Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard/Archive 21

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Denial of the Holodomor

-library science is not a reliable source in this respect [1] claims Relata refero regarding
Denial of the Ukrainian famine (1933) according to:

  • Evolution in Reference and Information Services By Di Su, Jessica Tan Gudnason, Di Ed; p. 137 ISBN 9780789017239
  • Legitimacy and Force By Jeane J. Kirkpatric; p. 80 ISBN 9780887386466

and keeps removing the fact and the sources from the article. Any thoughts?

Also, once this is here are sources like for example:

  • The Soviet Union dismissed all references to the famine as anti-Soviet propaganda. Denial of the famine declined after the Communist Party lost power and the Soviet empire disintegrated @ Encyclopedia of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity By Dinah Shelton; Page 1055 ISBN 0028658485
  • After over half a century of denial, in January 1990 the Communist Party of Ukraine adopted a special resolution admitting that the Ukrainian Famine had indeed occurred, cost millions of lives... Century of Genocide: Critical Essays and Eyewitness Accounts - Page 93

reliable sources that would define the subject unlike Relata refero claims the article is a violation of WP:SYNTH, WP:OR and WP:NPOV?

Thanks!--Termer (talk) 02:00, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

Er, I checked the talk page, and you seem to be mentioning a great deal of things that are unrelated to RR's comment about one specific source being inadequate for this purpose. Broadly speaking, RR's complaint - and it looks reasonable, on a first look, to me - is that the article is written such that it labels any failure to conform to a maximalist, intentionalist vision of the Ukranian famine of 1933 as an orchestrated master plan of genocide as "Holodomor Denial," a concept that does not seem to be well-defined or subject to serious academic study. It is as if someone were to write an article called "Iraq Sanctions Denial" about people who say that the UN sanctions on Iraq did not kill 1/2 million people; yes, the best evidence would seem to indicate that this indeed happened, and two consecutive UN Humanitarian Co-ordinators for Iraq resigned in protest of this "genocide," but that doesn't mean that "Iraq Sanctions Denial" is suddenly a notable topic and that people who say the evidence is unclear or Saddam is mainly to blame can be labeled as "Iraq Sanctions Deniers." <eleland/talkedits> 03:25, 15 September 2008 (UTC)
Basically you're saying the article has notability issues? Please also comment on the question about the sources above. Thanks!--Termer (talk) 03:46, 15 September 2008 (UTC)
Rather than notability per se, I am concerned that there has been some POV-forking, or that there is a potential for POV-forking. It might be better to reabsorb the denial article and the genocide question article back into the main article on the Holodomor. Keeping such articles within a sensible length usually helps with maintaining NPOV and does not detract at all from the importance of the events. Itsmejudith (talk) 09:24, 15 September 2008 (UTC)
Termer, Relata is correct. The first reference above is to a book dealing with library science and more specifically the impact of the internet on information services. This is not a reliable source for a contentious piece of Soviet/Ukrainian history. That much is clear. The second source, which clearly Relata was not directly referring to in his "library science"{ comment, is from a book by Jeane Kirkpatrick, who seems to be well known for her anticommunist polemics. She may have held a PhD but in 1988 when the book was published she had long been entrenched in the front lines of Cold War politics, and should be very hesitantly used to source contentious aspects of Soviet history. That should also be rather obvious.PelleSmith (talk) 11:52, 15 September 2008 (UTC)
I think Itsmejudith might have some valid points and in case WP:Consensus can be reached about it, why not to keep all Holodomor related subjects in one article. I'd be open to that. However, I brought the books here to validate the reliability of the sources in the context, not that much what to do about the article in general. That I think would be a separate discussion that everybody could give their input in the relevant talk page.
Regarding J. Kirkpatric being "in the front lines of Cold War politics" according to PelleSmith, that is a statement that would need some clear sourcing on its own I think. Has Kirkpatric been referred to by any other scholars as not being a reliable author who has promoted fringe theories about Soviet history or anything like that?--Termer (talk) 16:46, 15 September 2008 (UTC)
I linked her entry in the hope that you might actually read it. She was a foreign policy adviser to Ronald Reagan and an outspoken critic of communism as a political figure. In terms of the Soviet Union, as far as I can tell, she was a polemicist and not a scholar. Where are her qualifications as a Russian or Ukrainian historian? We don't need an emphatic statement by another scholar about something that is this obvious. There are several writers who have PhDs and/or have taught at respectable Universities who also should not be used as reliable sources in areas that directly relate to their highly politicized public life - especially without any evidence that they have any academic expertise in these areas.PelleSmith (talk) 17:15, 15 September 2008 (UTC)
Well, in relation to the first two sources, Relata is quite right that the first relates to library science, not to history. Also, the second is not a mainstream historical work. History articles should be sourced from books and articles by qualified and practising historians, published in academic journals or books from academic presses. Their authors will usually have worked directly with the primary sources and will be competent users of the relevant language(s). I doubt whether Kirkpatrick was working in that way. Her writing would probably be a good source for commentary on current affairs or recent foreign policy, but not for unpicking events that happened decades ago and that professional historians are struggling to understand. Itsmejudith (talk) 16:54, 15 September 2008 (UTC)
Fair enough, including PelleSmith' points that Kirkpatric would be more like a primary source that would be valid only for citing a POV on the subject rather than a secondary source that an article on WP should be based on. How about the 3rd and 4th book in the context?--Termer (talk) 17:00, 15 September 2008 (UTC)
3 and 4 are both RS. Only one caveat, that you avoid giving prominence to any points that these sources only mention in passing. Itsmejudith (talk) 08:54, 16 September 2008 (UTC)
Thanks Itsmejudith! It all makes sense. Coming back to your previous points regarding the article in general, please let me know if I got it right. Since no serious mainstream scholar has really denied the occurrence of the famine ever. the subject itself is not considered "serious" subject of study since the 'denial of the famine' is limited to ...the communist Party of SU politics and some of it's supporters opinions. Therefore it's getting mentioned as a fact by those RS-s only in passing. But in general the subject itself is not serious enough or the denial is limited to too marginal political groups and therefore there is no point of studding it really or having a separate article on WP that: like put by someone at the articles talk page: provides a list of "crack-pot fringe-theorists" who deny the occurrence of the famine . Therefore it would be better to keep the subject as a part of the main article Holodomor? --Termer (talk) 16:04, 16 September 2008 (UTC)
It seems that some people are working hard to draw parallels between this famine and the Holocaust, hence the term Holodomor. And hence there is an article on Denial of the Holodomor. But Holocaust denial is a notable phenomenon in its own right. There is an extensive literature on it. There is no real parallel with denial of the Holodomor. Well, morally perhaps there is a parallel but we are looking for verifiability not truth. Itsmejudith (talk) 09:44, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

(Outdent) Hello, as a contributor to this article, I personally find the above entry repuslive. Here's why:

In 1932, soviet authorities started taking away grain from people and by 1933 those people were starving to death. The people in Ukraine who were dieing started using the word "Голодомор" - "Holodomor" which is derived from the word "holod" "голод" (hunger) and "moryty" "морити" (to cause to suffer). "Holodomor" described the situation that they faced - starvation, unless they joined the collective farms. There was a holod, a famine, throughout Ukraine, and people were starving in the streets. The soviet union was exporting grain in record quantities. Hence the idea of "moryty" - using food as a weapon.

More than ten years later, a word started creeping into the English vernacular - holocaust. It was from the greek word for sacrifice by fire - holokauston, and referred to Hitler's extermination policies. This word did not become common in English until it was connected to the word "genocide" in the 1950s, and the whole horror of Nazism sunk in. The word "Holodomor" is now becoming widespread, as the horrible results of communism are starting to sink in.

Although the words "Holodomor" and "Holocaust" may seem similar in modern English, they are in no way related. Although these two events may seem equally horrible in nature, they are in no way related. Although the articles about Holodomor Denial and Holocaust Denial may seem related, they are not. There has been no attempt to link the two. Please do not try to read into any reasons or find any hidden agendas by any editors. Thanks, Horlo (talk) 09:18, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

the similarity between 2 words Holodomor and Holocaust seems to be a concern for some editors. The similarity might be intentional and then again, it might not. (it is actually a good question how the name Holodomor came into use?) The real parallel would be there only if "Holodomor" would be accepted as an act of genocide by the majority in the world. So far it's not, so the name itself might confuse the reader. That's why I've suggested renaming the article to Denial of Ukrainian famine (1932) that would refer clearly to the denial of the occurrence of the famine as such and it would have nothing to do with "Holodomor genocide question".--Termer (talk) 21:10, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
Christ, I had another look, and that article is an atrocity. It perniciously lumps everything together: naive offhand remarks by visting diplomats in 1933, official decrees from Soviet news agencies that Ukraine is an earthly paradise, and mild revisionism criticizing the political use of dubious claims about a Stalinist master plan of genocide is all treated as one phenomenon. Renaming it "Denial of the Ukrainian Famine" would be a silly little diversion. <eleland/talkedits> 01:55, 25 September 2008 (UTC)

(outdent) Allah, Yahweh, and Vishna to you also, my friend. What you may call an atrocity, others may call a work in progress. While it is difficult to organize such a vast topic as Holodomor Denial into one easy article, editors have taken on the task with a steady determination. Please help to improve the article, but please do not use phrases like "silly little". Thanks, Horlo (talk) 09:18, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

I did not realise that the two words were not at all connected. Thank you for enlightening me. Let us please keep civil here, all of us. I am coming new to this topic. I have proposed merging this article into the general one on the Holodomor for reasons I gave on the merge discussion talk page. I hope you will see that I am not doing this to advance any position at all. It is to ensure that we have good quality articles based on reliable sources, i.e. what was hoped for when the question was raised on this page. Although Eleland's wording was harsh I'm sure it was offered for the same reason. All our articles are work in progress. Itsmejudith (talk) 11:17, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
Hello, sorry if I came across gruff, but the great famine is still being denied - believe it or not, a Brazillian senator just came out with a claim that the Holodomor was a nazi invention. I think that that one act just gave a validity and relevance to this article. There are people denying the Holodomor, and people tracking said denial. That's why it should not be merged, but I will surely contribute to the discussion on the merger page.
I understand that you are simply responding to questions here. However, I have learned that editors' motives are as varied as the editors themselves. Therefore, when the first sentence I read starts with God's name, and includes words like atrocity, I think it is natural to challenge said editor. Hopefully, we can keep building. Thanks, Horlo (talk) 07:14, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

Indo-Aryan loanwords in Tamil

I am developing this article and I use an authoritative and comprehensive published lexicon to cite the existence of borrowed words in Tamil language

Some people who dont accept the lexicon's authority are threatening to delete my work and have extensively tagged my article with "citation necessary" tags. Kindly help. ­ Kris (talk) 18:47, 27 September 2008 (UTC)

I think they're "threatening" deletion on the grounds that Wikipedia:Wikipedia is not a dictionary and the article is likely to be of interest to scant few English speakers. It also looks like the article might contain a lot of original research, another reason for deletion. Yilloslime (t) 20:57, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
I can't comment on sourcing issues, but from Lists of etymologies and Category:Lists of words it seems this sort of list is acceptable. At the very least, if it's not it's a wider issue Nil Einne (talk) 18:29, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

Mainstream article that evidently used Wiki article as sources

This Sept 29 Business week article] evidently used an earlier version of Community Reinvestment Act for it's four of six of its most prominent links. One of those sources has been kicked off the wiki article because it is a law firm serving clients who profit off the Act and its statistics were obviously biased. The Business week article is just being used in external links right now, which I'd like to delete. But more importantly I have a problem with it being used as an opinion source or even worse to back up credibility of the law firm's piece. Anyway, I haven't noticed this issue before so I thought I'd bring it up and let people chew on it. Carol Moore 15:39, 2 October 2008 (UTC)Carolmooredc

Just to explain. The white paper by the law firm Traiger & Hinckley has been repeatedly removed from Community Reinvestment Act by Carolmooredc, because she claims (without evidence) that it serves clients who profit from the CRA. There is no evidence that the writer for the BusinessWeek article used Wikipedia for a source apart from the fact that it is addresses the same topic and quotes other (well known) sources on the subject, some of whom are also quoted in the Wikipedia article. Note that the BusinessWeek article is not being used as a source for any statements of fact. It would only be used as a source to observe that the viewpoint expressed in it does exist in the community. She also repeatedly removes links to other articles that dispute her position, this BusinessWeek article being an example. Sources that conform to her views are given more leeway. Please also see the entry on the Manhattan Institute above on this page. lk (talk) 15:47, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

Turns out this very issue is being discussed right now at WT:V#Self-fulfilling verifiability. Carol Moore 16:06, 2 October 2008 (UTC)Carolmooredc
  • Remind me, again, what is so wrong with the business week article/blog post? Because they link to a source you don't want to include in wikipedia? Really? The NYT links to wikipedia all the time, that isn't a reason to remove their blog posts or news articles. As a blanket summary of facts, the BW post seems to get it right. The liberal bogeyman of Glass-Steagal repeal didn't cause the crisis nor did the conservative bogeyman of the CRA. CDS law changes and changed requirements on leveraging both probably had a much greater affect, but neither were a singular cause. As I read the CRA article now, it seems to be ok up until the last segment where it balloons into absurdity listing criticism after criticsm without much restraint or balance. That article has to incorporate the fact that there is a political dimension to the CRA criticism that is plain as day (just like the Glass Steagal article should). We don't need to conduct OR to do that, just find sources which make that claim and note them in the criticism section. Protonk (talk) 16:15, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
First, most of it repeats sources already in the article, which is why I had question that in name of this Section. Perhaps the general solution is to say: "Business week used these sources above to come to same conclusion" it would be ok, though a bit redundant -'and isn't the redundancy of criticism in the article something you have a problem with above? :_).
Second it shouldn't be used to validate something which two wiki editors have already rejected on other Bias and factual grounds. It's just an ad hoc opinion piece and we can't assume the guy has read and would defend Traiger's statistics, which another wiki editor picked apart.
Third, I am trying to get the best sources to do this article, but we need someone besides government employees and liberal think tanks as sources! I'm not sure which political dimension to the CRA criticism you mean. Identifying people as pro-govt policies or anti-govt policies would make most sense to me since liberal and conservative don't neatly describe those any more. (Or should I say the spectrum is liberals and most conservatives on the more statist regulation side and libertarians and lots of independents on less statist side.) Carol Moore 18:44, 2 October 2008 (UTC)Carolmooredc
Just jumping in here (having added the link in question once and then restoring it after Carolmooredc took it out). I'm afraid that I have no idea what the rationale could possible be for removing a BusinessWeek article from the External Links section. What does it mean to say that the article uses an old Wikipedia version of the article for four out of its six links? If true, it hardly seems a disqualification, but I don't even see how such a claim can be made. The bulk of the BW article is commentary by the author, in any case. The links are just included at the end. Are you claiming that BW is not a reliable source? I don't see anyone making anything close to a case for that. If a source meets Wikipedia's standards for WP:RS, and is being cited properly, it should stay in. The standards for External Links are even looser, and I don't see any serious claim that the BW article should be excluded here. As to your other point, two Wiki editors don't get to veto sources they don't like. In my experience dealing with hot topics, it's better to be more inclusive rather than less.Notmyrealname (talk) 22:11, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
The other problem is the redundancy factor. In fact I found about four articles from WP:RS that were just repeating stuff from three other sources already in the article and didn't bother to use them. Isn't it common sense on wikipedia not to pack the sources redundantly in controversial articles? Carol Moore 00:56, 9 October 2008 (UTC)Carolmooredc

This site is being used as a reference source on a WP:BLP. The majority of the sites content is self published work and the site provides no publisher oversite or verification of material. Because of the nature of the content, I would go so far as to say it should be blacklisted as a source for any article on WP because of its lack of reliability. Please see it's sourcing use at Michael Riconosciuto and the open AN/I.--JavierMC 07:06, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

Looks like the issue solved itself as the site doesn't have anything on it.--BruceGrubb (talk) 12:43, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
The site was incorrectly addressed as It is actually I have corrected the title to reflect this. Hope this helps, Gazimoff 15:24, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
Doh. Thanks Gazimoff, it was so late last night I was almost falling asleep at my keyboard. Sorry for mislinking it. But the orginal point remains if someone could take a look.--JavierMC 18:56, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
Not a reliable source. But looks like it is being dealt with on the article. JoshuaZ (talk) 22:16, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

Not quite dealt with

Please see this on the article talk page. This was left by one of the major contributors to the article.[2] --JavierMC 17:51, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

Putin reported as gay icon

This was reported by a News Corporation news portal about Putin emerging as a gay icon, so I added it to the relevant section in the Vladimir Putin article, but User:Setraspdopaduegedfa keeps removing this [3],[4] claiming that it is "not a reliable source". Martintg (talk) 07:36, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

Not really a sourcing issue. It seems to be silly gossip and not worth including in an encyclopedia. Itsmejudith (talk) 11:07, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
I believe it is a sourcing issue. Gay icons can be heterosexual, according to Wikipedia's own article, which states gay icons can be historical, celebrity or public figures who are embraced by the LGBT community for their glamour, flamboyance or strength. Certainly there is much news about Putin being considered a gay icon here. Whether or not it is fit for inclusion into an encyclopedia is not the question being asked here. Vladimir_Putin#Anecdotes already states that pictures of his muscled torso had "Women, .... screaming with delight", so it would be NPOV to also note that gays also apparently admire him too. Now is the news portal considered a reliable source or not? Martintg (talk) 19:06, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Itsmejudith. It's one-day-fluff. There are exactly zero hits for Putin "gay icon" on Google News, and the only hits on plain Google seem to refer to that one article. If someone still talks about the topic in six months, it might be worse adding. However, this is a WP:BLP, and I would expect better sourcing than 2.5 sentences in a single filler article. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 19:15, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
Zero hits on Google News means nothing, since old news articles are aged out and this is from 2007. Martintg (talk) 19:22, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
Marting, try changing the query so that articles from all dates are shown. Also try using Lexis-Nexis and other academic search databases. WhisperToMe (talk) 20:13, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
Speaking as a member of WP:LGBT, this has to be one of the funniest things I have ever seen. However, I will search some gay news sites to see what there is to see about Mr. Putin and his pectorals. --Moni3 (talk) 19:27, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Exhibit A that it may be true, but many more stories about how government oppression of homosexuals in Russia is condoned by Putin: example. --Moni3 (talk) 19:36, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
Yes, but note that the text in Exhibit A is, to a large part, identical with the story. These are not an independent sources, its just gossip making the rounds. However, the original source seems to be the AP, which is a plus. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 19:54, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
(Outdent) after reading the article, all I see that should matter is this "Some claimed that Mr Putin, by stripping to his waist, was pleading for more tolerance of homosexuality in Russia - where gays and lesbians are for the most part forced to remain closeted.". There's nothing to support this assertion anywhere. So, you have to choose. Is the fact that a major news story repeats this unverifiable fact enough to include it in the article, despite the fact that most of the anti-gay laws in the country were put in PLACE by Putin? Or is the fact that it's a mere rumor and some people's completely unsupported suggestion simply indicative that LGBT people in Russia are so oppressed that they try to make anything into a pro-LGBT lifestyle statement? Either looks like it should go in, no matter how much the logical part of me rejects the idea. Icon status by the LGBT community isn't conveyed by facts but by assertion, unless we're going to write up a policy on when someone can be called a gay icon. -- Logical Premise Ergo? 19:59, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
Note that Anita Bryant's anti gay stance didn't disqualify her from becoming a gay icon. Martintg (talk) 20:05, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
That is a very good point. If gay people are saying "he's a gay icon", doesn't that make him a gay icon? :D -- Logical Premise Ergo? 20:44, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
Looks like an invention of very bored anonymous "journalists". August 24, no war, no murders, must fill 1,000 words... NVO (talk) 20:50, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
I don't think being a gay icon is any concern BLP wise, as others have pointed out it says absolutely nothing about ther person's sexuality. On the other hand, we've had the problem before where absolutely everyone is called a gay icon and so it's better if we have something more then one source saying it Nil Einne (talk) 18:03, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

Published author posting information through a blog

Resolved: Nail, meet head. This is a textbook example of the exception from WP:SPS. Protonk (talk) 01:35, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

The site is ; the author is Joe Pelletier, a published author. I'm thinking of using this post as a reference, because of the fact that it's a published author writing about the subject in question. Does this blog/author pass as reliable? Thanks, Maxim(talk) 20:15, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

I'd say fine for non-controversial material. Don't use any negative comments about living people and watch out for minor errors because this isn't fact-checked in the way a book should be. Itsmejudith (talk) 21:54, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

Is a reliable source for punk bands?

This site [5] is one of the biggest punk rock webzines with constant news updates and hundreds of album reviews and interviews. Can this be regarded as a reliable source when determining the notability of a punk rock band?

