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Proposal:Editor attribution and better citation handling for editors

From Strategic Planning
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Request for Discussion / Sign-Ups

Every proposal should be tied to one of the strategic priorities below.

Edit this page to help identify the priorities related to this proposal!

  1. Achieve continued growth in readership
  2. Focus on quality content
  3. Increase Participation
  4. Stabilize and improve the infrastructure
  5. Encourage Innovation


Showing author names and author metrics alongside the article would help evaluate content. Citations and the lack of it need to be handled in more visual ways while citation templates and their complexity should be hidden away from the editors.


It would be nice if users can optionally include their real names and affiliations during the sign on process. Those who do not provide it would be attributed by their handles while those who provide their user names would be shown as authors on the corresponding page. Author metrics such as number of edits, time of joining WP and other info could be shown on the sidebar.

Citations are currently managed by templates that come in the way of readability and editability. It would be nice if better AJAX style editing of text and the ability to highlight text and assign citations would be provided. So that one can really see what content is actually cited, rather than the end citation style which may or may not actually cover the preceding content. Editors should also be able to highlight text in orange to mark instead of the Template:Cn. This kind of colour coding would tell at a glance how good or bad the content reliability is.


Key Questions

  • How might this work given that most parts of articles have many different authors who have made varying levels of improvements? (For an example, consider this visualization of page edits)? How do we display authorship without clogging up a page?
  • How would we determine what is significant authorship? Is adding a few words authorship, or a sentence, or do you need several sentences? Is it possible to draw a fair line between what is editing and what is contributing?
  • How do we begin giving credit without obstructing the sense of non-competition and selflessness among wikipedians? There are many small but important tasks (such as fixing disambiguation pages, checking references, merging pages, copyediting) which are already under-appreciated. If we are to valorize "authorship" how are we to avoid the negative effects of further devaluing all other work?

Potential Costs


See also

Community Discussion

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