Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Council

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WikiProject Council
WikiProject icon This page relates to the WikiProject Council, a collaborative effort regarding WikiProjects in general. If you would like to participate, please visit the project discussion page.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What's a WikiProject?
A WikiProject is a group of people who want to work together. It is not a subject area, a collection of pages, or a list of articles tagged by the group.
How many WikiProjects are there?
Nobody knows, because groups of people may start working without creating pages or may stop working without notifying anyone. As of 2012, about 2,000 were participating in article assessments for the Version 1.0 Editorial Team. There is a manually maintained list of WikiProjects at Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Directory.
What's the biggest WikiProject?
Nobody knows, because not all participants add their names to a membership list, and membership lists are almost always out of date. You can find out which projects' main pages are being watched by the most users at Wikipedia:Database reports/WikiProject watchers.
Which WikiProject has tagged the most articles as being within their scope?
WikiProject Biography has tagged about a million articles, making it more than three times the size of the second largest WikiProject. About ten groups have tagged more than 100,000 articles. You can see a list of projects and the number of articles they have assessed here.
Which WikiProject's pages get changed the most?
See Wikipedia:Database reports/WikiProjects by changes. These changes may have been made by anyone, not just by participants in the WikiProject.
Who gets to decide whether a WikiProject is permitted to tag an article?
That is the exclusive right of the participants of the WikiProject. Editors at an article may neither force the group to tag an article nor refuse to permit them to tag an article. See WP:PROJGUIDE#OWN.
I think a couple of WikiProjects should be merged. Is that okay?
You must ask the people who belong to those groups, even if the groups appear to be inactive. It's okay for different groups of people to be working on similar articles. WikiProjects are people, not lists of articles. If you identify and explain clear, practical benefits of a merger to all of the affected groups, they are likely to agree to combining into a larger group. However, if they object, then you may not merge the pages. For less-active groups, you may need to wait a month or more to make sure that no one objects.

Merging projects - Fringe[edit]

"Merging projects - Compromise" is passed with these points:

  • WikiProject Occult will remain independent.
  • WikiProject Creationism will be merged only if another project can be found that accepts it such as WikiProject Religion.
  • All other specific mergers must be accepted by the relevant WikiProjects which for inactive projects is unlikely to be a problem.

I am open to discussion of this closure and if there are any questions or objections please contact me on my talk page --Pine 08:05, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

There are a number of inactive or mostly inactive wikiprojects with overlapping areas, which are all related to fringe views. Since the projects are mostly inactive, messages only get responded to infrequently, and most of the projects are in disarray. My proposal is that they all be merged into one wikiproject with different task forces so that we can try and kick some life into a Wikiproject in this area.


One way of doing this could be to create, say, Wikipedia:WikiProject_Fringe and have 5 or 6 task forces (based on merging in the wikiprojects), such as:

  • Cryptozoology
  • Skepticism
  • Alt Med
  • Astrology
  • Creationism
  • Paranormal (Occult and Parapsychology here as well)

Thoughts? IRWolfie- (talk) 19:37, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

This sounds like a fairly solid plan to me. Not 100% on naming it Fringe, though I have no better suggestion at the moment. Samwalton9 (talk) 19:56, 11 September 2013 (UTC)
I like the idea too, but can't come up with a better name than Fringe (I think it's fine that way). -Ugog Nizdast (talk) 20:31, 11 September 2013 (UTC)
Just saw this. Great idea to make a number of dead or dying projects productive again. "Fringe" is an unmistakably accurate description for these topics within the context of Wikipedia, although I can understand that some enthusiasts might feel the term is pejorative and would prefer something that hints at respectability such as "frontier", "controversial", "borderline" or "alternative". Maybe "unconventional" or "unorthodox" might work, but you can't beat "fringe" for simplicity and clarity. - LuckyLouie (talk) 20:35, 11 September 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, I approve of a merge, but I'm wondering what name will be acceptable to all - I can see it bringing advocates out of the woodwork if they consider calling their topic "fringe" demeaning (and astrology is, of course, hugely popular in the world). OTOH, then they might actually work on stuff - David Gerard (talk) 21:16, 11 September 2013 (UTC)
I could support this, but Fringe doesn't cut it for me. It's not demeaning, it's not anything at all, and conveys no information as to the scope of the project. It's all right as an adjective, but I think we need a noun or two to go with it. Fringe Science and Religion? Fiddlersmouth (talk) 22:00, 11 September 2013 (UTC)
I expect that people who believe in/support these things would consider fringe to be a demeaning description. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:37, 12 September 2013 (UTC)
I'd suggest we ask a wikiproject on religion to take on creationism - it's a bit of an odd one out in that lot. The rest is sort of "skeptics' interest", which is a terrible name and arguably POV-assuming. Gah, naming is going to be the very hard bit of this excellent idea - David Gerard (talk) 22:41, 11 September 2013 (UTC)
Agree that Creation science might fit this idea specifically, but not Creationism in general. - LuckyLouie (talk) 22:59, 11 September 2013 (UTC)
As a pseudoscientific topic I'd argue that creationism is still within skeptics' interest. Samwalton9 (talk) 23:07, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

This is sort of cart-before-the-horse. A WikiProject is a group of people. It is not pages or subject matter. Do you have groups of people that actually want to merge? Merging WikiProjects is like merging groups of students who like to eat lunch together. You don't just shove a couple of pages (or lunch tables) together and have everyone suddenly working (or eating) together. The usual result is that most of them simply leave.

You should not create pages for a new group without having an actual group of people who want to use them. You may not merge any existing groups' pages into any other group without first consulting them and getting their agreement to participate in the new group. If you want to do this, then you need to go leave messages at all of the talk pages to propose a voluntary merge. No other type of merge is permitted (or feasible in practice, due to offended people simply leaving if you try to force them into a group that they don't want to join). WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:37, 12 September 2013 (UTC)

I recommend that inactive and semi-active WikiProjects be left as they are (unmerged), but that a new WikiProject (Wikipedia:WikiProject neglected WikiProjects) be formed for the benefit of editors who wish to give attention to the articles affected.
Wavelength (talk) 01:02, 12 September 2013 (UTC)
I support an inactive and neglected wikiprojects wikiproject idea, but I don't think that should be a bar to mergers, properly advertised. -- (talk) 04:16, 12 September 2013 (UTC)
" If you want to do this, then you need to go leave messages at all of the talk pages to propose a voluntary merge." That's what this page is, I'm using it as a location for a centralised discussion between any people left in any of the wikiprojects. I've already messaged each wikiproject. IRWolfie- (talk) 09:12, 12 September 2013 (UTC)
What ever way we group them, we still need an 'overall project' to cover at least most of these topics. They will probably remain inactive even in small groups. Moreover, as mentioned in the start, an overall project will solve the main problem of messages being replied and better collaboration. As a WP Skept member I support it; still lets see if other project members don't, just like in the group of students analogy. -Ugog Nizdast (talk) 13:14, 12 September 2013 (UTC)

I would say that "astrology" TF should be "astrology and geomancy" ; and that cryptozoology, UFOlogy and paranormal can be one TF; and "Creationism" should be "Creationism and intelligent design"; and a "conspiracy theories" TF should exist (possibly for the secret societies WPP) -- (talk) 04:16, 12 September 2013 (UTC)

