Wikipedia talk:Good article nominations/Archive 5

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Articles on "HOLD"

Given the current backlog of articles I suggest that the use of On Hold be discouraged or resticted to a smaller time frame say 48hrs, as its keeping the lists longer than necessary and realistically if there are issues with an article then fail it or fix them during the review. Gnangarra 05:10, 4 September 2006 (UTC)


is given as a subsection under both Everyday Life and Social Sciences--- which is it? --plange 23:14, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

As much as war is (sadly) becoming part of everyday life in many parts of the world, I would still put it under social sciences. --NoahElhardt 23:28, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
  • War under "everyday life" sounds like someone's trying to make a point. Social sciences is where it belongs. JimmyBlackwing 00:21, 6 September 2006 (UTC)
    I second that, even if it is necessarily part of our life, more than three quarter of the wars were fought before the 20th century and so these aren't really part of Everyday Life. Lincher 01:58, 6 September 2006 (UTC)
Thanks! I've deleted it from Everyday Life based on the above discussion --plange 01:59, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

Review problem

I have been watching the GA candidates being review and they get less and less reviewed (See Vincente Fox's talk page). And in that I mean that people go to just typing which criteria was failed to no message about the GA process on the talk page of the article. WHY? We are suppose to be somewhat of a peer review process along with the GA classification process. So would the reviewers PLEASE give a list of comments with the failed articles. Lincher 15:00, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

I would concur. I think an overriding objective to get articles up to a status where they would be considered "Good Articles" and so for a failed article I like to leave enough specific information that they are can craft a "To-Do list" to work on. You figure that it takes most articles 2-5 weeks to get reviewed for GA, at least give them some feedback that is worth the wait. Agne 15:52, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
We can discuss about it here, but to solve this major problem, we would need more and more reviewers. I just joined and try to help out. Maybe there should be lists organized by interests of the reviewers, so a nominator could ask a reviewer in that topic/area to have a look at the nominated article. NCurse Nuvola apps edu science.png work 16:14, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
I wholeheartedly agree with the more reviewer part. I think there should also be a sort of GA-fail review books--not to over turn a fail GA discernment but rather if the editors of the article felt that they need more feedback in order to meet GA criteria they could ask for other editors to take a look. This is better then them to shoot in the dark, guess what needs to be fixed and then wait another 2-5 weeks for review. I would give a short time frame to ask for a review (maybe 3 days after the GA fail) As reviewers, we could make these request a priority to answer promptly. Agne 17:39, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
Those are 2 wonderful ideas, I just wonder how this can be implemented? Having more subpages (people wont look at them) or adding stuff on the candidate page (we try to WP:KISS) so I just don't know how we can achieve that. Lincher 17:58, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
If people are adequatly reviewing the articles and actually commenting on the criteria a good bit, that should be helpful enough to constitute advice. However, it really does not help when people give un-specific fail messages, and at this point with so many articles not being passed with comments, maybe we need some sort of new policy where we automatically delist any articles which don't even appear to of been reviewed? Homestarmy 19:16, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
Well the good article page shows recently added pages, maybe we could have a box with the 10 most recent fails listed on this page. As reviewers, we could take it upon our selves to glance at the talk page and see if specific reasons for failing was given. Agne 20:04, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
Is that updated manually or automatically? Homestarmy 20:08, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
I'm not sure what would be the best way. I'd like it to be automatic, but I'm not that code savy to know if that can easily implemented or not. Agne 20:22, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
A spin-off on these ideas could be to have articles be reviewed by 2 people at least. I mean, if the article is good, that person can pass it but if not, just leaving comments on the talk page would let other assessors know that the article has been read and may not be to that reviewer's good article status (since we all assess differently) and the second reviewer could come around and have the final word in the assessment. This would also assure that every article has some information left on their talk page and that they get well-commented on. Lincher 21:45, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
My only concern with that plan is the potential conflict among reviewers because, as you mention, we do tend to review differently. There are somethings that one reviewer might view as borderline and for another review it's failing. Agne 22:35, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
Additionally, I want to clarify that with my idea about GA review would not be about overturning another reviewer's fail but rather to ensure that specific comments are left and to answer any questions that the article editors may want clarified. Agne 22:37, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

So my suggestions:

  • create subpages divided by topics
  • create a list with interest fields of the participants, reviewers
  • and make a disputes page where potential conflicts can be discussed by other reviewers
  • in the candidates' list, a nomination that is being reviewed should get a (under review) tag

NCurse work 07:21, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

I am sorry to butt in, but I guess this is all heading towards being more complicated than there is need for it to be. The present system, with a single page etc. works just fine, it's just that some people do not leave detailed reviews on the talk pages. I would say a good solution would be to formally require {{FGAN}} to be placed and filled out while failing each nom, and prepare a boilerplate text for editors to be able to inform a (perhaps inexperienced) editors that they need to leave a more detailed summary - all clearly described in the intro part.
Moreover, if anything should require a "second take", it is PROMOTING articles. I see many people doing that quite carelessly and not paying attention to the criteria. As a means of experimenting, I have nominated three articles of varying quality and two of them were promoted, though I personally would have reservations to one of them. The promoting reviewer, when questioned, revealed it was his first review and he "just thought it is a good article", not paying attention to criteria. I there might be much more articles reviewed that way, which leads to the list becoming infested with improperly-referenced, poorly-written etc. etc. articles and further depreciates the GA status. Either a two-reviewer system, or using a template such as FGAN (but serving as an "alright checklist"), or even both, could be a solution to alleviate that. Bravada, talk - 12:08, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

I understand. What about the list with interest fields of the participants, reviewers. When I first saw WP:GA page, I was suprised (after working hard on Wikipedia Release Version 0.5) that anyone can pass an article. I know that everybody is afraid of elitism. But what if we would have a relatively small group of reviewers (who've been working on GAs for a long time) and if someone wants to join, then he/she gets a "coach" who'll have to care take of that new member's reviews for a time? NCurse work 14:34, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

I agree with the fact that reviewers need to leave improvment comments but I should point out that just as only one person is needed to pass an article, only one person (and a reason) is needed to delist an article. Tarret 15:29, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

Here's my two cents. Don't rush and modify the process yet (such as adding a second reviewer and so forth). Better to provide a reviewer advice page which provides some boilerplate text ("This article has failed due to criteria x..."). The reviewer that failed Vicente Fox did have a good reason to fail it (stability - criteria 5), but it was kind of hidden in the discussion. So another piece of advice is to make sure there is a subsection clearly showing the advice. See if things improve and if not, then... perhaps... consider a process change. RelHistBuff 08:05, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

You gave me an idea RHB, I think that we should make a boilerplate for new reviewers to put on their talk page that states what is needed to do when reviewing (in like 3-5 short sentences) in order to help them know what the process is all about. This should also be given to everybody who reviews and needs to refresh what are the rules and things to focus on when reviewing. Lincher 12:48, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

Seems to be a perfect soulution. NCurse work 13:07, 11 September 2006 (UTC)
I have created a template-like message that can be added to people's talk page, feel free to modify it or add to the discussion if unsure how to change it. Lincher 14:59, 11 September 2006 (UTC)
Symbol support vote.svg Hi, and welcome to your new role as a Good article reviewer. This project aims to rate articles on their quality and give feedback to the articles' writers.

Please carefully read the instructions and criteria. While reviewing, please:

  • Add an edit summary so others can track what and when articles have been reviewed.
  • Add extensive comments (thus a peer review) on the talk page or on a subpage.
  • Make use of the On hold procedure only if really minor modifications are required of the article's writers.

For other questions see the Good articles project's participants. ~~~~

I changed the wording a bit. I like this version better, but I might be the only one. JimmyBlackwing 15:16, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

I think the biggest help to the situation would be for anyone who nominates an article to review at least one in return. This is mentioned in passing on the candidates page, but I think it would be good if we stressed that a bit more. It's too easy for editors to drop off a candidate (or two, or three, or four all at once) and forget about the whole project until they get their little GA tag. If every nominator took the time to review one article per nomination, there would be no back log. Kafziel 15:22, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

I disagree with this practise even though it would be a nice way to remove the backlog. The reasons are that when you are working on an article, you want it bettered, you don't always want to go on other articles and assess them. Second reason, there are the editors and there are the assessors, sometimes people can do both, other times they will want to do only one and not the other (even though we are a community, we have to respect that). Third reason, if we ask nominators to assess articles, they might not take it seriously (I don't mean to generalize here) and review poorly, for example, not give feedback, just stick to the criteria or simply pass articles because they like the subject. Lincher 16:41, 11 September 2006 (UTC)
We already ask people to do this, right in the "How to nominate a page" section. I'm just saying we should place it more prominently. Raul's third law correctly states that you can't make people do what they don't want to do, but it doesn't hurt to encourage participation. Improper reviews can be overturned if necessary, just as they are now. It's easier to review a review than it is to review an article. Kafziel 19:21, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

I think this backlog problem can't be solved from a global view. For example, I review just science-medicine-related articles, and try to clean the whole nomination list (now alone). 2 or 3 reviewers could remove a backlog in a topic. That's why I wanted so much that participants' list with special interests. Groups could work on specific topics. NCurse work 17:12, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

Concerning that welcome template, I don't like how it's worded, "Your new role" sounds like it's telling users they've been given some obligation to do something, and editing Wikipedia is not obligatory at all, it's supposed to be voluntary. Homestarmy 19:25, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

Be bold is wikipedia's first rule, then discuss, just change it to your liking till we find a compromise on what to do about people who review poorly. I think that by reviewing articles you become responsible and acquire responsibilities and for such, it should be mentioned that they are now viewed as reviewers, if they like it or not. Please keep in mind that not even 5% of the articles in the encyclopedia are of GA quality and above which means that the reviewing process is necessary to help writers bring their article to an encyclopedic state and one where people will be learning when reading it. Anyway, we need some kind of welcoming message to help the new reviewers that might already feel overwhelmed with the amount of work in assessing.
As for the idea behind the participant list, I was wondering if the participant list on the project page could be cut down into interests in order to help us know who is interest in which and what will they be happy to assess. Lincher 19:36, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

I felt bold, so I created this: Wikipedia:Good article candidates/List of reviewers... Comments? NCurse work 20:02, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

Comments? Well, it's a pretty page. Now tell us why you created it. ClairSamoht - Help make Wikipedia the most authoritative source of information in the world 21:51, 11 September 2006 (UTC)
Maybe you haven't read the above discussion. We've talked about that list here for days. NCurse work 14:45, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
But it's an empty page, and I suspect it's going to remain an empty page.
I see no strategy to let potential reviewers know about it, no compelling reason for potential reviewers to list themselves on that page, and no strategy to let potential article-nominees know about it. I don't see any mechanism for keeping it from getting grossly out of date. As it is, I can waltz through the list of nominated articles, pick out something especially old and needy, something that isn't terminally boring, and take a quick look, and if TPTB decide that I've got something better to do, I can easily abandon my appraisal of the candidate article without pressure, because nobody knows I started it. I don't want to list myself, so people are constantly pestering me to appraise their article, and I sure don't need another page to maintain with stats. I don't think I like the idea of people going judge-shopping, either.
If you want to clear the backlog, you don't want to DISCOURAGE people from reviewing articles. If you were to go to Wikipedia:WikiProject Good articles and set up a signup for people who want help learning to review articles, that might work; people who are willing to help could then contact someone on the list.
But your page asks reviewers to sign up so that they can get articles to review. They don't need to. There's a backlog of articles available for them to choose from. And people who want their articles reviewed already have a mechanism to get their articles reviewed: they nominate them.
As you say, you have talked about it for days, but while being bold is to be encouraged, it helps if you have some idea why you're doing what you're doing. ClairSamoht - Help make Wikipedia the most authoritative source of information in the world 17:16, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
Ok, then. I wanted to create that page because: the backlog is enormous. If we want to remove it totally, then we should give a chance for nominators to contact someone in their topic if there's nobody to review their article. The nominations are in the candidates' page for several days, sometimes for weeks. If I nominate an article in a field where nobody wants to work at that time, then I can check that list to find a reviewer in my topic, and I can ask him/her to take a look at my article. It can ease removing backlog. So it wasn't created without any idea, just you still couldn't read this discussion entirely. :) I put that list's link into the candidates' page. I hope it'll help. Believe me I want to do my best, try it and if it can't work, I'll remove it and ask somebody for deletion. Cheers, NCurse work 19:18, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
I don't see any harm in trying it out. I'm in enough Wikiprojects as it is (I need another newsletter on my talk page like I need another hole in my head) but I don't have a problem with having my name on that list. This may not be the best way to help with the backlog, but I suppose it's worth a shot. Kafziel 19:27, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

I, for one, do not review too many articles, as I would find it hard to pass an article from outside the scope of my "expertise", as in no way I could make sure it is comprehensive and accurate. I can fail a really bad article for some obvious reasons (which happened once when I noticed a nomination pretty poor on all accounts), but other than that, I would rather not reivew articles on e.g. gastroenterology or Pakistani history.

Another problem with GA is that the GA status is both low profile and not held in highest regard. The relative easiness to pass and the perceived occurence of abuse is why GA is often dismissed as a proper quality criterion. Another thing is the self-propelling vicious circle of low profile/low prestige, little interest, little reviews etc.

One thing that I have thought about is getting WikiProjects involved in pre-screeing and perhaps also self-assessing articles. For example, the Computer Games WikiProject seems to be submitting relatively good candidates, as they apparently have some internal review process (anecdotary evidence only, so I might be wrong). Some WikiProjects participate in this Version 1.0 Assessment system, perhaps if more of them adopted it, they could make sure they only nominate really high-potential articles. Moreover, this could be a way to split the "accuracy/completeness" and other formal requirements review parts.

Just some random thoughts. Cheers, Bravada, talk - 01:00, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

We've just had Polar coordinate system reviewed and I like the way User:Indon did it. He basically broke the review down into the different criteria, giving a rational for sucess failure for each critaria (see Talk:Polar coordinate system). The though occure to be is that this could be a way to ensure consistancy between reviews and ensure reviewers give goo feedback. How it could work. You have a template, say Template:GA review feedback, with the criteria listed and space for feedback. This template works as a pro-forma form and the reviewer subst it into the talk page. The reviewer then fills in the parts explaining whether it meets the individual criteria. As well as ensuring a basic level of review it might also deter some for the more speculative candidates. When submitters get use to the fact thay are going to get this form of feedback they may be more selective on submissions. It would also help propogate the criteria more widely. --Salix alba (talk) 15:59, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
The problem with more reviewers and having 2 for an article is: getting more reviewers and it'll make the process even slower. Some sections of GAC have averaged a month or more lately and I think that is too long. Rlevse 11:47, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

low profile/low prestige, little interest, little reviews

I'm creating a splinter discussion off of a very good point that Bravada makes which I think is relevant to our overall problem. The Candidates page includes the note Review carefully—the standards of good articles are only as high as those of the most lenient reviewer! and by extension the corollary The standards of being a good article is only as high as it's weakest article.. Personally, I think we should be a tad more strict in our standards. A Good article is suppose to be a presentation of some of the best that Wikipedia offers, especially of articles that would never be the length that a FA would require. Similarly, for articles that can become FA we should hold them to that standard in order to point them on the right path towards FA status. For a potential FA candidate, the acheiving GA status should be the equivalent of reaching 3rd base in a baseball metaphor with the next step being home plate.
Personally, I think we should be more bold in maybe re-evaluating some articles that have passed. However, if we do de-list then they should be given a detail reason and review of what needs to be improved. A lot of GA are passed by new reviewers who don't necessary appreciate the scope and standards that these articles need to be in order to quaify as GA. I will tell you that when I did my first pass Ryan Leaf, I didn't quiet grasp those concepts myself and I'm possibly going to de-list that article by the weekend. A newbie mistake. Agne 04:16, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

Fyi, there were discussions on delisting articles in this talk page (see Quality standards). It was mainly about potentially delisting articles that passed under older, more lenient standards. RelHistBuff 09:32, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
Oh yes, articles on the GA list now are certainly subject to delisting at any time should someone find that they do not meet GA standards. Homestarmy 13:07, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
I don't think it's like the section title shows it. We have constantly re-reviewed articles that are of GA status and adapted these to the new WIAGA criteria, and we have also elevated the level of quality of articles that become GAs. The BIG problem there is, as of now, is ACCEPTANCE. People not involved with the process don't believe in it for they think it is another step toward FA and because it is a copy of PR and because it is more like a pat in the back of the editors. We need to remove 2 mentions that might help us become serious and more accepted. One, remove the backlog mention for the reason that we don't want any jo-blow perusing articles and passing whatever they want and making more job on the reviewers hand. Two, remove the Review carefully—the standards of good articles are only as high as those of the most lenient reviewer! mention as it shows that our quality standard is not good and also tells the others (not involved with the project) that we will keep these articles GA even if they aren't THAT good. Lincher 18:56, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
Good points (especially on the flip slide of the quote).Agne 19:05, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
I beg to differ with Lincher on that - backlog is backlog, there is one, there's no need to change that. It can only encourage experienced users who would browse such category, and perhaps also other users who would want to nominate, and can either reconsider dumping a host of articles "just to see if they pass", or review some other in the respective "category" so that there would be more chance for their article to be reviewed when somebody else takes to this "category". And the message is a properly worded caveat for newbie editors, and its true.
If anything could be done to improve the GA image, it could be a massive re-review campaign. How about setting out to review all "old GAs" using stringend, current criteria, and delist all of them who do not meet them, while at the same time notifying major contributors and related WikiProjects that this and this GA got delisted for this and this reason, but we would gladly see it attain the GA status back again after necessary improvements are made? After all, delisting is much easier than listing :D And THEN, we could divide the categories between us (perhaps with at least two people per category, so that every article gets at least two reviews). I guess this would be a much easier "negative" review, as we would only look for obvious flaws, and could be feasible to complete in 3-4 weeks, if enough people would participate.
I also do not understand the need to create a formal list of reviewers etc. It would rather be better to encourage users to review, and closely monitor the page for passes/fails done by "new" reviewers - if you see they failed or promoted the article wrongly, didn't provide an appropriate review summary etc., then you should instruct them how this should be done. So - first do our best to entice more users to review, secondly - spread good practice. Sounds good? Bravada, talk - 00:00, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

(same subject)

I agree, I see that there is a backlog and I see that there is a need to re-review the old GAs so if we are to coach the newbies, fine with me about leaving the backlog tag but if not, we don't need beginner reviewers listing GAs if they don't understand the process. For the re-review, we should use the list of reviewers and assess like 4 articles/day per reviewer in order to maintain the project healthy and with correct nominations thus being able to show good articles to other people who come to the project.

On the point of removing the part of the quote about having the articles' quality only as high as that of the most lenient reviewer!, it should be removed upon a re-review of the GA articles. Lincher 02:20, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

Lincher, you have surely been a "newbie" sometime ago, and if not for you starting somewhere and gaining experience, you wouldn't be able to consider yourself a "full-fledged" GA reviewer which I believe you do. There is a constant need for "flesh blood" to keep the process running as WP expands (and certainly now, as the backlog expands), and, just like Wikipedia itself, GA should be open and inviting for new people, even if they are to make mistakes first. The whole trick is to make sure their mistakes will be pointed out and they will be helped to fix them and avoid them in the future. So, yes, we should coach the newbies (I myself believe I still could benefit from some coaching, and I hope somebody was and will be looking at my promotions/fails).
As concerns the other paragraph, the sentence you mentioned holds true all the time, and there is no need to remove it - it is a good reminder for every reviewer, inexperienced or experienced!
Oh, I promised below to expand on long articles. For me, reviewing a long article takes considerably more time than a short one, and it is disproportionally longer than the sheer difference in "size" would imply. I also find that most "long" articles I have looked into could be failed for pretty basic criteria, but I never had the time to give them a full review and thus didn't do so. See below for what I think of "long articles". Oh, a small caveat - some articles appear "long" to the Wiki engine due to the amount of links, images etc., so in borderline cases, the amount of pure text, w/o external links, references etc. should be taken into account. So, I believe that excluding long articles in principle could significantly streamline the process and make the meaning of the GA status more clear.
I believe for the re-review process, we could use a list, with everybody choosing a topic or two, but first we need to close the discussion below so that we all use the same standards. Cheers, Bravada, talk - 09:09, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for that answer ... I have forked the discussion below to talk about long articles and their future as some reviewers tend to be lenient (I include myself in there) about the whole process for long articles.
As for the list, I have created one here User:Lincher/GA, we can start now. Lincher 15:55, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
Lincher, I took the liberty of moving it to your Userspace, as you have placed it in the main namespace, where one should only create articles. Anyway, I think it's a very good starting point, though I believe we have to wait with that until the online citation criterium is agreed upon. I see this list working like that - click on the article, review it, if it's OK, put your user name by it. If you are the second one to review it and it's OK, it's "safe". If you find it inconsistent with any criterium, delist it (regardless of whether there was a previous "positive" review") and leave messages on the talk page, as well as inform former major contributors to the article and relevant WikiProjects that the article was delisted for this and that reason and this and that should be improved for it to be able to pass again.
I think in the meantime, while we discuss the issues below, we might create some boilerplate texts/templates to use when failing the article, to inform contributors/WikiProject. Bravada, talk - 17:18, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the move, I intended to make a userspace edit but by mistake and overboiling about another issue I did it wrong, my bad.
I like the way you're going at it about the review in order to review everything fast and objectively. Lincher 17:59, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

Fork : What are the criteria

Lets be clear and go into details about the criteria for GA status :

1a&d. Do the scientific terms need to be clearly defined on the article's page or just a wikilink is necessary.
1b&c; 2d; 3a; 4 & 5. EASY to check.
2a. how can we verify that all sources have been given? Do we WP:AGF and that's it?
2b. if there are no inline citations, is it ok? I would guess so, after the talk we had 3 months ago.
2c. if there are no book sources is it ok? if there are only internet sources, is it ok? If it only cite encyclopedias is it ok?
3b. should we cut trivia sections period? or are we lenient?
6. do we accept Fair use images if they state their rationale?
Should we review the part about the "we only review small articles" criteria.
We should give examples of articles dealing with fiction that are properly formatted (not my cup of tea).
Are we to refuse lists whatsoever, if so, then I'll change the policy. Lincher 02:20, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

In WP:WIAGA, it is stated the criteria very similar to the criteria for featured articles. Then, in regards to small aricles it gets a little vague with mention that prose is less likely to reach the 'brilliant' standards required of featured articles, and inline referencing is not as important. I think this needs to be more clear as we define "less then brillant". When I think of WP:FAC, I think of it as a fine tooth comb and scrutiny similar to how a person's life & words are subjected when they run for US Senate. GAC is more along the lines of running for state Attorney General. I think the standards should be high but with not as nit pick for scrutiny. That said, in response to Lincher...
1a&d. Do the scientific terms need to be clearly defined on the article's page or just a wikilink is necessary.

  • Depends on context of the term. If immediate understanding of the term is required to make sense of what follows then it should be defined. Example (while not GA status in many regards) the article on Sweetness of wine includes a basic definition of the scientific wine term Brix to the degree that is required to understand the article. In Nikola Tesla, under the section Direct-energy weapon the term charged particle beams is merely wiki-linked because you don't need immediate understanding of what exactly that is to understand the context of how it's being discussed.

1b&c; 2d; 3a; 4 & 5. EASY to check.

  • I agree for the most part but and I think the WP:MOS is one of the points where the "fine tooth comb" vs GA distinction comes into play. I think we should be strict about the standards of WP:Lead, WP:LIST, use of quotes, sub-headings contruction and basic capitalization and grammar. Articles should at least be College Freshman level in style (while I would compare FA to upper level College and graduate paper level).

2a. how can we verify that all sources have been given? Do we WP:AGF and that's it?

  • For minor issues, yes but for substantial claims (especially those intrinsically tied to notability) I try to do some outside verification. Either follow an online ref link or with book reference having at least a google search will bring up non-reliable sources regurgitating the claim. If there is a primary reliable book source you have to take on good faith that it's being used in context.

2b. if there are no inline citations, is it ok? I would guess so, after the talk we had 3 months ago.

  • This is where I disagree most with the current WP:WIAGA because definitely think this is an area where we need to be more strict. In-line citations are vital and at the very least they should be used to some degree in combination with other reference styles. For one, it promotes good habits that is nearly required for FA status but is viewed favorably throughout the project. We want GA to be an example of some of the best work in the project and while we can't expect every writer to be fabulous in prose, being firm on WP:RS and presentation of in-line citation for the sake of WP:V is an easy thing to do that will dramatically increase the quality of articles across the board.

2c. if there are no book sources is it ok? if there are only internet sources, is it ok? If it only cite encyclopedias is it ok?

  • Here is another fine tooth comb, as long as the sources are reliable then they are okay--even if they are only internet or only encyclopedia. (Though in the later, I would be more vigilante in verification to ensure there is no copyright vio) However in the suggestion area I would encourage diversification of sources.

3b. should we cut trivia sections period? or are we lenient?

  • This is a case by case basis but more often then not the Trivia section is not needed and any relevant information can be integrated into the article. I would put the article "on-hold" and request the information to be worked in. If the editors can give a compelling reason to maintain a Trivia section, then I would let it pass. But again, more often then not it should go.

6. do we accept Fair use images if they state their rationale?

  • As another "fine tooth comb" area, I would accept images that are properly tagged even if they are only with a rationale fair use tag. In FAC they can scrutinize that rationale more. If it makes sense to the reviewer and doesn't throw up red flags about potential violations then we should let it pass. If you feel uncomfortable with the rationale, put the article on hold and request clarification. Agne 04:18, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
I agree with most of what Agne said, but I have to differ on a few points. Let me start with detail and then move to the bigger picture.
  • 2b (comment) I strongly believe there should be inline citations for every paragraph, and sentence, where applicable. This makes it easy to find where a given claim was sourced from and is a good way of automatic OR prevention (see below) or POV sneaking. Just dumping a few "sources" at the end of an article is an easy way of trying to "legitimize" an article. I personally try to "inline cite" every part of the articles I create (if they are up to a certain standard, that is), and it's not THAT hard to do. As we are trying to make the GA status even more meaningful, I believe that strenghtening this requirement can only be beneficial.
  • 2d (comment) is more or less easy to check as long as there are inline citations for every paragraph and sentence. That said, we cannot be sure whether the information in the article is actually directly to be found in those sources.
  • 3a (disagree) is almost impossible to check in many cases when the reviewer is unfamiliar with the subject. For example, when reviewing a biography of a person I don't know, I don't know whether there is a significant episode or aspect of his/her life/work that has been omitted, or whether he/she had significant influence over some area, which should be discussed. This is a good reason to try to split the review into "factual", which could be done by people close to the subject and/or author, and "formal", which should rather be done by an impartial, unrelated reviewer IMHO. The latter would also be more appropriate to review for 1a and 1d.
  • 2c (comment) I'd say online sources have one big advantage - they give us an opportunity to check them! That said, of course diversification should be promoted, and in many cases printed sources are more credible than online ones. But I wouldn't fail an article for only using online sources.
  • 3b (disagree) "Trivia" sections absolutely do not belong in an encyclopedic article, and are a result of either poor editing skills, laziness of the editors, or an attempt to sneak something improper. In most cases, the trivia can be split into parts that can easily be incorporated into the relevant parts of the article and stuff that is irrelevant and/or even strictly POV. I believe it should be a formal requirement that those, and all other "laundry list" sections be integrated into the article.
I disagree about the comparison to Senators and State Attorney Generals - first of all, becuase of some examples of people that held/hold seats in the US Senate, I'd say the FA criteria should be MUCH stricter. If I was to name a real-world example of a position, it would perhaps only be the (modern-day) Pope. That said, good candidates for the Holy See fail NPOV by definition, but that's another thing ;) .
More seriously, I believe the standards in general should be regarded equal, BUT the requirement that is relaxed for GA is the "depth" of the article. As an example, a GA should be an article that would be at home at an "abridged" version of a first-rate print encyclopedia, whose "unabridged" version would contain an FA on the same topic. As is mentioned on the WIAGA page, and I learned from discussions with the GA "Founding Fathers", the idea was to promote articles that cannot, for some reasons, be long enough to pass FA (for example an article on a not-very-special planetoid, which would never cross the 15kB limit and would hardly be worth showcasing as FA). I would also extend that for some articles that could, perhaps, be FAs one day, but it's better to have a well-rounded shorter article on the topic, than a lenghty, poorly-edited piece of POV blabber. So, I don't know what you understand by "College Freshman level" , but I believe that a GA should be of appropriate quality to be printed as-is in a serious encyclopedia.
Secondly, the alternative name for GA on the early stages of the concept was, AFAIK, "excellent short articles". I believe that an "abridged", summary/overview encyclopedic article should not exceed 32kB. If it is over 32kB, it should be eligible for FA status by itself. If that's not the case at the moment, it should either further be improved to make it an FA, or perhaps trimmed down to create a good "short" encyclopedic article on the topic. I guess a "halfway" article, i.e. a GA expanded, but not quite complete by FA standards, is neither a GA or FA. It's nice to reward people for their work, but I guess we should only assess "complete" (more or less) articles, and not "work in progress". I will also give more rationale for excluding "long" articles from GA above. Bravada, talk - 08:48, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

I just wanted to add that I have had long discussions on criterion 2b, the citation of sources requirement. See the Clarification of citations criteria section on GA criteria talk page. As a summary, I pushed for raising the standard that inline citations should be required. Right now, criterion 2b is ambiguous: it states citations are essential but inline citations are not mandatory. This is confusing. We require citations (i.e., the source/page of the source or website should be noted for an assertion) and then we say one does not have to use certain formats like cite.php, Harvard, or embedded links. I am not certain how many other ways there are to cite a source, so why not just require inline citations? Otherwise nominees are allowed to submit articles with just a list of references at the bottom ("See I stated my references, now it's up to you Mr. Reviewer to see if you can find the POV assertions in my article"). With inline citations, any potential assertion becomes verifiable and thus passes the Wiki standard. RelHistBuff 09:33, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for your extensive answers, as of now I am tending to change the criterion 2b with stricter rules. Since 2b was

the citation of its sources is essential, and the use of inline citations is desirable, although not mandatory

, it should become something that looks more like :

the citation of its sources is essential, and the use of inline citations is mandatory

—Preceding unsigned comment added by Lincher (talkcontribs)

I think this could be put more clearly - how about:

every statement in the article has to be referenced to a source by means of inline citations (at the end of statement or paragraph)

Bravada, talk - 17:09, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
That is asking too much for even FA doesn't request that. The every statement can be misinterpreted in asking that all lines be sourced. Also, there is a need to have a reference section and a footnote/note/inline citation section. The former to let people know that if they want to read more, they can read this book or this book from which the text was taken from and the latter in order to let fact-checkers know that statements are cited by appropriate sources. Lincher 18:08, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
Another take at that would be :

the sources are to be cited in a section and the use of inline citations is mandatory

Oh, I thought this was the standard now. Your last proposition is OK with me, as long as we can interpret it the way that we can ask for any individual statement or claim that we find "suspicious" to be referenced to a specific source. Bravada, talk - 18:40, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
This mandatory inline citations thing goes against WP:IC, which states that "There is no specified amount of inline citation that an article must have before being eligible for nomination." Cite format is variable, and inline cites need only be applied to contentious or potentially confusing statements. Kafziel 18:46, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
I agree, and for that matter if we look at Mark Antony or Elias Ashmole of FA status they only have a Reference section and that is why it is necessary to have a policy that can go with both needing to have confusing/contentious statements inline cited and only sources if no statements are contentious.

1: the sources are to be cited in a section and the use of inline citations is mandatory upon request

2: the sources are to be cited in a section and the use of inline citations for contentious statements is mandatory

Lincher 19:39, 13 September 2006 (UTC) Lincher 19:39, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

Both are too ambiguous in my opinion. It just opens the door for articles to have simple reference lists. I prefer your first one:

the citation of its sources is essential, and the use of inline citations is mandatory

and one could add another line referring to the WP:IC guideline. By the way your examples of FA Mark Antony or Elias Ashmole do have inline citations (the first has one footnote reference and the second has embedded HTML links). RelHistBuff 20:52, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
After re-reading the Elias one, I have to agree with you, they are embedded HTML links that aren't a prefered method after all.
So it will be this :

the citation of its sources is essential, and the use of inline citations is mandatory

Lincher 03:02, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

When you change WP:WIAGA, the section in WP:IC concerning "IC & FAC" should be edited to "IC & GAC/FAC" RelHistBuff 08:18, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
I repeat: This mandatory inline citations thing goes against WP:IC, which states that "There is no specified amount of inline citation that an article must have before being eligible for nomination." Cite format is variable, and inline cites need only be applied to contentious or potentially confusing statements. There is no basis in policy for making inline cites mandatory. Kafziel 17:33, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

Fork : What to do with long articles?

This was taken from the previous discussion in order to have people decide or choose an idea over what to do about long articles : Secondly, the alternative name for GA on the early stages of the concept was, AFAIK, "excellent short articles". I believe that an "abridged", summary/overview encyclopedic article should not exceed 32kB. If it is over 32kB, it should be eligible for FA status by itself. If that's not the case at the moment, it should either further be improved to make it an FA, or perhaps trimmed down to create a good "short" encyclopedic article on the topic. I guess a "halfway" article, i.e. a GA expanded, but not quite complete by FA standards, is neither a GA or FA. It's nice to reward people for their work, but I guess we should only assess "complete" (more or less) articles, and not "work in progress". I will also give more rationale for excluding "long" articles from GA above. Bravada, talk - 08:48, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

I will say, that long articles (that means 32k +, when it was last decided on) in the GA process should be (a) shorten in order to cope with the criterion about staying on the topic if they can't achieve FA format or (b) just give extensive comments about style & expansion in order to send the article to the FAC process. Thus, the GA process will only contain articles that are abridged versions of what would become FA articles, will not contain work in progress and will not contain long articles that can easily reach FA status.
Please voice your opinion on this important idea that could become a modification in the reviewing. Lincher 15:16, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
I disagree. GA should not have a length requirement at all. It should be here to recogize articles that can be trusted, are reasonably complete and can be recommended to those interested in a subject. It should provide a home for articles that do not meet the qualifications of FA status, including not being in summary style. So, I'd like to leave the size issue out of consideration for GA status. --CTSWyneken(talk) 16:24, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
I disagree, a length requirement for GA articles would be a bad idea. Some articles may never reach FA, due for example, to editing conflicts and the type of dense defensive prose this produces. As I recently passed the uncontroversial article enzyme through the FA process, I would look with horror on the prospect of trying to do the same with GA nominee Homeopathy, a good, comprehensive but closely-debated article I have also been involved with. Such a nomination would take many months and would likely never reach consensus. TimVickers 16:30, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
To CTSWyneken - Frankly speaking, I can hardly imagine an article that is long, does not meet or come close to meeting FA standards and meets GA standards as I defined them above. If the article fails WP:FA? criterion 4, it's not a good article either. If an article becomes bloated with too much detail on some aspect of the subject, the solution is to carve it out into a new article - and what remains should be close to either GA or FA, depending on length. Other WP:FA? criteria are more or less equivalent to WP:WIAGA, perhaps except for the "brilliant prose" requirement - which is not to say that poorly written articles should be GAs, just that nobody should object on accounts that the prose isn't "brilliant" (but we all should if the prose isn't too good - good articles should read well and represent proper style).
To TimVickers - you might not have noticed, but stability is an express WP:WIAGA criterion (see point 5), so an article which would be problematic to pass through FA would be equally problematic to pass through GA. As an example of possible conflict-generating and "current" FA, see Tony Blair - I believe there were quite many problems with that too, but I think a group of editors managed to bring it to a state in which it is fairly neutral and stable in that all "vandalism" and "POV pushing" can be easily reverted to a certain "stable" version, without removing vital information, which the article already contains. So - this ain't a problem either. And, well, some articles are much tougher to bring to FA status then other. It's a sad truth, but it is so.
In conclusion, I still don't see any reason why there should be room for long articles that aren't FA on GA. We should promote the best work, and not just "not bad" work. Bravada, talk - 16:56, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
It is not a question of current stability, but the instability produced by the process of FA review. A long article that is currently fairly stable and neutral on a highly controversial topic will generate a huge number of contradictory and heated reviews and edits when passing through the FA process. Indeed, some articles may be of good quality but be so controversial that it is practically impossible to reach consensus in these high-profile nominations. I see in these cases a choice between GA recognition of article quality (in itself a deterrent to POV pushing) or no recognition at all. TimVickers 17:09, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
To Tim - if an article is relatively stable due to its obscurity, it is ilusoric stability and NPOV. As long as there are valid arguments to be raised, they should be discussed, so trying to sneak the article is not good practice. As I said, with some articles it is harder to achieve FA status, but using GA as a loophole to avoid "laundry cleaning" is not good practice IMHO. If you believe there are significant influential parties that would push POV on e.g. homeopathy when it would be nominated for FA, it's a more general issue and should be recitifed by Wikipedia community at large. Bravada, talk - 19:42, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

I'm going to assume good faith in this comment and assure you that I am trying to do no such thing. I know from my experience that maintaining NPOV is difficult, and I am sure that the more prominent a controversial article becomes, the more difficult this struggle becomes. With work, and hopefully feedback from a GA reviewer, [HINT] homeopathy may one day make it to FA. However, as I said I dread to think what the review process would be like. TimVickers 22:16, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

Case in point is the Martin Luther article. We've listed it, but it cannot make FA due to the fact that it is not in summary style. It tends to be controversial, especially on the issue of his words about the Jews. The only way to solve the summary style problem is -- you've guessed it -- reduce the size of the article. Something like this can be said for a number of GA long articles. FA clearly favors article sets for long, complex subjects. Why not let an article move from stub to article of substance, from article of substance to GA, from GA to peer review and then FA? Along the way, the article may need to shrink or grow, its prose be more tightly written and sub articles emerge. While GA should have some standards, it should not aspire to be as strict as FA. If it is, what is the point in GA status at all? --CTSWyneken(talk) 17:30, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
I do not have time to give the article a thorough reading and review (I mean Martin Luther), but I have taken a brief look at its FA candidacy discussion, and I must say there are two major problems raised - 1) poor content organisation 2) POV. Either of them would prevent the article from becoming a GA too, actually, so that's not a good example - it's an example of a very large article which is, well, not good.
Actually, I would, and did, dispute the POV thing. Most of it came from editors who were pushing their opinion on one issue in the article. Since then, and before the GA nom, much work has been done there. I would argue that the article in its current state is a little long, but by far not poorly written. --CTSWyneken(talk) 19:14, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
I admit to believing the opposing party had some merit on learning about the nature of your profession :D As I said, I cannot assess if the article is written good or not, but the TOC is surely a sign that something is wrong with the structure (i.e. there shouldn't be only top-level sections). Fix the structure and renominate it for FA, calling for impartial reviewers to give their opinions on the POV thing. I would even go as far as asking Raul to look into that personally. Bravada, talk - 19:42, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
As concerns crappy article -> better article -> ... -> GA -> PR -> FA , I don't necessairly agree with that. GA should first and foremost be used to single out articles that are very good examples of WP work on all accounts, conforming with the criteria listed in WIAGA. GA should not be used for "work in progress", i.e. expanded, large articles which weren't "polished", cleaned from POV etc. It's rather for really "polished" articles which either cannot be expanded further due to the limited scope of the subject (see the planetoid example) or have been prepared with a lower level of detail in mind. Bravada, talk - 18:55, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
I'm glad that you are looking to single out high quality work, however, I have to disagree with you on what we should be about. If we hold articles to FA or near-FA standards to be worthy of GA, why bother with GA at all? --CTSWyneken(talk) 19:14, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
First of all, because it is possible to write a very good "summary" or "abridged" article on a subject, and it would be good to have those rather than various number of articles in "arrested development". Editors should strive to finish their work, either by making a super-duper FA, or, if they do not have enough material, a good "short" article on the subject. Secondly, some good articles will never be featured because the subject is too limited/uninteresting (those aren't proper words, but I hope you get what I mean) - like said planetoids (I can imagine a host of articles on planetoids becoming GA, but I guess it would be hard to make them FA). Bravada, talk - 19:42, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
The sole purpose of GA was to give examples of our good work 1) for the short articles, they will be brilliantly written 2) for the larger articles their quality may tend to be lesser than FA. Lemme explain for number 2, I think work in progress is good to show as long as they are short, not NPOV, somewhat cover the topic clearly (but needs more for people that know about the subject) and that are well sourced.
We are now tending to have 2 things happening, the first I mentioned was the GA was for short articles and the second says that the GA process will be like the FA process with approximately the same criteria/goals or simply not assessing long articles. Is that what we want? Lincher 19:26, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
What I'd argue for is a standard that suggests the articles are trustworthy. They are clearly written, substantially cited and with enough links within wiki, the internet and through citations to let interested readers follow the breadcrumbs to more info. Frankly, I'd like to stop telling my students not to cite wikipedia. Some articles, almost all on the GA list, I'd be comfortable finding on a cited works page. I really don't see the point in having GA otherwise. It simply then is a clone of FA with less hassle and leaves my students in the same boat. --CTSWyneken(talk) 21:39, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

Good Short Articles and Potential Featured Articles

If GA is near-FA...why have GA at all? (repeated from above). Worldtraveller would kick me for showing up again to criticize, but: no shit. GA should be scapped (that was my initial thought on it) and the work devoted to FA, where it matters, or GA should be much better specified in terms of its intent (this is what WT talked me into). See here for a long conversation on exactly the long/short article problem and the nature GA.

