Wikipedia talk:Featured article candidates/archive48

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Review needed

Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Roger Waters/archive1; a reviewer (understandably) withdrew after inappropriate comments were posted on her talk by the nominator and before completing review. The FAC has already been restarted once. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:03, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

I have closed this FAC after two warnings. It looks like the "civility police" are on a coffee break: "Waters changed the film in his show, and the star of David is no longer juxtaposed with a dollar sign." [1] aSandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:14, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
Yes; how annoying to come back from a nice holiday and find your FAC is still running! Johnbod (talk) 03:47, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps it is running still because you went on holiday? :)--Wehwalt (talk) 04:06, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
Check an see how many crucial suggestions had been made in the week I was gone, not many. Am I chained to the FAC for as long as it runs? Anyway, I saw three Roger Waters concerts during that week off, 9th row, 25th row, and 2nd row so, no regrets here. Also, I have some front row center tics for later this month. So is it okay if I don't edit for a few days during that time? — GabeMc (talk) 23:07, 5 November 2010 (UTC)

I was hoping for broader community feedback on this closure (I believe it is a precedent-- at least I'm not aware of having closed another FAC under similar circumstances). My concern is that retaliatory actions like this nominator's, if extended to other FACs, could compromise the integrity of FAC by stifling opposes and vigorous review, and I want it to be clear that this will not be tolerated and will result in closure. I welcome feedback, and notice that some feedback was lodged on my talk even though I requested that the nominator take it here. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:21, 5 November 2010 (UTC)

You havn't closed an FAC like this before because they should not be closed for this reason. — GabeMc (talk) 00:01, 6 November 2010 (UTC)
In case it wasn't clear above, I think you did the right thing, but then he had been pretty dismissive over my comments also. You don't spell out that he had also done some "stalking" tagging on SV's Death of Ian Tomlinson in between the talk page comments, as the current top of his contributions shows. Johnbod (talk) 15:29, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
I agreed with the closure. The editor engaged in WP:POINT at the very least, and the message was sent that a nomination simply can't function smoothly with that kind of behavior going on. --Andy Walsh (talk) 15:37, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
It was right to close the FAC, the nominator's behaviour was deplorable. Had the FAC not been already closed when I saw what had been going on, I would have withdrawn my support. I am right behind Sandy on this. Graham Colm (talk) 18:07, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
I sympathise with Sandy's decision and with the above comments. On reflection, though, I feel that it would have been better if action had been taken directly against the nominating editor rather than against the article. His comments and behaviour were profoundly unacceptable and he should have been blocked. However, the article belongs to the community, not to him; were the outstanding issues sufficient to withhold the promotion of a candidate with six supports and no opposes? If they were, could another editor have stepped in and resolved them? I think that SV was right to strike her oppose, acknowledging that it was delivered against the nominator rather than the article. Maybe the same objectivity could have been applied in judging whether the article meets the FA criteria. If it should be renominated in the near future, will it be received objectively? My comments should in no way be interpreted as condoning the nominator's behaviour, which was despicable, nor as a criticism of Sandy for acting as she thought fit. Brianboulton (talk) 21:36, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
Thank you, Brian; this is the crux of the dilemma. In the past, I have let disruption and attacks stand, because our focus here has to be on the article. I have hoped that uninvolved admins will deal with disruptive behaviors, so I wouldn't have to shut down the FAC, but that rarely happens, and didn't happen here even after my first request for feedback. Relative to the recent TFA debacle, we simply cannot have reviewers being bullied or intimidated, and shutting down the FAC was a distinct departure for me from previous situations, which is why I want more community feedback on how to handle such situations. Also, in this case it was increasingly apparent that the nominator was too upset to continue the nomination, while the reviewer had withdrawn, so I didn't see a good outcome. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:53, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
(ec) Brian, just to point out that my oppose was against the article, not the nominator. I'd felt right from the start that the article wasn't ready, but hadn't opposed earlier. I struck the oppose, because posting it after I'd been personally attacked made it look as though it was against the nominator. It's also worth pointing out that my requests of him were fairly minimal. I suggested he summarize one paragraph that contained several quotes, [2] and I requested a source for a couple of points. [3] [4] [5] The response, apart from the personal attacks, was that he went to several of my FAs to add fact tags or post on talk about minor MoS points, something he's continued to do today.
This has been suggested many times before, but I wonder if we should tighten up the procedure about FACs being, in effect, rewritten during the nomination. I've been in that position both as a nominee (Muhammad al-Durrah was changed quite a bit during the FAC), and as a reviewer, and I find it's stressful from both perspectives. I can understand the nominee wanting to keep going, because after you've worked so hard on something you don't want to have to restart the process. But it means the rewrite is rushed, with reviewers perhaps reluctant to keep on asking for more fixes because they can see the amount of work the nominee is doing already. And it ties up reviewers in helping with a rewrite rather than reviewing other articles. Should we be stressing that FACs are not peer review, that nominations have to be more-or-less ready as presented, and that there's absolutely no shame in having a nomination archived? SlimVirgin talk|contribs 22:09, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
Actually I shouldn't have given an example of one of my noms that was rewritten during the FAC, but now that I've given it, I'd like to stress that the input improved the article. Just want to make that clear. :) SlimVirgin talk|contribs 22:14, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
(ec)He now appears to be going through the nominator's entire history looking for nits to pick. I think this is rapidly approaching the block-without-further-warning level; does anyone have any thoughts? – iridescent 22:09, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
Iri, you meant "reviewer" in place of "nominator"? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:28, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
I didn't know I had to avoid all SV's FAs, it was an honest mistake. I just ran them through the peer reviwer, I won't edit them ever again. — GabeMc (talk) 23:36, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
Any response from me may make things worse, so I'm planning to ignore it, unless he finds something that really needs to be changed, in which case I'll fix it—right away if it's a sourcing issue, and more slowly if it's MoS. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 22:16, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
He should be notified of this discussion, but since he's decided I'm biased due to friendship with SV, perhaps a neutral party can intervene to explain the concerns to him and direct him here. I asked him yesterday to bring this here, but he didn't. Karanacs has already responded on her talk, so another uninvolved party is needed. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:22, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
Notified. (I can't possibly be considered a friend of SV, so he certainly can't try that one on me.) As far as I can see, unless there's a very good explanation, this easily qualifies as harassment—while I treat the civility policy with the disdain it deserves, harassment is a different kettle of fish and totally unacceptable. – iridescent 22:39, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
  • I apologized within minutes, and I am sincerely sorry if I offended anyone. To accuse me of anti-semitism is ridiculous, I myself am 1/4 Polish Jew. My incivility was not in in response to SV's review, she was riding me for enjoyment. Check the record, see what Blake p.43 says, and if she was right. She suggested somebody named Jacobs said the name Pink Floyd was first used in 1963, I never heard that one, Mason didn't meet Syd until 1964. (Mason 2005 p.24) Slim's review was not to better the article but to nit-pick and harrass me. She was wrong about both issues that she rode me on. — GabeMc (talk) 22:57, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Misses the point, Gabe. No matter how unreasonable (in your opinion) the review, that response was inappropriate, and it has continued today even after your apology. As for my request for a source, it's very simple. The article said: "Sometime during the late summer to early autumn of 1965 Waters co-founded Pink Floyd with Barrett, Wright and Mason." It was unsourced.
But one of your sources, Blake 2008, said on page 44: "It is widely believed that the first gig performed by the band under the Pink Floyd name, in whatever variation, was at the Count Down, in Palace Gate, Kensington in February 1965." Later on the same page he writes: "To cloud the issue of the band's name still further, Barrett's Cambridge art school friend, Richard Jacobs, is adamant that Syd had coined the name as early as 1963." So I was asking for clarification of the discrepancy between Blake's explanation and yours. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 23:13, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
Well, yesterday you asked for sourcing for the name being used in Dennis's tenure, Blake 43. When you made a valid point that the "founding" statement is hard to pinpoint I changed the verbiage to avoiding putting it that way. It now reads:

During Dennis's brief tenure the band was regularly referring to itself as The Pink Floyd Sound, a name which was, according to Mason,<ref>{{Harvnb|Mason|2005|p= 30}}</ref> created by Barrett on the spur of the moment when he discovered that another band also named the Tea Set were to perform at one of their gigs.<ref>{{Harvnb|Blake|2008|p= 43}}</ref> Dennis was posted to [[Bahrain]] in January 1965, and Barrett became the group's frontman. Sometime during the autumn of 1965, the Tea Set began regularly calling itself, Pink Floyd Sound, later The Pink Floyd Sound, and eventually, Pink Floyd.<ref>{{Harvnb|Mason|2005|pp= 30–37}}</ref>

I must have been confused, cause I fixed the issue and you kept riding me.
I sincerely apologize for insinuating that you were being vindictive, I had no grounds to accuse you of that, you made great suggestions that helped improve the article greatly. I should have taken your advice, and been more patient, I wish I could take it back, and I apologize again. — GabeMc (talk) 23:29, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
  • I don't think an FAC should be closed based on edits on an unrelated page. The anti-semitism assumption is hilarious actually, but it is the same thing you are coming down on me for, assuming alterior motives. I worked on the article for a year, and I had a bad day yesterday, it happens to the best of us. This is retalitory because I lost my cool with SV, for which I apologized. Also, yes SG warned me, but I was busy on another page so by the time I saw the warning the FAC was already closed. Should an FAC be closed because of a conflict between a reviewer and a nominator? Shouldn't the action be taken against the editor not the article? — GabeMc (talk) 00:25, 6 November 2010 (UTC)
  • This would suggest that a nominator must avoid any and all conflicts with a reviewer, lest they be punished on their FAC. — GabeMc (talk) 23:04, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
Just a quick note, but Wikipedia has no deadlines. If the article is truly worthy of promotion to Featured Article status, it will be promoted in due time. I've worked on articles a lot longer than a year to get them to FAC. (I created the Capitol Loop article in 2006 but didn't nominate it for FAC until 2010. That's working on it on and off for four years.) My suggestion is that you disengage from the article for now, stop stalking SV's articles for nits to pick and find another project for the time being. Perhaps you can come back with a fresh perspective and try again. Imzadi 1979  23:14, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
That's good advice Imzadi1979, I will take it, thanks. — GabeMc (talk) 23:19, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
SG, if you think I deserve a block then give me a block, but to punish the article is to punish Wikipedia. — GabeMc (talk) 01:08, 6 November 2010 (UTC)
P.S. This will never happen again I assure you. You have my word of honor. — GabeMc (talk) 01:09, 6 November 2010 (UTC)
I don't want to say much more about this, but just in brief I picked out a short paragraph at random to check the sourcing, and I found issues (page numbers not quite right, which is a minor issue; and one claim unsourced and apparently contradicted by one of the sources). I think it's a feature of working quickly while the nom is on the page, and splicing in material from another article. I know what it feels like to be fixing up a nom in situ and it's stressful, not necessarily conducive to a good outcome. So Gabe, I honestly feel the article needs a once over to smooth out the writing, and to make sure the text reflects the sources. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 01:23, 6 November 2010 (UTC)
I would be more than happy to address any specific concerns you have SV. I will remind you that earlier you thought Blake p.43 did not support using the Pink Floyd name during Dennis's tenure, and Mason pp.30-37 didn't either, so please, keep in mind we may have different editions of some sources. If you have specific concerns please let me know and I will do my best to fix them using the sources I own. — GabeMc (talk) 01:38, 6 November 2010 (UTC)

Whoa. GabeMc, the purpose of this page is not to re-hash the FAC; please move article commentary to the article talk page. The purpose of this discussion is to decide 1) if I should close FACs in the unlikely event similar circumstances occur, and 2) to make sure you understand that you can be blocked for harassment if the behavior continues. Please stay on topic-- we're not here to re-visit the FAC. And I'm not an admin; I wouldn't be blocking you in any case. I have to decide if this precedent-setting behavior is something that should guide me in closing FACs in the future. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:44, 6 November 2010 (UTC)

Whoa, Sandy, I was only responding to SV's comment above mine, maybe you should remind her to keep comments about article content on the appropriate page as you did me. — GabeMc (talk) 02:57, 6 November 2010 (UTC)

I support closure on the FAC at this time. GabeMc, FAC process isn't a popularity contest but still, the best way to address critique of the article is to not personalize it...those that have enough time to make a serious effort (and have the expertise and experience to understand the MOS issues, referencing and can write well) in providing a true critique do so to help you, not to insult you. Some articles get more attention because people are more interested in the subject matter or have familiarity with it. Critiquing other FA's written by someone offering a serious review of your currently FAC is pretty poor form. For instance, in 2006 I (with help of course) brought Glacier National Park (U.S.) to featured level. This year I redid much of it so it could be mainpaged as Today's Featured Article on May 11th...SandyGeorgia helped me in this...this was completely redone by May of this year, yet I now see I already have 5 or more dead links and several other issues outstanding. So, it isn't uncommon that even a recently revamped or even a newly promoted featured article will have a few blemishes....case in point, the Glacier National Park had numerous edits while it was on the main page, most of them improvements myself and others had overlooked. Overall, your work looks good, but try to not personalize constructive critique.--MONGO 03:58, 6 November 2010 (UTC)

Reference style

Or, Cavies ask another annoying question. Ok so I'm a bit confused about the fact that references have to be "consistent" at FAC. For websites is it acceptable to leave out 'place of publication' and 'publisher' but include for serials and monographs? I guess what I'm getting at is, is there anything that I'm clearly doing wrong with Mwng? I'm planning to run the article past the guild of copyeditors and get it peer reviewed before it becomes my first ever FA nom but I'd like to know if I'm making schoolboy errors with the refs. I'd really appreciate any advice you could give on the subject, even if it's just pointing me in the direction of some clear guidelines for FAC level citing (which I haven't been able to find myself) Cavie78 (talk) 23:52, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

I think it really has to do with having all "cite news" vs. "citation" templates, if you use tempates. Given the pickiness of FAC reviewers, I would have the locations in there or a good explanation why you shouldn't.--Wehwalt (talk) 00:51, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
I've left some suggestions on Talk:Mwng, and a link to the relevant section of CITE. [6] SlimVirgin talk|contribs 01:16, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
And if you don't use templates, to type out the references in a consistent format. Even if you do, format the dates all the same way (ISO style: 2010-11-05, British-style: 5 November 2010 or American-style: November 5, 2010) and other similar types of details. Imzadi 1979  01:19, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
I often FAC review citations. I have made some comments at Talk:Mwng. Fifelfoo (talk) 03:43, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
That's absolutely fantastic - thanks people! Cavie78 (talk) 11:15, 5 November 2010 (UTC)

Plagiarism issue

So, we've now had a TFA pulled as a "blatant copyvio". It seems to me it is incumbent on the FA community to come up with a way that we avoid a repetition, to the extent possible. Thoughts? I don't think "Never mind the iceberg, Full speed ahead! First officer, are those deck chairs rearranged yet?" is an option.--Wehwalt (talk) 00:17, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

  • I saw the article linked once elsewhere; can you re-post? And I have always been a voice in the wilderness about checking for copyvio. We need designated copyvio checkers like we have for images. • Ling.Nut (talk) 00:21, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
    You mean Grace Sherwood?--Wehwalt (talk) 00:23, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
  • But who's gonna do it? I tried spot-checking a couple articles today. Didn't find anything suspicious. It was very boring work. Thought about making a comment on the respective FAC pages, but then thought "what if I missed something, I'm gonna be the one who is blamed...." Sasata (talk) 00:29, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

This is a muddy quagmire. On the face of it, my gut tells me that editors who plagiarize or copyvio should be blocked. We should all be responsible for what we add to articles. Checking at FAC is getting ridiculously tedious. Prose, citations, sources, now plagiarism or close paraphrasing. No one who copy edited Grace Sherwood should shoulder the blame for plagiarism, no more than FAC should for encouraging it.

Then again, blocking editors who plagiarize forces us then to try to figure out, in our system of utter dependence on source material, what close paraphrasing and plagiarism is. I try to write original professional prose in all articles, mirroring what sources say without copying or the lazyass changing subject and predicate. I hope my paraphrasing of sources is both accurate and original, but surely someone somewhere might disagree.

I don't think reviewers need another level of source checking before an article is passed. A discussion at WIAFA a year or so ago was about using large chunks of public domain sources. It was a spirited discussion--enough for me to be confident we might not ever agree on the standards for original writing here. --Moni3 (talk) 00:33, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