That's not a bad approach. I'd certainly say that cryptozoology, UFOlogy and paranormal would all be present as a Paranormal Conference, so people who get along tend to go to them. Skepticism is pretty broad and has conferences encompassing a wide range of these interests, so the people who get along and might want to work together would fit well under Skepticism, say. In many ways, it's good to have a Project to find other editors to review some of the larger pages and edits for structure or grammar or for things like Good Article status. (I actually joined WP:Skepticism after reviewing an article for GA, but it was one of the subjects I was already interested in and knew a bit about). I think it has to focus on the chances of working as a team, though clearly major edits will have to be individual work. It's helpful to ask others if they have sources that you don't have to add other content you've heard of but can't cite. Being part of the same Community in other realms will probably help.Dynamicimanyd (talk) 06:01, 12 September 2013 (UTC)
I recently responded to a comment on the astrology project talk page, so caught this notice because that page got added to my watchlist. Going to the project page, I almost didn't bother to read the notice because the header simply says "Merge proposal", which sounds like a suggestion to merge one project page into another. Would it be possible for the proposer to make his notice to the projects more explicit, because there might be more response from members of those groups if they realize the proposal concerns the future of their project, and not just the prospect of merging one of their pages into another. I am not a member of any of these projects, but would consider becoming a member of one or two of them if there was some evidence of collaborative efforts being planned or scheduled. Currently, they look like a projects that are being wound down or neglected, which doesn't stimulate enthusiasm to get involved Tento2 (talk) 14:47, 12 September 2013 (UTC)
I would maybe, broadly, support such a merge, with a few caveats. One, I tend to think WikiProject Occult is in some ways not directly related to paranormal, as the occult has a fairly strong history of being a form of alternative religiosity, which might not make it so easy to merge with others. That being the case, maybe merging that and Creationism into Religion might work better. I also note that there are at least a few fairly well regarded reference books on astrology and the occult, separately, which makes them at least a bit more historically significant than the others. I would also really, really, have reservations about the proposed name of the parent group, which I think would almost certainly be a very pronounced nail in the group's coffin from the word go. Most of those interested in these topics do not really think of themselves as "fringe". I could see a name like WikiProject Science and Religion (if all the topics involved relate, and I don't know that they do) or maybe WikiProject Alternative Science for some, merging some of the others into WikiProject Alternative Views and maybe making a third for WikiProject Popular beliefs, which might include astrology and a lot of the "New Age" type stuff. Actually, a parent WikiProject New Age for some of these might not be bad either. But I really, really, have reservations about using a name like WikiProject Fringe or anything similar. John Carter (talk) 15:26, 12 September 2013 (UTC)
I occasionally watch the AltMed group, although I don't consider myself a member. IMO it would be okay to merge the Homeopathy, Mind–Body, and the proposed Traditional Medicine group into that one. But I don't think that it is a good idea to put it in a group with Astrology, Occult, or other basically religious groups. I don't believe that there would be enough common interest to build functional conversations. If that happened, I would probably take it off my watchlist. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:23, 12 September 2013 (UTC)
I like that suggestion, the name Alternative views/Popular beliefs sounds good and non-controversial; a single overall project combining the projects like Occult, Paranormal etc mentioned above would work I think. Project Skepticism and Pseudoscience (there's already a redirect) can obviously be combined, Creation can be excluded and go to religion (Not that familiar with this topic so not sure) and each of these can have their respective task forces within this merged project. So then there is a need for a second project which covers all forms of alternative medicine, but the problem is Skepticism applies to this too and where to place this becomes another issue. -Ugog Nizdast (talk) 16:40, 12 September 2013 (UTC)
  • @Tento2, This is the reason I've proposed this merge, people are being directed to wikiprojects which are in fact dead or just about limping on. As you say, this "doesn't stimulate enthusiasm to get involved". Another alternative is to simply mark some of these as dead projects and remove the templates from talk pages so people don't go to them by mistake and use wikiproject skepticism directly. It certainly would be a cleaner way of doing it.
Broadly my suggestion was meant to capture all those areas generally covered by WP:FRINGE guidelines and which are in the area of scientific scepticism generally, Fringe was my suggestion as a compromise between putting people off with the word "skepticism" and also not putting off mainstream editors with names like "alternative science" (as though one can pick their science!). My thought was to re-purpose skepticism into a task force specifically related to the concepts of skepticism and to notable skeptics and organisations. The people I come across time and time again are active across the entire area of WP:FRINGE topics so greater synergies (I use this term only partially ironically) can be achieved by unifying the wikiprojects of the area together. On the topic of Wikiproject astrology, I'm the only editor, that I am aware of, that is active with the Astrology wikiproject, so one can talk about that wikiproject as if it is dead. I think splitting up the merges into separate wikiprojects is a mistake considering there is a strong overlap of interests (there is a certain pool of editors I see in my editing). Much of Creationism falls into pseudoscientific claims, so I don't quite understand the rationale for the move to wikiproject religion. Of course a split would be possible if some articles are purely on doctrinal issues.
Just to re-iterate, some of the projects are already dead: Homeopathy, Pseudoscience, and NLP are dead, and Astrology and Alt med are basically dead. The issue is that there just isn't the editors to have three separate projects as proposed by Ugog. They won't be healthy projects and there is more chance with 1 project (and at the very least it makes the templates easier to work with!). IRWolfie- (talk) 19:54, 12 September 2013 (UTC)
FWIW, I was more or less thinking of maybe one group, possibly WikiProject Science and Religion (if that's appropriate) with maybe the others functioning as subprojects. I agree having only one banner to work with would probably be optimal. Part of the problem I see is that WikiProject Occult seems to also deal with stuff like Aleister Crowley and Hermetism and other similar subjects, which isn't really at all related to science. Having said that, I do find the idea of maybe having a project directly related to the guideline of FRINGE, and maybe to the noticeboard?, interesting. John Carter (talk) 20:17, 12 September 2013 (UTC)
Science and religion is it's own distinct topic area so I think that would cause a lot of confusion, and also fails to capture much of the fringe area (specifically much of it has little connection to religion). I'd also highlight that what the noticeboard WP:FTN does is specifically unrelated to what a wikiproject would do and there is a clear delineation. FTN is specifically focussed around dealing with undue weight given to fringe views identified by WP:FRINGE, wherever that may be across wikipedia. It is not concerned with any other aspect of fringe topics or with working on fringe articles in general. On Crowley, his article is part of projects astrology, Occult and alternative views; there is lots of overlap. Wikiprojects can be novel in terms of areas covered because they are merely an internal organisation tool, IRWolfie- (talk) 22:35, 12 September 2013 (UTC)
You know more about the s&r topic than I do, so I'll take your word there. But I do think that it might be useful if the editors who frequent the FTN would also have a organizational tool which more or less can serve as an indicator of a lot of the material that the editors there regularly have to deal with. John Carter (talk) 00:07, 13 September 2013 (UTC)
We don't normally remove WikiProject banners from talk pages, even if the project is totally dead. Any project can be WP:REVIVEd, and we don't want anyone to have to recreate all that work. Instead, the banner is left in place, although it may be modified to state that it's inactive. For example, I've assumed for a couple of years that WP:WikiProject National Health Service was dead, but someone's trying to revive it this year. It would be a shame if some of his first actions needed to be spending several hours re-doing work that had been done years ago. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:49, 13 September 2013 (UTC)
@IRWolfie. I think the failure to stimulate enthusiasm comes from the sense that there is a desire to limit or prohibit the coverage of these topics, because they don’t fit the scientific model – so the idea of lumping them all together under the umbrella of scientific scepticism strikes me as counter-productive; being part of the problem, rather than the solution. Before jumping to merge the projects or mark them as dead, I would rather see exploration of why some projects that were once very active have had such a drastic decline of members, or at least engage in some attempt to regenerate interest. As you say you are the only editor that is active with the Astrology wikiproject, I’ll join that project and will start a discussion there to see if anything can be done to get more input from the other members. Tento2 (talk) 08:17, 13 September 2013 (UTC)
Number one, he's not the only still active contributor left in Astrology. Two, I have no idea what Fringe is. MM (Report findings) (Past espionage) 09:37, 13 September 2013 (UTC)
Matticus, I'm not saying that the people aren't active, just not in the topic area (I watch the project watchlist) or on the wikiproject. I don't think I have ever seen you edit in this area or comment on the astrology talk page (which is fairly dead). Here are you edits for the last 5 months [1]. Fringe refers to the same definition as WP:FRINGE. @Tento2, I did not say to lump together under scepticism, in fact that is specifically what I did not say. The Astrology project was only really briefly active for a short period when there was a large conflict between a cadre of astrologers (who were mostly blocked for disruption and WP:MEAT puppetry) and other editors. IRWolfie- (talk) 09:56, 13 September 2013 (UTC)
@WhatamIdoing, the issue is that we are directing people to dead pages, through these templates, where they won't get any feedback. IRWolfie- (talk) 09:47, 13 September 2013 (UTC)
Agreed. A dead project cannot provide help, and on that basis can reasonably be seen as being counterproductive if people look to get help from it which they don't receive. In fact, in some cases, such lack of response has been the primary cause of editors stopping editing. Also, it would certainly be possible to have the banner of whatever group comes into existence have specific criteria for the individual subgroups, with the potential of spin out under its own banner again later. But the primary purpose of a WikiProject is to help encourage cooperation and collaboration on the topic, and dead groups can't do that. I do think that maybe a wikiproject name with something like "alternative" might be the best way to go, and possibly preferable to Fringe, but am not sure exactly what sort of name would be best. John Carter (talk) 14:26, 13 September 2013 (UTC)
The articles within the scope of each of these WikiProjects can be managed by means of Wikipedia:WikiProject Abandoned Articles.
Wavelength (talk) 16:25, 13 September 2013 (UTC)
Which is itself currently tagged as "semi-active," and also presumably has a lot of content to deal with, so while I am grateful for the information, I am far from sure that it is either the best possible solution, or that it even necessarily even directly relates to the matter of this proposed merger. John Carter (talk) 16:32, 13 September 2013 (UTC)
Alternative isn't a good term for stuff like astrology that used to be mainstream. Secondly, I don't see that some of the phenomena described can possible be an alternative to anything. What exactly is Rumpology an alternative to? Sanity? The only adjective I can think of that describes this disparate group in English is Fortean, which may be too niche to be applicable. Is there a de-branded word for Fortean? Fiddlersmouth (talk) 23:20, 13 September 2013 (UTC)
To me, it looks like most of the material is more of less of the kind one might expect to encounter on Coast to Coast AM, at least here in the United States, and that article describes the content of that show as often relating to the paranormal and conspiracy theories. I know one banner had had an "X" on it, for the X-Files, which kinda implied the scope of that group even if it didn't really define it. Maybe something like "paranormal and conspiracy theories," with, maybe, a highly doctored image indicative of Coast to Coast AM or similar? John Carter (talk) 23:29, 13 September 2013 (UTC)
Re Forteana, Coast to Coast AM and X Files; the successor and contemporary incarnation of all of those is Fringe (TV series). ; ) - LuckyLouie (talk) 13:12, 14 September 2013 (UTC)
  • I would support a merger (or two mergers), as the best way to move forward from an collection of dead and dying projects which have such extensive overlap. bobrayner (talk) 12:19, 14 September 2013 (UTC)
The proposal seeks to merge a diverse range of groups with mutually exclusive interests. While the proponents have little or no interest in the other topics, most of the subjects share the same opponents. So it can make sense to lump them together but only from one point of view. I can see some possible mergers: Parapsychology with Paranormal, Alternative Medicine with Homeopathy, Skepticism with Pseudoscience though I cannot see any commonality between the other groups in particular astrology which is a large subject with many Wikipedia articles. The lack of interest in these projects and in editing these subjects by those knowledgeable or interested in these fields is because the majority of active editors who watch these pages vigorously oppose these subjects. So fringe articles tend to give undue weight in favour of these editors - well beyond WP:PSCI, published Encyclopedias and scientific consensus - and fail to describe both views fairly. So while some mergers may be due, merging all these projects will increase this polarisation and eliminate any viable forum to re-engage collaborative editing of these topics. Robert Currey talk 12:39, 14 September 2013 (UTC)
I concur that the commonality is mostly that scientific skeptics think they're all bogus, and each matter's fans and advocates would be unlikely to see commonality.
FWIW, I think the skeptical interest in all of these would be covered already by WikiProject Skepticism. I don't think merging will bring fans and advocates to the articles if they're not there already. That is, it's not clear this will jumpstart the projects or article work.
So ... what's an acceptable and neutral way to publicise a wikiproject to people who might be interested? - David Gerard (talk) 14:11, 14 September 2013 (UTC)
I don't want to speak for IRWolfie, but I assume the intention of the combined Wikiprojects is not to prevent or limit coverage of fringe topics, it's to help ensure that coverage is appropriate by virtue of notability in reliable, independent sources. Bringing the "skeptics" into collaboration with the "advocates" in a WikiProject environment isn't a bad thing. It could help prevent conflicts in article space by serving as a forum to discuss proposed new articles and article expansions. For example, the addition of a viewpoint (for which no reliable sources exist) that systems failures of the Phobos program are "unexplained" and presumably somehow connected to the paranormal was/is on the "to do" list at Wikipedia:WikiProject_Paranormal. - LuckyLouie (talk) 14:48, 14 September 2013 (UTC)
Advocates by their very nature tend to find wikipedia unsatisfying. I'm not looking for a project of advocates but a project of editors interested in writing neutral articles (whether they be fringe believers or not). Also generally many fringe believers also believe in other fringe areas as highlighted by Chris French in his work, so there is probably more common ground than may have been thought (why just the other day I saw a BLP article for an alt med, aids denialist, anti-vaxxer, megavitamin proponent, Anti-GMO, Anti-nuclear energy and anti-evidence based medicine). IRWolfie- (talk) 08:50, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
Personally, I think that all these concerns of advocates versus skeptics, neutral content &c would apply equally whether we had one big project or a dozen small ones; making it a distraction from the proposed merge. More relevant is that we have a large collection of overlapping, moribund, small wikiprojects; bringing editors together in a bigger project with a more natural scope gives us a much better chance of nurturing cooperation between different editors. bobrayner (talk) 12:28, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
More or less at IRWolfie: I do know of at least a few generally comparatively recent reference books relating to the occult, cryptozoology, pseudoscience, the new age, astrology, alternative medicine, conspiracy theories, and a few of the other topics, and, depending on how "neutral" those reference works are, I could see that we might be able to get some people together to develop our content more or less in line with the relevant weight of topics and content of those works, so it should be doable. Having said that, I acknowledge that a lot of people who edit regarding fringey thinking might be here only to promote such thinking, and they might be less inclined to take part if the promotion of the fringiness is not a priority. If anyone wants, I could try to get together lists of articles in those works. And, although I acknowledge the current "Fringe" show, I wonder if, maybe, using a form of the question mark as a banner icon/project symbol and maybe some sort of name roughly consonant with that icon/concept might not be the best way to go. John Carter (talk) 14:43, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
  • I oppose this particular merger proposal. Some items should be merged together by their similarities. Astrology, parapsychology, paranormal, and occult can merge together. Alternative medicine, homeopathy, and NLP could merge together. Creationism doesn't belong here, it needs to be merged into a religious project. - Sidelight12 Talk 22:30, 16 September 2013 (UTC)
That doesn't seem to make any sense. The NLP and Homeopathy projects are dead, merging them into Alt Med won't make it more active. The creationism project also involves the same sort of pseudoscientific claims and it doesn't make sense to merge it into a wikiproject which isn't used to those sorts of issues. And you've ignored the skepticism project entirely! IRWolfie- (talk) 22:38, 16 September 2013 (UTC)
It makes a lot more sense than this. Items aren't merged with completely separate subjects based on wikiproject activity. Religion and alternative medicine are completely different. As for paranormal, what does acupuncture have to do with ghosts? Its almost as bad as proposing merging wikiproject science to wikiproject fiction books. - Sidelight12 Talk 22:51, 16 September 2013 (UTC)
Of course we merge " based on wikiproject activity". Wikiprojects are solely a method of organising editors, and I see the same faces editing these topics, who like me, edit or are interested in all of these topics areas! There is a lot of commonality within these topics. All of the topics are covered by skepticism but as I mentioned I wish to re-purpose wikiproject skepticism as well in the merge, IRWolfie- (talk) 23:41, 16 September 2013 (UTC)
That is such a vague title. It doesn't relate to any of those topics. Who thinks that skepticism is 'fringe'? We are pro-science, evidence and facts, not into fringe stuff. Some of those projects could be merged into WikiProject Skepticism, but Skepticism should not be renamed 'fringe'. Skepticism is a perfect and all encompassing title for what our project has been doing as we cover many skeptic topics, none of which are fringe. Joolzzt (talk) 00:14, 17 September 2013 (UTC) PS: From looking at the other project pages I think someone misunderstood the definition of 'skepticism'. We are against Astrology, against Homeopathy, against Parapsychology and against Cryptozoology. Merging us with those is like merging the christianity and islam pages. Please drop us out of the merge, we are the opposite of those pages. Joolzzt (talk) 00:22, 17 September 2013 (UTC)
Wikiprojects aren't "against" anything. Wikiprojects are merely a means of organising editors together for collaborative purposes in a specified area. It is not for separating people into Pro and Anti groups. IRWolfie- (talk) 09:07, 17 September 2013 (UTC)
I totally agree with Joolzzt. Skepticism should not be rolled up under "Fringe." Skepticism is pretty much the exact opposite of fringe and covers a wide range of topics beyond paranormal phenomena.Dustinlull (talk) 01:00, 17 September 2013 (UTC)
Instead of merging Skepticism (again) in hopes of attracting more editors and activity, perhaps we could instead look at what the more active WikiProjects are doing right. IMHO the front page of any WikiProject should be a short-to-moderate list of pages that need help, each with a short statement about what fix is needed (e.g. Cleanup citations; Photo needed; Improve NPOV, etc.). Some of the struggling projects appear to spend much time categorizing and assessing importance of the pages monitored by the project instead of actively promoting recommended changes to those pages.Frederick Green (talk) 01:18, 17 September 2013 (UTC)
Some observations on the current Wikiprojects and their respective scopes.
  • The Astrology project aimed to include astrology "in different cultures and traditions", also covering relevant historical subjects.
  • Parapsychology aimed to cover a variety of paranormal subjects, including among others "telepathy, precognition, clairvoyance, psychokinesis, near-death experiences, reincarnation and apparitional experiences".
  • Wikiproject Paranormal specifically included in its scope: Anomalistics (which covers Forteana), Cryptozoology, Paranormal phenomena, Paranormal hoaxes and frauds, Parapsychology, Fringe science, Protoscience, Pseudoscience, Ufology, Urban myths and legends, Unexplained disappearances, Conspiracy theories, and certain structures such as the megaliths which have paranormal associations.
  • Wikipedia:WikiProject Alternative Views aimed to cover theories, hypotheses, conjectures, and speculation which lack widespread acceptance and/or challenge the "dominant view" in their field.
  • Wikiproject Skepticism is actually the result of a recent merger. Back in June, Wikiprojects Rational Skepticism and Pseudoscience merged, and all their content ended under the same banner. The new scope aims to cover pseudoscience, pseudohistory, pseudophilosophy, and any article on fraud and fraudsters.
  • WikiProject Alternative medicine aimed to cover both specific subjects within the field and historical figures associated with them.
  • WikiProject Homeopathy was a single-issue Wikiproject with a narrow scope.
  • WikiProject Creationism originally covered only intelligent design but expanded to cover all forms of creationism. It listed Wikiproject Pseudoscience as its closest relative.
  • WikiProject Cryptozoology aimed to cover both regular cryptids and related creatures from zoology, paleontology, mythology, dinosaurs, and the paranormal.
  • WikiProject Pseudoscience no longer exists.
  • WikiProject Occult aimed to cover Magic/Magick, Secret organizations, Secret fraternal organizations, Esoteric orders, Mystery religions, Occult rituals, Theurgy, Occult texts and their writers. Specifically excluded were Satanism and paranormal activities.
  • WikiProject NLP concepts and methods aimed to cover Neuro-linguistic programming and its methodology.

