Kudpung in 2012

The “hasten-the-day” crowd will be pleased.

The new ACTRIAL report is out, and it does not look good for newbies, but then again, when did anything ever look good for newbies.

ACTRIAL also has a murky past, having first been proposed in 2011 as the brainchild of someone named Kudpung.

Article wizard

So what is actrial?

“The Autoconfirmed article creation trial (also known as ‘ACTRIAL’) is a six-month trial that ran on the English Wikipedia from September 14, 2017 to March 14, 2018. During the trial, article creation was limited to users with autoconfirmed status (at least ten edits and at least four days since registration).”

For existing users, there is no change, but when new users and sockpuppets attempt to create a new article, they are directed to an article creation “wizard”, which will step them through a bazillion questions before spitting them out into the failing Articles for Creation project.  Some wizard.

New page patrol

And the result? According to the Post-trial Research Report:

  • There was a decrease in new junk articles to be deleted.
  • New articles were shifted from Wikipedia itself to draft space, shifting the backlog from new page patrol to the already overworked AfC. The current AfC backlog is 2,404 total.

No word on whether there is a corresponding decrease in good articles created.  Maybe writing new articles is not a priority.

Articles for Creation project

“This shift of content creation from the article to the Draft namespace is worrisome. Previous research has shown that the AfC process is not as collaborative as creating content in the article namespace. It’s problematic if Wikipedia derails contributions by new users into a space where collaboration does not happen, leaving the newcomer to figure everything out on their own.”

There is also this:

“We end up deleting a lot of drafts just because they don’t have enough citations, even if the basic article is solid and has potential to improve.”


So I guess now that the trial is over, the newbies can all go create articles now, just in time for Women’s History Month.


8 thoughts on “ACTRIAL trial

  1. Oh no I think it’s funny, never heard of RAS before.

    “RAS” stands for “redundant acronym syndrome”, making the phrase “RAS syndrome” humorously self-referential”

    ..yes it was meant to be “humorously self-referential” and it was a “trial” for me as well since it was done without notice.

    I seem to remember a user that has such a name, DORD or somesuch

  2. As an official ambassador of the HTD crowd, I am indeed very pleased. There was a time there when I genuinely feared that the addition of research into the Wikipedia mixing bowl might lead to more informed decisions and an eventual reverse in Wikipedia’s long term decline. I am reassured by ACTRIAL that this will not be the case, and on reflection there was never any cause for doubt. Sucks for those who still think Wikipedia is a worthwhile project which can somehow be fixed, but I have certainly done all I can do to convince them of the error of their ways.

    The reformer’s cause is futile, their efforts in vain. Wikipedia is dying, it will die. Whatever replaces it, will have no use for its editors, or its content. Former editors will need reeducation or exclusion, content will need to be completely reassessed and thus largely rewritten. Therefore, continuing engagement with Wikipedia in any form, is a total waste of their own time, and certainly of no use to anyone else. HTD has spoken. We know of what we speak, for we have the knowledge and experience to speak of it. We are the chosen few, bestowed with the light. Come into the light……

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