Submissions/Newbies Incubator

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Title of the submission

Newbies Incubator

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Samal (in ru WP), Samal2010 (in global)

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Newbies Incubator

One of the biggest problems of the Russian Wikipedia, but probably other language editions as well, is difficulties in attracting and retaining editors. People often start editing by creating a small article that is almost immediately deleted for being too short, on obscure topic and not having any sources, copyright violation or just not looking good. After that this editor leaves disappointed.

So Newbies Incubator was created for solving the question. The Incubator has been started more than a year ago, 17 December 2009Википедия:Проект:Инкубатор/Приветствие_новому_участнику

Here are the main features of Incubator:

  • Incubator has non-indexed (prevented from indexing by search engines) dedicated namespace, where newbies can create their first articles and stubs.
  • The new editor has about 1 month lifetime for their article in Incubator now, or more, if author asks for additional (extra) time
  • New editors assistance system. 1) Set of simplified, easy-to-use practical manuals (simplified guidelines). 2) A team of experienced users that help novices in studying Wikipedia rules and practice.
    • There are elements of interactive education: newbies are given only the information which is necessary at the moment.
  • Obligatory friendly attitude to all newbies without any exceptions. At the same time, strict attitude to the quality of articles.


Quality of Editors

Newbie authors very quickly adopt with principles of the project and learn how to write articles.

The time required for an editor to get used to the Wikipedia and start writing quality articles is greatly reduced.

The entrance barrier for novices becomes lower.

Quality of articles:

The quality of post-Incubator newbies articles is even better than the quality of some articles which are created by long-term editors who didn't use the incubator. They contain categories, interwikis, templates etc.

A few "good" (e.g. significantly better than average Mainspace quality) articles were grown in the Incubator and there are some articles, which are of comparable quality, but the authors didn't want to go through the nomination procedure.


About 100 registered editors who began their work in the Incubator are now actively and constructively working in Wikipedia.

"Survival rate" of newbies' articles in the Incubator is about 1.5 times greater than in Main space.

Results December 2009 – December 2010

  • About 2700 articles were created in the Incubator during the first year.
  • About 700 of them were transferred to the Main space.
  • About 1400 of them were deleted due to various reasons. (Most of these deletions took place inside Incubator without disturbing the Main space).
  • About 600 articles were still in the Incubator in December 2010.

No conflicts!

Incubator is a conflictless domain.

The other positive thing is absence of conflicts and general friendliness in the incubator; we didn't have any conflicts both in Incubator and in the Wikipedia itself. This is important at the beginning of somebody's work in the project because it determines new editor's future attitude.

It turned out that Incubator is capable to solve unforeseen problems. For example, very recently we discovered that the Incubator is able to resolve even long running disputes. E.g.: We resolved two conflicts which took place in main space, one, recent resolved completely. The second, with longer history is being resolved but shifted from the acute to the constructive work phase.


We've had a lot of positive responses "if not for the Incubator, we wouldn't be able to stay" etc.


Incubator turned out to be very technological. 6 experienced editors (sometimes only 2-3 editors) are enough to work as mentors in the Incubator and they could serve 300-400 created newbies’ articles a month (10-15 articles per day).

If there are chapters which use organizational and technological ideas of Incubator we can have a discussion to share ideas and experience.

Track (People and Community/Knowledge and Collaboration/Infrastructure)


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  1. CT Cooper · talk 22:59, 13 March 2011 (UTC)[reply]
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