Wikipedia talk:Requirements for very good articles

Active discussions

Number of active nominationsEdit

I think a simple rule of only one active nomination at a time is just common sense. Promoting an article takes time and concentration. What would be the process for making this a rule or guideline? Thanks, Gotanda (talk) 03:57, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

After thinking about it, I agree with the majority here now, it's only fair. What would be nice if we all, as a community, start a draft version of the guidelines/rules for the process, of course in one sandbox. We all should also consider everyone's proposal so it will be fair to everyone and this case no one is left out. Everyone's proposal should go through consensus like we've always have done. What do you guys think? Best, Jonatalk to me 12:30, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
Given the effort involved in getting an article to GA/VGA, I would very much doubt an editor has the time needed to "support" more than two nominations of his/her. --Eptalon (talk) 13:23, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
So I believe we reach consensus for the one nomination per user rule. Anyone want to start a draft that could be located for everyone to submit what they believe should be in the process? Best, Jonatalk to me 13:39, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
Are you in a hurry here, Jona? We've only been discussing this for a couple of days. --Auntof6 (talk) 13:42, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
I would have to echo Auntof6 here. 7 days is usually the minimum we give for consensus to be reached on such matters. -DJSasso (talk) 13:49, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Agreed. One nomination per user is enough. When I get to write something, then I usually have more than enough to do to get it promoted. Also, it always takes time from other people to review the articles and give input, to help fixing issues etc. One nom per user should be reasonable. -Barras talk 17:05, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Definitely reasonable. -DJSasso (talk) 17:24, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
  • It's virtually impossible to concentrate on dozens of articles at once for most people writing or reviewing them for (V)GA, so this looks like a good guideline. Pmlineditor (t · c · l) 17:28, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
  • I'm thinking that nominations should be limited to articles that have attracted bonafide scholarly interest. We might ask that articles display at least three scholarly references. Pop culture articles about movies and starlets that rely on magazine and newspaper reviews are fine in the catalog but do we really need to push these sorts of articles through VGA? Oregonian2012 (talk) 18:55, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Normally I would say that yes they belong just like any other. But we do seem to have an over abundance of them showing up for nomination lately. However, I wouldn't know how to prevent the over abundance from happening while still allowing some to get through. -DJSasso (talk) 19:37, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
I strongly disagree with limiting the types of articles that can be promoted. If they meet the criteria any article is deserving of being a GA or VGA. Part of the issue is that articles are being written and then immediately asked to be promoted. There are typos, bad links, unsimplified phrases which the author should have spot on perfect before asking others to review the article. Wikipedia is not censored - so no limiting which types of pages are worth our time to promote. --Tbennert (talk) 20:11, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
Actually Simple English Wikipedia has always until recently worked under the "Common topics only" idea. Where we try to avoid such specialized material. Now that part was removed from our WP:NOT recently as it was being used inappropriately too much. However, we should still aim to mostly just cover the core topics. Don't confuse us with en. But like I said not sure we could prevent too much pop culture in the GA process. -DJSasso (talk) 20:18, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
Not sure when your recently was that the wiki had common topics only. Jessica Alba and Red Hot Chili Peppers were promoted to VGA in 2008. Also, at the risk of sounding the uneducated American Le Dieu bleu would not be a core topic. Just because it is about ballet and "bonafide scholarly interest" doesn't mean it is core. Just because an article is about something sophisticated or old doesn't make it more appropriate for the encyclopedia. The strength we have is in various people with diverse backgrounds contributing. I really hate the idea of telling people that they shouldn't work really hard to get articles up to a high quality because the topic isn't fancy enough for us. I know that it used to be core topics, but it isn't any longer. The issue here is not in the types of articles being nominated but the quality. --Tbennert (talk) 21:18, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
  • I agree with limiting only one article per nominator. The articles should be in very good shape and not use GA and VGA as a peer review. Once an article is placed for consideration I have been seeing large revisions still being made by the author. If they were ready to go for promotion there shouldn't be a need for these changes. --Tbennert (talk) 20:11, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
Amen to that bro. Best, Jonatalk to me 11:49, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
  • I agree with one article at a time per nominator. --Auntof6 (talk) 03:21, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

Certainly one at a time for PVGA. At PGA, I'd like to see a system that allows it to be self-sufficient. Elements of the system at enwiki, wherein one reviewer "adopts" a nomination and decides whether it passes, could be very beneficial here. Still setting a limit, but allowing for the possibility of that limit being higher -- if an editor submits a nomination, (s)he "adopts" someone else's nomination, sees it through and eventually scores it against the criteria. Other editors could still be free to chime in, and quality could still be assured by having someone else, very familiar with the process, to finally close the nomination. I realise that might be a bit idealistic at the moment, though, and would settle for just setting a limit of one per editor for now. Osiris (talk) 06:44, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

Agreed but you would need to narrow the guidelines for that esp for the "experienced editors" (what is considered an experienced editor?, etc) but like the idea. Best, Jonatalk to me 11:49, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
  • I agree with one nomination per user at a time, but to be clear, I disagree with one nom in total at any one time. For example one user cannot nominate two articles at the one time, but two users can nominate two articles at the same time. Not sure if that was suggested anywhere but I'd like to make that clear. Kennedy (talk) 11:30, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
What about: Two nominations total, per user, for PGA and PVGA? - This also leaves room for one user nominating two at PGA, or two at PVGA, provided the user has none runnin in the oher caregory; I am somewhat against grouping users. And yes, if three different people nominate threee articles at PGA, we do have three nominations there. I also think we should respect the delays more: There is no point in a nomination sitting there for months. Either we can get the article to the proposed status, in the proposed time, or we can't. We shouldn't extend the timeframe more than one week. Originally proposed is two weeks fixing, one week voting. If we extend that, this means three weeks fixing, one week voting. If the article cannot be fixed to meet the requirements, the article was not good enough. --Eptalon (talk) 08:36, 4 August 2012 (UTC)
I agree that "one nomination per user" is the way to go, for PGA and PVGA, so users may have one of each out at the same time, but not two per (i.e not two at PVGA but none at PGA). I also agree that the "three week fixing period" and the "one week voting period" would be useful. Albacore (talk · changes) 20:44, 4 August 2012 (UTC)
One nomination per user is enough. The more an user noms, the longer they will have to wait to receive input. I reviewed four articles yesterday evening and this afternoon and I had to spend about six hours for this. If you really do a useful review and look at most things (which I haven't done here, actually), then you need at the very least one to two hours to completely review an article. If there are now like two or three nominations from the same user at the same time, the articles usually have all the same issues, so I would actually kind of waste my time. Furthermore, once the first review is done and the articles has been fixed, you read it again and look if everything is good now. It is a really time-consuming process and only few users are willing to put in the needed amount of time in it. I think one article per user is enough, then it still takes weeks. It is nice to have many nominations and all, but it isn't that useful to keep stuff there nominated for months because there are also several other articles that need to be reviewed etc. -Barras talk 22:51, 4 August 2012 (UTC)
And moreover, if a couple of editors clog the system up with multi-proposals, this naturally deters others from making proposals themselves. I think we have a wide consensus on this point, and it only remains to decide whether to allow an editor to put up one article in each category. Personally, I would say no, just one proposal overall. And we should think about applying the time limits more strictly. We have been letting some of them drag on for two months or more, making the problems in the system so much the worse. The originally intent was two weeks, on the basis that articles should be 'nearly there' before they are proposed. That may have been a bit unrealistic, but we should drop the axe on them after a month, IMO. In saying this, I assume that if we have fewer proposals which start in better shape, then we can concentrate our effort on criticisms and revisions more efficiently. At the moment, both proposers and commenters are spreading their efforts thinly. Macdonald-ross (talk) 08:30, 5 August 2012 (UTC)