Note too, WP:ESA (excellent short articles) was actually created... Marskell 19:36, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

Again, GA is near FA with regards to the formal side, but without the "covering every small detail" requirement. No other requirement should be lifted, as the other ones are ones that every article should actually fulfill from day one (like sources, being well-written etc.) The fact that many different people edit articles in different ways is the reason why not every article is like that, therefore we have GA. The GA is either like an excellent "summary" of a possible FA on the topic, or a super-duper article on a short topic. The ESA has a rather low profile now, and there also articles between 15 and 32 kB to be covered (most FAs tend to be over 32 kB). Bravada, talk - 19:46, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

I think Worldtraveller makes an excellent point that sums up alot of the value in the GA process. "there's an incentive to improve the latter, adding references and improving the text, which FA does not provide. Click your random article link 10 times and I bet you will be lucky to find one article that's got references - for most articles, FA does not provide an incentive to add them because most articles will only ever be quite short." For articles that will never get a sniff of GA status (not because they're not good but because they can't reach the length and depth required.) there is a continual incentive for improvement. For articles that can be FA, we're here to help them reach that. I say the difference between GA and FA is the "Fine tooth comb" line because you're dealing with the difference of one set of eyes versus several-which aids in uncovering more details and imperfection. A GA review should approach the review with the highest standards but naturally won't be able to detect all the details that a full group can. However, a GA can make damm certain that all the basics of good quality is covered. Agne 19:52, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

I will also note that I really like Marskell idea from his link conversation about having a separate Featured Short Articles and Potential Featured Articles listing. For the "long" articles they would go into the latter category and that could potentially help with the dispute over "Long" articles because then the context they're being reviewed in would be made more clear. Also, since they do take longer to review, this seperate list wouldn't contribute to the backlog of reviewing the quicker, shorter articles. Agne 19:57, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

It used to be that way : See This and then they complained. The nominators were angry that their articles weren't with the normal pack of shorter articles and so I settled by just adding the LONG tag and we were back where we started from.
Something that can be done though is to have a split of the GA page, in that short GAs that are excellent can be on one page and long GA, pontential FA can be on another page. Lincher 20:07, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
(Rephrased after two conflicts--bringing thread together)
There is no "covering every small detail" requirement, in reply to first. There is a comprehensiveness requirement which states that the article should be comprehensive. I'm sorry, but the real difference between the two is that FAs are good and have been picked over (recent ones, that is—there are still dozens of poor ones from '03 and '04) while GAs are good, but hey, we don't need to look too close right now. GA, at present, is a matter of tagging while FA is a matter of double-checking; this may actually be a Scroogish way of looking at the process (reading second). You can well argue that mass tagging of this sort is needed to create various plateaus and that it accomplishes something. But I do not understand this "GA is almost FA" idea. If your GA is that close to FA, here is the place for it.
Re length, 25k is probably a more accurate level than 32k. It's perfectly possible to pass something under 30k at FAC at the moment, AFAIK. In fact, the long, unwieldly ones are often denigrated based on the TOC. As for ESA and a low profile—I don't think it has a profile, does it? Does anyone work on that page? It's actually a very good idea. All long GAs are not GAs—they are potential FAs. All short GAs are "Excellent short articles". Marskell 20:12, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
My last post (posted after two conflicts) sounds rather harsh and doesn't quite make sense. In reply to Agne and Lincher: yes, let's thrash out a concept in which the GAs are split into short and long. The short as an identifiable plateau; the long as good, but ideally FA. Marskell 20:43, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
Well, I understand the "comprehensiveness" requirement for FA as "covering every detail", as it is usually understood that way, which is why FAs tend to be longer. Anyway, if you'd look at WIAGA and FA?, the former is actually even more detailed, and both are comparable, which should result in articles up to the same formal standards! So, well, the standards are defined the way that makes GA so close to FA. Again, I have outlined above how I see the role of GA status (promote completing of editorial work, i.e. bringing the article up to a stable and sensible, high-quality form), which is IMHO quite against promoting long articles which are "not that bad" but "not yet there".
That said, it might be helpful to split the process into GA for articles under 32kB and over 32kB (with the former incorporating the de facto defunct ESA). Perhaps the "short GA" could be renamed "ESA", or the "long GA" could be renamed something else (how about A-Class articles, as outlined in Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Assessment?), especially if they are to be held to different standards. Regards, Bravada, talk - 02:38, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

I strongly oppose any splitting of this project into long and short GA's. When it was tried, the Long ones were virtually ignored. Splitting them off onto separate pages would have the same effect. FA's don't have different standards for long and short one (and yes, there are short ones - its comprehensiveness, not length that is the critera) so GA's should not have different standards for short and long ones either. There is no need to make GA more complicated. It works best as a simple project. Comprehensiveness has nothing to do with length, an article might be comprehensive when short if there isn't a ton of information about a subject. Also, comprehensive is not the same as detailed, don't mix the two. I think you guys are missing the fact that Comprehensiveness has nothing to do with length, therefore, we shouldn't be splitting anything on the basis of length. We ask a for lower level here than complete comprehensiveness of course, but the same principle applies. Personally, I don't see what's so broken about GA that we need to fix it. It does a good job of identifying those articles that are good, but that don't meet the stringent FA requirements. That's its original puprose, it works and its useful. pschemp | talk 03:17, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

Well, I disagree about the last statement. GA doesn't do this work too well, as it is often pointed out that articles promoted to GA are of so varying standards that the GA tag is almost worthless. I guess if the GA status is to mean anything, we need to have more uniform standards, and make sure all reviewers use them.
As concers long GA nominations - I ignore them by default anyway, as I believe it is virtually impossible to provide a good review of a long article single-handedly. I can go nitpicking and fail any long article if I find a good reason, but I can't imagine passing a long article by myself. I believe long articles should be reviewed by more than one user by default, and that random nomination of long articles should be discouraged, as they are time-consuming to review and quite often actually not even close to GA standards as I understand them.
I would also like to reiterate the proposition to split the assessment of comprehensiveness and factual accuracy (which can only be done by experts on the subject) and formal issues. I believe anybody can assess whether an article is up to formal standards, but it would be rather embarassing to have articles that are factually inaccurate as GAs. Bravada, talk - 03:53, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
Hmm, let's not overly devalue the project. GA is still relatively young and the norms and processes are still evolving. I agree that we have to tighten our own reviewing standards and that's done by removing ambiguities in the standards themselves and by coaching reviewers. But we will have to accept that there will always be varying degrees of quality with the GA badge. That's the nature of wiki. But in my opinion, the main goal of the existence of GA is satisfied. The quality of articles are increased by giving an incentive to editors and content providers who have little chance of reaching FA (whether long or short). I have to agree with pschemp. I don't agree that short and long articles should be split. Let's not try fix what is not broken. RelHistBuff 08:33, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
Psh, the point was identifying pieces that are literally too short to become FAs, such as an article on lunar crater. That was GA's original purpose, at least as explained to me. (Why does the GA page state: "generally, because while they nominally meet Featured article standards they are very short"?) And this doesn't confuse comprehensiveness and length at all; I've seen comprehensive FAs at 20k (which is why I don't think the split should be at 32k) but I also know some topics literally cannot grow past a certain length (until, say, somebody lands in that lunar crater) and are inappropriate as FAs. Why should pages of this sort be lumped together with the Great Pyramid?
And I agree with Brav that it's dubious how well the work gets done with the GA tag. On my watchlist, I see people show up with it that have never edited the article. So what is that, a five second look? On my last FA, mid-way through a couple of weeks of heavy editing, someone tagged it a GA candidate—I removed it. You want to work on the page, great, sit down and do so. You want to look for five seconds and tag it, I don't see the point. Marskell 08:47, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
I think you've experienced the old standard when people went around slapping up the template willy-nilly. With the nomination process implemented earlier this year, people will know that they will be judged, so they will work to improve their articles. And with better reviewing, even a failed article will get advice on improvement. And sorry, why shouldn't an article on a lunar crater and the Great Pyramid be under the same GA umbrella? We are not judging on notability, but by editorial standards. RelHistBuff 09:13, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
I wasn't aware that it was required to have edited an article to nominate it, nor imho should it be. --kingboyk 12:17, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
I agree wit kingboyk though when you decide to father an article in the GA process it should become yours and you should then answer to the questions that are coming and do the necessary changes pertaining to the ON HOLD procedure. Lincher 12:26, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
To respond quickly. Rel, as noted, a page on a luner crater and the Great Pyramid qualitatively differ b/c the former cannot be an FA and the latter can; for those that can't, we need a specific article category. Re new standards here, it just begs the question: if the idea is review/improvement, why are person hours devoted to this when PR and FAC exist precisely for this reason? GA just becomes a massive diversion of resources away from FAC through duplication. King, I have no idea whether you're supposed to have edited as I've never nominated one—to the extent that people haven't, it only emphasizes that this is a tag driven, rather than content driven, process. Marskell 12:49, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
It would only be a diversion if editors who normally like to do PR's and FA's are splitting their time here instead, and I pretty much never do FA or PR stuff, and really don't want to. Considering how much people outside the GA system generally don't think we're such a great idea, I don't see a large diversion of effort being given out here. The real problems here come from people passing articles and not listening to the instructions, which clearly state that you're supposed to show how an article has passed, and if you've examined it long enough to show this, then you could probably also give a few comments on how to improve it, a suggestion the candidate page makes anyway.Homestarmy 13:04, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
In response to Marskell, yes, the qualitative difference is obvious. But what is being proposed is to divide into categories based on a *quantitative* criterion (i.e., kilobytes). The cutoff would be arbitrary and will not necessarily correctly categorize the articles qualitatively. RelHistBuff 13:36, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
This is true (to Rel) but you'd just modify the instruction: is it under 20/25k and does it appear it's essentially not going to get larger? This would apply to a lot of technical articles (though in the conversation linked at the top it was observed that there many not be that many "excellent short articles" out there...)
Replying to Home, I don't fully understand how you can accept working on this and not the FA process. Follow instructions, show you've examined it, and offer suggested improvements. This is exactly what's done at FAC except the improvements are requisite before passing and there, more and more, people do follow instructions or it gets knocked off early...
One way to put it: if this were explicitly just a matter of tagging you could make a better argument for its use. Let's tag a total of somewhere in the mid five digits, ship the list to Wikipedia 1.0 or 0.5 and say "Ok, these are good, but we're not making promises on the specifics." And yet the argument presented here is "no, no these are being gone over. They're, you know, close to FA, just not quite there..." If that's the argument then this is just FA-lite and is a bad kind of parallel process. It encourages people to pause on a plateau just before the summit. Marskell 14:16, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
Well, i've never been very interested in the FA process because I don't have an eye for being exceptionally critical on things, but i've normally liked the GA standards, because first their more lenient, and second because i'm used to grading articles by them. On FAC, the "suggestions" are mandatory because those suggestions often involve raising articles to the highest of standards, whereas suggestions for Good Articles can offer the same thing, except Good Articles aren't supposed to meet the highest of standards. However, right now, I think we have a big problem in terms of just how qualified most Good Articles are, i've been trying to do a mini-sweep right now, and what i've seen so far isn't promising. Before we even get into just what sort of quality a Good Article should be at, we need to sweep this list. Homestarmy 14:31, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
(reply to Marskell)

Not at all, it is not a FA-lite process and it isn't a pause before summit kinda project, it is an assessment project where we, with fixed rules, decide if the article is of that level of quality or not. It is somewhat of a stepdown from FA, in terms of breadth, of quality (not to a big extent), of sources, of quantity of pictures and of length in general. It is a project that reviews articles so they can comply with the assessment scale in stating that the article is no more of B-class but not yet of A-class and that is why the one-reviewer-only is the way it is done. For sure, there will be articles that will slip through the cracks and that is why we have a FA review for those ones. So, in maintaining the GA process functional, we have to give a clear review that if failed, the article missed all those criteria and if passed, the article was this & that but may need some of this and some of that for the FA status or the A-class for that matter. Lincher 14:27, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

I'm sorry, look at "What is a Good article?" It completely mimics FA and I personally find it pointless—if you can't obviously distinguish the two, one or the other doesn't belong (and we're obviously not scrapping FA). And there's something of a catch-22, as noted in the last paragraph above: the more steps, reviews, criteria, procedure etc. here, the more this comes to resemble a parallel process and the more person hours it diverts. If the articles here actually meet the criteria on "What is a GA..." then they're practically FAs already and might as well go to FAC; if they don't, this process is not doing what it suggests.
But then there is (supposed to be) a difference: the length bit we've being discussing. "What is a GA..." suggests 15k or less, for instance. Marskell 14:47, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
Nominators & reviewers don't agree with this length anymore, a more accurate number, and I've changed it, is 25kB or less.
Secondly, my comment above just states that it doesn't mimic FA in that it assess articles more than it reviews them. It also is a step down from the FA and the A grade on the assessment scale. I will start another thread for a change I want to see happen about the length & GA/FA process. Lincher 14:57, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
Whew, another fork! :-D Anyway, concerning the difference between GA and FA, the standards are close, but there is another important difference. The processes. It's less bureaucratic and less intimidating. And it serves two purposes well:
1) recognition of articles that will not reach FA, due to being too "short" or not notable enough or not having "brilliant prose" or being too controversial, etc. and
2) recognition of articles on their way to FA due to authors perhaps new to wiki who would like some kind of recognition by peers before taking it further.
RelHistBuff 15:25, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
(to Homestarmy) I will be starting the sweep too at User:Lincher/GA. Lincher 15:32, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
I've just been sweeping randomly, the majority of articles I look at are clear failures and seem to of sneaked through the process through the backdoor, so there will probably be far less articles on the list as we do this. Homestarmy 17:39, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

Wait, what has changed exactly?

I haven't been following this discussion closely because, alas, I wasn't here when it started, but now there's a template on the main cnadidate page saying there was recently some change or something and to see this page, but as far as I can tell, everyone is still discussing the main definitions of GA's. Did something new get decided? Homestarmy 23:46, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

The tag was rephrased, though I am still not too happy with the wording (the discussion "IS", not "WAS", to start with). Lincher, perhaps you could look for a standardized template for such use, I think I saw it somewhere...
Such template doesn't exist ... I had to adapt one to this, be bold and rephrase it. Lincher 03:05, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
As to what we are discussing:
  1. Whether to include the use inline citations as a requirement for GA
  2. How to interpret GA standards vs. FA standards
  3. A proposition to re-review all current Good Articles to make sure the list really contains articles complying with WP:WIAGA
  4. Propositions how to make people take more care to abide by the policies when reviewing, including leaving appropriate review summaries when failing articles
  5. Whether or not to exclude long articles from GA
I hope I managed to summarize the main points appropriately, and that it would be of any help to you. I also invite the others to correct me if I'm wrong. Bravada, talk - 02:23, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for the fast summary, we have to get this bagged up fast because other projects are waiting to find out what will the outcome be and will also be necessary to help with article assessment. Lincher 03:07, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

This is a wiki, there is no rush for anything. Other projects can go on and do their thing without us.
As of now, the only change that has happened was the inclusion of inline citations in the reviewing process See change to WIAGA.
We will still be discussing the other issues. Lincher 12:27, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

Long article review policy/ideas

Since we can't find an agreement on what to do with lengthy articles (that is to say 25kB+ of prose or 32kB+ counting everything), I would suggest an idea that can stir comments or bring us somewhere with this dead-end/no consensus. I think lengthy articles should, when you feel it would be a GA after assessing it yourself, it would be more reasonable to kick that article into the FA process meanwhile letting the nominator know that his article will be going there and that it is outside of the scope of the GA process, for length & quality. Please make your voice heard as this solution would remove 2 things, the on hold procedure where we wait for the article to have the reviewers nit-picks modified and bring more articles to the FA process, thus helping the articles getting better reviewed. Lincher 12:35, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

I don't like it at all, we'll have to remove a ton of articles from the list, and finding good, short articles isn't easy, most of them don't have any active editors who would even find the GA system in the first place. Also, most long articles I see coming here would never pass FA standards, even by the most lenient of voters. Homestarmy 12:47, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
Per the comments from two threads up, this is what we should do. Send the big ones to PR and put in the improvement work there. And then rename this thing Excellent Short Articles to avoid the generic title and better specify what it is. Marskell 12:53, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
To stay on the topic ... 1) GA is here to stay as articles are still being assessed by many and will keep their status; 2) Homestarmy, I agree with you that the articles that come here aren't FA material but make another suggestion to how we can cope with having excellent short articles and OK to passable long articles. Lincher 13:05, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
Well, I checked out the GA list for a second, and found one such long article, B. F. Skinner. Nobody put any note on the talk page about passing it, and it clearly was no GA at all. When we used to sweep the GA list things like this wouldn't slip through the cracks, long articles are supposed to be held to the same standards as all other GA's, and I suspect many long articles are just sort of slipping on by. When we used to do sweeps frequently, this sort of problem didn't really affect us. Homestarmy 13:15, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
Sweeps are done easily when you have like 100 to 500 articles, but the amount of articles we have now is humongous and we have to make sure we find a system that may be able to tackle 100k articles one day. And so you know, there is a sweep that will start in a few days on User:Lincher/GA, we've discussed it above and it is a way to let the different articles that one criterion was modified and see if the article still fits the WIAGA. There is also a page called Wikipedia:Good article candidates/List of reviewers, you can add your name to the topic you are most likely to review. We have yet to find a place to put this page in the project. Lincher 13:20, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
To shift back to the separation thing, note that at WP:ESA WorldTraveller had actually already separated everything under 20k up until May. There are 422 listed there, and the GA list was at 1040 odd at the time of its creation. Thus, there's already a base to start from. I think maybe go back to that list and deduce not just what is short, but that which can't be long. I'm even thinking 20k may be too high a limit. White's tree frog, a nice little FA, is just 15.4 kb. Marskell 14:55, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
And again, I say separation is not neccessary. If a short article is really good, send it to FA. The requirement there is comprehensiveness, not length. Not to mention that GA is a much more widely used project than ESA, yet you seem to want to kill it Marksell. I don't see anyone else around here agreeing with that. You've been told over and over that GA is not a mini FA, yet you don't seem to get or agree with that. However, again, your opinion is not that of most people on this page. If you think ESA is so great, go work on it, but getting rid of GA is not the answer. pschemp | talk 16:22, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
Oh take it easy. The short article thing is just a decent way to fill a gap—acknowledging the work on short things that don't have enough meat for an FAC (I suppose a de facto requirement is that it be long enough for a good main page read). And I don't want to kill anything, just specify terms. I've been told over and over that it's not an FA mirror followed be a general absence of reasons. If it walks like a duck, and all that.
The one point that Lincher makes that I do see is "more assessment less actual review". One idea, to create a proper differentiation, is to rank it in more intermediate ways as checklist scale, rather than in top-level terms that are still basically a cut-and-paste from the FA criteria. For example, "a Good article will be grammatically sound but the prose may not be polished," "references will exist, but individual lines may require better sourcing" etc. If in practice the articles already look like this perhaps it's a better idea. Marskell 18:18, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

GA/FA & Length

Can we see sections Good vs. featured articles & Length be reworked from this :

These criteria are very similar to the criteria for featured articles. However these criteria and the good article review process are designed primarily with short articles (25kb or less) in mind. For short articles, prose is less likely to reach the 'brilliant' standards required of featured articles, and inline referencing is not as important. Long articles which meet the GA criteria should also more or less meet the FA criteria.

A good article may be of any length, as long as it properly addresses all major aspects of the topic. However, the authors of very short articles might consider whether it is more appropriate to merge them into larger articles. For articles longer than about 25Kb, rigorous reviewing of the Wikipedia peer review and featured article candidates guidelines is generally more appropriate than the process here.

To :

These criteria are very similar to the criteria for featured articles. However these criteria and the good article review process are designed primarily with short articles (25kb or less) in mind. A good article may be of any length, as long as it properly addresses all major aspects of the topic. For short articles, the prose will more likely be asked to reach a 'brilliant' standard, close to that required of featured articles and have appropriate inline referencing. With the one-reviewer per article review, long articles which meet the GA criteria will be of a less than FA standard but overall meeting the FA criteria.

For articles longer than about 25Kb, rigorous reviewing of the Wikipedia peer review and featured article candidates guidelines is generally more appropriate and accurate than the process here.

Lincher 15:02, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

  1. Can we split the difference at 20k?
  2. "Long articles which meet the GA criteria will be of a less than FA standard but overall meeting the FA criteria" is a contradiction. If you meet the FA criteria you are at FA standard.
  3. Still all one list? Should the long and short be broken out seperately?
  4. Should moving the long ones to PR be suggested or required?
  5. "Brilliant" is not actually an FA criteria, but a suggestive point. "Well written" is the criteria. Marskell 15:30, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
Concerning the level of writing, we should say that a GA is clearly written, easily understood by most readers of English or something like it. I also would like us to encourage in-line citations with a concrete suggestion such as: "at least one in line citation per section." --CTSWyneken(talk) 15:43, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
I don't see the need for requiring that specific # of citiations, besides, I'm not sure we should require that they be inline either. It is possible to have small sections that don't need a citation. The citiation police will disagree, but there are some obvious things that don't need them. pschemp | talk 16:40, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

I will quick answer your questions :

  1. Ok but most articles will be called long articles then.
  2. I get what you mean. May I say, might fail FA criteria for length, for controversiality and sourcing.
    If you meet the FA criteria you are at FA standard. , not true, plenty of articles aren't well organized enough to be FA but meet the FA criteria.
If it isn't well organized it doesn't meet the criteria. Organization is part of the criteria (2 and 4). Marskell 18:01, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
  1. I doubt it.
  2. I thought so but we have to assess the articles anyway.
  3. Let's change it to well-written then.

For CTS ... lets do so, and add it to the current criteria.

Pertaining to the re-assessment/sweep at User:Lincher/GA, we can start now and see what we get and work our criteria to meet the current GA batch or fail the ones that don't meet the present criteria. I've had it with the talking about short or long and that is why I made the suggestion above since we wont split ... creating more job for nuttin'. And we wont send articles to PR or FA since if people come to GA in the first place is to know if they are on the good track, let's not get the beaten first thing off while they're newbies, let the gradually go toward FA candidacy. Lincher 16:12, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

Agree here about PR. Its a separate process, is not as friendly as GA and we shouldn't be automatically kicking anything there. pschemp | talk 16:42, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

Why is everyone obsessed with retaining the primarily short articles wording? It is clear that through practice, GA has morphed into a vehicle for identifying good article regardless of length that are just not quite FA material. Now, why are we retaining out of date wording that doesn't make sense for this project anymore and as far as I can see just causes arguments over what is long and what is short. Lets be bold and throw out the whole primarily short articles thing especially because that hasn't been practice for a long time. Instead let the wording reflect the current practice. Old things like that are not set in stone, and as the project evolved, its mission has evolved and the statement of it should reflect that. Think outside the short article box. pschemp | talk 16:31, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

Yes I second this. Through the Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Assessment GA is now being seen as a root to A-class and evential FA status. It could put a big spanner in the works if longer GA candiadates were not reviewed. --Salix alba (talk) 17:10, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
Finally, some new blood. I have to agree with both of you it is a process that assess a quality of/grades articles and in such a way, long articles shouldn't be disadvantaged. Also, we should have the same criteria to judge both short & long articles. If we have the same criteria than FA then so be IT. The BIG difference is that we are doing a one-man job and there might be articles that slip through the process anyway. GA is to be seen as a platform toward FA articles and in so all articles should hope to meet FA standards but will unfortunately loose when it comes down to the length criterion. Lincher 17:39, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
GA has always seemed to me to be a stepping stone not in how rigorous people are checking the standards, but because the standards are all slightly lower, for instance, we ask for "Well-written prose" instead of "Brilliant prose", we don't require inline citations in the footnote format, and in a few other ways it just isn't as strict as, well, the Highest of Standards. Even the Good Article collaboration says we're supposed to raise articles to the Highest of Standards, so it seems clear to me that GA's don't have to be quite there yet. Homestarmy 17:57, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
OK, I know when I'm a minority of one :). I think the above is dead wrong—you remove the length issue and the criteria will not mostly mimic, but completely mimic FA. A well and true parallel process with a contradiction at its heart—these are not quite up to FA despite fact that the criteria are the same as those at FA (unless the difference between "broad" and "comprehensive" is a difference in kind). And denigrating PR is a shame—it's an extremely under-reviewed process that could do more than any page to improve quality. But, so consensus goes.
A last thought, repeated: FA does not ask for brilliant prose. Just to be clear. It asks for a well written prose just like this does. Marskell 18:01, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
Well, the last time I remember looking at FA criteria, it said brilliant prose, so I dunno what happened there :/. Homestarmy 18:04, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
It suggests well-written prose may be "compelling, even brilliant" but the requirement is well-written. You weren't seeing things :). Marskell 18:11, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

(same subject) Now that everybody is on the same side and is all up to date about GAs and FAs, lets be constructive and have ideas onto werther we change the length issue and what do we do about inline citations (I have moved the discussion over to the WP:WIAGA's talk page for there is disagreement with a WPdian there).

Sorry if you feel that we have hurt PR, I didn't mean too but in a way, it is looking dead or close to dead to me, we should revive it with fresh ideas once the backlog & the sweep is done here (IMO). Lincher 18:12, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

See last para from thread above. Perhaps thinking outside box should include reworking criteria to reflect practice rather than passing a bar. Marskell 18:23, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
I want to be bold and change the criteria but I'm always getting a slap on the hand for having done the wrong thing, would it be someone else for a change. An example of what I'm talking about is the inline citations thing that I'm discussion with Kafziel on WIAGA's talk page. Lincher 18:39, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
How about giving things a day or two to try to reach some kind of consensus? Relax. I'm sorry if you feel like I've slapped your hand, but the criteria for GA have been in place for quite a while. Just because the people who worked on them aren't around today doesn't mean these changes have garnered their tacit acceptance. Kafziel 18:48, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
In WP:WIAGA you asked where in WP:CITE does it say to use inline citation. It doesn't specifically say to use "inline citations". Section 5 in WP:CITE says about how and where to cite sources. Then in section 5.3 it defines the three accepted citation styles. It just so happens that those three citation styles are the exact same citation styles listed in the WP:IC article. So inline citations are defined to be one of those three styles (embedded links, Harvard, and cite.php footnote). If I am wrong somewhere, please someone correct me.
Inline citations are not a negative thing. They are not just for "lazy researchers" as you claim. They are there for verifiability and just as Lincher said every peer-reviewed journal requires them. More arguments are given by others above. Requiring them would be a plus for GA. RelHistBuff 21:43, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
Don't get me wrong; I like inline citations. I put them in every article I write. They're great. But verifiability isn't diminished in any way by simply having a references section at the bottom; the only thing that's diminished is the ease of verifiability. You might not like the description of "lazy researchers", but do you really want to go to the library, find all those books and magazines, and read every single one to find the info that's in doubt? Of course not. So when it seems like something might be contentious, it's good to give somebody a more specific place to look. All I'm saying is that it's not required to have them for every statement made. "IBM makes computers" doesn't need an inline citation. Articles would be unreadable if we did that. "IBM built the first large scale digital computer in the United States" probably should have one, because someone might doubt it for a number of reasons. But even if it doesn't have one, because most people think it's obvious (not saying that's true—it's just an example), that information should be sourced somewhere at the bottom and that's good enough for most things.
While we're on the subject, there also seems to be some misconception about the number of references that are needed, and that if an article has "too few", it's no good. That's patently false. All the information necessary for an article could, in theory, come from one comprehensive source. Assuming an article is no good because it doesn't cite 20 or 30 sources doesn't have any basis in policy or even common sense. In fact, the more sources one is forced to cite, the better the chances are that some of those sources will be less than stellar. Kafziel 22:02, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
Hold up, I can't help but feel that one ref comment was said for my benefit, because that's more or less the basis on which I failed several articles on today. If there is but one source out on the internet that has all the information one ever needs for something, why would anybody write an article on it, just post in the article (See: This super cool comphrehensive source which is the end all be all of this subject.) and then you're done. If there is a single reference from one single thing for a subject which is 100 percent comphrehensive, it's likely the subject is limited, and probably either not notable for an article or unable to ever grow beyond a stub. Homestarmy 22:23, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
The reason we don't do the link thing is that Wikipedia is not a collection of external links. But there's not supposed to be any original content here, so it is possible that in some cases one or two sources will have all the information we need. The mathematics case offered by Salix alba (below) is an excellent example. How many reliable sources do you need to confirm mathematical results? One should do it. Two, if you're really paranoid. Plenty of religious subjects can be well-covered with just a few sources. Works of art, kinds of food, military figures, automobiles... there are comprehensive and respected sources for all those things and many more. If there's one definitive source and hundreds of smaller sources based on that source, there's no need to include them all unless they offer something different that you feel is of some importance. Requiring people to provide excessive amounts of sources just leads to cramming needless citations where they don't belong, and (particularly in a non-scholarly environment such as this) to kids just finding titles and slapping them on without actually using anything from them (or even knowing what they actually say) just for appearances' sake. If a few good sources is all it takes, then that's all it takes. By the way, I didn't intend that comment to be only for you; our conversation did get me thinking about it, but it's a problem I've seen before on FAC. It was nothing personal. Kafziel 23:23, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
That math article is different, it has around 10 or so good references, and several notes point to particular parts to cite material specifically out of those references. A "Low amount" of references, at least in this article's case, certainly doens't look like 1 or two to me. Homestarmy 23:52, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
In mathematics articles, especially those most likely to be put forward to GA/FA status, much of the mathematical information will be common knowledge, arrearing in ten or hundreds of different text books. Also because of the nature of mathematical proof, most mathematical statements are non-contriversal. In these cases a few good references at the end to the better textbooks can be more usful than a lot of inline citations. However, the historical information seems to more in need of in inline cites as this is less well covered in the standard text books. Theres discussion on this issue at Wikipedia:Featured article review/Eigenvalue, eigenvector and eigenspace. --Salix alba (talk) 22:43, 14 September 2006 (UTC)::
Indeed. I agree here, I think GAs should have citations and a proper amount but specifiying which type and how many is too restrictive. pschemp | talk 02:45, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

Some more conclusive thoughts from Bravada

Gosh did we start a fire! It is taking up almost all of my WP time just to catch up with the discussion! I've been thinking quite a bit about the whole issue and I must say many of the things said here gave me a lot of food for thought. Here are my conclusions - I hope they are constructive:

  1. Inline citations - while they do not necessairly augment verifiability etc., there is a rather high danger of some OR sneaking through when those aren't present. When an article is rife with inline citations, one can more easily single out an unreferenced statement. Of course some mischevious editors will abuse the fact that it is quite hard to verify everything o the spot, but in general the need to use inline citations and the possibility of being asked to reference any given statement might at least help some (and I believe quite many) editors be more considerate. Not to mention that it will then be easier to sort out issues with articles significantly modified by other editors later on (e.g. you just put a list of references at the bottom, then somebody adds a bunch of stuff and suddenly it appears as the new stuff was taken from one of the sources listed).
  1. How to require inline citations - I am against any quantitative numbers, but to require that the articles includes them in general. Moreover, editors should be advised to reference all the important statements that can be contested before submitting to GA, and that any GA reviewer can ask for any statement to be referenced. I believe this should work as a self-regulatory mechanism promoting the real goal of inline citations as defined above, while a formal criterium (like "5 citations per article) can easily go awry and become contested.
  1. GA vs. FA - I do agree that the GA criteria mimic the FA criteria very closely because, well, articles that are good are good... I believe the main difference between GA and FA are not the criteria, but rather the review process - while FA is lenghty and detailed process to establish beyond doubt and by means of consensus that an article is really superb, a GA is a fast, no-hassle/no-haggle way to award a "quality mark" to good, complete work thanks to one-person reviews.
sorry, I think and indeed by the way they are stated, the GA and FA criteria are different, and should remain so. All your comments here seem to aimed at making GA into FA and I think that's the wrong way to go. Its fine as it is. pschemp | talk 02:41, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
  1. Implication for long articles - The above does not mean the standards should be lower, or the reviews less thorough. It's quite equivalent to a one-person review in the FA process, perhaps without concerns on the reviewer's side about the "superbness" of the article, but only about compliance with WIAGA. That said, while reviewing a short article is quick and painless, reviewing a long one can be quite a kerfuffle and not anything that you can do in 10 minutes spare time. Therefore, I believe that submitting logn articles should be discouraged as proposed.
    So, what to do with long articles? Well, if they grew so long because they are very thorough and complete articles on a broad topic (I mean one that is not a planteoid you can say everything about in a few paragraphs) - then there is no reason why they shouldn't be submitted for FA. Another situation can be an article that got "heavy" on one aspect of the topic - then, a solution would be to carve out the topic and link to it as "main article", leaving out a "summary section", to create a more balanced good article. The third, and unfortunately the most widely represented group of articles, are the ones that are long but not really up to standards, more of work in progress than complete - as much as the contributions to such articles should be valued, such "unfinished" articles shouldn't be recognized as "good".
I have to comment here. The reason long articles shouldn't be submitted to FA is because they don't meet FA standards. Why waste FA time on something guarenteed not to pass? YOu don't seem to be getting that fact that what can be a GA may not be an FA reagardless of length. Length has nothing to do with how good an article is. pschemp | talk 02:37, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
  1. Complete, finished articles - the above brings me to an important notion. IMHO, Good Articles should be complete and finished in the way that in their current state they aren't likely to be expanded any way, and can serve in that state as a really good article on a subject. For example, an article on a less notable musician that does not delve too deep into the intricacies of his/her personal life, musical style etc. but just adequately summarizes his/her career and role in the development of the musical genre is an example. If neither of the editors developing the article sees it fit to further work on it in the forseeable future, they can nominate it for GA. This is actually an interpretation of the "being stable" criterium, and by applying this principle we further fend off the "competition with FA" (as an article that is nearing FA status would not be reviewed, as it is still "work in progress")
I think your interpretation of being stable here is too broad. "aren't likely to be expanded any way" is way too restrictive. They should be able to be expanded, and indeed expanded to meet FA criteria. GA is not the end of the line, again, you seem to be confusing it with FA. pschemp | talk 02:39, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
  1. Competition with FA - still, I understand the concerns of making GA a competitor with FA for the resources such as reviewers' time and attention. I believe the above, and a simple solution, can protect us from this possibility. I.e. when a reviewer sees a good article that is more than just a good article, but a good featured article candidate at that very moment, he/she should suggest to the editors that they make it an FAC immediately. By keeping the article on their watchlist, the GA reviewer can later submit the conclusions of his/her review as a support vote in the FAC process. I would not propose the reviewer to automatically nominate the article for FAC, as there should be a declaration of interest on behalf of an editor in replying to requests and concerns raised in the FAC process. Otherwise, it would be a waste of time of the FA reviewers.
Indeed, right now GA doesn't compete with FA, so why change it? pschemp | talk 02:42, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

Regards, Bravada, talk - 01:30, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

Dear Pschemp,
First of all, do excuse me and do not take it too personally, yet I can't help but feel that the way you address other users is the most "aggressive" of all the people taking part in this discussion (I don't mean this section only, but to an even higher extent your previous comments). I was quite surprised to learn that you are an admin - I am more accustomed to admins representing more conciliatory and balanced style. I am also afraid you are jumping to conclusions before reflecting on what the user actually means - in other words, you seem to sometimes not understand other users' intentions. I hope I did not offend you in any way, but please do consider that (but please do not reply, that would be pointless).
Please refer to the discussion above to see how GA and FA criteria are indeed very close to each other, or just compare WIAGA with WIAFA. The differences are mostly in wording and the balance of accents to say so. With small differences (like the "brilliant prose" thing that keeps popping out) they could be probably swapped and work just as well in the other respective role. So, my conclusion is that to look for difference between GA and FA one should not refer to criteria, but to the process. As the criteria can be applied quite liberally by the reviewers, focusing on them would make the implicit statement that they can be applied in a more lenient way to GA than FA, which is why some users here feel the need for some change or perhaps just clarification.
You seem to have misunderstood what I said about long articles. My major point is that the GAC page should discourage the nomination of long articles for the reasons I gave. In some specific cases, long articles are ripe for an FAC, but not always. More often than that, they are just unfinished, and submitting them requires a reviewer to spend a considerable amount of time to prepare a full review just to inform the editors about it. It would be more beneficial if the editors reflected on their articles before nominating, and not just submitted "to see if it passes" or "because they think it is good" (not paying attention to WIAGA). And if the article is really superb, it is also worth checking if it would not also meet FA criteria by the way. As simple as that.
As concerns "stability", I meant that it is a waste of time to submit an article for GA if you are willing to further develop it into an FA. If you feel you are finished with an article, and it is not quite a good FAC, you can see if it is not a good GAN and if you feel so, nominate it. I see quite many articles being submitted being "work in progress", as people misinterpretate the GA->PR->FA chain. A GA has to be balanced on all accounts, while quite many articles submitted are brilliant and quite FA-level on some accounts, but a terrible mess on others. I believe it should be emphasized that GA is not to give an attaboy to people working on articles, but to identify the ones that are good per se (and not because "I've spent so many time working on that").
As to your last comment, some detractors of the original GA idea have always felt and apparently do still feel that GA in a way competes with FA or is redundant given the existence of FA, and I felt the need to address that, as I see the arguments put forward valid. Furthermore, as we are discussing "tightening" the currently quite loose process, it is important to indicate that the proposed changes would not make it competitive with FA either.Bravada, talk - 03:26, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
weighing in

I'd like to weigh in my thoughts on this -- I also see this process as working fine for the most part and see it as a stepping stone to FA. Being new to WP, I like the tiered process of nominating to GA and seeing if at least one person thought it met the criteria and then getting a peer review and an A-class rating, and then nominating to FA. It's a lot less intimidating and helps encourage article improvement, IMHO. Also, I don't think length should be discouraged. Long articles should be held to the same standards as short ones, and though it does sometimes require more work on the part of the reviewer, the ones that are a mess/work in progress are easy to spot and fail accordingly. I think the definition (and placement in the hierarchy on Wikipedia:Version_1.0_Editorial_Team/Assessment works really well and makes sense to me. --plange 02:19, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

Agreed. While the process can and should be tweaked, there is no reason to go nuts on it and make it more restrictive. GA is meant to be convenient. pschemp | talk 03:15, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
(to Plange) Is there any formal way of attaining an A-Class status then by peer review within a relevant WikiProject that is working using WP 1.0 review standards? Anyway, A-Class is a higher status than GA, so it would be even more desirable to achieve it. Therefore, if the article is becoming long, why not rather submit it for peer review in the WikiProject, where it could be easier to find a user willing to spend an hour or two reviewing a long article on the Finnish Civil War or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (to use examples of currenlty nominated long articles)? Again, I am not saying that long articles should NOT be reviewed in the GA process (I might have suggested so before, but above I acknowledge that I was convinced this is not the good way to deal with the issue), I am saying that, as long articles require much more time to review than their comparative length might imply, and therefore augment the backlog further (and we are now trying to find ways to trim down backlog effectively without copromising the integrity of the GA process), it would be good to advise the users submitting long articles of the above. Please bear in mind that the process was designed with short articles in mind, and not surprisingly long articles cause some problems when being subject to such process. Bravada, talk - 03:26, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
For most WikiProjects A-class is assigned by reviewers during peer review, except for WP:MILHIST, which has a formal process requiring 3 support votes, etc. A-class is higher than GA and is generally reserved for articles that are better than GA and are a hair's breadth away from being FA. I really think the distinctions already enumerated on Wikipedia:Version_1.0_Editorial_Team/Assessment are still valid and useful and clearly shows where GA falls in the hierarchy. Perhaps we do this: If others agree with my statement above that badly-formed long articles are easy to spot (no references, not a single inline citation, a 1 sentence lead or no lead at all (I've seen 'em!), chaotic layout), that we do an immediate fail (no hold). This clears out ones that are clearly a work in progress and keeps the flow going and doesn't obligate the reviewer to do a more in depth review. If in scanning a long one it appears in a quick scan that it's well-formed etc and could possibly be A-class, we put it on hold and ask the nominator if they are willing to go through the peer review process instead, i.e. "This has the potential for being an A-class article and eventually FA, I'm thinking you should probably skip to this step and do a peer review" etc. If they are newbie's and still want to "test the waters" and get the GA first, then we oblige.... --plange 03:58, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
pschamp writes "GA is meant to be convenient." But it's not. It's meant to be a recognition of Good Articles. Original research is convenient. Failing to cite sources is convenient. Watching "House" is convenient. Writing well, to standards, is damnably hard work. ClairSamoht - Help make Wikipedia the most authoritative source of information in the world 04:14, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
Words of wisdom here. Everybody please do read and consider! Bravada, talk - 04:24, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

Registered user thing

I was a bit curious myself when I read that in the rules, how long had we had that rule? I might be forgetting some conversation from a really long time ago.... Homestarmy 00:34, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

I don't know for how long but I didn't know about it either. Maybe we ought to drop a line somewhere when these changes are made so that we don't loose track of what is asked of nominators & reviewers. Lincher 12:10, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

Intro wording

A couple of weeks ago, someone (ironically, an IP user) altered the "How to nominate a page" section to say that only registered users can nominate articles. While that might help keep the nonsense to a lower level, it certainly wasn't discussed or, in fact, even mentioned in the edit summary. It just happened, and I didn't notice (did anyone?) until Tarret removed a few just now. Here's the diff:[1].

Anyway, I've returned the wording to the way it's always been and replaced the nominations. I don't see any discussion about it and, much as I hate to say it, anons can do pretty much anything on Wikipedia. If they can nominate FACs, they can certainly nominate GAs. Kafziel 00:34, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

As a supporter, in most cases, of anonymous editing, I am happy to see this change reverted. While there are good reasons from limiting the ability of anons to review articles, I don't see the harm in letting them nominate them. Eluchil404 00:41, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

Agree with Eluchil404. pschemp | talk 03:12, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

Wording change

Ok I went bold and rouge and made the change to simplify the stated purpose of GA. I'm not adverse to tweaking it if it needs it, but this is the general change I was suggesting. It now reads:

Wikipedia:Good articles is a list of articles containing excellent content, but which are not suitable 
featured article candidates at the current time.

The makes the length argument a moot point, and explains that while these articles are good, they are not ready to be FAs, though they may become one in the future. I think the previous statement kind of hinted that GAs can never become FAs and that's not quite right. I think this states the current usage of this a place for good articles who aren't ready or suitable for FA in a manner more in line with reality. Its useless to state why each and every article is not ready for FA, the important thing is that they posess good content, which is the focus of this entire project. Good content is the raison d'etre for GA. pschemp | talk 02:58, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

Now all you guys have to work out is what to require/not require in the way of citations and we're good. :) pschemp | talk 03:01, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

Pschemp, you have clearly mistaken being bold for chaning Wikipedia policies/guidelines without consensus. We have just established that another changes made to GA "main pages" (WP:GA, WIAGA and GAC) without consensus were bad practice. If you want to change the principles by which GA work, and which were set out by the GA founders, "being bold" and changing them single-handedly is not the best way. Do propose your changes, but do not force them. And also do pay attention to what the other users say. Thanks, Bravada, talk - 03:31, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

You need to read WP:BOLD. I am not doing anything in an underhanded way. I invited discussion here, and already proposed my change many paragraphs above. No one said don't do it. I did and do pay attention to what other users say, and no one said it was a bad idea. In fact, Lincher said he would do it but was afraid of getting yelled at. How about instead of yelling at me and calling my actions "bad", you discuss it constructively? As for the GA founders, a wiki is a dynamic thing. Their word is not sacred, and as projects change, we changes things to reflect practice. This happens in policy wording all the time which is much closer to being "sacred". In fact, three editors agreed with me, and one disagreed. That looks like consensus to me. pschemp | talk 03:41, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

OK, your proposition of changing wording had obviously slipped my attention due to the pace at which this discussion progresses, now I have found it. Of course I am against it (and I would have expressed that earlier if not for it not coming to my attention), so there is no consensus, and therefore I believe it would be good practice not to change anything. Even though the wording is not sacred, we are discussing a fundamental thing here - is GA to become some "midway" status for articles in development, or a way to distinguish really good articles which could not be distinguished in the most prominent way (FA). I am all for the latter - the WP 1.0 assessment scheme is for assessing articles "in development", the GA status seems to me to be shoehorned there (I'd put it above A-Class if you'd ask me). And if we are to change it the way you propose, we need a similar process for A-Class status, otherwise it doesn't make sense. Bravada, talk - 03:58, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
I still see 4 editors who agree and 2 who don't. That is consensus. Consensus doesn't mean unanimous, it means most people support it. GA is both a midpoint and a place for articles that can't make FA, and that's fine. Why restrict it to one or the other? Like i said, it doesn't matter why articles aren't FA, it matters that their content is good. As for A-class, its nice you want to relate the two projects, but they aren't related and what happens here requires nothing there. pschemp | talk 04:00, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
My understanding of consensus is striving to find a solution that satisfies all parties. Now we are on the stage where we have just stated our diverging views, then I think we have to discuss until we find a solution I mentioned, that would be a consensus. I believe only after a really lenghty discussion when it becomes clear that such a solution cannot be found the "majority" principle should be put to use to avoid gridlocks. The current majority is hardly overwhelming, so I find it hard to accept that a consensus is found. Bravada, talk - 04:07, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
Are you kidding me? Really lengthy discussions are required now? This change makes the words reflect what is currently being done. It doesn't change anything about what GA will be in the future. Why should we have an outdated description? I'm sorry you don't accept the consensus, but a supermajority is not a requirement. It seems to me that your goal is to make this a complicated process when simplification is what's called for. pschemp | talk 04:10, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
I'll second that. Seacrest... out. Kafziel 04:15, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
I am not trying to make it a complicated process, I am calling for it to be more consistent. Currently it is like "oh well, this article is good so let's pass it". I don't think the GA tag is worth much therefore. The criteria are being constantly ignored in this part or another. I do believe they set quite a high standard, and indeed close to FA in many respects, but what gives if they are not applied. Again, if you want to push, I will back off. I am having enough stress with dealing with that discussion after the last few posts. I guess I will just have to join the group of grumblers who say that "GA has no value", and at least I will have the nice feeling of being among the majority. Sun has just rised (?) where I live, so I wish everybody a good day. Bravada, talk - 04:21, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
Honestly I think that making sure GAs really are GAs is a good idea, but I think you just got mixed up, because that's not what the wording change adresses, that's a whole different issue. I understand your point, its just that that has nothing to do with the change of words. Keep that thought, it needs to be adressed, just not in this discussion. (Though personally I *don't think* that people are passing stuff arbitrarily, but like I said, that's a different topic.) pschemp | talk 04:25, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
To me GA is a stepping stone to FA... articles go through a progression of goodness from stubs to good enough (and new enough) for DYK, to "B class" to GA to FA. Not every article can or should make it all the way to FA. But I think that length has nothing to do with anything and I support this change. That FA seems to focus on long articles is a flaw in the FA process and should have no bearing here. ++Lar: t/c 03:49, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
I agree with the stepping stone thing. I think GA is an excellent way of rewarding very good articles which are perhaps not yet outstanding. I've also found GA to be a far more useful system on the road to FA than peer review is; we tend to get either confirmation of quality or a full and practical list of what's wrong with an article, and quickly. 1/3 of the articles within the scope of WP:KLF have the GA badge and it's been such a boost to us to get some feedback and quality recognition before going through the long, stressful FAC process. --kingboyk 12:54, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
Again, for all comments regarding the "long article issue", do read what I say above carefully to see why this issue popped out at all. Bravada, talk - 03:58, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
I read what you said and I am afraid I do not agree with you. The change pschemp made is a good one and will, in my view, improve things. The stuff you are talking about seems to be bound and determined to turn GA into a junior FA. GA needs to be a convenient and less stringent process than FA. Also I think you may have misthreaded my comment a bit by putting your chronologically later one in front of mine, but no matter. ++Lar: t/c 04:29, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
I think the proposed change is a good one. A simple scale with small graduations of recognised quality backed by an increasingly-rigorous peer-review system seems a very good way of increasing the quality of Wikipedia's content. TimVickers 04:21, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
I completely agree with TimVickers. --NoahElhardt 05:12, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
I second Lar's statement but will qualify it by saying it's less stringent and so because of that it's more convenient, as it's a good way to get good articles recognized during their progression up to being excellent articles (FA). Length should not matter --plange 04:57, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
And why are you so afraid of "junior FA"? Secondly, why do you believe that "less stringent" is better? And in what way should GA be less stringent - please be specific? Bravada, talk - 05:00, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
No one is afraid of Junior FA, but Junior FA is a duplication of effort that isn't neccessary. Alos, Plange is talking about what GA is now, not what it should be. Right NOW, it is less stringent than FA and that's a good thing so that articles not up to FA can get recognized. Please understand we are talking about present tense, not future. pschemp | talk 05:06, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
I am talking future tense because it is "to change" or "not to change" and I believe a change is necessary, as a combination of "less stringent" and "convenient" produced "careless and of little value". Secondly, by "Junior FA" I understand "also stringent and thus also recognized and of much value and meaning" but with less kerfuffle and for articles that are "junior" to their FA cousins, to say so. Bravada, talk - 05:26, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
(To Plange) And why do you believe we should recognize articles on their way to FA? If they are on their way, let them reach the destination! Articles reach FA in a million billion ways, I am for example working on an article that I develop section by section, so it is partially up to (my private) "FAC standard", and partially totally in shambles. It will never be a "GA but not FA". Creating a GA in the process of creating an FA requires some divertion, as it requires to even out, cut corners etc. and create a good article - which means it is not simply a step in the development, it is a separate thing. It might happen on the way to FA, it might happen because there isn't nobody interested in developing it into FA, it might happen because developing the article into an FA is impossible. How it happens is not important. To what standards we hold GA is. Bravada, talk - 05:04, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
It doesn't matter what happens to an article after GA, the point is to recognize it as good. Anything after that is out of the scope of this project and needs to remain so for simplicity's sake.GA is often a step in the development, but it also doesn't have to be. GA works for both, that is the beauty of it. Why should we change this process? Some people have the time to get an article to GA, but not to FA. Why should we not then recognize it? pschemp | talk 05:06, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
I am in absolute agreement with you - GA is a very good way of recognizing really good articles that nobody had the time to do the tideous work to developed into a full-fledged FAs, but are really up to high standards nonetheless and can serve as examples of, well, really good WP articles. And the process itself should not change (one person nominates, another reviews, fails or promotes, and yet another can delist), it is only that it becomes ineffective because of some more minor flaws resulting from imprecise definitions and poor information which we I believe we should rectify. One sign of something being wrong with GA is the proliferation of not-quite-up-to-standard articles on the list, another is the growing queue. We can purge the GA list and do away with backlog for the time being, but I believe we should make sure we also try to get rid of the causes of both. Which is what I am trying to develop solutions for in this discussion, and I have been believing so are others. Bravada, talk - 05:26, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

Bravada, you are going to get your wish for a lengthy discussion because you keep going off topic. I don't think you understand how GA is currently used in practice, and that this change reflects that. If you want to change GA totally, start a new topic about changing it, but right now we are discussing what it *is* currently. I don't, however see a consensus for drastically changing how GA works. Other than you and Marskell, everyone else thinks its fine, with maybe a few tweaks, but not a large overhaul. Everything you are talking about adds complication to what is fundamentally a simple process and should remain so. pschemp | talk 05:19, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

And I thought it was me who was getting overly personal here... Anyway, what else can I say is read the above paragraph and do not try to imply things I didn't said just because I didn't agree with you before. You might hate me with vengeance but let's not try to go overboard in twisting the discussion to push our point forward, ok? If you prove to me in discussion that my point is wrong, I will gladly concede. But if you are going to imply that my point is different then it is just to make it easier for you to dismiss, I will not be too satisfied with it.
Read the above and please do not claim that I am going off topic, do not understand how GA works (it actually works in a million billion ways, as every reviewer understands it a bit different) and that I want to add complication. Thanks. Bravada, talk - 05:30, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
You are going off topic. You are discussing what GA could be, not what it is and what it is right now is the point of the word change. You are also interpreting my comments way too personally, I am trying to explain to you what is going on, that doesn't mean I hate you or any such thing. You comments are not making sense in the current context, and as such I simply suggested you move them to another place, where they can be discussed properly. Unless you have another comment about the wording change, complaints about how GA works and what is effective do not belong in this section. This section is for discussing that word change only. If you think GA is working terribly, start another discussion somewhere else, but this is not the place for it. I don't know how to make that any clearer. pschemp | talk 05:38, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
You have established a discussion on a wording change that you yourself have said would make much of the above discussion pointless. I don't think it is pointless and I believe we should focus on the principle - establish how GA should work in detail - then propose specific changes to wording here and there and then implement. Bravada, talk - 05:58, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

(Edit Conflict)I'm not going to comment on recent exchanges, but do wish to clarify that what is under discussion in this sub section is whether or not to change the wording (that GA is for short articles) to reflect current practice. Let's have a straw poll for the proposed change, which is:

Wikipedia:Good articles is a list of articles containing excellent content, but which are not suitable 
featured article candidates at the current time.
Voting is evil. Its not neccessary here. So far on this page 7 people have supported the change and 2 have disagreed. (not including Noah who voted before I could put this message up) There is no need to make everyone come by and comment again. We are certainly capable of keeping track of who said what. Everyone has already stated clearly that they agree or disagree. Disregarding their opinion because they don't come back to say the same thing over again is silly. pschemp | talk 05:52, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

People who supported - I won't remove their comments, but a poll isn't neccessary. pschemp | talk 05:55, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

  1. plange 05:41, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
  2. NoahElhardt 05:51, 15 September 2006 (UTC) , see comment below

Although I support this version as being better than the old one, it still falls short of a good definition. Merely having "excellent content" is not enough to merit being a good article. I recent failed an article that had a lot of excellent content, but in which most of that excellent content was focused on area, making the article rather one-sided. Also, the "excellent content" was not cited. Maybe we could expand the definition further, to match WP:WIAGA? --NoahElhardt 05:51, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

I agree with Noah on the above and disagree with Pschemp on the below ;) Bravada, talk - 05:58, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
Well that's what the rest of the page does, it explains excellent content, or should. The intro needs to be a short summary of this. Details go below in the explanation. An entire essay about what a good article is shouldn't be the firs tthing that greets people. pschemp | talk 05:55, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
Essay should not, better wording should. Many people nominate articles believing they have "excellent content", to say so, and they are sometimes right in their belief, but wrong in thinking this is enough to make a GA. One can surely develop a good, concise, one-sentence explanation that would be more precise and unambigious. Bravada, talk - 06:06, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
I'm all for wording it better, but the only difference between the proposed change and the current one is the omission of this phrase only: "- primarily because they are not very long" so the "excellent content" part is pre-existing. In the interest of moving this forward, how about this?

Wikipedia:Good articles is a list of articles considered to be of good quality, but which are unlikely to be suitable featured articles. The system is unbureaucratic: everyone can nominate good articles, and anyone who has not significantly contributed to an article can review it. This list is for proposing possible promotion of articles to the community for consideration. (Consider joining Wikipedia:WikiProject Good articles if you are doing lots of reviewing!)

