Wikipedia talk:Featured article candidates/archive13

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I'm disappointed with the recent promotion of Human. A 75% majority voted in support, which can hardly be called consensus. Worse than the numbers though, is the fact that the objections (some of which I presented) were not resolved or even commented upon by the supporters. If an article can simply be voted through the process without its flaws getting fixed, then the process is broken, if its intent is to identify quality. This article is an embarrassment to the FA list in its current state, and unfortunately it's not alone there either. Fredrik | talk 17:33, 6 November 2005 (UTC)

If you feel you have a valid objection to it remaining featured, please take up the issue at Wikipedia:Featured article removal candidates, not here. Superm401 | Talk 18:45, 6 November 2005 (UTC)
On the contrary, this strikes me as a perfectly reasonable place to discuss the promotion process or examine its current functioning. The promotion of Sicilian baroque was also controversial, and I am also curious as to whether or not I understand the promotion process as well as I would like to. Jkelly 18:51, 6 November 2005 (UTC)
We can certainly discuss promotion in general here, but to actually reverse the promotion of Human specifically, we need to go to WP:FARC. I'll let the regulars here start the general discussion. Superm401 | Talk 19:08, 6 November 2005 (UTC)
According to FARC rules, an article recently featured cannot be listed there. =Nichalp «Talk»= 19:24, 6 November 2005 (UTC)
True. He would have to wait a while. However, he is claiming there wasn't really a consensus. Going back to the debate, that seems fairly accurate. Raul654, who did not comment on the nomination, appears to have closed the nomination as featured(he transcluded it in the promotion log and tagged Talk:Human as {{featured}}. I'm going to ask him to join this discussion and explain his perspective. Superm401 | Talk 20:03, 6 November 2005 (UTC)

See Talk:Human#Featured.3F Sam Spade 23:50, 6 November 2005 (UTC)

Featured article review

At Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/FAs first, I am trying to set up a system to ensure that featured articles are regularly reviewed. Have a look at what I've come up with there. It's a list of featured articles with links to the revision that was current when it was promoted and a diff with the present-day version. If changes are significant, they could be placed on a sister page Wikipedia:Featured article review to be approved (hopefully). Suggestions? Is anyone interested in working on this? Tuf-Kat 08:36, 7 November 2005 (UTC)

  • I think this is a great idea. As of right now, there's no mechanism of review for old FAs, and relying on FARC all the time is virtually guaranteed to not catch every FA that has declined in quality. Count me in. PacknCanes | say something! 17:50, 7 November 2005 (UTC)
    • Thanks, I've put the first two articles to be reviewed in. Tuf-Kat 00:47, 8 November 2005 (UTC)


Wouldn't be better if the FA nominations are being voted by a jury or commitee that are being chosen for their quality and precision in revewing articles? This way, if an article doesn't meet the FA standars in the point of view of this jury, the unsuitable support votes of users that have worked on this article, who would like to see it promoted, won't affect the decision. And, of course, any user have the right to post his comment. CG 21:32, 8 November 2005 (UTC)

An interesting idea. I'm not quite sure if I'm for or against it yet. On one hand, we would then have a more uniform set of guidelines being used to deterimine an article's FA Worth, so there wouldn't be as many surprises by an editor who has a particular idea that the rest of us hadn't thought of yet. However, it would have a tendency to lessen the worth of opinions by the general editing public since their objections could be overruled by "The Committee" (just picking a name out of thin air for the moment). What qualifications would we require for Committee members? What amount of reviewing do we set for Committee member quotas to ensure that articles are adequately reviewed? The consistency is good, but I think the logistics get in the way to effectively enact this proposal. slambo 21:57, 8 November 2005 (UTC)
I'm against this; any problems FAC might have don't seem to warrant the wholesale creation of another layer of bureaucracy. RfA is ugly enough sometimes; I shudder to think of what the RfFACCM (Request for FAC Committee Membership) process might turn into. —Bunchofgrapes (talk) 22:11, 8 November 2005 (UTC)
I'm inclined to support the basic concept of a qualified review panel in charge of reviewing articles on FAC. This parallels the peer review process for academic journals (and, to a lesser extent, any publication), and would lead to more consistent quality standards. There are several issues though. First and foremost, you'll be getting a lot of arguments that this is "contrary to the spirit of Wikipedia" (I happen to disagree). There is a high volume of articles that flows through FAC, and a good review takes time... therefore the pool of reviewers would have to be relatively large (perhaps a few dozen editors) so that they could keep up; this would also ensure that enough panelists are interested enough in any given nomination to take the time to review it. On the plus side, this would give nominating editors a more consistent standard to strive for, and mechanisms could be put in place to ensure that each nomination gets the attention it deserves. Some may remember that I have been concerned in the past that the FAC process is vulnerable to manipulation; I think this type of system would address those problems. However, I am skeptical that the community at large could be convinced to adopt such an approach. - Bantman 22:18, 8 November 2005 (UTC)
These are exactly my concerns and also the reasons why I would agree with it. If such a Committee is formed, I would be willing to volunteer as a member provided enough other people also volunteer. slambo 12:14, 9 November 2005 (UTC)
I am also against the proposal. Its not a bad idea but that is the Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/FAs first job. We don't need another bureaucracy. FA's are about community Consensus. Falphin 01:48, 9 November 2005 (UTC)
I disagree - featured articles are first and foremost about solid, well-written articles. Not about the way they are chosen. If there are problems like in bad articles sneaking in and a jury leads to better results, I'd say well, go for it. --Elian Talk 04:58, 9 November 2005 (UTC)
I have my doubts that a panel system would work any better than the current system. If you have an appointed panel (appointed by whom? More voting?) then we have to rely on that panel being willing to consistently put in the effort and on being better at their job than the editing population at large (note that anyone may place objections). Personally, if we're going to have a panel, the panel should replace Raul as final arbiter, not replace the current FAC discussion. —Morven 21:19, 9 November 2005 (UTC)
Amen. I like that idea. Johnleemk | Talk 07:33, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
I would personally be opposed to such a change, mainly because if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Provide examples of your theoretical situation and then we can discuss. Otherwise, the system ain't broke, so let's not add complexity to one of the last few places on Wikipedia where consensus actually rules somewhat. Johnleemk | Talk 12:12, 9 November 2005 (UTC)
Without reopening old wounds by pointing out specific examples, I think that many of us have seen times when bona fide objections have been overwhelmed by eager supporters, and an article with significant but addressable problems gets promoted. I imagine that the best process would be analagous to a supreme court case: the panel would interact with nominator, supporters, and objectors, asking and answering questions, but in the end discuss the article and reach a conclusion among themselves. - Bantman 21:58, 9 November 2005 (UTC)
Considering that over 800 articles have been promoted using this process, it's not surprinsing that you can point to a few promotions that in retrospect might not have stellar. On the other hand, what you are proposing is awful - it adds a great deal of needless overhead to an otherwise slim and very functional processes. →Raul654 23:34, 9 November 2005 (UTC)
Note of correction - it's not my proposal, I'm just discussing the pros and cons. - Bantman 23:42, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

First, thank you for your comments. I want to clarify that I've suggested this idea just for discussion, since it haven't been on the table before. I've though of the pros and cons of this proposal, and I really don't know if this idea is worth it. That's why I wanted your opinion. CG 19:10, 10 November 2005 (UTC)

The process for removing FACs from this page

Why are FACs delisted from this page when the nomination is seemingly still open? Examples: Talk:Beatles for Sale, Talk:Shoe polish. —jiy (talk) 01:52, 14 November 2005 (UTC)

