Wikipedia talk:Featured article criteria/Archive 10

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Archive 9 Archive 10 Archive 11



──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Perhaps an RFC, as suggested above to change the "mission" of FAC. Quoted from Mike Christie above: "The current consensus at FAC seems to me to be not "the best work on Wikipedia", nor "the best article that can be written", but "the best work of Wikipedians". I don't think it would hurt FA to change to one of the other definitions, but if there is a consensus that it's the work of Wikipedians then FAs with free content should be excluded. If the definition is "the best work that can be written" then I think it would be consistent to allow free content." (quoted from above by Mike Christie)

Perhaps the FAC "star" should be considered an award to individual wikipedians, per WP:WBFAN. <remove unnecessary comment> —mattisse (Talk) 03:51, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

People tend to take things to the extreme on Wikipedia, disrupting to make a point. I have in mind inserting subtle inaccuracies and vandalism and such into BLPs just to see how long it takes folks to notice and overturn it, then going to Wikipedia Review and publishing their findings. Keeping this in mind, and admitting that we cannot anticipate everything that will come from redefining what a featured article is, potential outcomes of this could be:

  1. FAs that were written using multiple sources are changed to reflect a single PD source because one or a handful of editors thinks the writing is better
  2. PD text becomes preferred, more authoritative, or closer to the goal of Wikipedia to disseminate PD information, and summarized information from copyrighted sources is denigrated
  3. A series of FACs come to be nominated, produced solely from PD texts, using no other sources. --Moni3 (talk) 14:04, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

One of the conceptual problems I have with articles taken largely from PD sources is that those parts that have been lifted from a PD source are, essentially, unsourced, because the article and its purported source are one and the same. Anyone who challenges the sourcing of all or part of the article, per WP:V, will be referred to itself as the source. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 14:09, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

I think this is not really a problem. If a source is reliable then it is reliable even if we use most or all of its text in an article. The fact that the citation covers a large, unchanged chunk of the text makes no difference to the principles involved. Mike Christie (talk) 14:12, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
Exactly. Also, theres no reason why, at the end of an imported paragraph you can't add a citation to a second "source", that corroborates the ideas present in said paragraph. In other words, imported text doesn't need to be sourced exclusively by "it self" Acer (talk) 14:19, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict- typed before the post bellow) Actually, now that I think about it, this notion that imported text doesnt need to be sourced to itself is quite important if we consider the importation of material from other online encyclopedias or from sister projects. These are not considered reliable so we can't source the text to itself. Acer (talk) 14:28, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
In theory, anything imported should be sourced and its sources imported too. In reality, of course, that's not always the case, and they are often unsourced or poorly sourced. But imported material never purports to be its own source, as articles copied from PD sources do. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 14:31, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
No article should be able to act as its own source. If it does, we have no way of knowing whether it's reliable. In addition, no way of knowing that it's neutral, but that's a separate point. Finding a second source that would cover every point in the article would be unlikely. These articles need inline citations for every point that might be challenged, just as any other article does, and they can't cite themselves otherwise we end up in a self-referential loop. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 14:24, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
I don't follow this argument, so let me give a specific example and see if that clarifies what we disagree on. If, for example, the current edition of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography were to become free content, we would be able to take any sentence and cite it, unchanged, back to the ODNB, which is a reliable source. That would surely be uncontroversial. If we were to take the entire ODNB article on Offa of Mercia and replace the Wikipedia article with the ODNB version, then each sentence would be citable to the identical sentence in ODNB, which is a reliable source. It seems to me that this passes WP:V and WP:RS. This is not self-referential: Wikipedia is not a reliable source, but ODNB is; the text in Wikipedia needs a cite to a reliable source, but the text in ODNB does not. What do you see that's wrong with this? Mike Christie (talk) 14:33, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
If we were to create an article from the ODNB (assuming it became PD), and the article was largely or entirely lifted from the ODNB word for word, it would be unsourced. We could get round that by using the ODNB's sources, and carefully adding them inline as appropriate, assuming we could find them -- that would be quite difficult in some cases, as they tend to rely on original documents.

The ODNB can be a reliable source for various points in a WP article. It can't be a reliable source for itself. As soon as it says, "I am the article, not just one of the article's sources," it ceases to be a source in the interests of avoiding self-reference. You have changed what it is conceptually by changing its use. The whole point of a source is to say, "Someone other than me says this."

So according to WP:V, if someone challenges any part of it, it needs to find a source other than itself. According to V, that must be done for anything challenged or likely to be challenged, and for all quotations. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 15:00, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

(edit conflict)Having just re-read WP:V I can't find anything there that would support this particular interpretation, quite the opposite. I'm going to assume here that you consider the ODNB reliable for general WP purposes. From that lets work with another exemple. Say that our hypothetical PD ODNB article includes this line: "King George was a cool dude". Now you happen to be writing an article on King George, and you want to include that information in your article. You got two options, either (A) you paraphrase, lets say... "King George was alright" and add a citation to the ODNB or (B) you copy the text verbatim: "King George was a cool dude" and again adds a citation to the ODNB. Hows (A) different from (B) from a WP:V point of view? In both cases the citation is being used to source the "idea" that King George was an alright person back to the ODNB, that (B) happens to be an identical copy of the text is irrelevant. If anything its an even stricter aplication of WP:V since it leaves no room for a possible deviation of the orginal meaning of the source Acer (talk) 15:30, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I understand your reasoning now, but I disagree with your interpretation of WP:V. I agree with Sandy's point, below, but that speaks to whether the source itself is reliable, and the value of using other sources. Here the point seems to be a more abstract one: does bulk use of a reliable source mean that that source cannot be used to support the text taken from it? I'd like to hear other opinions on this. Mike Christie (talk) 15:31, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
It's a question of framing, Mike. A Wikipedian writing an article is saying, "I have read all the sources I list, and here is a summary of what they say." But if that Wikipedian is copying from somewhere else, he is saying, "I have not read any of the sources this article lists, and I am not summarizing anything. All I have done is copy and paste." So there is no one checking the source-text relationship to make sure it's policy compliant. The author of the PD wasn't working for Wikipedia -- he didn't intend his article to be policy-compliant. It remains unsourced in terms of V; unchecked; possibly not a fair summary of the available sources or even of the sources it lists; able to refer only to itself; placed in a context it was never intended to be used in. It's a precarious editorial position to adapt. No reliable publication would do this. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 15:54, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
I think this goes to something different, because if the Wikipedia paraphrased the text and eliminated the PD issue, your problem would still exist. Your problem seems to be one with reliance on a single source; I agree this may be a problem and needs to be discussed on a page-by-page basis. I don't think it's related to the use of PD text, however. Christopher Parham (talk) 16:00, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
(ec) A Wikipedian is supposed to familiarize herself with the source material, and not just paraphrase any old thing. When I paraphrase something, I'm saying, "I've read a lot of the sources; and based on that reading, I conclude that this is a reliable one, and this is what he says." That oversight position is crucial. That's what turns the PD text into just one of my sources. But when I relinquish that editorial oversight, when I say, "Oh, here's a PD text, I may as well slap it in," that's when problems arise, even if it's an excellent source, because it lacks a frame, it's not being contextualized, not being evaluated within the context of other sources that exist about the issue. It's not just that it's a single source that's the problem. It's that the editor, the judge, the overseer, has absented himself from the process. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 16:11, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
(Edit conflict reply SV) You are mixing different issues. If the article is not comprehensive then it needs to be expanded, if its not current then it needs to be updated and if its a mess then simply rewritten. This applies to any article on WP whatever the procedence. It seems you're assuming that an article once imported has to remain static, and this is obviously false. Whatever the deficiencies they can be correcte overtime either by the person who imported or by someone else, this is exactly how its done with just about any WP article. Besides, an article with the deficiencies you mention wouldnt pass FAC anyway. The issue you raise is more about article quality than something directly related to PD. Acer (talk) 16:09, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
Would a nomination even be entertained at FAC if it arrived summarized from a single copyrighted source? This page-by-page basis...what will come of a decision left open to argument for each article? --Moni3 (talk) 16:11, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
Probably not, but with a few other sources sprinkled in then why not? Lots of articles depend mainly on one source (e.g. when there is a single modern scholarly biography). The best articles derived from PD sources usually do bring in additional sources as well. Christopher Parham (talk) 16:14, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

Going way back to "If a source is reliable then it is reliable even if we use most or all of its text in an article," I've got to stop right there with a medical example. One would think the NIH is a reliable source, and we could lift their entire fact sheet on Tourette syndrome and have an accurate, updated article. Not so, at least when I was writing TS. Pieces of it were accurate, pieces of it were blatantly wrong, and pieces of it were outdated. More recent and accurate reliable sources, in peer-reviewed journals, were needed to write an accurate article. So, a reliable source PD may not be reliable enough, and we may still be presenting inaccuracies if we quote them. Good scholarship requires more than copy-paste. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:23, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

The problem I am still seeing is, if a source is so great and so accurate, who says we're required to copy it word-for-word? Who says we can't do what all mature researchers do: read it, extract the main points, determine where they fit in the structure of our own article, and cite the source in the appropriate places? Some of the above seem to be under the impression that, by saying "you shouldn't copy sources word-for-word", we would be preventing them from using those sources at all. rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 15:29, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
That's what I ended up doing originally (extracting and citing the points from the NIH Fact Sheet that were correct), but over time, even all of that has disappeared, as the NIH info just wasn't good enough or reflective of recent secondary peer-reviewed journal sources. Based on my own experience with the sloppiness of what should be considered a good PD source, I'm suspicious of PD text, and have a hard time believing it typically reflects good scholarship. Copy-paste worries me. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:37, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
This has nothing to do with the PD issue, I think, and more to do with the factual accuracy of sources. Obviously an FA should reflect the most current and accurate sources. If the NIH is not a reliable source for this information, we shouldn't use it as the basis for an article, whether by importing the text or referring to it as a source for original text. The PD issue is only effectively addressed by assuming that the existing FA criteria are fulfilled. The question is simply this, given the two sentences:
Accurate fact, text direct from PD source, reffed to PD source.[1]
Accurate fact, text written by WP editor, reffed to PD source.[1]
is either preferred for the purposes of this process? It is clear, at least to me, that the project as a whole regards them as equivalent in value. I don't see why FA should differ. Christopher Parham (talk) 15:47, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
Well I was gona reply but Christopher Parham summed it up much better than I could. Acer (talk) 15:52, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

Just an update....since the discussion here seems to have petered out without reaching any consensus, I've gone ahead and started an FAR on the article that started the whole thing. Regardless of the more meta questions (on what FA should be about, yada yada yada), I think it is appropriate to have a separate, more practical discussion for the specific article, which can focus on that particular article's merits rather than all the abstract stuff discussed above. The FAR is here if anyone wants to comment. rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 23:32, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

Question about references section

Moved from Wikipedia talk:Featured article candidates#Question about References section

I have a question about criteria 1(c): "Claims are ... supported with citations; this requires a "References" section that lists these sources, complemented by inline citations where appropriate ..."

I understand this to mean that, whichever citation style you use, whether long or short refs as inline citations, you must also have a References section (or whatever you want to call it) that lists in alphabetical order full citations for all the sources used. However, I'm seeing FACs that have been through the usual reviews that don't have that, or they list some sources in a References section but not all.

Is my understanding of what's required correct? SlimVirgin TALK contribs 14:26, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

My understanding is that we don't get our knickers in a twist about the name of the section. If they have all their sources in a "Sources" Section that are all footnotes, we don't worry that much, is that what you're meaning? A lot of the hurricane/road articles put their sources/footnotes all together. Ealdgyth - Talk 14:39, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
I don't understand it that way, SV, and was involved when Marskell implemented that wording. It just means that citations shouldn't be inline links [like this] and need to be in the Appendices. (I'm personally not fond of repeating citations in two places, although some are, and wouldn't want to see that become required.) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:01, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
(ec) My question is whether we need two sections (regardless of their titles), one produced by {{reflist}} or equivalent, and another listing full citations under a ==References== heading (or Sources, Bibliography, Works cited). The criteria suggests we need two sections: "this requires a "References" section that lists these sources, complemented by inline citations where appropriate" (my bold). SlimVirgin TALK contribs 15:02, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
No, it wasn't intended to mean that; names of appendices have changes as MOS pages are so unstable, but it only meant that citations needed to be included in some form of appendices, rather than [inline links]. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:03, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
It seems acceptable for refs to websites and journals in particular to be only in the "notes", while books are usually all listed in "references" (on the usual names), especially those used more than once, and ones on the actual subject, as opposed to the OED etc. Johnbod (talk) 15:07, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
Okay, thanks. I have always misunderstood that section in that case, and have painstakingly created a separate alphabetical References section for my FAs. :) It can be quite hard to see what the sources are if they're only listed under {{reflist}}, because they're not in alphabetical order, and may be repeated quite a lot, so you can't scan the list to see how many there are, for example. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 15:08, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
Johnbod, why would books be treated differently from anything else? SlimVirgin TALK contribs 15:10, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
So we can refer to them by page number in a short note. SV, let's fix the wording, but take care not to prescribe citation methods. I've got a cold, so can't suggest wording now-- cotton brain. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:17, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
Journal articles are very often in the "references" too, especially if used more than once or important sources. Johnbod (talk) 15:24, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps just change '"References" section' to 'references section'? Ucucha 15:20, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
It's not the name of it that's the issue, Ucucha, just how many such sections there needs to be. The way it's currently worded, it implies that two are needed, or at least that would be a reasonable interpretation. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 15:22, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
Sorry for confusing that. Perhaps: "Claims are verifiable against high-quality reliable sources, listed in the article, and are supported with citations, including inline citations where appropriate" Ucucha 15:29, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

That section currently says:

Claims are verifiable against high-quality reliable sources and are supported by citations; this requires a "References" section that lists these sources, complemented by inline citations where appropriate;

If we really only require one section, I suggest we change it to something like:

Claims are verifiable against high-quality reliable sources and are supported by inline citations, which are listed in a "Notes" or "References" section. A separate section that lists full citations in alphabetical order is optional.

SlimVirgin TALK contribs 15:32, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

SV, I'd like to look at this carefully before implementation, but my brain isn't working well today because of my cold. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:34, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
SV, your proposed wording requires that all claims are supported by inline citations, which I don't think is intentional. Ucucha 15:36, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
We could add "as appropriate." SlimVirgin TALK contribs 15:39, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
We should wait until Sandy's feeling better, then we can brainstorm to get the best wording. I have no particular problem with it staying the way it is either, if others feel it's clear enough. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 15:41, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
I think your confusion points out that it's not clear enough and should be fixed, but want to look more carefully later. That wording came about during the time when many articles still had [inline links as citations], and Wiki was moving to a cite.php format, so it's probably confusing in today's environment. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:48, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
I generally list major references (used multiple times) in the References section. Random newspaper articles, used only once, I don't bother to do. It is not a major problem to do, I just haven't bothered to because I feel that the main sources (books, usually) will get lost in the shuffle. Is there a crying need for a change? What problem are we solving here?--Wehwalt (talk) 16:20, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
SV, could you write up what you want to see? It is confusing to follow the discussion? Obviously wait until Sandy is recovered. Since inevitably people will comment considerably, might as well give her a fair chance.--Wehwalt (talk) 16:24, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
That's pretty much the same thing I do (c.f. Street newspaper#References and Not One Less#References). Although in my case, it's not so much an issue of major-minor, but I list journal-y sources in the bibliography and news articles or websites just as references. (But usually it's the case that the more scholarly, journal-y sources are the ones getting used the most often anyway, so the end result should be the same.) rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 16:33, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
(out) FWIW, July 2009 Ürümqi riots has no alphabetical bibliography, only a {{reflist}} with footnotes, and no one at its FAC has complained. In this case that makes perfect sense since the vast majority of sources are news articles, most of them cited on a one-off basis, and who wants a pointless bibliography hundreds of entries long that does nothing but add an extra click people need to make to find a resource? I think everyone can probably agree that there's no need to introduce an arbitrary rule (à la "every article needs both an alphabetical bibliography and a list of footnotes) when things can be handled on a case-by-case basis like this. rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 16:31, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
The statement needs punctuation to avoid confusion:

Claims are verifiable against high-quality reliable sources and are supported by inline citations. At least one separate "Reference" or "Notes" section is included to list out full citations for all sources used.

This doesn't require more than one section nor discourages it, and implies the point: we're spelling the references out to allow readers to identify the sources. --MASEM (t) 16:33, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
May I suggest that it be " separate "References" or "Notes" or similarly named section is ..." so we can cover different names and not proscribe. Ealdgyth - Talk 16:36, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
Now that I look at the original wording more, it seems like this is all a bit of an understanding...I doubt that wording was ever intended to mean "you need two sections", but it was probably introduced to mean that you need inline citations (not that you need a separate section for them). In the past, TFAs were allowed to just have a list of references with nothing inline, right? I imagine that's where this came from, although I'm sure a more senior editor knows for sure. In any case, the fact that this guideline has spawned some confusion now is good evidence that it needs to be rewritten, but probably all we need to do is remove the ambiguity—I don't know if there's a need to make it explicit that "two reference sections aren't required". rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 16:41, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
I still prefer my suggestion above:

Claims are verifiable against high-quality reliable sources, listed in the article, and are supported with citations, including inline citations where appropriate

This is more succinct than any other suggestion and I think still includes all necessary points. Ucucha 16:41, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
  • I generally think that all FAs should have two sections, but the second "reference" one need not include all sources used in the "notes" (usual terms). If there are no print sources used more than once it is usually a sign of weak sourcing, though in some very contemporary subjects it may be inevitable. I think reviewers of articles on most sorts of subject would rightly object if there is no "references" section. Johnbod (talk) 17:20, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
    • But we promote articles with only one section, as Rjanag notes. Having inline citations already implies having a reference section, because those inline citations have to go somewhere. Ucucha 17:23, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

I haven't actually seen a formal proposal, but I am uncertain what problem this is trying to solve.--Wehwalt (talk) 17:30, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

  • Two reference sections are needed only when citing books or other large sources multiple times, where the "short-cite" section can say something like "Smith 2009, p. 371" and the "long-cite" section can list all the details about Smith's 2009 book. Many featured articles are written entirely from smaller sources such as journal articles, or from books that are cited just once, so they don't need two sections. The "long-cite" section need not be in alphabetical order; it might be sorted by topic or by date, so long as it's easy to find stuff (for example, with wikilinks to sources as needed). Also, the "long-cite" section needn't contain all the long or meritorious sources, only the ones cited multiple times in the "short-cite" section. I've even seen articles that (successfully) combine the long-cite and short-cite sections into a single section, sorted numerically, where the short cites have wikilinks to the long cites; that's OK too.
  • Of the proposals made so far, Urucha's is the shortest and captures what's needed while omitting what's not.
Eubulides (talk) 21:43, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
I'm still not full speed ahead, but if I'm reading correctly, Ucucha's wording doesn't address the original issue, which is that FAs do not have [inline links], rather citations in an appendix. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:50, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
Per Wikipedia:Cite#Inline_citations, footnotes and embedded links are all varieties of "inline citations" (though embedded links are not used in FAs). I think the wording should be "supported with inline citations" instead of "supported with citations, including inline citations". --JN466 23:52, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
No, it's not that simple here; Havard-style inlines are allowed, some reviewers don't understand that, so we have to cover all bases (with ridiculous verbosity). SV, since there's a busy RFC going on, how about we move this thread to WT:WIAFA, and adjourn there later, when things are calmer? We can fix it over there. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:59, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
Shortened footnotes (like Harvard) are "inline citations" too, according to Wikipedia:Cite#Inline_citations. At least they're listed under that heading, as one of the possible formats. An inline citation is anything that ties a specific part of the article to a given source, by placing a source link, source description or a footnote in the line where the text is. I agree though that the term "inline citation" is not very intuitive. --JN466 00:34, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
Yep, Harv/parenthetical references are still "inline" (they're stuck in the text). I think one issue is that a lot of people assume "inline citation" means <ref></ref> and nothing else. I don't know if that's a problem here at FAC, but I know at DYK and sometimes CSD it has come up, with someone saying "X article has no inline citations" when actually it just has no cite.php footnotes. rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 00:39, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
As any change to the wording of the FA criteria is serious business, I'm wondering if we could put this discussion on hold until the above discussion about lack of reviewers is resolved a bit more? Awadewit (talk) 01:06, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
No prob. Let's meet up at WT:WIAFA in a day or two, like Sandy suggested. --JN466 01:13, 30 January 2010 (UTC)


Hello? Two days have passed, and the RfC has calmed down somewhat. Looking at the above discussion, I would prefer us to implement SlimVirgin's proposal:

Claims are verifiable against high-quality reliable sources and are supported by inline citations, which are listed in a "Notes" or "References" section. A separate section that lists full citations in alphabetical order is optional.

