Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Short article clean-up

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This project was created following discussion at Wikipedia: Village pump (miscellaneous) of data mined from a cached database of Wikipedia articles. Eagle_101 found that only 3% of articles consisted of at least ten sentences, three references, and no cleanup tags. After refining the search parameters, Eagle_101 found that more than 60% of articles don't have any references in a "references" or "external links" section.

Actually, many of these articles do have an "external links" section. Eagle was, I believe, listing articles which did not have inline citations. But these may not always be appropriate/necessary for short articles. Jheald 10:23, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
Jheald, you are refering to a different test I ran, this project is looking for "any" references or sources marked as such (under a notes or a references section). —— Eagle101Need help? 17:50, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

It is important that Wikipedia contain quality, referenced articles. To address this, we have created this WikiProject where interested editors can find small articles in small batches that they can clean up. Flyguy649 talk contribs 13:46, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

Subpage instructions[edit]

All subpages have Wikipedia:WikiProject Short article clean-up/Instructions transcluded. Feel free to amend as necessary. Flyguy649 talk contribs 17:55, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Scientific citation guidelines#When not to use in-line references[edit]

There are a few cases when it is not necessary or helpful to provide in-line citations. Most commonly this is for short articles or technical articles which can be written using only two or three sources: a primary source and a review or textbook. These articles usually describe a simple result, or a common convention or notation and are, by their nature, unlikely to ever be expanded into longer articles. In this case, a short "References" section at the end of the article suffices. An example of this sort of article is scalar-vector-tensor decomposition.

(WP:SCG is a guideline for Mathematics, Physics, Molecular and cellular biology and Chemistry. It expresses the consensus of editors in those projects about specific details of inline citation. Editors in other scientific projects should follow the practice followed by those projects.)

Jheald 10:32, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

This is not scanning for inline citations, but rather for a reference section at all. I will note that those projects don't own any of the articles they cover. In short I'd encorage people to use common sense, but at least get some references. (We are looking for at least a references or a notes section here). If those projects don't like what members are doing here, they are free to do cleanup of their own, this project targets small articles that would not see edits otherwise, the goal here is to improve the encyclopaedia. —— Eagle101Need help? 17:37, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

Dab pages[edit]

If regenerating this list, it would be useful to exclude Disambiguation pages. Jheald 10:47, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

You're absolutely right. I'll let User:Eagle_101 know. -- Flyguy649 talk contribs 14:35, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
We can do that, exclude Category:Disambiguation, we right now just look for disambig templates. —— Eagle101Need help? 17:38, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
I was prompted by Carlo Rezzonico, a dab page which appears at #1570 on the 'C' list. It has an {{hndis}} template, so you might like to check you're catching these. Jheald 17:49, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
I will add that template to the program that generates these. We have to go by disambig templates here as the dumps I'm using don't show the category the article is in. I have only wikitext to scan. —— Eagle101Need help? 17:52, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
Note also {{geodis}}, {{hospitaldis}}, {{numberdis}}, {{POWdis}} (one use), {{roaddis}}, {{schooldis}}, {{mountainindex}}, {{shipindex}}, {{mathdab}}. Jheald 18:12, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
Thank you very much. I will be re-generating with the latest dump (as soon as it loads into mysql). The latest dump is only 1 week old or so. —— Eagle101Need help? 19:29, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
I assume you were already scanning for {{disamb}}, but then I saw 61st Division is one the list, so I'd better flag up that template too. Jheald 22:10, 19 September 2007 (UTC)


Is there a set guideline for how long articles need to be before they no longer classify as short articles? NathanKP 15:21, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

We (that is Eagle_101) used arbitrary criteria of five sentences. This is different from Special:Shortpages where it's on the order of 100 characters (I believe). -- Flyguy649 talk contribs 15:28, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
The primary goal of this project is to clean up the short articles we had. Anything with less then 5 sentences and no evidence of references will show up. —— Eagle101Need help? 17:45, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
I wonder if a (large) character limit rather than or in addition a sentence limit wouldn't make more sense. A fair number of these articles have few sentences because their content is organized in lists or tables that don't form sentences. See, eg, the A1GP team articles I just did -- these were in no sense short articles, but their major content was in a table. -- Courier 23:45, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
One thing that argues against this is that there are instances where templates are subst'd onto a page (some of which shouldn't be). Thus the character count is high for that reason. -- Flyguy649 talk contribs 17:18, 21 September 2007 (UTC)


