Wikipedia talk:Featured article candidates

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FACs needing feedback
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Socialist Soviet Republic of Abkhazia Review it now
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Oct 1: Let's get serious about plagiarism


Jul 10: Infoboxes: time for a fresh look?


Nov 15: A guide to the Good Article Review Process
Oct 18: Common issues seen in Peer review
Oct 11: Editing tools, part 3
Sep 20: Editing tools, part 2
Sep 6: Editing tools, part 1
Mar 15: GA Sweeps end
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Nov 2: Inner German border
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Nov 24: Featured article writers
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May 26: Featured sounds
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May 9 (late): FC from schools and universities
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Apr 21: Styleguide and policy changes
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Mar 31: Featured content overview
Mar 24: Taming talk page clutter
Mar 17: Changes at peer review
Mar 13 (late): Vintage image restoration
Mar 3: April Fools mainpage
Feb 25: Snapshot of FA categories
Feb 18: FA promotion despite adversity
Feb 11: Great saves at FAR
Feb 4: New methods to find FACs
Jan 28: Banner year for Featured articles

Image/source check requests

FAC mentoring: first-time nominators

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

GBook links

In the current FAC for Cleopatra, the editor has added GBook links to many of the sources listed in the bibliography. I've found that a number of these link to different editions than those indicated by the ISBN references provided in the bibliography. Does anyone have an opinion on how strict we need to be with this? In one case, the incorrect Gbook listing linked to has a handy preview facility, while the correct Gbook listing does not. Both relate to editions that have the same number of pages, so whilst there can be no guarantee, I imagine the page numbers used in the article's referencing would be the same regardless of edition. On the other hand, the obsessive in me demands that we be strict about specifying the exact edition used to source the article. Also, there are two instances in this article where the GBook linked edition has a different number of pages than the edition found in Worldcat by searching on the ISBN, with implications for the page numbering used in the article's references. Factotem (talk) 13:30, 9 April 2018 (UTC)

{{sofixit}}. Or better yet, tell the nominator to do so. If you need someone to play bad cop, I have nothing to lose. Lingzhi ♦ (talk) 13:53, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
Thanks, but no-one needs to play any kind of cop, and the nom is quite happy to fix it themself. Just seeking clarification on how precise we need to be when it comes to specifying editions of sources in cases where there appears to be little to distinguish between them, and an incorrect edition has a handy Gbooks preview that the correct edition does not. Factotem (talk) 18:46, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
It seems to me that the utility of Gbooks links varies according to one's "region", and possibly other variables too. So a Gbooks link is merely a convenience. By contrast, the ISBN is definitive. Nominators (and other editors) should not be adding a different ISBN than the edition where they found the material that they added. But in the absence of any certain means to prove that they have done so, personally I would leave the technically incorrect Gbook links in place for the convenience of those who are able to use them. MPS1992 (talk) 19:47, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
In my view, if the google edition of the book is that cited in the article, and if at least some of the cited material appears in the google preview, the link is useful as an aid to verification. If it's a different edition with different pagination, or has no relevant preview, then it doesn't aid verification and I would recommend not adding the link. Brianboulton (talk) 10:06, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
What if it's a different edition with the same pagination? Is that acceptable? Factotem (talk) 10:13, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
I'd probably accept that, if the preview was relevant. Brianboulton (talk) 16:58, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
Someone explained something many moons ago that should be in the archives here somewhere, but the gist of it was ... links to gbooks aren't available in all countries, aren't always available to all readers, and aren't enduring. So, the way to do it is NOT to link the book, rather to link to the specific page number (include the link to the page in the page parameter of the cite template). That way, you are citing to the book, but saying where you got it, while providing a courtesy link to the page for those who can access it. If the link is no good, or not accessible, you have still complied. That's what I watched for while FAC delegate ... SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:26, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
Here is an example: SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:28, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Fisher A; Hanin I; Yoshinda M, eds. (1998). Progress in Alzheimer's and Parkinson’s Diseases. New York: Springer. p. 353. 
  • That works OK for individual citations. But what if there were, say, 30 citations to the book? How would that work? How could we employ short citations, harvard etc? Brianboulton (talk) 10:37, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Isn't it OK to use it still?
    • Fisher A; Hanin I; Yoshinda M, eds. (1998), p. 353.
  • I have only ever used manual citation method for short form, so don't know about the various templates. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 13:01, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  • I'm not very imaginative. I may try this out on my next FA effort and see how it plays. Brianboulton (talk) 13:31, 11 April 2018 (UTC)

