Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Biography/Archive 12

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Archive 11 | Archive 12 | Archive 13

Self promotion articles ?

Hi. I recently nominated a bio at afd. Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Joe_Sanchez. Primary editor of the article is User:Brentwood. This also alerted me to article Sarah Robbins, a colleague in the same field. Big contributor to this article is User:Typewriter. In both cases there are legitimate concerns about self promotion of the subjects. This needs to be investigated more thoroughly, but BPLs really aren't my field of expertise. (i'm quickly learning that :D ). Is there someone or someplace that can assist in reviewing both users edits, and the notability of the articles in question ??? --TheDJ (talkcontribsWikiProject Television) 00:34, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

I think there's some policy or guideline pages (do these turn red? WP:AUTO, WP:VANITY, WP:BIO of course). I think you did right to send to AFD. That's probably the best place for such things to be discussed (we tend to "discuss" rather than "investigate" ;)) --kingboyk 00:58, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
In the mean time, Typewriter has revealed himself as being Mark Bell (, a close associate of Sarah, "who takes care of her page". Mark believes that Brentwood might have previously edited anonymously as and tried to get the page on Sarah deleted as a non-notable subject, before creating the Sanchez article as user Brentwood. I don't know how much of the last stuff is true, but i do believe Typewriter is Mark Bell. I also think that Sarah might actually be notable, I haven't really looked into it yet closely enough. The article (in both cases) are a horrid of course. --TheDJ (talkcontribsWikiProject Television) 01:14, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

Work group articles

Some of the members of the various work groups might want to go over the list of FA and GA articles at Wikipedia:WikiProject Biography/Recognized content. I personally think that a lot of the articles listed as "not yet assigned to a group" clearly fall within the scope of one or more work group, and it would probably be beneficial for everyone if they were indicated as such. John Carter 22:56, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

Two deletion nominations

The following two recent deletion nominations by me may be of interest to members of this project, and I'm interested in soliciting opinion from editors who work on biographies of living persons. I have nominated both because at present they completely lack reliable sources.

The Kenny Benkowski article presently seems to be a near orphan: only one other article, about another minor "jobber" wrestler, links to it. The Jeffrey St. Clair article may be salvageable if only someone will undertake the task. --Tony Sidaway 18:11, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

Deletion of long-term unsourced articles

Further to this, a suggestion has been made on the admins' noticeboard for an extension to the {{prod}} ("proposed deletion") system to cover bios of living people. Feel free to comment whether or not you're an admin. --kingboyk 19:20, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

Debate seems to have moved to Wikipedia:Long-term Unsourced Articles. --kingboyk 18:50, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

Category:uncategorised people

I populated this on an experimental basis a couple of months ago to see if anyone would be interested in working through these, and the indications don't look too good. Would it be more sensible to do this on a per work group basis? e.g. Category:uncategorised musicians, Category:uncategorised actors and filmmakers, etc, etc. (The source of these would be bot-population from topical stub types, with no "permanent" categories, plus whatever others got tossed in there by other means.) There's also a more general discussion on this at WikiProject Categories/uncategorized. Alai 05:15, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

Quite a lot of those are eminently deletable. Having been neglected for some time, tagged to hell and back, if they're still orphaned and unsourced it's time to let them go. --Tony Sidaway 08:17, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
I clicked on 3 or 4 at random and they all seemed surprisingly notable. Not much of a sample, I know, but it's certainly not 100% cruft. --kingboyk 11:05, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps somebody with AWB/a bot could trawl through them, and get them tagged with the necessary templates (some of which will no doubt be prod or AFD)? I'm not sure whether categorising per workgroup would help, but certainly you're doing a worthwhile job getting these flagged. --kingboyk 11:05, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
I don't do automated browsing, but I've been slowly working my way through them. --Tony Sidaway 13:46, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
"Deleted" works just as well for me as "categorised", for progress on that front. I'll check back in a while and see if there's further input on whether to tag these by WG, en masse into the present category, or not at all. Alai 06:45, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

RFC: Bob Dylan on List of converts to Christianity

There has been an ongoing discussion on the talk pages of both articles as to whether the subject should be described as being a convert to Christianity, and/or whether his name should be listed on the List above. A formal request for comment has been made for outside input. Please go to Talk:List of converts to Christianity#Request for comment to take part in the centralized discussion there. Thank you. John Carter 00:38, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

Robert Arbuthnot (auditor)

One of the executive officers in Scotland is up for afd Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Robert_Arbuthnot_(auditor). Help in improving this stub would be valued. - Kittybrewster (talk) 02:00, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

NPOV and Charlie_Crist (Governor of Florida)

An experienced editor should most certainly take a look at .

It would make an excellent campaign brochure but does a sad discredit to Wikipedia.

