Over the week covering from 27 February through 5 March, 17 articles were promoted to featured article status. Featured Articles Director Raul654 reports that this is a record for the most new featured articles in one week. Peer review helped with nearly half of these - Tamil language, Steve Dalkowski, Bank of China (Hong Kong), Aramaic language, Penda of Mercia, Kylie Minogue, Cincinnati, Lebanon and Northern Railway, and The Cantos.
Articles that have gone through peer review have been increasingly well-represented over the last few weeks among featured article candidates. They also tend to be more likely to be successful nominations. The Steve Dalkowski article was actually nominated unsuccessfully once, went through peer review, then came back and passed on its second try.
The peer review system received a significant overhaul in January to make it more like the featured article candidates page and allow the two processes to work more closely together. Peer review is intended as a way of preparing articles that are not quite polished yet to eventually reach featured article status.
The changes to peer review included both cosmetic and substantive measures. Visually, the peer review page was organized more like the FAC page, including the use of individual subpages for each article being listed. This allowed users requesting peer review to monitor the listing they were interested in. Also, to make things more useful and manageable for those contributing, this was now expected as part of the request - failure to respond to suggestions would lead to the article being removed from the peer review process. Meanwhile, the featured article nomination process has long allowed obviously unqualified nominations to be sent to peer review, but until recently such a move usually brought little feedback.
The rest of the new featured articles, which managed without going through peer review first, included James K. Polk, Buddhist art, Bicycle, Comet Hale-Bopp, The Temptations, and Pioneer Zephyr. Also, Páll worked on several nominations related to South Africa, as Flag of South Africa was promoted along with History of Cape Colony from 1806 to 1870. His nomination of the South Africa article itself failed on its first try, but a second nomination was still pending.
New featured pictures from last week: