Wikipedia talk:Featured article candidates

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FAC mentoring: first-time nominatorsEdit

A voluntary mentoring scheme, designed to help first-time FAC nominators through the process and to improve their chances of a successful outcome, is now in action. Click here for further details. Experienced FAC editors, with five or more "stars" behind them, are invited to consider adding their names to the list of possible mentors, also found in the link. Brianboulton (talk) 10:17, 30 August 2016 (UTC)

FAC source reviewsEdit

For advice on conducting source reviews, see Wikipedia:Guidance on source reviewing at FAC.

Proposal to reduce restrictions on FAC submissionsEdit

Restrictions on FAR have been reduced to allow for nominators to nominate one article every two weeks, and have up to four active nominations at any one time, without the consent of a coordinator. I propose that the same restrictions be imposed on FAC nominations, in order to bring the two into line. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 18:47, 23 January 2020 (UTC)

Very amusing! ——SN54129 19:00, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
Hmmm, I think it's comparing apples to oranges here. There is no logical need to bring them into line. The problem with FAC remains lack of reviewers, which more nominations won't exactly help. FunkMonk (talk) 20:30, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
Not just a lack of reviewers; there have been complaints of general slowness, low review quality and insufficient output as well (that's why we occasionally re-run TFAs nowadays). Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk) 20:58, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
We re-run TFAs because the rate of promotion of FACs is much less than one per day. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 09:57, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
No, we re-run TFAs because a bunch of people whined about how their pet topics were So Damn Important that they should have a second appearance despite it meaning bumping the more recently promoted FAs from ever appearing. Even if we shut down FAC completely and never promoted anything again, it would still take almost three years just to burn through the existing backlog at WP:Featured articles that haven't been on the Main Page; sticking with the "articles which ran more than a decade ago are treated as if they'd never appeared" informal status quo, we have an essentially unlimited supply even were nothing ever to be promoted again, as it would take upwards of 1000 articles to be delisted just to prevent us going back to the 2004 queue and re-running the entire TFA calendar 16 years on, with WP:FANMP articles used to plug the gaps where articles have since been delisted. The sky may be falling in some places on Wikipedia, but TFA is not one of them. ‑ Iridescent 13:03, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
Well, 870, which is 2.38 years. All it would take is battleships on Mondays and Thursdays, Australian birds on Tuesdays, cricket on Wednesdays, TV episodes or obscure albums on Friday, and free choice over the weekends! The sky may not be falling in, but I was shocked to see we only have four fungus species & one Etty painting left. Johnbod (talk) 13:38, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
That's pretty much it. We got into this situation because the TFA coordinators wanted to "balance" the stream of articles that appear on the front page so that it showcased different subject, with long gaps between articles on similar subjects. As the table above indicates, there are major differences between the numbers of articles submitted in different topic areas. The result was that some areas became completely depleted. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 20:12, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
We have five Etty paintings left (The Combat, Musidora, Sirens, Cleopatra and The World Before the Flood), so you needn't panic. I could knock off FAs on Venus and her Satellites and Pandora Crowned by the Seasons at short notice if so needed (the main reason I haven't is that they're two of the most wretched daubs ever committed to canvas), and could probably do at least 20 more with minimal effort. ‑ Iridescent 13:50, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
Phew, that's a relief! I must have overlooked them because their titles aren't long enough - or are they categorized under "economics" or something? Johnbod (talk) 16:44, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
Johnbod install the "been on main page" thingie in your monobook, as in mine, to easily see which FAs have already run (when you click on WP:FA they show up green): User:SandyGeorgia/monobook.css SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:52, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
Here is the relevant RfC, and here is the discussion that led to the RfC. There may have been some support because of people wanting to rerun particular articles, but my motivation in starting both the discussion and subsequent RfC was that older FAs were often unfit to run, and I felt it was better to start rerunning TFAs occasionally in order to indefinitely delay the day when we ran out of old FAs that could be run. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 13:23, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
I'm so sorry I wasn't active then to press the point that we should have been running the unfit TFAs all along, so we wouldn't now be in the position of needing to process hundreds of them through WP:FAR :( :( I could be giving at least ten FAR NEEDED talk notifications a day, and yet, I can only submit a FAR every two weeks. I fear we should have never let things get to this point. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 13:31, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
I have sympathy with Hawkeye's position in having a queue of articles coming through (the same thing happens with me, but only very occasionally), but I agree with FunkMonk that these are apples and oranges here (someone nominating a poor article at FAR doesn't have to do any further work on it, whereas nominators are expected to at FAC).
I have always found the FAC co-ords to be flexible on the point of a second nom after about the third week (as long as the first nom has 2 or 3 solid reviews, nothing outstanding and the source/image reviews cleared). Hawkeye, have you had problems getting a green light from the co-ords to list a second nom if the first one is fairly well advanced? Cheers - SchroCat (talk) 20:43, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
Yes, many times. They are inflexible. Nobody mentioned anything about articles being "advanced" until a couple of weeks ago. I'm not playing games like that with the FAC coordinators. The fact is that FACs are never advanced. There is no metric to tell you if they are or not. There are several that I would put in that category in the queue right now. Last week there were a dozen. Who knows why they are still there? And why should it matter anyway? Hawkeye7 (discuss) 09:57, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
The reason for my sardony (?) is that Hawkey7 knows perfectly well this was relatively recently discussed and rejected. And IIRC, he agreed with that. Wot gives. ——SN54129 21:02, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
What I said was: The coords were not willing to drop the one-at-a-time rule. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 09:57, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
Wot I mean is, they don't officially drop it, but if your article is close to promotion you can submit another one. So two can be running at the same time? And that's not counting the co-nom you might have up? ——SN54129 10:23, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
You still have to ask the coordinator for a fiat, there is no telling when an article is close to promotion, and in any case that is not what I want. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 20:12, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
Just get somebody else to nominate any additional ones. Yomanganitalk 00:18, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
If you're bothered by not being able to run more FACs, the best thing you can do is engage and review more FACs to move the queues along.
With GA and A-Class, the MILHIST coordinators do exactly that, picking up the ones that are stuck, and so keeping the queues moving along. But that is only possible because we know what the status is of each nomination, and so can target the ones that need attention. Someone who approaches FAC with the objective of moving it along rather than reviewing an article because it is on a subject of interest to them has no way of knowing whether an additional review or two will make the difference. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 20:12, 24 January 2020 (UTC)

Also, Hawkeye, may I ask what the point of reverting the FAC bot? Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs talk 13:58, 24 January 2020 (UTC)

A bug was found with the Featured List run in that it had not been adding the top and bottom templates since March 2019. A special one-off run was then created to go back over the old nominations and add the templates. A couple of runs were required before I got it right. I was then able to run it over all the Featured Lists promoted in April 2019 through January 2020. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 20:12, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Although I've always preferred the current system (one solo nom + one joint), I am coming round to the idea of some limited relaxing of the rules on the number of nominations, although I think it would have to be carefully done. (To note my conflict of interest, I think I ask one of the co-ords permission to run a second nom maybe twice a year, but this isn't reason I'm supporting the idea). Would the idea of "three noms at any one time, as long as at least one is a co-nom" have any detrimental affect that people could see? The only one I can think of is reviewer fatigue, but others may have a different view. - SchroCat (talk) 17:50, 3 February 2020 (UTC)
    I don't see any problem with either that or raising the limit to two per nominator. If there is concern about reviewer fatigue, we could run a trial period and see how it leaves FAC at. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk) 17:53, 3 February 2020 (UTC)
    I like the idea of a trial period to see if it works. My guess is that it will only be useful for a very small number of experienced editors and won't cause too many problems, but it would be best to have a safety mechanism just in case. - SchroCat (talk) 18:03, 3 February 2020 (UTC)
    I could see going to two per nominator at a time (third with a co-nom) but subject then to no extra allowance from the Coords. And, it would be very uncool if those people putting up two at a time didn't do their fair share of reviewing, because the problem here is as much lack of reviewers as it is lack of nominators.
    Even more preferable to me would be to only a second nom for editors who significantly contribute at FAR. THAT is how the processes should be working together. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:02, 3 February 2020 (UTC)
    I think we could stretch to two concurrent noms with a third co-nom. It is only going to be useful to prolific content creators/nominators, and most of them already do a fair bit of reviewing and could be encouraged to do more if they were able to nominate a second one. I would anyway, and generally review every Milhist FAC regardless. From a personal perspective FAC is where my production bottleneck is, I have about twenty Milhist A-Class articles awaiting a run at FAC. What about a six month trial to see if it helps FAC throughput? We could ping in the top twenty FA producers to get a view on the extra reviewing expectations. Peacemaker67 (click to talk to me) 00:23, 4 February 2020 (UTC)
    What about an exemption for Vital Articles?--Wehwalt (talk) 10:43, 4 February 2020 (UTC)
    Not really sure that creating an exemption for a particular type of article is the way to go. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk) 10:46, 4 February 2020 (UTC)
    I may have some sympathy for it, except that once you get past the second tier, the selection of articles is fairly crap - too much recentism and a US bias in the selection. The choice of what constitutes "vital" was done a few years ago by a small group with no expertise in any particular area. I tried to persuade them to punt the decision of specifics out to the projects, but they demurred and made the selections, with a limited basis in historical importance or a world-wide approach. - SchroCat (talk) 11:11, 4 February 2020 (UTC)