Strummer25 (talk) 10:03, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

A quick scan of the webpage at thepunksite shows about 99% of the articles as being authored by the same person: Bobby Gorman; that alone should send up a red flag. Furthermore, the format of the thepunksite site practically screams "blog". I don't see how this could qualify is a "Reliable" source except in an article on thepunksite.--BruceGrubb (talk) 10:02, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

I don't know about that. If you right-click on the page and select "View Page Info", you can clearly see a copyright notice, which would seem to indicate that it's a little more high quality than a blog. Also, the site has a consistent staff, including a second reviewer, Cole Faulkner, and Gorman himself has published this, apparently an online resume which would seem to confirm his status as a professional. We might want a secondary source backing that up, but I think that definitely suggests potential reliability.--Invisiboy42293 (talk) 21:12, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
A copyright notice has nothing to do with quality; in fact its not even required as everything is copyrighted by default unless expressly stated otherwise. Furthermore as WP:SPS states "Self-published expert sources may be considered reliable when produced by an established expert on the topic of the article whose work in the relevant field has previously been published by reliable third-party publications."
Contrast Bobby Gorman with Jon M. Taylor and Robert L FitzPatrick and who are used in the Multi-level marketing article. To use Taylor and FitzPatrick reliable third-party publications using them as references such as Pacific Rim Law & Policy Journal, Journal of Business Ethics, Western Journal of Communication, McGeorge Law Review, Juta Academic, and a System Dynamics conference paper (which are double blind peer reviewed) had to be produced. That is what is required to qualification under WP:SPS.--BruceGrubb (talk) 00:37, 29 April 2011 (UTC)

--BruceGrubb (talk) 00:16, 29 April 2011 (UTC)

Bibliographic articles

We have very stringent policies and guidelines related to reliable sources, but how these apply to Bibliographic articles? Is the threshold for including a source in a bibliographic article any different than for any other article in Wikipedia? Some examples: Bibliography_of_work_on_Objectivism, Richard_Nixon_bibliography. And how we do apply standards for inclusion in bibliographies about living people? ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 17:55, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

The logical sourcing issue with bibliographic articles concerns things like title, author, etc. In most cases a book, etc, is a sufficient source for its own existence and for the name of its author, etc. In all kinds of articles we mention the existence of books, magazines, TV shows, songs, court documents etc, that would not meet one or another definition of "reliable source" for Wikipedia articles. We don't require that a source meet all standards for reliability before mentioning its existence. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 18:13, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
So, you are saying that in a Bibliography of Sarah Palin, we can list a series of books, magazines, blogs, TV shows, irregardless of the provenance, reliability, and other such criteria? I would argue that that type of rationale is incompatible with WP:BLP, and WP:V/WP:RS. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 20:42, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
Let's use another example. Say we have an article on a famous fringe scientist who has self-published many books. Even though those books are not reliable sources, it is still appropriate to list them in a bibliographic section or article. Likewise, Orson Welles' Macbeth is not a reliable source for anything except itself, yet we include it in both Orson Welles and Macbeth. Just because we list the existence of books, magazines, radio interviews, etc, in an article doesn't mean we vouch for the accuracy or reliability of those works. If that were the case we'd have to make huge deletions from this encyclopedia. The Protocol of the Elders of Zion isn't a reliable source, so should we delete that article or any mentions of the book, including Protocols of the Elders of Zion (versions)? I don't think so. The guideline on reliable sources concern using publications as sources. It doesn't deal with which publications we can mention. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 20:56, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
It doesn't deal with which publications we can mention. ... but then, what about BLPs? Are you asserting that we can add whatever we want to a bibliography about a living person? Maybe this thread needs to be moved to WP:BLP/N ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 21:00, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
Well, you asserted that it is a reliable sourcing issue. What policy basis are you asserting now? Can you give a reason why we should exclude some publications? (and let's "play it where it lies", as they say in golf). ·:· Will Beback ·:· 21:12, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
Ah, golf... I have not played in months... My question is: what are the standards for bibliographical articles on living persons? Which sources should be listed and which ones should be avoided? ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 22:05, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
The obvious reasons for excluding an item item would be when it either isn't about the topic or isn't by the subject. For example, Primary Colors. That's an anonymously published roman a clef which is widely acknowledged to be about Bill Clinton. On the one hand Joe Klein has now admitted writing it so it could be included in a list of books by him. On the other hand, there is a dispute over how much of it is fictionalized so it probably wouldn't be in a list of book about Bill Clinton. Those are simple WP:V issues. Including items where the connection is marginal is an editing decision. Those would be things like cases where the topic is only mentioned in passing, or where the subject made only a slight contribution to the effort, such as a walk on part in a movie. Other issues are libels and hoaxes. We mention the fake Irving biography in the Howard Hughes article, so even significant hoaxes can be included. If a work has been found by a court of law to be libellous then it is proven to be false but the court case probably made it notable. Including the name of the title of a work is not the same as including its contents and it is not an endorsement either. The responsible thing would be to list the work and describe, at least briefly, the controversy. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 23:42, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
The objective of a bibliography section/article if to present a balanced collection of as many relevant sources as is reasonable for a single section/article. In case of Nixon there is a wealth of thoroughly researched books, popular and academic, in case of Palin you just don't have as much choice and cannot practice as much discretion/censorship/etc. Excluding outward hate sites or proven libel, use the relevance test: if it's relevant, inclusion is ok. I'd take an opportunistic stance on this: my primary concern is that the bibliography must stand usable after she loses the bid. Thus ephemeral web sources that would soon, quite likely, vanish should be excluded. NVO (talk) 05:05, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
Good points. To expand on my previous remark, I'd also say that self-published works about a subject should generally be excluded. I can't see a good reason for including a blog entry, for example. Of course, self-published works by a subject should be included. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 07:45, 4 October 2008 (UTC)

I'm not sure that there is much latitude in the policies of Wikipedia. Jossi's question, "What are the standards for bibliographical articles on living persons?" seems to be pretty well answered in WP:BLP, WP:V and WP:RS. There may be some newspaper articles about a person, but these generally are variable both in the research and in the argument. A critical book (an "academic" text for want of a better term) generally has followed a process of collecting evidence, which may include newspaper articles, testing the claims made in newspaper articles and elsewhere against the evidence, and drawing conclusions about the subject. Other books may critique that position, using a different set of evidentiary frameworks and coming to a different conclusion. In both cases though, the process is thorough and uses the process of dialectic to arrive at positions. Newspaper articles may not do that. Whilst some journalists are impeccable in their research, others are not so and the history of journalism is littered with the detritus of these weapons of mass delusion.

So I don't see the objective of a bibliography as "to present a balanced collection of as many relevant sources as is reasonable for a single section/article", as NVO claims above. That statement contains two words which would only add to debate: "balanced" and "relevant". These are selections an editor will make. As I see it, Wikpedia presents information and arguments made by others who have spent some time and effort in their work. It's not an archive; it doesn't fulfill the role a presidential library would. At the same time, the WP:BLP overrides the argument that everything can be included in a bibliography. A really close reading of those policies does clarify most of the issues. Errol V (talk) 11:18, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

Have you had a chance to read this thread? It'd help if you could respond to the points already raised. As for newspapers and magazines, they are generally considered reliable sources for Wikipedia articles, except for fringe or self-published publications. There's no reason to exclude them from bibliographies. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 11:37, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

Silly question. I wrote answers to the original questions at the top of the thread. I made the points about newspapers and magazines, but it seem you did not read those points. Newspapers and magazines come down the list in terms of Wikiepedia policy. Statements like "they are generally considered..." are weasel statements; because they are not generally considered. Making statements like that shows that you are not interested in a discussion; rather, you just like to pretend that your speak for the authorities, whoever that might be. But you don't. There are great reasons to exclude them from bibliographies; I've elaborated on those reasons above. Errol V (talk) 11:28, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

Practically Edible

Is Practically Edible a RS? I want to use this page. According to its page, it's the World's Biggest Food Encyclopedia with over 10,000 "detailed" entries. The sources page is here. I'm pretty sure it is, but I thought I'd get a second opinion. Thanks ahead of time. Intothewoods29 (talk) 22:23, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

It seems like a reliable source to me. Of course, like all reliable sources, it may not be reliable for a specific statement in a specific article in Wikipedia. Context is everything. To fully answer your question we would need to know how you are useing it.Blueboar (talk) 16:24, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
I have no comment on the website itself but for food articles, I would just check out On Food and Cooking from the library. Protonk (talk) 18:18, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
I don't expect you're going to find a single word about Casu marzu in On Food and Cooking; since that website is derived from The Wall Street Journal article that you already have, what other information do you need from the website? Part of the FAC process is not only whether a sources is reliable, but whether it's the best source. What does that source offer that the WSJ doesn't offer? We can discuss whether that specific text can be reliably sourced to that website on article talk. For example, if it's the translations of the Sicilian terms, better sources can possibly be found. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:50, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
I found this JOP article that mentions the cheese in the section on "Botflies and other insects." Don't know if that is any help. Tim Vickers (talk) 21:10, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, Tim ! Into is already citing that source in the article, so I assume he has access to it; I don't :-) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:49, 10 October 2008 (UTC)


I tried to verify the following material from the rice article.

The Encyclopedia Britannica—on the subject of the first certain cultivated rice—holds that:<ref>''rice''. Encyclopaedia Britannica 2008.</ref>

The origin of rice culture has been traced to India in about 3000 BC. Rice culture gradually spread westward and was introduced to southern Europe in medieval times. With the exception of the type called upland rice, the plant is grown on submerged land in the coastal plains, tidal deltas, and river basins of tropical, semitropical, and temperate regions. The seeds are sown in prepared beds, and when the seedlings are 25 to 50 days old, they are transplanted to a field, or paddy, that has been enclosed by levees and submerged under 5 to 10 cm (2 to 4 inches) of water, remaining submerged during the growing season.

However, when I consulted Encyclopedia Britannica, this quote was nowhere to be found.

I also tried to verify the following text:

Bruce Smith of the Smithsonian Institution advises caution on the Chinese rice hypothesis.<ref name=Harrington>"Earliest Rice" by Spencer P.M. Harrington in ''Archaeology'' June 11, 1997. Archaeological Institute of America (1997).</ref> No morphological studies have been done to determine whether the grain was domesticated.<ref name=Harrington/> According to Smith such a rice would have larger seeds compared to the wild varieties, and would have a strong rachis or spine for holding grain.<ref name=Harrington/>

However, when I checked the source in question I couldn't find any mention of Bruce Smith or his statements.

Is this allowed? Exactly what is the user who made these edits trying to pull?

Also, this PDF is cited as a source for Indian consumption of rice by 8000 BCE.

This source strikes me as fringe, not only because the 8000 BCE Indian rice date is an outlier well outside of the mainstream, but also because it gives a 3700–2000 BC date for the Vedas, an antedating associated with fringe nationalist claims. Satyam E. Jayate (talk) 12:34, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

I know only too well how easy it is to insert misleading claims about the first dates of rice cultivation because I added material to paddy field that claimed an early date for Vietnam; this was reverted and correctly so. Let us, for the time being at least, assume good faith on the part of editors and see what needs to be done to improve the article. You raise questions about three sources. The first is Encyclopedia Britannica. The most likely reason for the discrepancy is that Britannica has changed its text. Well, we should not be using Britannica as a source anyway for such an important article. I believe there are a number of scholarly books and articles devoted to the question of when rice cultivation (and wet rice cultivation) emerged, and where. The debate is by no means settled, as new archaeological discoveries are being made and they can be interpreted in different ways. So this scholarly debate needs to be represented properly in the encyclopedia and that must be done by referring directly to the work of those scholars. Which brings me to the second source you mention, Harrington. This is a poor source because it is from the Online News section of Archaeology. I found the WP sentence word-for-word at the end of the second paragraph of Harrington. That doesn't matter: the important thing is to make use of the scholarly sources instead of this. And your third source. It seems like a good and relevant article. The problem is not that it is fringe, but that it is being used for purposes other than the ones it was written for. The original research that it presents is mainly on the first millenium BCE, when it is agreed that rice was being cultivated in India. It uses literary sources to find out some more detail about that cultivation. The fact that it gives early dates of the Vedas might ring alarm bells but the article does not insist on these dates and the point does not really affect the paper's main line of argument. So I would say that this paper is OK as a source for the article generally, but not for the point in question: the first date of rice cultivation. Itsmejudith (talk) 13:20, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

Joe Baugher

I've been writing aviation-related articles for about a decade now. During that time I've come to rely on Joe Baugher's extensive list of American Military Aircraft. This list consists mostly of articles created by collecting information from other sources, essentially identical to the process used to create articles for the Wikipedia. They tend to be much longer than suitable for a Wikipedia article, but the creation process is similar, and the results excellent.

On several occasions I have been able to check his references after the fact. I have yet to find a single error that isn't in the original source. The simple fact that he includes his references in the articles is a good indicator of their quality, IMHO. Further, when I conducted a straw poll over on the Aviation project, every one of the "known suspects" agreed that JB was a good source.

So why am I here? Well during an FA on the F-20, the article was failed because it used JB as a source. I pointed out that he is well known, so much so that he even has his own wiki article. That resulted in a more focused counterclaim, that no one has referenced his aircraft articles, and therefore they fail the SPS requirement. I have never seen this before, generally when someone is a well known and trusted author you are free to use their works for references in spite of the fact that not every single thing they have written has not been mentioned by someone else. This entire point seemed, well, nuts.

To add to my confusion, it seems that the source is being failed for all the wrong reasons. As I see it, SPS is an attempt to weed out low-quality references, for the simple reason that many SPS's fall into the low-quality category. But JB's writings absolutely do not. And the criterion right above SPS is "Reliable sources", which states "Articles should rely on reliable, third-party published sources with a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy.", a label that his works fit to a T.

Soooo, which is it? In my opinion, Reliable trumps SPS. Further, IMHO, that SPS's primary concern is weeding out low-quality sources like moon-hoax conspiracy sites, which are generally SPS, and not to weed out high-quality sources just because they are SPS.

Am I interpreting this correctly?

Maury Markowitz (talk) 18:01, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

You'll appreciate that FA have to have impeccable sources. You say his work has "a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy". OK, so apart from you, who says that? Can you find any mentions of the quality of his website? You say he is trusted; who trusts him? At this stage you'll find it is worth tracking down as much as you can about how his work is put to use. Otherwise, all we have to go on is that you personally have never found an error. Good luck. Itsmejudith (talk) 18:19, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
1) who besides me? I said above; everyone that weighed in on the topic in the Aviation Wikiproject.i Colletively the group likely edited 10% of the entire body of aviation articles here.
2) find any mentions? Meaning what, exactly? This is what I'm asking YOU!
Mr. Baugher has both published several articles on aviation topics, and has been cited by others (see Google Scholar), so at minimum I think he qualifies as an "expert writing in his field". Which would mean that his opinion is notable. Perhaps attribution is the way to go here... as in: "According to aviation expert Joe Baugher, the best feature of the F-14 Tomcat was its modified Greeblefrob recipricating doohicky <cite to his webpage>." Blueboar (talk) 18:40, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
Remove other Baughers (Hugh B., Brigitta B.) from the g-search, and it shrinks down to an unacceptable low number. But I would agree that there are scarcely any more reliable sources in the paramilitary fandom. Yes, the topic is not the subject of refined academic research, and exposing it to the same level of scrutiny as Jupiter or Winston Churchill is pointless. Sourcing from Baugher is not good for FA but it's what's available. Just accept the fact that some topics are not properly researched for a FA, and some will never be. NVO (talk) 06:45, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
NVO, what do you base any of your comments on? Why do you describe this as "paramilitary fandom"? What is paramilitary about an aircraft? What is fandom about a technical article? Have you even looked at the reference in question? The articles are fully referenced. Maury Markowitz (talk) 17:55, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

Sarah Palin e-mail controversy

The sources in this article need a proper fisking, and the unreliable ones removed. the skomorokh 18:33, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

  • See the item near the top of the page: This noticeboard deals specifically with sources, not articles. General questions about articles, including "which sources in Article X are reliable?" may be beyond the scope of this noticeboard and may be better handled on the article talk page or the talk page of an interested WikiProject. I think many of the regulars here may be reluctant to get involved unless a specific source is identified as problematic. However, I may take a look at the article myself. --Metropolitan90 (talk) 02:39, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
    • With respect, that is a poor use of this noticeboard. It should be a resource where editors concerned and knowledgeable about reliable sources may be notified of issues. Thank you for offering to take a look. the skomorokh 16:05, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
      • Not in my mind. I would prefer to not wade into article by article controversies, especially those related to american politics in an election year. Protonk (talk) 16:20, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

Is a reliable source?

Hi, wondering whether is usable as an inline citation, such as at I Want You, I Need You, I Love You. I've been going through song stubs to remove copyright violations and obviously unreliable sources (blogspot, tripod, etc.) and a reasonable number of cites keep turning up. I haven't actually removed them because I suppose is fairly accurate about their listing data. Still, it doesn't look very encyclopedic to be citing a sales listing. Seeking additional opinions. DurovaCharge! 10:40, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

  • In cases such as this it seems more like a "sales pitch" in that it is not really information on the release but a page selling the release and contains information on the release. While not always a good idea you could use the Elvis '56 (1987) (TV) listing at the internet Movie Database which includes the soundtrack listing. You might even cite a library's listing such as: Skagit Valley College Library/Media Services 781.64 PRES/el Presley, Elvis. Elvis 56 [CD] 1996. I am not against using amazon to easily show quotes in books. For example if I said "Ted Nugent has said living the clean, sober lifestyle is a way to start living like he does". I could cite the book "Ted, White and Blue" and link to Chapter 1, Page 4 which is an excerpt from the book that will show you Chapter 1 and allow you to "turn the page" and read Page 4. Soundvisions1 (talk) 16:32, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Actually, IMDB has been specifically disallowed as a reliable source because it's an open edit site. DurovaCharge! 17:39, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
That is not true without qualification. the skomorokh 17:43, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
Where did you obtain such an opinion? A formerly featured list I created years ago when sourcing standards were looser had used IMDB to verify that historic films had existed. All of those citations later had to be removed because IMDB isn't even valid for that much. This was one of the reasons the list is no longer featured. It leaves me doubtful about the value of the advice I did seek, to find that unsolicited opinion repeatedly asserted. DurovaCharge! 18:02, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
We can dig though the archives here but the consensus is that some fuzzy line exists on IMdb separating editorially controlled content from user generated content. We don't know where that line exists but we guess it exists somewhere below the "basic information" level. As a result we tend to reject 100% information sourced to imdb trivia pages, quote pages, etc, but accept (sometimes) information sourced to the main title page (director, creation date, etc.). At no point has this been a clear or rigorous application of a known policy. Many times I have seen articles sourced to imdb which would be fine (imo) for everyday articles but not fine for featured articles/lists, as I would presume that featured articles require not just sources but the best possible sources. So I wouldn't come down too hard on skomorokh for holding an opinion that fits roughly in the set of agreed upon opinions about imdb. Protonk (talk) 18:15, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
Yes, please do. I'm curious where that consensus arose. Put yourself in my shoes for a moment and imagine the surprise: I've earned 152 featured content credits across 5 of the site's 6 featured content types. And in response to an unrelated question, someone calls a source 'great' that had turned out to be completely disallowed (I had used it very conservatively) and that site had been responsible for one of the few featured delistings that has ever happened to my work. Huge double take, there. I really wonder where that came from. DurovaCharge! 18:40, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
Ok. This will mainly just be a link dump because there are lots of conversations. Just search for the string "imdb" to find them. [6], [7], [8], [9], [10], [11], [12], [13], [14], [15], [16], [17]. The links at the end are to wikiproject film, which had some rousing discussions about imdb. the RS/N and WT:RS links don't really feature any great discussions about sourcing coming from first principles. Just a few people chiming in here and there and a basic "no consensus to nope" on the subject. Protonk (talk) 19:00, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
Those links don't come anywhere near to establishing consensus that IMDB is reliable, much less a 'great source'. The only issue under serious debate was whether IMDB user popularity polls would ever be citable, which would fall under the designation of self-published information rather than being any argument for the site's overall reliability. It's mightily disappointing to come to this board with an unrelated question and see such a dubious assertion raised by multiple editors, when there was no actual need to bring IMDB into the discussion at all. If I didn't have years of experience on this project I probably would have have actually come away with the impression that IMDB was a preferred source. Currently I am reviewing thousands of seldom-patrolled song stubs for compliance with copyright and basic sourcing standards. Fellow editors, I ask you to step back and consider what you are asserting here--consider the damage these offhand comments could do. Usually this board has been a good source of feedback, but it it does this forum no credit to encounter these responses, and finally see evidence that rather substantiates the opposite. DurovaCharge! 20:09, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
....excuse me, but what are you talking about? I'm not presenting those sources as a means to claim that imdb is a reliable source. I'm presenting them as a list of discussions where no consensus was reached but where people felt generally that there was some dividing line in imdb somewhere between the obviously unnaceptable user-generated side and a possible portion of imdb that is policed by paid editors. I can't ensure that everyone here offers advice with a full view of past debates and with the appropriate caution. But I really don't understand how this debate somehow brings this noticeboard into disrepute. Protonk (talk) 20:21, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Durova, I am confused now. You keep saying someone here said that Internet Movie Database was a "great source" but I have read this thread several times up to this point and I don't see anyone who said that. I know I didn't. I said "While not always a good idea..." and Protonk said "we tend to reject 100% information sourced to IMDB trivia pages, quote pages, etc...". I don't see anyone using the term "great" anywhere in relation to the Internet Movie Database. You bring up a round about question I see as aimed at me with your "...there was no actual need to bring IMDB into the discussion at all" comment, however you asked a question which I answered and gave you options. This thread has drifted away for the original question which was about how to cite the soundtrack to the film Elvis 56. All I said was there are options, and, as Protonk also said, IMDB is a source where items such as "director, creation date, etc." sometimes are accepted. I have used it to cite things such as credits, but it has not been the sole cited source either. Soundvisions1 (talk) 00:18, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
If we are talking about ISBNs, release dates, formats etc., then Amazon is quite reliable. The concern as you say is the commercial nature of the enterprise - I don' t think it's a violation of WP:SPAM, but it's something a free project should seek to avoid. I would say that Amazon cites should be replaced by non-commercial reliable sources where possible - Ottobib and WorldCat are exceptional for books, while Allmusic and IMdB are great for music and film - but if an Amazon source is all that can be found, it should be ok (unless the article is going for WP:QA). the skomorokh 16:24, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
I agree that it depends on what you are trying to source. For basic facts, it can be seen as a source of last resort... use it if you can not find the information anywhere else. Definitely do not use it for reviews or opinions about the book. Blueboar (talk) 16:39, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
That's an interesting issue - if Amazon quotes, in it's editorial reviews section, a review from a reliable sources, can that be used to source a Critical reception section of a Wikipedia article? For example, this Amazon page contains extract from a review of the work in Publisher's Weekly; if that review could not be found online elsewhere, could it be used? Furthermore, what about notable Amazon (user) reviewers who are under WP:SPS considered credible? the skomorokh 16:46, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
The problem there is that they may only quote an excerpt. I'd say you at the very least need the issue number, etc. And although I used a review from Publisher's Weekly, later on I found a review from them that was pretty ropy and that I wouldn't rely on. Doug Weller (talk) 16:55, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
  • As far as the "editorial reviews" are concerned, I think the discussion about that hasn't been archived yet. I'm not sure what to do if the excerpt AMazon has is the only available copy. My gut says: "don't cite" because citing excerpts isn't a great idea, but I'm not too sure. I have also notices that Amazon doesn't always get the name and date right for newspaper reviewers. I have had to modify my searches more than a few times to correct for an inaccurate Amazon reported review date in order to find the right review in Lexis-Nexis. Protonk (talk) 17:37, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

Common sense and interviews

Many of the Wikipedia guidelines are worded as such that they disallow print interviews, including bios and other promotional/publicity materials, where someone is, in a sense, talking about themselves, but allow an interview if the subject "Has been the subject of a half hour or longer broadcast across a national radio or TV network". In other words, not only it that more notable, but more reliable. My question is at what point should common sense kick in and an editor be able to cite an interview with the subject of an article as a reliable source no matter what the media? Example - An article on an actor has a "claim" that the actor wanted to be like another actor. Now to back this up an editor needs to cite a reliable source. To me the best source would be an interview with that actor - irregardless of the format. And by "interview" I mean the person in question is talking about themselves, something that the current guidelines seem to frown upon. I can understand why the guidelines are there in this case - "hype" provided by a studio, label, publicist or even the subject of an article is not always reliable. However if it something "common sense" such as "Who influenced you?" or "What is your favorite song?" why would the actual person not be a reliable source? Soundvisions1 (talk) 00:03, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

