Wikipedia talk:Good article criteria

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Image and media criterion[edit]

I'll jump in to start the discussion, but I reverted this edit to the criteria earlier. The effect, as I read that edit, was to remove our preference for including media in articles. In short, they may not be required, but if we have the ability to include them, we should.

If an article I was reviewing lacked any imagery, I would ask the nominator if there was any that could be added. If given reasonable explanations why the article lacks imagery (or sounds, or video, etc), then I'd just move on without it.

If the desire is just to copy edit the note for clarity, that's fine, but the preference to include media should not be removed without a discussion. Imzadi 1979  20:17, 28 March 2014 (UTC)

I will point out that the original/revert version should not simply say of "appropriate copyright status" without clarifying free and non-free image and important issues with the later. I know the intent of this statement is considering free vs non-free and when non-free are appropriately used, but I think this needs to be more specific. --MASEM (t) 20:27, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
I disagree with this proposed change. Images should be included in a good article. What subject is an otherwise good article that cannot have any images? Chris Troutman (talk) 20:45, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
Images should only be included if they are actually helping to improve the reader's understanding of the article, even with free images. Some topics are very "meta" and thus cannot be demonstrated with images, so requiring images makes no sense. Given that the FA process does not require images, GA certainly cannot require them. --MASEM (t) 20:54, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
Many GA writers are not native speakers of English. I only understood the current footnote after reading it thrice. When I started editing, that footnote said "a lack of images does not disqualify an article from GA status". GA needs to remain less demanding than FA. A "preference for including media" will increase systemic bias against certain topics. Some GA writers may wish to avoid dealing with image policy and should be allowed to do so. --Hildanknight (talk) 08:18, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
I fail to see how a preference for including media will increase systemic bias. All this note is saying is that if there is a perfectly good picture of a jaguar on Commons, the jaguar article should not be completely unillustrated. If, however, there are no pictures of a particular breed of dog, then the article on that breed cannot be kept from GA for not having an image. All this note is doing is expanding on the criteria itself, which says "Illustrated, if possible, by images:" Dana boomer (talk) 12:30, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
@Dana boomer: A fairly new editor who is not a native speaker of English writes and nominates an article about a historic building in a Middle Eastern country. The article is well referenced, neutral and broad, with a few minor grammatical errors that are easy to correct. Commons has a decent free image of the building. However, the nominator did not include the image because he does not understand our image policies (which even native speakers may find confusing) and does not even know what Commons is. Perhaps he did not understand why a few images that he uploaded (in good faith) were deleted and is thus deterred from uploading further images. As the reviewer, what would you do?
Another editor writes an article about an African politician, which becomes a GA after she convinces the reviewer that there are no free images of the politician. Feeling motivated, she decides to write an article about another African politician. She can find only one free image of this politician, but deems the image unsuitable for the article. Perhaps the image does not show his face clearly (see Yip Pin Xiu for a real example), shows him playing football (misleading) or grossly violates an African cultural taboo (BLP issues). As the reviewer, what would you do?
--Hildanknight (talk) 13:56, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
For both of them, I would say "Hey, I found this image on Commons. What do you think of including it in the article?" The second one is less clear than the first, but if the editor had a good reason for not including it in the article, then there would be no problem. These would both be minor issues in a GA review, and would in neither case be grounds for failing the article's nomination. I have had image questions come up in a number of articles that I have nominated or reviewed for GA, and every time they have been easily solved through dialogue between the participants - sometimes ending up with including a certain image in an article, and sometimes not. I have written GAs that had images, and GAs that didn't, and GAs that had images later in the article but were determined to have no pictures illustrative enough to be associated with the lead. It would be ideal to have a high-quality, representative image in the lead of every GA, but it's not an ideal world, which is why the criteria is worded as it is. There is a major difference between "preference" and "required". Dana boomer (talk) 14:19, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
I'd echo Dana's comments on this one. Hchc2009 (talk) 14:34, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
@Dana boomer: For the first case, the reviewer should not fail the article simply due to lack of images. If the nominator is unfamiliar with image policy and the reviewer wants the article to have an image of the building, then the onus is on the reviewer to add the image. For the second case, free images are not "readily available" if the nominator has a convincing argument that the only free image is not suitable. Do we agree on these? If so, then how can the wording be made clearer to GA writers who are not native speakers of English? Reviewers may also misread the criteria and request images, even when they are not "readily available". --Hildanknight (talk) 15:27, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
  • @Hildanknight:: Reread Dana's reply. She never said she would fail the article. She said that she would mention that there is an extant free image of the building on Commons, and suggest using it, thus educating the GA nominator and offering him/her the chance to add the image to the article. Give someone a fish, they eat a meal. Teach someone to fish.... — Crisco 1492 (talk) 15:44, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
@Imzadi1979: @Chris troutman: @Masem: @Dana boomer: @Crisco 1492:
There used to be a footnote that compliance to all aspects of the Manual of Style is encouraged, but not required for GA. Is this "preference for including media" part of the criteria itself or simply a suggestion to use images that are available and suitable? In other words, if an article is well written, factually accurate, neutral, broad and stable, but does not contain images that are available and suitable, would its nomination be failed? A suggestion is perfectly fine with me, but the wording of the footnote is unclear.
Many GA writers are not native speakers of English (as GA criterion 1a is easier than its FA counterpart). I only understood the footnote after reading it thrice (my mother tongue is Mandarin Chinese). How the criteria could be interpreted (or misinterpreted) is as important as the exact meaning. If an editor mistakenly thinks that images are required, she may be deterred from writing GAs or worse, upload a copyrighted photo and claim the photo is free (due to her limited understanding of image policy). New reviewers may make the similar mistake of failing nominations due to lack of images, even when there are no available and suitable images.
The purpose of GA is to be a reasonably accessible standard for all articles and editors. Including articles about Chinese culture, African politics or Islamic law, written by new editors who are not native speakers of English. This poorly phrased preference for including images makes GA less accessible. In my opinion, editors who wish to avoid dealing with our confusing image policies should be allowed to write GAs without images, regardless of topic.
--Hildanknight (talk) 15:28, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
@Hildanknight: We meet again. I fondly recall our last discussion in February. The criteria is that images, where possible, be included. It's not a requirement to have images, only to include images if they're available. That's not so hard, in my opinion. Can you point to a GA nominee that didn't get promoted because it didn't include images? You claim that the "purpose of GA is to be a reasonably accessible standard". Please tell the GA reviewers because that's becoming less and less true everyday. English isn't the easiest of languages but I've not found the wording of the policy to be difficult to understand. If you can't speak English well then this project is probably not for you. I don't contribute to de.Wikipedia because my German-language skills barely qualify as basic. That's as it should be. Chris Troutman (talk) 17:38, 2 April 2014 (UTC)

