Wikipedia talk:Good articles/Archive 11

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Book of Mormon GA problem

I'm having a bit of a problem here. Someone promoted this article to GA status without going through any sort of process, wikiproject or otherwise. I changed it back, explaining that it needed to go through the process, but was reverted. What do I do now? Wrad 21:11, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

Take it to WP:GAR. Geometry guy 21:19, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
Nevermind, I've got a good dialogue going there now. Seems to be sorting out. Wrad 21:29, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

Evolutionary history of life GA review

the page was nominated on 27 august 2007 and its been a month now; nobody stood for reviewing it. i started up the article and have added up the whole content to the article. it means i can't review it. but i promise you guys that i will follow an unbiased approach in reviewing. if any body has a problem then it is henceforth requested to review the article without hesitating. rather i request you guys to review since i am waiting to move on to other articles. thanks, Sushant gupta 11:43, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

I'll review it. Give me today to begin and until Friday to finish. I'll post as I go so that any changes can be worked on while I continue to go over it. LaraLove 12:23, 26 September 2007 (UTC)


How about adding The Good article symbol Symbol support vote.svginto the top of every Good article . such as Featured articles, they have a brown star Featured article star.svgon the top of the article . Ammar (Talk - Don't Talk) 10:03, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

There have been multiple discussions over the topic, but no consensus on the matter. Homestarmy 14:13, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
Homestarmy also basically covered the essentials, but I should add that proposals of this nature should be discussed at WikiProject Good Articles instead of here, since that is the wikiproject that oversees the GA program as a whole. Dr. Cash 18:11, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
GA's, that anyone can promote, are not so suitable for such a symbol. A possibility is to create a class between GA and FA (or use the already existing A-class), that would be used by voting on GA:s. Other Wikipedias (German, Swedish..) have two vote-classes. This class could use a symbol, as those Wikipedias have. / Fred-J 17:46, 10 October 2007 (UTC)
What would be different from FA, then? Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 02:22, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
Lower requirements. / Fred-J 15:57, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

We don't need any more classes. We've already got too many. And we certainly don't need another class that requires reviews, we already have more reviews than participation can keep up with in FA, GA and PR. LaraLove 16:00, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

I don't think he's saying to add a class, just to add a symbol for a class. Wikipedias in other languages are already putting the GA symbol in the corner (and they aren't imploding because of it, either :P ). Wrad 16:18, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
My suggestion isn't as radical as Lara thinks. It is basically just a screening of GAs, to sort out GAs that aren't really GAs. A dedicated group of GA reviewers could go through recently promoted GAs and add the GA symbol to them if they appear properly reviewed.
Fred-J 16:15, 23 October 2007 (UTC)
We're already doing that. T Rex | talk 18:02, 23 October 2007 (UTC)
And expect to finish by 2012. OhanaUnitedTalk page 18:13, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

Proper limits of GA reviewing?

Hi, I recently took on my first GA review, Harold Pinter, but I may have transgressed the proper etiquette and would appreciate some guidance. My main criticism was that the article was written in complex sentences that were sometimes very difficult to parse for lay-people who lack the background of a Pinter scholar. Unfortunately, the chief author is a long-time Pinter scholar who naturally finds his own prose transparent. We have worked out a mutually agreeable way of me clarifying some of the more complex constructions, and him checking that the accuracy has not been impugned. But we're wondering whether this violates the separation of reviewer and editor, and whether another should take over as GA reviewer? Fortunately, another has, Jay Henry, so this is a real possibility. Any advice would be very welcome! :) Willow 15:31, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

The GA guidelines only require that the reviewer has not substantially edited the article before they review it. Once reviewing begins (either at WP:GAN or WP:GAR) it is not regarded as a conflict of interest to both review and edit the article. Indeed, in my view, the more that reviewers contribute to the article, the better, as the GA process is primarily about improving articles. One of the reasons this is not a concern is that any uninvolved editor can delist the article if they believe the review was in error. Geometry guy 20:26, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

Dividing the categories

Would anyone object to dividing some of the larger top-level categories into smaller top level categories? (eg:Separating the "Media" section into "Films" and "Television and journalism") --Tarret talk 20:01, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

Sounds fine to me. LaraLove 16:25, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
I like that specific example. What else do you have in mind? Wrad 16:31, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
For other examples I was thinking about seperating recreation into "Sports and recreation" and "Computer and video games". If anyone else has anymore suggestions feel free to say so. Tarret talk 19:34, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
No place for Miscellaneous GA? It's a given Topic when placing passed GA tags but then when you come to add it to the list here, there's no place for it. Chris Crocker (Internet celebrity) is the article and I can't find in the current cats where to put him/the article. Nevermind, I figured it out. -- ALLSTAR ECHO 22:39, 7 October 2007 (UTC)
I think such a division is a good idea. Note that any changes here need to be matched by corresponding changes at WP:GAN. Geometry guy 19:15, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

Further to this discussion, and the one below on Physics and Astronomy, there is now a workshop on the current categorization, which aims in particular to harmonize the GA and WP1.0 lists. Further details at WT:WGA. As for the split of "recreation", if there are no objections, I will do it in a day or two. Geometry guy 20:57, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

A-class good articles

All good articles seem to be categorized automatically as GA-Class Good articles. How can a good article be categorized as a A-Class Good article instead? – Ilse@ 09:16, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

I think that category is only used for maintenance purposes by the 1.0 bot. Homestarmy 11:12, 8 October 2007 (UTC)


Anybody have any idea what this should be categorised under? I've added it, but I'm really not sure where it should go. Dihydrogen Monoxide (H2O) 09:26, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

I would put it under recreation since people are actually playing it. --Bloodzombie 15:21, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

Batman (1989 film)

This article was promoted without going through the proper process. I'm not sure how to fix it. Wrad 17:13, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

It passed after review almost a year ago. You can see the review here. If you believe it fails to meet the criteria, list the problems on the talk page and give a week for them to be fixed. If you think there's too many issues for that, nom it at GAR unless it clearly fails on many aspects, in which case, just boldly delist it and leave a note. LaraLove 17:18, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
Weird. Then why did someone just add it on this page? Wrad 17:20, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure. Perhaps someone just came upon the AH template on another page and decided to add it. But it's all linked in the archives. LaraLove 17:21, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
It just threw me off, because the review itself had been archived and I couldn't see it. Oh well, glad I brought it here before doing anything rash. Wrad 19:18, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
OK, there's a big confussion going on. Batman Begins IS NOT the same thing as Batman (1989 film). User:LaraLove passed BATMAN BEGINS and i am still reviewing the other one. Today a heavy editor of Batman (1989 film) (User:Wildroot) passed the article and added to the GA list using a sock puppet (User:lightbulbinspector, proof of sockpuppetry in the userpage history). He even left me a message in my talk page telling me that "another user" had reviewed the article for me. I undid the listing (that's why it's not on the list anymore but still on the "recent adds to the list" box) and another user removed the GA tag of the talk page. I am still reviewing the article. Yamanbaiia 19:56, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
Alright. The whole thing really did seem fishy to me, with a new user adding an article to GA without any real review on the talk page. Yes, we are talking about something different from Batman Begins. Wrad 20:00, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

How the Hell did I end up at Batman Begins from Batman (1989 film)? It wasn't even in the wee hours of the morning! I must be losing it. o.O I didn't pass that article, however. It was passed back in my IP editor days. LaraLove 15:04, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

The user used fake links to throw us off. T Rex | talk 22:54, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

The Signpost

Should we alert them to the news that we've hit 3000? How does that work? Wrad 01:13, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

I think we did before when we reached 3,000 back a couple of months back, but I don't think they mentioned it. I think since it's happened before the may not mention it, but if you want to give it a try, leave a message at their tip line. --Nehrams2020 01:15, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
Uh, according to the GA statistics, 3000 is a new milestone. We hit 2000 back in March, but not 3000. Dr. Cash 06:26, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
Ah, yes you're definitely right. I was trying to find the 3,000 figure everywhere in the archives, so I can now see why I wasn't having too much success. Thanks for correcting me. --Nehrams2020 06:48, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

According to the edit history, it looks like the 3,000th article is New York State Route 9A, promoted to GA status by NF24(radio me!Editor review) at 23:31, 28 October 2007 (UTC). Dr. Cash 06:46, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

Template:ContentReviewMedal alternative to GAMedal

People were talking about the need for an award for Peer Review, so I made Template:ContentReviewMedal. However, it's not only for PR; can be used for FA GA PR etc. --Ling.Nut 08:10, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

Ah, that's wonderful. I have a perfect use for that. Thank you, Ling.Nut. Beautiful work. LaraLove 14:54, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
I stand ready to serve, ma'am. --Ling.Nut 14:58, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

GA citation debate

I believe I am one of the most productive WP:GA authors. At last count I had 38 current GA credits plus two that have been promoted to WP:FA. For some time, I have constantly had WP:GACs in the queue for review. In the month of October at one time I had 9 GACs, as shown here, in the in the queue. In October, I had at least 7 GA promotions: including Rush Street (Chicago), Ricky Powers, Washington Park, Chicago (neighborhood), Chicago Marathon, Harold Washington Cultural Center, Haystacks (Monet), Prairie Avenue, and Rainbow/PUSH.

Last month I posted Gilbert Perreault at WP:GAR (see Wikipedia:Good_article_reassessment/Archive_31#Gilbert_Perreault) because I felt it was being destroyed by another editor who was removing citations. The GAR was headed to a consensus to keep the article with the citations replaced. Then, User:Geometry guy closed the discussion as inappropriate for GAR and suggested I take it to WP:RFC.

You may recall that I had first taken the article to the talk pages of both WP:HOCKEY and WP:WPBIO without reply and then requested help at WP:PR after much back and forth editing and arguing.

Much to my surprise the RFC is headed toward a consensus to allow the removal of my citations and essentially authorizing people to remove citations at will if they are in the mood as has been pointed out in the debate. However, it is my opinion that I am being baited in the debate especially by User:Djasso who is making it appear that I am doing some unscrupulous. My most serious concern is that the way the debate is going, it seems to authorize citation removal from WP:GA beyond what I believe is appropriate and I feel I have a good sense of what is appropriate for a good article. Furthermore, the way debate is going it appears I will be handcuffed to sit by. I am very fearful that the persons I am debating with intend to tear the citations out of the GAs I have contributed and sort of need some backup so it does not happen. I had been thinking my work at finding citations was valued, but I am not so sure.

I am hoping that others here are concerned about protecting good articles will help reverse the debate back in line with the direction it was headed while at GAR. Please see Talk:Gilbert_Perreault#RFC.--TonyTheTiger (t/c/bio/tcfkaWCDbwincowtchatlotpsoplrttaDCLaM) 08:13, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

Repartitioning of Physics and astronomy

The current structure is a bit illogical. For instance, extrasolar planets share the same subsection with some Solar System (SS) planets (Planets, dwarf planets and moons). However some of the SS bodies are in Astronomy subsection now. I propose instead to divided Physics and astronomy into following subsections:

  • Astronomers and physicists
  • Astronomy
  • Extrasolar planets
  • Physics
  • Solar System
  • Space Missions, projects and organizations
  • Stars, constellations and clusters

Ruslik 13:14, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

Yes, the current structure is rather awkward: I also like your idea to move organizations and projects together with missions. I would further propose to separate astronomy from cosmology and astrophysics, and merge constellations into astronomy. This would allow the extrasolar planets (a rather specialist topic) to be merged with stars to give something like...
  • Astronomers and physicists
  • Astronomy
  • Astrophysics and cosmology
  • Physics
  • Solar System
  • Space organizations, projects and missions
  • Stars, galaxies and extrasolar objects
Geometry guy 14:42, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

Astrophysics is too broad. It is almost a synonym for Astronomy. I think the better variant is:

  • Astronomers and physicists
  • Astronomy
  • Galaxies and cosmology
  • Physics
  • Solar System
  • Space organizations, projects and missions
  • Stars and extrasolar planets

Ruslik 19:32, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

I see that according to Wikipedia, astrophysics is a synonym for astronomy. This is not the impression I have either as a lay person or a mathematician/scientist: to me, "astrophysics" explicitly excludes aspects of astronomy which are concerned with how we view the universe from our location on the Earth. Thus constellations, telescopes, observatories, planetariums and heliocentrism are not part of astrophysics, but they are astronomy. That was the distinction I was trying to make: can you make it in a better way? Also, where do extrasolar objects like nebulae fit into your version? Anyway, I'm happy to go along with the views of experts, and we seem to be converging! Geometry guy 20:22, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
I said 'almost'. In fact many articles can be classified either astronomy or astrophysics and this will be the source of confusion. The second your concern is actually valid, but 'extrasolar objects' sound a bit strange, for me at least. So the last item can be named like 'Milky Way galaxy' meaning any object inside it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ruslik0 (talkcontribs) 10:08, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
Okay, but I think the main issue is to agree on how to subdivide the articles: we can get the names right afterwards. Here we seem to disagree on two minor points: whether to group galaxies with stars or with cosmology, and whether to group things like telescopes with things like dark matter. I had a go at regrouping the articles along the lines we have been suggesting, and I realised that the "Space organizations, projects and missions" is still very small, so why not have a subdivision on "Observational astronomy and space exploration" (or something like that)? The corresponding splitting can be found on a user subpage of mine. Geometry guy 17:47, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
Ok, I only renamed 'Astronomy and cosmology' to 'Astronomy and astrophysics' and reclassified one article. Ruslik 08:36, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Just implemented this new division. Ruslik 08:46, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

I agree with your changes. So on this vital issue ;-) we have a clear consensus among all (2) contributing editors. More seriously, many thanks for suggesting and implementing this re-division: it is a big improvement. Geometry guy 20:25, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

European Islands

European islands have their own section in Geography Good Articles rather than being included in Places - Europe Is this useful or is it a section too many? I have no opinion one way or the other, I just want to see waht other people here think. Lurker (said · done) 19:24, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

GA at AfD

As information, a GA has been nominated for deletion. Please consider commenting at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/300-page iPhone bill (second nomination). Dhaluza (talk) 17:39, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Some articles are categorised as GA on the talk pages, even when they're not

For example, see Talk:Ottoman Empire.--h i s s p a c e r e s e a r c h 06:20, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

You mean the project ratings? If so, someone should change them, but it's not in Category:Wikipedia good articles. Gimmetrow 06:29, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

putting places in parentheses with date of birth or death

.. is fast becoming my new pet peeve. It is verboten, see Wikipedia:Manual of Style (dates and numbers)#Dates of birth and death. For an example of a GA (until a few minutes ago) that trespassed against this fair rule, see Seymour H. Knox I...Thanks Ling.Nut (talk) 13:14, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

Correct section?

I just passed Mon Calamari cruiser and added it to the Television and journalism section because that's where TIE fighter was. This doesn't seem quite right to me, is it? - Peregrine Fisher (talk) 06:46, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

This is an artifact of the recent split of "Media" into "Films" and "Television and journalism". Most of the section on "Fictional characters and technology" should probably be moved to "Film". Anime is also a form of film, and should be moved there, probably broadening it to "Animation". Although Manga can refer to film, it is primarily a type of comic, and would be better placed under "literature" (indeed Golden Boy (manga) is listed twice on the GA page).
In any case, the organisation here needs a bit of a rethink: most film, and some television, is primarily a creative art, and would be much more at home if it were united with "Theatre" as a subtopic of "Arts". Geometry guy 09:43, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
Of course such a move requires a bit of work (changing topic parameters), but I'm happy to do it, and there seem to be no objections. Geometry guy 18:01, 1 December 2007 (UTC)


Wow, so less than 0.2% of wikipedia articles are good??? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:19, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

By whose standard? GA is just a nominal thing. An article can be good and not be GA. It can also, though we try to avoid it, not be good and still be GA. Good is such a vague term. The correct way to say it would be: 0.2% of articles are rated as GA quality. Wrad (talk) 16:54, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

Jean Charles de Menezes

was not a politician. Can somebody who's more familiar with the categorization scheme suggest where this article should be listed instead?P4k 02:31, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

WikiProject Good Articles Newsletter for December 2007

The December 2007 issue of the WikiProject Good Articles newsletter has been published. Comments are welcome on this, as well as suggestions or offers of assistance for the January 2008 issue. Dr. Cash 01:24, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

Recommendation: make GA less process-oriented

I don't know about anybody else, but GA processes are now so extremely complicated that I cannot figure them out. It's easier to nominate an article for FA than it is to figure out the weird process of nominations/renominations/reassessments etc. found at this project. Can't we streamline the whole thing? For example, let's get rid of the reassessment page and just allow users to renominate articles with prejudice.

ScienceApologist (talk) 19:35, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

I'd agree. I don't understand the need for anything more than a nomination and review process, akin to FA and as it stood for a long time. Renominating could be handled by simply relisting the article using the second opinion tags. Vassyana (talk) 05:24, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
Strong Disagree. The reassessment page has precedent; it is equivalent to WP:FAR. It is extremely valuable because it places several eyes on one article. Although it has evolved through time, it has served an extremely valuable purpose throught its history. The process as a whole is may be styreamlined slightly, but only slightly! It has become more complicated than its original incarnation because, over time, there have been shrill, vociferous, painful arguments (which I assume the two editors above weren't around to see) about the process being too simple and not providing various options, warnings, etc. to the dedicated editors of an article. I suggest that it is not difficult to understand; I do not share the opposing opinion. It may be a bit too tedious to implement (too many steps). There has been some talk of automating or perhaps eliminating a few of the more minor steps in the process, but sweeping statements that "it's too complicated" are unwarranted. 'Nuff said. Ling.Nut (talk) 06:05, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
It's hardly comparable to FA. FA has two processes , nomination and review. GA, as it stands, has five. An article has three chances for listing (nom review, second opinion, reassessment) and two for delisting (delisting reassessment, delisting "appeal" reassessment). Let's get back to basics. If an "appeals" process is really needed, it's nothing asking for a second opinion can't handle. I really fail to see the need for all these layers of reassessments. I also don't see why delisting cannot be handled in the same way as nominations. Are a small but vocal handful of contributors going to bitch, whine and complain when "their" article is failed or delisted? Of course. But, that's no reason to make additional layers and if they want a !vote style review, they're welcome to take the article to FA. Vassyana (talk) 12:31, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
You make a good case (somewhat more concisely than I do below!) and I've also been wondering whether we can combine nominations for listing with nominations for delisting in some way. On the other hand, GAR has proved useful in handling controversial article assessments and articles on controversial topics. One advantage is that it involves editors with no particular interest in the article, whereas GA reviewers often pick articles of interest to them. Geometry guy 16:23, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
Um, there is no process. Nominate it. If someone reviews it and passes it, then its a GA. If they fail it, then fix the problems they note. What is the problem??? --Jayron32|talk|contribs 06:29, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
If it were that simple, we wouldn't be having this discussion. Vassyana (talk) 12:32, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

What Jayron32 said, except that second opinions and the reassment process are used to settle disputes about whether an article deserves GA status. The GA process is far simpler and less bureaucratic than the FA process - did I forget to mention that the GA criteria are less demanding? --J.L.W.S. The Special One (talk) 12:40, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

I have some sympathy here. Even though I'm much involved in GAR, I think it is over-used. Most articles brought there are uncontroversial delistings which should just be done. I'd like GAR to be unnecessary, but sometimes it disagreements arise about whether an article meets the criteria, and then it is invaluable to have several editors look at the article at the same time to reach a consensus. This is not possible within the one nominator one reviewer model.
As for process, yes, it needs to be streamlined, and automation of some parts of it is on my agenda. GA is marvellously simple in conception (one nominator, one reviewer), but I think that those who have been with the project for some time can be a bit blind to just how complex it is for the newcomer. Let me flesh out the "no process" described by Jayron for nominating and reviewing articles.
  1. Nominator adds the article at the bottom of the relevant section of WP:GAN using the syntax: "# {{la|ArticleName}} ~~~~" with an edit summary of "Nominating ArticleName".
  2. Nominator adds {{GAnominee}} with the date to the top of the article's talk page.
    Comment redundant. Choose one of the above two steps for the reviewer to do; automate the other. Ling.Nut (talk) 01:14, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
  3. At some point, a editor previously uninvolved with the article may come along and offer to review the article, but there are about 200 articles listed on the GAN page, so this may take a while.
  4. Reviewer adds "#:{{tl|GAReview}} ~~~~" under the article listing at WP:GAN.
    Comment Eliminate the template. Actively discourages other editors from joining in the review. Ling.Nut (talk) 01:14, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
  5. Reviewer may "quick-fail" the article if it clearly doesn't meet the criteria, for one of several reasons listed at Wikipedia:Reviewing_good_articles, a guideline consisting of 13KB of text (about the same length as WP:V).
  6. Reviewer checks the article against the criteria. (Only 5KB, but still longer than the featured article criteria.)
  7. If the article meets the criteria, the reviewer will pass the article.
    • Reviewer removes the article from the nominations list using the edit summary "Passed ArticleName".
    • Reviewer replaces the {{GAnominee}} template on the article's talk page and either adds a {{GA}} template including an oldid and a topic, or updates the {{ArticleHistory}} template, with a GAN action, date, oldid, result and topic.
    • Reviewer and/or nominator updates WikiProject ratings where appropriate.
    • Reviewer adds the article in alphabetical order to the appropriate place on the list at WP:GA, updating the number of articles in that section.
    • Reviewer adds the article to "recently listed good articles".
    • Reviewer updates the GA count (actually this is essentially pointless, because the count is maintained by a bot).
    Comment Redundant. Choose one of the above six (or five) steps for the reviewer to do; automate the rest. Can the ArticleHist template be automated? Ling.Nut (talk) 01:14, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
    • Reviewer leaves a review on the talk page, possibly using a template such as {{GAList}}, explaining why the article passes and making suggestions for improvements.
    Comment Keep. Useful. Ling.Nut (talk) 01:14, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
  8. If the article does not meet the criteria, but might do with a bit of work, the reviewer puts the article "on hold"
    • Reviewer adds "#: {{GAOnHold|ArticleName}} ~~~~" under the article listing at WP:GAN.
    • Reviewer replaces the {{GAnominee}} template with {{GAonhold}} (note the cunningly different capitalization) and the date.
    • Reviewer leaves a review on the talk page, possibly using a template such as {{GAList}}, explaining what needs to be done to meet the criteria.
  9. If the article does not meet the criteria, and will not in the near future, even with the reviewer's help, or has been left on hold for more than a week without sufficient improvement, the reviewer may fail the article.
    Comment The On Hold scenario could be avoided if there were a standardized, readily accessible method for reviewers to indicate in their review that the article is near GA, and a corresponding way for re-nominees to refer to that fact in the re-nomination. This could also be tricky, but it seems like it might be made less so than the On Hold scenario. Ling.Nut (talk) 01:14, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
    • Reviewer removes the article from the nominations list using the edit summary "Failed Article Name".
      Comment Keep this or some other similarly quick step.
    • Reviewer replaces {{GAnominee}} from the article's talk page and either adds {{FailedGA}} with the date, or updates the {{ArticleHistory}} template, with a GAN action, date, oldid, result and topic.
      Comment Automate; see comments elsewhere above. Ling.Nut (talk) 01:14, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
    • Reviewer leaves a review on the talk page, possibly using a template such as {{GAList}}, explaining why the article does not meet the criteria.
      Comment Keep; useful. Ling.Nut (talk) 01:14, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
    • If the article is simply lacking in references, the reviewer adds the article to the Unreferenced GA Nominations list.
      Comment: Could this be automated? Maybe a template with yes/no boxes for "near pass" (see the On Hold scenario above) or "needs refs"? Ling.Nut (talk) 01:14, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
  10. If the reviewer is not sure whether the article meets the criteria, a second opinion may be sought.
    Comment Keep; useful. Ling.Nut (talk) 01:14, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
    • Reviewer adds " {{GA2ndopinion|ArticleName}} ~~~~" under the article listing at WP:GAN.
    • Reviewer replaces {{GAnominee}} with {{GA2ndoptalk}} (no capitalization trick here) and the date on the article talk page.
      Comment Unneccessary second template. Delete. TfD. Ling.Nut (talk) 01:14, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
    • Reviewer leaves a review on the talk page, possibly using a template such as {{GAList}}, detailing how the article compares to the criteria.
    • With luck another reviewer comes along and starts doing most of the things listed above.
  11. If an article is on {{GAReview}} or {{GAOnHold}} for too long, this status may be reversed.
    Comments See above. Ling.Nut (talk) 01:14, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
    • The template at WP:GAN is removed.
    • The template on the article talk page is replaced by {{GAnominee}} again.
    • The process starts over.
  12. Notice that the poor reviewer does most of the work. To compensate, nominators are asked to consider choosing another article from the WP:GAN list to review. For some reason, not many nominators take up this kind invitation.
  13. If the nominator disagrees with a GAN fail, and has not yet lost the will the live, the article can be taken to WP:GAR.
    • Ex-nominator substitutes the template {{GAR}} to the top of the list at WP:GAR, with the article name and the reason for the listing, e.g., "User:ToughReviewer failed my lovely article and it's not fair".
    • Ex-nominator adds a link to the discussion from the article talk page.
    • Loads of nice people ;-) comment on the article to try to find a consensus about whether it should be listed or not.
    • Eventually, the discussion gets closed, which involves another tedious list of chores:
      • Removing the discussion from the WP:GAR page.
      • Adding the discussion to the latest archive.
      • Updating the GAR backlog if necessary.
      • Updating the articles GA status if necessary, including WikiProject ratings where appropriate.
      • Adding the GAR event to the article history, starting the article history if there isn't one, searching the edit history for previous events, listing all events with actions, oldids, results, dates, links, topic. For some reason, many editors omit this step.
      • Adding a link to the GAR archived discussion on the article talk page.
      • Updating the GA page if necessary, including the counts.
        Comment Automate as many of the above steps as possible. Ling.Nut (talk) 01:14, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
    • GAR regulars (well, I know at least one ;-) ) have been known to hold off closing a discussion which needs to be closed because they just can't face doing it.
      Comment Did i do that? My sins, if any, were closing noms too early.Ling.Nut (talk) 01:14, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
      I was, of course, referring to myself. I hate archiving GAR discussions! Geometry guy 19:18, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
  14. Okay, all done, and we have a GA, so are we in the clear? No, because any previously uninvolved editor can also delist an article at any time.
    • Delister leaves a message on the talk page explaining why the article doesn't meet the criteria anymore (which may be simply because the criteria have changed).
    • Delister attempts to fix some of the problems.
    • If nothing happens in a week or so, the delister delists the article.
      • Delister replaces {{GA}} with {{DelistedGA}} and the date; or
      • Delister updates the article history with a GAR action (if they realise that delisting is a GAR even though the GAR page was not used, and if they can bear filling in the oldid, date, etc.).
      • Delister updates WikiProject ratings where appropriate.
      • Delister removes the article from WP:GA, updating the counts.
    • If you disagree with a delisting, you can either renominate the article, or take it to GAR. Please bear in mind that the latter action will mean that at some point in the future someone will have to close a GAR discussion, which may spoil their day.
  15. Are we done now? Well, almost. There is also a task force that combs through the current GA's checking if they meet the criteria, a task force that handles those Unreferenced GA Nominations. Oh yes, and if a GA is promoted to FA, then it gets removed from the GA list, updating the counts etc. etc.
There we are. As Jayron says, there is no process: you just nominate an article, it gets reviewed, and either passes or fails.
Okay, to be a bit more serious, I know I'm just repeating the instructions on various pages, but if seeing them altogether causes a few more editors to question whether GA really is "far simpler and less bureaucratic" than other processes, then it will have been worth it. In reply to Ling's remarks that the instructions are not as simple as they used to be because of "shrill, vociferous, painful arguments", well, I'm not sure that I care. This really needs a rethink Geometry guy 13:26, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

