Wikipedia talk:Good article criteria

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Stability in criterion 5[edit]

It seems that criterion 5 should also cover articles about ongoing events, that are therefore inherently unstable, but this is not stated. Am I missing something? FunkMonk (talk) 02:23, 9 October 2015 (UTC)

That makes sense. I'm new to this topic area and wonder if there are already some rules about how old an article must be before it can be nominated for GA status. Would six months be reasonable? -- BullRangifer (talk) 03:52, 30 December 2015 (UTC)

Proposal to tweak Good Article Criteria for copyright violation and plagiarism[edit]

I propose we change parts 1 and 2 of the Good Article Criteria as follows:

A good article is—

  1. Well written:
    1. the prose is clear and concise, it respects copyright laws, and the spelling and grammar are correct; and
    2. it complies with the manual of style guidelines for lead sections, layout, words to watch, fiction, and list incorporation.
  2. Verifiable with no original research:
    1. it contains a list of all references (sources of information), presented in accordance with the layout style guideline;
    2. all in-line citations are from reliable sources, including those for direct quotations, statistics, published opinion, counter-intuitive or controversial statements that are challenged or likely to be challenged, and contentious material relating to living persons—science-based articles should follow the scientific citation guidelines; and
    3. it contains no original research; and
    4. it contains no copyright violations nor plagiarism.

This was previously discussed back in 2011 and then again in 2013, but no action was taken at that time. Now that Wikipedia:Plagiarism has solidified as a guideline I think it makes sense to revisit.

Breaking out copyright violation from 1a makes it a more explicit requirement for reviewers to check before promoting articles. It also makes 1a be solely about prose quality. I see copyright and plagiarism to be more related to verifiability than well-writtenness, so it makes more sense to have it as a subpoint under 2 than 1.

A common objection to adding plagiarism explicitly to the criteria in previous discussions was the fear that complete plagiarism checks would be impractical for good article candidates with potentially 60+ sources cited, including offline sources. I would counter in two ways: first, that online plagiarism checkers would help greatly with this activity; and second, I would not interpret this language as outlawing source spot checks as opposed to full checks. If something is missed and is found later, the article can always be corrected or delisted.

What does everyone else think? Grondemar 23:23, 11 October 2015 (UTC)

