Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Birds/Assessment

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WikiProject Birds (Rated Project-class)
WikiProject icon WikiProject Birds/Assessment is part of WikiProject Birds, an attempt at creating a standardized, informative and easy-to-use ornithological resource. If you would like to participate, visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks. Please do not substitute this template.
 Project  This page does not require a rating on the project's quality scale.

Template on redirect pages[edit]

Should bird redirects have the {{BirdTalk}} template on their discussion pages? (For that matter, should they have ANYTHING on their discussion pages?!) Right now, the fact that so many DO have the template (most of which appear to have been added by an AWB program) is putting a lot of things in the "unassessed" category—even though the main articles have been assessed. Should I be removing them when I assess the articles, or should I leave them as ???? MeegsC | Talk 16:17, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

What Is Being Measured By Importance Scale[edit]

Is the importance scale rating the importance of the article from the standpoint of ornithology overall or from the standpoint of the part of ornithology that it's dealing with? For example, the article on the House Sparrow may be relatively unimportant from the standpoint of ornithology (they seem to be everywhere) but from the standpoint of studying passerines, it may have more importance. So which scale of importance is considered in rating an article?--Onorio (talk) 00:16, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

What I've seen is that all species are "low" importance, except that species that make up a whole genus are "mid" because all genera are "mid". And so on for species in their own family or order. With some exceptions, of course. —JerryFriedman (Talk) 06:08, 27 December 2008 (UTC)

absolute or relative length in quality scale?[edit]

When I read the quality scale, it gives the the distinct impression that the absolute length of the article is rather crucial in determining the scale value. I know of several articles that contain pretty much everything that is known of a specific species, yet they are still rated stubs. Often, they contain hard to find information and are the best source for information on that species anywhere, yet they are considered to be stubs:

May be useless to a reader only passingly familiar with the term. Possibly useful to someone who has no idea what the term meant. At best a brief, informed dictionary definition.

any thoughts? -- Kim van der Linde at venus 15:47, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

I agree that the ratings are absolute. It's possible that some sort of relative qualifier could be added, though I'm not sure how to set it up ("Contains most of the known material"?). This would be useful for those CD releases. In the meantime, it's best not to take the ratings as criticisms of the authors' effort or resourcefulness. —JerryFriedman (Talk) 06:20, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
I think the relative qualifier should be "degree covered of what is known". Something like: Stub: <25%; start: 25-50%; B: 50-75%; GA: 75-90%;A 90%+; FA: 90%+ AND well written etc. ?-- Kim van der Linde at venus 08:04, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
Stub, Start, B, C, GA, A, and FA have standard meanings across the wiki so that articles and ratings are consistent across the encyclopaedia. This system can not be changed here. Snowman (talk) 12:42, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
But where's the problem? As says the A-class description, "Provides a [...] complete description of the topic[...]. should be of a length suitable for the subject [...]." (emphasis added).
The unusual thing is probably rather that in the whole ToL project, articles that would be clear merge candidates elsewhere are kept - justifiably, because they are about distinct taxa. But there is not very much one could ever write about Pouteria peduncularis... (unless someone rediscovers it) Dysmorodrepanis (talk) 00:30, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, take an article like Saint Croix Macaw, which literally contains all relevant material. It is substantial beyond stub, but how would you make a article a Good Article? -- Kim van der Linde at venus 01:09, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
One problem is, "The following system is used by the Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team for assessing how close we are to a distribution-quality article on a particular topic Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Assessment). But Saint Croix Macaw, though rated a stub, is distribution-quality. (I'm taking Kim's word.) The other problem is that people may use the ratings as a guide to where work is needed. But no work is needed on that article because none is possible.
I agree with Snowman that we can't change the rating system here and it's unlikely to change. We could add a separate percent of coverage, so the box for SCM could read
This article has been rated as stub-Class on the quality scale.
This article has been rated as mid-importance on the importance scale.
This article has been rated as 90+% complete on the coverage-of-available-information scale. [This probably needs a date, as new information can often come up.]
One difficulty is that few are familiar enough with all the available information to come up with a percentage. —JerryFriedman (Talk) 02:34, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
I think any alternative to the standard wiki rating system is unworkable and confusing. The article could simply say "very little is known about this bird" in the text. I do not know how one can search for information in all languages and come up with a percentage. Some relativity unresearched birds are in China, Russia, Tibet, and in rainforests, and so on, and can all the known literature in the different languages used within the range of the birds be confidently searched, and then, can a percentage for the article content be calculated? Snowman (talk) 12:20, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

