There seems to be a little bit of misunderstanding. I was talking of English 
Wikipedia and livability of English references.

I have helped a couple of articles attain GA status. We conducted a PR for FA 
status and realised some of the refs need to be changed. At GA level they were 
accepted due to YES:POV, however to attain FA they need to be changed to better 
refs. We have had to give a break and wait for such refs to come up before we 
can proceed.

Date: Tue, 29 Nov 2011 15:17:21 +0530
Subject: Re: [Wikimediaindia-l] Quality Issues with English Wikipedia

I agree partially with you, Pranav. Yes, finding reliable sources in Indic 
languages can be quite a challenge.

My own personal view is this - But while a source may be in a language but its 
utility as a reference is basically language neutral. That means a source in 
any language can be used providing you can read it and cite it. I dont see so 
many places where sources are not available in English but are available in 
indic languages. For vast majority of article subjects, english language web 
can provide all the sources you can possibly need. What is needed is NOT to 
have an attitude where anything English is painted as a villain.

Warm regards,

Ashwin Baindur

On Tue, Nov 29, 2011 at 3:09 PM,  <> wrote:

Bigno, Ashwin - you hit the nail on the head. 

One other point I dont see mention is availability of reliable sources. For 
Indian articles, that is something that can be difficult to find at times. 

Date: Tue, 29 Nov 2011 15:01:57 +0530

Subject: Re: [Wikimediaindia-l] Quality Issues with English Wikipedia

Srikanth, I find it a bit difficult to believe that the reason you said is the 
only reason why English editting stopped. It must be a combination of many 

* Retirement and reduction of editting by long term editors

* For some reason, the same pleasure no longer felt in editting.
* Hostile atmosphere, lots of rules & edit-warring.
* Switching part of effort to Indic,  Commons, GLAM, Outreach etc.
* Lesser recruitment of newbies.


Anyway, whatever be the causes, I think you and I  and all of us agree that we 
need to make WikiProject India a happening place again.
Warm regards,

Ashwin Baindur

On Tue, Nov 29, 2011 at 2:54 PM, Srikanth Ramakrishnan 
<> wrote:

Do note, we had ALL that till two years ago.Since the offline meetups have 
begun, a lot of English editors have now reduced editint to concentrate on 
outreach activities and all.


On Tue, Nov 29, 2011 at 2:19 PM, Hisham <> wrote:

On Nov 28, 2011, at 9:26 AM, Ashwin Baindur wrote:
This is a letter to all Indian editors of the English Wikipedia requesting 
discussion, cooperation and help.

Recently I was asked to give a three to four minute presentation on the state 
of WikiProject India on English Wikipedia for the session on state of Indic 
Wikipedias at the recently concluded WikiConference in Mumbai. At first I 
thought nothing about the matter, but as I was compiling the report, I came 
across statistics which would horrify any of us.

To begin with, as of time of writing this post, WikiProject India has a total 
of 90,021 articles. This is a very large number and second only to Hindi 
Wikipedia's 100,588 articles. Since all these English articles cover only India 
or some aspect of its geography, history, culture or its people, this set of 
90,000+ articles is important to all Indians, representing the largest core of 
knowledge about India on any Wikipedia project.

But all of this is not high quality stuff. User:Svick on English Wikipedia 
provides a useful service to WikProjects on English Wikipedia. He provides a 
WikiProject-wise listing of articles which have improvement tags such as 
{{unreferenced}}, {{cleanup}}, {{copyedit}} and so on. In his report for 
WikiProject India, at the following url:

you will find that of the 79435 articles in this project which were assessed by 
Svick, a total of 52077 articles or 65.6 % are marked for cleanup, with 86271 
issues in total. These are tagged with 82 different types of tags, the most 
populous being :

* Articles with unsourced statements (6815)
* Articles lacking reliable references (1989)
* Articles needing additional references (4840)
* Articles lacking sources (8970)
* BLP articles lacking sources (1297)

* Articles needing cleanup (2751)
* Articles containing potentially dated statements (9317)
* All articles needing coordinates (14571)
* Articles to be expanded (1020)

Besides this, there are 40,338 articles unassessed for importance and 20,527 
for quality, making a backlog of 60,865 assessments.

