A department of the U.S. Roads WikiProject
The U.S. Roads WikiProject
New user orientation
Project home (WP:USRD) talk
Portal (P:USRD) talk
Project category
Discord (WP:DISCORD) talk
Popular pages (WP:USRD/PP)  
Recognized content (WP:USRD/RC)  
Assessment home (WP:USRD/A)
 → Statistics table  
 → Log  
 → Category  
 → Visual aids  
By-state assessment (WP:USRD/A/S) talk
 → Live table (WP:USRD/A/L) talk
 → WikiWork (WP:USRD/A/WW) talk
 → State audits (WP:USRD/A/SA) talk
A-Class review (WP:HWY/ACR) talk
Maps home (WP:USRD/MTF) talk
 → Requests (WP:USRD/MTF/R) talk
 → Tutorial (WP:USRD/MTF/T)  
Newsletter home (WP:USRD/N) talk
 → Newsroom (WP:USRD/NR) talk
 → Past issues (WP:USRD/N/I)  
 → Subscribe (WP:USRD/N/S)  
Resources (WP:USRD/RES) talk
Lengths (WP:USRD/L) talk
Maps (WP:USRD/MDB) talk
Periodicals (WP:USRD/PER) talk
Shields home (WP:USRD/S) talk
 → Requests (WP:USRD/S/R) talk
 → Tutorial talk
 → Research  
 → Database  
Task forces
National task forces
State task forces
Editing guidelines
Article standards (WP:USRD/STDS)  
Naming conventions (WP:USSH) talk
Road junction lists (WP:RJL) talk
Notability (WP:USRD/NT)  
Rockland County Scenario (WP:USRD/RCS) talk
Michigan Plan (WP:USRD/MP) talk
Route Lists (WP:USRD/STDS/L) talk
Project resources
Participants (WP:USRD/PAR)  
Article alerts (WP:USRD/AA) arch.
Essays (WP:USRD/E) talk
Precedents (WP:USRD/P) talk
Things to do
To-do list
General stubs  
Project maintenance categories  
Articles needing attention  
Articles needing maps  
Articles needing shields  
Interstate RJL compliance talk
Systems and lists
Redirect lists
{{WikiProject U.S. Roads}} (doc) {{USRD}} talk
Article templates (WP:USRD/AT)
Barnstar list (WP:USRD/BS)
{{Infobox road}} talk
{{Infobox road small}} talk
{{Jctint}} talk
{{Jct}} talk
Stub templates (WP:USRD/STUB)
Userbox list (WP:USRD/UBX)
{{HWY Announcements}} talk
{{Welcome-roads}} talk
related changesv · d · e

Welcome to the Assessment Department of the U.S. Roads WikiProject! This department focuses on assessing the quality of U.S. road and highway related articles on Wikipedia. The process follows the goals of the WP:1.0 program, but the article ratings are also used within the project itself to aid in recognizing excellent contributions and identifying topics in need of further work.

The ratings are done in a distributed fashion through parameters in the {{WikiProject U.S. Roads}} project banner; this causes the articles to be placed in the appropriate sub-categories of Category:U.S. road transport articles by quality and Category:U.S. road transport articles by importance, which serves as the foundation for an automatically generated worklist.

Assessments edit

We assess articles in a manner that is slightly different than other projects. Nearly all articles on routes have three major sections: Route description, History, and a junction list. Below, we'll call these the "Big Three". The lower half of the scale is assessed based on the presence of any of these three sections; while the upper half of the scale goes through a more rigorous process. Articles on interchanges may simply ignore the junction list requirement. The progression of articles along the quality scale is described in greater detail below.

The "Big Three" sections edit

There are three main sections to most USRD articles: Route description, History, and Major intersections. An article's quality assessment is dependent on these three sections. If it only has one section or none at all, it is a Stub, any two and it's Start-Class, all three and it's at least C-Class. If you have improved an article, it is generally OK for you to change an article's class among Stub, Start, and C.