I just took out the same phrase and re-worked first clause. If this doesn't suit, please propose alternatives --plange 06:12, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

I think that's a very good proposition, I was just wondering whether we could somehow direct people to read WIAGA right from there. Thanks for coming up with that! Bravada, talk - 06:23, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
Thanks! How about the change I made of just linking "good quality"? Or we can put in parentheses directly after: (according to specific criteria) --plange 06:27, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

(tally at this point, 8 for, 2 against) pschemp | talk 05:57, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

(To pschemp) Sorry, was just trying to bring focus back to the question at hand. Was not implying that people had to come back, etc., or we'd disregard their opinion. In other areas where lengthy discussions are going on with a lack of focus I've found that clarifying and simplifying question at hand does wonders in focusing everyone. --plange 06:05, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

Np. Only one editor was not focused, so I didn't think we needed to do something redundant. I think this needs to say "are not suitable featured article candidates" otherwise it gives the impression that GAs will *never* be FAs. And we are talking about candidates here, since GAs are not even candidates for FA, that's why they are here. If they are suitable featured article candidates they go there, not here. pschemp | talk 06:27, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
Good point, how about this then?

Wikipedia:Good articles is a list of articles considered to be of good quality, but which are unlikely to be suitable featured article candidates. The system is unbureaucratic: everyone can nominate good articles, and anyone who has not significantly contributed to an article can review it. This list is for proposing possible promotion of articles to the community for consideration. (Consider joining Wikipedia:WikiProject Good articles if you are doing lots of reviewing!)

--plange 06:32, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

Pschemp is absolutely right, it slipped my attention that it didn't say "candidates". I'd say let's accept it for the time being and try to work on a version that would point to WIAGA, because it is still not obvious that there are criteria, and many people are likely to read just that, if anything at all. Bravada, talk - 06:46, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
PS. Btw, I would also suggest removing the link to list of reviewers (it is not in your proposition, but it is on the GAC page) while we are at it, I believe it is redundant.

How about this:

Wikipedia:Good articles is a list of articles considered to be of good quality (according to specific criteria), but which are unlikely to be suitable featured article candidates. The system is unbureaucratic: everyone can nominate good articles, and anyone who has not significantly contributed to an article can review it. This list is for proposing possible promotion of articles to the community for consideration. (Consider joining Wikipedia:WikiProject Good articles if you are doing lots of reviewing!)

--plange 06:50, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

Support Bravada, talk - 07:16, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

Holy smokes, a great deal of discussion over a small wording change. In the most recent version I still wonder if "not suitable" is really what is intended. Some articles never will be. Some just aren't yet but might be at some future point (remember, I regard GA as in some cases part of a progression to FA) ++Lar: t/c 17:48, 15 September 2006 (UTC).

Well, I think the intro needs to remain simple and "not suitable" is deliberately vague so that it can apply to the different reasons why it might not be suitable, without overburdening a quick and dirty intro with a bunch of clauses. If the current draft isn't suitable, please propose a new alternative draft. The only way I can see to incorporate that concern without over-burdening intro is this:

Wikipedia:Good articles is a list of articles considered to be of good quality (according to specific criteria), but which are unlikely to be suitable featured article candidates either at present or ever. The system is unbureaucratic: everyone can nominate good articles, and anyone who has not significantly contributed to an article can review it. This list is for proposing possible promotion of articles to the community for consideration. (Consider joining Wikipedia:WikiProject Good articles if you are doing lots of reviewing!)

--plange 18:13, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

<sigh> Really? We have to talk more about this, just because one person regards GA as part of the FA process, even if nobody at FA does? Come on—let's just get this done with already. No more alternatives, no more suggestions; everyone has already voiced their support of the previous one. That "either at present or ever" thing is pretty shoddy; your last one was fine. Instructions and guidelines don't have to cover every possible semantic objection. Kafziel 18:21, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
I certainly agree, I was just trying to set an example that if you disagree with something, give an alternative. I think the previous was fine too. So, do we think we've reached a consensus? I know the major objector (Bravada) has weighed in with his support, so should we go ahead and change, or give it more time? Though, just for the record, Lar was not one of the people in the group you described above. --plange 18:41, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
I made the change. We have consensus. Twice over in fact with the discussion of it below. pschemp | talk 03:54, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

Citation of sources should be required for GA

Criterion 2b of WP:WIAGA has been reverted back to the original version. I would like to note again that the original version is ambiguous, in fact contradictory. We say the citation of sources is essential (this effectively means “required” to me). WP:CITE gives three ways to cite sources. Then in the next clause we say “inline citations” are not mandatory. This is contradictory because the three ways to cite sources are “inline citations”. So we either say that WP:CITE is a requirement or it is not. Here is my proposal for the change of criterion 2b to remove the ambiguity:

the citation of its sources is required with the consistent use of one citation style

No mention is made of the number of citations required. That decision, of course, is left to the authors. It could be 1, it could be 100, but here is where the GA reviewer will need to judge. Contentious articles will need a high density of citations, less contentious a lower density. Please comment on the proposal.

The whole issue of requiring the citation of sources in Good Articles is a no-brainer in my opinion. When I was 16, my teachers required that we cite sources (i.e., provide footnotes and not just a list of references at the end) in our little 5-page, double-spaced papers. For good reason: to teach kids how to make quality, reliable, verifiable reports. Surely we should require citations in Good Articles! RelHistBuff 09:39, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

I totally agree with this and having seen somewhere that there are 230k plus articles in WP that don't even have a reference section, we ought to show the example. It should be a criterion that is necessary when writing to show that it is not OR, verifiable & NPOV statements. Lincher 12:28, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
I think this is obvious enough that it doesn't need to be discussed, particularly since WP:WIAGA already says sources are essential. Verifiability is policy, not a suggestion. Sources are required for every article, so it stands to reason that they're required for good ones. This just restates WP:CITE and the GA convention as it already is, but if it makes everyone happy, I guess I support. Kafziel 13:08, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
I'm not sure I agree with this, sometimes articles have both the purple ref numbers and the blue ref numbers, and sometimes articles divvy up things between notes and references for some reason. Does it really have to be consistant to be good? Homestarmy 13:07, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
Not sure what you mean by purple numbers and blue numbers. Footnotes and references should generally be in separate sections anyway, though; as I understand it, that doesn't conflict with keeping a consistent style throughout the article. Kafziel 13:48, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
The problem if you mix styles is the numbering. Embedded links have one set of numbering and cite.php footnotes has another set of numbering. So mixing them will result in two sets of cite numbers. Not very clean. Having references lists at the bottom along with the citations is ok (see relevant section on this. They shouldn't be divvied up. The information is repeated. However, in the case of Harvard referencing the reference list is absolutely required and is not optional (well we require it in criterion 2a anyway).
By the way, Kafziel, since you objected to inline citations, I am not certain if you understood the proposal. The statement effectively requires "inline citations" because it requires the use of one of the three citation styles (of which all three are inline citations!). RelHistBuff 13:56, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
But it does not require every statement be explicitly sourced, which is an important distinction. In your explanation you said, "No mention is made of the number of citations required. That decision, of course, is left to the authors. It could be 1, it could be 100, but here is where the GA reviewer will need to judge. Contentious articles will need a high density of citations, less contentious a lower density." So long as we are not requiring the use of {{cite}} and are not being unreasonable as to the amount of inline cites needed, I don't have a problem with it. As I said yesterday, I like them. Kafziel 14:13, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

How can an article qualify as "good" if it doesn't even qualify as "acceptable"?

At WP:V, it says "Wikipedia:Verifiability is one of Wikipedia's three content-guiding policies. The other two are Wikipedia:No original research and Wikipedia:Neutral point of view. Jointly, these policies determine the type and quality of material that is acceptable in the main namespace."

Every fact stated needs to be supported by a reliable source. If you're doing a comparison, you may need multiple multiple cites for a single sentence, e.g., "The principle agricultural exports of Moldavia are cinnamon (43% of GNP)3, horseradish (41% of GNP)4 and velcro (191% of GNP)5" If "everybody knows" something is true, then there's no reason to mention it. The Water article doesn't mention that water is wet, after all. If something needs to be said, however, then it needs to be supported by a reliable source. ClairSamoht - Help make Wikipedia the most authoritative source of information in the world 18:41, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

You seem to be confusing verifiability with citing sources. Every statement must be verifiable but that does not mean that every statement must list a source. The policy doesn't say everything must be "instantly and easily verifiable"; it's up to the reader to verify most things on their own. Just because a statement does not explicity list a source for you doesn't mean you are unable to verify it. You just need to put forth the effort. In the case of something that is especially likely to be contentious, it's generally a good idea to help people find the source. But not listing a source does not mean a statement isn't verifiable. If the verifiability and citations were one and the same, they would be part of the same policy. They're not. Kafziel 18:53, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
Which part of It says that 2. Editors adding new material to an article should cite a reputable source, or it may be challenged or removed by any editor. are you missing?
There are three policies. The NOR policy says you can't insert something simply because it's true; it has to have been published by a reputable source. The RS policy says you can't insert something simply because it's true; it has to have been published by a reputable source. The V policy says you can't insert something simply becaue it's true; you have to show that it's been published by a reputable source. After being beaten over the head three times, we're supposed to pretend that it's not necessary to back up facts by citing where it's been published by a reputable source? Tell me, if it's not necessary to cite where each fact has been published by a reputable source, what do you think those three policies are saying? ClairSamoht - Help make Wikipedia the most authoritative source of information in the world 00:06, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
If it's not necessary to show cite sources, why don't we just put a link on the sidebar to google, and tell users to check things out for themselves. And while we're at it, why not just redirect users to Google in the first place, if we're not going to be a reliable source for information? ClairSamoht - Help make Wikipedia the most authoritative source of information in the world 00:06, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
Ah, the old "What's the point of Wikipedia if..." etc, etc, etc. Always just a matter of time before that comes up. Look: Verifiable information and verification handed to someone on a silver platter simply are not the same thing. That's a fact. All information should be verifiable, and all information taken from a particular source should cite that source in some type of reference section. Beyond that, if there is some specific point that may cause doubt or controversy, it's a good idea to be specific as possible to avoid potential conflict. I don't know what style guide you're using, but I've never seen one that would require specific cites for each and every statement made. There's no such thing. "Oranges are orange. {{cite}}" "A bicycle has two wheels {{cite}}". That's absurd, distracting, annoying, and pointless. Those are statements. They are able to be verified. But they do not require specific citations. The point of NOR is that all content on Wikipedia needs to be backed up by a reputable source; the point of NOR is not that said source must be reiterated at each and every sentence. If you don't like that, there's not much I can do to help you. This simply isn't the place to get up on a soapbox and try to change Wikipedia. Kafziel 06:06, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
But oranges aren't orange - they're sprayed with color before they hit the supermarket. But the fact is, if a statement isn't backed up by a cite, WP:V says any editor may remove it with no other justification than lack of a cite. Are you proposing to change the Good Article criteria to eliminate the requirement that the article be stable? Yes, there's an exception for repairing vandalism, but IT'S NOT VANDALISM TO DELETE STATEMENTS WITHOUT CITATION.
If you don't like that, there's not much I can do to help you. This simply isn't the place to get up on a soapbox and try to change Wikipedia. ClairSamoht - Help make Wikipedia the most authoritative source of information in the world 06:29, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
I don't see how anything you just said has anything to do with anything I said. You're arguing about the color of oranges, then about vandalism, then about the stability requirement. What are you talking about?? All it looks like to me is that you tried to change the subject three times in one paragraph. Impressive effort, but it in no way defends your position. This citing sources after every sentence thing of yours has no support from the community or in any guideline or policy. My position—citing sources at reasonable intervals and more often where needed—is the standard at CITE, WIAGA, and FA. Kafziel 14:24, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
There are two other reasons at least for inline citation, and they are more important in the scholarly community than verifiability.
  1. To give credit to the person who did the research we rely upon.
  2. To help a curious reader find their way to resources, both printed and online, that will give them more info about a subject.
While I'm not so much a citation stick-in-the-mud that I want to see hundreds per article (only the most hotly contested need that kind of work) I think it is reasonable to ask for at least one cite per section of an article. Am I alone in this?--CTSWyneken(talk) 12:22, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
That's pretty much what I've been saying. Regular intervals, more as needed. Despite what ClairSamoht seems to think, I do value inline citations. I always use them, and I prefer to see them in other articles. Just not after every single statement. Kafziel 14:24, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

Well, I think it is pretty obvious for everybody here that citing sources should be a GA requirement, so I think we agree in principle. I don't think, however, that any "formal" requirement like "one inline citation per section" makes much sense. I'd say - the articles has to include inline citations (that makes two inline citations per article enough actually for those who are afraid of swarms of them), but the reviewer can ask for any statement to be "inline cited" and the editors that want an article to be promoted should be advised that it's better to have all potentially questionable statements referenced beforehand.
From my own experience I have to say that it is not that hard to have a whole article referenced. Most sources dealing with the subject will in this way or another include obvious information such as "Celine Dion is a singer" etc., so when you have a section that includes many non-controversial and obvious statements, you just need one citation at the end of a paragraph. Bravada, talk - 15:16, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

As a new member of this project, who is confused by this long-and-never-ending discussion, let us make this as a consensus. Inline citation is required for GA. I agree with Bravada. Good Article is supposed to be unbureaucratic process, which is why I joined this project. — Indon (reply) — 16:38, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
Is everyone ok with the formulation above? It wikilinks to WP:CITE and requires the selection of one of the three specific inline citation styles. I did not wikilink it to WP:IC as it is only an essay. If there are no serious objections by Monday, then I will modify criterion 2b. RelHistBuff 20:50, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
The three inline citation styles mentioned in WP:CITE are Embedded HTML links, Harvard referencing, and Footnotes. But is <ref>[ Mid-Atlantic Farm Policy Leadership Forum]</ref> considered to be acceptable footnoting? I consider it to be, since it says exactly where the information came from, but I've seen reviewers claim that to be inadequate, in effect demanding that one buy a copy of the Chicago Manual Of Style in order to figure out what is acceptable. ClairSamoht - Help make Wikipedia the most authoritative source of information in the world 22:14, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
My guess is that most people don't have a problem with the format of the link, but rather with the content - websites are often considered questionable unless they are a copy of a peer-reviewed publication. If you need style help though, there's no need to buy any books - all the information is online. Try Wikipedia:Reference, APA, MLA, and Chicago. --NoahElhardt 22:33, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
I agree with the wording of the above criterion in that it lets reviewers the previlege to request citations for biaised/NOR/V facts. It also clearly says that we need to have WP's GA have citations even though we don't have a requirement of how many or what style should be used.
A consensus has been reached 2 times over the fact that we need to change the current policy, once before I changed the wording that was reverted and now with the current thread. Please be bold and make the change and we will have to live with this new criterion even if we like it or not. We are also a project that helps show the way to FA/A-class and this is a logical requirement especially because more than 50% of the work on WP doesn't cite their source. Lincher 22:56, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
A consensus has been reached that a change is necessary, but a consensus has NOT been reached as to what change is necessary. I want to see it spelled out, whether showing exactly where the fact comes from is sufficient, if it is necessary to use highly-formatted cites that provide all sorts of extraneous data, such as the date you accessed the URL, the name of the author, and what color his belly-button lint is. It's pretty obvious which way I lean on this issue, but I'm flexible on the details; it's ambiguity that I object to. If we're going to require APA, Chicago, or MLA, we need to say so. If we only require that sources to be cited in a consistant manner throughout the article, we need to say that, too. ClairSamoht - Help make Wikipedia the most authoritative source of information in the world 00:08, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
I think GA already does expect a consistent citation style/systems within a single article, as few articles are passed without the style being made consistent. The various systems (general source, links, harvard, cite, ref/note, and some hybrid systems) and various style handbooks have different uses appropriate to different subjects, so specifying one particular style might fight against the dynamics of certain subjects. I wouldn't want to rule out articles with good old plain html links. Gimmetrow 01:27, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

I am quite surprised that, while exhibiting the link to WikiProject Fact and Reference Check in your sig, you have a problem with using Template:cite web and similar. I found them pretty easy to use and not overly fussy, and I am the laziest Wikipedia editor ever. I guess if WP allows all three formats, we have no reason to require a specific one, though I'd say I have serious problems with accepting "embedded links" as proper citations (not even providing the access date those are pretty worthless), but that's a more general issue.
In conclusion, do we finally agree that we require Good Articles to contain inline citations and that the reviewer can ask for any info in the article to be referenced specifically to a source? Bravada, talk - 01:22, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

I see it more like this then (sorry for the wording ... I'm bad at writing criteria) :

the citation of its sources is required with the consistent use of one citation style, as such, a reviewer may request uniformization of or additional citations

Lincher 01:42, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
Keep in mind that some editors split text comments from citations, and use different systems for each, e.g. Harvard for citations and cite.php for comments. Will this be considered a "consistent use of one citation style"? Gimmetrow 01:57, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
If you are saying that people use cite.php for inline citations/notes than it is ok since we are discussing inline citations and this is using one style. As for a section which is called reference and only bulk dumps the references used than another system may be used, that doesn't matter. Lincher 12:21, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

Just one small remark, as I'm confused with this discussion. When I read 3 different citation styles in WP:CITE, all of them are inline citation, CMIIW. If you use embedded citations, you must put it in the article, thus it's inline. If you use Harvard referencing, then you must put (Author, Year) cite format in the article to point to one of the reference in the References section. Thus it is also inline. The cite.php footnote style also yields an inline citation automatically.

So, the WP:CITE as also one of Manual of Style guideline will create automatically inline citations. No matter which style you use. If an editor only puts list of bibliography in the References section, does (s)he follows one of the citation style? I don't think so. This is just my two cents' worth. — Indon (reply) — 13:06, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

Yes, you got it. That is exactly what is meant. There seems to be a mistaken impression on other talk pages that "inline citations" only means the cite.php footnote method. That is not true. Both Harvard and embedded links are also considered "inline citations". There is also a mistaken impression that placing just a reference list satisfies Harvard style citation. It does not. One has to put cite info in parenthetical elements next to the assertion (hence making it "inline").
In answer to Gimmetrow, mixing styles is not a good idea. For example, if you mix embedded links with cite.php footnotes, you get two sets of cite numbering (1,2,3,...) in the article which is quite confusing. The example you gave is interesting, however, because Harvard style is purely for citations while cite.php can be used for both citations and comments. If an article has a mix of citations and comments, and since it is easy to convert Harvard citations to cite.php, then my response would be the article must use cite.php in order to stay in one style. Yes, it may be a little work for an editor, but again we are trying to set good standards.
As for other formats than those three, I think we must stay silent on this. We should stick to what is current accepted policy (and guideline) on Wikipedia. As everyone knows, WP:CITE is a guideline for Wikipedia in general. What the formulation above is saying is that WP:CITE is now a policy (a requirement) for Good Articles. RelHistBuff 15:40, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
Since even FA allows hybrid citation systems, so should GA. A hybrid system, applied logically, should be a perfectly valid style, and in some cases may even be the best solution. Excluding them would not be setting a good standard. Gimmetrow 18:03, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
If FA allows multiple citation styles, then surely GA should too. Homestarmy 18:13, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
For reference, the kind of hybrid system I mean can be seen in the FA Rabindranath Tagore. A simpler version in a non-FA can be found in List of rare baseball events. Also note that WP:CITE specifically mentions using cite.php with Harvard. Gimmetrow 18:56, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

How about this:

2. (b) the citation of its sources using inline citations is mandatory

WP:CITE spells out usage and what is acceptable and how things should be consistent, etc. --plange 19:52, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

Oppose. It doesn't say what's acceptable and what isn't. I'd much prefer something like

Any consistant citation style may be used to cite the source for the article's content, as long as the source for any given content is identifiable.

I'm not really thrilled with my wording; I'm pretty sure someone else can come up a more elegant statement. But I'd like the sense that editors don't have to use APA/Harvard/Chicago or some other citation style more appropriate to research papers than to an encyclopedia. ClairSamoht - Help make Wikipedia the most authoritative source of information in the world 20:51, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

I disagree. WP:CITE itself does say what is acceptable and what isn't. We can use one of three styles:
  • Embedded HTML links,
  • Harvard referencing, and
  • Footnotes.
--plange 21:30, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

Please, as WP:CITE is an official policy of Wikipedia, we must choose one of the three styles there, like it or not. I agree with plange proposal above, but a bit change of wording not to use inline citations phrase to wikilink to WP:CITE, as there is one essay (not a policy) about it in WP:IC. — Indon (reply) — 23:51, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
Er, no. Not even WP:WIAFA requires an article to follow one citation method strictly. The only thing that is desired is consistency within an article, whether it is by Cite.php, Harvard refs, footnotes, hybrid systems, or some other contraptions we haven't thought of. Titoxd(?!?) 23:58, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
In that case, we definitely DO NOT have consensus. Someone listed List of rare baseball events as an article which doesn't have embedded HTML links, nor Harvard referencing, nor footnotes, yet very clearly is doing an adequate of citing the sources used for each rare event.
OTOH, this conforms to Cite:php (which is NOT official policy) but it doesn't do an adequate job of citing the sources for content:

<ref>World Book Encyclopedia</ref>

I would argue that

<ref>[ How to store apples for a long long time]</ref>

is quite satisfactory, but the person who reviewed the Johnny Appleseed article found it unacceptable; he demanded that it be in a different format, but when I asked him what formats were acceptable, and which formats were not, he couldn't answer that.
WP:CITE does NOT say that complex APA-style citations like

<ref>''How to store apples for a long long time.'' '''Retrieved September 5, 2006 from []'''</ref>

are necessary, but obviously SOMETHING is necessary. The whole point of having criteria for GA is that we don't have one reviewer looking at an article and saying, "Looks good to me" and another saying, "Obviously unacceptable", but with ambiguous statements like what you're proposing, that's exactly what we will have. ClairSamoht - Help make Wikipedia the most authoritative source of information in the world 00:26, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
For the matter, cite.php is a technique/program that helps when citing sources and it is not required by anyone. It is although easy to format references with it and that is why it is used throughout WP. When using such a tool, an editor will choose the footnotes or embedded HTML links (in a way that it is more readable). In that case, the editor will then be using on of the required format.
Can we have plange's criterion as it is easily understandable and doesn't include Wikipedia:Citing sources and Wikipedia:Reliable sources which are not policies as of now with the latter being almost universally recognized and the former being only partially accepted among editors. Lincher 02:55, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

I believe we have at least partial consensus. From this discussion it is clear everyone agrees that:

  • Citation of sources is required

Where we do not have consensus:

  • Citation of sources requiring consistent use of one style
  • Citation of sources using styles other than the three listed in WP:CITE
  • Additional requirements regards to the citation of sources

So for the moment, I will change 2b to be just what we have agreed and will use a slight modification of plange's formulation. "Citation" wikilinks to the WP:CITE and "inline citations" wikilinks to the specific section of the article.

the citation of its sources using inline citations is required

We can continue discussion on the other issues and change 2b accordingly. RelHistBuff 07:20, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

Concerning consistent use of one citation style, although FA do not require them de jure, it is for all intents and purposes de facto. In any case, we could decide on our own whether to require consistency of one style, i.e., we can move ahead of FA, I am sure they will follow ;-) I am certain any editorial board would frown on the idea of mixing citation styles. And IMHO, the FA example of Rabindranath Tagore looks like an editor's nightmare with Greek letters for comment footnotes and then within the comment footnotes, the authors' included citation footnotes. Ugh, footnotes of footnotes! I would still advocate one consistent style per article.
Concerning ClairSamoht point about providing web access dates, there is a guideline about providing a web access date for a web citation. Since we use WP:CITE as our standard, then we don't need to repeat it in WP:WIAGA. RelHistBuff 08:36, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
Yes, FA "de facto" requires a consistent style, but a hybrid system is a consistent style. Restricting an article to exactly one of the three systems listed in WP:CITE is a rather narrow idea of consistency, not supprted by FA or by WP:CITE itself. As for Rabindranath Tagore, perhaps the notes should have used Roman letters rather than Greek, but none of the reviewers raised any objections about the note system. It was promoted five months ago. Gimmetrow 11:03, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

Style guides

The way I read the styles guides and policies, references are required, an editor can feel free to remove anything from an article that is not sourced via some sort of inline citation and articles without any references at all may be recommended for deletion. No specific style is required and consisency in style is encouraged. Am I correct? --CTSWyneken(talk) 11:08, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

I think that goes a bit far. References are required by WP:V. An editor may "freely" remove unsourced negative statements in biographies of living people. However, "sourced" does not mean only inline citations - not that this is ideal, but in many cases articles are "sourced" by listing some references at the end. Aside from BLP issues, an editor would not be free to remove all sentences that lack footnotes in an article. Statements which have been in an article a while and are not particularly dubious should only be "challenged", to allow other editors time to find the reference. Gimmetrow 11:42, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
Yes, no specific style is required, but what was proposed was the choice of styles would be limited. And rather than encouraging consistency in style, the original proposal would require consistency in style. I admit though that all this is pushing beyond the requirements of WP:CITE so these ideas should be introduced at that level rather than here in GA. So I guess I will shut up... but before I do I'd like to mention that my nitpick with the hybrid citation system in Rabindranath Tagore is not so much on use of the Greek letters, but this weird footnotes within footnotes system. Notice that the links to the citation footnotes in the Notes section do not work. The fact that this passed FA without comment just shows the weakness of the FA system. And they think GA's are of low value??? :-D RelHistBuff 11:42, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
Ah, they don't work because they are after the references tag. The notes section was before the references section when it achieved FA; it has lost a bit from vandalism that will take some time to investigate. I'll fix that when I fix other issues in the article. I sympathize with concern over footnotes within footnotes, but it seems relatively minor; if this were done in Harvard style would it be a concern? Gimmetrow 12:13, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
Thanks! What I'm hoping for is to take a step back from our own proposals for a moment and just try to summarize what the generally accepted rules are. I'm a bit confused by what Gimmetrow is saying. I do understand that references in general can be in the equivalent of a works cited list. On the other hand, the way WP:CITE and WP:V talk about the {{fact}} tag seems to suggest that any item without an inline note is subject to removal. Are you saying that a {{fact}} tag could be reverted, with an edit summary that says something like "see reference section below"? --CTSWyneken(talk) 11:53, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
A fact tag doesn't remove the statement, it asks for a citation. What's the confusion? (Generally I would think if a fact tag is added in good faith, an inline cite should probably be provided before removing the fact tag.) Gimmetrow 12:13, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
According to the policies, a fact tag can be used to challenge the accuracy of a statement, and, if it is not supplied, is justification to remove that statement. I've have it used in this manner on material I've authored fairly frequently. Since our policies encourage such usage, I believe we are somewhere between encouraging and requiring inline citations in every article in wikipedia. Is my analysis wrong? --CTSWyneken(talk) 14:24, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
(Random indent) Three points: 1) you originally said "an editor can feel free to remove anything from an article that is not sourced via some sort of inline citation". I took this to mean I could just go to any article and remove any sentence I want, with no prior notice, simply because it doesn't have a footnote. This is apparently not what you meant, because a fact tag is prior notice. 2) This effectively requires inline citations for any statement than some editor honestly feels needs an inline citation. Disputes tend to arise around controversial statements, which really should be clearly referenced. 3) According to WP:CITE, {{fact}} is to ask for a citation, but {{verify source}} is for inaccurate or doubtful statements. Gimmetrow 14:45, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
(undenting a bit) Thanks! I had forgotten about the {{verify source}} tag. I think you've summed it up. So, general reference is OK unless challenged. I think that Good Articles should exceed the minimum standard, but be less than that of FA. So... I think requiring some sort of inline citation would be in order. --CTSWyneken(talk) 18:12, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
I guess this will be a matter of on hold policy. In that matter, giving facts that would make the reviewer go Man I think this is NOR/POV/V, then requesting an inline citation is ok. Then a talk on the article's talk page starts between the reviewer and the editors and a consensus is given and the reference might be given or not depending of how the editors commented. The criterion is as it gives power to the reviewer to ask an inline citation and not be accused of not following the WIAGA criteria and also engage a discussion to let the editors know that we care about the articles' V/NOR/NPOVness in a way that we want to see some statements cited the way WP policies require them to be. Lincher 12:04, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
I agree with RelHistBuff. This matter should be discussed on WP:CITE policy level, not GA. We can only adopt what has been the policy in WP. On the contrary, as the policy is not determining a strict regulation about style guides, then do not be surprised as GA reviewer will not objectively assessed GA nominees. For instance, Michael Jackson and Captain America were recently failed its GA status, mostly because of strict <ref>...</ref> style used by the reviewer, instead of judging its content.Indon (reply) — 12:42, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
I think the only thing proposed is that we follow the guidelines of WP:CITE, correct? Which requires one of the 3 styles? Can someone who is pointing out hybrids are valid point to a good example (same with articles that it is argued cannot use one of the 3 styles)? I might be using what is called a hybrid style and not know that's what you're referring to. I use the method of refs in a Notes section and then full citation in a References section. I think this will help us judge better. I definitely do not think we can limit to just one of these (don't think this is what is being proposed, but just stating my view in case it is). Also, in the above examples Indon gave, if someone is using the ref style, then it should be used correctly and so reviewer was correct in pointing that out, plus neither failed solely because of this.--plange 14:27, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
Ooops, you're right. It is a bad example. Sorry. — Indon (reply) — 14:32, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
Read above, Plange. I've pointed to an FA and a non-FA using different hybrid systems, and linked to the part of WP:CITE discussing a third hybrid system. What you describe as using is not what I'm calling a hybrid system. Gimmetrow 21:06, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
If WP:CITE were policy, RelHistBuff, then pursuing change at the WP:CITE level would be fine and dandy, but it's not. It's just a guideline.
The Good Article recognition isn't honor roll. It's passing grade. It's an "is it soup yet?" standard. If an article is clear and understandable, and meets the requirements of Wikipedia policies for content, then it's good; if it doesn't, then it's not good. We really should be deciding what meets the standards of WP:V, rather than WP:CITE - and I don't think that's any great loss, because WP:V has pretty darned high standards.
What kind of hell would break loose if GA reviewers were to pursue a policy of aggressively deleting every statement that wasn't sourced? I don't want to see it - but somehow, we need to get the word out that if your article doesn't meet the requirements of WP:V, it's very much unacceptable. Somehow, that bit on "Encyclopedic content must be verifiable." on the editing page regularly gets overlooked or misunderstood. ClairSamoht - Help make Wikipedia the most authoritative source of information in the world 21:57, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

Information may be "sourced" and verifiable without an inline citation for that information - which is why GA used to say that "the use of inline citations is desirable, although not mandatory." Note that WP:WIAFA requires a references list, but this is only "complemented by inline citations where appropriate". Gimmetrow 13:59, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

I see that you changed criterion 2b back. It would have been more appropriate to discuss this as we had reached a consensus as shown below. Concerning WP:WIAFA, I also wondered about that. It seems when they say "where appropriate", it means, to place the citation where they are appropriate in the article, not "only" placing them in an appropriate article. As I understand it, inline citations are required for FA. Anyway, even if this intrepretation is up for debate, you should place the criterion 2b back and reach another consensus before single-handedly changing it. RelHistBuff 14:17, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
You asserted there was a consensus for the change, and then you changed (yesterday!) the criteria prior to the completion of discussion on this point. I reverted to the prior text. You need to establish consensus for your change. Gimmetrow 14:25, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
Actually there was, or we apparently thought, see above. We agreed inline citations were required but left it at that and are now debating if it should go any further (consistency of style, etc) which is the current discussion. Inline citations are required for FA, so am not sure why this is a contentious point. --plange 14:33, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
I was disputing the proposed change. The change had been previously attempted on 14 September and reverted, with no consensus for this change. I also didn't realize that your proposal of 07:20, 18 September, would be implemented by 09:58, 18 September, despite the ongoing discussion. Gimmetrow 17:36, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
I just wanted to declare my full support for the wording of the 2b criterion as of before Gimmetrow's reverse. I also find this revert highly disruptive, and it prevents me from reviewing again, just as I was up to. Can we please close that ASAP and get back to business? Bravada, talk - 14:32, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
How does this prevent you from reviewing? Were you unable to review articles for the past few months because of that text? Gimmetrow 14:46, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
No, for the past few days or so, until we reached a consensus on the new WIAGA. I do not want to review articles knowing WIAGA is just about to change. I am now providing a discussion of the article's compliance with all WIAGA points in particular as a review, and I would like this point to be finally established before I continue doing so. Bravada, talk - 14:52, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
I noted that I was going to do this (see above) and based on the conversation of this section where there was mostly support to require citations, the decision that consensus was made was in good-faith. In addition, Lincher noted this change again in the section "In a nutshell" below. The discussions in fact continued on after the change. Now you have single-handedly moved it back without discussions. I would ask that you change it back and we can discuss the issue again here,... well, preferably in another section at the bottom. RelHistBuff 14:35, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Strong Support for Lincher's version requiring in-line citation. It is almost essential in lieu of WP:V and it all around good form. Agne 16:56, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Strong Support - especially if we're part of the path to FA, this gets editors trained to use them. Also DYK recommends only picking articles that have inline citations. --plange 16:59, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
Could you point out where? Gimmetrow 17:53, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
Certainly, see bullet points under Selection on WP:DYK - "Select articles which cite their sources. While this is not a hard and fast rule it's a really good idea to do this. Over time, uncited articles are less and less likely to be chosen. At the very least, the item mentioned in the tagline should be sourced in the article." and "cite their sources" is linked to the same page we're linking to in our proposed change: WP:CITE. On that page inline citations is the method for citing. --plange 18:53, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Strongly support that inline citation is required. That's how we can assess WP:V, WP:NOR and WP:NPOV. — Indon (reply) — 14:42, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Strongly support - Sorry about the late vote (time zone difference with the US). Anyway, I guess everyone knows where I stand. RelHistBuff 17:16, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
wrapping this puppy up

do we have consensus? I think the only one that objected to Lincher's change was Gimmetrow? --plange 14:35, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

Kick out length policy ...

... once and for all. It is not necessary anymore as GAs are a stepping stone toward FA and because we should evaluate every articles on the same ground. Since this project falls in the Assessment project also, it would be doubly necessary to forget about the length criterion/idea on the WIAGA page. Lincher 12:31, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

Fine with me. Homestarmy 13:05, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
  • support I think the distinction on length is lost on most editors not in the core GA team. The previlance of the 1.0 assesment with GA as one step in the process means that this meme is spreading. --Salix alba (talk) 13:59, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

See last proposed word change under the subheading above "Word Change" - if we get consensus on that, which seems likely, we can change the intro to take out the length phrase. --plange 15:02, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

Well, I agree with the re-write of the citation shown in section Word change.Lincher 15:09, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
Looks good to me. Kafziel 15:29, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
I don't know what lenght policy you want to kick out, actually... Good Articles can currently be of any length, there is no limit to that, there have only been propositions to curb on that, but they fell through, so we are where we were with that and that's fine. Or if you want to kick out the marking of long articles as LONG, I don't think it's a good idea, as it only helps reviewers. As a sidenote, I would also like GA to remain independent and if WP 1.0 wants to include GA, it should be them that should worry about how it fits, not the other way around. Bravada, talk - 17:00, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
As I understand it, the proposal is referring to a rewrite of this rather silly (and, I believe, relatively new) intro wording: "Wikipedia:Good articles is a list of articles containing excellent content, but which are unlikely to be suitable featured articles - primarily because they are not very long." It's basically about removing the "not very long" bit. There are a lot of reasons an article could be a GA and not an FA, and there's no need to specify length right off the bat. It's a pretty minor change. Kafziel 17:17, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
Oh, I thought we have already agreed on that above. If we accept Plange's intro proposition, it is equivalent to that. Bravada, talk - 17:33, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
I thought so too, but its good to have some clarity on a talk page with such a vigorous discussion on it. (most pleasingly civil, BTW. Maybe we should list it as a Good Talk Page. ;-) )
So, I support re Lincher's reasoning. --CTSWyneken(talk) 20:28, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

I made the change according to the second to last wording proposed. It seems to be the clearest. pschemp | talk 03:55, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

I re-iterate my comment way above about length, can we see sections Good vs. featured articles & Length be reworked from this :

These criteria are very similar to the criteria for featured articles. However these criteria and the good article review process are designed primarily with short articles (25kb or less) in mind. For short articles, prose is less likely to reach the 'brilliant' standards required of featured articles, and inline referencing is not as important. Long articles which meet the GA criteria should also more or less meet the FA criteria.

A good article may be of any length, as long as it properly addresses all major aspects of the topic. However, the authors of very short articles might consider whether it is more appropriate to merge them into larger articles. For articles longer than about 25Kb, rigorous reviewing of the Wikipedia peer review and featured article candidates guidelines is generally more appropriate than the process here.

To :

These criteria are very similar to the criteria for featured articles. However these criteria and the good article review process are designed primarily with short articles (25kb or less) in mind. A good article may be of any length, as long as it properly addresses all major aspects of the topic. For short articles, the prose will more likely be asked to reach a 'brilliant' standard, close to that required of featured articles and have appropriate inline referencing. With the one-reviewer per article review, long articles which meet the GA criteria will be of a less than FA standard but overall meeting the FA criteria.

For articles longer than about 25Kb, rigorous reviewing of the Wikipedia peer review and featured article candidates guidelines is generally more appropriate and accurate than the process here.

And that is to remove the length crieria from the WIAGA page. Lincher 01:44, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

Can we also change the Length criteria on the candidacy page, it is not necessary anymore. Lincher 01:46, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

I don't see any vital reason to change the "Length" section. The current wording reflects reality quite well without creating any formal requirement concerning length. As concerns the GA vs. FA, the only thing that is really indisputable there is the same what is said in the length section, so I guess we might do away with this section for the time being. Bravada, talk - 01:58, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
I didn't understand what you said just there but after what everybody's answer earlier, there are only a few people that want to keep the length policy. Why don't we remove it? Lincher 12:17, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
Short summary of what I said above - in the WP:WIAGA page, do not change the section captioned "Length" and remove the section captioned "Good vs. featured articles" and we're there. Bravada, talk - 14:02, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

Support While some GAs have no real chance of becoming FAs, gaining the GA designator seems to be a positive reinforcement for editors who strive toward FA. Durova 22:22, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

I agree with Lincher's proposal. It just puts everything in line and makes sense. pschemp | talk 23:29, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

Ok we are going for something concise Bravada, something that can merge both criteria and be easy to master, use and understand for the editors and reviewers. The way I said it was the way it unfurled through the lengthy discussion we just had. Please consider making modifications in a way to remove length from the process as the GA process isn't about length anymore (discussion above is full speed ahead in this direction) and more about having GA being a port of entry to FA though some will never reach it (maybe they will, one day, maybe they will). Lincher 02:59, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

Actually, I wouldn't want to try to put this relation between FA and GA in writing now, as it still seems to be discussed both (to some extent here) and in other related talk pages. I'd rather focus on the fact that GAs are articles that satisfy all WP guidelines and policies and provide good coverage of the topic - in other words, they are good encyclopedic articles. I guess the list of criteria at WIAGA is enough to say that. And going for concise, we might just do away with the lengthy blabber on how GA is like FA, but not FA, but maybe something that might be FA, but is not at the moment blah blah blah. The only thing about it that I like is how it hints that the GA process works better for shorter articles, and that longer articles might be more suitable for PR (and later FAC directly), but stating clearly that GA can be of any length.
If you read it again, you will find that the current wording in the "Length" section says all that without being too long or confusing! Bravada, talk - 04:03, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
I support Lincher's change posted above. --plange 04:08, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
That's quite surprising to me, as in your previous edit you have just said what it is all about and agreed with me. I don't get it. Bravada, talk - 04:20, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
Because I only read the Length section as that's what you mentioned and so wrote my first comment, then I saw the section right above it called "Good vs. featured articles" and realized that was also part of the equation, hence my change. --plange 14:49, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
Last take at the re-writing of the above to not talk too much about comparing GA & FA and to give just a hint about the Length and what to do with these articles : (Sorry for the wording)

The good articles will satisfy the above criteria and will be in accordance with all of Wikipedia's guidelines and policies. The good articles candidacte process will aim at bringing articles toward Featured articles by giving constructive comments and by grading articles in an objective way using the above criteria.

For articles longer than about 25Kb, rigorous reviewing by the Wikipedia peer review and featured article candidates is generally more appropriate and accurate than the process here.

Please consider giving comments and appreciations for the above rewrite of WIAGA's bottom section. Lincher 11:55, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
Again, I don't think we really need to mention the relation to FA. There are quite many articles that would be OK with GA and either cannot or don't have to be further developed into FA. The emphasis should be on the fact that GA is entirely sufficient for an article to be a good Wikipedia article, as the name implies. Emphasizing the FA thing will be bringing the comments like "if this is not quite an FA why should it exist at all" etc. It is important that GA is OK to exist alone, not only as a "stage for preparation for FA" (which is what PR is also for and that would be another reason for detractors to dismiss GA). Bravada, talk - 12:46, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

(unindent) Why don't we just delete the section labeled "Good vs. Featured"? --plange 14:53, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

Ok. I will remove the GA/FA section. For the section about length, I will change it a bit too, I you disagree, reply here and we will continue the discussion. Lincher 17:26, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

Ironically, an example

I find it ironic that we've been talking about articles being improperly promoted and folks not taking the GA tag seriously and now, for demonstration purposes, an anon user has been adding the GA tag to an article that was recently nominated for speedy deletion. Both myself and another editor have been reverting the tag and I exhorted the user to take the article through the proper GA process. Might be worthwhile for others to keep an eye on it. Agne 16:42, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
Article: Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo

In a nutshell

Changes that have been accepted :

  1. Citations are required ... see 2b (of WIAGA);
  2. GA/FA section removed from WIAGA;
  3. Length section reworked;
  4. List section modified (to current idea ... they won't be reviewed).

Changes that could be implemented but didn't get discussed too much :

  1. Message for newcomers (was abandoned early in discussion);
  2. Try to drop the length criteria (no consensus);
  3. Page List of participants was created but didn't get much participants ... it needs more.

Thanks to all who have participated in the discussion ... it gave me ideas on what people feel about GA. It also gives me a dimension of the project and the participants. Now we can work on GA re-review for them to meet the current criteria. Lincher 17:40, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

Thanks Lincher, though I'm confused, where do we still have a length criteria? I thought the Length section was just a recommendation, not a criteria.... --plange 18:26, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
Good good! Though I'd say the previous wording of the length section was better, as it emphasized that GA can be of any length, so that there is no length criterium - there wasn't before, and there was a consensus not to include one, so I guess it stays that way. I will happily move on to reviewing articles now that we agree that inline citations are required, which clears out the most important uncertainty. I am not a fan of the "list of reviewers" though, as I believe it is more beneficial to maintain the liberty of allowing anyone review anything they feel like reviewing, provided they abide by the rules. I wouldn't like to be scrutinized as to how many articles I review or whether I review articles from outside my declared scope or not.
I believe we need to work on the "new reviewer message" and perhaps also compose short informative guidelines (I don't mean guidelines like "WP law", just a short introduction and a bit of advice) for first-time nominators and reviewers to be linked to from GAC. I absolutely support joining the re-review effort at User:Lincher/GA. Cheers, Bravada, talk - 18:28, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
PS. Posted after edit conflict, Angela is right obviously.
I feel the citations requirement is inappropriate for very short articles. Just my thoughts. Cedars 08:26, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
Inappropriate? Not at all. Even in short articles there are potentially contentious facts. Paraphrasing WP:IC, these should be prioritized and cited. Maybe only one or two cites are needed, but it is important to satisfy WP:V policy. RelHistBuff 08:53, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

GA re-review

As we now have the new WIAGA more or less firmly in place, I decided to start re-reviewing current GAs per the discussion above, and using User:Lincher/GA as a starting point. I have reviewed two articles by now, Richard Branson (though it was actually identified for deletion already by Lincher) and Spice trade - both of them clearly failed to comply with the standards, unfortunately. I guess somebody might have a look at those reviews (see talk pages obviously) and perhaps comment on them. I also encourage everybody to join the process on User:Lincher/GA (just choose an article and review, as simple as that!), so that we could have the list trimmed down to really Good Articles ;) ASAP! Bravada, talk - 00:26, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

I have delisted 5 just now for various reasons and they were not just for changes in the rules. In fact they were mostly due to poor reviewing or poor implementation of the process. Homestarmy has also found a lot of "Poor Articles" in our Good Articles list. See the proposal in the GA talk page. RelHistBuff 12:01, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
Doing something retro active is not a good idea. I been watching the discussion and I agree with the new rules, but to delist someone because they don't follow the current new rules is not a good idea. I think it should be only for new GA candidates, not currently marked ones. Shane (talk/contrib) 12:42, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
But how could that be maintained? We would have to keep track of the old standards (this conformed to the Jan 2005 standard, that with the March 2006 standard, and that with the June 2006 standard,...). RelHistBuff 12:51, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, you're right. This is a great idea! Maybe if we all get together we can tighten the standards and and streamline the delisting process enough to make this whole project completely pointless! Actually, maybe it is already; as of now, there are only 327 more Good Articles than Featured Articles. A whopping 327 out of 1,391,736. Makes it kind of difficult to see the value of the project as a less formal alternative to FA when both of them consist of about .1% of articles. But, no, this is a really wonderful idea. Really. Kafziel 12:58, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
To RelHistBuff: Just look at the date that the GA articles were added to the queue. Only do the articles that were added after the new adopted rules. Shane (talk/contrib) 13:03, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
I understood that. But in time, you will then have two different sets of articles conforming to two different standards. So let's say when an older article is reviewed again, do we check to see if it conforms to the older standard? RelHistBuff 13:16, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
Short of disrupting Wikipedia to prove a point, why does it need to be reviewed again? How about just busying yourself with the other 1,390,295 articles? Delisting articles does nothing to improve morale and it certainly doesn't help our backlog of pending requests. This isn't Featured Articles, so we don't need a Featured Article Removal process. Hold the new requests to the new standards, and leave the rest alone. Kafziel 13:28, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
Uh, no. This is pretty pointless - many articles were passed when the rules were not tight enough and THAT is why we have to review them all. The same happens with FA - they are periodically reviewed for compliance with the CURRENT rules, starting from the OLDEST ones, and yes, the ones that were rightfully promoted but fail to meet the current guidelines ARE delisted. The only thing I have reservations about is failing JUST for the lack of inline citations - we should give editors a notice and a week or so to add some, preferably mentioning what actually should be referenced. Bravada, talk - 13:30, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
I am also careful to note other problems and I am also reluctant to delist due the lack on inline citations only. By the way, in response to Kafziel, I have promoted, failed, delisted, and "on-hold"ed articles plus I have given advice and content to every single article where I have done any actions. For several I have shared advice directly to the main editor of the article. So what's the problem? RelHistBuff 13:42, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
No problem at all. Let's be just like Featured Articles in every way. In fact, let's start using a panel of editors to review each article. We're doing it anyway (one editor passes an article, four others second-guess him and delist it) so we might as well just debate each one together, for the sake of expediency. And let's make sure we have really stringent standards for every facet of every article with no exceptions. And let's have a thorough process for delisting articles that were passed by old standards but no longer make the grade, and we can have project editors who do very little but work on that. Have a blast, guys. I'm done with this. Kafziel 13:54, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
That's a fantastic idea, but the system already exists. It's called Featured Articles. --kingboyk 15:15, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
Um, yeah. That was my point. Kafziel 15:20, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

(indent) Ok, Kafziel. Just assess articles for a minute and you will then be able to comment at your leisure but wont be applying the GA tag anymore because the articles are clearly not of GA status yet. There were lenient (not to say lazy) reviewers that just passed tons of articles and it is for that reason that we have to re-review these thousand of articles to make it comply with the standards that were there before the change. If you read what RelHistBuf & Bravada's comments, they say that they use the old criteria to evaluate the articles.

