Wikipedia talk:Featured article criteria

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high-quality is undefined and non-consensual[edit]

Too paraphrase Humpty Dumpty in Through the Looking Glass

    "I don't know what you mean by 'high-quality' " Alice said.
    Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. "Of course you don't—till I tell you. I meant 'there's a nice knock-down argument for you!' "
    "But 'high-quality' doesn't mean 'a nice knock-down argument'," Alice objected.
    "When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less."
    "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."
    "The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master—that's all."

Unlike the "Reliable sources" the phrase "high-quality" does not appear in Verifiability policy and (as far as I am aware) it not defined in the guideline Wikipedia:Reliable sources. Leaving it in this project page, allows it to be used as a bludgeon without needing to define what it means, because after all "Aunty knows best" and "it means just what Aunty choose it to mean—neither more nor less". If there is a disagreement over the suitability of the inclusion of a source and "high-quality" is invoked then its evocation tends to be non-consensual.

So I have been bold and removed the phrase. -- PBS (talk) 09:23, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

If you can provide an example of a FAC where it has been misunderstood, mis-applied, or "used as a bludgeon" at FAC, we could have a discussion about whether to delete the long-standing, well-applied phrase. I've restored it. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 09:27, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
If it is understood then please explain what it means. -- PBS (talk) 09:29, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

@SandyGeorgia I did a search on high-quality prefix:Wikipedia:Featured article candidates the second on in the list gives an example of the phrase being used by you without you defining what you mean: Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/German Type UB I submarine/archive1 "Highest quality sources are required for Featured articles ... We need independent review of ship articles, but we get ship editors consistently supporting ship articles, with little independent review-- sourcing still needs to be resolved." If that was to be written as "Reliable sources are required for Featured articles ..." then people would have something defined to discuss. That "editors here have yet to establish that the authors of this website are published experts", is a question of reliable sources not "Highest quality sources". The whole push of your argument is from an intangible start and you continue it further down the same page where you write "Are high-quality reliable sources consulted?" why not ask the question "Are all the sources cited reliable ones?". That is something covered by policy your question is not. Ealdgyth make the point on that page "about a year ago, sourcing requirements for FAs went from 'reliable' to 'high quality reliable'." -- PBS (talk) 10:08, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