Stub Big Three: 0–1 sections. The first stage of an article's evolution is called a stub. A stub is an extremely short article that provides a basic description of the topic at best; it includes very little meaningful content, and may be little more than a dictionary definition.
What are the "Big Three"?
Route description
A prose summary of where the route takes you. There is no set length to this section, but it is reasonable to expect a 300-mile-long highway's RD will be much longer than that of a three-mile-long highway.
A chronological listing of events that have happened to the highway, such as extensions, truncations, and reroutings. Length of the section depends on the highway's role in the highway system – sometimes there is a lot to say, other times not.
Route junction list
A sequential table that shows you in what locations highways meet and at what mileposts. In some instances, a bulleted list is used instead.
Start Big Three: 2 sections. A stub that undergoes some development will progress to the next stage of article evolution. An article at this stage provides some meaningful content, but is typically incomplete and lacks adequate references, structure, and supporting materials. At this stage, it usually contains a route description and a junction list and will be assessed as a Start-Class article.
C Big Three: 3 sections. As the article continues to develop, it will reach the C-Class level. At this stage, the article has all three sections and contains substantial content and supporting materials, but may still be incomplete or poorly referenced. As articles progress to this stage, the assessment process begins to take on a more structured form, and specific criteria are introduced against which articles are rated.

Higher classes edit

Once an article has reached C-Class, it has reached the point where another editor should review it before its assessment is raised further. There is a gentlemen's agreement among USRD editors to not give their own work a B-Class rating in most cases. Above that, there are formal review processes at GAN, ACR, and FAC, which increase in rigor with each step, to determine if an article should be raised into the upper tier (GA-, A- or FA-Class).

B An article that reaches the B-Class level is complete in content and structure, adequately referenced, and includes reasonable supporting materials; overall, it provides a satisfactory encyclopedic presentation of the topic for the average reader, although it may not be written to the standard that would be expected by an expert. Articles at this stage commonly undergo peer review to solicit ideas for further improvement. B-Class is the final assessment level that can be reached without undergoing a formal review process, and is a reasonable goal for newer editors.
  GA After reaching the B-Class level, an article may be submitted for assessment as a good article. Good articles must meet a set of criteria similar to those required for the B-Class assessment level, and must additionally undergo the formal good article review process.
View the Good Article Criteria

A good article is—

  1. Well-written:
  2. (a) the prose is clear, concise, and understandable to an appropriately broad audience; spelling and grammar are correct; and
    (b) it complies with the Manual of Style guidelines for lead sections, layout, words to watch, fiction, and list incorporation.
  3. Verifiable with no original research:
  4. (a) it contains a list of all references (sources of information), presented in accordance with the layout style guideline;
    (b) reliable sources are cited inline. All content that could reasonably be challenged, except for plot summaries and that which summarizes cited content elsewhere in the article, must be cited no later than the end of the paragraph (or line if the content is not in prose); and
    (c) it contains no original research.
  5. Broad in its coverage:
  6. (a) it addresses the main aspects of the topic; and
    (b) it stays focused on the topic without going into unnecessary detail (see summary style).
  7. Neutral: it represents viewpoints fairly and without editorial bias, giving due weight to each.
  8. Stable: it does not change significantly from day to day because of an ongoing edit war or content dispute.
  9. Illustrated, if possible, by media such as images, video, or audio:
  10. (a) media are tagged with their copyright statuses, and valid non-free use rationales are provided for non-free content; and
    (b) media are relevant to the topic, and have suitable captions.
  A A good article that has undergone additional improvement may be considered for the A-Class assessment level. An A-Class article presents a complete and thorough encyclopedic treatment of a subject, such as might be written by an expert in the field; the only deficiencies permissible at this level are minor issues of style or language. To receive an A-Class rating, a candidate article must undergo the formal A-Class review process at the Highways WikiProject. The A-Class rating is the highest assessment level that may be assigned by an individual WikiProject; higher assessment levels are granted only by Wikipedia-wide independent assessment processes.
  FA The featured article rating represents the pinnacle of article evolution and the best that Wikipedia has to offer; an article at this level is professional, outstanding, and represents a definitive source for encyclopedic information. Featured status is assigned only through a thorough independent review process; this process can be grueling for the unprepared, and editors are highly advised to submit articles for A-Class review prior to nominating them for featured status.
View the Featured Article Criteria

A featured article exemplifies our very best work and is distinguished by professional standards of writing, presentation, and sourcing. In addition to meeting the policies regarding content for all Wikipedia articles, it has the following attributes.