In my opinion, this is the most important discussion on this wiki at present, so forgive me if I give it another push:

  1. We have a clear consensus for limiting the number of simultaneous proposals from any one editor. I think more favour the single proposal on either VGA or GA. At any rate, we should try and bring this to a decision, so we can change the rules. We have 27 admins, of whom a small minority have given opinions here. Personally, I think if the others can't be bothered to take part, then why are they still administrators? It is the job of administrators to administrate, is it not?
  2. The time taken to reach decisions has got completely out of hand. Do we favour a stricter application of a limit such as one month?
  3. The quality of articles submitted is ridiculously varied. This has come about because we let peer review lapse, but now we know many of our younger editors really need a mentor. A solution to this might look like:
    1. Named person identifies proposals that are too weak for PGA, and where the editor clearly needs help.
    2. Proposed page is removed, and a mentor selected from a short-list.
    3. Article can be re-proposed at a later stage if recommended by mentor.
  4. The distinction between GA and VGA is, or has become, blurred. Articles of similar quality are being proposed more or less at random to either promotion. It was always a danger with our permissive system (compare with's method). I've used the phrase "gaming the system", but even if the flood of proposals is not premeditated, we've asked for it to happen. An answer might look like:
    1. Two chosen admins, either of whom could remove a proposal from consideration if it was clearly not meeting the criteria.
    2. Clarification of criteria for VGA as contrasted to GA. We have not yet got down to this really.
  5. Mention has been made of how many pop culture (and sports) proposals we get as opposed to science and 'culture'. It is especially a problem with VGA, because they appear on our front page. I see no good obvious way we could change this for the better.
  6. Our explanation of what is good English is unsatisfactory. It seems we do not have a sufficiently specific list of criteria. This is part of the microfix problem, namely, commenters and proposers spend their time on the well-specified aspects, and not on the broader, less specific, aspects of a proposal. How often have we seen from a proposer "I've done it all, it's ready for GA!". When we look again at the article, we often feel it is still not a good article. I think this is at the heart of our GA versus VGA problem. I think a way forward might be:
    1. I am willing to produce a list of language-type items which could be used in evaluating the quality of writing on a proposed article. Obviously, others would be able to comment and make changes, but I would first do it in a sandbox.
I am happy to assist you with this--Peterdownunder (talk) 00:19, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

Above all, where we have agreement, we should move on to making decisions. Macdonald-ross (talk) 11:00, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

Just on the first item, I am personally more in favour of having one nomination overall, as opposed to the option of having one at PGA and one at PVGA. It would ensure editors are more committed to each nomination, so there's less of a chance of PGA being used as a peer review process. Using PGA as a general peer review forum just forces the efforts of our reviewers away from worthy candidates. WP:Peer review should redirect to simple talk.
If you want to write up a companion essay for the writing criteria, that'd be good. It's not something that can really be explained in a single sentence, so it'd definitely be worthwhile. Osiris (talk) 11:37, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
I'm not to keen on the "mentor" option, competency is required to write a GA or a VGA, and if you can't write a decent article I wouldn't want competent writers wasting their time trying to clean it up. Otherwise I support number one in its current form, I would like a three week review period followed by a one week vote period. Stricter VGA criteria would be a positive, and I agree that a few competent admins should be chosen as outlined above. I don't see a problem with writing about sports or pop culture. I would appreciate clarification on what "language-type items" are. Albacore (talk · changes) 19:51, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
Mac, Eptalon and I have begun a discussion about improving the VGA criteria on the talk page. Any help would be appreciated. Osiris (talk) 10:42, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

This actually already exists as an (un-written) guideline. I've not yet had time to look in depth, but I am assuming that no progress has been made on sorting out the PVGA/GA guidelines in the last 8 months that I've been inactive. I'll try and find the discussion where it was agreed (Probably going back at least two years by now) somewhere, although another is probably prudent so that it can actually be documented this time round. However, it was only ever agreed as a guideline because there are some editors (And yes, I am going to be big-headed and include myself in this) who have articles at P(V)GA purely as a formality, having undertaken all the work required prior to nominating the article. At one point I think I had two articles and PGA and three at PVGA, and all but one were promoted. This is not a new issue with the process, and is purely a matter for editor discipline than anything else. 'Oldies' may remember I was often quite ruthless with closures of multiple nominations that were clearly not ready, and there is no reason why others shouldn't implement this. The P(V)GA process is not one of 'Oh, I think this article should be good', but rather one of 'I think this article is good'. Let's not forget this, folks. Anyways, to reply to some other comments made. This is not an issue because peer review lapsed. Indeed, it is one of the very reasons why peer review was 'killed off' - people always defaulted to P(V)GA rather than going through the process, and we simply didn't have the editors to keep them both running. Both processes also have a time limit of one month. Articles should be closed or extended at this stage. Extensions, imo, should only be given once, and only if there is a good reason - for example, a lack of consensus on an article that has had the effort put into it, or similar. Finally, we have no way of making certain subject fields appear in the process, aside from writing about them ourselves rather than commenting that they need writing. People will write about what interests them, and what they know about it. If we have editors writing in those subject fields, let's encourage them to submit into the processes, and actively try and 'push through' those ones with good reviews and assistance to make the improvements where necessary. As I say, none of these are new issues, and have all been prevalent since my involvement at the wiki. Indeed, I still believe that both (indeed, all of our 'content' processes) are in need of a full overhaul to better streamline them and link them together... I'll try and dust down and improve mine from a while back, but that's another discussion for another day. Therefore, in conclusion, I support the creation of a guideline that editors may only have one submission at each process, but strongly object to any guideline limiting this to just one process, or making either of these two eventualities a policy. Regards, Goblin 20:20, 16 August 2012 (UTC) I ♥ Jersey!