Delisting of nominations is done primarily at the discretion of the Featured Article Director, Raul654, and is typically done when the nomination has had outstanding objections from several days that do not appear likely to be resolved any time soon. As to why the talk pages for delisted articles are not being updated, this is probably just a case his being human. --Allen3 talk 02:44, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
As to why the talk pages for delisted articles are not being updated, this is probably just a case his being human. - not quite. I tag the ones that are promoted, but user:Violetriga is good enough to take some of the load off my shoulders by doing the failed-nom tagging. →Raul654 03:00, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
I'm not understanding why Shoe polish was removed. It doesn't appear to be a stalled failure. —Bunchofgrapes (talk) 03:49, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
A valid point - I've restored that nomination. →Raul654 04:08, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
It's official then, Raul is not human. :-). Pcb21| Pete 08:50, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
Ok, I admit, I laughed :)
But I can't hold a candle to Mav(bot) →Raul654 19:30, 14 November 2005 (UTC)

A Call for Reform

The FAC process needs to be reformed. In many votes there are few votes and it only takes one or two voters to defeat a candidacy, e.g. my recent Bob McEwen FAC had only four votes cast. But if one goes out and asks for votes, there is sometimes criticism for "spamming" for votes.

Worse, when votes are cast, there's no consistency. My Bob McEwen article was apparently defeated on the basis of it not having footnotes. To the best of my knowledge, footnotes are not required and my James Aubrey article was voted in as a FAC one week before despite lacking footnotes. Ditto my articles on Julia Stiles and Dawson's Creek.

The issue of pictures is also deviling one. I have been criticized for using photos, e.g. Mark Felt, James Aubrey, so when I submitted the McEwen article, I removed the pictures. And what did we get, no votes on the grounds of lacking photos. It's an impossible situation, especially as I understood that photographs were not necessary for featured status.

I'm also troubled at how negative comments prevail in FAC. I'm surely as guilty as the next person. But it seems there are some voters who only are out to tear down others work and never offer anything good to say. I've seen it time and time again. And this is precisely the attitude which drives away contributors, that they work hard only to hear nothing but the bad.

Therefore, I suggest that FAC voting be changed and suggest these possible methods instead. Certainly other ideas could work, but I'm throwing these out for comments.

  1. Have an expert or panel of experts on subjects. Those panelists would review articles as the editors of scientific journals do. If they approved a candidate, we could put it out for popular comment for a week to see if there were objections the jury missed. Yes, I know we have something called "peer review" but rarely are any comments posted. I've submitted articles there and it was a waste of time.
  2. Limit voting to administrators. These are people who are known quantities, who have been approved by the community at large and presumably in a better position to apply our rules and regulations than the average user. Of course, I realize that some administrators like to tear down others' work, but I think there would be fewer of them than in the population at large.
  3. Require administrators to vote on a certain number of articles per month as a condition of keeping their adminship in the same way doctors at some hospitals must work the E.R. from time to time to keep their admitting privileges. This would ensure that candidacy do not fail for want of attention.

Yes, I'm irritated that my articles have been rejected. Who wouldn't be. But I'd like to think change for the better can occur. Reactions can be posted at User talk:PedanticallySpeaking. PedanticallySpeaking 18:03, 14 November 2005 (UTC)

While I absolutely agree those voters appear to be wrong, the solution is to educate, not add another layer of complexity to the process. FAC is one of the last strongholds on Wikipedia where consensus and not simple 2/3rds voting or some other committee-like measure is used for decision-making. I think most, if not all of your suggestions are instruction creep. IMO, this situation could be resolved if our standards for FAC were more clear. References are required, for instance, but no particular referencing method is prescribed by Wikipedia:Cite sources or the Fact and Reference Check Wikiproject. You could easily have told the objector(s) that the objection about footnotes was inactionable. Johnleemk | Talk 18:28, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
Looking at the Bob McEwen vote, I don't agree with Johnleemk that the voters did anything wrong (if I'm reading you right and you are talking about those voters). What people complained about wasn't lack of footnotes, but the form of the inline notes, external HTML. Pedantically, you did not reply in any way to this reasonable concern, which is one often raised (and not normally ignored by the nominator). Your one support vote —Saravask's "Conditional support"—was withdrawn, explicitly because you didn't address any of the queries and objections.
Pedantically, I respect your frustration, and I don't mean to dismiss your concerns, but your own actions as nominator, or rather lack of action, seems to have been the problem in the case you mention. See page instructions: "If you nominate an article, you will be expected to make a good-faith effort to address objections that are raised." Speaking as a former Peer Review housekeeper, I would also add that being responsive to the concerns people raise is a good way of actually getting more votes: people lose interest if you don't look like you're listening to the comments you do get. This became very clear to me as I watched Peer Review, and I think a similar psychology might be at work on FAC.
(I won't address the idea of giving admins special powers and responsibilites in an approval process, because it seems to me to be bad in so many ways that I'd be talking all night.) Bishonen | talk 19:23, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
I was unable to return to Wikipedia for several days; thus there was no reply to the objectors on Bob McEwen. That said, I do not understand the objection to links. What is the issue there? I can think of other articles with many links which successfully passed the FAC process. PedanticallySpeaking 18:36, 17 November 2005 (UTC)

Needs images

Over at featured article review, I've made a section for "featured articles of concern" due to issues like a lack of images. Would anyone mind if I moved the current section on this page over there? It would nicely trim down FAC, I think. Tuf-Kat 18:06, 17 November 2005 (UTC)

Sounds fine to me. It might get more people heading over to featured article review, too. Anville 11:35, 20 November 2005 (UTC)
Sure. The 'Featured articles missing pictures' section never really fit on this page anyway.--Pharos 02:16, 26 November 2005 (UTC)
Agree. Jkelly 02:18, 26 November 2005 (UTC)

IP users

Should we let anonymous IP users vote and nominate? Recently there has been a lot more activity on the FAC with IP users nominating articles that haven't been through peer review first, and are obviously not FA standard. I think its a bad idea to let them nominate and vote because they don't seem to look at Wikipedia:What is a featured article first, and are voting unfairly too. — Wackymacs 07:48, 25 November 2005 (UTC)

  • I think it's an excellent idea to let anonymous users vote. It helps drag new users into the Wikipedia system, and thus improves the entire Wikipedia project. When their FA fails, they may get discouraged and leave Wikipedia forever—or they may realize that making an FA is difficult, but not impossible, and start putting more work into making the articles they like Featured-quality. It certainly doesn't do any harm to have more failed FAs in the system, as any bad FAs will just get canned pretty soon anyway. If there are worries that the good FAs are getting scrolled away too quickly, then I'd suggest the implementation of a system similar to the very awesome Wikipedia:Article Improvement Drive, where the articles with more support (or perhaps in FAs' case "lack of opposition") are higher-up so they get more attention. But certainly excluding anyone (except banned users, etc.) from the process has no possible benefit; if an FA nomination is clearly absurd, it can perhaps be closed early, but it shouldn't be assumed that just because someone doesn't have an account, that person definitely doesn't know anything about the FA process. Some of the anonymous nominations are actually better than the nominations by signed-in users. :) Plus they help give us an idea of what articles the masses wish were FAd, in case anyone wandering the FA nominee pages is tempted into working on one of those anonymously-nominated articles. -Silence 08:23, 25 November 2005 (UTC)
Silence['s opinion] is golden here. Pcb21 Pete 16:32, 25 November 2005 (UTC)
There have instances in the past where IPs have got article featured. Its up to the FA Director to use his judgement and ascertain if a support vote is a sockpuppet. =Nichalp «Talk»= 06:06, 26 November 2005 (UTC)
As long as they aren't sockpuppet (as with everything else it's up to Raul's discretion which votes and comments he counts) then letting IP's votes is a good idea. JtkieferT | C | @ ---- 08:13, 27 November 2005 (UTC)

