Wikipedia:Good article reassessment/The Incredible Melting Man/1

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The Incredible Melting Man[edit]

Article (edit | visual edit | history) · Article talk (edit | history) · WatchWatch article reassessment pageMost recent review
Result: List as GA per substantial improvements made and review comments below. Geometry guy 21:12, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

I've done many GANs but have never had to go through a GAR, so forgive me if I'm doing this wrong. I am asking for a reassessment of the GAN review by Amadscientist (talk · contribs) of The Incredible Melting Man. I believe his review was in good faith, but I think he is wrong to claim that the problems he identified are so serious that they could not have been addressed within the review itself, and I have to take exception with the fact that he essentially quick-failed the GAN rather than worked with me to more specifically identify problems and then work through them.

I have done some edits to fix some of his specific complaints. However, many of his claims are vague or not backed up with examples. He claims the "lede lacks proper wikilinks" but, although this seems like a particularly easy problem to solve, I was given no examples to work with. He also makes the general comment that the prose contains "puffery or weasel words," and that the prose has "spacing problems," but in all these cases there are no examples. Some of his claims which are flat-out untrue. He said the statement in the lede that Baker's effects were "noted for their goriness" is an editorialization, but as a quick glance at the Reception section shows, the article contains many cited statements from critics that substantiate that statement.

More significantly, I take particular exception to the claim that this article contains OR and that "a great deal of the claims go unsourced; I never use OR, and everything in this article is 100% cited by reliable sources and inline citations. Perhaps there is the need to add additional inline citations to the end of a sentence or two (as opposed to the end of a paragraph or a few sentences later), and that's fine, but this is something the reviewer could have worked with me on and helped me identify specific sentence. No such effort was made. I guess that is my chief complaint here: the article might need some polishing before reaching GAN status, but I believe the problems are so minor that they can be easily worked through in the review, and no such effort was made.

I'm willing and eager to work with editors on these problems. Thanks! — Hunter Kahn 17:11, 4 March 2011 (UTC)

A quick-fail is when a reviewer fails an article for one of the listed reasons without extensive review. I gave a complete review of the article. Wikipedia good article guidelines state:
Read the whole article, and decide whether it should pass or fail based on the criteria listed here. You can also put the article "on hold" or ask for a second opinion. If you wish, you can inform the nominator of your actions.
I chose to fail the article based on the amount of work that I precieved was needed and the need for added input from other editors to help. Basic guidelines of the Wikipedia:WikiProject Good articles/GAN backlog state: if the article is not of Good Article quality yet, don't be afraid to fail. I am an editor that will fail a nomination if I believe the work will take more than the time of a hold or there may be difficulties in the editor or editors understanding of MoS. I do indeed have the right to list "The Incredible Melting Man" as one of my reviews. I also do understand that it is your right to submit to Wikipedia:Good article reassessment. I do however, believe you misinterpretation of a "Quick fail" is illustrative of you misunderstanding of guidelines. No offense. I can always add more detail and or examples if you truely do not see what wikilinks should be added. While I did not speak to specifics on that I did believe the guidance was enough. You didn't even wikilink "Science Fiction" in your lede.
If the wikilink problem is easy enough to solve (it is what I believed as well)...why do you need further guidence? As for the Rick Baker critique, I was VERY specific.
I did not percieve that my concern with spacing required a specific...there are a few and I stated that the article required a good copy edit. I also said that "the overall prose in general is very poor and may require additional editor input to pass GA. There are editors available for assistance with Project Film that can help." this was a major factor in the "Fail".
Perceptions of OR are common and mean no insult. Editors do not always see their own OR, and again, on this I was specific: "To say that the film is an homage of a genre without a reference constitutes original research." While I do understand your right to ask for reassement, I also wonder if it is due to the fact that the article was failed and not held.--Amadscientist (talk) 18:47, 4 March 2011 (UTC)
  • I'm not going to press the issue, because I feel that others should weigh in and this shouldn't be a back and forth between just the two of us. However Wikipedia:Reviewing good articles#How to review an article states: "If the article has any of the above problems, it can simply be failed (as described at Wikipedia:Good article nominations) without going through the on hold process of improvement based on specific issues. Some reviewers refer to this as "quick-failing"." This means that your failing my article without the benefit of a hold period, despite the level of detail in your post, was a quick-fail. As for your comment that I "didn't even wikilink "Science Fiction" in your lede", that is because in past GANs I've been asked to remove links to genres and general things like that, per WP:OVERLINK. Had I had the benefit of a review, I would have explained this and been willing to discuss which phrases should be linked and which shouldn't. And don't worry, I'm not personally offended by the OR statement, I'm just saying there is no OR. The specific example you cite above (about the "homage") was already sourced, and I've also added an additional inline citation to the end of that sentence address your concern. This, too, could have been easily solved in a GAN review. — Hunter Kahn 19:39, 4 March 2011 (UTC)
    • Also want to point out this part of the policy: "If it is apparent from the article edit history and talk page that the nominator has already put extensive work into the article and is genuinely trying to improve its quality, then generally a quick-fail is inappropriate even if obvious issues still exist. Give someone else a chance to review the article and provide the needed help." — Hunter Kahn 21:53, 4 March 2011 (UTC)
I am sorry Hunter, but that is not what I did. The "Above problems" are things that would mean no extensive review is needed to fail without further reading of the entire artice. I did not "Quick Fail" sir. I assure you. I really do respectfully and with no animosity, request that you reread that section very carefuly to understand where you have misinterpreted the guideline.--Amadscientist (talk) 21:00, 4 March 2011 (UTC)