Ryvr 01:51, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

actually struck me as boring, and therefore would not make a good campaign brochure. 16:29, 30 April 2007 (UTC)


There is no policy to say infoboxes must be placed on a biography, and no agreement that it is better if they always are (at least some people disagree). I've tweeked the wording to avoid the impression that there's a policy here. Infoboxes are optional and should be used at the user's digression, if there's a disagreement then it should be decided by consensus of those working on the particular article, and on the basis of the best arrangement of information on that particular article.--Docga pox on the boxes 21:53, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

Images from the Library of Congress

I happened across the web site for the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division today, and thought I'd mention it as a possible bio resource. Among the many links: selected portraits of famous people from the Library's collection. The page notes that "except where otherwise noted, the Library of Congress is unaware of any copyright or donor restrictions on the use of the images (in cases where permission from a rights holder is clearly required, links to jpeg and tiff files are not provided and only a small reference image appears)." Most, but not all the portraits, are Americans; I found Balboa, Edmund Burke, Marconi, and Yeats. — OtherDave 11:04, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

This is indeed a good resource. It is best to check dates though and, as always, check the copyright issues carefully. Carcharoth 12:11, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

Scope of the project and assessment concerns

Copied from here - please note that this was other editors talking on another user's talk page, and I suggested moving part of the conversation here, as I felt it raised issues relevant to this WikiProject. This is not meant to ignite controversy. Please remember that this conversation was initially on a user talk page, and not directed directly at the WikiProject. Hopefully the contributors to the discussion will respond and clarify what they meant. Comments would be very welcome. If views need correcting, please do so politely, and see this as an opportunity to correct mistaken views, rather than be defensive. I forgot to raise the WP:BLP issues, for example. Please place new comments after the copied material. Carcharoth 22:57, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

I think the basic problem with WP:BIO is its absurdly overambitious scope. Virtually every editor on Wikipedia has worked on a biography article at some time or other. There must be hundreds of thousands of biographies, whereas there are only a few hundred members of WP:BIO and their expertise in certain areas is somewhat limited, to put it politely. It also seems to attract centralising bureaucrats. It would be better to break up the whole thing into sub-projects. Maybe WP has some monopolies or anti-trust laws which might apply here. --Folantin 13:52, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

The biography project is already effectively split up into sub-projects. They have taskforces, and the central people (as far as I can tell) don't really do more than organise talk page tagging and assessments, and dealing with general queries (which is very useful). I've probably grossly misrepresented them, but hopefully someone will correct me if I have. As for your anti-trust thing, that is an interesting idea. Some areas of monopoly probably have already developed, and something to counter that would be useful. Nothing is forever though. Esperanza got broken up, and several similar projects suffered the same fate. I predict that anything that looks broken or over-powerful (even ArbCom), will eventually suffer a slow death of a thousand cuts, repeated MfDs, calls for reform, and eventual dismemberment. Bit of a waste of time, though. Carcharoth 15:08, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
Just picking up on some of this: I've had plenty of the articles I've written for DYK - all of which, naturally, lack infoboxes - classed as Start when as far as I can see they comfortably pass WP:BIO's own criteria for at least B-class. Now, I don't care a hoot about these silly ratings one way or the other, but something like William Savage is surely one of the best resources you'll find on him anywhere, even if you do shell out 200 quid for Grove, or somehow get hold of a copy of Steven's 18th-century bio of him. The article is decently written and well-referenced, and leaves nothing out. All illustrates the folly of this mass-grading scheme. Moreschi Talk 18:05, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
This is a further result of projects becoming too wide in scope. They don't have the human staff to match the extent of their ambitions and so they're forced to rely on mechanical friends like Mr. Bot, who is generally rather stupid. I've had a look at some of the pages relating to WP:BIO's Automated Assessment drive. Automated assessment is a pretty crazy idea anyway, but people are getting excited there because the bot has "asssessed" 10,000 articles a day. Apparently humans follow round in its wake rating the articles too. Some guy claims he is making an effort to assess 200 articles a day. I don't understand how this is possible. You might be able to dismiss the obviously dreadful articles at a glance, but how can you rate the better ones without some knowledge of the subject? You end up dismissing a short article which contains all that is known about a person as a "stub" and you give top rating to articles which look good to the untrained eye but which are full of factual inaccuracies an expert would spot. --Folantin 18:26, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
Precisely. The concept that there are topics on which only short (but still near-complete) articles can be written is something that many people seem to fail to see, until it is pointed out to them that not everything can be a nice long, well-illustrated, multi-section, Featured Article. Too many people default to a "length" or "lacks sections or infobox" mentality when assessing articles. To be fair, in fancrufty areas, merge is best for permastubs, but for obscure historical figures, short but well-written articles can be the norm. Someone should really go over and tell the Biography WikiProject that. I'm sure some of them are aware of this, but those who put stub templates on and those doing the assessments, might not be. Non-experts can assess readability, but you need independent experts (ie. not those who wrote the article) to assess extent of coverage, and accuracy of content. Even WP:FAC suffers this to a certain extent. If an article comes up that no FAC regulars know anything about, they can't really reliably assess it if they don't have access to the listed references. Carcharoth 19:39, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

(End copied content)

