Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard

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Colin Heaton's biography of Hans-Joachim Marseille

BLUF: Heaton & Lewis is an acceptable, reliable source for the article. Rationale: H&L have not produced a "scholarly" book on Marseille, but their quality is clear. Simply finding errors in their work(s) does not eliminate them as an acceptable source. (Indeed, scholars seek to "find errors" in the work of others as part of scholarly debate.) The caveat to this closing should be clear – while acceptable, the info H&L provide must be given proper weight per consensus. So, I recommend reducing the length of the Nazism section. In particular: Sheck is over-used; too much emphasis is given to the 1942 Germany visit and his piano playing; we do not have collaboration about his Holocaust concerns; and "several biographies" are not cited for "distain" of Nazism and Nazi leadership. – S. Rich (talk) 19:02, 24 March 2017 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

The source in question is Heaton, Colin; Lewis, Anne-Marie (2012). The Star of Africa: The Story of Hans Marseille, the Rogue Luftwaffe Ace. London, UK: Zenith Press. ISBN 978-0-7603-4393-7.

It is used several times for lengthy paragraphs in Hans-Joachim Marseille#Marseille and Nazism to make the case that Marseille was "openly anti-Nazi". I have argued at Talk:Hans-Joachim Marseille#Evidence for Marseille's "anti-Nazi" stand that these passages in Heaton's bio are almost exclusively based upon personal reminiscences by former comrades and Nazi persona like Karl Wolff, Artur Axmann, Hans Baur and Leni Riefenstahl, which are renowned for being talkative about the Nazi era and being apologetic at that. Their stories are not supported by other sources, but in fact appear to be very unlikely, if not impossible. Heaton's gives dates which contradict themselves and commits obvious errors. The stories he relates about Corporal Mathew Letulu [sic!], i.e. Mathew P. Letuku, contradict much better documented secondary literature. Apart from interviews, possibly conducted by himself, which is difficult to tell given the rudimentary nature of the footnotes, Heaton relies almost exclusively on two biographies, one by military pulp writer Franz Kurowski, the other a "tribute" by some Robert Tate. Based upon this evidence Heaton draws far reaching conclusions, namely that "Marseille was perhaps the most openly anti-Nazi warrior in the Third Reich." (p. 4) Given its focus upon oral evidence, collected somewhat 40 (?) years after the events, its poor editing and obvious errors, I consider that biography to be an unreliable source that should not be used excessively (and it is used for many more dubious claims) in a GA in the English Wikipedia, because it is misleading.--Assayer (talk) 20:14, 28 December 2016 (UTC)

I agree with you that this source is very weak for an article on a Nazi era figure. I wouldn't have a problem with it being mentioned as "some biographies say", i.e. carefully attributed. It seems to be overused at the moment. Itsmejudith (talk) 21:26, 28 December 2016 (UTC)
It seems to be usable only as evidence for what unreliable sources say, and I'd use it only when it is explicitly described as unreliable. Richard Keatinge (talk) 12:38, 30 December 2016 (UTC)
Nothing but opinions from an agenda-driven Wikipedia editor. Assayer wants Heaton off Wikipedia. He has failed to show Heaton unreliable. Those are the facts that matter.
I am also concerned with the comments from Itsmejudith. What do you know about the literature of aerial warfare in World War II? And how could you say that about a book you've never read?
I'd encourage people to have a look at the talk page of Hans-Joachim Marseille - where the complainant makes accusation and assertion with no evidence. Dapi89 (talk) 11:12, 1 January 2017 (UTC)
See WP:HISTRS. Popular books by non-historians are not reliable for the history of WW2. Itsmejudith (talk) 12:20, 3 January 2017 (UTC)
  • You are miss quoting what is a guideline; see section: What is historical scholarship. The question as to the book for evaluation is whether it is considered WP:RS or not; I do not know this work and therefore cannot offer an opinion. Kierzek (talk) 18:46, 26 January 2017 (UTC)
Unfortunately, biographical works by academic historians on members of the Wehrmacht or SS below the rank of general can be numbered on the fingers of one hand, so WP:HISTRS is useless and we must fall back upon the traditional methods of evaluating a book and its author like use of primary sources, use of puffery or biased language, etc. All that requires actually reading the book more thoroughly than a Google snippet can allow. I've never read Heaton so I really don't know if I'd consider him RS or not. Personally, I'd be most interested to see what Wübbe has to say.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 14:19, 3 January 2017 (UTC)
@Sturmvogel 66: On Wubbe, here's input from an editor familiar with this work: The book is 20% text and 80% pictures and copies of the original documents plus newspaper clippings. Source: User_talk:Dapi89/Archive_1#Hans Joachim Marseille. I.e. it's about 80% primary material, including unreliable war-time propaganda, and 20% commentary, also potentially unreliable given the slant of the publisher. The book was published by Verlag Siegfried Bublies -- de:Verlag Bublies, "a small, extreme-right publisher from Beltheim". K.e.coffman (talk) 17:24, 12 February 2017 (UTC)
He doesnt have a biography here, but from what I can google online he probably passes muster as a reliable source. Ex-military, ex-history professor, current historian and consultant for TV/Film on WW2. He is qualified in the area, has been published on the subject as well as earning a living from it for a significant time. If the only thing being held against him requires second-guessing him, thats not how WP:V works and is bordering on original research. Only in death does duty end (talk) 14:36, 3 January 2017 (UTC)
As to the argument that Heaton is "qualified in the area": According to Heaton's own CV on his own commercial website he holds a BA and two MA degrees in history, was consultant and adjunct professor to the online American Military University and guest historian for a single episode of a History channel programme. That's not very impressive. What is more, I looked for reviews of his works and could not find much. It seems, however, that Heaton regularly uses "oral testimony" from people involved. That is stressed by Stephen M. Miller in a recent review of Heaton's Four-War Boer for the Journal of African History (2016), commenting that the information of the interviews are not substantiated in the text or in the notes ("unfortunately") and Horst Boog, reviewing Heaton's Night Fighters (which is his MA thesis at Temple Univ.) for the Militärgeschichtliche Zeitschrift (2010). Boog also points to numerous errors, for example Heaton's estimate of 1.2 million civillian German bomb victims. (The highest estimate is actually 635,000 victims, recent research (Richard Overy) estimates 353,000 victims.) I might add that by now I am challenging the reliability of the book for a certain, controversial characterization of Jochen Marseille. Thus one does not need to read the whole book (which I did), because I refer to a couple of pages which are cited at length in the article, I point to the sources and how they are used and I point to the language.--Assayer (talk) 17:05, 4 January 2017 (UTC)
The above is a combination of original research which we dont do and actual genuine concerns. If multiple reliable sources have cast doubt on his credibility (critical reviews, peers countering his claims etc) then that does shed doubt on his useability in an article. Could you make a list of the sources critical of him/his book? Only in death does duty end (talk) 17:19, 4 January 2017 (UTC)

I've looked. Nothing. I did say earlier in this thread, this claim of unreliability is just an opinion of one editor. This type of personal attack on sources has been made across multiple threads and articles with the same old result. Heaton qualifies as reliable. Dapi89 (talk) 13:07, 6 January 2017 (UTC)
I'd like to add that you could find critical reviews about facets of any one of these academics work, even Overy and Miller. Using the differentials in casualty figures, which vary among all academics is a weak argument (never mind what the latest, supposedly new, research has to say, which doesn't automatically make it accurate anyway). And can you define victims? Anyone who suffered a gash from an air attack can be considered a victim. Such vague descriptions are unhelpful. Opinions are also unhelpful. Assayer is well aware of what is required here. Does this editor have reviews that are directly critical or not? Dapi89 (talk) 13:28, 6 January 2017 (UTC)
@Only in death: Could you please elaborate where you draw the line between OR and "genuine concerns"? Neither do I use unpublished sources nor do I come to a conclusion on my own. I simply hold what Heaton says against what other published sources say. Isn't that what User:Sturmvogel 66 asks for, if we don't have biographical works by academic historians at hand? How else could we evaluate the reliability of a publication, that is ignored by historiographical works? Please do also take into account how the material sourced to Heaton's biography is presented in the article, namely as factual accounts. Of course this is what Heaton does in his work: He weaves lengthy quotations of various anecdotes related to him through interviews into a coherent narrative. These anecdotes are not supported by third party sources and Heaton does not discuss their reliability. Thus many of the information can only be traced to oral testimony. Do we have to accept that as reliable, simply because Heaton does?
@Dapi89: Although I chose to ignore your continuous personal attacks I have to say that remarks like "Anyone who suffered a gash from an air attack can be considered a victim" are highly inappropriate. And the literature on aerial warfare in World War II is not that "vague".--Assayer (talk) 17:29, 8 January 2017 (UTC)
It's not an attack it is an observation on your behaviour. Those comments are entirely appropriate unless you feel the wounded don't count. I didn't say it was vague. I said you're vague. All this is hot air. You're trying to use discrepancies and differentials in accounts and figures, and unbelievably spelling differences (!!), to try and have an author discredited. OR is being kind. You're views are personal and tendentious. You're a polemist. End of story. Dapi89 (talk) 20:16, 8 January 2017 (UTC)

If Horst Boog, one of the most respected German authorities on aerial warfare during WW II, devotes a whole paragraph of his review to a list of errors, concluding that there were even more errors, then this does not add to an author's reliability as a source. I take notice that this biography is predominantly cosidered to be a "very weak" source, to say the least. One editor questioned the applicability of WP:HISTRS in cases such as this, while yet another considered the evaluation of certain claims against the background of other published sources as OR. The contradictions between these different approaches were not resolved. One editor rather commented on me than on the content, so that my evidence remains unchallenged. Maybe, as a piece of WP:FANCRUFT, the article in question is fittingly based upon anecdotes told by veterans and former Nazis. I find it troubling, however, that this is a GA by Wikipedia standards and short of FA status only because of the prose, not because of dubious content or unreliable sources.--Assayer (talk) 21:12, 12 January 2017 (UTC)

I've previously raised concerns about Heaton on the Talk page (Talk:Hans-Joachim Marseille#Unreliable sources tag) as a WP:QS source, due to problematic POV he exhibited in one of his articles. He has called an action of a German commander an "act of humanity". A "daring raid" or "skillful military ruse" would be okay, but "an act of humanity"? That is just bizarre. (See: Talk:2nd SS Panzer Division Das Reich#Heaton. Comment from another editor was: "Heaton removed as biased pov and non WP:RS").
A related question, does Heaton indeed cite Franz Kurowski in his work? If yes, how extensively? K.e.coffman (talk) 03:53, 17 January 2017 (UTC)

"the applicability of WP:HISTRS" Assayer, what applicability? The link leads to Wikipedia:Identifying reliable sources (history), which is an essay, neither policy, nor guideline. Per Wikipedia:Essays: "Essays have no official status, and do not speak for the Wikipedia community as they may be created without approval. Following the instructions or advice given in an essay is optional. There are currently about 2,000 essays on a wide range of Wikipedia related topics."

