Wikipedia talk:Featured article candidates/archive57

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Subject matter experts and reviews

Note, since I'm dumber than the average bear: SME = Subject matter expert. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:28, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

After the FAC RFC closed earlier this year, I said I wanted to give everyone a break and let the drama level go down a bit. Now that it's been a few months, there's an issue that was brought up in that RFC that I'd very much like to revisit.

One recurring complaint about FAC is that reviews focus too much on stylistic/presentational issues, while content issues (completeness and accuracy) that are ultimately more important tend to get overlooked. Now from where I sit, the reason for this isn't too hard to understand -- FAC reviewers are not subject matter experts, and don't have the subject matter knowledge to produce such a critique. The answer, then, is that we need to start actively soliciting outside reviews from subject matter experts. I've done this a few times on an ad hoc basis for articles I was interested in, but I think a more organized approach is warranted.

Here's what I'm thinking:

  1. I'd like to designate one or a small number of individuals to be our points of contact with subject matter experts. The job would entail (A) recruiting subject matter experts (on all subjects), (B) maintaining a database of such contacts, (C) asking them to review articles on an as-needed basis, and (D) collecting their feedback. A wikiproject spin-off might be the best way to do this.
  2. The creation of a standardized subject matter review form for outside expert reviewers.
  3. Once we've got a system in place, I'd like to bring in the WMF to help advertise and solicit such reviews.

What does everyone think? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Raul654 (talkcontribs)

I applaud it. I think we can get a good core of people from WP:ASTRO; people there have proactively taken that approach in the past, and it has had positive results, eg. Epsilon Eridani at FAC. Iridia (talk) 03:28, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
Crap, beat me to it... Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh. (Was that a less-than-dignified response?). Oh I wish that could be me doing that. Oh. Oh. maybe next year. But I Support this idea.– Ling.Nut3 (talk) 03:30, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
I'll ask at WT:Milhist. - Dank (push to talk) 03:37, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
I also support this, though I see a two-fold issue potentially cropping up in the future. 1) A fair amount of the subjects that go through FAC are in very specific fields, such as Numismatics, that I don't find it likely for us to be able to get a subject matter expert on. And what about various biographies? You could get a historian, sure, but what if it's on a more recent person or a still alive person? 2) A fair amount of the subjects that pass through FAC are ones that...you wouldn't really have a "subject matter expert" for, because they're not exactly a field of study. How do we deal with this two-fold issue? SilverserenC
I think it is an excellent idea, although I also think it will be very difficult to find the full range of expertise. The more expert people are, the more the area they are happy to comment on often narrows. There can also be an issue of individual experts having a very decided opinion that does not represent the general view; some find this easier to put aside than others I think. Johnbod (talk) 04:36, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
To me, the first set of experts to ask are most often the ones who write the documents that are being cited. I wouldn't see this check as a requirement in the same way as it is in academic-publishing peer review, but as something that could be run for an article after it is fully checked in prose/copyvio/images etc. Plus this contact-the-expert desk could build relationships with the editors of journals, who are in very similar positions, to improve the chances of being able to find relevant people. Iridia (talk) 04:56, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
I like this idea a lot, but first could we agree that stylistic issues should not be focused on so much? Introducing expert reviews and retaining the focus on style will place yet more burden on FA writers -- rather than switching the burden from style to substance, which is what we should be aiming for.
Secondly, I share Johnbod's concerns. Finding experts to do this will not be easy. Finding experts who are able to be neutral will be even harder, because academic experts spend their lives learning how to advance positions, not be neutral. SlimVirgin (talk) 04:58, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
Yeah. How would we deal with a subject where there are two major viewpoints (if not more) and we're able to contact the academic behind one of the viewpoints and he feels that the other viewpoint should be marginalized? SilverserenC 05:03, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
How about, for example, the Intelligent Design article (which is currently featured even though it has some NPOV issues)? Who should be asked to be a subject matter expert for it, an academic who is critical of theistic science, or a representative from the Discovery Institute, who are the ones marketing the concept? By the way, I think the WMF should pay subject matter experts for their time, mainly because it appears that the WMF currently has enough funds to do this. Cla68 (talk) 05:07, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
Cla68, are you now advocating paid reviewing? That will convince even further to never bring any article up to FA status. Why do all the really hard work unpaid while the easy task of half-a-day reviewing is getting paid? Nageh (talk) 17:22, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
Sounds like a great idea. Hawkeye7 (talk) 05:32, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
@SilverSeren & Cla68: Don't throw out the baby with the bathwater. Sure, there are a number of controversial topics (numerous genocidal massacres, hot-buttons in the US culture wars, etc.) that would require some deep thought & preparation, and may not even be amenable to this approach. However, since non-controversial issues vastly outnumber controversial ones, the benefits vastly outweigh those few exceptional cases. I think the time is now for this to happen. – Ling.Nut3 (talk) 05:53, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

(edit conflict) Pile-on approval for a really good idea. If we are all aware of folks' interests and positions, and engage in open discussion, I think this can be a good thing. Casliber (talk · contribs) 05:56, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

  • Please forgive this gratuitous clip dating myself.. but.. this is how I feel when i think that i can't be the one doing this project: oh the pain. – Ling.Nut3 (talk) 06:02, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
I'm going to put my hand up with a just-finished doctorate on security sector reform, mostly focusing on Africa (see Armed Forces of Liberia and Military of the Democratic Republic of the Congo for my professional work areas). I know of a couple of other real military and security experts on-wiki, as well as the expertise the WP:MILHIST team has. Anyone needs input on those areas, please ask. Buckshot06 (talk) 07:26, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

Bravo! --Anthonyhcole (talk) 08:44, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

Some food for thought, as you/we formulate ways to improve reviews by subject matter experts:

  1. I agree that we should find a way to accomplish this, but disagree that we should throw out what folks have come to refer to as "sytlistic" issues as well. "Stylistic" issues are also part of the formal, professional presentation of "Wikipedia's best work". It's not an either–or proposition: folks who focus on the professional consistent presentation of articles are not the same folks as content review experts; there's no reason we can't have both.
  2. In addition to or besides whatever outside review is accomplished, I'll reiterate something I insisted upon (or tried to, sometimes folks just wouldn't review) before passing any FAC: independent review from uninvolved editors (that is, people who didn't know the subject area and could check for things like jargon and comprehension to the layperson) as well as review from editors with expertise in that area. In many cases, that meant I went out and solicited review from editors who specialize in a given area. As an example, I wouldn't pass a medical article without a serious review from both our top docs and non-medical editors or in the case of Native American articles, I'd go ask editors knowledgeable in that area to come over and look at a FAC. Whatever is done wrt external review, this should still be a part of our regular review process, because ....
  3. The biggest problem that I see is that (depending on the subject matter) it can be hard for professionals unaware of Wikipedia policies wrt to primary, secondary and tertiary sources, original research, synthesis, and NPOV to understand Wikipedia writing. The biggest example I encounter is in the realm of psychology and neuropsychology articles, where professionals in the area constantly put up original research based on primary sources-- they aren't interested in regurgitating what secondary sources say. They like to publish orginal syntheses of primary sources, because that's what professionals do. If we invite outside reviewers, this could be become an issue, and their review should be weighed exactly as we would weigh any other review (that is, delegate discretion applies-- these external subject matter experts do not have the final word-- they are one more factor). As an example, when weighing reviews, if MastCell or Casliber (established knowledgeable medical editors) pointed out problems with an external reviewer's feedback, I'd be inclined to give more weight to Cas or MastCell.
  4. In terms of specific implementation, (A) recruiting subject matter experts (on all subjects)-- in some cases, those folks will be established Wikipedia editors, we already have them, and we need not go outside of Wikipedia; Once we've got a system in place, I'd like to bring in the WMF to help advertise and solicit such reviews, UGH, double ugh, triple ugh. I've not seen the WMF evidence any understanding of or respect for content review issues or any ability to effectively coordinate something like this. We Do Not Want The WMF mucking up one area of Wikipedia that works: FAC. It is my not so humble opinion that if you let the WMF in the FAC door, it's a short path to Very Bad Outcomes.

My bottom line is, in terms of implementation, make sure the FAC process is not undermined by external input or meddling by WMF staff, many of whom have no expertise whatsoever in producing or evaluating top content: leave the process as it is and where it has always worked with respect to delegate discretion to weigh commentary and judge consensus. A further summary of the likely issues with letting WMF in the FAC door:

  1. Recall the Jbmurray (talk · contribs) WP:MMM FAs that resulted from one good knowledgeable involved professor working with disproportionate numbers of FAC's best people via WP:FAT to produce a lot of top content. The WMF extended this non-scalable experience to the ill-conceived Education programs that have been controversial at best. But, because it's "their baby", they (WMF) defend it, the content produced, and the editors involved, to the point that concerns about off-Wiki coordination have been raised, and consensus on many discussions is now determined by folks affiliated with these off-Wiki programs. We don't want to see off-Wiki consensus muck up FAC.
  2. Once these "off-Wiki experts" are contacted via WMF advertising, if we go by what has been seen on the Education programs, those folks take on more importance than our regular knowledgeable reviewers because the WMF backs them and consensus is affected.
  3. Transparency. Big issue. FAC has always functioned well because it is on-Wiki, delegates have insisted it stay on Wiki and there are extremely rare situations where off-Wiki feedback is a factor. Once you let the WMF in the door, processes move off-Wiki to email, mailing lists, etc as they favor the contacts that resulted from their advertising-- contacts whose first point of contact may be WMF staff.

I hope we can find a way to bring in outside experts without involving WMF. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:05, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

  • May I summarize?
  1. Just Say No to the WMF. They have their stuff, we have ours, 'nuff said.
  2. Outside people may not speak our language, and need to be dealt with accordingly.
  • Is that a fair summary? – Ling.Nut3 (talk) 14:09, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
Yep. Kind of the opposite of "don't throw out the baby with the bathwater"; don't bring in dirty water if we want a cleaner baby. Keep control of the consensus process in house with delegates as we go outside to solicit external peer reviews, keep the parts that work (the buck stops with the delegates, don't contaminate that). Colin (talk · contribs) got an external review on Ketogenic diet, so I've pinged him for feedback, and I've also pinged CJLippert (talk · contribs) and Awickert (talk · contribs) who I used to ping in for Native American and Geology reviews. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:15, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
Also pinging in Rif Winfield (talk · contribs) who is a published MilHist author. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:50, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
  • I applaud and encourage this initiative, but I will also warn against marginalizing "stylistic" concerns. They should not be "the" focus but they should continue to be "a" focus. Quality of prose and MoS compliance are part of any fully professional content production process. It sounds like the process would evolve to become something more akin to a proper academic peer review (although not as rigorous)—a process where your manuscript doesn't even get considered if you haven't followed style and submission guidelines. Examination of prose should occur after the SME review. --Laser brain (talk) 14:20, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Prose yes, and I would never include good writing as a "style" issue. But MoS compliance, no, that drives people away, especially as we don't know what the MoS says half the time because it keeps changing. But the worst of the style problems is that reviewers ask for things that no guideline requires (requests for ISBNs and a preference for certain citation styles are two bugbears of mine, but there are others). SlimVirgin (talk) 03:46, 5 May 2012 (UTC)

Comments from Tony. (e.c. with the last bit of Sandy's post) While agnostic about the notion of inviting in expertise when indicated, I strongly endorse Sandy's whole post. Here are my further comments about a few things that have been written in this thread:

  • The problem is vaguely expressed. I'm not convinced this is a significant problem. It needs examples, a survey, to assess whether systemic action is required. I haven't picked up a significant perception either within or outside Wikipedia that featured content suffers from problems of completeness and accuracy. Aren't we supposed to be more accurate and complete that Britannica? And yes, sometimes FAC slips up, but so do so-called content experts out there in academic journals.
  • Non-expert review typically probes more deeply than you think. There's a claim above that "completeness and accuracy ... tend to get overlooked", and sheets this home to the fact that usually "FAC reviewers are not subject matter experts". Yet "non-expert" professional editors do sniff out from the surface of the language and the patterns of citation whether there might be deeper ("content") problems. I often see this at FAC, even when a reviewer doesn't realise they're doing it.
  • Quid-pro-quo standard swapping? The notion of lowering the benchmark for other well-accepted standards in presenting information to enable a new emphasis on expert opinion doesn't cut any ice. Why is there a link? If anything, as I've argued above, the two are complementary. If the complaint is that there have been unreasonable (actually, downright nasty and personal) reviews, that's a separate matter that's worth dealing with. Reviewer challenges of those during a nom is the way to go, not soft-pedalling on one set of criteria to compensate for additional scrutiny on completeness and accuracy.
  • Trusting and finding so-called experts. Writing a PhD lit review chapter or a review article for a journal soon teaches you that researchers in many fields boost their career opportunities by taking adversarial positions. This can be frustrating when you see in retrospect that progress has been held up for want of extracting and conflating the good from multiple positions ("grains of truth in both"). To some extent, this adversarial culture seeps into the peer-reviewing of journal articles, where there are many instances of unhelpful, unfair, or personally motivated criticism (and the opposite: a turning of the blind eye). When it comes to the peer-reviewing of competitive grant applications, I have to assist clients in responding to scores of peer reviews every year, a good proportion of which are unhelpful to optimal decision-making by the authority: problem 1 is that grant bodies have difficulty in finding enough of the right people to do it (the pay is non-existent or paltry, and career benefit from saying you do it is marginal); problem 2 is that even when a reviewer is spot-on in the right area, they can get things badly wrong. I'm in a good position to see this when I deeply probe my clients' draft rejoinders (and thus the criticisms they face).
  • Logistics. How would one get so-called experts to put the time in? How would you find them systematically for every topic in the Dewey decimal system? Three experts would be better than one.
  • Citizendium has failed. And would invited experts be privileged over us normal reviewers if we disagreed with them?
  • Nominators are meant to be the experts. It's not a perfect system, but having to run the gauntlet with non-expert reviewers is quite a good system. I'm a professional non-expert in my RL career. It's a subtle and complex interaction that brings its own discipline. In some ways, one's very distance from a topic is an advantage (as well as a disadvantage where it's very very technical, like DNA science or polymer chemistry).
  • The foundation. It doesn't have the right skill-base for organising expert reviewing in this context. They have an important and increasing role in improving certain aspects of the project, but not this.

BTW, I take issue with just a minor one of Sandy's points: outsiders, with warning, could probably adjust to the idea of secondary sources only as the basis. You'd have to be very very careful, though. Tony (talk) 15:08, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

So, taking off on Tony's post, and noticing that Cla raised a controversial topic, I'll offer up a lesser well known example of a controversial topic so we don't have to revisit the personalities etc involved in that example :) :)

First, let's remember this whole issue was raised by TCO in what was a pretty pointy excercise in destabilizing FAC with faulty data and criticism. Before we rush to endorse this entire notion that FAC is somehow failing to review content seriously, we should consider the downsides and heed Tony's post as to whether there is actually a problem. I wonder in the cases of problems if articles were promoted without the kind of review I mention (both content expert review and uninvolved review) above and how much of that is because reviewers are lacking, and whether we'd better focus our efforts on bringing in more reviewers in general, rather than content experts? That's a question, not a statement. What really is the biggest problem facing FAC? In the cases where some POV FAs might be on the books, will bringing in outsiders change that or exacerbate it?

Second, let's avoid the controversial Intelligent design, and consider another real world controversy, PANDAS. Wikipedia processes can handle that controversy (due weight to secondary reviews, almost all of which agree). But if we were to bring in outside experts, are we going to give weight to Susan Swedo, undeniably an expert since she originated the failed hypothesis and is able to keep it alive via NIH taxpayer funding, or are we going to give weight to almost every single private researcher who disagrees with the hypothesis? This work is already done in secondary journal-published reviews: what happens if an editor with a POV brings in Swedo, for example, to defend her work and POV, but the private researchers wisely stay out of the Wikipedia process, since their funding depends on the NIH and they aren't going to tangle on Wikipedia ?? By introducing external review, we risk bringing off-Wiki POV battles into our content review processes, when we already have sourcing policies that guide us. I'm not saying bringing in those off-Wiki folks is necessarily a bad thing: I'm saying outside experts have POV and we don't give them any more weight than we give any other reviewer, so we'd best think of all of the consequences of this proposal in terms of how we will implement it to avoid the kinds of issues that might occur.

I'm not completely convinced yet that external review will be a net positive. I'd rather we spend our efforts finding ways to engage more reviewers in general, and on that score, keeping "stylistic" issues is a good thing, because checking those sorts of things can be done by anyone as they grow their expertise and confidence to review in other areas. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:24, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

As I think I've seen you say somewhere, I don't really see this as an FA issue at all. If an expert review is felt to be needed – and I'm not altogether convinced that it would be beneficial in the overwhelming majority of cases – then it should be done pre-FAC, perhaps at peer review. The idea after all is that articles taken to FAC should already meet the criteria. Secondly, speaking from the benefit of having experienced an expert review while working on the Donner Party article, I can say that it's not an altogether easy road to navigate. What happens is that the expert has a view on the facts of the case as reported, the likelihood of those facts having been accurately reported, the plausibility of the accepted story, and at least one alternative explanation for the events, probably as yet unpublished. As I think Tony says, experts don't make their reputations by regurgitating "what everyone knows". Having said that, I think there is a relatively small subset of articles where an expert review might be helpful. Medical articles have already been mentioned, but Wikipedia already has medical experts, and mathematics articles are two that spring to mind. Malleus Fatuorum 15:51, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
I'll write something about my experience with expert review tomorrow. But picking on Malleus's point. We actually have very few medical experts on WP and fewer still who engage with articles at FA level. Being "medical" doesn't really qualify someone to assess whether a specialist topic like ketogenic diet is balanced, comprehensive, accurate, or up-to-date, and these certainly aren't things a layperson unfamiliar with the subject would know either. I know a cardiologist who would be hard-pressed to list more than a few anticonvulsants, let alone describe that diet. And I know an adult-neurologist who has barely heard of it. Our best medical editors are good at identifying if our sources are being used correctly, or assessing if medical scientific studies have the power to prove something like the efficacy of some therapy. But they aren't a substitute for real subject-experts in areas outside their speciality or in very general medicine topics. And not all experts are academics trying to "make their reputations" by being awkward sods. Colin°Talk 21:34, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
I think those are reasonable points. I have a friend who is very severely epileptic, and I'd bet good money she knows far more about epilepsy than 99.9% of medical specialists do. In many of the subjects taken to FAC, and even GA, I think the Zulu Principle applies. Malleus Fatuorum 21:42, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
I think SME input could be great, if properly managed. All constructive criticism is good, after all. But I think MF has a good point here: an editor preparing an article for FAC should be able to get the SME input before coming to FAC, that way they don't get blindsided and, more importantly, they meet the requirement that the article be ready before coming to FAC. Thus, I think editors should have the option of obtaining SME input during the Peer Review process. Of course, some editors may choose to forego that and wait for the FAC to get SME input, but that would be the editor's choice. --Noleander (talk) 16:23, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
Just chiming in with whole-hearted support for the notion of a database of SMEs.
On the touchy subject of pay, there's an overly-simplistic answer, but not unreasonable: preference for free, (and experience shows we can get a lot for free,) pay only if we have to, and then only in areas identified as high priority. However, there is more than enough to do in the free area, so sort that out first.
My brief musings about logistical issues made my head swim, so there's a lot to sort out, but start in less controversial areas first - no ID, no Palestine, no climate change,etc. Build a model, then we can ease into the challenging areas.--SPhilbrick(Talk) 17:00, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

(od) Some good points made above; the ones that stood out for me are:

  • Per Malleus (echoed by Noleander), I agree that if SMEs are to be brought in it should probably be before FAC, either in PR or, where applicable, Wikiproject A-Class Review -- the latter makes sense for say MilHist, where content is the major consideration at ACR, rather than stylistic issues. This point leads logically to...
  • Per Sandy (echoed by Laser Brain and others), prose and style should continue to be major (though not the only) planks of the FAC process -- in MilHist, one of our editors described A-Class Review as "like FAC, but more forgiving", the main area of "forgiveness" being MOS concerns.
  • Per Tony, agree that the value of wise non-experts at FAC should never be underestimated.
  • To summarise, I share the concerns expressed re. SMEs' possible agendas and/or lack of familiarity with WP practices, which is another reason I think that if we use them, it should be pre-FAC, where such issues can be ironed out before nominating for the bronze star. From my own field of interest, namely Australian military aviation (primarily biography), I've never been particularly tempted to bring in outside experts for review because a great deal of relevant primary, as well as secondary/tertiary, documentation is freely available and I think I've been able to effectively distil it into articles using WP's 'house' style without outside assistance, knowing that it'll get reviewed at ACR by diligent MilHist editors (including, often, at least one professional military historian). Also, from reading so many sources, I've seen plenty of instances where experts in a field can report things without apparently taking into account all the available information, and the number of times I've seen close paraphrasing or outright copying of source material in military literature is head-spinning... That said, I'd still be happy to have some expert scrutiny -- just outside the FAC process. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 23:57, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
I generally agree with Ian; by the time articles reach FAC they should have received attention from an uninvolved SME as FAC isn't really the place for this. MILHIST's A class review process is a good example of how this can work (though it's obviously dependent on having a large pool of motivated editors). However, for articles which cover a wide range of topics - such as biographies of senior politicians or articles about countries or cities - there's a lot of value in people who know a lot about certain parts of the topic commenting on those elements of the article. For instance, when articles about countries are nominated for FAC I normally comment on their coverage of politics, economics and military matters as I think that I'm generally well-informed about these topics (or at least know where to look to educate myself on them so I can pretend to be well-informed!). Nick-D (talk) 00:50, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
I, too, think SMEs should have injected their influence before FAC; peer review seems to me the ideal spot for SME involvement, since PR can occur anytime before GAN, before Milhist A, or before FAC. At FAC, reviewers should only be performing fine tuning. Binksternet (talk) 03:20, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
A couple of points:
  • (1) It would be a good idea to look at how this has been done in the past and list examples. By this I mean both some of the examples already mentioned here where external peer review (my preferred term for this) was sought and obtained, and also cases where the quality of Wikipedia's coverage was assessed in the various studies that have been done (e.g. that Nature study and more recent ones). What approach was taken in those cases?
  • (2) I agree that getting a review from subject matter experts (SMEs) before FAC is probably a better approach in many cases, and I also agree with some of the reservations expressed. You may also get some SMEs willing to review, but only on condition of anonymity. Whether to accept such conditions or not is something to consider.
  • (3) Something akin to external peer review took place recently at Talk:Circular permutation in proteins#Open Peer Review. That is more reviewing an overview article submitted via journal to Wikipedia, but may be of interest here. For more details on the background to that, see the wiki-en-l mailing list post here and the links there. See also the comments by me and another editor here (back at the beginning of April).
I hope something workable for such reviews can be set up and maintained. One thing to be wary of is contacting living authors whose books or articles are used as sources for an article. Some will be flattered and willing to do such reviews. Others will feel (rightly or wrongly) that some articles (especially if on obscure subjects) are competing with their articles or books on the subject, and may (rightly in some cases) object to overly detailed coverage when a more normal approach would be to direct the reader to the more lengthy book sources for further reading. It is possible that SME review may work better for broader articles than for narrower ones. Where possible, input from more than one SME would be ideal (if not always possible). Carcharoth (talk) 05:42, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
SME with topics like Medicine and Military History seems all well and good, where getting hold of a subject matter expert might not be too difficult. I tend to be narrowly focused on Mesoamerica, so how narrowly would you be focusing expert opinion? Would I need to bring in a Mesoamerican expert? Or would any archaeologist do? And if so, what makes an external expert on, say, Roman archaeology any more qualified than an intelligent on-wiki reviewer. I have had some, limited, contact with Mesoamerican archaeologists (more as a result of FA, than leading up to it) and they tend to be rather busy, even when they have a particular interest in the subject. And the vast majority of Mesoamerican archaeologists that I have tried to contact have not responded at all. So would you say, no SME, no FA? Simon Burchell (talk) 08:59, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
  • On timing: If we can find proper experts we won't be able to control how long they take to do a review - peer reviewed journals typically allow periods of some months I think. I doubt our normal reviewers will be at all intimidated from commenting on the sort of issues they normally concentrate on; in fact in my experience expert reviewers (and I've had a number) rarely stray into MOS territory. Personally I normally only get an expert review after the FAC is complete, on the grounds that the article will be improved during it, and I'm pretty confident there are no major issues (and, frankly, that if there are, no FAC reviewer will spot them in my subject area). For my last two I was fortunate enough to have discussed the objects concerned with their curator at an early stage, and then got a review of the passed FA, which I naturally acted on for a few points. The big benefit of early involvement is that they can point you to the best sources, and sometimes advise on issues with some of them.

On another point, I suspect (and this has been my experience with GLAMs) that reviewers will be happier submitting off-wiki reviews, and a requirement to review on-line will put many off. I usually get marked-up print-outs, sometimes with a face-to-face meeting, which is of course ideal. That is how academics are typically used to working. We may need some intermediary figures, perhaps formally made into delegates, who receive the review and convey its contents to the FAC page. On specialization, Simon's MesoAmerican stuff should absolutely have a specialist, as should Roman archaeology etc. It will be difficult to find specialists in many areas, but if there is time available, GLAM and chapters now have a wide range of contacts with specialist academic societies and institutes, who will produce very high level reviewers if they produce any at all. See for example this World War I editathon next month at the British Library. I'll try to see if any of those academics can be recruited. Johnbod (talk) 14:29, 5 May 2012 (UTC)

Hi everyone! I'm going to avoid talking about specifics, which can often derail efforts, and say that I am in broad agreement with the evolving consensus here.
In addition to the solicitation of outside opinions, which brings in some complications that the above discussion is moving towards solving, I would also say that there are lots of people on Wikipedia who are subject matter experts. These folks are often also very willing to help, even if their scope doesn't cover the entire swath of topics. Something I could envision would be a general solicitation to Wikipedians to enter their information into a big table of (1) name, (2) "expert" subject area(s) [preferably written with lots of keywords that someone doing a CTRL+F "search" of the page would find], and (3) their qualifications [PhD, professional experience, graduate school, etc.]. Communities built around WikiProjects do this already, which in lots of cases makes our articles be very factually accurate without outside opinion, but a one-stop place to find subject matter experts who are already familiar with Wikipedia could be helpful and expedite the process, especially as an alternative to going through a more-awkward external review.
Into a few more specifics:
  • If we solicit outside expert help, we should have a very attractive web page (like the new Wikipedia mission statement one), that advertises the importance of WP in advancing broader worldwide knowledge (and more - basically to pull on the heartstrings of the subject matter experts and show how what they do here can really matter) and has very simple instructions of how to contribute. My initial thought is to direct subject matter experts that we find towards this page as their introduction, but it could also have instructions for joining Wikipedia, adding their names to the list I mentioned in the previous paragraph, and/or adding their names to a database of people who would be willing to review articles but who aren't part of Wikipedia.
  • I think that no WP reviewers should be paid. This goes against the entire idea of what Wikipedia is, and I believe that for most good reviewers, the feeling of spending a few hours doing something that will matter in the world will be all it takes. External reviewers should be bound by the same rules as internal editors.
  • Even if the subject matter experts prefer to do their reviews in an off-wiki way, I think that the reviews must be posted on-wiki, and that this should be expressed clearly (see first bullet - web page). Keeping things off-wiki can be a recipe for drama and feelings of exclusion, and I think that the badness of this outweighs the goodness of having external individuals involved. Also, knowing that their reviews will be posted for the world to see may provide further incentive for subject matter experts to be extra sure that what they say aligns with the mainstream in their fields.
That about sums up my thoughts that have developed over the past day. Mostly, I would like to see material provided to make it very easy for interactions between subject matter experts and article writers, with the idea that reducing the legwork to as close to 0 as possible increase the attractiveness of review options. These are just the best ideas I've come up with in a little bit of thinking, but I'm sure other/better ideas exist as well. Awickert (talk) 18:06, 5 May 2012 (UTC)


SME review form

Following up on my second point above, I took a swing at putting together a review form to be used by outside experts. I've taken care to avoid, as much as possible, using Wikipedia-specific jargon.


Wikipedia article review form for subject matter experts

Article title:
Current revision URL:
Permanent revision URL:

(1) Is the article complete? Does it adequately describe all major aspects of the topic?
Rating: Complete (No significant omissions) / Mostly Complete (Some omissions) / Not complete (Many omissions)
Comment:


(2) Is the article accurate? Are there any factual errors (objectively wrong statements)?
Rating: No factual errors / Minor factual errors / Major factual errors
Comment:


(3) Is the article neutral? Does the article fairly describe all significant viewpoints that have been published by reliable sources, in proportion to their significance?
Rating: Neutral / Some neutrality issues / Many neutrality issues
Comment:


(4) Is the article well-written? Is the writing professional, with correct grammar and spelling, and images and citations where appropriate?
Rating: Excellent / Good / Fair / Poor
Comment:


(5) Overall, how would you rate this article?
Rating: Excellent / Good / Fair / Poor
Comment:


(6 - Optional) What are some ways that this article could be improved?
Comment:


What does everyone think? Raul654 (talk) 15:26, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

It's good in that it doesn't give external reviewers too much leeway to go off on non-Wikipedia tangents, but I would worry that non-Wikipedians are qualified to state an opinion on:
  • images and citations where appropriate (they might not understand our policies and guidelines in those areas), and
  • even on neutrality-- do we believe most outside experts understand neutrality in a Wikipedia context?
On the other hand, as long as experienced Wikipedians are weighing the feedback from these experts, we should be able to handle external POVs coming in to the processes. Perhaps more effective at the peer review level, as Colin did on ketogenic diet, so that we don't end up with lengthy FAC discussions as we educate outside reviewers on Wikipedia practices. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:33, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

On q 4), the normal reviewers can judge the general use of language ok; here we should be asking if the use of terminology and specialized language is correct, and if the language generally shows a good understanding of the subject. No 2) is too narrowly phrased, it seems to me. There are tons of things that may not be "objectively wrong statements" but show an inadequate understanding of the subject. Johnbod (talk) 15:42, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

How would you suggest rephrasing #2 and #4? Raul654 (talk) 15:45, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
(2) Is the article factually accurate? Does it show good understanding of knowledge and concepts relevant to the subject?

Rating: No errors, good knowledge / Minor factual errors and lapses of knowledge / Major factual errors, poor knowledge
Comment:

(4) Is the article well-written? Is the writing professional, with use of language and terminology that is appropriate for the subject? Are the images well-chosen and described? Are there citations where appropriate?

Rating: Excellent / Good / Fair / Poor
Comment:

Googling "exam marking scheme" will find thousands of examples of actual marking schemes, mostly at school level, for other wordings. Johnbod (talk) 21:25, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

I think that having some kind of form is over-complicating things. If we're going to go down this path, I'd just ask editors to demonstrate that a subject matter expert has looked at the article - this could be done by providing evidence that the article has been peer reviewed, gone through an A class review (where applicable) or been GA reviewed by an editor who's knowledgeable about the topic. The less bureaucracy and paperwork the better. Nick-D (talk) 00:58, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
Raul, it's good, except that I wouldn't mention images, given that WP's image requirements are complex. SlimVirgin (talk) 03:54, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
@Nick-D. It's not for nominators to demonstrate anything at all, it's for reviewers to look at what's there. Malleus Fatuorum 04:02, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
I take your point, but it's certainly helpful for nominators to demonstrate how they've developed the article, which is why I always note any peer, GA and A class reviews articles I nominate for FA class have been through. Passing a project-specific review goes a long way to demonstrating that editors who specialise in this field think that the article is accurate. Nick-D (talk) 04:16, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps. But hardly anyone turns up at most peer reviews and the quality of GA reviews depends very much on who turns up to do the review. As for A-class reviews, they may work for MilHist articles, but I'm unconvinced even there after all the plagiarism I've seen in ship articles. Malleus Fatuorum 04:38, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
Let me put it another way. Would you send an unassessed article you had just created to FAC? Hawkeye7 (talk) 04:56, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
Yes, and I have done several times. I generally only bother with the intermediate steps when I'm a little uncertain about an article. Malleus Fatuorum 05:00, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
Let me add to that an example of the Zulu Principle I mentioned earlier. When I was writing about the Halifax Gibbet I contacted the local museum where the axe head is on display and asked if one of the curators would take a look at the article, and if they had any further information. But by that time the Wikipedia article was more comprehensive than their own information pamphlet; in many cases the editor of the Wikipedia article is the expert. Malleus Fatuorum 13:06, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
Crap! And to think I put myself through moderate layers of hell getting my PhD. What a waste of time :/ – Ling.Nut3 (talk) 13:36, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
Ah, yes, Malleus -- reminds me of the time I was contracting and went to a conference at RAAF Williams, Victoria, with one of my team; I suggested we drop in at the nearby RAAF Museum and get someone to show us around. Thought I was just being enthusiastic about the displays and how they fit into the history of the Air Force and so on when our guide turned and said, "I reckon we'd better swap places -- you should be showing me around". I think he meant it in a nice way... ;-) Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 13:53, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
Applying these concerns to the SME question: There will be times when the SME's input should be disregarded (because they don't understand WP policies; or they are biased; or their input is too focused & not encyclopedic; etc). Therefore the SME process must have a way for nominators to say "I'm sorry SME, but I have to reject your suggestion because blah, blah". It is hard enough to say that to a fellow editor – saying it to an officially-dubbed SME could be intimidating for many nominators. This is yet another reason the SME process should allow the SME review to happen before the FAC (so that kind of give-and-take can get resolved beforehand). --Noleander (talk) 14:12, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
SME input can be invaluable, such as User:Vsmith's work on the geology part of Yogo sapphire. However, I was going to bring the very points Noelander has mentioned; when these concerns come to fruition, the article can actually end up worse and bring massive drama with it.PumpkinSky talk 14:53, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
A PhD is perhaps very good example of the Zulu Principle in action Ling.Nut; no doubt you now know a very great deal about something so obscure that there are only six other people in the world who care about it.;-) My wife probably knows as much as anyone else alive about sexual dimorphism in one small area of the rat's brain as a result of her PhD. Malleus Fatuorum 16:06, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
I have spent the past three years of my life writing crappy papers about my dissertation topic, "xyz". I never want to see "xyz" again. If anyone had the nerve to ask me about "xyz" I would have to fight back an urge to slap that person. – Ling.Nut3 (talk) 06:49, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Comments on SME form. Much of it depends on outsiders' familiarity with WP's requirements. For example, completeness (number 1 ... how long is a piece of string?). Numbers 2 and 3 work per se, I think. I wouldn't bother them with (4) ... experts write crappily, and rounding on that is more like our job here. I'd ask 6 but not 5. Tony (talk) 07:58, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
  • I disagree with asking the expert to rate the article in order to use their response as part of the FAC process. To me, this is asking a complete stranger to spend some of their precious time judging your article in order to gauge whether to give you a gold star or not. Why would the expert do that? We do that for each other, but that's because we are a community, and there is mutual need. I wouldn't send this form to an expert, and I wouldn't ask them to participate in the FAC process. Some of the questions are reasonable things to ask them to consider, but the response would hopefully be the equivalent of taking a red pen to your manuscript (see below for how I did this using Word) rather than a report card -- though if the article needed a lot of work, then a short description of how it should be revised/improved would be an alternative. I think expert involvement, where editors consider it useful, should precede FAC and the aim should be to improve the article. Their judgement of it should be a secondary benefit. I agree with Tony on point 4. Experts are subject experts. They can't write for toffee. -- Colin°Talk 20:58, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
    • I agree with Colin's comments. Also, I think it will be very hard to find the right people. The kind of experts who'd be prepared to do this would already have become WPians (or be recuitable as such). Tony (talk) 13:14, 7 May 2012 (UTC)

Offer of support

I hope this doesn't seem too presumptuous - by odd coincidence, I've spent quite a bit of time recently thinking about a similar idea, and was planning to write it up and suggest it to the community sometime in the coming week! It was quite a delight to open my watchlist and see this discussion...

Some background: I've just started work as the Wikipedian in Residence at the British Library, working with the AHRC. A large part of the remit of the post is to "encourage and support" specialists & academics who are interested in Wikipedia. In most cases, this means helping them get started editing, etc., but one thing I've been considering is finding ways to engage with experts who are interested in supporting Wikipedia in some way but unwilling to actually edit. One of the possibilities I was considering, among others, was working out up a mechanism to support experts providing reviews and feedback on articles - ie, more or less analogous to this proposal.

I had been thinking in terms of a purely content-oriented review (ie, not stylistic), parallel to but not affecting the WP rating process; it would not be presented as "validation" or "control" of the content in any way, or as "formal" peer review. Reading over the discussion above, I think that's quite similar to the sense of the discussion here, which sees a potential use for reviews in various stages of article development and as feedback for a "finished" article, but doesn't want their results to be binding on FA status or seen as privileged in an editorial context over the views of community members.

I really don't want to seem like I'm hijacking this discussion - that's not my intention at all - but it seemed too perfectly timed not to throw my oar in and offer to help facilitate it :-). If there's a consensus here in favour of having some kind of external-review process, and the rough form it should take, I am happy to volunteer myself to go out and try to recruit a group of initial reviewers - I'm already going to be talking to a large number of experts interested in Wikipedia over the next few months, after all! I'd also be happy to help with the legwork of helping run the organisational aspects of it, at least for the first few months while it gets underway. Do please let me know if you think this would be helpful, or if there's any other way I can support it - I'd love to see something like this up and running. Andrew Gray (talk) 17:54, 5 May 2012 (UTC)

  • It might be kinda nice to hash out how the process works before the SMEs come. But in general, if you have people, we have articles.... BTW, "Wikipedian in Residence at the British Library"? Where does one get such an awesome job? And do they pay actual tangible money? please sign me up! – Ling.Nut3 (talk) 06:23, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
    • I am still asking myself that question at the moment ;-). It is indeed paid (via AHRC project funds, hence their interest in outreach/training for academics) - there's more details on the overall program at outreach:Wikipedian in Residence, if you're interested.
    • I certainly agree that getting a plan for what we'd like to ask for and how we expect it to work is essential before it gets started. For now, I'm hoping that over the next few weeks I can start floating it to the SMEs, saying "if you're interested in contributing in some other way, such as reviewing an article and giving one of our editors some feedback on it, we're setting up a system for that", and start building a list of names if there is interest - of course, I don't want to do this until we're confident we'll be able to match at least some of the offers with articles. Andrew Gray (talk) 13:08, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
      • Some quick followup. I haven't yet started the "external" outreach to people beyond the BL - that's going to take a little while to get off the ground - but I had the first few meetings with in-house subject specialists yesterday. Two of them were interested in collaborating on specific topics, which is fair enough (and the next step is to match them with an interested Wikipedian), but one group did offer much the type of reviewing we've discussed - reading over fairly good-quality articles to look for factual errors, problems of scope, etc. - within their field, subject to reasonable restrictions on volume and so on. Unfortunately for this immediate discussion, it is a field almost entirely absent from FA! Andrew Gray (talk) 09:22, 10 May 2012 (UTC)

Experiences

I think it would be useful to collect some existing experiences with SMEs, whether solicited by editors or otherwise. Create a sub-section for each example. Colin°Talk 20:41, 6 May 2012 (UTC)

Ketogenic diet

I'm not medically qualified. I'm just a lay editor with an strong interest in this subject. The article was essentially a solo effort. I'd already achieve GA, which had a helpful review. Before submitting it to FAC I knew I'd need some help. I submitted it to peer review, to get the views of the other WikiDocs and of other lay readers unfamiliar with the subject. I asked for some copyediting help. And I sought an external review by a subject expert. The expert I chose was easy to find as he is the author of many of the papers and books cited. I sent a short email to see if he or a colleague would be interested, mentioning that I was going to take it to FAC, and teasing him with a possible front-page-of-Wikipedia level of hits.

Fortunately, my expert turned out to be a big fan of Wikipedia, though he was not an editor. After some discussion, he suggested two things. Firstly, that I wait until the peer-review and copyediting is done before sending him a version to review, and secondly that I send him a Word document of the article where we would use the track-changes and comment facilities to do the review and revision. I used Open Office Writer, which has similar features to MS Word and is compatible. In his review, the expert added and deleted some text as well as making comments. However, I was able to assess these changes and attempt to apply them while taking account of WP policy: in particular I had to find sources for the facts. In a few cases, I couldn't add the requested text and my expert accepted this (noting he'd mention it in his next paper :-) In other cases, I wrote things a bit differently from the suggestion, for various reasons. Using Word in this way, both his and my changes were tracked and I could comment on the changes in a way that simply isn't possible in Wikipedia's edit summary/history. We went back and forward only a few times. The changes I made can be seen here. Mostly minor issues/improvements and one small section rewritten. My expert considered it overall a "strong work" and thanked me for including him in the process. He's got a personal interest in ensuring the #1 Google hit on his specialist topic is accurate, after all.