I think there's a problem with the terminology here. Plagiarism as such is not something we oppose but just copyright violations. As long as they do not not commit a copyright violation, WP authors may plagiarize all they want.--Kmhkmh (talk) 00:36, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, this was a part of that WIAFA discussion: can an FA be part or whole of a public domain source verbatim? Spirited discussion... --Moni3 (talk) 00:39, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
The answer to that question is obviously yes. WP started as verbatim copy of public domain source (britannica) and of of course would we accept any other copy from the public domain as long as the content is good.--Kmhkmh (talk) 00:55, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
It's important to note that currelty WP authors may not plagiarize all they want. While we accept certain behaviors that the wider academic world would identify as plagiarism (like copying Britannica), we do have attribution requirements at Wikipedia:Plagiarism. Don't want any misunderstandings on that point, even though "copyright violation" is the drum I bang. :) --Moonriddengirl (talk) 11:39, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
Well actually the may indeed as long as they follow thew guidelines for copyvio. The guideline you've pointed out is essentially just explanation/rehash of the already existing fundamental guidelines concercing copyright and sources. If somebody plagiarizes some GDFL or alike next without attribution, he commits a copyvio. So that scenario falls under copyvio. If somebody plunders a public domain text, he can do that as long as he makes sure the content in WP is sourced, either by citing the public domain source or other sources confirming the content independently. That scenario is covered by the sourcing and verificatrion guidelines. Hence we should stick to copyvio and sourcing, since the term plagiarism means something else to most people, as btw you can see from the usage in many postings here and at admin notices.--Kmhkmh (talk) 12:13, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
The guidelines for copyvio do not care a whit how public domain content is handled; Wikipedia:Plagiarism does. Wikipedia:Plagiarism does not merely require citation of pasted public domain sources, but also noting that public domain sources are literally copied. I'm very well aware of the confusion between the terms plagiarism and copyvio, but violations of Wikipedia's standards of plagiarism will also lead our contributors to trouble, which we should help them avoid. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 14:26, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
Before this gets too far along, I have an idea that I want to review with Moonriddengirl, but I won't be able to get to it until maybe tomorrow. In the meantime, may I suggest another priority, until we decide what to do at FAC? We need to review and at least spotcheck the TFAs before they hit the mainpage. Would any of you be able to work on that? My doggie died under disgusting circumstance, so I'm tired and upset, but if I were feeling better I'd start reviewing every FA in the TFA queue. Another thing reviewers can do now is go through each FAC and ask, "who has checked sources"? Many Supports don't indicate what has been checked. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:38, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
  • (ec) I would be happy to check for copyvio, as i always do and have caught folks out more than once, but I have lost access to journals. And i don't think we need to be assigning blame; I think we need to step up and start checking. Copyvio is a helluva lot more important than dismbigs or deadlinks or whatever. • Ling.Nut (talk) 00:39, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
  • I think we need to move ahead. We just pulled a TFA for copyvio in the full sight of the world. Sitting back and saying "Well, Sandy said she would handle it" is not going to be good enough. Besides, it's unfair to Sandy if there is a problem with her idea. This is a collective problem, and a collective responsibility.--Wehwalt (talk) 00:42, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
  • I really want to defer this whole conversation of how to handle future FACs until I've reviewed my idea with Moonriddengirl and Raul and Karanacs, and then here, but I want to put the copyvio/plagiarism burden on the nominator, not the reviewers. But for now, and until we have something in place, we need to just get moving again, and deal with our current system, so can we see where we stand on FACs that are up now? Let's not go into panic mode: I want to explore this with MRG calmly, so for now, let's just see where each FAC stands, and please spotcheck TFAs in the queue. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:46, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Let me get right on that. Now where did I put my copy of Richard Nixon: Rhetorical Strategist? --Andy Walsh (talk) 01:05, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
  • I think you lent that to Mattisse.--Wehwalt (talk) 01:08, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Guys. Come on. We've got a problem to solve. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:14, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Clarifying. When the problems surfaced at DYK, the folks there started bickering, shooting the messenger, pointing fingers, and doing everything but looking into the content they were putting on the mainpage. Let's have a discussion and approach to this problem that is worthy of FAC. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:54, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Never mind the commercial, Sandy.--Wehwalt (talk) 02:02, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
(ec) I'm not keen on any gung-ho solutions yet. FAC is already starving for reviewers. I don't think it practical to ask folks to read the sources for an article to spot-check for plagiarism. If someone wants to do it, no doubt you'll be thought of as the plagiarism checker, just like Elcobbola is thought of as the picture dude and Ealdgyth the "what makes this a reliable source" lady. While others take these tasks on at times, not everyone jumps in to do it. I'm just really uneasy with what the actual problem is at FAC. --Moni3 (talk) 00:46, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
That's what I'm saying-- I want to put the burden on the nominator, not the reviewers, in the long run. But we have FACs on the page now. My idea will be to have MRG draft some info that can be used across all content review processes, and the nominator agrees they've read it and signed off on it BEFORE they nominate. But I want to explore this calmly in the right place before we go off in a million directions-- this is already on too many talk pages, and is very recent, but we need to deal with the current FACs until we have something better in place. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:50, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
Why not require a test run with plagiarism/copyvio tools used at schools or university (some are afaik accessible on the web) as an entry condition for a nomination? However keep in mind we need to worry about copyvio not plagiarism.--Kmhkmh (talk) 00:59, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
Not all sources online, and this has all been hashed and rehashed many places already. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:03, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
Ok now I'm at loss, you want a meaningful measure or protection against copyvio but you do not want to use the appropriate tools for it?--Kmhkmh (talk) 01:08, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
I've been working copyright review pretty much full time on Wikipedia for about a year and a half. Unfortunately, mechanical tools only catch obvious cases (as they typically scan large sections of prose), and many of the professional ones are not calibrated to remove Wikipedia mirrors...which are legion. We do have one "in house" which cuts down on the latter concern. It's here. One big drawback, as Sandy mentions, is that it does not scan books. When I use the tool, I follow up with spot checks of striking phrases in google and google books, as this will find sources that the mechanical detectors miss and particularly may find unusably close paraphrasing, where the mechanical detectors only pick up literal copy/pastes. I rather suspect that many of the candidates you receive will be less obvious. If two words in a sentence are changed, the mechanical detector may not find it. But it can help. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 11:51, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
So why not requiring a mechanical check for nomination? The idea is too make copyvios less likely and this would a first step (and probably others should follow). For checking against books there might be a way to use Google Books actually.--Kmhkmh (talk) 12:02, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
I don't do FA reviews (I do copyright reviews), but I'd be fine with that. I would caution people, though, to remember that it is a gross tool, not a finely developed one. I've tried to get a bot or tool that would compare against Google Books, but there are evidently some technical issues with that which go well beyond me. :) If I ever get one, I'll be a happy woman. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 12:05, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
I'm at my maximum involvement level with occasionally checking 2c is correct, consistent, complete per article style; and occasionally delving into 1c issues. I suspect that copyvio checking is an ornate subeditorial specialty, and that we would need to attract and retain highly skilled subeditors. Often copyvio checking appears to be broad domain related specialist knowledge as well, which means attracting and retaining multiple highly skilled subeditors with independent areas of interest. I'm also suspecting that like citations, or much more particularly images, it requires overlapping experts to avoid burn-out and overwork. I assume (possibly incorrectly) that good 1c/2c checking restricts the possibility of plagiarism. I suspect that I am unfairly big-noting my interest in reviewing FACs though. Fifelfoo (talk) 00:56, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
Well, we could concentrate on risk factors. For example, I notice that Disgrace Sherwood went from DYK to FA in 17 days. Perhaps when there is such a rapid genesis and some of the editors are inexperienced, it is worth looking at.--Wehwalt (talk) 01:11, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
Exactly. I should have picked up on Grace Sherwood, because I know Rlevse's writing, but when I saw it read so well, I though it was because Malleus had done a great job on the copyediting. My fault for not asking. Let's concentrate on articles that have certain risk factors, not pour through FACs from editors we know understand copyvio, sourcing, writing. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:17, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps we could require that anyone entering a support has to say they looked at five citations to online sources (if there are five to online) and they checked out as not plagiarized and accurately stating the material.--Wehwalt (talk) 01:22, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
That could be workable. All reviewers would share the burden, and as an added bonus, fact-checking would be more rigorous. Sasata (talk) 02:02, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
I think this is workable. Casliber (talk · contribs) 02:18, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
(ec)Whoa. That's getting into the realm of putting an onus on reviewers. We can discuss it, but it sounds like it could cut across the work Sandy and Moonriddengirl are looking at, which Sandy says will focus on putting the burden on the nominator. It also could get complicated and redundant: why have every reviewing editor give such an undertaking, when one might be enough if there's only five sources available online? Etc etc. I agree with Sandy that we need to separate the long term from the short term, and what is being asked for by Sandy here is a short term solution for upcoming TFAs. Long run, we need Sandy and MRG's proposal and a dedicated discussion (whether here or elsewhere) that responds to that proposal. hamiltonstone (talk) 02:21, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
Sandy is a delegate of Raul's, given certain responsibilities relating to the promotion and archiving of nominations. Obviously we respect her opinion, but we are certainly free to come up with ideas of our own. Whatever is decided must gain community consensus.--Wehwalt (talk) 02:26, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
It is difficult to see here if we're at a crossroads of change, per requiring the best sources or citing facts or this conversation is being motivated by some kind of misplaced shame that a TFA was found to have plagiarism in it. Before requiring reviewers to do anything different I think it's necessary to determine if there is a problem at FAC. I'm very uneasy about something here and I'm not sure what it is. Several issues should be settled: define what is not acceptable at Wikipedia or in an FA. I don't think this is very clear to experienced Wikipedians. What if half an article is constructed from the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica? Even if these things are decided, putting extra safety measures in the review process only opens FAC to more criticism when an article is passed and plagiarism is found in it again: what happens when someone inserts plagiarism after an article has passed FAC and no one caught it? Or someone's definition of plagiarism doesn't mesh with the nominator's? How would you like to be accused of plagiarizing in an article you worked on for months by another editor who is hypervigilant about looking for it? This is what FAC is going to turn into. Again, we'll be rushing to set up a system to catch all this. I've got a record of rejecting anything that is not originally written, but I've seen this kind of "holy shit fix it" reaction before and I have a vague unease about setting something up to make us all feel better about ourselves. I'm not convinced the onus should be on reviewers to find plagiarism at all. But if it's found with solid evidence and no question about what constitutes plagiarism, a mountain of problems should befall whoever is responsible for adding it. I don't know what that looks like right now. I'm just...saying, I guess. --Moni3 (talk) 03:04, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
I concur that we all need to agree on our definitions of "plagiarism" or this exercise will devolve into chaos. So what do we do in the meantime with the FACs (and future TFAs) waiting for reviews? Seems to me Wehwalt's solution is a decent temporary measure to get articles scrutinized a bit more carefully. Sasata (talk) 03:16, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
  • As per Moni and sandy, I agree and am officially sitting quietly with an expectant look on my face until tomorrow-ish. Things will sort themselves out. • Ling.Nut (talk) 03:25, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
Seconding Moni's sentiments, is there reason to believe the problem amounts to something more than one super embarrassing incident? Is it something that demands a systematic response? Honest question: Are there any other examples of plagiarized FAs out there? I do hope whatever solution emerges is proportional to the actual problem. --Nasty Housecat (talk) 04:02, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
What I fear is that after earnest head bobbing, it will be concluded that nothing need be done, all is well, nothing need be done, this was an isolated incident and other FA's can't possibly have that problem. Until they do of course. But we will keep the rose-colored glasses clamped firmly to our heads.--Wehwalt (talk) 04:09, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I'm not sure anyone here is saying that things are rosy and FAs don't have this problem. I'm sure there are an uncomfortable number that do. One is an uncomfortable number, but I hope you get what I mean. However, before we start putting extra steps in place for reviewers, there are a few things to consider. That, at least, is my point. For instance:

  1. Is there a level of plagiarism or close paraphrasing that is unacceptable at FAC that may be acceptable for the rest of Wikipedia?
  2. In a paragraph of five sentences where four of them are cited to separate sources and each sentence paraphrases a different point...we really need to define what we will consider plagiarism.
  3. What is the decision about well-written public domain sources? Can we copy verbatim from those as no laws are being broken?
  4. What is the responsibility of reviewers to ferret out the plagiarized passage and remove it?
  5. If reviewers do not catch plagiarism because the sources are not available or in English or some other circumstance, what is the consequence of their not finding it? Should they also be accused of plagiarizing or otherwise shamed, similar to an honor code violation? How will this impact recruiting new reviewers for FAC when a good number of Wikipedians already decline to review because they don't feel they have the expertise to jump in and give their opinions?
  6. How far should the vigilance extend as a responsibility of the FA project? To what time frame following the passing of the FA?

I'm sure there are other considerations I'm not imagining. FAC isn't perfect. I don't think anyone is saying that. I have serious questions about our collective responsibility finding these problems, though. I don't think any of us would want to individually shoulder the blame for the plagiarism that was found in Grace Sherwood; let's not set ourselves up to get accused of something similar for future articles. --Moni3 (talk) 04:48, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

If I may butt in as a complete outsider, there seems to be a confusion between plagiarism and copyvio, and clearing that up will help answer many of the above questions.
  • Plagiarism is passing off someone else's work, intentionally or not, as one's own. It's first and foremost an ethical matter - refusing to give credit where credit is due. Plagiarism can and should be solved through attribution, provided the source is free for use (either Public Domain or a free license compatible with CC-BY-SA).
  • Copyvio (wikipedia policy) is a particularly narrow interpretation of potential copyright infringement (under US law), and it is defined as the reproduction of content belonging to someone else, content that has not been released for reuse. It's first and foremost a potential legal matter, the theft of intellectual property. A copyvio can be solved either by obtaining permission from the owner or by removal.
  • A passage of text can be plagiarized without being a copyvio. Similarly, an overly long quote of non-free text, even correctly attributed, may be a copyvio without being a case of plagiarism. Reproduction of text under copyright without attribution is both a copyvio and plagiarism.
  • Special case: plagiarism of a CC-BY-SA, GFDL or similar source is always also a copyvio as these licenses allow reuse and modification of text but only under the explicit condition that the origin is attributed.
Particular difficulties arise not just from close paraphrasing but also from a copyrighted text gradually edited out - the latter becomes an unauthorized derivative work, reuse and transformation of material which we had no right to reuse and transform.
In terms of legal obligations, the WMF is placed under a so-called "Safe Harbor" provision which protects it from copyright infringement lawsuits, as long as it can demonstrate that it has consistently taken down copyrighted material once it has been made aware of an issue. A salient point here: the WMF is theoretically immune from prosecution for copyright infringement. Individual contributors (ie. us) are not.
It follows that our responsibility as editors is to make good faith efforts to track and remove (this includes reverting, excising and WP:REVDELeting material) content of dubious nature once we are aware of it. Good faith effort would be particularly important if there were ever a case ending up in front of a judge.
We cannot be faulted however for failing to act on issues we are not aware of (I know, it's duh! but hey...)
However, we could be held accountable if we failed to act on cases where there is good reason to suspect material that may be of dubious origin even if nobody pointed out a specific issue. Examples of that are text contributors from repeat offenders (and we have WP:CCI to deal with these), but also specific instances where we should be on our guards - the simplest example is for instance a big chunk of text added in one single edit without any wiki markup but I believe for instance a particularly short editing cycle from new article to FAC should also be scrutinized
At WP:CP we tend to stick to a quite strict precautionary principle: if we have reasonable doubts about any material, we remove it.
My suggestions, again as a total outsider, would be to identify some potential red flag conditions that have to be checked against, run at the very least a machine check on the FAC - there's a tool to help here on the toolserver (mind you, it will turn up plenty of false positives, and more so the older the article is), and include a cursory check against plagiarism, copyvio and close paraphrasing in the review checklist. That way you can at least triage the red flag articles for an in-depth check, and on anything else, keep a track record on where a cursory review has been performed, where it was not possible because all sources were offline, but also identify and address any issues with a reviewer who would consistently miss problems.
Sorry for the long rant. MLauba (Talk) 10:56, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

Six points (and one edit conflict):

  • Don't conflate plagiarism with copyright violation. A {{1911}} article may be entirely plagiarized, but not a copyright violation. See User:Moonriddengirl/Copyright#Is it a copyright problem or plagiarism, and what difference does it make?, or one of the many "copyright vs. plagiarism" leaflets than a WWW search will turn up, for more.
  • The issue with Grace Sherwood may also be plagiarism, but what I, Moonriddengirl, and Hans Adler were looking for were copyright violations. Our mandate, that the Foundation provides the wikis to support us in following, is to produce free content, that anyone can re-use. Copyright violation, of someone else's non-free content, is fundamentally at odds with that, and is also an important legal concern that puts the project at risk.
  • Plagiarism is an ethical concern, and Risker has elsewhere rightly raised the point that, in our rôle as an encyclopaedists who do no original research, there are things to be borne in mind with respect to the interaction of prohibitions on both plagiarism and originality. (They largely boil down to "Say where you obtained the knowledge from.".)
  • Everyone has the responsibility to police for copyright violations. (In fact, everyone has the responsibility to police most of our policies.) And I'm happy to report that my experience over these past years is that they are indeed policed by volunteers ranging from administrators and checkusers to people who don't even have accounts at all.
  • Copyright violations are a widespread problem, at least from the perspective of an administrator. (At the time of my RFAs one of the areas that I thought I could help out at with administrator tools was the perennial battle against copyright problems. It's a long-standing problem, too.) Some people involved in the FA process have expressed surprise that this sort of thing can happen. It happens often. It's just caught quite a lot before you even see it in this area of the encyclopaedia. New Pages Patrol catches an awful lot of people copying and pasting other people's work, or their own work that they don't actually intend to be free content, into Wikipedia. It's done by advertisers and self-promoters. It's done by people who believe the false Copyright Myth that "if it's on the World Wide Web, it's public domain". And it's also done by bad writers. (I just had to revert contributions by 81.110.220.68 (talk · contribs), for example, whose idea of "writing" was to just copy, word-for-word, entire articles published by The Gunpowder Plot Society into Wikipedia. That also exemplifies, by the way, the point that although New Pages Patrol catches a lot of this, that doesn't mean that Special:NewPages is the only place that one will find it.)
  • There's a FA elephant in the room with Grace Sherwood. No-one seems, yet, to have noticed that the USA Today article was inconsistently and misleadingly punctuated. (Copyediting is a lost art, somewhat, isn't it?) The story being presented as the encyclopaedic version of events was actually the story as told by Frances Pollard. Surely there are better guiding sources to use than a newspaper interview with someone from the Virginia Historical Society? Were there no articles in Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, the society's journal? No disrespect to M. Pollard, but an account for the masses given to a journalist is a very different thing to an article in the society journal aimed at a rather difference audience.

Uncle G (talk) 11:11, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

Moreover plagiarism is mostly a non-issue for WP, i.e. WP doesn't care if something is plagiarized as long as it is not copyvio as well. Hence I find the use of the term plagiarism in the current discussions highly disturbing (in particular coming from experienced editors). If editors use the term plagiarism somewhat loosely and essentially as a synonym for copyvio concerns, then they should use copyvio instead to avoid constant misunderstandings and irritations. If editors (unconsciously) apply academic plagiarism standards used in universities or schools, then there seems to be serious misunderstanding with WP's goals and guidelines and that the requirements of WP and university/school papers are fundamentally different in some regards.--Kmhkmh (talk) 11:26, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
Again, just for clarity, I point out Wikipedia:Plagiarism. WP does care if something is plagiarized within the definition embraced by the community. It's important to remember that because plagiarism aside from copyright has long been blockable. WP:CP has a section specifically on "Plagiarism that does not infringe copyright" that long predates the guideline (it's been there since before I started working at the board, though it has been changed to reflect the promotion of that guideline). --Moonriddengirl (talk) 11:56, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
Well I must admit i wasn't aware that WP actually had guideline page with that very unfortunate name, because what it essentially does is reiterating/explaining the copyright and sourcing policies and how they relate to WP and plagiarism in general. However it is still a bad idea to speak of this "plagiarism" in reference to this guideline, when essentially various forms copyvio or improper sourcing are the real concern. Because if we use "plagiarism" in such a manner it will be misinterpreted by others not being aware of this guideline as the regular "academic plagiarism" and hence creating a lot of confusion. As it can be seen in the discussion here but much more so currently at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents/Plagiarism and copyright concerns on the main page in particular involving FionaUnited.--Kmhkmh (talk) 12:31, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
The confusion of the terms plagiarism and copyvio is a perpetual problem. Essentially, all that's needed to avoid plagiarism on Wikipedia is to plainly attribute your source (which includes noting verbatim duplication). It's easily remedied when it occurs. Copyvio is so much more complex...and pressing. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 12:35, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
True, but not all editors believe WP should care as much as it does, when there are so many bigger problems to contend with on the encyclopedia ;) Those points of view are also legitimate. Physchim62 (talk) 12:26, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
Yes, they are legitimate views, but people do need to be aware of current consensus to avoid inadvertently falling afoul of guideline. Better to shape the guideline. :) --Moonriddengirl (talk) 12:29, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
Kmhkmh, regardless of what you believe about the appropriateness of plagiarism on Wikipedia in general, it's really ridiculous to think plagiarism is acceptable in a featured article, which is supposed to exemplify "our best work"; plagiarized text is neither ours, nor the best, nor work. Since the present discussion is about FAs in particular, I am pretty shocked that you are still so convinced that plagiarism is ok. rʨanaɢ (talk) 16:28, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

Copyright certification

What Sandy proposed at my talk page to potentially help deal with this and what seems to be potentially helpful here is a kind of pre-guarantee presented by the nominator of an article for DYK, GA or FA that they understand the plagiarism and copyright stances on Wikipedia and that they have not plagiarized or violated our copyright policies. (She does not mention, but it may be a good idea on collaborative works to ask them to review the content.) I like this suggestion myself because one of my focal points in copyright cleanup is educating our contributors. I've worked with probably hundreds of editors with copyright problems on Wikipedia, and particularly when it comes to close paraphrasing issues many contributors are simply unaware of the extensiveness of the need to rewrite content. I could point you to a dozen contributors I know of who have modified their approaches and become very good contributors after being advised of the issues (but I won't, because there's no reason to embarrass anybody...and because honestly after the first four or so I'd have to start checking my records). Those who are operating in good faith may take the opportunity to review their own work and address their own problems or to seek feedback if they are unsure. And those who are blatantly operating in bad faith will have demonstrated that by certifying that they have not pasted where they have. (By the latter, I presume outright pasting, not improper paraphrase.) This is not related solely to FAs, obviously, but I thought it might be a good idea to get feedback here. If the idea seems a sound one, it might be appropriate to run it through Village Pump. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 12:03, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