And this particular essay does not discount works of popular history: "Where scholarly works are unavailable, the highest quality commercial or popular works should be used." Dimadick (talk) 07:59, 17 January 2017 (UTC)

@Dimadick: I did not bring WP:HISTRS up, but User:Itsmejudith. I did find that comment more helpful than others, though, because it provided at least some kind of guidance. I did not argue, however, that "highest quality commercial or popular works" should never be used. In general the comments during this discussion were contradictory. But how would you determine the quality of sources?
@K.e.coffman: Heaton considers Kurowski's bio of Marseille to be "very good" (p. xiv). Given the number of Heaton's footnotes I would say about a third of them refer to Kurowski. I did not check every footnote, what and how much material he borrowed. Heaton's main source are his interviews. In chapter 4 "Learning the Ropes", for example, there are 21 references, six refer to Kurowski, the rest refer to interviews.--Assayer (talk) 19:59, 17 January 2017 (UTC)
@Dimadick: Does the editor consider Heaton to be high quality commercial / popular work? K.e.coffman (talk) 16:46, 18 January 2017 (UTC)
If you mean me, I am not particularly convinced of Heaton's quality. I just noted that the discussion was using an essay to ban popular history works. Dimadick (talk) 16:49, 18 January 2017 (UTC)
Thank you for the clarification. K.e.coffman (talk) 00:57, 19 January 2017 (UTC)
Assayer and K.e.coffman have used Wikipedia to attack sources about any German serviceman who served in World War II if it dares to complement their personal bravery or service record. Coffman has opposed the advancement of these articles, namely the Knight's Cross lists and has deleted hundreds of articles about these recipients. It should come as no surprise that their singular agenda here is to degrade and delete portions of the article that doesn't fit with their opinions. Assayer in particular has scoured the internet for anything he can find that is critical of Heaton. The tiny and weak tidbits of those academic(s) (just the one?) that are critical of small aspects of his work is nowhere near enough to decry Heaton. Virtually nothing else.
This attack on Heaton should be treated for what it is: OR and opinion by a pair of anonymous internet users. And they don't get to decide who is admitted to Wikipedia and who isn't. I'm glad at least one other editor can see that. Dapi89 (talk) 19:24, 18 January 2017 (UTC)
@Dapi89: "at least one other editor can see that" -- Which other editor is that? K.e.coffman (talk) 01:00, 19 January 2017 (UTC)

I found a review of Heaton's book on Marseille from Aviation History. Mar 2013, Vol. 23 Issue 4, p62-62. 1/2p.. It reads in part:

  • "Writing the biography of a 22-year-old, most of whose life remains undocumented, isn't easy. The only way to turn it into a book is lots of photographs (Kurowski's method) or this husband-and-wife team's choice, spending way too many pages reciting the exact details of 158 aerial combats…which in turn requires suspension of disbelief on the part of readers. How, exactly, did the authors know which rudder Marseille kicked and what the airspeed read, whether he pulled full flaps or skidded to avoid a pursuer's rounds, just what Marseille saw through his windscreen and exactly when he saw it?"

K.e.coffman (talk) 06:01, 20 January 2017 (UTC)

Which editor do you think? Or do you ignore posts you don't like?
So? If K.e.Coffman knew anything about Marseille, he'd know that through interviews with his commanding officers, and pilots in his units, Heaton is able to understand how he approached air combat. Marseille shared his knowledge with all those around him. I've seen interviews with Korner and Neumann that explicitly discuss Marseille's unorthodox tactics, some of which are sourced in the article. Simple really. Dapi89 (talk) 10:55, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
Perhaps K.e.Coffman needs to remember (if he knew, which I doubt), that 109 of the 158 claims filed by Marseille are recorded which included many combat reports with short but vivid descriptions of how he engaged the enemy in successful combats. Dapi89 (talk) 11:00, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
Editor Dapi89 state that criticism of Heaton was "nothing but opinions from an agenda-driven Wikipedia editor". I have provided a 3rd party review of Heaton's work on Marseille, which points out that the work is close to being historical fiction in its depictions of the areal battles ("requires suspension of disbelief on the part of readers"). Is this review also wrong? K.e.coffman (talk) 20:52, 22 January 2017 (UTC)
That says what exactly!? I repeat; the reviewer and it's number one wikipedia fan don't seem to understand that actions, tactics and the subject's point of view are quite easy to record.
And even if this reviewer had something insightful and factually accurate to say, using it to attack and remove another source from Wikipedia shows the agenda driven nature of the attacking editor. It shows K.e.Coffman, you're not interested in researching the subject for its own sake, but scratching around for dirt you can throw at Heaton. It is absurd to contemplate labelling Heaton unreliable because he receives some form of criticism from someone who likely is not an authority on Marseille. Heaton is.
It should be obvious the reviewer, whoever they maybe, is too ignorant to be entertained. Dapi89 (talk) 23:26, 22 January 2017 (UTC)
@Dapi89: please see: WP:no personal attacks.
The review is of the work under discussion, it's by "Wilkinson, Stephan" from the Aviation History magazine. Unless the magazine is not reputable, I don't see how a 3rd party review can be dismissed on the grounds that (in the opinion of one editor) it's been shared by "agenda-driven" contributor to "scratch around for dirt [to] throw at Heaton". K.e.coffman (talk) 23:49, 22 January 2017 (UTC)
It isn't an attack. It's an observation. Understand the difference. I've lost count of the number of editors that have said the same thing.
Once more, you are using a non-expert source to attack the credibility of biographer. That is OR and Tendentious. You can see why a score or more of editors regard you as agenda driven. You've spent the last few months doing this type of thing. Your efforts to destroy the article on German personnel won't be tolerated without exceptionally good reason. Dapi89 (talk) 07:32, 23 January 2017 (UTC)

Summary on Heaton

Summarising, as the discussion has been long and involved:

  • this source is very weak for an article on a Nazi era figure via Itsmejudith
  • It seems to be usable only as evidence for what unreliable sources say, and I'd use it only when it is explicitly described as unreliable via Richard Keatinge
  • He doesnt have a biography here, but from what I can google online he probably passes muster as a reliable source. Ex-military, ex-history professor, current historian and consultant for TV/Film on WW2 via Only in death
  • I've never read Heaton so I really don't know if I'd consider him RS or not via Sturmvogel 66
  • I am not particularly convinced of Heaton's quality via Dimadick

K.e.coffman (talk) 02:36, 26 January 2017 (UTC)

How many times do you have to be told, that you don't get to decide whether a source is reliable. Neither does anybody else, unless they can provide good cause.
The personal opinions of Wikipedia editors are useless. Dapi89 (talk) 21:36, 27 January 2017 (UTC)
@Only in death: I was able to clarify that evaluation of sources is not original research; please see this discussion: Wikipedia talk:No original research#Evaluation of sources. K.e.coffman (talk) 23:42, 27 January 2017 (UTC)
You were not evaluating a source. You don't like it. You made a decision it had to go, then scoured the internet for anything that would support your pre-existing prejudices against sources that write about German military personnel and that don't label them Nazis or falsifiers of their own records. Using anonymous reviews, from non-experts to ban sources about which they offer only the very slightest of criticism is tendentious AND OR. Dapi89 (talk) 13:18, 28 January 2017 (UTC)
Please visit Wikipedia talk:No original research#Evaluation of sources and engage with the editors there. K.e.coffman (talk) 00:11, 29 January 2017 (UTC)
I don't need to. You're behaviour encompasses more than OR, also Tendentious and selective editing. Dapi89 (talk) 12:48, 29 January 2017 (UTC)
The above comment incorrectly identifies historian Horst Boog as a "non-expert". He was the pre-eminent expert on the Luftwaffe operations during World War II, having contributed to three volumes of the seminal series Germany and the Second World War.
General note: this is a noticeboard to discuss reliability of sources, not user behaviour. For the latter, please see Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents. K.e.coffman (talk) 03:55, 1 February 2017 (UTC)

