fine, and I appreciate it, but I think other tools which are passing give you the same latitude with less controversy (present and potential) so I will maintain my oppose.--Wehwalt (talk) 17:09, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

Proposed change to WP:Featured article tools

Use this tool to evaluate whether significant contributors were consulted and the nom should be withdrawn, instead of the tool currently used. The Dashboard shows more clearly if prior significant contributors are no longer active on the article. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:55, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

Newest articles go at the bottom

Newest noms go at the bottom, older ones rise towards the top of the page. WFCforLife (talk) 02:22, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

Support 14

  1. Suggested that this morning, see my comments (I think) below.--Wehwalt (talk) 02:24, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
  2. Easy to try Awadewit (talk) 02:34, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
  3. Great idea. Casliber (talk · contribs) 03:35, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
  4. Probably the best way to implement proposal 11, above. --JN466 07:46, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
  5. Good idea. Tony (talk) 03:40, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
  6. Cirt (talk) 22:02, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
  7. Try as an experiment. --mav (Urgent FACs/FARs) 03:01, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
  8. Neither here nor there to me, but willing to try it. --Andy Walsh (talk) 01:42, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

Oppose 14

  1. Don't really think it'll make much difference, and as per below, it'll just cause confusion. –Juliancolton | Talk 04:37, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
  2. I think this would exaggerate the problem in that while our oldest candidates would get the reviews they need, newer ones would not get reviews until much later (as they move slowly up the page). --MASEM (t) 15:10, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
No, because there would be a two-week max-out period. Tony (talk) 03:41, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

Discuss 14

I guess I won't oppose this, because it's fairly harmless, but I admit I don't really see the point. The only effect I can see is on people like me. When the location of the cutlery drawer changes in my kitchen, it takes me about a year to stop opening the wrong drawer to put away the clean cutlery from the dishwasher. If we make this change I swear I'll get it wrong ten or fifteen times before I learn to put a new nom at the end. And then you'll change it back. Mike Christie (talk) 04:35, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

But your cutlery doesn't complain to you not being used. Awadewit (talk) 08:07, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

I didn't want to badger in the oppose section, but I don't understand Masem's rationale. You oppose this on the basis of slowing reviews of newer articles, but support hiding newer articles away entirely? WFCforLife (talk) 01:26, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

Other suggestions

  • Reviewers are only allowed to Support or Oppose. If a reviewer has reservations about an article, the preferred action is Oppose. --Moni3 (talk) 20:40, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
    if this is the case, comments could be taken to the talk page. Auntieruth55 (talk) 20:45, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Very much opposed to this idea, especially the "default oppose" aspect to it. --Malleus Fatuorum 20:52, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
What would you suggest for articles that have nothing but Comments? --Moni3 (talk) 20:55, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
They fail. The proposal above says articles lacking supports after three weeks will be archived. Ucucha 20:58, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
  • (ec) Opposed to this idea. Sometimes I want to leave comments; if the nom resolves them, I don't want to have to support if I feel wishy-washy about the article but don't want to come up with actionable opposition. --Andy Walsh (talk) 20:59, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
To me at least, this solves the FAC-is-PR trend that it keeps falling back into. Comments only invites a long list of things to fix, when it keeps getting repeated on this page that FAC is not for long lists. Talk pages and Peer reviews are for long lists. --Moni3 (talk) 21:07, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
If you are not comfortable with promotion, I don't understand how that does not equal an oppose. I hem and haw too sometimes, but really it comes right down to if I would want to see the article on the main page, how it might be criticized at WT:FAC in another "This is why FAC is worthless" discussion, or by the media if a reporter trips over it and asks, "Wtf is Wikipedia churning out?" --Moni3 (talk) 21:17, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
My reason would not be actionable, so I can't oppose.Mitch32(We the people in order to form a more perfect union.) 21:18, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
I use Comments for a number of reasons. For example, I may not have time to read an article properly, but I see a couple of things needing fixing in the lead. It would seem mean-spirited to oppose on that. Or, In a potentially first-rate article, I might find a number of issues that I believe can be fixed within the timescale of the candidature; again it seems overly aggressive to insist on opposing. Or I might just feel neutral about the article, but still want to help it. I am uneasy with the "let's oppose more" culture, and fear that it will cause increased friction and hostility within the FAC process. Brianboulton (talk) 21:54, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
I actually think this is a great idea. I always think to myself as I am reviewing, "are the issues I am listing serious enough to oppose"? I think we should all do that more often. I've seen reviewers oppose over issues they themselves could fix - that seems silly to me. Opposes should be serious business - not a laundry list that can be fixed in 5 minutes. Awadewit (talk) 21:59, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
This is a hard one. I realise FAC is stressful and I try to keep the mood as collaborative as possible. Hence I see a comments section listing things to fix as a good natured way of proceeding. I like the idea of maybe listing fixes on the article talk page instead of the FAC page to save downlaoding time. Casliber (talk · contribs) 23:11, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
That's the key thing for me as well. I'd be quite happy to farm the detailed comments out to a talk page, but a successful review is a collaboration, and that's not going to be encouraged by a default oppose. --Malleus Fatuorum 01:28, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
I'm opposed to this idea. Several people do image and link reviews. They neither support nor oppose, they simply state "X". This part of the proposal would require them to support/oppose based solely on one criteria and is not fair to Slim Virgin, Adewit, Ealdgyth, Dabomb and others who run specific checks on one criteria. Auntieruth55 (talk) 00:13, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
It's not my intention to go on a crusade, but I really believe part of the problem is that reviewers sometimes won't grow a pair, in my vernacular, and make a solid decision for whatever reason. I get that "Oppose" is jarring to see, but nominators should grow a pair too and if the oppose is actionable, then fix what needs to be fixed. If I think there are problems in an article and I would not want to see it on the main page in its current state, I say so on the nomination, opposing but explaining that these things can be overcome. "Comments" in my opinion is unfair to Karanacs and Sandy. Reviewers get to sit on a fence and state their comments while not declaring strongly one way or another, leaving the hard decision to the delegates, and the subsequent angry posts to their talk pages about how unjust the archival was. --Moni3 (talk) 15:55, 29 January 2010 (UTC)


Also, I think Wehwalt's "First Three" idea should also be under consideration.Mitch32(We the people in order to form a more perfect union.) 21:15, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

As a side note, I'm currently going through Dec/Nov/Oct's archived noms (both passes and fails) to see how long they were up before passing/failing, as well as some other statistical stuff. I hopefully can have this done by later this evening. Ealdgyth - Talk 21:20, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
Good! Could you also look at the effects of the first proposal (how often multiple nominations from one nominator occur)? Ucucha 22:02, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
I don't think the archives would permit Ealdgyth to evaluate that ... it would be damn near impossible to figure out across various month archives which ran simultaneously, but then, Ealdgyth works miracles. My 2 cents is that it's not worth her time to generate that data, since it's not a really common occurrence, but one we should nip in the bud anyway. But I don't see anything in the proposals about nominators who repeatedly bring unprepared noms to FAC. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:44, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
The first proposal above here places a two-week period between nominations from the same nominator. I believe such nominations occur fairly often. The proposal appears to be failing, so it may indeed not be worth Ealdgyth's valuable time, though. :) Ucucha 23:47, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Any editor who has three or fewer FAs is required to take an article through GA and Peer Review or A-class review (GA+PR or GA+A class) before nominating the article for FA.
Can someone put that up as a proposal, please?--Wehwalt (talk) 21:32, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
Done. --Moni3 (talk) 21:36, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Would it be useful to have a bot/tool that scans for certain things, like non-breaking space lacks, typos, amount of links used (per WP:OVERLINK) and other tools for obvious problems? Might help when bringing unprepared articles to FAC so they can be easily archived.I personally would call it "NitpickBot" I know its unusual, I know how much Sandy hates having to add non-breaking spaces to articles herself.Mitch32(We the people in order to form a more perfect union.) 22:55, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Those things are important, but they are really trivial in the grand scheme of things and have nothing to do with the quality of the article itself. I'd be surprised if 1% of casual readers even knew enough to recognize a lack of non-breaking spaces or rogue overlinking. –Juliancolton | Talk 23:20, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
and apparently the nbsp thing is not as important as some have claimed. Auntieruth55 (talk) 00:13, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps unlike some others, I do believe that the MoS is important in establishing a professional style of presentation. Having said that, I've never seen an FAC opposed because of MoS incompatibilities; what I've mainly seen is MoS errors being quietly fixed. The three big problems at FAC are accurate verfifiable content, comprehensiveness, and prose quality. Everything else can fairly easily be fixed during the FAC window, which as I've said I think ought to be shorter and time-boxed. --Malleus Fatuorum 01:19, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