After a quick look through the current nominations, many of them should have been closed long ago under the policies that are in place - they are either, frankly, not ready, or have been there for months longer than they should be. If an article is not being actively worked on, it should not still be there. If a month has passed, it should not be there. Indeed, if no edits happen within the first week of the proposal it should be closed imo. There's also the issue of an article being nominated multiple times. I *think* (but am not certain, and haven't checked) that at least two of the articles listed have been at one of the processes at least once before, and one of them is looking likely to be closed (again) as a not promoted. I'm against an arbitrary limit being set on the number of times an article can be nominated, but this does come back to an editor's discipline - are you sure the article is ready for promotion before you post it up there? Or, in the case of those making decisions, has the article sufficiently changed since last time, is it likely to go through (And yes, this should be based on an editor's past history to avoid wasting everyone's time) and, if the answer to these (or even one of these) is no, speedily close it straight away. More often than not these are not new editors making the suggestions, so they're not going to get 'put off' if they can't follow process, particularly if they've been told before about the issue. Controversial thoughts, maybe, but it is what I'm known for, after all. ;-) Goblin 20:29, 16 August 2012 (UTC) I ♥ Juliancolton!
I really admire Mac's proposals here, except for the quantity of 'pop culture' vs 'core topics' nominations. Everybody here enjoys a topic that differs from one another which makes us very unique as it attracts a wide audience who enjoys topics currently featured on the main page. I don't believe we should include a criteria where a user must not nominate an article simply because there are far too many similar topics already promoted. My enjoyment in Wikipedia is what makes me happy, for me its pop culture though I try my best to do other things to expand my knowledge in topics that I have little experience. Best, Jonatalk to me 14:22, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
Thing is people doing the nomination should be aware one of our key goals on this wiki is to help people learn English and so those writing the articles really should ask themselves is this an article that is likely to do that? I have no problem with people writing pop culture articles, and to some extent making them GAs or VGAs. Perhaps what we should do is limit their time on the main page instead. Because quite frankly its embarrassing that we have Jessica Alba on the main page so often for example. Makes this wiki look like a bit of a joke when it comes to our goals. -DJSasso (talk) 14:46, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
The worst is the Miley Cyrus quote perpetually stuck on the main page of Wikiquote. Osiris (talk) 14:51, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
lolz @Osiris, we have enough VGAs (36) to be featured once a month. Maybe start something like enWP, but of course we don't have 360+ VGAs yet but at least start something like that for a month to month basis. For an example Jessica Alba could be featured on August 20th and won't be featured again until after the 19th of September. Best, Jonatalk to me 15:04, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
It rotates mathematically already, so each article should theoretically be getting equal show time. Osiris (talk) 00:46, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
Oh I know each article individually gets equal time, I just meant pop culture as a whole if it was Alba followed by say Kardashian followed by Lindsay Lohan or whoever. It would make us look pretty bad. -DJSasso (talk) 02:33, 18 August 2012 (UTC)

keeping track of "subject-areas" would make the algorithm doing the rotation much more complex, as it would need to keep track to giving each category the same amount of "views".--Eptalon (talk) 09:46, 18 August 2012 (UTC)

Two categories of "better-quality" article, or one?Edit

I'll just bring up the question whether we should should have two different categories of "better-quality"/"peer-reviewed" articles, or one. Even though active editors have changed, their number has been more or less constant. Supporting two processes is more effort than having just one. Historically, we first had what is now VGA, and introduced GA later on. There was also a page for "peer review", but it was not used much. Given how the discussion at the VGA criteria page is developing, I think we need two categories, even though this means more work. We also need to think about having a clearer distinction between VGA and GA. At the moment, the amount of time to get an article to GA is not much smaller than getting the article to VGA; we are proably too lax in the articles we accept. --Eptalon (talk) 09:44, 18 August 2012 (UTC)

Yes, keep at two, and the revision of the two criteria should fix the distinction. Osiris (talk) 23:29, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
I'll go for two, so long as we can distinguish between them. I think the distinction between them should be both in procedure and in criteria. Below are some thoughts on how this might be done. Macdonald-ross (talk) 07:30, 19 August 2012 (UTC)



I don't think we can improve the system with our present procedure. We have many many times seen the problems: unsuitable proposals taking up so much time to so little effect; unreasonable proposers counter-arguing every single suggestion made by totally sensible commenters; proposals coming from only a few editors, but repeatedly again and again... Conclusion: we must change the procedure. It's too squishy, open to gaming, and taking up too much time of our most valuable members. Let's crisp it up!

General idea: Use our admins effectively at the gateways. One of two admins out of (say) a dozen could be on duty at any time to do this stuff. They can organise this themselves.

  1. GA submissions to be permitted one at a time by any user. Obvious no-hopers to be rejected and removed by admin within a day or two. They may not be re-submitted for two months (say). This has the virtues of openness, and the virtues of a regular rubbish collection. If the duty admin marks the proposal as a go-ahead, then the discussion process takes place.
  2. For GA I would suggest a one-month limit; the proposer could re-apply after one month if the decision goes against the article.
  3. Final decision to be made by the duty admin.

I believe there would be more suggestions from a wider circle of editors if the system had clearer boundaries. Criteria may need adjusting, and may perhaps be made a bit less demanding than at present. We may have ten times as many potential GAs than we have at present.

  1. VGA submissions may be allowed on the basis of one at a time per editor, but must be
    1. Already a GA (should apply in most cases), or
    2. Accepted by the duty admin as an obviously suitable candidate candidate for the honour of being considered.
  2. How long should a proposal stay up? One month basic, with extension for another two weeks if discussion is going well,
  3. Re-presentations for failed proposala should not be reconsidered for two months, and then only if duty admin sees an effort has been made to correct the article's shortcomings.
  4. Criteria should be toughened up (discussion on this continues).

Macdonald-ross (talk) 07:30, 19 August 2012 (UTC)

Revision of criteriaEdit

As previously discussed, I think the requirements need revising. These are my suggestions, but it's just a draft at the moment. I've omitted some of the existing criteria, and amended others. Some of the current criteria are very common-sense -- the first, for example, seems more of a requirement for an article not being deleted. Others, like criterion five and criterion nine, also seem to be pretty common-sense to me.

