Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
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.
If you are looking for a copy of a specific source, please ask at the resource exchange board.
Sections older than 5 days archived by lowercase sigmabot III.
Click here to purge this page
(For help, see Wikipedia:Purge)
Search this noticeboard & archives

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20
21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30
31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40
41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50
51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60
61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70
71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80
81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90
91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100
101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110
111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, 118, 119, 120
121, 122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130
131, 132, 133, 134, 135, 136, 137, 138, 139, 140
141, 142, 143, 144, 145, 146, 147, 148, 149, 150
151, 152, 153, 154, 155, 156, 157, 158, 159, 160
161, 162, 163, 164, 165, 166, 167, 168, 169, 170
171, 172, 173, 174, 175, 176, 177, 178, 179, 180
181, 182, 183, 184, 185, 186, 187, 188, 189, 190
191, 192, 193, 194, 195, 196, 197, 198, 199, 200
201, 202, 203, 204, 205, 206, 207, 208, 209, 210
211, 212, 213, 214, 215, 216, 217, 218, 219, 220
221, 222, 223, 224, 225, 226, 227, 228, 229, 230
231, 232, 233, 234, 235, 236, 237, 238, 239, 240
241, 242, 243, 244, 245, 246

Subject of an article critiquing his bio on YouTube as a source

This has to be the strangest sourcing I've seen and I'd like some additional opinions on it: Recently an editor added this youtube video as a source for a date of birth where the subject of the article (Dan Avidan) appears to critique the Wikipedia page about him. That's got to be the weirdest WP:SPS source I've run across. Do folks feel that this is a reliable source as used here? Toddst1 (talk) 14:57, 7 August 2018 (UTC)

I think we can say it is RS for his saying it is wrong.Slatersteven (talk) 15:07, 7 August 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes, as this is a verified account (tick mark next to GameGrumps, and Dan Avidan is one of the duo in GameGrumps). Per WP:ABOUTSELF the subject may be used for info such as DOB (assuming it's in there in the 13 minutes(4 parts - 79 minutes in all - listening to it). Actually a great way to correct one's Wikipedia's article while providing a RS for the article. Kudos to the article subject.Icewhiz (talk) 15:10, 7 August 2018 (UTC)
  • To a limited degree, yes. Simple facts that make no claims about third parties might be judged reliable. Date of birth can be cited to self-published sources, for example. If the subject makes exceptional claims, obviously that's not going in the article. NinjaRobotPirate (talk) 15:40, 7 August 2018 (UTC)
  • What Ninja said. The 'limited degree' when it comes to age\DOB is that people in media routinely lie about their age (usually to appear younger or just to obfuscate it). If there is no contradictory information, it can be used as a self published primary source. How was the birthday sourced previously? Only in death does duty end (talk) 00:28, 11 August 2018 (UTC)
  • There was no birthday in the article previously. Someguy1221 (talk) 00:35, 11 August 2018 (UTC)
  • Then there is no issue. Altho why he would want his birthday in the article is beyond me. But as a SPS from what is clearly the subject, and with no contradictory info, it's fine. Only in death does duty end (talk) 00:38, 11 August 2018 (UTC)
  • I agree with the above, though my main reason for commenting is to say that, generally, YouTube videos from reliable sources in which the article subject comments on their Wikipedia article are excellent sources for the subjects on themselves. In principle, they are even better than text sources insofar as verifiability goes given how nigh impossible it is to fake a voice or video of the subject. Back in June 2018, I added one such source to confirm and expand Samuel L. Jackson's biography. There's actually an entire video series by GQ called "Actually Me" in which celebrities "go undercover" in various websites to comment on information about them, including Wikipedia. From the couple I've watched (I intend to watch all the ones involving Wikipedia and use them as sources, eventually), the series is courteous enough to not actually submit the vandalism on Wikipedia that they show in the video, despite simulating pressing the "Publish changes" button, which can be confirmed by checking the contribution and page histories of the accounts and pages shown in the videos.
    Frankly, YouTube sources are underused. Usually, they are poorer in quality and more difficult to verify than text sources, but reliable YouTube sources do exist and can be great sources for those willing to take the time to watch the video, note the timestamps, and transcribe the statements. When it comes to sources like the latter and the Avidan video, they are basically standard autobiographic sources—for YouTube-published interviews, standard interviews. So long as they pass the usual sourcing and verifiability criteria, the fact that they are in videographic form does not matter much. {{Cite AV media}} exists for a reason, after all. With that said, great find! —Nøkkenbuer (talkcontribs) 08:29, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
    • Disagree that we should use Youtube more. Ugh. This is a scholarly project, not part of the blogosphere. Jytdog (talk) 02:08, 16 August 2018 (UTC)
      I much prefer " scholarly" sources over YouTube videos any day, and I hope that one is found anytime I (or anyone else) ever consider using YouTube as a source. If there is simply no better source and the YouTube source passes all pertinent policy and guidelines criteria, however, then I think using it to help further Wikipedia's purpose is better than excluding it. Sometimes, some information is only available—or at least accessible—through YouTube, such as certain interviews with reputable secondary sources which would be uncontroversial if in text form. When that is no longer the case and a better source is found, I definitely encourage replacement.
      With that said, I disagree that Wikipedia is " a scholarly project" except in the broadest of definitions. Most of us are not scholars, some of us don't even have secondary school diplomas, and few of us believe Wikipedia is a reliable source. We may summarize scholarly sources, and write in a desert-dry scholarly tone, but this project seems generally in the "popular (as in the masses) non-specialist" part of society, the same part that comprises our readership. But perhaps I misunderstood you.
      Regardless, I think we can both agree that YouTube sources rarely percolate into even questionable source status and that, in general, the answer to "Is this YouTube source reliable?" is a very probable "no in most to any contexts". It takes a very competent and experienced editor who is familiar with the rules to know whether a YouTube source is acceptable and when to use it, and even then it is difficult and unclear (as evinced by this discussion, started by one of the top 500 most prolific editors). For anyone who is new to Wikipedia and its sourcing rules, YouTube as a source should be avoided until that changes. —Nøkkenbuer (talkcontribs) 03:12, 16 August 2018 (UTC)
  • Like any WP:BLPSPS, ok for simple, uncontroversial facts. Beyond that, no and hell no. What a nightmare this would open up if we forgot that basic classification.Jytdog (talk) 02:07, 16 August 2018 (UTC)

This site clearly fails RS, as it is a fan wiki. If there any way of running a bot to remove it, and then blacklisting it to prevent it being used again? GiantSnowman 15:52, 10 August 2018 (UTC)

Do you mean like WP:BLACKLIST? -- Emir of Wikipedia (talk) 17:49, 10 August 2018 (UTC) P.S.: Please ping me in your reply. Thank you.
That's the one, thank you! GiantSnowman 07:38, 14 August 2018 (UTC)

Is The Globe Newspaper Zambia A Reliable Source ?