I've read Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/German Type UB I submarine/archive1, and do not see a problem. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:57, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
That is the problem! You ask the questing is it a high-quality source. You do not ask the question is it a reliable source. The answer you get back is yes I think it is a high quality source. as high quality is not defined the person is under no obligation to say more. If you asked the question is it a reliable source you would be encouraging the person who replies to explain how they think the source meets the requirement of a reliable source. The point is that high quality is a distraction. -- PBS (talk) 20:34, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
If you read that FAC closely, Sandy FIRST asked if the source was reliable, and then about whether it was the highest quality. Karanacs (talk) 20:57, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
I've worked to the principle that "high quality" relates to the definition of a Featured Article, which, as per the top of the page, says that the article should be "distinguished by professional standards of writing, presentation, and sourcing." Featured Articles are intended to exemplify our very best work and it seems a reasonable requirement to me. Hchc2009 (talk) 10:21, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Reliable source has a specific definition and so when there is a discussion about whether a sources is reliable it is something that can usually be agreed upon (although occasionally there will be disagreements particularly when the source is a person). Your comment does not answer what is a high-quality reliable source as opposed to a reliable source. Also is there an example of a reliable source being rejected not because it is unreliable but because it quality is not high enough? -- PBS (talk) 10:41, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
If you're uncertain about the meaning of the words "high quality", I'd recommend consulting a dictionary; there are a few available on-line. Hchc2009 (talk) 11:08, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for that advise, but I don't think it is much help because the OED states
"With the sense ‘having, characterized by, or operating with a high degree or amount of (the specified quality or activity)’." and the examples it gives of usage are:
"high-quality adj."
  • "1881 E. Matheson Aid Bk. Engin. Enterprise Abroad II. xv. 40 To make the pieces lighter by the use of high quality material (such as steel), or by subdivision, to make them lighter because more numerous."
  • "1910 Westm. Gaz. 21 Apr. 12/1 Until plenty of high-quality beet is procurable."
  • "1948 Wireless World Jan. 2/1 Most high-quality radio receiver units will provide an output of well over 4 volts."
  • "2012 Independent 28 May 21/2 Colour coded chopping boards plus four high-quality, full tang knives."
None of which explain what is meant by high-quality here. Do you know of an example of a reliable source being rejected not because it is unreliable but because it quality is not high enough? -- PBS (talk) 12:58, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
One example would be sourcing medical content to websites like Mayo Clinic instead of recent journal reviews when those are available. Another would be sourcing any article to generic websites, when journal reviews are available (I know that happened in earlier versions of The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (film), and if the sourcing had not been upgraded to higher quality journal articles, that article would not have likely passed FAC). I think the greater question remains: do you have any example of where this requirement has created a problem? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:05, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
(1) I have no idea what "Mayo Clinic" so please explain is it a reliable source? (2) what are "generic websites" and are they reliable? I think the first example I gave above with the use of high quality instead of reliable source created a problem, but you have said that you do "not see a problem". -- PBS (talk) 20:34, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
That a source be reliable is a minimum standard. But obviously there is a spectrum of different quality sources for a given claim. FAs should use the highest possible quality of reliable sources. A competent editor can be expected to realize which sources are better sources than others for a given claim, and if there is doubt about it it can be decided by consensus on the talkpage or during the review.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 20:42, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
Also helps if you ... use the archives. Look at Wikipedia talk:Featured article criteria/Archive 9 where the addition was discussed (to death) and dealt with. Ealdgyth - Talk 12:51, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Thank you I had already looked through that and I do not think it was discussed to death, indeed it was hardly discussed at all. -- PBS (talk) 20:34, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
I write a lot of history articles. I could source them to a book written by in 1910, or a book written in 2013. Both are reliable sources. The latter is, quite obviously, a higher quality - more information has been discovered about the topic in the century between those works. Another frequent choice: a book about the topic written by a lawyer and published in 2010 by a popular press ... or a book published by a university press in 2000 and written by a professor whose focus of work is this topic. Both are reliable sources; the one published by the university press and written by the professor is likely the higher quality source. I could find a dozen newspaper articles that talk about topic X ... or I could use a book written by an engineer and published by a popular press. The latter is probably the higher quality source for the type of articles I write. Karanacs (talk) 18:13, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Yes, the variable quality of reliable sources is an issue across all sorts of fields. And we can't assume editors will pick the higher quality choices without having it in the criteria. I've seen material sourced to a popular magazine review of an academic book, rather than to the book itself. The editor who chooses that clearly knows a better source is available. I've even passed GAs when I knew there were better sources, because GA only requires RS without reference to quality. So the requirement does matter. --RL0919 (talk) 21:58, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Thanks @Ealdgyth for the link to the Archives. There was a clear consensus in 2009 that "high-quality" was an important element of Featured Article criteria. I agree with that result's setting a high bar for Featured Articles. SteveMcCluskey (talk) 03:57, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