Pre-RfC discussionEdit

Given some positive movement in this direction, I'm minded to open an RfC on this, unless there are negative comments on the thought here. Aside from the thread above, the most recent discussion I can find is here. There seems to be general agreement with the idea of some loosening, although the support is not unanimous.

What I would propose at the moment is:

  1. To replace the instruction "An editor is allowed to be the sole nominator of only one article at a time, but two nominations may be allowed if the editor is a co-nominator on at least one of them" with "An editor is allowed to be the nominator of three articles at a time, but only if at least one of them is a co-nomination";
  2. That this is run as a trial for six months. If there are problems during that time, a discussion will be opened by the FA co-ordinators to revisit the question as to whether to return to the current version (1 sole nomination + 1 co-nomination only). If there are no problems during the six-month trial, there is no need for this second RfC;
  3. That three nominations is a red line limit, and that no allowance is to be given for four nominations;
  4. That there is an expectation that while all editors are encouraged to help in reviewing other FA candidates, those who run multiple nominations are encouraged and expected to review more articles at FAC and to take an active part in FAR.

The first three are fairly uncontentious (I think that while there is some reticence to allowing a third nom, there seems to be a broad support for relaxing the limitation). The final point is what I'd like to hear feedback on. I'd rather not get into some formula (X nominations=X+3 reviews or the like) that forces a limit on people that can be gamed or ignored, I do think people should be encouraged to increase their participation in constructive reviews. Thoughts are welcome on all these points, but particularly on point 4. Cheers – SchroCat (talk) 13:14, 4 February 2020 (UTC)

I like it in principle, but as you’ve written it, point 4 is not enforceable. Make it, third nom only on fac or far coord permission per far participation? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:12, 4 February 2020 (UTC)
Possibly an expectation that those taking advantage of the third nomination be active in the other FA processes and be available for coordinators to call on from time to time.--Wehwalt (talk) 14:46, 4 February 2020 (UTC)
Yes, but with equal participation of all process coords ... for example, a FAR coord could say, hey editor X, you can have a third nom if you will give a solid review of article Y, currently at FAR. Coords know which editors are good at which kinds of reviews ... I guess we are saying then to make the third nom subject to any coord approval? Practically speaking, this would force some of our MILHIST reviewers and writers to engage other topics at FAR, which I think is just fine. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:52, 4 February 2020 (UTC)
Not sure if I really want to decide those things, but I also don't want TFA to become a backwater as people spend their time "where it will do them some good".--Wehwalt (talk) 14:55, 4 February 2020 (UTC)
But Wehwalt do you agree FAR coords should have a hand in helping optimize our limited reviewing resources?
For example, peeps, right now FAR needs help adding citations to Sicilian Baroque, evaluating whether Big Bang is salvageable, evaluating use of sources at L. Ron Hubbard, and deciding whether any medical editor gives a heck about updating Asperger syndrome or if it should be put out of its misery. Any FA writer clamoring for an additional FAC can have a look and pitch in. Anyone with access to a good library can add some citations to Sicilian Baroque, or give an opinion at L. Ron Hubbard. If we go this route, anyone clamoring for an additional nomination can give an hour to FAR, put in a solid review, and ask the FAR/FAC Coords for a third nom. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:10, 4 February 2020 (UTC)
On balance, I would prefer to avoid the whole question of permission, which I'm not a big fan of. I think if we got buy-in from people on expectations, that would have more value.--Wehwalt (talk) 15:23, 4 February 2020 (UTC)
I support Wehwalt's view immediately above. I like point 4 as written, but could argue a case for deleting "encouraged and". Gog the Mild (talk) 17:32, 4 February 2020 (UTC)
I admit that I am not really persuaded that there is some imperative need to throttle FAC input, especially not for a trial thing. I thus recommend dropping #3 and using #4 in case people ask for many allowances. In other words, people can still ask for a fourth nomination ... if they put in a lot of serious effort at reviewing other people's nominations (i.e not just driveby comments). Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk) 21:09, 4 February 2020 (UTC)
I think this will only work if enough prolific FA producers buy in on the extra reviewing work involved in #4. That means, in addition to those who have already expressed opinions above, people like @Sturmvogel 66, Ian Rose, Parsecboy, Hurricanehink, and Jimfbleak: @Mike Christie, Ealdgyth, Ceoil, David Fuchs, and FunkMonk: @Tim riley, Iridescent, and Nick-D:. Personally, I would review outside Milhist (and at FAR within my capabilities) if I could submit an extra solo nom and still have the scope for a co-nom as well. Could those pinged express a view about whether the above is something they would sign-on to? Peacemaker67 (click to talk to me) 01:18, 5 February 2020 (UTC)

Sure, I'm in favor. I don't imagine it affects *That* many users. If they have that many high-quality articles that were ready for FAC at the same time, sure, go for 3 (I agree w that limit). Hopefully that'll lead to some more collabs. ♫ Hurricanehink (talk) 03:44, 5 February 2020 (UTC)

  • Yes, it might encourage me to step up production Jimfbleak - talk to me? 06:39, 5 February 2020 (UTC)
I don't think I'll solo nominate more than one article any time soon (my GA backlog has run dry), but if I do, it sounds like a good trade off. FunkMonk (talk) 12:11, 5 February 2020 (UTC)
I have a fairly decent backlog of articles that I could run, but I don't know how frequently I'd do that, in practice, since balancing the demands of responding to reviewers in all of the stages of review (GA, A-class, FLC, and FAC) with writing more articles to feed into the pipeline is already sometimes demanding (especially if I have 1 or 2 at FAC, another at FLC, and another 1-3 at A-class at the same time). But when I feel the desire to run more than one solo FAC, I'd be happy to take on additional reviews here and at FAR to account for the extra work mine would require. Parsecboy (talk) 12:54, 5 February 2020 (UTC)

The names at the top of WP:WBFAN aren't the editors who are currently most productive; I've only nominated three FACs since the start of 2018, for example. Here's a list of everyone who has nominated ten or more FACs since 1/1/18, excluding conominations. Many of these editors have also conominated multiple times, but since we're talking about allowing multiple solo nominations these are probably the editors who would be the most likely to take advantage of a change in the rules.