  1. It is—
  • (a) well-written: its prose is engaging, even brilliant, and of a professional standard;
  • (b) comprehensive: it neglects no major facts or details and places the subject in context;
  • (c) well-researched: it is a thorough and representative survey of the relevant literature. Claims are verifiable against high-quality reliable sources and are supported by inline citations where appropriate;
  • (d) neutral: it presents views fairly and without bias; and
  • (e) stable: it is not subject to ongoing edit wars and its content does not change significantly from day to day, except in response to the featured article process.
  • It follows the style guidelines, including the provision of—
    • (a) a lead: a concise lead section that summarizes the topic and prepares the reader for the detail in the subsequent sections;
    • (b) appropriate structure: a system of hierarchical section headings and a substantial but not overwhelming table of contents; and
    • (c) consistent citations: where required by criterion 1c, consistently formatted inline citations using either footnotes (<ref>Smith 2007, p. 1.</ref>) or Harvard referencing (Smith 2007, p. 1)—see citing sources for suggestions on formatting references; for articles with footnotes, the meta:cite format is recommended. The use of citation templates is not required.
  • Media. It has images and other media where appropriate, with succinct captions, and acceptable copyright status. Images included follow the image use policy. Non-free images or media must satisfy the criteria for inclusion of non-free content and be labeled accordingly.
  • Length. It stays focused on the main topic without going into unnecessary detail and uses summary style.

    Other classes edit

    Non-articles can be assigned other classes, which do not affect the WikiWork scores.

    List Meets the criteria of a stand-alone List, which is a page that contains primarily a list.
      AL Provisional assessment exclusively for list articles that have been reviewed through the ACR process.
      FL Exclusively for articles that have received "Featured list" status, and meet the current criteria for featured lists.
    File Any non-article in the File namespace.
      FM Exclusively for media that have received "Featured picture" or "Featured sound" status and meet the current criteria for featured pictures or featured sounds.
    Category Any category.
    Disambig Any disambiguation page.
    Draft Any article in the Draft namespace.
    Future Any article in which all information contained is subject to change.
    Portal Any page within the portal namespace.
    Project Any page that falls under the Wikipedia:WikiProject U.S. Roads prefix.
    Redirect Any page that redirects to another article.
    Template Any type of template. The most common types of template used in the WikiProject are infoboxes and navboxes.
    NA Any page that is not an article and fits no other classification.

    Importance assessments edit

    Top Articles of national and international importance, such as articles on systems and select national routes.
    High Articles of national importance, such as all two-digit interstates not in Top-importance, three-digit interstates that connect multiple metropolitan areas, major U.S. routes that have not been duplicated by interstates, select state highways, and freeways in major metropolitan areas.
    Mid Articles of state or regional importance, such as all U.S. routes and three-digit interstates not in High-importance, most state highways, and select county highways.
    Low Articles of local importance, such as named interchanges, minor primary or most secondary state highways, all remaining county highways, and most special routes.
    NA All non-articles and non-lists are automatically placed here.

    WikiWork edit

    We use the seven quality classes to calculate a metric we call WikiWork, which tells us the current status of our articles. There are two main WikiWork numbers which are used. Cumulative WikiWork (ω) is the total number of classes (that is, improving a stub to start is one class) needed for all U.S. Roads articles to become featured articles. Relative WikiWork (Ω) is ω divided by the number of articles. This lets us know what class the average USRD article is.

    Cumulative WikiWork is calculated like this:


    In this calculation,   is the number of A-Class articles,   is GA-Class articles,   is B-Class articles,   is C-Class articles,   is Start-Class articles, and   is Stub-Class articles. The current ω is 52,240.

