Wikipedia talk:Featured article criteria

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That It follows the style guidelines, including the provision of: be changed to It follows the style guidelines, regarding the provision of: This represents the actual situation, makes sense given the specifics that follow, and precludes articles being stricken for trivial non-compliance with a volatile and overreaching style guide. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 05:39, 30 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

That would not even meet the standard set in the GA criteria. I understand the sentiment of not wanting to strictly follow the minutiae of the MOS, but this goes too far in the other direction. Nikkimaria (talk) 13:28, 30 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Agree with Nikkimaria that not only would that be less than GA: if Wikipedia does not have a house style we become an even less reputable publisher than we already are. And if GAs are out best work, then we abolish TFA. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:07, 30 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
GA is our best work; this is implicit in the one-at-a-time rule at FAC that few articles can be nominated for TFA. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 23:08, 21 April 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Perhaps we need a discussion on which of the MOS criteria we all agree are expected from a high-quality article. These aspects of MOS that GA has to follow would be the minimum, but let's hear what other criteria folks want. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk) 15:56, 30 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This is already covered: MOS:LEAD,MOS:LAYOUT and WP:CITE are required. GA also requires MOS:WTW, WP:WAF and MOS:LIST. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 23:08, 21 April 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]


The featured article of today is Buruli ulcer, and the welcome page of wikipedia shows images of open wounds. I understand that it's an illustration for this topic, but I found this image disturbing specially because it's the HOME page of wikipedia, an encyclopedia that we recommend for children. I would propose to amend the criterias to avoid if possible the use of the kind of image. Formidableinc (talk) 09:05, 24 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

See Talk:Main Page#Buruli ulcers. CMD (talk) 10:38, 24 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Not a criteria issue, no need to change anything. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:22, 24 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"high-quality" reliable sources[edit]

I propose that this phrase be removed from the Featured Article Criteria on the grounds that it lacks meaning, has been subject to abuse, and creates an impossible burden on the nominator. Normally we can point to a verdict on WP:RSN that a source is reliable, or its widespread use, particularly in other Featured Articles. The key problems with the phrase are:

  1. The RSN can rule that a source is reliable, but cannot rule on whether it is "high-quality"n. It is not a phrase that is defined in WP:SOURCES and its meaning is unknown.
  2. It has been subject to abuse, in that sources are being held to be not high-quality on ideological grounds.
  3. The coordinators have decided that it applies not just to sources used in the article, but also sources that are not used.

This creates an impossible burden on the nominator. The issue was discussed back in 2009 (Wikipedia talk:Featured article criteria/Archive 9#"High-quality" vs. "Highest-quality") where there was clear consensus to remove the term, but this was not done, and again in 2012 (Wikipedia talk:Featured article criteria/Archive 10#Claims are verifiable against high-quality reliable sources), where it was roundly criticised, but still no action was taken. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 22:02, 21 April 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Regarding point 3, it appears only that Gog missed the removal rather than that he decided this. Regarding point 2, do you have evidence of this? Regarding point 1, the arguments put forward in archive 10 still seem relevant. Nikkimaria (talk) 12:30, 23 April 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strong claims usually need strong evidence for them to be taken seriously. Or, er, any evidence. So how about some diffs? Especially when making claims regarding a specific instance by a specific editor - ie me. Or is this "I don't like it"? Gog the Mild (talk) 14:07, 23 April 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

