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  • There is a very large articles backlog
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  • There is a very large redirects backlog

New pages patrol (NPP) is a group of Wikipedians that check whether new articles, redirects and other pages conform to Wikipedia's core content policies. The purpose of new pages patrol is equally to identify pages which cannot meet this standard, and so should be deleted, and to support the improvement of those that can. Pages that pass new pages patrol don't have to be perfect, just not entirely unsuitable for inclusion.

All new articles and redirects are patrolled, unless the user that created them had the autopatrolled permission. NPP's first priority is to identify pages with serious content problems—including attack pages, copyright violations, and vandalism—and mark them for speedy deletion. Beyond that, patrollers consider whether articles are suitable for inclusion in their current state according to the relevant policies and guidelines. Articles considered unsuitable are nominated for deletion or, in certain circumstances, moved to the draft namespace for improvement. Articles considered suitable for inclusion are marked as 'reviewed', with a notification sent to the user that created it. Additionally, reviewers may flag issues with reviewed pages with maintenance tags, perform basic copyediting, and/or sort the article into relevant categories and WikiProjects. New pages are not indexed by external search engines until they are patrolled.

New page patrol is carried out by users with the new page reviewer permission and by administrators. New page reviewers are expected to have a good knowledge of Wikipedia's content policies and prior experience with its processes for handling articles. They primarily use the new pages feed and page curation tool for patrolling. There are currently 808 users with the new page reviewer permission and a total of 1,665 new page patrollers (including administrators). Aside from the technical ability to mark pages as reviewed, new page patrollers do not have any special decision-making powers over new articles. They are expected to work carefully and assume good faith, paying particular attention to treating newcomers with kindness and patience. Disputes over new page patrolling should be resolved using the usual processes.

The remainder of this page consists of guidelines and resources for new page patrollers. As such, it assumes a good existing knowledge of relevant policies, guidelines and processes. The navigation tabs above contain links to further resources. Discussions related to new page patrolling take place primarily at Wikipedia talk:New pages patrol/Reviewers.

Tools

 
Curation tool, 'unreviewed' view

The most important tool is the page curation toolbar, which appears on all pages in the new pages feed. It contains the actual button to mark a page as reviewed. It also contains an information summary about the page and its creator, tools for tagging articles with maintenance tags, and a tool to send barnstars and other nice things to editors that have worked on the article. A copyright violation detector can be added to the toolbar with this user script. There are many other useful tools available to make doing NPP easier. You can find many of them on the resources page or linked throughout this page.

Special:NewPagesFeed

 
New Pages Feed, dynamic article list

Special:NewPagesFeed is the central motor for reviewing new pages and drafts. It logs new pages immediately after the first version is saved. While it is a good idea to reduce the backlog of unreviewed pages by working from the back of the list, it is nevertheless important that serious breaches of policy such as spam and attack pages be deleted very quickly. A comprehensive preferences panel lets you select what kind of new pages you want to review. The system remembers your preferences each time you open the feed. A list daily created by a bot at sorted list classifies all unreviewed articles by topic, along with a short excerpt of the article. Use this list if you prefer to work on articles in your own sphere of knowledge. A system called ORES inserts alerts of possible problems with the article. Other information will easily help you identify if the article creator is a beginner.

This useful script conveniently adds a "Page Curation" link to your top toolbar that loads the NewPagesFeed.

It is often helpful to review the oldest pages in the NPP queue, rather than the newest, as these may have even been indexed by search engines. When reviewing from the back of the queue, you may come across pages that were created long ago but that recently were changed from being a redirect to an article (or vice versa). These articles pose a distinct challenge, as they are often the result of edit wars, other forms of tendentious editing, or paid editing and spam. You can find a guide to additional concerns and suggestions related to these types of pages here.

Reviewing articles

 
Simplified flowchart for reviewing articles

Reviewing articles is the primary purpose of new pages patrol and should be prioritized over other namespaces. Although new articles appear in the new pages feed immediately, take care not to alienate article creators (especially new editors) by patrolling them while they are still in progress. Unless there are serious content problems, wait at least an hour before nominating an article for deletion, blank-and-redirecting it, or moving it to draftspace.

If the page is not a candidate for a deletion process, but has other issues, there is rarely any need to rush. Inform the creator of any problems using maintenance tags, the article talk page, or the message feature of the curation tool and give them time to address them (perhaps several days) before taking further action. If improvements are not forthcoming, it may be appropriate to move the article to draftspace, to give the creator more space to work on it. However, it is important to remember that 'draftifying' is not a substitute to the deletion process, nor a catch-all solution for articles you don't know what to do with.

Basic steps

 
Detailed flowchart for reviewing articles

Briefly, to review an article:

  1. Check if the page curation tool has flagged any potential issues
  2. Check the page history for potential issues
  3. Read the article
  4. Review (or at least spot check) the listed sources, where accessible
  5. Decide whether to mark the article as reviewed, nominate it for deletion, or do something else

The rest of this section summarises the range of issues that you might encounter in reviewing an article, in rough order of priority, and how to respond to them. Step 5 is optional – if you don't know what you do with an article, you can always leave it to another reviewer.

Serious content problems

There are three types of serious content problems that new page reviewers should immediately respond to: attack pages, copyright violations, and vandalism. You do not have to wait the usual hour before acting to remove these kind of problems. When you tag something for speedy deletion, do not mark it as reviewed.