This discussion should be moved to Wikipedia talk:Good article nominations or WT:WGA. This page is for the discussion of the GA list itself. Ruslik (talk) 17:08, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

I agree. Geometry guy 17:13, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
I agree too, but it's here now, and copy/pasting the whole thing elsewhere seems impractical. I added some comments. My initial strong object tion the point of this thread was that the initial post suggest eliminating WP:GAR. I see GAR as being the most valuable part of the process.... G-Guy, you have won me over to the cause of Autamation. Reviewers should need to do only one step (or concevably two, but that should be avoided if possible) to maove an article from one stus to the next. Please not the one comment above: a required template which has yes/no ticks for "near GA" (to fail articles without putting them On Hold; eliminating the On Hold option) and for "needs refs only" etc.? can the ArticleHist thing be automated? It requires no thought; only following a mechanical process....Ling.Nut (talk) 01:14, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
  • PS But steps that give Fair Warning (such as notification of GAR on several talk pages) probably cannot and should not be automated, and should not be elided. Ling.Nut (talk) 01:21, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
  • PPS Back in the days when i was a programmer (surprise!) we would have specially formatted files that stroed the kind of info used in the ArticleHist template. Imagine a comma delimited file with headers etc. as a subpage of the article's talk. One automated process writes to that that file (not the talk page); another reads that file and writes to the template in the talk page. The two run independently. The worst that could could happen is a one-day overlap, since only one writes to the info file. Can do-ish? Or would a bette way involve a template that transcludes info from the subpage? I dunno which is relatively more evil: transclusion or automation... Ling.Nut (talk) 01:31, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
  • PPPS Or simply use cats... one template for pass/fail GA with parameters such as "nearpass=yes" to add to a nearpass cat (to avoid the OnHold scenario) "refsonly=yes" adds a cat to take care of only the needs refs scenario; one cat for "pass" and an automated process to do all the cleanup... etc. Ling.Nut (talk) 01:39, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
I moved the following comments that were interspersed in Geometry Guy's comment above. They broke the numbering, and made it hard to read. It might be worthwhile to number them or add other backreferences, but I will leave that for Ling.Nut. Adding new comments between others like this really should be avoided. — Carl (CBM · talk) 04:13, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
  • (undent) Yes I did mess up the formatting horribly. Sorry. I think I have now refactored correctly., including retaining Carl's comments.. Carl's refactoring solution left my comments unattached and therefore impossibly cryptic. Ling.Nut (talk) 05:25, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
    • I realized it would need more work, but I didn't know how you would want to fix it (by adding pointers, or refactoring some other way). At the time, I was referring some other people to the comments, but the broken numbering lowered their impact and made it hard for me to point people at the latest version of the talk page. — Carl (CBM · talk) 05:53, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for the comments. Certainly automation will help, but there needs to be an accompanying change in mindset, along the lines of kissing. The automation I have in mind is to autogenerate the entire GAN page, so that no one ever needs to edit it: I have been thinking about this for some time now, and should be able to propose something concrete in the New Year. This is slightly different from the automation suggested by your comments. Geometry guy 09:30, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

That list really is rather horrendous when one sees it all at once. G'guy, you've already convinced me regarding your automation proposal for generating the GA page (with a minor reservation regarding tracking). I was wondering what had happened with that... I'm glad to hear you haven't shelved it ;) EyeSereneTALK 15:45, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
The technology for some automation is now operational at WP:PR. I'm now asking whether WP:GAN wants to adopt it. Geometry guy 00:16, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

The header and the recently listed good articles

I've only just noticed that Snowmanradio, updated the introductory passage a week ago. I'm not objecting: in fact, I think it is a step in the right direction. However, it prompted me to move the header to a separate page Wikipedia:Good articles/header to make it easier to make and track changes. This also means that the "recently listed good articles" list is now on a subpage, but I've provided an "update list" link in the bottom right corner to access it. I hope that editors will find this easier to use than when the list was buried amongst all the junk in the header. Geometry guy 15:47, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

Sometimes editors add passes to the "recently listed good articles", but don't add them to the rest of the page. A few days later the article drops off the recent list but the talk page remains in CAT:GA. Could the list be done away with entirely? Also, editors don't need either to update the section counts, or to alphabetize the articles correctly. Those get tidied up a couple times a week. Gimmetrow 05:17, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
I don't like this change at all. It's actually adding more complexity to the passing process -- now, when we pass a new GA, we not only have to edit WP:GA, but also to add the article to the new GAs list as well as updating the count page (a total of three edits, instead of editing just one page). Previously, when I added an article to the page, I'd scroll down to the new articles list and add it there, then use the search function to search for the category in that page and scroll down and add it there -- still only a single edit to one page. I'd like it even better if I didn't have to do the second edit to the count page, but this was added some time ago, so I just put up with that. I suspect now, though, that many editors will simply forget to update the new articles listing. I urge you to please reconsider reverting this new page. Thanks! Dr. Cash (talk) 03:57, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
I'm not convinced that making several changes to a long and complicated page is easier than making one change to two or three short sections/pages, especially for newcomers. Anyway, I agree with Gimmetrow that we could just scrap the "recently listed good articles". It is not used reliably and serves little purpose. As for the count, I urge other editors to ignore it. Updating it is a complete waste of time: it is maintained regularly by GimmeBot, and inbetween GimmeBot's edits it is usually incorrect anyway. Leave to a bot what a bot does well: counting. Geometry guy 09:19, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
Hmm, come to think of it, since GimmeBot is updating everything, I wonder if the bot could just get the dates/times of the 10 or 20 most recently added GAs directly from the history, and update the "recently listed good articles" itself? If it's running every day, that way the list would be kept up to date,... I do kind of like the list, as it does make things easier when writing updates for the GA newsletter. Dr. Cash (talk) 16:22, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
Actually, the bot runs based on FA promotions/archives, and it doesn't have any code easily adapted to generating a "recently listed" list. But it does have code to remove delisted GAs from WP:GA, so editors (and GA/R closers) could just update the article talk page when delisting. Gimmetrow 17:42, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
I've been thinking about this list in connection with the GA newsletter. I'm not convinced that this is a very "fair" section to include. Over 100 GAs get promoted per month, so showcasing the 15 that happened to be listed last in the month seems somewhat arbitrary to me. Comments? Geometry guy 20:04, 11 December 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure fair/unfair is an issue, unless we make it one. We would have to either drop the list altogether, or list every single newly-promoted GA... On a related note, there is no GA version of the front-page FA-of-the-day; if listing is not felt to be worthwhile maybe we could run something on these lines instead? EyeSereneTALK 12:06, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

Reclassification of some articles

I found that some articles are wrongly classified. So I propose to move:

Yes check.svg Done1) Apollo 11, International Space Station, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Space Interferometry Mission and STS-74 from the current location in 'Engineering/Engineering technology' to 'Physics and Astronomy/Astronomical observation and space exploration'.

2) Space Shuttle Columbia disaster from the current location in 'Engineering/Engineering failures and Disasters' to 'Physics and astronomy/Astronomical observation and space exploration'.

3) Swissair Flight 111 from the current location in 'Engineering/Engineering failures and Disasters' to 'Transport/Air transport'.

Yes check.svg Done4) Surface tension from the current location in 'Chemistry and materials science/Chemistry and Atoms' to 'Physics and Astronomy/Physics'.

Yes check.svg Done5) Optical fiber from the current location in 'Chemistry and materials science/Materials science' to 'Engineering/Engineering technology'.

Yes check.svg Done6) Renewable energy commercialisation in Australia from the current location in 'Geology, geophysics, and mineralogy/Geology and geophysics' to 'Engineering/Engineering technology'.

Yes check.svg Done7) Material properties of diamond from the current location in 'Geology, geophysics, and mineralogy/Mineralogy' to 'Chemistry and materials science/Materials science'.

Yes check.svg Done8) Wind power in South Australia from the current location in 'Meteorology and atmospheric sciences/Wind and winter storms' to 'Engineering/Engineering technology'.

Yes check.svg Done9) Bicycle and motorcycle dynamics from the current location in 'Physics and Astronomy/Physics' to 'Engineering/Engineering technology'.

Yes check.svg Done10) Liquid crystal from the current location in 'Physics and Astronomy/Physics' to 'Chemistry and materials science/Materials science'.

Ruslik (talk) 10:11, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

I broadly agree: 1) Yes to all; 2) No, this is notable primarily as an engineering failure; 3) Possibly, although again the notability comes from the engineering failure; 4) Yes; 5) Yes; 6) Possibly, but I think a better place would be 'Geography/Geography'; 7) Probably yes; 8) Probably yes; 9) Probably yes; 10) Yes. There are some judgement calls here, but as long as the talk page GA topic is aligned with the GA listing, moving things around is not a big deal. Geometry guy 20:00, 11 December 2007 (UTC)
I noticed that Swissair Flight 111 is already listed in 'Transport/Air transport' so I removed a duplicate from 'Engineering/Engineering failures and Disasters'. The former subsection contains other articles about flight accidents. As to wind power (and other renewables) articles, I think it is logical to put them into 'Engineering/Engineering technology' because this subsection already has some articles about renewables like solar power. Currently artilces about renewables are scattered over several subsections. Ruslik (talk) 08:10, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
Thanks! I agree in general that we should be logical about our organisation, and not scatter articles unnecessarily. However, articles about renewables vary in their content, and sometimes need to be in separate sections. In the above 8) clearly focuses on the industry and the technology, whereas 6) focuses on the issue and the politics. There is no reason why these need to be in the same section. Geometry guy 10:26, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
May it be reasonable to create a separate subsection for renewables? Ruslik (talk) 07:46, 13 December 2007 (UTC)
Just implemented changes that are not under dispute. Ruslik (talk) 08:04, 13 December 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. I don't think a separate subsection is needed: 'Engineering/Engineering technology' is a good enough place for most of these articles. I just wanted to suggest that Geography/Geography might be a better place for the ones which are not focussed on the technology. Geometry guy 14:33, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
I moved but Wind power in South Australia but still not sure about Renewable energy commercialisation in Australia. 'Engineering/Engineering technology' already has Renewable energy commercialization article. So should it also be moved to 'Geography/Geography'? Ruslik (talk) 08:35, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
I've moved the articles which I think are primarily human geography to that section. I've also updated the talk page templates for these and the above. Geometry guy 14:52, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

Ok, this discussion is closed now. Ruslik (talk) 15:09, 16 December 2007 (UTC)


Why are film listed with the social sciences rather than with the arts? --Arctic Gnome (talkcontribs) 01:12, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

I agree completely that films should be listed under Arts. This issue has been raised already here. Further comments can be found here. Geometry guy 01:59, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

Film and television

Okay, here's the difficulty. Film, like Theatre, should certainly be listed under Arts not Social sciences, but what about television (and radio)? Some television, such as TV films, TV drama, soaps and sitcoms, is creative fiction very much akin to film, and therefore ought to be listed under Arts too. Indeed, there is already a subsubtopic on "Fictional characters and technologies" which has examples from both film and television. On the other hand, television has a major role as a communications medium, and this role would seem to belong with journalism, under media, in social sciences and society. In between there are non-fictional TV shows such as game shows, problem solving shows and documentaries, which have a creative component, but also a cultural and/or journalistic component. It seems to me that we have three options.

  1. List all TV under Social sciences and society, and live with the artificial split between film-related fiction and TV related fiction.
  2. List some TV with film, under Arts, but keep the rest under "media" in Social sciences and society, and live with the fact that TV is not all in one place.
  3. List all TV under Arts, and live with the artificial split between print and TV journalism.

I lean towards option 2, but drawing the line is difficult, and there isn't really a perfect solution. I know it isn't a big deal, but what do others think? Geometry guy 17:59, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

Given the lack of comments, I will try to implement option 2, although it will not be easy to split the TV articles. Geometry guy 21:55, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
This has now been done. Geometry guy 14:11, 6 January 2008 (UTC)

3,296 GA's?

I'm wondering if the count has gotten a little out of synch by people forgetting to up the number when they add an article. I did a quick count by simply transferring the text - from Canons of page construction to Upsilon Andromedae d - to a word document and remove all occurrences of "[[" (after first removing every "[[Image:", as these are only icons). That gave me a total of 3,296 removals, while the official count (on December 26) says 3,256. If anybody wants to double-check please do, maybe I forgot something. Lampman (talk) 13:52, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

It will always be out of sync until the sweeps are finished because we never change the # when we delist articles in sweep. OhanaUnitedTalk page 17:28, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

5000 milestone

I just noticed in the last week that the total number of good and featured articles is now over 5000. I believe the milestone was crossed on 20th December. It seems appropriate to celebrate this joint success in this season of goodwill and harmony, so congratulations to all those who have helped to improve the quality of Wikipedia articles both by working on content, and through involvement in the good and featured article projects! Cheers - Geometry guy 16:15, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

GA passes

Can someone please complete the GA templates at Talk:Europa (moon). SandyGeorgia (Talk) 05:16, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

Sort order

Noting this edit summary, the entries are sorted by the piped form if it exists, otherwise by the link as given. To avoid making links like Reputation, The just for sorting, any initial "The", "A" or "An" is ignored, with an exception built in for An Khe. A fair effort is made to sort unicode: Édifice Price is with the Es. If there are any quirks in the sorting, say something. Gimmetrow 04:56, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

WikiProject Good Articles January Newsletter

Happy New Year! Here is the latest edition of the WikiProject GA Newsletter! Dr. Cash (talk) 04:12, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

Delisting without asking

I just noticed that Argentina has been delisted as a GA, i wanted to read the GAR but then i noticed that User:Coloane did not follow procedure and that he had delisted Lithuania as well. In both cases users cuestioned his reasons but he hasn't replied (Arg., Lith.). Argentina is in a terrible shape (unstable, MOS, unsourced), but appart from some MOS issues, i don't see Lithuania being that far of being a GA; those minors could have been fixed if the editors had been warned. Opinions?--Yamanbaiia(free hugs!) 17:27, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

I don't know that there was a procedure violation. WP:RGA states "If you come across an article which no longer meets the criteria feel free to be bold and remove it". The WP:GAR procedure, which I assume is the one you're concerned Coloane didn't follow, could been seen as contradictory to the WP:RGA statement, although I'm more apt to just consider it the more polite procedure. Although certainly a breach of etiquette, Coloane was not technically obligated by policy to assert the reasons for the delisting or utilize the reassessment procedure.
A cursory glance reveals that Lithuania has numerous issues including, among others, insufficient lead, insufficient culture section and WP:NOR violations. My thoughts on Argentina mirror your own. If you believe the delisting(s) to be inappropriate, just list the article(s) on the WP:GAR and let the process take its course. I would recommend, however, working on the articles and re-nominating them at WP:GAN once you think they're ready. If you want to discuss the possibility of policy conflicts, the talk page at WP:GAN might be a good - although not technically appropriate - place, as it sees the most traffic from active reviewers. Ɛƚƈơƅƅơƚɑ talk 18:09, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
That's it, the whole be bold and delist, doesn't really work. Lithuania has many active users who apparently care about keeping the article as a GA and could have fixed the MOS and OR issues if they had been warned. Actually, i just noticed, an admin RElisted Lithuania! (rv; the reviewer did not follow the procedure.) I guess what i'm asking here is, how important is the GAR process?. A good example about reassessing instead of just delisting are Batman (1989 film) and Batman Forever. They were both delisted without a reassessment, i pointed out the process to the delister and he relisted as GA and asked for a reassessment. In the end, after substantial changes, both articles were kept (not because of consensus but because of +5 weeks in GAR). It just doesn't seem fair for the articles to be months on the GAN list for then to have someone delisting the article in a blink without even a warning or an explanation. --Yamanbaiia(free hugs!) 18:39, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
I don’t think anyone would disagree that WP:GAR is the preferable procedure. That fact of the matter, however, is that there are currently two policies (WP:RGA and WP:GAR), and editors get to pick between them. If you genuinely care about the article, worry about its content, not whether it has a green plus on its talk page. Further, if your assertion that “Lithuania has many active users who … could have fixed the MOS and OR issues” is indeed true, list the article on WP:GAR to flush out concerns, as has been requested since 12.14.07. Ɛƚƈơƅƅơƚɑ talk 19:26, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
I read your message from my talk page. I carefully read your article and didn't think it meets GA criteria at the moment and that is why I delisted right away. For the article Denmark, I put it on the GAR assessment and let every one vote it. It finally delisted. Many paragraphs from the article of Argentina, just like even what you discovered, are basically without sources and I wish you could fix them ASAP. Thanks!! Coloane (talk) 19:00, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
These are not my articles, i had never even edited before in neither of them, i just happened to notice they were delisted. I am not going to be able to fix the problems ASAP, a) because i know nothing about Lithuania and there are waaaaay too many POV issues i wouldn't know how to handle; and b) Argentina needs a lot of sourcing work, and i'm all about writing and sourcing, but sourcing an entire already written 110 kilobytes long article, would probably take a lot of time i just prefer spending elsewhere. I will however leave reasons of why they were delisted in the article's talk pages.--Yamanbaiia(free hugs!) 20:44, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

Everyone is strongly encouraged to follow the delisting guidelines. These guidelines help to avoid situations such as this arising. Geometry guy 21:53, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

While most of the time GAs go thru GAR prior to delist, we do have quite a number of articles that are boldly delisted. I gone over the talk page history and found that Argentina is nominated on April 26, 2006.[1] A day later, another user listed it as good article.[2] As one of the sweep participant, I can tell you that a large amount of articles being delisted by the sweeps are listed as GA before mid 2006. Since mid 2006 the good article criteria was introduced, hence all articles listed before that are not checked against any critiera, and any user may feel free to list them.
Going back to the argument of bold delisting this article, I would have done the same thing. Right at the beginning of the article, there's a tag for unvertified claims. Half a page down and I found a "citation needed" tag. In this article, there're a total of 10 "citation needed" tag. Any of these tags can be quick failed according to quick-fail critieria. If every single GA that requires delisting must go throuh GAR then it will be too burecratic and overload the GAR. Therefore, this delist is reasonable. OhanaUnitedTalk page 08:53, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
I wish people would not use the term "bold delist". Please please read the delisting guidelines. They do not say that articles should usually be delisted via GAR; quite the opposite. Instead they advise editors to leave a message on the talk page, and then give other editors time to respond before delisting. There is nothing "bold" about this: it is a straightforward process that is underused and rarely used properly.
I've no idea where this perception comes from that you either use GAR or "boldly delist". As a result of this false dichotomy, GAR is overused. Most delistings can be done by a single editor by following the guidelines. Geometry guy 10:33, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

GA count is out

The GA article count needs to be reconciled.

Source Count
GA page total count (as of 05:23, 14 January 2008 (UTC)) 3,385
Sum of all 176 section counts 3,426
Actual number of articles on GA page 3,455

That is, there are 70 articles where the GA reviewer forgot to up the total page count, and 29 articles where the GA reviewer forgot to up the section count. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 05:23, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

There is no point in GA reviewers updating any of these counts: they are maintained by a bot. If the bot is not counting correctly, please report to User:Gimmetrow. Geometry guy 07:16, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Remember articles may be listed more than once on the page. That's reflected in the section counts but the article is only counted once for the overall count. Also the following are in the GA category without being listed here:

Thanks. Gimmetrow 07:25, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

If the counts are maintaind by a bot, then manual update instructions should be removed. This is just one more thing to confuse people, like myself. Cheers!Wassupwestcoast (talk) 17:49, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
I agree. I also think that articles should not be listed in more than one section. Geometry guy 17:53, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Nice to see how people have jumped to categorize these articles. Gimmetrow 15:32, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

GimmeBot is still counting incorrectly and is also miscounting WP:FA too. Just check the number of articles in Category:Wikipedia good articles. Note that category contains the definitive list of articles and GimmeBot is always out by n, where n is the number of pages the category spans over - 2. If you notice if you reach the very end of Category:Wikipedia good articles and then count backwards you get GimmeBot's count. But check closely you will notice that it's missing articles that were being counted when you count forwards. Centyreplycontribs – 17:01, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
If you still don't believe GimmeBot's counting error, go here [3]. Look at that top number - there are 14 subcategories but all the remainder (3460) are good articles.. Also look here [4] Centyreplycontribs – 17:07, 21 January 2008 (UTC).
Multiple people have verified that the count of WP:FA and WP:FFA is exactly correct. I haven't verified WP:GA recently, but it uses the same methodology and I have seen no specific reason to doubt its accuracy. The category is not the definitive list - the WP:FA, WP:FFA and WP:GA pages are. Gimmetrow 17:26, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
Proof Centyreplycontribs – 17:29, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
Thank you for supporting my point. That version lists 3460 good articles *from the category*. The current G-Bot count is 3452, and there are 8 articles in the category not listed on WP:GA. So G-bot appears to be 100% correct. Gimmetrow 17:35, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
Please could you then give me the list of the 8 articles in my sandbox that are not Good Articles then. Centyreplycontribs – 17:37, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
Five of them are listed above. Others are:
Please categorize them appropriately. Gimmetrow 17:40, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

It is here I would like to point out Talk:2007 Hawai'i Bowl, Talk:Cinematic style of Abbas Kiarostami, Talk:Flag of Germany, Talk:Le Père Goriot, Talk:Westroads Mall shooting, Talk:No free lunch in search and optimization and Talk:Whitey Wistert have all (read their talks pages) been passed as Good Articles and your bot has assessed and approved them! You bot has even updated their talk pages! All that has happened is the reviewer has neglected to add the article to WP:GA.