Personally, I believe a large part of the problem with what has been stated above could be addressed by the creation of more, and/or possibly smaller, work groups, which would potentially divide the labor a bit more. Of course, I could be mistaken. John Carter 01:02, 3 May 2007 (UTC)
As a few ideas of additional work groups (to work in tandem possibly with other projects):
The work groups would all be part of WP:BIO, right? What would they be trying to do? Just assessments or more than that? Is there anywhere where the scope of the work groups is explained? --Kleinzach 03:41, 3 May 2007 (UTC)
In answer to the above question, they would probably all be linked (formally or informally) to the Biography project (WP:BIO is actually the notability guideline for people , WP:WPBIO is the Biography project). One of the primary purposes of the Biography project is to ensure that the biographies of living people, and also those who are not living, conform to the standards of Wikipedia:Reliable sources, specifically for unjustifiable claims about persons, and I believe that in that sense they would all be reasonably tied to the Biography project. Possibly as task forces of WPBio, possibly as task forces of the "disciplinary" projects, possibly as stand-alone entities. And, I personally believe that the standards for writing an effective biography are demonstrably different from those of other articles, so having a centralized guideline for article structure would certainly be a good idea, although in some cases it might be possible that that structure cannot be adhered to. King Arthur is probably a good example of that. The explanation of the scope of a work group of Biography I thought was pretty self-explanatory, biographies of people involved in a particular area or field, so I'm not sure if it's ever been questioned before for a formal definition of "scope" to be developed. However, I do believe that if the number of work groups were to expand, it probably would be a good idea to have rather more specific guidelines for inclusion. Also, I call to the attention of the other members of the project that a structure similar to that I proposed above is seemingly one of the reasons that the Military history WikiProject is as demonstrably successful as it is. When there are demonstrably sufficient editors to create a project dealing with a specific area, then there are probably enough editors to deal with the military history of that area as well. The same thing, I believe, could probably be said about biographies. I am not myself certain that any proposed structure for biography articles would clearly be followed across the board, although, in all honesty, I am not entirely certain why, with perhaps slight variations for discipline, time period or whatever, they couldn't easily and with no demonstable damage to the individual articles do so. All that would have to be worked out as the individual groups are created, anyway, so it might be a bad idea to speculate in too much detail in advance, and possibly negatively influence any possible developments later. John Carter 14:13, 3 May 2007 (UTC)
  • The concept of intersection could be useful as well. An active, functioning WikiProject could just be acknowledged as being the ones "taking care" of the biography articles in certain area. The taskforce could still exist in name, but in practice people would go to that WikiProject to discuss issues. If anything, biography isn't really a subject area, so what could happen is that those WikiProjects have a parameter "bio=yes" to label their biographical articles. Could that work or is the current set-up better? Carcharoth 14:25, 3 May 2007 (UTC)
I note that the Wikipedia:WikiProject Korea/Military history work group is actually a subproject of Wikipedia:WikiProject Korea, although with the WP:MILHIST sidebar, so I guess such things are at least negotiable. John Carter 14:28, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

Too big

Basically, this project is too big to be useful - and likely to encourage meta-rules being enforced on articles. If you split it up into subject groups, you are simply in many cases duplicating the work of other wikiprojects. For instance in the case of a Scottish biography, specialists from Wikiproject Scotland are much more likely to be knowledgeable that biography 'specialists'.

I was recently working on a Scots history biography, when a phantom box popper from this project who obviously knew nothing about the subject stuck a template in it to claim it for the wikiproject and inform me that it needed a picture of the subject and an infoxbox, and to 'rate it' as a start. Not helpful. I'm always open to suggestions and assistance - but actually a) there are no extant picture of this subject b) it doesn't need a frigg'n box c) ratings by people who know nothing about a subject and have no idea how an article might improve are useless.

My suggestions would be, either a) disband this wikiproject or b) limit it in scope to biographies on living persons that are not being actively being managed by any other project. At the moment, this seems just like an excuse for edit count boosting and imperious grandiosity. Perhaps we should delete it.--Docg 14:37, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

Of course not. The project will pick up more workgroups over time, and every workgroup added is one less banner on talk pages. Please see Wikipedia:WikiProject reform for the current debate on this. This project isn't going to disband any time soon, and I very much doubt an MFD would pass, so you'd be better off pushing for reform there. --kingboyk 14:40, 3 May 2007 (UTC)
Work groups of this wikiproject? Absurd. We've got specialist wikiprojects for that. What is this project for? I can't be bothered with the silly internal politics, I'm just going to remove useless boxes when I see them.--Docg 14:42, 3 May 2007 (UTC)
Fine, but keep WP:POINT in mind won't you. I've told you where the discussion is, it's up to you now if you take part or not. Have a nice day! :) --kingboyk 14:46, 3 May 2007 (UTC)
It isn't a WP:POINT - I'm simply swapping them for a more appropriate specialist wikiproject. That's not disruption - I believe it is good practice.--Docg 14:48, 3 May 2007 (UTC)
I agree with many of Doc's points. I posted this comment elsewhere today. It's not specifically aimed at the Bio project, but applies to all such ventures with too large a scope:
"You've got to wonder how many editors these assessment schemes are driving away. I remember when I first started writing here and I created a new article on a book. It wasn't perfect, but it wasn't bad either. Along came an assessor and rated it 'Start class', apparently because it had no infobox. It was obvious from his contribution history he was just going round slapping such assessments on pages at the rate of one every three minutes or so. As a newcomer, I'd spent a considerable amount of time working on that article and providing Wikipedia with a page it didn't have before. I'd have been quite within my rights to think "Sod this" and never edit another article again. The bare minimum of courtesy would require these assessors to leave comments on the talk pages so there was at least some way of knowing the way they had arrived at their judgement and some human there you could engage with. In fact some of these ratings templates specifically ask the assessor to do this, although I've rarely if ever seen them comply with the request. Now whenever I see such templates and the reviewer hasn't fulfilled the comments requirement, I simply remove the damn things from the talk page for violating civility policy." --Folantin 14:52, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