  1. ... is written very well, in clear, simple English.
    First, rare or difficult words could be replaced with words from the Basic English 1500 word list. In subjects which need technical terms, the terms should either be explained on the page, or a link provided. The link could be to another page which explains the term, or to a wiktionary pages which gives a definition and example.
    Second, the flow of the prose overall should be in good English. The points should be made in a suitable order; the paragraphs and sentences should link up so as to be readable; grammar should be good; and the writing should be of similar quality throughout the page. [This item is clearly unfinished and too general. Discussions are under way to seek a better, longer formulation. Macdonald-ross (talk)]
  2. ... gives inline citations to reliable sources where they are needed.
    All information that is likely to be questioned should have an inline citation to a reliable source. Exceptional claims need exceptional sources. Controversial claims may need high-quality sources, especially if it is about a living person. The introduction does not need citations if the information is verified later in the article.
  3. ... explains the subject in a way that is fair and neutral.
    The article must not take sides, but should explain the sides fairly. It should explain all important opinions that have been published by reliable sources, and should do this in proportion to the notability of each viewpoint. Statements of opinion should be attributed within the text. Claims should reflect what is written in the source, and words and expressions that reflect bias should be used carefully.
  4. ... is comprehensive: a comprehensive article is one which does not miss any major facts and details.
    This criterion is relative to the topic. What it means is that the page should include those topics which any elementary encyclopedia would include. Claims that the article fails on this count should be supported by a list of missing topics.
  5. ... stays focused on the main topic. It uses summary style and does not include unnecessary details.
    This criterion is also relative. An article on Aristotle, for example, may have basic details on the Greece of his day, or on the philosophy of his predecessors. This content should be secondary to the account of his life and works.
  6. ... does not change much. All recent changes should be small changes.
  7. ... follows the style guidelines. All dates, numbers and references are in the same format.
  8. ... has structure. It uses sections and has an introduction that is a good summary of the article.
  9. ... has all important terms linked. There must be no red links left. Usually the important word or phrase is only linked the first time it appears.
  10. ... has images or other media that help the reader. Images are properly labelled and follow the image use policy.
    Media is preferred, but not a strong requirement. See Commons:File types for an outline of the types of media that can be used.

Does anybody else have any thoughts or suggestions? Osiris (talk) 09:15, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

If we try to put a list of things, the folowing are missing:
  • We don't say much about "natural text flow". Ideally, the article reads like one piece, and not like a number of pieces put together.
Comprehensiveness and "staying focused on the main topic" are contradictions. A comprehensive article, about an extensive topic will necessarily be about all aspects of that topic.--Eptalon (talk) 09:25, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
Flow is part of what Mac is referring to below, which I certainly agree with, and is part of being "well-written". We can either leave it open to interpretation, or add an explanation of what is meant by "well-written". Can you suggest another wording for 4 and 5? Obviously what we want is a balance between comprehensiveness and concision -- covering all major aspects of the topic but using summary style and avoiding excessive detail. Osiris (talk) 10:45, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
I forgot before: finding images/media for certain subjects is very difficult. Adding images/media to certain subjects may be controversial. Does this mean that articles about subjects where this is the case can never be (V)GA? As an example take Jewish Defense League. The article once had pictures (style: graffitti on a wall), but they were removed, as they could not be attributed properly. --Eptalon (talk) 09:38, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
Probably not a strict requirement, but I think media should be preferred for a VGA. These articles are supposed to be exemplary, "used by editors as examples for writing other articles". An article without visual or audio aid can be boring, and I know from FAR on enwiki that articles without any media whatsoever will have a hard time getting promoted. Media is a lot of things: it could be a video, a diagram, an audio file, a spoken article, a map, an animation -- not all of which would be controversial... Osiris (talk) 10:45, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

Relating to #1 EnglishEdit

Many times I've had to say that translating accurate sentences into a simpler version is not just a matter of changing words to those on a Simple English list. By translating words one often gets English that is stilted and unnatural. The right objective is to convey the same sense in simpler language. This does mean changing some words, and also the structure of sentences, use of verbs and so on. One needs to check again and again that the 'translation' still makes the same points that the original did, or as close as is practical.

At its worst, word substitution produces English only in the sense of using English words. It fails to flow and work like English (see Walter Nash 1980. Designs in prose. Longman, London. ISBN 0 582 29100 3). At VGA in particular, well written has to mean well written as a native user of English would understand. This would include a careful consideration of vocabulary, but not to the exclusion of all else. What I'm saying is, it is not enough for a proposer to say "all my words are on the BWL, so it's VG" or some such. That's gaming the system. The article should meet the wider criterion of being well written.

Based on previous discussions, I think there is general agreement that articles may use technical terms so long as they are linked to Simple articles or wikt pages which give suitable explanation. That doesn't mean taking terminology to lunatic extremes; always the needs of the reader should be a guide. However, in the end, if a subject requires precision, it must have precision or be meaningless. One example: an hypothesis is not, not, not a "guess". We have plenty of pages that say it is! Macdonald-ross (talk) 10:19, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

Can you propose an alternate wording, or a short annotation, for the criterion? Osiris (talk) 02:54, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
I am totally with Macdonald-ross here; the first (and more important) purpose of an article is accuracy. Only if we can guarantee that accuracy does not suffer, can we propose a simpler vocabulary. Suppose you have an article in one of the peer-reviewed journals of your field of interest. This article will use the scientific vocabulary, where it is needed. The words are used to convey that specific meaning they are intended for. Now suppose that someone good in biology take that article, and puts it in front of a crowd of nepohyte biologists. What he will need to do is explain that the terms have the specific meanings they have. In SEWP, we need to do the same thing: In addition to being scientifically accurate, we need to explain what the terms mean. In most cases, this will mean that as explaiation, we create a number of annex articles, or if they exist that we link to them. I personally don't se us having a VGA about a scientific subject that uses the BE850, BE1500 (or any other wordlist), and that sticks to that wordlist. --Eptalon (talk) 09:12, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
I would think each item would have a short paragraph which explains or expands on what the item means in practice. I offer one on the language item for a start. Macdonald-ross (talk) 12:39, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps you could add a third explanation of appropriate tone? Osiris (talk) 07:23, 4 August 2012 (UTC)

Wording on English wikiEdit

At present, neither our GA nor our VGA criteria list quality of language, though admittedly discussants have often been prepared to accept language quality criticisms.

The English wiki criteria for quality of language are:

  • GA: "A good article is well-written: the prose is clear and concise, respects copyright laws, and the spelling and grammar are correct...
  • FA: "A featured article exemplifies our very best work and is distinguished by professional standards of writing, presentation, and sourcing. In addition to meeting the policies regarding content for all Wikipedia articles, it has the following attributes. It is well-written: its prose is engaging, even brilliant, and of a professional standard...

You'll note the very significant raise in the standard for FA. I would say this is something we might do here, that is, make sure articles for VGA are a clear notch above GA. It is these hard-to-specify areas which are most obviously lacking in our criteria. Macdonald-ross (talk) 08:37, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

Personally, I could imagine a three stage process, for VGA:
  • Someone nominates an article
  • The article has a fixed amount of time to collect "supports" from established editors contributing to the process. Giving a support vote means (either)
  • The article is at least GA quality. Either it has the flag, or is likely to get the flag within that week
  • The editor(s) nominating the article are judged capable of getting it to VGA, within the next three weeks.
  • After one week, the article must have at least three support votes (and no more than a third opposes). There is a time of three weeks to get the article to VGA. If most issues are fixed by then, the process can be extended at most one week.
  • Agreement is reached that the issues are fixed, and the article is promoted, as specified by our current criteria. Promotion occurs six weeks after initial nomination, at the latest.
What do you think? --Eptalon (talk) 09:08, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
This support/oppose stuff will only lead to people randomly saying support or oppose. A discussion about it with actual arguments is of much more use. -Barras talk 09:26, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
So: After a week, there is consensus that the article is in a state that it can be made VGA in the time provided? --Eptalon (talk) 10:24, 18 August 2012 (UTC)

Hints from English wikiEdit

I think all of us might take a look at the procedures and criteria of PGA [1] and PFA [2] on English wiki.

