Wikipedia talk:Featured article candidates/archive67

Active discussions

Reopening improperly archived candidates

The following article was closed after just 4 days of no discussion, just ahead of the least active time of year (around Christmas). It seems to be silly to run this through an entirely new process when there is currently a review ongoing. Medical articles tend to take very long to run through FAC, and it is damaging if they are not allowed enough time to viably finish the process. The reviewers are both few and very picky, so it seems apt that we allow this one more time. Next time it may be advisable to warn that is there is no activity it may be closed. Carl Fredrik 💌 📧 09:37, 2 January 2017 (UTC)

Which article? Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 09:46, 2 January 2017 (UTC)
Sorry Carl Fredrik 💌 📧 10:04, 2 January 2017 (UTC)
First of all, if you have an issue with a FAC being closed, you're welcome to question it but pls don't keep trying to reopen the FAC off your own bat. We have a process that seems to work for most participants so let's use it until/unless there's consensus to change. Now, regardless of the subject, it's pretty standard practice to archive nominations that have had no support for promotion when they've been open as long as this one (around six weeks). In that case a fresh start is usually in order and the nominator is free to re-nominate the article two weeks or more after the previous nom was archived -- using that time to address any outstanding concerns -- and invite the earlier reviewers to revisit. So far I'm not convinced there should be an exception in this case. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 11:25, 2 January 2017 (UTC)
Echoing what Ian said, and it also seems worth pointing out that the nominator, while disappointed, seems to have rather less of an issue with this, and looks to be planning another attempt in January. Just because this FAC was closed as unsuccessful does not mean that the article can never become a FA. Sarastro1 (talk) 11:55, 2 January 2017 (UTC)
I'll also add that a renomination is not an "entirely new process". Reviewers frequently refer to their previous comments or support the new nomination stating that their concerns were predominantly worked out in the previous nomination. --Laser brain (talk) 14:31, 2 January 2017 (UTC)
I still agree with CFCF that a bit of notice would have been appropriate (a ping requires minimal effort and four days IMO is very premature). If I had known archiving was even being considered by an administrator, I likely could have spurred some quicker progress. I agree with CFCF that next time a heads up would be the right thing to do. TylerDurden8823 (talk) 15:12, 2 January 2017 (UTC)
I haven't been around FAC much in a loooong time, but I was also quite surprised when I saw the previous nomination had been archived. I was in the process of reviewing the article and hadn't had a chance to re-read the changes made to it (it was right before Christmas....). While there's no harm done, really, articles on medical or scientific topics are hard to find reviewers for, and take a long time to review. Opabinia regalis (talk) 16:55, 2 January 2017 (UTC)

@CFCF and Ian Rose: While I agree that this nomination was archived a little earlier than usual (opened November 9th – archived December 19th: open for 1 month + 10 days), this discussion is sort of moot since today marks 14 days since the archival occurred and Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Acne vulgaris/archive2 was created today. Seppi333 (Insert ) 17:18, 2 January 2017 (UTC)

Indeed, and prior reviewers have been pinged -- all within process. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 23:50, 2 January 2017 (UTC)

Question on nominations

Question. Is it possible to remove someone from taking credit for a nomination of an article they barely worked on and didn't even contact the one who worked on it? Because I noticed that Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Crispy Gamer/archive1 was made involving an article I worked on but didn't intend to nominate. GamerPro64 02:41, 2 January 2017 (UTC)

GamerPro64, I've opposed the nomination since it's failed to follow procedure Jimfbleak - talk to me? 07:47, 2 January 2017 (UTC)
I'm always looking for people to nominate articles I've written. Hawkeye7 (talk) 01:15, 3 January 2017 (UTC)

Top FAC reviewers for December

Here are the lead reviewers for the month of December (by date of archival/promotion of the FAC, not by date of review).

Reviews

  • 6 reviews: Dank.
  • 5 reviews: Dudley Miles, Cas Liber, Jimfbleak
  • 4 reviews: Tintor2, Giants2008
  • 3 reviews: K.e. coffman, Sarastro1, Jaguar, Aoba47

10 reviewers did 2 reviews; 55 reviewers did a single review.

Image, source, and accessibility reviews

  • 12 reviews: Nikkimaria.
  • 5 reviews: Jo-Jo Eumerus
  • 2 reviews: Tintor2, J Milburn

9 reviewers did a single review.

I'll post barnstars on the talk pages of the top three reviewers on each list; thanks to all. Also, I only just noticed that after I posted the November stats, Singora asked that I separate superficial one-line reviews. Having now read every FAC for the last five months I'd say there are too few of these to be a concern. I don't want to try to separate them because sometimes a one-line review can represent a good detail of careful reading on the part of the reviewer. These stats are no more than a way of encouraging people to review, and appreciating the work of those who do reviews. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 11:16, 4 January 2017 (UTC)

Close out Nike-X?

Any chance someone can take up a source review on the Nike-X FAC? The review was otherwise complete some time ago, and I have two more articles in the queue waiting on this one. Thanks! Maury Markowitz (talk) 14:26, 4 January 2017 (UTC)

Source and image reviews

Following on from the above post, the list at the top of this page is starting to get quite long, and there are a few articles which are just waiting for a source or image review. It would be a huge help if anyone with a little spare time could take a look at some of these. They are usually pretty painless! Thanks. Sarastro1 (talk) 20:31, 4 January 2017 (UTC)

I'll try to get some done tomorrow. Ealdgyth - Talk 20:47, 4 January 2017 (UTC)

Bot request to help with FA/GA nomination process

FYI Bot to help with FA/GA nomination process — Maile (talk) 13:19, 16 January 2017 (UTC)

Volunteer(s) needed to help bring TFA files up to date

There's a request at WT:TFA for assistance with a TFA book-keeping job, if anyone is interested in volunteering. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 23:02, 17 January 2017 (UTC)

Re-running TFAs

Please see this post about re-running TFAs, and comment there if interested. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 12:56, 6 February 2017 (UTC)

Linking other reviews

Looking through a few recent reviews, I was wondering if it might be helpful if nominators revived the old practice of linking other recent reviews—i.e on the talk page, peer review, GA or A-Class—when they nominate. Aside from being useful for reviewers to see if their points have been raised before, it can sometimes help if there are image or source reviews which still apply. As these last items in particular tend to be sticking points, it might avoid the logjam that sometimes arises at the top of this page! Sarastro1 (talk) 00:23, 7 February 2017 (UTC)

Top FAC reviewers for January

Here are the lead reviewers for the month of January (by date of archival/promotion of the FAC, not by date of review).

Reviews

  • 15 reviews: Dank.
  • 12 reviews: Jimfbleak
  • 10 reviews: Cas Liber

One reviewer did nine reviews; one did seven; one did six, and one five; four reviewers did four; eight did three; twelve did two, and sixty reviewers did a single review.

Image, source, and accessibility reviews

  • 16 reviews: Nikkimaria.
  • 6 reviews: Cas Liber
  • 5 reviews: Jo-Jo Eumerus

Three reviewers did four reviews; one reviewer did three; four did two; and fifteen did one.

Special mention goes to Ian Rose, who was near the top of both lists, with a total of nine reviews (four source reviews and five straightforward reviews), on top of being one of the FAC coordinators.

I'll post barnstars on the talk pages of the top three reviewers on each list; thanks to all. I now have six months of data and will be posting a table in case anyone wants to look at the raw data; I'll leave a note here when I do that. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 02:34, 8 February 2017 (UTC)

FAC statistics for the last six months

My sandbox9 contains the raw data for the barnstars I've been giving out for FAC reviewing. In sandbox10 I've posted some simple analysis, showing for everyone who either nominated or reviewed at FAC over the last six months the number of articles they nominated, the number of reviews they received, and the number of times they reviewed another article. I've calculated two ratios: Give/Receive -- the number of reviews written over the number received; and Give/Nominated -- the number of reviews written over the number of articles nominated. A score of "infinity" means that the editor gave without receiving; these are editors who we should all be very grateful to. A score of zero means a nominator who did not review anything. This is understandable for new nominators who are often nervous about jumping in and giving their opinion, but I hope you can see from the table that without reviews, FAC would stop working. Please consider writing your first review, if you haven't already.

For everyone else, feel free to find your own name in the table, but please don't add sort buttons -- I don't want to make this a league table. Not every editor has time to write reviews, and some are nervous about doing so, and those editors should not be harassed. But if your number is lower than you thought it was, please feel encouraged to do a couple of extra reviews! The average number of reviews received by a nomination is 4.75 over the last six months, so if your G/N is lower than that, you may be a net consumer of reviews. Please consider doing one or two more, if you have time and are comfortable with reviewing.

There may be mistakes in the table -- please let me know if you find any. One more caveat: some reviewers write very long detailed reviews, and this analysis counts those as the same value as a one-line support. That's another reason not to treat the exact number too seriously. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 04:05, 8 February 2017 (UTC)

RfC on how to deal with a shortage of featured articles for the main page

Please see here and comment there if interested. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 12:12, 12 February 2017 (UTC)

Prematurely nominating articles

I have recently come across Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/John Kerry/archive2, and notified the nominator how this was inappropriate. Not sure at this point if it should be closed as unsuccessful or just deleted. Snuggums (talk / edits) 03:31, 13 February 2017 (UTC)

I've removed the nomination. It happens. My approach is usually to educate the user as they are almost always acting in good faith. Our processes can be confusing for newer editors. --Laser brain (talk) 03:56, 13 February 2017 (UTC)
There was a time when you could nominate "brilliant sparkling prose" you came upon for FAC. By the time I came on board in 2007 it had passed.--Wehwalt (talk) 07:52, 13 February 2017 (UTC)
I think technically you still can nominate an article as long as you consult the main editors and seem equipped to deal with comments. Not going to happen often though Jimfbleak - talk to me? 12:08, 13 February 2017 (UTC)
Yeah "my" first FA was nominated by a drive-by editor just after I'd finished improving it. I ended up dealing with the comments and it passed, so it all worked out (this was 2007). --Coemgenus (talk) 12:38, 13 February 2017 (UTC)

malformed nomination of Sylvia Plath?

Came across this today. The nomination doesn't appear to be listed on the main wp:fac page, I assume because the nomination is malformed in some way? (I'm also not convinced that the article is really ready for nomination: the nominator doesn't appear to have worked on the article significantly, and even a cursory glance at the article shows inconsistencies in citation style that would need to be fixed if this were to pass FAC; at least some of the prose seems like it needs some work, and there are some uncited sentences – "Commentators have argued that because antidepressants may take up to three weeks to take effect, her prescription from Horder would not have taken full effect." – which definitely need citing).

Not sure whether the best thing to do is fix the nomination (in which case, could someone who understands what the problem actually is do that?) or close it... Caeciliusinhorto (talk) 11:21, 19 February 2017 (UTC)

Tks for this -- even if it were in better shape, it's out-of-process because, per FAC instructions, nominators are expected to be among the major contributors to the article to enable them to deal with critical commentary; I've now CSD'd it. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 12:40, 19 February 2017 (UTC)

Speeding up FAC

Some more statistics about the last six months of FAs. Columns are:

  • Stars: number of FAs the editors in this row have succeeded in getting promoted.
  • Editors: number of editors this row includes.
  • Noms: number of FACs these editors nominated between August and January.
  • Received: number of reviews those FACs received.
  • Noms gave: number of reviews given to other FACs by people in this category who nominated at least one article.
  • Altruists gave: the number of reviews given by people in this category who did not nominate a single article.
  • Gave: sum of the previous two columns.
  • Received/noms & Noms gave/noms are calculated from the numbers in the table.
Stars Editors Noms Received Noms gave Altruists gave Gave Received/noms Noms gave/noms
30 or more FAs 19 43 269 251 9 260 6.2 5.8
10 to 29 FAs 28 21 139 80 202 282 6.6 3.8
5 to 9 FAs 32 26 137 45 51 96 5.3 1.7
2 to 4 FAs 53 39 226 120 56 176 5.8 3.1
1 FA 43 28 168 26 42 68 6.0 0.9
0 FAs 133 43 145 24 175 199 3.4 0.6
Totals 308 200 1083 546 535 1081 5.4 2.7

I had to do some data massaging and there may be some errors in the underlying data, but I'm confident that these numbers are fairly close to reality. The difference between the received and gave totals is due to rounding, as far as I can tell -- I assigned partial scores for co-noms. This also means that if you nominated two articles and two conoms you're scored as having three nominations -- one plus one plus a half plus a half. Reviews you receive for conoms are discounted in the same way. Note also that "reviews" includes image and source reviews.

Here's what I think this tells us:

  • FAC is pretty healthy. 308 editors have participated in the last six months.
  • Altruists are critical to our success. Almost half the reviews came from editors who didn't nominate an article. The corollary to that is:
    • Most nominators are getting more out of the process than they're putting in.
  • The altruists are editors from both ends of WP:WBFAN; some have dozens of stars; some have none.

And here's what this suggests to me, starting with the obvious conclusions and ending in a proposal.

  • Speed of promotion depends on speed of reviewing. To promote more in a month, we need more reviews in a month.
  • Let's call any editor with 5 or more stars "experienced" at FAC. 79 experienced editors nominated a total of 90 FACs in this six months.
  • If every experienced editor had provided two more reviews per nomination they made than they're already doing, they would have generated another 180 reviews. That would have been enough to promote another 27 FAs, assuming about 6 reviews/FAC, and assuming that about 90% are promoted.
  • If less experienced editors had provided one more review per nomination they'd made, we'd have had another 110 reviews; that translates to another 16 FAs.
  • If we encourage nominators to think in terms of reviews per nomination, then faster promotions will automatically lead to more reviewing. That means we wouldn't just have increased the number of FAs promoted, but we'd have done it in less time -- perhaps only five months. Eventually this process would slow down some nominators who will have too many reviews to do to be able to work on their own articles. If we get far enough to have that problem, we'll have made enormous progress.

Not every editor is going to read this talk page discussion; not every editor who reads it will respond by increasing the number of reviews they do. But if half of us do, we'd increase the number of promoted articles by about 22, from 134 to 156. I also think that if we can speed up FAC, we can attract more people and would get a positive feedback effect -- I saw a note from SarahSV the other day to the effect that the slowness of the process was one reason she stayed away.

So this is a call for commitments to review more. It doesn't matter exactly what number you aim for, but if you're an experienced nominator and you've been reviewing less than seven other articles for every article you nominate (and that's almost all of us) then please consider adding one, or preferably two, more reviews every time you nominate. Make sure you pick articles that are short of reviews where possible, rather than chiming in on one that is clearly already heading for promotion. Consider putting a note on your user page committing yourself to a number, both as a reminder and an encouragement to other FAC regulars to do the same. If you're less experienced, and do reviews, please consider doing one more than you currently do; if you have never done a review, please try your hand -- if you want advice or input ask here or on the talk page of any FAC regular.

