Submissions:2014/New editors

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Title of the submission
New Editors/New Articles: Our failures
Themes (Proposal Themes - Community, Tech, Outreach, GLAM, Education)
Type of submission (Presentation Types - Panel, Workshop, Presentation, etc)
Author of the submission
David Goodman
E-mail address
US state or country of origin
Affiliation, if any (organization, company etc.)
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)

There are several routes by which new editors can write articles on Wikipedia, and none of them work well. The traditional route is that they just write an article, and it goes into the New Pages list, where it is patrolled. The purpose of this is basically to screen out the unacceptable articles. When this was the only route, about half of all articles submitted were not accepted--some immediately removed by speedy deletion, some by one-week Proposed deletion, some by discussions at Articles for Deletion. Of the articles from new editors, the proportion rejected was much higher. Normally no help is given, just a curt notice on their user talk page and a tag on the article,; only at AfD is there a chance of discussion, and the attitude there is generally rather hostile. New editors can also write in user space, and then move articles into mainspace; generally, such articles have escaped any patrol, and may or may not get noticed.

The newer procedure of Articles for Creation was designed so people can comment on the new submission, and the contributors revise them. Unfortunately this is almost always done by a form notice, which may or may not correspond to the problem, and gives only very general ideas for improving it. Many rejections are for minor problems, or problems that do not exist. The notice comes several weeks or months later, usually the editors never return, and the articles get deleted after 6 months. Very few articles get approved and accepted, except those written by experienced editors using this route. The current figure for all editors is between 10 and 20%.

There are some parts of the system that do work well: the articles for creation help desk usually give sensible advice from the few people helping there, and there are a very few people screening old submission to catch them most important ones that could be rescued. The new Draft namespace could let us start again, but is more likely to be used to just reproduce the failed systems with minor changes. The system being adopted to permit only editors with at least some experience to review should decrease the proportion of bad reviews. But there is no way of making real improvements without giving personal and specific help by experienced people.This takes effort and time, but it's the most critically important place a skilled editor can work at WP: our survival depends on continually getting and keeping new editors.

Length of presentation/talk (see Presentation Types for lengths of different presentation types)
45 minutes, longer possible, but certainly not less than 30.
Will you attend WikiConference USA if your submission is not accepted?
Slides or further information (optional)
live connection to WP
Special request as to time of presentations
This will be followed by an openspace session on Sunday devoted to discussing AfC

Interested attendees

If you are interested in attending this session, please sign with your username below. This will help reviewers to decide which sessions are of high interest. Sign with four tildes. (~~~~).

  1. Geraldshields11 (talk) 09:01, 27 May 2014 (EDT)
  2. Uncommon fritillary (talk) 10:08, 27 May 2014 (EDT)
  3. Add your username here.