Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Women's History/Archive 1

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Archives Table of Contents

Getting Started

Want to help but don't know how? Got a technical question? Ask it here. ---Shane Landrum (cliotropic) 02:56, 5 February 2011 (UTC)

I wrote up a blog post last night with more information on how to get started helping. If/when you write one, follow up here with a link. ---Shane Landrum (cliotropic) 14:11, 5 February 2011 (UTC)

Stub identification -- how?

I want to dive in identifying stub articles that need work. I can add the stub template to them, but should I be marking them here on WP:WMNHIST or something as well? How will we find them again? --Skud (talk) 21:23, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

Current conversation below ("Stub templates and marking") and at the stub proposal is uncovering a myriad of issues around Wikipedia policy relative to officially-named stubs. I'm inclined to avoid the stub process altogether in favor of the assessment template User:Waacstats has suggested, which I think will be more useful for more purposes. If you'd like to set up a templates section in the above nav, start a basic assessment template, and start a discussion around that, it would be really handy. (We don't have to actually do any assessments yet, but placing the assessment template will allow us to generate a project page of entries which use that template.) As long as our assessment template has a "stub" rating somewhere, we can use it to mark entries that need work. Does that make sense? ---Shane Landrum (cliotropic | talk | contribs) 23:05, 7 February 2011 (UTC)
I'll modify what I just said. If someone could make a decision about the Banner templates below (fix them up aesthetically, modify the Banner to be an assessment template, etc) and then create them as separate templates linked from WP:WikiProject Women's History/Templates, that would be ideal. Once that's done, we'll need to: 1) create a backlinks page for all entries marked with that template; 2) modify the project's base page to explain how to use that assessment template for marking entries as within the scope of our project; 3) start a separate decision about the precise assessment criteria we want to use, overlapping where possible with the criteria for WP:BIO and similar projects. ---Shane Landrum (cliotropic | talk | contribs) 23:13, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

This conversation on banner design has been moved to the project's Templates Talk page.

World War I taskforce

So, I'd like to propose a Taskforce to work on subject matter related to Women in World War I. I've created an outline of what I think we could do at User:Skud/Women in WW1. Anyone care to join me? --Skud (talk) 22:14, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

I do! I'll be right over, with some ambulance drivers and canteen workers for starters. Penny Richards (talk) 23:13, 10 February 2011 (UTC)Penny Richards

Template created

OK, I've created a template: Template:WikiProject_WMNHIST ... It's now included above, and you can include it similarly on the talk page of any women's history article. It should appropriately populate relevant categories, I hope! I'm going to experiment with it now. --Skud (talk) 00:56, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

To follow up... I've now added this to a few articles and it looks like it's working OK. I guess the next step is to plough through the epic list of articles on the project page and add it to each one. To do that, the steps are: 1) visit the article page, 2) click through to "Discussion", 3) Add a line that says "WikiProject Women's History" surrounded by two curly brackets. For example look at Talk:Helen Mayo. --Skud (talk) 01:02, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for doing that, Skud. Experienced Wikipedians who want to help: can you add some template documentation about how the quality scale works, so non-Wikipedia-experienced contributors will understand that not everything has to be automatically graded as a C? Ideally, I think we'd place the template on pages first with a default "unassessed" marker for quality and importance, and then agree on our assessment criteria, then make an auto-generated list of items that need assessing and items in each quality-scale category. ---Shane Landrum (cliotropic | talk | contribs) 04:33, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
I don't think we need to do that yet. We can use the default quality scale, as many other projects do: [1] In fact I'm going to copy that over to our own assessment page right now. If/when we need something more specific to our needs, we can deal with it then. --Skud (talk) 04:37, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the clear instructions, Skud. I'm fairly new to this (I'm one of those not-young-not-male contributors that are supposed to be so rare!), so I especially appreciate it. Going through the "epic list" right now, and deleting them from the project page once they have the banner (as suggested). It's pretty easy to work in batches, get a rhythm going... Penny Richards (talk) 05:04, 8 February 2011 (UTC)Penny Richards
Penny, thanks for your help; I just saw some of your work in the revision history. This is exactly the sort of small, steady contribution that we need to make the project a success. ---Shane Landrum (cliotropic | talk | contribs) 06:13, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
Wouldn't there be advantages to having the default be "unassessed"? Wouldn't that enable you then to generate a list of unassessed articles within the project, so that an individual or task force could see what needed looking at? If the default is a "C," then you don't know whether this was an automatic rating, or whether the article in fact been judged as needing some work. An alternative would be to have the default be "Start" class, which likewise doesn't imply that it's been actively evaluated. Cynwolfe 14:16, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
Just in case others here were as blindsided as I was, there's maintenance going on that's causing templates to go wacky — wrong alignment, no box outlines, that kind of thing. Cynwolfe (talk) 14:43, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
Cynwolfe, the default *is* unassessed. If you just type {{WikiProject Women's History}} it'll show up in Category:Unassessed Women's History articles automatically, and then we can go through and do a set of assessments in due course. (Of course if you have an opinion on an article's quality already, feel free to note it. But it's not required.) --Skud (talk) 17:48, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
I have removed the portal parameter from the template until we have one. We're a long way from ready to create a portal for this project. Redlinks in the template are Bad Form. - PKM (talk) 02:59, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
I made even shorter shortcuts to the templates: {{WMNHIST|class=|importance=}} and {{User WMNHIST}} now work; both are documented on the Template page. - PKM (talk) 05:02, 12 February 2011 (UTC)

Assessing importance


In addition to assessing article quality, for which there are generally accepted article assessment criteria, we can also assess articles for their importance. Importance is always somewhat subjective and will vary from project to project, so that an article may be of top importance to one project but of low importance to another, regardless of its quality. There is a discussion of importance here.

In my experience, it is valuable for project participants to discuss and agree on general guidelines for assessing importance early in the project. Here's a proposal:

What do other participants think? - PKM (talk) 03:59, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

That feels about right to me, PKM. Maybe we can put most biographies of living people under Low for now too, to keep the focus clearly historical.Penny Richards (talk) 04:19, 10 February 2011 (UTC)Penny Richards
Looking good. I don't have opinions on the exact placement of each of those topics under their importance headings (especially in the mid to low range) but the general guidelines seem fine to me. Incidentally I made a start on getting the WP 1.0 bot to gather stats for us in re: quality and importance so we can put them on our assessment page. I didn't get it working yet but hopefully I'll figure it out soon, and we can dive in on assessing things and see where we stand. --Skud (talk) 18:18, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
Followup: ooh, no, it's working! Here! Guess I just had to wait for the bot to run. Now to figure out how to transclude that into our assessment page. --Skud (talk) 18:20, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
Followup to followup: if someone would like to move the above examples into the template that's included at that'd be great (take a look, it should be fairly obvious -- there are fields for the text for each importance rating and an example for each one). --Skud (talk) 18:28, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
Green tickY Done! - PKM (talk) 19:48, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

"Banner spamming" ?

