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Am I the only one who's seeing strange "€" characters all over the footnotes? — Cheers, JackLee talk 08:17, 30 August 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Fixed, thanks--DarTar (talk) 11:41, 30 August 2011 (UTC)[reply]
One more at "‡Philipp Sorg". :) — Cheers, JackLee talk 14:07, 30 August 2011 (UTC)[reply]
re-fixed, good catch --DarTar (talk) 17:20, 30 August 2011 (UTC)[reply]

"Readers unimpressed by FAs" – what a sensational headline. Number of edits, unique editors, and editor names having an influence on the perceived quality of an article??? Without a proper assessment as opposed to some mere babbling the outcome of this study seems pretty worthless. Nageh (talk) 13:09, 30 August 2011 (UTC)[reply]

"babbling", "worthless" - did you read the study? If not, is this a valid method for assessing information quality?
I believe the subtitle aptly (if briefly) summarizes what the authors highlighted as one of the study's "novel findings" in the "Summary and conclusion" section ("The perceptions of our users regarding quality did not always coincide with the perceptions of Wikipedia editors, since in fewer than half of the cases the featured article was chosen as best. This finding warrants further exploration. Previous studies often relied implicitly on the high quality of featured articles.").
Academic research generally strives to describe the world as it is, not as it should be. Of course one can be of the opinion that the assessments of the study participants were not all well-founded, or disagree with their criteria. ("One of the participants who chose the featured article as the lowest quality article complained about the lack of images in the article: ‘Provide some images, this is an abstract concept, how can you do without visualization?’, and the others found the article too high level and detailed.") But it is nevertheless worth knowing that many readers think this way. And actually, much of the comments on WP:FAC are about formal criteria and from non-experts, too (rather than, say, systematic fact-checking).
Lastly, keep in mind that the study concerned the Hebrew Wikipedia and appears to have been conducted in 2008 or earlier.
Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 11:03, 31 August 2011 (UTC)[reply]
Note the word "seems": I did not say that the study "is" worthless. I was basing my comment on the information available as the full paper is paywalled (I would have read it otherwise). In this regard I do think my complaint was valid. It may very well be that there is more substantive reviewer feedback available in the paper (as you indicate) but if editor names and the like have an influence on the quality assessment I have a right to complain. Moreover, considering the setup of the test, if you go out on the street with an exceptional source and another one that is shorter, more easily comprehensible with colorful pictures aso. but of inferior quality people will likely prefer the latter because they don't know better. Too much detail? Heck, what a complaint is that? That's the complaint of a pupil who is forced to study something. There really has to be objective criteria for quality assessment: informative, accessible, comprehensive, balanced are suitable criteria. Having said that, I do not think that the outcome of this study is completely worthless but simply taking the outcome to state that "readers are unimpressed by FAs" is misleading and, with all respect, sensational IMHO. That's like going out on the street with a source of exceptionally high quality and expecting Joe Average to be impressed by it. Anyway, this was my thought on this and I think it was valid to present. So is yours. Thanks for the feedback! Nageh (talk) 11:46, 31 August 2011 (UTC)[reply]
On second thought, concerning the headline, I guess it's fine when read in the context. I complained about it because I have often seen narrow results being interpreted as general facts and wronggoings on Wikipedia, published as such in the general press. Nageh (talk) 12:20, 31 August 2011 (UTC)[reply]
I fear there might have been a misunderstanding about the setup of the study (and I apologize if the wording of my review contributed to it): The participants were not instructed by the researchers to use particular criteria (like, say, the number of edits in a revision history, or the nicknames appearing there). Rather, these are criteria that participants came up with by themselves. So if anything, you should direct your criticism at the students who participated in the study (and in that case, it would have merit), not at the study itself, which made considerable effort to objectively record the student's assessments and the criteria they used. (BTW, another superficial criterion named frequently by the students was the presence - not the selection! - of external links.)
if you go out on the street ... - from the paper's description of the methodology, it seems that the selection of articles was sufficiently randomized to avoid such biases (i.e. not consistently pitting a high-quality text vs. an article of lower quality but higher visual appeal).
By the way, it is worth mentioning the Article feedback tool recently rolled out to the entire English Wikipedia, as another effort to learn more about the quality assessments by non-editors. There, preliminary research found that
"... there appears to be some alignment between reader assessments and community assessments of an article’s quality. Of the 25 most highly rated articles in the sample (average rating of 4.54), 10 are either Featured Articles or Good Articles (3 Featured and 7 Good). Of the 25 most poorly rated articles (average rating of 3.29), there is only one Good Article and no Featured Articles."
Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 13:06, 31 August 2011 (UTC)[reply]
I understand. Well, the article feedback tool would not be a blind study (so to say, readers can recognize an article's featured status), and there are other problems with it, but certainly there is useful information that can be drawn from it (and may allow for a comparative study of FA quality among the various Wikipedias). Cheers, Nageh (talk) 13:20, 31 August 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Another excellent review article. Please keep them coming! --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk to me 16:50, 30 August 2011 (UTC)[reply]


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