Question about Possible Second FAC

Hello everyone! I am currently waiting on a status report/update for my current FAC (Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/All Money Is Legal/archive1); I believe that it is ready for promotion as it has already attracted a fair amount of reviews and has received an image review and a source review. I was wondering in this circumstance, if I could put up another FAC while I am waiting to hear a response on the other one. I completely understand if it is not advisable, but I just wanted to check in about this. Thank you in advance, and have a wonderful rest of your day and/or night! Aoba47 (talk) 03:55, 19 April 2018 (UTC)

I often think that this regulation hampers very active editors, and can be demotivating. Maybe it would be best to generally allow editors to nominate a second FAC under the condition that the editor must have had delivered a number of (lets say, four) in-depth reviews to other nominations in the month before? --Jens Lallensack (talk) 04:38, 19 April 2018 (UTC)
The FAC instructions state that editors can seek leave from the coords to open a second solo nom if the current one appears close to promotion. I think this has generally worked quite well. In this particular case, Aoba, I'd have no objection to you opening another. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 07:57, 19 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Thank you for the response! I hope that you are having a wonderful week so far! Aoba47 (talk) 13:36, 19 April 2018 (UTC)
  • I have another case, Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Dilophosaurus/archive1 has been open for over two months, with five supports. Then Sarastro1 dropped by and left a couple of comments and an oppose, not to be seen again on Wikipedia since that day, more than a week ago. I fixed the issues within the hour, but now it just feels like being hung out to dry; I know there is no time limit for a review, but after waiting this long, what almost seems like a drive-by oppose is pretty demotivating. No offence to Sarastro1, of course, but their complete absence from Wikipedia since that day seems puzzling. Is this a case where I would be allowed to nominate another article, Ian Rose, or do I have to wait until Sarastro1 some day returns? FunkMonk (talk) 11:40, 19 April 2018 (UTC)
  • It seems like you could ask to put up a second FAC without implying that a FAC coordinator would make a "drive-by oppose". SandyGeorgia (Talk) 11:54, 20 April 2018 (UTC)
I honestly don't believe it was intended as a drive-by oppose, but as I said, it feels like one in effect when there is no follow up even ten days after. The oppose is no problem in itself, it just seems unusual that the reviewer, coordinator or not, completely disappears from Wikipedia afterwards (I don't know the circumstances, so I'm not scolding anyone). As for just asking for a second nomination, that standing oppose complicates the situation, which is why I bring it up. Usually, I would never even ask for a second nomination, but seeing I don't know when Sarastro will return, I likewise don't know when I will be able to make another nomination. FunkMonk (talk) 12:04, 20 April 2018 (UTC)
@FunkMonk: The way I understand it is that by making a review of your candidate, Sarastro has effectively recused himself from promoting it; and per WP:FACPROCEDURE, If a nominator finds that an opposing reviewer is not returning to the nomination page to revisit improvements, this should be noted on the nomination page, with a diff to the reviewer's talk page showing the request to reconsider—I assume, that should the opposer not return, the co-ordinator will consider his opposition satisfied. We can't allow the process to be hidebound just because e.g. someone takes an extended holiday. —SerialNumber54129 paranoia /cheap sh*t room 12:23, 20 April 2018 (UTC)
I would have no problem just waiting for Sarastro to return if I knew they were around, but they have not edited Wikipedia at all since that day, which seems a bit worrisome, as I would imagine a coordinator would announce a leave. Is someone in contact with Sarastro outside Wikipedia, could something have happened? FunkMonk (talk) 12:31, 20 April 2018 (UTC)
A brief look at his editing patterns shows regular breaks of a week or more, so I doubt there's any cause for concern. --Laser brain (talk) 13:20, 20 April 2018 (UTC)

Little wonder that reviewers seem reluctant to oppose

It seems as if opposing an FAC nomination is fast becoming a no-go area, which can be of little benefit to the project. Is it the general consensus now that calling an article an uncomfortable read is unacceptably rude? Eric Corbett 09:03, 20 April 2018 (UTC)