I concur with Silence, Pcb21, Nichalp, and Jtk. Raul654 08:16, 27 November 2005 (UTC)

My main concern is that IP users are nominating articles that should have gone through peer review first, and some seem to be using FAC as peer review instead, which is as a result cluttering up FAC with lots of articles. — Wackymacs 09:42, 27 November 2005 (UTC)
Actually, signed-in users are nominating articles for FA which really should be going up for Peer-Review even more often than IP users are. Additionally, considering how much more effective Featured Article is than Peer Review at improving high-quality articles, this may simply be the natural result of Wikipedia slowly conflating the two into a single, centralized process of checking whether or not an article is at Featured Article quality yet, and suggesting ways it can improve if it's not. Just look at the Peer Review page: 9 out of 10 articles gets only the most cursory of "peer reviews", and even the ones that get a very thorough look-over and get some great recommendations rarely get half as many good, important suggestions as many high-quality articles that are nominated for FA do (for example, the Hugo Chavez FA nomination improved that article more than a dozen peer reviews probably would have). Peer Review is dying out, as it lacks the immediacy of FA (i.e. "this article could become Featured right now! I'd better voice my opinion on it!"), thus removing much of the impetus for editors to voice their opinion on how the article could be improved (especially when it's on an article subject that doesn't already interest them!) and adding an unnecessary extra level of separation between FA nominees and articles-seeking-to-become-FAs. And this level of separation is increasingly proven to be all the more redundant by the growing number of articles that circumvent the Peer Review process altogether—and often become Featured anyway! (Meanwhile, countless Peer Reviewed articles fail miserably at FA, and even ones that have been greatly improved by Collaborations of the Week and other community projects.)
Rather than punishing the users for their natural reaction to an inefficient system, why not change the system and fix the problem at its source? :) Change the FA system so "Peer Review" is just what happens to articles that get nominated for FA and fail, but get valuable comments and advice in the process. Change the system, too, so that these failures don't clutter up the page and take away much-needed focus from the FA nominees that are doing well, but are instead moved further down the page as they get more and more Oppose votes, until finally they are closed after a certain length of time or when it's obvious that the Opposition is too strong to overcome and there are no further major comments forthcoming. Meanwhile, the actively-debated FAs and the ones that are doing very well are left at the top of the page, to receive even more vitally-important constructive "Peer Review" feedback and be seen and discussed by even more users, until finally they are either accepted, or rejected but with many new comments. An additional benefit of this combination of the two systems will be that it will minimize the growing sense many FA nominators have (for example, see the Hollaback Girl nomination) that the only point of nominating for FA is to become FAd, not to find new ideas to improve the article. By replacing "failed FA" with "peer-reviewed article", we don't brand articles as "failures" that are very likely extraordinarily good articles, just ones that still need a bit of fixing-up or expanding. We stay positive. We stay efficient. We stay focused.
(By the way, sorry if none of that made any sense, I came up with most of it while I was typing and it's 5:00 AM.) -Silence 10:05, 27 November 2005 (UTC)
Actually, I lamented about that about a year ago. I tried hard to improve WP:PR's visibility by getting it included as part of the path to an FA and sprucing up the page, but that's about all that worked. One thing I try to do whenever I list something on PR is to comment about another article or two, as a way of giving back in return for the advice I get. We probably can't force it on everyone, but it's an idea. Johnleemk | Talk 11:32, 27 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Well I must agree with Silence on some points. Yes, more registered users are nominating articles here instead of on Peer review, but thats because more registered users are using FAC/peer review more seriously on this side of wikipedia than IP users. I think the FAC and peer review processes should be merged together as one, because generally FAC ends out as a place where users give suggestions/comments on how to improve articles, and peer review has much less activity than FAC. It would make everything much easier if they were merged. — Wackymacs 11:39, 27 November 2005 (UTC)
  • I would agree, but my worry is page-bloat, which would make perusing the articles even more harder than it already is. I think another reason why PR isn't frequented is the large volume of articles there, which turns people off. I still feel there should be some separation between the two processes — after all, not everyone goes to PR with an FAC nomination in mind. For instance, I nominated Article 153 of the Constitution of Malaysia for PR just to see where it could be improved, not to rush it off to FAC immediately. (Alas, I still haven't gotten enough comments on the article.) Johnleemk | Talk 11:48, 27 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Merge? Have you seen the number of articles on peer review? The resulting page would be gargantuan! Borisblue 02:48, 28 November 2005 (UTC)
    • No, we will not be merging them. The FAC works, and peer review doesn't. We will not be using FAC as a crutch to keep peer review from falling into disrepair. Peer review will remain an optional front-end to the FAC. Raul654 02:50, 28 November 2005 (UTC)
      • Merge, no - they do different jobs - but, with the greatest of respect, I think peer review does work, just not all the time. See the improvement in Objectivist poets over its time there. We could, for example, require a week or two of peer review before an article is nominated on FAC. I think some other Wikipedias (Germany? France?) use/have used that procedure. -- ALoan (Talk) 11:25, 28 November 2005 (UTC)
        • That would be nice, but I have a feeling that all we'd end up with is people listing their articles on PR and waiting for the chance to put them on FAC. Johnleemk | Talk 11:28, 28 November 2005 (UTC)
          • Well, that is kind of the point: the only question is whether putting them on PR first will help to flush out the issues that always come up on FAC (references, image copyrights, etc). -- ALoan (Talk) 13:02, 28 November 2005 (UTC)
            • I find most articles on PR go unnoticed as things are right now — what makes you think this alteration would change the situation? Johnleemk | Talk 13:09, 28 November 2005 (UTC)
I believe that Silence is correct in his his assessment that reviewers will continue to avoid PR unless some type of carrot begins attracting them. Lack of feedback will in turn cause submissions to increasingly be sent directly to FAC. If allowed to continue it is just a matter of time before PR dies completely followed by FAC being overcome by the resulting flood.
There is another problem facing the Wikipedia community that if combined with the problems faced by PR would allow for another solution. Efforts such as Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team, Wikipedia:Requests for publication, and Wikipedia:Good articles are all in need of some type of community review/quality assessment process. Several of these efforts also have the potential of offering a meaningful prize, including an article into a stable version of Wikipedia that may be published on CD or paper. With an increase in reviewer participation, PR could then be split into multiple subpages (the divisions of Humanities, Science and Mathematics, Language, and Miscellaneous used by Wikipedia:Reference desk being one possible option). This arrangement may also help reduce the load on FAC once it is up and stable by adding a requirement that an article show stability by having been achieved publication status before submission to FAC. Making this change does raise the issue of removing a clear location to send articles just looking for nothing but feedback on what direction to take the article, but that might be the price that needs to be paid to resolve the other problems being faced by PR. --Allen3 talk 14:09, 28 November 2005 (UTC)

the term "self nom"

I am strongly opposed to the use of the term self nom on FA nominations since in the wiki spirit even though an individual can make an effort to bring an article up to spec with the guidelines for a featured article wikipedia is about many editors working together on an article and not just about individual editors. JtkieferT | C | @ ---- 22:51, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

