Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard/Archive 153

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Should maps trump other reliable sources for geographical articles?

There's currently a discussion going on at Wikipedia_talk:Naming_conventions_(geographic_names)#Addition_to_WP:MODERNPLACENAME where an editor suggests that maps are inherently more reliable than other formats of information for geographical articles - in other words, maps should be consulted first and only if they are inconclusive should reliable sources in other formats be considered. Additional input into the discussion there would be welcome. WaggersTALK 09:47, 6 August 2013 (UTC)

I do not see how this forum can give a general ruling on this particular question. Some maps have higher authority than some texts and vice versa, surely?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 12:49, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
Correct. I think the burden of proof has to lie with the proposer, in regard to their claim that one source is more authoritative than the other, map or not. -- The Anome (talk) 14:19, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
Agreed. As with any other type of source, you can't really make an overarching statement on reliability. It depends individually on the map and whatever the other source is you're comparing it to. SilverserenC 01:30, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
I also agree, but will add that a map can most definitely not be reliable. I'm too lazy to look for links, but there are lots of examples where the map produced by group X makes claims about territory that are entirely different from a map produced by group Y—each map might have an official government stamp and a tick from the local surveyor, but they cannot both be reliable. In general, a secondary source is needed to interpret any document, including a map, whenever there is a contentious topic. Johnuniq (talk) 02:12, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
I would agree with that. I know google maps for example, has "created" some imaginary park across from my house, its really quite bizzare. --Malerooster (talk) 03:12, 7 August 2013 (UTC)

ScienceFiction.com?

Website: ScienceFiction.com

Specific Article: ‘Welcome to Night Vale’ Podcast Takes the Internet by Eerie Glow Cloud

Wikipedia Article: Welcome to Night Vale

Reliable? Yes/No? They appear to have a clearly listed staff on their About page. SilverserenC 03:52, 7 August 2013 (UTC)

Its concerning the editor in chief's main credentials listed are "well-respected domainer" and " serial entrepreneur". I would say...if other -secondary known reliable published sources do not include the information that you have found only a tScienceFiction.com, then that information is—by definition—not important enough to include or may be original research. Got to be better websites or books out there with the same info if its relevant and factually accurate. Simply not sure Alison "Boom" Baumgartner is an authority on the topic at hand (she does write well however)-- Moxy (talk) 04:06, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
It just has certain specifics that other articles haven't gone into detail about. Are you saying that you wouldn't consider the website as a whole to be reliable? There appears to be a fair amount of stuff out there on the site, after a quick check, such as this, this, and this. I think there might actually be enough out there to make an article on the site, if anyone cared enough to. SilverserenC 04:28, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
These are creative writers in the genre and the editor in chief does not appear to have any writing credentials that I can see (correct me if I am wrong). There may be a large staff listed as writers, but they are not journalists. For the most part these look like staff writers from the industry and may have some relevance like a blog site depending on the individual notability of the particular writer, but for the most part I would treat this as opinion and only if the writer can be seen as notable enough a figure in the industry for writing on the industry.--Mark Just ask! WER TEA DR/N 04:48, 7 August 2013 (UTC)

Was Prince George known as "Prince George" before he became known as "Prince George"?

Is this source a reliable source for the claim that Prince George of Cambridge was known as "Prince George" before his name was announced? George was born on 22 July but his name was only announced on 24 July. Needless to say, no reliable source referred to him as "Prince George" prior to 24 July. Note that the source was published on 24 July and says what the baby "will be known as", but is used to justify the claim that George has been known as "Prince George" since 22 July. This must be the easiest question ever asked at this noticeboard, but I'm asking anyway, since I'm being vilified for trying to point out the absurdity of the situation. Surtsicna (talk) 23:41, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

The source appears reliable for basic facts about the family and about technical matters such as correct forms of address, on which it may be assumed that expert advice is available and is taken. There is nothing in the source to indicate the name of the baby before it was announced; the birth announcement from the same source says that he is styled as "His Royal Highness Prince [name] of Cambridge". However, in my opinion it is normal practice in many societies (oh, and please don't ask me for a reliable source on this!) to retro-actively attribute a name given after the birth of a child to that child both before the name was given and indeed before the birth. Thus "when I was pregnant with George" is not regarded as anachronistic even if George was not so named until many months later. It would be most unusual to hear someone say "I had [name] on 19 November, and decided a week later to call him George". Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 01:36, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
I agree, it is not incorrect or anachronistic to refer to him as George when discussing things that happened before his name was announced. It is not, however, correct to claim that he was referred to as George before the name was announced. That is the issue here. 22 July is not listed there as his birthday. It is listed as the date he became known as "Prince George", which is not what the source says and obviously not true. Surtsicna (talk) 10:43, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
You are correct. The baby was not styled or titled "His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge" until the 24th. Before that, his personal name was a blank, a placeholder, making the style an incipient one: "His Royal Highness Prince [name] of Cambridge". Binksternet (talk) 15:00, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
Hence the objection to including an unsourced claim to the contrary. In fact, it's not merely unsourced, a source has been produced to the contrary, when the lack of a name was announced publicly, and reported extensively in reliable sources. I provided one such source on request of an editor expressing skepticism; no sign several days hence of it being incorporated into the article. Given the very limited number of notable things that this subject has "done", that there was two solid days of incessant media yammering over the lack of a name is surely one of them. 84.203.35.31 (talk) 02:27, 8 August 2013 (UTC)

http://newsfrombangladesh.net used in Indians in Bangladesh

  1. Source: News from Bangladesh
  2. Article: Indians in Bangladesh
  3. Content:
    1. Statement 1 - "The migrant community has often been a source of contention between the two countries; according to available reports, the lakhs of Indians illegally staying in the country hailed from the Indian states of West Bengal, Meghalaya, Assam, Tripura and Mizoram and were spread across numerous urban and rural areas."
    2. Statement 2 - "One of the reasons contended for their migration is that these states are relatively poor and the Indians tend to come to larger centres in neighbouring Bangladesh in search of jobs and better living."
  • The website and its contents do not come across as reliable to me and as such would like to know the community's view on the same. Btw, the About Us, Editorial Info and Contact Us pages turn up a "404 Error - Page not found". Shovon (talk) 16:48, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
Editorial info page works for me[1] And they have full editorial control over the content they post according to it, I would say it meets RS. Darkness Shines (talk) 16:56, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for pointing out. The links on the concerned page do not work, but from the home do work. The About Us page states, among other things, that "Most Articles are submitted by readers themselves as part of the interactive feature of NFB, where readers are able to actively voice their opinion and views without any form of Censorship. The idea is allow public opinion to be disseminated freely without institutional interference.", which only strengthens my doubt. Shovon (talk) 17:34, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
The source may exercise editorial control; but if so, is unlikely to have a policy of impartiality. The article in question is headed "Reader's Opinion". It would perhaps be reliable for a statement beginning, say, "Some people in Bangladesh believe that ...", but no more. The second paragraph begins "According to the available reports, lakhs of Indians ...". If they can be found, those available reports should, with due caution, constitute the source for the article. Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 09:30, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
Unfortunately, those "available reports" cannot be found anywhere! At least, not by me. Shovon (talk) 07:58, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
An opinion piece that makes claims not corroborated by other reliable sources. For example "The Choddogram Correspondent of the daily reported that about 1,100 hundred Indians illegally reside in Choddogram, a Bangladeshi Upazila that shares border with Indian state of Tripura" Or "68 Bangladeshi women raped by BSF between 2000-2005". Do we have reliable confirmation? I searched, didn't find.[2] The quality of English is poor too: "Arrest of nine Indian from the venue of Prime Minister’s scheduled meeting". Not reliable. Yogesh Khandke (talk) 16:36, 7 August 2013 (UTC)

Is famousbirthdays.com a reliable source for personal information

The site http://www.famousbirthdays.com/ was being used to support a birthdate in a biographical article (diff here). This looks to me to be more of fan site, they don't say where they get their info and some of the info that is listed is factually incorrect as in this case showing an Australian actress as being Welsh. I can't see this site as meeting the requirements of WP:BLPPRIVACY for this type of info. I would like other opinions, though. I have removed this info for now from the article as not being from a reliable source. Geraldo Perez (talk) 17:21, 6 August 2013 (UTC)

It doesn't strike me as a source "with a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy". I'd advise against using it. AndyTheGrump (talk) 17:28, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
I concur, No. Gaijin42 (talk) 17:31, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
I agree, and have removed the reference from some other articles as well. Maybe a month or so ago I removed the website from quite a few "External Links" sections in part because the IP addresses that have been adding the site geolocate to the Santa Monica area, which is where the website's owner is also from, according to the site's whois data. - SudoGhost 06:51, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
No, it's not a reliable source. The links are either misguided (if added by regular editors) or spam (otherwise). See Special:LinkSearch/*.famousbirthdays.com. Johnuniq (talk) 07:19, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
This website doesn't cite any source. Wikipedia:Biographies_of_living_persons clearly states "We must get the article right. Be very firm about the use of high-quality sources".This website can never be a RS even by chance if it has got some of the other's birthdays correct.In my opinion, any interview given by the person in a newspaper / TV or any government record on the person would be a better source. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Karthikeyan.pandian (talkcontribs) 09:21, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
My understanding is that WP:BLPPRIMARY precludes the use of any official records for personal info so only reliable secondary sources should be used. We shouldn't be using government records for this sort of info for a living person. Geraldo Perez (talk) 15:42, 7 August 2013 (UTC)

No. If there is any difficulty finding high quality sources for this information, inquire on the BLP noticeboard. No birthdate is better than citing this page. Gamaliel (talk) 18:03, 7 August 2013 (UTC)

Question on the use of SPS for supporting the writer's contrary opinion to larger

At Talk:Art game, we have a self-published source written by Alex Kierkegaard, a video game critic but otherwise would be someone that we'd call a blogger (he has no other publication history). The piece that Kierkegaard wrote is an opinion piece on what constitutes art games which presents a position that is very contrary to the established norm. Other journalists in video games have called out to that work, not necessarily to explore that position but to simply point out that it is different, so while not published by third-parties, he is recognized by third-parties. Because he presents a contrary position to the prevailing ideas for art games, it seems reasonable to briefly touch on his opinion - not to try to justify any controversial point but simply to say "here's another opinion on such games". However, we are getting resistance from an editor that thinks because Kierkegaard fails the "expert" aspect of SPS, any source from his should be disregarded. I don't question that he technically fails the publishing aspect of what an "expert" is but that said, the spirit of when and where SPS can be used is still there and it doesn't feel wrong to include his source to describe his opinion - which is noted by others - without giving it undue weight. The discussion can be found here [3]. --MASEM (t) 15:16, 8 August 2013 (UTC)

It looks like this is already being discussed above. Newjerseyliz (talk) 19:24, 8 August 2013 (UTC)

Dealing with a self-published opinion piece

The "Criticism" section of the art game article cites a self-published author, who's book has generated only 40 words of coverage in one reliable source in its entire self-publication history. The author, Alex Kierkegaard, has never been published in a reliable source, but has a handful of mentions in reliable blogs.

I've been stopped from removing his piece from the article. I'm told that WP:RS does not apply for an opinion piece as the writer, despite never having been published, is a subject matter expert. I've also been told that WP:SPS does not apply for opinion pieces.

I'm sure my interpretation of policy is correct, and that even for opinion pieces, the writer must have been published in reliable sources. Or the opinion itself discussed in other reliable sources. Trying to excise this source has been the biggest pain in the arse I've yet encountered on Wikipedia so far. - hahnchen 03:37, 7 August 2013 (UTC)

Obviously it can be hard for those not familiar with whether those blogs are reliable to say for sure, but one can see he's been mentioned. I think what matters most is does he have something useful and informative for readers or is it just some really biased smear or rant. If the latter, it would far less useable than the former. User:Carolmooredc 03:48, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
I was hoping that policy would dictate that an editor's personal opinion as to whether something is "some really biased smear or rant" would not be taken into account, and that it would depend on third party reliable sources. - hahnchen 23:32, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
The problem is you called the blogs reliable. Actually most self-published blogs are not. If you said "self-published blogs said he's reliable, but neither they nor his self-published blog are reliable" I'd jump up and agree he shouldn't be used. If the blogs that discuss him as an expert are by experts quoted widely, with books published, etc. and the individual also is an expert widely quoted, etc., it would be more likely he'd be useable for opinion, unless he said something absurd like "these guys must have worked for Hitler, their art is so bad" or something similarly non-professional. But hopefully others will opine! User:Carolmooredc 23:44, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
The book that an editor wants promoted has received no reviews in reliable sources. The book was quoted once in an academic paper where it generated 40 words of coverage. No one has discussed the ideas in the book. Some of his other ideas on video games have been picked up in blogs like Joystiq though. The entirety of his career coverage can be seen in this small box. I'm arguing that the box is small, the other editor claims that the box is big and means that the writer is a subject matter expert, whose opinion we should cover, even though it has been ignored by reliable sources. This makes it incredibly tiring, I've had to read and write reams of argument just to justify the original removal of one line.
I don't think I should have to argue with an editor's personal opinion as to a sources credibility though. I think WP:RS should probably be clearer that even opinions must be published in reliable sources. The argument I'm getting that WP:RS does not apply to opinions strikes me as insane. - hahnchen 00:13, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
The argument from the start has been that WP:RSOPINION applies, not that WP:RS doesn't. It seems hahnchen is unaware that RSOPINION is part of WP:RS. The above is a completely biased summary of the discussion and hahnchen has been battlegrounding this issue for the last 3 weeks despite multiple editors trying to get him to discuss before blanking (1, 2, 3). He has failed to establish consensus for the draconian measures he favors and when asked to collaborate constructively on this matter of editorial discretion (i.e. whether or not a few dozen academic and journalistic RS citations establishes the author as meeting the minimum threshold to be included in even a "further reading" section) hahnchen's response was "no fucking compromise". All other parties to that compromise - including those originally opposed to the source - were able to agree to it except hahnchen. The book isn't the only source that hahnchen has blanked, so his emphasis on it here is disingenuous at best. He's actually removed all writings attributed to the author despite evidence that the author has been cited in several established RSes, specifically praised by several renowned journalists, and that several of these contribute to his current blog. The "small box" hahnchen links to above is explicitly a summary of evidence (the third, actually, since hahnchen is forced to forum shop to gain sympathy for his views - this is now the fourth talk page where this argument is being raised). And as hahnchen knows, it would be a trivial matter to deliver 25 or 30 RSes that cite this author.
The book in question is useful, informative, and at 104 pages it is the only one currently available that even comes remotely close to "comprehensive coverage" of the niche topic of "art game criticism". If any source of equivalent scope and breadth on the topic of "art game criticism" from a similarly-cited author in fact exists then hahnchen is urged to bring it forth so we can forget about the source he so abhors. If, however, hahnchen's proposed "improvement" of the criticism section is to excise from the entire article its most in-depth source on "art game criticism" without any replacement then I adamantly disagree that it helps in the least. It's telling that those editors who have actually done the research and have helped build the article are those that find the source to improve the article's neutrality and that the only one who can't abide its presence on Wikipedia is an editor who only became aware of the article a few weeks ago and whose total editorial contributions amount to blankings and reversions related to this citation. Your original response was completely reasonable, Carolmooredc. The problem is that you've given an answer that hahnchen can't use to impose his bold vision against the consensus and he's now trying to coerce you into changing it. Really shameful behavior for an experienced editor. -Thibbs (talk) 04:41, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
"The book in question is useful, informative, and at 104 pages it is the only one currently available that even comes remotely close to "comprehensive coverage" of the niche topic of "art game criticism"." - This is the opinion of a Wikipedia editor, not a reliable source. That's always been my problem.
WP:RSOPINION cites opinion pieces in mainstream papers. Mainstream papers are reliable sources. If the opinion piece is prominent enough, it should have coverage in reliable sources that we can cite. I think RSOPINION should be made clearer on this. - hahnchen 11:57, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
The argument being made at Talk:Art game by multiple editors is that WP:SPS does not apply to statements of opinion, because WP:RSOPINION is not explicit about standards of expertise (ie the author being an established expert, published in third party reliable sources). - hahnchen 12:49, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
If you want to nitpick about the applicability of WP:SPS, the argument is that self-published sources are considered experts about their own opinions per WP:RSOPINION; not that WP:SPS "does not apply". I believe this is the standard interpretation of policy on how to deal with art criticism with respect to verifiability and neutrality. Diego Moya (talk) 15:12, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
He is hardly nitpicking, and RSOPINION does not trump or supersede SPS. Self-published sources are held to a different standard than published sources, one that requires certification of the author as an expert. Merely bringing up some of a self-published author's opinions in a reliable source is not the same thing as that source acknowledging a person as an expert. RSOPINION is merely a qualifier that when a reliable source asserts an opinion, that opinion may have to be clearly marked as the author's view so it is not misinterpreted as a fact. That does not override the SPS mandate that a self-published author must be an acknowledged expert. As far as I can tell, Kierkegaard has not been acknowledged as an expert by any reliable published sources, nor has his work been published by any reliable sources. Reliable sources have occasionally responded to an idea of his, but rarely in depth. That appears to be the extent of the coverage, which does not appear to me to satisfy SPS as written. Indrian (talk) 15:26, 9 August 2013 (UTC)

The source http://lexikon.katolikus.hu/

A discussion about ths source took place at Talk:John_Hunyadi#Sources_about_Cumanian_origin, but I want some other opinions. The source refers to an alleged Cuman origin of John Hunyadi. According to an editor, "the online version was edited by András Rácz, dean of the Faculty of theology in the Pázmány Péter Catholic University and Miklós Pásztor.". This user also provided a list of authors of this encyclopedia [4], but I have doubts about their reliability (there are no information about their qualification).

Also this is a tertiary source and "tertiary sources are acceptable sources for general facts which are not controversial" (Wikipedia:Primary_Secondary_and_Tertiary_Sources#Appropriate_use_of_primary_and_tertiary_sources) while this is a very controversial topic (any involved editor would agree) Sutgol (talk) 13:20, 8 August 2013 (UTC)

I think the encyclopedia is likely to be judged RS. However, as you say, it is a tertiary source and we prefer secondary sources. The argument that his family was Cuman obviously has a weak basis, but, since some people take it seriously, it deserves to be mentioned in the article. The best citation for us would be a recent secondary work that cites the preceding arguments on this subject. Andrew Dalby 11:26, 9 August 2013 (UTC)

Pakistan Press International

is ppinewsagency.com a reliable source? One of their articles is being used as effectively the sole notability criteria (for Balochistan Rural Support Programme -- all other references are either their own website or directories of some kind). I have searched the archives and have no idea what kind of journalistic record they have. -- [ UseTheCommandLine ~/talk ] # _ 19:29, 8 August 2013 (UTC)

They sound okay according to the about us page, searching finds journalists who list it on their CVs/bio pages. This is some interesting info about an early managing director who was named an World Press Freedom Hero by an Austrian based press institute, for his fight to uphold a free & independent media in the corrupt & sycophantic Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto era. Anyway, surely more than a single independent source is needed to demonstrate notability? 78.105.23.195 (talk) 11:29, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
There are other directories and such, mention of the program in the occasional non-peer-reviewed whitepaper, but nothing truly independent other than the PPI citation, as far as i can see. and that one isn't exactly clear to me who it's written by, staff, or otherwise. If you look at their front/home page right now, about 80% (or more?) of the articles are press releases. It gives me some pause. -- UseTheCommandLine ~/talk ]# ▄ 11:49, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
The press releases I checked all seem to be clearly noted as such with press office contact details etc in the posting. The article in question uses statements such as 'BRSP sources said that...' that make it seem unlikely that it is an untouched PR. The last few days have been Eid holiday with many businesses closed and people celebrating, perhaps that accounts for high proportion of recent filings being canned press releases? rgds 78.105.23.195 (talk) 19:51, 9 August 2013 (UTC)

Exceptional Claims & Self Published Sources

I am seeking some clarification of these points:

Organizations and individuals that express views that are widely acknowledged by reliable sources as fringe, pseudoscience, or extremist may be used as sources of information about themselves WP:RS
Self-published or questionable sources may be used as sources of information about themselves, especially in articles about themselves WP:V.

When a religious group makes supernatural claims for its leader, is it acceptable to use as a source websites they have published, as long as the appropriate WP voice is used (eg, not "He saw an angel" but "He claimed he saw an angel")? Rev107 (talk) 07:41, 4 August 2013 (UTC)

It can be acceptable. The point is that we would in such a case be reporting what someone says, not saying it as if we believe it. So attribution should be used in such cases. --Andrew Lancaster (talk) 06:12, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
Attribution should be used, but be wary of Wikipedia:CLAIM. Wikipedia's voice should not be used to endorse his statements, but neither should wikipedia's voice be used to discredit his statements. Gaijin42 (talk) 16:39, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
It is clear that Wikipedia should not be used for original research. Presumably that means that an editor should not analyze the religious leader's sayings and then make statements in the Wikipedia article based on that analysis. A couple of questions come to mind:
1. An editor is supposed to use acceptable independent reference sources that summarize or comment on the religious leader's published materials but am I right to assume that one should not synthesize self-published sayings into anything either pro, con or even neutral? Isn't that the place of independent reference sources?
2. If an editor can use self-published materials of a religious group that make wild supernatural claims for its leader, why can't one use self-published materials of a research website that aims to debunk the supernatural claim using historical research? Personally, i would think that both websites should be left out entirely. Wikipedia should presumably not be used as an apologetic for a religious group but rather should represent a neutral overview derived from appropriate independent reference sources, particularly when they are readily available.
3. Rev107 seems to be confusing the article on William M. Branham with the article on Branhamism. A self-published source from a Branhamite website might be valid as a reference for the article on Branhamism but not for the article on Branham himself. The William M. Branham article currently contains self-published references to Branhamite church websites and pro-Branham organizations which should only rightly appear, if anywhere, in the article discussing the movement.
I have just been referred to the manual of style put together by the NRM Workgroup which deals with this and a lot of other issues. This means that it is appropriate to remove the links to websites of disaffected members of religious groups but it is also appropriate to remove the links to websites of supporters of the particular NRM.
In my opinion, the article on William M. Branham has moved away from the NPOV because of the use of self-published materials from the Branham NRM. Taxee (talk) 00:47, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
All claims by William Branham have been presented using Wikipedia voice (not "Angels spoke to him", but "He claimed angels spoke to him"). There has been no attempt to say that these claims are true or false. The complaints by the above editor are typically that there should be evidence provided to show that angels could not have spoken to WB based on the original "research" provided by self-published disaffected church members. There have also been attempts to show that WB's doctrinal teaching is wrong. Again, the article only states what WB taught, not that it is true or false. Rev107 (talk) 06:36, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
But is a neutral voice sufficient if the article itself is not balanced? Neutrality is supposed to assign weight to viewpoints in proportion to their prominence. The prominent view of William Branham outside of Branhamism (which would clearly be the majority view) is not adequately reflected in the article in its present form. That is my concern. Please note that this issue is also currently being discussed at Wikipedia:Neutral point of view/Noticeboard#William M. Branham Taxee (talk) 00:02, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
I just found out that this and a lot of other issues have been dealt with in detail in the manual of style of the NRM Workgroup. I won't waste time detailing it but basically if information isn't in any secondary sources it shouldn't be included. Using primary sources is discouraged. Taxee (talk) 01:06, 11 August 2013 (UTC)

Heliskiing

An interesting topic, but the article is mismash of unsourced material and material that is sourced to unreliable refs. Needs a thorough overhaul. Beeblebrox (talk) 21:08, 9 August 2013 (UTC)

Thanks Beebleborx, but would this not be better taken to the Wikipedia:No original research/Noticeboard?--Mark Just ask! WER TEA DR/N 17:57, 10 August 2013 (UTC)

Nuclear Power and WNA

Website: world-nuclear.org

Wikipedia Articles and Discussions: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Nuclear_energy_policy_by_country#Bulgaria http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File_talk:Nuclear_power_station.svg http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Nuclear_power#Is_World-nuclear.org_an_RS.3F


The reasons for which I think that it should be paid some special attention to that source are:

1.WNA is not a neutral source and they can not be a RS according to the rules of Wikipedia. They say here that their business is to "promote nuclear power".

