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?
There are approximately 2,600 WikiProjects and task forces. This includes all Wikipedia-namespace pages (other than subpages) that begin with "WikiProject" and WikiProjects and task forces with assessment categories. However, most WikiProjects lack active participants.
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Nobody knows, because not all participants add their names to a membership list, and membership lists are almost always out of date.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 1.29 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.
I want to start a WikiProject. Am I required to advertise it at Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Proposals and/or have a specific number of editors support it?
No, there are no requirements. However, new WikiProjects, especially new groups that are proposed by new editors, rarely remain active for longer than a few months unless there are at least six or eight active editors involved at the time of creation.

Proposed new project on importing/exporting material[edit]

I have started a project proposal at Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Proposals/Universal Exports and Imports regarding the possibility of importing content from other websites or wikis here, and, possibly, exporting useful material unsuitable here to other websites, where it can be developed or, at least, kept available for use by later editors. I think this is, at least potentially, this might be a possible way, even if not necessarily the best way, to do something along the lines of a question @Liz: recently asked about keeping academics active here. Anyway, any input would be welcome. John Carter (talk) 18:10, 16 May 2016 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:WikiProject Citizendium Porting.Wavelength (talk) 20:35, 6 June 2016 (UTC)
Have you looked into Wikidata? Depending upon the kind of content you're looking at, that might be a good fit. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:14, 26 June 2016 (UTC)

joining a project[edit]

Hello. I am trying to set up Wikipedia:WikiProject Wikipack Africa and am having issues with the "join the project" button. When I click on it... nothing happens. What am I missing ? Can anyone help ? Anthere (talk)

Anthere, did you get this sorted? WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:15, 26 June 2016 (UTC)
Yes, thank you User:WhatamIdoing. Harej fixed it ! Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Wikipack Africa

Disputes over a project's banner settings - covered under WP:PROJSCOPE?[edit]

Let's say a regular editor of an article but not a member of an associated project insists on a particular assessment grade or importance setting for that project, while a clear project member/participant disagrees. Does WP:PROJSCOPE come into play for that? Shouldn't the non-member have to let the member have their way (within reason of course)? And if that non-member disagrees, they can discuss it on the project's talk page to get a consensus that decides the matter. This guideline clearly applies to placement of banners, but what about the banner's settings? I just today ran into an example where someone who had never even touched the article or its talk page before disputed my changing of importance settings for projects I've belonged to for a very long time, but he didn't belong to. Thoughts? Should we revise the guideline to include banner settings? Stevie is the man! TalkWork 19:07, 6 June 2016 (UTC)

Usually such issues can be fixed locally by pointing to the assessment subpage of the project and asking the user in question how his assessment meets the project guidelines established there. --Izno (talk) 20:10, 6 June 2016 (UTC)
Hmmm, the assessment guidelines may need to be firmed up for the projects in the example I ran into today. And that's useful. But my question is about how do we apply a guideline that isn't clear on who controls (for loss of a better word) project banner settings. Does the project-specific assessment guidelines work as the guideline? Stevie is the man! TalkWork 20:17, 6 June 2016 (UTC)
For use in dispute, I would say so. I suppose I would generally agree that the project members should decide the assessment of the items in their project... but OTOH, the user in question can become a member quite quickly. Best to invite the WikiProject members to the talk page to settle the dispute, if the project assessment guidelines are unhelpful (and probably a separate action is needed to discuss the project assessment guidelines). :) --Izno (talk) 21:24, 6 June 2016 (UTC)
Were you able to resolve this dispute?
Generally, WikiProjects are expected to loosely conform to the usual "quality" rating unless they have written their own. "Priority" or "importance" ratings are 100% up to members. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:17, 26 June 2016 (UTC)
I haven't taken any steps yet toward attempting such. It's not a terribly high priority. Stevie is the man! TalkWork 23:20, 26 June 2016 (UTC)

New WikiProject jargon?[edit]