  • that seems like a misreading of policies. We tend to discourage the use of interviews for interpretive claims about what was said in the interview--in other words, if Actor X is asked if he dated Actress Y and pauses for a long time before answering inconclusively, we are not allowed to interpret that pause and inconclusive answer. However if the actor gives an interview to a reliable source we can cite the things said in there as "actor X said he wants to be like Person A". If the actor gives an interview to a blog or otherwise self-published source, we are to be very cautious about citing claims from there, even if the actor said them (or the source put the words in print as the actor saying them). So if Brad Pitt talks to 60 Minutes about how he really likes Clark Gable, that is fine. If Jonah Hill gives some blog an interview, then we have to be really careful even deciding to cite it at all (remember, they could just be making it up or editing the responses). Protonk (talk) 00:43, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
  • I am not asking about "interpretive claims". Two examples: Q: "What do you think about the film?" A: "It was the most fun making the film. It is the best film ever made". If the interview was done during a press junket, no matter what the media source for that was, it might not be anything more than opinion and "hype". However asking a question like that 20 years after the fact: Q: "What was it like working on that film?" A: "I was one of the most fun films I have ever worked on. I still believe it was one one the best films ever made" Now the comments take on a slightly different meaning. In both case we see and/or hear a direct interview and a direct answer. In either case an Editor could write "Even the actor has said the film was their favorite film to work on" and then cite the interview. However I have noticed that Editors will either remove such a sentence, or question it, because it came from an interview and, as such, it is not a "Reliable source" or "only an opinion and not NPOV". And that is part of my question that maybe was not made clear. Again - none of what I am asking is about anyone making "interpretive claims" of an article, only using an actual interview from any media. And I will go one step further - An Editor sees an interview on a television special. The subject of the article talks about a location where an event happened that is not in the article so an Editor uses that, and cites the source as being an interview with the subject. Another editor says that the interview does not mean anything as it is just an "opinion" and that the person doing the interview has been known to "not tell the truth". So now the first Editor finds interviews with other people as well as more interviews/quotes form the same person and they all say the same basic thing. Now all those interviews are cited, and they all come from various sources and periods over the last 30 years. The challenging Editor comes back and says that none of those are "reliable facts", they are all only "opinions". To further back up their claims the challenging Editor says the cited sources themselves are not valid and uses Wikipedia guidelines such as NPOV, Notability and Reliable Sources. Or is that what you mean when you said "misreading of policies"? In the example given the challenging Editor would be misreading the Wikipedia Policies/Guidelines? Soundvisions1 (talk) 13:12, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Maybe I dont' understand. If a claim is made in an interview, say "I thought X was a good movie", then the best way to source it is to say "Actor A thought X was "good"" or "in a 1990 interview, actor A said movie X was good". Or something like that. The actor is (obviously) a reliable source of fact on his opinions about the movie or his observations from filming the movie. He isn't a reliable source (normally) for all claims of fact about the movie, so it is best to identify the source when using information from an interview. If this interview is given to a reliable source, then there should be no problems. If editors are removing material sourced to that interview and you are attributing and citing it properly, then you should try to get some outside opinions on your precise problem. If the interview is given to an unreliable source (blogs, podcasts, etc.), then you need to be more careful and it can be a reasonable position to say "I don't think this is a good enough source for the claim".
  • In your case, using an interview to describe some objective fact is usually not done unless the interviewee is some expert on that subject. Even if it is some run of the mill fact (like the movie went over budget), it is still best to cite the interview as the interviewee's opinion. What, exactly, is the article and dispute in question? This noticeboard doesn't work to give broad advice for narrowly worded hypothetical questions because context is very, very important. Protonk (talk) 23:01, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Sorry Protonk, I try to keep everything NPOV anymore so as to not have anyone say I am Canvassing.If you want me to list something specific I will though. Soundvisions1 (talk) 23:19, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Bringing a discussion to this noticeboard isn't canvassing. And telling me what the article is just basically to save me time. I could look through your contributions and find an article that you added or removed material from an interview, but it might not be you and it might take a while. Again, if you are looking for a strong "Yes you can add the content" from here (which really has no power except that most of the editors here are not involved in the articles), then you won't get it without a look at the source and the article. Protonk (talk) 23:22, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

Whether A Source Constitutes Original Research

I am engaged in a dispute with another editor on this talk page about the reliability of sources for the article. Although I am not innocent for remaining calm in the discussion, the editor has responded in an aggressive attitude and removed these sources from the article on grounds that they are contentious material about a living person. He has also stated that some of the sources constitute original research, and do not bear direct relevance to the living person in question.

There are a few other editors involved in the dispute, and who have been accused of Meat Puppetry by this editor, of trying to sabotage or defame the article. Because I got involved in trying to reconcile the use of sources for the article, I have also been included in the Meat Puppetry report. Because the other editor appears to be very passionate and accusatory in his responses (despite having a good knowledge of Wikipedia guidelines), I question the neutrality of the article. What we need is a neutral third party to weigh the arguments, to determine the reliability and relevance of sources, and to determine if there is NPOV in the article.

Thank you for your help. Rabicante (talk) 00:29, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

Editors can, but are barred from engaging in original research. External sources don't engage in OR, the question regarding external sources is that of reliability, which is generally determined by publisher, peer review and reputation of the author. The other concern is undue weight; in other words, is excessive detail given to one aspect of the discussion/sourcing/controversy/what have you. Original research doesn't seem to really be a concern unless it is the editor who is doing so. WLU (t) (c) (rules - simple rules) 00:43, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

Having taken a look at the talk page in question, what is being claimed is that the source is being used improperly, as part of an original synthesis (see WP:SYNT)... and that this is aWP:NOR violation. You need to ask about that at the WP:NOR talk page. Blueboar (talk) 01:02, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
Yes that's right. I never said the source in itself wasn't reliable, but that it was being used for original synthesis. The claims being put forward are not found in the source cited. Matt reltub (talk) 13:11, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

Can be considered a reliable source for listing an album's awards and accolades? Google Books shows the site is mentioned in The Music Internet Untangled: Using Online Services to Expand Your Musical Horizons, ISBN 1932340025, but I'm not so sure that's enough to make the site a source with a "reputation for fact-checking and accuracy". Any comments would be appreciated. Thanks, Spellcast (talk) 23:14, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

  • If you will be saying something such as "Their second album was listed on the (Need list name) critics list for the year 1983" and you needed to find what 1983 critic's list the release made it onto than I think it would be a fine place to start. To me this is not much different than going to a library and looking in their system to find articles that related to something. However you might not cite the library directly, but you would cite the article you found. Thusly while I might use Acclaimed Music's list of lists as a starting point I would not cite that directly but the list you found there (And the link to it if one of given). Soundvisions1 (talk) 23:34, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
Yeah as much as possible, I try sourcing the actual publication. I'm working on Paid in Full (album) and I'm thinking of removing the "Accolades" section until I can find a direct reference to the critic's list. Some accolades are available on the music publication's website (although most aren't). But still, would it be ok to source to simply say that an album made it on some critic's list? Spellcast (talk) 00:15, 13 October 2008 (UTC) seems like a "who's who"-type publication for the voice communication industry. So far, we have no idea where the original information for the article, "More Efficiencies in Automated Calls by Adaptive Audio" from Chapter 6: "Summary and Editor´s Recommendations", came from, nor to what degree it has been edited for publication in this book. See discussion: Talk:Adaptive_Audio#Establishing_WP:N_and_WP:V. --Ronz (talk) 00:58, 5 October 2008 (UTC)

The voice compass is definite not a "who's who"-type publication it is book about the voice market from a netral point of view which explains to non voice and non teckie people the benefit of using speech technology in many different market areas. Only a 15% are company informations and all this is free of charge. The book gives the world wide market a clear structure. It is writen mainly by the author detlev artelt (me) and by 3 other international voice experts (see On 640 pages there are different sections who explain different technologies and a huge section with recommonidations. The voice compass list beneath this all companies who are acting in this market in more than 45 different tables to give the reader a fair chance to ompare products. --User:Talkingweb
Note that the comment above is the sole contribution by the editor to Wikipedia to date. --Ronz (talk) 19:09, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
I would say - and this is an impression because there is not much to go on - it comes under the category of "trade press", i.e. it is there to keep professionals in the field up to date with developments. As such it will be rather uncritical as to what it includes but also fairly reliable for factual information. The Adaptive Audio article seems to have multiple problems, as you say on the article talk page. It remains to be demonstrated if the topic is notable. If it is, the article should make clear whether this is a generic name or a brand name. If it is generic, how many companies offer this technology? And how widely is applied at present? You are quite right to be alert to the possibilities of spamming. Itsmejudith (talk) 18:24, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
I searched for "Adaptive Audio" on the Voice Compass home page and it came up with no results. Hmmm. Itsmejudith (talk) 18:27, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
The reason you found no results is that the book is over 600 pages and they only make a small sample available online. Otherwise, there would be no market at the $160 list price for the book. I have seen the hardcopy text and there are several pages devoted to Adaptive Audio in it. The exact page numbers are listed in the article discussion page.D3innovation (talk) 04:10, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
The technology has been in use at several call centers for many years. There are about 5 - 6 different technology companies offering the technology today. D3innovation (talk) 04:24, 14 October 2008 (UTC) and

The article Singapore Airlines fleet contains sprawling lists cataloguing the registration numbers, dates of delivery and first flights, and other info about every aircraft in Singapore Airlines' fleet. Setting aside the issue of whether wikipedia should be hosting this type of stuff, I'd like opinions on the sources of this information. It's not obvious from the citations in the article, but the editor who supports the inclusion of this material says that the data on individual airlines comes from and These look like self-published fan sites to me. What do people here think? Do these sources meet the requirements of WP:RS, and can they be used as citations for the detailed info these tables: Singapore_Airlines_fleet#Full_fleet_by_delivery_date, Singapore_Airlines_fleet#Current_fleet_by_aircraft_registration_number, Singapore_Airlines_fleet#Aircraft_to_be_delivered_by_registration_number? Yilloslime (t) 16:48, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

Sites such as,,,,, etc are not reliable sources as they are indeed fan sites produced by enthusiasts. If one is wanting aircraft registrations, there are other sources, such as the aircraft registry of the civil aviation authority, and other sources, such as (unfortunately a subscription service). Fansites have no expectation of fact checking (and this shows in a lot of areas), and hence, they can not be considered reliable sources for encyclopaedic articles on WP. --Russavia Dialogue Stalk me 17:05, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for your input Russavia. I am especially curious to hear the opinions of editors who, unlike Russavia and me, have not been involved with the article in question. ProtonK?—I know you're out there. Yilloslime (t) 17:25, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Uh, oh. I've been mentioned by name. :) Ok. (which links to for spreadsheets and photos) is registered to a Thomas Noack from Germany. He also runs, another self published collection of airline photos. appears to be linked to Noack but not run by Noack, though much of their content comes from him. It appears as though Airlinerlist is registered to a Servaas Verbrugge, another airplane photo afficionado. One news story gives a photo credit to Noack, but that is all I can see as far as any indication that he is some expert on the subject (the exception needed for WP:SPS). The "about editors" link on the airlinerlist site gives an indication that this is probably a fansite. As for, I can't seem to get anything but a blank page (in safari and firefox), so I can't tell. My guess is that airlinerlist is probably not a reliable source for data on airlines. Protonk (talk) 18:16, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the outside opinion, ProtonK. I would still appreciate input from additional uninvolved users who frequent this page. <humor>DON'T MAKE ME NAME NAMES!</humor> Yilloslime (t) 20:47, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
Both are self-published websites by people who are not recognized as professional authorities in the field. These are therefore not reliable sources and any information sourced to these websites should be tagged and then removed if reliable sources are not forthcoming. Tim Vickers (talk) 15:59, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
I have also had trouble with in the past—the site might not be 100% stable. Anyways, it appears to be working now (in Safari at least) if you want to try again. Yilloslime (t) 02:16, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
Meh.. Sounds like "academic standards disease" to me. I don't think there's any requirement that the selfpub-by-experts exception requires that the experts be professionals in the field. You could also check news articles, etc, to see if those cites as qouted as sources, that's another way to argue selfpub-by-expert. Remember this isn't an article about evolution or global warming. It's an article about airplanes, and we should be able to source noncontroversial facts from communities of spotters. I think the real issues are undue weight/directory/trivia. Squidfryerchef (talk) 02:40, 14 October 2008 (UTC)


On the Violet Blue page a section about VB's attempt to file a restraining order against WP editor BenBurch was removed for WP:Note. After the removal, an article was published in sfweekly that covers the issue. So whether the material gets added back in seems to hinge upon whether sfweekly is a reliable source. Editor Tabercil notes on the discussion page for violet blue that sfweekly is used at least 475 times on wikipedia. SFWEEKLY is a well established publication, with significant ad revenues, professional staff, and both RL and Online circulation. Here's the sfweekly page, Any thoughts?C4VC3 (talk) 02:23, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

For goings-on in SF and the Bay Area, the SF weekly is a reliable source. It is one of 2 Alt weeklies serving SF. It is a "real" newspaper, with significant distribution and readership, an editorial board, professional reporters, etc. Yilloslime (t) 16:55, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

"El Mercurio" Newspaper and Letter to the Editor

Resolved: Unacceptable source and statement will be deleted

Regarding the Bicycle Kick article, the following link was added as a source: [18]

  • It is a letter to the editor in Spanish, but for those who do not know Spanish you can see that this is a letter to the editor because it starts with: "Señor Director:" (Spanish for "Mr. Editor" or "Mr. Director").
  • The person writing this statement is shown to be: "Pedro Leguina Eguía"
  • In the Wikipedia bicycle kick article, the user who included this source wrote: "Investigator Eduardo Bustos Alister includes that by Unzaga performing the kick in these early tournaments in front of Argentines, Brazilians, and Uruguayans they in turn learned, practiced, and spread the move around the world.[19]"

I am completely dubious about this statement and the source. Wikipedia does not know whether "El Mercurio" newspaper has its "Letters to the Editor" previously peer-reviewed. Also, the "mentioning" of a certain person named "Eduardo Bustos Alister" as the person to source clearly shows that the Wikipedist that included this "Letter to the Editor" citation did not even take notice of the actual person who wrote the letter: "Pedro Leguina Eguia." In other words, to help both you and me summarize the information:

  • "Eduardo Bustos Alister" is not a famous person and is completely unknown. None of his commentaries should be taken as factual.
  • The Wikipedist, User: Selecciones de la Vida, who added this information has not even paid attention that the "writer" of this letter is actually "Pedro Leguina Eguia."
  • Wikipedia does not know whether "El Mercurio" has reliable "Letters to the Editor."
  • The statement: "Investigator Eduardo Bustos Alister includes that by Unzaga performing the kick in these early tournaments in front of Argentines, Brazilians, and Uruguayans they in turn learned, practiced, and spread the move around the world." Seems to be highly POV and not intentioned for "good faith."

I think these things qualify for this link to be taken out and for the statement that it sourced to be deleted. Nonetheless, I would like to hear the opinions of people here first.--[|!*//MarshalN20\\*!|] (talk) 13:30, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

LTE's are almost never acceptable sources. I can think of exceptions, but this isn't one of them. Yilloslime (t) 15:11, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

The American Thinker

Kauffner (talk · contribs) has been inserting material into Dreams from My Father, sourced to The American Thinker. I think that despite its vaguely scholarly air, this source is questionable: I don't see evidence of fact-checking on that site, and I'd certainly say that the claim being promoted (that Barack Obama did not in fact write his acclaimed memoir) falls into the category of an exceptional claim, thus requiring an exceptional source — which this isn't. If this claim gets picked up by mainstream media, then it can be included as a "controversy" — but the views of one writer on a highly partisan website don't constitute a controversy. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 10:05, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

The writer of the article in question admits that he has no positive evidence, bases his conclusions on nothing more than a few similarities in style and vocabulary, and makes no attempt to consider any alternative views - it is a feeble argument from an obviously partisan source, and certainly unsuitable to support such an exceptional claim. --Adelphoi En Kardia Dios Bous (talk) 10:33, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
Kauffner seems unwilling or unable to accept that this view reflects Wikipedia policy. Any interested parties are welcome to join the discussion at Talk:Dreams from My Father. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 05:48, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment - I'm an editor who has become heavily involved in Obama-related articles, so weigh this accordingly... I have concerns whenever an avowedly biased magazine or website is used as a source for statements of fact. Regardless of the direction of that bias, I'm of the opinion that content from such sources should be regarded as editorial in nature, even when labeled as news. --GoodDamon 15:13, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
I agree with GoodDamon and Josiah Rowe--it's not a reliable source for facts, but maybe for opinions--maybe. I'll add that extraordinary claims need extraordinary sourcing, and until this claim gets picked up by some real news sources, we should not be mentioning in WP articles. Yilloslime (t) 15:36, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

Reliable source

This is being used as a ref on a controversial article that has seen a lot of edit wars and am curious if it can be described as a RS, IMO it is an overly long blog. It is claimed it is a word for word account of a book ISBN 9780955806902 I have searched for the book in a few places and can't find it. BigDuncTalk 18:10, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

I'm not sure that "blog" applies. I'd guess that it has been put onto the web by the "Regimental Association of the UDR" and that it is history of the regiment commissioned from an amateur historian, one of their members perhaps. This is definitely not a mainstream history text as there is no copy in the British Library. It might be OK for non-contentious detail of the regiment - I mean things like what mascots they had - but not for anything that might be challenged. Certainly don't use anything from the chapter "Irish history". Itsmejudith (talk) 18:55, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

Manhattan Institute article and author as source of facts

In Community Reinvestment Act it is being challenged that Howard Husock's article The Trillion-Dollar Bank Shakedown That Bodes Ill for Cities in the Manhattan Institute's City Journal (January 1, 2000) is a reliable source for facts because the author is the Vice President of the Institute, as well as a contributing editor to City Journal. However, the Journal does have an editor and according to his bio, Husock was formerly the director of case studies in public policy and management at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. He is a prolific writer on housing and urban policy issues. Husock is most recently the author of The Trillion-Dollar Housing Mistake, a collection of his City Journal essays, and of the Reason Foundation study Repairing the Ladder: Toward a New Housing Policy Paradigm. His work has appeared in periodicals such as the Wall Street Journal, Public Interest, The New York Times, Policy Review, and Reason. In 1999, Husock co-authored the study "Keeping Kalamazoo Competitive" for the City of Portgage, Michigan, an examination of proposed tax-based sharing and urban growth boundaries for the Kalamazoo metro area. Husock has been a speaker at housing and urban policy forums sponsored by the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, the California Department of Housing and Community Development, the Massachusetts Department of Communities and Development, and the Urban Development Institute. If this isn't good enough ref for a paragraph full of factoids, I don't know what is :-) Carol Moore 15:53, 1 October 2008 (UTC)Carolmooredc

  • I would consider that an acceptable source, albeit opinionated. Other opinionated publications such as The Nation have been accepted here as reliable sources. --Metropolitan90 (talk) 16:09, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
Do note that the Manhattan Institute is widely held to be a conservative think tank that receives heavy corporate funding. City Journal is their own internal publication, not an independent newspaper, and Husock is the vice-president of the Manhattan Institute, as well as a contributing editor of City Journal. His article in City Journal is essentially a self-published source WP:SPS. Carolmoore was using it as a Reliable Source, to back statements of fact in the encyclopedic voice. Does no one have a problem with that? Carol has said that if no one raises an objection she will reinsert Husock's writings as plain statements of fact. lk (talk) 15:00, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
It's a reliable source and not to be treated as self-published. City Journal a magazine of political comment with a pronounced viewpoint, like so many others around the world. Since the piece is an essay rather than news reporting, statements from it should be attributed. I'd prefer it if they were attributed to both the author and magazine. I also think it is appropriate to use an epithet such as "conservative" or "market-oriented" (but not both) to describe the magazine. It is an interesting point of view and a notable addition to the article. It would be good if it could be balanced by some very different points of view. Itsmejudith (talk) 15:40, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
It's not an epithet, necessarily. But we shouldn't treat a work of opinion there as though it were the same as a work of opinion in the NYT op-ed page. SPS can (I'm not sure that it does, some evidence will have to be discussed) apply to things that look nothing like someone's livejournal. Protonk (talk) 15:43, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
Being an employee of a conservative or liberal or progressive think tank doesn't per se mean you are either biased or self-published. City Journal has an editor and it is WP:OR to state that Husock can override his judgment. The guy is an expert in his field. Do we have to go through all the wiki articles now and delete all factual statements by all employees of think tanks - or label them as opinions? I can see I'll have to at least make it clear that the "facts" a couple liberals put forth were obtained from their self-published blogs on their liberal think tank web pages, evidently with no evidence of editing at all?? Carol Moore 15:51, 2 October 2008 (UTC)Carolmooredc
WP:OR applies to statements made in articles. Editors here and anywhere outside of article spaces are encouraged to use their heads when examining sources. lk's examination of the source argues that the manhattan institute has an incentive to only publish a certain kind of material. Don't make this about "conservative" or liberal. Protonk (talk) 15:57, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
  • We can, however, argue that the material in the city journal is probably about the same as the material in his book. It's probably fine, just as long as we accept that he is pretty conservative. Protonk (talk) 16:00, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
It seems to me that the first thing to decide is the status in principle of City Journal, which is likely to crop up as a source in various parts of the encyclopedia. I haven't heard an argument yet why it is different from other political magazines such as The Economist. NYT is not a reasonable comparison, as daily papers are mainly there to carry news and naturally have greater fact-checking facilities than weeklies or monthlies. Itsmejudith (talk) 16:07, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
Well, for starters there is no way to compare it to the economist, period. MI is a conservative think tank and City Journal is their pet publication. This is less an RS issue than a NPOV issue. They have PhD's and what not on there but I would cite it about as much as I would cite Mother Jones in a wikipedia article where there was a right/left split in opinion--never. Protonk (talk) 16:22, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

If I can paraphrase the above, City Journal should be viewed as a biased source. At best it as reliable as an opinion piece in the New York Times, and if used as a source, the source of the information should be noted in line. Is that essentially correct? lk (talk) 16:32, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

Yes, and to be fair to Carol, she does that in the CRA article. Protonk (talk) 16:33, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
Actually, I did that. It was previously used to source statements of fact in the encyclopedic voice. Carol has stated that she intended to revert back to the previous version since the people here didn't have a problem with City (talk) 16:36, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
OIC. Well in that case your revision should definitely stay. I took that article off my watchlist a few days ago because I hate "partisan" wiki articles and it was filling up the page (otherwise anything from WP:ECON that I assessed is on there), and at the time of the watchlisting it was just carol and some IP's editing the article. Protonk (talk) 16:39, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
[User:Lawrencekhoo|lk] mistates my intention! I have no problem with stating where either facts or opinions come from. My issue is can I use facts from his article in the factual section. Of course now that I've realized he has a book - and it's searchable online - the issue is any problem with using the book for facts. And I have no problem mentioning where the book comes from. Carol Moore 17:27, 2 October 2008 (UTC)Carolmooredc
Well, your intent is probably noble, but is unimportant (to me). I think that in this case, the source and his leanings should be stated and that facts from him might be treated with suspicion, just as facts from Gordon should be treated with suspicion. If you want to use straight facts from either, might I suggest adding the proposed text to the talk page to see if anyone objects first? Protonk (talk) 17:58, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
Note to answer above: exact text has been in article for a while and is very relevant to history of the Act.
Of course now that I've found the exact book pages and am ready to put back material in the factual section, I'm wondering how much I have to write to describe the author, since this is the only book ref'd. I know [User:Lawrencekhoo|lk] wants me to write
Howard Husock, vice-president of the market-oriented conservative Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, author of America's Trillion-Dollar Housing Mistake: The Failure of American Housing Policy (ETC existing 3 sentences.) [REF: Howard Husock, America's Trillion-Dollar Housing Mistake: The Failure of American Housing Policy, Ivran R. Dee publisher], 2003, 66-67, ISBN-10: 1566635314]
How much of that is necessary in the text?? Carol Moore 18:24, 2 October 2008 (UTC)Carolmooredc
So I take it that you were not being entirely truthful when you said, I have no problem with stating where either facts or opinions come from? lk (talk) 18:58, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
May I suggest, "Howard Husock, vice-president of the Manhattan Institute, a conservative think tank, writes ..." lk (talk) 19:02, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
Did I not ask an honest question? I don't know how much is asked or what others might think is too much or most appropriate. Assume Good Fait.
Also, since such a tadoo made about not using his articles in factual section, seems like I should mention he's the author of a book in the factual section, even I don't mention name of book. Carol Moore 19:11, 2 October 2008 (UTC)Carolmooredc

I have no general problem with the use of this article (elsewhere it's cited as a book) or author.