FYI the subject resurfaced here, which is what led me to this talk page thread. I read through the 2009 archive and do not agree with Hawkeye7's characterization that there "was clear consensus to remove the term". That said, I agree that we should either drop it, or provide criteria to evaluate sources against that standard, whatever it is. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 17:16, 20 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • This sounds reasonable to me, particularly the point that we have extensive guidance defining what a reliable source is but none defining a "high quality reliable source". I'm not particularly concerned that dropping "high quality" is going to start letting editors push through marginal RSP yellow-lit sources at FAC. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 03:50, 26 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Disagree with dropping “high quality”; in al most every area where I write or evaluate FAs, it is abundantly apparent what the term means and how it is used. This should be flagged as a PERENNIAL non-starter. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 09:05, 26 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Now see, I don't think that RSN is the only venue that can decide on reliability matters. Anyhow, I always considered the "high-quality" as a device to keep only-barely-OK sources off of FAs. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk) 12:40, 26 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Keep it per others above. There is plenty of evidence that it does not create "an impossible burden on the nominator"! Johnbod (talk) 13:50, 26 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Keep it per others. There are many sources reliable enough to be "reliable sources" that shouldn't be used at FAC. And I'm not sure how relevant a 2009 discussion will be, since FA expectations have changed greatly since then. Without diffs or recent discussions showing this is problematic, I'm not sure what the benefit to dropping this would be. If FA is going to represent best work, then it needs to have a higher sourcing bar, which is achieved through a stronger source gatekeeping process. "High quality RS" doesn't have a fixed meaning because it's situational based on what I'd being claimed. Hog Farm Talk 17:07, 26 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • While I often have disagreements with reviewers over what counts as high-quality depending on the field, I'd argue probably the biggest utility FA criteria has is its more stringent sourcing requirement (my life thus far has shown some grammar issues or a lack of citation consistency is not something that proves a big impediment to readers, but trusting in the sourcing is generally the step-one of a successful encyclopedia project we try to be.) If we're going to change the requirements, I'd like to see more examples of demonstrable harm being done beyond "some articles can't get to FA" (which is true for any numbers of reasons beyond sourcing.) Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs talk 03:26, 27 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I think we should be moving toward, not away from, a state in which it is at least theoretically possible to get any article to FA status. This introduces another problem with "high-quality", as our normal definition of "reliable source" is what we use to determine notability. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 20:44, 27 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Keep If we were going to revise this criteria I would suggest that they be "academic sourcing" closer to what is needed for medical articles. --In actu (Guerillero) Parlez Moi 17:42, 27 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Codifying a minimum of three supports and source/image reviews[edit]

Per discussion of the WT:FAC page, should the general guideline of an article requiring three supports and a pass in image/source reviews be put into the criteria here, or else into the instructional/informational portion of the WP:FAC page? The requirement is codified in Milhist's A-Class review instructions. I don't think doing so would change much beyond making people more aware of it, as it's already a used minimum. Iazyges Consermonor Opus meum 05:22, 22 October 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This seems to have received no attention, but I do think it's a good idea. People who are reading the Wikipedia:Featured article criteria the most are probably first time nominators to FAC. It should be clearly laid out to them that there are minimum reviews are expected, and when the coordinators say "this needs more reviews", they will more fully understand what that means. Aza24 (talk) 03:58, 2 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Clarification request on FA criterion 2.c[edit]

Criterion 2.c states:

2. It follows the style guidelines, including the provision of:

c. consistent citations: where required by criterion 1c, consistently formatted inline citations using footnotes—see citing sources for suggestions on formatting references. Citation templates are not required.

My query relates to the interpretation of consistently formatted, in the context of FA and MoS.

At Wikipedia:Citing sources#Types of citation it is stated:

  • A full citation fully identifies a reliable source and, where applicable, the place in that source (such as a page number) where the information in question can be found. For example: Rawls, John. A Theory of Justice. Harvard University Press, 1971, p. 1. This type of citation is usually given as a footnote, and is the most commonly used citation method in Wikipedia articles.
  • A short citation is an inline citation that identifies the place in a source where specific information can be found, but without giving full details of the source – these will have been provided in a full bibliographic citation either in an earlier footnote, or in a separate section. For example: Rawls 1971, p. 1. This system is used in some articles.

The usual place to display the text of a full citation is in a references section, which is commonly titled "References". The usual place to display the short form text of a short citation is also in a references section, with the full bibliographic text in a separate section with a different section title, such as "Sources".

My question, in this context, is:

Is the current consensus interpretation of FA criterion 2.c that consistently formatted implies that the display of full citations and short citations in the same references section, with a separate "Sources" section for the bibliographic text relating to short citations is no longer acceptable in a featured article?