Nomination and improvements from a topic banned editor[edit]

I reviewed Pharnavaz I of Iberia, and then found out that the editor who nominated the article, User:Jaqeli, was topic banned from articles that deal with Georgia and Armenia together. I requested an outside opinion from users involved with the topic ban of Jaqeli, and while I waited for that, the Jaqeli edited the article to satisfy the problems that I found during the review process. Because of this editing, Jaqeli has been blocked for two weeks. But Pharnavaz I of Iberia now satisfies the criteria for GA. How should I proceed? May I promote an article for GA even though the editor who nominated it and brought it up to snuff is topic banned?--¿3family6 contribs 13:57, 14 June 2014 (UTC)

Notability missing from GA criteria[edit]

Did you know that notability is not mentioned in the Good article criteria? A Good article is being considered for deletion (here) mainly because of lack of notability. Checking carefully, I agree with the lack of notability in this case, but I can also see how the article passed GA and I believe it (barely) met GA criteria. Why is notability missing from GA criteria? This seems to be a serious omission. Prhartcom (talk) 23:58, 15 November 2014 (UTC)

Indeed it is a serious omission. Back in June, there was a discussion at WT:GAN about notability and nominations. The discussion concluded that notability was an implicit requirement. However, it would probably benefit to explicitly include notes on notability. Snuggums (talk / edits) 01:13, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
Yes, otherwise an article that is not notable could become GA as this one did, while technically meeting all of the GA requirements. Have I placed this discussion in the wrong place? I have added a short note at WT:GAN. Prhartcom (talk) 16:40, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
How an earth can an article meet the GA criteria (particularly #2 - "verifiable with no original research" and 3 - "broad in coverage") and not be notable? A GA requires in-line citations to reliable sources, frequently tens if not hundreds of them, which are the basic definition of WP:GNG. This just sounds like silly wikilawyering. Looking at the article itself, I could easily see myself asking a question along the lines of "what has this got to do with the song in question, rather than the parent album" during a GA review. Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 17:19, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
I agree, but the answer to your question is, "Because the criteria never mentions notability." That should be an easy fix. How do we modify the criteria to mention notability? Prhartcom (talk) 17:35, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
I think when this has been brought up before, it's always implicit that a GAN/GA has to meet all other policy and guidelines; the criteria of WP:WIAGA is to what degree specific policy and guidelines should be met, or above and beyond the bare minimum for the guideline. For example, WP:V doesn't absolutely require well-formatted reference citations, just that you have inlines and references, but GA can say "well, you should start approaching the MOS for citations, establishing a consistent style, etc.". Other policy/guidelines not explicitly mentioned should still apply - for example, if a GAN turns out to be a glaring BLP violation, it should be removed. Notability is the same way.
To Ritchie333's point: I have seen articles that fail notability but do meet WP:V and are "broad" (in as much as the subject is covered in sources), but these typically are ones using tons of primary sources and minimal or no secondary ones. I would suggest not trying to shoehorn in notability into this, but do explain that beyond the criteria GAs still must meet all applicable policy and guidelines that relate to content if not otherwise mentioned/covered in the criteria. --MASEM (t) 17:45, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Okay, so can we explicitly add to the GA criteria "Must meet Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines? Prhartcom (talk) 17:56, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Wikipedia uses community consensus to affirm or deny WP:N being met (at AfD and merger/redirect discussions), not the opinion of one reviewer. The GA reviewer should only be assessing the quality criteria of the article, not its right to exist. WP:GAN is not WP:AfD. maclean (talk) 20:22, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