  • Me likes. • Ling.Nut (talk) 12:14, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
I agree, but it can obviously only be a part of a solution. After a while, it's boilerplate that no one notices anymore. When was the last time you read those terms and conditions that you checked the box that you did?--Wehwalt (talk) 13:10, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
With all due respect to Sandy, I think this idea is a non-starter that doesn't actually address the problem. There will be editors who submit copyvio material to FAC – we can divide them into two groups: those who don't know and those who don't care. Both of those groups will happily "sign" the declaration. Now those who don't care, we don't care about them any more than we need to to show them the door as quickly as possible. As MRG points out, we do care about those who simply don't know, and we want to help them produce material that isn't copyvio. But we can't help them unless we discover that the material that they have produced in good faith is actually a copyvio. So we're back to square one – how do we detect copyvio in textual material?
I think there might be legal problems as well: I don't want to get all paranoid about it, but there are reasons behind the wording of the message that appears under the edit box every time you edit a page, and you will notice that that message doesn't contain this sort of copyright declaration. If FAC wasn't to take this idea forward, someone should drop a note to the Office to let them know and to see if they have any objections. The Foundation stresses that it is a service provider, not a publisher, and it may well object to anything that even resembled a contract with individual users. Physchim62 (talk) 13:13, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
Any proposal that does not include verification by someone besides the nominator, even if only a random check, is just shuffling those deck chairs again. Any plan, to my mind, has to do two things: give candidate articles with copyvios a realistic chance of getting caught, and do a check of TFA/R candidates and articles placed in the queue by Raul. I would also give Raul, and only Raul, the power to ban from FAC for a period or indefinitely, for copyvio.--Wehwalt (talk) 13:22, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

Getting back to what Sandy said above about how she didn't worry about plagiarism because Malleus copyedited, that would be true, had a copyedit been done. In truth, all that was done is Malleus polished the language. A copy editor always has to be aware that modifying awkward wording easily may move the wording closer to, or reproduce, the source. Most often the source is written clearly and the awkward wording to an attempt to get around that. The copy editor unwittingly restores the original wording. (I have found myself on the brink of doing that many times before I checked the sources, and in the current case the source was a USA article on line and easily checked.) A copy editor works with the writer rather than in isolation. A copy editor asks "Is this what you mean?" and "What does the source say?" etc., in other words the editor must collaborate rather than rewrite in isolation. This is especially important when the source is off line, and only in the possession of the nominator. The assumption that just because an article is "well written" (à la Malleus ) that therefore it does not close paraphrase or tread on copyvio does not make sense, if the copy editor, including Malleus, has not inquired about the sources. There should be a dialogue about the sources between copy editor and writer. Mind you, I'm not ascribing blame here, we need to have an honest dialogue about the flaws in the system and check our touchiness at the door.--Wehwalt (talk) 14:39, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

... she didn't worry about plagiarism because Malleus copyedited ... . I actually meant something different than I "didn't worry about plagiarism" or copyvio because Malleus copyedited. I saw prose that was beyond what Rlevse usually wrote. Normally, that would be a tipoff to check for copyvio. I thought that was because Malleus had upgraded the prose quality. Now I see that I should never assume anything, no matter who has been in there. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:28, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
Yes, and I apologize for any misinterpretation. Right now, we need to figure out ways of doublechecking this stuff that will last once the heat dies down and it's back to business as usual. I greatly respect Malleus's work, and hope he will not take my comments the wrong way, but we need to be self-critical in how we do things. I rarely check sources in reviewing, clearly that has been a mistake.--Wehwalt (talk) 15:34, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
Not to disagree with either of you but, when I'm looking at an article, it is often the prose that jars a little that is a sign that something in the editing is not quite right. To give an example of my recent mistakes, I recently contributed to an FAC on a chemistry article: the editor had (legitimately) copied some badly translated German from a scientific paper (acknowledged) as a simple factual description of a compound. I just cleaned up the translation and went on. What I should have done was reread the article, when I would have found some more bizarre changes of style that would have led me to discover that much of the text had been copypasted from a U.S. government publication... Not an emergency situation, and one that is being dealt with (there are a few scientific points that have been disputed as well, so all is being done at the same time), but a bit embarrassing for all concerned. If I were to write a "copyvio check report" for tomorrow's TFA, I would say that the consistent style throughout the article is an indication against copyvio. Physchim62 (talk) 15:48, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Hmmm, this is an interesting discussion. I wondered how long it would be before the blame for this debacle was laid at my door. Malleus Fatuorum 23:26, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
If everyone is going to be damn touchy every time their name is mentioned, we will never have an honest exchange of views and be able to do something about this. I think that's the direction Moni was hinting at last night.--Wehwalt (talk) 23:43, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
Indeed 'twould be ironic if this became a witch trial! Physchim62 (talk) 00:21, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
It's not remotely practical to suggest a copy-editor can either check for plagiarism or keep asking "is this alright? Well is this alright?" It is the responsibility of the main editors, if someone else copyedits, to keep an eye on the copyediting to check that it is not accidentally reverted back to the original source. On what basis would anyone presume that a copyeditor has access to all (or indeed any) of the sources? Fainites barleyscribs 00:10, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
Agree. The copyeditor is concentrating on copyediting, he or she would be suboptimal for finding copyvio. Physchim62 (talk) 00:21, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
What you're describing is proof-reading, where someone looks for glaring punctuation or spelling mistakes. Copy editors are supposed to check for multiple issues, including plagiarism. If one good thing comes out of this, it will be that we stop saying FACs have been copy edited when what we mean is that someone tweaked some sentences around. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 00:42, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
What you're describing is bullshit. Malleus Fatuorum 02:06, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
The aggression needs to stop, Malleus. Polishing a poor text can end up producing a worse result than leaving it alone, because it masks problems that need to be dealt with, problems that a thorough copy editor would see. So let's have a discussion about what's expected of copy editors at FAC rather than exchanging insults. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 02:27, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
Something certainly needs to stop, but I think that it's your tediously incessant bullshitting. What has definitely stopped though is any further "tweaking some sentences around" on my part though, so I suppose that you and Wehwalt have finally achieved your aim. Malleus Fatuorum 02:34, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
I've been reluctant to oppose articles you've edited, because I know it will lead to personal attacks. I found plagiarism and source distortion in Ezra Pound, an article you had copy edited, and I was attacked for it, rather than thanked; the second sentence in the version presented at FAC had been copied word for word from an uncited source by an occasional editor, and other sources had been made to say the opposite of what they had actually said. And that's just one example.
It's understandable to be protective of articles you've written. But you extend that mantle of protection to anything you've proof-read, and to articles people you like have edited, and these are articles you're not so familiar with, so it can lead to problems going unnoticed. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 03:18, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
You really are on fire tonight, and I see now that the root of your malevolence is the comment I made about you railroading the Ezra Pound article, an observation that I am even more certain about now than I was when I made it. Malleus Fatuorum 03:29, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
No, you've done it me before, and you've done it to others too, and you need to stop doing it, because it means certain articles are not being as thoroughly checked as they need to be. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 03:35, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
I guess that it's very likely that I'll do it to you again if you persist in your insulting and hectoring ways. Malleus Fatuorum 04:16, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
Hey, if Sandy and I can, well, not quite kiss but at least make up in order to try to tackle a problem.... Physchim62 (talk) 02:47, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
I must say Slim, your comments about copyediting is one of the most dismissive and insulting things I've ever read on Wikipedia. Your conclusion, that copyeditors should find plagiarism, and your insinuation that polishing prose is to blame for hiding plagiarism is beyond the pale.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 03:27, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Whoah there. Copy editors often cannot check for plagiarism or close paraphrasing, simply because they do not have access to the reference sources. Further, I expect that just about everyone who reviews a FAC—or just about any article, for that matter—makes a few copy edits to it. What's being proposed here would erode the entire wiki-culture. I tend to check available online links, but I'm never going to go out and buy an expensive tome simply for the pleasure of fixing grammar and sentence structure. This is silliness. Risker (talk) 02:56, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

Absolutely per Risker. hamiltonstone (talk) 03:16, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
It wasn't obvious in this case that there was a copyright violation, so it would have been hard to find. But there have been other cases where it was obvious, because the writing was different from the rest of the article, and it still wasn't found. And copyright violations are not the only issue. There's a culture at FAC that articles edited by certain people, and Malleus is one of them, shouldn't be checked much, and if they are checked it leads to personal attacks, and the critic being ganged up on. It has been a problem for a long time. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 03:19, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
Difficult cases make bad law, SlimVirgin. You're proposing to turn the entire foundation of the project—that of building articles in small and large ways, in a collaborative environment—on its ear with this proposal. The result will be that nobody in their right mind will copy edit a potential FA, not if they're going to be held personally responsible for checking the content against the references. You might just as well demand that editors go through a certification process or demonstrate that they're subject matter experts in order to edit. Oh wait.... Risker (talk) 03:30, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
I don't have a proposal, Risker. The proposals for certification aren't mine and aren't connected to the point I'm making. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 03:37, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
The copyvio was added to Ezra Pound here in March 2009, I discovered it when I started working on the article here in June 2010 and removed, but inadvertently left in a sentence (there were extenuating circumstances for that, but won't go into detail). Between March 2009 and June 2010 many people worked on the article and no one noticed. I should have noticed that a sentence in an 8000 word article was wrong and am willing to accept punishment - a block, a ban, whatever the community decides. Malleus has nothing to do with this - the responsibility is all mine. Truthkeeper88 (talk) 03:50, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
(ec*2)It is possible that SV or another editor has had the negative experience she describes, but I guess I don't share SV's view about the FAC culture. However, ascribing different levels of confidence to the reviews by some editors might actually be a rational risk management approach. This is a collaborative voluntary long-term venture, and formal certification processes or systematic expectations around actions (such as copy editing) etc are, as Risker says, likely to kill the thing off. But in fact an environment where particular editors are identified as reliable in particular ways may represent a rational response to the need to manage risk, since risk management usually involves assessments of impacts of adverse events, balanced against their likelihood, and also weighed against the costs of managing to prevent those adverse events. It may be that the most rational approach is for the delegates here to give informally-based weighting to the views or input of particular editors based on past performance. The most obvious examples that come to mind are Ealdgyth's reliability-of-source-checking, and Elcobbola's assessments of images. Might they get something wrong? Yes. But the delegates have reached an informal view about the likelihood of that, based on past performance.

Which is a long-winded way of saying: (1) per Risker, difficult cases make bad law (2) that this experience will lead to incremental adjustment in how content creators write material and editors check sources during FAC; and (3) that the very existence of this discussion is probably sufficient (in the first instance at least) to trigger that incremental adjustment. hamiltonstone (talk) 04:15, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

(ec) The reason I noticed that sentence (in Pound) was the writing was very different from the rest of the article, so I looked it up on Google, and there it was. And that wasn't the only issue, as you know. There were sources that had literally been turned on their heads, yet I was attacked for trying to fix it.
The broader point is this: some articles when they come to FAC are placed under extraordinary scrutiny, and some are barely checked at all. One of the reasons for this discrepancy (perhaps not the only reason, but one of them) is that certain editors are part of a small group of FA regulars whose articles are not checked so thoroughly. This is not true in all cases. There are FA regulars who ask for thorough peer reviews. But there are other articles where this does not happen, and they can slip through the net. And that is something we need to deal with, not with a view to harping on about the past, but for the future. We need to find a way to make sure all articles are reviewed with the same attention to detail, no matter who has edited them. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 04:22, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
Which editors? Parrot of Doom 09:14, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

Proposal 1

Pending adoption of a formal process I posted some questions to an FAC near the bottom of the list, and may do so with others.[7] Answers to them may give the delegates some level of comfort. Kablammo (talk) 19:04, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

Copied from Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Pedro Álvares Cabral/archive1 (where both nominators have responded:

Questions on intellectual property

Lecen and any others:

Some recent developments have made it advisable to ask these questions. Please do not take them as indicating any doubt about your work; they are just one more step in the review process.

  1. Are you familiar with Wikipedia's policies about copyright? Do you believe this article complies with these policies?
  2. Is there any verbatim sentence or phrase in the article which is not encased in quote marks and attributed to the specific source?
  3. Is there any sentence or close paraphrase of a source?
  4. Is there any translation which is a verbatim transcriptions or close paraphrase of a (even if idiomatic) translation of the original source(s)? If so, can you tell us which ones?
  5. In writing this article, did you adopt the sentence structure or organization of any source?

I recognize these questions come late in the process but they are necessary to ensure the integrity of the FAC process. Thank you, and good luck with this nomination. Kablammo (talk) 19:01, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:22, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

The second question -- "Is there any verbatim sentence or phrase in the article which is not encased in quote marks and attributed to the specific source?" -- needs to be "or not attributed to the source". Quotation marks aren't needed for indirect speech, though in-text attribution is. Let's not do anything here that increases the quote farm mentality. And question 5 is a bit odd. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 00:58, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
No. The verabtim transcription of half-dozen or more sentences, without quotes, but with the source linked in a footnote, would meet the standard were we to use the disjunctive.
If you are saying that specific attribution can be in the text, such as x said <quoted language>, but without quote marks, is sufficent, I disagree. But even if that aesthetic preference against quote marks would be found permissible, as a reviewer I still want to know what and where such text is. Kablammo (talk) 15:42, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
Number 3 may need a bit of rephrasing.--Wehwalt (talk) 01:05, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
I agree. Suggested revision:

3. Does the article contain any vebatim copy or close paraphrase of a phrase or sentence taken from a source? If so, please identify them.

Kablammo (talk) 20:46, 8 November 2010 (UTC)
(ec)Comments I am having trouble following the discussion and what is being asked, so forgive me if I'm on a tangent here. I remember an episode of an unrelated perennial discussion a while back at FAC (keeping the queue size manageable etc), during which there were some proposals (I floated at least one) along the lines of 'pre-certification' by nominators regarding aspects of the articles they were nominating. I found the idea got a lukewarm reception. I find it ironic that we now appear to be discussing another kind of pre-certification.

It is possible that we are manufacturing a hammer here to smack some fairly rare walnuts. Wehwalt commented this will become, like other boilerplate, unread. Another editor(?) commented that those who don't care won't be affected, and those who don't know may not be helped by being asked to sign off something they already have shown they don't understand. Add to that the fact that there can be genuine disagreement at law, let alone amongst editors' opinions, over where the line is to be drawn on copyvio, and I just don't see this as working. Sympathy with the problem? Yes. Support for a systemic solution? My initial reaction is no. hamiltonstone (talk) 01:08, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

Here's how I see it. Reviewers may be afraid to Suppport if they think they'll eventually be "blamed" for any undiscovered problems. Everyone is sensitive now-- perhaps this will pass. But it's not others' problem if nominators plagiarize or violate copyvio or don't read the boilerplate-- it's the problem of the editor who did it. Putting something like this in each FAC puts it on the nominator. This whole problem may blow over-- but I'm wondering if reviewers now feel concern about Supporting, and if something like this will help? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:30, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
I think there's more of a problem with reviewers being unwilling to oppose certain articles, or even comment on some that certain editors have edited. And I think this issue needs to be addressed at some point. I was attacked myself recently for trying to fix an FAC that contained plagiarism and where sources had been made to say the opposite of what they had really said. The result of those attacks is that I won't want to do that again, and it's not the first time it has happened. I don't particularly want to raise this now in detail, and I think it's not a good time to do it when people are upset about this latest issue. But I think it does need to be dealt with when things die down, because it's the single biggest obstacle, in my view, to producing a set of uniformly good and carefully checked featured articles. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 01:36, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
I still think it's a bad idea to generalize this sort of questionnaire. The basic problem is still the one I exposed above: it won't catch the "don't knows" nor the "don't cares".
I also think the checklist format would have an unintended consequences on reviewers. The questionnaire tries, quite valiently, to cover the different types of copyvio. Fine, but are these the "official FAC" definitions of copyvio? I fear that reviewers (if only subconsciously) going to go through articles looking to see if quotations are correctly marked and worrying about the sourcing of translations, which isn't Bad in itself but which isn't really what the project wants them to do (at least not all of them). Take translations as an example: they're pretty easy to spot, and so to assess, and the vast majority are harmless so long as they're correctly attributed (under the short-quotation rule). What at least some reviewers should be looking for is "something that doesn't seem right". Even if they can't define the problem at first sight, "something that doesn't seem right" is always something that needs to be looked into: it might be copyvio, PoV, BLP, SYNTH, style or even simple grammar, and ensuring that some sort of general check is made is an important check for all of these. Don't forget that FAC has passed at least one blatantly ungrammatical featured article that made it onto the Main Page before correction, in addition to the latest mishap. Physchim62 (talk) 03:02, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
I like the basic idea. One of the most common responses we encounter in copyright work (after "nuh-uh!", and the entrenchment of "nuh-uh!" can really be astounding) is "I didn't know!" Some people really don't, and if we provide them with links to material that helps explain, maybe the'll learn and repair their problems on their own. Some people do know but are hoping to claim ignorance so they can get away with it; if we provide them with links to material that explains, we deprive them of plausible deniability. This helps deal with them down the road. It will also generally increase awareness of copyright concerns. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 14:37, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
MRG, should we gain consensus for something along these lines, perhaps Kablammo and you can work together to refine the wording per the suggestions above? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:44, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
Would this have stopped Grace Sherwood?--Wehwalt (talk) 14:51, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
No, it wouldn't. Physchim62 (talk) 14:54, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
No, but it 1) has the chance to educate nominators and remove "denial plausibility" (look at some of Rlevse's responses after this surfaced); 2) puts the onus where it belongs (on the person who inserted the copyvio), and 3) removes it from reviewers. I am NOT saying we shouldn't be checking sources more carefully ourselves, but we can't be responsible for the entire history of any article-- the writer has to take some responsibility for what they're bringing to FAC. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:35, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
If we assume good faith, that nominators and authors will not lie, it very well could stop some copyright violations. It certainly has a better chance of doing so, than doing nothing. In any event, I think it is within my right as an occasional reviewer to ask such questions. Kablammo (talk) 15:47, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
I'd certainly say that it's within the right of any reviewer to ask such questions! I just don't think it's an effective systemic response. To reply to Sandy, the editor who inserts a copyvio is responsible for it from the moment they insert it, not just when the article reaches FAC. Physchim62 (talk) 16:11, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

Suggestion

Discussion here seems to have stalled, so I have a suggestion for review by the FAC community. I have dreaded reading through FAC since 31 October, but just did, and was pleased to see more extensive sourcing checks and specific commentary about watching for copyvio and plagiarism (thank you all!!). My proposal below is NOT intended to suggest that we don't still need reviewers to do more spot checking of sources for WP:V-- the minimum checks for reliability done by Ealdgyth and Brian are only that, and we still need more source work.

If the above list of questions is believed to be helpful, they needn't clutter every FAC, since we have many repeat nominators. How about if we:

  1. Tweak and refine those questions, per above commentary;
  2. Set them up in a FAC subpage;
  3. Have every FAC nominator sign on that subpage that they have read it, so that we don't need repeat queries for repeat nominators, but we will have a link to query new nominators and a record of who has signed on?

SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:28, 8 November 2010 (UTC)

I'm fine with that idea. --Andy Walsh (talk) 20:30, 8 November 2010 (UTC)

Hmmmm, no further feedback, so I'm doing the following:

  1. I've placed the suggested wording at User:SandyGeorgia/IPTemp
  2. I will ping in Moonriddengirl, Kablammo, Geometry guy and Ruhrfisch (GA and PR) to tweak and finalize the text and figure out a name
  3. Once the page is settled and stable, I'll suggest we add it to the {{featured article tools}} and make it part of PR, GAN, and FAC (possibly DYK as well, but articles are short enough there that they really should be doing the checks themselves).
  4. If we institute this, I'd ask the folks who screen each FAC per the Featured article tools to make sure the nominator is signed on.

SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:26, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

I didn't comment earlier because I realize it's tiresome to hear me saying the same things over and over again ;) Namely, that this plan simply won't work in any practical way to reduce the risk of copyvio passing through FAC. I'm particularly worried about Sandy's comment that DYK "really should be doing the checks themselves": erm, so should FAC! If this questionnaire is to be used as an alternative to doing copyvio checking, then it will increase the risk of copyvio passing through FAC. The law of unintended consequences, I'm afraid! Physchim62 (talk) 14:59, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
The intention is good: to save effort and time asking standard questions at content review processes. If the idea is to work, the key is to ensure that the implementation reflects this. What you have so far looks a bit like another bureaucratic layer to nominating articles even though that is not the intention. Is it necessary for everyone to provide answers to the questions, or could they instead sign up that they will follow these basic principles in all of their nominations? Such a system will only help reviewers if they can easily find out whether a nominator has signed up. Hence I wonder if it might not be easier to ask for confirmation with each nomination. It wouldn't take so much time and could be coded into templates or preloads.
For instance at FAC, the preload for the nomination could include "Are you confident that your nomination meets <link to questions> or would you like reviewers to query this and advise?" and nominators could add "yay" or "nay" in response. That does not mean (per Physchim's concern) that reviewers would *not* check if the nominator said yes, but it would at least draw attention to cases where the nominator would like help with this complicated area of copyright law and good editing practice. Geometry guy 23:12, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
Discussion has pretty much moved to User:SandyGeorgia/IPTemp, since interest here seems to be waning-- it's hard to follow discussion in two places, and I'm giving up. I (and some others) believe there is no chance people will read a pre-load-- they don't read 'em now. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:17, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
Okay, but just to be clear: by "preload" I mean information that actually appears in the edit box, not information that appears above the edit box. To ignore information in a preload you have to actually delete it from the edit box. It would be easy to declare that such nominations are malformed, and hence remove them. Geometry guy 23:29, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

Copyvio toolbox suggestion

Let's be clear that there is no 100% certain solution to the problem. For one thing, there's all the dead-tree and foreign language sources that cannot be reasonably checked by an FAC reviewer. Even for web sources, the question of whether a passage is textual copyvio or a legitimate restatement of facts is often a subjective judgement call, and one that has been the subject of many discussions on WP in the past. That doesn't mean that nothing can be done, simply that we shouldn't pretend that any new system will magically prevent this sort of situation recurring.

As Moonriddengirl has observed on another of the many discussions that have sprung up, one of the major ways of avoiding copyvio on Wikipedia is ensuring that as many editors as possible are aware that it can happen. There are a few tools that have been developed to look for copyvio on Wikipedia, such as User:CorenSearchBot/manual and Earwig: why not add these to the FAC toolbox that appears on all review pages? As well as making them easily accessible to reviewers, they will also be a visual reminder that copyvio can happen, even on featured article candidates. Physchim62 (talk) 12:26, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

Again, I agree. This is going to have to be a shared responsibility. Nominators are going to have to say that the article is copyright compliant (and if you can't certify that because you didn't write much of the article and didn't look at some of the sources, then don't nominate). Reviewers are going to have to do something to check, and I don't think checking five footnotes as part of a review is excessive. The delegate, when she goes through on her pre-promotion final checklist, will have to check a couple of online cites, especially if it's an inexperienced nominator. I would also suggest that we insert a check into the TFA/R process and when Raul schedules outside of that process, check the articles in the queue.--Wehwalt (talk) 13:14, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Just as a note, I've asked Earwig if User:EarwigBot's tasks could be expanded to check FAC articles, the way it checks AFC. → ROUX  13:40, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Also, The Plagiarism Checker is a useful tool. It seems to do what CorenSearchBot does (though does not exclude mirrors); I am not sure how much difference there is between the way they search. → ROUX  13:43, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
  • CSB (and the Earwig's checker on the toolserver) search Yahoo! (and possibly Bing). The plagiarism checker searches google. The latter takes short exerpts and passes them over since there's a hard limit on how many words or characters you can search on Google through a machine. So checking both types of tools will give different results. MLauba (Talk) 14:24, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Another thing to watch for is curly quotes instead of straight quotes, since those often originate off-Wiki (via copy paste). This discussion is evolving quite nicely; thank you to everyone. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 13:47, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
No problem, it is important that we all pull together in a crisis.--Wehwalt (talk) 13:52, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
Not even I would kick FAC (or DYK) when its down ;) Physchim62 (talk) 14:05, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
Sandy, one thing you could do is put tips like that on a page, to which others could contribute pointers as well.--Wehwalt (talk) 14:10, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
It's going to be a while before I can catch up; I'm just most pleased that so many competent people are working on this so constructively. Kudos to all. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:14, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
  • It's worth looking for edits by CorenSearchBot early in an article's history. I found that even when it is right its template is often simply removed, sometimes without even so much as superficially rewriting the content to hide the copyvio better.
  • Similarly, one could use WikiStalk to look for pages that were edited both by the nominator and CorenSearchBot. Any editor who has the kind of statistics that Moonriddengirl has (currently 428 articles of common interest with CorenSearchBot) should have a good explanation.
  • It would be helpful to have a tool that lists the major contributions to an article that introduced new text, ordered by size. Hans Adler 14:20, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
  • There's WikiTrust, which colour-codes how much article text has been revised, and shows the diffs where each word of the article was introduced. Iridia (talk) 22:09, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
  • I have created an FA toolbox that you can carry with you from page to page. It's only tested in Monobook, a variant of a custom menu I've been using for ages. Just copy or transclude the content from here to User:YOU/Bookmarks and import User:Roux/popupBookmarks.js into User:YOU/monobook.js. Purge your cache, and you will see a ۞ in the top-right corner of your screen. Clicking it will give you a nice popup menu, with links to a bunch of the more useful tools.→ ROUX  22:15, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
    • (Feel free to add any tools you think I've missed, obviously) → ROUX  22:18, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

Where do we stand on tools, and who is consolidating, coordinating that? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:59, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

  • See above. I don't know what I'm missing from that toolbox. → ROUX  16:04, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
    • I'm trying, I'm trying ! Too much to keep up with! SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:07, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
      • I meant literally one comment above yours :) → ROUX  16:13, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
        • I know, I know :) What I mean is, if you're taking charge of this, could you coordinate, consolidate, set up a trial case, test it on some FAs, work with Dispenser (talk · contribs) to get it added to the tools if we have consensus? I haven't even had a chance to look at it, but if it depends on online sources, I know there will be many issues (mirrors, language commonly used in literature about certain topics, translations from non-English, et al). I just don't have time to look at what you've done. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:18, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
          • Oh. It's just a consolidation of {{featured article tools}} plus a couple other links. The benefit is that it follows you to every page; basically just a list of bookmarks. → ROUX  16:20, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

TFA

Has anyone had time to look at our upcoming TFAs? I haven't, and won't for the nearterm. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:37, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

As I've said, anyone is free to check United States Senate election in California, 1950, my article which goes TFA in nine hours. If I have time, I will at least look at the November 3 TFA and report back tonight.--Wehwalt (talk) 14:41, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
Browsing those currently in the queue, I see a lot of good editors, so they may not need close scrutiny. I just want to make sure we have eyes on this. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:42, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
I'm too busy scanning ITNs, sorry ;) Physchim62 (talk) 14:45, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
Actually, no, I have taken the time to read through United States Senate election in California, 1950, and I couldn't find any indication of copyvio. Physchim62 (talk) 15:12, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
Mattisse did an excellent copyediting job on that article, back in the day, and I've been working on it ever since in preparation for its TFA day.--Wehwalt (talk) 15:20, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
Mattisse also raised redflags at DYK long ago, and she checked sources when she copyedited, so a lot could be said about the whole Mattisse Affair, but if we go there now, this could get quickly off-topic (see my post above after first Mattisse mention here). SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:34, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
Well, she was the one who copyedited it. In future, I will refer to her as She Who May Not Be Named? I would note that if she asked to come back, enough time has passed so that any admin could grant her a second chance, and we could really use her talents about now, if she made undertakings to refrain from drama and sockpuppetry. It would also help if she could show positive work on another part of the project. But I'll let it drop for now.--Wehwalt (talk) 19:40, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Sandy, I sampled four sources at Not One Less, made minor comments at the talk page, to which User:Rjanag is very promptly responding (notwithstanding a dumb mistake on my part). I thought there was appropriate and careful use of quote marks in the article and found no issues of the type identified in the preceding discussion. hamiltonstone (talk) 22:37, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

Feedback appreciated, but I'm too pressed with IRL issues and everything here on Wiki to follow each case, so I'm glad others are! Thanks you for doing that! SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:58, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

Copy-editing

Picking up on a point Wehwalt made above, is part of the solution here not to focus more on substance, and less on formatting? A copy editor outside Wikipedia doesn't only make punctuation and formatting fixes. They're often the last person to check an article before it goes on the page, and so they check facts, they look for plagiarism and other legal issues, and may rewrite an article entirely. What's normally done on FAs isn't copy editing, and sometimes people who do try to copy edit seriously are criticized for being too hands-on.

This leads to a situation where texts that are presented as having been copy-edited attract less scrutiny. I feel the same way about these source checks that are performed, where all that's being done is making sure the kinds of sources used aren't wildly wrong, but without checking that the sources match the text (and don't match it too closely). These checks risk luring other reviewers into a false sense of security. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 17:07, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

I'd be more than happy to stop doing source checks... but when I've stopped (and Brian hasn't picked up) what we end up with is no one checking for at least bare reliablity of sources for FAs. But we can try not doing source checks at all (it'd be great to be able to actually write more..) Ealdgyth - Talk 17:12, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
We had this discussion maybe a year ago (guessing), and I thought we'd agreed that all reviewers should take a look at all issues. So there shouldn't be a dedicated image person, or a dedicated source person. I've noticed plagiarism go unnoticed through these checks before, and non-PD images be declared PD. I think this is bound to happen where you have a division of labour that's so narrow in focus, because it means that when the main person declares the images or the sources are good, then no one else is going to look. But the philosophy of Wikipedia is that many eyes are a safeguard. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 17:27, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
Replying to a number of posts here: Reviewers are volunteers, and define their own scope of review. Writers can ask, but not demand, what they do. What reviewers can and should do is describe what criteria they have looked at, so assumptions are not made that one entering a "Support" has checked the article against all criteria when in fact the reviewer did not do so. Kablammo (talk) 18:48, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
I agree. However, then let's call it something else. Text-polishing, perhaps? I feel strongly my proposal of only counting a support if minimal ref checking has been done by the reviewer is a good idea. Of course, anyone could do anything they want, they simply would not be entitled to have a support count if they did not choose to do the checking.--Wehwalt (talk) 19:53, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure we need a number of folks to check for copyright violations on text-- we don't need more than one image reviewer. We need every criterion checked, but not by three folks.
Now, how to check foreign-language print sources . . . Kablammo (talk) 20:00, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
Since the delegate rarely promotes without three supports, I figure this would lessen the burden on each reviewer. Everyone is going to have to pitch in. What happened embarrassed us all, and we all have to cooperate to find and implement a solution.--Wehwalt (talk) 21:25, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
It's always been absolutely obvious to me that copy-editing on wikipedia relates to grammar, punctuation, prose, presentation and the like. I am very surprised that experienced editors think (or thought) it also covered source checking and plagiarism, and by implication so criticise copy-editors for not spotting these things. However, perhaps FAC guidances could be added to so that this is made plain for future reference. If I want someone to review the accuracy and appropriateness of my sources I ask someone with particular knowledge in the area. Fainites barleyscribs 09:06, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

Supplying too many refs

Something I've been railing against for a long time at FAC is the tendency to add lots of sources after one simple point. It makes it very difficult for reviewers to see where the information comes from. For example:

After being tried in the second Princess Anne County Courthouse, which had just been built in 1706, Sherwood consented to be tried by water.[2][21][20][22] The forewoman of this jury was the same Elizabeth Barnes with whom Sherwood had previously been involved.[5][10][18][19]

How can those two sentences possibly require eight separate sources? Where are reviewers supposed to look to find the material?

I'd like to see this disallowed completely at FAC. Writers should be looking for the source that best sums up the material they're adding, or if multiple sources are needed, they should be bundled between one set of ref tags, making clear which source points to which part of the text (e.g. for the forewoman's name, see X; for the year the courthouse was built, see Y). That level of specificity makes it harder for errors, including inadvertent copyright violations, to creep in. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 19:23, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

In any case, it's ugly! It should be strongly discouraged for that reason alone, IMHO! Physchim62 (talk) 19:44, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
I've almost never had more than 2 consecutive references. Possibly you could need more than that, but that situation is and should be rare indeed.--Wehwalt (talk) 19:47, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
The only time you should use consecutive references is if there is a statement in the article that is likely to be challenged, for example he was considered the greatest baseball player of all time, sort of thing. Secret account 19:57, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
Actually, I disagree. I think it's important to look at multiple sources, because even good sources may disagree, and it's good practice to list all the consulted sources. Ucucha 20:06, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
Yes, but not by adding multiple ref tags after the sentence. You have to tell the reader where to look for the material you're adding a source for. You do that either by adding a source after each point, or by bundling the sources into one footnote, with an explanatory note. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 20:09, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
I agree it's problematic as being done currently. Editors do it because they are trying to either "beef up" a claim, or because they have constructed a single sentence out of multiple refs. Either way, it's difficult to verify and they will often resist suggestions that they simply the references. For example, Pedro Álvares Cabral has four citations after his birthplace; when I questioned the writer about it, he replied that scholars disagree on the matter and write in different ways about it. Another example done differently, from Pedro II of Brazil: "Pedro II was no genius[41] but he was intelligent[42] and had a facility for accumulating knowledge.[43]" Three different books used to construct one sentence—is this preferable to having all three citations at the end? --Andy Walsh (talk) 20:19, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
I can think of a couple of (rare) situations in science where three refs are justified, but none for four. There may be three equally valid authorities for a point: if there are four equally valid authorities, it's already rare enough to be discussed at more length. Or there may be three sources, each of which gives a different two-thirds of the justification for the point being made: again, anything more complicated needs expansion of the sentence(s) to separate the sources. Physchim62 (talk) 20:21, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
What do you mean by "I'd like to see this disallowed completely at FAC"? Superfluous refs are just unprofessional: we don't need extra rules to remove them and I've never met opposition to suggestions to eliminate them. Multiple non-superfluous refs might indicate sourcing problems or original research (as hinted by that rule above). Or it might be a genuinely difficult situation. I'm not sure I see any need to add another rule at FAC. And why FAC and not either our style guide or our policy pages? Being able to establish what text is drawn from what sources is an issue for the whole of WP. Colin°Talk 21:20, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
  • (ec) I'd reduce the number of refs needed to trigger Johnbod's law. :) Just to continue from Andy's point about not needing three books to construct one sentence, whether the sources are in the middle or gathered at the end. This comes back to the point people make over and over, that when you're writing, you're meant to read the sources, understand them, then write up your undertanding of what they say. Not constuct an article with a factoid from one source,[1] and another from a second,[2] and so on, designed to make it look as though you've consulted lots of sources.[3][4][5][6]

    When we see this it's not just a formatting problem. It signals there's been poor research, and I think we should be treating it as a red flag. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 21:21, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

  • I think you're making sweeping generalizations that don't apply to all instances. I think reviewers are intelligent enough to use their own discretion and look at cases individually. In the mushroom articles I write, I frequently have to construct sentences using "factoids" from different sources; I don't see this as being poor research. Sasata (talk) 21:36, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
  • But you presumably know mushrooms, and would never need to write something like this: "The forewoman of this jury was the same Elizabeth Barnes with whom Sherwood had previously been involved."[5][10][18][19] That sentence makes one point, and that one point is sourced to four separate sources. It raises the question of what kind of research is going on that would make that possible, never mind necessary. And it leaves the reviewer not knowing where to look to find the information. What I'm saying is that, where we see this approach has been taken, it may signal a general problem with the article. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 21:55, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────

I think I understand what Slim is getting at, but there should not be a "rule" around this. It is too complex a circumstance, and is a matter of judgement. This is highlighted by the contrast between Slim's early suggestion that "adding a source after each point..." is an option, but then later saying this:

"This comes back to the point people make over and over, that when you're writing, you're meant to read the sources, understand them, then write up your undertanding of what they say. Not constuct an article with a factoid from one source,[7] and another from a second,[8] and so on, designed to make it look as though you've consulted lots of sources.[9][10][11][12] When we see this it's not just a formatting problem. It signals there's been poor research..."

Yet this potentially contradicts the idea of accepting "a source after each point". I agree that complex issues requiring multiple sources should be spelt out for the reader, not collapsed into a summary that prevents the reader from seeing the distillation that has taken place. So, instead of having something like "Makinti Napanangka was born around 1925 at either Lupul or Mangarri.[13][14][15][16][17][18]" One should have:

Makinti Napanangka was born around 1922 or 1930,[notes 1] at a location described by some sources as Lupul rockhole[21][23][26] but by one major reference work as Mangarri.[20]
...
Notes

  1. ^ Sources give a number of possible years of birth. Japingka Gallery's biography says "around 1932";[19] Johnson's major survey of Papunya Tula artists says c. 1922;[20] others suggest around 1930.[21][22][23][24][25]

Slim makes this point in the discussion above. I'm just saying that, while I agree there can be a problem with multiple cites in particular situations, it is a matter of judgement and not amenable to being addressed with rules.hamiltonstone (talk) 22:26, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

I agree with hamiltonstone; I think that adding a rule is not the way to deal with this. I think Johnbod's law, mentioned above, is the right approach: concise, memorable, not infallible, and not part of any written rules. We can't codify everything a good reviewer does. Mike Christie (talk) 22:50, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
Whether it's codified or not, I think as reviewers we need to be more active in opposing articles with poor text-source integrity. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 23:01, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
Yes, and this problem has clearly made it harder for SV to work on that article. Now, does anyone have any feedback on Kablammo's certification questions above, inserted into one FAC? I'd like to get things moving again, and figure out how to advance the copyvio/plagiarism issue at hand with the current FACs. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:04, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
Those are two separate issues. Certification is an excellent idea, but if sources aren't presented clearly reviewers can't easily check them, so this is a good opportunity to deal with both points. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 23:12, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
Agreed, and this is important, but since this thread started, everything else stopped; specifically, evaluation of a current proposal, inserted into one FAC, and responded to by both nominators. No feedback on the matter at hand. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:14, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

Responsibility

Is finding plagiarism in an article realistically and pragmatically the responsibility of the FAC system? Before we attempt to implement steps to improve FAC, this is the most basic of questions that should be discussed.

The discussions above this seem to imply that the editors involved think we should fix FAC so this won't happen again. I'm rather confident that the reaction to this incident is misplaced embarrassment. After a few days, I'm hoping for further discussion where we can take in new perspectives and come to a collective agreement on what we should focus on.

Should the majority of FAC participants agree that the responsibility for detecting and removing plagiarism lies within the system, the second step in improving the system is figuring out what we would be looking for. It has been implied in a related discussion on a talk page that the editor who inserted the plagiarized material did not know what he was doing. In the flurry of responses to the incident, Risker, another arbitrator, characterized plagiarism as something I'm wholly unfamiliar with, I don't quite understand, and just may be guilty of in the majority of the articles I've written. Maybe. I honestly don't understand it. I thought plagiarism was copying material from a source and passing it off as my own writing. If there are different understandings of what plagiarism is, we really need to figure out what we consider unacceptable material so accusations don't run rampant and we waste time in confusion.

At any rate, the logical progression for changing FAC processes should be:

  1. Determining it is our responsibility to change the system (as opposed to the responsibility remaining with the editor who inserted the plagiarism or some combination of editors).
  2. Defining what we consider unacceptable material in a Featured Article, including copying information from public domain sources.
  3. Determining what changes to the nomination and reviewing processes are possible with our technology and personnel.
  4. Setting up a new process where nominators and reviewers will understand their responsibilities.
  5. Determining what consequence will befall editors in the future who have found to have plagiarized or somehow aided it.