If we consider it important to point out here that not everything has to be sourced, I'd propose we model our wording on that used in WP:V, which requires that a reliable source in the form of an inline citation be supplied for any material that is challenged or likely to be challenged, and for all quotations, rather than inserting an ambiguous "as appropriate". --JN466 19:37, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

I would prefer for the wording to remain concise and to the point. This is a list of criteria a featured article should fulfil, so I don't see much of a point in listing what an FA does not need to have. Ucucha 19:39, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
The history here is important. We constantly have new reviewers coming through FAC who don't understand that Harvard-style inlines are acceptable. The previous wording accounted for that. Also, the "separate section" business repeats text that hopefully is found somewhere in a guideline page. Can we figure out how to incorporate both issues via a link to a guideline page? I'm sorry I haven't given this enough attn; I've been working to uncover some nasty BLP issues with Spanish-language sources, where I don't get much help, and am working mostly alone. I appreciate anything you all can do to move this forward. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:42, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
When you say Harvard, do you mean parenthetical references like (Miller 2002, p. 2), where full publication details for Miller are then listed in a References section, or shortened footnotes like <ref>{{harvnb|Miller|2002|p=2}}</ref>, also combined with a References section? --JN466 19:50, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
Correct (or some version thereof). We regularly get opposes to such inline citing, for example, on Bishonen's articles. That's what we need to clarify, but the old cite.php wording was a carryover from the time when Wiki was moving from [inline links] to a cite.php format. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:55, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
Someone said earlier that people appear to misunderstand "inline citation". "(Miller 2002, p. 2)" at the end of a sentence is an inline citation, and if there is a Bibliography or References section at the bottom, listing publication details, then both parts of the requirement proposed by SlimVirgin would be fulfilled. Would the problem be solved if we drop "inline"? --JN466 20:07, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

Claims are verifiable against high-quality reliable sources and are supported by a clear and consistent citation system, including either parenthetical citations or footnotes where necessary.

Is that better or not? Awadewit (talk) 03:55, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

Looks good to me. Perhaps link "where necessary" to Wikipedia:When to cite and "reliable sources" to Wikipedia:Verifiability#Reliable sources, as in the current wording. Ucucha 04:02, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
Looks good. Tony (talk) 05:24, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
The intent is good, but the bit about "and are supported by a clear and consistent citation system, including either parenthetical citations or footnotes where necessary" merely duplicates criterion 2c. How about the following simpler wording instead?
'Claims are verifiable against high-quality reliable sources and are supported by citations styled according to criterion 2c'
This is equivalent to what's in there now, except that it replaces the troublesome phrase '; this requires a "References" section that lists these sources, complemented by inline citations where appropriate' with the much-simpler 'styled according to criterion 2c'. Eubulides (talk) 20:17, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
That works for me. Awadewit (talk) 20:59, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
I like the general idea—style, as opposed to content, belongs in criterion 2. But 2c refers to 1c in determining where citations should be placed, and this is omitted in your proposal. Ucucha 21:06, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
Now that Eubulides has drawn attention to it, it does seems rather obvious that we should observe the existing distinction between content (part 1) and style (part 2). How about 'Claims are verifiable against high-quality reliable sources and are supported by citations where appropriate'. The words 'where appropriate' are wikilinked to Wikipedia:When to cite. --JN466 23:01, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
That becomes similar to my proposal above. The differences are that I specified that the sources should be listed in the article, which may be necessary to make the criterion foolproof, and that I used "inline citations" instead of "citations", which aligns with the wording in 2c. Ucucha 23:17, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
I don't mind adding "inline" to what I proposed above. But if we say that the sources have to be listed – especially if we say they have to be listed in a separate section – then that perpetuates the current shortcoming we were trying to fix. That shortcoming was, just to recap, that people will think (and have thought) that just a section of footnotes is not enough for FA. People have understood the current wording of 1c to mean that there has to be a separate list of sources as well. Basically, the FA criteria accept a variety of inline citation styles, including all of the following:
  1. Parenthetical Harvard citations: you insert "(Miller 2010, p. 145)" after the relevant sentence, and then add an alphabetical bibliography giving publication details for Miller and the other sources. Here there is only an alphabetical listing of sources in the article.
  2. Long footnotes: you insert notes of the type <ref>Miller, Andy (2010). Miller's Smart Handbook, Routledge, ISBN 1234567890.</ref> in the text and have a references section built using {{reflist}} or <references />. Here there is only a numbered listing of sources in the article.
  3. Short footnotes: you insert notes of the type <ref>{{harvnb|Miller|2010|p=12}}</ref> or <ref>Miller (2010), p. 12</ref> in the article and add an alphabetical bibliography giving publication details for Miller and the other sources. Here there is both a numbered and an alphabetical listing of sources in the article.
The moment we say that you need inline citations and a listing of sources in a separate section, at least some people will think that option 3 above is mandatory. So how can we say it without giving that impression? I guess we could say that there has to be, as a minimum, a numbered or alphabetical listing of sources in the article. --JN466 03:09, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
My text states merely that the sources should be listed in the article, not that there should be a separate section. It is intended mainly to guard against people listing sources in edit summaries or on a separate page, among other bad ideas. On second thought, this is probably redundant with the citation requirement in the next part of the sentence. I do think adding "inline" there makes the point more clearly: one could argue that just a list of references without inline citations is also "supporting claims by citations". Ucucha 03:25, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
I agree; "inline citations" already implies a listing. So could we go for:
'Claims are verifiable against high-quality reliable sources and are supported by inline citations where appropriate'?
This would replace
Claims are verifiable against high-quality reliable sources and are supported by citations; this requires a "References" section that lists these sources, complemented by inline citations where appropriate
in section 1c. --JN466 13:27, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
I like this proposal. I too mentioned (above somewhere, but I think it got buried quickly) that the new proposals seemed a bit redundant. AFAIK, the current wording was introduced to specify that inline citations are needed (since FA used to not require them) and originally there was probably not this ambiguity. Anyway, I think simplifying the guideline, like your suggestion does, will do more to clarify it than adding to it will. rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 14:47, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
I'd be fine with that too. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 14:50, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

My apologies for losing the plot with five or six different RFCs and proposed changes at FAC plus a backlog. Which is the current proposal? Could someone put the current WIAFA wording and the new proposal side by side here, so we can get on with it? As soon as I can review whichever version y'all want, I can put it in. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:27, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

The one by JN466 immediately above (with the nice green text). Ucucha 15:28, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

Proposal to change 1c

The current wording at WP:WIAFA is:

  • (c) well-researched: it is a thorough and representative survey of the relevant literature on the topic. Claims are verifiable against high-quality reliable sources and are supported by citations; this requires a "References" section that lists these sources, complemented by inline citations where appropriate;

Per the above discussion, proposed change is:

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

(Too much to read; if I got that wrong, someone please edit my post to fix it, busy. It looks good to me-- unless anyone objects, we can add it in in a few days. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:45, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

okay, I've been trying to follow all this: so does this mean we are dispensing with a separate reference section? We're just going to require a list of citations, but not necessarily a list of references? (not sure I like that) Auntieruth55 (talk) 01:12, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
No, no change at all ... the instructions were just confusing, and other guidelines already address how to deal with inline citations, so the wording wasn't needed. Thanks, JN! SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:29, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
It means we are not dictating whether or not there should be such a section - it works much better for some articles than others. For example, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell has only a "References" section keyed to the inline citations section but A Vindication of the Rights of Woman has a "Notes" section keyed to the inline citations and a "Bibliography" section. Awadewit (talk) 01:28, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
so it will be left largely to the editor to identify which works best for her/him? Or.... Auntieruth55 (talk) 02:38, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
That's the way I read it, at least —Ed (talkmajestic titan) 05:04, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

Quality of sub-articles

Quick suggestion for an additional criterion or a tweak to criterion 4 on length. I think the articles listed as "see also" or "main article" should be in a decent state (reasonably referenced, reasonably well-written, categorized, etc.). Oftentimes the summary provided in the FA is actually better than the sub-article. Latest example: Manitoba vs. Climate of Manitoba. Thoughts? Pichpich (talk) 14:38, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

Disagree. The quality of the sub-articles is not and should not be the issue; the quality of the summary to the featured article, and that the featured article is comprehensive, is. If the sub-articles are insufficient, that problem is shown by looking at the content in the FA, not by looking at the sub-articles. If the summary is better than the "See also" article, the "See also" should be listed as a "Further detail" rather than with a "Main" hatnote. We shouldn't start examining every sub-article; we should make sure the FA is comprehensive, and that the proper hatnotes are used. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:41, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
I've got an an even better idea. Let's make sure that the sub-articles of the sub-articles are also in decent shape, and the sub-sub-articles, and the sub-sub-sub-articles ... this is a ridiculous idea. --Malleus Fatuorum 15:02, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
I believe we should take it to its sixth-degree. :-) --Garrondo (talk) 15:21, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
I tend not to work on sub-articles because I generally work alone, and since this is a collaborative project, that would mean that for a topic I would be responsible for forming the information in the parent article, the sub-article, with my views of what is important, which quotes are best, using the same sources when others should step up and continue the work in their own time. Therefore, I do not think that main or see also links should be FA or GA quality. We all got here because we saw an article or red link that needed fixing. --Moni3 (talk) 15:17, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
Articles with subarticles tend to be high-importance ones. We shouldn't make it even more difficult to take such articles to FA. Ucucha 15:32, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
I had to bring every single daughter article at Tourette syndrome to a decent standard, in order to avoid WP:SIZE issues at TS and employ summary style, but I didn't have to bring them even to GA standard to achieve a comprehensive article at TS. I continue to be troubled by overly large articles appearing at FAC, when same hasn't been done, but that's a size issue, unrelated to the quality of the daughter articles. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:47, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
Agree with all of the above. I came across this via Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Manitoba/archive1, in which Pichpich stated: "Though this isn't on the list of FA criteria, the "see also" articles should be basically sound." My initial reaction was "Says who? Since when? Man, I'm screwed!" I even came here to re-check the criteria, just in case. Seeing as how I'm just now getting around to improving Stephen Crane-related articles, when the parent one has been featured for more than a year, I would have lost my head if someone told me I needed to go through each of the articles dedicated to his works (all dreadful), just to ensure that the subject matter as a whole is of high, rather than adequate, quality. On a side note, I think it's bad form to make such a suggestion at an FAC before attempting to change the criteria; it should go the other way around. The nominator should be advised by someone familiar with the current FA criteria. María (habla conmigo) 17:50, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
Looking on the plus side, this proposal would certainly solve the problem of the FAC queue length, by effectively reducing it to zero. --Malleus Fatuorum 17:54, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
MF's sense of humor is improving; I will go link this discussion to that FAC, if it hasn't been done already. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:03, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
Ridiculous idea - this project improves incrementally. We can promote FAs one article at a time - there is nothing wrong with that. One of Wikipedia's strengths is that we publish our articles in draft form - we don't wait years to publish, like Britannica. Awadewit (talk) 18:24, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

Gee, what's with all the aggression? I make a little suggestion and you'd think I just advocated in favour of burning the wiki. We worry about FAs not using mdash when they should be using ndash but somehow I find subarticles more of a concern. I'm not suggesting that every article linked in the article be decent, just those which are supposedly summarized by the main one. I'm fine with people not liking the idea but can we all discuss this without dismissing it as ridiculous or implying that only FAC regulars are qualified to suggest things in FA nominations? Pichpich (talk) 20:36, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

Part of the problem was that you presented this as a relatively quick or easy addition, and that is just not the case. What you are proposing is really what featured topics are designed to do. Karanacs (talk) 20:48, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
The other problem is that the poor nominator is probably chasing his/her tail, trying to comply, and FAC is criticized for that sort of thing often. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:52, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

If people made the subarticle a criterion I think people would just go and delete the subarticle or not link to it so they can get their FA. Some people choose to leave redlinks unlinked because they see it as a stigma, even though it is no barrier to FAC. I think this would stifle content creation as some people would then just do article with no extensions and stop at 30k prose and not go for extra growth. And featured topics and good topics also provide an outlet for this YellowMonkey (vote in the Southern Stars and White Ferns supermodel photo poll) 02:20, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

Notifacation Of Proposal To Promote wp:quote

There is a proposal to promote wp:quote.

I do not know why candidates was notified, but they were so you should be notified as well. (talk) 09:53, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

Proposal to remove alt text requirement

There's a discussion about the above at Wikipedia_talk:Featured_article_candidates#Proposal_to_remove_alt_text_requirement. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 18:25, 20 March 2010 (UTC)

German equivalent

Please, can someone link to the German Wikipedia equivalent of this page so that it is listed in the links on the project page for "Deutsch"? I don't know how to do it.-- (talk) 00:10, 9 April 2010 (UTC)

for what page? what article are you trying to link to a German article? Auntieruth55 (talk) 00:30, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
I found and added the German equivalent of this page. Ucucha 00:34, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
Thank you most kindly Ucucha.-- (talk) 03:56, 9 April 2010 (UTC)


Just a question, how long does it typically take you guys to get an article to FA? (as in how many tries). I'm not sure if I'm a fluke or not :L ResMar 15:52, 25 April 2010 (UTC)

How long is a piece of string? Long articles on complicated topics can take many, many attempts to get through (Real Madrid C.F. has had nine attempts and not passed yet); a properly peer-reviewed article, or one where all those involved are familiar with the criteria and what will be required, can sail through on its first attempt. As a rule of thumb, if you're not sure the article meets the criteria, it almost certainly doesn't. – iridescent 15:59, 25 April 2010 (UTC)


As featured articles are the best of what wp does, should we be looking at making WP:OTRS compulsory for all free media (with unlinked source) in FA criteria, as OTRS in my opinion is best practice? Fasach Nua (talk) 20:51, 2 May 2010 (UTC)

Missing interwiki links to foreign-language FA criteria?

I distinctly remember seeing a Dutch and a French FAC process. They're not listed. Have they folded? Tony (talk) 08:59, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

Clarification on 2c

At Wikipedia_talk:Featured_article_criteria/Archive_10#Question about references section there is discussion leading to the present wording of 2c. By my reading of that discussion, it is not intended to address the detailled choice of citation style, but rather the major types. Can we clarify whether intermixing {{citation}} and {{cite xxx}} in a single article is acceptable? This has become an annoying ongoing issue for User:Citation bot that really needs to be sorted out one way or the other. LeadSongDog come howl! 19:33, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

No, mixing the two is not acceptable, since that would mix two citation styles (one uses commas between the parts of a citation, the other periods). Ucucha 19:35, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
I think it's slightly more complicated than that. For instance, there would be no problem with using the {{cite}} template(s) in the body of an article, but {{citation}} in the bibliography section, as there would be no inconsistency of style. But in general, of course, I agree with you. The issue isn't which templates you do or don't use, it's that the result be consistent. Malleus Fatuorum 21:34, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
If |separator= is used, the resultant text rendered should be consistent. Does the wikitext matter, or just the rendered result? LeadSongDog come howl! 01:40, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
Just the rendered text. Malleus Fatuorum 01:44, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
Yes. It is possible to do part of the citations using templates, and part manually using the same syntax. There are even people who do it. (Thanks for the additional comment, by the way, Malleus. You're right, of course; I hadn't thought of that possibility.) Ucucha 10:16, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
Great. Thank you both for the clarification. Would any tweak to the wording of 2c be needed? LeadSongDog come howl! 15:29, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

Historical evolution of FA?