  • Support. Agreed; very sensible. Coincidently, I was just playing with a tool that I had never seen before: Copyvio Detector. Prhartcom (talk) 23:29, 11 October 2015 (UTC)
Question: I do not wish to complicate things, but notice above that the phrase "it contains a list of all references" is not linked to anything. The link Wikipedia:Citing sources exists. What about changing the phrase to "it contains a list of cited sources", including that link ? Prhartcom (talk) 23:39, 11 October 2015 (UTC)
I don't have a major objection to adding that link, but do note that if you click the layout style guideline link, you'll immediately go to a hatnote which links WP:Citing sources. That might be why it wasn't linked before. Grondemar 14:11, 12 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Support - Related to that, I've had to fail two because the nominators (not significant contributors) checked nothing prior to nominating. Copyvio was an issue, among other things. I would be happier if the instructions/criteria said a nominator must be a significant contributor. Drive-by new editors have no clue what to check, or how to check it. — Maile (talk) 23:35, 11 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Support. A useful clarification. Also agree withUser:Prhartcom about linking to WP:Citing sources. It may not be possible or practicable for a reviewer to check all the sources for plagiarism, and this should not be expected. However an article should not be passed with a known plagiarism/copyright violation, though it is inevitable that occasionally articles will be passed with undiscovered violations, which could be grounds for deisting, if the discoverer is unable/unwilling to fix the problem, which is the obvious preferred action. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 06:20, 12 October 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for the support of my Question above, and notice the link I posted to a tool to help reviewers identify plagiarism. Maybe we could provide that tool in the reviewer's {{Good article tools}}. Prhartcom (talk) 11:34, 12 October 2015 (UTC)
I would support adding Earwig's copyvio tool to the good article tools template. Grondemar 14:11, 12 October 2015 (UTC)
I went ahead and added the tool. Grondemar 01:54, 13 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Question: Why not keep wording "it respects copyright laws", and also add the new wording, and keep both? — Cirt (talk) 08:43, 13 October 2015 (UTC)
Because it's a good idea to keep the first of the two points focused on writing quality, leaving the second point to focus on research quality. Prhartcom (talk) 11:52, 13 October 2015 (UTC)
Excessive quoting in blockquotes in large paragraph portions can also be bad. — Cirt (talk) 16:01, 13 October 2015 (UTC)
Example = this version of this article is almost all just blockquotes. We need to Keep the old wording, to guide against that sort of practice. — Cirt (talk) 16:03, 13 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Support new addition but KEEP old wording as well = because both make it better, together, and there is no real good reason to remove the old wording. Thank you, — Cirt (talk) 16:02, 13 October 2015 (UTC)
    @Cirt: Could you clarify the difference between "respecting copyright laws" and "containing no copyright violations"? I had thought those phrases meant essentially the same thing. Grondemar 13:29, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
    @Grondemar:Encompasses overusage of quotations on a page, even if cited and in quotations, large amounts of blockquoting can be a problem. — Cirt (talk) 13:32, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
    @Cirt: Is there a way to tweak the wording of the proposed 2d to encompass your concern? I'd like to make 1a be solely about prose quality and move all copyright / plagiarism concerns to 2d if possible, just so the criteria will be easier to apply for reviewers. Grondemar 13:38, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
    @Grondemar:, eh, upon reflection, it's not a big deal to keep the old wording. I've struck that part of my comment. Thanks to you for this initiative, — Cirt (talk) 13:40, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Support given how easy toollabs:copyvios is to use. It may be helpful to add this tool to that page. sst 09:05, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
See above; it was added. Prhartcom (talk) 14:17, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Support. Makes sense. It fits better in the verifiability section and it is sufficiently important to warrant making it more explicit. --Wolbo (talk) 23:08, 16 October 2015 (UTC)

As this discussion was open for just short of two months and no one was opposed, I went ahead and implemented the change in the criteria. Thanks to everyone who weighed in. Grondemar 04:24, 2 December 2015 (UTC)

Stability not a quick-fail ?[edit]

Since when is Stability not a quick-fail ?

Cirt (talk) 21:28, 15 October 2015 (UTC)

See Battle of Aleppo (2012–present). The short of the argument is that although it is a current event, a stalemate in the battle makes it stable (in spite of 150 edits since the nomination). Perhaps the FunkMonk comment above is a clarification on what "instability" is. There is wiggle room in Criteria 5 because it refers only to the edit history. Perhaps adding "current event" to Criteria 5 would prevent this in the future. — Maile (talk) 21:59, 15 October 2015 (UTC)
I was referring to edit-wars only. I remember there used to be a point in the Criteria for quick-fail for Stability due to ongoing edit-wars. Can we add this back in, please? — Cirt (talk) 22:00, 15 October 2015 (UTC)
That's still in the criteria. It's #5. — Maile (talk) 22:02, 15 October 2015 (UTC)
It's missing from quick-fail, at Wikipedia:Good_article_criteria#Immediate_failures. — Cirt (talk) 22:03, 15 October 2015 (UTC)
OK. I see that now. — Maile (talk) 22:09, 15 October 2015 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done, I've added it. — Cirt (talk) 22:15, 15 October 2015 (UTC)

Not seeing any reason on the talk page why this was removed, after discussion with Maile66, over two (2) weeks ago. Will add it back, pending explanation here on the talk page. — Cirt (talk) 14:08, 5 November 2015 (UTC)

  • I made a similar question earlier with no responses, reposting here: It seems that criterion 5 should also cover articles about ongoing events, that are therefore inherently unstable, but this is not stated. Am I missing something? FunkMonk (talk) 14:16, 5 November 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I'm new to this topic area and wonder if there are already some rules about how old an article must be before it can be nominated for GA status. Would six months be reasonable? -- BullRangifer (talk) 03:59, 30 December 2015 (UTC)

Lack of criticism as a problem[edit]

In connection with this delisting of Falun Gong, I thanked the delister and made the following observations on their talk page. They sent me here. The context of the comment was Falun Gong, but here I'd like to open up a discussion about the principle in general.

