Services & Software

Wikipedia readies new tool to improve reader feedback

The latest version of the Wikipedia's feedback tools is meant to transform metric ratings into real-time suggestions.

Wikipedia plans to introduce a new feedback tool allowing it to gather opinions from readers on how to improve its articles.

The editorial group behind the popular user-generated encyclopedia, the Wikimedia Foundation, announced this week that the new version of the Wikipedia Article Feedback Tool is on the way.

The current V4 version, which has been in operation since 2010, features a rating form at the end of each article. Readers can rate articles on a scale of 1 to 5 across four different metrics: the objectivity, trustworthiness, quality and completeness of the article.

Version 5 aims to further expand the feedback a reader can provide. In a blog post Tuesday, product manager Fabrice Florin said that V5 will invite editors to make changes based on the suggestions submitted by readers. Wikipedia users are also able to rate comments and feedback provided by other readers.

The Wikimedia Foundation's example of the feedback tool and user-generated comments system can be found in this article on the golden-crowned sparrow.

The new tool is currently being tested on 3 percent of the English language version of Wikipedia. The foundation plans to increase it to 10 percent by the end of July.

After the final round of tests and debugging, the tool will be released in early fall across all English language Wikipedia articles. If it proves successful, the tool will then be gradually integrated into other Wikipedia projects.