I'd disallow anyone rating an article unless 1) they know something about the field 2) they've got quite a few decent articles under their own belts. Oh no, instruction creep - better idea STOP RATING ARTICLES ALTOGETHER!!!--Docg 14:57, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

The ratings are included for the purposes of knowing how articles stand and to allow the Version 1.0 people some early idea as to how good a given article already included in a release version based on its importance is and which articles can be considered for inclusion based on their quality. I humbly remind the above editor of the WP:OWN policy, and that he expressly allows other editors to do what they will to improve an article as they see fit. John Carter 15:14, 3 May 2007 (UTC)
Rating an article has nothing to do with improving it, OWN concerns are misplaced. The problem with these ratings is that, even if they do serve a practical purpose, they're largely useless for that purpose. Take William Savage, recently regraded. I write it, it appears on DYK, and someone turns up to rate it, for no apparent reason. They rate it as start: they think they're looking at fairly brief article that cites only one source. No infobox, either! In fact, they're looking at the best information you can find on him anywhere that's referenced to a top-notch source: short of paying 200 whacks a year for Grove or somehow getting hold of the archaic Stevens biography, you won't find better. The article is of great use, both to those familiar to the subject and those not. It's easily B-class. Not that you'd know quite how good it is unless you actually knew something about the topic and/or really read it properly, and then checked to see what else was available. Most biography reviewers don't do this. Additionally, someone seemed to think the article needed an infobox, even when there is no available infobox to fit this rather specialist topic, and an infobox would almost take up more space than the actual article does.
This is when humans are doing the work. When it's done by bot, I shudder. Moreschi Talk 15:37, 3 May 2007 (UTC)
  • The trouble is that rating articles goes in waves with varying levels of discrimination. You have the initial wave of "is this a stub, a great article, or something in between", which helps to get an idea of the scope of the task ahead, and to help identify those articles that need only a bit of help to get to A/FA, and those that are in need of most help (basically, allowing editors to chose to either expand a stub, or put the finishing touches to an article). In a sense, this sort of categorising based on appearance and completeness bears a lot of resemblance to stub-sorting and activities like that. But then you have the problem of rating the actual, genuine quality of an article. That tends to require experts in a subject area, and those carrying out assessments are quite rightly hesitant to rate anything too highly if they don't know about the subject area. So in one sense, it is best for people to not rate an article if they are unsure about anything. It will be a waste of their time and it is best left for an expert to come along later. Maybe such articles could be tagged as "needs expert rating". Which all comes back to general readers being abble to assess for readability and layout and formatting, but needing experts (or lay-experts at the least) to assess for accuracy, comprehensiveness and balance. I would encourage anyone who is confident about grading in a particular area to upgrade articles graded start to B if you think start was the wrong grade. Anything above that should be done through a formal review process (GA, A, and FA). Carcharoth 15:40, 3 May 2007 (UTC)
    • I agree with the above wholeheartedly. Recently one of the editors in the Saints project, User:Pastordavid, got Maximus the Confessor made a featured article, despite its comparatively short length. In this case, almost literally every detail known about the subject is included. Certainly, that can happen with other articles as well. I know the same thing happens with other articles as well. These articles can often be rated on the "down-side" by editors who are not inherently familiar with the subject, but that is the purpose of the rating, after all, to provide an independent assessment. If it is low, one can request a Peer review for additional outside comment, and, at discretion, raise a stub or start one level if one is certain of the comparative amount of info available included. But all ratings for GA, A or FA should be left to the appropriate independent entities. John Carter 15:53, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

Looking at the people tagged under WP:WPChi (see section below), I am reminded of the benefits of something like WP:WPBIO, which is as a clearing house for articles about people. That is why there are dictionaries of biographies, after all. When you have someone who has lived in several different countries, had several different careers, and falls partially under the scope of numerous different WikiProjects, then WP:WPBIO is sometimes the best option. Carcharoth 16:33, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

Best option? Best option for what? What does it do, that is in actually useful?--Docg 17:27, 3 May 2007 (UTC)
Makes sure articles are not orphaned. All articles should, I think, come under some WikiProject. In fact, that is an interesting question. How many articles are not tagged by a WikiProject? I think WP:WPBIO is a well-defined project. My concerns are more with these silly geographical ones that think if someone if connected to a city like Chicago, however tenuously, then that WikiProject should be able to tag it. I think tagging should err on the side of caution, and only tag an article if they think an active member would at some point devote time to improving it. I question how much time a member of WP:WPChi will spend assessing, improving and working on the article of a Canadian ice hockey player who has played for several teams in North America, one of which happened to be in Chicago. WP:WPIceHockey (if that exists), sure, but remove the fringe tagging. It is really unhelpful. Carcharoth 21:07, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