Second summary on Heaton

  • This discussion has been going on for more than a month now. It is fair to say that no consensus has developed that this source is unreliable. Let's close this discussion per WP:DROPTHESTICK. --Nug (talk) 09:52, 1 February 2017 (UTC)
  • I do not see it this way.
  • Three editors expressed concerns about the source (see above).
  • The nom expressed concerns.
  • I've not considered Heaton to be reliable since encountering content cited to him at SS Division Das Reich.
  • One editor stated that Heaton is probably RS and expressed concerns over OR in evaluating the source, but have not come back to the discussion.
  • One editor has expressed an opinion that Heaton is RS.
Thus, the rough consensus seems clear to me that Heaton is not a suitable source for the claims in the article. K.e.coffman (talk) 20:10, 1 February 2017 (UTC)
  • Expressing a concern isn't the same as declaring it unreliable. You have misrepresented what the various editors have said in your summary. For example you quote Itsmejudith: this source is very weak for an article on a Nazi era figure but omit her next sentence: I wouldn't have a problem with it being ... carefully attributed. Only you have openly stated this source is unreliable, but two stated it is RS, well make that three since Itsmejudith thinks it okay if properly attributed, actually make that four as I think Heaton is a reliable source for his own opinion that "Marseille was perhaps the most openly anti-Nazi warrior in the Third Reich." --Nug (talk) 21:03, 1 February 2017 (UTC)
He's a reliable source for the decades-later reports of people with a strong point of view. This does not suggest that his interpretations are reliable for the sort of judgements that are being made about "anti-Nazi" attitudes in the early 1940s. He is on the margins of usability, and then only when appropriately framed and very carefully used. Richard Keatinge (talk) 14:29, 2 February 2017 (UTC)
I started this debate to get some additional input whether this particular source is reliable for the content it supports and I would like to thank you for the input. As a reminder: In the article in question Heaton's biography of Marseille is not simply used to present Heaton's opinion. Instead numerous anecdotes and stories related to Heaton through interviews and quoted by him at length are presented as facts.(Perma) It seems fair to summarize that Heaton is a reliable source for his own opinion and for the decades-later reports of people with a strong point of view. Thus the consensus of this debate is that these opinions and reports are to be carefully attributed.--Assayer (talk) 00:24, 3 February 2017 (UTC)
No I don't think that is a fair conclusion. While Heaton's opinion with respect to Marseille's anti-Nazi sentiment should be attributed, there is nothing to suggest that the numerous anecdotes and stories related to Heaton through interviews and quoted by him are unreliable. In fact a review of his book by the journal Military Review in the March-April 2015 edition states "A well-written, insightful, quality book, it entertains while it educates; it is highly recommended."[1] --Nug (talk) 02:32, 5 February 2017 (UTC)
@Nug: Since you seem to offer dissent to my conclusion that opinions and "decades-later reports" were to be attributed, please clarify: Do you argue that the anecdotes and stories that can be found in Heaton's bio are to be accepted as fact and presented as such in a Wikipedia article? Because my argument is that anecdotes and "decades-later reports of people with a strong point of view" are in general biased and opinionated and thus should be dealt with according to WP:BIASED, i.e., with WP:INTEXT at the least, although in regard to the details I would point to WP:ONUS and WP:EXCEPTIONAL. That anecdotes by former Nazis and comrades are quoted at length by Colin Heaton may add color to the picture, but does not transform their anecdotes into truthful, objective, reliable, and accurate representations of historical truth. I have specified my concerns on the talk page of the article, so you might look for examples there.--Assayer (talk) 15:06, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
Do you have a source that backs your conclusion? I've provided a review published in the journal Military Review that highly recommends the book. I see you have ignored that. This discussion has been going on for weeks here, perhaps time to accept there is no consensus for your opinion and WP:DROPTHESTICK now? --Nug (talk) 00:30, 18 February 2017 (UTC)
Thank you for clarification. So I'll take notice, that because of a review by Major Chris Buckham, a Logistics Officer in the Royal Canadian Air Force and graduate of the Royal Military College of Canada with a BA in Political Science and an MA in International Relations, you think that "first-person anecdotes and interviews with many of [Marseille's] former commanders and colleagues" (Buckham) conducted by Heaton are to be considered factual accounts and can be presented accordingly. Since you are asking for sources, please take note of the extensive material I have presented here and on the talk page of the article. I may remind you, moreover, that Dapi89, who is also very much in favor of those anecdotes, has already thrown out a slightly less favorable review of the book in question by stating, and I am quoting only his more civilized words, It is absurd to contemplate labelling Heaton unreliable because he receives some form of criticism from someone who likely is not an authority on Marseille. He considers this as OR and Tendentious. By that logic Heaton cannot be labelled reliable because of some praise he may have received by a non-expert, or can he? Unless, of course, this is not about sorting reviews by pre-existing prejudices in favor of Heaton. Consensus does not necessarily mean that every editor agrees on every issue. It is the quality of the argument that matters.--Assayer (talk) 03:32, 18 February 2017 (UTC)
So to clarify, are you saying that the opinion of an anonymous Wikipedia editor of unknown academic qualifications, self-published on this notice board, carries more weight than the opinion of an identified academically qualified military officer published in the leading professional journal of the US Army? Seriously? --Nug (talk) 08:49, 18 February 2017 (UTC)
No, I don't say that Dapi89's opinions carry a particular weight, in fact, I find most of them unsubstantiated and focused on personal attacks rather than content. I would not summarily label any reviewer as unqualified, but wanted to point out, that you cannot choose reviews to your liking. I have done what is essential for any historian as for any Wikipedian, namely checked the source against other research sources. In view of the expertise by the MGFA and other evidence I consider Heaton's narrative to be WP:EXCEPTIONAL. It is almost exclusively based upon anecdotal evidence, which, as any textbook on the methods of oral history will tell you, is factually unreliable. As Marc Bloch has famously put it: "The most naĩve policeman knows that a witness should not always be taken at by his word, even if he does not always take full advantage of this theoretical knowledge". (The Historian's Craft, 1954ff.)--Assayer (talk) 20:28, 18 February 2017 (UTC)
I was referring to your opinion, you seem to be saying that we should place more weight on your opinion than the opinions published in reliable sources like Military Review. Indeed, you cannot choose reviews to your liking, but you have not provided any other review of Heaton's book. MGFA does not mention Heaton's book, so where are you sourcing these reviews you claim call Heaton's work into question? --Nug (talk) 01:15, 19 February 2017 (UTC)
First of all, in his short and broad review Major Buckham does not address the specific issues I have raised. (I might add that he finds nearly every book that he reviews to be "insightful". See his blog, The military reviewer.) Second, above you'll find another reviewer being quoted, who asks how exactly the authors found out about all the details. That review has been discarded by Dapi89 as non-authorative with an argument which basically discards any review as non-authorative. Third, it remains undisputed that Heaton's evidence are anecdotes and interviews. He has somewhat routinely used this "oral history"-method in other books, too, and reviewers have been critical of the reliability of those interviews. And rightly so because, fourth, as of January 2013 the MGFA has denied that any serious historiographical study of Marseille existed, and did not bother to even mention Kurowski's, Tate's and Wübbe's earlier works either. It noted, however, that attempts by popular literature to suggest an ideological distance between Marseille and Nazism are misleading. Thus Heaton's claims are exceptional and should be backed up by multiple high-quality sources, before they are being accepted as plain facts. But I keep repeating myself and would suggest to take further discussion to the talk page.--Assayer (talk) 04:06, 19 February 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I concur with the above; the strongest case against the Heaton source when used for the subject's anti-Nazi credentials is that the author's opinions are not supported (and in fact directly contradicted) by the military historians at the Center for Military History and Social Sciences of the Bundeswehr (formerly MGFA). K.e.coffman (talk) 05:27, 24 February 2017 (UTC)

You would. More opinion, no proof. Again, lots of "I think" in all this. I am going to repeat Nug's question: where are you sourcing these reviews you claim call Heaton's work into question? I don't want more elaborate complaints and opinions as to why Heaton should be banned from wikipedia. I want you to tell me where there are concerns from other parties - preferably by published authorities on the Luftwaffe and Marseille. Dapi89 (talk) 11:44, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
One more thing: that Heaton is "directly contradicted by the military historians at the [[Center for Military History and Social Sciences of the Bundeswehr" is false. They do not say that he was or he wasn't a Nazi. They say they are not aware of any 'outstanding' deed to show he wasn't. One doesn't have to show any act or "deed" to show they are/were not a Nazi. Heaton's book is based on those who knew him. And they say his politics were in sharp contradiction to everything National Socialism stood for. Dapi89 (talk) 13:40, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
Heaton's book is based on decades-later anecdotes related in a deeply-changed political climate. It is at best on the very margins of usability, if carefully attributed. Richard Keatinge (talk) 14:04, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
Source for your claim? Or is this another opinion? Dapi89 (talk) 16:19, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
  • Comment I was asked to comment on this issue, but can better make only a general comment about sources in this area:
Essentially all biographies emphasise the importance of their subject
All biographies contain quotation about what the subject has themselves said at various occasions. It can be assumed that all such statements are self-serving. There will be various statements at various times , and it is easy to cherry-pick the one that is desired..
All references to an author's work are intended to appear balanced, unless intended as an attack piece. They will therefore contain both positive and negative statements, and it is easy to cherry-pick the one that is desired.
All members of an organization involved in immoral or illegal behavior will try to minimize their personal responsibility. In particular, all members of the German army in world war Two writing for an external audience will claim to be anti-Nazi, at least as compared to other people. (though there are a few who will instead glorify their past actions)
It is almost impossible for an historian or biographer to avoid developing a bias about the period or events or people they are describing. Some do this more successfully than others, but bias always exists. DGG ( talk ) 01:02, 26 February 2017 (UTC)

Requested a close

I've requested a close at Request for closure noticeboard. K.e.coffman (talk) 03:11, 2 March 2017 (UTC)

Yes, it has been open for long enough and I would say that no consensus has occurred. But with that said, leave the finial word to the closer. Kierzek (talk) 14:23, 6 March 2017 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

High Fructose Corn Syrup

I'm writing you to receive guidance in how to deal with a dispute I have with the editor Zefr regarding my contribution to the High-fructose corn syrup article. I have attempted to resolve this using the High Fructose Corn Syrup talk page and Wikipedia’s third opinion, with little success and now would like to turn to you for help.