I guess what I am trying to say is simply, as reviewers, we are not required to place a GA nomination on hold. It's not that I don't place nominations on hold...I just didn't feel the article, as it stood could be raised to GA standards within the hold period.--Amadscientist (talk) 21:06, 4 March 2011 (UTC)

  • Fair enough, but I respectfully disagree and feel that the issues could have been resolved within the hold period. That's why I've brought it here, so other editors can weigh in. — Hunter Kahn 21:36, 4 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment: Based on the issues noted in the review, immediately failing it appears to be overly harsh, as I don't see anything that could not have been fixed in a week's time. Some of the comments are helpful (the plot could be trimmed a little, and you can't use phrases like "some sources say"), but I'm confused about others. There's a note that claims go unsourced, yet the article looks well-referenced to me; if things need sources, note explicitly what areas do. The article's not a GA yet, but the writer should've had an opportunity to fix in this case. Might as well use this GAR to many any fixes. Wizardman Operation Big Bear 00:50, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Reply Obviously the writer of the article would agree with you. I can't argue or debate opinion. Yes, it may be seen as "Overly harsh". I saw enough problems to decide the article would be "difficult" to work through a GAN hold and felt the amount of work would not be accomplished in the hold period. I am an editor who is not afraid to "Fail" a GA review. I believe much of the disillusion of GA is due to the process. It isn't that people are loosing faith in GA, it just seems that many GAN's become battles. Once an editor begins a review, backing away is not exactly a good thing to do just because you may sense difficulties ahead. I made a desicion and I do stick by it. I also felt I was specific about the OR claim. You are correct however, that the GAR is a good place to make the needed adjustments. I will step back from further envolvment on this article. It has been very difficult already to just communicate guideline on GAN process, and while I believe Hunter brought this here in good faith it was also brought here out of a clear misinterpretation of the process. I know it seems "Harsh", but that doesn't seem a worthy reason on top of misunderstanding of "Quick Fail" to bring to GAR. I have thus far reviewed 4 articles this week. Three were failed and one was "held". I am also in the process of a fifth. If the GA process is to be respected it should not push forward an individual's articles just to get it to GA level out of the frustration of the editor, which I feel this is. No disrespect to Hunter. But..just being upset that I didn't hold and work through every detail with the editor doesn't seem worthy of a GAR, especialy with an unjustified accusation. The very reason I didn't hold is because the level of problems was high in my perception as the reviewer. Becoming specific on every single detail of an article that is a fail is not something I felt was needed because I could have done so afterwards in a much less confrontational atmosphere and in a more liesuerly fashion. I myself am familiar with theses types of articles having brought a similar one to GA. The difference in my eyes is the GAN for my article had no where near the amount of notations and changes needed that this one had and still took nearly a week to work through. My single "Hold" article I had this week, I thought would be a "Pass". There were few real problems but enough that the editor wanted time over the weekend and I didn't want to make any changes he may have disagreed with as some things were only suggestions. But, enough real problems existed that a hold was placed to not rush the editor. Attempting a hold for "The Incredible Melting Man" seemd like it would be rushing the article. 7 days was not enough time.--Amadscientist (talk) 06:38, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
    • I feel that entirely too much focus in this GAR has been on whether this was a quick-fail or just a fail. Frankly, I don't care. In all the 116 articles I've worked up to GA status, I've never been outright failed, nor have I ever had one that I couldn't bring up to standards within the 7 day hold period, so I'm really not familiar with the quick-fail criteria and may well have misunderstood it (as one other user seems to have pointed out as well). That wasn't my point in bringing it to GAR. My point was that the problems are not so insurmountable that I couldn't have addressed them in 7 days, given the chance. I know you disagree, so I sought other opinions, and am now working to address the problems (see below). — Hunter Kahn 16:25, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