@Karanacs this is not necessarily true it depends. Take for example the decision by the ONDB not to to include so much information about families compared to the older DNB articles, or the fact that they do not place their citations inline as is done with many 100 year old DNB articles. So for both information about a subjects marriages etc, and for information on the primary source or the secondary source used for a specific fact, the older DNB may be the more suitable. There is also the issue of availability and the ability of readers to check if the cited work supports the fact. Clearly when the ONDB and the DNB disagree then one ought to use the ONDB for all the reasons you have put forward (see for example Apocryphal biographies in the Dictionary of National Biography), but the ONDB has restricted access while the DNB is now fully on line at Wikisource, if the same fact is supported by both which is the better sources to cite for Wikipedia readers? But the main point about high quality is that is is not defined. You have taken it on your self to define high quality in a certain way, as far as I am aware no such definition exists on Wikiepdia. However WP:SOURCES covers the issue so AFAICT there is no need for "high quality" before "reliable sources" as a link to WP:SOURCES covers what you discuss under "high quality". -- PBS (talk) 20:34, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
  • I agree that the modifier "high-quality" is important. The fact that it is not defined is not a problem - it depends on the topic, and is subject to consensus like so many other things. Any attempt at a strict definition would turn out problematic in practice. A FA should be expected to use the best possible sources for the given topic, no less.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 23:59, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
  • The terminology "high-quality" should be removed. I think it is understood that all assertions should be adequately supported by sources. Sourcing is of paramount importance, but there are still other factors that are important in constructing a good-quality article. In fact, just because something is sourced, is not a conclusive argument that it should be in an article. It is understood that sources must be adequate. But a "Featured article" is one that excels in ways that can't easily be defined for all cases. I have seen "Featured articles" that contain well-sourced information that in my opinion did not belong in the article. Therefore I consider the terminology "high-quality" to be overemphasis. Bus stop (talk) 00:38, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
I dont see any relation between the premises of that argument (not all sourced information should be included + sources is not the only important aspect of article quality) and the conclusion (therefore we need not require high quality sources for FA).·maunus · snunɐɯ· 01:17, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
It goes without saying that sources must be good quality. I don't think it is necessarily the quality of the sources that makes an article that excels. Certainly a Featured article shouldn't use poor quality sources. But an article can for instance use excellent quality sources to go beyond an appropriate scope or to give undue weight to one area of an article. These are the problems I have encountered with articles of supposedly "Featured article" quality. An article should be "lean". The reader doesn't have all day to wade through an overly long article. So, I see this emphasis on "high-quality" sources to be misplaced emphasis. We should be thinking about many things. Bus stop (talk) 01:43, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
There still is no coherence in the argument. Listing "high quality sources" as a requirement does not mean that this is the only requirement and that we shouldnt think about the other requirements as well. An article that doesnt use the best possible sources for the topic should not be an FA, that is why we need to include this as one of the criteria. Noone is sayin that using excellent sources automatically makes an article FA - but it is one of the necessary requirements.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 01:47, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
Is sourcing really the problem that articles have to overcome to attain Featured article status? In my admittedly limited experience it seems to me that the shape and balance of an article is of utmost importance. It is easy to fill out one area of an article and leave another area underdeveloped. Bus stop (talk) 01:54, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
Do you read the comments that you respond to? ·maunus · snunɐɯ· 02:06, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
We don't know what "high-quality" means. We do know what reliable sources means. Why add a term that is not defined for Wikipedia purposes? Where do we find a definition for "high-quality" sources as distinct from "reliable sources"? Bus stop (talk) 02:11, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
Through consensus at the relevant talkpage and in the context of the relevant topic.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 02:18, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
  • +1 to what Sandy is saying. Tony (talk) 02:49, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
  • A Featured Article, as a representative of "our finest work" should be using the highest-quailty sources, for that topic, as we can muster. The term high quality has a regular meaning that serves our purposes, so we don't need a Wikipedia-specific definition. It is also not the only aspect of an article to be judged, and certainly not judged in isolation, so I don't see what the fuss is about. Imzadi 1979  03:27, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Per various comments above, especially maunus, I believe we should leave "high quality" in the criteria. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 15:35, 1 March 2015 (UTC)

