Talk:Fancy rat/GA1

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GA Review[edit]

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In entertainment[edit]

I'll begin by noting what strikes me as the most questionable part of the article, the In entertainment section. It seems doubtful whether most of that information is important enough for mention in this type of article. Is there a source which discusses any of it mainly in the context of rats, rather than in the context of entertainment? Sampling the Featured Articles on the subject of biology, some have a "Popular culture" type section, but most don't, indicating to me that this is not a requirement even for Featured Articles. PSWG1920 (talk) 01:57, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

i might be completely misunderstanding your question, but yes - the source (Wilson) discusses rats in entertainment in a general way, it might be better to bring in the 14th source from Rat (Clute) as a supplement? Additionally, as you say FA articles aren't one way or another on the Pop culture sections, so it doesn't seem like including the section is an automatic strike against it - it's left up to each topic individually. It's undeniable that there have been several notable works that either focused around the human/pet rat relationship or had a pet rat as a central character - the Willard series and Ratatouille being the best examples. The discussion of video games and TV was more for the sake of completeness and comprehensiveness, but if you feel a couple sentences in the entire article is still giving them undue weight, i can understand a little. At least the source given in the beginning notes rats' roles in movies and tv. I would not miss the last two or three sentences - they are merely example text. -ΖαππερΝαππερ BabelAlexandria 05:33, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
And let not forget the obvious candidate: the I Was a Rat tv series (and the book by Philip Pullman) - Mgm|(talk) 22:47, 23 February 2009 (UTC)

"Pet rat"[edit]

I find the use of "pet rat" throughout the article, apparently interchangeably with "fancy rat", misleading. As the intro notes, the brown rat is not the only type of rat which is domesticated. PSWG1920 (talk) 02:16, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

Thinking about this some more, it seems apparent that this article should either be restyled as Domesticated rats, or merged into Brown rat, with the latter looking like the better option. Browsing the talk page this doesn't appear to have ever been discussed, but without hearing a good reason to keep the article as it is I don't see how I can pass it. PSWG1920 (talk) 02:55, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
the idea in the lead is that typically when people are using the term pet rat they are referring to domesticated R. norvegicus, and the term fancy rat is exclusive to the species. However... other rodents sharing the common name are occasionally domesticated, but this like saying "pet dogs" is misleading because some people have domesticated coyotes and foxes. The domestication of pouched rats and black rats is somewhat noteworthy (moreso with the former) but it's not anything that can't be easily covered in it's own article, and almost nothing you could say about one would be true for the other. As for merging, the topics such as History, Differences, Varieties (+Ethics & Accessibility), and Health (+Risks) are all major topics that would bloat the other article per WP:SS. Of course if could expand on why you don't feel the rat fancy is notable enough for it's own article, i'm all ears :) -ΖαππερΝαππερ BabelAlexandria 05:57, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
  • "other rodents sharing the common name are occasionally domesticated, but this like saying "pet dogs" is misleading because some people have domesticated coyotes and foxes." I think the difference is that most readers will already have a definite idea of what a "pet dog" is.
but the point of articles is to educate people... like i said, if the terminology is still confusing, then we need to do a better job of explaining it - not ignore or avoid it.
  • "As for merging, the topics such as History, Differences, Varieties (+Ethics & Accessibility), and Health (+Risks) are all major topics that would bloat the other article per WP:SS." Neither article looks all that long currently, granted merging would create a large one, but Featured Articles often are. I'll have to read through that guideline though.
  • "Of course if could expand on why you don't feel the rat fancy is notable enough for it's own article, i'm all ears". I don't think notability is the issue. I think in this case the best presentation of this subject matter would be in Brown Rat. PSWG1920 (talk) 07:45, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

After reading WP:SS, and looking at both articles again, I do see why this is its own article, though I'm still not entirely convinced that it should be. I can see that it would be impractical to make Fancy rat into a section of Brown rat, but perhaps the information from here could be integrated throughout. Along the lines of "here's how it is in the wild, here's how it changes when they're in captivity". And then perhaps a section for the information which didn't fit elsewhere.

Short of that, I would recommend at minimum changing "pet rat" wherever it's used synonymously with "fancy rat". PSWG1920 (talk) 18:42, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

I just looked at Laboratory rat, and it seems to me that could be merged with Fancy rat into a new article styled as Brown rats in captivity. Then there would be a single "main article" for the last section of Brown Rat. PSWG1920 (talk) 23:19, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
actually, lab rat was merged out of Brown rat as per this and this discussion. basically, the historical information on the seperate lab rat strains is considered encyclopedic enough to be kept - but again would kind of off-balance the Brown rat article. As for merging fancy and lab rat together - my own argument would be that these two articles are trying to be very different: one is an article about how people keep them as pets; the other is about their huge role in science. Both on the same page would be a distraction for reading or improving one or the other specifically. if i were looking up lab rats, i wouldn't really be concerned about how rat clubs standardize them; likewise if i were looking up fancy rats, info on the patents of lab strains would be pretty irrelevent. additionally it isn't so much the domestication itself that is so notable or has much content - it's the role of one as a pet, and the other as a model organism. -ΖαππερΝαππερ BabelAlexandria 07:41, 22 December 2008 (UTC)
I wasn't suggesting merging Laboratory rat into Brown rat, just pointing to the last main section of Brown Rat as an outline for a potential merge of Fancy rat with Laboratory rat. You could have the first main section discuss origin, which is a definite common point. After that I imagine that the information could be divided up well enough that readers could easily skip most of what they weren't interested in. PSWG1920 (talk) 09:04, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