      I agree with you about the focus, but hopefully we are now back on track. Concerning the nature of the "fail" (personally, I prefer to say "not listed"), I would like to note that in addition to good article reassessment, there is no minimum time between nominations, so that if a reviewer leaves a detailed review, and you can fix the problems, then you can renominate immediately. Admittedly, it may take time for another reviewer to get to the article, but this is one reason that "holds" are not mandatory. Geometry guy 18:27, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Procedural comments. There is a lot of confusion surrounding "quick-failing", and having guidelines written by a committee does not guarantee clarity! As noted above, there is a passage at WP:Reviewing good articles which states:
    • "If the article has any of the above problems, it can simply be failed (as described at Wikipedia:Good article nominations) without going through the on hold process of improvement based on specific issues. Some reviewers refer to this as "quick-failing"."
This is correct but confusing: the statement "If the article does not have any of the above problems, it cannot be failed without going through the on hold process" is logically distinct, and not implied! In the second sentence, "Some reviewers refer to this as "quick-failing"", the referent of "this" is ambiguous: "quick-failing" is intended to refer to the process of failing for one or more of the five reasons given (the "quick-fail criteria"). Ironically, the sentence is correct even with the ambiguity: some reviewers do assume, as Hunter Kahn does here, that "this" refers only to the second clause of the previous sentence (failing without going through the hold process), even though this contradicts Wikipedia:Good_article_nominations/guidelines#How to review an article, where "quick-failing" is step 2, while failing after consideration of the article and good article criteria as a whole is in step 3.
Consequently, the present review was not a "quick-fail", as the "quick-fail criteria" were not invoked (nor do they apply) and the reviewer left a detailed review with reference to all of the good article criteria.
Whether to place an article on hold has always been a matter for reviewer discretion: there used to be some guidance at WP:Reviewing good articles, some of which could usefully be reinstated. In any case, there is no obligation to place a nomination on hold; if it is, however, there is also no requirement to limit the hold period to 7 days.
I hope that clarifies matters! Geometry guy 17:53, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Review comments. I have read through the article, and find, generally in agreement with the GAN review, that the main issues of concern are 1a (prose), 1b (lead, words to watch, fiction), 2b,c (use of citations, possible synthesis/editorializing), and 3b (unnecessary detail), although I would also question the rationale for the use of a non-free image from Robocop. The sourcing looks very good to me, although one or two sources ("The Book of Lists: Horror"?) may be less reliable and one or two reviews less notable than others. I don't see why Jonathan Demme's brief appearance is lead-worthy, and find the plot summary a bit too detailed. Regarding the lack of citations in the lead and infobox, this is fine as long as the material is cited elsewhere in the article. The plot summary is also uncited, which is fine provided that it contains nothing more than a summary of the viewing experience; for example, the last clause "implying the possibility of another accident in the future" is analysis.
The most substantial issue, in terms of work to do, is unencyclopedic writing, which cuts across 1a, 2 and 3b. A first example is the following:
I often ask the question "according to whom?" when reviewing, as opinions should be attributed. We learn elsewhere in the article that the writer/director claims he intended a parody, but the producers "decided a straight horror film would be more financially successful". The source used there is the same as the source [5] used here: Adams book on "Showgirls, Teen Wolves, and Astro Zombies". Presenting this information as "This is why..." and "It is also the reason..." in the editorial voice of the article is unencyclopedic unless multiple sources support this version of events and this explanation alone. The film is not a "straight horror film" according to these examples and the reviews, yet the article states it is in the lead.
