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GA Review[edit]

Article (edit | visual edit | history) · Article talk (edit | history) · Watch

Reviewer: MathewTownsend (talk · contribs) 18:02, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

  • I will review this. It may take me a while - its an important article. MathewTownsend (talk) 18:02, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
Beginning comments
  • The lede is quite long and contains many details. Some of the details could be removed, as they are in the article anyway, leaving just broad, summary statements in the lede.
  • The many images are beautiful but the page is very slow to load. I wonder if a few, like Hurricane Clovis couldn't be removed without a loss to the article.
  • Removed some of the photos Lemurbaby (talk) 05:36, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Also, it says "The island of Madagascar can be divided into three broad geographic zones." However, there are five images that don't seem to correspond to the three broad zones. It is difficult to untangle what the three broad geographic zones are and their general characteristics and importance.
  • I reworded the section, so hopefully there is no longer an expectation that the photos should correspond with what were formerly characterized as three zones. In reality there are many mini-climates and a huge diversity of ecosystems on the island; the three zones are broad topographic generalizations but maybe the section is less confusion if I don't mention that notion in that way. Lemurbaby (talk) 05:36, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
  • "Presumably due to relatively lower population densities, Madagascar's dry deciduous rain forest has been better preserved than the eastern rain forests or the original woodlands of the high central plateau." - is there a citation for this, as generally dry areas all over the world are better preserved because mould, fungus and other sources of organic breakdown don't survive very well without water.
That statement is talking about deforestation and conservation, not fossilization or preservation of organic matter. As for the reference, yes, it does require something other than a tertiary ref (Britannica). – VisionHolder « talk » 23:02, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
  • There is a {{cn}} tag under "Ecology".
I added that because of a problem I found, as noted on the talk page. I'm not starting an edit war, just trying to help nail down the factual details. Also, there is another factual problem in the "Environmental challenges" section, as noted on the talk page. – VisionHolder « talk » 23:02, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
I feel that my concerns about that section have been addressed. The number of endemic species/genera/families will vary as discoveries are made and confirmed, so as long as the sources are good, that should be fine. – VisionHolder « talk » 18:14, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
  • "is highly iconic of Madagascar" - don't think this is correct use of "iconic"
  • The ravinala is a representative symbol of Madagascar, as demonstrated by its use in the Air Madagascar logo, which arguably makes it iconic in the secular sense. Lemurbaby (talk) 05:36, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
  • "found high rates of endemism" - is "endemism" a word?
Yes. – VisionHolder « talk » 23:02, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
  • A huge number of references (at least 31) come from the Encyclopedia Britannica, which is behind a pay wall so I can't access it, and is a tertiary reference.

Tertiary sources such as compendia, encyclopedias, textbooks, obituaries, and other summarizing sources may be used to give overviews or summaries, but should not be used in place of secondary sources for detailed discussion. (from reliable sources)

References using a travel guide (28 I think)
  • "Many native plant species are used as effective herbal remedies for a variety of afflictions, including the Madagascar periwinkle, which has recently been established as the most effective treatment for leukemia and Hodgkin's disease." and "The Madagascar periwinkle is key in the treatment of leukemia and Hodgkin's disease." - travel guide is not a reliable source for medical statements.
  • "Approximately 44% of the population is younger than 15 years of age, while 53% are between the ages of 15 and 64. Those aged 65 and older form three percent of the total population." - need some supporting evidence from a census report or something besides a travel guide.
  • "Queen Rasoherina accepted, first wedding Rainivoninahitriniony, then later deposing him and wedding his brother, Prime Minister Rainilaiarivony (1864–1895), who would go on to marry Queen Ranavalona II (1868–1883) and Queen Ranavalona III (1883–1897) in succession." - travel guide not a good source for historical information. History books?
  • ""A 2008 study by the International Monetary Fund estimated that international donor aid formed 75% of foreign government investment and provided 50% of Madagascar's national budget." - can't you reference the IMF rather than a travel guide?
  • I am going through and replacing most of the Bradt refs now. Lemurbaby (talk) 06:34, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
Dead link
  • Ref 106 is dead
  • The original link is fine, but the archive process doesn't seem to have worked properly. I've removed the archive information. Lemurbaby (talk) 06:34, 1 February 2012 (UTC)


