September 24, 2010

Wikipedia Begins Testing an Article Rating Tool

Wikipedia is now running a limited test enabling readers and users to rate articles in some key aspects. This, Wikipedia believes will drive engagement and provide valuable and accurate feedback to developers.

The basic principle behind Wikipedia is that anyone can edit or add content. The idea, when the site first launched, was to give everyone a chance to add to the world's knowledge.

In time, the barrier for entry has risen. With the quality of the content improving and with fewer topics left uncovered, only a few core contributors now add a large amount of new content.

With the ratings system, regular users will have a simple way to get involved without too much hassle.

"The 'Article Feedback Tool' will allow any reader of an article to quickly and easily assess the sourcing, completeness, neutrality, and readability of a Wikipedia article on a five-point scale," Wikipedia writes on its Technical Blog.

"In addition to being a way to measure article quality for the Public Policy Initiative, we hope the Article Feedback Tool could be a way to increase reader engagement by seeking feedback from readers on how they view the article," the post explains.

"The tool should also give editors an easy way to see where an article needs improvement," it adds.

The Feedback tool allows a reader to rate an article on several key aspects: sources, completion, neutrality and readability. Each area will get a rating of one to five stars.

This way, you'll be able to get an idea of the quality of the article at a glimpse. This comes in handy for readers, they'll know much easier which articles to trust, but it also comes in very handy for the editors so they'll know which areas need work.

The tool is now in testing on a number of low-traffic WikiProject United States Public Policy articles. Depending on the results, you can expect some version of the tool to be rolled out widely. However, Wikipedia typically moves rather slowly, so don't expect to see the ratings system on regular articles any time soon.

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