  • I agree. It also shouldn't have to be distinguished - an article should be nominated by someone who is dedicated to improving the article. The case that should be marked and considered odd is when nominating something you haven't worked on. rspeer 23:07, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
    • Makes sense to me. Jkelly 23:09, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
    • Either way, it's just a familiar shorthand for "I worked on this article". It's fine if that becomes the default assumption, and "outside" nominations label themselves as such instead; but it's a useful note to have. Kirill Lokshin 23:15, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Well, I suppose it dates back to the days when an editor could just stumble across an article that was ready for WP:FAC without adding a contribution. These days, given how far standards have risen, and how many hoops an article now needs to jump through to become featured, it is not that common. On that basis, any candidate will be a self-nomination. Perhaps we can dispense with it? -- ALoan (Talk) 23:43, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
    Yup, we can dispense with the self-nom thing. =Nichalp «Talk»= 04:03, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
  • I certainly agree that saying "self-nom" is pretty silly here, and I saw the one recent case where someone said that they "opposed self-noms" as part of their objection, which certainly made me roll my eyes. But Jtkiefer, can I ask if you are also opposed to statements in the noms like "I've worked on this article" or "I've done most of the editing on this article"? I'm trying to understand if it is the terminology or the sentiment that you find objectionable. —Bunchofgrapes (talk) 04:24, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
Not at all, actually I think that as someone else stated above that it would be better if people noted if they didn't work on the article. JtkieferT | C | @ ---- 03:57, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Call me old school, but I don't see what's wrong with self-nom, although I won't object if you guys try to stamp it out. I do find it silly, though. All self-nom means is that "I worked on this article". It does not imply article ownership. Johnleemk | Talk 05:45, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
I'm just opposed to the term I'm for someone saying I worked on this article JtkieferT | C | @ ---- 03:57, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
  • I use it a lot and it has a very useful role, I think. It's the difference between "here's an article I've spent a lot of time on to get it to a standard of quality where I feel it could be an FA" and "here's a good article I just came across". It also means that I'm likely to be able to address objections. Now, asking me to stop using it is going to mean that I have to find a more long-winded way to give that information. It is also one of the few genuine examples of instruction creep I've come across. Filiocht | The kettle's on 08:21, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
    • I think the point is that the "here's a good article I just came across" variety no longer occur that much. Such nominations (I made one myself fairly recently) generally get a torrent of objections - only articles that have been deliberately primed for FAC stand much of a chance. FA has developed a lot of conventions (for good or bad I am not sure) that the run of the mill good article is unlikely to target. Pcb21 Pete 09:17, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
      • They do occur, however. I remember I nominated Duran Duran after finding it an excellent article. CatherineMunro had been editing it up to featured status, and then took charge of handling the objections. I agree they are the exception to the rule, but I don't see any good reason to ban the phrase "self-nom" from FAC. Johnleemk | Talk 09:20, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
        • I think that is the point, really: the only exceptions that stand a chance these days are ones where someone has been working the article up to FA standard but someone else beats them to the nomination. For what it is worth, I think there should be transparency about nominators' and (more particularly) voters' contributions to an article (or participation in a Wikiproject where the article have been a focus for collaboration) so we understand where the vested interests lie. It may also be useful to know that an article is a self-nom since it may not have been reviewed independently before it gets here, although I think the "self nom" is the default these days. But in any event it is helpful if the nominator clarifies their involvement (or lack thereof) in giving reasons for the nomination. Do we really need a new instruction (or a change to the existing instructions) to spell this out? -- ALoan (Talk) 10:21, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
          • I think that would be instruction creep. If you want the nominator to clarify their role in working on the article, just ask them. rspeer 16:16, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

There are some good points being made here, by Aloan and Filocht in particular. It's true that these days, it is much rarer to see someone nominationg an artilce they have not worked on at all/much at all, but it does happen (witness my nomination of the Beethoven article, which was written largely by Opus33). Simply assuming that the nominator has worked on it isn't a good idea; having the nominator explicitely spell out his involvement is helpful to people evaluating the article. Given this, I don't see why we should change our currnet practice. Raul654 17:30, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

My suggestion isn't to do away with people saying hey I worked on the article my proposal is to do away (at least officially) with the term self nom since that implies that the nominator's work is more important than others. JtkieferT | C | @ ---- 03:57, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
Oh, I see - you think that a "self nom" is a form of boasting. In a way, I guess you are right; I guess it is up to the nominator to make it clear how much input that have had (for example, many of our more illustrious FA nominators do essentially write the whole page themselves, but they are pretty open to contributions from others that add value). -- ALoan (Talk) 23:38, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

Featured subarticles

I've seen several Featured Article Candidates that seem designed as subarticles of larger articles (Early life and military career of Hugo Chávez, Early life of Joseph Smith, Jr., USA PATRIOT Act, Title II). Should these articles be judged in their position as subarticles, or should they be judged as if they were standalone articles? Most of them are very good resources within the context of a larger article, but none of them have enough context or analysis that I would feel confident in their position as a standalone Featured Article. It seems like people are usually voting for these as if a "sub"article has different standards than a "main" article. What do people think? -- Creidieki 02:43, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

I would prefer that the articles are worked from top to bottom. Hugo Chavez (main article) was recently featured, and Early life and military career of Hugo Chávez is the detailed part of him. I see no problems if this is done as opposed to the featuring a sub article and then the main. In short, judge it as a main article. =Nichalp «Talk»= 04:36, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
We shouldn't have subarticles - all articles should be readable as a coherent whole, and if an article relies on the context of a larger article then it should be merged into it. Worldtraveller 21:59, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
Indeed - summary style indicates that a larger subject should not be dominated by any of its sub-topics, but when a sub-topic is broken out into a separate pate, that page has to stand or fall on its own. -- ALoan (Talk) 23:12, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

It can work. Arguably, Restoration literature and Restoration comedy are parent/daughter, even though the latter was written first. Both, I think, read completely and comprehensively, where it really is a difference in scope and detail. So the "subarticle" has to be judged in vacuo. If it makes sense all by itself, and if it's feature quality all by itself, then bravo. If it forces the reader to another article to get comprehensive, however, then no. Sometimes it'll work. Sometimes it won't. An FA is an FA. Geogre 23:13, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

Premature relisting of Hollaback Girl removed

I have removed the premature relisting of Hollaback Girl for reasons detailed in the latest Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Hollaback Girl. Bishonen | talk 19:48, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

Very brave. ;) FWIW I agree. Someone is bound to say that only Raul654 can do that. Phoey. I've just removed a few waste-of-space FAC noms myself today (one a deleted article, two withdrawn). -- ALoan (Talk) 23:36, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
(Brave? Oh, you mean "How dare you"?) De-listing Hollaback Girl myself seeemed the natural thing to do after Raul ignored a request for comment that I posted on his Talk. As far as I've noticed, he's never very proactive in removing nominations anyway; the Terri Schiavo yo-yo debacle was allowed to disrupt WP:FAC for several weeks, IIRC. Perhaps Raul waits to see if the community really wants it gone (=will remove it). I shifted a withdrawn one today also, btw. I hope you carry on the good work, ALoan, you clean up the list far more than I do. Bishonen | talk 22:44, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
I retroactively approve of Bish's actions. I wasn't around last night or most of today, and this was clearly a case of someone exercising good judgement. Raul654 22:45, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
Oh, not really. I just ask myself, "What would Raul654 do?" ;) -- ALoan (Talk) 22:48, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