  1. There are interesting differences between the procedures at the two levels. PFA is strictly controlled by a Director and three delegates; PGA is (like ours) a more open procedure.
  2. Many of our proposals have gone through the process on enwiki, and some are going through it at the same time. It is a good place to get ideas when one is commenting, even if one needs to add simple-type comments as well.
  3. The choice and wording of their criteria is very interesting, and much of it is relevant to our discussion here. GA: [3] FA: [4]
  4. Their system is spread over quite a few pages, and take some dedicated reading. Some of you may know all this backwards, and some of our proposers have proposed exactly the same articles on enwiki. But it was illuminating for me, since it is a side of enwiki which I seldom worked on when I joined them in 2007. Macdonald-ross (talk) 07:25, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
The first point especially might be of some use. It would probably safe some people a lot of time when there needs to be the exact approval of some x, y or z. -Barras talk 13:17, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
On enWP the delegates would individually choose how much time an article spends through the nomination procedure. That would then contradict the current proposal of a 3 wk review 1 wk vote. I believe someone mention about the adopt a nomination like on enWP's GA where a certified user would take on the nominated article check against the criteria and chose weather or not its satisfactory, in which promoting and failing would be by that one user. Best, Jonatalk to me 14:27, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

Criteria for sentencesEdit

The following is a checklist for sentences. It is consistent with advice in published sources, adapted for our needs.

  1. Simplified words should not change the idea or meaning of the sentence in any important way.
  2. Non-simple words may be necessary. If so, use one of these methods on each occasion:
    1. link it to a page which explains the word. Check that link does indeed explain the word.
      1. link to a wikt page
      2. link to a Simple page
    2. put it in a footnote: a simple in-line reference is acceptable.
    3. rarely, explain it on the spot: this requires care, because it may interrupt the flow of text.
  3. Vocabulary should be used accurately.
  4. Syntax must be correct. Verbs in correct tense, different parts of sentence agreeing, &c.
  5. Content of a sentence should be expressed in the most clear and straightforward manner:
    1. use as few words as is consistent with clarity.
    2. meaning of sentence should be unambiguous. A reader should not be in doubt as to what it says.
  6. All other items at sentence level are covered by the style guide. This includes:
    1. Spelling: must be either British or American, not both
    2. Referencing should be either of the two main systems, not both.
    3. Capitalisation: as in style guide.

Macdonald-ross (talk) 08:22, 18 August 2012 (UTC)

I have one more criterion:
  • English is an international language, as a consequence there may be more than one correct spelling of a word. If this is the case, authors should decide to use one spelling, and use that spelling throughout the article. --Eptalon (talk) 08:32, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
I gave a little more thought to the use of "difficult" words. Explaining such a word almost always interrupts text flow, and is boring to those who do not need the explanation. Since VGAs are supposed to be the very best kind of article this community can produce, I'd propose the following: In most cases the word should be linked (to an article here, or an entry at simple wiktionary); if this does not make sense, the word should be explained in a footnote. We then need at least two categories of footnotes, those that explain words, and those that provide sourcing. --Eptalon (talk) 08:48, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
Good, except your last sentence is not sensible. There is no need to put footnotes under a different heading. As I have many times shown, with in-line references the hover thingy tells you the complete details right away. The less editors have to learn about our mark-up system the better. Macdonald-ross (talk) 12:47, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
Structure of the article. Correct section headers, level 2 and 3 for separate topics on the subject, perfectly spread out and correct formatt.--Chip123456 TalkChanges 21:17, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
Quite so, Chip, but I was only listing the sentence-level items! Yes, there is much to consider in the larger-scale aspects of an article. Macdonald-ross (talk) 07:52, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
I just posted at the bottom, because there was a lot going on in other parts :)--Chip123456 TalkChanges 09:52, 19 August 2012 (UTC)

Spelling system: Brit or American only; or a more general formulationEdit

Spelling: must be either British or American, not both ... I suggest broadening that, since there are more national varieties than those two. Also: what is meant by the two main systems of referencing? Do you mean footnoting vs. parenthetical? Because there are many different variations on either, I suggest making that statement broader (like "keep citation style consistent" or "stick to one citation style", something like that). Osiris (talk) 00:13, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
  1. Well, there are some good arguments for keeping rules simple, such as: they can be understood, and they can be done in practice. British or American spelling has been mandated in English wiki, which is a help to us. Also, there are high-class dictionaries in both forms, and there are spellcheckers in both forms. Finally almost all our users will be familiar with at least one of these methods of spelling. These seem to me to be overwhelming arguments.
  2. Yes, we can say "Referencing method should be consistent". However, there are referencing systems in print which do not use hypertext links (obviously). They simply put a number, or name+date, in the text and list the references at the end. Would we accept that?
Macdonald-ross (talk) 07:52, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, inline/parenthetical referencing is a perfectly acceptable style. I'm not sure I've understood your first point. Perhaps you could clarify: are you proposing that we not have VGA articles written using, say, Canadian or Australian English spelling? Because that would be quite a departure from the guidelines most of us would be used to... Osiris (talk) 10:04, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
Well, for me, the Canadian and Australian systems are virtually identical with British English. And, in practice, I wouldn't be able to spot the rare occasions where they differ. The only reason we make a distinction between British and American spelling is because, when we didn't, it caused trouble between users. We also have to remember that pages may be edited by anyone. If people like me can't tell what is Australian spelling, who can? I've read English wiki's English spelling comparison chart [5], and it amazes me how anyone can call these micro-variations "different". Anyway, I can see others need a chance to comment on these suggestions; we'll see what they say. Macdonald-ross (talk) 10:46, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
I see. I think you'll probably find it extremely difficult convincing a Canadian that he/she shouldn't be writing articles using the spelling they've grown up with. Either way, this is all somewhat irrelevant to VGA criteria, since VGAs are supposed to be exemplary of Wikipedia guidelines. The current guideline mandates no preferences regarding variety as long as usage is consistent within an article. So you'd have to change that guideline first. Osiris (talk) 11:09, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
Well, I'm looking at Wikipedia:Spelling, and it says "The spelling used in the Simple English Wikipedia can be either British English or American English". Macdonald-ross (talk) 13:01, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
I'm going off the Manual of Style (National varieties of English). If simplewiki has somehow adopted the rule "British or American", I don't think many editors are particularly aware of it. But most of us originated from the English Wikipedia, and the guidelines (as far as I know) are the same regarding this particular aspect. Osiris (talk) 13:13, 19 August 2012 (UTC)