Has anyone ever put together a concise overview of how the FA process and standards have changed over time? ElKevbo (talk) 22:11, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

The last history I'm aware of was at Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2008-07-21/Dispatches. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:15, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

Citations following quotations

There is a discussion at Wikipedia talk:Citing sources for which any input would be appreciated. I hope you don't mind me asking here, but I am hoping that this guideline is something that regular FAC reviewers will have a grasp of, and can shed some light. Relevant discussion here. Thanks, --BelovedFreak 11:09, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

Minor redundancy

In 1c, I think we can get rid of either "relevant" or "on the topic" of "it is a thorough and representative survey of the relevant literature on the topic". After all, literature that is not on the topic can hardly be relevant. Ucucha 16:39, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

Ucucha, could you ping Awadewit on that? That addition was the result of a much-too lengthy debate, long ago; I never understood the wording, but it had consensus. I'll be traveling, so I'll leave it to y'all to sort out. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 10:32, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
I'd say both are needed. Literature not on the topic can hardly be relevant, but not all literature on the topic may be relevant. An encyclopedia article's job is to summarize the topic, rather than provide an indiscriminate collection of information on the topic. PL290 (talk) 12:36, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
Doesn't "relevant literature" cover both? LeadSongDog come howl! 14:37, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
True, actually. In fact I think I prefer it, having thought more about it. (Didn't it once say that? Perhaps we may be enlightened by someone familiar with the debate Sandy refers to above.) PL290 (talk) 14:52, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
As noted above, literature on the topic might not be relevant. It is also true that literature on related topics might be relevant to an article, even if it is not on the topic of the article. It would be undesirable to cover all such literature in a thorough and representative way. An alternative to "relevant" might be "pertinent", but I'm not convinced it is any better. Geometry guy 21:19, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
That's also true; however, I take "relevant" to mean relevant for inclusion in a Wikipedia article, as opposed to merely relevant to such topics. I suspect it doesn't need stating—but if we conclude it does, then we should make it explicit, not just find a word that happens to allow that interpretation. I still think the scope is expressed comprehensively by the now-trimmed phrase "relevant literature". PL290 (talk) 07:29, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
"Relevant for inclusion in a Wikipedia article" is a tautological guideline, no? Geometry guy 09:37, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

Suggestion for reference criteria

As someone who has worked on many articles, I know what it is like when a source for important info is lost and there is no other source to replace it with. Generally, these are pointed out by readers who visit the pages and later fixed if possible, but featured articles shouldn't have this problem, IMO. Thus, I wanted to suggest a further criteria for featured articles. Right now, references have to be properly formatted for an article to pass. The Cite Web tag has options to include Archived links in case the original source is lost on the web. I was thinking it would be a good idea to require that all links be archived using the Wayback Machine. The advanced search will match the best criteria for the archiving, and will create a new archived version of a URL if it has not already done so (the Wayback Machine appears to automatically archive some sites, but not all unless requested like this). Anyways, feedback for my suggestion is welcome. :) Ωphois 05:03, 28 July 2010 (UTC)

Interesting idea. I've seen that used, though I haven't looked closely at whether there are potential issues with it. My immediate reaction is that the FA criteria shouldn't require it, but (assuming it's relatively issue-free) we should encourage greater awareness of it as something editors may well want to add to their aresenal. I see both it and are already mentioned by the content guideline WP:CITE, but the topic has no prominence, and I didn't notice any recommendation to actually use such a facility; it's just incidental info tacked on at the end of the guideline. PL290 (talk) 07:39, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
There are other archives mentioned there also, such as WebCite. I think WP goes into a little more detail at Wikipedia:Linkrot. It's not difficult to do an archive, and it would guarantee the quality of the articles. Ωphois 14:52, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
Actually, surely a bot could do it. Either trawling all articles continuously, or as something initiated for a specific article (whether or not during the FAC process). PL290 (talk) 15:49, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
There currently is a bot for continuous archiving, but it has a huge backlog and would not be effective, IMO. I think it would be easiest to apply it to the FAC process. Ωphois 16:08, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
Ideally, we'd have a bot that does it just for FAs, since they could be the most vulnerable and critical is sources go dark. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 16:45, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
Is there anyone who has experience with bots that can create one for FA's? Ωphois 17:11, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
I can't say for sure as I haven't written bots on WP, but it's probably just a matter of running the existing bot against a nom when it gets promoted, along with the ArticleHistory update. The bot owner can probably configure it to handle that. PL290 (talk) 17:40, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
Unfortunately, the User:WebCiteBOT does not yet have the functionality to do so for specific pages. Ωphois 17:53, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
There is no requirement that sources be available online, for FAs or any articles. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:45, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
That's why I said all links. Ωphois 12:39, 30 July 2010 (UTC)
IMO there's no point in looking in the Wayback Machine immediately as it can take 6 months for the first archive. If someone has mistakenly removed the url, I suggest looking through the article's history until it can be found, then try the Wayback Machine. --Philcha (talk) 14:36, 30 July 2010 (UTC)
What does accidentally deleting the URL have to do with it? Anyways, it takes six months for the automatic archive. As I pointed out, you can force it to archive by using the advanced search. You don't have to wait. WebCite can also be used. Ωphois 02:39, 31 July 2010 (UTC)

Collapsible sections?

My understanding is that these are highly discouraged per WP:ACCESS at FA, though WP:COLLAPSE does not warn against their use. Is this correct? We're having a discussion at the Video Games project about changing the infobox and some want to include collapsed sections that I though we should avoid at FAC, and wanted to check. --MASEM (t) 01:01, 7 August 2010 (UTC)

I don't believe they're discouraged in general; almost every footer navigation template has an automatic collapse feature, as do a number of sidebar navigation templates. I'm not sure I've ever seen collapsing sections used in infoboxes; but that might be an aesthetic consideration more so than one of pure accessibility. Kirill [talk] [prof] 02:02, 7 August 2010 (UTC)
{{infobox writer}} and its ilk are used in many an FA without an objection I'm sure. Skomorokh 02:04, 7 August 2010 (UTC)
Kirill, their use is discouraged in article text, not in navigational footers etc. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:38, 7 August 2010 (UTC)

While this is still going, I'd also like to ask if collapsible text and tooltips are forbidden for templates mixed with prose text. There is a long discussion going on here about including or excluding certain romanizations, and some of the compromises brought up suggest tooltips and collapsible text as "semi-includes". See for example this instead of this. Is this considered part of the prose text and an absolute no-no for featured articles? Prime Blue (talk) 18:23, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

Per a talk page request, apparently because of my being a delegate, I never have a strong opinion on MOS; I generally don't care as long as the format is consistent YellowMonkey (new photo poll) 04:00, 18 August 2010 (UTC)

Making sure sources are available

I've noticed that nominators don't always have their offline sources available during nominations, usually because they've had to take them back to the library. This has happened to me too because of the problems of juggling interlibrary loans. I'd like to add to 1(c) that nominators must have offline sources to hand, because it's otherwise impossible to check things: "Nominators should have their sources to hand during the nomination for reviewers' questions". Any objections? SlimVirgin talk|contribs 10:19, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

Since the criteria apply to the article rather than the FAC process, I'd suggest the appropriate place for that is not here but {{FAC-instructions}}. And indeed, looking there now, I see that among the first few sentences of those instructions is, "Nominators must be sufficiently familiar with the subject matter and sources to deal with objections during the FAC process." So no change seems to be needed. PL290 (talk) 12:22, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
I agree with PL290. If issues come up and the sources aren't available to be easily checked, that's a problem on a case by case basis. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 14:35, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
A person can be familiar with the sources, but if the books are in the library and not on Google, the material can't be checked. How about something like, "Nominators must be sufficiently familiar with the subject matter and sources to deal with objections during the FAC process, and should ensure that they have offline sources to hand during the nomination for reviewers' questions." SlimVirgin talk|contribs 17:04, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
If the nominator not having the sources is a problem in an FAC, it's a problem. Not really needed as a bright line. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 18:00, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
FWIW, this is about the Ezra Pound FAC and I don't have the source at hand for the specific question SlimVirgin asked last night. That said, I have four other biographies as well as critical essay at hand , and it's possible the one point questioned from the lead and unreferenced, was taken from another book - needed some time to check is all. Truthkeeper88 (talk) 18:21, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Fuchs here, I think; SlimVirgin is right that the nominator should do this, since it will help the FAC pass, but it's not an obligation in the same way as checking with other major contributors. I think it's as well to leave it off; it would feel like instruction creep to me to put something like this in there, and the instructions are long enough already. Mike Christie (talk) 21:12, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
TK, it was the Pound FA that reminded me to suggest this, but I've seen it a lot before, and in fact have done it myself (had to take a key book back to the library but went ahead and nominated the article anyway). The thing is if we don't insist that nominators have access to the offline sources during the review, and we can't expect reviewers to have them, then we're saying an FA review might go ahead with no one having access to the key sources to check. That feeds into the criticism of FAC that it's all about formatting. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 16:49, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
I oppose this change. I often write multiple articles off of one book, and sometimes I don't nominate the article until many months after I've returned the book. My library restricts the amount of time I can have a book on ILL. I've had something like 23 nominations at FAC; of these I have only once had an issue with a key piece of information I needed being in a book I did not have access to anymore. When I couldn't get the book quickly, I withdrew the nomination. Reviewers are within their rights to oppose if they think there is an issue with the sourcing or with the verification, and then the burden is on the nominator to have that issue addressed before they bring the nomination back. Karanacs (talk) 17:09, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
I hear what you're saying, because I've had the same problems myself. But I just wonder how much credibility we can claim for FAs when we don't ask nominators to make sure they have access to the sources they used during the nom. Imagine any other publishing venture, where an editor asked you to check something, and you replied that you didn't have access to the source anymore. No one would do that. But I do know that juggling inter-library loans is awkward. I'm wondering if people need to time their noms around having that access, if they know the material isn't online anywhere. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 17:21, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
An issue I see with this proposal is that it effectively prohibits articles utilizing two or more ILL sources unless the author can somehow arrange for these multiple sources to be simultaneously available not only during the time the article is being written but also during the FAC process. This will tend to encourage two types of activities: Dishonesty among nominators who have had to return a resource claiming/implying the source is still available to avoid summary rejection of an otherwise successful nomination and reviewers who for some reason dislike an article/nominator waiting till late in the review process before demanding proof the nominator still has the source available. As Karanacs points out, it is appropriate for reviewers to point out places where there is an issue with sourcing but requiring continuous physical access to an offline source through a multi-week process of writing an article and guiding it through the review process seems quite excessive. --Allen3 talk 17:53, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
Those are good points, but I wasn't thinking of requiring it in the sense of the nom being invalid if the sources weren't there. Just in the sense that it's a sensible thing to do. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 19:20, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
Joining the pile-on against this. To expect people to be able to verify particularly contentious statements is one thing; to issue a blanked ransom-note demand like this just reeks of assuming bad faith. Aside from a very few FAs, mostly on recent topics, which are sourced from online resources, I'd wager 90% of FAC would have failed if this demand had been applied strictly. I'll go as far as to say that if this unreasonable demand were somehow to be added to the FA criteria, I'll immediately withdraw from the FAC process (both as reviewer and nominator), and will urge whoever'll listen to me to do the same. – iridescent 18:12, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
"Any objections?". Plenty. I just don't understand what's behind this proposal at all. It seems to me that if this goes through then nominators are going to be asked to in some way prove that they still have access to the books used to write the article, perhaps by a reviewer asking "What's the fifth word of the second sentence in the third paragraph on page 45?" But unless there's some reasonable doubt of the accuracy of some material or other then why shouldn't the default be to accept the nominators word that it accurately reflects what the sources say? In some cases (Donner Party comes to mind), I'm not sure that any of the nominators ever had all of the sources to hand; I had some, Karanacs had others, Moni3 had the rest, and we wrote the article together. If something comes up during the review that can't be answered by the nominator without reference to a source no longer available for whatever reason then there are several courses open. Depending on how central the material is, it could simply be dropped, or perhaps it could be reworded if necessary and attributed to another source.
As this proposal has been put forward on the back of Ezra Pound's FAC it may be appropriate for me to add that I'm not at all happy with the way that SV has railroaded that process. I'll also add that my attitude towards this proposal is somewhat the same as Iridescent's. Malleus Fatuorum 18:46, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
Railroaded that process? What do you mean? SlimVirgin talk|contribs 19:21, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
I think we should let this go. I have all the sources except Kenner which I really didn't use. The challenged statement is somewhere in the 3000 pages currently surrounding me but can't be found without a good index. Will's suggestion below is good - always take notes or copies. As it happens an alternative has been found for the statement and progress is being made thanks to SlimVirgin's help which is welcome. So ... Truthkeeper88 (talk) 00:37, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

FWIW, when I get a book from a library for Wikipedia-related research I photocopy the relevant pages for future reference. It is an expense (except for those with free access to copiers) but it's worthwhile in the long run. This might be better as a suggestion than a rule.   Will Beback  talk  21:04, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

Free with a digital camera and rechargable batteries, you end up like Google books. It's a common practice and good when certain books are concentrated in certain parts of the world and you can swap with other Wikipedians. YellowMonkey (new photo poll) 00:35, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
As someone who spends three weeks straight legally copying sources unavailable in other repositories, can I suggest that any material legally copied by digital camera has an Occupational Health and Safety cost.  :) Fifelfoo (talk) 00:38, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

FACs evaluate articles, not nominators. The nominator is only a person that helps to demonstrate that the article has reached a standard during a peer review process, and if it has not helps the article to reach that standard. If this rule was set we would be judging nominators (does he/she have all sources?) and not the article by itself. The nominator only should try to provide sources as a way of demonstrating that the article is well referenced in cases of doubts, and as already said in even the case that he had no access to them within a reasonable time frame he would have different action courses to succesfully continue with the FAC such as searching for a different source. I believe that we should think of the nominator not as responsible of an article (specially since Wikipedia is a collaborative effort) , but as an intermediary between the article itself and the people at the FAC proccess.--Garrondo (talk) 12:02, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

I am against this concept because I know I would abuse such a provision to make editor's lives a living hell. We can advise editors to take copies of the front matter including the fly, title, publication information, table of contents. We can suggest that editors copy legal portions relied upon for future reference in case of FAC (I know my local copyright law in this regard, but I don't know yours). But these are simply good ideas for scholarship and filing anyway. If it becomes a criteria requirement, then someone, some niggily loose end following bastard like myself, will torture poor FAC nominators and make their lives hell. Fifelfoo (talk) 12:33, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
Oppose per above. It becomes a problem when there is a contention, no need for pre-emption YellowMonkey (new photo poll) 00:35, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

Citation templates

I'm finding it very hard to believe that Featured Articles are now expected to use {{Citation}} only and avoid mixing cite templates.

This seems to be based on a previous discussion Wikipedia_talk:Featured_article_criteria/Archive_10#Clarification_on_2c which aimed to making things more consistent and simpler for a bot because it was too difficult to have {{Citation}} and other templates like {{cite news}} formatted consistently, despite claims in the {{Citation}} documentation that "If invoked with the right parameters, this template produces output identical to that of the Cite templates".

I've used templates as a way to avoid getting dragged into style details so it is very disappointing to have to deal with style inconsistencies like this. It seems like a very confusing policy to happily allow a mix of citation templates but to later have special rules for "Featured Articles". Personally I prefer to use a citation template where the semantic meaning is clearer but if templates other than {{Citation}} are going to be discouraged like this the policy should be made more generic and consistent: the other templates should be deprecated. It seems very odd that the guidelines say "the use of templates is not required" (without even saying they are encouraged) but if they are used then editors are forced to be extremely consistent and only use one type? At the very least this new policy of for featured articles be documented more clearly. -- Horkana (talk) 13:05, 29 October 2010 (UTC)

I have not at any point said you must use the citation template. I have always said you can use either; and you can use both or neither as long as the output is stylistically consistent. DrKiernan (talk) 13:23, 29 October 2010 (UTC)
That isn't exactly the impression I was getting. It is easier to use {{Citation}} everywhere than try to fix the differences and that seems to be your preference. It seems to me like if I do use {{cite news}} and there are any inconsistencies you will just change it back. So far you haven't said what inconsistencies you think are a problem or I might expect. The discussion you pointed to did mention a slightly inconsistent mix of commas and periods but that seems like an issue you and those concerned should take up with the editors working to improve the templates, fixing it once and for all rather than asking individual editors to avoid using {{cite news}}. -- Horkana (talk) 14:02, 29 October 2010 (UTC)
I can't decipher what Horkana is saying-- seems to be mostly be misunderstanding, hard to parse. Also, it's not "new" and it's not "policy" (policy has a specific meaning on Wiki). SandyGeorgia (Talk) 13:25, 29 October 2010 (UTC)
Sorry this discussion has been going on for a while, I should perhaps have given more background, but I did link to the discussions I came from. DrKiernan recommended the use of {{Citation}} consistently in the featured article on Blade Runner and pointed to previous discussion about the Featured Article guideline item 2c that seems to recommend not mixing template styles.
I'm not interested in styles, I use templates so I can avoid worrying about styles. Due to minor inconsistencies between the styles generated by the templates it seems like I'm being asked not to use {{cite news}} for sources that are quite clearly newspapers and to avoid mixing templates in the featured article. It seems very strange to me to be asked not to use a particular template compared to what the featured article guidelines are asking. -- Horkana (talk) 14:02, 29 October 2010 (UTC)
Well, featured articles can't mix citation styles: that's not "policy" and it's not "new", but it is fact. See WP:OWN#Featured articles for guidance when you edit them. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:20, 29 October 2010 (UTC)
Horcana, I don't know what the issues here are exactly, but the problem with the citation templates is that they mix styles and/or use styles that don't exist outside Wikipedia. They can also be changed centrally at any time, which means there is no local control over them. Personally I avoid templates for that reason, and because they slow down load time. If you're going to use them, the only thing you have to make sure is that the article in read mode doesn't mix up styles. In other words, you wouldn't want to use one template that produced "Smith, John (ed.)." And a second that produced "Paul Jones (ed),". I don't know how {{cite news}} is incompatible with the others; if you've had a complaint about that maybe you could post a note on the template talk page to ask if others have noticed the problem. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 14:31, 29 October 2010 (UTC)
An editor wanted to use only {{citation}} and not mix any other citation types because of fears about styles. WP:OWN is an interesting point but using specific templates hardly seems like a WP:BOLD change. Given how weakly worded 2c is and how it does not even require templates to be used at all, it gives unfair and undue weight to dicussions to suggest templates should not be mixed because of possible formatting inconsistencies. If formatting inconsistencies do occur they should be dealt with on a wide scale by working to WP:IMPROVE the templates, not by stopping individual editors from using the templates, or by reverting to {{Citation}} instead of making an effort to identify and fix problems. -- Horkana (talk) 14:41, 30 October 2010 (UTC)
I am not sure what exactly the problem was that led to this discussion, but I can say this: If you use {{Citation}} and {{Cite news}}, your citations are inconsistent, because the former separates the fields of the citation by commas and the latter uses periods. 2c says citations should not be inconsistent; therefore FAs should not use both templates (unless they are using one in one context and the other in another, distinct context, which is rare and in my opinion unnecessarily confusing). Ucucha 18:59, 30 October 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)