Nominator # of solo nominations
Wehwalt 20
SchroCat 19
Aoba47 19
Peacemaker67 17
Casliber 16
Gog the Mild 16
Parsecboy 14
Sturmvogel 66 14
Ian Rose 13
Usernameunique 13
Kaiser matias 12
Serial Number 54129 12
Ergo Sum 11
Jo-Jo Eumerus 11
Hawkeye7 10
SounderBruce 10

I have no objection to the proposed change if nobody else does, though I think three should be a hard limit, at least until the six month trial period is up. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 11:05, 5 February 2020 (UTC)

These numbers don't include nominations in January 2020; I haven't tabulated those yet. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 12:39, 5 February 2020 (UTC)
Sorry to cause trouble Mike Christie, but I think I'm on 11 noms, and that one of those there is a co-nom? Unless I can't count of course, perfectly possible :) ——SN54129 11:29, 5 February 2020 (UTC)
Answered on your talk page to avoid cluttering up this page with another table. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 11:41, 5 February 2020 (UTC)
Thanks for this, Mike. Much more scientific than my ping list. Peacemaker67 (click to talk to me) 00:34, 6 February 2020 (UTC)
It provides an explanation for my frustration. Although I've had articles continuously at FAC throughout the period, I have only gotten five promoted each year while others had twice as many. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 18:44, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
G'day SchroCat. It seems to me that those that responded here are broadly supportive of 2+1. Next step, RfC? Peacemaker67 (click to talk to me) 00:05, 14 February 2020 (UTC)
Hi Peacemaker, Probably, but as I've said below, I'm withdrawing from all featured-related business for the foreseeable future (although I see one of those clear statements has now been removed. It seems rather heavy-handed to censor an entire conversation when just the email text could have been removed to be replaced by a one-sentence summary, but little surprises me any more). Anyone else is free to use my proposed text to continue the process if they wish. Cheers – SchroCat (talk) 06:58, 14 February 2020 (UTC)
If this were to go to RfC then you may wish to change the proposed wording of point 1. At the moment a straight reading means that an editor can only have a second single nomination if they already have a co-nomination. I don't see what's wrong with 'An editor is allowed to be the sole nominator of only onetwo articles at a time, but twothree nominations may beare allowed if the editor is a co-nominator on at least one of them.' Gog the Mild (talk) 12:57, 14 February 2020 (UTC)
Why not just start doing it? The only people this is going to impact are regular FACers who want to put more noms in. It's not like there's suddenly going to be a flood of multiple nominations. Worry about changing the wording of the rules later. If Hawkeye7 (or whomever - not singling you out, I just can't be bothered to scroll up and look for other names) consistently puts in three noms (one co-nom) without participating elsewhere then just stop letting people do that. Then again, we do love an RFC. Yomanganitalk 13:12, 14 February 2020 (UTC)
RfCs are frequently a pain in the neck, but they produce unexpected outcomes often enough that I think it's worth posting something here. Nothing will burn down while we wait a couple of weeks to see if anyone has a convincing reason why this would be a disaster. But if all the coords agree they want to try this and nobody objects here in a couple more days, I'd be OK with that as a shortcut. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 14:52, 14 February 2020 (UTC)
If we get to the point of launching an RFC, my preference is to see two choices.
  • Current text: An editor is allowed to be the sole nominator of only one article at a time, but two nominations may be allowed if the editor is a co-nominator on at least one of them.
  • Proposed text: An editor is allowed to be the sole nominator of only two articles at a time, but three nominations are allowed if the editor is a co-nominator on at least one of them.
  • Proposed addition: At their discretion, the Featured article review coordinators may grant a fourth nomination to editors who actively engage in improving Featured articles in that process.
My reasoning for this extra encouragement is that the relaxing of FAR rules we adopted on 23 January may (too early to tell) be helping deal with the backlog in FAR nominations, but there is not enough participation at FAR to close any of the nominations there one way or the other, so we still haven't found an effective way to deal with the backlog of out-of-compliance articles. Any editor can only nominate one FAR every two weeks, but even at that pace, if there are no reviewers, FARs can't be closed. And the uptick in nominations at FAR since we relaxed the rules is only slight.
Nor do any of the TFA proposals (intended partly to provide broader exposure to all FAs on the mainpage) appear to be gaining traction, so we still have no significant resolution to the hundreds of out-of-compliance older and unwatched FAs.
I continue to believe that the quality of the bronze star is deteriorated if the processes don't work together and don't do the necessary housekeeping, and I am unlikely to support an option to increase FAC throughput if we don't do something at the same time to address the bigger picture and maintain the quality of what FAC produces.
"Once an FA, always an FA is becoming permanently enshrined", and in fact, maybe even becoming worse with declining review at FAC. I was recently accused of making "major" changes in an upcoming TFA for simply offering a proposal while making minor MOS changes to issues that weren't reviewed at FAC; the big picture in the overall process is off. Continuing to make small tweaks, without addressing the overall picture, has not proven effective so far. There is no frequent FAC nominator who doesn't have the skills to either nominate something from the FAR notifications template, give a notification and add something to the template, or go over there and weigh in one way or another on a few of the reviews.
Summary, to Mike C's points, yes I object to putting this in place without clear consensus, and I hope the process can move back towards a culture that appreciates the quality of all FAs, including the older and unwatched ones. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:46, 14 February 2020 (UTC)
I think the proposed text is fine (Thanks Gog, Sandy and others) and I support us running an RfC with that proposed wording to establish a clear consensus for the change. I think Sandy's addition regarding FARs is useful and might encourage more work at FAR by prolific FAC nominators, but I add a note of caution regarding expectations. In my view, one of the biggest issues with helping out at FAR is that often specialist knowledge of the content and access to specialist sources are needed to bring the article back up to FA standard, and fixing MOS stuff, image licensing etc that anyone can do is pointless to the FAR process if the content isn't fixed, as it will be delisted regardless. Even though we have a number of prolific FAC nominators in Milhist, we are all generally specialists and may not have the knowledge or sources to contribute to the content aspects of FARs outside of our area of specialisation. Wikipedia:Featured article review/George B. McClellan/archive1 is an example of where we need American Civil War specialists to fix the content and POV stuff. Once that is done, I'm happy to fix the MOS, citation formatting and image licensing stuff. Peacemaker67 (click to talk to me) 04:38, 15 February 2020 (UTC)

FAC reviewing statistics for JanuaryEdit

Here are the FAC reviewing statistics for January. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 01:10, 6 February 2020 (UTC)