In fact the only problem article is Talk:Battle of the Little Bighorn where your bot appears to have listed it as a GA without an actual review...I have now reverted that. So in fact my count WAS correct. Gimmetrow, I think the category of Good articles SHOULD be the definitive list given your bot updates the article history banner which then affects the Good article list. Your bot could then check if that said article has been listed - a forgetful human reviewer is more likely to forget to update WP:GA than your bot is to fail to update the Article history banner. I think you should compare you G-bot count with the category count every now and then. Centyreplycontribs – 17:52, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

Centy, are you suggesting Gimmetrow should alert the GA project to discrepancies between the GA-Cat and Gimmebot GA page counts? Like this, for example? Geometry guy 18:18, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
RE: Battle of the Little Bighorn: The bot didn't put the template up first, this editor did: [5]. If there was a mistake, please explain to them how to fix whatever error was made. NJGW (talk) 18:27, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
Looks like the editor passed the article but forgot to list it. I'll ask them to fix that. NJGW (talk) 00:12, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
Your own page agreed with G-bot. The count has always been what is on this page, as the page says, "of the X Wikipedia articles, Y are listed below'". Furthermore, I'm offended by the suggestion that I should compare with the category "now and then". Excuse me? Who do you think routinely syncs this page with the category? The list above has been there for a week and nobody touched it. Gimmetrow 18:11, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
I gave another example of Gimmetrow's excellent work. Geometry guy 18:18, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
OK, our counts agree... Let's end it here. Centyreplycontribs – 18:21, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

To my knowledge, and after tracking it for over a year and manually checking it many times, GimmeBot has never miscounted FAs or FFAs. That number is and has always been solid. If there are GA issues that need to be resolved, please keep in mind the good and thankless work Gimmetrow does. Thank you, SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:08, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

Improvement the review procedure

I think we should improve the procedure of reviewing the article. Many reviewers prefer to review the fields which they don't expert in it. This may lead to some problems. They can't judge whether the article has reached GA status or not. They can't judge about "Factual accuracy", "Broadness in coverage" and "Neutrality" correctly. For example Islamic astronomy had some problems but has been chosen as a GA article. I don't want to reassess the article and now I'm co-working with the other wikipedians to improve it. But this was just an example. I think there are wikipedians in this project who are knowledgeable in some fields and it's good idea to ask them to review or add their viewpoint about the issues which they know well. It may slow the procedure of reviewing but this is the cost of improvement.--Seyyed(t-c) 05:42, 25 January 2008 (UTC)

The problem is that the whole review thing is a bit objective and depends on where you stand. I saw the article to be fairly broad in its coverage. We can not just add words to articles because there is some little aspect that we want to see there. length is inversely proportional to readability beyond a certain limit, and Islamic astronomy is already above that limit. Also, It was NPOV, views from all sides were present, if there is a statement here or there that someone might not like, it does not mean POV , it just means a balanced view of the article; because that someone will find a statement that he likes. Anyway, please remember that this is GA article, not A-class or FA; that it must have flaws , otherwise what is the point of having all the above mentioned classes? Ergo, problems will (and in fact should to a certain extent) exist in GA articles, otherwise , we have ourselves an FA. Λua∫Wise (talk) 09:32, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
A technical task force is certainly a nice idea, but the problem is; even when we are allowing anyone to review , we have a MASSIVE backlog, imagine what would happen if you restrict the review process. Regards. Λua∫Wise (talk) 09:37, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
I don’t agree with your logic. People knowledgeable on a given topic are likely to have a pre-existing interpretation (i.e. bias). Whether or not they consider an article neutral, therefore, is dependent upon the content matching their preexisting notions. A reviewer with no previous knowledge is better equipped (or unequipped, as the case may be) to provide an objective viewpoint on whether both sides are covered. Remember, also, that this is GA, not FA; the criterion is “broad”, not “comprehensive”. A knowledgeable person is indeed better able to determine whether coverage is complete; an “outsider”, however, is entirely able to judge whether the information present is enough to relay a “broad” understanding of the topic. Thorough reviewers – especially those looking at unfamiliar topics – look to existing GAs on similar topics to determine what information has precedent for inclusion. Finally, factual accuracy is tied to the sources; no experience in the topic is needed to examine those. Ɛƚƈơƅƅơƚɑ talk 18:18, 25 January 2008 (UTC)

I've found it very helpful to have people not involved in the tropical cyclone or meteorology projects review articles I've put up for GAC or FAC during the past couple years. If you only have people who are knowledgeable within a given field give reviews on said articles, you'll never really know if it's readable to the lay person, or a broad audience, would you? Thegreatdr (talk) 19:21, 25 January 2008 (UTC)

If someone who really knows the subject sees huge errors, they can just delist it. Wrad (talk) 19:40, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
Indeed. Sometimes it is helpful to have reviews by editors with some degree of expertise, sometimes it is helpful to have reviews by editors who have little expertise. It depends on the article (both its subject and its current state). The GA process does not express any preference either way, and I would not like it to. Geometry guy 19:42, 25 January 2008 (UTC)

WikiProject Good Articles Newsletter

The February 2008 issue of the WikiProject Good Articles Newsletter is ready! Dr. Cash (talk) 05:38, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

Auto-hide List

Shouldn't the list auto-hide itself when you go to the page? That is what it was originally supposed to do to make navigating this page easier. If it did this it would makr the page easier to navigate. Tarret talk 15:27, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

Lead sections

The quality of Wikipedia article lead sections is fairly saddening, but it's especially annoying when a lead is clearly not meeting the criteria yet the article has still been given a GA rating. I would like to think there was some way we could stop people from missing this problem. Perhaps a mention in the newsletter or something? Look at water resources, for example. I saw the problem last September and left a note. It's still no different, and it's still rated as a GA. Something that long should have a 3 or 4 paragraph lead, yet it only has 1 paragraph. I've got better things to do than run around delisting GAs all day, so please, can we do something about this? Richard001 (talk) 05:18, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

You are absolutely right, all articles listed as GAs should comply with WP:LEAD. It's not so much about the length of the lead per se, but about whether or not it adequately summarises the rest of the article (the recommended lengths are based on an assessment of how much space this summary is likely to take up).
Where you see articles like this, if you don't want to delist them yourself then by all means drop a note here, and someone will get on to it. You can also take the article to WP:GAR if you're not sure if it deserves its GA status.
Thanks for the heads-up ;) EyeSereneTALK 11:11, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
Addendum: There are a number of significant issues with the article (other than just the lead); I have delisted it. EyeSereneTALK 11:34, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
I think the lead would be a great topic for a WGA newsletter main article. Our guidelines for the lead are a bit different from what many editors do when they write articles, because the lead has to be not just an introduction, but a summary. Many articles which don't meet WP:LEAD have been, and continue to be, passed as GA. I'd be happy to write and/or contribute to a piece on the subject. However, I do think it is important that newsletter articles are explicitly identified as opinion pieces. For instance, Dr Cash wrote a nice article about "On Hold" in the February newsletter, but I disagreed with some points, and if I had written it, the emphasis would have been rather different. I would have emphasised giving article editors reasonable time and opportunity to fix issues, based more on their willingness to fix them, rather than limiting the on-hold by problems or by a maximum time period.
Similarly, WP:LEAD has become one of my favourite guidelines — I've found (e.g. from experience at GAR) that following it not only improves the lead, but also the rest of the article — so if I wrote a newsletter item on it, it would very much be an opinion piece.
I'm just worried that newsletter articles will implicitly add more guidelines and bureaucracy to the GA process, which is the last thing we want to do if we want to attract more reviewers and reviewings. Geometry guy 18:58, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
I have to say I agree, and in some ways I think the lead is the most significant (not important) section of an article, being the first thing a reader's eyes light on when they open a page. I like the rule-of-thumb that says it should be possible to delete the rest of the article, and left with only the lead, still come away with a decent - if superficial - grasp of the subject. Personally I feel it always ought to be the section of the article that's written last (I know there's lots of reasons why that wouldn't work though :P)
It's a perfect topic for the newsletter IMO. It wouldn't have to be prescriptive - as you say, it could be written as a "How I do it" rather than "How we should do it". I think a lot of reviewers would find it useful, and it gives food for thought when reviewing (and writing), even if not everyone adopts the ideas in full. WP:LEAD is "only" a guideline after all, though one I think makes good sense... and in any case we've adopted it as part of a GA criterion (which pretty much makes it non-negotiable) ;) EyeSereneTALK 20:17, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

Category Improvement

In working in the Religion and Philosophy section, I'm noticing that a lot of articles are miscategorized. I'll work to clean that up, but I also noticed that there is a distinct absence of a "Religious Festivals and Practices" subsection. As we have a couple of articles that would better fit in this sort of sub-category, I would like to add it. Is there any method for adding a subcategory, or should I just Be BOLD and re-arrange things as best fit? -- jackturner3 (talk) 22:17, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

New How-to book on editing Wikipedia

Check out this new book about Wikipedia:

This shows newbies how to use Wikipedia, avoiding the pitfalls of trial and error, and has lots of tips for experienced editors. If you know of someplace where references like this ought to be listed, please copy this info there. Best regards, -- Ssilvers (talk) 20:18, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

Is it released under the GFDL? ;) EyeSereneTALK 15:29, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
Sweet, one of my neighbourhood's bookstore has 3 copies. I'm definetely going to pay a visit to read the book (not buying though :P) OhanaUnitedTalk page 15:40, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

There's an ad taking up the whole of the GA section Econ and Business, subcategory "Advertising and Marketing"

this is it:

"Advertising and Marketing

Advertising and Marketing are an esssential part of every companies plans should they wish to grow and succeed in todays world. One such form of marketing is via the search engines, i.e. Google, this is called search engine optimisation or seo for short. SEO can help to increase the presence of a website via the natural or organic listings, these are generally found on the left hand side. By investing or building a website your next step is to promote it, let everyone know who you are and what you are offering, the best way to do this is via search engine optimisation, though seo itself is not an easy task. If you are serious about promoting your website to the search engines then you need to consider hiring an ethical and affordable seo company that can look at helping you to recognise the methods that you need to implement into your website. A good seo firm can also offer extra levels of services for instance off the page optimisation which means link building, content management to keep your site fresh, article writing to attract future links, search engine submission services to help index your site, blogs, directory submissions to name a few. Besides seo, there are the more traditional but less effective ways of marketing such as yellow pages or the local paper or trade magazine. If you really want to push the boat out and you have the budget for it then radio or even better television advertising can help drive new prospects through your door. So to sumarise to gain new business, buy or build a website, hire an seo firm like <link removed>"

Adding insult to injury it's full of spelling errors, too. It needs to be deleted but I'm new at this - what is the process?Harrison789 (talk) 22:21, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

You can read more about how to correct this in WP:VANDAL, basically you go back in the history (thought the History tab at the top of the page) and revert back to the good version. In this case, a simple revert couldn't be done, because people had added important info after the vandalism had occurred. Thanks for pointing this out! VanTucky 22:30, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
I found the audacity of this one hilarious! Thanks VanTucky for removing the spam. I've also removed the knock on effect here! Geometry guy 22:33, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the directions to WP:VANDAL! Harrison789 (talk) 06:31, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

Where do I put...

The recently passed Verna Fields on the list? Would she fit under "Actors, models, performers and celebrities"? Should there be a separate section for "Filmmakers"? Help? María (habla conmigo) 14:25, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

WikiProject Good Articles Newsletter

The March 2008 issue of the WikiProject Good Articles Newsletter is ready! Dr. Cash (talk) 06:17, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

April GA Newsletter

The April issue of the WikiProject GA Newsletter is now available. Dr. Cash (talk) 03:19, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

How important are images?

Is it worth submitting biographical articles of living persons that don't include images because no free ones can be found? Sarcasticidealist (talk) 00:05, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

Yes. Images not being available will not be held against the article. - Peregrine Fisher (talk) 01:45, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
I seem to have been running into this issue (and misinterpretations of it) a lot recently, but it's always been a problem. Perhaps we need to make WP:WIAGA criterion 6 clearer, to explicitly state that images are not required? EyeSerenetalk 10:54, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

I agree on that, when i first started reviewing i was under the impression a picture WAS needed. Critera 6 should be changed to ..... if pictures are used they must have the correct rational along with suitable captions. Infact i think the whole caption thing also needs clarification. Realist2 (talk) 22:16, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

While images are not necessary for the article, there is a big red flag to look out for. In some biographical articles, a placeholder image is placed in the template if there is no image of the individual. I would personally be very hesitant to pass an article as a GA if it had such a placeholder image in its infobox. It's an issue with criterion #3 of the GA criteria (completeness). Dr. Cash (talk) 22:22, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

Since placeholders are in dispute at present, surely it's better to omit an image altogether than have the article failed for incompleteness. I've seen many bios where free images are not available, and therefore lacking from the infobox, but fair-use images have been used, with justification, in the body of the article. --Rodhullandemu (Talk) 22:30, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

Agree, an article should not fail over a damn picture if it is ok in everyother way. It would be better to just remove the picture. Im gonna say something controversial, maybe pictures good or bad shouldn't be a part of the GA critera. When people can just remove them to skip critera 6 is it even worth having? Realist2 (talk) 22:34, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

I've boldly edited Criterion 6 to emphasize that images criteria apply only when images are available for use. VanTucky 22:39, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

This makes sense to me. Relevant free images should be used if they are available. Non-free images should have fair use rationales. Any other images should be removed. However, if it is reasonable to expect that a free or fair-use image could be found, and the article does not have one, then this is a broadness issue. Geometry guy 22:59, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
Looks better to me, VT! I think (relevant) images bring a lot to an article and could indeed be a broadness issue, but we can gently prompt as part of a GA review while making it clear it's not a 'fail' if suitable pics can't be found. I certainly don't think we should ignore images altogether - we can't pass an article as Good if it has, for example, image copyright problems; these are policy voiolations. Next GA newsletter topic...? :) EyeSerenetalk 18:09, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

In my opinion, criterion 6 should be further lowered, so that images are never required for an article to attain GA status. Of course, when images are present, the two sections of criterion 6 should apply as usual. The wording should be made more explicit; something along the lines of "Articles do not need images to attain GA status".

I see no reason to hide my intense dislike of the anti-fair use brigade. Lowering criterion 6 further means I can write GAs without any images, free or otherwise, and thus not need to deal with them.

--J.L.W.S. The Special One (talk) 03:02, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

That would certainly not be my opinion. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 03:14, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
I definitely agree. I don't care what your view on fair use images on Wikipedia is, but if there are free images readily available, then the article is not complete without them. bibliomaniac15 Do I have your trust? 03:21, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
Completeness is not part of the GA criteria; broadness is. Your argument would be a good reason to require images in FAs, but not GAs. Note that I focus on Singapore-related articles; finding appropriate images for them is difficult (and finding appropriate free images next to impossible). I thought GA should help fight systemic bias, not worsen it. --J.L.W.S. The Special One (talk) 08:54, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
Please don't apply one criterion to the interpretation of another. My feeling is that the current image criteria reflect very well the requirement that all images should be free or equipped with fair use rationales, against the wish that GAs should have good images where they are available. Geometry guy 22:39, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

Pictures aren't important. WP:NOT a children's book. Blnguyen (bananabucket) 05:44, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

It isn't, but I have not found any paragraph of WP:NOT which supports your case. Geometry guy 20:56, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

Idea for sections

See WT:FA. Simply south (talk) 21:14, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

I believe this idea has now been withdrawn. Geometry guy 22:33, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

Curious question

I'm just curious — how many former GA's have wound up deleted? I know Zig Zag (character) (yeah, there I go, adding yet another red link) was once ranked GA (although apparently it was totally devoid of third party sources at the time), and it has since been deleted. Have any others wound up deleted like this? Ten Pound Hammer and his otters(Broken clamshellsOtter chirps) 14:27, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

Torchic (which was an FA, but still...) Sceptre (talk) 08:58, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
A list of both FA and GAs that have been deleted would be amusing! Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 19:31, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
Former FAs are at WP:FFA (as you can see, there are no redlinks). SandyGeorgia (Talk) 03:34, 25 April 2008 (UTC)


As I'm sure many editors have noticed, we crossed the 4000 good articles mark very recently. We are also about to cross the 2:1 GA to FA ratio, which I think is an important symbol of the mission of GA to get as much of the encyclopedia as possible up to a good standard, while accepting that this daunting task will always result in some imperfections. Geometry guy 07:16, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

The 2:1 milestone should be a Signpost article the 2000 FA article. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 19:29, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
I think that is right, but I also think such an article might be a great opportunity to present some mutual respect between GA and FA. There have been disagreements in past, but there have been very few such disagreements recently. There are probably still a few editors on each side who still enjoy making snipes, but my impression is that most mainstream editors support both processes, and I would encourage those editors to make their voices heard. The two processes have different goals. GA does not attempt to define our best articles, in the way that FA does; instead it attempts to provide a way to make many articles on WP meet certain minimal requirements: it doesn't always succeed immediately in doing this, but it has a flexible process of listing and delisting that is designed to reach consensus in the end. This is a different process from FA, where it is important that the quality stamp of approval really means that the article has been approved by the community. Both processes are extremely important to the quality of Wikipedia. Lets celebrate them both. Geometry guy 20:30, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
From what I've seen recently, the snipes are really coming from less than a handful of editors (and they usually follow on the heels of a new editor suggesting some part of FA needs to look some part of GA, and responses to that being misunderstood or misinterpreted. A lot of it would probably stop if some editors would stop expecting FA to behave like GA.) I agree that mainstream editors support both processes, and that both have a place, but I'd add that most editors also recognize that a GA is only as good as the GA reviewer, and we all know who the good ones are. (I wish y'all would take this bull by the horns; as long as the FAC archives give you the data showing that one-third of failed FAs are GAs with non-reliable sources, you all have a hook you can use to get those reviewers to be more thorough, which will help raise standards and raise respect.) G guy, do you want to allocate a Dispatch post to the ratio issue (we're starting to get backed up on requests for space there, so you need to speak up and sign up and get a date). SandyGeorgia (Talk) 03:32, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
I'd be interested to know how many "articles" are disambiguations and lists. The "1 in 387" claim in the header has always struck me as an incomplete picture; accounting neither the number of eligible articles or the number of FLs. --JayHenry (talk) 05:45, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
Good point, number of eligible articles might be hard to determine, but shouldn't FLs be included with the FAs and GAs, since lists are included in the total? Lampman Talk to me! 18:54, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
This would be a helpful tweak, although it would affect the timing of the milestone if FLs were included with FAs. Re "GA is only as good as the reviewer", no, it is as good as all the reviewers who look at an article throughout the course of its article history. Re Dispatches, see my talk page. Re Sweeps, good idea, I've commented at WT:GAPQ/S. Sweeps is an important part of making my claim (that GA is as good as all the reviewers who look at it) actually have some practical value: if only one reviewer has ever looked at the article, then its GA status is indeed only as good as that reviewer was. Geometry guy 19:46, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
Maybe stubs should also be included as they are potential articles as well. Simply south (talk) 19:17, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

Lacuna re legal articles

There is a problem with articles dealing with appeal decisions in that there is usually only one source- the official Law Report itself. Hence these articles cannot have "multiple independent sources" per the usual requirement, in fact the official law report is the official source as sanctioned by statute, and is usually reported, if not in BAILII , then in offline Law Reports, which is why we cite these, to satisfy WP:RS and WP:V. I've recently had a couple of articles quick-failed because of this, although they are now restored. Since these articles are of their own type, is there a case for a more focussed GA guideline? Have notified this to Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Law for input. --Rodhullandemu (Talk) 15:50, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

Is there no commentary? Off hand, it sounds like the Law Report is some sort of primary least a source everyone refers to. A wikipedia article ought to have commentary of some sort on the source else it is just a mirror of the Law Report. But, I might be misunderstanding. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 18:50, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
There will be various commentaries in legal textbooks, but they are only opinions. It's rare that the press comment on the legal issued raised by these cases, because to a lay audience it's just not relevant (and doesn't sell papers). However, as I see it, the article here is meant to be a more accessible version of the law report, suitable for a non-lawyer. --Rodhullandemu (Talk) 18:55, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
But you could include those commentaries / opinions perhaps in a sub-section called commentary which would go a long way to satisfying multiple reliable sources. I'm sort of suspicious of "a more accessible version of the law report, suitable for a non-lawyer" as you say. This sounds like original research in that you are providing an interpretation - simplification - of a primary source. I think it would be best to provide those commentaries. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 19:01, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
I've just looked at the only criminal law textbook I have to hand, which cites part of a judgement and then says "The law gives the defence (of automatism) a very narrow interpretation, emphasising that there must be a total loss of voluntary control". That doesn't help, and doesn't expand the point of the judgement. So I'm not optimistic on that point. As for original research, every time we write a plot summary of a film or television episode, we are interpreting what should be important for our readers. For a law report, all we should need to do is set out the facts proved, the arguments raised, the decision reached, and the reasons (including precedent) for that decision. More would be useful, but not necessary in my view. For example, R v Hancock was a case linked to a labour dispute, but the legal issues had nothing to do with that; however, the dispute is linked from the article if the reader wants a wider context. But for most appeal decisions, that context is lacking. You see the problem? --Rodhullandemu (Talk) 23:56, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
Rodhullandemu, it is key for you to consider that you're participating in a process that is almost entirely checklist driven, as opposed to one involving contextual review or topic-minded insight. In this sense, a good article that you worked on may not be a Good Article, and only you can determine whether this matters to you. Conversations of this sort ("your overview may be original research"—down with encyclopedia articles then, I suppose) make me, for example, stay far away from the majority of "process wonkery" on wikipedia, because process wonks always get lost staring at trees in the forest. Comment from uninvolved –Outriggr § 23:28, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
Well, the Wikiproject Law seems remarkably understaffed, probably because activity there is not chargeable to a client, but in terms of UK law, it's a mess of Byzantine proportions. Perhaps there is a law wiki somewhere that appreciates the need for this sort of thing. --Rodhullandemu (Talk) 23:56, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

How do you decide if a case is notable? "The law gives the defence (of automatism) a very narrow interpretation, emphasising that there must be a total loss of voluntary control" seems like the kind of ref you could use to show your summary is accurate and not original research as well as assert notability. You also might ask someone in Category:Wikipedian lawyers, or User talk:Newyorkbrad and User talk:Aboutmovies know a lot about law and about WP. - Peregrine Fisher (talk) 02:38, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

Agreed. There are clearly "leading cases" in different areas of law - indeed, one of Lord Denning's early publications as a rising junior barrister was the latest edition of Smith's Leading Cases in Contract. Ways to prove that R. v X or Smith v Jones is a leading (i.e. notable) case would be to show (a) judicial commentary in subsequent cases - important cases get mentioned, followed, distinguished, confined to their facts, disapproved or overruled depending on the circumstances, changes in legal opinion, reassessment of circumstances etc and / or (b) academic commentary in articles and textbooks. It's not just a question of saying that "various commentaries in legal textbooks... are only opinions" since for example, if Archbold for a criminal law case or Chitty on Contract (what, that's a redlink?) for a contract case says that a Court of Appeal decision is right or wrong, that may be "just" an opinion in one sense but it's a very authoritative one and one that may well be followed in later cases on the topic. By using these further sources, the notability of the case can be verified and the requirements of multiple independent sources met. (What do you mean that I can't charge this to a client? We're all paid by the Foundation for editing WP, aren't we?!) BencherliteTalk 23:39, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

Ive never understood The point of multiple sourcing for the sack of multiple sourcing. the law report is the bible of law. It ends their, what the law report says, goes. The law report isnt disputed EVER. Besides other sources just copy whats in the Law report anyway. Realist2 (talk) 22:22, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

The problem is this, in a nutshell: Wikipedia:OR#Primary.2C_secondary.2C_and_tertiary_sources says

Primary sources that have been published by a reliable source may be used in Wikipedia, but only with care, because it is easy to misuse them. For that reason, anyone—without specialist knowledge—who reads the primary source should be able to verify that the Wikipedia passage agrees with the primary source.

That's good enough for an article, but apparently not good enough for a Good Article. For an article describing a legal decision, the official Law Report (sanctioned by statute) is by definition the source for that article. We are not interpreting the law report, and nor should we, per WP:SYNTH and WP:OR. Any legal textbook that mentions that case uses the law report as the primary source; any opinion which the authors may offer is just that, and nothing more. If all they do is to cite passages from the law report (which very largely is all they do), there is no point citing them because they are no better than we are as secondary sources. We cite the official Law Report on BAILII; that satisfies both WP:RS and WP:V. That should be all that is needed for a GA evaluation as far as sourcing is concerned. --Rodhullandemu (Talk) 01:30, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

Technically, is not the judgement itself (now usually online in higher courts), the primary source, and the Law Reports the official secondary source? The Law Reports may point up conflicts with other cases, and further implications etc that the judgement itself does not. Johnbod (talk) 15:38, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

For those intertested....