Sourcing[edit]

The sourcing for this article appears to be lacking. Two subsections and a few other sizable portions of text do not currently have references. As well, at least one self-published source is cited, three times, which I have tagged in-text. Per WP:SPS self-published material should not be treated as authoritative except in rare instances, and should normally not be cited at all in an article like this. A few other web-based sources currently used here would likely be considered self-published, but I'm not knowledgeable enough in Wikipedia practice to say that for sure. Nonetheless I would bet that the vast majority of the unsourced and poorly sourced content present in this article is true and valid; we just need to find better references. PSWG1920 (talk) 04:41, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

as to sourcing in general, from WP:CITE:
"When to use. Sources should be cited when adding material that is challenged or likely to be challenged, when quoting someone, when adding material to the biography of a living person, when checking content added by others, and when uploading an image."
i understand this doesn't "only ever cite in these cases", but in uncontroversial articles it's not necessary to cite every claim unless someone is going to come along and question it. i understand wanting references in the Markings section and if that's what it takes to get GA, then i'll put them in - it was prolly just a gaffe.
as for the SPS (ratbehavior.org), the creator gives her name and credentials on her site. But after looking through google scholar and the colleges she got her degrees from i can't find anything that says she stands out enough in her field to go ahead and accept her as an exepert (she could be a really smart and industrious 18 yo for all i really know). Fortunately she provides a page full of references that I can hopefully use instead to back up her claims. it'll take a little work, so i'll a need some time. -ΖαππερΝαππερ BabelAlexandria 06:17, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
"i understand this doesn't "only ever cite in these cases", but in uncontroversial articles it's not necessary to cite every claim unless someone is going to come along and question it." If I were to pass this as GA I would want to be able to defend that decision in the event it was second-guessed. PSWG1920 (talk) 07:53, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
I also have a strong feeling you might be taking issue with sourcing the articles put out by the rat club sites. In cases like Controversy, these are published opinions of the organized hobby - they are non-anonymous and fact-checked by peers through a publication process. In cases of standards and history, these sources are as authoritative as a kennel club. -ΖαππερΝαππερ BabelAlexandria 06:36, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
My biggest concern at this point is unsourced material. While I am uncertain on a few other points (what sources are valid, should the entertainment section exist, should this article be merged with another), I can tell you for sure that I will have to fail this as GA if many more references are not forthcoming. Though I'll do my best to assist in the search. PSWG1920 (talk) 01:40, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

A fairly quick search of Google Books turned up four potential new sources for this article, which I listed on the talk page. I would also say that I'm not sure whether or to what extent these "rat association" web sites would withstand community scrutiny as sources, so let's try to replace as many of those references as possible. PSWG1920 (talk) 03:32, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

my request for input seems to have ill-timed - i look forward to reviewing these sources, and will get back to this, the holidays are taking their toll. Cheers! -ΖαππερΝαππερ BabelAlexandria 20:25, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
No problem. I can wait longer than the allowed seven days, and may work on the article more myself if I have time, and if I don't get blocked for edit-warring elsewhere. PSWG1920 (talk) 20:33, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

Recommendations[edit]

What's the status on this GA review? Looks like work's going into it but there needs to be communication here. Wizardman 14:30, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

This has been discussed a bit on my user talk page as well. Basically I am waiting for Zappernapper to finish making improvements, then I'll decide whether to pass, fail, or seek a second opinion. PSWG1920 (talk) 16:22, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

GA Review by Levine2112[edit]

I am new to this article, so please forgive me if I am stepping on anyone's toes. I noticed that this article is nominated for GA status. In my opinion, the chief element holding this article back is the "In entertainment" section which not only contains trivial information but more important seems to contain mostly information about rats in general and not specific information on fancy rats. I would suggest the following deletions of non-fancy rat related and trivial information:

Due to their intelligent nature and trainability, rats have appeared in several major film releases and television series throughout the world. They also occasionally appear as central or important characters in novels, comics, and video games. Rats may appear as domesticated pets, wild vermin, or as anything else between the two. The portrayal of fancy rats in entertainment is extremely limited, pet rats are usually only seen as tamed brown rats or former lab rats. Often, a pet rat is cast as a wild rat that a character has taken in, like a human befriending a wolf. An example of this is in the series of movies based on Ratman's Notebooks: 1971's Willard, the sequel Ben, and 2003's Willard. These movies entail the protagonist befriending the rats found in his home and building up a close relationship, only to have the friendship end in tragedy. While these movies generally emphasize the popular perception of malevolence[1] — they kill people, cats, and ransack grocery stores — other wild rats who become pets are portrayed in more neutral to positive ways, like in the television shows Fawlty Towers and House. Films in this same trend include Ratatouille, with a rat described by Roger Ebert as, "earnest... lovable, determined, [and] gifted". In a transition from pet rat to wild rat is the movie Flushed Away — about a rat living in lonely luxury, who in the end chooses to leave that life for one amongst his newfound sewer-dwelling companions. Other stories with pet rats are more involved with events taking place well after the rat was adopted. The computer gamePhantasmagoria: A Puzzle of Flesh features Blob, the beloved pet rat of the protagonist who serves as the key to two puzzles in the game and also shows Curtis how mad he's become when he hallucinates hearing her talking. The well-known mutant rat Splinter, of theTeenage Muntant Ninja Turtles franchise, was kept as a pet by an experienced martial artist in one origin story, and learned his skills mimicking them from his cage before the mutation. He then goes on to act as a sensei to the titular characters.

As such, I would also remove the following unreferenced sentence from the lead:

The theme of a human taking in a wild rat is highly prevalent, while the depiction of true rat fancy is virtually non-existent within mainstream media.

I believe that these edits will help propel this article to Good Article status. -- Levine2112discuss 01:38, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for dropping in! I do agree that the Entertainment section should at least be cut way down, and I have some doubts as to whether it should exist at all. Further input from you would be appreciated, as I am very inexperienced at reviewing articles. PSWG1920 (talk) 02:05, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
I am cross-checking some of the references, but overall, I'd say there has been marked improvement in the usage of references. -- Levine2112 discuss 02:49, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
thanx for the input levine! i'm a little sad to see the ratatouille prose go, because we actually have a reference that uses descriptive words (i.e. we can say pet rats are depicted as "lovable") -ΖαππερΝαππερ BabelAlexandria 04:40, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
I only saw it once, but I thought the titular character wasn't a pet or fancy rat, but rather a wild country rat. This article is about a particular kind of rat. We should limit content - especially trivial content - to be just about this particular species (R. norvegicus). Keeping the article focused on the topic at hand will help the article acheive GA and possible FA status. Let me know if you want to make the suggested edits above. -- Levine2112 discuss 05:48, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
actually, Remi and all the other rats portrayed in the movie are brown rats - while it's easy enough to infer given the time and locale, it's stated explictly in DVD extras ("Your friend the rat" goes on to mark several distinctions between brown and black rats). The point that is trying to be made in the opening sentences is that people having rats as pets has been present throughout fiction, however it is usually in the context of the person befriending a wild rat as opposed to obtaining it from a pet store or breeder. We then cite an early well-known example of this where rats are still negative, a current well-known example where it is positive, and an odd-ball example - where the rat goes from domesticated to "wild". I realize many people write off these types of sections as trivial, but there are many subjects who have played notable roles in our entertainment which is a reflection of our culture and our ideas. That being said, I do agree with you that keeping this article topic-focused is critical to maintaining quality. -ΖαππερΝαππερ BabelAlexandria 16:21, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
I am not a rat expert by any means, so if anything I am saying is wrong, let me know. I guess what I am suggesting is that we keep the information in this article limited to only be about "Fancy rats". Brown and black rats are another topic, right? So don't include information about those kinds in this article unless the source which you are citing is making some kind of comparison to fancy rats. If we - the Wikipedia editors - are crafting our own text absent of reliable sources to show how brown rats can be compared to fancy rats, then we have violated WP:OR. In a nutshelll, my advice here is to only include in this article material which is verifiable with a reliable source and is on directly topic with the subject of this article. -- Levine2112 discuss 00:16, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
you've now thoroughly confused me :) Fancy rats are domesticated brown rats, and the term is synonymous with "pet rat" although some people may keep other species of rat as pets. (I'm starting to wonder if this is not made clear in the lead) a large majority of the article is only talking about pet rats - save for the history and differences sections which have plenty of reliable sources. so there is no "crafting our own text absent of reliable sources to show how brown rats can be compared to fancy rats". I had thought your original issue was the entertainment section and i don't see where the article is comparing domesticated rats to wild rats in that section. -ΖαππερΝαππερ BabelAlexandria 14:51, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
Again, I am not a rat expert by any means, so I do apologize. My understanding is that Fancy Rats are a domesticated version of the Brown rats. (Black rats are a species entirely unto their own.) There is a Brown Rat article already, and if we want to keep this Fancy Rat article from being merged with the Brown Rat article, then we should keep this article focused on just Fancy rats. If there are reliable sources discussing the differences between wild Brown rats and Fancy rats, then we should cite those sources and include their comparisons. However, if we are using sources which are only speaking about Brown rats in general (not specifically about Fancy rats), then we should reserve that source and info for the Brown rat article. In other words, keep this article focused on the topic at hand. Much of the lack of focus seems to be in the "In entertainment" section, which includes a lot of trivial information about wild brown rats portrayed in movies. Just leave the wild brown rat information out and only keep the reliably sourced information which specifically discusses Fancy rats. Does this make sense? Am I correct in the distinction between wild brown and fancy rats? -- Levine2112 discuss 21:17, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
ok... i get you now :) so you feel that regardless of the interchangeability of the terms fancy rat and pet rat, we should just avoid any references to pet rat ownership in fictional works unless they explictly portray rats that are thoroughly domesticated? Would it make any difference if the article was named "Pet rat" with crosslinks to Black rat, etc.? -ΖαππερΝαππερ BabelAlexandria 00:55, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
There are some rat fanciers who domesticate black rats(Rattus rattus), and Gambian pouched rats (Cricetomys gambianus), but these are not generally referred to as fancy rats as the hobby does not formally center around them, and when talking about "pet rats"—the term is almost always exclusive to R. norvegicus.
Assuming this to be accurarate, then when this article refers to "pet rats", it is synonymous with "fancy rats". So let's keep this article focused to a discussion of the domesticated R. norvegicus. We should not be discussing the domestication of R. rattus or any other kinds of rats unless the source given is making some sort of comparison to the domesticated R. norvegicus. If you want to include information about the domestication of Black rats, then that should be handled in the Black rat article. If you wanted to create a page which talks about the domestication of all types of rats, then you may want to create an article which deals with that general topic - however, I'd be wary of calling that article "Pet rats", as that terms seems to be reserved for R. norvegicus. Make sense?
But yes, you do get me now. Sort of. In this article - Fancy rat - we should avoid any references to pet rat ownership in fictional works unless the work explictly portray R. norvegicus. If the work portray a R. rattus which has been thoroughly domesticated, it still shouldn't be included in this article because this article is about R. norvegicus which have been thoroughly domesticated. (Again, I am not even a novice in this field, so if I am totally wrong about anything, please feel free to correct me!) -- Levine2112 discuss 01:49, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
ok, then we are in agreement, i think. The following sources are explictly about brown rats: Ratman's Notebooks, Ratatouille, and House. While I have seen the Fawlty Towers episode, and identified it as a brown rat, i can't say for certain the species was ever discussed (just 1 epsidoe anyways), likewise i'm unsure about Splinter - even though it could be reasonably argued with original research. as for Phantasmagoria - i've never played it and all the reviews are silent on the subject. so why don't we remove all those non-explicit refs and keep the wording on the different portrayals? -ΖαππερΝαππερ BabelAlexandria 02:53, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
That sounds good. My only question is about Ratatouille. Isn't Remi a wild brown rat (and hence not a Fancy rat)? -- Levine2112 discuss 18:52, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
but he becomes "tamed" at the end, and is essentially a pet isn't he? -ΖαππερΝαππερ BabelAlexandria 23:38, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