And if you're an altruist, please accept the grateful thanks of every nominator here. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 01:28, 21 February 2017 (UTC)

Tks for the stats. My goal for the future is to do more reviews, but not in the near term. Many many things on my plate, some on WP, some in real life.  Lingzhi ♦ (talk) 01:31, 21 February 2017 (UTC)
Well, OK. I just got my #5 FA, and know I need to step up reviewing at FAC. A thought of two here. Because an FAC review can be somewhat detailed, not unlike someone with a magnifying glass looking under rocks for anything amiss, I'm guessing that some potential reviewers might feel like they don't have the time, or they might be hesitant to try, and end up looking like an amateur. It takes a long time to really read through an FA-length article. So, what I believe I will be doing, so I don't look too inept, is to review parts of nominated articles. Perhaps the source review. Or just thoroughly go through a given section or two of an article. Even that much is better than nothing, and might encourage others to try. Famous last words, maybe, but that's what I think might work for me. — Maile (talk) 01:43, 21 February 2017 (UTC)
I guess I'll say that what puts me off from reviewing is that I can't really say what would be "comprehensive" for a subject area I don't know much about. I can do prose and images and feel relatively confident about that. --Rschen7754 01:45, 21 February 2017 (UTC)
Don't put yourself down if that's all you feel confident in doing, I think that most of us are in the same boat for unfamiliar topics. But don't overlook the value in having a pair of unfamiliar eyes look over material that they're not familiar with; that's the best thing out there for catching unexplained jargon and strange terminology. Trust me, as a ship specialist, I know all about both of those!--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 01:55, 21 February 2017 (UTC)
The "received" adds up to 1084, not 1083. But I don't understand why it doesn't add to the number given. Hawkeye7 (talk) 02:32, 21 February 2017 (UTC)
If you're one of three conoms, each review you receive counts as one third of a review. I think in the process of putting the numbers together they got rounded to integers a couple of times, and that caused the difference. I'll go back through and see if I can make them match exactly. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 02:39, 21 February 2017 (UTC)
  • The figures also show that the least experienced nominators are giving the fewest reviews - the most expererienced are approaching 1:1. You probably know that WP:DYK has been operating a 1 for 1 "quid pro quo" system for some time, which has greatly eased their similar problem. That might be tried. one might also ask all first-time nominators to have done 3 reviews before they nominate (to be listed). That might reduce the number of inadequately prepared noms. We could also ask for reviews at related wikiprojects - really more people need to be brought into the process, especially those with good subject knowledge. Johnbod (talk) 02:49, 21 February 2017 (UTC)
  • How does this look after adjusting for the loss of experienced reviewers through retirement in recent months?--Wehwalt (talk) 08:29, 21 February 2017 (UTC)
    I assume you mean these editors:
Nominator Nominated Received Gave G/R G/N
Brianboulton 1.0 7.0 16.0 2.3 16.0
Cassianto 0.5 6.0 5.0 0.8 10.0
Tim riley 0.3 1.0 7.0 7.0 21.0
SchroCat 1.5 13.0 4.0 0.3 2.7
I don't know how much they would have reviewed if they had continued to edit, but of course they would also have continued to nominate, so perhaps the effect on speed of promotion has not been that great. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 09:51, 21 February 2017 (UTC)

Need sources? Try the Resource Exchange

If you come across a source that would be helpful in creating or expanding an article but don't have access to that source, you may wish to check out the Resource Exchange at WP:RX. The volunteers at the Resource Exchange help to make sources available to editors without access to a major institutional library. Simply provide as much information as you have about the source, which pages/sections you need access to, and a link to which article you're working on and we'll do our best to get that source to you. Let me know if you have any questions. ~ Rob13Talk 23:24, 21 February 2017 (UTC)

Acne vulgaris FAC

This FAC for Acne vulgaris has had a pretty thorough medical review, I think, but I'd be grateful if someone could take a quick look at it from the viewpoint of a non-medical reader. Thanks. Sarastro1 (talk) 09:16, 24 February 2017 (UTC)

Closure of Lead FAC!

I logged on this morning and was astonished to see that this FAC nomination had been closed.

@Sarastro1: wrote: "The fact that so many issues were raised so quickly here makes me think that this article wasn't quite ready for FAC. Aside from the already lengthy list of concerns, we also have an oppose recommending a major copy-edit. Therefore, I am archiving this nomination."

Well, yes there were a few issues with the nomination, but no more (fewer in fact) than the issues raised with some other nominations, such as Heavy Metals, and which were not so abruptly closed.

A read through of the comments to the Lead FAC would have shown that all bar two or three of the list of concerns had been addressed, and that the major copy-edit has been completed (as flagged in my interim progress notes, and concluding remarks), and that all of this occurred in a timely manner. I was about to attend to the few outstanding items until I saw the closure note.

At at time when there has been talk about the fact that there are not enough FACs coming through to sustain a daily TFA, I feel that the action to close this FAC is demoralising, demotivating and amazingly inconsiderate of the amount of work that has been done on the article.

I've been editing Wikipedia since 2011 and this is the first time that I've felt ropeable about an action by another editor, and an FAC coordinator at that.

Please reconsider your decision to close this nomination. Sandbh (talk) 22:48, 27 February 2017 (UTC)

FYI: @R8R Gtrs: @Double sharp: @Hawkeye7: @Nergaal: @John: @Isambard Kingdom: @DePiep: @YBG:

I've never been involved with an FAC, and so I can't offer an experienced perspective on this. I do, however, think Lead is a very good article. I'm willing to keep tinkering on it as I know that all Wiki articles are work in progress. Isambard Kingdom (talk) 22:53, 27 February 2017 (UTC)
Sandbh, the very first comments on this FAC were to point out that parts of the article were not referenced properly. There has already been one oppose. My reading of this is that the article was not fully prepared for FAC. While FAC often becomes quite lengthy these days, and fulfils the role that PR used to, I don't think it is fair on reviewers to expect them to have to point out the things that needed pointing out here. If you have addressed the issues, that is fine, but I still consider the article to be unprepared and the oppose from John still stood. I'm sorry if you feel demoralised, but with such a long list of articles at FAC, we need to make sure that things move as quickly as they can, and I feel it would be better to renominate the article when it has been worked on a little more to give it the best chance of a clear run at promotion. Sarastro1 (talk) 22:59, 27 February 2017 (UTC)

To the overzealous @Sarastro1: admin who closed this: had you taken some time to glance at the article you would have seen how well it's written. It is a very good article that I decided to spend so much time reviewing because it was a high quality article. FAC is full of insipid articles no wonder nobody bothers reviewing them. Focus your over-zealousy there, not where constructive opinions are discussed and constructive edits are being done. You should cherish such interesting (is it rated as vital) articles come to FAC instead of making the whole FAC page an assembly line of "who dafuk cares about this article". Nergaal (talk) 23:22, 27 February 2017 (UTC)

Nergaal, Sarastro1 who closed this is not an admin. — Maile (talk) 23:37, 27 February 2017 (UTC)
It occurs to me that archiving editor Sarastro1 based their judgement solely on the original (first flush of) remarks. Any improving edits were not taken into account ("If you have addressed the issues, that is fine"). This suggests that the sending back could and should have happened on day 2 or day 5 of this FAC (Feb 18, or 21). As it actually happened, there is no judgement on its current status. Theoretically the article could be put up for FAC next time without any further edit, because the current situation might well be OK (albeit through a wobbly road). -DePiep (talk) 09:23, 28 February 2017 (UTC)


Repechage

Sarastro1, while I'm still ropeable about the amount of bureaucratic and needless work your decision has caused me I appreciate your prompt response.

The FAC guidelines say, "A nomination will be removed from the list and archived if, in the judgment of the coordinators: a nomination is unprepared, after at least one reviewer has suggested it be withdrawn." The Lead nomination may have been unprepared at the time of its nomination two weeks ago, but that was no longer the case, as explained by me above, at the time that you decided to close the nomination. In any event, the single editor who opposed the nomination did not suggest that the nomination be withdrawn.

Similarly, there are three other older nominations with opposes recorded against them yet none of these have been closed: Steller's sea cow ("a good many prose issues, which force me to oppose until they are resolved"); August Meyszner ("Oppose for now. There are some issues to be dealt with and I can look up the article by Moll and other sources only next week."); and Acne Vulgaris ("For the time being, I oppose this nomination."; "Oppose, mainly 1(b). …I'm sorry, but I'm going to oppose. I think this is an excellent GA, but I agree with … that it needs more for FA."

While I do not challenge your right to close nominations, I expect you will be accountable for (a) exercising such power consistently, (b) in accordance with published guidance, and (c) having regard to the status of actionable objections at the current time. At the very least you could have added a coordinator's note to the FAC, flagging your inclination to close the nomination and seeking the views of interested parties. That would've have saved a whole lot of angst.

In above context, your closure still appears to be (a) inconsistent with the treatment of other opposed FACs, and (b) guidance, and (c) not based on assessment of the current status of actionable objections. And it was unilaterally imposed without seeking the views of stakeholders. I therefore request reconsideration of your decision which, given all of the circumstances, I consider is unreasonable.

Alternatively, to cut through a whole lot of malarkey, noting copy editing has been done and there are only two to three outstanding items, I seek your agreement to resubmit the article to FAC before the normal two weeks interregnum (it won't take that long to fix those o/s items). Sandbh (talk) 00:19, 28 February 2017 (UTC)

Sandbh, would it not make sense to take those two weeks and work on it at your leisure, or is there a deadline (e.g. a TFA date you had in mind)? SarahSV (talk) 01:24, 28 February 2017 (UTC)
Oh, well, I didn't think it would take two weeks. If it doesn't I don't see any point in waiting; if it does, so be it. There is no deadline, fortunately. Once I get started on this kind of editing I like to finish promptly. Thank you for your ping. So far, and not your concern, I've needlessly wasted a whole morning on this, rather than attending to the article :( -- Sandbh (talk) 01:51, 28 February 2017 (UTC)
Sandbh, I know exactly what you mean about wanting to keep going once you get started. But it's often helpful to take a short break. It lets you see things with fresh eyes. Not that I'm saying there's anything wrong with it; at first glance it looks good. But a few days of not looking at it might help. Then you can fix the issues that people raised, perhaps check with anyone who opposed (if you want to; not a requirement), and renominate. SarahSV (talk) 01:56, 28 February 2017 (UTC)
The remaining issues that people raised were minor and don't warrant the need to take a short break. I know exactly the kind of thing you are talking about, and do that myself for major submissions, but this is nowhere near that scale. The irony is that I was just about to do what you suggested i.e. ping the opposing editor—as that editor had suggested themselves—when I had attended to the few o/s items, and ask them for another look. Had the FAC nomination made it all the way down to the lower depths of the older nominations and there was still an oppose, I could've understood a closure. As it was, it had only made it to #17 on the list of the 26 newer nominations; considerable work had been dome on addressing concerns; and—blow me down—the damned thing got closed? The only result is a whole lot of inconvenience for me, for no net gain by Wikipedia. It is no wonder I have read of other editors who will have noting to do with the FAC process. Yes I'm still really annoyed about how shabbily this nom was treated. Procedural fairness nowhere in sight. Sandbh (talk) 02:19, 28 February 2017 (UTC)

() I would have considered opposing. The referencing system is inconsistent, with books in the notes, books in the bibliography, etc. The method used would be impenetrable to any new editor who tried to edit. Etc. Having said that, in all honesty, I can (perhaps unhlpfully) see both sides of this argument. The article is large, and a top-to-bottom c/e would take a long time. One veteran editor went so far as to Oppose (Opposes are relatively rare these days; in the old days they were common.. so a +O tends to carry considerably more weight than it used to). OTOH, a quick-close is discouraging, esp. after so much work. So I can see both sides.  Lingzhi ♦ (talk) 03:06, 28 February 2017 (UTC)

Wikipedia does not have a mandated referencing system. The system used in this case was the same as that used in Astatine, which I helped to achieve FA status. Thank you for comment on my talk page. I'll chat with you some more there.
I was leaning towards opposing. My first pass was only checking the references, and there were tracts that were unreferenced. I did not get the impression that this was going to be fixed. And unless it is, the article will not survive a GAR. I also wanted to see locations for the books, publishers for the web sites and - although I'm willing to yield on this point - ISSNs for the journals. I hadn't got so far as commenting on the text. I've had nominations closed simply for want of enough reviewers. I thought the other reviewers had good points. Clean up the points that the nominators have raised, and renominate the article. Hawkeye7 (talk) 03:39, 28 February 2017 (UTC)
Thank you Hawkeye 7. As far as I can recall R8R Gtrs addressed all of your concerns, although you may not have agreed with some of them. I'll go back and check this. Sandbh (talk) 09:23, 28 February 2017 (UTC)

Coordinators often have to make judgment calls and, while this one was making progress, it was well within the discretionary zone where we will archive, especially when the backlog is long. There are still considerable issues with the referencing and prose (at a glance) and this kind of wrench-work is not typically performed during an open FAC nomination. I'm disappointed to see a thread opened here without any correspondence with the closing coordinator, and such hyperbole as "ropeable" and "overzealous" are unbecoming, and impugning the work of other nominators is downright shitty. I hope we can maintain a better level of decorum than that. --Laser brain (talk) 03:49, 28 February 2017 (UTC)

Yesterday evening my time the FAC had 2–3 outstanding items. The copyediting asked for by the opposing editor had been done. I logged on this morning to finish the outstanding items. Instead I found the nomination had been unilaterally closed after less than 2 weeks on the FAC list. There was one oppose. There are three other FAC nominations with opposes still on the list one that is 5+ weeks old; one 6+ weeks old; and the other 8+ weeks old! And this is the article gets closed. So, yes, I was ropeable (i.e. angry; furious). Please forgive me for acting like that when my work and day gets yanked out from under me with no warning. I came here because I did not recognize the closing coordinator and, since you work as a team, wanted the matter considered at that level. None of the points I raised, namely that the closure decision was (a) inconsistent with the treatment of other opposed FACs, and (b) guidance, and (c) not based on assessment of the current status of actionable objections, have been addressed.
I don't want to waste any more of anyone's time on this. I'll arrange to have the article renominated when ready. When I calm down I'll see how I feel about the fairness of what happened and the process, and see if I want to raise anything here to try and prevent a recurrence of such an episode. Sandbh (talk) 09:23, 28 February 2017 (UTC)
Sandbh, I offer a more positive view. I have a chemistry degree, and I would normally review element articles as a matter of course. I didn't do so with this because, to be honest, it seemed too much like hard work, not the usual minor nitpicks that I'm accustomed to finding. I appreciate that the article may have been improved while at FAC, but taking a couple of weeks to polish it helps everyone, whatever your sense of grievance over the procedure. I'll make sure I review it when it comes back Jimfbleak - talk to me? 07:06, 28 February 2017 (UTC)
Thank you Jimfbleak. Sandbh (talk) 09:23, 28 February 2017 (UTC)
You've said several times that you don't want to waste any more time on this, but you keep trying to have the last word, telling other people how they're wrong, and then saying that's the end of the conversation. There are three coordinators and we promote and archive nominations all the time. We generally do so without consultation with the other coordinators, so calling out Sarastro1's action as "unilateral" as an argument point is invalid. Each nomination is a consensus in progress and none are the same, so calling out other nominations with opposes as analogs for another argument point is also invalid. I understand that you're upset and decided to come in here to flame Sarastro1 instead of taking time to cool down and get some perspective. Now that you're done flaming we're supposed to step back and let it go? You've gotten feedback from several experienced reviewers and two coordinators that the article wasn't prepared and still isn't (and you're not even listed among the nominators?). This will be treated as what it was—an unprepared nomination—and not an episode where the nominators were treated unfairly or in a manner inconsistent with our guidelines. --Laser brain (talk) 12:27, 28 February 2017 (UTC)
I, too, would have opposed as the article stands right now. Entirely too many sentences that lack citations. That is separate from the prose issues, which I agree with John on. And I'm not convinced on some of the websites used as sources either. Strongly suggest getting some outside eyes on the article. Ealdgyth - Talk 13:57, 28 February 2017 (UTC)
Sarastro1's closing was fully justified and I would have done the same were I still a FAC Coordinator. Graham Beards (talk) 14:28, 28 February 2017 (UTC)
Piling on, having finally plowed through most of the above at the end of a busy day, I'll add that I believe Sarastro has been making appropriate calls since he joined the FAC coord team and I hope he continues to do the job just as he's been doing it. It's not an exact science and, as should be evident from some of the commentary in this thread, it's often thankless, especially when it involves archiving a nomination for an article in which several editors have invested a lot of time. It involves weighing not just support for promotion (of which none had been articulated in this case) but also the likelihood of clear consensus being reached in a reasonable time, especially when we have a long list of noms competing for reviewer time. Anyone is welcome to question coord decisions but righteous indignation, coupled with disparaging comments on not just the quality of other editors' work but even its "importance" (which isn't part of the FA criteria), doesn't help the cause. I hope the additional comments on potential areas of improvement in the article that have been mentioned above will be taken on board and contribute to a strong nomination next time round. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 15:33, 28 February 2017 (UTC)

Top FAC reviewers for February

Here are the lead reviewers for the month of February (by date of archival/promotion of the FAC, not by date of review).