I'm kinda new here, but I got a note on my talk page, concerned that we were "banner spamming." Basically, they thought that we should only be claiming the entries that are somehow "political" --so maybe they assume that women's history is only about the history of feminism? Will this be a regular issue we encounter? I replied as best I could, but if anyone has further ways to respond, I'm interested. Penny Richards (talk) 04:05, 10 February 2011 (UTC)Penny Richards

Welcome to Wikipedia. :-)
There is a risk that we'll be perceived as banner spamming since we have potentially thousands of articles (should we include every biography of any women who died before 1900?). If anything, I would say "political" articles are probably covered by WikiProject Feminism, and we should distinguish our area of focus from theirs.
Are there any project participants who have experience in this area? I have mostly worked on smaller projects (though I recently joined WikiProject United States, which is also huge). - PKM (talk) 04:21, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
The template Template:WikiProjectBannerShell can reduce the visual impact of having lots of banners on a talk page, like this.Dsp13 (talk) 12:09, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
One possibility would be to exclude bios of living women. This would be an artificial & formulaic restriction of the project's scope, but would be something easily understood by other wikipedians which might help limit their concerns. Dsp13 (talk) 12:18, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
This does unfortunately raise the question of what "Men's History" would look like. I think it's legitimate to ask whether every biography of a woman constitutes "Women's History," because biography ≠ history. On the other hand, placing the biography banner on every single biographical article isn't considered "banner spanning," is it? At first I thought Dsp13's suggestion might be workable (Megan Fox probably doesn't need a Women's History banner, though an argument might be made for including Madonna (entertainer)). But that would also exclude biographical articles on living academics whose focus is precisely Women's History. And then there's Margaret Thatcher: would she be a topic for Women's History because as far as we know she happens to have a vagina, or should participation in women's issues play a significant role? In a sense these are the questions always raised by the articulating of "Women's History." Maybe the solution is just for project members to exercise discretion and judgment. I placed the banner on some biographical articles I was involved with that included explicit statements by scholars from the perspective of Women's History, such as "sculptor at a time when women rarely had the opportunity to work in the medium." I agree with PKM that the project's perspective should be historical rather than political. Cynwolfe (talk) 14:23, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
If the goal is to improve the way women are represented in historical articles on Wikipedia--to improve the coverage of women's history, and to improve existing articles about women's history--then the net has to be cast wide. It's not a small project, it's not a niche. To me, it doesn't have to be comprehensive, but it has to make an impact in unexpected places--say, sports history, or medieval history. Seems counterproductive to only tag the entries that already reflect an awareness of women's history. (This was one of the reasons I tried to get a lot of different countries represented in the first epic list. I'd rather see us touch on 5-10 entries for each place, for starters, than see 200 usual suspects for the US and none for South America, for example.)Penny Richards (talk) 14:54, 10 February 2011 (UTC)Penny Richards
This is something that has come up a lot over at WikiProject LGBT studies. Maybe have a look at the archives of Wikipedia talk:WikiProject LGBT studies. Off the top of my head, aside from the banner shell already mentioned, one of the things that helped was to add a variable so an explanation for why the banner is on a specific page could be included where needed. Siawase (talk) 15:01, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
One of the purposes of marking an article with a project banner is to provide oversight if questions arise on the talk page. If a dispute gets heated, a participant will often place a notice on the talk page of the projects listed so that members of the project can weigh in. To my mind, this is important, if one of our purposes is to counter gender bias, whether conscious or unconscious, that may arise in decision-making processes. Also, the assessment categories allow members to look for high-importance articles that need quality improvement. I don't think a banner should just be a sort of flier to raise awareness; it should reflect a commitment to participate actively in developing the article. The priority or importance rating is thus a tool for prioritizing attention. The number of banners matters less than the impact of the project on coverage of topics. Cynwolfe (talk) 17:50, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

Women on Wikipedia Week

There has been a suggestion on the gendergap mailing list that the Foundation hold some kind of event around March 8 (International Women's Day) to encourage new women editors to sign up. A provisional page has been opened on Meta to discuss this. Please see Women on Wikipedia Week, and its talk page. Although it's being called a week for now, it could be for a month. All input welcome. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 21:42, 11 February 2011 (UTC)

It's already become a month, which is a very good idea, and, to paraphrase Bella Abzug, maybe, if we're very good, we'll get a whole year (every year). Nick Levinson (talk) 03:27, 12 February 2011 (UTC)

Cleaning up the Project page

In the spirit of Being Bold, I have taken up Shane's challenge to clean up and format the project page. Here's what has been done so far:

I plan to do a Resources page next, but maybe not tonight. Let me know what else needs to be done! - PKM (talk) 03:30, 13 February 2011 (UTC)

This looks great and makes a lot of sense, thanks!Penny Richards (talk) 03:59, 13 February 2011 (UTC)Penny Richards
Thanks! - PKM (talk) 04:02, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
Resources page started. - PKM (talk) 05:14, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
Looks great, PKM--- thank you for taking the initiative on this. I like the Quick Menu a lot. A few thoughts for you and anyone else who wants to tackle organizational tasks:
  • I wonder whether the list of tasks (auto-generated by a bot) might also be usefully augmented by a separate Open Tasks page (either a complete list, or an auto-generated selected list). If you do that, it should be marked as auto-generated, like the assessment-count list is.
  • Right now, the "Expand" list of top importance is manually-generated, and it would be great if we could have it link to, for example, high-priority and top-priority articles at C-class and below, or something like that. (I agree that the current manually-linked articles on Women in the Middle Ages and Women in the Victorian era are important and could use work, but I'm concerned about giving the idea that those are the only articles with top priority.)
This is really important work, and I'm glad to see that someone's doing it. Thanks again. ---Shane Landrum (cliotropic | talk | contribs) 19:08, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the feedback. I think an Open Tasks page is a great idea. Bots and auto-generating lists are above my technical skill level - so far, anyway. Most of the project to do lists I looked at yesterday are manually updated. I encourage members to add items to the to do list.
I have been doing some work on categorization as well. I am still trying to figure out why unassessed articles don't appear in our statistics table and why Category: Women's History articles by quality and Category: Women's History articles by importance don't appear as subcategories of Category:WikiProject Women's History articles. Any experts out there? - PKM (talk) 19:38, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
See below. I'm also not an expert on the categorization thing, but I created a separate talk topic to try to flush out people who are. ---Shane Landrum (cliotropic | talk | contribs) 19:43, 13 February 2011 (UTC)

Thoughts on assessment and quality

So it occurred to me earlier today that when assessing articles and trying to improve their quality, it might be a good idea to think about what's more important: the high end or the low end. By that, I mean, is it more important to improve Florence Nightingale (currently around B class) to Featured Article status, or to deal with all the stubs and "start" level articles? In my opinion, both are necessary, but I think that the lower end is more necessary, to improve representation/visibility across the board. Thoughts? --Skud (talk) 22:14, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