We set up a monstrous RfC to address the backlog of articles. If another should be constructed to address this, then lets do this in an organized way, and take it step by step. So, please: speak your opinion. Is finding plagiarism in articles the responsibility of the FAC system? --Moni3 (talk) 15:31, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

Unhappily, at the present time, I see little likelihood of any effective change. There may be cosmetic changes. Rlevse has been sent into the wilderness and thrown into a gully, the sins of the FAC community upon him. There is no appetite for anything else, and I'm somewhat at a loss. Having had my head bit off once in this discussion, I am uncertain whether to continue or go be a character on Futurama.--Wehwalt (talk) 15:36, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
Call in Mike Christie; he's good at reading through long convoluted discussions and designing an RFC to see where we stand. But don't do that yet. In the preliminary phases of dealing with a "perceived" crisis, it's best to let things unfold for a while before stifling discussion and getting on with an RFC. This is still recent-- give more time to get things out on the table and hear each other. As to whether putting some onus back on nominators may solve problems, I think it will. Before the Plagiarism Dispatch was written and I was educated, I'm quite certain I made every mistake in the book, in good faith, because I am a math major/engineer, and I scurried my arse out of the English Department when a professor pinned me to a wall and the Department Chair chased me around a sofa, so I had *no* educational background in plagiarism. Yes, some good editors were entirely ignorant about plagiarism and copyvio, and we do need to educate and AGF, as MRG pointed out above. My problem with the Rlevse incident is that, when the problems surfaced, instead of working to fix them, he basically told us all to screw off and retired. It has been pointed out many times that this is probably more widespread on Wiki than realized; we have a chance to educate and put the onus on writers. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:46, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
To focus on plagiarism is to miss the lessons here. I hope we accept that there's a collective responsibility, not least because the nominee was reluctant to bring this to FAC and was persuaded to. Here's my part in it: I wanted to oppose this article at FAC but didn't review it because of who was involved (and I don't mean Rlevse). So I won't be doing that again. And when it came to TFA I had a vague memory of it being the one I'd been worried about at FAC, but I didn't check, and just blindly added my support because of the date connection—another lesson.
What else? The article was brought to FAC after only five days' work. Some of its key details are based on a local woman talking to the Associated Press because she is trying to raise money. The AP article was picked up by two newspapers, USA Today and W/Post, which are cited separately (29 times in all), as though not derived from the same source. See here for the FAC version. It's fine to include the AP articles as sources, but it's not fine to rely on them. The writing is problematic: we should be asking ourselves how anyone can know what Grace Sherwood's precise words were, and that she "spat [them] out under clear skies." Another red flag is that simple sentences have up to four ref tags after them; this was pointed out at FAC but the article was not opposed because of it, and it should have been. And anyone who had read the Associated Press article that was most relied on would have seen the copyright violation, because it's a short article, [8] so that means none of the reviewers read the sources.
What's important now is to identify how we can generally improve which FACs are promoted. Please let's try to be honest about this. And Wehwalt, please risk having your head bitten off again. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 16:35, 2 November 2010 (UTC)


(edit conflict)Can I again butt in with an outside perspective? First, let's stop with the blame game. On this specific incident, there's exactly one person accountable for the issue, the editor who added the information in the article. End of story. Taking a step back, the two key learnings out of theGrace Sherwood story are:
  1. We had an article that went through at least two content review processes undetected, and for one simple reason: both processes have not accounted for plagiarism / copyvio checks so far.
  2. On a positive note however, the issue was eventually identified and the article will be cleaned up (and this is exactly how most of WP:CP gets populated).
Removed from the immediate emotional reaction (the article made main page, the editor who stuck too closely to sources was an arb, and the whole preceding drama around DYK), the only point here is that nobody spotted the problem before it was too late because nobody thought about checking the article for issues in that area.
Which only leaves one relevant question: now that everyone is attuned to the risk, is it possible, desirable and worthwhile to modify the review process so that at least a spot check is performed as part of the process? MLauba (Talk) 16:38, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
What would make sense is to ask what an FAC review is. If we're not reading the sources, and we're not checking the sources against the text, what are we doing? I don't mean that as a facetious question, because it's often very difficult to check the sources. I had my head bitten off just last month because I suggested that nominees ought to be required to have the sources with them during the nomination, so people can at least ask questions about them. That idea was roundly rejected; see the discussion here. So it means that articles are being reviewed while no one has access to the sources the article is based on. Does this not make the FAC process almost meaningless? SlimVirgin talk|contribs 16:45, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
Believe it or not, Wehwalt, I'm so confused by this talk page that I also wish to disengage. This was my last ditch effort to become involved before I forsake FAC until I feel it has returned to sanity. We may disagree on what we're disgusted with, but I hope we can recognize that our reaction to this gives us a common bond. I don't think there's anyone here who honestly wishes to do deliberate harm to FAC and we're all personally invested. What maligns FAC maligns us individually. I understand that. But then we have to choose how we accept it and there we start to diverge.
SlimVirgin, if you see issues about articles being nominated too early or cabalism, these are also valid considerations. Should they also be discussed among the issues of how to prevent plagiarism in articles? This applies to articles even when plagiarism is not a consideration. To me at least plagiarism and cabalism are different issues that perhaps happened to intersect in this one incident. A lot of the discussion above introduces personal perception in what happened and who is responsible. Before we can improve FAC we must have a common goal, see a common problem, and work toward a common solution. What I see from this talk page is a lot of confusion and emotion, but hardly any of it is common. --Moni3 (talk) 16:50, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
The response to people raising the cabalism issue in the past—and it has been raised repeatedly—has been to attack them, but I really think we need to get a grip on it now. When I first started editing, what happened was a bunch of Wikipedians got together to write articles for a laugh, and another bunch of their friends (and sometimes the same bunch) got together and voted the article through. That's not a criticism of any group, because everyone did it. Over time things improved, Raul set up the FAC criteria, and others—including Sandy Georgia and Tony1—worked to make sure they were applied. But there is still a strong sense that when certain people are involved, the articles are sailing through almost unreviewed, and that anyone who points out the problems is in for a hard time.
What can we do to remove the last traces of this from the FAC process? SlimVirgin talk|contribs 17:01, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
I'm agreeing that this is a discussion that needs to be had, but should it be had within the context of finding plagiarism or should you start your own topic about it? My goal here is to simplify the issue about whether we should change FAC to fix future instances of plagiarism. --Moni3 (talk) 17:05, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
Moni, I hear what you're saying, but I'm arguing that the plagiarism and other quality-control issues are intimately connected, and that if we try to separate them out we're going to miss an important opportunity to fix them. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 17:17, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
Do you have some kind of vision about what should be accomplished and how? Are you anticipating a complex discussion or overhaul of the duties of nominators and reviewers where plagiarism is but one aspect of FAC that should be addressed? Do you have an idea of what that might look like? I think we're having enough difficulty with the plagiarism issue, which is why I'm trying to simplify and understand these things. --Moni3 (talk) 19:03, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
Yes, as others are saying, I think we need to examine overall what we expect reviewers to have done before saying "support." See Uncle G's point above about the elephant in the room. Whether it's plagiarism, or sources being misrepresented, or poor sources being used, there are articles being promoted that aren't high quality, and we can't expect the delegates to catch them if the reviewers are supporting. Therefore does it not make sense to increase the quality of our supports overall—start discussing in more detail what is expected of reviewers—rather than focusing only on plagiarism? SlimVirgin talk|contribs 19:09, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
I meant an actual step-by-step vision. What are you going to accomplish and how? I give the discussions on this talk page another 24 hours before editors are no longer able to follow it and begin to tune it out. We're still arguing about what we're arguing about. --Moni3 (talk) 19:28, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
Okay, my step-by-step vision was to ask us to explore what we require of ourselves and noms, so
  • (1) the noms must have offline sources available during the nom, so they can be asked about them;
  • (2) key online sources should be linked to, even if behind a paywall; no more removing links because they are clutter;
  • (3) reviewers should make clear when supporting which sources they looked at during the review;
  • (4) reviewers or copy editors/proof readers who are checking prose only must make clear they can't vouch for the content;
  • (5) reviewers should be on the lookout for writing that is qualitatively different from the rest of the article (and this is where prose polishing by others is not a good idea because it masks these distinctions).
Those are my tentative suggestions. If you'd prefer to focus only on plagiarism, do you have suggestions for how to do that? SlimVirgin talk|contribs 20:23, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Moni3 asks, "Is finding plagiarism in an article realistically and pragmatically the responsibility of the FAC system?" Yes, I think so. Criterion 1(a): "well-written: its prose is engaging, even brilliant, and of a professional standard". Professional standards preclude plagiarism and especially copyright violations. Solely the responsibility of the FAC system? No. Is it realistic to expect the FAC system to find all instances of copyright violation and plagiarism? Probably not, but FAC review is the last and best defense against publishing illegal and/or embarrassing content on the main page. It is better to have a good-faith system in place that attempts to do so than to have no system based on fears that it will not succeed. But any system devised needs to be very clear on the difference between plagiarism and copyright problem. These terms are often used interchangeably in Wikipedia discussions, but they are entirely different concepts (which may or may not coexist). When they co-exist, it is the copyright problem that needs our attention. (BTW, I'm with User:MLauba on this. Responsibility for this situation does not rest in reviewers.) --Moonriddengirl (talk) 17:35, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
  • You're saying that it is the responsibility of the FAC system to find plagiarism, but it's not the responsibility of the reviewers. How can it be found if not through the reviewers? SlimVirgin talk|contribs 17:57, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
  • I'm sorry; I can see how that would be unclear. :) I'm using two different definitions of "responsibility" in the same passage. It is the responsibility (obligation) of reviewers to keep an eye out for copyright problems; like BLP issues, they can sink the project. However, they are not responsible for (the cause of, answerable for) the copyvio. Even if it were written into the system that reviewers should look for copyvios, I would not believe a reviewer responsible in that sense for one that slips past as long as s/he made a good faith effort. We're human; we make mistakes. It will always be in that sense the responsibility of the person who places it. (Though deliberately turning a blind eye would be responsibility of a different sort.) --Moonriddengirl (talk) 18:14, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
I agree with that. No one can expect reviewers to catch everything. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 18:41, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

What I am seeing is that there is holding back going on, for fear of insulting (insert name here) or angering (insert second name here, or maybe it's the first guy too). We might do well, or perhaps Raul should make this decision, to invite nonregulars who are respected and have some passing familiarity with the FA system without being regulars, to look into the process. They could be contacted confidentially and would issue recommendations.--Wehwalt (talk) 18:32, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

As I see it we're all responsible. How many of us read the sources, even the ones easily available, when we're reviewing? I know I don't always do it. We need to have a conversation about what we actually mean when we say we support an FAC, about the process we've gone through as reviewers to make sure the support is valid. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 18:41, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
You're right; I generally focus on clarity, writing, and internal consistency when reviewing, not on how closely the text hews to the sources. Jayjg (talk) 03:00, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

What does a support mean?

Picking up from Wehwalt's suggestion above, should we have a discussion about what kinds of supports ought to count before an article is promoted? It isn't fair to the delegates to expect them to pick through each support and decide how valid it is.

Should we decide that supporters should explain which sources they've read, if any, or what other checks they've tried to do? I know there's a problem already in getting reviewers, but would we be better off encouraging a small number of thorough reviews? SlimVirgin talk|contribs 18:53, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

How would this effect reviews of articles which are predominantly sourced to offline materials? Google books is occasionally useful, but in some cases it could be the case that the vast majority of an article's sources are simply unavailable to reviewers. Nev1 (talk) 18:57, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
Yes, this is a huge problem. I proposed last month here that nominees at least be expected to have the offline sources to hand during the nom, and even that was rejected. This means we're willing to see articles being reviewed where neither reviewers nor the nominee have the sources available. That kind of thing makes the reviews pointless, because articles are not meant to be creative; they are meant to be derivative of the reliable sources, so we can't review the article without seeing at least some of what it is based on. So I think for offline sources we ought to insist that they be available during the nom, and we need to be willing to ask the nominee what the source says about key points.
We should also be linking to online sources where we can; there was a recent attempt to say that Google Books pages should not be linked to, even when available, because they're clutter; see the ongoing RfC. And most importantly we ought to ask reviewers to make some effort to read the key online sources. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 19:20, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
It would only become a problem if it became compulsory for reviewers to check the article against sources. If that was the case, I'm confident neither Brougham Castle nor Lindow Man would have passed because the print sources are not easy to get hold of. Since you've mentioned nominators having the relevant sources to hand, I'm not really sure what you're getting at. Is the point of this to prevent plagiarism or is this just a general comment? If it's the former I really don't see how that would help; if the nominator doesn't realise or understand they've plagiarised something having the source they used to hand won't change anything. Nev1 (talk) 19:30, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
We are never going to create a method that catches 100 percent of the copyright violations, the errors, and the poor use of sources. The aim is to create a method that catches most of it. We don't have that in place, because we allow articles to be reviewed where no one has access to the sources.
Please consider the following. Imagine an editor saying to a journalist: "Can you tell us something about your source here, please?" And the journalist replying, "Sorry no, I had to take it back to the library!" Can you imagine academics during a PhD or MA interview, with none of the academics having read or having access to the sources, and the student not having them available for discussion? Can you imagine a situation where the sources are online, but the links are being deliberately removed as clutter. And even when the links are there, that we don't expect reviewers even to glance at them before supporting?
We're relying on a process that's guaranteed to produce errors. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 19:42, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps qualifying what you've done in your support would be a good idea (eg: "the article reads well; I don't have access to the sources so can't speak authoritatively on 1b but I couldn't think of any questions about coverage"). But how would the nominator having access to the sources when the reviewers don't prevent plagiarism? From what I've seen, usually when reviewers ask for clarification from a source it's because a particular point does make sense or more detail is needed; that's important and is a good reason for nominators having the sources to hand (good practice IMO) but unless the reviewer's looking for plagiarism that way it would take a stroke of luck to find it. Reviewers should keep an eye out for plagiarism where possible (ie: access to the sources), but insisting nominators have the sources available for that very reason could actually be detrimental. If you're faced with a question over every sentence you've written because maybe you were having a good day for prose, that's going to become attritional and drive people away. Plagiarism might then remain a problem, there'd just be fewer FACs. Nev1 (talk) 20:22, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
I'm talking about how to prevent misuse of sources to spot plagiarism, to spot source distortion, to spot OR. There's no point in devising a system to spot one and not the others. With every article that comes before FAC, the sourcing questions are: (a) are the sources the article relies on good enough; (b) are they faithfully reflected; (c) have they been adhered to too closely; (d) is there anything in the article not reflected anywhere in the sources? The Sherwood article failed on more than one count. It's unlikely that an otherwise brilliant FA would fail only on the plagiarism count.
But focusing only on the plagiarism issue, imagine you spot an unusually well-written sentence during a review. You might ask "what does the source say on this point?" Currently the nominee is allowed to reply: "I don't know, I took the book back to the library." And that's that.
Bear in mind that most copyvios are probably inadvertent. So focusing the nominee's mind on the texts he used helps him. It's not a question of catching people out. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 20:35, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
I obviously don't live in the same world that you do SV. Of course a nominee [sic] could say "I don't know, I took the book back to the library", but the result might then well be "in that case I have to oppose this article's promotion", which would be entirely reasonable. Malleus Fatuorum 23:25, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
Getting down to some specifics, I'd be interested to hear your explanation of how anyone could "inadvertently" copy-and-paste nine consecutive sentences into an article, but I won't be holding my breath. Malleus Fatuorum 23:32, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
No bearing on the specific case, but my observations would suggest that many copyvios really are inadvertent, arising because people either (a) don't grasp copyright law/policy or (b) don't grasp the concept of rewriting in their own words. (a) is particularly prevalent from contributors from countries that do not necessarily prioritize intellectual property laws (and I have seen government websites from some countries that have reverse infringements of Wikipedia), but also stems from one of the common confusions of IP: if it's published on the internet, isn't it public domain? (That pops up on a lot of websites as a popular misconception or myth: [9], [10]) Some of (a) occurs just because people are used to a culture of indifference; they figure we don't care anymore than those other websites. These are the people who would benefit most from having their attention drawn to their own text. The ones who should know better and do it anyway won't be helped, unless they at least get paranoid that we're going to catch them. And even with those people, something that requires them to verify that they know the policies and practices and have followed them is a good step towards documenting deliberate disruption. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 11:47, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
It isn't fair to the delegates to expect them to pick through each support and decide how valid it is. Yes it is. That's our job as delegates. We're supposed to weigh consensus, which means we have to judge how much weight to give each support, oppose, and comment (and yes, comments are considered too, sometimes as strongly as an oppose/support). Our job is not to count supports and opposes and award a star if S > O (or Catholic Church would have been promoted long ago and we could ask Gimmetrow to reprogram his bot and take care of the whole process for us).
Further, I strongly disagree that there should be a "one-size-fits-all" reviewing style. As a reviewer, I'd be offended, and as a delegate I know full well that some editors have greater knowledge about certain issues/pieces of the criteria (for example, I know more about images than some editors but much less than, say, Jappalang, Laserbrain, and Elcobbola). We delegates are fully aware that some reviewers review only against a portion of the criteria - Tony1 focuses on prose, Filefoo focuses on source quality, etc. Some reviewers are content experts in certain fields, and their supports are aimed at whether the article meets the comprehensiveness component. Ealdgyth and Brianboulton make sure that basic sourcing standards are met, and with their help we've greatly improved the quality of sourcing in FAs, especially in the pop culture realm. If I'm confused on what basis a reviewer supported, I'm likely to leave a note for the reviewer to ask. I am absolutely unwilling to discourage these specialized reviews, as they make the articles better and they raise the standards of the entire process.
Karanacs (talk) 02:28, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
You quoted only part of what I wrote, Karanacs:

Picking up from Wehwalt's suggestion above, should we have a discussion about what kinds of supports ought to count before an article is promoted? It isn't fair to the delegates to expect them to pick through each support and decide how valid it is. Should we decide that supporters should explain which sources they've read, if any, or what other checks they've tried to do?