If these projects are merged, IRWolfie and others should probably work out a new scope. Dimadick (talk) 00:51, 17 September 2013 (UTC)

  • Oppose the merger. It is not clear to me how merging a number of dead projects is going to revitalize any of them. In fact I think that might be a death knell to the "not very active" projects as the workload and scope would increase without adding any additional interested editors. If a project dies or does not have any active editors then let it go until the interest returns. Perhaps this is a sign that astrology and pseudoscience are losing their prominence in the real world as well and Wikipedia should reflect that. Allecher (talk) 01:53, 17 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose the merger. Specifically the inclusion of Proj Skepticism in this particular merger proposal. Not sure about your definition of 'not very active'. At least a dozen members of Proj Sketicism have been active recently on Skeptic pages. I suggest the 12 constitute 'a group of people who want to work together'. So the Project should be left alone unless other projects choose to merge into it. Joolzzt (talk) 08:21, 17 September 2013 (UTC)
Activity isn't based on people editing articles but also engaging/using the project. If members don't use the project pages then its no use, IRWolfie- (talk) 09:09, 17 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment Can people indicate which of the projects they are a member of when they are leaving comments? IRWolfie- (talk) 09:10, 17 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose the merger. I think there has been a lot of good discussion, and I've had time to reflect. I recently joined Skepticism after editing a lot of technical and scientific type pages of interest for the last few year, although I'm yet to really contribute, and I'm not fully sure how to go about collaboration or discussion or whatever in a Project setting, though I'm aware that editors in the project with interests or knowledge in a certain area of Scientific Skepticism can be approached by their User Talk page, though of course that won't make the project seem active to others. I joined after seeing an updated article on the Main Page mentioned on Twitter and found the talk page where it asked for someone to review it for Good Article Status. The article and the editor were both under Project Skepticism, so after the review I decided to watch to project page and join. I really don't think I'd have joined a project called Fringe. While I appreciate that encouraging dialogue between opposing viewpoints is healthy, that already happens on the Talk pages for controversial topics (OK I've only read fewer than 10 of those Talk pages, but it's pretty consistent), and people who are clearly on both sides seem to be assuming good faith and trying to encourage others to find reliable sources so that the other side can be included. I really can't see anybody self-identifying as being on the Fringe, so that sort of label - almost perjorative - would probably reduce participation, not increase it. I do think there's scope for some mergers, and I applaud IRWolfie for the intent to liven up inactive projects (and as I said above, I think the types of conferences where people interested in these topics coincide might help to identify good groupings for mergers), but I feel the proposal as it stands would be detrimental to involvement. Dynamicimanyd (talk) 09:58, 17 September 2013 (UTC)
" I really can't see anybody self-identifying as being on the Fringe, so that sort of label ... " The name of a wikiproject is just that; a name for organisational reasons and not a label. I'm a member of Wikiprojects astrology, alternative medicine, transcendental meditation and the paranormal even though I think these things are abject nonsense, because I am interested in topics in these areas and the related discussions. IRWolfie- (talk) 09:03, 18 September 2013 (UTC)

I oppose.. It seems like just shuffling around busy work. And just because I'm not on the Skepticism page making comments doesn't mean I'm not active. I do edits practically every day. Cap020570 (talk) 11:39, 17 September 2013 (UTC)

I Oppose the merger. I am a member of the Skepticism page. I'm not convinced that merging our project page with a handful of inactive projects under the heading of "fringe" will benefit anyone. Paranormal phenomena is just one part of the skeptic project. The project also covers philosophy, science, religion... Dustinlull (talk) 13:08, 17 September 2013 (UTC)

  • Support: Good to see more feedback from project members. Looks like majority oppose this decision but I'll post this anyway. I can understand everyone's frustration in grouping Skepticism with these other topics, but please don't think it's being actually branded as being similar to them. First of all, almost no one agrees with the name 'Fringe' and that was just proposed till we think of something better.
  • I feel an overall project watching over such topics (popular beliefs, fringe, urban legends or whatever better name someone else comes up with) would not only benefit but also decrease the confusion, which was mainly because of having this unnecessary amount of redundant, similar-interest projects. Each of them are so narrow, that no matter how popular they are (see WP Homeopathy), they will never be active.
  • Within the proposed project, each of these specific interests can have their own task-force (if necessary) and of course, skepticism since it is needed to complete the WP:DUE and WP:BALANCE of all these articles.
  • This is exactly what projects are for and I think having separate specific-interest projects only encourages the behaviour of being there for promotion, rivalry with other projects and a place for people with like-minded beliefs.
  • An overall project would instead help people (with opposing view points) work together and have better communication between each of these specific range of topics, for the common goal— improving articles.
(WP:Skept member) Ugog Nizdast (talk) 14:16, 17 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose: I'm a member of the Skepticism group. I really don't have much to add, most of the opposing people share my same views. I do support the compromise that is given in the next section. --Walkiria Nubes (talk) 20:11, 17 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose per whatamidoing's spectacular "lunch table" metaphor above and because the proposal lumps many things together that have nothing in common. Mabeenot has it exactly right below, in the compromise section. There may be call for merging some Wikiprojects, especially if we can get some members of those wikiprojects on board with the idea. Community planning is good. But if there are to be any wikiproject mergers, "[n]othing should be called "fringe" as that term seems to include a certain stigma." Happily, there's no deadline and no hurry. David in DC (talk) 22:47, 17 September 2013 (UTC)

Merging projects - Compromise[edit]

Rather than trying to cram all these into one project, perhaps the field just needs a little reorganization (let's call it community planning since WikiProjects are supposed to be groups of editors working together). From the discussion and the list of project scopes assembled above, it is clear that:

  • WP Cryptozoology and WP Parapsychology are included within the scope of WP Paranormal, so a merger would be natural and the resources on the current Cryptozoology and Parapsychology project pages could be preserved by turning them into task forces of WP Paranormal. They would all share one banner and a consolidated membership list. Consolidating talk pages is also an option.
  • WP Homeopathy and WP NLP appear to be too narrow in scope to support a project at this point in time, so a merger with WP Alternative medicine would make sense. Again, the existing project resources could be recycled as task forces.
  • WP Skepticism is the result of a merger that was conducted relatively well and appears to be the most active of the projects involved in this discussion. Their page has a very clear scope and goals, which ought to be a model for other projects that are consolidated.
  • I agree with David Gerard and others that WP Creationism is in an odd place halfway between WP Christianity and WP Alternative Views, so it may make sense to turn it into a joint task force shared by those two projects (assuming that WP Christianity will accept it).
  • Astrology and the occult are at the intersection of a variety of other fields including projects covering religion, history, mythology, astronomical objects, and secret societies. However, they are very prominent topics that ought to remain as projects, albeit with a significant overhaul. Closer connections to other projects will be required to revive and sustain the astrology and occult projects.
  • I'd suggest that either WP Alternative Views or WP Skepticism should serve as the "umbrella project" for all the remaining projects involved in this discussion. An umbrella project helps organize the other projects and serves as a place where people can turn when they don't get an answer from a more specific project. WP Alternative Views has the broadest scope, but WP Skepticism appears to be the most active.
  • Nothing should be called "fringe" as that term seems to include a certain stigma.