The voting going on above, I hunted down an article that had a GA symbol in the top right corner (And no, I didn't put it in there, rather took it out ;)) Obviously you can use the show preview button, but.... Milk’s Favorite Cookie (Talk) 01:08, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

FA got its star on main page primary because people just snowballed to add the star to the page while GA people didn't snowball the idea. Then they just took the lack-of-interest from GA people and made it a "law" that GA can't have its + sign on front page. OhanaUnitedTalk page 16:19, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
Heh, that was one of the articles I reviewed. :) Anyway, now that I see it for real on an article, I think even less of the idea of adding the + to an article. IMO, the FA star pretty much self-explains itself, but regular people aren't going to have any idea what that means. Juliancolton Tropical Cyclone 14:47, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
Certainly not as aesthetically pleasing as the FA star. Maybe a brief italicized statement to either side of it might improve its appearance. But then, what would such a statement say? Kevin Baastalk 14:58, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
Nothing. I don't like the idea of a GA symbol on an article, regardless of text on either side of it. Juliancolton Tropical Cyclone 15:03, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps something like:
Symbol support vote.svg
This article has meet the good article criteria and passed through the good article nomination process successfully.
Kevin Baastalk 15:54, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
Whoa! That's way too long for the top of an article, IMO. Also, I don't like the idea, but if I did it would have to be like the FA star format. It would link to WP:GA, just as the FA star links to WP:FA. Juliancolton Tropical Cyclone 16:02, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
"...has meet..."? You mean "met" ;) Milk’s Favorite Cookie (Talk) 15:55, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. Here's another possibility:
Symbol support vote.svg
This article has passed the good article criteria.
designed to be smaller and less intrusive. Kevin Baastalk 16:04, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
Here's a sample: [6] Kevin Baastalk 16:24, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
I think that having the text next to the symbol will detract from people being willing to support the implementation of the symbol all together. Clicking on the symbol should take a user to a page describing the criteria, similar to what happens when you click on the FA star. will381796 (talk) 16:39, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
I agree. The FA star doesn't say Cscr-featured.svg This article has passed the Featured Article criteria. I'm not even sure I like the FA star. As stated by many of our policies and guidelines, we are here to build a comprehensive encyclopedia, not to see who can get the most articles with the stupid + symbol or star on it. The World Book encyclopedia doesn't have stars and + signs on their articles, and neither does any other encyclopedia. How is it going to aid the reader in determining the quality of an article? This would not help the building of an encyclopedia at all. It is just for the sake of the people here who are here for their own good, and how think Wikipedia is a competition to get the most recognized content. A person how hears something on TV or the radio, or a kid doing a school report is not going to care about the symbol on the top-right corner of the article. They are just coming here to learn about the subject. Juliancolton Tropical Cyclone 19:21, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
You're comparing apples with pears. A reader of the Encyclopedia Britannica, for instance, will automatically expect that every article has been reviewd to some minimum standard, but that is obviously not the case with wikipedia articles. Hence the FA/GA sysmbols, to show that an article has been through some kind of independent review process. That's how it helps a reader to at least determine the relative quality of an article. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 19:31, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
I still don't understand why a reader will care how high on the assessment scale an article is. As I have said before, the reader can be the only one to determine if an article is good enough for her/himself. I still stick with my opinion that we are here to build a comprehensive encyclopedia. Not to see who can get the most GAs or FAs. Also, I believe that only FAs (although I don't think the star is that necessary) are good enough to showcase on the main article. Juliancolton Tropical Cyclone 20:01, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
I didn't say that they would care how high up it was. What I said was that they may care that it has undergone an independent assessment. The "how high up" argument also applies equally to the FA star of course. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 20:09, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
PS. By "relative quality" I meant assessed vs unassessed. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 20:12, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I know that it applies equally to the FA star, and I don't think it adds much either. As a member of the GA project myself, I respect the GA process, but I just don't think the symbol on the main article would add much. I know I'm sounding redundant to my previous comments, but I just don't think it's a good idea. Juliancolton Tropical Cyclone 20:19, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
I don't think it's a bad idea. We really shouldn't be taking our ideas from other encyclopedias anyhow, since wikipedia is not run in the same manner, which was previously noted. Most people who check wikipedia for information aren't checking the talk pages for article quality. A GA badge/statement/haiku might get people to further explore wikipedia, and could increase the number of people making edits as well as increased positive notice within the media, as they become more knowledgeable about wikipedia. Seems like a win-win to me. Thegreatdr (talk) 01:13, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
That's my concern! What kind of average reader is going to recognize the + symbol, and corrolate it to good quality? People don't come to Wikipedia to look for GA symbols, they come for an encyclopediac overview of the subject they intend to learn about. Juliancolton Tropical Cyclone 01:19, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
Did you actually read the comment above that you are apparently relying to? --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 02:06, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

<--Yes, of course. Thegreatdr stated that people are going to read Wikipedia and recognize the GA symbol as a symbol of good quality, and my concern is that people won't actually know what it means. I don't understand why you asked that. Juliancolton Tropical Cyclone 16:08, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

Thegreatdr never suggested that people won't know what it means, or that were this the case, it would be a cause for concern. Kevin Baastalk 16:12, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
I never said he did. Juliancolton Tropical Cyclone 16:14, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
You directly implied that he did. If you responded to him: "That's my concern!", and your concern was that people won't know what it means, it logically follows that he said people won't know what it means. But, as you tacitly acknowledge, he didn't say that. This is why malleus asked that, and why i was likewise confused. Kevin Baastalk 16:20, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
I did not directly imply that he did. I may have worded that statement incorrectly, although. Also, this conversation is getting far off topic. This is a discussion about the addition of the GA symbol to the article, not trying to prove to me that I was incorrect. Juliancolton Tropical Cyclone 16:36, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

Alright, now that we're back on the same page here, let me respond to "People don't come to Wikipedia to look for GA symbols, they come for an encyclopediac overview of the subject they intend to learn about.": They don't come to wikipedia for sidebars, redirects, and NPOV tags, either. But that doesn't make them any less useful or valuable, and it's no reason to not have them. If putting a GA symbol on GA articles somehow obstructed people from getting "an encyclopedic overview of the subject they intend to learn about", then that would be an argument against having the symbol. But since it doesn't, I don't really see how its relevant; it still doesn't answer the question: what are the undesirable practical consequences of having a GA symbol in the upper right corner of GAs? Kevin Baastalk 19:24, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

But since it doesn't, I don't really see how its relevant... That is completely opinion. I happen to believe the exact opposite. I've answered that question several times, and I don't know how many more ways I can say it. I think that it can cause confusion, and people might find it difficult to determine whether the symbol is related to the article. Also, you are here to build an encyclopedia, right? You're not here to spend your time trying to get people to say "Oh, look at that GA symbol, that must mean the person who wrote this is better than other people", are you? You're not here to compete with other editors to get the most GAs, are you? I know I'm going slightly off topic, but I'm just trying to convince you that it's not needed, and might just cause more confusion around Wikipedia. Also, a good article just has to be passed by one person. I know that GA is a comunity process, but an article might be "good" in one person's eyes, but not another's. Wikipedia is trying to create a comprehensive, reliable overview of all human knowledge, and I don't see how we are doing that by adding decorative symbols and badges to our articles. I'm certainly not against GA, and I respect the process very much. This just shows that the majority of Wikipedians are here to prove something, not to help wrtie an encyclopedia. And as I said, my biggest concern is that nobody besides editors of Wikipedia is going to know what the symbol means. Juliancolton Tropical Cyclone 19:36, 27 April 2008 (UTC)\
Confusion can be removed simply by having the symbol link to a page describing what it means, just like is done with the FA. Its just that simple. Also, it would be wonderful if everyone came on here with completely altruistic feelings in their heart. Yes, we're here to create an encyclopedia. Each of us should be trying to improve this encyclopedia as much as possible. But many people also want recognition for their hard work. If a little GA symbol on the article and the GA talk page header on the talk page its a GA makes people feel as though their work is being appreciated, then add the symbol. When editors feel their work is appreciated, they are more likely to continue to contribute. It doesn't matter if their reasons for contributing are to create a better encyclopedia or whether they simply want more GA articles to their name. The simple fact is that the encyclopedia would be better because they were active contributors. Here in the US people make donations sometimes for the simple reason of getting a tax deduction. It doesn't mean that because they did it for less-than altruistic reasons that the people that benefit from the donations appreciate it any less. will381796 (talk) 19:55, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
We already have the assessment scale on an article's talk page which lists an articles as a GA. We have a list of GAs. People can put {{User Good Article}} on their userpages. But people how aren't familiar with the workings of Wikipedia aren't going to know what a GA is, even if there is a link. IMO, regular people don't really care how well an article ranks on the assessment scale. I don't see how it is going to get more people to work on articles. I mean, everybody likes recognition via high-ranking articles. Getting a GA always puts a smile on my face. Honestly, I don't care whether people see that it is a high-quality article, I just care that people learn from an accurite, reliable article, which is what an encyclopedia is supposed to do. I am beginning to sound redundant here, but I just want people to understand that it's not going to make a difference. I would like to here one good, valid reason as to why you think it would make a change for the better. Juliancolton Tropical Cyclone 20:05, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
There can't be any confusion. I did a test to my friends who use Wikipedia but don't edit them. I presented to them 1 FA, 1 GA, and 1 B-class article with no (NPOV/vertify/citation needed, etc.) tags. I asked them to read the articles over and tell me the difference between those 3, without them knowing the different classes of articles (they don't know what FA, GA, or B stands for anyways). They couldn't tell the quality of the article until I pointed out the bronze star which means one of the best works in Wikipedia. Since they don't even know what the star stands for, if we add the + sign they still don't know what they are for, hence there will be no confusion. OhanaUnitedTalk page 20:13, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
How do we know that it won't make a difference unless we try it? All of us that are active on WP were at one time newcomers that stumbled upon the site via a search engine or something. You have to explore to learn about everything. If someone does a "Random Page" search and pops up on an article with a strange, unknown symbol on the top right of a page, some (not all) will click on it to see what its all about. Some of those will be interested enough to participate in the process. Good article's don't have the benefit of front page advertisement like FAs do. For someone to even find out that GAs exists requires that they bump over to the talk page to see that its been rated GA (this is, in fact, how I learned about the entire GA review process). will381796 (talk) 20:15, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
Very many reasons have been given above as to why including the symbol might lead to an improvement in the encyclopedia. I've yet to see a single reason why including it would be harmful though. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 20:21, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
I have presented many reasons as to why I believe it would be bad, but because you are for the change you (with others) do not wish to take into account my opinions. I could continue to ramble on and on about why I think it will not be a good change, but I just don't think it's necessary, and I think it could cause unneeded confusion. Everybody says it will encourage editors to write more quality articles, and it will get more people involved in the GA process, so with GAN backlog as bad as it is, why do we want everybody in Wikipedia nominating as many articles as they can? It will just further hinder the GAN reviewing process. Juliancolton Tropical Cyclone 21:06, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
And/or can also serve to bring additional editors in as reviewers as more people could become aware that the entire GA review process exists. The GA criteria, I believe, already recommend that if you nominate an article that you also review an article. We're not discounting anyone's arguments. Its just that some are making "Oppose" votes based either on 1)hypothetical statements that it will not help the project 2)that the GA status is not rigorous enough or not as "worthy" of recognition as compared to FA or 3) they're against the inclusion of anything non-encyclopedic on an article's page.. First, hypothetical statements are just that: hypothetical. Just as I believe the symbol's will help WP, you believe it will either not help or hurt. Neither of us can be proven correct on this point until it is implemented and we get some hard data. GA-equivalent articles on other language wikipedias have implemented symbols on an article's page with none of the "hypothetical" negatives that many believe will be caused. Second, whether or not a symbol is on the front page of the article will not change the fact that an article is/isn't a good article, so any comparison to the FA-review process and its rigor compared to the GA process is completely moot. If change are needed in the GA review process, then they can be implemented but this is a discussion for a separate day. Finally, I just don't get the argument about keeping symbols off of article's for the sake of aesthetics. There's alot of non-encyclopedic information (tags, templates) that are present on many articles. If this argument is to hold any water, then a discussion needs to be opened for the removal of ALL non-encylopedic information from all articles and their movement to a talk page. will381796 (talk) 22:24, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
We're not ignoring your opinions, we simply do not find their reasons compelling. Your arguments say that it's not necessary. But improvements are made based on whether they would be beneficial, not merely whether they're necessary. --erachima talk 22:06, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
To Will381796: You do raise good points. You may be right that it could help GAN, but I know that the majority of people who nominate articles either forget to review an article or just don't want to. Now, the concerns that I have are in fact just hypothetical, but hypothetical problems are what need to be taken into account before making a major project-wide change. The GA process is getting better and more widely-recognized by the month, so I just don't want to see a non-necessary change causing problems, namely confusion amongst readers, increased backlog at GAN, and problems with article quality. People might complain about articles not being worthy of main-article displaying of GA, and another one of my concerns is that GAR would get backlogged severely. I don't know for a fact that it may result in these problems, but I would rather be safe than sorry. Also, most templates on articles assist in navigation of Wikipedia and of related articles. The GA symbol would just be decorative and would serve no purpose other than just look pretty. Juliancolton Tropical Cyclone 00:10, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
Also, I created a GA IRC channel (#wikipedia-good-articles) under as a more efficient way to discuss this. Juliancolton Tropical Cyclone 00:18, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
I may sound like a n00b, but I have absolutely no idea how to get on IRC...especially not on my mac. lol will381796 (talk) 00:20, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
I just go to this site, scroll down to "" in the first box, type #wikipedia-good-articles in the second box, and use your username as your nickname. Don't worry, it took me a while to figure it out too. Juliancolton Tropical Cyclone 00:29, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
I prefer centralized and open discussion channels like this talk page instead of IRC. IRC sparks too much drama. OhanaUnitedTalk page 01:17, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
It's right now just a discussion between two people and its being archived and will be made public at its conclusion. will381796 (talk) 01:21, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
Please find the archive of our IRC discussion here. It was a productive conversation and would recommend everyone to read. will381796 (talk) 01:41, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
Funny how no one complained about the GA symbol on the top of this page. OhanaUnitedTalk page 20:05, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

Discussion in the wikipedia-fr channel on IRC

I wrestled with how to summarize what I learned from talking with the, but I don't think there's a good way to summarize it. I'm not trying to prove any points here, I just think it adds useful information to the discussion. Note how friendly they are; imagine what would happen if an unknown person popped into the wikipedia-en channel and asked to speak in French :) [Please note: I really don't care about the symbol, I was just making conversation.]

<dank55>  je voudrais parler un moment en anglais...c'est ok?
<gribeco> bonjour le chan !
<Darkoneko>       dank55: go ahead
<hegesippe>       salut
<Arria>   dank55: Go ahead. :-) Need help on fr:wp?
<dank55>  bonjour
<dank55>  we are arguing about whether to put a symbol on "Good Articles" in en.WP
<dank55>  most of the other wikipedias do this
<dank55>  does fr.WP?
<Arria>   dank55: Yeah.
<fugace>  dank55: yes
<Arria>   A silver star.
<dank55>  which page can i look at on fr.wp?
<Arria>   The FAs have a golden star.
<Darkoneko>       a symbol, as in an interwiki symbol ? or a tempalte in the page ?
<Arria>   [[Wikipédia:Bons articles]]
<Pymouss> dank55: you can speak any language you want, Arria will understand
<dank55>  that was actually exactly what I suggested... no one liked my suggestion :)
<dank55>  merci bien
<Arria>   dank55: An example :
<Darkoneko>       dank55 > as a link next to the interwiki, or as a template ?
<Darkoneko>       a tempalte in enwiki, I mean.
<dank55>  the symbol would direct people to the Good Articles page
<Arria>   dank55: Both the interwikis (to other languages which have Good Articles) and the top of the article have a silver star.
<Arria>   dank55: It does, too, on fr:. Click it. :D
<Darkoneko>       the symbol would be *where* ? (which wiki ?)
<dank55>  i read french better than i speak it, i will look
<Darkoneko>       oh
<dank55>  has fr.WP had problems with people expecting a lot from bons articles, more than is being promised?
<Arria>   dank55: I've often wondered why en: had no symbol for the GAs.
<Darkoneko>       dank55 we have that for featured
<dank55>  that is the big argument at
<Arria>   dank55: No, I think not. GAs are a nicer, don't-bite-the-n00bs way of getting an article recognized as good.
<Darkoneko>       like, they earn the title, then well, only noob edit it so the quality degrade
<phe>     dank55: we get less trouble with good articles than with featured articles
<dank55>  i'm very glad to hear that!
<Arria>   In the votes for GAs we get less dramahz and less pickiness, which encourages the people writing the articles.
<dank55>  you all have been very helpful, thank you!
<Arria>   Happy to help. ^^
<Darkoneko>       arr're welcome
<Arria>   dank55: Why has it taken so long for en: to start thinking of a symbol for GAs?
* Arria always thought that was odd

- Dan Dank55 (talk)(mistakes) 14:47, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

  • Thanks for that. I'm glad to see that none of the problems that many people foresee have been experienced by WPs in other languages. will381796 (talk) 15:06, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

Some facts

Here are some stats I found. Of all languages offered by Wikipedia, 29 have Good Article process (including English). In these 29, only 5 do not display the corresponding GA symbol on the main page. These languages are English, Japanese, Indonesian, Upper Sorbian, and Yiddish. However, the last 3 languages (Indonesian, Upper Sorbian, and Yiddish) do not have a single GA so we cannot judge on whether such practices are allowed.

I won't call this a crisis, but this definitely rings the alarm because we're going in the opposite direction comparing to the global trend. OhanaUnitedTalk page 03:53, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

I'm not really much for following things just because they're global trends, but this does seem to show that people familiar with other wikis will immediately understand the symbols, if nothing else. Wrad (talk) 04:01, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
It also shows that it's not going to cause the downfall of the wiki to put the dots up. --erachima talk 04:03, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
Does anyone know if those other Wikipedias have had discussions to include the GA icon thing? If so, it would be interesting to see why the proposals were denied. It might also be interesting to get some more opinions from other Wikipedias that do do it to see how well it has worked out, what some potential pitfalls might be, etc. Anyone speak any of the 29 languages? Drewcifer (talk) 05:12, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
Hello, have you not looked above? There are opinions from editors on at least the French, German and Spanish wikipedias. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 05:16, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
Hi! Yea, I read the French one, which was interesting but wasn't as in-depth as I was hoping. Basically it says "Yea we do it" and "Yea it's been pretty cool I guess". Nice to know, but it doesn't really address any of the major arguments for or against. Drewcifer (talk) 05:21, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps that's because there's nothing to argue about? They did it, and the world didn't implode. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 05:24, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
Quite right, because according to the WP:GA talk page in the Spanish Wiki, and its archive, this was never even questioned, which is weird considering most processes de-branched from the English Wiki. Another thing the French and the Spanish do (that I love and have used frequently) is adding their GA symbol next to the GA in other wikis, just like we mark here the FAs in other wikis. See: fr:Guerre des Malouines and es:Estados Unidos.--Yamanbaiia(free hugs!) 10:00, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
My question is, how come it worked so well in other languages yet we're not adopting the same procedure? Because we have more editors so it's bound to attract more opposers based on probability? OhanaUnitedTalk page 03:33, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
My guess would be that on other wikis FA and GA are friends and don't have so many sworn enemies on both sides. If only... Wrad (talk) 03:35, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
It's difficult to say why we have taken a different tack from the other wikis, but part of the reason may be a greater sensitivity to criticism or embarrassing ourselves that would stem from the ways EN has been burned in the past. Obviously, when we tell people that an article is good, we run the risk that we are wrong about this. Also, a glance at the main pages of other wikipedias suggests that most of them use icons in general more prolifically than we do.
Incidentally, the fact that it has been adopted in many places doesn't say anything about how well its working in any of those places. Christopher Parham (talk) 04:05, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
I disagree. I'm sure if it caused big problems other language wiki's would get rid of it. Maybe we are just more conservative, or less willing to take a risk? - Shudde talk 04:36, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
It doesn't need to "cause big problems" to work poorly, or worse than the system it replaced. Christopher Parham (talk) 04:42, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
Well it clearly hasn't cause enough problems for them to remove it, and I'm sure if it was worse then the system it replaced then removing it is exactly what they would have been done. Nothings perfect, and if that is what we are aiming for we may as well give up on both the WP:GA and WP:FA systems now. - Shudde talk 05:11, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

(outdent) Let's do a trial. - Peregrine Fisher (talk) 05:15, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

Just to make sure everyone has seen this

Please see the comments by Samuel Wantman (an uninvolved admin) immediately before the requests for comments announcement on his generous offer to help to close the discussion. Geometry guy 22:53, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

Do you think it would be beneficial to Sam and the process in general if we made up kind of a argument-by argument summary? The closest example I can think of is here in the States: when a certain bill or law is up for voting, every registered voter gets a little pamphlet describing every proposal in neutral terms, then a summary of arguments for and against, then usually followed by counter-arguments. This might be a good idea so that a) it saves Sam from spending an entire day reading through the reams of comments made here, b) avoids the whole majority-rules sentiment that the above voting might imply, and c) would be a beneficial resource for any further discussion along a similar vein. Any thoughts? Drewcifer (talk) 05:17, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
It would be beneficial so long as nobody starts to comment on each of the arguments made by either least not here in this section.
and rebuttles are threaded/nested; i.e. something like:
  • argument for1
    • counter-argument1
      • rebuttle
    • counter-argument2
    • counter-argument3
      • rebuttle
  • argument for2
Kevin Baastalk
And the wikipedia's that are already doing this should be mentioned, with, if possible, a note by an admin there about how it's working out. Kevin Baastalk 18:00, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
This is a good idea, and I had already begun to ponder similar things before I read this. My plan now is to have the community work together to create the summary and use it to work towards a consensus. It seems very clear to me that any issue that generates strong opinions and scores of editors voicing them is very hard to resolve with straw polls like the one on this page. On the other hand, free-form discussions often meander, sprawl, and or devolve into one on one arguments. To deal with this, I plan to start a new Wikipedia process that is modeled on traditional consensus problem solving techniques to create a facilitated discussion. I will have more to say about this in a few days. There seems to be several other good reasons to hold this poll open for another week or so and several people who have so requested. -- SamuelWantman 08:27, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

WikiProject Good Articles May Newsletter

The May Newsletter for WikiProject Good Articles has now been published. Dr. Cash (talk) 22:16, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

Good article signs (closed)

Argument-by-argument summary for/against GA icon inclusion in mainspace

Based upon the above discussion/straw poll, this section is for listing each argument for and against the inclusion of the GA icon in the mainspace for articles that have been passed to GA status. This section is not for the debate of each point so please keep your commentary out of this section. Feel free to re-word the arguments if you think that the way the initial contributor worded them does not adequately project the true meaning of the argument, and please, add more arguments (based upon above discussions) if you notice that any have been omitted. will381796 (talk) 14:10, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

Arguments for inclusion

  • The GA icon will provide "mainspace" advertisement of the GA process to editors that may otherwise not know that it exists (because they may not peruse talk pages).
  • GA icons may provide incentive for improvement of articles to GA status, thereby increasing the quality of the encyclopedia overall.
  • GA icons may provide incentive for additional editors to become involved in the GA review process.
  • Editors/reviewers involved with the GA process would like recognition for the time and effort that they place into improving/reviewing articles for GA.
  • Provide more transparency to the GA process.
  • GA icons will provide incentive for articles to be improved to GA status versus the much more stringent (and time consuming) effort of improving an article to FA status.
  • GA Icons represent achievement even though it is not the best work of Wikipedia. (Example: Silver and bronze medals were handed out in sport competition in addition to gold medals to represent achievement.)
  • GA icons may inform readers that the article has been through and passed a quality review.
  • GA icons may inform skeptical readers of the existence of quality control processes on Wikipedia.
  • GA icons are widespread practice on other language encyclopedias. (The Spanish, Chinese, and French Wikipedias have been cited as examples that have already been doing this for some time.) The only 2 languages that do not have such practices are English and Japanese.
  • GA icons provide an additional reward for nominators who have worked to reach GA-class.
  • GA icons recognize high-quality work that is of insufficient length to ever meet FA standards. Many articles cannot become FAs merely because of length, not the quality of the work. Pushing on to FA for recognition is, for these article, not an option.
  • Using the icon has never been tried in the widespread way required to really see what it would do except on foreign wikis, in which it has proven relatively harmless.
  • The issue has been clouded by the historical origins of GA, leading to a perception that the community is against the GA process. Other Wikipedias have not been impeded by this historical baggage; this disparity needs to be rectified.
  • Good quality article's status should be shown to the general public and not just mostly Wikipedia editors.
  • Per Pillar 3, anyone can edit, and all content that someone might want to edit should be in mainspace, rather than in invisible comments, subdirectories, or the talk page. This is why innumerable tags show up in mainspace, even though many editors wish they didn't. If the results of the Good Article process, or status as a Good Article, is something that readers might want to have input into, then Pillar 3 requires notification in mainspace. - Dan Dank55 (talk)(mistakes) 15:47, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

Arguments against inclusion

  • GA does not hold its articles up to as much scrutiny as FA and therefore is not deserving of mainspace recognition like FA.
  • Neither FA nor GA should be represented in mainspace; neither is a guarantee of article quality.
  • Meta-information in Wikipedia articles should be minimized and the GA icon is an example of such meta-information. Subsidiary:
    • FA alone should be recognized in mainspace, because FA alone is considered Wikipedia's best information.
    • Neither FA nor GA should have consideration in mainspace, as both are meta-information. No article should have a meta-indicator in mainspace regarding quality.
    • Both FA and GA should have meta-indicators, as representing our top two content processes.
    • If both FA and GA are recognized with meta-information, all agreed upon Wikipedia ranks should have the same.
  • The GA icon may serve as an indicator to readers that the article is factually correct, when in fact, it might not be.
  • The meaning of the icon may cause confusion to readers.
  • Readers may perceive the GA icon as comparable to the FA star, diminishing the uniqueness of the latter.
  • The GA icon would cause a greater backlog at WP:GAN because people would take it as a competition to write the most GAs.
  • The GA process does not provide reliable talk page links to the review processes which led to the article's current GA status.
  • This has been proposed and rejected many times before.
  • The current version of an article, to which the icon is attached, may not have undergone any content assessment, and may not meet the good article standards. Readers have no easy way to see what has been changed since the rating was applied.
  • Any article whose editors want this type of recognition can push the article to featured status. All articles are eligible for featured status, and there is no length requirement.
  • The GA process allows a single reviewer to promote the article (meaning it could just be one person's opinion); the FA process requires consensus of multiple reviewers (promotion is product of consensus).
    • How to identify GA reviewers who do not understand the criteria?
  • Where GA icons have been tried, there is no hard evidence that they have been beneficial to the editing community or the readership.
  • GA articles may represent a minority of articles that are of equivalent quality, to an extent that is not comparable with FA-standard articles.
  • Registered users already have the option of displaying an article's quality assessment in the meta space underneath the title
  • Having a special icon for GA would appear to elevate GA above A-class in quality assessment


  • "Adding a GA icon is a trivial matter" vs. "Adding a GA icon is a serious issue".
  • "A GA icon is a recognition that the GA process is a good thing" vs. "A GA icon has nothing to do with the overall GA process".
  • "GA is not a community process" vs. "GA is a community process". And "what is a community process?".
  • How will flagged revision affect FA and GA?
  • Is the current GA icon the most appropriate for such purposes?