The Globe Newspaper(Zambian) Publishes both Hard copy newspapers and their online edition, i need your input on accessing whether it can be considered a reliable source on wikipedia see Regards

Some context is necessary here I think. The article appears to be recounting a feud between two musicians and the subsequent apology one made to the other. Is this source being used at an article referring to one of the involved parties?Simonm223 (talk) 14:01, 13 August 2018 (UTC)

Simonm223 Yes, i was considering using it on the article Mic Diggy and also as WP:MUSICBIO criteria 11 Has been placed in rotation nationally by a major radio or music television network. is it can be the strongest claim to notability (and also MUSICBIO criteria 2, though there's no currently accepted chart for Zambia). The article was deleted before i could access this. (talk) 06:47, 14 August 2018 (UTC)

If you are trying to establish notability for a musician, and you haven't previously brought this to talk at the article or it's associated WP:AFC or WP:AFD I'd suggest that'd be a good place to start. I can't find enough information on the Globe Newspaper Zambia to confidently comment on whether it's a reliable source, but I'd say that, assuming you've not already done so and been shot down WP:BOLD would apply here.Simonm223 (talk) 12:08, 14 August 2018 (UTC)

Simonm223 one of the AFD active participants advised, i cite this reference, and see how the community reacts, and the AFD admin also thinks this is probably a reliable source. He didn't exactly reverse the deletion and i am not an admin so i can't. What would be the best step? recreating the article or ? (talk) 12:29, 14 August 2018 (UTC)

If there is an AFD, you'd post that you Oppose deletion on the grounds of notability in a media source and provide the link. Then participants in the AFD can discuss whether they believe it imparts sufficient reliability to warrant retention of the article in question. But even if the source is reliable it might still not be sufficient to demonstrate notability per issues like WP:BLP1E. Again, I don't really know the situation that led you to the Reliable Sources noticeboard. However, the RSN can't override a consensus decision on an AFD discussion; if this is subject to a concluded AFD proceeding and the page was deleted, and if you believe you now have sources to demonstrate reliability you might consider WP:AFC and making your case there. If there's a current AFD in progress I'd suggest you pitch the source there and see if it floats.Simonm223 (talk) 12:37, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
ETA I followed your IP address back to the concluded AFD. It's done. The page is deleted. If you believe there should be a page for this artist, I'd suggest taking the source to WP:AFC as per my previous discussion, as well, and this is important, as providing a link to the closed AFD so that people can see the discussion there too. If there's consensus at WP:AFC that the new sources warrant inclusion then a new page could be created. Simonm223 (talk) 12:40, 14 August 2018 (UTC)

Simonm223 Thank you very much that was useful information. (talk) 13:03, 14 August 2018 (UTC)

RfC about the reliability of The Verge as a source for use in articles relating to tech, science, culture, and cars

Is The Verge generally considered a reliable news source for use in articles relating to technology, science, culture, and cars? --TheSandDoctor Talk 20:13, 13 August 2018 (UTC)

  • Yes for technology, science, and cars. A quick check on Google News confirms The Verge has been sourced by unambiguously RS outlets on these topics (including Forbes, TIME, and the AP) indicating existing RS are satisfied with its veracity. In addition, it has a gatekeeping process, a physical personality, and is not primarily involved in persuasive or advocacy communication. Culture is a broad topic that could encompass just about anything but I would generally say yes to that, as well with situational qualifications. Chetsford (talk) 00:58, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
  • Generally yes is this RfC out of the blue? or is there prior discussion regarding this topic that we should be aware of? Their Ethics Statement page seems to indicate a good editorial policy, and media bias fact check indicates that they have good factual reporting but that they have a centre-left bias (like most media outlets). I'm not seeing any other outlets accusing them of 'fake news' either.[1] Generally I'd consider them reliable for technology, science, and cars. As far as 'culture' goes, I would probably be careful to attribute anything they said that might be impacted by their political bias, though I would still consider them a reliable source (perhaps WP:RSOPINION when it comes to some political coverage). — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 02:03, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
    @Insertcleverphrasehere: You are correct that this is out of the blue. This source isn't like The Washington Post (see above), so figured that an RfC would be the best way to (hopefully) gather wider community consensus either way. --TheSandDoctor Talk 06:47, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
  • Depends on context - they seem a tech pop culture site, with opinions and sensation. A bit light on facts rather than being biased, and it specific topics in these fields rather than generally informative -- so it may not be appropriate for a specific context, or may not be the WP:BESTSOURCE. Cheers Markbassett (talk) 04:29, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
  • Generally yes for the topics of tech, science, culture, and cars, although I would qualify that as "pop" culture. They have a reasonably good editorial policy and reputation for fact-checking. K.e.coffman (talk) 05:10, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
  • Generally yes as per ICPH and K.e.coffman. Established and relatively-reputable tech news source with clear editorial structure, fact-checking policies, no particular reputation for sensationalism or gossip-mongering... though as with many tech blog-type sites, we should be careful with posts that might seem overly promotional or based mostly or solely on press releases. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 07:00, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes – Many technology articles I've come across on that site are regurgitated or corroborated in other reliable sources, such as AnandTech and Forbes. They are generally well written and highly accurate. I can't personally vouch for other topic areas such as culture, but I have no reason to be concerned. Throwing my hat into the 'yes' column doesn't mean I wouldn't suggest to an editor to bring any specific examples to RSN if they question one from Verge: all publishers/sites can have a few bad apples from time to time. --GoneIn60 (talk) 07:28, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
  • Comments I don't believe this question is answerable as asked. And while it is debatable (and is being debated) how much prominence should be accorded to an essay that summarizes RSN's prior discussion of sources "that are frequent topics of discussion regarding their reliability and use on Wikipedia", starting discussions/RFC's solely to generate such discussion, goes against the purpose and capabilities of this noticeboard. Therefore I request that this RFC be withdrawn. Abecedare (talk) 19:38, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
I disagree. The question is mostly answerable, though it probably would have been better to ask "Is The Verge generally considered a reliable news source", and it seems that !voters have responded to this error by captioning their !vote with 'generally' instead. Having a list that summarises RSN discussions is useful, and having discussions to add to that list is also useful. A lot of users that frequent this noticeboard would have used the verge before, or seen it used, and have an opinion on it. This is the place where it is going to be best to ask a question like this. — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 00:14, 16 August 2018 (UTC)
Clarified per suggestion. --TheSandDoctor Talk 06:41, 16 August 2018 (UTC)
  • Unanswerable and this should be withdrawn by the proposer. Some pieces might be reliable for some specific kinds of content. It is not reliable for any WP:Biomedical information per WP:MEDRS and is unlikely to be reliable for anything scientific. Some pieces will be opinion and only reliable if attributed to the author. This should be pulled as it is too general. (If the question was meant to be, "Is The Verge generally unreliable?" the answer would be "no", but that is not the question. Jytdog (talk) 01:57, 16 August 2018 (UTC)
    • I would argue that MEDRS overrides the reliable nature of any source when it comes to something doing directly with human health and medicine. So when people ask "is X generally reliable", this is not in any way implicit to override what MEDRS says. And of course, every source may have individual cases that make it unreliable, and we are presuming that that case-by-case basis is implicit when one asks "is X generally reliable". --Masem (t) 02:05, 16 August 2018 (UTC)
      • Yep, but people often read "science" broadly to include medical things. That's why I directly brought that up. :) In any case questions like this are a waste of time; as I noted we can sometimes say "generally unreliable; if used must be attributed and there needs to be some very good reason to use it" (a la Daily Mail) but it is impossible to answer the question posed. Jytdog (talk) 15:12, 16 August 2018 (UTC)
  • See the top of this page. Article. Material to be included. Source. All three things are required to determine reliability. Any pop-culture source will be all over the reliability scale depending on what material it is being used for and where. I would also add that after long experience, when someone asks a general 'is source X reliable' it tends to turn out there is an article somewhere where someone is questioning that source. It makes it easier for everyone if editors just followed the damn instructions at the top. Only in death does duty end (talk) 09:18, 16 August 2018 (UTC)

Is "The Space Gamer" a peer-reviewed journal?

