Wikipedia talk:Featured article candidates/archive22

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Template for finished FxC

Would it be possible for someone to make a template to put on top of old nomination pages so we can till if the passed or not? Would Raul654 approve of this? The Placebo Effect 20:24, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

This is actively being discussed at Bot requests - it would be yet more work for Raul, so the idea is to try to automate it. Raul does indicate promoted FAs immediately on the article talk pages, and another editor (like me) goes through and flags the failed facs as soon as we can, so the article talk page usually indicates which have failed/passed. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:28, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
I know the idea has been tossed around, I just thought I should mention it here so Raul could see it and approve of it also. I was also not talking about the article pages, but rather, the nomination pages. The Placebo Effect 20:35, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
The bot request is for the nomination pages, and it was brought to Raul's attention. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:31, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
The bot request page is at Wikipedia:Bots/Requests_for_approval/GimmeBot. It's seeking authorization to do a number of things. The first stage of development involves FAC: tag closed FAC nomination pages as promoted or not promoted, and update the talk-page templates for non-promoted articles. (It could also update the talk-page template for promoted articles, if Raul654 wanted.) The second stage of development would be FAR: tag closed FAR pages, change the templates on article talk pages, and remove the star from articles removed as a result of FAR. The bot is also seeking authorization to handle page moves of FAC and FAR subpages, should that be useful.
Since the first and easiest goal is to tag closed FAC nominations, this might be a good time to make the template(s) to be added. If the FAR logs were two separate pages, the code to handle FAR pages would be almost identical to the FAC code, and would take less work/testing to get functional. Gimmetrow 22:38, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
Raul654 most certainly does want :) Raul654 22:46, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
Oh, sorry. Somehow I had the impression you wanted to keep that task. As long as you are here: {{fac}} allows an optional parameter for a different subpage than the article name. When would this be used? Gimmetrow 22:53, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
I don't speak bots and templates and scripts, but if you get to the point where we should begin to think about splitting the FAR archives into Kept and Remove (as in FACs promoted and archived), let me know, so Marskell and I can begin to work on it. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 04:22, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

While we're on the topic of changing things, this seems an opportune time to revive the 'combined FAx template' discussion, which stalled with the holidays (see a few sections above). A working example has been coded and examples of usage can be found at User talk:Dr pda/Sandbox. A short summary of the situation is as follows:

  • The motivation was to combine the FA-related templates (fac, facfailed, far, ffa etc) into one to reduce talk page clutter, with parameters (a la WP:MILHIST) to control which text is displayed.
  • Additional benefits are an 'FA history' listing, which makes it clear e.g. how many times an article has failed FAC, or when an article was promoted/demoted/both (and could even indicate if the article was a Brilliant prose nomination). The example as coded switches from the move old nom to /archive1 approach to a create new nom at /Nomination 2 approach, and automatically creates a redlink to the appropriate subpage. This would remove the need for pages moves which cause problems for new editors.
  • The new template should not make any more work, as it would be just changing parameters within a template, rather than replacing a template, however it may be slightly trickier for the nominators, as they would need to specify the correct parameters, instead of just slapping a tag on the article talk page. This should hopefully be alleviated by templates which can be subst:ed to provide cut-and-paste like functionality, plus examples covering almost all cases (again see User talk:Dr pda/Sandbox). The main effort that changing to this template would involve would be the need to change all 1000-2000 or so FA's/former FA's/former FAC's.
  • On balance, I think the new template has a number of advantages over the status quo, my concerns are the usability for the majority of users and whether there is support for using the /Nomination 2 type approach (a la AfD).

Comments? --Dr pda 23:45, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Well, now would be the time to implement such a thing. There are approximately 1350 former FACs. While most of the templates could be converted automatically, I wonder, now that most templates have the "small" feature, is it really necessary to compress these. How many articles have more than one FAC? More than two FA-related templates? Talk:Christmas, with two peer reviews and two FA templates, doesn't look too bad.
One big problem is the difficulty with future FACs after a failed FAC. That is worth fixing. With the current set of FA-related templates, it may be possible to make it so all future FAC could be handled by "just slapping a tag on the article talk page", if the old FACs at /PAGENAME are preemptively moved to /PAGENAME/ArchiveN. This would require changing a ton of links in FA archives, but it could be automated. It may also be possible to have a multi template recording history, still allow noms with {{fac}}, and then have the bot incorporate the result into the multi template. Gimmetrow 03:47, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Any replacement should chronologically list all FA noms (both failed or suceeded), FAR noms (failed or suceeded), and BP status (whether it was or was not a brilliant prose article). In addition, it could include peer reviews. I have rigged up a functioning model at user:Raul654/FA (the wikicode is horrifically ugly but it's functional. Right now it supports up to 8 events but this can be trivially changed). Test it at user:Raul654/test.
    • "Functional" is, of course, a relative term; the template isn't really doing anything, just dumping whatever it's passed. ;-) Kirill Lokshin 21:26, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
      • The only way to automate that aspect of it would be to use the ifexists parser function, which in itself would require standardizing the way that we do FA and FAR noms. Moreover, if a bot is going to be doing the archiving, then passing all the information is not a problem. Raul654 21:28, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
        • What about the approach used here, then? Kirill Lokshin 21:36, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
          • I like it (it's a lot like mine, except more polished). But, it's got one huge flaw - it doesn't actually produce the chronology. Raul654 21:42, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
            • I see what appears to be a chronology once I click on the [show] link; are you expecting something different? Kirill Lokshin 21:54, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
              • Ah, somehow my aging eyes missed that link. Excellent... Raul654 22:18, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
          • PS - also, I think the small parameter should be eliminated (from that tempalte in particular, and Wikipedia in general, but let's start with the former). Raul654 21:44, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
            • It's a somewhat complicated matter; while FA status is, admittedly, important, if we remove the small option, people will start insisting that their templates also don't need to support it, and we'll wind up back where we were before it was implemented. :-\ Kirill Lokshin 21:54, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
              • I hope that's *exactly* what they do. Raul654 22:17, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
                • Why is it that whenever a whole bunch of people, after arduous negotiation, come to some tenuous compromise that lets everyone take their hands off each others' throats, someone uninvolved will come in, decide they don't like the compromise, and try to get rid of it?  ;-) Kirill Lokshin 22:24, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
            • Count me in - hate the small. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:14, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
              • What's wrong with the small templates? Next, if you go to a multi template, what level of detail would the dates need? It would be a bit of work to dig through page histories to find the exact time an article was promoted. Gimmetrow 22:29, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
                • Inconsistency (sometimes used, sometimes not, resulting in goofy talk pages), hard to find, hard to see, hard to read. Prefer a link to table of contents at top of page, to skip over large templates. Maybe my eyes are older than yours :-) If others disagree, it's not that big of a deal to me - my eye doctor likes the revenue. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:37, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

Going back to Gimmetrow's proposed bot for a moment, I think the idea of pre-emptively archiving the FAC/FAR noms is a good way of avoiding the problems with page moves for second and subsequent FACs/FARs. This could be combined with the 'FA history' template in the following way: Editor adds existing {{fac}} template to talk page and creates nom at WP:FAC/pagename. FAC finishes, bot tags the nomination subpage as promoted/demoted, does whatever else it is going to do, moves subpage to WP:FAC/pagename/archiveN (N=lowest unused number), blanks WP:FAC/pagename ready for subsequent noms (if any), removes {{fac}} template from talk page, and adds date, subpage link and result to FA history template on the talk page (or adds the template if it didn't exist). Similarly for FAR. Subsequent FACs/FARs would then just add {{fac}} etc and repeat the process.

Regarding finding the dates when articles were promoted/demoted (for adding the FA history/multi template to existing articles), the hard work has more or less been done at User:Feature Historian. This has dates of Brilliant Prose/FA's starting from 2001. Also Special:Prefixindex (specifically this search) is useful for seeing how many articles have had multiple FACs (etc) and seeing what subpages were moved to. --Dr pda 00:01, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Generalizing this

Per above, we were talking about the use of the small template. This is a bad solution to the problem of too many templates on talk pages. A much better solution would be to generalize the above - that is, combine similiar-purpose templates into one multi-purpose template. For example, consider talk pages for articles with 10 different Wikiproject tags - which in themselves necessitates the addition of even more templates and parameters, like small and skipt-to-toc templates). Rather than that, you could have one template that does the same thing in a much more compact manner. Raul654 22:53, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

That doesn't really scale. Sure, if you have ten WikiProject tags that are nothing more than neatly-formatted links to the relevant projects, you could combine them into a single template; but many (most?) tags used by the larger and more active projects are already consolidated versions of dozens of independent tags (collaborations, smaller sub-projects, portals, etc.). You get to a point where trying to combine tags further results in a maintenance nightmare with hundreds of independent (and independently named!) parameters, convoluted conditional logic to deal with all the various special cases—joint tags are often the result of careful negotiation between different WikiProjects—and so forth. Granted, there could be more coalescing done; but a truly generalized tag is pretty much impossible without losing a lot of functionality that's built into the current tags (the loss of which will not sit well with the projects involved, for obvious reasons). Kirill Lokshin 23:11, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
The most complicated FA-related pages I've seen have 4 FA/PR templates. Is that really a big deal? I somewhat like the idea of a failedFAC template which provided a link for the next future FAC submission page. However, this connects to another problem I noticed another problem recently. There are currently 28 FACs listed, yet Category:Wikipedia_featured_article_candidates contains 60 pages. Some of the extra 32 are just example uses, but some have FAC pages never added to WP:FAC: Talk:Wenceslaus I, Duke of Bohemia. Others seem to be just added to the talk page without a FAC discussion ever created: Talk:Judy Garland and even a dab page, Talk:Eight_ball (disambiguation)! Maybe the bot needs to check pages in the category, and then either add them to WP:FAC if the subpage exists, or remove the fac template if it doesn't. Gimmetrow 23:15, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
When you count failed (as well as successful) FAC and FAR noms, I'm sure there must be some articles that have had upwards of 6 or 7 nominations, not counting peer reviews. A combined template giving the chronology in these cases is of the utmost importance. Raul654 23:21, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
Gimmetrow, I just looked at a couple of those, and I think we should process the exisiting ones manually. Some of them are older facfailed that didn't get tagged; some were never submitted. Should I start through them manually? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:11, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
Going through those - many of them are either talk page archives of old fac templates, or repeated fac templates which were placed in a talk page section, rather than at the top of the talk page, so didn't get facfailed. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:15, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
Processed through them: three things for potential bot consideration. 1) fac tags on top of talk page, as well as within a talk page section, the duplicate lower on the talk page didn't get failed or promoted; 2) fac tags in talk page archives; and 3) facs that were added to talk pages, but empty, never submitted. There are 3 that have content that were not submitted - don't know what to do with them. Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Francis de Gaston, Chevalier de Levis, Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Global Positioning System/archive1, and Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Wenceslaus I, Duke of Bohemia. Wish an admin could delete them? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:35, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
A bot could remove extra mentions of {{fac}} on an article talk page after promotion or non-promotion. I would consider that part of the talk page maintenance. I haven't started writing any talk-page related code, and won't until the talk page template issues are resolved. Gimmetrow 01:50, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
The extras that ended up in talk archives were because nominators put them in talk page sections rather than at the top, so catching those extras will probably prevent them from being archives. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:02, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Discussion-closing templates

