RationalWiki:Article rating

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RationalMedia Foundation
Important: If you want to rate articles or change ratings, please use the HotArticleRate gadget. You can enable it in the "Gadgets" tab of your preferences.

RationalWiki has an ad-hoc rating system for articles, as described below. This is indicated by the use of "brainstars" which are placed in the top right corner. To nominate an article for the "silver" and "gold" ratings, discuss the topic on the article's talk page.

Ordinary articles[edit]

Self-explanatory. The default state of any RW article which has not yet been rated or does not yet meet bronze standards.

Significantly problematic articles[edit]

This super-special rating is also self-explanatory. Don't add it to stubs (don't rate stubs at all, actually), but add it to articles that are in dire need of attention for any number of reasons.


There are three levels of better quality articles in RW: bronze (good), silver (very good), and gold (cover story, which periodically appear on the RW mainpage).

For these better quality articles, references that are more ephemeral should be replaced with archived versions using archive.org, archive.is. The main types of references that can be considered ephemeral are Twitter, YouTube, blogs, and crank webshites. These types of websites tend to be less-often cited and appear less often in archival sites. For Twitter and YouTube, the people posting there can remove citations in an instant and posts are subject to take-downs by the site owners. Many blogs tend to not get much traffic and hence tend to fade away and not get archived. Webshites are an embarrassment to one and all, and occasionally the author realizes this and removes it. Also blogs and webshites with low traffic are likely not to have their URLs renewed, then becoming irrelevant spam or porn sites.

It behooves the brainstar article author that what is written in a better quality article is confirmed by an accessible reference by linking to an archival copy of this type of ephemeral site rather than linking directly to the site. If you want to archive an entire YouTube channel to archive.org, youtube-dl.org can accomplish this if you have sufficient bandwidth and disk space to temporarily hold the videos.

In the case of active YouTube videos that have closed caption (CC) text availability, it is useful to link to both the active YouTube site and the archived site because the CC does not copy to archive.org. This will benefit both the hearing impaired and those who do not wish to listen to cranks more than they have to.

Bronze-level articles[edit]

Add {{Bronze}} to bronze-rated articles. (List of bronze-rated articles)

Copperbrain.png Bronze: Good article

  • Article must not be a stub or very short article, and should not be tagged with any of the "articles requiring attention" categories.
  • Article is formatted correctly according to the manual of style.
  • Article contains appropriate internal and external links, categories, and references if appropriate.
  • Article is coherent and free of needless in-jokes, such as irrelevant references to Conservapedia, and the jokes and snark that it does contain are balanced with factual content.
  • The article content is original, and not largely copied (even under license).

Silver-level articles[edit]

Add {{Silver}} to silver-rated articles. (List of silver-rated articles)

Silverbrain.png Silver: Very good article

  • Article topic is directly relevant to and worthy of RW's mission (i.e., potential upgrading to cover story would be uncontroversial).
  • Article should not contain repetitive content.
  • Article is almost fully referenced with appropriate internal and external links, and categories.
  • Article is illustrated appropriately.
  • Article is free of blatant spelling and grammar errors.

Gold/Cover-level stories[edit]

Add {{Gold}} to gold-rated articles. (List of gold-rated articles)

Goldenbrain.png Gold: Cover story status

  • The topic is highly relevant to RW's mission.
  • Article is essentially a "go to" resource for the topic at hand.
  • Article covers all aspects of the topic at hand in-depth.
  • It is fully referenced with appropriate internal and external links, and categories.
  • Where necessary and possible, the article is supported by others that are of a good quality (e.g., homeopathy and water memory).
  • The cover status has been discussed and agreed upon on its talk page. This last criterion is the most important.

Behind the scenes[edit]

The templates {{bronze}}, {{silver}} and {{gold}} add the brainstar and include the relevant category for anyone browsing the site. Behind the scenes, the articles are sorted into categories via the talk page by using {{Rated}}. This template adds both a priority and rating to the talk page so they can be cross referenced using {{Rate-priority}}.