Oh, dear, the apotheosis continues! (There are cases where the nominators swear that they're going to ignore the community, and those cases have to mandate a removal. This was a clear example, where she said that she would keep listing it until it got approved -- not keep working on it until it got approved. The same, in a sense, is true of the Goober listings (articles on AfD at the same time, articles of a paragraph that were just written, articles on RfC matters submitted as part of a point, vandal listings, because their nominations show a disregard for the community by flaunting the guidelines entirely, although leaving them up for 24 hours is probably prudent). Letting things just sit there and wasting our time in endless argument, though, is a good way to make FAC as bad or worse than AfD. Geogre 23:17, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

So basically what you are saying here, Geogre is: 'This shit is bananas...B-A-N-A-N-A-S!' ;>--R.D.H. (Ghost In The Machine) 00:11, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
You can say that again. But don't! -- Cjmarsicano 00:46, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
Sorry, I could'nt resist, though I should have ;>--R.D.H. (Ghost In The Machine) 00:56, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
Ah, what are disasters for, except to generate humor? (-; Anville 11:49, 7 December 2005 (UTC) (enjoying vacation)
Laughter in the face of disasters, is certainly the more pleasant option :>--R.D.H. (Ghost In The Machine) 23:17, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
Actually, it's going to keep be relisted until I get a reply to one of the comments I made. Not surprising it was ignored — an excuse so that it could be delisted from the nomination process again. There is no guideline stating that the article cannot be renominated the day following a failed FAC, and because of this, no Wikipedians have the right to delist a candidate because they feel it "being in bad faith". Always assume good faith, even if you do not want to. (Furthermore, it will just make some people look selfish if they choose not to.) Once again, the article will be returning to the article nomination process following this failed FAC. Now does anyone care to answer a question I posted on the nomination page? If this article cannot be renominated four days after its original failure, then why can Céline Dion be renominated one day following its original failure? We seem to have a very biased group of people on Wikipedia who feel Hollaback Girl does not deserve to become featured due of its quantity (several others felt this way). Since this has been posted on the talk page, amid some of the laughable nonsense comments made above, I'm sure it will be answered from top to bottom. A pleasure this has been. —Hollow Wilerding 21:39, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
I have posted a reply to Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Hollaback Girl. I am not sure why you think one wrong thing (Céline Dion being renominated too quickly) justifies another wrong thing (Hollaback Girl, ditto), nor why you think there has to be a guideline stating (presumably in writing) what people can and can't do. We try not to have too many detailed rules because we like to work out what to do together by consensus. Any written guidance or policy is just a crystallisation of that consensus, as an aide memoire. There is a clear consensus (as evinced by comments here and on the nomination page) not to reconsider the article until previous objections have been addressed. Immediately renominating an article after a failed FAC without addressing the comments of people who have taken the time to review the article means that they will inevitably raise the same comments again, wasting everyone's time. As I said on the nomination page, you may find it more fruitful to take the article away from WP:FAC for a while to address the objections before bringing it back. -- ALoan (Talk) 22:45, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
Perhaps receiving an answer earlier would not have stirred such controversy. Thank you for delivering me what I requested, User:ALoan. I am in your debt. —Hollow Wilerding 00:02, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

Responding to Hollow Wilerding

I've moved a couple of comments from Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Hollaback Girl, where they're becoming increasingly irrelevant, and added a reply to HW, since she insists. Hollow, I for my part have spilt more than enough ink on this business, please don't look for any more input from me.

By reverting the removal of Hollaback Girl from WP:FAC yet again, you're spoiling for a block from editing Wikipedia, so please consider starting to behave like an adult. Take a look at Wikipedia talk:Featured article candidates if you haven't already. Did you notice Raul654 approving my de-listing of Hollaback Girl? Not that he needs to, as the overwhelming consensus is already that you're being disruptive. Bishonen | talk 01:37, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
By failing to respond to the second half of my above comment, I do thank you for ignoring the second half of my above comment, which was expected. Do you care to answer it now? —Hollow Wilerding 23:43, 4 December 2005, you're spoiling for an RFC being filed against you if a block is taken into action. However, I am not surprised that you ignored me, as most Wikipedians resort to this when they are uncertain of how to answer. Do not tempt me with a block when you are the one not providing the answers. That's what I call uncivil behaviour. Due to my other comments made in this article nomination, I will renominate it until it becomes featured. —Hollow Wilerding 21:25, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
You make an unfortunate choice in making me responsible for your behavior, and picking out my "not providing the answers" as a wikicrime. None of us are employed here, or obliged in any way to keep interacting with people who behave unpleasantly; on the contrary, there are plenty of recommendations sprinkled over the site to "walk away" in such a situation. I replied once with restraint (though indeed not with perfect charity) to an eye-poppingly rude and callow comment of yours, and you invited me sneeringly to reply to it yet again. I chose not to, and would again; if anything, I rather regret replying even once. Feel quite free to RFC me. Please consult Raul654 before bringing the article back to FAC again, since your own sense of what would would be a good time seems to be weak. I will consider it disruptive if you flout this advice, and note that I have given you a block warning about disruptive re-listing. I would naturally not block you personally, but my guess is that plenty of admins would be ready to. BTW, it's also possible to get blocked for personal attacks if you fling around enough of them, and generally poison the wiki climate, so please consider that. I suspect you don't even realize how your tone comes across sometimes. Bishonen | talk 01:15, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
But of course you didn't reply to the second-half of my question. If you had, you would have not been correct. But whatever floats your boat floats my boat. All is pleasant again. —Hollow Wilerding 20:31, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
As demonstrated. ;) —Hollow Wilerding 20:43, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

December log

I'm doing the Signpost article for Features and admins and I can't find the December log. - RoyBoy 800 21:54, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

Er, because nothing has been promoted since 30 November - see WP:GO (which also needs archiving as of the start of yesterday). -- ALoan (Talk) 22:13, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
No articles have been promoted yet (it's still early in the month) - perhaps you could check the November log for any new ones since the last Signpost update. violet/riga (t) 22:13, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
Oh, well that would explain it. - RoyBoy 800 06:22, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

modify nomination procedure - oldid

i would like to propose to slightly change the nomination procedure in order to make way into Wikipedia:Stable versions. the new procedure is to nominate an exact version of the article by quoting the oldid. if there is something wrong with it, then another oldid can be quoted just below. -- Zondor 14:30, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