In the past weeks or so I have tried to contribute multiple times (March 8, March 11, March 14) to an article about High-fructose corn syrup in the section titled "Safety and Manufacturing Concerns" (original title was Manufacturing Contaminants). This section discusses the possible of mercury contamination of HFCS. I tried to remain neutral’' in my contribution by presenting "all of the significant views that have been published by reliable sources on a topic" In this case it was towards contamination of mercury in products that contain HFCS. I wrote about research that both has found traces of mercury, as well as research that has found no traces of mercury. The research that found traces were conducted in 2009 [2] [3] and 2010 [4] and were supported by Scientific journals’’ . The research that has found no traces of mercury is the "Duke study" [5] The "Duke study" is A) a Popular press’’ and not Scientific journals’' B) not the most recent study in this debate C) Somewhat biased for it was commissioned on behalf of the Corn Refiners Association. I have tried multiple times to add meaningful contribution to this article that takes all this science into account. Yet at each time an editor by the name Zefr would revert my work (reverted on March 8, reverted on march 11,reverted on march 14). I will admit that initially I added a lot and went into details about the studies, and I understand that Wikipedia is not WP:NOT#JOURNALISM. But I thought my most recent contributions was succinct and addressed all concerns brought up by Zefr on Talk:High-fructose_corn_syrup. Yet each time he reverts my contribution with the exception of the Duke study [6] which is I contend is biased, not recent and not supported by a proper citation.

He recently redid the entire section changing the name from “manufacturing contaminants” to “safety and manufacturing concerns”. He has added the Duke Citations to the text twice, with a preface that HFCS is safe for consumption, and has added text that is not supported by citations. He won’t allow me to add peer-reviewed studies with relevant information to this article.

Why is Zefr Popular press allowed but Scientific journals not? Why is Zefr allowed to contribute to Wikipedia but what he adds is not backed up by their citations? And what I contribute that is back by citations is not allowed? Thatwhoiswise (talk) 19:33, 15 March 2017 (UTC)

The issue here is not sourcing, but interpretation. Other sources also note the contamination but say that it isn't significant. You are trying to suppress this and emphasize sources that omit that assessment. Mangoe (talk) 20:54, 15 March 2017 (UTC)
@Thatwhoiswise: Your logic looks sound to me. I reviewed Zefr's analysis that said the studies should be excluded because of determinations of safety by the FDA and CDC. That makes no sense--those agencies are highly influenced by industry. We use top quality secondary sources by independent scientists. --David Tornheim (talk) 09:11, 16 March 2017 (UTC)
As Mangoe points out, the sources are reliable (including FDA and CDC), this is the wrong place to discuss them, and the issue is interpretation. To summarize, tiny amounts of mercury have been found, but these do not appear to pose a threat to health. Richard Keatinge (talk) 09:26, 16 March 2017 (UTC)
There is a difference between quantifiable/significant and "health threat". It would be WP:OR to claim there is no Mercury just because the FDA and CDC say it is "safe". After all, different countries have different regulatory safety standards. The U.S. usually has fairly lax standards compared to other industrial countries, such as in the E.U. that uses the Precautionary Principle: considering something like Mobile phone radiation and health, where I know the E.U. has much tighter standards. I have not looked up the standard in E.U. compared to FDA on Mercury, but I have a hunch the FDA's permissible level on Mercury is significantly higher. Consider for example, the highly politicized Mercury issue with Bush [7]EPA Ignored Science When Regulating Power Plant Mercury Emissions. Again, the regulatory agencies are highly politicized. --David Tornheim (talk) 09:50, 16 March 2017 (UTC)
It's not hard to find the EU information, and I note that they conclude that "Taking into account the outcome of the SCOOP-task 3.2.11, EFSA concluded that the levels of mercury found in foods, other than fish and seafood, were of lower concern." (from here) In another publication they say, "Food sources other than fish and seafood products may contain mercury, but mostly in the form of inorganic mercury. Based on the available data the contribution to methylmercury exposure from these foods is considered to be insignificant." (See here) There's no reputable source that says the mercury contamination is significant. Mangoe (talk) 13:45, 16 March 2017 (UTC)
David Tornheim: It's ridiculous to suggest the CDC and FDA are influenced by industry or do not apply the highest scientific standards. By contrast, the CDC monitors and expertly studies diseases worldwide and the FDA regulates industry for public safety. You'll need more rigorous secondary sources to support such assertions, and you won't find them. These two agencies and their scientific processes are also the highest standards represented in Wikipedia Medicine guidelines for sourcing, as they are integrated into the pinnacle for sourcing in the WP:MEDASSESS pyramids shown here. Turning to the issue of mercury levels in HFCS - which I will take up with you or Thatwhoiswise at that article - no one is disputing that mercury was found in isolated samples of HFCS years ago (before 2008 manufacturing). There are no reports of it since the report on 2008 samples. My edits of possible prior contamination acknowledged those previous findings, as stated in the article today. The dispute with Thatwhoiswise is not about whether mercury was found, but rather about that editor's insistence to editorialize per WP:SOAP and use other sources (one merely an opinion comment) to reference the same finding as the one analytical source used. Lastly, I agree this is the wrong forum for discussing these issues. No one is disputing the reliability of the current sources used in the HFCS article on safety and manufacturing concerns. That the CDC and FDA do not discuss safety risks from manufacturing of HFCS means the product is safe to consume, plain and simple. --Zefr (talk) 14:16, 16 March 2017 (UTC)
The absence of a statement about safety risks from the CDC or FDA does not mean there are no safety risks. (You can't prove a negative). I support the idea that CDC and FDA are not going to be significantly influenced by corporate measures and thus are generally high reliable sources, but their absence of mentioning manufacturing risks should not be taken that there aren't any. --MASEM (t) 14:29, 16 March 2017 (UTC)
Disagree. When there is a safety concern about elemental mercury in the food supply, it is quantified (usually by the USDA), then reported to the FDA who make a safety statement to consumers as exists for mercury in some seafoods. In the HFCS article, we cite the FDA's statement on HFCS where no mention is made about mercury risk. That is the main point of the current manufacturing of HFCS is safe and not mercury-contaminated. --Zefr (talk) 14:44, 16 March 2017 (UTC)
I would need time to review how the FDA or CDC present safety information about food safety and if it is done in a standardized way, as the closest think I can compare to would be MSDS sheets for chemicals and the like, and here there are "required" elements to be considered a proper MSDS sheet, such as known LD50 information, for instance. In such cases there is strong clarity (or at least, there should be strong clarity) between where an LD50 value is not yet known because such tests haven't be carried out, or where there is no LD50 value because the chemical is safe at extremely high levels. But in either way, the safety relative to LD50 is addressed. What I am reading from this discussion is that neither the FDA or CDC reports address the safety, even if just to say "there are no known safety issues with the manufacture of HFCS", which I would expect that if they had a standard form/template, would be included. So the absence of these statements does not allow us to presume that the FDA/CDC have concluded there are no safety issues; that's basically SYNTH research. (Also just trying to search, there's clearly an issue with junk science around this based on a 2009 study, and claims the FDA is hiding this).
That said, there do appear to be legit papers that warn that mercury could enter into the production of HFCS via the caustic soda. [8], and the 2009 study at least is a data point to be made that one test in 2009 found several sources with trace mercury levels. It's also probably necessary to point out what the manufactures said in response to the 2009 study (Eg [9]) that they have switched away from the chlor-alkyl source of caustic soda to one that would be mercury-free. What I can't find is any recent study to affirm if current products of HFCS have mercury or not, with most all relaying on the 2009 study. Hence, this is an area to take caution: It would be improper to say HFCS is factually safe, but it would also be improper to say all HFCS contains mercury. It is probably best to take a median ground here. --MASEM (t) 06:01, 17 March 2017 (UTC)
Masem: FYI, that source is unreliable - is a predatory open access publisher. Guy (Help!) 14:00, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
We do not have the absence of a statement: the EU source I cited specifically denies a significant risk. Basically the argument here is around substituting lay fears and analysis of the result for competent, official sources. We don't do that. Mangoe (talk) 12:50, 17 March 2017 (UTC)
Well, not really. First, that EU report was in 2006 (if I'm reading it right), and it doesn't specifically call out HFCS so while not as much an OR violation as assuming absence of safety warning = safe, it's still making some assumptions; the report that sparked the issue (which I'm not saying is necessarily right) was 2009. I think it is factually appropriate to say that HFCS made from caustic soda that is produced from chloro-alkyl plants may have mercury in it, but organizations like the EU have said that the levels are well below risk levels in humans, and that the manufacturers of HFCS have switched off chloro-alkyl caustic soda to further eliminate any possible mercury contamination. And then discussion the 2009 "scare" from the IATP report. --MASEM (t) 13:44, 17 March 2017 (UTC)
  • This is a mess. Reviewing the OP's OP and the three diffs they cite, it seems that they want to add content about mercury in HFCS, and the dangers of that mercury, based on the following four refs, which I have taken the liberty of formatting with pmid etc to the extent they are available.:
    • Dufault, R; LeBlanc, B; Schnoll, R; Cornett, C; Schweitzer, L; Wallinga, D; Hightower, J; Patrick, L; Lukiw, WJ (26 January 2009). "Mercury from chlor-alkali plants: measured concentrations in food product sugar.". Environmental health : a global access science source. 8: 2. PMC 2637263Freely accessible. PMID 19171026. 
    • Wallinga, David (2009). "Not So Sweet: Missing Mercury and High Fructose Corn Syrup" (PDF). Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. </ref>
    • Rideout, Karen (21 July 2010). "Comment on the paper by Dufault et al.: Mercury in foods containing high-fructose corn syrup in Canada". Environmental Health. Retrieved 14 March 2017. 
    • Dufault, Renee (2015). "Blood inorganic mercury is directly associated with glucose levels in the human population and may be linked to processed food intake". Integrative Molecular Medicine. 2: 166–179. Retrieved 8 March 2017. 
First ref is a primary source that is 8 years old. Not MEDRS.
2nd ref is a white paper by Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, an advocacy organization. Not MEDRS.
3rd ref is a letter to the editor. Not a MEDRS source.
4th ref is a primary source published in a journal put out by a predatory publisher. ("open access text" was on beall's list). It is also not MEDLINE indexed. Not MEDRS by miles.
None of that is OK. Maybe there are other sources i missed. Jytdog (talk) 05:34, 17 March 2017 (UTC)
Actually, checking above, the 2nd ref is rather key - even if it is not MEDRS, as it started this "scare" of mercury in HFCS in 2009. It needs to be mentioned in that context, but it can't be used to state factually about mercury content or the lack thereof in HFCS. --MASEM (t) 06:03, 17 March 2017 (UTC)
so if somebody wanted to add content that the white paper kicked off a controversy, they would need a reliable secondary source (not MEDRS) for that.. ideally a NYT article or the like. The white paper itself couldn't be used to support that it itself started a controversy. Jytdog (talk) 23:30, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
I made that crack at ANI last week . Come up with your own material, smartyPants. EEng 11:08, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
Stealing jokes is a longstanding tradition among comedians and internet jackasses. Besides, I added to it with the parenthetical. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 20:03, 27 March 2017 (UTC)

Two sources in the lede of Alkaline diet

Article: Alkaline Diet

The idea that this diet can materially affect blood pH, or treat a range of diseases, is incorrect.

