Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard/Archive 34

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Help Determining if this Qualifies as RS in Planned Parenthood

Hi. An anon editor has added this line [1] to Planned Parenthood. On the face of it certainly qualifies as criticism, but the source may not reach the standard of WP:RS. I'd welcome the help from more experienced editors than I on this matter. Thoughts? Mattnad (talk) 21:02, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

WND has come up a couple of times, see the archives. Opinion has been nearly unanimous that it is not a reliable source. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 21:15, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Yup. WND, not a reliable source. Protonk (talk) 21:23, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
It could be usable as an example of Fundamentalist opinion. However for this particular matter you should be able to find a more mainstream source. Likely WND was used because its archives are freely accessible online. Squidfryerchef (talk) 22:12, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
I read the source. It's a WND article (not a link to another) and with close reading, there's no mention of either an official lawsuit, or formal charges. The headline is somewhat misleading in that is says PP was "charged" but the charges were not official (as in criminal or civil legal action). Looks like without mainstream coroboration, this is not RS enough for an article (in my view). Thanks. Mattnad (talk) 00:09, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
Well the article could be reworded to say that a complaint was filed with the state EEOC. The complaint does appear in other (mainly religious or advocacy) sources such as the Catholic News Agency[2] and the Pro-Family Law Center[3]. No info so far on what the EEOC made of the claim. It's our call if we think it's important enough to include in our article. Squidfryerchef (talk) 01:31, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Squidfryerchef (again), editors need to understand that being a reliable source is not a matter of just "is" or "isnt" for all time in all circumstances. A source that is unreliable because it is a fringe or extremist view can be used as a reliable source if it is being used to reference the views of that very group as long as the wording makes it clear that it is the viewpoint of that group and may not actually be a fact.Camelbinky (talk) 02:24, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
Yes it can be used in that way, but then at that point we also have to ask other questions beyond just if it's reliable, such as if the view is notable and if its inclusion violates WP:UNDUE, etc. DreamGuy (talk) 15:21, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
But, and I believe Squidfryerchef may have been hinting at this he/she can state whether they were or not, that- the issue of the information in the source is notable enough for its inclusion is an issue to be decided at the talk page for the article and by those editors there and not an issue that the noticeboard was made to decide. This noticeboard is specifically for deciding if a source is reliable in individual cases, not for deciding if individual pieces of info are notable for an article.Camelbinky (talk) 15:45, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
In the end, another editor removed the sentence. I've searched for any outcome of the complaints and found none. At lease for now, we have little to add except that complaints were made. No known reporting/evidence that they were proven or that there were consequences for planned parenthood. Right now these 5 year old accusations seem to have been noted only by organizations who already have a negative view of Planned Parenthood due to the abortion debate. and (for now) probably falls below a notability threshold. I'll add a similar statement on the talk page so the discussion can continue if so desired by interested editors.Mattnad (talk) 18:35, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

Western Mail again

Prior discussion here

I am trying to have a discussion with O Fenian about this issue but he just deletes my material. I think that he needs to either discuss this or stop interfering with my posts. I have accepted that I may have caused the problem because of breaches of protocol but he refuses to discuss the matter just removes my posts. I refer to the eralier discussion where he has tried to ignore teh Western mail source and pointed to supporting sources which reinforce the material from the Western mail - which he disnisses as a tabloid - and even the reports from another editor of a collection of MacLochlainn's letters that are archived in teh national library of wales.-- (talk) 00:18, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

Seems like one of the edits in question is here. Anon, you say this information is sourced to the Western Mail, but the link you provide is to An Phoblacht, which appears to be put out by Sinn Fein. Do you have an actual link to the Western Mail for the information you're trying to insert? As an aside, this article is in pretty terrible shape as it stands. — e. ripley\talk 02:49, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

The online materal is limited as it relates to 1980-1981 and most newspapers archives are only available off line at that time. However the edit quotes the date of the Western Mail article (actually front page) and I have photo copies of them in my possession because of some work I am doing on prisoners in English jails. The letters are held in teh National Library of Wales and I will be travelling there to view these as I am told a collection of his letters to Dafydd Ellis Thomas - the Presiding Officer of the Welsh Assembly - are also archived there. I realsie teh article is badly written and I will do some work on that once I am sure I am doing the job properly and am not going to have it constantly cut arbitrarily. I can stand over everyone of my sources but it seems the pserson who is single handedly cutting them out has no such knowlesge of Gerry MacLochlainn (born Gerard McLaughlin) or of Wales. I am at a bit of a loss as to how to proceed. It cannot be teh case that everything has to be supported by online sources surely.-- (talk) 09:05, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

