Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Duke University

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Duke University[edit]

I think this is an excellent article, with many in-line citations, references, etc. QuizQuick 16:17, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

  • Support. Great article! I couldn't find even one red link. Unbelievable work... NCurse work 21:38, 1 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Support. Informative, easy to read. K-UNIT 22:57, 1 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Comment. Wikipedia as an inline citation for a Wiki article? Sandy 23:45, 1 July 2006 (UTC)
    • Support. Sandy 15:52, 3 July 2006 (UTC)
    • Comment. I think QuizQuick meant just citations, not inline. You were probably being sarcastic, though. I can't tell. In any event, I am a biased voter since I have contributed significantly to the article, but I would Support it. So maybe my vote doesn't count. This was not a self-nomination, so it surprised me that it was nominated. -Bluedog423 00:13, 2 July 2006 (UTC)
  • The final citation is a link back to another Wiki article, which is circular reasoning. The statement should be referenced, or just linked, but not cited with a Wiki link. Sandy 00:35, 2 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Sorry I just meant citations. Anyway, I'm a Dukie so I too, am a little biased toward this article. :) :)QuizQuick 01:34, 2 July 2006 (UTC) 01:33, 2 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Just a purely aesthetic recommendation: could you put an image in the big white space before the History section? Either move a sufficiently broad image up from below, find a new one, lengthen the Duke template, or shorten the TOC a little bit... that white space hurts my eyes. ;-) zafiroblue05 | Talk 00:47, 2 July 2006 (UTC)
    • Fixed - This seems to be a common issue with most university articles. For example, Featured Article Michigan State University had just as much white space (or more) as the Duke article did. Except for the fact that on the TOC one line "Residential College in Arts and Humanities" juts out more so that reduces the white space, I suppose. So, theoretically, lengthening one of the names of the sections would work. In any event, I lengthened the Duke template considerably (and found new acreage info), so the white space is significantly reduced now :) -Bluedog423 04:40, 2 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Circular references back to Wikipedia can never be justified. Now, you can link to a wiki article in a note, that doesn't serve the role as a reference (e.g. a footnote that gives extra information, that can't fit in the main body of the article). But, this article is actually using Wikipedia as a reference to prove facts are true, which is not ok. What happens if those articles cite this article, as their reference? Ideally, we should use third party sources. For non-contested facts, we can use Duke University. We must never use ourselves though. Also, while it's ok to use Duke as a reference for uncontested facts, we aught to state in the footnote that we're citing Duke. Some notes give the title of the page, but don't name the organization that is the source (namely Duke, or a unit within it). --Rob 05:50, 2 July 2006 (UTC)
    • Fixed problem. Found new, primary sources. -Bluedog423 15:47, 3 July 2006 (UTC)
    • Also, I fixed references and added "Duke" when it was from a Duke source, but was not noted (e.g. "Residence Life and Housing Services" was changed to "Duke Residence Life and Housing Services") in order to address your second point. -Bluedog423 16:18, 3 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose, alumnus names should be listed in the alumni section along with their companies or accomplishments, not alluded to. This was something brought up and fixed for the recent FAC for Cornell, and I think it should be applied to all such sections.mercuryboardtalk 06:09, 2 July 2006 (UTC)
Fixed problem. All alumni listed now. -Bluedog423 15:47, 3 July 2006 (UTC)
Comment - While I tend to agree that alumni should be listed, FA University of Michigan does not list any of its alumni when talking about founders of companies; probably because the names are not entirely recognizable on their own. So it seems as this is not entirely vital. In any event, maybe times have changed and standards have increased, so I included all names anyways. -Bluedog423 20:27, 3 July 2006 (UTC)
The first dollar sign should be the only one linked. An automated peer reviewer came up with some further suggestions:
Fixed dollar sign issue. -Bluedog423 05:31, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

The following suggestions were generated by a semi-automatic javascript program, and may or may not be accurate for the article in question.