An information and nominator-based proposal

Why don't we try something that emphasises information, and nominator action, rather than emphasising compliance and reviewer / delegate action? So much keeps coming back to the lack of editors / reviewers, that a system that gives nominators a little more responsibility might even-up the equation a little. Like others, i don't support press-ganging them into becoming reviewers, so i came up with the following idea. I propose that FAC nomination statements should be required to include the following information:

  • whether the article has received any PRs, GA reviews or A class reviews - This gives reviewers a sense of which articles should have problems already ironed out. Over time, nominators will (i expect) start to notice that articles with these steps already done are more likely to get through more easily
  • links to all reviews, as well as links to any previous FAC archives - This gives reviewers easy one-click access to check what's been said and done.
this is included in the article milestones. Easily found. Auntieruth55 (talk) 02:35, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
  • whether the nominator has run a dablink and external link check from the toolbox - This doesn't make the action by nominators mandatory, but again, over time i think nominators will see this and will do the work in advance as a way of making their article more attractive to reviewers.
  • confirmation that all images have ALT text, and all non-free images have a fair-use rationale - This is really a rule dressed up as providing informaiton, but should get some common stumbling blocks out of the way, and act as a prompt, particularly to inexperienced nominators, to get their article in order.
  • statement of how many FACs the nominator has made. - This is designed to help guide reviewer behaviour toward the nominator, on the one hand not biting newer noms, but also ensuring that those noms get good feedback, so that they are more likely to continue to participate. In my experience, most people who become nominators, become reviewers, so this helps grow the pool.

Example statement would look like (if this were me for my latest):

"I am nominating this for featured article as part of my interest in developing and promoting content relating to Indigenous arts in Australia...[etc - blurb]. This article received a GA review and a peer review:
This is my second FAC nomination. hamiltonstone (talk) 02:47, 3 January 2010 (UTC)"

As you can see, it does not generate a lot of text, and it isn't a lot of work to write it, but it gets a whole bunch of stuff under more control and provides a lot more context for reviewers. Combined with a harder line on archiving noms that have outstanding issues, i think this might clear the queue better, but most importantly of all it is designed to harness the motivations of nominators to the task of solving our FAC queue problem, rather than reviewers and delegates. I urge editors to support something like this. hamiltonstone (talk) 23:32, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Something that sprang to my mind out of this is the "self-review": make the nominator explain why they think the article meets each of the FA criteria. Like:
  • 1a: The article has got copyedits from ... and ...
  • 1b: All relevant aspects are addressed. You may think that subtopic X is a bit underrepresented, but there is very little literature on it.
And so forth. This will require nominators to reflect very directly on whether the article is FA-ready and give reviewers more information to base their review on. Ucucha 23:45, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
"links to all reviews, as well as links to any previous FAC archives - This gives reviewers easy one-click access to check what's been said and done." Note that the FAC toolbox automatically does this on each FAC subpage. Dabomb87 (talk) 23:47, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
Not that i can see. First, it only seems to provide FAC archive links, not GA or PR, and second, it isn't one click away. hamiltonstone (talk) 00:08, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
I stand corrected on the first point. For the second, you are right in that you can't see the review links from the main WP:FAC page, but if you click on a specific FAC page (e.g., Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Inauguration of Barack Obama/archive4), at the top of the page there are links to the old FAC noms. Dabomb87 (talk) 00:29, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
I'd be against that. It would just coma across as "I've written 20 FAs, so no need to look too closely at this one, I know what I'm doing. Or even worse, bragging. --Malleus Fatuorum 01:05, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
Plus, no experienced nominator would have nominated if he or she didn't believe that the article met the FA criteria. Why have to explain why you believe that? What could you possibly say that would add any value? --Malleus Fatuorum 01:09, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
You're missing my point. It is a way of allowing reviewers to know whether or not the nominators are experienced, without creating a 'two-class' system of those with and without "experienced" status. The point is that it allows reviewers to gauge their responses, particularly to encourage a positive experience at FA for new nominators, thus helping to grow the pool of participants (which is currently pretty small). By making it obligatory to provide the information, no-one is bragging, they're just following the instructions. And as for the suggestion that it might come across as "...no need to look too closely at this one...", i'm pretty sure that isn't how reviewers tend to react :-) hamiltonstone (talk) 02:18, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
I updated my recent nomination to reflect some of these suggestions. See what you think. Auntieruth55 (talk) 02:34, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
Well, FWIW, I don't think it makes the slightest difference what checks you say you've done, because reviewers will want to check for themselves anyway. Just more busywork. --Malleus Fatuorum 03:28, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
You're right, reviewers will check anyway. But one of the points is that it gets nominators to think these things through and puts more responsibility on them to get ready, without getting too rule-based within the actual review process. A bit of busywork for nominators ain't a bad thing if it means articles are in slightly better shape when the process kicks off. hamiltonstone (talk) 03:31, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

Thoughts from a different perspective

I find this entire discussion interesting since I have been noticing a disturbing increase in the number of articles in the milhist A-class que that squeak through the A-class process with five or fewer reviews, and then entirely or nearly entirely from the coordinators. Its obvious from this discussion that this is not simply a project problem, but a wide spread problem across the wiki.

What disturbs me the most is that people seem to have grown accustom to the process to the point where they no longer feel they have to be a part of it because some one else will handle the matter. The problem then, as I see it, is how to shake the veteran people from this belief so they will contribute and at the same time how to guide our new users along so they too can review articles at this level.

Three thoughts I have on the matter, which I share just for the sake of discussion: We could consider pitching in to form a project or team for reviewing purposes exclusively, we could create review specific awards for the GA, FA, ACR, and FAR(C) process, or more drastically we could simply shut down all GA, A, and FA assessments for a while to impart upon the community that they need to be making an effort to review articles in addition to the regulars.

In the case of the first, a project/team/work group/task force could help woo in new editors who are only interested in reviews, and not so much the articles or admin related functions. This group, if it could reach self sustainment, could serve as mentors for new members and guide them on the correct ways to manage reviewing so as to leave constructive, helpful feedback. This in turn could help reduce the ever present backlog at GAC and help beef up the participants in A-class and FA-class reviews.

In the case of the second, creating a reward tree for those who review could help inspire people to review be offering an award that keeps upgrading as they keep reviewing. The idea here would be similar to Durova's triple crown, which autoupgrades based on the number of GAs, FAs, and FPs a user has. In this manner, the award grows and the review grows, which could help the process.

In the case of the last option, simply shutting down the higher assessment processes -GA, A and FA class noms - would draw attention to the plight of the dieing reviewer breed, and like all strikes would cause enough disruption to demonstrate the people need to be taking said processes more seriously. This also has the benefit of freeing up what precious limited reviewer capacity we have for a sweep of the FA class articles to remove those no longer up to date with the FA-class standards.