Both are important and both will attract people with different skills and resources, so we need to encourage both types of work. If we get people with in depth knowledge and resources to reference an article AND has excellent writing skills then we should be encouraging them to go for good and feature articles status. Many, many more people will be able to create stubs and start class articles that can later be expanded to C or B articles, and that should be encouraged, too. Personally, I almost never create an article unless I have enough information to take it to a lengthy start or C level article. This gives me more personal satisfaction and helps me to be sure that my time will not be wasted because it is deleted for of lack of obvious notability (which unfortunately does happen.) FloNight♥♥♥♥ 22:33, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
Agreed about encouraging both types of work. I really like the way that WP:BIO has a template for auto-generating a "list of things you can do" list (Wikipedia:WikiProject_Biography/to_do ). In contrast to our current "big list", that one's got a small number of individually-small, accomplishable tasks, which I think makes WP:BIO's work seem more approachable. That template shows up as a right-side bar; perhaps we should consider something similar? ---Shane Landrum (cliotropic | talk | contribs) 00:41, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
I agree about the importance of both types of work, but I want to encourage the creation of new DYK-worthy start-class articles of 2000 characters or so on missing topics of high importance. These do a number of things:
  • Because of their visibility under DYK, they encourage other editors to jump in and contribute to our project.
  • They are a great way for new editors to get used to the lay of the land and start working in collaboration with other Wikipedians inside and outside of our project.
  • We can queue them up for an eventual DYK section on our project Portal.
- PKM (talk) 02:02, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
I had no idea about the Did You Know?/DYK process until reading these links. (For those reading who haven't followed: DYK is a section on the front page, and so lots of people will see our entries if we promote them that way.)
I like the idea of building start-class articles and writing DYK items about them as a way to pull in new editors. Is this something you'd be willing to pick up and run with? We've gotten lots of interest from people, but making it easy for new editors to contribute by setting out some easy tasks would be a really useful form of leadership. ---Shane Landrum (cliotropic | talk | contribs) 02:50, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
Not sure I have the bandwidth to take that on as a project, but I'll start a subpage Wikipedia:WikiProject Women's History/DYK with some explanations and useful links. I think we could also use a general subpage for new editors, as well. Let me work on those and see where this goes. - PKM (talk) 03:12, 11 February 2011 (UTC)

Task Force on Women in Technology

I've started a task force page on women in technology; you can view the draft on my user page. Comments and suggestions welcome! Regards, Tom Jepsen Tjepsen (talk) 03:57, 13 February 2011 (UTC)

Looks good, Tom. I'd move that material to a separate page in your user space, rather than your user page, and then link it up from our how-you-can-help section on the project page, from the task forces and subprojects page, and the main page navigation sidebar. Thanks for volunteering! ---Shane Landrum (cliotropic | talk | contribs) 15:10, 14 February 2011 (UTC)


We have just reached a milestone – 2500 articles have been tagged for this project! That's great progress. However, only 112 of them have been assessed for quality and importance. To help editors decide what to work on first, it is important that we identify our Top- and High-importance articles. Can you help? - PKM (talk) 00:06, 14 February 2011 (UTC)

I've been categorizing articles by class (quality) and importance in a somewhat random order. Even when I don't know a lot about an entry topic, I feel like I can tell pretty well whether it's important or not, and I've been using other projects' quality assessments when they exist. I've also been marking entries with some of the Expert needed templates when I see that their relevance to women's history is unclear to me. See, for example, Abbey of Santa María la Real de Las Huelgas and its talk page. ---Shane Landrum (cliotropic | talk | contribs) 01:12, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
Speaking of progress... I wrote a stub for Irina Bugrimova from the requested articles list. Please improve. :) Steven Walling 04:06, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
Great! - PKM (talk) 20:58, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

Peer review

Have you recently worked on an article that could use a second opinion about its quality? Trying to get the assessed quality of an article upgraded? Read about the request for comments (RfC) process on Wikipedia, post an RfC to that article's talk page, and link it here.

If you review an article and think it merits an upgraded quality ranking, go ahead and upgrade it to anything other than Good Article or Featured Article, and congratulate the editor(s) who improved it here.---Shane Landrum (cliotropic | talk | contribs) 04:56, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

  • Important Note: The process you want for this is Wikipedia:Peer review not RfC. The RfC process is for dispute resolution concerning problematic areas of the article over which two or more editors disagree. Voceditenore (talk) 09:13, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. (I'm so glad there are more-Wikipedia-experienced people helping out here!) ---Shane Landrum (cliotropic | talk | contribs) 22:43, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

Who is in scope?

We now have over 3300 pages tagged as within the scope of our project, and I think we need to set some criteria for inclusion. Is Madonna (entertainer) in scope? Patricia Arquette? Every duchess, countess, princess, and queen of anywhere at any time, no matter how little is known about her life? Katharine Hepburn and Jane Austen, of course, but every actress and female novelist?

I don't have a good answer to this. I am curious what others think. - PKM (talk) 21:39, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

I agree that every single obscure actress and princess does not need to be included. But I also think that there's some value in hitting some of those entries, and making them good. I find that lesser-known figures can actually have more interesting, useful stories than the super-famous folks, for the purposes of teaching women's history. So I prefer the idea of scattering seeds--a few here, a few there, across places and times and fields of endeavor--rather than giving all the project's attention to the entries that already have (or will get) plenty of attention. (And yes, I do realize this approach isn't nearly so easy a standard to implement or organize. But I'll gladly to be one of those working on the more obscure end of things.)Penny Richards (talk) 03:32, 16 February 2011 (UTC)Penny Richards
I concur with Penny. I think that the Wikipedia:Notability standards are probably a good guideline in considering the "no matter how little is known about her life" women. (Keeping in mind, of course, that one of the important contributions of academic women's history has been the reappraisal of standards about what makes a woman "important.") I also think that items that are low-importance for the project as a whole, once we can get them marked as such, could still be good items for undergrads to work on as part of academic coursework...
...Also, "Who's in scope?" can exist alongside "What's most important to work on now?". I'd like to see us liberally mark "important" women (however one might define that) and time-period or place-focused articles (e.g. Women in the Victorian era, Women during the Reformation) as Top or High importance and begin trying to bring those items up in quality. New editors should realize that an "importance=low" assessment isn't once and for all; it's just a measure of where someone thinks new editors should look first to edit. At least that's my perspective. ---Shane Landrum (cliotropic | talk | contribs) 04:15, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

New Project pages

I've created three new pages to start assembling items to go in future Portal on women's history. I know a Portal is still somewhat down the line, but it takes quite a while to assemble the ingredients, so I thought I'd make a start. You'll find them here:

Voceditenore (talk) 19:20, 19 February 2011 (UTC)

That's terrific, thanks! - PKM (talk) 19:24, 19 February 2011 (UTC)

Category:Sexism in historical articles

I just noticed Wife selling on the featured article list and first thing I thought was - is that under Category:Sexism? It wasn't. I put it there. Let's see how long it stays. Is getting this sort of thing [added later: sexism in historical articles] in that (and other related appropriate categories, whatever they may be) something that is better addressed/fought on Wikipedia:WikiProject Feminism, or here, or both?? Thanks. CarolMooreDC (talk) 22:42, 20 February 2011 (UTC)