The above statement is a bit misleading, so to clarify: this table includes all reviews for FACS that were either archived or promoted last month, so the reviews included are spread over the last two or three months. A review posted last month is not included if the FAC was still open at the end of the month. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 10:46, 7 February 2020 (UTC)
Reviewers for January 2020
# reviews Type of review
Reviewer Image Source Content Total
Nikkimaria 11 9 3 23
Gog the Mild 4 2 7 13
SandyGeorgia 2 7 9
Sarastro1 2 6 8
Wehwalt 8 8
Tim riley 1 6 7
CPA-5 7 7
Brianboulton 5 2 7
Casliber 7 7
SchroCat 6 6
Fowler&fowler 5 5
Jo-Jo Eumerus 4 1 5
Sturmvogel 66 4 4
Jimfbleak 1 3 4
Factotem 2 2 4
Epicgenius 4 4
Laser brain 4 4
Giants2008 4 4
Dudley Miles 3 3
Buidhe 1 2 3
Parsecboy 2 1 3
Hawkeye7 3 3
JennyOz 3 3
Peacemaker67 1 2 3
J Milburn 3 3
Serial Number 54129 3 3
Ceoil 3 3
Harrias 2 1 3
RetiredDuke 2 2
Cassianto 2 2
Mimihitam 2 2
Coffeeandcrumbs 1 1 2
HaEr48 2 2
FunkMonk 2 2
Nick-D 2 2
Usernameunique 1 1 2
Ergo Sum 2 2
KJP1 2 2
Jens Lallensack 2 2
Llammakey 2 2
Graham Beards 2 2
IJReid 1 1
KeeperOfThePeace 1 1
DBigXray 1 1
Aoba47 1 1
Reidgreg 1 1
Ealdgyth 1 1
Cwmhiraeth 1 1
Vami IV 1 1
Francis Schonken 1 1
Zawed 1 1
Aa77zz 1 1
Praemonitus 1 1
Lord Roem 1 1
Kingsif 1 1
Eostrix 1 1
Smerus 1 1
Векочел 1 1
WereSpielChequers 1 1
Caeciliusinhorto 1 1
Tirronan 1 1
Sainsf 1 1
From Hill To Shore 1 1
Marco polo 1 1
CaptainEek 1 1
Dank 1 1
R8R 1 1
Ian Rose 1 1
A. Parrot 1 1
Super Dromaeosaurus 1 1
Double sharp 1 1
Dunkleosteus77 1 1
Jameslwoodward 1 1
John M Wolfson 1 1
Utopes 1 1
Moxy 1 1
Kaiser matias 1 1
Yashthepunisher 1 1
Lee Vilenski 1 1
zmbro 1 1
Lingzhi2 1 1
AustralianRupert 1 1
Moisejp 1 1
Noswall59 1 1
Kablammo 1 1
Grand Total 29 29 171 229
Supports and opposes for January 2020
# declarations Declaration
Editor Oppose Support None Grand Total
Nikkimaria 1 22 23
Gog the Mild 6 7 13
SandyGeorgia 3 6 9
Sarastro1 4 3 1 8
Wehwalt 6 2 8
Tim riley 5 2 7
CPA-5 7 7
Brianboulton 1 6 7
Casliber 7 7
SchroCat 1 5 6
Fowler&fowler 2 3 5
Jo-Jo Eumerus 5 5
Sturmvogel 66 4 4
Jimfbleak 2 2 4
Factotem 1 2 1 4
Epicgenius 4 4
Laser brain 2 2 4
Giants2008 1 3 4
Dudley Miles 3 3
Buidhe 3 3
Parsecboy 3 3
Hawkeye7 3 3
JennyOz 2 1 3
Peacemaker67 2 1 3
J Milburn 1 2 3
Serial Number 54129 1 2 3
Ceoil 2 1 3
Harrias 1 2 3
RetiredDuke 1 1 2
Cassianto 2 2
Mimihitam 1 1 2
Coffeeandcrumbs 1 1 2
HaEr48 2 2
FunkMonk 2 2
Nick-D 1 1 2
Usernameunique 1 1 2
Ergo Sum 2 2
KJP1 2 2
Jens Lallensack 1 1 2
Llammakey 2 2
Graham Beards 1 1 2
IJReid 1 1
KeeperOfThePeace 1 1
DBigXray 1 1
Aoba47 1 1
Reidgreg 1 1
Ealdgyth 1 1
Cwmhiraeth 1 1
Vami IV 1 1
Francis Schonken 1 1
Zawed 1 1
Aa77zz 1 1
Praemonitus 1 1
Lord Roem 1 1
Kingsif 1 1
Eostrix 1 1
Smerus 1 1
Векочел 1 1
WereSpielChequers 1 1
Caeciliusinhorto 1 1
Tirronan 1 1
Sainsf 1 1
From Hill To Shore 1 1
Marco polo 1 1
CaptainEek 1 1
Dank 1 1
R8R 1 1
Ian Rose 1 1
A. Parrot 1 1
Super Dromaeosaurus 1 1
Double sharp 1 1
Dunkleosteus77 1 1
Jameslwoodward 1 1
John M Wolfson 1 1
Utopes 1 1
Moxy 1 1
Kaiser matias 1 1
Yashthepunisher 1 1
Lee Vilenski 1 1
zmbro 1 1
Lingzhi2 1 1
AustralianRupert 1 1
Moisejp 1 1
Noswall59 1 1
Kablammo 1 1
Grand Total 20 115 94 229

What has FAC become?Edit

Who'd ever have thought FAC would come to this. Utterly shameful. Here we have an excellent and hugely prolific editor who has knocked out more featured articles than I care to count, be nonsensically bludgeoned (and some would say "trolled") by Fowler&fowler, an editor whose delusional aspirations cause them to self-identify as WP's answer to him, given the user name, under the noses, and at the apparent acceptance, of one of the coords. Not once, but twice.

For those not familiar, SchroCat has produced two FACs since the New Year alone, both of which have had the misfortune to be "reviewed" by F&f. The last one, James Humphreys (pornographer), received the first lot of F&f treatment, which attempted to turn it into a piece of politically correct toilet paper rather than a engaging piece of 70s crime nostalgia. The nomination dragged painfully on until a coordinator hurried it in to the vault, but not before a lecture, which most, I imagine, didn't read nor cared about, but that only went some way into ably assisting the current levels of floor wiping morale that we currently have at FAC. Let's chalk that one up as a difficult one-off – we all have them – and move on, shall we?

Not one to be put off, SchroCat returned with a second article, St Scholastica Day riot. Things were looking good, but the optimism didn't last long; guess who should turn up? Yup. More nonsensical and hugely confusing comments by F&f were laid out that were so convoluted that even SchroCat, a man with the patience of a 300-year-old statue, threw the towel in utter exasperation. Still, no worry, maybe the same coordinator as last time could offer a reassuring word to the nominator that yes, there really is no smoke without fire, and that yes, I see the pattern now and I'll do something about it. Er, no. Another another wall of text is issued and the coord recuses, thus negating them from all supervisory responsibilities. You do have to wonder, don't you?

I had two planned for FAC, but actually, I may just not bother. What's the point, life is too short, and I'm afraid I wouldn't be as half as resilient as my much admired colleague and friend. CassiantoTalk 17:54, 8 February 2020 (UTC)