Also, to make it more emphatical just take a look at [2] where it states clearly the same criteria that we have now but in a more concise way. Along the way people (nominators and reviewers) complained that the system wasn't perfect ... or that it needed more tightening for it was tough to evaluate with criteria that aren't strict or clearly stated enough. That was the beginning of trying to expand the criteria to make sure that everything was included, no omissions and no flaws in the system of reviewing. Just so you guys know, the system didn't change much except for the part about citations and maybe requesting better prose and that is all. So there is a need to review articles back when there were no criteria and articles were accepted and in a few days accepted as GA. Once this is done and we have a clear bunch of GAs that solidly meet the criteria, we will be able to build on that and help the reviewers with comparisons. Lincher 15:54, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

Also re-review shouldn't be an issue, even if we use new criteria. Criteria changes and so articles should be reassessed. The nature of how GA works says that one reviewer may pass it, but another may delist it. --plange 16:09, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
Just to make it clear - I do not and will not use the old criteria. WIAGA reads "What is a Good Article?". If an article does not comply with WIAGA, it is not a GA, as simple as that. WIAGA changes over time just like many things in WP and we have to adjust to that. That said, continuing this discussion is pointless. Can we just go on and, like, review the articles? Bravada, talk - 16:14, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

No one should be rushing around delisting articles until the backlog of current articles is at a manageable level. None of the articles previous marked as GA is so horrible that it harm anyone if it stays at that status while the current things are dealt with. This preoccupation with older GA's does nothing to get the list of current articles reviewed, which should be the major focus of people on this project. Remove the log in your own eye before you attempt to remove the speck from your brother's. pschemp | talk 02:26, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

I disagree with this. Maintaining the standards of the project is just as important as passing new articles. Cedars 01:48, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

WIAGA - changes - consensus or stop reviewing

The continual changing of criteria is causing more problems than its addressing. GA needs it criteria to be stable, how can you pass an article today. Suggest that you either accept the current concensus or stop reviewing articles until an agreed criteria is published. Also I suggest that the review of all the current articles be abandoned for now, there is a substancial backlog. Gnangarra 14:51, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

(unable to reply due to continuous edit conflicts) I fail to see why there is a problem. The criteria are either what they have been for months, or something more strict introduced yesterday. Are there many articles that would pass under the old wording, but not now? Gimmetrow 15:06, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
Again - I, for one, provide a comprehensive review to all articles, failed or promoted, as I believe it helps willing editors offset all problems and resubmit the article as GAN with a very high chance of passing (and also reduces the number of interations, sparing reviewers' and editors' time). Now, I cannot review it according to criterion 2b, given its instability, and then it would be a rather nasty surprise for an editor to find out that his/her article got failed again because a criteron that changed in the meantime. Not to mention there actually ARE articles that could be failed for that - I am mainly reassessing old GAs now, but I cannot imagine passing any article before the 2b criterion is fixed again. Bravada, talk - 15:18, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

So for the record, I think it would be good to require inline citations, which is more restrictive than require citations. However, I raised a number of issues about this which were not addressed, and I still feel the change is premature. I was arguing about this proposed change immediately after the "notice" by RelHist and the "nutshell" (yesterday), and one of those points is that this appears to be a stronger requirement than WP:WIAFA. Gimmetrow 15:06, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

Mmmmkay, so you don't even oppose the change you reverted, so what's the point? Bravada, talk - 15:18, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
The point is that the new wording rules out articles such as semantic holism, eliminative materialism, and Bertrand Russell. If they were put up for GA under the proposed wording, they would be immediately rejected for lack of inline citations. Surely at least one or two of them are sufficiently well-written to be considered "good articles". Gimmetrow 16:39, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
On the reassessment talk page, I suggested to leave a notice on a talk page if the review is positive but the article is only missing citations, preferably indicating what fragments should be referenced, and give the editors a week to fix that. I don't want to instantly fail articles who miss inline citations, because it is a new requirement. I haven't reviewed any of the three mentioned, though, so I can't say whether they are OK, though. Bravada, talk - 19:04, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
Consensus was obtained (see In a nutshell section). Unfortunately there has been a single-handed revert. Again, I would ask that the criterion go back to the consensus decision so that work may proceed. If anyone would like to challenge the decision, then it should be discussed here first and another consensus reached. RelHistBuff 14:58, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
I concur --plange 15:03, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
To Gimmetrow: However, I repeat again. Consensus on the current wording was reached. We moved forward. There may be other issues to consider. Going back to previous version as you have done is creating problems. And as I mentioned above, I believe there is a misunderstanding of the FA requirement. I was confused by it as well until I saw a clarification about it on the FAC talk page. So could you please go back to the consensus decision? We can discuss your points here. RelHistBuff 15:14, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
As I have requested several times that WIAGA go back to consensus version and there has been no response, I have done this myself. Edit wars in articles is bad enough. But an edit war in standards is deadly. I hope we can continue to discuss the problematic issues civilly. RelHistBuff 15:37, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
(To Gimmetrow) : Take a look at this discussion Pass criterion on GAC where consensus was reached on leaving comments on talk pages when reviewing but if you read carefully you will see that it were the newly arrived reviewers that weren't doing it because we were all doing it pretty much at that time and we the settled to add a line in the Pass guideline of the GAC page. Lincher 16:13, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
Why is this addressed to me? I fail to see the relevance. 16:39, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
It is addressed to you for your edit here [3] which in my view is just a way to divert and get comments pass through the discussion without people paying attention to what you write. Please follow the thread when adding comments and please try to add comments to talk pages where things are changing not below the radar where you will be able to, later, bring back your objection into the discussion. The article about the grid thing for your information was not up to GA standards before and it isn't now as it reads like an ad, is not well referenced (proper citations) or because there is trivia. Lincher 17:53, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
The link to that discussion was given in the section above as something to see, so I did. The proposal was the remove all GAs if there were no evidence of process. An example was given, and it was to be examined purely on its lack of process for promotion to GA, not quality. Well, the example given DID follow process, and it troubles me that people would consider demoting articles without sufficiently looking into their history. Now your statement, citing a discussion from July 2006, is irrelevant to a GA passed in March 2006. I am also rather troubled by your insinuations which seem to me contrary to WP:AGF. Gimmetrow 18:33, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
the concern with this is you change the rules/criteria then reassess only to tell editors that its no longer GA because we decided to change the rules. thats like saying to a sports competitor that the rule for this game are now this and that previous winners are longer recognised unless they also adherred to these new rules. Gnangarra 02:06, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
The sports analogy is a faulty comparison. GA is a standard of quality acheivement and by its nature fluid. You can also view it as a "club" of sort where the membership dues each year is the price of the level of quality in the article. That price will increase from time to time. (like college tuition) You have the choice to either pay that higher price or "drop out". Agne 04:05, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
We do really need to stop edit warring over this, i've been notifying GA's which have no inline citations but do have references to try and convert their stuff of inline, but if people won't stop switching things back and forth, I dunno what we'll ever be able to do about those kind of articles. Homestarmy 02:08, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
This what I'm trying to highlight is that the frequency of changes to the criteria has reach a point where articles in the backlog where nominated under one set of criteria and are now being assess under different set of criteria, yet this new criteria still has it opponents that are reverting to previous versions of the criteria. If GA community of reviewers cant get come to some form of consensus and stabilise the criteria how can they expect editors to address and achieve the criteria. How can the wider wikipedia community accept GA as a standard if the GA community cant decide what is standards are. I'll again reitterate that the process of reviewing should stop until the criteria is stabilised. GA should also recognise that articles have previously achieved GA under a different criteria and instead of just removing(failing) the article GA reviewers should take some ownership in bringing these upto the new standards, with the obvious realisation that if the main editors of the article arent interested in further developing then withdraw GA. Have a look at the way FA assess articles that no longer comply to the criteria they first try to fixed the issues. Gnangarra 05:21, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

FA criterion

Gimmetrow raised an issue concerning WP:WIAFA. As I understand it, the problem is the clause "where appropriate". In a talk page (I will look for it), it seems the clause means that an inline citation should be placed where there should be one. It does not mean to put them in an appropriate article. Inline citations are still required. I will try to seek more clarifications, but perhaps there are people out there who know the FA situation better? RelHistBuff 15:40, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

You proposed new criteria wording at 07:20 18 September, and implemented it 09:58 18 September. This had been previously attempted on 14 September and reverted with "no consensus for this change". Discussion of the WIAFA criteria issue can be found here. Gimmetrow 17:50, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
And so when you apply theory and it doesn't work then you revert to experimental practises and, on FAC, you request inline citations when appropriate or, as an editor, you add citations before sending it to either GAC or FAC. I guess we ask the same in the end : no NOR, NPOV, V inclining statements in wikipedia articles and to prevent any of these, citations are the only way to go. Lincher 17:57, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

My general concern is whether these criteria changes end up assuring that only good articles get the GA tag. Any set of criteria depends on the editors applying it consistently and fairly, and that generally involves some bureaucratic oversight. I appreciate that GA intends to be "lite" on bureaucracy, but I do believe it is a large part of why FA works well, regardless of the actual FA criteria. Gimmetrow 20:29, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

And since we aren't FA, and yet work well, there is no reason to add bureacracy to the system. Making things more complicated will do nothing but discourage people from review the huge backlog of articles that are waiting. Not trusting the reviewers to do their job is extremely elitist and anti wiki. pschemp | talk 02:21, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
Bureaucrats and process are anti wiki? Thanks for letting me know. Gimmetrow 11:38, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

Review standard

Partially in reference to what Gimmetrow stated above, I would like to propose setting a standard for the GA review. There is the Template:FGAN, for one, though I found it more appropriate and useful to quote the actual criteria and comment on each point of WIAGA - see examples at Talk:Louvre#GA review and Talk:Sunol Water Temple#GA review. This lets the readers find out easily what the criteria actually are (or were at the time of the review) and also makes one stick to the actual critetion rather than a "general concept" of or feeling about e.g. "well written" (I hope I do stick!) What do you think of those? I guess if the latter review format is found useful, we might use a page with a boilerplate text (in Wikicode) to be simply copy/pasted and filled with reviewer's comments.

Secondly, at present GAC only requires a written review (or simply a comment) when the article is failed (and also GA/R requires one when delisting), but none is requested for promoting the article! This makes for a rather strange situation where it is easier to pass than to fail a GA, which is not quite what we want if we want to up the standards (or, actually, make them abided by in practice). I believe requiring a review on the compliance with all WIAGA criteria will fend off careless/bad faith "promoters", who would neglect the WIAGA. Of course this adds a bit of bureaucracy to the process, but I found that, if you are actually reading the article and actively considering all the criteria, putting it all down is not that time-consuming and makes making final decisions easier on borderline cases. Again, what do you think about that? Bravada, talk - 01:34, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

I like the template idea, but honestly, when people these days actually review the articles, i've taken a look at some of them, and most of the articles being passed currently actually are up to GA standards mostly in my opinion, so there aren't really that many bad reviews right now. Homestarmy 01:57, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
I think requiring a review will make this process more tedious and less people will participate. There is already a huge backlog of articles that need to be looked at, we don't need to add anything that makes that process more complicated. If it is passed, it has obviously met the criteria. There is no need to complicate a system that is working.pschemp | talk 02:18, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
Well, perhaps outright abuses are infrequent, but I have just delisted a recently promoted article (I mean one listed a few hours before now), as I found it seriously deficient in many areas. The reviewer apparently was a bit too brief in his review and did not analyze the article for compliance with all criteria deep enough. Another reviewer passed an article for "it's use of inline citations, good prose and sound samples" (while those are nice qualities, sound samples are pretty irrelevant here, and the rest, while important, is not enough). Most of the examples I have given a brief look too are quite "borderline" cases - I would have at least put them on hold. And, well, there will still be examples of really bad decisions. When you review the article really thoroughly, putting your conclusions in writing really isn't too much of a toil, and it even helps you organize your thoughts. Bravada, talk - 02:23, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
Forcing people to work the way you like to work is unproductive and elitist. You are free to work in a complicated mannar if you like, but requiring it of others is silly. Why are you delisting articles anyway? You should be focusing on getting the backlog of articles that are current reviewed, then go back and re-review. None of the articles currently listed as GAs are so horrible that they will do harm if they are left while the current and main focus of this project is worked on. Your obsession with the quality of old GAs is unproductive and in no way helps to get the current list reviewed. Note I'm not saying you should never re-review, but that we should work on the huge and current backlog first. pschemp | talk 02:31, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
The collective worth of a "GA acheivement" is dependent on the quality of the articles it is attached to. If sub-standard articles are listed as being "Good Articles" then what's the point in actually taking the time and effort to craft a Good article if any ole thing can pass? Hence the de-listing and review process is neccessary in order to maintain the standards and integrity of the GA process. Yes, there is a backlog which we need to work through and I encourage my fellow editors to split their time between the review and the current candidates but we will always have new candidates cropping up and we shouldn't stop the review just because of that. As for the template, I am in favor of it. It is considered a GA review after all. No one is beaucrating how much time/effort/detail you need to put into review but at least requiring that all criteria be posted and accounted for will be of value in at least making the review (and editors) mindful of what the criteria is. Agne 03:55, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for saying that Agne, do I need to add more? Perhaps that the criteria in their present form are unlikely to significantly change, as making them any more demanding would be getting too close to FA, while relaxing them would seem a bit of "pulling back and forth". So I think we might have reached the fairly stable set of criteria, and it would be good to go back and browse through the current list GAs, some of which were nominated when one could just slap the tag on the article he/she liked, to make sure the list is meaningful in any way. And, well, there are pretty horrible examples, and they don't serve anybody well, as an editor might see that this or that article has a GA tag and later be surprised an article he/she nominated fell through although it is not any worse. Bravada, talk - 10:56, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
Just to add one more comment on yours, when reviewing articles, people will tend, like me, to look at other articles in the same field in order to see if the article is broad enough. Well, nominators will do this too and, after comparison, if they find that their article is as good as our worst accepted GA then it wont meet the criteria but will be accepted anyway because one non-GA article slipped through the cracks. If we allow comparisons because it is not a FA-like process then we ask for an appropriate level of quality. Lincher 11:33, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

I stroly oppose any attempt to make such templates madatory for much the same reasons as those given by pschemp. Unless there is consensus that the current process is insufficiently strict (I don't see any), it should not be changed. Eluchil404 21:43, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

GA vs. FA - is the two tier system helpful?

This debate was raised a while ago, and I originally defended the separate GA category. Revisiting this debate, I find that I am increasingly happy to leave GAs behind in favour of an FA-only system.

Here are the points I would ask you to consider (all of which have no doubt been raised before):

  1. At the time of writing, there are 1113 FAs and 1435 GAs. A (somewhat stereotypical) physicist will tell you that these numbers are the same.
  2. The GA standard has risen repeatedly so that it is now very close to that used to judge FAs.
  3. The GA standard still has implementation problems.
  4. As I understand it, the original intention was to create a system for recognising articles that are on their way to FA status, but for brevity or a few other reasons have not fulfilled that potential. Typically, articles that document recent events fall into this category, because not enough information may be available to write a longer article. However, it has been pointed out, and I am beginning to agree, that many are content to produce GAs (while I am thinking of particular cases, I will not be pointing fingers because this is not an accusation - chacun a son gout, and all the better for Wikipedia). What should ideally happen is that people pick up GAs and pull them to FA status. (As such, the GA project is a more decentralised version of WP:AID.) I see the project failing its mission – many apparently do not nominate their articles for GA, and no particular meaning is attached to GAs, as evidenced by their failure to get their own top-left corner icon like GAs (note: this was tried and failed). Given that GA standards are lower than FA standards, many more articles should be GAs than FAs. This shows that people have not striven to nominate their articles, and is evidence of a huge backlog in the GA process of articles that aren't even nominated yet.
  5. Particularly, the GA project was meant to be less bureaucratic and more informal. Now people are pining that such and such an article got listed that shouldn't have been. The original premise of informality no longer holds. We are holding each other just as rigidly to firm criteria as the FA folks do (not that these are two separate groups, I contribute to both...) For instance, someone on this talk page failed to recognise audio files as a means of illustrating a subject.

I wonder how many more FAs we would have if people had simply gritted their teeth and edited articles, sought sources, taken illustrative photographs etc. etc. rather than getting caught up in stock-taking exercises. As one contributor said above, it is very un-wiki-like.

I do realise that the views I am expressing here are those of an experienced Wikipedian, and that GA may be a fun thing for newcomers to get involved in. However, wouldn't Wikipedia be much better served by direct tutoring of newbies instead?

Yours sincerely,

Samsara (talkcontribs) 21:52, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

It wasn't supposed to really be a two-teir system, it's just many editors think of it that way, and it can certainly act like one at many times. But the primary purpose of the GA system was to identify good articles which fit Wikipedia's standards, but wern't amazing enough to be Featured Articles, I believe the original idea was that many such articles of this type get ignored because they get no publicity, and so people don't realize that FA's aren't the only good things on Wikipedia. The reason we hold ourselves to the criteria is because when this all started, there were no criteria at all, just a very small group of us stamped articles we thought were, well, pretty good. And looking back on the list we created, some of those articles actually wern't very good in retrospect after all. I admit, all this hubbub over changing the standards is getting destabilizing, and the standards are rising, but their still not at FA standard yet. (Assuming, of course, that the proposel to adapt only a "single style" of citations fails, otherwise we'll have a problem.) I mean look at some FA nominations, people will oppose on the tiniest of errors in 50 kb long articles, and GA isnt so much about whether you've done everything perfectly, it's whether you've done it passably. At least, it is for me, I can't speak for everyone else, alot of people have had really different standards than mine on grading articles, I still remember when people used to fail GA's based on a single "citation needed" tag....Homestarmy 22:07, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
I assess articles the same way as you Home, if it barely meets the criteria then it is a GA although I try to give advice to let the editors know that to reach a better quality or to go for FAC there is still a huge step to take. This was intended as both a platform for FA or a place where we address minor concerns and then tag articles with GA stamps. It now looks like it will become bureaucratic like everything else on wikipedia, it shouldn't, it should stay easy to assess articles with no hassle. The reason behind the tightening of criteria (and I think it is expanding more than tightening) is that we can all assess with pretty much the same criteria and not to have to re-review the others' assessments. When the criteria will be clear in everybody's mind then granting GA status will be more objective than it was ever before and this is why we have to state clearly what the criteria are (what if it takes 3 pages of criteria well maybe it needs it so we are on the same page).
(To Samsara) GA is a relatively new process (beginning of this year if I remember) so give it time to grow and find its faults and correct them. GA standards hasn't risen though additions of inline citation requirement will make the articles stick to the verifiability criteria asked by WP's standards, the addition of adding comments to reviewed articles will bring the articles to a better standard and the stating of every criterion in deep details will help objectify the project. For sure it has implementation problems, it is a new process and like I said earlier, let it grow and we should (as of now) let the criteria alone for the next half a year or so and assess as fast as we can. You might have also misunderstood the original idea which was to have a duplicate project of the FA but for short articles (15kB-20kB or less) but this has changed from when Worldtraveller started the project to now and it is a good thing rather than having a duplicate of the GA process, we have a stepping stone project toward achieving FA/Gold. Also, if we stop talking about the process and start processing articles, we will be more informal, more helpful and less bureaucratic. Lincher 12:06, 21 September 2006 (UTC)
Having already stated above my general dislike of this process, I would only add a couple of points here (sorry—having heretics about has its uses).
"Publicity" has little to do with FA. You'll find some very idocyncratic articles in its list. As noted, length might have something to do with a difference, but this was roundly opposed as a means of distinguishing the two processes.
"If it takes 3 pages of criteria..." I find this ironic in the extreme; the only real mark of difference that has held up b/w the two is a non-bureaucratic process and wiki-lawyering necessarily runs to counter that. With a minimum of criteria and very little meta-talking, FAs are able to be processed with relatively consistent throughput. With lengthening criteria and an absolute mass of meta-talking (this talk page is consistently enormous) GAs are processed with inconsistent throughput.
The inline citation requirement (which really was a no brainer from the broad perspective of following Wiki rules) only brings the two closer together. It's not that people think it's a two-tiered system because of some confusion—it's structured like one, regardless of whether people here admit it.
"I wonder how many more FAs we would have if people had simply gritted their teeth and edited articles". So do I. Marskell 12:49, 21 September 2006 (UTC)
I've found the FA process can be brutal. One time, one of my articles was opposed because the pictures were in jpg format instead of svg. I rate articles under the Biography project and I think the GA is a good stepping stone. I find that it motivates people to improve articles rather then detracting from FA. It provides goals and achivement milestones. People are proud to get their article to GA and then further push it to FA. I know it motivates me. Morphh 13:08, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

Responding to Samsara:

  1. GA is around for a much shorter time than FA, and still has a lower profile. GA still has to establish itself as a valuable status and it will then probably gain much more interest from editors. Last but not least, nobody said that there has to be significantly more articles with a GA tag than the FA tag.
  2. The GA standard is close in the way that an article is expected to conform with all WP guidelines and policies and present a good encyclopedic description of the topic, thus being a "good encyclopedic article", which is what GA means. The differences with FA, although minor in substance, can have major impact on the editorial effort needed to achieve the FA status. That said, in some cases there is little difference between a GA and FA on a given topic, and then it is pointless to go through GA rather than strive directly for FA, as indicated e.g. by the advice in the "length" section of WIAGA.
  3. That's a valid concern, and this is why I proposed to involve WikiProjects more in the review process. I guess we still need to work on that. But I believe similar concerns can be raised for FA.
  4. AFAIK, the original intention, as Homestarmy stated, was to create a means of recognition of good articles that would not be able to attain the FA status, e.g. before the topic is not broad enough for them to become longer than 25kB. My favorite examples are articles on planetoids - you cannot say too much on most of them, and I don't think they could pass FA at their maximum possible length, but nevertheless they can be really well-written, conforming with all guidelines and policies, so it is good to recognize that you can reach high standards even with such articles.
  5. "Less bureaucratic and informal" cannot overshadow "objective and meaningful" - the main problem with GA was that it was so dependent on individual subjective decision that it became almost worthless, as almost any article could be promoted depending on who the reviewer was. Still, the process is based on single-person decisions to list or delist an article, so it is much faster and less fussy than FA. We only need to make sure all reviewers use the same criteria.

Finally, GA should not be regarded simply as a step towards FA. Perhaps PR is such a step, but GA should be regarded totally independently. If somebody would want to strive for GA before advancing to FA, so be it, although it might be quite counterproductive for long articles, as currently they are unlikely to pass GA if they are not fit to pass FA. It is a good way, though, to have an article on a more obscure or limited topic brought up to encyclopedic standards. Finally, I believe that "Featured Articles" should list really exceptional articles, the "cream of the crop", so expecting ALL articles to become FA is quite impossible - you have to have the crop to be able to select the cream (please excuse me for the cheesy pun here). While it is good to have many exceptional articles, it is also important to have as many articles as possible simply conform to encyclopedic standards. Bravada, talk - 14:07, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

A good argument for listing all points

Out of curiousity I clicked on Andrés Nocioni which was just failed a few minutes ago, and the reviewer said only that it failed due to lack of images. Problem is, images aren't required, right? Just says it's desirable (can't remember exact language). I didn't read the article to see if it would have failed on other points, but it would have been nice to see that the reviewer reiterated that it met all the others, and, perhaps, by the reviewer having to put each point in there and comment they would have picked up on the fact that lack of images should not make an article fail. --plange 18:14, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

I've seen some reviwers in the past mistakenly fail articles for this, it seemed to be more about reviewers not understanding the guideline rather than forgetting what it said. Homestarmy
Once again we need to be clearer about the criteria/guidelines since reviewers still make mistakes while reviewing. The only thing the article would miss would be non-notable stuff about what is the early life of the guy & maybe a picture but this clearly met the GA criteria. Lincher 18:58, 21 September 2006 (UTC)
If someone else wants to start a review of it, then I think it would pass :/. Homestarmy 18:59, 21 September 2006 (UTC)
Should I contact the reviewer? --plange 19:08, 21 September 2006 (UTC)
I am taking care of the case now ... re-reviewed and will leave a message on the guys' talk page. Lincher 20:29, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

As Angela said - this, and several other cases, make a good argument to cite all WIAGA points while reviewing, and comment on how the article complies with them (or not). So, I'd like to ask whether anybody else (including people who posted above) supports this idea (we already know who opposes it, I guess). Bravada, talk - 22:31, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

I thought the objection was requiring this to be done if the article was passed. My proposal is, at this point, that if you're failing an article, list all criteria with a pass/fail... --plange 22:37, 21 September 2006 (UTC)
And what's wrong with listing them when you pass? Reviewing article for a pass or for a fail is the same, so you should be able to put down your thoughts after either. This might seem obvious that "if I passed it means it passed", but when a user leaves no note on the user page or just states "I pass it because it is a good article", then you have no guarantee he or she actually read the article! Bravada, talk - 23:03, 21 September 2006 (UTC),
true... I've always been an advocate of leaving something when passing like "this has met all the criteria" but am unsure how making them put the criteria up for passing guarantees the editor read it; they can just paste it in and put pass next to each one. Doing what you suggest does not solve the problem but just creates more bureaucracy. However, what I'm suggesting should help solve the problem of someone failing on something when it wasn't actually failable on the point. I guess I see failing as more serious and that we should respect the editor who worked on it (and waited so long) and at least spell out what passed and what didn't and why, it's the least we can do for their hard work. This isn't a big deal for me though, so if the consensus is to display criteria for pass and fail, I won't have a problem with it. --plange 23:20, 21 September 2006 (UTC)
I think the point is to describe against each criterion why the article passed. I support Bravada's idea (although I am just an observer) because it brings some legitimacy and transparency to the Good Article program. Of course it's more work for the reviewer... but so what. What's right is what's right. If Bravada's idea were part of the review policy, I might actually start being a reviewer, because I'd feel we were all doing closer to the same thing. –Outriggr § 23:34, 21 September 2006 (UTC)
Well, quite a few editors already do so, so even if its not a part of the policy, it is beginning to be a part of the practice - so I guess you can start now :D What I meant is that after a review you surely have a few comments on most of the criteria, and even if you pass, it can still help people improve the article. You might also explain why you passed despite some deficiencies - and most of all, take advantage of the powerful "on hold" feature to help clear any doubts regarding the nomination (I find this one of the most efficient tools to catalize fast improvement of article quality!) In borderline cases, I just list all of my conclusions and then re-read them to find out whether they allow for a pass. So, either way, I think it is useful, and when I see some comments from the reviewer, I know he or she really delved into the article and not just slapped the badge on. Cheers, Bravada, talk - 23:38, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

I think this example and several of Bravada's point give ample reasons to consider a review template. It doesn't have to be complicated or beaucratic. Just a simple 1-6 listing of the main criteria with a slot to write PASS/FAIL (or Needs Improvement to be nice). We can allow space for if a reviewer wants to add more detail and in the template encourage it for a FAIL mark. Just a simple template to add to the talk the page. Not only do I think that will look more professional and serious of a review, at the very least it will make everyone involved on the talk page more aware of what the Good article criteria is. Agne 23:41, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

Okay, I'm convinced. My only request is that we allow room to write bulleted problems within the criteria -- Sometimes I'll have a page full of bulleted points (things that have awkward wording, etc.) that I like to put below the criteria it didn't meet. --plange 23:45, 21 September 2006 (UTC)
Since there is a consensus (I will add my voice toward the consensus) where is this template? Lincher 23:54, 21 September 2006 (UTC)
Well, such a template already exists, it's called Template:FGAN, and it is already recommended for reviewers who fail an article. The problem with it is that it doesn't explain much, as for example it reads "Well written?", which might be dubious for somebody unfamiliar with the current WIAGA. As I explained above, listing the criteria in full has some advantages (I just copy one of my past reviews and blank the comments :D ), and you of course can always write something like "OK" or "Pass" if you have no comments. Bravada, talk - 23:59, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

Ideas for Review template

Since we do have an emerging template, let's put together some ideas. Starting with the current fail Template:FGAN, I'd like to see a more professional presentation. A shaded box with the 1-6 main criteria listed wiki-linked to the relevant critera (WP:MOS, WP:V, WP:CITE etc). That way if someone has a question about what is "well written" or what do you mean "in-line citation" they can go to that guideline. We can have a section underneath each area that says additional comments. Whether you pass or fail in that area, you can choose to leave a comment. Again, I do think we need to strongly encourage some sort of comment left for a fail mark. Agne 00:04, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

I'm not so certain it needs to be mandatory, once again, when people are reviewing articles right now, the reviews sometimes are a bit more limited than they probably ought to be, but the articles do seem to be actual Good Articles most of the time :/. Homestarmy 00:09, 22 September 2006 (UTC)
Understood. But again considering the more professional appearence of a uniformed template box, is it really that much more effort (for a clearly Good Article) to just write "Pass" 6 times? At least then we can be more confident in the awareness of the criteria from both the reviwers and anyone who looks at the talk page. Agne 00:13, 22 September 2006 (UTC)
Actually, while I proposed a "template" in the beginning, I am beginning to think it would be counterproductive. What I propose is just to copy the criteria and comment on them on the talk page - example. You have them before your eyes all the time, and so does the reader, so there is no doubt what you are referring to and no need to click any links. Perhaps it is not THAT visually rewarding, but I guess it is quite OK. Cheers, Bravada, talk - 01:07, 22 September 2006 (UTC)
PS. What I would suggest now is having the criteria in an easy-to-copy way (like a page with them listed using "nowiki") for "newcomers" :D
In the past couple of reviewing, I used to copy all from WP:WIAGA (I need to copy paste, since it changes lately) and then trimmed out to basic facts for easy reading, as in for example Talk:Onion dome (passed) and Talk:Anorexia nervosa (failed). For me it is very practical, more objective and stay focus on the criteria. I will try to expand the template, but not now as I need to sleep ;-). Cheers. — Indon (reply) — 01:12, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

I guess we all have our own "reviewing styles", so perhaps it would be easier and just say that "a review of the article's compliance with the WIAGA is required regardless of whether the nomination is failed or passed, preferably with reference to specific criteria" - wording here is stricly "working version", especially given that I am half-asleep too. Bravada, talk - 01:44, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

I took a stab at one {{User:Plange/to do/GAreviewtemplate}} (edit) -- feel free to tweak. I did it this way so that we can be free-form within. To use, you'd subst it with the 3 params: {{subst:User:Plange/to do/GAreviewtemplate|Passed|message|~~~~}} and I put little pass/fail images for editors to delete the one that doesn't apply. Let me know and I'll move it to the template space... --plange 01:51, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

Ok, all these sound good but if the editors are to nominate they better read the WIAGA so just plain copypasting the criteria isn't gonna help them and it will be too long to read for them especially if the article fails major criteria (which means they didn't even read WIAGA). Your ideas are really good but if we want to KISS then both Bravada's example and Plange's idea are too complex and not downright/ridiculously simple for the editor and even if editors would read the whole of these criteria re-written, they would be in a pêle-mêle of redundant stuff. Also, if you are on the adding comment side, you will take maybe 10kB of the talk page just to review the article which might be unnecessary if there are no editors that are monitoring the article anymore and if they want a concise way to fix their article. Lincher 12:07, 22 September 2006 (UTC)
Agree with Lincher. Keep it simple is the whole point of GA. pschemp | talk 13:16, 22 September 2006 (UTC)
The point(s) is/are:
  • apparently, many editors do not read WIAGA so thorughly before nominating, and/or are not sure how they can be applied in practice to their nominated articles
  • somebody coming to the article later on might see the review on the talk page and get some ideas how to improve it, so even if nobody will take advantage of it at the very moment, it still might be useful (and hopefully it will be)
  • and the rest of the arguments are above already!
Well, as I suggested, why don't we just require the reviewer to leave a review, and RECOMMEND to refer to specific criteria (also see above)? At present, GAN still does not require the review while passing! Bravada, talk - 14:45, 22 September 2006 (UTC)
PS. Angela's template is veruy useful, but I'd rather have it in italics already, so that I could just type in the comments in normal font and avoid reader confusion.
No problem, you can be bold and edit it/trim it as y'all see fit :-) --plange 15:09, 22 September 2006 (UTC)
My idea on a template to help review would be to have yes or no questions to fill in. It now looks like :
|well written = '''Pass''' (user's entry)
|accuracy = '''Pass'''
|thorough = '''Pass'''
|NPOV = '''Pass'''
|stable = '''Pass'''
|images = '''Pass'''

but it probably should look like :

|well written = P
|accuracy = F
|thorough = P
|stable = P
|images = P
|additional comments = user's entry
|GA = P or F or OH


Where the P are pass and the F are fail, under additions should be additional arguments that should be in the template for GA, it would changes the heading depending on passing, failing or on hold of the article. And Additional comments should be an argument to let reviewers give additional comments. This would keep it simple but would give out all the criteria without being too big or too fancy. Lincher 15:29, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

As I said, I guess we will never find consensus, as we all have different reviewing styles. What is important is that all reviewers really DO judge the article against the GA criteria and leave review notes to help editors improve the article. We might link to suggested templates from GAN (though I'd change the name of FGAN for obvious reasons), but the most important is to explicitly state that the reviewers have to abide by the above. Bravada, talk - 15:49, 22 September 2006 (UTC)
thought add this to the GA templates {{GA}} and {{FailedGA}} The GA assessment for this article is available [[{{pagename}}/GAassessment|here]] or something similar then the GA assessment is always available, for failed and renominated article the reviewer is able to see what the problems were. When a GA is reviewed then the assessment which shows criteria at that time is also available. Usage would be the assessor would have say notepad open copy criteria list onto that do the assessment then put the correct template up and cut/copy paste the assessment onto the page... Gnangarra 17:03, 22 September 2006 (UTC)
I like the idea of the subpage accessible via the template, that way too, for active Talk pages, the assessement doesn't get buried in the archives and force re-reviewers to sift through to find it... --plange 17:07, 22 September 2006 (UTC)
side advantage is that where malicious promotions have occured then this assessment page wont exist. No page no promotion. Gnangarra 17:10, 22 September 2006 (UTC)
good idea, just like peer-review, right? — Indon (reply) — 17:25, 22 September 2006 (UTC)
In my opinion, it should go into the talk page's subpage named Comments just like the wikiprojects reviews. See Talk:Ahmose I/Comments for an example of what is a biographical wikiproject review. Lincher 22:21, 22 September 2006 (UTC)
I'd advise using a different name than comments precisely because of this-- these comments get transcluded into project worklists and so by nature should be very short. Example --plange 23:28, 23 September 2006 (UTC)
As it the GA review/assessment I would suggest that GA is included in the page name Gnangarra 23:47, 23 September 2006 (UTC)
Do we have consensus to do this? If so, I can modify template to have /GA assessment link etc... --plange 17:03, 24 September 2006 (UTC)
No consensus yet, people don't agree with any change at the moment and adding another fork to the talk page would just create more free-for-all practises. As it is now, people can work well without having to bother where they add their comment other than adding them to the talk pages and in a section that says GA. Lincher 20:38, 24 September 2006 (UTC)

(no identations) Now, I see some recent articles were passed as GA without any comments at all. Examples are: Drum and bass and Fenix*TX. Or with only one line comment, such as Alex Pettyfer and Flat Earth (although the latter, I would say, is qualified). Maybe template is not a bad idea after all. Either for passing or failing. Should we make an obligation that passing an article have to be with enough comments related to WP:WIAGA items? And if an article was passed without enough GA assessment, then anybody can relisted back to the nomination page. This will let other reviewers assess the article. — Indon (reply) — 14:37, 25 September 2006 (UTC)

I think a better idea for those situations would be to make it more clear in the rules that if an article is passed but not reviewed, thereby ignoring the instructions, it can be immedietly put back on the nomination page at anyone's discretion. Making the template use mandatory wouldn't change that, it's mandatory to show a review in the first place :/. Homestarmy 15:18, 25 September 2006 (UTC)
Nice Home, the best idea that came out of this talk so far. No need for a template but a re-run through the GAC process is a good idea. Lincher 19:06, 25 September 2006 (UTC)
I agree then. Who wants to make clear rule about this? So that there is already a justification to relist back those articles. I'm not good at wording. — Indon (reply) — 07:59, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

Actually, according to the current rules, it is required to leave a review if one fails an article (Fail instruction 3), but I cannot find anywhere the requirement to leave a review if one passes an article. So one has to change that first. Bravada had a good example and my proposal is a slight modification. From WP:GAC, see the last line.

The process for reviewing an article is:

  1. Check that you have logged in, anons may not review articles.
  2. Choose an article to review, noting:
    • You cannot choose an article if you have made significant contributions to it.
    • Nominations near the top of the lists are oldest, and should be given higher priority.
  3. Read the whole article, and decide whether it should pass or fail based on the criteria listed here.
  4. In either case, a review of the article's compliance with the Good Articles criteria is required in the article’s talk page.

It’s just a proposal, but one should agree on adding this requirement first. Then one has to add the instructions for another editor (effectively a re-reviewer) to renominate the article if the original reviewer does not put in a proper review. It is not clear where to put this requirement these instructions. Should it be in WP:GA/R or WP:GAC? RelHistBuff 08:53, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

According to Pass instruction 2, there is a requirement for leaving a note: "...and leave a comment about your reasons for passing the article (with suggestions to improve the article, if you can)." Perhaps, it is not written as a requirement in one separate item. I agree with RelHistBuff and it is appropriate in WP:GAC, because it is instruction of reviewing. However, I might want to add the last item:
4. In either case, a review of the article's compliance with the Good Articles criteria is required in the article’s talk page. Otherwise this article can be immediately listed back in the nomination page at anyone's discretion.
Indon (reply) — 10:05, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
Ah yes, somehow it escaped my notice. It should be a separate item in the Pass instructions, e.g.,
2. Replace {{GA nominee}} with {{GA}} on the article's talk page. To indicate the reviewed version of a Good Article, use {{GA|oldid=nnnnnn}} on the talk page (replacing nnnnn with the id number of the reviewed version) rather than just {{GA}}.
3. Leave a comment about your reasons for passing the article (with suggestions to improve the article, if you can).
I will boldly modify this. I don't think this is controversial point.
Adding the fourth line in the review rules would then be somewhat redundant, but I think it is important to repeat the message. So I would still support a fourth line. RelHistBuff 11:00, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
I agree with your change, the oldid stuff will also help with the re-reviewing. Lincher 16:04, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
I am afraid the current wording is a bit too vague. I mean, by "leave a comment about your reasons for passing the article" one might understand that e.g. "I am promoting this article because it is well written and has fun images" is OK. It is important to emphasize that all reviews should be made against WIAGA, not somebody's arbitrary feelings about the article, and that more specific review comments are necessary. I must say I like RHD's initial or Indon's wording a lot more. Bravada, talk - 19:52, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

Inline citations

I don't want to make another fork of long discussion about citation, but it is difficult for people that favor Harvard referencing to get GA status. I just got a review that I cannot use Harvard style because it is not inline citation. Here's the message:

The GA criteria requires that only in-line citations be used, so I'm afraid Harvard referencing is not an option. In-line citations are footnotes. Since you already have the bibliography written up, it shouldn't be that difficult to change. For each place you need to cite something, just include the bibliography between < ref > and < /ref > tags at the end of the sentence. For example, I modified the four points on missionary work (Sandra, 1998) to use in-line citations.

I am trying to confince him/her that inline citation is not always footnote, but I'm not sure if I can. Probably I have to change my citation style (*sigh*). — Indon (reply) — 17:27, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

I am personally in favor of the footnote style but I wouldn't fail an article that exclusively used Harvard in it's citation style. For the benefits of WP:V, a Harvard style citation at the end of a sentence still works. (off topic but does anyone else think it's a good time for an archive of the talk page?)Agne 18:10, 23 September 2006 (UTC)
Harvard is ok, of course, though it looks ugly, makes the article much less reader-friendly and requires almost exactly the same amount of work as inline citation, but if editors of a given article insist on consistently using Harvard, it is OK with WIAGA. Whoever failed the mysterious article (could you refer us to it) just for that reason and tried to impose "footnote style" is clearly wrong. Bravada, talk - 18:35, 23 September 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the support. It's not mysterious ;-), the article is Toraja. It is just the reviewer has another objection, namely the organization of the article. We are still discussing on other subjects. I like the reviewer that s(he) thoroughly read the entire article, though it's a bit weird that the decision (GA failed) is already given, but s(he) hasn't read the whole article. Anyway, if (s)he insists that GA fails merely on Harvard citation, I'll file that article in the WP:GA/R. Cheers. — Indon (reply) —
Just got a message from the reviewer. I have convinced him/her about inline citation style in Harvard. Case closed. Thanks. — Indon (reply) — 19:17, 23 September 2006 (UTC)
The reviewer had failed the article early due to significant grammatical problems that are being worked through with the editors of the article. Gnangarra 23:56, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

John Floyd length problem

The John Floyd (Virginia politician) article is 36kb. It meets every other requirement for GA promotion. Should I promote it to GA or not? --Tjss(Talk) 20:29, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

I would. It is very well written and I agree that it passes the criteria. Excess length is not really a failing mark for Good Article status. Agne 20:35, 23 September 2006 (UTC)
Okay. I promoted it. --Tjss(Talk) 21:21, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

Discussion on criteria changes

I was told that there would be discussion here about why inline citations are now mandatory for good articles. There doesn't seem to be any info here, from a cursory glance.

As explained at Wikipedia talk:What is a good article?, I propose that inline citations no longer be mandatory. --Kjoonlee 10:54, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

See Wikipedia_talk:Good_article_candidates#Citation_of_sources_should_be_required_for_GA RelHistBuff 11:15, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
I find it absurd that GA criteria mandate what even FA criteria do not demand. Anyway, I think there wasn't much consensus at the talk page of WP:WIAGA. Some people disagreed, and some people were surprised by the change, as was User:Pjacobi and me. --Kjoonlee 11:22, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
FA does require it. The misunderstanding is the phrase "where appropriate" in WP:WIAFA. That clause does not mean inline citations are optional. It means to place the inline citations in the appropriate locations. This is then supported by the WP:CITE guidelines which specifically defines the three citation styles. RelHistBuff 11:34, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
Got any sources for that? --Kjoonlee 11:37, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
"In the appropriate location" is very very very misleading. WP:WIAFA does not say that citations should be placed after punctuation or whatnot, but it does say that significant statements need inline citations; that is what "appropriate" refers to. Gimmetrow 18:50, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
If you would like to change it, then you are welcome to obtain another consensus. RelHistBuff 11:40, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
The consensus has been reached that inline citation is required (see above). — Indon (reply) — 11:42, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
The fact that this change was attempted twice, and reverted twice by different editors, should suggest that your "consensus" was premature. Gimmetrow 18:50, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Kjoon. It is very problematic to make citations compulsary for articles on basic scientific topics, such as classical mechanics, special relativity, quantum mechanics, general relativity, quantum field theory etc. These topics are treated in thousands of textbooks and the citation you give for some fact to the original source may not be appropriate for the article. Citations to some textbooks may be more appropriate, but then why one book and not another book (this point was raised by User:Pjacobi, I'm not forgetting to cite source here :) ).
I think that what matters is that there is no dispute about original research and verifiability issues in the article. The talk pages are the place to resolve such disputes. It shouldn't be necessary to "pre-emptively immunize" an article against such issues being raised by including citations. Citations should be included if that improves the article and not for any other "political" reason. Count Iblis 17:04, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
Surely there should be clarification that anything uncontroversially appearing in hundreds of textbooks doesn't require a citation. — Laura Scudder 17:08, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
Indeed, and what good would citations do anyway in such cases? The people who don't know the elementary facts treated in textbooks will usually not be able to get their hands on the literature anyway. Count Iblis 17:20, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
Many times, facts located in textbooks have been reproduced on the internet somewhere, and therefore can be linked by Wikipedia. Homestarmy 17:21, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
Yes, but in such cases it is convenient to cite the textbook in a "see also" section. The point is what to do with an argument or fact in the article. If you omit it, then the need could arise to cite it in an inline citation. But if you give the argumentation in the article, then there is no need to give a citation anymore. Proof that it is not original research or that it is verifiable is not needed for articles on elementary topics for well known (to insiders) arguments/facts. Count Iblis 19:54, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

Guys, I'm sorry about the brew ha. I ardently believed that it wasn't fair to de-list an article soley for in-line citations without giving them ample time to work the article to meet criteria 2. I thought that would create more of a ruckus then dropping off a friendly notice of the change before hand. I do think WP:V sums it up best when it notes "The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth." Followed by the Section on Burden "The burden of evidence lies with the editors who have made an edit or wish an edit to remain. Editors should therefore provide references. If an article topic has no reputable, reliable, third-party sources, Wikipedia should not have an article on that topic." This is about more then just in-line citations. This is the rock solid gospel of Wikipedia and we are doing a disservice as a Good Article Project if we don't hold articles to the standards of WP:V. Agne 18:36, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

This seems to imply that listing sources at the end of the article does not satisfy verifiability. Is that what you intend to mean? Gimmetrow 18:50, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
It's not really your fault, you just hit a few articles patrolled by people who took issue with the idea of their articles not being well-referenced, which is ok, I mean, well-referenced is subjective anyway. (Probably a good thing) Homestarmy 18:45, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

I think that it is the WP:V that isn't up to date to what people really think when reviewing for FA, A-class (in the assessment) and GA. Also, can we have case-by-case solutions for articles in pure physics/chemistry/biology for facts that have been reviewed by so many books that they aren't necessary to be inline cited. I think this would be a GA/Review process in that case. Lincher 18:44, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

Too add my own two cents' worth here...from my own experience, it seems that inline citations in the better physics-related articles are generally offered:
  • When a particularly dramatic point is made, to credit the discoverer of the phenomenon, refer the reader to the exciting original publication, or such like
  • To refer the reader to a particularly useful reference for better understanding the subject (but these sources are usually just listed at the end)
  • To substantiate a claim that is likely to be disputed
  • To acknowledge debt to a particular source, which was consulted in the writing of the article
All of this is normal for scholarly work. Citations are normally, moreover, demanded (with the appropriate tag) when another person reads a claim they regard as suspect. In this way, dubious claims are either properly referenced, or weeded out of articles (this is attendant upon the "stability" requirement). But, the average person writing physics articles doesn't have to, shouldn't have to, consult and cite reference works for "proof" of facts like the relativity of simultaneity. An entry in the bibliography can direct the curious researcher to a source where they can look things up for themselves, but it borders on the insane to require these sorts of things to be cited inline, and can lead to an article looking peculiarly ugly, even: lacking the authoritative, confident tone that an encyclopaedia article ought to convey.
I find it disturbing that a tiny group of editors, well meaning as they may be, can get together on a talk page which will be on very few peoples' watchlists, and make a decision which will have an impact on the quality control measures for all Wikipedia articles, without properly consulting the various WikiProjects and canvassing opinions and consensus on their proposals, and what the norms and standards are for that particular field. As far as physics and maths articles go, I can see this ridiculous requirement decreasing the overall quality of the articles as perfectly factual statements not cited inline are summarily removed, or at the very least, precluding most articles in those fields from gaining Good Article status, for what amount to entirely spurious reasons. Byrgenwulf 18:52, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

I think an important point is "Who are we writing these articles for?" Are we writing them for the experts? or for the laypeople or even, dare I say, the scientifically ignorant? Is Wikipedia's goal to be a free source of knowledge limited to those who already know that something is a "perfectly factual statement"? I think the overwhelming message of WP:V is that we are not to assume but verify. I think another point that has not been touched upon is that there is no reason why these Math or Science articles have to be considered Good Articles. If the article's editors do not wish to conform to the Good Article Criteria, they have every right not to do so. We can leave it at that. But I think a hallmark of being a Good Article is being a standard of which all articles can be considered by and for readership that may not be able to assume perfectly factual statements are indeed just that. We don't write for the experts. We right for the average person and if we do it right, we have the fruits and the sources of the experts to present to them. Agne 19:10, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

I really don't know what the fuss is all about. The current WIAGA simply states, that a Good Article should contain inline references. That's it! Nobody said that obvious statements or general knowledge has to be referenced, it is just to mean that the editors that want to pursue Good Article status for their articles should strive to provide inline references for statements that might be challenged. Reviewers use common sense and usually do not demand inline citations for statements that are obvious or unlikely to be untrue. I believe that in case of the unlikely happening of an article in mathematics or physics being failed due to the lack of an inline citation for a generally accepted principle or theory, the nominators may simply seek a Good Article Review, which is most likely to clear the issue.
Referring to the last part of your post, this change does not impact ALL articles, but only those that are nominated for the Good Article status. This page is probably the most watchlisted of all Good Articles pages, and therefore most of the people interested in developing Good Article standards were most probably aware of that. There are more important, and general guidelines and policies being discussed or changed now without any broader announcement, so I really don't see where the problem is. I believe it is all a big misunderstanding combined with lack of trust in other users' common sense :D Bravada, talk - 19:13, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
PS. I am replying after an edit conflict, but I guess Agne summed it up even better.