If we're going to move forward on the bot, we should create the templated text to put that at the top (and probably at the bottom) of closed FAC discussions? Since Raul closes discussions by removing them from WP:FAC, closed FACs do not need to form blocks of text like closed AfD and TfD discussions. I think a note at the top giving the result, and a note at the bottom indicating the end, would be appropriate. How detailed should the date be in the message? Month and year sufficient? Gimmetrow 03:22, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

I would include the month, day, and year, but that's just me. This could easily be done with templates. [[{{subst:CURRENTMONTHNAME}} {{subst:CURRENTDAY}}]], [[{{subst:CURRENTYEAR}}]]. Gzkn 03:55, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Let me explain the issue with dates. The bot will be adding these closing templates sometime after Raul654 closes them. It would be easy to just add the date the bot runs, but that could be some time after the closing. Also, at some point the bot will go through all the old archives and put close tags on them - the date the bot runs is irrelevant for that. If the exact date is necessary, then the bot will need to extract that date from page history, try to figure out the version number, generate a diff, and decipher from the diff which pages were closed - none of which seems particularly trivial to code. If month/year is OK, then the bot can just get that from the archive name, or even prompt the operator. Gimmetrow 04:17, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
I would prefer the date be the time it was nominated or closed by me (either one is fine). It doesn't have to be exact - month/year is perfectly OK. Raul654 04:21, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Clarification - I don't really feel this is necessary at all, especially if we use a detailed template on the article's talk page. Raul654 17:30, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

I worked out how to filter the archives for edits from particular users. The date of edit to the archive was a small step from that, so I can record the date the discussion entered the log or archive. The bot can even identify the version id of the article immediately prior to promotion, and so could place that in the talk page template. These will be useful for the ongoing use of a bot. (Date of edit isn't helpful for some old archives created months after the promotion.)

{{subst:fa top|type=[[WP:FAC|template test]]|result=unchanged 13 January 2007}}

{{subst:fa bottom}}

Assuming the bot gets authorization, I would like to do a trial run that:

  1. goes through the current log adding archive templates indicating "promoted" and date
  2. checks the talk page for {{fac}}, and if it exists, replaces it with the featured template and version id.
  3. goes through the current archive, adding archive templates indicating "not promoted" and date
  4. checks the talk page for {{fac}}, and if it exists, replaces it with the FACfailed template.

Gimmetrow 21:42, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

{{fa top}} could work for both FA and FAR. I found {{FAR top}} was created in Dec 2006. Is this being used? Should the closing texts mimic AfD and TfD archives? Gimmetrow 14:32, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

Talk page archived versions

Here we are again, on the problem we've discussed above, and I don't have time today to fix it - can someone look at the mess on the archiving of former FACs on the New York City nom, and get it straightened out in archives and on the talk page templates? We need a better method. We should have at least an Archive 1, Archive 2, and the current nom pointing at them. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:19, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

I'll try to take care of it. — Tutmosis 16:20, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
Thanks so much :-) You can delete my small comment if you want when done, so it doesn't impede the FAC. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:24, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
Okay for the most part everything has been fixed except some redirects. The only problem I have is I found that the current FAC page is linked from Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Archived nominations/December 2004, but checking Special:Prefixindex/Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/New York City shows no archives in 2004, checking the move log for the article show no different article name in 2004, and no mention of this nomination at Wikipedia:Featured articles nominated in 2004. I'm confused... — Tutmosis 16:57, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
And, checking your contribs, I see that took you almost 25 minutes to untangle - what a mess this system is !!! Thanks so much for doing that - I knew it was a bad one. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:59, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
No problem, I just hope the above problem can be figured out. — Tutmosis 17:02, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
Great, I figured it out [sigh]. The 2006 april nomination was put over the 2004 nomination which is now lost in it's history [1]. I wonder if it's possible to split a history of a page into 2 articles... — Tutmosis 17:18, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
I've done it before with cut and paste, which isn't optimal, but if you leave a good edit summary ??? I'm not aware if admins have better tools for dealing with this? This happens too often: there's a problem with our procedure and instructions. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:37, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
Yes, it's possible to split a page history into two pages - in fact, there's two ways to do it. You deleted the article, restore some revisions, move the article, delete the redirect, and then restore all remaining deleted versions. Viola - two articles. The other way to do it uses a new mediawiki feature that allows duplication of an article (including the history), but I'm not really sure how that works. Raul654 17:43, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
Pass the Excedrin, please. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:58, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
After a lot of copying and pasting and such I think I have fixed everything. Turns out there are 5 previous nomination. I just now read what Raul wrote, would you have preferred it done that way or you fine with what I just did? I didn't want to step on anyone's toes... sorry if I did. — Tutmosis 18:14, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
I've fixed it (took me 5 deletions/restorations). AZ t 02:01, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
This took a few hands to sort out. Gimmetrow 02:18, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
Could someone who knows the new template fix the ones at Talk:New York City? Their are about 6 on the page and it looks very unorginized. The Placebo Effect 01:40, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
Done. If anyone wants to double check for mistakes, that would be nice. — Tutmosis 02:22, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
It looks good, thank you. The Placebo Effect 02:43, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
Um, which new tool? (I'll test out on my copy of MediaWiki and see how it goes) Titoxd(?!?) 04:51, 19 January 2007 (UTC)


A couple of editors are objecting to the Jupiter FAC on the grounds that the article's references do not provide ISBNs for books and ISSNs for magazines/journals (among other reasons). I've seen people make similar objections on other FACs. However, I just checked all three relevant policies (WP:V, WP:RS, and WP:CITE), and the only one that even mentions these numbers is WP:CITE ("The ISBN of a book is optional."). This is a bit of citation-frenzy instruction creep that I oppose vehemently. I have never tried to find a book by ISBN, nor do I anticipate ever doing so. To mandate that FAs include such details and to object to FA candidacy if they don't is just over the top and not necessary. Let's leave it optional, as the appropriate policy pages do, and not let this creep into the requirements for FAs. -- BrianSmithson 04:41, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Quite frankly, ISSNs and DOI identifiers are usually not necessary, but if they are available, add them. ISBNs are not mandatory either, but it generally looked well upon on an article that has them. The only reason is that they work with Special:Booksources, and some users (me included) do search for the ISBN of the book in local libraries if the article is interesting. Titoxd(?!?) 04:50, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Furthermore, if I remember correctly ISBNs are not stable, they are often changed over time and with new editions of a book, they are different from country to country or at least continent to continent. I can't see the value of them. Ever noticed ISBNs lurking in a book bibliography? At best rarely. I add them anyway, though... Pinkville 04:52, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
    • ISBNs are like social security numbers. Once given to a book, they don't change. Subsequent editions will get new ISBNs, but the old never get reused. I order books by ISBNs because it's the only responsible way to track a title down, since booksellers list authors and books differently. We're not asking for as shrubbery. mdash;ExplorerCDT 05:14, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
      • Subsequent editions will get new ISBNs... This was my point. The utility of an ISBN is lessened when the title to which it refers has been superceded by a new edition. Will ISBNs continue to be added to articles for each new edition of a cited work? In another vein, when looking for a specific edition, particularly with a view to purchase, it's very useful to have the ISBN; when looking simply for the source material of an article, it can be distracting. The misleading similarity of ISSNs and ISBNs for the same edition can complicate matters. Again, I'm speaking of the experience of a reader who is primarily interested in further reading (in which case, usually any edition of a book will do). Nevertheless, the presence or absence of ISBNs in Wikipedia articles is hardly a major issue, I just wanted to support/suggest some legitimate misgivings about having them. Pinkville 03:54, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

I concur with the cited policy - it's nice to have them, but certainly not a necessity. Raul654 05:47, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

  • I also think ISBNs should be mandated in references. They provide valuable information about the book, and they are incredibly simple to provide. If the book was actually used as a reference, the editor can see the number in the book itself. If the book was not used, then the source which cited the book, and not the book itself, should be cited. Failure to add the ISBN just seems sloppy to me, and makes me wonder about the quality of the references in general. Jeffpw 10:26, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
    • Personally, I wouldn't object to an article on that basis, nor do I think it's that strong of a reason to object. However, ISBNs are incredibly easy to provide, and if reviewers asks for them, I find it odd that editors wouldn't oblige. I can't think of any reason why adding ISBNs would be detrimental. Gzkn 10:38, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
    • Because few people actually care about them, and because they make the "References" section look ugly? And very few if any scholarly books actually include them in their bibliograpy? That's at least in part why I don't like 'em. — BrianSmithson 16:21, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
      • I would not consider an Object based only on ISBNs a valid objection, but it is something I mention on review: it doesn't hurt to add them, and it helps towards holding up FAs as examples of "our best work" - it's good practice, relatively easy to add them, no harm done. In one recent example (sorry, slow dialup here, I can't recall the name), there was some confusion about an old book title which was listed different ways from different sources; providing the ISBN helps readers locate the book. I don't see a reason not to add them, but don't consider it a valid Object if it's the only thing holding up an FAC. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:26, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
  • ISBNs aren't always the easiest thing to track down if you didn't list it in your first use of the book. Especially if you're using ILL information or photocopied information as a citation, they're simply not easy to use, and objections based on ISBN are just asking for a response of hopping on Amazon and finding the first ISBN listed. Making it a requirement is probably worth more harm than good. --badlydrawnjeff talk 16:34, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
Don't wish to sound retarded, but if your certain of the edition of the book what's wrong with getting the ISBN from Amazon? — Tutmosis 02:57, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