It isn't fair to ask delegates to decide whether a support is valid, if the reason for the support is not given, and if the reviewer doesn't make clear what kind of review they've carried out. And it's worth bearing in mind that reviews are not only read by delegates. Other reviewers are affected too. If someone writes that they've checked the sources, it sends out a signal that all is well, even if they didn't read the sources and check them against the text. Similarly if someone copy edits but hasn't read the sources. It therefore makes sense for reviewers to be very clear about what they have and haven't checked.
The problem we're facing is that articles are being promoted where no one other than the nominator has read any of the sources, even when they're online, and where the nominator himself may not have the offline sources to hand during the nom. That's a process with a high risk of error. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 03:15, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
You just don't seem to understand anything that's been said, or indeed anything at all. Nobody has ever claimed that "checking the sources" means anything other than checking the reliability of those sources, just as nobody except you and your baying hounds has ever claimed that copyediting means that you've checked the sources. No wonder FAC is short of reviewers, and getting shorter. Malleus Fatuorum 03:31, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict)In the context of FAC, "checking the sources" is usually taken to mean "I believe these sources meet WP:RS (and are usually formatted correctly)", and "copy edits" are understood to be "I've improved the prose". Nikkimaria (talk) 03:38, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
That's far too difficult an idea for SV to get her head around, at least not until she's had my head on a plate. Malleus Fatuorum 03:42, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
I think she's used to the "real-world" publishing model, where terminology is different - it can be confusing to move back and forth. There's certainly no need for your head on a plate - by our conventional definition of "copy edit", you're not at all responsible for the issue that prompted this whole discussion. Nikkimaria (talk) 03:53, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
If I may say so I think that's a naive interpretation. This is all about making Rlevse look like the victim and me holding the smoking gun. Malleus Fatuorum 04:04, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
If my above comment reflected how I interpret what's currently happening here, then I'd agree 100% that I'm hopelessly naive. It's my opinion, nothing more - Wikipedia doesn't necessarily follow the logical model, but I'd love if it did. Nikkimaria (talk) 04:11, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
I check sources, then I comment. Occasionally I oppose. When I support, as a result of the training period where I wasn't the socially best kind of reviewer, I indicate clearly which categories I support on. When I check sources:
  • I determine based on the citation if the source is likely to actually exist.
  • I determine based on the citation if the source is reliable and high quality.
  • I occasionally click through to interestingly bad citations with a web link.
I think this is a reasonable approach. I only tend to check sources in my broad domain of experience, and the conventions of this domain form a cohesive structure of trust. Where things "look iffy" I check for the existence of works. Works which are likely to not exist tend to be obvious. They lie outside of scholarly interest and titling conventions. There's no way to determine the veracity of claims of fact against sources. At one level, a structure of trust becomes a requirement. In my experience, people who can actually cite generally have been encultured in terms of standards required at wikipedia. We might consider deliberately semi-random sampling of some sources for the verification of their claims. Or search out the most unusual claims, most commonly relied upon source, weakest source. I certainly know that I don't want to do that. Fifelfoo (talk) 03:49, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
Yes, that's a reasonable approach, and it's what many reviewers do. But lots of reviewers don't make clear that they haven't checked the content against the sources (me included), and I think we ought to start making that clear. The question boils down to whether we care mostly about formatting or mostly about substance. If it's the latter, conducting reviews is a lot of work. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 04:18, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
I expect that all reviewers check what they can for claims that seem dubious. But this fiasco came about because SV claimed that it was the job of copyeditors to check for copyright violations and plagiariasm, and she has gone on to make further malicious claims. That's just not acceptable. Malleus Fatuorum 03:59, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
At some level, plagiarism checking is simply impossible. All works form an intertextual literary space. Word-for-word plagiarism may be detectable, but word-for-word plagiarism which has morphed due to wikipedia's editing system isn't obviously or readily detectable. Failure-to-cite-inspiration plagiarism is even more difficult to detect. The only way to _ensure_ plagiarism free material is to read the entire corpus of human produced works in relation to the article in question. This is impossible. We can establish a culture that looks for flags indicating probable plagiarism: bad citation, internal inconsistency in style, unencultured editors as the sponsoring editor. Even then we can only sample the article for plagiarism. And the kind of editorial mentality which can sample for plagiarism on a consistent basis is domain-of-knowledge specific, and specific to a personality type that gets off on doing so. And they would need the support of other FAC editors socially and culturally to an even higher level than the expert reviewers who check images. Fifelfoo (talk) 04:22, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
As a sources reviewer I don't think I care more about format than substance. Format consistency is one thing that I check; another is the standard of the source being used, asking the nominator to justify where reliability is not apparent. Also, per Fiflefoo, I make spot checks on online sources. I do not look specifically for evidence of plagiarism or copyright violations, though I will follow up if my suspicions are aroused. To carry out a sources review in this manner on an article with maybe 200+ citations can be several hours' work – hours I would much rather devote to more interesting things, but there it is. I think the value to FAC of having reviewers prepared to carry out these tedious systematic checks should not be underestimated. As Fiflefoo says, it is simply not possible to ensure that plagiarism and copyvios are identified, and any formal attempt to do so is doomed to failure and frustration. Brianboulton (talk) 11:05, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
Oh for sure. All we can do is spot check, especially in areas with red flags. But I very much fear that all that will come out of this is aspirational language and a pre-FAC certification that will wind up effectively meaningless. Note that every time we edit we are told "Content that violates any copyrights will be deleted" and "All text that you did not write yourself, except brief excerpts, must be available under terms consistent with Wikipedia's Terms of Use before you submit it.": The fact that those warnings remain unmentioned convinces me that they remain unnoticed. Certainly they remain unfollowed by many.--Wehwalt (talk) 12:39, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
I wonder if it's worth trying to write a how-to essay on how best to summarize sources. It's something people have been asking for a long time on the NOR page—how to summarize closely without getting too close, and without turning articles into lists of quotes. I made a start on it a couple of times, but I found it hard to write. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 20:05, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
There's an essay on how to summarize sources without getting too close at Wikipedia:Close paraphrasing. It has room for expansion, I would imagine, and does not address the balance between summary and quotations. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 11:38, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, looks interesting. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 02:59, 6 November 2010 (UTC)

Responsibility II

My one post in spite of my short break. There are some misstatements above. Good FAC participants are becoming discouraged by the direction the discussion has gone, which harms the integrity of FAC. The more scrutiny on FAC, the better; every participant is valuable-- delegates and the director have enough brains to sort it out (and I'm seeing some statements that make me think some people don't recognize that). I am seeing too many good specialty reviewers being offended and talking of leaving FAC. If FAC loses the valuable contributions of hard-working editors, who focus on specialty areas, that will be as harmful as the lack of broad reviewers who look at everything, including WP:V.

TFA had a glaring FAC mistake, and to some extent, many of us are responsible. Shirking responsiblity and pointing fingers and infighting and blame will not advance the discussion towards improving FAC and assuring it doesn't happen again.

I knew of redflags: I didn't check. That's my responsibility. We had a "perfect storm" here that we should acknowledge as a good eye-opener. As delegate, I know very well who does what, what their supports mean, and how to interpret them; we don't need more beaurocracy, we need more reviewers, and broader reviews, and for everyone's concerns (including Slim's) to be heard here.

Slim is making many valid points, along with some misunderstandings, and we need to focus on the problems while trying to avoid assigning blame and offending or chasing off our most valued reviewers, while encouraging new reviewers.

It should not be true that, "In the context of FAC, 'checking the sources' is usually taken to mean 'I believe these sources meet WP:RS (and are usually formatted correctly)' ..." Ealdgyth and Brianboulton do the tedious and time-consuming and valuable work of checking that sources meet the bare minimum of reliability; those source checks have never been presented as checking WP:V verification, and I have long asked that more reviewers spotcheck WP:V, and have worried that Ealdgyth's work-- while very necessary and helpful-- has lulled others into thinking that they don't need to check sources for WP:V (and, as we know now, plagiarism, close paraphrasing, and copyvio as well). This has not been an unrecognized problem-- I just haven't gotten reviewers to pay attention. In that sense, the Halloween debacle could serve as a good eye-opener to the need for some broad reviews in addition to specialty reviews. But without those reliability reviews, we may quickly go back to the kinds of pop culture FAs we saw before Ealdgyth started doing this work.

This is how I review an article; I saw a red flag ("prestigious") in the lead of an article about a performing arts school that no one who knows that area has every heard of, with the exception of a few notable alumni, at a time that the article already had consensus for promotion. So I dug in and tried to check everything (no one reviewer can really check everything). But ... I did not check for close paraphrasing, copyvio, or plagiarism, because our eyes had not been opened to that issue. That FAC alone indicates the need for more depth in our work. (I sincerely apologize if this appears as pointing fingers; what is important is that the article was fixed by collaboration at FAC among reviewers and nominators.)

Please, folks, be kind to each other. Share responsibility for making FAC even better. Have a frank discussion, but don't beat each other up so badly that no one will want to participate. That's all. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:44, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

Proposal for original content

We discussed this proposed addition to WP:WIAFA in February thru March 2010; perhaps it's time to expand and re-examine this:

Add 1(f) to the featured article criteria:

  1. It is—
    • (a) well-written: its prose is engaging, even brilliant, and of a professional standard;
    • ...
    • (e) stable: it is not subject to ongoing edit wars and its content does not change significantly from day to day, except in response to the featured article process;
    • (f) original: if it contains text copied from public domain sources, that text is encased in quote marks or blocked-and-quoted, with citation to the source.

SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:33, 6 November 2010 (UTC)

Discussion moved to Wikipedia talk:Featured article criteria/Archive 10#Proposal for original_content SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:56, 6 November 2010 (UTC)

New FAC delegate - Laser Brain

Sandy and Karanacs have asked me to appoint a new FAC delegate, and recommended User:Laser brain for the job. Before I appoint him, I wanted to get some feedback and give everyone a chance to comment. Raul654 (talk) 06:58, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

  1. No arguments from here. Unless that means he can't be impartial on articles I bribed enticed him to copyedit or look over. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 07:00, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
  2. That's Laser Brain aka Andy Walsh for the perplexed & recent joiners. Sounds good to me. Johnbod (talk) 07:04, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
  3. My vote can be bought...that means "yes"• Ling.Nut (talk) 09:00, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
  4. Obviously, I endorse this appointment of Andy, which will allow Karanacs and me to review more articles, get extra eyes on copyvios, give us another admin delegate, and allow me some time for "real life". There are so many excellent people working at FAC that a recommendation of one person was tough, but we need our "specialist" reviewers, other prolific writers and reviewers, and Gimmetoo working on the tasks they have been doing so well. Laser/Andy has been around FAC a very long time and I'm confident that he will work well with nominators, reviewers, and other delegates. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 09:06, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
  5. I encourage Andy to accept this appointment and he will certainly have my full support. Graham Colm (talk) 09:21, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
  6. Excellent choice. I hope his duties will still allow space for reviewing which he does so well. Brianboulton (talk) 09:40, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
  7. I see good signs including endless patience, gentle correction, and broad and long familiarity with FAC. I'd like to take issue with something SandyGeorgia said though: "but we need our 'specialist' reviewers…working on the tasks they have been doing so well." We need Raul654 and his delegates working on the tasks that they do so well, too. Raul and the delegates do highly specialised and important work, and I see it as an important (and trying, and unique) role which I wouldn't touch with a three metre pole as I'm incapable of it. The specialist reviewing of reviews (and of reviewers) is difficult and trying work. If it hadn't been for correction I received from FAC delegates (and greatly appreciated) I wouldn't be any good as a reviewer. Fifelfoo (talk) 10:05, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
  8. Endorse +++, thorough and systematic. Good choice. Casliber (talk · contribs) 10:36, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
  9. Yep. hamiltonstone (talk) 10:57, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
  10. Agree. Good move. PL290 (talk) 11:32, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
  11. Works for me. Mike Christie (talk) 11:40, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
  12. Endorse. Ucucha 11:51, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
  13. +1 – iridescent 11:52, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
  14. Sounds good. Dana boomer (talk) 11:57, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
  15. Would he be working on the FAC or the FAR side?--Wehwalt (talk) 13:05, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
    (ec)Raul says "FAC delegate" at the top, and since the request was made by the current FAC delegates, not the current FAR delegates, I think it's clearly just for FAC. Mike Christie (talk) 13:07, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
    FAC delegate. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 13:09, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
    Very well, in the confidence and expectation he will do a good, neutral job, without fear or favor, I'll enter my support. Also agree with Fifelfoo, it is difficult, time consuming work which I'd probably avoid myself.--Wehwalt (talk) 13:15, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
  16. Absolutely (and Wehwalt, I'm pretty sure it would be FAC). Nikkimaria (talk) 13:06, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
  17. Oppose—not enough portal talk edits. Support!Deckiller (t-c-l) 13:13, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
  18. A fine choice and a safe pair of hands. Skomorokh 13:43, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
  19. Good choice. Dabomb87 (talk) 14:05, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
  20. I agree with this choice. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 18:52, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
  21. I imagine it is a very difficult job being an FAC delegate, and having community support on a practical daily basis is invaluable. The unanimous support shown here is an excellent sign. Let me add mine. Geometry guy 23:06, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
  22. Endorse! Why didn't anyone think of this sooner? Steve T • C 23:58, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
    "I thought he was an FAC delegate already"? :) Geometry guy 00:17, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
  23. Strong support YellowMonkey (new photo poll) 00:39, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
  24. Support. Good choice. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 03:06, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
  25. Yes. Finetooth (talk) 03:46, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

It's nice to see something we can all agree on. I've officially appointed him. Good luck, Andy. Raul654 (talk) 05:10, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

Well that was quick, blink and you'd miss it, but FWIW sounds like an excellent move -- congratulations (and commiserations) Andy! Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 05:24, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

Can an admin please add Laser brain at Template:Editnotices/Page/Wikipedia:Featured articles? Apparently I can't edit it :) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 05:57, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

Done. (And anytime you want to fix that non-admin thing, let me know and I'll happily nominate you.) Raul654 (talk) 06:12, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
You gotta be kidding-- they hate me over there :) Have a great Thanksgiving holiday! SandyGeorgia (Talk) 06:17, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
Well, I don't know about "hate", but I've been offered much money for my option on the popcorn concession should Sandy ever choose to run.--Wehwalt (talk) 17:02, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
I advise you not to exercise that option. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:12, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
And with popcorn prices at an all-time low!--Wehwalt (talk) 17:32, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
But what are they going to do with the lions if Sandy doesn't run? I mean, the RfA regulars can be satisfied with blood, but the lions need something to get their jaws into ;) Physchim62 (talk) 17:42, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
Wehwalt can feed them popcorn (now back to Laser's thread and congrats-- if that's what you call taking on a boatload of work). SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:51, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Support It's never to late to express an opinion. Fainites barleyscribs 14:15, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for the vote of confidence, everyone. As Sandy said, this will help spread the workload and allow her and Karanacs more flexibility. --Andy Walsh (talk) 15:07, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

Congrats Andy. Sorry I didn't get to vote, but this discussion was only open 48 hours; open and closed before I knew about it. If I could offer some advice, we already have enough of a war zone at WP:RfA, to the point that many editors who would make good admins won't touch it. Please do your best to ensure that FAC does not go down that slippery slope. Set the standard that articles are judged by merits, and partially ground axes are to be left at the door. Dave (talk) 15:46, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
Welcome gift = 100 pounds popcorn, 2 unemployed lions. Good luck!--Wehwalt (talk) 17:55, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

Addition at WP:OWN

Please see WP:OWN#Featured articles and WP:TFA/R#December 8; the 30th anniversary of John Lennon's death is 8 December, and many eyes will be needed to keep that article in shape between now and then. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 13:45, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

And get it in better condition, between now and then.--Wehwalt (talk) 13:46, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
Just adding this here as well-- Raul just scheduled out a whole boatload of TFAs, in case others have time to spotcheck them for the avoidance of mainpage day debacles. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 13:48, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
I was gonna' get angry at Raul for scheduling two FAs I've worked on and not letting me know, but User:Tbhotch (at least for me) helpfully provided a note and a link to the blurb. It's a great help for this kind of stuff. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 18:35, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

FAC famine

The current problem at FAC seems to be not so much the familiar one of lack of reviewers, but rather lack of nominations. Only one added in the last five days—that's pretty well unprecedented in my three years about the place. Is this part of the fallout from the plagiarism saga, or are editors withholding for another reason? Brianboulton (talk) 15:50, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

Normal cycle in my case. My last FAC passed earlier in the week, and my next two, Flower Drum Song and History of the New York Jets are undergoing final polishing. As both are joint works with other editors, they could both be up next week. WIth articles planned (one with you) and in the pipeline, I will be keeping FAC very busy.--Wehwalt (talk) 16:41, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

I don't see it as a "problem" at all, nor would 27 FACs have been considered a dearth a couple of years back I think. I doubt it will last, so I'd treat it as a welcome respite. Johnbod (talk) 17:30, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

I'd like to think that people are preparing nominations more carefully. I certainly don't see as many grossly unprepared noms as, say, a year ago. --Andy Walsh (talk) 17:56, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
If there's any fallout from the plagiarism saga, it's likely to be positive in the long run as nominators triple-check their articles before submitting! But it seems to be one of those more general cyclical things – we're seeing a drop in activity at ITN at the moment as well, and we can't even find the usual number of suitable news stories so maybe it is simply a bout of global lethargy ;) Physchim62 (talk) 18:00, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
One hopes. I try not to entirely rewrite an article I am improving for FAC, but am googling extracts of what I leave, just to make sure that I'm not hit by a Plagiarism Explosive Device (PED). I was away from home for over three weeks, and had some references with me, but I was rather busy for much writing and am catching up now.--Wehwalt (talk) 18:19, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
For me, although the time I take to develop GAs are pretty fast, for FAs I do take a lot of time and go thorough at least 2 PRs, 2 self correction using Tony's method, contiuous checking of the sources, and then only I submit. Hence it takes a longtime between successive submissions. I only got two thats why. — Legolas (talk2me) 05:21, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

Exceptional individuals wanted for challenging two-year assignment

You are:

Green tickY an effective communicator with a sound grasp of policy;

Green tickY able to see all aspects of a problem and find solutions;

Green tickY courteous, disciplined and open-minded;

Green tickY able to deal calmly with trolls, bigots and editors with issues;

Green tickY able to make up your own mind under stress.

If you can answer "yes" to most of the above, you are probably arbitrator material. Learn more about standing in the upcoming election. But don't delay, nomination close very soon!

Tony (talk) 16:35, 19 November 2010 (UTC), for the election coordinators

Green tickY And you have vast amounts of time available to read tedious material that often shows people at their worst. But there do need to be more good candidates. Johnbod (talk) 16:47, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
If you didn't have vast amounts of time available to read tedious material that often shows people at their worst, you wouldn't be at FAC. – iridescent 16:48, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
I am not concerned; we had two candidates enter last night. And if the situation goes like this past the weekend, I think we will see a number of suitable candidates recognize their duty, grab their hats, and firmly throw them into the ring.--Wehwalt (talk) 16:50, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
Bear in mind that there are 11 arbitrators to be appointed; it would be good to have at least 15 plausible candidates. Skomorokh 16:52, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
And speaking personally, I would like for a good portion of those to have serious content writing experience. Skomorokh 16:53, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Green tickYYou must also be able to prove your real name (with a copy of your passport) to "The Office" in case any litigation as a result of your actions arises.  Giacomo  17:57, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
  • The purpose of providing identification is to verify age. All editors are responsible for their actions, regardless of whether or not they are identified. Risker (talk) 19:30, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

Roger Waters FAC

FYI, I have re-nominated Roger Waters for FAC, and we could use a new image review at the FAC page. — GabeMc (talk) 23:10, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

Sadly, the FAC room is pretty low on reviewers as of late—many users are either focused on writing articles or admin duties, and many of our most active members are college students—November is one of those "grind months", after all. I might be able to look at the prose at some point. —Deckiller (t-c-l) 23:19, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
The flip side to that, is that fewer things are being nominated so the delegates are less likely to remove things from the bottom of the queue to free up space. Your chances are probably about the same, but you may need to wait longer than you'd expect before people start making comments. – iridescent 23:27, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
I actually posted here to request an image review. — GabeMc (talk) 23:38, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

Policy on copyvio checks?

Does an article require a copyvio check before it can be promoted?--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 02:32, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

Articles are required to meet all Wikipedia policies in addition to WP:WIAFA, and WP:COPYVIO is a policy. You're seeing increased scrutiny on this issue since a number of high-profile cases of copyvio have been brought to light recently. --Andy Walsh (talk) 03:48, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
I understand that, I'm just wondering what happens if nobody can do a copyvio check.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 06:26, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
I would have thought it would be impossible to make it an outright requirement. It's not that unusual for an article to use sources of which only a very few copies exist, or which are in a language very few Wikipedia editors speak. – iridescent 10:07, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
That's just another way of saying that no copyvio check will be 100% effective, which I hope everyone accepts as inevitable. Physchim62 (talk) 11:32, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
I suspect for a little while reviewing editors will be searching on unusually well written statistically improbable phrases, and using stylistic analysis (reading with an eye for potential plagiarism), when they read articles. Fifelfoo (talk) 11:35, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
Yes, but the fact that an article is well written shouldn't be taken as prima facie evidence of copyvios. There are some excellent writers on Wikipedia. If in a generally poorly-written article the prose suddenly turns purple, there would be obvious grounds for suspicion, but as a rule, the limit of a reviewer's scrutiny will be spot-checking on online sources. Brianboulton (talk) 17:37, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
As Brian said, the only real sign is when the article is written in more than one voice, though the differences can be subtle (slightly awkward grammar in some sections, flawless elsewhere). I've made a few spot checks and they're extremely time consuming, so realistically we can only spread the word about the need to avoid unattributed close-paraphrasing, and hope writers check their own work. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 18:25, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

PDF page numbering question

I just ran into a situation I haven't seen before, and wondered if others here have come across the same issue. I'm reviewing Shale oil extraction, and when I looked at this pdf, which is one of the references, it took me a few minutes to realize that I was using the PDF viewer's page numbering, but the article was citing page numbers on the scanned typescript which forms the majority of the PDF. Is there a standard way to deal with this situation? I would think giving both page numbers in the reference, and clarifying which is which, would be sensible, but I've never seen that done. Mike Christie (talk) 15:58, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

I always cite the actual published page numbers, not what the pdf reader gives me. Ealdgyth - Talk 16:09, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
Same here. It would be a useful piece of guidance to be added at WP:Page numbers. Nimbus (Cumulus nimbus floats by) 16:10, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

WP:WIAFA

This is probably a little off the wall, but we have an established WP:FA Criteria 1 to 4, however we also have a preamble which includes the requirement to follow all of Wikipedia:List_of_policies. My question is, is it worth making this a point on it's own, on a par with the existing four points? Fasach Nua (talk) 21:02, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

  • You should say "its" not "it's". And why fix what isn't broken, introducing new verbiage that could potentially cause greater confusion, disagreement and dustups? Nyet, methinks. Locke'sGhost 01:34, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

Spotchecking of sources

I seem to be the only active sources reviewer at the moment. While that remains so, may I ask that other reviewers carry out some spotchecking as part of their reviews? The time it takes me to do a decent basic check on reliability and formats means that I can only do small number of spotchecks. Sometimes (e.g. Cyclone Monica), my spotchecking will reveal nothing while another editor's does. It would also be great if others would do a few basic source checks to prevent a backlog building up. Would someone please do Lara Croft and .hack (video game series) as I am pretty hopeless with these subjects? Thanks, Brianboulton (talk) 00:08, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

I was planning on doing an in-depth review for both of those games anyhow, so I'll try and do a good spot-check for each as well (hopefully by this weekend.) Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 00:13, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, I cycle up and down depending on academic load. Specifically pinging my talk can summon me for humanities and social sciences articles. Fifelfoo (talk) 01:12, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the reminder, Brian, and thanks for your work checking source formatting and reliability. I don't think I have the constitution for it. --Andy Walsh (talk) 03:44, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

I know this is the wrong place, but...

