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GA Review

This review is transcluded from Talk:Bulgars/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: SilkTork (talk · contribs) 23:58, 1 August 2015 (UTC)

I'll start reading over the next few days and then begin to make comments. I am normally a slow reviewer - if that is likely to be a problem, please let me know as soon as possible. I tend to directly do copy-editing and minor improvements as I'm reading the article rather than list them here; if there is a lot of copy-editing to be done I may suggest getting a copy-editor (on the basis that a fresh set of eyes is helpful). Anything more significant than minor improvements I will raise here. I see the reviewer's role as collaborative and collegiate, so I welcome discussion regarding interpretation of the criteria. SilkTork ✔Tea time

  • Closed as unlisted to allow more time to resolve issues. SilkTork ✔Tea time 06:57, 16 August 2015 (UTC)

Tick box

GA review – see WP:WIAGA for criteria

  1. Is it reasonably well written?
    A. Prose is clear and concise, without copyvios, or spelling and grammar errors:
    B. MoS compliance for lead, layout, words to watch, fiction, and lists:
  2. Is it factually accurate and verifiable?
    A. Has an appropriate reference section:
    B. Citation to reliable sources where necessary:
    C. No original research:
  3. Is it broad in its coverage?
    A. Major aspects:
    B. Focused:
  4. Is it neutral?
    Fair representation without bias:
  5. Is it stable?
    No edit wars, etc:
  6. Does it contain images to illustrate the topic?
    A. Images are tagged with their copyright status, and valid fair use rationales are provided for non-free content:
    B. Images are provided if possible and are relevant to the topic, and have suitable captions:
  7. Overall:
    Pass or Fail:

Comments on GA criteria

  • Article has an appropriate reference section. I see that the citation style changed from long to short in May of this year during a single edit. For future editing it's worth noting that changing citation style in an existing article is generally discouraged per WP:CITEVAR. The edit also changed appropriate usage of {{Reflist}} to depreciated usage. See Template:Reflist for current guidance. A number of editors are still not aware of all changes. Just noting here for future editing. I get caught out on changes to guidance as well! SilkTork ✔Tea time 00:27, 2 August 2015 (UTC)
  • There's been some very recent edit warring, which if it continues would prevent the article being listed. My general approach in such situations is to extend the review rather than close it, to see if common sense can prevail. If someone deliberately disrupts an article during a GAN in order to prevent an article being listed, they can be banned from the article. I would not expect nominators or significant contributors to get involved in edit warring. If there are concerns about an edit other than obvious vandalism, rather than revert, the edit should be discussed on the talk page. SilkTork ✔Tea time 00:37, 2 August 2015 (UTC)
I discussed and hope for months for the common sense to prevail, but as can be seen on the Bulgars and some related articles, and recently on Bulgar language, as well noticeboard archive, it seems that the editor does not accept and understand that Wikipedia is edited according to NPOV principles. It was proposed a dispute resolution, but currently have no will and time to write an adequate resolution (with all the claims by the editor in question).--Crovata (talk) 17:38, 4 August 2015 (UTC)
  • File:53-manasses-chronicle.jpg is tagged as needing attention. That should be dealt with before the review is completed or another image used in its place. I am uncertain as to why it has been chosen as the lead image to represent Bulgars. I cannot find details about the incident mentioned in the article. Indeed, there isn't much history in the article after the 7th century, which I will mention again when dealing with Broad coverage. SilkTork ✔Tea time 20:26, 2 August 2015 (UTC)
Before I rewrote the article the old revision had a map as the lead image. I was not fond of the image quality and that it only represents a certain date in time, and (with dubious extent) geographical location in their broader migration. I searched for an image wich could properly give, somehow strong, impression of the Bulgars. First used the image of the alleged Kubrat's sword (revision, web), but it was deleted due to copyright. There's not so good selection of images (categories at Wikimedia Commons Bulgars, Medieval architecture in Bulgaria, Monarchs of Bulgaria). I thought about to use an image of their 'capitals' Pliska and Veliki Preslav, or Bolghar, but they are generally not in the original shape, yet reconstructed in the recent two centuries. Thus decided for a medieval drawing, of which, found this most representative of the Bulgars army (seen in their outfit, wearing a Eastern type of helmet, similar to Sarmatian Spangenhelm). The image is part of the Constantine Manasses Chronicle, and needs better licence tag. Will see what can be done. Why the battle is not mentioned in the article will be commented below in "Broad coverage".--Crovata (talk) 17:38, 4 August 2015 (UTC)
Done, is it alright?--Crovata (talk) 19:33, 6 August 2015 (UTC)
Yes. The copyright tag is now sorted. SilkTork ✔Tea time 20:35, 6 August 2015 (UTC)
The information is in both Bulgarian and English, but barely legible. There's none. Indeed, it seems they are book publisher. It now raises the question of whether it is his own work. The user Jingiby account on Wikipedia is blocked since 2014, but hopefully on Wikimedia Commons Jingiby is still active. There will ask him about the image.--Crovata (talk) 17:38, 4 August 2015 (UTC)
There's still no answer from him, but I think that the image copyright is quite suspicious. I can remove it, and when we finish the text, will work on how to make a similar one.--Crovata (talk) 19:33, 6 August 2015 (UTC)
  • File:Bulgar warrior.jpg appears to have been taken from a website with unclear copyright status. The file page says the author has been dead for over 70 years, yet the file data says the photograph was taken in 2012. SilkTork ✔Tea time 20:47, 3 August 2015 (UTC)
This image was also uploaded by Jingiby, and it looks like no one until now noted this issue, although is fairly used. It is atributed to Ivan Dobrev, Bulgarian academician and linguist. Think it cannot be found anymore on the website of the Bulgarian Military Academy. However, it can be easly replaced by the File:A jug with golden medallions.jpg.--Crovata (talk) 17:38, 4 August 2015 (UTC)
Done.--Crovata (talk) 19:33, 6 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Broad coverage. There are images in the article which refer to events which are not mentioned in the text. The history mainly stops in the 7th century, though the images reveal that significant events in the Bulgars history occurred after that date. Unless there is a significant reason why the history after the 7th century is not mentioned, this article appears to be incomplete. SilkTork ✔Tea time 20:51, 3 August 2015 (UTC)
Indeed, but I conceived is so to be historically concise ie. it exclusively mentions the history of the semi-nomadic Bulgars until the time of the 'five brothers' in 7th century ie. migrations with which they finally settled down. What happened with the Bulgars ruled by Batbayan there's no information, probably attended and disappeared somewhere in the historical events of the region. What happened with those led by Kotrag to the river Volga can be further read on the respective articles (Volga Bulgaria). The fate of the Bulgars led by Kuber (Macedonia) and Alcek (Italy) is similar to those ruled by Batbayan. The Bulgars led by Asparukh are the most known as were the founders of the Bulgarian nation. However, at want point of time should be distinguished the history of Bulgars from the history of Bulgarians. I think is - the disappearance of the culture and language, and original ruling elite influence. In the book by F. Curta, The The Other Europe in the Middle Ages: Avars, Bulgars, Khazars and Cumans, 2008, pg. 151 is written "since 1930... the tendency has been to distinguish between Bulgars (before the conversion to Christianity) and Bulgarians (after the conversion)".
When the Bulgars came to the territory of today's Bulgaria they encountered the native population of Slavs and Greeks (roughly to say). Since then we can follow the genesis and development of the Bulgarian nation. The Bulgars from today's ie. medieval Bulgarians differed in language, religious beliefs, traditional customs, social structure, but again who - at least the warrior elite or ruling class. How much they numbered, that's a hard question. According Jean W Sedlar (2011, pg. 424) "The Bulgar ruling class eventually abandoned its Turkic language and adopted Slavic so completely that no trace of Turkic speech patterns can be found in any Old Slavic texts... The 9th and 10th centuries marked an interval of bilingualism, after which the descendants of the original Bulgar conquerors gradually forgot their original Turkic vernacular and became entirely Slavic in speech. By the 12th century the proto-Bulgar language had utterly died out...". Since the Christianisation in 865 is followed gradual disappearance of their original beliefs and customs.