What editors who "don't see what the fuss is all about" fail to see is that User:Agne27 has gone around tagging articles that she counted didn't have enough inline citations to satisfy her arbitrary whim for what a good number of these were. She doesn't even have the courtesy to let us know what parts of the articles she think need more inline citations according to this "new criteria" for judging articles. This is bean-counting, it isn't editting. There are definitely good articles that don't need a plethora of in-line citations to remain good articles. Since there is no minimum number, tagging articles as "at risk" for re-review without going through a careful evaluation is the height of arrogance. This kind of behavior needs to stop. --ScienceApologist 20:06, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

I agree with you that there are some articles that don't really need inline references especially if they aren't controversial or some sections of articles that don't need inline referencing for it is almost a universally accepted fact. That is the reason why the WP:WIAGA criteria don't say where and now many inline citations are required and it is to assume that the reviewer should have enough common sense to request inline citations where he/she see fits. Upon request, criterion review (e. g. not enough inline citations) should be explained by the reviewer (e. g. this passage needs a cite, this line needs a cite, etc.) in order to better the article and not leave the editors with an impression that we just slap-tag articles or subjectively assess articles. Lincher 20:24, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
I disagree.
First, let me say that being asked for a cite for something obvious can drive you crazy -- I've been asked for citations in articles on religious topics so basic that we teach our children these concepts -- in elementary school!
Taking a deep breath, however, I've come to see the point some folk have made on this topic. If someone is reading an article, it's probably because they know little about it and want to know more. While we put emphasis here on citations to bolster the verifiability of a statement, there are at least two other reasons why in-line documentation is emphasized in scholarship, especially the humanities. One is to give credit to a person who developed an idea. (a superior note goes back to the first scholar and first source to develop an idea) Another is to allow a reader to explore a subject further with ease. Especially with a long article, works list do not do this well because such sources cover broad topics in great complexity. Where in a 500 page book should I look for the accepted description of how RNA replicates? You might know, but I would not. A few minutes to add the source and page helps our readers a great deal.
So, I, for one, look for at least one reference per section. I believe that to be reasonable for those of us who like books. I always ask for this and put the article on hold if I do not find it. I'm not out to keep articles off GA, but it's how I review. The second opinion process is always open to those who disagree with such. --CTSWyneken(talk) 20:26, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
Wikipedia is supposed to be verifiable, not verifiable by someone who doesn't know anything about the subject. -- SCZenz 00:07, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
Just noticed this reply. Sorry! Anyway, my point here is not the ability for anyone to verify the claims of an article. What I'm suggesting is actually one of the primary reasons for citation in scholarly work - so that the reader can find additional information on a subject. It is a way for someone to move from a secondary source to a primary one. For example, an article might quote Ben Franklin: "In America, the roads are not pav'd with half-peck loaves, the roofs are not til'd with pancakes and the fowls do not fly about ready roasted crying come and eat me!" The article might use this to show something about how the American dream affected possible immigrants. An inline note would take the person to his tract of advice for those who wished to immigrate. This tract is often buried in selected works of Franklin. The note helps the reader find the tract and learn more.--CTSWyneken(talk) 14:25, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

Where did you get that bizarre notion? In WP:V, which is official policy, it says "The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth. "Verifiable" in this context means that any reader must be able to check that material added to Wikipedia has already been published by a reliable source, because Wikipedia does not publish original thought or original research."

Which part of "any reader" do you fail to understand?

If you're stating a fact, and you can't expect every reader to already know it to be true, you need to provide a source. If you're stating a fact, and you can expect every reader to know it to be true, it doesn't need to go into the article. ClairSamoht - Help make Wikipedia the most authoritative source of information in the world 21:13, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

Hopefully, well placed "See Also's" would be there to lead a reader who knows very little to other articles which, themselves, would be referenced simply enough to tell a reader something about what the first article's subject is about. Homestarmy 00:09, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

I would also really like to see the inline citation requirement reviewed (and removed) especially now that it is threatening some mathematical articles I was previously quite pleased with such as the homotopy groups of spheres article. I feel some short articles can be just as easily verified using a simple reference at the end rather than a whole lot of footnotes. Is it perhaps time to move to a poll to see whether there is consensus to recommend inline citations in good articles but not enforce them? Cedars 14:39, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

If you want my opinion, in terms of whether it would make the GA system good or not, not having the inline citation criteria isn't necessarily a bad thing. But having it does stop people from spamming a bazillion books at the bottom of the page, passing them off as references, and tricking readers into thinking articles are verified when in reality it just popped out of someone's head, such as on Aristotle where the "Further Reading" section used to say "references" I think, until some people examined it. Many of these mathematical articles only have a very few references overall anyway, inline or not, and each book on mathematics hardly presents material in an identical manner, especially in higher level math, there can be very different methods of explaining complicated ideas. Homestarmy 14:45, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
That's why I think it's a great requirement for long articles. Just not short articles and the good article project was always intended to welcome short articles. Cedars 15:08, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

Edit I just made

There are many people, who can be seen here and on Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject Physics who think the inline citation requirement was too stringent. This being a wiki, I have modified it. See here. If I get knee-jerk reverts because I "don't have consensus," I will be very disappointed—please keep in mind that none of the article-writers that this line is causing problems for consented to the original version in the first place. (I remember when there was no GA review at all, and it wasn't very long ago.) -- SCZenz 00:13, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

Don't worry, I didn't knee-jerk revert you because you don't have consensus, I knee-jerk reverted you because the rest of us had near-consensus for it :). Homestarmy 00:16, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
The rest of who!? There are many of us at WikiProject physics trying to write articles, and we do not consent. Now please stop ignoring us. There is no reason that your recent addition should have precedence. -- SCZenz 00:18, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
Pretty much the rest of the people who frequent this page, the discussion actually took place on several different GA project talk pages over the span of I think 1 or two weeks of often heated debate, (Would you believe it, some people even thought we should make it mandatory for all articles to use only a single style of citations.) and as I said in my edit summary, we had near consensus, which for a system that is ordinarily support to not be bureaucratic, is really good enough anyway. Homestarmy 00:20, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
More specifically, the discussion is mostly in the last archive, but I warn you, it gets a bit....long Homestarmy 00:21, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
Ah... Do you have anyone in your club who writes science articles? -- SCZenz 00:23, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
Nothing heavy like Special Relativity, but honestly, until now, very few science articles really seemed to cause many problems, they often had decent numbers of both general and inline citations, you do all realize, if you want to dispute the interpretation people give for a criteria, there's a page for that here, right? Because what one person says doesn't necessarily go, we learned that the hard way on Jyllands-Posten Muhammad Cartoon Controversy and changed the way people can veto and/or review GA's. Homestarmy 00:27, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
This is very frustrating. Can I just say that, to me at least, it feels like what you're telling the experts who write physics articles is that we work for you. We weren't given a voice in these criteria, and we don't have time to keep up with them because what time we do have on Wikipedia is usually spent adding content or (more likely) dealing with pseudoscience. And now you come in and say that perfectly good articles are not good anymore, and that we can argue it on a case-by-case basis if we want? -- SCZenz 00:30, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
Well, all this system is basically is a slightly sophisticated suggestion-giving good-looking-article identification, I don't see why people get so annoyed when they don't have a GA template on top of the talk page and their page listed with more than a thousand others on the GA front page. If you can get those articles which have sparse references to FA status, then go for it, GA isn't something an article has to have to actually be "Good", it just means somebody has apparently identified it as such. Homestarmy 00:35, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
So what's the purpose of GA? It used to make sense--they were articles that were good, not featured. Now you're saying that featured may be easier to get to than the new rules a bunch of you made up. Are you admitting that your rules make no sense for science articles and that we should ignore them? That's been proposed over at the physics project—but I think it would be a bad thing for Wikipedia. We've been trying to draw your attention to cases where the rules you wrote are problematic, but you're ignoring us. And it's not even everyone in the original discussion who still disagrees—just a few of you who are reverting right now. -- SCZenz 00:38, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
(Note that the next section started as a reply to this comment. -- SCZenz 01:03, 27 September 2006 (UTC))
SCZenz is now the fourth independent editor to attempt to change this criteria back to what it was originally before the first change September 14. I see a couple other editors here with fairly strong opinions contrary to the new criteria. Since there never was a formal vote AFAIK, nor even an announced straw poll, maybe you will consider that perhaps, just perhaps, this alleged "consensus" was premature. I feel that a "Good Article" is one that meets the policy requirements of WP:V, WP:NPOV and WP:NOR. While inline citations are a good thing and should be encouraged, I'm still not convinced GA should require more than WP:V does on this point. Perhaps there would be less Kb of debate if the criteria were left alone, and time was spent verifying that articles actually met WP:NPOV and WP:NOR. Gimmetrow 00:42, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
"We weren't given a voice in these criteria, and we don't have time to keep up with them". Then, for the time being, ignore them. WP:IAR: "If the rules prevent you from improving or maintaining Wikipedia, ignore them." IAR is policy, GA guidelines are not. That said, not using citations now only makes for more work later. Start using them when you can, and bring others up to standard as time goes on, maybe? Note, GA almost thought to "make it mandatory for all articles to use only a single style of citations" is irrelevant because GA does not produce policy. You can use Harvard, footnotes, or embedded links (which are deprecated, but still acceptable).
And yes, if not clear, GA makes no sense. The process is designing rules in a vacuum. Marskell 00:43, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
Yes, we can ignore GA. The trouble is that it's sort of insulting to get all these messages about our articles being delisted. We work hard on them. -- SCZenz 00:49, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

(edit conflict/unindent) we're not asking for anything that isn't already part of the WP:CITE guideline (which incidentally is a link off of WP:V: "Editors should therefore provide references."). If it meets WP:CITE, and the other GA criteria, then it should pass GA. If it doesn't, and it was specifically over the inline citation criteria, then what we're saying is that there's a review process to have other eyes take a look and make sure the initial reviewer wasn't being unreasonable. We're not infallible, and it is a judgment call, and if someone is asking for a cite on something akin to "apple pie is made of apples" then others will back you up that it's not needed. If you're having issues with what WP:CITE requires (or that WP:CITE is the link off of WP:V on how to provide references), then please bring it up there :-). As far as the notice-- I didn't see what was being put on pages and we can see/discuss if it was inappropriately worded. I know everyone works hard on articles and we do not mean to imply otherwise. Also, FYI, FA is going through the same process and is currently notifying all current FAs that do not have inline citations that they need to work on that aspect so that it won't be put on FAR. --plange 00:52, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

All I'm trying to do is change it to say that inline citations are required where appropriate! In cases where inline citation is not appropriate, because the facts appear in many sources, it should not be demanded. Do you agree, or not? -- SCZenz 00:55, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
In reply to SCZ, re ignoring talk headers: I generally remove GA talk headers (particularly the stupid "failed GA" one). Not that I go searching, but just on pages I'm editing heavily. But this annoys people passing/failing, and you don't want to violate WP:OWN. So "allow, but ignore" is my policy. --Marskell 00:56, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
Two brief comments: 1) FA intentionally requires more than policy and is geared to showcase the "best of wikipedia" 2) WP:CITE is a guideline; that it is linked from WP:V doesn't change that. Gimmetrow 00:58, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

New discussion of expertise

The problem is that the experts DON'T work for Wikipedia. If they were working for Brittanica, they'd be vetted as experts before they started, and their professional reputations - and their ability to pay the mortgage - would depend on their ability to produce reliable and accurate articles. Brittanica has a "truth" standard, and it's be wonderful if Wikipedia could do the same, but when you rely on a bunch of amateur editors, including people who have never registered, and have never visited the site until 10 minutes before, there's no way to maintain a "truth" standard. Instead, Wikipedia opts for verifiability, and even that is a stretch, but official policy says that encyclopedic content must be verifiable.

The Good Article standard isn't an impossibly high standard to reach; every article can and should be Good Article quality. In general, if an article meets the Good Article standard, it is acceptable, and if it doesn't, it's not a Good Article. That's not to say that the article isn't true, isn't clearly written, isn't informative, isn't entertaining to read. It can be all those things - but unless it meets the verifiability standards, unless other editors and readers can see exactly where each statement comes from, it doesn't meet WikiPedia standards. And that's the difference between GeoCities and WikiPedia. There are some wonderful pages at GeoCities, as well as some terrible ones. Here at WikiPedia, we're happy to settle for good articles, if we can avoid the terrible ones.

And the thing is, if you back up every fact with a source, vandalism no longer is a problem. When someone makes an edit to a page you've created, and it's well-sourced, other editors will go out of their way to protect your page against vandalism. A page full of pseudoscience won't have reliable sources cited, because there are no reliable sources for pseudoscience. A "white hat" can waltz into a pseudoscience page and replace unverifiable crap with real science, properly cited, and other editors step in to protect the white hat's edits from vandalism. The Verifiability policy says any editor is free to remove unsourced content; that's not true of content with proper cites.

It really does make sense to cite everything you do, as you write it. Anyone who is writing a science article is going to refer to reliable sources as he writes it anyhow; adding cites takes FAR less time than hunting for the right language to say something. And most people writing science articles have learned to be thorough and methodical. This is something they all should embrace eagerly. ClairSamoht - Help make Wikipedia the most authoritative source of information in the world 01:00, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

I'm sorry, but there are experts here. We aren't certified as experts by Wikipedia, and we aren't asking you to take our word on anything. Except that, for common facts that we think don't require citation, we be allowed to put a few references at the bottom of the page rather than look up every single sentence. Will you not trust your fellow editors even that far? -- SCZenz 01:05, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
One thing i'd like to hear is the compleate explanation on how facts that are often not even close to comphrehensible for high school graduates doesn't seem to supposedly need citation in even the most complex of articles with the most technical wording, I just don't understand why Wikipedia should only try to be comphrehensible to people in collage at best :/. I'm a senior in high school right now, and many of these technical articles make AP Chemistry look like 2 + 2 = 4 :/. I just don't see why articles can't spare the time to have some good citations, we aren't asking for perfection here, I for one would think the Mathematics article does a pretty good job of referencing, it doesn't cite every single sentence, but the criteria says well referenced, not perfectly referenced, that's a goal that probably isn't very attainable in most cases. Homestarmy 01:09, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
I'm not saying "well-known by laypeople," I'm saying "well-known and undisputed by experts." Basic facts about quantum mechanics, even if they are incomprehensible to you, are still found in many sources and undisputed. Why spend hours flipping through my old textbook looking for where various facts are explicitly stated, when nobody even disagrees with me about them? -- SCZenz 01:12, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
One thing i've never understood about people on Science articles is that they always seem to want to use books, but folks, the internet has the answers too, it can't take but, what, 20 seconds to google up some of the basic stuff on Quantum and cite it, then its right there for the world to see. Well known and undisputed by experts seems pretty pointless, if the articles are understandable primarily by experts alone, what's the point? The "experts" would already know most everything about the subject at hand, why would they use Wikipedia? Homestarmy 01:15, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
Um, you have two points of great confusion here:
  1. The internet does not have reliable answers on all topics in research-level science. Please don't give me speeches on the glories of the internet; it has its limitations, and I have a pretty good idea what they are in my field of expertise. That's why we use books.
  2. Just because a fact is only well-known and obvious to experts does not mean it must be presented incomprehensibly; in fact, presenting things at a basic level is far harder with the standards of proof you require. Why is that? Because for very high-level subjects, the sources only say the complicated version; to make the article readable, the statements must be rewritten and put together, and then exactly the assertion in the article can't be found on a single page in any book. -- SCZenz 01:20, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
I think you are taking the cult of the non-expert too far, and I request you rethink your position. -- SCZenz 01:20, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
Limitations or not, many of the articles Agne27 was notifying (which created this dispute) had 2, 1, or even no internal citations and nothing at all from the internet, and I know many of these subjects are quite important and certainly would have something on the internet on them more extensive than a few citations on tiny factoids. Its fine if the only way you can render something is in complicated jargon, but one would hope there would be some "See Also's" at the bottom or helpful further reading/external links which would lead a reader to underlying principles or something, and it still doesn't mean you don't have to reference things. A reference also doesn't have to say exactly what the Wikipedia article says, you can use references which back up the main ideas of sentences, or when put together, give a synopsis of a section or something. Besides, think of it this way, you're a computer engineer or something and you're curious about some funky topic on, say, Hubble's law, your probably going to take a look at it, see that there are almost no references on it, and seriously wonder just how much you can trust the editors. After all, who knows what's in that small amount of refs? Were they used for a version of the article which now doesn't use them at all? How much of the article is actually covered by the references, and how much just came out of somebody's head? There is no way a standard reader would be able to know just how well-supported the article actually is by merely reading it. Homestarmy 01:32, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
It's impossible to know how far to trust an article just by reading it, and Wikipedia has never claimed it's possible. You have to look at the history anyway. -- SCZenz 01:37, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
Increased verifiability raises the level of trust a reader can give to an article. They don't have to look at the history, reaserch who all the contributors are, and read all the archives concerning an article's talk page if it has references referring to most questions a reader may have about a certain fact. Homestarmy 01:44, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
Hmm, actually, that article seems to of just changed what I thought was its main reference section into "further reading", maybe it isn't so good after all. Homestarmy 01:11, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

Reponse to ClairSamoht: : Sadly, the most careful inline citations do little to prevent vandalism. I have come back to sections of articles I wrote with detailed citations, to find that the article text has been changed and the citation itself modified. I cannot trust these citations unless I go back to a historical version that I supplied or verified. I have also had the misfortune of finding a bogus reference that remained in an article for nearly five years, so I don't think many people "fact-check" the citations. Gimmetrow 01:18, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

Doesn't mean not providing them will help prevent vandalism. For my part, I found that once I got some articles up to spec, it was very easy to keep them maintained since new additions are easy to spot and if they don't have a source, I can revert and ask for one, and the person adding can see the precedent already set in the article and doesn't complain. This is very essential for fighting fan cruft on articles that attract that kind of thing. --plange 01:25, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
In-line citations don't so much hurt articles as take up time that people could use to make much larger improvements to Wikipedia. -- SCZenz 01:37, 27 September 2006 (UTC)


How about this, we change 2b to read:

That way if an editor fails an article because there was no cite for "the earth revolves around the sun" you can bring it up on GA/R --plange 01:22, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

That wording seems fair to me, but I am not so sure that GA reviewers will interpret it the way I think it reads. I see nothing in WP:CITE that would require me to cite the statement that "In special relativity, two events occuring at the same time in one reference frame may occur at different times in another." Do you? -- SCZenz 01:26, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
See link at bottom to Common Knowledge. Wikipedia:Common knowledge --plange 01:35, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
That says we have to provide references for scientific facts, and I agree. It does not say we have to provide in-line references for individual facts. -- SCZenz 01:39, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
Hmmm, I also read in Wikipedia:Common knowledge that "Anything where a PhD (or other advanced training) is required in the field to be able to evaluate truth and consistency with the consensus view; for example, quantum mechanics." But quantum physics is almost high school level physics, certainly not something you need a ph.D. to be able undestand. So, it seems to me that anything beyond what lay people know falls in this category and that is the source of the problem here.
Why not say that you don't need to cite things in wikipedia if they are usually not cited in contemporary peer reviewed articles or textbooks? If there is a dispute, say SCZenz claims that certain fact is common knowledge then he can point that out by citing textbooks or articles that use these facts without citation. So, disputes about wheter or not to cite things can be resolved and we don't need to cite everything to prove to lay people that it is not original research or that it is verifiable. Count Iblis 01:56, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
It does, however, say that it is quite good for there to be links concerning the facts, which while isn't necessarily inline citation, is a bit more than just having a bunch of books and one or two factoid citations in an article. Homestarmy 01:42, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
So there is some discussion that can be had about whether the references are good. No question of that. But we need wording that we agree does not require inline citation for every sentence that isn't common knowledge. -- SCZenz 01:44, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
As User:ScienceApologist has pointed out several times already, the criteria does not explicitly list a number of citations needed. An article that doesn't have every uncommon fact cited but has a pretty good bit of them cited is possibly well-referenced on its own, but many articles concerning this dispute don't reach that standard. Homestarmy 01:48, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
Fine. I agree to plange's proposed wording above. If it turns out to create excessive problems for article authors, we may need to do this again, but it's ok as far as I can tell. -- SCZenz 01:50, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

(edit conflict/unindent) what the proposed re-wording does, is allow articles to be disputed in GA/R if the editor feels the reviewer went overboard in asking for cites so that things can then be decided on in a case by case basis. Note that the CN page does have a specific entry on technical knowledge and whether a PhD is required, etc. --plange 01:51, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

Concerning this new wording, I think it does introduce some ambiguity which may, should this dispute over technical articles get out of hand again, come back to haunt us, but its better than nothing. I suspect the editors who spent so much time debating this would probably like to chip in though, this whole dispute isn't even a day old yet :/. Homestarmy 01:55, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
I agree. But it's virtually the same qualifier as is on FA's criteria. On WP:CN it says "Anything where a PhD (or other advanced training) is required in the field to be able to evaluate truth and consistency with the consensus view; for example, quantum mechanics." as an example of when something should be cited. In the example in SCZenz's post I didn't know that about special relativity, for instance, as I'm a historian. Maybe it's as common knowledge to them as "Robert E. Lee commanded the Army of Northern Virginia during the American Civil War." Does the latter need to be cited? Probably not, since it's not likely to be disputed. Is it easy to cite? sure. I can pick up any book on the ACW and cite it. I think what we need to do is bring this discussion over to WP:CITE, as it appears that the issue has to do with that guideline. --plange 02:07, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
The trouble, as I've said, is individually citing every fact that's not common knowledge makes editing physics articles take much, much longer. Isn't it better to actually improve other articles, bringing them from say stub to B-class, then to spend that long on detail work? -- SCZenz 02:09, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
We're talking about bringing something from B to GA (and eventually FA), not Stub to B. If you feel your time is better spent bringing stubs to Bs then that's great. It's definitely needed. I'm a historian (degrees and all) and yep, it's more tedious for me to add cites for facts than when I'm working on my book, but that's the nature of WP. We don't know your credentials or mine and are having to take things on faith if they're not sourced. Asking someone to take it on faith that apple pie is made from apples is fine, but on other things, it might not be, and has to be judged by others if it's needed.--plange 02:24, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
Then don't cite every fact, well-referenced does not mean perfectly referenced. Each person's standards are bound to be different, but believe it or not, when articles cover many different facts in many different aspects of subjects, quantity of references matters when you deal with specific citations. There, I said it, let the parade of "THE NUMBER OF REFERENCES NEVER MATTERS EVER!" begin, because that's the way debate always seems to happen in other places... Homestarmy 02:13, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

My feelings about this are probably unpopular. Providing a footnote for a sentence, such as the above one for Northern Virginia and the sentence about special relativity is not just unnecessary, it is a bad idea. It makes articles harder to write, it makes them harder to read and it devalues the referencing in general. I think the first two are obvious, but I'll explain the third. Providing footnotes for statements that you could find in any treatment of special relativity (including those in high school physics textbooks) seems nonsensical to me because when I see a footnote, it indicates two things to me: (i) the fact being asserted may be surprising and requires justification, which can be found in the source cited (ii) the source being referred to is authoritative. Who wrote the authoritative demonstration, or literature review, or meta-analysis conclusively demonstrating that Lee commanded the Army of Northern Virgina? Nobody. There is no controversy there and presumably every single book in the references section will mention this agreed upon fact. In this case, the footnote doesn't make verification any easier, because why dig through the stacks to find someone's high school textbook from 1962 to confirm something that a much simpler check will reveal? The only thing having a footnote does is to confuse the legitimate value of the other footnotes, which indicate statements in need of support or clarification.

I mean really, who wants to read an article which cites one randomly chosen textbook, and has sixty footnotes of the form "ibid, p. 311"? (Of course, a number of editors say that it is important to use several different sources. I basically agree, but the point is not to then choose two textbooks at random so that you can randomly assign footnotes to one or the other and make the article appear more pleasing to the Good Article reviewers. The point is that if well-known sources disagree on a point, to mention this and perhaps provide an entry to the specialist literature.) –Joke 03:40, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

(Of course, everything above is predicated on there being a good "References" section to begin with.) –Joke 03:43, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

I was asked by plange to comment, since I am both a writer of science articles and I also consider myself a "member of this (GA) club." My area is chemistry, not physics (I teach college chemistry), but a lot of the points are the same. In chemistry peer-reviewed papers it is common to give inline citations even for some things considered obvious to most readers, e.g., "The aldol reaction is an important carbon-carbon bond forming reaction.1" Such refs would typically be to standard texts we all have by our desks. However, such refs are usually only given once in the paper, we see no need to keep citing the same book over and over for related points. It is simply there to assert, "This is the basic premise of our work, but it's not just our opinion, it has its foundations in the canon of the literature." In most well-cited chemistry Wikipedia articles I've seen, this has also been the approach used, and it would seem to meet plange's version of criterion 2b. You can see my interpretation of this viewpoint at Chemical substance, an article full of very "obvious" concepts. If you read all the refs, the later "uncited" statements are all in fact covered fairly well. I would think that this style could be also used for physics articles perfectly easily. I think the addition of inline refs does improve this type of introductory article, it helps us get away from the schoolboy-type definitions which often pervade this type of article.
There are a couple of areas where I am uncomfortable - I think it will take projects several months to bring their articles into line, so the timeline proposed seems too short. I also hope we don't see dozens of "Citation needed" tags added - these are all-too-often nitpicking. Until we get a system of rigorous fact-checking like the one we discussed at Wikimania we should keep the number of inline citations under control. I think the chemistry approach offers a nice middle road. Overall I strongly support the new policy (it was inevitable), and I commend those who have taken the time to inform everyone of its implementation - thanks! Walkerma 04:11, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
I'd just like to make a comment on something Joke137 said, High School physics books are not the same as real deal Special Relativity reaserch type sources, because the lower you go grade-wise, the more things are simplified to the point where their just plain wrong. So showing exactly where you got your sources is even more important, because if an article is using just high school stuff on very complicated subjects, your going to get an article which probably isn't overly broad and is likely to be downright false. Homestarmy 14:01, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

Technical subsection

In addition to the criteria change by plange for WP:WIAGA, which I also agree upon, we should have a section pertaining on Technical articles which should read like this :

Lincher 02:59, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

I'm not sure what the "minimal inline citations" part is necessary for, what happens if, for whatever reason, a technical article becomes controversial, and a great many inline citations are thrown around? Homestarmy 03:02, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

This doesn't make too much sense to me. "Accessible to laymen"? I think it depends. Part of the charm about Wikipedia is that you have people who can write an article about, say, the vDVZ discontinuity or canonical gravity or ADM formalism (to pick some things in gravitational physics at random) which are very useful to experts wanting to find something quickly but which are never going to be readable (or particularly interesting) to the layman. I'm in favor of this test: an article should be readable to the people who are likely to go looking for it. –Joke 03:47, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

Following Wikipedia:Village_pump (proposals)#Some sort of change where there is a lot of discussion on technical articles. I'd have something like
The lead should give an overview of the topic accessable to the layman. Technical subsections should be at a level appropriate for the expected audience

So the layreader can get an overview of the topic, enough to know if this is something of interest to them or not. VDVZ discontinuity (Massive gravity) acheives this in one line In theoretical physics, massive gravity is a particular generalization of general relativity studied by van Dam and Veltman; and by Zakharov. For those interested enough to read beyond that line it then tells you a little more, namely that the theory attemps to explain why gravity happens, in terms of some quantum physics.

Relying on wikilinks can be problematic, we've had complaints from some reader that they have to engage to a definition chase, to understand concept A, means they have to follow the link to concept B which in turn requires concept C, D and E.
Homotopy groups of spheres is a nice example of a complex subject done well. About half the article is devoted to explaining the concept simply. It does have more technical subsections later on. Its also a case where I don't think a lot of inline citations would help. As a lot of the effort in the article has been put into presenting complex material simply, there are no appropriate point by point citations. All the statments in the article can be verified by the three books specified in the references. --Salix alba (talk) 08:24, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
If it's presenting complex material in such a way that it is not explained this way anywhere else, that makes it Original Reaserch, and i'm tempted to delist that article myself, if not at least open a review, except I know that would just be stirring up the hive again. Homestarmy 13:58, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

I do not support this proposal. If an article is inaccessible it is usually because it is poorly written and thus should be covered by criteria one. Cedars 14:50, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

Why should tech articles be different? FAs don't make an exception.Rlevse 11:56, 1 October 2006 (UTC)


Dear Lordy, I just looked away for a moment and now there are too many posts here for me to follow.

Now, is there any real problem? Has anybody failed an article on a scientific topic for it not having a reference for the fact that the Earth is revolving around the Sun or similar? Has anybody even nominated any article on a topic from physics or mathematics since the new WIAGA was adopted for that matter?

The new criterion adopts a very relaxed and common sense approach to inline citations, simply requesting for them to be used and leaving it up to common sense decisions as to what statements have to be cited. I am keeping an eye on the current application of this guideline, and I must say the reviewers are predominantly exhibiting a very rational approach to that.

Now, if the feared thing happens and somebody fails an article for a lack of an unnecessary citations, the Earth won't stop revolving and we won't fall off, it's just a bad review, it happens sometimes for this or that reason, that's what we get GA/R for. We could then discuss an individual case should the need arise (and I believe it would arise much later than anybody here would expect). Only if it is proved in practice that there are significant problems with the application of this guideline will it make sense to make any alteration to this WIAGA criterion.

Moreover, for anybody feeling that "science" articles are unique in that, do you think it would be sensible to require a citation for the statement that Celine Dion is a singer?

Can you just calm down and wait a few weeks to see how the guideline is adopted and whether there are any REAL issues? Frankly speaking, I don't want to see this topic bickered about any more here. Just stop and wait.

Good day or good night, depending on where you are Bravada, talk - 03:52, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

This came up because one of our editors did put a notice on some physics articles saying it needed sources. I agree with the above, and is the reason I suggested this change to the guidelines, precisely so it can be brought to GA/R if a reviewer went overboard.

the citation of its sources using inline citations is required, where appropriate. (Content must be verifiable. See citing sources for information on when and how extensively references are provided)

--plange 04:08, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
I said that I don't want any more comments on that, but since I really like and respect you, Angela, I will respond - well, if that makes people feel better, let's add "where appropriate" and that's really enough. The WIAGA rules should be compact enough for an editor to be able to skim thorugh them quickly and check an article against them before submitting. WIAGA is already longer than WIAFA (I am not proposing making it any more compact at the moment, as there just was a change, and I would also like us to gain a few months' experience in working with the new WIAGA and using it as a basis for reviews), so expanding points by rephrasing the obvious several points is the last thing that we need. I guess people just need to cool off and wait for actual things (i.e. reviews) to happen and see how it works. Hugs & Kisses for Everybody, Bravada, talk - 04:24, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
Bravada +1... NCurse work 05:36, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

I guess, I am at the same timezone as Bravada. When I got online this morning, whooaa it's already a lengthly discussion about the same topic again. I would say I'm 100% agree with Bravada. I would not ask inline citation for such an elementary fact, but I would for history, or say there is 80% improvement compared to other method, and so on. So please don't freak out about inline citation. It is there to help verifiability of the article not to fear the editors. — Indon (reply) — 08:20, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

Another person from the timezone desert votes for plange's proposal. All I can say is that there seems to be a lot of people who value their green badges... ;-) RelHistBuff 10:06, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
I don't really like this "where approporiate" idea at all, because the focus of the dispute seems to be that on technical articles, editors involved feel that citations are almost never appropriate for basically the entire article. Homestarmy 12:44, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
Then I guess I'll put forth again my other proposal, that we kick this over to WP:V and WP:CITE for their opinion. --plange 13:51, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
That's not true. The dispute is not about editors of scientific articles not willing to include citations. It's about the fact that there are some GA articles which have very few citations or none at all. These articles do comply with the wiki guidlines concerning original research and verifiability.
E.g. the article on special relativity mentions very clearly that special relativity was develped by Einstein and a link is given. However the article doesn't contain any inline citations, because it isn't necessary. If the quality of the article would improve by giving a citation then that would be done. But one shouldn't say that just because the article has zero citations it cannot retain GA or FA status.
There is a class of scientific articles which can contain a relatively low number of citations. These are articles about well established, non controverial topics, such as special relativity , qquantum mechanics, general relativity etc. These are topics that to lay persons look very technical but to insiders (and most editors are insiders) these topics are actually not technical at all. As a consequence, these articles are written in a similar way as non technical articles on a well established non controversial topics are written, say the article about Santa Claus which has only a few inline weblinks.
There are other technical articles that are about active topics of scientific research, and these typically contain a large number of citations, take e.g. the article about dark matter. To the lay person it won't be clear why one article contains only a few citations and why another one contain 50 citations given that to him/her they both look very technical.
So, in conlusion, I would say that lay persons cannot go about counting citations in what looks to them "technical articles" and make judgements based on that. Count Iblis 14:06, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
We're writing an encyclopedia, not a club for experts to have their "non-controversial" articles just sit there and do nothing, because laypeople won't get anything if they can't understand it, and a real expert wouldn't be using Wikipedia in the first place, they would already know everything about the topic. There's no denying that the articles can have a low number of citations because, of course, their right there now and have a very low number of citations, but there's a difference between "can have a low number of citations" and "should be recognized as a Good Article even with low verification". Homestarmy 14:11, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

Since plange's proposal does not mention the nature of the dispute, it basically looks very much like the WP:WIAFA criterion. I don't know the history of WIAFA's "where appropriate" clause, but in any case they have settled with it and they still make very tough requirements on citing sources. We should just go on. My feeling is that the physics Wikiproject members just panicked when they saw Agne's notices. We as GA reviewers will not fail physics articles so arbitrarily as they seem to think and perhaps they will calm down. I'm a former particle physicist myself so perhaps I'll get more involved on reviewing in that area. RelHistBuff 14:16, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

I agree -- we have not said there has to be a certain number/density. (And yep, I cribbed the line from WIAFA) Are the ones objecting okay with what Walkerma wrote above under proposal? That was from a fellow scientist. --plange 14:23, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

Calling all GA project members

In order to avoid spurrious claims that we never reached a consensus (and in fact, we did last time), we should vote on the proposal. RelHistBuff 14:43, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

You misunderstand consensus. A lot of people who were affected by your new rules weren't aware of the discussion. -- SCZenz 16:44, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

the citation of its sources using inline citations is required, where appropriate. (Content must be verifiable. See citing sources for information on when and how extensively references are provided)

In this context what dose "where appropriate" mean this is where probelms and ambiguaties stem from. Until that is defined i am unable to make any assesment of weather to oppose or support the wording.--Lucy-marie 23:21, 27 September 2006 (UTC)


  1. Support. TimVickers 15:02, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
  2. Support.Indon (reply) — 15:05, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
  3. Support. — I actually believe the stuff in parentheses is redundant, but inline references are easy to make, don't hurt and help weed out OR statements that somebody sneaked in. Bravada, talk - 15:08, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
  4. Strong Support — I think the "where appropriate" was a given but if clarifying eases some troubled minds then I support it. In-line citations are vital to WP:V and consistent with Jimbo's call for us to increase the quality of ALL articles, not just long ones. Agne 15:12, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
  5. Support plange 15:13, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
  6. Support — We should not stand still. GA is evolving. It is getting better and in my opinion we see the results: better articles AND better reviews. RelHistBuff 15:28, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
  7. Support — Not only for verifiability, but also to credit scholars and sources and to give readers a way to find their way to more info on the subject. --CTSWyneken(talk) 16:40, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
  8. Support, we need some form of inline citations' requirement for the editors used to argue with the original writing and said but you criteria don't say that or since it is not mandatory why should I give any?. Lincher 17:25, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
  9. Support - "where appropriate" takes care of all exceptions in my mind, and I don't like it when noms say that since it isn't mandatory, they're not going to do any sort of rational citation, in-line or not. --PresN 20:58, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
  10. Support Kaldari 19:52, 28 September 2006 (UTC)


  1. Strong oppose — I have been with the project since March, I run the GAAuto script and I believe this runs counter to the intent of the project. In that it forces short articles (that could be adequately referenced by listing one or more sources at the end of the article) to use inline citations. I support references, I support inline citations for long article, I don't support the inline citations requirement for short articles. Cedars 14:58, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
    While we are unable to verify the text using references for most of the time, aksing an editor to provide an inline citation for a dubious statement can reveal whether there is actually any basis for such statement. Moreover, it helps verifying when the case becomes really dubious, as you can check for the statement in the specificsource rather than try to look for it in all sources provided. Bravada, talk - 15:11, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
    Comment - but short articles are potentially future long articles and we do future editors a favor by providing these. --plange 15:13, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
  2. mild oppose - I'll go along with the change, but I'm not as eager to make this a specific requirement. I'm another early participant in the GA process. While GA can be used as an initial grading on the path to FA, it wasn't initially designed that way. I fear that this could lead to a slippery slope toward more pedantic reviews rather than quality reviews. Slambo (Speak) 15:14, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
    Comment - GA should not be used as an initial whatever for FA, GA is a separate thing. But GA status means the article conforms with basic encyclopedic standards, and, as I mentioned above, inline citations are very helpful in increasing the verifiability of articles, while they don't hurt, bite or kill small children. Bravada, talk - 15:20, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
    I agree that inline citations are helpful and that they are easy to implement and use, I just don't agree that their use should be a requirement in every article. I almost put my comments into the neutral section, but the question was whether it should be a requirement not whether they are useful. Slambo (Speak) 15:26, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
    So, what do you hold against them being a requirement? Can you point towards any article that can really be 100% verifiable without them? Bravada, talk - 15:31, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
    I got one, a stub I created, Harold Glucksberg, that one link is basically everything there is :) Homestarmy 15:32, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
    but would you be submitting that for GA?? --plange 16:09, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
    well....hmm...I think it's NPOV! :D Homestarmy 16:14, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
  3. Strong oppose. This criterion, as it has been applied, seems to expect that anything that a particular reviewer didn't learn in high school requires a citation. Per Joke's comment below, this prevents physics article writers from writing about basic subjects without spending many times more effort. Things that are controversial or disputed should require inline citation, not things that you personally don't know. I despair of anyone paying attention to my statements here, but I think my views reflect those of most physics editors. My proposal at WikiProject Physics is to depricate all reference to Wikipedia:Good articles in all physics topics if this requirement remains in place. -- SCZenz 16:40, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
  4. Oppose - too stringent to require in-line citations in all cases and too vague to say "where appropriate" without spelling out what that means. Johntex\talk 16:54, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
    Comment - I used the same wording as WIAFA so that articles where it was not needed so much could still pass and put the paranthetical line so that the links there could do the spelling out for us) --plange 17:04, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
  5. Oppose - for a good counter-example see [4]. --Pjacobi 16:55, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
  6. Mild oppose for now. This is better wording, but still seems contrary to my philosophy on GA. I believe the most "stable" meaning of a "Good Article" is a well-written article that meets the requirements of policy, eg. WP:V, WP:NOR, and WP:NPOV. It's certainly good to encourage inline citations (as the old wording did), but I do not believe GA should require more than WP:V requires. Gimmetrow 17:03, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
  7. Oppose with extreme prejudice: the kind of hounding that is being done in the name of "proper citation" is borderline ridiculous. There are real issues with demanding that citations be made for common knowledge facts, especially when you are asked to just "choose a source", something that would basically amount to spamming for a particular textbook. Unless these issues are address, there can be no reasonable consensus on this issue. --ScienceApologist 18:11, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
  8. Oppose, just take a look at the example given by Pjacobi above. Let me quote from the relevant article (Agne27 inserted the "citation needed" tag):
    "If it was possible for a cause-and-effect relationship to exist between events A and C, then logical paradoxes would result. [citation needed] For example, if A was the cause, and C the effect, then there would be frames of reference in which the effect preceded the cause."
    You can see this (even if you are a lay person) by just using the informaton that's already in the article. So, there is no need to give citations. And if it's not clear then why not first ask for clarifications on the talk page? That discussion could lead to modifications in the way things are explained or, if deemed necessary, a citation. Count Iblis 17:18, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
    Comment - Actually your example is also a good reason to support the new clause. This way if you disagree with a reviewer you can take it to GA/R and if indeed the reviewer is being unreasonable in requests for cites, the others will back you up. --plange 17:33, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
  9. Oppose inline cites are not always the most appropriate way of citing mathematics articles. Frow WP:CITE If you add any information to an article, particularly if it's contentious or likely to be challenged, you should supply a source.. By the process of mathematical proof the mathematical statments are on the whole not contentiuos and can often be verified by the reader through aplication of algebra. WP:CITE The main point is to help the reader and other editors. The mathematical content of an article will frequently be repeated in many mathematical text books, in principle we could add inline cites with the page numbers of one particular text book. But does this help the reader? On the whole, no, as they will more than likely have a different textbook. Further, to gain an understanding of the subject, the reader will actually need to read the whole of the text book. In this situation references to a variety of textbooks at the end will do a better job of helping the reader. --Salix alba (talk) 18:12, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
    Comment - ?? that's why we added the "where appropriate" phrase that we're voting on... --plange 18:20, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
    Well, some editors (like User:Agne27) have taken it upon themselves to decide for us that we need to add dozens of inline {{fact}} tags without discussion to elementary facts at special relativity and Hubble's law. So who decides what is an isn't appropriate? --ScienceApologist 21:20, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
  10. Oppose. Any policy that seems to imply that a citation is needed for the definition of group (mathematics) is completely at odds with the norms of scientific writing. Such detailed references would only hide the content that actually requires verification. CMummert 18:50, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
  11. Oppose I agree completely with the spirit of providing references. However, the policy as it has been formulated has been demonstrably applied in a way that contravenes common sense and good practice. This needs to be addressed and I suspect consensus can be found quite easily. Eusebeus 18:54, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
  12. Oppose. The practice of adding an inline citation to every fact (no matter how trivial or non-controversial) is not used by any serious publication. The reason is that the inline citations clutter up the text and make it hard to read, and the added benefit is marginal at best. The more sensible practice of collecting inline citations at the end of a few key sentences in the introduction combined with a few additional footnotes on key points works very well. dryguy 20:44, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
  13. oppose - a good article can be written from just one source if that is all that exists. Take cosmetology articles for instance. Textbooks are few and far between and when all of the info is from one source, it doesn't need inline citations and requireing them is detrimental. pschemp | talk 21:24, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
  14. strong oppose - I mostly work on mathematical articles and adding inline citations for facts in a maths article which should be obvious to anyone capable of understanding the article is really just obfuscation rather than clarification. It is also at odds with standards for publishing mathematical materials elsewhere. Madmath789 21:48, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
  15. Oppose. An article can be very well-referenced with just a simply reference list, especially if it's fairly minor. And when we're talking just one or two sources, it should be up to editors and hardline skeptics to actually make a minimum of effort to check the literature out or to sort out queries on the talkpage before they start demanding footnotes. "I didn't know that" (assuming one's own ignorance is universal) isn't a valid argument for demanding a citation. Editors who make annoying and unspecified blanket request for "more inlines" will only be encouraged by this kind of wording. / Peter Isotalo 09:12, 3 October 2006 (UTC)


  1. I know that its a convienent criteria for weeding out badly referenced articles more easily, but I think we'd still be holding articles up to a pretty, well, good standard with or without this criteria, after all, "well-referenced" sort of also implies that references be accessable and easily able to check i'd think. Homestarmy 14:48, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
  2. A for the "spurious" claims – I don't know who made these, – but a lot of people have been saying: "this has been discussed, and a consensus has been achieved." Consensus, on Wikipedia, is a dynamic thing and as more editors, with different concerns, are drawn into a process, the consensus can change. There is nothing spurious about that. I don't have any strong feelings about the proposed wording except that it seems ambiguous with the "is required, where appropriate," but probably that ambiguity is helpful. It is certainly an improvement on the previous wording. –Joke 16:26, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
  3. I do think that for essentially all articles, there needs to be some form of inline citations. However, I do realize that, for example, there's difference between stating part of an excepted theory, and stating where/when it was published, or what the scientific communities' reaction was. The phrasing "where appropriate" is just too vague for me, and I fear will lead to more arguments like the one above. --- The Bethling(Talk) 21:17, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

Attempt to find consensus I might be wrong, so please correct me if that's the case, but it appears that a lot of the objections are not to the wording of the clause, but in how notification of the changed criteria was applied in the recent past. Do we agree, that where citations are appropriate, a good article should have them? Where they are appropriate, of course, is something that is worked out in the review process, and if a reviewer was too over-zealous, everyone has the ability to bring it to GA/R to get multiple opinions. If we can agree on this, and that articles will be judged on a case by case basis, then we might have a winner? We can then talk about how legacy GAs are handled. I agree with Walkerma in the last section of this page (in the quote box below) that one week is perhaps not enough time. --plange 19:08, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

The problem wasn't time, the problem is that other wikiprojects haven't been notified. Well, I'm sorry for that but if the other projects are to lend in a hand at working with the GA process then we wouldn't be arguing on a criterion. And for that fact I have pinpointed the reason why consensus isn't here anymore and it is because such users as CMummert, Eusebeus, Count Iblis, Pjacobi, SCZenz (made 1 removal) never took a part in the reviewing process but they now want to argue the criterion change that was done earlier. The problem is wherther you take part in the reviewing/talking about criteria or not/not talking about criteria.
As for the option you just had, I agree that everybody thinks articles need to be referenced to a certain point and for that reason we have to find a compromise to the amount of referencing. There are no articles on WP that don't need inline citations and if there are pile them somewhere so we know what they look like. As for the inline referencing, there is no rule as to how many is needed to the articles, we thus have to go case-by-case to figure out what needs to be cited and what doesn't need to be. I hope we can find a consensus at least on the fact that we need inline citations to begin with. Lincher 19:24, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
I am actually quite interested in the GA process, although I haven't done any GA reviews myself. I am particularly interested in getting certain foundational articles up to that standard, and have noted this on their talk pages and my user page. I read the GA criteria once, and assumed they would not significantly change. Thus any change in the standard is of interest to me, and likely to many other editors who don't follow the GA talk pages. I think that if it had always been policy to require useless inline references, it would have been apparent that there was no consensus, because you would have heard from people like me. You didn't hear from me before because when I read the GA criteria originally they didn't seem oppressive. CMummert 19:48, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
Plange, the applications in the recent past were very unpleasant and frustrating for us. Users like User:Homestarmy and User:RelHistBuff seem to be backing up the interpretation embodied by the edits to special relativity, and so it seems that it's more than one or two people who are advocating an unnaceptable interpretation of the current rules. I absolutely do assume good faith on the part of everyone involved; the problem here is ignorance of sources and accepted theories in specific academic fields and of academic standards of writing, and a lack of awareness of the effects of that ignorance. This issue can be solved by greater clarity in the criteria, but the wording "where appropriate" is probably not specific enough to avoid this problem; I therefore personally insist that the wording make it clear that statements which are undisputed within an academic field need not be inline cited. Otherwise it would appear that there is no consensus at all for requiring inline citations. -- SCZenz 19:55, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
I haven't joined in on that article as I haven't had a chance to look, but maybe we need to go back to WP:CITE and see if what you're asking is acceptable to them, since it's their guideline we're trying to follow. --plange 19:59, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
Nothing at WP:CITE requires that individual facts must in-line cited, unless they are controversial or likely to be. -- SCZenz 20:06, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
To save you the trouble of looking at the history Special relativity, it is this edit that is entirely unacceptable. I believe very strongly that whatever criterion we adopt explicitly make clear that that density of citations for un-controversial facts is not required. It is sufficient for non-controversial facts to be supported by the general references, as is the case here. The summary is also wrong; WP:V does not require that articles be verifiable line-by-line by people who know nothing on the subject.-- SCZenz 20:15, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
I admit I am a newcomer to the process, but the statement that I have not participated in a GA review is not entirely true: see Talk:Marcel_Proust. That small point notwithstanding, the issues raised are certainly worth discussion. That much is clear. I would propose that now you have the attention of a wider group of people, the debate be reopened to establish a review model that can accommodate the kinds of issues that have been recently raised. Eusebeus 21:51, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

Can a compromise be found?

