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A Wikipedia-based Pantheon; new Wikipedia analysis tool suite; how AfC hamstrings newbies

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By Federico Leva, Piotr Konieczny, Maximilian Klein, and Pine

A monthly overview of recent academic research about Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects, also published as the Wikimedia Research Newsletter.

Wikipedia in all languages used to rank global historical figures of all time

The National Pantheon of the Heroes in Paraguay

A research group at MIT led by Cesar A. Hidalgo published[1] a global "Pantheon" (probably the same project already mentioned in our December 2012 issue), where Wikipedia biographies are used to identify and "score" thousands of global historical figures of all time, together with a previous compilation of persons having written sources about them. The work was also covered in several news outlets. We won't summarise here all the details, strengths and limits of their method, which can already be found in the well-written document above.

Many if not most of the headaches encountered by the research group lie in the work needed to aggregate said scores by geographical areas. It's easy to get the city of birth of a person from Wikipedia, but it's hard to tell to what ancient or modern country that city corresponds, for any definition of "country". (Compare our recent review of a related project by a different group of researchers that encountered the same difficulties: "Interactions of cultures and top people of Wikipedia from ranking of 24 language editions".) The MIT research group has to manually curate a local database; in an ideal world, they'd just fetch from Wikidata via an API. Aggregation by geographical area, for this and other reasons, seems of lesser interest than the place-agnostic person rank.

The most interesting point is that a person is considered historically relevant when being the subject of an article on 25 or more editions of Wikipedia. This method of assessing an article's importance is often used by editors, but only as an unscientific approximation. It's a useful finding that it proved valuable for research as well, though with acknowledged issues. The study is also one of the rare times researchers bother to investigate Wikipedia in all languages at the same time and we hope there will be follow-ups. For instance, it could be interesting to know which people with an otherwise high "score" were not included due to the 25+ languages filter, which could then be further tweaked based on the findings. As an example of possible distortions, Wikipedia has a dozen subdomains for local languages of Italy, but having an article in 10 italic languages is not an achievement of "global" coverage more than having 1.

The group then proceeded to calculate a "historical cultural production index" for those persons, based on pageviews of the respective biographies (PV). This reviewer would rather call it a "historical figures modern popularity index". While the recentism bias of the Internet (which Wikipedia acknowledges and tries to fight back) for selection is acknowledged, most of the recentism in this work is in ranking, because of the usage of pageviews. As WikiStats shows, 20% of requests come from a country (the US) with only 5% of the world population, or some 0.3% of the total population in history (assumed as ~108 billion). Therefore there is an error/bias of probably two orders of magnitude in the "score" for "USA" figures; perhaps three, if we add that five years of pageviews are used as sample for the whole current generation. L* is an interesting attempt to correct the "languages count" for a person (L) in the cases where visits are amassed in single languages/countries; but a similar correction would be needed for PV as well.

From the perspective of Wikipedia editors, it's a pity that Wikipedia is the main source for such a rank, because this means that Wikipedians can't use it to fill gaps: the distribution of topic coverage across languages is complex and far from perfect; while content translation tools will hopefully help make it more even, prioritisation is needed. It would be wonderful to have a rank of notably missing biographies per language editions of Wikipedia, especially for under-represented groups, which could then be forwarded to the local editors and featured prominently to attract contributions. This is a problem often worked on, from ancient times to recent tools, but we really lack something based on third party sources. We have good tools to identify languages where a given article is missing, but we first need a list (of lists) of persons with any identifier, be it authority record or Wikidata entry or English name or anything else that we can then map ourselves.

The customary complaint about inconsistent inclusion criteria can also be found: «being a player in a second division team in Chile is more likely to pass the notoriety criteria required by Wikipedia Editors than being a faculty at MIT», observe the MIT researchers. However, the fact that nobody has bothered to write an article on a subject doesn't mean that the project as a whole is not interested in having that article; articles about sports people are just easier to write, the project needs and wants more volunteers for everything. Hidalgo replied that he had some examples of deletions in mind; we have not reviewed them, but it's also possible that the articles were deleted for their state rather than for the subject itself, a difference to which "victims" of deletion often fail to pay attention to.