2.Let's take a quick look at the content of their site and how they do their "promotions". The share in the electricity production of the nuclear power dropped from 16% to 11% for the last decade and that is only because of all the old NPPs producing power still at low prices. Many countries want to quit the nuclear power production when they close them. WNA have no shame however to talk about some funny forecasts like that where from 367GW in 2012 nuclear power will increase to 1,350GW in 2030 and to 11,046GW in 2100. They create maps like that where one can get impression that we will see quite soon plenty of new NPPs, even in Africa. They are talking here about 45 "Emerging Nuclear Energy Countries" and you can see in the list Italy, Portugal and Norway where one should rather avoid talking about nuclear power at the street. How do they collect they information? They say here "through an on-going dialogue with experts". Maybe over the phone. No comment.

2.They do not want to talk much about the facts and the real nuclear reactors "under construction". They always prefer to talk about some big plans all over the world. That is because there are only couple of new reactors "under constitution" in whole America and Europe and all of them have huge problems. There are no reactors "under construction" in Africa and Australia and that should be perfectly clear for the readers in Wikipedia. That should not be messed up with any unclear talks, debates and whishes of anybody in any country about some future plans and dreams. Only the hard facts should find a place in Wikipedia according its policy and nothing else.

3. Take a look at [[5]]. Can you see any sense to have a link to their site with the source [2] ? It looks like pure spam. Don't you think the guys from WNA are dealing with that in Wikipedia sometimes? There are so many links and sites based on their own site - Nuclear Power for every country (usually a copy from their site), global maps and tables with all their forecasts based "on talks with specialists" from different countries, hundreds of links to their site, usually 3 to 6 in every single article about the nuclear power. When I start a discussion on any site like that the activity is very low and there is almost nobody willing to discuss it. It is strange if you think of the speed at which all that "information" appeared and flooded Wikipedia. It would be nice if there is an administrator willing to investigate that question further.

I think that in the common articles about nuclear power if a reactor is marked with "under construction" on a map or in a table and there are data available, there should be a clear note when the reactor was started, what is the delay behind the schedule, how much it is over the budget and what would be the power or the potential electricity production of that reactor relatively to the whole grid in the country. If one says the truth, one should say the whole truth. Otherwise the information is misleading and it gives some wrong impressions of the future of the nuclear power. It gives an opportunity to a group of people to manipulate the information for millions of people after all.

Lots of content from their site should be just deleted. --Orehche (talk) 12:01, 8 August 2013 (UTC)

Please see Wikipedia:Identifying reliable sources#Biased or opinionated sources. Websites of advocacy organisations are generally a reliable source for what that organisation's stated views are (independent sources on this topic should also be consulted, of course, especially in relation to the organisation having unstated positions). If the organisation also has a reputation for publishing accurate information, some further use can be made of their website: the test of this is whether independent and professionally published sources reference the organisation's website/publications. We generally don't rule out entire websites as you're proposing here. Nick-D (talk) 07:22, 9 August 2013 (UTC)


I understand that. That is why I paid more attention on the way they do their promotions. In terms of Wikipedia we can say that as a result most of the articles about nuclear power (which are more then 200) do not present "a neutral point of view" at the moment. They look just like simple advertising of the nuclear power. Most of the articles do not even mention that there are so many different opinions and they are simply a copy from the WNA site. There are so many links to their site, that maybe they have paid to a SEO guy to place them there no matter what sense they make. That is pure spam.
I am not neutral as well and I think I have the right to place my arguments here but not in such a way. I do it for free in my spare time. I do not belong to any anti nuclear movement which get sometimes donations for that and which are probably 100 times less then the millions which WNA get for promoting the nuclear power. I am mad with them because I can see how they build their image of a "reliable source". Think again. There are so many "hard facts" and statistics about the nuclear power but you can not see them in Wikipedia as they are. They always come with some "talks, debates and plans" about the future from "some experts". Later the "talks and debates" are presented as "plans" and the "experts" are presented as "the government" or the majority of the people even if a poll can show that over 80% of the people do not want any new nuclear reactors. They have done that for France, Italy, Portugal and probably for many other countries for which I have no time to check.
I did some changes here (the last paragraph is mine) yesterday for France, because they describe France as their "biggest success". I have no time to do the changes for all other countries but I have no idea what to do. I asked at least the admins of some common articles about nuclear power here and here for some changes, but they refuse to make major changes so far.
I am mad with WNA also because I can see that they are very successful in such an unfair way. One should not be a nuclear power specialist to see that their forecasts and information is ridiculous. At later stage they say "we are cited many times in Wikipedia", in many articles which are probably paid and in sources of the nuclear lobbyists, which probably pay to be their members. Based on the idea of the great nuclear power future which is created by them, they manage to start new talks and debates in many new "Emerging Nuclear Energy Countries". In some countries like mine where the government is corrupted and they manage to spread their misleading information they have even success to start a new project. When the available money, usually 2-3 billions are spent, the project gets stuck in the mud for decades and it gets clear that the power from that reactor will be couple of times more expensive from what they said at the beginning, what they say is "A new nuclear reactor is under active construction there. People in that country want a new reactor. Don't you want one as well?". They use that reactor again and again for advertising without telling the whole truth and instead of being ashamed of such a reactor "under construction". They do all that here in Wikipedia and they have success to present their articles (they are actually from their site) as having "a neutral point of view". --Orehche (talk) 12:58, 9 August 2013 (UTC)


One guy complains here that there are 16 references to the WNA site in one article. Do you think WNA should be "the golden standard" for Wikipedia and they should be allowed to publish their "biased" forecasts based on nothing for 50 years from now or they should be limited to be used as a source only for hard facts till the present after such behavior ? --Orehche (talk) 23:37, 9 August 2013 (UTC)


I have some arguments with Almacha here. She says "Even if the US are only building one reactor at this time, the construction is not canceled and is still going on. So it is indeed building a new reactor." and "I think a map like this one is still valuable information precisely because it gives information about the future of nuclear power." I am "impressed" from WNA how they achieve all their goals. To say that US and Argentina build new NPPs at the moment however is like to say that there are polar bears in Spain, because there is one in the zoo and no one can argue with that fact. Is it true that "there are polar bears in Spain"? What is the impression one can get about the "future of polar bears in Spain" from that? We don't need to go through all the formal definitions in Wikipedia to say that this crap should just go away. If one wants to see the ridiculous way how that map is used in Wikipedia, maybe at over 1000 pages one can pick a couple of them and one can do it for oneself. I have no time to do it here. --Orehche (talk) 08:49, 11 August 2013 (UTC)

Scientology and E! News

Regarding this edit, There are two sources: a New York daily News gossip column and an E! Online article. The first is clearly not a reliable source, but is the second? The same section says "the LAPD has declined to comment on the matter" with what appears to be a good (but possibly out of date) citation.

Please note that the actual claim is found in multiple sources such as Reuters and People -- my only question is whether we should replace the E! only source with something better; I want the sourcing on a controversial page like this to be rock solid. On the other hand, People quotes E! Online as its source... --Guy Macon (talk) 14:03, 9 August 2013 (UTC)

I'd suggest that E! News isn't a great source to use given that gossip websites don't have a reputation for careful fact checking ;) The Reuters reference is probably the best option here given that it's a serious news source. I hope that's helpful. Nick-D (talk) 22:33, 11 August 2013 (UTC)

Civil wars of the world

Civil wars of the world ABC-Clio, This book is used to cite this edit, in that the civil war between the Jumma peoples and the Government of Bangladesh is the Bangladesh Civil War. Is it good for the edit? Darkness Shines (talk) 20:28, 11 August 2013 (UTC)

Vidstatsx

There's an request for comment underway at Natalie Tran. There's a question about using Vidstatsx statistics (vidstatsx.com) to track YouTube views. Chris Troutman (talk) 03:49, 12 August 2013 (UTC)

forvo.com

At the article French language, a population figure (220 million) sourced to Organisation Internationale de La Francophonie, which is likely a reliable source and in any event is hardly likely to vastly understate the number of French speakers, is being changed to a much higher figure (290 million) sourced to forvo.com, a site which appears to contain at least partly user-generated content. This has happened three times now—[6][7][8] (the first time no source was provided)—and I'd appreciate more eyes and a third opinion (or more). Rivertorch (talk) 05:10, 7 August 2013 (UTC)

Come, now. Surely someone would like to weigh in on these two very simple questions: (1) is forvo.com a reliable source? (2) is it as reliable as Organisation Internationale de La Francophonie for the purposes of determining the world's francophone population? Rivertorch (talk) 06:13, 8 August 2013 (UTC)

As you say, the source of the numbers is not clear. The moderators of the site do not appear to claim to be experts. The main aim of the site is collecting recording of native speakers speaking. This is a source that I would not use for this purpose, unless I am missing something.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 10:47, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
The figure presumably includes people who speak French as an additional language, which is impossible to accurately pin down. If I can count to ten in French, am I included? I know it doesn't answer the question as to reliability, but we probably need to be thinking in terms of a range rather than a number. Formerip (talk) 00:51, 14 August 2013 (UTC)

National Review opinion rant

  • Kevin D. Williamson in the National Review writes an opinion piece/rant decrying the antiwar stances of people like Ron Paul, Rand Paul and Murray Rothbard, whose article is being sourced. See January 23, 2012, "Courting the Cranks." National Review. (You'll probably have to pay 25 cents for it.)
  • He writes that Rothbard associated with historians others who questioned aspects of WWII history, especially related to the British Empire’s fecklessly trying to look out for its own interests while being enabled by America’s “Anglophile elite.” He writes: Rothbard and his faction fully embrace the first form of revisionism and are culpably indulgent of the the second, which specifically denies that the Holocaust actually happened or holds that it was in some way exaggerated. And he writes: The Holocaust tends to get in the way of the Hitler-was-an-innocent-bystander view of history, and so Rothbard found himself making common cause with the “revisionist” historians of the Third Reich.
  • Users:Specifico and Steeletrap think this is a great source for this statement:
Rothbard's revisionist work on World War II and his association with revisionist historians have drawn criticism. Kevin D. Williamson wrote an opinion piece published by National Review which condemned Rothbard for "making common cause with the “revisionist” historians of the Third Reich", a term he used to describe American Holocaust Deniers associated with Rothbard, such as James J. Martin of the Institute for Historical Review. The piece also characterized "Rothbard and his faction" as being "culpably indulgent" of Holocaust Denial, or the view which "specifically denies that the Holocaust actually happened or holds that it was in some way exaggerated".
  • WP:OR/Synth aside, is it my imagination or is this kind of guilt-by-association opinion rant being used just too questionable/tacky a source for Wikipedia? Can we now use similar rants in the bios of all the other deceased people National Review doesn't like? User:Carolmooredc 21:46, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
It's your imagination. The National Review editorial/rant is a reliable source for Williamson's opinion. It is notable because Rothbard is a conservative figure and a National Review editorial/rant is relevant to conservative opinion. God only knows how you are going to attempt to paint that as an example of WP:SYNTH or WP:OR. — goethean 22:05, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
Correction of OP OP has mischaracterized the issue at hand. Rothbard has broadly endorsed the "revisionist" World War II "history" of Holocaust denier/explicitly Nazi apologist "historians" like Harry Elmer Barnes on World War II. (though Rothbard has maintained plausible deniability regarding his own view of the Holocaust by never offering an opinion (or even a comment) on the Holocaust views of the "revisionist historians" whose work he broadly and effusively praises.) That, and not some loose "association", is what he's being criticized for in the National Review piece. You can agree or disagree with the argument the NR writer makes regarding Rothbard's culpability in indulging deniers/denialism, but it's a plausible argument from an RS and therefore fair game to note on WP. Steeletrap (talk) 03:32, 14 August 2013 (UTC)
The "notability" of the Williamson piece is not at issue. Notability in WP has to do with the decision to include topics/people as notable. (For example, we do not discard new articles written by non-notable reporters if they are writing in RS publications.) As a widely read national journal, National Review is certainly RS. The real issue in the article is proper WP:BALANCE. What did Rothbard's supporters say in response? That would settle the question. Or, if material has been cherry-picked, what is Williamson's real opinion? – S. Rich (talk) 03:53, 14 August 2013 (UTC)
I think there is not problem using this source. To the extent it represents a controversial opinion the correct policies to consider are WP:NPOV and WP:NOTE, but I see no problem concerning note, and concerning NPOV I think as mentioned by others the normal things to do are to (a) attribute and (b) see if there are counter positions published that we can add to our report of the controversy. Carolmooredc, please consider WP:CENSORSHIP: while we are careful about biographical information we must also not try to change people's images here on WP. We have to be guided by whatever is published and report that in a balanced way. If someone has a poor reputation in mainstream publications, we should not be hiding that.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 06:33, 14 August 2013 (UTC)

thinkprogress.org as a generally accepted WP:RS

This is a question on rather thinkprogress.org should generally be accepted as a WP:RS. It has won several awards and has a credentialed staff. See their about page. Casprings (talk) 17:13, 24 July 2013 (UTC)

I can't imagine why they should be any more than we shouldn't accept NewsMax or WorldNetDaily. They're too partisan to be of value, and have a history of inaccurate reporting. Thargor Orlando (talk) 17:17, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
What is there history of "inaccurate reporting". Do you have a link? Mother Jones is generally considered at WP:RS and has a clear view point. One can have a view point and still be accurate.Casprings (talk) 17:24, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
Sure, Mother Jones is a great example of a partisan source with something to offer. With ThinkProgress, plenty of blogs go into detail in debunking ThinkProgress's blog posts, such as this and this, which would not be good enough to use in an article, but provide ample demonstration of TP's inability to discern facts. We should be using them sparingly, and only for claims about themselves or their positions when necessary. Thargor Orlando (talk) 17:36, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
Shouldn't the path to judging this be by independent judgements? For example, NewsTrust gives Thinkprogress a rating of 3.4 out of 5. It gives foxnews a rating of 2.6 out of 5.0. I am not saying this is the end all, be all, but there have to be organizations out there that at least try to judge sites for fairness and accuracy. The posts you put up, I think that the claims of non accuracy could be attacked. Figure out some organization that is neutral and finding their judgements would be a good path. Casprings (talk) 18:04, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
Maybe, but I'm not sure what NewsTrust is or why we should buy their claims (especially if they're putting a mainstream, credible source below a highly partisan blog with a history of errors), but I don't see the history of accuracy I think is necessary. Is there a specific reference it's trying to cite? Do we have a better, neutral source to use instead? Thargor Orlando (talk) 18:18, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
Would have to explore to find something. I do find a lot of columns saying they are accurate or not accurate. However, I can say the same about Huffington Post or Fox News. I think of some note is that they have won awards from what I would consider neutral sources. For example, Official Honoree in the 2009 and 2012 Webby. Another example is that it won an award from The Sidney Hillman Foundation. Awards from neutral sources should also play into this.Casprings (talk) 18:29, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
What raised the question of ThinkProgress, then? Why is this here? Thargor Orlando (talk) 18:52, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
I edit american politics articles alot and the issue often comes up. I saw it again. I decided it would be nice just to have a general consensus one way or the other.Casprings (talk) 19:03, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
You and I both. I've done my best to try and remove blatantly partisan sources wherever possible, my personal suggestion would be to avoid it unless there's no other option. Thargor Orlando (talk) 19:27, 24 July 2013 (UTC)

<- No comment on whether the blog qualifies as an RS and under what circumstances, but either way, consensus will need to deal with the reality that they appear to be used quite extensively[9], including for BLPs such as Doug Lamborn, where they are cited as source for a quote by a living person. Sean.hoyland - talk 17:45, 24 July 2013 (UTC)

This might be a better link, although anything nearing 400 is nearly 400 too many. Thargor Orlando (talk) 18:02, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
The original question as posed was: "This is a question on rather thinkprogress.org should generally be accepted as a WP:RS."
The site appears to be reliably published. It has an editorial staff and a history of fact checking. As for the bias of the source and whether that effects reliability for our standards:

Biased or opinionated sources



Wikipedia articles are required to present a neutral point of view. However, reliable sources are not required to be neutral, unbiased, or objective. Common sources of bias include political, financial, religious, philosophical, or other beliefs.

Sometimes "non-neutral" sources are the best possible sources for supporting information about the different viewpoints held on a subject. When dealing with a potentially biased source, editors should consider whether the source meets the normal requirements for reliable sources, such as editorial control and a reputation for fact-checking. Editors should also consider whether the bias makes it appropriate to use in-text attribution to the source, as in "According to the opinion columnist Maureen Dowd..." or "According to the opera critic Tom Sutcliffe..."

--Amadscientist (talk) 18:12, 24 July 2013 (UTC)

I'm not convinced they have a reputation of fact checking, for the record. Thargor Orlando (talk) 18:18, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
We are not here to convince editors of such. It is not necessary for you to believe it, but if you stall consensus over it, be prepared to demonstrate it or it will simply be overlooked. We all have our opinions Thargor, how much weight that is given in a discussion is only based on the strength of the argument. Not believing is not a strong argument.--Amadscientist (talk) 18:24, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
I should mention tabloid journalism. Generally speaking when a source is considered "tabloid journalism" it fails criteria for use as a source for facts. If one believes that a reference is such a source, that would require a demonstration as well and be discussed by editors to decide if use of the source is not appropriate as "tabloid journalism".--Amadscientist (talk) 18:28, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
Of course. I'm just curious as to where this supposed reputation for fact-checking comes from. And, for that matter, what it's being used for that raised the question. I suspect we can find a better source for whatever it is ThinkProgress is claiming. Thargor Orlando (talk) 18:52, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
If I may, you should first consider: What specific citation in support of what specific edit? Thinkprogress? The website has a stated general bias. Some people on there do good work, some of what's on the site not so much. It, like, depends.Dan Murphy (talk) 19:34, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Context does matter with any cite. That said, coming to a general consensus is a starting point.Casprings (talk) 19:39, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
  • One point I didn't place in the OP, but I should have. Should thinkprogress be considered, a WP:NEWSBLOG?
  • First off- no such thing as "generally accepted" RS, especially for news reports, each fact must be NPOV and non-partisan and that is why the above statement that Fox is a "mainstream and credible" source is laughable, no there not and anything on their networks which is partisan or editorializing has always found itself here and we have always said Fox news in those instances is not reliable, in general I would say we've declared Fox news non-RS more often than we've found it RS. The standard is if it is true, then in that instance of that fact which is true that particular RS is reliable. If an RS were to say Kazakhstan is in South America I don't care if that RS has been right 99.9999% of the time, it isn't reliable and we don't use it.Camelbinky (talk) 19:48, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
Actually, news organizations are generally accepted to be WP:RS. Per WP:NEWSORG,""News reporting" from well-established news outlets is generally considered to be reliable for statements of fact (though even the most reputable reporting sometimes contains errors). " As far as Foxnews, there was actually a discussion on it at WP:RSN. That can be found here.Casprings (talk) 20:05, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Don't see why not, within reason. We use Fox News as an RS, after all. They employ credentialed professionals and some of their coverage is first rate stuff, especially Climate Progress, which is edited by a doctorate from MIT. Gamaliel (talk) 19:52, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Reliable source Challenging their status because they are "progressive" is disingenuous. Many reputable news sources have an editorial position. The New York Times and The Guardian are liberal, The Times and The Telegraph are conservative. Reliability relates to whether the facts presented in news stories are accurate, which in this case they are. TFD (talk) 19:58, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
    • Where is this evidence of reliability? I do want to know where that's coming from. Thargor Orlando (talk) 20:16, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
      • Various awards from neutral organizations, a credentialed staff, and a rating from a neutral organization is the current evidence. There is some. Rather it is enough, I don't know.Casprings (talk) 20:21, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
        • I'm not sure what makes NewsTrust neutral. Their funding comes significantly from ideologically-left organizations. A credentialed staff and awards doesn't tell us much either, neither of those things are especially difficult to obtain. Thargor Orlando (talk) 21:17, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
There are claims the NYT is liberal. I would consider it rather neutral, as far as their news pages. Their OP pages do tend to slant liberal.Casprings (talk) 20:09, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
NewsTrust says it is reliable. NewsTrust partners include the include the Huffington Post, PBS, PolitiFact and the Washington Post. (Note: whether or not the NYT is liberal depends on how one uses the term. They are certainly more liberal than the Wall Street Journal and Fox News, which are also rs.) TFD (talk) 20:36, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
Why is NewsTrust considered a worthwhile arbiter? Thargor Orlando (talk) 21:17, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
One reason is perhaps because they are partners of sources we generally consider reliable, such as PBS and the Washington Post.Casprings (talk) 21:31, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
Can you verify that? Thargor Orlando (talk) 22:56, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
Here. And alot of other partners as well. Casprings (talk)
  • The problem with Think Progress and similar sources is that their choice of reporting is strongly tainted by a bias. If you read only Think Progress or NewsMax you will get a slanted presentation of the issues because they highlight only stories that support their particular point of view while ignoring or discrediting those that go against it. But from what I have seen of Think Progress, the articles do appear to check their facts and I don't see any reason to prohibit its use as a source. We just have to make sure we use Think Progress to cite verifiable information and not "The Truth". ThemFromSpace 20:42, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Is think Progress newsmax? To me, it looks to have a higher reputation for accuracy. Casprings (talk) 20:56, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
  • I don't believe either of them have any actual reputation for accuracy. It's why I'm questioning where this reputation comes from and why people believe it. Thargor Orlando (talk) 21:18, 24 July 2013 (UTC)

RFC ThinkProgress

This is a question on rather thinkprogress.org should generally be accepted as a WP:RS.Should thinkprogress be considered, a reliable WP:NEWSBLOG? It has won several awards and has a credentialed staff. See their about page. NewsTrust gives Thinkprogress a rating of 3.4 out of 5. Casprings (talk) 17:13, 24 July 2013 (UTC)

  • Only for claims attributed specifically to it, and sparingly at that. Treat it like any other highly partisan, somewhat suspect source like NewsMax or WorldNetDaily. Thargor Orlando (talk) 21:17, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
  • I agree with Thargor Orlando. Fundamentally, we're talking about a partisan website. Like any partisan website, it should be used sparingly and cautiously, if at all. Our default approach should be to look for better, less partisan sources wherever possible. MastCell Talk 21:31, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Agreed with MastCell and Thargor Orlando. Arkon (talk) 21:34, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
  • The comparison to NewsMax and WND is prima facie absurd. The only thing they have in common is that they are internet sites dealing with US politics from a particular orientation. We don't treat print and television media with political orientations this way, since Fox News is widely accepted as a reliable source, so we shouldn't treat a website this way. TP often produces quality work, it is staffed with professionals with solid traditional credentials who have gone on to work at many other media outlets which are unquestionably accepted as reliable sources. TP should be considered usable under the right circumstances, and certainly there's no reason that subsets of TP can't be accepted in all cases, such as Climate Progress, headed by an MIT doctorate and has little to do with the daily slugfest of partisan politics. Gamaliel (talk) 21:40, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
    • Sure, ThinkProgress is more sober and less ridiculous than WorldNetDaily and NewsMax, which are apparently written with tinfoil hat firmly in place. That's a matter of degree, and it's why ThinkProgress may be useful sparingly whereas the other two should be avoided in all but the most extraordinary circumstances. But the fact remains that all three fall under the general category of "partisan websites", and any time we think about citing a partisan website, we should stop and look for better sources instead. If we can't find any, and if a subject is covered only by partisan websites, then we need to think seriously about whether it belongs in a Wikipedia article. MastCell Talk 22:08, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
      • Bais, in of itself, is not a reason for a source to not be considered WP:RS. Per WP:RS:

Biased or opinionated sources



Wikipedia articles are required to present a neutral point of view. However, reliable sources are not required to be neutral, unbiased, or objective. Common sources of bias include political, financial, religious, philosophical, or other beliefs.

