Wikipedia talk:Featured article candidates/archive45

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Extreme change at WP:MOSDASH

It might seem trivial, but the change that three editors have had three goes at trying to force through would render in breach just about all FAC biographical articles, plus many others.

Apparently, we are going to be forced to jam together the innermost elements in ranges and other disjunctive uses of the en dash:

31 December 1910–11 January 1972 (Is there a one-year range stuck in the middle?)

New York–Boston route (a new one from York in the UK to Boston?)

The style guide and widespread practice have been stable on this matter for years.

The norms are:

31 December 1910 – 11 January 1972

New York – Boston route

While practice out there varies (or is in a mess, even within publishing houses), there is utterly no reason WP should change its practice on the basis of the personal whims of a few editors.

RfC here. Tony (talk) 00:00, 6 March 2010 (UTC)

Practice outside of Wikipedia is pretty standard: high-quality academic publishers typically omit the spaces. So, for example, these publishers don't use the weird spacing that Wikipedia currently requires in examples like this:
"Franco-German and Japanese – South Korean relations after World War II"
Wikipedia practice (as opposed to what the style guide requires) often omits the spaces in cases like this. Anyway, I suppose the proper place to discuss this absolutely vital and pressing issue is at the RfC. Eubulides (talk) 01:33, 6 March 2010 (UTC)
I just read the discussion and my head exploded. Auntieruth55 (talk) 04:44, 8 March 2010 (UTC)

Just so everyone knows....

There is a discussion on article protection going on here, which would benefit from some article writers' input. Casliber (talk · contribs) 22:44, 8 March 2010 (UTC)


We really need eyes on the bottom few FAC nominations. A few of these are on their second nomination, with the first having been closed for lack of comments. I would really hate to have to close these again because of a lack of eyes. Karanacs (talk) 22:06, 9 March 2010 (UTC)

I'll review one or two in the morning. Graham Colm (talk) 22:19, 9 March 2010 (UTC)
Please can people add comments to Hurva Synagogue aswell, thanks, Chesdovi (talk) 13:05, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

Source reviews... (2)

Since I handled most of them today... these still need doing. Ealdgyth - Talk 16:26, 13 March 2010 (UTC)


It's an essay at the moment, and there's a proposal on the talk page to promote it to guide-line status. It was linked at MOSQUOTE earlier today, although I removed that pending improvements. I've done an initial copy-edit, and have left several inline comments about organisation/repetition. IMO, it needs a few more examples. What do people think? Tony (talk) 00:33, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

Need to avoid duplication with WP:PLAGIARISM, otherwise inconsistencies will appear. --Philcha (talk) 05:20, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

Alt text in FA images

Moved to Wikipedia talk:Featured article candidates/Alt text. Dabomb87 (talk) 23:40, 17 March 2010 (UTC)

FAC disruption

User:Fram has three times now reverted me at Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/History of logic/archive1.

He also removed my links to the talk page, which means they can't be found when viewing the full WP:FAC page. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:00, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for not notifying me of this discussion... I have not reverted you three times, I have searched a balanced solution three times, and you reverted to your preferred position each time. I was not aware of the problem with removing the talk page links, I would have added them if you just asked, or would not have reverted you if you added those to my last edit (which is the first of your links, your order is a bit strange). You have problems with owning the page, and implicitly defending one position above another. Could you point out, apart from the missing link to the talk page, what is wrong with my neutral, non intrusive last attempt at compromise and minimal disruption, compared to the bolded onesided rant that was there previously? Fram (talk) 21:07, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
Please calm down and read your talk page: I quite specifically linked to this discussion on your talk page with my first notice. Please stop politicizing FAC, and take the issue elsewhere; the purpose of FAC is to evaluate articles wrt WP:WIAFA, nothing else. I've also noticed you about 3RR. Reviewers are uninterested in the "rant" you're so concerned about; the focus here is on reviewing articles. Please take your issue elsewhere. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:10, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
Please don't tell me to calm down, I am perfectly calm. I am quite amazed at your arguments or lack thereof though. Where have I "politicized" FAC? I have tried to get a one sided off topic notice replaced by a balanced, shorter and less intrusive note. You insist on keeping the rant you claim "reviwers are uninterested in" on the FAC page. You are not behaving in a neutral or reasonable way here, but are imposing your view of what belongs and what doesn't, even if you have no arguments at all for it. You have brought this issue here, don't ask me to take it elsewhere. Fram (talk) 21:15, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
It didn't strike me that you were calm when you started by thanking me for not notifying you of this discussion, when I explicitly had. First, please sign the entry on the FAC so reviewers won't mistakenly think the statement came from me. Second, please refrain from reverting delegate decisions on a FAC; if you have a problem with FAC, discuss here at WT:FAC. THAT is politicizing FAC, and what we seek to avoid here. The non-article related issues don't belong here; we need enough on the FAC for reviewers to know the situation. Thanks, SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:19, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
My apologies for claiming that you didn't notify me of this discussion. I hadn't realised that the linked text "stop disrupting the FAC itself" linked to here. Not very "explicit" or clear perhaps, but you did link it on my talk page, so I shouldn't have claimed that you didn't. I have now signed the entry: I believ it is quite ridiculous to do so, it is just a pointer to a moved discussion (you moved it), worded very neutrally. Why anyone would care whether Raul, you, me or anyone else added it is beyond me, but if it makes you happy... Apart from that: I did not start the discussion, nor did I continue it on the FAC page once you moved it to the talk page. I only objected to the partial, one-sided way you made that move, leaving one comment but removing a reply, thereby giving much more visibility to one side of the argument than the other. If the argument doesn't belong on the FAC page, then all of it should have been moved, as has been done now. And with that, I am done here. Please don't act in such a possessive way in the future: being somewhat responsible for a page doesn't mean that you are right and that others are disruptive, nor that you are exempt from 3RR. Fram (talk) 21:29, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

Moved from User talk:SandyGeorgia: SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:02, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/History of logic/archive1

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Please don't move essential parts of a discussion while leaving other, equally off-topic parts alone. You are supporting one POV with those edits. Your continued refusal to change this to a more balanced position is noted, and your silly edit summaries, with a serious overtone of WP:OWNing the page, are quite ridiculous. I have disrupted less than you or Bishonen did (never mind that his rant was bolded, as if it was the most important message on the whole page). Feel free to continue with the promotion of the work of a banned and truly disruptive editor though. Fram (talk) 21:00, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

What difference does it make whether content was added by a "banned and truly disruptive editor" or not if it's good quality? --Malleus Fatuorum 21:22, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
What does make a difference is when outside, uninvolved admins interfere with and politicize the business of FAC, which is to evaluate articles, and revert delegate decisions to that aim. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:25, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
When your aim is off, it is up to others to correct it. And when I am explicitly named and shamed in an edit, I am not an uninvolved admin anymore. Fram (talk) 21:31, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
I've actually had to leave my house in the midst of half the town having no power and no cable service, to get off of dialup and deal with this. In the future, if you have a problem at FAC, please post to WT:FAC or a delegate, where the problem will be addressed. Please refrain from politicizing and edit warring at FAC, whose purpose is to evaluate articles, not admin politics. Thanks, I'd appreciate that, SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:33, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
(ec) Fram, your movement of information and resulting link is a poor choice. I got to the end of that FAC page and couldn't even figure out why the link was there. You've removed information essential to understanding what's happened on the page. --Andy Walsh (talk) 21:36, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
Correct. If Fram had a problem with Bish's wording, he should have taken that up with her. At any rate, the more important point to me is that uninvolved admins not politicize and edit war on a FAC, rather discuss with delegates or at WT:FAC. Even more so when I'm in the midst of a historic storm and on dialup :) Had he brought it to WT:FAC, someone with FAC experience would have dealt with it, since most FA regulars follow my talk and know I was on dialup. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:39, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
Well, I've restored the text. FAC delegates and reviewers shouldn't have to be confounded by a passing admin action in this way. --Andy Walsh (talk) 21:43, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
(ec)I had a problem with the wording, that's why I responded to it, but you started with leaving Bishonen's post but removing my reply. Please don't twist the facts. And Andy, what info is missing? Everything that was on the FAc page (four posts in all) was completely and unchanged moved to the start of the talk page. Nothing else happened, nothing was changed. The only dispute was about how much of the off topic discussion should be kept on the main FAC page. And SandyGeorgia, I was not uninvolved, the comment was about me and suggested bringing my actions up on ANI. Fram (talk) 21:48, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
I'm indifferent to what ends up there, as long as reviewer and article needs are served, and reviewers can decide whether to continue reviewing and improving the article. Our focus here is on the article, not personal or admin politics. I am not indifferent to the politicization of FAC, and want to assure that edit warring on FACs does not talk hold, and admins discuss edits at WT:FAC or with delegates. Would have been much simpler, particularly since I was on dialup, and many others here know how FAC issues are handled. We almost never remove entire comments, only move to talk when things go off-topic. Perhaps you can come to agreement here with others about what wording to leave now, since you have caused us both to reach 3RR, so I can't do anything else now; that might have been avoided by discussing rather than reverting a delegate. The goal here is to encourage article review and improvement. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:52, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
(ec) Fram, from my perspective (which is that of a reviewer in this case, since that's what I went there to do), I read the whole page to see what has been commented on already. I got to the end and saw the link you placed. No context, no other information. I had to leave the FAC page to discover that this user was blocked for being a sock and that you performed actions that directly affect the article content and the progress of the FAC. That is information that is directly relevant to the FAC page and it should not be obscured by being moved to Talk. The longer comment you left, which you have objected to being separated, is really meta-commentary that FAC reviewers will not find relevant to the FAC. Make sense? The delegate made a decision based on what's good for the FAC page, and I agree with it. --Andy Walsh (talk) 21:52, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
From my perspective, Fram did exactly what we seek to avoid at FAC: prejudiced the outcome of a FAC by edit warring against delegate discretion. Unless the nom withdraws, perhaps a restart is in order? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:10, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
Followup: reference this thread in archives. The featured article process on Wiki has a director (Raul654) and delegates who oversee the processes: this helps prevent it from degenerating into squabbles like those often seen at RFA or ANI. The goal is to allow articles a fair and thorough review, with focus on content, not nominators or reviewers or other external issues. Fram had issues with Bishonen's original post, but the way he raised those issues (edit warring with a FAC delegate, never raising his concern about Bish's wording until after he reached three reverts) prejudiced the FAC outcome. In the future, do not edit war with a delegate, and please discuss your concerns here on WT:FAC, or director/delegate pages (as those pages are watched by many editors familiar with these processes), so that action can be taken in a way that does not prejudice content review. There are numerous regulars who could have addressed this satisafactorily, even considering my connectivity limitations. FAC outcome is determined at FAC, based on knowledge of FAC and consistency in processes here-- not based on external issues. Thanks, SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:06, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
Your summary is largely incorrect. First of all, it takes two to edit war, not one. I raised my concerns with Bish's wording in my very first reply to her post, the one you then removed to the talk page while letting hers stand. So it is completely untrue that I was "never raising his concern about Bish's wording until after he reached three reverts". I did not post anything further to the FAC page after you indicated that the discussion should continue at the talk page, I only completed the discussion there (since your edit started it "in media res", completely unintelligible for anyone not first noticing the start of the thread at the FAC page) and restored my reply to Bishonen (the one raising myconcerns, remember?). When that somehow turned out to be unacceptable (apparently that one post disrupted the whole FAC process and made it impossible to continue the FAc discussion afterwards), I tried to also get rid of the "politicizing" post by Bishonen and to replace it by a neutral, factual summary with a pointer to the complete, original discussion. For some reason, people preferred the over the top original post to the new one (with you insisting that I singed it, before (shudder) anyone mistook it for an official post. That you are a delegate was unknown to me. You just forced your preferred, unbalanced version through, never trying to see if anything more neutral may actually be better (the current, bolded off-topic rant by Bishonen is not really more constructive for the actual FAC process). You started claiming disruption (there was none), politicizing (how?), and 3RR (while you had more reverts than me), without actually trying to resolve the dispute in any way. The way you handled this is unbecoming of a delegate. My post and the ensuing edit war had nothing to do with FAC outcome, and your continued insistence on this is bizarre. I'll leave this well alone, but start to understand why a fair number of people won't have anyting to do with the rather dictatorial burocracy this has become. Ever heard of trying to collaborate instead of trying to impose your will as a delegate? Fram (talk) 09:19, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
Ok, so you weren't aware you were reverting a delegate, and I wasn't aware that your issue was with Bish's wording (perhaps if I hadn't been on dialup, I would have realized that, but Bish also mentioned she was headed out, so I wasn't focused on that). In general, edit warring a second time is not good: it's even less good when you're reverting a FAC delegate. Bringing the issue to FAC talk, as is expected in all disputes, is the norm. FAC has directors and delegates, and there are many experienced followers here who could have dealt with this more optimally. FAC is for content review: it is not the place to play out the kinds of squabbles that belong at ANI. You're entitled to whatever views of FAC you hold, but it remains one area of Wiki that works, partly because disruption is minimized so that content can remain the focus. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 12:59, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
And how was I supposed to know that when someone is reverting me and removing my comment at a particular FAC page, I have to discuss this at WT:FAC? There is no edit notice, there was no communication indicating this. This is one of the typical aspects of your self-centered burocracy: you impose rules, and everyone is expected to know the rules and to know that you have the right to impose them when and where you like.Fram (talk) 13:33, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
Good point about no notice anywhere: maybe something should be added to the Wheel War page (sorry, don't know link, still on dialup) indicating that FAC and FAR delegates shouldn't be reverted without discussing with them, just as with admin actions. Even though it's not about "admin tools", I can't think of any other place to call attention to this, if people coming to FAC don't read the FAC page instructions. Ideas? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 13:42, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
Umm, no one should be rereverted without discussing it with them, as in the BRD cycle. There is no indication of your special do-not-revert status on the WP:FAC page (it mainly concerns your role in deciding the timing and outcome of a FAC discussion, which is totally different), so I would not support adding this to wheel war or any other similar page. I have now read the FAC page instructions, and I still don't see any indication of your interpretation of your role here. Fram (talk) 13:58, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
I would certainly want to see discussion of any proposed changes. The delegates have received the authority to coordinate FAC discussions and judge consensus in those discussions in the area of promotions or not of featured article candidates. The exact scope and powers have been left vague by the Director. In the absence of direction from Raul, it is for the community to decide customs and practices, and I'd like to see a discussion before we start calling reversing a delegate wheel warring. For one thing, wheel warring is a sin only admins can commit.--Wehwalt (talk) 14:04, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
I see several problems: 1) exactly what we seek to avoid at FAC happened (content review was disrupted by external issues); 2) Fram indicated he had no idea he was reverting a FAC delegate, and I don't know where we can spell that out; 3) any time anyone reverts the second time, they should take it to talk, which would have avoided this. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:19, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
I still don't see where the content review was disrupted by having four posts (or one neutral summary) instead of three posts about one off-topic topic, or whether that you are a delegate would have made any difference, just like me being an admin should not make any difference. In general, when you try to (re)move someone's post, and he or she objects, you should not revert any further but come to the talk page of that editor and explain the problem you have with it. If limited accessibility (dialup and so on) prevents you from doing this, you should not act any further but let someone else with more technical possibilities handle it. When someone is (or feels) attacked by another post, and his reply/defense is removed (but the attack isn't), you can expect them to not be amused. Forcing the issue by edit warring, threatening with page protection, and issuing 3Rr warnings and "disruption" threads, is escalating things, not resolving them. To institutionalize this by making the "power" of the delegates explicit is not the right way forward. On the contrary, delegates (and every "official" of every project that has one or more such) should be aware that regular editing practices and dispute resolution applies to them just as much as to anyone else. Fram (talk) 14:46, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

While all the drama of late was initially amusing, it grows tiresome. It may take two to edit war, but it only takes one to take some initiative, act maturely and attempt to discuss the matter - especially for those experienced enough to be admins or delegates. The perception, real or imagined, that others are misbehaving is no excuse to behave in kind. I see little need for the bureaucracy of delineating delegate authority; what happened here is a mere failure of good sense. Let's desist with the bickering and focus on more important matters, shall we? Эlcobbola talk 14:35, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

On the contrary, delegates...should be aware that regular editing practices and dispute resolution applies to them just as much as to anyone else. - Fran, what is your point exactly? Are you saying admins have overiding authority in the FAC process? Ceoil sláinte 11:54, 17 March 2010 (UTC)
Um, that's pretty much what I said: "it only takes one to ... discuss the matter - especially for ... delegates". Critical reading. Эlcobbola talk 12:46, 17 March 2010 (UTC)
No, not at all. What I mean is that when there is some editing dispute (unrelated to the actual timing or closure of the FAC, which is the job of Raul and his delegates) between a delegate and any other editor (admin or not), normal procedures should be followed. This can of course include moving off-topic discussions elsewhere, but not the one-sided imposing of rules (included the idea that the delegate is not edit warring, only the other side is) and the general impression that disagreement with the edits by a delegate, as expressed by a revert, is "disruption" (never mind the fact that I wasn't even aware that SandyGeorgia was a delegate). When someone opposes the removal of a comment they made, or the removal of part of a discussion only, they shouldn't be re-reverted and labelled as disruptive, but those edits, their reason, and a possible compromise, should be discussed politely. This has nothing to do with closing a FAC and/or deciding the outcome, no part of this dispute was about the actual outcome of the FAC. Fram (talk) 12:16, 17 March 2010 (UTC)
It has everything to do with the outcome of a FAC, where we strive to minimize disruption to content review and make sure reviewers have information needed to determine if an article meets criteria. There were three cockups in this case: 1) I was on dialup and not following closely enough; 2) Fram had issues with Bish's original wording, but never brought that to FAC talk or delegate attention; but what concerns me more, 3) an admin involved himself in FAC without knowing who the delegates were. That seems to be something that needs to be fixed, lest we want FAC to start looking like the squabbling children at ANI, with content issues sidetracked. External issues do not belong here. If Fram had brought his concerns to attention, they would have been addressed without disruption to the FAC. In his defense, I wasn't focused enough because of being on dialup, but any admin coming to FAC and reverting the delegate should somehow know to either post to WT:FAC or the delegates' talk pages. If ANI begins to run FAC, it's down the tubes. I agree that this is not a typical case because there were multiple cockups-- according to Fram, one of them mine, for not recognizing his original concern, but that was never brought to FAC attention, whch would be the norm here-- but something should be done to assure that admins coming here to revert a delegate understand at least who the delegates/directors are. The goal is to minimize disruption and assure content review, free of external issues. Whether the nominator should have been blocked is not our decision or our problem. The content review was proceeding just fine-- in the best interests of the article-- until this issue came up. In Fram's defense, it appears after the fact that it was Bish's wording that concerned him, but nonetheless, the fuss made by reverting a delegate instead of bringing it to FAC attention, and equating edit warring with a delegate to edit warring on an article-- did derail the content review. What happens to FAC if ANI squabbles take hold here, with admins reverting director/delegate decisions? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 12:43, 17 March 2010 (UTC)
I did not "involve myself with FAC", please. I blocked a sock of a banned user and reverted some of his edits, as described in the banning policy, and when another user complained about my actions, I replied to that post about me. I did not involve myself with the actual FAC, and leaving one post more on the FAC page, while continuing the rest of the discussion at the talk page (as was happening, and as I did) would not have hindered the FAC any more. You state; "but any admin coming to FAC and reverting the delegate should somehow know to either post to WT:FAC or the delegates' talk pages.": whether I was an admin or not is irrelevant: I was not aware that you are a delegate, and even if I was, your delegate-specific role is limited to determining the timing and outcome of the FAC: apart from that, you are here a regular editor, just like me and everyone else. That you still fail to grasp this is of much more concern to me than what has happened in this specific instance, as it indicates that other editors would get the exact same treatment from you. It looks to me as if you are taking your role as a delegate way too serious and interpret it in much too broad a fashion, and most of your concern stems from that. Please take the time to seriously reconsider your role, both as a delegate and in this dispute, and try to act in a very different way if the same problem arises again. Fram (talk) 13:01, 17 March 2010 (UTC)
This is going in circles; we need to do something about the fact that admins come to FAC to effect adminly squabbles without even knowing who the FAC delegates are. Had I not been on dialup, I would have pinged your talk and Bish's talk: that was my mistake. But on the broader issue, next time you come to FAC to revert a delegate, will you know to discuss on talk or a delegate talk page? If so, end of that story/problem, this time anyway, but I'm still concerned that someone would be reverting a FAC without discussing with a FAC delegate or at FAC talk-- perhaps my fault for not having initiated the discussion myself because I was on dialup. We just cannot allow focus on content review at FAC to be impacted by ANI squabbles and external factors. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 13:13, 17 March 2010 (UTC)
For the umpteenth time, being an admin has nothing to do with this. Furthermore, I did not come to FAC to "effect adminly squabbles", I came to FAC to a) block and revert a banned user, per policy, and b) reply to an attacking post about me. Next time I come to any discussion page to do the same, I'll not ask anyone for their permission to do so, no matter what their title on that project is. You can remain concerned over whatever you like, and I'll remain concerned over your behaviour here, and we'll obviously not convince one another to change this. I just hope I'll not have to get anywhere close to FAC in the future and will abandon any thoughts of getting any of my few GAs to FA, as I'ld rather not submit to more petty burocracy than absolutely necessary. Fram (talk) 14:37, 17 March 2010 (UTC)
"I came to FAC to a) block and revert a banned user, per policy," = came to FAC with an adminly squabble that has nothing to do with content review. Not our problem. Summary: before reverting twice anywhere in the future, pls discuss. It was my oversight and mistake not to ping both Bish and you at the first sign of a problem, but don't revert twice, much less a delegate at FAC, without discussion. Thanks, SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:10, 17 March 2010 (UTC)
Well, I did not revert any edits of the banned user at the FAC page, but at the article under review for FAC. Bishonen brought that action to the FAC page. My first edit to the FAC page was a reply to that post about me. I hope I'm still allowed to do that, your Delegate Highness? You were the first to revert twice, causing the disruption. I will not, not now, not ever, make a distinction between reverting you as a delegate or anyone else here (or elsewhere on Wikipedia) when you remove a post from me that I feel should stay at the same page as the post it is a reply to. It doesn't seem to get through to you that you don't have any special authority with regards to such edits here. This is a standard editing dispute, where you removed a post from me, I objected against it, and you escalated things with claiming "disruption", threatening to get the page protected (yeah, that would have helped the FAC process...), and generally being uncooperative, even though I tried three different solutions. No thanks. 15:49, 17 March 2010 (UTC)