List assessment - importance[edit]

Any guidelines or thoughts about assessing the importance of lists? Should they be classified as NA? If not, how do you compare the importance of the lists of birds of (for example) New Caledonia, Costa Rica, Antarctica and Mongolia? Should continental lists get top billing and small islands the lowest, regardless of species richness or endemicity? Should lists of political entities be less important than geographical ones (unless they are the same)? Can of worms, I know, but I am looking for something simple and straighforward rather than a complicated equation full of variables. Apologies if this has already been sorted out somewhen. Maias (talk) 00:52, 17 March 2009 (UTC)


How will assessments be archived? Snowman (talk) 10:30, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

Assessments above "B"[edit]

What is the procedure for an article to be assessed once it has achieved "B" status? If someone could give me a run down I would, as always, be appreciative. speednat (talk) 04:54, 21 March 2009 (UTC)

Above B there is A, GA and FA. FA and GA both have their own listing procedures, you nominate them on the respective pages and then guide them through. A class, well, that is a leftover from the days before GA, and was used for articles that were not yet featured but were of sufficient quality. Since most articles are sent to GA befre FA, the category is seldom used anymore. Sabine's Sunbird talk 05:49, 21 March 2009 (UTC)

Importance in bird articles[edit]

Okay, let's have a look at what has been currently rated 'top' and what 'high'...Category:Top-importance_bird_articles has 45 entries so far. A quick judgement is that it contains all orders plus impotant parts of bird anatomy. I am intrigued that Domestic goose is there but Chicken is not...interesting. Casliber (talk · contribs) 19:51, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

And changed. Casliber (talk · contribs) 19:56, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
I demoted goose too. Casliber (talk · contribs) 19:57, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
If any species or families deserve top-status, House Sparrow and crow have got to be on the list. So do any species deserve this status? I disagree about orders, though: think of the kagu or seriemas, or even sandgrouse or tinamou. If these are at top-class, then why not finch or sparrow? innotata (Talk | Contribs) 21:02, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
I shouldn't think any single species deserves "top category" status. I'm not sure any would even qualify as "high". MeegsC | Talk 21:19, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
Interesting thread - okay, if we assume species have a "low" importance as a default, then "mid" would be the next option for those with some significant economic/avicultural/environmental/pest profile - eg many endangered species such as Kakapo, Common Starling, Noisy Miner, Galah, Orange-bellied Parrot. Which leaves high for the highest profile (worldwide possibly), let's say Wandering Albatross (size), Budgerigar (worlds most popular pet???), Bald Eagle (iconic), Emperor Penguin (ditto), Chicken and other domesticated birds. Could be argued that Chicken could be "top" too. How does that sound? Casliber (talk · contribs) 23:03, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
OK – bit of hobby-horse ranting follows. My preference would be to go by taxonomic ranking alone, e.g. low for all at species and sub-generic levels, mid for genera and sub-families, high for families, top for orders etc. I think that when we start giving higher levels of importance to certain species with high public profiles in North America and Western Europe we perpetuate cultural bias.
If a species is of sufficient human cultural or economic importance to merit a higher importance ranking, then that should be reflected on the project tag of whatever appropriate project or projects it falls under. Let's take an example; Bald Eagle. The only reason for its current rating of high is because it is the national bird of the USA. It is hardly iconic or of particular interest anywhere else. Brazil’s national bird is the Rufous-bellied Thrush; should that also be ‘high’? Should Israel’s Hoopoe? What about South Africa’s Blue Crane or Latvia’s White Wagtail? There is no reason why these birds should not be rated as of high importance with the projects of the countries they represent. Neither is there any reason why ‘chicken’ or ‘goose’ should not be rated as of high importance under WP:Agriculture or WP:Food. But please, not with WP:Birds.
The same should also apply to WP:Bird tagged articles that are not about bird taxa or biology, such as notable ornithologists. If for (somewhat far-fetched) example Stalin was marginally notable as an ornithologist for his studies of birds in Georgia in his youth, his importance to the birds project is still low, no matter what his claims to fame are elsewhere. Maias (talk) 23:58, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
Interesting thoughts, I realise I have been doing the same with horticulturally important plants all along (i.e. rating high in horticulture and low in plant importance). We can apply the same to endangered species by rating high on ecology or environment or conservation wikiprojects. What about the budgerigar though...Casliber (talk · contribs) 00:46, 24 November 2009 (UTC)
I guess there will always be anomalies and scope for arguments. With the budgie, it would be nice if there was an aviculture project; there seems to be plenty of scope for one; or a project on pets/companion animals. I can also sympathise with the argument that until there is an aviculture project, and while aviculture comes under WP:Birds, then the project does need to take account of such things as avicultural importance. I do undertand that it weakens my own (perhaps over-purist) argument to some extent. At least the Budgerigar is in a monotypic genus so, in my book, qualifies for mid importance anyway. Maias (talk) 01:12, 24 November 2009 (UTC)
Okay, I think your reasoning is sound and am happy to go along with your algorithm, so let's see what others think. Casliber (talk · contribs) 01:25, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