  • Per WP:MOS, avoid using words/phrases that indicate time periods relative to the current day. For example, recently and last year might be terms that should be replaced with specific dates/times.
Fixed - 13+ words/phrases clarified -Bluedog423 19:46, 4 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Per WP:MOSNUM, there should be a non-breaking space -   between a number and the unit of measurement. For example, instead of 18mm, use 18 mm, which when you are editing the page, should look like: 18 mm.
Fixed - added   between all numbers and units-Bluedog423 19:46, 4 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Per WP:MOSNUM, please spell out source units of measurements in text; for example, "the Moon is 380,000 kilometres (240,000 mi) from Earth.
Didn't see this problem anywhere. Am I missing something? -Bluedog423 19:46, 4 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Per WP:MOS#Headings, headings generally do not start with the word "The". For example, ==The Biography== would be changed to ==Biography==.
Problem not evident. -Bluedog423 05:31, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
Fixed - one recently added cat out of order, one lang out of order -Bluedog423 05:31, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
  • This article may need to undergo summary style, where a series of appropriate subpages are used. For example, if the article is United States, than an appropriate subpage would be History of the United States, such that a summary of the subpage exists on the mother article, while the subpage goes into more detail.
Don't see this as an issue. University articles usually quite long. -Bluedog423 05:31, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
  • There are a few occurrences of weasel words in this article- please observe WP:AWT. Certain phrases should specify exactly who supports, considers, believes, etc., such a view. For example,
    • it has been
    • might be weasel words, and should be provided with proper citations (if they already do, or are not weasel terms, please strike this comment).
Fixed a few - don't see as issue anymore. But could still be some -Bluedog423 05:31, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Watch for redundancies that make the article too wordy instead of being crisp and concise. (You may wish to try Tony1's redundancy exercises.)
    • While additive terms like “also”, “in addition”, “additionally”, “moreover”, and “furthermore” may sometimes be useful, overusing them when they aren't necessary can instead detract from the brilliancy of the article. This article has 33 additive terms, a bit too much.
Fixed - eliminated 20 additive terms. -Bluedog423 05:31, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
    • Vague terms of size often are unnecessary and redundant - “some”, “a variety/number/majority of”, “several”, “a few”, “many”, “any”, and “all”. For example, “All pigs are pink, so we thought of a number of ways to turn them green.”
Fixed - clarified 12+ vague terms of size. -Bluedog423 05:31, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
    • Temporal terms like “over the years”, “currently”, “now”, and “from time to time” often are too vague to be useful, but occasionally may be helpful. “I am now using a semi-bot to generate your peer review.”
Fixed - eliminated 5 such temporal terms
  • As is done in WP:FOOTNOTE, for footnotes, the footnote should be located right after the punctuation mark, such that there is no space inbetween. For example, change blah blah [2]. to blah blah.[2]
Fixed - didn't see as major issue but there were around 5 that were blah blah. [2] (i.e. extra space before footnote)

You may wish to browse through User:AndyZ/Suggestions (and the javascript checklist; see the last paragraph in the lead) for further ideas. Thanks, Andy t 20:50, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

Comment - I'll try to go through the automated issues and correct any mistakes. However, I have doubts about some of them. For example, it says, "headings generally do not start with the word 'The,' " but this article clearly has no heading that starts with "The." I had seen that javascript before and made sure of that particular facet in the past. This mistake (which seems like one of the easier things that it checks in the script) puts further doubt on the other issues. Another example is the footnote issue. I don't notice a single footnate that is in the form blah blah [2]. I supposed it is possible that there may be one with an extra space afterwards as in blah blah. [2] so maybe it caught that. But not sure. I guess that's why it says they "may or may not be accurate." In any event, I'm sure there are some that are certainly reliable and will check up on everything. -Bluedog423 21:08, 3 