WikiBrain: Democratizing computation on Wikipedia

– by Maximilianklein

When analyzing any Wikipedia version, getting the underlying data can be a hard engineering task, beyond the difficulty of the research itself. Being developed by researchers from Macalester College and the University of Minnesota, WikiBrain aims to "run a single program that downloads, parses, and saves Wikipedia data on commodity hardware." [2] Wikipedia dump-downloaders and parsers have long existed, but WikiBrain is more ambitious in that it tries to be even friendlier by introducing three main primitives: a multilingual concept network, semantic relatedness algorithms, and geospatial data integration. With those elements, the authors are hoping that Wikipedia research will become a mix-and-match affair.

Waldo Tobler's First Law of Geography – "everything is related to everything else, but near things are more related than distant things" – can be shown true for Wikipedia articles in just a few lines of code with WikiBrain.

The first primitive is the multilingual concept network. Since the release of Wikidata, the Universal Concepts that all language versions of Wikipedia represent have mostly come to be defined by the Wikidata item that each language mostly links to. "Mostly" is a key word here, because there are still some edge cases, like the English Wikipedia's distinguishing between the concepts of "high school" and "secondary school", while others do not. WikiBrain will give you the Wikidata graph of multilingual concepts by default, and the power to tweak this as you wish.

The next primitive is semantic relatedness (SR), which is the process of quantifying how close two articles are by their meaning. There have been literally hundreds of SR algorithms proposed over the last two decades. Some rely on Wikipedia's links and categories directly. Others require a text corpus, for which Wikipedia can be used. Most modern SR algorithms can be built one way or another with Wikipedia. WikiBrain supplies the ability to use five state-of-the-art SR algorithms, or their ensemble method – a combination of all 5.

Already at this point an example was given of how to mix our primitives. In just a few lines of code, one could easily find which articles in all languages were closest to the English article on "jazz", and which were also a tagged as a film in Wikidata.

The last primitive is a suite of tools that are useful for spatial computation. So extracting location data out of Wikipedia and Wikidata can become a standardized process. Incorporated are some classic solutions to the "geoweb scale problem" – that regardless of an entity's footprint in space, it is represented by a point. That is a problem one shouldn't have to think about, and indeed, WikiBrain will solve it for you under the covers.

To demonstrate the power of WikiBrain the authors then provide a case study wherein they replicate previous research that took "thousands of lines of code", and do it in "just a few" using WikiBrain's high-level syntax. The case study is cherry-picked as is it previous research of one of the listed authors on the paper – of course it's easy to reconstruct one's own previous research in a framework you custom-built. The case study is a empirical testing of Tobler's first law of geography using Wikipedia articles. Essentially one compares the SR of articles versus their geographic closeness – and it's verified they are positively linked.

Does the world need an easier, simpler, more off-the-shelf Wikipedia research tool? Yes, of course. Is WikiBrain it? Maybe or maybe not, depending on who you are. The software described in the paper is still version 0.3. There are notes explaining the upcoming features of edit history parsing, article quality ranking, and user data parsing. The project and its examples are written in Java, which is a language choice that targets a specific demographic of researchers, and alienates others. That makes WikiBrain a good tool for Java programmers who do not know how to parse off-line dumps, and have an interest in either multilingual concept alignment, semantic relatedness, and spatial relatedness. For everyone else, they will have to make do with one of the other 20+ alternative parsers and write their own glueing code. That's OK though; frankly the idea to make one research tool to "rule them all" is too audacious and commandeering for the open-source ecosystem. Still that doesn't mean that WikiBrain can't find its userbase and supporters.