We're not here to debate. Wiki has had quite enough of that lately. This is a useful, active and popular WikiProject. If you want to discuss WikiProject reform, you have the link. Wikipedia assessments (and the usefulness thereof) can be challenged with that group. Infobox policies and guidelines can be discussed in their appropriate venues too. The project isn't going away and I personally am not going to waste my time justifying it. Any insistence that we must is disruption per WP:POINT. --kingboyk 17:42, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

WTF? Well, I am here to debate. I asked a simple question. If you don't want to debate, then fine go away. Don't tell me where and when I can debate. This is a wiki.--Docg 17:51, 3 May 2007 (UTC) I am getting the impression that I've hit a nerve here.--Docg 18:04, 3 May 2007 (UTC)
More a question of balance I think. Organisation is good, but there is a tendency (in conjunction with bots) to take on huge organisational strategies, when it is probably best to balance it with actual article writing. Tagging of talk pages, adding of infoboxes, assessing articles, all needs to be done with the effects on article writing in mind. signing some time after writing this comment. Carcharoth 22:40, 3 May 2007 (UTC)
I would disagree with the last comment above in one minor, but possibly significant, point. I think the goal should be article improvement, not writing. If improvement is achievable through prevention of vandalism, removing text that is for whatever reason unsubstantiated or objectionable, or (at least potentially) getting a larger number of competent editors aware of and possibly interested in improving the article, well and good. Certainly, I think it is demonstrably the case that the Biography project has a large number of competent editors, so I really cannot see how it can reasonably be argued that this project does not have a place in terms of tagging articles relating to biographies of people. John Carter 22:30, 3 May 2007 (UTC)
That makes no sense whatsoever. If you have lots of competent editors, let them go and improve articles. Let them go and write, revert vandalism or deal with BLP. Great. But you seem to think that there's a justification in tagging, because the taggers are tagging on behalf of a valid wikiproject, and when we ask what the wikiproject does, you tags. Sounds to me like a bunch of people trying to inflate their edit counts.--Docg 02:12, 5 May 2007 (UTC)
Actually, I find the above misstatement of my earlier statement regrettable and at least possibly biased. The summary dismissal of "it tags" is clearly far from being an accurate summary of my statement. What I had said could be more accurately stated to be that it indicates that it will be involved in the upkeep of an existing article, and in the prevention of vandalism or addition of inappropriate content. It may also, depending on the inclination of the editors, actively be involved in the addition of more material. My specific comment above was to the effect that "writing", which is what I believe is a rather nebulous term apparently implying addition of content to an existing article in this context, is not necessarily the sole criteria. Clearly, removing vandalism to an article is not "writing" an article, but is a valid and useful activity involved in the maintainance of an article. Certainly, if, as I hope, the proposed smaller projects every become the case (and even if it doesn't) having an article list based on the articles included in the Category of articles bearing a banner is a standard practice for many projects. I have also ensured that many of the projects I work with have a recent changes function built in to monitor those articles which are so tagged and added to the list. On that basis, again, I find the summary dismissal of my earlier statement above at best regretable and at least possibly biased. John Carter 16:03, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

Moved to Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_reform#WikiProject_scope. Not strictly relevant to WikiProject Biography, and the thread was announced there so it may as well just reconvene there. --kingboyk 23:20, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

(Relevant bit reinstated, as it is to do with this WikiProject... :-) Carcharoth 01:09, 5 May 2007 (UTC))

[...] It came to my attention that WP Bio seems to be using a possibly outdated format for some of its parameters. In particular, I believe the photo and living persons (and possibly the autostubbing) banners are formatted to produce more clutter than necessary. E.g., on the aforementioned page in order to work out a clutter solution I removed the "needs-photo = yes" parameter and put it in the {{ChicagoWikiProject}} banner. Later, I realized that this is probably not the best solution because if projects do this every time a talk page is cluttered with your parameterized banner you will begin to lose your hard work and the information from the categorization facilitated by such parameters. My suggestion is to change your parameters to appear as lines within the banner instead of as additional banners.

Also, I was curious why WP Bio does not use the analogue to our Category:Disambig-Class Chicago articles, which would be Category:Disambig-Class biography articles. It would seem this would be a useful category and could be easily populated with a bot looking for WP Bio tagged articles that have {{hndis}} or {{disamb}}. TonyTheTiger (talk/cont/bio) 15:26, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