Sometimes "non-neutral" sources are the best possible sources for supporting information about the different viewpoints held on a subject. When dealing with a potentially biased source, editors should consider whether the source meets the normal requirements for reliable sources, such as editorial control and a reputation for fact-checking. Editors should also consider whether the bias makes it appropriate to use in-text attribution to the source, as in "According to the opinion columnist Maureen Dowd..." or "According to the opera critic Tom Sutcliffe..."

I would think there needs to be a better argument than simply bias.Casprings (talk) 22:35, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
Sure. The best argument is that they cannot be trusted to give an objective, factual account of what they report on. It's an issue of bias to a point, but the biases are so significant as to cloud what they do. Compare it to, say, Mother Jones or National Review, which are partisan/ideological publications that do not let their ideologies get in the way of presenting information in a factual way. ThinkProgress, truly, is no better than Alternet or NewsMax. In no way have they shown a fidelity to the truth, in no way have they shown themselves to be worthwhile sources for use in an online encyclopedia except in rare, specific circumstances. Thargor Orlando (talk) 22:51, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
"In no way have they shown a fidelity to the truth". No way at all? Not even a little? That's an incredibly broad statement, got anything to back it up? Gamaliel (talk) 23:03, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
I second that. You do have to back up such claims.--Amadscientist (talk) 23:05, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
And yet I've asked numerous times for examples of their reliability and keep getting tossed to NewsTrust. That's strange. But to answer the question, I provided a few examples of their factual inaccuracy above, but they've also been caught making misstatements about groups like the NRA and Americans for Tax Reform, and multiple groups have noted their claims about Limbaugh advertising during the Flake situation. They're not a news organization, they're an ideological opinion provider. Thargor Orlando (talk) 23:17, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
It is up to you to demonstrate that they are not reliable. As yet you have shown nothing to contradict that they are a news blog. Personal opinion aside, find us a reliable source that mentions that Thinkprogress has an issue with facts and then we can talk further. Until then you are just cherry picking.--Amadscientist (talk) 23:20, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
Isn't it up to the person who wants to include information to show how they're reliable? I've shown two instances of debunking here, and I can present links for other entries that dispute ThinkProgress if need be. They wouldn't be appropriate for articles, but they would be appropriate for showing ThinkProgress's lack of trust. I also, again, do not understand under what circumstances we'd actually need them. Thargor Orlando (talk) 23:31, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
An example or two hardly supports a broad statement like "In no way have they shown a fidelity to the truth". Similar examples can be found for any source widely considered an RS, certainly dozens or perhaps hundreds can be found for Fox News alone. Gamaliel (talk) 23:52, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
So you want to include them: where's the record for accuracy? Where's the proof they're what you claim they are? Thargor Orlando (talk) 00:09, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
Tou made a specific claim in this section that multiple parties have asked you to substantiate. Will you do so or will you instead retract your claim? Gamaliel (talk) 02:07, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
I've linked a few above, and can offer more if necessary. If you want to include the information, you are responsible for explaining why they're reliable. Thargor Orlando (talk) 12:44, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
As has been pointed out to you, a few examples hardly substantiates such a broad assertion. All parties in this discussion are responsible for backing up their claims, you have no exemption to this. Gamaliel (talk) 14:43, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
We're going around in circles. If you have evidence of TP's reliability, this is the time to present it. Thargor Orlando (talk) 15:31, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
Evidence has been presented elsewhere on this page, as you know. Now is the time for you to substantiate or retract your claim. We're going in circles because you made an incredibly broad assertion that you refuse to back up. Gamaliel (talk) 16:03, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
No evidence has been supported outside of a crowdsourced news aggregator and handwaving about their staff. No evidence is forthcoming, unlike the evidence I've presented thus far, so it tells me that TP probably isn't reliable until I see evidence otherwise. Thargor Orlando (talk) 17:14, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
When will you present evidence backing up your assertions? You have yet to do so. Gamaliel (talk) 17:28, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
I would point out that NewsTrust rates them than foxnews. They are an organization with many partners we would consider WP:RS.
I don't see how them asserting they're partners constitutes them actually having partnerships. Or, for that matter, how "partner" as they define it would work the same way the rest of us would. An example: the Huffington Post "partnership" consists of 12 posts tagged "NewsTrust" from over 2 years ago. Thargor Orlando (talk) 23:32, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
  • I am not prepared to make a special case out of thinkprogress as no demonstration has been made that they lack anything that puts them into a special category. It is a newsblog in the exact same vein as Huffington Post and as yet I see no evidence that they deserve to be placed outside our definition of a reliable source. I do not believe it has been shown by any editor that this site is more or less partisan than any other site or that our policies and guidelines should be ignored here to improve the project.--Amadscientist (talk) 23:02, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
  • I agree with MastCell. It can be used for uncontroversial statements of fact, but in general I think we should prefer news sources with a more broad focus. I would say the same thing about several other bloggy news outlets on both the left and the right. If we can find a source that says the same thing and appears in The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, etc, we might as well use that. a13ean (talk) 23:08, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
I do not agree with Mastcell who states: " Like any partisan website, it should be used sparingly and cautiously, if at all. Our default approach should be to look for better, less partisan sources wherever possible." No. Our default should be to stay within our guidelines until they are changed. To me this is like saying we have determined that we cannot trust them. Yet we have not stated why. The same thing was attempted with Huffington Post and while it is a matter of consensus it keeps coming back to this noticeboard as a point of contention. No, I am sorry, but I see nothing within guidelines and policy from Mastcell's argument to see it as a legitimate "default".--Amadscientist (talk) 23:16, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
It's a matter of basic common sense, when trying to write a serious encyclopedia article, to use partisan websites sparingly as sources and to prefer reputable non-partisan sources wherever possible. Good editors recognize that. It's a best practice; if our policies don't reflect it, they should. I'm not saying that we "can't trust" ThinkProgress—I'm saying that a neutral, reputable news outlet is a better sourcing fit for us than a partisan website in virtually all cases. MastCell Talk 23:57, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
I should clarify. It isn't that I don't necessarily agree with the overall sentiment, just that it is not our current default process. I do agree with the spirit of our policy in that, even a partisan source is not unreliable merely because it is partisan.--Amadscientist (talk) 00:20, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
The question isn't to compare WP:RS. It is a question over rather a source is WP:RS. It is a different question rather a sources is WP:RS, over which source one should use in a certain article. Huffington Post is a WP:RS, but Washington Post might be a better source to use.Casprings (talk) 00:41, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
Not exactly. You see you are still making assumptions. The issue with using a partisan source is whether the source has content worth using for the referenced content. If the Huffington Post article was aggregated from another source (many times they are) then they are not even really the source. But if Huffington Post was used as an original story, written by a journalist not giving opinion, and the source is giving the take of one side that is not given in another source (for example lets use your suggestion of the Washington Post), how is the Washington Post necessarily a better choice? It really is a matter of that local consensus to determine what is the best choice in that situation.--Amadscientist (talk) 04:43, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
  • They're an advocacy group, not a news organization, right? They should be used with extreme caution, especially since virtually all of their blog posts concern living people. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 00:23, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
    • They are a news group with an editorial policy, just like Fox News, the New York Times and many other reliable sources. TFD (talk) 04:32, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
      • What is it that makes them a "news group" as opposed to an advocacy group, specifically? Thargor Orlando (talk) 12:44, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
  • News aggregator. Treat as news aggregator. Not automatically reliable or unreliable. Itsmejudith (talk) 06:41, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
  • After reading this discussion I think that there's no reason that TP shouldn't be considered a reliable source. Yes, they have an editorial viewpoint. Perhaps they could even be considered a "biased source." So what? Lots of news organizations have a viewpoint and could be considered biased. We use Fox News a lot for all sorts of things. And part of Wikipedia is about documenting controversies and I can't see any reason why it's not appropriate to use well-sourced blogs that have well-qualified staff to illustrate progressive viewpoints in political articles where that's necessary and if appropriately referenced. Finally, Mr Orlando has pointed to a couple of famous mistakes that TP has made, but really, if the standard is "perfect news source that's never made mistakes" we wouldn't have any reliable sources at all. AgnosticAphid talk 17:15, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Reliable. The site meets the basic criteria for a reliable source in that it clearly has editorial oversight, a line of accountability and a reputation for accuracy (which does not need to be unblemished). That's all there is to the question, really. It is a source with an ideological slant, which does mean, as noted by others above, that common sense and caution should be applied. It shouldn't be heavily relied on in a single article and, where is it cited for opinion, the attribution should be clear. But those are considerations to make case by case. Formerip (talk) 18:12, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Non-RS blog at least for our purposes, even though I am a great fan of that site. Fortunately, they tend to provide their sources for the items most important to mention here so one just has to backtrack a bit further in the search for obvious RS sources for the same material. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 16:28, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Reliable source: Good editorial oversight, a well-qualified and credentialled staff, and a good reputation for fact-checking and accuracy. Meets all of our requirements. Whether the source has an editorial bias means nothing as long as their journalism isn't compromised, and the OP has consistently failed to produce any credible evidence that this is the case. As long as the individual sources are used with good editorial judgement on our part, I see no policy -based reason to claim that the source is universally unreliable. Comparisons to OneNewsNow and blogs are unjustified and misleading to the point of being dishonest. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 14:47, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Reliable source, rises above NEWSBLOG, should be used with caution and attribution if the content is opinion rather than fact. The editorial backing of Think Progress is more reliable than a general news blog. Klaus Dodds, professor of geopolitics at Royal Holloway, University of London, writes in his Oxford-published Geopolitics: A Very Short Introduction that Think Progress and Daily Kos are useful and trustworthy websites for monitoring both mainstream media and right-wing blogs.[10]
  • Generally not reliable. I see no reputation for fact-checking. Their bias extends to not checking data which might lead to facts contrary to their ideology. And, contrary to a statement made above, evidence for reliability is' needed for inclusion. We cannot include Joe's newsblog as a reliable source without evidence. The opinions presented are notable, but only as opinions. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 17:40, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Citable only for opinions cited and attributed as opinion It is not a generally reliable source for claims of fact, and it is moderately apparent that it has a specific point of view on many topics, suggesting that its views may be a teensy bit unbalanced on specific topics. If a source makes unbalanced claims and posits opinions based on such unbalanced claims, it no longer meets Wikipedia's requirement that "facts" be subject to "fact-checking." Collect (talk) 18:01, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
    • Look, this is really easy. First Collect, I am sorry, but no. There is absolutely no way a source can be determined as non reliable just because of any individual mistakes made or Fox news would burn through the screen when you attempt to use it. No, it has to do with the individual story being used. IF it is an opinion Blog than you are correct about attribution, however even Huffington Post has original news stories that are not opinion. The important thing is to know what is an opinion piece and what is a news story. As long as the news story is not just aggregated from another site it can be used to cite facts. The one thing I have not seen one editor mention yet is our policy on quoting from partisan publication. Quotes from such are to be viewed as suspicious as they may be quoted incorrectly or out of context. That is in regards to all partisan sources regardless of politics, religion or any such source that clearly has a partisan view.--Amadscientist (talk) 18:30, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
        • Wonderful = you rebut something I did not say! Sorry -- but I find it hard to respond to a post which mischaracterizes my position do thoroughly. Where something is basically an opinion than it must be so ascribed as an opinion. In a case where a source uses "selective facts" (note: "fact-checking" is not a lie-meter, but also a measure of how facts are presented in a source - if facts are presented in a misleading manner to any extent, they become an expression of opinion. Which is how WaPo assigns Pinocchios not on literal "fact" but on whether the fact is misrepresented. Note the famed "Pravda" car race headline "Russian car came in second, American car next to last" which was a "fact" but where the presentation of the "fact" rendered it an opinion as far as most people would be concerned.) Collect (talk) 19:03, 27 July 2013 (UTC) (before anyone complains about that example - it is a famed "anecdote" cited as such and is not claimed to come from a "reliable source" <g> Collect (talk) 19:04, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Reliable source. Per WP:NEWSORG. Otherwise, all partisan sources would have to be reviewed as potentially non-reliable. WP, as noted above, makes clear that: "reliable sources are not required to be neutral, unbiased, or objective." But ultimately, each reader will decide what is reliable. Editors do a disservice by attempting to self-impose their own partisanship upon what readers read - and/or how much reliability to confer on what they read. 2602:306:BD61:E0F0:B4AF:4E3E:A87A:B57E (talk) 09:22, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Not Reliable Source They don't hold themselves out as a newsorg, they are proud of their role as an advocacy org. They are almost exclusively staffed by (well-qualified) opposition researchers, campaign staff, community organizers, and policy staffers. This makes for engaging and intellectually interesting writing but is hardly the stuff of responsible journalism. They are reliable for their own opinions. Capitalismojo (talk) 12:18, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Response. Either you misread WP:NEWSORG, or you intentionally misinterpreted it, or you don't understand it, or you just haven't read it. Because if you had, you would know that it states that news organizations: "often contain both factual content and opinion content." And they are still reliable sources. TP uses video, direct quotes, cites empirical studies, gives its sources, does original interviews and employs professional journalists who contribute to several other reputable news organizations. Sure sounds just like a news organization. Frankly, that's far better that much out there that tries to pass for "responsible journalism." Or even journalism. Also if you had read WP policy under "Biased or opinionated sources", you would also know that: "reliable sources are not required to be neutral, unbiased, or objective." So your "non-reliable" conclusion has no basis in actual WP policy. 2602:306:BD61:E0F0:A855:82AC:20B1:BF6 (talk) 11:48, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Not reliable except for opinions I just went there and noticed an article entitled "GDP Report: Sequestration Continues To Drag On Economic Growth"[11]. However, if you click through to the actual report[12], it does not mention sequestration. It appears that TP is conflating the opinion of some people that sequestration is hurting GDP with the factual information in the report. An RS is supposed to separate news from opinion. I could find no attempt by TP to do that.William Jockusch (talk) 04:00, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Not RS too partisan Chris Troutman (talk) 04:09, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Not reliable source, citable only for opinions cited and attributed as opinion. Way too partisan. GregJackP Boomer! 13:44, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Citable for opinion. According to WP:RS, bias is a non-issue. As far as citing them for facts, I'm neutral. I haven't seen any arguments that sway me one way or the other. NinjaRobotPirate (talk) 23:23, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Reliable Yes, ThinkProgress may be "partisan", but so are most other news sources, if not all of them. For example, I would consider Fox News and MSNBC to be the same and I think TP is slightly higher than those, just for the fact that it rarely puts out blatantly false articles (Fox News seems to be doing that more often now). For what we consider to be reliable, TP has. Qualified staff and an editorial review board. SilverserenC 23:42, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Not reliable except for opinions Everything ive seen of them tells me it is an advocacy group that happens to report some news. They dont seem to rise to the level or RS, in my opinion. Bonewah (talk) 20:24, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Reliable source - There is no evidence that ThinkProgress has engaged in the sort of rabid nonsense that has consigned NewsMax, WorldNetDaily and Cybercast News Service to the pit of awfulness. Rather, they are like FOX News - a source with a noted bias, but generally adherent to norms of journalistic credibility. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 11:04, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Reliable source. We can recognize that a source has a clear POV, and still weigh its reliability for factual presentation, and ThinkProgress is as reliably accurate about the facts it states as it is reliably liberal in its interpretation and selection of facts to report. – Quadell (talk) 12:09, 10 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Reliable source actively involved in correcting errors of fact from other media. I note that those who claim they are not reliable provide zero examples, while those claiming they are reliable above have abundant links, third-party sources, and authorities in agreement. EllenCT (talk) 17:37, 10 August 2013 (UTC)
Uh, what "abundant links", third-party sources, and "authorities" are you referring to? Capitalismojo (talk) 15:26, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Reliable source for news so far as I can see, and Dodds opinion can't be ignored. People rightly say it should be attributed for opinions - but shouldn't we always attribute for opinions? I note we accept Fox News despite all the criticisms its received, some of which we document. Both Fox and this organisation have a pov, if we accept Fox then I can't see rejecting this one and we should not let our politics interfere with our judgment, although this may be happening here. Dougweller (talk) 18:21, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
Dougweller makes a good point here: Fox News is considered by some people to be reliable despite overwhelming, testable evidence that shows Fox News is often a source of abject bullshit lies. What happens is that people evaluate a reference's legitimacy with pre-set notions such that people who believe a sourec is legitimate will accept the source, those who know the source is questionable will question the source's reliability.
What happens, though, is that over time the application of bullshit sources falsly lends credibility to said bullshit sources. This is how Fox News gained credibility among the more gullible among us. Think Progress is likewise propaganda which has gained legitimacy through repeated use as a reliable source, ergo the phenomena is a feed-back loop.
For the extant issue of Think progress it should be used as sparingly as Fox News should be despite neither being reliable sources. Damotclese (talk) 22:38, 12 August 2013 (UTC)
  • I was randomly selected for RFC on this and I have read some of the comments here. (1) We're ending up seeing something much like a vote being held here in many ways which is some times useful in conflict resolution or in establishing a majority opinion however Wikipedia guidelines attempt to refrain from WP:VOTING.
(2) The discussions so far are (I would argue somewhat amusingly) assuming that any new-aggregator or reporting source is reliable setting aside the extant inquiry about Think Progress. There is no such thing as reliability in any human endeavor, there is only a spectrum of probability of testability and falsifiability of claims coupled to accuracy, lies of omission, and other human behavioral traits.
So the answer is no, Think Progress is not a reliable source but then no news source, no news aggregator, no reporting entity whether audio, visual, or print is reliable. Think Progress is much more accurate and reliable and honest than right-wing propaganda sources like Fox News, World Net Daily, all the rest, however Think Progress is also propaganda, so much so that Think Progress should be referenced or sourced very sparingly. Damotclese (talk) 22:31, 12 August 2013 (UTC)

On the NewsTrust ranking

In doing some research on the organization to repair our article on NewsTrust, I found this, which states that "A national version of the site has been running about two years, featuring content from national publications such as The Washington Post, Wired, The Independent and the Atlantic. At the bottom of each posting is a rating, on a scale from 0-5, of the article’s quality as determined by site curators as well as visitors." Thus, these rankings we're using on reliability are at least partially, if not mostly, crowdsourced and probably should not be held as a point for or against any specific source. It was also formed in part by MoveOn.org, which at least puts into question the group's ideological independence even before we begin examining the donors. Thargor Orlando (talk) 23:47, 24 July 2013 (UTC)

This is a link to the sites methodology. It uses questions and surveys. It seems to attempt to be neutral, at least.Casprings (talk) 00:04, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
Attempt to be neutral, maybe, but the rankings are entirely crowdsourced, which means that it tells us all of nothing regarding any organization's actual accuracy. Thargor Orlando (talk) 00:09, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
What is the point of the above? I really don't get it. How is this relevant to the discussion. What am I missing?--Amadscientist (talk) 00:23, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
Looks like you may be missing the introduction of the RFC by Casprings. He references Newstrust there. Arkon (talk) 00:26, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
OK, got it, but...in my defense this RFC was created in an odd manner and was originally placed over the original question to this Noticeboard and I am really beginning to lose track on what is being discussed at this point. But, with that said, exactly how does that rating effect how we look at the source. please be specific to policy and guidelines as that is the real strength to this argument...if there is one.--Amadscientist (talk) 00:34, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
The claim is made that ThinkProgress is accurate because NewsTrust gives it a reliability rating higher than Fox News. NewsTrust is merely an aggregator that has crowdsourced ranking, which means that it's not a very good source for whether something is accurate or not. Thargor Orlando (talk) 00:28, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
I did reference it, but it is only one data point. Casprings (talk) 00:36, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
I suppose that may mean something to some, but I don't see how that relates to how we see this source. Ratings from outside agencies seems to only be relevant to them. How is it relevant to our guidelines on seeing Thinkprogress as reliable as a newsblog?--Amadscientist (talk) 00:38, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
It goes to the fact that they are accurate. That, along with outside awards and staff with credentials was used as evidence they are WP:RS.Casprings (talk) 00:51, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
I am actually on the side of inclusion of the site as a news blog but a rating system doesn't seem to mean much in this argument. I would be more interested in other reliable sources discussing the credibility of the source. If you want to demonstrate that a source is a "tabloid journalism" source...a rating wont show that. If you want to counter that a source is not a tabloid journalism source, a rating would not do that. We need an actual discussion at length in other sources for verification and a true idea of the source as reliable. Without that we defer to the source as meeting our standards.--Amadscientist (talk) 01:13, 25 July 2013 (UTC)--Amadscientist (talk) 01:13, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
You might be right. I just thought it might be relevant. If not, so be it. We should explore evidence one way or the other.Casprings (talk) 01:20, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
User:Casprings, what is it that makes them accurate? Where's the evidence? Thargor Orlando (talk) 12:46, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
I guess what is the evidence that makes them not accurate? They have a staff made of a professional journalist or other professionals. For example:

Bryce Covert is the Economic Policy Editor for ThinkProgress. She was previously editor of the Roosevelt Institute’s Next New Deal blog and a senior communications officer. She is also a contributor for The Nation and was previously a contributor for ForbesWoman. Her writing has appeared on The New York Times, The New York Daily News, The Nation, The Atlantic, The American Prospect, and others. She is also a board member of WAM!NYC, the New York Chapter of Women, Action & the Media.

