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Task Force/Wikipedia Quality/Definition of quality

From Strategic Planning

This page is a sub-topic of the Wikipedia Quality Taskforce. It is intended to provide a working defintion for the term quality that the task force will use to help achieve their directive to, "... focus on developing recommendations to improve the quality of Wikipedia as an encyclopedia".

For the purposes of the Quality Task Force (QTF), quality shall mean;

  • the ability of a wikipedia article to meet the expectations and needs of the article's target audience, i.e. the readers of the article.

The expectations and needs of the target audience are described here in terms of the requirements that the article must meet (initial requirements extracted from Woudloper/On quality).

  1. requirements of content:
    1. encyclopaedicity of content: the E-thing. Is the content at home in the format of an encyclopaedia?
    2. verifiability: is the content truly tertiary - traceable to sources? Are these sources trusted? Primary/secondary? This requirement excludes original research.
    3. neutrality: is the content NPOV?
    4. balance: are all subjects covered in due weight to their relative importance? Are sources used in weight to their importance?
  2. requirements of demand (from the reader's POV):
    1. interestingness: this requirement (not present among the contest's rules) is about what people are searching for. With other words: what is the information demand and is it met?
    2. article completeness: are all important aspects of the subject covered?
    3. degree of specialism: is the subject covered in a way the target audience understands it? On the other hand, content may also be too simple. And the target audience can differ per subject!
    4. relevance: relevance of the content for the subject (this is different from 1.1 encyclopaedicity!)
  3. requirements of form:
    1. correctness of the language: spelling, grammar, interpunction
    2. encyclopaedicity of language: no weazeling, no boasting or needlessly difficult language: the text should be straight to the point and educating (this is related to 1.3 neutrality!).[1]
    3. style of the text: is the 'wording' plain and clear? Is it 'easy to read'?
    4. structure: is the structure clear? This includes the lede and a logical division into sections/paragraphs.
    5. lay-out: is the lay-out clear? It shouldn't distract from the content either.
  4. requirements of the project
    1. findability of individual pages. Is the reader able to find the content he's searching?
    2. project completeness: the quantity of different subjects covered by the project.
    3. project balance: different areas of content have the same level of completeness.
    4. project consistency: the requirement that all pages in a project follow the same set-up or format in things like categorisation, lay-out, etc.


  1. "The simplest statements evoke the most wisdom: verbose language and fancy technical words are used to convey shallow thought." (Day, 1994)