Wikipedia:WikiProject Guild of Copy Editors/Membership/News/2022 Annual Report

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The Guild of Copy Editors

Guild of Copy Editors
2022 End of Year Report

Report by Reidgreg, Baffle gab1978, Dhtwiki, Miniapolis, Tenryuu and Zippybonzo. | February 4, 2023.


Welcome to the Guild of Copy Editors' (GOCE) annual report for 2022, a summary of activity in our Drives and Blitzes, and our Requests page. Thank you to everyone who has helped improve the standard of Wikipedia articles by making them "say what they mean and mean what they say". In 2022, editors working with the Guild helped remove well over 1,000 articles from the {{copy edit}} backlog and responded to almost 400 requests for copy edit.

This year's report is a little shorter than usual, and some of the more intricate details and graphs have been omitted. We hope you'll still find it useful.

This is the first Annual Report we've issued in three years. You can find the reports from the previous two years in their incomplete states here (2020) and here (2021).

Line graph showing a boomerang trend
Let's keep that backlog count trending downwards!
Outstanding tags at the
end of each month
numbers in green
denote new record lows
2021 2022
January 52 966
February 290 1,133
March 171 1,022
April 537 1,304
May 329 1,276
June 875 1,506
July 598 1,432
August 931 1,774
September 878 1,580
October 1,134 1,936
November 946 1,967
December 1,177 1,923

The backlog is edging towards 2,000 articles because each month, about 200 or more articles are added to the tracking category and as we write, the Requests page has a five-month backlog. We hope 2023 will see more skilled copy-editors working in both areas of our WikiProject.

Thank you all for your hard work throughout 2022; we hope you'll continue to be enthused and inspired to improve the standard of prose in Wikipedia. Happy editing!


GOCE membership is open to all editors in good standing who are interested in copy editing. Please see our membership page for information about signing up, and remember to add your username to our mailing list to receive Guild news. Guild membership is voluntary and informal, and editors do not have to be members of the Guild to participate in its activities. Many editors perform copy editing outside our organized events but we have no means of tracking such efforts.

At the end of 2022, there were 2,216 pages populating the Guild's membership category, 606 names on the Guild's list of participants and 741 names on the mailing list. This is a respective growth of 128, -100 and 38 from the end of 2021. Since we don't actively monitor or audit these lists, they include many inactive or deceased editors, and some whose accounts are blocked or banned.

The best way to know when the GOCE's bimonthly Drives and Blitzes are happening is to add Wikipedia:WikiProject Guild of Copy Editors/Ombox to your watchlist.


The GOCE coordinators are responsible for coordinating Guild activities, maintaining our pages, organizing Drives and Blitzes, looking after the Requests page, and performing other maintenance tasks that keep the Guild running smoothly. They are chosen twice a year through consensus voting.

Term 2022 2023
January 1 – June 30 July 1 – December 31 January 1 – June 30
Election December 2021 June 2022 December 2022
Lead coordinator Reidgreg No lead coordinator No lead coordinator

Also at the June 2022 election page, our long-serving coordinator and lead Jonesey95 was elected a coordinator emeritus in appreciation of their hard work and long service to the Guild.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to participate. Elections are scheduled for June and December each year. All Wikipedians in good standing are welcome to nominate themselves or others with their permission. Please consider helping out if you can.

Requests page

Requests for copy editing are one of the Guild's main activities. Our ever-busy requests page saw a decrease in use this year and a significant increase in average processing times; 33.4% fewer requests were made and 38.3% fewer requests were completed.1 The Guild received 397 requests in 2022, 51.4% of which were for Good Article or Featured Article nominations. We copy-edited 340 of the 374 requests we processed; the remaining 34 (9.1%) were declined or withdrawn.

Any editor with good English-language skills can accept requests, but we prefer those who are new to or inexperienced with copy editing to gain experience with articles in the backlog before handling requests—particularly those for GAN, ACN and FAC.