Reviews

  • 12 reviews: Dank.
  • 9 reviews: Cas Liber
  • 8 reviews: Wehwalt

Two reviewers did six reviews; two did five; one did four; nine did three; twelve did two, and forty reviewers did a single review. 69 editors provided a total of 154 reviews.

Image, source, and accessibility reviews

  • 20 reviews: Nikkimaria.
  • 8 reviews: Cas Liber
  • 5 reviews: Laser brain

Three reviewers did three reviews; six reviewers did two; and ten did one. A total of 22 reviewers provided a total of 68 reviews.

I'll post barnstars on the talk pages of the top three reviewers on each list; thanks to all. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 02:10, 2 March 2017 (UTC)

Reference q (but don't miss Mike's thread above)

  • I hate to step on Mike's thread (above), which obviously is important & requires prolonged discussion, but I've run across a problematic case: every time one nom cites a book, it's done using {{cite web}} instead of {{cite book}}, and the web url points to the amazon.com page for that book. That just seems wrong to me. Problem is, FAC's rules for referencing can be roughly paraphrased as "do whatever you want, but do it consistently". [Note that I once totally abandoned/ignored this "rule" by Opposing a nom whose references were sorted by author's middle initial]. So... do I make this another one-off Oppose based on "I think this is just plain wrong", or is there a higher principle I can appeal to? Tks and see mike's thread above.  Lingzhi ♦ (talk) 05:09, 2 March 2017 (UTC)
The guidelines at WP:ELNO, especially numbers 5 and 15, seem relevant. --RL0919 (talk) 05:33, 2 March 2017 (UTC)
Also the guideline WP:SPAM. Hawkeye7 (talk) 06:03, 2 March 2017 (UTC)
In any artice, not just FACs, I treat such "references" as spam links and remove them and take any other appropriate action Jimfbleak - talk to me? 06:36, 2 March 2017 (UTC)

Seriously

What does it take to obtain a text review of Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Palais Rohan, Strasbourg/archive1? Since I've nominated the article, I have only been implicitly told that I may be an arsehole for not seeing how great other people's work is. Not one word on the content, though. Frustrating! --Edelseider (talk) 15:16, 26 February 2017 (UTC)

First step would be to review articles nominated by others, before complaining. FunkMonk (talk) 15:23, 26 February 2017 (UTC)
See the discussion three sections up. Johnbod (talk) 15:34, 26 February 2017 (UTC)
Edelseider I see you have some background with DYK and GA nominations. Good that you have those, but unlike DYK and GA, no FAC nomination will be passed with one lone reviewer. You can expect at least 3 different types of reviews on your nomination: Image, Sourcing, and Content. Both Image and Sourcing are expected reviews, and hold equal weight with Content review. Image review is usually done by one person, and Sourcing done by someone else. For Content, you can expect to have several contributors go through your article with a fine-toothed comb and list any number of things. And then there might be separate editors who go through and copyedit your article (or not). And then ... even after all the reviews, the nomination might sit there for a few days or so to see if anyone else had anything to add. — Maile (talk) 15:50, 26 February 2017 (UTC)
Thank you Maile66 (talk · contribs).
FunkMonk (talk · contribs) – so I am meant to review other people's article first? You backhandedly disparage what I do by telling me to acknowledge firstly what others do. But am I not "an other" for somebody who is not me? Your rule should apply to everybody. --Edelseider (talk) 16:03, 26 February 2017 (UTC)
@Edelseider: What FunkMonk is suggesting is that reviewing others' nominations is a good way to network, build good working relationships with other editors, and generate interest in your own nominations. The attitude on display here and on your nomination page is more likely to put off potential reviewers and collaborators, all of who are volunteers. --Laser brain (talk) 16:07, 26 February 2017 (UTC)
You said "what does it take to obtain reviews". Waiting is the obvious answer, but as I said, reviewing other nominations generally makes it more likely that you'll attract reviewers more quickly. We all wait long, sometimes months, so the only way to speed the process up is if everyone reviews, not only nominates. Complaining will not speed the process up at all, especially if no attempt is made to review articles yourself. Anyhow, sorry if I was blunt, but the contemptuous tone of the original post (not to mention on the nomination page) had me triggered. FunkMonk (talk) 16:08, 26 February 2017 (UTC)
Edelseider Me again. Every reviewer gets that advice - that reviewing another person's nomination is one of the ways to draw attention to your own. We currently have 49 nominations in the queue for review. Every nomination is important, every nominator is important. You and your nomination are equally important to the other 48 nominations, but yours is about half-way between the oldest and newest nominations. If it's typical, your nomination will drop down into the "older" section before it's through. My last nomination, I believe, was next to the bottom before it finally passed. You personally are better off if you answer whatever comes up on the nomination, and then occupy yourself with other editing. Otherwise, you'll have that experience that people do when they put a pot of water on the stove and stare at it waiting for it to boil. — Maile (talk) 16:22, 26 February 2017 (UTC)
As a somewhat-patient FAC provided I agree, the best thing to do is to give back with your own content reviews, or if that's not something you are amenable to doing, at least don't give people attitude on the talk page (or in your review where you seem very "combative") - if I came across the review page and saw the way you responded to the image review I would pass it on by.  MPJ-DK  16:26, 26 February 2017 (UTC)

Edelseider - you need to understand that everyone involved in a review is trying to help you make the article better, so it can pass FA, not just pull your work to bits for the sake of it. No-one is obliged to review, but reviewing other peoples work helps. As MPJ-DK points out, your responses to the image review do appear combative, not collaborative, and do not encourage anyone to review your nomination. FAC always takes a long time, so patience and a willingness to meet people half-way are certainly required. Simon Burchell (talk) 17:57, 26 February 2017 (UTC)

You are making a rod for your own back by taking such a combative approach. I did actually look at your talk page with the intention of giving similar advice to that above, but your response, in German, to a GF editor rather deterred me from doing so Jimfbleak - talk to me? 13:44, 27 February 2017 (UTC)

Before this thread was opened I read this article to review it. I've not had the time to get back because it would have been a lengthy review (it needs work) and I wasn't crazy about some of the comments already posted, but I did put it on watch. Can a coord take a look at the most recent comments? Imo, this goes to the heart of some of the issues discussed below. Will post a comment to that thread later today. Victoriaearle (tk) 13:40, 4 March 2017 (UTC) Ping Ian Rose, Laser brain, Sarastro1. Victoriaearle (tk) 13:47, 4 March 2017 (UTC)

I've replied there. Sarastro1 (talk) 13:51, 4 March 2017 (UTC)

Backlog of image/source reviews

While this page seems to have a little more attention than usual, could I draw attention to the Image/Source review section at the top of the page. There is something of a backlog which is holding up a few nominations. Any hands to the pump would be much appreciated. There is also the FACs needing feedback box at the top. If anyone has a chunk of spare time, those reviews are desperate for attention. Thanks, Sarastro1 (talk) 23:22, 5 March 2017 (UTC)

I am sorry

It's me again, about Palais Rohan. I didn't expect the polishing of the article (any article) to be such a messy thing. I have just asked Casliber (talk · contribs) if I should retire the candidacy and come back in a few months with a (slightly) longer version but her recommended that I stay and wait. I apologize if I am being a bit unsufferable on the things I do. I want to do them well, but in that specific case, I also don't want to end up too close to the main source. As I told Casliber and alluded to in the presentation of the candidacy as well, if it go into even more detail, I will end up with quoting the Étienne Martin book from the first page to the last! It would look like overreliance on a single source (a quite excellent one, to be sure), i. e. not good. --Edelseider (talk) 10:09, 6 March 2017 (UTC)

There must be other books covering the architecture, especially as you can (I think) access and read French ones. It would be good to use some of these. Johnbod (talk) 12:05, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
There are the books by Ludmann (see section "further reading") who was Martin's predecessor as the director of the Museum of Decorative Arts. But 1) they are out of date (at least in some regards), 2) they are out of print and 3) I have no access to them. If I lived in Strasbourg, that would be different, but where I are, I have no chance to find them in a library. --Edelseider (talk) 13:29, 6 March 2017 (UTC)

RfC at WT:MOS on lists of examples in articles

There is an RfC at the MoS talk page on rules for the inclusion of lists of examples in articles that may be of interest to FA writers and reviewers. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 11:03, 13 March 2017 (UTC)

Coordinator role in moderating behavior

I'd like to start a separate thread about an active topic, as to delineate it from Mike's proposal to show reviewer statistics. Several editors in that discussion have related their negative experiences either nominating or reviewing, and cited them as reasons for disengaging from the process to varying degrees. Most of these experiences seem to be around how they felt they were treated by others in the FAC community. I'd like some comments from the community about the desired role of coordinators in moderating behavior at FAC. Do you want us to step in and say, "Hey, knock it off" when we perceive someone stepping over the line? Do you want us to leave it to natural consequences (i.e. if you're nasty to reviewers, people will stop reviewing your nominations)? I can't speak for Ian Rose and Sarastro1, but I don't tend to follow nominations closely unless they are particularly controversial—I read through them comprehensively only when I begin considering action on them. This was more of Raul's approach but I'm well aware that Sandy in particular would spend hours (sometimes each day) combing through nominations and looking for issues. Thoughts? --Laser brain (talk) 16:34, 12 March 2017 (UTC)

Support empowering and encouraging coordinators to keep civility in FA. Not saying coordinators have to scroll through all reviews everyday. But more to the point where if any other editor in any capacity sees or personally experiences uncivil behavior in any review, they can seek remedy here on the talk page. I haven't seen or experienced it as routine here at FAC, but it does happen. Both the nominator and reviewer have a right to be treated with respect. I've seen it more frequently in other review processes . It really doesn't matter why it happens, but that it should be nipped in the bud as soon as such behavior becomes evident. — Maile (talk) 17:28, 12 March 2017 (UTC)
I'm not wild about this, because of the past, and it wasn't what the RFCs we had after Raul's departure decided that the role of the coordinators should be. I don't think we should lightly change that.--Wehwalt (talk) 20:14, 12 March 2017 (UTC)
I wasn't around for the Raul era. I know who you're talking about, but know nothing of how FAC operated in that era. — Maile (talk) 22:37, 12 March 2017 (UTC)
Laser_brain, it's fine. Don't worry about it. You all have enough to do. I'll strike my comments up page. Didn't mean to spawn yet another thread. Victoriaearle (tk) 21:11, 12 March 2017 (UTC)
Laser brain, I would like to see coordinators act against serious incivility. There have even been times when reviewers have felt unsafe. It leads to articles not being reviewed properly and people not wanting to review. If you were to announce that any serious incivility will cause nominations to be archived or restarted, no matter who is to blame for it, that would make it less personal. And if it happens when the nomination is over, that person should not be allowed to renominate for a (fairly long) period. Also, the coordinators who are admins can take admin action in serious cases. SarahSV (talk) 21:54, 12 March 2017 (UTC)
I think that it would be a good idea for the coordinators to step in to address cases of clear incivility, including where editors are leaving unreasonable or rude comments or nominators aren't responding well to good faith suggestions: we don't want FAC to end up in the state RFA descended to. As Laser Brain suggests, this should generally be 'knock it off'-type remarks. The rare cases where there are more serious problems should be escalated to admins. Nick-D (talk) 22:16, 12 March 2017 (UTC)
In the past month or so Laser brain, Sarastro and I have all admonished nominators for what we considered belligerent or otherwise unjustified attitudes to some reviewers. To me it seems a natural part of the coordinator role (although we won't always catch everything as soon as it happens unless someone pings us). I daresay if we saw a reviewer treating a nominator the same way we'd do something similar. This process needs nominators and reviewers to function; all participants should be valued. Sarah, arbitrarily archiving FACs by poorly behaving nominators has crossed my mind too, but I think that'd be a case-by-case thing and I'm not sure it should be enshrined in the instructions. The equivalent of a topic ban for repeat offenders is also a possibility. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 01:59, 13 March 2017 (UTC)
Seeing as I'm the one who said If you want more new faces at FAC, start aggressively clerking and operate with a zero-tolerance approach towards the sneering, sarcasm, whininess, nitpicking and general "you must be an idiot to even think I'd want to waste my time reading this shit" attitude which infects FAC. I'm seeing variations of "please withdraw this, a gold star isn't worth all this abuse" a hell of a lot more often than I ever used to above, you'll be unsurprised to hear that I'd support the delegates intervening at least at the "all of you, calm down" level when it's obvious that participants are getting unnecessarily belligerent. Different people have different skin-thickness, and people are walking out in disgust at the way they feel they've been treated, whether or not they've actually been subjected to anything worse than Wikipedia's usual level of background spite. I'm not arguing for a walking-on-eggshells "nobody say anything bad about anything in case it upsets the author", but because at FAC we're by definition dealing with people who've invested a lot of time and effort into things, it's very easy for criticisms to be perceived as personal attacks. (Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Henry Morgan/archive1 is a good recent example of entirely well-intentioned remarks being taken the wrong way.) TLDR version: endorse everything Ian Rose says above. ‑ Iridescent 12:51, 13 March 2017 (UTC)
We should expect comments at FAC to be forthright and robust, but always within the boundaries of civil discourse and good manners. That applies equally to nominators and reviewers. Those who transgress should be warned by the co-ordinators; repeat offenders should be shown zero tolerance and banned from the FAC process altogether, regardless of their general contributions to the project. Fortunately such cases were in my experience pretty rare; between 2007 to 2016 I can can recall one instance affecting my nominations where I believe, unequivocally, that such a ban would have been justified. Perhaps standards of behaviour have declined in the last year or so; in any event, we should be prepared to use the heavy artillery when necessary. Brianboulton (talk) 17:59, 13 March 2017 (UTC)
I have no problem with co-ordinators stepping in when they perceive a serious civility problem. But I don't think they should be trawling through the reviews everyday trying to keep and eye on things, instead maybe regulars should be encouraged to ping the co-ords if they feel comments are getting a little out of hand. Comments can definitely be taken quite personally at FAC and this can lead to problems, plus there is an emotional investment when someone puts an article up here and this can make things quite intense. I don't have much time for reviews (or nominations) at the moment but I do keep an eye on the page and I've been a bit surprised by some of the very aggressive and (maybe) intimidating comments made about both reviewers and the co-ords lately. I hope this isn't becoming more common. We don't want nominators getting turned off putting articles up here, but we can't have good faith reviewers getting attacked. -- Shudde talk 17:44, 13 March 2017 (UTC)
What Ian says! And I also consider it a (small) part of the job, which I think it always has been. I'm not sure how comfortable I'd be archiving for "bad behaviour", which might compromise the neutrality of coordinators. Nor can I think of too many instances where this might have been necessary: such problems tend to arise on articles with problems and such articles rarely survive long if the nominator is not working collaboratively. A "topic ban" for any individual may be better decided here, by everyone. Personally, I keep an eye on most FACs, and usually have a vague idea what is happening, but I'm always happy to be pinged. Sarastro1 (talk) 22:10, 13 March 2017 (UTC)
I don't think that archiving for "bad behavior" is a good idea, because it's too easily gamed. Any editor (indeed, any throwaway sock account) could derail any nomination at will under those rules. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:46, 14 March 2017 (UTC)
I think the meaning is for "bad behaviour" by nominators, not reviewers. Sarastro1 (talk) 23:07, 14 March 2017 (UTC)

Proposal to display nomination and review count against nominator names on FAC page

I want to revive a proposal I made last year (see here for the prior discussion). The conversation tailed off last year in favour of mentoring, which has been implemented, but I think we can do more to generate positive feedback to reviewers.