I do have a very basic question: English is an official language in other territories: What speaks against accepting a word as correct, that is correctly spelled, and that is Indian English, or South African English, or say the variant of English used in Belize? - Thus the rule: "Use any correct spelling you like, but be consistent" is probably better than limiting us to British, American (and perhaps Canadian) forms. At the start, we said we would deal with people whose native laguage is not English. Suppose I am an English learner in Namibia, I am much more likely to get a South African spelling, that I am to get a British one. --Eptalon (talk) 09:33, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

I think it's important not to get too bogged down: we have a lot to cover. I'd like to contrast rules for writing on any page – where I have no problem with the permissive formula suggested by Os and Ep – with the rules for GA and VGA. The rules for GA/VGA should be of a type which is clear, unambiguous and workable. I stress the workable bit, because it's a goal we should aim for, even though in some areas like prose quality, it will be difficult to achieve. Most of our readers and most of our writers are familiar with one or both main systems; that surely is a point in favour of my position. The two main systems have high-class reference works and good available sites online. Many of us can write and edit in both systems. Many of us have spellcheckers in either system. It's workable to have spelling in two systems. Would we not be quite, quite mad to have a VGA up on the main page in some relatively unknown version of English? I mean, a line has to be drawn somewhere, so why not here?
Also, I think Os may be wrong in suggesting that English wiki has GAs or FAs in any other system. They use templates to label pages as either British or American spelling, and I do not think there is any third option. However, I will consult someone who knows their methods better than I do. In this discussion, and in the discussion as a whole, it would be good to have input from less active admins as well as active ones. Well, I've had my say on this topic, and will now move on to other aspects of the criteria. Understand, I have no view whatever about whether other spelling versions of English are a 'good thing' or not. I'm only interested in what will make for a practical set of criteria which will work better than the present set. Macdonald-ross (talk) 10:10, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
I would hate a (V)GA nomination, where the last thing left to be done is to change all spellings of words so that they conform to one of the three or four approved variants of English.--Eptalon (talk) 10:20, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
There's no point in continuing this. We can't have a different set of guidelines for (V)GAs. The whole point of a (V)GA is that it's exemplary of Wikipedia guidelines. And, yes, pages can be labelled in any variety you want (Australian, Canadian, Indian, Irish, Jamaican, New Zealand, Pakistani, South African)... I'm also flabbergasted by your suggestion that these varieties aren't well-documented in reference works. That's ridiculous. Osiris (talk) 10:56, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

OK, I agree, this suggestion is defeated. The existing rubric of "An article should use only one version of English" is continued as a criterion for both GA and VGA. Its presence as a criterion was previously implicit, but should be listed. Macdonald-ross (talk) 15:28, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

Criteria for citations?Edit

I just thought about: should there be any criteria attached to the publications cited? - For some time, the article hagfish used a publication that probably had a Creationist background. As a scientist, I would like so see some basic standard:

  • A news item reports a fact, or gives an analysis of some (possibly historic) event
  • An article in a scientific journal should follow the scientific method. It is possible ot falsify the "theory" or basic assumptions it states, at least in theory.
  • Books published after the advent of the scientific method, should follow the method; an option is to clearly state that they do not (in which case an additional source is needed to back up the claim made).

Personally, I think we need a clear commitment to scientific writing / peer reviewed literature where this makes sense. I am not sure how much we can apply the rule to articles about theological subjects. --Eptalon (talk) 09:45, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

I agree with this. As indicated in the En wiki discussion of this subject, publications by any creationist group or individual cannot be used as reliable sources for articles in science. The main reason for this (apart from common sense) is that the leading scientific professional organisations have made a point of saying publicly that 'creation science' (however phrased) is not science, and cannot be relied upon as a reliable guide as to what scientific education should consist of. Also, the issue was overwhelmingly decided on En wiki itself. Therefore none of our pages should have any creationist references supporting or denying any scientific material. There are about a dozen which do, including one GA. Macdonald-ross (talk) 12:18, 24 August 2012 (UTC)


There is too much going on above to be able to discern the status of each proposal. We're not getting any new comments on some items, so let's please think about coming to a decision on those. If any of the below is misrepresentative of what anyone has said, I sincerely apologise, please feel free to correct me. Osiris (talk) 05:55, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

Number of active nominations per userEdit

There is a decision to limit the number of active noms per editor to one at a time. I'd like to add this to the instructions now, but there is a lack of consensus for how this guideline is to be interpreted. Is this going to be interpreted as one nomination overall or one nomination per process (i.e., one at PVGA and one at PGA). If I've read correctly: Mac, Barras and myself have argued for restricting it to one overall, while Kennedy and Albacore are in favour of having the option of one per process. Eptalon has proposed the alternative of having two active nominations anywhere at a time. What is our decision? Osiris (talk) 05:55, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

  • My personal opinion on this is that Eptalon's alternative would be preferrable to having one at either process. It would ensure that nobody is submitting something at PVGA just because they've already got something open at PGA. Osiris (talk) 05:55, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
  • I think this is one of the critical issues. If we were to have two or three editors, each of whom continually had two proposals up at the same time, then the system would still be under extreme pressure. Recent experience suggests this would be a likely happening. One proposal at a time per nominator overall gives these benefits:
  1. It forces the proposer to concentrate on improving one page instead of two
  2. It creates space which might attract other editors to propose their work
  3. The system should be better able to keep to its time schedule, which itself has benefits. Macdonald-ross (talk) 08:48, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
With two nominations total per submitter, we get the following options:
  1. Two GA proposals
  2. One GA, and one VGA proposal
  3. Two VGA proposals
I currently can't say much about the GA criteria, because after we are done with the VGA criteria, we'll likely adapt them to fit the "new scheme". Supposing that getting an article to GA will be substantially less work than getting them to VGA, only the third option listed is problematic. Anyone with experience in writing scientific papers (be it just assignments at university) will know that too much focus on a paper can lead to "text blindness". In that context it would be beneficial to have a second article to focus on. Unless you have a great amount of time, getting two articles to VGA in the time alotted (4-6 weeks) is probably unrealistic. It may be possible if before the submission ,the articles already have a very high standard of writing/quality. If we go for the gated process (with certain editors "admitting" an article to the queue), these people can make sure that the "two nominations at VGA" will happen very rarely. Given the "general quality" of our articles here, I don't see many two article combos which I could push to VGA in the alloted time. This however does not mean that we can't leave the option open, even if in practice, it will rarely occur.--Eptalon (talk) 09:37, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
Are you sure it would happen rarely though? Less than two weeks ago, one of our editors had three VGA nominations running. Osiris (talk) 09:50, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
Gated process - it would be the duty of the "gatekeepers" to prevent it from happening. Supposing the editor knows more or less how much time is involved, I don't think they'd do it often. I don't see Macdonald-ross, or yourself submitting two candidates at VGA, very often. We should leave the option open, even if in practice it will rarely occur. Another idea that comes to mind: do we want to screen editors, if they are judged capable? --Eptalon (talk) 09:58, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
I see, so this would require the "delegates" system discussed below in order to work properly. I guess that would work if someone was regulating the inflow... Better would be to just not allow the possibility of two VGAs. I still strongly prefer the one-overall limitation, but Eptalon's idea is a fair alternative. Osiris (talk) 10:04, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