This doesn't seem near to being a reliable source to me but I was reverted and told that it is a "reliable source on quackery" by Dbrodbeck.

For the second source:
Source: Alkaline Diet

Due to the lack of credible evidence supporting the benefits of this diet, it is not recommended by dietitians or other health professionals.

This one seems borderline, especially as it is currently being used in the lede of the article as an anchor to the hard criticism of the first paragraph.

InsertCleverPhraseHere 19:28, 18 March 2017 (UTC)

I'm not seeing what the problem is. Quackwatch "cites peer-reviewed journal articles and has received several awards" according to the article about it. I don't know about intellihealth and it would be a pity to cite an archived page in the lead but the article is by a proper nutritionist at a hospital. Perhaps you could be more specific about what the problem you see is? — Preceding unsigned comment added by dmcq (talkcontribs)
I think this (QW) has discussed quite a bit. [10]. Dbrodbeck (talk) 19:47, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
I don't see too much of an issue using Quackwatch but I would at least attributed that statement to Quackwatch - it would be similar to sourcing a urban legand to, which has recognition in that area, though not the utmost authority. The other source seems fine. --MASEM (t) 19:49, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
Thanks, seems like a good analysis. It is a reliable source but we should use better ones if available. It seems a bit much there the insistence of some in that discussion of ultra high standards for Quackwatch but not for the proponents of fringe ideas. I would say if the OP has more reliable sources for Alkaline diet either pro or anti then produce them otherwise why are they complaining about Quackwatch? Dmcq (talk) 20:05, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
On the point of any actual science in the article I believe it would come under WP:MEDRS which is rather more rigorous than the standards applied anywhere else in Wikipedia. I'm not sure how they cope about things that don't have much written about them. Dmcq (talk) 20:57, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
"[T]he insistence of some in that discussion of ultra high standards for Quackwatch but not for the proponents of fringe ideas" – I've been involved in that discussion and I don't think anyone is insisting on that. The discussion isn't about sources that are "pro" or "anti", but rather which sources help most in writing a neutral and impartial description of the topic. —Sangdeboeuf (talk) 21:11, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
I'll just assume you were born yesterday. Dmcq (talk) 23:57, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Quackwatch is fine RS for health fraud/quackery/pseudoscience, as has been discussed here many, many times before. Facts should be WP:ASSERTed not attributed. Alexbrn (talk) 06:32, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
Source has been discussed to death here, as already linked above, in the context of this kind of FRINGE-y health stuff. It is our go-to source for stuff where there is lots of discussion say in popular media about some health thing but the actual biomedical literature doesn't discuss it much and we don't have standard MEDRS refs to use. it is excellent in that context. In this case there are apparently 7 reviews ranging from 2009 - 2016 and it shouldn't be necessary to use QW. The content it is used to support seems to match what most of these reviews say (which is what we expect) so no great harm in citing it. But probably not needed. Which I know is a different question than what has been asked. The answer to the question is yes. Jytdog (talk) 07:12, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for the answers that have come in, I wasn't aware of Quackwatch's reputation (though it seems that we have better sources to use for the lede in any case). From what I read in the links to previous discussions however, it is a partisan source, and therefore should probably be attributed. InsertCleverPhraseHere 09:05, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
There is no such thing as partisanship with regards to "accepted facts" vs. "fringe theories". There is no need to create a false balance, and pretend the existence of fringe proponents means there is some kind of scientific debate. In the interest of parity of sourcing, we can cite Quackwatch, and make statements of fact without attribution. Someguy1221 (talk) 10:09, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
I'm with Someguy and Jytdog on this. Dbrodbeck (talk) 12:45, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
WP:ASSERT is quite clear. Do NOT attribute facts as this has the effect of making them seem disputed, which is NNPOV. That the notions behind the alkaline diet are nonsense is a fact, and Wikipedia has to say so. Sheesh, the quack-apologists on this topic sure are wasting a lot of time: I'd like to seem admin attention soon if this continues. Alexbrn (talk) 14:42, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
From what I've had to read on this, medical experts and the like generally agree that there is very little likelihood of any of the claims are valid. It's a very much the case that most of these experts thus agree it junk science. But importantly, this is their theory that the diet is bogus, it is not 100% validated. That does not make it a fact, and thus we should not be treating "the alkaline diet is nonsense" as a fact, but should still be attributing the statements to the groups making the claims. --MASEM (t) 14:58, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
Wrong. The idea that eating alkaline food can effect the acidity of body (whatever that means) and so somehow cure cancer is nonsense. In Wikipedia terms it is a fact because it is not seriously disputed in RS. We assert such facts. If you want to change WP:ASSERT by all means try, but don't misrepresent it as this just enables POV-pushing (see the numerous arguments about there being "doubt" over aliens beings, conspiracy theories, holocaust denial, etc. etc. etc.). Alexbrn (talk) 15:06, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
I am confused. The reason I am confused is that the only scientific review article that I found on the Alkaline diet article is this one, and its abstract ends with the statement "There may be some value in considering an alkaline diet in reducing morbidity and mortality from chronic diseases and further studies are warranted in this area of medicine." This has led me to the conclusion that the consensus isn't nearly as polarized in the medical field as many of you suggest (this viewpoint is not represented in the lede at all). Given these different opinions, there seems a genuine need for attribution of QW to me. Perhaps I got it wrong, or this source is inappropriate? InsertCleverPhraseHere 20:27, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
See Hindawi Publishing Corporation. Reaching a "conclusion" from fringe journals is not wise. So yes, you've got it very wrong. What'll you be doing next, popping up saying the Holocaust is not 100% certain to have happened so we need to qualify mentions of it? Alexbrn (talk) 20:34, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
Again I am confused, the article you linked doesn't say that the journal is a 'fringe journal', and even Jeffrey Beall didn't consider it a predatory open access publisher, though he did call it a 'borderline case'. This is one of the 7 review articles linked above by Jytdog, and the only one that looks at a broad review of literature about the diet in a range of contexts (the other articles are all about one specific aspect, such as "bone density", this one is the only one that is comprehensive). This review article has been cited 46 times according to google scholar, and this source is also used in the article itself. I've only read the source's abstract before now, but the source does agree with many other sources that the main claims of proponents are largely false, but outlines a number of other benefits of the diet, including at least one benefit to chemotherapy patients (see the conclusions section of the source). This is backed up by other sources such as this one that point out that, while the mechanism of the diet is bunk, the diet is actually quite healthy. On a more personal note to Alexbrn; what the hell is up with the holocaust strawman mate? I am not a proponent of this shit, I just stopped by to help after seeing the notice over at the NPOV noticeboard. InsertCleverPhraseHere 20:59, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
You keep saying you're confused. Using "borderline journals" and websites to try and make major health claims is not how things work here. It is not a strawman: you are proposing qualifying accepted knowledge because you - in your admitted confusion - think you can find some "doubt" about it from shit sources. It's a pattern we see from POV-pushers all over Wikipedia. You have been alerted to discretionary sanctions in this topic area. Alexbrn (talk) 21:10, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
When was I alerted to discretionary sanctions on this topic? InsertCleverPhraseHere 21:19, 19 March 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Can we please have some discussion about this source and its reliability for Alkaline diet? InsertCleverPhraseHere 21:19, 19 March 2017 (UTC)

