Wikipedia talk:Featured article candidates

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FACs needing feedback
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John Glenn Review it now
San Junipero Review it now
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History of aluminium Review it now
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Sound film Review it now
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Featured content dispatch workshop 
2014

Oct 1: Let's get serious about plagiarism

2013

Jul 10: Infoboxes: time for a fresh look?

2010

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
Feb 8: Content reviewers and standards

2009

Nov 2: Inner German border
Oct 12: Sounds
May 11: WP Birds
May 4: Featured lists
Apr 20: Valued pictures
Apr 13: Plagiarism
Apr 6: New FAC/FAR nominations
Mar 16: New FAC/FAR delegates
Mar 9: 100 Featured sounds
Mar 2: WP Ships FT and GT
Feb 23: 100 FS approaches
Feb 16: How busy was 2008?
Feb 8: April Fools 2009
Jan 31: In the News
Jan 24: Reviewing featured picture candidates
Jan 17: FA writers—the 2008 leaders
Jan 10: December themed page
Jan 3: Featured list writers

2008

Nov 24: Featured article writers
Nov 10: Historic election on Main Page
Nov 8: Halloween Main Page contest
Oct 13: Latest on featured articles
Oct 6: Matthewedwards interview
Sep 22: Reviewing non-free images
Sep 15: Interview with Ruhrfisch
Sep 8: Style guide and policy changes, August
Sep 1: Featured topics
Aug 25: Interview with Mav
Aug 18: Choosing Today's Featured Article
Aug 11: Reviewing free images
Aug 9 (late): Style guide and policy changes, July
Jul 28: Find reliable sources online
Jul 21: History of the FA process
Jul 14: Rick Block interview
Jul 7: Style guide and policy changes for June
Jun 30: Sources in biology and medicine
Jun 23 (26): Reliable sources
Jun 16 (23): Assessment scale
Jun 9: Main page day
Jun 2: Styleguide and policy changes, April and May
May 26: Featured sounds
May 19: Good article milestone
May 12: Changes at Featured lists
May 9 (late): FC from schools and universities
May 2 (late): Did You Know
Apr 21: Styleguide and policy changes
Apr 14: FA milestone
Apr 7: Reviewers achieving excellence
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)

FAC source reviews

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

Proposal to workshop a source review process

I propose we do a trial run of a separate source review process. This isn't an RfC, because I'm not proposing we change any existing processes.

The goal is to determine if a source review process can be:

  • Well-defined: what is reviewed, how are reviews done, and what are the pass/fail criteria?
  • Useful, in that it eliminates work elsewhere, rather than duplicating work

If the answer to both of these questions is yes, then further discussion would be warranted as to whether it would be useful to separate source reviewing from the other elements of FAC.

Participants

To test the process we need two or three nominators to submit articles to be reviewed, two or three reviewers to do the reviews, and a coordinator to determine if the criteria for passing the review are met. I would like to see an article from a prolific longtime reviewer, such as Wehwalt, Sturmvogel 66, Hawkeye7, or Casliber; an article on a popular culture topic, perhaps from Aoba47 on TV, or a gaming article, or an article on an Indian film; and another article, perhaps from a relatively new nominator. Just as at FAC, only one source reviewer is needed per nomination -- the goal is not to add weight to the existing process. If Brianboulton could be persuaded to do one of the reviews that would be great; I think we should not have anyone do more than one review. I'd like to do a review as I'm not an experienced source reviewer. I'd like to see Ealdgyth take the coordinator role, and post comments as needed if the review appears incomplete or has missed a question she feels needs to be addressed. The coordinator would make the "pass/fail" decision.

Reviewing criteria

I suggest the following criteria (parentheses refer to FACR):

  • Source are high-quality, reliable and representative (1c)
  • Source formatting follows the style guidelines (2c)

This does not address whether the prose is actually supported by the source. There are two reasons for this omission. First, we don't regularly do this for all FACs; we do it only for new nominators. The goal is not to make this review process more stringent than it already is. Second, text-source integrity is one of the situations where prose and sources can't be separated, as Sarah points out above. I think reviewers can comment on this issue if they see problems, but it should not be assumed to have been reviewed by the time an article passes the source review and reaches FAC.

Role of reviewers and coordinator

If the criteria are not met, the reviewer should list the problems. Problems with 2c should be assumed to be resolvable without an Oppose. Problems with 1c are within reviewer discretion to support or oppose. When a reviewer declares support or oppose, the coordinator decides whether to pass or archive the nomination. For a support, the coordinator looks to see if there appear to be omissions in the source review; for opposes, they look to see if the problems could be fixed reasonably quickly. A pass or fail removes the article from the nominations list. Details about renominations, time limits, and simultaneous nominations can be deferred until we decide if this is a process we actually want to implement.

Reasons to test-drive a separate source reviewing process, and some answers to objections

A recap of the section above with a couple more points I've thought of since.