I personally favor the drastic #3 approach for two reasons: First, this would free up a lot of manpower to handle FARs, and secondly this would be a hard learned lesson that the community's users are in the end responsible for maintenance of these assessments, and failing to participate in them will cause them to implode and die. TomStar81 (Talk) 02:53, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

My view is that the ongoing GA Sweeps process, necessary though it was, has drained reviewers. It's certainly not something that I'd ever consider getting involved in again. Perhaps when that's finally finished things may start to improve. --Malleus Fatuorum 03:35, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
At least the sweeps should be over in the near future. —Aaroncrick (talk) 03:43, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
There's still a way to go, probably a couple of hundred yet. The point I was making though was that we're lamenting the lack of reviewers at FA/GA/PR, but many are stalled at GA Sweeps, which was a one-off exercise that will hopefully be finished soon. --Malleus Fatuorum 03:54, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
Or you could pay reviewers. :) My poor self can dream, can't it? Awadewit (talk) 04:23, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
Money? Did someone mention money? :lol: --Malleus Fatuorum 04:49, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
Keep dreamin' :( —Aaroncrick (talk) 04:55, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

WikiProject Content Review

  • Wikipedia:WikiProject Content Review. Get Jimbo to make a somewhat-long-term commitment to promoting the d*mn thing. I know old hands may be burned out on Jimbo, but we need new blood... Pump it up; get newbies interested. Promote chitchat from among regulars in the various CR fora. Make pretty awards (actually, we already have several – see here). Talk amongst yourselves; I make a suggestion, then disappear, for I am the wind. • Ling.Nut 07:16, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
The number of FA nominations fluctuates between 30 and 50

I'm still not convinced that number of reviews is a problem. The page is still only 50 reviews long, which is just like the historic average. The problem as Sandy describes it is that the page is too long because reviews are longer. This is because reviews now are more in depth. This is not a problem. It is a success.

Most of the solutions above tackle the perceived problem by reducing the number of nominations. So, reduce them by promotion. I now count 17 nominations with 3 or more supports and no opposes. There is consensus to promote these. DrKiernan (talk) 09:19, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

I am sorta with DrK on this one. Maybe to go and review now...Casliber (talk · contribs) 10:52, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
Absolutely agree with the Doctor. Problem is even worse at FAR, which often keeps clear keep articles listed for months. Set a rule of thumb, not hard and fast rule, on a minimum time and minimum number of reasoned supports with no valid opposes and promote. --mav (Urgent FACs/FARs) 02:54, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

One way to get reviewers to focus on the older nominations

Surprised this hasn't been thought of. Why not reverse the order of the FAC nominations so the oldest are at the top and you add new noms at the bottom?--Wehwalt (talk) 17:39, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

I can see how this could be a positive, but I am worried that so many nominators are set in their ways that this wouldn't work in practice. We'd get some new noms at the bottom, some at the top, and some in the middle where people just got too tired of scrolling. Karanacs (talk) 20:08, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
I agree there would be an adjustment period. But also remember that when you nominate, all you see are the list of transcluded noms, just a list of fifty or so. It is worth doing if it would help solve the problem.--Wehwalt (talk) 21:01, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
This is so easy to do, it is worth trying, for at least a while, anyway. Awadewit (talk) 01:06, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
We could always move them, it only takes a few minutes. I like this idea too; this is already done for GAN so why not? User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 02:15, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
Didn't see this conversation before I put it up. I'm sure if someone is capable of writing an FA, they'll work out how to get to the bottom of the nom list. WFCforLife (talk) 02:33, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
This seems like a beneficial and easily workable idea—we should give it a try. Ucucha 14:32, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
Great idea - I think we should give this a try. --mav (Urgent FACs/FARs) 02:58, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

RfC notifications

Should we notify all nominators from 2009 of the RfC, in case they aren't watching? If so, should we wait another day or so to ensure that there aren't any more proposals? I've added 2 and Wehwalt has added one recently. Karanacs (talk) 20:09, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

Well, I did not intend it to be voted upon, just to run it up the flagpole (if I dare use another idiom) and see if it attracted interest. We have so many proposals that the structure is imploding and very little may come of this discussion.--Wehwalt (talk) 22:10, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

Suggested actions on the RfC options above

It's been less than three days, which is a very short time to let an RfC run, but with the volume of input there is a risk of fatigue here. DrKiernan has closed and implemented one suggestion that clearly had support. Here's a list of the current paragraphs above, with a summary of their current state and a suggested next step. If I hear support for these closings, I (or someone else) can close those sections today.

  1. Restrict the number and time between nominations (15/25). Close as unsuccessful.
  2. Limit the time span for nominations (21/11). Leave open.
  3. Allow FAC delegates to quick fail unprepared articles (41/0). Close as successful; is a change to Template:FAC-instructions needed?
  4. Reviews for inexperienced editors (5/25). Close as unsuccessful.
  5. Nominators must review three other FACs (5/26). Close as unsuccessful.
  6. Reviews for inexperienced editors mark 2 (12/17). Close as unsuccessful.
  7. Evidence of collaborative editing and reviewing (6/12). Close as unsuccessful.
  8. A Queue for FAC (2/14). Close as unsuccessful.
  9. Restrict the number of nominations but not the time between them. Already closed as successful.
  10. Addressing opposition (2/6). Leave open; too few comments to judge outcome.
  11. Queue using a marker or collapseable areas (8/3). Leave open.
  12. Restrict nominations from an editor after an archived nom (12/3). Leave open.
  13. Proposed change to WP:Featured article tools (12/0). Close as successful.
  14. Newest articles go at the bottom (4/1). Leave open.

This would leave five discussions open. Comments?

We may also want to move the archived discussions off the page for space reasons. Any comments on that? I think it would help focus the discussion. Mike Christie (talk) 12:07, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

Let's have another look at 9 (closed as successful, FAC instructions updated). Of the 16 people who supported this, fully half (Karanacs, Cirt, JN466, Dabomb87, Mike Christie, Binksternet, Awadewit and WFCforLife) later went on to support proposal no. 12, which envisages that nominators who had their nomination archived should wait 2 weeks before resubmitting (which contradicts part of proposal 9). JN466 14:13, 30 January 2010 (UTC) It's fine actually; the important principle from 9 that's been added to the FAC instructions is "one nomination at a time". Should 12 pass, it would supersede the "no time between nominations" part of 9. JN466 15:22, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
I agree with all the other closures proposed above. JN466 14:59, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
I concur on the "close as unsuccessful"; in fact, I almost did it last night, but was afraid subsequent editors coming to the page would then re-suggest what has already been eliminated. So, when you close them, can you collapse the Support/Oppose/Discuss sections, but leave the proposal showing, and the conclusion under that, so subsequent reviewers can see we've already been there done that? On those that are passing, I'm simply behind because of my cold yesterday, agree with Dr K's change to FAC instructions today, but need to study other wording more carefully, so can we hold off on those a bit until I catch up and Karanacs weighs in? (Except for the FAC tools ... that one's a no-brainer ... let's go ahead and try it, and collapse that one ... who can implement that?) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:48, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
What needs to be clarified on the "quick fail" option is that I do NOT want that terminology to take hold at FAC, and except in very rare instances, Karanacs and I will not withdraw unprepared noms in the absence of some feedback from reviewers. I haven't had time to check whether that means some wording change is needed at FAC-instructions. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:01, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
Raul commented a long time ago that "Snowball oppose" votes were undesirable; this could lead to that kind of voting. How about a "Not ready for FAC" !vote? Such a !vote would indicate to the delegates that the reviewer felt the article was sufficiently underprepared that it could be taken down quickly. Mike Christie (talk) 15:17, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
I find "suggest withdrawal" less offensive to nominators, and it gives them a chance to "save face". Regulars should be aware to not use "snowball" or "quick fail" terminology, which can be so offputting to nominators. Just looked at the instructions, we may need to add another line under "A nomination will be removed from the list and archived if, in the judgment of the director or his delegate:", but let's study the wording carefully. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:22, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

I don't think closing these early is beneficial to generating thoughtful conversations. It encourages people to !vote fast and early and sends a message to the community that if you don't edit Wikipedia every day, you cannot participate in these discussions. I would encourage us to leave these open for at least a week. Awadewit (talk) 15:26, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

Are you OK with DrK's change today to the FAC-instructions and swithching the FAC tools? Those seem OK to me, and I think we also have snowball consensus on premature withdrawals. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:31, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
It's less about me personally and more about the process. There is consensus among the people who check their watchlists rather obsessively - what about other kinds of editors? I'm simply raising an issue that is wikiwide - decisions like this are made quickly and generally only with the input of day-to-day editors (or even hour-to-hour editors). It might be worth waiting a week so that nothing looks rushed. Awadewit (talk) 16:21, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
I tend to agree with Awa here, I had a concern, but didn't have time yesterday to voice it, and figured we'd have at least another day to discuss things, but found out that ... er.. no, we don't. See below for my concern. Ealdgyth - Talk 17:12, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

A concern...