For a highly technical subject, I think it was a good idea to wait till after folk have finished fiddling with the text before reviewing for accuracy. It is too easy for a copyeditor to change the meaning. I also think the use of Word for review/revision was a great idea. This use of an expert differs from some other folk. My expert didn't edit on WP. I retained full control of what went into the article, so could ensure WP guidelines and policy were maintained. Fortunately, we didn't have any significant disagreements. The subject itself isn't hugely controversial. Although physicians differ in their views on various aspects, I was lucky to be able to use a consensus report from an international group of experts as a source. I didn't use my expert to get a rating for FAC. I wanted help in making the article the best. -- Colin°Talk 20:41, 6 May 2012 (UTC)

I think you were very lucky. I've tried contacting a number of experts for my articles and, having received zero response, have pretty much given up. In one case, an article went to FA, I translated it onto the Spanish wiki where it got noticed by site archaeologists, who grabbed me on my next visit by pure luck; and have since emailed me the odd paper I would otherwise not have access to - but that all happened after FA. Simon Burchell (talk) 20:58, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for posting this. I'm currently in the process of soliciting outside experts to review a future FAC (Malaria), and was thinking the best time to ask them to look was after GA and peer review, but before FAC. The use of Word/Open Office Writer to swap versions back and forth is one I hadn't thought of, but may be useful for this undertaking. Sasata (talk) 21:16, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
Not to throw a monkeywrench into the works, but does this approach work with Wikipedia licensing? Recently, a class project put up a Wikipedia article in one edit, and I noticed that someone is going back and asking for attribution to each student, whose work was off-Wiki. [1] Greek to me-- just a question.

By the way, I'm coming around to a position of being opposed to this whole business until we get some definition of terms: for example, what's an SME? And how do we account for the Essjay controversy? This fellow looks like an SME from here (depending on how we're defining SME), I've followed his work for a long time, and he's sure having a heck of a time on Wehwalt's latest FAC (which Supporters don't seem to have noticed, is this article stable?). I'm seeing all kinds of problems with this proposal that might affect the integrity of FAC, and I think we need better definition of terms and implementation detail before we rush to endorse this. For starters, is there a problem and if so, can that problem be solved by bringing in whatever we define as SMEs, and is Colin's situation the norm? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:07, 7 May 2012 (UTC)

There are probably many shades of SME/FAC experience. I echo Sandy's query as to what the current problem is. I also want to point out that FAC nominators—indeed most good WP article writers—already consult experts in written form. Asking one (or two) particular experts to review a draft belies the process of weighing up reliable sources. The skills that FAC cultivates in the community are precisely those that make balanced sense of the sources. FA nominators have already self-selected on the basis of their own expertise (at least expertise enough to sort out, assess, and integrate what is in the sources). By all means, ask for expert review if you can get it; but the proposal is all too formalised and not realistic. Perhaps I'm hardened by my vast experience of working with university researchers and dealing with grant-application reviewers. Tony (talk) 14:53, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
I'm somewhat surprised at the doubt there is a problem. I thought it was generally accepted that relatively few FACs receive reviews from editors who have in-depth knowledge of the subject in question, and many receive no reviews from people who know the subject area at all, and that this is a weakness, and a threat to the "integrity of FAC". A few spotchecks of sources only scratch the surface here. The degree to which all the best available sources are used by FAC candidates varies considerably, it seems to me, and can't be judged at all easily by those without subject knowledge. Johnbod (talk) 16:58, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
Sandy, I think you may have a point about licensing. Generally my expert only changed a word here or there, and at the most wrote a sentence. However, many of changes were incorporated into the actual article in a different way, either because I thought it read better, fitted better elsewhere, or more closely matched what my source said. The one sub-section that was rewritten, was done by me in my own words. At the time I did the edits, I wasn't sure I had permission to use the expert's name. Would an edit summary saying who contributed those words be sufficient? What if the words were a mix of expert and editor phrasing? Then the expert might not want their name associated with text that wasn't exactly theirs. Is there a threshold below which nobody is concerned? For example, if the expert was contributing whole paragraphs then I'd say that was going too far without proper attribution. Tony, when work on people's texts professionally, do you ever consider that that gives you any copyright or attribution rights, legally or morally? BTW: can we keep this section focused on this expert experience, and create a new one for other issues. Colin°Talk 16:16, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
Never: when I'm paid and the client, being a university employee, is paid for their time as part of their salary, the institution owns the text. Institutions own their research outputs too, by default, and even their teaching innovations. If an expert were paid for reviewing an FAC nom, it would almost certainly be regarded as implicitly not the basis of a claim of part ownership. All the same, a short statement to that effect should probably be included in the contract, or if a volunteer reviewer, in the emails confirming the arrangement (referring in that case to site policy about non-ownership). BTW, where an editor does paid work for a client, there probably should be an explicit acknowledgement/reminder applying to both parties about non-ownership. But come to think of it, the edit-box contains such clear advice to this effect, it's almost not worth worrying about. Tony (talk) 16:38, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
Colin, I don't know the answers to the attribution questions, or even where to hold that discussion, but agree this topic should stay focused on other issues. Except we do need to understand if there is an attribution issue. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:51, 7 May 2012 (UTC)

Musical instrument

This has not been to FAC (nor likely will it ever, given what I'm about to say) but I'll state that my experience with SMEs has been rather negative. When I starting working on this level-3 vital article, it was an absolute mess. What had been happening is that various academics (all of whom would probably consider themselves SMEs) had visited the page over the years and revised it according to the POV of their camp. In organology, there are basically two camps: the "Sachs" and the "anti-Sachs". One believes that Sachs' approach to the history and evolution of musical instruments is accurate and legitimate, and the other does not. Various academics have also come in pushing their research on alternative musical instruments, etc. At one point fully one-fourth of the article was full of some academic's (again, a "SME") primary research about water-spurting musical instruments or some such.

Before I started working, I contacted seven SMEs and asked about the best sources. The consensus was for Sachs and a smattering of other minor books. However, two of the SMEs were actually actively involved in research efforts to debunk Sachs as a crank (or even a racist) and told me that Sachs was garbage and since all the other major works rely on Sachs, they are also garbage. They couldn't recommend any comprehensive alternatives, oddly enough. I got the impression that I was sampling a raging debate in academic circles about the viability of Sachs' model, and so on.

Now, if I were to take this to FAC, and an SME was contacted to review it, you would get one of three results depending on who you contacted: (1) The consensus view is represented, looks peachy, etc.; (2) Sachs is garbage, the whole thing needs rewriting; (3) Looks OK but where is all the stuff about water-spurting musical instruments? It's very important research. --Laser brain (talk) 16:06, 7 May 2012 (UTC)

Yikes! Also, LOL. Binksternet (talk) 17:17, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
Yikes, and not LOL ... this is precisely what I expect from whatever we end up calling "SME"s. And I shudder to think of letting any more psych professors in the door than WMF already has through the Education Programs, so they can contaminate our articles with their POV-pushing and original research, which is a big enough problem in the neuropsych realm already, without conferring some SME status to some mid-level college professor. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:36, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
Didn't know whether to put this here or "SME review form" section... should there be a POV feeler question on any SME review form? Forex, "Is there a body of scholarly opinion related to this topic that you feel needs o be opposed or is in error or are there any major camps in disagreement "... or whatever. If there are POVs, the respondent will be imply unable to resist the chance to take a dig at the "bad guys". Even the most cautious respondent would give a dodgy, hedging, fuzzy answer. Any answer other than "No" or "Not as far as I know" would be a red flag. – Ling.Nut3 (talk) 03:09, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
I believe that's already covered by question 3: Does the article fairly describe all significant viewpoints that have been published by reliable sources, in proportion to their significance?. Raul654 (talk) 03:23, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
I disagree. The wording of that question is so bland and inconspicuous that it practically disappears into the page (and escapes notice). I know you will say "blandness is good", but we need at least one word to prod them into showing their hand. In short, again, I disagree.. – Ling.Nut3 (talk) 05:14, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
I wasn't asked. Tony (talk) 06:55, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
Could you expand on your point? I'm not sure I understand what you mean.. I think you mean the same thing I do:that the language of the question should somehow lead the respondent to reveal whether he or she has a horse in some academic or political debate, and not whether such a debate exists. However, if the question is too direct, [e.g., "Do you have a point of view that is different from others?"] it may backfire by triggering self-monitoring. The question, I believe, should ask whether other people have some POV...or something similar... just something that would lead people to give away whether or not they have a position in a controversy.. my opinion; others can disagree or refine.– Ling.Nut3 (talk) 07:54, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
I have expertise in organology; I wasn't asked. Tony (talk) 08:00, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
Tony, how would I know that? Or, perhaps that's your point. --Laser brain (talk) 15:14, 9 May 2012 (UTC)

Olmec colossal heads

Spurred on by this thread, a few weeks ago I decided "what the hell" and emailed an expert on the Olmecs (and who is cited in the article) to cast an eye over the Olmec colossal heads article prior to GA review. To my great surprise, my email was quickly answered by the SME who promised to quickly review the article. Real-life intruded but a couple of weeks later the SME contacted me with comments on the article, provided me with three additional sources and a couple of corrections, and the details of another SME and a recommendation that I contact them for details of the latest research. This was all very positive, and more than I had hoped for based on past experience - (well, a reply was more than I had hoped for). The SME's opinion of the article was that it accurately represented the subject, and the door was left open for further contact. Simon Burchell (talk) 11:58, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

Colossal success! – Ling.Nut3 (talk) 13:29, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
Great stuff! My experience, mostly with museum curators with some institutional encouragement to help (as part of a wider relationship), is that it depends wholly on the individual & how busy they are. Some are very helpful, with others you draw a complete blank. Johnbod (talk) 13:35, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

Moving forward

Generalizing the comments my proposal has gotten, I think most people think this is a good idea for most articles. I'm sensitive to the concern that SME feedback might not work well for certain articles, but I think those are unusual/rare cases and that most articles would benefit. Most of the criticisms voiced here related to implementation: whether reviews should be conducted before or during FAC; how the reviews, once they are submitted, are to be used by the article's primary editors; how much of a role (if any) the WMF will play. I think there's a time and a place to hash those ideas out, but I'd like to get the idea of the ground first.

So, what I'd like to do now is:

  1. Create a wikiproject - perhaps Wikiproject:Subject matter experts or Wikiproject:Solicited reviews - into which we can funnel discussion and further action.
  2. Find someone (or a few someones) who are willing to liaise with experts from outside Wikipedia. That is to say: identifying them (as determined by the subject matter of the article), finding their contact information, contacting them to solicit their reviews, sending the review form, following up on any further action as need, and maintaining a database of their contact information for possible future use. (A google doc might be useful for this)
  3. Once we have those two above items up-and-running, I'd like to find a few volunteer editors and articles to be our guinea pigs.
  4. Assuming #3 goes well, we can discuss scaling issues.

What does everyone think? Raul654 (talk) 21:49, 8 May 2012 (UTC)

I agree that this is a good way forward to getting organized and ensuring that the important questions are answered before the process is tested. --Laser brain (talk) 03:54, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
What problem would this address? Where are the so-called experts who will work gratis going to come from? Tony (talk) 06:56, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
Without commenting on the merits/problems, you may wish to re-vitalise/re-model Wikipedia:Expert review rather than create another forum. DrKiernan (talk) 08:57, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
I don't understand the WikiProject aspect of it. How would there be a community? I'm still not seeing the case for liaising with experts before one actually has an article they need reviewing. What would the conversation be like: "Hi [world expert on the role of women in World War II], would you like to be an expert reviewer for Wikipedia?" -- "Yes, why not." -- "Ok, we'll add you to the list and let you know when your services will be required" -- months pass -- "Em, you don't know anything about hurricanes, do you?" I'd like to see more examples where this has worked well and where it hasn't worked so well. Then perhaps we can set up a guideline/essay page with advice for both the WP editors and the expert reviewers to help them with whatever problems seem common. The guideline's talk-page could serve as a discussion forum, without needing a full-blown WikiProject that has members and such. Colin°Talk 09:14, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
I think I'm with Colin on two points: First, I'm not sure a WikiProject is the way to go. WikiProjects involve gathering a relatively large number of editors together to concentrate their efforts on a single topic. This SME thing, on the other hand, seems to be a model in which one or a few editors reach out to a (hopefully) relatively large number of SMEs. Second, I wonder which approach is best: finding topics first then soliciting SMEs, or email bombing relatively large numbers of SMEs and hoping that the responses will naturally lead us to a topic. I lean toward the former approach, but could be persuaded to change my mind... I feel more strongly about the first point than the second, but not very strongly about either... but in any event, these questions need to be hashed out. – Ling.Nut3 (talk) 12:45, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
(1) No one is saying what the current problem is. (2) We have not a hope in hell of getting "experts" to review for no reward. (3) It's a big hassle. (4) It's sufficiently relevant only to highly technical topics.

I'd be identifying now the kinds of topics people think are likely to need expert review. Let's go to the list of FAs? Tony (talk) 14:12, 9 May 2012 (UTC)

The problem as expressed by Raul at the beginning of this thread is that "content issues (completeness and accuracy) ... tend to get overlooked." Whether that's actually true or not, I don't see anything wrong with establishing a WikiProject to develop a proof of concept. I also don't agree that WikiProjects have to be topical or of a broad audience—they are simply tools for organizing an effort toward some goal. There are WikiProjects on edit counters, disambiguation, etc. --Laser brain (talk) 15:21, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
Anyone got examples of these FAs in which completeness and accuracy are overlooked? Tony (talk) 15:23, 9 May 2012 (UTC)

Regarding Raul's suggestion to create a wikiproject: given the discussion so far, there are potential downsides to throwing academics and Wikipedians together, given how little each group knows about the other (on average). I support the idea of a wikiproject of some kind, eventually, but before I put any energy into that, I'm going to try to generate discussion and action at Milhist (specifically WT:MHC#Wikidemia). FWIW, I agree with the general sense of caution above ... most academics (in the broad sense, including academic wannabes) have values and goals that are sufficiently different from ours that collaboration is going to be a net negative for us, but "most" isn't "all", and I think we all have a general sense of what to watch out for. - Dank (push to talk) 15:42, 9 May 2012 (UTC)

Perhaps the first step is to take bona fide Wikipedians and organize them by area of expertise, such as Tony1 for musical instruments and me for audio engineering. If such a resource had been available to Laser brain then the musical instrument article would have been somewhat easier. Binksternet (talk) 16:05, 9 May 2012 (UTC)

I'd suggest that it would be best to trial this approach before adopting it and setting up all kinds of infrastructure. Why not pick a few FAs (or ask nominators to volunteer for this) and then see if we can attract some experts who provide useful feedback? If this works, then roll it out more generally. As Tony notes, experts who are willing to give up their time for this purpose may be thin on the ground. Nick-D (talk) 11:37, 11 May 2012 (UTC)

Practical suggestions. The idea of creating a list of Wikipedians (indeed, Wikimedians—why stop at native English-speakers?) who have expertise in specific areas could be of much wider benefit than just for attracting them to FAC when an article related to their field is nominated. A list could include non-Wikimedians who are willing to give it a go, but I suspect that would initially be a very small proportion of the total. A list could be a resource for gaining expert opinion for other featured content nominations such as lists and topics; good articles; and of course all other articles where local editors feel expert input is important to producing balanced, comprehensive, high quality coverage.

It won't work unless:

(a) the right editors feel a bit flattered at being asked to list themselves;

(b) the list is not seen as a first port of call for any article and thus overused, with some people listed growing tired of requests;

(c) it's constructed in an easy-to-find way (all of knowledge is a Dewey-decimal task, yikes), and

(d) appropriate caveats are addressed to both those "agreeing" (actually applying) to be listed, and those calling on the services of listed experts. If it did work, it could add an important dimension to our task of improving articles. May I toss around these suggestions for a trial, for other editors here to pick apart?

  1. Raul and the FAC delegates might appoint a list manager.
  2. Work out what qualifications and/or experience are necessary for listing. Work out how the list should be structured.
  3. Create the page and advertise widely for en.WP experts to apply for listing. Put about some individual invitations to targeted editors' talk pages too. Make it clear that being listed imposes no obligation to review a particular article. The list manager(s), in consultation with Raul and the delegates, should do the listing after reviewing the information provided by editors who are interested in being on the list. It's harder to take someone off the list once they're on it.
  4. Restrict requests for review to FAC nominations, to start with, and don't ask for copy-editing-type reviews. Rather, make it content-oriented: factual accuracy, balance, comprehensiveness given our summary style constraints. My way of doing it would be to emphasise highly technical topics first, but I sense others don't see it that way.

You might divide the list by large topic in exactly the same way that the list of FAs are structured, but require listees to be more specific in the information against their username. (How specific?) The following could be the benchmark for someone to be listed:

  • The ability to provide expert advice on balance, even where this might involve the addition of approaches and angles in the field with which they don't personally agree.
AND
  • At least en-2 ability.
AND EITHER
  • Peer-reviewed published contributions to the field in journals or conference proceedings; OR
  • A postgraduate degree in the field, with clear specialisation; OR
  • A strong record of authoring featured content in which a strong knowledge of the literature has been displayed; OR
  • An undergraduate degree in the field, with clear specialisation, and considerable and active working knowledge of the research literature or professional practice over a number of years since the award of the degree, with publications in at least professional newsletters.

I'm not sure. This would need to be worked through. The last one makes me a little nervous. Tony (talk) 08:08, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

  • List manager: If this is all a few months down the road, then please put my name in the hat. I know I'm multiply retired, I know I often promise to work on articles but then can't. But really. I hope.. August-ish, or so... to have genuine free time again. But if this happens sooner, then disregard as per usual. :-) – Ling.Nut3 (talk) 08:15, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
Looking at Tony's criteria, I foresee problems with "A strong record of authoring featured content in which a strong knowledge of the literature has been displayed". Who judges that? All the other qualifications require stating and (presumably) somehow verifying off-wiki academic credentials. Those are all potentially problematic, especially the last one. Lots of people have undergraduate degrees. The bit about 'clear specialisation' is not clear, and 'considerable and active working knowledge' is not easy to judge. As currently stated, I don't think those criteria are workable. It certainly seems to be drifting a long way from the SME topic where this started. My main question would be: if you get Wikipedians/wikimedians willing to do reviews through a list like this, why were they not be willing to do reviews before the idea of such a list came up? Ultimately, you want reviewers who are willing to stick around FAC and contribute reviews across a wide range of subjects, not just specialists. And if specialist editors were not willing to review at FAC before now, why would this proposal change their mind? Carcharoth (talk) 21:19, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
I'm very happy for nothing to happen; but people seem very keen to have a system. If anything, my proposal will focus us on the logistical challenges. Tony (talk) 08:34, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
A couple of comments. There is already a list of Wikipedians willing to review specific topics: Wikipedia:Peer review/volunteers. I'm sceptical that a new list would add much to that. In any case I think the problem is not that we're not attracting existing editors who are SMEs to the FAC process -- it's that we don't have enough SMEs already editing Wikipedia. I think the focus should be on outreach, not internal organization. I also agree with those who say that a Wikiproject might be overkill until we have examples of successful outreach; and as Dr. Kiernan says, why not try to revitalize WP:Expert review if that's the right approach? I think the reverse approach would be better: pick half a dozen recently nominated FACs, agree (here, on this page) on who might be good outside resources to review them, and ask them. I'd suggest trying different approaches -- for example, an email from someone at the WMF might seem more "official" to a professor who knows nothing about Wikipedia, and might be more likely to elicit a response. The responses we get to those attempts will give us more information about what might work in practice. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 11:06, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
That list of Wikipedians who have made themselves available for peer review is a resource we can expand by infill and organize more clearly in terms of level of expertise. By "infill" I mean that I think we already have SMEs we do not know about. Rather than outreach our first push should be "inreach" to find the SMEs and to establish a working SME system. Only when we have a good system should we open the door to outside SMEs. Binksternet (talk) 14:27, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
It's fine to recruit internal SMEs, but I don't think that's the problem that needs addressing. We're short of SMEs in certain areas and outside resources are needed. Another point: no reason to restrict this to FAC. If we get someone knowledgeable about an area with existing FAs, we should be asking them to review the FAs and let us know if they fall short in any way. I know that many FAs already have had the attention of knowledgeable experts, but more review would be helpful in many cases. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 09:28, 15 May 2012 (UTC)

Soliciting input for the Education Program Working Group

The members of the Education Program Working Group have been announced; the group will meet in Washington D.C after Wikimania, in mid-July. I'm going to be part of the group and would like to get input from regulars here at FAC. I don't want to recap every issue here, but here's a quick summary -- if you're interested I can answer questions about this.