I have a specific problem: Husock asserts that the US Senate Banking Committee found in 2000 that various left-wing advocacy groups had made, as of 2000, $9.5 billion in fees out of a law called the Community Reinvestment Act (won't go into CRA specifics here). Suffice it to say, that is an absolutely stunning amount of money. That of course does not mean that it's not true. But I can find no other mention of this, can't find the senate banking committee finding, etc...

Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary proof, so I don't think Husock's assertion about this finding is sufficient. As far as i can tell, he does not provide a citation in his book for this information (if he does, i invite the guy who cites the book and presumably has a copy to furnish it) and i can find no information to this effect anywhere on the interwebs that is not sourced to Mr. Husock. On this specific matter, i think a citation to the "Senate Banking Committee finding" is required to make the claim.

The Preceding unsigned comment evidently was added by Bali ultimate (talk • contribs) at some point who brought this up at the talk page.
This probably was put together in 1998 or 1999 by Sen Gramm staffers and haven't yet found out if it's in a hearing. The fact that Husock doesn't include better references and probably got the year wrong doesn't help. I must not let myself get too turned against the Institute, however, because another author wrote some anti-Palestinian screed for it. ;-) Carol Moore 00:54, 9 October 2008 (UTC)Carolmooredc
FYI I did find a New York Times article which I believe alluded to a listing of monies to community groups like the above, circulated by Senator Gramm during one of the several 1997-1998 hearings on the Community Reinvestment Act, among other topics. If Gramm made a statement, it doesn't seem to be in the member statements any more, but at least the NYT article info on the topic can be used in wiki article.
Husock obviously got idea for title of his book from Gramm alleging "shakedown" and the trillion dollars to low/moderate income housing that community groups were claiming around that time. But that hardly excuses Husock's poor sourcing on these factoids in his articles and book. Of course, former and current govt employees can just quote factoids off the top of their heads and some people consider them WP:RS. Sigh... Carol Moore 22:26, 15 October 2008 (UTC)Carolmooredc

Is an official site "reliable"?

There is a disagreement with a user over the use of as a source of information for Yugoslavia in the Eurovision Song Contest. It is the official website of the contest and includes a history section. The other user is claiming that this is a POV violation since we are only using this website to source a fact. He says that it is not the official stance of the contest and that some IT person wrote it so it cannot be trusted. He also claims that the sites disclaimer voids any information from being reliable. There was an error on the site, so I sent an email, they acknowledged the error and corrected it. This did not please the user (even though it was something he complained about) as he now thinks that it cannot be trusted because they change things because of emails. We then tracked down "the official history" book of the contest [20], but the user does not "trust" the author. So are we right to be arguing for these sources? Grk1011/Stephen (talk) 22:56, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

Such a site would normally be considered reliable, as would the book. If there is another source that contradicts it on a specific issue then you could mention both. Itsmejudith (talk) 23:09, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
The only thing that contradicts both is the user's knowledge of Yugoslav politics. He feels that the contest has no right to say and do what they have, so the article should ignore it, but I don't see how you can write an article about the contest not in terms of the contest, get my problem? Grk1011/Stephen (talk) 23:16, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
The organizers of the Song Contest should know what happened in the Song Contest, which is the subject of this article. It could well be the case that they slipped up when they were describing the status of Yugoslavia and its related state entities at any particular time. Can you resolve the problem by adding a text in a footnote, with the UN or similar as a source? Itsmejudith (talk) 23:37, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
Well its known what happened, but this user and now another one don't feel that the EBU and the contest had the right to do what they did claiming that they are "not God". They provide example like the Olympics, etc where other things happened, but that can't change what happened at the contest. In particular, they want to split the page into "Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in the ESC" and "Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in the ESC" since the 1992 (last entry) was performed by the latter. The contest considers them to both be Yugoslavia, even though they weren't politically the same country, so having two articles would not correctly document the Yugoslavia that participated, especially since it was the same broadcaster as the previous entries, and under the same membership. Grk1011/Stephen (talk) 00:25, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
And people who are interested in knowing more about participation in Eurovision will be able to find the information in a single article. All we can really say about sources is that yes, the song contest's official publications are reliable for what happened in the contest. Not of course for what constituted a particular nation state at a point in time. Itsmejudith (talk) 11:47, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
This is somewhat like my thread above (Common sense and interviews) where I ask if the source of information is direct from the subject of the article is it reliable or should it be disregarded as "just an opinion". While I am speaking about a one on one interview it would apply to "official websites" as well. In my opinion I think that if the information is only about a certain "fact", such as "When was the first Eurovision contest?" or "Yugoslavia first was represented at Eurovision during the 19xx competition" there is no reason why that information could not come from an "official" source. I think the way several of the WP guidelines are currently worded it forces editors to question certain statements, thusly causing a backlash of automatically saying that any information coming from either an "official" source or from someone directly involved with the articles subject is NPOV, thusly not reliable. I strongly feel that common sense should be used and information looked at on a case by case basis rather than making a blanket generalization. Soundvisions1 (talk) 16:05, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
Well, the point of this noticeboard is to discuss sourcing on a case-by-case basis. I'm somewhat alarmed by the idea that any information from an official source is to be disregarded. Would anyone have a problem sourcing information about London Underground lines from the Transport for London website? I don't think so, and so I agree with you that it is fine to use the Eurovision organisation as a source for how the competition was organised. Itsmejudith (talk) 17:26, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
OK, thanks. Grk1011/Stephen (talk) 03:08, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

I explained in details on the YU ECS Talk page that contains some heavy factual errors. Before going to the Talk page please note: I used many abbreviations and terms which not everyone may be familiar with: "Jugovizija" was the Yugoslav national pre-selection, SFRY is Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, while FRY is Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Both called themselfes "Yugoslavia", but the international community didnt recognize the latter as a legal succesor, but treated it as a brand new country. Hence, I see no reason why these two different political entities should be merged in a single article. Also, User:Grk1011 mentions that corrected some of its mistakes. I visited the site today and first I noticed that Extra Nena is not listed under SFRY (maybe thats what Grk was refering to), but I refreshed the page in the browser, and that entry re-appeared. I dont understand what is this, maybe its due to web cache. I cleand the cache from my browser, and Extra Nena appears. Also, the's "history by country" section contains only "Yugoslavia" without having separate SFRY and FRY entries. What they corrected, I dont understand? Extra Nena is still listed as participant under the SFRY's flag , although on May 9 1992 when that year's ESC took place, that country was definetly dead. --Dzole (talk) 16:20, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

I agree with Dzole that the correction Grk1011/Stephen speaks about was not the correction but a method of deliberate misinformation of the webmaster. The only thing that changed is what Grk1011 insist: the title (heading) of the table changed from "represented the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia" to "represented Yugoslavia" and also the flag icons were deleted, except on ESC 1992 where you can still see that those webmasters do not know nothing about who represented what country. That link portrays a flag icon of the SFRY instead of the flag icon of the FRY. And even Grk1011 cannot hide the fact that Ekstra Nena represented FRY (participated under the flag of the FRY).
That flag issue is very important to demonstrate that webmaster(s) and journalists do not know and do not present definite and precise information, probably in an attempt to hide the fact of irregularities of FRY participating in the contest.
The book he mentioned is not an issue of the EBU but a single (USA) author.
I do not know why Grk1011/Stephen who lives in USA thinks he knows better what happened in ESC 1992 than Dzole, Zvonko and me (editors who live or were born in Yugoslavia). Soundvisions1 clearly supports the position of common sense that we should all agree upon. We simply cannot use information that contradict itself ( and contradict the FL articles on this Wikipedia.
Imbris (talk) 18:09, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

Television Documentary "Islam: Empire of Faith"

This documentary is being used as a source in the Saladin article. It is being used to insert some POV claims and wild phrases into the article such as "the Islamic world had done nothing to start the offensive" (the "offensive" being the First Crusade), and "The Muslim culture lay in ruins for at least one hundred and four years". I tried to remove those phrases but another editor reverted my edit, saying that the source "is reliable". I have not seen the documentary, but the reviews of it are not encouraging. Quotes from various reviews: "funded mostly by Iranian state oil and mining companies, this documentary is dazzling in its presentation, but careless about the historical facts"; "tendentious"; "propagandizing"; an "infomercial"; "mostly propaganda"; "pseudo documentary"; "Great cinematography but biased"; "there is a decidedly pro-Islam bias pervading this film"; "don't take the "historical facts" too seriously"; "the director prostituted himself to covert politics", and so on. Using a TV documentary as a source is risky at the best of times, but this production seems decidedly unsuitable to be used as one. Meowy 19:49, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

Saladin is an important history article so sources should all be works by academic historians. Itsmejudith (talk) 19:57, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
Funny thing actually its a documentary by PBS and made in the US. So how can it be biased. Don't pay any attention to the comments - they're just opinions. Have you actually seen the documentary? There are links on the actual page to Google video and you can see it from there. Lord of Moria Talk Contribs 21:17, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
Where are the reviews? I have only seen one user review. The documentary was made back in the year 2000. Lord of Moria Talk Contribs 21:23, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
You click on the word "more". Meowy 23:16, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
Also there are historians in the documentary talking about the history. If I remember correctly there are about 5 Historians from universities, some of them professors. Lord of Moria Talk Contribs 21:23, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
A TV documentary is rarely a reliable source. There simply is not enough space in it for anything but a cursory treatment. I don't know if this one is better or worse than the average, but for a topic as Saladin, which has literally thousands of scholarly books and articles written about it, there is no reason to use sub-par sources. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 21:55, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
They talk about Saladin in episdoe 2 extensively. I think this illustrates his character which I'd think is important to what he was actually like. The documentary is neutral and informative. Lord of Moria Talk Contribs 22:10, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
The solution is to look out the books and articles authored by the academics who appeared in the documentary. That will give you a much richer source of information. Itsmejudith (talk) 12:44, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
Good idea. I'll get to work on it right away. But I want to leave it up there till I'm done gathering sources to prevent deletion. I'll do it in roughly the next 5 days. Lord of Moria Talk Contribs 14:01, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
All forms of video presentation are notoriously misleading. The format simply cannot handle the complexities that the written word can do, either in nuance or in depth of coverage. The project is in text format, other editors need to be able to examine the sources, in context (perhaps with scans of what the original says), and text is simply the only way to do it. If the material is worth anything, it's bound to have been published in text first. PRtalk 19:56, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

Talk:List of new religious movements

Could use some more eyes on this whole page, but of course the most recent stuff is at the bottom. Questions regarding usage of primary vs. secondary sources for sourcing in the article, as well as other issues. Cirt (talk) 13:47, 5 October 2008 (UTC)

It's always helpful to provide a WP:RS link to groups that have them - which probably many of them do - and to articles about them, and not just a reference from a 15 year old book, which is used to reference many "new" religions. Carol Moore 13:42, 16 October 2008 (UTC)Carolmooredc

Bates method primary sources

I would like feedback on whether the two self-published sources deleted here are legitimate primary sources for a few fairly minor details of the views of Bates method proponents, in the Bates method article. It is being argued that the notability of these specific sources has not been established; however, there is at least evidence of the general notability of current Natural Vision Educators (see the two sources immediately preceding the second reference which was deleted.) PSWG1920 (talk) 21:45, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

I have looked at the edit and the websites that were in them, and I agree with the deletion. That is, those sites do not appear to me to meet the criteria in WP:V and WP:RS. The authors of each of the two websites make explicit that they are expressing only their personal opinions and any formal expertise that those authors might have is not immediately apparent. As a side note, the now-deleted sources appear to me to be secondary not primary sources of Bates' method. A description of the Bates method should source Bates' original presentation of the method (the primary source) or an RS that summarizes or describes it (a secondary source).
— James Cantor (talk) 14:28, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

Reliable sources regarding works of fiction

A group of CfD deletions has started to revolve around the use of reliable sources about works of fiction. As part of one CfD, for example, this source, which describes the series as starring "Tony Shalhoub as an obsessive-compulsive cop named Adrian Monk" was used as part of an effort to justify including the character Adrian Monk in a now-deleted Category:Fictional obsessive-compulsives. The CfD in question boiled down to the question of the sources provided addressing the WP:OR issues raised by the nominator and other participants who advocated for deletion. After further discussion at this DRV, the issue seems to boil down to two reasons offered by Kbdank71, the closing administrator, for why the sources provided do not trump the claim of original research:

1) A review of a film or television program is by definition an "opinion piece" and can thus be excluded (this diff, and even more clearly at the following diff);
2) The ony reliable source about a fictional character is from its author or writer. ("The only persons who can accurately describe Monk as obsessive-compulsive are the writers of the show, and I haven't seen any sources pointing to them." this diff).

Can anyone here offer any guidance as to how these sources should have been treated in this case, and the general question of treating newspaper and magazine articles about works of fiction as reliable sources? (Note: I had originally posted this at WT:RS and received the suggestion to pass the request here). Alansohn (talk) 13:43, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

  • Neither of those two claims is correct. "reviews" of films and books are not the same thing as opinion pieces, regardless of the fact that subjective claims are made in them. And the claim that "only the creators of a show" can be "reliable sources" is both a misunderstanding of what RS means and a common confusion about fiction. Take Deny All Knowledge, a collection of peer reviewed essays about the X Files. It would be beyond absurd to claim that book is not a reliable source, yet if I assume that only the creators of fiction can speak reliably about the work of fiction, I would have to. editors aren't allowed to infer that Monk is OCD. Secondary sources can obviously do so. This doesn't mean that the categorization is not subjective, however. Protonk (talk) 13:56, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Actually, with Monk, OCD is the entire premise of the show, and it would be pretty ridiculous to say we'll never find a source that Monk is OCD when its probably in several issues of TV Guide. I looked at the CFD and some of the other characters were more of a judgement call, such as Niles Crane from Fraser. And probably the CFD had more to do with doubts of the importance of such a category. BTW, I agree that neither of the two assertions is true; opinion pieces can meet RS, and secondary sources can opine that Monk is OCD. Squidfryerchef (talk) 14:41, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

Christ Church South Cambs on Talk:Sawston

Courtesy blanking per email request

A minor but seemingly intractable dispute has arisen at Talk:Sawston. Although there is some history here, it’s simplest not to bring it up (it’s on the talk page if you feel the need). The question for this board is this: Is Christ Church South Cambs (CCSC) part of the Church of England (COE) (i.e. Anglican Church), or not? The sources provided by each side appear to be contradictory. I thought it best to bring it up here for help in weighing the sources.

I’m filing this on behalf of the two main disputants (if that’s a word). There are other issues involved, but I think it hinges on the relative reliability of the sources, which is why I brought it here. I originally came into the dispute to try to stop an edit war, but have slowly come to agree more with one than with the other, so I no longer consider myself an impartial outside opinion.

The sources below were summarized (IMHO accurately, but I could be wrong) by Petemyers (talk · contribs), who believes CCSC is a part of COE. For what it’s worth, I agree. Cuckoosnest (talk · contribs) believes it is not. I believe both sides’ objections to the others’ references are presented here, but I’m notifying both editors I’ve brought this here, so they can correct me if I am wrong.

  • CCSC website which claims to be COE
  • St Mary's website, the "parish" church, which claims to be the only COE church in Sawston
  • Crosslinks Mission Partner website, an Anglican Mission agency of which Tim Chapman is an Associate. More info
  • A church near you website, apparently run by the COE, which says CCSC is COE. Cuckoosnest seems to be saying anyone can edit this site so it isn’t reliable; it’s not clear to me if this is true or not.
  • The Ely Diocese Fresh Expressions page, which shows that the diocese recognises "Fresh Expressions of Church" outside of the traditional parish structure - which would explain why CCSC doesn't have a page with the other "parish" churches... as it is one of these new fangled Anglican movement thingies.

So, based on these dueling sources, is either side basing their argument on dubious sources? The article is about Sawston, so I really hesitate to bring up the fact that there is some disagreement about this in the article itself, per WP:UNDUE. And it seems like throwing the baby out with the bathwater to just remove denomination from all the other churches in the list as a compromise.

Finally, this is my first time posting to WP:RSN I didn’t know it existed until a surprisingly short time ago , so if I’ve misunderstood the nature of the board, let me know early and I’ll move it. --barneca (talk) 18:06, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

It's CoE, and you only need to cite its own website for that. But why not take the opportunity to write a just a sentence or two, either in the main article body or in a footnote about this initiative. It's a notable fact about this village that it has a "new-style" church of this new type when other villages do not. Itsmejudith (talk) 18:35, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

The Fresh expressions website doesn't mention CCSC. I know that at one point Tim Chapman was talking about leaving the CofE - I'm not sure whether the fact that he was ordained as CofE means that his church is part of the CofE. The crosslinks page is one which was written by TC. All churches differ, I'm not sure what characterises a 'new style' church. I don't believe that CCSC are financed by the Ely Diocese. I don't understand why the Ely diocese can't simply update their website to include CCSC. Cuckoosnest (talk) 13:39, 18 October 2008 (UTC) Cuckoosnest

Game show citations

I've noticed that just about every game show article has a cite to at least one self-written fansite. See, for example, the links at the bottom of Three on a Match (game show). We have this and this as sources. Clearly, these are just personal websites, although the first one at least looks more reputable. Similarly, a while back I noticed that Legends of the Hidden Temple was using a Geocities page as a source, because a user claimed that such sites were pretty much the only sources available for the historical aspects of the show. Even longer-lasting shows like To Tell the Truth and High Rollers were using personal game show fansites as sources. In short, my question is: What do you do when the only sources that can give you such information are someone's personal website such as this? I don't think that there are that many "traditional" reliable sources, in print or otherwise, that pertain to the lesser-known game shows, so what should we do? Also, am I right in simply removing these (supposedly) unreliable sources from the articles entirely? Ten Pound Hammer and his otters • (Broken clamshellsOtter chirpsHELP) 19:57, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

If it's something uncontroversial and it adds something to the article, i'd say keep the marginal cite -and- add a fact tag to encourage editors to find something better. The people running the enthusiast sites must have gotten the info from somewhere. Also if something is only being used as an external link at the bottom of a page, it doesn't have to meet the same standards as if it is being used as a reference for facts. I know WP:EL does discourage "fansites", but EL is only a guideline, and on the other hand it does encourage links to community-type sites such as other wikis, provided they have a history of stability. Squidfryerchef (talk) 01:27, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

Anonymous letter posted on political blog

The issue has been discussed at:

A major source for Sarah Palin email hack is an anonymous letter posted on the blog of Michele Malkin. "The story behind the Palin e-mail hacking". The letter, purportedly from a reader, explains some of the events that occurred on, apparently a locus of the hacking efforts. The letter cites an email posted under a pseudonym on that board, and makes various assertions about the intentions of people involved in the hacking. So far as I'm aware, everyone involved in the matter is still alive and at least one is named, so there is a WP:BLP component. Malkin is a political partisan with no known expertise in hacking, emails, or I contend that this blog posting is not a suitable source for factual assertions about living people and related to an ongoing political campaign. Other editors say that the blog is reliable in this matter. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 23:21, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

It's unreliable for any article, bio or not. WP:SPS is clear on the matter, blogs are only acceptable in very exceptional circumstances. The material should be removed without dsicussion per WP:BLP policy. --neon white talk 23:44, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
On a related note, is's ThreatLevel blog a reliable source for coverage of this event? I know it's called a "blog", but their writers are knowledgeable with respect to computer security events, perhaps moreso than other mainstream sources. Switzpaw (talk) 23:58, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
  • That, IMO is a blog run by a magazine, so is good to go per WP:SPS. Protonk (talk) 00:06, 18 October 2008 (UTC)
There are numerous reliable source summarizing the subject. Also, AFAIK, 4chan wasn't really the 'locus' of the hacking. That kid just hacked her email because she picked a silly secret question and yahoo has terrible password security measures. 4chan got involved because he posted the login to /b/, an imageboard on the site. Malkin's blog is not a reliable source, and even if no BLP component existed I wouldn't see her as within the SPS exemptions. I think your contention is correct, in short. Protonk (talk) 00:05, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

(Disclaimer: I used Malkin's blog to post a lengthy account of the facts at Anonymous (group) and defended it on the discussions linked above) The indictment[21] shows him confessing to all the events the jury has charged them with all the events, just like they are described on Malkin's post before anyone but the hacker himself could have knowledge of them (specially point 8 on page 2). The anonymous post that is described on Malkin's blog is most probably true, but there is no hard proof of that, so I understand if it has to be removed for BLP concerns. P.D.: duuuuuude, I think that his indictment is based on the post that is quoted at Malkin's blog. I think that the judge has actually based his indictment on Malkin's blog o_O --Enric Naval (talk) 02:06, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

Hardly. The same thing was covered in thousands of newspapers all over the world. The original post (and not email) by Rubico is pretty much all over the internet, newspapers citing parts of it etc. One could easily replace the well known information from any number of sources, this is not a reliable sources issue, it's a needs work issue. I don't think anyone would object if people would improve the sourcing in any article you just have to put in the time to replace the cites for the uncontroversial information with different cites. Hobartimus (talk) 02:48, 18 October 2008 (UTC)
I'll go ahead and remove the Malkin source and mark the citations with {fact} tags. If this material is widely covered then we should be able to find replacement sources, such as the indictment Enric mentions. Whatever we can't verify should be removed promptly. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 03:43, 18 October 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Will's actions; I was never 100% happy with using this blog (see discussion on my talk page up that's linked above) and most of the content is available in other sources (many of which are used on Sarah Palin email hack and/or 4chan as is). Giggy (talk) 07:02, 18 October 2008 (UTC)
I also agree with Will's actions. --Enric Naval (talk) 14:13, 18 October 2008 (UTC) and User:Gibnews

I think its rather unfair to discuss this without at least having the courtesy to mention it to myself.