The ultimate goal of all these rearrangements is to make the projects in this field easier to navigate for new contributors, build stronger connections between the projects, consolidate banners for easier assessment, and ensure that editors have somewhere else to turn if they don't get a reply when they post on one project's page. What do you think? –Mabeenot (talk) 16:03, 17 September 2013 (UTC)

That compromise seems well thought out, and strikes me as reasonable, mostly putting closely linked areas together and hopefully teams of editors with more linked interests and avoiding language that may seem stigmatizing or perjorative. As a Skepticism member, I wouldn't be greatly affected by the compromise proposed, so we'd need members of the more likely merged projects to share their views here. If they don't voluntarily, perhaps someone could sample a few of those who are active editors and ask for opinions via their User:Talk pages? I guess it's hard to know whether they have watchlisted their respective Project Talk pages? Ever since people have been including their project(s) it appears a lot of those who are commenting above seem to be from Wikiproject Skepticism (which I think was the most "Watchlisted" project page of all of them), and not so many from the others proposed for mergers. Perhaps we need to give a little more time for editors from the other projects to chime in. I would not be averse to joining some of the other task forces for specific subject areas that most interest me in particular as part of Skepticism. I dare say I will see multiple project banners on the Talk pages. Dynamicimanyd (talk) 17:56, 17 September 2013 (UTC)
As another member of the Skepticism project I too think this compromise is a good solution. This maintains the basic framework of Skepticism and should not greatly affect all the hard work that the editors recently made to revive that proejct. Members of both Skepticism and Altnernative Views can certainly be encouraged to coordinate efforts on controversial topics.Frederick Green (talk) 18:44, 17 September 2013 (UTC)
  • This is a really good compromise, kudos to Mabeenot for coming up with this. I myself was trying to come up with a merge that would come up with a better combination of forces, but he definitely nailed it. I'm also with Dynamicimanyd we need to have more insight from the other groups' editors, right now I can only see fellow Skepticism members. How can we bring this people here? --Walkiria Nubes (talk) 20:11, 17 September 2013 (UTC)
Maybe an RfC? David in DC (talk) 02:17, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
Have no idea how that is done, but if it can be done that would be the greatest solution wouldn't it? --Walkiria Nubes (talk) 18:58, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
  • I support this except merging remaining wikiprojects into the umbrella project. Also provided that the regular users of the active wikiprojects accept the mergers. The previous proposal was stupid, he just wanted to have one project on his watchlist to make it easier for him to attack subjects. To him this is all one subject, fringe. Many on this list are completely different subjects. - Sidelight12 Talk 02:32, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
Retract that allegation or substantiate it. I strongly dislike unfounded aspersions being cast against me. My personal opinions about fringe theories and pseudoscience does not effect my ability to edit neutrally in any way. IRWolfie- (talk) 09:36, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
  • I think this is a good compromise, and I would support it - thanks, Mabeenot. Sidelight12, please try to avoid picturing the motives of people you disagree with like that; it's rarely the best way forward. bobrayner (talk) 08:28, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Looks good to me. I hadn't realised I wasn't a member of Project Skepticism. I am now. Dougweller (talk) 09:33, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
  • I guess its better than nothing, but note that the term fringe is a term of art on wikipedia to refer to fringe theories generally and matches the definition used in this topic area by the guidelines, IRWolfie- (talk) 09:42, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
  • I think the guidelines are intended to ensure editorial common sense, not encourage the use of potentially offensive terms when there is no need to cause offence, so I agree with the compromise if the final point is maintained, that "Nothing should be called "fringe" as that term seems to include a certain stigma". I also agree with Sidelight's suggestion that the regular users of the active wikiprojects accept the mergers. I see no reason why they would not welcome this, but would like to see them being given the chance to air any concerns they might have before final decisions are made. Tento2 (talk) 10:18, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Concur with Tento2 in all particulars. David in DC (talk) 12:39, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
  • I've been following the discussion and have thought that something along these lines was the right solution throughout, so I support this (as a member of WP Skepticism). Samwalton9 (talk) 12:54, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose on one point. Thank you for reconsidering. My remaining concern is that Alternative Views cannot be the umbrella project. If it was Skepticism I would probably agree, until then I oppose. Project Skepticism works to add scientific facts and data to pages, as you will see clearly from our edits. Scientifically proven facts are certainly not 'alternative' and cannot come under that heading. Joolzzt (talk) 17:08, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
Hey Joolzzt I think you misinterpreted what Mabeenot meant in this point: I'd suggest that either WP Alternative Views or WP Skepticism should serve as the "umbrella project" for all the remaining projects involved in this discussion. I read it as either WP Alternative Views or WP Skepticism would be the umbrella project for the other projects. So if WP Alternative is used as the umbrella WP Skepticism would be left to itself, and viceversa. It's a question of choosing if the scope or the activeness is most important here. --Walkiria Nubes (talk) 18:58, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Support on the assumption that WP Alternative Views becomes the umbrella for Alternative medicine, Astrology, Cryptozoology, Occult and the new WP Paranormal etc, although happy for Pseudoscience to be merged into Skepticism. Thank you for clarifying Walkiria. Joolzzt (talk) 19:13, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose: I'm definitely against WP Occult be sheltered under the "Alternative Views" WP, or to that matter, under any other WP. I'm deeply involved in occult studies. That doesn't mean I have "alternate views". I don't believe in ghosts, demons, magic, etcetera. I do not go around making circles and pentagrams with chalk nor blood on the floor. I'm not interested in parapsycology. I'm not interested in the modern ramifications of astrology. I do not read horoscopes. So why am I supposed to colaborate in a WP that doesn't interest me at all? I'm interested in Occultism, as a subject. I know sources and can research about the topic. I'm good at keeping and objective and realistic point of view when discussing the topics of occultism. I also accept that abandoned, unreferenced, unreliable articles of the project may and will decay even to the point of deletion if the project is not active. That is something I can live with. Being in a WP doen't mean to defend the articles that it covers. It means to be of help in editing and discussing them. I have been an on and off member of the WP Occult project. I'm also an avid RC patroller. If the grounds of this merge is because the project is abandoned, then I can say it is not. I am manning it. And I check clean up list, review back logs, deletion warnings,etc. But if you go ahead and merge it with whatever, then I will not care for that new WP. And I think I'm not alone in this. If you go ahead with the mergers, you will loose a lot of on-and-off editors. You will be hurting the projects by merging them.Legion fi (talk) 08:05, 11 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose WP Occult is a clear label, and the project, as Legion fi, says, is still active. Moving towards vague and unhelpful project labels doesn't make things tidier, it creates confusion for new editors. An encyclopedia shouldn't do vague. Fiddlersmouth (talk) 09:12, 11 October 2013 (UTC)

Please note: Trying to attract additional input from uninvolved editors, I recast this conversation as an RfC, below. The comments there were inconclusive except to suggest little support for the initial proposal. The proposer graciously collapsed that part of the RfC. The remainder of the conversation was inconclusive, but can serve to inform further discussion. David in DC (talk) 15:16, 19 October 2013 (UTC)

  • Support -- I'll tell you exactly what should be done: Create task forces within WP:Skepticism, just like the philosophy project has. After that is done, it will be a simple matter to redirect all the others. This is an excellent proposal just for the fact that there shouldn't be projects like "alternative medicine" for quacks to gather and organize the quackification of Wikipedia. All WikiProject should be eventually merged into whatever academic and scholarly Wikiprojects are responsible for that subject matter. Greg Bard (talk) 22:38, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

Merging projects - Another proposal[edit]

I have read and digested the issues discussed above. I think what can be supported, and what is objected to can be addressed by the following:

  • We should keep WikiProject Skepticism as the main project to cover all of this subject matter.
  • The WikiProjects discussed here and generally listed under WP:SKEPTICISM's "Projects to monitor" should be reformulated as task forces of WP:SKEPTICISM. By making task forces, it is possible to list one article under more than one area. This could include some of the merge proposals above (e.g. Homeopathy into Alternative medicine, etc) However, it would be possible to get by with only two task forces with very little overlap, i.e pseudoscience, and pseudophilosophy. Greg Bard (talk) 17:48, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
There is a problem with lumping WP:OCCULT into pseudo-anything. Some of the headings encompass sincerely-held religious beliefs, and suggesting that these beliefs are spurious not only violates neutrality, but is downright insensitive. Fiddlersmouth (talk) 00:41, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
I think we can draw the line between religion, and philosophical claims without any major problems. Greg Bard (talk) 17:56, 9 December 2013 (UTC)

Greg, I feel like I'm not getting this message through to you. A WikiProject is a group of people. It is not subject areas. WikiProject Skepticism is welcome to tag all of the articles currently tagged by these projects (or any articles they want, including articles found through Special:Random.

Nobody can take a group of people—not even an apparently quiet group of people—and say "All your people is now belong to me". I want you to imagine that we're not talking about "WikiProjects". I want you to imagine that we're talking about kids who hang out in different places around the school building. What you are proposing is that you should go over to several groups and say, "You are not going to hang out over here any longer. You are going to hang out over here with me now, and furthermore, I don't care whether you agree to this". Forcibly taking over a WikiProject is likely to be just as ineffective as forcibly taking over a group of friends at school.

This is not okay. This is rude to these people. You are not permitted to simply take over groups of people because you think that your interest relates to their interest. There are objections (including mine) at WT:ALTMED and other groups to this plan. You can support the articles, but you cannot takeover the people. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:42, 19 December 2013 (UTC)

Whoa, that's one way of looking at it?!?! Say listen, there is nothing rude or untoward about this AT ALL. Nothing in this proposal infringes on anyone's right to associate, and communicate in any way any more than the ways that Wikipedia already infringes on users ability to communicate and associate already. So if those of us who demand a scholarly, and academic approach to WikiProjects are hindered by our ability to communicate on talk pages (e.g. the canvassing policy) and organize outside (e.g. prohibition on organized communication outside talk pages), then maximizing the scholarly approach in the structure of WikiProjects and their taskforces is the reasonable way to move forward.
A WikiProject is a group of people primarily, and in that regard it is even more important that we influence what kinds of groups are going to be influencing the content. That is to say that we should not be encouraging quacks to organize the quackification of Wikipedia! Such people should be forced to bring their concerns about content to a group that includes responsible, and scholarly Wikipedians with an interest (and hopefully scholarly knowledge) of the appropriate subject areas from which those issues arise. I think your response is completely unhelpful to the overall success of Wikipedia. Greg Bard (talk) 19:52, 19 December 2013 (UTC)
Forcing people to associate with you is an infringement on their right to associate. That's a bi-directional right: you are allowed to be part of a group, and you are allowed to refuse to be part of a group.
And you aren't forcing them to "bring their concerns about content to a group that includes responsible, and scholarly Wikipedians". You would be forcing them to bring their concerns to a page that covers a far broader subject and is sometimes dominated by people who occasionally have trouble seeing past their own POV to what the reliable sources say. Whether St John's wort does anything useful for depression—even the Cochrane Collaboration says it does, despite it being considered "alternative" in most countries—has absolutely nothing at all to do with ghost-hunting or mystery religions or creationism or the other subjects you want to smush together. Why should anyone who wants to talk about good sourcing for medical material have to even look at a page that's talking about ghosts and secret societies? WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:08, 20 December 2013 (UTC)
You are so far in the wrong here my head is spinning. First of all, NO, forcing people into discussions based on academic areas isn't in any way, shape or form an infringement of their privileges AT ALL. They are free to discuss whatever they want. Freedom of speech doesn't extend to freedom from criticism of speech. Criticism is how we make a better Wikipedia. Secondly, the idea that somehow preserving these nonsense projects like cryptozoology instead of forcing people into a proper discussion under zoology (for instance) will result in a discussion dominated by people who can't see beyond their POV is to turn the whole role of scholarly debate on its head. It seems to me, that YOU are exactly the kind of problem editor that this proposal is aimed at addressing! You're view is so far in the wrong, that I feel I have no choice but to name you as a completely irresponsible Wikipedian! It's irresponsible and insane. These projects in question are the ones pushing a POV, and the projects which are recognized scholarly areas are stopping the pushing of POVs. So you are completely backward on this issue. Furthermore, the creation of taskforces will cause for people interested in (for instance your example) alternative medicine to not have to look at material on ghosts, etc. Greg Bard (talk) 23:01, 26 December 2013 (UTC)
Greg, please go find my name in the list of contributors to MEDRS, the sourcing guideline widely recognized as being responsible for enforcing high standards and promoting accurate scientific and biomedical information on the English Wikipedia. After you've taken a look at that page, then come back and tell me whether you really think that I'm "irresponsible" or a "problem editor" who is interested in promoting "nonsense". WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:20, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
For all I know you are a wonderful editor. However, if you believe that somehow these questionable projects are needed to encourage editors, and that merging them into Wikiprojects which represent academically accepted subject areas causes POV to be pushed, rather than appropriately addressed, then you are a completely irresponsible editor. I am not sure if you are aware of the problem with brain drain here in Wikipedia culture, and the fact that legitimate, scholarly and academic editors have been discouraged and are leaving in droves. The idea that we should be encouraging people interested in these questionable topics to organize without a scholarly discussion context is completely insane. Greg Bard (talk) 18:15, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
We do need to encourage editors in underrepresented areas (e.g., pretty much anything to do with women and children; pretty much not anything to do with professional athletes).
I believe you will find that "alternative medicine" is an "academically accepted subject area". You can get university degrees in the subject. The University of Hawaii offers a PhD in AltMed. There are whole schools that teach homeopathy, and in some places, it is viewed rather positively, e.g., as a completely safe alternative to the largely ineffective and occasionally dangerous over-the-counter "conventional" cough medicines.
We should certainly encourage editors interested in "questionable topics" to work together. We should especially encourage editors who are interested in providing accurate information about "questionable topics" to work together. That goal is not promoted by making someone who is solely interested in the history of herbal drugs, or in the finances of the multi-billion-dollar AltMed industry, or in documenting the remarkable variation in which homeopathic remedies get prescribed for what symptoms, join a "Skeptics" or "Fringe" group. That goal is best promoted by letting people interested in the same subject join a group about that subject, regardless of their POV, rather than a group whose very name expresses disbelief or contempt for the subject.
And, again, it simply will not work. You're proposing to move the existing pages, but you cannot prevent the same people from saying, "I personally don't want to be part of any group called 'Fringe' or 'Skeptics'", ignoring your newly moved pages, and creating new ones—or moving it all to user talk pages and e-mail, so that you won't be tempted to create WikiProject Skepticism/Alternative Medicine task forces numbered one through twelve. These are WP:VOLUNTEERs. You can't actually make them join your favorite WikiProject. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:34, 3 January 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Using loaded language like questionable topics and completely insane moves this discussion away from reasoned argument. Wikipedia demands that its articles be properly referenced, not that Greg Bard thinks it's a proper topic. What is a "scholarly discussion context"? A talk page is not a forum. The proposal has been made, nobody seems to like it, and no amount of bluster will change that. Fiddlersmouth (talk) 00:45, 4 January 2014 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Who can place/remove project banners?[edit]

One of the chores I have taken upon myself at Wikipedia is putting appropriate project banners on article/category talkpages. This is an activity that gets very little attention, but few who noticed thanked me for it.