They have a staff of what I would consider reasonably credentialed. They have also won awards from what I would consider neutral third parties. This rating may not mean anything to people, but I don't see the evidence where they are not a WP:RS.Casprings (talk) 13:00, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
Okay, what is it about credentialing alone that makes them reliable? What is it about the awards they've won that makes them reliable? If we're going off WP:RS, and we're willing to consider them a news organziation (which I don't see much evidence of either), they would still fall under the point made there: "News reporting from less-established outlets is generally considered less reliable for statements of fact. Editorial commentary, analysis and opinion pieces, whether written by the editors of the publication (editorials) or outside authors (op-eds) are reliable primary sources for statements attributed to that editor or author, but are rarely reliable for statements of fact." Everything they "report" is editorial with news information inside of it, which tells me they fall into the latter, but even if it were the former, that puts them at "less reliable." We call it a blog in our article about them, and they're an arm of the Center for American Progress rather than a news organization. They want to be considered a news organization, but news organizations don't seem to be buying it. The non-web-based award they won is The Hillman Prize, which is designed specifically for organizations that "pursue social justice and public policy for the common good," a basically ideologically left wing point, which lessens the impact of that award. I'm looking for evidence that I'm wrong here, but the weight of the evidence is really suggesting that TP is a very poor quality source for an online encyclopedia, never mind anything else. Thargor Orlando (talk) 13:35, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
The politico article doesn't say they don't buy it. Most of the article is a discussion on the robust nature of their news outlet. They do however, question their connection to liberal groups and their tax status. Do they report from a liberal perspective? Sure. However, where is the evidence, from a WP:RS, they they have a problem with accurate reporting of facts?Casprings (talk) 13:48, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
Politico says that they've had to defend their "journalistic independence and integrity" because of some of the stories they choose to take up. That's a huge hit. As for the evidence that they have a problem, we have three listed in the article for ThinkProgress and two more linked above, with plenty more available. I'll repeat myself again, however: the burden of proof is on those who want to include the information. No one is presenting any sort of real argument or evidence in favor of treating TP as a reliable source. Thargor Orlando (talk) 14:30, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
You have presented partisan blogs that question how one story was reported. I can do the same for Foxnews, Huffington Post, and multiple WP:RS. That isn't terrible good evidence to me. As far as them, defending "journalistic independence and integrity", that also happens all the time. It happened with the NY Times, when they reported information leaked to them by the Bush administration during the run up to the Iraq war. The real question is, does their connection to a liberal think tank and their donor organizations tax status, preclude them from being a WP:RS?
That's not the argument. The New Republic is funded by someone extremely liberal. Reason is an arm of the Reason Foundation. The funding isn't what makes them unreliable, it's the fact that they do not have a history of accurate reporting. No one is able to show that they have a history of accurate reporting. Those who want to include the information are not showing why it's verifiable. Thargor Orlando (talk) 14:55, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
Can you establish that The New Republic and Reason have "a history of accurate reporting"? What criteria do we use to establish this? Above, you cherry pick a few examples of alleged TP mistakes and claim that adds up to evidence against them. I could do the very same for Fox News. Do you think Fox News is not an RS? Why or why not? Gamaliel (talk) 15:00, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
Fox News is reliable as it is considered, unequivocally by its peers, to be a mainstream, reliable broadcaster for news. Any question of that was put to rest when the White House attempted to freeze them out a few years ago and the rest of the media pool stood up for them. Can we establish that about Reason and The New Republic? I believe we can, yes, we have decades, if not generations, of respect and reporting from them that ThinkProgress doesn't have, in part because of TP's relative age, and in part because TP is not a news organization, but is rather an ideological news commentary blog. The New Republic, in particular, has had issues with being faked out by stories in the past with Glass and Beauchamp, and is still considered high quality by both sides of the ideological divide. TP can't say that. Thargor Orlando (talk) 15:09, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
The idea that Fox News is widely considered reliable is laughable. Granted, TP doesn't have a long-standing reputation because of its youth, but your assertions about how well regarded it is by its peers is incorrect. We've noted repeatedly that many TP staffers have moved on to many different news outlets of varying ideological orientations that are indisputably considered reliable sources. If TP's reputation amongst its peers were as you claim, then those staffers wouldn't be getting those jobs with TP on their resume. Gamaliel (talk) 15:15, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
I don't see what "getting hired somewhere else later" has to do with TP's esteem as a news reporter, which is what we're talking about. I'm sure they have many columnists and bloggers who go onto good things. Heck, The Economist hired Megan McArdle solely based on her Jane Galt blog, and that wouldn't mean we can suddenly use her old blog as a reliable source simply because The Economist hired her back whenever. That's not how it works. Thargor Orlando (talk) 15:26, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
It has everything to do with exactly what you specified: its reputation amongst its peers. If what you claim is true, this hiring simply wouldn't be happening. Gamaliel (talk) 16:03, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
You're really comparing the White House news pool with whether or not someone gets hired from TP? Come on. That's not a serious argument. That someone takes a job at a commentary site does not make them ineligible to get a real journalism job later, just like running a personal blog doesn't disqualify you from working at a magazine. Thargor Orlando (talk) 17:16, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
You're the one who brought up TP's alleged reputation amongst its peers as a criteria. Now you're dismissing your own criteria. Gamaliel (talk) 17:28, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
I'm disagreeing that being hired by another organization confers reliability onto the previous organization. Thargor Orlando (talk) 18:09, 25 July 2013 (UTC)

We have a lengthy article about the extremely large number of biased errors of fact which Fox News has broadcast over the years. Does anyone even have a single example of an error ThinkProgress or any other CAP publication has made? EllenCT (talk) 17:42, 10 August 2013 (UTC)

Climate Progress

Just like it's silly to label all things on the internet the same just because they are websites, it would be silly to label all parts of Think Progress the same. Whatever the result of the above discussion, I don't see a reason why we can't carve out a consensus for using Climate Progress as an RS. It has a different editorial and writing staff from Think Progress. It is headed by Dr. Joseph J. Romm, an MIT doctorate and former Acting Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy, an indisputable expert with an excellent reputation. Romm's WP article documents his extensive credentials and the wide amount of praise that Climate Progress has received, including from Time and the New York Times. Even if you think that TP is somehow the equivalent of Newsmax, you can't make that same absurd claim for Climate Progress. Gamaliel (talk) 14:54, 25 July 2013 (UTC)

Looking at the front page of Climate Progress, I fail to see how this is any different than any of TP's other coverage. Joe Romm has a PhD, sure (so does Jerome Corsi, and we know how useful he is) but he's just a blogger and a think tank employee. I don't see why we should make an exception within an unreliable source simply because some people like the guy. Les Kinsolving has decades of reporting experience, but we shouldn't be using his WorldNet Daily pieces for anything. Thargor Orlando (talk) 15:03, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
It appears that there is no evidence you would accept. Leading media outlets have called CP "indispensable" and called it one of the best blogs of the year. This is hardly "We like Joe." Gamaliel (talk) 15:06, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
It doesn't appear there's been any actual evidence provided. The "indispensible" quote comes from opinion columnist Tom Friedman, who is not a reporter nor a media outlet. Among other "best blogs of the year in 2010" included a blog called "Shit My Kids Ruined" and "The Daily Kitten." Notable and noteworthy? Sure. Evidence of reliability for an encyclopedia? Thargor Orlando (talk) 15:19, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
Use some common sense. Clearly, they are using different criteria for news blogs than for kitten pictures. Gamaliel (talk) 15:23, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
Common sense tells me that the "best blogs of 2010" were not based on the type of criteria we need to judge this blog's reliability. Thargor Orlando (talk) 15:28, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
Common sense tells me there is no evidence you will ever find acceptable. Gamaliel (talk) 16:03, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
Your dismissal in the face of a lack of an argument or evidence is noted. Thargor Orlando (talk) 17:17, 25 July 2013 (UTC)

Even more evidence: The Columbia Journalism Review, the leading journal in the field, has Climate Progress on its list of recommended resources for journalists. Gamaliel (talk) 17:27, 25 July 2013 (UTC)

For those who check the link, it's on the second page. Alongside it is Watts_Up_With_That, a climate skepticism blog that rejects the scientific consensus on global warming/climate change. Take that as you may. Thargor Orlando (talk) 17:50, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
I read CP daily; it's still a blog. Can one make a good argument for its acceptability here? Sure you can....but we don't really need it because Joe and team nearly always cite their source material. So just use that instead. By so doing, we sidestep an endless quagmire debating why one climate blog is RS and another (you may guess as to which I have in mind) is not. By staying out of such mud, there is more time and energy for digesting all the great RSs CP brings to our attention. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 23:54, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
I agree, and the same thing should be done with ThinkProgress. Thargor Orlando (talk) 15:53, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
Actually, a CP post today suggests I may want to reconsider my former opinion. It seems ClimateProgress will soon be doing their own investigative reporting, which could generate original source material, as opposed to just reporting their take on other RSs. If and when that happens, we may have grounds to revisit the new investigative reporting program on its own merits, once we know more about what they are (i.e., after they release such original investigative reporting material and someone here wants to cite it). News at 11. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 16:36, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
  • I'm a bit late to the party. Saying a source is generally not reliable doesn't mean specific articles etc aren't. Reliability is generally topic sensitive anyway. e.g Daily Mail is reliable for what colour Celebrity X's hair is, not for science. If there is a specific question about a specific article within ThinkProgress I suggest you bring it here. Generally pronouncements that a source is generally reliable should be limited to the likes of news articles in say Nature (journal) and Science (journal), where the staff write on specific issues only with no known editorial slant. IRWolfie- (talk)

Think Progress's Staff

One thing that is getting lost in this debate is that Think Progress has a robust staff. From Political

The group, executives told POLITICO, now has 30 writers and researchers at ThinkProgress, its blog, which is being redesigned and relaunched in the coming weeks. The editorial staff, similar in size or larger than that of many political websites, marks the latest phase in the deliberate, decade-long construction of a liberal infrastructure for reporting, research, and hammering home a message that the right is scrambling to match.

The point being, they have a highly credentialed and professional state. Their about page is littered with what I would call professionals, in at least some respect. For example,Alyssa Rosenberg:

ALYSSA ROSENBERG is the Features Editor for ThinkProgress.org. She is a columnist for the XX Factor at Slate, and a correspondent for TheAtlantic.com Alyssa grew up in Massachusetts and holds a B.A. in humanities from Yale University. Before joining ThinkProgress, she was editor of Washingtonian.com and a staff correspondent at Government Executive. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, The Daily Beast, The New Republic, Esquire.com, The Daily, The American Prospect, and National Journal.

Are the facts given by Mrs. Rosenberg and other members at Thinkprogress, not to be seen as a WP:RS source? If I took it from the Atlantic or The New Republic, it certainly would be. To me, that is strong evidence for its WP:RS. It hires quality reporters and analysis. Casprings (talk) 15:08, 25 July 2013 (UTC)

WorldNetDaily "hires quality reporters" as well. We would not and should not use their reporting in article in an encyclopedia. As for Rosenberg, looking at her page, it doesn't appear she does much in the way of reporting, instead offering editorial advocacy and cultural musings using editorial rather than professional language ("decades too late for middle-aged white dudes," for example). It would be one thing if she was reporting the news. She's not, nor is anyone else at TP. Thargor Orlando (talk) 15:14, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
Can you show a number of members of WorldNetDaily that have had careers at WP:RS, also?Casprings (talk) 15:18, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
Yes. Their editor in chief, Joseph Farah, another editor, David Kupelian, their lead reporter, Les Kinsolving, and so on. The issue is the publication, not necessarily those who write for it. Thargor Orlando (talk) 15:22, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
Casprings, read the article, WorldNetDaily - they have backgrounds in mainstream media, which is why they are able to write reasonably well and turn out a publication. Thargor Orlando, your argument here and elsewhere is WorldNetDaily is partisan, it is not rs, therefore partisn sites are not rs. But partisanship has nothing to do with reliability. There are sources that say ThinkProgress is reliable and sources that say WND is a conspiracy website. TFD (talk) 15:24, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, should have phrased my question differently. Can you show where WorldNet, isn't simply a dead end. In other words, people with careers in WP:RS, might go there. However, I have never seen them leave and go to another WP:RS. Maybe I am wrong.Casprings (talk) 15:39, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
I can't, but I don't know all that much about former reporters there, either. I fail to see that relevance, in any regard: hiring practices aren't what makes a source reliable. Thargor Orlando (talk) 16:03, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
It shows some amount of respectability among their peers. In other words, if a Journalist and provide article to both The atlantic and Think Progress, and the job at Think Progress has no negative consequences on their career, that would show that among journalist, it is respected. If a Journalist goes to WMD, and can only work for similar sites, that would indicate that WMD is not as respected among journalist. That is evidence of WP:RS.Casprings (talk) 16:30, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
As I noted above, working for a partisan commentary site does not disqualify someone from being hired elsewhere later, nor does WND perhaps having better staff retention mean that they are less qualified. Besides, I'm saying that neither organization is reliable in this instance, so. Thargor Orlando (talk) 17:18, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
That's not my argument at all. My argument is not that "partisan = not reliable," because I'm arguing quite firmly in favor of other partisan sources. The argument is ThinkProgress is not reliable because it is not a news source, it is a commentary blog with a shady history of factual commentary that is inappropriate for an encyclopedia. Our own article highlights examples, I have above, and no one up to this point has offered a cognizant argument in favor of its use. Thargor Orlando (talk) 15:30, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
You have to prove that, we don't have to disprove it. Also, please be more careful with your opinion of this site. It is not appropriate to make allegations of wrong doing you have yet to demonstrate. You wish the community to decide against it's own standards. The issue is whether or not Thinkprogress is a news blog. It is. Should a better source be found, maybe, maybe not. You cannot force editors to replace one RS with another you prefer just because you don't feel the source qualifies. You have discussed a great deal, but as yet I see nothing to determine that Thinkprogess should be handled any differently than any other news blog.--Amadscientist (talk) 18:18, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
A long-standing precept here is that the burden of proof is on those who want to include information. I have shown, as does our own article on ThinkProgress, that they have consistent reliabilities issues. I have yet to see much of any compelling evidence being presented that they are, in fact, trustworthy and reliable. Thargor Orlando (talk) 18:45, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict)I thought perhaps that was your point. You are incorrect and misunderstand "Burden of evidence". The burden of evidence is satisfied with the use of a reliable source. This is not a burden issue. This issue revolves around the opinion of an editor as to what constitutes a "a reputation for fact checking". Having a few issues here and there does not disqualify a source as having a reputation for fact checking. We still see CBS News as having such a reputation for fact checking and I am sure there are editors that feel that a certain situation there a few years ago would spoil such a reputation. Unfortunately we are speaking in terms of Wikipedia standards not just the opinions of critics.--Amadscientist (talk) 18:54, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
I have seen no evidence of consistent reliability issues. I have seen two blog post from conservative blogs. That is hardly evidence that it is not a WP:RS, anymore than it would be for the NY Times. Perhaps the lack of the ability to produce such evidence, is also evidence that it is WP:RS.Casprings (talk) 18:52, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
I guess I'm looking for evidence of this reliability in the face of a significant amount of evidence of its reporting errors. No one is presenting that, and it doesn't seem to matter to a lot of editors. This is a problem for our sourcing. Thargor Orlando (talk) 19:06, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
If a "significant amount" of evidence is there, please present it. This discussion would be a lot shorter. I think this still falls down to one simple question. Do direct ties to a liberal think tank disqualify think progress as a WP:RS?Casprings (talk) 19:11, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
For the umpteenth time, examples include, but aren't limited to, what I presented above and what's in our own article. Their links to a liberal think tank are not the central issue, but their reliability is, so tell me what the number of problems they've encountered is the threshold to "proving" that they're not reliable and I'll list 'em all in one place for you. Thargor Orlando (talk) 19:15, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
More than this.Casprings (talk) 20:48, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
Fox News is unequivocally reliable. It's not a good comparison. Do you have a number in mind, or is it just "we say it's reliable, so shush and accept it?" Thargor Orlando (talk) 14:10, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
Thats why it is a good start. Might as well find more articles than a WP:RS. We could start with one from a WP:RS that shows a systematic problem with accuracy.Casprings (talk) 16:41, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
What's wrong with the ones in our article on them? Thargor Orlando (talk) 16:49, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
Well, being criticized by Gerald Steinberg/NGO Monitor doesn't indicate that a source is unreliable. If anything, it counts in a source's favor. So, I would leave that one out. Sean.hoyland - talk 17:14, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
"They lie, but I don't like the person saying it so I'll discount it anyway." Really? Thargor Orlando (talk) 18:50, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
Pardon ? I don't recognize that quote or understand how it was generated. Fabricating statements based on assumptions about the minds of others on a reliability noticeboard probably won't help. And remember WP:TALKNO, "Be precise in quoting others". You appear to be suggesting that I make decisions about content and sources based what I like and what I don't like. No, apart from being a dumb way of making decisions favored by the very many unethical and dishonest POV pushers who exploit and disrupt Wikipedia with their nonsense, that method has no basis in policy, so it's worthless. Are you seriously suggesting that NGO Monitor's evaluations, or criticisms can be used as a metric for reliability of sources in Wikipedia ? There is no point using an unreliable source to assess the reliability of a source. Sean.hoyland - talk 20:38, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
If you're not doing that, I don't understand your criticism of NGO Monitor as someone who might know whether or not the things ThinkProgress would say might be true, especially since the reference is more because Steinberg would be considered an expert in his field for such criticism. Besides that, expressing the opinion that ThinkProgress is anti-Israel ignores the facts that ThinkProgress got wrong, like their claims about the Chamber of Commerce. Thargor Orlando (talk) 23:54, 26 July 2013 (UTC)

─────────────────────────Thargor Orlando, you presented an article in PowerLine that criticizes the opinions expressed in "The Koch Brothers Exposed", which was published in ThinkProgress.[13] However it does not challenge the facts, merely their interpretation. We accept that reliable sources may express opinions, but that is separate from whether their facts are accurate, which is what rs is all about. The Koch brothers and the Tea Party movement are controversial and the fact that a writer criticized them does not put him outside the mainstream. TFD (talk) 17:29, 26 July 2013 (UTC)

Actually, if you read the link, it very clearly points out a number of factual inaccuracies. I have been asking you for days now for evidence of TP's reliability and accuracy, do you have anything yet? Thargor Orlando (talk) 18:50, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
We don't actually have to prove it, as they do have editorial over site and you have not demonstrated in any way that they do not.--Amadscientist (talk) 18:55, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
We've long established that editorial control is not the be-all end-all. WorldNetDaily, NewsMax, those are two excellent examples of sources with editorial control that we don't use/frown upon using, and rightfully so. Thargor Orlando (talk) 19:22, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
A third party source has been presented to you. And no your source does not point out factual errors. It says for example that the ThinkProgess article was wrong to say it was hypocritical of the Koch brothers to accept government subsidies. That is a difference of opinion. Also you are confusing falsely arguing that because some partisan sources are unreliable, this source is therefore unreliable. Do you understand the difference between facts and opinions? TFD (talk) 19:30, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
Which third party source are you referring to? The CJR link that also gave thumbs-up to a climate-denying self-published blog that doesn't meet our standards, or the crowdsourced NewsTrust? Thargor Orlando (talk) 22:28, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
There is a difference between fact and opinion. What is needed is proof of a systematic pattern of distorting the facts. This is is not about WorldNetDaily or NewsMax. This is about Thinkprogress. Casprings (talk) 19:37, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
No, but it provides a similar comparison, much like you would compare Fox to MSNBC and CNN. We have proof of the pattern of the distortion of facts. We do not have evidence of their reliability. Thargor Orlando (talk) 22:28, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
You're overreaching. I don't think you're getting much traction in your attempts to paint ThinkProgress as deceptive. Their facts are usually legit, but their choice of stories and their take on those stories is inevitably guided by ideology. I don't think they pretend otherwise. As such, we should be very careful in using this site, and use it with in-text attribution when we do use it. I think there's been a consensus along those lines. What actual ongoing content issue are we debating here? MastCell Talk 22:35, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
I'm not getting much traction because, apparently, evidence to support their inclusion is not necessary. I'm frankly surprised as to how that's gone about, but I should know better than to be shocked by the double standard of left wing sources here. The question, at the start, appeared to be a more general question, and it would be nice to nip this one in the bud and begin the process of improving our referencing, but... Thargor Orlando (talk) 23:54, 26 July 2013 (UTC)

─────────────────────────Your dichotomy of "left" and "right" wing sources is misleading. WND is extreme right, and AFAIK no one suggests using extreme left sources. TFD (talk) 02:15, 27 July 2013 (UTC)

ThinkProgress, Media Matters, and Truthout are used and defended regularly here. Thargor Orlando (talk) 13:45, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
This whole long thread just underlines why we don't like to give blanket yes or no on sources. MastCell has summed up the consensus of this board. Itsmejudith (talk) 18:38, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
I agree that we do not normally do blanket decisions like this without context to discuss, and this case shows why. No discussion can be closed if both sides can talk in the hypothetical. Please bring context to this noticeboard.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 18:46, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
I think that the consensus of the board is problematic here, as it invariably allows terrible sources in. We should be able to say "no" to sources like these. Thargor Orlando (talk) 20:39, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
The main reason people come here trying to get blanket decisions, which is the problem here, is the main reason anyway presents a case with only part of the information. Please read the instructions at the top of this forum and do not abuse it.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 20:47, 29 July 2013 (UTC)

─────────────────────────The reason mainstream journalist sources are considered reliable is that they have a professional code that they try (however imperfectly) to follow. The Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics sets the foundation for journalistic standards of accuracy, fairness, balance, and thoroughness. As stated in SPJ’c ethics code:

  • Journalists should be honest, fair and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information. Journalists should: Make certain that headlines, news teases and promotional material, photos, video, audio, graphics, sound bites and quotations do not misrepresent. They should not oversimplify or highlight incidents out of context.
  • Distinguish between advocacy and news reporting.

In this discussion we are turning journalism on its head. The reason journalism is considered reliable is because they attempt to eschew advocacy. This organization (TP) is an open advocacy organization upon which we are trying to bestow the characteristics of a journalism organization, even though as an explicit advocacy org they don't even pretend to try meet the basic professional and ethical standards of journalists. It's not a fault, its their job to be interesting and convincing, not to be fair, objective, or accurate. Capitalismojo (talk) 15:01, 31 July 2013 (UTC)

So is Democracy Now! not journalism? Is that not a WP:RS?Casprings (talk) 19:40, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
DN! is primarily an opinion source, and is reliable for its opinions properly cited as opinions. Collect (talk) 20:12, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Really? Amy Goodman has won award after award for her reporting.Casprings (talk) 22:42, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
As in the "Izzy Award" and "Right Livelihood Award"? Each appears to be far less about "journalism" than about political stances. And neither was for "reporting" as far as I can tell, but far more for her tenacious focus on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, U.S. violations of the Geneva conventions, racial justice issues such as the still-displaced poor of New Orleans, and political repression overseas. Sorry -- it fails the laugh test. Collect (talk) 23:38, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
The idea that US violations of the Geneva conventions including torture, which have been well documented and are thought responsible for tremendous amounts of blowback against American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, are even tangentially a laughing matter is rude, offensive, inappropriate, hurtful to those of us who have family serving in the armed forces, and factually incorrect. I ask that you revise your offensive remarks. EllenCT (talk) 17:49, 10 August 2013 (UTC)
DemocracyNow self identifies as an independent journalism organization, it does not put itself forward as an advocacy group. It has an opinion and has analysis which they publicly try to seperate from their reporting. That is the difference, some would say they are too far into advocacy. Publicly they consider themselves journalists. ThinkProgress are campaigners. There is a difference. Capitalismojo (talk) 23:24, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
This discussion is going in circles because it is based on wrong assumptions. For example the following is not a correct description of the consensus understanding on WP: "The reason journalism is considered reliable is because they attempt to eschew advocacy." If this were our base principle we would be in circular arguments forever. The practical consensus is that we take a skeptical approach to the idea that there is any source which is truly neutral, and we separate discussion of neutrality and reliability. And then, please note, to make this work we then say that discussion about reliability is context sensitive. Blanket rulings are only for exceptional cases, and certainly not for journalistic styles of sources (which tend to have wide variations in their reliability for different contexts). If this discussion does not start to respect that approach it risks being hatted I think? Please see the guidelines at the top of this forum page.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 10:00, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
  • TLDR the entire discussion, but people seem to be missing the point; no matter how many staff they have, or how professional they seem, at the end of the day they are a "political blog that "provide[s] a forum that advances progressive ideas and policies"". That is they have a point of view, they may be reliable for specific things, but no they should not be deemed generally reliable. Let me highlight something specific: decade-long construction of a liberal infrastructure for reporting, research, and hammering home a message that the right is scrambling to match. IRWolfie- (talk) 22:12, 14 August 2013 (UTC)

Anthony Le Donne; Reza Aslan, Zealot

Is the following a reliable source? Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 16:39, 11 August 2013 (UTC)

Source: Le Donne, Anthony. "A Usually Happy Fellow Reviews Aslan's Zealot". The Jesus Blog. Retrieved August 1, 2013.
Article: Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth
Content: [14] --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 00:02, 3 August 2013 (UTC)

I think there are three ways a source can be established as reliable: by the qualities of the author, by the qualities of the editorial practice under which is was published, and the qualities of the reviews by established experts.
I don't claim the source is reliable because of such reviews or such editorship. Indeed, it is a self-published source. Rather, I think the source is reliable in the first way. The author, Anthony Le Donne, is well-enough established in the field of early Christian history in general and the historical Jesus in particular such that his self-published claims may be taken as a reliable source in this case, because this case is on the topic of the historical Jesus. The following together establishes as much:
  • Le Donne has a PhD from the Department of Theology and Religion at Durham University, having been advised by James Dunn and John M.G. Barclay. Both the university and his advisors are very respectable.
  • Le Donne was or is visiting lecturer at the University of the Pacific (United States), a respectable institution of higher learning.
  • Le Donne has authored a book on the topic of the historical Jesus, Historical Jesus: What Can We Know and How Can We Know It? (Eerdmans, 2011). The book has multiple positive reviews by established experts (e.g., James Dunn, Dale Allison) and others in academic journals (e.g., Yencinch).
  • Le Donne authored another book on the topic of the historical Jesus, The Wife of Jesus (Oneworld Publications, 2013) (forthcoming).
  • Le Donne edited and contributed to a volume on the topic of the historical Jesus, along with co-editor Chris Keith, Jesus, Criteria, and the Demise of Authenticity (T&T Clark, 2012). This volume also has multiple positive reviews by established experts (e.g., Amy-Jill Levine).
  • Le Donne edited and contributed to another volume on the topic of the historical Jesus, along with co-editors Bruce Chilton and Jacob Neusner, Soundings in the Religion of Jesus (Fortress Press, 2012).
  • Le Donne has multiple publications in the field of early Christian history in academic journals and other edited collections. For example, “The Quest for the Historical Jesus: A Revisionist History through the Lens of Jewish-Christian Relations.” Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus 10.1 (2012): 63-86; “Jesus and Jewish Leadership.” In Jesus among Friends and Enemies. Edited by Larry W. Hurtado and Chris Keith. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2011; and “Theological Memory Distortion in the Jesus Tradition: A Study in Social Memory Theory”. Pages 163-77 in Memory and Remembrance in the Bible and Antiquity. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen Zum Neuen Testament 212; Edited by L. T. Stuckenbruck, S. C. Barton, B. G. Wold. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2007.
I think that is enough to establish Le Donne's self-published claims as reliable for this case, but more evidence can be presented if this is not adequate. (I might not be around in the near future, though I should be back by 7 August.) --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 00:02, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
From that, he seems to be an "established expert whose work in the relevant field has been published by reliable third-party publications", so the criticism should be usable. However I'd recommend selecting more specific criticism than "depressing" - what depressed him about it? From my brief skim, Le Donne seems to be mainly critical of Alan's oversimplification of "Jesus as a failed military revolutionary", right? How about writing that, then?--GRuban (talk) 20:40, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
There are plenty of mainstream reviews available. There is no need to cite a weblog. — goethean 01:04, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
Which mainstream reviews are available? I've seen a lot of reviews which are by people not within mainstream scholarship, but very few within. If you could provide citations to some of these reviews, then please provide them in order to help resolve the dispute. --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 17:44, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
First, I really question placing an RfC on a noticeboard? The word "overkill" definitely springs to mind on that, as there are probably more people who comment on this noticeboard than there are on RfCs in general, Second, I have to agree with GRuban that "depressing" is probably not what would be useful here, as that just indicates one person's emotional response to a subject, rather than discussing the more objective qualities of the topic in any way shape or form. If this source is being considered just for its comments about depression, I would say it probably qualifies as RS, but the material might not be particularly appropriate for the article, and that maybe it shouldn't be used on that basis. John Carter (talk) 20:27, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
I was just trying to get more responses, since only one person responded who wasn't in the dispute. I saw that in the past this has been done (there is one on the page right now above at Wikipedia:Reliable_sources/Noticeboard#RFC_ThinkProgress). Do you mean to say that it is a reliable source for the whole edit, or only for the depressing remark? --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 02:57, 12 August 2013 (UTC)
  • The source can be used for the above reasons assuming it is correct (subject matter expert, and its an attributed opinion). I think the RfC is unnecessary, IRWolfie- (talk) 22:16, 14 August 2013 (UTC)

Skyscrapercity.com online forum?