Although the source by Golden (1992) I mostly used for history did further venture into Bulgarians and Volga Bulgaria, I didn't see any point to simply copy the historical facts from other related articles, ie. why not to be included in related articles? The article is already big, and to further expand it in history section with historical facts already mentioned in related articles (like First Bulgarian Empire), with debatable time period until when to follow the term Bulgars... Actually, through the sections "Social structure", "Religion", "Language", "Ethnicity", even "Etymology" - are mentioned few dates, and can be comprehend who they really were, what characterized them, and when no longer. I think this is the most important part of the article.--Crovata (talk) 17:38, 4 August 2015 (UTC)
Britannica covers a longer period. Encyclopedia of European Peoples covers a longer period. This children's encyclopedia covers a longer period. The sources used in the article cover a longer period. I see that the Bulgars divided at the time of the five brothers, but sources continue the history after the split. The distribution of the Bulgars appears to be part of the story, as it is with articles on other such peoples who dispersed, such as Celts and Jews. As this article is about the Bulgars it should cover their entire history. If you wish to write only about the early period of the Bulgars, that could be a separate article, perhaps called Early Bulgars. SilkTork ✔Tea time 17:11, 6 August 2015 (UTC)
There's no need for new article. In the "Subsequent migrations" is noted that they merged with the other regional population, in "Society" that accepted their lifestyle, in "Religion" differences in type of burial cemeteries, and in "Language" that gradually slavicized. The ruling elite managed to preserve their identity for about 200 years, and that's around the time of Christianization (865 AD). This time period, of at least 200 years, must be mentioned, and since the scholars usually follow the history of Bulgarians from 865 AD, will name the succeeding section as "Bulgarian Empires", where will be mentioned the history of the First and Second Bulgarian Empire. The short history, few statements, about Volga Bulgars will add to the "Subsequent migrations" respective paragraph.--Crovata (talk) 19:33, 6 August 2015 (UTC)
After changes, what is your current opinion on the article, what else would like to be done, beside copyedit?--Crovata (talk) 03:24, 7 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Mos - Lead. To meet GA criteria 1(b), which relates to specific manual of style guidelines, the article needs to comply with the advice in WP:LEAD. That is, in addition to being an introduction, the lead needs to be an adequate overview of the whole of the article. As a rough guide, each major section in the article should be represented with an appropriate summary in the lead. Also, the article should provide further details on all the things mentioned in the lead. And, the first few sentences should mention the most notable features of the article's subject - the essential facts that every reader should know. SilkTork ✔Tea time 20:53, 3 August 2015 (UTC)
It can be fairly easly done, and needs better one. I see that some interesting things, eg. religion and language aren't mentioned.--Crovata (talk) 17:38, 4 August 2015 (UTC)
Done, but when see the intro of article on Huns believe only partially. Is it too concise or needs better prose?--Crovata (talk) 03:24, 7 August 2015 (UTC)
  • The prose is difficult to follow in places with uncertain paragraphing - there are too many short paragraphs which inhibits reading flow, and makes it more difficult to absorb meaning because of the lack of organised structuring. The Turkic migration section is particularly difficult to absorb. Clear, readable prose which allows the general reader to understand the topic without undue effort would be what to aim for. This looks like a collection of facts - notes toward an article. The next step would be to write up those facts in an organised and readable manner. SilkTork ✔Tea time 21:19, 3 August 2015 (UTC)
In which parts found the reading difficult, except "Turkic migration"? The respective section was written so because each paragraph is about different date, event or source, more or less related. I thought the more concise, if can with original quote, the better as more interpretation of such distant events will lead to more confusion. Thing is, if recall right and see in notes, there isn't really any other historical fact, besides (F. Curta, Avar Blitzkrieg, Slavic and Bulgar raiders, and Roman Special Ops, 2015) for some raids in 499, 502, 507, 530, 535 AD, and scholar consideration, besides (Uwe Fiedler, Bulgars in the lower Danube region, in F. Curta, The The Other Europe in the Middle Ages: Avars, Bulgars, Khazars and Cumans, 2008).--Crovata (talk) 17:38, 4 August 2015 (UTC)
The language is difficult in most places, and is full of errors, such that it would normally be considered a quick fail. Example: "Golden considered the origin of the Kutrigurs and Utigurs obscure and their relationship to the Onoğurs and Bulgars who lived in the same region, or in its vicinity, as unclear.[27][28] He noted the assumption of the two tribes being related to the Šarağurs (Oğhur. šara, "White Oğhurs"),[29] and that according Procopius there were two Hunnic tribal unions of Cimmerians descent and common origin.[27][30] The reason later Byzantine sources frequent linked the names Onoğurs and Bulgars is also unclear." Two of the errors in that I can parse ("according Procopius" should be "according to Procopius"; "sources frequent linked" should be "sources frequently linked" others I can't work out, so the meaning is lost, such as "Cimmerians descent and common origin". The article would benefit from a copyedit by someone with a good command of English, and who knows the topic well - but it would only be worth doing that, when the article's structure and the topic range is better established. SilkTork ✔Tea time 17:11, 6 August 2015 (UTC)
I am not native English speaker and this minor faults tend not to notice. Agree, when will finish the new section and lead will make you notice to decide. Should the previous copyedit reviewer Folklore1 be called? We could say that at least he got familiar with the article.--Crovata (talk) 19:33, 6 August 2015 (UTC)
The article would benefit from a strong and very experienced copyeditor. One I respect highly is User:Eric Corbett. If you could convince him to get involved I would have more confidence that this article could be brought to GA level. If he does take on the task, I would ask that you allow him to work unhindered - he works fast, making many changes, and this can unnerve some people. SilkTork ✔Tea time 08:42, 7 August 2015 (UTC)
Initially Eric Corbett accepted and done several edits, but [1] decided to withdraw.--Crovata (talk) 22:39, 13 August 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── OK. I don't know who else to suggest. The article needs more than a simple copy edit, it needs a complete rewrite to make the issues clearer - Eric Corbett could have done that. I can see that you fully understand the topic, and are an appropriate person to bring knowledge to the article; what is needed, however, is someone skilled in communication and with a good command of the English language, who also has an affinity or interest in the topic and is prepared to work with you. Unless you have a solution in mind, I will close this review in the next 24 hours. When the language and clarity issues have been resolved you can nominate again. SilkTork ✔Tea time 15:10, 14 August 2015 (UTC)