I'm going to oppose making that a set-in-stone rule. I'm not opposed to making it a requirement that it be clear to the reader when and where PD text is used, but not to requiring quotation marks or the {{quote}} template. There are circumstances when use of PD text without block-quotes or quotation marks is appropriate, when it's clear from the context that it's not original writing (entries within a table or list, say—the table section of List of tablets on the Memorial to Heroic Self Sacrifice, for instance is nothing but PD text). – iridescent 21:31, 6 November 2010 (UTC)
To work from a specific example: Geology of the Lassen volcanic area. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:35, 6 November 2010 (UTC)
Just to be clear, you are saying that is an example which would fail your proposed criterion, correct? Christopher Parham (talk) 18:38, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
I'd support this, with some wording to cover exceptional cases like the postmen example above. Johnbod (talk) 21:37, 6 November 2010 (UTC)
It should cover any source, not just PD. We need to include copyrighted material used under a claim of fair use.
I agree that text outside of the body of plain text need not have quote marks where the context makes it clear. Kablammo (talk) 21:43, 6 November 2010 (UTC)
My initial reaction would be to oppose this, but I'd like to understand why it might be thought necessary. Surely WIAFA is the list of criteria that distinguish FAs from other articles; this criterion should be adhered to for all articles, shouldn't it? At the top of the FA criteria it says " In addition to meeting the requirements for all Wikipedia articles ..."; isn't that sufficient? I understand that an article with this issue made it through FAC, but that's not a problem with the criteria, surely? Mike Christie (talk) 21:47, 6 November 2010 (UTC)
Agree with Mike Christie. And wasn't the cause of this recent trouble text copied from a copyright source? The criteria should emphasise what distinguishes an FA above the basic standards we hold all articles to. Perhaps what we need, in addition to the criteria, is a check list for nominators and a check list for reviewers. Maybe they are the same. You know when you make a purchase or sign-up for something, they make you tick a box saying "I have read and agree to the terms and conditions...". How about we say "By nominating an article, the nominator declares they believe the article currently meets WIAFA, they have read and addressed points detailed in the check list, and they believe the article to be ready for review." We could even move some of the text at the top of FAC (in the blue box) about current peer reviews, GA, notifying significant contributors, etc, to the check list. Colin°Talk 22:25, 6 November 2010 (UTC)
Well, the button you press every time you make an edit anywhere on Wikipedia is labelled "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". You can see how well that's working… – iridescent 22:36, 6 November 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, I'm not sure if this is the place to articulate a guideline that should be enforced uniformly. —Deckiller (t-c-l) 22:51, 6 November 2010 (UTC)
Concur with Iridescent. If I though the proposal would prevent plagarism, I would support unconditionally. I just don't see how it will, though I applaud Sandy for making the proposal and am willing to be convinced. I know we are short on reviewers. I know the reviewers are, well, not in a good mood right now. I know that any proposal for actual checking of some sources is DOA. But I just can't figure out anything else that would be effective. We have three thousand FAs. I believe over a thousand are yet to appear on the Main Page. Some of those articles are ticking time bombs, we just don't know which ones.--Wehwalt (talk) 01:24, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
  • This seems to be drifting away from the proposal. We have a lot of articles that still use massive chunks of direct quotes from PD sources, with a tag at the bottom saying so - or more or less, as some tags have been badly watered down. EB 1911, CE 1913, the American navy thing, and so on. That is not the issue here. We also have a large number of FAs which have quotations or close paraphrases of PD material with a normal reference to the source. US warships and so on. That is what this is about, or am I wrong? Johnbod (talk) 01:55, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
  • My initial reaciton is per Mike Christie & Colin. I also don't see that any article is a "ticking time bomb" if it contains PD text and there is some acknowledgement on the page that PD text is present. Like Wehwalt I'm willing to be convinced, but I'm not seeing the case at this point. hamiltonstone (talk) 02:01, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Just a note, the only ship FAs that have DANFS PD text in them are in this list or are part of the Iowa-class battleship FT. None of the others should have copied or closely-paraphrased PD material. 02:05, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Agree that this should be covered in policy, outside WP:WIAFA. Any coverage of WP policy here should be analogous to that given to WP style (2. It follows the style guidelines, including ...). PL290 (talk) 09:33, 7 November 2010 (UTC) ... and in fact, I now see that such coverage already exists, in the very words that introduce the criteria: "In addition to meeting the requirements for all Wikipedia articles, it has the following attributes." Perhaps this discussion should move to a policy page. PL290 (talk) 09:48, 7 November 2010 (UTC)

According to the [[1911 Encyclopædia Britannica]]: {{bquote||| … entire body of the article … }} == References == {{EB1911}}

wikitext for an even worse article than it was before

Right problem. Wrong method for correction.

The problem is, quite rightly, that if an article is largely based upon EB1911, Federal Standard 1037C, or the Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, and so forth, it's not our best work. It's someone else's work, that we used as a quick shortcut to getting an encyclopaedia article. And we have long-standing cleanup projects (Wikipedia:EB1911 Wikipedia:Federal Standard 1037C terms Wikipedia:Status of FOLDOC import) that quite explicitly note the problems that result: out-of-date information, information not systematized in the way that we systematize things, excessively colloquial prose with folkloric definitions, and so forth. (Notice that Ousterhout's dichotomy (AfD discussion) has in part been nominated for deletion because the original FOLDOC prose isn't up to our standards.)

The right answer is not to put things into blockquotes and quotations. That makes for even worse encyclopaedia articles. (See ⇒.) The right answer is to use the sources as we would use any sources. Witness Online and offline (AfD discussion). It started as a straight copy of FS1037C. In fact, it used to be off-line and we used to have a separate on-line article, also a straight copy of FS1037C. (We also used to have Online (AfD discussion).) It still contains the FS1037C definitions, with a {{FS1037C MS188}} in the References section. (Unfortunately, the templates that we have for EB1911, FOLDOC, and FS1037C don't make for very good citations, and the general-purpose citation templates don't note the public domain status of the prose copied.) But FS1937C is used as a source, one of several, for the standard industry definitions that are then expanded upon with encyclopaedic discussion of the concepts so defined.

So public domain prose (purporting to be actual explicatory content) in an FA-worthy article must be at minimum, I would suggest, (a) attributed to its source (possibly using one of the many templates that we have), (b) not the majority of the article (so that the majority is "our (best) work"), (c) used just as any other source would be used, and (d) placed into context if the information is outdated or biased. In other words: All of the things that the various cleanup projects have been warning about for years as cleanup issues for such imported content before it can be said to meet our standards must be addressed.

In other other words: An article that isn't by an overwhelming margin our best work, and which we haven't done our cleanup work on, is not featurable ours.

Uncle G (talk) 21:54, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

  • Thank you. That is the very point originally made waaaaay back in archives when we first discussed this, but the language got watered down. If an article is a copy of a PD source, how can it be "our best work"? That was the original aim of adding 1f-- perhaps someone can read all three of those archives. I've been spending a lot of time trying to shephard some solutions and making little progress :/ :/ SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:31, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
    • I'm certain there needs to be a 1f, but I'm still chewing on what exactly it should convey. Copying from a PD source is still plagiarism without attribution (and I don't the PD text template counts for much) and at the least, a 1a violation in my mind. But, better to head it off at the pass. --Andy Walsh (talk) 23:08, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
      • There are multiple versions back in archives-- we tried to do something back in the beginning of the year, before the TFA debacle. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:19, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
    • I think the conception of our work as "a project to build free encyclopedias in all languages of the world [here, English]" allows for the use of externally written content, in the same manner as we use PD images, later enhanced and edited by Wikipedians, to improve the articles we present to our readers. The generation of original prose, per se, is not part of the mission. In my mind, the featured article criteria should be centered around the question, is the reader experience being maximized? Knowing that the author of a piece of text was a Wikipedia writer isn't in my view something a reader would care about at all. In short, this project is about encyclopedia building, not writing, and we should be rewarding encyclopedia building, not writing, to the extent the two don't overlap.

      That said, all articles using PD text need to follow whatever ground rules are set up for appropriate attribution. These rules belong at the apply-to-all articles level, not just the apply-to-FA level. Christopher Parham (talk) 02:12, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

      • Didn't you notice that we've just had a bit of a contretemps with respect to the main page being thought of as a reward? Should I invite the DYK regulars to come and educate the FAC people out of your reward culture? ☺

        The generation of original prose very much is part of our mission. Go and read foundation:Mission statement for the reason that the Foundation provides the wikis to us in the first place and what we're supposed to be doing with them. We're here to "develop" free content as well as just collect it. As it does to Wiktionary, Wikibooks, and Wikinews, that notion applies to Wikipedia. We're here to be a source of free content for others to re-use. Ironically, all of the people who are copying and pasting non-free content into Wikipedia all of the time — because they think that the goal is building an encyclopaedia by any means, even wholesale ganking of things that they aren't permitted to copy, modify, and republish — are the antithesis of working towards our goal. We're here to create free content, that the rest of the world can take from us, not to take non-free content from the rest of the world. We're here to be a source, not a sink.

        After all, if people want the 1911 Britannica (or FOLDOC, or FS1037C, or the others for that matter), they don't need the Wikipedia project to regurgitate it verbatim for them. It's right there already, and has been for quite some time.

        Uncle G (talk) 03:51, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

        • The fact that the mission statement reads "to collect and develop" seems to support my point. There's no basis there for seeing development as fundametally superior to collection. Collection is a coequal part of "our work". I'm unclear on why you bring up the ganking of things people aren't permitted to use. It's not relevant here and already a valid basis for objecting to featured status. The point of contention is whether articles which employ free content validly (under the policies of the English Wikipedia, whatever they may be in the future) should be rejected from featured status. Christopher Parham (talk) 05:13, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
          • Of course there's a basis. I just stated it. If people want regurgitating collection only, this project has no raison d'être. The development is our raison d'être. If you don't understand why the filching of non-free content is mentioned, by the way, I recommend reading about 600KiB of past discussion since 2010-10-31. Alas! At this point you've got a lot of catching up to do if you haven't been following the context that has caused this to be raised as an issue again. ☺ Uncle G (talk) 12:59, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
            • If an entire article consists of literally a character-for-character paste of an outside source, with no additonal development in the form of markup, editing, or wikification, then fine, it's likely not featured material. But "collecting and developing" is a clear part of the mission, not "developing from scratch" alone. As for non-free content, it's a side issue in this discussion even if it's what prompted the proposal. I, and the proposed criterion, speak exclusively to free content. If people want to make in the featured article criteria a redundant point about non-free content, they are welcome. But the proposed 1(f) is specifically about restricting free content, and says nothing about non-free content. Christopher Parham (talk) 18:21, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
              • I hope people are reading thoroughly; we have FAs where entire sections are taken almost directly from PD sources. I thought that's why we were having this discussion. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:20, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
                • But there's clearly been "development" (whether markup, copyediting, wikification, or incorporation with other material into a single article) to create the finished product. Christopher Parham (talk) 20:27, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

I would think that our general article criteria (not just FAC) would disallow wholesale inclusion of PD works, period, even if attributed or marked up. WP:NPS is what covers this for all articles. --MASEM (t) 14:33, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

Most all of the PD articles are not primary sources, but PD secondary sources - PD encyclopedias or government produced papers or articles. I think the more relevant guideline is probably WP:PLAGIARISM, along with the content freedom policies. Christopher Parham (talk) 18:21, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
I dunno, I read that as saying that whether the PD work is primary or secondary or tertiary, you don't include these wholesale in WP. --MASEM (t) 20:15, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
When we started developing the plagiarism (now) guideline, we discussed this quite extensively, including the fact that a huge number of articles began their life as EB1911 copies. The consensus then, which I don't think has changed was that a: copying of PD/free text is quite OK; and b: use of an attribution template like {{EB1911}} was sufficient for the purpose. An extension of the {{cite}} templates was also developed to indicate in a footnote "is copied directly from...". As to whether these copied materials can be featured content, that's the question being discussed here. Franamax (talk) 20:37, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
That is the question, yes :) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:39, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
A question to ask seems to be "What %age of the WP article text is taken verbatim from PD sources (with or without attribution)?" An article that is 90% PD text is likely inappropriate, while an article that is 10% PD is likely ok. But it also depends on the nature of the text included and the attribution aspects. --MASEM (t) 22:23, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
They do not: we have many such FAs. I gave one sample at the beginning of this section. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:22, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
I'm confused a bit here, first are you talking about Geology of the Lassen volcanic area? and is this an article that is a problem (borrowing too heavily from PD) or actually ok? --MASEM (t) 20:39, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
I think clearly a problem. The whole para:

Meanwhile, toward the end of this activity, eruptions of a different kind took place on an unprecedented scale in eastern Oregon and Washington. From innumerable cracks, floods of highly fluid basaltic lava spread to cover an area of over 200,000 square miles. Known as the Columbian Plateau, this great lava bed covers much of Oregon, Washington and even parts of Idaho. California's Modoc Plateau is a thinner basaltic flow which some associate with the Columbia Plateau, but there are technical objections to this. This activity also continued until 11 or 12 million years ago when the High Cascades took shape as a distinct mountain belt as a result of the upheaval and bending of the thick blanket of volcanic rocks. As a result of this upheaval, many features opened near the crust, and during the next 10 million years, a series of new basaltic volcanic cones similar to those now found in Hawaii were built.

is word for word from the note 1 source, with the addition of one word "Now". Incidentally the last bit does not even give the citation. Much/most of the article is like this. I don't have a problem with articles like this, which is mostly properly cited, but I don't think they should be FAs. I note that in the FAC one editor (KP Botany) who appeared to have good geological knowledge opposed strenuously saying that some of the bits that weren't PD stuff were wrong, though unfortunately he kept disappearing from the FAC. Johnbod (talk) 01:46, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

Change of description of FA criteria

WP is a collaborative effort: we mix the contributions of many editors in different articles, but it is also true that many articles come from mainly a single editor: when we use PD texts we are only including one further editor in our collaborative effort. It makes no difference if he/she actually has a WP account or not, is dead or alive. The important thing is to create high quality content, and if PD allows that then even better: we are always lacking editors so if we "finish" easy with an article thanks to the effort previously done by somebody in a PD text then we can move on to improve other articles.

By this exact discussion we should forbid to copy text from one WP article into another: what is the difference between copying (and attributting) text from another WP article and a PD source?: I believe only the number of editors-authors. Similarly if the proposal being discussed here is finally approved we should also forbid any Featured Pictures which are not "own work" by WP editors with an account, since content comes from an outside source and it is not "our work". That should also include all historical images even if they have been copy-edited by WP, since attributtion to original source seems not enough per discussion above. Maybe we should simply change the description of FAs to state that FA are "the best work in WP" instead "of our best work".

On the other hand we forbid single editors to "own" an article, and in the same way WP as a collective does not "own" articles per its copyright license (since anybody can do whatever they want with them). How can we then decide when an article is "our" or not?. We do not own any articles independently of whether they include PD text or not. --Garrondo (talk) 07:43, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

Actually FA description does not say "our work": right now it says: Featured articles are considered to be the best articles in Wikipedia(bold is mine): This only occurs in FA criteria .--Garrondo (talk) 07:50, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
Per my comment above and to be in compliance with the description of the FA page I propose to change first line of FA criteria to: A featured article exemplifies the very best work in Wikipedia and is distinguished by professional standards of writing, presentation, and sourcing.--Garrondo (talk) 07:50, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
As I may have mentioned once or twice before, I'd happily do away with that preamble altogether, or if we need to have one just have "A featured article exemplifies the best work on Wikipedia". "Professional standard" is meaningless; as anyone who's ever read a technical journal can attest, a lot of professional writing is jargon-laden and horribly ploddingly written. (These people are researchers, not writers, after all.) – iridescent 20:45, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
Yes, but professional standards are relative; in this case, we are referring to professional standards of encyclopedias and so forth. —Deckiller (t-c-l) 01:50, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

Minimum size for FAs?

During the FAC for Salanoia durrelli, a recently-discovered mongoose, User:J Milburn brought up the concern that not enough is known about the subject for it to be an FA. His concern stemmed from the fact that only a handful of articles have been published about the critter since its discovery, and several aspects of its behavior are left to speculation. After a brief discussion on the matter, it was quickly realized that this issue would be better addressed somewhere other than one individual FAC. Here is the aformentioned discussion:

Transcribed discussion

It's well written and researched, but I worry that not enough is known about this species yet. There is a fair amount of speculation in the article; guesses about what it eats, for instance. Futher, there is limited research on the species at this time; the descriptions come from only two specimens. There is a mention of the fact the locals knew about the species; perhaps there's a story to tell there? Precisely where is it found? Reproduction is not mentioned- presumably because nothing is known. I guess I'm not criticising the article, I'm saying that perhaps there has not yet been enough research on the topic to justify a FA. Sorry. J Milburn (talk) 21:15, 19 December 2010 (UTC)

I understand your point—I'd hardly want for something like Veratalpa to become an FA—but I don't think this one has insufficient information. (If consensus is otherwise, I'm fine with that.) Virtually all species are poorly known (more poorly than this one, quite likely). If more is published about S. durrelli in the future, it can (and will) be incorporated into the article. I've written several FAs on animals that we know less about, not only fossils like Ambondro mahabo, but also living species like Eremoryzomys. Ucucha 21:33, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
In my opinion, any short article is eligible for FA so long as the most basic questions about the subject can be answered and sourced. In the case of critters, those questions might be "What does it eat?" "Where does it live?" "What does it look like?" "Is it endangered?" "When was it discovered?", all of which have been answered. --Cryptic C62 · Talk 01:42, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
Interesting, but it could be argued that those questions perhaps aren't answered. Its diet is only speculated, its habitat and range is not fully known (being judged from only a few collections), the same is true of the appearance. I would agree with what you're saying if you were talking about GAs; while a GA has to be "broad", a FAC has to be "comprehensive". There remain questions unanswered- reproduction? Lifespan? Behaviour? Relation to humans? And there remain questions that could be expanded upon, and perhaps will be with further research. I'm not opposing as such, I guess this FAC just raises questions about the nature of FAs. This seems to me to be a fantastic GA, but perhaps not a great FA. I believe I am right in saying that the GA project started out with just this issue in mind; articles can be excellent, but on subjects on which there is not enough material to warrant a featured article. J Milburn (talk) 18:32, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
I would interpret "comprehensive" as meaning "covering everything we know", not "covering everything we could know". The article on the marsh rice rat, for example, does not say how many genes the animal has, a fairly basic biological fact which is not known of this species (as of most others), and I hope you agree that it is comprehensive. Ucucha 21:31, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
The trouble with that definition would be that there are subjects on which very little is known- some historical figures, mythological figures, distant stars, obscure species (especially those which are extinct- you know more about that than me!) and so on. I expect we would not be promoting 2,500 byte articles on those subjects to FA status. The line needs be drawn somewhere. J Milburn (talk) 22:30, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
Miniopterus zapfei? The line must needs be drawn somewhere, I agree, but I think we've recently promoted on subjects that we know about as little about, or perhaps less: Miniopterus aelleni, for example, and Eremoryzomys (which I mentioned already), Euryoryzomys emmonsae, Miss Meyers, Cryptoprocta spelea. Ucucha 23:56, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
  • <-- Interesting discussion. I think if we go strictly on the FAC criteria, Ucucha's short articles, sometimes based largely on a single major publication, meet all the criteria (and I have said this several times in my previous supports). But theoretically, this opens the door to a flood of very short FAC candidates on subjects that are inherently notable (like species) but do not have a lot written about them. I think if we consider the examples of short FACs that Ucucha has given, the FAC-reviewing community has generally approved of the idea that short articles can be eligible for FA status (and I recall talk page discussions about this as well). But there does need to be a line drawn somewhere, right? Perhaps broader talk page discussion is warranted (so as to not overwhelm this FAC)? Sasata (talk) 03:26, 21 December 2010 (UTC)

Here are some of the key points and questions brought up in the discussion:

  • The current featured article criteria do not require any minimum size.
  • Does "comprehensive" mean "covering everything we know" or "covering everything we could know"?
  • Basic questions about the subject should be answered for the reader, and if these answers aren't available in the sources, then perhaps the article shouldn't be an FAC.