Attack pages (WP:CSD#G10)
An article that is unsourced or poorly sourced and primarily to disparage or threaten its subject should be removed immediately. If the page is new (i.e. there is no policy-compliant earlier version to revert to), blank its contents and nominate it for speedy deletion with {{db-attack}}. If the page contains non-public personal information or potentially libelous information, contact an oversighter to remove it. Warn the creator by placing {{Uw-attack}} on their talk page (if you feel comfortable doing so) or ask an administrator to follow up.
Copyright violations (WP:CSD#G12)
All new pages should be checked for copyright violations (copyvios). The curation tool flags potential copyvios detected by the CopyPatrol tool. Other signs that an article is probably copied include unwikified text, large amounts of finished text added in one go, unencyclopedic tone (use of the first person, informality, marketing speak, etc.), and out-of-context phrases that refer to the structure of the source document ("in this book", "go to top", etc.). To check for a copyright violation, use Earwig's Copyvio Detector, or copy and paste sections of text into a search engine, and/or manually inspect references (especially PDFs) as the situation allows. Be aware that automated tools can be prone to false positives: proper nouns, text in quotation marks, lists of data such as a list of an author's books, or matches to a website that copied from Wikipedia are not copyright problems. If the article may be a translation from another language edition of Wikipedia, be sure to check the original language in Earwig. A translation of copyvio is also copyvio and needs to be deleted.
If all or most of the article is a copyright violation (such as a copy paste of a copyrighted website), tag it for CSD G12. If only part of the article is a copyright violation, remove the offending text, warn the editor using a template such as {{Uw-copyright-new}}, then tag the article for revision deletion (RD1) (User:Enterprisey/cv-revdel.js helps with this). See Text copyright violations 101 for further instructions.
Blatant vandalism (WP:CSD#G1, WP:CSD#G2, WP:CSD#G3)
Blatant and obvious misinformation, hoaxes (WP:CSD#G3), nonsense, gibberish (WP:CSD#G1), and test pages (WP:CSD#G2) can all be tagged for speedy deletion immediately.

Other speedy deletion criteria

The criteria for speedy deletion (CSD) specify when an article can be immediately deleted without discussion. It is intended to reduce the time spent on deletion discussions for pages or media with no practical chance of surviving one. New page reviewers should be familiar with all the speedy deletion criteria, but the most commonly encountered are:

  • G4: recreation of a page that was deleted per a deletion discussion
    • The Page Curation tool will highlight pages that were previously deleted. You can also check the history.
    • G4 only applies to sufficiently identical copies; this is hard to assess without access to the former page, but if in doubt nominate and the patrolling admin will compare the current version to the deleted history.
    • G4 only applies to pages deleted as the result of a discussion – not speedy deletions or PRODs.
  • G11: unambiguous advertising or promotion
  • A1: no context
  • A3: no content
  • A7, A9, and A11: no indication of importance (only applies to specific topics)
    • Any credible claim of significance disqualifies an article from deletion under these criteria. This is a lower standard than notability.
    • A7 explicitly excludes schools and other educational institutions

You can nominate an article for speedy deletion with the {{db}} series of templates; there is a specific tag for each criterion. A patrolling administrator will then either delete the page or decline the nomination by removing the tag. Any editor other than the creator of the article may also remove the tag, which should be taken as a sign that the deletion is controversial and that another deletion process should be used. If the article creator removes the tag, you can restore it and use {{subst:uw-speedy1}} to warn them on their talk page. Do not mark pages as reviewed after you tag them for speedy deletion. If the nomination is declined, or the creator removes the tag, it will need to be reviewed again.

Always consider alternatives to deletion before nominating an article for speedy deletion. Check the history for a better version; a page is eligible for speedy deletion only if all of its history is also eligible. Consider whether it could be stubbed, merged, or redirected instead. Speedy deletion must be completely uncontroversial and used in only the most obvious cases. If a page has survived a deletion discussion in the past, it usually cannot be speedily deleted.

Notability

Unless an article falls under what Wikipedia is not or the speedy deletion criteria, notability is the main test for determining whether or not it can exist. Wikipedia's notability guidelines are complex, frequently subjective, and change often. New page patrollers should be familiar with the core notability guideline (especially the general notability guideline, GNGs) and at least some of the more important subject-specific notability guidelines (SNGs). However, few if any editors can claim to have a comprehensive knowledge of every notability guideline, so it is important to tread carefully and be aware of what you don't know.

Opinions are divided on how important it is to consider notability during new page patrol.[1] On the one hand, NPP's core purpose is to screen articles that are not suitable for inclusion, and notability is the key test of this in all but the most clear-cut examples of unwanted content. Many patrollers consider notability their "bread and butter" on this basis. On the other hand, assessing notability can be very time-consuming, requiring a proactive search for and evaluation of sourcing, subject-specific knowledge, and ultimately is only decided one way or another via a consensus at AfD. Some have therefore argued that focusing too much on notability causes significant backlogs and that patrollers' time would be better spent on more readily apparent types of unsuitable content.[2]

At a minimum, as a new page patroller, you should be able to identify topics that patently lack notability and nominate them for deletion. You may also opt to investigate the notability of topics in more depth, but bear in mind that a full WP:BEFORE-style search is only really necessary for AfD nominations. Assessment of articles in topic areas with highly-detailed SNGs is best left to reviewers familiar with those areas and guidelines. The {{notability}} maintenance tag (and its more specialised subtemplates) can be used to mark articles on topics of uncertain notability for further review in the future.