About the one FAC per nominator thing above, that I didn't have time to bring up yesterday (too busy crunching numbers) ... but what about co-noms? I like to be able to co-nom folks who did a lot of work on my nominations, but what happens if they already have a nom up? Am I not allowed to co-nom them that way? I think we got a bit ahead of ourselves with archiving that one before everyone had much of a chance to weigh in... Ealdgyth - Talk 17:11, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

To me the biggest issue is articles that have long lists of co-noms - five or six, for example. It might be hard to find a time to nom the article when none of them have something up, but I see this as an exception. For articles that are co-nommed by two people, I would think that they could wait. There are no deadlines on Wikipedia. Awadewit (talk) 17:18, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
<arrrgh> ... you're both right ... which brings us back to delegate discretion, in the eventuality that noms add co-noms who weren't active contributors, to "game the system". I recall an old nom on something like History of Timkeeping devices (?), that listed a gazillion co-noms, when few of them had actively contributed to the article. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:19, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
There are no deadlines on Wikipedia, but there can still be library fines. I understand (and support) the suggestion to limit people to one nomination at a time, but co-nominations seems like it should be a different case. Why not put the limit at one nomination and one co-nom? Co-nominations aren't particularly common are they (although this could be open to gaming I suppose)? Nev1 (talk) 17:23, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
Yes, it's very open to gaming, but that can be addressed via delegate discretion (we don't want to see co-noms added merely to avoid the "one nom at a time" issue). I'm also concerned that some of our changes may be premature, if in fact FAC flooding from Wikicup is the current issue. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:25, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
Historical note from a curious FAC newbie: Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/History of timekeeping devices had nine nominators. Ucucha 20:44, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
Yes, no rule against that, but since several of them had small contributions, lends new perspective to WP:WBFAN. That was an isolated case, AFAIK. Malleus pulled that one through, and he wasn't even a co-nom. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:52, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps the restriction should apply to conominators equally. The job of the nominator and any conominators should be to shepherd the article through FAC. If you are a nominator, you should be prepared to spend time working on any issues that arise. There should be no hurry to nominate another while that's going on. I can see an apparent injustice here: suppose editors A and B conominate article X; why should they not conominate Y too? After all, if they didn't conom, they could nominate both, one each. I think the answer is that they should conominate only if they are going to participate in FAC. A note in the nominating statement should suffice to acknowledge other significant contributors.
It may be only of historical interest now, but that's how FAC was originally viewed -- the nominator was by no means expected to be a contributor; the credit recorded at WP:WBFAN does not imply, in many cases, that the nominator was a primary author -- only that they successfully shepherded the article to its FA star. Mike Christie (talk) 19:55, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
I see this as anti-collaborative though. Why should say, Malleus, not some credit for the work he does copyediting articles I've mostly done the content work on, when he's the one that polishes the prose. Generally, I get mostly content questions at FAC, but occasionally it's prose polishing. It's only fair that he get some of the credit for "shepherding" it though FA, even though it's mostly before the nomination starts. With this rule, we're effectively saying "work by yourself or cut others out" which seems ANTI-collaboration to me, which isn't the Wiki way, is it? I can see not allowing more than one "main" and one "co-nom" at a time, but we should be encouraging collaboration, not shutting it down. Ealdgyth - Talk 20:12, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
I suppose we could say "No more than one nomination at a time, or two if one is a conomination". I think that's fine if that's what it takes to get consensus on this. So perhaps we can agree on that wording, if others agree with your concern. But no, I don't think it's anti-collaborative; the intent is anti-hurrying. Nobody is prevented from improving articles by this rule, or from helping an article that's at FAC. Mike Christie (talk) 20:29, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
I agree that this proposal is not anti-collaborative but rather that it is anti-hurrying. Waiting a week or a month for an FAC nom isn't going to harm anyone, as far as I can see, and the more distance from the article the nominators have, the better. They will be more open to suggestions than if they have just spent four intensive weeks improving the article. Awadewit (talk) 21:21, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
See, I approach it differently, because quite honestly most of my nominations are collaborations to one degree or another, usually with Malleus, but with others also. I'd hate to have to NOT bring something that's ready to go just because I've engaged in a collaboration with someone else and they've co-nom'd me. Right now, I've got one article ready and waiting to go up at FAC (after GA, PR, and a thorough copyedit from MF) as soon as Carucage gets finished. I've got two more that are finished with GA/PR, and could go up at FAC anytime that MF copyedits them. Generally I have two or three articles "ready" for FAC, and I don't think anyone would say I bring substandard articles regularly. I like to share the co-noms with folks who've helped me a lot with them, a little praise never hurts anyone's feelings, but if it's a choice of holding up MF's work outside my content building by co-noming him, or not giving him the credit he richly deserves for doing my copyediting, which should I do? Yes, I get that it's not a race, but neither is it supposed to be one-size fits all. Mike and Awa both work on one article at a time, I don't work that way, I have a large number that I work on and for me the collaborative part of getting help is great. I guess I just like to see those who help out with something get some credit. So, yes, I'm going to continue to oppose this. We're supposed to encourage collaboration, and making a co-nom count as a "nom" just goes against that to me. Ealdgyth - Talk 21:31, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
I'd be interested to know the success rate of co-noms compared to individual ones. I bet it's higher. WFCforLife (talk) 00:30, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

How about rewording to "every FAC must be started by a different person". We already check to see if someone is a primary contributor, so preventing gaming wouldn't involve extra work. Having this "loophole" would encourage collaboration, and if people were determined to be involved with multiple FACs, I can only assume that those articles would arrive in a better state. WFCforLife (talk) 05:23, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

That strikes me as a good suggestion: the "nominator" for the purposes of the rule is the person who creates and adds the nomination, and is the first signatory on it. DrKiernan (talk) 12:04, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
I could live with that suggestion. Maybe with a limitation on who many "co-noms" a person could have if folks feel the need. Ealdgyth - Talk 15:25, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

Two points for delegates to clear up

Now that we seem about to play for real money regarding whether a FAC passes or fails, since it may have an effect on our ability to nominate for a time in future, I think it is incumbent on the delegates to clear up two points, fully:

  1. First, what is an "independent review"? When is a review not independent? This needs to be fully explained.
  2. Second, now that we have a nom succeeding with as full as a single actual review (as opposed to a drive-by "I like it"), I think the delegates need to give some sort of warning if a nom which has no opposes has insufficient support. The nominator may think it has enough support and be in for an unpleasant surprise (see also point 1). Unless the delegates can fully explain their standards for such situation clear enough so we can act relying on it (this may be difficult to impossible), a nominator may be very uncertain about the situation. With real consequences coming from a failed FA, I think the nominators, and reviewers for that matter need to understand more about the standards, or at least have a warning that more needs to be done. This seems only fair.--Wehwalt (talk) 14:46, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
One of the things I've always liked about the FA process is that the delegate(s) are allowed to exercise some discretion. It makes the process an island of good sense in a sea of rigid rules and templated opinion. I wouldn't want to see the delegates pinned down too much. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 15:00, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
I understand. Still, there needs to be further understanding if there is to be stricter rules.--Wehwalt (talk) 15:16, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
I believe that an "independent review" is one from a reviewer who has some degree of separation from those primarily responsible for the article. These may be connected as co-members of a project, or as part of an informal "cabal" that regularly supports articles in a particular topic area. I think some judgement has to be made by delegates in deciding whether a review is "independent", and see no need for a formal definition that people can argue around. As to the other point, I agree with SV above; let the delegates exercise discretion in determining when a candidate should be promoted. I would normally expect this to involve more than one solid support. I think the case you refer to was a once-off, judging by Sandy's explanation of the circumstances. For myself I never start to sleep easily until at least three supports have been garnered (and until a certain star reviewer has had his/her say). Brianboulton (talk) 20:04, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
I will get back to this (busy dealing with Spanish-language serious BLP vios), but the short answer for now is that, as long as we can manage the page size (and it looks like we're making strides, and I'm encouraged by the amount of review I found in yesterday's pr/ar), there will be no changes vis-a-vis Wehwalt's concern over the aggressive pr/ar I had to do recently. Brian is correct on independent review; I try to stay abreast of who edits actively in each area, etc., to make sure articles get reviewed by uninvolved editors. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:10, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
No need to overdo the coffee, I am more or less satisfied by your agreement with Brian's point and just want to be sure that you will give some sort of warning in the situation I mentioned. That is, btw, why I generally say in my FAC's when I think the article has garnished the necessary support and technical checks, "let me know if anyone thinks anything more needs to be done". I would hate to see a no-warning archive under those circumstances.--Wehwalt (talk) 21:47, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, Wehwalt :) I do want to mention that we had been putting out pleas and alerts for months about the backlog, and nothing was happening, so that's when I had to "do my job" unilaterally. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:57, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
Yes, and that is why I reviewed some articles, though I'm not the best reviewer in the world, and my reviews weren't to everyone's satisfaction. OK, nuff said then. Should have another one to you in a week or two. Article, that is.--Wehwalt (talk) 21:59, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
I was very pleased with the amount of review I found yesterday, and want to thank all of you ! (Keep 'em coming.) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:11, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

I generally note where I am involved in some way. The AGF angle says the more folks involved and approving of the article the better :) But agree that independent reviewers are essential for proper vetting. I guess I am saying I have enough faith in the delegates abilities in assessing the assessments of involved parties. cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 22:10, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

Restart of RfC topics

See also: Wikipedia talk:Featured article candidates/archive43

Per the thread above, here is a proposed approach to restarting the RfC topics above. First, here's a list of the unresolved threads.

  1. Limit the time span for nominations
  2. Restrict the number of nominations but not the time between them An editor is allowed to nominate only one article. While the nomination is still active, that editor shall not nominate another article. Following the article's promotion or archival, the same editor may nominate another article immediately.
  3. Restrict nominations from an editor after an archived nom
  4. Newest articles go at the bottom
  5. Queue using a marker or collapsible areas

The above five suggestions all have substantial net positive support and could all be regarded as passing. However, there is some interaction between the first three, all of which are restrictive: of duration, of multiple nominations, and of nomination activity after a failed nomination. The fourth and fifth are somewhat different; the fourth had a variant (adding "older" and "newer" subsection headers to FAC) which I think is worth separating out here. To avoid clutter, I am going to list these six items again with their current support totals and I will repeat the link to the archived discussion. Subsequent discussion can continue in each section; the support can be gauged from the combination of archived support and any additional support registered here.

Here are the restarted topics. If you have already supported or opposed in the archived discussion, it would be helpful if you did not do so here, to avoid the risk of double counting, though additional comments are of course welcome. Mike Christie (talk) 03:42, 6 February 2010 (UTC)

Limit the time span for nominations

An editor shall have three weeks to address all the issues in an article. Nominations with issues still unresolved or lacking any Supports after three weeks will be archived automatically.

  • Status so far: 23/12/0. Link to archived discussion.
  • While I did support the principles behind this, the wording needs tweaking. 21 days shouldn't be a cut and dry rule, especially if there is a penalty for archived nominations. If after three weeks, early (at least five day old?) reviews haven't been resolved, the nom should clearly be archived. But an allowance should be made for later reviews. Otherwise you're putting more pressure on reviewers to work quickly. WFCforLife (talk) 08:07, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Support --Brad (talk) 09:23, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose "archived automatically" part. Sometimes, a reviewer may point out issues on the 20th day, which may not be addressed immediately by the nominator. However, if the reviews are old (say 5 days - a limit needs to be discussed), then archival is appropriate. --Redtigerxyz Talk 12:29, 13 February 2010 (UTC)

Restrict the number of nominations but not the time between them

An editor is allowed to nominate only one article. While the nomination is still active, that editor shall not nominate another article. Following the article's promotion or archival, the same editor may nominate another article immediately.

Restrict nominations from an editor after an archived nom

This is refining a proposal above based on feedback. If a nomination is archived, the nominator is prohibited from nominating any other article (not just the one that has just been archived) for 2 weeks unless given express permission by a delegate. As Ealdgyth noted below, in October–December 8 editors nominated new articles within a week of an archival of a different nomination; of the combined 24 nominations they made, 20 were archived. This implies that nominators with archived nominations need to spend more time reflecting on why their articles were not promoted so that those lessons can be applied to future nominations. Delegates would grant exceptions for nominations that were archived with no (or minimal) feedback and possibly for articles that had been through other review processes (A-class, GA, PR) and received quality feedback. [...] Intent is that nominators whose previous nomination was archived with no (or minimal) feedback would get an auto-exemption.

Newest articles go at the bottom

Newest noms go at the bottom, older ones rise towards the top of the page.

Queue using a marker or collapsible areas

Based on a suggestion on my comment to the queue idea above, in the same manner, the queue idea here is to focus attention on the oldest 10-20 FACs without necessarily preventing comments on others. Some manner of distinguishing these limited FACs from the others on the page would be all that is necessary along with managing the transfer of the FAC from the newer subset to the older one (eg minimal work on Sandy et al.) One way would be to have these at the top of the FAC page and the rest in a "pending" section. Another means is to wrap all the pending FACs into a collapseable manner and thus on load, only the 10-20 oldest FACs would be shown. The exact means is not as important as to the goal - highlighting the oldest FACs. Optionally this can be tied to the time limit for the review - once it is moved to this highlighted section the FAC only has 2 weeks (with allowances) to either be listed or not.

Add "older" and "newer" subsections to FAC

Per this example: two subsection headings in FAC, titled "older" and "newer", with the location of the division managed by the delegates, and with reviewers encouraged to review "older" FACs first.

  • Status so far: Not separately discussed. This could be regarded as simply an implementation version of the prior suggestion.
  • Support --Brad (talk) 09:23, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Support - Worth a try Awadewit (talk) 15:32, 13 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Weakly Support - I don't know if this will work, but I think it's a good idea nevertheless. ceranthor 15:47, 13 February 2010 (UTC)

FAC instructions revisions per RfC

Here is some suggested wording to add to Template:FAC-instructions, to implement two of the suggestions above.

An editor is allowed to nominate only one article. While the nomination is still active, that editor shall not nominate another article. If the article is promoted, the same editor may nominate another article immediately. If the article is archived, and not promoted, the nominator may not nominate any article for 2 weeks unless given express permission by a delegate. Nominators whose nominations are archived with no (or minimal) feedback will be given exemptions.