In a recent AFD an editor suggested The Space Gamer, an early 80s magazine on fantasy games like Dungeons & Dragons, was a peer-reviewed journal. On the basis of it not having a process of double-blind review, being indexed, or being sponsored by an academic publisher, I don't believe it is. However, out of a preponderance of caution, was wondering if others could offer some input on this question. If there's a consensus that The Space Gamer is a scholarly journal, and I have misinterpreted it, I would like to amend my !vote in the aforementioned AFD. Chetsford (talk) 00:53, 14 August 2018 (UTC)

  • Topical RS, not scholarly' - my impression is that it was a semi-normal magazine, and would be reasonable RS within it's topic field. But it seems in the category of a general magazine, like Time, or The Atlantic, or Popular Mechanics rather than an academic journal or the journal of a society. I believe they had editorial oversight and did print corrections, so could be a RS if the context is something they covered. Cheers Markbassett (talk) 04:39, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
  • RS for games, not an academic journal (even if it had a peer review process - one would need to look at the identity of the reviewers). For Wiki notability - a review there would definitely be significant for establishing notability (assuming independence of the product from the magazine - which in most cases was the case).Icewhiz (talk) 07:02, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
No it is not a peer reviewed journal, but then neither is the Times. But is did have some editorial policy and staff. So it would be RES for gaming.Slatersteven (talk) 09:44, 14 August 2018 (UTC)

This satisfies me; thank you Slatersteven, Markbassett, and Icewhiz! Chetsford (talk) 19:01, 14 August 2018 (UTC)

Which of the sources on this google book result considered reliable?

[2]. Looking for references for Ultra high-net-worth individual.--Prisencolin (talk) 03:51, 14 August 2018 (UTC)

You should start by simply looking at who the publisher is for each book. Looking at the first page of results, there are several books from Wiley, one from Harvard University Press, and one from Springer. All of those would probably be presumed reliable for most purposes absent evidence to the contrary. Others might be reliable, at least for finding significant opinions, depending on who the authors are. Someguy1221 (talk) 05:11, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
Aside: The hyphenation in the article title needs to be fixed. Either Ultra-high net worth individual or Ultra-high net-worth individual (see sources, google ngram etc for which is more prevalent). Ditto for High-net-worth individual. Abecedare (talk) 06:01, 15 August 2018 (UTC)

Is an image upload site a reliable source?

This is being claimed to be a reliable source for adding an entry to List of oldest living people. It is merely an uploaded image from another, unnamed, source. As such there is no way of assessing the reliability of the original source. Given the nature of the image there appears to be no straightforward way of even translating what is shown. Does such a source pass WP:RS? I would say not, as we have no way of verifying if this is real, false, altered or whatever.Slatersteven (talk) 10:31, 14 August 2018 (UTC)

No definitely not a reliable source.--Kmhkmh (talk) 10:36, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
I find it hard to imagine a worse source than that image. I know it was provided simply as a convenience link, but @TFBCT1: needs to include a proper citation if he wants to even discuss that report. Someguy1221 (talk) 20:10, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
No, I don't want to discuss the issue any further. Even my point is lost here. Which was that in the past we have accepted information on these Prefecture reports as valid sources on the longevity pages in that Japan has provided credible Prefecture reports on their oldest residents for over 110 years. So the information presented is likely accurate, however it has now been pounded into my head that 'said information' cannot be used if downloaded as an image from an unknown party to a website. Message received.TFBCT1 (talk) 23:59, 14 August 2018 (UTC)

Source can't be accessed from the EU

I'm dubious about the content @Wesley Craig: recently removed and @NZFC: restored at Proud Boys,[3][4] but I'm not in a position to really discuss it, since I got this when I attempted to access the source, the Wisconsin Gazette: "451: Unavailable due to legal reasons. We recognize you are attempting to access this website from a country belonging to the European Economic Area (EEA) including the EU which enforces the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and therefore access cannot be granted at this time. For any issues, contact [email protected] or call 414-961-3240." First time I've been stopped by GDPR. I can read the big American newspapers with no trouble, indeed I've got a digital subscription to a couple of them. But maybe shutting out EU will be the next big thing? Anyway, I'm posting here mainly to see if anybody has a comment on the GDPR tripwire, but a comment on the source I can't see would also be welcome. Bishonen | talk 09:11, 15 August 2018 (UTC).

Had this happen a lot with certain newspapers in the USA. But no I would say not being able to access it is not a valid reason for exclusion, just ask them to post a quote on the talk page.Slatersteven (talk) 09:14, 15 August 2018 (UTC)
I've had this happen a lot. Perhaps the only good thing that could possibly happen here with Bloody Brexit is that we could abandon the effing stupid eurolaws about data and shit and allow Search results to be honest, or as honest as a giganticorporation can manage, and Merkian newspapers not allowing people in the mother country to read their news. sigh. -Roxy, the dog. barcus 09:40, 15 August 2018 (UTC)


I didn't have problem accessing it and from my glance it looks like a legitimate source. The article is one on Proud Boys as a whole and one of the parts of the article was this "The Proud Boys also have a “no wanks” policy urging members to avoid masturbation and pornography to motivate them to get “off the couch” and meet women." which matches what is in the article. However since reading the about us on the page, I'm not sure if it is reliable or not so happy for others with more knowledge to advise.NZFC(talk) 09:46, 15 August 2018 (UTC)
the GDPR tripwire or similarly paywalls as such are no reason for the exclusion of sources or to doubt them. There is are requirement on sources to be online or accessible for free. However if you have reason to distrust the content, authenticity or proper use of a source, you cannot access yourself, then you can ask other involved editors for details or copy or ask at WP:RX. If you don't want to pursue the issue yourself, simply post a message on the article's discussion page and leave it other editors to pick it up eventually.--Kmhkmh (talk) 09:51, 15 August 2018 (UTC)
While they have this on their About us page "The Wisconsin Gazette is Milwaukee’s most honored alternative publication. Our mission is to: help build a strong, informed community; promote social equality and justice; support immigration and electoral reform; expose government secrets and call out political corruption; celebrate and support the arts; and foster appreciation and respect for the state’s extraordinary natural resources.". They do have managing editors, editor in chief etc and a circulation of 29,500 copies, distributed every other week. NZFC(talk) 09:54, 15 August 2018 (UTC)
Not sure why are you telling me this. I didn't assess Wisconsin Gazette myself, I just pointed out what to do in GDPR and paywall cases (and that they as such of have no bearing the reliability assessment of a source). Btw. the mission statement is mostly meaningless for assessing reliability.--Kmhkmh (talk) 10:08, 15 August 2018 (UTC)
Sorry Kmhkmh, was trying to discuss like a talk page and just go after the next person, wasn't really directed at you but more at this whole conversation. Thanks for your note about the mission statement too. NZFC(talk) 13:06, 15 August 2018 (UTC)
  • Several people seem to get from my post that I want to exclude the source, or that I think it's untrue that it says what it's supposed to say. Not at all. I've no reason to doubt the reliability of the Wisconsin Gazette, or to doubt that its article says what is claimed. I just wanted to see for myself whether or not the text of it gives a good reason for including the content in our article. Like, whether it makes the content appear WP:DUE — you know, to evaluate how the source is being used. @Wumbolo: Thank you, but you're not speaking my language. Imagine that you're explaining it to your mum. Bishonen | talk 11:27, 15 August 2018 (UTC).
A source which can easily be accessed using a free proxy (which you can easily find on Google) should not be treated any differently from other sources. It's not dead, rather it's in a "coma" - when (and if) the website becomes GDPR-compliant, the link will become freely accessible again. wumbolo ^^^ 11:42, 15 August 2018 (UTC)

The Wisconsin Gazette isn't the actual source. The story is a reprint of a piece originally done by Wisconsin Public Radio, an affiliate of NPR. This bumps reliability up by a notch or three. Here's the original. Shock Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 11:38, 15 August 2018 (UTC)