Among the requests received were:2

  • 166 for GAN
  • 4 for GAR
  • 68 for FAC
  • 3 for FAR
  • 6 for FLC
  • 3 for PR
  • 3 for ACN
  • 3 for ACR
  • 1 for BCN
  • 2 for CCN
  • 31 for DYK
  • 1 for TFA
  • 1 for section copyedits
  • 14 declined
  • 20 withdrawn
  • 76 unspecified
Monthly breakdown
Requests Mean days
to completion[a]
Received[b] Processed[c] Completed [d]
January 48 50 48 47.4
February 48 34 26 40.8
March 37 32 27 42.7
April 38 31 28 59.8
May 34 54 52 57.7
June 34 20 18 65.7
July 23 28 27 74.4
August 30 37 33 82.8
September 25 13 12 71.3
October 27 30 30 91.5
November 31 24 22 78.2
December 22 21 17 100.4
Total 397 374 340 67.7 mean days
  1. ^ Mean average days to completion for requests completed that month. Includes requests made in 2021, and excludes declined and withdrawn requests. Rounded to one decimal place.
  2. ^ "Requests received" between 1 January and 31 December 2021, inclusive.
  3. ^ "Requests processed" includes 57 requests made in 2021 and completed in 2022. Includes withdrawn and declined requests. Excludes all requests received in 2022 and processed in 2023.
  4. ^ "Requests completed" excludes all withdrawn and declined requests.

Note that because some requests are declined or withdrawn, the overall received requests will always be slightly higher than those completed.

Some analysis and comparison to previous years:

  • 340 requests were completed3 in 2022 compared to 596 in 2021, 684 in 2020, 607 in 2019, 668 in 2018, 571 in 2017, 665 in 2016, 537 in 2015, and 486 in 2014.
  • 397 requests were received in 2022, compared to 644 in 2021, 752 in 2020, 616 in 2019, 690 in 2018, 588 in 2017, 690 in 2016, 543 in 2015, and 489 in 2014.
  • The mean average completion time was 67.7 days. Previous averages were 35 days in 2021, 23.3 days in 2020, 19 days in 2019, 15 days in 2018, 26 days in 2017, 17 days in 2016, 30 days in 2015, and 41 days in 2013.

There were 35 pending requests at the beginning of 2022. There were 78 pending requests at the end of the year.

In 2022, 397 requests were submitted, and 34 were declined or withdrawn. 43 copy editors completed the 340 remaining requests, which were submitted by 187 editors.

^1 Figures were arrived at by exporting tables from the relevant request archives into a spreadsheet for analysis.
^2 Some requests were made for multiple reasons; these were listed in each applicable category.
^3 Figures for completed requests omit any requests that were declined or withdrawn. Figures for requests submitted, received and processed include requests that were ultimately declined or withdrawn.

As of the date of this message in February 2023, requests from 2022 are still being processed or are waiting for an available copy editor. A full list of the year's requests will eventually be available at our 2022 and 2023 archive pages.

Backlog Elimination Drives

The Guild's main efforts toward reducing the number of articles tagged with {{copy edit}} were six backlog-elimination drives held in alternating months, starting in January. At the beginning of the year, there were 996 articles in the backlog, and 1,923 articles at year's end.

  • January Drive: Of the 22 editors who signed up to our first drive of the year, 16 editors claimed 146 copy edits, including 45 requests. Barnstars and data are here.
  • March Drive: Of the 28 editors who signed up, 18 claimed 116 copy edits including 25 requests. Barnstars and data are here.
  • May Drive: 27 editors signed up for our May drive; of these, 20 copy-edited at least one article. 144 articles were copy-edited, and 88 articles from our target months August and September 2021 were removed from the backlog. Barnstars and data are here.
  • July Drive: For our mid-year drive, of the 22 editors who signed up, 18 copy-edited between them 116 articles. Barnstars and data are here.
  • September Drive: Forty-one editors took part in our September Backlog Elimination Drive; between them they copy-edited 199 articles. Barnstars and data are here.
  • November Drive: In the last drive of the year, thirty editors signed up, twenty-two of whom claimed at least one copy-edit. Both target months—December 2021 and January 2022—were cleared, and February was added to the target months. Sixteen requests were copy-edited and 239 articles were removed from the backlog. Barnstars and data are here.

Drive totals for the year: 80 editors claimed credit for removing 926 articles from the backlog and the Requests page for a combined total of 2,482,482 words. The Guild awarded 135 barnstars for participation in Drives in 2022.