Upon reflection, I'm beginning to think we might have a bit of a tempest in a teakettle. I don't think there are many science-article editors who dispute the paramount importance of WP:V and WP:CITE. I'm also quite sure that most of these authors think that footnotes (in many cases along with a seperate references section) are often necessary for correct referencing. I do however, think people get riled up when they see things like this and this which were pretty jarring to us.

Okay: So you live back in 1420 and someone opines that ... "The earth isn't flat" (say WHAT?) ... that in fact: "There are maps, and evidence in the form of calculations and experiments ... that suggest that... (oh, oh, here it comes)... the earth may be a round thing". If you were a thinking person, wouldn't you want to see/know "the evidence"? POINT: wikipedia is an infant learning to walk. Until the infant is on its feet it needs all the guidance/help/assistance (aka "evidence") it can get/muster. Discipline to cite a source is a tough but necessary builder of "academic character". Let the in-line cites begin! (They can always be removed later). wvbaileyWvbailey 00:40, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

I don't know what others think about this, but my perception is that what most editors would like is to be able to write articles about standard textbook material (like special relativity) without giving every damn sentence a footnote, even if any of the standard references cited could immediately be used to confirm something. There is no "numerical minimum" number of inline references per kilobyte of text – it depends on the case at hand – and there is no requirement to provide a citation for facts that are readily confirmed by looking at the principal references. I'm sure that there are sentences in articles like string theory, special relativity (certainly not the ones tagged above, though) and Hubble's law which really need to be properly referenced, but it is hardly appropriate to just say "I counted the references, and the number is not to my liking" without pointing out specific flaws, or worse to choose statements seemingly at random.

My impression is that most math and physics editors like the good article process and are just a little upset to have been inundated with these poorly thought out mass messages. We are all, just as you are, trying to improve the encyclopedia, and we all agree that proper referencing is vital to having Wikipedia become a trustworthy source. However, we all think there must be a happy medium with an appropriate level of footnoting, and, you know, would like to be given the benefit of the doubt. –Joke 16:10, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

Can the ones who are objecting, please read Walkerma's post above and let us know if what he says is fair or not in your eyes? Here it is as it seems to have gotten lost.

I was asked by plange to comment, since I am both a writer of science articles and I also consider myself a "member of this (GA) club." My area is chemistry, not physics (I teach college chemistry), but a lot of the points are the same. In chemistry peer-reviewed papers it is common to give inline citations even for some things considered obvious to most readers, e.g., "The aldol reaction is an important carbon-carbon bond forming reaction.1" Such refs would typically be to standard texts we all have by our desks. However, such refs are usually only given once in the paper, we see no need to keep citing the same book over and over for related points. It is simply there to assert, "This is the basic premise of our work, but it's not just our opinion, it has its foundations in the canon of the literature." In most well-cited chemistry Wikipedia articles I've seen, this has also been the approach used, and it would seem to meet plange's version of criterion 2b. You can see my interpretation of this viewpoint at Chemical substance, an article full of very "obvious" concepts. If you read all the refs, the later "uncited" statements are all in fact covered fairly well. I would think that this style could be also used for physics articles perfectly easily. I think the addition of inline refs does improve this type of introductory article, it helps us get away from the schoolboy-type definitions which often pervade this type of article.

There are a couple of areas where I am uncomfortable - I think it will take projects several months to bring their articles into line, so the timeline proposed seems too short. I also hope we don't see dozens of "Citation needed" tags added - these are all-too-often nitpicking. Until we get a system of rigorous fact-checking like the one we discussed at Wikimania we should keep the number of inline citations under control. I think the chemistry approach offers a nice middle road. Overall I strongly support the new policy (it was inevitable), and I commend those who have taken the time to inform everyone of its implementation - thanks! Walkerma 04:11, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

--plange 16:38, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

I'm glad you copied this down here – I considered replying to it up above, but decided that it would be a waste of time as the talk page is a mess up there. I very much agree with this comment, and I hope that we can get broad agreement on this. –Joke 17:01, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

I don't think I disagree either, although I'd have to look at examples. The problem is people putting {{fact}} in every single line in articles like special relativity. We need to be clear that such citation is not being required by the GA folks—or if it is, we should be clear on that too and consider compromise a lost cause. -- SCZenz 17:07, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
I'm not privy to why Agne did that, was she specifically asked by any of you to show which things needed cites? Anyways, I guess what I'm saying is that the "where appropriate" clause is in there so that articles like yours can be treated on a case by case basis. As long as the reviewer and editor are both in agreement on how Walkerma has expressed this. --plange 17:22, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
I also disapprove of what Agne for I wouldn't have done it myself but she had her reasons and we gotta WP:AGF. What I think is that there is no need for a specific number of required citations for it depends on the subject and it depends of what reviewer asks it. What I think the GA shouldn't do is tagging articles with {{fact}} tags, what they should do is take unverified statements and copy them to the talk page and say why they need a citation. After that a discussion happens and it can be resolved in a more civilised manner and not by coming back to changing the WP:WIAGA criteria again.
My view on everything in GA, if it doesn't work with that reviewer, ask another one for help. See Wikipedia:Good article candidates/List of reviewers for reviewers in your field. Lincher 17:43, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
I'm still somewhat mentally unstable due to these troubles, but let me give it a honest try to explain, why inline-cites are not a cureall for WP:V problems. You can't atomize scientific knowledge. Even giving a cite for each single sentence wouldn't achieve verifiabiliy by previously uninformed laypeople. You must know the context, and perhaps even solved some exercises, before you gain the level to evaluate the quality and failings of articles like special relativity. There are textbooks given which can give you a good start to be able to evaluate the article, if you are willing to invest time and effort.
OTOH, for historical facts, first publications, opinions and other similiar stuff, inline cites are fine. User:Mpatel is in the process of adding such inline-cites to General relativity. Perhaps you want to look there, whether this is the way we can agree on.
Pjacobi 17:54, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
Yes I like the chemical solution. Articles of any length will have a mix of technical information where one cite to a textbook is appropriate and other information, particularly history sections, which may need a denser number of sites. Having two different styles of cites makes for a messy reference section, which this soultion would eradicate. I think it would be good if this method of citing was added to WP:CITE and the GA criteria changed to article should use one of the citation styles described in WP:CITE. --Salix alba (talk) 19:42, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
Yes i think Agne acted in good faith, a shock at the time, but I think it has helped spark a much needed discussion on citing scientific/technical articles. --Salix alba (talk) 19:46, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
GA criteria does say to use one of the styles on WP:CITE, so we're already half way there. As to getting what Walkerma states added to WP:CITE, I believe it already is. Three ways to cite are given: embedded HTML links, Harvard, and CMS/ref and it's recommended that the article be consistent on which it uses (no mixture of styles in same article) --plange 19:56, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
Quoting from Joke above:
I don't know what others think about this, but my perception is that what most editors would like is to be able to write articles about standard textbook material (like special relativity) without giving every damn sentence a footnote, even if any of the standard references cited could immediately be used to confirm something.
That is exactly what I expect, and I believe it is a common point of view. I dislike the example of Chemical substance because the inline citation at the beginning makes it appear that the definition is nonstandard or doubtful. CMummert 20:55, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

What we agree upon - change of criteria or not

What we agree upon :

  1. Inline citations are required.
  2. Texts shouldn't have a required amount of citations requested.
  3. Inline citations requested by the GA reviewer must be related to WP:V, WP:NPOV & WP:NOR issues.
  4. Inline citations shouldn't be required for down to earth facts (e.g. stuff that can be found in every text books).

What some think and other stuff :

  1. Inline citations should be soooo important there should be a number required for each articles.
  2. Tagging articles with {{fact}} is evil or not.
  3. Should good articles be really technical or not (if not it will create textbook long articles).
  4. Adding inline citations wont improve the verifiability.

Out of that, can everybody have a take at adding to both lists to see where the issues are and where we can find a compromise.

After such a work will be done, we can now go and create specific criterion to assess such points and leave some to more subjective reviewing in order to have set criteria for a long time. Lincher 00:28, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

I disagree with your characterization of the situation somewhat. You are still thinking in terms of the absolute number of citations, which is not the issue. The issue is which facts need to be cited and which don't. {{fact}} is not a bad thing, it is only bad when it's added to things that don't need to be cited inline, and which appear in many textbook sources in the article's reference section.
I think the way forward is to change "inline citations are required" to "inline citations are required in cases XYZ", where XYZ is stuff we can all agree on (controversey, specific peoples' opinions, etc.). Then we can continue to discuss the places where we don't agree. -- SCZenz 00:37, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
Some people obviously don't get enough attention in real life. Now, what makes all the guys here think that all the reviewers would suddenly start requesting inline citations for obvious facts? Even if Agne has actually requested them (I am sorry, I am not even remotely considering reading all the blabber you have deposited here while I was dealing with some actually important matters), this should have gone to GA/R, and I am almost sure, based on what was said here, that it would have been found an improper reason to fail an article. I guess after this lengthy discussion no editor would even dare to attempt anything, and even if some newbie would, there are enough editors here to convince him or her that he or she would be wrong in GA/R.
Seems like some people just cannot face the possibility that they just could sit down, take a deep breath and admit everything is OK. Bravada, talk - 00:44, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
I, for one, work in a Biochemistry lab and when we write papers, we cite the first articles that did experiment A and the other article that stated B and so on even though they are rock-hard facts that have been printed into books. In that case, why shouldn't WP/GA in that case request such. Anyway, like I said before, this will never be settled unless you have a take at the criteria (I mean write a criteria that is universal and includes what you think and we can vote on) and the GA will stay the way it is with 1 subjective reviewer. Lincher 00:49, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
However, not everyone here agrees with you, as the lack of consensus in the above "vote" shows. -- SCZenz 00:51, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
Actually, Bravada, there is a serious point of debate here. The issue is not whther inline cites can be demanded for "obvious facts," it's whether they ought to be demanded for facts that are not obvious to the layperson, but are nevertheless settled within a scientific field and appear in a number of textbooks. -- SCZenz 00:51, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
I understand small children would die and several endangered species would become extinct if you added some references like that, wouldn't they? Bravada, talk - 00:55, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
In many cases, it would waste a lot of time and not enhance verifiability by laypeople in the slightest. Your sarcasm and efforts to demean my concerns are not appreciated. -- SCZenz 00:57, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
O RLY? Well, I conversely would like to ask you to reconsider the demeanor towards "laymen" and accept that an encyclopedia is for everybody, and everybody should be treated the same way, no matter whether they consider themselves experts or not. Bravada, talk - 01:00, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
PS. If you are an expert in your field, providing references off the cuff should be next to no problem for you.
PS2. Replying to your comment on my talk page, with all due respect, I honestly believe you are making a fool of yourself by your stubborn insistence and the way you are trying to gain the upper hand in this discussion. I was hoping for you to realize that
Providing references "off the cuff" is dishonest. Referencing a text means locating the text, which may be at the office when you are at home, finding the statement you want, and then referencing it. If this must be done multiple times to edit one section, productivity is eliminated. CMummert 01:13, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
I meant that by "off the cuff". I was expected to provide references for what I thought was obvious, but I understood that it might not be obvious to everybody. Sometimes I needed to go back to the source and locate the page, or wait until I get to the place where I have the source if it was printed. It did not hurt. Bravada, talk - 01:15, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
You misunderstand my position, and read things into my wording that I don't intend. It is a fact that professional physicists will be able to cite papers that people in other professions won't understand, and that this will be necessary in some cases. That's what I mean when I say that adding citations would "not enhance verifiability by laypeople in the slightest." The sources are hard to evaluate without expertise; it's unavoidable. As for things taking time, even material I know is in a textbook takes a few minutes to locate. Please assume good faith, and see the note I just left on your talk page; just because you "think I'm making a fool of myself" does not justify sarcasm and rudeness. -- SCZenz 01:06, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
I understand your position completely, and I do believe I should have told you what I told you. Writing articles that nobody would understand is pointless. If you want to create an article for specialists, publish it in a specialist medium, like perhaps an external topic-specific Wiki. Why should we expect Pokemon articles to be understandable to all editors and not expect physics articles to be so? Bravada, talk - 01:14, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
I've covered this a couple times now, but you misunderstand a key point about citations. Laypeople should understand what we write; it's something we work constantly to improve, with imperfect success. But they will not be able to understand the sources all the time; that being the case, what difference does it make if they're cited in-line. -- SCZenz 01:26, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
What makes me think that reviewers will start requesting inline citations for obvious facts is that the criteria suddenly changed to "require" them and then a reviewer started requesting inline citations for obvious facts. A clearer policy would make it more clear that this is not required, thus simplifying the GA review process. Moreover, who is to say that new guidelines for GAs won't infect the guidelines for FAs? There is a comment higher on this talk page that WP:V is out of date, which I may have misread. I thought the comment implied that the new GA policy represents the opinions of some about the future of citation standards in wikipedia:
"... I think that it is the WP:V that isn't up to date to what people really think when reviewing for FA, A-class (in the assessment) and GA. ..." from Lincher 18:44, 26 September 2006 (UTC) above.
In the face of opinions like that, it is natural enough for editors to speak up if they like the current WP:V which does not require the pedantic inline citation that the new GA guidelines can be interpreted to require. I agree with the proposal of SCZenz 00:37, 28 September 2006 (UTC) above. CMummert 01:09, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
WP:V says "The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth. "Verifiable" in this context means that any reader must be able to check that material added to Wikipedia has already been published by a reliable source, because Wikipedia does not publish original thought or original research".
So how do you propose to meet this requirement? Do you want to attach your phone number to the page, so people can call you up at 3:25 AM on a holiday and ask you what page of what book to check for the information you're foisting off on them?
If you don't want to meet Wikipedia standards for what material is acceptable, and what isn't, then you may wish to write for a website that has lower standards. Or you can start your own. Hosting is cheap, and WikiMedia software is free for the asking. ClairSamoht - Help make Wikipedia the most authoritative source of information in the world 20:26, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
Can we cut this incivil crap out? For one, it is really pissing me off. Nobody is proposing to abandon the verifiability policy. Nobody is proposing not to list the references used to write the article. Some people may be proposing not to include page numbers for every fact mentioned. But there is absolutely no call to tell seasoned contributers to piss off for merely voicing their opinion. –Joke 20:35, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
Can I ask you to simply submit all articles that were failed or delisted because a reviewer found that it lacked a citation for what you believe is an obvious fact to GA/R? Bravada, talk - 01:14, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I don't think we're influencing FA, but rather the other way around-- you could not get an article through FAC that did not have proper citations. GA is attempting to bring its criteria closer to that standard so that GA articles have a better chance of becoming FAs after a good burnishing from a solid peer review. I'm sorry, I've been reading all the arguments against, but it sounds like it comes down to that you'd just rather not bother - "too much work" - the bottom line is that we're not a print encyclopedia that knows and vets all its contributors, therefore we have to have some way of verifying content. We can't just assume it's all not OR. I disagree that adding inline cites won't help verify, on the contrary, it will. It will point us to where a certain opinion was given or a certain postulation. If opinions are not backed up with cites, we would be left to assume it's OR, or worse, approaching WP:WEASELism. I also find it insulting to say we wouldn't be able to possibly understand the cites so why bother. Since we're trying to implement the guidelines put forth on WP:CITE, can we move the discussion there? I've posted on the talk page there for comment. Again, I'll reiterate that the GA/R process was set up precisely so that if one reviewer goes overboard, other reviewers can weigh in. --plange 01:30, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
I understand our opinions disagree on some genuinely debatable points, and I'd like to say that this is a topic where it's easy to give inadvertent insult. I apologize if I've done this personally; I'm very aware that I've worded things too strongly because I was frustrated and felt insulted, and that this is not an excuse. However insults have gone both ways, and some lately have been deliberate, and I think we all need to work not to do that. -- SCZenz 01:41, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
Can we agree, at least, that for the time being there is no consensus on certain in-line citations? -- SCZenz 01:41, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
I think that everyone agrees that opinions and postulations require inline citations. It is the textbook facts that are well known to the many experts who read the articles that need no individual citations. This is in agreement with WP:V, which says that things are verifiable, not that things have inline citations. Another reason that inline cites don't add to verifiability is that many of these citations will be to journal articles or out of print books that only academics will have easy access to. How easily can you get an article from the journal Annals of Mathematics from 1966? CMummert 02:21, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
I brought up the opinion and postulation necessity as apparently the article in question had some that were uncited. Also, ease of verification is not part of WP:V -- I cite primary sources that are only available at Special Collections archives in my history articles, so that should not be a reason to not cite. However, the question on whether "textbook facts that are well known to the many experts" should be cited has been posed at WP:CITE, so let's see what comes out of there. Remember, it's not just experts that read your articles. In fact, I would think it would be the exact opposite, since experts already know this stuff, so why would they look it up on WP? It's the lay person/everyman that we're writing for. We're only trying to implement WP:CITE guidelines here. --plange 02:30, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

Talking past one another

Well, I thought my earlier comments had gotten things back on track, but I wandered off to, God forbid, write an article and look what happens. I think we are making straw man arguments here. As a general principle, this is how I interpret User:Walkerma's comments. Please tell me what you think of this:

Early in an article on an established (and possibly scientific or mathematical) subject it suffices to make an inline reference to one or two well known and respected works about the subject. Then, for commonplace facts that are easy to locate in these works (and in other works), inline references can be omitted. This makes articles easier to read and does not hamper verifiability. However, for surprising statements or statements for which it would be helpful or necessary to refer to another work, an inline reference is required.

In addition, I would add, although it doesn't have much bearing on Good Articles:

For stubs and short articles based entirely on one or two sources, it may be preferable to have only a brief "References" section rather than using footnotes.

Although this isn't succinct enough to be a criterion, I would like to see if people agree on this (the first statement, not my addition) as a matter of principle. I have a feeling that a lot of us can find agreement on this. I've been going through some of the articles with cite tags, and aside from the edit to Special Relativity I mentioned above, many of them seem quite reasonable – say, many of those User:Agne27 added to Hubble's Law, some of those on Redshift, etc... So I don't think things are as bad as people are making them out to be above. Physicists and mathematicians are trained to do proper referencing, and much as you might think we're trying to weasel out of it, we're not. Likewise, as some of the Good Article people have mentioned, you're reasonable people and no article has been removed for failure to provide a reference for a statement that seems trivial. –Joke 02:28, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

So let's see, histrionics aside, if we can get any kind of agreement:

Early in an article on an established subject it suffices to make an inline reference to one or two well known and respected works about the subject. Then, for commonplace facts that are easy to locate in these works (and in other works), inline references can be omitted. This makes articles easier to read and does not hamper verifiability. However, for surprising statements or statements for which it would be helpful or necessary to refer to another work, an inline reference is required.


  1. Joke 02:28, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  2. SCZenz 02:41, 28 September 2006 (UTC) I agree with everything above actually; I recently defended Agne's citation requests in Hubble's law, for example.
  3. I agree but with a change. Lincher 02:49, 28 September 2006 (UTC). It is necessary that the last line removes the surprising statements and be replaced with such guidelines as WP:V, WP:NPOV & WP:NOR. BTW, thank you for lending a hand at trying to write a criteria (I don't think it is too long ... better longer and understandable than shorter and arguable). Lincher 02:49, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  4. Bravada, talk - 03:10, 28 September 2006 (UTC) - I support that, but of course do not want to see that in WIAGA, perhaps in some "instructions for reviewers" I believe we need to create anyway. I guess what we have achieved is that we have pre-emptively managed to find common understanding of how criterium 2b is going to be applied to scientific articles, which are very rarely nominated for GA anyway.
  5. ScienceApologist 12:36, 28 September 2006 (UTC) - this also applies for math articles.


  1. Homestarmy 03:59, 28 September 2006 (UTC) Far too subjective, someone could use it as an excuse to write a 50 kb article out of only one or two "expert" references, which certainly doesn't do much for broadness. Homestarmy 03:59, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
    This only pertains to which citations are necessary for good articles, not to issues of whether articles are appropriate for Wikipedia. -- SCZenz 04:03, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
    Broadness is another GA criteria. If an article is not sufficiently broad, or is so broad it goes into details not really pertinent to the subject and is bloated, it is not a Good Article. It's just most of our conversation has revolved around just reference criteria. Homestarmy
    Yes, but the statement above only relates to citation requirements. It does not affect other criteria. -- SCZenz 04:15, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
    Directly yes, but indirectly it will give editors an excuse to write articles from only a tiny morsel of sources, and it will be difficult to determine how broad it should be for us "laymen". Homestarmy 12:10, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
    Perhaps the idea in the last post is where the misunderstanding is coming from. I think most science articles are not written "from" sources; they are written "about" a subject. They are usually a collection of basic facts which the author is able to produce without looking at sources. The author knows, however, that the facts are verifable and gives a reference where an interested reader may verify them. I very rarely have references in front of me when I am editing; I only pull out the references when I need to give an inline citation for a particularly esoteric fact or for an author's opinion. But this does not mean that my edits are not verifiable. CMummert 12:35, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
    If editors are using only a tiny number of sources, they're usually not writing Good Articles (although, in certain cases they may be writing good articles...). I don't think satisfying one criterion through a "loophole" means you get to cheat on another. –Joke 13:31, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  2. Indon (reply) — 12:48, 28 September 2006 (UTC) Wording is too complicated for a policy.
    I agree. I wasn't necessarily proposing policy – I was looking to see if people agree with the principle, so we could establish some common ground. –Joke 13:31, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  3. Way too wordy. Kaldari 21:43, 13 October 2006 (UTC)


How about this then?

Thanks Joke for helping to move this forward. In regards to Lincher's good suggestion, I've modified it below. I agree that criteria for GA might need to be longer than FA due to the fact of our single reviewer process. --plange 02:55, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

2. b: the citation of its sources using inline citations is required, where appropriate. For scientific articles, early in an article on an established subject it suffices to make an inline reference to one or two well known and respected works about the subject. Then, for commonplace facts that are easy to locate in these works (and in other works), inline references can be omitted. This makes articles easier to read and does not hamper verifiability. However, for statements that are potential violations of Neutral Point of View and No Original Research, inline citations are required. Please see the verifiability policy for questions.



  1. SCZenz 03:03, 28 September 2006 (UTC) I can't agree to this. The relativity of simultaneity looks like a potential violation of WP:NOR to a non-expert; but we've been claiming we shouldn't have to cite it.
  2. Bravada, talk - 03:07, 28 September 2006 (UTC) - from a totally opposite point of view. It is very bad practice to make exceptions for specific articles. General Wikipedia policies and guidelines, which WIAGA is based on, are formulated so that the articles concerned are "safe" anyway.
  3. Cedars 05:06, 28 September 2006 (UTC) - References should be required, whether inline citations are required or not should depend on the length of the article.
    Comment I disagree - references should be required for ALL articles, and as concerns inline citations, creating them even for short articles with a small number of refrences is very easy, so there is no need to make any exceptions (especially that the issue as to where to make the cut would provoke constant disputes). Bravada, talk - 07:26, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  4. RelHistBuff 07:52, 28 September 2006 (UTC) - Please see my comments below under "KISS principle".
  5. Indon (reply) — 12:48, 28 September 2006 (UTC) Still, wording is too complicated for a policy.


  1. Comment I think the wording "potential violations of" isn't great. Either something is a violation or it is not, but ultimately people are going to have to evaluate this subjectively. –Joke 13:31, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

KISS principle

In my opinion, FWIW, making exceptions or trying to define when to cite or not in science/technical articles will not be workable. Anyone who has worked in standardisation knows that what works is simplicity (the KISS principle). A complex standard is doomed to failure.

The real problem is not the editorial standard. The problem is fear among some physics authors that some crazy "reviewer/editor" will come along and slap fact tags all over the place or cry out for purportedly unneeded inline cites. I'm sorry to tell them, but even if GA were to disappear all together, those crazy people will still be around, messing around with your articles. That's a basic nature of wiki. Another problem is that not enough credit is given by these physics authors that an experienced GA reviewer will work properly and in good faith. And if some reviewer is not working properly, these physics authors do not recognize that the GA/R process is really there to help them out.

I have written physics papers in research journals and there has always been interplay between me as author and the editor/reviewer. And often I found some of his/her suggestions a bit bothersome. But I learned that it isn't just my opinion that counts. I always respected his/her professionalism just as much as he/she respected me. So if there is a discussion in the article's talk page between a GA reviewer and a physics author, then with the attitude of respect for each other a solution will always be found. I support the original proposal that is basically the same as the FA criterion. RelHistBuff 07:52, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

The logic of the above argument is confusing. The concerns expressed by science/math writers are supposed to be ignored because of the "basic nature of wiki"? Well, the basic nature of wiki is also such that people who watch articles and edit them carefully have the right to challenge the insistence of an "experienced GA reviewer" who will rely on criteria that science/math writers can influence. Consensus is the only way a wiki works and if the consensus is that the in-line citation demand is not clear enough then it isn't clear enough. --ScienceApologist 12:45, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
You missed the point. My comment is that it is useless to make a complex editorial standard with exceptions for this and that. Just talk it out with the reviewer on the talk page (what to cite, what not, etc.). The GA project members will be civil and deal with whatever objections you may have. I did the same with my physics papers, why can't you do it with your articles? RelHistBuff 13:05, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
I'm all for discussion and minimizing editorial standards. So let's get rid of the insulting in-line reference criterion completely. Reviewers and editors can then apply suggestions on a case-by-case basis. --ScienceApologist 17:57, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
Sorry but all magazines, newspapers, books, encyclopedias, and research journals have editorial standards and rules. As an author, I managed to deal with them, whether for physics or computing journals, magazine articles, Ph.D theses, or Wiki articles. Most had far tougher requirements than what we are talking about now. An inline citation is a high school paper requirement. So it should be no problem for anyone contributing here. RelHistBuff 19:23, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
It's exactly because inline citations are a high school paper requirement that we are objecting. High school papers are amateurish and providing a citation to every sentence is amateurish. Citing common knowledge facts is a practice which should be discouraged. When facts can be found in thousands of sources, it doesn't make sense to inline cite this fact with reference to a single source chosen from those thousands. This is a tacit endorsement of that source and is unacceptable practice in most editorial standards I've come across. --ScienceApologist 20:41, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
Inline citations were required for all that I wrote (well, excluding the magazine article). It is obviously not amateurish. And no one said every sentence! Don't know why you keep repeating that over and over here. If it is required (where appropriate) for even such a low as a high school paper than surely Wikipedia articles can provide it. RelHistBuff 21:28, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

Implied Authority

User:CMummert's conmment above (I think most science articles are not written "from" sources; they are written "about" a subject. They are usually a collection of basic facts which the author is able to produce without looking at sources. The author knows, however, that the facts are verifable and gives a reference where an interested reader may verify them.) is germane and goes to the heart of the struggle for common understanding here. The GA reviewers slapping on cite tags seem essentially to be suggesting that, without citations, a reader is in a hard position to accept the basic accuracy or verifiability of an article; that only specialists in the field will be in a position to judge. Typically, encyclopedia entries do not need to make particular use of inline citations to provide the reader with such assurances about basic facts because the list of contributors is available and drawn from known specialists in the field. If a leading scholar on Florentine history informs you that the Ciompi Rebellion of 1378 was a seminal event, that it happened because of the Plague, etc..., you will believe it because the author - named, verifiable, etc... - enjoys implied authority. In an article which has no such known scholarly basis (since anyone can edit it), implied authority becomes a greater issue. I am therefore sympathetic to the desire to use citation as a means of providing this verifiability. In fact Homestarmy's comment (anyone can produce an article based on one or two sources) above suggests precisely this kind of thinking: articles are being written by people who do not necessaily have in-depth knowledge of the field. Clearly, the response generated by the tagging of the Metric Expansion, Hubble and Relativity articles has demonstrated that these are not, however, the result of someone with Grade 8 physics, a textbook and too much time on their hands. To have reached the level that they have is the result of informed opinion.

Thus, I would draw from this a general observation. As a matter of course, simply by the rigours of the ongoing editing process, by the time an article has made it to the point where it can be considered for GA status it should be measured based on having acquired the implied authority that would be the case behind single-authored, named scholarly entries. What I think is a flawed approach is to say, give us (laymen) the 10, 20, 30 or so references we need so we can, if necessary, check your authority (i.e. verifiability). That comes across as an undergraduate exercise. Instead, the process needs to be able to generate that trust in implied authority through the review process without resorting to an inline citation policy that, when read by someone with familiarity in the field, would make them laugh. Also, let me reiterate, citation is exceptionally important; in the case I mention above, any responsible entry would leave uncited the claim that the Ciompi rebellion was one of the seminal events of Florentine history (universally accepted by Renaissance historians) and probably provide a citation about its cause being the black death (a matter of scholarly conjecture). These matters, as iterated above in RelHistBuff's comment, can probably best be worked out via the discussion page rather than a firm X citations needed standard. (Sorry about the length of this comment.) Eusebeus 13:23, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

Basically (I noted this somewhere above, I believe, in this ... stuff): that wikipedia is an infant learning to crawl. Until it's on its feet it needs all the in-line citations and references it can get. Then maybe, someday, the inline citations can be 'put away' in hiding behind a curtain that can be raised by the interested reader (clever wiki-people can figure out how to do this: how cool! for a reader to be able to 'raise the curtain' and see the in-line citations!) All kinds of strange and remarkable claims are made in wiki articles without attribution ; in fact as of a year ago no articles in the mathematics foundations that I encountered had (at best) no more than 1 citation, or reference. I'm doing my best to remedy this when I come in contact with an article, but it takes a lot of time, trips to the library, searches on-line and down through the stacks, (and enduring the warfare that occurs when an "editor"'s -- to use the phrase loosely -- pet conjecture is challenged ... enough to ruin your day.) I will continue to use in-line citations wherever I can, no matter what "the policy" says. Either that or I stop contributing to wikipedia. A job worth doing is a job worth doing right. wvbaileyWvbailey 00:38, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
The question is not whether editors are prohibited from adding references. It is whether the GA process will summarily fail articles because of a perceived lack of inline citations. This perception is often flawed, in the opinion of several science editors including me, because the reviewers are not familiar with the subject area and so demand citations for basic facts such as Turing machines are a basic model of computation and are commonly studied in mathematical logic and computer science. I have not heard anyone speak against adding references and reasonable inline citations. Proponents of the new GA standards encourage the good article review process to contest unfair reviewers; I feel that the standards should be clarified so that these reviewers can be explicitly shown that references to basic facts are not necessary. CMummert 00:50, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
The problem as I see it is that "reasonable inline citations" for many editors on these articles means "We never directly cite anything, except maybe 4 or 5 things if we feel like it, otherwise, we're advertising textbooks". This hardly seems founded in policy to me. Homestarmy 00:52, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
I think the argument about advertisig is not so strong. What I also think is that excessive inline references are pedantic, sophomoric [5], and discredit the authority of an article. The article Turing degrees is completely verifiable, and well referenced, despite having no inline references. It is not a "good article," nor do I expect it ever will be, but it meets WP:V. What has been implied by several people here is a different reading of WP:V in which things must be not only verifable but preverified. CMummert 01:03, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

One of the Physics project members (Somewhere among these many conversations) exhorted us to just trust that Physics project is not going to "fuck you over" when it comes to the "correctness" of the science articles. I don't think the request for in-line citations is a statement of distrust for the science editors or the Physics project. It is also not an attack on "science". I, for one, believe that all the items that I tagged in Special relativity and Hubble's law were true and factual--they just weren't verifiable. When the times comes and the editors who are currently watching and working on these articles leaves, then what? How can be we possibly guarantee that Wikipedia will have a perpetual stream of experts that can safeguard these articles from OR and inaccuracies? At the very least with the inclusion of in-line cites, we open up the ease of verifiability to non-experts. Without them, it is virtually impossible to have these articles verified by any other then the experts which we might not always have around. Agne 23:00, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

Citing and referencing helps to reduce the amount of expertise needed to verify an article. But not to zero. So using footnotes should help (a) answer the curiousity of any reader (links to original papers, etc) and (b) lighten the burden of reviewers, which may need to have a varying amount expertise. Referencing the controversial, surprising are rather unknown facts (in contrast to the basic, textbook stuff) make their task easier.
What to do when the experts leave? They better not leave and we (including WMF efforts and Jimbo himself) try to attract more experts. If some exerts need a break or resign permanently, we hopefully can outweight this with fresh ones.
Hey, we are (still?) attractive to experts. Noted mathematican John Baez sometimes contributes as User:John Baez. One of the leading experts on writing systems and Unicode, Michael Everson edits as User:Evertype and participates in the assessment project of WikiProject Writing systems. Many more examples can be found.
Pjacobi 23:19, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
(Edit conflict)I agree that we should hopefully always be attracting experts but unless Wikipedia starts hiring experts to watch and maintain categories of articles, we can never fully guarantee that there will always be an expert on hand to watch an article. As a wikipedian, I am grateful for the work and dedication that our science editors and members of the Wikiproject Physics have done to create and maintain these articles. I hope that your successors will pay due diligence in following your examples and work. But if they don't, the presence of in-line cites will help in maintaining the integrity and accuracy of those articles. If someone wants to insert a bogus claim (or even bogus cite) you are more likely to have a curious sort click on the cite to see if it really does say that. Sure, I would love to have experts constantly on-hand to thoroughly vet any edits to our science articles but I would still want to hedge my bets for what a layperson can help with verifying through in-line cites. Agne 00:02, 30 September 2006 (UTC)

At the very least with the inclusion of in-line cites, we open up the ease of verifiability to non-experts. Without them, it is virtually impossible to have these articles verified by any other then the experts which we might not always have around. -- unfortunately this is wishful thinking. If crackpots come in and modify articles that have every line in-line cited but you as an editor aren't familiar with the subject, then you will have a problem when they replace the verifiable text with equally verifiable text from sources that are not reliable. How will non-expert verifier be able to tell when a crank argues that obscure scientific theory verified by text a and text b by an obscure scientific publishing house was disproven by text c and text d published in an equally obscure, yet non-mainstream publishing house. Sorry, Wikipedia will always need experts, and the nature of the beasts is that experts will come and go, but there will probably always be some around. --ScienceApologist 23:59, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

I understand where you're coming from, but what you highlight above is a separate issue. We deal with that in history articles too - people try to push fringe research on articles, etc... The line of defense is the validity of the source and the editors, yes -- however, the first line of defense when defending an article is if there's no source and the fact sounds loopy or inaccurate and it has NO source I can easily delete it in 2 seconds without sparing much effort. Usually they don't come back, and it's easy for me to defend my delete when I can say "you need to cite your sources" and they can't turn around and say "but the rest isn't cited". If they do come back, then we move to the next stage on the Talk page of hashing out if the source is reliable, etc., which is where us as editors come in, etc. Now, if, the unthinkable happens and subject matter experts are not around, it's easier for us to defend your articles against that first range of attacks when your articles are well-referenced. If they are persistent and come back, I'd like to think we can tell if the source is reliable. If it came from your equivalent of the New England Journal of Medicine, etc., we'd feel okay, but if it was at all loopy or controversial I'd think we'd insist that they find multiple sources to back up the claim. If they can't, and this is all hypothetical, we can disallow it. But it's so much easier for us to defend your hard-work from loopiness when we have a precedent already set for the article. Does it mean it does the job 100%? No, but it does it better than if there were none at all. --plange 00:20, 30 September 2006 (UTC)

Objective criteria for inline reference

A slight modification of Joke's proposal:

Early in an article on an established subject it suffices to make an inline reference to one or two well known and respected works about the subject. One should avoid inline references for commonplace facts that are easy to locate in these works. This makes articles easier to read and does not hamper verifiability. For surprising statements or statements for which it would be helpful or necessary to refer to another work, an inline reference is required. In case of disputes about whether a fact is indeed a "commonplace fact" that should not be cited, one should consult the literature about the subject written for the same target group. It is then up to the person(s) claiming that a fact is not "commonplace" to provide for the necessary references that show that such facts are usually cited when mentioned in the literature.

Count Iblis 14:01, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

  • Strongly oppose — Oh my!! Couldn't you make this criterion item more complicated? It almost one paragraph of a section. You know that I had to cancel a review today because criterion 2.(b) of WP:WIAGA is ridiculously added with small texts (reminding me to my insurance contract :-). — Indon (reply) — 14:19, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
Well, why do you think your insurance contract can't be made simpler?  :) In this case we need three things. First of all we need to have guidlines when to cite things. Then we need to have guidlimes about how to resolve disputes. We also need to mention who has the burden of proof.Count Iblis 14:37, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
Because my insurance company knows that the contract is not "anyone can edit" :-). Answering your question (1). the guideline is in WP:CITE and we don't have to re-iterate in WP:WIAGA, (2). A place to resolve disputes is in the talk page or go to WP:GA/R and (3). Anyone who contribute in WP has the burden. Last word is please see WP:KISS on how to make a guideline/policy. — Indon (reply) — 14:46, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
The current guidlines are ambiguous... Count Iblis 22:11, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
If you mean at WP:CITE, you need to seek clarification there rather than here, IMO. --plange 22:13, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

New proposal

Might seem much like my first one, but really this all comes down to us following WP:CITE, so the buck (and explanations) stops there. If you have questions on how inline citations should be implemented so that it can pass GA, ask there. If you think that a reviewer did not follow WP:CITE and was over-zealous in your review, you can seek redress here: WP:GA/R --plange 15:13, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

the citation of its sources using inline citations is required, where appropriate. (Content must be verifiable. See citing sources for what is deemed appropriate)

  1. plange 15:13, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  2. Frankly, I think this will be fine. People who want an objective rule are not ever going to agree, but as with all things on Wikipedia, things run most smoothly not when there is ironclad policy, but rather a rough consensus, workable compromise or even an acceptable détente. I think if we go back to editing, we will find that we are all more-or-less on the same page. –Joke 15:22, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  3. RelHistBuff 15:23, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  4. Support: I think it's fair to say a good article helps people find things. --CTSWyneken(talk) 15:29, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  5. Indon (reply) — 15:42, 28 September 2006 (UTC) This is only a criterion, not a guideline. People who want to know how/where/what/when to cite, there is already the guideline.
  6. Walkerma 15:47, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  7. Support: NCurse work 19:16, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  8. Support: Citing references should be a top priority. Whatever we can do to encourage that should be supported. Kaldari 19:28, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  9. Support articles are sent to WP:UGA all the time for lacking in-line citations, this clarifies and codifies existing (good) practice. Eluchil404 21:00, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  10. Support, same criterion we have you guys have been arguing 2 days about and that is still the same. Yet, different people voting though. Lincher 00:19, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
  11. Support for reasons stated many times before. For "subjective" disagreements there is always WP:GA/R. Agne 22:30, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
  12. Support - If this can make it easier for an article that is a good article to reach featured article, all the better. It would be good if we could get more people involved in the Wikipedia:WikiProject Unreferenced GA project or similar work, though. Badbilltucker 21:31, 30 September 2006 (UTC)
  13. Strong Support Not only does this make sense, but it also makes the task of getting an article to GA status challenging and rewarding. If we don't implement this, I don't see what's so special about having an article labeled as a "Good article."UberCryxic 04:26, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
  1. Oppose - nope sorry, I don't like the word required. Other types of references should be allowed. pschemp | talk 16:44, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
    Do you mean you want other than the 3 citation styles mentioned in WP:CITE, the official policy in WP?? — Indon (reply) — 17:17, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
    1) WP:CITE is a guideline, not policy, 2) WP:CITE itself mentions more then 3 citation styles. Gimmetrow 17:22, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
    1) So let me rephrase: .... the official guideline in WP???
    2) Could please tell me in which section of WP:CITE that mentioning other than 3 styles? Perhaps, I missed that part.
    Indon (reply) — 17:28, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
    For instance here descriping a hybrid style. Other acceptable styles exist too, even if they are not mentioned by the WP:CITE guideline. Gimmetrow 18:34, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
    Yup. Like Harvard References. Perfectly acceptable on Wikipedia and they should be allowed for in GAs. pschemp | talk 19:18, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
    Um, yep, no one is saying that Harvard referencing isn't allowed?? Harvard referencing is an inline citation style, one of the three listed on WP:CITE as acceptable. Also, I still fail to see how Gimmetrow's link runs counter to what we're proposing?? --plange 19:21, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
    Define precisely what you mean by "style" - in some editors' interpretations, any hybrid system (mixing Harvard and cite.php) is not an acceptable style. Gimmetrow 20:37, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
    If you use Harvard for your citations of sources and cite.php for notes on the text (i.e. where you make tangential remarks about the text for clarification purposes), that's fine, but if you use both Harvard and cite.php to cite your sources, then that's mixing two different methods on citing sources which is messy and is not recommended (as it says on WP:CITE) --plange 20:47, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
    Repeat: define precisely and clearly what you mean by "style". Editors here have argued against that hybrid approach despite it being explicitly mentioned in WP:CITE. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Gimmetrow (talkcontribs)
    Okay. If you use Harvard citation style for your citations of sources and cite.php mechanism for notes on the text (i.e. where you make tangential remarks about the text for clarification purposes), that's fine, but if you use both Harvard citation style and cite.php as a citation style to cite your sources, then that's mixing two different styles on citing sources which is messy and is not recommended (as it says on WP:CITE) --plange 21:09, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
    <--- That is not reasonable - it is a GA if it is verifiable - to create specific citation standards other than evidence and external citations is to create barriers to becoming a GA - so why do it - let the FA handle the specifics for stuff like this - lets just find and mark those articles that are Good - not create barriers that will make GA not so useful and someone will then start marking articls BCD (Basically Correct and Decent). I agree with the comments below - all we should be doing is making sure it 1) meets verifiability, neutrality and is without original research, 2) is written well. --Trödel 03:52, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
  2. Oppose: this is too nebulous a criterion and since WP:CITE has been interpreted by some editors to requrie a citation for the sky being blue due to Rayleigh scattering, it is inappropriate to expect that good articles conform with the whims of interpretation of guidelines. --ScienceApologist 18:02, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  3. Oppose This is the same as a proposal from yesterday (one of several). I think there is little point to having polls if there is so little time for people to evaluate a poll and respond to it (this is the fourth poll in under 24 hours). CMummert 18:23, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  4. Oppose Let's not turn GA into FA, let it be a step on the road to FA. Adequate referencing is enough, we shouldn't need inline citations (not speaking through personal interest as all of "my" GAs should pass anyway). --kingboyk 18:26, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  5. Strongly Oppose - this goes further than what is required to get featured article status. See below for quote. GA should require no more than what is there. I propose that "Claims should be supported with evidence and external citations." No more. FA should then require that the References and citations meet specific criteria as descibed. --Trödel 18:30, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
    "Claims are supported with specific evidence and external citations (see verifiability and reliable sources); this involves the provision of a "References" section in which sources are set out and, where appropriate, complemented by inline citations. See citing sources for information on when and how extensively references are provided and for suggestions on formatting references; for articles with footnotes or endnotes, the meta:cite format is recommended."
  6. Oppose per pschemp's comments. Cedars 04:54, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
  7. Oppose Inline citations are not inherently superior to other styles, and in some circumstances are inferior. They should remain optional in most circumstances. Excessive or repetitive use of inline citations is typographically undesirable and should be discouraged. WP:V can be satisfied without such nonsense. dryguy 00:10, 30 September 2006 (UTC)
  8. Oppose per user:kingboyk Thesmothete 21:48, 30 September 2006 (UTC)
  1. neutral - I was going to say "see my 'mild oppose' vote above", especially since I only voted that way yesterday. My only argument against this proposal would be that it could lead to a slippery slope of GA reviews becoming pedantic counts of quantitative data. This is one of the reasons why I don't participate as much in the FA process (especially after seeing objections based solely on whether the category list is sorted or not). Inline citations are good in principle and fairly straightforward on the historical articles that I'm most interested in, but I'm still not convinced enough to switch to a support. Slambo (Speak) 15:59, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  • This seems similar to the proposal text above. I'm not going to create straw-poll #5, but please consider just going back to the wording of this criterion as it was prior to September 14, and leave it. Gimmetrow 17:15, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
I would support that. CMummert 18:23, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
In my opinion, there is no point in calling something a good article that does not cite its sources. Might as well surf all the articles in wikipedia and list those that don't have a stub on the page. No one is saying that something needs to be cited to be in the wiki, but I would be embarassed to call something good that does not direct people to where they can find more information, does not credit authors with their contributions and cannot be verified. I'm sorry. Somewhere in 500 pages is not good enough.--CTSWyneken(talk) 19:03, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, it's not your own personal reference librarian. If the reader really wants to verify that a blue sky is caused by Rayleigh scattering, let them check out one of the textbooks listed. Basic facts should not have spoonfed references because we run the risk of spamming for particular textbooks. -ScienceApologist 19:08, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
As a reference librarian, I beg to differ. We spend thousands of dollars to put encyclopedias on our reference shelves. Why? So that people can refer to them and find their way to the literature that supports it. That is what an encyclopedia really is for.
Also please notice that I'm not an advocate of cite every fact. But every subject that has its own section should have at least one reference so that people do not have to comb thousands of pages or scroll fifteen minutes to find the info.
This is not difficult to do if we are using, as we're supposed to, the literature to compose our articles. All we need to do, while we have the source open, is note what page its on.
I look on the Good Article list as a place I can send my college students to start their research. Without it, I'd have to discourage them from ever citing wiki in a paper.
So, for me, if it has no citations, it is not a good article. --CTSWyneken(talk) 20:27, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
I discourage every student I have from using Wikipedia, or any encyclopedia/textbook/basic treatment of a subject as a source. They're all good starting points for doing research, but those works are generally not worthy of citation unless quoted directly for metacognitive reasons. I'm shocked that you would even consider encouraging students to cite Wikipedia in a paper!
But since you aren't advocating for citing every fact, I think that we're heading in the same direction now. What facts do you think shouldn't be cited? Do you agree with me that it is essentially those facts which are common knowledge or elementary which shouldn't be inline cited? --ScienceApologist 20:38, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
(Outdenting) I give the following advice to my students when it comes to citation: if the same information is in two or three sources, then you can consider it common knowlege and not cite it specifically. If you include a quotation, always cite it from its original source or from the source translation. If you include information that appears in only one source, always cite it. I expect that each section of a paper include at least one citation, or it makes me wonder if plagiarism is going on. I encourage them to practice putting in cites for "see also" purposes; even though I'm the only reader of their papers, almost every time a teach a subject some student finds a topic or angle I've not seen before. I'm inherently curious and like to follow the trail to their sources. So help me out, I say.
The above is naturally overkill as a standard for something like GA. What I would hope is that we require the use of inline citation in an article. I personally (although I don't know many here who agree with me) would like to see a small metric to discourage reviewers from requiring a silly number of references. For me, one per section in an article is adequate.
I allow students to cite encyclopedias in papers for me only on peripheral matters (If they are analyzing, say, Augustine of Hippo's City of God, I would allow citations from these sources on where Hippo is located, the effects of the invasions of barbarian tribes and like info. This info is useful in understanding the work, but I don't want them reading 500 pages of Roman history for a short section in their paper. I want them reading City of God. At this point, I cannot even allow that with wikipedia articles. I may never, due to the lack of signed works of established scholars here. I do, as you suggest, tell them it is a place to start. Yet even there, the articles are a waste of their time without citations. A starting place is no good without a trail leading towards the final destination. Anyway, enough ramble. --CTSWyneken(talk) 14:52, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
I think the best place to hash out what should or should not be cited is at WP:CITE's talk page --plange 21:04, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
To Gimmetrow: The prior wording was contradictory. It said it was "essential" (which to me is equivalent to mandatory), and then it said it was "desirable" (which is optional). Your only choice is to say that citations are optional. RelHistBuff 19:10, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

To RelHistBuff - it was not contradictory. It said "the citation of its sources is essential, and the use of inline citations is desirable, although not mandatory". The text clearly differentiated "citing sources" which is required, from "inline citations", one form of "citing sources" which is obviously desirable but not the only way sources may be cited. Sources may be cited by listing them at the end of the article in a references section - which satisfies CTSWyneken's desire to credit authors and to point to further information. This is also the form common in many encyclopedias, including Britannica. Gimmetrow 21:00, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

Citing sources was linked to WP:CITE. Listing sources at the end is required as part of Harvard referencing (5.3.2). But having a list of sources alone (without the Harvard citations) is not an example of "citing sources", unless I missed that statement somewhere in WP:CITE. RelHistBuff 21:36, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
Do you think WP:CITE is a policy listing the only acceptable ways to do things? If so, please demonstrate this. The current version of the WP:CITE guideline doesn't seem to even mention {{ref}}/{{note}}, which is still a perfectly working system. Gimmetrow 00:34, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
The WP:MOS is a guideline, so is WP:CITE. GAs are required to adhere to both of them, guideline or whatever. And as you read in WP:CITE, the supporting basis is WP:V. But I digress, so I repeat, can you show me where it says that only listing sources is sufficient? RelHistBuff 06:47, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
You would fail or delist an article for not meeting every miniscule detail of WP:MOS? If so, please respond below in the Philosophy of GA section. Gimmetrow 21:29, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
I follow what is written WIAGA which mentions MOS and CITE. They are guidelines for style and citations to satisfy WP:V. Full stop. So, back to the subject, where does it say that listing sources is sufficient? RelHistBuff 22:20, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
So, back to the issue, where does it say that a guideline is policy? Respond below. Gimmetrow 22:43, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
I never said guideline is policy. You did. One follows guidelines for a purpose, e.g.., to make better quality articles. Whether one follows them or not is one's choice. I will assume you cannot show that a reference list only is sufficient as you will not answer the question. RelHistBuff 12:33, 30 September 2006 (UTC)

(unindent) The thing is, I'm not the one claiming it is not allowed, you are. Nevertheless you have not provided any evidence to support your claim. Since your claim is clearly contrary to the historical precedent visible in scores of current GA articles, it is you who have the burden of evidence here. Since you have failed to provide evidence to support your innovation, I have no need to defend against it further. Note again, this is essentially a difference of philosophy and you should be responding below in the philosophy section. I will not respond here again. Gimmetrow 13:47, 30 September 2006 (UTC)

GA is "good"

In my opinion the GA system is itself already "good" and, furthermore, as recognition of merely "good" articles it ought not to be any tougher. I would suggest that some or many of the complainants here simply don't like GA, and want to turn it into a miniature FA.