Basically, it seems like the real problem that I presented to Wiki Bio is being ignored while you are attempting to set policy on issues that don't concern WPBio directly. I am trying to help you to help yourself by updating your template. TonyTheTiger (talk/cont/bio) 17:24, 5 May 2007 (UTC)
I moved the thread because it was off topic but, sorry, I missed that important bit at the top. I won't do your thread the indignity of moving it again, but we usually discuss the template over at the quite active Template talk:WPBiography :)
I have to go out now, if nobody beats me to it I'll have a look at your concerns and give you a more detailed reply later. Cheers. --kingboyk 17:30, 5 May 2007 (UTC)
With regards to the inline messages versus breakout boxes issue, I think that's something we as a project certainly ought to discuss. It's non-negotiable with regards to the living persons bio (blp) warning of course, but everything else could be self-contained. I don't feel strongly either way, personally; what do other folks think?
As for the dab classes (and so on) they're not part of the Wikipedia 1.0 assessments scheme and not strictly necessary. They don't really seem to be of much use outside the assessment scheme, either, unless I'm missing something. However, there's no philosophical objection to supporting them that I'm aware of; if you feel they're needed, or have some specific need for them, drop a line on the template talk page and I'm sure we'll get it implemented. --kingboyk 22:20, 5 May 2007 (UTC)
The more important issue is that each project should be respectful of their clutter contribution by minimizing it so that all projects as a whole face less resistance in their efforts to tag pages by possessive editors. I am hoping your project will do its part. I am not a programmer, but User:Elkman did a lot of the more difficult program tweaking for our group. TonyTheTiger (talk/cont/bio) 20:15, 6 May 2007 (UTC)
Yes, absolutely. I believe we've helped by encouraging other WikiProjects to abandon their templates and share our as "workgroups", and we've also made things easier by absorbing other maintenance templates into ours, but we shouldn't stop there. On the other hand, we don't want to lose the impact of important messages (and if they're not important they shouldn't be there!)
Let's give a couple of days to see if other folks want to comment; if not, I'll see if I can find time to make some changes to the template. (I'm a bit rusty at the moment, and it's a very complicated template). --kingboyk 20:50, 6 May 2007 (UTC)
I am not sure I understand why BLP has to be a break out box. It seems something very noticeable could be done inline. However, each project makes its own decisions. I am just suggesting something that will lessen the number of "helpful" editors who will remove your parameters to save space, especially when they stand out in things like {{WikiProjectBanners}} & {{WikiProjectBannerShell}}. I am probably the only person who is going to come to you and say I accidentally removed your parameter because it was causing to much clutter and replaced it with one of mine that caused less clutter. I am hoping this gives me some credibility with you. A breakout box for autostubbing, photo needs and info box needs are not necessary. We don't yet have an autostubbing message, but our {{ChicagoWikiProject}} needs-photo and needs-infobox messages would be good changes for you. I think you might do well with a BLP inline as well but maybe you might make it have a different background inline to stand out. Just a thought. I am not sure how WPBio works, but I really think these are decsions where someone might as well just say going forward we are making these changes unless there is a problem rather than require some minimum quorum. However, since I am a startup I can make such decisions and may not have perspective on your project. Good luck in any case. Let me know what you do. However, I am sure I will see the changes if any are made because I will be spending a lot of time tagging in the near future. TonyTheTiger (talk/cont/bio) 05:57, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

Charles I of England FAR

Charles I of England has been nominated for a featured article review. Articles are typically reviewed for two weeks. Please leave your comments and help us to return the article to featured quality. If concerns are not addressed during the review period, articles are moved onto the Featured Article Removal Candidates list for a further period, where editors may declare "Keep" or "Remove" the article from featured status. The instructions for the review process are here. Reviewers' concerns are here. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:03, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

Unanswered questions in previous section

Please see Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Biography#Banner for a set of unanswered questions. I'm afraid I rather hijacked that thread, and the original poster has rightly pointed out that his original questions haven't been answered yet. Sorry about that! I don't know the answers, so if anyone can help out, that would be great. Carcharoth 23:17, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

Questions now being answered. Thanks! :-) Carcharoth 12:27, 6 May 2007 (UTC)


What do you think about this diagram ? R/W access to this diagram is available to interested Wikipedians on request. Kpjas 07:12, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

Very pretty, and really quite interesting. Could you tell me more about it please? --kingboyk 22:22, 5 May 2007 (UTC)
I am writing a blog post in Polish (for the Polish Wikipedia community) about the Biography WikiProject and it occured to me that some graphical diagram would illustrate better how complex and extensive project it is. The diagram obviously needs to be expanded further but I didn't want to compromise its readability. Kpjas 08:01, 6 May 2007 (UTC)
Oh, that's very interesting, thanks. Please keep us updated on this, it would be interesting to see what the Polish Wikipedia community make of it. --kingboyk 12:03, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

Adding Cause of Death to Infobox


What do folks think about adding the"Cause of Death" to biography Infoboxes?

-- Michael David 21:14, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

We need more admins - any interested parties?

We really need one or two more WPPbiography admins, in particular people who are proficient in advanced template syntax and who can sensibly edit our protected template, {{WPBiography}}. I know we've had at least 2 active members run for adminship recently but alas neither were promoted (I think the earlier of the two will be able to run again soon and likely get support this time; iirc I didn't support last time because of experience).

If this sounds like you and you're willing to offer some of your free time to Wikipedia to help out as an admin, please drop a line here. We can talk about a WikiProject endorsement. I might even nominate you if you're an excellent candidate (not that a nom from me has any extra kudos, alas). --kingboyk 12:59, 9 May 2007 (UTC) PS If nobody volunteers, I will have to come looking for you! ;)

Most wanted articles

There are currently several hundred biography articles requested at WP:WANTED. Just the top ten requests represent 830 links on 664 pages (in mainspace alone, not even counting links from inside templates.)