There are several reasons for placing project banners on talkpages. For example:

  • It gets more qualified eyes watching an article which is very important especially in less "busy" articles
  • It helps get the word out if the page is nominated for deletion and the project has an alerts section.

I just ran into an unusual situation where the banners I placed on a talk page have been removed. Are there any policies/guidelines about who should place/remove project banners? XOttawahitech (talk) 16:30, 24 January 2014 (UTC)

Yes, see the last question in the FAQ at the top of this page and WP:PROJGUIDE#OWN. GregorB (talk) 18:10, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
@GregorB: Thanks for responding and providing the link. I am still wondering what happens when the editor removing the banner is not associated with the project? XOttawahitech (talk) 03:29, 26 January 2014 (UTC)
It's hard to tell if someone is associated with a project, because most "membership" lists are out of date. Also, it could be that the person happens to know the WikiProject's view, on the grounds that he (or she) did the same thing a little while ago and someone complained about it. But it could be a mistake. If you think that the other editor is probably wrong, then post a note to the WikiProject's talk page and let them decide what to do. If the problem persists (i.e., the WikiProject decides to re-banner the page, and the other editor removes it yet again), which is unlikely, then come back here for more direct help. WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:44, 26 January 2014 (UTC)
@WhatamIdoing: I would like to approach a wikiproject with this question, but how do I do this without seeming as if I was asking people to take a side in a dispute? XOttawahitech (talk) 17:40, 26 January 2014 (UTC)
Just leave a brief note outlining the facts: "I added your WikiProject banner to Article, but someone else removed it. If you decide that this article is within your scope, then you can add your banner to the talk page. If it's not within your scope, then you don't need do anything." WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:52, 26 January 2014 (UTC)
@WhatamIdoing: I followed your advice and posted the text you suggested at Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Malta#Request_regarding_FATCA on Januay 27, but nothing happened. No one responded and no one took action. XOttawahitech (talk) 14:57, 5 February 2014 (UTC)
If there's no response, then it just doesn't matter, because the people involved in that project (if any are still there) don't care. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:35, 5 February 2014 (UTC)
That may be true in some projects, but not necessarily all. I find there are many projects with busy editors who participate in work related to the project, but rarely visit the discussion area, WikiProject Canada for example. With all the great tools available to projects nowadays, such as wp:article alerts, wp:popular pages, wikiproject watchlists, etc., this is quite doable, I think? XOttawahitech (talk) 00:34, 10 February 2014 (UTC)
A WikiProject is a group of people that is working together as a team, not merely people who happen to separately work on the similar subjects. If they're not talking to each other, then they're probably not actually a team, and therefore not actually a WikiProject. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:53, 10 February 2014 (UTC)
Also, IMO it is not a good idea to remove banners of projects of which one is not a member (except in order to correct obvious errors), and even worse is to do it without a proper edit summary. Inquiring with the editor in question or the project is best. GregorB (talk) 09:52, 26 January 2014 (UTC)
@GregorB: I agree. I also believe that project banners should not be removed without a proper discussion, but am not sure where this discussion belongs:
  • On the talkpage of the article
  • On the talkpage of the wikiproject
  • On the talkpage of the editor who removed the banner XOttawahitech (talk) 17:46, 26 January 2014 (UTC)
To most projects, (non-)inclusion of the project banner is a very minor issue, so normally I'd go straight to the editor's talk. However, project members do have a better understanding of both the topic and the scope, so in less clear-cut cases this is perhaps the better option. Article talk is generally unlikely to attract feedback. GregorB (talk) 18:10, 26 January 2014 (UTC)
@GregorB: Unfortunately, a posting on many wikiprojects is also unlikely to attract feedback, as my experience above indicates XOttawahitech (talk) 15:03, 5 February 2014 (UTC)
@Ottawahitech: That's true, although it depends on the project. Smaller projects are less likely to respond. Before I post on a project's talk page, I check the frequency of posts. If it's 3 posts in 6 months, sometimes I just don't bother. :) GregorB (talk) 15:30, 5 February 2014 (UTC)

A WikiProject is a group of people[edit]

(Since WhatamIdoing said above that A WikiProject is a group of people I wonder added by Ottawahitech (talk) 19:40, 3 March 2014 (UTC) ) what about large projects with sub-projects? As an exaple I recently tagged Death cap with Wikiproject Medicine banners, which were promptly removed with the edit summary not in scope of wp:MED despite having sections titled: Toxicity,Treatment and Symptoms . I then posted a question to the Toxicology taskforce but the only response I received was from someone who is not a project member. XOttawahitech (talk) 12:22, 15 February 2014 (UTC)

At that particular project, the usual thing to do is to post that kind of question to WT:MEDA. But how do you know that the person who replied is not a member? Not all participants bother to sign a membership list. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:17, 15 February 2014 (UTC)
@WhatamIdoing: How do I know that the response at Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Medicine/Toxicology_task_force#Scope was from a non-member of that taskforce? Answer: I usually don't know if someone is a member of a taskforce, but in this particular case user:Mrfrobinson who answered my question has been following me everywhere for the last few weeks and a check of their wiki-contributions will show that this is pretty much all they do on wikipedia. You can also verify that :Mrfrobinson did not participate in any other discussions at Toxicology_task_force. Hope this answers your question? XOttawahitech (talk) 16:19, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
actually am a member of Wikiproject Medicine and watch the toxicology task force page. Stop wiki lawyering everyone.Mrfrobinson (talk) 17:04, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
@Mrfrobinson: Good, I stand corrected. Can you re-install the wikiproject medicine banner to the talk page of Death cap? Thanks in advance, XOttawahitech (talk) 19:33, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
The user who removed it is a biochemist/microbiologist and appears to be an expert in fungi. Like I said on the talk page while the actual active toxin may be within the scope of toxicity the fungi probably isn't. Think of it this way, a wasp is not within the scope or Wikiproject Medicine or Toxicology but Venom_(poison) is. You can't expect that every Wikiproject that may have a passing interest in an article would welcome that article. Mrfrobinson (talk) 19:45, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
@Mrfrobinson: Thanks for engaging in this discussion. Here is what I think: The article about wasps is not comparable because it contains no medical-related information — nothing about bee strings or allergic reactions etc in that article. The death cap article, on the other hand, is about half medically-related ( Toxicity, Symptoms, Treatment, Notable victims). Don’t you believe that bringing it to the attention of editors with medical background may be a plus? XOttawahitech (talk) 23:02, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
Well no it doesn't matter about the content of the article, Toxicology focuses on specific toxins not the carrier. While yes it does contain treatment protocols, the actual toxics are more relevant to the project. Toxicologists don't focus on the organism, they focus on the toxin. In this case Amatoxin Phallotoxin are more appropriate for the Toxicology task force and the Death Cap article is more appropriate for the Fungi Wikiproject. You really don't want a toxicologist focusing on that article, you really want biologists. My bee/venom example is actually a better example of how this relationship should exist. If I want to identify the active toxins within a fungi I would find the fungi in question, locate the section that mentions it and then go to that specific article. Also what does it matter if a member of the Wikiproject Fungi removed your tag? They are the experts and felt it was not relevant. I would be considered a sports medicine expert, while yes running accounts for a large majority of the cases I treat clinically it does not mean that our article on running should be included in the Wikiproject Medicine. Mrfrobinson (talk) 00:17, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
Also if you haven't noticed you have managed to attract the attention of 2 admins and 3 long standing editors. Mrfrobinson (talk) 17:06, 2 March 2014 (UTC)

Yes, a WikiProject is a group of people; but generally the topics of interest to the folks of WPMED (aka scope of the project) are well-defined. Regarding the particular issue of Amanita phalloides, there is somewhat-related guidance at WP:MEDA#Is WPMED the correct WikiProject to support this article?. In the "Use judgment" section, you can somewhat compare it with:

Microbes, pathogens, and infectious diseases: Infectious diseases should be tagged with WPMED. Organisms should be tagged with {{WikiProject Micro}} and, if applicable, {{WikiProject Viruses}} or {{WikiProject Fungi}} instead of WPMED. Exceptions include pathogens that cause various illnesses that do not have their own disease names and infections that are treated medically to prevent progression to disease."

For the most part, if an illness or disease has its own article, then just that and not the pathogen should be tagged. Maybe this line in WP:MEDA should be expanded to include toxins. The occasional exception is if there is a lot of clinical content within the pathogen article. In this case, yes - there is a lot of clinical content in the article...but should the clinical content be in the article about the species when there are more appropriate places for it? Amanita phalloides is a more developed article than Mushroom poisoning and alpha-Amanitin (which both definitely belong in WPMED/Tox). But since all of the toxicological/clinical information applies to any organism containing alpha-Amanitin, wouldn't that be a better place for the content? The amanita phalloides article has been bulked up to achieve FA status. However, a tenet of Wikipedia is to not have duplicate content between similar articles. If alpha-Amanitin is a more appropriate place, then should the Biochemistry/Symptoms/Treatment sections be moved there? In its current state, alpha-Amanitin looks like it was written just by chemists. But that doesn't mean there should not be a clinical component to the article. I'm not saying any of this definitely should be done, just something to think about. --Scott Alter (talk) 06:06, 3 March 2014 (UTC)

Scott I agree with you here, we should move that information under the specific toxin rather than in Amanita phalloides since it is not specific to that fungi rather is specific to the toxin. I can volunteer to do this but it will be far down on my todo list. Mrfrobinson (talk) 20:09, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
I was the one who removed the WP:MED tag from the death cap talk page. That featured article is one of the older ones from WP:FUNGI, and were it to be written today, would probably be organized differently (pinging the main author Casliber, who may have a different opinion). I agree that much of the nonspecific clinical content from that article (possibly some of Amanita ocreata as well) should be summarized and transferred to the Mushroom poisoning and alpha-Amanitin articles. It's on my to-do list (probably not as far down as it would be on Mrfrobinsons!). Sasata (talk) 04:39, 4 March 2014 (UTC)
Yeah I have no problem with a future reorganisation - we need to avoid being overly bureaucratic in these cases. wikiproject templates I find are of greatest use in quantitatively mapping the progress of a whole cohort of related material and maybe point out priority areas to work on. The same way that a wikiproject is an informal way of bringing editors interested in editing and improving related material can meet and discuss. Anyone can flag themselves as a member or not....Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 05:15, 4 March 2014 (UTC)
Sasata I will be happy to give a bit of my time towards the reorganization but it really is far down on my list right now, I probably could start working on it sometime in the next few weeks but if you get there first that is also fine by me! Mrfrobinson (talk) 13:27, 4 March 2014 (UTC)


Given that the Draft namespace has been in use for a while I would like to propose that a Class rating of "Draft" be added to the default set of "class=" parameters for WikiProject banner templates.

