Wikipedia talk:Good article nominations

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Main Discussion Nominations Reassessment GA Cup Instructions Criteria Report Help Desk

This is the discussion page of the good article nominations (GAN). To ask a question or start a discussion about the good article nomination process, click the New section link above. Questions may also be asked at the GA Help desk. To check and see if your question may already be answered, click to show the frequently asked questions below or search the archives below.


Cwmhiraeth posted to my talk page asking my opinion of this review, which was done by a new user, User:Suspicious eyes, on his or her second-ever Wikipedia edit. Not a single issue was found, which is odd, because the sourcing is rather sparse, including a "classic study" by Max Weber that is mentioned twice but never cited, and a Roman Empire section that has a single inline citation, at the end of the second of three paragraphs.

My plan is to revert the review and place the nomination back into the pool of articles waiting for a valid review. I'll wait to see what opinions there are on the matter, but not long. Note that the review has been disallowed at the WikiCup. BlueMoonset (talk) 05:03, 30 April 2017 (UTC)

I have already fixed the issues mentioned above, if anyone cares. Please read it, everyone. There are FAs that don't meet this standard. I reviewed an article a while back. The author blew his top and has somehow convinced people not to trust me. 10W40 (talk) 08:45, 30 April 2017 (UTC)
Maybe, but it still needs to be properly reviewed by someone. An editor that reviews an article as their 2nd edit and leaves no comments is not really good enough and more than a little suspicious. I would support a revert. AIRcorn (talk) 16:26, 30 April 2017 (UTC)
It might pass now, but it certainly shouldn't have passed at the time of the review. I support a revert as well. – Finnusertop (talkcontribs) 16:38, 30 April 2017 (UTC)
I have no thoughts about any issues having to do with this review from consideration of it outside the GA parameters. In my opinion the Review is incomplete/flawed, for one thing File:Scipio Africans Major.jpg is lacking the Commons-required United States public domain tag. Sorry but I support a revert. Shearonink (talk) 17:03, 30 April 2017 (UTC)
I suggest a reassessment as more appropriate. It is the procedure recommended for cases where there is doubt whether an article which has been listed as GA is up to standard. I thing reverting would be overreacting. No actual rule has been broken that I can see, so what grounds would be cited for reversion? • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 20:16, 30 April 2017 (UTC)
No, the review was clearly inadequate, by a brand new editor who obviously didn't understand what was required, and we typically revert such attempts. I note in passing that 10W40 did not, in fact, address the Weber issue, but it wasn't part of my decision; this needs a review by a competent reviewer. I have reverted the review and the listing. BlueMoonset (talk) 21:22, 30 April 2017 (UTC)
Where is this written? • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 05:35, 1 May 2017 (UTC)
Not everything needs to be written. At the end of the day we operate on consensus and consensus is clear. AIRcorn (talk) 06:24, 1 May 2017 (UTC)
Fair enough, but:
  1. Are you referring to this instance, and the consensus assumed from the discussion above?
  2. A consensus achieved at some other time? In which case, how do people who were not involved in that discussion know of its existence?
  3. Something else? In which case please explain as I do knot know what you are referring to.
The point remains that the guidance provided for GA nominations and reviews is misleading and is the cause of dissatisfaction because of lack of clarity. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 06:41, 1 May 2017 (UTC)
I meant the consensus above (which is 4:1 for a revert). The guidance for GAs is already massive and I don't think we need to document every eventuallity, especially with commonsense cases like this. AIRcorn (talk) 07:57, 1 May 2017 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────But is this really a common sense response, and should we look at the cause as well as the treatment?
Regarding the response: A review was done that does not actually appear to have broken any rules (I am judging this on my interpretation of the rules, and possibly the reviewer's. Others may differ, which is part of my point), by someone new, possibly acting in good faith and following the instructions to the best of their ability. Instead of following the reasonably predictable route as described in the GA nominations instructions of reassessment, the review is reverted. By a 4:1 consensus. Is this now to become the standard procedure in similar cases?
The GA instructions state: Articles can be nominated by anyone, though it is highly preferable that they have contributed significantly and are familiar with the subject, and reviewed by any registered user who has not contributed significantly to the article and is not the nominator. (my emphasis) It seems that in practice this is not really true. We should stop pretending that the instructions are not misleading, and explain what is really expected. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 18:31, 1 May 2017 (UTC)

