Dispatches: The latest on featured articles
- By SandyGeorgia, 13 October, 2008
Featured articles (FA) show off our best work to the world on the main page and serve as a powerful model for all of Wikipedia's articles. The featured article candidate process (FAC) is vital to setting and maintaining our standards of verification, writing and formatting. To complement the FA nominations/archiving process, the FA review process (FAR) enables the review and updating of articles that already have the bronze star. While the number of FAs grows at an average rate of 50 articles a month, a relatively small body of editors provides most of the successful candidates, and even fewer editors shoulder most of the burden of reviewing candidates at FAC and FAR. A successful promotion requires the input of about 12 editors, so nominators might consider re-paying the process by themselves reviewing a dozen or so candidates. More reviewers are always welcome!
Promotions and demotions
, Banner year for Featured articles
About one in every 1,130 Wikipedia articles is featured; the ratio of FAs to all Wiki articles has been steadily climbing since February 2007.
During the first nine months of 2008, promotions of FAs have been at about the same rate as for 2007, while demotions at FAR have declined slightly relative to 2007.
During the past two years, average FA promotions were 63 a month; 2008 promotions through September are 64 a month, compared with an average of 42 three years ago.
After inline citation requirements were added in December 2005, demotions peaked at 30 during November 2006. Demotions over the past two years have averaged 16 a month, while the past year was slightly lower at 13 per month.
Combining promotions and demotions yields an average growth in FAs of 47 a month over the past two years, and 51 a month over the past year; the increase is due to the lower rate of demotions.
Through August 18, the top 10 FA producers of 2008, with eight or more FAs for the year, were (alphabetically):
- Awadewit, specializing in 18th-century British literature.
- Blnguyen (aka YellowMonkey), with articles on cricket and South Vietnamese history.
- Brianboulton, with extensive coverage of polar expeditions and exploration.
- Casliber, the fungus, bird, dinosaur, planet, animal and medical Renaissance man.
- Cla68, specializing in military history articles.
- David Fuchs, writing on video games.
- Hurricanehink, the hurricane expert.
- Jimfbleak, specializing in bird articles.
- Moni3, writing on diverse topics, including the Everglades, film and literature.
- Serendipodous, covering the Solar system.
Amazingly, these 10 editors accounted for one in five of FAs promoted in 2008 through August, at 105 of the 489 promotions.
|FAs as of September 16, 2008||Count|| % chg since
|Art, architecture and archaeology||72||10.8%|
|Awards, decorations and vexillology||26||8.3%|
|Business, economics and finance||19||18.8%|
|Chemistry and mineralogy||31||6.9%|
|Culture and society||48||20.0%|
|Engineering and technology||37||5.7%|
|Food and drink||11||0.0%|
|Geography and places||158||6.8%|
|Geology, geophysics and meteorology||90||28.6%|
|Health and medicine||36||12.5%|
|Language and linguistics||15||-11.8%|
|Literature and theatre||134||24.1%|
|Philosophy and psychology||13||8.3%|
|Physics and astronomy||82||22.4%|
|Politics and government||67||8.1%|
|Religion, mysticism and mythology||44||22.2%|
|Royalty, nobility and heraldry||90||20.0%|
|Sport and recreation||162||36.1%|
As of September 16, 2008, the largest featured article categories had at least 150 entries.
- Sport and recreation
- Geography and places
The smallest categories had fewer than 20 entries.
- Food and drink
- Language and linguistics
- Business, economics and finance
Relative to categories tallied in the February 25 Dispatch, the fastest growing categories are: Transport; Sport and recreation; Video gaming; Geology, geophysics and meteorology; Literature and theatre; Physics and astronomy; and Religion, mysticism and mythology. Three categories had no growth or a net decrease due to demotions: Language and linguistics; Computing; and Food and drink.
At FAC, reviews have become more specialized, with individual editors tackling specific areas of the FA criteria. Several reviewers have developed expertise in reviewing images (see Reviewing free images and Reviewing non-free images), others in checking sources on every FAC for compliance with the Reliable sources guideline (see Reliable sources in content review processes), while others focus on Manual of style or prose and copyedit issues (see Reviewers achieving excellence).
FAC reviewer awards (see Feb stats, April stats and May stats) have gone to consistent productive reviewers: Awadewit, BuddingJournalist, Dweller, Ealdgyth, Elcobbola, Epbr123, GrahamColm, Indopug, Jbmurray, Juliancolton, Karanacs, Laser brain, Maralia, Moni3, Peanut4, Roger Davies, The Rambling Man, Tony1, Yllosubmarine and Yomangan.
Dedicated FAC and FAR volunteers work to assure that every article nominated receives a thorough review. Without them, FA standards would decline and the FAC and FAR pages would be likely to develop a large backlog as nominators wait for review. It is often thankless work: nominators, please be kind to the reviewers, and if you get a chance to lend a hand, please review some articles as well—we want your expertise too!
- 14 articles were larger than 65KB (roughly 10,000 words); 97 were larger than 51KB.
- 23 articles were smaller than 8KB (about 1,250 words); 100 were smaller than 10KB.
Average size at 25KB has not changed relative to a year ago for 1,721 featured articles. At that time:
- 9 articles were larger than 65KB; 46 articles were larger than 51 KB
- 16 were smaller than 8KB; 71 were smaller than 10KB.
Hence, average "readable prose size" has not changed, while the number of FAs of both the larger and smaller size-ranges has increased. (Several of the largest FAs have grown since passing FAC).
At around at least the average size of a FA (25KB), the number of Good articles (GA)s and FAs are roughly the same; below the average FA size, there are many more GAs.
- List of Wikipedians by featured article nominations/2008 as of August 18, 2008
- Wikipedia:Featured articles as of September 16, 2008
- User:Dr pda/Featured article statistics as of October 1, 2008
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