  • We already have a source review process with specialized reviewers and coordinators; it's baked into the FAC process. Hence this is not more work; it's just separating the work from FAC, and should reduce wastage (e.g. prose reviews when the sources have to be changed)
  • Source reviews are one of the things that slow down FAC. Splitting the process may speed up both source reviews and FAC. In principle there's no reason a source review should take more than a day or two; there's no requirement for multiple reviewers to agree.
  • There is nothing to prevent FAC reviewers from raising additional source issues, just as there's nothing stopping a FAC reviewer now raising issues not cited by a source reviewer. This does not limit what can be commented on at FAC.
  • Nominators have little motivation to do source reviewing now; it's not apparent to them that it's going to help their nomination at FAC. At a source review process, there'd only be one way to clear the backlog -- do source reviews. I believe more people will do source reviewing with a separate process; and under Ealdgyth's eye they would learn to do it well.
  • If sources or source formatting change after the review and before FAC, reviewers at FAC could either comment on the changes if they wish, or recommend a return to the source review process -- e.g. if there has been a wholesale change in referencing style, or if a significant number of new sources have been added.
  • All of FACR would still apply at FAC; it would not be the case that FAC no longer required 1c or 2c to be met. Opposes on those criteria would still be allowed.
  • It will become easier for reviewers to oppose for both sourcing and prose reasons, because of the narrower criteria -- there's less of a case for saying "but it meets all the other requirements so it's really close".
Next steps

If enough people express interest in trying it (a couple of nominators, a couple of reviewers, and someone to take the coordinator role) then I propose to set up a page in my user space where that group, and anyone else who is interested, can run through a handful of reviews. Once we have a couple of completed reviews we can come back here for discussion.

Comments

Any takers? Any comments? Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 23:43, 29 August 2018 (UTC)

I can volunteer an article if you consider me a new nominator (co-nom'ed a failure w/ Hawkeye7, co-nom'ed a pass w/ Hawkeye7, co-nom'ing another currently in review). I agree that we should be trying new things, although a little hesitant that we have not agreed on a problem/list of problems. Kees08 (Talk) 23:51, 29 August 2018 (UTC)
I need to do a quick review of one of my battleship articles that I've been considering nominating to see if it's as ready as I think it is, but I'm happy to contribute an article for evaluation in the next day or two.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 13:50, 31 August 2018 (UTC)
Kees08, Sturmvogel 66, thanks very much. Ealdgyth and Brian, would either of you be willing to take on the coordinator role for the workshop, as outlined above? Or, if not, would you be willing to do a review?
I will see if I can find a pop culture article or two whose nominator is willing to participate in the workshop. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 17:39, 31 August 2018 (UTC)
I don't think it's really "pop culture", but I have a GA article about a 1940s play that I would be willing to submit. I could also do a review if you want feedback what the new process is like for someone doing both sides. --RL0919 (talk) 19:31, 31 August 2018 (UTC)
Thanks; that would be great. Aoba47 has agreed to submit either a TV article or a song article, and I've asked one other editor for a pop culture article, so with Sturmvogel 66 also volunteering we just need someone to take the coordinator role for the workshop; plus one or two more reviewers. Ian, Sarastro1, Laser brain: if Ealdgyth isn't interested, would one of you be willing to take that role? (Brian has declined it.) It would be a subset of your existing responsibilities -- you're currently responsible for deciding if a source review is adequate, so we'd want you to apply that same reasoning to the source reviews in this workshop. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 21:41, 31 August 2018 (UTC)
Not that I'm not interested, its just really really bad timing. This weekend is the annual library book sale that I help at. And our house goes on the market the 15th of September. I'm a bit busy. Ealdgyth - Talk 21:46, 31 August 2018 (UTC)
I did like the idea of Ealdgyth and Nikki taking coord roles for separate source and image review stages if this concept gained traction (assuming of course they'd like to do it and taking their roles at TFA and FAR into consideration) but we could make do for a workshop. I'm sure between us the three FAC coords could oversee the source review part, we'd work it out and let you know. Unless of course Nikki was interested in the source review stage for now? Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 00:05, 1 September 2018 (UTC)
As a coordinator or a reviewer? Nikkimaria (talk) 00:58, 1 September 2018 (UTC)
Nikki, I can't speak for what Ian intended, but would you be interested in taking the coordinator role for the workshop? Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 01:43, 1 September 2018 (UTC)
I was thinking in terms of Nikki taking the source review coord role here. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 04:04, 1 September 2018 (UTC)
Could do, but I'm not actually sure that's the best option given what's been said here - Brian in particular has expressed that there aren't enough people doing source reviews, and I'm one of the few trying to pick up the slack in that department atm, so making me the coord and not a reviewer might exacerbate that problem. For that reason it might make more sense to have one of the FAC coordinators take on this role. Nikkimaria (talk) 13:23, 1 September 2018 (UTC)
I get that, Nikki -- I was thinking it might not be such an issue just for the workshop but whatever you prefer is okay by me. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 13:47, 1 September 2018 (UTC)

─────────────────────────Y'all can kick the tires on Lion-class battleship and take it for a spin whenever y'all are ready. It's not the article I was initially thinking of, and only just started an ACR at MilHist, but it has a much more varied sourcing than Petropavlovsk-class battleship, which is already A class and is almost ready to nom for FAC. But it relies heavily on the one major source in English for Russian battleship info and so probably isn't best suited for what we want to do here.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 14:54, 1 September 2018 (UTC)