I refer to a short sample list of FAs where this was clearly not the case, but accept that consensus can change, and previously accepted styles can be deprecated:

At the time of sampling this style appeared to be used by roughly 1 in 5 to 1 in 10 of the selected examples, which were arbitrarily selected to represent a fairly broad range of topics. I do not know what the current distribution would be.

Other relevant guidance includes Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Layout#Notes and references, which states:

Contents: This section, or series of sections, may contain any or all of the following:

  • 1. Explanatory footnotes that give information which is too detailed or awkward to be in the body of the article
  • 2. Citation footnotes (either short citations or full citations) that connect specific material in the article with specific sources
  • 3. Full citations to sources, if short citations are used in the footnotes or in parenthetical references in the body
  • 4. General references (full bibliographic citations to sources that were consulted in writing the article but that are not explicitly connected to any specific material in the article)
  • Editors may use any citation method they choose, but it should be consistent within an article.
  • If there are both citation footnotes and explanatory footnotes, then they may be combined in a single section, or separated using the grouped footnotes function. General references and other full citations may similarly be either combined or separated (e.g. "References" and "General references"). There may therefore be one, two, three or four sections in all.

Regards, · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 08:27, 2 April 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This is about Talk:Underwater diving, right? It probably would have been easier to just link to that talk page rather than do the above quoting and extraneous information. The use of a particular STYLE of citation (whether to use sfn/other shortened footnotes/full citations/etc) is a decision made at each article - as long as it's consistent WITHIN the article and the citations are able to be verified, FA status does not mandate a particular way of doing the consistent citations. The "style" in use in that article is not an often used one at FAC, but on quick glance, it appears consistent within itself. While I would probably not use it, there isn't in the FA criteria that rules it out in my eyes. There is an often-encountered but (IMHO) wrong-headed attempt at FAC to impose a reviewer's preferred citation style, which should be resisted. Ealdgyth (talk) 12:24, 2 April 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As Ealdgyth says. It's fine. There has been a certain tendency for some reviewers recently to impose their own style choices or prejudices on nominations, but this should be firmly resisted. Johnbod (talk) 12:29, 2 April 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I would say that so long as you can articulate the reason that some sources are listed in a separate section and referred to with short footnotes, and others are listed in full in inline references, that fulfills the requirement for a consistent citation style. That might be that all books are listed in a "Works cited" section and use sfns, but websites and newspaper articles are referred to in full in the references section, or it might be (as looks to be the case for at least some of your examples) any work which has multiple citations to different page ranges gets the short footnote treatment, while everything else is fully referenced inline. If some works are listed in a "works cited" section and others are not, and there is no consistent logic behind which are which, I wouldn't consider that a coherent citation style which fulfills the FA criteria. Caeciliusinhorto (talk) 12:46, 2 April 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree with this. I'd add that "consistent logic" to me means that the editors of the article agree on how many citations cause the switch from full to short, not that there is any universal standard that should apply to all articles. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 12:56, 2 April 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you all, I wanted to avoid the impression of special pleading, therefore tried to put it as neutrally as I could. These replies match my own understanding of the policy, but I was informed that I was wrong, and it was suggested that I ask here for clarification, which has peen adequately provided. Cheers all, and thanks again for the quick and clear response.
Ealdgyth, I have been doing some more checks, and it looks like quite a large number of featured articles use this or at least a superficially similar style. I stopped counting when I reached 23 out of 40 inspected, and other categories may differ. · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 14:14, 2 April 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I concur with Ealdgyth, Johnbod, Caeciliusinhorto, and Mike Christie, and thank Ealdgth for linking to an explanation of what this was about. I suspect Nikkimaria would have an opinion on this topic.

