CZ:The Article Checklist

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The Article Checklist is a set of notes placed on the metadata page of every article in the Citizendium. Based on these, the checklist compiles categories in each workgroup. We use these to compile statistics and to organize article improvement projects.

How it works

The checklist is part of the article's metadata, a template page that is required when the subpages format is initiated. When creating the metadata template the empty checklist fields are preloaded from the blank checklist template page into the article's metadata page (when you start a new page the {{Subpages}} template, which you are instructed to start the article with, will help you do this), and then you can fill out the checklist by typing workgroup category names, numbers, and "yes"es and "no"s.

The metadata mechanism takes that information and spits out two things: (1) data formatted in a table, on all the separate pages that make up an article, and (2) adds entries useful categories such as "Developed Articles," "Stub Articles," and many others. (See below.)

An example of the Checklist in use: on the [[Talk:John_Doherty_(fiddler)| talk page], note not only the checklist (click on "show" to see it in expanded form), but all of the "Categories" listed at the bottom of the page which are generated..

A complete list of articles in various categories can be found in

See also: CZ:Unchecklisted Articles

The technically-minded may be interested to see the series of templates starting at {{Subpages}}, which is the "engine" behind the checklist.

The blank metadata template

{{#switch: {{{info}}}

<!--general article properties-->
|       pagename = 
|        variant = 

<!--Required for checklist-->

|            abc =  
|      cat_check = 
|         status = currently no status
|    underlinked = 
|        cleanup = 
|             by = 
|           cat1 = 
|           cat2 = 
|           cat3 = 
|           sub1 = 
|           sub2 = 
|           sub3 = 
|           tab1 = 
|           tab2 = 
|           tab3 = 

<!--required for ToApprove template-->
|    article url = 
|    subpage url = 
|        cluster = 
|            now = 
|     ToA editor = 
|    ToA editor2 = 
|    ToA editor3 = 
|           date = 

<!--required for Approved template-->
|       A editor = 
|      A editor2 = 
|      A editor3 = 


The template fields

The 'pagename' field

This must contain the correct name of the article, or our system for gathering together the components of the article won't work.

The 'variant' field

This records the dialect of English which the article is written in. Currently, valid values are:

  • "AE" - American
  • "AuE" - Australian
  • "BE" - British
  • "CE" - Canadian

The 'abc' field

This ensures that articles are properly alphabetized. Therefore, specify last name first, (abc = Doherty, John), and move articles (The etc.) to the end (abc = United States of America, The).

The 'cat_check' field

'cat_check' is used to indicate whether the category list (see below) needs to be reviewed by editors. Put "yes" if you want someone to check over them or no if you consider them to be OK. This generates "category check" categories, such as Category:Philosophy Category Check.

The 'status' field

There are five options:

0. Statusbar0.png Approved article: approved by editor(s) (i.e., it has an approval template).
1. Statusbar1.png Developed article: complete or nearly so. The two main criteria of a "developed" article are coverage of all topics the article "should" cover, as well as something close to a "suitable" length expected for an approved article.
Note: an exception is long articles sourced from Wikipedia that have not been changed very much; these are not "developed" but "developing," even if they are no longer "external" articles. For a Wikipedia-sourced article to be "developed," it must have been entirely gone over by (a) Citizen(s), and the Citizen(s) must say that they have done all or nearly all the work needed for it to be approved.
2. Statusbar2.png Developing article: beyond a stub, but incomplete. An article with over 100 words but which still needs quite a bit of work before it can be considered "developed."
3. Statusbar3.png Stub: no more than a few sentences, i.e., under 100 words.
4. Statusbar4.png External article: from another source (such as Wikipedia or the 1911 Britannica), with little change. An article is not external if it has had at least three significant changes in three different places to the wording of an article. The following are not significant changes: removing unused templates, etc.; spelling and minor rewording; and deletions.

Specify them by adding the appropriate number to the 'status' field. This populates categories that could be very useful indeed for us, including categories corresponding to each of the five options, as well as "Internal Articles" (combination of 0-3), "Nonstub Articles" (combination of 0-2), and "Advanced Articles (0-1)--and for each of the workgroups listed.

The 'underlinked' field – Underlinked article?

An 'underlinked article' has none of the main expected links. For example, if "tree" is not linked from "plant" or "biology" or "botany" or any other expected "parent" topic, then it is an "underlinked article."

Mark yes/no as before. When in doubt, mark as underlinked, or get advice.

The 'cleanup' field – Basic cleanup done?