The program can't be run just by the WMF, because it has a huge on-wiki component and it has an enormous and direct impact on the content of articles. The community has to be involved. Equally, the community doesn't have the resources to run it without the WMF: a good deal of work is done physically on campus at the participating universities, and there are outreach activities and off-wiki coordination that are too large scale for it to be reliably run entirely by volunteer labour. The pilot program, WP:PPI, was run primarily by the WMF, and that worked well; subsequent results have been variable, with a very bad outcome from the Indian Education Program, for example. There are a lot of questions about the program that have to be decided: how are classes recruited? How much outreach do we do? Is quality more important than quantity, and if so how do we manage that? How much support should classes get from the community? What do we expect from participating professors? How do we deal with classes that are causing damage to articles? How do we measure the success or failure of individual courses and of the program as a whole?

The goal of the working group is not to answer those questions -- they can only be answered in the usual way, by community consensus. The working group's job, instead, is to create a roadmap that will get us to an organizational structure which can answer those questions, via consensus; and which will help to manage and work with these classes in the future in a way that gives the maximum benefit to the encyclopedia.

The Education Program is bringing thousands of students to edit Wikipedia every semester; it's vital that we manage this process correctly. Please let me (and the other working group members) have any feedback on how you think it should be run. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 11:38, 18 May 2012 (UTC)

I'll be happy to help, Mike. Is there any page I should watchlist or email group I should join? - Dank (push to talk) 03:56, 19 May 2012 (UTC)
  • I can never make commitments for blocks of time. I can kinda hover around from time to time. If that is helpful, I will. – Ling.Nut3 (talk) 04:27, 19 May 2012 (UTC)
  • I note this really seems to cover only the US and Canada. The page Wikipedia:Education Working Group/Wikimedia Foundation Role is of general interest, and worth reading in the context of expert reviewers (above) etc'; it sets out specifically the sort of roles WMF will and won't be prepared to fill in the future. Johnbod (talk) 11:49, 19 May 2012 (UTC)
    Yes, that's a useful page to look at. @Dank: There's really not a specific page to watch, though you might like to look at User:Pine/drafts/ENWP Board of Education and its talk page for one suggested approach from a working group member. (I don't know yet if that approach will garner any support amongst the group.) One thing that I think would be very helpful would be to suggest answers to some specific questions. For example, Sandy has run into issues with students making poor quality edits to psychology articles, which she's had to subsequently spend a lot of time cleaning up. How do you think issues like that should be dealt with, and by whom? From a Wikipedia editor's point of view, if there were no coordinating body for the Education Program, we'd just try to contact the professor to tell him his students are causing trouble, and if that didn't work we'd consider blocks if the damage was bad enough. But there's going to be some form of coordinating group -- it might be a separate non-profit entity with an assocation with the WMF; it might be a committee of Wikipedians plus academics with no incorporated structure. Can such a group help to prevent or at least solve those problems? How? What kind of powers would or could it have? Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 10:16, 20 May 2012 (UTC)
So how do we protect the project—including FAC, GA, and DYK—from the flood of dodgy work that seems inevitable under the current model? I note Sandy's complaints concerning plagiarism, too. Why is the creation of stubs pushed to centre stage in common measurements of success? Tony (talk) 08:39, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
The creation of a large number of undeveloped stubs is not helpful. Maybe we should go the way of the Spanish wiki, where a minimum character length is set for stubs; the article creator is advised that the stub is not long enough and if the article isn't improved within a certain amount of time, it is deleted. Simon Burchell (talk) 10:43, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
Tony, I agree that DYK, FAC and GAN are not good targets for students unless the instructor is very experienced. One thing that I think the Education Program can do is set expectations with instructors for what they should and should not ask their students to do. Simon, I'm not sure what your point is -- are students creating a lot of stubs? That hasn't been my experience. I've been assessing student work at the EP article quality page, and here are two student-created articles I've looked at: Scheidler v. National Organization for Women (2003) and The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window. Neither article is perfect but they seem quite respectable starts to me. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 12:18, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
No, I'm not really suggesting that they are, just from comments above that it might be a problem - it's not something I look at particularly. It just occurred to me that my experiences on the Spanish wiki might be relevant if it were a problem. If it's not a problem, then it's not a problem... Simon Burchell (talk) 12:25, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
<hushed aside>Many tertiary-level instructors aren't too good at supervising their students' writing.</> Tony (talk) 12:29, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
One average student, one-on-one time, dealing with a typical composition/rhetoric skill: time to progress one level (or make meaningful progress) = 30 minutes. For a handful of students who find the subject challenging: an hour apiece [more than once per semester... i.e., whenever that student finds something challenging].. Number of students taught per semester: surely at least 80. It can be a handful. Now add in research for promotion, son or daughter at home with a fever, teaching/prepping for other classes, b.s. administrative work, etc etc etc. – Ling.Nut (talk) 00:17, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

User:Oakley77 nominations

Here's a problem at GAN that I suspect may be coming here soon: Wikipedia talk:Good article nominations#Speedy pass --Rschen7754 07:00, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

Tks, thought I recognised that name but didn't have time to investigate the nom last night -- since dealt with. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 07:20, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
FWIW, Oakley77 is barred from GA reviewing, and I have now proposed that he is barred from GA nominations. As FAC (unlike GAN) requires nominators who are not principal editors of the article to ask first, you have a filter mechanism in place that will limit any disruption here, but one of the delegates might want to have a quiet word (or not-so-quiet) about FAC. BencherliteTalk 07:28, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

JSTOR for Oxford alumni

One year free trial apparently. Pass it on. Johnbod (talk) 08:51, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

There's a full list of 34 "alumni-open" institutions here - I'd heard about Durham and a couple of the American ones, but hadn't realised it was so broad! Andrew Gray (talk) 09:42, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

Core contest discussion

Right, now to discuss how to proceed from here...figured some folks might wanna add a word or two. Casliber (talk · contribs) 10:21, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Featured article statistics

I just updated Wikipedia:Featured article statistics and would appreciate it if someone could check my numbers. I am pretty sure the "current number of FACs" is wrong, as it assumes no FACs were archived (i.e. not promoted) since June 1. Ruhrfisch ><>°° 16:52, 5 June 2012 (UTC)

Image query

  • Who is the image guru these days? Image query, see my contrib (immediately before posting this) at Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Chinese Indonesians/archive2. Tks. – Ling.Nut (talk) 14:46, 10 June 2012 (UTC)
    • They are an extinct species. If you will specify what your image query is, I'll try to help, but I don't have time to search the page. Brianboulton (talk) 18:18, 10 June 2012 (UTC)
      • To save time, I have emailed a screen capture of the image in question to you. For others, it's a bit of a pain: Go to this link on Google books, sort the results by page, click page 80, and scroll down to page 82. That is an original and presumably copyrighted image from "Indonesia's Population: Ethnicity and Religion in a Changing Political Landscape" Leo Suryadinata, Evi Nurvidya Arifin, Aris Ananta. Now look at File:Chinese Indonesian population pyramid 2000.png. I am wondering whether that image is in violation of Wikipedia's copyright policies. To me, it seems an almost-exact duplicate, with cosmetic changes. Tks for your time & trouble. – Ling.Nut (talk) 00:12, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
        • That looks OK to me. Speaking as a demographer-in-training, population pyramids are a frequently used way of presenting demographic data in scholarly works and the like, and they have a highly standadrised format. The only other alternative to presenting this data is to use a table, which would also - naturally enough - look a lot like the one in the book (which presumably is also very similar to the tables from the Census results). The population pyramid here obviously hasn't been copied and pasted from the book, and the fact that it has the same shape reflects the fact that it's illustrating the same data using this common method - there'd be something seriously wrong with it if it looked different! As such, there's no copyright issue: the image is original work, and there's no way that such basic graphs of publicly available census data could be applicable for copyright anyway. Nick-D (talk) 00:22, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
          • Follow-up: The Figure in the book, from which the wiki image was copied, is in fact a summary of a Table on or near the same page. That is, the book includes both the table and a summary Figure; we copied the Figure and cited the table... Query: Should Wikipedia's article list the TABLE as its source, or the FIGURE from which our image was copied? Thanks for your time & trouble. – Ling.Nut (talk) 03:12, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
            • The table as it's the source of the data used to generate the graph. Nick-D (talk) 03:31, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
              • Exactly. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 03:33, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
                • Demographer-in-training == student? If so, then as a homework assignment, ask your professor these questions.. both of them. :-) Cheers. – Ling.Nut (talk) 04:23, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
  • As a side note, the nomination could use a good image review (images were a main issue at the first nomination) — Crisco 1492 (talk) 09:43, 11 June 2012 (UTC)

such-as lists

Please forgive if I'm asking in the wrong place, and tell me where the right place would be. I copy edit a lot of articles that are hoping to get to FA or GA, and am sometimes unsure of what to do with things like these (which are made-up examples, not real ones):

  • Sports played in Much-Muttering-in-the-Marsh include tennis, darts, cricket, bowls and others.
  • London has many famous mueums, such as the Natural History Museum, the Museum of Childhood, and Joe Bloggs's matchbox collection.

Such lists are common in articles about countries and cities, particularly in sections on Sports, the Economy, Education (cue list of schools and universities), Tourism, ... There's almost always a feeling that the authors haven't got a story to tell but need a dumping ground for things that they feel deserve a mention. Well, at least the ones they have in mind at the moment, never mind what they've forgotten this Tuesday evening. You can never tell that the examples listed are more notable than the ones not listed. And these wretched lists are a great invitation to the COI editors who see an easy chance to slip in their clothes shop, golf course, ... you name it.

My question: what is the accepted wisdom about how to avoid this sydrome? What is the right way to write a Tourism section, or Sports, or whatnot? Thanks for any insights. --Stfg (talk) 12:27, 8 June 2012 (UTC)

I do not presume to know what the "accepted wisdom is" (no one has revealed it to me :-) But that kind of information is appropriate for WP articles. Personally, I find the "such as" wording too informal, so I avoid it and instead use phrasing like "Important museums in London include A, B, and C". Or "Muttering is home to professional sports teams A, B, and C." Or "Museums in London of interest to tourists include A, B, and C.[Cite a tourist guidebook]". Regarding how to prevent an editor from inserting an inappropriate entry into the list, I don't think there is a silver bullet there, beyond WP:Verifiability and consensus-building on the Talk page (e.g. only professional teams, but no amateur teams). Also, consider limiting the lists to those items named by certain top-quality overview/survey sources. --Noleander (talk) 15:30, 8 June 2012 (UTC)
I agree the sanction on "such as", and would add one more point: these example lists should be short (three or four items at most). Nothing is more yawn-boggling than "such as..." followed by a dozen items, or even more sometimes. Brianboulton (talk) 16:05, 8 June 2012 (UTC)
I think a good guide is if they are mentioned by someone other than themselves. So if a museum or sports team is covered in the local press, for example, than it should be OK. It probably needs a bit more than only being covered in its own newsletter. Simon Burchell (talk) 16:10, 8 June 2012 (UTC)

First of all, "include tennis, darts, cricket, bowls and others" would need trimming by two words, to avoid repetition.

One thing to beware is that some people commonly redirect articles on primary schools to the article about their locality. When doing so, they are generally advised to make sure that the article becoming the redirect target does actually mention the school, per WP:SURPRISE.

So it's presumably not unusual to find an article about a small to medium sized town mentioning, for example, only two of the town's dozen primary schools. However, at FA, I would say this is not an indication that such mention should be removed, but rather that the mention should be expanded in order to give properly comprehensive coverage of an important aspect of the topic.

Picking a sort-of random existing FA, Herne Bay, Kent#Education seems to manage that sort of level of detail without becoming simply an over-long comma-delineated list of school names.

A larger town might perhaps mention all the secondary schools but none of the primary schools, although that might then lead to puzzlement over what the redirects should point at, in some cases. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 21:11, 15 June 2012 (UTC)

FAC durations

Could Raul or a delegate clarify the current policy on the length of time a nomination can expect to remain as a FAC before it is archived or promoted? At present there are 12 noms over 5 weeks old, including one of 11+ weeks. These are somewhat longer periods than used to be the norm. Some of these elderly nominations have had little or no reviewer activity for weeks. Bearing in mind we have a one-nom-per-editor rule, and a 14-day embargo on any further nominations after an archive, there may be some frustrated would-be nominators lurking. Brianboulton (talk) 20:36, 19 June 2012 (UTC)

Brian, yes nominations are running longer these days and I think the need for spotchecks are one of the reasons. There isn't any policy – at least one that I am aware of – on the length of time we should let them run. I hate having to archive nominations because of the lack of reviews, but I think we may have to start being more ruthless. Personally (as I can't speak for the other delegates) I would like to have a maximum time that we let nominations run. I think a month would be long enough. Graham Colm (talk) 21:55, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
If that had been applied over the last 6 mths I think there would have been many fewer promotions! Some stats might be useful. Johnbod (talk) 22:08, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
There are some with 5, and one with 6 supports right now; all with no opposses. How does that affect promotions?PumpkinSky talk 22:06, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
If an article with strong support hasn't had an image check, or if it hasn't had a source spotcheck and it's deemed to need one (e.g. because it's from a first-time nominator, or someone who hasn't had a FAC spotcheck in say six months, or has multiple nominators/editors that include less experienced people) then it won't be promoted until those checks have completed. I share Graham's dislike for archiving noms because of lack of reviews, it's a bit of a balancing act sometimes. As to a set duration for reviews, I'm used to this as a MilHist coordinator, where our guideline is not to close an A-Class Review in less than 5 days or more than 28 days, but in practice that maximum time is often extended. Because of the requirement for spotchecking sources at FAC, I don't think 5 or 6 weeks would be unreasonable for such a limit but, as at MilHist, I doubt it'd end up being hard and fast. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 23:16, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
As a P.S. it's worth noting that against the FACs lasting more than 5 weeks, which Brian noted above, some in the past few months have been promoted in barely a week, and clearly unprepared ones have been archived in less time. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 01:33, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
  • This may be heretical of me, but maybe we should discuss allowing people two nominations at a time on a case by case basis? This could solve the problem Brian mentioned above about frustrated nominators waiting weeks for one to close before adding another. Mark Arsten (talk) 18:18, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
    • We already do allow that. Nominators can ask permission of a delegate to make a second nomination. Delegates can also waive the two-week waiting period for renominations. There is another exception: co-nominations. Last November I had two open nominations at once because another editor co-nominated the one article with me. In the past, delegates would grant permission to solo nominate a second article if the first was in good shape, especially if it was just waiting on an image review or source spotcheck for closure. Imzadi 1979  18:48, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
      • Interesting, I was aware of the co-nomination exception, but I hadn't seen the bit about asking for permission to do two. Mark Arsten (talk) 19:16, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
  • If source or image spotchecks are holding a few of these up I'd be happy to try taking a look at some; however I've only ever done so once before. Would someone with a better eye for these things have a look at the spotcheck I performed at Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Pride & Prejudice (2005 film)/archive1? If that seems to be satisfactory then I'll start working up from the bottom of the list to help get some of these cleared out. GRAPPLE X 20:40, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
  • I for one don't buy the claim that spotchecks are the primary reason for longer FACs. The reality is that the reviewer base everywhere is smaller than it was a few years ago, and it logically will take more time for articles to gain consensus in one direction or the other. As long as FAC isn't too clogged up, I have no issue with longer FACs. While on the topic of new standards, I happened to notice that this FAC was closed as a promotion with two supports. I've never seen an FAC be promoted with less than three supports before; was this because it was a long-running FAC and it needed to be cleared out, or was there another reason? Giants2008 (Talk) 21:47, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
If Tony1's comments were addressed to his satisfaction, perhaps he'd be willing to retroactively support. I'll be happy to look through the comments if it would help. - Dank (push to talk) 22:23, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
IT would also help if the delegates would post why something wasn't promoted once it got 3 or more supports. PumpkinSky talk 21:53, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
Because it depends on which delegate is taking a look at your FAC. You guys are attempting to find a rational explanation to something that is based on subjectivity: the mood and character of the delegate. I, for example, once had a FAC with eight supports that lingered for three months for no reason. The reason was simple: the delegate didn't like me, and since (s)he was a controversial figure, often into fights with other editors, things were even harder. --Lecen (talk) 22:03, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
There is no magic number of support !votes that will win promotion. If there were, we'd have out colleagues or friends !vote for our nominations and have them each promoted in a week. Instead, the delegates are usually looking to make sure that all of the various criteria are evaluated (prose, MOS, media and their licensing, sourcing, content, etc), and if one of those areas is not examined, they'll usually be hesitant to push the buttons to promote. Lecen's claims to the contrary (that's simply his take on the situation with the delegate), there is some rationality to the process. We could get 100 supports for an article, but if no one's looked to make sure we don't have a copyright violation in one of the images nor an issue with paraphrasing or plagiarism, that article should just not be promoted yet. Three supports isn't a magic number, not when some articles attract that many from wikiproject members in the opening day or two of the nomination before substantive prose or source reviews have been done. Imzadi 1979  22:18, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
Lecen has a big chip on his shoulder and has no perception of his limited comprehension of English. I've been blocked for far less than what Lecen has suggested about the honesty and integrity of the FAC delegates. How does that work? Malleus Fatuorum 23:04, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for being so polite ("Lecen has a big chip on his shoulder and has no perception of his limited comprehension of English"). I don't think that's the best way to start a chat, but who knows? Anyway, I believe you were blocked before not because of "far less" but because you insulted and humilliated a lot of people who done nothing to you while you were protected by one delegate who treated you as somekind of FAC super-reviewer who could do whatever you wanted regardless of any consequence. That's why you were blocked. And you know what? Since it's well know that you don't like me and I don't like you, why do you come here only to provoke me? Wouldn't be wiser to ignore me? Oh, my, why bother chatting with you in the first place? --Lecen (talk) 23:29, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
Let's try to keep this on topic if we can, discussions about civility etc. should probably take place elsewhere. Mark Arsten (talk) 00:37, 21 June 2012 (UTC)

Striking comments, !voting

Since: "actionable objections have not been resolved" and "consensus for promotion has not been reached" are given as the first and second reasons why "a nomination will be removed from the list and archived", shouldn't there then be an expectation/encouragement by delegates of reviewers, to either !vote or strike comments they deem resolved?