I skipped the first suggestion above (auto archive after 2 or 3 weeks) as the consensus was further from unanimity for that idea, and because I think it will take some care to craft a rule that handles the concerns raised. Perhaps if we agree on the two changes drafted above, we should let them settle in for a while and see if more restrictions are needed.

The fourth item, reversing the order, would require some obvious changes to the template, as well as reversing all the transcluded nominations. Is there any automation related to this page (such as GimmeBot) that would break if we reversed the order?

The fifth item, introducing a marker on the page, had at least one person who opposed but who liked the section break idea ("Older" and "Newer"). I would like to add them -- in the words of one commenter, it should be "A simple, gentle yet effective reminder". Sandy, Karanacs; you're the ones who would have to move the boundary, so I see no value in this idea unless you like it. Do we add it? Mike Christie (talk) 19:55, 6 February 2010 (UTC)

I think Mike's suggested softly, softly approach towards changes in FAC procedures is the right one. Reforms which are over-ambitious or over-complicated rarely get implemented. The changes he suggests above are clear, consensual and, I would have thought, relatively painless. Let's do them and, after an interval, see whether further changes are required. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Brianboulton (talkcontribs)
I don't mind trying the fifth suggestion (older/newer headings) for a few weeks to see whether it will work. I also support the proposed instruction change. Karanacs (talk) 15:00, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
I'm a bit concerned about the express permission language. I would suggest altering it "... the nominator may not nominate any article for 2 weeks except if given leave of a delegate (if such an article is nominated without asking for leave, a delegate will decide whether to remove it). Nominators whose ..."--Wehwalt (talk) 15:04, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
I can support this wording too. Karanacs (talk) 15:23, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
I'm not going to have time to follow this for the next week, but don't want the instructions to grow so long ... I think the parenthetical portion is understood and can be omitted. Also, others sometimes remove those for us (DaBomb, Laser, others who keep an eye out). Can we avoid implementing the boundaries or other changes for a week at least and see how we do on the page size with the current changes? A lot of our rush over the last few weeks was Wikicup, and it seems to have slowed down. I just won't be able to follow for the next week. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:20, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
Respectfully, I think we need the parenthetical language, though I have no objection to moving it out of parentheses. Or if someone wants to make the language more compact. It may be understood (or at least provable with diffs) for us geeks who follow these discussions closely; that is only a small part of the FA community.--Wehwalt (talk) 21:06, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

I've added a version of the wording above. I included a modified form of Wehwalt's suggestion, since I think clarity is more important than brevity here. If someone can make the new material more concise, please go ahead.

I will hold off on the "Older/Newer" section headings for a week. It occurs to me that if the criteria for the division between old and new noms become established, then FAC regulars could move the marker too -- for example if the rule were to be "'Older' must include any nomination more than a week old, and must include at least twenty nominations". But for now let's wait -- one change at a time in a well-established process is a good rule to follow. Mike Christie (talk) 01:59, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

A clarification as to what "minimal feedback" is will need to be established; for example, this (which I admit I nominated) is likely to be archived as "not promoted" within the next two or three days; not because people have raised any objections, but because only one support has been given. The rest of the comments deal with quibbles with the article; but there is a fair amount of them. Would that qualify as minimal feedback or would it not? A threshold or definition of what is meant by "minimal feedback" will need to be decided upon. MelicansMatkin (talk, contributions) 17:53, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

In general terms, my feeling is that we've made enough changes for now, the backlog may have been Wikicup-related, and we might table any further changes for a month or so to see how things go. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:16, 13 February 2010 (UTC)

did anything get changed?

  • Hey, very recently there was extended discussion about making changes to FAC nom processes... did anything get changed? Thanks • Ling.Nut 04:33, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
    • Ling.Nut, FYI the FAC instruction text is kept on the template {{FAC-instructions}}; I have it on my watchlist and I can confirm there have been a few changes recently. Here are the changes since 30 January. PL290 (talk) 09:20, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

"Older" section vs. urgents

I've added an "Older nominations" section to the FAC page, per the discussion above. I placed it to include everything in the urgent FACs template, which I think would be a good way to use it. I suggest that we abandon the urgents template, and change the FAC instructions template to say "Please consider reviewing one of the candidates in the "Older nominations" section first. We would also need to change the instructions that pop up when you edit WP:FAC since those refer to the urgents template too. I assume that the delegates would need to be the one to move this section heading since they are the ones that decide what is urgent, but if the task can be done by FAC regulars in the future that would be better. Mike Christie (talk) 12:09, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

Mildly surprised. I thought we were going to reverse the order, oldest at the top. After all, that proposal got 10 supports and 2 opposes, which is arguably consensus.--Wehwalt (talk) 13:26, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
I prefer oldest at the top.--TonyTheTiger (T/C/BIO/WP:CHICAGO/WP:FOUR) 15:56, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

I'd like to hear from Karanacs and others, but from my viewpoint, this is As Good As It Gets, and I don't see how oldest noms at top will help. By the time articles fall to the bottom of the page, we usually know what we're looking/waiting for, and have read throught the FAC before, so I can quickly look at those to see where they stand, if they can be moved one way or the other, and then I can go back to begin to sort through the newer FACs. My concern would be, who is going to maintain the split? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:25, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

I didn't implement this when I made the other RfC-based changes, partly because I don't like the idea, but mostly because it's a pain in the neck to do and will require a little thought in changing some of the instruction wording. I agree with Wehwalt that the change arguably has consensus; if someone else does it I won't object, though I might grumble.
Re the split: who maintains the urgents list? If whoever did that doesn't want to do this I think it could be done by the FAC regulars instead. Mike Christie (talk) 20:50, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
Again, I'd like to hear from Karanacs, and we need to balance delegate need with reviewer/nom needs, but having just read through, this is the best thing since sliced bread from my perspective. I could quickly see what was done, what is needed, reviews are really picking up (thanks to all), and now I can more quickly settle in to read those that may be promotable. Old noms at the top won't do, for me at least, as much as this does. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:54, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
The other thing I like about it is that maintaining it only involves moving one line-- the break between old and new. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:58, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

I found this very helpful today while I pr/ar. I will be curious to see if it makes any difference in reviewer habits - and reviewers, please feel free to give feedback on whether you like/dislike the new addition. Karanacs (talk) 22:10, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

Question about the one-at-a-time rule

Hey all, sorry if this isn't the right place to raise this, but I had a question about the rule that an editor can only have one FAC out at a time. Currently, I have an FAC out and under review. There is another article that I have worked on with another nominator in the past, and when it is listed, we would both be co-nominators. If two people are listed as nominators, could we list that article on FAC, despite my having one out already? Or would that FAC with two co-nominators count as the one FAC allowed for both of us? Thanks! — Hunter Kahn 17:28, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

Did we ever resolve this issue? See Wikipedia talk:Featured article candidates/archive43#A concern... for the relevant discussion. Awadewit (talk) 20:00, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

WikiCup partly led to the backlog, and sometimes brings very unprepared articles to FAC; we should avoid having multiple noms up, with different co-nominators, merely to get around the problems caused and the reason for discussing one nom at a time. At the same time, there are some nominators, with co-noms, who bring well-prepared articles to FAC, and can handle more than one at a time. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:36, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

The current wording is "An editor is allowed to nominate only one article". To include conoms in the restriction it could say: "An editor is allowed to nominate (or conominate) only one article at a time". If we want to allow a conom as well, it could say: "An editor is allowed to be the sole nominator of only one article at a time; however, they may have two nominations active if they are a conominator on at least one of them." A suggestion was made that we count the limit as one, but it should apply to the person who actually creates the nomination page -- if someone still supports that idea then perhaps they could suggest wording.
Of those options I prefer the first, myself, perhaps with a rider for delegate discretion (e.g. for editors who have a track record of bringing well-prepared articles successfully through FAC). Mike Christie (talk) 20:43, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
I agree with your final point. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:58, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

