Wikipedia:Factual review

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Factual review is a general venue where editors can seek input from other community members on the factual accuracy (correctness of claims and adequacy of coverage) of articles. All editors are invited to initiate reviews on well-written articles, and all community members are invited to participate on these reviews provided they do so in a constructive manner. If you wish to check articles for technical accuracy, please use peer review instead, and if you wish to discuss an aspect of factual review itself, please do so on the discussion page.

"Factual accuracy" refers to the accuracy of what is written; "technical accuracy" refers to the accuracy of how it is written.

If you are a constructive participant on factual review, please add your name to the participants list along with your main interests. (In the future this list may be used to contact editors on a regular basis with notifications of collaborations, but editors will always have the choice to opt out of such communications if and when they are implemented.)

Factual review aims to provide a productive environment for the verification of the factual accuracy of articles; in order to help achieve this, it implements a classification system which divides articles for review into different categories so that editors may focus on providing feedback on articles that fall into their own body of knowledge. Editors who have an interest in certain classifications are encouraged to watchlist the classifications and/or add the pages to their browser's bookmarks/favourites list.

Current classifications (please get consensus on the discussion page if you believe that a classification should be added or removed) are:

Note: There is a potential for sub-classifications and even sub-sub-classifications if necessary, but these will not be implemented until there is enough participation in factual review to justify doing so.

In addition, factual reviews are carried out per-section-per-article instead of simply per-article. Put another way, this means that editors may assign themselves to factually review and provide feedback on certain sections in articles nominated for factual review. This allows editors to even more closely match themselves to areas of knowledge that they are suited to. Of course, more than one editor can factually review one section; but a factual review may not be closed unless (a) it will provide no useful feedback, or (b) all sections of the article being reviewed, including the summary, have been reviewed and adequate commentary has been produced for all of them.

See an example of a factual review.

Initiating a review[edit]

If you wish to initiate a new factual review of a well-written article, you will need to create a new page on which the review may be carried out. This should be titled "Wikipedia:Factual review/reviews/<article name> (<review count>)".

On this page, include:

== <article name> ==

[[<article name>]] — factual review initiated on
[[<month> <day>]], [[<year>]].

<A brief but descriptive explanation of why you
believe said article should be reviewed, signed
with your signature using four tildes.  ~~~~>

=== Article sections ===

If you wish to participate in this factual review,
and you are reasonably knowledgeable about the
topic of the article, please assign your name to
one or more of the sections listed below.  You
should be knowledgeable in the sections you intend
to review.  More than one editor can review one
section, but all sections of the article must be

<List all of the major level-2 (==) sections of
the article — the top part of an article, which
appears before the first section, should be listed
as "Summary" — as level-4 (====) sections here.>

... and ensure that you fill out all of the angle-bracket fields (ignore everything else!).

After completing and saving the above steps (and previewing them to ensure that they are correct), you will need to transclude the review page onto one or more factual review classification pages. A list of these is provided above; on each classification page under which the article's subject falls, edit the page, place the text "{{<review page>}}" at the top of the pile of transclusions, and, after entering an appropriate edit summary and previewing your changes, save the page.

It is also considered necessary to post a brief explanation and link of and to the factual review page from the article's discussion page. This allows interested editors reading the article's discussion page to comment on the review, and provides a link to the review after it has been closed and archived.

Finally, link to the review page from the factual review list; this link will usually remain on the page permanently.


Factually reviewing article sections involves four steps.

  1. Acquire the most recent version of the article sections that you have assigned yourself to review.
  2. Skim the article sections to get an overview of their contents, especially in regards to coverage. Evaluate the section from the perspective of a sceptical reader and decide whether or not the section adequately represents, in a fair, unbiased, and unprejudiced manner, all available reliable notable information that has been published by reputable sources.
  3. Methodically read through the article sections, evaluating claims from the perspective of a sceptical reader and deciding on whether or not they are "correct" — verifiable, neutral, and made previously by a reliable and reputable source.
  4. Provide feedback on the factual review page for the article sections. List the details of any factual accuracy and coverage issues that you found — if you corrected any, list them but additionally note your corrections — and make comments on how the article sections' factual accuracy and coverage could be improved.

Closing a review[edit]

A review may be closed if either (a) the factual review of the article will almost certainly not provide any useful feedback, or if (b) all sections of the article being reviewed have been reviewed and adequate commentary has been produced for all of them.

If you wish to close a factual review of an article, you must first ensure that little or no commentary is taking place on the factual review page. If editors are currently in active discussion regarding the article, it is considered bad form to close the discussion before it is finished.

If little or no editors are participating on the review, then closing and archiving the review is very simple. Firstly, edit the review page, and add two archive templates at the top and bottom of the text:

{{SUBST:Archive top}}
<Content of review ...>

{{SUBST:Archive bottom}}
{{SUBST:Archive top}}

After completing and saving the above steps, edit each factual review classification page on which the review page is transcluded, remove each transclusion, and save the page.

See also[edit]