I'd like to see us display next to a nominators name, on the nominations page, how many nominations that nominator has made over the past 12 months, and how many reviews they have given. It would look like this (if you're using the nom viewer):

25. Ellie (The Last of Us)[edit source] [show](nomination: 2nd · 22 days old · 1 nominator (4 noms/9 reviews) · 4 participants · 3 supports)
26. Science-Fiction Plus[edit source] [show](nomination · 23 days old · 1 nominator (6 noms/7 reviews) · 3 participants)
27. Vladimir Lenin[edit source] [show](nomination · 24 days old · 2 nominators (19 noms/117 reviews); (1 nom/0 reviews) · 7 participants · 1 support)

(The numbers are made up, of course.) It could be maintained by a bot as is done for GA. Within a nomination, or if you're not using the nom viewer, it would appear like so:

The Left Hand of Darkness[edit source] The Left Hand of Darkness (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs)

Featured article candidates/The Left Hand of Darkness/archive1

Nominator(s): Vanamonde93 (talk) 17:15, 8 July 2016 (UTC) (2 noms/8 reviews)

When I proposed it there was no way to automate this, but there now is, because I'm extracting the relevant data manually to provide the monthly reviewing barnstars. The data is now in a format that would allow a bot to add the information as in the examples above. (As it happens it would allow a lot more information to be extracted; we could ask the average time nominations are open, or find nominations that were promoted without source reviews, for example, and it could allow interactive queries.) Here are the pros and cons I listed last time.

Pros:

  • It would become provide a touch of competitiveness to reviewing, which might encourage more reviews.
  • It might embarrass some nominators into reviewing more -- it would make a nominator wince, surely, to see "9 noms/3 reviews" against their name.
  • Although there would be no quid pro quo, I think if I were hesitating between two nominations to review, I might pick the one with the more active reviewer, as a thank you for their reviewing work.

Cons:

  • It might encourage slapdash reviewing. I think few of us would fall prey to that temptation, and in a small community like this it would be soon be known if someone did. I've read every FAC for the last eight months, and I saw less than a dozen reviews that I suspected of being less than thorough, and I could easily have been wrong about those.

I argued in a thread last week that more reviews is what we need; better prepared articles would help, of course, but without more reviews they'll sit at FAC for months too. And we need something that tells editors new to FAC that reviewing is expected of them; many new editors do gravitate to reviewing, but a gentle reminder onscreen can't hurt.

I can make this a formal RfC if others think I should. I'd like to post a request at WP:BOTREQ for a bot to implement what I've outlined above, if there is consensus (via RfC, or otherwise) that this a good idea. Comments? Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 02:38, 2 March 2017 (UTC)

I like this idea. GAN does something like it now. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 10:46, 2 March 2017 (UTC)
Sounds nice, but seems something of a task to maintain? Some amount of manual work and discrimination (what is a review and what is a drive-by comment) has to be done? FunkMonk (talk) 10:56, 2 March 2017 (UTC)
I'm not proposing to discriminate between a one-line declaration of support on the one hand, and a review such as Coemgenus's thorough review here on the other hand. Both would count as one review. I have several reasons. One is that a one-line review can sometimes indicate hours of work -- either a prior review, or simply a detailed reading of an article for which very little substantive could be said because the article was in excellent condition. GA doesn't distinguish, and there is certainly variation in the quality of GA reviews, but I feel the number of reviews which GA reports has a positive effect on that process even so; I think the same thing would be true here. I really don't believe we would see an uptick in poor-quality reviewing -- if someone began pumping out one-line reviews it would be noticed quickly, and anyway I would trust the coordinators to spot it and discount it. Actually, it would be possible to use the data I'm recording to report on "average length of review, per reviewer", which could identify problems, though it would have to be taken with a grain of salt because users who frequently post "I had my say at the peer review" would show up as short reviewers. Generally I think common sense would handle the issues that might arise. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 11:31, 2 March 2017 (UTC)
One line reviews often aren't worth too much unless there has been a prior review or it indicates some depth of thought or analysis. On the other hand, there are a few regular reviewers whose one line reviews (if they say there are no problems) are very reassuring as they don't support lightly. So, in short, anyone trying to inflate their review numbers would not cause too many problems for the coordinators. Sarastro1 (talk) 23:25, 3 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Hi, Mike, may I offer one comment alongside thanks and admiration for your tremendous work here? We should take into account "prior reviewing", e.g. PR, GA, talkpage etc. In my experience, a sometimes very detailed critique at PR or elsewhere is followed at FAC by an apparently superficial comment or support, disguising the degree of scrutiny that had taken place. It would also be very helpful if peer reviewers etc could provide a direct link on the FAC page to their detailed comments. Brianboulton (talk) 10:58, 2 March 2017 (UTC)
    Hi Brian! Yes, links would be helpful to other reviewers and (I would imagine) to the coordinators. For the purposes of this proposal, I don't think it would matter, since I don't think it's worthwhile to distinguish short and long reviews. I believe everyone here reviews in good faith, and I don't think reporting review counts would change that. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 11:31, 2 March 2017 (UTC)
    Just to reiterate, this is VERY helpful to the coordinators. A few people link previous reviews, but most don't. A few nominators include these in their opening statement, but I don't recall more than a handful of reviews where the reviewer has done so. Sarastro1 (talk) 23:25, 3 March 2017 (UTC)
  • I think this is potentially a good idea, not least because I think the introduction of something similar at GAC has been a success. One small suggestion: if the numbers are explicitly based on reviews/nominations over a certain timeframe, could this be specified in the text? So, rather than simply (4 noms/9 reviews), you could go for "(4 noms/9 reviews in a year)" or "(4 noms/9 reviews in 2016)" or something. Without that, I think it's slightly deceptive, and would invariably lead to "no, I've done loads!" complaints. Josh Milburn (talk) 12:05, 2 March 2017 (UTC)
  • I like this, I sometimes see FACs languishing because the editor has a track record of taking but not giving. If nothing else it would indicate why they are being ignored. Also like the idea of links to pre-reviews although I might forget Jimfbleak - talk to me? 14:44, 2 March 2017 (UTC)
  • I'm willing to give this a try to refresh this process a bit. I mean, we've been singing the "there aren't enough reviewers" tune for years, and nothing really has changed in that regard. Editors who are most successful in moving content through FAC are the ones of give a lot of reviews and get a lot of reviews. Among the editors who struggle are those who drop nominations here and then sit back and wait for results without engaging in or contributing to the FAC community. I think that's fairly clear from the data. I don't think this is "shaming"—that's too negative for my taste. I'd rather call it a form of gamification to drive desired behavior, which is a prominent academic discipline now with clear benefits. --Laser brain (talk) 15:03, 2 March 2017 (UTC)
  • I like it. It works at GA, for me at least. Shame is a powerful motivation! --Coemgenus (talk) 16:23, 2 March 2017 (UTC)
  • I think this might be a good idea. Also, for clarification, the amount of supports and opposes on the current nom will be included, correct? RileyBugzYell at me | Edits 22:56, 2 March 2017 (UTC)
    If you're using the nominations viewer, it would still show supports as it does now; it doesn't show opposes. The noms/reviews count would be added, but nothing would be removed. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 23:14, 2 March 2017 (UTC)
  • I like this idea; I know that when the tallies were introduced at GAN, it reinforced my attempts to review more than I nominated. I would, however, suggest that the tally be based on a rolling period of time, so that potential reviewers can see the latest data. I took all of 2016 off from FAC, so I wouldn't want to see 0/0 by my noms by the end of this year if I'd been reviewing fairly steadily.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 23:18, 2 March 2017 (UTC)
  • I also think it should be limited by a rolling period of time. None of us should be able to rest on what we did five years ago, or longer. It should be about "what have you done for FAC recently?"--Wehwalt (talk) 08:06, 3 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Like Laser, I think this is worth a try. Anything to encourage reviewers. It's also worth pointing out that reviewers (old and new) should not be afraid to oppose if they think an article is not ready. Most nominators do not get upset when faults are pointed out politely, and this is often the fastest way to a) improve the article and b) to speed up the queue at FAC so that neglected articles don't just sink slowly down the list. And if an oppose does cause problems for a reviewer, the coordinators are always there to step in; additionally, unconsidered opposes or ones not based on the FA criteria are usually discounted by coordinators. Sarastro1 (talk) 23:25, 3 March 2017 (UTC)
  • I don't mind this proposal, but I hope that all reviews are counted, not only recent ones as Wehwalt suggested. Otherwise those of us who've reviewed more in the past, but not so much recently, will look as though we've barely done any. Also, I understand the effort to attract more reviewers, but turning it into a race for points will lead to poor reviews. Reviewing properly takes time. SarahSV (talk) 23:47, 3 March 2017 (UTC)
    The bot will have to use data that is generated manually, and I only have data going back to August 2016, so we can't do reviewing numbers from further back. If we restrict the nominations count to the last twelve months, I think it's OK to restrict the reviewing numbers too. If an editor nominates six FACs this year, I'd like to encourage them to review this year as well. Looked at the other way, we wouldn't want someone with hundreds of past reviews to nominate without feeling they need to do any reviews because they were a great contributor in years past. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 00:00, 4 March 2017 (UTC)
    Mike, there's a danger this will cause standards to fall. This isn't like DYK or GAN, where one person reviews, so you only have to review one yourself to be equal. Each FAC receives multiple reviews, so nominators will have to do several to stay truly even. But reviewing is horribly time-consuming if done properly, which is why we have a shortage. SarahSV (talk) 00:36, 4 March 2017 (UTC)
  • (ec) I think resting on your laurels of reviews from years past defeats the whole purpose of this proposal, which is to encourage nominators to be actively involved in reviewing. I reviewed hundreds of FACs before 2010 and only a handful since then, largely due to a long gap in activity, and I think it would be ridiculous for my name to have [550] or something next to it instead of a more representative number from within the past 6 months to a couple years. If you and I could be permanently endowed with a large figure for historical reviews, we might feel comfortable nominating many more articles than we review when it really matters—now. If we haven't been involved in reviewing for several years, it absolutely should look like we're not involved. That's the whole point of this. – Juliancolton | Talk 00:04, 4 March 2017 (UTC)
This proposal is based on a faulty premise, namely that people who nominate without reviewing are taking something and not giving back. But that's not true. They're giving us the featured article, which has taken many hours of unpaid labour. Some people are good at producing FAs, but they're not such good reviewers, and vice versa. If we make people feel forced to review when they'd rather not, they'll do it badly. The one advantage of this proposal would be that we'd see who the experienced reviewers were, but not if it's limited to the previous 12 months. So if that aspect is absent—if it really is intended only to measure the quid pro quo of the last year—I'm opposed to it. SarahSV (talk) 00:44, 4 March 2017 (UTC)
@SlimVirgin: I don't feel like that's the premise. I feel like we're trying to improve community-building by encouraging nominators to go out and look at other nominations. There is of course a risk of some less-than-thorough reviews if someone feels pressured into reviewing, but coordinators already look for those and they aren't given much weight. If someone really wants to inflate their numbers by going around leaving drive-by reviews, well, that's a side effect I'm willing to accept. I think we're in an environment here where we need to be more risk tolerant and less risk averse. --Laser brain (talk) 14:11, 4 March 2017 (UTC)
Laser brain, people have said explicitly that it's about shaming and embarrassing.
Wikipedia has been built by people doing what they believe they can do best, rather than feeling forced to do certain things. I can think of one editor who has never written an FA but is one of the best reviewers you could ask for. Similarly, FA writers may feel miserable at the thought of reviewing. I do don't DYK anymore because of the quid pro quo. I'm very appreciative of Mike Christie's work on this, and I understand your point about community building. But perhaps the reality is that we're not going to have enough articles in future for a new TFA every day. I'd prefer that we face that reality rather than risk standards falling. SarahSV (talk) 21:11, 4 March 2017 (UTC)
  • I like Mike's idea for the reasons he mentioned. Moisejp (talk) 04:51, 4 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Personally I agree with SlimVirgin. Nobody should feel pressured to review if they're not comfortable with that, and neither should their FA nominations be stonewalled because they failed to do so. That's the wrong attitude, and we want to encourage people to generate FA content. And the response to a fall in numbers mustn't be to let standards slip by encouraging more drive-by and "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" type reviews, which may fail to pick up flaws in prose and other things that would fail an FA.  — Amakuru (talk) 22:22, 4 March 2017 (UTC)
  • I like this idea, and have always liked it at GA. It's just a good reference point for all kinds of reasons. I don't look at it as embarrassing editors to review, because FAC review is a learned process and often intimidating to beginners. If they're too hesitant to learning reviewing, or are just sliding by because it's too much work, having these stats isn't likely to change any initiatives (or lack thereof). Will this be automated by a bot? Anyway, if you can swing it so it isn't a pain to maintain, I'm all for it.— Maile (talk) 00:20, 5 March 2017 (UTC)
  • I'm in favor. It seems like helpful information and a good motivator. The one-year limit also seems reasonable, both because of practical data limitations and to encourage ongoing contribution. --RL0919 (talk) 00:33, 5 March 2017 (UTC)

Break

  • When I read this a few days ago, my knee jerk reaction was to post that I'm not crazy about it. I decided to give it some thought, maybe try to articulate the reasons I'm not in love with it. Now it looks like most are in favor, so I won't bother with a large wall of text posting the reasons I don't like it, but I do want to go on record that I'm not crazy about it. Sarah and Amakuru have articulated some the concerns I have, but there are more. Victoriaearle (tk) 12:46, 5 March 2017 (UTC)
    I think the discussion will run for a while longer, and I'd like to hear your concerns. So far I understand Sarah's and Amakuru's concerns but I think the problems they predict are not likely to be as serious as they expect. I also trust the coordinators to spot problems, and to recommend we stop reporting these numbers if it appears to be causing harm. What problems do you see with the proposal? Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 14:31, 5 March 2017 (UTC)
  • As I'm to all practical purposes retired from FAC (and assuming this passes it will be the final nail in the coffin and I'll cease any further participation either as nominator or reviewer) I won't formally vote here, but add me to the "not crazy about it" side. It works on GAC because the one-GA/one-reviewer setup means there's no such thing as a trivial review. This isn't the case at FAC. If you're counting "any contributor to the discussion who isn't the nominator" as a reviewer, my going through FAC top-to-bottom cut-n-pasting "sources appear adequate but I haven't checked fully" or "images appear correctly licenced but I don't really know much about copyrights" will count for 40 times more than something like my comments here which took longer to write than it would take me to write a shortish FA. This proposal won't encourage anyone not already involved to participate, but it will encourage people to cherry-pick the short and simple candidates and the obvious quick-fails—or the cookie-cutter articles in which any issues have already been covered in previous reviews—to review, exacerbating the existing problem of specialised or controversial topics languishing at FAC.