...since people might be looking here: in the next hour or so, Ben Gascoigne is going to be the TFA. I made a fix to the main page blurb, which was removed by User talk:Floquenbeam. Per my comment there, (and also at Raul's talk page), I am happy to remove my word "famous", but it would be silly to have a blurb about Ben Gascoigne that did not mention his far more famous wife Rosalie Gascoigne, for whom he worked as archivist, helper and curator in his retirement. Can someone with relevant access rights PLEASE fix this before it goes live? hamiltonstone (talk) 23:43, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

Raul has fixed, thanks. hamiltonstone (talk) 23:45, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

Reminder: last chance to vote in the Arbitration Committee Elections

This weekend is the final chance to vote in the December 2010 elections to elect new members to the Arbitration Committee. Voting began last Friday and will close just before midnight UTC, end of Sunday 5 December (earlier for North America: just before 4 pm west coast, 7 pm east coast). Eligible voters (check your eligibility) are encouraged to vote well before the closing time due to the risk of server lag.

Arbitrators occupy high-profile positions and perform essential and demanding roles in handling some of the most difficult and sensitive issues on the project. The following pages may be of assistance to voters: candidate statements, questions for the candidates, discussion of the candidates and personal voter guides.

For the election coordinators, Tony (talk) 02:45, 4 December 2010 (UTC)

Deadlinks

Whats the current policy on deadlinks or URLS that regularly change their content? (for example i have a link for TC Info that change every 3 hours when a Tropical Storm is active in the Western Pacific.) - i have always thought that if i take an article through FAC all links had to be working but that now seems wrong since we currently (IMHO:Stupidly) have a bot adding a load of dead links to articles.Jason Rees (talk) 16:46, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

I would say that in the interest of verifiabliity (very important right now), current FAC should have all links working.--Wehwalt (talk) 18:46, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Wehwalt on this one - in order to meet WP:V links to information that is only available online should be working in a current FAC (or really in any FA). If it's just a courtesy link to information that is available in paper form it's not as big of a deal. Also, why is it stupid that a bot is checking for dead links and tagging them? Dana boomer (talk) 21:08, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
I didnt say it was stupid that a bot is checking for deadlinks - i said that its stupid that its adding a lot of dead links to articles.Jason Rees (talk) 21:25, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

I'd agree, but links to dynamic databases, where you have to add a search term & there is no fixed address for pages, should not be treated as "dead", though they often are. Johnbod (talk) 21:14, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

I often read FAs. I have started looking at references (looking for copyvios and unsupported statements) and I've started tagging dead links.--Wehwalt (talk) 21:22, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
This is what i meant by a bot adding deadlinks to articles. It seems stupid and redundant to me since the link has been super seeded and doesn't cite the content.Jason Rees (talk) 17:09, 4 December 2010 (UTC)

Automatic FAC nominator

I've created a script (heavily based on Twinkle) that automates FAC nominations. Installation instructions are on the linked page. I hope it works (my programming experience is rather limited) and is helpful. Ucucha 17:31, 4 December 2010 (UTC)

Sounds like a good idea; though I'm sure some will be concerned it'll lead to more nominations from those who haven't fully considered the merits of doing so, I suspect in practice this will mainly be used by regulars, and won't cause problems. Still, do you think it's worth including a little of the text from Template:Editnotices/Page/Wikipedia:Featured article candidates as a confirmation during one of the steps? I don't want to take credit for anything, as I'm sure there are many other factors, but the month after it was expanded (on May 5) saw about twenty fewer serious nominations than the month preceding it (I haven't checked if that's still the case, however). Steve T • C 18:56, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
Well, I've tried it and it seems to work a-okay. (Ok, my own request... can you get a custom edit summary for transcluding to FAC? It's just a thing I like to do :P) A caveat on using the script might be warranted as Steve says. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 19:14, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
Something is amiss, because the article title isn't hyperlinked. --Andy Walsh (talk) 21:05, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
Do you need to have Twinkle enabled and/or Firefox? It works fine in FF (with Twinkle enabled), but I edit mainly using IE8. --The Taerkasten (talk) 21:09, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
It uses User:AzaToth/morebits.js; therefore, you need either to have Twinkle installed, or to import that script separately. (importscript('User:AzaToth/morebits.js');). Twinkle doesn't work in IE; given that this script uses pretty much the same functionality, I don't think it will work either.
Andy, I fixed the linking issue (and another one).
David, I would be loath to interrupt the great tradition of witty edit summaries adding FACs, so I might try to add a custom edit summary. Not now though.
Steve, I'll add some text to the confirmation screen. Ucucha 21:32, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, just checking. Good thing I've got FF, works perfectly on that.--The Taerkasten (talk) 21:37, 4 December 2010 (UTC)

Sources reviews requested

The following current FACs lack sources reviews (in order of age, oldest first):-

All the above have been on the page for a week or longer. Any help with these would be much appreciated. Brianboulton (talk) 17:38, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for doing that Andy. I started to delve into the sources for the .hack article and quickly got cross-eyed. (Probably wasn't the best choice as few video games interest me) It was a nice reminder of the tediousness that the source checkers do. Glad you posted your findings so I could quit. =-) Dave (talk) 05:10, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

Influencing content...

(evil laugh) I figured carrots were better than sticks and am posting a proposal for social experimentation in the wikicup to see if it gets more core and underrepresented content Featured - see discussion here. Casliber (talk · contribs) 23:48, 12 December 2010 (UTC)

I like the idea! --Andy Walsh (talk) 00:03, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
In terms of FAC reviewers; we will see Wikicup items next year. This may be a chance to influence the complexion and variety of material presented. Fifelfoo (talk) 01:02, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

References best practices question

I am about to start cleaning up an article written by some students as part of the US Public Policy initiative, and I'd like to get some opinions on the best way to organize online sources. Take a look at the references at the end of Hoxne hoard, an FA I thought I'd look at for clues: the books are in the references section, and the footnotes are all in short form as a result. I think this works well. The very last footnote, to the Treasure Act, is done entirely within the footnote, and the Act is not in the article's reference section below. What's a good rule to decide when to create a line in the references section, and when not to? My own rules are something like:

  • If it's a physical book and can't be sourced online (except possibly via Google Books), it goes in references.
  • If the source was never a physical source -- e.g. it's part of a corporate webpage, or an online news service -- then it doesn't go in references.

This leaves a grey area with things such as the Treasure Act. Or what about this source, produced by the IEA, available as a PDF, but also available as a book? I'm inclined to put things like this into references, but wonder if anyone has any good rules of thumb that can be applied in such cases. Mike Christie (talklibrary) 18:22, 11 December 2010 (UTC)

Think of the worst thing that could possibly happen, then don't do that thing. What's the worst thing that could happen if you cite and reference everything? The page looks a bit cluttered. What's the worst thing that could happen if you don't? You could leave out something important. To my mind, the latter seems far worse than the former. The rule should not then be "When in doubt, put it in the references". Rather, it should be "Never leave room for doubt. Always put it in the references." Peacock.Lane (talk) 10:13, 12 December 2010 (UTC)
I guess I wasn't clear -- I completely agree that everything should be cited. My question is: If you are using separate Notes and References sections, as Hoxne Hoard does, when do you move the definition of the reference out of the note and into the Reference section? Mike Christie (talklibrary) 15:50, 12 December 2010 (UTC)
Hi Mike (Don't know why no one has responded; I guess people are busy with the holidays?) My tendency lately has been to put everything in References, even web sites, so the notes are all in short form. I just think it looks a lot cleaner. Take a look at L'ange de Nisida for example. I've also been working on musical instrument for about 145 years, and it will be the same way eventually. To my eyes, Hoxne Hoard looks jumbled. --Andy Walsh (talk) 16:12, 12 December 2010 (UTC)
I've taken to adding long, multiply-cited online PDFs to "Works cited" and using short-form citations in "References" or the equivalent. See the citations to "Crown, et al." in Rogue River (Oregon), for example. I wouldn't argue that this is the "best" practice, but it seems to do the job in a relatively tidy way. Finetooth (talk) 19:13, 12 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Every single cited source should be listed in the References section. That way there exists a logically organized, one-stop clearinghouse for people who wish to know any and every relevant reference cited. The Notes section is not for full references, no matter whether the source is cited once or twenty times, and no matter the nature of the source. The Notes section is for, you know, notes. Page numbers. The occasional small clarifying comment. And so on. Peacock.Lane (talk) 02:24, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

Thanks; those are helpful answers. I'm not completely convinced about putting websites in the references, but I see Peacock.Lane's argument; I'll think about it some more. Mike Christie (talklibrary) 02:33, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

  • Call me old fashioned, but I think only physical books or journals that can be sourced online should go into the refs list. A cite web that occurs once in an article is not a reference, it's a note, or a citation. — GabeMc (talk) 00:09, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

What is a consensus?

I am a little curious to know why Flower Drum Song is still on the page. I would have thought that 10 supports and one redundant oppose amounted to sufficient consensus. Is there an unresolved issue here? Brianboulton (talk) 11:59, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

M changed to an n. Courcelles 12:01, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
Brian, I'll be looking at it during my next run-through. My last pass was 5 December, and some of the substantive support came in after that. Karanacs has not been on wiki in a while, and I believe Sandy may consider herself recused from Wehwalt's nominations. --Andy Walsh (talk) 15:24, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
Brian, Karanacs is mostly off-Wiki, and Wehwalt has demanded that I no longer promote his FACs, so they have to wait for Laser brain. Since it's musical theatre (my area), I also would have liked to have reviewed it myself, but since I didn't understand his last objection to my pr/ar of his FACs, I was concerned that Wehwalt may have had issues with my review, so ... SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:51, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
I withdrew that request on your chat talk page, as Laser Brain seemed to feel it was the better course of action. Whether you choose to review, promote, or archive my articles is now entirely up to you. That doesn't make what you said about me right, I hasten to add.--Wehwalt (talk) 15:52, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Merriam-Webster defines consensus:1a : general agreement, b : the judgment arrived at by most of those concerned. — GabeMc (talk) 02:15, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
  • So it does. However, for our purposes WP:CONSENSUS or the instructions/conventions on WP:FAC are probably more relevant. Nikkimaria (talk) 02:39, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
Sounds like the same thing to me, I don't see any difference between the two. — GabeMc (talk) 07:11, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

Music article FACs

This is an important issue I believe. Lately I have seen a lot of FAC reviewers are opposing the song and album articles, based on the fact that they are including a non-free single cover. I find this to be extremely silly and strongly oppose such comments. Its a basic definition and necessity that an article about music or film will have the single/album or poster pictures, respectively. Commenting on the NFCC rationale is fine, but opposing just because it is including the cover, makes me question such comments. I believe we can have a discussion regarding this, and ask reviewers to not oppose based on this. I just noticed such an oppose in the "All I Want for Christmas Is You" FAC. I had seen similar comments crop up at the "No Line on the Horizon" FAC too. A cover may or may not have a story behind it, like how it was developed, but again, thats not NFCC and shouldnot be a reason to oppose. — Legolas (talk2me) 05:28, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

I would agree with this, although I haven't noticed too many opposes made solely because of the use of a non-free cover image. Cavie78 (talk) 11:05, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
It's a ludicrous basis for opposition. The cover of a single or album is as fundamental information about it as is its release date or record label, and it is a much more powerful mnemonic--its encyclopedic purpose is beyond reasonable question. If there's critical discussion of the imagery that can be included as well, that's whipped cream on an already worthy pie (7 days to Thanksgiving!). DocKino (talk) 19:36, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
There was recently an oppose vote on the FAC for South Park (season 13) solely because of the inclusion of the DVD cover image. I think it's a terrible idea to prevent the promotion of an article over the inclusion of non-free images, because it completely defeats the purpose of having a non-free use rationale guideline.
--Gyrobo (talk) 21:12, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

While I sympathise with the frustrations expressed above, please remember that an oppose is not a "vote", nor is it a veto. It is an expression of opinion, the worth of which is weighed by the delegates when they seek to judge whether a consensus to promote has been established. Articles (e.g. No Line on the Horizon) are often promoted with unjustified opposes in place. Brianboulton (talk) 11:10, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

NFCC requires the absence of an image to be detrimental to the article. An album cover, as the tangible form an album is marketed as, almost always falls into this category, but additional covers, et al are going to require a much more thorough defense backed up with development or critical commentary. As for All I Want for Christmas Is You, User:Jappalang is right on every point he's brought up—the lazy use of "you can acquire this image from copyright holders" is disingenuous and a problem I've been seeing on far too many music articles. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 16:41, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I do agree with Jappalang's assertions in All I Want For Christmas Is You, regarding the rationale and other stuff. That can be a fair view to oppose based on 3b. However, opposing a nomination just because it has a non-free image of an album/single/film poster, is uncalled for. Basic sense should prevail here is all I am saying. Hence my point, that reviewers should be recommended to not oppose noms, based on such criteria. Frankly its a waste of time at both the reviewer, nominator, and the FAC delegate end, as teh same discussion will go on and on in an already overloaded nomination page. — Legolas (talk2me) 07:46, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
Opposes when crit 3 aren't met are most helpful to the delegates; we need to know when image policy is violated or when there is only a small difference of opinion. Why would making sure we don't promote articles that violate image policy be a "waste of time"? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:12, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
You did not understand my point at all Sandy, and neither I said anything like that. I said that reviewers opposing articles, just because there is a non-free image, is waste of time. Because there is no rationale behind it. Thats what I am saying. — Legolas (talk2me) 16:13, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

An article on a album should probably fail FAC if it does not show the cover, as being materially incomplete.

As regards multiple covers, when there was discussion about this at WT:ALBUMS in 2009, after long and detailed debate and consideration there was general agreement (with a single dissent) that people should

..ensure that if you add additional non-free images, that the use complies with the non-free content criteria. Essentially, an alternate cover that is significantly different from the original and is widely distributed and/or replaces the original passes the criteria for identification. Also, an alternate cover that is the subject of specific (sourced) critical commentary passes the criteria for inclusion.

This also received nodding acceptance at that time from WT:NFC. Jheald (talk) 16:30, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

As a comment, there are objective ways images can fail (lacking rationale, license, etc.) which should prevent an FAC from being passed unless the image(s) are fixed or removed. But there are highly subjective NFC requirements, specifically NFCC#8, that should not be taken as "Oh, a reviewer has claimed this image fails NFCC#8, therefore that's binding that the article fails FAC" (as suggested by Sandy's statement above). Image appropriateness is not black and white, and needs to be judged by consensus. To the specific point, it may be due to lack of enforcement of NFCC#8, but it is clear that consensus allows for a single cover image to be used on articles like music articles. We could change that and demand more stricter requirements for a cover image (eg discussion of the image itself), but that would require a sea change of present consensus for NFCC. It should not be FAC's job to force a chance in how NFCC is used throughout WP, given that WIAFA refers to NFCC for the judgement of the appropriateness of the image. --MASEM (t) 16:47, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

  • I would have thought a more transparent reason that consensus supports our current use of cover images, is not because of any failure to enforce NFCC #8, but because consensus judges them to be compliant per NFCC #8. (Rightly so, in my view). Jheald (talk) 17:00, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
  • That is my understanding, as well. The cover of a given single or an album is essential encyclopedic information about that record and thus not only meets but easily surpasses the criterion 8 benchmark.—DCGeist (talk) 01:07, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

Personal opinion

This is why FLC and FAC processes are going down: there are a few cynical users that make it their personal project to shoot down nominations just because they have nothing better to do than bicker at every comma that is missing. In the end, fewer successful FACs and FLCs (partially because of these cynical reviewers) drive editors away from wikipedia altogether, and the only ones remaining will be the cynical old hags debating over how to "improve" the MOS (even though there will be almost no articles reaching those thresholds). Nergaal (talk) 19:49, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

I might be wrong in this opinion I left to a current FAC but I just wanted to put it here for the record. Maybe someone will care. I have had plenty of FACs and FLCs in the past to observe that more and more is the case that some reviews although are going fine up to a point, they are interrupted and completely stalled by some cynical reviewers; even though some articles are 99% ready, they make it a personal quest to stomp over the entire nominations over the remaining 1%. Yes, ideally all articles should pass 100% of the criteria. But having a cynical stringent FLC/FAC processes, it risks driving enthusiastic editors away; because in the end not every editor here cares about more than 99% of the criteria, and if getting a FA/FL means caring about the last 1%, then they decide it is not worth their time. Nergaal (talk) 20:00, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

What do you mean "cynical" users? Are you suggesting bad faith, that people are floating around just waiting for the opportunity to sink FACs? That is not the case at all. Everyone here is interested in passing articles and making sure our very best work is represented on the main page. --Andy Walsh (talk) 20:55, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
You say "I might be wrong in this opinion..." You should have ended there; you are. The process isn't perfect, but the idea that it is in the hands of a bunch of cynics bent on some personal wrecking quest – oh, for God's sake! Brianboulton (talk) 22:02, 7 December 2010 (UTC)


You guys have a very narrow vision. The FA net promotion is down about 30% from 2-3 years ago, and averages about 30 articles per month. At some point there was a target to have 100k FAs, and if you plan on getting there by 30 a month then I wish you good luck. Asides from being interested in passing articles and making sure that the best work is presented on the main page, you guys should care about attracting AND maintaining excited users who submit articles and stick around to pass them. If you guys think otherwise, then good luck with maintaining even 30 articles a month. Nergaal (talk) 22:11, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

MOS stuff I try to fix as I go along, as with prose etc. I am not sure the process is any more strict than it was a year ago....? Casliber (talk · contribs) 03:47, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
At 278 years at current rate for a goal of 100K FAs we can reduce the quality requirements of FA; or, we can increase the number of FA writers and reviewers and delegates. The first solution is unacceptable; the second solution is a problem of accessing sufficient community labour, and organising it. For a five year plan, I don't see how the current mechanism can handle a throughput of 1700 passed FAs a month. Even coming close to this outcome would require a radical change in available community labour; and radical changes in the organisation of that labour including, almost certainly, a taxonomical division of labour around domains and subdomains of knowledge. I don't think the 100K goal is worth thinking about. The issue of developing best function out of the existing community labour resources is a more interesting one. Fifelfoo (talk) 04:08, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Fifelfoo. Slaving raids on major universities are probably the only answer. Johnbod (talk) 04:23, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
I think the more practical development, which has been the overhaul of the Good Article process has been a good one, resulting in a larger pool of Good Articles to look at developing into FAs later. Agree about not lowering standards. Casliber (talk · contribs) 04:15, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
Nergaal, This is apparently the FAC you're referring to. I don't see what you're seeing there. I see reviewers trying very hard to promote that article while strictly enforcing the FA criteria, which is the way it should be for articles that are considered the pinnacle of quality in Wikipedia's article rating system. Cla68 (talk) 04:26, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
Personally, I strongly welcome any critical commentary, as long as its not unresponsive comments like the one's that Fasach Nua is seeping into every nomination. I believe every reviewer here looks into the nomination thoroughly and ultimately it leads to the betterment of the article, not hinders it. I wish I understood Nergaal's concerns, but I don't. — Legolas (talk2me) 09:02, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
Well, no, FN is not opposing any articles which only have free use images, see my current nom of Buffalo nickel.--Wehwalt (talk) 16:20, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
  • In my opinion, the GA process should be made more stringent, so that articles that pass GA are not that far off of FA. I agree 100% that a tedious process, and nit-picky reviewers can, and do discourge nominators. And while some say, "we need reviewers to have FAs" we first need a nominator, who has no doubt put ten times as much effort into improving the article then the reviewer has giving a support or oppose. If we had 100 nominators and 10 reviewers we could still increase the FA count, but imagine 10 nominators and 100 reviewers, few articles would be improved. — GabeMc (talk) 23:35, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
  • With 100 nominators and 10 reviewers, we'd be looking at a constant backlog, reviews getting archived due to lack of input, reviewer burnout...instead, let's get 100 nominators who are also reviewers. Problem solved :) Yes, I am aware that's unlikely to happen. A girl can dream, right? Nikkimaria (talk) 02:37, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
  • All it takes is just one bad experience to lose a nominator forever, but a bad experience for a reviewer results in said reviewer moving on the the next nomination. And I agree with you, for every succsessful nomination a nominator should give at least one review. — GabeMc (talk) 00:06, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
  • I think you're viewing FAC through rose-colored glasses if you think reviewers just "move on" after a bad experience. Many good reviewers have left this area for good over various issues such as being harangued by nominators, whether justified or not. You should see my email inbox... it would make Malleus blush. --Andy Walsh (talk) 16:37, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

Main page summaries - Elk for example.