Alternatives to deletion

You must consider the alternatives before nominating any article for deletion. First and foremost, if you can fix the issues yourself, do so, or use maintenance tags to bring the article to attention of someone who can. Otherwise, there are alternatives to wholesale deletion that retain some or all of the article's content:

Draftification
A good option for articles that are clearly not ready for mainspace, but could be given further time for improvement, such as: an article with no sources,[3] an obvious machine translation, very poor English, and obvious conflict of interest or undisclosed paid editing. Please review the official draftification criteria at Wikipedia:Drafts#During new page review. You can use the script User:MPGuy2824/MoveToDraft to perform draftifications. Articles older than 90 days should not be draftified. An article should never be draftified more than once, and should never be draftified over objections. Draftspace is optional. If needed, send to AFD instead.
Merging
If an existing article or list covers or partially covers the topic, consider merging the content there. Remember to properly attribute the content and mark the redirect as reviewed afterwards.
Blanking and redirecting (BLAR)
An alternative to merging if there is no content worth retaining. Remember to tag the redirect with {{R with history}} and mark it as reviewed.
Stubbing
If an article's content is inappropriate but the topic is notable, you may choose to delete most of the content, just leaving a lead sentence and anything else you deem to be salvageable. Consider watchlisting the page in case inappropriate content is re-added. When done, mark as reviewed.

All of these actions may be carried out boldly, unless you think it will be controversial or if it is challenged by another editor. In that case, it should be proposed and discussed at AfD.

Deletion nominations

If an article is not suitable for inclusion, does not meet any of the speedy deletion criteria, and you have rejected alternative to deletion, it should be nominated for deletion. Most commonly, this is because the topic[4] of the article is not notable, or violates WP:NOT. The options are:

Articles for Deletion (AFD)
The most common. Involves creating a discussion where editors discuss what to do with the article. You should follow WP:BEFORE, which involves checking multiple search engine types for sources, before nominating an article for AFD. At the end of one week, or more if relisted, an admin will summarize and carry out the consensus of the discussion, which could be to delete, redirect, merge, keep, etc. When done, mark as reviewed.
Proposed deletion (PROD)
Similar to AFD, but there is a one week waiting period, and the page creator or any editor is able to stop the deletion process without a discussion. Many patrollers skip this step and just send everything to AFD. When done, do not mark as reviewed.
Proposed deletion for biographies (BLPPROD)
Should be used when a biography of a living person has no citations or external links. This tag may not be removed until sources are added, and is meant to encourage the author to add sources. If no reliable sources are added after a week, the article is deleted. When done, do not mark as reviewed.

In each case, it is important to follow the "before" steps of each of this processes, to ensure the article is actually eligible:

Pages in languages other than English

If the article is a cut-and-paste of (all or part of) an article in another language's Wikipedia, which is often the case, it should be tagged with {{db-foreign}} (CSD A2). Do not tag articles written in another language with G1 patent nonsense. If an article is a copyright violation, it may be nominated for G12.

For other non-English articles, follow the instructions at Pages needing translation into English/Procedures. Essentially, this consists of reading a machine translation the article (see comparison of machine translation applications). If the translated content of the article does not violate a CSD and is likely to be notable, you can place the {{notenglish}} template, e.g., {{notenglish|Spanish}}, to flag it for translation. If the content of the article is not worth keeping due to CSD or notability, you should use the appropriate deletion process.

Article titles

Check that the page title is appropriate and, if not, move it to corrected title. Be aware that there are general naming conventions (such as using sentence case for non-proper nouns, or not adding disambiguation terms in parentheses if they are not needed), and also topic-specific naming conventions.

If you move an article and the former name is an implausible redirect (and you can't suppress the creation of a redirect following the move), you will need to request its deletion using {{Db-r3}}. If you cannot perform the move for technical reasons, ask for help at WP:RM#TR. If the move is potentially controversial, follow the instructions at Wikipedia:Requested moves.

Duplicated content

Wikipedia's licensing allows editors to copy material from one article to another and to translate material from our sister projects in other language, providing that the original authors of the material are attributed. Copied material is therefore generally not a problem for NPP unless an entire article has been copied to a new title (a 'cut-and-paste move'), the copying has created a content fork, or the proper attribution is not been maintained.

The attribution requirement is usually fulfilled by a statement in the edit summary that links to the original page (e.g. copied content from page name; see that page's history for attribution). If you find an article that contains copied or translated material without attribution, you can add one in a dummy edit. For further information, see Wikipedia:Copying within Wikipedia#Repairing insufficient attribution.

Content forks

To aid reader navigation and make efficient use of editor resources, Wikipedia prohibits having multiple articles on the same or an extremely similar topic, which is known as content forking.

If you encounter a broad or popular topic that you are surprised didn't already have a page, there is a high chance that it has been forked. Authors sometimes also link to pages they have forked from the "see also" section.

When you encounter a fork, you have two options. If the new page has content the existing page does not, nominate the pages for merging; otherwise, just convert the new page into a redirect.

Addressing cut-and-paste moves

Finding they cannot change a typo in the title, or being unaware of redirects and wanting a topic found at another title, new users sometimes create new pages with the content of existing articles – 'cut-and-paste moves'. Doing so severs the edit history, required under copyright. In such situations, request deletion using {{Db-a10|article=Existing article title}} / {{Db-same|article=Existing article title}}. Though these templates have their own warnings, separately warn the user using {{subst:Uw-c&pmove}}. In the rare situation that the user has added significant content to the copy they posted that is worth merging, list the page for a history merge (note: not the same as a merge) at WP:SPLICE.