I see the term Wikipedia WikiProjects‎ being used to mean (I think?) Wikipedia assistance and tasks(WikiProjects). The use of Wikipedia WikiProjects‎ is new to me. Just wondering how common this term is and whether it has been defined somewhere?. Ottawahitech (talk) 14:43, 10 June 2016 (UTC)small|please ping me}}

Ottawahitech, please see Wikipedia:WikiProject.—Wavelength (talk) 15:52, 10 June 2016 (UTC)
The category appears to have existed since 2006. I definitely agree it should be renamed; I was planning on doing so as part of a re-organization of WikiProjects not about specific content areas. Harej (talk) 16:08, 10 June 2016 (UTC)

Help needed cleaning up after WikiProject renaming/moving[edit]

Hi, WikiProject Canoeing and Kayaking changed from Kayaking to Canoeing and Kayaking. Whilst the main page now works as expected, i.e. WikiProject Kayaking and WikiProject Canoeing etc redirect to WikiProject Canoeing and Kayaking the Categories and probably other stuff that I'm not even aware of hasn't been changed. Firstly I'm not sure that this is a problem, except for the confusion possibly caused, I would welcome thoughts. Secondly could someone fix/change/redirect anything that's been missed to bring the project all into line with the new name. Many thanks Jamesmcmahon0 (talk) 10:49, 15 June 2016 (UTC)

James, this list of pages that link to the old name will probably show you what's left to do. Fixing the "Wikipedia ads" template will clean up a lot of links automatically, so you might focus on that as a starting point. Someone at WP:VPT should be able to help, if you get stuck. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:25, 26 June 2016 (UTC)
WhatamIdoing Thanks, that's a long list! Also what do you mean by the "Wikipedia ads" template? Jamesmcmahon0 (talk) 18:05, 11 July 2016 (UTC)
It looks like you found it just a few minutes after posting this. WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:31, 12 July 2016 (UTC)

WikiProject X Newsletter • Issue 9[edit]

WikiProject X icon.svg
Newsletter • May / June 2016

Check out this month's issue of the WikiProject X newsletter, featuring the first screenshot of our new CollaborationKit software!

Harej (talk) 00:23, 25 June 2016 (UTC)

@Harej: It is not clear from your newletter(Technical improvements to Reports Bot) which reports are accurate and which ones are work-in-progress. For example: Wikipedia:Database reports/WikiProjects by changes? please ping me — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ottawahitech (talkcontribs) 16:06, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
Ottawahitech, all the reports should be accurate. Are there reports that are not accurate? Harej (talk) 18:55, 11 July 2016 (UTC)
@Harej: The numbers just do not seem plausible. Take for example wp: WikiProject Canada, a project with 130,878 articles which shows only 719 edits for the last 365 days in Wikipedia:Database reports/WikiProjects by changes. Ottawahitech (talk) 00:54, 12 July 2016 (UTC)please ping me
@Ottawahitech: Based on the report code, it is counting changes to the WikiProjects main and sub pages, for example Article alerts, and not changes to the WikiProjects articles. --Bamyers99 (talk) 02:53, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
@Bamyers99: Thanks for digging up this information. So I guess what you are saying is that Wikipedia:Database reports/WikiProjects by changes does not track edits to the articles belonging to a w-project but merely edits to the w-project pages themselves? Even so I still believe the # of edits to wp: WikiProject Canada seems too low. If you check Wikipedia:WikiProject Canada/List of Canadian WikiProjects, portals and main articles you will see how large this w-project is. Just the Article alerts of all the child w-projects should generate thousands of edits every year (wp:Article alerts are updated daily)? Ottawahitech (talk) 14:34, 15 July 2016 (UTC)please ping me
@Ottawahitech: It doesn't count sub-project edits, only edits to pages prefixed with WikiProject Canada/. Sub-projects have their own edit counts if the project name is prefixed with WikiProject. --Bamyers99 (talk) 14:49, 15 July 2016 (UTC)

Notice to participants at this page about adminship[edit]

Many participants here create a lot of content, have to evaluate whether or not a subject is notable, decide if content complies with BLP policy, and much more. Well, these are just some of the considerations at Wikipedia:Requests for adminship.

