Commons talk:Valued image scope

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Plural/singular scopes?[edit]

Hi there, I'm having difficulty understanding the rules on plural scopes. If an image shows an example of a larger set of objects, should the scope be plural or singular? For example, if an image shows a single type of cat, should the scope be "cat" or "cats"?

This question comes from the discussion here where an image shows one type of bacterial organelle, and I'd chosen the scope "bacterial organelles". However, since this image doesn't show multiple different types of organelle, is this scope correct? I'm confused! TimVickers (talk) 17:55, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

There is no hard and fast rule about plural or singular scopes - the guidelines just say that "The image should also be reasonably characteristic of the typical range of subjects falling within the claimed scope". So in your case whether you use singular or plural does not matter: it matters only whether your example is reasonably characteristic of the overall claimed scope. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 18:23, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

When are species subscopes warranted?[edit]

This discussion has been moved to Commons talk:Valued image candidates for a broader audience. --Slaunger (talk) 10:25, 22 March 2009 (UTC)

Scopes of churches and other religious buildings[edit]

Should this Not any church is worth a Valued Image scope. Cathedral scopes are OK, but for other churches there should be a good reason, like being a pilgrimage place, being really famous, being architecturally exceptional... rule at Commons:Valued_image_scope#Buildings be changed to Not any church is worth a Valued Image scope. It should have an own article in at least one Wikipedia. --Berthold Werner (talk) 18:11, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

  • Symbol support vote.svg Support --Berthold Werner (talk) 18:11, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support Seems like a reasonable compromise that is actually a win for Wikipedia, as it is an incentive for content creation. Saffron Blaze (talk) 18:36, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support - I'd suggest phrasing it as Only churches which are the subject of Wikipedia articles can have an associated valued image scope. --Claritas (talk) 19:49, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment I think it is a good idea to allow further detailed scopes concerning religious buildings. I have always had the opinion that there can be very many VIs. It stimulates that we get diversity in our repository of images. However, I do not like the suggested formulations.
    • We should not require that an independent article exists for the building in Wikipedia. This is not Wikipedia, we serve a broader purpose! Commons is a place where we can get recognition for media for which there is not yet an article. First of all, it is not only Wikipedia, which is relevant, it is all Wikimedia projects, also future potential projects. If at some stage we get a "wikiarchitecture" or "wikibuildings" Wikimedia project we could use every single one. If a church is useful in a WikiNews article, it has value. Next, we serve an even broader purpose, as we are also a free image repository for the entire world, and there it is very likely that some external project could use images of every single church.
    • I think we should not only discuss churches, but buildings in a broader sense. I know it is churches from a few contributors, which has triggered the discussion, but it might as well have been hindu temples, mosques or shrines. In a broader sense, religuous buildings , and it doesn't even stop there. Like institutional buildings. --Slaunger (talk) 20:45, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support as above --Wladyslaw (talk) 21:41, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support to make things move and because the present rule is too restrictive, source of endless and fussy discussions (yes, I have been one of those picky reviewers). But I agree with Slaunger (content in Commons is not exclusively limited to Wikipedia uses) and I would support a better formulation if somebody suggested one. Past discussion: Commons_talk:Valued_image_candidates/candidate_list/Archive_7#Scope_for_churches. --Myrabella (talk) 22:47, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment I agree with Slaunger. I don't think churches merit special attention. Right now, the concern is with churches. Next year, it may be taverns, elementary schools, groceries, footbridges, or something else. It may be better to devise wording that is broadly applicable to all buildings and structures. VI should be a place where one may gain "recognition for media for which there is not yet an article". Our purpose is to "identify and encourage users' efforts in providing valuable images of high diversity and usability". It may be more helpful to provide examples of scopes that are generally accepted, e.g., buildings and structures that are independently recognized as historic or notable (Category:National Register of Historic Places and similar lists), those which are discussed by reliable or scholarly sources (en:Google Scholar), and those that help to illustrate notable events (en:Taj Mahal Palace & Tower). Examples that illustrate significant architectural or engineering designs or achievements (Category:Maidenhead Railway Bridge) will usually be on a list and/or the subject of scholarly articles. Generally, a scope that corresponds to an article on one or more sister projects will not be questioned, but if the article was written by the nominator, is a stub, and/or has been nominated for deletion, it may be. --Walter Siegmund (talk) 03:47, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose The article in question should be deleted, or only appears as a recommendation. Each image is a special case. Every vote is a special case. We must speak for each image. It should provide a framework for recommandtion but no constraint.--Archaeodontosaurus (talk) 07:02, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Proposition In order to amend the current guidelines in an effective way, I would like to suggest an alternative proposition for the section "Buldings":