Where an existing page or redirect has been used as the target of a cut-and-paste move the edit should be reversed, restoring the original page content.

Duplicate articles with separate origins

If you come upon an article on a duplicate topic but that has a separate origin (not copied from the existing article, addressed above), this also can be asked to be deleted under CSD A10. However, here, if the article has content that warrants merging, perform a merge (do not ask for a history merge) and redirect to the existing article. Be sure to provide mandatory copyright attribution when you do so. See WP:MERGETEXT.

Optional steps

The following steps are often useful for improving new articles or bringing them to the attention of others who will. However, do not feel obligated to perform them. Wikipedia is a work in progress and your main responsibility as a new page patroller is to identify articles that definitely should not be included, not bring them up to a given standard.

Basic copyediting
It is common for new page patrollers to also help with basic copyediting, especially of the lead section. This could include ensuring the article title appears in bold text in the lead, adding relevent internal links, removing overlinking, ensuring section headings conform to MOS:TITLECASE and MOS:ORDER, and combining short passages of text into paragraphs.
Short description
Add the {{short description}} template, if the article doesn't already have one. The Shortdesc helper gadget makes this easier.
Maintenance tags
If needed, add maintenance tags to the article. This can be done via the Page Curation toolbar or via Twinkle. Examples of maintenance tags include {{Copy edit}}, {{Orphan}}, {{POV}}, {{Advert}}, tags related to sourcing, {{COI}}, {{UPE}}, {{Dablinks}}, {{Bare URLs}}, {{Underlinked}}, {{No footnotes}}, {{More footnotes}}, {{Over-quotation}}, {{Criticism section}}, and many others. Unsourced articles can be tagged with {{unsourced}}, under-sourced articles with {{more citations needed}}, and articles with only general references with {{more footnotes}}.
Orphaned articles
The curation tool highlights articles with no incoming links. You might be able to fix an orphaned article by searching for its title in other articles or adding it to relevant lists or set indexes. Otherwise, tag it with {{orphan}} and move on.
Categorizing
Check that the article has been assigned to one or more useful categories, and if not, either tag it with {{uncat}} or try to find a category for it. You can check similar articles for potentially relevant categories. The Hotcat gadget can help in adding or changing categories.
Stub sorting
Stubs are the beginnings of meaningful and encyclopedic articles. You can highlight them with the generic {{stub}} tag, but consider choosing a more specific one, like {{England-school-stub}}. More information is available at Stub types, but don't spend too much time attempting to find the right tag; there are dedicated stub sorters at WikProject Stub Sorting who can frequently figure out how to sort them quickly. User:Danski454/stubsearch is a script available to easily find stub tags.
WikiProject Sorting
Ensuring that Talk pages are tagged with relevant WikiProjects is an important way to get additional eyes on new articles and it can help get interested editors involved in expanding stubs and in copy editing and fact checking. You can add WikiProjects either manually or using a script. Evad37's Rater is one current tool, and another, no longer actively developed one, is Kephir's Rater.

Reviewing redirects

Does the redirect qualify for any CSDs? Consider using WP:TWINKLE to assist.
  • R2 - Inappropriate cross-namespace redirects
  • R3 - Recently created implausible typos
  • R4 - File namespace redirects with names that match Wikimedia Commons pages
  • G1 - Patent nonsense
  • G3 - Pure vandalism and blatant hoaxes
  • G4 - Recreation of a page that was deleted per a deletion discussion
  • G5 - Creations by blocked or banned users
  • G6 - Technical deletions
  • G8 - Pages dependent on a non-existent or deleted page
  • G10 - Pages that disaparage, threaten, intimidate, or harass their subject or some other entity, and serve no other purpose
  • G11 - Unambiguous advertising or promotion
Does the redirect violate WP:R#DELETE? If so, may need to nominate it via the WP:RFD process. Consider using WP:TWINKLE to assist. For redirects concerning subjects you are unfamiliar with, at a minimum conduct an internal Wikipedia search and an internet search for the term to look for possible explanations or sources of confusion.
  • The redirect page makes it unreasonably difficult for users to locate similarly named articles via the search engine.
  • The redirect might cause confusion.
  • The redirect is offensive or abusive (Speedy deletion criterion G10 and G3 may apply.)
  • The redirect constitutes self-promotion or spam. (Speedy deletion criterion G11 may apply.)
  • The redirect makes no sense. (Speedy deletion criterion G1 may apply.)
  • It is a cross-namespace redirect out of article space, such as one pointing into the User or Wikipedia namespace.
  • If the redirect is a novel or very obscure synonym for an article name
  • If the target article needs to be moved to the redirect title, but the redirect has been edited before and has a history of its own, then the title needs to be freed up to make way for the move. (Speedy deletion criterion G6 may apply.)
  • If the redirect could plausibly be expanded into an article, and the target article contains virtually no information on the subject.
Does the redirect need a redirect template? Consider using WP:TWINKLE or WP:CAPRICORN to assist. Here are some of the most used

If you find an unpatrolled redirect that is at RFD, or you send a redirect to RFD, mark it as reviewed.