Proposed outcomes to this debate

The following are several proposed solutions/outcomes to this debate. Please add more if something has been omitted. will381796 (talk) 18:19, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

  • The status quo remains with GA information remaining solely on the article's talk page.
  • GA icons are added to all current and all newly promoted good articles.
  • GA icons are added to all newly promoted good articles and all previously promoted good articles so long as they undergo another review.
  • GA icons are added to articles that pass the GA sweeps process.
  • A trial-run is performed, during which the GA icon is added to good articles on the mainspace and its repercussions analyzed at the conclusion of the trial period. Data will be collected in order to determine whether there are any true detrimental effects of having the icon in mainspace.
  • GA process is improved in order to ensure a higher reliability.

Shut down?

Is it time to shut down the poll? Ten days, no consensus. Considering that this is a sympathetic forum, 57% is hardly enough. Marskell (talk) 14:19, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

No, the poll runs until 7 May,
  1. this poll has been widely advertized so it is 'not' a sympathetic forum.
  2. consensus is not a vote but built on arguments: 7:5 for the proposal is suggestive of consensus.
  3. standard polling time is two weeks.
  4. a closing admin Sam (talk · contribs · count) has already agreed to go over the arguments and determine consensus.
Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 14:25, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Yes. Marskell (who understands "polling" on Wiki as well as anyone) has accurately pointed out that this one has run its course (and the only person who suggested the May 7 date, I believe, was me). The poll wasn't widely advertised initially, so of course the early "votes" were biased in favor of the icon, but even with the friendly forum, the proposal hasn't gained consensus. It's time to take from the information gleaned here and focus on solutions. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:04, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
    • It was put on the Community portal and the Village Pump from day one. How can you say that isn't well advertised? Wrad (talk) 15:25, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
      • For example, that was the first time I'd ever heard of the Community portal (sorry :-), I wasn't aware of the poll until I saw it mentioned on Jbmurray's page, and I very intentionally did not mention it at FAC early on, so spurious accusations wouldn't be directed at me (for a change :-). Notice how and when Raul eventually became aware of the poll. The early poll results were biased by the friendly forum. Had the poll been conducted at one of the external forums (like the Village Pump), I'm not sure the results would be the same. At any rate, even considering the friendly forum, consensus to alter article space has not been achieved, and I suggest moving to the solutions phase is best. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:42, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
        • Curiously, the Village Pump had a poll occurring on its own space with 66% in favor of the symbol. I kind of think most people against just thought it wouldn't go anywhere and when it started to show promise, determined to stop it. Wrad (talk) 15:49, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
          • Another reason early results are biased is that because it's a perennial proposal that is routinely rejected, possibly many people didn't bother. At any rate, we can discuss all day or the rest of the week, but to alter article space, broad consensus needs to be achieved. Do you disagree that consensus sufficient to alter article space has not been achieved? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:54, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
            • I believe that it is contentious and useless to argue either way when you're not the person who decides. Just causes problems and stirs up arguments. I just feel like all the accusations of biased forum and lack of communication whatnot are widening the GA/FA divide and are not helpful, nor are they true. If we'd really been trying to schnooker you guys, we would have closed after a few days and started putting the symbols on before you knew what hit you, so let's just not make that assumption, sound good? There's nothing wrong with coming in late to vote on something you didn't think would pass, just don't start accusing us of cheating because we had the lead early in the game when you weren't even trying. Wrad (talk) 16:15, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
              • What a perfectly strange and revealing "us vs. them" post. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:37, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

You don't need broad consensus to alter article space, you just need to click the edit button located at the top of an article.-- (talk) 16:12, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

That works until the first revert. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:40, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

I certainly think that if this discussion is kept open in its current form for much longer there is an increasing danger that it will become acrimonious. I've already seen too much "us and them" talk, and I've just about had enough of hearing how crap the whole GA process is, and by implication that I've been wasting my time, not to say dishonestly reviewing articles. Whether this poll stays open or not, I'll not be watching it any longer, else I may soon succcumb to the temptation to state my opinion a little more graphically. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 17:39, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

After 72 hours half of the current support votes had arrived and it was tracking in favour. Since then, it's slipped to 50/50. It's unlikely this dynamic is going to change, barring some outside intervention; we've had a total of eight votes on the second and third (4/4). There's obviously not consensus and I don't see the point in dragging it out. (Even with a +70% supermajority we'd still need to ping Jimbo for an opinion.)
I went through it on ATT (except an order of magnitude larger and on the opposite side of the ledger). The sympathetic forum creates an early support surge, but people who arrive later are less likely to have been previously involved and less likely to say yes. I'm not suggesting there was something nefarious about holding it on this talk. But clearly, clearly—if only as a watchlist matter—this is a friendly forum. Marskell (talk) 17:48, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Consensus is not based on the numbers of pro versus the number of cons; consensus is based upon the strengths of the arguments. If you have 200 people going in one direction and 50 going the other way, but the 200 people are supporting their decisions with opinions or misinterpretations of guidelines and policy, and the minority of !voters support their decision with facts and guidelines and policy, the 50 are the ones that make the stronger argument and consensus should go their direction. I'm not saying that's what either side of this debate are doing; I'm just getting annoyed with all the talk of counting !votes. That's why we've brought in an independent and unbiased admin to analyze the arguments and make a decision based upon those. If it was a simple count of the numbers, anyone could do close and an admin would not be necessary. So stop with the counting of the number of !votes and just wait for the admin close. will381796 (talk) 21:01, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
That's right, arguments. I have just counted five "I like it" or simply unexplained support votes and none such oppose votes. I am not including "per X" votes, which are numerous on both sides. Waltham, The Duke of 23:37, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
Again, you're trying to turn this section into an argument. Stop. There are several that are something along the lines of "I just don't like it" or "I think it makes it look cluttered." Those are opinions just like the "I like it" !votes are. will381796 (talk) 02:32, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
You can't force someone to make a statement in order to support or oppose, nor stating it ahead of time that everyone must state a reason. It's not fair to those who voiced their opinions and have their views to be discounted at the end because of a new "criteria" that filters out !votes near the end of the poll. OhanaUnitedTalk page 02:37, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
I simply cannot understand how this is not a vote if people do not have to show that they have a good reason to support or oppose, that's all. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but we ought not to be forced to take an opinion seriously if the person expressing that opinion does not know why they have it in the first place. Waltham, The Duke of 11:33, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
Mine might have looked like an I like it vote, but if you read carefully, I make my arguments all over the discussion. I certainly hope you didn't count mine among your five, though I fear otherwise. Wrad (talk) 19:17, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm afraid you have good reason to fear as you say. It turns out these things are never reliable... (sigh) :-) Waltham, The Duke of 23:47, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

I just closed the debate. -- SamuelWantman 07:57, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for your commentary Sam; I'm sure it will be useful in moving the GA (and FA) processes forwards. dihydrogen monoxide (H2O) 08:17, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
Thanks again from me too. I think everyone who has contributed to the poll, no matter how they !voted, or for what reason, can take something out of the discussion and your excellent summary and closing statement. That was a lot of work! Geometry guy 10:33, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
Indeed, I have no option but to agree that the closing statement constitutes a superb analysis of the situation, and that it should be seriously taken into consideration by all involved parties. Waltham, The Duke of 23:52, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

2:1 milestone crossed

Just to draw attention to the fact that the GA:FA ratio (mentioned in a previous post) crossed 2:1 today. Special thanks to SandyGeorgia for holding off a couple of FAC promotions so that the milestone was crossed this morning. At the moment the number of GAs grows approximately three times faster than the number of FAs, so the although the ratio may cross 2:1 a couple more times, it will soon be stably larger. This observation also means that the 3:1 ratio will never be reached unless we can up the rate in which GANs are processed.

Anyway, that is just food for thought. After all the issues raised in recent discussions, this might be a moment to celebrate the fact that GA is providing independent oversight against well defined criteria to so many articles, and hence is helping to address the major problem that Wikipedia faces: more than 95% of its articles are very poor, with no independent oversight at all. Geometry guy 10:52, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

This calls for a celebration. Champaign to all! I feel generous today. :-) Waltham, The Duke of 11:40, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
Has Sandy already talked to you about making this a Dispatch article for the Signpost? This would make a great stand-alone article, since we haven't had one on GA yet. Karanacs (talk) 13:37, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
Yes; there's a tentative suggestion to have a dispatch on GA related matters on 19th May. Geometry guy 14:37, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I'm going to beat G guy up if he doesn't take the 19th slot :-) And just to clarify, I didn't intentionally withhold promotions :-) Archiving FACs requires having only two tabs open, so I can easily do that when I'm on my laptop. Promoting FACs requires four more open tabs, and a spreadsheet on my main computer, so I only do that when I can get to that computer and fully concentrate on six open tabs. I pointed out to G guy that the ratio was reached on his predicted date because I hadn't promoted for three days :-) We'll probably bounce up and down around the ratio for a few days because FA promotions usually decrease GAs (if a GA is promoted FA, it's removed from GA), but by the 19th Dispatch, the ratio should be firmly established, and G guy can also cover the icon poll. By the way, thanks to Sam for doing such a fine job of summarizing the issues in a neutral way. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:05, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
Yikes! Last time that happened, I was in hospital for weeks :-) Looks like I'd better do the 19th... Geometry guy 16:48, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

Redesign of symbols

FA top star
GA lower star
GA star alone, per suggestions.
GA star with the colors and cross from the good article symbol
Good article star 3.svg

I have created a "two star" design pattern for the top right corners of articles, showing a clear hierarchy in the icons between Featured Articles and Good Articles.

The advantages of this are:

  • A higher rating denoted by multiple stars is a universal and easily-recognized convention.
  • The FA star is golden and elaborate, and clearly meant to be superior to the plain black GA star.
  • There is a clear symbolism of FAs building on GAs.
  • The GA star with an empty box above looks "incomplete".
  • The venerable form of the FA star is retained, and can continue to be used without the box everywhere it is normally used now, except on the top right corners of articles.

This should be considered a conceptual design at this point, very much open to improvement.--Pharos (talk) 09:15, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

I like the empty star, but I'm not so sure about the box thing. Little military-ish. Drewcifer (talk) 10:28, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
I disagree with this idea, I think it should be either the GA button or the star. "Ranking" boxes would look cheap and un-encyclopaedic. --Yamanbaiia(free hugs!) 10:54, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
I have to agree. There's enough controversy adding a single symbol to the top of the article. Turning this into two symbols with a more complicated interpretation is probably not the best route to go. will381796 (talk) 14:56, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
Alternatively, a GA article could have just one, empty star, and a FA article could have just one, filled star (i.e. no change). Kevin Baastalk 15:13, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, since several people have suggested this now, it appears I overdesigned this. I can see the merit of just a simple 'empty star' too.--Pharos (talk) 22:05, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
OK guys, we now have an svg of the GA star alone, per your suggestions. Thanks to User:Cradel at the Wikipedia:Graphic Lab/Images to improve for creating this.--Pharos (talk) 21:19, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
I've suggested below adding some brief text: Symbol support vote.svgThis article has passed the good article criteria. But then one might argue that the same should then be done to FA (Cscr-featured.svgThis is a featured article.). And this would be a whole 'nother proposal altogether. Kevin Baastalk 15:13, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
No position on whether to add words, but if you add them, I'd prefer GA inside or underneath the star, or maybe "Good article rating". - Dan Dank55 (talk)(mistakes) 15:34, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
Here's a suggestion from the approve section of the straw poll: Artículo bueno.svg. Apparently they are already doing this on the spanish wikipedia. (example) Kevin Baastalk 18:53, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

I don't like either of these. The Good Article symbol on the English Wikipedia is the symbol you see currently. To add a different one to articles would either be confusing, or necessitate a complete switch to the new symbol, imo. VanTucky 19:45, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

Then I say switch. From what I understand, some people opposed the GA icon articles because of how it looks there. So we're entertaining alternative icons. If an alternative icon can be found that more people like, then by all means we should switch to it - completely if necessary. But the point is that if we can make it look good there, that'll eliminate an objection. FWIW, I like the spanish version the best. Nothing says "reviewed" like a check-mark. Kevin Baastalk 20:15, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
No one is saying no to the button's design, opposes are either saying no to all symbols or no because of the way GA's are reviewed. Adding text, boxes, colours, etc will change nothing.--Yamanbaiia(free hugs!) 20:52, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
I stand corrected. Upon review of the "oppose" section I see you're right nobody is saying no on account of the aesthetics. Apparently I was mistakenly attributing comments made in the "Aesthetics" section to oppose votes. However, some of the comments in this section constitute "saying no to the button's design" in the context of it being placed in the upper right corner of GA's. And as far as I understand it, that's what led to the current discussion. Kevin Baastalk 21:25, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
Indeed, but since talking about the wrapage, when we can't agree on the gift, is stupid, I think we should all focus on other things, like making this other wicked idea a reality. That's frigggingggg aawwwweesome!! Is that a project you are working on? is that being discussed?--Yamanbaiia(free hugs!) 21:51, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
No, it's just a proposal I put on Wikipedia talk:Stable versions (Wikipedia_talk:Stable_versions#Branchless_stable_version_-_Kevin.27s_mods). Apparently Wikipedia:Flagged revisions is what's going to be implemented. Flagged revisions is probably easier to program, but I don't see how it's much different than WP:GA w/permalinks. And I think we really need a much more democratic solution that will always have a public revision for every article. I could go on, but this isn't the place for it. Suffice it to say it's not implemented and not currently being discussed. I've never done any coding for wikipedia, but I know it would require some new database tables and it would be a substantial project (requiring a full testing environment, etc.). One that I'm not ready to work on, esp. when I don't have any clear idea on whether it's going to be taken up in the end. Right now it's just an idea. Kevin Baastalk 22:27, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
Actually, User:Indopug did specifically mention newbie confusion over the hierarchy of the symbols in their oppose.--Pharos (talk) 22:05, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

I don't see a problem with the present GA button, which I prefer to the green tick. I don't like the idea of coloured (or uncoloured) stars either, as it implies some kind of gold, silver, bronze ranking system. GA may be a step towards FA, but it's at least equally likely not to be, for all sorts of reasons. The two processes are, to some extent at least, orthogonal, although hopefully complimentary. It seems appropriate therefore to use two quite different icons. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 20:00, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

A star is bad not for purely aesthetic reasons (though I'm not partial to it), but because the last thing we want is to confuse GA and FA. That will really bring the wrath of the community down on our heads. VanTucky 21:43, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
Concerns have been raised that the current symbols do not clearly indicate that FA is superior to GA. Using a related symbol that is clearly "deficient" (the 'empty star') could address this problem.--Pharos (talk) 22:05, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
The point of the symbol is not to clearly indicate that FA is superior to GA. The point is to identify it as GA, and link to the main GA page, which says in it's very first sentence that GA is a step below FA in quality. Not only that, but the empty star is just plain ugly. VanTucky 22:09, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
The whole point of putting the symbol on the front side is to make GA status visible to newbies, who do not normally click through every little thing. As part of making that status visible, I think the meaning of that status should also be made intuitive, because again most readers will not click through everything (but I do think that intuitive designs encourage greater participation in the long run). I am open to any suggestions for improvement of the 'empty star' (or, "not-quite-fulfilled star", I should say) design. For example, it might be more appealing (while retaining its same intuitive meaning) if the outer border was a green color, like the old plus symbol.--Pharos (talk) 23:26, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
What about this version I made (bottom image) -- Cradel 17:41, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
I quite like that! --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 17:50, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
That green star rocks, lol its better than the featured star. Realist2 ('Come Speak To Me') 19:59, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
That's my concern, actually. At small resolution in the top corner of an article (we use only 14px), it will be hard to tell that the FA star is supposed to represent something superior to the GA star with your current version. If we took your version and "hollowed" it out while keeping the green border, that could still keep it jaunty while being intuitively "plainer" than the FA star.--Pharos (talk) 20:18, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
What about this one then ? -- Cradel 10:15, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
Cool! You get my vote.--Pharos (talk) 10:24, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

(Indent) - thats not our problem, we should try to make the symbol as good as possible, if the FA star seems inferior well maybe its time that was updated too. Anyway, dont we have a consensus yet to at least stick a symbol up?Realist2 ('Come Speak To Me') 20:34, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

If only...

If only everyone who has commented on this topic could now go and read (or ideally review) an article that is up for GAN or for GAR, it would make the GA system still more of a community process.

Meanwhile, if nothing else, this discussion has drawn attention to the GA process. Let us hope that more people help out as a result. -- (talk) 03:33, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

Experimental design

Let's say that we try this out. As editors above pointed out, we need something to test. So here's what I propose.

  • Set up a random sample of GAs; this will require coordination on how many we have and how many users can watch over them for data collection. Obviously, if we want to test global effects, we should prolly pick a whole mess of old GAs and then tag every new GA that gets promoted
  • Record statistics. Whatever we want, but I think that reassessing each GA for a look at quality vs. quantity is interesting. Subjective, but interesting. If we have the mean number of articles promoted before the test, then we can just compare the number promoted after (over six months) to a normal model, get a z-score and test our variables that way to see if there has been a clear, significant increase or change period.
  • Conclusions and such.

Just putting down my thoughts on how to go about; obviously, it needs fleshing out. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 22:23, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

I like your idea, but, if the effects of the icon are to be tested, shouldn't all current GA get tagged with the icon? I mean, part of the effect of the icon will be the result of individuals stumbling upon random articles and seeing the icon and thinking "hey, what does this icon mean?" If we're only tagging a select few of the current GAs, then aren't we in essence reducing the "intensity", so to speak, of whatever effect we hope to see. And how would we decide which articles to tag? From what I understand, all of the GAs are currently undergoing a quality check in what they call "Sweeps." In addition, if we're only going to select a sample of all GAs, I think that will increase the work needed to A) add/remove the icons (as it will probably make it more difficult to program a bot to tag select articles rather than all GAs) B) collect information on specific article's. I like your overall design, but that's the only thing I would look into further. I'd be for implementing the icon on all GAs versus a select few. will381796 (talk) 22:57, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
In an effort to promote the GA sweeps process, I would support the tagging of all articles with the symbol that undergo a successful GA sweeps review. That way, articles that get the symbol have undergone at least two GA reviews, probably by two different editors, so the quality issue is addressed. We might get more participation in sweeps, too. This could ultimately lead to a system whereby GA reviews are done by more individuals at the initial WP:GAN level, and ultimately undergo a second review later on by a more experienced reviewer, in which the symbol is added (sort of a two-tiered GA system). Dr. Cash (talk) 23:06, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
We already have Sweeps going on. It's just that the progress is slow due to the limited number of experienced reviewers. OhanaUnitedTalk page 19:57, 29 April 2008 (UTC)


A lot of people are opposing the GA dot over the "one person makes the decision" argument. I suggest that once the article has passed GA statues, in order for it to be given a GA dot/star/whatever, the/a nominee must apply for it. Then, someone else gives it a second review to be 100% sure it is indeed GA standard and the dot can be awarded to the front of the article. In essence the dot confirms that the GA review was double checked and is indeed a trusted GA article.Realist2 ('Come Speak To Me') 22:58, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

Then comes the question - what are we awarding: GA status or the little GA dot? will381796 (talk) 14:01, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
Maybe the dot shouldnt be used at all to say "hey this is a GA article" maybe the dot should indicate "hey this review has been double checked and hell yeah its GA worthy, no question about that". An application process does a number of things, 1st it would only give a dot to articles that truely deserve it, 2nd bad GA from long ago will be rooted out, someone will put a GA article up for application and a reviewer will clearly get the opportunity to see its no longer a GA article and delist it entirely, in essence its also a double check on old articles that has been GA for ages. This way people who oppose on the "one person makes the decision" argument loss, with this method at least 2 people must have reviewed it before its allowed a dot. Realist2 ('Come Speak To Me') 15:10, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
Shame, people arent taking this option more seriously, i think some of those who oppose might just support with this idea. Realist2 ('Come Speak To Me') 22:17, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
This might be a little late, but I strongly oppose the usage of a star as a GA icon and the inclusion of any icon denoting "merely" GA status in the main namespace, both for the same reason: it intrudes too much on FA, and implies quality that isn't there. (if it was, it would nominated for FA status. If you care for more details, see that big red box a few sections above this one.) The star, in my opinion, is trying to steal the thunder of FA. We "feature" articles (and other content) to readers because it is of the highest quality; the GA and assessment programs are primarily for editors in "in-house" sorting and classification.--HereToHelp (talk to me) 00:59, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

Improvements in GA process

So, the Great Green Dot debate (aside: can we go ahead and archive that entire discussion and all related discussions on this page?) has been put on hold again due to no consensus. Seems like the great majority of arguments against were related to defects in the GA process. Are there any ideas of what we can do to improve the process? Let's throw out some ideas of things we can do so eventually this argument cannot be raised against us. will381796 (talk) 14:41, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