Honestly, enough is enough. We've heard both sides, both of you believe you are right, and the nomination in question was archived yesterday. I don't see any point in continuing this on this page as there is no longer an active FAC nomination in question. Karanacs (talk) 15:55, 17 March 2010 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Editing archives

I just spotted an edit to an archive in my history, so I undid it. Then I went to put the text in the current file here and that file is apparently an "/archive1" by recommended convention. Was it always that way and I was just oblivious? Maybe there should be a template to point out when an archive is editable. Wnt (talk) 21:57, 17 March 2010 (UTC)

All current FACs now have "/archiveNumber" appended to the end of the page title. This system was implemented about a year ago to reduce maintainence. Perhaps this should be noted, but I'm not sure where. Dabomb87 (talk) 22:34, 17 March 2010 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2009-04-06/Dispatches. Ucucha 22:40, 17 March 2010 (UTC)
Well, you shouldn't edit archives, but people make minor corrections and stuff. Happens.--Wehwalt (talk) 22:43, 17 March 2010 (UTC)
I guess I'm not grokking the question, because as Wehwalt says, archives are typically never edited, except to remove image policy violations, remove vandalism, update wikilinks, things like that. But speaking of archiving, this page is approaching 200KB and I'm having a hell of a time accessing it. Can anything be archived? The alt-text discussion got all rolled into one, when I was hoping we could restart it and eventually archive the older piece, so now we have a gynormous page. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:06, 17 March 2010 (UTC)
I have the same issue with such big pages like this one. From experience have found it best to avoid preview because of the chance of system hanging due to low memory. Regards, SunCreator (talk)
Done, I archived the alt text discussion to Wikipedia talk:Featured article candidates/Alt text. Dabomb87 (talk) 23:25, 17 March 2010 (UTC)
We currently have MiszaBot archiving threads older than 90 days here. Couldn't that be bumped down a bit? I think seven days or so would be fine. (This is the number of days after the last post is added to a discussion.) Ucucha 23:30, 17 March 2010 (UTC)
Done. Dabomb87 (talk) 23:40, 17 March 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for reducing this page size. Why is the archive size set at 250K. Is there some benefit from a large archive? Regards, SunCreator (talk) 23:48, 17 March 2010 (UTC)
There's fewer of them. Ucucha 23:49, 17 March 2010 (UTC)
Is there some technical reason for less archive pages then? I normally access archives with the search. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 00:16, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
You can fell 250K in a surprisingly short amount of time. It's pretty much a standard archival size. When I got MizraBot, it was set to 250K and I just left it.--Wehwalt (talk) 00:23, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
Yea no problem, have got used to going to a PC when doing certain tasks. Just thought I'd raise a hand about page size while SandyGeorgia remarked on the issue. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 00:52, 18 March 2010 (UTC)

Bot archiving was bumped to only seven days, which seems a bit severe ... how about 10 to 14? The problem was the long alt-text discussion, which is now on a subpage. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 12:29, 18 March 2010 (UTC)

This page regularly tends to get big, so I don't think aggressive archiving is a bad idea. Ucucha 20:14, 18 March 2010 (UTC)

WP:FAR backlog

FAR has been backlogged for quite some time; historically, once it runs above 24 noms, thorough review is impeded. It would be helpful if some experienced reviewers could focus on the bottom of the list to get some of them moving. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 12:29, 18 March 2010 (UTC)

Review needed

Hurry, hurry, genuine free offer!

Apparently - [4]. Johnbod (talk) 20:06, 18 March 2010 (UTC)

To do...

All of the above need source reviews. (Apologies for my semi-absence this month, it's been a very ... hectic ... month here.) Ealdgyth - Talk 16:27, 25 March 2010 (UTC)

Also, Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Canadian federal election, 1957/archive1 could use a revised image check. Some of the original images are in the middle of a robust deletion debate at Commons and I've replaced them.--Wehwalt (talk) 05:38, 26 March 2010 (UTC)

Articles languish at FARC

Some articles seem to settle into FAR and FARC as though it's a new home. The system needs to be tightened up or it won't be taken seriously and we'll never find enough reviewers to serve there.

Wikipedia_talk:Featured_article_review#Time_limit_is_needed_for_the_FARC_section Tony (talk) 08:44, 21 March 2010 (UTC)

The same thing tends to happen at GAR, although not quite to the same degree. Both are a little bit like hospital ships it seems to me, a place where articles go to recuperate, not to be reassessed. --Malleus Fatuorum 20:35, 24 March 2010 (UTC)
You should nominate some FARs MF. It's easy as most of them are abandoned for 4 years and nobody cares so it doesn't take much time YellowMonkey (vote in the Southern Stars and White Ferns supermodel photo poll) 04:05, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
The problem in both cases is primarily a shortage of reviewers IMO. Geometry guy 21:05, 24 March 2010 (UTC)
I have two comments here just from my experience. In regards to the FA's some of the frequent reviewers can be a bit gruff to newcomers or to new reviewers, which makes them not want to come back and in regards to the GA process many editors don't feel qualified to authorize the promotion of an article to good status. In this case it might be beneficial to modify it slightly so that a good article could be passed by a single reviewer or by a majority vote. Using myself as an example, there have been several I have considered reviewing but didn't feel qualified to singlehandedly promote. The Ulysses S. Grant article is a prime example of that. I gave a lot of comments for improvement, but didn't feel qualified to do a review/promote myslef. --Kumioko (talk) 14:43, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
I think the best way to deal with that is to enlist an experienced GA reviewer and perhaps do your first one or two reviews in tandem, but with you making the ultimate decision under advice. I've done that a few times, and if there's a review you'd like to undertake I'll volunteer to do it with you. As Geometry guy says above, all review processes need more reviewers, so please jump in. Malleus Fatuorum 15:07, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
(Going off on a tangent – please forgive): Malleus... if you wanna start a formal mentoring process at GA, I will support you in any way possible. See my user page: "Effective writers are made, not born. If Wikipedia wants to improve the quality of its articles, it must have the foresight to stop relying on the talent that we get, and instead start a self-sustaining process of mentoring the contributors that we have. Professional-quality writers, editors and researchers should rethink their decision to volunteer their work as editors, and consider volunteering to teach others their craft. The correct forum for this process, in my opinion, is Wikipedia:Good articles..." • Ling.Nut 15:26, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
The informal process at WP:GAN/M works well for folks who know about it, and I have used it in just the way Malleus suggests. A more formal process would be helpful, or even just more awareness that there are people who will help. FAs are similar but even more intimidating. As a newcomer, I myself am hesitant to even comment unless I have expert level subject knowledge. I know others who will not comment even when they do. A way to reach out to more experienced reviewers for guidance would definitely build confidence and hopefully the pool of active reviewers along with it. FWIW. --Nasty Housecat (talk) 17:25, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
I personally don't like to distinguish between GAN and FAC reviewers, and I stick my size tens in at both. What we need is a way to recruit and nurture more reviewers, for all review processes. It's often just a matter of confidence I think. Even I asked for others to look over the first GA review I did. The "problem" with FAC/FAR is a little more subtle though. Nobody wants to be the first to shout Support or Keep for fear someone more knowledgeable will come along and basically show you up to be an ignoramus for supporting what is in fact a pile of poo. Hence so many Comments and so few decisions. Malleus Fatuorum 17:51, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
I appreciate Malleus' comments, but would offer a slightly different take. It is far more difficult to be the first to Oppose when one is not confident of one's position, for fear of becoming the misguided proximate cause of archiving an FAC someone put their heart and soul into. Even when an article is obviously unready, one thinks "well, none of the regulars has opposed it, so what am I missing?" One also struggles with how to comment on an article one thinks could be, and would really like to see, promoted that needs more work than will realistically take place at FAC. A coaching process, however informal, would be very encouraging for those of us who would like to contribute but do not want to be bad citizens. --Nasty Housecat (talk) 05:04, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
I think it depends whether one's concern is not to look a fool or not to bring about the wrong review outcome. The nice thing about FAC compared to GAN is the involvement of more than a single reviewer—and the interaction between reviewers, holding each other accountable. That actually makes it a good training ground for reviewers (of any kind, FAC/GAN...) imo. OK, it may be tough for some to be the first to Support, and likewise the first to Oppose, but that's OK—reviewers can learn that way with less fear that they are unilaterally bringing about what might be the wrong review outcome. A Support will be ignored if other responses outweigh it; likewise an Oppose, unless demonstrably rational and actionable, will be ignored, and will not undermine the fact that several other reviewers Support. Having said all that, GAN (and preparation for it) is undoubtedly a good training experience too, for both reviewer and nominator, as each party focuses on an article using a set of criteria to assess/improve it. (@Malleus: on "Hence so many Comments", well, it's sometimes a case of seeing how the nominator responds before investing more energy in a push to get an article up to scratch that wasn't quite there yet, isn't it. On which note, the lack of any Comments—the so-called "candidates lacking reviews"—may say more about the article than their presence.) Anyway, Housecat, for all the above reasons, if you want a coaching process without risking being a bad citizen, I would say dive in at FAC. PL290 (talk) 20:29, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
Well, I both agree and disagree. Certainly at GAN I will often make a few initial remarks about an article that has multiple and serious problems, and then wait to see how they're dealt with, but FAC is different. An article at FAC ought to be ready, no serious problems. Malleus Fatuorum 21:33, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
Indeed it ought. Let's be quite clear, the conversation not about nominators, but reviewers, and what they do about an article with "no serious problems", which is not a fixed point but a broad range between "perfect article" and "has serious problems". Somewhere within that grey range, perhaps, lies "not quite there". A whole nother conversation, which we're now straying into, is, should the FA process merely assess (pass/fail promote/archive), or should it be possible for it to also improve, and to do so, if nominator response shows that's likely to be productive, when it makes the difference between archive and promote? I would think the latter. PL290 (talk) 23:10, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
As ever, when offered two choices always take the third. I very much doubt whether any article presented at FAC, or GAN, would go through the process unscathed without issues being raised that need to be addressed; I've certainly never seen one anyway. Sometimes the issues are stylistic, sometimes they're more substantial, but there needs to be time allowed to explore those differences of opinion. Malleus Fatuorum 00:00, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
I like the idea of the third choice, but in this case, how does it differ from the second? PL290 (talk) 08:44, 27 March 2010 (UTC)

Catholic Church RfC

Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Catholic Church has opened to decide which of several versions of the article has consensus, and how best to develop it. Input is welcome. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 00:41, 27 March 2010 (UTC)

1b and other projects

I just thought of something interesting. Should WP:FA? 1b ("comprehensiveness") recommending ensuring counterparts to an article at other projects, like Commons and Simple, exist and are up to standard? I think having a base of support from other wikis is necessary to properly develop an article, but just throwing this out. –Juliancolton | Talk 13:17, 25 March 2010 (UTC)

Then the work which you had labored over would languish un-FA'd for years until you could cajole someone in Commons to do something. And why stop there? Why not ensure that every wiki (de.wikipedia, ja.wikipedia, etc.) had a satisfactory article? So no, FAs should stand on their own. • Ling.Nut 13:35, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
Agree; any article assessment should only consider the article. The criteria should ensure the article is properly developed without needing to concern themselves with how this came about via support from other wikis and the like. PL290 (talk) 14:35, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
I also agree, additionally the criteria for FA differes from project to project. --Kumioko (talk) 14:37, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
I'm a bit puzzled that "a base of support from other wikis [would be] necessary to properly develop an article". I've written articles without a single PD image (so can't rely on any commons links) or PD resources/works (no wikisource link). I've written articles that don't exist on other wikis (although some have since been translated); I've worked on articles that have counterparts on other wikis that are very poor quality, or that are essentially translations of the subpar version I started with. I don't know if I've ever logged in to simplewiki. When I've gotten help/collaboration for an article, it's come from contacts I've made on en.wikipedia. So I disagree with the premise that it's even necessary to have support from other wikis to develop an article, even overlooking the fact that FA criteria for this project shouldn't have to depend on another project (with the exception that images hosted on commons must be appropriately licensed). Julian, I'm assuming you are involved at simple.wikipedia. How have you leveraged that project to help here? Karanacs (talk) 15:27, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
I don't see how pulling in different language wikis would be necessary to develop an article. Most of the articles I contribute to are in the German wiki, which has different standards of citation, referencing, and coverage than here See, for example, German Unification and Deutsche Einigung, or, for a better comparison, Reichsgründing. (I've changed the link to the better article). Auntieruth55 (talk) 18:00, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
I'd have to say no. Many of the smaller wikis are mono-ethnic and mono-religious and it's not uncommon to find that ultra-nationalist POV is prevalent in many of them, especially in undeveloped countries where an us and them mentality is the order of the day and nobody can challenge them. There is at least one ethnic group on Wikipedia here who use "freedom fighter" and "martyr" everywere to describe their own ilk without much challenge, so I doubt it would be anything but routine on their home wiki. YellowMonkey (vote in the Southern Stars and White Ferns supermodel photo poll) 00:19, 29 March 2010 (UTC)

Putting work on Wikipedia:Selected anniversaries on the main page

There a lot of FAs around, and many of these can be used on the main page on selected anniversaries. Many FAs can be, but at the moment, SA is not well-known and has no selection process; unlike DYK and ITN, you can just turn up and serve yourself. This is leading to lots of unsourced, messed-up articles getting on the main page. One admin Ragib (talk · contribs) has been reverting an article he contributed to, Operation Searchlight, which has lots of references of officers involved in the war/battle, citing WP:OTHERCRAP. Anyone with a Fa or GA with a relevant date, you can get yourself 5000 hits for the day, and the article can go on there each year, unlike TFA and DYK, and raise the standard of material on the front page as well to make Wikipedia less of a joke, there are many unused articles that are far better than unsourced and unvetted and self-addable start class articles going around on the front page YellowMonkey (vote in the Southern Stars and White Ferns supermodel photo poll) 07:27, 26 March 2010 (UTC)

I always thought that those article were selecting using the March 26 type article as a guide. Is that not the case? —Charles Edward (Talk | Contribs) 12:10, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
Yes, but many date-related FAs/As/GAs etc are not listed there because the writer's neer think of the date stuff. I went through a sampling of FAs on the military WikiProjet and many FAs on battles/incidents with a specific day weren't listed on that day or on the SA page YellowMonkey (vote in the Southern Stars and White Ferns supermodel photo poll) 00:13, 29 March 2010 (UTC)

Insane Clown Posse (FA of the day) protection

Just to let you know that I boldly semi protected this as the vandalism at the time was overwhelming. In the run up to the block, I think there were about 20 reverts and 1 constructive edit. Cheers, Dlohcierekim 18:58, 28 March 2010 (UTC)

Proposal to remove alt text requirement

Previous FAC alt text discussions are here. The most recent is Alt_text_in_FA_images.

I'd like to remove this requirement, added in July last year, if there are no strong objections. There has been a lot of discussion on WP:ALT recently. The recommended style and length of alt text met with objections, so several editors went off in search of expert advice, and one of those experts, Jared Smith of WebAIM (Web Accessibility in Mind), gave permission for his views to be posted here on talk. He said the guideline was fundamentally flawed and had misunderstood the purpose of alt text; he recommends that we read this for guidance. There may be opposing views—this may be one of them—but the situation is so unclear that there was agreement on talk to remove the guideline status until we get it sorted out. I've updated the MoS to reflect what is currently known about best practice, and left a note on talk explaining why.

The bottom line is every image needs an alt attribute (even if it's an empty one such as |alt=|link= as used with decorative images) to stop screen readers from reading out the file name, but not every image needs alt text, because the caption or article often suffice as a description of the image's function, which Jared Smith says is more important than a description of its contents. This is an issue we have to explore further because it's not entirely clear what's meant. To add additional alt text, especially if long, may serve only to clutter up the screen reader. Therefore editors are often best advised to add "alt=see caption," or "alt=see adjacent text." The decision to add more alt text has to boil down to editorial judgment because it depends entirely on context. When extra alt text is added, it should be brief, according to the sources we've read so far—seven to 20 words has been suggested as a rough guide. The jury's still out on this, because the needs of an online encyclopaedia may differ from the needs of other sites that use alt text, but that's the current consensus.

Given that the FA criteria say FAs must be MoS-compliant, and given that the alt advice is in the MoS, I think there's no need to give it special mention in the criteria too. Having it there is pressuring nominators (already burdened by lots of rules) into adding alt text that might be helping no one, and which might be causing a problem for screen readers. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 15:21, 20 March 2010 (UTC)

This seems reasonable now. I see that there's constructive discussion going on at WT:ALT; I hope the people there will be able to compile good guidance on the best way to handle alt attributes on Wikipedia. Ucucha 16:35, 20 March 2010 (UTC)
I don't think we should include WP:ALT in the FAC criteria if it's neither a guideline nor part of MOS, but it's only been a day or so since that guideline header was removed. I suggest we wait a week and see if things stabilize at WP:ALT; if they do not, then I'd support removing the requirement from WP:FACR. If they do stabilize and the guideline tag reappears then we can review the new version at that time. I don't see an urgent need to remove it; it's not onerous nor actively harmful and I doubt any candidates will fail here because of alt text in the next week. Mike Christie (talk) 16:57, 20 March 2010 (UTC)
I agree. Since it appears the current ALT guideline has serious issues, the ALT requirement at FAC should be removed for now. Firsfron of Ronchester 17:14, 20 March 2010 (UTC)
Done - hidden as HTML comment so easy to reinstate when WP:ALT resolved. --Philcha (talk) 06:40, 21 March 2010 (UTC)
I've reverted, and added "and appropriate", which should cover the concerns above. Wikipedia needs to take more care over accessibility, not less. Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 19:47, 24 March 2010 (UTC)
And I've reverted to Philcha's version, because, as things stand, we have very likely being doing more harm than good from an accessibility perspective with the alt text we've been adding. --Malleus Fatuorum 20:31, 24 March 2010 (UTC)
Commenting out the alt text requirement from FACR until the issue is clarified seems reasonable to me. I was quite surprised by the long alt texts I've seen recently. Geometry guy 21:11, 24 March 2010 (UTC)
Agree with Philcha's position, as those using screen readers should be able to expect a concise, reasonably short alt text, and should not have to submit to more detail than the sighted reader. Tuxedo junction (talk) 21:28, 24 March 2010 (UTC)
Blocked for ban evasion. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 11:44, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
Who is it? I don't see anything to identify the banned editor. Mattisse? Mike Christie (talk) 14:11, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
"Does not my self reverting show that I meant no harm. Now I am fearful of continuing to edit.". Have a wild guess. – iridescent 14:16, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

(undent)Mmmmm. Seems like he's baaaack.• Ling.Nut 14:24, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

Late to this discussion, but I support removing the requirement from the FA criteria. EyeSerenetalk 17:16, 31 March 2010 (UTC)


Apologies if this has been mentioned before:

  • Would it be prudent, once a user supports promotion, to archive all comments relating to that user, leaving just his/her support? That would reduce considerably the amount of scrolling required considerably, and perhaps make it easier for other users to see what reviews are lacking? Parrot of Doom 13:34, 30 March 2010 (UTC)
  • That might make for a tidier FAC, but I like to see the comments that have been posted when I post mine. I always read through all of the other reviews before posting my own. It helps me understand the debates that have been going on at the FAC. Awadewit (talk) 15:10, 30 March 2010 (UTC)
  • On one of the reviews (Lisa Simpson), an archive box is used. That's the kind of thing I'm proposing. A single click then expands those comments. I can appreciate the importance of reading other comments, and that an extra few clicks is a minor inconvenience - but look at the size of the page now - about 780kb. Parrot of Doom 15:50, 30 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Those archive boxes should not be used ... the cause FAC archives to surpass template limits. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:52, 30 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Agree with the others. A few extra clicks is not the point—comments should be kept fully visible for general awareness, not hidden away, deemed somehow "finished with". PL290 (talk) 08:19, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

okay,I'll bite, what was that about??

someone just ranted on my talk page about maintaining FA standards which you could read here if you wanted to. What's this about? Do I need to know, or ???? Did anyone else get one of these? Auntieruth55 (talk) 01:42, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

Just a persistent sock. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:46, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
I did take a look at who else got the post, and I'm in good company. ;) Auntieruth55 (talk) 01:48, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
Another handful or dozen of sleepers on CU YellowMonkey (vote in the Southern Stars and White Ferns supermodel photo poll) 02:16, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
CU?? Enlighten a "newbie". Auntieruth55 (talk) 03:21, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
Checkuser. It is to see if one user is connected to another using technical evidence. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 03:23, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
Ah, well, I did go to the user page and it is blocked. I'm not going to worry about it, should I? Auntieruth55 (talk) 03:28, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
No need to worry. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 03:35, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

Source reviews...