Perhaps because of the nature of the first sets of articles, we've got a whole lot of English roadways -- A1, A11, etc. All quite reasonable short, but none with any references whatsoever. Anyone have a clue what reference these were drawn from? Courier 21:06, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

This raises the question as to whether there is any value in officiously demanding a formal "references" section, for route information which is readily verifiable from Multimap, Google Maps, or any UK road atlas? Jheald 21:36, 19 September 2007 (UTC)
That's the conclusion I'm reaching -- add a reference to some appropriate Google Map, then [citation needed] non-geographic details (historical and scenic info not apparent from the map). I'll take a shot at that this evening perhaps. -- Courier 18:40, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
Seems to work fine -- it's probably even helpful to readers. Thanks for the suggestion! -- Courier 23:47, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
Nice. Suggest you let WP:UKGEO, WP:ROADS and WP:MWY know what you're doing - you might even find some help! If you felt like it, it might be worth creating a template for such links - that would make the specific content in them more apparent and re-usable, and leave things easier to fix if Google changed its link format, or people wanted to switch to use other map providers. -- Jheald 11:06, 22 September 2007 (UTC)
Note also SABRE and in particular their Roadslist and Roads by 10 project, which may provide good potential references for all of these articles. Again, maybe worth templating. (Found via GA-rated article A500 road, which shows what can be achieved). -- Jheald 11:43, 22 September 2007 (UTC)

Simply changing "external links" to "references"[edit]

I see this has now been done for a few articles. I'm not sure it's a good idea. Where I have seen it done, these were more appropriately external links, not references. I don't think twisting the naming to something less appropriate to satisfy somebody's need to go box ticking is doing anything to help the Wikipedia project. Jheald 21:27, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

I tend to agree -- indeed, I just looked over a set of short articles (B-0) that contained a lot of candidates for this change. And many of the references I have dug up for the articles I've already hit might well better belong as external links. This seems common enough a case for short articles (typically drawn from only one source) that it might even be worth a policy. Perhaps changing it to "External links and references", although that might confuse scripts and bots. Or just make whatever script generates the dump also accept external links, although that might work against the goal of increasing the number of articles with references. -- Courier 23:42, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

Please protect articles voluntarily kept short[edit]

The article tumor is voluntarily kept short to reduce duplication with the huge, encyclopedic cancer article. Therefore, tumor is not a stub, it is not neglected and it is not useless. Could you please create a mechanism to protect these short but important articles? Emmanuelm (talk) 12:48, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

Comment on the WikiProject X proposal[edit]

Hello there! As you may already know, most WikiProjects here on Wikipedia struggle to stay active after they've been founded. I believe there is a lot of potential for WikiProjects to facilitate collaboration across subject areas, so I have submitted a grant proposal with the Wikimedia Foundation for the "WikiProject X" project. WikiProject X will study what makes WikiProjects succeed in retaining editors and then design a prototype WikiProject system that will recruit contributors to WikiProjects and help them run effectively. Please review the proposal here and leave feedback. If you have any questions, you can ask on the proposal page or leave a message on my talk page. Thank you for your time! (Also, sorry about the posting mistake earlier. If someone already moved my message to the talk page, feel free to remove this posting.) Harej (talk) 22:48, 1 October 2014 (UTC)

WikiProject X is live![edit]

WikiProject X icon.svg

Hello everyone!

You may have received a message from me earlier asking you to comment on my WikiProject X proposal. The good news is that WikiProject X is now live! In our first phase, we are focusing on research. At this time, we are looking for people to share their experiences with WikiProjects: good, bad, or neutral. We are also looking for WikiProjects that may be interested in trying out new tools and layouts that will make participating easier and projects easier to maintain. If you or your WikiProject are interested, check us out! Note that this is an opt-in program; no WikiProject will be required to change anything against its wishes. Please let me know if you have any questions. Thank you!

Note: To receive additional notifications about WikiProject X on this talk page, please add this page to Wikipedia:WikiProject X/Newsletter. Otherwise, this will be the last notification sent about WikiProject X.

Harej (talk) 16:56, 14 January 2015 (UTC)