User talk:Anne Delong/Proposal to reduce the AfC backlog

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Proposal to reduce the Articles for Creation backlog to (almost) zero[edit]


The articles for creation process it extremely backlogged. There are more articles being submitted and resubmitted than can be dealt with by the willing reviewers, some of whom are also working on other related projects. Other editors feel free to complain about the imperfections in AfC, the majority of which are caused by reviewers not having enough time to work one-on-one with the new editors. At the same time there is a large backlog of old articles that need scrutiny, and this is also very time-consuming.

It is therefore proposed:[edit]

  • That Wikiproject Articles for Creation STOP accepting new drafts for three months.
  • That the grey draft template be temporarily changed to have a warning that no drafts will be reviewed until a specific date, and , instead of a “submit” button, there be a link to a list of reasons that an article would likely be deleted, a warning to keep a copy of the article text just in case, and “use at your own risk” instructions with a link to the “move” function pre-set to send drafts directly to article space.
  • That during the three month hiatus AfC reviewers deal only with the existing backlog of submissions, resubmits of previously declined submissions, and submissions by any editors who insist on adding subst:submit to their articles.
  • That reviewers also rescue and/or farm out for improvement salvageable material from the G13 backlog and go over the less-than-six-months-since-last-edit submissions, deleting copyvios, totally non-notable subjects and advertising, requesting history merges of copy-pastes, etc.
  • That if all this is done before three months, the reviewers take a well-earned rest.
  • That at the end of three months the grey draft template be changed back to its original state, but that the alternate version be kept in case it should be needed again.


  • The backlog of old articles is dragging the whole process down and causing it to be less effective.
  • There are thousands of active new and COI editors whose submissions are already in AfC who would get proper help, advice and encouragement with their articles.
  • The editors who complain about AfC will have the opportunity to deal with the IP editors, COI editors and brand new users for three months directly, which is what they say they want to do.
  • The AfC project members will have a chance to experience what the review process would be like if it weren't constantly backlogged.


  • Support, as proposer. —Anne Delong (talk) 00:07, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose a hard moratorium on principle on the grounds that this "breaks the wiki" - specifically, it breaks the principle that Wikipedia is "the encyclopedia anyone can edit."
Also oppose moratorium due to "the law of unintended consequences." People who currently use AFC will just wait 4 days and 10 edits and then flood NPP. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 01:17, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
Anyone can still edit, they just have to wait four days to add their new pages to the mainspace. They have to wait up to three weeks now, so this will be an improvement in that respect. There won't be more new editors than usual, just the same number. —Anne Delong (talk) 01:40, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
They don't even need to wait 4 days/10 edits... WP:ACTRIAL never made it past the Foundation.... --Mdann52talk to me! 08:36, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Nice idea but... It does rather break the Wiki. Once the backlog had been cleared we would have a new backlog of pending drafts that had been submitted while we were clearing the old backlog!? Unless I have mis-understood and you are suggesting that we prevent people from submitting drafts for review during the hiatus? Which I don't believe is possible short of deleting Template:AFC submission/submit -- which would almost certainly break the wiki... Bellerophon talk to me 20:42, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
No, I was not suggesting that we let the drafts pile up; instead I was suggesting that we let the drafts be moved directly to mainspace, and let the editors who assert that Wikipedia would be better without AfC, because new editors would get help from more editors in mainspace, put their money where their mouths are and show how they would make that work. Also, I only proposed to do this with articles made through the "Article Wizard" or other processes which add the grey draft submission template. Editors who really wanted a review and put "subst:submit" would be a small number and could be accommodated. —Anne Delong (talk) 04:43, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. If the abandoned article backlog really is preventing new submissions getting a decent review then just leave the backlog to rot. It really doesn't matter. We can get to it when we get to it. It is far more important not to discourage new editors by giving them new hoops to jump through and make them wait even longer. I suspect, however, that the backlog is not the real reason new submissions don't get detailed attention, in which case this proposal solves nothing anyway. SpinningSpark 02:07, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
Please say what you think the real reason is. —Anne Delong (talk) 04:43, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
Nowhere near enough dedicated reviewers. SpinningSpark 09:48, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose: This just skews users who are able to do themove themselves into doing so. A lot of AfC submissions are users who will autoconfirmed not much later than they first put an article into AfC. Also, I don't think IP users can do the moves themselves, so this also breaks the "anyone can edit" idea. Dovid (talk) 01:34, 22 November 2013 (UTC)

Counter-proposal - give all submissions one free decline then defer them[edit]

Give every submission "one free review," but after that, put in a delay based on the length of the queue.

