How much notice the volunteers are taking of the findings though, is open to question, since they don't seem to have spotted this curious paragraph......
I confess I don't know exactly what this means, but I suspect the Wikipedians don't either. On a first look, it suggests the trial did have a negative effect, although which data set it refers to isn't clear since all the other conclusions seem to say there was no such negative effect.A key question that our study does not answer is: how are we losing promising contributors? At what point in their time on the site do promising contributors decide to leave, and why do they do so? Prior to ACTRIAL, we saw a lot of articles created by newly registered accounts. Not all of those articles got deleted. Who were the creators of those? Did these creators show up to Wikipedia during ACTRIAL but left when they were unable to create the article? Maybe these new contributors were creating articles that otherwise would not be created, e.g. articles in areas that are underrepresented on Wikipedia.
There's another seemingly major concern. The basic effect of the restriction was confirmed as shunting the workload of dealing with new articles from New Pages Patrol (checking already published articles) to Articles for Creation (approving/rejecting a draft). It has been claimed this is a zero sum game, reviewers just shift from one to the other coalface, but that's not the whole story.
More concerning than the ever presence of a backlog wherever they process it, the researchers seem to believe that the AfC route exposes new users to less collaboration, which has implications for the potential to get them addicted. Also the rate of acceptance of drafts is shockingly low (1.2%), even though these might be perfectly acceptable articles which just need a bit of basic work.
They seem to think this is because publishing a bad article immediately pushes other people to fix what can be saved, often due to the immediate threat of impending deletion, either by themselves or through coaching/haranguing the new user, whereas a crap but promising draft created via AfC is just ignored since it is under no immediate threat, and by the time you find it the creator might have given up, before finally being rejected, leaving the creator feeling alone, confused and frustrated.
This is sadly all speculation, since everyone involved seems to admit they know very little about how AfC works, down to even how to collate meaningful stats to aid that understanding (some dispute the validity of the 1.2% figure).
Something else perhaps of great significance, since the effect of getting this assumption wrong may not be clear for years to come, is that while the trial lasted for six months, they've only tested the hypotheses on the data collected from the first two months. This is apparently OK though, because the rest of the data is there if anyone wants to check it.
Overall, while this was research, which is a good thing, it was research done for people who arguably aren't all that malleable to it, and done by people who perhaps aren't all that good at it.
Much like Putin's election victory, there was never really any doubt this wouldn't become a permanent feature, since it fits the Wikipedia community's long and established pattern of accepting, via baby steps so as not to alarm the moderates, changes to the basic and fundamental aspects of Wikipedia which simply introduce ever more barriers between new users and the 'real' Wikipedians.
Next stop will of course be to raise the bar, probably to extended confirmed (500 edits/30 days). Some are saying this will never happen, but there was a time when most editors believed this would never happen (or indeed that extended confirmed would never be a thing).
Slowly but surely, they're raising that drawbridge. The justification that this is because the people inside the castle know what they're doing, are responsible, ethical, moral, neutral and indeed capable of creating high quality encyclopedic content, has of course always been utter nonsense.