    Relative WikiWork is calculated like this:


    This calculation takes the above calculation and divides it by the number of articles, including featured articles, which is 12,367. This gives us a relative WikiWork of 4.224. Using the scale from the cumulative calculation, a Start-Class article is given a 5.0 and a C-Class article is given a 4.0, so the average USRD article is between Start- and C-Class.

    Early on in the project, we had to calculate the project's and each state's WikiWork by hand. Thankfully, this task is now handled by a bot. The table can be found at Wikipedia:WikiProject U.S. Roads/Assessment/States. A "live" version of this table, which is useful if you cannot wait until the bot runs, is located at Wikipedia:WikiProject U.S. Roads/Assessment/Live.

    Reviewing articles edit

    There are a number of ways to assess the quality of USRD articles. At the peer and A-Class reviews, USRD collaborates with other national highway projects (Australia and Canada, notably) to perform these reviews under the Highways WikiProject banner.

    Peer review edit

    The peer review process is not used to evaluate an article for a particular assessment level directly; rather, it is a forum where article authors can solicit ideas for further improvements. Peer review is most often requested when an article is at the C-Class or B-Class level; articles at lower levels are typically so incomplete that a meaningful review is impossible, while articles at higher levels go through more formal review processes.

    To begin a peer review, follow the instructions at Wikipedia:Peer review.

    Individual review edit

    The individual review process is used for all assessment activities up to the B-Class level. In this process, any editor may review an article against the listed criteria and assign the corresponding quality rating themselves. If an article nominally meets the criteria for a certain level, but one section is severely lacking, a level may be deducted from the rating.

    Article authors are free to assess their own articles under this process. However, by general agreement among our editors, the final assessment for a B-Class rating is typically left to an independent editor; requests for reassessment may be made by adding |reassess=yes to {{WikiProject U.S. Roads}}.

    Good article review edit

    The good article nomination process is an independent review mechanism through which an article receives a "good article" quality rating. The process involves a detailed review of the article by an independent examiner, who determines whether the article meets the good article criteria.

    Full instructions for requesting a good article review are provided on the good article review page.

    A-Class review edit

    The A-Class review process is the most thorough and demanding assessment of article quality done by the U.S. Roads WikiProject. An article that undergoes this process will be assessed against the A-Class criteria. During this time, independent editors critique the A-Class candidates by suggesting improvements or stylistic changes. Each reviewer's comments conclude with a simple support or oppose vote. For an article to be approved, three more reviewers must support promotion than oppose. Starting in 2014, the process is also provisionally reviewing list articles to award AL-Class; these reviews are being done using the featured list criteria as a starting point.

    To request an A-Class review, simply add |ACR=yes to {{WikiProject U.S. Roads}} and follow the instructions on the banner.

    Featured article and list review edit

    The featured article candidacy and featured list candidacy processes are separate, independent, Wikipedia-wide quality assessment mechanisms; these processes are the only way an article or list can receive a "featured" quality rating. The process involves a comprehensive review of the article by multiple independent examiners, all of whom must agree that the article meets the featured article criteria or featured list criteria.

    Full instructions for submitting a featured article or list candidacy are provided on the appropriate featured candidacy page. Editors are advised to carefully review the submission instructions; failing to follow them correctly may cause the submission to be rejected.

    Graphs edit

     FA: 83 (0.7%)A: 21 (0.2%)GA: 1,181 (9.5%)B: 1,579 (12.8%)C: 3,720 (30.1%)Start: 4,458 (36.0%)Stub: 1,325 (10.7%)Unassessed: 0 (0.0%)
    •   FA: 83 (0.7%)
    •   A: 21 (0.2%)
    •   GA: 1,181 (9.5%)
    •   B: 1,579 (12.8%)
    •   C: 3,720 (30.1%)
    •   Start: 4,458 (36.0%)
    •   Stub: 1,325 (10.7%)
    •   Unassessed: 0 (0.0%)