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Proposal for new procedures at PGA/PVGA

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I need to comment here that the proposals below really refer to GA only, because it is the GAs which can most easily be dealt with by an abbreviated system described below. PVGAs would require a community discussion phase between the reviewer and the final decision. And it will be more difficult to find reviewers for PVGA. Let's deal with the simple problems before the more difficult problems. The argument for speeding up GA is based on the limited pay-off for proposers; in comparison VGAs are far more significant because they appear on the main page. [the comments in italics are by me: Macdonald-ross (talk) 19:51, 26 February 2013 (UTC)]

Hello everybody. In the middle of last year, the community discussed a range of ideas to improve our WP:PGA/PVGA process. One thing was clear from that discussion: that the current setup does not work well. It is not as productive as it should be when accounting for the size of the community, and has become increasingly stagnated.

We explored several ideas to improve the process. The first, which garnered the most input, was limiting the number of nominations. That decision has been put into effect. The current criteria is also being revised. Equally important, however, were a number of other proposals regarding decision-making, time management, motivation, and the overall efficiency of the process. The two proposals that editors felt were the most important to solving the issues above are detailed below for the community's approval.

The level of quality content on this project is often used a benchmark for calculating the overall success of the project. It is therefore extremely important that we maximise the effectiveness of our procedures.


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On the English Wikipedia, featured content forums are managed by teams of editors (there are five in total) to whom the community has delegated the responsibilities of making decisions and overseeing the procedures. It was proposed to have a similar system here, to oversee both PGA and PVGA. See above comment

There would be at least three delegates. Their responsibilities would include:

  • Removing proposals that clearly fail to meet the criteria This should be done much more often and more promptly than previously. Else, the system will clog up.
  • Closing nominations when a clear consensus has been reached Should be rephrased as "Awarding GA when reviewer decides it has met the criteria, except in special cases"
  • Closing nominations that have been open for too long without consensus Should be rephrased as "closing proposals when reviewer decides it has failed, provided no clear injustice has been done, and provided the reviewer has given suitable brief comments".
  • Managing the discussions Especially not letting proposers constantly debate and argue against judgements. That includes not allowing gaming or special pleading. Examples: An editor comments "It's supposed to be well written, but it's not" (or some such). Proposer immediately counters with "That's not on the list of criteria! The article meets all the criteria!" Or, suppose a reviewer says "There's almost no reliable reviews, and refs are just PR puffs". Proposers responds "You can't expect the same kind of references on my topic as you would get in another field. My refs are the best that can be got"! Similarly, a reviewer might comment that an article was too long or too short for the topic. This has happened, and on each occasion the criticism has been fought tooth and nail every inch of the way. The general rule should be, proposers should shut up (except for rare matters of fact) and get on with the suggested revisions. And if they don't, the proposal should fail.
  • Notifying when a decision is immanent[1]

In its initial stages, administrators who volunteer to act as delegates will be rotated on a short-term basis. Later on, once delegates have become firmly established, those who continue to have the community's support can be appointed for longer periods.


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One of the good features of the English wiki GA system is the template for reviewers. We shall need one like it, perhaps with adjustments. A good idea is to have a 'specifics' section with the nitty-gritty stuff and a more open section which allows reviewers to discuss anything else which occurs to them.

Good article candidates

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It was generally agreed that WP:PGA would work much more efficiently if a single editor volunteers to review a submission, and decide whether the item meets the criteria. In previous discussions, several editors have noted that the standards to which PGA submissions are held are far too similar to those at WP:PVGA, and that as a result productivity is far behind what it should be. This is another reason why PGA procedure should be dealt with first.

In this revised procedure, comments from others should still be very welcome. But unless there is substantial objection to it, the decision rests with the reviewer. The discussion will be closed by an administrator (or delegate), who can intervene if there are any blatant inconsistencies or attempts to game the system.

Practical matters

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  • It is likely that the flow of articles in some topic areas may be far in excess of others, and perhaps far ahead of available reviewers. It would make sense for delegates to manage the flow so that a good variety of topics arrive in the GA list, and exercise judgement over the matching of reviewers to proposals. As we gain experience, issues could be brought to Simple Talk for debate, but our basic theme should be that we have appointed the delegates, and trust them to do sensible things.
  • Check [1] for a helpful review checklist. Not all items apply to us, however.
  • The concept of lead contributor can be useful. The lead contrib. may have good subject-matter knowledge, and be able to fix content issues faster than anyone else. This assumes he/she is still active on the wiki. In any event, lead contrib should be notified if someone else proposes the article for GA.
  • In general, the purpose is to get decisions as quickly as is consistent with sound judgement. Reviewers should not burke the issue, that is, avoid making decisions. Unless there are only a few small problems, the decision should be either pass, or fail with brief explanations. This comment is written about PGA, and would certainly have to be rephrased for PVGA. Macdonald-ross (talk) 19:51, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
  1. Most of these things are what admins should be doing already. How can we explain that this system is different to the norm... Well, this is so true. Administrators should administrate. A system of "editors propose, admins dispose" only works if the admins do dispose. At the same time, not all admins have to be executive on this topic.