There's currently a big discussion going on re Category:Sexism and a slew of other "bias categories" at Categories for discussion which people might find interesting. Might be worth waiting until the dust settles on that issue. In general though, if seeking consensus on a particular category or issue in an article, it's usually best to keep the discussion to that article's talk page and notify relevant projects about the discussion so that indvidual members can participate there. If it's a general issue about categorization, then it is stll better to keep it in one place, possibly a particular project's talk page and notify other relevant projects so they can participate there. Otherwise, the discussions become very hard to keep track of or reach any consensus. In the latter case, I'd suggest WikiProject Feminism. But that's just my opinion. Voceditenore (talk) 07:11, 21 February 2011 (UTC)
Already reverted, but I added it back with a dictionary definition of sexism as edit summary. If you read the article, the reversion was correct in the sense that it seems that at times the practice may have simply been a way to get around the lack of legal divorce, and at other times it was well... wife selling. I'm not going to edit war over it, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's removed simply on the grounds that it's a pretty loose editorial judgement call. Steven Walling 07:12, 21 February 2011 (UTC)
Re: Bias Categories discussion, I did point out that a recent WP:BLP talk proposal to remove individuals from bias categories was shot down, by some of same people with same argument in both discussions, which basically is they want to be able to apply Category:Antisemitism to (alleged) antisemitic individuals and organizations, as well as theories/practices/laws/etc. So my attitude now is, what's good for the goose is good for the gander.
I brought this here because it was a historical women's issue, thus I've expanded title and noted that in my first statement. Thinking about it since then, I think editors working out of this category should be able to bring questions/suggestions about adding category:sexism to an historical article here, if this is the project they work out of. Sometimes articles needing it will be found by someone on this project, sometimes on the other. Don't ban such discussions from either.
To see the most complete back and for on arguments on sexism and wife selling, see this Feminism project discussion (repeated in part on the Wife Selling talk page). CarolMooreDC (talk) 18:10, 21 February 2011 (UTC)

Various things

I'm glad I spotted this Wikiproject. About time someone started this. I'm hoping for some help!

  1. It's shameful that Marianne von Willemer is a redlink. Fortunately, have already done the hard work for us, here. I've been working up a translation of it in User:S Marshall/Sandbox, but it's slow going. Anyone either (a) speak German and fancy helping, or (b) have relevant sources to help develop it?
  2. Tip: If you're stuck for a women's history article to write or translate, check User:T. Anthony/Women in Red.
  3. I learned about this Wikiproject when someone assessed Anna Dorothea Therbusch (for which thank you!) Other articles I've translated from foreign Wikipedias that are relevant to this Wikiproject and need assessment and, if you have sources, development, include: Alice Salomon | Charlotte von Hagn | Cyprienne Dubernet | Danielle Casanova | Dominique Papety | Elisabet Boehm | Elisabeth Schwarzhaupt | Elisabeth Selbert | Emma Ihrer | Erna Scheffler | Esther von Kirchbach | Evelyn Haas | Hedwig Dransfeld | Helene Weber | Ingeborg Drewitz | Leopoldine Konstantin | Maria Probst

All the best—S Marshall T/C 01:58, 20 February 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for pointing those out; tagged and assessed. - PKM (talk) 07:05, 20 February 2011 (UTC)|
I got Christine Teusch. The others are probably in scope if they are no longer living and meet Wikipedia's notability standards; the consensus is to cast a wide net at this stage. Feel free to tag them for the project and assess for importance according the the project's guidelines if you like, though someone other than the translator/editor should assess for quality. Or you can add them to our to-be-tagged page.
We have quite a backlog of assessments at the moment. Thanks for your enthusiasm! - PKM (talk) 19:06, 20 February 2011 (UTC)
Nope, those ladies are all alive at the moment. I won't tag them.—S Marshall T/C 20:11, 20 February 2011 (UTC)
I agree. There's so much work to do just improving and creating articles on dead women (for want of a better word), it's a good idea to restrict the project those. Bannering an article is a commitment to "look after it" to a certain extent, and living people can be a massive pain, trust me. The only exception I would make would be living historians who have specialised in or made significant contributions to the study of women's history. Re assessment, it's generally OK to assess an article that you've created as either "stub" or "start". It's only for the higher ranks that an independent editor should assess. Voceditenore (talk) 06:50, 21 February 2011 (UTC)

Bannering and assessment concerns

I'm a little concerned about the page-bannering drive and the criteria for bannering in the first place. This is an extremely small project at the moment with very few active members, some of which are quite new to Wikipedia. On top of that the project's founder has indicated on their blog:

"I’m not at all interested in “running” this project actively (as if anyone can “manage” anything on Wikipedia.) I got things started with this project, but I don’t have time to play an active role right now."

There are now over 5000 unassessed articles bannered by this project. There are even more which haven't been assessed for importance. I assessed about 35 of them the other day, but with later bannering the number has continued to grow. There is now a backlog which will be impossible to clear without the help of a bot and even then the bot can only assess the class (based on the class given by other projects or the presence of a stub tag). It cannot assess importance. There must be at least 50 thousand articles that are either about women or historical subjects related to women. Is mass-bannering this the best way to use members' time? Is it going to create more problems than it solves? There are some possible ways to approach this. Which are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

1. Call a moratorium on mass-bannering.

2. Restrict bannering only to historic, i.e. deceased, women apart from very exceptional cases, and in general be a bit more selective

3. Don't banner without assessing both class and importance too. At least it will keep the backlog from growing.

- Voceditenore (talk) 09:19, 25 February 2011 (UTC)

Backlogs have not stopped wikiprojects such as "Middle Ages" or "Archaeology" from either locating relevant articles or making it easier to adress discussions on their talk pages. Which I think is more important than a mere assessment. It is appaling how many of these articles either have discussions for deletion or unadressed concerns by editors. The lack of images even for well-known figures is a lesser problem.

Being dead is not particularly meaningful for their historic importance. As part of a previous "mass bannering", I tried to locate figures who have played an important part in the recent political or cultural developments of just about any country on the planet. I don't see why Leymah Gbowee, largely responsible for ending the Second Liberian Civil War, is less significant because she is still living. The efforts of Aminatou Haidar as a rights' activist over twenty years are any less significant because her life has not ended yet?

Quick assessments have the problem that no one else checks the article and offers ideas on how to improve it. Dimadick (talk) 11:32, 25 February 2011 (UTC)