Frankly, this is all a waste of time and energy. FA is more important, and is even more broken. Peer review doesn't work any more, and articles take weeks to get through the FA process. It would be best, imho, if we left GA as it is, a fairly informal scheme for recognising above average - but not necessarily excellent - articles, and focussed our energies a) on fixing PR and FA, b) writing articles (as I'm currently doing). --kingboyk 19:05, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

I don't think we're trying to make it a miniature FA, but rather trying to help improve chances of something making it through FA if we up the bar a tad here. This way, after achieving GA, they can get a good peer review, which is easier to get quality feedback on if the article isn't a complete mess, and then go for FA. No article will make it through FA without inline citations. --plange 19:08, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
The claim that GA requires inline cites because FA does has been made several times. But:
  1. The standard in WP:WIAFA does not require inline cites unless "appropriate" while the WP:WIAGA standard now requires them (with no mention of whether they are appropriate). Some people confuse "appropriate" with "possible" and fail to see the difference.
  2. The following are featured articles with no inline references: Bank of China (Hong Kong), First Battle of the Stronghold, George I of Great Britain, House of Lords, Saxophone. I didn't check all the articles; I just randomly opened some and looked for a notes section. Perhaps you are saying no article would now be approved with no inline references; if so, that is a shame, since they are only required when appropriate.
CMummert 19:30, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
actually the new proposed criteria for inline cites for GA does say "where appropriate", just like FA does. Also, the FAs you listed were promoted prior to the inline citation requirement at FA. In fact, FAR is in the process of notifying all these old ones that they are in need of these or will be subject to an FAR. See the various discussions on the FAR talk page. --plange 19:45, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
The word appropriate does not appear in item 2 of WP:WIAGA at the time of this post. The position I hold is that the word required should be removed, not that the word appropriate should be added. CMummert 19:50, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
I said it's in the proposed new criteria (not what is currently posted) that we're all voting on above, and that you voted on. We're saying that they are required where appropriate. --plange 20:09, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
You need to define what "appropriate" means. That's why I proposethis. Count Iblis 22:08, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
It's defined at WP:CITE. --plange 22:10, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
There appear to be widely divergent readings of WP:CITE. I read it to only require inline citations for certain types of statements, not for all statements of fact. Others disagree. It isn't necessary to quote it to me again; I have read it several times. So I disagree that the idea of which citations are appropriate is adequately defined there. There is a discussion on the talk page there which may lead to a clarification. CMummert 00:36, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
Yep, I've been keep an eye on the discussion there, and contributing, but I think you guys need to make a clear proposal there instead of talking what ifs. I'd start a new heading and state clearly what you guys are asking for so that the editors can give you a clear answer. Right now it's all conjecture -- no one has defined yet what they term "common knowledge" and asked if others agree if that should be cited or not. It's only been about that they don't think they should cite it. I made a stab at it for you, but that only got a limited reply and then a new heading was added that diverted the discussion. I think it's there that you need to get clarification. --plange 00:51, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
I'll put a suggestion on the talk page for WP:CITE. CMummert 01:09, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
A quick aside... You mentioned problems at PR and FA. Well, over at WP:COUNCIL we're encouraging WikiProjects to build in project-specific peer reviews and a few projects have procedures in place to do them. One goal that has been discussed is to turn WP:PR into a central location that would sort review requests to the most appropriate WikiProject review sections. If you'd like, we can continue to discuss project-specific peer reviews at the WP:COUNCIL Guide talk page. Slambo (Speak) 20:43, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

Philosophy of GA

The desire to improve the quality of articles is certainly commendable. Philosophically, however, I think of a "Good Article" as a well-written text that meets the policy requirements of WP:V, WP:NPOV and WP:NOR. While inline citations are generally useful and should be encouraged (as the old criteria wording did), I'm not convinced GA should require more than WP:V does on this point; any article which fails to be recognized as "Good" is de facto a "Bad Article". (I wish the "failed GA" template was rewritten to be more encouraging, as has been proposed in the past.) Stating the GA represents a well-written, mostly complete article meeting the policy requirements has two great benefits: 1) it's a stable definition that nobody can argue about, and 2) it clearly distinguishes GA from the requirements of FA. Meeting WP:V, WP:NOR and WP:NPOV is no small feat in a developed article!

It seems like some other editors have a different philosophy on what GA is or should be. Perhaps if that were explained, some parts of this debate could be resolved? Gimmetrow 02:51, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

I think you're right to rise above the details of the arguments above to ask this question. Although I voted in support of Plange's wording above - largely because I think of inline citations as a standardisation issue rather than a quality standard issue - I agree in general with your viewpoint. I'd like to see a clear delineation of the differences between WP:WIAGA and WP:WIAFA, beyond the broad vs. comprehensive. Is the comprehensiveness criterion the only difference? It seems to me that the differences between GA and FA are narrowing, is that what people really want? Walkerma 04:45, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
I meant to say, though, I do think it's necessary to specify the criteria very clearly, otherwise you run into differing standards and also the criticisms given in the early days of GA. Walkerma 04:47, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
An article that is not a Good Articles is not a Bad Article. The main difference between GA and FA is that, due to the one-person review procedure, that the review is less stringend and thorough. In most cases, reviewers would not check the factual accuracy of the article by comparing it witha alleged sources, so he ability to request inline citations is the best way to increase the probability that the article is well-sourced, NOR and NPOV. Bravada, talk - 08:03, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
I'm personally in favour of the apparent narrowing differences of GA and FA. as many of you will have noticed from the Community Portal post, there have been over 100,000 article assessments under the 1.0 grading scheme (roughly.. wikiprojects sometimes modify the scheme a little); with this quickly growing push towards a centralized grading scheme, it's obviously important to have clear descriptions of the different tiers.. at the moment there are 6 tiers: Stub, Start, B, GA, A, and FA in that order.. this order was decided before the recent changes towards a higher standard for the GA class.
Anyway, it should probably be decided how GA should fit into this (very widely used) scheme. So, the reason i'm in favour of this narrowing difference, if because it may shuffle the GA tier in the grading scheme up to 2nd place, instead of 3rd.. this is good because it would mean that the top two tiers of the scheme would have to be independently reviewed, while the bottom four (whatever their names) wouldn't need to be. There is also a discussion going on here about this. Mlm42 09:38, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
I agree with the person who said there that GAs have been shoehorned into the 1.0 scale, but also with the other person who said that it might be beneficial to see the two last tiers in the assessment scale reviewed independently. I would also like to remind you all that the basic goal of GA is to award "quality marks" to articles who would never be able to attain FAs, rather than to serve as a "step towards FA". I actually think there are some articles which it is pointless to submit for GA rather than straight for PR and then FA. In view of that, the "narrowing gap" in the criteria is nothing to worry about. Bravada, talk - 09:47, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
PS. I forgot to explicitly state that I support making GA equivalent to the A-Class in the quality scale, of course respecting the individual requirements some WikiProjects have additionally.
I think GA needs a philosophy that encompasses what the porject is trying to achieve, where I differ is that GA is well positioned as an earlier assessment. What I do think is that GA should be part of the complete process that an article cant advance beyond B class without first being assessed. Gnangarra 09:49, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
For me, I think of GA as a way of telling the reader that we can be confident that the article conveys useful and reasonably accurate information, that it meets standards such a WP:V, WP:NOR and WP:CITE and that the prose is reasonably comprehensible to an average reader of English. I see it as a place on the quality scale that I can be comfortable my college students can go for background information and to begin research for papers. For me, I think that an article has to do some inline citation, if it is to honor the spirit of these three policy/guidelines and to be of any use to students. Because GA used by a lot of folk as a standard to meet on the way to FA status, I always give suggestions with a promotion that will help them along the way. --CTSWyneken(talk) 14:16, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
Meeting the requirements of WP:CITE goes much farther than providing useful accurate information, and crosses over into the realm of "formalism" for lack of a better word. For example, a cite to a book in the footnotes according to WP:CITE should also be included in the list of references - the additional work to put the book in the references section does not add any additional useful or accurate information, it merely provides better organziation of the useful and accurate information that is already there. Additionally, WP:CITE does not allow full parenthetical references, (Various authors (2006); Wikipedia:Citing sources; Wikipedia) like this one - which although not the best way to put in a citation provides all the information one needs to meet verifiability standards. Personally, I prefer good footnotes or harvard referencing with a comprehensive bibliography, and if I saw the parenthetical cite above when reviewing a GA - would convert it to a footnote on the spot; however, I don't think GA status should require the rigidity of WP:CITE style guide. --Trödel 15:05, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
Unless I'm totally misreading WP:CITE your method above is perfectly acceptable. You do not have to use cite.php to format references. Harvard referencing is an inline citation style that is one of the recommended methods in WP:CITE. See my article John W. Johnston where I use the ref style where I make short refs that go in the Notes section, with the full references in the References area (So I do not have a full reference to the book in the Notes AND References) - you'll also see that I use cite.php for most of those, except for when I'm referencing a letter held at a special archives which doesn't fit into cite.php so I formatted it freehand using the appropriate style for such a style. --plange 15:22, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
I could be misreading it instead - but from the comments - the standard seems to strict. If the change is meant to allow flexibitlity in citation method as long as the infromation is verifiable with accurate and useful references then that would be great --Trödel 19:17, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
What standard is too strict? WP:CITE? I'm still confused on what your objection is, I guess. On WP:CITE it unequivocally says:

The following are different citation styles you can use to insert references into Wikipedia articles:

If someone is wanting to use something other than the above for inline citations, what is it? --plange 19:41, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

IMHO at one point of time the correctness and comprehensiveness check and the rating for other merits (good resepectively brilliant prose, didactics, styleguide confirmity) will have to be de-coupled. The former has to be done (a) by domain experts and (b) with Mediawiki software support (which will mark the reviewed version and give easy access to it). --Pjacobi 19:35, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

Ignore all rules

Is requiring inline citations compatable with policy Wikipedia:Ignore all rules?

If the rules prevent you from improving or maintaining Wikipedia, ignore them.

For example, if after discussion, the editors conclude that inline citations are not appropriate, this would then clash with the stricter citation requirements. WP:AIR is policy and WP:CITE is only a guideline. --Salix alba (talk) 08:14, 30 September 2006 (UTC)

The trouble with this amiably-intended and -expressed rule is that it's too often brandished by those least qualified to do so. (Well, one can cudgel them with WP:DICK.)
I don't know. Inline citations aside, I've seen some damn silly "arguments" for objecting to GA promotion. Often they've betrayed the writer's inability to concentrate for more than ten seconds at a time on the article in question. There's also the compulsion to have goofy "infoboxes" added. Perhaps just ignore GA and shoot for FA, or ignore both and shoot for the horribly named "Citizendium". Meanwhile, I've just now replied to what I think is your main point right here. -- Hoary 11:18, 30 September 2006 (UTC)
Indeed WP:IAR can be abused, but its aim seems to be to counter excessive, adheasion to rules by a small aplication of brains.
For mathematics, the vast majority of our articles are somewhere between start-class and B-class. In terms of developing the maths content GA is a very useful standard to aim for, as it marks the diference between a text book article and a true encyclopedia article. FA is a very long way off for most article. I'd say it more benifical for our maths coverage to have a lot of GA's rather than a few FA's. --Salix alba (talk) 16:38, 30 September 2006 (UTC)
I think WP:IAR replies to an article's general existence in Wikipedia, not whether or not it can be used as a bypass for a Project assessment scale or GA or even FA. If someone wanted to push Porky's through the FA process with the reply of IAR to any criteria or style objections, they wouldn't get very far. The same would be true in the Physic's project if editors on Polarizable vacuum wanted to get an A-class rating on the project scale but wouldn't answer concerns about neutrality, etc. Agne 16:46, 30 September 2006 (UTC)

changing the review process

it seems to me that there is a problem with the GA process many times bigger than the inline citation criterion.. the problem is how easy it is for an article that doesn't satisfy the criteria to slip through the process and be listed as a GA. it means that a large part of the wikipedia community doesn't respect the GA tag as "meaning anything". the only way the tag will mean anything is if there is more people and more time involved in the review process. i believe there are ways of doing this without causing too much extra work for reviewers.

an idea i had in that direction was that the initial reviewer isn't allowed to pass or fail the article immediately, but the passing or failing decision (perhaps on subpages, like at FAC) has to stand for a certain amount of time (3 days, say).. if at the end no one disagrees with the review (or, in any case, a consensus has been reached about the article), then it is passed or failed accordingly.

in any case, something needs to be changed so that there is a feeling of legitimacy, and even consensus, in the process.. then GAs can win the respect of the entire community (those FA people seem to really look down their noses at GAs at the moment.. which really shouldn't be the case). Mlm42 15:24, 30 September 2006 (UTC)

You're correct about the ease of articles to slip through the cracks, however, we've been sweeping the list more lately and catching several people before they could sneak in articles onto the list. The problem should correct itself in time. I'm somewhat concerned, however, that your idea will delay things a bit too much, and make reviews harder to keep track of, unless more bureaocracy is introduced, which isn't what GA was supposed to be about.Homestarmy 16:44, 30 September 2006 (UTC)
mm.. perhaps that's the problem though; it may not be possible to win the respect of the community with statements like "The system is unbureaucratic: everyone can nominate good articles, and anyone who has not significantly contributed to an article can review it.".. but if you don't want everyone's respect, then maybe that's not a problem.. Mlm42 16:53, 30 September 2006 (UTC)
I don't see why a system has to be bureaucratic to garner recognition. Homestarmy 18:38, 30 September 2006 (UTC)
Well, to counter the easiness of listing an article of GA, we made it just as easy to delist it, and, provided there are enough people on "recent listings" patrol, it is quite unlikely that an unexplicably unsuitable article would slip through. We still have to reassess the existing GAs though, but the current debacle concerning some people's loathing of the enormous effort needed to create a few inline citations brought the reassessment process to an effective standstill... Bravada, talk - 20:07, 30 September 2006 (UTC)
but as it is, there's no feeling of 'consensus' in the process.. a user here tags an article as a GA, and user there untags it.. it seems a bit chaotic. Mlm42 10:16, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps it seems to you, but the process is clear - there are criteria an article has to comply with (even though some users try to continually disrupt the process by questioning the criteria), and if the article does comply with them, a user has to state that in his/her review and may promote the article. If, however, another user finds that the article does not meet the criteria, he/she may delist it, also stating in his/her review what criteria the article failed to comply with. This can happen not only due to some improper nominations having taken place, but also due to changes to the criteria or the article itself. Bravada, talk - 11:42, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
i don't want to make this a sore point, but that's the process that i mean seems chaotic.. sporatic users listing or delisting articles according to a set of rules or criteria. the 'process' is only one step removed from someone plucking an article and instantly granting it GA status (that is, one person nominates it, and another grants it status).. and my point is, that 'process' doesn't feel like it's gathered consensus.. which is why many contributers don't put much value on the GA tag. Mlm42 21:18, 1 October 2006 (UTC)

I run the script for the GA process, so I see articles come and go all the time. Many people who are skeptical of the process don't understand how it works but this same sort of skepticism can be applied just as well to Wikipedia. Tweaking your words a little, "the Wikipedia process I mean seems chaotic...sporadic users can write whatever they want. I mean the 'process' is only one step removed from someone taking a forum message and designating it an encyclopedia article." Some things people may not understand:

  • The GA list is synchronized with the GA category so removing a tag will remove an article from the list. Anyone can delist an article and frequently anyone does.
  • The recently added list is formulated automatically and listing is not voluntary. So all new articles are added including those where someone has just slapped a GA tag onto the talk page.
  • I breifly check all freshly listed articles when I update the page, delist the really bad ones and list for review the borderline cases. Experience suggests there are also some members out there who check for articles that skip the process (I don't mind articles skipping the process if they still meet the criteria).
  • There appears to be right now some interest in re-reviewing articles of the project. Even with the citation incident, many articles with minimal citations were identified and either removed from the good article list or warned about the criteria change.

In the end, the process, like Wikipedia, seems to "just works" though it does (just like the featured article system) take time to eliminate articles that were passed under lower standards or that have degreaded over time. I remember when flag came to us and I thought this is a pretty ordinary article (but didn't list it for review). I checked back the other day and it was delisted. That said, I welcome ideas for improvement and I have thought of adding a "Random articles" section to the list to stimulate re-review. But in your criticism make sure you are criticising based upon results not perceptions. And, of course, if you find any particularly weak good articles list them here so we can know what articles are slipping through the cracks. Cedars 01:17, 2 October 2006 (UTC)

okay, fair enough; i hadn't realised that 'recently added' list was automatically updated.. that's pretty handy. but yeah, the problem i've been worried about is the perception of the GA process and not neccessarily the process itself.. but i suppose these things take time. Mlm42 07:37, 2 October 2006 (UTC)

Working towards a consensus compromise on WP:CITE

Since the heart of the matter seems to be the application of WP:CITE in relation to WP:V, the discussion has moved there towards trying to find a consensus compromise that we can all live with and help produce a better encyclopedia with. Working together to get something worthwhile accomplished with this guideline will make all these headaches and frustrations not be in vain. I do think there is room for compromise between what the GA team would like to see for readibility and verification and what the Science editors would like for ease of consistency and professionalism. I invite the editors who have been taking part in these discussions across several pages to lay things to rest here and move over to WP:CITE's talk page so that we can garner consensus there. There is not much that can be accomplished here before things are settled with the guideline. Agne 16:55, 30 September 2006 (UTC)

Anabolic steroid

I would like this article to be completly reviewed and an explannation given with detailed reasons in the talk page of this article if it does not meet the criteria for 'good article' so that it can be improved by it's contributors. Wikidudeman 22:46, 30 September 2006 (UTC)

You should consider using WP:PR and WP:SPR. - Samsara (talkcontribs) 13:04, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
This article was failed earlier this month but no reasons were given on the talk page and the reviewer did not give any feedback or suggestions for improvemnt. TimVickers 02:25, 2 October 2006 (UTC)
This is correct. I nominated this article and then it was removed without any explanation for it's being removed. Tim and I were working on the article to meet the criteria of 'good article' and then it was suddenly removed without feedback. Please provide feedback if you do not believe it should stay on the list.Wikidudeman 02:42, 2 October 2006 (UTC)
If it was improperly delisted, you can just put it back to where it was on the nom page. (Just say that you're restoring it in the edit summary so people don't think your cutting in the line though heh.) Homestarmy 00:01, 5 October 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:1 featured article per quarter

An idea I am debuting today: a list and quarterly target for bringing an article to FA standard. I realize I've denigrated GA here before, but it occurred to me this might be a good bridge for newer editors who work on this process to try their hand at an FA. Add to the list and see if you can get an article to FA standard by year's end. Marskell 16:42, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

Is Oromo Liberation Front a GA?

This article was promoted from a stub (as rated by yours truly) to GA status by an editor who added a lot of information to this article, but I can't find any evidence that it was reviewed for this status. I'm not convinced that this was done without any attempt to prove its quality -- especially as this editor's contributions have been only to this article. -- llywrch 01:51, 15 October 2006 (UTC)

This doesn't appear to be a valid review to me either, did he actually try to list it on the main GA page? You can change it to a different rating if you want. Homestarmy 02:13, 15 October 2006 (UTC)

USS Sculpin (SS-494) and alike

There are tiny articles that will never grow but they will probably get hit on by vandalism and since nobody watches them, then WP will loose credibility for that. Is there a way we can incorporate those into the GA process or to refer them to others who can 1)protect or 2)rate these articles. Lincher 16:13, 16 October 2006 (UTC)

Hmm, it would seem to me there should be a totally separate project for that, those types of articles seem pretty far from the scope of GA :/. Homestarmy 16:53, 16 October 2006 (UTC)
I know what you mean but these articles are the less watched one and I don't know where they are taken care of. Lincher 17:29, 16 October 2006 (UTC)
It seems to me that the best people to protect and rate articles like these would be people involved in a Wikipedia project that the articles happen to fall under. Of course, if no such project exists, it does seem likely that they would fall through the cracks... MLilburne 18:27, 16 October 2006 (UTC)
Exactly what I though, and so I refered to WP:COUNCIL for help on such an issue. In the meantime they will stay in my watchlist which is getting so big and tough to manage. Lincher 18:47, 16 October 2006 (UTC)

Unregistered users and nominating GAs


I'm a fairly active reviewer, and I've noticed that several unregistered users (i.e. IPs) have nominated articles for good article status. My main concern is that the reviewer cannot be entirely certain that they are talking to the same editor who nominated the article and IP users are often unresponsive, slowing down the process.

My recommendation is that only registered users should be able to nominate an article for good article status. What do you think? CloudNine 14:39, 5 November 2006 (UTC)

I may not have contributed here but I can definitely see where you are coming from. This would be a good idea, though there should definitely not be any edit count or minimum time registered needed. My IP changes each time I turn on the computer so it would be horrible trying to reply to me personally if I didn't have an account. James086 Talk | Contribs 23:54, 5 November 2006 (UTC)

Abraham Lincoln

There are several articles which are currently counted by projects as being Good article quality or better which have never been formally submitted for good article review. The article above is probably one of the clearest examples of problems which can arise from this. One group counts it one grade lower than good article, another group one grade higher than good article. They can't both be right. Would it make sense to have all articles which want to be considered for FA status in the future, or which have been rejected for FA status, candidates for GA status or not? Thank you in advance for your responses. Badbilltucker 00:17, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

With the groups, those classifications are often done even more arbitrarily than the GA system, and there's just so many of them, they all probably can't be updated very quickly. But on older GA's, generally, as people find articles which are no longer compliant they can be delisted immedietly (with a note on the talk page explaining why of course), but there's plenty of old articles which I really think are GA's, several of the train articles probably still qualify. Homestarmy 01:27, 9 November 2006 (UTC)
On this article specifically though, although it has a relatively small-ish amount of internal citations, they are there, and there is a rather extensive list of other works as references. Of course, like Aristotle used to be, alot of those might not be actual references at all, but I don't think i'd be so quick to delist Abe. Homestarmy 01:29, 9 November 2006 (UTC)
Regarding the other question, do you think it would be a good idea to formally request that any article which failed Featured article narrowly, or wants to work its way up to featured article, meet the good article guidelines or not? Personally, I would think yes, although that might kind of overload the good article reviewers. Badbilltucker 00:16, 10 November 2006 (UTC)
I don't know about that, because even though some people are starting to bring up the issue that the GA criteria are getting a bit close to the FA criteria, GA's still aren't necessarily supposed to be as good as FA's, so if an article barely fails FA, I don't think thats a great indication as to whether it is a GA or not. Homestarmy 00:23, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

On hold

Aren't articles supposed to be on hold for 7 days only? There are currently several that have been on hold for weeks. Just how long are they allowed to be on hold? If the person putting them on hold doesn't come back by the end time, can anyone clear the article off the list? Rlevse 17:51, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

If they haven't been fixed, anyone can remove them. Homestarmy 18:22, 10 November 2006 (UTC)


After reviewing this article, I do not believe it meets the criteria, as it seems to lack NPOV, difficult to read, too long, and is haphazertly put together, not to metion that it seems to have a large amount of extra information that is not directly related to the article.Honeymane 03:33, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

question regarding nominated article Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time

Reviewed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time. The article had already been nominated once, but failed. The issued addressed have probably been corrected. However, regardless whether I upset a lot of gamers, I don't think the article is good because it contains too much irrelevant information, as per What Wikipedia is not. It has a long list of levels, then a long list of all enemies in the game.

Is this a valid criteria? What do others think?

Fred-Chess 16:55, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

It's format isn't typical, but i'm not so certain that having a bunch of detail in this case is necessarily bad, it makes it look pretty compleate I think. It's not necessarily going off-topic, the information is all basically about the game :/. Is there an MoS thing about video games and listing levels? Homestarmy 16:59, 10 November 2006 (UTC)
I haven't seen a guideline. I think the section Wikipedia:WikiProject_Computer_and_video_games#Scope_of_information may be relevant.
If one goes by other GA video games, I think Super Mario Bros is a relatively good example as it contains that material which I find interesting and relevant. Yet even that article contains a lot of additional trivias, and I don't think it would have been promoted to GA status today.
Think about if a newspaper or a scholary magazine want to find information about TMNT, would they be interested in various level and enemies?
Regarding policy, I draw on WP:NOT#IINFO here -- "Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information".
Fred-Chess 17:11, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
I think the Boss list should stay (after a very quick perusal, this seems like the most "gamish" bit to me). At first glance, it does indeed seem like gaming guide material, but its discussing the changes between the arcade version and the home release; documenting changes in content is encyclopedic.
That said, the table could also be replaced with straight text that documents the five changes just as easily, if people are concerned about the table. Just my two cents. EVula // talk // // 18:35, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

I've put the GA Nomination on hold while we debate this issue. -- Ritchy 15:12, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

The issue has been debated, concensus reached, and corrections done. I'm taking the article off hold. -- Ritchy 00:50, 23 November 2006 (UTC)


Is there a reason you have to be registered to do anything here? I note that FA has no issues with IPs. 22:23, 18 November 2006 (UTC)

The acceptance or failure of a Good Article is dependent on one person's decision, unlike Features Articles. Because of this, it would be very easy for people to cause mayhem if IPs were allowed. --TheEmulatorGuy 05:27, 19 November 2006 (UTC)
I have to say though, there are two or three perma-anon users on Wikipedia who have static IPs and are just like regular users, (well, except for not being allowed to do a bunch of things) there may need to be exceptions made on a case by case basis :/. Homestarmy 07:16, 19 November 2006 (UTC)
I disagree. Forcing people to create an account to participate in GA is not a big requirement. The perma-anon users are free to create an account solely for GA purposes. --Ideogram 09:02, 19 November 2006 (UTC)
One of them has stated that they literally cannot create an account, it sounds like for very serious reasons, though they won't disclose why. Homestarmy 23:59, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

Mathematics and Physical Sciences

I do not particulary support the subsection Mathematics and Physical Sciences (Astronomy, Theory), especially the parathesed part. Why not just call it Mathematics and Pysics? Nick Mks 21:23, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

user: Cocoaguy

I reverted the reviews made by Cocoaguy (talk contribs count) after, on being asked why he failed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time he answered this. If the GA criterias and the review process is to have any purpose, such reviewing can't be accepted.

Fred-Chess 17:45, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

He just passed Paul McCartney - I nominated that and have been waiting awhile for this to get reviewed and passed. I'm not having the article go to the back of the list just because this clown decided to pass it. If someone reverts it, please put it back exactly where it was in the queue. LuciferMorgan 00:43, 25 November 2006 (UTC)
I might just play devil's advocate here, I think he may have been misinterpreted. Here's what he said
Now I can see how this could be misread. No doubt he didn't deliver it right but hw may have been trying to get across that the information wasn't very specific and he knows nothing about the subject and the article does a poor job of informing him on what it is about. This is how I see what he could have been saying
†he Bread 00:52, 25 November 2006 (UTC)
The Bread: There was some other evidence too, such as never providing a reason for failing or promoting an article (which the instructions say is mandatory), or adding them to the list of Wikipedia:Good articles.
LuciferMorgan: I would never dream to not put the article back in its place in the qeue. I already did that with Paul McCartney yesterday [6]. For consistancy maybe I should do it again -- but there are other reviewers, I'll leave it to them to decide. / Fred-Chess 01:04, 25 November 2006 (UTC)
He keeps passing it though, and frankly I think he should have a verbal warning, lest be blocked. Can someone just tell this idiot to stop his antics? Thanks for everyone else having sense. LuciferMorgan 01:11, 25 November 2006 (UTC)
I agree, it is disruptive. It may be worth talking to him nicely about how to pass or fail GAs (two days ago Nathannoblet passed a GA without saying a thing, I restored the GAN and left him a note on his talk page, and the next time he passed one he left a one-line comment [which could no doubt be improved, but even that was an improvement])... of course, some people are just too stubborn to be helped... – Chacor 01:15, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

Okay cool, I didn't know the whole story and it seems you're right †he Bread 01:12, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

All I want is the Paul McCartney article put back in the GA nominee queue where it was (I placed it there awhile back) before this disruptive behaviour occurred, so that a reviewer can properly review it. Can someone put it back in the queue properly please? LuciferMorgan 01:21, 25 November 2006 (UTC)
Hes also passed 60 Minutes, leaving a note in the misc section where it was, and sent it straight on to FAC. :/ See the FAC page for info. RHB 20:12, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

lotsa undiscussed editing of the project page.. many people may want to have a say

Mmmmmmm. I noticed this by accident. Lotsa editing going on here. Can we get this out in the open and discuss it? Many other people may want to have a say, but may not have noticed the editing going on here. --Ling.Nut 17:30, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

Such as? I haven't noticed any major changes. Moreschi 13:15, 26 November 2006 (UTC)
Maybe Ling Nut means this edit [7] by Fred Chess, which is kind of interesting. He made another change after that one which might be relevant too. I also later added a line saying potential reviewers ought to know the difference between GA and FA criteria. Hardly a controversial statement or, at least, it shouldn't be. --Folantin 13:31, 26 November 2006 (UTC)
Oh great. Y'know, just fail an article, don't bother to be specific about why. That's really going to help the editors, and Wikipedia. He completely removed any reference to specification. Also [8] Moreschi 13:48, 26 November 2006 (UTC)
I disagree with the changes by Fred Chess. TimVickers 16:47, 26 November 2006 (UTC)
Oh, that's the edit y'all were talking about? I thought it was when he changed the intro. Well, it seems to of been changed to a better wording now. Homestarmy
Lol, glad you thought so. My wording isn't great but the intention is better. Moreschi 17:29, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

Learning Curve

I guess this pertains a little to the above discussion, but how excatly does one learn how to rate good articles? There's a bit of a backlog right now, and I'd like to help, but I don't trust my judgement. The criteria is vague (it has to be or it wouldn't cover every subject) so I have no guidance as to what is a good article and what is not. Should we have a way or place to learn how to rate good articles, or a mentor student thing? I don't know, maybe I'll just stick with nominating and working on articles instead of rating them.--Clyde Miller 20:38, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

Well, the criteria is intentionally vauge, it depends on who reviews things whether an article will pass or not. But really, unless somebody start suddenly putting every article you pass up on the WP:GA/R page, then you'll probably be fine. Just try to be specific about the criteria when you review articles and that might help you get a better feel for whether an article really is passing or not. Homestarmy 22:45, 25 November 2006 (UTC)
I found that the best way to learn was to observe. Watch the page for a while, and when an article is passed, failed, or put on hold, check the talk page and see what the reviewer said. Or do it the other way around... read the articles that are candidates, decide what you think about them, and then check afterwards to find out whether the reviewers agreed with you or not. Although the standards are indeed vague, it is surprisingly easy to get a feel for how they are used in practice. MLilburne 13:54, 26 November 2006 (UTC)
Okay. One more quick question. My specality is video game related articles. Would it be best for me to review those type of articles because I know how a good one is structured and what is considered broad in coverage, or should I go to something else because I may understand video game wording better than others and pass it when it should be failed?--Clyde Miller 15:44, 26 November 2006 (UTC)
It's your choice, I think that even with a speciality in video games, you'll be able to spot articles that get too prohibitive to the general population word-choice wise, and you'll certainly be familiar enough with the genre to spot lack of broadness better than other reviewers might. The thing about lack of broadness is that often when a reviwer isn't familiar with the field of an article, its hard to figure out whether a topic is missing something :/. Homestarmy 17:28, 26 November 2006 (UTC)
Well then I think I'll do video game articles to start. Thanks for the advice.--Clyde Miller 21:52, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

Further splitting of nomination areas

The backlog is still rather crazy right now, and I'm wondering if it might help to split up the nominations a little more. For instance, Arts encompasses all sorts of things - books, movies, video games - can we split those up? Should meteorology get its own subheading since the machines they have working over at that WikiProject are responsible for a majority of that section? I think that if we split some of these headers up, we'll have more people able to review the articles they're comfortable with, and have fewer articles sitting for a month because of how overwhelming it is. Thoughts? --badlydrawnjeff talk 18:46, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

I don't think this would be a very controversial thing to do and it should be helpful, but you'll have to be careful about sorting articles in the order that they've been nominated if you move them around. Homestarmy 18:48, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
Of course, but I won't touch them until I get a little more input. --badlydrawnjeff talk 18:50, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
Good idea. This would also make sense for Geography - perhaps a split by continent? How about you split up the major headings using subheadings, rather than creating new top-level groupings? SP-KP 18:57, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
That was my plan, leaving "arts" intact and making a third-level heading for games, books, movies, etc. Down the line. --badlydrawnjeff talk 19:13, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
I agree. Some of the categories are too ambiguous and it doesn't help when you are trying to find articles to review about certain subjects.--Serte Talk · Contrib ] 19:50, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
Finished. Feel free to add/subtract/pretty it up a bit more. --badlydrawnjeff talk 21:00, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
Why don't we just copy the main GA page style and add navframes to the page. This way the page will look less disorganized and be easier to use. Tarret 21:38, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
I think that might create more hassle, there's so many categories, many of them will be empty, and it will be more difficult to nominate articles :/. Homestarmy 13:37, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
The current arrangement is visually quite confusing, though. Could we perhaps use top level headings for the top categories? That would at least draw some lines across the page and divide it up a little. MLilburne 17:01, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
Good idea. I tihnk it looks much, much better. --badlydrawnjeff talk 17:12, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
I think we need to rethink this heavy splitting of articles. We're forgetting that the more sections there are, the harder it is to see which articles have been waiting the longest. I think each section should probably have around 10 articles under it at any given time. --SeizureDog 03:48, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
Maybe so. But it's also obvious that the time an article is sitting has little to do with when people are passing/failing. People are more likely to look at an article in a area they're familiar or interested in, after all. Truly, if we're worried only about making sure the oldest article gets reviewed first, we should eliminate the splitting altogether and just have one big list, but I doubt as many people would review as a result. --badlydrawnjeff talk 16:58, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

I'm also of the opionion that the splitting was a bit heavy. Now it's difficult to find nominations among all the headers, many of which have only one or two nominations. I, for one, didn't have much difficulty looking at a list of eight or nine articles in a list and figuring out which ones I was qualified and interested in reviewing and didn't feel heavily pressured to take only the oldest one on the list. Neil916 (Talk) 16:25, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

So after writing the above comment, I'm withdrawing it. I spend most of my time looking at science-related articles, which aren't very backlogged right now, hence the 1 or 2 article comment. But when I went back and looked at the list, I see that even after the split, certain subcategories (meterology, for example) are still quite long. So, never mind! Neil916 (Talk) 16:39, 1 December 2006 (UTC)


How long does it take for a GA to get reviewed? It may be better to just go to FAC if it takes so long. Some have been waiting since 4th November for a review, while mine (Paul McCartney) has been waiting since the 12th. Is GA actually an active thing, or is it a passing interest which has died? LuciferMorgan 01:07, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

It's just backlogged. --badlydrawnjeff talk 01:37, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
We've got a bunch of reviewers now I see, but we also have a bunch of people willing to nominate articles :D Homestarmy 02:09, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
I also think it depends on the article and the area... some articles are going to get quicker reviews because more people are interested in them... others won't. If it's been a while since you nominated the article the question is why? Is it in a scientific field that some people won't touch? Is it is a fluff field that people say, "I don't care about?" Is it a subject that frightens people away because it is so big (EG China).I know that when I look, I'm looking for something that I'm vaguely interested in and doesn't seem too overwhelming.Balloonman 18:57, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

New idea: quick-failing

Frankly, I've gotten tired over so many articles being nominated that have simple, glaring problems that can be easily fixed. For these articles, I have invented the quick-fail system. The basic idea is to quickly scan new articles for 'negative' templates, {{fact}} tags, and check the images for fair use rationale. If they have any of these problems, Template:GAquickfail can be added to the talk page. Even though this is just a few problems, they are the most common, and easily 50% of articles seem to fail for at least one of those reasons. This process is only for newly nominated articles though; articles that have been waiting a while deserve a proper review. A couple of users can keep an idea on Wikipedia:Good articles/Candidates on their watchlist and do a quick 10 second quick-fail check on new arivals. This should help stem the flow of nominations to those that are actually ready to be reviewed. Thoughts?--SeizureDog 08:48, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

Why do we need an extra template, though? Isn't it easy enough to simply do the same thing we're doing now - failing the article and leaving a note as to why? --badlydrawnjeff talk 11:40, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
The template is for my own benefit. After typing the same thing 5 times in a row I got tired of it. --SeizureDog 11:55, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
I think the concept is good, though having more and longer templates on talk page is a no-no. Please keep it simple and succinct, the failed tag, IMO is barely needed and as for this one, it is really not needed. Thanks, Lincher 16:41, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
I think the template should be written as a new section in the talk page, not a new tag on top of the talk page. — Indon (reply) — 16:56, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
Why would an sprotection tag be a criterion for "quick failure"? WP:WIAGA very clearly states, regarding instability, "This does not apply to vandalism and protection or semi-protection as a result of vandalism..." That's about as cut-and-dry as it gets. -- Kicking222 18:44, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
It could refer to semi-protection from edit wars, but in any case that part has been removed.--SeizureDog 21:47, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
  • "Frankly, I've gotten tired over so many articles being nominated that have simple, glaring problems that can be easily fixed." {{sofixit}}. If you see them as easily fixed, allow people the time to fix them rather than invent a bureaucratic runaround. A week's grace would harm no-one. Having said that, though, I think the good article system is becoming redundant. All its criteria mirror the featured article criteria, and since it was meant as a step towards Featured Article status, I think it's failing in its purpose. Just my tuppence though. Hiding Talk 20:13, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
I don't think it's failing, I think it's seriously underused. There are some FAC that desperately needed to go here first, and still should, see Katie Melua. And articles that are up for GA status or FAC get more activity, so get vandalized by anons more often who seem to troll the Recent Changes page. But I think there are a lot of articles in FAC and GAC that needed to get sent back for more work before put up for review--that's probably why people don't do the reviews. KP Botany 20:18, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
We disagree. I don't see how there is any harm in stating the reasons why an article is likely to fail, and then showing good grace and assuming good faith and allowing a week to pass to see if the article has improved to or near to the desired standard, where a further week could be granted. Otherwise, then fail it. If you institute processes like this it is going to cause bad feelings in newcomers, and we shouldn't really bite newcomers. We should also try and assume good faith where we can. This process is supposed to result in good articles. It should do that inclusively, in a fair manner and collaboratively. No-one should play judge, jury and executioner. Hiding Talk 21:00, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
I'm of the feeling that we allow for too many of these "grace periods". Part of the beauty with GA is that there is no down time. An article should be failed if it's not ready, not clog up the system waiting to get fixed. The quicker articles can be failed, the quicker they can come back for re-review. I think part of the reason for our backlog is that instead of sending articles back to be fixed, we let them sit around on our list on hold. A better system than the on hold one is to simply be more personal with your reviews: state when you're failing that you are availble to re-review the article once they feel it is ready. That's what I think when I see an on-hold anyways: that someone is already taking care of that article. It's becoming obvious that we need to have a quicker system of reviewing these articles, and until they reach resonable levels (no article waiting more than a week to be reviewed) we shouldn't do anything to slow it down any more than it already is.--SeizureDog 21:47, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
No, your solution doesn't address the problem you describe. Looking at the candidates page, you have articles which have been listed over a month. Your proposed solution does not address such a problem. What you need is to review articles quicker. That will solve your problem. I'd note that front and centre it states the system is to be unbureaucratic, so introducing more and more templates is a bad idea. Now the Wikipedia:Good articles/Review page declares that a reviewer should Allow enough time for any active editors to improve the article and also that we Do not use {{FailedGA}}. Review more quickly, but do not dispense with the good faith in allowing people there due: the time to fix the problems. Hiding Talk 22:34, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
Quick-fail is designed to help prevent backlog, not to deal with the currently existing backlog. And as I've said before, it really doesn't matter if the article has failed and is off the GAC list as long as reviewer has the good faith to see if the problems have been addressed later. --SeizureDog 23:45, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
But if the articles have been reviewed, there is no backlog. Like I say, you aren't addressing the problem, which is preventing a backlog. A backlog occurs when articles are not reviewed, not when articles are not delisted. Also note, articles should not be failed, but rather delisted. Hiding Talk 23:49, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
This is all getting confusing, we're not failing any more? and articles are to stay in nominee form until they pass? Is that what you're saying?--SeizureDog 00:05, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
Hiding, I'd like to say something, on the Review page instructions, those are for delisting articles which already are GA's, (as indicated by the "remove the GA template" part) not for reviewing articles the first time. (Yes, the page title is confusing, but it was moved from "Disputes" after someone felt that "Disputes" was too negative) Reviewed articles can still be failed instantly, though I have to say, using a template that doesn't define how many "fact" tags result in a quick fail and not allowing editors to take the approximetly 15 seconds to remove bad fair use rational images doesn't seem fair for articles which have been waiting in line for nearly a month. Homestarmy 00:43, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
If you were paying attention earlier, I mentioned that the quick-fail is only to be used on articles that have been waiting less than a day.--SeizureDog 09:52, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
I really do not want GA to have more procedure. Why not just say something like "The critical problems with this article include ..., though there may be other issues."? Twinxor t 02:20, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
I understand the sentiment, but see no need for new procedures. An article can be failed in 3 to 5 minutes, if you are a fast typist, and perhaps a few more if you type like I do. :-)--Ling.Nut 03:31, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
I'm a bit irritated at the low quality of some of the GA nominees. I came here because I was surprised at the low quality of some of the GAs on Wikipedia. I think under the rules that already exist, it is legitimate to quickly fail an article. I don't think it is fair to the reviewers or a good use of their time to require them to comment on everything in an article when what the article really needs is to have been written above uncopyedited-rough-draft level in the first place. I also think it is unfair to those articles that have had editors copyedit and prepare for Good Article status that they languish on the list for a month or more, while other articles that were just slapped together and posted here get reviewed. My suggestion is that there be a high-priority list on the top of the page that lists the 10 articles that have been on the GA/C list for the longest, and invite reviewers to tackle one of those articles first. This addresses not the backlog per se, as quick fail also does not, but those articles which have waited the longest for a review and might have editors who have put a lot of work into them. Also, someone pointed out that another poster mistook the WP:GA/R for the "How to Review" section of the [[Wikipedia:Good articles/Candidates|WP:GA/C] page--there is no requirement "that we Do not use {{FailedGA}}" in reviewing Good Article nominees. I think that if very little thought has been put into making it a GA, it can be quickly failed, already. I think that implementing new procedures into a process it what makes it confusing enough that people read Good Aritlce/Review and think (logically in fact) that it is about reviewing Good Article nominees. Wikipedia needs to streamline, not add instructions, imo. KP Botany 19:57, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

Here's a list of articles that have been on for the longest (quick look, not certified accurate), although doing this, I think that reviewers are doing better at tackling the backlog than at first appeared:

  1. David Carruthers (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) Imgroup 01:44, 15 August 2006 (UTC) Comprehensive, informative and well-written. I helped to shape it. (Renomination now article is no longer tagged as a current event.)
  2. Lucid dreaming (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) 02:16, 12 November 2006 (UTC)
  3. Tau Ceti (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) RJH (talk) 21:29, 15 November 2006 (UTC)
  4. LONG Holden VE Commodore (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) I would like to nominate this article for Good article status. Myself and several other contributers have been working on this article for the past few months - and I believe it is of relatively high standard. OSX 00:48, 18 November 2006 (UTC)
  5. Bill Bruford (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) HisSpaceResearch 02:01, 18 November 2006 (UTC)
  6. LONG The Orb (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) kingboyk 12:06, 19 November 2006 (UTC)
  7. Space weathering (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) Lunokhod 23:01, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
  8. Hurricane Ismael (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) Hurricanehink (talk) 04:14, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
  9. Mulyanka River (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views)D V S [?!], 20:12, 22 November 2006 (UTC).
  10. ITER (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) Nick Mks 21:21, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
Failing candidates takes only as long as it takes you to type a couple quick comments on the Talk page, replace the template with Failed GA, remove the nominee from the list on WP:GAC.
Delisting existing GAs is described in the section "If you believe an article should be delisted" on WP:GA/R.
If you are frustrated with the lack of quality GAs, then I welcome you to the GA process, and sincerely hope you will stick around and become one of the proverbial "regulars"!! :-)--Ling.Nut 20:34, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

Skipping the nomination process

An article I reviewed and failed a while back (Asian arowana) has since been greatly improved. The original nominator contacted me and asked me to look over it again. Since it has now reached GA level, can I just give it a GA Pass, or should I have him go through the process of re-nominating it first? --NoahElhardt 05:16, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

The nomination queue exists only to monitor the delay of processing. A reviewer can pick any article to review at any time. In my opinion, you can just review and pass it immediately. I have several times offered on failed nominations to re-review immediately after improvements and to skip the queue. --RelHistBuff 08:17, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
"should I have him"---Knowing my wife she would be ecstatic if she woke up in the morning and it was a GA ;-) Balloonman 08:48, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
Oops! :D Tell your wife sorry! SHE has done a great job with the article, I just passed it. --NoahElhardt 16:37, 1 December 2006 (UTC)


Why on earth is there a United States History section all to its own when everything else is shoved into "World History"?! Adam Cuerden talk 09:18, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

Blimey, that's not on. Someone ought to fix that pretty sharpish. How about dividing history historically - Ancient, Medieval, Modern?--Folantin 09:36, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
OK, I got rid of the bias at least. If someone wants to divide up "World History" properly, then go ahead. --Folantin 09:42, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
I'll explain why I did that, with the full knowledge that if anyone had an issue, they'd change it. Being en, it would easily be more US-centric, so I based it off of that and figured that if a pressing need to split it further arose, we could do it then. I certainly meant no harm in it, I was merely reflecting the reality of the noms. --badlydrawnjeff talk 15:20, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
Ironically, though, there were far more British history GAs at the time. Better, I think, to do it by continent (+ Oceania and the Middle East?) Adam Cuerden talk 15:45, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
I'm not against any further splitting. I won't be offended if you do anything to it, really, hehe. --badlydrawnjeff talk 15:49, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

A-class vs. GA

Roman-Spartan War was removed off the nomination queue with the edit summary that it is already A-class. However, I think the nominator should decide whether to retire the nomination. A-class assessments are done in the Wikiprojects and satisfy their own internal standards while GA have a wider set of editors with a general set of standards. It may be that the author may have wanted feedback or a quality confirmation from this wider set of editors. --RelHistBuff 09:54, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

I'm not sure if this is the proper channel to do so... but I'm not a stickler... so no problem...Balloonman 15:03, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
An article can't be both? --badlydrawnjeff talk 15:50, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
It can, but asking for a GA review after being approved for A, is kind of like asking for an A review after an FA. Or to use non-wiki terms, it is kind of like saying, I've completed the twelfth grade, now lets go back and complete the 8th grade. An A-class article, by definition, should meet or surpass the GA standards as it has been deemed a good article by more than one person.Balloonman 16:05, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
Well, the classifications seem largely arbitrary from my experience. To list it as a GA, but keep the A class tag, doesn't seem contradictory. Even if you've completed college, people still might want to know about your high school diploma? --badlydrawnjeff talk 16:11, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
Yes it can which is why I put the article back in the GA queue. Balloonman had thought that since the article had already reached A-class within the Greece Wikiproject, GA was redundant and took it off the list. But really the set of reviewers are different. I guess it is also possible to get GA level within the Wikiproject *without* going through the GA process here (a Wikiproject assessor may assign it GA level quality). That happened to one of my articles once, although it eventually got GA here as well. It's a bit confusing... --RelHistBuff 16:11, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
  • (remove indents)I personally don't think it's appropriate for someone other than the nominator to remove an article from the queue (without reviewing it, that is).
  • Plus having an A rating w/in a WikiProject is not a prima facie reason for removing from the queue. WP:GA is an external review, obviously. Someone, somewhere requested such an external review, and they deserve to get it.
  • But if the nominator gets an A within the relevant project and withdraws the nom for that reason, that is extremely kosher. But it should be the nominator doing so.
  • --Ling.Nut 15:37, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
As it happened, I reviewed it already. Adam Cuerden talk 15:55, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
Personally, I think that allowing an article which has been counted as A-Class to be reviewed for GA-Class is a good idea, because the A-Class assessment is so unofficial. Recently, Ancient Rome, which had been counted as A-Class by one of the projects, failed its good article candidacy. Inserting an extra, more official step, into the process will help ensure that articles listed as A-Class actually are at least as good as GA-CLass articles, and also probably in the long run decrease the number of clearly unqualified articles being submitted as Featured Article candidates. That is just one person's opinion, of course. Badbilltucker 16:40, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
I'm all for reviewing A-Class articles. I'm with Badbill- a GA review is considerably more formal than a review by the relevant project. -- Kicking222 23:19, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
Actually, I'd like to see a rating (A, B, C, D) made by the projects, that would be independant from the GA-FA "official" process. The first one would serve as an indicator of when to apply for the second. It could even be applied to importance.--SidiLemine 17:10, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
  • The relevant place to discuss this is Wikipedia talk:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Assessment, but for the sake of avoiding a ForestFire, let's keep it here. The A/B/Start/Stub assessment scale is determined primarily by WikiProjects. However, the FA and GA levels of the scale are used for external editorial validation. Some of the more active projects have definite processes to request A-Class status (c.f. WikiProject Military history and WikiProject Tropical cyclones), but many other projects do not; and in a way, GA serves as a confirmation of the A-Class status conferred to the article. So, there is no reason to not review an A-Class article for official GA status; if the article passes, then {{GA}} is added to the talk page, and the article is added to the list here; if it fails, then the article is downgraded to B-Class or lower, which helps the WikiProject identify issues they may have not thought about, and keep an eye on those issues in the future. The end result is that the assessment of the article, and perhaps of other articles under a WikiProject's scope, is more accurate. More eyes are always better. Titoxd(?!?) 17:23, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
IMHO a GA candidate should NEVER be withdrawn because it has an A - in fact, most GACs I have seen have been As. Tito is right, these (GA/FA and A/B/Start/Stub) are different systems - the 1.0 team uses both because we need desperately to find the best articles, and GAs are a good source. In the long term (years) we should perhaps get rid of the GA level altogether from the scheme (as Syd suggests), but while people are still tagging and learning about assessments GA provides a useful reference point. Speaking personally, I have tagged an article as A-Class even knowing that it failed GA, because the criteria are different (e.g. IMHO if the refs just need proper formatting it could be A). Walkerma 20:17, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

(undent) Yep, agree with all of the above, except that the nominator of an article has (or should have, I suppose) the right to w/draw the nom for any reason at all, including just being in a bad mood that day. But I agree that the reason "It's already an A in our WikiProject" is not necessarily a good reason. BTW Thanks Titoxd and Walkerma for the clear explanations. :-) --Ling.Nut 04:27, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

GA statistics

I just updated the table on GA statistics. Does anyone know where one can find the total article number? I would like to fill in the rest of the table and finish the last plot. Also, I think it is interesting that this month has seen a reduction in the rate of increase of GAs. A slow-down in promotions? Or a speed-up in delistings? Probably both. --RelHistBuff 11:34, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

I got the total number of articles and I finished the last plot. One can see another interesting phenomenon. This month has seen a good harvest of FAs. So there is now a slight uptick of the percentage of FAs in Wikipedia. --RelHistBuff 12:47, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
Well done for doing that RelHistBuff, it's interesting stuff as I discovered last month! Chrisfow 00:12, 3 December 2006 (UTC)


I just realised I keep forgetting to list the new GAs in the GA list. Is there any bot way to compare the category with the list? I'll do the work of sorting all missed articles in. Adam Cuerden talk 08:22, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

I doubt if there is one, but you could probably request one at Wikipedia:Bot requests. I tend to think that it would probably be one of the simpler bots to run. Badbilltucker 17:37, 3 December 2006 (UTC) So I made a mistake; big surprise there. Thanks for the info. :) Badbilltucker 23:22, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
GAAauto has been automatically listing articles for awhile, look in the GA list page history. Homestarmy 17:59, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

What's the normal waiting time for this process?