Ah, I see your DS alert was over gamergate; I have notified you about altmed too. I have no more to say about Hindawi: read WP:REDFLAG. Alexbrn (talk) 21:24, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
I tend to avoid HIndawi journals, especially when what is in an article published in one, is out of step with the rest of the literature. Sorry about this, writing about health requires some sophistication dealing with the biomedical literature. Jytdog (talk) 02:54, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
@Jytdog The HIndawi source really comes to most of the same conclusions as the rest of the literature. As I have pointed out here, the review article largely agrees with the results of most of the reviews by dietitians and doctors from various sources around the internet, that the theory that foods can change your blood PH is BS, but that the diet itself, and its emphasis on fresh vegetables and fruits is actually relatively healthy (unlike many other fad diets). I admit that I am new to biomed articles and sourcing, but nothing jumps out of this source as unreliable (and certainty not to the degree that Alexbrn has asserted). Moreover, it is the only comprehensive scientific review on the topic. InsertCleverPhraseHere 03:07, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
Nobody is interested in "dietitians and doctors from various sources around the internet".
some key points - the subject of the Alkaline diet article is the fad diet that healthy people use to try to prevent disease. Diabetic ketoacidosis is a real, life threatening thing. There have been some recent hypotheses that the Western pattern diet (a real thing) generates some "mild acidosis" or "latent acidosis" which in turn is hypothesized to contribute to the development of diabetes. In this hypothetical set of ideas, a Healthy diet ( a real thing) doesn't do that, and may help reverse that. This is all hypothetical and unproven. A healthy diet is not an alkaline diet. PMID 26363101 (one of the 7 reviews) goes through all that and some other stuff and concludes: "It remains unknown however, whether a low dietary acid load (or alkaline diet) can buffer mild metabolic acidosis, improve insulin sensitivity and reduce diabetes risk." PMID 24094472 and PMID 21529374 and PMID 19754972 all look at whether "alkaline diets" (the first actually uses scare quotes) or other related interventions can prevent bone loss; kind of relevant to the subject of our article, and they say - no evidence and are dubious of the premise. PMID 24403443 (available free from the journal here is about fad diets in people with cancer; it finds zero clinical studies on the alkaline diet in people with cancer. In any case this is about people with cancer and not healthy people. Of the others, PMID 24721651 is about studies of ion channel in mouse models, not relevant. And we have PMID 22013455, the hindawi article, already discussed. So the MEDRS sources line up with Quackwatch. Jytdog (talk) 09:16, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
I agree with all of the above, not sure why all of it needed to be said here. You seem to think that I am a proponent of the diet or something and am arguing against this stuff, but that's not the case. Clearly this discussion has gone off the rails into territory that is not overly constructive or a good use of anyones time. I call for a close, my questions seem to have been answered the best they are going to be, more or less. InsertCleverPhraseHere 10:17, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
So i hope you are hearing that Quackwatch is very reliable for content about quackery which includes fad diets. That is the answer to your question. Jytdog (talk) 23:25, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
I thought it was rather clear up above where I thanked you guys for clarifying that for me. But yes, to make it clear: there have been numerous discussions that have decided that QW is a reliable source for these sorts of articles. Whether attribution is advised is still up for debate (as Masem has just raised again below) but I will not push the point. The Intelihealth source was briefly discussed, and it seems to be in the camp of 'ok but we could do better'. As for the hindawi review article that I asked about, there isn't a lot of clarity here, but this is probably because I didn't specify any specific edits I wanted to use it for on this page. I don't really agree with you and Alexbrn's assessments of the journal, and personally it seems reliable enough to me, but again, not going to push for inclusion in the lede (the article has been used as a source in the body for quite some time however). In summary, yes I have received the answers I came for. InsertCleverPhraseHere 00:26, 21 March 2017 (UTC)
Coming back to a point made by Alexbrn above: Wrong. The idea that eating alkaline food can effect the acidity of body (whatever that means) and so somehow cure cancer is nonsense. In Wikipedia terms it is a fact because it is not seriously disputed in RS. We assert such facts. This is not true, in how WP handles things. (And to disclaim I completely agree that the alkaline diet is a bogus idea). It is impossible to prove a negative, here the negative being that there are zero beneficial effects of the alkaline diet towards preventing cancer. Medical studies can achieve a rather high confidence level in many things, including that the alkaline diet can't prevent cancer, but that will never be 100% because of the types of impractical/impossible analysis and studies that would have to be done to eliminate all possible cases. As such, there's a very slim chance that these studies are wrong; unlikely, but that's the whole point of confidence levels. So it should not be presented as solid fact, because it's simply not a fact yet. It's a strongly-backed theory and thus should be presented with the necessary attribution that medical professional believe there is no validity to the diet's reasoning. To the point, this is where it seems fine to say "According to medical studies collected by Quackwatch, the science behind the alkaline diet has no validity towards its proposed benefits." in the lede, recognizing that QW is completely valid as a RS here. --MASEM (t) 23:39, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
This is not community practice working on FRINGE topics, Masem. The practice of just being clear on this FRINGE stuff arose because this being "the encyclopedia that anyone can edit", all kinds of lunatic charlatans come here and edit fiercely to abuse WP to promote their ideas. So things have evolved to being crystal clear when there is no scientific basis for things. The kind of GEVALish content you are advocating for here just opens the door wide to more woo in WP. There are legit issues where solid sources show differences of opinion (like whether Theraflu Tamiflu does a damn thing) and we happily attribute there. Not in FRINGE stuff. where woo-pushers look for any ray of light to push harder to validate their trash, like "may be effective but more research is needed" which is classic sucker-born-every-minute advocacy to waste more money on quackademic research. (Jytdog (talk) 01:42, 21 March 2017 (UTC) (redact to fix drug name Jytdog (talk) 02:11, 21 March 2017 (UTC))
To be fair, sometimes we have issues with truth crusaders from both sides of the fence, not just fringe proponents. But I agree mostly that the main issues are with proponents. InsertCleverPhraseHere 02:01, 21 March 2017 (UTC)
No, not really. We have RSes that support the evidence the diet is bogus through either sound scientific theory or through reasonable testing. So anyone wishing to push the fact the diet work is going to have to produce an RS as good in quality (and as recent) as the existing ones to counter that. Which I don't think exist from what I've seen, so there's no danger of proponents being able to insert seemingly equivalent factual data (All the aspects of why the diet claims to work can be put in as supposition and with all the necessary skeptism that is needed to assure readers don't take it as factual). But we still should be careful to assume stating that the concept of the alkaline diet is flat out nonsense, given that this simply hasn't been proven. Do we need to include any counterpoint here? Nope, just appropriate attribution of whom has asserted the diet is bogus to avoid it being said as fact in WP's voice. --MASEM (t) 01:58, 21 March 2017 (UTC)
@Masem There is a discussion on the talk page discussing a similar issue that is unrelated to the Quackwatch source (using 'false' in the first sentence in WP's voice) that is pretty relevant to this comment. InsertCleverPhraseHere 02:06, 21 March 2017 (UTC)
Masem there are a zillion ludicrous things that "haven't been proven" and never will be; you are making no distinctions between legit things and FRINGE things. I am not going to waste more time on this discussion. Jytdog (talk) 03:01, 21 March 2017 (UTC)
Masem, it's a little more complicated than that. The theory of the diet (changing your diet changes your body's pH, and changing your pH has health effects) is universally recognized as bogus by everyone except its proponents. The actual diet – high vegetable, high fruit (minus peaches, plums, and cranberries) but low in refined sugars, grains, dairy, meat, and processed foods – is one that I think any registered dietician would be fairly enthusiastic about (although they'd think it was odd to exclude peaches, plums, cranberries, and walnuts). WebMD puts it this way: "Does It Work? Maybe, but not for the reasons it claims." WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:41, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
My issue is that coming from a scientific background, there have been zero reports based scientifically sound evidence that the diet can affect blood pH, and that based on the combined human knowledge to date, the likelihood that a temporary change in stomach pH will affect blood pH is very very low, but key here is that that is not irrefutable zero chance. Medical people and dietiticans will say this is effectively the same as being fact, which to their credit to make sure people eat healthy and don't screw up their bodies, is important, but scientifically, it's not conclusive. Hence, we should at least be using language that identifies who and to what degree they consider the alkaline diet as BS. It would be similar how Global warming is presented, citing the bodies that have declared the phenomena likely occurring but avoiding the extreme case of calling it a fact. --MASEM (t) 01:59, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
Can I suggest that you guys take this argument to the relevant section on the talk page as it has strayed well off the topic of reliable sources and into POV concerns. InsertCleverPhraseHere 02:26, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
  • The bottom line, as noted above, is that you shouldn't cite Quackwatch if peer-reviewed articles cover the same topic effectively. My major problem with Quackwatch is that the articles generally cite zero sources (as with the one above), making it impossible to verify and trace the ex cathedra claims, and generally lack any nuance whatsoever - ignoring anything that might distract from their thesis. Even with a publisher like Hindawi, at least the articles have references. In this case, Gabe Mirkin, the author of the Quackwatch article, has zero references. QW focuses entirely on implausible cancer treatment claims while completely ignoring the substantial literature on the topic which is discussed in, e.g. Diet-induced acidosis: is it real and clinically relevant? (2010) with 94 references as well as position papers (e.g., Institute of Medicine's Food and Nutrition Board publication "for many years it has been hypothesized that the modern Western diet could induce a low-grade metabolic acidosis that in turn could induce bone demineralization, osteoporosis, and kidney stones ... results of several recent epidemiological ... studies support this hypothesis"). It's misleading to suggest that everyone who talks about an "acidic" diet has claimed cancer cures when supporting discussions around osteoporosis have come from literally most prestigious nutrition body in the United States. Granted, if I recall correctly the evidence supporting osteoporosis prevention looks slimmer now than it did in years past... II | (t - c) 21:06, 23 March 2017 (UTC)

US Uncut

Is the defunct liberal news site US Uncut a reliable source for straightforward statements of fact? It is currently used this way in several articles, such as Salman of Saudi Arabia and 2017 Women's March. Based on US Uncut#Criticisms and my general impression from other sites that discuss US Uncut, I'm inclined to think it's not reliable for these kinds of statements, but I'd like to get other editors' opinions before I remove the citations from those articles and others. —Granger (talk · contribs) 21:03, 18 March 2017 (UTC)

You would get more responses if you would provide actual bits cited to it. Jytdog (talk) 07:05, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
For example:
  • this is used to support the statement "During March, Sanders raised $44 million from a donor base roughly twice as large as Clinton's." at Bernie Sanders presidential campaign, 2016
  • this is used to support the statement "His mother stated that he aimed to be a lawyer when he finished studying." at Ali Mohammed Baqir al-Nimr
  • this is used with other sources to support the statement "On August 10, 2015, in accordance with Shkreli's business plan, Turing acquired Daraprim (pyrimethamine), a medication approved by the FDA in 1953, from Impax Laboratories for US$55 million." at Martin Shkreli
Granger (talk · contribs) 14:04, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for providing examples. I would avoid that source like the plague, as it is the website of an activist group. We can do better.
  • i would avoid making hard comparison on numbers of "unique donors" as they are hard to track per this; that source and this one did make it clear that Bernie had raised way more $ from small donors than Clinton had by March. "She has raised only 18 percent of her money from donors giving less than $200, giving her a narrower fundraising base than Sanders. Sanders’s campaign has raised 66 percent of its money from donors giving less than $200, according to The Hill’s analysis of FEC figures." That is very supportable, from better refs. But if you really want the "roughly two to one" thing, this WSJ article says "" Josh Schwerin, a Clinton spokesman, said a recent surge in contributions put the campaign over the one-million-donor mark a few weeks ago. Sanders campaign officials said they have received contributions from about two million donors."
  • for the ali mohammed al nimr, the reference does not support the content. the reference says that it was a friend of the family, who said that the mother said, that he said that if he got the chance to live, he would want to become a lawyer or political activist. so the content is no good. i don't know that our article should report 3rd level hearsay this way. I didn't find any other sources for it.
  • if there are other sources already, ditch this one, assuming that the others are stronger.
There you go. Jytdog (talk) 05:24, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
Not a reliable source for the reasons outlined by Jytdog. We can do (much) better. Neutralitytalk 05:41, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Many thanks, Jytdog and Neutrality. It seems my initial impression was right. I'll start making some edits accordingly. —Granger (talk · contribs) 20:59, 25 March 2017 (UTC)

Scotland and the Daily Record

Re Natalie McGarry, a Scottish MP:

  • John: removal "no tabloids on BLPs please"
  • AusLondonder: restored "Find another source then. Please don't do drive-by removals of content."
  • John: removed again (no explanation, just reverted)

This was then followed up by John's inevitable patronising treatment of another editor, as if they were utterly unaware of our sourcing standards and only he were able to do so.