  • Try—*self-promo alert*—this, too, if it helps. Of course, I'm not sure if it's what you want; on the one hand, all the sources are off-line (bad), but on the other hand, they're 100% solid scholarship (good), so anyone with access to the online catalogue of a university library with a decent history dept. should be able to just run em through. —SerialNumber54129 paranoia /cheap sh*t room 15:54, 1 September 2018 (UTC)
    Thanks! I think that gives us enough articles to review for a worthwhile workshop. The list is
    Per the comments above, Ian and/or the other FAC coordinators will take the role of coordinator for this, which makes sense as they're already playing that role with respect to source reviews. We have a couple of volunteers to review, and I'll trust we will get more. I'll put a subpage together and post a note here. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 17:14, 1 September 2018 (UTC)
    Would we be able to encourage more than one source reviewer per nomination? That was a reason I had not reviewed yet, since it was not likely someone could catch my mistakes. I do not want to throw a wrench into the workshop if that was not the intent however. I can also volunteer to source review one of the other articles, if you want someone that has never performed a source review before to do one. Kees08 (Talk) 18:03, 1 September 2018 (UTC)
    Yes, definitely -- we allow multiple source reviews at FAC and there's absolutely no reason to change that. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 18:13, 1 September 2018 (UTC)

Workshop page now up

I've created a page for the workshop at User:Mike Christie/FQSR workshop. ("Featured quality source review" is the acronym -- my best guess at what we'd call it if we were to adopt it for real.) Four of the nominated articles have been posted there; I've left out Kees08's article as he has indicated he wants to work on it a bit more before nominating it. Pinging Aoba47, MicroPowerpoint, Serial Number 54129, and Sturmvogel 66, the nominators of the other four articles.

If you are interested, please consider reviewing an article there -- it's essentially the same as a source review here at FAC, though I've added some details at the top of the page. The nominators are of course also free to review the other articles there. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 18:19, 1 September 2018 (UTC)

Chaffee is ready. I have been putting that off for months, glad something could motivate me to do the last little bit. Will try to get a source review done soon. Cheers. Kees08 (Talk) 04:29, 2 September 2018 (UTC)

I've been under work pressure for a few days. I was going to make the following comments:

  • I think it should be trialled on the official page, not elsewhere—probably for three or four weeks (but now I see the experimental page, maybe not).
  • I'd like to see the boundary between old and not so old removed if this is adopted, to avoid increasing the structural complexity on the list.
  • Over the past few days I've warmed to Mike Christie's proposal. How much more work is needed on the essay on source reviewing? Tony (talk) 04:44, 2 September 2018 (UTC)
    • Tony, the essay (WP:FASOURCE) needs some work. Examples of things to look out for would help: this looked like a good source, but closer examination showed such-and-such. Also helpful would be links to WikiProject advice about sourcing.
      One problem at FAC is getting across the idea of an appropriate source. Current practice is that ordinary articles need RS, and FAs need high-quality RS, and therefore at FAC you can use any source within the high-quality category that supports your text, rather than looking for the best source, including a primary source. An academic's book published by a university press will be used even if (a) she broaches an aspect of the topic she's not that familiar with; (b) she relies on a poor source; and (c) her poor source relies on a poor source. So I would like WP:FASOURCE to discuss the idea of a source being appropriate, or the most appropriate, for the point in question. SarahSV (talk) 02:29, 3 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Well, up to a point, Sarah. The problem is that only a reviewer with expert knowledge of the article's topic can properly make judgments about the relative qualities of academic sources – such reviewers are few and far between (and tend not to do source reviews). Articles in the popular culture fields, where the sources are mainly magazine articles or websites and there is no great body of literature, will be relatively easy to source-review, while there's a risk that, if the bar is set impossibly high, articles based on historical events, biography, literature, music etc., won't be source-reviewed at all. We need to temper idealism with pragmatism.
On a separate point, we need to be aware that source literature changes over time, as new works are published and older texts become outdated. I began researching the Guy Burgess article in 2014; by the time I brought it to FAC earlier this year, the source literature had been augmented by at least half-a-dozen new studies, and I had to completely revise my approach to the article. Some nominators are zealous about maintaining their FACs, but many are not. I would like to see a caveat that every featured article should undergo a fresh sources review every five years, to keep its FAC status. Probably not a suggestion that needs to be acted on in this thread, but something to bear in mind later. Brianboulton (talk) 15:58, 3 September 2018 (UTC)
  • I like the idea of doing source reviews first, but it seems like a missed opportunity to explicitly not include require some tests of claims against the references given. By this I mean the reviewer taking a sample of 4-5 citations from subset of the sources they have access to. I think the vast majority of FACs use at least some sources that can be accessed online. My sense is that footnotes support what they accompany much less often than we commonly assume, if only because editing a long wiki-text is difficult and prone to error. I recently did this with a current FAC; two of the four I checked were entirely wrong (like, wrong-book wrong). If people are looking for ways to weed nominations more quickly, I'm sure that verification tests would help with that. Outriggr (talk) 03:14, 3 September 2018 (UTC) To be clear, I'm talking about the difference between "can include" and "ought to include" such a review... Outriggr (talk) 04:06, 3 September 2018 (UTC)
    • Personally, I trust the sourcing of articles in good journals more than in books. I do believe that even reputable book publishers nowadays skimp on the painstaking work of auditing citations and how they support propositions in the text. I've just read a scholarly single-authored book by a major figure in her/his field who makes an important claim at one point, supported by seven numerical ref-tags. I felt duped to find that five of them were tangential, one was unconvincing, and one was an oral presentation at some conference, without even a published abstract. Annoyed. OUP is the esteemed publisher, if you please. Tony (talk) 04:10, 3 September 2018 (UTC)
      • It's not exactly a secret that commercial publishers have been cutting back on editorial staff, much less fact-checkers, for a very long time. Disappointing, though, that academic publishers might be doing the same thing. Kinda makes our underlying assumptions about WP:RS a lot less tenable, IMO.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 04:48, 3 September 2018 (UTC)
        • Yeah. This concerns a wider issue in our RS policy, which we clearly can't resolve here. But my hunch is that journal peer-reviewing tends to be more effective at identifying urchins than whole-book reviewing, because of the much smaller size of the text at hand, and possibly the narrower, deeper expertise of the reviewers. Tony (talk) 06:58, 3 September 2018 (UTC)