I think that ISBNs are definitely something that should be included unless there is no way they can be obtained. The reason is to make facts verifiable. A book may have several editions, be printed differently in several countries, or be hard or soft cover. Correct me if I am wrong but each should have a unique ISBN. So if someone references a page number the ISBN becomes very important. It means that one can be 100% sure they have the same book thats decribed in the references section. So in the interests of fact verification I believe ISBNs should always be included when possible. - Shudda talk 05:55, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

ISBNs should be encouraged but not required. Not all books have an ISBN. In "Further Reading" the ISBN could be for any edition(s). In "References" the ISBN should be for the version being cited, just as when an edition is specified it should be the edition which is being cited. (SEWilco 04:39, 10 March 2007 (UTC))

The real story here is that some people are using something as insignificant as this to oppose FAC; and that some other people are claiming that they shouldn't have to include them, even though it is trivially obvious that including them would only improve the article. This issue should have played out either like this:

Support I added some ISBNs. User:1
Thanks. User:2

or like this:

Oppose No ISBNs on references. User:1
Okay, they're there now. User:2
Changed to Support. User:1

Hesperian 04:46, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

I like the first, and even better that the second one should play out like this:

Comment. I've thoroughly read this article, and on the whole it's excellent. It would be absurd to oppose this significant effort because the references don't include ISBNs, but could you add them? User:1
Thank you. I'll add them shortly. User:2

(With inspiration from the recent "Oppose. Header must be converted to use   between numbers and units as per WP:MOSNUM, and references should have digital object identifiers as per talk page."Outriggr § 06:52, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

References in lead section

I would like to direct people's attention to this discussion, where it seems consensus has been achieved that references are indeed required in the lead section. This has been a very murky area for quite some time, and I hope we can discuss it further here. As things now stand, based on the discussion at the linked page, I will be suggesting to nominators that they reference the lead if it they have not already done so. Jeffpw 12:03, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

Err, my reading of that discussion is that references may be required for controversial or disputed material in the lead section, or material that only appears in the lead, but that a lead section that's just a non-controversial summary of the article does not necessarily require duplicated citations. Kirill Lokshin 12:37, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
Quoting SlimVirgin: Confusion doesn't reign, Carcharoth. WP:V, WP:NOR, WP:BLP, WP:RS, and WP:CITE are very clear that any contentious edit; any quote; any edit challenged or likely to be challenged; and any material about living persons, particularly negative material, needs a reference, whether it's in the lead or any other section. If you want to start a discussion about exceptions for the lead, the best place is Wikipedia talk:Verifiability, as that's the relevant policy page, and this page must be consistent with it. SlimVirgin (talk) 17:11, 18 August 2006 (UTC). also: Something might be referenced in the body of an article and that text might be removed, leaving no refs for the lead. Far better to have the reference directly there so the reader can read the sentence/paragraph and immediately see where it came from. Afew paragraphs further, Carcharoth says, We do agree on something actually. I now agree that lead sections do need to be referenced, just like any other section (for the record, I only ever wanted to avoid duplicating references already present further down in an article, or having excessive references in what is meant to be a summary section - I have never suggested not referencing anything). Further discussion on that page (in my reading) makes it clear that references are indeed required leads to what I see is consensus about refs being required. I posted the link so that others could weigh in. Jeffpw 12:54, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
The first part of that goes back to controversial or disputed material; I don't really think that anyone is disputing that if something is actually challenged (or has BLP concerns, etc.), it ought to be cited. (Keep in mind, though, that WP:V merely requires that material be referenced in the article, and does not specify where the citation for it must appear.)
My point, though, is that there is absolutely no reason to extend the footnote-every-sentence approach to the lead (particularly as the citation would likely be to a very large page range, at best—it's a summary, after all). If something actually (a) needs to be referenced and (b) isn't very obviously referenced in the body of the article, then, sure, ask for a citation; but let's not go overboard with requiring pre-emptive work here, as most statements in lead sections are obvious summaries and entirely uncontroversial. Kirill Lokshin 12:59, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
I'm the first to agree that Wikipedia sometimes seems to be overzealous in its requestsfor references. But in this case (particularly the argument that material that is ref'd in the body but not the lead could be edited out later, thus being unref'd at all) I do think we should be asking for lead refs, at least for major assertions, and probably at least one per paragraph, aswe ask for the body of the article. Jeffpw 13:03, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
Well, everything in the lead should be a major assertion, no? It is meant to be a summary of the major points of the article, after all. You'll just wind up with a citation at the end of the paragraph that lists half the references in the article, each with a dozen-page range; sure, you ask for it, but it's not going to help anyone. ;-)
(Or, to look at a more concrete example: how about this article? Each sentence in the lead is basically a summary of an entire section of the article; each of those sections has a dozen—or more—citations. What useful citation could be added to the lead here?) Kirill Lokshin 13:15, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
In the example you provided, I note that there is already one ref in the lead. I would also say that each additional paragraph--under the guidelines that were argued on the page linked above--should have at least one ref, even if it was a duplicate ref from the body of the article. That would give a reference to any assertion that sat in the body, but was (potentially) removed in a later editing process. I take it you don't agree, and I am not sure about it myself. That's why I decided to link the discussion here, so those who are highly involved in FAC could weigh in about this. I should also add that I edit at Feature article review, so I am pointing this out in order that editors can resolve a potential problem before somebody submits their article to FAR on this basis. Jeffpw 13:32, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
Well, I think that sort of citation is overkill, particularly at the FA level. Given that these articles shouldn't be undergoing massive rewrites, I would trust that editors would notice chunks of the article being removed; trying to account for the possibility of that by having redundant citations seems counterproductive. (Not to mention that anything that gets removed from the body of an FA should also be removed from the lead; there is, presumably, a reason why it was removed, and it's likely to apply equally regardless of where the statement is made.)
Obviously, some people don't agree. I'll follow along with whatever the consensus is, obviously; but I get the feeling that the previous discussion is basically the tail wagging the dog. Most articles don't have controversial statements anywhere, much less in the lead; but editors who work with the relatively small number that are controversial tend to have a somewhat different view of how citation should work. Kirill Lokshin 14:26, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
I have to agree with Kirill here; citing everything in the lead isn't always practicable and, if it's mentioned later on, is redundant. To demand citations in the lead for FAs seems fairly arbitrary, as the lead should simply be a summary of the (referenced) rest of the article. Trebor 15:55, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
Agree with Kirill. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:57, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
I think I agree with Kirill in practice. Info that is only in the lead, and quotes, should be referenced. Controversial statements should be attributed to some expert and cited, but these are relatively few for most articles. Most other content doesn't need a citation. However, saying this doesn't seem to me to make the lead an exception; a well-referenced text doesn't necessarily require a citation on every sentence. Gimmetrow 16:26, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
Dare I say we might be worrying a bit more than we need to? FA-quality articles are referenced beyond the scope of anything else on the site. I plan to keep doing what i'm doing - reference direct quotes in the lead, keep the rest clean, and if people ask for a reference in the lead, add it. This doesn't really change anything, and a halfway intelligent editor is not going to challenge something in the lead that's got an entire referenced section below it. --badlydrawnjeff talk 14:39, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
I concur with this consensus: Leads don't need inline citations except in some rare circumstances, outlined above. The main argument about requiring them seems to be that "things may be removed later from the body of the article", but such a removal indicates that there are other problems, such as the fact that the lead would no longer be a summary of the main article in such a case. And the absolute last thing we need is for people to start listing (good, recently promoted) FAs at FAR with the vague statement, "Lead lacks inline cites." — BrianSmithson 22:19, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
The lead needs to be regarded as an integral part of the article, not an add-on, and as such it has to be referenced if the material is challenged or likely to be, is a quote, or is contentious material about a living person. The lead should be a summary of the article capable of standing alone, and so it has to include references, because the presumption is that people may not read any further than the lead if all they want is the flavor of the piece. Are people here saying that even quotes shouldn't be referenced in the lead if they appear elsewhere in the text? SlimVirgin (talk) 18:45, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
I think we're all in agreement that direct quotes are different beasts from other things, but surely you're not implying that if I write an article that has, in the lead, "BDJ has eaten 54 children during his lifetime," and then I have a section with a dozen sources detailing my child-eating history, or "BDJ enjoys the color fuschia," with a reference later in the section about my preferences of color, that the first one absolutely needs a reference. Is that "likely to be challenged" if the references are clear as day in the proper section? The lead is a summary. --badlydrawnjeff talk 18:51, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
(after edit conflict) No, certain things need to be referenced whatever, and a quotation is one of them (but also one that is easy to make a specific reference for). I think it's often impracticable to demand every sentence of the lead be referenced. Some sentences would require references of huge page ranges, or from several different works, even though the information is clearly and specifically cited later on. So long as the lead isn't misrepresenting the rest of the article, then I don't see the point of forcing all of it to have citations. Trebor 19:01, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
  • I think references in the lead are generally a good idea. They are helpful to the reader in that the reader can tell at a glance that the article is well cited - especially with points important enough to be included in the lead. Having at least some of the citations in the lead also allows the reader to check a fact as they fist encounter it, without having to sort through the article to find if and where it is backed up. Also, if the citation exists in the body then copying it into the lead requires a negligible amount of work on the part of the authors. Johntex\talk 21:01, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
It doesn't help the reader to check a fact if the references is "Book title, pp. 2-412" because the sentence is an amalgamation of many different points raised in the book. It's not just a case of copying it into the lead: citations in the article are for specific facts, not broad overviews. Trebor 21:32, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose thoroughly citing the lead for all of the reasons given above: certainly quotes, anything subject to BLP, and any extraordinary or unusual claims should be cited in the lead, but citing everything in the lead can preclude the lead from being a summary of the article, unless we have unsightly strings of citations in the lead. What we've been doing up to now is just fine. And I definitely don't want to see well-cited articles showing up at WP:FAR for "lack of citations in the lead"; we've got our hands full with lack of citations in general. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:04, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Kirill hits the nail on the head. If the lede is a summary, then all the points in the lede need to be repeated elsewhere in the article in more detail. The references belong where the "meat" of the text is, which means, not in the lede. I don't see any reason for references in the lede, except in very rare circumstances, and WP:WPTC doesn't either. Titoxd(?!?) 20:10, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

GAC and PR: obstacles to FAC?

