Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard

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Welcome to the reliable sources noticeboard. This page is for posting questions regarding whether particular sources are reliable in context.
Before posting, please check the archives for prior discussions of the source. If after reviewing, you feel a new post is warranted, please be sure to include the following information, if available:
  • Links to past discussion of the source on this board.
  • Source. The book or web page being used as the source. For a book, include the author, title, publisher, page number, etc. For an online source, please include links. For example: [].
  • Article. The Wikipedia article(s) in which the source is being used. For example: [[Article name]].
  • Content. The exact statement(s) in the article that the source supports. Please supply a diff, or put the content inside block quotes. For example: <blockquote>text</blockquote>. Many sources are reliable for statement "X," but unreliable for statement "Y".
While we attempt to offer a second opinion, and the consensus of several editors can generally be relied upon, answers are not official policy.
Please focus your attention on the reliability of a source. This is not the place to discuss other issues, such as editor conduct. Please see dispute resolution for issues other than reliability.
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The article Ambazonia doesn't provide verified source

1. Source. 2. Article. 3. Content ... (b) President Paul Biya is [also] guilty of treason for furthering and completing the treason of Ahidjo by bringing about the secession of the first defendant (East Cameroon) from the United Republic of Cameroon on February 4, 1984, reinstating its name "Republic of Cameroon" which had not been used since January 10, 1961. (c) That the break-away Republic of Cameroon continues, illegally and forcibly occupy the territory of the first plaintiff, which means the first defendant is guilty of an international offence of aggression and annexation, (d) The report made the Restoration of the statehood of the first plaintiff the starting point of restoration of legality.

My Observation: While i reading articles on cameroon actuality, i was redirected on the ambazonia wikipedia page, but, the information provided by the page doesn't provide verified source. i'm a citizen, and think that an encyclopedia must provide right information.

Beall's List resurrected and maintained


Are books by an ex-Nazi writer of fringe books on Atlantis, etc RS for military history?

I raised this at the MilHist talk page 3 1/2 years ago.[1] There I wrote "I just came across The Axis Air Forces:Flying in Support of the German Luftwaffe by Frank Joseph. ABC-CLIO describes him[2] as "professor of world archaeology with Japan's Savant Institute, and recipient of the Midwest Epigraphic Society's Victor Moseley Award. His published works include more than 20 books in as many foreign editions, such as Mussolini's War: Fascist Italy's Military Struggles from Africa and Western Europe to the Mediterranean and Soviet Union 1935–45." Impressive, right? At face value, certainly sounds like a reliable source if you don't question it. But leaving aside the fact that the Savant Institute only seems to be mentioned on the web in connection with Joseph, we know Joseph better as Frank Collin, ex-Nazi and writer of New Age and fringe archaeology material. Descriptions of him by the publisher of his other two books, Helion, are equally or even more misleading."

Sadly he is still being used in almost 20 articles[3][4] although there was more or less agreement with me. I'll ping them and notify MilHist. @Brigade Piron, Sturmvogel 66, Andrew Gray, and Nick-D:. Doug Weller talk 17:25, 13 November 2017 (UTC)

No, they're not. Volunteer Marek  17:29, 13 November 2017 (UTC)
Any use of the books or other writings by this thoroughly discredited author are either sadly naive or POV-pushing. Either way, they should be removed. Even where the material cited is non-controversial (e.g., Focke-Achgelis Fa 223) there are almost certainly better sources. Eggishorn (talk) (contrib) 17:55, 13 November 2017 (UTC)
The moral questions aside, and that is a great big heap of moral questions, this isn't like using, say, a former SS writer on German weaponry, or Bigeard on interrogation tactics, etc. And it's not just the fact that several categories of his writing are lunatic fringe, albeit in different lunatic fringes. It's someone who wrote, over his whole career, to a selected commercial audience...i.e., potboilers. That sort of thing is never any use, except for locating better sources, with the other baggage putting the nails in its coffin. The problems with it, IOW, go beyond the squicky sleaze, and that might have already been enough on its own. Anmccaff (talk) 18:34, 13 November 2017 (UTC)
These are clearly inappropriate sources; thank you, Doug, for noticing them and bringing them to attention. Please let me know if you encounter any issues while cleaning them up. MastCell Talk 18:46, 13 November 2017 (UTC)
We should avoid rejecting him as a partly Jewish nazi convicted child molester with some fringe views, but rather judge his milhist work by its reception, which seems negative.Icewhiz (talk) 19:00, 13 November 2017 (UTC)
Comment in addition to the aircraft and submarine facts of questionable accuracy, Joseph describes the Italian Vendetta battalion as fighting well at Anzio. From other sources it appears its companies did, but dispersed among German units. That's not a trivial difference. Anmccaff (talk) 19:25, 13 November 2017 (UTC)
No, these should all be cut. Neutralitytalk 01:53, 14 November 2017 (UTC)

