En validation topics/Archive

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  • Proposed range : 1-4
    • 1="Outright propaganda for one point of view"
    • 2="Propaganda mixed with valid info"
    • 3="Mostly balanced info with a few rough edges"
    • 4="Suitable for all sides of an emotive argument"
Have tidied the wording to be location- and culturally-neutral, and globally applicable. I think. ;-) James F. (talk) 21:06, 26 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]



  • Jargon. Nobody outside of Wikimedia knows what NPOV means. A more descriptive term is needed. --Daniel Mayer 03:03, 21 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
    So call it "Neutral point of view". It's our secret sauce, I don't see how we can't rate articles on it - David Gerard 09:59, 21 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
    "Neutral point of view" is still jargon, the meaning is not at all obvious from the name. Kappa 21:09, 22 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
    But plain "Neutral" is too vague. NPOV means something very specific. If we want people to rate to some scale that we will use for NPOV-gauging, we need something that actually measures that. James F. (talk) 21:57, 22 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
    "Represents all POVs fairly" maybe? Kappa 22:30, 22 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
    Not snappy ... It's a tricky one. Perhaps a link to the definition of the concept as we use it in the title. But then, all of these should have a link to what they mean - David Gerard 23:23, 22 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
    "Fairness" or "objectivity", with a link? Jim Lane 10:22, 25 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
    "Unbiased", with a link? Warofdreams 16:43, 26 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
    "Neutral" with a link, I think. It is, after all, the best word to describe us. James F. (talk) 21:05, 26 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
    "Neutrality" with a link (because we are assessing a condition). --TheoClarke 14:15, 27 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]

Suitable for offline distribution[edit]

  • Proposed range: yes - no
An "almost" might be useful here for people looking for articles to clean up which could go in a print distribution with just a little more work. Angela 22:34, 20 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
  • Alternate Proposed range: 1-4
    • 1="Not suitable for any kind of offline distribution"
    • 2="Almost suitable for distribution on a CD-ROM/DVD"
    • 3="Suitable for distribution on a CD-ROM/DVD"
    • 4="Suitable for print"

--Mathias Schindler 10:41, 21 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]


  • Elian 22:15, 20 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
  • Mathias Schindler 10:41, 21 May 2005 (UTC) (I could live with both Proposed ranges)[reply]
  • This is good and I really like Mathias' expansion - David Gerard 23:29, 21 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
  • I like the expansion especially. James F. (talk) 21:56, 22 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
  • Unexpanded provides useful polling information. The expansion feels like it would be better covered by other binary questions and by other qualitative measures (such as NPOV, or luciidity). --TheoClarke 14:19, 27 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
  • This rating covers a lot of ground but could be useful for getting an overall feel. --Laura Scudder | Talk 20:10, 28 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]


  • I have no idea what this even means. It seems to be more of an aggregate of multiple things; people will vote "not suitable" because they feel that an article is POV, too long, too short, has too many pictures, too few, etc. It seems more useful to me to have these criteria listed individually. That also makes it possible to use the data for multiple purposes instead of just one--Eloquence 12:56, 26 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
  • Why is there a difference between suitability for distribution on a CD-ROM/DVD and in print?
    This is effectively a combined quality and notability item; anything that is poor quality should be a 1; low quality and low notability, 2; high quality but low notability, 3; and something well-known and of high quality should be 4. No? James F. (talk) 21:09, 26 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
    • IMO this would be better handled by two seperate scales (notability and quality). Selecting articles for DVD/print could then trivially be done later by using that data, giving greater flexibility and making the choice more obvious to the validators. Thue 14:22, 30 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]

Writing clarity[edit]

  • Range 1-4
    • 1="Largely incomprehensible"
    • 2="Comprehensible, needs work"
    • 3="Readable and comprehensible"
    • 4="Written very well and clearly indeed"




  • Range 1-4
    • 1="Essentially inaccurate"
    • 2="Significantly inaccurate"
    • 3="Almost entirely accurate"
    • 4="Entirely accurate"



  • I think rating an article on its sources would be better than rating it on accuracy. Angela 22:34, 20 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
    • I would list that separately. But, hmm, maybe - David Gerard 09:59, 21 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
  • I rephrased the descriptions after Angela's vote but I believe that my phrasing does not address her issue. --TheoClarke 14:27, 27 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]