Any thoughts? --Cryptic C62 · Talk 16:47, 21 December 2010 (UTC)

  • The mongoose at least has an advantage over Ælle of Sussex: "The information about him is so limited that it cannot be said with certainty that Ælle existed." But then we can be pretty sure nothing very significant is going to emerge about him in the future (short of the very long-shot of a burial). He is I think also still the shortest FA. Generally precedents favour short but complete articles being accepted, but here the situation may be different as significant new information can presumably be expected to emerge within a few years. Johnbod (talk) 17:02, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
(side note) Ælle of Sussex (12 kB) is an interesting an example, but it is definitely not the shortest FA. A quick glance at User:Juliancolton's trophy case shows many FAs which are significantly shorter. Tropical Depression Ten (2005) is a mere 4kB long! --Cryptic C62 · Talk 17:08, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
Ok, I did wonder about the stiff breezes. I think Aelle was the shortest in his day, which shows how things can change. I think some breeze/road articles would not be passed today. Johnbod (talk) 17:17, 21 December 2010 (UTC)

IMO any article can be a FA at a time point: if it covers everything we know on something then that is a FA now... A featured article is no more no less than the best we can do on a notable topic, if the best we can do is short because the topic is not fully known that is as good as the biggest article (Which does not mean that one is not easier to take to FA than other). At most if the knowledge on a topic changes and the articles does not then it should be demoted. Philosophically speaking: how can we decide if "we know enough now" or "not enough yet" about something?... Going to the extreme we could end in not featuring anything in scientific topics in which there is some ongoing research since knowledge is transient and we do not know enough yet as we do not know everything...--Garrondo (talk) 18:37, 21 December 2010 (UTC)

This has been discussed at great length before; the most comprehensive discussion I'm aware of takes up two full FAC archives, here and here. As a test case I submitted Space Science Fiction Magazine to FAC; it would have been about half the length of the current shortest FA. It was not promoted, and I think it was the correct decision; I would interpret that decision as saying that a short article that can legitimately be seen as part of a possible larger article may be denied consensus to promote. Mike Christie (talklibrary) 23:09, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for those links Mike; seems like everything I was going to say about the subject has been said by someone else already :) It looks like "the line" is firmly in a gray area that simply needs to be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Sasata (talk) 23:50, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
Sorry I missed this discussion until now. This is all very interesting- I'm really not sure where I stand on the matter. I would like to say that I do not oppose the mongoose article, it was merely a thought that cropped up. I think there could perhaps be a distinction between topics that not much is known about (Ælle of Sussex) compared to topics that not much is written about (the magazine). There is also the point that there are a number of different opinions from historians on Ælle of Sussex, which makes for an interesting article. On, say, an obscure species, there may not be views beyond those of the discoverer. Cryptic, I agree with your claim that "Basic questions about the subject should be answered for the reader, and if these answers aren't available in the sources, then perhaps the article shouldn't be an FAC" with the possible caveat of when there is a good reason these things aren't known. If, for example, we do not have the date of birth of a person, but we do have a few sources noting that the DOB is not known for reason x, that should not preclude it from being a featured article. If the DOB is just not known, and no sources bother to mention or even guess at it, then yeah, we may have a problem. (DOB may not be the best example, but I'm sure you understand my point.) J Milburn (talk) 20:54, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
It's true that this has been discussed at length without consensus, so I doubt anything dramatic will be decided here; that said, I find it very hard to avoid commenting when I have an opinion, so here goes. To me, it seems wrong that an article could be unimprovable (that is, it contains everything known about a topic and is written as perfectly as possible) and yet there's no way of recognising this. Wikipedia works off sources, so if little has been written about a topic, the article will be short - this means that complaining that an article is too short is really a complaint against the human race for not knowing enough. I can understand not putting such an article on the front page, but I would certainly support some way of recognising a comprehensive well-written short article - either as a regular FA or some new kind of "short FA". (Slight aside: I also disagree that it doesn't represent our "best work". It doesn't represent our "hardest" or "most complex" or "longest" best work, but it is still a piece of work that is the best it can be.) Trebor (talk) 21:15, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
Is that "new kind" of short FA not exactly what GA started out as? J Milburn (talk) 01:29, 23 December 2010 (UTC)
Was it? I didn't know that. It's certainly not what it ended up as... Trebor (talk) 11:25, 23 December 2010 (UTC)
This came up at FAC a while ago Fasach Nua (talk) 06:49, 25 December 2010 (UTC)

"Neutral" sub criteria redundant?

In the introduction to the criteria, we already stress that FAs must adhere to WP policies; "NPOV" is a policy. Are we keeping the "neutral" sub criteria as emphasis? If not, we can probably trim it out. —Deckiller (t-c-l) 15:25, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

Any thoughts, or am I coming across as an over-thinking loon? —Deckiller (t-c-l) 02:43, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
It is indeed redundant—I'm assuming it was added at some point to give reviewers a handy way to oppose POV articles, but who knows. --Andy Walsh (talk) 03:32, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
I'd not like to lose it, since the 1a, b, c, d etc have been stable for so long. And when I reviewed articles, I checked the article talk page archives for past POV disputes, as well as doing some source checking-- it would be nice to see more POV checks at FAC. It would so be strange to leave NPOV out: of the Wikipedia:Five pillars, there are three content issues (verifiability, neutrality, and free content) that we check at FAC, and leaving out one of them, while the other two are mentioned, doesn't seem to make sense. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 04:21, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Sandy here. We risk transforming the FA standards in a perfunctory check that every paragraph has a source otherwise. One can argue that (1b) and (1c) imply (1d), but I see no reason not to make it explicit. Tijfo098 (talk) 16:27, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
I have seen very POV articles promoted at WP:DYK, where neutrality is seldom more than a formal concern, so the writing is on the wall if we remove 1d. (And related to that, I've also seen DYK articles reverted to one's favorite version after promotion to main page, so criterion 1e seems worthwhile as well.) Tijfo098 (talk) 16:30, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

To redlink or not to redlink, that is the question

How "bad" is it to have red-links in an FAC? I am not asking just what the per se "rule" is, but "how things really go down" or "what the majority of reviewers/readers prefer"? The MOS guidance is (reasonably) permissive of redlinks on things that are likely, or could reasonably become articles. Some of the "how to FA essays" floating around say not to redlink as it raises eyebrows. I am really cool either way, no bigge, just want to know, I guess how much hair it raises to have some redlinks?

I actually keep a little list of all the articles I intend to start in my sandbox, so I could totally just do away with the redlinks. Of course, then you all lose the possibility someone else might build the article. And of course, someone might never build it too!

P.s. what is the most active talk page to ask FA questions like this? I been hanging at MOS forum a lot, but some of my questions are more FA related than MOS.

TCO (talk) 22:11, 18 December 2010 (UTC)

I've never held a reasonable number of likely redlinks against an FAC. If every other word was a redlink, that'd be an issue, but as long as the links are likely to be turned into articles, it's not an issue to me. Ealdgyth - Talk 22:14, 18 December 2010 (UTC)
Red links, even lots of them are no longer considered to be an issue. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 22:16, 18 December 2010 (UTC)
Moreover, a study indicated that they were good for article creation (Do not have the citation right now).--Garrondo (talk) 22:17, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
I vaguely recall a study that said something like that too... I have heard anecdotal evidence of people mass-removing redlinks because they they make the article look unfinished which I think is a great shame. It certainly shouldn't be the case that having several redlinks in an article goes against it in FAC. In practice, I find that if a group is working on one article to bring it up to FA then the redlinks tend to be filled in as part of that work - the article generates a bit of an ecosystem of articles :-) Witty Lama 04:17, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
Ah, this is music to my ears. I was on the verge of going through the Rwanda article creating pointless stubs for every redlink, just because I recall from 2006 that the FAC gurus insisted on this. Now I can feel the liberty to tackle the creation of those articles in my own time and without it being a prerequisite for starting a FAC.  — Amakuru (talk) 12:56, 20 April 2011 (UTC)

max size?

Talk to me, mighty ones, por favor. I have read some of the stuff at "how to FA" articles, but it can be dated or wrong. Want to know what the reviewers say. And I'm not asking "what's easier to write to FA standar", but at what point people think the article needs to have subpages because you "just don't like it from being long". Also do those have to be FA standard themselves if an article has them?) Gracias!TCO (talk) 17:27, 21 December 2010 (UTC)

And I'm not asking what the "rules say" or to debate them. I just want to know what is desired and conform.TCO (talk) 17:34, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
Depends on the article subject. User:Dr pda/Featured article statistics may be useful to you. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 17:39, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
It's an animal. I left that fellow a question. Seems like a lot of the animals are short, although Lion is pretty long. Also, not sure how kb is really calculated (like do refs get included?)
State of subpages does not affect the article at FAC as far as I know. Regarding size, it really depends on topic, writing style, what other sources usually do... --Garrondo (talk) 18:46, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
I guess you're thinking about painted turtle? It comes in at
   * File size: 272 kB
   * Prose size (including all HTML code): 49 kB
   * References (including all HTML code): 13 kB
   * Wiki text: 72 kB
   * Prose size (text only): 30 kB (4962 words) "readable prose size"
   * References (text only): 839 B
according to Dr pda's script. The significant figure is the prose size of 30kB. A good rule of thumb according to WP:Article Size is to consider sub-pages at somewhere around 50kB of readable prose, so there's no problem with the size of painted turtle. Malleus Fatuorum 20:04, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
Joy! If we have to make them, we can do so, but obviously is more work and content gets into different places. We will try to keep the writing good and have a clear sectioning organization so that readers can go "where they want to read". TCO (talk) 20:08, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
By my usual "copy and paste into Word" method I get 38k. Don't think anyone will have any issue with its length at FAC. The Land (talk) 20:19, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
Copy and paste the best method here. Had the same questioning at the WP:HELPDESK yesterday. The User:Dr pda/prosesize.js tool misses the bulleted lists and undercounts the prose size. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 23:28, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
I've noticed that issue with the User:Dr pda/prosesize.js tool too. Not only does it not count blockquotes and bulleted lists, it seems to count footnote text too, though footnote text is never highlighted. This version of this article, for example, is 42 kB (7198 words) readable prose size. I wanted to reduce the word count, so I moved some quotes into footnotes. [1] This actually increased the word count to 43 kB (7294 words). [2] Another example on the same article: this version is 7299 words. I moved a blockquote into a footnote, [3] and the word count increased to 7335. [4] SlimVirgin talk|contribs 05:39, 23 December 2010 (UTC)
Regarding not counting bulleted lists see my replies for example on User talk:Dr pda/prosesize.js, or even the script documentation from 2006 at User:Dr_pda/prosesize. Re not counting blockquotes see the reply I gave SlimVirgin a year ago :) at User talk:Dr pda#Prose size script. Obviously I haven't had time to implement anything. Re the footnotes, I've not encountered that before. I'll see if I can find time over the Christmas holidays to investigate/fix this. Dr pda (talk) 07:34, 24 December 2010 (UTC)

Hi, I've had a chance to have a look at my script. Re the increase in word count observed by SlimVirgin, the above diffs show that that number of words was actually added to the main text in addition to things being moved to the footnotes. Re the footnote text, the prose size script does not count the footnotes in the readable prose; this change to the References extension broke the part of the script which calculates the reference text size, which is why it did not appear to change for SlimVirgin's tests. I have fixed this issue, and also modified the script so it now counts blockquotes too. Bulleted lists are non-trivial to implement, so I haven't done that yet. I have also not yet investigated the alleged undercounting of prose size. Dr pda (talk) 08:34, 9 February 2011 (UTC)

Featured articles and inline citations

In the discussion at Wikipedia_talk:Citing_sources#On_citing_every_sentence I make a claim that modern day FAs require that all sentences (barring obvious case) require an inline citation. Some editors disagree. Perhaps some FA writers and reviewers would like to chip in there? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 18:14, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

I think really getting deep into a topic, you tend to have sentences and even parts of sentences that borrow from different sources. And this is good and is part of the value add of the synthetic (meant in the good sense) work of an article writer. That said, I think that sometimes it is pretty obvious if two sentences or even a para discuss the same thing and having a ref that backstops both (or the para) makes sense, rather than just putting the (same) named ref on each sentence in succession. Also, an obvious example is topic sentences and some other types of transitions, where a ref is not needed. Also there are some obvious examples, a plot summary, or a para on a critical interpretation, where it's obvious that only one source was consulted (or is primary), so why litter the para with a bunch of duplication?
Perhaps to drive the discussion to deeper insight, you could call out some specific examples?TCO (talk) 18:53, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
Ridiculous. Malleus Fatuorum 19:18, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
Too much blue ink to cite every sentence. If an entire para summarizes an acceptable page range in a book, or an entire on-line article, there's absolutely no reason to repeat the cite over and over. Refs are placed to cite the material directly in front, whether a single sentence or five or even ten sentences. This, by the way, is acceptable to MLA style. Truthkeeper88 (talk) 19:22, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
There is unfortunately prolly a cadre of such who adhere to WP:V in such a ludicrous fashion, but any level-headed editor can see that you cite as little as necessary. If it needs a citation, you cite it, and you try to keep the ref calls down as much as you can without making it unclear where something came from. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 19:31, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
Added to which such a proposal will inevitably lead to even more accusations of plagiarism; how many different ways can you say "John Doe was born in 1946", for instance? Malleus Fatuorum 20:06, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
I would still like to know which reference gives the year he was born in, thank you very much :) --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 20:47, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
They all do. :) Geometry guy 00:12, 19 February 2011 (UTC)

Edit wars vs. talk page disagreements

Criterion (1e) explicitly talks only of actual edit wars, but often enough, especially in articles subject to WP:Discretionary sanctions, editors will not edit war but just agree to disagree on the talk page. Do such disagreements, if stretching back for years, constitute a (1e) failure? I realize that asking for a clarification on this may be superfluous because often enough such articles read like crap (everyone gets their lick in various parts of the article), so usually fail criterion (1a) to an outside observer. Of course, those deeply involved will always argue that this or that part of the article fails (1d), neutrality, as well. Tijfo098 (talk) 16:21, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

Context provided by other articles

An issue came up while reviewing German cruiser Admiral Hipper for GA status. Although a good article need not give good perspective as to how the topic under discussion relates to similar topics, the FA criteria require "(b) comprehensive: it neglects no major facts or details and places the subject in context". Sometimes the ideal way to do that would be to refer to another Wikipedia article. For example, all the warships in a given class are usually quite similar, so the most efficient way to give perspective about that group of warships is to refer to the class article. For example, the featured article USS New Jersey (BB-62) refers to the good article Iowa class battleship, which gives considerable information about the design constraints and objectives.

But what if the article that one would like to refer to for context has not been written yet, or is of poor quality. Does that mean the information must be incorporated into the article that is being offered as an FA candidate? Or should we evaluate the candidate as if the articles it refers to are of good quality themselves. Jc3s5h (talk) 16:42, 31 July 2011 (UTC)


We have a featured article today, Don Valley Parkway, about a geographic feature, which mentions several specific places, and yet includes no coordinates. The inclusion of coordinates, using {{Coord}} (currently over 708,000 instances and growing, so indubitably popular throughout most of Wikipedia), allows users to locate the feature, and or points mentioned on a map or similar service of their choosing. While the issue of coordinates for articles about roads is hotly debated, and optional, it's certainly allowable, and done, with an example in WP:RJL. It's my contention that we shouldn't be featuring such articles without any coordinates. Criterion 1(b) "it neglects no major facts or details and places the subject in context" seems to support this. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 12:14, 31 August 2011 (UTC)

I see a big contradiction between "the issue of coordinates for articles about roads is hotly debated, and optional" and " we shouldn't be featuring such articles without any coordinates." This is an issue that could be brought up in a review; it won't require a change to the criteria. Karanacs (talk) 14:01, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
I don't see how that's a contradiction; there are lots of optional things to include in, or exclude from, articles; which would cause them to fail to meet FA criteria. And I wasn't suggesting a change to the criteria; I was pointing out how current criteria support my contention. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 14:21, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
If there's no consensus within a project that certain content needs to be included (and a reviewer points that out with documentation), then delegates aren't likely to put a lot of weight to the argument that it MUST be included. You'd have better luck changing the project consensus. Karanacs (talk) 14:26, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
It's not for projects to override wider consensus, per WP:LOCALCONSENSUS. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 14:58, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
I personally don't think this is an issue that should be decided by FA reviewers. The other delegates may have differing opinions. Karanacs (talk) 16:22, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
As a reviewer, I'm distinctly reminded of the great Alt-text issue .. this seems like something that should not be micromanaged in the FA criteria. And it definitely needs more discussion as a general rule somewhere prominent so it can be seen by a large number of people who can then comment. Ealdgyth - Talk 16:25, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
I couldn't agree more with Karanacs. –Fredddie 20:20, 31 August 2011 (UTC)

This topic is currently being debated at WT:RJL. In my mind, it would be a very bad idea to mandate something at FAC that is currently being contested. --Rschen7754 20:03, 31 August 2011 (UTC)

In issues like this, FAs should follow the Manual of Style. If there is consensus at MOS that these coordinates must be included, then FAs must have them; I don't think it's a good idea to have the FA criteria talk about this quite specific issue. Ucucha (talk) 20:11, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
MOS:COORDS: The MOS talks about how the coords must be displayed, not what coords must be displayed. --Rschen7754 20:14, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
There is no discussion relating to FA status at WT:RJL. MOS:COORDS and WP:RJL both clearly indicate that coordinates may be included. FA-1b says that "no major facts or details" should be neglected. Together, I think it's quite clear that FAs on physical features should include at least one set of coordinates; more if appropriate. Remember: no article is required to reach FA status, but FA is supposed to raise the bar of article quality.Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 21:41, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
I beg your pardon; I overlooked this solitary reference to FA, on 21 August 2011: "Yeah, I agree that coordinates aren't a priority - they should be among the "finishing touches" of an A-class or a FA" Who said that? Rschen7754 did. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 23:28, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
Yes, if you take that out of context, I did. --Rschen7754 08:11, 1 September 2011 (UTC)
  • User:Pigsonthewing has canvassed his pointy issues at practically every venue on the encyclopedia, touting the same arguments everytime (WP:IDIDNTHEARTHAT), and disrupting the normally productive activities of at least half a dozen editors in order to bulldoze what he believes (apparently he=consensus, because there is supposedly consensus to use coordinates) is the only way into articles. Please do not continue to feed the trolls, and point Andy back to WT:RJL, where the very real and very clear CURRENT CONSENSUS is not to arbitrarily place coordinates on articles. This is why Andy wasn't bold, adding coords to the Don Valley Parkway. Instead, Andy is forum shopping. - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 20:42, 31 August 2011 (UTC)

The FAC instructions are not going to micromanage which content is and is not included (and if that ever changes I'm targeting infoboxen, not coordinates, first). You are welcome to put forth your argument in individual FAC nominations where you think coordinates ought to be applied, and the nominator can then respond. As a delegate, I am not going to fail any article that does not include it. And yes, this strikes me very much as forumshopping. Karanacs (talk) 21:51, 31 August 2011 (UTC)

Non-English content; robust markup

Two related issues:

I've just opposed a FAC on the grounds that included non-English place- and company-names, that weren't marked up with {{Lang}}.