So, please consider taking a look at and watchlisting this page:

You could be very helpful in evaluating potential candidates, and maybe even finding out if you would be a suitable RfA candidate.

Many thanks and best wishes,

Anna Frodesiak (talk) 00:04, 4 July 2016 (UTC)

Overhaul of article assessments[edit]

I think we should overhaul the way that article quality is assessed. I believe the current system is outdated and flawed for several reasons. Some ideas to explore would be:

  1. Implement a Wikipedia-wide assessment criteria, rather than each WikiProject using their own scale. This would mean that WikiProjects would have to agree on an article's quality, although in 99% of cases they do agree now anyway.
  2. Separate type from quality. The current interplay between the type of a page (e.g. article, file, template, list, portal, etc.) and its quality (e.g. start, c, b, a, featured, etc.) is confusing and does not allow for many valid quality assessments. For example why shouldn't we have a C-class list, an A-class portal or a beta-rated module?
  3. Move quality assessments out of WikiProject banners. If there is one quality assessment for the article, it would make more sense to put it in a redesigned {{article history}} template and remove it from the project banners.

I propose that each project should continue to tag articles within their scope and assess the article's importance to their project (but that we use the superior term of "priority"). I realise this is a massive task and this is my first post on the issue, but any initial comments would be helpful. Regards — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 11:40, 20 July 2016 (UTC)

You might want to consider pinging the active WikiProjects to this discussion. (Re-numbered bullets for ease of reference.)
  1. In 99% of cases, this would be fine. I suspect however that there will be some projects who want their own control, or where the WikiProjects will differ on rating, or where some projects have deprecated certain quality rating (A-class being a prime example). What exception do they have in such a world?
  2. Yes, please. Edge case question: are drafts a quality or a type?
  3. What does an implementation of this look like given the present category scheme of "WP:VG B-class articles"?
  4. Is some of this superfluous to the WP:FLOW work (yet to begin) which was to help with workflows (and not just the infamous talk page refactor)?
--Izno (talk) 12:10, 20 July 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for your comments.
  1. In the proposed world there would be one common assessment framework (which would be arrived at by detailed discussion and consensus). A starting point would likely be Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Assessment#Grades. I imagine that for articles, Stub/Start/C/B/GA/FA would be uncontentious. Whether A-class (traditionally a WikiProject specific process) and the B-class checklist would be used is less certain. There would be nothing to stop WikiProjects maintaining guidelines on how the assessment criteria should be interpreted for articles in their scope, but in the event of disagreement, grading would be determined by discussion among any involved editors on the article's talk page.
  2. Interesting question, to be determined later. (My instinct would be that drafts are a type, because you can have all sorts of quality of draft article.)
  3. To preserve the current category tree it would probably be necessary to keep the parameter, but the display could be suppressed. (It's just not necessary for 13 separate banners to proclaim that Barack Obama is FA-class. Alternatively we could probably replicate the functionality by using category intersection tools.
  4. Sorry I am not familiar with much of the Flow work. Will do some reading.
— Martin (MSGJ · talk) 14:31, 20 July 2016 (UTC)
  1. I think keeping the B-class checklist would be a good thing (it's referenced at #Grades). A seems less valuable, but maybe the articles where an A-class assessment has been arrived at are under only a few domains (maybe we should sample the A-class list to see if there are any which are not already FA-quality, which is clearly the superior ranking; GA's relation to A-class is a bit more murky, as it has always been).
  2. Certainly something that can be sorted later.
  3. How does one keep the parameter and also keep the page-wide assessment? Category intersection is the answer I expected, but I can see people calling foul...
  4. Sure. It may be the case that this is a stepping stone to a workFlow world, since I suspect we would need to make many of the same changes for Flow.
--Izno (talk) 14:44, 20 July 2016 (UTC)
  • Support Yes, this is useful. The current grading system was introduced in 2003 and has not been developed since 2008. See Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team for context. This entire awful system was only intended to be used as a tool for selecting Wikipedia articles to burn to physical CDs, and not for community management as quickly became its use. English Wikipedia has suffered from the legacy of the founding proposal ever since. There was never any time when this system was thoughtfully proposed to be used as it is now. It would be worthwhile to draft a proposal for change then seek support for implementing it. Any WikiProject which wanted to opt-in to the change could, and any WikiProject which wanted to continue with the old ways might. Overall, I think that one grading system for all WikiProjects is best. There has never been sufficient labor from enough WikiProjects to justify maintaining so many independent grading systems, and the current system has never worked as it was designed.
Yes, any sort of page could be graded in the same way, or not graded. Yes, importance and priority could be similarly reassessed.
There needs to be a new grading system. "stub, start, C, B, A (never use A!), GA, and FA" is nonsense jargon. Blue Rasberry (talk) 16:04, 20 July 2016 (UTC)