I'm going to be curtailed until at least after summer, probably. Next month is at least one out of town trip, plus some RL projects that need finishing before the big event - our trip to Europe from late May through the middle of July. After getting back from Europe, I'll be busy until the middle of August, so someone or someones are going to need to stup up and do source reviews. I will probably just not do any until August, quite honestly. Ealdgyth - Talk 19:55, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

FA category growth

Wikipedia talk:Featured article statistics#2010 update. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 12:42, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

Interesting! War, religion and nobility are the boom areas, with food and philosophy in sharp retreat. Signs of the times? Johnbod (talk) 13:29, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
The table is sortable, but some of the high percentage swings are simply a reflection of categories that were very small to begin with, so that a small change in the numbers results in a big change in the percentage. The boom areas are actually a reflection of several of our more prolific FA writers:
  1. Warfare 63.0% (MilHist)
  2. Religion, mysticism and mythology 61.4% (Ealdgyth)
  3. Sport and recreation 50.0% (General interest)
  4. Politics and government 38.8% (Wehwalt?)
  5. Art, architecture and archaeology 37.5% (The "art cabal", Ceoil et al)
  6. Biology 36.8% (Cas & Co, the Bird people, the fungus people, Ucucha, Sasata et al)
SandyGeorgia (Talk) 13:36, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
I'm probably responsible for about 12 promotions in Politics, about a third of promotions (it's at plus 26 but the category has had some FARs). Interesting. Well, each to his own.--Wehwalt (talk) 18:34, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
This information is interesting and useful. Thanks for compiling and posting it. Firsfron of Ronchester 18:46, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
Agree. Just seeing the categories on WP:FA doesn't say when the articles were promoted, or what recent growth has been. Thank you for taking the time.--Wehwalt (talk) 18:49, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
Hey! Psychology's gone down ! (Bashes head on brick wall). Fainites barleyscribs 20:51, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
I believe that's actually philosophy articles that were defeatured. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:46, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

Moving on to the concern; in terms of Raul's choices for the mainpage TFA:

  1. There are no articles that haven't been run on the mainpage in:
    Business, economics and finance
    Chemistry and mineralogy
    Food and drink
    Philosophy and psychology
  2. There is only one article that hasn't run on the mainpage in:
    Language and linguistics
  3. There are only two articles available for the mainpage in:
    Engineering and technology
    Health and medicine (but Raul knows I'm terrified of the coprolalia-related vandalism if he ever runs Tourette syndrome)
  4. So that leaves for mainpage choices, only:
    Art, architecture and archaeology
    Awards, decorations and vexillology
    Culture and society
    Geography and places
    Geology, geophysics and meteorology
    Literature and theatre
    Physics and astronomy
    Politics and government
    Religion, mysticism and mythology
    Royalty, nobility and heraldry
    Sport and recreation
    Video gaming

SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:46, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

As usual, large increase in Sports (50.0%) and Warfare (63%, over 100 articles). Seems to me that there are still a lot of categories open, though we definitely could use some more business and food/drink articles. I thought computers was doing well, haven't there been a few internet browsers passed recently? ceranthor 21:51, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

Also, between April 2006 and March 2008, FAs were growing at about 2 articles per day; between April 2008 and March 2010, that slowed to 1 per day. FAC reviews are slower than ever, making it hard to promote, and FAR is becoming almost a place for automatic defeatures. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:40, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

I'm going to go through some of the more urgent FACS today, since I've gotten a head start on the Johnston article. Any that particularly need comments come to mind? ceranthor 22:48, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
Last time I looked, they all did :) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:51, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
Lack of reviews seems to be a long-term trend across the project, not just FAC. I'm not sure that anything can be done to reverse it short of offering some real-world incentive. Malleus Fatuorum 22:54, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
Also, there's lots of recognition for prolific article writers, and even more for prolific article creators, but virtually none for prolific reviewers. Malleus Fatuorum 22:56, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
The age old problem. Unfortunately, good article editors are not always reliable article reviewers. Auntieruth55 (talk) 23:29, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
Why do you say that? That's not been my experience. I'd say that good article editors prefer to write good articles, instead of review the work of others, which inevitably tends to mean working on articles you really have very little, if any, interest in. Malleus Fatuorum 23:51, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
Exactly. Auntieruth55 (talk) 00:16, 6 April 2010 (UTC)
I see that I'd misinterpreted "reliable". You mean that you can't rely on them to do reviews, not that their reviews aren't reliable. Malleus Fatuorum 00:27, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

This is fascinating stuff...I did start working on coffee but ran out of enthusiasm a little. Ditto potato. I figured the FA team and WP:ACID are good in trying to herd some very different articles through FAC. Casliber (talk · contribs) 06:03, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

PS: Tempting to scour some chemistry (and the other cats) GA and A-class articles to se if there are any within cooee of FAC really. Casliber (talk · contribs) 06:16, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

MOS Taskforce begins

Dear friends, a group of dedicated editors has established the Taskforce to work gradually through the whole of the MoS mess, all ?60 pages or so, for as long as it takes. The aim is to rationalise and improve the styleguides, which have never undergone an audit and have grown in an uncoordinated, often illogical and overlapping way.

The participation of interested editors would be most welcome. You may wish to read up on the initial audits here and below this link. The examples of groups are only a start to the program. The Taskforce is reporting to WT:MOS at the moment.

Naturally, the featured article and list processes are direct stake in improving the quality and structure of the styleguides. Tony (talk) 11:56, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

I have, for years now, always wanted to know the intricacies of MOS in full, or at least in the main. I would be very, very interested in lurking in this effort. I may even have some worthwhile contributions; only time will tell. But lurking will be utterly impossible without an explicit and publicly posted schedule for that lists exactly where and when the Taskforce will be working. The schedule can change and be flexible (no problem!), but must be public (and updated when it changes). If everything is done via email or IRL or even talkpages, then lurkers and other participants will become lost. • Ling.Nut 01:09, 7 April 2010 (UTC)

query re: Long, detailed explanation of map

The Battle of Taejon FAC has a couple maps, such as this one. If you look at the map, there's plenty of arcane (to me at least) notation.. some units have x's, some slashes, some dots; numbers beside the unit, etc. My question is this: I want a very detailed explanation of all the arcane scribbles. I think that a long explanation is necessary to add needed illumination... However, putting them in the article text or the image caption would probably be too distracting and ugly. For my part, putting them in the image description (on the image page) is just fine. But the worry would be that non-Wikipedians wouldn't know to click through the image to find the description, and so would be left with a cryptic image. Thoughts? Tks • Ling.Nut 07:01, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

The trouble with putting the legend/explanation in the image description is that this image is smaller there than in the article. It will be better if the reader can still see a clear map at the same time as your legend. A couple of other thoughts: I notice the embedded legend is readable on the full-size image, so how about changing the caption to:
Map of the US 34th Infantry Regiment's defense at the Kum River. Enlarge map and legend
or suchlike. I also see it's a PD image, so if that legend is still inadequate you could create your own legend and make a composite image (map, plus large legend alongside it) to click through to in the same way from the caption. PL290 (talk) 07:50, 6 April 2010 (UTC)
Do we have a decent article on the standard military map symbols? (We ought to, certainly). If so, you could put a link through to that as the key in the caption, rather than worrying about cluttering the image. Shimgray | talk | 17:34, 8 April 2010 (UTC)

Nominations Viewer for WP:FAC, WP:FARC, WP:FLC, WP:FLRC, and WP:FPC

Wikipedia:Featured article candidates with Nominations Viewer enabled

Here's a tool I made for myself that others might find useful. You can go to the script's documentation to learn more about it, including how to install it and configure it, but basically what it does is it collapses all nominations by default. You can expand the ones you want to read, and even click on "view nomination" to go directly to the nomination instead of having to click on the "edit" link first. This script will probably not be useful for those who like to just scroll through the nominations pages to find something they like, but personally I like to scroll through the article titles and when I find something interesting, I expand it to read it so that I don't have to first sift through some particularly long nominations.

This was just an idea that I had floating around a while back and finally got around to doing it. Feedback is welcome, but I may move slowly on adding new features if I've done enough coding for that day. One thing in particular that I might add is the {{la}} template, so that there are more links available to click on. This template already exists in each nomination page, but it's not transcluded on the nominations list because it adds to the template limit, so adding the template instead to this script might be a decent compromise. It can, of course, be enabled/disabled on a per-user basis. Gary King (talk) 19:06, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

Cool! –Juliancolton | Talk 01:45, 9 April 2010 (UTC)

Sources for articles about fraternities and sororities

I have concerns about the referencing of these articles, which appears largely to rely on material published by the organisations themselves. There have been a lot of noms of these at WP:GAN - i'm not sure about at FAC. Anyway, I have raised the issue here: Wikipedia:Reliable_sources/Noticeboard#Fraternities_and_sororities. Comments welcome. hamiltonstone (talk) 23:52, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

<answer copied from the noticeboard> " All your questions are answered at WP:SPS and WP:SELFPUB. Dlabtot (talk) 00:09, 7 April 2010 (UTC)"

Withdraw Christ myth theory FAC

It's clear that the CMT's FAC isn't going to go anywhere. As the nominator, I'd like to withdraw its candidacy. Eugene (talk) 04:42, 12 April 2010 (UTC)

Done. Dabomb87 (talk) 14:05, 12 April 2010 (UTC)

Manual botification of closed FACs and FARs needed

A problem with pywiki scripts means that GimmeBot will no longer be able to close FACs and FARs. This is tedious work, and not something the delegates can take on themselves. Someone is needed to manually complete the closings of FACs and FARs after delegates move them to archive or the featured log. I'd appreciate some help, but don't want just anyone doing it without letting us know, since I'll have to stalk your contribs at first to make sure it's being done correctly. If anyone is willing to take on this work, you will need Dr pda's articlehistory script, and the instructions are listed at User:SandyGeorgia/sandbox#GimmeBot steps. There are currently *many* archived and promoted FACs and FARs that haven't been botified (see Wikipedia:Featured article review/archive, Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Archived nominations/April 2010 and Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Featured log/April 2010, whoever takes on this work has to follow those pages). Also, Yellowmonkey and Dana Boomer will need to begin using the {{FARClosed}} template on closed FARs, pending botification.

This reminds me that we have several issues that are being affected by lowered participation in Wiki across the board-- Ealdgyth won't be doing sourcing reviews for many months, due to travel, image reviews are lacking, and in general, reviews are still down. Whatr we gonna do? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 13:05, 10 April 2010 (UTC)

On other matters, Karanacs has pending travel, so I'll be doing all the closes for two weeks during April, so won't be able to take on much extra work myself. Because of the pywiki scripts issue, GimmeBot also won't be able to archive WP:GO on Sat nights 0 UTC. I have long been dismayed that none of the other processes that use that page help out with its maintenance, and someone is needed to archive that page every Sat night at 0 UTC; the instructions are written into the page. Perhaps Dabomb87 will take on this task, as I believe he's familiar with it?
I have also long been dismayed that Gimmetrow was rarely thanked by nominators for his tireless work, but now I'm beating a dead horse. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 13:23, 10 April 2010 (UTC)
Sandy, I could help with the closings. I am well-familiar with both the Article History template as well as obtaining oldids, and you won't need to stalk my contribs, just review my closes of MILHIST A-Class reviews during my tenure as a MILHIST coordinator since I implement the AH template for that action: User:MBK004/Article_reviews#Articles_I_promoted.2Fnot_promoted.2Fdemoted -MBK004 13:26, 10 April 2010 (UTC)
Fabulous-- offer accepted, and thank you so much ! The archives are replete with closed noms that need to be botified-- have at it! SandyGeorgia (Talk) 13:39, 10 April 2010 (UTC)
I'll get started shortly, but I do have one question, do you also want me to put the headers and footers on the closed reviews, if yes I need to know where they are, e.g. {{archive top}} -MBK004 14:04, 10 April 2010 (UTC)
Yes, you do-- they're all listed in my sandbox page (linked above). I'm sorry there's such a backlog right now-- 23 in total!-- but as you keep up with them daily there won't be so many at a time. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:07, 10 April 2010 (UTC)
Also, you might want to do the Keep FARs first, since they're the easiest-- best place to warm up to the task! SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:17, 10 April 2010 (UTC)
Will do, could only find one FAR keep, which I just did and you can check: [5][6] -MBK004 14:56, 10 April 2010 (UTC)
I checked the two you've done, and they look good. As you get into FACs, it will get harder, because you will find GANs and PRs that need to be added to AH; I'm working in the garden, but I'll come in periodically to check on your progress. Thanks again !! SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:25, 10 April 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────That won't be much of a problem, I do that integration already for the MILHIST A-Class articles. -MBK004 15:30, 10 April 2010 (UTC)

And now FAC and FAR are up-to-date. -MBK004 19:22, 10 April 2010 (UTC)
Thank you so much, MBK004-- I hope nominators who benefit from this effort will thank you more often than they thanked Gimmetrow :) Gimmetrow ran GimmeBot on Tuesdays and Saturdays; now that GimmeBot isn't working, I may go back to keeping up with FAC more often, as that will help manage the page size. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:24, 10 April 2010 (UTC)
So to clarify, this is just a temporary issue with incompatibility with Mediawiki and Gimme, but we have no idea when/if it will be resolved? Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 21:48, 10 April 2010 (UTC)
Definitely tempoarary, Gimmebot is working again, because I just edit conflicted with it closing an FAC. -MBK004 02:18, 14 April 2010 (UTC)

Patrolled revisions as an aid to quality decline over time

I'm not particularly active in the FA process, but it strikes me that one of the obvious ways to combat the deterioration of FAs over time would be to periodically review them for changes. One of the ways that this could be done would be by flagging individual revisions as meeting the FA criteria as they were reviewed. Essentially, the following flow for an FA:

  1. Article passes FAC
  2. Latest revision of article is flagged as FA-quality
  3. Article is edited normally over some period, say, 3–6 months.
  4. Article goes to a lightweight review process meant to look solely at the changes since the FAC or last review
  5. If article passes without issue, GOTO #2, else continue…
  6. Article is revised to fix any problems that have arisen
  7. If article ultimately passes the review process, GOTO #2, else continue
  8. Article is subject to a full FAR

Remember that I'm talking about patrolled revisions and not flagged revisions; too many people get hung up on FR issues and this has nothing whatsoever to do with which version anyone will see by default. I think that this fits with the general goal of patrolled revisions in general. While the general thrust of patrolled revisions is to help against simple issues like vandalism (by highlighting vandalism-free revisions), it seems to me that it could also, with the right process, help combat decay (or decay relative to rising standards, even) in featured articles. Just a thought. {{Nihiltres|talk|edits|⚡}} 19:14, 17 April 2010 (UTC)

So if I understand this correctly, this is a more involved version of Wikipedia:Approved article revisions? Dabomb87 (talk) 19:42, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
It's certainly similar—but I'd avoid direct comparisons: this isn't a reiteration of that proposal. {{Nihiltres|talk|edits|⚡}} 20:05, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
Completely missing the point. The issue isn't (generally) that the articles are getting worse, it's that the criteria are getting higher while the articles' condition remains static. – iridescent 20:12, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
The high traffic ones do degrade actually, but it isn't too hard to go back to a 'safe point' and recheck. Casliber (talk · contribs) 20:56, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
Iridescent, how does it miss the point? If the criteria are rising, there are two solutions: fix the criteria so that they don't rise indefinitely (which is admittedly a somewhat odd situation), or improve the articles to meet the criteria. This suggestion is about attempting the latter. If you'd like to suggest a method for the former, that suggestion would be welcome. Casliber is right on the mark, and this suggestion is simply about making the process that Casliber describes easier. I think that that's a good thing regardless of other approaches to solve the problem at hand. If it, in fact, helps (which seems likely), that's a bonus. {{Nihiltres|talk|edits|⚡}} 22:11, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
Because in the process that's proposed, only "the changes since the FAC or last review" are being looked at. If the article's unchanged but the criteria have shifted, that process won't pick them up. Yes, the high traffic articles change over time, but the majority of FAs don't have a particularly high editing volume and don't change substantially over time; as an illustration, here's the sum total of changes to Hellingly Hospital Railway since its promotion in January 2009, and that's despite having been TFA in that period. – iridescent 22:18, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
(ec) Unless I've misunderstood, what you're suggesting is a kind of stasis. Comparing changes to the promoted version might prevent degradation, but is unlikely to address the issue of increasingly high standards. For high traffic articles it may be worth considering, and to some degree may already be practised, but this doesn't address the issue of rising standards. Nev1 (talk) 22:19, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
Statis won't work. Some proportion of edits are helpful, and depending on the subject, updates are needed. It can be hard to sort out, especially if you are unfamiliar with the topic. A better solution is to encourage nominators to remain involved with their articles after FA promotion. I keep all my FA's on my watchlist and look for unhelpful changes. It's not perfect, people retire and so forth, but it is better than nothing.--Wehwalt (talk) 11:56, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

Major update for Wikipedia:Nominations Viewer

I released Wikipedia:Nominations Viewer two weeks ago. Today, I added new features to the script in response to suggestions made by some users. The script now shows more information when viewing nominations, including when the nomination was submitted, how many people are involved in the nomination, how much support it has received (keeps/delists if at WP:FAR or WP:FLRC), and how many co-nominators there are. If you hover over each piece of information, it will give you some extra details as well. The information shown can be re-arranged as you please, or removed completely, by using the settings as shown in the documentation. If you already have the script installed, you may need to bypass your cache to get the new features. Gary King (talk) 02:14, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

Nominations Viewer at WP:FAC
Wow, I hadn't heard about this before, but it's one sweet bit of code. Thanks a lot, Gary! Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 17:30, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

External peer review

I was inspired by the above discussion to email an academic working in the area of Anglo-Saxon history, and a top historian of science fiction, which are the two areas into which my own FAs fall. The historian of sf has agreed to review at least a couple of articles and provide me feedback. (I haven't heard back from the Anglo-Saxon historian yet.) I don't know why I didn't send those emails years ago; I am sure the articles will be improved by the comments I get. I would urge others to try something similar; a failure to get a response doesn't hurt the article, and a review can only help.

