Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2020-03-29/Discussion report

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Rethinking draft space: Plus: geonotices, reliable sources, and job titles.

Draft space: success or failure?

The Draft namespace was created in 2013 as a centralized location for Articles for Creation (AfC) submissions, after the idea was endorsed by the community in a request for comment on the village pump. The original rationale for its creation was that the creation of the namespace would make it easier to locate AfC submissions and review them for issues. Initially, the RfC called for the elimination of userspace drafts, but the RfC was changed early on to continue allowing userspace drafts. Before the creation of draftspace, drafts were stored in userspace (as many still are today), or subpages of Wikipedia:Article Incubator or Wikipedia:Articles for creation. Today, draftspace is used for AfC as well as for incubating articles that were created in mainspace but weren't quite ready for primetime (for example, because they didn't have enough references to meet the general notability guideline).

The "Rethinking draft space" discussion currently going on the village pump does not contain any specific policy proposals, but rather seeks to start a discussion on whether the draft namespace should be reformed or eliminated. The section was created by TonyBallioni after he came "to the conclusion that draft space is a failure, and for the most part is something that is used as a holding ground for G13 since the majority of the content is unsalvageable." As such, he supports eliminating draftspace and returning AfC to a model of userspace submissions. Opponents of draftspace argue that drafts are less likely to be seen and improved by editors, and so they just end up getting deleted after they are abandoned by their creators. Other users support keeping draftspace because it reduces the burden placed on new page patrollers (who are already severely backlogged), and keeps poorly written content and content from editors with a conflict of interest out of mainspace, where they would be visible to more readers.

In brief

  • On the policy village pump: should geonotices be allowed to contain political advocacy? This RfC was caused by the addition of a geonotice saying, "Please send email asking the US government to require open access to federally supported research." A wide majority of users have opposed using geonotices for any political advocacy (though some suggested an exception for issues that directly affect Wikipedia, such as SOPA); others saw the geonotice as in line with the Wikimedia movement's goals. There were also complaints that this controversial geonotice had not been put up for discussion in a more frequently visited page like the village pump (in fact, the author of this column didn't even know the geonotice request board existed until he wrote this paragraph).
  • On the reliable sources noticeboard, there is an ongoing discussion on how to improve the process of deprecating and blacklisting consistently unreliable sources. The proposals concern text to be added to WP:RSPI, WT:SBL, and WP:RSN explaining the requirements for a source to be deprecated or blacklisted.
  • On Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Biography: the section of the Manual of Style on the capitalization of job titles (such as President of the United States) has been controversial for a long time and led to many edit wars. Opponents of MOS:JOBTITLES argue that it is confusing and does not have the support of the community, while supporters point towards its consistency with the style guides of reputable English-language sources.