Jump to content

Research:Analyzing the evolution of Wikipedia pages that make it into Featured category

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
Duration:  2019-April – 2019-

This page documents a research project in progress.
Information may be incomplete and change as the project progresses.
Please contact the project lead before formally citing or reusing results from this page.

There are pages (articles or lists) in Wikipedia whose quality passes rigorous tests done by a certain WikiProject — a team of contributors who follow general, predefined project quality guidelines. Each project sets its own categories into which pages are classified, although similarities between them exist. Focusing on three specific projects: English, Spanish and Catalan, we want to study the evolution of articles that make it into the highest quality category in all projects to try to identify patterns they may share. In doing so, we aim to gain an understanding on how these articles evolve, identifying the key aspects of their trajectory, with the intent of concluding specific behaviors that identify them, which can be valuable for the community.


One of the main pillars of Wikipedia is the fact that anyone can edit, thereby setting itself as collaborative encyclopedia. This simple fact implies that information may not be totally accurate, complete or even relevant. Verifiability is a big concern that the organization strives to maintain by promoting it actively.

However, in each project there is a team of contributors[1] who evaluate the quality of the contents in wiki pages on-demand, i.e. pages must be manually proposed by anyone willing to follow along the process. An assessment is then performed to measure the quality of the content following per-project guidelines.

Both articles and lists can be assessed, and once they are categorized by the corresponding team they may remain in this category, progress into a better one if possible or even stepped back into a worse one, depending on their evolution. We're specially interested in this study in seeing how they evolve from the very first time such pages were published up until the time they achieve the highest rating.

Quality categories in each project[edit]

Each project has a different way of managing the quality ratings. They all split it into categories though some are more specific than others. In this section, given the current organization of each project, we shall attempt to infer similarities. These matches can be summarized in the table below.

English Spanish Catalan Page type
Correspondance between projects' pages quality categories
FA-Class Artículos de Calidad Destacada Articles de Qualitat Article
A-Class Artículos de Calidad Article
GA-Class Artículos de Calidad Buena Articles Bons Article
B-Class Artículos de Calidad Aceptable Article
C-Class Artículos de Calidad Media Article
Start-Class Artículos de Calidad Esbozo Article
Stub-Class Artículos de Calidad Baja Article
Artículos de Calidad Desconocida Article
FL-Class Llistes de Qualitat List
List-Class Miscellaneous
Current-Class Miscellaneous

English is the only project that provides a comprehensive view of its rating system. The other two do not. In order to extract this information precisely we have consulted Quarry. Using different queries we've obtained those for Spanish, Catalan and even English itself.




  1. Assessing articles. In Wikipedia. Retrieved April 1st, 2019, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Assessing_articles#By_and_for_project_members