As a second example, I find the article confusing when referring to the "appliances" (a rather specialist term) worn by Rebar: I understand that "Baker created four distinct stages of make-up design" and that these do not all appear in the final film, but the article suggests both that the other stages were edited out, and that they were not filmed because Rebar was uncooperative. Both views are sourced to Meyers, but only in the version of the lead reviewed is one of these views attributed to him.
As a third, there is too much detail in the cultural references section. This article is not about "It came from Hollywood", "Robocop" or "Mystery Science Theater 3000" and does not need plot details such as "their silhouetted images are superimposed over the film to give the impression that they are sitting in a movie theater as they make their jokes". Two or three sentences in each case would suffice to convey the connection with The Incredible Melting Man. Also, take care to avoid words which editorialize, as in "Bottin even dubbed the RoboCop effects "the Melting Man"."
Encyclopedic prose should be written for the timeless present of the reader: this means using the narrative present for plot summaries and plot details, and the past tense for almost everything else. Phrases such as...
  • "Future Academy Award-winning make-up artist Rick Baker"
  • "...would simulate gradual disintegration"
  • "in 1996, both of those films would be featured in seventh season episodes"
  • "Rick Baker, who would go on to win multiple Academy Awards for Best Makeup..."
...are not encyclopedic, as they refer to past events from the point of view of someone in the past. The article uses "who later..." several times, which is better, if not ideal.
Encyclopedic prose is also out-of-universe: "He must consume human flesh in order to survive, and his strength and fury only grow as his murderous rampage continues." is in-universe, and thus inappropriate for the lead. Even in the plot summary, occasional reminders that the narrative is taking place within a film are recommended.
These examples are not comprehensive. Further, the prose needs a general copyedit.
  • "who often played villains in science fiction films throughout the 1950s." ("often" and "throughout")
  • "The same year of the film's release" ("same", "of"?)
In one case, an attempted fix made the prose worse, leaving a hanging noun phrase: "The first feature film written by screenwriter and director William Sachs,[1] Some sources have described The Incredible Melting Man as a remake of First Man into Space (1959)"
It looks like the article is now receiving attention from multiple editors; I believe such attention is necessary to meet the criteria. Geometry guy 23:11, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
PS. "Steve" or "Steven", or does the film use both?
  • Thanks for these comments, Geometry guy. Between these specific comments and those from the original review, I think I can now start to improve the article as I would have during a hold period. I am going to have time tonight to do a thorough run through this article, and expect that I can bring it up to snuff by either tonight or tomorrow at the latest. I just ask your patience for that one day. Thanks again! — Hunter Kahn 16:25, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
    You are welcome. Reassessments typically last longer than that, so you have time to make fixes! I hope other reviewers will also comment. Geometry guy 18:27, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
    • OK, I may need to take another general sweep through the prose, but I've gone through the entire article and I believe I've made changes consistent with the comments by Amadscientist and Geometry guy. In particular, I've tried to remove unencyclopedic wording, added additional attribution language in areas mistaken for OR, and made other sweeping changes (including severely cutting down on the Cultural references section and combining what had been two subsections into one). I was hoping you could weigh in and let me know if you are happy with these improvements. I also hoped to ask for further guidance in two areas: a) Wikilinks in the lede. Amadscientist said he believed more needed to be added, but per WP:OVERLINK I've always been told to try to steer clear of wikilinking general terms, and was hoping to get more guidance on what specifically should be linked that currently isn't. b) Fair use images. I thought I had described the rationale in each of the images (the one in filming: to illustrate Baker's melting effects; the one in cultural references: to show the Robocop effects and draw a comparison between those effects and those in Melting Man), and I truly believe these images serve a function that text cannot, so