I have a hard time deciding whether it is more odd to be offended by having one's article called "an uncomfortable read" or to make a surprised post at FAC when a nominator reacts defensively to criticism.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 09:08, 20 April 2018 (UTC)
Your observation has been noted and filed in the appropriate receptacle. Eric Corbett 09:12, 20 April 2018 (UTC)
I don't find that rude, personally. But, as you know, wikipedians differ as to what they do and don't consider acceptable levels of civility. DrKay (talk) 15:23, 20 April 2018 (UTC)
  • @Eric Corbett: If you are going to talk about me, then it would be nice if you could at least ping. I took issue with the "an uncomfortable read" statement, and I would have just preferred that you just opposed it on prose. I did not take issue with an oppose and did not say so in the FAC so this discussion is not entirely correct. Either way, I am done with the FAC process and Wikipedia as a whole so you have little to worry about now. It would have been preferable in my opinion if you contact me on my talk page. I agree that I took the criticism too personally and I should have just stepped back ad requested that the FAC be archived from the start. I have to agree with Maunus on his point (i.e. "to make a surprised post at FAC when a nominator reacts defensively to criticism"). Aoba47 (talk) 16:35, 20 April 2018 (UTC)
  • I'm not talking about you, I merely posed a question prompted by your reaction to a comment I made about your prose. If it hurt your feelings, then as far as I'm concerned that's just tough. My real concern though is not with you, but that reactions such as yours are gnawing away at the credibility of FAC, which seems to be well on the path to becoming little more than a rubber-stamping operation, with too few reviewers prepared to tell it like it is for fear of upsetting the delicate little snowdrops. Eric Corbett 16:54, 20 April 2018 (UTC)
You shouldn't take it that hard, it's just the usual sniping Eric is known and loved for. Anyhow, another content creator down, we're sure getting somewhere. FunkMonk (talk) 16:50, 20 April 2018 (UTC)
Thanks for demonstrating my point, albeit inadvertently. Why not just outlaw all critical comments? Eric Corbett 16:54, 20 April 2018 (UTC)
Funny you should ask, I think I made a similar observation once.[1] FunkMonk (talk) 17:01, 20 April 2018 (UTC)
  • I no longer have an issue with your comment. I overreacted to your comment and the article is not prepared for FAC, simple as that. As for the standards for the FAC, I am not entirely sure how far that this discussion will go as this particular issue has come up multiple times in the past. Hopefully, it will be resolved one day in the future; maybe something like a committee of FAC reviewers will need to created to ensure some sort of "standard" for reviewing and strictness when it comes to the FAC criteria. Either way, I guess this "delicate little snowdrop" will leave this to the more "real" contributor and reviewers. Good luck! Aoba47 (talk) 17:16, 20 April 2018 (UTC)
Well, my point with the link above was that it's pretty laughable that a guy who is well-known for overreacting towards criticism has the gall to call someone else "snowdrop" for overreacting to criticism. The only difference is that you become hurt, while he just becomes obnoxious. And yes, that drives reviewers away and makes them feel like criticism isn't allowed, just like Eric is somehow complaining about here. FunkMonk (talk) 11:33, 21 April 2018 (UTC)
Are you not criticising me here? Have I become obnoxious? Eric Corbett 11:40, 21 April 2018 (UTC)
I am saying that it is funny that you should create an entire section about something you are quite guilty of yourself. That of course doesn't make the general point invalid, the problem is when it drives away an editor because useless snark like "snowdrop" absolutely has to be part of it. That's what I would call "unnecessarily personalising", as you so innocently put it in the edit summary. FunkMonk (talk) 11:48, 21 April 2018 (UTC)
It's clear to me that you are making an inappropriate attempt to characterise me as someone who drives other editors away, when nothing could be further from the truth. But it's you that has to live with your conscience, not me thankfully. Eric Corbett 12:50, 21 April 2018 (UTC)
That is perhaps the single most hilarious statement I have read this month. ·maunus · snunɐɯ· 15:19, 21 April 2018 (UTC)
What do you hope to achieve with your attitude? Eric Corbett 17:46, 21 April 2018 (UTC)
Basically I agree with Eric and have left a few comments at the FAC and made a few edits to the article to demonstrate the issues. It is difficult to oppose; that's a fact these days. Victoriaearle (tk) 17:40, 20 April 2018 (UTC)
Eric's comment was very mild and it was fair. Just before he commented, I had considered opposing, because the article is not well written. But I know from past experience that Aoba47 takes even mild criticism personally, so I decided not to say anything. I thank Aoba47 for acknowledging that the nomination was unprepared. SarahSV (talk) 18:10, 20 April 2018 (UTC)
  • @SlimVirgin: Thank you for the comment. I acknowledge that I took the response too personally. On that note, I would request that you please turn attention away from my FAC/response and towards the more general discussion on the nature of opposing in FACs. I feel at this point bringing up my behavior is beating a dead horse. I would just like to leave Wikipedia with some sense of peace at least. Aoba47 (talk) 18:15, 20 April 2018 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Iridescent raised the issue of how difficult it is to write these character articles when there isn't much to say about them. The articles end up being stuffed with PR comments about the actor, film, game, director's opinion, casting, and who else was nearly cast. The writing is almost always a problem, but if you fix it, then people arrive to "support on prose", so you've helped to have a very bland article promoted. SarahSV (talk) 19:00, 20 April 2018 (UTC)