No comments for a couple of days. If there are no further objections I propose to change the FAC instructions to the wording "An editor is allowed to nominate (or conominate) only one article at a time." I am not certain that this is the consensus version, though I think it probably is, based on the earlier discussion. If there is significant disagreement we can discuss the merits of the options above. I don't think it's acceptable to leave it as it stands, since it is clearly ambiguous with regard to conoms. Mike Christie (talk) 00:32, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

I understand the intent here, and I don't necessarily disagree with it but, for instance, Ealdgyth has sometimes been kind enough to reward my feeble efforts at fixing her tortured prose by conominating me, even though I'm not in a position to respond to any of the queries raised during the FAC. So why should I be prevented from nominating an article I do know something about in the meantime? --Malleus Fatuorum 00:50, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
If only because you characterize Ealdgyth's prose as "tortured"? Poor Ealdgyth. Now I'm off to be unhelpful elsewhere. --Moni3 (talk) 00:54, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
Heh. I need him to switch the spellings over to the "wrong" ones... poor Brits, still thinking a "u" is needed in "favor"... To be serious, I'll just stop co-nomming, removing some of the collaborativeness of the project. Ealdgyth - Talk 00:55, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
... which is exactly my concern. On the one hand we have some editors screaming about "ownership", yet when credit is given to others for their contributions they're hindered by it. Sorry for calling your prose "tortured" btw Ealdgyth, I was just employing a literary device. --Malleus Fatuorum 01:05, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
Hey, now, I know I'm a bit too fond of that that word for common usage, and my comma usage is... Besides, I knew you were kidding. If this was paper and ink, you'd probably only cover half the prose of my articles with little red squiggles... Ealdgyth - Talk 01:09, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict) How about if we make it "An editor is allowed to nominate (or conominate) only one article at a time, unless given leave by a delegate?" That would allow an out. Also, Ealdgyth, I'm not sure why you'd stop conominating -- can you explain? Surely the incentive here is the other way around -- if two noms were allowed if one were a conom, then some editors might be tempted to recruit a conominator to get around the rule. But with the proposed wording, there is no reason not to conom every candidate, unless it's with an editor who is a frequent nominator at FAC and might hence have an active nomination. Is that the issue?
(Post ec): Malleus, is credit synonymous with a listing at WP:WBFAN? Credit can (and perhaps should) be given in the nomination by the nominator to those who helped bring the article along. That's not forbidden by this rule. And if anyone would like to have the WBFAN listing subsequently credited to them, it's easy enough to edit the files that WBFAN draws from and add a name that should be credited. That's been done many times to add credit for featured stars to people who helped with articles but didn't get nomination credits. Mike Christie (talk) 01:16, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
I conom Malleus (who indeed is a frequent nominator on his own) because he's done most of the prose polish on my articles, and if I get a question on THAT I'll be deferring to him (and have often in the past). I wouldn't expect him to put off an article he's worked on on his own just because I've co-nommed him, so to avoid making his work wait, I just will abuse him a bit more and not co-nom him but still depend on him to answer prose polish queries. I usually only do the co-nom when he's had more than normal work to get my (self-admitted!) tortured prose up to standard. (Such as the soon to be nom'd Thomas of Bayeux) Ealdgyth - Talk 01:24, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
In reply to Mike, I couldn't give a monkey's arse about BFAN, and I'm not even sure I've ever looked at it. I've almost certainly turned down more offers of conoms than I've (almost always reluctantly) accepted, and there's more than one FA out there I haven't ever had credit for that wouldn't be an FA without the work I put into it, sometimes even more than the nominators themselves. If I ruled the world I'd delete BFAN as childish nonsense. --Malleus Fatuorum 01:34, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
Then I don't see a problem. No fewer articles will be nominated, no one who cares will be deprived of a WBFAN listing, and no one will be prevented from helping FA candidates get promoted. Mike Christie (talk) 01:46, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
You seem to have missed the point. If Ealdgyth, for instance, is kind enough to conominate me for one of her bishops, then I'm not able to nominate one of my witch articles or whatever until that's done. What I don't care about is BFAN. Each of knows what we've done, or failed to do, doesn't need a list to tell us. --Malleus Fatuorum 01:51, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
OK, I guess I see that. But what would be the difference to you, if instead of conominating Ealdgyth simply credited you on the nomination as a contributor who might help with the FAC? Mike Christie (talk) 13:02, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
Well, I wouldn't broken-hearted, but that just seems like an unecessary contortion to get around a rule. Surely the point of nominators/conominators is that they have both significantly worked on the article and are prepared to try and deal with at least some of the issues that may arise during the FAC? It's a shame in my mind that this is mixed up with the BFAN issue, which I really couldn't care less about. Nominators/conominators, for me, show who's standing behind the article at FAC. Who cares what happens once the FAC is over? I felt very guilty about accepting a conomination for Samuel Johnson, for instance, because I'd added almost nothing in terms of content. But would it have been ready for FAC without my help? Perhaps not. At history of timekeeping devices's FAC I probably did more work than any one of the nominators, but that's not credited to me, and there's no reason why it should be. In essence I don't see the nomination issue as "I wrote this article", I see it more as "I'm bringing this article I've worked on with others and I'll do the best I can to deal with any issues that crop up during this FAC". And like Ealdgyth, if I know that another editor has invested significant time and effort in an article I want him or her to be there during the nomination. Even if they aren't, I guess I think that conominators give an easy idea of an article's likely pedigree. Like another whacky article from those two clowns Parrot of Doom and Malleus. :-) --Malleus Fatuorum 15:22, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

In the earlier discussion about this, Awadewit, SandyGeorgia and I supported the "no conoms" version; Nev1 and Ealdgyth were opposed, and now Malleus is opposed too. This is not consensus for that version. I think unless others chime in to support the "no conoms" version, the wording should be relaxed to the least restrictive form: "An editor is allowed to be the sole nominator of only one article at a time; however, they may have two nominations active if they are a conominator on at least one of them". Let's wait and see what others have to say about the options and see if there's a consensus for one version or the other. Mike Christie (talk) 13:02, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

I supported the "no co-noms" version? I was very busy then, and must have been asleep at the wheel, if I did that. I may have left an incomplete or incorrect impression. I don't want co-noms used to advance Wikicup noms of unprepared articles that sap reviewer time and should be peer-reviewed and are being rushed through to advance the award culture, but absolutely, some delegate discretion is needed to allow situations from editors who collaborate to put forward well-prepared FACs. The instructions should somehow account for that, to allow delegate discretion, while the possibility of removing ill-prepared noms and multiple co-noms merely to get around the rules to advance WikiCup. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 13:06, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
Here's what you said that made me think you supported it, in reply to a comment about gaming the system by adding conoms: "Yes, it's very open to gaming, but that can be addressed via delegate discretion (we don't want to see co-noms added merely to avoid the "one nom at a time" issue)". (Findable in the discussion linked above.) So it does look like the less restrictive version is the right wording, unless we hear from others that support the "no conoms" version. Mike Christie (talk) 13:09, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
I've been too busy lately to follow all of this, but I trust y'all to get it right. We don't want to disallow, for example, the Malleus/Ealdgyth scenario, where they often work together, present well-prepared FACs, and both work hard at FAC to reduce the backlog (hence can't be labeled as part of the backlog problem). We do want to avoid WikiCup noms sticking on several co-noms to put forward an ill-prepared FAC, that will sap reviewer time, haven't been otherwise well-reviewed (e.g.; peer review), by editors who rarely review other FACs, and are being rushed to advance the award culture. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 13:15, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
I had a thought about tying co-nomming to reviewing. When HunterKahn posted his question, I looked to see if he had any other reviews - he had only one at the time (an article he had previously reviewed at GA) and I thought to myself "this is precisely what we are trying to avoid - nominators piling on FA noms without reviewing" (sorry, Hunter, that is what I thought). I know there is aversion to requiring reviews, but it does seem to me that if one wants to have multiple articles at FAC (for whatever reason), one should give back to the FAC system somehow. Awadewit (talk) 17:43, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── In my personal opinion, an editor should have only one active FAC on which they were one of the primary content experts. It's generally the content expert who has the bulk of the work responding to reviewer comments. I would have no problem with an editor having one nom on which (s)he is the content expert, and being listed as a conom all the rest at the same time because (s)he provided copyediting/image/other technical help. I don't know how to police this, however, and I suspect we may have to allow unlimited nominations if you have different conoms simply because it isn't fair to restrict editor C from nominating an article because he wants to conom editor B as recognition for help, when B was already conomed out of courtesy by editor A (and then poor B might never get to nominate his own article). Karanacs (talk) 22:14, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