Greetings. I'd like to know if an article that is currently under peer-review and GA evaluation is disallowed for FA candidacy. I've already been told that peer-review does not affect GA nomination, but can the latter stop an article to be a FAC? Thank you. Parutakupiu talk || contribs 19:22, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

The instructions at WP:PR specifically say that articles listed at both placed will be delisted from there. Further, listing at all three places is bad form as it places a burden on editors (many who help with reviews pitch in at two or more places); a more common procedure would be to apply first for GA (they pass just about everything), then get a peer review - staying there long enough to get good feedback, which can be up to a month - and then approach FAC. A common mistake is going straight from GAC to FAC; GA does not an FA make, so get a thorough peer review and Project feedback in between. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:29, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
It seems the wisest choice, which I'll follow. Thank you for clearing this. Parutakupiu talk || contribs 19:39, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
Well, if you want good feedback from the peer review I'd suggest asking a few people directly if they wouldn't mind responding. It is very backlogged, and some requests may not receive a response. Trebor 19:35, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps you are right. I didn't want to bother anyone who may already be busy, but if it helps... Thank you, also. Parutakupiu talk || contribs 19:39, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
Also check whether the article may fall under the umbrella of any WikiProjects. It's often a good idea to drop a mention on the project's talk page that you'd appreciate someone from the project to review the article. Some projects even have their own peer review areas that are transcluded to the main peer review (see, for example, the newly instituted Wikipedia:Africa-related regional notice board/Peer review). — BrianSmithson 22:49, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
Yes, the article is within a WikiProject's scope and I asked other members to review it. Thanks. That PR within the project, however, is quite interesting. Parutakupiu talk || contribs 01:33, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Tenacious D

This article was failed two days ago, and it's back already - do we have a policy? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:05, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

I don't know. This one is back without implementing many of the changes suggested in the last one, so it seems pointless for everyone to go back and say the same thing (not that that stopped me). You could ask Raul I guess, since he's the one in charge of starting and ending noms. Trebor 17:13, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
No need to separately ask him - he follows this talk page. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:15, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
If you are actually two days away from dealing with all the problems, it is probably better to ask Raul not to delist it in the first place. But in general I don't see a big problem with quickly relisting; if people do it disruptively (i.e. without addressing the problems in the previous FAC) then that behavioral issue can be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. Christopher Parham (talk) 21:34, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

I've removed the nom because it was removed, with few (if any) of the original problems addressed. Sorry for the delay - I've been on vacation for a few days and just got home today. Raul654 18:52, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

The re-nom before the old nom had been archived messed up GimmeBot, so I'll let Gimmetrow know. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:54, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

Split please

Could somone split Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Avatar: The Last Airbender at the location when Raul restarted it(it's marked in the beggining)? Could it please be moved to Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Avatar: The Last Airbender/archive2 The Placebo Effect 16:10, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

FAC process producing uneven results - call for change of process

To my mind, the FAC process as it stands it currently producing very uneven results, with demands being placed on some articles in the process that are not made of others. To my mind, the policy of allowing anybody to comment on a FA review can allow easy "spamming" of "support" or "oppose" votes (largely the former) to push an article through without due attention. In keeping with the rest of wikipedia, I would propose the process was changed from a voting process to a panel review process.

At present during an article's FA candidacy:

  1. anybody is free to comment on the article
  2. nobody is compelled to comment on the article

which is what is leading to very uneven results, such as the excellent Alcibiades and the comparatively poor T-34, which lacks cites for hundreds of statements given as fact, and Battle of Alesia which is stubby and lacking any cites at all. I would far rather see a more structured FA process where a set, dedicated panel or jury sits in place and the same panel reviews all articles. This seems like the only way of achieving even judgement and remove the possibility of vote-packing. In particular, I would like to see a prominent member of the League of Copywriters, and a set number of long-time wikipedia editors of good standing to assess other criteria such as neutrality, stability, style etc. This jury could - again, analogous to a real-world jury situation - take advice from self-proclaimed experts in the article's field (as per current "comments" on FACs) on factual accuracy etc, but only panel members would be allowed to vote on the article's attainment of FA status, and each panel member would HAVE to vote on each FA nomination.

As now, the job of Raul654 would be as the "judge" (analogous to courtroom judge) who has ultimate discretion and can over-ride the jury if necessary, although in most cases it would be hoped he did not need to do so.

Could I get some comments on this proposal please - PocklingtonDan 10:09, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

The unevenness of the articles you point to has little to do with the unevenness of the process at any one point. Rather, it has to do with the ever-evolving standards; articles which would have been promoted five or six months ago would not get promoted now. Whether the tightening of the criteria have improved the process, and how aggressively we should remove older FAs, are open questions. Even if unevenness was a serious issue, the process you suggest would be unworkable since it would require the members of the panel to carefully review three or four lengthy articles every day. This simply isn't a reasonable demand, if we want them to do the work with the proper care. Many hands make work light. Finally, your concern about vote-packing is misplaced; the "vote count" is mostly irrelevant to the way these discussions are closed. Christopher Parham (talk) 10:21, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
Yep. The substantial difference is mostly the result of comparing older articles with newer ones; the standards have evolved, and no bureaucratic shuffling on this end is going to magically make older articles meet them.
(It's worth pointing out, though, that while certain editors may favor more extensive citation, there's no actual requirement for citations past a certain level. What that exact level happens to be has been the topic of much debate, and it does tend to be somewhat dependent on who reviews the FAC; but it's still well-short of the footnote-for-each-sentence style that some individual article writers have followed of their own volition.) Kirill Lokshin 13:45, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
I'd say that your proposal will just redefine the problem: from, "Is someone 'qualified' enough to comment on the article's adherence to the FA standards?", to, "Is someone 'prominent' enough to sit on that dedicated jury panel?" In any case, having a dedicated panel still wouldn't guarantee that every article nomination receives enough attention; Wikipedia editors remain volunteers, after all. --Plek 14:01, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
Added to the above, there are barely enough people to keep FAC/FARC running at present, there's no way one person can give every nomination the attention it needs to form a balanced opinion. Reducing this to a "jury" would further the problem. (I've been having vague thoughts about a system where an article can "pass" or "fail" each individual criterion. This would help the assessing: any editor, for instance, can assess the prose, referencing, layout, etc., but it takes someone knowledgeable about the subject to assess whether it's truly comprehensive. But this is probably a bit instruction creepy and there aren't enough people looking at each article to make it work, in my eyes.) Trebor 14:11, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
I continue to contend that—to the extent that results may be uneven in some cases—it's because of (for lack of a better word) "vote stacking" by Project members. It's frustrating when articles pass FAC with serious outstanding objections because of overwhelming support from "fans". SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:41, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
Well frankly, Raul654 should be taking that into account. If there are ten support votes without much substance and one or two well thought-out opposes that are not addressed, the article should not be passed. There are other problems with the system as well, including the dismissal of editors who oppose topics on grounds that are "not actionable". Why isn't it legitimate to say that a topic isn't serious enough, or encyclopedic enough? Or that not enough can be said about it? Those types of concerns are certainly actionable, and the action is to remove the nomination. --Mus Musculus 14:47, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
Because you're not judging the topic but the quality of work. Any article that isn't deleted can become featured. Actionable means that an editor can take an action to improve the article, in response to the "object"s. It has nothing to do with removing the nomination. Trebor 16:20, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
your concern about vote-packing is misplaced; the "vote count" is mostly irrelevant to the way these discussions are closed. - ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! are u serious? vote-packing and aggressive cries of "inactionable!" is exactly how most articles get through FA these days. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 16:04, 5 February 2007 (UTC).

Additionally, since articles drift so much and you seem to state that articles going through FAC now are subject to different stadnards to those going through FAC in the past, I propose that FA status is not permanent but for the duration of one year, after which the article must undergo a mandatory review along the lines of FAR. Some of the current featured articles are appalling. - PocklingtonDan 16:51, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

Again, your proposal is not workable. It would add about 3 articles a day to the FAR workload, which is something like a 300% increase. There aren't enough people to support such a process. Moreover, you can take any FA you have a problem with to FAR at any time; presumably if nobody is doing so it can't be all that appalling. Christopher Parham (talk) 16:56, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
Got edit-conflicted with the exact same thing. 3 per day isn't manageable. Trebor 16:57, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
eeek (edit conflicted twice!) - please, not too many at any time :-) There are currently so many MilHist noms at WP:FAR that concern about overwhelming the Project is an issue. We try to encourage that nominators only nominate one at a time - let's not encourage overloading of FAR :-) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:00, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
MILHIST is entirely aware of the issue, and is, frankly, unconcerned. ;-)
(There are a lot of old FAs that clearly don't meet the current standards—just look at WP:MILHIST#Featured articles in edit mode—and given the amount of work needed to get them up to spec, and the fact that an editor's decision between writing a new FA on a topic that interests them and footnoting an old one on a topic that doesn't tends to be fairly predictable, we're pretty much resigned to having most of them demoted for the time being.) Kirill Lokshin 17:16, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
after multiple edit conflict, clarifications - 3 months lag between FAC and FAR, and articles which have recently been on main page should wait before coming to FAR, as improvements often occur after mainpage stay. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:01, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
Generally speaking, this tends to happen anyways. FAs can go down one of two paths after they're promoted; either they're actively maintained, and kept generally up to the current standards (in which case they remain FAs, and there's no real point in having further red tape standing in their way), or they're not maintained, in which case they eventually wind up on FAR and get demoted. There isn't a problem in any of this, in principle; what you're seeing is simply the backlog of unmaintained artlicles that developed from the addition of inline citation as a requirement being (slowly) run through FAR. Kirill Lokshin 17:06, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
Decay is inherent any system—it can be managed but never eliminated :). Marskell 20:08, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
Outriggr § 00:47, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