  • Buildings, like other places, should be of more than local interest to justify a scope. Buildings and structures should have something notable. The reasons may be various: for example, a place where an historic event took place, or being the notable landmark of an area, or recognized as an heriage monument, or built by a famous architect, or being difficult of access, etc. It is always helpful to explain in a few words the reason why you think the building or structure you nominate is worth a Valued Image scope. You can do this in the "Reason=" parameter of the nomination page, in any language you want, even if English is preferable to ease the common understanding.
  • The scope should be usually written in English, but you can word it in another language if it is more appropriate, for example if the building or structure is more widely known under its local name.
  • When appropriate, the building scope can be divided in a "XXX (exterior)" scope and a "XXX (interior)" scope, thus leading to two independent VI nominations for two independent scopes. It is appropriate for a cathedral for instance, with a view of the nave and a view of the facade, but (generally) not for a castle, where inside views are less representative of the building as a whole. However, additional scopes can be proposed if some part of the building is particularly worth of interest (for instance a remarkable crypt or sanctuary).
  • In general, the VI for a building scope should be a daylight picture, because the architecture and details of a building are usually better depicted into the daylight.

Could it be suitable? --Myrabella (talk) 12:48, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

May I explain my opinion ?
First, I think it is not yet the time for a vote. We have now a lot of symbols Symbol support vote.svg Support in this discussion page, but I don't really know what is really supported...
Second, about scopes. It is the great problem of VI project, and it is unsolvable in my opinion. Nobody knows what a 'scope' is really. We all tend to assimilate 'scope' and 'category' because it is easy. I think that the VI seal is to distinguish, or to discriminate, the most valuable picture among others of the same subject inside a... Scope !
Let me take an example. Yes, I think that an 'anonymous' church like a church in Lörrach, Germany, could be a VI, if, and only if, we have at least two pictures of the same, if possible made by different photographers. Some explanation words in the nomination process could help.
If my project is to write a book about the religious architecture in the Kreis Lörrach, I may be happy to find in 'Commons' some labelled valuable images of each church. I think it is the purpose of 'Commons', and the purpose of the VI project, independent of the Wikipedias.
This opinion does not concern only religious buildings, of course.
I agree with Slaunger, our common ancestor: the more we have VI, the best it is!
I think that a VI candidate with only one 'specimen' in his 'scope' needs a special attention by reviewers, except for things like living species, minerals, or all what is 'self distinguible'. For historical monuments, we have always many pictures, and it is not a problem IMO. Btw, the distinction between 'exterior' and 'interior' is good.
I agree with Archaeodontosaurus and Myrabella (the french dream team of VI !) : beware of too strict rules. Let's decide for each picture, case after case, always friendly looking for a consensus. And please, let's discuss before strongly oppose for a 'wrong scope only' reason. Our goal, I think, is to help nominators and tell (and ask for) explanations.
Another thing: In my opinion, the VI, QI and FP labels are not visible enough when browsing pictures randomly in 'Commons'.--Jebulon (talk) 13:26, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
  1. I agree with Jebulon that we should take it easy with the votes. We have had a good tradition at VI to be able to reach a good consensus on VI matters by first discussing, then drafting a proposal for some change to the guidelines in a separate section (wich is edited by multiple editors, to get ownership), and then (sometimes) vote (if it makes sense). I think we are both having a good discussion here and Myrabella has given a good start proposal for a new wording that we could work on to reach consensus. So we got a lot of good ingredients. --Slaunger (talk) 22:03, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
  2. Jebulon, do not be so modest. You are a core member of that French VI dream teamSmile! --Slaunger (talk) 22:03, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
  3. As I understand Jebulon, he thinks there should always be more than one available photo in a "scope" for VI to give meaning? I do not agree on that as then you loose the incentive to dig up the stuff that noone has ever dug up on Commons. Having that said, it is cool to get competition within a scope as that gives better end results.
  4. I agree with Jebulon that the scope is a hard part to understand, and an often occuring source of controversy. (I do not have any good alternative suggestions though).
  5. I agree with Jebulon and Archeodontosaurus that we should be careful not to have too detailed scope guidelines. For two reasons
    1. The tl;dr (too long; didn't read) effect
    2. The more detailed the higher the risk at getting something wrong and at making the reviews robotic without using our intellects in the reviews (and that would be a waste, as I feel being in very good compny here with regards to intellect).
  6. I was wondering if one idea for solving that would be to make a very shortened "in a nutshell" version of the scope guideline emphasizing the basic idea, and then there could be a broad collection of good examples showing what is and what is not an adequate scope selected by consensus from the community. I believe examples work better for a broader audience of potential nominators and reviewers?
  7. I agree with Jebulon that a major problem with QI, VI and FP is that there is not a good way to find them when browsing our main space category structure for good photos. It has to do with the old gallery vs categories "war", where galleries "lost". Yet galleries are the only way with which we can tag this "featured material" in our category structure, but it is basically "deprecated". But this is an entirely different discussion, which I think we should have another dedicated thread for. --Slaunger (talk) 22:03, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Thanks Myrabella; I think your second point (language) applies to all of Commons, but it wouldn't hurt to reiterate it for VI in general. We encourage gallery and category scopes. Galleries may be in whatever language is appropriate to the content. Categories are in English. But, I don't think the language for the scope is specific to buildings and should be removed from this section. Under your third point (interior/exterior), do you want to mention VI Set nominations? I think they are particularly well-suited to buildings. I wonder if the fourth point (daylight) is necessary? I try to be mindful of Jebulon's admonition to be "always friendly looking for a consensus" and thank him for that. --Walter Siegmund (talk) 01:32, 15 January 2012 (UTC)