I don't know if people have noticed the crude editing-down of today's TFA lead Elk, which has completely confused Duncan Hill and myself. In fact the actual article is fine, with its first para reading: "The elk or wapiti (Cervus canadensis) is one of the largest species of deer in the world and one of the largest land mammals in North America and eastern Asia. In the deer family (Cervidae), only the larger moose (Alces alces), which is called an "elk" in Europe, and Sambar (Rusa unicolor) rival the elk in size. Elk are similar to the Red Deer (Cervus elaphus) found in Europe, of which they were long believed to be a subspecies. However, evidence from a 2004 study of the mitochondrial DNA indicates strongly suggests they are a distinct species."

- The material removed is in bold, additions in [] (so red), some word order changes ignored. The removal of the moose/elk point in the second sentence is guaranteed to throw most Europeans badly, and cannot be justified. And there is absolutely no need for it. By the end of the extract there is stuff like "Elk are susceptible to a number of infectious diseases, some of which can be transmitted to livestock. Efforts to eliminate infectious diseases from elk populations, largely through vaccination, have had mixed success", which could easily be left out of the extract. The "strongly suggests" change does reflect text lower down.

I have found that on the rare occasions when I compare a TFA lead extract with the actual, I increasingly find insensitive and unnecessary condensation. I accept that some of the clutter of the first sentences may need cutting, but the editing often goes well beyond this. The lead paras of FAs are quite often the result of considerable discussion or argument (Castle for example), and should not be cavalierly messed about. Duncan's attempt to raise the matter at main page talk was dismissed very rudely, with a bizarre jumble of arguments: "The fact that wapiti is mentioned adjacent to the word elk is enough to clarify that we're not talking about moose. And then there's a picture" says User:Tariqabjotu ! Johnbod (talk) 17:07, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

I think that if you are bold and change it, and your change is an improvement, no one will take it amiss.--Wehwalt (talk) 17:09, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
It is protected surely, & Tariqabjotu clearly sees no problem with it is Johnbod (talk) 17:12, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
Oh, didn't realize you were talking about today's. Yes, it is protected. The thing to do is catch it at TFA/R, if it is coming through that process. And as for Raul's picks, he's been scheduling in advance the last few weeks, so there is a greater time for feedback.--Wehwalt (talk) 17:15, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
I think the thing to do is get whoever does the summaries (who is that?) to take a more minimalist approach, and respect the process that produced the FA text more. Just to be clear, while many non-Americans are vaguely aware that Alces alces is a moose in America and an elk in Europe, I'm sure the vast majority are, like Duncan and myself, completely unaware that there is a second deer called an "elk" in America. Johnbod (talk) 17:19, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
If it's requested (Wikipedia:Today's featured article/requests), the requestor (typically, the primary author of the article) writes up a blurb, which I take and further copyedit before putting on the main page. If it's one of my sua sponte choices, then I do all the copyediting.
As for taking a light approach - there's a maximum size limit on the blurbs (roughly 1200 characters). Most FAs have leads that are longer than this, so some condensation is usually necessary.
Regarding the elk/wapiti thing, I not a british english speaker, so it's not something I would have caught. But removing alternate names from a the main page blurb is standard procedure. Raul654 (talk) 17:48, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
The trouble is Raul, many readers will be confused by being told they are reading about elk when they are not reading about elk - I thought at first, reading the title and looking at the picture, that some mistake had been made! Personally, I find it hard to understand how it was passed for FA with such a confusing title, but given that it passed I do still feel that the blurb needs to make it clear that it's not about elk (Alces alces). Many non-Americans will know that you call elk moose, very few of us will know that you call wapiti elk. DuncanHill (talk) 17:53, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
And very few of us have heard of "wapiti" at all, I certainly never had. Johnbod (talk) 18:09, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
Some of us have never heard this species called anything but "wapiti", but I am prepared to admit NZ is not the world, much less Europe... Iridia (talk) 00:52, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
(unindent) I don't want to split this discussion, but there's really no easy solution within the blurb length. As long as "or wapiti" is in the opening line, I'm not sure what else can be done. Chalk it down to list of weird British English things we worry about. (for the record, I'm Canadian and would call this an elk, it would never have occurred to me that there was an issue, but now that it's been brought up I do recall from somewhere that not everyone calls it an elk. Random89 18:15, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
The problem isn't just, or even maily, about mentioning wapiti - it's much more about telling people they are reading about elk when in fact (if they are not North American) the chances are that they aren't reading about elk! The blurb needs to make clear that elk for many people does not mean what today's featured article is about. Isn't there some kind of "principle of least surprise"? — Preceding unsigned comment added by DuncanHill (talkcontribs) 18:21, 14th December 2010
Random's comment is totally mystifying! What is needed is a first sentence like "The elk or wapiti is one of the largest species of deer in the world and one of the largest land mammals in North America and eastern Asia. In the deer family only the larger moose, which is called an "elk" in Europe, and Sambar rival the elk in size." - 1st sentence as now, 2nd sentence added, adapted from article. All the "Efforts to eliminate infectious diseases from elk populations, largely through vaccination, have had mixed success" crap lower down can easily go. But the point is it makes absolutely no sense, after a rigorous writing and review process, to leave what actually appears on the main page subject to a cavalier one-man rewrite. Can someone now change the page please? Johnbod (talk) 18:54, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
Linking to the whole discussion at main Page Errors which of course has gone to oblivion. I think the point was still missed that, whatever the issue with the article and its title, the actual problem was caused by excessive tinkering with the text that passed FA in the main page extract. Johnbod (talk) 02:23, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

One of the toughest things about this article was writing about the Elk as a name of the animal, according to what animal one might be talking about and where. The article was even moved more than once during this matter...the general view was to simply state that the Elk is this animal, and that what most North Americans call a Moose is generally called an Elk in Europe. Wapiti is not a common name for this animal in those regions it is found naturally, though, for some odd reason, the Asian subspecies of Elk are called Wapiti or more commonly "Maral", but Wapiti is from North American Native American languages...to make things more confusing, Elk is also another name for this waterfowl...Since Raul was writing the blurb, it was best he left out the whole naming issue so he could cover the intro adequately in the small space he had....I don't think I could have blurbed it better.--MONGO 03:14, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

Sorry that is complete nonsense. But cutting some 12 words he introduced a huge area of confusion. His explanation above just makes no sense at all - I won't repeat what I've said elsewhere about it. Johnbod (talk) 04:38, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
Why did you start this section here...? Elk isn't a FAC....and with the recent updates to the refs and expansion of a few areas just in the last 30 days, it should easily stand up to a FAR as well.--MONGO 03:18, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
Have you read any of the section above? Because I see the excessive editing of FA text for the main page extract as a general FA-relevant issue, and not a one-off one, and the main page talk gets cleared away without even archiving every day. Why do you raise FAR? I never mentioned it. Johnbod (talk) 04:24, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
Johnbod, this issue really doesn't belong here. As far as I can see, there are also conversations going on at the article talk itself, at Raul's talk page, and who knows where else. Please take it to where it belongs so this page doesn't keep appearing on my watchlist for reasons completely unrelated to FAC. If it's just about this article, go to the article talk page please. If it's about Raul, go to his talk please, or to the TFA talk page. --Andy Walsh (talk) 05:06, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
I had finished with the issue long ago, but people now keep adding and bringing it up on my watchlist! However you are wrong to say this is not the place. This is the de facto FA-central discussion page, or if not here then where? As a general FA issue this is the right place. For more on why, see above. Johnbod (talk) 05:52, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

Please comment at this discussion

Dear all, in light of the discussions regarding the threshold for the usage of non-free images in articles related to entertainment, I have raised a discussion at WT:NFCC#NFUR for album/single covers and posters. Interested editors and reviewers, please comment there as there may be a new light about to shine on the whole NFCC in general, and FAC needs to play a strong role in that. Thanks, — Legolas (talk2me) 04:13, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

Image reviews

I hope people have noticed the hilarious howler from our latest image review "expert" at Round Church, Preslav, where he asks for local chapter and verse on why images of the ruins of a 10th century church are allowable under freedom of panorama rules. I suggest anything this user says on copyright matters is treated with caution. There is no point in having image reviews that fall below a minimum level of competency.

Johnbod (talk) 15:00, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

I think that we should have discussion here, not try to mock each other.--Wehwalt (talk) 15:26, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
If you think you can do a better job than the volunteers who are currently doing this necessary but menial and thankless job, you can start checking articles too. There's only about 2.5 million articles that need to be checked, and I'm sure there are several that could benefit from your expert opinion.Dave (talk) 17:23, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
I'm not an expert, and would not venture my opinion. Fashua should follow my example. Johnbod (talk) 17:38, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
I am glad that you find the query entertaining, if I see an opportunity to learn more about copyright law in various jurisdictions I will seize the opportunity, and the information I have gained in this FAC will undoubtedly come in useful in a less clear cut case of Bulgarian copyright. Perhaps is would be useful for you to cite specific instances of where "image reviews that fall below a minimum level of competency" so that the issues can be rectified, rather shouting about your newly gained Schadenfreude gained from your misunderstanding of basic strategy used in article improvement. Fasach Nua (talk) 18:13, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
You are still completely missing the point. There can be no question of 10th century ruins having a current copyright, wherever they are in the world. They were out of copyright centuries before copyright was invented. Johnbod (talk) 00:31, 18 December 2010 (UTC)
We know. That's not the point. A quiet word on FN's talk page or a mild comment at the FAC would have been entirely in order. This topic was not necessary.--Wehwalt (talk) 00:37, 18 December 2010 (UTC)
In the absence of trained and compensated professionals, we muddle along as best we can. No one is perfect, and this is an imperfect science. We all make mistakes, and the default in the adult world is that everyone adds it as a learning experience, and we move on.--Wehwalt (talk) 18:28, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
As requested above please specify specific instances where "image reviews that fall below a minimum level of competency" so those matters can be addressed Fasach Nua (talk) 01:02, 18 December 2010 (UTC)

Permit me to say this as well. FAC image reviews is a difficult subject, it is telling people who are very much attached to their articles that there are image problems, as there very often are. The people usually don't want to hear it, and there's friction. We have a very high burnout rate at this. Fasach Nua is doing a job no one wants to do.--Wehwalt (talk) 00:00, 18 December 2010 (UTC)

Indeed, image and source reviews are tedious work areas and very few editors have volunteered for this kind of work. I suggest healthy conversation about review methods and criteria should be held here, but ad hominem commentary is best left to the dispute resolution process. --Andy Walsh (talk) 00:44, 18 December 2010 (UTC)
Don't forget RfA. =-) Dave (talk) 02:59, 18 December 2010 (UTC)

The rules for good image reviewing are the same as those for every other type of reviewing, but as this is an area of general ignorance for many editors, they are especially relevant:-

  • Try to act as a colleague rather than a prosecuting counsel
  • Make the nature of any objection as clear as possible
  • If an editor asks for help in resolving a problem, or for clarification of your position, give it whenever possible
  • Don't use the "oppose" button as a cudgel in the case of relatively minor infringements or in pursuit of your own POV
  • Where an oppose is necessary, do it politely
  • Revisit the nomination when requested by an editor to do so, and upgrade your comments as appropriate.

Now, I'm fully aware that as a sources reviewer I don't always follow these rules, but I try - at least most of the time, as I am sure most others do. It is of course equally important that editors maintain civilities in their interactions with reviewers. Brianboulton (talk) 19:30, 18 December 2010 (UTC)

FA criterion 3

Looking for some input on this. To me, the wording is ambiguous: "It has images that follow the image use policy ..."

Well, that could mean that: a) it has images and those images follow the image use policy, or b) if it has images, they follow the image use policy. The difference, clearly, is that with "a", an opposition over lack of images would be actionable. What does everyone think about this? --Andy Walsh (talk) 17:15, 19 December 2010 (UTC)

traditionally it has always been interpreted as images aren't required. For some subjects, there just won't be anything, and there are no requirements for images anywhere in the MOS or other policies. Ealdgyth - Talk 17:17, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
That's what I thought. I did like your approach with Walter de Coutances. --Andy Walsh (talk) 17:24, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
I agree, Images are not required. But if you submit an article without one, you should be prepared to justify the absence of images.--Wehwalt (talk) 17:35, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
I would go with the interpretation "It has images ... where appropriate", perhaps we are missing a comma Fasach Nua (talk) 17:44, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
I generally find that, for topics where there isn't any suitable image, judicious use of the {{quote box}} template is quite useful; it breaks up the "wall of text" appearance of long un-illustrated sections. – iridescent 17:44, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
I think this is where the ambiguity came in Fasach Nua (talk) 18:08, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
I have reworded this here Fasach Nua (talk) 22:12, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
I have tweaked the reworded form for clarity and prose style here... The Land (talk) 22:17, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
and should we add "available and" before "appropriate"? Peacock.Lane (talk) 02:42, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
I don't think available should be included, many articles are created when images were not available, and editors have gone the extra mile to get this free content created through their own efforts, or have contacted copyright holders to release rights, we should not discourage the creation of free content such as the user created File:Trautmann.jpg (which was created to replace non-free content during the FAC process) or the Wikipedian requested GFDL image File:Nadine_Velazquez.jpg. Fasach Nua (talk) 08:05, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
I would readily agree with you, if it weren't for the fact that I don't understand your logic. The word "available" doesn't preclude creation. But whatever. Peacock.Lane (talk) 10:32, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
If a candidate is submitted, lets say New_York_State_Route_164, a stretch of road of length 3 miles, it does not contain a picture of the road that could easily be created, in fact it may be possible to capture the whole road in a single photo. If the FA criterion is altered as suggested a nominator who just wants a gold star on their page, could quite rightly state that no image is available and that the criterion is met! However with the existing criteria we could argue the article is improperly illustrated and that twenty minutes of effort would fix the problem, and improve the article. The FAC is more about article improvement that giving out gold stars, and if we can help people to creatively generate free content these improvements will be mimicked in other non-FA articles, if we give an opt out that allows editors not to try, if the couldn't be bothered to generate content, then I think we could be going down to the minimum threshold of acceptability rather than our recognising our best work Fasach Nua (talk) 11:47, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
It has always been my understanding that while media (photos, maps, sounds, video) may not be required of Good Articles, Featured Articles were expected to have something in that department in the article. Having said that, sometimes media will not be (readily) available, and such a circumstance really needs to be judged on a case-by-case basis. Imzadi 1979  12:17, 20 December 2010 (UTC)


Slightly off-topic

South Park (season 13) and All_I_Want_for_Christmas_Is_You both contain non-free sound files that no-one has commented on either with respect to this criterion, and routinely articles with non-free audio content go through the FA process without any examination as to the value of this non-free content. Fasach Nua (talk) 08:40, 20 December 2010 (UTC)

The case of "All I Want for Christmas Is You" is very simple and very common. The sound of a song obviously constitutes basic encyclopedic information in an article about that song. For virtually any contemporary example of commercial music, a fair use sound clip provides significant, indeed crucial, information that is replaceable neither by free material nor by material with any reasonable likelihood of being made free.
In the case of the clip in South Park (season 13), its significance and informational value is well sourced. Indeed, I see two high-quality sources for the relevant critical commentary in the accompanying running text.
Both of these sound files easily pass muster with our NFC policy. If you've found non-free audio content that is actually problematic going "through the FA process without any examination," please cite a couple of examples.—DCGeist (talk) 08:58, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
I don't want to get into specific articles, but for me what is problematic is un-reviewed content being promoted to FA, the content may be fine, but then it may not, I believe that the whole article should be reviewed and documented as such Fasach Nua (talk) 09:09, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
@FN, I might be wrong, but didn't you review the NFC for the samples in the first nomination? — Legolas (talk2me) 05:17, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
Yes, you are wrong Fasach Nua (talk) 07:10, 21 December 2010 (UTC)


I'm uncomfortable with this. I see it as a wide open garage door to almost "anything goes". Perhaps each South Park episode should have a fair use video clip then, perhaps telling the best jokes. I believe that such sound and video files do interfere with the commercial rights of the copyright owner.--Wehwalt (talk) 15:25, 21 December 2010 (UTC)

Exactly what principle or example of usage do you perceive as a "wide open garage door"?—DCGeist (talk) 18:37, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
Frankly, I'm not a fan of fair use audio or video media files.--Wehwalt (talk) 19:50, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
I have seen very few places where a video file justifies the usage of NFC. Even in the FA Michael Jackson, the usage feels not complying with NFCC. However, for audio files, WP:SAMPLE does have a reasonable limit I believe. We can notify WT:NFCC regarding this discussion also. — Legolas (talk2me) 06:06, 22 December 2010 (UTC)

Concerning sock

What is the community's consensus on the comments posted by a sockpuppet? I found a sock at the nominations for "All I Want For Christmas is You" and "Halo (Beyonce Knowles song)". — Legolas (talk2me) 05:17, 21 December 2010 (UTC)

The user in question is User:56tyvfg88yju. Confirmed as in, confirmed by the user contributions. The user in question is User:Piano non troppo, who was asked by the FAR community to stop nominating Halkett boat for FAR, just weeks after it passed. There is the discussion present at his talk page regarding this, where User:Moni3 tried to explain him about the FAC process, of which he was extremely critical. Next, I looked up at the GAR of "Paparazzi" where I remembered him placing similar comments that he placed at the FACs of "All I Want for Christmas" and the ongoing "Halo (Beyonce Knowles song)". My suspicions were confirmed when the user placed similar examples of "Hey Jude" and a Mozart symphony at the FACs; examples used by Piano non troppo in the GAR too. So, then I checked the contributions of 56tyvfg88yju, and found that the first comments are at two song FACs, comments which are shockingly similar. I think the user promotes the addition of pure technical content in song articles, whether they are sourced or not. I am asking this, since I will be nominating a future song FAC, I need to know how to approach against such comments also. 05:49, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
It's an obvious sock, but not being used in violation of the socking policy. In that case, their comments will be treated like everyone else's. --Andy Walsh (talk) 05:58, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
Then Andy, Sandy and Karen, I request that you take into consideration the FAR of Halkett boat, and treat the user's comments as such, so that the same problems do not arise. — Legolas (talk2me) 10:51, 21 December 2010 (UTC)