With regard to some of the comments above, I would argue that the FA process and external peer reviews (which I'll abbreviate to EPR here) should be kept apart. That is, if an external peer review has been done prior to FAC, it's a source of information about the article which would assist a FAC reviewer in verifying that the article meets the "comprehensive" and "well-researched" aspects of WP:FACR. If an already featured article is submitted for EPR, it is likely to be improved. So either sequence of events is beneficial. Only if we try to tie the two together is there likely to be a problem, as helpful external experts can't always be located. Mike Christie (talk) 12:04, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

EPRs offer an invaluable way to be sure comprehensiveness and accuracy are satisfied. I would actually be in favour of tying this with the FAC process. Sometimes there may be no one to contact, or simply no reply from the expert, but it makes a lot of sense to at least attempt to contact the relevant authorities. If there's no response, it needn't hinder a nomination. In short, the more high quality input articles receive the better, and we should be actively approaching academics. Nev1 (talk) 12:27, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
I think it should be considered as part of the package, but not be a requirement, nor even an expectation. I do not think we should be getting involved in academic politics overmuch. If someone goes ahead and does it, successfully, then I think the article will have an easier ride at FAC, but choosing not to do so should not be penalized.--Wehwalt (talk) 13:03, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Thinking about it more, those are good points. You're right that it shouldn't be a requirement; the low responses for the study are probably a good indicator of what we'd get and it's not a reasonable demand when only a minority may receive such attention. EPRs and FAC should probably be kept separate. Sometimes it would be difficult to find an expert, and may lead to them introducing their own point of view into an article. In some cases I think contacting the person who essentially wrote the book on the subject (perhaps literally) would be a good idea, such as Niall Sharples on Maiden Castle, Dorset. If they're the lead authority on the subject, and there perhaps isn't much conflict around the main issues it would be possible to keep academic politics to a minimum. Nev1 (talk) 16:43, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Given what you've just said, about the input of Niall Sharples to the Maiden Castle aricle, I'd be interested to know why it only scored 810. Malleus Fatuorum 16:52, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
I've asked Mike Christie to forward the review so hopefully that might shed some light. As Sharples is one of the people thanked in Lindsey's study, I'm guessing he was the one who reviewed the article. His opinions should be worth reading, maybe he thought it should be more technical. Nev1 (talk) 16:57, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
That would seem a little odd to me, asking someone who'd been involved in the article's development to review it. Malleus Fatuorum 17:00, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Well he's involved in the article's development in as much as he wrote the book which the article is based on. He knows the subject back to front and I can think of few better people to review the article. Nev1 (talk) 17:02, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps I misunderstood then. I thought you were suggesting that you'd been in contact with Niall during the article's development. My mistake. Malleus Fatuorum 17:07, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
No, unfortunately that hadn't occurred to me as the article was written at a whirlwind pace and just sort of fell together. Nev1 (talk) 17:10, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
I'm dubious about the viability of external peer review. The real academic peer review process is hampered by a lack of willing reviewers. Reviewing Wikipedia articles will attract some attention because of its novelty, but I doubt it is sustainable. Guettarda (talk) 14:18, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Agreed. I suspect, given most universities' stance towards Wikipedia, that many professors would not care to be associated with us. Given students' penchant for googling their professors, it would become quickly known if Professor X, who warns his classes to avoid WP because of university policy/practices, started reviewing our articles.--Wehwalt (talk) 17:17, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
I haven't experienced this at all from experts in respective fields. Firsfron of Ronchester 17:18, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
In the event that reviewers are concerned about being seen to associate with Wikipedia, couldn't we offer anonymity? Nev1 (talk) 17:25, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
We should anyway - while not the only approach, peer reviews are often double blind. - Bilby (talk) 22:41, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

Of interest: Wikipedia:Academic peer review - how about revitalizing it? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 17:30, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

Talking of expert reviews, this just appeared today: Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Medicine#Announcement to WikiProject Medicine community prior to trial editorial review. have offered to find experts for us to help review our health articles. It isn't specifically for FAC but anything to improve the quality of our articles is great. Colin°Talk 18:09, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Wow! That's a great development. If it works, maybe it cane even be rolled out across other areas. Malleus Fatuorum 18:31, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
I've emailed several experts to ask them to look at articles I've worked on a lot, whether taking them to FAC or not, and I often got a good response, including a couple of long and detailed reviews. One was for an article I was about to get ready for FAC, and when I saw the review I decided not to submit it because there was a lot of work to be done. However, as helpful as all the reviews were, they were never neutral, and that's a big problem with external review, where people aren't used to our culture. A fair bit of the reviews might have to be ignored, so the writer has to be able to say thanks but no. SlimVirgin talk contribs 22:36, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Part of asking for a peer review is asking for what exactly you want - you can't simply ask for a "peer review". If you want an outside expert to review an FA against Wikipedia policy of neutrality of comprehensiveness, you have to explain that policy. It is worth doing that, in my opinion, as then experts become more aware of our site culture. Furthermore, no one's time is wasted then. Frankly, we don't want to waste the time of experts - we want to optimize it. Awadewit (talk) 22:42, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
The last person I did this with was a senior and well-known historian. He gave me a very long review, and it was great, very helpful, but POV. I said thank you for this and this, but I can't do that, and I explained about NPOV. He was stunned. He said, "You mean you want to publish things that are false, just because someone has made the claim?" I said yes, those sources are good historians. "But they're wrong!" he said. :) This is going to be a big problem with experts, because the idea of focusing on neutrality above almost everything else may be quite alien to them. Therefore reviewers will need the confidence to know when to disgree with them and stick up for site policies. SlimVirgin talk contribs 22:49, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Professors can be wrong too. Like SV, I do a number of contemporary (or nearly so) history articles, and secondary sources contradict each other merrily. Even primary sources. That is why I worry that these proposals may be counterproductive. Academics are not neutral arbiters in many cases, they have an axe to grind or a career to make, or both.--Wehwalt (talk) 23:07, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Exactly, and the more senior they are, the more of a problem I sense it becomes, because they've spent their careers defending whatever positions they've struck up. It can mean the ideas are very ingrained, taken for granted as almost self-evident. It's extremely difficult to ask for a free review, then say well, thanks, but I'm going to have to ignore most of what you said. Most editors will capitulate. And if we're asked at FAC whether we had it expert-reviewed, do we say yes, but I've decided to pay the expert no heed? :) SlimVirgin talk contribs 23:13, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I am thinking of my Nixon FA's, which are all before TV became dominant and stories vary greatly depending on political affiliation. I do not want to have to worry about whether the expert's political views are.--Wehwalt (talk) 23:20, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
And then there's the other point-- perhaps becoming moot-- that I just read through 40 FACs and found only one that could be closed. We're all talking about change on the talk page, again, while FAC stagnates for lack of reviews. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:27, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps all these soon to be recruited experts will sort that out. Malleus Fatuorum 23:34, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Ping me when they show up; in the meantime, I've got gardening to do! SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:19, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
I have just sent out over 40 emails requesting expert help as a result of attending the Museums and the Web conference last week. In the process, I was able to showcase many of our FAs to people who have expertise in those areas or are actually authors of material we used. I do have to say that it was a bit demoralizing to see people here saying that they were skeptical of how helpful experts would be at the time that experts were saying to me "why should we help out on Wikipedia? No one there wants us." Anyway, there are many of us working on getting experts to contribute to Wikipedia in some way or other. If you would like to help, particularly in the areas of art and literature and history, please drop me a line on my talk page. Awadewit (talk) 06:26, 21 April 2010 (UTC)

Pointer to style cat discussion

Please see WT:MOS#CFM: Category:General style guidelines. - Dank (push to talk) 12:42, 20 April 2010 (UTC)

What happened to Malleus?

He started to review the War of the Bavarian Succession but then changed his mind because he thought administrators were just looking for reasons to block him. I would have welcomed his feedback on the article. Did he got blocked? Auntieruth55 (talk) 17:12, 21 April 2010 (UTC)

Not blocked, but he's unsure whether to stick around Wikipedia. There's no harm in dropping him a note on his talk page. Nev1 (talk) 17:14, 21 April 2010 (UTC)

RfC on protection of Main Page Featured Article

Please see Wikipedia talk:Today's featured article#RfC: Time to dispense with WP:NOPRO? Dabomb87 (talk) 01:18, 23 April 2010 (UTC)

Journal article labels FAC a failure

"Evaluating Quality Control of Wikipedia's Featured Articles" in First Monday. Czetnov (talk) 17:26, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for the find. A fairly breezy read, and while full of some rather specious and/or broad statements, it's certainly interesting. Unsurprisingly, a big factor the paper doesn't address is the age of FAs. Max Weber was first featured in 2004, then refeatured 2006. Toru Takemitsu: 2007. California Gold Rush: 2006. Belarus: late 2007. While there are plenty of FAs in the higher rankings from 2006-2007, I'd be willing to bet that on a whole, the later ones would have a better score. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 17:54, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
An interesting dismissal, those "specious" statements made it through peer review after all, which is more than can be said of most of the things that people write about Wikipedia. I think the article makes it fairly clear that the FAC process needs a significant re-evaluation. Czetnov (talk) 17:59, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the link, Czetnov. I hope the findings aren't dismissed out of hand here at FAC. While I agree with David that older FAs are bound to decay, it would be nice to see something like an external peer review, as the article suggests, added to the Featured Article process. Firsfron of Ronchester 18:05, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
(ec) I'd note also that your observation doesn't pan out. Alzheimer's Disease was featured in 2008 and does very poorly. Catholic doctrine regarding the Ten Commandments was featured in 2009 and does poorly. The Swimming Hole was also featured in 2009 and does poorly. According to the article, 7 articles "clearly failed" the criteria and all seven of those are in the bottom seven, so I take it that they all "clearly failed", so I'm not at all sure what your point is. Czetnov (talk) 18:07, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
My first thought was to look at the average age of articles, as well, but they seem reasonably well distributed in this regard; two of the three worst articles were from 2006, but so were two of the best. That said, only one of the 2008 or later articles had a terrible score, which suggests age might be a contributing factor to reduced quality - either through decay or through tightening standards. Shimgray | talk |
The peer reviewers, frankly, don't necessarily know any more than the author does about FAC. Suggesting that the output of 44 articles a month is low disregards the amount of work necessary. The selection process disregards large topic areas that are the focus of many FAs. The fact that FA criteria have become stricter over time, a huge lurking variable in quality, is never mentioned. The author could have used a better knowledge of FAC's history, background, and the demographics of FAs. It's not a personal strike against anyone, Czet (I'm assuming you have some interest in the article since these are your only edits), but his conclusions miss important factors not considered. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 18:19, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
That is an interesting read, and although I do not agree with all of it, some interesting points are raised. As well as some comments already made above. Although not particularly flattering to WP, it may in some ways actually be positive for WP. Critisism adds value if you are willing to accept it. For example, someone took the time to do this study and apparently in an unbiased way, gathered input from bonafide experts in various fields and actually got them to provide comments and in some cases suggestions on how to fix it. Whether they meant to or not, in my opinion, they are contributing to WP and proliferating the very foundation of the project. If we take this hit in the jaw, learn from it and attempt to make the project better by seriously considering the points made rather than grumbling about how they don't understand us I think we can use this in our favor. If we could get a copy of the entire thing and the comments (he is a contributor after all) we can evaluate the indentified problems starting with the ones listed in the article like Belarus and the other article with low scores. This will not only make the articles better it will lend some credibility to what we do. I don't realistically think that we shoudl go delisting all the articles but I do think that we shoudl treat this with as much credibility as a peer review and take the comments made about the articles seriously without getting our feelings hurt. Just my two cents. --Kumioko (talk) 18:22, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
I have no interest in the article. I am simply a loyal First Monday reader and Wikipedia reader and thought this merited mentioning somewhere. I agree with you that he should have taken into consideration article age given the issue of decay, and given that some old articles did so poorly maybe an FA sweeps is needed like the older GA sweeps. Has anyone asked for the errors the experts found? Czetnov (talk) 18:44, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
Age of FAs by quality in Lindsey.svg
...and here's the graph (right) showing scores versus age-since-featuring, which some may find interesting. Broadly, most seem independent of age; for a second group, however, it declines steadily with time. Perhaps this indicates a difference between maintained and unmaintained articles? Shimgray | talk | 18:27, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
It isn't clear to me what the numbers on the bottom of the graph are. Are they the number of days since the article became Featured? Or something else? Firsfron of Ronchester 18:44, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, yes - age in days between date of featuring (per talkpage) or date of most recent FA review, and the time of the study (circa 1/10/2009). The oldest was featured in 2005; it was then reviewed about a month after the study ended. Shimgray | talk | 21:18, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
I know I could do it myself, but it would be interesting to see the number of edits since the passage of being an FA, the number of editors of those edits, number of reg. editors, etc. for these too. If the "second set" is what I think it is, we'll certainly see a low portion of edits over time, and likely many from non-reg editors. (Eg: they are unwatched articles). --MASEM (t) 23:42, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
An FA could deteriorate quite quickly if not tended. The article claims to be assessing the FA "process" but based on the recommendations to include experts in the initial review (rather than making recommendations about monitoring the quality of existing FAs and the FAR process), I suspect the author was really trying to assess the FA initial review procedure. In that regard, the paper has a fatal flaw similar to assessing the quality of school A-level tests by asking all students who got an A for maths to resit the test aged 25. It would have been trivial to give the experts the edition of the article at the date the FA was awarded, thereby removing the issue of deterioration (though not of changing standards).
The second flaw is the use of an arbitrary and ultimately personal scale from 1..10 for gauging the quality of the articles. Were the experts provided any guidance in this? For example, earlier published "expert" criticism of our drug articles was that they don't generally provide dosage information (this is deliberate). Not all experts understand Wikipedia or the needs of the "general reader" or the NPOV and V restrictions on what we can say. The expert rating system should have been calibrated or tested-out by comparing the scores of several experts on the same article.
The response rate of 22 out of 160 experts shows how difficult it would be to expect or demand expert review at FA. Having said that, I requested an expert review of my FA and found the experience very beneficial. I suspect I was lucky in some ways and my expert was a fan of Wikipedia so happy to help. Colin°Talk 18:47, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

(outdent) Colin's points are good. No mention of article decay at all', nor any mention of the Featured Article Review process, which is interesting given its prominent position on the FA pages. having expert reviewers is good, however that in of itself creates problems -many have a particular point of view which may or may not align with the majority of their profession/discipline/specialty, and many do not see the need to write for a general reader. I agree that alot of material online is shoddy at best though. And no general biology articles at all' in the end 22 - wonder what the Alzheimers person thought....hmm. Anyway, an interesting start. To Czetnov - the 'sweeps' have been underway for about three years with a systematic review of older featured articles. Casliber (talk · contribs) 19:15, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

So we have determined that there are flaws in the survey. I agree and they are absolutely correct but can we also concede that perhaps our process could also use some tweaking as well? A couple of possibilities!
  1. Perhaps we could establish a pool of experts, where possible, that are willing to review articles at the FA level regarding their subjects. I know that there are a number of "Experts" in various fields who actively participate and I imagine at least some of them would be willing to participate so long as it doesn't become overwhelming (obviously some subjects have more coverage than others such as history).
  2. We may want to consider implementing a requirement to review an FA after a period of time, maybe a year, to ensure that its up to current standards.
  3. We should consider, when significant changes are instituted to the process, that the existing articles be reviewed by X amoutn of time. maybe 6 months, to ensure that the new change was reflected in the existing FA article.
  4. We should review the articles mentioned in this review and attempt to rectify the items mentioned as much as possible. --Kumioko (talk) 19:21, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:WikiProject NINES and 18th Connect - I'm working on getting FAs peer reviewed by subject area experts. Awadewit (talk) 19:37, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
Good job and thanks for bringing that up, thats definately a start and I would certainly consider you an expert in your field. Although this does pose a bit of a quandry as far as what defines an expert. And although its already been established that someone who writes a book on a subject isn't necessarily an expert I believe for the sake of what are attempting to do here anyone with significant background or education on the subject could be "considered" an expert. Again its not a perfect solution but it will be one more thing that could provide additional credibility to what we do here, which continues to improve as time goes on and our footprint on the internet and on various subjects increase. Since we are all volunteers and essentially donating our time to make the 'pedia better we don't in my opinion need to strongarm the expert issue but to be able to say that there are pools of "experts" self professed or otherwise would I think be an improvement over the process we have. All this is based on the premise that these experts would be willing to do this and although I doubt we will get legions of hungry new editors or participants I think some will. Another issue for example is there are experts on the subject itself, experts with how wikicode, processes, rules and structure work and experts in grammer, prose and the like, etc etc. so we don't need to limit ourselves to just specific subject experts. There are people within the comunity that seem to exude the ability of knowing the answer to any WP:MOS question that could arise. The same goes for prose and grammer and I can think of examples of each off the top of my head. --Kumioko (talk) 20:01, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
A point I brought up with the author in some correspondence and I think is worth mentioning is that in some fields, that task would be even more complicated. You'd be hard-pressed to find a "video games expert", for example—they field is relatively young, there are comparatively fewer books written about it, and it's rare an academic could make that their job. Game journalists are often writing broad pieces about certain platforms, so they might know plenty about Halo 3 for the Xbox 360, but nothing about Wipeout 3 for the PlayStation. This is a relatively minor point considering the many other featured article topics that probably would benefit more from expert attention, but just food for thought. As for grammar, if we kicked all the high schoolers off I'm sure we'd have better prose and no editors in no time :P Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 20:07, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
Google Scholar shows many potential scholars who could be contacted as potential video game experts. It's true they wouldn't have per-game expertise, but I'm not sure this would even be desirable. Firsfron of Ronchester 20:17, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
I'm not talking about video games and aggression, or video games and pharmacology—that's maybe one or two articles, tops. Clinical experiments have little to do with the vast majority of video game articles. (Of course, this is starting to get off topic, so forgive me.) Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 20:29, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
So does anyone know how someone would even go about contacting "an expert" that isn't an active participant in WP? As mentioned above some would have a biased view and some wouldn't participate but you never know until you ask. This is just a shot in the dark but maybe some kind of a WP wide drive to "search for the expert" perhaps even soliciting inputs from outside WP to try and lure more support to WP. In the end though finding established experts is only one of the things that could be done to improve the process a little. --Kumioko (talk) 20:45, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
Kumioko, for Paramount Television Network, an article currently at FAC, I contacted one of the authors of several of the peer-reviewed papers I used as sources. Many peer reviewed papers list contact information for the author, and my experience has been that they often welcome questions and further discussion of the topic. In my case, I was simply asking the author for a copy of one of his older papers which never made the transition to digital form, but he was happy to oblige me and scanned the paper and sent it to me. I didn't actually ask him to review the WP article, but I have done this in the past, with other articles, and have had very good luck with asking for feedback from subject matter experts. Not every expert will be willing, but a respectfully worded e-mail can often work wonders. Firsfron of Ronchester 21:00, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
(ec) Well, I didn't think you were talking about video games and aggression, or video games and pharmacology. But my point was that there are subject matter experts in the field of video games who have written peer-reviewed works on video games, even (sometimes) specific video games. Some of these scholars have written about specific games, but I don't think it would be necessary (or desirable) to try to find an expert on each specific video game. Firsfron of Ronchester 20:48, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
When I did a minor assignment on computer games last fall, I was surprised at how much academia was actually available on video games. There are plenty of textbooks as well as publications discussing various social and cultural aspects of the games. There are still a lot of unexplored fields of course, but the problem is that I believe that those regularly writing about video games are usually not in touch with academic writing. Nor do they always understand that academic research has to explore research subjects within specific contexts. If you're looking for someone who writes about video games "on their own merits", you might miss the academic perspective altogether. For example, that someone has written about Lara Croft from a gender perspective doesn't mean that they can't be considered an authority on video games.
Peter Isotalo 11:40, 20 April 2010 (UTC)

(undent) What happened to Veropedia? I thought the idea was that they took the best articles from Wikipedia, submitted then to outside peer review and then prevented further editing other than by their expert panel. Fainites barleyscribs 21:26, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

Forget that. If you were around or bothered caring to follow the activities of Danny and his inner circle on Wikipedia you probably won't take Vero too seriously (and I don't blame you if you didn't pay attention to their machinations). The Vietnam article was copied off to Veropedia by a WP/VP person and it had at least four glaring errors on core basic facts in the politics/history section, and probably heaps more in the others as well. In this case "expert/smart guy" = "cabal friend". Some old FAs (some now delisted) were cut and pasted and paraphrased off hobby sites in 2006/07, then cut to VP. One well known Danny ally, WP/VP admin was known to tell off other people vigorously for not using sources on WP but when his GAs got delisted for having no sources he went around opposing RFAs of people who participate at GA, because being there shows that they have "bad judgment". He also made a big deal about NPOV but only bothered attending to those who talked back to him. Ego was far more at the forefront than any fake commitment to quality YellowMonkey (vote in the Southern Stars and White Ferns supermodel photo poll) 02:48, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Good Heavens! I had no idea it was all so political. Fortunately I have no idea who all these people are either. Fainites barleyscribs 14:22, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

I strongly question the methodology of the article's author. He himself admits that he discarded articles that he could not find an expert on. So our articles on such things as hurricanes, video games, instruments of warfare, and cricket, for some, were not considered. Undoubtedly experts could be found in those fields, they might be curators or government officials, just not people who put "professor" before their given name.--Wehwalt (talk) 22:01, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

The article is certainly interesting, but a piece of properly peer-reviewed scientific research it most definitely is not. Malleus Fatuorum 22:10, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
I completely agree that this research paper has several significant shortcomings, which I personally find somewhat ironic and amusing since it says the same about WP. Putting the expert peer review process to the side for a moment I did a quick review of a couple of the articles and the 2 that I looked at do need a little work. Charles Darwin has several relatively minor issues just at a glance including some dead links, misc issues with references, some prose and grammer issues, inline citations in the lede, a few places missing inline citations and a few short choppy sentences. All in all its pretty well written IMO but it needs a good pruning to tighten it up. It probably should go through a peer review at best and at worst a Featured article review. Tōru Takemitsu, as a great man once said "Aint gonna cut it". There are so many problems with this article I can't imagine how it hasn't been delisted long ago but here are a few. It needs an infobox, it has citations in the lede, the lede needs to be expanded. Several areas of the article need to be rewritten or expanded, there are several [links], there are a number of problems with [links] including dead links. In the end I think this one shoudl probably be delisted. Just my opinion though. --Kumioko (talk) 01:06, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
There are plenty of featured articles on Wikipedia with horrid content; even a person who doesn't know a topic can tell by the way the article was prepared can tell this in many instances. Still 22 articles isn't a big enough sample for any scientific conclusion especially with the control of variables etc YellowMonkey (vote in the Southern Stars and White Ferns supermodel photo poll) 02:48, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Wehwalt, invoking WP:SCUM when criticized by published academics is a bit like griping about criticism at an FAC. And that meteorologists and sports historians didn't bother to reply doesn't strike me as something that reflects very poorly on the author. If anything, the mix of topics seemed quite balanced to me. Keep in mind that no outsider can reasonably be expected to judge the overall quality of Wikipedia based on the availability of FAs. That would imply that sub-topics like cricket and hurricanes are more important than entire disciplines like linguistics or sociology.
Peter Isotalo 12:01, 20 April 2010 (UTC)

Break 1—Author feedback

The author of the article, David Lindsey, emailed me some comments that he asked me to post here, as he does not wish to post on this topic under his existing Wikipedia userid.