  • I have read with much pleasure, which has been written by various stakeholders. The main lesson is that we have to prove the superiority of the discussion to all the rules written.
  • The following has nothing to do with suje, t but I take this opportunity.
Scopes are the fuzzy logic. We know the principles and we welcome newcomers VI in explaining the functioning. But where newcomers learn the most is reading the discussions under the images.
For Gallery "W.S." taught me useful. They are very useful. In the future, Category will become overcrowded . The Gallery will be the entrance of outsiders who seek information quickly. We must care for our gallery. --Archaeodontosaurus (talk) 07:44, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
Hello everybody.
This picture, initial subject of this very long and interesting discussion, as been promoted as VI before the debates (about the picture, and about the question of churches scopes) were ended.
Maybe it is a "mistake", maybe not.
I think it is not the good way to do, and it is a bad jurisprudence, creating a wrong precedent.
I've sent a message (in french) to the "promoter".
I protest against this promotion. Of course, nothing was done against the rule, but it is an attack against the spirit we try to developpe.
Anyway, all the discussion above is now a non sense, I'm afraid...--Jebulon (talk) 18:59, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
That's sadly how commons works these days. Sound and documented opposition is discarded and promotion is often a case of if you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours. I've stopped nominating for VI, FP or QI for that reason. I only have my protest vote left. พ.s. 23:15, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
I disagree for part. The current problem has nothing to do with the scratched backs, IMO. It is only clumsiness and hurry. Anyway, according to the present rules (maybe they need a change, but let's discuss about), this promotion is wrong.--Jebulon (talk) 11:34, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
  • What if we simply say that any topic with a non-stub article on any Wikipedia is prima facie a suitable scope. A topic lacking a non-stub article is prima facie suitable if it is a type of topic that normally gets its own article on any Wikipedia (e.g. suitably designated historic places). In these prima facie situations, the burden of proof is on a reviewer who believes the topic is not suitable. In other cases the burden of proof is on the nominator to explain why the topic deserves its own scope. cmadler (talk) 02:48, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

Pictogram voting question.svg Question Why is there any need to place any restrictions on the scope, based on the significance of the subject? So what if the scope of a given VI is narrow, what harm does that do to the project (both VI and Commons as a whole)? These restriction may actually make VI prone to bias. I'll detail a few examples of problems here:

  1. The UK has a comprehensive building listing system. Grade II is the lowest grade of protection for buildings in the UK and Grade II buildings are "nationally important and of special interest" (emphasis mine). There are well over 300,000 listed buildings in the England, and they are by definition of more than local significance. That said some, like this, are "just" houses and will appear run of the mill (and not article worthy on WP). Protection schemes vary between nations. This may make the VI goalpost easier for some countries than others, as buildings of equal significance might be protected in the UK but not in France (or vice versa).
  2. With churches in the UK, most Anglican parish churches are listed structures, whilst churches of other denominations are normally more recent and so unlikely to have listed status. This could produce bias within the UK - as its would disproportionally favour one subgroup.
  3. Using "has an article on WP" as a gauge is problematic in a different way. We would reflect one of WP's own biased aspects: Schools. Secondary-level schools are invariably notable on WP, and are disproportionally popular subjects for articles. They often aren't very photogenic, and the architecture may be bland and utilitarian with no real variation between several schools.
  4. This sort of restriction also perpetuates one aspect of Commons internal bias: A disproportionate interest in biological images. Why allow a VI of a shot of a typical insect species, and disallow a typical church?