Thanks Shock Brigade Harvester Boris, I have updated on the page to the original source as per your link. NZFC(talk) 13:06, 15 August 2018 (UTC)
Last time I checked you couldn't access the LATImes or the Chicago Tribune, two major US newspapers. I use a VPN but man does it slow down my PC! Doug Weller talk 14:01, 15 August 2018 (UTC)
  • @Bishonen: You may be able to access the same Proud Boys article at the WisconsinWatch, The Capital Times, or the Wisconsin Public Radio website. Given the article's provenance (it also won an award from the Milwaukee Press Club), I don't think there is much concern about its reliability, although due-weight issues may exist about the particular content. Abecedare (talk) 15:06, 15 August 2018 (UTC)
    • I see now that User:Shock Brigade Harvester Boris had already provided the WPR link. A small clarification: the story is not original to WPR or any of the other "publishers". It is produced by Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, which is a (high-quality) non-profit, investigative journalism outfit that prouces such investivative pieces but instead/in-addition to publishing on its own niche website, offers them to its affiliated partners that have a broader reach. See ProPublica, which follows the same model at a national scale. Abecedare (talk) 15:17, 15 August 2018 (UTC)

Library of Congress Name Authority File

Is this sufficient for the birth year of a BLP? Eg this page? Doug Weller talk 12:14, 15 August 2018 (UTC)

That LoC page indicates VIAF 100653927 as one of its sources. The VIAF 100653927 page indicates Wikidata as one of its sources. So (alas the downside of becoming a more widely accepted source by reputable organisations) the LoC page on Manuel da Silva Rosa can not be used as a source for anything, per WP:CIRCULAR.
However: a viable solution can be found on that person's Wikidata page (i.e. Manuel da Silva Rosa (Q10324599)). On that Wikidata page GND 142124524 is given as reference for the person's birth date. The WP:CIRCULAR policy recommends to *not* use the page of one of the WMF projects as a reference, but to use the source it presents (if it is reliable: GND is) as source for the English Wikipedia article directly. So, using GND 142124524 as a reference for the person's birth date should normally be unproblematic. --Francis Schonken (talk) 12:30, 15 August 2018 (UTC)
  • Actually that page indicates this as the source. See images, author bio. Confirms birth year. I would just use that book (authored by the subject) as a source for the date rather than messing around with un-user friendly database entries. AFAIK, when it lists 'exact matching data' it means other databases with the same data, not that the data (from those databases) has been used to populate that entry at the Library of Congress. Usually whats used to populate it is listed under 'sources' (which leads to the above book). Only in death does duty end (talk) 12:32, 15 August 2018 (UTC)
    Well, that's a WP:SPS then: depends on what you want to use it for, e.g. as a WP:ABOUTSELF source it doesn't prove "notability". GND, as a secondary source (or: arguably a tertiary source) is generally less problematic in various contexts. --Francis Schonken (talk) 12:46, 15 August 2018 (UTC)
  • For the purposes of birth year its fine. Its an author bio in a book they wrote. I wouldnt use it on anyting about Columbus for reasons too long to go into here, but for basic (non-puffery) biographical info about the author its ok. Only in death does duty end (talk) 12:48, 15 August 2018 (UTC)

I am pretty convinced that this is not a reliable source. It seems to be a repository of user-submitted stories. Quotes from its front page which also demonstrate that they're not independent: If you have had any type of experience with Aliens or UFO's it's very important that you report that data Here so we can archive and investigate it and make it readily available to anyone who wishes to know the truth., Since the dawn of time itself we have been visited by UFO's and Aliens. The reason I post here is that I would like other editors to also assess it, so I have an RSN entry to point at when removing references to it in existing articles (it was very convenient when doing cleanup work related to Thanks, —PaleoNeonate – 01:24, 17 August 2018 (UTC)

Well, this is an easy one. You can take your pick of WP:QUESTIONABLE, WP:RS/SPS, or WP:USERG. You can even take advantage of our special offer -- get all three for the price of one (but only on days ending in "Y"). Shock Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 02:59, 17 August 2018 (UTC)
  • Clearly not RS. This is nothing more than a self-published collection of UFO stories. –dlthewave 03:51, 17 August 2018 (UTC)
(sarcasm) Of course it's reliable! In what alternate universe would it not be reliable?(/sarcasm) Actually, I can see using it to say, not that aliens exist, but that on x date Person Y claimed to have seen a UFO, but it was just a weather balloon. Even then though, if the incident rises to the level of being notable I'd expect it to be reported in a better source, one that is more than a repository for user-generated content. ~ ONUnicorn(Talk|Contribs)problem solving 04:06, 17 August 2018 (UTC)
  • A repository for user generated content - that sums it up pretty well. I can't see anything on the website to say that there are any kind of editorial staff, it's just an anonymous blog giving a platform for user's submitted stories. Reliable for absolutely nothing at all. Girth Summit (talk) 13:21, 18 August 2018 (UTC)
Thanks all for the input, —PaleoNeonate – 10:49, 19 August 2018 (UTC)

Is a blogpost a reliable source?

On July 2, WP:INVOLVED administrator USER:Doug Weller posted a long addition to the Bat Creek Inscription page, relying as its source entirely on a WP:RS/SPS self-published blogpost by Jason Colavito, at [5]. Weller’s addition to the page is at [6].

I have discussed the issues at length at Talk:Bat_Creek_inscription#Changes_of_2_July_2018. Rather than participating there, Weller has announced over at WP:Fringe_theories/Noticeboard#Talk:Bat_Creek_inscription that he has withdrawn himself from the discussion on the relevant Talk page.

So my question for RSN is, does this self-published blogpost constitutes a RS? If not, I will institute a Edit Request to remove it, since, having published four articles on the subject, I am considered a connected author and am not supposed to be making substantial edits.

As I indicated on the Talk page, I would have no objection to including Colavito's blogpost under External Links, as the criteria are much lower for ELs than for Sources. HuMcCulloch (talk) 02:45, 17 August 2018 (UTC)

Although I hope that others also evaluate the situation, I was one of the participants in the discussion at the article's talk page. While blogs are not generally considered reliable (WP:SPS), blog posts of notable people in a field may occasionally be. It's also a question of circumstances: WP:PARITY appears to apply there in order to refute a fringe opinion. The particular post also appears to be uncontroversial. —PaleoNeonate – 04:02, 17 August 2018 (UTC)
I was thinking the same thing, before you posted. Colavito is not a typical academic, but he's a notable debunker of pseudoarchaeology. Since his blog is challenging an assertion about archaeology from an economist, I agree that PARITY applies. The point being cited to him is sufficiently minor and uncontroversial this should not be a problem. Someguy1221 (talk) 06:28, 17 August 2018 (UTC)
My understanding of WP:PARITY is that a normally non-RS such as a blogpost could be used to rebut a position that has somehow gained prominence despite having being presented in a similar non-RS. However, the blogpost in question is rebutting a peer-reviewed article (by myself) in a scholarly specialized journal, namely Tennessee Anthropologist, 1988, pp. 79-123. That article has already been rebutted in three different peer-reviewed scholarly articles that are already cited on this page. User Jyldog complains on the Talk page that the article already has too many primary and secondary sources. So should it also include this self-published original research, which shouldn't count as a source at all? As I have already indicated, placing Colavito's blogpost under External Links with a mention that it relates to the word divider issue would allow interested readers to find it, without cluttering up an already lengthy article. HuMcCulloch (talk) 16:25, 17 August 2018 (UTC)
  • Colavito is an expert (even if not by degree) in debunking pseudoarcheology, established in the field (has been writing on the subject since at least 2005), whose work has been published in third-party reliable sources (Huffington Post, Skeptic magazine). Per WP:SPS, that is sufficient. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 16:32, 17 August 2018 (UTC)

