Forum:Article Rating System

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The article rating system has been around a while now, and it has certainly helped with a lot of things. Identifying silver and bronze articles has allowed us to select the articles with a lot of room for improvement, and working towards the higher statuses certainly drives people to work on them. There are some issues, about how the status is awarded and such.

My first concern is towards how the articles' status is upgraded. I feel it's time we have three pages (rather than categories), RationalWiki:Cover Nominations, RationalWiki:Silver Nominations, RationalWiki:Bronze Nominations. There'd be two sections to these pages: One where you list which articles you think are ready for that status, and people can comment and 'vote' on it, and one where you see articles which you'd LIKE to get to that status, but don't feel it is at yet. With both of these types of listings, I think it'd be very positive to, instead of shouting 'yey' and 'nay', have people generally post in the format of, "I'll be happy with the nomination once A, B, C." on the talk page of the article or the nomination page. I think it's positive to have the process take the form of, "I like this article...." and then people reply with what they think needs changing to make the article that level, then it's voted on, rather than simply throwing up and down votes around. It also, of course, will help improve our articles.

My second concern is the nature of the rankings themselves - three, simple levels. The problem is to do with missionality. If an article is to be promoted to silver status, then it must be of a topic which could be promoted to cover-status without controversy. Because of this, political and general-interest-to-readers articles often achieve bronze status, and simply stay there, without people pushing to improve them greatly. I'd prefer to see a changed system, in which articles can be ranked as top quality without a comment on their purpose/mission-relatedness. What if we had GOLD and COVER mean different things? Articles could all go bronze, then silver... without being necessarily cover-ranked articles. Then, should a silver article be promoted, it would either be given a gold brain, or a gold brain with a book over it, to be the 'cover article.' I think this'd be very, very beneficial.

I'd also like a system of nominating essays to be gold, silver or bronze. Perhaps this could be done with WIGO style voting, and the top 10% being gold, the next 20% being silver, and the next 20% being gold - thus giving a brain to the top 50% of essays. Alternatively, we could not have quotas, and simply come to a consensus on criteria for an essay to be promoted, and discuss it in the same way as articles.

I think that if we can:

  • Agree on keeping the current criteria or changing them slightly.
  • Make a formal route to article levels, rather than just promoting them at random.
  • Allow articles whose topics likely wouldn't make cover stories to become silver-rated anyway.
  • Select our best essays, and give them the brain logos.

Then we'd have a very good system.

Also, I think we should discuss the idea of looking at page traffic, and considering the ratings of the articles. If we could find a way to assess page traffic such that its ranked, and any highly viewed pages without decent ratings could be flagged up for an improve drive, that'd be splendid. DalekEXTERMINATE 19:15, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