No, this is an awful idea. This totally defeats the purpose of getting reviewed on the FAC. Raul654 14:31, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
I agree with Raul that nominating a specific revision of an article is a poor idea. During the review problem it is common for an article to have a number of problems flagged and corrected. The version that Wikipedia:Stable versions wants is the version that is promoted, not the version that is nominated. --Allen3 talk 15:58, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
Agree that we should record the oldid of the promoted version in the FA template . Later reviews of the article (FARC etc) could also be recorded. Would this be an onerous task for the promoters? Pcb21 Pete 17:41, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
Substantially more onerous is going to be going back over 900 or so old FAs and adding a permanent link, not to mention all the FARCs. And what about WP:PR, WP:FAR, etc - surely these ought to have the version considered recorded as well? In the final analysis, the old versions are all there in the edit history anyway. -- ALoan (Talk) 18:43, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
Not having updated the 900 articles doesn't stop us doing the new ones. I think having a "one click" solution to track changes from when the article was agreed to be good is a lot better than groping around in the history. Pcb21 Pete 21:45, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
Absolutely not. We could take revisions from when an article was featured and use them for a seperate stable versions fork or such, but the featured articles themselves must remain intact. Ambi 04:46, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
WP:FAR's sister-page WP:FAF is meant to list the last promoted or reviewed version of a featured article. Tuf-Kat 06:04, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
I can only imagine we are talking at cross-purposes. I'm only suggesting adding some extra metadata to the talk page, what did you think I was suggesting? Pcb21 Pete 10:04, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
I was pointing out that oldids are already being collected somewhere. If you want to put them in the FAC template, you can do at least some of them from the FAF list. Tuf-Kat 05:50, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
Yep, I understand that and it's helpful. I don't understand Ambi's comment though! Pcb21 Pete 10:22, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
I think Ambi was refering to the fear that Wikipedia:Stable versions will end up being the default version of wikipedia and that the development versions of articles will be pushed into the background. --Martyman-(talk) 10:39, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
I guess so, but it is an enormous leap from putting an id on talk pages to help with article maintenance to publishing "stable revisions" by default. Don't know how/why Ambi made that leap, but I hope it doesn't distract us! Pcb21 Pete 11:43, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
Well this thread has moved away a bit fom Zondor's original post, which was very Wikipedia:Stable versions centric. I see no harm in adding the promoted version oldid to the FA tag, it would make checking if an article has diverged from it's promoted state much easier. But I hope this doesn't automatically lead to "Stable Versions". --Martyman-(talk) 20:20, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

Excellent, all is going well according to my master plan, Wikipedia:Pushing to 1.0. Once all Wikipedians become accustomed to quoting oldids, it will be easy to institute Wikipedia:Stable versions for the kill. Soon all Wikipedians will realise Wikipedia:Stable versions is the superior process being the superset of goals. With Wikipedia:Stable versions we can destroy the time-wasting Wikipedia:Featured article review, Wikipedia:Featured article removal candidates and Wikipedia:Wikipedia maintenance#Featured articles forever. This is the ultimate fate of Wikipedia:Featured articles, Wikipedia:Good articles and Wikipedia:Standard articles not to be denied. They will be assimilated, resistance is futile. -- Zondor 02:46, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

Uhh... could you add some <sarcasm> tags or something, to assist those who can't tell what level of serious you are being here? —Bunchofgrapes (talk) 03:38, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
yeah, my sarcasm-o-meter is in the repair shop. Broken S 04:26, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

Featured articles is impressive... most impressive. The improvisions are with you young Wikipedians... but you are not an encyclopaedia yet. Wikipedians, you do not yet realize your importance. You have only begun to discover your power. Join me, and I will complete your training. With our combined strength, we can end this destructive conflict, and bring order to the English Wikipedia. If you only knew the power of the Wikipedia:Stable versions. Don't make me destroy you. -- Zondor 03:58, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

Actually, (and I don't know if this was intentional or not -- I suspect it was) Zondor's comment sounds more like it should be coming from Emperor Palpatine :) Raul654 03:30, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
It's straight Darth Vader from The Empire Strikes Back, actually :-) —Kirill Lokshin 03:35, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

Footnoted references

As our standards are evolving, do you think we should consider making footnoted references an obligatory - or at least, recommended - requirement? Personally I believe that our ideal should be to have every fact referenced this way. I know it won't happen anytime soon, but increasing people's awarness of how useful footnotes are would be really beneficial to Wiki.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 17:13, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

I'm not really satisfied with our existing footnoting system, actually. It seems too clunky to me. Johnleemk | Talk 17:19, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
No. The choose of the citation style is left up to the author. So long as it is inline, any standard reference style is acceptable. Raul654 17:27, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
I guess I have not expressed myself clearly. Inlines are ok (although I prefer footnotes, as inlines are invisible and known only to experienced wiki editors), but what I meant was: if the only way the article uses references are by putting them in the reference section, without ANY referencing of them in the main body, then this is not enough.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 17:34, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
I think you are getting your terminology confused. "Inline citation" is any type of citation that is used in the line that references it. Both harvard style: George Bush is president of the United States (Kwijibo, 17) or footnotes are inline, so both are acceptable. You are correct though - simply having a list of references at the end of the article is not enough. This is spelled out clearly in the FA criteria already. Raul654 17:37, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
The criteria talk about "the appropriate use of inline citations" - does this mean that every new featured article has to have inline citations? Surely we don't have to litter featured articles with citations for facts that are uncontroversial?
There are related discussions on WP:FARC now about whether the time has come to extend the requirement for a references section to old featured articles (from the period when there was no formal requirement for references). FWIW, I now think enough time has passed and the need for references has become sufficiently important that we should bite the bullet. Given the way the threshold keeps rising, no doubt we will require inline citations too in the end. -- ALoan (Talk) 18:13, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

Inline references should be mandatory for FA articles.--Alabamaboy 18:25, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

Mandatory? For all facts? Or just controversial ones? -- ALoan (Talk) 18:57, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
Certainly mandatory for controversial ones; but I think a reasonable selection of citations for major points in an article is appropriate even if those points are not in dispute. —Kirill Lokshin 19:00, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
Of course we don't need them for facts that are uncontroversial or which no-one would ever question: appropriate use, not indiscriminate use. But I find it hard to imagine an FA quality article which doesn't refer to a single expression of opinion, for example. Essentially, we need a reference for every statement of which a reader might reasonably want to know the source. Mark1 19:02, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
And does this apply retrospectively? That is, should all exising featured articles comply with this standard and be demoted if they do not? -- ALoan (Talk) 22:51, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
Eventually, yes. At the moment, however, this would force us to remove most of our current FAs, which would be rather counterproductive. Nonetheless I think that the sooner we require all of FACandidates to have inline citations, the better - and we should start fixing old FACs to do so. Once majority of FAs uses inline citations, then the remaining few can go the same way that unreferenced brilliant prose is going now.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 23:33, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
Appropriate inline citations already are mandatory for FACs. Obviously "appropriate" leaves a lot of room for disagreement over exactly what needs to be sourced, but that's inevitable. (There would be no point changing it to "must have inline references", because that could be satisfied by adding any two references, which could still be totally inadequate. Appropriate use is what we want). Mark1 14:51, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

FAC time period questions

First, I apologize if this is a question that is already answered somewhere... I just can't find the answer. The FAC page says that the nomination will be removed if objections are not resolved within a reasonable amount of time. What is the reasonable amount of time before FACs are approved? What happens when a user who objected stops responding to the nominators (who made the appropriate changes), and therfore cannot and does not change their object vote? I am essentially just wondering what the time span is between start and finish if the article is to succedd in FAC and become FA. Thanks! -Scm83x 07:29, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

It's deliberately not specified. Pcb21 Pete 08:43, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
Reply in the nomination page and leave a comment on the user's talk page that the article was updated to address the objection and request the user to "please review the changes and your FAC vote". You'll usually get a good response, but don't feel offended if it doesn't happen; we all have lives outside WP that interfere with our editing time now and then (and I'm as guilty of this as the next editor). This is part of the reason why a specific time frame is not mentioned. If the nomination is removed as non-promoted, wait a little while (one month is generally recommended), revisit the objections in the article and renominate it. Slambo (Speak) 11:57, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
The others answered the time frame, but if you simply explain clearly why you think you've resolved the objection, and enough others agree, then it can be considered an addressed objection even if the objector doesn't get time to get back to it. It depends on the situation of course, but ask some other people to see if they think it is resolved. - Taxman Talk 13:08, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
Raul654 usually promotes successful candidates and removes unsuccessful one every few days. The minimum period for candidates to remain on FAC is around 5 days. Clearly "bad" nominations (articles that clearly fail to meet criteria) will usually be removed in the first update after the minimum period has passed; clearly "good" nominations (unanimous "support") can be promoted on the same timetable. Candidates where the nominator is working to address objections can remain on the list for 10-15 days before being promoted or failed. But it is all ultimately up to Raul654's reading of whether objections are actionable and whether there is a consensus to promote. -- ALoan (Talk) 14:23, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

inline citations

From Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/White's tree frog:

  • re inline citations do not appear to cover the entire article's text I'm still not at all clear on the practical application of citations in Wikipedia, and I believe that's very much in development. Verifiability through verification is great in principle, but the practical application is much trickier across the entire range of topics known to mankind (which is what Wikipedia is about). From what I can gather:
  • General encyclopedias as I recall use bibliographies rather than inline citations (further research is faciliated, but the text as a whole is assumed to be trusted), whereas specialized encyclopedias (like, a legal encyclopedia) obviously need to.
  • Reputable news publications don't cite sources, but the reporters are expected to be able to essentially go to court on the verifiability and accuracy of their research.
  • Student academic papers are subject to different levels of citation requirement, for example, higher standards for graduate than undergraduate. And the requirements vary across disciplines. Also, university level papers (often) encourage or require original thought, unlike Wikipedia, so citations are necessary to clearly distinguish between what is original and what is derived or incorporated from elsewhere.
WP:CITE is only a guideline. Wikipedia Forum for Encylopedic Standards in part notes: "The guidelines must be flexible because of the broad range of topics that they must apply to. Citations of academic topics may benefit from more rigorous standards than popular culture topics."
A basic decision as to whether a citation is required seems to be the question of whether a statement is "generally known". "The sky often appears blue," doesn't have to be cited. "The sky often appears blue due to selective filtration of visible light (or whatever)," probably has to be cited. "'Hollaback Girl' is a pop song," presumably doesn't. But "'Hollaback Girl' is hip hop-influenced pop song," presumably does, or if not, why not, as it's doubtful that "most" people can immediately identify a "hip hop influence". Yet, to cite at that level for that topic is absurd. So it doesn't seem that a categorical reference to WP:CITE or a call for copious inline citations is clear or usefully applicable to every article on the FAC page. IMO. --Tsavage 00:33, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
I'm working on clarifying my views on a subpage in my userspace. For now, I'll say that because virtually all writers of wikipedia are virtually anonymous (unless they provide their name, or we can deduce their identity from checkuser and their ip address), we have absolutely no credibility in the eyes of many. We must go above and beyond the normal practice of encyclopedias. Because non-experts write the majority of our articles, we must show that those non-experts are making abundant use of the writings of experts. The ease of verification and research is another bonus, because no college student in his or her right mind will want to cite a wikipedia article in a research paper or thesis. They shouldn't have to scour through 8 different reference works in order to find verification of what the article is saying. As for "copious" inline citations, I find that in many cases, it's possible to write a well developed paragraph (or even a multi-paragraph section) from only a few pages of one or two sources. Sometimes it just takes finding the right source. So don't worry, citations after every comma and period annoy me too. --Spangineeres (háblame) 02:11, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
Well, this is now clearly off-topic for FAC, nonetheless, INTERESTING, so... It seems in part to me that the Wikipedia NOR+NPOV+Verifiability premise is sound in principle, but ultimately a defensive (even self-conscious) position in practice, and at odds with the reality of the project. What is this trying to prove to whom? If "we" wanted an academically traditional body of work, then (given what I judge is now around a million US dollar a year current funding drive/budget) wouldn't it be more efficient to hire a bunch of cause-driven researchers (give 'em an annual honorarium of $20-30K or whatever), put 'em in a house near a big library, hand them the "rules" and have them write this free-for-all encyclopedia? Within a year, a team of 20-30 Wikipedia research scribes could produce thousands of articles, all "well-written and verifiable", at least to the best of the current Featured Article standard. But I don't think that's the point, nor the drive that has given Wikipedia all of the energy and momentum it currently seems to enjoy. Is the goal to shove people into bureaucratic boxes by forcing them to increasingly adhere to "citation standards", or instead perhaps to figure out a way to emphasize the "assume good faith" principle that is obviously a central operational principle now, and vet articles in a more creative way? (BTW, I couldn't find the user subpage you referred to...) --Tsavage 02:46, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
I haven't finished the subpage yet, but you can take a look. Anyway, couldn't your argument be made for anything? For example, you focus your FAC efforts on the readability and comprehensiveness of the articles, and make great suggestions to improve them. That's how you define a good article. User:Tony1 is a real stickler on grammar and prose issues; stuff that I'd never notice on my own. So I could respond say that if we want an edited, "publication ready" encyclopedia, we should hire some proofreaders to produce hundreds of comprehensive, concise, and grammatically immaculate articles. I'm not sure there's a difference between that and inline citations—in both cases, we're trying to make the articles "more professional". I'm not convinced that there's a disconnect between "more professional" and "better".
I assume good faith all the time—in general, I believe what I read on wikipedia, even if it's not referenced, and I don't often check people's references to verify that the reference is quoted accurately. However, I'm skeptical of overapplying the "assume good faith" principle for articles. From an ease of use standpoint, it's worthless (assuming good faith doesn't make it any easier for me to find the source that the author used so that I can write a college term paper). Worse, assuming good faith in the accuracy of information is extremely dangerous. Errors in Moore's 18th century marine navigation book caused alot of shipwrecks and killed alot of sailors until Nathaniel Bowditch came along and recalculated all the tables. No one congratulates Moore for his good intentions; they congratulate Bowditch for getting it right. Like Moore, I have good intentions when I write articles like welding. Unlike Moore, I'm not an expert—I have virtually no real welding experience, so I'm even more prone to misinterpreting things and making mistakes. Including citations demonstrates that I've done my homework and haven't just copied something off my class notes. It also allows someone to judge the reliability of the source for themselves (a citation from a welding textbook might carry more weight than a citation from an amateur welder's web page).
I guess it comes down to the purposes of wikipedia. If we don't care about our reputation as a reference source, then fine, forget references, but people will always have to reach for a "real" encyclopedia if they want to be "sure". No encyclopedia is 100% accurate, but there's a huge difference between 95% and 99.97%. By including citations and references, we can compete with Britannica as equals. Without them, it's the writing of non-experts versus the writing of experts, and in the eyes of the public (our "customers"), we'll lose just about every time, and our only advantage will be that we've got articles on every Pokemon character and pop artist with a couple CDs, and they don't. --Spangineeres (háblame) 17:05, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I am in agreement with everything you've said. And I believe that verifiability in the form of cited sources is a necessary component of Wikipedia accuracy, even it was only for people who want the feeling of security from having references at hand (i.e. even if they'd "never be used" by the vast majority of readers). I'd also rather have references than not, even if I already trusted the material as competently excuted to high standards. My comment above was more specifically focussed how citation objections are handled in FAC (which is why I decided to post it on the FAC page proper).
The FAC process as I've seen it over the last month is busy and often fairly complicated. FAC encourages two seemingly "good" things, namely, healthy debate and substantial article revision. However, between the amount of debate, and the degree of change, actually trying to get an article through to a useful, transparent resolution can be arduous and time-consuming. Personally, it takes me a great deal more focus and application to keep track of a handful of vigorously debated and revised articles over their 1-2 FAC week periods, than to frame the initial votes. As no small additional point, the tone of debate often gets heated, and then, the usual cooler is an increasingly specific application (or, reference to and interpretaion of) the "rules".
My concern, in light of this already busy FAC situation, is with throwing in loosely defined objections based on lack of citations, when standards across different subject areas haven't nearly been decided (and therefore can seem to be based on arbitrary specific citation criteria and rule interpretation proposed by a single objector). The problem is rather unique to citations, as opposed to arguments about, for example, comprehensiveness, in that citations are the direct manifestation of one of Wikipedia's only three golden content rules (NPOV+NOR+Verifiability). Setting apparent precedents in this area (for FAC), where people may apply tree frog citation standards to, say, a "Hollaback Girl" FAC, is confusing, and makes it that much harder to establish really good benchmark FAs for various basic categories of articles. (And I think establishing good base articles that will stand up for some time can be done for many areas with existing articles that are "close" to a reasonably comprehensive intepretaion of the quite rigorous FA criteria.)
My bottom line "actionable FAC comment" is then: FAC objectors who refer to specific citation criteria should fully support them with reasons explaining why they should be applied to that degree for that type of article, or point to an FA as an example. We can't it seems have it both ways for things to work too well: FAC as article improvement area, with less than useful guidance on critical points like the practical, topic-specific application of verifiability through citations. (By the same token, it bugs me when people support with no reason at all (those should be struck), or with very little info, like, "I like it". The minumum support comment I've worked out is basically, "reads well, seems comprehensive, I don't have any special knowledge of the topic"; the implicit understanding is that all voters are doing so against FA criteria.) This, of course, isn't the whole thought, but it is what I mainly had in mind when posting original comments. I could also have just said, "Please post your reasons for requiring this type of citation ____ for this article." But it's all a process... :) --Tsavage 18:12, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Citation alterations