One of the big advantages of the new Draft namespace is the ability to place WikiProject banners on the Talk pages of the Draft pages. This has the effect of notifying relevant Projects of the existence of the draft article. A class=Draft parameter would consequently enable WikiProjects to correctly handle such drafts in their article improvement systems. Another advantage of having a "class=Draft" parameter is that the successor to the current Articles for Creation system would be able to use it in it's systems and procedures. So far I have seen that WP:WikiProject U.S. Roads has already added such a parameter to their banner template, so a precedent already exists. Thanks Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 12:48, 26 January 2014 (UTC)

@Dodger67: I could not agree more! As it is the wp:Drafts name space seems to be doomed as a storage location for rejects with no way to navigate (categories are removed from articles). XOttawahitech (talk) 17:34, 26 January 2014 (UTC)
That's really a question for the WP:1.0 team. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:49, 26 January 2014 (UTC)
Sorry for asking so many questions, but when I went to WP:1.0 I saw: "This group was formed in late 2004 to meet this challenge of offline release version of Wikipedia". Just curious to find out how this ties into the topic of drafts in assessments? Thanks in advance, XOttawahitech (talk) 16:17, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
Ottawahitech: Every time the WP 1.0 team makes an offline release, it makes an automated selection of articles based on class and importance. That team also created various tools that organize articles according to class, importance and topic. To make this happen, most wikiprojects have class and importance in their talk page banners, and some have an organized assessment program and improvement drives that use data from the WP 1.0 tools. I think it would be nice if the stats tools that are most widely used were extended to recognize drafts: even without typing 'Draft' into a template. --Hroðulf (or Hrothulf) (Talk) 14:26, 29 January 2014 (UTC)
@Hroðulf: Sorry, I am having trouble with wiki-jargon here. When you say wp:class do you mean wp:namespace? XOttawahitech (talk) 15:15, 5 February 2014 (UTC)
@Ottawahitech: Firstly, it turns out that categories are not necessarily stripped from draft articles. Apparently that is still an open discussion. Secondly, I didn't say wp:class - we are discussing article class. In the article assessment system, each article can have a class ranging from Stub, Start, C, B, GA good article, A, FA featured article, and in some cases Draft. The details are at: Wikipedia:Version_1.0_Editorial_Team/Assessment. Does that help? --Hroðulf (or Hrothulf) (Talk) 17:13, 5 February 2014 (UTC)
@Hroðulf: Thanks for taking the time to explain Class. As far as stripping Categories is concerned, the article which I created and moved into draft space has already been stripped of its categories a while ago. XOttawahitech (talk) 00:42, 10 February 2014 (UTC)
@Dodger67: When you get a chance, I checked Wikipedia:WikiProject_U.S._Roads#Assessment and review to see what drafts this wikiproject has, but cannot find any "Drafts" in their table. Thanks in advance, XOttawahitech (talk) 16:07, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
@Ottawahitech: I found Draft:Big X when I looked through Special:PrefixIndex/Draft:. I'm not a techie at all so I have no idea why it isn't in their table, perhaps the Project's table hasn't been updated since before the draft was created/tagged or their implementation of the Draft parameter is faulty? Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 16:34, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
@Dodger67: Too bad! I thought wp:draft was a good idea, even moved one of the articles I created to it. But without access to wikiprojects and categories I don’t see how anyone will ever find it, sigh… XOttawahitech (talk) 15:29, 5 February 2014 (UTC)
@Ottawahitech: We can only credit the "wonderful support" that Drafts is getting from the WikiProject Council for this! :( You can use WikiProject banners on Drafts but without the class=Draft parameter being implemented by default on all WikiProject banners most of the Projects concerned will not actually be able to use the presence of the banner in their article improvement system. I've raised the Category issue elsewhere. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 16:20, 5 February 2014 (UTC)
Once again, WikiProject Council does not control article assessment. The thing you want to fix is the bot for Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Assessment. This is the WikiProject Council, which is not the Version 1.0 Editorial Team. These are unrelated groups of people. In fact, I think I'm the only person in the entire community who has posted to both of those talk pages in the last couple of years. If you want to fix the problem, then go to their existing discussion about it and see if you can help them. Talking to the wrong people isn't going to do any good whatsoever. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:54, 5 February 2014 (UTC)

Since 27 December, the code at Template:Class mask has supported Draft-class for any projects that want to use it. It is not added by default (this would require adding a huge number of new categories, and not all projects will want it anyway), but you can just add |draft=yes to the custom class mask to enable it. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 14:37, 29 January 2014 (UTC)

My understanding is that at some point what goes on at WP:AFC will happen in the draft namespace instead.
With AfC at the moment, if one wants to make a wikiproject aware that there is an AfC draft that falls within their project topic, the only way to do so is to post to the project talk page and explain the situation in detail. Sometimes I take the extra time to do so, often I don't. If wikiprojects are prepared to have a draft classification for pages in their topic area, it would be possible, for example, for the AfC helper script to allow assignment of a draft to one or more wikiprojects when declining or commenting on the draft. This would make it hugely easier for drafts to be assigned to wikiprojects, and thus allow those wikiproject members interested in new drafts to find and contribute to them easily. Arthur goes shopping (talk) 18:38, 29 January 2014 (UTC)
The idea is that all drafts in the Draft-space will be tagged with relevant WikiProject banners and "class=Draft" will be included in such banners as a matter of course - thus it is simply logical that all WikiProjects should be able to recognize the significance of such banners. Making "class=Draft" an optional parameter means that hardly any will actually implement it thus negating at least half of the entire rationale for Draft-space to even exist at all. One of the major differences between Draft-space and drafts in User or WT/AFC space is that Draft-space pages are amenable to collaborative draft-writing, while User-space and AfC drafts are constructed by only one editor - the newbie. Having experienced editors with specific subject experience actively helping the newbie to construct their article is the whole point. AfC reviewers currently only post to Project talk pages if the reviewer feels that the input of subject specialist, as a reviewer, is specifically required. The "class=Draft" parameter will serve as a "general notification" to WikiProjects that a relevant draft article exists and that they are welcome to contribute to its construction. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 09:34, 1 February 2014 (UTC)
@MSGJ: Would you be kind enough to explain to the non-techie’s here how Template:Class mask can be utilized on wikiprojects? Are there any projects that are using it, as an example? Can this info be added to wp:WikiProject Council? XOttawahitech (talk) 15:40, 5 February 2014 (UTC)
It should presumably be added to the template documentation.
Roger, a WikiProject might prefer to assess a page's actual status, rather than its location. A few WikiProjects reject the list-class on the same grounds. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:54, 5 February 2014 (UTC)
For example, the video game project is using the draft-class (see Category:Draft-Class video game articles) and the change was made here. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 20:35, 5 February 2014 (UTC)

What support is WikiProject Council offering to wikiprojects?[edit]

@Dodger67: @WhatamIdoing: I believe Roger is raising a legitimate point above. I know wikiprojects are discouraged from starting up without the blessing of the "council". But it is not clear to me who sits on the council, and what type of support they offer. Why for example, did I get only one editor offering feedback on Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Council#Alphabetical_list_of_WikiProjects_featured_in_the_Signpost ( thank you user:Bluerasberry!)? Is it a bad idea, bad implementation, other? XOttawahitech (talk) 01:20, 10 February 2014 (UTC)

The council is whoever is here on the discussion page. The deterrent from starting new groups is supposed to just be a pause to chat with proposers so that they plan their group for success, and is not actually supposed to put anyone off from doing whatever they like. It just is not expressed in a way that conveys this support. I am not sure what to do here. I will be here commenting for a while and I made a proposal for reform of some things with others meta:Grants:IdeaLab/WikiProject_management_suite but I do not have capacity for much else except to give comments and be available for chat. I would like this group developed but it is not obvious what should be done without eager labor to devote to it. Blue Rasberry (talk) 01:28, 10 February 2014 (UTC)
@Bluerasberry: Thanks for clarifying WikiProject Council. I know my own confusion came about from the name. To me a council has a connotation of a group of elected officials who make decisions on behalf of others, such a a city council for example. XOttawahitech (talk) 18:45, 15 February 2014 (UTC)
A council is also just a group of interested people that come together to discuss things. Which is what this would be. -DJSasso (talk) 13:24, 17 February 2014 (UTC)

Categories in drafts[edit]

@Hroðulf: Thanks so much for providing the link above. I posted a question about it to the talkpage of the user who removed the categories from the Draft article. XOttawahitech (talk) 12:38, 15 February 2014 (UTC)

WikiProjects not proposed through WP:COUNCIL ends up in deletion at WP:MFD?[edit]

I saw this statement posted here. Is this true? XOttawahitech (talk) 16:01, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

No. The WikiProject Council is leadership or authority for anything on Wikipedia, just as there is no leadership anywhere. Wikipedia has no hierarchy. Guidelines about WikiProjects are suggestions, and if someone wants to fork a concept into a new WikiProject then that is their choice. However, in almost all circumstances, it is best to associate new efforts with an existing project rather than try to found a new community. For that reason I would support strong encouragement toward anyone joining existing projects. Blue Rasberry (talk) 16:08, 5 February 2014 (UTC)
Yes and No. Projects that get created without coming here and then are found to closely resemble an already existing wikiproject. Such as a taskforce of an already existing wikiproject do often get deleted at MFD. Some skip the MFD part and just get redirected to the already existing one. While not required to go through the council, it is more often than not a bad idea not to. -DJSasso (talk) 20:07, 12 February 2014 (UTC)
@Djsasso: Since you believe that a WikiProject is a group of people, I cannot see why a project should be deleted if it resembles something that a different group of people is involved in? Just curious. XOttawahitech (talk) 16:36, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
Because what ends up happening often in such circumstances is that each group starts to create their own standards, a style guide for example on articles. And then each group starts trying to implement their own and back and forth it goes. Another reason is that you split a likely already small group of people into smaller groups. It is considerably more efficient and better for the wiki if they all worked together in one group. It also cuts down on the over abundance of project tags that pop up on some articles. There are quite a few reasons to be honest I could go on and on. Generally it ends up being more harmful than helpful to have two groups that essentially do the same thing. -DJSasso (talk) 12:37, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
@Djsasso: I am going to try and address your points above one by one:
  • each group creates their own standards : As it is many (most?) articles are tagged by more than one wikiproject each with their own set of standards
  • more efficient if they all worked together in one group: You cannot dictate to volunteers whom they must work with. In my humble opinion, this is best left to the participants themselves.
  • over abundance of project tags: In my view, the more the merrier? XOttawahitech (talk) 19:58, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
The problem with the over use of wikiproject tags is each project has it's own view on an article and there may end up a duplication of work on an article. The best and most appropriate Wikiproject tag should be included and unless there is an obvious overlap between projects then it should be left as one alone. Also tagging an article also requires resources for the wiki project even if no editing is done. Article assessments, tracking, assigning to subgroups etc all take up resources. In the case of Death Cap it is quite clear based on the scope of Wikiproject Medicine that it should not be included. Wikiproject Medicine is probably the best example of a project that could apply to anything. Medicine touches almost every aspect of the world, take my running example below, it really has no business being part of the wiki project despite have connections to it. Mrfrobinson (talk) 20:15, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
I never said that we can dictate who people have to work with. But we can dictate where they work with the people they work with. A WikiProject is just a central area for people to discuss work on a similar set of articles. Some people look at it more like a group of individuals and it is that to some extent, but more than anything it is just a place to discuss collaboration on a given set of articles. So having two different places to do this leads to duplication of work as Mrfrobinson mentions. You and I can be in the same WikiProject but we don't have to collaborate on anything at all. But we can both still use the same talk page to talk about our separate collaborations. Having such discussions in a single place instead of multiple means more eyes on things which almost always ends up in a better result in the end. -DJSasso (talk) 20:31, 3 March 2014 (UTC)