It should be noted that User:Doug Weller has asked for help with the Talk:Bat_Creek_inscription#Changes_of_2_July_2018 discussion over on Wikipedia:Fringe_theories/Noticeboard#Talk:Bat_Creek_inscription, not once but twice, on 4 August and again on 14 August. While such solicitation of editors who may share one's POV is not per se contrary to the Wikipedia WP:Canvassing policy, it is generally regarded as good practice to leave a note at the relevant discussion that such a call for reinforcements has been made. Weller has posted no such notice over at Talk:Bat_Creek_inscription. I suspect that many, if not all, of the editors who have commented here have done so in answer to Weller's call for help, by following the link I left at Talk:Bat_Creek_inscription#Changes_of_2_July_2018 to this discussion. Is this the case? HuMcCulloch (talk) 18:34, 18 August 2018 (UTC)

There's too much deja vu for me to want to get involved more if I can avoid it. I said what I had to say at Talk:Bat Creek inscription. Hu and I have a long history of debate on the Usenet group sci.archaeology and he knows where I stand. His site is mentioned a number of times on Wikipedia[7] and I don't think I've complained (although I might have forgotten if I have). I didn't even get involved when another editor got upset over his being the major contributor to this article. Only when Hu tried to remove a rival author, one who although well known for his blog has written and edited books published by main stream publishers did I decided I'd had enough. Doug Weller talk 18:57, 18 August 2018 (UTC)
  • Generally speaking I would say Colavito's blog, as a self-published expert source, is a reliable and valuable source on pseudoarchaeology. Unfortunately, it's often difficult to find sceptical reviews of these types of claims in peer-reviewed/academic literature. In this case there are also traditionally-published sources available (already cited in the article), but that's no reason to exclude Colavito's post if it includes useful information that can't be found elsewhere. And Doug was careful to indicate that the material he added was Colavito's opinion; he didn't present it as settled fact. – Joe (talk) 20:10, 18 August 2018 (UTC) (summoned here from WT:ARCHAEO, to head off any claims of WP:CANVASsing, although bringing others' attentions to discussions is exactly why noticeboards like this exist...)

Online resource published by the Stanford Research Into the Impact of Tobacco Advertising (SRITA) research group

The source describes itself here:

TL;DR: The SRITA research group has, since 2006, maintained an online database of nicotine advertising images, with the images organised by theme and the themes discussed, sometimes with references to specific images. This database has been extensively cited in major newspapers, government reports, and peer-reviewed medical journals, and has also toured as two museum exhibits. They don't seem to have named this extensive online resource, which is a tad awkward.

I would like to use it in Nicotine marketing and Marketing of electronic cigarettes as a source for statements about nicotine advertising methods and their history. It seems to me that citing the ads themselves for this would be undesirable, as they would be primary sources. Even if I'm just saying that marketing claim X has been made, I'd rather cite SRITA's publication, and what they said about the ad(s).

I'm in a debate about whether this is a reliable source. Should I consider the SRITA publication a reliable source, for statements about individual ads or campaigns? For generalizations made by them about ads (for instance, that X advertising method was common in the fifties, or that Y-type ads were published in outdoor magazines, or Z was done with a particular purpose, like producing a certain impression or effect)? HLHJ (talk) 03:37, 17 August 2018 (UTC)

Seems like a collection of WP:primary sources and a perfectly fine one. That means, however, that if you are going to use them, you cannot interpret or comment on them....unless there is actually commentary there that I missed, that you can summarize in a given article... Jytdog (talk) 03:43, 17 August 2018 (UTC)
Thanks, Jytdog. There is commentary on some pages, although it is not immediately obvious. For instance, the right panel of this page begins: "Tobacco companies have been advertising their particular brands as mild since the first half of the 20th century..." and goes on to discuss the history of this marketing method, up until it was banned in the United States in 2010. The source is rather US-centric. HLHJ (talk) 05:05, 17 August 2018 (UTC)
I would consider SRITA a reliable source for the purpose of describing which marketing terms and advertising strategies the tobacco industry was using at different periods of time. Someguy1221 (talk) 06:31, 17 August 2018 (UTC)
Thank you, Someguy1221. Could it be cited on the effects of marketing strategies? For instance, could one cite commentary in this section and this section to say that children were/are placed in ads to suggest that the product is harmless, and appeal to women? Could one cite this section's commentary for the misconceptions caused by using the term "natural"? HLHJ (talk) 13:48, 17 August 2018 (UTC)
In my view the commentaries are RS for marketing strategies. A couple of notes -- the commentary about health-risk marketing is OK for the marketing strategies, but that page makes statements about health risks as well, and you will not succeed in getting consensus for content about health risks cited to this source. You will need MEDRS sources for such content. I say that generally, but if you are not aware, please do be aware that there are DS on e-cigs as our pages on ecigs are contentious, and health claims sourced to non-MEDRS sources get shot down quickly on those pages. Jytdog (talk) 14:09, 17 August 2018 (UTC)
There are plenty of good medical sources on nicotine use; detailed sources on nicotine promotion are actually harder to find. I would definitely never use this as a MEDRS, but thanks for the warning.
The most controversial thing I've tried to do with it was source an illustration. I cited other RS saying that nicotine marketing strategies included: offering unwilling smokers alternatives to quitting, associating non-use with social exclusion, and identifying use with rebelling, choice, and freedom, and control. Then I used an ad containing the text "WHY QUIT? SWITCH TO BLU/blu is the smart choice for smokers wanting a change. Take back your freedom to smoke... Nobody likes a quitter, so make the switch today". In the caption, I wrote that part X of the ad illustrated cited strategy Y (being pretty sure that this was enough discussion to establish fair use). I thought that these were "straightforward, descriptive statements of facts that can be verified by any educated person with access to the primary source" (WP:PRIMARY). But I was told I needed a secondary source saying that this particular ad illustrated these particular strategies, and that my sources about marketing strategies had to be specific to the product and even the product brand. I think that identifying the image content is generally not something that needs, or gets, a citation. Is there some reason why an image from this source would be an exception? Would I need to cite the source in the caption to confirm that the file is a real ad, or could I leave that to the image metadata? HLHJ (talk) 03:04, 18 August 2018 (UTC)

Truth in Advertising (organization)

I am involved in a debate about whether Truth in Advertising (TINA) articles are reliable sources. At issue is whether TINA is unreliable due to bias, or a primary source.

Truth in Advertising's website, which publishes their articles, is

TINA could be cited in Nicotine marketing and Marketing of electronic cigarettes. Several TINA articles were cited in this old version of the e-cigarettes article. Generalizing, they were investigative journalism articles on e-cigarette marketing practices, cited to support statements that these practices existed. I can give more details, but for brevity, here are the cited articles: [8] [9] [10] [11] [12]

One of the articles triggered a FDA investigation; another, fines for false advertising. TINA is frequently briefly quoted as a source in reliable sources (see, and they seem to have staff journalists and an editorial staff. They seem to do consumer advocacy and investigative journalism. They do not seem to have bylines, but attribute articles to the organisation, like The Economist does. HLHJ (talk) 04:05, 17 August 2018 (UTC)

What is their editorial policy?Slatersteven (talk) 14:01, 17 August 2018 (UTC)
I can't see a posted editorial policy. There is this in the FAQ:

Will take down a post if the company gets rid of the deceptive advertising? No. As a general matter, never takes down an article or post. But we will always consider updating an article to let consumers know what the company has done since the original post was published. So if you’ve got an update, please let us know.