Add a new "decline" status of "decline and deferred" which would be used on a second or subsequent decline. The deferred time-out would be calculated based on the size of the backlog - say, 1 day for every 50 articles in the queue. A queue of 1500 articles would be a 30-day delay.

A bot would sweep the "declined and deferred" list for recently-expired deferrals and change the template back to a regular "declined" template and notify the author and last reviewer.

If a reviewer saw potential and wanted to put a submission "under review" instead of declining it, that would remain an option. A reviewer could also manually pull something out of the "declined and deferred" category and put it under review if he wanted to. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 01:44, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

  • I like this! I think there really should be a point at which users can't keep submitting over and over while new submissions pile up, and this idea does a good job of balancing that with still not expecting newbies to get it right on the first (or second, or...) try. A fluffernutter is a sandwich! (talk) 01:55, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
  • I don't see how this will help. The resubmits already go to the end of the queue, which give them an automatic delay. They will still be waiting, just hidden. How about two buttons that say "Resubmit" and "Move to mainspace - I'll take my chances"? —Anne Delong (talk) 02:04, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
  • If NPP is changed so moved pages are automatically considered non-patrolled, this may have promise. Until that is done, we don't want to encourage people to avoid both AFC and NPP. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 02:27, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Well, we could always mark every submission as unpatrolled, which would then be picked up as soon as it hit article space. A lot of pages are created on user pages and then moved into mainspace. Aren't they checked by the NPP? —Anne Delong (talk) 04:20, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
  • As to the latter, I don't think they are. It's a known problem with NPP. How do you mark a page "un-patrolled?" davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 19:31, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
As far as I know, moved pages are only marked as patrolled if they are moved by someone with WP:AUTOPATROLLED. Bellerophon talk to me 20:49, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
I like David's suggestion, the only small snag is the lack of a suitably programmed bot to make it happen. Anyone know anyone who would be willing to code one? Bellerophon talk to me 20:35, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
There is a template which creates a banner "This is a new unreviewed article..." —Anne Delong (talk) 04:29, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
But that template does not correlate to the patrol queue and new pages patrol. Bellerophon talk to me 20:28, 25 November 2013 (UTC)
There must be a process that NPP's software uses to make up the list of pages that need patrolling. I have done a little work at NPP, but there always seemed to be plenty of pages to look at, so I haven't investigated the processes in the background. The Afc template could give submitters, after the first review, a choice of (1) Submit my improved article for another review (2) I have read the warnings; move my improved article to the main encyclopedia and (3) I agree that my subject doesn't meet Wikipedia's guidelines; please delete it. Then people who chose item (2) would get a differently coloured Afc template which would lead the reviewers to just give them an appropriate title, move them to mainspace, and do whatever is needed to add the page to the NPP list. —Anne Delong (talk) 22:21, 25 November 2013 (UTC)


<joke>Propose that everyone who only bitches and moans that "AfC is broken" without ever doing anything to help, be blocked from editing in mainspace until they have done 100 satisfactory reviews. This will help them to really understand how bloody hard we work at AfC. BTW, what's wrong with shifting the burden to NPP, those guys have it way too easy, it's about time they did some real work.</joke>

Real proposal: Figure out a way to separate first time submissions from the "repeats" (use a tag or category). Submissions that come back again and again and again without significant improvement happening should be permanently declined on WP:Competence grounds. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 07:28, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

The problem is that some of the multiple resubmissions are our own fault because we don't take the time (or even have the time during big backlogs) to explain exactly what needs fixing, or give examples, etc. For example, an article that I submitted when a new editor was declined as an advertisement. It had nothing promotional in it at all. When I asked for advice, I was told that I should concentrate more on the formation and history of the organization instead of just current activities. Good advice, but I never would have guessed that from the original decline. —Anne Delong (talk) 13:18, 20 November 2013 (UTC)