Declining the front page display

Is there a method of bringing an article through for FAC, but requesting that it not (as in never) be displayed on the wikipedia front page? The main page display is a horrid vandal magnet and I'd rather not see a FA page (on which a good deal of time was spent writing and refining) end up mangled in that manner. Believe me I've had the displeasure. Thank you. — RJH (talk) 19:29, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

Impossible. You may have written the article but you don't own it. If I wanted I could nominate it to be placed on the main page, and it could very well be a worthy article. I think you over exaggerate the extent of the vandalism. After a few days the article is pretty much forgotten by vandals.-BiancaOfHell 19:36, 7 February 2007 (UTC)
The method would be to ask Raul. But I've taken vandalism on my FAs as a back-handed compliment—I wouldn't worry too much.
What I would like to see "declined" is "In the News". Wikipedia is not a news source. Marskell 20:57, 7 February 2007 (UTC)
I must be from a new school of thought. I think the "In the news" section is brilliant. I'm eager to see how it develops over the years. Citizen Journalism is an exciting new frontier.-BiancaOfHell 21:09, 7 February 2007 (UTC)
Okay. I'm aware that I'm not the "owner" of a page—nothing like being lectured on the obvious. :-P However I do "police" certain pages (if that's the right word) in which I have a strong interest, so in that sense I have some ownership of the content. Very well; I was hoping to be able to bring some other pages through here with the hope of getting higher quality reviews. But I can see that the price will be an unavoidable mass of vandalism. So I'll just be satisfied with bringing the pages up to GA quality and leave it at that. — RJH (talk) 22:56, 7 February 2007 (UTC)
That would be a disservice to Wikipedia. You should showcase what is or can be an FA. Your Star and Globular cluster articles are great additions to the list of FAs, and an antidote to the "favorite band or video game or movie" articles.-BiancaOfHell 23:03, 7 February 2007 (UTC)
Well thanks, but keeping the Star article free of vandalism is literally a regular (daily) activity for me. Galaxy used to be almost completely free of vandalism; now that too is getting soaked in the same vacuous nonsense. >:-[ — RJH (talk) 22:50, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
I've requested that some of the FAs I've worked on not be on the main page, but only for short periods of time when I was going to be away from the computer. If you don't want an article you've worked on to be on the main page ever, you can probably get away with just never putting in a main page request. Unless it's a popular page with other major contributors, it's unlikely anyone else will request it, and it will likely get lost in the clamor of all the people who want their favorite band or video game or movie to be main paged instead. — Brian (talk) 22:37, 7 February 2007 (UTC)
Please don't hesitate to bring your excellent articles to FAC if you want a decent review - GA is just not the same. If the Main Page vandalism bothers you, just revert back to the original version after the day in the sun is over (I often find that "my" FAs improve in minor ways as a result of the exposure - the cascade of vandalism is terrible to behold, but there are usually many eyes watching for it and reverting it anyway). -- ALoan (Talk) 23:37, 7 February 2007 (UTC)
Brian, I don't think that's necessarily true, though maybe generally so. When I wrote my first FA I wasn't sure what the procedure was for getting on the main page, and never really bothered to investigate because I wasn't too enthusiastic about doing the required babysitting. Unbeknownst to me, someone requested it, it was duly queued up, and I only found out when random vandalism kept popping up on my watchlist. Even here, 'security through obscurity' doesn't work.
I've since changed my mind - having FAs on bands and video games and movies is great, but we can't leave the main page to them; it's important to have main-page articles on traditionally encyclopedic topics. If people who write such articles disproportionately avoid FA, or avoid making a main-page request, due to the vandalism levels, then that's just another in the list of arguments to semi-protect the main page article. Even unintentionally, we shouldn't be systematically implementing affinity chromatography for certain types of articles. Opabinia regalis 01:28, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
"We can't let the terrorists win."-BiancaOfHell 09:09, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
I was thinking more like "We shouldn't let the main page look like The Encyclopedia that Slashdot Wrote." But that's not as pithy ;) Opabinia regalis 04:02, 10 February 2007 (UTC)
The good edits outweigh the vandalism, frontpage is totally worth it. -Ravedave (Adopt a State) 00:55, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

Remove coloring

Can someone pls remove the coloring from Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Campaign history of the Roman military; this really doesn't seem to be a favorable trend on FACs. I hope Raul can read a FAC without color coding. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:35, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

Done. Kirill Lokshin 21:54, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:07, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

Is Wikipedia producing high quality content at an acceptable rate?

Your thoughts would be most welcome on Wikipedia:Wikipedia is failing. Worldtraveller 23:04, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

Contributors voting for FA status

Has there been a discussion on contributors voting on FA status for their own articles? I had assumed that this was taboo because the contributors obviously think that the article is FA quality, but apparently this is not the case. I was really shocked to see people supporting articles that they had contributed to. The Iguanodon article seems to be a particularly egregious example of this right now. I was just wondering if this issue had already been decided. Thanks. Awadewit 23:44, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