While I know that a determination of RS is often specific to a situation, I also note that the skyscrapercity.com online forum is being used either as an external link or, possibly more often, as a reference, on several hundred articles about large construction projects. It seems odd to me that an online forum, with user-generated content would be acceptable as an RS.

Selected articles using this site as a reference:

These are just among the shorter of the articles i found (using a search for "skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php"), some of which havent been touched aside from gnome-edits for years. There does tend to be something of a focus on construction projects on the UAE and the Phillipines.

Guidance appreciated. If this site is problematic as a reference there may be some cleanup to do. -- [ UseTheCommandLine ~/talk ] # _ 11:55, 8 August 2013 (UTC)

I note that there's a sort of escape clause at WP:UGC: "... with the exception of material on such sites that is labeled as originating from credentialed members of the sites' editorial staff, rather than users". So I suggest that posts by accredited members of the staff of skyscrapercity.com with a reputation as experts in their respective fields might be regarded as reliable. Otherwise, it's just a chat-room, and should be removed forthwith. Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 23:50, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
Just following up so that this makes it into the archives, I found a discussion on the WT:SKY (Wikiproject skyscrapers talk) page that specifically mentions the skyscrapercity forums as unreliable, and equivalent to hearsay.
and FWIW, I have just started what I guess is effectively an RfC over at WT:N#Planned construction projects (buildings, etc) on the subject of notability, and relatedly, reliable sourcing for same. -- UseTheCommandLine ~/talk ]# ▄ 22:36, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
The above discussion actually comments that "The forums themselves (skyscrapercity and skyscraperpage) are not reliable sources since they amount to hearsay, but they do often lead to reliable news articles and other official materials." Paravane (talk) 23:12, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
Although that's true, my point is that using a forum posting as a reference, rather than collecting those other references and pointing to them directly (assuming they are RS) is the problematic practice. -- UseTheCommandLine ~/talk ]# ▄ 00:04, 12 August 2013 (UTC)
It is not necessarily helpful to create black-and-white categories of reliable and unreliable sources, and always to depend on the former and dismiss the latter. A SkyscraperCity article may contain a lot of references to articles and planning applications, as well as photographs of buildings under construction, and as a reference it is also self-updating. For anyone interested in a building, it is a useful resource, and for this reason I would argue that it would in general be a mistake to expunge these references. It is inaccurate to dismiss SkyscraperCity as a chat-room, and it is simplistic to assume that any and all reliable information in a SkyscraperCity article can always and easily be referenced separately. For instance, information may be reproduced from subscription-only content, or from developer presentations. Especially when a project for a new building first surfaces, different sources may give conflicting information, and indeed there may be none that are recognised as 'reliable'. In a full wikipedia article on a given building there may be scope for a detailed discussion. In a simple listing of buildings, a reference to a SkyscraperCity article may provide the reader with the most useful link to research the building. Paravane (talk) 23:26, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
If an article is subscription-only, posted (possibly in violation of copyright, as I have seen on other SC-referenced articles) on the SC forum and then referenced here, how does anyone know that this information is accurately transcribed/portrayed without reference to the original content? Because in suggesting that it can be "useful" as a reference, you completely ignore the possibility that SC users might provide false or incomplete information. I maintain that the only way to know what a source says is to actually read what that source says, not to rely on some random forum posting's interpretation of it. -- UseTheCommandLine ~/talk ]# ▄ 23:55, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
Even 'reliable' sources may contain false or incomplete or misleading information. The height of The Pride (skyscraper)‎ was recently wrongly changed from 233m to 239m as a result of reliance on CTBUH and Emporis. Those sources provide no clue that the figure of 239m is AOD and not AGL. By contrast, false or misleading information in an SC article will almost always be followed by a correction. It is a complete misunderstanding that sources can be neatly divided into those that are perfect and those that are flawed, and that wiki users can be protected against any possible exposure to false information. Any source should be used intelligently: it is not helpful to assume wikipedia users are incapable of this. Paravane (talk) 18:18, 14 August 2013 (UTC)
That is not what we're talking about here. We're talking about poor use of sources. Online forums are specifically called out as poor sources in the WP:RS and WP:EL policies (in WP:UGC and WP:ELNO #10, respectively.
Can you explain, without referring to this specific example of building height that you have now used here and elsewhere, what you mean by "intelligently"? Because I can't make heads or tails of it. -- UseTheCommandLine ~/talk ]# ▄ 18:51, 14 August 2013 (UTC)
As a guideline, forums in general are rightly identified as dubious sources. That should not be taken as a licence to reject unquestioningly every reference to any forum on any wikipedia page, just by quoting WP:RS and WP:EL policies (in WP:UGC and WP:ELNO #10, respectively). Some forums are more reliable than others. There are cases when, flawed or not, SkyscraperCity forum articles can be a useful resource for information about buildings in the stages of proposal, planning and construction. The guidelines should be applied on a case-by-case basis, not indiscriminately. Paravane (talk) 19:56, 14 August 2013 (UTC)
What I'm asking you to do is help delineate those situations, because I am unable to see situations in which they might be appropriate. All you've done so far is say "hey, it's possible!" you have provided no meaningful examples, made no other reference to policy, you have simply objected without additional clarification. -- UseTheCommandLine ~/talk ]# ▄ 21:47, 14 August 2013 (UTC)
I made a start on trying to delineate those situations above, but in response you swept aside my comments, implying that SC articles cannot be useful because they may contain false information. When I took up the issue of false information, your response was: "That is not what we're talking about here. We're talking about poor use of sources." In response to your question in bold above, the full page content from subscription-only sites can often be retrieved by googling the headline, even though a direct link to the page will trigger a login request, so it is possible to "actually read what that source says". In the context of The Pride (skyscraper)‎, if I remember correctly, the SC article is the only reference which actually explicitly mentions the correct AGL height, which is arguably sufficient to render it useful until a better source can be found for the 233m figure. Paravane (talk) 23:09, 14 August 2013 (UTC)
At core, this is about good sourcing practices. I would argue that they are much more important than whether a building's height is off by a few meters (for a few weeks or months, until actual RS correct it). But please, feel free to provide your comments in the RfC. I find myself pretty dismayed that even though forums are called out by multiple policy guidelines, you would still be defending their inclusion. Maybe the community feels like that's an acceptable practice, maybe not, but instead of continuing to argue here I'm just going to trust that process. -- UseTheCommandLine ~/talk ]# ▄ 23:37, 14 August 2013 (UTC)

() I have started an RfC on the topic. Comment there would be appreciated. -- UseTheCommandLine ~/talk ]# ▄ 22:07, 14 August 2013 (UTC)

Recurrent laryngeal nerve

I would like an additional opinions on the source for a proposed addition to Recurrent laryngeal nerve. The proposed change is a paraphrase of a previously offered extended quote taken from this article. Since the interpretation of the included sources stems from that article (which is cited internally, but not as an overall source), I must ask: is that source is sufficient to support the edit? Novangelis (talk) 07:43, 11 August 2013 (UTC)

These sources look non-RS to me. The ICR link has no information about peer review or editorial policy that i can see. It certainly does not qualify as a MEDRS either, and this article is part of WP:MED. I have taken the liberty of pre-emptively posting at WP:AN3 about what appears to be an edit war emerging at that article. -- UseTheCommandLine ~/talk ]# ▄ 10:28, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
Larsen, Sadler, Grey are great sources, but all of this looks like an excuse to include information from ICR, which is notorious in the world of evolutionary biology and, far from being a reliable source, attempts to give legitimacy to creationism. -Darouet (talk) 14:47, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
That source would substantiate a statement saying that proponents of intelligent design dispute the evolutionists' claim that the left recurrent laryngeal nerve is not well designed. That's about it. Axl ¤ [Talk] 09:12, 14 August 2013 (UTC)

2010 Pakistan floods

Hello. I am reading this article and I want to check reference 18: [15]. It appears that pakmet.com.pk web pages are no longer available online. Several of those references have been archived, but some have not. What should be done about this? Axl ¤ [Talk] 10:30, 13 August 2013 (UTC)

Check if the wayback machine has them, or those websites archives. if not, tag the link as a [dead link]. Depending on the type of source, it may still pass WP:V if there is a print version someone could go look up in an archive, but if it is a web only publication, it may need to be removed if no archive can be found. Gaijin42 (talk) 14:32, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
http://archive.org/web/web.php has Ref 18-> [16], so you might be lucky with the pakmet.com.pk pages. Sean.hoyland - talk 14:38, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
Thank you. I don't know how to "check if the wayback machine has them", but I have used Sean.hoyland's link to add the archived page to the citation. Axl ¤ [Talk] 17:33, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
You just need to go to http://archive.org/web/web.php, paste in the URL you want to check into the form in the The Wayback Machine section and hit the Take Me Back button. If they have captured the page you will see something like this. In this instance the page has been captured 3 times. You can pick which ever one you want using the calendar or just pick the first capture (the link next to 'going all the way back to') near the top of the page. They are probably all the same assuming it's a static news report. Sean.hoyland - talk 15:48, 14 August 2013 (UTC)

Thrash Hits

Source: Thrash Hits

This is to help defend the reliability a large domain which has been used on countless articles and have proved their notability and reliability. This is because of their experienced and professional editors, popularity and notability as an credible source. Although the credibility of this source has been disputed here and here. Thrash Hits has a notable editor in chief, Raziq Rauf. With the prior discussions editors supported their reliability with his contribution to The Guardian a few years ago. However, with some easy digging I found he has written album reviews to the BBC for the last 4 years and for even longer has written for Drowned In Sound. Also the publication has done a few podcasts with BBC Radio (link). Another one of their editors Gavin Lloyd is both a Print Manger for Thrash Hits and Front Magazine (Sources: here). Lloyd is clearly a editor as he writes editorials. Also they have been cited by other publications: Metal Injection, NME and the BBC. Also it's metadata links on Alexa and Web Stats Domain.net. Not sure if the latter is valuable but it says the domain space is worth nearly $8000. Jonjonjohny (talk) 08:28, 14 August 2013 (UTC)

The citations you mention of the author are relevant, but the citations of his actual website are more important. No time to check them myself at the moment, but seems like the right approach.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 10:17, 14 August 2013 (UTC)
Okay, well here is an example of and editorialRaziq Rauf wrote, and the last album review Rauf did and here is just an album review to show the editorial oversight [17]. Jonjonjohny (talk) 18:27, 14 August 2013 (UTC)

Western sources on Hindu mythology and Wikipedia policy

Western sources on Hindu mythology are completely unreliable. There is ample proof that Western so-called "scholars" have misinterpreted not only the Sanskrit language, but also what the Hindu scriptures say. Wikipedia's biased policy in essence says it will not accept sites unless they are well-established Western sources. In other words, if a Western "scholar" makes a mistake and then other scholars use his work and make the same mistake, Wikipedia's policy says that Wikipedia will also repeat that mistake. I would have thought that the real benefit of having such a site, where users can edit and make changes, would be to set those things right that have been distorted by so-called academicians. Unfortunately, Wikipedia is apparently just another hypocrisy - professes something else, practices something else.— Preceding unsigned comment added by Apalaria (talkcontribs) 13:29, 14 August 2013

This is about Apalaria's edit here[18] where he writes "Even though to practising Hindus lingam and yoni stand for the inseparability of the male and female principles and the totality of creation,<ref>[http://www.exoticindiaart.com/article/shivalinga/ http://www.exoticindiaart.com/article/shivalinga/]</ref><ref name="Britannica"/> some Western scholars have misinterpreted the lingam and the yoni as the male and female sexual organs since the end of the 19th century". The Britannica source says ""Since the late 19th century some scholars have interpreted the lingam and the yoni to be representations of the male and female sexual organs. To practicing Hindus, however, the two together are a reminder that the male and female principles are inseparable and that they represent the totality of all existence." The website is a sales site with articles attached. He uses the same website for "in the section called the Koti Rudra Samhita, Shiva Purana narrates the mythological story associated with each of several prominent lingams situated across the Indian subcontinent. One such story describes how the lingam at Hatkeshwar in Gujarat was venerated:[1] Some sages, who used to perform penance in a Shiva temple situated near a forest, saw a disguised Shiva indecently exposing himself to their wives and cursed him to become a phallus. Shiva's phallus fell to the ground. To save the universe from the heat generated by the phallus, Goddess Parvati appeared in the form of yoni and held Shiva's phallus in herself. In Shiva and Parvati's honor, the sages worshipped the Shivalinga in the temple. This linga came to be known as the Hatkeshwar linga. This story has led some Western scholars to incorrectly associate Shivalinga with phallus in general.<ref name=Jyotirlingas /><ref name=Hees /><ref>[http://www.exoticindiaart.com/article/shivalinga/ http://www.exoticindiaart.com/article/shivalinga/]</ref> [http://www.jyotirlingas.com/shiva-lingam.html] is likewise not a reliable source. The only reliable source there is Heehs (correct spelling) who was used earlier for something else and does not back this claim. Editor now at 3RR at this article and Shiva.
It would be simply wonderful to have scholarly sources in good English from India about Hinduism or indeed any number of India-related subjects. But an unsourced tale from a commercial site isn't going to cut it; there's no reason to believe that they know what they are talking about. Mangoe (talk) 15:07, 14 August 2013 (UTC)

First, let us talk about Heehs. Heehs is not a reliable source. In his book, he does not even specify on what scriptural or liturgical basis he calls Shiva-linga phallus. That is the problem with most of the Western sources who seem to be professing this claim and several other claims on Indian mythology. One author made a mistake and then others blindly follow him without carrying out independent research of their own (which is to some extent understandable, for it is not always possible to research a foreign language and culture). So such sources cannot be considered reliable. Apalaria (talk) 14:30, 14 August 2013 (UTC)

That's not what WP:VERIFY and WP:RS say. And you used Heehs as a source in any case. The book in question is Peter Heehs, Indian Religions: A Historical Reader of Spiritual Expression and Experience 210-213 NYU Press, Sep, 2002 - published by a university pres. I'm not trying to defend Heehs here although he appears to be a RS, I'm questioning your sources and your POV language as well as your edit warring. I do question the use ofSailen Debnath The Meanings of Hindu Gods, Goddesses and Myths, ISBN 9788129114815, Rupa & Co., New Delhi. He's only an associate professor in a small college - head of the history department which is just him and 2 assistant professors. Dougweller (talk) 14:47, 14 August 2013 (UTC)

Dougweller goes on to say about Debnath, the author of one of the sources in the "Talk" page of Shiva: As I said, he is not a full professor. He is an associate professor at Alipurduar College. The history department comprises only 3 members of staff, only one, Debnath, with a PhD. Dr. Sailen Debnath, Associate Professor, M.A., Ph.D Jahirul Haque, Asstt. Professor, M.A. Smt. Srabani Ghosh, Asstt. Professor, M.A., M.Phil My response: Debnath is Head of the Department of History at Alipurduar College. His book has been published by a leading publication house of India, Rupa & Co. Being a full Professor has nothing to do with the ability of his book to be listed as a source. Unlike in the West, several professors even retire as associate professors in India because getting promoted to full professor takes a long time (often a lifetime). Debnath has a PhD and has written a book that has been published by a leading publication house of India, and the source stated here is that book. Unlike Heehs, Debnath states the sources and reasons for his claim in his book. Heehs' book is an unreliable source while Debnath's book is a reliable source. I only used Heehs' book against the scriptural source to show that some Western scholars are unreliable. Apalaria (talk)

If you are going to copy my text from elsewhere you need to show the context. You said he was a professor and head of a department. My point is that it is very different being a full professor and head of a large department at a major university and being an associate with only 2 others at a minor college. Google books doesn't show any reliable sources mentioning this book, nor does Google scholar, so I'm still dubious. And I am still waiting for you to defend your website sources, which so far you don't seem to want to discuss here. Dougweller (talk) 15:03, 14 August 2013 (UTC)
I see he's been blocked for 48 hours for editwarring on these 2 articles, his second block for edit warring. Dougweller (talk) 15:22, 14 August 2013 (UTC)

Behind the Voice Actors

Question transcribed from Talk:WikiProject Video Games

I'm feeling a little ambivalent about this site. It's been used on Dishonored as references in the character section, and the article is classed as a GA. But the site seems to remind me of IMDb, which, I feel, is not really a very good source for this site. Should we be using www.behindthevoiceactors.com as a reference, or should be place it in the same basket as IMDb?

Lord Sjones23 recommended that I bring the issue here. So, what is the position of this noticeboard on such a site? --ProtoDrake (talk) 16:16, 14 August 2013 (UTC)

If I am reading properly from the site, it seems that it is not user generated, like IMDB is. Dbrodbeck (talk) 16:33, 14 August 2013 (UTC)
I've already pursued this.
Thanks for the inquiry! No our content is absolutely not user submitted. We rely on end credits or direct contact with the voice directors, voice actors or people involved with the production of the tv show, movie or game.

Now, that being said we have not completed the process of verifying ALL of the 80,000+ credits on the site because well to be honest that takes a lot of time. You can tell which ones we have publicly verified by noticing if the credit has a green check mark on the page like you see here:

http://www.behindthevoiceactors.com/video-games/Batman-Arkham-Asylum/

The person in charge of the Arkham City game has apparently not uploaded the credit images/confirmation at this point but I will contact him so he gets that up so you will be able to see exactly where we got our information from.

Thanks, and please let us know if you have any other questions or need further explanation.

We also have no problem with you referencing/linking to our pages if you need to for citation reasons.

- BTVA Admin Team

There is really nothing wrong with using them, especially when the image has the green tick as it means that it has been verified, the site is not publicly edited either. There is no other resource on the entire internet that offers this kind of service. Darkwarriorblake (talk) 16:50, 14 August 2013 (UTC)

Nuke the Fridge

Would this be a reliable source for Beth Sotelo? BOZ (talk) 06:34, 15 August 2013 (UTC)

A reliable source for what statement? AndyTheGrump (talk) 00:03, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
Not for demonstrating notability if that is what you mean.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 00:28, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
Can you give any particular reason as to why not, just for the sake of argument? BOZ (talk) 02:23, 16 August 2013 (UTC)

When a reporter interviews the subject of a BLP does that mean the article they write is not "independent from the subject"...

User:MSJapan nominated Rob Wyda for deletion at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Rob Wyda. MSJapan's comments concern me. I think there may be a fundamental misunderstandings of policy here. I want other's opinions as to whether that misunderstanding is on MSJapan's part, or mine.

In this comment MSJapan wrote:

When every substantial piece of information about the subject is supplied directly by the subject in conversation with the reporter, that material is not independent of the subject (it's likely not neutral, either). I could claim anything I wanted about myself consistently (like this actual situation). Note that independent verification found otherwise. That is why it's not really reliable - no reporter has ever done research to verify what Wyda did or said; they all spoke to him directly and used whatever he said.

Well, don't reporters, and their editors, study journalism, where they are supposed to learn how to interview people, and still maintain their neutrality, and independence, when they write about them? Isn't it the job of an editor to make sure sufficient fact checking is performed, prior to putting an article in print? Aren't they putting their reputation at risk if they get stuff wrong? Isn't this why we use newspapers as reliable sources? Isn't this why we use newspapers as reliable sources, even when they (horrors!) interviewed the people they write about?

Granted, there are some very small newspapers, with poor editorial controls, and poor journalistic standards, which will republish press releases as if they were articles written by their staff. But shouldn't newspapers, with professional reporters, and professional editors, be considered independent until proven otherwise?

MSJapan made similar comments here. I don't know how MSJapan could have any idea whether these reporters did any fact checking.