  • Range 1-5
    • 1="stub"
    • 2="quick overview"
    • 3="good overview"
    • 4="comprehensive"
    • 5="comprehensive with appropriate subarticles"
    • 6="too detailed, needs subarticles broken out"



  • I find the options 5 and 6 might cause some problems in the results (vote 1: "stub", vote 2:"too detailed", average: 3,5="comprehensive") Okay, this can be avoided by specialized reporting tools but I strongly suggest not to try this in the first attempt. -- Mathias Schindler 19:41, 23 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
    Particularly as the current implementation of the feature doesn't actually include the long text descriptions we're writing here! - David Gerard 13:42, 26 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
    Possibly we could split it into two criteria - breadth and depth? This is, sort-of, the combination of the two... James F. (talk) 21:10, 26 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
    Breadth and depth would be more informative. --TheoClarke 14:31, 27 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
    I like that, too. --Laura Scudder | Talk 20:22, 28 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]


  • Range 1-2 (I don't think we need more, it's either right or it isn't - David Gerard)
    • 1="spelling, grammar and punctuation problems, or needs to be wikified laid-out better"
    • 2="spelling, grammar, punctuation, wikification lay-out is all OK"
Maybe "wikified" should be part of this as well. Does it contain appropriate links and formatting? Angela 22:34, 20 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
"Wikified" is jargon. --Daniel Mayer
As only logged-in editors can rate, I'm not sure that's a problem - the rating system would be a project-internal thing. OTOH it makes the description longer (see above) - David Gerard 09:59, 21 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
OTOH, there's a case for IP ratings: our way has been to keep things utterly open and only restrict as necessary, and the 1.5 data will explicitly not be used for anything ... so you may be right about jargon - David Gerard 23:30, 21 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
How's that, then? James F. (talk) 11:14, 22 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
Not bad at all! That also covers sections, etc. nicely - David Gerard 23:24, 22 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
Two grades is too few in my opinion. Copy editing is not absolute. Again, we have 'very bad', 'needs work', 'could be improved', and 'excellent. --TheoClarke 14:35, 27 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
By "lay-out" do we mean how well it conforms to the Manual of Style? Or whether it refers to the clarity of how the subject is expounded? If the latter, wouldn't that conflict with the criterion of clarity set forth above?




  • Range 1-4
    • 1="Needs some images - currently has none"
    • 2="Has a single image, but it is not particularly fantastic"
    • 3="Has several images, some of which are understandable"
    • 4="Has a good range of clear images illustrating the subject in various ways"



  • What? 'No images' can be found out very easily without human input. --Daniel Mayer 02:59, 21 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
    It's the obvious starting point for the range of image quality, though - David Gerard 09:59, 21 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
    Perhaps the first option should be something like "needs an image". "Has no images" can be found without human input, as Daniel said, and not all articles need images. We want value judgements more than factual statements. --Thebainer 05:39, 23 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
    How's that? James F. (talk) 21:15, 26 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
  • Has no specification on whether or not the image would be reuseable in print/dvd/cd format. A lot of the "fair use" stuff in an article would fit category 3... but potentially be a problem down the line. We somehow need to work on removing "fair use" images out of the equation. --Alkivar 06:35, 26 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
    Perhaps if we could have the server know which image licences are "free" (or, at least, suitable for printing for anyone, even commerically, which is essentially the same - ND would be covered, though, even though we don't want it), and all images tagged with the so-noted templates would thus be counted? I dunno... James F. (talk) 21:13, 26 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
    The Wikipedia Signpost reports that non-free images in the process of being deleted from Wikipedia entirely. Also, all images are being tagged with license status by the tagging projects Wikipedia:Untagged images and Wikipedia:Image sleuthing. There is no need to capture this information from surveys. -- Beland 03:35, 28 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]

I don't think it's a good idea to assume that any article that needs illustrations needs multiple illustrations. Too many illustrations, especially for a short article, might make it awkward. There may be lots of articles that just need one really good picture. (Or maybe not.) I would keep it simple - a bad/mediocre/good/professional scale. Let the readers and editors decide for themselves what proper illustration entails. -- Beland 04:21, 28 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]