My general feeling is that any attempt at radical overhaul is just going to be met with opposition, it might be more productive to try some smaller, piecemeal reforms. I do agree that there's a lot of room for improvement in the current system, though. To address the points you raise:

  1. As you already note, we more or less have this already with Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Assessment#Grades. Very few WikiProjects deviate from this scale in practice.
  2. Yes and no. Yes in the sense that all of this non-article, namespace-based crap that's latched itself onto the assessment scale (Category-Class, etc) really ought to go. But I don't think it needs to be replaced with anything, the idea of giving quality ratings to portals and templates just seems like it would be a waste of everyones time.
  3. Agree in principle, when you see half a dozen or more banners lined up each with the same assessment, you have to wonder if this is really the best way of doing things. I don't use {{article history}} much but it doesn't seem at all user friendly and is probably not ideal for this purpose. Perhaps displaying an assessment in {{WikiProject banner shell}} would be an idea? The point Izno raised about the current "X-Class Foo article" category scheme is probably the best argument for maintaining the status quo. Category intersection looks like a feature request that isn't going to happen anytime soon, so I'm not sure what the best solution would be.

--PC78 (talk) 11:01, 21 July 2016 (UTC)

PC78 I could be mistaken but I do not anticipate resistance. Just so long as a new grading system was only optional and was rolled out to individual WikiProjects, I think many WikiProjects would voluntarily adopt it. There used to be info about the number of active participants at any given WikiProject but for privacy reasons, it is no longer available. Still, a general rule is that any WikiProject has not more than 10% of the number of watchers as listed at Wikipedia:Database reports/WikiProject watchers (usually closer to 5%). I think many WikiProjects actually could have a thoughtful discussion and choose a change. Also, I do not anticipate many people having loyalty to the old system. So far as I know, most users think it fails to communicate clearly. I have heard lots of complaints but never heard anyone talk about it being clever, easy to understand, and easy to use. Blue Rasberry (talk) 11:33, 21 July 2016 (UTC)
Bluerasberry, I think you underestimate the degree of resistance—not to the idea of improving the assessment system, which is something that I think everyone can get behind (although people will doubtless have their own ideas about what that looks like), but to the proposal to remove individual WikiProjects' ability to customize the system to meet their particular needs.
So that we have a specific example to consider, WP:MILHIST has implemented a number of "unique" assessment features over the years, including:
  1. A dual assessment hierarchy, with parallel tracks for lists versus "prose" articles (WP:MHA#SCALE).
  2. Automatic assignment of all assessments between Start-Class to B-Class based on a checklist in the template (WP:MHA#CRIT).
  3. Automatic tracking of articles based on improvement needs identified in the assessment checklist (Category:Military history articles needing attention).
  4. A formal review process for A-Class status, complete with assessment tags and bot support (WP:MHR).
  5. Automatic inheritance of both assessments and task tracking across 50+ task forces (Category:Military history articles by task force).
All of these are potentially open to discussion and improvement, but we're certainly going to object to a proposal that simply gets rid of our entire assessment system in favor of a one-size-fits-all shared rating. Kirill Lokshin (talk) 12:06, 21 July 2016 (UTC)
Kirill Lokshin I fail to recognize a proposal here to forbid customization, so I think I agree with you. I must have made myself misunderstood. I am not imagining a future in which any WikiProject is compelled to use any system. I just want another system on the table for any WikiProject to have another option. Blue Rasberry (talk) 13:01, 21 July 2016 (UTC)