  • I was unaware of the tertiary rule and frankly in the realm of research it's hardly any different than most books that compile their information from various sources under only one theme instead of many... but okay, resourcing the EB and Bradt refs is going to take a little time but fortunately I have the day off on Wednesday. If you can keep going through the article and identifying whatever else you notice, but put the review officially on hold to leave me some time to make these changes on Wednesday, we can look at it again afterward and see how it's doing. I agree there are sections that seem undersourced because they draw entirely from one source (and when editors break up paragraphs without copying the ref to the end of the new sections, it makes it look like that portion has no ref at all). I can remove the Clovis photo and see what other photos could go (this will be tough! :D But I appreciate the need for a faster loading article). Lemurbaby (talk) 03:49, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Visionholder - the trouble with the percentages and numbers of endemic plant/animal species is that various sources cite different numbers. I suppose the best solution is to try to find a very good academic ecology article or other recent scientific source and cite that. I'll see what I can hunt down, but if you know of one feel free to update everything you can find.Lemurbaby (talk) 03:49, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
  • It's not really a "tertiary rule" - rather a preference since wikipedia is a tertiary source, it should avoid using other tertiary sources, but some it ok.
  • Possible sources:
  • FYI I didn't make as much headway on my day off as I'd hoped - internet connection was incredibly slow here in Rwanda (most likely because it was a holiday yesterday, and everyone was at an internet cafe surfing the net!) and I couldn't access or upload much. I'm still working on it actively though so please don't stop the review without warning. I'll fix the issues as quickly as my connection speed allows. Lemurbaby (talk) 04:36, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
  • I'll leave it open as long as you need. Don't worry, as long as you continue to work on it. It's hard to find sources - I looked around. MathewTownsend (talk) 15:02, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Thanks. I'm almost done replacing refs. Then I'll revise the ecology/conservation sections to address the issues Visionholder identified. I'll let you know when I'm finished with all the changes. Lemurbaby (talk) 14:02, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Ugh... slow internet is making this very difficult. Apparently in Uganda two weeks ago there was some kind of technical problem with their cable, and that's the one Rwanda depends on to access the net, so it's affecting us here too. Think upload/download speeds circa 1995 and you have a sense of the problem we have here right now. They say they will sort it out soon. I'll give it another go this weekend. Lemurbaby (talk) 05:18, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Okay, I've tried to address all the issues - this is ready for you to look at again. Lemurbaby (talk) 13:57, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
  • ok, I'm looking at it - there's still some travel guide references in the "Ecology" section. (I'm going to try to get some advice from others on this issue.)
  • on another note, would you consider substituting the image of traveler's palm, endemic to the eastern rain forests, highly iconic of Madagascar for the Madagascar periwinkle?
The traveler's palm
Madagascar periwinkle
  • But even if you don't want to (the periwinkle is a pretty flower), I'm really uncomfortable about the reference that the Madagascar periwinkle is an alternative therapy for Childhood leukemia, as it is not reliably sourced per reliable sources for medical statements. One primary source journal article is not enough to support such a statement.

MathewTownsend (talk) 19:58, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

Comments by Blofeld

Maybe you could add a section on law and order and crime (e.g crime figures, the Malagasy police force and court systems etc) the Media, (what are the main television/radio channels and newspapers etc?), Heraldry (e.g some information about the flags coat of arms and other flags used in the country) and also add something about Malagasy cuisine?. Also, how about a section on Palaeontology, extremely important on the island of course?♦ Dr. Blofeld 18:21, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

The only concern there is that the article is already at 130k... which is large for an article. Therefore if anything is added, it shouldn't be more than a small paragraph. – VisionHolder « talk » 18:45, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
I have to agree with Visionholder. Already the article loads verrrry slowly in my browser, making editing it difficult. Also, for GA I don't think the article has to be all encompassing. Unless there are special issues about police force, court systems etc. - I believe it says it basically operates under a British common law system - my view is that more is not mandated. Perhaps something on the media would be interesting - if there's something interesting or controversial to say about it, e.g. internet access, censorship etc. The material covered in the article is very important. The ecology etc. is unique, whereas it's media etc. probably isn't. (I could be wrong!) MathewTownsend (talk) 18:57, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
"British common law system"?? Where did you dream up that up from? The country is French and (doesn't) works under Napoleon Code (UGH!) (talk) 17:20, 2 January 2013 (UTC)

Final comment

I've agonized over this article enough! It's not perfect, naturally, but it is good!

GA review-see WP:WIAGA for criteria (and here for what they are not)

  1. Is it reasonably well written?
    A. Prose: clear and concise, correct spelling and grammar:
    B. Complies with MoS for lead, layout, words to watch, fiction, and list incorporation:
  2. Is it factually accurate and verifiable?
    A. Provides references to all sources:
    B. Provides in-line citations from reliable sources where necessary:
    C. No original research:
  3. Is it broad in its coverage?
    A. Main aspects are addressed:
    B. Remains focused:
  4. Does it follow the neutral point of view policy.
    Fair representation without bias:
  5. Is it stable?
    No edit wars, etc:
  6. Does it contain images to illustrate the topic?
    A. Images are copyright tagged, and non-free images have fair use rationales:
    B. Images are provided where possible and appropriate, with suitable captions:
  7. Overall:
    Pass or Fail:
  • Congradulations Lemurbaby!

MathewTownsend (talk) 21:56, 16 February 2012 (UTC)