  • In relation to this is recognised as a reliable source of information and the website policy is to maintain a permenant record of unedited press releases.
  • In relation to the information in the texts section comprises original documents and is cited by reputable organisations. As a website it has been long established and will continue.

Considering some articles use references to Geocities pages and many link to transient news stories, I would disagree with claims that these are not reliable sources STRONGLY or that the matter is resolved. --Gibnews (talk) 15:02, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

No, this is not a reliable source. Protonk (talk) 13:54, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

I would appreciate a second opinion on this issue. User:Gibnews runs a Gibraltar-based news website [22], which he has used as reference or primary source in various occasions in the past. At the moment, there is an ongoing content dispute centered on this particular issue, whether he should be allowed to use this website as a reliable source, which he uses to back up his edits (many of the published pieces seem to be official press releases from Gibraltar local government). Link to dispute here. Regards, --Asteriontalk 09:35, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

No way, jose. Not a reliable source at all. check their about us link. they basically say they will run uneditied releases from anyone. Protonk (talk) 22:27, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
No It says We invite organisations based in Gibraltar who issue press releases on a regular basis to participate in this website Thats not ANYONE and the process require approval. However the content is presented in its original form which makes it a reliable source of the organisation in question's position. The contributers include The Gibraltar and the UK Government, all opposition parties and the Ministry of Defense. Please explain where this unreliability comes from. --Gibnews (talk) 19:42, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

In addition, I feel very uncomfortable about the conflict of interest this represents. An editor citing his own website as a source? What is to stop him adding <RANDOM> to his website and then citing that on Wikipedia as evidence of a claim? The website would surely count as a self-published source and wouldn't be usable as a reliable source anyway. -- ChrisO (talk) 22:33, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
The documents presented are tracable. --Gibnews (talk) 15:02, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
I doesn't strike me as a reliable source, especially in a context where an editor is effectively write content based upon his own site. --Cameron Scott (talk) 15:47, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
The content of the site represents the unedited view of the organisations cited - what more do you want ? --Gibnews (talk) 15:43, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
  • We specifically want you to edit content and select from sources. WP:RS demands that sources have a reputation for fact checking, editorial control and content selection. The text from your "about us" page, which I linked above is:

This is a free service, providers enter data into their own area, we simply index and present it. Unlike traditional media, content is presented exactly as provided. There are no editorial changes, comment, or delay in publishing.

If you find any of the content offensive or inaccurate, please take this matter up with the CONTENT PROVIDER directly. Should you consider content to be defamatory, or illegal, please instruct your lawyers to contact our legal representatives Phillips & Co

  • I don't think we can be more clear. Protonk (talk) 15:50, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
Thats what our lawyers tell us to say, as a publisher in the EU we need to consider defamation in respect of all online content. --Gibnews (talk) 19:42, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
The fact-checking and editorial control requirement would only apply if the website wrote its own articles, which it doesn't. What we need to verify are the sources within the webstie on a case-by-case basis, not the website itself. RedCoat10talk 16:36, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
In that case then we aren't treating this site like a "source" at all. If we aren't treating gibnews as the creator of content then we cite the original source and determine the applicability of WP:RS to those original sources. We can treat it like "slashdot" or the huffington post or any other site that accepts content and posts it--not a RS. Protonk (talk) 16:45, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
The content presented is that of the original authors, and that is made clear in the presentation. Unlike many other sites it also provides permanent links. In most cases it is the ONLY online record of what has been said. --Gibnews (talk) 19:42, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
I think an excelent point by Protonk. I admit, I personally thought Gibnews had nothing to do with it. If it is something that uses his software or something he maintains for someone else, then obviously him using it as a source or such is dodgy, but, we can use it as a storer of sources (like the internet way back machine or such) as it were. If the original press release is not available in electronic form or is at an unstable address, it might provide a benefit. --Narson ~ Talk 15:37, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
I've noted that the Gibraltar Government website has a habit of purging its press releases, so if you cite a weblink on their website it has a habit of disappearing. A website like Gibnews which is permanent is a useful resource. Were it creating content I can see it as an issue, however, it is a repository of content created elsewhere. Hence, I don't see a problem. Justin talk 22:03, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
Could you please prove your statement? It's the second time I heard of it, but without any proof. I can't see any purging and instead, a simple and sensible archiving technique (see here for current year releases and the archive in the same page below). BTW, I always thought that this section should include comments from unrelated people. Best regards --Ecemaml (talk) 22:59, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps that accounts for you asking someone else in Spanish to start this by proxy here. If you look at the GoG website you will find that press releases are a mixture of HTML and PDF and that some years are not linked correctly. It has been their practice in the past to transfer a year to an archive in January changing its link. When I asked them about this I got the answer that they do not guarantee links and all links should be to the front page of the website. --Gibnews (talk) 23:39, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

Anniston Star?

Is the Anniston Star (homepage), in its present form, a “reliable source”? (It was once a commercial newspaper, but has been transformed into a non-profit teaching paper.) —SlamDiego←T 22:46, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

  • As far as I can find, the Anniston Star is still a mainstream newspaper run by professional editors and journalists. They haven't turned over the entire paper to students as the designation "teaching paper" might imply. See this article for more information about this. (If they had turned over the entire paper to students, that would place the reliability of the newspaper in doubt.) The nonprofit status of the newspaper should not make a difference. So as far as I can tell, the Anniston Star is still a reliable source. --Metropolitan90 (talk) 05:09, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
  • While there is no evidence of unreliability, it is circulated only in a small town Anniston, Alabama with a population of about 23,000. If it is used for information on Alabama, or the Southern United States, or, say, Obama's policies towards the American South, then I'd use it as a reliable source. But if you want to quote it for events going on in China, then I'd recommend you check out bigger sources (such as New York Times).Bless sins (talk) 00:01, 20 October 2008 (UTC)
    • The story in this case may fall into the first category. And it certainly seems plausible, yet no other source has been produced, despite potential national repercussions. Some editors are trying to discern whether the story merits mention in “James Bonard Fowler”. —SlamDiego←T 00:57, 20 October 2008 (UTC),, Alternative Press,

For "pop" music I thought a mention in at least Rolling Stone or NME would be needed to show notability, or ofcourse the music sections of newspapers of record. Are there new RSes these days, and do they include:,,, and -- Jeandré, 2008-10-19t23:56z

As with *any* source that is cited it should ideally be from an article that is written by an independent third party who is not involved with the subject of the article in question. Most magazines and newspapers that have a "user submitted news", "current events", "introduce yourself", "readers choice" and "upcoming shows" section contains information taken from press releases that were submitted by someone close to that subject. The links you gave, at least the direct links about the band Houston Calls, are from press releases. In the examples you gave, if all you were using the sources for was to "verify" if an album was coming out, or recently released, they would be fine. As would an "official" website such as a label, band or publicists site. However that alone does not make the artist notable nor would it make the actual album notable. Wikipedia:Notability states: If a topic has received significant coverage in reliable sources that are independent of the subject, it is presumed to satisfy the inclusion criteria for a stand-alone article.. For musicians the subject specific notability guidelines found at Wikipedia:MUSIC#Criteria for musicians and ensembles are similar except it lists 12 criteria, any one of which would allow the musicians to have an article of their own. Number one says: It has been the subject of multiple non-trivial published works whose source is independent from the musician/ensemble itself and reliable. This criterion includes published works in all forms, such as newspaper articles, books, magazine articles, and television documentaries except for the following: Included on that sub list are two statements that relate directly to your question and the links you provided as examples:
  1. Media reprints of press releases, other publications where the musician/ensemble talks about themselves, and advertising for the musician/ensemble.
  2. Works comprising merely trivial coverage, such as newspaper articles that simply report performance dates or the publications of contact and booking details in directories.
So while the publications themselves may be considered "reliable sources that are independent of the subject", the actual sections you provided examples of are not because they consist of "Media reprints of press releases", "advertising for the musician/ensemble" and "articles that simply report performance dates" Soundvisions1 (talk) 00:39, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

Is "Directory of Georgian National Biography" a reliable source. The biographies don't look professionally written to me and often have typos however the website does have a well known scholar Dr. Ronald Grigor Suny on its "advisory board". I ask because one of the biographies on that site is being used in the WP:BLP of Aslan Abashidze. This biography. Pocopocopocopoco (talk) 16:06, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

Here's the list of the website staff. The Founder and editor-in-chief is Dr. Alexander Mikaberidze, Louisiana State University-Shreveport. He has published several scholarly works [23]. The advisory board includes Ronald Grigor Suny of University of Michigan and Stephen H. Rapp of Georgia State University, two leading Western scholars of the Caucasus. Even Britannica is not immune to typos. As for the user's doubts regarding "professionally written" articles, (s)he will have to be more specific. --KoberTalk 16:46, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
The ed. in chief is apparently a relatively junior figure, author of only two academic books [24] and a recent PhD-- but the publisher is a reputable specialized reference publisher, and this may well be as good as we are going to get in English. I caution very strongly though in general against even the most famous scholars on an advisory board as proving notability of the project, unless it can be shown they actually take a hand in the work. DGG (talk) 00:30, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

Finnish source

Does anyone know if is a reliable source? I don't read Finnish and don't know much about that site, but an editor recently used this as a reference. The "Hot or not" at the top of the page makes me question it. -- SatyrTN (talk / contribs) 17:27, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

The picture at the top of the main page [25] (permanent link) isn't particularly inspiring either. Nor their overuse of exclamation marks and question marks in titles and choice of stories. It looks a lot like some sort of tabloid/gossip mag Nil Einne (talk) 18:37, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
Ask Wikipedia: seiska. Vesal (talk) 18:31, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

Various questionable sources in Thomas Muthee

Resolved: Editors have reached consensus on two, one was eliminated as redundant, and one was replaced by a reliable source. Jclemens (talk) 18:47, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

I'd like others' opinion about whether the following sources should be considered reliable for contentious BLP material in Thomas Muthee:

  • Women's ENews. Per this, it seems to be a POV organization, rather than a reliable news source.
  • The Huffington Post (need this be revisited?)
  • Per this it also appears to be a POV organization, rather than a reliable news source.
  • I'm well aware that is a reliable source, but is the so-named typepad site really associated with the established news organization?

Thanks! Jclemens (talk) 02:20, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

  • For context, the reason the article Thomas Muthee appears to have been created is due to a prayer he gave for Sarah Palin. And any controversy regarding Palin that has any validity is likely to have numerous reliable sources. For that matter, even some of the controversies regarding Palin that have no validity have numerous reliable sources. If something has to do with Palin and is controversial, but doesn't have reliable sources, we should leave it out. It's not like we have to search and scrounge to locate mentions of Palin. That said, the Huffington Post and Talk2Action are both collections of blogs which have definite points of view. If there is anything mentioned in them for which we can't find a more reliable source, we should leave it out. The site, to my surprise, actually does appear to be affiliated with the Times of London. Following the links on this page on, one can see that the Times' blogs are hosted on Typepad. Therefore, we can consider those blogs comparable in reliability to those of other blogs hosted by major news organizations, although I don't know exactly what our guidelines for those are. I have no opinion on Women's ENews at this time. --Metropolitan90 (talk) 04:48, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
Womens ENews was founded by NOW, and is likely not to be non-partisan in its content. Collect (talk) 04:54, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for finding the link to the Typepad site. I wish they'd all stick with a "" or similar naming convention. Jclemens (talk) 05:00, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
Assiduous research indicates that blogs and editorial opinions generally are not regarded as reliable sources in a BLP on WP, even from a news organization, as the news organization generally does not fact-check the posts or guarantee their accuracy. Collect (talk) 05:03, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

In the article talk page, much was made of Women'sENews as a Pulitzer-prize winning organization. Turns out to be that they employ a prize winning cartoonist whose work on the site wasn't apparently part of that award. Jclemens (talk) 05:09, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

Women's Enews is reliable for our purposes. The source isn't being used to source info about Muthee that is damaging but rather being used to source info about Mama Jane so there's no problem there. Since all the source is being used to get Jane's side of the story if anything there's a BLP problem in leaving this out. Timeonline is also fine. Huffington Post and Talk2Action are probably not. They are being used to source a minor paragraph that can be removed with no harm done. JoshuaZ (talk) 14:30, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
Actually the quotes from WEN are definitely made with the aim of giving a specific image of Palin. Specifically "Sarah Palin's Kenyan pastor (emph. added) has made a name crusading against witches and particularly cherishes his victory over Mama Jane Njenga, whom he claims to have run out of his town. But Mama Jane is still there, in her own church just down the road" links Muthee to Palin as "(her) Kenyan pastor" which is not supported by any RS, and mitigates against using WEN as a RS.
(ec) Um, sorry, but it's asserting that a particular, named woman is "Mama Jane" as Muthee described. As I already pointed out here, we need a reliable source for that name, even though it's not critical of Muthee himself. Jclemens (talk) 14:46, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
So that means some of the content should possibly be taken out. I'm not at all convinced that W Enews is not a reliable source in any event ([ this] makes a pretty good argument for it being a reliable source). Moreover, the above isn't an argument to take out the quotes and responses by Mama Jane or the removal of Jane's last name. JoshuaZ (talk) 14:47, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
Let's discuss possible content mods on the article talk page, please. Jclemens (talk) 14:58, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

OK everyone else -- this is where the issue stands for now -- and so far no one else has actually weighed in after Metropolitan90. Will someone who has no biases in this please add your two cents? Collect (talk) 15:16, 19 October 2008 (UTC) is simply a collection of stuff from other sources. I don't see how we can use it as a reliable source, although some of the links are from reliable sources and can be used directly. Doug Weller (talk) 15:51, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

Is this article on a reliable source for the second paragraph in this section of the Singapura cat article? It's self published but author is pretty knowledgeable on a broad range of cat topics(e.g. genetics). Minor mention in a couple of news article.[26] The author edits wikipedia ss User:Messybeast but has not edited the article in question. --Dodo bird (talk) 02:34, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

Yes, this would fall under "self-published by recognized experts". is a good resource on feline topics. Squidfryerchef (talk) 04:03, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

Nationalist Polish newspapers

WP:RS is quite clear: Organizations and individuals that express views that are widely acknowledged by reliable sources as fringe, pseudoscience or extremist should be used only as sources about themselves and in articles about themselves or their activities[27]. But sadly this is not the case. Currently Wikipedia is plagued by nationalist Polish newspapers, that are used as a references. So far all discussions to find common ground failed, so broader input is necessary no find out where the community consensus is. So my question is - should or should not whose newspapers used as reliable source:

Głos, currently used as a reference in FA article Józef Piłsudski. It is described as radical right weeklyanti-Semitic weekly This newspaper has been criticized for publishing anti-Semitic hate-speach articles advocating expulsion of the Jews from Israel to Florida, and promoting the Jewish world domination conspiracy theories[28]. I'd say it is obvious WP:FRINGE source, that has no place in Featured Article, but some think otherwise [29]

Gazeta Polska. Another extreme nationalist newspaper. According to The Crosses of Auschwitz: Nationalism and Religion in Post-Communist Poland By Geneviève Zubrzycki published by University of Chicago Press, 2006 page 223 "Gazeta Polska and Nasza Polska are Far-Right weeklies" and "should not be considered mainstream". So WP:RS violation should be obvious. Not to some. It took months of discussion to stop reinsertion of an article [30] from Gazeta Polska written by Marek A. Wojciechowski (under a penname Kordian Krawietz), a representative of the neo-fascist National Revival of Poland and a contributor to the openly anti-Semitic magazine ‘Szczerbiec’. Problem solved? Nope. Gazeta Polska is still used as an reference in Wiki [31][32].

Nasz Dziennik, part of anti-Semitic Radio Maryja broadcasting group is [33] described as far right [34], radical nationalist [35], and ethno-nationalist [36]. I'd say - an obvious case of unreliable source. But again some think that Radio Maryja's antisemitic channel is "just a newspaper" [37]. And when mass blind reverts are used to reinsert this newspaper as a reference to a dozen of Wiki articles, one might feel kind of helpless [38][39]and dozen of other reverts.

So I would really like to know where the community consensus on this question is. M0RD00R (talk) 18:20, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

This needs going into carefully but I have one thing to say straight away. Most of the articles you refer to are history articles. They should be sourced more or less exclusively from works by academic historians. Not from newspapers and magazines, whatever their politics. The case of the article on Lysiak is a bit different as the source is only there to show that he wrote an article in a magazine. Itsmejudith (talk) 12:57, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
In many ways, this is no different from, to use a super-nationalistic example, Soviet sources. Whether or not something happened is one level of reliability. Even Soviet sources are generally reliable to that degree. What the interpretation of an event is, however, is a different level of reliability--non-mainstream interpretations likely should be attributed. Whether or not someone has what others consider an extremist nationalist POV (even the most rabid extremist believes in their own objectivity) is not an implicit judgement on a particular contention.
   Also, in indicating a source is extremist, we need better references than news articles merely saying they are extremist. That is the opinion of one reporter without any specific example provided. I regularly read the most despicable and vile contentions about Latvians reported in mainstream newspapers which are utterly false.
   If a contention--any contention--is viewed as incorrect, then it should be tagged as to why, and the discussion taken from there. —PētersV (talk) 17:21, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
A newspaper that regularly prints despicable and vile contentions about Latvians is ipso facto not mainstream. Itsmejudith (talk) 18:10, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

Peters I really don't know what news articles and reporters you are referring to, because in my post I cite books published by respectable publishing companies. And only news article references connection between Nasz Dziennik and Radio Maryja, but if you will insist I will easily replace it with multiple WP:RS, if you are finding New York Times unreliable for some reason unknown to me. Specific examples are also provided.

I definitely agree with Judith that history related articles should be sourced from works by academic historians, but sadly that is not the case in some Wiki areas, as has been noted by many editors before. But if encyclopedia is build on newspapers, all I hope at least extremist media will not be disseminated here. M0RD00R (talk) 20:23, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

Academic sources would almost always be preferable. But everything should be seen in perspective. The question is: are those newspapers used to cite controversial information that could be affected by their perceived bias (i.e. are they being used to support anti-semitic POV, for example)? In Pilsudski's article, Glos is used only once to support uncontroversial statement about origin of a quote ([40]). A cursory look at the literature verfies its not a hoax. In the case of Piłsudski's Mound, it's just listed as one of the elinks - and considering the fringness of a subject, any "more information about the subject link" is rather welcome (of course, if one can show that the article in question contains anti-semitic claims or other hate mongering, than I'd fully support its removal). I am not familiar with the two other articles, and I certainly agree that care should be taken not to cite some hate mongering "far right" stuff.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 20:48, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

Policy is very clear - fringe, extremist sources are meant to be used as references only about themselves. Period. For example, covers many seemingly uncontroversial topics - gardening, cooking, etc, but we still don't use it as a reference in wiki, even if statements themselves are not controversial. M0RD00R (talk) 20:56, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

I strongly object to user Mordoors description of Gazeta Polska as extreme. Worldpress calls it conservative [41], also Columbia University [42], BBC simply calls it weekly [43], same as information portal [44], University of Manchester [45], CNN [46] and Centre for European Studies [47]. Polish Institute of Media Monitoring placed it as the 14th most quoted media in Poland as for February 2007, in March of that year Organ Hunters article from Gazeta Polska was the third most-quoted article in Poland [48]. Its reporters were detained in 2007, which was noticed by Reporters Sans Frontieres [49] and in December 2006 it was the fifth most quoted media in Poland [50].