To be specific, at this FAC, nearly a month in duration, I have received over 70 distinct "actionable objections" but not once was any of these comments stricken after they were resolved. Any thoughts, suggestions? ~ GabeMc (talk) 03:18, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

Have you tried pinging the reviewers' talk pages to politely ask them to revisit the review? We can't assume that every reviewer has each nomination page watchlisted, nor that they have seen when comments are made there. The best advice I saw in the past was to politely ask reviewers to revisit, and make a note of that request (with a diff) in the FAC page under their review comments. Then if a reasonable time period has passed, especially if that person has edited in the interim, make a second polite note so that the delegates know you tried to get the reviewer to re-engage. Imzadi 1979  04:42, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
I appreciate your comments Imzadi and yes, I have tried that in the past and to little effect; editors will or won't !vote regardless of your pings, IME and in general at least. More recently I've been informed by several wikipedians that canvassing of any kind, even completely neutral is frowned upon, and will ultimately count against your standing in the community. I realise it's difficult to get dedicated reviewers, but if they aren't even watching the FAC they have commented on (and by commented on I mean more than a few, as in several hours of suggested work) should their input have any weight at all when it comes to the FAC being closed? E.g. User:Mr.Helpful says, I think the article needs an entire section devoted to the subject's glassblowing hobby. The nominator complies of course, hoping and willing to do almost anything for that support. Then they spend several hours researching, writing and editing the section whose inclusion exists at the whim of a commentor who is never expected to strike the "objectionable" comment or !vote. Is it really too much to ask that comments be stricken, or that commentors who do not wish to strike their comments at least be expected to !vote, neutral, oppose, support or whatever? ~ GabeMc (talk) 08:35, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
I sympathize as I have been in that situation. The best that you can do is place a note in the review page that you have attempted to address the concerns, queried the reviewer for feedback and move forward. The delegates by and large actually read the articles and the review comments, and if they see that you've addressed the concerns, they will take that into account in deciding what to do, regardless if your reviewer formally struck the comments or not. My first FA passed with a "strong oppose" on prose that was never struck, even though we had a copy editor come in and additional subsequent reviewers support. Imzadi 1979  08:48, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
(edit conflict) It's pretty common for reviewers - and especially those who provide lots of comments - to not strike addressed comments as this is fiddly to do and a waste of time when the nominator has posted that the comment has been addressed. I almost never strike the comments I leave for this reason. From looking at the nomination, it appears that you're actually talking about two or three reviewers. There's nothing stopping you from pinging them again, and posting that you've done so as part of the review: I imagine that the FAC delegates will take this into account. Nick-D (talk) 08:56, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
I already pinged the commenters to no avail. ~ GabeMc (talk) 09:08, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
I'd say that if you've politely asked for them to return to the review twice, just post diffs of the requests below their comments in the FAC page. Phrase it as a polite note something like: "Note to the delegates: I've asked So-an-so to reply twice [here] and [here] without reply. Thanks, ~~~~" and call it a day. Three unanswered pings would come across as borderline harassment to me, and if the interval between the two was too close, you'd come off as impatient. (Some people only edit on weekends, for instance.) Imzadi 1979  12:15, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

Numerical order

hello,

I often see the statement that references should be in numerical order. Now can someone explain what is the point for this? Regards.--GoPTCN 11:08, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

It looks tidier :) I don't place any emphasis on it myself when reviewing articles. Nick-D (talk) 11:30, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
I don't know if there isn an explicit mandate to do so, but it does look more professional. I don't make a big deal out of it either, but it's the attention to details that is a part of FAs. Imzadi 1979  12:10, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

Core Contest

Earth layers model.png 2012 Core Contest
Let it be known that the third incarnation of the Wikipedia Core Contest will take place from August 1 to 31 2012 CE/AD.....Casliber (talk · contribs) 03:30, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

views on boxes in "See also" that link to navboxes?

{{navbox link}} Anyone like this new idea to put a clunky box in "See also" sections that links to the Navboxes? Looks like → and also requires an {{anchor}} at the bottom. This usually also entails wrapping the navboxes in a {{navboxes}} collapse-me box. There are several mentions of FA's views in the discussion. This has been done to 114 articles (these).

See also

It's all per an {{essay}}:

Br'er Rabbit (talk) 21:21, 1 July 2012 (UTC)

First thought that comes to my mind is "pointless". Putting a link at the end of an article directing the reader to... the end of the article seems to be of little to no value. It would be like putting a link that sends you back to the top of the page right at the end of the lead. Resolute 21:30, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
Indeed. The one at Aruba moves me an inch or so down the screen. Is that what we're talking about? It doesn't even open the boxes, which might have some point. Johnbod (talk) 21:33, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
The one at Aruba is peculiarly useless, but they are all a Bad Idea. Please consider removing some, and give me half a nod and I'll TFD the thing. Br'er Rabbit (talk) 21:39, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
I have to agree with Br'er here. PumpkinSky talk 21:43, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
Agree as well. It is indeed clunky and seems completely redundant. Kafka Liz (talk) 22:00, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
  • fyi, removal isn't just cutting the box, the anchor and silly image should be cut, too. What a mess. Br'er Rabbit (talk) 21:49, 1 July 2012 (UTC)

Br'er Rabbit has now raised his concerns about this template on at least four different pages (maybe more, he doesn't extend me the courtesy of letting me know what he is up to). Meanwhile, instead of maintaining the status quo pending a resolution of those concerns, he has taken it upon himself to revert the template in various articles. I would love to have a substantive, good faith discussion with him (and others who have concerns). But how does one do that when the other editor is on the war path? Butwhatdoiknow (talk) 22:09, 1 July 2012 (UTC)

You already have a thread going with me on my talk. The status quo is this not being in articles at all. You've written your own essay to support this and have run amok with it. This page seem to have the most traction; talk away. Br'er Rabbit (talk) 22:15, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
If here is where the conversation is attracting the most participation, then I'd say we ought to centralise discussion here. That said, I don't think the issue pertains only to featured content. Kafka Liz (talk) 22:21, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
The other threads got little attention; I thought the issue needed more eyes, and FA was mentioned several times in the above links. These are tainting all article, not just FAs. Butwhatdoiknow has been quietly dropping these into articles for several months. I noticed one of them. Br'er Rabbit (talk) 22:34, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
I confess I don't watch much template talk, and this seems a good way to catch more eyes. I just don't want this topic - which I agree affects all articles - to be tarred as some niggling complaint of the so-called "FA crowd". Kafka Liz (talk) 22:50, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
See comments by Dolfrog and Moxy at: Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Layout#Proposal for navbox link in See also section re FA. I'm seeing this as all unwarranted, clunky boxes messing up the See also sections (I see things like portal boxes doing this, too). And the anchor code and image in the {navboxes} is messy, too (throws the centring off). Bad business that's needful of eyes. Br'er Rabbit (talk) 22:58, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
  • I'm seeing no support for this non-problem. I suggest pruning and a TfD. Br'er Rabbit (talk) 22:30, 2 July 2012 (UTC)

Whether there is a problem

We can talk later about the wisdom of {{navbox link}} as a solution, but the first question is whether there is a problem. I suggest there is: If you are reading this now then you are an experienced editor who knows you can find helpful naxboxes at the end of articles. However, casual readers do not share your level of expertise and may never even think to check the end of an article for Easter eggs. The recent trends toward putting multiple navboxes within a shell (see Andrew Luck#External links for an example) and of adding surveys after navboxes makes it even more likely that an unsophisticated reader will miss navbox information altogether. So, is that a problem that needs solving or not? Butwhatdoiknow (talk) 22:43, 1 July 2012 (UTC)

As I said on my talk, your argument about "surveys" is simply incorrect; the article feedback toy goes under navboxes. Br'er Rabbit (talk) 23:10, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
Exactly! Now, the reader who clicks on "End" won't necessarily find the navboxes. And the more junk that is added after the navboxes (and you know that will happen) the more likely the navboxes are to be lost in the clutter. Butwhatdoiknow (talk) 23:15, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
I don't think it is, to be honest. I remember being a new user myself, and I never found navboxes to be terribly complex or puzzling, even with shells. It seems like an insult to new users' intelligence to suggest otherwise. Kafka Liz (talk) 22:56, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
I don't think we had navboxes when I was a new user ;) Br'er Rabbit (talk) 23:08, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
I'm guessing you may have been here longer than I. ;) I know they were less common when I was new, that's for sure. Anyway, still reading on the link you provided above. Kafka Liz (talk) 23:10, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
Years longer ;) {{navbox}} was a redirect, then, to {{succession}}, which looked like this. look inside ;). Br'er Rabbit (talk) 23:21, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
I certainly agree that, once a reader knows about navboxes, there is nothing particularly difficult about using them. My concern is with the casual reader who does not know that there are such things as footer navboxes (or, perhaps, found one once but doesn't use Wikipedia regularly enough to think to check for them thereafter). Does that perspective change your mind at all? Butwhatdoiknow (talk) 23:12, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
navboxes have years of thought into them, by a lot of serious people. Don't underestimate that. Br'er Rabbit (talk) 23:21, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
Again we agree. Navboxes are very valuable resources and my goal is to bring them to the attention of as many readers as possible. Butwhatdoiknow (talk) 23:25, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
That's a poor discussion tactic. You saying we agree does not mean that I agree with you. Kindly stop saying that, as I'm not finding much of what you're saying agreeable. The goal of bringing navboxes to the attention of as many people as possible is a poor one; they are merely navigation. Br'er Rabbit (talk) 23:33, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Well, I think anyone who reads the article through to the end will see the navboxes, generally. As will anyone who checks citations at all, as I believe many (though admittedly not all) readers do. There is also the fact that often many of the topics contained in the navbox are linked elsewhere in the article body, and the curious reader, casual or otherwise, can clink on these links at will. My perception is that this particular template is redundant and does nothing that any ordinarily observant reader might not discover on his or her own. Kafka Liz (talk) 23:35, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
Thank you for giving it a second thought. Butwhatdoiknow (talk) 23:40, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
The trend has been against adding a See also section since most of the links in such a section would normally be used in the article already. As a counterpoint to that trend, I've been adding the section with {{portal-inline}} to contain portal links. Portals aren't as visible as they can/should be, and just adding the link to Portal:Michigan Highways on all of the Michigan highway articles has increased its page views by an order of magnitude, jumping it into the top ten most viewed pages for the task force.
Personally, I don't like this proposed template, and I don't think we should be using it. See also is for links to other pages, not to another section of the same page. Navboxes are visible enough as is. Imzadi 1979  02:06, 2 July 2012 (UTC)
While I disagree with your conclusion (my thought: navboxes are visible only to those who know to look for them), I certainly appreciate the civility with which you present your reasoning. Butwhatdoiknow (talk) 02:28, 2 July 2012 (UTC)
we should send this {{navbox link}} template to TfD, there does not appear to be broad support for it. and, the "related information" section is just adding to ToC clutter. Frietjes (talk) 19:48, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
For the record, {{navbox link}} is an alternative to a "Related information" heading. So it does not involve the ToC in any way. Butwhatdoiknow (talk) 21:19, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
Agreed. I disagree with this notion that navboxes aren't visible... granted there's a notion to minimize their size on articles, but that's related to general clutter and appearance. This template is a solution in search of a problem, IMHO. TfD it should be. Imzadi 1979  21:04, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
change of venue
Wikipedia:Templates for discussion/Log/2012 July 3#Template:Navbox link

Br'er Rabbit (talk) 23:00, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

Credo Reference Survey (your opinion requested)

Credo Reference, who generously donated 400 free Credo 250 research accounts to Wikipedia editors over the past two years, has offered to expand the program to include 100 additional reference resources. Credo wants Wikipedia editors to select which resources they want most. So, we put together a quick survey to do that:

At this time only the initial 400 editors have accounts, but even if you do not have an account, you still might want to weigh in on which resources would be most valuable for the community (for example, through WikiProject Resource Exchange). If you have any questions, you can leave me a note on my talk page or email me at wikiocaasi@yahoo.com. Cheers! Ocaasi t | c 20:33, 10 July 2012 (UTC)

Shortest FACs

I have seen a link for FACs by length somewhere. I need to get a feel for things. I am considering the prospects for some of my Roy Lichtenstein works (11 of which passed at GA today). Look Mickey, Drowning Girl, Brushstrokes series and possibly both Whaam! and Girl with Ball are all sort of under consideration if length is not an issue.--TonyTheTiger (T/C/BIO/WP:CHICAGO/WP:FOUR) 18:44, 21 June 2012 (UTC)

A very quick search using the archive box above (which is what it is there for, after all) led me to Wikipedia:Featured articles/By length. If you do the same, you will found that the last discussion was in May 2012 at Wikipedia talk:Featured article candidates/archive56#Small articles. Hope that this helps. BencherliteTalk 18:52, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
User:Dr pda/Featured article statistics may be what you're looking for. Dana boomer (talk) 18:52, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
Yes I was looking for the latter in readable prose format. Thanks.--TonyTheTiger (T/C/BIO/WP:CHICAGO/WP:FOUR) 20:20, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
Should I read anything into the fact that none of the bottom 10 has been promoted since August 7, 2010. How could I find a list of the shortest promoted since January 1, 2011?--TonyTheTiger (T/C/BIO/WP:CHICAGO/WP:FOUR) 20:24, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
I'd think you could probably get a pretty good idea by looking at the history of that page... For instance, this diff shows the changes between late Dec 2010 and June 2012. Dana boomer (talk) 21:28, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
I did not see the entire list. I just saw the list of 10 shortest at first. The 11th, 16th and 18th shortest are all in the last year. It seems like 6KB is around the minimum now.--TonyTheTiger (T/C/BIO/WP:CHICAGO/WP:FOUR) 14:04, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────For your interest - articles promoted since January 1, 2011, sorted by size - apologies if this is to late, only just noticed the request. Fayedizard (talk) 22:15, 21 July 2012 (UTC)

Request for delegates

Please see User_talk:Raul654#Renomination_request. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 13:50, 16 July 2012 (UTC)

I'd like to see all the review processes, including FAC, find a better way of dealing with what I see as the problem here ... a solid, good-faith nominator who clearly won't be able to solve all the problems by himself. Piotr, FWIW, what happened here is, in a sense, the way FAC is supposed to work (although I admit it's unpleasant) ... not enough people felt comfortable with something (the amount of work still to be done, the Polish sources, whatever) to review your article. The way most of us have tended to deal when someone complains in the past is to say, basically, that there's nothing we can do. But there actually is something we can do; we can identify the likely problems (prose, and the need for reviewers who have the sources and can read Polish), and we can see if there's a wikiproject likely to be able to help in these areas (WP:POLAND comes to mind), and we can offer at least a little assistance to the wikiproject in the hope that that makes a difference. Wikimania reminded me that so many Wikipedians are so insular ... reaching out and helping just a little bit often makes the difference between losing and keeping valuable members of the community. - Dank (push to talk) 15:02, 16 July 2012 (UTC)
The appeal of a subject is a factor, and I have been long aware that Central/Eastern European history does not garner much attention. I love supporting WikiProjects, but as the unofficial coordinator of WP:POLAND, which is one of the most active projects, I am afraid this won't do much. We have two editors who can do copy editing, one of whom already had a pass at this article (as did another member of the project, which was a nice surprise); worse, we only have one editor who consistently does reviews, which is me. We don't even have enough manpower to do B-class ones (I have to twist people's arms to review them), and A-class is just a dream I have :) The 3MC has been listed as in the Featured Reviews for a months on our Article Alerts, and much good did that do (I wonder if anybody but me reads them). Sigh. When it is renominated, I'll advertise it at the project's talk page, but as much as I appreciate the project members, I wouldn't hold much breath; and to be frank, the reason I am hesitant about this is that some people may come and vote support because of me/the article's content, without knowing much about the FAC criteria. If there are not enough reviewers at FAC able to deal with non-English European history, than it seems FACs have developed a major problem since the last time I was active here (4 or so years ago...). --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 15:23, 16 July 2012 (UTC)
This might (or might not) be a conversation for a different page, but tell me about your A-class dreams. Would that function more or less like Milhist's A-class? - Dank (push to talk) 20:09, 16 July 2012 (UTC)
Quite like it; ideally of course without any articles failing due to insufficient reviews. Dreaming even bigger, each article would fall under at least one active WikiProject running A-class reviews. But as things stand now, WikiProjects active enough to do reviews are an exception to the rule. I am in the process of B-class reviewing all Poland-related (C+) articles, myself, which means doing few hundred reviews. So many things to do, so little time... and so few active editors :( --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 21:15, 16 July 2012 (UTC)

(od) Responded to original request here. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 02:44, 17 July 2012 (UTC)

Thanks. What should I do if the previous nom exists? Move it to "archive2"? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 10:17, 17 July 2012 (UTC)
The delegates prefer to make the calls on what goes where. - Dank (push to talk) 10:31, 17 July 2012 (UTC)
Ummm, so is the delegate going to renominate it? If nothing happens within a day, I'll be bold and do the move myself... --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 11:55, 18 July 2012 (UTC)
I hadn't been seen the last couple of comments above until now. No, don't do any moving; it's not like MilHist ACR. Just nominate it for FAC yourself in the usual manner; the process automatically creates it as archive2 to differentiate from the previous nom. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 12:13, 18 July 2012 (UTC)

Scotts stamp catalog as a ref

RE: User_talk:Gwillhickers#Truman_on_stamps We're talking about how to best reference US President Harry Truman being depicted on 5 US stamps. Scotts stamp catalog is the "bible" of US stamps. It is an index. Is this ok to use for a ref for all 5 stamps without listing page numbers? the info is:

  • Kloetzel, James E., ed. (2010).
    Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers
    .
    Scott Publishing Company. ISBN 978-0-89487-446-8.
      |coauthors= requires |author= (help)

The other option, with the article currently uses, is the 5 URLs = 5 separate refs from the Smithsonian Institution.

thank you. PumpkinSky talk 22:30, 24 July 2012 (UTC)
How is the index organized? Would it be relatively straightforward to verify even without page numbers, or would you need to know details about the stamps (like date or stamp name)? Nikkimaria (talk) 22:34, 24 July 2012 (UTC)
Moot point. The library has a copy and I checked it out. Just so we know, the index had Truman listed by his last name. Would that be ok if we couldn't find a copy of the book? PumpkinSky talk 18:04, 28 July 2012 (UTC)
I would say yes, as it would be relatively trivial to verify given the source. Nikkimaria (talk) 02:07, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
Thanks Nikki. Good to know.PumpkinSky talk 02:44, 29 July 2012 (UTC)

Get out yer library books...Wikipedia:The Core Contest is a-coming

With 250 quid (my damn Aussie keyboard lacks a "pound"symbol...) in amazon vouchers for prizes, get out yer library books...Wikipedia:The Core Contest is a-coming, and have a very literal, verbose, syntactic and referential August, starting on the Horses' Birthday....cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 14:12, 27 July 2012 (UTC)

Curious

So I have a curiosity I'd be interested to know more about. I just had a wander though Wikipedia:Featured_article_candidates/Featured_log/June_2012 and, having had a bit of a look, noted that of the 26 articles promoted to featured status in June, 24 were nominated by editors who had previously had successfully FACs on other articles (Congratulations, of course to User:KJP1 and User:MathewTownsend for their achievement). Can we talk a little about what causes this? Of the top of my head it could be that lots of editors are 'FA machines' producing lots and lots of articles - or simply that once you've been through the process a couple of times you are much better able to review other articles (and thus more likely to have your proposal reviewed.