Hi, I'm just checking in, are there any more comments for this review? It is currently the longest-held review on WP:GAN. Gary King (talk) 17:16, 11 February 2009 (UTC)

It's currently in Peer review. PSWG1920 (talk) 17:20, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
Okay; normally the good article reviewer should say what the article still needs, instead of a peer review filling in the role of the reviewer. Gary King (talk) 17:26, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
as the main contributor to this article i just thought i'd weigh in. I've gone ahead and addressed PSWG's sourcing concerns, along with those about the In fiction section. Additionally, I've addressed most of the concerns brought up by Ruhrfisch at the Peer review. Levine has been helping out with some the edits, and I suppose he thought it would be helpful to run it through Peer review to get further feedback for the GA review. Not the worst way to get additional comments, but i suppose it is making things more complicated now. If PSWG would like to just make a descision based on his original concerns (which I beleive have all been fixed) along with the guidelines at WP:GA? i'm fine with that. Btw, peer reviewers don't always come back to the article to look at progress. It's not as if there is some attainable goal that both sides are trying to work towards, so it might be a while before Ruhrfisch responds to my questions on the peer review. -ΖαππερΝαππερ BabelAlexandria 17:40, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
The article now certainly looks like a good GA candidate, however, I still have two concerns. First, I am just not sure whether the National Fancy Rat Society and the American Fancy Rat and Mouse Association should be considered reliable sources. Secondly, I still have doubts about whether the "entertainment" section should exist at all. Perhaps I will request a second opinion. If the next reviewer doesn't see either of those things as a problem, it could be a quick pass. There is one other reason that I am very hesitant now to GA pass this myself. I fear that I will be seen as having a conflict of interest due to the help which Zappernapper has provided at an article which I am trying to get to GA. I know that sometimes certain users will keep an eye on all the activity of particular editors, so this could well be brought up at a potential reassessment. PSWG1920 (talk) 18:15, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

Zappernapper, if you feel that you're finished making substantial improvements, I'll go ahead and request a second opinion, for the reasons explained above. PSWG1920 (talk) 18:28, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