Bottom FAC in the queue

Greetings, at the risk of sounding overly pushy/demanding can someone take a gander at the last FAC in the queue? As far as I can tell, lack of a source review and a question/concern about the flow are the main outstanding issues. JoJo Eumerus mobile (talk) 13:36, 17 September 2018 (UTC)

I can take a look this evening if nobody else gets to it. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 14:21, 17 September 2018 (UTC)
Seems like that FAC has gotten a bit of attention now (thanks). Is there someone who can make a source review there? Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 19:29, 25 September 2018 (UTC)
  • It seems that half of the articles that are archived now are not because of opposes, bur for lack of reviews. Is this really a gain for the project? How about archiving articles that are at the bottom due to lack of interests later than those that get downright opposes or recommended withdrawals? FunkMonk (talk) 13:42, 9 October 2018 (UTC)
  • We're already doing that. In times of more brisk archiving, we'd archive something once it passes the two-week mark if it's faltering or failing to attract attention. Some of these are now lingering for more than a month. We can beg and prod but ultimately if reviewers don't make any kind of declaration they'll get archived. A lot of the feedback we get is that the size of the list is daunting—it's way longer now than I'd personally prefer. --Laser brain (talk) 13:58, 9 October 2018 (UTC)
Maybe it would be interesting to at some point identify if there is any common pattern to the articles that are archived from lack of reviews rather than from opposes. FunkMonk (talk) 14:10, 9 October 2018 (UTC)
It would! I haven't done any formal data analysis, but it strikes me that many of them are pop culture articles, usually television or video games. Or sometimes sports. --Laser brain (talk) 15:55, 9 October 2018 (UTC)
I've seen some disputes in pop culture FACs, so maybe that's putting reviewers off? Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 16:03, 9 October 2018 (UTC)

Source review workshop: status and next steps

See above for the background to this; for brevity I won't repeat much of that here.

The source review workshop has effectively concluded. The workshop page is here. Five articles were submitted for review; two passed, two failed, and one has had no review yet. Some comments on the reviews:

  • Roger B. Chaffee. Nominated by Kees08. I reviewed this; I'm not particularly experienced as a source reviewer but I was as thorough as I knew how. This passed; the review was short and painless.
  • Lion-class battleship. Nominated by Sturmvogel 66. No review. I think/hope that this is just because this was a workshop, not a real process, though we do have plenty of nominations that hang about waiting for source reviews here at FAC.
    • Me, too! Although maybe it's a function of my mad sourcing skillz! ;-) Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 22:48, 8 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Parliament of 1327. Nominated by Serial Number 54129. A long and extremely thorough review by Factotem -- far more thorough than most FAC reviews. This passed and the review was copied to the FAC as evidence of an existing source review.
  • Saving Light. Nominated by MicroPowerpoint. Reviewed by both RL0919 and Outriggr. Failed; Laser brain noted "Concerns include issues with WP:RS, verification, and close paraphrasing that require further work."
  • Shannen Says. Nominated by Aoba47. Reviewed by Nikkimaria. Failed, without any particular problems noted; the review is incomplete. Laser brain noted in his closing that this was a case that would need discussion if we go ahead with a separate source review process.

The goals of the workshop were to determine if a source review process could be:

  • Well-defined: what is reviewed, how are reviews done, and what are the pass/fail criteria?
  • Useful: does it eliminate work elsewhere, rather than duplicating work?

I believe the answer is yes to both questions. Source reviews are already taking place at FAC so the question of definition just means identifying the criteria at issue. The workshop took 1c and 2c from WP:FACR as the requirements:

  • (1c): well-researched: it is a thorough and representative survey of the relevant literature; claims are verifiable against high-quality reliable sources and are supported by inline citations where appropriate;
  • (2c): consistent citations: where required by criterion 1c, consistently formatted inline citations using either footnotes (<ref>Smith 2007, p. 1.</ref>) or Harvard referencing (Smith 2007, p. 1)

The reviews are useful: one of the passed articles was cited in that article's FAC, and I expect the other passed article will do the same. If Saving Light should come to FAC, I think a reviewer would be justified in saying "what about the sourcing issues that were identified?" and suggesting withdrawal if they had not been addressed. If we have a separate source review process we can go further and insist that the article pass the source review before absorbing reviewer time at FAC. SarahSV, Ealdgyth and others have repeatedly pointed out that polishing prose based on unreliable sources is like painting over rotted wood. Let's make sure the wood is sound before we bring the article to the paintshop.

