[WikiEN-l] Suggestion for standards for contributions to articles

Steve Bennett stevage at gmail.com
Wed May 17 11:52:14 UTC 2006

Hi all,
There is a basic problem that Jimbo has referred to, whereby unsourced
information is unattractive to Wikipedia because it brings down the
overall standard of quality. However, in an article of low quality,
any information that is probably accurate seems to me to have some
value. Moreover, I notice that at [[Template:Grading scheme]] we have
the beginnings of a system for designating that articles are in
particular "grades" or "classes" of quality.

Could we have some policy/guideline that says that contributions must
respect the norms of th e class of article that the contributions are
made to? This defines an absolute minimum for the article, and for
additions made to it, to prevent situations where someone deletes a
slab of useful but slightly POV material from a near-stub - in this
case, surely the goal of having useful information outweighs the goal
of having NPOV information.

For example: (going by the established grading scheme)

"Stub" class:
Must sufficiently define topic to allow further expansion. Must not be
libelleous or blatantly and deliberately POV. Must not violate

"Start" class:
Information must in all likelihood have been published somewhere, even
if a source is not immediately known.

"B" class:
Must have basic wiki formatting. Contribution of slabs of unformatted
text are not acceptable.

etc etc.

Given such a system, it would be a lot clearer exactly what is and
isn't "acceptable" for a given article. An article in violation of
this system would have two choices: chop out the offending material,
or downgrade in classification. It would seem to me to avoid a lot of
the awkward choices we currently have to make about leaving unsourced,
unformatted or POV material in an article, knowing that it violates
various guidelines or policies.

If anyone understood the above, please comment :)


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