My first experience with featured articles was on FAR, where I made attempts at saves, but was met with sometimes blunt *but* constructive opposes. Was taken aback at first, but it was an invaluable learning process, and realised early the comments were intended to guide towards article improvement. Aoba, if you offer an article for review you have to expect positive as well as "room for improvement" feedback, and its the latter in the end that makes the page you are working on more the better. In particular I'd pay attention to the Iridescent/Sarah advice on bloating; a concise and short focused article is far preferable, to readers and reviewers, to something that is padded out with irrelevancies, repetition, [chart] stats, cross-pollinated cultural references etc. Ceoil (talk) 22:13, 20 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Well, Eric's comment "I think that you need to learn how to accept criticism gracefully. Admittedly though that's a rare skill here on WP,..." has made my week. Will you be offering classes, Eric? Johnbod (talk) 22:59, 20 April 2018 (UTC)
    If you've got something to say Johnbod then please do the best you can to try and spit it out, if possible without diverting attention from the topic of this discussion, although I realise that may be asking too much of you. In the meantime FA has lost another reviewer, but who cares about that? Eric Corbett 00:04, 21 April 2018 (UTC)
  • I can't decide whether to pop popcorn or take a nap. "Nonproductive". Lingzhi ♦ (talk) 00:10, 21 April 2018 (UTC)
    Eric I know you have tougher skin that to retire from FAC over this. Opposing is *hard* and as recent stats have shown, happens rarer than it should, so don't stop that. You have a lot of weight with us old timers here, yet bear in mind that sometimes new comers wont know you from Adam. Ceoil (talk) 00:32, 21 April 2018 (UTC)
    FA hasn't been fit for purpose for some time now, at least partly due to the pressure on reviewers to "act nice", and only to complement the nominators on the fine pieces of work they've produced, without any regard for the actual quality of the work. And as we've seen even here there are too many editors who are blind to this problem, preferring instead to settle old scores. There's absolutely nothing I can do about any of that, and so reviewing has simply become a net negative from my perspective. And no doubt editors such as Johnbod and Funkmonk will consider my decision to be a win from their perspective anyway. So the die is cast. Eric Corbett 06:06, 21 April 2018 (UTC)
    I don't for one minute think Johnbod was criticising you on substance. The recent stats put you top of the class in opposing, and thats respected in terms of maintaining standards. Its also clear that the delegates wish to see more of this rather than drawn out and tortured sentence by sentence FACs. To a certain extend we're trying to figure out the least disheartening (to the nominator) way to kill these off early. Ceoil (talk) 08:45, 21 April 2018 (UTC)
Actually, I think there may be an easier short term fix to this issue than my reform proposal - what if we required that nominations should always be joint with at least two editors, one of whom must have a predetermine number of previous succesful FAs. That would mean that articles that simply are not FA material will not be nominated because the nominator wiull be uunable to find a conominator.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 08:54, 21 April 2018 (UTC)
Maunus, yes, but on first read doesn't seem practice. And it opens the door to more quid pro quo, cronyism and political jousting (who here wouldn't want to be attached to eg Giano's next FAC), as well as raising barriers to entry. My idea state would be that if you saw an article that was far from standard, you could say oppose on criteria x,y,z, and to borrow from Tony1 and Eric's approach would give one or two examples, "as examples"(!) from the lead of endemic issues throughout the article (they usually are), rather than the current tooth and nail sentence by sentence battleground we currently have settled into on less prepared articles. Ceoil (talk) 10:57, 21 April 2018 (UTC)
Well, cronyism perhaps, but that is also another word for "collaboration". And if someone wants to be a conom of someone's FA that would mean that it is probably a good FA, and there will still be a review to pass.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 11:40, 21 April 2018 (UTC)
collaboration vs cronyism can be measured in edit count and kb of readable text added to the article. The main issue for me is that it raises barriers to entry (you have to get to know people with clout) and is recipe for cabal. Ceoil (talk) 12:00, 21 April 2018 (UTC)
I think it raises the incentive for collaboration and lowers the incentive for conflict and antagonoism in the review process- I think that is pretty important at this juncture. The raised bar for entry will be countered by better retention of nominators and reviewers once the process becomes less antagonistic.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 12:15, 21 April 2018 (UTC)
My experience is that collaboration is the result of friendship rather than any prescribed goal agenda. Its ephemeral and cant be legislated for. I suspect you are viewing this from an idealist academic pov, rather then the practicalities of managing a bunch of hobbyists. Plus as somebody who con-nomned with Ottava "multiple" (to borrow his lexicon) times, there is no safety in numbers, and in fact can be a serious hindrance. Ceoil (talk) 12:32, 21 April 2018 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────As per Sarah's post and what Iri wrote, articles about a character are marginal at best, and this thread should focus on that. Because it's hard to oppose, those of us who would, decide to pass. Then the FAC gets only positive reviews, the coords have no choice but to promote, and after year after year of that sort of thing the process degrades. Aoba received some useful comments; they have, however, requested a self-block, which is unfortunate. That's why I've stopped reviewing. Not directed or in reply to anyone, btw. Just saying' Victoriaearle (tk) 01:03, 21 April 2018 (UTC)

