Wikipedia:Not quite yet

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Administrators are Wikipedians with extra tools to help maintain the project. To acquire administrator privileges, a candidate must pass the Request for adminship (RfA) process.

Learning the policies, procedures, and traditions of English Wikipedia is a gradual process, and many editors with an intermediate-level of experience will have at least some of the skill set necessary to being a good Wikipedia administrator. Many RfA voters apply higher standards to candidates beyond a basic foundation, though, and want to see evidence of a greater understanding of policy and a more well-rounded involvement in the project before supporting a candidacy for adminship.

Advice for (potential) candidates reading this essay[edit]

If you are reading this page, you might be mulling over a Request for adminship, or perhaps you've already submitted one and a voter has linked you here. Don't be discouraged to be told "not quite yet"; whoever linked to this essay is telling you that you are doing a good job, but need more experience before they'll feel confident in supporting your candidacy. They might be thinking something like:

  • Oppose Your comments at AfD have been thoughtful even in contentious cases, but you've only participated in about 30 AfDs. That's just not quite enough to be confident in your ability to close them, since you say that's one of your intended areas of focus. AfD Observer 01:01, 1 January 2001 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose per WP:NOTQUITEYET. Your GA reviews are great, so I was surprised to see you'd only created two new articles, and one is a stub. When I look at your mainspace contributions, I see a lot of formatting and copyediting, especially of new editors' articles, but I don't see you adding much sourced content. I think you should get more experience with content creation before becoming an admin, because it's hard to handle content disputes as an admin if you've never been there as an editor. GAWriter 01:01, 1 January 2001 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose I'm really impressed with everything you've done so far regarding writing, AfD, CSD and SPI, but you've only been here six months and I don't think there's enough evidence yet to see you cope in heated situations where keeping a cool head is difficult. Since I just can't tell, I'm going to have to land with a WP:NOTQUITEYET for now. Sorry. Old Father Time 01:01, 1 January 2001 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Neutral I'm impressed with the answers to the questions, and I can't oppose, but I can't quite support either. I've seen you around at ANI and a lot of your comments are helpful, but sometimes they tend to just cite or quote policies without offering insight into the specific issue in question. You clearly know your way around policy but I think you could use more experience with how it's put into practice. Hey, An Eye! 01:01, 1 January 2001 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The good news is that a lot of the comments you are getting are encouraging, probably along the lines of "off to a good start", "establishing a good foundation", "doing the right things", and so forth. This means that you are gaining a lot of the knowledge, skills and experience in key administrative areas of the project that are needed for an eventual adminship.

But even editors with an intermediate-level of experience on Wikipedia still have a lot to learn, and generally voters in an RfA are not willing to hand adminship over to candidates that they feel lack a solid understanding of policy, procedures, and community traditions. If you were a candidate in an RfA that has failed or is currently looking like it won't pass on the basis of "Good, but..." or "Not quite yet...", you are advised to carefully examine all of the constructive criticism that you received, paying particular attention to those areas that RfA voters have pointed out as "problem areas". Continue to work on those areas, and if you still feel that you can contribute to the project as an administrator, come back after gaining further experience and learning even more about the ins-and-outs of policy, and try your hand at another RfA at that point.

Remember – many members of the current administrator corps did not pass on their first RfA: it took a second try (or more!) before they were granted adminship by the community. You too can gain administrative privileges after some additional investment.

Advice for voters citing this essay[edit]

Unlike WP:NOTNOW, the reasons for rejecting an intermediate-level editor as an administrator candidate are not generally self-evident. So it is entirely inappropriate to leave a !vote like "OpposeNOTQUITEYET. Sorry... Example (Talk)" in cases like this. Similarly, making vague references to nonspecific "concerns", or recommending arbitrary thresholds of tenure, edit count, participation in administrative areas, etc., does not provide the candidate with feedback they can use to improve their work on Wikipedia.

If you are evaluating an RfA candidate of intermediate experience level and you think they may be a "not quite yet..." case, consider the following approaches:

  • If you're uncertain about a candidate's skills in a particular area, but you think they have good judgment in general, ask a question instead of opposing outright.
  • If you can't support a candidate, it is respectful of their time and helpful to the community to be specific about the reasons behind your decision.
  • If concern arises from a specific discussion or incident that made you doubt the candidate's judgment, linking to the discussion or offering diffs helps others evaluate your comment, and the candidate, in context.
  • Be thoughtful about whether the reason you're hesitant to support is really a disqualifying issue.
  • Remember that editors who submit premature RfAs are human beings who are volunteering their time to help the community in a new role. Please give constructive criticism.

Cautious use of this essay[edit]

This essay is specifically written for mid-level and intermediate editors who are running in an RfA, and is not meant to be used in the RfA's of newcomers or the very inexperienced – that is what WP:NOTNOW is for. So, this essay should not be linked to during RfA's that are very likely to be closed as either WP:NOTNOW or WP:SNOW.

Similarly, this essay should not be linked to in the RfA's of very experienced Wikipedians who are potentially not going to pass an RfA for reasons other than relative inexperience. Doing so could be perceived as condescending or rude to seasoned editors who are well aware of what adminship entails. See also Wikipedia:Don't template the regulars.

Further reading[edit]