I think these are the following are the references he thinks shouldn't be considered independent. Geo Swan (talk) 06:04, 13 August 2013 (UTC)

  1. Cronin, Mike (May 28, 2007). "Judge: Gitmo work 'right thing to do'". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Archived from the original on 2013-08-08. Retrieved 2007-05-28. From January to June 2006, Wyda helped prosecutors review the strengths and weaknesses of United States cases against some of the hundreds of the people designated "enemy combatants" and kept at Guantanamo's U.S. naval base.
  2. James, Ellen (2003-12-25). "Justice takes a tour of duty". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Archived from the original on 2013-08-08. Retrieved 2013-08-08. For five weeks in November and December, Rob Wyda wore a gun and a bulletproof vest instead of his usual black judicial robe.
  3. Reilly, Richard Byrne (2006-03-29). "Judge tackles terrorism in Guantanamo Bay". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Archived from the original on 2013-08-08. Commission hearings occur once a month at the tightly guarded Camp Delta. Wyda, who attends as an observer, is primarily responsible for analyzing evidence on terror suspects captured in Afghanistan and presenting his findings to the U.S. Defense Department's Criminal Investigative Task Force.
Those are the sources I was referring to in my comments. To me, the absence of reporting about him is the problem. All the sources above are direct interviews with the subject, where all the information is provided by the subject, and therefore I do not think these sources meet the criterion of "independent from the subject" and the timing is such that those sources occurred while he was heading for re-election to his post. If there were sources (besides the obits) where he was written about without direct involvement, I don't think I'd have an issue, but there are not. MSJapan (talk) 06:20, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
I think your description is a little black and white. When a journalist publishes an interview, then I agree with Geo Swan that the journalist becomes the source, and so we can judge the reputation for accuracy based upon the reputation of the journalist. On the other hand, note the remark of Betty Logan below, which is also correct. The facts contained within the text of an interview are not useful outside of sourcing what the interviewed person thinks. So if the original context of this discussion is about proving notability, then the only thing relevant is the notability of the journalist and the publication. (For example if Rolling Stone or Michael Parkinson decide to interview someone that is prima facie evidence of high notability, but not every published interview is that notable.)--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 12:03, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Interviews are regarded as primary sources (see Wikipedia:No_original_research#cite_note-3). Primary sources can be regarded as reliable sources for the accounts they provide, but as far as I am aware are discounted by GNG when considering notability, which solely depends on secondary sources. The reason for this is because the subject of an interview may not be the person being interviewed i.e. if a bunch of newspapers interview me about a bank robbery I witnessed, it's the bank robbery that is notable. Betty Logan (talk) 06:45, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Having looked at that policy more fully, it very clearly indicates that an article should not be based on primary sources, and that only secondary sources establish notability per GNG. All of the article sources are definitely primary. MSJapan (talk) 13:43, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
  • No offense, but merely repeating your position does not make it more credible. These three references are articles where they reporters have chosen to include some quotes from Wyda. Since the reporters chose the passages they quoted, and chose the context where they used the quoted passages, those quoted passages are as much under the full editorial control of the reporter and their editors as the passages where they interpreted, summarized the other research they did to prepare the article. As such these article are secondary sources. Geo Swan (talk) 22:00, 13 August 2013 (UTC)

Unless the interview is self-published, then the interview can be considered a secondary source, at least for notability purposes. Each claim in the interview by the subject is primary, but the whole interview is secondary. That is, if the NY Times, the Guardian and Newsweek all decide to interview someone, that someone is notable, because secondary sources (the newspapers) covered the subject, even if by asking them questions. -- cyclopiaspeak! 13:53, 13 August 2013 (UTC)

Being the topic of interviews (note, not necessarily the same thing as being interviewed) certainly should count towards establishing notability. Multiple interviews, or interviews in very prominent/famous places increase that effect. We should treat interviews that way because in fact those things really do indicate notability. (Reliability is another matter, that I am not discussing.) The fact that one can come to a variety of conclusions by applying the primary/secondary classification in different ways just emphasizes how useless that classification is. (I've been arguing for some time that there is no rule in Wikipedia invoking the primary/secondary classification that wouldn't be clearer and better without it.) Zerotalk 14:24, 13 August 2013 (UTC)

Right, being primary or secondary is not always clear cut.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 14:28, 13 August 2013 (UTC) EDIT: by which I mean in the context of WP policy, where these terms are used quite often as if they were clearly defined. In fact they are not the ultimate terms used in the core of policy.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 14:42, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Thanks to everyone who weighed in here. Note: MSJapan keeps referring to these articles as "interviews", which I suggest is misleading, and makes me wonder whether MSJapan understands the distinction between an article and an interview the same way the rest of us do.
The references are to articles about Rob Wyda, and his experiences being deployed in the US military, which are partly based on reporters interviews with Wyda.
The first reference also quotes "Lt. Cmdr. Chito Peppler", "Donald Guter, dean of Duquesne University's law school" and "Navy Cmdr. Rick Haupt".
The third reference also quotes "Lt. Col. Jeremy Martin", "Allegheny County Common Pleas President Judge Joseph James" and "Bethel Park police Chief John Mackey"
MSJapan has claimed that these three articles are not independent of Wyda, because the reporters in question interviewed him, and accepted everything he told them at face value, with no fact checking. I think the quotes included in the articles establish they did perform routine fact checking.
We have a principle, touted by many contributors, that "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence". Well, surely the corollary of that is that more ordinary claims only require routine fact checking. I don't know if MSJapan really meant to suggest that Wyda had misled credulous reporters about his military service in order to get re-elected. Unfortunately, that seems to me to be the surface meaning of what MSJapan wrote. MSJapan incorrectly claims these three articles were published just prior to Wyda's bids to get re-elected. The 2003 article was clearly from the middle of his first term, and the 2007 article was clearly towards the beginning of his second term. Geo Swan (talk) 15:17, 13 August 2013 (UTC)

This is pretty straightforward. For the purpose of notability its a secondary source. For the purpose of sourcing, its a primary source. Statements sourced to the interview should be attributed to the interviewee, and not stated as objective facts. Gaijin42 (talk) 15:20, 13 August 2013 (UTC)

Excuse me, although MSJapan keeps calling the references "interviews" they are in fact ordinary newspaper articles. In an interview the subject of the interview gets to express himself or herself in their own words, as they answer the interviewers questions. Good professional journalists don't rewrite or edit the interviewees answers.
When a reporter writes an article, they may include some direct quotes from individuals. But, in doing so, they choose the quoted passage; they choose how the context in which they frame the quote; so the quote is as much under editorial control as the rest of the article.
Forgive me, my initial question was not about genuine interviews -- it was about newspaper articles where the reporter included interviewing the subject of the article in their fact gathering. Geo Swan (talk) 21:38, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
A journalist will also make choices about what answers to include in an interview piece, so it's not necessarily all that different.
I think it's something that needs to be approached with consideration to the nature of the piece and the information it is being used for. We need to be conscious that the journalist may just be regurgitating what the subject has told them unquestioningly, which may be a concern if there is a factual dispute, the information seems "puffy" or there is an issue about casting a third party in a negative light. Formerip (talk) 22:43, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Hmmm. I have worked on controversial topics, where I have strongly disagreed with many of the available references. I have had years of having to bear in mind the core policy WP:VER. What does one do when one personally disagrees with what all the reliable sources have to say on a topic?
In my opinion there are only two policy compliant choices:
  1. Grit one's teeth, forget one's one opinion, and neutrally cover what the reliable sources say;
  2. Take a time out, and let other contributors work on those topics -- which may mean leaving the topic without updates, if no one else wants to work on it.
Sorry, I think we should be very careful second guessing what professional journalists have written. It may appear obvious to us that a journalist is "unquestioningly regurgitating" what the subject told them. We don't know that "regurgitation" is unquestioning. They may have asked their colleagues for their opinion. They may not have done any homework, but may have compared what they were told with their experience. Robert Wyda, the individual whose credibility MSJapan challenged was a reservist. MSJapan implied Wyda, widely admired by his colleagues, had tricked three separate credulous reporters, and mislead them about his military service. In the 21st Century most Americans have not been in the US military themselves. But almost all Americans have known friends or relatives who have been in the military. So, as they listened to Wyda's account of his service, they are going to be comparing his account from what they know from other veterans. Further, Wyda didn't make any extraordinary claims. So, in this particular case, I see zero justification to assume reporters accepted Wyda's account "unquestioningly".
Let me share thought experiment with you that I have shared before. Image you are, in your personal life, an abolitionist, volunteering for the wikipedia in an alternate universe where the USA never outlawed slavery, and abolitionism is a fringe opinion. Would the wikipedia's rules authorize you to discount, challenge, or re-write the opinions of respected journalists who believed in slavery? No, I suggest to you it would not. I suggest to you that you would have the two choices I outlined above (1) grit your teeth; and try to fairly neutrally summarize what the RS say; or (2) take a time out. I suggest to you it would be irrelevant if you thought that slavery supporting reporter was unquestioningly regurgitating someone else's slavery supporting views. Geo Swan (talk) 01:41, 14 August 2013 (UTC)
The slavery example is not all that difficult. If its a matter of reporting someone's views, we consider whether the views are important enough to the topic to include in the article and, if they are, we include them but we also attribute them.
For matters of fact, we should assume nothing in the first instance about the history of the information getting into the source. However, this means not taking a blinkered approach that because something is in black and white it must be true. In some cases, there may be a valid reason to question the information. For instance, it may constitute an extraordinary claim or it may be contradicted by another source. We may also have reason for pause if there will be serious BLP consequences in the event that the information is wrong.
In the case in question, which I haven't looked at, I think the question is what basis MSJapan has for claiming that the journalists have been duped. Is this claimed in a reliable source, for example? Formerip (talk) 11:40, 14 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Other than some (factually incorrect) hints that Wyda was up for re-election, I see no sign MSJapan has any justification whatsoever for the suggestion the reporters had been duped. Geo Swan (talk) 18:28, 14 August 2013 (UTC)
  • I didn't say they were "duped" - my point is that all the information about the subject is coming only from the subject, and not from any other source not directly connected with him. For that reason, the sources are not independent of the subject. Put another way, the only one talking about what Wyda did was Wyda. No disinterested observer has reported on anything Wyda did without getting information directly from Wyda. MSJapan (talk) 20:54, 16 August 2013 (UTC)

Website of unknown reliability that cites a lot of apparently reliable sources: how should I behave?

When looking for sources for Timeline of food, I stumbled across this website. I am unsure if the website can be considered a RS (probably not), but inside it cites a lot of books etc. (e.g. here) that would be undoubtedly reliable. Is it safe, in your opinion, to rely on the website as a proxy for the books quoted (which I don't have available by themselves to check)? The site apparently is run by a librarian, and I would honestly feel it's safe to assume good faith and use it, but I'd like to be sure. Thanks.-- cyclopiaspeak! 13:25, 15 August 2013 (UTC)

It's definitely not good practice, although I see they quote the books so it might be Okay., just be prepared for it to be challenged :) Also, try using Google books snippet views to try and verify quotes. I wouldn't use any of the unquoted text, however, as that could well be the site owners own research/assertions etc. --Errant (chat!) 13:28, 15 August 2013 (UTC)
I did not plan to use the unquoted text. Verifying the quotes is a very good suggestion, will try whenever possible, to minimize the problem. -- cyclopiaspeak! 13:39, 15 August 2013 (UTC) - To clarify: if I find the quote on Gbooks or the like, the problem for that quote dissolves, the website was just a useful pointer for me. But I do not expect this to be always possible. -- cyclopiaspeak! 13:41, 15 August 2013 (UTC)
The author is a librarian so not an expert necessarily, but maybe a safe pair of hands with quotes.
I would be tempted to verify quotes that you can and, if they come up OK, continue to trust the site for quotes from books. But probably fold without a fuss if challenged. Include the website in the citations, not just the books. (SAYWHEREYOUGOTIT).
I can see an objection to this approach, though, in that it might create a loophole for crafty editors to generate fake sources. And there's a big caveat that I would not take this approach for any information that might be contentious. Formerip (talk) 21:08, 15 August 2013 (UTC)
it might create a loophole for crafty editors to generate fake sources. - This is a very, very good (and terrifying) point. I'll then refrain from using anything I can't verify by myself. Thanks a lot. -- cyclopiaspeak! 09:30, 16 August 2013 (UTC)

Could/would

Reports on two newspapers, the Irish Examiner and Irish Independent, are claimed here to be reliable sources for the statement: "The Irish Bishops Conference stated in their submission to a constitutional convention that, if the civil definition of marriage was changed to include same-sex marriage, so that it differed from the church's own definition, they would no longer perform civil functions at weddings" (bolding added). Are the two reports reliable sources for using in this statement about what the conference stated the word "would" rather than "could"? Discussion on the matter can be found here. The website of the constitutional convention gives the full text of the bishops' submission. Esoglou (talk) 07:28, 16 August 2013 (UTC)

The Cork Examiner states that "the bishops say any change to the definition of marriage would mean the Church could no longer co-operate with the civil aspect of marriage" and quotes the exact words of the bishops (given also on the website of the constitutional convention): "Any change to the definition of marriage would create great difficulties and in the light of this, if there were two totally different definitions of marriage, the Church could no longer carry out the civil element'; it nowhere attributes to the bishops the statement that they or the Church "would" no longer carry out the civil element. The Irish Independent says: "Ireland's Catholic bishops have warned that the church 'could no longer carry out the civil element" of marriage if there was any change to the legal definition of marriage" and "the Catholic bishops say any change to the definition of marriage would mean the church could no longer co-operate with the civil aspect of marriage". After thus twice making that statement in its own name, it then quotes the exact words of the bishops (with "could"). Nowhere does it say that the bishops used the form "would no longer carry out the civil element". Both articles are reliable sources for stating that the bishops spoke in terms of "could". The insistent claim that they are instead reliable sources for the "would" statement is groundless. Esoglou (talk) 14:33, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
Esoglou's claim that the sources only use "could" is false; in fact, the very first sentence of the Examiner article is "Church leaders have warned they will no longer carry out the civil functions at weddings if gay marriage is introduced" and the very first sentence of the Independent article is "Ireland's Catholic prelates are leading the charge against gay marriage, warning that they will not perform the civil aspects of weddings if marriage is extended to gay couples." Esoglou, it's a shame that you don't seem to think that your opinion can stand on its merits without saying things about the sources that aren't true. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 15:04, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
If the two newspapers are cited, they should be cited for what they clearly say about what the bishops "stated in their submission". Each explicitly and repeatedly says that "the Irish Bishops Conference stated in their submission to a constitutional convention that ... they could no longer perform civil functions at weddings". It is not at all so clear that they say that "the Irish Bishops Conference stated in their submission to a constitutional convention that ... they would no longer perform civil functions at weddings". A journalist's comment is not a declaration of what the bishops "stated in their submission". Esoglou (talk) 15:20, 16 August 2013 (UTC)

Anvisoft forum source identifying Conduit toolbar issues

Sources identifying some "PUP's" seem hard to find online. The following statement:

The toolbars have been described as a browser hijack and are difficult to remove.

sourced to the following forum post:

  • "How to Remove Conduit Search Toolbar and search.conduit.com redirect?". Anvisoft. 2013-06-07. Retrieved 2013-08-13.

... was repeatedly removed[19] [20] citing WP:RS ("The "forum" is absolutely not an RS."[21]) from the article Conduit (publisher network and platform).[22] However, the forum source is credited to "Anvisoft staff", conspicuously identified as such.

A bit of googling (not to mention a few of the links historically deleted from the Conduit article) will find Conduit's product frequently described as a deceptively-installed browser hijacker that is made difficult to remove. From client's computers I can see this is clearly the case, and I cannot figure out why this gets so little WP:RS-worthy press. Circumspect language conventions like PUP make me think there is some litigation threat, but I've not seen evidence of one so extraordinary that seemingly every news and tech site would be so chilled.

Further discussion: Talk:Conduit (publisher network and platform)#Browser_Hijack / edg 21:21, 16 August 2013 (UTC)

In March against Monsanto

  • Source: http://www.alternet.org/activism/millions-against-monsanto-march
  • Content:

    In post-march coverage, Alternet printed, "While March Against Monsanto was among the largest global efforts in history with 400 simultaneous events in 60 countries around the globe, no major corporate media outlets in the US covered the live event. CNN ran a followup short on the event on May 28, and mainstream coverage has trickled in here and there, but has been sparse."

Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 11:46, 15 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Noone is saying Alternet isn't reliable for their own opinion. The issue is one of due weight being given to partisan sources, IRWolfie- (talk) 16:32, 15 August 2013 (UTC)
"Yep, it is a political activist news service, I would not consider any of such generally reliable no matter the political sides they represent. IRWolfie" petrarchan47tc 17:12, 15 August 2013 (UTC)
Something may not be "generally" reliable even if it is reliable for its own opinion. A source would have to be pathologically bad not be reliable for its own opinion! Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 17:19, 15 August 2013 (UTC)
Exactly! Nowhere do I say it is not reliable for it's own opinion, even the most utterly shoddy self-published source is generally reliable for its own opinion. But it sure isn't generally reliable. Perhaps you may wish to read RS in more detail. The real question is how much weight a partisan source (personally I see no reason to give it any) like this deserves, and that isn't something this board addresses. IRWolfie- (talk) 19:19, 15 August 2013 (UTC)

I note that the page no longer has this content, worded in this way, so the issue as presented here is probably no longer a matter of dispute. --Tryptofish (talk) 14:31, 17 August 2013 (UTC)

Google snippets?

I see some advice above to use Google snippets. I think there are very few instances where we should consider using Google snippets. Snippets by definition do not give their context, so a snippet with statement Y may omit statement X which says "Of course, that is nonsense". Maybe we need specific guidance on this? Dougweller (talk) 07:44, 16 August 2013 (UTC)

I think the danger is not in citing a snippet (which is better than nothing), but in an editor assuming that reading a snippet will tell them all they need to know about what the source is saying. A less-extreme but related problem occurs when using Google books and finding pages adjacent to the one beng used aren't included. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 07:53, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
As with all things, common sense must be used. Simples ;) --Errant (chat!) 09:16, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
This has come up many times before and I think it will never be possible to give a blanket ruling.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 21:09, 17 August 2013 (UTC)

Is arwz.com a RS for lead genre?

While there may be a few people who have called it such, Speculative Fiction is not the first genre most would think of for the novel Lord of the Flies. Taeyebaar changed the genre to over a dozen articles last month (including this one) without discussion, which I had to revert. Now he's come back and done it again without discussion, this time using a questionable source: [23]. This was done over three edits today, starting with this edit. The third, in which the source in question was used, is here.

Here is the blockquote, which is the lead sentence:

Lord of the Flies is a speculative fiction[2] novel by Nobel Prize-winning English author William Golding about a group of British boys stuck on an uninhabited island who try to govern themselves with disastrous results.

I am requesting an assessment of arwz.com as a RS for this genre labelling in an article lead. - Gothicfilm (talk) 03:12, 18 August 2013 (UTC)

This has all the appearances of an amateur self-published "webzine" without professional editorial control. Accordingly, I don't see it as a reliable source for a contested claim about the genre of a famous novel. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 23:42, 18 August 2013 (UTC)

Is 36 years too old for statements about "modern scholarship" and what is "now believed?

A source published in 1977 is used to support statements about "recent years" [24] and how scholars "now regard theories" [25]. Should it be replaced or removed? Strangesad (talk) 06:18, 18 August 2013 (UTC)

That's a good question. If you're talking about classical studies, "modern scholarship" can mean anything from the 19th century to the present, in contrast to theories among ancient scholars, or medieval and Renaissance scholarship. WP:DATED covers this. The best solution IMO is to give a more specific time frame: "since the mid-20th century", "since the early 1990s", "at the beginning of the 21st century", "in the early 21st century", "since the groundbreaking{{cn}} study of Aldo Havel in 1989". Cynwolfe (talk) 13:34, 18 August 2013 (UTC)
It is a direct quote from the last classical scholar to say anything about the question referred to. It is not wikipedia's voice saying "recent years" , it is referenced to what Michael Grant said in 1977 and that is made clear. If you can find classical historians who have said something different to this on the matter since then Strangesad, do let us know, and you have been told that "millions of times".Smeat75 (talk) 13:42, 18 August 2013 (UTC)
The context is a survey of modern scholarship. So, does a 36-year-old source about "recent years" belong in that context? Strangesad (talk) 16:50, 18 August 2013 (UTC)
No, it is not "a survey of modern scholarship". It is a quote used in a footnote. Can people please look at the article and the way the quote is used.[26]Smeat75 (talk) 19:58, 18 August 2013 (UTC)
It depends on what happened in these 36 years. Did the field change significantly or not? In any case, if there is a dispute, avoid the words "recent" and "now" and simply say "In 1977..."-- cyclopiaspeak! 17:21, 18 August 2013 (UTC)
While AGF'ing the comment by Smeat75 above, I find it somewhat difficult to believe that the last time an academic said anything about a topic relating to Jesus was 36 years ago, given the sheer volume of material on him put out every day. If it actually is the last time anyone said something on a topic relating to Jesus, then, pardon me for saying, I have to kind of question whether it merits inclusion in the main article on Jesus as per WP:WEIGHT. I tend to think that the best way to decide this would probably be through an RfC on the article talk page rather than here however. John Carter (talk) 18:07, 18 August 2013 (UTC)
Agree. This has little to do with the reliability of the sources as such. It seems more to do with undue weight and too much detail, and the use of scholars as POV proxies— which regrettably has become typical of articles pertaining to Christianity. Cynwolfe (talk) 18:31, 18 August 2013 (UTC)
I guess if we attributed the statement and dated it (In 19nn soandso said). I found the 1911 EB being quoted for 'modern scholarship' recently. I wish we could just jettison it. I've put fact tags on PD stuff a century old and had them reverted. Dougweller (talk) 18:35, 18 August 2013 (UTC)
It is dated and attriibuted, Dougweller. It does not appear in the main text of the article, but in a footnote.[27] [28]
Please look at the reference Strangesad is talking about, guys and girls. It is a quote from Michael Grant, eminent classical historian, on the subject "did such a person as Jesus ever exist?" He says in "recent years", ie recent to 1977 "no serious scholar has ventured to postulate the non historicity of Jesus or at any rate very few, and they have not succeeded in disposing of the much stronger, indeed very abundant, evidence to the contrary". [29] That is what Strangesad is objecting to (over and over and over and over.......)She has been asked(over and over, repeat as often as you like) to find a more recent classical historian who has said something different on that question only, was there ever such a person as Jesus, but she never suggests anyone and I think that is because there aren't any. But here I see some of the most knowledgeable wikipedians in this area, so let me ask you to help. Do any of you know of any historians of antiquity, not religious studies professors, or NT scholars, or bloggers, but classical historians, who have addressed the question "Did Jesus exist" since 1977? If so, pleeeeeease let us know. ThanksSmeat75 (talk) 19:49, 18 August 2013 (UTC)
"Modern scholarship" on Jesus means something rather different from modern scholarship on gene expression. Ehrman, of course, is a recent and solid source, and is probably sufficient on his own. Dropping Grant wouldn't change anything. But it does show a sort of continuity over the last several decades. Since it's a supporting quote in a footnote, not text in the main article, it should be acceptable. But adding a date to Grant's comment would remove any possible "surprise" factor, so I'd see that as an improvement. Guettarda (talk) 20:09, 18 August 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for your input Guetterda and others. Another editor has now acted on that suggestion and the footnote now reads "Michael Grant (a classicist) wrote in 1977", etc. [30] and that, I hope, will be the end of this matter.Smeat75 (talk) 22:29, 18 August 2013 (UTC)

PolicyMic

An article belonging to policymic.com has been discussed last month (here), however I believe this case is different and is exempted per WP:SPS: Self-published expert sources may be considered reliable when produced by an established expert on the subject matter, whose work in the relevant field has previously been published by reliable third-party publications. Is this source appropriate to support this material or (any) part of it:

Less than a week before 14 August, Yousef al-Mahafdha of BCHR said the protests were highly anticipated and that he expected them to be large and widespread throughout the country, including in the capital, Manama, but he expected the government to respond with violence. "Everyone’s talking about the date, waiting for it," he added. Brian J. Dooley of Human Rights First (HRF) wrote on 10 August that the planned series of protests, expected to be the largest in 2013 had energized opposition activists and that staff at Salmaniya Medical Complex, Bahrain's main hospital had told his organization that "all leave has been cancelled from August 12-14." Dooley added that the following week was likely to be a "huge test" for protesters, the government and Bahrain's allies

The author of the article is Brian J. Dooley, an American human rights activist who was described by United Press International as: "a specialist in the Gulf states"[31] and "a Gulf expert"[32]. He has also authored articles, reports and opinion pieces that were published by reliable sources, all belonging to the same field (they can be found in the original discussion here). The other party in the discussion (Thargor Orlando) asserts that Dooley is an activist, not an expert and that we should conciser his partisanship on the matter. We both agree that the website in question lacks editorial oversight. The relevant discussion at the talk page can be found here. Article name is Bahrain Tamarod. Mohamed CJ (talk) 20:38, 18 August 2013 (UTC)

Is Yonhap News Agency not a reliable source?