Bluerasberry, my interpretation of the original proposal ("Implement a Wikipedia-wide assessment criteria, rather than each WikiProject using their own scale", "Move quality assessments out of WikiProject banners") was that we were indeed talking about prohibiting WikiProjects from using customized/project-specific assessment systems, not just offering an alternative to the current model. MSGJ, is that what you have in mind, or am I misunderstanding? Kirill Lokshin (talk) 13:43, 21 July 2016 (UTC)
@Kirill Lokshin: I think you're right, at least that's how I read Martin's proposal. I don't think the basic idea is too problematic though, WP:MILHIST is very much the exception rather than the rule, and even you guys don't appear to be doing anything radically different. There should be enough common ground for some constructive debate, at the very least. PC78 (talk) 00:19, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
With reference to the proposal regarding assessment. There is definitely an appetite for universal assessment - see User:BU RoBOT/autoassess. The bot is taking requests from Wikiprojects and then bringing their unassesed articles in line with other wikiprojects. Personally I don't see difference between doing that and pulling out all assessments from opted-in wikiprojects into a universal rating, whether that's part of {{article history}} or otherwise. Jamesmcmahon0 (talk) 11:31, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
@Kirill Lokshin and PC78: MSGJ still has not commented but I see the base concept as usable for a proposal making things optional. I agree that nothing can be forced on WikiProjects, and if everyone agrees on that point, then let's drop forced changes as a potential direction for development.
Most or all of the criteria at WP:MHA#CRIT have nothing to do with military, and it has always been the case that any WikiProject could adapt that or any other assessment criteria for their own needs. The way that I interpret the proposal is to strip a criteria sheet like the military one into something with no WikiProject focus. Then, those criteria are presented as a recommendation for a default for any WikiProject without specialized needs. I would like to reconsider the scale of grading and the nature of criteria, because I think it is already well known that grading and interpreting grades is very difficult for non-Wikipedians. Also I would like for bot projects like the one Jamesmcmahon0 mentioned to be able to do automatic grading in the same scheme. I do not immediately see potential for conflict because I do not anticipate much love for the current system. Making other schemes optional seems like a reasonable thing to discuss now or soon. The controversial part of this is that multiple grading systems would circulate simultaneously, and in the longer term, they would compete for broader uptake. Blue Rasberry (talk) 14:05, 25 July 2016 (UTC)
Bluerasberry, I believe that {{WPBannerMeta}}, which virtually all projects use, already provides a "common" set of criteria; see, for example, {{WPBannerMeta/hooks/bchecklist}}. As far as changing the actual grading system (by which I assume you mean the assessment "classes") is concerned, I'm open to discussion, but please keep in mind the significant amount of volunteer time that would be required to switch to a different system; any entirely new system would need to offer enough benefits to justify that implementation cost. Kirill Lokshin (talk) 15:04, 25 July 2016 (UTC)
I am open-minded to assessment improvements coming from a fairly reached consensus. However, I don't think we should be telling projects whether to use 'importance' or 'priority', as 1) I think it's unnecessarily butting in; and 2) these terms can have different meanings within a project (e.g., 'importance' meaning how key the article/subject is to the larger subject the project covers, and 'priority' implying some kind of near-term workflow that could be based on importance and other factors). As for quality assessments, I generally concur that in most cases, this determination should be consistent, and that the type of a page isn't a quality. Stevie is the man! TalkWork 15:21, 21 July 2016 (UTC)