„5 Stars at Wiki-Watch“ – How does our formal rating work?

The quantity of sources and authors of an article are our primary criteria

Preliminary remarks

  1. The allocation of the stars and the categorization is an automatic process using formal criteria. It can not replace human rating, but does provide valuable additonal evidence for it. We are always grateful for serious criticism
  2. Where Wikipedia itself does flag reliable ratings, like “Good articles” or “not neutral” these ratings have priority.

The wiki-watch-scale ranges from 0 to 10 points, 10 points equalling five stars. Two points equal one star, one point equals half a star.

We are proceeding in three steps:

  • First of all, we generate a base rating of 0 to 10 points,
  • then, we re-evaluate
  • and, in a final step, our minmal criteria are checked (killer arguments)

Basic evaluation

If an article has been rated by Wikipedia as “featured article” or “good article“, this is taken as our benchmark. Featured articles get 10 points (5 stars),  good article get 8 points. In contrast to many wikipedians we put greater emphasis on sources. This can lead to a reduction of stars (at the moment, we do not differentiate how old the rating by Wikipedia is).

All other articles are rated relatively to their length, which is measured in text portions which correlate to the length of a page.

  1. The quantity of real contributors (everyone counted only once, no robots) in relation to the length of the article text is measured. For every author per portion of text will allocate 4 points, up to a maximum of 40 points.
  2. Quantity of references: An article is receiving 2 points per source per portion of text, up to a maximum score of 40 points.

Additionally we finetune this rating by

  • Quantity of edits: Every 2 edits per portion of text results in further 2 points. The maximum score here is 20 points.
  • “What links here” , i.e. from other wikipedia articles to this article: Every such link makes for 1 point, up to 10 points maximum score .

The basic score is the total of these points, divided by eleven. 


Articles which have been rated featured or good by Wikipedia always receive at least 4 stars.

Articles which are currently “proteced” are loosing half of a point.

Articles with less then 3 sources per portion of text can not get more than 4 stars even if they had been rated featured once. Articles with only two sources in total will not receive more then 3 stars.

Articles with less than 5 contributors or less then 5 edits cannot receive more than 3 stars.

Articles with one or more reverts within the last month will see a 1 star deduction.

Articles with less than 2 Wikipedia links to themselves and no categories allocated cannot receive more than 2 stars.

Articles with only one single source cannot get more than one star.

Killer arguments

If an article

  • has receive warnings from the Wikipedia community (like “confusing”, “not neutral” or “not sourced”,
  • was protected within the last 30 days,
  • has seen reverts* within the last 30 days,

then will will give no rating at all (stars and verbal recommodation) – no matter how good the individual scores in our categories are. Nevertheless, these individual scores in our categories and the deficiency are displayed.

* reverting is counted only if a community member is undone by an other – we are not counting if IP edits are corrected (In German Wiki-Watch only reverts by editors with sighting rights are counted).

We are completing this process with applying WikiTrust: Passages of text which are considered less trustworthy are marked with an orange background. With a mouseclick (while holding ctrl and shift) on such a marked word the edit underlying is shown for further examination of the reliability.

For further questions and answers about the article review section, please see also our FAQ. Questions are welcome in English and German.

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