(ec)please don't be concerned about a COI. The whole idea, outlined at WP:GAN, is that when you want an article of yours to be reviewed, you should, in turn, review someone else's article. I trust that you can make reasonable decisions about what constitutes a good article without doing anyone any favors, and the fact that you still have concerns proves that. I have brought up the clubsite issue on the RS noticeboard. As for the In fiction section, you've already admitted that FA's even have these sections so I don't really see what the concern is, are you against In fiction sections in concept? or content? -ΖαππερΝαππερ BabelAlexandria 18:38, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
My concern is that the sources for that section seem to be much more about entertainment than rats. That casts doubt on the importance of the information therein in the context of this article. Perhaps a Fictional rats list could be created? PSWG1920 (talk) 19:08, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
while the sources may be specifically covering entertainment in general - the fact that they mention rats at all is what makes it worthwhile to include. I couldn't find anyone talking about a pet rat in a videogame - so that content was not included. As for a List of fictional rats, that an ineteresting idea for a new article, but wouldn't necessairly supplant the information here. When someone goes to look up a subject, if that subject has been featured prominently in cultural works - people expect to be able to find that information. -ΖαππερΝαππερ BabelAlexandria 19:38, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
(new) yes i'm done with substantial improvements, if you just want to wait for the response from the Noticeboard, that would probably satisfy your second opinion yes? -ΖαππερΝαππερ BabelAlexandria 18:38, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
Sure, if there's consensus that the sources in question satisfy WP:RS. PSWG1920 (talk) 19:08, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
I believe that consensus has been established. The sources are reliable for this article. -- Levine2112 discuss 23:12, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

Next step(s)?[edit]

I think this article is looking rather tip-top. Any other suggestions or are we ready for GA? -- Levine2112 discuss 23:12, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

My remaining concern is the "In entertainment" section, for reasons which I have explained above. PSWG1920 (talk) 23:17, 13 February 2009 (UTC)
Have you sought a second opinion on this? -- Levine2112 discuss 23:22, 13 February 2009 (UTC)
You could give your opinion on the current entertainment section. ;) PSWG1920 (talk) 23:29, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

Entertainment[edit]

I do have concerns, but I am getting the sense of reluctance to address the issues I have. Let's examine this section line by line:

  • Due to their intelligent nature and trainability, rats have appeared in several major film releases and television series throughout the world.[2]
    • Is this about Fancy rats or rats in general? -- Levine2112 discuss 00:03, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
  • They also occasionally appear in other media as well.
    • Is this about Fancy rats or rats in general? -- Levine2112 discuss 00:03, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
  • Rats may appear as domesticated pets, wild vermin, or as anything else between the two.
    • Is this about Fancy rats or rats in general? -- Levine2112 discuss 00:03, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
  • The portrayal of fancy rats, those bred in exotic colours or coat types, in entertainment is extremely limited, pet rats are usually only seen as tamed brown rats or former lab rats.
    • I'd like a source for this statement. -- Levine2112 discuss 00:03, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
  • Often, a pet rat is cast as a wild rat that a character takes in, like a human befriending a wolf.
    • I'd like a source for this statement (especially with regards to the "Often..." of it all). -- Levine2112 discuss 00:03, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
  • An example of this is in the series of movies based on Ratman's Notebooks: 1971's Willard, the sequel Ben, and 2003's Willard'
    • I'd like a source for this statement, especially one which confirms that the rats cast in these movies are indeed "Fancy rats" (domesticated Rattus norvegicus). -- Levine2112 discuss 00:03, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
  • These movies entail the protagonist befriending the rats found in his home and building up a close relationship, only to have the friendship end in tragedy.
    • Probably don't need a source for this, but it's inclusion hinges on the confirmation that the animal actors in these movies were in fact "Fancy rats" (domesticated Rattus norvegicus). -- Levine2112 discuss 00:03, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
  • While these movies generally emphasize the popular perception of malevolence[1]—they kill people, cats, and ransack grocery stores—other wild rats who become pets are portrayed in more neutral to positive ways; the television show, House, or the film, Ratatouille, with a rat described by Roger Ebert as "earnest... lovable, determined, [and] gifted".[3]
    • I'm still not convinced that Ratatouille's Remy was supposed to be a "Fancy rat" (domesticated Rattus norvegicus). Note that the citation quote a passage which in itself does NOT describe Remy as a Francy rat, Pet rat, nor a domesticated Rattus norvegicus. -- Levine2112 discuss 00:03, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

Feel free to interleave your own comments above using intented bullets (*). -- Levine2112 discuss 00:03, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

My overriding concern with the Entertainment section, as I've mentioned before, is that its sources seem to be much more about entertainment than rats. That hasn't changed. As long as this remains an issue, I can't pass the article. I can however request an official second opinion. PSWG1920 (talk) 20:30, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

I don't really have a problem with that. That's my second opinion. But you may wish to seek another opinion if this is nagging at you. -- Levine2112 discuss 22:23, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

Seeking additional opinion[edit]