This variable, is just yes or no (so, 'y', 'Yes', 'no', etc.). It indicates that the article has gone through a "basic cleanup," which means

  1. For each article, complete this to do list:
    • Bold the article title, if necessary, where it appears in the first sentence or so of the article. Note that certain phrases, and "list of X" titles, do not need to be bolded. See Article mechanics.
    • Remove all unused (red) templates, category tags, images, and interwiki links. It might be a good idea to copy the templates and images to the talk page for people to reinsert later. Please don't remove links to nonexistent articles (unless you feel moved to work on the article: removing such links isn't part of the "assignment").
    • Add appropriate workgroup category tag(s). Please use only the workgroup categories listed under CZ:Workgroups. (Note, this page is linked on the left sidebar as "Workgroups".) If you think there needs to be a new workgroup created in addition to one that you've placed an article into, then when you fill out the checklist, simply specify: cat_check = yes to request that someone check over the categories. Also, add "Category:Needs Workgroup" (capitalization important) if, and only if there are no suitable workgroups for an article.
    • Add Category:Topic Informant Workgroup if necessary, i.e., if an article is a biography of a living person, profile of a company, group, etc.--essentially, any article that concerns an existing nonpolitical entity with legal interests.
    • Add (or remove) the CZ Live tag as appropriate. An externally-sourced (e.g., Wikipedia) article is "CZ Live" if there have been at least three significant changes in three different places to the wording of an article. Hints:
      • To determine whether an article should be marked "Live" you might have to click on the page history, and compare the most recent edit with the very first edit. Use the "diff" between those two versions to determine whether the article has been changed enough.
      • The following are not significant changes: removing unused templates, etc.; spelling and minor rewording; deletions; and shuffling text without changing it.
      • Any new article, even if a stub, is automatically "CZ Live".
      • You might wonder if Category:CZ Live is necessary, since we will be constructing Category:Internal Articles. Perhaps--but we should not remove Category:CZ Live or even stop from maintaining it well, until after we have created Category:Internal Articles as its replacement--which means, not until we have added The Article Checklist to all of our articles.
      • Articles that are "CZ Live" are internal (checklist 'status' = 0-3); articles that are not "CZ Live" are external (checklist 'status' = 4).
    • Check the "Content is from Wikipedia?" box if any part of the article is sourced from Wikipedia. To determine this, you might again have to look at the article history and look at the very first version of the article. If that has a lot of red templates and categories, it came from Wikipedia. NOTE: if, for whatever reason, this is the only edit that you want to make to an article, you have to make some small edit in the article text box as well (e.g., add a space at the end of a line--it won't show up). Otherwise your checkbox change won't be saved. Do look at the bottom of the page that there's a link to Wikipedia.
    • Hint: use page history! You should probably make a trip to the page history for most if not all articles. If you want to determine whether an article is sourced from Wikipedia, then just look at the first version in the edit history. Virtually all Wikipedia articles left in the database have templates and images (that we have not uploaded, and thus are distinctive red links). That should be enough for us to tell whether to check the "Content is from Wikipedia?" box. If you want to determine how much an article has been changed from its Wikipedia original, go to the page history and press the radio buttons next to the oldest and the newest edits, and hit "compare". You'll be able to see the differences there. We have mostly been assuming that the original-uploaded version is identical to a Wikipedia original. Note: if an article is an "external" article and it has not been changed enough to be considered "CZ Live," consider whether according to our deletion rules you should put the {{speedydelete}} template on the page (put this template on the article's talk page, please). Please do mark it for "speedy deletion," if appropriate.

The 'by' field – Checklist last edited by?

This field is obsolete; please leave it blank.

'cat1' to 'cat3' fields – Workgroup category or categories

Only workgroups found at CZ:Workgroups should be included here. This is necessary in order to generate certain categories automatically. Do include the Topic Informant Workgroup if it is on the article page--and as any other "Project Workgroups."

If a particular workgroup is needed for an article, but no such workgroup is listed on CZ:Workgroups, then please set cat_check = y (that's the next line in the checklist); and make a note of your suggestion on the talk page.

Fill in 'cat1' before 'cat2' or 'cat3'. The subpages system supports only three categories.

'sub1' to 'sub3' fields – Subgroup category or categories

This is an experimental field category and is not yet official. It will be used to add subgroup categories if the proposal passes.

'tab1' to 'tab3' fields – Experimental inputs

This an experimental category. It will be used to add one-off tab heading to the header that would be specific for one article or a small group of articles if the proposal passes.