Its activities and articles were mentioned by several news sources across the world, among others, by The Stephen Roth Institute The center-right weekly Gazeta Polska reported that a Samoobrona senator, Henryk Dzido, was a close associate and legal adviser to the convicted antisemite Kazimierz Switon, who occupied a historic site at Oswiecim (Auschwitz) for over a month in 1998. In January 2002 Gazeta Polska reported that Lepper was behind the rumor spread in Poland that 4,000 Jews remained home on 11 September because they had prior knowledge of the attacks. In 2002 Lepper resumed cooperation with the antisemitic activist and publisher Leszek Bubel [51], The Guardian [52], Taipei Times [53], USA Today [54], NY Times [55] and there was even a mention of Gazeta Polska in Haaretz [56]. Its reporters were even attacked by a ultra-Catholic mob and among persons interviewed with Gazeta Polska, there is former Israeli ambassador, Shevah Weiss (March 2001, I did not find it online). With a little bad faith, one can make whatever one imagines a radical source. Just google BBC antisemitic and you will see. Tymek (talk) 04:53, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

One source for GP being extreme is a POV, certainly not a mainstream consensus, and as Tymek notes, there are plenty of mainstream sources to the contrary.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 18:26, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
One thing about GP is that it had a fairly dramatic change of ownership/editorial board/writers back several years ago I believe (2005?). It used to be run by Piotr Wierzbicki; the source cited by MORDOOR, Sabrina Ramet is just obviously clueless on this matter (M00RD00R, you do not provide a link to Crosses of Auschwitz so I can't check that exactly). Calling Wierzbicki "extreme nationalist" is just plain nonsense and in fact calls the overall reliability of the source into question. GP under Wierzbicki, while it was essentially a right-center mag, often vigorously attacked the extreme right, including some of the other sources cited by M00RD00R, like Radio Maryja and Nasz Dziennik. Additionally Wierzbicki is currently a writer (on music, think he got sick of politics) for the left-center Gazeta Wyborcza, despite the fact that he frequently attacked GW's politics in the past. It's basically ridiculous that GW would hire someone they even suspected of "extreme nationalism". Additionally I think Wierzbicki's support for Walesa was fairly brief - way back in the beginning when many supported him - so calling him a "former Walesa booster" is wrong as well. This isn't exactly relevant to the subject of Nationalist Polish Newspaper but is another piece of evidence Ramet has no idea of what she's talking about and hence, the source is not reliable. It's even possible here that the writers are confusing "Gazeta Polska" with "Nasza Polska" or some other newspaper with "Polska" in its name that they've been told is right wing.
But like I said there was a big hoopla a few years back where Wierzbicki got booted out by new owners, with some shady dealings (by his account) going on. And with him went most of the then current writers. I haven't really been following it that close but it is possible that at that point GP went more to the right - though my understanding of it is that GP just got behind PiS unconditionally whereas before they were more of a PO-sometimes-critical-of-PiS paper. Even here though, the only source that backs up that Wojciechowski (and that it's the same Wojciechowski who's a spokesman for Szczerbiec) is Kordian Krawietz is Nigdy Wiecej. I tried to find an independent confirmation but was unable to do so. Now, Nigdy Wiecej is a very well meaning organization but I wouldn't consider them reliable without back up sources. It was started from a kind of Youth Antifascist Club, including some punk rock kids and the like (I briefly knew someone who was associated with them) which aren't exactly known for meticulous scholarship and fact checking. And being really dedicated to "fighting fascists" they sometimes cut corners. So I'm not saying the Wojciehowski=Krawietz thing is not true, it could be. Since I haven't read GP in the past three years I don't know if they've turned into a paper that would knowingly publish someone like that. But I wouldn't take it at face value either.
And yes, before anyone gets their panties in a twist I saw Piotrus' notice on Polish Notice board. Why that would matter I have no idea.radek (talk) 20:25, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
But we have an academic text saying it is "far right" and "not mainstream". Where is the counter-evidence? Without knowing more, all I think we can do here is comment on the two uses of it in WP mentioned by Mordoor. In the article about Lysiak, as I said before, it can probably stay as it is not used to reference anything other than the subject publishing an article in that magazine. The case of the article about the attack on the NKVD camp is quite different. I was surprised to see that article in such poor condition. It does lack in-line referencing so I don't know why Piotrus removed the tag. It is woefully short of context, does nothing to help the reader understand where this event fitted into the final throes of WW2, does not even have any real indication of notability. If this event is indeed significant enough for an article it must be written up from the standard histories of WW2, and definitely not from political magazines of whatever stance. Itsmejudith (talk) 22:25, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
I read the essay where that remark comes from. It's actually fairly decent and just to correct myself it was written by David Ost and not Sabrina Ramet who was the editor. Still, calling Wierzbicki "extreme nationalist" is just plain wrong. It may be significant that this is done in a footnote not in the body of the text. Or perhaps it's in the way that some leftist intellectual will occasionally refer to say, Margaret Thatcher as a "fascist". In fact Wierzbicki is a self described liberal (in the European sense) and an internationalist/cosmopolitan. So if there are other sources which do not call GP (at least in its Wierzbicki days) "extreme nationalist" this one shouldn't be given much weight, at least as far as this issue goes. On the other hand I do think that Nasz Dziennik can be described as "extreme nationalist" and the fact that the Columbia page given by Tymek calls it "conservative" is inaccurate.radek (talk) 00:45, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

Radeksz, please stay on topic, no one is calling Wierzbicki "exrtreme nationalist", we are discussing Gazeta Polska, not a person. Addressing Piotrus and Tymek comments I must stress, that BBC statement that its a weekly, speaks nothing of it's reliability - "weekly", does not equal "not a radical right weekly", and "conservative" does not translate as "reliable" either. Regarding one source of GP being extreme, well...

  • The newspapers that leaked the stories about Wielgus's collaboration, such as the weekly Gazeta Polska, are all on the far right of the political spectrum - TIME [57].
  • Gazeta Polska (Polish Gazette) which is stridently nationalist with anti-Semitic overtones[58] From The Polish Underground: Selections from Krytyka, 1978-1993

By Michael Bernhard, Henryk Szlajfer Published by Penn State Press, 2004

  • the extreme nationalist Gazeta Polska, led by former Walesa-booster Piotr Wierzbicki [59] The Radical Right in Central and Eastern Europe Since 1989: In Central and Eastern Europe Since 1989.

By Sabrina P. Ramet Published by Penn State Press, 1999

  • Gazeta Polska indeed is mentioned by Stephen Roth Institute: Nominally Catholic publications with anti-Semitic overtones are widely available, [...]. One of the most prominent is the Warsaw weekly Gazeta Polska[60]. M0RD00R (talk) 07:48, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
At the very least we should be sparing with our references to these publications. I removed an external link from the article on Wieglus, which is otherwise well sourced to the newswires. I found another history article: Huta Pieniacka massacre which by my first view is very poorly sourced and which references an article in Gazeta Polska of April this year for which it does not even give an author. Otherwise, most of what comes up in a search is journalists who have written for the magazine, which I would think is unproblematic. I suggest that Mordoor continues to bring up any references that he finds to be inappropriate and people here can comment on a case-by-case basis. Itsmejudith (talk) 17:34, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
I am on topic since 1) the nature of pre-2005 GP is tied up very close with Piotr Wierzbicki. It was "his" paper, and 2) in fact the sources you quote below do refer to him as "extreme nationalist". And, what can I say here, the sources are wrong, which a bit of common sense shows (remember that in addition to policies we should also rely on common sense). But first, let me just say that I agree Nasz Dziennik and Nasza Polska can be characterized as "extreme nationalist" publications and should not be used as sources in questions of factual accuracy.
With GP we're really dealing with two seperate sources, not one. The pre-2005 GP under Wierzbicki was a completely different paper than the current one, which is why I'm talking about Wierzbicki here. Different owners, different editor, different writers. The charges that the pre-2005/Wierzbicki paper was "extreme nationalist with anti-semitic overtones" simply stem from the fact that 1) most Western writers, including often academics have a very low level of orientation in Polish politics and as a result rely on not unbiased sources for minor info and 2) the hyperbolic nature of Polish political discussion where many people on the right call even those slightly left of center as "Stalinists" etc. and many people on the left call even those slightly right of center as "extreme nationalists". This is to some extent also true in the west where you'll see people calling Reagan or Thacher "extreme right" but it's widely known that this is hyperbolic and usually not considered mainstream. In matters of Polish politics the Western writers don't have that kind of recognition. It is telling here that not one of the sources provided above explains exactly or points to a particular piece why GP/Wierzbicki can be considered "extreme nationalist", the most damning explicit charge seems to be that he supported Walesa between 1989-1991, but then so did most Poles, and so what? This is basically as if a journalist/academic from country X wanted write about Obama, wasn't sure who to talk to about it, saw that a guy named Jerome Corsi wrote a book about Obama, called him up, was told that Obama was a "Muslim and a terrorist" and then faithfully reported that in his home country newspaper and all of sudden that became a "reliable source". Except that Obama has the benefit of being a world reknown figure whereas here we're talking about a more obscure person (hence much less fact checking going on).
So the sources are wrong. Which happens sometimes. What about other evidence and common sense? Well, first we can get if from the horse's mouth [61]. Unfortunetly it's in Polish but it's an article in which Wierzbicki describes his views and the editorial position of the gazeta under his leadership. Some quotes, in Polish with my rough translations:
  • "gdy zobaczyłem narodowych katolików w akcji, włosy stanęły mi na głowie i wytoczyłem przeciw nim najcięższe działa." - "when I saw nationalist catholics in action my hairs stood up on end and I took out the heavy guns against them"
  • "w roku 1993 zażądałem, aby im zwrócono własność zagarniętą przez Niemców i komunistów." - in 1993 I demanded that their (Jewish) property, seized by Nazis and Communists, be returned to them (this was a big contentious issue back in 1993)
  • "Odrzucamy hasło "zgniły Zachód". Lubimy Zachód... Popieraliśmy całym sercem wejście do NATO. Głosowaliśmy za przystąpieniem do Unii Europejskiej. … Gdy słuchamy nauk ks. Rydzyka, gdy czytamy "Nasz Dziennik", ... bierze nas pusty śmiech." - "We reject the slogan of "Degenerate West". We like the West. ... We supported with al our hearts Polands entry to Nato. We voted for joining the EU... When we hear the teachings of Fr. Rydzyk (of Radio Maryja), when we read "Nasz Dzienik" ... (a list of ridiculous positions of RM follows) ... we shake with laughter".
  • "w ciężkich latach sowieckiej dominacji wszak to państwo Izrael, znienawidzone obok Ameryki najbardziej przez komunistycznych podpalaczy świata, dawało nam wszystkim przykład, jak trzeba się bić, jak można bronić niepodległości." - "During the difficult times of soviet domination it was the country of Israel, hated next to America by Communists world-burners, which was a shining example of how to defend one's independence".
  • From here [62] we have the quote (I know it's just a blog, but it's also a quote): "Piotr Wierzbicki writes, in quite a moving piece: “The transformation of Antoni Macierewicz from a Warsaw member of the intelligentsia into a nationalist Catholic telling fairy tales about Masons was a shock to me.” ". Would an extreme nationalist write something like that?
Another common sense test would be to look at what happened to Wierzbicki and other writers after they were ousted from GP in 2005. Wierzbicki and Iwaszkiewicz went on to work for Gazeta Wyborcza. Would a left wing newspaper ran by Adam Michnik really hire someone who was an "extreme nationalist"??? Maybe a someone who's slightly right of center for balance but definitely not someone who's written anything "with anti-semitic overtones". Other writers, such as Ziemkiewicz and Rybinski, who were somewhat more to the right, ended up writing for the Rzeczpospolita which is about as center-of-center newspaper in Poland as you can get. Again, a paper like that would not hire people who were "extreme nationalists".
In the end we get a picture of Wierzbicki and GP which is that of, yes, a conservative, but pro-EU, pro-US, pro-Israel, essentially "Thatcherite" newspaper. It was probably close to (and maybe even modeled on) the Daily Telegraph and probably to the left of National Review. And while there are people, "sources" even, which would consider these papers to be "extreme right", the more mainstream view is that they're perfectly reliable sources. And the pre-2005 GP should be considered as such.
Ok, finally, on the post-2005 GP. I don't know as much about it, but neither of the two sources - Nigdy Wiecej accusation and the Times article - are quite convincing here. I discussed Nigdy Wiecej above. In the Times article quoted, again, the writer does not offer any specific reasons why GP is "extreme right" just asserts it, which again suggests that once again, he just got it from some politically biased source and mindlessly repeated it. This happens all the time. The article in fact seems to identify "extreme right" with being pro-lustration, when all that hoopla was going on. This was a specific political meme spread around this time by anti-lustration folks (much like "Obama associates with known terrorists" is being spread around now) which got reflected, unquestionably, in Western press for awhile, prompting letters of protests from various individuals, after which it was dropped. Now, like I said, it is true that after 2005 probably took a turn to the right. But given that it was right-center mag before it had some room to maneuver. So far there's been no specific damning evidence presented that it got all the way to "extreme right" or "extreme nationalists". It could be true, but it hasn't been shown yet.
So to sum up, my view is that:
  • "Nasz Dziennik" and "Nasza Polska" are "extreme nationalist" or at least very biased newspapers and should not be used as sources for factual accuracy.
  • Pre-2005 "Gazeta Polska" is just fine being a conservative but very mainstream paper that has just been mischaracterized.
  • Post-2005 "Gazeta Polska" is in the iffy category and care should be taken when using it as a source and if there's a better source that should be used instead. However so far there's been no specific evidence that it is unreliable or "extreme nationalist".
radek (talk) 19:57, 19 October 2008 (UTC) we have a consensus about using Nasz Dziennik or Glos at any time as a history reference? ND still heavily referenced at Jewish Military Union.
I appreciate the background about Gazeta Polska's history. It would be helpful to have that info in its article. But I disagree about its characterization as mainstream at any point in its 20th or 21st century usage based on:
"extreme right-wing weekly Gazeta Polska". The Federation of American Scientists, 1997, at [63]
"NIE! and Gazeta Polska (publications of the extreme left and the extreme right)". Adam Michnik as published by the New School, 1999, at [64]
"ultra-right-wing Gazeta Polska". The Warsaw Voice, 2007, at [65]
"sensationalist political dailies, such as Super Express or Gazeta Polska". [66] Patrick H. O'Neil, Routledge, 1997. Novickas (talk) 20:37, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
You have my part of the consensus for ND. As far as Glos goes, please note that that's another newspaper name that has had several historical incarnations. I believe there was a right wing Glos back in the interwar period, there was a the underground paper Glos in the 60's and 70's which was, I think, associated with the leftist part of the democratic opposition and there's the current Glos ran by Macierewicz. If you're talking about the last incarnation of Glos then I'd generally concur that it's not a reliable source though I don't know that much about it. The sources you give for GP above, again are mostly just engaging in hyperbolic political rhetoric(like Michnik or Warsaw Voice) which is analogous to some people calling Obama a "socialist" these days. It's just the dirty way of fighting in Polish politics. Note that Michnik went on to hire the chief editor and some of the writers of GP which puts his, and similar, comments into context. In particular the text provided by the FAS has nothing 'extreme' or 'right wing' in it, and the federation is just repeating a common political smear used by political oppponents in Poland at that time. Probably unknowingly too.radek (talk) 20:44, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

Case 1. Article Betar. Reference deleted by me [67], restored by Piotrus [68]. Reference is comming from Nasz Dziennik by highly controversial Jerzy Robert Nowak. During process against anti-Semitic publishing company, "100 Falsehoods of J.T. Gross" by Nowak, was classified as anti-Semitic by prof. dr hab. Jerzy Tomaszewski [69], who was called in as en expert by the court. Nowak also is an expert for "the Jewish question" on anti-Semitic Radio Maryja, and has a bit of "reputation": "In September 2001, in Wroclaw, during a session of the Festival of Science entitled 'Poland: Poles and Jews in their common home', which took place in the town hall, one of the panellists, Jerzy Robert Nowak, provoked his co-panellists—Jerzy Kichler, president of the Union of Jewish Religious Communities, Konstanty Gebert, former editor in-chief of the Jewish monthly Midrasz, and Fr Michal Czajkowski, a well-known author of works on Jewish topics—by making antisemitic remarks. Nowak, a right-wing historian linked to Radio Maryja and known for a number of aggressively antisemitic and chauvinistic books, as well as articles published in Nasz Dziennik and Nasza Polska, said he did not want to participate in a debate with Gebert and Fr Czajkowski. After only a few moments, Kirchler and Gebert, together with some members of the audience, left the room. Despite his willingness to debate with Nowak, Fr Czajkowski also left the room, accompanied by shouts of 'Go to Israel!' Nowak said that one should not only talk about antisemitism, but also about the 'anti-Polonism' of the Jews. A large section of the audience, especially elderly and middle-aged people, applauded his remarks and, after the session, Nowak signed autographs in front of the town hall. The festival organizer responsible for inviting Nowak, Aleksandra Kubicz, said she had had no idea that Nowak was a well-known antisemite" [70].M0RD00R (talk) 19:19, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

Jerzy Tomaszewski is controversial himself ([71]), and Nowak book was defended for example by prof dr. hab. Tomasz Strzembosz. Nothing is white and black.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 01:10, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

Is there a consensus about Nasz Dziennik and Glos?

Comments? Novickas (talk) 20:37, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

I agree that both of those are probably not reliable sources (assuming you're referring to the current Glos, not historical newspapers of that name)radek (talk) 20:46, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
I have no idea about Glos, as I have never seen it. As for Nasz Dziennik, I can only state that I would not like Jewish/Russian/Ukrainian/German/Lithuanian sources of this kind to be used here. Nasz Dziennik employs several historians, but it is too biased IMO. The third newspaper mentioned by Mordoor, Gazeta Polska, is a regular weekly. I guess it used to be different some 10 or 15 years ago. Now, it is similar to other Polish weeklies, and interestingly enough, it is strongly disliked by Father Rydzyk and his followers from Radio Maryja as well as several Catholic Church leaders, as Gazeta Polska was the one that informed about Archbishop's Wielgus cooperation with communist secret services. See here [72] and here [73]. Its journalist Elzbieta Isakiewicz is the author of a book Red Pencil. About a Pole Who Saved Thousands of Jews, which tells the story of Henryk Slawik[74]. Even though Gazeta Polska is often described as right-wing, it does not hesitate to write about different topics, such as here [75]Tymek (talk) 22:18, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

Dido's Birth Certificate

Resolved: Much good advice received Labalius (talk) 17:08, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

The subject of Dido's real name has been the source of a protracted edit war. Although there are reliable sources which state that she was born Florian Cloud de Bounevialle Armstrong, they are undermined by Dido herself stating that Dido is her real name. I have obtained a certified copy of her birth certificate from the General Register Office in London, which must be the final word on her birth name. However, it is not clear to me if I can cite it (am I conducting original research?) or how to cite it (i.e. which citation template should I use? What information should I include?). Is there a precedent that I can follow? Thank you, Labalius (talk) 11:26, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

I don't believe something like that is considered "published", even as a primary source. There's definitely been discussions about documents obtained by, say, the Freedom of Information Act in the USA. If an organization that's considered reliable for obtaining government documents does the requesting and republishes it on its website, it's a published primary source. But an individal requesting a single record and getting a file back, no, that's not published. By the way, wouldnt something like this be covered many times over in People magazine? Squidfryerchef (talk) 14:29, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
As far as i'm concerned, it no more OR than looking up a periodical or newspaper at the library. Correct me if i am wrong but wouldn't this be classed as a legal document which are permissable as sources? if it's official document there's no question as to it's reliability. I think the wording of Wikipedia:No original research, where is refers to unpublished material is misleading what the policy is really there for is to stop people adding made up stuff or hearsay. Obviously this is very different to that. --neon white talk 14:59, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
However, I think the birth certificate bit is unnecessary: there are plenty of reliable sources - News and Books that support "Florian Cloud de Bounevialle Armstrong". These aren't "undermined" by Dido's own statements. From a biographer's point of view, a person's own statements (which may reflect a preferred spin on their biography) don't automatically trump reliable external views. WP:NPOV requires that all significant viewpoints be reported - i.e. her own reliably reported statements as well as reliable external sources - so it's not a case of opting for one or the other. Gordonofcartoon (talk) 15:18, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
Whilst a certificate is an unpublished document, anybody can obtain a copy (at a cost) to check it, and it is indeed a legal document. The certificate has no bearing on her "real" name, because in the UK (despite what some government departments may tell you), you can legally adopt any name you choose as your real name without any formality whatsoever. If she says her real name is Dido, then that is her real name now. Her name at birth can be shown from the certificate, or indeed from the GRO index (Image:Dido birth index.jpg) The name Dido does not appear in her birth record Mayalld (talk) 15:23, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
There is a difference between conducting research (which is what I think has been done here), and introducing original research into an article. That said, I agree with Gordon and Mayalld... the better way to handle this is to mention what all the sources say (her birth certificate, other sources, and Dido herself) without passing judgement. Blueboar (talk) 15:40, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
I think people are misreading what she said anyway - she's not saying that Dido is her only name but that's it's not a made-up stage name. I think it's perfectly fine to use a birth certificate as a reference. --Cameron Scott (talk) 15:44, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
If there is evidence that she was usually known by that name by friends and family before her stage career then it is not wrong for her to say it is her "real" name. Surely clarification is the best solution if sources can be found to make the facts clear. Paul B (talk) 15:49, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
But what is "real"? The whole dispute is semantic. The argument is not about what sources say, but about differing subjective definitions of "real name". Better to just drop the issue of "what is real" and report the whole thing in terms of objective descriptions: what sources say about certified birth name and current chosen name. Gordonofcartoon (talk) 16:00, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
It's not a question of subjective definitions of 'real name' but of clarifying the facts - if they are known and can be sourced. If Dido means something specific when she says it's her real name then what matters is clarifying what she means, rather than philosophising the nature of reality. What you appear to be suggesting is exactly what I was suggesting: "report the whole thing in terms of objective descriptions". That is to say, clarify the facts with sources. Paul B (talk) 16:46, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
I agree entirely. Report what the sources say, including what she calls herself now. It isn't up to us to decide what is 'real' in this case. Doug Weller (talk) 16:34, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

Thank you all for your valuable advice. I intend to write a section for the Dido article, including a fully-referenced discussion of her name. She certainly was known as Dido by her family during childhood, so "Dido" should not be presented as a stage name. I had no idea that I was allowed to upload a scan of the GRO index, which will be very helpful. I will consider whether the birth certificate itself needs to be referenced, but I am happy that I am not guilty of original research. Labalius (talk) 17:08, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

Just to clarify that scans of the index are covered by a copyright waiver. Scans of actual certificates would not be. Mayalld (talk) 19:34, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

CAIR Watch

Some eyes would be appreciated on this entry in regards to the sources being used in it. This particular blog seems entirely non-notable to me, and an editor is adding several references to it from various unreliable and politically charged blogs in order to establish notability. These blogs inlcude Jihad Watch, Little Green Footballs, Muslims Against Sharia, and Militant Islam Monitor. One reference to the NYT is entirely deceptive as the NYT only mentions CAIR Watch in passing, while bringing up a fact about its founder. Are these sources reliable here? Any feedback would be appreciated.PelleSmith (talk) 03:00, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

There's an AfD on it now. I agree, the NYT reference is very deceptive. So is the claim that they were responsible for Senator Boxer rescinding the award. Looks like a lot of little rightwing blogs just reinforcing each other. Doug Weller (talk) 18:31, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
For transparency's sake - I put it to AfD. I'm suggesting there that a couple of sentences could be merged into Criticism of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. CAIR Watch is really just another venue for content from a other conservative blogs that support each other and often use the same handful of bloggers to create their content. This is why I wonder how appropriate the sources are in the first place.PelleSmith (talk) 18:39, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
Also seems like they have some 'extremist' views. --neon white talk 19:00, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

Self-published work on Salvific Law

An editor is continually placing this link Catholic View of Salvation] into articles, eg our Salvation article. As it is, it's a word document self-published. It is the same document as the one in this article Salvific Law which is apparently his PhD thesis and published by his seminary if I understand the article correctly (the editor is pushing the PhD thesis, the author, the family, etc in fact). I don't think it is a RS, and I'm not even sure if the article Salvific Law is notable enough for Wikipedia but that is another issue. Thanks. Doug Weller (talk) 09:09, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