@Imzadi1979 Two points first of all I personally do not think that featured articles necessarily represent "our finest work", I think that comes from the breadth and not necessarily depth. For example I have been writing articles on the movement of armies in the Napoleonic Wars. The big advantage of such articles today over similar articles written 10 years ago, is the breadth of other articles that have now been written allows for hyper linking to give a far better overview. The breadth of topics automatically increases the depth of an individual article thorough hyperlinks to articles that only use reliable sources and meet policy requirements, which in my opinion is "our finest work". A Featured Article, as a representative of "our finest work" should be using the highest-quailty sources, for that topic, as we can muster. The wording is not "highest-quailty sources" but "high-quality reliable sources". Can you name an article where editors have gone "I am going to remove a source that meets the requirements of WP:SOURCES and replace it with a less reliable source" and other editors have gone "well OK then as this is not a featured article it does not matter if unreliable sources are used". Of course not! The point being that if one follows the advise in WP:SOURCE and WP:RS the one uses the most suitable sources available in any article not just featured articles so the phrase high-quality is unnecessary and just clutter. -- PBS (talk) 20:34, 1 March 2015 (UTC)

The truth is that most objective editors strive to use reliable sources to meet the policy requirement: to "Attribute all quotations and any material challenged or likely to be challenged to a reliable, published source using an inline citation" (WP:CHALLENGE) That is a totally different requirement from "Claims are verifiable against high-quality reliable sources and are supported by inline citations where appropriate;". What does "claims" mean what does "high-quality" I think that this clause would be far better phrased in such a way that it unambiguously met the requirements of WP:CHALLENGE -- something that a featured article editor should find easy to pen. -- PBS (talk) 20:34, 1 March 2015 (UTC)

While the phrase "high quality" is in the criteria it is possible for a reviewer to challenge sources on quality, and not just reliability. If for example an article about a scientific topic is sourced to reliable science journalism instead of to actual scientific papers or academically published books on the topic, the reviewer may object and say that for the article to pass review it must incorporate the highest quality sources. If the phrase is removed, then the reviewer will not have policy backing for requesting the article to do a better job at including the highest quality sources, and the nominator can argue that sources being reliable is the only requirement. Again, the policy requirements are minimum standards for any article, if the FA standard is not higher than the minimum standard then there is not much point in having FAs. ·maunus · snunɐɯ· 20:54, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
  • I would in fact suggest making the criterion even stricter: We should also require the article to include as broad a selection of high quality sources as possible. It should not be possible to pass an FA that leaves out prominent high quality sources from the literature section. This is the same way that an article will be rejected on a journal for failure to site broadly from the relevant literature.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 20:54, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
    • Maunus, your second point is covered by the wording in the criteria, "... a thorough and representative survey of the relevant literature". SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:58, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
Good point, it is. Doesnt that almost also cover the quality though?·maunus · snunɐɯ· 16:47, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
No, they were intended as two separate things. It was quite a debate when Awadewit pushed it through, and you can read the archive that Ealdgyth linked. I'm speaking as a former delegate, in terms of how it is enforced at FAC -- one thing is quality of sources, another is whether a thorough survey of the literature (as in, to locate those sources) has been done. I don't know how well this is enforced at FAC these days, but the intent was two separate items, as I understood and enforced it when delegate. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:35, 2 March 2015 (UTC)

@·maunus when asked above "Where do we find a definition for "high-quality" sources as distinct from "reliable sources"?" you replied Through consensus at the relevant talkpage and in the context of the relevant topic. This contradicts your more recent statement While the phrase "high quality" is in the criteria it is possible for a reviewer to challenge sources on quality, and not just reliability. because you have said that "high quality" means in the words of Humpty Dumpty "just what [a random local consensus among a few editors] choose it to mean—neither more nor less." — This is contary to WP:Local consensus "participants in a WikiProject cannot decide that some generally accepted policy or guideline does not apply to articles within its scope", in this case the wording in WP:V.

It is much clearer and within the framework of WP:Local consensus to meet your objectives by using the wording in WP:CHALLENGE and and the definition in sources WP:SOURCES. "Base articles on reliable, third-party, published sources with a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy. ... If available, academic and peer-reviewed publications are usually the most reliable sources, such as in history, medicine, and science", rather than using an undefined phrase "high quality". -- PBS (talk) 14:10, 2 March 2015 (UTC)

That is total nonsense. Local consensus always decides how a given policy is interpreted in a given case. There is nothing strange in that at all. It is always local consensus that decides whether a given source is reliable for example, thereis no strict rule that can define what a reliable source is outside of the context of a specific claim in a specific article and a specific local consensus about its reliability. Furtemore FA criteria is not a policy, it is a set of criteria for awarding FA status within a review process. The FA criteria, and the way to interpret them in a specific case are decided by local consensus in the review and they work independently from the policies that decide the minimum criteria for what an article needs to be like.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 15:57, 2 March 2015 (UTC)

What does "claims" mean in the sentence "Claims are verifiable against high-quality reliable sources ..."? -- PBS (talk) 14:10, 2 March 2015 (UTC)