So, are tabloids permissible on BLPs, or not? Is there really the blanket ban that John is claiming to cite here? I would note that even the Daily Mail does not have such a blanket ban (try it - remove a DM ref and see how fast it's restored). Where WP does uses tabloids, and it certainly does, then it is mostly for just this sort of BLP issue.

The challenged content is fluffy, but uncontentious. Star-crossed lovers from opposite ends of the political spectrum meet across a heated despatch box. Their marriage is already in there, from an unchallenged source, this is just expansion of background. It is precisely the sort of low-drama "human interest" that the tabloids do cover as their bread-and-butter trade. There is no challenge to the accuracy of the reporting here.

Is the Daily Record, a deeply average tabloid format newspaper of largely unquestioned veracity, to be treated specifically?

Why does John always behave in this way, although that's a question for another place. Andy Dingley (talk) 23:12, 21 March 2017 (UTC)

Presumably this is a reference to WP:BLPSOURCES "Material should not be added to an article when the only sourcing is tabloid journalism. When material is both verifiable and noteworthy, it will have appeared in more reliable sources". I think that's a pretty sound rule of thumb. The rationale includes both reliability and noteworthiness: as you say this is 'fluffy' and I think the removal is probably justified for the latter reason. Of course it would be a good idea to cite the reason in the edit summary. shellac (talk) 13:22, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
Likewise per above. Saying that the basic details of notable person's serious relationship is almost always included in their biography. There is little controversial about "The couple had been together since 2011 and announced their engagement shortly after she was elected as a MP." unless there is some indication it is untrue. Only in death does duty end (talk) 13:51, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
The trouble with these is that this just isn't how WP works, and an unclear policy is a bad policy. As our own tabloid journalism article recognises, "not all tabloid-size newspapers engage in tabloid journalism". The Daily Record is a long way from the National Enquirer (and the Mirror or Record from the Sun), but this isn't recognised by a lot of US editors, who see "tabloid" and think "US supermarket tabloid".
Picking the 'first bio from TOWIE' as a random article, we get Lauren Goodger (the existence of TOWIE is about the limits of my knowledge or interest here): Daily Mail, Metro and the Mirror as sources. Along with unsourced promotional weaseling like "successfully launched" for their cosmetic line. It's simply untrue to say WP doesn't use tabloid sources for BLPs, yet it still gets used as an excuse for aggression to other editors. Andy Dingley (talk) 14:07, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
Beyond that, if their objection was only to the source, they should have done at least a basic search to find better sources - the statements are uncontroversial, so I don't see the need to immediately leap to removal without even doing a basic bare search to see if they can be sourced elsewhere. In particular, half the deleted sentence was unambiguously sourced in the cite immediately above it. I agree with working to improve sources and remove bad ones, but it's important to do it with at least some care rather than just blindly removing stuff that can clearly be easily cited to a better source. (Of course, this is true when you object to a removal, too - if something takes out a part of an article because they object to the source, the easiest way to resolve the dispute is to do a quick search and find a better source, then put it back in with that rather than just blindly reverting.) --Aquillion (talk) 17:05, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
The Daily Record produces tabloid journalism similar to the Daily Mirror, Sun, etc. Those should not be used in BLPs, except for unusual circumstances, such as relying on a tabloid article written by the BLP subject. SarahSV (talk) 17:29, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
I would have to disagree with that comparison. IMHE, the Record or Mirror are both tabloids that are generally accurate, with caution. The Sun though is another matter. The problem I mention above is to conflate all tabloids as being equal, when they're anything but. Andy Dingley (talk) 19:41, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
You don't have to disagree, Andy Dingley. Nor do you--in a discussion about sources--have to patronize the other editor with whom you disagree. Drmies (talk) 03:34, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
How so? I have no intention of patronising Sarah here, nor do I see that my comment is doing so. Andy Dingley (talk) 10:40, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Comment I think we all unfortunately know that John is a bit of a patronising arse who point-blank refuses to engage with other editors. Many newspapers publish in the tabloid format that does not automatically equate to poor or sensationalist journalism. I am not convinced the Daily Record should be totally prohibited. In any case my feeling is certainly that instead of removing relevant content if an editor objects to the use of a source it is their obligation to look for another. We are here to build an encyclopedia not bring it down over office politics. AusLondonder (talk) 17:45, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
The information in question seems to come from a feature/interview piece in a mainstream newspaper and a direct quote from the partner in that piece. I can't see how that fails sourcing requirements. The use of tabloid sources should definitely raise flags – both because they can be a bit cavalier with their reporting and because much of what they report is trivial and irrelevant for an encyclopedia – but everything depends on context and a bit of intelligent judgment. Policy is to bar tabloid journalism, not tabloid papers per se, and this kind of kneejerk action can, and does, lead to absurd situations where information is blindly removed, or sources removed and information left unsourced. I've even seen erroneous information in a BLP actually retained and given more prominence because it happened to be from a broadsheet paper, even though it was from a jokey "10 things you never knew" piece probably written by the summer intern, while attributed comments in a serious on-the-record interview conducted by the paper's political editor refuting the claim were struck out because they happened to be in a tabloid. Nearly everyone on the talk page agreed that was daft, but one editor (already mentioned on this page) insisted that they and they alone understood the sourcing rules and persisted in trying to make the page more inaccurate that it need have been, based on their misreading of both the letter and the spirit of policy. N-HH talk/edits 18:44, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
We are here to build an encyclopedia, not bring it down by insulting other editors? But agree about confusing format with content. Martinevans123 (talk) 21:34, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
  • The Daily Record has a pretty good reputation for Scottish issues, doesn't it? Guy (Help!) 20:06, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Difficult to generalise here. There are times that the Record will cover things when the Herald and The Scotsman have not, e.g. [11]. The Vow is a prominent example of The Record indulging in "creative journalism" [12] It isn't politically neutral, but has survived the decline of the Labour party in Scotland, even winning paper of the year in 2016 [13]. The Daily Record doesn't always agree with other tablods, e.g. [14]. The Daily Record is owned by the Trinity Mirror group. In Scotland there has been a general decline in the circulation figures of the print media and Trinity Mirror (as with other media groups) have reduced the number of journalists that they employ [15]. The Daily Record website is now also used for the publication of articles from some local titles, such as the Stirling Observer. The article that triggered this discussion, Natalie McGarry has needed protection on several occasions, due to trolling. The Record has published several articles on aspects of her personal life- her relationship with a politician from another party. This coverage of her personal life hasn't occurred to the same extent in the broadsheets. Of course, when she turned up to a vote the House of Commons in a wedding dress, that led to her relationship being reported more widely (the division bell rung while she was wearing the dress and having the marriage blessed on 10 June 2016). In summary- The Record has a tabloid style and has maintained a mass readership over many years; it will publish details about subjects that other titles do not, but caution should certainly be used when considering these, especially around BLPs. Drchriswilliams (talk) 09:26, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
Thankyou, as I think that nuanced description is spot on. So are you seeing a blanket "no tabloids on BLPs" ruling here, or a "summary removal of any Record refs and the associated content" justification? As they're the issue that first kicked this off. Andy Dingley (talk) 10:46, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
I can understand the clear desire to avoid the use of sources where there is a history of the publication having a sensationalist language and style. The first article on the couple published by the Record in June 2013 was more than a year ahead of the Referendum on Scottish Independence. The article itself gives the impression of being based on the couple being interviewed together. It consists mainly of text in quotation marks, which appears to be their long responses to questions. The article also has photos of the couple too. Perhaps the "couple from the two sides of the divide" aspect to the June 2013 story was sensational enough to allow this approach [16] The article from July 2015 announcing their engagement is very different and more tabloid in style. McGarry was now a MP and the article has the appearance of the publication of unconfirmed gossip- aside from the engagement aspect of the story, the rest of the article could have simply been pulled together from old material and there does not appear to have been any direct contemporaneous comment from either of the couple [17]. So I think the removal of the July 2015 article could be justified on the grounds of being likely to not meet required standards. In comparison, the June 2013 article seems fairly benign. Drchriswilliams (talk) 17:08, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
I think we also need to look at the nature of the information that's being sourced to the Record. In this case, that's the date Ms McGarry got together with her now-husband. I'd observe that this is a long way away from political debate or defamation, so the consequences (to her or to us) if we mistakenly include it aren't particularly significant. By contrast, if (hypothetically) the Record were the only paper to report that she had separated from her husband, I would be more worried about relying on that as the consequences of us repeating an inaccurate report would be greater. However, the flip side of this is that the particular detail we're looking at isn't particularly important to an encyclopedia article. So I'd be inclined to leave it out, on balance, until/unless a more authoritative source for it can be found. The Land (talk) 13:21, 23 March 2017 (UTC)

Addition of content based on nonreliable, and in fact *non existant* sources

Hi, could someone point me in the direction of guidance as to the reliability of links to a site that used to exist as ''?