Is somebody creating a lot of redirects, and you are finding zero problems with them? Consider posting an application for them at the redirect autopatrol list. They need around 100 redirects to qualify. Use xtools (and select "only include redirects") to check number of redirects created.

If a redirect or blanked page is converted to an article, it will be marked as unreviewed and placed in the new pages feed. This is to avoid people hijacking reviewed redirects to create unreviewed articles.

I'd say that on a typical day of patrolling the back end of the queue, I'll go through 150-300 [redirects], send 5-10 to RfD, tag around 5 with G5 or R3, and either retarget or convert-to-dab 5 more. Attack redirects are less frequent, I'll come across a handful of attack redirects per week. --Rosguill


Redirects in languages other than English

Redirects from titles in languages other than English are allowed if there is a significant connection between the language in question and the target subject. Examples include non-English titles for creative works originally written in those languages such as Cien años de soledad, or regional names for foods such as kebapcinja. These are allowed even in alphabets other than Latin, such as Москва or 日本. However, names for common objects that have no particular association with any culture despite global use (e.g. Bahnwagen, German for Railroad car) or even use with a sufficiently broad subset of countries (e.g. Bidé, Italian for bidet), are discouraged and generally deleted at RfD.

Reviewing other pages

New page patrollers should focus their patrolling on mainspace articles and mainspace redirects. Patrolling other namespaces is discouraged due to the importance of patrolling mainspace (search engine indexing implications, most likely to contain BLP or copyright violations, etc.) and also the large backlog. Below are some checklists for patrolling other namespaces, kept for historical reasons:

Disambiguation page checklist

Disambiguation pages are located in mainspace so will appear in Special:NewPagesFeed like a regular article. They are usually easier to review than a normal article. Here are some tips specific to disambiguation pages.

  • WikiProjects - tag as normal, but also include WikiProject Disambiguation
    • CLASS = disambiguation
    • IMPORTANCE = N/A, not low
  • Make sure it has {{disambiguation}}, {{hndis}}, or similar at the bottom. Keep in mind that {{hndis}} takes a WP:SORTKEY as one of its parameters.
  • Categories - None. Using the proper template above will take care of the category (usually "Disambiguation pages")
  • For relevant pages, fix any hatnotes, incoming links, etc. that you can think of that might need fixing. {{Other uses}} can be a good hatnote to add to articles.
  • If you judge a disambiguation page is inappropriate, it is technically in mainspace and is not a redirect, so will need to go to Wikipedia:Articles for Deletion, or be blanked and redirected.

Drafts

The draft namespace is managed by the the Articles for Creation project. New drafts are not reviewed by NPP. However, unless the user that moves them is autopatrolled, drafts moved to the article namespace enter the new pages feed and should be reviewed as normal. New page patrollers are automatically placed on the allow list for the Articles for Creation Helper Script gadget, in case they are ever interested in helping out at AFC. The AFC reviewing skillset is very similar to new page patrolling, but be sure to read AFC's tutorials to familiarize yourself with the differences.

Dealing with conduct issues

The purpose of new pages patrol is to review the content of new pages, not the conduct of the editors who created them. Nevertheless, new page patrollers are well-placed to identify conduct issues such as sockpuppetry, promotion, serial copyright violations, undisclosed paid editing and other conflicts of interest, and child protection issues. It is always worth checking the history of pages for evidence of these issues.

Conflicts of interest and paid editing

New page patrollers are in a good position to spot conflict of interest (COI) editing, which includes people writing about themselves, their family, friends, clients, employers, or anything else they have a financial and or other close relationship with. Conflict of interest editing is strongly discouraged, but permitted within certain conditions, namely that a) the COI is disclosed and b) that editors with a COI avoid directly editing the article in question. For new articles, the latter requirement means that they should be created via the Articles for Creation process and accepted by a reviewer there. Editing with a financial conflict of interest ('paid editing') is even more tightly regulated, with disclosure mandated by the Wikimedia Terms of Use and AfC mandated by local policy.

Some indicators of COI editing include:

  • Articles that 'look too good to be true' – well-written, perfectly formatted articles with lots of neat references submitted by users with low edit counts
  • Multiple references to company, B2B, or financial listings, staff lists, interviews
  • Articles with inline external links
  • Articles whose style of text appears to come from a news article, press release, blog, or a book
  • Articles whose style of referencing includes many references to the subject's own publications
  • Article posted in one or a very few edits, denoting meticulous offline preparation.
  • Author has posted several single edit new articles that are related
  • Author has a corporate sounding username or a name that is otherwise reminiscent of the subject
  • Text written in first or second person (I, we, my, our, you, your)
  • Biographies with photos that look like professional headshots, especially when attributed to the same editor that wrote the article as "own work"
  • WP:REFBOMBed articles with an absurd amount of references that are trivial and redundant

If you suspect conflict of interest editing in a new article, the first thing to do is to check whether the creator has properly disclosed a COI (check both their user page, the article history, and the article talk page) and whether the article was accepted by an AfC reviewer. Then:

  1. If the creator has properly disclosed their COI and the article was created via AfC:
  2. If the creator has properly disclosed their COI but the article was not created via AfC:
    • Move the article to draftspace and inform the creator that they must (financial COI) or should (non-financial COI) use AfC
    • Tag the draft with {{COI}} or {{paid}} as appropriate
    • Add {{connected contributor}} or {{connected contributor (paid)}} to the article's talk page as appropriate
  3. If the creator has disclosed their COI, but not in sufficient detail:
    • Use {{uw-coi}} to inform them of the requirements
    • Proceed with #1 or #2 as appropriate
  4. If the creator has not disclosed a COI but you do not suspect a financial incentive:
    • Use {{uw-coi}} to inform them of the requirements
    • Proceed with #1 or #2 as appropriate
  5. If the creator has not disclosed a COI and you suspect a financial incentive:
    • Use {{uw-paid}} to inform them of the requirements
    • Tag the article with {{UPE}}
    • Proceed with #1 or #2 as appropriate
  6. If the creator has not disclosed a COI and you have evidence of a financial incentive:
    • Move the article to draftspace
    • Tag the article with {{UPE}}
    • Send your evidence to paid-en-wp@wikimedia.org, where a functionary will review it and take appropriate further action

When reviewing any article where you suspect a conflict of interest, be especially on the lookout for advertising masquerading as articles, promotional content, notability of commercial entities, overuse of primary or unreliable sources, and related problems. If you are not sure if there is a conflict of interest, or need help investigating one, ask at the COI Noticeboard. At all times, remember to assume good faith and avoid casting aspersions: an editor with an undisclosed conflict of interest may simply not be aware of our requirements.

User names and vandalism

In serious cases, the creator of a new page may need to be blocked to prevent further disruption or damage to Wikipedia's reputation. Familiarise yourself with the WP:UAA and WP:AIV systems and their policies and report such cases as necessary.

Hasty patrolling

Other editors, particularly those who are interested in fighting vandalism, also regularly check newly created articles to tag them for maintenance or deletion. Although they don't have access to the features of the Page Curation Toolbar, all editors, even IP users, can tag pages. Tagged pages remain listed in the feed until patrolled by a reviewer, enabling New Page Reviewers to identify and isolate poor patrolling. Use the 'Unreview' feature for good faith errors and see the templates that can be used to encourage users to do less demanding maintenance tasks until they have more experience. If you find inappropriate new page patrolling, you can use the template {{Stop NPP}} as a supportive ask. In persistent cases however, it will be necessary to escalate through the warning levels and might need administrator attention at a place like ANI or by getting help on the NPP discussion page.

Patroller conduct

Throughout the entire process of new pages patrol, it is important to remember not to bite the newbies. Far from being a monolithic horde of vandals, trolls, and spammers, the available evidence seems to indicate that newcomers write most of Wikipedia's content. If you see a new user or IP address contributing significantly, post a welcome template to their talk page, such as {{subst:welcome}} or {{subst:welcomeg}} or, for IPs specifically, {{subst:welcome-anon}} or {{subst:Anonwelcomeg}}, and include a pointer or two of feedback about how they can make their contributions even better. Most will gladly welcome the support.

It is also important to assume good faith as much as possible, or, minimally, to assume incompetence instead of malice. For example, remember not everyone is as computer-literate as you; some people will accidentally blank or damage pages when attempting to cut and paste material from Wikipedia. Others may not understand that, yes, their changes really are visible to the entire world immediately; consider using {{subst:uw-draftfirst}} to suggest that new users work on their article as a userspace draft.

Please do not be too hasty with speedy deletions for "non-egregious" (other than attack pages, copyvios, vandalism, or complete nonsense), especially those lacking context (CSD A1) or content (CSD A3). Writers unfamiliar with Wikipedia guidelines should be accorded at least an hour to fix the article before it is nominated for speedy deletion. If you see a page that has been tagged too hastily, please notify the tagger about their hasty deletion with {{subst:uw-hasty}}. The template {{hasty|placed above existing speedy tag to inform admins to of hasty tagging and to wait}} can also be added to the tagged article to flag that it was hastily tagged.

If you tag an article written by a newcomer, consider leaving a friendly note on their talk page, pointing them to Help:Maintenance template removal (WP:MTR), which is dedicated to explaining the process of addressing and removing maintenance tags and including that anyone can remove them (except for AFD and CSD tags) after the problems have been addressed (or if they were truly added in error). Most new editors don't know that they are permitted to do this.

Communication

Excellent communication is an important part of the new page patrol process. Reviewers should make use of Page Curation to post short messages to the creator, provide informative edit summaries, and otherwise appropriately engage with other editors. Reviewers are encouraged to make frequent use of the existing message to creator tool. It is essential that good faith new creators be encouraged to continue creating articles and editing Wikipedia.

Reviewers are not obligated to mentor new users or complete their articles, but may wish to direct new users to the Teahouse question forum, help desk and Articles for Creation for assistance. Wikipedia:Your first article, Wikipedia:Contributing to Wikipedia, the Wikipedia:Tutorial, The Wikipedia Adventure, and other help pages are also available. When drafts are approved at AfC and moved to the mainspace they will be checked again by new page patrollers in many instances.

Disputes and consensus

As a new page patroller, any action you take other than marking an article as reviewed is not likely to be welcomed by the page creator. In the best case scenario, they will simply listen to your feedback and address the issue promptly. However, disputes are common. Whether it is about a cleanup tag, a deletion nomination, a move to draft, or something else, try to approach these disputes with humility and empathy. Avoid the temptation to 'pull rank' over a user who probably knows a lot less about our processes than you do. Even if you are completely correct in your judgement of an article, it is not surprising that the creator could react badly if you tell them that there is something wrong with their contribution, or threaten to remove it. New editors might be unfamiliar with our practice of not asking permission to fix problems – and its obverse, not being offended when someone points out a problem with your work. Experienced editors might be reluctant to acknowledge that they aren't immune to making mistakes. All reviewing disputes are more likely to be resolved amicably if you try to understand the other party's point of view before putting forth your own.

