The WikiCup is over for another year! Our Champion this year is Courcelles (submissions), who over the course of the competition has amassed 147 GAs, 111 GARs, 9 DYKs, 4 FLs and 1 ITN. Our finalists were as follows:
Awards will be handed out in the coming weeks. Please be patient!
Congratulations to everyone who participated in this year's WikiCup, whether you made it to the final rounds or not, and particular congratulations to the newcomers to the WikiCup who have achieved much this year. Thanks to all who have taken part and helped out with the competition.
And so ends the first round of the competition. Everyone with a positive score moves on to Round 2. With 56 contestants qualifying, each group in Round 2 contains seven contestants, with the two leaders from each group due to qualify for Round 3 as well as the top sixteen remaining contestants.
Our top scorers in Round 1 were:
L293D, a WikiCup newcomer, led the field with ten good articles on submarines for a total of 357 points.
Adam Cuerden, a WikiCup veteran, came next with 274 points, mostly from eight featured pictures, restorations of artwork.
MPJ-DK, a wrestling enthusiast, was in third place with 263 points, garnered from a featured list, five good articles, two DYKs and four GARs.
Usernameunique came next at 243, with a featured article and a good article, both on ancient helmets.
Ed! was also on 224, with an amazing number of good article reviews (56 actually).
These contestants, like all the others, now have to start scoring points again from scratch. Between them, contestants completed reviews on 143 good articles, one hundred more than the number of good articles they claimed for, thus making a substantial dent in the review backlog. Well done all!
Remember that any content promoted after the end of Round 1 but before the start of Round 2 can be claimed in Round 2. Invitations for collaborative writing efforts or any other discussion of potentially interesting work is always welcome on the WikiCup talk page. Remember, if two or more WikiCup competitors have done significant work on an article, all can claim points. If you are concerned that your nomination—whether it is at good article candidates, a featured process, or anywhere else—will not receive the necessary reviews, please list it on Wikipedia:WikiCup/Reviews.
The third round of the 2019 WikiCup has now come to an end. The 16 users who made it to the fourth round needed to score at least 68 points, which is substantially lower than last year's 227 points. Our top scorers in round 3 were:
Cas Liber, our winner in 2016, with 500 points derived mainly from a featured article and two GAs on natural history topics
Adam Cuerden, with 480 points, a tally built on 16 featured pictures, the result of meticulous restoration work
SounderBruce, a finalist in the last two years, with 306 points from a variety of submissions, mostly related to sport or the State of Washington
Usernameunique, with 305 points derived from a featured article and two GAs on archaeology and related topics
Contestants managed 4 (5) featured articles, 4 featured lists, 18 featured pictures, 29 good articles, 50 DYK entries, 9 ITN entries, and 39 good article reviews. As we enter the fourth round, remember that any content promoted after the end of round 3 but before the start of round 4 can be claimed in round 4. Please also remember that you must claim your points within 14 days of "earning" them, and it is imperative to claim them in the correct round; one FA claim had to be rejected because it was incorrectly submitted (claimed in Round 3 when it qualified for Round 2), so be warned! When doing GARs, please make sure that you check that all the GA criteria are fully met.
Within the Tree of Life and its many subprojects, there is an abundance of stubs. Welcome to Wikipedia, what's new, right? However, based on all wikiprojects listed (just over two thousand), the Tree of Life project is worse off in average article quality than most. Based on the concept of relative WikiWork (the average number of "steps" needed to have a project consisting of all featured articles (FAs), where stub status → FA consists of six steps), only seven projects within the ToL have an average rating of "start class" or better. Many projects, particularly those involving invertebrates, hover at an average article quality slightly better than a stub. With relative WikiWorks of 5.98 each, WikiProject Lepidoptera and WikiProject Beetles have the highest relative WikiWork of any project. Given that invertebrates are incredibly speciose, it may not surprise you that many articles about them are lower quality. WikiProject Beetles, for example, has over 20 times more articles than WikiProject Cats. Wikipedia will always be incomplete, so we should take our relatively low WikiWork as motivation to write more articles that are also better in quality.
1) Enwebb: How did you come to edit articles about organisms and taxonomic groups?
Nessie: The main force, then and now, driving me to create or edit articles is thinking "Why isn't there an article on that on Wikipedia?" Either I'll read about some rarely-sighted creature in the deep sea or find something new on iNaturalist and want to learn more. First stop (surprise!) is Wikipedia, and many times there is just a stub or no page at all. Sometimes I just add the source that got me to the article, not sometimes I go deep and try to get everything from the library or online journals and put it all in an article. The nice thing about taxa is the strong precedent that all accepted extant taxa are notable, so one does not need to really worry about doing a ton of research and having the page get removed. I was super worried about this as a new editor: I still really dislike conflict so if I can avoid it I do. Anyway, the most important part is stitching an article in to the rest of Wikipedia: Linking all the jargon, taxonomers, pollinators, etc., adding categories, and putting in the correct WikiProjects. Recently I have been doing more of the stitching-in stuff with extant articles. The last deep-dive article I made was Karuka at the end of last year, which is a bit of a break for me. I guess it's easier to do all the other stuff on my tablet while watching TV.
2) Enwebb: Many editors in the ToL are highly specialized on a group of taxa. A look at your recently created articles includes much diversity, though, with viruses, bacteria, algae, and cnidarians all represented—are there any commonalities for the articles you work on? Would you say you're particularly interested in certain groups?