I concur. Perhaps something like "Lacks needed illustration" --> "Illustration not sufficient for article" --> "Suitably illustrated, does not need more images"-- "Illustrated comprehensively and interestingly". Maybe a separate option, even, for "Does not need images"? Mindspillage 16:47, 28 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]

Appropriate context[edit]

  • Range 1-4
    • 1="No idea at all what field this is about"
    • 2="Seems to be about Maths; or Physics. Or is this fictional?"
    • 3="Quite clear, but I'm not sure of the context wherein it would be used"
    • 4="Very clear that this is an advanced form of Maths to do with triangles"


  • David Gerard 22:28, 20 May 2005 (UTC) Yep. Though we need other examples covered by the descriptions, e.g. fiction articles that don't make it clear enough they're about fictional things.[reply]
    I suppose. I picked the Maths/Physics/sci-fi divide to try to avoid people's -cruft nonsense. James F. (talk) 22:32, 20 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
    I added "Or is this fictional?" to 2. - David Gerard 09:59, 21 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
  • James F. (talk) 21:16, 26 May 2005 (UTC) Yes, obviously.[reply]



  • Range 1-4
    • 1="References needed/missing"
    • 2="Some source for some facts and assertions included, or no references needed"
    • 3="Referencing with okay sources"
    • 4="Comprehensively referenced with high-quality sources"




  • 1 should probably be "references needed" or "references missing". Should there be an option for "no references needed"? -- Beland 01:08, 25 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
    • Good point. Even if we want all articles to appear with references, there are some topics where the material is either non-controversial enough, or commonly well-known that providing references or sources for them is lower in priority than others (e.g., providing the proper cite for the capital of every county -- which could be done, but the effort would be better spent on other topics). -- Llywrch 18:01, 27 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
      • Yeah, and there's "main" articles which are entirely summaries of more detailed articles. Reworded - David Gerard 22:51, 30 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]

Encyclopedic general interest[edit]

  • Range 1-4
    • 1="It covers an obscure topic of very little general interest"
    • 2="Topic suited to a specialist encyclopedia"
    • 3="It has a certain relevance for the general audience to be found in an encyclopedia"
    • 4="No general encyclopedia publisher would dare to have this topic not described"
I changed the name of this one from "Relevance" to "Encyclopedic general interest" as that seems to be what the wording is describing - David Gerard 00:17, 22 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks. This seems to describe what I meant.-- Mathias Schindler 06:12, 22 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
I feel "Noone has ever heard of" is not relevant, "of interest to no-one" or "noone would want to look up" would be better. Kappa 21:19, 22 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
Fixed. BTW, this is presumably a problem with the proposed wording, not having the topic at all? I've moved it assuming this... James F. (talk) 21:51, 22 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks I'm now in favor. Kappa 22:07, 22 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
I've changed the wording on 1 to "of very little general interest" and 2 to "suited to a specialist encyclopedia" - so as not to seem unduly pejorative to our more obscure corners - David Gerard 11:46, 24 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
I think we need to be careful here. The encyclopedia publishers that have preceded us always showed some sort of systemic bias (which is not necessarily a bad thing — they perfectly knew what their audience was). I think that Wikipedia is one of the first to have the goal of a truly global audience — and we need to make sure that our coverage is accordingly and that all our editors are aware of the fact that they're writing for a global audience. I have frequently heard talk of distributing Wikipedia to 'schools in Africa' for example; if our goals lie along those lines, we should ask ourselves: what will the kids think when they see that their own countries, cultures and languages have a lot less of coverage than everything of the Western world?
My main concern is that this is a problem that is not going to be solved just by voting. I'm not sure who is going to vote on this validation, but if it is our own base of editors (seems reasonable), we should expect the demographics of our current user base to heavily affect the results of the voting here. Put simply: do we want to include w:War on terrorism but not w:Guinea-Bissau Civil War simply because our editors vote that way? And I'm talking only about articles we already have; there's the related problem of articles we don't have due to (mainly) the demographics of our user base.
Yet another way of saying this is: we should be aware that our user base is not our audience. — mark 07:57, 26 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
We'll be taking IP data too, so we can see what the biases of our readership actually are. Note also we haven't decided what we're going to do with the gathered data - David Gerard 13:46, 26 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
Aha, that will provide for interesting statistics. Elaborating on this: keeping in mind the considerable difference in intended audience between Wikipedia and more traditional encyclopedias (Jimbo, March 2005), I would propose to change the wording of (4) to something like
  • 4="No encyclopedia publisher with a global audience would dare to have this topic not described"
TreveX has pointed out that there are 92,100 pages[1] in english Wikipedia mentioning 'United States', only 21,000[2] mentioning China and 17,000[3] mentioning India. — mark 22:41, 26 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]