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Watch out for present tense. What if I were reading this article 50 years from now? Indicate when facts were reported. Not the major ones like that there's two undergraduate schools... I'm talking about statistics that change from year to year, such as acceptance rate, class composition, etc. Is it necessary to list all the fraternity chapters? How relevent is this for a main article? A summary of the system and some of its criticisms may be more appropriate. I'd like to see Notable alumni changed to just Alumni and perhaps mention how alumni can keep in touch with the university. More importantly, a quick find resulted in many instances of "about" and other approximations. When the actual number is available, give it, cite it, and specify when it was accurate if necessary. Is it necessary to devote an entire section to construction? Could that information be merged into the other parts of campus, and linked to the main article with a See Also: at the top of the section? —mercuryboardtalk 06:15, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
    • Thanks, that's some good advice. I have made several corrections. 1) I deleted the specific fraternity/sorority chapters; 2) changed "Notable alumni" to "alumni" (I had originally changed it to alumni when the article was overhauled a couple of weeks ago but somebody else changed it back); 3) Added a mention of how alumni are active, including alumni giving rate. I'm not sure a mention of Reunion weekend and Homecoming is appropriate, though, since these are mundane events that every university takes part in. I'll keep them for now though; 4) Combined several sub-sections in the Campus section (including construction projects and individual campuses); 5) Minor edits. I still haven't closely looked at present tense or approximation terms, so that's the next thing to do. -Bluedog423 15:32, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
    • Fixed vague terms of approximation - Eliminated many (16+) terms of vague approximations such as "about". As of now, I can only spot six of these terms that refer to size/numbers (there are more "abouts" in the text, but not in reference to size). These 6 are as follows (two of them say the same thing, I guess I will delete one of them): 1) "20- to 50-year overhaul of Central Campus, wherein the first phase (scheduled for completion in the Fall of 2008) will cost roughly $240-million." Construction costs can never be given exactly since they don't know until it's completed. 2) "West Campus, the heart of Duke University, houses all the sophomores, along with some juniors and seniors" The exact number is not published anywhere and changes drastically from year-to-year depending on sophomore class size, number of people studying abroad, etc. (e.g. this year's sophomore class is about 125 students larger than the previous class); 3) "Central Campus, consisting of 122 acres between East and West campuses, houses around 850 juniors and seniors and about 200 professional students in apartments." Exact numbers cannot be found. Also, I think it is appropriate to approximate since the number changes from year to year and the approximate number is more informative as it gives an average of sorts. 4) "Epworth is only about one-third its original size after a fire." I don't think anybody measured the square footage of the building in the early 1900s to compare it. 5) "Lastly, Central Campus provides housing for approximately 1,050 students (of which about 850 are undergraduate juniors or seniors)." Same as before. 6) "Approximately 400 student clubs and organizations run on Duke’s campus." Exact number cannot be found. If you have any suggestions to help these particular instances, please say so or correct them yourself. Thanks! -Bluedog423 17:31, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
    • Fixed present tense problems - At least, I think so. There could be more instances. Gave exact year when it could be noted, especially in academic profile part. -Bluedog423 17:33, 5 July 2006 (UTC)


  • Weak Oppose Support - This should go through a peer review first then if all works out it should be ok. Also, on the talk page there are still some stuff to do from the to do list. I think maybe this was nominated in haste. -ScotchMB 14:31, 2 July 2006 (UTC)