Come to this? FAC brawls are not new. Everyone involved needs to read Ealdgyth's advice and try to follow it. Please stop personalizing FACs;[1] if you have something to say about contributors, rather than content, say it somewhere else. If you disagree with a reviewer, move on and let other reviewers or the coords decide. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:20, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
As if further illustration was needed. Thanks SandyGeorgia. CassiantoTalk 18:25, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
Ealdgyth should take her own advice. She has handled this whole episode badly and I have lost all confidence in her ability as a coordinator. Describing the editors involved as "dense" as she did here [2] and posting an essay on sources on the FAC discussion page as she did here [3], did nothing to stop F&f's vindictive behaviour. I would like to know why she thought it necessary to add her qualifications in the section header. I'm virologist with an international reputation. Should I be adding this to my reviews?Graham Beards (talk) 19:39, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
Graham Beards, I haven't looked closely at what happened there. I'm not familiar with the topic or those sources, and I'm sorry to see SchroCat upset. But in defence of Ealdgyth, what is badly needed at history articles at FAC (and elsewhere) is for historians to weigh in with views about how to recognize the right type of source. This is an issue all across Wikipedia, that people have difficulty choosing the right category of source (I include myself as someone who regularly struggles with that). So I welcome historians commenting as historians on source use, just as I welcome virologists commenting on issues within their expertise. For anyone wanting to help develop detailed advice about how to choose good sources for FAs, please see Wikipedia:Guidance on source reviewing at FAC. SarahSV (talk) 20:21, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
I agree with you. But if editors claim expertise the least I expect to see is an ORCID ID on their user page. Otherwise any Tom, Dick or Harriette can call themselves "historians" or whatever. And I still think announcing one's expertise in a heading is most uncouth and comes across as pedagogy.Graham Beards (talk) 00:23, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
I disagree. I find that kind of thing helpful. Attacks on reviewers willing to oppose are very damaging. Look at Mike's stats for January: 20 opposes, 115 supports, 94 other comments; December: 10 opposes, 106 supports, 98 other comments; November: 5 opposes, 98 supports, 81 other comments. People are reluctant to oppose, for various reasons, not only personal attacks but also because opposing tends to involve more work than supporting. But fear of criticism is one reason, so we should support reviewers willing to oppose, whether or not we agree with the review in question. SarahSV (talk) 18:34, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
Opposing not based on the criteria (which we have for a reason) is neither brave, nor helpful, and only causes people like SchroCat to walk away and not bother. CassiantoTalk 18:54, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
Sarah's got it right. Much more could be said on The Demise of the Oppose at FAC and what that has meant for overall quality, particularly in the sourcing area, but I'll rest that for now.
What else needs to be remembered is: 1) if you disagree with a reviewer, state your case, and let the Coords sort it, but don't personalize FACs; 2) without the selfless work of uninvolved reviewers (and the hours Coords have to spend sorting through increasingly long and off-topic FACs) we don't have FAs at all, so please remember to take care of the editors who really give us FAs (and those aren't only those who write them). Just like FAC is devalued without FAR, FA writers can't shine unless they appreciate and respect the role of independent reviewers. We have already seen too many intimidated and chased off. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:05, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
I'm bored of this. If I'm not going to be listened to, I'll go elsewhere. CassiantoTalk 19:06, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Sarah, I suggest you read the three FACS in question Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/St Scholastica Day riot/archive1, Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/James Humphreys (pornographer)/archive2 and Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/James Humphreys (pornographer)/archive1. Opposing based on personal opinions, not based on the criteria does nothing but harm our FA process. We all know and appreciate the value of actionable and valid opposes. Graham Beards (talk) 19:09, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
Yes, our regular discussions on the troubles with FAC very regularly include complaints (many from me) that the review process too often (pretty much usually) fails to probe the content and sources enough. Also that nominators are too often truculent and dismissive of points they can't easily fix, even if they are justified. I've suffered from SchroCat's attitude myself when reviewing his stuff, and now avoid reviewing his articles. He shouldn't be surprised if his highly un-emollient responses failed to reassure Fowler&fowler, who has to deal with all sorts of toxic crap on Indian topics, and is not easily put off. Perhaps they encouraged him to probe even more, I don't know. Johnbod (talk) 20:37, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
Johnbod, I don’t doubt what you say, but I do you mean plural reviews? (And nothing show up on the tools which doesn't help). I only remember the Burning of Parliament, where you asked for the inclusion of architectural details that were outside the scope of the article, and the inclusion of a gallery that is outside the scope of the MoS.
As to what toxic behaviour Fowler has faced elsewhere, that does not excuse him bringing the BATTLEFIELD approach here and being a disruptive and toxic troll at FAC.
I didn't want to comment again here, but I was pinged, so I returned. I would ask that people don't ping me again please. - SchroCat (talk) 10:49, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
I can't remember if there were others, maybe it was just watching but not commenting. You're rather proving my points here! Johnbod (talk) 18:55, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
@Johnbod: My method of reviewing, which is in-depth, has been more or less invariant from: 1) Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Mullum Malarum/archive4 (which I opposed, but whose movie (with English sub-titles) I rented on youtube and helped with the writing of the plot; it was archived); 2) Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Muhammad III of Granada/archive1 (which I opposed, thought too short, queried an medieval Andalusian Arabic poem rendered in the Classical Arabic script which I found dubious; had an expert examine it; it was promoted), 3) Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Cactus wren/archive1 (in which, I was experimenting with commenting only on the lead from the perspective of a rank beginner, whose lead was substantially rewritten as a result of my input, and which I supported but only for the proportion of the article I did review; it was promoted) 4) Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Horologium (constellation)/archive1 (same rank beginner idea; initially opposed, eventually supported; drew a geometric diagram, which was added to the article; it was promoted) 5) Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Coropuna/archive1 (same rank beginner idea; ended up rewriting the lead; the article was withdrawn by the nominator after consultation with the referees and is currently being improved on Tal:Coropuna) Then there was 6) Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/James Humphreys (pornographer)/archive1 (where too I was initially commenting about the lead (see here, but where the responses of the nominator were entirely different: from glum, to surly, to abusive.) Fowler&fowler«Talk» 21:04, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
Your reviewing techniques leave little to be desired, Fowler&fowler. Anyone here who has a spare few months to make sense of your gibberish on any of the FACs you link to will see that for themselves. CassiantoTalk 21:48, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I’m done with FAs for a long time, so I’ll make this brief: Fowler has already personalised this by being a disruptive troll on three reviews. He needs to learn how to review things properly, what some of our policies and guidelines are, and how not to be quite so arrogant, tendentious and obnoxious in reviews. Feel free to diss me in multiple venues Sandy, I really don’t give a toss. Now, I’m off out for the evening where I won’t have to worry about what idiotic comments Fowler is going to make on that review. - SchroCat (talk) 18:26, 8 February 2020 (UTC)

Just as an aside, I always thought these things worked on consensus, so if one (or more) particular user(s) are against the consensus, they can be acknowledged yet not stand in the way of promotion realistically? I don't know. FAC is one of those places which takes an eternity to get anything anywhere, where super-users seem to be able to just add comments and disappear &c. It's not good right now and needs refreshing. The Rambling Man (Staying alive since 2005!) 18:38, 8 February 2020 (UTC)

I view this as a player vs. player, personal issue, not really systemic or par, and thus not for discussion here. Delegates are not parents. Ceoil (talk) 19:52, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
ps, I agree 105% with TRM: "if one (or more) particular user(s) are against the consensus, they can be acknowledged yet not stand in the way of promotion" (within limits obv, such issues generally revolve around prose and stylistic preferences). Otherwise, to all in this ego clash: big boy pants. Ceoil (talk)
Granted, I'm someone not hugely versed in the FAC process (been through it a few times but probably more by luck than judgment), but I'm not sure that's quite the case—coordinators are surely beholden to coordinating the candidacy process itself and when editors are burnt out of the process due to a pattern of tendentious reviewing, it would surely fall to those coordinating FAC to defuse the situation. In the specific situations here, it would probably be practical to draw a line under any drawn-out opposes, register that they've been heard, and assure all involved that this will be taken into consideration when judging consensus without the need to expound it into oblivion. I'm not convinced that the answer to unhelpful walls of text is more unhelpful walls of text. GRAPPLE X 20:13, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
To be fair we are talking about outliers here, but if "defusing", which involves judgement, becomes part of the role, then they are no longer delegates (a ridiculous title) per se, but directors (Raul's old title, also ridiculous). The big danger here is that we legislate for the once in a blue moon, and thus "politeness" rather than improvement or reform becomes impossible. I saw first hand how Tony1 shook this place up for the better back in 2007; his last posts here, and how he was treated last year, because of creeping entitlement, are raw in my mind. Ceoil (talk) 20:29, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
FAC doesn't work on consensus, which is why people are reluctant to oppose on fixable items. An editor who opposes promotion can usually block it. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 21:19, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
And that was why F&f's oppose was so wrong, especially since it wasn't based on the criteria. CassiantoTalk 21:22, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
Well yes, absolutely. But note that the criteria are frequently of little help and open to abuse:
  • "Prose is engaging and of a professional standard". Generally taken to mean that the spelling and grammar are correct, but some editors demand much more.
  • "A thorough and representative survey of the relevant literature". Generally taken to mean that RS are used, but some editors demand more recent sources, even though they contain no new information.
  • "Neutral". Frequently used to give WP:IDONTLIKEIT some teeth on contentious subjects.
  • "Stays focused on the main topic without going into unnecessary detail and uses summary style" has always been in tension with "neglects no major facts or details and places the subject in context". Generally taken to mean WP:Summary style, which summarise the issue as "opinions vary".
Hawkeye7 (discuss) 00:31, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
"A thorough and representative survey of the relevant literature" is not "Generally taken to mean that RS are used" at the basic level, and this is one of ShroCat's weaknesses. "some editors demand more recent sources, even though they contain no new information" - well yes they will, especially in history articles, and when "more recent" means "published in the last 100 years". Nominators need to realize that very few FAs can be mainly sourced to pre-WW1 sources. For some topics that means either spending time in a very good library (and for some small topics even that may not work), or sticking at GA level. In history, even when the actual basic information existing is pretty limited, and all available in very old sources, one still wants to see that modern historians a) haven't turned up anything new and b) still accept the old facts and their interpretation. Johnbod (talk) 01:22, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
I broadly agree with Johnbod here. The writings of Georgian and Victorian era historians are useful, but they shouldn't be the only sources used. --In actu (Guerillero) Parlez Moi 18:45, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
This raises an interesting question on notability. If something was covered in great depth 150 years ago but hardly has any sources today, do we consider it as passing WP:GNG? If so, then there is no choice but to base the article on old sources.  — Amakuru (talk) 19:12, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
@Amakuru: If something has been was covered in great depth 150 years ago but hardly has any sources today, the first question has to be: why not? I.e., why aren't historians of today continuing the research? The answer, usually, is because either there's little more to be said, or because there shouldn't have been that much said in the first place. ——SN54129 19:58, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
I don't see it as a notability issue, but as potentially preventing the FA criteria being met. There's using RS, and there's "A thorough and representative survey of the relevant literature" - with quite a gap between those. Johnbod (talk) 19:22, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
WP:NTEMP answers that question fairly definitively. I suppose if you drew the "old sources are primary sources" argument out to its logical conclusion, your example could fail GNG by virtue of having no secondary (that is, recent) sources... but that would be an extremely hard sell. – Juliancolton | Talk 19:36, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
@Juliancolton: I agree that WP:NTEMP wins out here, but passing WP:N and passing the FA sourcing guidelines are very different bars. For example, there are 1700s Protestant church leaders from the United States that have almost no scholarship on them post 1900. A DYK could rely on the Annals of the American Pulpit, but I don't think a FA could. --In actu (Guerillero) Parlez Moi 20:18, 10 February 2020 (UTC)