However, it seems a waste of time for a reviewer to approve an article that will be deleted anyway.--¿3family6 contribs 20:48, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
This is simple: if you see an article in the queue at WP:GAN which you think should/will be deleted, then nominate it for deletion, and add a note to the GAN template that the article is currently at AfD. If it survives, then a reviewer can feel reasonably confident that their review will not be a waste of time. Adabow (talk) 20:57, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict) If the reviewer thinks the article shouldn't be here, he should nominate it for deletion instead of reviewing it. I don't think it would be appropriate to include notability explicitly in the requirements to be a Good Article, though, as that requirement applies to all articles, not just good articles and I really don't think that general article requirements should be explicitly listed here, except perhaps in a "please check that this article meets the general article requirements before beginning your review" sense. Doing otherwise could too easily lead to the infliction of an enhanced notability standard on articles by reviewers who don't understand the reason for the instruction. – Philosopher Let us reason together. 20:59, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
OK, agreed. Can we add this procedure to the GA instructions? The reviewer instructions currently do not mention "Ensure the article meets Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines." You know this will happen again unless we solidify this. Prhartcom (talk) 21:09, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
As a comment, it wouldn't just be limited to notability/AFD. Say the topic is better as a merge to a different article - that's a step to propose. If it's a major BLP issue, report it to the BLP/N and let them deal with it. Copyvio? Same thing. But one thing to consider: review the talk page of the GAN article and see if it has gone through anything like these steps, as you don't want to double-ding it if it's been cleared appropriately. For example, if you get a GAN that you think is non-notable, but find it has survived AFD in the last few months (and stable since), you should respect that decision and review the GAN without that concern. But do agree adding language that general policy/guidelines not spelled out in depth in the GA criteria should still be expected to be met. --MASEM (t) 00:11, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
I don't think I'd change the GA criteria, but the section above - "Immediate failures". Right after the numbered list, I'd add "Reviewers should be aware that just as some tags may be out of date, other tags may need to be added. If an article needs a cleanup banner (including, in extreme cases, an AfD or PROD tag), rather than reviewing the article, the reviewer should add the appropriate banner instead of reviewing the article." The phrasing isn't perfect, because an AfD tag obviously isn't a cleanup banner, but I'm sure someone will propose a refinement of it? – Philosopher Let us reason together. 04:03, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
I get the feeling we're wanting of concrete examples, so I'll provide one: I got Wisp (Sonic), a page about a race of aliens that are used as power-ups in a few Sonic the Hedgehog games, all the way up to FAC and had several supports for content until one editor came in and asserted that the subject was not notable. The community was at first rather hostile, but eventually came to form such a consensus, and instead of receiving a gold star, the article received a "merging" into the character list, much uglier than it once was. Because no one bothered to tell me beforehand that several full-length articles dedicated to the subject are necessary for notability (instead of just dozens of passing mentions and a couple articles that may have been more about the games than the species) until I'd spent that many hours working on the page, digging up the most obscure articles from the Internet to use, I basically threw up my hands and said, "F*ck it, enjoy your notability, everyone; I'm out." My interest in character articles has been completely soured now that I know they can be redirected so easily at the community's whim, as several of mine (including a few GAs) were right after this one, and at this point I just make it easier on myself by refusing to participate in notability disputes at all. Just in case anyone thought it was harmless not to be completely up-front about what's required for notability. Tezero (talk) 15:49, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