Nessie: I was a nerd from a time when that would get you beat up, so I like odd things and underdogs. I also avoid butting heads, so not only do I find siphonophores and seaweeds fascinating I don't have to worry about stepping on anyone's toes. I go down rabbitholes where I start writing an article like Mastocarpus papillatus because I found some growing on some rocks, then in my research I see it is parasitized by Pythium porphyrae, which has no article, and how can that be for an oomycete that oddly lives in the ocean and also attacks my tasty nori. So then I wrote that article and that got me blowing off the dust on other Oomycota articles, encouraged by the pull of propagating automatic taxoboxes. Once you've done the taxonomy template for the genus, well then you might as well do all the species now that the template is taken care of for them too. and so on until I get sucked in somewhere else. I think it's good to advocate for some of these 'oddball' taxa as it makes it easier for editors to expand their range from say plants to the pathogenic microorganisms of their favorite plant.
My favorite clades though, It's hard to pick for a dilettante like me. I like working on virus taxonomy, but I can't think of a specific virus species that I am awed by. Maybe Tulip breaking virus for teaching us economics or Variola virus for having so many smallpox deities, one of which was popularly sung about by Desi Arnaz and then inspired the name of a cartoon character who was then misremembered and then turned into a nickname for Howard Stern's producer Gary Dell'Abate. Sorry, really had to share that chain, but for a species that's not a staple food it probably has the most deities. But anyway, for having the most species that wow me, I love a good fungus or algae, but that often is led by my stomach. Also why I seem to research so many plant articles. You can't eat siphonophores, at least I don't, but they are fascinating with their federalist colonies of zooids. Bats are all amazing, but the task force seems to have done so much I feel the oomycetes and slime moulds need more love. Same thing with dinosaurs (I'm team Therizinosaurus though). But honestly, every species has that one moment in the research where you just go, wow, that's so interesting. For instance, I loved discovering that the picture-winged fly (Delphinia picta) has a mating dance that involves blowing bubbles. Now I keep expecting them to show me when they land on my arm, but no such luck yet.
3) Enwebb: I noticed that many of your recent edits utilize the script Rater, which aids in quickly reassessing the quality and importance of an article. Why is it important to update talk page assessments of articles? I also noticed that the quality rating you assign often aligns with ORES, a script that uses machine-learning to predict article quality. Coincidence?
Nessie: I initially started focusing on WikiProject talk page templates because they seem to be the key to data collecting and maintenance for articles, much more so than categories. This is where you note of an article needs an image, or audio, or a range map. It's how the cleanup listing bot sorts articles, and how Plantdrew does his automated taxobox usage stats. The latter inspired me to look for articles on organisms that are not assigned to any ToL WikiProjects which initially was in the thousands. I got it down to zero with just copypasta so you can imagine I was excited when I saw the rater tool. Back then I rated everything stub/low because it was faster: I couldn't check every article for the items on the B-class checklists. Plus each project has their own nuances to rating scales and I thought the editors in the individual projects would take it from there. I also thought all species were important, so how can I choose a favorite? Now it is much easier with the rater tool and the apparent consensus with Abductive's method of rating by the pageviews (0-9 views/day is low, 10-99 is med, 100-999 is high...). For the quality I generally go by the ORES rating, you caught me. It sometimes is thrown off by a long list of species or something, but it's generally good for stub to C: above that needs formal investigation and procedures I am still learning about. It seems that in the ToL projects we don't focus so much on getting articles to GA/FA so it's been harder to pick up. It was a little culture shock when I went on the Discord server and it seemed everyone was obsessed with getting articles up in quality. I think ToL is focusing on all the missing taxa and (re)organizing it all, which when you already have articles on every anime series or whatever you can focus on bulking the articles up more. In any event, on my growing to-do list is trying to get an article up to FA or GA and learn the process that way so I can better do the quality ratings and not just kick the can down the road.
4) Enwebb: What, if anything, can ToL and its subprojects do to better support collaboration and coordination among editors? How can we improve?
Nessie: I mentioned earlier that the projects are the main way maintenance is done. And it is good that we have a bunch of subprojects that let those tasks get broken up into manageable pieces. Frankly I'm amazed anything gets done with WikiProject Plants with how huge its scope is. Yet this not only parcels out the work but the discussion as well. A few editors like Peter coxhead and Plantdrew keep an eye on many of the subprojects and spread the word, but it's still easy for newer editors to get a little lost. There should be balance between the lumping and splitting. The newsletter helps by crossing over all the WikiProjects, and if the discord channel picked up that would help too. Possibly the big Enwiki talk page changes will help as well.
5) Enwebb: What would surprise the ToL community to learn about your life off-Wikipedia?
Nessie: I'm not sure anything would be surprising. I focus on nature offline too, foraging for mushrooms or wild plants and trying to avoid ticks and mosquitos. I have started going magnet fishing lately, more to help clean up the environment than in the hopes of finding anything valuable. But it would be fun to find a weapon and help solve a cold case or something.
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On 18 July 2019, Did you know was updated with a fact from the article Xifeng Wu, which you recently created, substantially expanded, or brought to good article status. The fact was ... that according to a study conducted by epidemiologist Xifeng Wu and her colleagues, fifteen minutes of moderate exercise per day can increase lifespan by an average of three years? The nomination discussion and review may be seen at Template:Did you know nominations/Xifeng Wu. You are welcome to check how many page hits the article got while on the front page (here's how, Xifeng Wu), and it may be added to the statistics page if the total is over 5,000. Finally, if you know of an interesting fact from another recently created article, then please feel free to suggest it on the Did you know talk page.