Query re: notability of a subjectEdit

One of the projects I've finally decided to pull off the backburner in life is revisiting previous failed FACs of mine to see if any of them can be salvaged for another attempt, and I was hoping to begin with the concert recording Laborintus II (album). Its FAC in 2014 featured some contention as to whether a specific live recording of a composition could have merit as its own article; the biggest roadblock at the time was a question as to whether sources had been interpreted accurately but before I commit to combing through everything inch by inch I was hoping I could a few opinions on whether notability would still be a cause for concern here. Several of the reviewers at the time are no longer active on Wikipedia for various reasons or I would have asked them directly; as is, I hope a fresh set of eyes would help indicate whether this is a windmill worth my time tilting towards. Thank you. Gʀᴀᴘᴘʟᴇ ˣ 15:10, 12 February 2020 (UTC)

Having looked over that review it doesn't look to me that anyone argued that the work wasn't notable (the closest was Brian Boulton, who implied that it might not reach his personal threshhold of notability, but that it still met WP:N). The objection was that promoting the article while not doing so for other recordings of the same work was favouring one particular commercial entity over another. This is, I think, nonsense (and the other commenters in the discussion seem to have agreed with me): there is no rule that articles on commercially available things cannot be featured articles, and if that was a rule, there are plenty of pre-existing FAs which would arguably require de-listing. For instance 300 (film) is an FA but not The 300 Spartans and yet nobody is arguing that wikipedia is taking sides on which terrible mistelling of the Battle of Thermopylae (also, incidentally, not an FA) you should spend your money on. Caeciliusinhorto (talk) 22:09, 12 February 2020 (UTC)
Thank you; I felt there might be some doubt over whether it was adequate to stand separately from an article on the composition itself but this is helpful. Gʀᴀᴘᴘʟᴇ ˣ 12:52, 13 February 2020 (UTC)

How to weight opposesEdit

Thinking again about individual opposes tanking an FAC in the face of otherwise overwhelming support...We have 10 criteria (5+3+1+1), but some are more equal than others; an I'm thinking of stylistic or MOS preferences here. How about opposes on some criteria can be left standing if in the judgement of delegates, there is otherwise support on this point. Obv the same wouldn't go for comprehensiveness or either breath/quality of sources. I realise that the delegates are smart enough to have realised this already and it is factored in practice, but how about if an FAC gets bogged down on a single issue, a delegate reminds the opposer that they are outside of the wider consensus, and their continued engagement will not impact outcome. I think to be fair, that uncertainty drove SchroCat up the wall, to take the most recent, but by far, far, far, not the only example. Also, such a rule would allow delegates to do their work without out risk of leaning towards one personality or view versus the other. Ceoil (talk) 21:02, 15 February 2020 (UTC)

I don't think we need to burden the Coords with this (they already know how to "weight" opposes, and know what importance to give to MOS concerns in the big picture). And I see a number of problems with "unweighting" MOS. First is that I've recently witnessed multiple instances of FA writers somewhat stretching WP:OWN#Featured articles into an interpretation that FAs are set in stone, and that everything in the FA was approved at FAC (which is almost never true), and using OWN:FA as a justification to oppose even minor MOS corrections. I don't think we should encourage that, as even if we let MOS stuff through, we should let others fix them. Second, what stands in an FA is invariably used in WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS arguments, so we should not set priorities that might affect that problem.
I feel it far more important to remind nominators not to get into personal conflicts on FACs, and trust the Coords to sort it out. If we are NOT trusting the Coords, then we have a whole 'nother level of problem. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:20, 15 February 2020 (UTC)
My aim here is to give more transparency as to how coords think, thus avoiding the uncertainty that leads to the win or die arguments we have seen recently. Should have been cleared though - I dont want to undermine basic MOS, which are never at odds in these instances, more gamesmanship wrt higher level stylistic preferences. Obv MOS will have been met if a majority of reviews are passing on prose. Ceoil (talk) 21:41, 15 February 2020 (UTC)
Opposes are few and far between and anyone making the mistake of opposing quickly learns the error of their ways. And will be continually reminded over the course of years. For anyone with the guts to oppose a good practice is stick to the criteria, i.,e "opposing per ....". Back in the day when I was still reviewing I'd mentally do something like that anyway, take the totality into consideration. But I also used to grade hundreds of student essays in short periods of time, always against a rubric, so assessing a piece of writing in its totality was second nature. Still is, the difference, obviously is that this isn't a job. I've never opposed, as far as I know, on a single criterium. Sorry to be so dour. Just to add: mutual respect between FAC nominee & FAC reviewer is paramount. It's a collaborative exercise and has to be treated as such. All of the articles I've submitted for review have benefited greatly from the process, fwiw. Victoria (tk) 22:46, 15 February 2020 (UTC)
You, Victoria, have never opposed on frivolous grounds. Maybe we can build commonly understood gradations for weighing opposes, whether they are scene stealing or not; dunno, kicking around. Ceoil (talk) 23:04, 15 February 2020 (UTC)

I'm a little dubious about commenting on this because it's not an exact science and, like minimum-three-supports "rule", is perhaps best not spelt out. OTOH I don't think there should be any surprises -- everything I have to say on the following aspects of the FAC criteria is based on WP policy and guidelines, to whit:

  • Appropriate image licensing is not simply part of policy, it has legal implications owing to copyright, so it's right at the top. I can't recall the last time I had to archive a FAC over images though -- nominators generally simply remove or replace problem files.
  • Likewise, reliable sourcing is part of policy and plagiarism has legal implications, so it's up top as well, and that's not to mention the credibility issues of poorly sourced articles. A negative source review or spotcheck can kill a FAC, and so it should.
  • Neutral point of view is one of the Five Pillars, so it also has to ride high. Unresolved issues on grounds of NPOV can sink a FAC.
  • Poor-quality or even middling prose won't land us in court, but it certainly damages our credibility. It is subjective though, and I think you can only determine on a case-by-case basis as to whether it should result in a FAC being archived. I've occasionally promoted an article and asked that minor prose points be dealt with afterwards.
  • MOS is a guideline, not policy, so while it's important, I don't see it carrying the same weight as the above. As above, I have promoted an article and asked that outstanding formatting issues be dealt with later.

That's just a snapshot. On the subject of transparency, I don't tend to explain why I'm promoting an article, because most of the time it should be pretty clear there's been comprehensive commentary and support, and the requisite source and image reviews have taken place. We almost always provide a rationale for archiving though -- nobody wants it, so I think the nominators deserve to know why we're doing it. Articles can be promoted with outstanding opposition if that opposition isn't grounded in the FAC criteria, if the points seem to have been reasonably dealt with by the nominator, or if it seems subjective. Likewise an unactioned, well-reasoned oppose based on the criteria can sink a FAC in the face of several supporting reviews. It's not a matter of numbers. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 00:55, 16 February 2020 (UTC)

I'll add that the second James Humphreys FAC provides an example of when commentary on promotion is called for, not simply to deal with the outstanding opposition but to address editor behavior, and I fully endorse Ealdgyth's words. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 01:25, 16 February 2020 (UTC)
There is still something that is not working that we havnt put our finger on yet, why both frequent nominators and sometimes reviewers feel equally disenchanted. I'll put it bluntly: the most able editor in the area I work most closely on has long viewed DKY as more worthwhile than FAC. That cant be right. I dunno exactly, but it would be a good thing if there was collective responsibility, and people said that works and doesn't work for them in this review process.
My opinion: For obv reasons wiki disregards and discourages experts at the day to day level, but we are crying out for them at FAC. This is a fundamental disjoint. Ceoil (talk) 01:31, 16 February 2020 (UTC)

Script to detect unreliable sourcesEdit

I have (with the help of others) made a small user script to detect and highlight various links to unreliable sources and predatory journals. The idea is that it takes something like

  • John Smith "Article of things" Deprecated.com. Accessed 2020-02-14. (John Smith "[https://www.deprecated.com/article Article of things]" ''Deprecated.com''. Accessed 2020-02-14.)

and turns it into something like

It will work on a variety of links, including those from {{cite web}}, {{cite journal}} and {{doi}}.