Reviews can be performed by anyone, but they can also be brought here and judged deficient. The important thing is not so much that this is a new reviewer but that it is a bad review. We should not let through articles that are not in Good Article status just to be nice to newbie reviewers. —David Eppstein (talk) 20:04, 1 May 2017 (UTC)
Right. If the reviewer had provided a more typical review with comments explaining how the article met some criteria, suggestions for improvements to help it meet others, etc., then the newness of the reviewing account would probably not be a big concern. --RL0919 (talk) 20:37, 1 May 2017 (UTC)
I would support adding the word "experienced" to characterize eligible reviewers in the instructions. – Finnusertop (talkcontribs) 22:15, 1 May 2017 (UTC)
Everyone has to start somewhere. If we only allowed reviewers who are experienced at GA reviewing, then progress here would grind to even more of a halt than it usually is. —David Eppstein (talk) 23:24, 1 May 2017 (UTC)
Finnusertop may have meant experienced editors rather than experienced reviewers. It is an important distinction. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 23:38, 1 May 2017 (UTC)
Yes, that's what I meant. Thank you for clearing it up. – Finnusertop (talkcontribs) 18:09, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
(ec) That would be a step in the right direction, but how does one know when one has sufficient experience? As I see it, that is also something that only comes with experience. We need some way of informing people that if they don't know the English Wikipedia environment, policies and jargon pretty well they have virtually no chance of getting it right. This needs to be right up there in the lead section. GA review is decidedly not a good way to start editing, and there is nothing in that quoted instruction to suggest the complexity of what is actually expected. Even reading through the full instructions is not enough to prepare one for the job without the background of having done most of the required steps before. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 23:32, 1 May 2017 (UTC)
I agree with the idea that there should be a minimum number of edits before doing a review. But I note that is not currently a rule. I tried just putting an article in the queue and waiting patiently. It took months and I ended up with this travesty. My conclusion was that next time I needed to ask somebody to do the review for me. It seemed like a good idea, and I'm sorry it led to this fiasco. Next time, I'll find someone with more experience. 10W40 (talk) 03:39, 2 May 2017 (UTC)
Yes, it is not the most specific way of putting it, but we already have a bit fuzzy requirements for the nominator ("contributed significantly and are familiar with the subject"). That is not a "rule" either, but a preference. – Finnusertop (talkcontribs) 18:09, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
Number of edits is easy to measure, but not necessarily meaningful in a way relevant to GAN skills. Getting an article through GAN as a nominator would be an apprenticeship/rite of passage that would probably be sufficient most of the time, but may be a bit more than strictly necessary. It is also easy to measure. It would be a recommendation rather than a requirement. I put it out as a straw man in the expectation that it will be shot down in flames. Perhaps for good reasons. It is a place to start. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 06:09, 2 May 2017 (UTC)
I note that the reviewer for Talk:Encyclopedism/GA1 had 60,000 edits and 10 years of experience on Wikipedia when they made that review. I would certainly not have quickfailed the article at the time, but any experience requirement for GA reviewing that would have prevented that review would destroy the GA process, as the number of eligible reviewers would plummet. Caeciliusinhorto (talk) 19:02, 2 May 2017 (UTC)
Also a lot of experience with both GA and FA, from the evidence on their user page. Lack of experience cannot be the problem in that case. However, in most cases a quickfail is not a useful result, if there is a reasonable possibility that the article is fixable in a reasonable time span. It would be far more constructive to provide the same feedback on the talk page without calling it a review, and leave the nomination in the queue. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 09:13, 7 May 2017 (UTC)
My idea is not to change the rule, but to make the written rule correspond to the real rule. No one challenges the review of Encyclopedism although the quality of the review itself is no better than one for Proconsul. 10W40 (talk) 23:34, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
Getting the written rules to correspond to the real rule would require a real rule to exist, which may not be the case. What appears to happen is a whole bunch of interpretations of the written rule, which expand it in various directions according to personal reasoning and preference. There is some consensus, but also a lot of stretching interpretation of the consensus. There are even people who try to follow the existing rule as closely as practicable, but I have no idea who and how many they might be. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 09:49, 7 May 2017 (UTC)
  • @10W40: Of your previous GA nomination, you stated "I tried just putting an article in the queue and waiting patiently. It took months ...". This is inaccurate, it actually took four weeks before someone took that review on, about average for a GA review I would think. You also stated "My conclusion was that next time I needed to ask somebody to do the review for me." Not so, the nominator should not choose the reviewer; a reviewer needs to be independent and should voluntarily choose to review an article. The nominator should absolutely not ask a friend to review their article as you did; especially someone with no experience who has created an account two days earlier, and whose only editing action is to have added two commas to one article. Cwmhiraeth (talk) 17:35, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
    • Cwmhiraeth, You say this, and it would probably get consensus as good practice, but it is not specified in the instructions: Articles can be (...) reviewed by any registered user who has not contributed significantly to the article and is not the nominator. If there is any other text limiting who can do a review, it is not easily seen by a potential reviewer or nominator. No mention of experience, no prohibition on asking someone, and there would not be much point in a prohibition as it would be unenforceable. There are even editors who specify on their user pages or on project pages that they would be available to review articles in specified fields, implying that they would be open to requests. If this contravenes any policy or rule, I am not aware of it. It may contravene some people's interpretation of best practice, but that is not admissible as a serious objection. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 09:36, 7 May 2017 (UTC)
@Pbsouthwood: I am adopting a common sense approach. Someone who is unfamiliar with Wikipedia and the criteria by which a GA is judged, cannot possibly be in a good position to review a GA nomination. Are you seriously defending the choice of reviewer in this instance? Cwmhiraeth (talk) 09:53, 7 May 2017 (UTC)
Cwmhiraeth, I am assuming good faith, and pointing out that as far as I can tell, they have not contravened any written rule that I have been able to find. If that constitutes defence, then I suppose I am. Common sense is notoriously uncommon, varies depending on the observer, and is not always sensible. Besides that I agree completely that Someone who is unfamiliar with Wikipedia and the criteria by which a GA is judged, cannot possibly be in a good position to review a GA nomination Your analysis of the problem is clear and in my opinion, accurate, but I could not find it in the rules. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 10:13, 7 May 2017 (UTC)
I did not attempt to do so. :) Cwmhiraeth (talk) 10:31, 7 May 2017 (UTC)

