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SIA Spring Workshop 2014: Anatomy of a Wiki Article

Resources for the Society of Indiana Archivists Pre-Conference Workshop for Spring 2014.

The Article

Wikipedia articles may include the following components: 

Evaluating Article Quality

Most articles are located within one or more WikiProjects, groups of editors working together on a topic or task to improve Wikipedia. One of the major contributions of a WikiProject is the assessment of articles that fall under its purview. This assessment follows a more-or-less standardized scale (the criteria may change depending on the project, but the classes remain the same):

Featured Article Star Featured Article

Good Article Plus Sign Good Article

B-Class Article

C-Class Article

Start Class Article


The Edit Page

Any page that is not protected due to controversy can be edited by anyone! There are two different editors you can use today: one is the beta editor called VisualEditor that offers a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) interface that many people fined significantly easier to use. There is also the classic wiki markup editor. There are some limitations with the VisualEditor, including the inability to work with talk pages, no support for Internet Explorer, some issues with copy-pasting, and an inability to perform complex formatting.

Activity: Looking at a Controversial Article

When issues are controversial, Wikipedia administration often takes the step of "protecting" articles that are experiencing upheval and edit warring. Take a look at one or more of these controversial articles. Look at edit history and talk pages-- who’s been working on it? What is the community consensus? How has NPOV been achieved (or not?)

The Talk Page

Talk pages exist for editors to discuss issues relating to content, layout, and mechanics of an article. Users also have talk pages where they can chat with other editors about their projects, solicit feedback, and ask questions.

View History

The article history page assists with the evaluation of the article's quality, but it can also give you insight into how an article has developed and what edits may be necessary in the future. Building relationships with long-term editors will be very important to ensure your contributions are constructive and well-received.

Peter Forsyth: Using the "view history" tab on Wikipedia


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Irwin Library: 317-940-9227
Science Library: 317-940-9937
CAT: 317-940-8575

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