Newcomer productivity and pre-publication review

It's time for another interesting paper on newcomer retention[3] from authors with a proven track record of tackling this issue. This time they focus on the Articles for Creation mechanism. The authors conclude that instead of improving the success of newcomers, AfC in fact further decreases their productivity. The authors note that once AfC was fully rolled out around mid-2011, it began to be widely used – the percentage of newcomers using it went up from <5% to ~25%. At the same time, the percentage of newbie articles surviving on Wikipedia went down from ~25% to ~15%. The authors hypothesize that the AfC process is unfriendly to newcomers due to the following issues: 1) it's too slow, and 2) it hides drafts from potential collaborators.

The authors find that the AfC review process is not subject to insurmountable delays; they conclude that "most drafts will be submitted for review quickly and that reviews will happen in a timely manner.". In fact, two-thirds of reviews take place within a day of submission (a figure that positively surprised this reviewer, though a current AfC status report suggests a situation has worsened since: "Severe backlog: 2599 pending submissions"). In either case, the authors find that about a third or so of newcomers using the AfC system fail to understand the fact that they need to finalize the process by submitting their drafts to the review at all – a likely indication that the AfC instructions need revising, and that the AfC regulars may want to implement a system of identifying stalled drafts, which in some cases may be ready for mainspace despite having never been officially "submitted" (due to their newbie creator not knowing about this step or carrying it out properly).

However, the authors do stand by their second hypothesis: they conclude that the AfC articles suffer from not receiving collaborative help that they would get if they were mainspaced. They discuss a specific AfC, for the article Dwight K. Shellman, Jr/Dwight Shellman. This article has been tagged as potentially rescuable, and has been languishing in that state for years, hidden in the AfC namespace, together with many other similarly backlogged articles, all stuck in low-visibility limbo and prevented from receiving proper Wikipedia-style collaboration-driven improvements (or deletion discussions) as an article in the mainspace would receive.

The researchers identify a number of other factors that reduce the functionality of the AfC process. As in many other aspects of Wikipedia, negative feedback dominates. Reviewers are rarely thanked for anything, but are more likely to be criticized for passing an article deemed problematic by another editor; thus leading to the mentality that "rejecting articles is safest" (as newbies are less likely to complain about their article's rejection than experienced editors about passing one). AfC also suffers from the same "one reviewer" problem as GA – the reviewer may not always be qualified to carry out the review, yet the newbies have little knowledge how to ask for a second opinion. The authors specifically discuss a case of reviewers not familiar with the specific notability criteria: "[despite being notable] an article about an Emmy-award winning TV show from the 1980's was twice declined at AfC, before finally being published 15 months after the draft was started". Presumably if this article was not submitted to a review it would never be deleted from the mainspace.

The authors are critical of the interface of the AfC process, concluding that it is too unfriendly to newbies, instruction wise: "Newcomers do not understand the review process, including how to submit articles for review and the expected timeframe for reviews" and "Newcomers cannot always find the articles they created. They may recreate drafts, so that the same content is created and reviewed multiple times. This is worsened by having multiple article creation spaces(Main, userspace, Wikipedia talk, and the recently-created Draft namespace".

The researchers conclude that AfC works well as a filtering process for the encyclopedia, however "for helping and training newcomers [it] seems inadequate". AfC succeeds in protecting content under the (recently established) speedy deletion criterion G13, in theory allowing newbies to keep fixing it – but many do not take this opportunity. Nor can the community deal with this, and thus the authors call for a creation of "a mechanism for editors to find interesting drafts". That said, this reviewer wants to point out that the G13 backlog, while quite interesting (thousands of articles almost ready for main space ...), is not the only backlog Wikipedia has to deal with – something the writers overlook. The G13 backlog is likely partially a result of imperfect AfC design that could be improved, but all such backlogs are also an artifact of the lack of active editors affecting Wikipedia projects on many levels.