I'm the person who took up the second review of Proconsul. While I didn't look at the language & article structure as closely as many reviewers do, I did look at the content (which IMHO is more important), & pointed out a number of faults. However the nominator did not respond to my criticisms in a meaningful manner, & after giving him/her sufficient time to address them, I now find that person has been blocked for socking. If no one objects, I'll just fail this article. But I wish someone had pointed me to this thread, because I would have acted faster on this matter. Further, there has been another GA review I would have started on before now; I've been limiting myself to handling one GA review due to real-life commitments (a.k.a., family, full-time job, time spent commuting). And lastly, having stumbled upon this & being surprised, I feel like I've been made a fool of. -- llywrch (talk) 21:08, 1 June 2017 (UTC)

Archive URLs automatically[edit]

I highly recommend that all GA noms without archive links have the nominator run the article through iabot (Internet Archive bot), which will |archiveurl=s to all its reference templates with a single click (for example). I am no longer watching this pageping if you'd like a response czar 20:44, 5 May 2017 (UTC)

So you think it's a good idea to clutter up all references with visible "archived from the original on xxx" information even when all links are currently valid? Why? This is certainly a procedure which, if it were generally applied to all GA nominations, would discourage me from submitting articles to GA, because I wouldn't want to see them gunked up in this way. —David Eppstein (talk) 21:16, 5 May 2017 (UTC)
It depends on whether it is possible to archive a currently invalid link - I do not know how it works - It is easy to archive a currently valid link, how easy is it to archive the same site after the link is dead? How sure can one be that the link today has the same content as the link as accessed for the citation? Also, would it be possible to suppress display of the archived link provided the original link is working? That would cut down on unnecessary clutter. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 09:57, 7 May 2017 (UTC)
Would it be better to do as suggested above and comment out the archived link (if this is possible), or request a modification to the cite templates to suppress display of the archived link while the original is still working? • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 17:32, 20 May 2017 (UTC)

AWOL reviewer[edit]

I'm not sure exactly what to do with this GAN - the reviewer hasn't edited in over a month and hasn't indicated they're on vacation or something. Is there a way to get another editor to take over the review? Should I post a request at a relevant Wikiproject? Thanks. Parsecboy (talk) 12:49, 22 May 2017 (UTC)

I'm in the same position for Germanicus with Sturmvogel 66 as well. I posted at Wikiproject Classical Greece and Rome, but haven't gotten a response yet. SpartaN (talk) 07:40, 23 May 2017 (UTC)
I've posted at MILHIST, which is a fairly active project - turns out there are a few other reviews stuck in limbo at the moment. Hopefully some editors will be able to take them over - if I have the time, I might take one myself. Parsecboy (talk) 09:54, 26 May 2017 (UTC)


Can the Physics and astronomy section be renamed Physics, astronomy and spaceflight?? I had a devil of a time looking at the main category names and their subheadings descriptions to figure out that an astronaut's bio fit here, as conceptually the current name Physics and astronomy does not obviously include this topic. (At first I put it in the Technology category as certainly also makes sense.) Or perhaps Spaceflight deserves a separate category all together? Making and launching rockets certainly does not seem to fit Natural Sciences very well. I am a mechanical aerospace engineer who has worked in that industry for decades, and I assure you that no one in the field of space hardware and rocketry would consider it a "natural science." RobP (talk) 14:06, 28 May 2017 (UTC)

Something like that should be done, but until we get a new bot owner or a new bot, it cannot be done. Kees08 (Talk) 23:21, 29 May 2017 (UTC)
Why would you say that Kees08? Legoktm is still active. I've seen them on IRC recently. I'm sure if you ask them, and if they have time, they would be able to facilitate that. --Majora (talk) 23:42, 29 May 2017 (UTC)
Because several times recently this question has been asked in various forms, and that has always been the reply. Should be some example in the recent archives. Kees08 (Talk) 00:10, 30 May 2017 (UTC)

Military history project: FA/GA discussion[edit]

MilHist project is hosting a discussion on GA / FA articles that have been tagged for a number of issues. The discussion can be found here:

Interested editors are invited to participate. K.e.coffman (talk) 21:41, 10 June 2017 (UTC)