I am glad to see that my article has generated some interest on Wikipedia, and part of my reason for writing it was to start a conversation about what I see as a fatally flawed process. This was not, however, my primary reason for writing, and I think that acknowledging this may help to clarify some points that have been raised here. First of all, there is the age issue. The sample size in the study (N=22) was small. With a sample of this size, it is absolutely impossible to draw anything like solid conclusions between the time since promotion for an article and its quality (either at the time of promotion, looking at changing standards, or at the current time, looking at "deterioration"). The time issue was raised at peer review, but the reviewers and I are in agreement that it is simply outside the scope of this research project. I invite those of you who are interested to pursue this direction of research.

Second, it was not the goal of the article to assess the initial review process only. A major goal of the research was to evaluate the approach of Blumenstock, Poderi, Huberman and Wilkinson, most recently Liu and Ram, and several others. Researchers pursuing this approach have, largely, proceeded in their investigations by using Wikipedia's internal assessment mechanisms (including but not limited to looking at featured article) and assuming that if an article is featured it is of high quality and so on and so forth. In order to evaluate this approach it is not necessary to look only at articles immediately after promotion. Instead, it is necessary to ask: If an article is currently listed as a featured article, does that mean it is of high quality. Thus, all articles were examined in their current form (as of the time the research was conducted). Thus, what I have presented is not just an evaluation of FAC, but in fact of the whole process for controlling the quality of featured articles including FAR/FARC.

Third, the numerical scores presented in the article are, admittedly, rather arbitrary. I think it is unfortunate that, due to the fact that they are presented so prominently in a table, these are drawing the most attention. They were presented in that form to be available easily to later researchers, not because they are the most important finding. The most important finding in the study comes just above the table: Overall, of the 22 articles assessed, the expert reviewers found that 12 (54.5 percent) clearly passed Wikipedia’s criteria for a featured article. Another seven clearly failed the criteria (31.8 percent), and the remaining three were borderline cases. When asked to perform this judgment, the experts were given clear reference to the featured article criteria and were asked to evaluate on the basis of those criteria. The experts were not, however, asked to evaluate those criteria where they were not particularly qualified to judge (e.g., the criterion for stability).

Fourth, when I say that an output of 44 articles per month is low, this is not meant as a comment on the process. I am well aware of how much work goes into the FAC process and the fact that there are already too few reviewers available. 44 articles, however, would not be an overwhelming number to bring in front of experts as finished products, so far as Wikipedia is concerned, for feedback. I have already received several emails criticizing this proposal or suggesting that experts would be more usefully engaged elsewhere, but I stand by it.

Finally, if you are interested in seeing the expert feedback on any of the articles assessed, you can email me to request it. The expert reviews were not geared towards improving the articles but only towards assessing them, so the usefulness of the feedback varies. If you do ask for these reviews, I must stress that they are NOT CC-BY-SA or similar, and thus can not be placed on Wikipedia talk pages, but only circulated semi-privately by email. -- David Lindsey

-- End of quoted material -- Mike Christie (talk) 02:28, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

Mike, would you be able to get the review of Ten Commandments in Roman Catholicism and forward it to me? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 03:26, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
I've sent a request. Mike Christie (talk) 03:33, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, Mike. I find this review seriously lacking-- more so than any criticism of the FAC process (which is absent). I'm unsure how much I can summarize here, though; I'd be interested to hear Raul's feedback on the reviews of his articles, but the review I received is so lacking that I'm unsure what conclusions we can draw from this. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 10:55, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Having seen both sets of feedback I would say the review you received is more detailed than the one Raul received for Swimming Hole. (I haven't yet had the feedback for Parallel Computing.) The feedback for Swimming Hole commented that in multiple places the article does not distinguish well between fact and interpretation, and then gave an example rather than an exhaustive list. I would say it would be reasonable to outline the general comments from the feedback in broad terms. In the case of the Ten Commandments article I did feel that there were substantive criticisms made (not that I could express an opinion on their validity, as I haven't read the article). For example, the feedback indicated that it was a significant shortcoming that the article does not address what Catholics believe the commandments reveal about God. If that's accurate, then it's a usable criticism, though it does not cite a source (as a Wikipedian who made this comment might) for the claim that this is important. It does gives a source for another criticism. So I'm not sure why you feel the criticism has little value. I don't believe, by the way, that the experts were asked to become familiar with or to criticize the FAC process itself. Mike Christie (talk) 11:07, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
I'm operating at half mast with a back injury, so take my feedback FWIW. The issues identified in Ten Commandments in Roman Catholicism are prose (awkward phraseology, not "brilliant" writing) and "serious omissions". I have the following problems with the review:
  1. We don't know who did the review, what his/her qualifications/background is, and since sources are not supplied for the "serious omissions", we don't know if this is a reflection of the author's POV or reliable sources.
  2. None of the prose problems are identified-- not even examples-- and we don't know if the author looked at the version that passed FAC, or if these issues crept in post-FAC. I do note that Tony1 reviewed the FAC.
  3. It is a very cursory review-- reads as "hit and miss". Combine that with the fact that the only 22 of 160 authors responded, and there's a problem with the sample in the study and thoroughness of these reviews. It would have been helpful for them to review the versions that passed FAC, compared to the version at the time they reviewed. I'm not sure what we can conclude from this if the other reviews aren't more thorough. Could you please send me Alzheimer's? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 11:35, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Re: 1. You should be able to work out who did the review from the list of acknowledgements at the bottom of the page. (Unless Ronald Paulson is branching out, he did Four Times of the Day, and from a quick skim I'd say the Catholic University of Notre Dame or St. Charles Borromeo Seminary would be a good starting place for a suspect on Ten Commandments.)Yomanganitalk 11:58, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Alzheimer's is another disappointing review. It's two short paragraphs, is a bit more specific than the Ten Commandments review, does identify some key issues with specificity, but the conclusions show a lack of understanding of Wiki pillars. The problem with the Alzheimer's article is that it relies too heavily on primary sources, which leads to WP:RECENTISM and WP:UNDUE, and breaches WP:MEDRS. The reviewer hints at these problems without seeming to be aware of them, mentioning "lots of 'facts' that are so new that I don't know if they will hold up to further research", and concluding that "there was a lot of references to different research; on the other hand, there wasn't much evaluation about whether the research was important or reliable." I don't see indications of a problem with FA processes here; if the article came to FAR, it wouldn't pass for the problems the reviewer identified, but not because of the reasons given by the reviewer, rather because the article fails to conform to WP:MEDRS. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 13:10, 20 April 2010 (UTC)
So, let me get this straight. Your issue is that the expert reviewer had valid criticism, but he didn't phrase it in terms of Wikipedia policy? That's a pretty weak argument. Nalingsford (talk) 06:00, 21 April 2010 (UTC)
I'm sorry I missed the query. No, that's not what I'm saying. I'm saying that criticism of the FA process is misplaced (and the "FAC is a failure" heading here was not by the study author, rather another editor). If Alzheimer's were to be submitted to FAR, it would be a clear delist based on the criteria because the article overrelies on primary sources (WP:MEDRS, WP:RECENTISM and WP:UNDUE). The process would work in this case ... now, the issue of declining editors and reviewers and participation at FAC and FAR is a different one. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 13:24, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
I don't think that's what Sandy intended to say; rather it's difficult to get a reviewer to write in sufficient detail to help an editor to improve the article. For example, the academic reviews written for the Nature comparison back in 2005 were often terse & brief: few were longer than the "two short paragraphs" Sandy laments above. Perhaps this was because the reviewer did not expect anyone to make use of their feedback, but the Nature reviews of Wikipedia articles were very similar in depth & length to the comments professors used to write on my term papers -- so maybe academics all tend towards the same style in their review notes. -- llywrch (talk) 01:03, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
As distributor of these reviews I've seen six or seven of them now, and David Lindsey has agreed to send me the rest to distribute to editors interested in the feedback on the other articles. Since others won't have sight of all the reviews, I will see if I can pull together some observations about the reviews as a group that might be interesting or helpful. Generally so far I'd say the reviews did not display any particular understanding of Wikipedia's principles, but usually had something useful to say. None seem to attempt a complete listing of the flaws; they generally just give examples. When I've looked at the remaining ones I'll see what I can add. Mike Christie (talk) 01:21, 23 April 2010 (UTC)


I'm in the process of reading this article now, but I find it rather suspicious that my own pet article, The Swimming Hole, scored so lowly, seeing as how before I nominated it I asked William Innes Homer to review it, and he said it was pretty good. (Homer has published 3 books on Eakins, and is one of the most authoritative people in the world to comment on Eakins). Mike - can you get a copy of that review too? Raul654 (talk) 03:36, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

Also requested. Pity none of mine were reviewed -- I'd have been very interested to get feedback. Mike Christie (talk) 03:44, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Two more things - I noticed that another of my pet articles, Parallel computing, was also reviewed and didn't get a 10. I'd also be interested in reading that review too (seeing as how this is one where I do have genuine expertise). And I take issue with the statement that The featured article process is characterized by a complex bureaucracy - I mean, yes, it was simpler back when I did everything by myself, but I don't think the 5 person operation we have now is all that hard to understand. Raul654 (talk) 03:53, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
I've requested the parallel computing review too. Mike Christie (talk) 04:22, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
I'm also wondering what the author means by "The featured article process is characterized by a complex bureaucracy." SandyGeorgia (Talk) 11:43, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Regarding the suggestion above to "establish a pool of experts, where possible, that are willing to review articles at the FA level regarding their subjects." - I really, really like the idea of bringing in subject experts to help improve the quality of FAC reviews; in particular, I fear that sometimes FAC is overly focused on stylstic issues while glancing over substantive ones. But Wikipedia's weakness is the lack of subject experts. If anyone has a suggestion for recruiting subject editors from outside Wikipedia to help with FAC reviews, I'm all ears. Raul654 (talk) 04:03, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Raul, I touched on this above. WP editors can invite feedback from authors of the peer-reviewed works they are using as sources for their articles, as most modern-day peer-reviewed works include contact information (at least an e-mail) for the author or authors. I've had some luck asking authors of peer-reviewed papers (papers which I've used as sources) for feedback, additional materials, etc. It's not difficult to write a nicely-worded e-mail asking for clarification, feedback, or more information. Firsfron of Ronchester 04:24, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Hadn't thought of that - that's a pretty good idea. How do we incentivize FAC editors to do this, without outright requiring it? (I'm sensitive to complaints that FAC is already tedious enough without adding another requirement) Raul654 (talk) 04:40, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
I agree that adding additional requirements at FAC might discourage editors. However, it might be possible to include an optional "5th criterion" along the lines of "the article has received feedback/approval/advice/whatever from one or more subject matter experts who have published material in this field", giving more weight to these articles. Articles which have already been approved at FA could also be included in this process, if interested editors politely ask for feedback from the authors whose references have been used in FAs. Firsfron of Ronchester 04:59, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
I forgot to mention: I dislike added bureaucracy, and try to avoid it whenever possible. The above proposal is not intended to add a layer of bureaucracy to the FA system; it is intended to give a "boost" at FAC to articles which have received external or expert feedback. It's a way of reaching out to the scholarly communities outside of Wikipedia, seeking feedback and fresh input from the people that WP should be consulting. Firsfron of Ronchester 05:09, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
The 'optional criterai' approach would tend to create two classes of featured articles - those with external peer review and those without. And that's something I'd like to avoid. Raul654 (talk) 05:30, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Possibly, although I've already included discussion of expert or external review in some of the FACs I've nominated, and nobody ever pointed out to me that those ones were "better" Featured Articles than the ones where I didn't seek external or expert review. Also, what do you think of NH's suggestion, below? Firsfron of Ronchester 06:00, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Maybe a tag for the talk page (like external peer review) with a link to the review comments, if available. Editors looking to bolster an article's credibility would seek it. Reviewers unsure of an article's authority would look for it. But with no bureaucracy about it. --Nasty Housecat (talk) 05:20, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
I know the Belarus article needs some work, but other than maybe 2 other people who have maintained the article, I am the only one that works on it. I know some of the sites are probably not working and some work needs to be done on it, but finding a lot of things on E. Europe solo is quite hard. However, a 4 and lasted for FA for 3 years is not that bad, IMHO (especially about a country that has strong passionate views about it.) User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 06:11, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
I'm not so sure I agree with the lack of bureaucracy. Personally I hate bureaucracy, but I've been involved in running academic conferences, and the formal double-blind peer review process is a good method in spite of some flaws. While Wikipedia makes double-blind difficult in one sense (history pages) it makes it easier in another (multiple pseudo-anonymous editors). The difficulty for all conferences I've been involved in is finding reviewers, as you need at least two per article, but having a formal process of assigning reviewers to papers makes it workable, with a subject-area chair responsible for finding and selecting them. Either way, I like the idea of it being a separate issue to FAC - an article can be featured, reviewed by subject-area experts, or both, as I agree this is a difficult process to apply to all featured candidates. - Bilby (talk) 09:17, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

Break 3—Steve Smith

I think by and large the article makes valid points (on the macro level, at least - I don't doubt that some of the individual article reviews may be off-base) that are unsurprising to most of us here. The part of the paper that I found most dubious, though, was the conclusion that FAs are not really much better than other Wikipedia articles, since FAs average a score of 7 on a scale of 1 to 10 while other articles average a 6.2. Apart from the arbitrary nature of the scales in all of the studies (which I'm pleased to see the author acknowledge above), the articles selected in the earlier studies were not randomly selected or otherwise chosen to constitute a representative sample; it goes without saying that articles on the sort of well-known topics that were selected for that study will be more comprehensive, at least, than those on more obscure topics; I'm certain that if Wikipedia articles were selected at random (even if stubs were excluded, since there isn't much basis on which to review them), any study would find their average quality substantially lower than 6.2 on a 10 point scale. Steve Smith (talk) 06:21, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

One problem with FAC, (not its fault) is that people who know the content the best are reluctant to hold up things from their own wikiproject. There are some out there with 100% support rate of their own articles (usually one-liner) and basically never bring up content issues; you know there's trouble when complete outsiders bring up obvious imbalances in content (something that doesn't happen often enough) and the insiders have been hoping it isn't brought up. Many WikiProjects and their "leaders" are very intereested in the FA count and how other Wikipedians perceive them, and the number of people who would check the articles and conclude they are trying to manufacture lots of low-quality stuff, is less than those who just look at the count YellowMonkey (vote in the Southern Stars and White Ferns supermodel photo poll) 06:45, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
I mean, the Signpost lists new FAs and those that got demoted. How many WikiProjects only list new FAs in their newsletter and never remote de-FAs (or any other thing that is not wholly positive) YellowMonkey (vote in the Southern Stars and White Ferns supermodel photo poll) 06:47, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
All interesting stuff, demoted FAs are listed here for the aviation project at least. There might be some perceived bureaucracy with the FA process but like all things in life that involve promotion some 'jumping through hoops' is expected and I agree with the high standards required. I wonder how many experts there are on 1930s aero engines?!! I'm not an expert on them BTW, just compile all the information as required and learn in the process. Of the two FAs that I nominated (Rolls-Royce Merlin and Rolls-Royce R) the second one got a positive external review soon after featuring on the front page [7] which led to some contact with the editor of that website. Very willing to have articles scrutinised by external peer-reviewers, no article is perfect (how would they provide feedback if they are 'external' though?). Although it's negative this survey of the FA standards indicates to me that Wikipedia is starting to become acknowledged as having good material where traditionally it's not been regarded as a serious reference source, why else would the standards be questioned if not to bring about an improvement? Cheers Nimbus (Cumulus nimbus floats by) 10:00, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Copied from WT:FA

Somewhat critical, but valid enough to discuss. I don't think that the argument about people supporting because of lenght holds merit (although frankly I haven't been active around FACs much in the past year or two... but I hope the process has not deteriorated that much). On the other hand, the argument about the need to include more experts is certainly indisputable. But the problem is the same as in the past - how to convince experts to write/review content for us? The article's author, while suggesting it should be "easy" to overcome, unfortunately, does not offer any practical suggestions. If one reads between the lines, he may be suggesting that we submit articles to review just like journals do, but I have a feeling that despite some changes, and more favorable attitude towards Wikipedia in academia, our rejection rate (academics not caring to review articles for Wikipedia) would be very high, much higher then for any journal. Still... liked the Wikipedia:Academic peer review, but it never got off. Maybe we could revitalize it? Any other suggestions?

--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 05:39, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

FAC not a failure, but something else might be

Following on from my comments upthread, I did a little more analysis of the "failing" FAs. The details are written up here; the basic summary is:

  • Notwithstanding the first conclusion, FAC itself apparently works; there's no evidence to conclude that our review process (at FAC or FAR) is broken. We seem to produce a remarkably consistent set of articles over time; most articles have a consistent quality regardless of what year they were produced, and maintain it.
  • However, the FA system as a whole has a problem. A significant fraction of articles - perhaps one in three - decay systematically over time. These articles tend to hang around for quite a while - perhaps as long as three years - before being caught and either improved or defeatured.