    • Comment - I agree with what you all said. It seems as if nobody has any organizational or structural issues, so that's good. While I personally would not have nominated this for featured article before going through peer review, I don't think that this itself is reason to oppose it. Rather, it is just more likely that an article that hasn't had a peer review will have flaws. However, it is still possible to be a Featured Article without peer reviews and has happened several times in the past. So, instead of saying, "peer review first," it would be much more helpful if you cited specific flaws/problems in the article. Thus far, there seem to be only two, minor, easily fixable issues. 1) Don't use wikipedia as a source. Find new ones. OK, new ones can be easily found. 2) List the specific names of alumni in alumni section instead of just position. That's it. Easily done. After those two small fixes, would it be eligible for FA? I don't really have time to go through future opposes and it seems like nobody else (including the nominator) is really looking at these, so future issues might just have to wait. Although I'll try. But it's good to hear what everybody has to say. Thanks! -Bluedog423 16:10, 2 July 2006 (UTC)
      • Well, I can explain my comment and process, if that helps. A long list of references and citations doesn't impress me: I check them to make sure they're valid and reliable sources. That's my first pass. If the article isn't well referenced, I don't move on to checking prose and other issues. Not enough hours in a day to do it all :-) So, I haven't opposed or supported, because as soon as I see a minor problem with the references in an otherwise potential FA article, I wait to see if that is resolved. A peer review would help make sure the basics are in place. :-)) Sandy 17:45, 2 July 2006 (UTC)
        • After reading Bluedog's comment and reviewing the article, I feel it is good enough to be on the FA. Thanks Bluedog for helping me realize what is right. -ScotchMB 02:44, 18 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Summary - 6 supports; 1 oppose that has not been crossed out, but has been already addressed and fixed. 3 supports, 1 oppose, 1 weak oppose (Mercuryboard also opposed but striked through reasoning for opposition); other "oppose" reasoning has been fixed; "weak oppose" reasoning was lack of peer review/nominated in haste. -Bluedog423 04:52, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
    • FAC isn't a vote; just worry about addressing objections and you'll be fine. --RobthTalk 15:21, 7 July 2006 (UTC)
      • Ok, sounds good. I don't really understand the final decision. Who has the final say of if it is promoted to FA status? A certain administrator? It says much reach "consensus." I guess that doesn't imply unanimous? Thanks. -Bluedog423 15:41, 7 July 2006 (UTC)
        • The FA director, Raul654, judges whether all valid and actionable objections have been addressed; if they have been, the article gets promoted. --RobthTalk 04:31, 8 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Weak object. A citation spot check found two problems out of five footnotes tested (results here). Both problems involved statements in the article being related to, but not actually directly supported by, the sources given; please go through the footnotes looking for issues of this sort and fix any you find. Thanks, --RobthTalk 15:21, 7 July 2006 (UTC)
    • Will try to fix the two problems, although one is challenging since it's a colloquial term and not officially recognized. -Bluedog423 15:41, 7 July 2006 (UTC)
      • Fixed problems - footnote 49 fixed by adding a reference that states it directly. Gothic Wonderland issue fixed from here: [1]. See talk page for details. Will also try to go through others. -Bluedog423 16:01, 7 July 2006 (UTC)
        • Thanks. Objection withdrawn. --RobthTalk 04:31, 8 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Withdrew my previous objection. Still, I'd like to see this go through a thorough copy-edit from somebody unfamiliar with the text. Tony1 is very good. —mercuryboardtalk 05:12, 8 July 2006 (UTC)
    • Ok.....Will try to find someone to do a thorough copyedit.-Bluedog423 05:04, 9 July 2006 (UTC)
    • I have requested a copyedit from three four different people. One declined, and two three have yet to respond, although I asked two of them at least three days ago. I will continue to search...-Bluedog423 15:50, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
    • Someone will look it over tomorrow. -Bluedog423 20:50, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
    • Also, Wikipedia may not be used as a source. There's at least one left (for the Rhodes Scholarship) that's got to be changed. —mercuryboardtalk 23:05, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
      • Oops, that one was vestigial. The other Rhodes cites were replaced by the Bloomberg source and the Rhodes Trust source, but apparently forgot to delete that last one. Fixed now. No other ones evident. -Bluedog423 23:46, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Support Object: I just did a copyedit; here are problems I couldn't solve:
  • "Construction projects have transformed", but there's no mention of the difference between the old and the new.