Some points that would need to be hammered out if we adopt this process:

  • Do we allow multiple simultaneous nominations? Or immediate renominations of fails? I'd suggest we start with the same rules FAC has, and tweak if necessary.
  • How long can an article wait before it is failed as incomplete? I think we should leave this to the coordinators, who can choose to nudge the reviewers to try to get a declaration, if they think fit. See the review for Shannen Says, listed above, as an example.

The next step is to get feedback from the community in the discussion section below. If there's enough support, I'll draft an RfC page for further discussion. At this point it might also be good to ping in others who might be interested. For example, the FLC coordinators, Giants2008, PresN, and The Rambling Man, may not have seen this discussion, and FLC might be interested in using a separate source review process such as this. (Note: this section was deleted and re-added to make the pings happen, because I screwed up the pings first time round.) Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 23:19, 8 October 2018 (UTC)

Discussion

  • I'm a bit confused by the result re: Shannen Says. I did the same source review I would have done at FAC. Is the review considered incomplete simply because I didn't add Support/Oppose at the end? Or was I meant to do a spotcheck? Some other reason? Nikkimaria (talk) 00:51, 9 October 2018 (UTC)
  • I was looking for feedback on that one. I know your reviewing style and I would of course accept your review as comprehensive at FAC, but if this is going to potentially live outside FAC, do we need to ask reviewers to make some kind of definitive statement of support? --Laser brain (talk) 02:51, 9 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Would it need to be a "support"? Would some statement of closure, "Passed source review" suffice? Image and source reviews are the only reviews which can individually sink a nomination, in contrast with a single prose oppose; I always think of them as absolute reviews, which need to be passed, not just changed to get support. – SchroCat (talk) 06:10, 9 October 2018 (UTC)
  • That would be a reasonable move. I do not generally say "support" after an image review but that does not mean that the images aren't fine. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 06:14, 9 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes, in the context of a normal all-encompassing FAC, I assume that if all points raised by a source or image reviewer have been acknowledged/actioned and it's evident that the reviewer is satisfied with the responses then we're good to go. I don't think we need "support"s as we do for other aspects of review, but I'd be happy to see a clear "pass" or some such comment to confirm the source or image review is okay -- that would be helpful whether we go for separate source and image review stages, or stick with our current all-through reviewing system. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 06:21, 9 October 2018 (UTC)

I would prefer source review to occur first. I have John Glenn going through the FAC process, which has almost 300 citations. While it has gone through a prose review and a partial image review, since it has not received a source review it could be a long ways from FAC. Kees08 (Talk) 06:24, 9 October 2018 (UTC)