Merger of two projects[edit]

I have started a discussion on merger of two wikiprojects - Finance and Investing. Your input is welcome here.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 15:51, 11 February 2014 (UTC)

@Obiwankenobi: Will you update us here on your progress? I am sure many would like to learn how to merge projects on Wikipedia. Thanks in advance, XOttawahitech (talk) 16:43, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
I'll probably let the discussion sit a month, since one of the projects is inactive. Then I'm not sure I guess I'll have to ask here? --Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 17:33, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
Generally when I have seen it happen in the past, templates are just redirected or replaced depending on their compatibility and then the project with the more detailed pages gets renamed (if the name is changing) and the other project just gets redirected and any useful info is copied from their pages onto the pages at the new project. Its really nothing too complicated. Same as how you would merge an article really. Just mention that the info is being merged from X. Talk pages are usually left as is and linked to from the Archive box of the newly merged project. -DJSasso (talk) 16:51, 14 March 2014 (UTC)

Interesting Village pump (proposals) discussion ongoing[edit]

Please see Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Archive 110#Restrict A class usage. --Izno (talk) 14:40, 15 February 2014 (UTC)

Merger of two projects[edit]

I have started a discussion on merger of two wikiprojects - WikiProject Women scientists and WikiProject Women of psychology. Your input is welcome here. Djembayz (talk) 20:37, 17 February 2014 (UTC)

Adding "Forum" Button next to "Talk" button on Wikipedia[edit]

It would be nice if Wikipedia added a "Forum" button next to the "talk" button on Wikipedia articles so that people can talk about the subject of the article without fear of thought police deleting something that was added to the Talk page and claiming it was under the guidelines that the Talk page is not a forum. I am entering this here because I can not begin to figure out how to properly propose that this feature of a FORUM button be added next to the TALK button on Wikipedia so I am hoping someone will do it for me. 2602:306:C518:6C40:5C5D:F920:659:AC04 (talk) 02:10, 19 February 2014 (UTC)

See "List of Internet forums" and Category:Internet forums and
Wavelength (talk) 02:15, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
Hi 2602. As Wavelength has pointed out, this is an explicit community consensus - it is not thought police, but rather, a community-agreed policy that the talk pages should not be used to discuss and opine on the topic of the article. We are here to build an encyclopedia, not to discuss the impact of Obama's healthcare policy on corporate spending. There are plenty of other places on the internet devoted to hosting such discussions, and I doubt very much you'd get consensus to have wikipedia start hosting such discussions. Now, admittedly, sometimes talk-page discussions do drift into opining on the topic, but usually someone will bring people back to the purpose, which is building an encyclopedia.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 02:30, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
Hi 2602. I've spent some time recently looking over all the WF entities, and it did occur to me that a lot of topics which would be useful to a lot of people, like maybe cookbooks?, might be best constructed by having some sort of "Forum" page somewhere, which can then be used to prepare a first draft of a more formal content page. So, following on the cookbook example, maybe it might be possible, perhaps at WikiNews, to get together some sort of regular columns, or a sort of monthly magazine, which could include articles about topics of an other-than-encyclopedic nature, say for instance meat loaf recipes. One way, maybe, of doing that would be to have some "forum" pages on given topics open for discussion, along the lines of some National Public Radio call in shows for instance, where people can add comments which can, if they choose, then be used in a "column" type feature in some sort of regular WikiNews "publication." But that would be a matter better dealt with by one of the other Wikimedia Foundtion entity, because a lot of that sort of material which might be well represented in a radio talk show format really isn't what would be called encyclopedic enough for inclusion here. John Carter (talk) 02:55, 21 February 2014 (UTC)
@2602:306:C518:6C40:5C5D:F920:659:AC04: I totally agree. Having a forum type page attached to each article, in addition to a talkpage, will accomplish:
  • Letting non-editors let off some steam and not try to post what is considered off-topic comments to talkpages
  • Create a more friendly atmosphere where non-editors and newbies feel more appreciated
  • Allow for a more collaborative approach to building articles
However, this topic is off-topic here, I think. XOttawahitech (talk) 18:58, 22 February 2014 (UTC)
see WP:NOTAFORUM -if you want this changed you'd have to have a broad based RFC, you could start at VPP. You are welcome to try, consensus can change, but my sense is wikipedians on the whole don't want this to change. There are IRC channels maintained by the foundation, as well as help desks and reference desks, but maintaining potentially 4 million new forums, that would need to be patrolled and monitored for BLP violations just seems like non-workable to me.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 22:05, 23 February 2014 (UTC)
John Carter Wikibooks has a large and well-developed Cookbook which is supported both by a community sharing recipes and photographers sharing food pictures. Wikinews and Wikiversity also host more conversation. I think you are correct to advise looking at other Wikimedia projects for advancing this idea. Blue Rasberry (talk) 14:07, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

Creating talk pages in order to place WikiProject template[edit]

Moved from Wikipedia talk:Talk page guidelines/Archive 9#Central points: Creating talk pages: Perhaps I'll get an answer at this venue. -- -- -- 01:56, 21 February 2014 (UTC)

Should one create a talk page in order to place a {{WikiProject}} template on it? Or should it be created for certain WikiProjects but not for others (for example WikiProject Disambiguation and/or WikiProject Anthroponymy)? If so, how would one know which yes & which not? -- -- -- 01:56, 21 February 2014 (UTC)

Should one create a talk page in order to place a {{WikiProject}} template on it? yes.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 06:10, 21 February 2014 (UTC)
  • @-- -- --: Thanks for posting. I was not aware of these interesting wikiprojects, why should they be treated differently than other projects? Just curious. XOttawahitech (talk) 19:26, 22 February 2014 (UTC)
    • Sorry for not explaining. The answer is because after creating several talk pages for disambiguation pages in order to place the {{WikiProject Disambiguation}} template on them, I noticed that the WikiProject Disambiguation page states:

On talk pages:

  • {{WikiProject Disambiguation}} - Project banner for talk pages with discussion. Please do not use to create talk pages that have no discussion.
and for some reason I thought that the same might apply to WikiProject Anthroponymy. -- -- -- 04:10, 25 February 2014 (UTC)

Great wikiproject report in the Signpost[edit]

Check it out: Wikipedia:WikiProject Countering systemic bias in The Signpost. XOttawahitech (talk) 12:23, 21 February 2014 (UTC)

Template shortcuts for wikiproject banners[edit]

See Wikipedia:Redirects for discussion/Log/2014 February 25 for the discussion about a particular shortcut to a template, and the formatting it should use in general and in particular. -- (talk) 23:39, 28 February 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for posting this headsup. This whole area seems very technical to me, all I can say is that some of my own shortcuts have been deleted recently with little discussion for reasons that I still do not fully understand. XOttawahitech (talk) 16:59, 2 March 2014 (UTC)

Countering Systemic Bias in the Signpost[edit]

The signpost wikiproject report published an unusually popular report on February 10 on the topic of Countering Systemic Bias. Editors are still commenting there. XOttawahitech (talk) 17:10, 2 March 2014 (UTC)

very good knowledge sharing platform[edit]

thanks to wikipedia for giving good platform for knowledge sharing pratap puranik ,independent social worker rk community research foundation,ramkrushna krupa walmiki nagar barshi rd latur mh india working in field of malnutrition,human health,child health etc — Preceding unsigned comment added by Puranik01 (talkcontribs) 09:31, 8 March 2014 (UTC)

Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Proposals/Solaris[edit]

I noticed this thing floating about, it is not linked to from the proposal page, nor is it descriptive enough to discern what it is. Speedy delete or MfD? -- (talk) 01:16, 10 March 2014 (UTC)

I've nominated it for speedy deletion DB-TEST -- (talk) 09:30, 15 March 2014 (UTC)

WikiProject Espionage[edit]

There has been a discussion concerning WikiProject Espionage to be renamed as WikiProject Espionage, Intelligence, Surveillance. In its current form (WP: Espionage), there is a number of articles. Unfortunately, countless articles that have been tagged "WikiProject Intelligence" becomes mixed up with the WikiProject Espionage. I have managed to correct quite a few of these mistakes and assess the WikiProject Espionage articles.

My concern if WP:Espionage does undergo a overhaul and incorporate other things (such as "Intelligence" and "Surveillance", that would be incroaching on WP:Mass Surveillance and WikiProject Intelligence, hence why "Espionage" is such a narrow part of society. I can only assume that why this WikiProject was setup was to fill a void of people who were either pending charges or have been charged for Espionage. They would be suited in this WikiProject.

I realise that WP:Espionage has only a handful of members. I do see a positive point of having this on Wikipedia. It would be ashame to have to close it. Adamdaley (talk) 05:56, 12 March 2014 (UTC)

Would anyone be willing enough to help me structure WP:Espionage so it can become a better WikiProject? Adamdaley (talk) 05:57, 12 March 2014 (UTC)
There is no "WikiProject Intelligence", that currently redirects to a subtopic "military intelligence" TF of MILHIST, which isn't all intell, it's just a redirect from a short name. So "Intelligence" would not be encroaching as no overarching intelligence project currently exists. I don't see why spycraft (espionage) isn't fit for a wikiproject. That's more than just people charged with treason. Tagging with WPIntelligence to mean WPEspionage was decided at WP:TFD, as it was recognized there that the espionage project has overlapping scope with any intelligence project, thus suitable target since no WikiProject Intelligence exists, but the banner did. The scope statement at WPMassSurveillance also seems to be wrong, judging from the response on the talk page, it's actually about freedom of speech and privacy, not mass surveillance in all its aspects. -- (talk) 06:57, 12 March 2014 (UTC)
My mistake about WP:Intelligence. Would anyone be willing to help with WP:Espionage with structure, with slight improvements for the WikiProject template, and various other ideas? User talk: I would nicely ask you to create an account instead of having an IP address. Adamdaley (talk) 00:22, 13 March 2014 (UTC)
Shouldn't we be discussing this at WP:ESPIONAGE? And as for help, I can write a new WikiProjectBanner for you with taskforces, should an expansion of WPESPIONAGE and conversion of Espionage to a TF of a greater WPEIS be the route chosen. -- (talk) 09:22, 15 March 2014 (UTC)

Adding to WikiProject "types"[edit]

I've been working with Category:Inactive WikiProjects and I'd like to expand the range of "types" that are used for categorizing WikiProjects. For example, there is only 1 WikiProject in the "anime" type but there are lots of science, species, religion, literature and Wikipedia-related WikiProjects. It would be very useful to create separate categories for related inactive WikiProjects so they can be easily brought to the attention of other WikiProjects that are active in these areas.