I think the fair use is appropriate. But images aren't my area of expertise, so any help in beefing up the rationale language would be appreciated. I'd also like to make a final plea for keeping the Robocop image. The MST3K image has been removed, but it would be detrimental to the understanding of the article (one of the fair use standards) to remove the Robocop one, and just because its a screenshot from a different film doesn't mean it cannot be used in this article if a rationale applies. Thanks for your help! — Hunter Kahn 06:31, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Thanks for your excellent improvements. I am going through the article again. I still have problems with the following lead sentence: "Originally written as a parody of horror films, it was changed during filming to a straight horror film after the producers determined it would be more financially successful that way." The body of the article is more nuanced and this analysis relies heavily on one source. It should be possible to convey the same basic information more neutrally. Geometry guy 00:14, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
    • Thanks for your continued attention to the article! I've rewritten the sentence a bit to make it more in line with the wording in the body of the article. Let me know if that works, or if further tweaking is needed. The additions add some length to the lede, but it's an important element of the article so I think it's appropriate. Also, I added language to hopefully respond to your "clarification needed" tag, but if you think further clarification is needed, feel free to readd it. — Hunter Kahn 02:03, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment: I note that Amadscientist has failed 4 out of 6 GAN reviews so far during the GAN backlog elimination drive, which is a far far higher failure rate than anyone else taking part. It may be that he was just unlucky to pick some bad articles, but, as nominator of one of his "quick failed" articles (International Dunhuang Project), I believe that he is failing articles too quickly, without giving the nominators a chance to respond, when there is a possibility that the articles could be brought up to standard with a little extra work. In the case of International Dunhuang Project, Amadscientist admits that the article is "well written, good in both scope and focus", and has no specific comments about the contents of the article, but quick failed it on the basis that it is over-reliant on the International Dunhuang Project web site as a source (a valid complaint, but difficult to avoid as there are no reliable 3rd party sources that give detailed information about the activities of the IDP). I find it very discouraging to have a well written and comprehensive article quick failed like this, and think it would be more constructive for Amadscientist to put articles on hold, as everyone else does, if there is a possibility that the problems identified can be addressed, and only quick fail those articles that clearly and uncontroversially fall well below GA standard. BabelStone (talk) 12:39, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
    Thanks for the information. If you want to raise systematic concerns relating to the GAN backlog elimination drive, the drive talk page is the best place. Community GAR is also available for concerns about other specific reassessments. This reassessment page should focus on this article, and whether it meets the GA criteria. Thanks (in advance and/or noted in the edit history) to editors for concentrating on that. Geometry guy 00:14, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
  • To whom it may concern, Geometry guy (talk · contribs) has indicated he will continue his review, and my messages to Amadscientist (talk · contribs) have not been returned Amadscientist (talk · contribs) has declined to participate any further. However, since the feedback I've gotten from the changes above are good, and since this GAR has been inactive for a while, I just want to ask that others please not be deterred from weighing in here. I believe the article is very close to GA status right now. — Hunter Kahn 14:59, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Proposal to close and list. I have finally completed my review of the article. The prose is still a bit loose in places, but not sufficiently so that I believe it remains a GA concern. In the absence of further comments, I therefore propose to close this reassessment and list the article as a GA in 48 hours. Geometry guy 18:52, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
    • Thanks Geometry Guy! Your efforts are very much appreciated. — Hunter Kahn 01:48, 4 April 2011 (UTC)