If you had read the previous discussion on this board and my comments on the article's talk page, you would have seen that I had asked for direct quotes from the offline sources, due to your misuse of online sources. Therefore it would be best for you to provide those as requested instead of beating this dead horse. O Fenian (talk) 09:10, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
IP address, do please register. Sources don't have to be published online. Kittybrewster 14:34, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
No, sources don't have to be available online necessarily (however it's generally preferred, so that people can check your work). I think providing some direct quotes from the material in question would probably help. — e. ripley\talk 15:46, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

Using a primary source as a source for someone's full name

In Gavin Menzies I used The Navy List as a source for his full name. On the talk page I'm told I can't, because this is a primary source. So, I presume, would be a birth certificate. So what do I use? I think we can use primary sources for this, but if I'm wrong, I'm wrong. Thanks. Dougweller (talk) 12:19, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

First, I don't know if The Navy List should be considered a primary source... but even if it is, I think you are talking about an appropriate use of that source. There is a common misconception that Primary Sources are never to be used. That is absolutely incorrect. I can not stress this enough: Primary sources MAY be used. They just have to be used appropriately. We have to be alert to potential misuse... especially using them in support of OR. But primay sources MAY be used. Blueboar (talk) 13:00, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
I'd be inclined to say that it could be used in this case. I often use primary sources for early life matters that may not be covered in secondary sources, and most likely if they were to be found in secondary sources, would derive from the primary source anyway.--Wehwalt (talk) 13:18, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
The Navy List is a published book go to and search for Navy Lsit and you'll see currnet and some older editions on general sale. Older editions are held by many large reference libraries. Certain detials of his career will also have been published in the London Gazette. David Underdown (talk) 14:27, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
Thanks everyone. Dougweller (talk) 08:15, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

Is an article submitted to a journal a reliable source for this edit?

The edit at Christ myth theory states that "A recent examination of an ultra-violet photograph has revealed conclusively that the scribe wrote originally "Chrestianos" and that the "e" was changed to an "i"". The article in question is here [4], the journal is Journal of Higher Criticism, which has an interesting collection of authors, some of whom I'd probably agree with, others seem pretty fringe. The author, OA, doesn't seem an expert on this, and publication in this journal does not, I believe, make him a RS. I also believe that it is a big jump from the bit in the submitted article by Rao to "revealed conclusively". The edit has been removed several times. This may be part of an atheist/Christian argument, but this atheist is only interested in whether it's an appropriate edit. Dougweller (talk) 08:41, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

I'm skeptical. It is not at all obvious who controls publication in the journal - in particular, I found no editorial board or mention of peer review, but only Price as the editor in chief - and he is associated with a non-accredited school. Also, analysis of a physical document seems to be more into the realm of chemistry or archaeology, not higher criticism. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 10:36, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
'Conclusively' is evidently unjustified.
(a) Ida Giovanna Rao, whom he consulted for the paleographic analysis says the circumstantial evidence is sufficient for one to believe an ‘e’ lies under the ‘i’.
(b) A then independently obtained an ultraviolet photograph that allowed him to remark that the change from ‘e’ to ‘I’ was clearly visible
(c) He ventures his own opinion in the remark:‘I consider it now totally safe to say, in accordance with the examinations made by Andresen, Lodi and Rao, that the fourth letter in ‘Christianos’’ has indeed has been changed from an “e” to an “I”.
(d) Rao's evidence bears strong weight. It is referred through OA, whose credentials are unclear, but there is no reason to doubt he's done his homework, and that the publishing journal is an outlet for frontranking textual critics and philologists.
(e) However, to use 'conclusively' for what is an outsider's judgement (A's work methods and position appear to resemble those of R. Gordon Wasson here, apparently), cannot be allowed in this case. You would need a paleographer, preferably a textual critic of Tacitus, to endorse his deductions and a follow-up where the judgement was not contested, but rather confirmed, to use that adverb.
The point itself is moot, since, on checking my editions of Tacitus I see that the passage with Chrestianus/Christianus is followed by the words: 'Auctor nominis eius Christus. The textual tradition of this manuscript of Tacitus bears no traces of 'Chrestus', which one would expect. Indeed, it stands to A's credit that he concludes his essay noting precisely this: 'For the sake of clarity, I will add that this particular manuscript does not contain the name Chrestus’.
That said, the paper is a very good one, precise, observing all of the proper protocols of method. But one would very much doubt that such minutiae from just one manuscript are relevant to the article. I.e. in a word, the source is very good, the article also, but there is nothing conclusive about this, and it may be irrelevant.Nishidani (talk) 11:01, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
Doug, I've checked the Christ myth theory page, and the section on Suetonius is simplistic and a WP:SYNTH and in part a violation of WP:NOR that is partisan. This section shouldn't be there, unless amplified and refined.

