Wikipedia:Gnome Week

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Your garden-variety gnome. He needs your help!

Wikipedia has a problem.

Out of all the articles on the English Wikipedia, 5,061 are featured articles. 26,216 are good articles. While this is an admirable sum, Wikipedia as a whole contains 5,430,292 articles, and more are added each hour.

Just how good are these remaining 5,399,000+ articles? Many people have asked this question. Their results are not pretty. A quick tour of Wikipedia's articles will reveal articles that are poorly written, misspelled, needing wikification, unreferenced, uncategorized, or even completely unsalvageable.

People take this in different ways. Some believe Wikipedia is failing. Some see it as part of a grand analogy. Some are part of the problem.

And some try to fix it. They are known as WikiGnomes. While their edits are not generally received with fanfare or applause, their contributions are invaluable. They keep the encyclopedia from spiraling into chaos. They find and fix those badly written walls of text. They keep vandals from turning every article into typewriter salad.

Their contributions are admirable, but they are outnumbered. Wikipedia is growing. For every article that gets fixed, more are created that need fixing, and some of these go years before anyone edits them. Wikipedia's backlogs are thousands of articles strong.

This is clearly a problem, one that could harm Wikipedia's credibility as a usable reference work. This problem, however, is neither insurmountable or irreversible. We can fix it. All we need is the time.

That time has come.

In the spirit of creative holidays, June 21 has been designated International Gnome Day.[1] The first Gnome Week, was held from June 21, 2007 to Thursday, June 28, 2007.

This occasion is essentially a mass drive to clean up Wikipedia's act. Backlogs are cleared, articles polished, typos fixed, bad prose edited, unreferenced articles sourced, and articles needing deletion are proposed for it. No article is safe from our reach. The more people who participate, the better Wikipedia will become as a result. The sky's the limit.

Participants are encouraged (but certainly not required) to keep a running total of articles they've improved, so we can get a rough estimate of how much we've done. At the risk of sounding clichéd, if we all work together we can accomplish miracles for the encyclopedia.

How to participate[edit]

If you know of any editors who may be interested, let them know! (Within boundaries, of course.) The more people participating, the better off Wikipedia. You can type {{subst:Wikipedia:Gnome Week/Invite}} on potential members' user talk pages to produce the following invitation:

Polish up as many articles as you can, get as many people involved as you can. You can find these articles anywhere - backlogs, Random Article, project categories - anything's fair game for improvement. If you want, leave an edit summary like "Cleanup for [[Wikipedia:Gnome Week|Gnome Week]] cleanup drive - you can help!" to let more people know about the project. If you're not around for the entire week that's fine; every little bit helps.


Signups for Gnome Week.

Now what?[edit]

Keep on trucking! Vandalism isn't shutting down, and the articles needing cleanup keep coming in. It's an ongoing process, and we need all the help we can get.

The Cleanup Taskforce is a great place to go, maybe you could clear its backlogs too.

Responses to anticipated questions[edit]

  • This will never work.

There is only one way to find out, isn't there?

  • But what about article creation? That's important too!

Article creation is indeed very important. By no means do we intend to put down any of the commendable work of article writers. Without them, we wouldn't have an encyclopedia in the first place. However, creating new articles doesn't solve the problem of the hundreds of thousands of existing articles that need work. Besides, cleanup and article writing aren't mutually exclusive. Just ask User:Kevin Myers, who did a stunning job with the formerly unreferenced stub Crawford expedition.

  • And what about counter-vandalism? Vandals aren't just going to roll over for a week.

Counter-vandalism is extremely important and if that's where you spend most of your time, by all means keep it up. After all, we could clean up everything there is to clean up but if vandals run amok on the rest, there's no point.

  • What about deletion?

Deletion should go as it usually does, although proposed deletion will probably be even more important (in uncontroversial cases, of course) so AfD doesn't get flooded.

  • Sounds great! How can I sign up?

Just go ahead

Requested articles and backlogs to be gnomed[edit]

If you need assistants to help you gnome an article, please feel free to place a request here and indicate what you want help with. When you have finished gnoming the article, please move it to the Completed Requests section. As you fix articles and have them cite their sources, accurate, free of original research, and unbiased, be sure to list them on User:Messedrocker/Stablepedia.

Outstanding requests from June 2007[edit]

  • Queen Mab - I dunno, it seems more notable and important then the current article. Stumbled upon it using Random article, didn't have time to fix it, bringing it here. - G1ggy Talk/Contribs 23:29, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
  • HIV/AIDS in Africa - needs refs, a very important article too. JoeSmack Talk 17:14, 14 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Boar I've visited this article several times in the past weeks. Its still a mess, but should easily be Featured material at some point, Good Article with even some minor fixes. Gaff ταλκ 01:01, 17 June 2007 (UTC)
  • List of Linux distributions. Tcrow777 01:03, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Canaan - Not in very good shape. Some wiki-code problems, as well as reference issues, and quite long; may require several gnoming and wikification, since it is incorporated from an edition of Britanica in the public domain. TomasBat 02:20, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Wikipedia:Core topics - 1,000/with problems - Core topics are arguably the most important articles on Wikipedia. This is a nice little list of core topic articles that need a good gnoming, organized by tag problems. There's a little something for everyone in this list; have a go at it! JoeSmack Talk 16:54, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

Other backlogs[edit]

Completed requests[edit]

  • Word not spelled correctly on following page: , under entry for William J. Beal it has him listed as bontanist, which is the wrong spelling, it is supposed to be botanist. ....Allen Beal....
  • Olm, may need to have grammar and language checked.bibliomaniac15 An age old question... 01:13, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Special:Contributions/BetacommandBot Hundreds of fair use images marked for deletion by Betacommand's bot. For a large proportion , a fair use rationale is trivial to provide. For some others, the images should be removed from the articles. 16:29, 16 June 2007 (UTC)
    • I just checked and Betacommand's got the bot running today to tag orphan images, you'll have to page the history back to June 6 to see the fair use tags. 16:35, 16 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Could someone who has British English as his/her mother tongue make the passage "Exile and return" in the article about Cicero more fluid and correct? --Tellervo 10:28, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
    • Has been done by User:Legio_VI_Victrix thisisace 20:57, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

* Also, Emily Osment, in need of expansion, some funky writing. bibliomaniac15 An age old question... 01:13, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "". 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2013-11-30.