I think the question here is more generic than the one-liners would suggest. We're not just asking whether or not this is too specialized a topic. We're also asking whether it's encyclopedic. -- Beland 04:48, 28 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]


  • David Gerard 19:35, 22 May 2005 (UTC) I really like this one - per my 1.0 plan (which I've just updated), the hardest part was going to be making the selection for what doesn't get included. This is just what we need to let the wiki do the work. It's much more convincing if 1000 people say "no" than 10.[reply]
  • Agree. Strength (of overall opinion) in numbers and all that. James F. (talk) 21:51, 22 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
    • I think this is the real criteria that will prove useful in a constructive way, probably the rest will serve a useful function in directing action, but this really is the sine qua non for outside parties to consult in planning making their own subset of the "wikipedia corpus"; if they want a _general_ encyclopedic distro, rather than one serving a particular purpose. -- Cimon Avaro 13:27, 24 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
  • This is a powerful way of polling opinions of what amounts to a subjective chracteristic. --TheoClarke 07:42, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)


Lead section[edit]

  • Range 1-4
    • 1="No lead section, or one with no summary of the article"
    • 2="Not very good summary of the article"
    • 3="Usable summary of the article"
    • 4="Excellent short article in itself"


  • This is particularly for those who want to just take lead sections of articles for, e.g., a print version - David Gerard 20:11, 22 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
  • Very good idea. Lead sections are vital in capturing readers' interest in our (hopefully lengthy) following treatise and its sub-articles. James F. (talk) 21:55, 22 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
  • great idea. Might indicate an easy way to discover articles which need cleanup in the lead section -- Mathias Schindler 19:46, 23 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
  • Obvious once I saw it; but I would never have thought of this. --TheoClarke 14:39, 27 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
    • I've been pushing this one for quite some time ;-) - David Gerard 22:51, 30 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]


Balancing coverage[edit]

  • Range 1-4
  • Relative to others of equal importance, a field that is:
    • 1="Heavily over-represented"
    • 2="Somewhat over-represented"
    • 3="Somewhat under-represented"
    • 4="Grossly under-represented"
Attempting to address "systemic bias", overrepresentation of Anglophone/high tech/"exciting" topics. Kappa 23:29, 22 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]



  • Possibly redundant with "Encyclopedic general interest"; not sure it will end up being interpreted as more than an "I like it"/"I don't like it" expression of personal interest - David Gerard 22:49, 22 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
  • Redundant. -- Mathias Schindler 19:48, 23 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
  • I think this is already expressed through stub and expansion tags. If no one is requesting expansion, and no one cares to write about it, maybe the coverage is adequate. Also, this survey is getting long. -- Beland 01:10, 25 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
    It doesn't matter if we have lots of options listed on this page - we're gathering ideas here, we can select which ones are good ideas later - David Gerard 19:42, 25 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
    Well, when the time comes, hopefully this one will be left out in favor of related measures which are less vague. Out of curiosity, is there a timeline for the process? I wonder how many criteria we'll be shooting for, exactly. -- Beland 01:49, 26 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
    A week or two at most. Brion was speaking in terms of 1.5 on the live Wikipedia by early June ... We need more options and discussion real soon. Spread the word - David Gerard 12:21, 26 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
  • Comment. Ideally, this is indeed redundant with "Encyclopedic general interest" — but see my comment there for a caveat. — mark 07:29, 26 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]

Is this the article you expected to see here?[edit]