This article is now at least much, much closer to GA status than it was when this review opened. However, I still have doubts about one section, "In entertainment". While it has been scaled down considerably, its sources are still much more about entertainment than about rats. To me this casts doubt on the importance of the information therein to this article. So I'm officially seeking a "second" opinion on whether the article should pass as GA. I'm not clear on whether I'm automatically delegating the decision to the next reviewer by doing this, but I am happy to do so. If the next reviewer sees no problem with the Entertainment section as it is, I imagine it would be a quick-pass, as the rest of the article now seems solid. PSWG1920 (talk) 02:46, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

  • The lead, "The name fancy rat has nothing to do with the "fanciness" of their appearance, but derives from the the idea of animal fancy or the phrase, "to fancy" (to like, or appreciate).[2]" does not sound encyclopedic. We can remove, "has nothing to do with the "fanciness" of their appearance, but ". Any Comments? Bluptr (talk) 12:25, 21 February 2009 (UTC)
  • Probably the section, "Internationally recognized standards include:" needs WP:RS citations.
  • "Remaining coat types are not defined by the hair itself, but rather by the lack of it." --- is this WP:OR ?
  • "Due to their intelligent nature and trainability," , can this be written as "Due to their intelligence and ..."

Thanks. Bluptr (talk) 12:28, 21 February 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the further input, Bluptr. I have gone ahead and addressed your suggestions. Per PSWG1920's concerns, do you have any other problems with the "In entertainment" section? -- Levine2112 discuss 20:38, 21 February 2009 (UTC)
per WP:SPS the site that was added as a ref [1] is not usuable as a source as it appears to directly mirror this article, and since there's no GFDL, i've added it to Wikipedia:Mirrors and forks/r. I can add a better ref for "Internationally recognized standards include:", but is it really necessary for the coat types? We've already provided a ref that these coat types are accepted standards - is characterizing "hairless", "semi-hairless", and "patchwork" as types defined by their lack of hair considered original research??? -ΖαππερΝαππερ BabelAlexandria 01:15, 22 February 2009 (UTC)

Sorry for the delay, was very busy. Here are my two cents.

  • "Due to their intelligence and trainability, rats have appeared in several major film releases and television series." -> Is this possible WP:NPOV? I think this should be "According to so and so rats are intelligent and trainable ..." because we are possibly turning a opinion into a fact. Opinions should be expressed as opinions.
  • "They also occasionally appear in other media as well." -> is WP:WEASEL can can be removed.
  • "Rats may appear as pets, wild vermin, or as anything else between the two. Rather than portraying pet brown rats as thoroughly domesticated, they are often cast as a wild brown rat that a character takes in, like a human befriending a wolf." -> Sounds like a WP:OR

I would write this section as follows, " According to Stacy Lynne rats are intelligent and easily trainable, because of which they have appeared in several major film releases and telivision series. In the series of movies based on Ratman's Notebooks: 1971's Willard, the 1972 sequel Ben, and 2003's Willard rats appeared as (add description...) ... In the ongoing television show, House features "Steve McQueen", rats appear as (...) In the animated film Ratatouille, rats appeared as (...) and Roger Ebert described them as "earnest... lovable, determined, [and] gifted". "

Currently the section appears like a WP:OR. Just pls state the facts and let the readers decide. Dont add any opinions or comments. Hope this helps. Thanks. --Bluptr (talk) 15:56, 28 February 2009 (UTC)

i generally agree with your suggestions and will go ahead make some substantive changes to the section. I'd also like to just explictly clarify that you do not feel the sources used need to be exclusively about rats in entertainment?
i do, however, not understand your concerns over some points -
how is occasionally a weasel word? looking at the actual guideline, it seems to be about not attributing claims of opinion, not to be about using words to describe frequency of events... the word occasionally is not even an example, nor are practical synonyms like sometimes or infrequently. Removing the whole sentence would make it appear we are claiming pet rats only exist in books and movies, which is decidely false, but we can take out the word occasionally.
the phrase, "Rather than portraying pet brown rats as thoroughly domesticated, they are often cast as a wild brown rat that a character takes in, like a human befriending a wolf." As discussed above, this sentence is needed in order to clarify why we are using these rats as examples. The article is merely prepping the reader for the paragraph with a short summarical introduction, making a claim that most people who well understood the topic would deduce for themselves. The clarification and explanation is needed though because readers weren't understanding why we were talking about non-domesticated rodents in this article. -ΖαππερΝαππερ BabelAlexandria 20:39, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

Fancy Rat orgs[edit]

I put this on RS/N, but you said you wanted it here to, so I've copy and pasted it. Looking into them. NFRS[2][3][4] AFRA[5][6][7] It looks like they're both notable, so their opinions on rats should be OK if attributed to them. - Peregrine Fisher (talk) (contribs) 19:09, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