    The high-score-table mentality ought to have no place on Wikipedia, but I recognise WP:WBE and the like are too entrenched to be deleted. However, just because it can't be got rid of elsewhere, doesn't mean FAC should be actively encouraging this attitude—the discussion should be "should we be deprecating WP:WBFAN and WP:WikiCup?", not "what should the terms of our surrender to the MMORPG-ers be?". I also concur entirely with SarahSV's point above, that this proposal actively promotes process over quality, by explicitly rewarding those with an interest in reviewing and punishing those with an interest in writing. (Yes, you can say it won't matter until you're blue in the face, but by plastering a "reviews:0" on anyone who likes writing articles but doesn't enjoy or feel comfortable reviewing, the delegates will effectively branding anyone who doesn't share their own interests in process with a Mark of Cain, and likely driving them away altogether.) There's also a purely practical issue, in that quite often the heavy lifting takes place at peer review or on the talkpage rather than at the FAC itself, and this proposal does nothing to take account of people like Eric Corbett who will often spend days or weeks reviewing something at PR but won't necessarily comment on the FAC itself. ‑ Iridescent 18:23, 5 March 2017 (UTC)

    I didn't make it explicit in the comments above, but independently of this proposal I had planned to make the raw data (nominations, nominators, reviewers, outcomes, dates) available via a toolserver page, which would allow interactive queries. It didn't seem necessary to me to ask for permission to do that, but if I were convinced it were a bad thing for Wikipedia I wouldn't go through with it. I mention it now since I think part of your objection is to the visibility of the data, not just to inserting that data against nominators' names.
    To your points: do you feel, then, that nothing should be done? That the situation is acceptable as it is? I suspect some are supporting this proposal not because they think it's a great idea, but because they feel FAC is not functioning well -- it's a difficult arena for new nominators, and it's frustratingly slow for experienced nominators. I don't know if you saw the discussions last year here, and here. Many ideas have been discussed for improving both those problems. I think mentoring is helping a little for new nominators, but it hasn't solved the problem; and the combination of slow turnaround with a vanishingly small chance of promotion for a new nominator seems lethal to the future health of FAC. I would love to hear a better idea than this proposal, but we've been talking about these problems for literally years, and things continue to get worse.
    I am a utopian in my view of Wikipedia; I believe it's an important resource for humankind, and will become more and more so. I would like to be equally utopian about how we create this resource, but ten years here have made it clear to me that we are a community of imperfect editors. Engineering a process that will work requires trade offs, and I believe the trade offs implied by this process are worth it.
    One other thought occurs to me: we could make the display of these numbers "opt-in", or "opt-out", rather than automatic, if that would resolve the problems you and others see, without eliminating the value of gamification that Laser brain mentioned. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 19:22, 5 March 2017 (UTC)
    Over the shorter term, I honestly don't feel that the problem this proposal is intended to address really exists. Yes, participation in FAC is down, but participation in every part of Wikipedia is down as the 2004–07 intake of highly active editors who drove the explosive growth of Wikipedia gradually dwindles (taken a look at WP:RFA recently?) and the new intake of editors are by definition the type of people who are happy joining a project in which much of the low-hanging fruit has been picked, and as a natural consequence are either more interested in curation than creation, or are focused on hyperspecialist areas where the redlinks can still be found. The way to encourage the newer intake to participate in FAC is to hand-hold them through how the process works and to make the process appear less intimidating,* not to deliberately make the process more adversarial and intimidating. (When I was a nervous newcomer creating my first FAC nomination eight years ago, I'd certainly not have bothered if I'd known it would lead to my being tagged with a big zero with the explicitly stated aim of embarrassing me. The me of that time had no idea what was appropriate in a FA review; I picked up what was and wasn't appropriate commentary by learning from those who commented on my own nominations and from reading Giano's guide, and I imagine most of you did as well.
    *The mentorship scheme is admirable, but is only the start. If you want more new faces at FAC, start aggressively clerking and operate with a zero-tolerance approach towards the sneering, sarcasm, whininess, nitpicking and general "you must be an idiot to even think I'd want to waste my time reading this shit" attitude which infects FAC. I'm seeing variations of "please withdraw this, a gold star isn't worth all this abuse" a hell of a lot more often than I ever used to.

    Over the very long term, I think the time will one day come for there to be a discussion as to whether the correct response to the decline in FAC participation is to question whether FAC should continue to exist at all. The stub-start-C-B-G-A-F and low-mid-high-top assessment scales are both artefacts of a long-abandoned WMF scheme to produce print and CD-ROM versions of Wikipedia, and to provide metrics for determining on-the-fly which articles would get slots in a publication of limited size. Aside from a few esoteric proposals like last year's harebrained scheme to send copies of every FA to the moon, the assessment scale no longer has any real relevance to readers; the fact that the number of daily readers of any given article barely shifts pre- and post-FAC (other than a brief blip when the promotion is reported in the Signpost) strongly suggests to me that our readers don't actually care about FAC status, and Wikipedia ultimately exists to serve the readers not the writers. If one accepts that the assessment scales are no longer serving any useful purpose, then the only practical purpose FAC is serving is providing fodder for the Main Page, and even if one accepts that TFA is still serving a useful purpose (Wikipedia is no longer an obscure website and I'm sure our readers are by now aware that it covers a wide range of topics and has articles of varying quality), an ITN-style process would serve equally well and be about a hundred times less of a time-sink. ‑ Iridescent 21:18, 5 March 2017 (UTC)

    Further thought, and question to all those supporting this proposal: If it were proposed to automatically display every user's edit count and length of membership alongside their signature on posts and alongside their username in edit histories, so as to make it immediately obvious which editors were experienced and which were newcomers (a common practice in many online communities), would you support it? If you'd support one proposal and not the other, why not? ‑ Iridescent 21:50, 5 March 2017 (UTC)

Just looking at this, it seems that Iridescent is correct, but I disagree with him that FA/FAC doesn't serve much of a purpose. I think that the purpose it serves is to mark articles that are reliable, so that readers don't have to do much to check the reliability. Also, the classification system is an incentive to editors (especially new ones) to upgrade articles. Overall, it does seem that we should not do this proposal, but I think that we do need some way to keep up with TFA. I think that that could happen by having FA runs over multiple WikiProjects. If you have a question about how effective they are, just look at WikiProject Birds and the recent increase in bird FACs. RileyBugzYell at me | Edits 22:14, 5 March 2017 (UTC)
If the only purpose of FAC is to provide a "this article is considered reliable" flag, then the existing process (in which "lead contains three paragraphs", "article mixes the {{citation}} and {{cite book}} templates" and "first image in the article displays at wider than 300px" are all perfectly valid grounds for opposition) is certainly not the way to go about it. There are ten criteria at WIAFA of which only three (1b, 1c and 1d) have anything to do with reliability and verifiability. Right back to Brilliant Prose Candidates days, FAC has always been primarily about writing style and consistent formatting, with accuracy and neutrality tacked on as something of an afterthought. (If it were proposed to refocus the FAC process on accuracy and comprehensiveness and to downgrade or deprecate the obsession with MOS compliance, I'd be all for it, but that's a conversation for another time and place.) ‑ Iridescent 08:41, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
Yeah but nah, if WP is going to be taken one day as an official source, it has to look schmick as well. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 09:46, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
Iridescent Could you please go through your last post and look at the html markup? Something to do with your <:p> Everybody who posts after you has pink/purple background, as do you. Also, I've been able to see everybody's edit count, which groups they belong to, length of service, and the date of their last edit, by just mousing over the signatures. Always, ever since the day of my first edit. Don't you also see that? — Maile (talk) 22:32, 5 March 2017 (UTC)
I'm not seeing anything changing text colors, nor is there anything in the html that could change text colors—<p> is just the code for a paragraph break (I'm using it rather than just a return to avoid breaking the bulleting) and wont have any effect on text style. No, I don't see anything on mouse-over on user signatures other than the standard "name of the page to which clicking this link will take you" tooltip (e.g. "User:Maile66"), nor have I ever; you presumably have installed a "show editor details" script or gadget (most likely Wikipedia:Tools/Navigation popups) at some point. ‑ Iridescent 08:41, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
Well, well ... we learn something new everyday. Apparently, it is the navigation popup tool that shows me all the goodies when I mouse over an editor signature. Nevertheless, that still means it's possible for any editor to see the info if they have that Gadget checked. While I was in Gadgets, I noticed I have "wikedDiff" checked, which accounts for the different colors. But all that color means in this case, is that back-slash closed </p> is missing at the end of something. But since it doesn't seem to be affecting anybody else, I guess it's moot. — Maile (talk) 12:51, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
  • I fully endorse Iridescent's comments and would add that instead of driving more and more people away from FAC, which appears to be the case at the moment, the aim should be to encourage participation. SagaciousPhil - Chat 19:11, 5 March 2017 (UTC)
    • I tend to think that most people who offer detailed reviews often offer briefer ones as well. Most of the time the exact number won't matter, but will stand out if it's really really low. I do share your concerns a little, but think the positives outweigh the negatives. Also, Id' be all for denoting time at WP - say we could abolish all custom colours from signatures and have them change colours according to edit count. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 23:18, 5 March 2017 (UTC)

I agree with Iridescent's views about Mike's proposal (though not about the redundancy of FAC, but that's for another day). My edits to WP have dwindled considerably over the last year due to offline commitments, although I do still regularly check my watchlist and contribute as and when time allows. Like all of us, my editing time is finite; I imagine it is less for me than for those who are retired or in part-time work. I firmly believe in the principles behind WP. And so I will always prioritise improving content and turning redlinks blue over reviewing. For some, that might be selfish, but I think of it as rather selfless. The vast majority of articles I've created have never been subject to GAN or FAC and likely never will. I don't seek reward or status for creating them; the satisfaction I get is that their subjects are now included in accurate, well-written articles. But occasionally, I might find the time to write something that is plausibly FA-standard. Yet I would find "reviews: 0" appended to my nomination. It only reflects one aspect of my editing and implicitly penalises me for prioritising content creation and improvement with my limited editing time. I do understand the need for reviewers at all stages of WP (I've waited for 8 months at GAN before), and I understand that, where others have given their time over to review, it is perhaps rude to expect them to review your own creation without offering anything in return. But that doesn't mean we should put off contributors. And, as far as I am aware, people don't 'owe' each other anything on here. I write articles because I believe in the project and I enjoy doing it. When that article gets improved thanks to someone's review, we're both adding to the project. The review is one stage in that process (which is partly why I disagree with Iridescent over the redundancy of FAC). But, anyway, that's enough. This is not meant to be personal: I have a lot of respect for the proposer and his supporters and all they do as content builders and reviewers. And it's not the end of the world if this goes ahead, but I will oppose it because I am not sure it's needed and I am not sure it reflects the spirit of WP for the reasons outlined above. Cheers, —Noswall59 (talk) 10:45, 6 March 2017 (UTC).

I tend to agree with Iri here (and to a lesser extent with SV). If we're going to track reviews - track ALL of them, not just the last 12 months. But, I really don't think it's going to help the culture at FAC. To be quite blunt - FAC has turned into PR and that's one reason why I don't contribute much any more. There is too much emphasis on the prose and MOS and not nearly enough on the content and reliablity of the information. And it lasts entirely too long. Too much polishing of prose takes place at the FAC, rather than previous to the FAC. And too much expectation from nominators that reviewers should point out ALL the problems and help them fix them rather than taking the time to get the article prepared prior to nominating. I can't say I want to do reviews because they turn into nasty tug of wars where I'm hounded about the smallest details rather than seeing any examples I give as examples. On the prose front - too many people think that there is only ONE way to write and they try to force their style onto the article through insisting on particular phrasings, rather than worrying about whether the prose is clear and gets the point across. That's my take on why things are declining - take it as you will. Ealdgyth - Talk 13:51, 6 March 2017 (UTC)

Would you prefer that I stop doing prose supports? Are prose supports an example of "too much emphasis on the prose"? - Dank (push to talk) 15:10, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
No, Dank, I'm not saying you need to stop what you're doing. I very purposefully did not name any names because it's all of us that have contributed. Including myself. Instead of just going "prose needs work, oppose, take some time and fix it", I've fallen into the trap of listing changes .. which just feeds into the whole myopia on prose without considering that prose is a style issue and there is no "right" way to write. What we NEED to concentrate on is whether or not the information is presented in a way that makes it clear to the reader, now whether or not it's prose worthy of Hemingway. And we really need to be much more concerned with factual accuracy... Ealdgyth - Talk 16:02, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
I understand your point, Ealdgyth, and sympathize to a degree. The fact of the matter is that we generally don't have enough subject-matter experts (SME) to fact check most articles; I just reviewed Louis Leblanc and I don't know squat about ice hockey. That meant that all I could do was really review sourcing, images and prose, even though I don't consider myself a real expert on any one of those things. So I understand why those sorts of things, especially prose and MOS issues, get an inordinate amount of attention here. So I'm seeing two inter-related issues in your comments; "not-ready-for-prime-time" noms and a lack of fact checking. In general, the knowledge base here isn't ever going to be wide enough to verify the accuracy of many noms; that pool of expertise is going to be more naturally at the project level. The ACR process at MilHist is primarily focused on fact checking as we have SMEs who generally know enough about any given subject area to spot problems and prose, etc. is secondary. But very few projects can muster enough bodies to build a robust ACR program or an equivalent. It will take the work of a few dedicated people in each project, if they can be found, to jumpstart the notion of reviewing of the articles that fall under that project's purview at PR or ACR. And that's a lot to ask of a person(s), so I honestly don't expect to see it often. (I gather that it's happened at WP:BIRDS recently, maybe we can learn what they did over there for ideas.)
The easiest way to address the unready noms is to require something like a PR or ACR prior to a nomination, focused on getting the article ready for FAC. But that's a pretty big step and would require a lot more reviewers than I believe PR generally gets. And copyeditors good enough to improve prose to "brilliant" standards are pretty few and far between, although the average GOCE member can usually bring bad prose up to a readable standard. I took last year off from FAC, so I'm not familiar with how "bitey" reviewers are with inexperienced nominators nowadays, but I remember those "brilliant prose" days with less than fondness as I was bitten a couple of times by Eric Corbett and a few others as a newbie nominator. Badly enough that I didn't come back for a couple of years until I found someone who was willing to invest enough time to improve my writing and confidence levels. What pissed me off was that the reviewers wouldn't tell me everything that was wrong so that I could fix it and learn from their comments, preferring to oppose with few specifics. I understand that they didn't want to invest the time to do so, but I'm telling you that a general oppose on prose issues, without offering some guidance on what needs to be fixed, is a fast way to drive newbies away. I've told nominators at GAN and ACR to get a copyeditor before I'd review their articles because their prose was so bad and there are certain editors I refuse have any further dealings with because of their behavior or inability to learn from the mistakes that I've spent hours (sad, but occasionally true) pointing out.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 17:51, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
This is getting some way off the point, but Sturmvogel 66, are you sure you're not misremembering here or confusing him with someone else? Eric certainly had his faults, but he was usually remarkably patient when it came to explaining to good-faith nominators where they were going wrong and what they needed to do to fix it. (Indeed, part of the reason he has so many loyal supporters is because so many people have memories of him taking the time to hand-hold and mentor when other people were just saying "this is crap".) Out of curiosity I've just looked at your first five FAC nominations (1, 2, 3, 4, 5); on four of them Eric/Malleus never commented at any point, and on the one on which he did comment (Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Petlyakov Pe-8/archive1) he went through patiently point-by-point, and only snapped once when you gave a response to a query about whether an image was PD of "Beats me". ‑ Iridescent 18:20, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
Looking again at the Pe-8 FAC, Eric was being very helpful until this: "I'd like to see the whole thing looked at again, as I just gave a few examples. --Malleus Fatuorum 22:32, 19 January 2010 (UTC)" which came before I gave the snippy response to his rightful questioning of an image. His comments were great until that bit because I didn't have enough to generalize from his comments to try and continue to fix things myself, which I found really upsetting.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 20:26, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
Dank Keep doing what you're doing, and don't change a thing. Sturmvogel 66 I got it both ways in my first FAC, in the fact I got bit, and then I got helped by those people who were patient enough to list what was wrong and help guide me towards the correct method. It was more helpful to get direction than to get bitten. Reviewers who double as instructors provide an invaluable service to both the individual and to Wikipedia as a whole. When I have the time and the opportunity, I try to pay it forward by imparting what I learned to FAC and elsewhere. Sometimes I do that in reviews, and sometimes I just work in the background making corrections. But we need both, editors like Dank and reviewers who are willing in share their knowledge. — Maile (talk) 19:21, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
Yes, agreed; don't take my comments as an appeal to reviewers to disregard prose as an issue. I don't think it's any great secret that for a loooong time I've had issues with FAC's tendency to be a test of whether the article complies with the stylistic whims of whichever reviewers happen to turn up that day, and "what could be done to make this article more useful to readers?" doesn't get enough of a look in. This extremely long thread from 2008 (in which inter alia SandyGeorgia plaintively complains the biggest issue at FAC right now is lack of reviewers—plus ça change) is well worth a read for those who haven't read it before, if only to serve as a reminder that very few of these discussions are genuinely new, and for the shock value of how many of the names are now missing. However, that certainly doesn't mean I advocate abandoning quality control altogether; if something is genuinely confusing or ungrammatical, it should still be stomped on. My issue is with people who insist that their own personal prejudices regarding formatting or phrasing are non-negotiable rules, and demand that everyone else complies with them. ‑ Iridescent 20:30, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
Practical suggestions would be welcome.  Lingzhi ♦ (talk) 21:50, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
It seems to me that trying to encourage people on the FAC page and such isn't the right thing to do. I think that most will agree with that sentiment. It would be good if we could try and encourage people through other means. WikiProjects are probably the best place to encourage people for FAC. Also, I think that another think that will make FAC less stressful is something on a WikiProject where you would just post things (not unlike peer review) on the talk page for people to give reviews of. The reviews aren't focused on prose, they are just noting content issues and stuff. If you don't know what I mean, see the idea subsection on the WikiProject Birds talk page. For me, FAC is a lot less stressful when all I get are nitpicks about prose. RileyBugzYell at me | Edits 21:57, 6 March 2017 (UTC)