Just wondering what the usual turnaround time is for GA - we've had expressionist architecture up there for over a month, does it require a specialist to look at it or should I round up a reviewer and point them in the right direction? --Mcginnly | Natter 01:31, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

There's a bit of a blacklog right now of about a month at most unfortunently, many articles may take quite awhile to come up for review :/. Homestarmy 02:33, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
Thanks, I'll sit tight then. --Mcginnly | Natter 14:03, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
If there is somebody who is objective, EG not involved with the article and is familiar with the GA criteria, then you can solicit somebody to review the article. Unfortunately, for you, the fact that your article has been up there for a month is indicative of a potential that your article doesn't have widespread appeal. People who rate articles do so as volunteers. We read articles that capture our personal attention. Expressionist Architecture has zero appeal to me... I'm more likely to find a history or sports related article to read. But after a month, I would encourage you to find somebody or solicit somebody specifically to review your article. Find somebody who has approved architecture articles in the past and ask them to read the page.Balloonman 16:40, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

(undent)I hope to help with the backlog after the 16th or so. Hope to get some serious work done. 'Til then tho, am unable to help. It's that time of year. Others may be in the same boat — final exams, Christmas, depression over credit card bills... --Ling.Nut 05:10, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Reviewing articles

So let me get this straight. If I want to review articles (and I do, it would give me a purpose on Wikipedia), all I have to do is know the GA criteria and not have made signifigant contributions to the article? If that's all, than that's great. Am I missing something here? It seems to good to be true! Green451 00:59, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

Besides that and making sure to write up the review on the talk page, that's pretty much it. Other things to know are that delisting an article from the list requires a wait time for other editors to comment at your discretion, and reviewing older articles first helps, and you can list anything you have problems with but aren't compleatly sure about on the Review page, but none of that is necessary if you just want to review candidates at first. Homestarmy 01:07, 9 December 2006 (UTC)
Some articles have zero citations. Why should we have to wait for consensus on open and shut cases? It's a waste of time. LuciferMorgan 01:14, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
Eh? Not all old articles have 0 inline citations. Homestarmy 01:17, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
Some do - I know because I've been delisting them. LuciferMorgan 01:35, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
Right, then. I'm going to go "boldly go where I've never gone before!". I'll get my feet wet reviewing a few noms. If I make a mistake, just give me a shout. Green451 02:44, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

(undent) welcome to GA! --Ling.Nut 03:11, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

On Hold

I was bold and unilaterally changed the verbiage of WP:GAC (but you'll note I took the changes to Talk.. other changes have been made recently which I plan to revist after final exams).

The next verbiage that I added says "no less than 2 and no more than 7 calendar days." I feel OK about putting a bottom limit of 2 days to the On hold since putting an article on Hold in the first place is purely at the reviewer's discretion. Anyone who puts anything On Hold must logically be willing to wait at least some time. --Ling.Nut 14:05, 9 December 2006 (UTC)


I reverted Useamac (talk · contribs)'s passing of Apple Computer advertising just a short time ago. This was Useamac's first edit. The second edit of the user was to add back a section that was removed and placed in a seperate article as it was making the article incredibly long. The section was clearly summarized with a "main article" link at the top of the section. Useamac continues to reinsert this section and redirect the article on the commercial to the main advertising article. Does anyone have any opinions on what I've done in this situation? Metros232 16:41, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

Because I'm a philosophical person, and just pulling random thoughts from the air and discussing them philosophically, it is an interesting phenomenon (worthy of reflection) when a contributor's very first edit shows knowledge of the GA process etc. But I am just talking to hear myself talk. Of course I have no point. --Ling.Nut 17:25, 9 December 2006 (UTC)
Yes, quite a musing you have there Ling.Nut, quite a musing. However, Useamac said on my talk page that s/he's not a new user and just can't access the old account because someone changed the password, so s/he has to use this one temporarily. Metros232 17:29, 9 December 2006 (UTC)
Yikes! Just looked at the history. Don't get into an edit war or for heaven's sake a WP:3RR. It simply is not worth it. I strongly suggest that you revert your own reversion, pass the article, and take it immediately to WP:GA/R.
BTW, what was useamac's previous handle?
--Ling.Nut 18:16, 9 December 2006 (UTC)
It has no introduction and is way too long for the tiny amount of referencing it contains, does this really need a review? It looks like a clear non-GA to me, if it gets passed again, i'll delist it myself. (after waiting a few hours of course) Homestarmy 18:44, 9 December 2006 (UTC)
I'm with Homestarmy. I reverted the first times because it seemed like vandalism. But now, I don't exactly know what Useamac's motivation is to pass it as a good article. I'm not planning to revert anyone if they do pass it, in fact, it's not on my watchlist at all. It was just an edit I saw earlier that seemed odd (a person with a red link for user name and user talk passing an article? that sends up some signals right away).
And I'm not sure what Useamac's old handle was, s/he hasn't mentioned it. Metros232 19:00, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

(undent).. yeah.. my point was not that it is worthy of a review; my point is, don't get in an edit war or WP:3RR. Let other people delist it. You've done your bit. --Ling.Nut 19:24, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

Oh, don't worry, I'm not looking to join WP:LAME anytime soon :) Metros232 19:28, 9 December 2006 (UTC)


I am currently the reviewer of the GA nom for Duck Hunt. I put it on hold so that the nominator could fix stuff, and we have kept an open dialogue. This is my first time reviewing a GA nom, so if a more experienced reviewer has the time, could they please check out the article and my review on the article's talk page to make sure that I'm doing everything right? Thanks, Green451 23:11, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Your review appears fine so far, just remember, the objective isn't necessarily to run out of things to critique, articles are supposed to be good, not perfect :). Homestarmy 23:15, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
Got it. You've got a point that I might just be being a bit too picky...anyway, thanks for the thumbs up. Green451 23:30, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Billy Sunday

I'm a new reviewer... and still learning. A week or so ago I passed an article on Billy Sunday. One of the contributors to the article, however, questioned my passing of the article. He feels as if it was too POV, but I wasn't sure. I was wondering if I could get some feedback from other more experienced reviewers on this article. Was I too easy on my passing it? I thought it was a good, well written, easy to read article... it wasn't perfect, but was one of the better articles I read.Balloonman 16:55, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

It does appear to be slightly POV in the body of the article in my opinion. However, if you want to be sure, you can file a GA/R over it. There's nothing wrong with being unsure over the criteria at times, they're slightly ambiguous specifically to avoid the more legalistic criteria of FA :) .Homestarmy 22:09, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

Article Hold

I was working on an article that was nominated here (Futurama) and the reviewer put it on hold. I have dealt with the issues listed on the talk page but the article is still listed as being on hold (for more than 7 days). Is there some action I need to take to notify reviewers that the article is ready to be reviewed? I understand there is a backlog but I didn't want it to be left on hold once the issues had been corrected. Thanks for any info, this process is still new to me. Stardust8212 18:03, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

Post a message on the person whose talkpage put it on hold... and then put a response on the GAC... the person who put it on hold may not realize that you've made the changes... or may have forgotten to check.Balloonman 18:40, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
PS by putting a note on the GAC page you might avoid somebody else's defacto failing the artcle because it hadn't been updated for a week.Balloonman 22:05, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
I'm not sure if i'm hallucinating or what, but for some reason I can't see the article listed on the candidates page, and I know it was there at once point recently, but ctrl+f doesn't seem to be working for me :/. What section is it filed under? Homestarmy 22:11, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
My apologies. I promoted Futurama as a good article earlier this evening. Sorry to keep you waiting; you will find my note concerning the promotion on the article's talk page. Wikiwoohoo 22:33, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
I just had a rare edit conflict due to you... I was posting that you passed it about an hour ago ;-)Balloonman 22:34, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
Yes I saw that earlier, a little while after reading Balloonman's reply but before taking action on it, I was at work afterall. :-P Stardust8212 00:23, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
However, what is the policy that we should take? Should we automatically speedy fail the article? Or should we simply remove the "on hold" tag? Diez2 14:38, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Copied from the instructions header:

You may put an article On Hold for no less than 2 and no more than 7 calendar days if only minor changes or clarifications are needed. If at least 2 days have expired without an editor addressing the concern(s), the article can be failed at any time, but a decision should be made before or around the week's end.

Cbrown1023 21:03, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Futurama has already been promoted, so no reason to ponder that issue. If you see other cases where the article has been on hold more than 7 days (and I would actually wait until at least the 8th day, so no one can cry foul) and no one has done anything, then delist it. Thanks for all your hard work! --Ling.Nut 23:31, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Social sciences

Is it normal if there is two social sciences sections (and one is empty).Frédérick Lacasse 14:24, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

Good catch! I hadn't noticed that. There has been some rearranging of the sections very recently, and there may have been a minor mistake. But I have deleted the redundant section. Thanks for your keen eye! :-) --Ling.Nut 17:55, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

Toilet-related injury

I don't have time to work on it myself, but I thought someone might want to review Toilet-related injury, just for fun. -- Beland 10:09, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

I took a quick look and it fails almost all criteria

  • References aren't formatted properly
  • Not enough references
  • Lead contains three one sentence 'paragraphs'
  • External link in the middle of the text
  • Half the article is lists
  • Years alone shouldn't be wiki-linked
  • See also has a red-link
  • And i haven't even read the text! M3tal H3ad 10:27, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

Problems with this page

Someone who really knows the GA project should review the way the requests for review page is organized. The problem is that the categorization on it does not match the categorization of GA articles themselves. That leaves reviewers who know where an article is in the review page the task of trying to figure out where it belongs on the GA listing page. The two should be consistent. I don't want to undertake the task for two reasons: 1. I'm lazy and 2. I don't want to make changes that would have unforeseen repercussions. The latter is the real reason why someone with better knowledge of the project should address this issue. It would actually be nice to see greater automation of this process, but that's would require some real development +Fenevad 15:14, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

  • See discussion (and proposal) at Wikipedia talk:Good articles. —ExplorerCDT 18:19, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
    • Went there and didn't immediately see anything relevant to this question. Can you be more specific about what discussion and proposal you have in mind? Most of what's there seems like discussion on changing the process to make it easier to delist articles. +Fenevad 21:36, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
      • I was responsible for the categorization here. As people are free to add the nominations to whatever section they believe will get the proper response, I don't think it especially matters if it meets the categorization at the article itself. If you disagree with the placement of a nomination, you can easily move it, but I'm not sure there's much of a problem. --badlydrawnjeff talk 21:50, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

Request for a experienced GA reviewer

Someone who didn't know what they were doing promoted Slayer as a GA, left no comments on the talk page and didn't add it to the GA list until told on their user talk page. I was hoping a more experienced GA reviewer could take a look, as i would like some feed-back to bring it up to FA standards. Thanks. M3tal H3ad 06:52, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

Done plenty of work getting articles featured as per my profile! :) --PopUpPirate 12:56, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Oh the maiden dude! thanks for clearing up the review. M3tal H3ad 12:57, 12 January 2007 (UTC)


There are some articles that have been there for a long time now...almost a month and some are not even on hold. Could experienced users or people who generally rate good articles clear them up first? Shouldn't the priority be given to the oldest articles first? Just a thought...thanks. Fedayee 07:01, 15 January 2007 (UTC)


Is anybody reviewing these pages? One is tempted to say that one must pull one's finger out, if you'll pardon the expression. andreasegde 17:56, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

A bit of a backlog develops occasionally, but it gets cleared up soon enough. Homestarmy 19:27, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
I truly hope it will. Thank you kindly, Homestarmy. andreasegde 21:03, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

GA Review Question

I reviewed Dominik Hasek and felt it had some minor problems so I put it on hold. I am allowed to fix them myself and pass it rightt? I am leaving them the way they are now (I did find and install a photo for the article) until I know for sure. Quadzilla99 12:27, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

Well, if their minor problems, fixing them wouldn't constitute a major contribution in my opinion. I'd back you up anyway if you wanted to fix it and somebody objected, assuming their actually minor edits :). Homestarmy 13:54, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
I think I'll just forego that and see if someone wants to implement the changes I stated on the article's talk page to be safe. Once I start editing the article I may contribute more than what are deemed minor changes. Quadzilla99 18:45, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

Nomination while peer reviewing?

Is it possible for an article to be nominated for GA while a peer review is still open? Parutakupiu talk || contribs 21:15, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

I don't see why it wouldn't be.... Homestarmy 22:46, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
OK. Thank you for clearing this. Parutakupiu talk || contribs 23:13, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

Table of Contents

Why doesn't this article have a Table of Contents? It would be easier to go directly to the topics you like, such as sports, arts, science, etc.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by Quadzilla99 (talkcontribs) 03:18, 27 January 2007.

Yes, I agree.Wikidudeman 10:25, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

Good article length?

I know that there is not too much length requirements for GA if its too long, but can it be too short? I was looking through a lot of the candidates and there are a couple that are only four sections of information or so with about 10-15 sources? Is this reasonable or is the topic not considered broad enough. Examples would include: Vestibule (Architecture), Scud FM, or Service flag. I just want to know for sure as I attempt to help weed out the easy ones while clearing the the backlog. --Nehrams2020 05:13, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

I think there needs to be some sort of length requirement, say at least have a table of contents and x amount of words or references. The external links is bigger then the whole article of Service Flag. M3tal H3ad 07:03, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
I totally agree with you both. andreasegde 15:58, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
There was a GA/R recently over an article with this problem, it was only like 3 or four well-referenced short paragraphs with no sections. Generally, most extremely short articles suffer from problems like lack of broadness, but some obscure topics like, say, distant stars are often extremely short yet have been passed in the past. I don't know if we really need a length requirement, because so far, when an article has been extremely short its failed in some other way besides just the length. Homestarmy 18:08, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

Making this easier?

Is there some way we could make the pass/fail review easier? Right now it takes a bunch of coordinated edits to different pages, and it's basically a lot of work. Is there some way we could us "the system" to do this for us? For instance:

1) couldn't the placement of the nomination on the candidates page be automated by placing the "category" in the GAnomination tag on the article's talk page? That would eliminate one edit.

2) likewise, when moving from nomination to pass/fail, this too could be completely automated as in (1). These changes alone would eliminate four edits.

3) Could a 'bot be used to inform the nominating user?

4) When you do a peer review a new talk page is automatically created. Could this not be done for GA as well?

Maury 21:44, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

When moving to pass, we already have a script for that, but i've been unable to get anyone to help with it enough for it to run. The user who ran it, User:Cedars, left suddenly after some fair use publicity thing and didn't tell anyone how to run User:Cedars/ :( . I thought I had both pearl and cURL installed properly but I can't make this script run... Homestarmy 22:13, 6 February 2007 (UTC)
Can you possibly ask the Village Pump and see if anyone can help you run it there? --Nehrams2020 05:09, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
I did awhile ago, no response. I asked User:Beland and a user who posted on the cURL page about it too, (I think the problem is with cURL now) but no response from either of them. (I think Beland has been busy for awhile) Homestarmy 13:30, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
can you briefly describe the current functionality and the required input/output(any online examples?)? As TMTOWTDI is the Perl motto, I'll bet there is another way to accomplish the same thing without the need for cURL. --Roswell native 15:40, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
The script uses the files for output detailed on Cedar's page, User:Cedars/ It uses cURL to get the text of the main GA page, then checks to make sure the file is downloaded, yet I can't get it to actually put anything in the file it claims it will use :/. It's supposed to take the page and format it in the current GA page layout, then sort the pages, add GA's which have been recently promoted but not listed, (I think) and remove article's which aren't GA's. Someone made the suggestion on another page that the script might be changed to just use a local file, so I could copy the current GA page and have it just change it locally and I upload it myself, but I don't know which parts of the script should be commented out for that :/. Homestarmy 16:18, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
On the topic of making GAC easier to deal with, would anyone mind if I went through GAC and failed anything that didn't have references? I would say something like X articles failed, see talk page for more information in the edit summary. Its mad to have articles here that have no references. RHB Talk - Edits 19:40, 12 February 2007 (UTC)


Need I say more? andreasegde 20:30, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

I'm new to the reviewing process, but I did a couple over the last few days. I'll try to do at least one or two a week to help out. But I'll also be nominating some myself, so I'll probably just be offsetting myself. --Nehrams2020 20:33, 10 February 2007 (UTC)
Good man. andreasegde 21:42, 10 February 2007 (UTC)
Couldn't you help out with some music ones? RHB Talk - Edits 21:45, 10 February 2007 (UTC)
I don't consider myself qualified enough, and I would hate to fail someone without being really sure. andreasegde 15:15, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
I did a couple in the geography section, but I am doubtful that I am qualified enough to be definitive in whether something is (rather than just seems to be) a good article or not. --Kmsiever 15:32, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
We should all start a club. The "Not quite sure, but we'll have a go at it Club". andreasegde 17:09, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
Sounds good to me. I don't think I should be president though; someone more qualified than I should. --Kmsiever 18:43, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
Go on, a bit cliched but be bold!. The backlog is only increasing, by the way :( RHB Talk - Edits 18:48, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
My problem is that I have two pages waiting for a review, and I will surely be accused of failing them because I "want to move up in the queue". "Between a rock and a hard place", as they say... andreasegde 19:00, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
I'm willing to back you up :) RHB Talk - Edits 19:15, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
I am sorely tempted. Thank you, RHB. andreasegde 19:51, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
Same here. I started reviewing GA noms because the ones I've nominated are never going to be reviewed at the rate it was going. —Disavian (talk/contribs) 19:54, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
Likewise. I guess that's how everybody ends up here. --Nehrams2020 20:00, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
Ditto. I'll try and help out. - Mtmelendez 20:15, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

Ladies and Gentlemen, we are now "The Club of GA reviewers". Let's go.... andreasegde 20:41, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

Sounds good. I'm currently working on a school paper due for tomorrow, but I'll definitely try to knock out a lot throughout the week. --Nehrams2020 20:45, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
Since you are now a "club" I would like to present you, on behalf of the Wikiproject Good articles with your own page (found here). Tarret 21:10, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
Be careful of using the word club. Or of any group too defined outside of the main encyclopedia. Just be wary. DoomsDay349 22:24, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
Afraid of anti-Esperanza type deletionists DoomsDay? :D Homestarmy 23:52, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

Not necessarily. I supported deleting Esperanza, in fact. I'm warning them for the same reasons though; to moderately alter George Washington's quote, be wary of the baneful spirit of clubs. Don't get too wrapped up in the concept of a club. DoomsDay349 23:57, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

Note; I reviewed something :) I failed it too. I'm trying to clear out the books section so I can have my article reviewed. *cough cough hint hint wink wink REVIEW IT NOW* XD DoomsDay349 23:58, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

I have a cough drop, but I don't think I can help you with your eye twitch. Nehrams2020 00:06, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
On the topic of clearing the backlog, would anyone mind if I went through GAC and failed anything that didn't have references? I would say something like X articles failed, see talk page for more information (where X = the number of articles) in the edit summary. Its mad to have articles here that have no references. RHB Talk - Edits 19:40, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
Since it is one of the GA criteria required to be passed, I'd say fail it. But it would probably be best if you did it one at a time for the edit summary and make sure you let the nominator of the article know that you failed it. --Nehrams2020 00:16, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
I was thinking of making it a bit less bureaucratic and not leaving messages on talk pages etc though, and only really here on the talk page. I think there are at least 20-30 articles here that arent referenced at all. RHB Talk - Edits 00:34, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
I just think it is better to alert the people who nominate the article who may not watch this page so they can know that their article was failed as soon as possible for them to begin improving it. Just include a basic form letter message saying the article they nominated failed, and to see the article's talk page to see why. --Nehrams2020 00:44, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

If you're new to GA review articles that are an obvious fail, if you're unsure just leave it. And Andreasegde - Don't try to cheat the system changing the date on your nomination [9] I'm changing the date to the correct one. M3tal H3ad 10:28, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

Long articles

Hello all. I nominated an article on the 4th that hasn't even been touched yet so I wanted to get involved and help with the backlog. I have a question about the reviewing criteria for long articles. I wanted to review the Social structure of the United States article (probably not a good choice for my first review, but...hey, what damage could I really do?!?). It is a long article and I read this in the GA review criteria:

For articles longer than about 25 kB, rigorous reviewing of the Wikipedia peer review and featured article candidates guidelines is often more appropriate than the process here.

Does this mean I should review it according to Peer Review or FAC standards and pass or fail accordingly? Although the style and prose is excellent, I was leaning towards failing the article based two of the other GA criteria, but really could go either way. If it has to stand up to the more rigorous criteria of PR & FAC I'm afraid I'd have to "fail" it. I am hesitant to fail an article (especially my first review) without being sure. Any advice?--William Thweatt Talk | Contribs 23:13, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

It's not that the way we grade articles changes much for longer articles, its that often the longer articles sometimes tend to get more benefit from peer review or FAC where people often have the time to give extremely in-depth analysis's which, if they were repeated for GAC's, would likely make the backlog here much, much larger because they would just take so much more time for extensive articles Homestarmy 23:17, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
I wouldn't fail it on length alone, rather suggest that the article could benefit from summarisation. However if it fails other criteria as you said, then it should not be passed. Explain why you believe it didn't meet the criteria on the articles talk page (follow the instructions given on the top of the candidate page). That way they can fix it if they wish and re-submit when its ready. Thanks for helping! Nja247 (talkcontribs) 00:45, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

Backlog Assessment

As of 23:11, 14 February 2007 (UTC), there are 144 unassessed Good Article Candidates. Note that does not include On Hold articles. I reason that, with an average time of ten minutes to review an article, 1 user could clear the entire backlog with 24 hours of work. 2 users makes that 12 hours. 3 users makes it 8 hours. 4 users make it 6 hours. 5 users makes it 4 hours and 48 minutes. 6 users makes it 4 hours. 8 users makes it 3 hours. 10 users makes it about 2 and a half. 12 users makes it about 2 hours. You seeing the figures? We can clear this backlog easily if we just get enough users dedicated. I've started up a message on the community noticeboard, but if you have any ideas on how else to get support, let's think of em. DoomsDay349 23:11, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

Just a note, I take a lot longer then 10 minutes to review an article (unless it's really close to GA status that is). I certainly agree that many hands make light work though, no matter how long a review takes! - Shudda talk 02:19, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
I agree. You can usually tell in the first 10 minutes if you're going to fail it, but even then it takes me at least 10 more minutes to complete the {{FGAN}} template. Most noms seem to be right on the verge of being worthy of GA status and so it takes longer than 10 minutes to decide. But it's worth the time. I encourage everybody who reads this to get involved and take an article for review. I've just recently started and, done right, the process of reviewing an article you've never read before actually improves your own writing skills.--William Thweatt Talk | Contribs 04:41, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
On a encouraging note, as of 13 February 2006 the queue was 162 articles, as of 14 February it was 144 and it is currently 134 articles. Good job :) RHB Talk - Edits

Claim articles to review

I have twice started reviewing an article (very thoroughly) only to see a review get posted while I was working. There should be a mechanism to claim articles for review to prevent duplication of work, especially if more people start reviewing good article candidates. -Selket Talk 23:25, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

How about placing your name next to it, then passing/failing it? Strikethrough the name and put your name after that. RHB Talk - Edits 23:36, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
Works for me. Are you and I enough consensus to start this practice? --Selket Talk 23:50, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
I don't see any possibly problems with it - anyone else care to express their opinion? RHB Talk - Edits 01:27, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
The one thing I can think of is people should write the date that they took an article, in case someone marks one as under review and then gets distracted and forgets about it. After a day or so, someone else should be able to take it. --Selket Talk 06:35, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
Actually, why don't we just add another status message like:
Searchtool.svg Under Review by Selket as of 06:45, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
It can be posted below the request for review just like the approved, rejected, or on hold template. I think That would work nicely. --Selket Talk 06:45, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
That looks really good to me. I think it would be very useful. MLilburne 10:25, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
Why not? I'll add it to the GAC page as a suggestion. RHB Talk - Edits 10:33, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

Support - I like this idea. One of the best aspects of it is that the nominators can also see progress, especially while there's a backlog. --Dweller 10:34, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

Ok, I created a template and put simple, copy/paste instructions on the project page. --Selket Talk 16:35, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

On hold articles

The on hold tag states that the tag only stays in place 7 days. If it's been there for that much time and still doesn't pass, should it be failed? There are two in the television section that haven't corrected all their problems as of yet, and the tags have run out. DoomsDay349 20:59, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

Fail 'em. Since the hold status expires after 7 days, it has to either pass or fail. --JerryOrr 21:01, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
Should that be added to the information on the good article candidates page? Or is it just a guideline? I know I was confused at first.A mcmurray 20:38, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

Based on Good Article statistics...

and my section recount just now, a total of 228 articles have been Good articled this month - the best month so far was around 146 reviewed a while ago - the backlog has somewhat stabilised at around 140 articles too, so the drive for review is going well. Getting fairly close to the landmark 2000 too :) RHB Talk - Edits 00:59, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

Perhaps, but it'd be nice to be sure if we could get gaauto running again, I don't relish the task of trying to check all the articles in the list now heh. Homestarmy 02:42, 22 February 2007 (UTC)


A reviewer put the article Jeff Hanneman on hold six days ago and has disappeared. Myself and another user left him a message on his talk page, but no no avail. I fixed the article to meet his "objections" so could someone else maybe take a look. Thanks. M3tal H3ad 10:23, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

A Quick Question

Just out of interest, why is it that Good Articles have no template that places the GA symbol on the article page itself, like the Featured Article star in the top right-hand corner of the article? Thanks. Colds7ream 10:34, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

Because a featured article gets reviewed by multiple users - much more thorough then GA, and there are some really crappy GA's that get passed. Besides, someone could create two accounts for the single purpose passing their own article to get a GA star or something. M3tal H3ad 10:38, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

Community portal backlog announcement

I put a request for assistance at the main community portal to hopefully get more editors to assist in clearing the backlog. Hopefully this will speed up our current pace. --Nehrams2020 21:27, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

Question - In whici section to list an article?

I have nominated the article "Leonard Orban", European Commissioner on Multilingualism, as GA candidate and I have listed it under "Law and Politics" section as he is politician, but because an important part of the article is about language policy and language rights should I have listed under the "Lanugage" section? --Michkalas 14:04, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

I don't see much problem with your category listing. Homestarmy 14:07, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

Jeff Hanneman

This article was placed on hold on February 16th pending work on criteria concerns raised by a reviewer, which have now been addressed. 7 days is the limit an article can be put on hold, but the reviewer hasn't edited since the 18th despite leaving two messages on their talk page. Can someone objectively review the article and either fail or pass it please? Thanks. LuciferMorgan 22:42, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

The reviewer has placed a [[10]] on my talk page asking for me to pass the article as they're real busy, but I cannot due to conflict of interest. While I didn't improve the article, I'm still a member of the Slayer Wikiproject which rates this article as top importance. Can someone objectively review the article and pass / fail? Thanks. LuciferMorgan 23:10, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
It's been 8 days on hold now. Can someone pass or fail asap? LuciferMorgan 23:59, 24 February 2007 (UTC)
As I understand it, the original reviewer is now happy with the article and simply wanted someone else to sort out the tags for them. Does it really need a whole new review? - Alex valavanis 00:08, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
No doesn't. It's just as I may not be classed as objective, I didn't wish to seem to be out of line and be bending the process. Anyway, someone has reviewed the article and passed it now. Thanks for your time. LuciferMorgan 02:12, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

javascript tool to display an article's rating on the article page

Hello, I've developed a proof-of-concept javascript tool that will display an article's assessed rating on the article page itself. It currently does so by prepending the rating to "From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia", so it becomes "A B-class article from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia." It also changes the color of the article title to roughly match the color scheme of the grades.

To add it to your User:YourUserName/monobook.js file, add this text:

 // Script from [[User:Outriggr/metadata.js]]
 document.write('<script type="text/javascript" src="' 
             + '' 
             + '&action=raw&ctype=text/javascript&dontcountme=s"></s'+'cript>');


  • increase visibility of article ratings; users can more easily determine that an article's rating is way behind the times, for example.
  • gives the user an overall sense of how many articles are rated, and need rating.
  • sets a user's expectation for the article's quality.

This is fairly "simple" right now and I'd welcome any feedback or ideas. Thanks, –Outriggr § 20:48, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

Suggested recommended template name change

Why not change {{GA nominee}} officially to its alternative, {{GAC}}, to match {{fac}} Wouldn't even need to move Template:GA nominee, as there's already a redirect. Thoughts? Adam Cuerden talk 22:47, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

Seems fine to me. Homestarmy 17:48, 7 March 2007 (UTC)


Just to let you know, {{GAquickfail}} has been nominated for deletion here. —Disavian (talk/contribs) 17:25, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

When GA a review is not a review

When an editor has been heavily involved in an article or series of articles, that editor should not be involved in writing reviews, as it simply asserting that editor's opinion colored by the content disputes that editor has been involved with, rather than providing an objective e4valuation of an article. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 22:39, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

...Well, yes, it's alreadly in the rules that editors who signifigantly contribute to an article shouldn't review it, is there some particular problem you have with a reviewer? Homestarmy 22:50, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
Yes. See Diff ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 22:54, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
I see your point. In full honesty I made some consistent editing to Egyptian Invasion of Mani, that I passed, after if was put among the GAC by an editor, as I didn't see anything wrong on working with the grammar and formatting problems, since I did this after the article was candidated.--Aldux 23:02, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
The article in question looks like WP:GA/R material to me, unless someone else gives a review that everyone is happy with. Homestarmy 23:34, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
Could you please clarify? I am not sure I understand what you said. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 23:56, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
I'm saying that if the argument isn't resolved by a non-involved reviewer reviewing the article you're concerned about or doesn't make a decision you or other people can agree with, then you can file a Good Article review over this article to settle the dispute. Homestarmy 00:01, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 00:08, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

Myrtle Avenue Line (surface)

Good morning (GMT time) all; the above article has been reviewed by myself and rejected GA status in accordance with the GA criteria, and as expressed at my original review. However, a lead editor of the article has been objecting to my review.

I have persevered for around 10 posts, as seen at User talk:Anthony cfc, but am getting nowhere. I would rather not frustrate the user any more (as well as myself :) so I'd like one of my fellow GA reviewers to re-review the case as soon as possible. This is as an alternative to seeking a GA Review, as the way the editor appears to see it my decision was ill-informed in the first place and therefore is not valid.

Kind regards,
anthonycfc [talk] 08:08, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

Thank you for posting this here. For others: I do not understand how the article does not meet the criteria. I would like an explanation, rather than just "it doesn't meet the criteria". --NE2 08:11, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
For the record, I explained at Talk:Myrtle Avenue Line (surface), as well as at user talk:anthony cfc, but the user still seemed to require more information which I could not offer.
I also explained that the contributions already made were valued and they simply needed to be built on by accepting the advice at the article's talk page.
anthonycfc [talk] 08:17, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
The only advice you gave was "please review WP:GA? for the GA Criteria, and then work from there". --NE2 08:24, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

Hmmm the review seems pretty short sighted "Improve it", "Make it better", "add more info", "Go to the library to get info" You need to be specific, what needs to be added? What needs to be improved? don't just say it needs improvement without giving any detail.

  • (b) a lack of images does not in itself prevent an article from achieving Good Article status. While pictures are not a requirement it will greatly improve the article - as this article has no infobox

For the author -

  • Remove the red links from see also (no point linking to an article that doesn't exist)
  • Remove the red link from that one reference - makes it ugly :|
  • Only bold text in the first sentence one the first mention of the article name
  • Is there some type of infobox this article could use?
  • There is no point of having 'this article is X, for the person see X when the article doesn't exist.

It's easy to read but all the red links make it not very attractive, could some be reduced? An infobox or/and picture in the top right will pretty much make it formatted better and third paragraph under history is a bit choppy. M3tal H3ad 08:25, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

Thank you for the comments. I disagree with you about red links; these are all things that will have articles (including the one in the reference), and it is easier to include them now than to later, when the articles are written, try to find everywhere that should have had a link. I do only bold the first mention of each name; the names are similar but not identical. I do not believe there is an infobox for surface transit lines, only for railroad companies. --NE2 08:34, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
I believe this is supposed to put at GA review, but since it's here, I'll leave a few comments. Although the article is well-sourced, it is lacking in some of the other areas. The lead does need to be expanded, but I could see how that could be difficult due to the lenghth of the article. I believe that the article needs to be expanded more with other sections of information, because it doesn't appear to cover the broad criteria. Examples could include a section about the models of buses, trolleys, etc. used, statistics if available about number of people who used it, any mention of its success or use by city officials, or any new technology that would adopted by other cities (these are possibly poor suggestions, but brainstorm or look to any similar articles for ideas). For images, maybe you can design a map of the streets yourself with some computer program and upload it, making it as visually appealing and accurate as possible. I believe by expanding and adding an image (although it is not the sole requirement) plus addressing any issues brought up by Anthonycfc could assist in getting the article to GA. However, at this point, I don't think it would pass. --Nehrams2020 08:28, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
I don't think there is anything else that could be added. Any information about the models of trolleys would fit in Brooklyn City Railroad, not here. --NE2 08:34, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
The point of a See Also section is to link to other articles that exist on Wikipedia, hence the name "See Also" the user has nothing to see with red linked articles. M3tal H3ad 08:36, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
The user will have something to see once those articles are written. On the other hand, if those links are removed, I will probably not remember to restore them when I write the articles. If it's a choice between making the article better in the long run and immediatism to meet what you think a Good Article should be, I know which one I'm going to choose. --NE2 08:38, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
I don't think there is anything else that could be added. Any information about the models of trolleys would fit in Brooklyn City Railroad, not here. --NE2 08:34, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
This article totally belongs at GA Review, but since it's not I will endorse failure here.
  • Very narrow in coverage. The article is essentially a history of the routes the Myrtle Avenue line covered. Not a word about significance to the city, overall transportation system or even the borough of Brooklyn. (Note even close to passing criteria #3)
  • Read WP:MOS, watch all the red links, either stub them or lose them.
  • Combine refs, using <ref name=>
  • Lose unnecessary bolding.
  • Intro should conform to WP:LEAD.
  • This article, all in all, is barely more than a stub.

IvoShandor 08:44, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for the comments; I've decided to not care about Good Articles any more, and instead strive to be as good as possible rather than "dumbing down" to the Good Article criteria. Cheers. --NE2 08:52, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

I think you have to bring it up to the GA criteria ;) M3tal H3ad 08:56, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
Not when the criteria (or your interpretation of them) involve removing links. --NE2 09:00, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
See also. M3tal H3ad 09:38, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
Although that is fair to do, the criteria is a fair example of what an article should be, and almost 2,000 articles have met its requirements. The reviewers here are always striving to compare the articles to the criteria, and from what I've seen, want to make sure that articles earn the GA status according to these criteria. Thanks for attempting the GA process and do consider it in the future, perhaps with other articles. --Nehrams2020 08:59, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
I am sorry, but "dumbing down" your article, as you call it, would be happening how? As stated the article's coverage is too narrow. It talks about only one aspect of its topic and thus fails criteria number three. Feel free to resubmit when these concerns are met. There is no reason to storm off in a huff because the editors here want the article to be the best it can be and match up to the criteria before it is promoted to GA status. IvoShandor 09:07, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
Also suggest reading WP:MOS-L. As overlinking can be very very distracting to the reader. Internal links should enhance the reader's experience not hinder it. IvoShandor 09:10, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
Don't even bother talking to that guy anymore. If he's so much smarter than the rest of us, he can go start his own damn wiki. We'll even let him use our material. --Ideogram 09:19, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
You do not have the right to remove talk page comments, even if you think they are personal attacks. If you believe they are personal attacks, you can ask an admin to intervene. --Ideogram 09:39, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
Please do not make personal attacks - it is a blockable offence. anthonycfc [talk] 17:10, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

Separation of Law and Politics

There are numerous articles in this part. This will cause to delay. Therefore I suggest to separate Law and politics.--Sa.vakilian(t-c) 03:15, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

  • I agree that the section should be split. I was thinking more of a split into 'Politician Biographies' and 'Law and Politics'. Because: First of all, it would be easier to monitor critical articles according to WP:BLP and second, some people don't like reading biographies, while others specialize ion them. Such a split might attract more reviewers.--DorisHノート 09:30, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

Slow process

I found that reviewing of nominations is very slow and there is a stack of articles. How can we do it faster?--Sa.vakilian(t-c) 08:34, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

It's just slow, too many nominees not enough editors, not enough time. Personally I take about one hour (give or take) per review if I am really ramped up to do one. There are a lot of particpants listed on the Good article project page. But it seems to me it's just slow. I go through spats where I will review a whole bunch and then maybe not so much for awhile. An announcement at the community bulletin board or something might help, a call for experienced editors. IvoShandor 08:40, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
I've noticed - I currently have two articles waiting to be reviewed. LuciferMorgan 00:36, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

WarningThere's accumulation of the articles. I compared December 4 [11] with March 29 [12] and found that about 40 articles have been added to the list. There were 122 articles on December 4 and 160 articles on March 29. Approximately the rate of accumulation is 10 article per month. --Sa.vakilian(t-c) 15:20, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

I made another request for assistance at the community portal asking people to come help review. --Nehrams2020 22:44, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
WE can facilitate the process.
  1. A reviewer can reject an article by checking one of GA criteria. For example if the photos of an article don't have fair use rational, reviewer can put on hold or fail tag without checking the other criteria.
  2. Also we can put some more criteria for candidacy. For example each article should have three nominator.
  3. Wikipedians who are active in wikiprojects can help us with the articles which relate to their wikiproject. For example we can make a task force for good articles in Wikipedia:WikiProject Islam#Task forces and let them help us.
  4. We can facilitate the criteria. At present GA criteria and FA criteria are the same. --Sa.vakilian(t-c) 04:35, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
I would be concerned about adding more bureaucracy to the process (re: 3 nominators). I would also be leery about Wiki-projects judging their own articles. As a member of the Wine Project, there is immense benefit in having an objective, third party review on our articles. It gives us a greater opportunity to know what the average wikipedia reader (who may not be a wine expert or wine lover) will perceive of the article. However, Wiki projects should probably help a little more in reviewing non-project related articles to help alleviate the backlog. Seeing as the Wine Project has a couple articles in the que, I'll drop a note on our page and see if we can help out a little. AgneCheese/Wine 06:20, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
Actually, I disagree with point 3 as well. I try to avoid reviewing articles I know a lot about or have a personal stake in. Instead, I prefer to become involved in improving those articled per WP:BOLD. I only tend to review articles I know little about or care little about, since I tend to be impartial, and also tend to focus on issues such as quality of prose, depth of referencing, organization, NPOV, etc. etc. WikiProjects already use the quality scale (stub, start, B-class, A-class) where people involved in the project can rate the articles. GA review should be an impartial application of the WP:WIAGA criteria. As to the issue of the backlog, I see a few ways to fix it:
  1. Recruit more project members via notices on Village Pump and Community Portal and Signpost
  2. Send notes to the talkpages of project members requesting that they pitch in and help
  3. Start a regular newsletter sent to all project members to notify them of progress and particular needs.
Other than that, its just going to take a concerted effort on our part to slog through these. For the record, a 3 week backlog (which is what this appears to have, on average) is nothing. Other cleanup projects, like Wikify and Catagorization, have backlogs that stretch back months (try October 2006). --Jayron32|talk|contribs 06:34, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

Very good point about not reviewing articles you're an expert in, in my opinion. The articles are expert-checked at the A-class-level anyhow. I also agree with Ivo and Jayron that we should access the large pool of participants in the good article project and notify them somehow. A newsletter would be a good idea.--DorisHノート 06:42, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

The notes on talk pages are a good idea. WikiProjects reviewing their own articles isn't. What do you mean by "facilitate the criteria?" I don't think the FA and GA criteria are exactly the same.
What we need to do is clarify, once and for all, when an article can be quick failed, as with the FU rationale. This should be added to the page where it talks about reviews, this could also help eliminate the backlog. I think too few of us truly know when to quick fail an article because it really isn't outlined anywhere (readily accesible anyway). IvoShandor 06:43, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
I insist on first and second proposal. There should be an instruction for quick failed. Also "three nominators" isn't hard criteria. It will reduce the acceleration of accumulation. --Sa.vakilian(t-c) 07:54, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

When to quickfail an article for GA: DRAFT

Thanks to Ivo for the idea. Feel free to add your own additions to this list:


The following criteria can be used to decide when it is appropriate to quick-fail a Good Article nominee without an extensive review

1. There is an image in obvious violation of Fair Use or Copyright policies, (EDIT): or large portions of text that are violate copyright policies. IvoShandor 12:03, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

2. There are NO references at all (note, the lack of inline citations should not be an automatic quick fail. Some articles do not owe themselves to the use of inline citations, but ALL articles should be referenced to reliable sources)

  • Comment: I would reword this to there are inadequate references. A 35kb article with one or two references should automatically fail, that's just an example. IvoShandor 12:09, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

3. Tags:The article should be failed if it has tags like clean up, wikify, etc .

4. Lists: articles titled "List" or article that are mostly lists in content. List articles should be referred to Wikipedia:Featured lists where appropriate. IvoShandor 12:13, 30 March 2007 (UTC) END OF DRAFT

Feel free to add some more ideas above. This could be a useful addition to WP:WIAGA. --Jayron32|talk|contribs 06:54, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

I propose Tags. --Sa.vakilian(t-c) 07:57, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

Tag failure without investigating the issues should be discouraged however. Thus I recommend leaving tags off, as it is likely to create confusion. IvoShandor 08:01, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
We can investigate whether tag is correct or not. But if it was correct, we would leave other issues.--Sa.vakilian(t-c) 11:58, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
I can live with that. But it should be stipulated explicitly when this draft goes live. IvoShandor 12:14, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
What about lists and the like, either full lists, such as List of F-Zero titles or articles that are mostly lists? They obviously fail criteria #1. IvoShandor 08:02, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
There are featured lists, it depends on the content whether it is appropriate to present it as a list.--DorisHノート 08:12, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
Not according to a recent GA review. I guess it's still open. But this is Good articles, there doesn't seem to be anyway to include a list and still have it pass as "well written."IvoShandor 08:26, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
That's precisely why Wikipedia:Featured lists exists. IvoShandor 08:26, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
What I am getting at is a list can never be well written, it can only be well listed. IvoShandor 08:27, 30 March 2007 (UTC)