I could e-mail them and ask. Should I? HLHJ (talk) 03:36, 18 August 2018 (UTC)

List of Reliable Sources

I have a few links about a topic which is quite interesting and revolutionary. There are about 5 media houses who described about the event and the topic. I just want to know if the following media houses qualify for reliability. Also all these sources are from a particular week. Will I need more sources from different dates. Kindly help.


  • — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 07:14, August 17, 2018 (UTC)
I would say they are RS, but I wonder why there are no more recent ones.Slatersteven (talk) 14:04, 17 August 2018 (UTC)
Depends upon what you plan to use them for. The Hindu and Times Now are generally considered reliable for basic facts but keep in mind that these two articles are fluff pieces, clearly based on press-releases ("Vikram’s team claims the product is considered the most impressive VR Cricket experience..."), and should therefore be handled with care. Pix8 is essentially a repository for company press releases and not an independent reliable source. Abecedare (talk) 16:30, 17 August 2018 (UTC)

Is a document from Wikileaks reliable?

The link is Master Pilot Scablist.

It has been used to support a claim that a pilot flew during a strike as a scab, in Charles Donald Albury.

He chose a career as a commercial airline pilot for the now defunct Eastern Airlines,<ref name=lat/> and flew during their 1989 strike. <ref>{{cite web|title=US MASTER PILOT SCABLIST|url=|publisher=Wikileaks|accessdate=26 October 2016}}</ref>

Some derogatory material that was cited from the link has been removed. The current statement cited to the link seems neutral.

I have a conflict of interest, as the subject of the article was my first cousin, once removed. - Donald Albury 16:00, 17 August 2018 (UTC)

I would say not, Wikileaks does not (as far as I know) make any attempt to verify what it posts.Slatersteven (talk) 16:03, 17 August 2018 (UTC)
I don't think it would be reliable. There's no mechanism by which we (or a trusted third party such as a generally reliable news outlet) could verify that the leaked document has not been altered before being passed to wikileaks. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 16:05, 17 August 2018 (UTC)
I think documents that have been discussed by high-quality press sources like the Guardian can be included as references to the primary source if the article is cited as well. But I agree somewhat with above comments and think the use should be attributed. If no news outlets have picked it up, then I think we can't use it for the reasons already stated by editors above. Seraphim System (talk) 16:07, 17 August 2018 (UTC)
Irrespective of who is hosting the document, the "US Master Pilot Scablist" with unknown compilers and editorial process ("For any corrections/additions/updates PLEASE email [email protected]!") is itself a non-RS source for wikipedia purposes. Abecedare (talk) 16:11, 17 August 2018 (UTC)

Thank you for your resonses. I will link this discussion to the article's talk page, but will let someone else deal with the article due to my conflict of interest. - Donald Albury 16:28, 17 August 2018 (UTC)

Wikileaks documents can be reliable if they originate from a reliable source. In this case, however, there is no attributed author or publisher to assess reliability or verify content. From a WP:WEIGHT perspective, the statement about the strike should not be included unless it has been covered by secondary sources. –dlthewave 16:37, 17 August 2018 (UTC)

Reality TV World (

AMERICA'S GOT TALENT 3 (Reality TV World) was manufactured to use as a source in Indiggo. Compared to America's Got Talent (season 3), which it acknowledged at the bottom, it ends abruptly in the middle of a table, very shortly after making the quote it supports, 'the audience were booing at Indiggo and Morgan called them "the worst dancers and the worst singers in the entire competition,"' as footnote [69].

It was placed on March 3, 2014 with the erroneous edit summary “Restoring valid, reliable independent sources that were deleted / replaced with irrelevant sources in the previous editing warring” That edit also changed a source to a different commentary by the same author (Victor Balta) and publisher, but didn’t change the date. The latter commentary supported the quote.

In the “cast” tab one of the three judges is omitted and a second is repeated. I’ve removed the source on the basis it relies on Wikipedia. The purpose of this notice is to alert editors of a problem with Reality TV World, which indicates that its editorial oversight is weak.. Vyeh (talk) 21:20, 17 August 2018 (UTC)

HG101 possibly "laundering" unsourced Japanese Wikipedia info?

Hardcore Gaming 101 was already previously discussed, with ruling that only Kurt Kalata's articles can be considered reliable. However, I am alarmed by a post on 4chan's retro games board (someone will call me out on taking 4chan seriously...) alleging that HG101's articles may have took unsourced information from Japanese Wikipedia as a source of research. Pages citing HG101, therefore, can have such unverified information from Japanese Wikipedia back into English Wikipedia.

Because the way this issue happens, this will require a cross-check involving Japanese Wikipedia too, so if possible, please let them know also. FMecha (to talk|to see log) 08:20, 18 August 2018 (UTC)

There have been some additional discussions about the website; those can be seen at WP:VG/S#hg101. --Izno (talk) 15:17, 18 August 2018 (UTC)
I wouldn’t be alarmed unless it’s been a repeated issue. It happens to some of the biggest entertainment websites sometines, but that doesn’t mean she should automatically write off their years of good content with it. We should just flag that writer as unusable or something. Sergecross73 msg me 16:01, 18 August 2018 (UTC)
Depends if it can be confirmed as systemic. I'm more willing to throw the baby out with the bathwater in such situations because the whole point of editorial reliability is having a system of integrity (editorial fact-checking, journalistic ethics, etc.) that prevents this sort of thing. Publications guard this type of stuff with their life if they want to be deserving of blanket trust. czar 17:04, 18 August 2018 (UTC)
Do we even have verification of their initial instance of it though? I only skimmed the first 10-20 posts, and it was just looked like a vague allusion to it happening followed by a dog pile of “HG101 sux” type comments so I started to lose interest. Do they eventually get to some examples or something? Sergecross73 msg me 19:04, 18 August 2018 (UTC)
An anon there admitted he fed HG101 (and a YTer) an false information about an easter egg in Time Gal's HG101 article, but he said that came from a sprite editing website, not Japanese Wikipedia. 11:58, 19 August 2018 (UTC)FMecha (to talk|to see log)
That’s not “verification”, that’s another vague anecdote from 4chan. Sergecross73 msg me 16:33, 19 August 2018 (UTC)
Now that even 4chan considers this is issue is overblown... 17:15, 19 August 2018 (UTC)FMecha (to talk|to see log)

The source for this is a 4chan thread, and it's entirely all speculation. Scanning the thread, they don't actually cite anything as proof. As for HG101, it's a decent source. They do have oversight, and fact checking. Kurt reviews all the articles, and they do fact checking and error correction. If errors are found, they're reported either on the forums, or by contacting Kurt directly.

As for Wikipedia copying, I recently found what looks like the BBC copying info from Wikipedia in regards to the famous 1969 Saigon execution. See: Talk:Nguyễn_Ngọc_Loan#BBC_source. BBC is considered a "gold standard" source, but it looks like they were just copying WP info. Wikipedia being used as a source is a major problem with any post Wikipedia source, and something that should be guarded against. Harizotoh9 (talk) 19:00, 18 August 2018 (UTC)

Is this a reliable source for the claim that Alex Jones has had old links with a group of Iranian hardliners?