I'd add two things on a different topic about that discussion:

  1. @Pbsouthwood, arguing what passed FAC years ago isn't typically useful or relevant.
  2. I do not know what Z1720 means by For the citations, the FAC/FAR process has changed their expectations for citations, where all citations should be at the end of the information that they are verifying instead of the middle of the sentence.. I may be misunderstanding, but I don't know of this to be the case. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:23, 2 April 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It might refer to requests - including from you if memory serves - that a sentence not[1] be[2] filled[4] with multiple[5][6] reference tags. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk) 14:30, 2 April 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Also when we used parenthetical citations, you would often see something like "According to Author (ref), claim X". When footnotes are used, the more typical format for that would be "According to Author, claim X.[1]" Otherwise I concur with the comments above - as long as the style is correct, complete enough to support verifiability, and internally consistent, it's acceptable. Nikkimaria (talk) 14:31, 2 April 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ah, yes, thanks Jo-Jo and Nikki. But it's not always accurate to place all citations at the end of a sentence ... so I'm not sure about a generality or that there has been a specific change in FAC expectations. Case by case ... SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:06, 2 April 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It was also referring to a scenario where a citation was to verify the whole sentence, but was instead placed in the middle of the sentence. In Jo-Jo's example above, I would not know which, if any, references in the sentence are verifying the text "reference tags." because there is no citation after it. Z1720 (talk) 15:47, 2 April 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
WP:CITEFOOT: citation markers are normally placed after adjacent punctuation such as periods (full stops) and commas. For exceptions, see the WP:Manual of Style § Punctuation and footnotes. Note also that no space is added before the citation marker... The citation should be added close to the material it supports, offering text–source integrity. If a word or phrase is particularly contentious, an inline citation may be added next to that word or phrase within the sentence, but it is usually sufficient to add the citation to the end of the clause, sentence, or paragraph, so long as it's clear which source supports which part of the text. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 22:32, 2 April 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
SandyGeorgia The reference to previous years was simply for context, I know that things change. My concern goes beyond Underwater diving, There are a large number of featured articles which use citation styles that, if not necessarily all identical to the style in Underwater diving, at least look much the same on a superficial inspection. A change of that magnitude would require a lot of work to fix. It is nice to know that will not be needed. · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 14:47, 2 April 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I just want to clarify this point so that I know what to look out for in the future when looking at citation templates. Sorry if my explanation is not clear and/or I am not understanding what others are saying above.
In this version of the Underwater diving article, ref 21 is a book source. It uses an sfnp template to create a short citation, and that short citation links to the longer citation in the "Sources" section with a cite book template. Ref 79 is also a book source. It uses the ref name coding, and the long citation is placed in the Reference section with a cite book template; it does not use a short citation. My interpretation of MOS is that the article should have both references use the same citation template: either both of these sources should use the snfp template to create a short citation, or both should use the ref name coding, and the "Sources" section removed (I don't care which is used, as long as it is consistent, and authors can pick which they use.) My understanding of the above conversation is that it is OK to have both present in the article. Is it OK for FAs to have both citation formatting present in the article? Z1720 (talk) 15:53, 2 April 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As people have explained above, it is ok if some consistent explanation of the way of doing things can be produced - for example multiple uses of a source vs. a single one. But I agree that the templates used should generally be consistent for the same type of source. I haven't looked at these examples. Johnbod (talk) 21:53, 2 April 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There is a style where the long form is used for books only used once and the short form for those used multiple times. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 22:40, 2 April 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hello. I requested a peer review for Philippines in preparation for hopefully a future FAC. The article uses direct references (ref tags) and {{sfn}}. sfn was used to cite different pages of the same book source. I have seen FA India use both for book sources, but the peer reviewer said the book citations should be consistent. I am unsure on what to do; majority of the sources in Philippines use direct ref tags; I could convert the {{sfn}} back to {{rp}}, but I have rarely seen FAs use {{rp}} since most seem to prefer {{sfn}} (I am not sure why). I could also use {{sfn}} for all sources but that will most probably exceed the post expand include size. Can I have your insights and suggestions on what to do? Thanks. Sanglahi86 (talk) 04:27, 29 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]