In addition, of the 90,000+ articles, there are 43,843 stubs and 10,986 start 
class articles. All these need to be developed in time also.

Besides these are a very large number of cryptic articles, articles pertaining 
to India but not tagged on the talk page with the WikiProject banner. The 
articles themselves sometimes need more cleanup tags than are marked at present.

You may have read Sven Manguard's special opinion editorial in the Signpost 
some time ago

wherein he has drawn attention to the hundreds of thousands of articles needing 
cleanup and improvement on Wikipedia as a whole.  That is exactly the issue 
with WikiProject India, as of now. 

To me it appears that - Something needs to be done URGENTLY. 

My own suggestion is that this can easily be tackled if all of us do a little 
bit every day. Many hands make light work. There are about 450 active editors 
listed on the WikiProject members page. If each of us decided to do just one 
cleanup task each day, then we can do away with 1,64,500 odd problems in a 
year. Over time, these issues will fall to negligible levels. 

Please reply to this thread with your views. Firstly, do you agree with me. Is 
there a problem or am I sensationalising the case? What exactly are the issues 
and how do we resolve them. Can we as Indians rise to the challenge and bring 
down these backlogs to manageable levels. Please  give us any ideas, inputs, 
insights or critiques that may occur to you. 

Many thanks for your note, Ashwin.  I think this is a really important 
discussion and I agree wholeheartedly with you about the need to do something, 
and the need to do it urgently!

I notice your initiative to Collaboration of the Month on a select set of 
nominated articles - and that's fantastic.  That's exactly the kind of stuff 
that needs to be done.

Here are few thoughts that I had
We need to create a sense of community and collaboration.  It would really be 
nice if as many interested editors as possible sing up.  One comment I've heard 
from some wikimedians is that there isn't enough collaborative editing.  Can we 
create some vehicle for this?  For instance, can we take some time out in 
community meetups and do a little bit for one or more of these articles?  Can 
we create some kind of mini-events equivalent to hackathons?  For instance, can 
we create an Edit Utsav every (just throwing this out as an example) on Sunday 
afternoons every week?

We need to make a start - no matter how small  Even if you choose to do 2 
articles per month for Collaboration of the Month, that's great and we should 
take it from there and slowly build up.We need to create excitement and 
momentum.  For this to happen, we need to be generous in our celebration.  I 
think every article that interested editors work on as part of your 
Collaboration of the Month should be celebrated - on this mailing list, on the 
WP:INDIA talk page, on various social handles (let's shamelessly exploit Tinu's 
vast fan following here) and maybe even in the press.

We need to have something to work towards (in your parlance, a beachhead...  
:-)).  I have an idea.  There are a bunch of discussions happening on various 
offline initiatives.  One challenge that these will face will be to select a 
reasonable set of acceptable quality articles on India.  I don't know what that 
number should be or how long it should take - but whatever the determinations 
are on both of these, what if you have these work with the offline initiative 
(which I also know is also very dear to your heart.)

We need to magnify an already big message.  One common refrain I've heard from 
many who are interested in editing Wikipedia is  the equivalent of "everything 
is covered; I don't know what to edit".  Asking folks in India to edit about 
India is a powerfully relevant message - and one that they are likely to 
intuitively connect with.  ..and as you've outlined, there is no shortage of 
articles - many of great importance / relevance.  Maybe this could be a message 
covered in every outreach sessions that community folks undertake?  [Edit] 

In all of this, do let me know if there is anything we can do to help and we'll 
do our best.  



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Wikipedia Coimbatore Meetup on December 10th.


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