This touches on the wider issue on checking that FACs uses the proper mark-up in other cases, such as quotations, lists and headings, rather than kludges.

If there is general agreement that such things should be checked, I'd be willing to help draft guidelines (or a checklist), based on existing MoS criteria, and suggest that we add a new criterion 2(d), to the effect that "Markup: is consistent, accessible and semantically meaningful".

Thoughts? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 12:01, 5 September 2011 (UTC)

The criteria state that articles should follow the MOS. Why do we need to get more specific than that? Karanacs (talk) 23:04, 5 September 2011 (UTC)
For full disclosure, the article in question is A1 (Croatia), a road article. --Rschen7754 02:36, 6 September 2011 (UTC)
That's not the only one; and irrelevant to the general point discussed. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 10:15, 6 September 2011 (UTC)
It's clear that FAs are being passed, without such issues being addressed. I'm proposing something to help reviewers make sure they are. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 10:15, 6 September 2011 (UTC)
This appears to already be covered by the criteria. We've had a long-standing dearth of reviewers who specifically look at MOS issues, so some of the more obscure MOS points can be overlooked. I don't think the answer is to make the criteria longer - it's to have reviewers look at the MOS more in-depth. Karanacs (talk) 13:33, 6 September 2011 (UTC)
OK. how do you prose that we do that? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 15:38, 6 September 2011 (UTC)
(reply to Karan) Or ... crazy idea... quite piling every little hobby horse of a style issue into the MOS. Ealdgyth - Talk 14:34, 6 September 2011 (UTC)
So, accessibility and semantic markup are "little hobby horses of style issues"? Thanks, I'll try to remember that. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 15:22, 6 September 2011 (UTC)
Coordinates are part of "accessibility"? The lang template, I can see, but the coordinates seem to me to be a totally personal choice... they don't really fit into the "comprehensiveness" category, because quite honestly most folks won't have the gear to interpret the longitude and latitude figures... a good map should be enough to pinpoint a location enough to satisfy the 'comprehensive' concerns. And frankly, yes, there are way too many details in the MOS - and a lot of them boil down to things that I personally think should be left out so that we can concentrate on the important things - like accessibility issues. Instead, the important bits get buried under the increasing bits of minutiae that make it impossible to know what we need to be concentrating on. Ealdgyth - Talk 15:31, 6 September 2011 (UTC)
Where, in this section, do I mention coordinates? Which of the things I have referred to are minutiae? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 15:38, 6 September 2011 (UTC)
I was replying to Karan's general point about MOS issues. I didn't specifically mention you, did I? Calm, calm... Im sorry I didn't make that perfectly clear - I shall do that now... May I suggest, however, that adding a specific criteria to the FAC things about markup IS minutiae, especially when the elements you are specifically mentioning in this section are already covered in the MOS - and every FAC needs to meet the MOS. I get that you want this checked for... the best method to do that is to ... review FACs. Ealdgyth - Talk 15:45, 6 September 2011 (UTC)
... but it's much easier of course to try and force others to do the work. This discussion reminds me somewhat of the editors who tag articles as needing X, Y or Z and then swiftly move on, leaving their tags in place for years in many cases because frankly nobody else gives a damn. Malleus Fatuorum 16:31, 6 September 2011 (UTC)
Which bit of "I'd be willing to help…" in my original post in this section did you miss? Wikipedia is a collaborative project, is it not? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 17:05, 6 September 2011 (UTC)
I interpreted your "I'd be willing to help" comment as implying that you'd be willing to help place an extra burden on reviewers, not that you'd be willing to help with reviewing. But if I'm wrong then of course I apologise. Malleus Fatuorum 17:22, 6 September 2011 (UTC)
So far as the MoS is concerned I am firmly of the opinion that it's already too big and sprawling, and seriously wrong in certain places, therefore I'm most definitely not in favour of expanding it. For better or for worse, as far as FAC is concerned I would never oppose an article because it failed to conform to a MoS guideline I fundamentally disagreed with, no matter what the criteria say. Malleus Fatuorum 16:34, 6 September 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── The easiest answer, Andy, would be to review articles for compliance with the minutiae of the MOS that aren't normally reviewed, and enter declarations on those points in the reviews. Compliance with the MOS is already required by the FA Criteria, so an additional point isn't really needed. Imzadi 1979  02:14, 7 September 2011 (UTC)

External links in addition to references

Hello - I'm hoping for some guidance on a point of discussion over at South African Airways Flight 295. There are a number of external links that various editors wish to keep in the external links section on account of their "importance". These links are already used in the article as references, and my understanding is that this would preclude them from being listed in the external links section too. I think WP:LINKFARM might apply, as the discussion seems to be centered around the prominence given to these links in the article. What does the FAC criteria have to say about this, as point #1 of WP:ELNO defers to here. Thanks in advance. Socrates2008 (Talk) 08:22, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

Criteria 1c - exhausting reliable sources vs desired article structure

I didn't bring it to FAC but someone did try to renominate My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic again for FA, but it was closed, quickly and quite appropriately.

But the comments from that and the first FAC attempt have highlighted a problem that I see us having with criteria 1c. As a (the?) primary author of most of the article, and continued vestiment in it, I wholeheartedly believe we have exhausted the available sourcing for the show from reliable sources, and yet we are running into comments in the FAC that more reliable sourcing is needed.

That is: this is a kids show on Saturday mornings on a second-tier cable channel. It is not going to be attracting a lot of media attention (barring future changes, but I can't CRYSTAL what might happen to do that). The only reason we have so much is because of the internet following which has highlighted this specific show from the Saturday morning block there. To flesh out parts of the article that would be normally required for a TV show (like origin and production) we are forced to turn to the presently most notable fanblog and specifically interviews with the show runners that the blog performed. (I do note there are other sources in the article presently there that probably can be removed or the like).

So basically, in terms of 1C, we have exhausted what sources are available to us, and thus I can confidently state that the article does reflect what the sources say. But if we're demanded to use more reliable sources, we're stuck there, and/or we have to cut out information that is generally part of FAs for TV that otherwise we can't back by more reliable sources than the leading fanblog.

The case that we're in should not prevent the article from becoming FA - as long as we have used every possible RS to us, and assuming all the other criteria is met, that can't be considered a barrier, otherwise there are likely numerous articles out there on topics that can never get to FA. So, the question in general here is: when considering a topic that has limited (but otherwise sufficient) coverage in reliable sources, do we weigh in favor of using the most reliable sources knowing that this will remove or curtail key sections of an article that are backed by weakly reliable sources, or do we favor having a more complete article and incorporate the weaker reliable sources (as long as we are assured they are reliable) to support all appropriate sections for an article? Or is it some place in between? --MASEM (t) 16:33, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

There are, in fact, numerous articles out there on topics that can never get to FA. Whether this particular article is one of those I don't know, but I don't think the general principle is a bad one. If the sources don't exist to write an FA-level article, then such an article cannot be written, and I don't feel we should respond by weakening the criteria to allow them to (again, speaking generally). Nikkimaria (talk) 16:53, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
If there are mainspace articles that can never get to FA, with the understanding that it a limit set by how much sourcing there is, then we shouldn't be having articles on them at all. All of our core content guidelines are discouragements to creating an article that can never get more than weak sourcing in time. --MASEM (t) 16:58, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
WP:N and WP:V in practice set a much lower barrier for inclusion than the sourcing/comprehensiveness aspects of WP:WIAFA. You're welcome to try deleting all articles that can never get more than weak sourcing, but I don't think you'd get very far. Unfortunately, it seems to be a fact of the wiki that articles will always exist with no possibility of ever achieving FA. Nikkimaria (talk) 17:03, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Well, I don't necessary say deletion, because almost always there's ways to merge upwards to a broad, better sourced topic where such topics can be included. And there have been short FAs too (I believe several tropical storm FAs fall under that); again, it's about covering a topic to the depth that sources will allow while being sufficiently complete coverage.
To this specific article and the case in general, it is still a question whether either reliable sourcing or article completeness - or both - are important to the FA. --MASEM (t) 17:32, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
I've opposed articles at FAC because while they do meet notability, they aren't really comprehensive. I think there's lots of leeway as far as "allowable" structure for articles, but if I can't get the bare essentials on gameplay, development, reception, etc. from a video game article, I don't see how it can stand as Wikipedia's best, merely a polished piece. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 17:38, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Following on David Fuchs, while I have sympathy with editors who exhaust the reliable sources without being able to comprehensively portray their topic, this is perhaps the time when publishing original research off wiki is appropriate. Journal of Fandom Studies seems to suit MLP content in the scholarly mode. Convincing a fan website to enact an edited section with a Named Meat Editor and editorial board taking responsibility for the factual accuracy wouldn't be too hard. Fifelfoo (talk) 02:45, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

RfC claims everything must have a cite

In Talk:Electrical engineering#Unsourced material one editor claims that all material in every article must be supported by a citation, including well-known easy-to-verify material. Another editor does not claim this is required for all articles, but that it is required by FA criterion 1c. Jc3s5h (talk) 01:28, 2 February 2012 (UTC)

Need a new criteria

The FA criteria currently do not take into account the popularity or the importance (there is a difference) of an article. We have ended up with a situation where featured articles are not representative of popular or important topics. As an example, which has prompted this comment, Birth control movement in the United States‎‎ was given featured article status yet there was no Birth control in the United States‎‎ article. The latter article is more important and should have existed prior to the granting FA status to Birth control movement in the United States‎‎.

The FA criteria can be used to shape the workload of editors and we should use the criteria to do what is important or popular rather than what the editor wants to do. I realise that the vast majority of editors are volunteers and therefore do whatever they want to do. Most of them abide by guidelines so we should tweak the guidelines to improve WP.

My preference is to improve the important topics before we move on to the popular ones. The FA criteria can be used to do this and so I want the addition of a new rule:

1. Necessary - it is a level four vital article.

Once the level four vital article are done we could move on to popular articles. We might need an RFC for this? -- Alan Liefting (talk - contribs) 02:00, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

I'm glad to know that I'm going to be paid to edit these "vital" articles .. oh. Wait. No, I'm not getting paid. I'm a volunteer. But somehow someone else thinks they can dictate to me what I want to edit on? I'll get right on those vital articles as soon as I see the proposer producing FAs on those topics he is so blithely trying to force other editors to write. Oh, wait, the proposer hasn't even ever nominated a successful FAC... (As an aside ... I'm currently working on two "vital articles" towards getting them to FA... so yes, folks do work on them...). If anyone thinks I'm being cranky... gee, I wonder why? Ealdgyth - Talk 02:06, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
Um, why are you cranky? -- Alan Liefting (talk - contribs) 02:13, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
Is it because you think that I am trying to control editors? -- Alan Liefting (talk - contribs) 02:19, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
Writing article to reach FAC is not my forte. If it was I may do it. Categorisation, patrolling, some writing to fill gaps etc is what I do. This may be a wiki but there is still some dictating of what we can and cannot do. Look at the stack of policy and guidelines that we have to wade through! -- Alan Liefting (talk - contribs) 02:19, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
Because this is an insane proposal and flies totally in the face of the concept of a volunteer project? I don't tell other editors how they can spend their time - for example, you appear to be very interested in templates and categories but neither area is a place I'm interested in. So should I say "no one can add or subtract categories from an article unless they add content to that article"? No, I don't, I don't impose my concepts of what other editors should work on .. so others shouldn't impose strait jackets of "importance" on other project areas. Of COURSE you're trying to control editors.... it might actually be sorta bearable from someone who has brought up a couple of FAs through the process but from someone who hasn't... May I suggest that if you really find the encouragement of "vital articles" important you check out Wikipedia:The Core Contest... and volunteer to help Casliber with another iteration of the contest. Or perhaps get involved in getting grants for folks writing "vital articles" ... carrots work so much better than sticks. Ealdgyth - Talk 02:22, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
Gee! Sorry I asked.... 02:27, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

Not to put too fine a point on this, but no, we are not going to require that an article is "vital" in order promote it to FA. This proposal is a non-starter, for the reasons Ealdgyth described above. Raul654 (talk) 02:48, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

What about at least some sort of nod in the direction of importance and popularity? -- Alan Liefting (talk - contribs) 02:53, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
There is an extensive and recent RfC/!vote that covered a lot of this territory. I suggest you go to the archives here and read it at length. It will give some idea as to why conversation on this topic currently remains rather sensitive. Iridia (talk) 03:22, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
"Oops..." said Alan as he quietly tip-toed away.
"I was going to have a browse of the archives" he thought to himself, trying to justify the intrusion. -- Alan Liefting (talk - contribs) 03:29, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

It's not an accident that importance/notability are not part of the FA criteria. I've said for a long time that any article can survive AFD can become a featured article, at least theoretically. The reasons are both philosophical (in that FA is an evaluation of the quality of article and not of the merits of the subject) and practical (saying that something can't become an FA tends to dissuade people from putting in the effort to improve it. However, Alan, you are wrong in assuming that they'll instead put in the effort to get something else up to FA standards).

Nothing makes me happier than when someone does all the heavy lifting to get an important article up to FA standards, because it's much harder taking an important article up to FA status than it is to get a niche article there. I want to do all I can to support these editors and make their jobs easier. And I do use importance/notability for deciding which stuff should go on the main page.

But with all that said, other than main page featurability and AFD survivability, the FA designation and importance are totally orthogonal. Raul654 (talk) 04:11, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

Passing FAC is so tortuously hard that virtually no-one will undertake it for a topic they have no passion for. Ruling (say) 95% of topics out of consideration is a bad start. Next, bear in mind that the tiny proportion of articles designated as "vital" is a result of runaway POV. Sheesh, Alan, it's one of the <ahem> weaker proposals I've seen on Wikipedia ;-) If you're trying to increase the number of FAs on important topics, there are lots of ways to do it, but find a positive way, rather than a negative one. --Dweller (talk) 20:49, 7 May 2012 (UTC)

NB See this old proposal along your lines and my perhaps overly heated response to it, in the subsection. --Dweller (talk) 21:05, 7 May 2012 (UTC)

I would oppose a Featured Article having to meet a certain level of popularity or importance. If an editor can write a dozen featured articles, to the same standard, why exclude those that certain editors don't considered popular, or important? I interpret "FA status" as being, Features Articles that are good enough to feature on the home page. I don't necessarily find them important, or popular myself, and I'm sure that whoever chooses them, doesn't personally find them all popular and important. But if they're written well, they might well be of interest, and that's good enough for me. --Iantresman (talk) 14:26, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

FA Criteria checklist

I'd like to see a more extensive checklist summarisiing FA Criteria. compared to GA Criteria. At the moment, it seems rather vague. Of course FA articles must be "well-written", but then so should all articles, so what differentiates a well written FA article from, for example, Good Articles. I'd like to throw in some examples, which I think would help editors like myself:

Good Article criteria Featured Article criteria
(In additional to WP:GA)
Well written per WP:GA Engaging, interesting style, appropriate tense
Images per WP:GA
  • Images required
  • All charts in .svg/vector format
  • No chart labels (to facilitate translations)
  • Relevant (ie. not illustrative)
  • Geotagged
  • High resolution available
May follow policies Must follow policies
May use templates Must use templates, eg. {{convert|5|mi|km|0}} whenever specifying distances
Good citations Citations must use <cite>, template, ISBN, page number, online link where available

--Iantresman (talk) 14:54, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

Half of your examples though aren't required by the criteria though. The FA criteria don't require the use of any templates, nor do they require online links with sources, ISBNs, etc. They don't require articles to be geotagged, although so many are anyway. I wouldn't characterize GAN as permissively requiring policy compliance ("may") compared to FAC affirmative requiring the same ("must") because policies must be followed, period. I'd compare the two sets of criteria more like:
Comparing Good Article and Featured Article criteria
Content area GAs FAs Notes
Citations No requirements on formatting Must be consistently presented in terms of formatting Neither set of criteria require any specific citation styles (APA, MLA, citation templates, etc.)
Coverage "Main aspects" of the topic area Comprehensive
Images and Media Where possible, with proper copyright status/licenses and captions Where appropriate, with proper copyright status/licenses and captions FAC tends to require images and media in articles, while GAN tends to overlook missing media
Manual of Style compliance Five specific areas Entire MoS
Neutality Follows WP:NPOV Follows WP:NPOV
Prose Well-written prose Well-written prose, "engaging, even brilliant, and of a professional standard"
References Required for six types of information; science articles follow scientific citation guidelines; citations must be reliable sources Required "where appropriate"; citations must be to "high-quality reliable sources" FAs as a practical matter typically have no uncited claims beyond fairly obvious general knowledge
Stability No on-going edit wars No on-going edit wars, makes specific allowance for changes in response to the review process

Imzadi 1979  15:20, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

Perhaps we should add a table to WP:GVF? Nikkimaria (talk) 15:21, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
I think that would be a good idea, I wasn't even aware of WP:GVF. The feeback seems to show that the jump from GA to FA is not as great as from non-GA to GA. But perhaps as the saying goes, the last 10% takes 90% of the time. --Iantresman (talk) 16:37, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

FA editors exempt from some policies or guidelines?

