Around 2 months ago, I raised concerns about the quality of this article on its talk page, which led to a helpful discussion but ultimately no apparent action. I am concerned about the quality of the referencing on the post 1910 wranglers, with tags and even a few helpful links to facebook. Whether somebody with access to a mine of information can get proper sources, or that section is simply removed, something needs to be done. Jamesx12345 (talk) 21:16, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
It used to be a pretty good list, but I agree that at the moment it falls rather short of the required standard. I'm pretty sure that the article used to be called "List of Wranglers (University of Cambridge)", but at some point over the last couple of years a number of well-meaning people have added extra content - in particular a fair amount of historical information about Wranglers, and also an incomplete (and, in most cases, rather poorly sourced) list of post-1909 Senior Wranglers. Somewhere along the way, the article got renamed to "Senior Wrangler (University of Cambridge)" on the grounds that it wasn't primarily a list any more.
It seems to me that a sensible and relatively straightforward approach to fixing all this is to:
Separate the incomplete post-1910 list into its own article, something like "List of Wranglers (University of Cambridge) since 1910".
Rename what's left to something like "List of Wranglers (University of Cambridge) 1748-1909". This should now be featured list standard again, or not too far off.
I think we were converging on something roughly along these lines a couple of months ago, and then the discussion stalled. In my case, other stuff got in the way and I never got around to it. -- Nicholas Jackson (talk) 20:55, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
The content of the article outside of the list sections is of good quality. It is not waffly or opinionated, and is sufficient to justify the existence of a separate Senior Wrangler article, as is the importance of the notion of 'Senior Wrangler' itself, which once had enormous significance nationally and further afield, and is still well-known within Cambridge University and the English-speaking maths world, to the extent that several mathematicians are widely known to have been SWs and this is considered to be a significant thing. So I disagree with merging it into the Wrangler article. In terms of content, it's the Wrangler article that could do with more attention. (That said, the Polya bit in the SW article needs revising, which is something I have meant to do but not found time to work on. There are conflicting accounts of how well Polya did.)
If you think there's scope for having both a "Wrangler (University of Cambridge)" and "Senior Wrangler (University of Cambridge)" article, then that's fine by me. -- Nicholas Jackson (talk) 22:20, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
I think we all agree that changes to the article have meant that it no longer meets the requirements to be a featured list. I therefore suggest that we simply remove that status.
If there are some straightforward changes we can make to get it back to featured list quality then I'd rather we did it that way than demote it first and then reapply for featured list status afterwards. -- Nicholas Jackson (talk) 22:20, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
Being a featured list as distinguished from being an article that isn't a featured list isn't always a question of quality, and I would argue that in this case it isn't, and that removing FL status wouldn't be demotion. It has become a different kind of article from a FL, in a healthy way. I don't see that as a problem at all. If nobody agrees with me on this, I suppose the pre-1910 list could be taken out and made into a separate article with FL status. I'm not sure I'd view that as optimal, though, given that many people who come to the SW article will probably want to read about the notion of SW and have a scan through the listed names. As for the post-1909 list, I think it is worth keeping in some form, principally because I think it is of interest to many people, even if it will probably never be complete, and most of the references are OK.Mhairis (talk) 12:15, 28 June 2013 (UTC)
Many of the post-1909 references are OK. Not all, for sure; but they're by no means all or even mostly from Facebook. Several could do with more reliable sources, though.Mhairis (talk) 14:40, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
Many of them are ok, but relatively few of them are of a similar standard as the pre-1910 ones. The post-1909 list is necessarily incomplete, anyway, and has only semi-official status compared to the pre-1910 list. -- Nicholas Jackson (talk) 22:20, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
Sorry - I've been away for a while so haven't been able to get back. I plan to do make some changes to this article over the next few days. Jamesx12345 (talk) 00:02, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
I've put the 2011 and 2013 SWs back in. 2011 2nd source is his old school, as it is for 2012 SW. 2013 2nd source is the Daily Telegraph (WP:NEWSORG). 1st sources for 2011 and 2013 are copies of the class lists kept at sites requiring login, but there's no ban on such sources, and even if there were, the other sources would be sufficient for these two years.Mhairis (talk) 13:04, 7 July 2013 (UTC)
I appreciate you are being bold, James12345x, but think you went a bit too far in commenting out some of the post-1909 SWs. I've uncommented the following: 2007 (existing source OK: Varsity), 2008 (ditto: Tuoi Tre (Youth), largest-circulation daily newspaper in Vietnam), 1970 (better source now found: Independent newspaper), 2000 (existing source arguably OK: Fields Medal winner Tim Gowers's blog).
An interesting case is 1970. The first I heard of Derek Wanless was when I looked at what was commented out for that year, which was sourced inadequately, but in good faith, to Les Hatton, described as a close personal friend of the subject. It didn't take long then for me to find a reliable reference. This suggests that there is sometimes some utility in leaving references up with tags, so that people who have got the time can seek and in some cases find reliable sources.Mhairis (talk) 11:25, 8 July 2013 (UTC)