  • This is exactly the type of unfortunate situation that arises naturally and logically from the current FA review model and which my Peer review reform proposal is designed to avoid.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 07:00, 21 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Replying to SarahSV's ping here as the indentation is already quite tangled; helped to have a very bland article promoted isn't necessarily a bad thing. Some topics are inherently boring but nonetheless important, and blandless isn't an issue if the topic is one on which you'd expect the article to be bland. (Unless you have an unusual level of interest in the economics of bulk brick shipments in 19th-century Buckinghamshire you'll find Brill Tramway mind-numbingly dull; it doesn't mean it's not a valid article. I'd hate anyone to think I in any way endorsed the "brilliant prose" nonsense it took us a decade to get removed from the FA criteria.) My problem with "fictional character" articles in general is that unless the character in question is either a major character in something with a significant impact in popular culture, or a character from something like Shakespeare where every line has been the subject of non-trivial discussion in multiple sources, there have often been only a few people who have written in depth about that character; as a consequence there isn't sufficient coverage for a mainstream opinion to emerge, and the articles end up giving undue weight to the opinions of the few people who have written at length about the character regardless of how fringe-y those opinions are. (To take the FAC at hand as an example, in the Narnia books the Handsome Prince marries the Beautiful Princess, who in turn gives birth to a Handsome Prince of their own. This is a completely generic trope of children's literature and European fairytales and—with the exception of Frozen, which intentionally subverts the convention to create a twist ending—one would be hard pressed to think of a piece of children's literature featuring a prince and princess in which the prince doesn't marry the princess and raise a family at the end. However, because one of the few academic papers to discuss this particular princess in detail claims that Lewis was intending to "imply heteronormative sexuality" we in turn end up repeating it, even though common sense tells us that this is obviously a crank opinion.) ‑ Iridescent 08:00, 21 April 2018 (UTC)

Very quick fix, which is nothing new, but a return to the old. If a FAC doesn't have significant progress towards promotion within two weeks, it is archived with a note from the coordinators about what the nominator might work on before returning in two weeks or so. We aren't going to get opposes if the page is backlogged continually with four or five dozen FACs that are going nowhere. FAC is not where articles should be pulled through to promotion; it is where articles that are already mostly prepared are checked. Oppose early; oppose often. Coordinators, get the page moving again by having the guts to archive, as you are empowered. Reviewers, back the coordinators when they do so.

Holy moly, there are 37 FACs in the "Older" section! Why aren't these being archived? Considering Sarastro1's extended absences, would it be helpful if @Laser brain: were brought back as a Coordinator? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:21, 21 April 2018 (UTC)

Well, 32 now (an hour later), & several others ripe to promote I think. It's not "guts" but time/resource that is lacking perhaps? Johnbod (talk) 15:30, 21 April 2018 (UTC)
I'd like to add Sandy's words to WP:FAC: "FAC is not where articles should be pulled through to promotion; it is where articles that are already mostly prepared are checked." SarahSV (talk) 18:49, 21 April 2018 (UTC)
Agreeing with SandyGeorgia, more emphatically even: but this stands out grin the point of view of an experienced Wikipedia but an inexperienced FACker ;) the management thereof is possibly undermanned? This must be one of—if not the only—high profile, front of house address of the project which had only two mainstays behind it (and one of which, to quote Laser brain above, takes "regular breaks of a week or more"— which is fair enough of course, but the problem is, the candidature and reviews don't!). More leadership, would, I think, see an immediate concomitant reflection in reviewing. —SerialNumber54129 paranoia /cheap sh*t room 18:54, 21 April 2018 (UTC)
I agree. Does Laser brain have any interest in becoming a coordinator again, or is Ealdgyth interested in swapping her TFA role to become a coordinator? SarahSV (talk) 19:48, 21 April 2018 (UTC)
While I agree that Ian should have more assistance (I will say that Sarastro1 is an excellent co-ord, despite the absences, but RL gets in the way for many of us), I don't have a problem with nominations running for a minimum of a month (which seems to be the norm), or even longer, as it's the standard of reviews that count, rather than the time spent in the queue.