In either case, AfC regulars should carefully examine the authors suggestions. This reviewer finds the following ideas in particular worth pursuing. 1) Determine which drafts need collaboration and make them more visible to potential editors. Here the authors suggest use of a recent academic model that should help automatically identify valuable articles, and then feeding those articles to SuggestBot. 2) Support newcomers’ first contributions – almost a dead horse at this point, but we know we are not doing enough to be friendly to newcomers. In particular, the authors note that we need to create better mechanisms for newcomers to get help on their draft, and to improve the article creation advice – especially the Article Wizard. (As a teacher who has introduced hundreds of newcomers to Wikipedia, this reviewer can attest that the current outreach to newbies on those levels is grossly inadequate.)

A final comment to the community in general: was AfC intended to help newcomers, or was it intended from the start to reduce the strain on new page patrollers by sandboxing the drafts in the first place? One of the roles of AfC is to prevent problematic articles from appearing in the mainspace, and it does seem that in this role it is succeeding quite well. English Wikipedia community has rejected the flagged revisions-like tool, but allowed implementation of it on a voluntary basis for newcomers, who in turn may not often realize that by choosing the AfC process, friendly on the surface, they are in fact slow-tracking themselves, and inviting extraordinary scrutiny. This leads to a larger question that is worth considering: we, the Wikipedia community of active editors, have declined to have our edits classified as second-tier and hidden from the public until they are reviewed, but we are fine pushing this on to the newbies. To what degree is this contributing to the general trend of Wikipedia being less and less friendly to newcomers? Is the resulting quality control worth turning away potential newbies? Would we be here if years ago our first experience with Wikipedia was through AfC?


PLOS Biology is an open-access peer-reviewed scientific journal covering all aspects of biology. Publication began on October 13, 2003.


  1. ^ "Pantheon".
  2. ^ Sen, Shilad; Jia-Jun Li, Toby; WikiBrain Team; Hecht, Brent (2014). "WikiBrain: Democratizing computation on Wikipedia". Proceedings of the International Symposium on Open Collaboration (PDF). pp. 1–19. doi:10.1145/2641580.2641615. ISBN 9781450330169. S2CID 248410867. Open access icon
  3. ^ Jodi Schneider, Bluma S. Gelley Aaron Halfaker: Accept, decline, postpone: How newcomer productivity is reduced in English Wikipedia by pre-publication review OpenSym ’14 , August 27–29, 2014, Berlin
  4. ^ Fenner, Martin; Jennifer Lin (June 6, 2014), "An analysis of Wikipedia references across PLOS publications", altmetrics14 workshop at WebSci, Figshare, doi:10.6084/m9.figshare.1048991
  5. ^ Ford, Heather (1 July 2014). "Big data and small: collaborations between ethnographers and data scientists". Big Data & Society. 1 (2): 2053951714544337. doi:10.1177/2053951714544337. ISSN 2053-9517.
  6. ^ Laniado, David; Carlos Castillo; Mayo Fuster Morell; Andreas Kaltenbrunner (August 20, 2014), "Emotions under Discussion: Gender, Status and Communication in Online Collaboration", PLOS ONE, 9 (8): e104880, Bibcode:2014PLoSO...9j4880I, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0104880, PMC 4139304, PMID 25140870
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Thanks for posting the article about the AfC. I have felt for years now that the AfC project is "a really bad thing", but have been unable to express why exactly in terms that will make any difference. No offense to the people who have devoted so much energy to the cause, but after talking about this with User:Kudpung at Wikimania in London, I only feel more certain that this project should be shut down completely. Jane (talk) 13:38, 6 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]