We could have a nominations page, where suggested articles are voted on, or a system where each article has a vote based scoreOmeter (TM) which averages the last X votes, perhaps X=50. This would mean that articles are rated solely on quality, whether the are on/off topic, essays or anything else. I agree that it would be useful to have separate rankings for quality and relevance, as you suggested. InternetGoomba (talk) 20:50, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
One page, not three. Keep it as absolutely simple as possible. This is really important.
At present it's done on the talk pages of the articles themselves. Except bronze, which is unilateral driveby and sometimes a note on the talk page. Centralised nominations may be a good idea. The only functional problem I can see is snaring enough of those who would care.
Trent has the numbers, and flags popular articles on their talk pages with "please work on this article."
-David Gerard (talk) 20:56, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
Okay, one page... fair enough. I have something of an issue with numerical based voting, if I'm honest. I think it'd be better to have three or four users comment, "Good, but needs an image." or "Good, but second section needs clarifying." than to have 50 users vote on the quality - because the first approach will improve the article, and help to maintain the standards of the articles actually achieving the grades. Unless anybody objects, I'll go ahead and make a RationalWiki:Article Nominations and make it pretty; we don't have to use it, but if all agree, we can. DalekEXTERMINATE 21:50, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
I think the criteria themselves are good. Do we make bronze more difficult than just "driveby"? I could live with that. Silver is argued a bit sometimes maybe. Cover is a trial by ordeal, but that's fine. I'm happy with a central page for discussion, though I'd like to see more from those who participate in such things, e.g. Human - David Gerard (talk) 17:45, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
I'll just reiterate a point I made on the SB. The issue with using the voting system is that people would need to be constantly updating their vote. If someone downvotes and then leaves, or switches their IP or just forgets to keep checking it it will exist as a down vote forever, regardless of article quality. Therefore that is a route that will be fundamentally unworkable for this. Secondly, voting is merely like pressing the "like" button on Facebook. Nice and all, but ultimately non-constructive. If someone clicks "down" then they need to say why and what would change their mind, which would mean commenting anyway, rendering the voting unnecessary. Scarlet A.pngmoral 11:27, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
I wholly concur with Armondikov, for all the reasons he said - plus I'd rather have 3 constructive comments on an article than 30 up/down votes. DalekEXTERMINATE 13:49, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
OK, so how about a nominations page, where articles are proposed and voted on (sans up/down) and if voting no, say why not? Also, what do you think about more categories, such as Best of : Essayspace/SB/Fun, as well as bronze/silver/gold -ing all articles?InternetGoomba (talk) 17:53, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Nominations page would be the way to go. This would be how it was supposed to work. The unilateral upgrading was just to bootstrap the project and populate the levels. Now it's off the ground, we can start doing it properly! Scarlet A.pngmoral 18:19, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Could we have a link somewhere in this debate to the existing criteria for gold sliver or whatever? Without that it's a bit difficult to comment. (We do have this, don't we?)--BobSpring is sprung! 18:23, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Made RationalWiki:Article Nominations for you to see. Use it, abuse it, discard it.. what do people think? Page should probably become the hub for the article nomination stuff, and so should link to an ongoing debate or two about criteria changes and the like. DalekEXTERMINATE 19:22, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
I have added the link at the top. Scarlet A.pngmoral 19:53, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
We already have a "to do" list page, though it seems to be largely abandoned these days. Can this thing be merged into it or replace it? ЩєазєюіδWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 20:03, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, but it's clearly this one which answers the question. (Thanks ADK)--BobSpring is sprung! 20:22, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

Comments by human[edit]

Dave Gerard left a note on my talk page, which one of my friends noticed, asking for some input, for whatever it is worth.

My first and most important concern is that discussion of article content should always take place on the article's talk page. Not some random meta-page.

Second and not so big a deal in this situation is that the criteria are intentionally vague, since that is the way RW works - by judgment calls and discussions made by its editors.

What I would suggest are templates to be put on the talk pages, similar to the old "cover/(approved)" thing, that start the conversation, and add thetu (talk) page to a category. If the article is decided to be "promoted", the template is changed from, say, "bronze nominee" to "bronze nominee|approved", which would change the category.

The "nominee" categories would be the overall entry into playing with articles that are good enough or close to it, and ideally link to the talk pages, which is where all content discussion should take place. It might be possible (it definitely is) to also transclude the given talk page sections to the category listing.

In short, I don't think the page the Kaled mutant created above is a good idea, but I do think creating an automated way to collect all brain nominees into one place people can go to find them is a good idea.

Lastly, I'd like to repeat, all discussion of an article's content should take place on its talk page. It's the only place people will know to look in two years if they are curious. ħumanUser talk:Human 04:07, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

I pretty much agree with everything you've said here. The talkpage template would add the "nominee" category (i.e. "silver nominees", "bronze nominees", etc), which would be put on the to do list via dpl or linked to on template:useful links. Much better than a "random meta-page." Blue Talk 04:14, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Good plan. WèàšèìòìďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 08:11, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
We operate a similar system to organise duplicate articles. The page uses dpl to track the pages that have the {{dup}} template on it - although we do tend to discuss things on that page so it's centralised as opposed to spread over 2-3 articles. I'm all for the nomination and discussion. As I've said, we're at the stage where we've populated the levels enough to make discussion more worthwhile. Scarlet A.pngmoral 12:20, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
In addition, I'd suggest a "bronze nominee|disputed" type thing whereby articles can be discussed for downgrading. The practice I've adopted on the times I think it was necessary was to demote then discuss - so in principle you could avoid the "disputed" thing by setting it back to "nominated". However, I think the better solution would be to discuss then demote, hence a "disputed" could be useful. So in my mind it's a toss up between the simpler system and the better system. Scarlet A.pngmoral 12:24, 7 December 2010 (UTC)