PhD theses are original research until/unless they are published in a journal. When the thesis is published in a journal, it is then the journal article that is cited, not the thesis. A disseration (aka thesis) is "published" in the sense that it is printed in a bound volume. However, this is no different than a vanity press as anyone can so publish. Wikiant (talk) 14:00, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
Indeed, in related news, I've just AFD'd Salvific Law which is a horrible horrible article full of puff and nonsense. --Cameron Scott (talk) 14:06, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
Further - there seems to be a walled garden of stuff being generated here - Thomas Kuzhinapurath needs a hard look at it. --Cameron Scott (talk) 14:19, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
And according to his article, he writes in "ordinary unstrandable language", which sounds like my kind of language. Itsmejudith (talk) 16:21, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

Sources for pornography articles

I've started a thread at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Pornography#Reliable sources in an attempt to sort out sourcing issues with porn star articles. Any opinions on the reliability of the sources commonly used in these articles would be welcome. Thanks. Epbr123 (talk) 18:16, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

They are no different to any other articles. Verifiability is the same standard everywhere. --neon white talk 20:28, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

I was wondering if could be considered a reliable source, primarily for its news reports about ratings, awards, etc. -Malkinann (talk) 22:13, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

A Japanese-language sources on List of best-selling music artists

Could any of these sources [76], [77], [78], [79] be considered reliable enough to be used as sources on the page of List of best-selling music artists for the artist Michiya Mihashi. And does the content of this article mention a sales figure stating over 100 million units? Because I wasn't quite able to translate it thoroughly. --Harout72 (talk) 01:03, 22 October 2008 (UTC) is certainly reliable enough, but it refers to sales of 1000万. That would be 10 million, not 100 million. looks pretty good. is by a fellow artist, discussing a joint CD, so it can't be treated as independent.—Kww(talk) 02:04, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

Publisher in Pakistan: Dar-ut-tazkeer

In one of the articles, it has been questioned by another editor whether a book published by Dar-ut-Tazkeer is verifiable or not. Since the book is in Urdu, how can be claim be considered 'verifiable'? The book is by Khalid Masud, titled Hayat-e-Rasool-e-Ummi published in 2003 by Dar-ut-Tazkeer, and he has disputed on page 560 that the age of Aisha (wife of Prophet Muhammad was 6 or 9 at the time of marriage on the basis of unreliability of a primary source. This is not the only such work, but one published in print that I know of that comes closest to being verifiable. Thanks. Omer (talk) 01:45, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

  • I would like to make sure that I understand what the dispute is about. Is the dispute about what the book says about Aisha's age at marriage, or whether the book is accurate about that? We have a number of editors here on the English Wikipedia who know Urdu; see Category:User ur for those who have identified themselves as knowing Urdu. --Metropolitan90 (talk) 06:27, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
    In case this is about the language, see WP:NONENG. English language sources are preferred if available. Being in a foreign language does not disqualify a source. It is considered reliable under the same criteria as an English language book - i.e. if it is published by a reputable academic publisher, or written by an recognized expert in the domain, or if it has received favourable reviews from other competent scholars. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 12:36, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
    The dispute is about if the source is reliable or not. Its statement about Aisha's age (evidently) directly contradicts what is said in all the reliable sources already used and thus it is suspect. And as for sources in Urdu, they don't need to be used here, as we have a large number of English-language sources of quality.--Cúchullain t/c 00:09, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
    It does not contradict what is said in all the reliable sources already used. Asma Barlas's book published by University of Texas Press says the same thing. Other sources are not talking about what modern Muslims think about Aisha, but assert their own opinion from the primary sources. Thus no contradiction as the context is different. --AAA765 (talk) 07:01, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
    Sorry, I lost track of this somehow. This is dispute about Aisha's age of course, but it would be the same general philosophy that would apply. So for instance, English reliable sources claim that Aisha's age was 6 at the time of marriage. This one claims on the other hand that basis for such a claim is not valid and alternate historical studies show it to be much greater than that. Contradictory opinions do come from sources that are reliable, if we use contradiction of one reliable sources, then all the sources that contradict would be unreliable. Reliability of one source should be independent of popularity. My concern was more from the point of view of how do we decide, because the author of the book is a scholar who researched history of Islam for nearly four decades. Secondly, if one source says Aisha=6, another says Aisha=16, we cannot dismiss the second one just because English sources are available and Aisha=16 is in a non-English source. These are two different points of views, and an English source is not available on the second point of view therefore a non-English source should be admissible. Omer (talk) 03:37, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
    This is why using sources that other editors can vet is so important. There would be no way for an English speaker to tell if your sources actually contradict what the reliable English sources say, or if they are talking about "modern Muslim views" on the subject as AAA765 seems to think. Because this topic is so controversial, we must use only the very best sources, and use ones other editors can verify.--Cúchullain t/c 15:40, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

Is Hyperwar Reliable?

I'd like to know if Hyperwar, [80] is a Reliable Source, as it has been offered as a source for a military history article I intend to take to FAC. Many thanks, Skinny87 (talk) 07:37, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

New proposal on old sources

There have been a number of discussions on this noticeboard on the reliability of old sources (most recently concerning the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia). I've proposed an addition to Wikipedia:Verifiability that would address the problem of how and when to use old sources. Please see Wikipedia talk:Verifiability#Dealing with potentially outdated sources - any comments would be welcome. -- ChrisO (talk) 23:58, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

A Japanese-language sources on List of best-selling music artists

I am trying to find out if the following sources provided for the page List of best-selling music artists are reliable and if they are, do the content of the sources mention a selas-figure of 50 million or above. Here they are: artist-1 Dreams Come True and the sources for this Japanese artist are: [81], [82]. Artist-2 Kazuhiro Moriuchi and the source for this Japanese artist is: [83]. Artist-3 Mr.Children and the source is:[84].--Harout72 (talk) 00:04, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

Reliability of Articles, Commentaries, etc. that appear in a Scientific Journal.

A small group of editors has come to an impasse regarding whether a group of published commentaries meet WP:RS and should therefore be summarized in the article we are working on, or fail to meet WP:RS and therefore should not be included on the page. We are hoping to have the input from otherwise uninvolved editors to help us resolve the issue. (In the interests of disclosure, the editors most involved in the disagreement are user:Dicklyon, user:DarlieB, user:Hfarmer, user:James Cantor, user:Jokestress, user:ProudAGP, and user:WhatamIdoing.)

Agreed upon facts

Arguments for including peer commentaries

  • Peer commentaries are verifiable (published and available for purchase in print and online)
  • Peer commentaries are in a reliable source (Archives of Sexual Behavior) alongside the article.
  • The article and peer commentaries are all listed individually the same way in PubMed, as well as other databases of academic output.

Arguments for excluding peer commentaries

  • In Zucker's editorial introducing that issue of the Archives, Zucker wrote the Dreger article underwent peer-review.
  • Zucker wrote, "I reviewed all commentaries and, by and large, made very minor editorial changes and, if there was a substantive issue, did so in consultation with the author."
  • Zucker wrote that all commentaries submitted were published (except for one which did not pertain to the topic).
  • These commentaries should be treated as letters-to-the-editor.

There are basically three options:

  • In this case include only the peer reviewed article itself.
  • Treat everything in the journal on an equal footing and use anything published in a journal as a reliable source.
  • In this case exclude the whole issues of Archives of Sexual Behavior because the editors, who in this case are all arguably experts on this matter, cannot come to a consensus.

I will add that the above was a negotiated question. See the related talk page to see how complicated this has been. We thank you for your help. --Hfarmer (talk) 00:22, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

I do not want to pre-empt input from uninvolved editors, but I would like to clear up two ambiguities:
  • The above list of people who are "notable academics and experts on transsexuality" should not be interpreted (in my opinion) to mean that everybody on that list is both a notable academic and an expert on transsexuality. That is, some people are arguably one, but arguably not the other. Moreover, because still more commentaries were also submitted by people who are neither, it would be useful to have some guidance regarding just whose opinion merits mention. (My own opinion is that the commentaries did not undergo peer-review and do not, therefore, meet WP:RS, but I can appreciate exceptions for individual commentaries from people who are experts on the topic, such as individuals who have previously published on it in well-established RS's.)
  • "Experts on this matter" should be interpreted (in my opinion) to mean very well-versed on the controversies surrounding the topic, rather than "expert" in the WP sense of having formal credentials or having authored documents in RS's on the topic.
— James Cantor (talk) 01:10, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
For related previous discussions, please see Wikipedia:Reliable_sources/Noticeboard/Archive_18#Guidance_on_pseudonymous_authors. While most of these "letters to the editor" are by well-known sexologists or by prominent transsexual activists, one is by an author whose identity is unknown. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:25, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
See also Dr. Wyndzen's response to the above two editors when they previously attempted to exclude her published peer commentary and other contributions in this debate. She describes why User:James Cantor is "censoring Wikipedia so it only showcases their side as reliable" and why she uses a pen name when dealing with these people, likening it to the famous John E. Fryer case, where the attitudes among mental health "experts" in the generation before User:James Cantor made it necessary for Fryer to use a pen name as well. All of these peer reviews appear in a reliable source, and the reason some editors wish to see them deemed "unreliable" seems less about WP:RS and more about the peer commentaries' criticisms of User:James Cantor's colleagues.Jokestress (talk) 03:19, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
  • I will probably echo the past posting about pseudonymous authors, but I feel that discussion was pointed in the right direction. While members of the field using their real names can certainly be quoted in "letters to the editor" (or the equivalent), we would have to be more cautious about using those as sources if we are going to make some direct comparison between claims made in the letters and claims made in the paper. In some cases good science has come out of disputes in letters to editors. Errors have been found that passed peer review. Theories have been advanced. discussions have been had. So there is some fundamental merit to those letters and we should include them. Anonymous and pseudonymous letters should raise red flags, however. In some cases (eg this one), pseudonyms are required. But in most cases, they aren't. Either way, they are to be quoted just like we quote Op-eds today. The source is identified (as well as the place of publication, if desired), and some of the 'weight' of the statement comes from the person speaking. If we can't name that person, where do we stand? Protonk (talk) 05:09, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
Thank you, that is helpful. I certainly agree that there have been letters-to-editors with good information. Of course, there also exist letters-to-editors with misinformation. The problem (to me) is the lack of fact-checking for such sources. Do you have any suggestions about how to distinguish which sources merit mention in WP? In my experience, the solid letters come from people who are themselves recognized authorities in a given field, suggesting (to me, anyway) that WP editors should treat letters (and other non-fact-checked documents such as the commentaries in question here) as self-published sources.
The relevant policies from WP:V are that "Questionable sources include websites and publications that rely heavily on rumors and personal opinions...Because of this, they can be treated similarly to the way self-published sources are treated" and that "Self-published material may, in some circumstances, be acceptable when produced by an established expert on the topic of the article whose work in the relevant field has previously been published by reliable third-party publications."
Do other viable options come to mind, or are you saying that all comments from anyone who sends them in are RS's for WP's purposes?
— James Cantor (talk) 11:52, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
As a principal in the controversy being discussed in these sources, User:James Cantor is way too biased, and his remarks need to be discounted appropriately (and I should note that I am a friend of a principal, but otherwise not connected to the controversy, so discount my remarks, too, if you like). The problem in the above paragraph is his implication that Dreger's target paper was "fact checked". There's no indication of that. The editor said "peer reviewed", but made no representation that that review was for anything like fact checking, which would seem quite impossible for such an opinion piece. If anyone would like a copy of the whole thing (target paper and 23 commentaries in one PDF), for review only, just drop me an email. Dicklyon (talk) 06:13, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
I will add that I too think that we cannot include and give weight to Madeline Wyndzen's commentaries. While she may value her privacy or fear repercussions the trade off is that you can't be anonymous AND use your professional standing and authority in a debate. Unless you know who she is it is not at all clear that she has any such standing or autority. Therefore her comments might as well have been written by the next person you see walking down the street. For the same reasons that her website is not a source her commentary is not a source.
On the other hand. Everyone who commented on the article in ASB was either A psychological professional who works with transsexuals, A historian researching the controversy, A transsexual who had some direct knowledge of the fact and circumstances around the book and controversy, or some combination of all of those. It's not like totally uninitiated fools wrote those commentaries. They, unlike Dr. Wyndzen, are known to us. People can look them up and judge for themselves what weight to give each of their comments. Just like they can for self published sources authored by autorities on the subject of the publication. Therefore I argue that those commentaries should be included. --Hfarmer (talk) 14:54, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

I'm not familiar with the journal or the topic, so I can probably give a sufficiently uninvolved opinion:

  • Peer-reviewed paper in the journal issue should be given equal weight in presentation, regardless whether the (Wikipedia) editors consider them experts or not. Otherwise you're second-guessing the journal reviewers, which presumably are more qualified than the Wikipedia editors in this matter.
  • Letters to the editor should be given less weight than peer-reviewed papers, but the journal still assumes some responsibility for them (they surely won't publish my opinion on a paper that appeared in their journal).
  • The focus of this dispute seems to be whether pseudonymous letters to the editor should be given any coverage. Does the journal indicate that the sender is a professional in the field? If so, I'm inclined to include it (mention of course that's pseudonymous). Otherwise, I'm not sure why they've published it in the first place (former patient?). VG 15:42, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
VG, in this case, they would have published your comments. They published all comments they received except for one that was off-topic. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:03, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment: I just want to clarify that these are peer commentaries, not letters to the editor, as some editors wish to present them here. The same issue contains letters to the editor, which are marked as such. These peer commentaries are considered stand-alone articles and are listed and sold as such. The one author that used a pen name is an added complication-- she is not anonymous (her photo is on her well-known website) but protects her identity because of intimidation tactics used by psychologists who disagree with her. Jokestress (talk) 16:39, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
I have to say that I don't find this clarification very clear. Either someone is anonymous or they are not. David Tennant uses a "stage name", but he is not anonymous. Using a pen-name for publications is perfectly normal (if somewhat unusual in academia), but it is wholly different from hiding ones identity. Anyone who is in fact a professional and also puts their picture on a website will be easily identifiable within a profession, so it seems rather an eccentric way of trying to hide ones identity "because of intimidation tactics used by psychologists who disagree with her". Since the name used for publishing in this field is presumably consistent this also makes no sense if the "intimidation" relates to the fear that her academic work will be rejected - or are her academic works and activist works published under different names? I think we need more background here. It is also unclear whether the "peer commentaries" were simply accepted by the editors if presented as such or whether the authors' scholarly status was taken into consideration. If there is reliable evidence that "Dr. Wyndzen" is a significant professional in this field then the article may be acceptable - with caveats - otherwise not. Paul B (talk) 18:00, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
Only one of the commentaries is under a pen name. This is being used as a distraction to discredit all the peer commentaries. I'll answer your concerns regarding that one instance. One can be pseudonymous by degree (she is not anonymous). Take Deep Throat, who was known by his real name to those he trusted. I know Dr. Wyndzen's real name, but she knows she will face attacks from people associated with the Archives of Sexual Behavior and their supporters if she criticizes their work. We see examples of these attacks right here in this discussion. They very much want to know who she is so they can attack her in other ways. Another expert, a sexologist who leaked criticism made by the head of the Kinsey Institute about this controversy, remains completely pseudonymous (using the name "IASR Friend"), because that person is even more fearful of retribution from people associated with the Archives of Sexual Behavior. This larger debate is about academic exploitation of transgender people by sex scientists, and the main source of this exploitation is the Archives of Sexual Behavior itself. Many people on one side of the controversy serve on the editorial board of the Archives of Sexual Behavior. Dr. Wyndzen is a transgender psychologist with whom they disagree, and she probably represents the greatest threat to them (and they to her). She can speak as a Ph.D.-level mental health professional as well as someone whose lived experiences can speak to these issues. They wish to spin this as "experts" vs. mentally disordered people, just as the APA used to do to gay and lesbian psychiatrists, etc. But let's set the Wyndzen commentary aside, as it is a distraction.
The peer commentaries were solicited as part of what is called a target paper in academia: an article published for the express purpose of including it with solicited peer commentaries. Usually the author of the target paper responds to the commentaries, as was the case in this journal. In other words, they are claiming that the target paper by Dreger is reliable, but Dreger's reply to the commentaries in the same issue is not. Letters to the editor are not solicited and are usually published in the next edition of the journal. None of the letters to the editor in the issue in question are about the target article. The peer commentaries are each several pages long (1000-2000 words each); the letters to the editor are usually 100-200 words each. Jokestress (talk) 23:29, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
As the editor of an academic journal (though in a wholly unrelated field) I am familiar with such procedures, but you have not answered the central question. As far as I can tell the commentaries were not specifically solicited from chosen professionals (which would be normal procedure), but from anyone who chose to respond. You assert that you know the identity of this person, but have provided no independent evidence that her status in the field is acknowledged. If the journal had solicited material from a respected scholar who wished to remain anonymous, and had published it with that information, then I think we could accept that the journal's editorial board fits our criteria for "good faith" that the anonymous author was indeed an expert in the field, but that does not seem to be the case here and we have the rather odd situation that anonymity is claimed while identity is de facto revealed by a photograph. If these enemies were so keen to attack they could readily identify a fellow professional and circulate the information in no time at all. The "attacks right here in this discussion" are disagreements about the status of the source which are a product of her anonymity. Paul B (talk) 14:21, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
As I said above, let's set the Wyndzen commentary aside, as it is a distraction that has already been discussed at length previously. Let's focus on the other 23 commentaries. Jokestress (talk) 19:09, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
  • I think it would help if someone could explain the difference between published peer commentary in these journals and letters to these journals about an article in the same issue. Are these the comments from the journal's peer review process (somehow I don't think so)? Are they solicited by the journal? How are they different from letters to an academic journal? Protonk (talk) 18:13, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
I am on the editorial board for the journal in question, but I was not involved in the publication of the Dreger paper or any of the commentaries on it. In the journal issue that contained the Dreger paper and the commentaries on it, Editor-in-Chief (Ken Zucker) wrote:
Dreger’s article was peer-reviewed by three referees and then a call for commentaries was issued via various listservs and organizations. A total of 60 people expressed an interest in writing a commentary and, in the end, 24 commentaries were received. One commentary was not accepted by me for publication because its content did not have anything to do with the target article. The 23 published commentaries are followed by a reply from Dreger. I reviewed all commentaries and, by and large, made very minor editorial changes and, if there was a substantive issue, did so in consultation with the author.
Thus, the Dreger paper is very clearly (to me) peer-reviewed, but the commentaries were the result of an open call. All commentaries submitted were published (with the one exception that Zucker indicates in the above). The commentaries were not the result of an invitation by the journal's editor (as some other journals do). Nor were the commentaries submitted sponteneously like a regular letter-to-the-editor. Because the commentaries did not undergo fact-checking (the basis for WP:RS) such as by peer review, the commentaries seem (to me) to be self-published sources like letters-to-the-editor, for WP purposes.
Just to tie up a loose end, user:Dicklyon and I have an agreement not to edit on the controvery sections of WP page in question. Thus, any potential COI posed by my being on the editorial board is moot.
— James Cantor (talk) 19:51, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
On the matter of Dr. Wyndzen. :-? That picture proves absolutely nothing. That could be anyone, anyone at all. (Heck Jokestress what happen to your supreme skepticism? You accused me of being an internet faker why not her? By the same arguements you used...) Though I agree we had best not give undue weight to that one phantoms comments.--Hfarmer (talk) 00:18, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
James, if this report of editorial practice is accurate, these are essentially self-selected letters to he editors or web commentary to a blog. (there are quite a few instances where the same terminology is used but where the material is selected & to at least some degree the responsibility of the editor) Now there are some cases where exceptionally such material is usable, depending upon the authority of the person writing the material. The format of letters to the editor has been used by notable authorities in various fields, and so has that of blog postings. But these are the exceptions. If the person writing is an authority, I would say the material can be used for purposes of description of of scientific controversy within their field, as representing their own views. It cannot by our policies be used for BLP (a separate question from whether our policies are over-sensitive). This then brings up the question which has bedeviled these articles, of to what extent the criticism is of someone's science, as contrast to the person. Scientists who publishes expects to get comments, some of which they may not like; scientists in fields like these can expect to get comments they certainly will not like. Looking at this from outside, this subject in particular is affected by the very lack of distinction between people's science and their view of themselves--I cannot help thinking it inevitable that one will propound or adopt the theories that one thinks describe oneself--whether one's real life or one's fantasy. Thus, all criticism of a one's view of sexuality is seen as a direct threat to one's own sexuality--a matter about which people are rarely fully objective. I consequently think a rather broad interpretation of RS can be used, but that it should be used very cautiously. Proportional weight, careful description, and relatively concise treatment are necessary. This calls for special care in selection of quotes; in description of people's position's; in discussing the state of the field and the context. What one says in response to an attack is not necessarily one's considered view. The problem comes when either someone wishes to omit all mention of a POV, by removing whatever sources there may be on it, or alternatively wants to propagandize for it by treating it as expansively as possible, including every conceivable source. NPOV is at heart a matter of fairness and balance. Not Justice. Not Truth. DGG (talk) 01:28, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
I am not quite sure why you directed that comment at me, but I agree with you insofar as you are saying that the commentaries should be treated as letters-to-the-editor (that is, as SPS's). They merit mention (careful mention) only with regard to describing the opinion of the writer and only if the writer is a bone fide expert on the topic. At least, that is what I am hearing in the first portion of what you wrote above. I am less clear on the rest of your comment, however; please let me know if I am not getting what you are saying.
— James Cantor (talk) 01:50, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
Anonymous publications cause further difficulty. In some cases they are usable, if one can show they are accepted in some sense adequate to the matter at issue. I think the editorial inclusion of one here might indicate this--I doubt that Zucker would have published one otherwise, even if he did no other screening. I agree that this is a field where such publication is sometimes accepted as necessary. DGG (talk) 01:34, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
Other than Jokestress, no one seems to be saying that the Wyndzen comments should be included. I am (personally) more interested in having input on how to handle the 22 other commentaries.
— James Cantor (talk) 14:14, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
It is my impression that Wyndzen is a well known expert in this field, under her pseudonym. The only reason Cantor and his gang wants to exclude her is that she is so eloquent in her criticism of Dreger in her five-page commentary "A Social Psychology of a History of a Snippet in the Psychology of Transgenderism." And Dreger refers back to Wyndzen in her response to the commentaries, saying And in her unique commentary, Madeline Wyndzen hints at how the medical "treatment" of gay men has moved on to where the "treatment" of transgender people might some day go. She writes eloquently, "Whereas gay men are [now] diagnosed for how they suffer, transsexuals are [still] diagnosed for who they are." It would seem odd to exclude that unique one of the 23 commentaries just because she won't disclose her identity.
But as Jokestress points, out, Wyndzen is really just a distraction here from the main point, which is why I had not jumped in about her before. Dicklyon (talk) 06:13, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
"It is my impression that Wyndzen is a well known expert in this field, under her pseudonym." This may be the case, in which case demonstrate the fact that Wyndzen has published work in reliable sources under that name, and that that is a consistent pen-name. That's not a problem if it's the case, since it establishes expertise. Paul B (talk) 14:27, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
What I want, and what Dicklyon thinks I want are irrelevant. What matters is what best matches WP policies on what to do on controversial topics like this, when the WP editors working on it cannot this.
— James Cantor (talk) 14:02, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Well, as far as the 22 other commentaries...I think something on the order of 1 comment used would be better than something on the order of 10 comments used. I can't imagine that there is enough material there that we would have to cover ~10-20 comments but no otherwise reliable source covered the same topic. Protonk (talk) 01:55, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
I agree; one wants to be able to cite a comment or two, especially when needed to balance something attributed to Dreger. Mostly, just want to acknowledge the existence of 14 articles (by some count) that blast Dreger for her so-called "history". Dicklyon (talk) 06:13, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