There are topical subcategories in Category:WikiProjects but they don't have the functionality of actually adding to the number of types which then sort WikiProjects. I've asked several editors about this but haven't gotten a response so I hope I can hear back from someone who might know how to do this. Thanks! Liz Read! Talk! 22:01, 13 March 2014 (UTC)

Currently, the "type" parameter in {{WikiProject status}} is only used for inactive WikiProjects regarding categorization and text in the message box. Additional types can be added, but I would recommend having a clear goal/list first. Before making any changes, re-thinking inactive project categorization would be good.
The main pages of projects are categorized into Category:Active WikiProjects, Category:Semi-active WikiProjects‎, Category:Inactive WikiProjects‎, or Category:Defunct WikiProjects‎. Only inactive projects are sub-categorized based on the type parameter, and then they are no longer listed in the parent category. Is this the desired effect? Should all of the projects be listed in Category:Inactive WikiProjects‎ in addition to any sub-categorization? Is sub-categorization of only the inactive projects needed?
If changes are to be made, I would recommend aligning the inactive "types" with either the highest-level topical subcategories in Category:WikiProjects and/or the highest-level categorization at Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Directory. There are 474 inactive WikiProjects, and having types like "anime and manga" seems too specific (contains only 1 page).
If the type field is not entered, what should happen? Should it not be sub-categorized, or placed in a category stating it needs the additional parameter added to be properly categorized? As I mentioned above, should all pages, despite having a type, be placed in Category:Inactive WikiProjects‎?
After answering these questions, the first step would be to come up with the desired list of "types." Then, the template could be modified. Additionally, I think the "-related" should be removed from the category name. --Scott Alter (talk) 04:41, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment: Categories work best when they contains less than 200 entries (one page), but are not too small. XOttawahitech (talk) 15:29, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
As I said, I'm working with inactive WikiProjects and have been adding "types" to their WikiProject status tags, where appropriate. I think I made the goal clear by stating that I wanted to group related inactive WikiProjects together (as is done with the types "geo", "TV show", "sports", etc.) so that these categories can be easily viewed by people interested in reviving WikiProjects on particular topics. By looking at Category:Inactive WikiProjects and all of the "untyped" WikiProjects, you can see there are some topic areas which would be useful (and I listed some examples in my comment above). Why is there an "anime and manga" type when there is only 1 inactive WikiProject on that subject but there isn't a type for Wikipedia-related WikiProjects or science WikiProjects? There are over 200 inactive untyped WikiProjects so it makes logical sense to break down the unfiled WikiProjects into orderly subcategories.
I've been adding types to inactive WikiProjects which didn't have a type, where a type was applicable. If there is no type, then WikiProjects are placed in the general category. I don't foresee a large number of types, just ones that could be applied to, say, a dozen inactive WikiProjects. And, no "-related" would not be in the type name.
So, is this just a matter of editing the template? I've been working with WikiProjects (inactive, active, semi-active and defunct) this week so I'm familiar with the variety of subjects they cover. Liz Read! Talk! 00:39, 15 March 2014 (UTC)
I think you missed my points. I'm not against this, but want you to think about these points before implementation. Yes, it is simple to edit the template (and associated categories) to add more types. However, when editing a template with 1457 transclusions that would recategorize 474 pages into a bunch of new categories, you need to look at the bigger picture. Have a firm plan - don't just add a few more types ad hoc. Specifically, what "types" do you propose to add? Not just some examples, but create a definitive list of all of the ones you would like to add so the template only needs to be modified once. We already have some generalized "types" as evident by project classification at Category:WikiProjects and Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Directory, I would recommend using these. Additionally, I would recommend removing types with few projects, such as "anime and manga." You also missed my point regarding "-related" in the categories. Currently, with the exception of geographical, the projects are placed in categories containing the term "-related", such as type=sports places the project in Category:Inactive sports-related WikiProjects (whereas the analogous parent category is Category:Sports and games WikiProjects). I propose that we change the template so that "-related" is no longer used in the categories. --Scott Alter (talk) 01:56, 15 March 2014 (UTC)
I think I do understand you. The main gist of your statements is that it's important to think things through and come up with a proposal rather than directly editing the template. I would never edit a template that is foundational for an important area of Wikipedia as the WikiProjects are. And, certainly, I would look at how Category:WikiProjects is already organized as well as looking at the untyped, inactive WikiProjects. So, I guess my question is when I do have a proposal, do I post it here? This is just a thought I've been mulling over and inquired here to find answers which you graciously provided. WP:DEADLINE Liz Read! Talk! 02:21, 15 March 2014 (UTC)

Wikipedia:WikiProject United Kingdom is inactive?[edit]

I just visited Wikipedia:WikiProject United Kingdom and found to my surprise that it is marked inactive? XOttawahitech (talk) 15:20, 14 March 2014 (UTC)

I have fixed this back to active. Its still used as a central point of notification and debate. -- Moxy (talk) 15:32, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
I used the standards in the Template:WikiProject status to gauge whether or not a WikiProject was active, semi-active or inactive and there were only 6 edits to the main Wikipedia:UK Wikipedians' notice board page over the past twelve months and none since November. The rate is much higher with active WikiProjecs which are usually updated at least monthly if not more often. But it appears that while the main page isn't updated, the Talk Page is somewhat active.
Statuses can be easily changed if they are incorrect. In this case, my edit was reverted and that was the right decision. Liz Read! Talk! 01:02, 15 March 2014 (UTC)
In the last 6 months, there's been a rather large discussion on the talk page, doesn't that come into the accounting of whether a project is active or not, or is it only edits to the face page, and all edits on the talk page have no contribution to the determination of activity? -- (talk) 09:17, 15 March 2014 (UTC), here is a list of criteria for evaluating WikiProject status from Template:WikiProject status. Liz Read! Talk! 17:09, 15 March 2014 (UTC)

Legal or Medical advice[edit]

There is a discussion at Wikipedia talk:Talk page guidelines#Legal or Medical advice that may be of interest.

It concerns requests for legal or medical advice posted to one of the reference desks.

I am posting this here because of a potential conflict between the talk page guidelines and reference desk guidelines --Guy Macon (talk) 06:01, 18 March 2014 (UTC)

medam assalamu alaikum apnar sate jojajoger kono line amar jana nei tai avabe apner kase liklam.amar mobil no 01722359280 4 sonttaner pita amar stri akjon manosik varsammohin mohila se amar songser sere 4 bassake fele sylhet take nowgaon rajsahi te akti kharap loker barite giye utece ami onek kosto kore tar sonddan milaiya tahake anntte parcina tai amake sahajo korile ami amar pagol bow ke bassader nikot fire antte pari — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ruhulkhan.dulu (talkcontribs) 12:24, 25 March 2014 (UTC)

Discussion at Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:WikiProject Countering systemic gender bias[edit]

You are invited to join the discussion at Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:WikiProject Countering systemic gender bias. Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 13:50, 25 March 2014 (UTC)

Research Idea: Investigating the impact of offline meetups on participation and productivity in Wikipedia[edit]

I'm putting forward an IEG Project Proposal to investigate how the interaction of Wikipedia members at offline meetup events such as Hackatons or Wikimania may have an effect on the productivity of those members and their participation in Wikipedia. You can read the project proposal here and I'd appreciate the input of community members who have visited these events before. Do you think there is a specific area of these meetups that would better reveal how participation is impacted? How do you define participation in Wikipedia? Any comments would be welcome! OSUBrit (talk) 21:06, 31 March 2014 (UTC)

Using a BOT to place project banner on talk pages -- WikiProject African diaspora[edit]

Just to let those interested know that I have initiated a BOT request to have wp:WikiProject African diaspora categories and articles added to the wikiproject. If anyone is interested I will try to remember to post updates here. Please notify me when you respond. Thanks in advance, XOttawahitech (talk) 18:34, 6 April 2014 (UTC)

Invitation to Participate in a User Study - Final Reminder[edit]

Would you be interested in participating in a user study of a new tool to support editor involvement in WikiProjects? We are a team at the University of Washington studying methods for finding collaborators within WikiProjects, and we are looking for volunteers to evaluate a new visual exploration tool for Wikipedia. Given your interest in this Wikiproject, we would welcome your participation in our study. To participate, you will be given access to our new visualization tool and will interact with us via Google Hangout so that we can solicit your thoughts about the tool. To use Google Hangout, you will need a laptop/desktop, a web camera, and a speaker for video communication during the study. We will provide you with an Amazon gift card in appreciation of your time and participation. For more information about this study, please visit our wiki page ( If you would like to participate in our user study, please send me a message at Wkmaster (talk) 05:29, 10 April 2014 (UTC).


What would be an awards of the intensified participants of wikiproject groups? ..... am Jesmion — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:29, 10 April 2014 (UTC)

I think this is from a blocked sockpuppeteer, and have reported it.Mercurywoodrose (talk) 04:47, 13 April 2014 (UTC)

Latino, and Mexican American, Wikiprojects merger proposal[edit]

I think that two somewhat inactive projects, Wikipedia:WikiProject Latinos, and Wikipedia:WikiProject Mexican-Americans should be merged, with mexam being a task force of latinos. (i took off inactive tags due to my editing). The project would continue to be supported by Wikipedia:WikiProject United States, as "latinos" should have been. The project should have its name changed to Wikipedia:Wikiproject Hispanic and Latino Americans, matching conventional use here of the terms. "Latinos" appeared to initially be for latino/hispanic americans, but was starting to cover all latin am peoples, but thats way too much overlap with Wikipedia:WikiProject Latin America, which presumably covers that adequately. I hope that the merge discussion might engender some more actual participation in the projects. I definitely dont want to be the only editor to try to merge the project pages, and i of course no idea how to program the change, but i would be willing to a make whole lot of manual changes if thats whats called for (i added the SF Bay Area task force to hundreds of articles). As a side note, i did revamp the Portal:Hispanic and Latino Americans, but i may not be able to continue to work on that. at least its not completely moribund and out of date now.Mercurywoodrose (talk) 04:17, 13 April 2014 (UTC)

No matter what the projects are and no matter how sensible the merge proposal is, you need to ask the people at the affected projects. You need to ask even if you think that nobody is there to reply to your proposal. If nobody objects (wait a month or so), then you may merge them. If anyone objects, then you shouldn't merge them.
Once you've got an agreement for the merge, then you can come back here for help with the technical side. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:32, 13 April 2014 (UTC)

Proposals seems to be a ghost town[edit]

I say this because my proposal was made more than 2 months ago and hasn't gotten any feedback yet. Does anyone know how I could change that? Jinkinson talk to me 18:14, 13 April 2014 (UTC)

Did you link to the discussion at any relevant projects so that people would see it? If so and still no one commented then I am guessing it probably doesn't have enough interest to be a wikiproject. If you haven't linked to it from anywhere then you should do so. Being careful not to spam of course. -DJSasso (talk) 17:11, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
Most proposals get no responses. Proposals are typically successful (that is, result in a WikiProject that still has some activity after 6 or 12 months) if you already know of a couple of people who want to join the project.
In this case, I suggest that you broaden your focus a little and WP:REVIVE the rather quiet Wikipedia:WikiProject Rock music group. (Naturally, your first project will be to improve indie rock articles. wink) If you ever get more than a hundred or so people involved in that larger group, then you could split off a task force just for indie rock. Until that point, you'll have better success with the larger subject. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:05, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
Definitely agree with this. -DJSasso (talk) 19:20, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
@Jinkinson: Thanks for posting your dilemma here. Please continue updating us on this topic with your experience -- I am sure we can all benefit from sharing ideas. By the way, have you tried to look in Category: Wikipedians to see if you can find interested editors? In general I wonder if anyone checked to see if other proposals are also faring so poorly? Does this project track statistics in this regard? XOttawahitech (talk) 13:42, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
I don't know that anyone keeps any statistics. The biggest issue is usually that people come here with a proposal that is far too specific and don't have a group of editors already working on or wanting to work on such a wikiproject. They often see a wikiproject is just something to tag articles with cause other subjects have a project and they want theirs to. And instead of seeing if there is a more generic project that would make more sense to work as a part of they try to create their own. The best way to create an active wikiproject is to start as part of a more generic wikiproject and organize some "drives" on some articles in the subject area you enjoy and once you have a decent number of editors taking part in those drives you suggest that you split the discussion/work off to its own wikiproject. This way you avoid the very common issue of people creating projects/task forces that immediately go inactive as soon as they create them because they never had an active group already working together. -DJSasso (talk) 13:52, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
@Djsasso: Are you saying that those who try to create a new WikiProject should already have a group of interested members? If so then in my opinion this project should change the blurb on the project page:
Accept proposals or requests for new projects, and assist in their creation; or, alternately, point those making the requests to the appropriate existing projects when applicable ones already exist.
to reflect this. How else would a reasonable editor such as User:Jinkinson, who is here for the first time, know otherwise? XOttawahitech (talk) 22:35, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
Yes, a wikiproject is intended to be a place where people working together on a given set of articles can work together. If there are no individuals working on that set of articles collaboratively then there is no need for a wikiproject which is why that blurb mentions pointing them to appropriate existing projects. Essentially unless the more generic project's talk page is too busy to handle the discussion for a subset of its articles there is no need for a new wikiproject or task force. All that being said part of the council proposals pages are to see if that group of editors exists. If you aren't attracting people to your proposal then its a good indication your wikiproject probably isn't a good idea. -DJSasso (talk) 23:55, 15 April 2014 (UTC)