I like to see the one article per nominator in both process. If this is still hurting the projects, then we can always go to the one article per nominator rule. Best, Jonatalk to me 15:55, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

I would prefer one article total. As for the text blindness Eptalon brings up, there is always the option they can work on another article, just not have it up for consideration at the same time. One article brings a dedication it feels like we have been missing. --Tbennert (talk) 04:28, 27 August 2012 (UTC)

Time restrictionsEdit

There is a proposal to set stricter time restrictions on nominations, which is building a consensus. The specifics are unclear, however.

  • Eptalon proposes an initial time frame of two weeks fixing, one week voting; with a possible extension of one week. The suggestion includes using the first week as the time in which consensus must be reached on whether the article is in a state that it can be made VGA in the time provided.
  • Albacore and Mac have suggested a one-month time limit in general. Mac has also proposed the possibility for an extension of two weeks on PVGAs if discussion is going well.

Osiris (talk) 05:55, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

While I support the idea of a stricter time restriction, I would like to push Mac's idea of an extension. These extensions could continue to be granted if discussion is continuing and the article is developing. I know from experience on several articles, Saturn (planet) for example, that it would have been delisted had a non-flexible timeline been applied. --Peterdownunder (talk) 11:42, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
True, but such cases should be spotted by delegates. More often, continued changes amounts to gaming the system, where the proposer is totally unwilling to take down an obviously unsuitable candidate. Over-liberal extensions of time have been one of the things which has undermined the existing system. The cause, in many cases, was the unsuitable state of the proposal in the first place. Macdonald-ross (talk) 12:27, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
I prefer Albacore and Mac's suggestion with extension as needed. We have very few people to review. The longer time gives the reviewers an opportunity to go through the article at a time that works well for them. --Tbennert (talk) 04:32, 27 August 2012 (UTC)

I don't argue much about the initial timeframe, and extensions. What I would like to see though is a rule of the kind "If the article has not been made VGA ... weeks from being admitted, it is removed from the queue, and cannot be proposed again for the time period of a month."--Eptalon (talk) 09:50, 27 August 2012 (UTC)

This is good. It should not be read as permitting an unsuitable proposal to stay up for the whole length of time. A lot depends on whether we are gong to go for delegates. If we do not, then every procedure has to be absolutely definitive. Macdonald-ross (talk) 12:15, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
I would opt for having delegates; Despite this, an absolute deadline is helpful: If you can't get the article to suitably meet all criteria, in a given (pre-determined) time, then the article was not that standard in the first place. What about: two months, maximum, after acceptance? --Eptalon (talk) 12:29, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
I think that's much too long, and my reasons are:
1. If the articles are not allowed onto the list unless they meet the conditions (prima facie) then they should not need more than a month. After all, before, two weeks were thought sufficient! 2. As we well know, some of the proposers will beg and plead shamelessly to keep the article on as long as possible, especially if it looks like failing. 3. The great virtue of clearing the proposals out as early as possible is to allow a greater number of proposals to be handled. Macdonald-ross (talk) 14:44, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
The max. delay has two main goals:
  1. Supposing there is an article that is "almost there", but that needs a number of "small fixes", it should give the willing proposer enough time to fix these issues.
  2. On the other hand, it should provide for a mechanism to clear out proposals that "have stalled".
So, we need a delay that does allow to address both points. If you say that, given a "gated process", we should get any candidate to VGA in 4 weeks, that's ok. I propose to have a "slightly longer" delay, to be on the safe side. At the start, it may also be difficult to assess "how much time" is needed to fix the article so that it is "promotable". --Eptalon (talk) 15:17, 27 August 2012 (UTC)

Revision to criteriaEdit

Are our revised requirements for VGAs ready to be published? With the exception of the first two criteria, discussion on this topic appears to have ended. Writing quality is being explored in greater detail, in response to the argument that our description of what constitutes good simple English is insufficient. The sourcing requirements also have an open thread. Osiris (talk) 05:55, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

In general, I'd like to see some requirements on sources for scientific texts. Even for theology, there are scholars of the different disciplines that publish work, probably in peer-reviewed publications. --Eptalon (talk) 10:01, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
No, I don't think the new criteria are there yet, but close. Some criteria will need a back-up page, and 'reliable sources' is a case in point. Also there are aspects of the present (old) list which we have not discussed. Macdonald-ross (talk) 12:05, 24 August 2012 (UTC)


There is a broad proposal to appoint two or three "delegates" to regulate nominations. Mac has proposed that the delegates would approve nominations for consideration, quickly remove a proposal from consideration if it is clearly not meeting the criteria, and ultimately close a nomination as pass/fail. This idea has gained positive input from Albacore and Barras, who both agree this would be useful. AJona1992 has pointed out that, in the English Wikipedia system, these delegates individually choose how much time an article spends through the nomination procedure. Osiris (talk) 05:55, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

  1. This I think is vital. Near-hopeless proposals lasting for two months when they could have been taken off in days has been one of our most painful experiences. I'm sure experienced editors knew as soon as they saw some articles that they would fail, and so they did. This is not to the disadvantage of proposers. They can propose again later. In making a swift removal, a delegate would obviously say a few words as to the areas that cause concern. We have had proposals where 70% of the sentences were ungrammatical. We've had proposals where the proposer has fought tooth & nail to avoid making any real changes. We've had proposals where the whole referencing system was in chaos. It's just not right that they should sit there taking up other people's time. And almost all recent proposals have been put up five minutes after a single person has finished working on it, which violates two of our existing precepts.
  2. On the other side, delegates may choose a page for faster than average decisions if its quality merits this. We haven't had examples recently, but one advantage of a supervisory delegate system is its flexibility.
We are going to get occasions where decisions are close. We would trust delegates to do something sensible, like inviting a couple of able and disinterested persons to look at the page. Or anything they think is best to do. Sometimes in life, a clear decision is needed. Macdonald-ross (talk) 09:19, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
  • I see actually some problems here. Who will be those delegates? How should they be appointed/elected? How many should there be? -Barras talk 10:36, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
In my opinion: 3-5 editors who are present "fairly often", who give feedback about articles (ideally, at both levels), and who are established here. All of this can be settled if we decide to have a gated process. --Eptalon (talk) 10:47, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
I agree: decision in principle first, method second. Macdonald-ross (talk) 11:54, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
  Agree with this proposal, though who would qualify as a 'delegate'? An admin? a user who has not been warned within six months of their last warning? users with a certain amount of edits? or should be just throw out names we believe will be good at this job and one who will not let us down? Best, Jonatalk to me 15:55, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
The GA/VGA process is intended to be run by editors, not by admins. But again, details to be seen when a decision is reached whether to implement a "gated process". In practice, the edit count will probably play a role, but do not overrate it. Look at the people who currently take part in the GA/VGA nomination and review processes, and you have likely candidates.--Eptalon (talk) 16:06, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