I'm still expanding coverage and tweaking logic, but what's there already works very well. Details and instructions are available at User:Headbomb/unreliable. Questions, comments and requests can be made at User talk:Headbomb/unreliable. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 13:02, 19 February 2020 (UTC)

Hey that's brilliant. Nicely pinked IMBD on a new article I just looked at, many thanks Jimfbleak - talk to me? 14:18, 19 February 2020 (UTC)
Love it. This should help with regular editing, AFD, etc., in addition to FAC. --RL0919 (talk) 15:35, 19 February 2020 (UTC)
@RL0919: you're right that this could be useful at AFD. I'll mention it there too! Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 17:23, 19 February 2020 (UTC)
Nice. Can I suggest more differentiated colours for the "Deprecated/predatory" and "Generally unreliable" levels? I find it difficult to tell between the shades of pink when only one is flagged up. Factotem (talk) 17:35, 19 February 2020 (UTC)
Right now it's based on the color scheme from WP:RSPSOURCES. I've considered making them look more different, but while there's a 'conceptual' difference between 'deprecated' and 'generally unreliable', in practice, they're both in the "are you really sure you want to cite this?" category, so there's not a whole lot of difference between the two categories as far as human review is concerned. The main one mostly being that the 'generally unreliable' can be OK for announcements/press releases sort of statements.
Still, if you've got a colour scheme that's not too aggravating on the eyes, let me know. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 18:01, 19 February 2020 (UTC)
@Factotem: Came up with a solution. Let me know if that's better. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 18:09, 19 February 2020 (UTC)
Perfect. Thanks. Factotem (talk) 18:11, 19 February 2020 (UTC)
@Factotem: actually I just made it a bit less annoying with wavy underlines, rather than in-your-face red borders. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 18:33, 19 February 2020 (UTC)
That's fine by me. I have no opinion on how it's differentiated, just that it should be in some way more obvious than the original shift in shade was. Nice job. Factotem (talk) 18:42, 19 February 2020 (UTC)
I presume it is made clear that a) this script does not recognize all unreliable sources (and that people thus shouldn't go "the script doesn't flag this, so it must be OK") and b) that sometimes even the most unreliable of all sources has its correct use even with a FA? I am a little concerned about unintended consequences of this trend to formally deprecate sources. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk) 18:49, 19 February 2020 (UTC)
@Jo-Jo Eumerus: see the summary box at the top of the script infopage. I just added the line about not covering all sources out there. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 18:56, 19 February 2020 (UTC)
Whilst I really like this script, it is a little small in scope (potential for improvement, perhaps?) It took me quite a lot of articles (maybe a good thing?) before I saw this actually do anything. Could we expand at least the blacklisted links to the global blacklist (I know it gives an error anyway, for instance cuetracker at 1975 Pot Black.) Best Wishes, Lee Vilenski (talkcontribs) 16:51, 20 February 2020 (UTC)
@Lee Vilenski: well it's 'small' in scope mostly because most sources used end up actually being fairly decent. Expanding to the blacklist would be a lot of effort for very little payoff, give those have been blocked from Wikipedia for a while now. If you're looking to do specific crap-sourcing related cleanup, your best bet is to combine it with things like the WP:CITEWATCH, or searching for known-bad/probably shouldn't be used sources, like Special:Search/insource:/imbd\.com/ or Special:Search/insource:/twitter\.com/ or Special:Search/insource:/10\.4172\/ */ or whatever. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 00:05, 21 February 2020 (UTC)

Is there really no minimum page size requirement in FAC submissions?Edit

What if I were to whip up the articles: Possessive pronoun in English, Reflexive pronoun in English, Relative pronoun in English, Interrogative pronoun in English, Demonstrative pronoun in English, and Indefinite pronoun in English, cite them to the most up-to-date grammar books and fix them so that each is 300 words long and comprehensive? I might be being over-optimistic here as pages have been written on "who" and "whom" alone and I haven't even mentioned the personal pronouns; but, I could change "English" to "modern English" to "modern American English" ... and so forth until I have reduced comprehensiveness to 300 words. In other words, we don't have to be rocket scientists to know that if we choose our topic small enough, or obscure enough, we can write a comprehensive article of short length in short order. Very soon I would have a template for writing 300-word comprehensive articles on the irreducibles of grammar. Question: Can I nominate such hypothesized articles as FACs? Fowler&fowler«Talk» 16:01, 19 February 2020 (UTC)

I don't know if consensus on this changed in the years I was away from FAC, but in the years I was delegate, I had to promote both ultra-short and ultra-long articles (both of which I disagreed with) because consensus accepted both. In my not so humble personal opinion, we should set a lower limit on short articles, and if an article can't use summary style to get something under 10,000 words, it should. On the ultra-long, no one should be expected in an encyclopedia to sit down and read for half an hour; those who are interested in that kind of depth will read the sub-articles. And an ultra-short article cannot, by definition, IMO, be an example of Wikipedia's best work. How others define ultra-short and ultra-long varies, but the discussion is worthy. Consensus always seem to evade us, though.
Interesting aside: some of the ultra-short I had to promote have now been eliminated, as even the hurricane editors themselves acknowledge other material should be merged into them, and those have been/are being addressed at FAR. So, to use that as an example, why not merge all of your hypotheticals into one article on pronouns? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:19, 19 February 2020 (UTC)
I think consensus always eventually arrives at the answer "If they meet the criteria" and can survive the other processes. What would be the argument against merging them all to Pronouns in English?
(Also have a look back in the archives. This has been discussed [insert number] thousand times). Yomanganitalk 16:33, 19 February 2020 (UTC)
@SandyGeorgia: Well, in their defense, they might actually serve a useful purpose as ultra-short articles, as focused ready references for questions, issues, or disputes of grammar, for which longer articles could be confusing or overwhelming. I've always thought an FA Semi-colon in English could be very useful in FAC reviews. Punctuation in English would be too long. Without the FA imprimatur, a grammar article, short or not, would be useless. Fowler&fowler«Talk» 16:37, 19 February 2020 (UTC)
So, there is: Semicolon#English, but the FAC could be a little more comprehensive. Fowler&fowler«Talk» 16:40, 19 February 2020 (UTC)
In your argument (punctuation article is too long), I call victory on both ultra-short and ultra-long :) You write the overall article using WP:SS, and you also write the sub-articles. The sub-articles are not FAs; the summary overview is. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:41, 19 February 2020 (UTC)
PS, historical trivia factoid. We once had a featured article on a word, thou: Wikipedia:Featured article review/Thou/archive2. I bet you could bring that back to standard. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:43, 19 February 2020 (UTC)
Nominating a cookie-cutter article is one of the secondary options in Sandy's favourite guide, but as far as I know only one nominee has admitted to using it. Trying to combine it with short FAs is a daring approach though. Yomanganitalk 16:46, 19 February 2020 (UTC)

@SandyGeorgia: If the sub-articles could be ultra-short FAs, I see some value in a Featured List "Pronouns," with a lead in summary style. I think an FA "Pronouns in English" written in summary style, would not only take too long to write but would also be hard to comprehend in summary style. Plus, people could be forever changing the sub-articles as they wouldn't be FAs. All this assumes that the review process for the ultra-shorts might be speeded up. Fowler&fowler«Talk» 16:52, 19 February 2020 (UTC)