  • Require that articles be reviewed by more than one editor and that both editors agree to passing. Failure for these multiple editors to agree will lead to article failure (but this would be open to GAR). will381796 (talk) 14:41, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Require that a review by a "junior" reviewer be confirmed by a more senior reviewer prior to listing the article as GA. will381796 (talk) 14:42, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Require stricter enforcement of WP:V in all articles. will381796 (talk) 14:41, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Temporary suspension of new GA nominations so that GAs promoted prior to some arbitrary date can be re-evaluated; this would also allow for GAs that were FAN but were failed to be reviewed to ensure that the FAN failure was not due to basic violations of WP policies and guidelines. will381796 (talk) 14:41, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Require that all promotions to GA are accompanied by a thorough review from any reviewer involved (I've seen too many "Okay/Bad" "Pass/Fail" reviews and these are unacceptable and don't help anyone). No article is perfect (not even FAs) so every review must provide suggestions to the article, even if suggestions are unrelated to GAN. will381796 (talk) 14:41, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
All too complicated: all you have to do is systematically review the FAC archives and promotes to assess the quality of GA reviews and reviewers. I could, (right now, but I won't do that) name a dozen current and recent GAs that recently were archived at FAC because they have unintelligible prose and glaring grammatical errors far below an acceptable standard of basic English (and I'm no prose guru, so when I can see them, that's bad :-), or use non-reliable sources. It will only take a few months of this kind of retrospective assessment to figure out how to address the issues. This isn't rocket science; it's just a matter of looking at data that is already provided for you in two monthly FAC files. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:11, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
  • I'm not saying all of those needs to be implemented. I'm throwing out ideas. Take what you like, discard the rest. I definitely was not proposing that all five of my ideas be implemented. They are simply possible responses to GA process criticism. will381796 (talk) 16:51, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
Simplify, simplify, simplify. The basic issue is twofold: We need to take better care that articles are meeting WP:V and have no glaring grammatical errors. Brilliant prose is not required, but we'd better be able to understand what you mean. If we really crack down on these things I think the rest well follow as we continue to brainstorm. Wrad (talk) 15:18, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
Let me also say that I'm not sure that I agree that GA requirements for WP:V are the same as FA requirements. WP:V states "All quotations and any material challenged or likely to be challenged should be attributed to a reliable, published source using an inline citation." FA requires that EVERYTHING have a citation, like one or two for every statement made. GA just follows WP:V. that was my impression. FA goes above and beyond, while GA just meets the mark. This needs to be clarified. Wrad (talk) 15:22, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
In no case, should any Wiki article be sourced to blogs and self-published sources (unless the exceptions at WP:V are met). And I am not talking about brilliant prose; I am talking about basic, fundamental English. I am not a prose guru and my prose stinks. When I can find fundamental English and grammatical errors, we're in trouble. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:27, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I agree with all that, but I'm referring to something you said quite awhile ago in another conversation, that sourcing has the same requirements for FA and GA. I've never thought that. Wrad (talk) 15:34, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
Ah. That came out of WP:GVF, which should probably be fixed, then. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:46, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

I don't think we should rush into either analysis of the discussion or making proposals for change. I also think that any changes to GA should be aimed purely at improving GA, not at "getting the green dot"; the two may or may not be related. I would like to suggest a couple of days reflection. Checking out the FAC data is one useful thing we could do first. However, for something completely different, can I encourage editors to look at this request for help with the Good article reassessment backlog. Thank you :-) Geometry guy 15:28, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

Its not a rush. I've only been involved in GA for a month and I have seen areas that do need addressing and I do agree with some of the critic's responses. If we take it slow and let everything die down from this green dot debate, then nobody is going to want to focus on anything that needs attention or changing. If changes are needed, then we need to do the analysis now while everyone's mind it on it now. I'm not proposing that we institute any of these changes...simply that we start thinking about things that might need to be done if we're ever going to hope to get a reputation as close as FA's. The little icon is just a cherry on top of a better encyclopedia. will381796 (talk) 16:51, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
While it may seem a bit heretical to the ethos of the process, what if GA admitted that the best reviewers should be the only people promoting? In the short term this would slow down the throughput but, properly done, it might rehabilitate the process in the eyes of many. I don't think Sandy, for instance, is saying all GA promotions are bad—but enough of them are that some people don't trust GA. So start with the five or ten best reviewers. You wouldn't need to permanently limit it: others could earn a spot, which would ensure continued interest in the process. I don't doubt other bright minds have come up with something similar (hence "junior" and "senior" reviewers above). This seems a good way forward. Marskell (talk) 19:59, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
Doesn't that defeat the whole point of Wikipedia? Peanut4 (talk) 20:05, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
Uh, no. People with more experience are always the ones able to make the big decisions. See admins, bureaucrats and FAs as examples.
Are you saying they'd be the only ones that can promote or the only ones that can review? If they're the only one's able to review then I'd suggest we also suspend new GA nominations because the backlog would get too huge if only 5 or so people were able to do reviews. If you're saying they're the only one's able to pass, but new people can continue to review, then I think that's a good idea. It would give a bit of oversight and ensure that at least 2 people have taken a look at the article. Would also provide a learning opportunity for new reviewers. will381796 (talk) 20:07, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
Yes Will, review but not promote. You'd still want new input, so you'd let new people review. But you'd limit the final decision. Properly fleshed out, this could be a good thing for GA.
As the intervening comments indicate, some would find this antithetical to what GA is ideologically. And it could also be seen as moving close to an FA structure. But we should be practical, not ideological. GA obviously has a trust deficit but it has also been excellent in motivating people. Move to a handful of trusted reviewers, with room for growth, and see where it goes. "GAship" (approved to promote to GA) could become like adminship, for instance. Marskell (talk) 20:24, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

This ties in with my clearing house idea (discussed elsewhere). Instead of editors passing GAs directly on talk pages and adding them to WP:GA, they instead provisionally pass them and post them to central clearing house, where a panel of (three to six?) review the GA pass, update the talk page (avoiding those clerical errors that make me crazy :-), and add the final pass to WP:GA. I've also spoken to how you would determine "trusted" reviewers, because there are currently some very prolific GA reviewers passing some not-good articles. The methodology to choose the panel could be a derivative of what I do on the FAC awards. Wikipedia talk:FAC#April FAC stats You can look in the FAC archives to see where the good and less-good GA passes are coming from; quite simply, on which GA passes are significant grammatical and sourcing issues uncovered at FAC? I've also questioned why GA is unlike any other process in articlehistory, where there is an archived file (FAC, PR, FAR, AfD, etc.) in history, and a page where all passes/fails can be reviewed. If GA had files, you'd have more accountability and be able to review your own data. I've always hesitated to give my ideas here, because someone will probably shoot me, so do what you will with those. Username Omitted 21:40, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

I like the idea of having a central place. It will help us be more organized and aware. Wrad (talk) 22:38, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
I was also not intending to let these great ideas drop. I have unindented them. My main worry about automation has always been accountability. If there is a central place to deal with accountability then all the rest can be streamlined and automated so that any editor can contribute and we can have a fast efficient system. Geometry guy 22:45, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
The only trick to it would be to establish a group of editors who can close articles. I believe this group should be established by vote or something... Never done it before. I would prefer that this group have finite terms and that people cycle through so the system stays fresh. Wrad (talk) 22:53, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
You could go with a group voted in with finite terms or you could start with a small initial group and allow it to grow based on some approval mechanism. The former would be more accountable but the latter would allow the process to scale to a larger size. You also need to, gently, inform the prolific but not so great passers what they are doing wrong if they are to be part of an established group. In the poll, for instance, there seemed to be an idea that GAs need only kinda, sorta follow V. Marskell (talk) 07:55, 6 May 2008 (UTC)
I'd say we should go with the latter - probably just use some group voting mechanism to allow it to grow (a discussion at WT:GAN should do it). Sign me up as a supporter of this idea. dihydrogen monoxide (H2O) 10:04, 6 May 2008 (UTC)

Is it necessary to repair something that is not broken? The GA process work resonably well in my opinion. All proposed layers of additional bureaucracy may (and likely will) simply stall the process altogether. Or if they don't, the result will look like FA2 or FA light or superFA, depending on the number of layers. Ruslik (talk) 10:52, 6 May 2008 (UTC)

I agree that the criteria for GA are sufficient, and that if they are made more stringent, GA will be almost indistinguishable from FA, and it will become redundant. But the important thing is that the criteria are understood and followed, which is not always the case. I just looked at the recently promoted Jessica Alba. Now this is not to criticise any particular reviewer, but the article is nowhere close to adhering to criterion 1, with excessive use of quotes and single-sentence paragraphs. What we need is, in the simplest way possible, to make sure that the criteria are met. Lampman Talk to me! 11:17, 6 May 2008 (UTC)

In my opinion, the problem is not with the GAN process itself. Will381796's suggestions would merely increase bureaucracy and backlogs. The GA criteria, which demand that "the prose is clear and the spelling and grammar are correct" and "in-line citations from reliable sources", are also not at fault. However, to conduct good reviews, reviewers must understand and apply the criteria well.

What we need to improve is the quality of reviewers and reviews. For example, the guide for GA reviewers tells me to "check for the following" ("the following" being a restatement of the criteria), but does not tell me how to do so. How do I, a non-native (actually near-native) speaker of English, evaluate the prose? How do reviewers determine whether a nominated article is NPOV or broad? If we approach WikiProjects for reviewers to help clear the backlog, we will need a better guide to teach them how to review well. Note that I have not gone through the mentorship programme and thus cannot assess how successful it has been.

--J.L.W.S. The Special One (talk) 11:58, 6 May 2008 (UTC)

Agreed. Bugger increasing the bureaucracy. Simplicity is both a virtue and a vice with GA, but I think we need to consider ways of helping improve the project without increasing bureaucracy. - Shudde talk 12:04, 6 May 2008 (UTC)
But will it increase the bureaucracy? All it will do is centralize decision making some. The process can still be streamlined in other respects. Maybe we need another poll :). Marskell (talk) 14:14, 6 May 2008 (UTC)
Centralized decision making is a synomyn for bureaucracy. Ruslik (talk) 06:44, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Yes, there are two main areas where people criticize: 1) the variation in the quality of reviews/reviewers and 2)the lack of accountability in the GA process. The second issue is more of a technical issue and can be solved with some slight changes to how the GA process works. For example, Sandy mentioned more than once that the GA promotion is not linked to the article history like FA promotion is. Is this something that can be solved? The first criticism needs to be addressed by, like others said, increasing the quality of reviews. If making it a little more difficult or a little more time is needed to get an article promoted, then I think that's a small price to pay to ensure consistency in review quality and reviews that follow the GA criteria. I wasn't saying my ideas were the only ways to accomplish this. I would appreciate any other options. But questioning whether or not the GA process is "broken" or not is a little silly as we just finished receiving massive criticism during the Great Green Dot Debate of 2008 (that that clearly pointed out areas where we need to improve will381796 (talk) 14:37, 6 May 2008 (UTC)
The issue 2) can be adressed by filling actionXlink field in the ArticleHistory template. There is no need to change anything. Ruslik (talk) 06:23, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
You forgot the third main area: the backlog, which your suggestions will worsen. Note that I do acknowledge the problems that you raise; I just find the proposed solutions inadequate. --J.L.W.S. The Special One (talk) 11:24, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
Issue 2 is not addressed by filling in a field in the ArticleHistory template in any case, because that link will be broken as soon as the review is archived from the talk page. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 11:59, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
I think issue one needs to be addressed quite quickly. Graeme Smith was passed today at this diff. I'm not sure overall it's a good enough biography of a top international cricketer, but that's beside the point, when you notice the amount of easy mistakes such as grammar, spelling and MOS problems. If any further suggestions to add the green dot are going to be brought forward, then this needs to be addressed promptly. During that debate, a lot of contributors added about the process involving one person / the community as opposed to the FA process. I know there's a huge backlog at GA, but my own personal suggestion, would be for at least two people to review each GAN. Peanut4 (talk) 18:18, 6 May 2008 (UTC)
One diff proves nothing. Do you have statistics demostrating how many artcile were listed, but should not? What is percent (10, 20, 50% ?) of those articles in the overall number of listed articles in a month, for instance? What is a criterion for the good GA process? Ruslik (talk) 06:51, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
Hm, OK. People here, as Sandy has already done generally, are pointing to some specific passes that probably shouldn't have gone through. This thread, in the main, is examining the idea of limiting things to "best reviewers" to ensure that doesn't happen. Be it a voted committee with a numerical cap, or a group that can grow without a cap, aren't Will's 1 and 2 addressed by a mechanism that chooses people who promote? A set group would have less variation (1) and more accountability (2). And that doesn't have to mean a massive increase bureaucracy. The current process can accomodate it.
So, should we more formally examine this idea? I guess I am suggesting another poll: "Should GA have identified people to promote?" I think the outsiders (from FA, like myself, or just general editors) would support that. I'm long past the point of "hating GA." It's been awesome in terms of motivation—I'd just like to trust GA. This could be the significant reform that allows people to trust it. Marskell (talk) 18:58, 6 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm confused... Do you mean allow anyone to review but have a smaller group of editors with the ability to "close" reviews? Wrad (talk) 21:14, 6 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm with Marskell here. What we need is a two-pronged process: 1. A review exactly like the one we have now 2. A smaller group of trusted editors to have a quick look at articles that have been given a "pass". This is not to be a second review, which would slow down the process too much, it's only to answer one simple question: has the first reviewer understood what is required by a GA? If not, that reviewer should be taken aside and educated a bit, before reviewing any more articles. This way the simplicity of the GA system is preserved without adding too much extra bureaucracy, while we avoid letting the weakest articles through the system. Lampman Talk to me! 21:59, 6 May 2008 (UTC)
Suppose a review writes This exellent article fully satisfies GA criteria and I will list it as a GA article. My question is: What should those trusted editors do? Should they check the GA criteria themself, in other words to review the article again?. Ruslik (talk) 06:39, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
I think that this is an excellent idea and would fully support an elected group of promoters. But, I don't necessarily think that they need to have any kind of term limit. WP admins don't have term limits and are not re-evaulated after a certain amount of time. I think that this idea will also help to cut down on all of the very short & unhelpful reviews that I've seen lately. I would still like to push for there to be some requirement that all reviews be thorough and have a fully written-out review provided for each review. I've seen far too many reviews with simple (+) or (-) stating whether or not a criteria is met w/ little to no explanation of what needs correcting. Reviews are not helpful if they are not thorough and it will be impossible for any GA promoter to analyze the quality of a GA review if the review is composed of nothing more than a pass/fail review w/ no comments. will381796 (talk) 23:07, 6 May 2008 (UTC)
What is a fully written-out review? I think it depends on the article. If the article is really good a reviewer may have nothing to say about it except that it is a good article. Long reviews are usually written about bad articles. Ruslik (talk) 06:39, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
Quality reviewers are in short supply. This proposal would burden them with more duties, making them burn out quickly. Replacing them would be difficult, because inexperienced reviewers would not be given the opportunity to gain experience. Backlogs would increase further. Thus I believe that training of new reviewers and a better guide for them is the way to go. --J.L.W.S. The Special One (talk) 11:24, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

I my view all these proposals are steps in the wrong direction. The long-run role of GA should be to identify the many articles which are not our best material, but are at a satisfactory level with which a general reader would be quite happy. With the substantial growth we would hope to see in this category of articles, the GA process needs to be flexible and simple. When processes on Wikipedia become laden with creep and bureaucracy (RFA, FAC to a lesser extent) they tend to show slow or negative volume growth and this would really limit the value of the GA process to Wikipedia. Christopher Parham (talk) 23:09, 6 May 2008 (UTC)

This is a little bit besides the point - we're not discussing what the GA requirements should be; there seems to be general agreement that the current criteria are adequate. What we're trying to figure out here is how to make sure that those criteria are met, while adding as little extra bureaucracy as possible. Lampman Talk to me! 23:29, 6 May 2008 (UTC)
I think it's very much to the point, and I really couldn't agree more with Christopher Parham. If GA's ambition is to become FA-lite then it will simply wither away, and deservedly so. I, for one, became distracted by the great GA dot debate, and although I haven't changed my mind on that in the slightest, it has concentrated my mind. What's more important? Letting through a few dodgey articles or encouraging a general improvement in all articles? What's more important? Adding bureaucracy in a vain attempt to satisfy those who will always oppose GA simply because it isn't FA, or sticking to the principle of a light-weight process? What's most important is to encourage a wide-scale improvement in all articles, not just the less than 1% that currently go through any kind of independent review process. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 23:37, 6 May 2008 (UTC)
The process tends to determine how the criteria are enforced. For instance, process determines to what extent does "the prose is clear and the grammar is correct" require that the article be thoroughly copyedited, etc. Christopher Parham (talk) 00:00, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
Yes, that is certainly true - some of the criteria are subjective, and I've seen perfectly good articles held up by nitpicks. But if we leave the interpretation of the rules entirely up to any user with an account, does that not make the GA status meaningless? Are you suggesting we change the criteria to make them less ambiguous? Lampman Talk to me! 00:16, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
There are already procedures in place to deal with the outliers. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 00:22, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
True, but it's better to prevent than to treat. Lampman Talk to me! 00:40, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
Not really. Indeed the wiki system is more or less dependent on the opposite working just fine. Christopher Parham (talk) 00:42, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
It is more a matter of the stringency of enforcement than the ambiguity of the standards. "Spelling and grammar are correct" is quite unambiguous as a standard but there are a wide variety of options in enforcing the rule. As far as what I want, if it were up to me GA would abandon the nominations-based model and return to its original structure. I think the good article system then would be far more useful to Wikipedia than what currently exists, as at least it could push through a meaningful volume of articles. Christopher Parham (talk) 00:42, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but I don't understand what you're saying here at all. What exactly is "the project"? The "original structure"? What are you trying to say? Wrad (talk) 01:26, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
I see my use of the word project was confusing (in some places meaning GA and in others Wikipedia) so I altered it. Apologies. The "original structure" was: there was a page and editors added links to articles they thought were of good quality. You can see this in the archives of WP:GA presumably. Christopher Parham (talk) 03:29, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
When Worldtraveller came to criticize his own creation, he emphasized that GA was supposed to be focused on articles that could not become FA—mainly those that are too short. See first edit summary here. "Purist" suggestions to move back in that direction have been roundly rejected for two years. GA has simply evolved too much. At this point, what Christopher is suggesting is a new process entirely. A mass tag/list drive that could sweep through the encyclopedia checking for minimum acceptability. GA is not that. A Good article is supposed to be a good article in a recognized, accountable way. If it's going to be truly accountable, we need to replace "anyone" with a known group of people. Marskell (talk) 06:09, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

(outdent) There's some interesting ideas being raised here! I'm coming to the view that we do need to address the passing mechanism for GAs, and I think Marskell has proposed the most workable suggestion. We have many incredibly consciencious and talented new reviewers coming through, but unfortunately it's never their work that gets noticed and remembered by the rest of the project, just the minority of unsafe reviews. If we can do something to improve either quality or credibilty, it's got to be worth a try ;) As an aside, the sweeps are clearly not keeping pace with new reviews (for which I take my share of the blame), and unless we can guarantee the consistency of new GA passes we'll end up overwhelmed there too. EyeSerenetalk 11:56, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

Would there be any harm in suspending new nominations while sweeps catch up? will381796 (talk) 14:21, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
Unless we have more participants, sweeps won't be complete till 2010 (and this is not a joke). OhanaUnitedTalk page 19:38, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
Does that sort of make the point of this thread?
I remember when I first started talking here, Homestarmy (who, sadly, seems to have stopped editing) was doing a one-man job of sweeps. That was early 2006. Given the massive growth in nominations since (which isn't a bad thing, on its face) it seems impossible that a few people, however dedicated, could informally handle sweeping through. (Is the definition of "sweep" codified somewhere, incidentally?)
So, if you formally dedicated decision making, wouldn't you be providing a way of doing your sweeps in advance? When you give a dedicated position to someone, it really does motivate them. And it allows you to track throughput better. GAship could be like Arbcom (defined terms) or like adminship (ever growing, with defined entry); that can be agreed upon once the basic idea is agreed upon. I understand that an egalitarian process like GA might not want to move that way, could solve the bottleneck problem and the credibility problem at once.
Anyway, I've just re-formulated my (and I think Will and Wrad's) idea for the fourth time. What do you do 'round here to, um, !vote on something like this? Marskell (talk) 20:18, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
It seems inconsistent on the one hand to argue that a few people can't handle the sweeps, and on the other to argue for a system that effectively means that every article has to be swept by a few people before it can be listed as a GA. Perhaps I've missed something though. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 20:35, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
It is inconsistent only if new nominations are not suspended. If new nominations are suspended, then everyone involved in the project can focus their attention on the Sweeps thus decreasing the time it would take for all articles to get swept. Once our house is in order, and we are sure that all current GAs meet current GA guidelines, we could reopen for new nominations. The new nominations would be processed under the new system whereby each article is reviewed by one reviewer and then each review is verified and passed by an elected "GAdmin". This would allow us to keep a consistent quality of passed GAs by ensuring that all passes were correctly done and appropriate. If new nominations are not suspended then there is no way that anyone is going to catch up sweeps and thus we'd continue to have sub-GA articles within our ranks. At least that's how I see the current proposal as acting. will381796 (talk) 20:41, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
Well it may be that I am not fully understanding this proposal in that case, or even what it intends to achieve. How can a review be evaluated without also looking at the article that's been evaluated? I've seen some nonsense earlier about a few trusted reviewers looking through "full reviews", but I've come across not a few articles that tick every box, and don't need much in the way of review. Why don't we all sign up to the GA sweeps process, and make that more efficient? The really important issue, I believe, has so far been completely obscured by this navel-gazing. The history of the GA review is lost as soon as the article's talk page is archived. That's where accountability begins and ends. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 20:53, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
PS. There are many sub-FA articles within the ranks of FA. I don't see anyone getting very upset over that. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 20:57, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
Sure, it would be nice if everybody signed up for sweeps. Just like, in managing WP:FAR, I'd like everyone to sign up for reviews. (Note, Malleus, that FAR has worked for two years to eliminate the sub-FAs—we have "gotten upset" about it.)
Sorry, I didn't mean to in any way disparage the FAR process, but so far as I'm aware the articles submitted to it are rather randomly chosen, as there is no sweep process. It may be though that my understanding is imperfect. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 21:29, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
More or less right. Deliberately, there is nothing like a sweep process on FA. We agreed early on that there would be no grandfathering of old articles, but also no "sweep" to eliminate them. We've waited for articles to appear at FAR. With some quibbles, the process has worked. Marskell (talk) 21:48, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
But hey, few sign up and mean it, for anything. Here's a fact: when you vest a person with a responsibility, rather than informally expect it, they are far, far more likely to carry it through. That's my experience, both on Wiki and IRL. I think Will's idea of "GAadmin", similar to my idea, is sound. Let the reviews carry forward, and then, before awarding the green dot, have a trusted reviewer look at the page and approve it. That's all: what's crazy about it? Marskell (talk) 21:17, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
Either way, Sweeps have to be done sooner or later. Here's my one last desperate attempt to ask anyone who is interested in reviewing GAs to step forward and let me know that they're interested in sweeping. OhanaUnitedTalk page 21:25, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
I'd offer my services but you guys are looking for experienced reviewers for sweeps. I've only got like 8 reviews under my belt so I doubt I qualify. will381796 (talk) 23:13, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
I doubted that I qualified, but I offered my services nevertheless. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 23:22, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
With so few completed I am not qualified at all, though I like GAs and what they stand for, not sure where this discussion has left them, and where to go next. Edmund Patrick ( confer work) 06:42, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
Isn't advertisement rule number one? Is there a page that will explain the procedure and the expectations/requirements of a sweeps participant? Lampman Talk to me! 01:33, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
There is, here. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 01:57, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
Originally, we planned NOT to advertise but to place a tiny link in an out-of-reach page that is uncommon for casual editors to reach there. Original theory is that only experienced reviewer will spot the link and click on it. But that kind of failed so we did a recruitment cycle on Community Portal (which was quite a success) OhanaUnitedTalk page 03:37, 10 May 2008 (UTC)

I don't know if I'm wanted there, and I don't know if I have time (considering I'm helping at GAN and GAR, and writing myself!), but I could help out with sweeps occasionally. dihydrogen monoxide (H2O) 03:59, 10 May 2008 (UTC)

Of course, we would love to have you there. I do recognize the timing constraints of attempting to do the Sweeps, GAN, GAR, writing articles, keeping up with your watchlist, working with other WikiProjects, reverting vandalism, etc. Unfortunately, I've given up reviewing GANs and writing articles for the time being until the Sweeps are completed. I'm hoping that I'll have more time this summer to knock out a lot of the Sweeps, as I'll be directing the majority of my focus there. However, with the current membership at Sweeps, and the number of articles left, each member would have to review ~100 articles to complete the rest of the unreviewed articles. If we get any new members, this will continue to decrease the amount of reviews per person, and also speed up the process. If we have more people working together, reviewing articles at a faster pace, I believe more members will be willing to work harder and new members jump in if progress is being made. If anyone is interested, please do consider looking over the instructions, and if you can only do ten or twenty (or whatever you want), we'll be that much further at completing the process. --Nehrams2020 (talk) 08:19, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
We still have 30 sub-categories that are open and require sweeping (particularly transportation, history, and media sections). OhanaUnitedTalk page 18:32, 10 May 2008 (UTC)

Icon for Physics and astronomy

Can we get a better icon for this section? Here's one suggestion:

Good idea and something atomic is a good option. It isn't completely obvious that this represents an atom however: can anyone find an even better image? Geometry guy 11:19, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
I agree; a crescent is not exactly bringing science to mind; on the other hand, an icon depicting an atom with the electrons orbiting it will not only be science-related but also remind its viewers of the solar system. Two birds with one stone. Waltham, The Duke of 11:18, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
I think that the crescent of the moon is quite a good symbol, but perhaps it could be solid in colour. Perhaps the moon should appear with the earth. The atom is not a good symbol of most of mechanics or motion, and the image presented above may be mistaken for a flower. Snowman (talk) 22:50, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
The icon just needs to be recolored, so that the electrons are a different color than their paths. Then it'd look fine. Pal Jasper (talk) 23:00, 11 May 2008 (UTC)
Best not to mention the confusion caused by the school-taught 'Solar system' atomic model then... ;) EyeSerenetalk 14:41, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
Go for it. --.:Alex:. 15:23, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

Categorization of runestone article

I see that Greece Runestones has been listed under "literature". Runestones can be called "art", "memorials", "obituaries", "documents", "corpora" and so on, but they are not "literature".--Berig (talk) 21:43, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

What would you suggest? EyeSerenetalk 12:14, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
I don't know. The only runestone that is usually categorized as "literature" is the Rök Runestone, but it's a special case because of its references to Norse mythology. Usually runestones fall under linguistics in Scandinavia since linguists are the ones who have the expertise to study them. However, runic inscriptions are also referred to in works on history, art, archaeology and literature so they are a special case.--Berig (talk) 14:18, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
My personal feeling is to place them under " Archaeology", but I think it's probably one of those articles we'll never classify properly. The categories it's in don't help much either. There could be an argument for a new classification ("Artefacts" perhaps?) under Archaeology, but I'm reluctant to contribute to the category bloat on WP:GA ;) EyeSerenetalk 14:39, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
Yes, although I don't think archaeology is an ideal category for the Greece Runestones, it already covers some quite similar articles such as Funerary art, Singapore Stone and the Ring of Pietroassa.--Berig (talk) 17:28, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
Agreed and agreed. I'll move it - thanks for the help ;) EyeSerenetalk 17:51, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
Addendum: I noticed it is actually listed as a History GA on the talk page... EyeSerenetalk 17:56, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for your help!--Berig (talk) 18:57, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
You're welcome ;) EyeSerenetalk 19:41, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

What's the point?

