Grants:IdeaLab/A better interface for finding tagged articles & adding maintenance tags

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A better interface for finding tagged articles & adding maintenance tags
Maintenance tags on articles are ubiquitous, and provide the infrastructure for cleaning up articles. But it's difficult (for new and experienced editors alike) to find a complete listing of these tags, get guidance on how to use them, and find tagged articles that need work. Let's build a better system.
idea creator
this project needs...
community organizer
created on20:33, 1 March 2016 (UTC)

Project idea[edit]

What is the problem you're trying to solve?[edit]

Maintenance tags - cleanup, references needed, this article may not represent a world-wide view - are ubiquitous across many language Wikipedias. But it's very difficult to find a complete list of these tags, figure out what you're supposed to do with them, and then find the articles that are tagged for fixing. It's a mess of overlapping categories and poorly maintained WikiProject pages, and you have to be a highly experienced editor to a) know how the system works, and b) that some options exist at all.

What is your solution?[edit]

Cleanup pages and maintenance categories are ripe for data visualization and redesign. Imagine, for instance:

  • A tool that helped guide you towards the appropriate maintenance tag to choose ("is the problem with the references in this article? YES-> "is the problem that there are no references" NO-> "is the problem that the references aren't well-formatted" YES->OK, add this template.)
  • a visualization of the maintenance categories that helped display the most highly viewed or rated articles with maintenance tags, the articles with the most maintenance tags in overlapping categories, etc.
  • A better / automatically generated cleanup page (in English and other languages) that helped generate task-lists by category, and/or displayed all the cleanup tasks

These ideas are wide-open; there may well be others. This is both a design and programming problem. I do not have the technical expertise to build these systems, so I am throwing this open to the community. Please add your own ideas for how to improve adding and finding maintenance tags!


Get Involved[edit]

About the idea creator[edit]

Science librarian, long-time Wikipedian.


  • Volunteer As a volunteer, I just plainly don't have a single clue how could I help, but I'll do whatever is at my reach to help the project since I find it very helpful for the whole Wikimedia network in general. Any hint or tip into the direction to follow in order to help will be more than welcome. So, at your service. FL0per (talk) 21:48, 15 March 2016 (UTC)
  • Developer I'm a little expert on wiki-markup. Pakelectrical (talk) 16:01, 20 March 2016 (UTC)


  • I like this idea, and would note the possible integration with "Maintenance_tags_follow-up" presented below Sphilbrick (talk) 16:27, 2 March 2016 (UTC)
  • Indeed! -- phoebe | talk 15:12, 3 March 2016 (UTC)
  • Yes - this is good. Community portal page moribund and negelected on wikipedia. Something like a mobile/dyanmic suggestbot. No reason suggestbot needs a delay. Casliber (talk) 02:49, 3 March 2016 (UTC)
  • As I wrote on the page. Like a mobile/dynamic instant suggestbot. Needs a tech person. Sadly I am not one. Casliber (talk) 02:50, 3 March 2016 (UTC)
  • Yes, but doesn't CleanupWorklistBot already do a fair bit of this: see the Tool on Labs, Sadads (talk) 15:01, 3 March 2016 (UTC)
  • @Sadads: good catch; I didn't know that existed! Very cool! So maybe a skin to integrate this better into cleanup pages on wiki & Wikiprojects? Is this getting fed into Wikiprojects now? Doesn't address the "which maintenance tag to use" issue though. -- phoebe | talk 15:11, 3 March 2016 (UTC)
  • Definitely room for improvement, and for skinning and/or integrating better into the projects. I am pretty sure someone went through and adding en:Template:WikiProject cleanup listing to WikiProjects. Its not highly visible though, Sadads (talk) 15:35, 4 March 2016 (UTC)
  • I've been thinking about this issue around maintenance tags for a while, and this seems like a great place for some redesign ideas. The one Phoebe has proposed up here has a lot of merits. I JethroBT (talk) 18:44, 3 March 2016 (UTC)
  • Support -- This is a great idea. User:Nettrom has needed to do a bunch of work to gather and maintain a bunch of open tasks for use in en:User:SuggestBot. I'd bet he has some code & learned lessons to share. A nice, clean query API to cleanup tags would make it easier to experiment with new ways of surfacing work (e.g. SuggestBot style, query UIs & other types of recommendations) --Halfak (WMF) (talk) 18:14, 15 March 2016 (UTC)
  • I myself have been facing that tedious experience of having to leave parked the edition in progress, open a new –or a pair of- tab and search the special Wikipedia page of the desired template and the proper usage of its code for that tag being added to the article previously under my focus. The sempitern left menu of Wikipedia and Wikimedia projects in general always had clearly identifiable separated sections, one of them being 'Tools', but even there I couldn't find a quick jump to a cheatsheet, a quick-reference or what could be dreamt as a swiping in-and-out menu bar with that sheet/reference on usage of Wikipedia maintenance tags. And also, leaving the tag on the article may deceptively seem to one self as a big effort and a well done job, but it doesn't just solve anything by itself. It only warns –to maybe part and not every of the readers- about what still needs to be fixed. Despite the fact of the auto-categorisation being done by the process of placing a tag of a lot of templates, not all of them can be addressed as being into a particular article. Maybe not all of the style maintenance tags do force the article where is put to be included on a list with the rest of the articles sharing that tag, or maybe they do, but I don't know the current and precise status of the inner scenario and I guess that being able to list articles in need of a particular feature will always be welcome and a great addition for busy editors. FL0per (talk) 21:44, 15 March 2016 (UTC)
  • I agree that we need better organized and streamlined ways to do follow up on maintenance tags. Sydney Poore/FloNight (talk) 00:40, 2 April 2016 (UTC)
  • Endorse. My recommendation would be first to look at all the tags. Eliminate unneeded ones, merge some like ones and get away from the giant ugly banner tags and go to more inline specific tags. We also need to clarify more specifically when these tags should be used. When we have one or two line stub we don't need the giant multiple issues banner saying the article needs additional citations, expansion, cleanup, etc. We also need to set priority criteria for some of these tags. For example, if the article may not meet Wikipedia's notability criteria, then we should address that first before doing a bunch of updates and only then have it deleted. The other problem is that there are a lot of people who add tags but hardly any that actually fix the information requested in those tags. So blanketing requests for update tags across thousands of articles isn't going to help unless you are actually fixing those problems. Reguyla (talk) 19:58, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
  • Comment I agree with the sentiment of Reguyla header tags are nonspecific, inline and section are much better. (Writers don't have ESP) It appears that a large amount of these banners are coming from a program called "Page Curation", edit summaries appear to be canned like "Added tags to the page using Page Curation (refimprove)". The quick judgement by a tagger can be subjective and uninformed, or even POV. Header tags should be very limited and require the tagger to elevate the discussion, like a WP:PROD, and the tagger should be responsible to open a discussion in an administrative area (AfD, COIN etc) to sustain the header tag once they've been removed/challenged.009o9 (talk) 09:08, 13 May 2016 (UTC)
  • There are some good ideas here. We do need to reduce the negative impact some tags have on an article, and also make them more precise so that it is easier to resolve the issue. SilkTork (talk) 06:36, 17 May 2016 (UTC)

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