It is especially important to remember that the new page reviewer right gives you the technical ability to mark pages "reviewed"; it does not give you any special decision-making powers over new articles. Like all advanced rights holders, from page movers to bureaucrats, the way you use your tools is subject to the consensus of other editors. For example, if you move a page to draftspace and the creator of the article objects to this, there is no consensus on where the page should be. The recommended course of action here is to return the page to the state it was in before the dispute began (i.e., in mainspace), and then attempt to solve it through discussion, for example, by opening an AfD.[5] You should not simply insist that the page remains in your preferred namespace because you are a new page patroller and the other editor is not.

Unreviewing

Page Curation also includes a feature to 'unreview' a new article. Nobody is absolutely perfect and errors can happen. If you come across an article that appears to have been wrongly or inappropriately tagged, consider clicking the checkmark icon in the Page Curation toolbar ("Mark this page as unreviewed") and leave a friendly note for the patroller.

If you notice a patroller making frequent errors, tagging too quickly, or tag-bombing, offer friendly support or direct them to a specific section of this or another help page. In extreme cases you may need to inform an administrator, an NPP coordinator, or post at WP:ANI, but always try to help your colleague first.

Other issues

Redirects converted to articles

If a redirect or blanked page is converted to an article, it will be marked as unreviewed and placed in the new pages feed. This is to avoid people creating redirects for inappropriate pages and later converting them into articles to avoid review. If you see an old page (such as one from 2005 or 2016), it is likely that it was recently converted from a redirect. In these cases, you should check the page history, and if the page is not appropriate as an article, restore the redirect and notify the person who created the article. If you are reverted and you still believe the article is inappropriate, you should list it at Articles for Deletion. Redirects that are currently listed at Redirects for Discussion should simply be marked as reviewed.

Technical details

  • Namespace subject to review – Mainspace is the only namespace where the page curation toolbar displays. NPPs do not need to patrol other namespaces, and are encouraged to focus on mainspace.
  • Users subject to review – Most editors will have their mainspace page creations show up in the new pages feed as unreviewed until marked as reviewed by an NPP. Editors with the autopatrolled permission and global rollbacker permission are an exception: their pages do not show up in the new pages feed, and their pages are marked as reviewed when created. Admins are no longer autopatrolled by default, but can self-assign the permission if desired.[6]
  • Who can review which articles – New page patrollers are prevented by the software from reviewing or unreviewing their own articles, unless they are autopatrolled.
  • Autopatrol and page moves – For users with the autopatrolled permission, a page move will autopatrol an article if it is a move from outside of mainspace into mainspace. So an autopatrolled user should be careful, for example, when accepting AFC drafts, as these will be autopatrolled. However, the software lets them unpatrol it if needed.
  • Search engine indexing
    • Articles – Unreviewed articles are prevented from being indexed by search engines for 90 days.[7][8] After 90 days, the article remains in the queue to remind us to eventually review it, but search engines can begin indexing it.
    • Articles sent to AFD – Sending an article to AFD and marking it as reviewed will not allow search engine indexing (unless the article is older than 90 days), because there is a NOINDEX template used in the AFD template placed at the top of the article.
    • Redirects – Redirects are automatically marked as reviewed after 6 months.[9][10] As soon as they are marked as reviewed, they become indexable.
  • Patrol versus review – There is a difference between an article being marked as patrolled (which is the basic patrol system built into MediaWiki Core and uses the patrol log) and marked as reviewed (which is the advanced system used by the MediaWiki extension PageTriage and uses the page curation log). Clicking [Mark this page as patrolled], which appears in the bottom right corner of some pages, makes an entry in the patrol log only. Clicking the green check mark in your toolbar always creates an entry in the page curation log, and often creates an entry in the patrol log, but not always due to some bugs. Most people use the "mark as reviewed" button, so most people should be checking the page curation log exclusively. You can apply the "Reviewing" log filter if needed, which will filter out non-reviewing from the page curation log. The patrol log should usually be ignored. [Mark this page as patrolled] appears when the Page Curation toolbar is closed (see next bullet), and in namespaces where PageTriage doesn't operate (for example, draftspace, template space, and talk pages). We do not need to patrol non-mainspace pages methodically and should focus on mainspace.
  • Closing and re-opening the toolbar – If you close the Page Curation toolbar completely, by first minimizing the toolbar using the top toolbar button, then clicking the top X icon on the mini-toolbar, it will disappear completely. In this situation, to get the toolbar back, you need to click "Open Page Curation" in the left menu, in the "Tools" section.
  • How to calculate your # of articles reviewed – The "patrol" stat in xtools will give you an approximate count (probably an undercount). This Quarry query, added together with the count of your CSDs in your Twinkle CSD log, will give you an almost accurate count.

Administrators

Editors with the administrator user right can review new articles without any additional permissions. There are a number of tasks where admin assistance is particularly helpful:

Various project coordination tasks also benefit from the input of experienced editors.

History

Editors regularly monitored Special:NewPages from the earliest days of the project, before there was an organised new pages patrol. Uncle G's guide to article triage illustrates the workflow used for these ad hoc patrols. Two major constraints in these early days were that new pages only remained in the log for thirty days[11] and that there was no function to mark a page as reviewed. It was thus difficult for people looking at the log to know if a page had already been patrolled by someone else. The first attempt to organise a new pages patrol (2004) tried to address this by working in shifts, so that someone would always be checking new pages as they were created, but it didn't work. New pages patrol was subsequently folded into recent changes patrol for the next couple of years.

