Wikipedia:WikiProject Guild of Copy Editors/Membership/News/2010 Annual Report

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The Guild of Copy Editors
Guild of Copy Editors  • 2010 Year-End Report
Report by SMasters, The Utahraptor, Diannaa, and Tea with toast | 31 December 2010

2010 Year-End Report

The Guild's backlog elimination drives made a big impact in 2010

We have reached the end of the year, and what a year it has been! The Guild of Copy Editors was full of activity, and we achieved numerous important milestones in 2010. It is estimated that the Guild close to tripled its membership, with current membership standing at 503 editors. Two of the Guild's most important and visible projects, our Requests page and our Backlog elimination drives, achieved considerable success, with the drives reducing the copy edit backlog by a massive 2,589 articles, or close to 40%. Sign up for our January drive today!

There has been considerable improvement in the design of our pages and the flow of information in all areas of the Guild. We were featured in the 14 June 2010 edition of The Signpost, together with Wikipedia's founder Jimbo Wales, who also participated in one of our drives. To top it all off, the Guild held a successful first election for Guild coordinators. In all, the Guild can toast to a great 2010. We look forward to your continued support and participation in 2011!


Measuring the growth of the Guild's membership accurately for 2010 has proven to be a difficult task. When the {{User Copy Edit}} tag is added to a user's page, they appear in Category:WikiProject Guild of Copy Editors members; however, there is simply no way of finding out the exact date the tag was added. What we do know is that at the end of 2009, there were 130 members who had signed up on the members' registration page. At the end of 2010, this number had increased to 306, giving us a growth of 176 members, or 235%. As mentioned, this does not take into account members who joined the Guild by tagging themselves, but did not sign the register. A calculation combining the above data (with duplicates removed) produces a figure of 503. It would probably be safe to estimate that the Guild's membership close to tripled during 2010. The figure of 503 would make the Guild one of the larger WikiProjects around, easily putting us in the Top 10 in terms of membership.

Backlog elimination drives

At the beginning of the year, there were over 8,000 articles in the copy edit backlog. Still more were added until the number of articles peaked at around 8,300 at the end of April. After the Guild's May 2010 Backlog elimination drive, the number of articles remaining in the backlog was reduced to 7,536, subtracting 760 articles from the backlog. Between the May drive and our most recent drive, 2,589 articles were removed from the backlog. There are currently a little over 5,000 articles in the backlog.

  • May 2010 drive – This was our first drive of the year. The drive was planned by Noraft and SMasters. Out of 36 people who signed up, 32 participated. At the beginning of the May drive, 8,323 articles were in the backlog. By the end of the drive, 760 articles had been removed from the backlog, and 7,563 articles remained.
  • July 2010 drive – This was our most successful drive of the year! The drive's lead coordinator was Noraft, who was assisted by Diannaa and SMasters. 103 people signed up for the drive, including Wikipedia's founder, Jimbo Wales. Of the 103 participants, 78 copy edited at least one article. By the end of the July drive, 1,289 articles had been removed from the backlog, putting the number of remaining articles at 6,293.
  • September 2010 drive – Noraft, SMasters, and Diannaa coordinated this drive. 77 people signed up for the September drive. Out of these, 50 participated. At the end of August, 6,300 articles were in the backlog. By the end of the September drive, 725 articles had been removed from the backlog, and 5,575 articles remained.
  • November 2010 drive – Diannaa, SMasters, and The Utahraptor coordinated this drive. 59 people signed up for this drive, and of these, 50 participated. Before the November drive, 5,601 articles were in the backlog. At the end of the November drive, 4,974 articles remained in the backlog.

  • Started: May 1, 2010 with 8,323 articles
It currently contains 1,835 articles.

78% completed (calculated)


Requests page

One of the most important pages of the Guild is its Requests page. This is where Wikipedians can seek assistance from the Guild for copy editing work. Many of the requests that we get are for articles that are Good articles nominees or Featured article candidates. Others are for upcoming appearances on the Main Page, such as Did You Know articles.

In April 2010, the Requests page was in a sorry state, with 63 requests unfulfilled, dating all the way back to February 2009. The reputation of the Guild as a useful WikiProject was at stake, and the few hardworking members at that time were struggling to cope with the work. This critical situation provided the motivation for the creation of the Guild's Backlog elimination drives. The first drive, in May 2010, was so successful that it completely wiped out all of the requests and allowed the Guild to start with a clean slate.

Since then, the Requests page has been improved considerably to make it more user-friendly for non-members. Archives were introduced in September 2010 to provide a permanent record of the work of the Guild. We have received and fulfilled hundreds of requests this year. If you are able, please do help us with our work in this area. Any help is always appreciated!

Guild redesign

The Guild introduced a number of design and information improvements in 2010. In addition to the {{User Copy Edit}} template appearing in a new category that lists members using the tag, the home page saw numerous developments. The Requests page was redesigned to be more user friendly, and archives of our work were implemented. All major areas of the Guild were put into tabs for easy navigation. The entire Drives sub-section was reorganized, and a new FAQ page was added.

New barnstars

New awards for the trophy cabinet
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The Guild introduced several new barnstars throughout 2010. Many of these were designed for our Backlog elimination drives. The Guild of Copy Editors' Gold Star Award (a gold star affixed to a typewriter) is a new Guild award given to members, as well as non-members, in recognition of exceptional work done in the area of copy editing. It should only be awarded to editors who have completed full copy edits of a minimum of five major articles of Good article or Featured article standards. It is also awarded to leaderboard winners from the Backlog elimination drives.

Elections and coordinators

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Lead coordinator
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Coordinator emeritus

During the first two weeks of December, we held our inaugural election for Guild coordinators. The Guild's coordinators are the designated points of contact for issues concerning the project, and are responsible for maintaining the Guild's internal structure and processes. They do not, however, have any authority over article content or editor conduct, or any other special powers. Voting at the election was through a simple approval vote system. Six candidates stood for the elections, with one candidate withdrawing. Votes were received from 64 users. Our first tranche of coordinators will serve a six-month term starting in January 2011. The coordinators are S Masters (lead), Diannaa, The Utahraptor, and Tea with toast.

The Signpost

Jimbo trying to earn a Guild of Copy Editors barnstar

The Guild was featured in the 14 June 2010 edition of The Signpost. The article focused on the Guild's drives, and included a note from Jimbo Wales. Mabeenot from The Signpost interviewed Noraft, SMasters, and Diannaa for the article.

I was excited to learn of the elimination drive last time around, and figured I should do my part in July. To the outside world, Wikipedia seems to appear through magical chaos, but we know better: it's through the efforts of thoughtful people getting organized, rolling up their sleeves, and getting something done. In addition to being good for Wikipedia, though, I think this drive simply sounds like fun. I hope to be working something completely random and – more or less by accident in the process – learn about something that I know little about. This is one of the great intellectual joys of Wikipedia: random learning!

Jimbo Wales

You can read the full article here.

Plans for 2011

The Guild's new coordinators have exciting plans for 2011. Some of these include:

  • Continuation of our popular and successful Backlog elimination drives –
    Sign up for our January drive today!
  • New membership department
  • Membership drive
  • Mentor program
  • A new copy editing self-help, step-by-step guide

Come join us at the Guild and participate in our rewarding programs. We look forward to your company.

The Guild of Copy Editors wishes to take this opportunity to wish you Season's Greetings and a Happy New Year. See you in 2011!