An analog?

I was at coffee this morning with an academic friend who is well-published and we sometimes discuss how the process of getting a paper into an academic journal is similar in some ways to pushing a page through FAC. In both cases, the primary purpose is to show what you can do and to disseminate knowledge. However, there are secondary purposes in being seen as accomplished and respected, beefing up your CV, and so on.

I asked him today: Are folks who publish papers but don't participate in review boards seen as lazy or selfish? Are they shamed, or ribbed at parties? I was told that Very Important academics will say they are too busy to review the work of others but that for many, it's seen as necessary for community building and sometimes even a requirement for tenure. Some reviewers provide subject matter feedback, some focus on methodology, etc. Some agree to review papers but delegate the task to grad students! One thing that struck me was a later addendum about the Very Important academics: Even though they don't do reviews, they engage in community building in their own ways. They mentor grad students, serve on committees, and so on.

I'm not sure what use this analog may be, but perhaps it will invoke some thought or discussion. --Laser brain (talk) 16:07, 6 March 2017 (UTC)

There's a difference between writing quality articles, and recognizing quality articles. In the academic world these are connected, because you have to have your work published to progress in academe. That's not true here, and there are plenty of writers who don't participate in FAC but who write outstanding articles. FAC is a process that is completely voluntary; unless you care about WBFAN or about being on the front page there's really no reason to get involved except for the sense of community, and to get feedback.
I don't think I'm going to articulate this well, so Iridescent & Noswall59, please correct me if I'm wrong here. Do you feel that it's harmful to Wikipedia to have these two things be as separate as they are here? That in an ideal editing community, some way would be found to identify quality articles in a way less contentious, less prone to error, less evidently imperfect than FAC? I think many of the efforts that have been made to improve FAC have this world-view; FAC ought to be welcoming, efficient, and a training-ground for newer editors in how to produce better articles.
The comments in opposition have made me think hard about why I proposed this and why the opposing arguments seem to me to miss something. I now suspect that the difference is that my proposal is aimed at making FAC more efficient and productive, but it is not going to help FAC become what many would like it be. Iridescent's arguments in particular have convinced me that, sadly, I've lost faith in FAC's ability to be as utopian as I would like it to be, to the benefit of the whole community, and have become focused instead on making it work as a process for those who participate. That's not really an argument to support the proposal, and it's not intended as such -- I'm just trying to clarify what I see as the stakes.
Iridescent's and others' arguments have left me less enthusiastic about the proposal than I was initially, but I still think it's better than the alternative. I'd rather get rid of FAs on the main page, in order to get rid of at least part of the incentive argument, and focus on improving FAC's efficiency, than leave everything as is. Perhaps we should poll every editor who brought a first nomination to FAC over the last few months, and see what they think. Those editors are the future of FAC, if we don't drive them away with the glacial pace of reviews, and the appallingly low promotion rate (15%) for new nominators. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 01:59, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
The analogy with American academia doesn't really stand up. (Don't fall into the trap of equating "the way things work in America" with "the way things work in the rest of the world"—academia is a very different beast in the US than elsewhere, mainly because of the skewing effect of the unique-to-America concept of "tenure" and the pressure it puts on academics to do things not in their contracts in order to appear to be team players. In the rest of the world, academics move around between academic institutions and private companies just like any other skilled workers; if an academic were ordered to do something like peer-review a set number of papers, and that requirement weren't part of their job description, they'd just go and work for someone else if they weren't happy going along with it.) People peer-reviewing academic papers can be reasonably presumed to have at least a basic knowledge of the topic on which they're commenting. On Wikipedia, you have a bunch of enthusiastic amateurs with their competencies in different fields. This can be very helpful, particularly when non-experts point out material which will be confusing to readers without background knowledge of the topic, but it does mean that by design all reviews are not created equal, and that any effort to quantify the value of "a review" are going to be very difficult. (Awarding "review points" also creates an actively perverse incentive to nitpick, in that I'll receive a point for saying "you used an semicolon where you should have used a comma" on the review, but I won't receive anything for just quietly fixing it.)
I don't think it's any great secret that I'd support a radical slashing of what goes on the main page, including removing TFA from the main page altogether; if I had my way, the main page would look like this. The current main page as designed by Raul and co was created when Wikipedia was an obscure startup; the purpose of the design was to drive home to readers than Wikipedia wasn't just a glorified directory of Pokemon characters and album tracklistings but actually included material that normal people might find interesting and well-written. (TFA to show that not all articles were crappy stubs; ITN to show that Wikipedia was dynamic in nature and reacted to developments; DYK to show that Wikipedia was constantly growing and had a broad scope; OTD to show that Wikipedia had a global reach and wasn't concentrated solely on items of interest to 20-something American nerds.) It's now 13 years later, and anyone who hasn't spent the last decade living in a cave is well aware of what Wikipedia is and what its positives and negatives are.
AFAIK the stats are no longer kept up to date, but based on dip-sampling recent TFAs the pageview count for TFA has nosedived recently. (There are zero entries on the list of TFAs which had over 100,000 views on the day from 2017, only one from 2016, three in 2015 but two of those were on events getting major news coverage which would have got the views regardless, and only one from 2014. Compare that to 11 high-view TFAs in 2012 alone. Before anyone accuses this of just being sour grapes that people aren't reading my articles, two of the last three TFAs to hit the 100k mark were written by me.) To my mind, TFA is no longer serving a useful purpose for the readers, who are typically navigating straight to whatever they're looking for from Google or Wikipedia's own search. (Yes, the main page gets 10,000,000 views a day, but since only around one tenth of one percent of those visitors are clicking through to the TFA, they're obviously not looking at it.) If one doesn't accept "it's what the readers want" as an argument for keeping TFA, then the other arguments for it—the questionable notion of main page appearances being some kind of reward to writers, and the fact that TFA scheduling forces writers to re-check FAs to see if they're still of decent quality—become a very weak peg on which to hang so much effort. (Way back in the mists of time, someone suggested intentionally putting bad articles on important topics on the main page, to try to encourage people to improve them. This is probably an idea that ought to be revisited.) This is getting well off the point, though—as has been proven time and time again, any attempt to streamline the design of the main page invariably gets shot down by the WikiCup block vote ‑ Iridescent 19:19, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
Iridescent, thanks for the history; I wasn't aware of some of that. Much of what you say concerns TFA and the main page, but not FAC, which is what I'm most interested in your opinion of. Do you agree with the division I outlined above between different views of what FAC should do or is capable of doing? I think some of the opposition comes from people whose goals for FAC I share -- I just no longer believe they are achievable. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 19:39, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
@Mike Christie: Going all blue-sky and long-term, it would probably make sense to reboot this as a discussion of what FAC ought to be, rather than a discussion of how we get there; at the moment we're talking past each other because some of us are saying "how do we address the problem?" and some of us are saying "why do you think there's a problem?".
Because of the way it grew organically from the ashes of processes to determine what was deemed worthy of transfer from Wikipedia to the hallowed ground of Nupedia—and later, from the WP:1.0 "print Wikipedia" idea—the whole assessment scale is kind of goofy. We're so used to it we forget how alien a scale that goes "F-A-G-B-C-S" seems to normal people, and also just how bizarre the whole "featured" terminology is—why would any sane reader understand that "good" means "adequate" and "featured" means "good"?. (Few of the other big wikis use this bizarre scale; the de-wiki equivalents of FA and GA are "Excellent articles" and "Readable articles", which to me reflect the meaning much more accurately.)
It would be a major cultural change, and almost certainly be opposed so bitterly that it would be unworkable, but if I were designing Wikipedia from scratch I'd have a single WP:Requests for assessment to which anyone can submit anything, with the proviso that while a single editor can dole out any assessment up to and including GA, the highest gradings (FA and A class), and also downgrading the status of existing FAs, requires a consensus of multiple editors that the new rating is deserved and be closed by elected delegates. Because even people who'd just created a three-sentence stub would be bringing articles along for assessment and this would be taking place in the same venue as FAC, GAN and the oft-forgotten but equally important FAR, it would hopefully demystify the processes, while allowing people to participate at whatever level they feel comfortable, sticking to the low-hanging fruit until they feel comfortable taking on more complicated reviews. Yes, it would probably become log-jammed quite quickly, but I suspect that any backlogs would clear quite quickly, since most of the articles could be assessed as stubs virtually on autopilot. I'd also trim the assessment scale drastically to just stub-adequate-GA-A-FA; "start-class", "C-class" and "B-class" all just mean "this isn't actively bad but it needs a lot more work", and we really don't need three different ways to say that. ‑ Iridescent 20:11, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
I think FAC ought to be a lightweight, lean process for recognizing our best work. Every time we get bogged down in huge laundry lists of prose fixes, template usage, etc. something has gone off the rails. I'm guilty myself of propagating this culture in the past. I'm reform-minded, and any reform that addresses the good reasons people have for staying away from FAC is welcome. I'd like to increase participation but have that participation be far less cumbersome. It's always going to be a burden to write high-quality content, and it's always going to be a challenge to help writers get there. I don't think all that should be occurring at FAC. Part of fixing that is a culture change away from massive itemized reviews and the saltiness that occurs when we suggest a nomination isn't ready. --Laser brain (talk) 20:57, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
That would be nice, but... I begin a review by reading and making notes (usually with the assumption that it'll be a support). If I get a third of the way in and the list of notes is long, it's clear that there are issues. Simply writing the word "oppose" and signing my name would be an interesting experiment. My guess is that I'd get beaten up regardless; if I do the opposite I am accused of putting too much emphasis on trivialities or minute style preferences. I'm really done with it. And if I'm done reviewing, then I accept that I will not ever achieve an acceptable ratio of noms to reviews, so I'm done nominating. Victoriaearle (tk) 21:13, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
Yes, what she said. To echo my conversation with Sturmvogel 66 up above, most nominators are grateful for a "here are all the problems I see" laundry-list provided all the issues raised are legitimate concerns; what causes problems in my experience are either "oppose, this isn't ready" comments without explanation as to why it's being opposed, or "I insist you do x, y and z even though it's not actually necessary, and unless you do so I'm going to oppose this and derail the nomination" (something that happens far too often). It's part of why I think a unified assessment process could actually work—for the first time, "I don't think this is meets the FA requirements but I'm going to give it GA or A-class status and leave it up to you whether you make the MOS adjustments necessary to take it further" would be a viable response. ‑ Iridescent 21:25, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
@Laser_brain, but again, this is another example of what I mean by talking past each other. You've decided there's a problem and are putting forward proposals to address it, without demonstrating that the problem actually exists. While it may well be the case, do you—or anyone—actually have any evidence that participation at FAC has fallen any more sharply than participation in any other area of Wikipedia? (The raw data for the decline in participation in Wikipedia as a whole is here. For FAC purposes, we presumably only want to look at the highly active editors as the casual editors are unlikely to be participating at something so time-consuming. For said editors we see a crash in participation between 2010 and 2015, with the number levelling off and gradually beginning to rise again in 2015-16, which seems to match the pattern of FAC fairly closely. "Total number of reviews" has probably dropped slightly more than expected recently owing to the loss of a couple of highly active reviewers, but overall it looks like FAC is doing exactly as well at recruitment and retention as could be expected.) ‑ Iridescent 21:34, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
@Iridescent: I don't have any evidence that there's a systemic problem, nor am I suggesting there is one. I'm making observations from my experience as a coordinator. I'd like to make a better experience for those who write well and produce good material but struggle with the process. If I archive someone's nomination and their response is bewilderment, I believe we've failed them in some way and pointing to Article 3.4-stroke-b, paragraph 2 of some instruction sheet doesn't do them much good after the fact. I'd welcome reforms that make FAC a better process—do we have to identify a systemic problem to improve the process? I'd like to reduce the number of nominators and reviewers who feel put-off about what they experience here. --Laser brain (talk) 22:18, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
I like Iridescent's idea—something similar has crossed my mind before but I couldn't be bothered to bring it up. What I'd tweak, though, is to unify GA and FA, and leave the other assessments to the WikiProjects—A-class has never been WP-wide as far as I know, and I don't think "between GA- and FA-quality" is all that meaningful to most of us (I've never had an A-class article, and I'm not even sure what it would mean to have one). I imagine it could serve to draw more people into the FAC pool, as there are GAs out there that could be FAs as they are, but people aren't submitting them. The question would be "What level would you folk assess this at?" rather than "Is this worthy of XA?" Curly "JFC" Turkey 🍁 ¡gobble! 22:48, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
I also think Iridescent's idea that we should unify FA, A and GA articles is a good one (and rename them too: 'excellent', 'good' and 'readable' or something). I've often thought that GA quality varies so much because it only requires one editor to pass an article; I've seen so many dubious articles get through on the back of reviews which, in my view, have not really scrutinised the accuracy, prose, or scope of their subject. This of course undermines GA status generally and has contributed to some experienced editors stepping away from it. Whether an FAC-style GAN system would introduce more consistency and still be workable is not totally clear, but the idea appeals to me. As a final point, User:Curly Turkey, I'd say that A-class, if it will be kept (and it is ever so close to FA-class anyway), should be brought away from WikiProject control. Most WikiProjects are not very active and only a small number maintain ACRs. If the grade is going to be applied evenly, it ought to be centralised. Cheers, —Noswall59 (talk) 13:07, 10 March 2017 (UTC).
For me, as a "new" nominator, per say, I feel that the solution isn't to modify how FAC works (although I do think the proposal of having articles that fail here but are close to FA having A class or something of the like), but the solution is to modify how it is perceived. For example, most of you would probably agree that getting an article past FAC is insanely hard. But, it really isn't too hard. Also, FAC should probably work to remind people that they can have co-noms. I just recently did my first co-nom, and I found it much easier than doing it all myself. If a source review problem came up, say, then I would be able to leave it to my co-nom, somebody more experienced than I with source reviews. I, on the other hand, would do things like tidying up where the images appear, correcting prose, and some occasional research. Overall, I think that if we could just make FAC sound less hard than it is (and make it less hard, but that would be harder), then we would be much better off. RileyBugzYell at me | Edits 21:52, 7 March 2017 (UTC)