  • Range 1-4
    • 1="Not the content I expected at all"
    • 2="Not much of the expected content"
    • 3="The sort of thing I expected here"
    • 4="Exactly what I hoped to see here"
Appropriateness of content to article title. I think this and "Comprehensiveness" would be the two we'd most like to hear from anon readers, who do after all vastly outnumber active editors - David Gerard 11:46, 24 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]

Is the question we really want to ask 1.) Is this the right article for this title, or 2.) Is this the right title for this article? (Both are interesting questions.) Should we solicit suggestions for improved titles? -- Beland 04:57, 28 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]


  • This would be interesting to get feedback on. I think a lot of our title-to-article mappings are messed up because people tend to work on one article at a time and not see the larger picture. That, and less-than-super compromises made to appease multiple competing points of view. -- Beland 04:57, 28 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]


  • You have to assume that the content-title relationship is fine. If not, someone has to move the page or set up a redirect. Both can be done more easily by simply doing it. Please don't insert more complexity when there are proven simple solutions. -- Mathias Schindler 17:59, 25 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
    It would tell us how sensible our article title conventions actually are - David Gerard 19:42, 25 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]

Did this article answer your question?[edit]

This might be incorporated into another measure, or it might be an alternative, or even a good standalone question. It could be a yes/no, or it could be a 1-4 scale. Certainly there should be a place to note what question it was that you had that the article did not answer. It might be worthwhile to know what question you had that it did answer, and how complete that answer was. In its full complexity, then, we might have:

Did this article answer your question?

  • 0 - I didn't have a question in mind when I came here.
  • 1 - No.
  • 2 - Only partially.
  • 3 - Yes.
  • 4 - Better than I expected it would, and I learned other interesting things, too.

What was your question, if you had one? (text input box here)

-- Beland 03:59, 25 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]


  • I like that - that's something we really do want to know from our readership, and is part of what I was getting at with "is this the article you expected to see here". Dunno how painful adding a text box would be ;-) Perhaps they could add their original question to the talk page, I dunno - David Gerard 17:30, 25 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
    • The test wiki seems to have text input boxes already, though I haven't been able to use it to view any validation ratings yet. (I just get a blank page.) -- Beland 01:55, 26 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
  • A fundamental question to drive article development. --TheoClarke 14:43, 27 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]


  • This is actually a good idea but it is meant for a completely different purpose. I think we could use this feature for unregistered users who have a search engine referer (which is an indication that the user actually had a question. Please keep this idea in mind, but not in this context. -- Mathias Schindler 17:57, 25 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
    • Well, I have questions for Wikipedia all the time. I get the impression that it has been decided that only non-anonymous users can validate. Is there any particular reason? I mean, we allow anonymous users to edit...so, why should validation be any different? Are you suggesting there should be a different mechanism for anonymous users? Different questions? -- Beland 01:55, 26 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
      • The feature was originally for logged-in users only, but is now for anons too. This is for openness (Wikipedia's always worked by starting open and closing as necessary), gathering of raw data and because we're not doing aything with the numbers, so 10,000 votes for Autofellatio.jpg as Best Article Ever won't actually have any effect. And data on our readership is of interest - David Gerard 12:21, 26 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]

How familiar are you with the subject?[edit]

Before you read this article, how familiar were you with the subject?

  • 1 - I knew nothing or almost nothing about it.
  • 2 - I had a passing familiarity with it.
  • 3 - I am reasonably well-read on the subject.
  • 4 - I have a PhD in the field, or I'm what well-read people read.

This may allow us to make better sense of the other ratings. It's useful to know if novice readers think the article is accurate, but well-read folks and PhDs don't. Especially if there are a lot of the former and not very many of the latter. It's also useful to know if people who are already familiar with the subject find it has plenty of context, but novice readers do not. And so on. This is slightly flawed because it is self-reported, but if people are properly encouraged ("Just because you are new to the subject doesn't mean your opinion won't count. In fact, it may be a more valuable. To help us make a more scientific evaluation, please be honest."), misreporting rates might be kept to an acceptable level. Privacy protection would also help a lot. -- Beland 04:14, 25 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]



  • Making sense of the other ratings would imply that this topic has something to contribute itself. I doubt that. It simply highens complexity. -- Mathias Schindler 17:55, 25 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]

Sexual content[edit]

How explictly does this article describe or illustrate human sexuality?

  • 1 - Has nothing whatsoever to do with human sexuality.
  • 2 - Mentions human sexuality, but not as the main topic
  • 3 - Describes or illustrates typical human sexuality
  • 4 - Describes or illustrates unusual human sexuality

While the wording of the ratings should be refined, the intent is a rating that would allow those interested in sexuality (either from a modest or a purient point of view) to identify articles like w:donkey punch in ways other than tripping over them. —The Epopt 15:38, 26 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]

The thing is, define "typical" - is homosexuality included? Why, or why not? Bisexuality? Ditto. Trans-sexualism? Again. Trans-vestitism? Yet still. Furries? etc. James F. (talk) 21:18, 26 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
How about:
3 - Describes or illustrates human sexuality in a way that I expect other people to find offensive.
4 - Describes or illustrates human sexuality in a way that I find offensive.
I know that these are too long but the spirit is what I wish to convey. --TheoClarke 14:49, 27 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]

What is this doing here? The job of categorizing articles based on their subject matter is performed more than adequately by categories. Let's not duplicate effort. --Fubar Obfusco 16:40, 2005 May 27 (UTC) 15:54, 27 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]

Perhaps just generalise them to any form of offensiveness:
Contains material that no (1)/few (2)/some (3)/many (4) people would find offensive
This isn't then categorising by specific subject matter. sjorford →•← 15:55, 27 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
One of the difficulties of the "offensiveness" discussion on wikien-l and en: is that some contributors are very eager to make claims about what "most people" find offensive, without resorting to anything resembling data. I don't think it makes sense to ask people, "Do most people find this offensive?" It would make somewhat more sense to ask, "Does this offend you?" After all, nobody has met "most people"; asking people to judge the perceptions of "most people" is an open invitation for the en:false consensus effect to ruin the results.
Another difficulty in the discussion has been the assumption that "offensiveness" has something to do with whether (or how visibly) Wikipedias should present specific content. For instance, many people have proposed that "offensive content" of various sorts should be censored or concealed from readers unless they specifically express (in ways more explicit than simply choosing to follow a link to an article) that they wish to see it. Therefore, to some people, the question "Does this offend you?" will be interpreted as "Should this be censored?" -- which is not what the question is asking.
(Some people (such as myself) are offended by particular kinds of content, but do not believe that our personal offense should be used as a justification for censorship. So if I thought that an "offensiveness" vote would be used to justify censorship, I would have every reason to falsely state that I was not offended. Others might hold political views that particular material should be censored in the public good, but are not themselves offended by it -- so they would have every reason to falsely state that they were offended.)
A related problem is that there are many articles which are offensive (in one sense) because they describe offensive happenings in history. There is no way of discussing the en:Nanjing massacre without talking about rape and torture. The word "offensive" often implies something gratuitous, or something that it is wrong, rude, or uncivil to express in public. We do not want to give the impression that we're asking people not to write about important offensive topics, such as massacres, rape, antisemitism, or torture; or that we consider these topics to be less worthy because they are offensive.
All in all, I think that the issues regarding "offensiveness" are all far, far too problematic to be part of article validation. Even separated from the specific subject of sexuality, it is still too bound up in the issue of article subject matter, and in people's personal and cultural opinions about what is polite to talk about in public ... which is not the same as what is suitable for an encyclopedia. --Fubar Obfusco 16:40, 2005 May 27 (UTC)
On the one hand, this would be an interesting topic to poll on -- but with a slightly different set of choices, namely:
  • 1 - Has nothing whatsoever to do with human sexuality.
  • 2 - Describes or illustrates human sexuality, but I do not find this offensive
  • 3 - Describes or illustrates human sexuality; while not offending me, I believe this wil be offensive to other people
  • 4 - Describes or illustrates human sexuality in a way I find offensive
This would produce data that could settle (or at least calm) the perennial claims that one or more articles offend "many" people. (FWIW, I suspect that the group of articles with the most 3's & the group of articles with the most 4's will not be identical.)
On the other hand, even if we did get data from this question, I suspect few Wikipedians would say that this data is helpful. -- Llywrch 21:26, 27 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]