I'm also interested to know if people think two editors getting their first FA a month is a typical number? If June was standard, then we would expect 12-14 so far this year, which puts it in the same ballpark as the 12 successful requests for adminship this year. So - do we think this is a fairly normal slice of the data? Fayedizard (talk) 17:29, 21 July 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for the data, that's helpful. I have been talking with some folks since Wikimania about the disconnect here. FAC reviewers are among the kindest, most generous, and most competent Wikipedians, and yet, with all this kindness, generosity and competence, it still seems to be difficult for people to get articles through FAC, without a lot of experience or a lot of help or both. Now ... I think FAC's semi-insularity for the first few years of its existence was a brilliant strategy, because we were constantly dealing with really difficult issues, and sometimes with difficult people, and a huge process like this is never going to be as sturdy as wikiprojects full of like-minded editors. We had to be careful not to exhaust our resources ... and we succeeded, and learned an enormous amount and developed a solid community in the process. But personally, I would love to see people putting a little more energy into getting new people here and getting them through the process. I'm about to make a proposal over at Milhist, one of the more successful wikiprojects at FAC, that we offer "internship" positions at our A-class process, to teach and learn from people who don't see themselves at Milhisters, but who have articles they could work on that are relevant to Milhist, and who would like some help for a few months pushing these articles through A-class and FAC. I think it's time to share the wealth, and learn new things from new people in the process. - Dank (push to talk) 17:55, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
My honest opinion is that this is a product of the fact that no-one actually writes an FA (not that I've seen, anyway). Most experienced contributors write about GA level; maybe a little above if they're prose minded. Turning a GA into an FA is therefore always a decision, not something that just happens. It took a lot of work (and a half-dozen failed FACs) for my only FA, and I'm not minded to do it again any time soon. With all the good will in the world, it was still among the most stressful things I've done in my entire life. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 18:39, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
I hate to hear people say it was this stressful, sorry I didn't do more to help. - Dank (push to talk) 19:08, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
I appreciate your concern Dan, but it really wasn't the product of any of the reviewers. Essentially you're having your work unpicked (or at least picked over) word by word, of a chink in your armour (it feels like); it rather comes with the territory that this is stressful – you want it to pass, obviously, but I was also always hoping (and this probably go for others, but I shan't speak for them) that I wouldn't have to go to another review because that would undoubtedly mean going over everything again even if the previous review felt very close to passing. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 19:22, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
Actually, I do write articles specifically as FAs from the ground up. This is much easier than writing a GA quality article and attempting to upgrade it. I never write an article as a GA unless I don't think it will ever make it to FA. Hawkeye7 (talk) 22:44, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
Ditto - Air raids on Japan was under gestation in my userspace for almost a year (with regular invites for other editors to contribute, I'd note) as I always intended that it would be a FA, and the easiest way to develop FAs is from the ground up. That said, I've also retro-fitted articles to FA level, which actually tends to be harder (Battle of Arawe was a pain in the neck to redevelop - though the original version was largely my own dodgy work!). Nick-D (talk) 00:53, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
On a different note, is there any viable way we could go out looking for potential FAC candidates? I don't think so, because most GAs would be potential FAs. I reckon if A class reviews were more broadly of a high standard (as they are with some WikiProjects) this would help draw more people in. It would be far easier to go to someone with a GA and say, look, "see this A class process, you could do that" than FA, because anyone who's done FA knows there's often a lot of work in it. Probably more considering that the general editor is unlikely in the niche of articles (battleships, and insects, for example) where clear comparisons exist. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 18:42, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
It is difficult to get articles through FAC even with a lot of experience. I think it's a pity more people don't do collaborations, which makes it all somewhat more easy and fun, & is an excellent way of learning the ropes. But yes, FAC writers are in danger of turning into a closed order. Most first-time FAC candidates have I think the sense to do some reviewing first, and we know how the pool of reviewers is drying up. Johnbod (talk) 19:02, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
It's hard work, but I wouldn't say that it's difficult. I've worked on several FAs pretty much on my own, and in some ways that's perhaps easier than working in collaboration, so long as you've got a clear vision for the article and access to all the relevant sources. But as you say Johnbod, collaborations are usually more fun; I remember two I worked on with particular affection: Donner Party and Peterloo Massacre. Malleus Fatuorum 20:09, 21 July 2012 (UTC)

dotdotdot

So I went and got some more data... and the results aren't as bad as June, but they are interesting... one might think... here is a list of the users that got their first FA in a particular month - There are 106 such users since October 2010 - compared to 76 new sysops in the same time period. (I could do with someone checking my working, there may be some issues with the data - details at User:Fayedizard/successfulFACAuthorsByMonthWithoutRepeats. But I think the numbers are comparable - do we think it's reasonable that roughly the same amount of editors manage the standard at FAC as manage the standard at RfA? Fayedizard (talk) 20:28, 21 July 2012 (UTC)

I think it's irrelevant. Malleus Fatuorum 20:31, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
I like the trend your data is showing here ... 6.5 new successful nominators per month in the first half of this year. - Dank (push to talk) 20:57, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
I find this very encouraging, & thanks for the effort, but no doubt because of the co-nom issue User:Elonka was not a new FA writer in this period - her Knights Templar goes back to 2007, & she claims 3 FAs in all. User:Dweller must surely not be new either, and I'm sure there are others. Johnbod (talk) 22:39, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
Good eye... It's not actually just non-com - it's also that it's only scanning nominations from Jan 2009 - anyone who got an FA before that isn't being counted by this as having a previous FA - there are probably a bunch of other issues as well (it's very hacked together) but the numbers are *relatively* accurate - I'm attempting to be quite careful not to read too much into the numbers... If people are particularly interested I can go back over the data and be a little more accurace, but I don't think it will buy all that much more accuracy...Fayedizard (talk) 22:49, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
This is a really good topic to discuss. I remember feeling a bit intimidated when I started my first FAC, and I still get a bit stressed when I start a new nomination (despite 18 successful nominations/co-nominations). However, I think that it's fair to say that FAC is a much friendlier place than it used to be - the period a few years ago when reviews were heavily (almost obsessively) focused on MOS compliance was pretty counter-productive. I guess the best option would be for experienced FA nominators/reviewers to keep an eye out for editors who are developing articles to FA standard (or near this standard) but not nominating them for this - I can think of a few myself. Nick-D (talk) 00:53, 22 July 2012 (UTC)

I just want to note that my FAC was a dual nomination. I had a co-nominator for it, who doesn't appear to be listed beside me for May 2012 in your list. SilverserenC 21:50, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

  • It's up to nominators to list any co-nominators on the FAC nom page. Where it says "Nominator(s)", just put a comma or "and" plus the co-nom between your name and the date. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 23:22, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
  • They were already added to the Nominator section. SilverserenC 23:42, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

Glossary entry for "Actionable"

Hi all. I've noticed that many new FAC participants are unfamiliar with the term "actionable", so I thought I'd create an entry at Wikipedia:Glossary#Actionable. I invite you to review the new entry for accuracy and completeness. Thanks! szyslak (t) 03:46, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

Is FA system even working?

Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Constitution of May 3, 1791/archive2 - 9 days and not a single comment. Should I even bother with FA of Polish history in the future, or has the system broken down to a point that featuring non-English history articles is no longer viable? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 16:50, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

I've noticed fewer reviewers, lately, Piotr, it's not just your article. I'll be over to have a look at yours soon. - Dank (push to talk) 17:31, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
How many FACs have you commented on in the last nine days Piotr? Malleus Fatuorum 17:37, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
LOL. Or nine months come to that? Johnbod (talk) 17:42, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
He does do a lot of B-class reviewing ... but if you don't review at FAC, and do most of your work in a smaller wikiproject, FAC reviewers won't know. Piotr, there are a few toward the end of the FAC list with 2 supports and no opposes that could die for lack of a 3rd support. - Dank (push to talk) 18:12, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
Is the urgency related to the WikiCup? I thought, on Wikipedia, there was no deadline but competitions like the WikiCup seem to go directly against that. The Rambling Man (talk) 18:20, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
Something I've found very helpful in getting FAC reviews for an article is to notify the editors who have performed GA or Peer reviews of the article in the past. Mark Arsten (talk) 18:56, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

Is it acceptable to make reviews and request reviews in exchange, or is that canvassing? Cambalachero (talk) 20:03, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

I believe it is ok, as long as you perform a reasonable review and your request is neutrally worded. Mark Arsten (talk) 20:29, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
Your question misses the point Cambalachero; what's not OK is to demand that others do something you won't do yourself. Malleus Fatuorum 00:03, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
I used to do a lot of reviewing, but it's a thankless task, so now I pretty much only review one when I nominate one. Malleus Fatuorum 01:01, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
I try to review three + when I've got one up (quid pro quoish)......Casliber (talk · contribs) 04:27, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
Yep, given the number of reviews and level of support generally needed for a FAC to be promoted, I always used to try and do a minimum of three reviews for each of my noms, though since I started delegate work the ratio's probably down to one or two reviews per nom. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 05:33, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Yeah, I've been doing the same thing. Doesn't seem to work though. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 06:30, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
So, to give the perspective of a new person on this - If one brings an article to FAC/GA/ect for the first time, it's a really quite intimating to make a pass/fail call on other articles, when you haven't really confirmed that you understand the process properly. To give a personal example, I've been involved in three nominations FA (AAC, Hawking1, and Hawking2) - the first two failed and the third is ongoing - and on that evidence I really don't feel confortable doing reviews. So far I've done one prose review - for Santa_Maria_de_Ovila but really wasn't confortable with in. Similarly, with GA reviews I did no reviews until I got my first GA article, and then I started reviewing others, bringing others to GA and taking part (with a token effort) in backlog drives and the like) largely because the process of getting a GA makes one much more confortable reviewing one. Now this might just be me - have other people followed this line of thought? Or have misunderstood the culture here in some way? Fayedizard (talk) 08:28, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
  • I've found looking over other people's articles actually helps show pitfalls to avoid, especially if we read others' comments. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 10:50, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
  • IMO, the answer to your question is yes, you've misunderstood; it's not necessary to tackle the hardest jobs first. Most people start off either giving an opinion on articles where they know something about or are interested in the subject matter, or with jobs that don't require knowledge of the subject, such as MOS, image, source and spot-checks. Many current FACs need spot-checks, which are relatively easy to do, for online sources at least: just check to make sure that the source supports what the article text is saying, without close paraphrasing. - Dank (push to talk) 12:21, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
I'm willing to accept that - I'll start putting together some spot-checks over the next few days - if any experienced FA-ers want to look over my shoulder while I'm doing that - that would be lovely :) Fayedizard (talk) 12:59, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
I wouldn't worry too much - in the days when we had loads of reviewers there was often a very wide range of experience and clue in comments, as well as sometimes pile-on supports from wiki-projects, and the delegates weighted their final assessments allowing for this. Now the reviewing is mostly by a relatively small and experienced bunch we've created the perception to newcomers that all reviews are supposed to be in-depth and knowing the ropes, which puts people off. In other words, at this point clearly incompetent reviews have a certain utility to the page, though I'm sure yours won't be like that(maybe we should fake some up, though - hmmm). Johnbod (talk) 13:13, 8 August 2012 (UTC)

To bounce off the above, even inexperienced reviewers can help make a candidate article better--especially in regards to reviewing articles outside of one's "comfort zone". Reviewing the same types of articles can ingrain jargon and impenetrable prose in any topic, from history to video games to science.

The "3 for 1" metric is one I've personally tried to use as a minimum, and I'm glad to hear other nominators also use that metric. It might be good to drop an encouraging word into the FAC guidelines welcoming new reviewers and suggesting karmic returns :) Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 15:22, 8 August 2012 (UTC)

Personally, I'm perfectly happy if people do their reviewing on articles at peer review or any A-class review, if there's some sense that the article is headed for FAC some day; those forums are, and are intended to be, kinder and gentler. GAN can also be good prep, for articles and reviewers, but it's not as helpful for reviewers learning the ropes because you don't have FAC reviewers looking over your shoulder. - Dank (push to talk) 16:05, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
That's a pretty good idea. Since I put my nomination up, I've commented on a couple of others on subjects I enjoy and am knowledgeable about, but I have noticed the benefit of non-experts making comments, since the point of FAs is that anyone should be able to understand the content. That also happened in a recent GA in which the person knew nothing about the topic and helped me realize I was taking a lot of information for granted. The 3 for 1 idea is good too. —Torchiest talkedits 16:27, 8 August 2012 (UTC)

Timing of renominations...

So the Hawking nomination was archived today - I trying to work out when it can be renominated - the guidelines say

" If a nomination is archived, the nominator(s) should take adequate time to work on resolving issues before re-nominating. None of the nominators may nominate or co-nominate any article for two 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."

My understanding is that there was no feedback left to respond to (there were no opposes but indopug left a query about length 15 minutes before close and I'll open that conversation with indopug shortly) - so what is the length of time/actions before renominating? Is it simply to wait two weeks? How does one apply for an exemption (on the grounds that there is minimal remaining' feedback)? Fayedizard (talk) 10:59, 10 August 2012 (UTC)

I don't think an exemption is appropriate in this case - the nomination gained useful feedback - so the two weeks rule applies. Graham Colm (talk) 11:07, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for your reply - out of general interest - is this the right place to ask for an exemption or is there a particular place? Fayedizard (talk) 11:10, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
A delegate's Talk Page is the usual venue. Graham Colm (talk) 11:13, 10 August 2012 (UTC)

A new featured article candidate requirement: expert review request

Please see my proposal at Wikipedia:Village_pump_(proposals)#A_new_featured_article_candidate_requirement:_expert_review_request and comment on it there. Thank you! Dcoetzee 21:03, 10 August 2012 (UTC)

Replied there. - Dank (push to talk) 21:43, 10 August 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── As a question that's related to that conversation - under the current FAC system would delegates/reviewers approve of supporting statements from experts outside of wikipedia? For example, if the nominator of Otto Graham included in the nomination three emails (via the usual channels for forwarding emails to wikipedia) from Otto's biographers saying that they felt that the article was accurate and NPOV, would that support the nomination? Or would that be at best a waste of time and at worst stink of COI? Fayedizard (talk) 08:08, 12 August 2012 (UTC)

Resolved comments

For nominations, I believe that the templates seen in Wikipedia:Featured list candidates/List of colleges and universities in South Dakota/archive1, which say "Resolved comments from ..." to create neatness in the nominations. Just an idea. Thanks. TBrandley 03:50, 11 August 2012 (UTC)

Your sentence is incomplete. Do you mean that you propose using this template here? I once did that, but I got reverted as this template may produce an error after archiving. I recently saw users who capped their comments with this template, though. Regards.--Kürbis () 19:04, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
Sorry. I do propose using that template here. I'll look for users who have done using the template before. TBrandley 01:55, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
It was used in the past, but as it quick clearly states on the instruction template "Per talk page guidelines, nominators should not cap, alter, strike, break up, or add graphics to comments from other editors; replies are added below the signature on the reviewer's commentary." Many reviewers/delegates choose to move comments onto the article talkpage, especially if it becomes too long. Lemonade51 (talk) 02:11, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
It does seem weird how it is used at FLC, but not here at FAC. Weird. TBrandley 02:15, 12 August 2012 (UTC)

Cancer pain

I'm withdrawing the above because it needs more work. Do I need to do anything, or is announcing it here sufficient? --Anthonyhcole (talk) 07:15, 12 August 2012 (UTC)

  • You can write on the nom page too, a delegate will see it. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 07:29, 12 August 2012 (UTC)

Infoboxes

There have been recent disputes in FACs, spilling over various places, over whether biographies should contain infoboxes. The best possible outcome would be to get consensus, so let's shoot for that. If we can't, then I guess the next thing to talk about is whether FAC is the right place for this battle. - Dank (push to talk) 14:49, 12 August 2012 (UTC)

The guideline there is very brief and relates to any and all kinds of articles. On Talk:Peter Sellers however, one editor wrote, "Out of the current 41 FA Media biographies (where this would go if it were to make it), all but two make use of the infobox." It's also worth noting that per WP:Consensus, "Consensus among a limited group of editors, at one place and time, cannot override community consensus on a wider scale." --Wikiwatcher1 (talk) 18:07, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
As has been pointed out to you, FAC has passed many biographies with no infobox, and you will find little support here for imposing them on all biographies. Johnbod (talk) 19:44, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
I would prefer them not to be imposed on all articles, especially biographies. I am heartily in agreement that the disputes about their in/ex clusion do not take place during an FAC procedure. - SchroCat (^@) 21:03, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
Infoboxes have long been considered mandatory in biographies of military figures and political officeholders, and there's been little dispute to my knowledge on their place in such articles. Personally I'm not fussed either way about their use in general bios, and would defer to the prime editor(s) of such articles on their inclusion or exclusion. FAC is certainly is not the place for such disputes -- we all have enough to do here. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 23:53, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
  • I like infoboxes myself, but I wouldn't want to see them imposed on an article over the objections of the main writer(s). The FAC process has generally respected style variations, so long as the article is internally consistent and the style choice isn't too off-the-wall. SlimVirgin (talk) 01:49, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
  • FAC is probably not the best place to discuss this, but anyway: i have no problems with infoboxes, if they follow common quality standards (only relevant facts, no trivia, no lengthy statistics, no information conflicting with main text, consistent formatting ...). If some types of articles are not suited for infoboxes at all, that should be defined by a broad consensus outside of FA reviewing. GermanJoe (talk) 06:40, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
  • There's a clear consensus so far against dealing with this issue in the context of FAC; I'll point to this thread the next time the issue comes up at FAC. - Dank (push to talk) 12:09, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
Wouldn't that amount to saying we don't require them at FAC? Personally that's not a bad outcome, but I do think in the end one way or another there is either going to be formally or informally an FAC-specific answer to the infobox issue. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 13:10, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
I'd rather not make the call, so that I can close related discussions on article talk pages in the future if they become too much of a distraction. - Dank (push to talk) 15:08, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
Not sure what your issue is - we clearly don't require them at FAC, as very many examples show. Johnbod (talk) 17:19, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
Well quite. But there's been a distinction made here; instead of saying "Yes, we'll require them" or "No, they are not mandatory", we've had " the battle shouldn't be at FAC" and "I'd rather not make the call". Any such position is untenable, I think. If we say, "look, if you want to make infoboxes mandatory were possible go find consensus somewhere else" this really does amount to saying "No, they are not mandatory". Similarly "so that I can close related discussions on article talk pages in the future if they become too much of a distraction" is also a "No, they are not mandatory" in practice, because someone will complain there isn't one and then Dan will close the conversation; in other words, it will not be a valid point on which to oppose the article. There's a sense in the replies above that we don't want to make the decision here. But we are, one way or another and I think in the name of clarity we ought to recognise that. Perhaps repliers knew as much and were only using these things as a by-word for opposing such a rule, but as I say I think we ought to be clear. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 20:00, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
Maybe we mean two different things by "close"; I'm certainly not going to step in as soon as people start talking on an article talk page about infoboxes and say "Nothing new here, move along". Most of the time, I'll do nothing at all; if I get the sense that the arguments are going round and round and that I have something useful to offer, then I'll ask a few questions, wait for everyone to have their say, and try to offer something in the way of a compromise. - Dank (push to talk) 20:16, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
Infoboxes serve a purpous in film related articles, sports players, places, etc... not biographies IMO. They are also aesthetically ugly and I cannot stand them! -- CassiantoTalk 04:27, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

WP:AN#Role of admins in Pending Changes

This doesn't have anything to do with review processes at the moment ... but I'm pretty sure it will when Pending Changes gets rolling, because people are quicker to revert unexpected or unwanted changes when an article is up for review, so people are probably going to be quicker to approve and deny edits under Pending Changes when articles are up for FAC, which is going to pull some of the raw feelings over Pending Changes over into review processes. I think it would be better to deal with this now rather than waiting till roughly December 1 when it goes live, because once people start shouting, the opportunities for constructive consensus will probably dim. - Dank (push to talk) 15:07, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

Isn't this simply yet another example of how poorly thought out the case for pending changes really is? Malleus Fatuorum
I think I may set a personal record on this issue, Malleus, for accomplishing the least good for the most effort. - Dank (push to talk) 20:18, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

Thank you

I've just been through my first FAC. Everybody's criticism was helpful, and it felt great to be supported by so many fine editors. Thank you. I'll keep my eye out for FACs I think I can contribute to, and will definitely be back when I (again) think the article is ready. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 14:21, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

  • 👍 Like — Crisco 1492 (talk) 00:43, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
  • That's good to hear. Thanks/cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 05:38, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

FAC for Awake

My FAC for Awake (TV series), has been open for a month now, I don't want to rush anybody, but I have seen lots of articles not promoted to FA, because even though there was no consensus not to promote, there was also no consensus to promote, other than, perhaps, one support. I hope I can get something going there, before it fails, or gets promoted; you know. TBrandley 00:34, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

Delegate note

Just letting everyone know that I'll be travelling to the US during September and the first half of October, and will likely be checking in at FAC only occasionally. Ucucha has indicated that he should be back around this time, alongside Graham, so there shouldn't be any undue disruption to delegate duties while I'm away. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 15:15, 19 August 2012 (UTC)

What a great opportunity, Ian. If you're going to be available for a meetup or something, please let us know. - Dank (push to talk) 16:25, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

Proposed renaming of "Featured Article"

For information, I just spotted this over at the Village Pump:

Renaming of Featured article

Simon Burchell (talk) 15:20, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

Lots of opposes already. The proposal ends "Perhaps a new forum, specifically designed for setting up a calender for FAs of the day can be set up. Perhaps one is already set up that I don't know about)"! Johnbod (talk) 20:19, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
Touche.... :D. In my head when I was writing that proposal, I imagined a very different sort of calender-type page for working out how content is featured on the main page throughout the year. But you are right. TFA does the job.--Coin945 (talk) 07:46, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
(btw sorry for not sending you guys here a link... I wasn't trying to make sure the opposers stayed out of the discussion or anything. I wanted to gauge the community feelings towards this notion before dragging everyone into a heated debate. By all means add your opinion! :D)--Coin945 (talk) 08:00, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

End-of-paragraph citations

Sorry to start three threads at once, but there's a risk here, if I'm not mistaken, of discouraging or confusing a solid contributor who doesn't come to FAC often. This is from the Elizabeth of Bosnia FAC:

  • [Piotrus:] I am uneasy as upon closer reading I see the article often relies on end of the para references (ex. first para of Widowhood and regency).
    • There are three paragraphs that have a single source at the end; I assume that means that everything in the paragraph came from the source cited ... Am I right, Surtsicna? - Dank (push to talk) 12:57, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
    • [Moved from below] Yes, Dank, that is correct. Surtsicna (talk) 19:26, 10 August 2012 (UTC)

Thoughts? - Dank (push to talk) 17:08, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

Usually (and I don't review this sort of thing at FAC) it's when the indicated page range at the end of the paragraph is large because it has to cover the whole paragraph. In Elizabeth of Bosnia that doesn't seem to be the case. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 17:11, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
You will see that I have complained at Piotrus's Constitution FAC that he does reference every sentence, and in one short para has 8 (was it) references to overlapping ranges of pages from the same book totalling a stretch of fewer than 10 pages. Frankly he has some nerve demanding everyone does it his way. Johnbod (talk) 17:16, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
There is no requirement that every sentence be cited, and the convention is that if all information in a paragraph comes from the same source, it can be cited at the end of the paragraph. Much more likely is that the "cite every sentence even if its the same source as the following sentence" practice is out of step with usual practice. Ealdgyth - Talk 17:20, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
I agree with Johnbod; Piotrus has got a bloody nerve pushing his intrusive and redundant citation preferences on anyone, and ought to reel his neck in. As with the infobox discussion above, it's about time some reviewers were reminded that their job is to assess the nomination against the FA criteria, not their personal preferences. Malleus Fatuorum 17:25, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
I am appalled at the unfriendly tone of some comments above, but I guess civility has never been a strong forte of this project. Unreferenced sentences can be moved elsewhere, making them, well, even more unreferenced. I am surprised that while our prose requirements has steadily risen, the referencing requirements still remain in the dark ages. Oh well, I am never going to object on this reason - but don't expect me to support poorly referenced articles. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 17:54, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Piotrus is used to working in the ultra-contentious field of Eastern European history, where the "intrusive and redundant citation preferences" were imposed at metaphorical gunpoint by Arbcom, as many of these articles cover highly disputed claims and it needs to be crystal clear exactly who is saying what—you'll see the same pattern on other contentious topics such as Scientology, Jerusalem and Kosovo. Since the article in question strongly concerns Bosnia, Poland and the Roman Catholic Church—which along with Northern Ireland are possibly the most problematic areas on Wikipedia—I'd say Piotrus is entirely in the right to query the lack of chapter-and-verse sourcing, regardless of whether consensus ultimately decides it's an actionable concern or not. – iridescent 17:55, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for the analysis; I haven't thought about that reason for why I support of inline cites; I usually would point to a more prosaic and Wiki-wide applicable reason. That said, I think your historical argument is quite right in explaining why some areas of Wikipedia see more referencing than others, and why this is something I see as a net benefit (more references - less contentious editing). One correct, though: ArbCom has never done anything so useful as actually to impose the requirement for improved references (for EE topics, I am not familiar with their rulings for the other topics you mention); referencing every sentence, and potentially controversial claims - with several reliable sources, is something that has simply evolved as a good practice among editors in EE topics. With regards to the EoB article, I see a lot of potentially controversial claims that are not clearly referenced, for example "Sigismund and his brother Wenceslaus, King of Germany and Bohemia, were also opposed to Elizabeth and Gara". This is a statement of political allegiance, and for all I know, it may be a bone of contention between some historians and editors. Without a reference, this (and many others) look to me like a sentence that could be tagged with a citation requested. Of course, I know that the author of the article confirmed he is using end-of-para refs here, but how is an average reader to know? And without the input form Bosnian and Hungarian editors, and knowing the EE realia, I am not willing to accept on good faith that any claim is non-controversial... --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 19:26, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

I think the odds are that not everyone's going to be happy here. Most people will agree that it's okay to ask for cites for individual sentences if there's a reason to believe the sentence might be challenged (but we'll disagree on the particulars; a sentence involving Bosnia, Poland and the Roman Catholic Church might be a good candidate :) Piotr: I think I may have been pushing you too hard; I'm trying to arrive at a guess whether we'll be able to get your articles and similar articles through FAC, so I know how much time to set aside to help. There are some difficulties: we don't have anyone yet who's going to commit to the first round of copyediting; WP:POLAND and FAC do some things differently (not surprising ... that generally takes some negotiation, time and patience), and that can cause problems both when you're nominating and when you're reviewing; and there's obviously some distrust on both sides. You believe that you're following clearly established precedent and good sense, but others think this is a case of IDIDNTHEARTHAT. My concern, and I think John's and Malleus's concern, is that we've got a new nominator here who's not going to respond well if different reviewers are making contradictory demands ... it's hard enough getting through FAC without the drama, and I think you know that your request was likely to generate drama at FAC or A-class, because we've had this discussion a lot, even if you're following standard operating procedure for some projects. So: my offer stands, I'll help if I can, but you need to give a little to get a little. - Dank (push to talk) 19:11, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

Dank, I am not sure why you bring my nomination into this, it is not really relevant, I think. As I said above, I am not going to object at EoB FAC due to the insufficient referencing, as I do realize there is no consensus that it is a requirement. I am, however, not going to be censored/silenced and stop requesting (or adding!) references because some people disagree with me; I have a right to express concerns about insufficient referencing, even if those concerns go above and beyond our current required standards. (This entire situation always reminds me of the days when some people were throwing everything they could at those who dared to request the introduction of inline cites...). --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 19:25, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
But as Dank was suggesting, you continually refuse to accept that your notion of "insufficient referencing" is not one that's universally shared, or indeed even generally shared. Malleus Fatuorum 19:29, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
Incorrect. I accept that notion, which is why I am not using it as a basis for opposing, merely for suggesting optional improvement. You, however, seem to continually refuse to accept that I have the right to make such a suggestion. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 21:23, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
I get that you think we're trying to give you a hard time, and I might think the same thing in your position. We're not, we're trying to be fair to nominators, especially new nominators. (You can make any requests you want to make in one of my nominations; I really can't see the harm. It's the newer nominators we have to protect from drama ... at least, from some of the drama ... or they'll take their business elsewhere.) I'll go ask if people see things the same way at WT:WikiProject Bosnia and Herzegovina and WT:POLAND; I want to make sure I'm not putting you in an unfair position. - Dank (push to talk) 22:26, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
Followup: one response on the Polish page not supporting Piotr's request, no responses on the Bosnian page. AFAIK, this is a settled issue ... everyone seems to understand what one citation at the end of a paragraph means. - Dank (push to talk) 16:04, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
You misunderstand Piotrus; what you are refusing to accept is that the job of an FA reviewer is to judge the article against the FA criteria, not to use the appearance of an article at FAC as an opportunity to impose his or her personal preferences. Malleus Fatuorum 00:14, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
Note that I also raised concerns about the quality of some references; I find over-referencing tends to go with poor sources (safety in numbers), though I appreciate more referencing may be needed in contentious areas. Johnbod (talk) 19:52, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
Your comments where quite helpful there. Btw, I asked a fellow editor to convert the refs there into a shorter format. This should make them more readable. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 21:23, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
I can suggest some alternatives to repeating an identical inline several times in a paragraph:
  • Repeat it (something like a named ref or sfn), but in a comment, so the wiki source has clear, easily transferred, referencing without distracting the reader.
  • Add a comment after an inline saying it refers to the whole para or the previous so-many sentences (I have just seen User:Lexein doing that at Philippe Croizon).
--Mirokado (talk) 09:49, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
  • It's very irritating to readers, and not standard practice, to use densely packed ref-tags unless there's a good reason (whereas I've seen WP articles with ref-tags after nearly every sentence as a default, just to avoid criticism of under-referencing—it's particularly problematic when the same ref-number appears again and again and again in the same para). Ref-tags, like wikilinks, should not be maximised as a formulaic practice, but require just a little thought instead to maximise the readability and utility of this function. It's standard practice in academic journals. Tony (talk) 00:40, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
I'm not terribly fussed about referencing standards, but I'd note that an advantage of the various types of mid-paragraph citations is that it makes it easier to unpick paragraphs and put them together again in different ways, which is good for the long-term sustainability of articles at FA level (it's also rather helpful when developing articles to FA standard!). Nick-D (talk) 00:43, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
Anyone who reorganises paragraphs without taking account of the pre-existing citations is a lazy bastard, and we ought not to be making allowances for lazy bastards. Malleus Fatuorum 01:11, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
Unfortunately, as long as we all editing by anyone, we have no way to prevent the lazy bastards from messing the articles. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 21:58, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
I'll keep links in my own userspace to the relevant discussions in case the issue comes up again. - Dank (push to talk) 12:26, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
I think the community consensus is clear: there is no requirement to have all sentences cited (to my chagrin), but there is also no requirement for them not to be cited in such a way. Which means that editors can request for citation density to be increased (or decreased), but have no right to object if the request is not met. It's akin to the part of WP:CITE about the author being able to chose their reference style (and apparently, density). --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 17:07, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
It seems to me that they can continue to object, as this is certainly an "actionable" objection, but should bear in mind the flexibility you outline, and the delegates can assess the weight of the objection, & the nominator's defence. Johnbod (talk) 17:19, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
The thing I'm not clear on is Iridescent's comment above, and I'm asking about it at WT:ARB#Arbcom-imposed redundant referencing?. - Dank (push to talk) 02:18, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

What is considered too small?

On Missing My Baby's FAC, User:Two Hearted River stated "Sourcing issues and a dearth of information are going to prevent this from passing". However, the article is written at its fullest there are no other sources out there that are relevant to the article. According to Wikipedia:Featured articles/By length this article would not be the very last "short" article on the list. I am concerned that it would not be promoted because of one user's comments that does not reflect the FA system's purpose. So is his comments acceptable? If so, then I believe that the top 10 shortest FA articles needs to be demoted asap. Best, Jonatalk to me 16:41, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

Two Hearted River is perfectly free to express his opinion, just as the delegates are perfectly free to ignore it when considering whether or not consensus is to promote the article. Seems to me though that most of THW's concerns are to do with prose quality, not length. Malleus Fatuorum 17:11, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
Might also be useful to look at - articles promoted since January 1, 2011, sorted by size Fayedizard (talk) 18:00, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
It's not a question of length, but adequate coverage, which will have varying opinions, especially in a short article. PumpkinSky talk 22:06, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
I still don't think that the article should not be promoted per "length issues" when the shortest FAC is 7,000 bytes this one is 12,000 bytes. The prose has been polished but its okay if he wants to criticize that but the length issue should not be a problem per those pipelinks I and Fayedizard have provided and that's what I'm concerned about. Best, Jonatalk to me 12:46, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
  • The shortest FACs are actually under 4,000 bytes. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 23:14, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
Iridescent's insightful comments here and here are somewhat relevant. Mark Arsten (talk) 14:45, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

How to format a search page cite?

FAC followers, I have a question for you that will help me in my editing. When the intention is to source a search page that cannot spit out a permanent link, what is the best way of doing so? My impression has always been that citing a search page is considered acceptable as long as instructions are left telling the reader how to access the information. I've seen some music-related pages that use searches for chart positions and similar data, but am not sure what is thought of as best practice. Would anyone happen to know a good example that I can follow? Thanks for any help you can provide. Giants2008 (Talk) 01:38, 28 August 2012 (UTC)

I had a similar occurrence on a Featured List a while back, due to the César Award website not providing permanent links to searcj results; List of accolades received by David Lynch#cite note-cesar-5 is how I approached that. I imagine the same standard would apply at FAC. GRAPPLE X 01:44, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
Looks like a reasonable method to me. Thanks for pointing it out. Giants2008 (Talk) 01:20, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

Resolved comments to talk

Is there any reason for this new trend of resolved comments being moved to the talk page? It seems like an alternative to capping comments (something much more convenient than having to go to the talk page to see all the comments, IMO.) TRLIJC19 (talkcontribs) 06:00, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

At a slight tangent - I find myself wondering why the FA reviews are not transcluded to the talk page anyway, like the GA ones are - was this a policy decision? Fayedizard (talk) 10:15, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Re: moving to talk, I think it keeps it simpler and keeps the FAC page smaller (hence why I pretty much always do it).
Re: article talk pages, I think it may be because of the length of one of these nominations. An FAC can easily end up several thousand words long. Not many GANs end up like that. Besides, they're all reachable through the article history template. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 10:52, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
That sounds sensible, although if people are moving comments to talk anyway - doesn't it reduce to the same thing? Fayedizard (talk) 11:12, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
  • If it were standardised there may not be a problem with that, but I doubt everyone will move their comments to talk. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 11:23, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
  • I think people are talking about two different things... Fayedizard, when they say "move to talk", they mean move to the talk page of the review, not the talk page of the article. IIRC, capping comments is discouraged because it exceeds template limits in the archives (the pages where all FAC noms are archived), which makes any part of the page after the last allowed template not display. Dana boomer (talk) 12:33, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oh, was Fayedizard getting that we move the comments to the article's talk page? :-s — Crisco 1492 (talk) 12:42, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
  • I think I am, right now, the most confused I've ever been. I think I'll come back to this afresh in a little while...Fayedizard (talk) 14:48, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Here is an example of what is meant. The talk page for the FAC itself ("Wikipedia talk:Featured article candidates/examplearticle/archive1") is used, comments that have been resolved are sometimes removed from the FAC and copied to that talk page to neaten up the appearance of the FAC. GRAPPLE X 14:53, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
Personally I don't like it except where the comments are a really long list of pure MOS points, in which case there is a lot to be said for putting them on the article talk page in the first place, with a link on the FAC page. Or just doing them yourself, which will often be quicker. It is useful for other reviewers to see what points there have been, even if they are resolved. Johnbod (talk) 13:45, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
  • When I started reviewing here, I was told by a delegate not to cap resolved comments because the template slows down the page's load time. If you've got 50 comments about commas and logical punctuation, then yes, I can see moving them to talk. It's usually just reviewer preference otherwise. Mark Arsten (talk) 20:25, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
  • I agree with Johnbod's comments. When acting as a delegate, as opposed to a reviewer, I prefer all reviews to be kept together on the same page. Only because it makes a, sometimes difficult, job a little easier. Graham Colm (talk) 21:54, 31 August 2012 (UTC)

Has Ucucha bot broken down?

Or did it need Ucucha to drive it? have the delegates and reviewers just managed to clear the decks very efficiently? :-) hamiltonstone (talk) 05:36, 1 September 2012 (UTC)

Ucucha's toolserver account expired, so the bot was disabled. That should be fixed at some point, I hope. Imzadi 1979  06:10, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
TFA tagging has been done manually lately, but Ucucha has indicated he should be back on board shortly, coincident with me reducing activity for the next 6 weeks while I travel overseas, so he should be able to look into it. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 06:12, 1 September 2012 (UTC)

How to nomiate a article for delisting

I am looking for advice on how to nominate a article for delisting for failing FA due to MOS issue, as i have never done it before i aint sure how nor can i find the guidelines if someone can point me to that i appericate it. Also what are the procures for nominate a lot of article relating to a MOS breech when there seems to be reluctance at the project to change the template causing the issue?--Andrewcrawford (talk - contrib) 18:31, 1 September 2012 (UTC)

Hi Andrew, there are instructions at Wikipedia:Featured article review, but be sure to try to fix the issues first, via discussion on the article's talk page if you're proposing anything major or contentious. Note that articles may be fine even if they don't adhere to the MoS; it would depend how far they had strayed from it. SlimVirgin (talk) 18:36, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
I don't think you'll have any luck at all in having an article delisted for a MoS breach, so don't waste your time. What is the breach anyway, and which articles are affected? Malleus Fatuorum 18:57, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
FAR is a serious process, ideally involving non-trivial involvement and a wish to fix the article rather than to slap it down. The ramification of a delisting at FAR is much greater work for editors to get it past GA again and then another trip to FA. The FAR process should be a determined way to get the article back up to FA rather than to casually strike it down. I would rethink the wish to nominate "a lot" of articles. Binksternet (talk) 18:58, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
as i say its on the project page as its a template issue but there is relucenies to fix it because of austiry. i am going to keep trying but i think i might have to get one delisted for them to listen, as mos it breaking accessibly for disabled users and breaking mos flags because it does say the country name as well as the flag — Preceding unsigned comment added by Andrewcrawford (talkcontribs)
No, please don't do that. You would be violating WP:POINT, disrupting Wikipedia to make a point. Instead, take the dispute to WP:DRN or some other noticeboard.
By the way, an argument about adhering strictly to MOS is weaker if it comes from an editor who does not use normal grammar style in communication. Just a friendly pointer... Binksternet (talk) 21:11, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
im dyslexic so grammar isn't something i can do :(, trust me i really dnt want to normative any for delist, and DRN wont be any use as there no particular editor involved i really dnt want to make a point but if it fixes the template then it doesn't matter, accessibly matter more than a point but thank you for the advice i hope not to bring it here but i know now the produces if i do, but a admin has been threaten to do it so it might not be that does itAndrewcrawford (talk - contrib) 07:55, 2 September 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── @Malleus, the articles in question are Luton Town F.C., York City F.C. and Seattle Sounders F.C.. Here is the original discussion in which multiple people are trying (and failing) to get across the fact that just because Andrew thinks the {{Football squad player2}} template "looks crap", that is not grounds for delisting FAs.

@Andrew, be careful what you wish for. As GiantSnowman obliquely warns you near the start of that thread, if WP:FOOTY comes under the spotlight the results are likely to be time-consuming and acrimonious; the topic is so contentious that a lot of practices there are "intentionally unsatisfactory to everyone" compromises that were introduced to keep a semblance of order. If you do something intentionally WP:POINTy like a mass-FAR, the result will likely be a foul-tempered Arbcom case. – iridescent 10:15, 2 September 2012 (UTC)

if that what it takes then fine, the simple fact remains all articles passing FAC should comply to MOS yes there discretion but a clear breech that affect wikipedia accessibly to screen readers need fixed, if the one at wp footy dnt want to change it fine, but it then as you say will end up in arbcom, i am happy to fix it to wp footy liking an make it comply with mos and traceability as there more important than the project. the response i have had trying to do it suggests certain member of the project are unwilling to fix it, as for {{Football squad player2}} it breeches MOS as well so its any better, but cosmetically it looks crap, but i wouldn't be delist for that, and it {{Football squad player}} article i would be recommend for delisting because they breech MOS:Flag and wp:acceptability. i will repeat i do not want to delist these the articles are top quality standard and the one i would nominate i am using to try get the article i am working up to FA but the underlying issue of the template means if there not comprise fromt eh project then a delist will show up the problem to wider community to scruntise on then hopefully a consensus to fix the template could then be achievedAndrewcrawford (talk - contrib) 14:37, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
Which WP:ACCESS issues do you feel are being broken, as I can't see it? I think you may be under a misapprehension about how screen readers parse Wikipedia templates. Provided the template is set up to handle alt-attributes correctly—and {{fs player}} is—the reader will read the alt-text attributes and links, not the image titles, and the alt-text is defined within the template; thus, a screen reader will read {{fs player |no=11 |nat=WAL |pos=MF |name=[[Ryan Giggs]] }} as Eleven, Wales, Midfielder, Ryan Giggs, not one one image flag of wales dot svg emm eff Ryan Giggs. Just because you can't see the alt text doesn't mean it's not there. If you poke User:RexxS he can probably do a better job than I of explaining just how the relationship works between templates, what a Wikipedia reader sees, what a mobile user sees and what a screen reader "sees", and how Wikipedia strikes a balance between the four.
In reply to your talk of delisting, let me put it a bit more bluntly since I think you've missed my point. What I'm saying isn't "go forum-shopping to Arbcom and they will order everyone to allow you to have your way with the formatting here", but "if you keep this up there is a very good chance someone will take you to Arbcom for persistent disruption", and given your recent behaviour and OWNership of Rangers F.C. I can take a fairly safe guess which way that particular boomerang would fly. – iridescent 16:56, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
so because i am trying to make the article FA that means i think i own it? nah i dnt own it no one does i just doing the work to make it FA but since it seems my work isnt appericate i think i will just bow out and i dnt want arbcom to rule in my favour i want arbcom if it was required to rule in favour of what more important in policies if that not in my favour i dnt care as long as the articles quality is made better. and a screen read wont be able to read WAL as wales, there is nothing for a screen reader to detemrine what it means, a screen reads excately what is in the html code, but it seems it doesnt conveny access as the html code says wales, i only brought it to the project since ip user insided it was my respoabilty to fix it, so it only conveys mos flags for not display the flag name so user ho dnt know what the country is will know straight awayAndrewcrawford (talk - contrib) 17:11, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
I'm going to say it one more time, before I assume you're just playing WP:IDIDNTHEARTHAT—yes, a screen reader will read WAL as "Wales", because the alt text is defined in the template, and all your objections are based on the fact that you don't understand MediaWiki syntax. Right-click on the image and select "view image info" (Firefox/IE) or "inspect element" (Chrome). See where it says 'alt="Wales"'? – iridescent 17:24, 2 September 2012 (UTC)

Thank you.