So we can say with some confidence that FAC works, but that we seem to have a lingering problem we need to address. That problem is the steady degradation of articles over time; how can we identify the articles liable to that and help support them? Shimgray | talk | 13:58, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

It is probably unwritten but I personally feel responsible as the nominator of two successful FACs to watch the articles and maintain the standard, of course nominators leave the project and then articles are left to their own devices to improve or decay as the case may be. Doing this though can lead other editors to believe that there are ownership problems, difficult to continually revert genuine low quality edits without this being apparent. At a quick glance at WP:OWN I can't see any explanation that Featured Articles may well get watched and reverted more often by single editors, maybe it should. Nimbus (Cumulus nimbus floats by) 14:57, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
However, despite the decay, the FAC point, or an FARC resulting in a keep, is very valuable, as it then serves as a reference point to compare the future current-version to to monitor change over time. This can allow degradation to be erased, and new quality material to be incorporated. This needn't happen very often. Casliber (talk · contribs) 15:07, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
I wonder if more aggressive "rebooting" of FAs might be an idea, encouraging going over the aggregate changes every year or so and seeing if any sections just need rolling back to where they were? It's not going to stop a change in underlying standards, but it is going to arrest incremental well-meaning but lower-quality additions. Shimgray | talk | 15:30, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
With a shortage of reviewers at both FAC and FAR, adding any more "process" isn't feasible. FAR could work faster to weed out the deteriorated FAs if more reviewers would engage there. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:34, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
This might be a dumb question, but if an article was once of FA quality, and it degrades, why not just revert the article back to its state when it was first given FA status? Would seem to me that would restore it to an acceptable state. (Other considerations, of course, should be made for article approved under the older less stringent guidelines) I think this is an excellent area to employ flagged revisions. —Charles Edward (Talk | Contribs) 16:40, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
This is a good suggestion, but won't address one particular reason for article decay: article decay due to the material and/or sources becoming out of date. As new studies come out, articles have to be updated. Reverting back to a previous version will fix vandalism, problematic edits, etc., but it won't keep the article updated. Firsfron of Ronchester 17:14, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Sandy, if we put in an external review requirement, the process will grind to a halt. We are at the point now where articles that aren't jazzy or backed by a wikiproject can fail for lack of reviews. I would be very curious if the study author reran his study, using articles promoted in the last year. Standards are high, and likely to be getting higher.--Wehwalt (talk) 17:20, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Maybe we should have a class of an article above featured: a Featured article which has passed the Wikipedia:Academic peer review? PS. Imagine also how much this would boost our standing in the world of academia, once we could claim we have a number of articles that passed the same hoop as an academic article would; this might also end up encouraging academics to write articles for us, particularly if having an article on wikipedia would be seen on par with having an article in a journal for one's academic cv - and getting academic peer reviews would be a major step towards that.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 17:25, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
"We are at the point now where articles that aren't jazzy or backed by a wikiproject can fail for lack of reviews." That's absolutely true, sadly. :( My idea was not to add an additional requirement to FAC, but to add a "FAC boost" to those articles which had had an external review, even those which had had very few reviews at FAC. Firsfron of Ronchester 17:28, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Obviously, there is—and likely always will be—too few reviewers for formal internal reviews every x years; perhaps the next best option would be to encourage Wikiprojects to take the burden of preventing article decay. Over at WP:FILM, we have the Spotlight cleanup, a list of the project's older Featured and Good articles. Once the initial sweep of these is complete, an annual review of each article will take place, hopefully meaning that the quality is maintained indefinitely. Article decay due to the sources' becoming out of date (superseded by better) isn't a problem, as that's one of the areas covered by the checks. Perhaps this is something that can be emulated by other projects, without putting more burden on FAC and GA reviewers. Steve T • C 19:47, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

Unhappily, other WikiProjects range from inactive to moribund.--Wehwalt (talk) 20:10, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Aye, it occurred to me immediately after posting that 1) Some projects don't have the resources and 2) Some articles don't fall directly under a particular project's purview. I even made a similar point when we went through the FAC shakeup RfC the other month; how quickly I forget. But there are plenty of active Wikiprojects, many of which are busier than WP:FILM. Steve T • C 20:41, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
It would be great if WikiProjects would take on this task of improving the older articles similar to WP:FILMS' cleanup listing. I started the cleanup listing (per discussion with other editors and similar to the idea of the GA sweeps) and although I've advertised it a bit, so far there haven't been any takers in reviewing the articles. I have no issues with reviewing the articles, but I have limited time and it can be discouraging knowing that there are many other editors out there, many of which are more capable at reviewing. It will always be difficult to find reviewers to help maintain articles once they reach their designated peak as usually editors are eager to pursue new articles or the allure wears off and editors fade from Wikipedia. I've pointed out though that if we can get a reliable revision for each of the articles, it's going to be easier to maintain them with annual reviews. It's initially going to take a lot of effort, but after making sure the project's GA/FAs meeting current criteria, it will be easier to check them in the future. Hopefully whenever this large task is completed it will be a helpful example to motivate other projects to undergo similar cleanup attempts. --Happy editing! Nehrams2020 (talkcontrib) 01:32, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
More generally, most people/groups do the minimum possible for the maximum glory and won't do anything unless directly threatened. Then again, many still go around saying "I have X FAs" even though they may have /mostly all been delisted; they probably know that people around them totally revere them etc, and that once an article has been TFAed, there is no concrete benefit of a star except for bragging rights, and if people will just believe the packaging irrespective of contents, well then, that happens YellowMonkey (vote in the Southern Stars and White Ferns supermodel photo poll) 03:23, 19 April 2010 (UTC)

"These articles tend to hang around for quite a while - perhaps as long as three years - before being caught and either improved or defeatured." I'd say many people are aware that there are tons of articles out there that are nowhere near standards and haven't been for years, but becuase of the restrictions on how many FAR noms one can have at a time. It needs a wider range of people to nominate. In 2006/07 sometimes there were 50-80 FAs being created a month. Many people, if not most, just do the bare minimum to get a star and neer work again until the star is threatened. Even if half are renovated, which isn't the case, then there would need to be 25-40 new FARs per month to not have the tail of decay get longer and longer, not to mention that a great stack of 2005 FAs still haven't been attended to, let alone teh fact that a few 2007 FAs have been failing already YellowMonkey (vote in the Southern Stars and White Ferns supermodel photo poll) 03:23, 19 April 2010 (UTC)

FA Criteria changes

Time is clearly a factor. A featured article (Cool (Gwen Stefani song)) delisted just three weeks ago is only a C-class and it's not that the article has got any worse since it's FA promotion in 2005, but the criteria for FA acceptance has changed considerably and the article hasn't. My suggestion would be to make FA promotion only last for a set period, say 1 year. And go through a FA sweep process similar to the WP:GA Sweeps process that was done. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 21:52, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

(cough) – iridescent 22:03, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
If we had reviewers enough and time.--Wehwalt (talk) 22:04, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Couldn't a small scale workable system be created? FA status could be allocated for two years say, after which a discussion is started about whether it still meets the FA criteria. If no major concerns are raised, the article retains its status; articles with no input could default to keep. It wouldn't need to be particularly involved (not on the scale of FAR) and with a default to keep, there wouldn't be too much of a drain on resources. Nev1 (talk) 22:10, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
I see two possibilities here. Either you're saying that we should have some newly promoted articles whose star will expire in 2012, in which case we have nothing much to do for two years as we approach the train wreck at terminal velocity, or we're going to start now with older articles. Both have huge difficulties. As age seems to be a major variable for reliability of a FA, perhaps one idea is to redesign the FA star to include the year of promotion (or of last FAR).--Wehwalt (talk) 22:27, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
GA sweeps was a one-off that I'd bet will never be repeated; there just isn't the energy for it, or enough reviewers. It targetted old GAs, passed before the GA criteria were changed, not one year old GAs. It's not an appropriate model for FAR anyway, as GAs can be delisted by a single reviewer, but FAs demand a lot more input from multiple reviewers. Malleus Fatuorum 22:07, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Question. Can FA be delisted by a single reviewer? Regards, SunCreator (talk) 23:04, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Usually two if it is very straightforward, like the hundreds of undersourced articles on WP:URFA YellowMonkey (vote in the Southern Stars and White Ferns supermodel photo poll) 03:14, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
The Gwen Stefani article was promoted five years ago, and it certainly has changed. When we have enough reviewers at FAC, perhaps we can look at other options for dealing with FARs, but any proposal that assumes more reviewers anywhere on Wiki isn't going to work-- all content review processes are stalled. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:32, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Okay, yes it did change. What I meant was in the sense that the reason it was delisted - the missing references where never in the article to begin with. At the point it was promoted it had three unreferenced sections and while references where added the basic problem of lack of references remained with the article. Maybe an FA can be marked with it's year of promotion, so an FA-2005 would then not be held in the same esteem as an FA-2010. Such marking wouldn't require a review as such. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 23:00, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Do you think that would prompt people who actually wrote a good article in the old days, or renovated their articles, to keep on applying each year for an upgraded status? That would clog up FAC even more if people wanted to re-affirm their FAs as "cutting-edge" as checking for minor errors on a well done article takes much more resources than simply removing the weak old articles, many of which are worse than a modern article currently moving up through B-territory. And in many 2005-06 FAs, it only takes 2-6 minutes to see that the article is nowhere near FA status; FAR is very straightforward in most cases. As well, simply ranking by year would simply create more upside down rankings with some renovated old FAs better than unrenovated medium-aged FAs, not to mention that the really good writers like Awadewit have 2007-era GAs that are better than many 2009 FAs YellowMonkey (vote in the Southern Stars and White Ferns supermodel photo poll) 03:14, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
The ultimate problem, IMO, is cultural. Educations are deteriorating, people are apathetic and only interested in entertainment, and most people would rather sit around and complain about collaborative efforts (like Wikipedia its FAC/FAR processes) than to use that energy constructively by helping. Personally, I think trying to formalize any sort of expert review and push for FA sweeps will ultimately end in failure. We need outreach by the Wikimedia Foundation to try to forge a new relationship with the academic world. Most academics either hate Wiki outright, or have tried to hop on and fix things, only to get revert or slapped around in other ways with little or no oversight. Let's face it—there's a huge learning curve when you dive into Wikipedia editing for the first time, and not everyone has time to find and read all the guidelines. But I digress... Another thing we could do is encourage the more skilled editors (who submit FACs frequently) to contact one or more experts on the topic. If editors are in it for more than the FA awards and bragging rights, then they will act on the information. We obviously can't require it, but we can give guidelines on how to solicit the feedback. For example, we can suggest ways to find experts in different fields, how to explain to those experts that articles must be neutral and balanced, etc., etc. These are the kinds of things that I do when writing my lemur articles. I have numerous contacts in the field, and because I present my questions professionally while briefly emphasizing the importance of their feedback to Wikipedia, I usually get very prompt, professional replies. Granted, the results are only sometimes helpful, especially in cases of conflict—particularly when you're wrestling with highly contested taxonomy. <sigh...> But my point is that rather than doing what David Lindsey did, by wasting our time talking or complaining about stuff that probably won't help, it might be more productive to emphasize the importance of seeking professional advise to our FAC editors, establish guidelines for doing so, and leaving them to do what they do every day: making Wiki a better place through their hard, tireless, volunteer efforts. – VisionHolder « talk » 22:55, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
"If editors are in it for more than the FA awards and bragging rights, then they will act on the information"... Are you implying that star-businessmen will try harder to get teh article in good shape? I'd say it was the opposite with corner-cutting, like Made in China goods. Those guys just do the bare minimum to sneak past the FA reviewer and never do any work again unless hauled to FAR because they want to maximise profits (stars) and minimise costs. YellowMonkey (vote in the Southern Stars and White Ferns supermodel photo poll) 03:14, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
No, I was implying exactly what you are saying. If they are in it for *more than* stars, then they will go the extra mile. Example: For me, the awards are fun to accumulate, but my ultimate goal is to create a free, online source about lemurs that even the lemur experts agree is the best in the world. – VisionHolder « talk » 11:43, 19 April 2010 (UTC)

How to Nominate an article

Ok, I am going by what the front page says, but I'm still having trouble nominating an article can some help me thanks! AJona1992 (talk) 14:43, 24 April 2010 (UTC)

The article you mean is presumably Como La Flor (song). It might be best to wait a bit before nominating it, as the article currently has poor prose, unformatted references, and large pieces of unreferenced text. It's probably best to work on this and try a peer review or GA nomination before nominating the article here, as it's unfortunately unlikely to pass now. If you wish to nominate it, though, you should create Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Como La Flor (song)/archive1 from the link at Talk:Como La Flor (song) where it says "initiate the nomination", and then add {{Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Como La Flor (song)/archive1}} at the top of the list at Wikipedia:Featured article candidates. Ucucha 14:52, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
Thanks! but this information you gave me would be best to be known, because it doesn't say it on the front page, which is very frustrating... Thank you! AJona1992 (talk) 15:22, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
Could you please have another look and specify what you think is not said in the instructions? A peer review would be your next best step, as this article is very far from WP:FA, or even WP:GA status-- there are prose errors, uncited text, unformatted citations, WP:MOS errors, and the article appears undeveloped. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:42, 24 April 2010 (UTC)

FAC articles awaiting comment

As of now (19 April) there are four articles in the "Older articles" section that have virtually no comments at all. These are:-

This is hard on the nominators. I will review at least one of these today; other reviewers urgently needed. Brianboulton (talk) 09:08, 19 April 2010 (UTC)

I did a couple yesterday to try to get the backlog down. With Malleus and Moni gone, Ealdgyth and Karanacs on extended breaks, Eubulides & Giano vanished and Ottava and Mattisse on enforced vacations – and WP:WIKICUP funneling a flood of nominations into the process – FACs are inevitably going to get fewer comments than before; it may (emphasis on may) be time to consider posting notifications at the relevant WikiProjects for the most backlogged articles, despite the potential problems that brings. – iridescent 10:16, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
We need to do something with some many reviewers MIA; if anyone wants to notify WikiProjects, that may help. Perhaps it's time to target frequent nominators who never (or rarely) review, and ask that they do their share? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 11:23, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
Most projects subscribe to the project alert system (which has been broken for about a week). In normal times, it alerts to FAs, among other things. Heres an example [8]. In short, the projects are already being alerted, I doubt messaging their talk pages would bring much more attentions. Most projects are staffed by only two or three regular editors, I find. There is significant decline in WikiProject activity over the last year, at least on the projects I am involved in. —Charles Edward (Talk | Contribs) 12:09, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
I try to review an article for every one I nominate, but have not reviewed one since I nommed Ashford v Thornton, the trial by battle case. I will try to do one this week.--Wehwalt (talk) 14:34, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
We need to impress upon nominators that it takes an average of 12 reviews to get an article promoted, so if they could all do 12 in return, it would help the backlog. Wehwalt does his share, but we have many repeat nominators who never review, and don't seem to appreciate the selfless work that reviewers put in to getting articles promoted. The list is going to grow until we get some reviewers in to replace all those that we recently lost for different reasons. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:49, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
I've always followed the take-one-leave-one principle too. In the two years I've been submitting article here, the last six months has seen a real decline in reviewers. Its a little shocking. I wonder if the current GA backlog elimination drive is using up the current pool of reviewers? I will try to spend more time reviewing here in the future. I can probably review three a week. —Charles Edward (Talk | Contribs) 15:30, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
I notice Pepper v Hart was one of two articles I commented on complaining that the nomination gave absolutely no indication of what the subject was, which the nominator merely seemed to find a puzzling complaint. I won't be reviewing that one. Johnbod (talk) 16:08, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
I glanced at it just now. I see problems already in the lede. I will do that one, as a lawyer. But in this atmosphere, you've got to promote your FACs. Use the nomination statement to attract reviewers, drop notes at relevant Wikiprojects, set up big flashing lights.--Wehwalt (talk) 16:17, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
Honestly, I'm not a very frequent reviewer here (I tend to review where my current WIP happens to be: GAC, PR or FAC), but why must a nomination statement give an overview of the article's subject? Is this new or something, or simply an unspoken rule? All I see is #4 for the nomination procedure, which states: "Below the preloaded title, complete the nomination page, sign with ~~~~ and save the page." Sorry, Johnbod, but I find your complaint rather puzzling, as well -- and I can see how it would frustrate a nominator. Another point: if you don't want to review a particular article, for whatever reason, why take the time to state as much on the nomination page? Seems to me that time could have been better spent reviewing an article you were actually interested in. María (habla conmigo) 16:26, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
There's no "must" – but when the process is this backlogged, strongly suggesting that the nominator explains "here's why I think it would be worth your while devoting an hour of your life to a subject in which you likely have little interest" is reasonable. Taking Pepper v Hart as an example, there's nothing to indicate whether this is a a comic book, a videogame, a lawsuit, a movie, an episode of The Simpsons – all of which need a different skill set to review effectively. (I never touch videogames or movies at GAC/FAC, for instance – not because I disapprove of them, but because I have no idea what is and isn't expected in these articles.) The Brougham Castle FAC is what I'd consider an ideal FAC nom statement; it briefly summarizes what the article's about, so anyone who knows they won't be in a position to comment on mediaeval English buildings can stop there, and by mentioning and refuting potential objections, shows that the nominator has stopped to think about what's being looked for and whether the article will meet the criteria. – iridescent 16:36, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
Agreed. The nom statement is your big chance to attract reviewers who may not be familiar with the subject area. Jump on it.--Wehwalt (talk) 16:40, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
I think the issue isn't whether it is wise to include a descriptive nom statement, but whether reviewers are entitled to take offence in their absence. Some nominators are bashful about the merits of their articles, some are boastful, and Jappalang writes his nom statements in poetry. Room for them all, I say. Brianboulton (talk) 16:44, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
It's not a case of offence, it's just one can't be bothered to investigate further. If noms give no clue as to the subject, they should not complain if they get no reviews. Johnbod (talk) 16:49, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
Although I personally agree that descriptive nomination statements may help, it's obviously an unspoken rule that undoubtedly makes sense to only those of us who have been down the FAC route. However, should we hold such technicalities against new nominators, who may not know better, even going so far as to leave a vague comment on the FAC page stating that I, a potential reviewer, can't even be bothered to review if you can't be bothered to adequately summarize your article? Some people don't mind clicking the big, bold blue link to see what an article is truly about; Zapata Rail's nomination statement was cleverly misleading; I had no idea what the article was about until I clicked the link, which was obviously the nominator's intention. How fun, right? Are jokey nomination statements as perplexing and off-putting as one-liners? Should we begin each statement with a "knock knock" joke to catch reviewers' short attention spans? All I'm saying is that unless "descriptive nomination statement" is added to the FAC instructions, we have no reason to complain for the myriad of nomination statements, really. María (habla conmigo) 16:56, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
I think there is no contradiction among all of our statements. People can deal with the nom statement as they feel best. If you think there is benefit to prose, or poetry, or a flashing advertisement, go for it.--Wehwalt (talk) 17:07, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
Just add a line to the instructions that a descriptive nomination statement will help - there is no need to be secretive about it and let people discover something. We should give people all the help that we can. I would add this line myself if I knew how. Awadewit (talk) 06:30, 21 April 2010 (UTC)

That sucks wih Malleus gone. The bar will probably now drop :( YellowMonkey (vote in the Southern Stars and White Ferns supermodel photo poll) 01:03, 20 April 2010 (UTC)

Never fear, he'll be back. Brianboulton (talk) 08:44, 20 April 2010 (UTC)

I'll be honest with you—as experienced as I'm becoming with the FAC process, I'm not certain I can provide quality reviews that could compare with the reviews I've received up to this point. I don't have the resources, and since I'm primarily interested in biology (namely primates), very few FAC would fall under my scope. I know it's important to contribute, but I'm worried that if I extend the effort, I may help with the backlog, but at the same time, I may help degrade the quality of FA status. – VisionHolder « talk » 07:17, 21 April 2010 (UTC)

That's a reasonable concern, but if you're willing to try, you can do what other new reviewers sometimes do, which is to start by simply commenting, and don't switch to support if you can't be confident that the article passes all the criteria. You can also support, but specify that your support is limited to specific criteria such as prose quality. And of course you can oppose without assessing all the criteria; e.g. if prose quality is weak. In practice some reviewers support without being able to be certain that all the criteria are truly met -- it is hard for an non-expert to be sure that a specialist article is comprehensive and is using the best possible sources, for example. Mike Christie (talk) 10:46, 21 April 2010 (UTC)
Then I may give it a try and get my toes wet this evening, if I have time. I probably won't touch entertainment articles since I'm sick of their prevalence and have no interest in reading them. (I'm also baffled by what constitutes a "reliable source" outside academic journals and published books.) Any articles from the academic world, though, might interest me enough to read through and comment on. – VisionHolder « talk » 14:16, 21 April 2010 (UTC)
I would like to say that I think it is extremely important for non-experts to review articles at FAC. Some of the best reviews of literature articles I have received on Wikipedia are from scientists because they can easily spot the assumptions I make about my reader's knowledge. I also feel that it is important for non-scientists, for example, to critique the accessibility of science prose. These are areas that require one to be a non-specialist. :) Awadewit (talk) 15:44, 21 April 2010 (UTC)
That's true, but experts are also needed, and finding these for many subject areas is a greater problem for us. The poorest-rated article in the research discussed above (Max Weber) presumably suffered from a lack of these, to judge just from the comments in the research, though I haven't looked at the article or nom. Johnbod (talk) 16:52, 21 April 2010 (UTC)
I'm well aware - that's why I was at the Museums and the Web Conference last week trying to recruit experts there and why I've started a peer review project for 18th- and 19th-century FAs (I don't know if you saw my previous posts about that). However, we need to encourage non-experts to review as well and show what they can do - we all have something to contribute. Awadewit (talk) 17:07, 21 April 2010 (UTC)

Follow up

I did this review and closed it myself as an example of the kind of review anyone can do-- subject or FAC expertise not needed, but a GA reassessment is needed. We are losing Wiki's finest editors at an increasingly alarming pace, and FAC is suffering. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:13, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

Too early to think about April Fool's?

