Wikipedia:Article Feedback Tool/Version 5/Help

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One of the designs we are testing. If this is not the design you see, the others can be found here and here
If you're a Wikipedia editor, you can skip to this section.

Welcome to the help page for the new article feedback tool! This page explains what this tool is and how you can use it; should you have any other questions, feel free to email, and we'll try to get back to you as quickly as possible.

Help improve Wikipedia![edit]

What is this?[edit]

This new feature is designed to let readers give feedback on our content. For the first time ever, you can tell us what bits work, what bits don't, and how you'd like to see things improved. If you didn't find what you were looking for, let the editors know! If you did, say a quick "Thanks." These contributions will help improve the articles.

At the moment the tool is very new, and there may be a few problems. If you spot a problem, email with the details. In the meantime, thanks for your patience.

What happens to my feedback?[edit]

We're working on testing a number of different ways of displaying your feedback to Wikipedia editors.

Who exactly are "editors"?[edit]

Anyone can edit Wikipedia, so an "editor" is anyone who changes the content of an article by using the "edit" button at the top of each page. Editors are not a special group; they do not have to apply and be approved, meet a particular qualification, or even register first. They're just normal people who enjoy expanding and maintaining Wikipedia's content. You can contribute too! Get started with our editing tutorial.

I've submitted feedback; what more can I do to help?[edit]

As well as providing praise, feedback or constructive criticism as a reader, you can contribute to Wikipedia as an editor. Editors are the people who maintain and add our content, and are just like you. They don't have special qualifications, though they do tend to know a thing or two about the topic they're writing about. But absolutely anyone who wants to can edit. If you're interested in contributing, just read our tutorial. We hope to see you around!


To contact the development team for whatever reason, email

Why is there a new Article Feedback Tool?[edit]

The early versions of the tool allowed readers to rate articles with a series of stars, using various categories such as objectivity or verifiability. A reader who filled out this form would then be given a "call to action" asking them to edit. Some problems were experienced with the old versions, including that:

  1. The four rating categories do not necessarily provide useful input for editors; if an article has been rated as "3 stars" for completeness, this doesn't actually tell editors what the reader thinks they're missing.
  2. There is no way to test the "value" of feedback – an author's thoughts cannot be assessed for neutrality or good reasoning by editors.
  3. A reader's definition of what "objectiveness" or "trustworthiness" means may be different from the definitions of other readers, or the definitions of editors.
  4. There may be very few ratings on low-traffic pages, biasing the results.

To address these concerns, the Wikimedia Foundation, which developed the initial tool, is introducing a new version (Version 5), which features a free text box and new positioning for the form. The design goal of this new version is to solicit actionable suggestions to improve articles rather than just ratings. The full requirements for the final version of this feature can be found here.

Can I enable/disable AFTv5 on individual articles?[edit]

AFTv5 is currently deployed for testing purposes on a small subset of articles of the English Wikipedia: a sample of 0.6% of all English Wikipedia articles (ca. 22,000 articles) and an additional set of manually selected high-traffic or semi-protected articles as a control sample (ca. 130 articles). As we are using these samples for experimentation we kindly ask you not to manually remove articles from these lists. If you wish to enable AFTv5 on a supplementary article, you can do so by adding it to this category. All other English Wikipedia articles (except for redirects and disambiguation pages) still display the previous version of the tool (AFTv4).

Where can I read about the results of the AFT experimentation?[edit]

You can read an overview of the results from the first phase of AFTv5 experimentation on Meta. A real-time stream and dashboards visualizing the data we are collecting can be found on the Toolserver.

I don't want to see this widget, how do I disable it?[edit]

If you are a registered user, and disabled the old version via your preferences, you should not be seeing the new one - should this not be the case, email us to file a bug (as discussed below). Assuming you didn't disable the old version but want to get rid of the new one, go to "My preferences", "Appearance" and tick "Don't show the Article feedback widget on pages", then click "Save".

Help, I've found a bug![edit]

If you've found an error in the software, email and describe it in as much detail as you can; please include the browser you're using and the version number if you know it (for example, Firefox 8.0). Alternately, if you are comfortable using Bugzilla, you can submit it to the Wikimedia Foundation Bugzilla instance using the "aftv5-1.0" keyword.

Is data generated by the Article Feedback Tool publicly available?[edit]

The data collected via AFTv5 is available on the toolserver database. A real-time data stream is also available via these toolserver scripts. Once AFTv5 is fully deployed, the data will be publicly accessible through a special feedback page that lets editors read and respond to your suggestions, and also through regular data dumps for researchers and tool developers.

Why wasn't I informed this was happening?[edit]

The Wikimedia Foundation has made a particular effort to reach out to editors, with half of the new Community Liaison, Product Development's time dedicated to this tool. When development first started, notices were publicly posted in many locations, including the Village Pump (technical), the Community Portal, and through multiple IRC office hours sessions. It was also reported in the Signpost, both briefly several times and as part of an interview with the new Community Liaison. Editors who had previously been both supportive and critical of the old versions were directly contacted and asked to take part in development. All of this was very successful; large chunks of the new tool were proposed by editors, not developers.

If you still feel that we can do more to engage editors in the design process, send any suggestions for further engagement to

Why am I seeing the articleFeedbackv5_click_tracking parameter in the URL bar on some articles?[edit]

These special URLs are used to collect data on the number of clicks and events (such as the display of calls-to-action) triggered by the Article Feedback Tool. We use this data to measure aggregate clickthrough and conversion rates for different experimental conditions. To research how version 5 performs, we need to measure in particular its impact on editing (Do people edit more as a result of AFT? Do people edit less because they can submit comments instead?) and whether the "calls to action" we use to try and encourage readers to edit are working as expected. All of the data gathered through this tool is stored in an anonymized form and is only used internally by the AFT team for analyzing this feature. The collection of this data is fully compliant with our privacy policy and will terminate at the end of the AFTv5 experimentation.

Why is there an "improve this page" link?[edit]

The new "improve this page" link allows readers to open the Article Feedback form without having to scroll all the way to the bottom of each article. It is currently being tested on 0.6 percent of Wikipedia's articles, with the goal being to find out if the prominence of the link encourages more readers to provide high-quality feedback. Earlier tests established a possible link between the prominence of the link and the quality of the feedback submitted; our hope is that this is accurate, and we have identified a way to improve the quality of submissions.

As well as testing this hypothesis, the prominent link is also being used to:

  • let readers know they can provide feedback to improve articles
  • enable them to quickly add feedback (without having to scroll to the bottom of the page)
  • increase the overall number of feedback posts (particularly for low-traffic articles)

As stated, this is only a test to work out how we can improve the quality of the comments editors will be provided with; we expect it to last for a few weeks at most. Increasing the quality or number of comments is not our only concern; we will not deploy it more widely unless the community is comfortable with it, or unless the improvement in quality justifies it.