"rejecting him as a partly Jewish nazi convicted child molester with some fringe views"

The neo-Nazism and the child molestation have little to do with his writings. But most of his writings have to do with the historicity of Atlantis and Lemuria, and theories about pre-Columbian colonization of the Americas. He is at best a fringe historian, if not a writer of pseudohistory. Dimadick (talk) 08:44, 14 November 2017 (UTC)

His track record as an author is terrible. I don't see how he could suddenly transform himself into a historian. He's been a big proponent of the hoax Burrows Cave which managed to earn him the disapproval of a number of pseudohistorians as being transparently a fraud. He's got a 2016 book called Our Dolphin Ancestors[5] - why should we trust someone who writes such nonsense to write good military history? There's also an article in the very respected Antiquity (journal) which discusses him.[6] Doug Weller talk 13:57, 14 November 2017 (UTC)
Dolphin ancestors? Did you come across that book by accident? Or was it on porpoise? Only in death does duty end (talk) 17:42, 14 November 2017 (UTC)
I've gone through and removed the references to the two books Doug identified, as best as I've been able to find them. Parsecboy (talk) 17:52, 14 November 2017 (UTC)
Based on the links and the discussion here, it doesn't seem that this guy is much of a reliable source for virtually anything. There might be specific cases where claims in other specific topic areas would need individual evaluation, but this is pretty much a no brainer, and should effectively be a blanket ban on using him as a source. I don't care what about the details of his life, but this is like citing Giorgio A. Tsoukalas. He's clearly not a reliable source, and WP:FRINGE,
Thank you for noticing this, Doug, and thank you to those involved in cleaning up these references. . Quinto Simmaco (talk) 01:41, 15 November 2017 (UTC)
The issue here is probably how reliable sources judge this person's historial writing. Have experts in the field and/or professional reviewers judged the books reliable? There are a number of instances where the early works of good historians who later became sloppy or went fringe are still considered reliable, and I guess that the reverse applies. From the above, this doesn't seem to be the case here. Nick-D (talk) 03:51, 17 November 2017 (UTC)
I take a different view. Frank Joseph's book was published by Praeger Publishing, which is the general interest imprint of the Greenwood Publishing Group, a prominent educational publisher. Presumably they thought the book was sufficiently accurate to publish. And note they don't publish books on Atlantis or the occult. While this is an extreme example, we could open the floodgates to challenges of lots of books and articles from reliable publishers based on other things their writers have done or published or said. TFD (talk) 00:41, 18 November 2017 (UTC)

Mind Control

In our article at Project MKUltra#Revelation I found this:

In 1973, amid a government-wide panic caused by Watergate, CIA Director Richard Helms ordered all MKUltra files destroyed.[1]


  1. ^ Elizabeth Nickson (October 16, 1994). "MIND CONTROL: MY MOTHER, THE CIA AND LSD". The Observer. 

This appears to be this source:

Is this source reliable for establishing this claim? --Guy Macon (talk) 16:28, 14 November 2017 (UTC)

Not for an assertion of fact. Could easily be wrong. Alexbrn (talk) 16:33, 14 November 2017 (UTC)
Probably better to remove the phrase about Watergate-related "panic" and just use the Washington Post as a source: "Former CIA director Richard Helms had ordered papers concerning the experiments in Montreal destroyed in 1973, but in 1977, acting on a Freedom of Information Act request by writer John Marks, then-CIA director Adm. Stansfield Turner announced that some files had not been destroyed". [7]. - LuckyLouie (talk) 18:25, 14 November 2017 (UTC)
Good shout. This is a project that attracts conspiracist nutjobs like flies to shit. Guy (Help!) 10:47, 16 November 2017 (UTC)

Hot Mess Press

After having an edit dismissed on the assumption that my source "doesn't fact check," I reached out to the source via their contact page and received the following link via email: -- In reference to The note on a recent deletion of my content was to "take it up" here. Not sure what that means exactly, so here I am to "take it up?"Analyst737 (talk) 17:10, 14 November 2017 (UTC)