  • AfC has extreme problems, like the Signpost author I find the results on timeliness sufficiently surprising to be unbelievable without independent scrutiny. Articles that would be (or would have been) perfectly acceptable in main-space, may languish at AfC until they get g13'd. However the purpose of AfC is to protect newbies from new page patrollers (broadly construed) rather than the other way around. Many of the posts we get at Teahouse relate to AfC issues, and I certainly feel that much of the effort that goes to assist these editors will eventaully be g13'd along with the article. All the best: Rich Farmbrough18:22, 6 September 2014 (UTC).
Although a growing number of established editors are suggesting AfC be done away with, I would just like to avoid any misuerstanding that while I am deeply concerned about AfC and have discussed it with many people my solution would not to be to close AfC down. The system is in a mess for all the issues mentioned in the report although as per Rich the report got a couple of things slightly wrong. Closing AfC down would lump all new registered users creations onto WP:NPP which in spite of having an excellent, professionally designed suite of software to work with, is in an even bigger mess. The only advantage of closing AfC down completely as far as I can see, would be that it would put a stop once and for all of creations by IPs. Something was begun by the Foundation that would have been at the same time an excellent replacement for the Article Wizard and a proper landing place for would-be new creators of articles. Why we don't have either this yet, and/or a professinally engineered replacement for AfC are discussed in recent threads at WT:AFC. KudpungMobile (talk) 06:41, 7 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Not really. IIRC, the research shows that on non-English Wikipedias the unregistered users create better articles on average than registered (newbie) users, and that on articles created directly in ns0 have better survival rates. So the solution looks rather simple: enable unregistered users article creation to improve the average contribution; stop encouraging users to use AfC, to improve average editor experience. --Nemo 09:24, 7 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]
graph from [1]
This image shows some of the difficulties, the trend was downwards before AfC, and although there was a step change downwards, it is not clear that there is long term damage or benefit. Conversely the figure is per creator and we might consider that if AfC, with all its careful warnings and guidance, and the investment of significant volunteer time doesn't produce something substantially better than "Create page" then something is wrong. All the best: Rich Farmbrough13:40, 7 September 2014 (UTC).
There are two problems with the essay, which were well-discussed earlier at AfC: success and editor experience. What is success? That some unreferenced POV nonsense created by a newbie survives past 30 days? There's a false metric in the essay that any content that survives 30 days is a positive contribution. With a decreasing user base it takes longer to identify problematic content that isn't obvious vandalism and some hoaxes have persisted for years. What is editor experience? New users or IPs are able to contribute without being bitten? If we need to address their editing then their comfort has to take a back-seat to the project.
In my role as a campus ambassador I tell my students to avoid AfC because it isn't meant for registered users and it will delay their move into the main namespace. However, I'm watching them like a hawk to ensure their edits don't sour the community on WEF's outreach. Other newbies often don't have a Wikipedian sponsor and AfC (and maybe the Teahouse) is the only outlets formally charged with providing help with article development in contrast to what NPP and AfD do.
In my mind, AfC is a bug zapper that catches the editors unable to otherwise navigate the system. The bug-zapper works as well as it can stopping problematic editors from harming Wikipedia. I fully support Kudpung's suggestion to disallow IPs from creating articles but disestablishing AfC will simply move the logjam to a different set of editors. Chris Troutman (talk) 17:15, 7 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]
I'm one of the editors who would like to remove the afc system entirely. In addition to all of the problems mentioned: it encourages editors to resubmit unacceptable drafts indefinitely--G13 will not remove anything unless it's totally inactive (this is much less a problem with NPP); it does not catch duplication of existing articles right at the beginning (this is not a problem with NPP); it mentions the possibility of merging, but neither facilitates it nor exposes it to editors who might do it, such as editors of the article to be merged into (this is not a problem with NPP merge tags); it hides incompetent reviews and reviewers (this is much less a problem with NPP); successive reviews tend to be inconsistent and create confusion (this is much less of a problem in NPP)it provides no hint about what an article is about to permit screening (NPP is particularly good here); it does not permit referral to Wikiprojects (NPP does). In one key area both it and NPP have equal problems: they both encourage the use of canned reviews which do not address specific problems).
