Submissions/Opening a window into Wikipedia: Article assessment

From Wikimania 2011 • Haifa, Israel

This is an open submission for Wikimania 2011.

Review no.


Title of the submission

Opening a window into Wikipedia: Article assessment

Type of submission (workshop, tutorial, panel, presentation)


Author of the submission

Alex Dunkel

E-mail address or username (if username, please confirm email address in Special:Preferences)


Country of origin


Affiliation, if any (organization, company etc.)


Personal homepage or blog


Abstract (please use no less than 300 words to describe your proposal)

Currently, the vetting processes on Wikipedia is poorly understood by the general public. Wiki is often judged privately and publicly on articles that may or may not measure up to our highest standards. This leads to mixed opinions about the content, as well as sharp criticism and general distrust by the public and within the academic community. This atmosphere of distrust and misunderstanding, in turn, could complicate efforts to develop expert review systems and discourage new editors.

In order for a reader to assess the Wiki-rated quality of an article that has not achieved the rank of "good article" or "featured article", they must select the Discussion tab and, ideally, view the article rating in a header. If the article lacks a talk page, does not even have a header with a rating, or has not yet been rated, no information is provided. In some cases, multiple ratings may have been assigned by different projects. If a rating is provided, it may either link to WP:ASSESS or an assessment page for a specific WikiProject. The pages often provide little information in a format that would be engaging to the average reader. Furthermore, ratings vary between projects, and many pages are rated inaccurately. Despite the fact that sweeps and reviews have improved the content within the past few years, the higher-quality content offered on Wiki, in the form of A-class, GA, and FA articles, is not always perfect. The latter two even provide a link to WP:GA or WP:FA respectively from the article itself, in the form of a green plus or a bronze star icon. In summary, article ratings and communication about those ratings are inconsistent and offer little "reader-friendly" information about our vetting process.

If articles are to be rated, the ratings should be not only consistent, but also transparent to readers. Article assessment could be standardized across Wikipedia and all of its projects, and WP:ASSESS could be revamped to be reader-friendly (i.e. less detailed and more engaging). This could possibly mean creating a general rating system that is easily viewable to the public, while reserving a more detailed rating system for editors, which can be accessed from WP:ASSESS. Not only could WP:ASSESS inform readers about Wikipedia's vetting process, providing a window for viewing its inner workings, but it could promote more trust and understanding with the general public and the academic community.

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

Knowledge and Collaboration

Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?

Yes, pending scholarship application. (I cannot attend without a full scholarship.)

Slides or further information (optional)


Interested attendees

If you are interested in attending this session, please sign with your username below. This will help reviewers to decide which sessions are of high interest. Sign with four tildes. (~~~~).

  1. CT Cooper · talk 11:05, 21 January 2011 (UTC)[reply]
  2. Daniel Kinzler (WMDE) 14:55, 21 January 2011 (UTC)[reply]
  3. Slashme 09:34, 24 January 2011 (UTC)[reply]
  4. Sadads 16:44, 25 January 2011 (UTC)[reply]
  5. Philippe (WMF) 06:18, 28 February 2011 (UTC)[reply]
  6. JuhaV 12:14, 14 April 2011 (UTC)[reply]
  7. Vibhijain 11:38, 6 May 2011 (UTC)[reply]
  8. Mietchen 02:48, 27 May 2011 (UTC)[reply]
  9. Add your username here.