--Guy Macon (talk) 10:44, 18 August 2018 (UTC)

I was wondering that when I saw it added.Slatersteven (talk) 10:46, 18 August 2018 (UTC)
It just got reverted.[14]
Iranian hardliners using some of Jones' conspiracy theories for their own end is plausible, and if there is a reliable source for that, would be an interesting addition to the article. Jones having ties with Iran? Not plausible. --Guy Macon (talk) 12:05, 18 August 2018 (UTC)
I removed the edit before I saw this. One source is a paper linked with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Another is linked to the Iranian gov’t. Another is an Alex Jones video. I don’t think these are usable sources for rather dramatic claims. O3000 (talk) 12:06, 18 August 2018 (UTC)
And I was just re-reverted. O3000 (talk) 12:11, 18 August 2018 (UTC)
We need good secondary WP:RS to make such claims especially in WP:BLP --Shrike (talk) 13:33, 18 August 2018 (UTC)
  • Clearly not. Even setting reliability and bias of Iranian news-sources aside, three of them don't even mention Alex Jones, while the fourth is supposedly a clip featuring Jones from the 911 conspiracy documentary We were there hosted on a generic video-hosting site (afaict the documentarians just used one of his pre-existing recordings on the subject). The "old links with a group of Iranian hardliners" bit is not supported by any the cited sources. That is just made up out of whole cloth by the editor. Too lazy to list all the policies the edit flouts Abecedare (talk) 15:44, 18 August 2018 (UTC)

Is Designers & Dragons a RS for: (a) games and game companies, (b) BLPs?

Recently the question arose as to whether or not Designers & Dragons [15], a book on fantasy role-play games, is a WP:RS for (a) games and game companies, (b) WP:BLPs.

  • Publisher: The book's publisher is Evil Hat, a fantasy game and t-shirt company located somewhere in the United States (no physical address is given on its website and I was unable to locate it via a reverse EIN search either). [16]
  • Author: The book's author is Shannon Applecline. A bio purporting to be that of Applecline is here: [17].
  • Reception: The book has been cited in about two-dozen master's degree theses and undergraduate term papers. [18] A check of JSTOR and Google News finds no scholarly journals or mainstream media which have reviewed it. It is cited once each in Empire of Imagination: Gary Gygax and the Birth of Dungeons & Dragons from Bloomsbury and Dragons in the Stacks: A Teen Librarian's GUide to Tabletop Role-Playing from ABC-CLIO.

Is this source RS for (a) games and game companies, (b) BLPs? Chetsford (talk) 01:03, 19 August 2018 (UTC)

  • Undecided on "A", No on "B" - I'm undecided leaning towards "RS" for games and game companies. However, I don't believe this could surmount the high threshold required to source a BLP. Neither the publisher nor author have any non-fiction credits other than this book and the author has no known educational credentials, or wider journalistic / academic reputation, that would qualify him to conduct original historical or biographical research. I have been unable to find any physical presence for the publisher by which it could be held legally responsible for what it publishes, as it appears not to disclose its physical address and even a reverse EIN search turns up blank. With the exception of undergraduate papers and master theses (which are not, themselves, RS) instances of the book being cited by reliable sources are light and there's no examples of it being used to cite a biographical statement in a RS (only product descriptions). Chetsford (talk) 01:03, 19 August 2018 (UTC)
    • Given the lack of information on the publisher, and low profile of the author, I would say the book is not a reliable source, period. - Donald Albury 02:25, 19 August 2018 (UTC)
      • I agree with Donald Albury, for the reasons stated. Not reliable. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 04:54, 19 August 2018 (UTC)
        • Being published by a game company I would suspect it fails the editorial control/reputation for fact checking and accuracy criteria. On the other hand several volumes have been published so that is enough to establish a reputation. On yet another hand, I see no evidence of other reliable sources making use of it, which is really the only proxy we have for its reputation and acceptance. Based on that I do not think it could be considered a reliable source for anything until we can get a better handle on its editorial control and fact checking. Jbh Talk 05:44, 19 August 2018 (UTC)
          • Designers & Dragons is cited by many/all of the authoritative scholarly sources in the field (as WP:SECONDARY reminds us to check whether "the source has entered mainstream academic discourse"). Most recently, Designers & Dragons is cited extensively and with evident approbation in Role-Playing Game Studies: Transmedia Foundations, the new academic text, published by Routledge, which for now is the leading text in the field. I can produce earlier citations of Designers & Dragons, but SCHOLARSHIP seems to be easily met by its role in unquestionably reliable sources, and SCHOKARSHIP is, as I understand it, the "gold standard for both BIO and CORP sources. Newimpartial (talk) 11:16, 19 August 2018 (UTC)
            • What you say appears to be incorrect. It is listed in several chapter's bibliographies and as 'Further reading' but I see nothing directly cited to the work. Without that it is impossible to know what it was used for. So, yes, it was consulted but I see no indication in that work that it was used for historical information about gaming companies which is the matter at hand here.
              This paper used it for some historical information on D&D, TSR. Jbh Talk 12:52, 19 August 2018 (UTC)
              • The above statement appears to be misleading. The Routledge text employs chapter bibliographies rather than individual citations, based on its intended use in universities. Most of the chapter references are either primary sources or academic/theoretical sources. The repeated references to Designers & Dragons in the bibliographies give it pride of place as a secondary source in the field, as having "entered mainstream scholarly discourse". Newimpartial (talk) 13:15, 19 August 2018 (UTC)
                • That is an … erm … interesting … source analysis. I will however disagree. We can not infer anything other than several authors looked at the work. In particular there is no indication that the work was used for the history of game companies, which is what we are examining it for here, or is any way considered generally authoritative purpose by the academic community.
                  My concern is that the publisher has no history of academic, or even non-fiction, publishing. Therefore I do not accept, without evidence, that the editorial standards they have for publishing games are adequate, particularly in terms of fact checking and accuracy, for an authoritative "academic" work.
                  I just looked at the Amazon free sample of the work and it is no more than a narrative history. I see no citations for facts nor any indications that it is reliable beyond a single person's observations and musings. It is effectively an oral history – a good work but essentially a primary source. Jbh Talk 17:34, 19 August 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes it is for A and B - and a note that the user who opposed has been trying to argue for mass deletion of pages that rely on it as a reliable source. Simonm223 (talk) 11:28, 19 August 2018 (UTC)
Given it is published by a games company, I would say no. There are issues if primary source and even SPS here. OK maybe they might be OK for historical information, about people or products that have no connection to the company. But outside that I would say they are not interdependent enough to be an RS.Slatersteven (talk) 11:37, 19 August 2018 (UTC)
Agreed that each edition of Designers & Dragons is not RS for the publisher at the time, which is the one issue of independence. Also agreed that its relevance is for historical/factual information, not really for analysis.Newimpartial (talk) 11:49, 19 August 2018 (UTC)
  • I believe it meets all three criteria. To clarify on the part of the publisher, there have been two editions of the book, published by two separate game publishers who I believe are fully independent from each other and are headquartered in different countries. The first edition of the book was published as a single volume in 2011 by British game company Mongoose Publishing. The second edition was greatly expanded and published in 2014 in four volumes by US game company Evil Hat Productions. The first edition consists of roughly 50-60 chapters, with each chapter consisting of a history of one game company that was known for producing role-playing games, including discussing the people who have been a part of that company, and games that the company is known for. The text is written as partial oral history and partial commentary on decisions made by the companies. The second edition expands on the information in the first edition by adding more than 20 additional chapters on other companies, and expanding on the information featured in most of the chapters from the first edition; most of the text is reproduced identically from the first edition. Shannon Appelcline himself has been a game designer/writer, and he currently runs RPGnet and publishes articles there - most of the information from the first edition of Designers & Dragons was and still is on RPGnet, written for fans of the website before Mongoose agreed to publish it as a book. I would say his design experience and research qualifies him as an expert in the field. The credits of the book list a few dozen industry professionals that he consulted for information to write the book with. Important individuals in the field are discussed in detail in the book, including in some cases talking somewhat about their earlier lives and schooling, personal lives, and careers before and after getting into the gaming field. BOZ (talk) 13:23, 19 August 2018 (UTC)
Appelcline does not cite his sources inline in the text, but at the end of the Mongoose edition, he provides a bibliography of sources "built from thousands of primary sources including interviews, design notes, reviews, news articles, press releases, catalogues, forum postings and other non-fiction articles. It was also built with the assistance of hundreds of readers, fact-checkers and scanners." He lists over 30 magazines and similar publications ("a solid collection of RPG magazines dating back through the ‘80s and ’90, before the age of the internet made it easy for publishers to get information out to fans"), more than a dozen non-fiction books about the industry ("Any number of RPG books was consulted, primarily for insight into that game or its publisher. The following non-fiction sources were also used. Secondary sources like the Role-Playing Bibles tended to be used for date confirmation and references to primary sources, not for analysis.") several web resources ("The web proved an invaluable resource, particularly for companies in existence from the late ‘90s onward [and] a few of the web sites that I visited multiple times over the course of the project") and he lists several dozen fact checkers, most of whom worked for one or more of the companies he wrote about ("Whenever I finished an article, I tried to get one or more people associated with the company in question to comment on it. In one or two cases where I did not have sufficient company feedback, I got some help from fans as well. These people helped to make this book considerably more accurate and informative thanks to both corrections and insight generously given. Some were kind enough to comment on multiple editions of these articles over the years."). BOZ (talk) 18:35, 19 August 2018 (UTC)
Which means his assertions are untraceable and uncheckable. The reliability of the source then comes down to, in my opinion, the reputation of the publisher, which for reasons I have previously mentioned, is inadequate. The deficiencies of documentation and publisher could be offset if the author had a reputation for, or training in historiography. He does not.
There is no doubt the author put great time and effort into his work but, for the reasons I have stated, I do not believe it meets the Wikipedia's standards to be considered a reliable source for company histories or BLP. Jbh Talk 19:03, 19 August 2018 (UTC)
  • Please see instructions at the top. What article and what material is this being used to reference? Only in death does duty end (talk) 14:35, 19 August 2018 (UTC)
Hi Only in death does duty end, sorry. It's used quite extensively in BLPs so I can't provide an exhaustive list, however, here are a few examples:
  • M. Alexander Jurkat - used to cite entire article including professional licenses (attorney), bankruptcy, inspirations / favorite things, and employment history [19]
  • John Harshman - used to cite educational credentials and place of residence [20]
  • Fred Hicks - used to cite the entire article, including the BLP's employment history, employment status, favorite things, friendships, and inspirations. [21]
  • Andria Hayday - used to cite date the BLP's employer terminated them [22]
  • Jack Herman - used to cite most of article, including the BLP's legal disputes and details of his business contracts with other people [23]
  • Shane Lacy Hensley - used to cite most of article, including place of birth, childhood hobbies, and detailed employment history
  • Dale Henson - used to cite entire article [24]
Chetsford (talk) 16:36, 19 August 2018 (UTC)
  • Not reliable for company histories nor for BLP per my arguments above. The publisher is not an established publisher of non-fiction works and therefore can not be assumed to have adequate editorial controls for fact checking and accuracy. What I have seen of the work (Amazon sample) it is written as an oral history and provides no backstop for facts presented beyond the assertion of its author. Jbh Talk 17:45, 19 August 2018 (UTC)
  • Reliable for both Each of the four volumes provides a Bibliography citing the sources used. Many of the sources are, in turn, other publications such as magazines. There is also a fifth volume entitled "Designers & Dragons The Platinum Appendix" that also lists all the references used. For me, the books meet the criteria of a reliable source. The books have been published and are available to purchase in hard copy form, and they're available and stocked in book stores. In addition, the author is identified and the publisher identified. The books have been cited in academic sources and has been acknowledged in lots of other sources as a comprehensive history. For example, The Oxonian Review which has an editorial board.— Preceding unsigned comment added by HighKing (talkcontribs) 20:42, 19 August 2018 (UTC (UTC)
  • Reliable for Games/Companies, unsure for BLP Designers and Dragons is extremely heavily used and referenced inside the RPG industry and generally hailed as the pre-eminent source for RPG histories. Shannon Appelcline is regarded as the premier historian of RPGs. The first edition was published by Mongoose Publishing and the second edition multi volume set was published by Evil Hat. Note that the author does not work for either of those companies, it was just the means of publishing. The work is generally referenced (not as specifically and heavily as Wikipedia but all sources are listed), but as for many communities the outside oversight is minor as it is for every smaller subject area. Most company information is heavily cross referenced to people who worked for those companies and additional third party sources about the companies. As for BLP I'd be a little more unsure but considering the number of people interviewed for the work and since Shannon used most major players in the industry, I'd say it's as reliable a source for BLPs of the prominent people in the RPG industry as any, but I'm open to an argument against it. Canterbury Tail talk 21:28, 19 August 2018 (UTC)
  • Borderline, reliable for non-extraordinary claims about game companies but not for BLPs. Per WP:SCHOLARSHIP, the guideline governing the type of source it purports to be, since the publisher is not academic we ascertain reliability by citation patterns. As discussed above, it is cited only in sources that are themselves marginal—theses and tiny start-up journals—with the exception of the Routledge collection, which is edited by an associate professor and a PhD in Media Studies. In this, it's cited only a half-dozen times, albeit usually for substantial points of fact, and chapter 4, Tabletop Role-Playing Games, names it as one of two sources on which "the historical arc traced here draws in large measure upon". Balancing the fact that this is only one publication (and mostly one chapter) with the fact that precious little has been published in this field, I would cautiously say that this source seems reliable for unsurprising claims about its field, but that it hasn't been vetted widely or frequently enough to rely on it for BLP information. FourViolas (talk) 23:44, 19 August 2018 (UTC)