Over the last few days I've idly looked at a few of the new GAs as they've been listed. Out of that half a dozen or so I've felt in two cases that the article was so far short of the GA criteria that in one case I delisted it and in the other here I will very likely be delisting it as well.

There is clearly a very serious QC issue here. What is the point in a sweeps project that, even if it ever completes its self-appointed task, is then faced with another mountain of shoddy GAs? --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 20:09, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

Once flagged revision comes, then this problem will be solved. OhanaUnitedTalk page 21:02, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
Unfortunately I totally agree with you Malleus Fatuorum. And it's on some of the simple things too. It's objective whether an article is long enough, the sources are good enough or the scope wide enough, but some of the GAs I've seen passed have typos, spelling mistakes, poor grammar and scores of MOS issues. Peanut4 (talk) 21:24, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
No, it won't be solved, because these poor GA listed articles will still be poor GA articles. This has to nipped in the bud. Any reviewer passing poor articles ought no longer to be allowed to review. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 21:33, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
Well you should probably have a chat to the said reviewer. Blnguyen (bananabucket) 06:39, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
I already did.[11] --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 16:57, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
Can we have a mechanism to prevent someone from being disruptive by listing lots of articles (like... above 10) that shouldn't be promoted? I'm not stuffing beans but this is the best worst way to waste experienced reviewers' time for a vandal. OhanaUnitedTalk page 23:27, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
I, too, have noticed an uptick in the amount of quite poor GA reviews. While some reviews are just poor (e.g. little actual comments (e.g. a template and a quick, 'congrats'), but the article still mostly meets the criteria, there are other poor reviews of articles that don't come close to the criteria. I think I've spent more time doing second reviews of articles and QC lately than reviewing new nominations. Dr. Cash (talk) 21:59, 15 May 2008 (UTC)
See a few threads down, and the suggestion for using subpages for reviews, in the manner of peer reviews and FACs. This solves archiving problems, making old reviews immediately accessible, but can also be used to encourage reviewers to provide lengthier comments. As part of my original suggestion, I considered the possibility of discouraging the "quick congrats" by keeping the review "open" for a minimum period, and encouraging comments from others. Regulars can drop into reviews-in-progress, leave a few comments or express concerns/encouragement; might eliminate the need for 2nd reviews and delisting, and other QC concerns. Gwinva (talk) 00:46, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

Roads vs. Other GAs

It seems a problem is growing with the road articles that are passing GA, that are very short and according to Derek.cashman's opinion, that insignificant routes (that no one is gonna read), such as shown in New York State Route 308, shouldn't be GAs, and that the more significant articles should be passing for GA. I feel its ok to have small route GAs as long as they're comprehensive and broad.

In the case of Route 308, Derek delisted the article for 2 reasons, small lead, and the history section was complete enough. The first reason, to us is not a problem, but the second is. Route 308 is only 6.19 miles long, you're not gonna expect too much on the highway, compared to something like New York State Route 17, which would have to be really comprehensive because its a longer route, and has construction and designation history. 308, and like many others, have only designation history. Us at USRD feel anything pre-designation isn't necessary for GA and would be more suitable to be A-class. As long as the article has the major history written, its defined as good enough for GA, along with a few other small things.

However, if this is a problem, feel free to bring it up. USRD is open to new suggestions on how to improve. If a mass delistment is necessary, then be it. But a solution has to be made.Mitch32contribs 22:05, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

I don't think it is GAs place to be judging whether an article is significant or not. That belongs to the AfD process. Wrad (talk) 22:17, 15 May 2008 (UTC)
Wrad, the discussion Mitchazenia brought up was to determine whether short road articles can be listed as GAs. Cheers, Juliancolton Tropical Cyclone 00:13, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm completely aware of that. How is what I said not related to that discussion? Wrad (talk) 01:23, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
Well, the way I read your comment, it seemed to me that you thought Mitchazenia's comment was to determine whether the article is significant, when it seems to me it's more about the listing of road GAs. I may have misread it, though. Juliancolton Tropical Cyclone 01:48, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
If an article can survive AFD, it can theoretically go to FAC, so I don't see what should be different in the GA process. If there's a question about the significance of the article, that is within the purview of the deletion process. See Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Meteorological history of Hurricane Katrina and Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Meteorological history of Hurricane Katrina for an example. Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 00:17, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
What are the notability criteria for roads? --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 00:18, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
Mainly state-maintained roads/formerly state-maintained routes and higher. County routes are not as notable, but notability has been established in a few.Mitch32contribs 00:20, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
Well, in the particular case of New York State Route 308 I'd have to agree with the delisting. Not because the article's short, but because it lacks breadth and it's not well written. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 00:31, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

I would like to bring up some examples of short roads that are comprehensive for their size and some of the long ones.


  1. New York State Route 344
  2. New York State Route 359
  3. New York State Route 368


  1. New York State Route 12
  2. New York State Route 18
  3. New York State Route 31

All six examples are B-class articles. Now would the three short ones be able to reach the same GA standards as the three long ones. To me, this is the problem.Mitch32contribs 00:38, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

Breadth is more important in a GA than length. I've looked at a few of the road GAs, and am surprised many of them passed. To my mind, broad coverage of a road requires more than discussion of the route. How about geography: hills, land formations, topography? Did this require engineering issues? How about the ground: what is the soil/rock/ need support? relaying? What prep needed doing to make it? Who planned it? What about bridges and other structures? what type are they? When were they built? What is the landscape like? Important sites/views? Social history: local response to roads? campaigns for/against? controversies? funding? What did people do before? state land or compulsory purchases? Safety: major accident black spots? death and accident tolls? Tricky corners? Local effects: susceptible to flooding, or subsidence? Who uses the roads? Major trucking route? holiday makers? local commuters? farm traffic? Traffic flows: problems at certain times of day? Bottlenecks? How many cars use it? Policing: regularly patrolled? which jurisdiction? Speed cameras? tickets? problem with boy-racers? Slow tractors? and so on... Look at New York State Route 210 (selected at random). How many of the above questions does this address? Compare with (another random) A500 road, which is broader (not perfect, but better) and addresses some of these issues. Gwinva (talk) 01:18, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
So should we make this a special checklist for a road article to be come a GA in addition to the usual criteria and automatically fail any road article that does not satisfy all of the above? --Polaron | Talk 02:35, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
Ha! Good idea! But seriously, it's hard to claim that an article is "broad in coverage" if it raises more questions than it answers. A GA doesn't need to be definitive; it does need to be more than one-dimensional. Gwinva (talk) 02:42, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
I actually like the idea of something like "genre checklists" for particular types of articles. I've raised this before, particularly regarding film articles. It would seem necessary to work with the relevant WikiProjects, however. When I have time, I hope to move ahead with this, again at least for film articles, and if nothing else in an informal manner: i.e. write out what I expect of a GA film article, and run it past others. --jbmurray (talkcontribs) 02:46, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
While mainly sarcastic, I was also a bit semi-serious. It would really be helpful if there was a checklist that is WikiProject-specific that could be used to determine whether an article is sufficient for GA or not. If this is done in close cooperation with the WikiProject, it would be much easier to review an article (thus reducing backlog) and it would also help reduce nominations that would have little chance of passing. --Polaron | Talk 02:57, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
Maybe some "guides to reviewing X articles" would be a helpful resource for reviewers (and nominators). It may be that there is a backlog in, for example, TV & film noms, because there are few reviewers who are confident reviewing them?? But such guides should be illustrative, rather than prescriptive. Otherwise they may become detrimental to the GA ethos: leading to quick "tick the box through the template" reviews or, at the other extreme, creepy hoop jumping and fails on technicalities. (Letter rather than spirit, and all that.) Gwinva (talk) 03:47, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

(indent reset)- Some of the questions you raised Gwinva have been debated in the past, and declared uneeded. See New York State Route 174's FAC for example, and the trouble there. The most fought-over ones would include, the safety and traffic flow questions. No one posts a police control PDF or anything like it. All that exists for that is the Traffic Data Report which estimates what amount of traffic has been on each road. Major accidents have been declared non-notable, as I have tried in the past for that. Everything else may exist, but I'm not sure. History sections are really tight for roads. Also, polaron: Wikipedia:WikiProject New York State routes/Pre-Good Article checklist is what TMF gave me as a check-list.Mitch32contribs 10:28, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

Just as an additional comment, for the time being, I have relisted New York State Route 308. While I still think that there may be some issues with some of the road articles, mainly with not being comprehensive enough, perhaps I was being a little too bold by just automatically delisting it then and there. So I apologize about being so blunt. I think, however, that we've started an interesting dialogue here, and perhaps we should look at ways to better verify the comprehensiveness criterion of WP:WIAGA, since this particular one doesn't seem so cut-and-dry (unlike things like images or reference citations, which is more or less just checking). Perhaps in the next couple of days I'll take a closer look at some of the road GAs and see if I can offer any suggestions to WP:USRD on how to improve their comprehensiveness -- assuming they'll still listen to me after being such an asshole,... Dr. Cash (talk) 15:21, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
Its ok, man - We can discuss this on WT:NYSR if you'd like, and move it from here.Mitch32contribs 16:20, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

On a side note...

I nominated the article M54 motorway a while ago, but it has been under review for more than two weeks, which strikes me as a little odd! I know GA has huge backlogs, so I expected to wait, but I fear the user may have forgotten about it (and the Channel Tunnel article, too). Thanks, Asdfasdf1231234 (talk) 23:13, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

Improving the GAR process: Use 'Start' and 'B-Class' as buffers

Most seem agreed that the GA review process is in bad shape, and there are some good ideas floating around regarding possible reforms. But it strikes me as odd that there appears to be no effort towards redefining the lower classes on the assessment scale. I think the GA review process could still work quite well if the rest of the scale were to be developed with an eye towards preserving the value of GA status. Why not (1) give clearer, more stringent requirements for 'Start-' and 'B-Class', (2) require that an article go through informal review by non-contributors for those classes, and (3) require that any article must have attained 'B-Class' status prior to becoming eligibile for GAR nomination? IMO, 'Start-' and 'B-Class' should be serving as filters against GAR being swamped with unqualified articles, but at the same time should not add to the collective administrative headache. Developing and extending the requirements for 'Start-' and 'B-Class' ratings appear to me as the first logical step in helping to alleviate an overload on the GAR process - and a rather efficient one, all things considered. And though it would not solve the problem entirely, increasing and/or specifiying the requirements for the lower ratings can only help the project in the long run. —Aryaman (Enlist!) 02:31, 17 May 2008 (UTC)

It's hard enough to find reviewers for FAC, GAR, and PR. Yet another peer review process isn't going to help.
IMO, the easiest and simplest way to improve the GA process is to improve the quality of the GA reviews. The simplest way to do that is to improve reviewing skills. Majoreditor (talk) 05:59, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
Can we take this to WT:GAR please; this page is getting rather long. dihydrogen monoxide (H2O) 08:03, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
I think Aryaman is confusing GAR with GAN. As Majoreditor (and I, in previous discussions) said, we should focus on improving the quality of reviewers and hence the quality of reviews. --J.L.W.S. The Special One (talk) 08:07, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
GAN is the first step in the GAR process - hence the usage. Anyway, of course it would be great it we could "improve the quality of GA reviews". But if such improvement could be affected through policy, then please go straight for "improving article writing skills" and save us the trouble of reviewing altogether. :) —Aryaman (Enlist!) 12:03, 17 May 2008 (UTC)

Thoughts from a new reviewer

There is an ongoing discussion regarding improvements to the GA process, and a general feeling that something should be done. The major concerns seem to be transparency (solved by using subpages) and quality of reviews. As a new reviewer, I offer you my impressions, which may be of interest. Firstly, let me make clear that I am not new to the GA process: I have had three of my own articles rated GA, and have provided peer reviews, advice and assistance to others preparing for GA, and have witnessed discussions such as the Green Dot Saga. But I made my first review here just a few weeks ago, and have only reviewed 3 articles (linked if interested), all of which I have archived on subpages. (I initiated the discussion about subpages above, but I am sure the idea has been mooted before.)

I think the actual process/ethos is good, and there is no need to introduce more stringent processes, such as support votes, oversight reviews and so forth. In fact, the current system allows a personal, interactive process. As a reviewer, I entered into dialogue with the nominators, fixed a few minor things on the article myself, and so forth: it became a collaboration. That, I think is a strength of the current system, and would be weakened by bureaucratisation. Such reviews require an investment of time, but they are rewarding; they're certainly more interesting and more useful than "drive-by quick-passes". But how to encourage new reviewers to engage in such reviews? (or, what took me so long to get around to contributing?)

Personally speaking, I think the header of the WP:GAN page is not helpful; the templates do not seem inviting or encouraging to new reviewers. At first glance, they make the reviews seem simple: Pick One. Pass it or Fail it. Or, maybe, put it on hold. Gung-ho drive-byers can take it at face value. They pick an article, add the templates, and pass it as instructed. Others, like me, think "Hmm, it can't be that simple", assume it's part of some great complex project, and never quite get around to reading all the stuff so they can understand it. (And the more you investigate, the more there seems to be!) I think these two problems (lack of obvious encouragement for good reviews / easy process for quick reviews) could be lessened by changing the header. Keep the "how to nominate an article" etc but replace the rest with something simpler, like (really rough idea):

Want to review an article? You do not need special qualifications or approval to review articles. Reviews can be carried out by any registered editor who is familiar with the good article criteria and the [process for reviewing]. You can also contribute to any [open review]. Click [here] for more information.

Linked page then runs through the instructions for setting up subpages, how to review and so forth, and then tells you the things you have to do once you've passed (or failed!) an article. Keep it simple: there are useful "good ideas for reviewing" pages which can be linked.

Also, I'd merge the "under review" and "on hold" status into "review open" and suggest that all reviews stay open for a set period. (eg at least 3 days). The template could read something like "Review opened by so-and-so; comments and contributions welcome on [sub page]". When appropriate, the review is closed by lead reviewer (ie the one who opened it), who then determines pass/fail. This would encourage second and third opinions, minor contributions, novice reviewers trying their hand at a few comments and so forth, but is not reliant on it: reviews can be closed after minimum time, regardless of whether anyone else has contributed. Most reviews would probably carry on as they do now, but the drive-bys would probably reduce, new reviewers would find it easier to dabble or observe, and some articles would benefit from comments from a number of people.

Excuse my rambling; it's quite possible these ideas have been discussed and rejected before, or I've missed something important, so feel free to pour as much cold water over these suggestions as they warrant! Gwinva (talk) 00:55, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

While I was wittering on here, I see Geometry Guy has proposed a working party above; I am thus quite prepared for you all to ignore this, and humbly submit my thoughts to the attentions of the future working party. :-) Gwinva (talk) 01:01, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

Subpage naming

I like how you use the subpage as the archive for review. But we need to be consistent towards the naming format of such reviews. Should it be...
  • Wikipedia:Good article nominations/<article name> (nth review)
  • <article name>/GA review (nth review)
OhanaUnitedTalk page 02:01, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
I strongly recommend keeping the format as simple as possible: either
  • Wikipedia:Good article nominations/<article name>/n or
  • <article talk page name>/GAn.
It is essential to number the review: here n is the number of the nth review. I think there is general feeling to go for the second option, but for almost all purposes, it makes no difference and is purely a matter of psychology. Geometry guy 02:26, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
Everybody tries to improve GAN process. However nobody seems to realise that it will require changing GA delisting process too. Now everybody can delist an article after leaving comments on the talk page. How will this process work if you proposal is implemented? Ruslik (talk) 06:25, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
Personally, I like the first format (the one that starts with "Wikipedia:Good article nominations") better because it is consistent with the formatting on GAR. GAR is using this formatting: Wikipedia:Good article reassessment/<article name>/<n> OhanaUnitedTalk page 07:36, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
I think that makes sense OH, - if we're not consistent from the off, we can guarantee there will be a proposal at some later date to harmonise everything... EyeSerenetalk 09:47, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
For consistency's sake, the first options should be used. As stated above, either idea would work, but a discussion would inevitably begin to change the way if we were to use the second option. Mastrchf (t/c) 12:01, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
It makes sense to have "Wikipedia good article x/article name/n", since this is consistent with other reviews (peer, FAC etc) and makes searching easy: if anyone wanted to look at old reviews they can search for articles starting with "Wikipedia good article, etc". However, is there a need for "x"? ie. Is there a distinction between "Wikipedia good article nominations /article " and "WP:Good article review/article"? Surely the nomination is the first review? 2nd review is undertaken later to see is if it is at that current time worthy of GA status (ie assessing past failed and past passed to see if GA status has changed)..and so on. Is having two types of subpage merely confusing? Gwinva (talk) 23:31, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
Combining nomination and reassessment processes would be quite a radical overhall. I'm not against it, but for the moment I'm working with what we've got. Note that nomination is not just for the first review: an article can be nominated multiple times and failed, then finally listed; then it can later be delisted (a reassessment process); then it can be nominated again. Geometry guy 23:00, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

(←) The issue raised by Ruslik about delisting is a good one. In the first approach where GA reviews are stored on a subpage of GAN of the form

  • Wikipedia:Good article nominations/<article name>/n,

the most natural thing to do is store individual reassessments on subpages of GAR of the form

  • Wikipedia:Good article reassessment/<article name>/n.

It would be easy to program the templates to distinguish between an individual reassessment (which would be transcluded onto the article talk page), and a community reassessment (which would be transcluded onto WP:GAR as they are now). Thus all reassessment activities would be stored together in historical order.

In the second approach, where GA reviews are stored on a subpage of article talk of the form

  • <article talk page name>/GAn,

it would be more natural to store individual reassessments (delists or proposed delists which are rescued) on subpages of the same form. Thus all GA activities, except community Good article reassessments, would be stored together in historical order.

So there are subtle differences between the two approaches. Another is that subpages have a hatnote which links back to the parent. This is why I thought there would be a mild preference for article talk subpages. However, I'm entirely happy to go for WP:GAN and WP:GAR subpages if that is the consensus. If I think of any other technical issues which affect the choice, you can count on me to post them here. Geometry guy 23:00, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

Improvements in GA process: suggestion to improve transparency

I agree with all those who suggest the GA process is not yet perfect. Having read through the above discussion, it seems clear that one of the main problems is transparency: it is not always clear why an article was passed, who passed it, and how rigorous the review was. It would be a simple matter (ie. not increasing bureaucracy or making the process anymore complex) if all reviews took place on a subpage. Take a look, for example, at the article history box at Talk:Battle of Red Cliffs. The peer review, A class review and FAC all have clear links to subpages. The GAN has no link at all (other than diff) and the GA sweep links only to a small section on the talk page, which will get lost with archiving. Why is the GA the only one lacking transparency? Suggestion: 1. the review instructions on the GAN header should provide instructions for creating subpage, and request that review takes place there. 2. When passing (or failing) reviewers should use an article history box (with links and diffs) rather than the Template:GA. Further possibility Currently, with peer reviews and project A class reviews, the nominator creates the subpage by pasting a template on the article talkpage. The current GAN template could be altered to allow this. Inviting reviews There has been some debate above about having a team to oversee the passes. Instead, why not a more open review system? Discourage fly-by "this passes" listings, and suggest reviews stay "open" at least three days (whatever) to invite other comments. It would be impossible to transclude the subpages onto the GAN page, but the listing should include a link to the review page, and other reviewers invited to make comments. The final decision on listing should belong to the reviewer who "opened" it. People can make one or two comments, or offer support, or disagreement. This keeps process open, collaborative, and supportive of editors time. Many editors do not have time to perform a full review, but have time to read an article and raise a point or two. Sometimes, a concern leaps out at one person but not at another. Some are familiar with MOS, some might be familiar with reliable (or unreliable) sources, another might run down the noms checking for fair use rationale, and tick that they're checked. It's also a good way for new or tentative reviewers to familiarise themselves with the process and criteria. This could be advertised more clearly at the top of the GAN instructions, and encouraged (how many ever respond to the "under review" tag's "other comments welcome"?). But a pass is not held back (after required days) if no one else comments. (ie desirable but not essential.) Thoughts? Gwinva (talk) 01:43, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

I've noticed several GA reviews recently where the GA review is started in a new main section, something like 'GA review'. Some comments are posted there, and they are responded to. Then, when the article finally passes, the reviewer starts a new MAIN SECTION again with something like 'GA passed'. And some of these have other, unrelated sections between the review and the pass. I don't think it helps the process to put the 'GA pass' in a totally different section from the 'GA review'. As we already have enough problems with keeping archives of GA reviews, this is almost certainly going to make the problem much worse. Dr. Cash (talk) 17:30, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm sorry; my suggestion above was too wordy, and it's confused myself on a re-read. My suggestion was actually simple. To clarify: All GA activity (review and pass) should take place on a subpage, in the manner of peer reviews and FACs. This can be linked to from the Template:ArticleHistory, which is placed at the top of the talk page and remains there even after talk content is archived. Gwinva (talk) 00:00, 15 May 2008 (UTC)
I like how you did it in this case. It's an extra step, but I think it's a worthwhile, good idea. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 01:18, 15 May 2008 (UTC)
That's a good idea. No more links lost when the review is archived. OhanaUnitedTalk page 04:00, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

remove indent: as long as the sub page is from the article talk page or article page so linked with that and not the reviewer and there is clear instructions on how to set one up I think it is brilliant. Go for it. Edmund Patrick ( confer work) 18:23, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

I agree, a subpage of article talk is best. My own thoughts on the division of labour here are that the nominator generates the subpage, linked from the template, and the reviewer provides the transclusion of the subpage as a review section in article talk. Together with (ideally) automation of the GAN page itself, the nomination process could be like peer review: the subpages would have the form [[Talk:Article Name/GA1]], [[Talk:Article Name/GA2]], and so on and the GAN template could direct the nominator to the next free GA review subpage. This would contain the nominators username, date and the case for nomination. The reviewer would edit this page, adding their name and preliminary (or perhaps final) review and transclude it onto the talk page. The review would proceed as usual, but at the end the information would be in place for a bot automatically to provide a permanent article history link to the review. Geometry guy 21:33, 15 May 2008 (UTC)
I like the idea of moving GA reviews to their own subpage. This will bring us in line with the other review processes, and allow for easier archiving. Perhaps the subpage could be created when the nominator adds the {{GAN}} template to the top of the talk page (e.g. add template and provide the link to the next incrementing GA1, GA2, etc page as a parameter; then click on the red link in the template to open the nomination). Dr. Cash (talk) 21:55, 15 May 2008 (UTC)
Yes, that's right: it would actually have to become {{subst:GAN}} so that the template can automatically find the next free GA1, GA2 etc. page, but then a click on a link could not only generate the page, but provide advice on completing the nomination.Geometry guy 22:43, 15 May 2008 (UTC)
I think it's a great idea to transclude the review (while in progress) onto the talk page. The nominators and others working on the page can easily access the comments, in much the manner they do now. Gwinva (talk) 00:28, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
Why don't we try this? --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 00:34, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
Sure, but I think we need a process accompanying with that. See the sub-heading below. OhanaUnitedTalk page 09:12, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

(←) I'm willing to set up demo templates and a process description. Without automation of WP:GAN, it will be more work for nominators, but I am also willing to describe carefully how it could work with and without automation. Geometry guy 21:39, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

I think we need to go ahead with this. There's a fair amount of support (and for automation too I think...) EyeSerenetalk 21:49, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

New GA Process

Since we're going to put them into a sub-page format, it would be a waste not to use the new page to its potential. We need a process to stop the "I feel like this is a good article so I am promoting it" feeling and catch all poorly written articles before they got promoted. Inside each of these GA-nomination sub-page, there should be a vote system. This is my proposal (adapting from a combination of other languages' GAN system):

  • Articles must have at least 1,500 words (to restrict any articles that won't even meet DYK criteria)
  • Each nomination lasts for 1 week.
    • During this period, the nomination must gather 5 net support vote. Each oppose vote cancels one support vote.
    • Those who oppose should comment on their reasons, and relate them to the good article criteria.
    • If the concerns are not addressed within the time period, the nomination is considered "not promoted". (This is to reduce the number of articles in "on hold" status for an extended amount of time)
      • Reviewers are reminded to be less rigorous towards MoS, but proper grammar and spelling is a must.