^1 Month-end backlog totals were taken from the drive pages. Participation was taken from the blitz and drive pages and their respective barnstar pages. Numbers for requests were taken from historical versions of the Requests page. Some of the tables were exported and merged in a spreadsheet for easier counts and analysis.
^2 These figures show articles for which editors took credit on the Drive page. Additional articles are removed during drives by editors who do a quick or minor copy edit and don't record it on the Drive page, remove a copy-edit tag because it is inappropriate or no longer needed, or nominate an article for deletion.


We ran six one-week Blitzes in 2022, in alternating months with the backlog drives. Reports and statistics are taken from our newsletters.

  • February Blitz: The year's first blitz focused on requests, with an additional theme of Africa and African diaspora history. Of the 12 editors who signed up, 6 editors recorded 21 copy edits, including four requests. Details are here
  • April Blitz: Of the 16 editors who signed up for our April Copy Editing Blitz, 12 completed at least one copy-edit, and between them removed 21 articles from the copy-editing backlog. Barnstars awarded are here.
  • June Blitz: Seven the eight editors who signed up claimed at least one copy-edit. Between them, they copy-edited 17 articles and a total of 34,635 words. Results are available here.
  • August Blitz: Participants in our August blitz copy-edited 51,074 words in 17 articles. Of the 15 editors who signed up, 11 claimed at least one copy-edit. Barnstars awarded are noted here.
  • October Blitz: this month, we focused on the July and August 2022 request months, and articles tagged for c/e in December 2021 and January 2022. Seventeen of those who signed up claimed at least one copy-edit, and between them copy-edited forty-six articles. Barnstars awarded are here.
  • December Blitz; for the year's final blitz, we worked on articles tagged for copy-edit in February 2022, and September and October requests. Of the 16 editors who signed up, 11 copy-edited at least one article, and between them copy-edited 30 articles. Barnstars are here

Blitz totals for the year: 33 editors completed 155 requests and articles from the backlog, for a total of 387,460 words. The Guild awarded 66 barnstars for participation in Blitzes in 2022.

Closing thoughts

Written by Baffle☿gab

The 2022 annual report is not quite as comprehensive as usual; I hope it's still a useful summary of the GOCE's work over the past year. A warm welcome to editors who have joined the WikiProject in the past year or so. Also, thanks to outgoing coordinators Redigreg and Tenryuu for their excellent work here.

For the second term in a row, the project coordinators haven't appointed a lead coordinator. I think the drama-free way the coordinators have worked together shows the team spirit of the Guild; and I'm sure that will continue. Only time will tell if the Guild has matured enough to work effectively without a lead; or whether future coordinators will reinstate that position.

As I write, the Requests page and the backlog are longer than they've been for a while. It must be frustrating for requesters to watch their posts slowly work their way up a several-months-long list. On our side, seeing an accumulation of work in one's in-basket can also be dispiriting; the work is piling up ... will it ever get done? Well, we've done it before so surely we can do it again, and there's no deadline in Wikipedia—with enough willing and able volunteers, it'll be sure to get done eventually!

Wikipedia always need more active copy-editors. Copy-editing is a skill, it does need practice and it involves more than just fixing typos. If you're new to copy-editing, or perhaps uncertain about your abilities, why not work on some articles from the backlog and ask us for feedback at the GOCE talk page? You can also use the basic tutorial and the more-advanced tutorials by Tony1. As you build your skills, consider accepting a request or two. You'll get to work on some interesting and usually well-written articles, improve them for our readers and have fun fixing those errors.

We also need more editors to involve themselves in coordinating the WikiProject. If you're interested in becoming a coordinator, you're welcome to post on the coordinators' talk page or any of our other project talk pages. Our next election of coordinators takes place in June; we announce these on our Wikipedia:WikiProject Guild of Copy Editors/Ombox, which you can add to your watchlist. Coordinators are elected on an approval basis and usually serve a six-month term.

From the first 2023 coordinator team, thank you to everyone who has helped out at the GOCE in 2022; be it copy-editing articles, helping out with Drives and Blitzes, or simply looking after the Guild's pages. Your help is always appreciated. One way or another, you're helping to improve Wikipedia, and to make its articles say what they mean and mean what they say. We wish everyone an excellent year in 2023; have fun and happy (copy) editing.