"Claims" means assertions made in the article. I can understand questioning "high-quality", since there are Wikipedia-specific questions of judgment there, but "claims" is being used in its ordinary English meaning. --RL0919 (talk) 14:33, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
"Reliable sources" is sufficient. Our wording does not have to say "high-quality reliable sources". Our wording presently reads: "Claims are verifiable against high-quality reliable sources and are supported by inline citations where appropriate". Strictly speaking the wording "high-quality" is superfluous. We are looking for sources appropriately supportive of an assertion (or "claim"). The only exception to this, that I can think of, is the instance in which sources contradict one another, or are at odds with one another, to one degree or another. To properly word our article we would need to evaluate the quality of different sources in order to give proper WP:WEIGHT to each source. Bus stop (talk) 17:55, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict)I disagree that the qualifier is superfluous. A featured article is supposed to reflect wikipedia's best work, and this phrase is showing that as part of "best work" we mean the best sources for that topic. It can't be more specific, because each topic area is different. It shouldn't be less specific ("reliable sources" only) because no one really wants to see a history article sourced exclusively to newspaper articles instead of scholarly histories. Karanacs (talk) 18:04, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
That is why I am using the words "appropriately supportive". I think "high-quality" means The New York Times as opposed to The New York Post. Bus stop (talk) 20:13, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
"appropriately supportive" doesn't mean anything to me - I would just interpret that as the source supports the claim. That is not good enough for a featured article, at least in the majority of articles about history. "High-quality" means more than that. And depending on the topic, it might mean NYT instead of NY Post, or it might mean neither is appropriate. Karanacs (talk) 20:55, 2 March 2015 (UTC)

OK I have laid out my wears and I am disappointed that at the moment there is not a consensus for change. So I see little point in continuing this discussion at the moment. However consensus can change and I hope that in the future this can be revised with an outcome that favours wording more in harmony with WP:V. -- PBS (talk) 12:11, 3 March 2015 (UTC)

I agree with PBS that the phrase is in need of further definition, and I dislike the tone of this discussion. It seems to me to be a rather simple matter of putting some of the points raised here into a footnote or separate document, if they are not already covered by WP:RS or WP:V. If they are covered by WP:RS, then there is indeed no need for the additional phrase, "high quality" in that sentence. Samsara 06:16, 5 March 2015 (UTC)

OPINION: "High-quality" is fine and necessary as a check and balance in the Featured Article criteria, a phrase that is easily understood and at the same time open to interpretation on a per case basis. Attempting to codify overly restrictive interpretations of Wikipedia's broad principles, policies and guidelines only leads to more forms of wikilawyering, and less reliance on actual discussion to resolve issues. One of the critical Five Pillars remains: "Wikipedia has no firm rules." --Tsavage (talk) 08:08, 5 March 2015 (UTC)

Agreed on the last point - which means that extra phrase is not needed. Samsara 14:15, 5 March 2015 (UTC)

Good Lists[edit]

There is a proposal to set up a new classification level, Good List. Please add your comments there. --Redrose64 (talk) 10:19, 4 May 2015 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Featured article FAQ[edit]

I'm surprised this hasn't been created before. I've got one experienced user to answer it. Please feel free to add your own questions/answers to it. ‑Ugog Nizdast (talk) 14:06, 28 October 2015 (UTC)

"Brilliant"?[edit]

This word in the featured article criteria seems out of place. Shouldn't encyclopedia text instead be clear, concise and factual? Not only is the word open to wide interpretation, but it brings to mind elements of writing which aren't appropriate in an encyclopedic setting, such as colourful adjectives, metaphor, thought provoking phrases, witticisms, etc. I would like to see the words "even brilliant" removed from the criteria. —Anne Delong (talk) 09:26, 9 May 2016 (UTC)