The two examples you cited were what I would consider exceptional cases under 2. above, and I would have bannered them too. If people are happy with practically all the articles being unassessed for a very long time, that's fine by me. Besides, bannering as many as possible, is also the only way to insure that the project will be alerted to relevant deletion and article discussions. It's also the only way we kind use the Cleanup listing tools 1 & 2 The only thing we might want to consider is getting a bot to automatically asssess as "stub" all articles which have a stub tag or stub rating from another project. Otherwise, it's going to take a long time discover which potentially interesting articles are waiting to be expanded. Voceditenore (talk) 16:30, 25 February 2011 (UTC)
I believe we can set our banner to automatically assess quality based on other projects' assessments. Do we want to turn that feature on?
I do think we should un-banner articles like Patricia Arquette. - PKM (talk) 22:56, 25 February 2011 (UTC)
I was going to suggest Karrine Steffans myself. — Malik Shabazz Talk/Stalk 22:35, 26 February 2011 (UTC)
To be removed? If so, I agree and Patricia Arquette. These are not in the same league as Aminatou Haidar and Leymah Gbowee or Pauline Bebe, the first female rabbi in France and Catherine Destivelle, the first woman to complete a solo ascent of the Eiger's north face.
Re automatic assessment, yes I think we need to do this. Project members can always go back re-assess some by hand. Note that there are 893,279 biography articles alone. If at a conservative estimate, only 5% are of women, we're talking about eventually bannering at least 40,000 biographies, if we include every single woman living or dead, regardless of the historic significance or impact of the living ones. If that's the case then the project should really be renamed WikiProject Women. That's OK too, but it doesn't seem like what the original idea was. Voceditenore (talk) 11:46, 27 February 2011 (UTC)
I have tagged Despina Storch, which will be one of the DYKs for International Women's Day. I agree we should focus on historical women and women who have "made history", however generously one may choose to define that. - PKM (talk) 19:15, 27 February 2011 (UTC)
To the various concerns expressed above: I like the idea of auto-assessing quality as a short-term solution. I think that focusing on women who have "made history" is a fine policy for biographical entries, but I'd also like to see us come up with some good social-history articles to cover subjects other than "women worthies" (On the ways that academic women's history has turned toward, then away from a "women worthies" approach, see, e.g., Bonnie Smith's The Gender of History.) These might be about women's lives and social/political/legal status in various times and places, or they might be historical sections of other articles (e.g. Prostitution#History). It's okay for this to be a smallish project for a while; as I've explained to college-faculty acquaintances, even if we were working "fast" (whatever that is) we're looking at a multi-year project. Slow and steady is better than nothing at all.---Shane Landrum (cliotropic | talk | contribs) 17:49, 4 March 2011 (UTC)
Trust me, auto-assessment of class is not a short-term solution, it's going to be a medium to long-term solution, given the number of articles that have already been bannered, and the number of active members here. Even though 1000 have been assessed, there are still over 5,400 completely unassessed. I'd strongly recommend activating the "auto assess" parameter in the banner. Otherwise, we'll have no idea which articles are stubs. This is key in terms of focusing on expanding articles. There may be some very important/interesting articles out there languishing as stubs. Plus if you expand an old article 5x, you can submit it as a DYK, just like a new one. Having a list of stubs is also useful for students to work on as class projects. But how will we know they're there, unless we get them assessed? I also agree that we should also be looking for articles on topics, not just people. I've just bannered Wedding and Arranged marriage. These have no or very woeful historical perspective. Voceditenore (talk) 19:37, 4 March 2011 (UTC)
I looked into auto-assessment, and setting that up is beyond my technical skills. Anyone know anyone who can help? - PKM (talk) 04:17, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
The auto-assessment parameter will only indicate that the assessment was done automatically, rather than by hand. To have articles auto-assessed, you need to have a "bot" do the actual assessment. I've found a bot which can do this for us (User:Xenobot Mk V) , provided we have project consensus for it. I've started a new section below, Auto-assessment, explaining briefly how the bot works, the options, and a place for members to express their views. Note that the bot will only assess the quality rating of the articles, not their importance to the project. That should be done by hand. Voceditenore (talk) 08:27, 5 March 2011 (UTC)


I'm setting this up as separate section, as the person operating the assessing bot (User:Xenobot Mk V) needs evidence that there is project consensus for this. Basically the bot can do two tasks relevant to what we've been discussing. (See Bannering and assessment concerns above.)

1. It adds an assessment rating (quality rating only) to our banner on each talk page which is inherited from the assessment on other project banners on the page.
2. It adds an automatic stub rating based on the use of a stub template on the article page itself. (Useful when there are no ratings on any of the talk page banners)

Please indicate below your view on proceding with this. Voceditenore (talk) 08:14, 5 March 2011 (UTC)

Member views

  • Support both 1 and 2. – Voceditenore (talk) 08:14, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Support both - a very reasonable way to proceed. As has been pointed out above assessments can always be changed; this will give us a baseline much more quickly than we can do by hand. LadyofShalott 12:49, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Support both (assuming the quality rating is only inherited from other assessments / the existence of a stub when there is consensus in what is already there). Dsp13 (talk) 13:15, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Support 1 and 2. Thanks for organizing this, Voceditenore. ---Shane Landrum (cliotropic | talk | contribs) 14:41, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Support both 1 and 2. Have to start someplace, eh?Penny Richards (talk) 15:45, 5 March 2011 (UTC)Penny Richards
  • Support 2, but strongly oppose 1, if I'm understanding it correctly (and I may not be). I would prefer that the default quality assessment rating on our banner be "unassessed," pending an actual assessment by a member of the project, or perhaps "start". I have two main reasons for this:
    • If our purpose is to make sure that articles reflect the perspective of women's history (including and especially iin areas where that perspective may be lacking at present), it seems entirely possible that an article could've been rated B-class and yet fail to represent the role of women at all. A "B" rating on our project banner would give the misleading impression that we think this is OK.
    • Some articles have been rated rather capriciously, and I don't see any reason to confirm those kinds of ratings automatically. I think this is important in establishing the integrity and gravitas of our new project (to which I hope to contribute more actively when I finish up some other things). Cynwolfe (talk) 16:10, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
      • Comment I don't know if this will allay some of your concerns, but when the auto-assess parameter is activated on the WH banner template, all articles which have been automatically assessed will display the following notice on our banner:

        This article has been automatically rated by a bot or other tool because one or more other projects use this class. Please ensure the assessment is correct before removing the |auto= parameter.