  • Nose tomb • Ling.Nut 14:15, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
    • Good lord, no… An article on a campaign of systematic genocide resulting in the death of 20,000 people, played for laughs? OTRS would melt under the volume of complaints. – iridescent 14:43, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
    • I agree with Iridescent. Might look playful and jokey at first glance but bad idea, on an encyclopedia where nationalist POV pushes and edit wars already annoy and overwhelm us. Any other suggestions? --an odd name 15:02, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
    • Oh. Never mind.• Ling.Nut 15:11, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
The bird project is working on Great Tit, couldn't get it to FA in time this year, but seems a suitable misleader. Jimfbleak - talk to me? 15:24, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
What about the Tailed Tailless Bat? Ucucha 15:29, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
That would be awesome. Silly common names... --an odd name 15:35, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
How about Dick Assman? Pyrrhus16 16:44, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
"Tit" jokes are common, if not cliché, on the internet. However, we're not exactly "the internet" (far less ads, for one), and my standards might just be heightened by the Wife selling article (its newsmaking strange-but-trueness will be hard to follow). Frankly, who doesn't like a nice pair of Great Tits? --an odd name 15:35, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
The tit blurb should be great. "It is a widespread and common species throughout Europe, the Middle East, Central and Northern Asia, and parts of North Africa in any sort of woodland. It is generally resident, and most Great Tits do not migrate except in extremely harsh winters." "The Great Tit remains the most widespread species in the genus Parus." Looks very refreshing. ceranthor 17:14, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
I was thinking of holding Ashford v Thornton, but two years in a row of oddball British legal stuff might not be a great idea.--Wehwalt (talk) 14:38, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

I still stand by my desire to get Traumatic insemination up to FA for April Fools :P Raul654 (talk) 14:43, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

Personally, I still hope we can prevail on the wrestling folks to get Big Dick up to scratch. – iridescent 15:08, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

Might I suggest Official Monster Raving Loony Party? Stonemason89 (talk) 01:12, 27 April 2010 (UTC)

RfC on merging Words to avoid into Words to watch

Wikipedia talk:Words to watch#RFC. As people here tend to have an interest in the MoS, there's a proposal to merge several pages as part of a streamlining project. One part of the proposal is to merge Words to avoid, Avoid peacock terms, Avoid weasel words, and Avoid neologisms into a new page, Words to watch (W2W). Fresh input would be appreciated at the RfC. SlimVirgin talk contribs 01:02, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

The Political Cesspool

Quite frankly, I'm frustrated at the way other users reacted to my nomination of The Political Cesspool as a FAC. One user, (AniMate) kept complaining about the use of a certain source (Media Matters) and claiming that it disqualified the article, even though very few, if any, of the reviewers who had Peer Reviewed and FAC-reviewed the article in the past felt the same way. The fact of the matter is that Media Matters (along with similar organizations such as the Southern Poverty Law Center, Anti-Defamation League, Stephen Roth Institute, etc.) are among the few sources that have written in detail about the subject of the article. If we removed all the information from the article that was attributed to those sources, up to half of the article would be gone, and then it wouldn't have a snowball's chance in hell of passing FAC (since it would not satisfy FA criterion 1b, which is comprehensiveness). Besides, as I repeatedly pointed out, objecting solely to the origin of a particular passage in the article, when there is absolutely no evidence to the indicate that the passage itself may be inaccurate, is a genetic fallacy. Finally, the FAC rules state that any objection to a nomination is only valid if it provides a specific rationale that can be addressed. That was not the case here, since there was absolutely nothing I could do that would have satisfied AniMate's objection, due to the fact that Media Matters is the only non-primary source currently in existence that could in theory be used to verify the passages in question.

So I felt it was totally unfair for AniMate to "block" the nomination on these grounds alone. Since he's an admin and I'm just a lay user, I knew there would be no way I'd be able to overcome his objection through discussion alone. I attempted to get a third opinion but, being relatively inexperienced with Wikipedia, I initially had a hard time finding the proper channels to file my complaint. As soon as other users (including Fasach Nua) noticed that I was trying to get an outside opinion, they speedily closed the nomination. Now I'm quite frustrated; I put a great deal of work into this article only to find that it was rejected because one user had an objection that cannot be addressed. This, to me, seems unfair, which is why I'm raising the issue here. Stonemason89 (talk) 01:58, 27 April 2010 (UTC)

I am not very familiar with this case, but each of those sources you list are unapologeticly, and fairly well known to be left-leaning. It would be hard to create a balanced political article using only those sources. —Charles Edward (Talk | Contribs) 02:04, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
I'm also unfamiliar with the subject matter, but FYI: no one has to the power to "block" a nomination, not even an admin. Furthermore, the only persons who can close noms are the FAC delegates, neither of whom are AniMate or Fasach Nua. If you look at the top of the page, it says "The article was not promoted by SandyGeorgia". It sucks that nominations are sometimes derailed, for whatever reason, but what can you do? Keep improving the article and try again. Look for more appropriate sources, if need be, and if none are to be found at the moment, give yourself a breather with a different article. The first time at FAC is typically the hardest. :) María (habla conmigo) 02:14, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
Oh well, you don't always succeed at FAC, I guess. Oh well, I should probably try again with a different article, since there isn't much I can do to improve this particular one any further; at least not until more newspaper/book/journal sources begin covering the topic. Thanks anyway for the advice and reassurance! Stonemason89 (talk) 02:42, 27 April 2010 (UTC)

Measuring prose length

Copied from Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Douglas MacArthur/archive1:

KB is not how prose size is measured: this article is over 15,000 words. Catholic Church is about 6,800 and Donner Party is 9,400. There are many areas where this article can be better summarized. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:35, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
No doubt you are right Sandy, but where does it actually say this? The Criteria & various FA advice pages have very little on the subject, and when they do, seem to refer to only KB, just like Wikipedia:Article size. Links to prose-measuring tools are hard to find too. Johnbod (talk) 15:50, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
My apologies, Johnbod; I have just now seen this message. Before Dr pda's script, we always had to do the prose size calculations manually (get the printable version of the article, edit copy, edit paste it into word, delete the portions that aren't counted in prose size, and use the Word count). WP:SIZE already explains the rest (5,000 to 10,000 word count for reader attention span), so I'm not sure what else to add? KB is a rough approximation of word count, as explained in WP:SIZE-- historically, KB was measured because older computers couldn't load larger articles-- with faster computers, the focus switched to reader attention span (as well as overall size and load time). SandyGeorgia (Talk) 03:11, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
I'll copy & continue this bit at FAC talk, as it is a general issue. Johnbod (talk) 13:02, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
I'm still not seeing where "KB is not how prose size is measured" is clearly reflected in the guidelines. WP:SIZE seems only to mention word count once: "Readers may tire of reading a page much longer than about 30 to 50 KB, which roughly corresponds to 6,000 to 10,000 words of readable prose." Thereafter numerical references, including the "rule of thumb" are entirely to KB. There is more on "readable prose", including "For stylistic purposes, only the main body prose should be counted, since the point is to limit the size of the main body of prose", but the different mentions aren't integrated, and the overall meaning of the guideline pretty unclear, when brought to bear on individual cases. Is "about 30 to 50 KB" referring to the KB count of the readable prose, or the overall count (surely not?). There's no clear statement that readable prose is the proper thing to measure. Since the issue seems to be coming up often, the wording of the guideline really should be made clearer, and/or something more specific added to the FA criteria. Johnbod (talk) 13:02, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
That page is entirely understandable to me (KB is only an approximation of prose size, we have tools to measure word count precisely, and Dr pda's tool and the explanation is specifically discussed on that guideline page), and whether you look at KB or word count, we've got articles exceeding size by quite a bit-- FAs must conform with MOS unless there's a good reason for them not to, so I don't see that anything needs to be added anywhere. In other words, I'm not sure what the problem is here ? The issue doesn't come up often; it's rare that ultra-long articles appear at FAC, and when they do, they exceed size by any measure, whether KB or word count. Perhaps unclear wording of the guideline can be addressed at the guideline talk page, and pinging in Dr pda-- the "expert"-- would be helpful. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:30, 5 May 2010 (UTC)

FAC, GA and GO scripts

I'm going to be away from net for an unknown duration starting in a couple days and won't be running these scripts. I'm not releasing these scripts to the public, but is there anyone who can run python who wants to do the WP:GO archiving from now on? That script is fairly automatic but I don't currently have an appropriate set-up "always-on" to leave it running. Anyone interested in doing the other work? Gimmetrow 14:46, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

MZMcBride would probably do it if asked, and has the know-how to fix bugs if the scripts malfunction for any reason. – iridescent 14:48, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
Easy enough to throw the scripts into a crontab on one of the Toolserver servers. I'm not sure how much time I have to devote to writing any new scripts at the moment, though. There's always BOTREQ if that's needed (though it sounds like you just need a place to run pre-made scripts). --MZMcBride (talk) 14:57, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
MBK004 and Dabomb87 may be willing to take on the FAC/FAR closes. If not, we're up a creek. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:09, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
I can help out with the FAC/FAR closes if needed Sandy, I helped out closing FLCs for a while (before delegates) as well as doing MILHIST ACR closes from time to time. Woody (talk) 17:21, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
Normally I would love to help, but with finals next week for me, I shouldn't be on here as much as I am already... -MBK004 19:27, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
Good luck with finals! Gimme's absence will be longer-term, so anything you can do to help afterwards will be appreciated. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 12:47, 5 May 2010 (UTC)

Is anyone available to botify today's closes? User:SandyGeorgia/sandbox#GimmeBot steps aSandyGeorgia (Talk) 03:11, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

Doing. Woody (talk) 14:17, 9 May 2010 (UTC) Done in accordance with User:SandyGeorgia/sandbox#GimmeBot steps, regards, Woody (talk) 15:42, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
Thank you very much, Woody! From your contribs, I see that took more than an hour and a half. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:03, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
No problem, I have my laptop in front of the tv watching the Grand prix and now the final day of the Premier League so that helped extend it a little bit! ;) Woody (talk) 16:24, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

I botified today's promoted articles but have to run. Can someone please do the same for the archived articles? Thanks! Karanacs (talk) 17:52, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

Looks like the good bot is still running. Ucucha 21:57, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

Plea for reviewers

You hear this from us a lot, but I'd like to reiterate a plea for reviewers. In particular, I'd like to turn your attention to the several FACs near the bottom of the list whose nominators are generally prolific reviewers. This is your opportunity to return the favor and drive them nutty with nitpicky comments ;)

Karanacs (talk) 19:06, 14 May 2010 (UTC) P.S. Much thanks to all those who have been reviewing. Even commenting on one article helps. Karanacs (talk) 19:06, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

Too good an opportunity to miss! :lol: Malleus Fatuorum 19:17, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

WP:V is policy

It doesn't seem that anyone is checking sources for reliability in Ealdgyth's absence. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 12:33, 5 May 2010 (UTC)

I started to, and immediately got shouted at for it. Hobby Not Job and all that; yes it needs doing, but so do lots of other things, and you can't blame people for not wanting to get involved in explaining to people that the burden of proof for demonstrating the reliability of a given website/self-published-book/fanzine rests on the nominator. Might it be worth posting a request at WP:RSN? Presumably that's where those people hang out who think "being abused by strangers for explaining why press releases aren't reliable sources" is a productive use of their spare time are most likely to be found. – iridescent 13:04, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
Cluestick as to where you were shouted at ? Reviewers do a lot of selfless work at FAC, and I'm not pleased about them being abused or ignored, nor am I happy about the number of nominators who never review. Would someone mind making a request at RSN? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 13:11, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
Not important (and the shouter immediately apologized). It's more a symptom of a broader issue that in the absence of clear criteria for what is and isn't reliable, people are reluctant to get into this kind of discussion. FWIW, that particular FAC has highlighted what to me is a problem with Ealdgyth's list; while the criteria haven't changed, the way we interpret them has got stricter. A lot of fansites, press-release aggregators and such which were grudgingly accepted in 2007 FACs—and thus are now "canonical" on the list—have been allowed to set precedents for treating as "reliable" sources that would never be accepted today if not for those earlier precedents. – iridescent 14:43, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
I got told off quite handily the last time I brought up sourcing.. I have stopped reviewing so much since then. —Charles Edward (Talk | Contribs) 15:01, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
I wish y'all would bring these instances to my attention: with Karanacs and me splitting duties here, I may miss some things. I don't take kindly to abuse of reviewers, since without reviewers, we have no FAs. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:10, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Charles, are you referring to the Wolf: A Journey Home FAC? Admittedly, the nominator's initial reply was too combative; I left her a note to that effect, and had she read it before you replied in turn, I'm sure she would have toned it down a little. It's worth sticking around, Charles. You will unfortunately get nominators who respond badly to criticism, but my experience on the whole is that episodes like this are not the norm. FAC regulars can help newer reviewers (who we hope will become regulars!) by looking out for similar incidents and intervening; I find it useful to check through the recent changes list once or twice per day (which is how I saw the Wolf exchange). All the best, Steve T • C 15:14, 5 May 2010 (UTC)

"High quality" sources

You're likely referring to me iridiscent, so my apologies. LuciferMorgan (talk) 09:45, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

However, I must also add I still feel that I don't feel what you've expressed is correct. The sources in my 2007 FACs were not "grudgingly accepted" as you suggest. To be frank with you, I feel like you're rubbishing my Wikipedia contributions altogether, and that's something I do not take kindly to. LuciferMorgan (talk) 09:48, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

My apologies for the long delay in responding to LuciferMorgan's query on my talk.

Lucifer, during your recent absence from Wiki, in March 2009 this change was made to WP:WIAFA. The previous wording:

"accurately represent the relevant body of published knowledge,"

was changed to

"it is characterized by a thorough and representative survey of relevant literature on the topic", with the words "high quality" added.
  • (c) well-researched: it is a thorough and representative survey of the relevant literature on the topic. Claims are verifiable against high-quality reliable sources and are supported by inline citations where appropriate;

The discussion that resulted in that change is at Wikipedia talk:Featured article criteria/Archive 9. I was not in favor of this change when it was made, do not understand how proponents intended it to be applied, and do not agree with some application I have seen, particularly at FAR. It seems that some editors want to exclude some topics from FA eligibility, that previously would have been included by using sources that "accurately represent the relevant body of published knowledge". It is not clear to me how "high quality" is being defined, and why that doesn't depend on the subject matter, as it used to. I felt this was vague when it was added, and have seen it applied at FAC and FAR in ways that don't make sense to me.

I'm afraid I can't make the call on this one, as this new requirement was put in place based on consensus after long discussions, and I have to respect reviewer consensus even when I may disagree. You may need to go to WP:RSN to get clearance on the sources that were previously acceptable at FAC, and perhaps regulars here can clarify if they think the new 1c is being interpreted correctly and if the intent was to make some articles FA-ineligible, if there has been no scholarly research on the topics. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:30, 16 May 2010 (UTC)

"It is not clear to me how "high quality" is being defined, and why that doesn't depend on the subject matter, as it used to." - High quality has to be defined in relation to the subject matter. I always define it that way in my reviews (so, for example, The Author's Farce that I just reviewed must have peer-reviewed, scholarly sources, which it did). Sandy, who isn't doing this? You say that this is being "applied at FAC and FAR in ways that don't make sense to me". How so? Awadewit (talk) 18:57, 16 May 2010 (UTC)

Should GA and A-class articles be recognisable through a symbol on the article page?

There is a discussion at WikiProject Good articles talk page about whether GA or A-class articles should be recognisable through a symbol on the article page. Reviewers and nominators at FAC may have views they'd like to contribute. This discussion will get notified at WP:CENT in the next day or so. hamiltonstone (talk) 05:25, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

This is a perennial discussion, frequently declined, no reason to have it again (can someone find the link in the perennial discussion?). How many times do we have to do this? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 13:21, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Here. It's currently possible to set this as a personal preference in your preferences; IMO, the default should be off (as it currently is), as GA status is far less consistent than FA and thus has far more potential to confuse readers. – iridescent 13:50, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
On the other hand, it's worth having the discussion every now and again, if only because GA standards seem to have risen and—perhaps more importantly—become more consistent over the last year or so. So have at it! Sorry, entering the delirium stage of sleep deprivation right about now. Steve T • C 14:00, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I have my preferences set to show currrent assessments, but Wiki editors generally know how to interpret this info, while readers may not. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:16, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Hi Sandy. I've been an editor for four years, and active at GA for about two. It has not been fully had during my time, for the reason set out in the discussion, that we would revisit the issue once the sweeps had been done. Steve is right, the standards are quite high and the systems for picking up issues (GAR) generally work. I audited about 20 GA reviews during the recent GA backlog-clearing effort and they all came up looking OK. hamiltonstone (talk) 03:11, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

The process of promoting GAs is not rigorous. I would steadfastly oppose any proposal to mark GAs with a symbol. Tony (talk) 08:50, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

An alternative would be to mark those articles which aren't good as being such. For the casual reader, I think this would be much more useful, although a little disheartening for the authors Fasach Nua (talk) 22:29, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

An interesting alternative proposal brewing is to display a small grid in the top right corner, indicating the article's current assessment, from stub to FA. Can't find the link, sorry. Malleus Fatuorum 23:34, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

New proposal on promoting reader understanding of assessment processes

I have made a proposal at WT:ASSESS that is somewhat related to the issue of the FA star (and the desire for a GA icon). It looks at a broader issue by focusing more on helping readers understand our assessment system, rather than just focusing on recognizing quality content. Feedback, positive or negative, is strongly encouraged. – VisionHolder « talk » 01:35, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

Does anyone object to a trial reverse order: oldest to newest?

Could we trial it for, say, three weeks?

Also, the Wikipedia:Featured articles/Candidate list is great, but when you go into a review page and edit, there's no link at the top back to the Candidate list: you have to go back to the standard, humungous page. Tony (talk) 08:49, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

No comment on the first issue, but in case you missed it, if you want the best of both worlds (the candidate list / full page), Gary King's nominations viewer is superb. Steve T • C 09:00, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
I don't think reversing the order will help; when there are NO REVIEWERS, the order is irrelevant. We added the "older noms" marker, that has made some difference, but without reviewers, there's no point in further fiddling with the page. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 10:49, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Tony that it's worth trying. When I find myself in an "I really ought to review something" mood, I'll come here and scroll down until I see something that catches my eye; as that one will then sidetrack me, I'll generally never reach the bottom of the list unless I get a "would you mind looking at this" message from someone. I assume I'm not unique in this. We can always change it back if it leads to any problems. – iridescent 10:57, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
Agree that it can't hurt. If it means more of an orderly production line even a little bit then it might be helpful. Casliber (talk · contribs) 11:18, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
Could I suggest instead that we ask Gary King to allow his viewer to reverse the order of the noms? That way users of his viewer can choose which way to look at it; if we change the basic page there will be no choice for those of us who, like me, would prefer it as it is. Mike Christie (talk) 11:25, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
Good suggestion, I've asked Gary King to look over here. Dabomb87 (talk) 12:38, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
i suggest we just do it, it's been proposed enough times and no strong reasons have been made against it. We can always change it back.--Wehwalt (talk) 12:19, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
Agree—I think it would be better. We say we want reviewers to look at the oldest first, yet we force them to scroll past a long list of (potentially tempting) other ones to find them. No one seems to object strongly, so let's give it a try. PL290 (talk) 13:13, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

If we do this, we'll need a volunteer to check the page frequently to reverse noms. Most nominators who aren't brand-new don't read the instructions anymore, and they'll likely add their new nom where they are accustomed to adding it - right at the top. If we end up with a mix of new and old noms in random order than Sandy and I will have a much harder time processing these. Karanacs (talk) 13:46, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

Exactly my concern-- I don't think most other processes on Wiki reverse the order, doubt it will help, but know it will result in a mess for Karanacs and me. S/he who changes it, checks and maintains it, and answers all the posts from confused nominators! Daily. I also disagree that it can't hurt ... it will likely result in delays on the newer noms, making it harder to remove premature noms asap, which could just increase the page size. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 13:56, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
GA noms are oldest (at the top) and newest (at the bottom). At Military History, in the ACR, oldest is at the bottom and newest is at the top. It is very hard in FA to find the nomination I want to review, but I've managed to get to the old ones (i.e., the ones you've asked us to weigh in on), through the talk page, or just by entering the name in the search engine. Auntieruth55 (talk) 15:15, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
Curious, why doesn't the "older noms" marker, or the FAC urgents template, help you get to the older noms? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:21, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
It does, but it is still a lot of scrolling, and I lose my place. FAC urgents is what I use most.Auntieruth55 (talk) 15:53, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
Just a note: I suggested to Auntieruth55 on her (?) talk page that she try out Nominations Viewer to do what she is looking for. Gary King (talk) 19:51, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── thanks Gary. I've added it, but I don't see any difference. (and yes, I purged). Auntieruth55 (talk) 20:14, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

The script currently does not work in Internet Explorer. Are you using that browser? Gary King (talk) 20:31, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
Firefox. Auntieruth55 (talk) 20:37, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
Your vector.js works fine for me when I add it to my test vector.js. Nominations Viewer works, along with the exclamation mark next to the "Watch" star that contains a drop-down box containing "PROD". If you really want to debug this, then in Firefox, go to Tools -> Error Console -> Click on the "Errors" tab. All JavaScript errors are shown there. Find the error relevant to Nominations Viewer (it should have as its URL) and then copy that error here by right-clicking the error and selecting "Copy". Gary King (talk) 21:01, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
I don't have an ! mark next to (or on the same line with) the star for watch/unwatch. Ileft the error message on my talk page, but it isn't related to your script. I get java script error messages all the time though. Auntieruth55 (talk) 22:19, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

I'm coming to believe that this mentality about reviewing older noms increasingly explains the backlog at FAC, since it is rarely possible to remove deficient noms early on, due to lack of review ! When I was a reviewer, I usually tried to hit every new nom with a list of "fixes needed" right away. Noms hang around for weeks waiting for a competent reviewer to notice glaring deficiencies. I remain convinced that reversing noms will not solve the problem-- quite the opposite-- if reviewers would jump on premature noms sooner, we could close them sooner. After a read-through today, I again find noms with three or four supports from involved reviewers, before an uninvolved reviewer comes along to oppose. When I get an oppose on top of five existing supports two weeks in, I can't exactly close the nom. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 13:23, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

Nominations Viewer now supports reverse nominations

There is no need to force reverse nominations on all users anymore. You can now use Nominations Viewer to reverse the nominations for yourself only, without affecting other users, to see if you prefer browsing the page in chronological order (rather than reverse chronological order, which is how it's setup now). The specific setting that achieves this ability is Reverse nominations (go there to see how to use the feature), which is very straightforward. There are some notes about the feature, found in the documentation page, that explain the caveats that go along with it. Gary King (talk) 19:57, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

Thanks, Gary ! SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:13, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
Sweet. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 16:34, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

Before nominating... issue of fair use images

I am considering nominating the short article, Lemurs of Madagascar. The page contains multiple fair use images, which may cause problems for the nomination. First of all, I have obtained written permission from the publisher (Conservation International or CI) to use these images in the manner they are currently presented. This includes an image of the upcoming 3rd edition later this year. I have forwarded their email on to the en-Wiki permissions team. Reading WP:FAIRUSE, the only 2 hold-ups I see concern the placement of the images in a gallery and the need for critical commentary. The gallery is only used because the article is too small to scatter the images throughout the relevant sections of text. WP:NFG states that this issue "should be considered on a case-by-case basis." In this case, I have no choice due to spacial restrictions. Regarding the need for critical commentary (WP:NFCI), I have reviewed each of the pocket field guides and editions as thoroughly as my sources permit.