It does come down to the standard of articles being added to the queue, and there are too many nowadays that are not up to scratch on a prima facie reading, and that's one reason why the queue gets too long. I agree with Sandy and Sarah's comments about FAC not being the place to 'pull articles through', but for me this goes back to the poor functioning of the PR process, which is where many of the more basic flaws should be picked up, but are not. I have to agree with Eric too, that opposing seems to be taken too personally, and therefore there are many (probably including me) who don't oppose when they know there is a problem, but skip doing a review instead. - SchroCat (talk) 21:26, 21 April 2018 (UTC)
Suggestion: The FACBot is currently marking nominations more than 20 days old as "Older nominations". I could increase this to 30 or 40 days. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 02:02, 22 April 2018 (UTC)
25 might be ok, I think. Johnbod (talk) 02:51, 22 April 2018 (UTC)
If I recall correctly we went from two weeks to three weeks in recognition of the fact that noms have over time moved slower owing to fewer reviewers, but I don't think should increase the marker again. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 09:35, 23 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Back to the original point about opposing, it's something I'm generally loathe to do unless I think there are more issues than can be addressed at FAC but where an oppose is necessary, it would be helpful for experienced reviewers to back up the initial opposer to take some of the pressure off, because being the sole opposer amid a wave of support, with the nominator badgering you, can feel quite lonely. This might encourage people to oppose earlier and might lead to under-prepared nominations being archived earlier (though hopefully with constructive feedback to the nominator so they can bring the article back). I think the slowness of FAC in general is not so much down to an abundance of under-prepared nominations but a lack of fine-detail reviewing, which is understandable—offering detailed commentary and useful feedback on a large article can be a big time commitment so naturally people focus on what's interesting to them and what they have time for. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 21:30, 21 April 2018 (UTC)
  • I am always willing to take on suggestions for improvement of an article. I hope I don't come across as being adversarial to the reviewers. But comments need to be actionable, in the short term (ie correct it now) or long term (withdraw and resubmit). We do get reviewers whose objection is simply that they wouldn't have written the article that way, or who want another article to be submitted (for example) and whose comments must be disregarded. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 01:56, 22 April 2018 (UTC)

() Mark me down as very, very, very, very, very strongly agreeing with "...I don't have a problem with nominations running for a minimum of a month (which seems to be the norm), or even longer, as it's the standard of reviews that count, rather than the time spent in the queue" as per SchroCat, and with all due respect, just as strongly disagreeing with Sandy's very detrimental "two weeks" suggestion. Lingzhi ♦ (talk) 23:15, 21 April 2018 (UTC)