An article which does not contain any criticism is obviously in violation of NPOV, unless it's a totally uncontroversial subject, and Falun Gong is very controversial, so the lack is notable. When such an article is nominated for GA status, this lack should be mentioned as a condition for reconsideration:

  • "Add any criticism found in RS. Then reapply for GA status. We cannot accept articles where NPOV is being violated by omission or censorship of properly sourced negative information." (This should be included as part of the formal rules for consideration, as well as a ground for immediate immediate failure.)

The "NPOV test" of appropriate content balance (in articles which document points of view, biases, and controversies) is not the presence of positive and favorable content, but the presence or absence of properly sourced negative and controversial content, giving each their due weight. If the latter is minimal or missing, something is likely wrong and NPOV is being violated. The complete or partial removal of properly sourced content is generally not allowed and must be viewed with suspicion. Especially guard against the removal of properly sourced negative material. We don't write hagiographies or advertising brochures. Like Newton's third law, for every opinion there is likely an equal and opposite opinion out there which should be included. The NPOV test describes biased content which exists in an action-reaction relationship, and we must include both to maintain an NPOV homeostasis. Censorship upsets this balance by trying to remove negative opinions and facts. -- BullRangifer (talk) 04:11, 30 December 2015 (UTC)



Let's keep this one, as it's the most commonly used shortcut.

Thank you,

Cirt (talk) 20:51, 27 February 2016 (UTC)

Proposal to add wording between 2 b and c[edit]

"all material in the article is directly supported by external reliable sources"

This is the spirit of WP:V, which is linked in the first line of criterion 2 but is not directly elaborated in the criteria page, which seems like an oversight.

The other "subcriteria" to criterion 2 are all, with the exception of the current c, are either relatively minor concerns or have nothing to do with the criterion 2:

  • "presented in accordance with the layout style guideline" is a guideline, not a policy, and is not directly related to either V or NOR (I would say it's more closely related to criterion 1, as it is essentially little more than a cosmetic concern);
  • "all in-line citations are from reliable sources" is a given, but does not address the disturbingly common phenomenon of Wikipedians citing perfectly good sources that don't say what they cite them as saying;
  • "contains no copyright violations nor plagiarism" is not directly related to V or NOR, and is actually something of a "flip side" balancing act with V, as an unmarked/unattributed quotation is the opposite of an unverifiable misrepresentation ot misinterpretation of a source.

I'm not necessarily in favour of altering/deleting/moving any of the above, but an accurate summary of V should certainly also be included.

Hijiri 88 (やや) 08:54, 18 May 2016 (UTC)

@Redrose64: Noted, and I have altered my proposal accordingly. Sorry. I was initially going to say "replace b with a new b", and so I copy-pasted the wording before realizing my proposal was distinct enough from the current b as to justify being an addition rather than a replacement, and my replacement of the words "inline citations" was sloppy. I meant that where sources are cited (or should be cited), the article-matter needs to be directly supported by those sources, rather than an obscure/dubious interpretation of the source by one or more Wikipedians. This is already a requirement, as the main clause for criterion 2 says that material must be verifiable; it just seems kind of odd to me that we provide detailed elaboration of all aspects of this clause (some of which are minor stylistic concerns that aren't actually requirements) and don't give any clarification of what WP:V actually means. Hijiri 88 (やや) 13:06, 18 May 2016 (UTC)