So Stephen Hawking was promoted at the end of it's third FAC. I want to say thank you to everyone who has been involved in the whole operation - I've learned a lot about wikipedia in the process and I've had quite a lot of fun, I'm looking forward to getting into reviewing a little bit more and hopefully bringing you some more articles in the not-too-distant future. Thank you all of you. Fayedizard (talk) 14:21, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

Sure thing. - Dank (push to talk) 14:32, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
As far as reviewing goes, your spotchecks of articles have been very welcome -- pls keep it up. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 22:25, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

WP:PC2012/RfC 1

The first Request for Comment on Pending Changes since the May RfC is now up, dealing with Pending Changes Level Two, and notice has been given in today's Signpost (in News and Notes) and at WP:CENT. What we really need is notice in places where non-Metapedians will see it, since one of the conflicts here is between Metapedians and people who are more interested in their articles than in Wikipedia as a whole. Should we put up notice at article review talk pages? Wikiproject talk pages? Which ones? - Dank (push to talk) 15:59, 4 September 2012 (UTC)

Trying to work out how to disseminate these is tough! Potentially you could bot-notify everyone who's ever commented on a PC RFC, but that might get quite a lot of pushback; the other wide-ranging solution is to go for a watchlist notice. Andrew Gray (talk) 08:05, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
In my experience, either of those tends to increase the drama, but I'm open to being outvoted. I've pointed people here from WT:GAN, WT:WikiProject Editor Retention, and WT:MHC ... new ideas welcome! - Dank (push to talk) 13:37, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
WP:BIO would be an obvious project; BLPs are often quoted as the use case for PC. Ditto somewhere central about templates; there's a really interesting discussion there about PC being suited to high-risk templates and it would be good to engage that specialist group. Andrew Gray (talk) 14:04, 5 September 2012 (UTC)

Infoboxes

I've opened a section here about adding to the MoS that infoboxes are optional, in case anyone would like to comment. SlimVirgin (talk) 19:20, 7 September 2012 (UTC)

Image or source checks needed

Note - User:Noleander has agreed to do an image review for the article when time premits. ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 23:38, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
  • The image review is complete but I still need a source spot-check when someone has the time. Thanks and cheers! ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 23:36, 21 September 2012 (UTC)
    • Has it been implied by a delegate that spotchecks are needed for promotion? TRLIJC19 (talkcontribs) 23:44, 21 September 2012 (UTC)
No. I assumed they were required for every nom. Am I incorrect about this? ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 23:45, 21 September 2012 (UTC)
Yes, that is incorrect information. I have had articles promoted without spotchecks of sources. The times they are usually given is if (a) The nominator is new to either Wikipedia or the featured candidacy process, or (b) Comments left by reviewers have revealed plagiarism or verifiability issues. If spotchecks are needed, a delegate will imply so. TRLIJC19 (talkcontribs) 23:51, 21 September 2012 (UTC)

Collapsed templates

And speaking of infoboxes, I have a related question. Are collapsed templates allowed in Featured Articles? Some editors have been wanting to stick in a "List of Cities" template in the India page in spite of little support. At DRN, where they have next gone, the evolving resolution seems headed for a collapsed template. But, is that allowed? Someone said something about no collapsed lists in FAs. Fowler&fowler«Talk» 18:40, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
The templates at the bottom of articles with links are fine, but in-text collapsable templates are discouraged in FAs. My understanding is that they violate accessibility guidelines because whatever is in the templates doesn't print properly. Giants2008 (Talk) 02:35, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Thanks very much. This is very much an in-text template. Fowler&fowler«Talk» 13:35, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

JSTOR article links

I am currently finding all links to JSTOR articles are non-functional. Is this a general experience? Brianboulton (talk) 10:18, 19 September 2012 (UTC)

I think the JSTOR website is down - I tried to look at a JSTOR search page earlier, and got nowhere. Simon Burchell (talk) 10:33, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
It's working from here, but their twitter account suggests they've had some technical problems over the past couple of days. Andrew Gray (talk) 10:48, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
All seems OK now. Brianboulton (talk) 00:02, 22 September 2012 (UTC)

Beatles RfC

You are invited to participate in an RfC at Wikipedia talk:Requests for mediation/The Beatles on the issue of capitalizing the definite article when mentioning the band's name in running prose. This long-standing dispute is the subject of an open mediation case and we are requesting your help with determining the current community consensus. For the mediators. ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 00:26, 24 September 2012 (UTC)

Some band has zero connection to the FAC process. Regards.--Kürbis () 19:51, 25 September 2012 (UTC)

RfC on creation of a new thematic organization to continue the work of the United States and Canada Education Programs

The Wikimedia Foundation formed a Working Group in May 2012 to propose a future structure for the United States and Canada Education Programs. The Working Group, through in-person meetings and task force work, now proposes that the United States and Canada Education Program be operated as a Thematic Organization operating as a fully independent non-profit entity.

There is an RfC on this proposal at Wikipedia:Education Working Group/RfC; please read the more detailed information and consider supporting or opposing.

I'm posting this notice to FAC because I know that quite a few editors here have been involved with the Education Program in one way or another. Please repost this notification anywhere else where you think other involved editors might see it. If you have questions, please post them at the RfC page rather than here in order to keep the discussion centralized. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 16:54, 29 September 2012 (UTC)

Two nominations

At FAC, the laws there allow two nominations by a single user if at least one of them is a co-nom ("An editor is allowed to be the sole nominator of only one article at a time; however, two nominations may be allowed if the editor is a co-nominator on at least one of them.") This same principle is allowed here at FLC? — ΛΧΣ21 13:52, 30 September 2012 (UTC)

Um, did you mean to post this at WP:FLC? Because I'm not sure why WT:FAC has much input on what the rules are at FLC (although I realize there are some editors that comment at both). Dana boomer (talk) 13:59, 30 September 2012 (UTC)
FLC allows additional nominations provided the first already has substantial support and no outstanding concerns; though it would still be a good idea to ask one of the delegates there if it's okay or not. GRAPPLE X 17:40, 30 September 2012 (UTC)
Oooh, that was the answer I was looking for. Thanks :D — ΛΧΣ21 17:49, 30 September 2012 (UTC)
OMG never noticed i wrote this here lol. I will post it at WT:FLC. — ΛΧΣ21 17:50, 30 September 2012 (UTC)

Spot checks for Rhythm Killers

Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Rhythm Killers/archive1 needs spot checks for sources and paraphrasing. Would anyone be interested in doing them? Dan56 (talk) 17:55, 30 September 2012 (UTC)

  • Note. Most of the sources are print. Dan56 (talk) 18:04, 30 September 2012 (UTC)
  • I have completed a few from the online sources and I found no issues. I assume good faith with regard to the print sources as I don't have the time to search for them. Graham Colm (talk) 21:26, 30 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Would someone with experience perform a spotcheck for Truth (The X-Files)? It's had an image review and is at three supports, just needs a spotcheck. Bruce Campbell (talk) 18:17, 1 October 2012 (UTC)

RFC

There is a Request for comment about the question "does a largest cities template/city population template add value to the articles about nations (esp. featured ones)?" This is an open invitation for participating in the request for comment on Wikipedia:Requests for comment/City population templates. Should you wish to respond to the invitation, your contribution to this discussion will be very much appreciated! If in doubt, please see suggestions for responding. Mrt3366(Talk?) (New thread?) 08:59, 13 September 2012 (UTC)

Co-nominators

One of the FAC rules states "An editor is allowed to be the sole nominator of only one article at a time; however, two nominations may be allowed if the editor is a co-nominator on at least one of them." Is there a minimum contribution required by a co-nominator?

I am particularly referring to the present nomination Frog where Thompsma is my co-nominator and it has been questioned whether he had enough input into the article to qualify as a co-nominator. He edited the article over several days in mid August and had the intention of making more improvements but got involved in field trips, a house move and a lack of internet connection. I would like to nominate another article as a sole nominator so would be glad of clarification of this point. Cwmhiraeth (talk) 05:08, 5 October 2012 (UTC)

Would this be Amphibian? We discussed this here. Graham Colm (talk) 08:32, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
Yes, but the arrangement that I thought that I had made with Sasata has fallen through. If I know whether or not Frog was an acceptable joint nomination, then I will know what my options are at this time. (The WikiCup draws to a conclusion at the end of October.) Cwmhiraeth (talk) 12:15, 5 October 2012 (UTC)

FAC edit warring

I'm wonder what the best way to handle edit warring on an article at FAC is? I'd be hesitant to fully protect an article at FAC, since that prevents the nominator from responding to comments. Of course, blocking a nominator or reviewer would be even worse. I suppose that if edit warring is ongoing the article would fail the stability criterion, but I'd hate to see an article fail over a trivial thing like that. (A current example is Boulonnais horse). Mark Arsten (talk) 16:15, 5 October 2012 (UTC)

The article should be returned to the state it was in before the edit war began and then the edits should be discussed on the talk page of that article. DrKiernan (talk) 16:28, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
Agreed. At first glance, Jack seems intent on edit warring to enforce his personal preference for referencing style. Near as I can tell, he has failed to explain his change. I suspect that blocking this single editor would end this immediately. Hopefully he comes along and actually engages in a discussion rather than continuing, as that would serve the same purpose with less drama. Resolute 16:38, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
Let's see, Within the past 30 hours or so: on one side Jack's at 2 reverts [2][3], Montanabw at 1 [4], and Rexx at 1 [5]; on the other side, Dana at 1 [6] and Nikkimaria at 3 [7][8][9]. I'm not sure that blocking one user would be a good idea here. (Disclosure: I work with Jack on a lot of projects.) Mark Arsten (talk) 17:52, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
Agreed, I think protection would be more effective. --Rschen7754 17:59, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
Issue appears to have quietly resolved. Should be no further issues, and if no policy violation has occurred, I think the nominator should be allowed to restore what she views as the last "clean" version and the review can proceed from that point. (Disclosure: I work on-wiki with both Jack and Dana, first time I got caught in a tangle between the two of them.) Montanabw(talk) 20:46, 5 October 2012 (UTC)

Missing subtemplates

We shouldn't be featuring, much less as article of the day, articles which have infoboxes but which are nonetheless missing subtemplates for metadata, like the recent examples, which I've fixed, for Hurricane Guillermo and for Say Say Say. Their use is described on the infoboxes' and the subtemplates' own documentation pages. Is there a reason why the review process is missing, or ignoring, such deficiencies? How can we ensure they are not overlooked in future? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 13:41, 5 October 2012 (UTC)

Maybe the way to prevent these templates being ignored is to explain and educate people on what they acctully do. I cant say i fully understand it, even after reading the pages on it.Jason Rees (talk) 16:32, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
They're quite well documented, particularly through linked pages (so as not to repeat explanatory text in hundreds of places). Could you be more specific about what concepts it is that you're not clear on? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 12:31, 6 October 2012 (UTC)

Featured article statistics

I just updated Wikipedia:Featured article statistics as best I could for September (number of articles in thousands is the current number, and the % is based on that too). The one stat I do not have is "Current FACs" - I can figure out which articles that became FAs were listed at FAC at midnight on September 30 / October 1 by looking at Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Featured log/October 2012, but do not know where to find the articles that were at FAC but unsuccessful. Any suggestions? Ruhrfisch ><>°° 03:53, 11 October 2012 (UTC)

I imagine the page history of Wikipedia:Featured article candidates would be the simplest way to do it, though it might be time consuming. Other than that I don't know. GRAPPLE X 03:56, 11 October 2012 (UTC)
Is Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Archived nominations what you're looking for? « ₣M₣ » 04:14, 11 October 2012 (UTC)
Yes, thanks - that's it exactly. Ruhrfisch ><>°° 04:00, 12 October 2012 (UTC)

Request for comments - Nick Drake

Hello,

you are invited to participate at this discussion. Regards.--Tomcat (7) 13:24, 11 October 2012 (UTC)

Spot check request

has acheived 5 supports now and requires a spot check and an image review. Bruce Campbell (talk) 02:20, 12 October 2012 (UTC)

An editor was kind enough to provide an image review; now only spotchecks are required. Bruce Campbell (talk) 19:02, 12 October 2012 (UTC)
It might be timely to remind nominators that FAC is not a vote and the number of "supports" takes second place to the quality of the reviews. One "support" that is qualified by a clear rationale as to why the FA criteria have been met carries much more weight than single sentence comments. Although this FAC has received more substantial comments, I am seeing a worrying trend towards voting. WRT this FAC, I am not convinced the prose is up to standard and have commented on this. Graham Colm (talk) 22:09, 12 October 2012 (UTC)
I have to say that I'm rather shocked this article has amassed five supports, and I've opposed its promotion on the basis that it's poorly written. Malleus Fatuorum 23:02, 12 October 2012 (UTC)

TFAR

Please have a look at the discussion here at TFAR in regards to some few FAs that perhaps we should consider keeping off the main page. Truthkeeper (talk) 01:42, 18 October 2012 (UTC)

A FAC needing some reviews

I nominated this article up for FAC and it only has two reviews (one support) and was wondering if anyone would be interested in providing some more feedback since it is in the "older nominations" section. I would really appreciate it. Thanks, Jonatalk to me 11:23, 18 October 2012 (UTC)

Should "old" FAs appear on Main Page?

I've posted what I think to be a problem and a potential solution to it at Wikipedia_talk:Featured_article_review#Featuring_.22old.22_FAs_on_Main_Page. Please do give your opinions there. --Dweller (talk) 22:06, 18 October 2012 (UTC)

Broken Sword 1

I have one featured article (Ed, Edd n Eddy) and one featured list (List of Ed, Edd n Eddy episodes), but a put Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars through FAC 4 times and it never passed. While the first 3 times was long ago, and it really wasn't ready yet (backed then I was at the start of my Wiki-Journey), but the fourth time was only a few weeks ago, and I worked on it for a very long time. - But it didn't pass. Now, after some more work, I'd like to see what you think of the article currently. - One of the issues will probably be the long plot, but I'd like some assistance on that - I can't seem to make it any shorter. You should've seen the plot way back though, it was three times longer than now... --Khanassassin 14:51, 21 October 2012 (UTC)

Request image review

I am requesting an image review at Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Imagine (song)/archive1. Thanks and cheers! ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 23:21, 21 October 2012 (UTC)

Spotcheck

I would do this myself, but I'm pretty swamped these days. Thanks! --Rschen7754 06:35, 22 October 2012 (UTC)

Had a quick look; will post to the FAC. Truthkeeper (talk) 15:38, 22 October 2012 (UTC)

KMFDM FAC

Would anyone be interested in commenting on KMFDM's FAC? It's on its third attempt, it hasn't really gotten much feedback, and it's getting perilously close to the bottom of the list. Thanks. —Torchiest talkedits 21:05, 22 October 2012 (UTC)

Miss Moppet FAR

Notification of a discussion here to delist Miss Moppet. One question that's come up is whether all FACs are suitable for TFA which seems to me to be pertinent in some fashion to the FAC process. Truthkeeper (talk) 21:31, 22 October 2012 (UTC)

All FACs are rated suitable for TFA at the time of promotion. It is possible that over time, unless properly maintained, poor quality material may be added, facts may become outdated, or our standards may be lifted. Hawkeye7 (talk) 02:34, 23 October 2012 (UTC)

Spot checks for The Way I See It (album)

Would anyone be interested in doing spotchecks for sources and paraphrasing at Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/The Way I See It (album)/archive1? Dan56 (talk) 20:47, 28 October 2012 (UTC)

Subpages

Yeepsi has created numerous Talk Pages, with project banners, for, among other things, archived FACs. [10] He assumes "they would fall under a WikiProject's banner". I can't see the point, am I missing something? Graham Colm (talk) 13:51, 31 October 2012 (UTC)

Seems like a genuine mistake. I have deleted them. Graham Colm (talk) 14:44, 31 October 2012 (UTC)

Mitt Romney

The Romney FAC is sitting down at the bottom of FAC with seven supports, but is starting to attract some critical comment late in the piece. My reading (and I've commented at the FAC) is that these recent comments seem not to be particularly actionable, and the longer it sits there, the more this may happen. I'm wondering if there's a delegate around who might indicate if there are any particular issues they're considering before resolving this one, as several editors appear more than willing to pitch in if they can work out what needs to happen. I realise Sandy may be a factor in all this :-) hamiltonstone (talk) 22:51, 31 October 2012 (UTC)

I count ten supports now, and three opposes. Supports are from GabeMC, Mark Arsten, Moi, Coemgenus, TRLIJC19, TBrandley, HamiltonStone, JJ98, Johnbod, and WTR (incommunicado nominator stuck in hurricaned New Jersey). Opposes are from Nergaal, 74.115.210.45, and Kolob1x2. Hi Sandy.  :-)Anythingyouwant (talk) 02:30, 1 November 2012 (UTC)

I also thought maybe some non-USA eyes might be useful, so I've pinged three experienced non-USA FAC reviewers to see if they're interested in taking a look: Casliber (Australia), Sasata (Canada) and BrianBoulton (UK). Cheers, hamiltonstone (talk) 03:04, 1 November 2012 (UTC)

Casliber and I have had horrendous interactions in the past, but perhaps that's not relevant. An editor named BobRosenkrantz has just added an oppose, to which I've responded.Anythingyouwant (talk) 03:08, 1 November 2012 (UTC)

Audit of "old" FAs

I've been concerned recently about the quality of "old" (2008 and older) FAs that have yet to appear on Main Page, and whether they're suitable for appearing there or not. You can see/discuss the results of an audit I undertook at Wikipedia_talk:Today's_featured_article/requests#Audit_of_old_FAs_-_report. Of 26 non-hurricane articles, just 7 were suitable for Main Page in my opinion. Apologies for cross-posting, but please discuss there. --Dweller (talk) 14:02, 1 November 2012 (UTC)

Natchez Massacre

Why was my nomination archived? An editor had just written some comments that I was going to address to maybe get a second voice of support. I don't think this is fair. Can someone keep the nomination open? Jsayre64 (talk) 22:09, 8 November 2012 (UTC)

The latest review was added three days ago. I archived the nomination because after one month and six days at FAC, there was no clear consensus that the FA criteria have been fulfilled. The one anonymous (IP) supporting comment was too short and superficial to be helpful. You can re-nominate the article after 14 days and I hope you attract more reviews the next time. In the meantime, I suggest you address the comments from Giants2008. Graham Colm (talk) 22:35, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
Could I please have a third-party opinion? It seems like when not only comments were just added but earlier today a different editor posted his point of view and asked a question, it's discourteous and unreasonable to abruptly archive the FAC. Jsayre64 (talk) 04:56, 9 November 2012 (UTC)
I'm sorry; I know it is frustrating when a FAC is archived. It has been our experience that once a FAC has been kept open for a very long time without attracting significant ongoing attention, it sometimes falls off the reviewers' radar; eventually FACs in this situation are archived without prejudice. You can renominate the article after addressing any outstanding issues brought up in the first FAC. It might be helpful, though, to submit it for a WP:MILHIST A-class review first. MILHIST's A-class process is quite active and geared toward getting articles FA-ready, and would help the article gain attention, which usually helps build momentum at FAC.
When you renominate the article at FAC, you can ask the reviewers from the first FAC, as well as any A-class reviewers, to evaluate the article in the new FAC. Regardless of whether you chose to put the article through MILHIST's A-class review, you can also post an announcement of the FAC on the MILHIST talk page, which should draw more reviewers. If you ping me on my talk page, I would be happy to review the article at that time as well. Best of luck. Maralia (talk) 07:04, 9 November 2012 (UTC)