Two users, User:David.moreno72 and User:Gilliam are repeatedly insisting on inserting these links into the article on Siri, a high-importance iOS article. The site that the references link to would seem to have never been a reliable source and does not even exist anymore, if one attempts to actually look into them.

Could I get some peer review as to whether these garbage references should be repeatedly inserted into key articles? (talk) 09:56, 24 March 2017 (UTC)

This is frankly a bit silly and I didn't even bother to research whether is reliable or not (judging by the name i'd guess it's not), because the dispute is about rather harmless and largely uncontroversial content that easily can be sourced by other sources (quick googling provides reliables sources right away). So don't waste time on pointless bickering but simply use an alternative source (I went ahead and added 2 already).--Kmhkmh (talk) 12:19, 24 March 2017 (UTC)

Non-English sources

Although, this is not a question about whether a source is reliable, it seems the best place to ask the question regarding how to properly cite non-English sources:

I looked around and could not find much information on how we handle citations for foreign sources. There is WP:NONENG and a brief mention in WP:CS at Wikipedia:Citing_sources#Additional_annotation. In particular, it seems to me that a citation should include the correct non-English title -and- the translated title, and even better we should include a link to Google translate of the article. This should probably be done by template, but I don't see any. Are there any? Are there any articles filled with non-English sources that have done an excellent job in their citations?

I did find this template which is what I am hoping to find for a citation template to a foreign source:

{{Expand German|Wikipedia|date=March 2017}} becomes:

I asked this same question here: Wikipedia talk:Citation_templates#Non-English sources. --David Tornheim (talk) 14:45, 24 March 2017 (UTC)

One conversation in one place please. I have given a first answer at the other location. Conversation should continue there.
Trappist the monk (talk) 14:49, 24 March 2017 (UTC)
A correct citation afaik doesn't require any translation, i.e. you can simply provide the original title and/or its transcription. Offering a translation or a google translate link are optional and just a convenience addon to the actual reference/citation.--Kmhkmh (talk) 22:32, 24 March 2017 (UTC)

  • (I'm responding to the OP comment and nothing else. I have not read much of what followed.) Non-English sources are allowed, and in some cases their use is preferable to English sources. The preference for English-language sources assumes all other factors (reliability, relevance, etc.) remain equal. Giving translated titles is nice, but in many cases does not add anything: for example, one of my main sources for the Li He article was the one I called "Ueki et al."; but, to someone who doesn't read Japanese, knowing that the title of the book translates to "Encyclopedia of Classical Chinese Poetry" and the title of the chapter translates to "Lives of Poets and Poems" does not make the content any more verifiable. Seen from another point of view, providing a translation of the title of the source instead of the untranslated title would get in the way of verifiability; yes, since the names of the authors and editor, the publication date, and the page number are all clear, it would still be possible to figure out what book I was citing, but giving the original published title is far-and-away preferable to giving a translation.
Since Wikipedia does not have a uniform house citation style, any of these methods of formatting the refs would be theoretically acceptable in a given article.
If a source has been published in English translation, giving the title of the published translation when the original edition was what was consulted would be a clear violation of our sourcing policy; I would say don't even give the title of the English translation unless said translation is the source you consulted.
Hijiri 88 (やや) 15:46, 25 March 2017 (UTC)

Bleacher Report

Bleacher Report is a content farm that produces content just to be SEO Optimized, with no regard for the truth. Editors are encouraged to use hyperbole and misleading headlines to get more views on their writing. There are thousands of Wikipedia articles using them as a source, and these are either junk sections that should be removed, or news that should have an actual, reliable, source rather than Bleacher Report.

Chin_(combat sports) -- This article is chock-full of click-bait "listicles" about "fighters who have good chins" from Bleacher Report.

Muslim Council of Britain, Policy Exchange, International Business Times

Opinions welcome at Talk:Muslim Council of Britain#Policy Exchange. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 15:12, 25 March 2017 (UTC)

Is a repatable source

Hi, I write about Florida historical topics; specifically ghost towns. I sometimes do find it is quiet hard to get information and this website here []. (Cass) 17:32, 25 March 2017 (UTC)

Hi Cassini127, I took a look around the site, and I'm not entirely encouraged by what I see. Two of the staff members are college professors. However, their site encourages public submission of ghost town information. It is unclear what measures the staff takes to verify the content of these public submissions. Therefore, I would say that would not be a reliable source, as there is no evidence of oversight for the user-submitted content. Howicus (Did I mess up?) 18:34, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
I think their is a few people that do submit quite reliable entries. A lot of them are questionable. (Cass) 21:11, 25 March 2017 (UTC)

Link searches

Consider Linksearch en - meta - de - fr - simple - wikt:en - wikt:frMER-C X-wiki • Reports: Links on en - COIBot - COIBot-Local • Discussions: tracked - advanced • COIBot-Link, Local, & XWiki Reports - Wikipedia: en - fr - de • Google: searchmeta • Domain: . This is, by common consent, one of the most unreliable sources of health information on the net. I check special:Linksearch/* periodically, it takes an age, for reasons which will be obvious when you click the link.

For a brief while we had the ability to filter link search by namespace. It went away again. I think the habitués of this board would agree, being able to filter by namespace would have immense utility. Or am I wrong? Guy (Help!) 00:00, 26 March 2017 (UTC)

The ability to filter linksearch by namespace would be immensely helpful. Neutralitytalk 22:13, 26 March 2017 (UTC)
I agree. —Granger (talk · contribs) 23:22, 26 March 2017 (UTC)
oh heck yes. pinging the liaison for WMF discovery, User:CKoerner (WMF) Jytdog (talk) 05:23, 27 March 2017 (UTC)

The Inquisitr

Is the Inquisitr a reliable source? I ask in relation to this. DarkKnight2149 00:33, 27 March 2017 (UTC)

As far as I am aware Inquisitor is a news aggregator and does not produce any original content itself. So any source used should be from where they stole borrowed it from. Only in death does duty end (talk) 10:26, 27 March 2017 (UTC)
Strangely, the link that the Inquisitr provides doesn't confirm the cast member. The user that listed the source has been trying to add the cast member to Hellraiser: Judgment for a while now. Do you think I should remove it again or add a "Better source needed" template? DarkKnight2149 13:25, 27 March 2017 (UTC)
Information not supported by source? Remove it. If it was a case of just badly sourced, you can be justified in asking for a better one if its not really contentious. If the source itself doesnt support the information at all its essentially unsourced. Only in death does duty end (talk) 13:30, 27 March 2017 (UTC)
Given the actress concerned has only one ref and links to IMDB and facebook on her biography, I feel better sources may not be forthcoming. Only in death does duty end (talk) 13:33, 27 March 2017 (UTC)
I meant that the Inquisitr says it, but their source doesn't. Does that qualify as the source supporting it, or would it be better to still remove it? DarkKnight2149 20:26, 27 March 2017 (UTC)

Soviet economy

The text contains pro-Soviet phrases: [18]

It allegedly reviewes Robert C. Allen’s Farm to Factory: A Reinterpretation of the Soviet Industrial Revolution.
The last phrase is “To say that socialism doesn’t work is to overlook the fact that it did work for hundreds of millions of people.” by Parenti. There is however no Communist country in Europe. Xx236 (talk) 09:08, 27 March 2017 (UTC)


Please could someone post an opinion at Talk:ZE:A#Remove_mentions of disbandment to help gauge consensus on this issue? Thanks — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 10:18, 27 March 2017 (UTC)

IOC President?

Is an IOC President reliable when he prizes Olympics co-organized by the IOC?Xx236 (talk) 10:25, 27 March 2017 (UTC)

I'm not sure I understand the question. Presidents of large international organizations are only reliable for statements of fact in a narrow range, such as "my organization has X number of employees" (and maybe not even then -- it depends). Presidents of large international organizations are notable, so their opinion in various things might be worth stating, depending on what it is, as an opinion. "My organization is a fine thing and its outputs are great", probably not. "Over my years as a notable person in this field, I have sadly seen such-and-such trend grow", quite possibly. If this doesn't help, perhaps you could be more specific? Herostratus (talk) 19:16, 27 March 2017 (UTC)
The President said that he organized fanstastic Olimpics. The statement is quoted here as reliable. I would prefer neutral opinions about the Olimpics.Xx236 (talk) 05:45, 28 March 2017 (UTC)
Again, please be specific. At least mention the Wikipedia page where this is quoted, because it's impossible to discuss this without any context. --bonadea contributions talk 07:23, 28 March 2017 (UTC)
Russia#Sports Commentators evaluated the Games as having been an overall success - is an IOC President a commentator?Xx236 (talk) 07:57, 28 March 2017 (UTC)
2014 Winter Olympics#Concerns and controversies Xx236 (talk) 08:00, 28 March 2017 (UTC)
[19] Xx236 (talk) 08:08, 28 March 2017 (UTC)

More questions on reliability

Is a reliable source for the establishment of a protected area? Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 16:41, 27 March 2017 (UTC)

Same question but for and for that hydrographic map. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 16:57, 27 March 2017 (UTC)
That first one is incomprehensible, or I forgot how to read English. Is it a machine translation or something? First Light (talk) 17:20, 27 March 2017 (UTC)
...yeah, it kind of looks like a machine translation. Prolly not a good source then. (At the risk of overloading: and are also things I am wondering about) Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 19:02, 27 March 2017 (UTC)

Input requested on Jimbo's tkpg with regard to when and if new articles pass wp:GNG, etc.

... here: User talk:Jimbo Wales#Suggested fix.--Hodgdon's secret garden (talk) 00:28, 28 March 2017 (UTC)

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