Critics argue that "Chrestus" was in fact a very common Greek name and may have been a person of that name living under Claudius rather than a misspelling of Christ. Also it is pointed out that Suetonius refers to Jews not Christians in this passage, even though in his Life of Nero he shows some knowledge of the sect's existence, indicating that "Chrestus" was not "Christus".[citation needed]'

The section can be rewritten on the basis of the close examination of Suetonius in Robert E. Van Voorst, Jesus outside the New Testament: an introduction to the ancient evidence, William B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2000 pp.29-39 (so should the following section on Tacitus). Regards Nishidani (talk) 11:24, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
The passage should certainly be rewritten, but the basic assertions are unproblematic. There is dispute about whether "Chestus" is a garbled reference to Christ or whether there was a person named Chestus who was a Jewish agitator in Rome. Van Voorst discusses this in an even handed way on p 32 of Jesus outside the New Testament. The main problem with the passage as written is that it seems to be trying to convince the reader that Chestus is not Christ, rather than simply explaining the differing points of view. Paul B (talk) 12:31, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

The Journal of Higher Criticism is not a reliable source. It does not employ blind peer-review, and its editor, Robert M. Price, is a "professor" at an unaccredited theological seminary. It's basically a venue for the publication of fringe theories. Nishidani's suggestion to rewrite based on Van Voorst is a good one. --Akhilleus (talk) 12:07, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

The reliability of the source is certainly very doubtful, but the main problem here seems to be the use to which this passage is being put - as though scribal corrections of spelling imply some sort of conspiracy. The balance of the evidence is that the scribe quickly corrected the manuscript equivalent of a "typo", since Christus is spelled with an I in the next line, as has been noted. A does say that "Chrestus" does not appear, but if he really wanted to clarify the point he would have noted that an unaltered "Christus" does, which is the centrally important matter. Instead he evasively notes the negative that something isn't there. Other aspects of his argument seem to involve double-think and self-contradiction - for example using the fact that two distinct inks have been noted to argue that there was only one change that included both inks! It is difficult to see why this article should be considered reliable, but it is even more difficult to see why its content has anything whatever to do with "Christ myth theory". Paul B (talk) 12:47, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

Just to note that my interest is basically about the source, and that the bit about 'conclusively' comes from our article Tacitus on Christ - if the source shouldn't be in one article it shouldn't be in the other, and certainly not 'conclusively'. Dougweller (talk) 16:58, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
Agreed. "Slips of the pen" happen just as if not more often than slips of the tongue. The journal is not a reliable source, the paper seems to make statements stronger than those of the people it's quoting, and, overall, the source looks at least to me very unreliable. I can't see any reason to include it anywhere. John Carter (talk) 17:06, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
[5] is a dead link.

Film affiliated with subject appropriate as source?

Question has arisen at Talk:Werner_Erhard#Introducing_poor_sourcing_for_.22award.22, about usage of a "documentary" that has as its executive producer the attorney for the individual that is the subject of the film (read: not independent source, conflict of interest, etc.).

  • More information from an article in Newsday:
"The movie claims to ask "hard questions" about Erhard's life and work, though concerns about the film's agenda already are circulating on the Web. Walter Maksym, who has served as Erhard's attorney, is listed as an executive producer of the film on the Internet Movie Database."
Guzman, Rafer (August 14, 2008). "Movie Buzz: WHO Werner Erhard, THE DEAL The founder of the controversial training program called est". Newsday. Newsday, Inc. p. B9.
  • Confirmed at IMDB [6]
  • Prior work of executive producer of the "documentary" = Erhard's attorney, Walter Maksym...

This "documentary" is not an independent source, fails WP:RS as a piece affiliated with the subject, and should not be used as a source. Rather, we should strive to find independent secondary sources which satisfy WP:RS and WP:V.

Would like to get some outside feedback on this from editors previously uninvolved in this dispute/topic. Thank you for your time, Cirt (talk) 18:27, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

What informatioon is attempting to be sourced by the movie? I mean, if it's objective facts about him, I don't think it really matters. If it's info that's controversial, then I'd say probably not. In other words, if someone is using it to say "Erhard has been married for 30 years, and has blah blah blah.." I think that's ok. If it's used to advance a position about Erhard then I would say "no", not unless there is a competing side to that argument being presented in equal light.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 18:44, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
It's used to advance a position that the subject received an "award", from an organization affiliated with the subject himself. See Talk:Werner_Erhard#Youth_at_Risk_.22award.22. Cirt (talk) 18:47, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
I'm not seeing how this is reflective of the source (the video). If I'm understanding you correctly, it wouldn't really matter if USA Today reported on this award, because it's basically given to him by an organization that is affliated with him. I think the video itself is irrelevant, because of the information being provided is a violation of NPOV (and I'm not a BIO-expert so I wouldn't know...probably should consult that project if you haven't already) then it doesn't matter who is listing the award because we wouldn't.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 19:12, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
Agreed. Cirt (talk) 00:35, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

reliability check I ask to vet this edit. — pd_THOR | =/\= | 16:53, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