On the larger question of whether we should separate source and image reviews from the rest of the FAC process, I can see some advantages and disadvantages so I'm keeping an open mind and await further community input. If we were to adopt this concept then, yes, I think it would make sense to do the source review first. On the question Mike raises of whether we would permit multiple noms for the source/image review stages, I tend to agree we should stick to the principles we have at FAC now, i.e. one nom per person at a time, two if one is a co-nom. I don't think it makes much sense for people to build up a cache of source/imaged-reviewed articles if we continue to only permit one at a time at the general FAC stage, because the 'parked' articles could change between the source/image review stage and the general FAC stage. Similarly, the two-week pause after an unsuccessful nom seems to make sense for the source review stage (it may not be quite so big a deal for the image review stage). Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 07:38, 9 October 2018 (UTC)
  • I think this would take FAC in the wrong direction. Nikkimaria, your review seemed (to me) unfinished in part because you didn't say whether you'd checked the text against any of the sources, and because you didn't reply when the nominator asked whether you had any further comments. I assumed that you were planning to return to it. If this does go ahead, it would make sense for reviewers to say pass or fail.
    Mike, this two-step process would work if we had enough reviewers willing and able to offer thorough reviews. But we don't, so you're going to end up with inadequate reviews and/or a bottleneck as nominators wait for the attention of the tiny number willing to do it. (And note that there might be more source reviewers at the start of a trial because of the novelty factor; you have to imagine how many there will be in two years' time.) There would be two other consequences of this separate process. (1) It would make FAC more GAN-like, in that moving an article to the second stage would depend on a single editor's opinion, so that other editors may not even get the chance to review it; and (2) it will make other reviewers even less likely than they are now to check the sources, because they'll assume that it's been done. We should be trying to get everyone involved in checking sources. SarahSV (talk) 20:28, 9 October 2018 (UTC)
    That goes to my question above - is this process meant to include what has been called a "spotcheck" at FAC, or not. Nikkimaria (talk) 00:20, 10 October 2018 (UTC)
    1c says: "claims are verifiable against high-quality reliable sources". Mike also didn't do a spot check. I can't see the point in creating a new source-review process that doesn't ask reviewers at least to try to make a spot check. SarahSV (talk) 01:00, 10 October 2018 (UTC)
    (ec) Nikki, I think it should include that, yes, but I think spotchecks at FAC should still be encouraged -- editing prose can cause it to drift away from correctly representing a source. Currently we require spotchecks at FAC for new nominators, and I think we should continue to do so. (Post ec: Sarah, I did a spotcheck but did not note it.) Sarah, I have no crystal ball, but here are some thoughts. We already have that bottleneck, and having it inside FAC does not seem to be driving many people to source reviewing. I think placing the bottleneck before FAC will make it more likely that nominators will review. Here at FAC we can tell ourselves we don't need to do source reviews because we've done lots of prose reviews, but a separate source review process would make it clearer that that's a fallacy. Your two numbered points would be serious problems if they turn out to be true, but I suggest (a) any article nominated at FAC should disclose any sources added since the source review, and those should be reviewed at FAC (and if the new sources are too numerous the coordinators can require a return to the source review process); and more importantly (b) any editor can do a source review at FAC if they wish to. I've seen experienced source editors here add second source reviews when they thought they were necessary, and that practice can continue. I don't think our best reviewers will hesitate to challenge a source if they think it's unreliable or has been misused, just because another reviewer passed it. It's a minimum bar: you may say that's too low a minimum, but it's no lower than it is now.
    The main benefit I hope will accrue is that we will no longer waste prose/MoS reviewers' time on reviewing material that is poorly sourced. I have skimmed through over a thousand FAC nominations in the last month or so, harvesting support/oppose data, and I can tell you that many, many hours have been spent by reviewers on reviewing articles that would have not made it to FAC had they undergone a source review first. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 01:15, 10 October 2018 (UTC)
    (ec) As things stand, the FAC standard for source review may be lower than the GAN and DYK standards.
    Wikipedia:Reviewing good articles: "At a bare minimum, check that the sources used are reliable ... and that those you can access support the content of the article ... and are not plagiarized ..."
    Wikipedia:Did you know/Reviewing guide: "Check that the article does not contain plagiarism or close paraphrasing" and "If the article includes information about living individuals, make sure it does not violate Wikipedia's policy on biographies of living people."
    Wikipedia:Guidance on source reviewing at FAC: "Reviewers should carry out spot checks to ensure that sources have been used appropriately, that the sources do indeed support the text, and that the article contains no plagiarism, including close paraphrasing without in-text attribution. The extent to which spot checks are pursued is a matter for each reviewer. ... The FAC coordinators will usually require spot-checking for first-time nominations.
    I think we should remove the final sentence and stop requiring them only for first-time nominations. SarahSV (talk) 01:20, 10 October 2018 (UTC)
    I might support that (I'd want to see some discussion) but I think there's no linkage between that and having a separate source review process. Either change could be implemented without the other. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 01:31, 10 October 2018 (UTC)
    Mike, I agree, but I think we need to remove it either way. We could say something like: "The extent to which spot checks are pursued is a matter for each reviewer, but the FAC coordinators will not promote an article unless they are satisfied that spot-checking has been done." Either that or we should remove from 1c: "claims are verifiable against high-quality reliable sources", and make clear that FAs should be well written with consistently formatted citations to reliable sources, but that we don't care whether the sources actually support the text. SarahSV (talk) 15:53, 10 October 2018 (UTC)
    I don't disagree, but I'd rather the discussion of altering 1c get its own heading at some point. I've found startling errors when I conduct spot-checks of even experienced nominators. --Laser brain (talk) 16:01, 10 October 2018 (UTC)
    Spotchecks of sources have never been required of every FAC. I would prefer they were, but the community, several of whom have remarked on the time it takes to get articles through the process, will need to decide if it wants that. At the moment the coords require a spotcheck for newbies, and for old hands who've been out of the game for a while, the rationale being that lessons will be learnt from those checks. It's true though that even the most experienced nominators can make errors in this regard, and several regular reviewers do some spotchecking as a matter of course (I do myself occasionally as part of my copyedits) but I would not object if we made it mandatory for every review, the caveat being that by their nature, spotchecks can't be guaranteed to eliminate every error of accuracy or close paraphrasing, they can simply give a feel for how good the article is in that respect. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 22:06, 10 October 2018 (UTC)
    Proper spotchecks are not required by DYK and GAN either (and to claim "FAC standard for source review may be lower than the GAN and DYK standards" just isn't true). If you actually read the requirements, they ask for no close paraphrasing: that's not whether the text reflects the source claimed (except for a BLP), but a check for plagiarism. In other words to run the article through Earwig's Copyvio Detector and accept or reject on that basis. I think we already pass this (fairly) low hurdle as it stands. In other words, 1c. is still a higher hurdle than any other review process we have. - SchroCat (talk) 22:24, 10 October 2018 (UTC)

Here are a couple of examples of FACs that received multiple supports prior to a source review that ultimately sank the nomination. I can provide more examples if needed.

  • Bentworth, 2nd nomination. Six supporters, including some very experienced and capable nominators, prior to an oppose on sources by Brianboulton.
  • Of Human Feelings, 1st nomination. Several reviews, including a long prose review, and a source review that did not include spotchecks, prior to an oppose on sources by Quadell.

-- Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 02:10, 11 October 2018 (UTC)

  • @Mike Christie: Do you think it is time to put this up to a vote? How do we want to make this final decision? Kees08 (Talk) 00:52, 14 October 2018 (UTC)
    I'll create an RfC page and post a link here when it's ready for review, before we launch it. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 12:40, 14 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Sorry, I've been lazy about keeping up with these threads. It seems important to spot-check for close paraphrasing and straight plagiarism—and that would-be nominators know that will happen. It's clearly important for first-time nominators' work, but also important that the risk of a spot-check not be absent for subsequent noms by editors, even it spot-checks occur less often for them. Spot-checkers need online access to books and academic journals, right? That means most of us can't do it properly. Tony (talk) 05:02, 15 October 2018 (UTC)
    Sometimes WP:RX can help with non-online sources. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 06:08, 15 October 2018 (UTC)
    I've sent through copies of articles and scans of relevant pages that have been requested by reviewers before. It's not too much extra work to send through a selection of requested material. - SchroCat (talk) 06:38, 15 October 2018 (UTC)

"far more thorough than most FAC reviews"

Was my review too thorough? Factotem (talk) 20:04, 9 October 2018 (UTC)

I don't think so; I said "more thorough than most", but there are plenty of equally thorough reviews in the archives. Brian has done some, and further back in time Squeamish Ossifrage did very detailed source reviews. I think any article would benefit from that level of detail; few reviewers can spare that much time on a regular basis, though. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 01:15, 10 October 2018 (UTC)

RfC draft is up; please comment

I have drafted an RfC page here; please comment, or jump in and edit. Once it appears to be stable I will make it live and post notices at the usual places, perhaps including a site notice if we all agree it's sufficiently significant. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 01:39, 16 October 2018 (UTC)

Mike, thanks heaps for this. A few comments (and I've tiddled with a bit of wording on the page, withough substantively changing the meaning, I hope). Generally it would be nice to reduce the size of the text (by 20%?).

  • Have FLC people been warned of this? Are they being made to feel part of the process? The lead doesn't immediately clarify whether the new sourcing check would audit both FACs and FLCs, but readers will automatically think it does. Later we find that it's just a teaser for FLC. But in my view this complicates matters. It's easy enough for FLC to take on the process later if they see benefits (this could be mentioned toward the bottom).
  • There's no mention of the current perceived deficiencies at the top (but maybe my expansion of the "in a nutshell" banner does this?).
  • Generally I think it's all a bit long.
  • FQSR sounds like SPQR from ancient Rome: a mouthful. Any reason not just FSR, dropping quality"?
  • We going with "would" or "will"? I see both.
  • "if such an article is nominated without asking for leave, a coordinator will decide whether to remove it"—In my view this needs to be fixed for FAC itself. It invites rule-breaking. "if such an article is nominated without asking for leave, a coordinator will decide whether to remove it".
  • This bullet:

    " "Spotchecking" is FAC shorthand for checking sources against the article text to ensure the text is supported by and does not plagiarize or too closely paraphrase the sources. Spotchecks are only required at FAC for first-time nominators or nominators who have been away from FAC for several years, though any reviewer can choose to spotcheck at any time. The same will be true for FQSR."

    I thought spotchecking meant a sample-check, at random; does it imply a full check? Unclear to me. And does this mean there's no source checking for second and subsequent nominations by an editor? I'd like to keep the option open, as a practical motivation through risk exposure for serial nominators. And what's the rule when one of two nominators is a first-timer?

Tony (talk) 03:54, 16 October 2018 (UTC)

PS Possible to remove lots of procedural text by simply stating that it's basically the same as for FAC (with a link to the process)? Tony (talk) 06:28, 16 October 2018 (UTC)

Your edits look fine to me. Serial Number 54129 just cut the length significantly by eliminating the bureaucratic paragraph about rules; I think that's probably a good move. Some replies to your points above:
  • See this conversation. I did ping the FLC coords at an earlier stage, and will go ahead and leave a note at WT:FLC shortly. I'm not at all sure they'll be interested, but I felt it was necessary to be explicit in the RfC statement about FAC because FSR is only likely to be used if it's a prerequisite for at least one of FLC and FAC.
  • I think your expanded nutshell does indeed take care of mentioning the deficiencies early.
  • I agree on length and have trimmed a bit more; please keep cutting wherever you see an opportunity.
  • FSR is a good acronym, though my OCD twitches at the loss of the Q: I think we need to retain "quality" in "featured quality source review", because the outcome of FSR will be featured quality sources, not featured sources.
  • "Would" is probably better; I've edited in that direction but please scan again for consistency.
  • Spotchecking does refer to a sample, not a complete check; I've added "some" to clarify this.
-- Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 08:20, 16 October 2018 (UTC)
Adding a note, since I see I didn't respond to your final point: typically no spotchecks are required if one or more nominators are experienced, though any reviewer may choose to spotcheck any nomination. In the discussion section above Sarah proposed requiring spotchecks for all nominations. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 09:04, 16 October 2018 (UTC)
@Mike Christie: Apologies for my terse edit summary in that edit—I hit return to early and got distracted elsewhere. The reason I removed it was that, in replicating a piece of general FAC guidance, it seemed only tangentially relevant to the actual source review element of the page.
On the FSR/FSQR thing; I noticed the Roman thing a while ago, and...actually quite liked it in a tongue-in-cheek kind of way. As in, there was the Empire—and then there was Rome. On put it another way: There are articles—and then there are Featured articles :D geddit? There's no harm, I think, in a touch of light-hearted, good-humoured self-indulgence when it is also accurate and self-explanatory...my 2p anyway. ——SerialNumber54129 10:08, 16 October 2018 (UTC)
I also saw the SPQR connection and didn't really object -- but I think shorter is better. However, I did just notice that WP:FSR is taken (though not by a high-traffic page) so we may end up with WP:FQSR. No worries on the edit; it was an improvement. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 10:18, 16 October 2018 (UTC)

Reviewers are expected to make it clear that they have fully evaluated the article on both criteria. Why force reviewers to take on the whole review which, if done thoroughly, represents a significant amount of time and effort for one person? Wouldn't allowing partial reviews spread the load and maybe encourage more reviewers?