--Sapphic 17:39, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

I updated Sapphic's list, since three articles were created in three days. -- KrakatoaKatie 08:12, 12 May 2007 (UTC)
The numbers should be no cause for concern. There's already some 400,000 biographies on Wikipedia, representing about a quarter of all articles. It's quite reasonable to expect at least a quarter of requests to be for biographies, and not reasonable to expect this WikiProject to write them :) If folks want to work on article requests, they'll come to you. --kingboyk 11:15, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

Mordechai Vanunu FAR

Mordechai Vanunu has been nominated for a featured article review. Articles are typically reviewed for two weeks. Please leave your comments and help us to return the article to featured quality. If concerns are not addressed during the review period, articles are moved onto the Featured Article Removal Candidates list for a further period, where editors may declare "Keep" or "Remove" the article from featured status. The instructions for the review process are here. Reviewers' concerns are here. LuciferMorgan 18:49, 13 May 2007 (UTC)

Proposed subprojects

Being bold and not necessarily thoughtful, I have proposed five new projects relating to Biography on the Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Proposals page, regarding "Religious figures", "Comics creators", "Business people", "Lawyers," and "Writers". I am also contacting the extant WikiProjects relating to the general subjects involved. With any luck, we may see some action regarding potential membership in these groups shortly. If of course any member of this project thinks these proposals are not well thought out, then I very much encourage them to say as much on that page so that there comments can be reviewed and, if found to be substantive, acted upon. Thank you. John Carter 16:08, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

Sensible scope, and some participants, that's all that's needed. These seem to be fine wrt the first point. --kingboyk 17:32, 5 May 2007 (UTC)
Not sure about the comics though; seems a bit narrow in scope. --kingboyk 12:01, 6 May 2007 (UTC)
I acknowledge the narrow scope of that proposed group. Based on a rough count, there seem to be about 2000 biography articles which might be covered by that group, if we count both western and eastern comics. My only real point for proposing it was that it seemed to me to be related to a fairly large and active project, the Comics project, and also probably be a rather isolated "niche" within the arts and entertainment field. John Carter 01:09, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
I'd support it if they're on board, certainly; if they're not I'd oppose (because it's too specialist for us unless it's a collaboration, I feel). --kingboyk 01:14, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
I certainly would think it would need to have some sort of official approval from the members of the Comics project before going forward as well. If this, or any of the other possible "joint" proposals get the 5 members sought, I would expect to specifically contact the relevent other project to get their approval and input. If neither is received in any instance, then it might clearly be seen as overstepping our own bounds, and I don't think that is at all a good idea. John Carter 01:39, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

The religious leaders proposal at Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Proposals#Religious leaders has gotten the required five interested parties to start up. Anyone know how to set up a mutual work group of Religion and Biography? Maybe titling it Wikipedia:WikiProject Religion/Religious leaders work group with the Biography project sidebar included would work? John Carter 16:26, 14 May 2007 (UTC)


Editors interested in the use of biographical infoboxes may like to see the recent edits to John Coolidge Adams, Michael Nyman, Steve Reich and Philip Glass; and their talk pages. Andy Mabbett 20:50, 13 May 2007 (UTC)

Stop forum-shopping, Mabbett. --Folantin 20:52, 13 May 2007 (UTC)
To put this in context, there is a broad consensus at WikiProject Opera and WikiProject Composers not to use infoboxes on these articles. Andy Mabbett (see his block log) has been engaging in an uncivil edit war over this since late April. See discussion here, here, here, and here. Fireplace 20:58, 13 May 2007 (UTC)
I made sure to express my request for third-party opinion in neutral terms. You've chosen to respond with an ad-hominem attack. Andy Mabbett 10:54, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
  • Concerning the above, it might be worthwhile for bio project participants to review the discussion of the utility and accuracy of bioboxes at the WikiProject Composers page. I am confident that few committed to this project would wish to impose a snapshot information summary that invites inaccuracy or absurdity given the specific issues involved with composers. Eusebeus 22:24, 13 May 2007 (UTC)
As many editors have already explained in past discussions on WikiProject Composers and the WikiProject Opera it is essential that ancillary information (such as infoboxes) matches the content of articles. Unfortunately Andy Mabbett doesn't accept this and thinks it is the responsibility of other editors to deal with any problems caused by infoboxes - while being obligated to retain them - by Andy Mabbett! Extraordinary! -- Kleinzach 00:57, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
"Unfortunately Andy Mabbett doesn't accept this..." - that's a bare-faced lie. Andy Mabbett 10:54, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

Do we need so many biographies?