Their opinions can be mentioned in their own articles (which they have in Wikipedia). The question is whether they should be cited here? PSWG1920 (talk) 19:14, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
i think what he's saying is that they meet the requirement of "expert in their field" -ΖαππερΝαππερ BabelAlexandria 19:39, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
Agreed. In my opinion these sources satisfy WP:RS entirely. -- Levine2112 discuss 19:40, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
Well, they're opinion on rats is usable. Basically experts as Zapper says. They don't satisfy RS entirely. They should not be used for BLP info. Basically, experts on rats? Yes. Experts on anything else (besides themselves)? No. As always, don't use their forums. Also, it looks like the American one's site is down. - Peregrine Fisher (talk) (contribs) 19:58, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
Of course. I meant "entirely" in the context of this article and how they are being used. :-) -- Levine2112 discuss 20:02, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
if [afrma.org was down, it was temporary. -ΖαππερΝαππερ BabelAlexandria 05:56, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

Corncens with Entertainment section[edit]

I do have concerns, but I am getting the sense of reluctance to address the issues I have. Let's examine this section line by line and let me know your thoughts. This seems to be the obstacle in our way to GA. So here is is line-by-line with by concerns:

  • Due to their intelligent nature and trainability, rats have appeared in several major film releases and television series throughout the world.[2]
    • Is this about Fancy rats or rats in general? -- Levine2112 discuss 00:03, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
  • They also occasionally appear in other media as well.
    • Is this about Fancy rats or rats in general? -- Levine2112 discuss 00:03, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
  • Rats may appear as domesticated pets, wild vermin, or as anything else between the two.
    • Is this about Fancy rats or rats in general? -- Levine2112 discuss 00:03, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
  • The portrayal of fancy rats, those bred in exotic colours or coat types, in entertainment is extremely limited, pet rats are usually only seen as tamed brown rats or former lab rats.
    • I'd like a source for this statement. -- Levine2112 discuss 00:03, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
  • Often, a pet rat is cast as a wild rat that a character takes in, like a human befriending a wolf.
    • I'd like a source for this statement (especially with regards to the "Often..." of it all). --Levine2112discuss 00:03, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
  • An example of this is in the series of movies based on Ratman's Notebooks: 1971'sWillard, the sequel Ben, and 2003's Willard'
    • I'd like a source for this statement, especially one which confirms that the rats cast in these movies are indeed "Fancy rats" (domesticated Rattus norvegicus). -- Levine2112discuss 00:03, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
  • These movies entail the protagonist befriending the rats found in his home and building up a close relationship, only to have the friendship end in tragedy.
    • Probably don't need a source for this, but it's inclusion hinges on the confirmation that the animal actors in these movies were in fact "Fancy rats" (domesticated Rattus norvegicus). -- Levine2112 discuss 00:03, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
  • While these movies generally emphasize the popular perception of malevolence[1]—they kill people, cats, and ransack grocery stores—other wild rats who become pets are portrayed in more neutral to positive ways; the television show, House, or the film, Ratatouille, with a rat described by Roger Ebert as "earnest... lovable, determined, [and] gifted".[3]
    • I'm still not convinced that Ratatouille's Remy was supposed to be a "Fancy rat" (domesticated Rattus norvegicus). Note that the citation quote a passage which in itself does NOT describe Remy as a Francy rat, Pet rat, nor a domesticated Rattus norvegicus. -- Levine2112 discuss 00:03, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

Feel free to interleave your own comments above using intented bullets (*). -- Levine2112discuss 00:03, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