First, it's a website that's so poorly organized that their prominent "Disclaimer" link at the bottom of each page is not linked to any information.
As far as I can tell, is run by and , used for promotion and finding clients.
I can find no evidence that has "reputation for fact-checking and accuracy". --Ronz (talk) 17:42, 14 November 2017 (UTC)
You are engaged in persistent attempts to whitewash the biography of a well-documented charlatan. That's not a great idea. Gittleman is wrong, that is not Wikipedia's problem to fix. Guy (Help!) 15:20, 16 November 2017 (UTC)


Is [8] a reliable source to show that Emmerson Mnangagwa is now President of Zimbabwe? 2017 Zimbabwean coup d'état, Robert Mugabe and Zimbabwe are also pages where the result of this discussion will be of interest. power~enwiki (π, ν) 23:12, 15 November 2017 (UTC)

Unless we have multiple, independent sources to the same conclusion, I don't think it's reliable right now. Kiteinthewind Leave a message! 02:18, 16 November 2017 (UTC)
Wait. Whomever is president post-coup is always in legal / diplomatic / legistlative / policing / combat flux.Icewhiz (talk) 11:04, 16 November 2017 (UTC)
The president of Zimbabwe is currently Chaos. Which is, to be fair, not much of a change from the kleptomaniac bastard Mugabe. Guy (Help!) 16:11, 16 November 2017 (UTC)
Surely you must know, Guy, that your remark is a BLP violation. Please strike it. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 19:50, 17 November 2017 (UTC)
My bad: I meant, of course, murderous[9][10][11] kleptomaniac[12][13] bastard[14][15][16]. I have friends from the region. Guy (Help!) 20:11, 17 November 2017 (UTC)
It's times like this I miss the "like" button. Sadly, it's not clear he'll be replaced by a government that's much of an improvement. - Nunh-huh 21:43, 17 November 2017 (UTC)
While your sources confirm that Mugabe is widely regarded as a very bad ruler, Guy, none of these sources confirm that Mugabe is either a "kleptomaniac" or a "bastard". Even if his parents were unmarried, it would be a BLP violation to use that fact in a pejorative fashion, as you have done here. His parents were devout Catholics with six children so I see no evidence that he is a "bastard". BLP policy applies even to aging dictators. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 22:20, 18 November 2017 (UTC)
Not going to argue, old friend. Bastard is a colloquiallism which he meets in spades, and his thefts are ell documented, as is his murderous regime, so that's all I have to say about it. There is a reason there was a public outcry when he was named as a goodwill ambassador recently. He is one of the last of the classical African dictators. Guy (Help!) 22:24, 18 November 2017 (UTC)
It strikes me that describing Mugabe as a "very bad ruler" is both inadequate and misleading—a lie by omission, if you will, and not a précis worthy of inclusion in an actual encyclopedia article. We should be aware when policy leads to ridiculous results, and either change that policy or choose that time to invoke our Überpolicy: "ignore all rules". - Nunh-huh 21:03, 20 November 2017 (UTC)

FYI, if this ever was a reliable source it isn't now, it's been hijacked by domain squatters. Actually I strongly suspect an old linkspamming campaign. Guy (Help!) 10:45, 16 November 2017 (UTC)

This appears to be the new home of at least some of the content. No indication of authorship, it's a pseudonymous monograph. Guy (Help!) 11:11, 16 November 2017 (UTC)

Astonishingly*, this turns out to be in no small part down to a single user whose username matches the pseudonym of the site owner: Obsidian~enwiki (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log).

[*] Not really.

There are a lot of references to this site, but as far as I can see it does not meet our criteria for WP:RS. It's a monograph by one Ben Cahoon, but the site does nto show why he should be considered an authority. It does seem to be a well curated list of usable sources, but not a usable source in itself I think? Guy (Help!) 11:33, 16 November 2017 (UTC)

He is referenced a bit - [17][18] [19]. Quite a few books cite the site - [20] - so this does have some recognition. The site isn't open to everyone - and is reviewed by the public (e.g. if we are to take [21] as faithful). The site itself isn't open to anyone to edit. I think this is borderline (per WP:RSSELF) but it isn't a clear cut absolutely not. It is WP:TERTIARY.Icewhiz (talk) 12:06, 16 November 2017 (UTC)

"a well curated list of usable sources, but not a usable source in itself I think?"