I thank everyone for their input. I believe we have gathered from this discussion that we should not add to the Good article criteria, but I believe we are seeing support for adding to the Good article instructions. Specifically, in Step 1 of both the Nominating and Reviewing instructions, simply include a new sentence stating, "Ensure the article meets Wikipedia policies and guidelines as expected of any article, including neutral point of view, verifiability, no original research, and notability." Being bold, I have just made this change to the instructions and I welcome and appreciate your comments below. I don't believe adding this sentence harms the existing instructions; I believe it will help prevent this kind of issue in the future. Cheers, all. Prhartcom (talk) 17:22, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

Notability is handled at AFD or in other venues. As has been mentioned above, FACs have even been deleted. --Rschen7754 07:26, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
We know AfD deletes articles. This discussion was to attempt to nip it in the bud, so to speak; to prevent editors from doing all that work of improving an article to an excellence recognition without first checking for notability. Hopefully this measure will help a tiny bit. Prhartcom (talk) 15:09, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
I think that rather than say "ensure that", it should be more along the lines of "be aware of" or "instead of reviewing you may wish to". The "ensure" phrasing seems to imply an extended scope of a GA review, while the purpose, as I see it, is merely to avoid reviewers wasting their time on articles with major non-GA problems, not to extend the scope of GA. – Philosopher Let us reason together. 19:15, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
Okay. Do you want to go ahead and make the change to the instructions? There are two places: Instructions for nominating and instructions for reviewing. Prhartcom (talk) 20:27, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
On further consideration, I left your change in place in the nominating instructions. "Ensure" does seem appropriate when nominating an article. On a related note, what were your thoughts on my suggestion for the "Immediate failures" section of the criteria page? Or do you think that the change to the nomination instructions is sufficient? I think it would be appropriate to put in some sort of warning for the reviewer as well as for the nominator. – Philosopher Let us reason together. 19:29, 25 November 2014 (UTC)
I do think what we did already is sufficient, and I'm glad that you helped propose it. We already added a new warning for the reviewer, in the Reviewing section of the Instructions. This idea is too wordy and the first item in the Immediate failures numbered list already addresses cleanup banners. However, after this first item's phrase "It has cleanup banners that are obviously still valid" you could consider adding "or needs new cleanup banners." I was wondering if we should add the entire "Ensure the article meets ..." sentence to a new number 4 in the Immediate failures list. So far we have managed to touch only the Instructions and have avoided touching the Criteria. Prhartcom (talk) 15:12, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
Heh - this fell right off of my watchlist. I've added the "or needs new cleanup banners" phrase - it's short and sweet and should address the issue. – Philosopher Let us reason together. 01:05, 13 December 2014 (UTC)