My fingers are tired. [4] SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:55, 19 February 2020 (UTC)
Sorry. Fowler&fowler«Talk» 16:59, 19 February 2020 (UTC)
That's OK! Because of that, you have my permission to do your penance by editing my talk page to fix the excess of semi-colons. I have no delusions that my views on length will ever prevail :0 SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:02, 19 February 2020 (UTC)
 :) It's funny too that because of your question, I'm having to defend what I had originally come here to run down (the ultra shorts). I'm seeing value. Fowler&fowler«Talk» 17:04, 19 February 2020 (UTC)
re Yomangani: The flip side of the daring approach is what Karanacs had called "nominator fatigue." Fowler&fowler«Talk» 17:31, 19 February 2020 (UTC)
  • As a personal practice I do not send anything to GAN if it's below 1200 words or so, and not to FAC unless it's considerably longer. I disagree with the notion that every topic can have a GA or FA written about it; we're an encyclopedia with a very wide scope; very many things are going to remain stubs for the foreseeable future, and that's okay. I would prefer to think of a comprehensive article as one covering every reasonable aspect of the topic in detail, rather than one that just covers all available information. Vanamonde (Talk) 18:17, 19 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Yes, I think for a long time the record short FA was Ælle of Sussex, about whom almost nothing is known, in particular whether he even existed. Subjects like that - including for example most pre-Renaissance artists - are the best excuse for very short FAs, but I too am dubious. What we badly need is more FAs on BIG subjects, not microtopics. Johnbod (talk) 18:29, 19 February 2020 (UTC)
  • The ones that really stand out to me are things like How Brown Saw the Baseball Game, at 712 words; while I congratulate the nominator for doing their best with an obscure topic, this isn't "comprehensive" as the term is generally understood outside of Wikipedia; it just encompasses all that we know about the subject, which isn't much. And that's true for a very large number of topics. For instance, I wrote Fulvous owl some time ago; and I incorporated essentially all the sourceable information that existed at the time. If I were to subscribe to FAC's historical definition of "comprehensive", I could nominate it now. I don't think I should though, because that would be silly; it's a poorly known topic, not a best-of-the-best article. Vanamonde (Talk) 19:01, 19 February 2020 (UTC)
Glancing at the taxonomy section of that owl, I think it could be expanded a bit. Who made the various taxonomic revisions and why? Does the specific name simply mean fulvous? Any genetic work? Etc. That's at least what I'd ask about during a GAN or FAC review. There's also a nice painting on Commons that shows it in more detail which is not used. FunkMonk (talk) 23:22, 19 February 2020 (UTC)
  • I think it's often the case that, early in their tenure, nominators view FAC as the end-goal of every article's evolution. Once the novelty of the star wears off, and the skills necessary to navigate FAC have been honed, people usually focus their efforts on promoting fewer but more substantial articles. Frankly, I'd almost consider it a rite of passage. – Juliancolton | Talk 19:20, 19 February 2020 (UTC)

What we said before. Yomanganitalk 18:47, 19 February 2020 (UTC)

To me the ultimate question is not how short something is, but whether it places the subject in appropriate context. If you can't get 800 words out of a subject and you've exhausted your resources, then that might be better off included in a larger topic. Likewise, especially with stuff like FLCs, I see content that is better off just being absorbed into what it was spun off from in the first place. Like Julian, I think my arc has shifted somewhat, in that I'd much rather have fewer, better articles than more fragmented ones. It's ultimately up to the reviewers to decide case-by-case. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs talk 19:35, 19 February 2020 (UTC)
In going back through old FACs I recently reread the FAC for Tropical Storm Erick (2007), which was for a while the shortest FA. It's now been merged into the relevant hurricane season article. At the time several editors (I was one) said they would have opposed if "should be merged into a parent article" had been a valid oppose reason. If David and Julian are representative of FAC regulars, perhaps we could add something to that effect to the FA criteria. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 19:49, 19 February 2020 (UTC)
Placing a topic in the appropriate context is certainly important, but I don't know if adding that entirely addresses my concern. Many of the topics I have written about simply do not have the coverage in reliable sources to advance far beyond a stub, but are nonetheless well-defined, coherent topics (again, see Fulvous owl for an example of what I mean). I don't think such things ought to be brought to FAC at all (or GAN, though the threshold is somewhat different there), because the comprehensiveness criterion, as currently written, does not permit it. It's just that this criterion has been understood and enforced differently in the past, it would seem. Vanamonde (Talk) 21:07, 19 February 2020 (UTC)
I certainly have a clutch of articles that I think of as "never FAs" that I get to GA and figure that's the ultimate endpoint for that article. Bronze stars I don't think should be considered the ultimate end for every single piece of content we have. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs talk 21:35, 19 February 2020 (UTC)
sample (typing on iphone): klazomania. At the time I wrote it, that was all the text I could scrounge from every source. 1700 words. It is complete (or was when I wrote it, have not checked today). I would not FAC it. But neither do I think the text should be merged to a new article covering all of these various complex tics (echolalia, echopraxia, coprolalia, et al) ... or maybe it should. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:59, 19 February 2020 (UTC)
I have a that problem with NASA Astronaut Group 2, which clocks in at just 2,300 words (NASA Astronaut Group 3 is even worse at 2,099; the small NASA Astronaut Group 4 has just 1,669, and NASA Astronaut Group 5 has 2,452. Intended as lists, the articles were rejected by FLC, so I don't really know what can be done with them. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 22:44, 19 February 2020 (UTC)
NASA astronaut groups 1962–1972? Gog the Mild (talk) 23:13, 19 February 2020 (UTC)

Reviewing conventionsEdit

Mike Christie how do you deal with these issues in your monthly stats? Do you use a script, or do you have to go through manually?

It was once standard, assumed, and enforced that a) reviewers should declare any involvement or conflict of interest wrt their declarations, and b) there was only to be ONE bolded support or oppose. When going through archives to count those supports and opposes, it was possible to scan for only those bolded.

On recent FACs, I have encountered as many as three supports by the same reviewer, in addition to the Support in their section heading (which was once discouraged). And, quite often, reviewers are not declaring their involved support. What gives? How does your script work around multiple declarations from the same reviewer? Could we/should we be watching for this? I 'spose I used to do all of this cleanup myself, by going through and unbolding the multiple instances, to make it easier for Maralia or me to go through archives when we did stats. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:54, 19 February 2020 (UTC)

As someone who believes people who nominate at FAC should give back with reviews of their own, I don't like the idea that separate source/prose/image reviews for the same candidate should be treated any differently than if they were made across different candidates. In my admittedly sporadic visits to FAC I put a significant amount of time and effort into source reviews, and if I then spend more time completing a prose review on an article that I have also source reviewed, as I did in one case in January, then it seems only fair to see them as two reviews that go into the credit column for the nominations I then ask others to review for me. Factotem (talk) 18:49, 19 February 2020 (UTC)
I do it completely manually. I can't imagine a script that could do it accurately. I don't track conflicts of interest, and I count supports/opposes once only, but a reviewer can get credit for up to three reviews for a single FAC if they perform a content review, a source review, and an image review. I do keep track of editor name changes -- you wouldn't believe how many times the signature on an old FAC no longer points to the editor's current name.
A longer answer re the latter, for anyone who's interested: I count a review as an image or source review if it's obvious that's what it is, or if the reviewer says they've done one. E.g. "Support, couldn't find any problems; also checked images and sources and no issues there either" would usually count as three. That's rare -- more often it's evident someone's been checking sources because they list problems, and ditto for images. For supports and opposes, I try to follow what I think the intent was of the editor. If it's not bolded but it's clear they meant it to count then I'll include it; conversely if they forget to strike an oppose and later register a support I just call it support (this is rare). I record the data in an Excel spreadsheet and it will eventually get put in a database and perhaps made into a queryable tool. That means some kinds of errors are going to be easy to spot and fix -- I'll be able to search for all instances where I've recorded multiple supports from a single editor in a single review, and clean up those errors. Something similar happened when you asked the other day how often a FAC had been promoted without three supports; the query I ran to find examples revealed cases where I'd failed to enter one or more the supports in a FAC. And finally, I don't count "Support" against image and source reviews unless the editor in question explicitly says they're supporting on those criteria. There are a surprising number of edge cases, I've found, for this and other aspects of the data. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 19:41, 19 February 2020 (UTC)

Discussion at Talk:Hijackers in the September 11 attacks#Merge discussionEdit

  You are invited to join the discussion at Talk:Hijackers in the September 11 attacks#Merge discussion. (Featured material is under discussion) ——SN54129 14:55, 26 February 2020 (UTC)

Return to the project page "Featured article candidates".