The implication is that articles are taking a month or longer to pass as problems are being worked out. My experience is that they take a month or longer because reviewers can't even be bothered to take a look at the articles. Archive them after two weeks and you'll see nearly every article get archived, many without a single prose review. Only 2 of my 24 FAs would've passed under a 2-week rule (or maybe not—they both passed at the 14-day mark), and it wasn't because of opposes or requests for fixes, but indifference—and the lack of reviews has only gotten worse in the three years since I abandoned FAC. Curly "JFC" Turkey 🍁 ¡gobble! 02:08, 22 April 2018 (UTC)
(edit conflict) As far as absences go, it's actually quite unusual for both Sarastro and myself to be busy in RL at the same time, and we've both been doing reviews to help push things, meaning we've had to recuse from closing some noms -- so I don't think this is an ongoing issue. That said, Andy has had a standing invitation since his departure to return to the work if he wishes, and Ealdgyth would be more than welcome if she and the other TFA coords want to work something out. It's good -- if at the same time sad -- to hear people's honesty about not reviewing articles that they fear will not be up to scratch, but unless people are prepared to do that we will just have noms withering on the vine, which doesn't do anyone any good in the long run. Sure we can archive noms that have attracted little interest, but with no feedback positive or negative to work on, the nominee will probably be back and the same issues will remain. In fact part of the FAC instructions are that the coords should grant a waiver from the two-week waiting period when noms have had little or no commentary, so these perhaps-premature noms can be back in circulation even quicker. I always try to check new noms for procedural correctness, e.g. the nominator doesn't have another solo nom in the queue, or the nominator is a main editor, and if those criteria ar not met then it goes; but we all need to do our bit about checking if a nom is premature and recommending withdrawal on the basis of obviously poor referencing or other concerns -- I make a point of searching the queue for "withdraw" every couple of days specifically to catch these recommendations, as well as nominators seeking early closure, so pls make use of it. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 02:20, 22 April 2018 (UTC)
(2 x ec) Curly Turkey, you could be right, but I wonder whether reviewers would turn up if things were a little snappier. I often think "that'll be open for ages yet", when I look at an FAC, then I forget to go back to it. SarahSV (talk) 02:22, 22 April 2018 (UTC)
Sandy's "return to the old" wasn't about them actually passing within 2 weeks, but: "If a FAC doesn't have significant progress towards promotion within two weeks, it is archived" (my bold) - even in the Golden Age (TM) many took over a month to pass, as I recall. Johnbod (talk) 02:55, 22 April 2018 (UTC)
SarahSV, Johnbod: I can say that I always brought articles that I thought were ready to FAC, and I very rarely got opposes of any kind. The first of my FACs I randomly clicked into shows 11 days before the first comment. My last FAC sat there for 32 days and garnered a single driveby look at the prose before being archived.
The same thing typically happened to articles I reviewed. It always bothered me that certain "names" got an excess of reviews, while it seemed most others languished, so I focused on reviewing non-"names". I contributed probably a review a week, but far too often, mine'd be the only one—and sure enough, a month later, the FAC would get archived, and as often as not the nominator would be so discouraged that they never returned, and my own effort was wasted.
An article being ignored to death says nothing about its quality or fitness for the gold star. Archiving an article when there are no open issues to deal with achieves what? Curly "JFC" Turkey 🍁 ¡gobble! 05:20, 22 April 2018 (UTC)
Thanks for noticing, Johnbod :) Now don't stir up bad Catholic Church memories ... acrimonious months at a time x what, 5 of them? Not to mention my own name getting added to Samuel Johnson :/ Point is, usually FACs that are sitting there getting absolutely nothing is because reviewers won't engage because they see too much wrong, and don't want to get sucked in to the back-and-forth cycle that results when we don't get a FAC off the page with suggestions from the coords about what they'd like to see happen for it to come back. When a FAC is getting no feedback, a delegate/coordinator can almost always see why. Hawkeye, move it up to 30 or 40? How about move it down to 14, where it once was, to see how much the page is really lagging? The fastest route to promotion is archival, and I suggest that WP:FAS demonstrates that. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 06:02, 22 April 2018 (UTC)
The core of the problem is: nobody but the coordinators knows how close or far an article is from being promoted. If I thought an article had no chance, I would ask for it to be withdrawn; but it would cost me two weeks. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 06:13, 22 April 2018 (UTC)
Hawkeye, I've seen you say that a few times here recently, but don't really know what you mean. I can see that could be related to interminable time on the page, where it's no longer clear how decisions are made ... ?? I think/hope people knew that if there wasn't stuff happening on a FAC within two weeks, I'd close it, and if there was a lengthy oppose, I'd close it too, with a note to come back after a, b, or c was addressed. All FACs had a better chance if the page was moving and active. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 06:43, 22 April 2018 (UTC)
At least for me, as someone working on a few FACs during your tenure, that was always very clear. And my experience of it was, I was much (much) more worried about a lack of responses than opposes, even on contentious articles with socking and POV-pushing happening during FAC, because opposes were either not actionable (and thus ignorable) or it was something that could be fixed. Active coordinators that pushed the process along (and kept order when things got too far out of hand) were essential components there. I haven't been at FAC for a loong time now, and just going by the discussions here I am significantly worried about whether it's something I would want to expend the time and energy on. If reviewers are reluctant to make their opposition to a nom explicit then this process cannot work from a nominator's perspective. Say what you mean, and why, and give nominators a fighting chance. --Xover (talk) 07:26, 22 April 2018 (UTC)
SandyGeorgia: "usually ... reviewers won't engage because they see too much wrong ..."—can you back up "usually"? Because that conflicts with my experience. For instance, when I see an article that's clearly not up to snuff, I'd leave a comment saying it should be withdrawn—which (at least when I was active) seemed a common thing to do. Curly "JFC" Turkey 🍁 ¡gobble! 06:20, 22 April 2018 (UTC)
Yes, the full statement was ... "reviewers won't engage because they see too much wrong, and don't want to get sucked in to the back-and-forth cycle" ... with nominators who fix a few, you give a few more, they fix a few more, you give a few more ... and so it goes ... pulling them up to standard, when the oppose should have been backed by other reviewers and archived. It is not hard to tell which nominators don't get the picture and go fix everything, rather only fix what the reviewer specified. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 06:43, 22 April 2018 (UTC)
SandyGeorgia: I'm not disputing that happens, I'm disputing your assertion that that's "usually" what happens. My own experience as a both a nom and a reviewer is thta it's not. Curly "JFC" Turkey 🍁 ¡gobble! 07:03, 22 April 2018 (UTC)
Concur with Curly, often it also seems that reviewers stay away from an article because they are unfamiliar or disinterested in the topic (or that's what I've seen some say once they've been approached to comment), and early archival of such cases would not benefit anyone. In any case, stating one reason or the other as the "main" one is an oversimplification. FunkMonk (talk) 12:49, 22 April 2018 (UTC)
  • I took a look at the article in question and soon found factual errors and inconsistency. As the review had closed, I updated the article. Aoba47 responded to the update within 3 minutes and so their threat of retirement seems to have been empty. Me, I get a lot of heat for daring to oppose at RfA. I contrast this with what happens in Arbcom elections where even the most successful candidates get hundreds of opposes. The difference is that those elections have a secret ballot and so it is safe for editors to oppose as there's no risk of retaliation. The FA process might have some similar element of confidentiality, like scholarly peer review but there are problems with that when the process is not open. What we mainly need to do is support robust reviewers like Eric while deprecating threats to retaliate or resign. And for an amusing perspective on this perennial issue, please see "In the Neolithic Age"... Andrew D. (talk) 07:50, 22 April 2018 (UTC)
Just as a point of order, back when Arbcom votes were publicly logged there was no apparent shortage of opposers, while even high-profile people with a reputation as "insiders" or of having a clique of followers could attract significant opposition without any apparent fears of reprisals among the opposers. The introduction of secret ballots was the result of a somewhat questionable supervote by the closer as part of this RFC (73 in favour of publishing the names and votes of voters either during or after the election, 71 in favour of secret ballot), not by some kind of mass acclaim. ‑ Iridescent 08:21, 22 April 2018 (UTC)