Other ideasEdit

These proposals have either been generally accepted, rejected or haven't attracted any discussion. If there is something here that you feel might warrant further discussion, please draw it out and make a new section for it.

  • Proposal to regulate nominations by topic seems to have been turned down. Editors who commented on this were Oregonian2012, Tbennert, Djsasso, AJona1992, Mac and Albacore.
Agreed: this proposal is dead. Macdonald-ross (talk) 04:35, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
  • There appears to be a rough agreement that PGA and PVGA should not be used as a general peer-review process.
  • At least three participants have stated that the distinction between GA and VGA is currently unclear, and that we need a greater contrast between the criteria for each.
  • Proposal to have a mentor system guide failed submissions back to the promotion process has not been widely considered, but has one dissenting opinion.
  • There is a proposal to restrict VGA nominations to articles that are either already a GA or are identified as a clear candidate by one of the chosen delegates (ties in with above).
  • There is a proposal to prohibit rapid re-submissions by setting a time interval between a nomination's rejection and its resubmission.

Osiris (talk) 05:55, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

Again, I do not agree with telling a user that his or her article is not 'good enough' for Wikipedia because that's not a specific topic this Wikipedia is going for. Wikipedia is not a judgement site to express opinions on which topics are 'better' and which topics are 'not'. I like the mentor proposal but I'm not sure if we have enough editors for that, esp that the V/GA process does not garner willingness editors. I do not agree that an article must be a GA first to be nominated at VGA, if its clear that the article meets the requirements then by all means go for it. I thought we already made it clear that its a two week maximum before re-submitting articles that failed. Best, Jonatalk to me 15:55, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

Must have / nice to haveEdit

I think what we are also seeing is that there are certain items of the list that must be present all the time, while other items may be present. If we want to keep both sets, we should make the distinction clearer: It is possible to promote a submission without images/media, but you'll likely not promote a submission, if it does not use references, or does not follow the basic style guideline. --Eptalon (talk) 10:07, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

Yes, I think that's also right. Macdonald-ross (talk) 12:28, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
It would be right to say that an image/media is expected, but in those few cases where no suitable image can be found/is available, then that would need to be commented on as part of the submission.--Peterdownunder (talk) 06:20, 27 August 2012 (UTC)

Comments by AJona1992Edit

I think it would be best to have a subpage of users who are willing to donate their time to copy-editing, review, and/or proofreading potential proposals instead of spamming Simple Talk with "reviews request". On top of that, barely anybody even provides a comment (I asked the community if they could provide a comment or two several days ago and no response, similar to an older request months ago and no one even reviewed the article) This could help further allow VGA-ready articles to only undergo little changes instead of massive changes. Also another thing, the GA process could adapt the one-nominator-review-process. One nominator will review the article check it against WP:GA? and other MOS guidelines, and decide weather or not to put the article on hold for fixes, pass the article themselves if they believe it is GA worthy, fail or quick-fail the article if they believe the problems will not be fixed within five-seven days or ask for a second opinion if they are not too sure if the article is GA worthy and would like another reviewer's opinions. This will also require nominators who are familiar with the process. The VGA process could stick with the delegates and consensus reaching process. Also just because an article is made a VGA or GA does not mean that it cannot be made better by replacing high-quality reliable sources, updating information that are 2+ years old, updating media, etc. The nominator should maintain the article and be quick to respond users or IPs who question its content. Best, Jonatalk to me 15:55, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

Behaviour by proposersEdit

I think we need to give guidance on how proposers should behave. I say this because I notice things like:

  1. Articles should not be proposed unless they fulfill the written criteria. This has constantly been violated. I mean prima facie (= on the face of it, at first sight). The use of the system as a type of peer review has produced examples where most of the criteria are clearly violated. On the other hand, the detailed examination often throws up issues which no-one could reasonable forsee. That's normal, indeed, that's what the process is there to do.
  2. Some proposers constantly cross-argue suggestions for change. Some in the past have carried this so far as to write hostile remarks on commenter's talk pages. Proposers should realise that a criticism of an article is not a criticism of the person. Usually, we don't know enough about an editor to have an opinion about him or her as a person, and even if we did, it would not affect our comments about an article. Proposers do not own articles, and they have no right to object to anything said about an article while it is being assessed.
  3. Proposers should not constantly keep repeating phrases like "It's ready for VGA" or "Everything is fixed now" or "Ready to go now". We will tell them when it's ready, and it's very annoying to be faced with a barrage of untimely impatience. Constant badgering of commenters disturbs the atmosphere, which should be one of calm.
  4. What proposers should do is carry out the things suggested by commenters. On the (rare) occasions when a suggestion is not valid, a calm explanation of why not is quite in order. What is not in order is to fight tooth and nail to avoid making changes which have been proposed by experienced editors.
  5. It's all very well to thank people when your page gets promoted. But to attack commenters when it does not get promoted is disgusting. It has happened.
  6. Gaming the system. It may be we will change the system. As it is, at present the repeated string of proposals by one or two individual editors teeters on the edge of gaming. Another example was when a poorly written article was criticised as being a poorly written article. The proposer said: "Show me where this is a criterion on our Requirements?" That is a classic example of gaming. Even if we have been so dopey as not to list an important criterion, commenters may still make the criticism, and proposers should not reply argumentatively. If a commenter says something out of order, others may correct him. Not the proposer.

So what I suggest is that the rules should have a paragraph which describes good proposer behaviour. Macdonald-ross (talk) 09:39, 25 August 2012 (UTC)

I really like this idea on proposer behaviour. Although for many of us the above would fall under common sense, someone with a possible COI would usually ignore everything in order to receive a promotion. I can understand enthusiasm, but I know from reviewing GA noms on en, that it is irritating when someone is saying 'it's ready' and 'all done', so I agree with number 3 and most of the proposed behaviour guidelines. --Chip123456 TalkChanges 15:27, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
Return to the project page "Requirements for very good articles".