I am preparing to advance a disagreement with editors of featured articles about at least one such article. It appears that one possible counterargument is that editors of numerous featured articles are exempt from some policies and guidelines. I will respect any such exemption. The only one I know of, if there is any, is that stated or implied in Wikipedia:Ownership of articles, in the Featured Articles subsection. Is there any other exemption for an editor of numerous featured articles? Thank you. Nick Levinson (talk) 16:27, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

(Not sure why this is on this page, but) beyond OAS and some provisions of 3RR, not officially. In practice, the "main editors" of a particular page are often given primacy on style issues (see for example WP:CITEVAR), and of course would generally be considered more knowledgeable on the topic, and established editors of any stripe tend to be less frequently blocked than newbies. If you could be more specific about the situation you refer to, we might find a more targeted answer? Nikkimaria (talk) 16:38, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. I'll follow up with those. I'll deal with applying to the particulars as needed. I was looking for the overall standard, and that's why I posted to this page. This will take time anyway. Nick Levinson (talk) 15:42, 4 June 2012 (UTC)

Original research in organism FAs

Who knows where this discussion goes, anyone has my permission to move to correct location and leave link here.

In many FAs on species, the original Linneaus is cited, either from the Latin, which I suspect the editor does not read, or from an English translation, and is used as the reliable source for the taxonomic authority about a species known today, one originally named by Linneaus. We are not, however, writing about the species as described by Linneaus, but about the species as defined today. Taxonomic descriptions also should not be tied to Linneaus, if they are the same, that species description is used in the modern, peer-reviewed literature. The only citation to the original Linneaus for plants or animals goes in the taxobox after his name as the authority, but this is not sufficient, the article text must cite a modern taxonomic usage of the name with Linneaus as the authority and a description correctly cited to the modern literature and Linneaus if correct.

I will be changing this, or adding fact tags as needed, to all current FAs on species and genera named by Linneaus. Eau (talk) 19:39, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

I don't know that this is specifically an issue for the FA criteria, but I agree: We should try to cite recent, authoritative taxonomic reviews for species authorities, not the original descriptions, especially when those ancient descriptions are old. There are now decades of literature interpreting those old sources in light of the rules of the Codes of Nomenclature, and if possible we should use that interpretive literature and not make the interpretations ourselves. Ucucha (talk) 20:07, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
Maybe not, but FAs seem to be scientifically lax in certain areas. Wikipedia should be more careful about what goes on the main page to be read by thoudands. I started here with my posting because I will be making pedantic edits and adding flags to many FAs. I will also post at the projects. I have not had any scientific disagreement about this, but I have had a number of disagreements of my suggestions for scientific accuracy. I assume I will eventually be accused of expertise. Until then, I will correct and prevent as much wrong as possible. Thanks for commenting. Eau (talk) 20:44, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
I'd like to repeat for the record a statement I made on Eau's talk page: A citation of a work by Linnaeus is authoritative that Linnaeus wrote thus about that subject. In the case of species names, it is authoritative that he used that epithet with that genus, and it is authoritative for the Latin differentia that was, to Linnaeus, the important part of the species name. It has no value beyond that. It does not establish priority of usage, since subsequent nomenclatural acts may have in any specific case eliminated that priority. It does not establish that the species named by Linnaeus is equivalent to the modern species of that name. To establish these things, and almost anything else about a species name that is of interest to more than Linnaean scholars, requires use of modern reliable sources that directly address the issues at hand.--Curtis Clark (talk) 03:11, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, Curtis. Yes, it is not a reliable source, not even for the authority, but it is a proper use of the original, to attach it to the authority, while using modern taxonomic literature to establish the authority and descriptions. I am editting on mobile, but will post at all projects as soon as possible, and I will begin flagging all the FAs and start looking at other main page content. Eau (talk) 06:21, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

Alt text for images

I feel there should be a mention about alt text, or even accessibility in the images section. I know it shouldn't be too wordy, but since featured articles represent the best of Wikipedia I believe they should be accessible for the blind/etc. I randomly sampled featured articles and found that about half of them had no alt text, specifically: Pierre Rossier, National emblem of Belarus, Banksia canei, and William Barley.

I believe a line should be added to the criteria that states to the effect that articles should conform to Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Accessibility, which includes other considerations as well.OakRunner (talk) 00:46, 25 September 2012 (UTC)

You may want to review Wikipedia talk:Featured article candidates/Alt text, a long previous discussion on alt texts in FA. --MASEM (t) 01:15, 25 September 2012 (UTC)
I had no idea this had been discussed previously in such detail. I'd rather not get engaged in some huge debate, so I'm just going to quietly back out of this thread now.OakRunner (talk) 02:13, 25 September 2012 (UTC)
The most recent discussion there is from 2010; we should hope that our understanding has improved since then. The idea that an article whose images have missing or poor alt attributes "exemplifies our very best work" and "is distinguished by professional standards of presentation" is preposterous. Eubulides had it nailed in that 2010 discussion, in his opening comment at Alt text back to the basics. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 23:29, 18 January 2013 (UTC)

Claims are verifiable against high-quality reliable sources

I think that there are two problems with the clause "Claims are verifiable against high-quality reliable sources":

  1. The word "Claims" is not a word that is in the policy "WP:V" (it uses is "All the material .. must be verifiable." -- which I think is more appropriate). So what makes "Claims" suitable for this sentence and what does "Claims" mean?
  2. "high-quality" is not a phrase that is defined in WP:SOURCES what is its utility here? I suggest that if it is to be included (and I am interested to read the reasons for its inclusion) then it needs a definition such as that in WP:SOURCES: "third-party, published sources with a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy", so that readers of these criteria know what it means. -- PBS (talk) 18:56, 4 October 2012 (UTC)
I think 'high-quality' is purposely vague; it's meant to keep out nominally reliable websites like Global Security that just aren't what we want to be citing in 'our best work'. This is partly a judgement call, though, hence the vagueness. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 19:36, 4 October 2012 (UTC)
I see no reason to respond to a request for dicdefs in policy when the result of the policy is a functional featured article criteria process. Fifelfoo (talk) 20:51, 4 October 2012 (UTC)
The only policy mentioned above is WP:V I am not suggesting changes to policy but to these criteria so that they follow policy. -- PBS (talk) 09:22, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
The criteria can restrict things allowed by policy. I see WP:V and WP:RS as painting with a broad stroke, and the FA criteria using a finer brush tip. The criteria are setting a higher standard for articles to be given the status of "Featured" and the bronze star, and in this case, that higher standard is to require "high-quality reliable sources", not just "reliable sources". Imzadi 1979  15:51, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
"criteria can restrict things allowed by policy" where and when was this agreed? -- PBS (talk) 19:47, 6 October 2012 (UTC)
I would imagine that you can find the exact discussion in the archives for this page. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 19:49, 6 October 2012 (UTC)
ed17 I followed you advise but I could not find where in the archives this was agreed. Given that this is not a guideline, please could you indicate where you think that this was agreed? -- PBS (talk) 13:03, 8 October 2012 (UTC)
Here for "high quality". Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 19:15, 8 October 2012 (UTC)
As you will see below I was aware of that conversation. But I do not see where it was agreed that these criteria can "restrict things allowed by policy". I think that if this criteria is to act a a guideline then it should supplement, explain and clarify policy. -- PBS (talk) 11:29, 9 October 2012 (UTC)
The criteria, by definition, have to place additional restrictions on articles above and beyond policy. There is no policy on the minimum quality of writing, yet the criteria specify that our prose is "engaging, even brilliant, and of a professional standard". There is no policy that the requires a specific level of coverage other than NPOV, yet we require articles to "neglect[] no major facts or details and place[] the subject in context". It should not be a stretch then that FAs have to have a higher level of sourcing than average articles. Imzadi 1979  23:44, 6 October 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I can show you an FA articles where the sentence "neglect[] no major facts or details and place[] the subject in context" does not apply. The justification for this is that the sources to make it comprehensive are not of "high quality". Given that these bullet points are trade-offs, they need defining. What does the word "claims" mean (over and above the policy statement that "All the material ... must be verifiable.")? I have had a look at the archives and the word claim was introduced with this edit on 19 August 2006. However looking at the talk page archives around this time (Archive 5) I can not see the that the word was discussed let alone defined. There is section in (Archive 6) called "Factually accurate" but the word claim is not discussed. There is a long debate in Archive 9 about "Factually accurate" but as far as I can tell "claim" was not discussed. -- PBS (talk) 13:03, 8 October 2012 (UTC)

We're not mechanical turks nor do we need instruction creep in dicdefs. Fifelfoo (talk) 20:27, 8 October 2012 (UTC)
I guess "claims" are different from "facts" or "factually accurate", so need a higher quality source, perhaps? MathewTownsend (talk) 21:26, 8 October 2012 (UTC)
  • This is PBS yet again pursuing his ambition of removing "high-quality reliable sources" from the Featured Article criteria, so he can change certain articles to better suit his taste. He has a track record of this. Parrot of Doom 09:23, 9 October 2012 (UTC)
PoD I think that such comments about your perceived the view on another editor's motives do not help further collegiate discussions about the content of pages. I do appreciate though that you often use such techniques on talk pages and that you consider such comments constructive in furthering your own agenda. As a matter of fact I have yet to propose the removal of any text from the criteria page. -- PBS (talk) 09:47, 9 October 2012 (UTC)
Except it isn't just my perceived view, is it. Face it, you want to remove this phrase so you can then go about changing articles to fit a different criteria. Anyone who's had the misfortune to interact with you will be entirely unsurprised. Parrot of Doom 10:13, 9 October 2012 (UTC)
Another comment about an editors motivation, along with an insult! Please can we keep this conversion focused on the content of the page and not the motives of those involved in the conversation?-- PBS (talk) 11:27, 9 October 2012 (UTC)
In your case, content and motive are inseparable, so my answer is no. Parrot of Doom 12:01, 9 October 2012 (UTC)

@MathewTownsend, if claims are different from "facts" or "factually accurate" is it only "claims" that need "high-quality reliable sources", or should "facts" also require "high-quality reliable sources"? -- PBS (talk) 10:51, 10 October 2012 (UTC)

I'm not quite sure what the point of this discussion is, quite honestly. Unless you insist on being torturously legalistic, it's pretty clear what the criteria is aiming for... it's setting a higher standard for sourcing at FAC than is required by basic wikipedia policy. This is the same as is required for prose and layout and meeting the MOS that is required for other aspects of articles. The FA criteria require a high quality of prose, a high quality of photos, and that any article considered an FA meet the MOS in all aspects. Wikipedia doesn't require any of those things either for an article to exist - so why the questioning of the sourcing standards and not the other standards? It's pretty clear that in all aspects an FA article should not just barely meet Wikipedia policies such as WP:V but greatly exceed them and set an example of best practices. I do have to question PBS's motives for bringing this up when he's not questioning the other parts of the criteria that exceed policy... Ealdgyth - Talk 13:30, 10 October 2012 (UTC)

It's about the word "claims". This word was deliberately inserted here but never explained. "Claims" sounds different than "facts" or "factually accurate" or "facts and details" and perhaps need higher quality reliable sources than just a fact or a detail? MathewTownsend (talk) 17:32, 10 October 2012 (UTC)
I think you're off topic of what PBS is questioning. He may be questioning "claims" .... but he's also questioning "high quality". I took part in the discussion that upped the requirements - the intent was to require that the sourcing for FAs be of higher quality than what WP:V necessarily requires. There was no differentiation between types of information - the intent was (and is) to make the sourcing for ALL of an FA of a high quality... not just meeting the bare minimum of WP:V. Note the discussion about high quality took place here. We could easily change "claims" to "material" ... which is how the clause has always been interpreted, but really ... is it that hard to read the entire criteria and understand what it is as a total thing rather than trying to pick things apart by discussing whether or not one word means this or perhaps it means that... One thing I've always liked about the FA criteria is that its not overrun with lots of folks picking everything apart just to argue over words like what happens at other guideline and policy pages. In other words, FA's criteria have always been approached with more common sense than most guideline and policy pages are in Wikipedia, and I'd really like to keep it that way - do we REALLY need to pick apart "claims" here? Is it that difficult for a normal reader to figure out? Ealdgyth - Talk 17:46, 10 October 2012 (UTC)
This "high quality" thing has been a bugbear of PBS's now for a few years (see his contributions to this FAC). What it essentially means is that it's generally better to source a claim from, say, a historian who specialises in the relevant subject, than it is to source a claim from Jeremy Beadle's Bumper Book of Brilliant Historical Facts. He seems to be the only person to have an issue with the phrase. Parrot of Doom 18:13, 10 October 2012 (UTC)
Parrot of Doom speculating on my motives for raising this issue is not pertinent to the conversation. -- PBS (talk) 21:04, 2 November 2012 (UTC)

Ealdgyth, I had already read the previous discussion that you mentioned and I do not see the clear consensus in that section for the retention of "high quality" mainly because there was no agreement on what it means. -- PBS (talk) 21:04, 2 November 2012 (UTC)

Ealdgyth I am questioning the whole sentence and specifically both "claims" and "high quality" it seems to me that the first sentence well-researched: it is a thorough and representative survey of the relevant literature. makes a point to a similar depth that the other list points do. The additional sentence seem to me to be unnecessary and can be interpreted in such a way as to contradict policy. The point that PoD is making is already true for all articles: we always use the best sources available to editors (and replace those which do not meet the criteria in WP:V with those that do). As an example of how "high quality" can be misapplied, take the case of an article on a British regiment that is currently serving in Afghanistan. While most of the regimental history of service in previous wars in Afghanistan can be based on "a[n] historian who specialises in the relevant subject", the most recent information (awards of medals, KIAs etc.) will be based on other types of reliable sources. There is a problem with people wishing to exclude information because although it is based on a verifiable reliable source, it is not from an historian who specialises in the relevant subject. This clearly contradicts the intent of the first sentence, but is an interpretation of "high quality" which has been used for some FA articles. If someone suggests removing text because the reliable source that supports it is not "high quality" then this can be a contradiction of WP:PRESERVE. -- PBS (talk) 21:04, 2 November 2012 (UTC)

Book of Examples

What is this here for? Is it meant as an example citation? If so, it's in violation of WP:CITE because there is no specific style required. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 02:24, 16 December 2012 (UTC)


User:Giano/A fool's guide to writing a featured article is supposed to be outdated. Should we remove the link to it here? Toccata quarta (talk) 10:03, 17 January 2013 (UTC)

Leaking wikitext

There is wikitext leaking into the content at the top of this page. I was confused as to how to fix it. Can someone take a look and please take care of this? • Jesse V.(talk) 20:42, 20 March 2013 (UTC)

To what specific text are you referring? I am not seeing anything unusual. Do you mean the project page or the talk page? meshach (talk) 15:42, 21 March 2013 (UTC)

Citing websites

Regarding general domain website names, like "", I'm still confused by the inconsistencies between the {{cite web}} documentation and what FAs do for citing websites—{{cite web}} says to put websites in the work parameter (auto-italicizing); FAs put websites in the publisher parameter (non-italicized, though italics may be added if desired). Is non-italicizing a website part of the Harvard citation format? The reason I ask is because I would like to update some articles I've worked on, both GA and regular standard-fare stuff, to follow FA procedure, but other editors may come along and follow the promptings of {{cite web}}, especially when using the form template. Thanks. – Kerαunoςcopiagalaxies 06:55, 9 April 2013 (UTC)

Categorization as part of FA to avoid ghettoization

Recently, Maya Angelou was a featured article, but on the day it was on the front page, it was missing several important categories per our categorization guidelines. See this diff, for what was missing: for example, Category:20th-century writers, Category:American poets, Category:African-American poets and Category:Writers from Arkansas -- all resulted in a form of ghettoization. I'm not familiar with the FA process and this is not intended as an affront to the great work done on the Maya Angelou article, but due to the recent brouhaha, the specific categories she was in (or wasn't in, rather) was the subject of accusations of sexism in the press: [5].