The new pages patrol project as we know it was split off from recent changes patrol in December 2006. The ability to mark new pages as reviewed was added to MediaWiki in November 2007. Originally restricted to admins, it was made available to all autoconfirmed users shortly thereafter.[12][13] This brought with it a problem that has remained present ever since: the backlog. The thirty-day limit on pages appearing in the Special:NewPages remained, and articles would regular move off it without being marked as reviewed.[14] By 2010–2011, there was a sense that new page patrollers could not cope with the workload, even though the actual number of pages needing to be manually patrolled had been decreasing steadily since 2007.[15] A bot was created to tag these articles as "unpatrolled",[16] but a more permanent solution was needed.

Motivated in large part by the pressure on new pages patrol, a major RfC in 2011 proposed that page creation should be restricted to autoconfirmed users.[17] It had previously been restricted to registered users in 2005, in an "experiment" initiated by Jimmy Wales following the Seigenthaler incident.[18] The RfC found a strong consensus for extending this requirement to autoconfirmed, but as a concession to those who were worried that this was too big of a compromise of the principle that anyone can edit, it was agreed it would first be put in place for a six-month trial (WP:ACTRIAL). However, controversially, MediaWiki developers refused to implement the change because it would "significantly and negatively impact the Foundation's goals of editor engagement",[19] leaving ACTRIAL in limbo for the next six years.

In the aftermath of the ACTRIAL controversy, the WMF initiated a project to improve the workflow of new page patrollers. A survey of patrollers was conducted, which amongst other things indicated a desire for better tools for navigating and patrolling new articles.[20][21] The result of this project was a new Mediawiki extension, PageTriage (originally called 'Zoom'), which was enabled on the English Wikipedia in 2012. It added Special:NewPagesFeed (intended to replace Special:NewPages) and the Page Curation tools.[22] Further work in 2018 added AfC drafts, ORES predictions and automated copyright violation checking to the feed.[23]

The user right, New Page Reviewer, was introduced in 2016 to ensure quality of reviewing. The system is the front line of interaction between new authors and the community's volunteers who maintain the quality of Wikipedia's articles.[24]

Further reading

Guides to patrolling

Guides to speedy deletion

Notes

  1. ^ See Wikipedia talk:New pages patrol/Reviewers/Archive 42#Rethinking NPP in an attempt to better handle the backlog
  2. ^ See Wikipedia:New pages patrol/Analysis and proposal, especially regarding "time-consuming judgment calls"
  3. ^ "No sources" is not the same as "no inline citations". Articles without inline citations may still list sources as general references, further reading, or external links. Such articles should be tagged with {{no footnotes}}.
  4. ^ Take care to distinguish an article's intended topic from the article itself. The deletion process generally concerns itself with the topic, rather than the article: what an article potentially could include, rather than what it includes now; which sources are available, rather than which sources are cited.
  5. ^ In the specific case of contested moves to draft, this guidance is codified as WP:DRAFTOBJECT and includes exceptions for article creations by editors with a COI, but Wikipedia's overarching policies on consensus, edit warring, and dispute resolution apply to all actions by new page patrollers.
  6. ^ Wikipedia:Requests for adminship/2021 review/Proposals#Passed: 7D Remove autopatrolled from default toolkit
  7. ^ "mediawiki-extensions-PageTriage/extension.json at 3119b474f6ecdd0e1fe19e3bcd6c248bdb84b9c3 · wikimedia/mediawiki-extensions-PageTriage". GitHub.
  8. ^ phab:T310974
  9. ^ "mediawiki-extensions-PageTriage/cron/updatePageTriageQueue.php at 3119b474f6ecdd0e1fe19e3bcd6c248bdb84b9c3 · wikimedia/mediawiki-extensions-PageTriage". GitHub.
  10. ^ phab:T227250
  11. ^ phab:T8341
  12. ^ Wikipedia_talk:New_pages_patrol/patrolled_pages/Archive_1#Poll
  13. ^ phab:T14007
  14. ^ See regular discussions of the backlog in the archives of Wikipedia talk:New pages patrol: View oldest non-patrolled? (March 2008), Oldest unpatrolled pages, Bot to help index pages that slip through, Backlog clearing effort
  15. ^ meta:Research:Patroller work load
  16. ^ Wikipedia_talk:New_pages_patrol/Unpatrolled_articles#Back_of_the_unpatrolled_backlog
  17. ^ An idea originally floated by User:Beeblebrox in 2009, Wikipedia_talk:User_access_levels/Archive_1#Be_autoconfirmed_to_create_a_page?
  18. ^ Wales, Jimmy (December 5, 2005). "[WikiEN-l] Experiment on new pages".
  19. ^ phab:T32208; quote from User:Jorm, 5 August 2011.
  20. ^ meta:Research:New Page Patrol survey
  21. ^ meta:Research:New Page Patrol survey/WMF report
  22. ^ [1]
  23. ^ meta:Page_Curation#Upgrade_2018:_adding_AfC,_ORES,_and_copyvio_detection
  24. ^ Wikipedia:New pages patrol/RfC for patroller right and Wikipedia:New pages patrol/RfC for patroller qualifications