Why would contributors "obviously think that the article is FA quality"? Of the folks who have supported the FA of Iguanodon, three worked significantly on the article, and six did not. There doesn't seem to be anything at WP:FAC stating that those who worked on the article can't chime in, and at least several of those who have contributed to the article are stating up front they worked on the article. Why is this "taboo" or "egregious" (which defines as "Conspicuously and outrageously bad or reprehensible")? Why is it reprehensible to support an article you worked diligently on, and why is it taboo to openly state you worked on it? Firsfron of Ronchester 00:37, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
I was worried about this when I voted. If it's going to be a problem, I'll change to "moral support" or something, but the quality of the article is extrinsic to the identity of the voters. Maybe we should have co-noms, so other voters could see who the major editors are when they want questions to be addressed, but not have their votes in the tally? For the record, Iggy was mostly my baby (and I shan't tell you who the mother was :) ). J. Spencer 01:01, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
Back when the Hurricane WikiProject folks were sending article after article to FAC, there was some dust kicked up by folks because many Hurricane Project members were supporting without identifying themselves as members of the project, and they had many people voting. WikiProject Dinosaurs is just too small (with 5 or 6 active members, not all of whom vote here) to seriously affect the outcome of a FA discussion. However, during the FACings, we have generally identified ourselves as members of the project/contributors to the article, so that the "votes" could be judged accordingly. Firsfron of Ronchester 01:11, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
I would think that the major contributors would not agree to put the article up for FA or suggest it be taken down if someone else nominated it if they did not think it was of FA quality. I know that there is nothing saying contributors can't vote - that is why I was bringing up the issue. Of course, I agree that contributors should mention they were contributors and I applaud those people for doing so. I do not think it is reprehensible to nominate your own article (FAC requests you tag it "self-nomination") and I did not imply that it was taboo to identify oneself as a contributor. I was simly wondering if there had been a debate on the ethics of contributors voting on their own articles. At GAC, for example, contributors cannot review their own work. Why can they at FAC, which is supposed to be more rigorous? Shouldn't this be more like a peer-review? If I were to publish a book, it would be viewed as egregious if I wrote and published reviews praising it. I am not attacking anyone personally here because all of these people followed the current wikipolicy (I simply used the dinosaur article as an example). My question is, has there been a discussion of this issue and does anyone else think it is important? Awadewit 01:17, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
I did not think you were attacking any one person or group personally, for the record. I do think your comments are important. The problem with excluding the folks who helped work on the article from the FAC process is that these are often the people perhaps most qualified to review the article. For example, during the FAC for Tyrannosaurus, we actually had FAC reviewers state that each and every instance of T. rex, Tyrannosaurus, and tyrannosaur should be modified to the same word (for "clarity"), this despite the fact that the article was referring to the species (T. rex), the genus (Tyrannosaurus), or to the family level (tyrannosaurs). FAC is supposed to be a discussion. If we were not allowed to discuss why this was completely inappropriate for the article, right now we'd have a lovely "featured" article about Tyrannosaurus where three taxonomic levels were equated with one another.
This example (and many others can be found) only illustrates why the folks who actually write the articles need a voice a FAC. The WikiProject Dinosaurs team is composed of different individuals, several of whom are actual vertebrate paleontologists or biologists. Every FAC reviewer should have the chance to stick his or her oar in, because the more voices heard, the more chance there is to improve the article. Stifling the voices who researched the article the most probably isn't the best option. Firsfron of Ronchester 01:34, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
I'd like to say I'm a Tropical cyclone wikiproject member, and frankly I have the same concerns as the broader community as to the nature of some of the TC projects FAC's. Some of the hurricane FACs feel fishy. I've suggested some guidelines for hurricane editors on our FAC submissions on the WikiProject talk, and I'd appreciate comments there from non-project members. As the TC project is large and active (for its scope), it can viably support a working A-class review. Therefore, I'm suggesting the project members make proper use of that. Secondly on FAC itself and more importantly to this thread, I'm suggesting that members refrain from support !voting (but are free to respond to queries). This last point might be sensible for all contributors with a potential COI. Do NOT !vote support (objecting is perfectly reasonable of course), but respond to queries. If "your" article is FA standard, trust the community to recognise the fact.--Nilfanion (talk) 01:52, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
I understand your point about experts. Perhaps contributors should just comment? Awadewit 01:59, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
The problem with only allowing contributors to comment is that then you have no way of counterbalancing the people who oppose for ridiculous reasons (such as the one I mentioned above). At least on our WikiProject, we've had members oppose a FAC if they felt it wasn't yet up to snuff. If it isn't a conflict of interest to oppose, it really shouldn't be a conflict of interest to support. Really, if the contributors identify themselves as contributors on the FAC page, there really shouldn't even be the perception of a conflict of interest, because they editors have gone out of their way to make it clear they worked on the article. Firsfron of Ronchester 02:15, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
I was under the impression that supports or oppositions with "ridiculous reasons" were not considered in the ultimate decision. Also, wikipedia currently has a legitimacy problem in the world at large. In attempting to build its credibility as a reputable encyclopedia, processes such as FAC should avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest. Articles that are submitted to academic journals, for example, cannot be reviewed by their own authors—there is a peer-review system in place (for many reasons). I think that wikipedia should use the most stringest ethical and professional standards that it can, in part because it, unlike other reference works, is still attempting to prove itself.Awadewit 04:20, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
Yes, but you cannot expect Raul to know that requiring a FAC to use a single word to represent both a family, a genus, and a species is a ridiculous reason to object to FAC. Because we only have a single individual making the call on what consensus is, we must be certain that "consensus" isn't based on the remarks of individuals who have no idea what they are reviewing. You make the excellent example of academic journals, which certainly cannot be reviewed by the same people who created them. However, Wikipedia allows anyone (not a peer, not an expert in the field) to support or oppose a FAC, leading to some absolutely ridiculous objections; these objections may not appear ridiculous to Raul if he isn't an expert in the area. Allowing poorly-informed objections to stay while prohibiting those who have researched the subject to weigh in, I fear, will lead to imbalance in the consensus. Well-sourced and heavily researched articles will be prohibited from reaching FA status because of the judgement of individuals who don't know what they are reviewing. If Wikipedia's scientific articles are to reach FA status, that status needs to be based on informed opinions. Firsfron of Ronchester 04:41, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
So, again, what would be wrong with having contributors restricted to comments? They could then respond to exactly the kinds of problems you are concerned about (and I share your concern). Raul (or whoever holds that position) would still be able to gauge the reliability of the objections. Awadewit 04:52, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
Because then you get into the problem of people rebutting the comments with "Well, I still think..."-type responses, and since there is no clear consensus, Raul cannot promote the article. I can give specific examples (but won't here) where articles were not promoted because as few as one or two individuals did not seem to understand the material. Allowing the people who worked on those articles (with a statement that they worked on them) to counter these errant !votes only seems reasonable. This analogy perhaps isn't quite apt, but think about WP:AFD: we allow those who have worked on an article to !vote during an article for deletion debate. They are allowed to !vote keep or delete, just like anyone else, and are not limited to only replying to the "real !votes". Firsfron of Ronchester 05:14, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
  • Is this a real problem? If there's an actionable objection of sufficient magnitude, then no amount of supports, be it by members of a WikiProject, article authors, or my pet cat, will push the article through FAC. FAC isn't a vote, so meaningless "Support. Cool article. ~~~~" comments won't affect anything at all. Titoxd(?!?) 01:49, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
Tito, I wish I could agree with you. Look at Gustav's FAC... :(--Nilfanion (talk) 01:52, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
Was there an unaddressed actionable objection there? No. Only Spangineer's comment, which was addressed quickly, and who ended up supporting the article. There's no problem there. Titoxd(?!?) 01:53, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
Yes, there's no ground for an FAR there. However, a pile on of support can poison further discussion, that is how things tend to work. I find the phrasing of Dwaipayanc's sup a bit disconcerting. Pile-ons by editors with a COI are best avoided I think.--Nilfanion (talk) 02:01, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
I think you're reading too much into that comment. I read it to be, "there's no other alternative" because it is a great article, not because there's any weird coercion going on. Titoxd(?!?) 02:08, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
I agree with where Firsfron is going, and I have a few related opinions of my own:
  • Asking nominators of FACs to declare "self-nom" is petty—these days FACs aren't popping up in the wild, with lucky users finding an FA-quality article and nominating it. A FAC is a "self-nom" (or "co-nom") 95% of the time, and whether it is or isn't has no bearing.
  • FAC contributors should be allowed to vote for the reasons Firsfron suggests. It is courtesy for them to indicate that they're contributors. More philosophically, this is more keeping in line with "wiki principles"—let's not pretend that there must be an un-wiki Chinese wall between FAC contributors and reviewers (in both directions). Contributors and reviewers (should) have the same goal: to produce Featured Articles, collaboratively. Tthe sense that the nominator is appearing before a Senate committee needs to be minimized.
  • Raul654 seems to do a pretty good job of sorting the measured, substantive comments from the drive-by "supports". The patterns are quite apparent to one who watches FAC regularly. So, as another user asked, is there a problem? No... –Outriggr § 05:21, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, Outriggr. I wish I could have mustered together enough brain cells to mention wiki-philosophy (everyone contributes, everyone has a say), or the "Standing before a Senate committee" feeling I get every time I (co-)nominate an article for FAC. Truth be told, if there weren't multiple people working on the dinosaur FACs, I wouldn't be submitting FACs at all; these projects are just too big for a single individual, IMO. Firsfron of Ronchester 08:47, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
I don't think my proposal would violate wikiphilosophy because of course wikiphilosophy has retreated from "everyone" and never really meant "everyone" in the first place. I am not suggesting a "wall"; clearly contributors can review other articles and reviewers can write articles - I am not advocating that users adopt only one kind of job. I believe that a FAC in which the contributors listen to the criticisms of others and respond (through their comments) IS a collaboration. I must say that it is interesting that no one has responded to the point I made about wikipedia's legitimacy being harmed by this process. I guess I am thinking about FAC on a more abstract level. In a sense, it is irrelevant whether or not Raul654 is doing a good job (I believe he/she is), the policy should transcend individuals. The policy should attempt to take every eventuality into account. So, for example, to avoid vote-stacking and conflicts of interest, whether or not it has occurred in the past, I believe the policy should be changed so that it cannot happen in the future. Awadewit 09:06, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
I don't see any issues with allowing those editors who are likely to be most familiar with the article's topic to !vote support, so long as any previous involvement with the article is made clear. We're judging the article, and the article's quality does not change if one of its contributors decides to write "Support as contributor -- this article is deserving." It might be somewhat tacky, depending, but it's not in any way illegitimate, any more than a contributor commenting at AfD would be. Shimeru 10:03, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
<--- moving back
From what I've just read the concern of contributors supporting the nomination is of issue and that at GA this isnt permitted. Firstly with GA as its reviewed by one editor only as such the need for a noncontirbutor to review is an absolute. At FA where there is a building of consensus and in most case substancial edits are occuring contributors should be able to say I agree this article has reached FA standard and that as a contirbutor i support it being nominated. To balance this I can remember back during October-November reading a comment by a contributor actually opposing saying that there was still more work to be done and further information to be added. Gnangarra 13:24, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Outriggr's points. I see no problem with contributors supporting the article, but it's courteous for them to mention that they've been involved. And since the consensus is judged by a person, not a robot, there aren't many problems with contributors forcing an article through. And even if it does happen, there's always FAR. Trebor 13:31, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
Well, we really discourage piling FAR with consensus issues; we usually prefer people to wait at least a month or two and see if any concerns have not been addressed. — Deckiller 13:39, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
To an extent, yes; it is partly judged on whether there are outstanding actionable complaints. But there are occasions where one contributor thinks that x should be changed (invalid fair use, or undue weight in the article), but most agree that it's alright. In that sense, it is a matter of consensus. Either way, I don't see the problem with contributors commenting on the article. Trebor 13:47, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
Awadewit is entirely correct: major contributors or nominators should not vote "support"—that is, if we wish to follow the highest standards here. They have the chance to speak for the article in the nomination or in response to objections. Fortunately, "support" voters are usually honest enough to explain their position, and I haven't noticed a major problem with this tendency (I'm quite sure Raul doesn't perform a mere vote count). This process isn't really about votes: if six people voted "support", and one raised serious objections that remained unaddressed, the article shouldn't become featured. qp10qp 16:29, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
If all of the contributors to an article voted support, and there was an actionable objection left unaddressed, the article wouldn't be promoted. It's a moot issue, frankly, and I don't see how prohibiting contributors to comment in whatever form they deem necessary will help Wikipedia's perception outside the wiki. Academia doesn't care who comments in FACs; heck, the vast majority of professors I talk to don't have a clue that we even have a quality review process. This can actually backfire, for reasons I wrote elsewhere, so again, I don't see the point. Titoxd(?!?) 21:10, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

This is a self-referential arbitrary section break

I wish that the above responders would read the postings more carefully.