        You can see an example of what it looks like at Talk:120th meridian west in the banner for WikiProject Geography. Thus it makes clear that this isn't our stamp of approval. Also, all articles which have been automatically assessed will be put into a category so they can be easily found by project editors who want to go back and do a manual re-assessment. There's an example at Category:Automatically assessed Geography articles. Voceditenore (talk) 17:02, 5 March 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for your care in addressing my concerns. I know this will mark me as hopelessly old-fashioned, but I still think that the quality assessment is something that should be done manually or not at all, and so I prefer a default of "unassessed" — though I'm happy to defer to someone who's done so much good work on opera, a subject that brings me pleasure. Cynwolfe (talk) 18:50, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Support 2, oppose 1. I agree with Cynwolfe -- part of our mission is to deal with underrepresentation of women on Wikipedia. Things that might be considered "GA" class by another project might be "start" for us. For example, History of the United Kingdom during World War 1 is in this state. --Skud (talk) 20:12, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
  • GA and FA assessments are not done by one project. They are rather different from other quality assessments. An article that has a GA rating should be GA for all projects, or none. LadyofShalott 21:21, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Well, in that case, "A" or "B" rating. My point remains. --Skud (talk) 04:05, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
  • That's a good point, but in a way automatic assessment can be a help here. It will throw up a list of all the WH articles with an A or B rating from other projects. At the moment, we have no real idea how many there are or where they are. Such a list allows the project to then prioritise those articles for re-assessment by hand. Voceditenore (talk) 07:09, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Support both 1 and 2, although I understand Cynwolfe's objections. On balance, I think autoassessing is better than leaving unassessed. - PKM (talk) 21:12, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Support both 1 and 2 -- Lady Meg (talk) 21:38, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Support 1 and 2 I'm sensitive to the concerns raised by Cynwolfe and Skud, but I agree with PKM: autoassessed is better than unassessed. — Malik Shabazz Talk/Stalk 05:45, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
I guess I need to hear why "unassessed" is a bad thing. I get the sense that I'm missing something. I was just involved with delisting a GA that was clearly not much better than start — and not because the article had deteriorated from the time of its rating. I never determined why its rating was so inflated, but it could be that standards were lower earlier in WP's short history. I've also been told that relatively few editors need to participate in arriving at a GA; FA is another matter, but again, if the point is that there's unconscious bias and the omission of women's perspectives because of gender imbalance, an article could certainly rise even to FA without the question having been raised. To take Skud's excellent example of History of the United Kingdom during World War 1: for me, a Women's History banner that says "unassessed" makes it clear that the project takes no position on whether the article reflects our goals and priorities. Automatically going along with the GA says "well, that's OK." I don't mean to be hardheaded. I really am trying to figure out why I differ on this issue. Cynwolfe (talk) 15:10, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
I agree with you about GA in general, it's very capricious. I would also agree about the "stamp of approval" thing if the banner didn't make clear that the rating was auto-assessed. But in terms of getting this project off the ground and highlighting articles which need close scrutiny, a clear idea is needed of which articles have been rated what (out of the thousands that have been bannered). In other words, it would actually facilitate human-assessment rather than hindering it. Anyhow, that's the reason I favour it, although I can't speak for others. Voceditenore (talk) 17:37, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Support 1 and 2 but somewhat reluctantly. Manual review would be preferable, but I understand the issues involved in reviewing thousands of entries. I do have serious concerns about the quality of reviews in general. For example, the entry on Sarah Bagley, someone I think is clearly an important figure in the history of women's rights in the U.S., lists two different dates of death for her in different places, together with a statement that her date of death is unknown. Yet this entry has been rated as a "B". This is not the level of quality I would aim for. Tjepsen (talk) 21:30, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
I'd be curious if all those conflicting dates were there when the article was first assessed as B-class. But yes, that's appalling. And theoretically, easy to fix. - PKM (talk) 23:15, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose 1. If an article is GA or FA, the person adding the banner can add those assessments. Otherwise, assessments are wildly subjective (even GA is), so there's just no point in repeating them unless they make sense to the reviewer. I see no harm in having articles unassessed. Support 2. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS
  • Partially Oppose 1, *Support 2. As a general rule, I remain cautious of bots, but they do serve a purpose. I like the idea of the banner being automatically added, but I am unsure as to whether the automatic ranking will be successful in practise for reasons mentioned by others above. 23:19, 6 March 2011 (UTC)—Zujine|talk 02:01, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Support 2, and oppose 1 for the reasons stated by Cynwolfe and others. The assessment in another area may be totally inappropriate under Women's History. USchick (talk) 00:54, 9 March 2011 (UTC)

Summary and suggestion

I had notified all 28 members of this discussion on March 5th. Five days have passed and so far 14 have responded.

  • All 14 members who responded support Option 2 (automatic stub tagging)
  • 9 members (about 64%) also support Option 1 (automatic assessment based on inherited assessment from other projects), while 5 oppose it. I don't think this option has consensus at the moment. I'd be very uncomfortable going ahead with anything less than 90% approval on something like this. I also doubt if we are going to get any more respondants at this point which would signifcantly change these proportions.

So, I suggest I arrange automatic stub tagging with a bot, and leave Option 1 to be revisited at some later date if anyone thinks it would be worthwhile. One option we might want to consider in the future is automatic inheritance of start class only, although this takes slightly more elaborate instructions to the bot owner. Does this sound like a plan? Best, Voceditenore (talk) 16:03, 10 March 2011 (UTC)

This sounds like a good course of action to me. Upon reading the discussions about Option 2--- specifically about the concern that other projects might rate an article higher than this project would--- that seems like a good reason to wait on autoassessment. I agree that we should leave the issue open for now, though I also like the idea of automated start-class assessment. ---Shane Landrum (cliotropic | talk | contribs) 23:42, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
Agreed, especially since the proportion of opposition to Option 1 is higher after the detailed articulation of concerns. - PKM (talk) 03:11, 11 March 2011 (UTC)

Roundup blog posts: leadership + promotion

I've just written a roundup blog post about the first week of WP:WMNHIST for 2 reasons:

  • I want people on the non-WP web to know what we've been up to
  • I have some comments that don't fit easily into the margins of the talk page, specifically the tail section about my lack of time to play an active project-leaderish role.

Those of you who have blogs and want to write similar roundup posts every so often--- I suggest Fridays or Saturdays, to keep them roughly weekly--- would be providing an important service to this project. If you write one, please follow up with a link here and below my post so that others can find it. ---Shane Landrum (cliotropic | talk | contribs) 17:08, 11 February 2011 (UTC)

I'm going to be a guest blogger on for a few weeks, starting late February, and I'm thinking of using some of my posts to point folks here--I was invited aboard to write about the history of women and science, among other topics, so it should fit fine to point out some women scientists who need entries, or the new taskforce on the history of women and technology, that kind of thing.Penny Richards (talk) 04:07, 13 February 2011 (UTC)Penny Richards
Great idea! Also, it's currently Black History Month, and National Women's History Month (US) is coming up in March. The NWHM theme this year is "Our History is Our Strength," and it would be great to connect people's interest in that together with our project. ---Shane Landrum (cliotropic | talk | contribs) 19:13, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
I'm mentioning the WikiProject Women's History a lot during my guestblogging stint, on now at scientopia.Penny Richards (talk) 17:10, 7 March 2011 (UTC)Penny Richards

"Women in history" wikipedia categories: creating more?

I find myself wanting to use category-based entries lists to audit our coverage goals. If we're trying to be a globally-relevant project, we'll need some of these. For example, I know Wikipedia coverage of women in African history is lacking, but without coverage numbers over time it'll be difficult for us to count how we're doing at rectifying that.

I'm looking now at the Categories section on our project page, which is apparently auto-generated for all Wikipedia categories which are sub-categories of "Women in history". The list is idiosyncratic (to put it politely.) There's "women by century" but not a comprehensive category structure for historical topics on women. I could see several possibilities (and this is just a draft, but):

  • Women by continent and country
    • Women in African history (alternately, "History of women in Africa"? etc.)
      • Women in Egyptian history
      • Women in Sudanese history
      • Women in Senegalese history
      • etc
    • Women in North American history
    • Women in South American history
    • Women in European history
      • etc
  • Women by occupation
    • Artist
    • Author
    • Mother
    • Spinster
    • Barrister / Solicitor / Lawyer
    • etc

From a quick look at Wikipedia:FAQ/Categorization I gather that the Wikipedia Category creation process is oddly political, and I wouldn't want to go bulk-creating categories without knowing the wikipolitics of that. It doesn't look to me like the current subprojects of WikiProject Categories are thinking about this very hard, and perhaps we should do some outreach over there so that we can get the categories we need.