Feedback on this issue would be helpful. Images could be removed, but I would prefer not to. In fact, I get the impression that CI would like to see all the covers shown in the article. Personally, I feel that they demonstrate Stephen Nash's high-quality illustrations—a critical and highly praised component of the book and booklets. – VisionHolder « talk » 21:28, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

Those bookcovers are a problem. Usually we only allow one fair use book cover per article, unless there is some extraordinary circumstance (such as another edition with artwork that requires commentary). If you have no commentary for each specific cover, then I can't see a reason to include them. I see that the fair use rationales say "for illustration only" - the purpose of use has to be much more specific than that. The purpose of use has to explain what the reader gains from seeing the image. See this dispatch, particularly the section at the end about purposes of use. Awadewit (talk) 22:01, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
Alright... images removed. Too bad. – VisionHolder « talk » 22:50, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
As a general principle, would not any image of an as-yet-unpublished item create a WP:COI? (I suppose even for existing publications, a WP article may be in the interests of the publisher's promotion and marketing. It seems different though.) Presumably this question has been considered before and there's guidance somewhere. PL290 (talk) 07:49, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
Sorry for the lack of clarity. I wasn't planning to post an image of the 3rd edition cover prior to publication. I would only do it after it was published. – VisionHolder « talk » 13:27, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
I mostly echo Awadewit. While it's fine and dandy they give permission to Wikipedia to use the images, we're still bound by internal policy, namely WP:NFCC, which disallows the use of non-free images as you've described unless there are more uncommon circumstances. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 13:37, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

Need a bibliography section?

I posted this question in the review section for Saint Anselm College, but I thought it might be useful to post here. What is the policy on bibliography sections? This article looks well cited, but there is no separate bibliography section. We usually have those, right? I remember with the Inner German Border flurry in October, working on compiling a bibliography section out of all those newspaper articles. Could there be a clarification of policy or practice, please? Auntieruth55 (talk) 18:39, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

No need for a separate section, per MoS. PL290 (talk) 18:50, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
Then why have FAC's required them in the past? This is why I asked about practice and policy. Auntieruth55 (talk) 19:06, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
FACs have never required bibliographies; there's no policy or even guideline dedicated to the feature, so it's all down to common practice. Specific reviewers (myself included) tend to prefer them, and have strongly suggested their use in articles at GAC, FAC, etc. They're easier to navigate than a gigantic wall of citations, and make enabling shortened citations much easier, especially for those who do not use templates for print sources (again, myself included). If you think the article would be better using a bibliography, you of course can advocate for its use. If not, no worries. María (habla conmigo) 19:14, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
I would say the general practice is that articles very commonly use only a single section. This impression is confirmed by my findings when I ask the question of the first article in each of the first five categories at Wikipedia:Featured articles, does it have a separate bibliography section:
PL290 (talk) 19:19, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
It may be worth noting that Acetic acid and Actuary are both far too thinly cited to pass FAC today, though I'm not disputing your general point. Steve Smith (talk) 19:24, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
It all depends on what kind of sources the article has. If the article uses lots of web-based sources, I find that a single section is easier, as there is no need to repeat the information. If the article uses lots of books and there are many footnotes to different pages, I find two sections is easier. I think the point is that the references should make finding the information in the sources as easy as possible. Awadewit (talk) 20:09, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
In practice, that's the case. Video games/pop culture often have a single "references" section (Halo 3: ODST, Super Columbine Massacre). The majority of the references in those articles are web or single-page news articles, and aren't relying on those sources for more than a few citations. More scholarly, established articles will trend towards books and longer-form reference, meaning more page numbers, more citations, and more specificity needed in the footnotes, thus two sections. The same approach doesn't always work across the board. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 21:16, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

Nominations viewer note and suggestion

I've started using Gary King's nominations viewer, and I would like to strongly recommend it to those who have not yet tried it. It makes it a lot easier to navigate the FAC page. It's better than the candidate list because it has a lot more information even though it's more compact.

One thing occurred to me about the viewer: it has a way to identify participants in the FAC comments. One thing that's been considered in the past as a way to encourage reviewers is a way to recognize those who review many articles. I suggested to Gary that he might consider running his script over a set of botified FACs and come up with a list of username/# articles commented on for some given time period; unfortunately it sounds like it would require some changes to his code. Such a list would have many shortcomings, as it would not be able to distinguish a formatting fix from an multi-hour review, but it might still be interesting to see. Previous attempts to identify frequent reviewers and provide them with recognition have been stymied by the difficulty of identifying them, but if anyone is interested in writing such a script it might be a step in the right direction, despite the obvious flaws in a raw count. Mike Christie (talk) 00:58, 27 April 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for the recommendation, Mike. I've just added the script to my monobook. Firsfron of Ronchester 02:22, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
I've been using this script for several days, and love it; however, I don't believe it's working with Wiki's wonky new interface. At least that's the way it seems; it was working for me yesterday, and now it's not. María (habla conmigo) 12:52, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
Copy-paste everything from User:Yllosubmarine/monobook.js to User:Yllosubmarine/vector.js. Best, Steve T • C 12:55, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
Aha, thank you kindly! María (habla conmigo) 12:58, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
Okay Mike, see below now. Gary King (talk) 08:20, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

Cyclone Gonu's FAC, and other tropical cyclone FAC's

I'm wondering what I'm doing wrong. I retired last year, and when I came back this year, I was hoping things would be different. I reviewed some other FAC's (and asked for their critiques), and so I nominated a significant cyclone article that I first wrote three years ago. It was a bit of a collaboration getting it to FAC, but despite all of that (and it being an urgent FAC), it has no supports or opposes, and I just have this feeling that it's going to be failed soon due to lack of review.

I know it's a perennial problem at FAC, the lack of reviews, but it's disheartening that something can be failed so easily after all of the work done do it. Honestly, is part of a general fatigue of tropical cyclone articles? For starters, I have more-or-less convinced the other primary TC article writers to have one FAC at a time. Additionally, we (TC article writers) can't do too much reviewing: first, there are only a handful (about five) of writers, and most of us work on all of the articles; second, when we don't work on them, we give the reviews before it ever reaches FAC.

End rant, I guess ;) Hurricanehink (talk) 02:52, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

I think you're partially right; reviewer fatigue for cyclone articles will almost certainly be a factor, as well as—and I'm sure you recognise this—that reviewers probably find articles about pirates or works of art more gripping subjects. I'll hold my hand up and say it: I've reviewed a couple of cyclone articles in the past and even though they were short, I found myself avoiding subsequent nominations through lack of interest. I added Gonu to the urgents list yesterday, so hopefully that'll attract some attention, and if I get a chance later today I'll take a look. On your point about TC writers and FAC reviews, even though all five-or-so of you have usually been over cyclone articles before they get here, there's nothing to stop your reviewing non-TC articles. Although some of you might be hesitant because of a lack of subject knowledge, at the very least you'll be capable of giving a decent opinion on the broader aspects, such as prose. Indeed, sometimes it's better that subject-matter novice takes a look at an article, as they can point out areas of where too much pre-existing knowledge has been assumed. Giving reviews to other articles may also free up reviewers to look at your articles, and—though I'm not suggesting there's any quid pro quo supporting going on—I think reviewers are more likely to gravitate towards submissions from recognisable names. I know these comments don't entirely apply to you; you've done your bit recently on the review front (for which I was grateful at Revolution, which similarly languished), but if the other TC bods are reluctant then it's advice worth considering. All the best, Steve T • C 08:09, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
Well if the TC people are not reviewing FACs because they want to be "gentlemanly" (gentlemen always come last on Wikipedia), then nothing will happen until at least four weeks. Most other Wikiprojects are not abstaining from endorsing their own stuff (good or bad faith) and if one chooses to wait for three true outsiders to support, you will definitely be there at least 4 weeks, whereas those with a WikiProject endorsement will be done in two weeks with only one or perhaps no outsider support (ie a nominal outsider/disguised insider). If one is hated by their wikiproject or don't have one, then they end up in the second caste. In the old days, 2007 and earlier, a cabal allowed one to shove rubbish through, straight votes over objections (but any reasonable article could get a fair hearing as it didn't matter if it was 5-0 or 20-0), in 2008 things were ok, from 2009 onwards, it's increasingly the case that if you don't have WikiProject sponsorship, you'll end up like bus segregation, as yes, being gentlemanly gets you up to your neck. YellowMonkey (vote in the Southern Stars and White Ferns supermodel photo poll) 07:22, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
I fear I will have a similar problem with Banksia articles someday but reviewers have been kind so far. My free time yo-yos which impacts on reviewing time. Casliber (talk · contribs) 19:20, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

Wait times to renominate...suggestion for modification of current language

On the FAC page, this line appears:

If a nomination is archived, the nominator should take adequate time to work on resolving issues before re-nominating—typically at least a few weeks.

I don't think "typically a few weeks" is really fair. It isn't the calendar time that's important here. Its that the issues are resolved, which is directly related to minutes/hours invested in editing. One of those super-editors that edits 6 hours a day can do a lot more in a day than a casual editor will do in "a few weeks." I understand that one of the issues may be that the admins don't want the FAC queue clogged up with renoms that are just a few days old. But if that's the case, we shouldn't say "take adequate time to work on resolving issues before re-nominating," we should say

If a nomination is archived, the nominator should take adequate time to work on resolving issues before re-nominating. In any case, to prevent queue bottlenecks FAC's may not be renominated more than once every three weeks.

ɳorɑfʈ Talk! 05:40, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

Well, in my experience, many more people think they are "super-editors", as you say, who can fix everything in six hours than really are. And nothing is lost and usually much is gained by waiting and reflecting before renominating. Awadewit (talk) 06:06, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps a stipulation can be made where articles with those issues shold not be renominated for three weeks? Certainly something that has failed due to a lack of reviews period should not be forced to wait that long, IMO. Melicans (talk, contributions) 06:56, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
I'm totally fine with a waiting period. I'm just against being told "It typically takes a few weeks to fix issues, so you should wait a few weeks," as that really depends on a lot of factors, including the issues themselves, how much time is required, how fast editors work, etc. If we need to wait for administrative reasons, that's fine: say so. If it really is just about making sure formerly raised issues are resolved, then some FACs will be ready to go back up in a week. ɳorɑfʈ Talk! 07:13, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
That rule is explained in a bit more detail further up the instructions list: If a nominated article is archived, and not promoted, none of the nominators may nominate or conominate any article for 2 weeks unless given leave to do so by a delegate;. This was added after an RFC (see archived discussion) a few months ago. There are a few big reasons for this:
  • The biggest reason for the delay is that the list is at times incredibly long, and we don't want to fatigue reviewers by continuing to bring the same article until it passes. The break is partially to make sure that reviewers can also focus on other articles and don't have to keep looking at the same article(s) over and over. (If there was no feedback before, then there is likely not going to be any feedback if you renominate it immediately; waiting a few weeks means that the reviewer pool might have changed a bit, and you may get more eyes on the article.)
  • As part of the RfC discussion, User:Ealdgyth analyzed several months of FAC nomination data and discovered that in a 3 month period eight editors had renominated articles within 7 days of an archival, and of the 24 articles they nominated, 20 were archived. (That accounted for 18% of the archivals in those three months). That implied to us that most editors need more time to reflect on the problems that were brought up, and that in many cases those issues appear across multiple articles from the same nominator (maybe prose is a weakness, or images, or choosing proper sources).
Exceptions will be made for nominators whose articles were archived due to lack of response. In those cases, delegates won't object if the nominator brings a different article to FAC before the two-week period expires. We also give case-by-case dispensions; for example, we sometimes close an FAC because the nominator states that they do not have access to a book they need to meet the comprehensiveness guidelines. When the book arrives and the work is done, we may agree to let the article come back more quickly. We try to specifically mention this to you when we archive, but feel free to ask even if we didn't - before you nominate again, please. Karanacs (talk) 13:36, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
I'd actually suggest dropping the part after the slash and combining the two passages. The sentence that started this discussion is out on a limb, and would be more helpful if read as part of the same information:

If a nomination is archived, the nominator(s) should take adequate time to work on resolving issues before re-nominating. None of its nominators may nominate or conominate any article for 2 weeks unless given leave to do so by a delegate; if such an article is nominated without asking for leave, a delegate will decide whether to remove it. Nominators whose nominations are archived with no (or minimal) feedback will be given exemptions.

PL290 (talk) 15:42, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
That's pretty good. I'd modify it slightly to simplify it, so that it reads:

If a nomination is archived, the nominator(s) should take adequate time to work on resolving issues before re-nominating. None of an archived article's nominators may nominate or conominate any article for 2 weeks unless given leave to do so by a delegate.

— ɳorɑfʈ Talk! 02:07, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
Heavens, no. We need the sentence about the "no or minimal feedback". When we put that rule in, I went to a lot of trouble to get that language in. Nominators shouldn't have to ask for leave if the reviewers have been falling down on the job!--Wehwalt (talk) 02:18, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

Then just go with the original suggestion. ɳorɑfʈ Talk! 03:23, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

Announcing the Reviewer Summary script, used to summarize information on reviewers

This script was originally suggested by User:Mike Christie to be an extension of the Nominations Viewer script. However, this new script requires a different set of functions from Nominations Viewer, so it had to be written from scratch. What the script does is, when used on a Featured Log page such as the one for successful Featured Articles, it shows the Reviewer Summary table, which summarizes all the editors who edited the nominations found on the current page. See the script's documentation as well as the screenshot below for more information. The table's information can be easily copied to be used in discussions, as well (see the first point in the screenshot below). Hopefully the script will come in handy for analyzing nomination reviewers, etc. Gary King (talk) 08:18, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for doing this, Gary! I ran it against WT:FAC and sorted it by number of articles edited: here's that list, down to editors that edited at least three articles. Of course nominators' counts should be decremented accordingly, and the number for the two delegates is presumably misleading. Ucucha's and Brian's work on source and link-checking is apparent. Another point is that this only measures the contributions to the articles currently in FAC; I will see if I can set up a userfied version of the FAC page that I can use to analyse completed FACs, which will ensure every article is counted once.
As for what this is for: I am not proposing that this be used as a definite yardstick of reviewer effort, but unless there are objections I would like to use it to hand out monthly kudos to the hardest-working reviewers.
Username Articles Edits Bytes
Ucucha 39 52 (1.3) 667 (17.1)
Brianboulton 32 69 (2.2) 750 (23.4)
Bodnotbod 9 10 (1.1) 770 (85.6)
SandyGeorgia 9 14 (1.6) 362 (40.2)
Fasach Nua 7 12 (1.7) 1,188 (169.7)
Jimfbleak 6 9 (1.5) 328 (54.7)
Ruhrfisch 5 31 (6.2) 12,913 (2,582.6)
Tony1 5 6 (1.2) 2,418 (483.6)
Auntieruth55 4 6 (1.5) 439 (109.8)
Sasata 4 13 (3.3) 2,388 (597.0)
Malleus Fatuorum 4 35 (8.8) 2,472 (618.0)
David Fuchs 4 9 (2.3) 550 (137.5)
Hamiltonstone 3 11 (3.7) 1,593 (531.0)
Indopug 3 4 (1.3) 2,184 (728.0)
Redtigerxyz 3 10 (3.3) 973 (324.3)
Aaroncrick 3 7 (2.3) 1,611 (537.0)
Giants2008 3 5 (1.7) 2,231 (743.7)
Finetooth 3 26 (8.7) 11,554 (3,851.3)
Yllosubmarine 3 12 (4.0) 5,527 (1,842.3)
YellowAssessmentMonkey 3 5 (1.7) 1,282 (427.3)
Karanacs 3 5 (1.7) 6,676 (2,225.3)
I'd like to hear any comments about whether this is useful; and I will post again once I can show how I would look at, e.g., a completed month of FACs. Mike Christie (talk) 10:15, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
I have no idea if it will actually be useful, but as a statistics fan I'm all for it :) Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 13:10, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
I don't quite understand the "Bytes" columns. The documentation says this is the total number of characters added or removed, but to me it looks more like it is the average by edit article (corrected 13:20, 20 May 2010 (UTC))—I'm sure I added more than 667 bytes in total to all current FACs, for example. Ucucha 13:19, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
The small number means that you probably made an edit to an FAC that removed a lot of content. I'm still debating whether or not to include removal of content in the count. Gary King (talk) 16:49, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
I don't consider myself the second-most-industrious FAC reviewer. I am temporarily filling the Ealdgyth role in checking references and sources, so basically I look at every article that comes up. The table is interesting, and perhaps useful, but shouldn't be seen as a basis for kudos. A couple of really thorough reviews on complex articles might be a more praiseworthy achievement. Brianboulton (talk) 21:32, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
I think it is very useful for a few reasons. First, a bit of kudos may be important to help keep some editors motivated (others not). Of course the measures are rough, but there's no harm in it. Active editors like myself will occasionally go and give a barnstar to someone who did a particularly good review, so there are other things happening too. Second, it can be useful to know who is most active out there in the editing community if one of us is thinking that we want to ask someone to be a new set of eyes on something, whether one of our own, or someone else's, nomination. As editors know, if you want something done, ask a busy person. This table helps us see at a glance who the busy people are right now :-) Third, over time, eyeballing the trends from one month to the next (people coming and going; how many editors are on a list that has fixed criteria such as 3 or more reviews) will help us all develop a sense of how FAC is travelling. So I htink it's a good idea to post here once a month or something like that. Cheers, hamiltonstone (talk) 07:37, 21 May 2010 (UTC)

Looks useful. BTW I didn't see anywhere that your count excludes the nominator, who will be among those who edited the nomination. Since you're calling it the Reviewer Summary, it may need tweaking to implement that if not already done. PL290 (talk) 09:26, 21 May 2010 (UTC)

Good idea, will do that in the next release. Although, I don't think it will affect the stats that much, unless you are writing a story as your nomination statement AND have more than one FAC going on at the same time. Gary King (talk) 16:10, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
This is indeed useful, as well as a reminder of how lazy I've gotten here lately. The most striking thing to me is seeing how many of the best reviewers we have are only involved in a handful of reviews at a time (takes a long time to give an article a good read). There are only 20 or so names in the table, and FAC at a given time has 40 or so reviews active. No wonder FAC always seems so stretched review-wise. I'd be very interested to see how many people review at least one article in a given month. Perhaps that will be made possible with nominator exclusion. Giants2008 (27 and counting) 21:51, 22 May 2010 (UTC)
I don't know if you'd include me in your "best reviewers" category or not, but I'll offer a reason neverthless. When I come across an article I think is basically sound, but needs a bit more work, then I try to help with that work. Others just offer their opinion on the article; that's their choice, nothing wrong with that. Malleus Fatuorum 22:25, 22 May 2010 (UTC)
Giants, this list is short because Mike truncated it to only the editors who have reviewed at least three articles. Gary King (talk) 23:29, 22 May 2010 (UTC)
I knew that. Still, I need to ask here because I couldn't get the script to work when I tried it (Internet Explorer is most likely to blame). Giants2008 (27 and counting) 00:50, 23 May 2010 (UTC)