  1. No one is suggesting that contributors cannot comment.
  2. Under this proposal contributors would still be able to comment, that is, respond to objections and concerns raised by other reviewers.
  3. This is an ethical issue. FAC is a place for the wikipedia community to judge whether or not an article reaches its highest standards. Any "judges" who have significantly contributed to the article have a conflict of interest and should recuse themselves.
  4. Whether or not people outside wikipedia know about FAC (and they will eventually find out), we should hold oursevles to the highest ethical and professional standards in order to legitimate wikipedia and make it a well-respected reference source.
  5. Policies should look towards the future and try to guard against potential problems. Whether or not a problem with vote-stacking has ever occurred or is an going issue is, in one sense, irrelevant. One does not wait for vote-stacking or the anti-Raul to appear to address the issue. Awadewit 21:38, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
I just don't see how this is an ethical issue, Awadewit. You've made the comparison of FAC and academic peer review. But as I stated above, it's not a great comparison because in academic peer review, you generally get folks who know what they are reviewing as reviewers. Not so for FAC: it's a mixed bag. There can't honestly be "vote-stacking" because there is no vote. But the consensus must be that the article is of Featured Quality, and when you remove those people who have actually researched the subject, you're left with just the people who care mainly about WP:MOS concerns, so it's not an academic peer review in any sense of the word (because academic peer review is usually fact-checking, not based on style issues). Eliminating the people who researched the article, or limiting their involvement to "non-citizen" level does create a hostile environment where the reviwers have carte blanche, and the Senate Committee feel of FAC only grows worse. I am forced to use the FAC process twelve times per year because the WikiProject Dinosaurs team wants to submit one per month; however, I think it is unlikely I will participate in a FAC any more restrictive than it already is. Tying the hands of contributors by not allowing them to support the articles they have judged (based on their research) as ready for Featured Status just doesn't make sense to me, and I don't see it as an ethics issue; this isn't GA where a single individual determines if an article is up to snuff. There are still FAC reviewers, there is still the FAC coordinator, and there is still FA Review; these processes should be more than enough (and after I've been thru at least 11 of these, I would argue they are) to prevent abuse (or in this case, hypothetical abuse) of the FAC system. Firsfron of Ronchester 22:24, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
Awadeit, restricting contributors from supporting an article is effectively giving them a reason to keep their mouth shut if they themselves find something awry. That isn't a good outcome because it gives them an incentive to not raise issues themselves. If contributors are allowed to comment and oppose, why shouldn't them be restricted to support? It's not like empty supports are not currently ignored anyways, but at least contributors are happy giving their purely-symbolic supports.
Also, no, I disagree that we need to be worried about what could happen. Wikipedia policies never are developed to try to address a problem that might happen; they are developed to document the approach the community takes for things that are happening. Policy is descriptive, not descriptive. The GA analogies fail as the two processes are completely different beasts. I also am more worried about users who have no clue what they're talking about giving the appearance of lack of consensus, when the users who know what they're doing (and have probably worked a bit in the given article) are barred from saying why they think the article is up to WP:WIAFA. Finally, I'm not sure the effect FAC may have on academia, but my intuition tells me it will be negligible, whether an idea like this takes place or not. Titoxd(?!?) 22:35, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
Contributors and nominators should join in all they want, but, just as a lawyer doesn't vote on the jury, the advocate of an article shouldn't vote for it to become featured. That seems clear to me.
You put your finger on a more serious difficulty with FAC, which is that most assessors do not have a specialised knowledge of the material they comment on. I was in the same position re Iguanodon, and all I could do was comment on how the thing read. When I do know about a candidate subject, I can sometimes be of use, as I am trying to be at the moment with George Calvert, 1st Baron Baltimore. But we shouldn't downplay the significance of non-experts' comments, since this is an encyclopedia for the general reader, and a common flaw in FAC candidates, it seems to me, is to bloat with technicalities and become too long. qp10qp 01:30, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
No one above has suggested that non-experts shouldn't be allowed to support or oppose. No, non-experts are welcome to comment at FAC. They should be allowed to make whatever objections they want to make, within the loose guidelines set at FAC. Only those who worked on (and presumably researched the material) would be excluded from comments, other than responding to the "real" comments. Because that's how informed decisions about articles should be made. Firsfron of Ronchester 03:27, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
I am concerned about the theme of "conflict of interest" underlying certain of these arguments. It seems against the spirit of Assume Good Faith, and it seems to take FAC a little too seriously. Yes, it is fairly serious, but as I said above, we have to assume that all parties are acting to ensure that the highest-quality articles are recognized as such. This is, to my mind, a collaborative process, not an oppositional process (like other sections of Wikipedia administration I can think of), where people sometimes "recuse" themselves. (The single conflict-of-interest exception I can think of would be the FAC Director nominating and judging consensus on his own submission.) Also, who is defined as a contributor? If I see a FAC that needs copyediting, contribute some, and then support it, should I now be recusing myself? Why do we stop being a wiki the moment something hits FAC? (It seems that we prefer to take this approach: "Object: there's an occurrence of "the the" in the text.", or "Object: this image has no fair-use rationale". OK, we've got a top-notch article with dozens of hours of work put into it by a volunteer, and that's all you have to say? To my mind, these POINTy comments are disrespectful to the nominator, and I don't like contributing to FAC review in that environment.) –Outriggr § 04:30, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
Along the lines of Assume Good Faith, I had assumed that those people who brought their articles to FAC would be willing to revise it. Surely they would want to fix an error such as "the the" or a fair-use rationale? And once those objections were removed, the objectors would then support the article (if that was their only objection - but clearly Outriggr is exaggerating to make a point). I was under the impression that FAC wanted to improve as well as approve truly excellent articles. If a reviewer only finds tiny typos, that is a testament to the article's excellence. This sense of a "Senate committee" is not one that I have felt in FAC, but I would certainly welcome more scrutiny of my articles. The topics on which I write (eighteenth-century British literature) have not drawn a lot of editors to wikipedia as of yet; I tend to write articles by myself and then submit them to the various reviews. I am in the process of searching out people to review articles that I have written specifically because peer-review, GAC and FAC is not, in my opinion, rigorous enough. I would also like to add that the concerns raised by several commentators above regarding the absence of experts in FAC is actually very un-wiki. It is interesting that there is some sort "expert review" project going on that solicits the opinions of experts on particular pages in their area of their expertise. I don't know much about that, though, or why that was thought necessary. A history of that is probably relevant here. Awadewit 04:52, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
I have no particular knowledge of the history, but certainly it is useful to have experts comment on an article; the ideal reviewer is probably one that knows the subject well, but has not contributed to the article or has contributed in only a very minor way. You seem to have summed up the motivation for it already: desire for more rigorous review outside the FAC process, where subject-independent criteria are applied by editors who may or may not have the knowledge to offer substantive content suggestions for any given article. How is it 'un-wiki' to want comments on your work from someone who is knowledgeable about the subject, or to give those comments more weight than those of someone who is admittedly clueless? I'd rather have an article that is complete and correct thanks to expert commentary, than one that is incomplete and inaccurate but nicely formatted and free of typos. Opabinia regalis 06:02, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
I guess I'm not sure whether or not you are agreeing with my proposal because, of course, I am in favor of expert commentary. I have repeatedly stated the need for that (and have indeed tried to search out experts in my own field). I suppose I think that most of the expert reviewing should have been accomplished before FAC. What I was originally asking about was the FA selection process and whether or not contributors can be considered impartial. To some extent, it is important whether or not a non-specialist can understand and follow the article one has produced; if not, I do not believe it is ready for FA status (there are a few exceptions to this, but it should hold as a general rule). Awadewit 07:27, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

I am not sure what you are asking. You want experts to comment on articles ("I think this article is fine and meets the criteria"; "This article does not meet the criteria because...") but don't want their opinions taken into account in determining whether there is a consensus that it does or does not meet the featured article criteria? I think this is mistaking FAC for some sort of vote. -- ALoan (Talk) 12:21, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

I think I agree with ALoan, Awadewit - I'm not sure what your question is. I agree with you to the extent that you propose gathering and soliciting expert commentary. But you seem to be implying above that a separate expert review process is not necessary, and your comments about 'conflicts of interest' would potentially exclude experts who have previously contributed to an article (or area of articles?), even if the contributions were comparatively minor. There are some areas where everyone who is qualified to comment on the content has probably written some of that content. FAC and most especially FAR are badly in need of people who can do more than tick off items on a checklist or parrot phrases from the criteria, much more than either needs rigorous standards that mimic formal review. Opabinia regalis 01:33, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
I would hope that most of the serious reviewing by experts would already have been done before the article arrived at FAC by projects like WP:SPR. I am not at all implying that expert review isn't necessary, just that FAC is probably not the place for it. FAC seems to me to be the place where editors at large decide whether or not the article fits the FAC criteria (and the expert review would help them decide issues of accuracy and comprehensiveness). I would not exclude minor contributors (copyeditors and the like) but rather the major writers who are invested in the page. Perhaps because I work in the humanities, I am more worried about the biases that authors bring to their pages and how those biases might affectt their decision to support or oppose the page (we humanities people, I know). I would also like to reiterate that there should be some consideration as to whether or not non-experts can easily read the page and it would seem that FAC is a good time to address that issue as many non-specialists are reviewing it at that time. And, frankly, I don't know why pages cannot simply be formatted correctly before they arrive at FAC; it would assuage those nit-picky editors and it takes no time at all. Then it would be easy to have a content discussion because no one would be distracted by footnotes or fair-use images. Awadewit 06:46, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
I hear what you say, and WP:PR and other review pages are more active than they were, say, a year ago, so candidates that pass through them usually in better shape than those that do not. In the German Wikipedia, IIRC, there is a rigid procedure to follow before an article can be considered for the FAC-equivalent, involving various stages of peer review. But we have never required that. The problem is that some of those "nit-picky editors" have mutually exclusive criteria, so it is not possible to satisfy all of them at once.
I still don't see the problem with allowing experts to pass comment on FAC. People who know the subject well are precisely the people we need to undertake a proper review. We also need a cadre of non-expert reviewers to ensure that the article works for the majority of readers. I don't really see how banning experts helps non-experts, or improves the process. -- ALoan (Talk) 10:05, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
I would be interested in hearing about the German system, although I think that if some of wikipedia's policies were clearer, then those "nit-picky" editors wouldn't be at odds so much. So many items, such as reference style, date style, etc. are left up to the authors. If one writes a book or an article, one must conform to the publisher's in-house style. Wikipedia needs a more definitive statement on these issues in the WP:MOS. (By the way, I don't know how many times I have to repeat that I am not proposing to ban comments by the main contributors (who are hopefully experts). See above.) Awadewit 12:25, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
Humanities people? No wonder I didn't understand. When I was in school, we science dorks called you guys 'humanities aliens'... ;)
I don't think WP:SPR is a good model here; there have been some rumblings recently, but it's still mostly inactive, and the only FA I know of to have been reviewed through that mechanism is photon. Wikiproject peer review is probably the closest extant process to what you're thinking of, but the quality of the reviews varies widely by project. It depends on the subject, but a lot of reviewing by 'experts' (or at least by knowledgeable and interested observers) is informal and ad hoc, and occurs mostly because the participants all keep rough track of each other's contributions.
Publishers may have in-house styles, but few would try the same style for books or articles on all of (arbitrary examples) Half-life 2, San Francisco, California, James Joyce, and Laplace-Runge-Lenz vector. RNA interference would be completely unreadable using Harvard referencing, but some humanities people seem to strongly prefer it; very few people write their articles with things like non-breaking spaces and dash length in mind (in fact, I can't think of anything I care less about); a little while ago there were surprisingly contentious disputes about some obscure bit of the manual of style involving image sizing...etc. I've said before that the difference between a 'very good article' and an FA is more in presentation than in content, and this is good in the sense that formatting tweaks logically should occur only after the text is essentially complete and stable. I'm still not entirely sure what your ideal mental model of the FAC process looks like; you want both formatting and expert review to precede an FA nomination, which is then populated mainly by non-experts who rely on the expert commentary to make a judgment? At first glance that seems like a quite lengthy and circuitous process compared to the status quo. Opabinia regalis 02:02, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

League of FAC...preparers?