Linking requirement[edit]

Yesterday, the "Links" section of WP:LAYOUT was removed on the grounds that it is not a layout issue and is already covered in other MOS pages. In theory, this means that the linking requirements are no longer part of the GA requirements. Our choices are either to let linking be dropped from GA requirements, or to add Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Linking (or part of it) to the GA requirements to maintain the status quo. SpinningSpark 00:45, 18 December 2014 (UTC)

I have copied the above post from the GA Wikiproject as there does not seem to be a lot of activity over there and no one has responded. SpinningSpark 10:57, 27 December 2014 (UTC)

Don't see how you made the leap from snipping a redundant passage of the MOS to dropping a portion of the GA requirements. Prhartcom (talk) 01:00, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
Because WP:LINK is not currently in the GA criteria. Linking issues were only a requirement by virtue of being in WP:LAYOUT (this is criterion 1b we are talking about). Now they are not in WP:LAYOUT, linking is apparently not a GA requirement any longer. It's a very simple question, do we wish to continue having linking as a requiremnent? I think we should, especially as the change has happened by "default" rather than an explicit decision here, but as that would require the criteria to be modified I am asking here first. SpinningSpark 10:47, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
(FYI, the way you brought this up was pretty confusing.) No, now that I understand you, I don't think so. I am only one voice, but re-read the five points mentioned by 1b to see if a linking requirement is there, then take a look at the footnote for criterion 1b. Lest you say that the second of the five points is concerned with linking, I do not agree; it is concerned with visual layout; I don't think the two are related (It did used to have an links section, yes). You may be right, though. You can try to revert the person who cut the links section from the layout page and/or raise this topic and your concern on the Talk page there, and you can wait to see if others voice their thoughts here. It's a pretty big deal to actually add text to the GA criteria. Cheers. Prhartcom (talk) 21:52, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
I don't have an issue with the change to WP:LAYOUT and don't particularly want it reverted. It is the effect of that change on GA that needs discussing. Your reasoning does not make sense. I already know that WP:LINK is not listed explicitly. That's the whole reason I brought it up. We specify those five guidelines because we think the content should be adhered to, not because there are only five guideline titles that need be considered. I don't see how just maintaining the status quo is going to be a big deal—and that's all it would be, putting back a requirement that had become accidentally removed. SpinningSpark 22:59, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
I actually think that this one of the five is not about content, but is about format. But hopefully others will give their thoughts. Prhartcom (talk) 23:30, 28 December 2014 (UTC)

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

Critical response to She Has a Name, Good Article promoted in 2013, has been nominated for deletion.

Please see discussion at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Critical response to She Has a Name.

Thank you,

Cirt (talk) 23:39, 13 January 2015 (UTC)

How small is acceptable for an article?[edit]

I just reviewed Ladislaus III of Hungary, and it satisfies the basic GA criteria (well-written, all major aspects, no copyvios, follows MOS, etc.) However, the article is very short, coming in at some 2120 characters. Is this acceptable? Ladislaus died at around age 4, so there's not much that could be written about him.--3family6 (Talk to me | See what I have done) 17:26, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

Hi 3family6, This article is around 2K in size. According to the page Good articles by prose size, this article would indeed be near the bottom of that list, but notice there are quite a few others that are even smaller. (Note: I did a quick run of this article through Peer reviewer and it pointed out the not recommended use of a template in a header.) Prhartcom (talk) 17:55, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
Thank you, you were very helpful. I'll go ahead and pass the article (I fixed the template issue myself as it was a minor edit).--3family6 (Talk to me | See what I have done) 18:14, 22 January 2015 (UTC)