Whether one commentary or all commentaries are cited or quoted doesn't matter. The amount of attention that needs to be paid to any opinion is according to how widely that opinion is expressed among RS's, not according to what "one wants." That's why we need an idea of whether all, some, or none of the commentaries are RS's, from WP's point of view.
— James Cantor (talk) 12:06, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

Exactly. Based on my understanding of WP:RS, they all are. Perhaps a list of the 80 pages of commentaries in the dispute would be useful, with Wikilinks to those with Wikipedia articles
  • Jonathan M. Adler: Two Modes of Thought: The Narrative/Paradigmatic Disconnect in the Bailey Book Controversy. (pages 422-425)
  • John Bancroft: Lust or Identity? (pages 426-428)
  • Ben Barres: A Response to Dreger’s Defense of the Bailey Book. (page 429)
  • Talia Mae Bettcher: Pretenders to the Throne. (pages 430-433)
  • Ray Blanchard: Deconstructing the Feminine Essence Narrative. (pages 434-438)
  • Antonia Caretto: Dreger’s Adventures. (pages 439-440)
  • Nicholas L. Clarkson: Trans Victims, Trans Zealots: A Critique of Dreger’s History of the Bailey Controversy. (pages 441-443)
  • Alice Dreger: Response to the Commentaries on Dreger (2008). (pages 503-510)
  • John Gagnon: Is This a Work of Science?. (pages 444-447)
  • Brian A. Gladue: Gender Identity Politics, Human Subjects Issues, and the "Law of Unintended Consequences". (pages 448-450)
  • Richard Green: Lighten Up, Ladies. (pages 451-452)
  • Riki Lane: Truth, Lies, and Trans Science. (pages 453-456)
  • Anne A. Lawrence: Shame and Narcissistic Rage in Autogynephilic Transsexualism. (pages 457-461)
  • Robin M. Mathy: "Cowboys, Sheepherders, and The Man Who Would Be Queen : "I Know" vs. First-Order Lived Experience. (pages 462-465)
  • Deirdre McCloskey: Politics in Scholarly Drag: Dreger’s Assault on the Critics of Bailey. (pages 466-468)
  • Marta Meana: The Drama of Sex, Identity, and the "Queen". (pages 469-471)
  • Charles Moser: A Different Perspective. (pages 472-475)
  • Margaret Nichols: Dreger on the Bailey Controversy: Lost in the Drama, Missing the Big Picture. (pages 476-480)
  • Bruce Rind: The Bailey Affair: Political Correctness and Attacks on Sex Research. (pages 481-484)
  • Seth Roberts: McCloskey and Me: A Back-and-Forth. (pages 485-488)
  • Amir Rosenmann and Marilyn P. Safir: Sex, Sexuality, and Gender Dichotomized: Transgender Homosexuality in Israel. (pages 489-490)
  • Julia Serano: A Matter of Perspective: A Transsexual Woman-Centric Critique of Dreger’s "Scholarly History" of the Bailey Controversy. (pages 491-494)
  • Elroi J. Windsor: Accounting for Power and Academic Responsibility. (pages 495-497)
  • Madeline H. Wyndzen: A Social Psychology of a History of a Snippet in the Psychology of Transgenderism. (pages 498-502)
The commentaries in total are approximately the length of the target article. As is customary, Dreger has a published response to the commentaries in the same issue. Everyone who contributed has a specific perspective on the matter based on related experience and/or expertise. As is clear from the titles, many are critical of Dreger's paper, which is why I believe they are being challenged as "unreliable." Jokestress (talk) 19:09, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
Jokestress can say that all of these are RS's as many times as she likes, but the part that is missing (and why we need this at RS/N) is the WP policy that supports such a claim. The editor of the journal did not send these out for peer review, and many of these people have no relevant expertise in the topic. Having a PhD in Economics (for example) does not make one expert on transsexuality, regardeless of being transsexual. (Analogously, being pregnant does not make one an obstetrician.) When dealing with controversial issues, the bar goes up, not down.
Each and every one of the people above have had the opportunity (for five years, now) to express their views and submit them to any of many journals for peer review and publication in an RS. No such publication has emerged, however. If there were such publications, we would simply be using those as sources.
All of this has been expressed amongst the involved editors before. We need the input from uninvolved editors; not the re-enactments of prior disputes.
— James Cantor (talk) 20:37, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
I propose the following compromise. Taking away all the other noise this is just a matter of comments that agree with dreger vs those that disagree. So we do this with the whole issue. We mention it's existence. Then we quote a few (3) good sentences from the comments against dreger. Then we quote a couple (2) good sentences from the comments for dreger one of which should/could be from dreger's response to the commentaries. This 3:2 ratio would convey that most of the comments on the article were negative, however discussing the article and giving a sentence or two of dreger's response to the commentaries would give weight to the whole "Dreger's article was peer reviewed thing". This recipe would IMHO lead to a short, sweet balanced paragraph about this issue of ASB that does not give undue weight to anyone.
As for supposed professor Wyndzen's professional standing I submit the results of googleing "Madeline H. Wyndzen". As Paul B. wrote if she has published peer reviewed articles on this topic under that pen name then she would meet WP's minimum definition of an authority. Failing that the phantom's comments should be excluded.
To Dr.Cantor's remarks that being a transsexual does not make one an expert on transsexuality I must begg to differ. We are that of which you speak sir. We know our minds and every thought therein. NO ONE can know better than us what goes on up here (point to head). Each and every known, non anonymous, transsexual on that list should be treated like the distinguished experts that they in deed are. His critics can say what they want about Bailey but at least he realize that getting to know at least some transsexuals was the best way to get a real feel for the rest of us.--Hfarmer (talk) 20:53, 16 October 2008 (UTC) (pun sort of intended. :-) --Hfarmer (talk) 20:54, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
On the "automatic expert" thing, my position is that expertise cannot be granted by birth. If I were a woman, I would not automatically be an expert at Women's studies and be able to be cited as an authority on the subject. If I live in a city, I do not become an expert on that city. And so forth. The people on that list who are there because they are transexuals alone can't be used as sources. The rest can be used (IMO) as sources in line with WP:SPS and the previous discussion about pseudonymous authors. That means that the experts in the field who comment using their real names can be quoted and the opinion attributed to them. This isn't about Dreger vs. not dreger. This is about maintaining a neutral view of Dreger and criticism from reliable sources. If we have to include unreliable sources to "balance" the article, then we don't do that, because that should hint at the possibility that opinion outside wikipedia is not "balanced" on dreger. Protonk (talk) 23:49, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
I agree with ProtonK. I would also add that every peer commentary was written by someone with a Ph.D. or working toward one in a related field of inquiry. These are all well-educated people making comments based on their formal training. That's why the publication of their views seems pretty reliable. This isn't a scientific paper they are discussing, either, so claiming only people in one discipline are "reliable" is yet another attempt to shut out these published points of view. Jokestress (talk) 01:34, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
WP:SPS says that "Self-published material may, in some circumstances, be acceptable when produced by an established expert on the topic of the article whose work in the relevant field has previously been published by reliable third-party publications." According to this, having a PhD is neither necessary, nor sufficient; WP puts the bar at the production of RS's on the topic, and few of the commentators have published relevant papers in RS's.
Protonk: To be sure I understand you properly, are you saying you believe that all the commentaries meet the above criterion and are therefore usable as sources, or that all the commentaries should be considered as SPS's and are therefore usable as sources only if they meet the above criterion? I don't mean to put words in her mouth, but I suspect Jokestress sees you as saying that all the commentaries are usable as sources. Is that the case?
— James Cantor (talk) 03:17, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
Your second read is correct. The ones who fit the SPS exemption should be quoted and attributed to the source. The others should not. Protonk (talk) 03:24, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
But these are not "self-published." The peer commentaries were published by Springer Science+Business Media, one of the most notable publishers of academic journals. You can buy each commentary for $32 each on their site, same price as the target article. Jokestress (talk) 04:29, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
Well, look at the pseudonymous authors discussion (linked above) for that. I think that commentary that doesn't go through the same review process as articles should be treated more like material in an op-ed than like reviewed articles published in the journal. I'm not saying these are the same things as "letters to the editor" or blog posts, but they can't be treated as reliable published sources. Protonk (talk) 04:34, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
Setting aside the pseudonymous one, do you consider the other two dozen commentaries to be verifiable, as in anyone can confirm the published contents in an academic journal? If so, since we allow op-eds to be used as sources, do you consider the other two dozen commentaries to be reliable, in that we could quote from them? As an example, could we say "Sexologist John Gagnon wrote, "The publication of Dreger's article and these commentaries will provoke another spike in the notice given to the controversy," then cite Gagnon's peer commentary? This doesn't seem to be any sort of violation of WP:RS to me, whether it's from him or any of the other two dozen authors. Jokestress (talk) 05:16, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
That is what I meant originally. Those peer commentaries can be used, so long as we identify the source and the person we are quoting is an expert in the field. What I meant when I mentioned pseudonyms was this post, but since you commented there (just noticed that), you probably remember the basic idea. As far as what one eitor said about about having to "balance" the article against dreger's view with these commentaries...that's fine, but User:James Cantor has a point that if the issues brought up in those commentaries were serious and important to the field, they would have been covered in some other place by now. That doesn't mean we remove criticism. It just means that the article shouldn't cite 12 commentary pieces to make sure that something out there outwieghs the dreger summary. Protonk (talk) 05:30, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarification. I feel it will help readers contextualize Dreger to summarize the recurring themes that appear in the commentaries (pro and con). Jokestress (talk) 06:14, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

There is more that one sense of the term "being an expert." There is "being an expert for WP purposes" and there is "being an expert in the more general sense of being in possession of uncommon information." For purposes of deciding what is and is not an RS, we are interested in the WP version of expert, and WP has no policy saying that members of a group (whatever group) gives any person any greater standing than otherwise. When writing an encyclopedia, being male does not give any special information on which gene on the Y-chromosome produces males development or what the probability is of developing testicular cancer. Being gay will never tell you what areas of the brain are involved.
Being an expert in the general sense is an interesting philosophical conversation, and I suspect that you and I would actually agree on most points if we discussed them in any length. But that would be appropriate only in another venue, such as my talk page.
— James Cantor (talk) 21:46, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

Discussion appears to have wound down now, so it might be worth summing up the general recommendations of the uninvolved editors. The strongest recommendation, of course, appears to be that Wyndzen is out. Regarding the remaining commentaries, no one expressed the views that all commentaries are in or that all commentaries are out. Rather, it seems that the opinion is a commenatary is in, subject to the restrictions of WP:SPS: A commentary written by an expert on the topic can be used as a source to show what that particular expert's opinions are, but not as a source for facts.
Does this appear to be the general conclusion? Is it better to allow for more conversation or to mark this conversation as complete?
— James Cantor (talk) 15:18, 18 October 2008 (UTC)
James, I think it is highly inappropriate for you to be writing the summary. We agreed to come here to see what others think. I'll wait and see if an uninvolved editor is willing to summarize the discussion. Dicklyon (talk) 15:46, 18 October 2008 (UTC)
You'r right that it was inappropriate for James Cantor to sum up, but his summation seems to be a fair account of consensus. Wyndzen should not be used. Other contributors to the commentaries may be used if they are independently established as experts. Paul B (talk) 16:23, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
I'd like to see an uninvolved editor take a fresh look at it, instead of endorsing Cantor's summary. In particular, he ignore the question of the Dreger article itself, which is an opinion piece by a principle in the arguments, dressed up a peer-reviewed history. Already Cantor's buddy has interpreted this summary to imply that "The Dreger article can be used as a reliable source on par with any other peer reviewed journal article. All the commentaries have to be treated as self published and vetted on a case by case basis." I don't see any such consensus here. Also it's not clear what "independently established as experts" means here, since all of these were by people invited by the editor to comment, and all are very familiar with the issues; is there some other level of expertise that's needed to get their written opinions to be allowable? I don't think so. Dicklyon (talk) 17:41, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
I wasn't aware that I was supposed to be giving input on the reliability of dreger. As for the "established as experts" bit, it is neatly defined at WP:SPS. If they wrote books on the subjects, are cited as sources on the subjects, or made some significant advance in the field, we can use them. It would be pretty shady, in this case, to use their comments there as a sign that we should accept their commentary as reliable. I think (although I would like more people to look at this, since it has not come up twice) that James is basically right: Wyndzen is out, some are reliable per SPS, some are not. Protonk (talk) 18:02, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
I suspect that formerly uninvolved editors will not be keen to involve themselves too closely. This seems to be a subject replete with personal animosities and conspiracy theories. However, my understanding of the above discussion is that the Dreger article was not published as one of the "commentaries". It was a separate stand-alone article in a peer reviewed publication. It is therefore not subject to the strictures concerning the commentaries. On your other comments: you say "all of these were by people invited by the editor to comment". The discussion indicated that this is not the case. The editor invited any comments from anyone. My mother could have commented under these conditions. They were not personally invited. You say "all are very familiar with the issues; is there some other level of expertise that's needed to get their written opinions to be allowable? I don't think so." Well you think wrongly. We don't accept that people are experts on their own say-so. Expertise is established by their academic positions and publications. Paul B (talk) 18:11, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
Dicklyon's comment above contains several errors:
  • The question, as written above, pertained to the commentaries about the Dreger article, not the Dreger article itself. I would have no opposition to another RS/N question regarding the Dreger article itself.
  • "Independently established as experts" refers to the criteria in WP:SPS. That has been said by several editors in this discussion.
  • It is also untrue that "these were by people invited by the editor to comment." No one was invited; the open call was an open call. This also has been mentioned multiple times here.
Because the animosity here is clear, I must leave it to the uninvolved editors to opin whether Dicklyon's overlooking of multiple comments made by multiple editors stretches the boundaries of good faith.
Finally, I apologize if I was out of turn in writing a summary of the discussion up to that point. I am nonetheless gratified that my summary itself appears to others a fair recap.
— James Cantor (talk) 18:20, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
Cantor and Protonk seem to have not re-read the original questions that Cantor helped formulate; among the options enumerated were "1. In this case include only the peer reviewed article itself. & 2. Treat everything in the journal on an equal footing and use anything published in a journal as a reliable source." What were these about if not the Dreger article? I don't mean to suggest that the right answer is among the simple ones enumerated, but the Dreger opinion piece was certainly at the center of it. To treat this opinion piece as Hfarmer inteprets, as "a reliable source on par with any other peer reviewed journal article" is a bit absurd. And to insert this whole diversion of "expert" as Cantor proposed also seems absurd; how can any of these published commentators not be considered an expert on the topics in their published commentaries? Who gets to decide? If, as Paul B suggests, some of them are NOT experts, can someone please propose who those might be? They all have some kind of relevant credentials, right? Dicklyon (talk) 23:23, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

And back to the Wyndzen topic, the editor of the American Psychological Association's Division 44 newsletter invited Wyndzen to submit an expanded letter on the topic for publication ([85]). It's not a journal, but is clearly a relevant reliable source that supports her being a recognized expert. Furthermore, since Dreger's response specifically addresses the Wyndzen comments as "unique", that adds support to the reliability of that commentary as an expression of a person's genuine opinions. And to call it self-published remains absurd, in my opinion. These are all part of the same discussion, in a context controlled by Dreger's friends. It's lopsided enough that way without censoring parts of it for not being part of the academic sexology cabal. Dicklyon (talk) 06:51, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

I am a member of that division and have previously published several items in their newsletter. Submissions to the newsletter are handled by email and without any verification of the identity of the author. All a person would have to do to remain anonymous is to have an email address, send in the comment, and for the editor to respond to the same email address asking for longer version of the same document. Nothing in that procedure requires the identification of the author nor establishes the newsletter as an RS. Dicklyon can push for the Wyndzen comment all he likes, of course, but (except for Jokestress) the opinion against it has been unanimous.
— James Cantor (talk) 13:43, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

Apparently, the WP editors originally involved in this dispute do not shore the same understanding of what the uninvolved editors have recommended. So, I am pasting below the discussion/disagreement about the uninvolved editors recommendation from the talk page of the disputed article (The Man Who Would Be Queen). Any indication about whether the uninvolved editors' recommendations are being misinterpreted would be greatly appreciated.
— James Cantor (talk) 23:18, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

Basically I understand this to mean Dr. Wyndzen as of now cannot be used as a source here. The Dreger article can be used as a reliable source on par with any other peer reviewed journal article. All the commentaries have to be treated as self published and vetted on a case by case basis.

I look forward to arguing over just what constitutes expertise in this matter. Why wait?--Hfarmer (talk) 17:28, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

What makes one an expert on any of this.

Academic credentials? Direct knowledge? For example if we say that one must have an academic credential to be an expert on this...then someone who wrote a book on this but had no direct knowledge would be more of an expert than say...Anjelica Kieltyka, or perhaps Juanita/Maria. :-? Which would be totally absurd. On the other hand much credit has to be given to someone with an academic degree for the expertise related to that degree. However in the words of Richard Feynman "I believe that a scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Therefore would say being a illustrious professor of English, Economics, and Microwave Cookery should not automatically make one an expert on this matter? :-/ How about if that professor is them self a transsexual? Should that have any bearing on the question of weather or not they are an expert. I think it does if the illustrious professor was here in Chicago and has some good first and second hand knowledge to draw on. Personally I don't think being a professor/PhD/MD/ grad student has any bearing on the matter at all unless you are a psychologist AND have shown familiarity with the situation. But that's just my opinion.

lol as you can see the "answer" we got from RS/N raises at least as many questions as their are peer commentaries lol :-) What say you all? --Hfarmer (talk) 17:28, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

Looking atthis list Here are the commentaries I think we should stick with. They are people who for any number of reasons have undeinable expertise, Most need no explanation. Disagreed with Dreger, Bancroft, Barres, McCloskey, and Serano; Agreed with dreger, Richard Green and Anne Lawrence; Neutral Jonathan M. Alder A advanced graduate studet of psych at NU from 2003 until recently (perhaps a newly minted PhD by now?) he seems to have some good insights. I will also look at using some of these as matterials for other articles. --Hfarmer (talk) 17:57, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

WP:SPS sets the standard for "expert" at having published on the topic in an RS. Neither being a psychologist nor being transsexual are, in themselves, sufficient. The commentators whom I know off-hand to have previously published on sexology in an RS are: John Bancroft, Ray Blanchard, Alice Dreger, John Gagnon, Brian A. Gladue, Richard Green, Anne A. Lawrence, Marta Meana, Charles Moser, Bruce Rind, and Marilyn P. Safir. All that would be necessary to add someone else would be to provide the RS that that person published. If "topic" were interpreted to mean "transsexuality" instead of "sexology," then the list of experts becomes shorter, of course.
Although a second uninvolved editor has now endorsed my summary at RS/N, I repeat my apology for speaking out of turn. In my readings of the rules, I have not seen such a policy. I would be grateful if someone would direct me to where that policy is, so I can avoid making similar faux pas in the future.
— James Cantor (talk) 18:59, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

It's more complicated than that, because a self-published source can be reliable for eyewitness statements, such as "I had sex with him" -- which must be represented as "Gennifer Flowers said that she had sex with Bill Clinton," and not as "Flowers really did have sex with Clinton." For the purposes of RS, a self-published statement from McCloskey has sufficient "expertise" to support an assertion of what McCloskey did or didn't do/think/say. McCloskey is not, however, an expert on the classification of transsexuality, the motivations of other actors, etc. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:01, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
Another problem is that critics see these "experts" as akin to the kinds of "experts" who came up with the moron/imbecile/idiot taxonomy for cognitive ability: as pseudoscientific quacks whose ideas will eventually be seen as akin to phrenology and drapetomania (see for instance, Gagnon's statements about these schemes for organizing transsexuals). If only trained phrenologists can comment on phrenology (as is the case being made here), the article produced would have a strong pro-phrenology bias and would exclude important criticism. To claim that only scientists can comment on science ignores the important contributions to our understanding of science, pseudoscience, and pathological science via other disciplines. Jokestress (talk) 21:07, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

WhatamIdoing: I agree with you entirely that McClosky is not an RS for matters of fact. I believe furthermore that the commentaries from the topic-experts are also out with regard to matters of fact. Regarding opinions, I believe (and I interpreted the uninvolved editors to believe) that: (1) the topic-experts' opinions could be included on the basis of their commentaries, so long as it was clear that the statements were indeed merely the opinions of those topic-experts, and (2) the non-experts' opinions could not be included in any case. That is, (in my opinion) it is not the place of an encyclopedia to record the opinion of every non-expert who expresses one in an SPS. (I appreciated that the commentaries are not literally self-published; rather, they are being treated as SPS's.) For example, an opinion about the current economic crisis in a letter-to-the-editor from a former Federal Bank executive would merit mention in WP, but the same opinion expressed in a letter to the same newspaper by average citizen X would not.

Jokestress: That you personally do not believe that (all) the commentators are experts is irrelevant to whether those people meet the WP definition of expert. Neither phrenology nor intellegence research became modernized because of pressure from non-experts. Both fields evolved because of the input of other experts who produced superior findings in well-regarded RS's. Should the experts who do see things your way produce analogously superior findings in the future, then they most certainly should win out in the long run. Thus far, however, they have produced no such thing.

Uninvolved editors: It is not my intent to put words in your mouths. If I have misinterpreted your intended meaning, I apologize, but please do let me know whether I am in error. — James Cantor (talk) 23:18, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

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