Is it also worth adding the actual steps of a source review in the process section, i.e.

  • Technical checks for formatting (inline refs are consistent, p/pp, ISBN format, publisher locations, etc.);
  • External link checks (the most important of which I think, and the most overlooked, is checking that ISBN/OCLC/etc. links lead to the correct editions);
  • Verification that sources are both high quality and reliable;
  • Survey of sources to ensure comprehensiveness;
  • Spotcheck verification of sources for accuracy and plagiarism.

Breaking it down in this way might provide a framework for consistent source reviewing and again encourage wider participation. Factotem (talk) 09:53, 16 October 2018 (UTC)

I agree with your first point and have edited the RfC to suit. I'm not convinced we need to add the steps of a review to the RfC, though I like the idea of adding them to the instructions for the nominations page, if the RfC passes. I think adding them to the RfC would make it longer without helping contribute to commenters' decisions to support or oppose. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 10:23, 16 October 2018 (UTC)
...so long as both criteria are fully evaluated by at least one reviewer By my reading, this still mandates that at least one reviewer must complete a full review for the review to be valid. Suggest removing "by at least one reviewer". Factotem (talk) 10:48, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
Yes, thought I'd fixed that already but I guess I was careless. How does it look now? Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 11:03, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
Good. Factotem (talk) 11:06, 17 October 2018 (UTC)

I will probably start the RfC tomorrow night unless there are further edits that require discussion. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 23:40, 16 October 2018 (UTC)

Hi Mike. Thanks very much for your work on this. One thing: My impression above was there's some good consensus between SarahSV, Laser Brain, and Ian Rose that it could well be a good idea to make spotchecks more mandatory for more than just newbies and people away from the game a while. I was surprised there was no reflection of this in your draft (or did I miss consensus to leave this question for later?). I've always thought it was a no brainer that these should be required for everyone. As has been said above, even experienced editors can make mistakes. I'd go further to say that if experienced editors know they're not going to be spotchecked, it's only human nature for them to sometimes be lax about putting in the extra effort before nomination to double-check the integrity of all cited information. Moisejp (talk) 01:58, 17 October 2018 (UTC)

In view of the scarcity of reviewers, perhaps mandatory for first-time noms, and possible for subsequent noms? Tony (talk) 03:01, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
That's more or less the current state. Moisejp, I omitted it because I didn't want to suggest introducing two changes at the same time -- there's no linkage between splitting source reviews from FAC, and increasing the spotcheck requirement. If you think we should do that I'd suggest waiting till the RfC is over, and then starting that conversation here. I agree with Tony that a shortage of reviewers is likely to be the main (or only) objection. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 10:01, 17 October 2018 (UTC)

...and since it just acquired a !vote and the text seems stable, I went ahead and made the RfC live. Please add your !votes and comments there. I'll add notifications in various places this evening, but have to head off to work now; if someone else wants to add some notifications that would be great. I would suggest WT:FLC, WT:RS, the village pump policy page, the central notifications page, and a request for a site notice, at least. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 10:44, 17 October 2018 (UTC)

I listed at WP:CENT and posted notices to WT:RS and WP:VPR ("proposals" seemed more appropriate than "policy" to me, but feel free to add a notification there also if you like). It was already mentioned at WT:FLC. --RL0919 (talk) 18:09, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
Thanks. I've requested a watchlist notice. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 02:28, 18 October 2018 (UTC)

Attn: Coordinators

The FACBot complains if a FAC is closed but has not been moved to the archive page. This happened to two nominations today.

  • I get a message from the FACBot in the form of an email to this effect. The FACBot could report problems here, or email a coordinator.
  • I've taken the liberty of adding the nominations to the archive page myself, because I wanted to watch the FACBot run. It could do this for you, but you originally asked for it not to.
  • The FACBot will update the goings_on page for you. In this case it merely reported that this had already been done manually. It seems that the coordinators still routinely do this manually (even when they don't add the nomination to the archive page).
  • One issue that we can have with goings_on is when an article is promoted on a Saturday. The Bot will not run until Sunday morning (UTC) and will not add the article to goings-on, because it was promoted the previous week. I don't know if this is important or not. It could update the previous week's goings-on.
Let me know if any changes are desired. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 00:37, 15 October 2018 (UTC)
Tks Hawkeye, the failure to move the promoted articles to the Featured Log page was my oversight (working with four noms, two archived, two promoted, but managed to only put the archived ones in their log this time). I still like doing these steps myself but I wouldn't mind the reminder email if we miss one (don't think we do it often!) Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 03:17, 15 October 2018 (UTC)
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