We can decide or change the #'s below later, but please comment if you agree with this system in principle. And if you have anything else to add, remove, or modify, feel free to voice your opinions. OhanaUnitedTalk page 09:39, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

Please stop trying to make GAN a mini-version of the endless nitpicking and incivility that is FAC. In my opinion, the current system is fine. What we need to improve is the quality of reviewers. Better reviewers mean better reviews. --J.L.W.S. The Special One (talk) 14:27, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
I don't agree with any of that I'm afraid. IMO Hildanknight is quite right, GAN ought not to try to be an FA-lite. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 14:59, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
We'd need five reviewers, at least, to promote an article to GA. I presume these reviewers should furnish more extensive feedback than I like it, preferably of the quality solicited by item three of the review process guideline. In light of that, then I believe this proposed new process would cause most nominations to fail for lack of participation. I think the dragon that this proposed change hopes to slay is that of the 'drive-by reviewer' who does little more than checking off {{GAList}}; five editors presumably furnish enough redundant cross-checking so that flimsy reviews are canceled out. I don't think we have enough reviewers to make this process work. To my mind, the basis to most criticism levied at the Good article project stems not from a defect in process, but in a shortage of editors who know how to conduct the process effectively. To that end, we should look to process improvements that enable editors to make more effective use of their review time, or help new reviewers understand what constitutes quality reviews. Take care. Gosgood (talk) 19:55, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

I am absolutely against any sort of length restriction on GAs. If it is long enough to be an article, then it can also be a GA. Wrad (talk) 19:58, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

I think you've hit the nail squarely on the head Gosgood. GA needs to look at ways to improve the quality of its reviewers, not its process. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 20:03, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
I think the rest of this is a good beginning, but I would like to see how the separate page thing works and let it run awhile before trying anything like this. I also think the "net five" may be a bit more than we can handle right now. Wrad (talk) 20:07, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
One high quality review is much better and more widely appreciated than five brief comments. What we need to do is enhance both the accountability and the fun of reviewing good articles, so that reviewers will know that they need to produce a good review, and also they really want to produce a good review. Ensuring every review is permanently linked is a step towards the accountability issue. We also need help for reviewers when nominators get argumentative or discouraged, and that often means helping the nominator as much as the reviewer. GAR is a reasonable recipe for the first problem, but perhaps not ideal for the second. I've had recent experiences helping out at Group (mathematics), where a detailed second opinion generated some enthusiasm to improve the article, and at White Mountain art, where a nominator needed encouragement to work with a reviewer. Both were a lot of fun. Both also originated with posts at WT:GAN, but this forum is not always very nominator-friendly, so I wonder if there is any way we can encourage nominators to seek help when they have problems with the review process before resorting to GAR? Geometry guy 21:34, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
The simplest way might be to insist on template messages for concluding reviews, which will have all the appropriate links present. I know a lot of us give links to GAR etc anyway, but there's perhaps more we could include (eg WP:GAN/M). Other than that, we could perhaps publicise a list of experienced reviewers willing to give second opinions and oversight, mediate disputes, help out with the noms process etc (again, WP:GAN/M might make a good starting point). EyeSerenetalk 21:58, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
Permanent linking is something that's got to be addressed. I'd pretty much given up on the GA process after the green dot debate, but my faith in it is slowly returning. Let's not give GA's detractors an easy shot, by saying they can't find the review. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 22:03, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
I'd also like to echo something else that Geometry Guy said. The most rewarding reviews are where the nominator and reviewer work together to get the article through GA. I fear that sense of collaboration may be diluted by this proposal to move GA towards FA-lite. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 22:14, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
Alright, scrap my proposal. But we need someone to actually make a guideline on the new format, instead of just supporting the idea but not contributing to the actual process. OhanaUnitedTalk page 22:26, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
I think it may be possible to implement the above proposal with only a superficial resemblance to FA (in criteria if not process), but I do have concerns about introducing voting. We would probably need to either restrict votes to regular GA reviewers who know the criteria, to avoid WP:ILIKEIT votes getting articles through, or we'd need one or more official 'promoters' who could judge the voting on its merits... and if someone's doing that, then why not undertake the review anyway? Voting would also, in my view, de-emphasise what I believe is GA's strongest suit - the idea that a GA review is a collaborative, personal, educational process. There is certainly a need for some kind of oversight, but I think throwing more than, say, two reviewers into the mix would be counterproductive. EyeSerenetalk 22:31, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
(edit) Sorry, OhanaUnited. We got edit-conflicted; your post wasn't there when I clicked 'save'. I'm not trying to argue against something you've already withdrawn :P EyeSerenetalk 22:36, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
It's ok, no one likes edit conflict. If we restrict votes to regular reviewers, then there's no opportunity for newcomers to participate. We need a merit system (or some sort). So can we all brainstorm and tell everyone your thoughts? (I already presented mines, now it's your turn) OhanaUnitedTalk page 02:56, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
But we can use some threshold like the 1,500 characters imposed by DYK. If the article can't make it to DYK, chances are it won't meet GA criteria #3 OhanaUnitedTalk page 03:02, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
I strongly disagree with any length requirement. GA was made explicitly for very short, high quality articles. The criteria is about breadth, not length. It's very important to retain this aspect of GA if it is to be a decent counterpart to FA in the future. VanTucky Vote in my weird poll! 03:06, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
1500 characters is really short. It's more like the length for a start-class article. OhanaUnitedTalk page 03:10, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
Ohana, an article with less than 1500 characters will probably fail our broad criteria. If it doesn't, there should be nothing arbitrary stopping it from being a GA. dihydrogen monoxide (H2O) 03:14, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
I don't think we want to add more "bean counting" items to the GA criteria. This seems like it will only attract more simple "bean counters" to the GA reviewer ranks; part of the GA review process is being able to actually read the article and judge whether it's well written or not, without necessarily looking at the purely subject and easy-to-find criteria. Dr. Cash (talk) 19:58, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
To clarify my previous comment, the "current system" means "one nominator and one reviewer". I do support the idea of conducting GA reviews on subpages, thus making them easier to keep track of. A major concern, however, would be GA reviews conducted before subpages for GA reviews are introduced. --J.L.W.S. The Special One (talk) 05:29, 17 May 2008 (UTC)

Can we have any new ideas? OhanaUnitedTalk page 23:43, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

I think we need to set up a small group of editors to come up with ideas, and I will propose this below. Geometry guy 00:41, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

Amending the Wikipedia 1.0 assessment scale - community input requested

(cross-posting to several noticeboards)

We've had a considerable amount of discussion discussing the merits and drawbacks of the current assessment scale, and it has resulted in two proposals. The first consists of moving the {{A-Class}} assessment level below {{GA-Class}}; the other is the addition of a new {{C-Class}} scale between {{B-Class}} and {{Start-Class}}. We'd like the community to voice its opinion about these proposals here. Thanks, Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 06:23, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

C-class might take extra work in making all the grade changes and there might be extra scope for disagreement and problems with consistency. I think that it is a good to move the A-class to below GA class. Snowman (talk) 09:48, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
I support the introduction of a C-class rating because B-class articles range from "board, decently written and referenced" to "long but unreferenced, badly written and poorly organised". With the introduction of the C-class rating, articles in the former category will keep their status while articles in the latter category will be downgraded to C-class. As a result, a B-class rating will be worth more. WikiProjects (especially those focusing on areas which are poorly covered) may thus organise "drives" to bring many articles to B-class status. However, moving A-class to below GA-class may not be a good idea, especially if a C-class rating is introduced. Some WikiProjects only give A-class status to articles which have passed an internal A-class review; such reviews tend to focus on content, while FA and GA focus on non-content issues. We should encourage more WikiProjects to have A-class reviews and lowering the prestige of an A-class rating will not do that.
--J.L.W.S. The Special One (talk) 12:28, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
Oppose. C-class shouldn't be there. People underused start class and overused B-class, IMO. OhanaUnitedTalk page 16:39, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
If B-class has been overused, introducing C-class would be a way of fixing that. If start class was underused, well i think that probably has to do with its name: "start"-class - people would probably category short articles that aren't exactly "stubs" as "start" - which are probably pretty few. Kevin Baastalk 20:20, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
I usually consider Start-class to be the equivalent of a C grade, so having an explicit C-class seems seriously redundant. I can see the benefit of moving A-class below GA, since it would help keep the individual wikiproject ratings separate from GA & FA. However, sometimes I like to use A-class as a way of giving a GA+ rating on an exceptionally good GA nomination, so I'm kind of indifferent on the A-class proposal. Dr. Cash (talk) 04:00, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps the following theoretical examples will help explain my view of the differences between the new B-class, the proposed C-class and the current Start-class.
  • B-class: An article about a chess player with good sections covering his career, personal life and contributions to chess theory. It is fairly well-referenced but does not meet GA criterion 2a. Although generally detailed, the article misses a few important points. The prose contains a few errors but is largely readable.
  • C-class: An article about a country with good History and Geography sections, stubby Politics and Culture sections and an Economy section with little information. There are a couple of fair use images which lack rationales and very few references, while the prose is poor but readable.
  • Start-class: An article about a movie with a detailed Plot section containing two screenshots, as well as an Analysis section which is full of original research. Entirely written from an in-universe perspective with poor but comprehensible prose, the article has no references.
--J.L.W.S. The Special One (talk) 12:05, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

My own view is that we need to decouple the Good article process from the WikiProject class scale. We are trying to improve the good article process, but trying to do with one hand tied behind our back by a poorly thought-out umbilical cord. Is GA better or worse than A-Class? Is chalk better than cheese? WikiProject assessments and community-wide (project independent) review processes are completely different beasts.

I think we need to drop the confusing idea of "GA-Class". The best way to do that in my view is to rename GA-Class as something else: B+-Class for example. Then GA (as in Good article) will have nothing to do with the Stub-Start-(C?)-B+-A Class scheme. I have expressed this in more detail in this thread, but it has already produced misunderstandings, demonstrating further the confusion between GA (abbreviation of Good article) and GA-Class (WikiProject assessment). We can't go on talking at cross-purposes like this. Geometry guy 19:35, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

I absolutely agree (as one of the confused :P). The trouble is, "Good Article", "GA", "GA-class", and even sometimes "A-class" (and any permutation of these) are used interchangably. I don't really care what we rename things to, as long as we remove this illogical crossover. Incidentally, do any WikiProjects actually use GA-class? EyeSerenetalk 20:14, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
I agree that GA-class short be dropped from the article assessment scale for the reasons stated above. Kevin Baastalk 20:23, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
Yes, some WikiProject do. And I (as one equally confused) think the two systems need to be separated. —Aryaman (talk) 20:23, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
I've now added a generic option where editors can !vote in support of the separation if they wish. I encourage editors here to participate. Geometry guy 10:33, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

Um, just a thought here, but it seems to me like if we totally remove GA from the assessment scale, leaving FA there, it would somewhat isolate this project and remove it from the whole rating system altogether. So GA could eventually become obsolete, as the natural progression of articles would go from stub-->start-->C-->B-->A-->FA. Why go for GA when you should just go right for FA? Although I'm sure the FA reviewers would love this proposal because it would possibly signal the downfall of GA,... Dr. Cash (talk) 14:56, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

Well, not all articles can be assessed by a suitable WikiProject, and GA and A currently look for different things. It's a good point though, and perhaps we need to more clearly define what we expect of each review process before we can settle on a hierarchy. EyeSerenetalk 17:41, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
Are you trying to wind me up or what? :lol: :lol: --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 23:28, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
"Why go for GA when you can just go for FA?" is a question best answered by ensuring that GA provides good feedback and a good review so that editors want to use it (and they do!). However, what we could do is provide a version of the Class templates with a green dot, so that there would be a difference e.g. between A-Class (with GA dot) and A-Class (without GA dot). This could increase the visibility of GA at WikiProjects: at the moment it is not possible to tell from the Class assessments whether an A-Class article is a GA or not. Geometry guy 18:08, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
Shall we drop FA-class as well? Why are there little or no misunderstandings regarding FA-class? Can WikiProjects rate an article as FA-class? Where would articles that attain GA status, but do not meet the criteria for A-class (or fail a WikiProject A-class review) stand on the assessment scale? Answer these semi-rhetorical questions and you will understand why I oppose dropping GA from the assessment scale. --J.L.W.S. The Special One (talk) 12:05, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
The 'GA-class' was added to wikiproject banners such that it should be used in the same way as the 'FA-class', to denote an article that had passed a GA review. If FA can prevent wikiprojects from assigning an 'FA-class' independent of FA review, I don't see a reason why we can't do the same. But I have yet to see specific examples of wikiprojects that actually add a separate 'GA-class'; if they do, we need to step up our enforcement, IMHO,... Separating GA out of the assessment scale will only serve to devalue GA and lead to its underutilization and ultimate demise. Plus, it would increase the backlog at WP:FAC, and FAC reviewers would start complaining even more about a ton of increased nominations for articles that don't even come close to meeting WP:WIAFA. Dr. Cash (talk) 13:33, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

(←) Rumours of the demise of GA have been greatly exaggerated. It is somewhat thriving: e.g. look at the backlog. Given that WikiProjects can promote to A-Class without going through GAN, the existence of GA-Class is clearly not the motivating reason for editors wanting to use the GA process! They want the green dot of community approval, not the green class.

Let me reply to the non-rhetorical among Hildanknight's questions. There are several reasons why there is no confusion about FA-Class: first, it is a simple equality FA=FA-Class, in contrast to GA=(GA-Class plus some of A-Class); second it is at the top of the assessment scale, so it is completely clear what it means; third, at this top level there is no doubt that the article has been thoroughly assessed both for content and style. Concerning where GA's should be placed, well my own preference would be to rename GA-Class as B+-class, and I would hope that most WikiProjects would either rate a Good article as B+-Class or A-Class, just as they are currently either GA-Class or A-Class. However, that is a matter for each WikiProject to decide: the WikiProject assessments are for their own purposes, and talking about "enforcement" is not helpful. I again refer to the example of Talk:John von Neumann. There is no universal article assessment. It is an illusion. Geometry guy 17:32, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

No idea where to add this...

Could someone please give María del Luján Telpuk a home (and update the topic parameter on the talk page if needed); I've got no idea where to put it. Thanks, dihydrogen monoxide (H2O) 11:06, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

How about Theatre, film and drama -> Actors, models, performers and celebrities? It's tenuous, I know, but I can't see it fitting anywhere else. EyeSerenetalk 11:33, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
I think this is an article on a cultural phenomenon and should be listed with other such phenomena. Geometry guy 00:18, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
Did as G-guy suggested (and I was contemplating that); thanks. dihydrogen monoxide (H2O) 07:43, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
That makes sense I suppose, although personally I wouldn't have thought of looking there if I had this article in mind. There's nothing at present that categorises 'personalities' (ie '15 minutes of fame'-type people), but I hesitate to suggest yet more subdivisions ;) EyeSerenetalk 07:49, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
You can never have enough subsections. I propose a María del Luján Telpuk subsection for these special cases. dihydrogen monoxide (H2O) 08:04, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
Seconded then. I like the way it rolls off the tongue. EyeSerenetalk 08:26, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

Is there a better way to naviaget this list?

I have trouble finding articles and even sections on this page. Could we do some sort of "show" table contents that gives more detail, or are people navigating this page in a way I don't know about that works well? We've got stuff like Arts and History but it's hard to tell what you'll find under those sections, and you find a bunch of sections when you may want only one. Is there a better way beyond massive scrolling? - Peregrine Fisher (talk) 08:51, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

Not that I've discovered. A ToC would be a big help, to be honest. EyeSerenetalk 11:21, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
I don't see how the page would benefit from a TOC, but that could be because I know the page like the back of my hand by now. It isn't terribly long, so with a little bit of scrolling, anything should be fairly easy to find. Juliancolton Tropical Cyclone 16:00, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
I experimented with the ToC, and it's way too long for the page, IMO. It could be useful if you don't know your way around the page, however, so it might be a good change to consider. Juliancolton Tropical Cyclone 16:06, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
It doesn't fit well, you're right. Maybe a more detailed links section at the top would be better? EyeSerenetalk 16:42, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

Where do I put this?

I just passed Towson United Methodist Church. I was originally going to place it under Philosophy and religion, but there really isn't a place for it. Should I place it under architecture? Nikki311 01:31, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

Yes, that seems like the logical place to me. Cheers, Juliancolton Tropical Cyclone 01:32, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

GA subpage

Because GA nominations are now on a subpage, there's no way to access it after the bot archives it. I was able to fix the temporary Failed GA template, but when the bot archives it there's no way to go to it again. Can this be fixed? Limetolime talk to me look what I did! 00:10, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

Reverted the changes to the failed GA template. I don't think that's going to solve the problem, since you're fixing the 'GA1'; GA reviews may not always be GA1; they might be GA2, GA3, depending on which GA review they are. Dr. Cash (talk) 04:04, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
This should now be fixed: there is a page parameter in FailedGA and other templates to indicate the subpage number. Geometry guy 01:37, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

Working party on GA reform

We've had plenty of discussion here on issues facing the GA process, and there have been several ideas proposed and discussed for addressing them. My view is that we really need a small working party of committed editors to consider these discussions and come up with proposals for a way forward. They would work with each other on a separate page, and once they had reached a consensus, they would put forward one or more proposals for change here.

There are issues as to how to choose the editors who would be involved, and how much to involve other editors in the discussion process, but if it is done well, such a set-up could be better than a sequence of threads on the latest idea, followed by no consensus or a stall. Do others think this would be a good way forward? Geometry guy 00:49, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

Yes, this has my support. There are lots of ideas being kicked around, and a clear consensus that changes are needed, but the details need hammering out (and, as you say, the last thing we need is yet another stalled proposal). EyeSerenetalk 09:40, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
Support and nominate G-guy and EyeSerene (for a start) for said party. dihydrogen monoxide (H2O) 09:58, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
I guess I'm in? OhanaUnitedTalk page 00:36, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
Ohana definitely needs to be in said party. Mastrchf (t/c) 00:47, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
Also support Epbr123, Derek.cashman, Nikki311, and Malleus. bibliomaniac15 03:37, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
I hereby nominate Dihydrogen Monoxide; how could we have missed him out? --J.L.W.S. The Special One (talk) 09:57, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
I reluctantly accept. :) dihydrogen monoxide (H2O) 10:05, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
I can help out with this, too. Though we really need to have a clear plan and agenda. It won't be very effective if we just come together, bang out some random thoughts and pie-in-the-sky wish list ideas for GA, but fail to test and implement them in the end. Dr. Cash (talk) 16:37, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
Here's a not-so-short-shortlist of people I recommend that wasn't mentioned above: Nehrams2020, LaraLove, VanTucky, Ruslik0. Is Canadian Paul still around? He's active but not reviewing. I think he's one of the best GA reviewer we have. OhanaUnitedTalk page 00:44, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
Canadian Paul quit GA reviewing in a huff; I always said he, Nehrams2020, and VanTucky (though not necessarily in that order) were GAN's best. dihydrogen monoxide (H2O) 07:45, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
Sorry to butt in like this, but while CP oficially retired, he came back to review Lazare Ponticelli upon my request. I'm an Editorofthewiki[citation needed] 01:49, 7 June 2008 (UTC)
LaraLove no longer participates in the GA process. --J.L.W.S. The Special One (talk) 11:05, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

I very much appreciate bibliomaniac15 mentioning my name, but I would like to excuse myself from this working party, for personal reasons that I would prefer not to go into here. I very hope that whatever comes out of it will help to raise the profile, trustworthiness, and most importantly the effectiveness of the GA process. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 00:57, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

Moving forward now we have some names...what's the plan? Party needs some sort of agenda, something to actually work towards. dihydrogen monoxide (H2O) 09:29, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

I'd be glad to participate! VanTucky Vote in my weird poll! 02:43, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

So... when should we get started? OhanaUnitedTalk page 04:12, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
I would recommend implementing changes in incremental steps, rather than all at once. No sense overwhelming people and confusing the hell out of everyone. I think we should start by formulating a method for transferring GA reviews to sub-pages within article talk space, and creating permanent archives. Based on several comments I've seen in these talk pages so far, I think I can take a wild guess that we probably have consensus for going forward with this, and clearing up our system of accountability should be the #1 priority. Dr. Cash (talk) 04:33, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
As a (relative) newbie, I'm happy to sit on the sidelines and occasionally throw in suggestions. If you want to drag me into things, just yell. Process work is what I do for a living outside of WP :) Gazimoff WriteRead 22:34, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
Same here. Although I only started actively participating in GA-related discussions recently, I would be happy to put forward ideas for the working party to consider. In my opinion, our two highest-priority suggestions are conducting GA reviews on subpages and better training for new reviewers. --J.L.W.S. The Special One (talk) 12:54, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

We've already started to address the issue of GA reviews on subpages. Please see this discussion. Dr. Cash (talk) 16:28, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

If you need one more, I'll join in on the discussion. I'll be happy to help with anything that improves the process. --Nehrams2020 (talk) 01:23, 25 May 2008 (UTC)
I nominated you already... OhanaUnitedTalk page 01:35, 25 May 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, I saw that, thanks! Just wanted to make it official, or make sure there wasn't already too many people. --Nehrams2020 (talk) 01:39, 25 May 2008 (UTC)

Will we have a specific page just for the reform? Or continue using this page? OhanaUnitedTalk page 05:20, 25 May 2008 (UTC)

Specific page is a good idea. dihydrogen monoxide (H2O) 05:22, 25 May 2008 (UTC)
I am relatively new to GA reviewing, but have contributed to a few discussions here recently, and am happy to continue considering these matters with you. But you may already have enough people, in which case I will not be offended if you do not take me up on this offer. Gwinva (talk) 05:55, 25 May 2008 (UTC)
I prefer having specific page for the reform discussions. However, will the members of the working party own it or will others (like me) be allowed to participate in the discussions? --J.L.W.S. The Special One (talk) 06:09, 25 May 2008 (UTC)
I'd have thought the point of a "working party" would be to only have them discuss it. So join the party—I have no objections to you. dihydrogen monoxide (H2O) 06:10, 25 May 2008 (UTC)
If they want me in, I will join. --J.L.W.S. The Special One (talk) 06:12, 25 May 2008 (UTC)
The working party is a good idea, but no one seems to have taken it the next step and started it (unless I've missed something). To get the ball rolling I have a draft discussion format at User:Gwinva/Working. It is only rough, and may not be what you had in mind. It's basically a pointer to the issues which need addressing, and a few subheadings, under which the various discussions can take place. Feel free to move it to a subpage here, copy and paste elements, restructure it, change the headings (etc) or totally ignore it. Gwinva (talk) 00:26, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

That looks like a good start: I've moved it to WP:WikiProject Good articles/Reform and started the talk page. Please watchlist and sign up if you are interested. Geometry guy 19:31, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

Yo. I came here to follow up on a thread I posted to last week... curiously it's missing. >_>
Anyway, I ctrl-f'd my name and saw I'd been nominated for the work group. I've been out of GA for 8 months, but I just cleared all but like 5 pages off my watchlist a few days ago. Considering I played a major role in the reforms of '07, I'd be delighted to participate in this year's discussions. LaraLove 15:14, 7 June 2008 (UTC)
Welcome back, Lara. OhanaUnitedTalk page 17:23, 7 June 2008 (UTC)
It's great to see you returning here Lara (I saw also the note at WT:WGA). I think your contributions to the working party will be very valuable, especially as your time away will bring a bit of fresh objectivity (tempered by experience) into the discussion. Re your talk: I missed you too :-) Geometry guy 21:40, 7 June 2008 (UTC)
Yay Lara! :-) giggy (:O) 01:40, 8 June 2008 (UTC)