Could experienced Wikipedians who know how this works explain it a little and suggest where we should go from here? ---Shane Landrum (cliotropic | talk | contribs) 19:39, 13 February 2011 (UTC)

Yes, the categories box I added to the project page is autogenerated. Category:Women by occupation does exist; I can add a box for that to the page if you like, or make a separate project subpage for categories and categorization discussion. Just let me know.
Categorization is pretty much a free-for-all; individual editors can create a category just by adding it to an article page. Categorization is bottom-up, not top-down. I'll add some reference links to our Resources page.
By the way, a couple of tricks:
  • To talk about a category rather than adding our talk page to the category, put a colon in front of the work "category", like so: [[:Category:Women by occupation]] gives Category:Women by occupation.
  • To shorten the name, use a "pipe" (vertical bar): [[:Category:Women by occupation|Women by occupation]] gives Women by occupation. (In external links (single brackets), it's a space; in wikilinks (double brackets), it's a pipe. Very confusing.)
- PKM (talk) 19:58, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
Okay, that's helpful. I've done a little outreach to some of the WikiProject Categories people on individual talkpages--- mostly people with experience recategorizing things--- but I'm also going to mention their talkpage template so that maybe some of them will see it and offer suggestions. {{WikiProject Categories}}
It'll be easier in the long run for us to identify existing categories and how we're going to use them (creating and restructuring as necessary), rather than trying to build our own system and having to re-do it later.
I've never seen a task that made me wish for a good library/info-sciences person more. If you know some, ask them to come help us here! ---Shane Landrum (cliotropic | talk | contribs) 20:09, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
I've added Category:Women by occupation to the categories list on the project page. Anyone who'd like to audit the existing Categories system for other big category trees relevant to our work should feel free to do so and then add those to the project page as well. ---Shane Landrum (cliotropic | talk | contribs) 20:18, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
Another oddity I just noticed: Among the subcategories for Category:Women by occupation are Category:Women by occupation and nationality and Category:Women by nationality and occupation. There's a Wikipedia policy on Categorization by gender, race, and sexuality which may be of use to anyone who wants to untangle this. ---Shane Landrum (cliotropic | talk | contribs) 00:46, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
I may be interested in taking this on, if real life permits. mheart (talk) 18:25, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
I like your organization by continent, then country, state, etc. I would only list "Women in (state) history" if the woman in question had a significant impact to the state, rather than see her location is that state and automatically categorize her as significant under the state category. The occupation categories as they are, I disagree with. How about "Women in (occupational) history" categories instead? They would specify that the woman was significant in that occupation rather than simply identify her as, for example, a female lawyer. Categories would fall under the following tree:
  • Women in North American History
    • Women in American history
      • Women in American occupational history
        • Women in American engineering history
    • Women in Canadian history
      • Women in Canadian occupational history
        • Women in Canadian engineering history
    • Women in Mexican history
      • Women in Mexican occupational history
        • Womeen in Mexican engineering history
And so on. The hierarchy of those categories would keep articles specifically placed and easily browsed. I'd list "American women's rights activists" under "Women in American history" since the women's rights movement has been directly historically significant to the US, for example. Let me know if you want to implement this and I'll do my best to help! mheart (talk) 18:25, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
See Tjepsen's comment below. Categorizing according to country could confuse readers browsing the categories, since a woman could cross country boundaries, change citizenships, or affect multiple cities or countries. mheart (talk) 17:52, 23 February 2011 (UTC)

"Women in Egyptian history"? We already have a category on "Ancient Egyptian women" with well-populated subcategories. 6 "God's Wives of Amun" (high priestesses), 14 articles on other "Ancient Egyptian priestesses", 9 articles on "Ancient Egyptian women in warfare", 63 articles on "Ancient Egyptian priestesses", and 155 articles on "Ancient Egyptian queens" consort. Its one of the areas of women's history that gets the best coverage and sourcing. It is too bad that all this attention has not expanded to include Late Antique and medieval women. Dimadick (talk) 10:14, 14 February 2011 (UTC)

That's a totally fair point. "Women in Egyptian history" was a category I pulled out of my hat, and it's clear from your response that there's good coverage on aspects of women's history in Ancient Egypt. It's also clear to me from the task forces page that we've got quite a few participants interested in the history of women in antiquity and the medieval period. Perhaps you'd be interested in collaborating to identify what still needs to be done on those topics? ---Shane Landrum (cliotropic | talk | contribs) 15:00, 14 February 2011 (UTC)

Perhaps in occupations can we add "Athlete"? Although, it might be better to create a separate "Women in Sport's History" category, to cover coaches/owners/etc as well as notable female athletes who may not have necessarily made their living via sports. Fann8172 (talk) 21:22, 18 February 2011 (UTC)Fann8172

I would be cautious about developing too fine a granularity of categorization. One of the reasons I created the category of "Women in Technology" was to have a category that was broad enough in scope to capture the many modes and forms of participation of women in technology that aren't easily captured by traditional categories. These women seem to be natural-born boundary-transgressors. Hedy Lamarr, for example, Austrian by birth, American citizen, actress by occupation, inventor (in her spare time!) of spread-spectrum wireless technology. Nora Stanton Blatch Barney, born in Britain, American citizen, suffragist, educated as civil engineer. The list goes on... Don't want to add to the confusion, but it helps to think in terms of overlapping sets/categories, rather that hierarchical tree structures. Just a few random thoughts...Tjepsen (talk) 21:47, 19 February 2011 (UTC)

This is a good point. It would be difficult to categorize an article about a woman who was born in one country and migrated to another, for example. mheart (talk) 17:52, 23 February 2011 (UTC)


Hi, could we start compiling a list of tagged articles that also need to be translated into other languages (whether they are in English originally or in another language)?

Inaquandry (talk) 23:07, 13 February 2011 (UTC)inaquandry Feb 13 2011

Here's a page to Request translations. - PKM (talk) 23:47, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
THanks, PKM. I've suggested some, and put links to a useful tool on the page. Dsp13 (talk) 22:55, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, PKM. One thing people could do to improve our coverage of women outside the English-speaking world would be to check on the existence of entries relevant to this project in other-language Wikipedias (especially items already on our list) and add them to the for-translation-to-English list there. ---Shane Landrum (cliotropic | talk | contribs) 03:58, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
One thing to watch out for. "Foreign" Wikipedia articles are often very poorly referenced, and many of them not at all. Wikipedia cannot be used to reference itself, so I would avoid working on those articles which are unreferenced or very poorly referenced in the originals, unless you also want to spend a lot of time referencing as well as translating them. If not, the new page patrollers will almost invariably tag them with {{unreferenced}} and if they are biographies of living persons or contain significant amounts of such material, they will be automatically proposed for deletion if they are unreferenced. See Wikipedia:Proposed deletion of biographies of living people. Voceditenore (talk) 09:56, 16 February 2011 (UTC)


A lot of projects encourage DYK participation for new/5x-expanded articles within their purview, and may provide a place to try to keep track of them. Is that something members here are interested in? (FWIW, Jeanne Galzy just earned one.) LadyofShalott 04:39, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