your comments suggest, like PSWG's earlier, that the first paragraph in the article is apparently not doing it's job of explaining this topic's definition. Pet and fancy are almost completely interchangeable - at PSWG's request we changed most->all occurences of "pet" to "fancy" in order to be more specific that we are not discussing pet Gambian pouched rats, or pet black rats because fancy is the more exclusionary term. Additionally, because Pet rat redirects here, it is permissible to discuss any brown rats that are kept as pets - regardless of level of domestication. In the Entertainment section, I wrote a couple introductory sentences describing the topic most general topic as background information - this was more a stylistic choice as it makes for better prose - it's kind of like the idea of writing a lead for a whole article; or an intro paragraph for a large section (you'll notice this trend in Varieties). I then go on to make the claim that while rats (assume brown from here on) may have roles as pets in media, rather than as true fancy rats - bred for years into domestication and a variety of coat colours, they are instead wild rats that have been taken in. I had intended this as only an introduction to examples of people keeping pet rats, and to explain that these are never intended be interpreted as "domesticated". I can see how this might be viewed as synthesis though, and perhaps the sentence should be removed and people can be left to wonder if there are any notable examples of true rat fancy in fiction - i guess the point is made by the examples presented.
so again, because this article is about more than just domesticated brown rats, but also more generally, pet brown rats - the examples from Willard, House, and Ratatouille are within the scope of this article. -ΖαππερΝαππερ BabelAlexandria 15:50, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
The problem - and it may just be my continued confusion on the subject - is that this article's scope should be limited to "Fancy rat" (a.k.a. domesticated brown rat, Norwegian rat, Rattus norvegicus) as defined by the articles title and by the lead sentences. My feeling is that the "In entertainment" section includes information about rats in general (as I describe above). Please either show that the sentences I highlight above are cited to sources actually making claims about "Fancy rats" specifically or else we should remove the sentences (and possibly move them to Rat or Pet rat or someplace more apropos than here. Again, please feel free to interleave your comments within mine above. -- Levine2112 discuss 20:33, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
well that's just it... these are not about fancy rats, like the introduction discusses, pet rats in fiction are usually presented as once wild rats that people have taken in. I felt the information was relevant because this is the Pet rat article. There's just a disconnect between what pet rats usually are in real life (domesticated), and what they usually are in fiction (tamed). I didn't think it outside the scope of the article because, in general, we are discussing the brown rats that people keep as pets. -ΖαππερΝαππερ BabelAlexandria 15:47, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
Then that is still very confusing. I've read this article several dozen times now and I didn't get that at all. We should either create a separate article for Pet rat (if the subject - apart from "Fancy rat" - could warrant it) or we should really spell it out in the lead and in the entertainment section that some of the material contained herein is not about the Fancy rat but rather about other species of rats which people have (tried to) domesticate. Sound fair? -- Levine2112 discuss 17:38, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
lol... we are a hopeless lot aren't we? I don't think the topic of pet rats, outiside of domestic brown rats, could warrant an article. So we'll have to make the lead more explicit. Especially because, again, you have made the mistake of assuming that these rats in the entertainment section are a different species. They are not. They are the same species of rat as fancy rats, they are just depicted as wild. I have made changes to the Entertainment section and it hopefully reads better. Addtionally, here is a proposed change to the first paragraph in the lead and relevant entertainment sentence:
The fancy rat is a domesticated brown rat (Rattus norvegicus), which is the most common type of pet rat.[4] The name fancy rat has nothing to do with the "fanciness" of their appearance, but derives from the the idea of animal fancy or the phrase, "to fancy" (to like, or appreciate).[5]
...
... In fiction, pet brown rats are more depicted as tamed rather than domesticated, akin to a character befriending a wolf. In these roles they have played roles varying from evil, to ambiguous, to "lovable".[3]
-ΖαππερΝαππερ BabelAlexandria 02:19, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
Yes, these suggestion would seem to clear up the issue. Please implement if you haven't done so already. -- Levine2112 discuss 18:52, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
these changes are done :) -ΖαππερΝαππερ BabelAlexandria 08:28, 22 February 2009 (UTC)

I added some dates as well as a source to the "House" reference. Check out this source: [8]. There's a fantastic picture of House and his pet rat. Do you think we can use it rights-wise? -- Levine2112 discuss 20:45, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

I gave it a try with the picture. I think I did it correctly. We'll see if it gets deleted. No big deal if it does. -- Levine2112 discuss 21:38, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

Final review[edit]

GA review (see here for criteria)
  1. It is reasonably well written.
    a (prose): b (MoS):
  2. It is factually accurate and verifiable.
    a (references): b (citations to reliable sources): c (OR):
  3. It is broad in its coverage.
    a (major aspects): b (focused):
    I'm still not sure whether what is now the "In fiction" section belongs here, but no one else seems to have a problem with its presence, and few articles will be free of any such questions.
  4. It follows the neutral point of view policy.
    Fair representation without bias:
  5. It is stable.
    No edit wars etc.:
  6. It is illustrated by images, where possible and appropriate.
    a (images are tagged and non-free images have fair use rationales): b (appropriate use with suitable captions):
    All images currently used are valid as far as I can tell.
  7. Overall:
    Pass/Fail:
    PSWG1920 (talk) 16:11, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

Woohoo! Now what? -- Levine2112 discuss 18:15, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

well i could always clean up the sad state that Rat, Brown rat, Lab rat, and Black rat are in. But considering my overall efforts to clean up this article took over two years where I found the article like this, my first substantive edits changed it to this, and now we have this. I'm happy with the improvements, but I'm going to take a mini-wiki-breaki. And then tackle those other articles :) -ΖαππερΝαππερ BabelAlexandria 21:57, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
Have a well deserved mini break, Zapper! Thanks for your patience and hard work! -- Levine2112 discuss 22:37, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Clute, John (March 15, 1999). The Encyclopedia of Fantasy. St. Martin's Griffin. p. 642. ISBN 0312198698. Rats also come into their own in supernatural fiction or dark fantasy, where they tend to represent invasive evil....  Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help)
  2. ^ a b Wilson, Stacy Lynne (April 20, 2007). "Samantha Martin: Exclusive Interview". Animal Movies Guide. Running Free Press. pp. 365–366. ISBN 0967518539. 
  3. ^ a b c Ebert, Roger (2008). Roger Ebert's Four-Star Reviews 1967-2007. Andrews McMeel Publishing. p. 637. ISBN 0740771795. Remy, the earnest little rat who is its hero, is such a lovable, determined, gifted rodent that I want to know what happens to him next, now that he has conquered the summit of French cuisine. 
  4. ^ Langton, Jerry (2007). "Entertainer, Test Subject, and Family Friend". Rat: How the World's Most Notorious Rodent Clawed Its Way to the Top. Macmillan. ISBN 0-312-36384-2. Retrieved 2009-01-08. 
  5. ^ Cite error: The named reference MMratdoc was invoked but never defined (see the help page).