Wikipedia:Ambassadors/Research/Article quality

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Update, October 2012[edit]

The results of the article quality part of the project are now available. Articles that spring 2012 students contributed to improved by an average of 6.5 points on a 26-point scale, with 87.9% of all articles showing some improvement.

We're finalizing preliminary results about what factors lead to success in classes. Please check back by October 26, 2012 for the results of this data.


This page is part of a research project the Wikimedia Foundation is running to determine the best classes to join the United States and Canada Wikipedia Education Programs.

On this page, we have taken 2-3 student articles from each class that participated in the two programs during the Spring 2012 term. The "pre" version of the article is the revision just before a student in the class made his or her first edit to the article. The "post" version is the version the article was in when the student made his or her last edit to the article. Note that the current version of the article may differ from the "post version".

Our goal with this part of the research project is to establish a baseline metric of what classes are improving Wikipedia the most.


Assessment area Scoring methods Score
Comprehensiveness Score based on how fully the article covers significant aspects of the topic. 1-10
Sourcing Score based on adequacy of inline citations and quality of sources relative to what is available. 0-6
Neutrality Score based on adherence to the Neutral Point of View policy. Scores decline rapidly with any problems with neutrality. 0-3
Readability Score based on how readable and well-written the article is. 0-3
Formatting Score based on quality of the article's layout and basic adherence to the Wikipedia Manual of Style 0-2
Illustrations Score based on how adequately the article is illustrated, within the constraints of acceptable copyright status. 0-2
Total 1-26

Explanations of each Metric Category[edit]


The article covers all significant aspects of the topic, neglecting no major facts or details and placing the subject in context. Any score from 1 to 10 is possible.

  • The article is comprehensive, going into appropriate detail about all significant aspects of the topic, and using summary style where appropriate. - 10 points
  • The article is mostly comprehensive but falls short in one or more significant aspects of the topic. - 7 points
  • The article is well-developed in some aspects but requires major expansion in others. - 4 points
  • The article goes beyond a preliminary introduction, with at least some detail beyond a brief overview, but is far from comprehensive. - 3 points
  • The article is a stub, consisting of only a paragraph or two of brief introduction to the topic. - 1 point


The article is well-researched. It is verifiable and cites its sources, with inline citations to reliable sources for any material that is likely to be challenged and for all quotations. Any score from 0 to 6 is possible.

  • The article is well-sourced, such that readers can determine which information comes from which source. The most appropriate source are used, including journal articles and scholarly monographs where possible. - 6 points
  • The article is mostly well-sourced, but has some material that is not sourced or does not use the most appropriate sources. - 4 points
  • A significant portion of the article is well-sourced, but the majority of it is not adequately sourced. - 2 points
  • The article contains only a bibliography, or only a small portion of the article is well-sourced. - 1 point
  • The article does not reference any reliable sources. - 0 points


The article has a neutral point of view, accurately representing significant points of view on the topic without advocating or placing inappropriate weight on particular viewpoints.

  • The article follows the NPOV policy. - 3 points
  • The article follows the NPOV policy, with only minor exceptions. - 2 points
    • Minor exceptions include subtle imbalances in the ways different comparably significant viewpoints are described, the exclusion of minor but still significant viewpoints when all major viewpoints are covered, etc. Such an article is neutral on the whole, but may have a few small problem areas.
  • The article mostly follows the NPOV policy for the viewpoints represented, but other major viewpoints are absent - 1 point
  • The article falls significantly short of following the NPOV policy. - 0 points


The prose is engaging and of a professional standard, and there are no significant grammar problems.

  • The article has excellent style and grammar and is highly readable. - 3 points
  • The article is comprehensible and reasonably clear, but a need for copy editing is apparent. - 2 points
  • The organization, style and/or grammar of the article detract significantly from the reading experience. - 1 point
  • The article is difficult to understand and requires a thorough re-write. - 0 points


The article is organized and formatted according to Wikipedia standards and generally adheres to the manual of style.

  • The article is well-formatted and is mostly consistent with itself and with the manual of style. - 2 points
  • The article has modest deficiencies in format and/or deviates significantly from the manual of style. - 1 point
  • The article is poorly formatted such that the formatting detracts significantly from the reading experience. - 0 points


The article is illustrated as well as possible using images (and other media where appropriate) that follow the image use policy and have acceptable copyright status. The images are appropriately captioned and have alt text.

  • The article is well-illustrated, with all or nearly all the appropriate images and captions. - 2 points
  • The article is partially illustrated, but more or better images should be added. - 1 point
  • The article has few or no illustrations, or inappropriate illustrations. - 0 points

Translation of Quantitative Scores to 1.0 Ratings[edit]

Numerical scores can be translated into the different classes on the 1.0 assessment scale. For the lower classes, comprehensiveness and sourcing are the main things that differentiate articles of different classes; things like neutrality, style, layout, and illustrations quickly become important as well for the higher tiers of the assessment scale. GA-class and higher require separate reviews, but high numerical scores can indicate whether an article is a likely candidate for one of these ratings. For everything except GA and FA, the ratings are automatically determined by the banner template if detailed scores are present.

  • Stub - An article with a 1 or 2 in comprehensiveness is Stub-class.
  • Start - An article with a 3 or higher in comprehensiveness that does not qualify for a higher rating is Start-class.
  • C - An article must have at least a score of 4 in comprehensiveness and 2 in sourcing to qualify as C-class.
  • B - An article must have at least a score of 7 in comprehensiveness, 4 in sourcing, 2 in readability, and 2 in neutrality to qualify as B-class.
  • GA - An article with at least 8 in comprehensiveness, 5 in sourcing, 3 in neutrality, 2 in readability, and 2 in formatting may be a good candidates to be nominated for Good Article status. (B is the highest rating automatically assigned by a numerical assessment.)
  • A - An article with a 10 in comprehensiveness, 6 in sourcing, 2 in readability, 3 in neutrality, 2 in formatting, and 2 in illustrations may be good candidates for an A-class review.
  • FA - An article with full points in every category may be a good Featured Article Candidate; even then, additional work may be necessary to comply fully with the manual of style.

Tutorial video[edit]

Articles to assess[edit]

A lot of people are using this research for projects with varying timelines. To try and make the most of volunteers' time, here are some lists of articles that still need reviews, prioritized according to these timelines. Please review the articles in the following order:

  1. Priority 1  Done
  2. Priority 2
  3. Priority 3
  4. Priority 4

Here is the page of articles that have already received 3 reviews for both the version prior to student edits as well as the version after student edits.