(un-indent) I really don't know what to say. One thing I am certain upon is that neither a taxonomic rank criterion or a non-specialist interest criterion would be satisfactory alone. A good deal of taxonomic units of rank intermediate between certain other units of importance have little note. A non-specialist interest criterion would exclude obviously important pages. I am particularly against giving fairly high importance to Kakapos and Wandering Albatrosses, as someone suggested above. The Wandering is one of many species, only marginally larger, hence the trivia. The Kakapo should be judged by its evolutionary distinction, in my opinion. On a somewhat distantly related note, I think that aviculture really needs to be included in this project and that rodent care should (I suppose) be included in the WP:RODENT and so on. Separating these matters from wild animals has its merits, but its costs. In some animals knowledge of the the domestic animals is disconnected to that of their wild relations, but in others they are inextricably linked. In matters of waterfowl (the sort of aviculture I know) aviculturalists are the ones making the important contributions to our knowledge. innotata (Talk | Contribs) 02:32, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

Reviewing B-class assessments[edit]

I think many articles were rated as 'B' before the wholesale move to inline referencing -I have begun looking at them to see which need to be moved to C or start. Reading the criteria, reserving 'B' for those which are on their way to GA is prudent. This makes the system more useful as a scan of B-class might help us more easily identify ones to convert to GA. I have just scanned through those beginning with 'A' and 'B'. Anyone else is welcome to continue or discuss. Casliber (talk · contribs) 01:32, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

I'm busily rating all the "unknown importance" articles using the levels (largely) agreed to above, and still have 5000+ to go, so I probably won't be much help with this project — sorry Cas! I just finished the A's too... MeegsC | Talk 03:08, 18 July 2010 (UTC)
Aah well, if you come across any B class articles of unknown importance then... :) Casliber (talk · contribs) 06:10, 18 July 2010 (UTC)
I think it is a great idea to review the B-class articles, so I have started doing a few, starting at the other end of the alphabet and working backwards. So far I have reviewed those from Z to T, and the exercise has been illuminating. There were a couple of shockers, as well as some that need just a little work to get to GA. I will keep going, off and on, but at least there are now fewer than 200 to do - and probably around 150 remaining when the job is done. Maias (talk) 03:59, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
A lot of the B's may also be holdovers from the days before C was added. Just better than start, but no longer B. Sabine's Sunbird talk 05:29, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
Exactly so; now we have a C-class it has upped the standard for B. Maias (talk) 05:37, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

Update - have now looked at up to end of 'E'. Casliber (talk · contribs) 06:44, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

I have looked at Z to R. Maias (talk) 11:49, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Finished up to end of 'G' now. Casliber (talk · contribs) 14:33, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
P to M done. Maias (talk) 12:55, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
Finished up to end of 'K' 'L' now. Casliber (talk · contribs) 20:58, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
i.e. all done. Casliber (talk · contribs) 21:28, 28 July 2010 (UTC)