We list Yonhap in favorable terms, but their article on the Eurofighter Typhoon is completely discarded.

http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/national/2013/08/18/82/0301000000AEN20130818001451315F.html

Are they not a reliable source as to exact quotes from unnamed Korean defense and EADS officials? Does their level of reporting fall far below "western" standards? Hcobb (talk) 22:09, 18 August 2013 (UTC)

No Gun Ri: A Military History of the Korean War Incident

A discussion is currently ongoing about the reliability of LtCol Robert Bateman’s book No Gun Ri: A Military History of the Korean War Incident

The book is published by Stackpole Books and has been well received. Some reviews:

  • Journal of Cold War Studies
  • Professor David Sneed Despite these few minor problems, Bateman has written a book that should be a valuable resource for scholars, the media, and the general public. He reveals the pitfalls of drawing conclusions from incomplete investigations and shows how true historical research should be conducted.
  • James Irving Matray, The Journal of Military History Bateman skillfully uses photos, forensics, and numbers to make his case.
  • Write up in Salon.com. Goes into the debate in a fairly even handed manner.

AP author, Bateman critic, and article contributor Charles Hanley claims he’s is not a reliable source for the following reasons:

  • He’s active duty US Army
  • He was a former company commander in the 2Bn 7th cav (the 2-7 being responsible for the killings at No Gun Ri) in the 1990’s.
  • Hanley’s personal observations (not documented in any WP:RS) that Bateman’s writing on the subject are error ridden (not surprisingly a charge that Bateman makes about Hanley and the AP team)

I discount (in part) Hanley’s opinion on the subject because he seems to have a real grudge against Bateman. From a SF Gate article about the feud between the two:

Late last year, Hanley wrote a nine-page letter to Stackpole Books, the Pennsylvania publisher bringing out Bateman's book this month, saying it would be a "grave mistake" to publish Bateman's "diatribes and defamations." A copy of the letter, filled with personal attacks against the author, was made available to The Chronicle. The letter is the kind of dark threat that gives free speech experts the chills -- "an effort at prior restraint," said Bill Kovach, chairman of the Committee of Concerned Journalists -- not to mention the fact that in this case, there is a certain reversal of roles. "It's ironic for a journalist, someone whose livelihood is protected by the First Amendment, to be seemingly threatening to curtail the speech of a military person," said James Naughton, president of the Poynter Institute, a journalism school in St. Petersburg, Fla. "The way matters like this tend to get resolved over time is for people to be able to make their own judgments about which version of events holds up on examination. More access to publishable versions, rather than less, seems to be desirable."

I had actually brought this subject up at the Conflict of Interest Forum, but no one had any input.

So, the $64,000 question: Is Bateman’s book a reliable source for this article? Thanks! WeldNeck (talk) 18:33, 14 August 2013 (UTC)

Is anyone other than Hanley himself arguing that the Bateman book isn't reliable? It looks fine to me. Wait... you aren't Bateman, are you? --Laser brain (talk) 18:44, 14 August 2013 (UTC)
No, I am not Bateman. One other user on the page agrees with Hanley, but they appear to have off line communications about the article, so I think their perspectives are almost identical. WeldNeck (talk) 19:08, 14 August 2013 (UTC)
Hanley reached out through WP:OTRS for help with Wikipedia, and the article caught my interest. We did meet & have breakfast when we both happened to be in London, to discuss the article and generally chat :) As to Bateman; there is independent criticism of his work (plus objections by the AP, which are worth reading as well) on the talk page. In addition he is very closely associated with the subject (e.g. the 7th Cav). The combination of the poor quality of the work and that close association indicate to me we need to take care with his work as a source. Which is why I suggested we use *other* sources to identify usable, verified, information from his work. It's not very often cited, though, because of the poor quality & the fact he generally does not represent what we might call the 'scholarly' view of this topic. --Errant (chat!) 10:17, 15 August 2013 (UTC)
As for other critics, at this C-SPAN video, beginning at approx 46:50 minutes and running to about 52:00, one can observe the respected moderator of the discussion, John Callaway at the Pritzer Military Library in Chicago, upbraid Bateman on U.S. national teievision for the shoddiness of his book. On another matter, the letter to Bateman's publisher, cited by WeldNeck above, the letter simply warned the publisher that he ought to do heavy fact-checking on Bateman, because he had already been promulgating untruths and nonsense online. Clearly Bateman and the SF reporter, who I assume was an acquaintance, misled Naughton and Kovach about the nature of the letter in order to elicit the incongruous comments about a "dark threat" to freedom of expression. WeldNeck, at the article Talk page, has been asked repeatedly to review an in-depth analysis of the mountain of errors, distortions and outright fictions in Bateman's book, but he has refused. As an interested party (a former officer of the regiment responsible for the massacre), Bateman is unqualified as a source. As an incompetent and deceptive writer on the subject, he is doubly unqualified. His personal vendetta against the Associated Press should have no bearing on an article about the historic event known as the No Gun Ri Massacre. Charles J. Hanley 13:39, 15 August 2013 (UTC)
Stackpole Books are a second or third tier publisher, and I've never been convinced that they seriously fact check what they publish - my impression is that they vet manuscripts briefly for quality control purposes, but are entirely content to publish low-quality works (for instance, they've published fanboy-type books about the Waffen SS which gloss over its war crimes). Some of the books they publish are excellent, and others are rubbish, and the general standard is only OKish. My general approach in cases like this is to consider the expertise of the author (which is sometimes very high for Stackpole books, but generally isn't) and the reception the book received. If different professional reviewers say different things about this book that should be taken into account here - if it's been criticised by experts in military history, the books arguments arguments should not be presented without also noting the criticisms they've received. Nick-D (talk) 01:30, 17 August 2013 (UTC)
Military historians have reviewed the book quite favorably and I have included these links at the top. WeldNeck (talk) 13:55, 19 August 2013 (UTC)

Removal /distortion of RS-cited text at Murray Rothbard

Appropriate text from RS has been restored to article. SPECIFICO talk 16:24, 20 August 2013 (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.

I need advice from this board concerning text which was added to the article Murray Rothbard. The text in question cited the published comment of a noted scholar concerning certain theories on children's rights presented in Rothbard's book, The Ethics of Liberty. The dispute centers around the RS' interpretation of a paragraph in chapter 14 of Ethics concerning the right of parents to let their children die (see: (1) the aforementioned paragraph begins with "Applying our theory to parents and children").

In the aforementioned paragraph, Rothbard asserts that parents "should not have a legal obligation to feed, clothe, or educate [their] children" and further endorses the right of parents "to allow any baby, whether deformed or not, to die" by passive means such starvation. In a RS article from the respected, subject-independent, peer-reviewed Politics, Philosophy and Economics journal, noted academician Gene Callahan quotes Rothbard's own words and then presents his analysis. His analysis indicates that Rothbard intends this right to let children die by "passive" means such as starvation to be general and unqualified. (see: (2), though note a subscription is required)

User:Srich32977 (3), User:Fsol (4) (5), and User:Binksternet (6) have attempted to delete or distort the PPE RS discussion. The deletions/distortions of Fsol and Binksternet are based on the inexplicable claim that restatement of Rothbard's own words (as cited in the peer-reviewed RS) followed by Callahan's interpretation is a misinterpretation/OR from primary sources. The deletion of SRich was based on his OR claim that a few footnotes alluding to euthanasia prove that Rothbard was *only* talking about allowing children to starve in the case of euthanasia, and therefore that the RS interpretation was erroneous.

Binksternet, after it was pointed out to him that his "no primary sources" justification for removing the RS-documented content was false, has now created a new OR version (7 -- see the second paragraph) which implies that Rothbard's right to let children die only applies in the case of deformed babies. This is neither stated in the original source or in the PPE RS. He (as well as Fsol) is also deleting the quoted remarks of Rothbard's discussed in the Callahan, while leaving in place the criticism of these remarks by Callahan. In addition to being contrary to policy, this deletion renders Callahan's criticism unintelligible to our readers.

I ask that editors opine on whether the removal or distortion of either Rothbard's words (as done by the RS) or the RS interpretation is appropriate. [Insert] The basic question: Is the Callahan source sufficiently reliable to adopt its interpretation of Rothbard on children's rights? Steeletrap (talk) 02:33, 18 August 2013 (UTC)

Perhaps this is an issue for another noticeboard. There is no dispute or question about the reliability of Primary Source info (Rothbard's own writings) or about Callahan, a secondary source used as part of the description of Rothbard's work. – S. Rich (talk) 03:40, 18 August 2013 (UTC)
I agree with Srich32977 that the RSN is not the place to discuss sources which all participants acknowledge as reliable. Furthermore, the dispute is so new that it should be discussed at the article talk page before being brought to noticeboard attention. Binksternet (talk) 03:53, 18 August 2013 (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.

"Walled garden" argument with regard to the Austrian School and the Mises Institute

At a number of biographies of economists and others, User:Stalwart111, User:SPECIFICO and User:Steeletrap have been arguing against using books and articles that were written by people associated with the Mises Institute, a subgroup of members of the Austrian School of economics. User:Carolmooredc started a discussion at Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons/Noticeboard#Essay WP:Walled Garden being used to challenge WP:RS policy about this issue, but I think the proper venue is right here.

So this is the crux of the matter: three editors have been saying that books, journal articles and papers written by anybody connected with the Mises Institute should not be counted as reliable sources because the writers are too closely related to each other. Carolmooredc and I have been arguing that the RS guideline says nothing about removing expert observers from the pool of reliable sources just because the observer was familiar with the subject. To me, it seems ridiculous on the face of it to exclude those sources with the most expertise, the most first-hand knowledge. As well, it is wrong to assume that scholars will misrepresent the subject.

It's like saying that no Republicans can be reliable for commenting about Richard Nixon, or that no Labour Party members could be reliable for commenting about Harold Wilson.

Here's a little history of the editors and the issue:

Affected articles

A relatively large number of articles on Wikipedia are connected by close association with the Mises Institute.

The Mises Institute has archived, published or republished works by the above-named people as well as by others such as Ron Paul, Nicolai J. Foss, Wilhelm Röpke, Carl Menger, Clifford F. Thies, Frédéric Bastiat, Antony Flew, H. C. Engelbrecht, Roberta Modugno, George Selgin, Albert Jay Nock, Morgan Reynolds, Eugen Böhm von Bawerk, Frank Fetter, Edward Stringham, John T. Flynn, George Reisman, Leonard Read, John Wanamaker, Ernest Benn, Richard Cantillon, Frank Chodorov, Stephen Pearl Andrews and of course Ludwig von Mises.

This supposed "garden" has far too many members to be considered "walled" off from the world at large.

Mises Institute writings (many hosted at mises.org) are used as references to support facts at articles such as Herbert Hoover, the Great Depression, Hubert Humphrey, François Quesnay, Benjamin Anderson, Walter E. Williams, Richard Cobden, the Grameen Bank, William Graham Sumner, Carlo Lottieri, William Harold Hutt, Gustave de Molinari, Randy Barnett, Nikolai Bukharin, Francis Hutcheson (philosopher), Daniel Bernoulli, Herbert Spencer, John Bright, Peter Kropotkin, Lysander Spooner, Agostino Depretis, William H. Seward, Henry David Thoreau and many, many more.

If the writings of people associated with the Mises Institute are declared unreliable, a lot of Wikipedia articles will degrade or fall apart.

At User_talk:Gamaliel#Walled_garden.2Ffringe_concerns_with_Mises_Institute_BLPs, User:Gamaliel said the supposed walled garden of Mises material was probably "too prominent to qualify as WP:FRINGE", and yet it would be beneficial to introduce non-Mises sources into a few of the BLPs. I share this viewpoint: I think all the reliable sources that can be found should be used, holding to an inclusive standard rather than one which excludes Mises Institute publications. For instance, Peter Boettke is an Austrian School economist but not associated with the Mises Institute. Boettke writes objectively about the Mises Institute in his Handbook on Contemporary Austrian Economics, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2010, ISBN 9781849806473. Japanese economist Yuichi Shionoya (Emeritus Professor of Economics and former President of Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo, Japan) wrote objectively about Austrian School subjectivism (the Mises Institute viewpoint) in his chapter called "Austrian subjectivism and hermeneutical economics" in the book Subjectivism and Objectivism in the History of Economic Thought, Routledge, 2012, ISBN 9781136275173. Writings such as this can be added to the writings published by the Mises Institute. Binksternet (talk) 09:21, 6 August 2013 (UTC)

  • Comment - to be frank, your crux is patently false and, like Carolmooredc attempted to do at BLP/N, misrepresents my position with regard to these articles almost entirely. Like her, you've taken a tiny, tiny portion of the thousands of bytes of discussion and debate centred around particular articles and have effectively claimed that 2 + 2 = 16.7. Where these issues have been discussed with regard to perhaps 5-10 articles, you have extrapolated your interpretation of my commentary to dozens and dozens and untruthfully claimed I hold that position with regard to them all (I don't think I've read most of those, let alone edited them, so how you could possibly draw a conclusion about my attitude toward them is beyond me). My point was then, and remains now, that there are a group of Mises Institute fellows and associates whose articles (when I first came across them after a random AFD) used sources from the same small group over and over again (those 5-10 articles) - Rothbard on Hoppe, Hoppe on Kinsella, Kinsella on himself (and he wrote his own article, for the most part), Block on Hoppe and Hoppe on Block and so forth. Add to that, many of the sources were published on websites and blogs where the subjects often had direct or indirect editorial control. We know why it happened - the same person created a large number of the articles in a short space of time while working for the Institute (honestly and openly declaring as much then and now). But the same pattern in any other academic context (or any other context entirely for that matter) would certainly be considered a walled garden (the article, not the essay), if not a walled garden (the essay, not the article). The quote you attribute to me is completely out of context, to suggest the opposite of what I was actually suggesting (that the essay was actually irrelevant because the reliability of non-independent sources was the issue). I came to the whole Austrian/Mises topic completely at random and completely by accident and have (if you actually read the many, many talk page discussions in full) been a fairly neutral voice throughout most of this debate. All I've ever done is push for the addition of reliable, independent sources. I haven't advocated the removing of existing sources (though that may be the natural result of replacing them with better ones) nor have I advocated for the deletion of any Mises-related articles (actually, quite the opposite). I said today (quite bluntly) that Carol's tendentious, IDHT, POV-pushing and personal attacks had gotten to the point where I have no desire to have anything else to do with this subject area at all. I've never had a dog in this fight and have plenty of other things to do, so I have no problem walking away from it. I'd ask you to strike your thinly-veiled personal attacks with regard to me in particular (as Carol begrudgingly did) but I really couldn't care less. Stalwart111 10:21, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
  • To give you an idea...
- This is what the article Hans-Hermann Hoppe looked like as at 1 January 2013. Of the 20 sources provided, 15 are either self-published, published in Mises-related publications (LewRockwell.com, Mises.org, etc, though many of those are from Hoppe himself anyway) or are from Mises people like Block and Rothbard. The substantive commentary in the article comes from Block, Rothbard and Kinsella - all Mises colleagues
- And this is what the article Stephan Kinsella looked like at the same time - every single source is from Kinsella himself (most published by Mises) bar two - one from Rothbard, published by Mises, and another from Evers, published by Mises.
- This is Jesús Huerta de Soto looked like (edited only 25 times in 2012, mostly by bots) - 2 broken links for sources.
These are the high-quality BLPs that Carol and Co. have suggested people are "wrecking" with the addition of sources resulting from a "walled garden" argument. Stalwart111 10:49, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
No one is saying that these articles should not be improved with refs. Half the good info in Huerta de Soto was added by me once I saw User:Steeletrap was trying to remove the article. This issue is: is the fact a wikipedia article is poorly sourced evidence that the individual is not a reliable source? That assertion would be patently absurd. I haven't looked at Kinsella and have no comment on it.
I'd like to see someone source Bryan Caplan which only is sourced to Caplan articles or personal webpages and yet he is used as an expert in Wikipedia articles; but I'm not going to claim he's unreliable cause no one has bothered to come up with secondary sources. User:Carolmooredc 23:26, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
WTF? Kinsella is one of the articles "Steeletrap tried to delete" (another of your constant refrains) and you highlighted it in the diff you provided ([36]) as proof of his "excuse to AFD" articles only paragraphs below this one with this edit (you added the diff link later). Now you're telling me you didn't even look at the article to work out why he might have nominated it for deletion before you made that accusation?
Binksternet, in case you were wondering, this is the sort of thing I was talking about. You want to be associated with this sh*t? Completely wild, scatter-gun accusations in response to activity Carol hasn't even "looked at". The rest of her argument, of course, is a complete straw man now - that we have somewhere suggested that badly sourced articles make the subjects of those articles unreliable. Stalwart111 01:36, 8 August 2013 (UTC)

Misesians reject scientific method, acknowledge they're fringe

As OP alludes to, there is a "Walled garden" of sorts on the wiki entries of Misesian economists, meaning that the sources for the material written about the contributions and scholarly reputation of each of these economists are overwhelmingly drawn from fellow Misesians. Contrary to what OP said, my primary concern about this is rooted in my belief that Misesians are fringe sources. My basis for the belief that they're fringe is twofold. First, because they don't use the scientific method in their "economics". Second, because Misesians proudly and forthrightly identify themselves as outside of and not taken seriously by the mainstream. (much of the below is copy and pasted from what I said on Gamaliel's page.)

In regards to both of these points, please note again that Misesians openly and categorically reject the application of the scientific method to economics -- an application which characterizes all mainstream social science -- and instead apply preconceived generalizations to their analysis of the economy. Senior Mises Scholar Hans-Hermann Hoppe has summarized this distinction between the methodology of the "Austrian economists" of the Mises Institute and that of mainstream economists in a clear and lucid manner,

"It is this assessment of economics as an a priori science, a science whose propositions can be given a rigorous logical justification, which distinguishes Austrians, or more precisely Misesians, from all other current economic schools. All the others conceive of economics as an empirical science, as a science like physics, which develops hypotheses that require continual empirical testing. And they all regard as dogmatic and unscientific Mises's view." (1), (emphases mine -- steele)

On the second point specifically, please consider the following from prominent Misesian/Austrian Walter Block (2):"Mainstreamers never (to my knowledge) make such overtures [i.e., seriously examine and engage Misesian theory -- steele] in their journals, and when Austrians offer to publish in neoclassical [mainstream -- steeletrape] journals, they are for the most part rebuffed." In the same piece, Block also notes that Gary Becker and James Buchanan, two of the most prominent economists in the world (Nobel Laureates) who like the Misesians are ideological libertarians, characterize the Misesian/Austrian approach to economics as a "cult."

Per the words of Professor Hoppe, the "Misesian" approach to economics represents a rejection of economics as an "empirical science", and per the remarks of both Hoppe and Block, Misesians are not taken seriously by mainstream scholars. This means the Mises view fall under the restrictions outlined on WP:Fringe, and thus per WP:NPOV, should not be accorded the same weight on matters related to economics as mainstream scholars/scholarship. Steeletrap (talk) 10:11, 6 August 2013 (UTC)

I think you have to separate two quite distinct types of argument.
  • The fact that a well-known group of economists take issue with the methodological norms of contemporary economics is a potentially valid position, which we are not here to judge as such. Certainly we can say that the normal methodological arguments used in economics by people like Becker are extremely controversial in themselves. And the argument is often made (even within economics) that economists like him and Friedman who get citations for methodology are actually themselves working way outside their field of training and expertise, playing at philosophy. So disagreeing with this particular faction, even if it is mainstream, does not make anyone "fringe" by WP policy.
  • The second type of argument where you say that this group is proud of not being taken seriously by mainstream scholars is potentially more relevant, but it reads like hyperbole and will need more evidence.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 12:27, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
Maybe just an additional remark to avoid sending anyone on a wild goose chase. Even with strong evidence the second type of argument (that the Mises followers see themselves as "fringe" within economics) is of dubious relevance according to WP norms. The problem is that it that asking for a "blanket" ban on any kind of source is always going to be quite a big ask. See below: discussing specific source quality concerns is really what this forum is meant for, and not debates about whole movements of economists.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 12:57, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
User:Andrew Lancaster: Your comments above are exactly the sort of thing that editors who keep doing these removals need to hear. Thanks. User:Carolmooredc 13:23, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
[Insert] Rejection of the scientific method in principle, whether with respect to psychology, political science or economics, is a fringe approach, and much different than a human failure to consistently adhere to scientific standards in practice. I find it odd that we apparently think Misesians are a credible source on social science (economics) but not a credible source on how their work is regarded by mainstream thinkers (per Hoppe, as fringe dogmatism and pseudoscience).
I am also puzzled by your remark that argument #2, regarding how the work of Misesians is regarded by the mainstream, is of dubious relevance; in fact, I believe precisely the opposite to be true: that the argument is the most important in evaluating fringe claims. The wiki definition of fringe theory is "an idea or a collection of ideas that departs significantly from the prevailing or mainstream view." A discussion of how the mainstream views Misesian economics is clearly a relevant factor in judging whether they are fringe. Steeletrap (talk) 18:52, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
  • No I do not think that taking a particular controversial position concerning methodology makes an author fringe by definition, at least not in economics. (Note that methodology and economics are two different things.) But anyway, as mentioned, talking about whether an academic movement is fringe or not is not what this forum is for. There is a fringe noticeboard.
  • Concerning reliability of a source, the subject of this forum, if the articles concerned are about Misesians then they are not about economic theory or methodology per se anyway? I think you have to consider that in fact a source can be uncontroversially considered fringe, and still be considered notable and reliable for use in particular ways, for example when we are finding sources to explain the career of a fringe author. And if I understand correctly that is the type of article being discussed (and not for example articles concerning economic method)? It is for this reason that I said argument #2 is of dubious relevance to this board.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 06:28, 7 August 2013 (UTC)

─────────────────────────Steeletrap would like to paint the Mises Institute people as fringe (rather than mainstream contrarians or adherents of a minor viewpoint) and part of his/her argument is based on economics being an objective science, while the Mises Institute people generally adhere to subjective, a priori, non-scientific methods. Steeletrap's argument falls down in two ways: Economics is not an exact science—there are valid differences in methodology. And the Misesian viewpoint is analyzed and studied by other economists as a valid system of economics, one worth of study. Here is my proof:

  • The Greenwood student textbook Basic Economic Principles: A Guide for Students says "Economics is considered a social science... The social sciences are not exact sciences."[37]
  • Norwegian economics professor Bernt P. Stigum wrote a book published by MIT Press in 1990 titled Toward a Formal Science of Economics which argued for a more scientific approach to economics. He described how the scientific method was not so widely used in economics. He divided economists into "four almost separate groups." He said the groups were 1) the pure theorists and mathematical economists, 2) the pure econometricians and statisticians, 3) applied economists and applied statisticians, and 4) the consultants, policy makers, employees of financial companies, "all the others". In chapter 16 he covers the work of Hayek and Mises, of chance, random events and probability, to arrive at an empirical method.
  • Indian economics professor Sampat Mukherjee writes in Modern Economic Theory that economics is a science only to the extent that economists use the scientific method. He continues, "However, the subject-matter of economics is human behaviour and this is much more difficult to predict than the reactions of inanimate matter. Economists, like other social scientists cannot achieve the precision of natural scientists and they cannot use many of their techniques."
  • Alain Anderton writes in the Pearson student textbook Economics that economics is not one of the so-called 'hard sciences', that it is a social science akin to sociology, politics, and anthropology. Regarding the scientific method in economics, he writes, "it is usually not possible to set up experiments to test hypotheses. It is not possible to establish control groups or to conduct experiments in environments which enable one factor to be varied whilst other factors are kept constant. The economist has to gather data in the ordinary everyday world where many variables are changing over any given time period. It then becomes difficult to decide whether the evidence supports or refutes particular hypotheses. Economists sometimes come to very different conclusions when considering a particular set of data..."[38]
  • Japanese economics scholars Yagi Kiichiro and ‎Yukihiro Ikeda devote a chapter to to the Mises Institute style of economics in their book Subjectivism and Objectivism in the History of Economic Thought. They discuss the subjectivism of Mises, calling it the "hallmark" of that tradition. The Japanese scholars say that the subjectivism of Mises was pure, logical, consistent, thorough and coherent. This type of subjectivism in economics is presented as a valid school of thought despite its lack of scientific method.
  • The book Subjectivism and Economic Analysis was written by Roger Koppl, a professor of economics and forensics, and Gary Mongiovi, a professor of economics and finance. They describe how the scientific method is too difficult to implement in economics. They talk about how Mises denied the scientific method, how complex phenomena are "open to various interpretations." They treat Mises as a major force in economic analysis, not a minor or fringe viewpoint. Routledge, 2012, ISBN 9781134835836
  • Brian Doherty, an economist with the District of Columbia Public Service Commission, writes about the Mises Institute's non-scientific, subjectivist approach to economics. The a priori style was Mises economics method which Doherty says was "requiring nothing in the way of empirical observation or verification." Doherty says this concept of Mises was "heavily derided by his critics", but it was nevertheless one of the methods applied to economics, a method worthy of study. He says Hayek eventually dropped the dependence on a priori methods to develop a Popper-style system, one which might offer "pattern prediction"; this was seen as a "betrayal" by Mises Institute people such as Rothbard and Hoppe.