What about creating an informal league of editors (somewhat like the League of Copyeditors) to take care of all the little stuff that otherwise derails good articles at FAC? Those thinking about submitting an article to FAC could, if they wished, list it at the league's page to ask for help in putting the finishing touches and final checks on an article. Editors that are "experts" in certain areas (referencing, MOS formatting, fair use guidelines, prose, etc.) could then help whip it into shape. This would (hopefully) pave the way for a smooth FAC. It would also help get rid of the "adversarial" label that is attached (rightly or wrongly) to reviewers at FAC, since I would imagine it would be regular reviewers who would be involved in this league and help prepare articles for FAC. What do you all think? Gzkn 02:42, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

My first instinct is that, if it's going to be populated by mostly the same people (which is almost certain), it would be redundant to separate these functions from normal FAC reviewing, and would just mean those people have to post things in two places. 'FAC pre-review' would really just be FAC part I, wouldn't it? I also fear that such a program would encourage rigid adherence to the manual of style as written (which is usually well behind practice). On the other hand, if someone feels compelled to fix dashes and spaces, I have no problem with giving them an avenue in which to do so. Opabinia regalis 04:57, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
I'd like less places to check, not more. A list of articles needing &nbsp;ing would be nice in the short term, but I don't know how it would fare in the long run; it will likely be abandoned fairly soon. That said, it would be nice if there were more editors approach FAC, both from within wiki, and from outside... that may allow this idea to grow. Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 05:08, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
Good points. On further thought, perhaps WP:PR just needs more attention and more reviewers. Gzkn 06:17, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
I think that this sounds like a good idea. The more reviews an article undergoes and the more drafts it goes through, the better it gets (everyone who writes papers or takes composition 101 should know that). I just wonder if there are people willing to dedicate their time to reviewing articles for MOS problems. Awadewit 01:31, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

Case in point

Michael Jordan is at FAC now. Editors who are active on basketball articles and at the NBA Project Support it, independent (from basketball) reviewers (so far) do not. It has unsubstantiated hagiography and numerous MOS issues. We've seen articles promoted over actionable objections in the past, based on overwhelming Support from Project members. I disagree with some of the statements above that this has not been a problem; this sort of promotion has been an ongoing problem that should be addressed. Projects should be objectively promoting Wiki's best work, and IMO there has been an ongoing problem with "fan" support. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:08, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

I had no idea FAC had turned into such a li'l den of cliques. I've always known the boy's club projects (you know, all those manly topics) to be fairly shameless in overwhelming the project with good and crufty content alike, but this is really disturbing to read. If neutral objections aren't given more weight over the ballot stuffing of aficionados, then perhaps we really do need a few flappers.
Peter Isotalo 17:25, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
I agree with the above from Peter and Sandy - if even an article gain's one oppose and that oppose is actionable per the criteria, then it should be lent credence. Having said that, I'm part of the Slayer Wikiproject (just 4 members we have) and have an article currently at FAC, and most of the supporters are light contributors to the article itself (1 who's a Project member), though nobody has objected yet. Independent reviewers are welcome to take a look if they wish. LuciferMorgan 18:38, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
I'd have to agree. The article is a disgrace. Humans don't fly, so saying MJ is "high flying" is hyperbole, but the NBA guys aren't buying any of it. Blnguyen (bananabucket) 23:13, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
Okay, I almost regret my comment above after checking out the nomination, because you're causing a ruckus about statements that are not controversial except for those who either don't like Jordan, are completely ignorant about the NBA or are sticklers for footnoting common facts. A lot of those comments are resulting in nothing but footnote padding, which I see as a much bigger problem than a few extra adjectives. Try to focus on the general wordiness, not that the authors are trying to stress that Jordan is one of the greatest and most popular basketball players ever.
Peter Isotalo 09:56, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Minor point: I would just like to mention that way back up the thread several commentators mentioned that academics don't care about our policies here. Well, I now have empirical evidence that that is not true. Just today, I was reading a listserv that I belong to regarding eighteenth-century literature and there were three posts regarding the Essjay incident and what it meant for wikipedia. People had even gone to the site to look up wikipedia's polices on credentials. It being an 18c listserv, they were bringing it all back to Jonathan Swift and Alexander Pope, of course, but this tiny example just demonstrates that we really do need to be vigilant about how we appear to the outside world if we want to attain credibility, meaning, in this case, we cannot appear to have conflicts of interest in FAC. I wasn't sure if I could post the quotations from the listserv here. It seemed like I couldn't since those people did not assume when they posted that their words would be posted to the entire web. Am I right about that? Awadewit 05:36, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Can you add a link? Have they read our fine featured material from the period, such as Augustan literature? -- ALoan (Talk) 10:43, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
Can I add a link to what? The subscription page? Or do you mean I should add a link on the listserv to us? Awadewit 08:22, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

Time between submissions

Is there a limit between submissions of candidates? In other words, would it be wrong to request an article that was recently rejected? PlatformerMastah 19:37, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

As much time as it takes to improve the article. WikiNew 19:41, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
It's considered bad form to resubmit if you've not addressed objections raised in the previous FAC nomination. CloudNine 20:35, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

tool for displaying an article's assessment on the article page

For anyone involved in article assessment, I've developed a little javascript tool that will display an article's assessed rating on the article page itself. It does so by prepending the rating to the phrase "From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia"—so it becomes, for example, "A B-class article from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia." It changes the color of the article title to roughly match the color scheme of the grades, as a visual cue. Finally, if an article is a current GAC or FAC, it states this, with a link to the FAC page.

To try it, you would add the following text to your User:YourUserName/monobook.js file:

 // Script from [[User:Outriggr/metadata.js]]
 document.write('<script type="text/javascript" src="' 
             + '' 
             + '&action=raw&ctype=text/javascript&dontcountme=s"></s'+'cript>');


  • increase visibility of article ratings; users can more easily determine that an article's rating is no longer accurate, for example.
  • gives the user an overall sense of how many articles are rated, and need rating.
  • sets a user's expectation for the article's quality.

I welcome any feedback or ideas. (It's called "metadata.js" for when/if it is expanded to capture other article metadata.) Thanks, –Outriggr § 04:54, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Great! Thanks very much for the tool. Currently, my only suggestion is to support spaces between "class" and "stub/start" etc. (i.e. just an extra statement per article class), as it marks assessed articles, such as Joey Santiago, as unassessed. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by CloudNine (talkcontribs) 19:32, 26 February 2007 (UTC).
Thanks. This will be addressed in the next "release". (I intended to use regexes for that purpose but at the time javascript was not being cooperative. My test version is already doing it properly, but I'm gonna be offline for a few days.) –Outriggr § 20:00, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Please add this script to Category:Wikipedia scripts. It sounds quite useful.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  15:32, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

I would like to invite users to help test my recent update to this script: you can select a Wikiproject template and an assessment on the article page, and the talk page will be updated accordingly, in preview mode. Details at User talk:Outriggr/metadatatest.js. –Outriggr § 05:31, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
I found a small error in the script. When I went to the Wikipedia page,it said it was unassesed even though the ARticle History template lists it as a good article.The Placebo Effect 03:14, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
Should be fixed now. Thanks for pointing it out. –Outriggr § 09:02, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

Articles with ndash in the title

A number of articles have ndashes in the title, eg the recently-renamed Sino-German cooperation (1911–1941). There are others, but the recent rename got me looking around, and I found this and this discussion, where the point seems to be that anything other than regular hyphens has some accessibility issues. In fact, the ndash causes problems for the FA bot on one of the platforms it runs on. Can we have a clear policy on this, at least for FAs? Gimmetrow 04:12, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

Could more music-minded reviewers or editors check out this FAC of a musician?

If you are interested in music Wikipedia articles, could you please take a look at this Featured Article candidate and comment? ---> Wikipedia:Featured_article_candidates#Ilaiyaraaja. Your effort would be greatly appreciated. With regards, AppleJuggler 16:00, 7 March 2007 (UTC)


Some of the candidates have been FACs for over a month - is there a reason why articles aren't being promoted/failed? -- Scorpion 17:43, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Because the guy who does the promotions is trying to finish his PhD proposal by the end of the week... Raul654 17:48, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Does that person need a deputy? =Nichalp «Talk»= 18:09, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
"Draw, pilgrim!"
Hey, no one's shot the sheriff yet. Or is someone looking for a shiny gold star and some spurs to round off the admin uniform? :-)
Peter Isotalo 18:27, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Slippery slope alert; the advantages of having only one person closing FACs have been discussed on this talk page many times. We're not that far behind; most articles that are here a month had issues to be resolved, and may benfit from the long stay. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:31, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
I ain't no admin but I agree that when an article remains on FAC page for a while it gets to 'bake' well. Sometimes its hard to draw attention to an article (such as the one I'm dealing with right now -- see preceding post in this talkpage) and so the longer it stays here (with some upper bound of course, which need not be fixed) the greater its chances of being spotted and dealt with by FAC editors. Just my thoughts. AppleJuggler 01:18, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
I feel for you Raul654. PhD proposals are rough. Somehow you have to know what you are going to say before you say it. Moving on, can the FA candidates not spend their time REVISING? I feel like this is a major problem in FAC. Editors come into FAC unwilling to make small changes, much less major changes. Good writing is the product of revision. And more revision. And yet more revision. And then yet more. Awadewit 05:40, 9 March 2007 (UTC)