I am in the category to which Mike Christie refers: "Perhaps we should poll every editor who brought a first nomination to FAC over the last few months, and see what they think." Taking my first article through an FA candidacy had naught to do with getting the article to the main page. It turns out that the article will be on the main page in two weeks; I'm fine with that, but it was nominated for that status by another editor. I will likely spend the whole day away from Wikipedia. The reason I wanted to take an article through an FA candidacy is that I thought that I had done a better-than-good job on the article, I felt it was up to standard, and I wanted to test that self-confidence by putting the article through what appears to be Wikipedia's most rigorous quality assurance process. The article was improved, and I received a degree of personal validation and satisfaction from the process, the positive feedback and the outcome. It has encouraged me to try a second article if I ever have the time. The article's forthcoming on the main page, however, will do nothing other than stress me out!

My view on the proposal here is supportive. Getting my own first article through a candidacy successfully has given me the confidence to review other articles. I've probably conducted five or so reviews. Recognition in the manner proposed does come with the slight ugliness of transactionality and labelling of "givers" and "takers", but that is outweighed exponentially by the benefit of supporting the efficiency of the process, which for me took a lot longer than I expected (not that that was problematic for me in any way). Syek88 (talk) 19:39, 7 March 2017 (UTC)

Promoting to A class at FAC

Balloonman had a good idea in the 2008 thread Iridescent linked to. When articles fail at FAC, but only just, we could award them A-class status. That would take the sting out of an oppose: "oppose, but happy to support A class". That might encourage more nominators and more reviewers. Milhist currently has A class, which is above GA; I don't know who else awards A class. Most articles that aren't GA/FA are stuck at B. SarahSV (talk) 22:28, 6 March 2017 (UTC)

That could work, my only quibble might be if project template banner codes could accept A class or not. I know in MilHist our code links to our review and might not be able to accept a FAC. But that's hopefully an easy problem to solve. I think that VideoGames might have the only other active ACR process, but I wouldn't swear to it. But I really would encourage people to start one in their own projects, or even an equivalent as informal as the ones that Birds is doing.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 22:53, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
Hi Sturmvogel 66, not all articles are project-based, in the sense that a project takes an active interest. I was thinking simply that we could award A-class to articles that don't quite meet the FA standard, rather than having a separate set of criteria, e.g. the prose is fine but could use some improvement, the article isn't entirely comprehensive, and so on. Better than GA but not quite FA. SarahSV (talk) 23:07, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
I Support this proposal. Banners can be changed if desired.  Lingzhi ♦ (talk) 00:10, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
I would support this, but I think that since A class is pretty much dead, that is should be GA instead. RileyBugzYell at me | Edits 00:15, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
Do not support that option. This would revive A class, hopefully, and GA is its own separate animal.  Lingzhi ♦ (talk) 00:32, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
Interesting, but would A class become something in it's own right, because I think that would be too much. Also, the main reason why I stated it is because many (some, at the very least) WikiProjects don't even have A class as a ranking anymore. RileyBugzYell at me | Edits 02:35, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
WP:HWY/ACR is the other active process. The problem that I would have (not speaking on behalf of the project here) is that we set our own standards for A-class, and this would override that. --Rschen7754 02:04, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
I don't think that's a problem, because it would be easy to say "FAC only gives A-clss to articles in WPs that don't already have an active A-class review."  Lingzhi ♦ (talk) 02:08, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
I don't think it would be an issue for FAC to award A-Class to articles that lack it, even in that case. The HWY standards shouldn't be incompatible with the idea of FAC saying "close, but not quite", since HWY's standard are essentially "this is close to FA standards" as it is. Imzadi 1979  02:35, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
I don't think that it would be a problem to grant A class to articles in projects without an active process, provided that the banner code can handle it.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 03:36, 7 March 2017 (UTC)

When an FA is demoted via FAR, it isn't demoted to GA (and shouldn't be). Why should a failed FAC get promoted to A-class? Curly "JFC" Turkey 🍁 ¡gobble! 03:52, 7 March 2017 (UTC)

If I understand this properly, we wouldn't automatically award A-Class to any failed FAC, rather, we'd allow reviewers to say, "you're close to FA" and to reward that effort with an alternate promotion instead of just totally failing the article completely. Imzadi 1979  03:59, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
Yeah, that's pretty much it. Basically, if an article is close to FA, but not quite there, it would be put at A class. RileyBugzYell at me | Edits 04:01, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
An intriguing idea: Well when it was mentioned above that FAC could give A-class to any article, including those in WPs that already have an A-review, I thought, "Ridiculous! That would be duplicating work! Redundant! That would remove the need for the A-review!". But then I thought, "Hmmmm... and is that a bad thing? Just take all the A-class reviewers from the WPs and ask them to be FAC reviewers, with the proviso that they (along with other reviewers) have the right to grant A-class as seen fit." So the A-class reviews would be shut down, and FAC would function as FAC/A-class all at the same time. That would add to FAC's workload, but that would be OK if the A-class reviewers joined FAC (those who are not here already, that is).  Lingzhi ♦ (talk) 04:18, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
Lingzhi, the simplest version of the idea is that, if an article comes to FAC, but it's not ready to be promoted to FA, nominators can award it A class, if it doesn't already have A class from another review process. That is, if it's a GA or lower (and that's probably most), we can promote it to A instead of FA. SarahSV (talk) 04:31, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
Ian Rose, Laser brain, Sarastro1, and Mike Christie, do you have any thoughts about this? It would brighten up FAC a little, and it might encourage more noms and more reviewers. SarahSV (talk) 04:35, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
I would only be okay with this if the FAC coords are making sure that an A-class option doesn't inflate FAC standards, and if it's understood that talking about an A-class fallback is just as damaging to a nomination as an oppose, and equivalent to an oppose. Vague, noncommittal or premature talk about A-class might unfairly sink a nomination. - Dank (push to talk) 04:47, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
There's a separate issue that "A-class" already has a defined meaning and process, mainly for WP:HWY and WP:Milhist, so we can't do this without some discussion and negotiation. (It's my guess that that won't be a stopper, but we shouldn't presume.) - Dank (push to talk) 04:59, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
There's also a process question ... again, probably not a stopper in the long run, but an important consideration. I'm guessing that WPians will require an RfC for this. Past RfCs that involved the A-class designation have been somewhat contentious, and RfCs involving FAC sometimes veer off course ... so I really wouldn't want to try to predict the outcome of the RfC. If the RfC fails, that wouldn't mean this whole effort is dead, necessarily, but it would mean we couldn't call it "A-class", for the time being. - Dank (push to talk) 05:18, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
@SlimVirgin: Are you suggesting that the coordinators would make this determination at close? For example, "This nomination has been archived but is being awarded A-class status per consensus"? --Laser brain (talk) 04:53, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
@Laser brain: yes, I was thinking that reviewers could say "oppose for FA; support for A", and the coordinators would promote to FA, A or neither depending on consensus. Perhaps it would make things too complicated; consensus can be hard enough to judge as it is. And I can see that it might lead to inconsistent standards, certainly at first. But we were asked to come up with ideas to encourage people, and it seems to me that this would be very encouraging, especially for first-time nominators, but also for reviewers. Opposing an FAC is a hard thing to do; it would be nice to be able to give another award instead of just an oppose. SarahSV (talk) 05:39, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
I don't see how this could be workable. There needs to be a set of criteria for A-class status so that there's reasonable consistency in what's assessed as being at this level, and it would be confusing to ask reviewers to determine whether the article is either of FA or A-class standard, or give FA delegates this responsibility. The Military History Wikiproject uses a formal review process with criteria which were deliberately designed to be a watered-down version of the FA criteria. This has proven successful, and provides a good pathway to FA status, and I'd suggest that rolling this process out further would be a better option to what's been suggested here. Nick-D (talk) 07:29, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
Yeah, I applaud the motivation for this but I think A-Class needs to be treated as a distinct assessment system, as it is at MilHist, Roads, etc. Like Nick, I would love to see more projects adopting it as it as I've found it a very good preparation for FAC; at MilHist at least, it tends to emphasise detailed and accurate content, leaving an appearance at FAC to focus more on prose, style, and accessibility to the general audience. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 08:09, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
I'd say I'd like to see A-class remain what it is, a sort of AAA League to FA's Major League, one step away but not there. And it would be better to keep it separate, because to make it a universal thing with its own criteria kind of removes it from the A-B-C-Start-Stub scheme, giving us four separate schemes (FA, A, GA, and the rest). That said, however, only MILHIST and HWY even bother with their own A-class, so maybe doing this will at least bring that never used rating out of its semi-retirement. It might even spur activity at other WPs. If they don't like how we do A-class here for, say, WP:BASEBALL, they could come up with their own standards and thereby make that project more active and effective. So, it might serve as a spur to action for some WPs, and improve the article-writing process in that way, too. --Coemgenus (talk) 11:26, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
  • I made a similar proposal some years ago, about FAC to GA:[1] FunkMonk (talk) 11:39, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
  • I'm not comfortable with this idea for a number of reasons. Those few projects who still have ACR have their own criteria, which may or may not align with FAC criteria. And unless FAC incorporates those differentials into its criteria, who are we to award an A-class for a project's article that the project itself had either not reviewed or did not award A-class. But if FAC incorporates the various A-class criteria just to cover the bases, then we get instruction creep with a possibility of more creep if an individual project adds or deletes a criteria that FAC did or did not have. Also, there aren't a whole lot of active reviewers at FAC. Why complicate the process? I would prefer to see a totally separate and independent Project A-class wiki project. But, there again, would there be a pool of qualified reviewers to sustain such a venture?— Maile (talk) 12:50, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
    I agree. If, as I believe, what FAC needs is more reviewing activity from its participants, I don't think it's a good idea to ask for reviewers to consider additional criteria in their reviewing. We don't want to make reviewing any harder than it is. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 13:08, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
    Blimey, this is moving fast isn't it? I'm afraid, like Ian, I think this is a nice idea that I don't think is workable in practice, and suspect it would only scare away reviewers (particularly new ones) as an added complication ("so... am I reviewing as FA or A class? What is the difference?") . Also, I can imagine that this would irritate those projects that were active, and perhaps rightly. Perhaps if this was an intermediate step to FA, it may be better (as I think Maile is suggesting) as a separate project with its own criteria. Sarastro1 (talk) 21:37, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
In a way, I guess it would be an intermediate step to FA. WPMH says their A-class review is as close as you can get to FA, before you take it to FAC. Having gone through theirs, I believe that is true. It's up to the community to figure out how to create a stand-alone WP ACR project, but perhaps have a Centralized Discussion that allowed the existing ACR projects to have input. — Maile (talk) 22:54, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
  • I think it could work, but it would mean creating some standards for A-class articles where the WPs don't already have them. I've seen this, which hints at it, but it feels like it needs more fleshing out. Something half-way between GA and FA, I think, would be a start. --Coemgenus (talk) 22:20, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
  • I'm also in the "nice idea, but not feasible" camp. I've long been in favor of anything that makes better use of the criminally underutilized A-class, but I don't think this is it. Mike articulates my concerns nicely... there are already many things that reviewers and coordinators have to consider, and I fear injecting a whole different set of standards into the mix would really complicate things and make people even less likely to get involved. It would be nice to be able to toss in an offhand remark about an article being ready for A-class to take the sting out of an oppose, but there's no way for it to be binding for the sake of consensus unless we ask reviewers to effectively evaluate the article twice against quite different criteria. I'm generally not opposed to consolation prizes (we could give people a barnstar just for nominating an article, if that's what it takes). That said, to reduce A-class to a participation trophy would be to bastardize a useful assessment grade that simply hasn't yet realized its full potential. – Juliancolton | Talk 23:21, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Julian, I wasn't thinking of it as a participation trophy. Often articles come to FAC and aren't quite ready. They're very good, significantly better than GA, but maybe there are prose issues, or something is missing, or the sourcing isn't as thorough as it needs to be. In those situations, promoting the article to A-class would take the sting out of an oppose. I'm not proposing a separate set of criteria or a separate review: simply "this isn't quite ready for FA, but it's very close". I do accept that this would lead to inconsistent standards at first, but we already have inconsistency at FA and particularly GA. It would iron itself out over time as reviewers got used to awarding it. It does seem odd that most articles can only be B, GA, FA.
    An alternative proposal would be that we use the same review process to ask that articles be promoted to A class. That would be useful for people who don't want an article to be TFA. Nominators could say at the start whether it's a nomination for A or FA. I do think our "all or nothing" approach to FAC is part of the problem we face of dwindling participation. The current situation is hard on nominators and on reviewers. SarahSV (talk) 17:39, 8 March 2017 (UTC)

May we return to Mike's original proposition?