Unfortunately I don't have a solution for which can guarantee instant work and short period of time. It's alright, I agree with the decision. We went through several issues, will see if there's something more to bring, and will make a new migration image. Thank you for your time and am glad to have worked with you. When they are resolved would like to notice you to see if are satisfactory.--Crovata (talk) 16:23, 15 August 2015 (UTC)
Yes, I'll take a look when you feel the article is ready to be nominated. SilkTork ✔Tea time 06:57, 16 August 2015 (UTC)

On hold

  • I'm putting this review on hold. There are a number of issues with this article. There is information here, and some presentation of that information, but the article does not yet meet GA criteria. I haven't finished the review, though I have put enough indicators above to show why I feel this article is not ready, and what work needs to be done. I think this is a very big topic, and deserves to be taken seriously, with time taken to do appropriate deep research, and then organise and present the material. Given the current state of the article I don't see that sufficient improvement for such a big and complex topic can be completed in a reasonable time frame. However, I would rather support positive efforts to improve the article and build toward a GA listing, than simply close this GAN as a fail. I will keep the review open for a while to see what the nominator and significant contributors have to say. SilkTork ✔Tea time 21:28, 3 August 2015 (UTC)
Closed as unlisted to allow time to resolve issue. SilkTork ✔Tea time 06:57, 16 August 2015 (UTC)