  • There is mention of the difference between the old and the new in the Campus section. It seemed notable enough to mention that construction has taken over the campus the last five years in the lead without going into much detail. I feel like if details were mentioned that would take up far too much space in the lead. Am I wrong about this? Is one more sentence/phrase appropriate saying that "more than blah number of buildings have been constructed" or "more than $835 million has been spent since 2001." Or saying that the science and engineering departments, the medical center and other professional schools (business, law, divinity) have been majorly renovated/upgraded? I'm not sure what should be included/what is the best way to resolve this issue. -Bluedog423 05:25, 15 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Not mentioning all the changes is fine, but if you don't, I feel a different verb would be better. I've switched it to update, though I'm not sure that's the best choice. --Spangineeres (háblame) 15:03, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
  • "because of support from the church" -- which church?
  • Clarified that it was the Methodist Church. -Bluedog423 04:51, 15 July 2006 (UTC)
  • "The university grew up quickly." Doesn't connect at all--how is this related to the topic sentence (trust fund/endowment)
  • It was meant to suggest that the $40 million gift allowed for many construction projects in a short period of time. Maybe it's not clear enough that a large chunk of the money went to Duke and it wasn't just a random trust fund. Clarified paragraph. -Bluedog423 04:51, 15 July 2006 (UTC)
  • "Duke researchers mapped the final human chromosome"--this appears twice. Also, the Rhodes scholar thing appears twice; I deleted the number the second time.
  • I deleted the first mention of the mapping. -Bluedog423 04:51, 15 July 2006 (UTC)
  • "Duke's endowment was valued at $3.8 billion in 2005 making it the sixteenth-largest endowment in the U.S."--Why is this stuck at the end of an off-topic category?
  • I thought saying how the endowment ranks among U.S. institutions was a significant enough piece of information to add in the article, but did not know exactly where to place it. Looking at FA University of Michigan as a guide, they place "research" and "endowment" in the same section (suggesting a similarity), but name it "Research and Endowment" instead of just "Research." That article, however, has a lot more to say about the endowment than just the one simple sentence used here. I guess I just was not sure an appropriate place to put it. What would make the most sense? Renaming the section "Research and Endowment," putting the sentence in the second paragraph in the lead, or putting it under the "Profile" section? Or another option all together? -Bluedog423 04:51, 15 July 2006 (UTC)
  • I decided to move the endowment sentence to the profile section, which seems to be where the majority of facts and figures are presented. -Bluedog423 05:29, 15 July 2006 (UTC)
  • "Duke Chapel, the center of religion at Duke,"--seems misplaced, and what does "center of religion" mean?
  • Agree wholeheartedly. I was confused by that phrase before, but never took action to do anything about it. Deleted "center of religion." Knowing that it is centrally located on campus, is frequently used as an icon for the university, and is one of the most visited attractions at Duke should be sufficient. -Bluedog423 05:05, 15 July 2006 (UTC)
  • "Duke initiated a five year strategic plan"--The quote following this should be paraphrased somehow; there's nothing special about this quote.
  • Paraphrased quote to the best of my ability. It was difficult to a certain extent since the source just names buildings and it is hard to rename them. Would it be better to reduce the number of buildings mentioned? I think every project mentioned is quite major and thus I would not like to see any of them deleted. There are numerous other more minor projects mentioned in Construction projects at Duke University that didn't make the cut. In any event, I paraphrased the quote. -Bluedog423 05:05, 15 July 2006 (UTC)
  • "calling the lighter powder blue "Carolina blue" and the darker blue "Duke blue"" Could we get a citation for this?