One thing reviewers could try doing is providing vague criticism at first (which probably does happen, to some extent). My first nomination, John Glenn, did not really receive any review at all until very late in the FAC process, when it was not possible to fix the article in time. After seeing the FAC comments, running it through MilHist A-Class review, and reflecting on the article, I saw its shortcomings and why it was not eligible for FA. However, if someone had just made a couple of comments early on in the FAC like the Senate section does not include enough information and is disorganized, I used a source too many times in one section, etc, we may have been able to fix it on the first go, if I was alerted early enough in the process (honestly probably not, the issues were pretty severe). A bit of hyprocrocy from me too, since I do not do what I am asking; though I am trying to get an article through FAC before becoming a reviewer. Just a thought from an outsider that hopefully will be coming in soon. Kees08 (Talk) 08:10, 22 April 2018 (UTC)

Kees, I think it's invaluable to engage as a reviewer before putting an article up at FAC. (Has there been any response from Laser brain? ) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 13:18, 22 April 2018 (UTC)
I am not sure how I could review to the FAC criteria if I cannot write articles to that standard. Kees08 (Talk) 19:41, 22 April 2018 (UTC)
Sure you can! Some of the FACs that need opposes have non-reliable sources, content not backed by the cited source, obviously poor prose, MOS errors ... you can pick something you do know, and enter comments without Support of Oppose, and even that helps! See Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2008-04-07/Dispatches. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:05, 22 April 2018 (UTC)
Sure, but that helps FAC more than it helps me, because I would be pointing out things that I know are wrong without necessarily learning what I do not know (I will give it a shot, after I finish up my open reviews elsewhere). I think maybe FAR and FARC might be the best methods of learning, but other than latching onto a frequent FACer, it can be a steep learning curve with not many places to do the learning. Does my point make any sense at all? I have articles piling up at A-Class, but the jump to FA is daunting because I do not have a firm grasp of what I do not know, FAC is not for improving articles, so there really is not a venue to get things to FAC. If people like me prepare better articles, people like you can spend less time reviewing because there are less mistakes to point out. Not sure if I am articulating my point well at all here. Kees08 (Talk) 20:21, 22 April 2018 (UTC)
SandyGeorgia, SlimVirgin, Ian Rose: I'm willing and happy to help out if my involvement would help the community. Effort management is definitely easier with more hands on deck! --Laser brain (talk) 16:20, 22 April 2018 (UTC)
Laser brain, that's excellent news. Thank you, and welcome back! SarahSV (talk) 18:22, 22 April 2018 (UTC)
Well done Andy, good to have you back. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 09:37, 23 April 2018 (UTC)

UX Suggestion

The WP:FAC page is pretty overwhelming and cluttered. Maybe have some content or most content collapsed by default? It is hard to navigate as is. Has this been investigated already? Kees08 (Talk) 04:39, 23 April 2018 (UTC)

@Kees08: You should try adding nominations viewer to your vector.js. :-) Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 04:56, 23 April 2018 (UTC)
Ah, thank you. So that solves the problem for me; but for other newcomers to FAC who do not know that, the problem would still exist. Could be worth trying to implement a similar look on the page by default, without adding the js file? Some of the hesitance to that may be that we do not want to break the js script or other scripts, but in that argument, maybe you keep this page as a back-end page and have a different front-facing page. Kees08 (Talk) 05:00, 23 April 2018 (UTC)
I've boldly added a link to Wikipedia:Nominations viewer in the header, at least as an interim solution (it should really be more visible regardless). I imagine that trying to implement it on this page by default would be pretty rough on mobile users, but then again this page is pretty long for scrolling through on a phone. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 05:05, 23 April 2018 (UTC)
Just checked on my Android. In desktop view, the script functions as intended (as expected). In mobile view, the sections are initially collapsed. After opening a section, you can see the script does not work. You may have known all that already, but just in case someone reading this did not. Kees08 (Talk) 05:20, 23 April 2018 (UTC)
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