This is the newsletter for WikiProject Tree of Life, including a roundup of recently-promoted content (FA/GA/DYK) and talk around the town. If you are interested in receiving such a newsletter, please add your name below.
All help is welcome to produce this community newsletter! I understand that Wikipedia editing is a volunteer activity by people with real lives, however, so don't feel that you need to commit to a lifetime of service. Feel free to come and go as ideas/the urge to copyedit strike you.
Enwebb—creator and benevolent dictator for now
SchreiberBike—copyeditor as time allows
starsandwhales—copyeditor and possibly writer (as time allows)
The 2020 Community Wishlist Survey is live (focusing on non-Wikipedia content projects), with two proposals so far for WikiSpecies. The Wikimedia Foundation will prioritize the top 5 proposals across all sister projects.
What is it: A way for articles to appear on the main page of Wikipedia. A short hook in the format of "Did you know...that ___" presents unusual and interesting facts to the reader, hopefully making the reader want to click through to the article
How it works: The DYK process has fairly low barriers for participation. The eligibility criteria are few and relatively easy to meet. Some important guidelines:
To be eligible, article is either new (newly created or moved to mainspace), a 5x expansion, or passed a GA review. Its creation, expansion, or promotion to GA must have been in the past 7 days.
Article must be long enough, with more than 1,500 characters of prose (this doesn't include embedded lists)
The process for creating the nomination is somewhat tedious. Instructions can be found here (official instructions) and here ("quick and nice" guide to DYK). Experience is the best teacher here, so don't be afraid to try and fail a few times. The last few DYK nominations I've done, however, have been with the help of SD0001's DYK-helper script, which makes the process a bit more streamlined (you create the template from a popup box on the article; created template is automatically transcluded to nominations page and article talk page)
Once your nomination is created and transcluded, it will need to be reviewed. The reviewer will check that the article meets the eligibility criteria, that the hook is short enough, cited, and interesting, and that other requirements are met, such as for images. If you've been credited with more than 5 DYKs, the reviewer will also check that you've reviewed someone else's nomination for each article that you nominate. This is called QPQ (quid pro quo). You can check how many credited DYKs you've had here to see if QPQ is required for you to nominate an article for DYK.
What it is: A peer review process to determine that an article meets a set of criteria. This adds a symbol to the top of the article. About 1 in 200 articles on Wikipedia is a GA.
How it works: You follow the instructions to nominate an article, placing a template on its talk page. Anyone can nominate an article—you don't have to be a major contributor, though it is considered polite to inform the major contributors that you are nominating the article. The article is added to a queue to await a review. In the ToL, it seems that reviews happen pretty quickly, thanks to our dedicated members. Once the review begins, the reviewer will offer suggestions to help the article meet the 6 GA criteria. Upon addressing all concerns, the reviewer will pass the article, and voilà! Good Article!
Advice to a first-time nominator: Look at other Good Articles in related areas before nominating. If you're unsure about nominating, consider posting to the talk page of your project to see what other editors think. You can also have a more experienced editor co-nominate the article with you.
What it is: An exhaustive peer review to determine that an articles meets the criteria. This adds a to the top of the article. About 1 in 1,000 articles on Wikipedia is a FA.
How it works: You follow the instructions to nominate an article, placing a template on its talk page. Nominated articles are usually GAs already. Uninvolved editors can nominate, though the article's regular editors should be consulted first. Several editors will come by offering feedback, eventually supporting or opposing promotion to FA. A coordinator will determine if there is consensus to promote the article to FA. For an editor's first FA, spot checks to verify that the sources support the text are conducted.
Advice to a first-time nominator: The Featured Article Candidate (FAC) process is a bit intimidating, but several steps can make your first one easier (speaking as someone who has exactly one). If you also did the GA nomination of the article, you can ask the reviewer for "extra" feedback beyond the GA criteria. You can also formally request a peer review and/or a copy edit from the Guild of Copy Editors to check for content and mechanics. First-time nominators are encouraged to seek the help of a mentor for a higher likelihood of passing their first FAC.
What it is: It took me a while to realize we even had GT and FT on Wikipedia, as they are not very common relative to GA and FA. Both GT and FT are collections of related articles of high quality (all articles at GA or FA, all lists at Featured List). GT/FT have to be at least 3 articles with no obvious gaps in coverage of the topic, along with other criteria. For GT, all articles have to be GA quality and all lists must be FL. For FT, at least half the articles must be FA or FL, with the remaining articles at GA.
How it works: Follow the nomination procedures for creating a new topic or adding an article to an existing topic. Other editors weigh in to support or oppose the proposal. Coordinators determine if there is consensus to promote to GT/FT.
Advice to a first-time nominator: There are very few GT/FT in Tree of Life (5 GT and 11 FT). Most of the legwork appears to be improving a cohesive set of articles to GA/FA.
Female apple maggot
... that the silk made by webspinners is produced from glands on their forelegs? (1 October)
... that falguera, a plant known from only one valley in Spain, is threatened by rock climbers and by road maintenance? (1 October)