  • Found citation for it. I wasn't sure if it'd be more appropriate to cite a link that briefly mentions someone wearing Carolina Blue or Duke Blue in a reputable newspaper article (e.g. Herald Sun or Raleigh News & Observer), or using an article that clearly distinguishes the two colors in a more extensive manner. The article I chose is written by a website that uses the different blue shades as its main premise, so I decided that was the best choice. -Bluedog423 05:19, 15 July 2006 (UTC)
Not too bad; doesn't seem to be missing anything. Some places feel like a jumble of university trivia. Other than that, nice job. Fix up these issues and I think I'm ready to support. --Spangineeres (háblame) 03:20, 15 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Great, thanks for the extensive copyedit! I will attempt to fix the points you brought up now. Another user who has contributed significantly to seven different FAs said he would also "take a look" at some point. I am going out of town tomorrow morning and will not be back until July 19, so if I don't fix all of these tonight, please keep the nomination up and will get to all the points as soon as possible. Thanks. -Bluedog423 04:07, 15 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Fixed all your points except for the first one. See potential options mentioned above. -Bluedog423 05:32, 15 July 2006 (UTC)
Weak Support' good article, and has come a long way since an earlier GA nomination. I think that the lacrosse team should be on the main page, as to someone such as myself who is not from the east coast, the Basketball and Lacrosse teams are what the schools athletic department is known for. Football is not. Wikipedia's False Prophet holla at me petition 02:17, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Thanks for the support! I'd have to say that I disagree that Duke is more well-known for its lacrosse program than football, however. Lacrosse might be more well-known now due to the current rape scandal, but basing the popularity on the number of people that follow the programs' on-the-field results, football is far more well-known. I would suggest that Duke is more well-known for its women's basketball team than men's lacrosse team as well. In regard to revenue, a quote here [2] states, "Men's basketball earned the most for the university, with revenues of $7.8 million and expenses of $2.9 million. Football generated $8.2 million and spent $5.8 million. Women's basketball produced $124,905 in revenue and spent $1.2 million." It does not mention lacrosse, but can be found in the report, I assume. In any event, I think those are the top three, but I'm not sure. Attendance could be another measure of popularity. The football team averages nearly 20,000 people a game [3]. Football is by far the most popular/largest revenue generated sport in college athletics, and it is for this reason, that Duke football is more well-known. Men's lacrosse, at its home stadium, I believe, had a record attendance of around 6,000 people vs UVA two years ago. That is nowhere near the numbers football generates as its average. Women's basketball has been sold out (9,314 people) about 6 times in its history (all in the last 4 years). If you want to take it by on-the-field success, then lacrosse is far superior to football in the last 10 years. However, this measure is not proportional to how "well-known" it is. Seveal other sports have been even more successful. Women's golf has won the most national championships (four) and does not have its own section. Women's basketball, likewise, has probably been more successful in recent years than men's lacrosse. Looking at it even another way, you can track television appearances. Women's basketball probably gets around 4-5 national televised games a year excluding the NCAA tournament, which they make every year (and usually do well in). Football gets about 2 regionally televised games a year. Men's lacrosse gets no tv coverage except for HUGE games such as at #1 Johns Hopkins last year, which was televised on ESPN. Also, the national semis and finals are televised if they make it that far, which hasn't happened very often. So, in regard to attendance, revenue, money spent, and national presence on television, I'd have to say football and women's basketball beat out lacrosse. Additionally, football has far more history than lacrosse (e.g. Duke hosted the 1942 Rose Bowl and the famous Iron Dukes are the subject of several books, whereas the entire lacrosse history involves making the national championship game last year and the current scandal which is already linked to). -Bluedog423 03:58, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
Those numbers about generated income and attendance are skewed due to the fact that regardless of the success of the Football team, it will outsell a Lacrosse game. Lacrosse in general doesn't get much tv coverage. I would agree that Women's Basketball is bigger, but I disagree about football. The Arizona Cardinals had the worst home attendance last year, but I'm sure it out sold many other sporting events in other sports in the area. The Lacrosse team was known for becomming a good team up untill the scandal. Wikipedia's False Prophet holla at me petition 22:06, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
  • All actionable objections have been addressed - 7 supports -Bluedog423 22:07, 21 July 2006 (UTC)