As is the way with these threads, we have moved to discussing matters somewhat somewhat removed from the original issue, which was how to encourage new/newish FAC participants to review more, by reminding them that there are two sides to the process: nominating articles and reviewing other articles. The proposal is that each FAC nomination is tagged with the nominator's recent count of noms made and reviews given, in the hope that by indicating their level of reviewing industry, their own noms will be rewarded by other reviewers' attention. I can see how this raises the ire of many of the most respected of our editors whose past endeavours on FAC have been legendary but who are less active now, or chose (as I did) to do much of their reviewing in the wastes of PR or informally, outside any formal review system. So let us reconsider: the idea is to encourage newer nominators to participate in FAC reviews, so why not apply Mike's tag only to the first five nominations made by any reviewer? Thereafter, he/she can be considered to have "earned their spurs", as it were. (There is an echo here of the "first five" principle that was included in the mentoring scheme introduced last year.) Not perfect, I agree, but as there is no other specific proposal on the table, could we proceed along those lines? Brianboulton (talk) 20:08, 10 March 2017 (UTC)

Sounds OK by me - although I must admit I wasn't comfortable reviewing FAC until I'd already got a couple of FAs notched up myself... Simon Burchell (talk) 22:18, 10 March 2017 (UTC)
Brian, the arguments against remain: (a) it might discourage new nominators, because in addition to the free labour involved in bringing an article to FAC, they'll feel they must donate more free labour to reviews; (b) that writing and reviewing are different skills, so we should let people choose how to spend their time, without pressure; (c) that the "freeloader" theory is based on the false premise that writing FAs isn't contribution enough; and (d) that shaming nominators into reviewing will lead to rushed reviews. SarahSV (talk) 01:45, 11 March 2017 (UTC)
I respect those arguments. But I remember the days ten years back, when I started in FAC, when I quickly realised that getting involved in reviewing alongside writing was a good way of getting noticed; I saw these as complementary rather than separate skills, and I was encouraged to be bold by other editors. I see that in my first years' editing I reviewed over 40 GANs, had broken into PR as well as FAC. There was more enthusiasm back then, and I'd like to see some of that recreated now among newcomers. Maybe Mike's scheme, with this slight modification, will help, maybe not - but there's not much else on the table. Brianboulton (talk) 08:40, 11 March 2017 (UTC)
Brian, we could ask people to do a review when their nominations are archived or promoted. This could be sent out by a bot. A few months ago, The Guardian started asking readers, in a yellow box at the end of each article, to subscribe or become members: "Now that you're here, we've got a small favour to ask ..."
We could word it similarly:

Now that several editors have reviewed your article, please consider returning the favour by reviewing at least one other nomination. Without reviewers, there will be no featured content, so we hope you'll consider becoming involved.

SarahSV (talk) 20:41, 11 March 2017 (UTC)
Interesting idea, Sarah! I don't mind it actually, although I could imagine it rubbing some whose noms have just been archived the wrong way (it might also get a bit wearing for our frequent nominators). Still if we only applied it to promoted noms it might be something. I have to admit that even after waiting to see arguments in favour of the nom/reviews scorecard proposal, I'm not really swayed. I don't mind it at GAN but FAC is far more complex and frankly I think discussions here about the need for solid reviewing, as well as Mike's very useful monthly stats, may help the cause more. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 04:40, 12 March 2017 (UTC)
Ian, you're right, it might be better to stick to promoted noms. SarahSV (talk) 06:03, 12 March 2017 (UTC)
I concur.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 06:27, 12 March 2017 (UTC)
Sarah, I'll support anything that might encourage nominators to take up reviewing, and this mild prod might be less contentious than the proposed "scorecard". Definitely worth a pilot, I'd say. Brianboulton (talk) 09:03, 12 March 2017 (UTC)
This is a good idea and it's worth giving it a try. Pretty much agree with Ian Rose's comments above. But, while I'm here will also mention that we might want to give some thought to why people don't review. I'm sure there are many reasons and it would be interesting to know what they are (though some are mentioned in the thread/s above). I don't know how many who read these threads and participate in FAC have been beaten the way I was last week (and it's not the first time), but I won't put myself through that again, nor will I ever again apologize (to no reply) for making a review. What we do here is supposed to be a hobby; it's supposed to be fun. Victoriaearle (tk) 15:35, 12 March 2017 (UTC)
This is just off the top of my head without much thinking through, but how about moving it to the beginning of the process—eg, the act of adding a nomination to WP:FAC will trigger an automatic talkpage notification along the lines of:

Thank you for your nomination of ArticleName at WP:Featured article candidates. The FAC process relies on reviewers like yourself participating to function, and a lack of reviewers can lead to delays. We currently have 51 FACs awaiting review, among which the five oldest are Louis Leblanc (2 months), John C. Calhoun (2 months), Kora Lanes (8 weeks), Steller's sea cow (7 weeks) and Don't Stop the Music (Rihanna song) (6 weeks). To see the full list of open nominations, visit Wikipedia:Featured article candidates or Wikipedia:Featured articles/Candidate list.

(Examples as of today. Obviously, only including the link to Wikipedia:Featured articles/Candidate list if VeblenBot can be coaxed back into life, as the list isn't currently updating.)
Doing it this way at the start of the process would give nominators a none-too-subtle hint that they might want to consider some reviews as well, while avoiding arm-twisting or the implication that they should be back-scratching or log-rolling. It would also avoid the "annoying people who've just had their nominations archived and aren't feeling charitable towards FAC" issue, could reasonably be dressed up as a public service announcement in that it's giving nominators an idea of what sort of lag FAC is currently running with, and because these are by definition reasonably active users would be posting a reminder of the existence of FAC and the fact that it operates on reviews on multiple highly-viewed talkpages. (You'd be surprised how many even well-established editors have no idea that there's such a thing as FA reviewers, and think that FA status is either granted by driveby editors on the talkpage, or by a professional assessment panel employed by the WMF.) ‑ Iridescent 12:35, 13 March 2017 (UTC)

Suggested next step

I deliberately didn't start this discussion as an RfC, because I suspected the discussion would be more wide-ranging than I would be able to plan for in an RfC. I think there's clear consensus here that it's worth trying something, but it's less clear what that should be. Just counting comments, I make it about 15 editors who expressed support for the original proposal, 7 who made it clear to varying degrees that they didn't like it or had reservations, and at least half a dozen who expressed interest in alternative approaches, such as Sarah's suggestion of a bot notification, or Brian's suggestion that the numbers be capped after five nominations.

Here's what I propose to do next, based on these discussions.

  • Post a request at BOTREQ for a bot to import the data I've been creating into a location where it can be used by any bot that wishes to, and where it can be used to run interactive toolserver queries (e.g. you could enter an editor's name and get a history of FAC activity back to the start date of the data, or enter a date range and get a list of nominations and supporting data for them, and so on). I don't believe any consensus here is needed for me to do this, since the data is in theory all publicly accessible anyway, but I wanted to make people aware of it. This would have no visible effect on FAC; it would be a reporting page that people could look at if they wished to.
  • Add a note to that bot request saying that once the data is available for bots to use, a new discussion will be started here (i.e. at WT:FAC) to define the second phase of the bot request -- will it simply post a bot notice as Sarah suggests? Or post some form of scorecard against nominators names? That discussion will be an RfC, with the options drawn from this discussion and any more that are suggested. The outcome of that will be taken back to BOTREQ.

-- Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 20:53, 12 March 2017 (UTC)

Bot request for the toolserver page now posted. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 00:17, 16 March 2017 (UTC)

Thoughts

I placed some thoughts about Wikipedia starting to stagnate on Jimbo Wales' talk page that (sorta-loosely) involve this. RileyBugzYell at me | Edits 22:32, 26 March 2017 (UTC)

The evil that Wikimen do

I have faults, to be sure. But this is gratuitous and unkind: Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents#Systematic disparagement by User:Eric. Who gains from that? Nobody. --Edelseider (talk) 12:06, 4 April 2017 (UTC)

My prose reviews, and food for thought

I've been doing more of my no-frills prose reviews, and I think I can keep it up for a while. To make it work, I'm cutting back on some of my non-FAC work, and I'm not going to have time any more to review the same article twice, so if a nomination gets archived, it's likely to have one less support the second time around. (I want to say that here so no one thinks I'm singling them out.) Doing a little less work on any one article, but for more articles, seems a little more egalitarian.

But I admit that I've got another agenda here ... I want to do more in general to help first nominations, and less to help re-nominations. FAC is a marketplace of ideas, and like any marketplace, it works better when expectations aren't violated, when people can show up, say what they want to say, and get a result that makes sense to them. Any time a reviewer makes a big deal over a minor point, after other reviewers have already done a lot of work, and demands archiving, or any time a nomination is archived prematurely for any reason, that disrupts the proper functioning of the marketplace. Nominators and reviewers generally operate within whatever parameters they're comfortable with. If they have to do the same work twice, or if they feel like they're being forced to deal with things they don't know how to deal with, or don't want to deal with ... well, I think we're underestimating the effects of that. People say "No harm done, the nominator and reviewers turned up again and it passed the second time." Right, because they didn't want to lose their significant time investment in that article, but what about other articles? Are they still as eager to nominate or review as they used to be? I don't mean that improving articles isn't a useful thing to do for its own sake, I'm saying that improving articles isn't our only responsibility here. We're also members of a community, and it's important to give a little more weight to letting people work within their own parameters and a little less weight to enforcing our own. - Dank (push to talk) 13:54, 23 March 2017 (UTC)

Just got an email, "If I may ask, was the passage about enforcing pur own parameters written with any specific incidents or editors in mind?" This may be hard to believe, but no, I don't have any firm concept of who the villains and good guys are, I don't pay that much attention, and my reviews tend to be kind of disconnected from the rest of what's going on. It's not my place to make a ruling on which points are important and which ones aren't. I care about the effect that FAC sometimes has on people, individually and as a functioning community. - Dank (push to talk) 14:28, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
I tried to think of all the ways what I just said could be misinterpreted, but I missed one: I just got congratulated for pointing out the essential flaws in the whole idea of FAC. I think the questions raised are really complicated, and I'm far from being an expert on the subject, but I'll say this, and I would have thought it was obvious: I'll defend article reviewing in general and this article reviewing community in particular, against the "abnormal editing" approach (which some call "normal editing", but not me), until I either can't type or can't read. - Dank (push to talk) 16:30, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
Maybe I haven't had enough coffee this morning, but I'm not entirely sure what you're trying to say. Are you suggesting that if you spend time on a nomination that's later archived (and I really don't understand the "demands archiving" or "archived prematurely" comments) that you've wasted your time because you expect something to be promoted when you've supported it? I'm certain I've archived many nominations over reviewer supports (especially if critical issues are later found) and it never occurred to me that someone was sitting in their desk chair thinking, "Gosh, I just wasted my time didn't I?" Perhaps I'm misunderstanding you. --Laser brain (talk) 16:51, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
Andy, I think the essential problem here is that there are a lot of things that need to be said, but I don't know which direction to go until I know what other people think. I'll be happy if people want to ruminate on this, and turn it around and run in another direction. You've just looked at the problem from another direction, made some completely valid points, and made them well. I've got another paragraph that might or might not satisfy you, but I want to hear what others are thinking first. - Dank (push to talk) 17:10, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
I have to confess, like Laser brain I'm scratching my head slightly here. I read it yesterday, I've read it today and I'm still not quite sure what you are getting at. Or even what you might be getting at. Or possibilities that might arise from what you are getting at. But I'm possibly being thick... Sarastro1 (talk) 23:17, 24 March 2017 (UTC)
I think we have this story that The One True™ Reason for a FAC nomination is an impartial, disinterested desire to see the article improved. But the motivations are surely more varied than that, right? A few noms may indeed have such a noble motivation, but others may have somewhat more venial desires, such as a desire to have their contributions validated by people they respect, to have thousands of people learn about the topic they love by seeing it on the Main Page, or to be able to claim the highest level of success in article writing. I can picture someone saying, "Gosh, I just wasted my time, didn't I?" with many archived nominations, and that "someone" is every nominator who primarily wanted any outcome other than a page full of (occasionally bad or irrelevant) advice from a handful of (usually well-intentioned) reviewers (who often know very little about the specific subject matter, or even the general field). I can also imagine that reaction from reviewers whose advice is rejected, regardless of the procedural outcome. So, yes, I think that many people have had that "Gosh, I just wasted my time" moment.
Note that I propose no solutions here: I do not think that can be (or should be) prevented. But I do think that it happens. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:11, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Not sure if it's what you had in mind, but here's what it made me think. When an article I've reviewed and supported gets archived, and gets nominated again, such as what happened with Giant mouse lemur, I'll just look at what changes have been made since last nomination, and support it again, unless I have comments on the changes that happened in the meantime. Doesn't need an entirely new review, I'd think. I intend to do the same if Steller's seacow is re-nominated. FunkMonk (talk) 17:49, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
    • Well, "mysterious" wasn't what I was aiming for, so I'll have to work on my presentation skills. Still, I couldn't argue forcefully one way or the other, because then people who disagreed might not be willing to say what they were thinking, which was the goal. My personal issue is how prose reviewing works (or doesn't), but I didn't want to limit the discussion to that, for fear of putting everyone to sleep immediately. But limiting the discussion would at least make it clearer, and clarity seems to be the problem, so:
    • I try to get my prose reviews in before others (these days), and I limit what I say, to leave lots of room for others to argue for or against ... whatever. If other reviewers wait too long before they say anything, sometimes the article is archived immediately when they do say something ... on the theory that, if there are still big problems late in the nomination's lifetime, then it wasn't well-prepared to begin with. The problem is ... that negates the value (if any) of what I'm offering. So, I wish that other reviewers would say whatever they have to say faster.
    • Every so often we have discussions here about the FAC queue and what to do about it, and I invariably see people saying "archive faster". People rarely talk about the advantages of archiving slower, but that's an equally valid POV. In theory, the same people who reviewed the first time will review the re-nomination, but in practice, they often don't, so archiving can mean that you need almost twice as many reviewers to achieve the same goal. That's taking the very problem we're trying to solve, not enough reviewers, and making it worse. The bottom line is: ideologies of any kind (Go faster! Go slower!) sometimes interfere with basic social skills. What I think should happen is what the FAC coords have generally been doing: archiving should happen when progress looks unlikely, or when there's a risk of things getting heated or people wasting time. There's been very little complaining that the coords have been screwing up ... and here, once again, we can see from the lack of responses to my post that this isn't a burning issue for people. So, we should leave it alone and let the FAC coords do their jobs, rather than trying to force a "go faster" ideology. (This is partly in reaction to the recent discussions on this page, of course.)
    • FAC is supposed to be a discussion that leads to a consensus, without violating people's expectations (except when you have to). It's supposed to be a win for both nominators and reviewers, when possible, not a gotcha. Sounds self-evident, but it still bears repeating from time to time. - Dank (push to talk) 19:18, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Hi Dank, how are you? I think one recent example of what you're talking about is Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Louis Leblanc/archive1, which Syek88 and I added comments to when the article was at the bottom of the list, and it was subsequently archived. I'm sincerely sorry if you felt your time was wasted that you spent reviewing it, but I honestly don't know what I could have done differently. You say you "wish that other reviewers would say whatever they have to say faster". Sure, in theory, that would be ideal, but I didn't look at this article until it happened to be at the bottom of the list. And I saw issues that may have been minor in your eyes, but were significant enough to me that I felt they needed to be addressed. I also recently added comments very late to Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Don't Stop the Music (Rihanna song)/archive3—in this case, not an article that you reviewed. I actually hesitated to review because I would feel a little bad for the nominator to have three supports and then possibly be stalled by my comments. For this article I had incidentally given a drive-by comment earlier but hadn't read the article with a lot of attention at the time because I didn't think I'd have time to give it a full review. But recently when I did read it with more attention, issues jumped out at me that I felt were worthy of mentioning. I a little bit regret that I didn't identify the issues earlier, but that notwithstanding, it's better for the issues to be mentioned now rather than nobody mentioning them at all. In sum, I guess I mean to say that it's unfortunate, but FAC is an imperfect process, and sometimes unexpected reviews come in late, but it can't really be helped if the reviewer didn't look at the article before that. I don't think reviewers should hold off making comments late just because supposed consensus has already been reached in favour of supporting. Moisejp (talk) 05:42, 26 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Sure! I didn't mean to imply otherwise. - Dank (push to talk) 22:17, 26 March 2017 (UTC)
Return to the project page "Featured article candidates/archive67".