Thus we can see that economics does not depend on the rigorous application of the scientific method, and we see that the Mises approach is not treated as fringe nuttiness. Binksternet (talk) 19:30, 7 August 2013 (UTC)

[Insert] Bink, your argument loses credibility when your statements about sources do not conform to who they actually are. The Brian Doherty passage you cite is from Radicals for Capitalism, written by a libertarian anarchist with a degree in journalism from University of Florida; you have confused him for another Brian Doherty, who has a B.A. in econ from William and Mary. Steeletrap (talk) 17:50, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
There are also various omissions and distortions of the textbooks you cite. Nowhere is it stated for instance that the Koppl book is written by Austrians (whose work was given a glowing review by the Mises Institute.) The book by Japanese scholars is a history of economic thought, not an economic textbook. Any history of economic thought should include disussion of the "Misesian method" since it was mainstream a century or so ago. Citing that book as a basis for their being mainstream now is like citing a history of philosophy book in justification of the claim that vitalism (which played a huge role in the history of science/philosophy and would certainly be mentioned for that reason) is mainstream science.
I could go on and on but I've got a busy day ahead of me. I probably will discuss more of the distortions later. Steeletrap (talk) 17:50, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the corrections regarding Doherty. His book, Radicals for Capitalism, is in itself evidence against your walled garden argument. Doherty describes the intertwining lives of prominent thinkers such as Ayn Rand, Hayek, Mises and Rothbard. Such connections are not a small, closed-off system but simply part of the gravitation of like to like, including the clash of contrasting views. The ideas of these people influenced many others. The specific example from your editing history is Murray Rothbard who you have tried to reduce and reduce. You said Rothbard is "is virtually unknown for his 'contributions' to economics", and "not notable for work as an economist", which is nonsense. You changed Rothbard from Austrian School to anarcho-capitalism, though Rothbard was a giant in the second half of the 20th century Austrian School. You removed the Austrian School section from the capitalism article. You edit-warred to reduce the importance of Rothbard's economics contributions by making him first a political theorist. You removed Justin Raimondo's book about Rothbard because he was Rothbard's "friend" (part of the walled garden argument), which was strange because you used Raimondo later to support a negative point. You removed Klein and Hayek who you later described as part of the walled garden, but you removed a tertiary encyclopedia source, too, because the text said Rothbard held an endowed chair in economics. You called two of the Mises Institute writers "cronies and co-workers" of Rothbard, one of your most pointed attempts to call such writers part of a walled garden. I stopped this discussion because there is no support for what you wanted from the guideline at WP:RS. I could continue searching your contribution history but my lunch break is at an end. Binksternet (talk) 21:03, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
Your diffs don't represent what you say they do, as anyone with the inclination to read through the surrounding context will find out. For instance, you imply that I have a problem noting that Rothbard had a chair at UNLV, with the implication being I am deleting factual content that I don't like. In reality, all I did was deleted material which falsely stated that he held a chair at Brooklyn Polytechnic, as any responsible editor would have been obliged to do. Your credibility has fallen to a preposterously low level with all of these distortions. Steeletrap (talk) 19:04, 14 August 2013 (UTC)


Binksternet, I could add more sources which question the Becker style of approach to economic methodology and even ones which effectively accuse them of being the extremists. I think we do not need to discuss this in a detailed way on this particular forum. I think it is enough to say, as I think I did, that in economics use of words like "empirical scientific methodology" would place a writer in one particular faction within economics, and that faction is not dominant enough to allow us to place other factions into the "fringe" bin.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 20:30, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
It would be great if you guys could look at the Austrian school of economics article which needs work. User:Carolmooredc 23:29, 7 August 2013 (UTC)

Other comments

An essay (WP:Walled Garden) that only is about wikilinks should not be constantly used to undermine WP:RS policy, claiming it supports the ideologically biased WP:OR assertion that all WP:RS even loosely affiliated with one group should not be used as WP:RS in articles about other individuals loosely affiliated with the group, or even for just about anything else. Declaring alleged members of any group that may be a bit out of some alleged mainstream artistic/political/economic/social grouping as being so fringe it can't be used on Wikipedia is absurd. We'd have to remove 20% of the refs on Wikipedia. Each reference has to be judged by it's own merits, related to a specific use in an article.
Note that these editors do put references from members of this loosely affiliation group in each other's articles if the comments are largely critical, for example Walter Block, Anthony Gregory and Gene Callahan quotes/material in Hans-Hermann Hoppe; Hans-Hermann Hoppe in Murray Rothbard; and Gary North and Larry J. Seacrest in Jesus Huerta de Soto.
Also frustrating is that when one does put in a reference totally unrelated to this group of individuals it often is challenged on other questionable grounds (paraphrased, things like "these professors are nobodies", "John Stossel's just a tv host", "this professor's article was removed from Wikipedia so he's not reliable", "I don't think Rothbard's notable as an economist", so editor removes seven sources supporting that assertion, etc.) Allowing such a wholesale attack on sources would lead to removal of almost all refs for these BLPs and be an excuse to AfD articles. (Steeltrap has nominated 3 related articles in his four months of editing; all were kept.) User:Carolmooredc 11:56, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
Obviously the WP:NEUTRAL policy is very clear about the fact that it is better to add counter-balancing sources rather than deleting sources, but it seems from the posts above that your interlocutors are not agreeing that they are violating this policy, and anyway it is not the subject of discussion for this noticeboard. There is a relatively clear and relevant accusation being made that the sources being removed are not proper reliable sources as per WP:RS. Can we discuss that accusation here?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 12:33, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
To answer User:Andrew Lancaster's last specific question, after much argument, and visits to various noticeboards, all four of those examples were kept in. Just illustrating the problem. But if there's another example that we need help with someone will come here with specific problem. Thanks. User:Carolmooredc 12:47, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
Discussing specific cases would definitely be the better approach on this forum.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 12:53, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
  • I should note that I'm not deeply informed about economics so my comment quote above shouldn't be taken as a pronouncement. That said, there are definitely some concerns about these articles. For example, at Jesús Huerta de Soto there's an entire section devoted to praise from other Austrian schoolers or Misneans, including a quote from a fellow Mises Institute scholar in a Mises Institute journal. So there's definitely an echo chamber effect going on here that may create the illusion of widespread academic acceptance where there is none, the sort of tactic that has been used by fringe groups to push fringe ideas into the mainstream, such as intelligent design or Amity Shlaes' kooky ideas about the Great Depression. Or this could be simply scholars in a small sub-field commenting on the work of other scholars in a small sub-field. These articles definitely need a concerted effort to bring more opinions into them outside the Mises sphere, but at this point I see this as an NPOV issue rather than one of FRINGE. Gamaliel (talk) 16:17, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
I have not looked at the case but what you describe sounds like something to be discussed on the article pages, and more relevant to WP:DUE than WP:RS?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 16:21, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
Gamaliel, I agree with your observation. Let's set aside the question of the Mises Institute's fringiness, on which there can be good faith disagreement. The appropriateness of the specific edit which you cite, Hulsmann's overblown and inaccurate statement about Soto's book, can be evaluated (without reference to Fringe) simply by the criteria stated in WP:RS. The Hulsmann reference is not RS because it of the association of Hulsmann and Soto, the association of both with the publisher, and Hulsmann's lack of credentials to make such sweeping statement about 88 years of economic theory and literature. The source is not independent of the subject. The more contentious the dispute, the more important it is to parse it into clear, specific examples with diffs. That's the only way to avoid the acrimonious welter of garble sprawled across the talk pages and noticeboards. SPECIFICO talk 16:34, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
What we generally do with self-promoting "vested interest" statements is that we (1) attribute them showing the conflict of interest of the source ("according to X's wife..."), and (2) we try to find sources which give another side to the story, if it is apparently controversial. Of course in some cases it is better not to use obvious promotional quotes, but in many cases it is better to add more information and not delete. Comments by people with a vested interest are sometimes useful for explaining controversial things, and our main aim as editors has to be to show the context so our readers can work it out for themselves. WP policy tells us to report controversies and not take a side.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 06:28, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
I think you're over-thinking this matter, Andrew. The relevant criterion, per WP:Fringe, is what mainstream scholarship thinks of Austrianism; whether or not Austrianism (or Chicago School/Becker's economics) is epistemically sound is of no relevance. Wikipedia is asking us to make an appeal to authorities, according to which (per the words of virtually all Misesians and mainstreamers -- I will be soon posting to the fringe noticeobard detailing this evidence) Austrianism is fringe. Steeletrap (talk) 04:48, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
It is not normally a good sign when someone starts accusing people who expresses doubts about their position of over-thinking? Please consider whether you are not getting yourself stuck in circular discussions by over-reaching in the arguments you present. Are you truly going to try to argue that all Austrianism is fringe? (Even Hayek?) In this post you are trying to equate controversial with fringe, but in economics, all strong methodological positions that I am aware of are controversial, even though many are widely read and taken as serious or at least thought-provoking. A source can be non-mainstream, controversial, but not fringe; or even mainstream, controversial, and fringe, and so on.
Anyway, this noticeboard is about WP:RS and I think it is clear that for that policy there is no intrinsic problem using sources who are controversial in their own field. If there are specific sources being used which you think are not reliable, please bring the specific cases here for discussion.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 05:54, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
I meant the specific Misesian strain of Austrianism. And I hardly think a remarkably polite way of telling someone his or her thinking might be mistaken is "accusing." Steeletrap (talk) 17:27, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
This is a board where advice is given. Anyway, I was wondering if you meant Mises followers specifically, but you were clearly not. That is I think part of the problem in this discussion. Both sides are tending to say a bit more than they really can defend. I state this "accusation" with best intentions, and I suspect it is just a case of building up experience with discussions in Wikipedia. Back to policy advice: my point stands I think, that no matter how fringe these authors are, in none of the articles I have seen so far are they being cited for anything other than the opinions of specific individuals who they appear to be reliable for. I think that in fact your aim of taking this to the fringe forum is therefore going to hit this same problem. In other words like RS, being "WP:FRINGE" is relative to context. The argument you are trying to pull off is complex and confusing but not working. It is something we see often on all these noticeboards, which is people thinking they can use "wikilawyering" to avoid the annoying types of discussions sometimes needed in order to reach consensus on WP.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 18:58, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
I wish you would read through WP:Fringe; we are asked to make an appeal to authority to determine whether sources are considered to be mainstream or fringe. There is little room for lawyering with such eclear-cut policy language; the only relevant question is: Does Misesian scholarship fall under the purview of mainstream scholarship? You continue to misunderstand the relevant policy, which you appear to believe relates to whether a methodology is epistemically credible or sound. (your misunderstanding is illustrated your (OT for purposes of WP:Fringe) attempts to criticize the epistemology of (clearly mainstream) Gary Becker.. Steeletrap (talk) 19:47, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
No one may agree with me, but I think where the source comes from is less important than the statement it is being used to support. For example, if you are speaking of a Mises-supported Economist A, a Mises book stating that Economist A is "the most important and influential economist of the 20th century" would be questionable. But the same text being used for "This is what Economist A is arguing...." would be valid in my point of view. The text may not be a reliable source on what mainstream society thinks (what is important, valuable, essential, detrimental in economics, for example) but it could be a reliable source when it is explaining itself.
When I've looked at sources, I see what claim they are being asked to support. Rolling Stone would be a reliable source for claims that a musical artist is influential where a Justin Bieber's record company website Q would not be. But if the claim is that "X, Y, Z are fans' favorite Justin Bieber songs according to a poll taken on Q", then it would be a reliable source (on itself).
I'm not part of the Reliable Sources team but I think that context is everything. Mises sources would be reliable sources to use to explain the views of scholars associated with the Institute. But if they were used to back up claims on, for example, the state of the economy and what policies should be enacted, you'd have to include "according to the Mises Institute" where the political or theoretical allegiance of the source is made explicit (and not buried in a footnote) or it should not be used at all. Newjerseyliz (talk) 19:15, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
NJ, I completely agree with your assertion. Misesians are not reliable for assessing the contributions to economics of Misesians, Keynesians, etc (Per WP:Fringe) but (as honest scholars) are reliable for describing the ideas and backgrounds of themselves and their peers. Alas, the fringe point is just a defense I am invoking against OP's charges of "bias", and is not the main point of this thread. (In this regard, I will be posting to the relevant noticeboard soon.) Steeletrap (talk) 21:39, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
Steeletrap, but just to note it, none of the sourcing contexts under discussion in this whole over blown thread were about any WP economic theory as such, but only about individuals and their work and opinions. You seem to be trying to continue with this style of creating confusion about what the discussion is about in order to win something. Advice: that really sticks out on WP.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 06:33, 9 August 2013 (UTC)

─────────────────────────Andrew, lest anybody forget, this entire thread about "walled garden" instead of RS was not initiated by Steeletrap. The straw man "walled garden" bit was presented in great, false, and irrelevant detail by Binksternet. SPECIFICO talk 13:46, 9 August 2013 (UTC)

SPECIFICO is right. My remarks are not intended to make a definitive positive case regarding WP:Fringe, but rather are intended to show that my motivation is not bias, but instead a plausible interpretation and application of policy). This thread is about OP's (erroneous) allegations regarding the actions and motivations editors. Steeletrap (talk) 19:59, 9 August 2013 (UTC)

Tag bombing demanding third party opinions: a point relevant to WP:RS

Looking through some of these debated articles I note one point which has not I think be mentioned here, that is relevant to RS policy. I see many cases where sentences describing a Mises follower's controversial ideas are tagged, demanding non-primary, and/or third party sources. The aim seems to be to paste in less controversial opinions in order to show our readers that these are not mainstream? In one case I saw a section about a person's beliefs having a section tag demanding more information about what other economists think. I see that this type of demand has come up on other forums here as a possible SYNTH concern, but just from an RS point of view please note that in an article or section or sentence which is clearly trying to describe the opinions of a person, and not the whole literature about an economic theory, the primary source is generally going to be quite acceptable. Exceptional cases would be where there is good reason to think a person has stated their own opinions in a misleading way, but I do not think we can claim this given that these opinions are all quite clearly "no holds barred". (I think our readers can see these ideas are controversial!) Having said that, this advice is not intended to say that third party sourcing can not improve these articles, only that there is no problem big enough here to demand tagging. Tagging is something which should be done selectively, because it makes articles ugly and harder to read.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 09:39, 8 August 2013 (UTC)

Now you're just being speculative; I mean you're seriously claiming all of these tags are secretly intended to prove the non-mainstream point? Pro-Rothbard Carolmooredc has consistently demanded non-primary sources for statements of Misesian scholars, so this is hardly unique to one side of the "debate." In any case, non-primary sources are strongly preferred per WP:BLP. Steeletrap (talk) 17:31, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
Andrew, I don't know which tags you're looking at but there have been several recent attempts to impeach clear quotations of the views of the Mises Fellows, the complaint being that it is WP:OR to conclude that the subjects' own words are really significant in the constellation of their many beliefs, or that, who knows, the subjects' view may have changed recently, or that the quoted statements were "cherrypicked" from the cited source. In short, the RS policy is deployed as code for a certain kind of whitewashing. SPECIFICO talk 17:40, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
I have made some remarks on article talkpages, and removed or adapted some of the examples I am talking about, so hopefully that helps explain. Please note I do not see myself as being on (and certainly not against) either side of this debate, so your remarks that this was done by the "other side" does not surprise me. To be clear this looks like an experience problem. I think both "sides" have understandable concerns and show a lot of good intentions and potential to eventually work together eventually.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 19:02, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
Um, yes you were. You said that the tags were aimed at "show[ing] our readers that these [Misesian sources -- Steele] are not mainstream" I'm glad you seem to be walking back these sort of speculations. Steeletrap (talk) 19:34, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
Yes you were what? The post you replies to does not deny any accusation. I have given advice above and I stick to it without ever having claimed full understanding of the intentions of the over-tagging. Please just take my advice in good faith and try to show some understanding of it in your future editing. I strongly advise you to tone down your argumentative style and constant deflection from topic. Try to stick to a point, and not to look like someone obsessed with winning arguments.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 06:41, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
Much of this discussion is about Primary quote claim tag is about NPOV and WP:OR, not WP:RS and clarifying whether and how under WP:BLP "subject's own statements of the subject's own views" can be used in an NPOV way. (I changed them from POV and even incomprehensible way but left the primary source tags there to encourage other editors to find secondary sources - as well as discourage misuse of these sources. User:Carolmooredc 05:44, 10 August 2013 (UTC)
Stuck: Most difficult to discern what the issues are; multiple threads overlap and clash; remarks about creditability, POV, etc. prevent consensus and cooperation. I recommend closing this discussion. -- – S. Rich (talk) 20:17, 14 August 2013 (UTC)
Point to keep in mind is that whenever an issue came out of the smoke it was pretty easy to say how policy should apply.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 20:24, 14 August 2013 (UTC)
So here we are, with a thread that opened 6 August, and now has three subthreads. WP:TLDR is the operative factor. Those issues not obscured by smoke are easily resolved, but where does the rest of the thread lead? Which mulberry bush are we spinning around? Let's closed this as {{Unresolved}}. – S. Rich (talk) 20:37, 14 August 2013 (UTC)
I think the problem we are having with pinning the questions is part of the main real problem, which is that the editors involved are working badly together, and not easy to communicate with about this subject. I am not saying whether or not I think this particular thread should be closed. I am just pointing out that it may re-open or find a new direction. It really depends on the editors involved learning to see the good faith on the "other side".--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 21:14, 17 August 2013 (UTC)

Original statement

This was the original complaint by Binksternet:

"At a number of biographies of economists and others, User:Stalwart111, User:SPECIFICO and User:Steeletrap have been arguing against using books and articles that were written by people associated with the Mises Institute, a subgroup of members of the Austrian School of economics. User:Carolmooredc started a discussion at Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons/Noticeboard#Essay WP:Walled Garden being used to challenge WP:RS policy about this issue, but I think the proper venue is right here.

So this is the crux of the matter: three editors have been saying that books, journal articles and papers written by anybody connected with the Mises Institute should not be counted as reliable sources because the writers are too closely related to each other. Carolmooredc and I have been arguing that the RS guideline says nothing about removing expert observers from the pool of reliable sources just because the observer was familiar with the subject. To me, it seems ridiculous on the face of it to exclude those sources with the most expertise, the most first-hand knowledge. As well, it is wrong to assume that scholars will misrepresent the subject."

Maybe we could confine the discussion to a consideration of this query? NewJerseyLiz Let's Talk 18:20, 16 August 2013 (UTC)

  • Hello Liz. OP's posting was replete with ad hominem, straw-man arguments, false generalizations, and misrepresentation of other editors' statements. Better to let the thread expire, IMO. Thanks for your interest in the matter, however. If a well-formulated question on this topic is raised in the future, I hope that you will participate. SPECIFICO talk 18:42, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Really? You have continued to work toward a reduction of the Mises Institute material, most recently by proposing a research method which concentrates on off-line texts when you know full well that the Mises Institute is very good at making their texts available online. The thread is Talk:Murray_Rothbard#Online_Sources_--_Survivorship_bias, and it is going nowhere, mainly because Wikipedia has a policy called WP:WEIGHT which goes against your recommendation to use off-line references which have suffered survivorship bias. Binksternet (talk) 22:35, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Having offered a comprehensive rebuttal to that very query and having received no substantive response, I wasn't going to post here again, but I was pinged so here I am. Liz, I have maintained, on his own talk page and here, that OP's original query was simply a summarised version of personal attacks made by another editor in about 1/2 a dozen earlier threads (none of which were supported by any evidence whatsoever and many of which included deliberate misquoting and misinterpretation). His "evidence" in the end was that we had collectively drawn attention to a long-standing academic concept (that of a closed system or walled garden) and that one of us had welcomed another to WP. That's it. While I respect your want for closure, I would urge you to read some of that other related commentary. I think you'll quickly conclude there was no evidence to support OPs original claims; if for no other reason than when challenged to provide some, OP was unable to offer any. Stalwart111 22:23, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Stalwart111, I think you started out on good footing back in April 2013, helping Steeletrap with Wikipedia's strange processes, but then you became too accepting of the effort by Steeletrap and SPECIFICO to diminish the Mises Institute sources. You aided Steeletrap and SPECIFICO in this effort, and you did not perform your own research to see whether they were drawing the topic too far away from its center. Binksternet (talk) 22:35, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
  • If you continue to think so then you've read even less of the discussion than I originally gave you credit for (which, admittedly, wasn't much given your inability to back ad hom criticism with evidence). And by "center" I assume you mean "completely unsourced puffery", per the examples given in response to your original claims. The articles I highlighted (then and now) were either unsourced or sourced almost entirely to one small, insular group within a group, within a group. If you think providing independent, secondary, reliable sources for articles makes me the bad guy, then there's nothing I can do to help you except suggest you adjust your assume-good-faith-o-meter. Stalwart111 23:57, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Well, at least I can say I tried! It doesn't seem like there is AGF here any more or the possibly to talk civilly about differences of opinion (I'm not casting any blame, just reflecting what I'm seeing here). I doubt RSN will offer a resolution to you all as you need a third party to weigh the evidence, either in DRN or AN. This impasse will not be resolved with the continuation of an argument among yourself. NewJerseyLiz Let's Talk 20:32, 17 August 2013 (UTC)

───────────────────────── By all means, have a look at the article and the talk page for Rothbard or other articles related to the Mises Institute. I have no idea whether the topic is of interest to you, but more eyes are certainly welcome there. SPECIFICO talk 20:41, 17 August 2013 (UTC)

It's best to bring each and every incident here when editors use the "walled garden" essay to try to undermine WP:RS policy. (Walled garden may be used in other senses outside wikipedia, but they are not policy here.) Bringing the issue here in general terms obviously was a sign of frustration with these constant and dubious "walled garden" arguments. But on a case by case basis 90% of the complaints about the reliability of a source would be shot down here. (If a National Review opinion rant passes for a reliable source here, a tenured professor's scholarly opinion should as well.) User:Carolmooredc 00:27, 22 August 2013 (UTC)
  1. ^ Cite error: The named reference Puranas was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  2. ^ http://www.arwz.com/zinearticlesTOPTEN3.php
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