Clearly, the scope can become too narrow, VIs with the scope "my cat" are useless, and this would be true even if I uploaded a hundred pictures of it. I see no harm in a low barrier, as good faith users are unlikely to want to nominate things with a scope that is too narrow (like "my cat), but on the other hand a high barrier can be a barrier to involvement ("Why bother with VI, they won't accept my picture of this interesting thing?").--Nilfanion (talk) 12:17, 29 February 2012 (UTC)


Are there any options for delisting valued images? I found one set Valued image set: Abies koreana (Korean Fir) where the specimen shown is not typical of the species, with abnormal stunted growth due to poor growing conditions. - MPF (talk) 14:58, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

According to Commons:Valued image candidates, "Once a candidate achieves VI or VIS status it can normally be demoted only if some better candidate replaces it during an MVR." I would interpret the word "normally" to mean that, where an image or set is objectively inappropriate (e.g. if the photos were not, in fact, Abies koreana), it can be demoted without a replacement, but where it is subjective (as I think this case may be) it would need to be reviewed against a competing image/set. Do you feel that all the images in the set should be rejected, or is it only the first (marked "Habitus")? Perhaps you could propose a better set, and we can do a Most Valued Set Review? cmadler (talk) 15:21, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

Domain-specific scope guidelines: animals and plants[edit]

Suggested addition: the specimen selected should normally be in its natural environment (i.e., not captive in a zoo or cultivated in a garden). - MPF (talk) 14:58, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

Could you please explain why you make this suggestion?--Jebulon (talk) 21:18, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
A captive or cultivated specimen outside of its natural environment almost by default fails criterion 1 "Is the most valuable illustration of its kind on Wikimedia Commons" and doesn't do well on criterion 3 "Must illustrate its subject well". Obviously there will be exceptions, e.g. if the image is specifically to show a zoo or a garden, but for a species, its ecology and associations are a very important part of its being, and this is not shown by zoo or garden specimens. - MPF (talk) 22:09, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
I have no doubt that this proposal part of a good intension, but it seems to me to be the germ of new sterile discussions. If there is a place for discussion: it is under the images that are available vote. --Archaeodontosaurus (talk) 17:57, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
Just a question on this suggestion: What to do with the cultivars subspecies and fossils ? --PierreSelim (talk) 11:05, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
Ditto, we discuss, in a piecemeal --Archaeodontosaurus (talk) 13:11, 3 February 2012 (UTC)

Buildings guidelines[edit]

The current guidelines suggest that in general at most one scope per building is justified. However, I am seeing floods of nominations of "XXX viewed from (direction)" where the same building is nominated with north, east, and north-east, say, and nothing really significantly differing between the views. Within the linked category there is usually only one image taken from the specific direction (hence it is indeed the best within the scope, and it looks like many such cases are quickly supported), but what is the use of so narrow a scope? (The apparent use is: A photographer wants all his pictures IV'ed). I tend to mass-oppose to such cases - at least when multiple viewing angles are nominated in parallel, but maybe it should be done in general (i.e. even with single nominations).

I suggest that a hint about viewing directons be added, namely that sub-scopes by viewing angle are deprecated (unless something significantly differs) should be added to the guidelines (provided my interpretation is correct).--Hagman (talk) 02:53, 21 September 2014 (UTC)

  • A building like an animal must be described in all its faces. The current consensus should not be changed. --Archaeodontosaurus (talk) 06:41, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

Utter dubious rubber-stamping of self-nominated images[edit]

A valued image for a given scope is supposed to represent the best image for a plausible search. A scope consisting of, say, less than five images is not broad enough to justify the review time, no matter how good the photo is. Notably the "best of one" is by definition also the "worst of one", even if it's a POTY. This should not be some kind of self-promotion for categories with one image made up out of thin air. –Be..anyone (talk) 23:07, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Sorry but I do not understand the question. My English level is too low and machine translation gives incomprehensible things. --Archaeodontosaurus (talk) 06:47, 27 January 2015 (UTC)