@Anne Delong: It's been brought up many times, and it seems like we always agree the wording is problematic but nothing ever really seems to be done about it. See here for a notable example (Gosh, that was eight years ago—where does the time go?). Then, there was consensus for "well-written: its prose is engaging and of a professional standard" which has always been my preference. It's time to make this change, I think. --Laser brain (talk) 11:00, 9 May 2016 (UTC)
"Brilliant" is obviously too exceptional, while "engaging" is a bit underspecified, IMO, but the latter is vastly preferable to the former. I would prefer adding a second adjective to get some feeling of being "pleasant" or "smooth" or "enjoyable" or something, but I doubt we can reach consensus on one additional adjective... so I'll accept User:Laser brain's version.  Lingzhi ♦ (talk) 11:25, 9 May 2016 (UTC)
"Engaging" seems fine to me, implying that you should want to, and can, follow the flow of the prose. I support dropping "brilliant", which implies flourishes not appropriate to an encyclopedia. Simon Burchell (talk) 11:47, 9 May 2016 (UTC)
I'm taking the liberty of quoting Tony1, who stated better than I ever could: "To me, prose of a professional standard is more than correct: it's well expressed, free of redundant wording, and logically cohesive and focused—it's an easy read without any of the bumps that characterise subprofessional prose. Our epithet "engaging" requires it to be a good read as well. Brilliant prose, in turn, is more than these two things: it implies beauty and unusual cleverness in the writing." --Laser brain (talk) 12:13, 9 May 2016 (UTC)
I'm certainly glad the word "even" is there: "its prose is engaging, even brilliant, and of a professional standard;"—that saves the "brilliant" from rendering the rest of the criterion redundant. But I'd support the removal of those two words in the middle. To me, prose that "is engaging and of a professional standard" expresses nicely what we should expect of the very best WP articles. It's really hard to write to a professional standard—I've spent most of my life trying. Brilliance is all very well to ascribe to a novel by John Banville or Hillary Mantel, but it's limited as a yardstick in a judgmental forum. (Wasn't the predecessor of FAC called "Brilliant prose" or something? Perhaps the criterion tips its hat at that; it could now be updated, IMO.) Tony (talk) 12:45, 9 May 2016 (UTC)
I'm fine with its removal. "Engaging prose" is a much easier sentiment to grasp, not to mention much more achievable; I can't think of any article on a chemical element that will leave me speechless as to the quality of its writing, and that goes for any scrap of scientific literature, not just Wikipedia. Especially as we have to follow our sources I don't think it's an adequate prescription. In practice, too, I can't say it's ever particularly focused on. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 13:10, 9 May 2016 (UTC)
Yeah, I always felt "brilliant" was nice but on the effusive side. "Engaging" and "clear" are fine by me. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 13:34, 9 May 2016 (UTC)
While we rapidly appear to be reaching consensus based on the above, I think it's worth adding a more recent discussion on this point, which included thoughts on the aspirational nature of the words "even brilliant"... Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 14:33, 9 May 2016 (UTC)
I have removed the reference to brilliance. IMO, it's not just an unrealistic expectation, but also misleading, since it's most important that encyclopedic text is informative and easily understandable; it's a waste of time for editors to spend time finding new and exciting ways to say "she worked for three years as a waitress at a diner in Chicago".—Anne Delong (talk) 14:35, 9 May 2016 (UTC)
I'm OK with removing it, but I agree with Ian that we should wait before making the change. No harm in letting this discussion sit for a couple of days; not every editor is on Wikipedia every day. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 14:52, 9 May 2016 (UTC)
I, too, support its removal, The word is subjective, hard to define, and capable of misuse (cf "awesome", "wicked" etc). Clarity and readability are hard enough to achieve, and the requirement should stop there. Brianboulton (talk) 09:21, 10 May 2016 (UTC)
I always saw "brilliant" as aspirational myself, and not necessarily something that we could realistically expect out of most FAs. It wouldn't upset me if that was removed from 1a. Having prose that is both engaging and of a professional standard is a fairly high bar anyway. Giants2008 (Talk) 01:29, 14 May 2016 (UTC)
I endorse the removal of "brilliant" by Anne -- I agree with many of the comments above. I understand the aspiration argument, but this is supposed to be a set of criteria rather than a set of aspirations. -- Shudde talk 16:16, 16 May 2016 (UTC)
I'm very pleased that "brilliant" has been removed from the Criteria. As a reasonably competent writer, but a newcomer here (who has just done their first FAC review, and is about to submit their first FAC nomination), I have been deeply concerned about the word's use here. To be 'brilliant', did I have to blind you with my erudition? Beffudle and amaze you with my knowledge of technical terms that you are clearly not brilliant enough (like me) to understand? I think not. I agree with those who recognised that encyclopaedic entries are rarely brilliant or clever. They are simply good. And helpful. Personally, I would prefer to see the 'well-written' criteria demanding that "prose is engaging, easily understood, informative and pleasure to read. (in other words: of a professional standard.)" Parkywiki (talk) 23:19, 21 May 2016 (UTC)
I'm getting in rather late here, but I think that this is a backwards step. FAs should have extremely high quality writing, and this goes beyond being "engaging" or "professional". "Even brilliant" is a good aspiration, and captures the essence of what FAs should aim for better than the new wording IMO. Nick-D (talk) 00:17, 22 May 2016 (UTC)
Good move. But it doesn't change the standard of prose I expect in reviewing. Tony (talk) 08:53, 22 May 2016 (UTC)
Also late to the party, but ... I'm happy it's gone, and happy to be a part of this increasingly professional and reliable community. - Dank (push to talk) 23:05, 30 May 2016 (UTC)
Professional? Reliable? Speak for yourself! :-)   Lingzhi ♦ (talk) 00:38, 31 May 2016 (UTC)
 :) - Dank (push to talk) 01:05, 31 May 2016 (UTC)
Wait ... I just got thanked for the smiley face, maybe I should clarify that I meant what I said ... I think the FAC community is getting more professional and reliable. When I followed the link to this page, the discussion was as thoughtful as I knew it would be. I think things are running relatively smoothly at FAC, though we could use more nominations (which is something I recently brought up at WT:GAN). - Dank (push to talk) 20:05, 31 May 2016 (UTC)