Since the above discussion is becoming more detailed than anticipated, for ease of overview (but not to replace or substitute for the above discussion as per WP:NOTAVOTE), I have created the following summary table of the position of individual editors as a GF attempt to represent an interpretation of their opinions. Please feel free to edit or modify it directly if I have misrepresented you (edit - or remove yourself entirely if you do not want your opinion presented in summary format or to add yourself if you're not represented but contributed above). Chetsford (talk) 18:49, 19 August 2018 (UTC)

Editor Reliable for Games
or Game Companies?
Reliability for BLPs?
Chetsford Maybe No
Jbhunley No No
Cullen328 No No
Donald Albury No No
BOZ Yes Yes
Simonm223 Yes Yes
Newimpartial Yes Yes
HighKing Yes Yes
Slatersteven Maybe
(for those unconnected with publisher)
(for those unconnected with publisher)
Canterbury Tail Yes Maybe
HighKing Yes Yes
FourViolas Yes
(non-extraordinary claims)
Thanks - you might want to put a "ping" next to each of their names or something to give them a chance to make sure they agree with your interpretation. BOZ (talk) 18:54, 19 August 2018 (UTC)
Excellent point - done. Chetsford (talk) 18:57, 19 August 2018 (UTC)

Primary genetics studies + MEDRS

Are primary genetics studies covered by WP:MEDRS? Stuff that is published in journals like the European Journal of Human Genetics or a primary study like this (available through PubMed) [25]? Seraphim System (talk) 03:20, 19 August 2018 (UTC)

  • I'm not an expert on WP:Biomedical information, but I would use that particular study with extreme caution, given that it's authored by current 23andMe employees and is promoting that company's questionable methodologies more or less uncritically. In general, my opinion is that science-and-race research is so complicated and so often bitterly controversial [26] that WP:SCIRS and its instructions for finding scientific consensus in authoritative secondary sources should be followed strictly. FourViolas (talk) 18:20, 19 August 2018 (UTC)
Retrieved from ""
This content was retrieved from Wikipedia :
This page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article "Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard"; it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the CC-BY-SA