Absolutely! We've got a DYK/Did-You-Know page already, and it would be great if anyone wanted to put a bit more effort into doing DYKs and teaching the many new contributors here how to help. ---Shane Landrum (cliotropic | talk | contribs) 04:45, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Very good! I had not seen that page. I've just added the Jeanne Galzy DYK to it. (I do not volunteer to help anyone navigate that particular section of WP. It's not quite my thing, but I'm glad it is others'.) LadyofShalott 04:52, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
  • I've just added several more to the "new" column, and quite a few to the "old" column. Two things...To go in the future portal, the DYKs (or anything else) needn't be from articles bannered with your project or only created after your project began. They simply need to be relevant to the subject matter of the portal. Portals are about a subject not a particular project. Secondly, it will be a lot easier to find these by looking through the DYK archives, which you'll find at Wikipedia:Recent additions. You can simply browse or use the archive's search function. Voceditenore (talk) 09:48, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

Some more suggestions

First of all, I think this is a great idea for a project, and long overdue. I've added my name to the participants. I write mostly about historical (18th – early 20th century) operas and opera singers on Wikipedia, but opera singers are one group here where women's contributions aren't hidden. They created the major roles in operas and quite a few of them went on to found their own opera companies. I'm very active in WikiProject Opera and most of my energies are concentrated there, but I'll be happy to help out on this project where I can. I do sometimes write biographies on non-opera-singing women, mostly to rescue articles that about to go under for lack of referencing or seeming non-notability, e.g. Catherine Destivelle and Yael S. Feldman. I've made various suggestions/comments in other sections of this page, but I just thought I'd list a few more here.... Voceditenore (talk) 14:47, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

I personally think your approach to cast the net widely for now is probably a good idea, and I don't consider it spamming. Penny Richards, I thought the way you handled it on your talk page was fine. One thing I would suggest, is that when you create new articles, make sure you also add at least one banner for another relevant project (in addition to the Biography project banner, which is pretty generic). Voceditenore (talk) 14:47, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

I'd also suggest that after you have an idea what's "out there" via bannering and get your project underway, you then start weeding out some of the articles. For a small project, it's an awful lot to look after and prioritise. In that respect, some of the other projects can be of help to you in suggesting which ones are more historically significant in that area or likely to reflect an interesting life. Once you grow, you can always take on more. Voceditenore (talk) 19:17, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

Copyright guidelines/Student projects

If you are planning to encourage school/college students to edit here, you might want to direct them to copyright issues and guidelines, because in my experience this is where they frequently come a cropper (in fact, new editors in general). I've written a set of tips etc. on copyright for the Opera Project here which you might find useful. Also, if you want to reach out to current or past student projects, check out Wikipedia:School and university projects. Voceditenore (talk) 14:47, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

Other help with assessemnt

The peer review process can have quite a backlog. Another way to get help with asessing a new or recently expanded article in a less formal way, is to drop a note on the talk page of another project which has also bannered it. One of their experienced members may well be happy to look it over for you. Voceditenore (talk) 16:17, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

Cleanup listing

I have requested and received an automated cleanup listing for our project. This will be updated on a regular basis (I'm not sure how often this new bot runs).

Notes on the list:

  • Articles will appear on this listing when:
    • They have our project banner on their talk pages.
    • Any editor has added one or more Wikipedia template messages ("cleanup tags") to the article.
  • There are links to the full list under "cleanup" on our to-do list.
  • The list can be used to identify articles for group cleanup efforts and to identify articles to be added individually to our to-do list.
    • For example, I have added a selection of individual articles assessed Mid-importance or higher to our to-do list under the type of cleanup needed. (Note that any editor can add other articles to the to-do list at any time.)
  • The list will be more useful as more articles are assessed.

- PKM (talk) 19:15, 19 February 2011 (UTC)

Did You Know items for International Women's Day?

I have nominated The Monument of Matrones for Did You Know and suggested holding it for March 8, International Women's Day. (See the nomination here).

Can we pull together a couple of others for that day? - PKM (talk) 03:33, 23 February 2011 (UTC)

What do you need for a DYK? Is it too late to offer something? Penny Richards (talk) 03:51, 26 February 2011 (UTC)Penny Richards
Hi Penny, there's more about the process at Wikipedia:WikiProject Women's History/Did You Know. Basically, the article needs to be a minimum of 1600 characters in length. Here's a useful tool for counting them [2]. It also has to be a new article and nominated no more than 5 days after it was first created. The hook must have an inline reference to support it, and in general the article must be well-referenced. The Monument of Matrones is an excellent example of what to aim for. Here's what the nomination looked like [3]. If you create the article I'll be happy to check it over and nominate it. Voceditenore (talk) 17:38, 26 February 2011 (UTC)
Not quite ready to create articles yet--getting warmed up to the idea, but not in time for this year's International Women's Day! But I thank you for the details, very clear; and maybe someone else was also wondering. Penny Richards (talk) 20:14, 26 February 2011 (UTC)Penny Richards

Anne Sharp

I see someone has tagged the entry I recently put up on my mother as of (low) interest to this project. As she is still alive (94) and has an excellent memory, I could probably expand the article in relevant areas if I knew what the project was looking for.

She was an opera singer who began her career late, in part because of the war. She got two big breaks one after the other and was very much on her way. Then she met my dad. Much as I loved my dad, I still think, why, Mum? His job meant he had to live 450 miles from where she would have worked, and anyway it wasn't quite the thing for ministers' wives to be on the stage. She returned to London to give more performances, and some people in the village were extremely bitchy about it. Then she had a miscarriage, then she got pregnant with me. She had to give it all up. All she did for the next 20 years was local stuff with amateur choirs. She got dragged into teaching music, then into primary school teaching. What a waste, really.

She had a fabulous voice, and only a five-year career. Nowadays she might have been able to have it all, but not in the 1950s. If she hadn't had me, she might have been right up there with Joan Sutherland. But then who would be bringing her breakfast in bed every morning now she's 94? Morag Kerr (talk) 16:37, 24 February 2011 (UTC)

Hi Morag. I was the one who assessed it. In assessing bios, I'm currently reserving mid or high for women who held political power of some kind or are acknowledged as major historical figures either in general or in their fields. "Low importance" doesn't mean "not interesting". There's a discussion of the criteria further up the page here. I agree with you about the ordinary lives aspect and how illuminating they can be. That's why when/if a Women's History Portal happens I'd try to include as many links as possible to such articles in the Did You Know?, Quotes, In this month, and Featured Picture sections. It's a philosophy I followed at Portal:Opera. It's a featured portal, so the articles that can be especially highlighted in the Featured article or Featured Biography sections need to be minimally B class but preferably FA or GA class, but there's plenty of scope in the other sections to highlight less developed articles, or those on less well-known subjects but which are interesting and likely to pull people into the area. Hope that helps. Voceditenore (talk) 08:11, 25 February 2011 (UTC)
Oh, hai! I wasn't querying the "low importance" part, just acknowledging this wasn't a priority article at all. It hadn't occurred to me as regards relevance, but when I saw you'd tagged it I realised you had a point. With such a short career I don't imagine the biography is ever going to amount to much of an article, but I have sourced a couple more references - one of her mates published her memoirs last year. Morag Kerr (talk) 20:04, 3 March 2011 (UTC)


We just hit 1000 assessed articles. - PKM (talk) 03:49, 4 March 2011 (UTC)

Wonderful! Thanks to all who have helped us get to this point. ---Shane Landrum (cliotropic | talk | contribs) 17:50, 4 March 2011 (UTC)