It seem to be a chronicle-style list of names and dates of various office-holders. It does not go in depth about the events of their terms. Dimadick (talk) 10:17, 17 November 2017 (UTC)

El Austral de la Araucanía

I am not very familiar with Chilean newspapers, but would this article be sufficient to source a small section on geothermal prospecting at Sollipulli? Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 19:50, 16 November 2017 (UTC)

RUDN Journal of Language Studies, Semiotics and Semantics

Someone familiar enough with the Peoples' Friendship University of Russia to judge whether this journal article is published by them? The websites look fairly different and the university website has no obvious link to the journal domain. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 19:54, 16 November 2017 (UTC)


Have a guess how many links to the defunct Geocities we have.

If you guessed "over 10,000", congratulations.

Many are in mainspace, though few of these would ever have met WP:RS.

It's far too large a task for me, does anyone know a botmaster who could perhaps fix this plague? Guy (Help!) 21:31, 16 November 2017 (UTC)

There are likely to be valid links among the many. --Izno (talk) 17:54, 17 November 2017 (UTC)
I agree that some would likely be valid among the many. Also, Many could be rescued by the Internet Archive bot, (if that makes any difference). Huggums537 (talk) 16:05, 20 November 2017 (UTC)

For fans of dodgy sources


  • {{deprecated publisher|name=David Publishing|||doi=10.17265}}

renders as:

I am tracking increasing numbers of these on my userpage, hence the template. Guy (Help!) 17:40, 17 November 2017 (UTC)

If anyone feels inclined, I acknowledge my template-fu is weak, and would welcome help with tidying this up. Guy (Help!) 19:50, 17 November 2017 (UTC)

Blogspot a RS?

Hi. Apologies if this has come up before, but is a site with "blogspot" in the URL a RS? This is in relation to this BLP, with an IP user citing this source. Thanks. Lugnuts Fire Walk with Me 18:25, 17 November 2017 (UTC)

No, SPS applies Darkness Shines (talk) 18
28, 17 November 2017 (UTC)
Thank you. Lugnuts Fire Walk with Me 18:56, 17 November 2017 (UTC)
That does not mean it is not reliable outright (most of the time they are). It means it can sometimes be used in line with WP:SPS. For a BLP, WP:BLPSPS applies. Only in death does duty end (talk) 19:40, 17 November 2017 (UTC)
In this case as its reporting a death, give it a day or so. But its showing up here. (Original in german here) Die Welt is a German national newspaper. Only in death does duty end (talk) 19:44, 17 November 2017 (UTC)

About my first article: need sources review

Hello Wiki fellows,

I'm currently working on my first wiki page submission. It's a biographic one, about an australian futurist named Dr Stuart CANDY. I've collected several secundary sources in order to prove my submission's reliability. Based on your experience, are these sources reliable ones?

  1. Association of Professionals Futurists [1]
  2. [2]
  3. [3]
  4. [4]
  5. [5]

Thanks in advance for your answer. Best regards,

Bappyh Bappyh (talk) 16:41, 19 November 2017 (UTC)


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
Why don't you start your article in draft space or in your user sandbox so we can see how you're using the refs?--Georgia Army Vet Contribs Talk 01:03, 20 November 2017 (UTC)

Know Your Meme for emoticons

List of emoticons is generally using bad, inappropriate, questionable or unreliable sources because good ones are rare. For emoticons (and probably other internet phenomena) you will find mentions in sources that should be reliable by Wikipedia's standards, but the author was actually just curious or clueless and thus did not compile a list of somewhat established emoticons, but mostly of ones they saw once and found funny or ones they came up with themselves.

Anyhow, the Lenny Face, i.e. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) or a minor variation thereof, is (or was) undoubtedly used quite widely in some subcultures. In that article, which is currently the target of the redirect at Lenny Face, the reference used is its entry at Know Your Meme (KYM). This is actually a useful resource for anyone who wants to know more about its history. Alas, the reliability of KYM has been questioned here before several times, e.g. in May 2011, and is currently challenged by user:Otterathome (also see my Talk), because at least its basic content is user-generated and thus would fail the WP:UGC criterion at WP:IRS. However, after editorial review, their confirmed articles may qualify as reliable. The Lenny Face article is indeed confirmed.

While I totally agree that the list article needs better sources, can we agree that KYM is sufficient here? Otherwise, can someone suggest something better? — Christoph Päper 10:08, 20 November 2017 (UTC)

KYM remains a user-generated blog (even though there's some paid-editor oversight) so would be inappropriate as a source. --MASEM (t) 14:33, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
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