Here's a proposed change to the instructions to take into account the comments above. The current instructions say:
"An editor is allowed to nominate only one article. While the nomination is still active, that editor shall not nominate another article. If the article is promoted, the same editor may nominate another article immediately. If the article is archived, and not promoted, the nominator may not nominate any article for 2 weeks unless given leave to do so by a delegate; if such an article is nominated without asking for leave, a delegate will decide whether to remove it. Nominators whose nominations are archived with no (or minimal) feedback will be given exemptions."
I propose that this be changed to:
"An editor is allowed to be the sole nominator of only one article at a time; however, they may have two nominations active if they are a conominator on at least one of them. If a nominated article is archived, and not promoted, none of the nominators may nominate or conominate any article for 2 weeks unless given leave to do so by a delegate; if such an article is nominated without asking for leave, a delegate will decide whether to remove it. Nominators whose nominations are archived with no (or minimal) feedback will be given exemptions."
I think this removes all ambiguity, but it introduces another change that we haven't discussed: the impact of this rule on the "no nominations for two weeks after a failed nomination" rule. My interpretation is fairly severely: if you are part of a failed nomination, you are covered by the "no nominations for two weeks" rule. I feel that if we're going to have that rule it's the only way for it to be restrictive, as was intended. Comments? Mike Christie (talk) 01:26, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
In relation to the number, I don't see the problem with the current wording. An editor can nominate one article at a time. One. 1. I. Un. Uno. Unus. Eins. Ichi. 壹. 한. However, the nominator of another article can credit you. Given that the instructions already require the nominator to either be or have the approval of primary contributors, gaming cannot really be an issue.
I'd like to register my disapproval at the suggestion that some co-noms should be allowed, and others disallowed. But it stands to reason that if you're happy to take the credit for a successful co-nom, you should be prepared to take the consequences of an archived one. If you agree to being named, you are (or should be) agreeing that you consider the article to be FA quality. Furthermore, you are putting it forward as worthy of people giving up their time to check it against our highest standards. I therefore suggest that the two-week rule is brought in for co-nominators, with no limit on how many co-noms you can be named on. Wikicup participant, member of the award culture, both or neither, one would have to assume that any co-nominator subject to that penalty would genuinely believe the article to be ready. WFCforLife (talk) 04:54, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
I disagree with the proposed "If a nominated article is archived, and not promoted, none of the nominators may nominate or conominate any article for 2 weeks unless given leave to do so by a delegate", because some articles "failed" because too few reviewers turn up. Penalising nominators for this would be a strong incentive for nominators to bring their friends at reviers, etc. --Philcha (talk) 06:33, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
The proposal grants exceptions if too few reviewers comment. Imzadi1979 (talk) 06:52, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

I have made the change to Template:FAC-instructions as stated above. Despite WFCforLife's comments, I think the current wording is unacceptable; the question of interpretation with regard to conoms has come up a couple of times already, and needs to be unambiguous, though I hate to make the instructions longer. If there are any further changes needed we can continue the discussion but I hope this resolves things for now. Mike Christie (talk) 02:10, 2 March 2010 (UTC)

I agree with the clarification on the two-week rule. But I would encourage you to reword the change to reflect the fact that there was no consensus on a strict maximum of two (or at least reverse that particular change until it is established). Malleus is a good example of where an editor could legitimately be credited in several FACs but only a content producer in one. WFCforLife (talk) 03:39, 2 March 2010 (UTC)
To weaken that clause further I think we need to see more comments in agreement with you first -- the current wording is only my best guess at a consensus position, but it didn't draw much opposition. Let's see what others say. Mike Christie (talk) 10:57, 2 March 2010 (UTC)
In this thread alone there are four editors concerned about a change explicitly restricting the number of noms: Karanacs, Malleus, Ealdgyth and myself. I'm not in the habit of reverting to reflect my POV, but I really do think there is enough stated opposition for it to be (at least temporarily) reversed. WFCforLife (talk) 17:21, 2 March 2010 (UTC)
Note that I didn't have a problem with restricting the number of "noms", just with "co-noms" being counted as "noms". I'm fine with the change that Mike introduced. Ealdgyth - Talk 17:23, 2 March 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Reading this just took me as much time as it would take to read an FAC (but not comment on it). Are we breaking the wheel, just to fix it? Isn't there already a discretionary out in the nominations instruction that allows a delegate to quick archive an article if it's not ready (and reviewers have said it's not ready?) Are we actually talking about a lot of articles? Or just a couple? Auntieruth55 (talk) 18:13, 2 March 2010 (UTC)

A two-week wait is surely a small price to pay if it acts as an effective deterrent to submission of unprepared nominations, which has been identified as a regular issue even if only moderate in frequency. If we simply wait till "reviewers have said it's not ready", implicit in that is reviewer time spent on those unprepared nominations. In what way do you see the wheel as broken? PL290 (talk) 18:36, 2 March 2010 (UTC)
I don't see it as broken. It seems like it works fine. I thought we were talking about the nom/conom thing, not waiting 2 weeks after archiving. actually I had a nom archived last summer, for want of reviews, and didn't know that I was supposed to wait 2 weeks. I think I waited one, drummed up some more readers, and nommed again. No one said anything that I recall. If there isn't a problem with having noms or conoms putting up more than one article at a time, why are we discussing this? Or are we dealing with 2 issues? One is that people might put up more than one at a time, and the other than people resurrect an article too quickly from the archive? I noticed Ucucha asking a renom (Brad Pitt article?) if the old issues had been addressed, and it seems more to the point if an article that has been archived once document that those issues are addressed, rather than telling the nominator to wait 2 weeks (and in the intervening time not doing anything). The point is not to wait 2 weeks, but to improve the article, so perhaps the better solution is to require either a peer review or a guild of copy editors review, or something like that before it could be renommed. Or have we discussed this already too? Auntieruth55 (talk) 20:29, 2 March 2010 (UTC)
The two-week rule is a recent change, resulting from the RFC, meant to reduce the backlog. The FAC you're referring to Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Smedley Butler/archive2. Ucucha 20:43, 2 March 2010 (UTC)
Heh heh, sorry Auntieruth55, I took it you knew that, so I used the past tense, which turns out to have given my question the wrong meaning. My question is, in what way do you see these changes that have just been made (in respect of nom/conom and 2-week wait) as "breaking the wheel"? PL290 (talk) 20:57, 2 March 2010 (UTC)
It seems to me we're trying to fix something that isn't broken. If there are egregious violations or abuses of the system, then it's probably broken, and should be fixed. If there aren't, then it probably isn't broken. Kumioko's article on Smedley Butler is an example. Kumioko did a bunch of work on the article. He also waited 2 weeks, but if he had finished what he needed to do in less, why wait? The other part of the discussion is the bit about noms and conoms, and having more than one at a time, or not. Has there been a problem with this? In other words, is it a problem? Is the process broken? If it isn't, why are we fussing over it? Auntieruth55 (talk) 21:26, 2 March 2010 (UTC)