There are three possible reasons why we need some system of the sort: the one mentioned, of preventing inappropriate articles from getting in main space (but this has no effect on the articles not going through AfC; it might be better addressed by applying NOINDEX to all articles from new contributors for the first hour or so); we need to provide a space for people to work on unfinished articles (the draft space is indeed probably better than user subpages, but the AfC procedure doesn't help the articles get improved); it provides a way for COI and even paid editors to legitimately submit articles (we would need an alternative here).
It will at the very least be easier to build up NPP than to fix AfC, and I am not convinced those currently operating AfC are even willing to fix it to the radical extent that would be necessary. But the key problem affecting both is the lack of participation of experienced editors, if even one hundred experienced editors who understood the need for personal non-templated advice looked at only two or three articles a day, it would solve the problem. The effect will be to decrease work overall--the more problems we can solve at the start, the fewer will need to be dealt with later. DGG ( talk ) 00:00, 8 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]
DGG G13 is only the procedural method for cleaning out drafts that the "advocate" for the draft has lost interest in. If a advocate resubmits patently inappropriate content that multiple reviewers agree has no chance at being accepted (and surviving in mainspace) then a MFD should be started explaining why the draft has no hope of being accepted. A consensus of Wikipedia volunteers will adjudge the draft and if appropriate a admin will enact whatever consensus is established. From my experience the editors who repeatedly resubmit after being told no is 1% of 1% of the overall G13 pool. Shouldn't we be assuming good faith upon the activities of editors who remember that they had a draft that needed to be worked on? Hasteur (talk) 12:33, 9 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Hasteur, I'm wary of just how far our use of the expression Good Faith should be extended to the hundreds of drive-by SPA who drop off a new 'article' at AfC (or in mainspace} and be interpreted to mean that the patrollers/reviwers should be expected to make respectful articles out of them; frankly, we just don't have the calories. I'm all in favour of G13 and although I'm not a deletionist, I still think we pander too much to the possibility that many G13 have something salvageable. AfC is neither the RA response team nor the ARS task force (send them there if you like, remembering however, that we have deprecated the incubator), but sending them to MfD would defeat the object of reducing bureaucracy and backlogs at XfD. In searching for solutions for AfC we must avoid constantly proposing ones that merely shove the problems onto someone else's lap.KudpungMobile (talk) 22:43, 9 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]
So Chris troutman, you perform a one man "Review Board" by encouraging your charges to not submit to AfC where there are multiple volunteers? Did you consider that perhaps one of the AFC volunteers might have more experience with the content and therefore could provide a more accurate review so that the advocate for the article knows exactly what challenges they are going to face? Hasteur (talk) 12:39, 9 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, I am the review board; that's my responsibility. I doubt having my students participate in AfC (permanently backlogged) would result in their work getting better oversight than what I already provide. Each semester I reach out to the applicable WikiProjects and typically get no interaction from any of the editors there. My courses are linked on my user page; please stalk them. Chris Troutman (talk) 16:05, 9 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Method? Are you kidding, Jim? There are nearly two-and-a-half thousand Wiki projects... KudpungMobile (talk) 11:20, 9 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]
At the moment I have a script here that picks up any drafts who have a project template put on the talk page, and have made steps to try and categorised drafts, but other than that, nothing else at the moment.
I got involved with AfC because I did not like the way new editors were treated, which has been well documented in WP:NEWT (although I trust things have improved since then), and hoped it would be a nicer route into creating articles. On occasion, where a submission has piqued my interest, such as The Minories, Colchester or Rainthorpe Hall, I have tried to work with the editor and improve the draft. However, activities like this are very much in the minority.
What I would like to see is "drafting" as an alternative process for both deletion and AfC. A new article that did not meet any of the more blatant CSD criteria which have legal ramifications (eg: G10 - attack page, G12 - copyvio), or a borderline AfD (such as Little Sea (band)) could be moved to draft instead of told to get stuffed. The creator would work with the NPPer to improve it, preferably by bringing project experience in. This would replace the AfC process (and for all the posturing about a "project", I think "process" is the more correct term). Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 13:29, 9 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Ritchie, I certainly agree that process is the more correct term, but you may just possibly be forgetting one thing, and which is the major problem facing both AfC and NPP: Where are we going to get all those reviewers/patrollers from? NPPers are generally unable/don't want to do most of the tasks that are required at WP:NPP for effectively protecting Wikipedia from copyright, libel, hoax, and vandalism issues. What we need are ideas how to attract more editors - and ones of the right calibre - to the task.