Without opining on the correctness of that article, I would nonetheless propose that a more complete review of categorization guidelines per WP:EGRS (which itself needs help) become part of the FA process, and that we *always* ensure that we don't ghettoize - especially our featured articles. --Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 20:21, 2 May 2013 (UTC)

Missing FA Criterion: Specify Variety of Regional English

A criterion that should be added to the list of criteria is that the article should specify the variety of regional English in which the article is written. Sometimes it should be obvious, but sometimes it is not. An article that is put on the Main Page is seen by very many people, and some editors like to impose their own variety of English. The criteria for a Featured Article should include that it should specify its variety of English. (Once that consensus has been agreed on, changing the spelling is disruptive editing, and we have policies about disruptive editing.) In cases where the variety of regional English is not obvious, the peer review should obtain consensus that applies to that particular article. Robert McClenon (talk) 16:30, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

Criterion 1b

I changed criteria 1b) which was misleading. If there are no sources which cover the major facts or contexts, it is not possible to include such according to WP:NOR and WP:SYNTH. However, the consensus seems to be, as in the case of articles on video games, for example, that in spite of this articles can still be featured. They just need to do fulfill the criteria up to the level that they are covered in reliable sources. So I added the clause to avoid future misunderstanding. jps (talk) 14:27, 9 October 2013 (UTC)

This is probably where tapping subject-matter experts and/or the appropriate Wikiproject to chime in would help, as they will know what the typical bounds are for expected information for a topic in that information should be, and likely what would be very unexpected to find. (For example, on the video game idea, since about 2011, most commercial titles do not have any reputable source for sales numbers due to the main stats body, NPD Group, keeping these numbers inhouse. You get a few snippets, like the recent success of GTAV, but most get no mention. Thus we don't expect sales figures for VGs anymore as one would likely expect of other published works like films, books, and movies. But you'd only know this if you talk to those involved in VG article development). --MASEM (t) 14:51, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
Sure. Further, video game articles tend to lack context because cultural critics and academics haven't quite caught up with the medium. I imagine that in some decades there will be a new field of video game studies just as there is film studies or fine arts studies, but for now there are a lot of video games that lack contextualization because there are no sources, even though a competent cultural critic could easily write such an article. As such, Wikipedia does not provide the best in all possible worlds video game articles because it only mimics the sources and doesn't engage in this kind of necessary discussion that critique and contextualization would normally require. However, this does not prevent these articles from getting promoted. We ought to be explicit about this because otherwise the crtierion is misleading. jps (talk) 14:56, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
I think this may only be due to the phrase "in context" in 1b. In context to what? The whole of human knowledge? No, rarely will a topic have such sourcing. To me, I read that statement as if the first line of the article says "X is a Y", then I expect the article to put X in the context of Y in general - in the video game example, putting it in context of video games in general (which nearly always ends up meaning, how did it score in critical reviews, but can be more). If broader context can be provided, great, but for purposes of 1b, I've always taken it as context of the general class of "Y". --MASEM (t) 15:09, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
WP:OR and WP:V (with WP:RS as the logical conclusion) are core policies. The FA-criteria do not ask for "the best work world-wide", they ask for "Wikipedia's best work", meaning within the limitations of our policies like all content. If suggested improvements are not possible, it seems futile to punish the contributor for it. The FA-criteria are clear enough in this regard. GermanJoe (talk) 15:16, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
So a notable article where only a stub could ever be written due to lack of possible content could be FA? IRWolfie- (talk) 22:17, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
There's clearly a minimal amount of information that is needed, but as I recall, we do have some FA's on various tropical storms that are short (1500 words at most?) but considered complete. The one thing to keep in mind that not every article can reach FA, though we'd love it if that were the case. --MASEM (t) 23:23, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
Of course all main aspects of the article topic should be covered (f.e. a country article would hardly be promoted without history or population information), but beyond that "comprehensive" is actually a relative term. If no reliable source bothered to write about a side aspect, or to put a topic in a certain context, why should the article do it? Such an approach would almost certainly violate WP:OR and WP:SYNTH. In any given article, we should check if the missing information would be vital for an encyclopedic article or only "nice to have", the raw length of an article is secondary to that. GermanJoe (talk) 06:59, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
I appreciate this forthright but civil argument in the name of keeping WP standards high, but Joe has pretty well nailed it. Per WP:FA, we're here to promote the best that Wikipedia has to offer. It would be great if that always equalled "the best in the world", and I daresay it often does, but WP has guidelines, so it in effect is "the best that's compatible with WP guidelines". Since we're talking about context, let's place 1b in context, and look at 1c, which refers to surveying "relevant literature" and using "reliable sources". Taken together I don't see how that be anything but, in effect, "the best relevant sources in existence". It will, as Joe suggests, be relative. If there are reliable sources out there that place a video game in greater cultural context, I'd expect to see them utilised. If not, that's life. A video game is not The Last Supper or The Birth of a Nation. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 22:19, 10 October 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Wikipedia now has its own inertia. It's not fair to those of us who remember when featured articles were the examples of how Wikipedia rivaled other reference sources. I understand that times change, but adding a few words to the end of criteria 1b) would seal it all up with a nice little bow rather than remaining ambiguous. jps (talk) 19:35, 11 October 2013 (UTC)

Lead by example: the Featured article criteria page should meet all of the criteria of a featured article

The Featured article criteria page should be among the highest quality pages on Wikipedia. First, it is arguably the most important page in the entire discussion of featured articles because it is the measurement instrument for featured articles and the standard to which all editors should aspire for every article. Second, the page is, and always should be, remarkably short because of its narrow scope. The importance of the page combined with the relative ease with which editors can maintain the quality of the page strongly suggest the page should be beyond reproach.

Consider the alternative. If the Featured article criteria page purports to well explain the criteria of a high-quality Wikipedia page, but the page itself is low-quality, then I would argue that the Featured article criteria page should be added to the See also section of irony. hunterhogan (talk) 09:57, 4 January 2014 (UTC)

Articles on notable subjects that are not eligible for featured status

It has been suggested in this FAC that it is possible to have an article on a notable subject both written and sourced as well as possible without meeting the featured article criteria. If such is the case, it would be well worth making this fact explicit in the featured article criteria page. At present, we are sending the impression to editors that any valid Wikipedia article can eventually become featured (like any American can grow up to be president), when such is not the case. Neelix (talk) 03:51, 14 December 2013 (UTC)

I disagree with that statement. It may be hard, and the sources may be rare, but I don't think there are articles that can't be featured. Imzadi 1979  03:51, 21 December 2013 (UTC)
I've tried to argue before - on the side of notability - that a goal is to have every article featured (and thus using that to apply to notability) but that was clearly shot down. I've come to agree that not every article has a possibility of being Featured. Every article being a Good Article, now that's a more reasonable goal, but Featured is explicitly defined to be the best of teh best, which must be necessity be a limited set. --MASEM (t) 04:04, 21 December 2013 (UTC)
That's two different goals/realities. We will never have every article at FA quality because of limited resources like reviewers, but that doesn't mean any specific article can't be brought up to that level. Imzadi 1979  04:11, 21 December 2013 (UTC)
It sounds as though all three of us believe that any article should be eligible for featured status, but that other editors disagree. In this FAC, the featuring of the ProtoGalaxy article was unanimously opposed, despite the opposers agreeing that the article had been developed as well as was possible, and no one calling for the article to be deleted. I would like to see that article either featured or deleted, but if neither is going to happen, the sentence I added to the featured article criteria should be readded. Neelix (talk) 18:45, 21 December 2013 (UTC)
I wouldn't be changing the criteria to say that articles can't be featured though without a wider group of commenters. One FAC and only a few comments here is not sufficient consensus to change a long-standing principle to say we can't promote some articles to FA level. Imzadi 1979  20:36, 28 December 2013 (UTC)
So if "three of us believe that any article should be eligible for featured status", why has the criteria been changed? In the original comments in this section, the situation was compared to the concept that any American can become president. Well, so long as an individual meets the criteria in the US Constitution (at least 35, lived in the US for 14 years, born an American citizen, not served two terms already), then yes, that person can be president. Political considerations related to popularity, campaigning, etc, are not found in the Constitution, nor should they be.
The FA criteria should not be amended with such a major philosophical change on such a tenuous "consensus". At a minimum, a notice should have been placed on the other FA-related talk pages like WT:FA, WT:FAC, WT:FAR, WT:TFA and WT:TFA/R so that others unaware of the sweeping proposal could comment. I am making such notices now and reverting back to the status quo ante. We should keep in mind WP:CONLIMITED: "Consensus among a limited group of editors, at one place and time, cannot override community consensus on a wider scale." The community has operated under a general assumption that all articles can potentially become Featured for a number of years, so an unadvertised change to that philosophy needs more than a few people commenting. Imzadi 1979  19:08, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
See archives, among others, starting at Wikipedia talk:Featured article candidates/archive31#Very short FAs. More at Wikipedia talk:Featured article criteria/Archive 9#Comprehensive and extra-short FAs (just put "short" in the archive search box).

My personal opinion is that folks seeking FA status on very short articles are probably reward seekers who have WBFANitis; I'm not in favor of relaxing standards. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:07, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

See also the historical stats on short articles at Wikipedia talk:Featured article statistics (not updated since, well, lately), and Miss Meyers; when it can be clearly shown that an article is as comprehensive as it can ever be, nothing prevents an article from being FA. If reviewers are not comfortable with a topic's comrephensiveness or size, they may oppose. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:14, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
Sandy, that's exactly the situation that precipitated the discussion above: a video game article was judged to have missing information even though it was supposed to exhaust the available sources and some reviewers opposed in that case. Imzadi 1979  19:33, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
Recognizing that reviewing standards have changed, my read on that FAC is quite different-- reviewers highlighted a number of issues with the article besides its shortness (meaning reviewers might have been misinformed on criteria, but also might have just been uncomfortable with the article-- my limited experience with Neelix is that s/he doesn't bring forward very well-prepared noms). Meaning, this is a very different situation than, for example, Ealdgyth or Malleus bringing forward an exemplary, short nomination. If someone intends to get a short article to FA status, they'd best make darn sure they bring forward an exemplary article, and be very well prepared to defend their exhaustive search of sources and comprehensiveness. If they don't, I think we're looking at WBFANitis. I also notice that one of the reviewers on that nom is the same reviewer who recently brought the lamest FAR I've ever seen; presumably delegates are weighing which reviewers know, understand and adequately engage the criteria. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:40, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Abuwtiyuw is very short, but became both an FA and a TFA. FunkMonk (talk) 19:10, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

I don't think every article can be featured. If the article has noticeable holes that simply can't be fixed, then it can't be featured. For instance, Robert Cogniaux could never be a featured article, because it would not be able to be comprehensive enough due to a lack of sources. If the reader is left scratching their head after finishing the article, then it's not a good sign. Taylor Trescott - my talk + my edits 19:35, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

  • "Robert Cogniaux could never be a featured article, because it would not be able to be comprehensive enough due to a lack of sources." - What lack of sources, precisely? It just means looking for newspapers in Belgium (and perhaps elsewhere). Possible, though incredibly difficult for the average editor. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 22:42, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
  • I've always been of the opinion that all articles can reach the FA criteria. That doesn't mean they will... I know better than that. But, for instance, when an article such as Gagak Item comes through and Wikipedia is already the most comprehensive source available (in either language), that's when FA seems about right... even if a lot of information has been lost over the years. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 22:42, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

Something like Gagak Item makes sense for a FA, it is a lost film, so obviously there will not be much info, but the info is sufficiently comprehensive to not have a reader wondering after reading 'Gee, that felt like incomplete article'. But, if the information would be super lacking and the source does not say why it lacking, then its not a FA. Take Sweigert for example. The current article exhausts all source imaginable, but what we have only tells us how Sweigert did at baseball. This is because there is no source on him. He is notable according to a guideline, but he cant be a FA. Beerest 2 talk 22:47, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

    • That's interesting. Only thing I can think of to expand that article would be contemporary newspaper reports and maybe a census, but even then there would not be much more than 500 words (tops). Very good example. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 02:51, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
  • I also agree with those above that commented that an article that is notable can and should be allowed to get to featured quality status. If the article utilizes a preponderance of secondary sources available on the topic to cover the subject matter with appropriate scope and breadth, and it just so happens that on a particular topic (which is notable) the writer(s) have utilized those secondary sources out there, then the article should be allowed to have the possibility to get to Featured Article. Happy new year to all, — Cirt (talk) 23:12, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
  • I'm not yet convinced the criteria need alteration. WP as a whole is the encyclopedia that anyone can edit in theory, since editors can be site-banned, topic-banned, etc. Similarly I'd say that any article can become FA in theory -- conditions have to be met, and there's room for interpretation in the criteria to allow the community to exercise its judgment on a case-by-case basis. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 23:30, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
    • I think the article in question (above) is a poor case study, as the main issues were not about comprehensiveness per se, but reliability of the sources and notability. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 02:51, 31 December 2013 (UTC)

I don't think the criteria suggests that an article should be able to pass FA just because it has used all of the sources available. It asks for "comprehensiveness", and if all of the sources available don't answer all the important questions then the article can't be comprehensive. So it can't be an FA. I don't really think the criteria need amending - this has always seemed obvious to me. Short articles can be FA if you can read through them and don't have any questions left - for instance I supported How a Mosquito Operates because, although short, it touched on all of the important elements (using good quality sources). --Loeba (talk) 14:11, 31 December 2013 (UTC)

  • I don't think the criteria need revision. They tell you how to get an article to FA status. There will be things that stop you (like not being able to find enough sources), but that doesn't mean the criteria have to be edited to include the thing that stopped you. I'd also like to note that this page is relatively low visibility, so trying to make changes to the criteria based only on a discussion here (and over the holidays) is probably a really bad idea. --Laser brain (talk) 20:57, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

dab links

A featured article exemplifies our very best work and is distinguished by professional standards of writing, presentation, and sourcing.

A featured article should not contain a disambiguation Wikilink, such as civil parish in Wormshill, today's FA. Do other editors agree?--DThomsen8 (talk) 19:21, 30 March 2014 (UTC)

I believe this is covered by the MOS at MOS:DAB. Or is this not what you mean? meshach (talk) 21:34, 30 March 2014 (UTC)

inline citations

Could someone tell me the (possible) difference between inline citation and the common " <ref> source </ref> style " ? Answers would be appriciated. Boeing720 (talk) 00:45, 28 March 2014 (UTC)

In my college-level writing, we use APA and MLA style, both of which use inline citations that appear in parentheses within the sentence. So "The sun is hot (Doe, 2013, p. 12)." would have an inline APA-style citation. The reader can then look at the bibliography section to find the full reference for a source written by John Doe and published in 2013. (MLA doesn't use the year, APA may omit the page number.)
Our footnotes using the <ref>...</ref> tags are closer to the citation style used by the Chicago Manual of Style for some academic writing. In Chicago and our footnotes, the superscripted number appears outside the punctuation at the end of the sentence. That would look like "The sun is hot.[1] with a footnote appearing elsewhere on the page containing the source. In Chicago, the first citation to a source has the full details in the footnote and any repeats use a shortened version. Our footnote numbers can be repeated. Imzadi 1979  02:20, 28 March 2014 (UTC)

As I understand it, the <ref>...</ref> style, when used properly, is what is meant by inline citations, as opposed to just giving a list of references at the end of the article. By used properly, I mean there is a <ref>...</ref> citation attached to each fact in the article that needs a reference.--agr (talk) 17:34, 15 June 2014 (UTC)

Should there be a criterion for math?

I recently spotted a defect in an equation in an article on the front page, and I'm thinking the criteria ought to advise editors to look into math more closely. I'm thinking it is desirable for FA that:

  • Equations should be sourced inline (to a proper derivation, if possible?)
  • Equations are in the best available math format (I don't claim to know what that is)
  • Every variable in an equation is clearly defined
  • Specialized operators (at least anything from del on up) should be explained

There ought to be some math folks here who could suggest much more. But the gist is there ought to be a criterion for it so that it doesn't get missed. Wnt (talk) 16:33, 5 September 2014 (UTC)


Is alt-text for images a must or a recommendation? -- NickGibson3900 Talk 08:40, 17 September 2014 (UTC)

See Wikipedia talk:Featured article candidates/Alt text for a series of discussions. For FAC I don't think ALT text is a requirement according to the discussions there. - SchroCat (talk) 14:57, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
Tks Schro, that's right. As an editor, I always use alt text, but it's not actually a requirement for FAC. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 15:08, 17 September 2014 (UTC)

Withdraw an article

How do you withdraw it before it either fails or pass. should i just delete the nomination from the top page? (Monkelese (talk) 13:21, 26 September 2014 (UTC)

Hi Monkelese, No, it should be one of the delegates that does it, as there are a few steps that need to be gone through. Best to drop a note on one of their talk pages to have it actioned. Cheers - SchroCat (talk) 13:24, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
Tks Schro for responding before I saw this. Monkelese, I assume this is re. Jefferson–Hemings controversy -- as one of the FAC delegates I can take care of that. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 13:38, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
Thank You (Monkelese (talk) 14:56, 26 September 2014 (UTC)

Featured Article promoted in 2013, nominated for deletion

2012 tour of She Has a Name, Featured Article promoted in 2013, has been nominated for deletion.

Please see discussion at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/2012 tour of She Has a Name.

Thank you,

Cirt (talk) 23:23, 13 January 2015 (UTC)

Suggested step in review process

I suggested some talk page review as part of the GA review, but because there is currently no talk page criteria for Featured Articles, it seems we couldn't currently change anything. As such, I'm now suggesting some sort of minimal review of the talk page as part of the FA review. Mark Hurd (talk) 04:17, 22 February 2015 (UTC)

Mark Hurd, updating class entries is done if the article passes, but if the article doesn't pass we don't necessarily know what its class should be - we have had start-class articles nominated, for example, and some projects have B-class or A-class criteria or reviews that others don't. As to topics having priority levels set: as editors commented at the GA discussion, this is not feasible for all topics, and as some said there I don't really see a need for this. Nikkimaria (talk) 13:27, 22 February 2015 (UTC)

Where appropriate

"where appropriate" links to an essay "Wikipedia:When to cite". I think this is a mistake it should like to policy (WP:UNSOURCED) Wikipedia:Verifiability#Responsibility for providing citations. The links in the criteria ought to link to policy not to how to pages and essays. -- PBS (talk) 09:23, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

the meta:cite format is recommended

Perhaps I am being overly critical- but what does that mean. Shouldn't it be deleted?

  • It seems to me that, at the heavy end of Wikipediaa, there are two styles of references- the legacy style, and the Harvard sfn style. the wording is recommended suggests that unknown method 3 (meta:cite )is to be preferred over and above the former.
  • I followed the link- it seems to be a page on the Media Wiki cite explaining how to add the cite function to a personally hosted wiki using a legacy distro. The section that might have contained some info on style was correctly hat-tagged as having being over technical (read: gobbledy-gook). It might be worthy as a {{efn}} but it seems symptomatic of the habit of straying off focus- and not challenging the work of legacy editors who only put it there to demonstrate they had read around the topic.

Discuss. -- Clem Rutter (talk) 11:24, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

It says "for articles with footnotes, the meta:cite format is recommended" (emphasis added). There are other ways to create footnotes besides using "<ref>" tags, such as using the {{ref}} template. Referring to "meta:cite" is basically recommending to use "<ref>" tags instead of one of the less common alternatives. I do agree that the link is not particularly useful. It appears that the target page on Meta has been redirected, and formerly had details more similar to what is at our Help:Footnotes here on en-wiki. I'd suggest updating the link to just go to Help:Footnotes. --RL0919 (talk) 15:07, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
I would simply remove the whole meta:cite phrase after the semicolon. The linked info is too technical as mentioned, and the vast majority of editors at this stage will already have a basic knowledge of referencing and a preferred personal style anyway; they don't need that advice (atleast not as part of FA-criteria). GermanJoe (talk) 15:57, 2 March 2015 (UTC)

... and not challenging the work of legacy editors who only put it there to demonstrate they had read around the topic ... This is the oddest comment, and it looks so far like there is little understanding in that statement about why that clause was added. In particular, well before the page it links to generated to gobbledy-gook. I suggest that people seeking to remove something might want to review archives to understand why it's there. The bottom line, in spite of all that, is that GermanJoe gets it pretty much right. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:40, 2 March 2015 (UTC)

Thanks SandyGeorgia, I will go ahead and remove it. You were interested in my comment- perhaps I should explain. I am down to do an edit-a-thon to a learned society of mathematicians in a months time. The questions that one is asked at these events can be banale or they can be challenging- preparation is essential just in case, I have an hour to convert a wiki-newbie with multiple PhDs into a committed expert editor. Having looked at the the help files, and then at the manual of style, it is hard to see any real pattern. The next step is to look at FAC reviews - and the criteria themselves. All the time keeping the focus on improving maths, and maths biography articles. Take my point, when looking at a help article I am assessing it from the point of view of my mythical student, and not searching for a tutorial or essay- when looking at a MOS article I am looking for mandatory instructions, recommendations, prohibitions and not rambling discussions. The fact I enjoy writing rambling text, histories and philosophies- diving to archives and chasing the latest hare means I am as prone as anyone to lose focus. Researching how we arrived at this point is off-focus. There are big questions that need asking elsewhere. -- Clem Rutter (talk) 23:53, 4 March 2015 (UTC)

high-quality is undefined and non-consensual

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

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)