I was looking at the list of biographies, and I was wondering if we really need to have everyone who uses this to write a biography about themselves. I think we should set limits on what kind of people biographies can be posted about. 00:24, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

It's called Wikipedia:Notability (people). cheers! Circeus 00:28, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

Question about birthplaces in infoboxes

Is the convention to list the political entity that existed at the time of birth (along with its old flag) or to list the political entity currently existing for the birthplace entry in the infobox?--Jiang 02:24, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

Tony Blair FAR

Tony Blair has been nominated for a featured article review. Articles are typically reviewed for two weeks. Please leave your comments and help us to return the article to featured quality. If concerns are not addressed during the review period, articles are moved onto the Featured Article Removal Candidates list for a further period, where editors may declare "Keep" or "Remove" the article from featured status. The instructions for the review process are here. Reviewers' concerns are here. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:47, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

A Question of Assignment

Where do activists get filed? I gave {{WPBiography}} to Susan B. Anthony, Alice Paul, and Lucy Burns, all of whom were activists (in these three cases, for women's sufferage). But I'm a bit wary of assigning them to the Politics and government work group, which seems to be about office-holding politicians. So, what is done about activists?  — AnnaKucsma   (Talk to me!) 18:20, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

I hope someone with more experience shows up to either pat me on the back or kick me somewhat lower for potentially answering out of turn. But I do notice that failed office candidates tend to get included in the politics work group as well. On that basis, although most of the articles in that group are about officeholders, I think the scope of the group is supposed to include those who lead political parties and other movements as well. On that basis, I think they would fall within the politicians work group. John Carter 19:10, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
...And in the case of suffrage actavists, the're trying to get the right to vote. I'll start assigning.  — AnnaKucsma   (Talk to me!) 20:36, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
I agree with that. Anybody who is notable because of their involvement in politics should be in the group, imho. Of course the ideal is that every bio would be in at least one workgroup... --kingboyk 18:18, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

Duplicate tags

I noticed this Talk:Carlton Baugh has two of your tags. Do you have a bot that can find and remove these? --Dweller 11:31, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

I've checked the history and that page does not have, and as far as I can see has never had, more than one of our tags. It might look like it because of the formatting, but it's only tag.
My bot recognises pages which are double tagged and flags them up as bad, so to an extent the answer to your question is "we already do". Hope that helps. --kingboyk 18:15, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

Biography barnstar?

Does anyone know of a barnstar appropriate for editors who do exceptional work in the field of biography? John Carter 15:11, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

Don't know of one, perhaps you could make one or request one? It would be a nice idea for sure. --kingboyk 18:16, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

Which workgroup should be used for record producers?

Should record producers like Conny Plank or Manfred Eicher go into arts and entertainment, musicians, or both? Cheers, BNutzer 18:10, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

Not really sure. I personally would put them into musicians. --kingboyk 18:17, 19 May 2007 (UTC)
That was my first impulse, too. Any others' opinions would be appreciated. BNutzer 00:07, 20 May 2007 (UTC)


The Biography Barnstar

Per a message on WP:VPR that this massive project did not seem to have its own barnstar, I've been bold and created one. It's up to the project to decide what to do with it. As new awards no longer need approval, once a template is created for putting it on user talk pages, it can be added to the list on WikiProject Awards. Hope you like it! Mr.Z-mantalk¢ 19:08, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

As the requestor of the award, I second approval. John Carter 19:36, 19 May 2007 (UTC)
Looks great, thank you ever so much! --kingboyk 22:04, 19 May 2007 (UTC)
Okay, I've made a template for it (based on the original Barnstar template) and addedit to the WikiProject awards list. To use it: {{subst:The Biography Barnstar|message ~~~~}}

Religious leaders workgroup has enough members

There is now a temporary project page for the proposed religious leaders work group at WP:COUNCIL/P#Religious leaders. Anyone who had a hand in the creation of the existing work group pages has my profound respect, by the way. Anyway, as the group now seems to have enough support to take off, I was wondering whether this project would accept it. I was thinking specifically of maybe making it a subproject of Biography with the religion sidebar (provided one gets created), or the other way around. Opinions? John Carter 22:15, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

Active again

Sorry for my two month hiatus - reality can be a pain! I am still happy we did such a knockout with the WPBiography Assessment Drive (hopefully we can have another one in the near future). Currently I am devoted to perusing new articles that are introduced to Wikipedia and making sure they can assessed and tagged appropriately. Do we have a committee for this currently? --Ozgod 14:06, 20 May 2007 (UTC)

W. B. Yeats FAR

W. B. Yeats has been nominated for a featured article review. Articles are typically reviewed for two weeks. Please leave your comments and help us to return the article to featured quality. If concerns are not addressed during the review period, articles are moved onto the Featured Article Removal Candidates list for a further period, where editors may declare "Keep" or "Remove" the article from featured status. The instructions for the review process are here. Reviewers' concerns are here. LuciferMorgan 13:03, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

Birth by date hierarchy

There has previously been an attempt to create a temporal hierarchy based on date of birth in addition to the existing hierarchy based on year of birth. This initiative was however strangled in its birth about a year ago. Would there be any support for a renewed initative from members of this WikiProject? On the Norwegian (nynorsk) Wikipedia such a hierarchy exists and seems to be both innocuous and well-functioning. __meco 13:16, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

New Article Bot feed

Whats the opinion on getting one of these? It would definitely make it easier to tag and target good and bad biography articles - probably at a dedicated location like Wikipedia:WikiProject Biography/New Articles? 16:16, 22 May 2007 (UTC)