You have a script here that picks up any drafts who have a project template put on the talk page - but have you thoght for a moment how that project banner gets there in the first place? KudpungMobile (talk) 23:58, 9 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Kudpung To clarify, I'm talking specifically about modifying behaviours of the resources we do have to favour drafts where practical. The AfD and CSD queues are alive and well, with numerous people willing to wipe content off the face of the earth. It's them I want to target a behavioural change.
I'm aware that the script I knocked up requires people tagging and categorising stuff, but you have to start somewhere. Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 13:01, 10 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]
User:Ritchie333: I am quite sympathetic to the idea of moving to drafts as an alternative to deletion, but we currently seem to have no sound process for doing so. A WP:BOLD move would leave a redirect behind, which would be probably undesirable. Sending an article to WP:AFD with the intention of moving to drafts would be probably met with editors saying "Speedy keep, this is articles for deletion, not articles for drafting.". WP:RQM seems rather unfitting. I think implementing this idea would require a major reform of the deletion process.
If I were to do that, I would probably create a WP:ADFV — Articles and Drafts For Verification, which would deal exclusively with notability and verifiability concerns. If you send an article to ADFV and it fails to be verified, the article is moved to drafts. If you send a draft to ADFV and it fails, it gets deleted. Regular AFD would be left for matters relating to project scope, when making a case for deleting an article regardless of verifiability. Also, it goes without saying that AFD should apply to drafts as well. Keφr 18:29, 11 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  • What the Wikipedia community does to hamstring itself is throw up nearly impenetrable walls of bureaucracy which are intended (sincerely, I believe) to help and draw in newcomers. They do not. I would never have written my first article had AfC been around. I stopped contributing to DIY because the level of scrutiny (for example, "close paraphrasing," a standard which is incredibly subjective) became the norm. If we want more contributors, and more diverse contributors, we need less process and more knowledge. Every piece of bureaucracy is a form of ownership, cleverly disguised by people who have enough familiarity to work within this incredibly complex system. Nothing will change until everything changes, and it saddens me.--~TPW 15:24, 9 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]
I too avoid the processes that require using particular templates or graphic voting symbols. I am not convinced that any of them are necessarily done that way, and everything we do with a complicated template needs to be re-evaluated for first, whether it is worth doing oat all, and second, whether it can be done more directly. But standards will inevitably be subjective at the boundaries. DGG ( talk ) 03:22, 10 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]
I am also pretty aghast at the AfC process, having written hundreds of articles prior to now and never using it before, it was suggested to me to use it when I wanted to write an admin-locked page that is presently a re-direct. My article Draft:Godwin Grech has been rejected (after almost a week of nothing happening at all), and I don't agree with the reasons... so it's left me feeling dejected and not sure what to do next. Not a good feeling and probably particularly not-good for newbies! Clare. (talk) 08:39, 10 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]
That's a really interesting piece of feedback, Clare. Simply put, you and the reviewer have had a content dispute. He thinks the redirect should stand per a five year old AfD (where it was "speedy" deleted for WP:BLP1E, not a CSD criteria and hence an abuse of the tools, but that's old news), you think the article should stand on its own merits. Quite how AfC is supposed to resolve that, I've no idea. In your shoes, I would probably have gone straight to WP:AN without going near AfC, supplied links to a few sources and request desalting. Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 12:49, 10 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]
I did offer to de-salt for User:Clare. as a seasoned article creator (User_talk:Ronhjones#Godwin_Grech), but she was happy to go with WP:AFC. Someone else has now asked for de-salting to move her article to the page (User_talk:Ronhjones#Godwin_Grech_2), which I have done. Ronhjones  (Talk) 13:51, 12 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Thank you to everyone who helped me on this, I really appreciate it. Clare. (talk) 13:52, 12 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]


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