You may be interested in Wikipedia talk:Verifiability#Citation format poll: Format of citations and WP:V examples, and WP:FN. Part of it is whether it is acceptable to ever replace URL-only references. This could somewhat affect FAC-related edits. I also got blocked for adding citation details, which could somewhat affect FAC-related edits also. What could also somewhat affect FAC-related edits is the recent deletion of suggested citations from peer reviewed articles Stonehenge, Colonization of the Moon, Golden Gate Bridge, Military budget in the United States, Nineteen Eighty-Four, Royal Air Force. (SEWilco 08:01, 15 December 2005 (UTC))

When did it become acceptable to remove other users' objections?

For the second time in a week, I've had objections I made to a candidacy struck out (in the first case, actually cut from the page) by somebody favoring the candidacy. This really isn't appropriate, and I'm not the only editor this is being done to. The FAC directions only call for text to be struck/removed if the objector is ready/willing to withdraw the objection. The first time this happened, the editor who did it apologized, but in the one that just happened, a different editor has followed up with a weird note on my talk page telling me that if I didn't "ellaborate" my objections or let him strike them he'd take things up with JWales directly. Is this passing into the zone of the deeply wacky, or have I missed something? Monicasdude 03:55, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

Zone of deeply wacky. There's a Raul's law about appealing to Jimbo, I think... oh, it's a third-party one: "JamesMLane's Futility Principle - In any Wikipedia discussion, the probability that some participant will belligerently threaten to appeal the matter to Jimbo is inversely proportional to the probability that Jimbo would actually intervene in that dispute." Yep. Everything I've ever seen about Wikipedia and/or FAC etiquette tells me Spawn Man should not be editing your comments; I'll drop him a note, too. —Bunchofgrapes (talk) 04:21, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
As far as I'm aware, it's never been acceptable to strike out someone else's objection. --Carnildo 07:08, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

Striking out other's fulfilled objections was far more common in the past; there wasn't a rule explicitely against it, and no one complained, so some people did it. It's gone out of fashion, as it were, due to the taboo against editing someone else's comments. Raul654 16:51, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

Images in FAC

Has the policy on free use images changed somewhere? I objected to the FAC on Celine Dion on the grounds that I'd like to see at least one free use image in the article before it's featured, and people are telling me this is not a valid objection. I'm a bit perplexed by how my good-faith reasoning and expectations can be declared "invalid" by another editor, but in any case... the last time I came into FAC (admittedly awhile ago) we had people objecting to every article that contained even ONE fair use image. What have I missed? --causa sui talk 21:34, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

  • Well, in the case of Celine Dion, it would be near impossible to find a free use image. The text of the article should not be hindered by that fact, since text is more important than images on Wikipedia. An article shouldn't have too many fair use images, but at least one image can generally be found to use fairly in an article. — 0918BRIAN • 2005-12-19 23:40
    • I agree with Brian on this one; for people for whom it is nearly impossible to find a free image, a fair use image is generally acceptable. Raul654 23:58, 19 December 2005 (UTC)
      • Not to be spiteful (really!) but, heh. --causa sui talk 22:13, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
  • In that case, Ryan, we should probably brace ourselves for the nomination of most of our song articles on FARC. I can't ever recall objections based solely on the fact that only fair use images were used in an article. Such objections are valid if a free alternative of similar quality is readily/easily available (i.e. on Shoe polish it would not have been too hard to photograph some nice pictures of shoe polish), but for celebrities or topics like music albums, free use images are impractical. Johnleemk | Talk 08:05, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
I've put forward articles that have been objected to solely on the basis of images, but ultimately those objections have been outnumbered. It seems that the trend is moving to allow minimal numbers of unfree images, as long as the image description page is correctly noted with copyright details and a fair use rationale. Rossrs 20:50, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

Why would it be so hard to get a free use image of Celine Dion? Are no cameras allowed in the audience at her concerts? -- Jmabel | Talk 08:24, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

I don't know about the rest of the world (I'm in Australia) but here cameras are banned in a lot of concerts. I've seen staff confiscate cameras and they're supposed to be left in the cloak room. I understand this is to protect the artist's right to produce only "official" photos. This might not be the same for every artist or every event (note there is a free image of Robbie Williams from an Australian concert) and the rule may not apply in other countries, but may not be a simple matter. Rossrs 20:50, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
Well, I didn't find it that hard to find a free photo. You just have to know where to look, and it'll do no good to not even try. See Image:Céline Dion-AFR.JPG (it's from the very first result on a google search of .mil).--Pharos 23:46, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
Interesting that going to a concert counts as part of that military man's "official duties", and thus is public domain. Pcb21 Pete 08:24, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
It was a military concert on board an aircraft carrier; in the photo she is performing with the U.S. Air Force Reserve Band. This is actually probably the best way to find PD photos of North American entertainers.--Pharos 18:20, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

WP:FARC nomination: Christmas

Please see my FARC nomination at Wikipedia:Featured article removal candidates/Christmas. — 0918BRIAN • 2005-12-19 23:40

Help: "Adding nominations"

Now, in step 3, "From there, click on the 'leave comments' link" I get the response, "Article not found."  ???????????

==Sub-page nominations==

Is their a particular reason why you have to enter the full {{Wikipedia:Feature article candidates/nomination}} rather than the simpler {{/nomination}}. josh (talk) 18:23, 26 December 2005 (UTC)

Yes, you have to do that so when the noms get copied to the archives, the links don't break. Raul654 18:51, 26 December 2005 (UTC)
I see. Thanks for letting me know. josh (talk) 19:06, 26 December 2005 (UTC)