Instructions need to have clear performance metrics. "Readable, concise, organized..." are all concepts a writer can assess their work on. Brilliant is completely in the eye of the beholder, and impossible to measure. If you must use the word, say "we aspire to "brilliant" articles. We define brilliant as "concise, readable, quotation based, etc..." Billyshiverstick (talk) 16:08, 23 July 2016 (UTC)

Variety of subject in featured articles[edit]

I totally support the rewarding of diligent article writers with featured status, however, somebody in Wikipedia needs to take reponsibility for some leadership. The featured article is what draws new readers in. It is the foundational service that Wikipedia exists on.

With all due respect to the subjects of recent featured articles, we can't keep prioritizing endless articles on Australian army veterans, cricketers, dreadnought class battleships, and video games.

Human experience is much wider than those four categories, yet they each get 10 featured articles a year or more. Somebody in Wikipedia needs to set a format for topics to keep Wikipedia a fresh resource. Let's rotate through 24 basic subjects like People, Nature, Art, Science, Biology, Sports, Culture, etc. Then when sports comes up, the latest article on cricketers can be compared to the latest article on ping pong players, or pole vaulters.

We are throwing the baby out with the bathwater by our method of featured article selection. The principle is good, the practice needs leadership.

thanks all Billyshiverstick (talk) 16:04, 23 July 2016 (UTC)

Hi, I don't think anyone would disagree that we could use more variety in the subject of articles featuring on the main page but the TFA coordinators can only choose from the pool of FAs, and those subjects you mention happen to garner a great deal of interest from article writers. The more people are prepared to work on other subjects, and get the articles on those subjects up to FA standard, the more variety the TFA coordinators will have to choose from. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 16:22, 23 July 2016 (UTC)
@Billyshiverstick: You appear to be confusing two distinct (but related) terms. This is the talk page for Wikipedia:Featured article criteria, the requirements for featured articles - that is, pages that are given the very highest of our seven quality ratings. There are presently 4,758 such pages, and their selection is not influenced by what sort of articles are already featured, each must stand on its own merits.
You are describing the articles that are given prominence by their once-in-a-lifetime appearance for 24 hours on the main page: these are what we call Today's Featured Article, and the selection criteria for those are described at Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2008-08-18/Dispatches (revised 24 April 2016). If you have a problem with the choices, the place to discuss is at WT:TFA, not here. --Redrose64 (talk) 21:39, 23 July 2016 (UTC)
Thankyou Ian Rose and Redrose64. I guess the leadership I am looking for is from whomever supervises the TFA coordinators, and sets Wiki policy. If we only have 4,758 featured articles meeting the criteria after all these years, we need to change something fundamental, or become irrelevant. For one thing, many of those articles are essentially Historical, not Encyclopaedic. I will try and take this up in the relevant area. Thanks again.Billyshiverstick (talk) 22:12, 23 July 2016 (UTC)