I agree that general offensiveness would be a better question than degree or offensiveness of sexual content, since there are so many different kinds of offensive content. But I don't think non-offensiveness should be a primary editorial goal, since the metric will scoop in general approval/disapproval of the subject matter. So I don't think it's worth measuring. -- Beland 02:44, 28 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]

Consolidated proposal[edit]

Since time is short and these metrics are inter-related in complex ways, let me propose this consolidated form:


Please rate this article on the criteria below on the following scale:

1 - Bad
2 - Mediocre
3 - Good
4 - Excellent

Core metrics[edit]

Overall quality

  • 1 - Bad - Needs significant cleanup or contains little useful content
  • 2 - Mediocre - Some good content, but some significant defects
  • 3 - Good - Would be of excellent quality after some polishing
  • 4 - Excellent - Professional quality, suitable for a CD/DVD/print publication

Fairness and neutrality

  • 1 - Bad - Entirely partial to one point of view
  • 2 - Mediocre - Good information, but significant statements show bias
  • 3 - Good - Minor bias or partiality in some statements, but mostly fair
  • 4 - Excellent - No detectable partiality; all relevant points of view are treated appropriately


  • 1 - Bad - Essentially inaccurate
  • 2 - Mediocre - Significantly inaccurate
  • 3 - Good - Almost entirely accurate
  • 4 - Excellent - Entirely accurate


Does this article need to cite external sources? (yes/no)
If so, please rate the quality of its existing references:
  • 1 - Bad - No, false, or significantly misleading references
  • 2 - Mediocre - Partial coverage or mediocre sources
  • 3 - Good - Reasonably well-documented, but needs polish
  • 4 - Excellent - Completely documented by the best sources available

Completeness (long enough?)

  • 1 - Bad - A stub or substub
  • 2 - Mediocre - Covers some relevant points, but significant aspects are missing
  • 3 - Good - Covers most or nearly all relevant points
  • 4 - Excellent - Coverage is as complete as an encyclopedia article should be

Conciseness (short enough?)

  • 1 - Bad - Far too long
  • 2 - Mediocre - Significantly longer than desirable
  • 3 - Good - A little too long
  • 4 - Excellent - Stops just when it should (or too short)

Title is appropriate for article content

  • 1 - Bad
  • 2 - Mediocre
  • 3 - Good
  • 4 - Excellent

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Utility Did you have a specific question(s) in mind when you found this article? (yes/no) If so, please specify: (text input box)

If you had one, how well did this article answer your question?

  • 1 - Bad - Not at all.
  • 2 - Mediocre - A little.
  • 3 - Good - Reasonably well.
  • 4 - Excellent - Completely.

Appropriate topic for a global, general-interest encyclopedia

  • 1 - Bad - Should not be included in the encyclopedia
  • 2 - Mediocre - Partly undesirable for some reason
  • 3 - Good - Desirable for a reputable encyclopedia
  • 4 - Excellent - Essential for any reputable encyclopedias

Lead section is a good summary

  • 1 - Bad - No lead section, or one with no summary of the article
  • 2 - Mediocre - Not very good summary of the article
  • 3 - Good - Usable summary of the article
  • 4 - Excellent - Perfect short article in itself

Images and illustrations

Is this article missing an illustration? If so, of what? (text input box)
Could this article be of excellent quality with no images or illustrations? (yes/no)
If no, please rate the quality of the existing images and illustrations:
  • 1 - Bad
  • 2 - Mediocre
  • 3 - Good
  • 4 - Excellent

Additional metrics[edit]

English grammar, spelling, punctuation, word choice, and tone

  • 1 - Bad
  • 2 - Mediocre
  • 3 - Good
  • 4 - Excellent


  • 1 - Bad
  • 2 - Mediocre
  • 3 - Good
  • 4 - Excellent

Links to other articles

  • 1 - Bad - None, almost none, or very badly executed
  • 2 - Mediocre - Significant additions or cleanup needed
  • 3 - Good - Mostly good, but some polishing would help
  • 4 - Excellent - Navigation is optimal

Puts the subject in context

  • 1 - Bad - Does not connect the subject to anything the reader is familiar with
  • 2 - Mediocre - Vague context
  • 3 - Good - Specific but incomplete or unpolished context
  • 4 - Excellent - Clearly explains all necessary context

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