No, not reliable. Blueboar (talk) 18:00, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

For frugality, I'm reusing the same header: is used as sourcing for List of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers episodes; can somebody vet? — pd_THOR | =/\= | 19:54, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

Salon on Rachel Corrie article

One editor of the Rachel Corrie article has opined that the above source is unreliable for one of two reasons:

1) The article is a movie review. It is indeed, but it is clearly a review of a recently-released documentary on Rachel Corrie's life. 2) The article quotes unreliable sources. My interpretation has always been that once a reliable source quoted an unreliable source (or, in this case, a collection of them) the origin of the information was no longer relevant.

Does anyone believe that either reason (or another not listed) is sufficient to impeach Salon as a reliable source in this context?

It is a movie review and interview. It is further officially an "independent blog" which means Salon does not exercise editorial control over its content. Material attributed as being said by Simone Bitton is likely properly attributable to her as her opinion only. The rest of the article is, at best, a blog opinion by Mr. O'Hehir. As for a reliable source cleansing an unreliable source, that is a matter of contention -- reliable sources have run stories which turned out to be hoaxes, and that does not me one can use a discredited article just because the RS had been taken in. Collect (talk) 16:43, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
It is specifically called an "independent film blog" ("Andrew O'Hehir's independent film blog offers reviews, news and interviews.") meaning that it reviews independent film, rather than that it is independent of Salon's editorial control. The attribution of Bitton's material is not in dispute. Jclemens (talk) 16:47, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
Mea culpa -- he reviewed Eastwood. Still officially a "blog". Hence, his opinions are his opinions. Her words are citable as her words. Neither reaches the level of "independent fact" <g>. Collect (talk) 17:05, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
Collect, any furhter comment in light of Ray's explanation below? Jclemens (talk) 19:51, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
It seems reliable enough to me. Quoting directly from WP:V, footnote: ""Blogs" in this context refers to personal and group blogs. Some newspapers host interactive columns that they call blogs, and these may be acceptable as sources so long as the writers are professionals and the blog is subject to the newspaper's full editorial control." Salon is an online magazine, and they put this professional writer up on their website. That's pretty much the definition of editorial control. Of course, I'm not exactly a complete stranger to the current argument, either. RayTalk 17:11, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

Wind power source

Is this web page a reliable source? -- [7] It is being used here: [8]. Johnfos (talk) 22:10, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

I doubt it - its an advocacy organization. The "Victims" button on their site is rather revealing as to their bias. If quoted in secondary sources, then it could be used, according to relative weight, as opinion. In this particular case (the picture) cannot be used - its simply advocacy, with no inherent reliability, and thus not usable as fact. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 22:57, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
It can be used as a reliable source for any information on what that particular advocacy group believes in. It doesnt need quoting in a secondary source in that particular case. A source is not just "reliable" or "unreliable" per the guidelines a source must be reliable in the topic to which it is being a source for, a normally reliable source may not be reliable on a topic it is not authoritative on and a source normally not reliable may be reliable for a topic to which it is the authoritative source on. In this case it is reliable to say what an advocacy group which is opposed to wind power believes in, since a normally reliable source for wind power would be unreliable to cite what the opposers of windpower believe since it would be against the pro-wind power group's interest. Advocacy is perfectly fine as a source as long as it is clear the facts may not be facts but are the opinions of a group. Opinions are perfectly fine on wikipedia and dont need to be sourced in a secondary place.Camelbinky (talk) 00:13, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
To be frank, that is just gobbledegook to me. What is this supposed to mean???
"A source is not just "reliable" or "unreliable" per the guidelines a source must be reliable in the topic to which it is being a source for, a normally reliable source may not be reliable on a topic it is not authoritative on and a source normally not reliable may be reliable for a topic to which it is the authoritative source on."
-- Johnfos (talk) 00:42, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

A source can not just be labelled as unreliable or reliable for all instances of its potential use. That is right in the guidelines dealing with reliable sources. It plainly says that a source, even if reliable in most cases, MUST be reliable on the topic you are using it for. ie- a magazine that is reliable such as Discover or National Geographic if they say that creationists believe such and such, it wouldnt be a reliable source for that statement because of their potential conflict whereas a magazine promoting creationism, which would be unreliable on science and evolutionary theory IS reliable when sourced for what creationists believe. Its all there in the policies and guidelines dealing with reliable sources. Look it up. Perhaps it was gobbledegook to you in the way I worded it, or perhaps you simply believe a source is eiither reliable or unreliable and there is no grey area, in which case consensus on policy and guidelines disagree with you.Camelbinky (talk) 01:18, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

It is essentially self-published, so could only be cited according to the WP:SELFPUB criteria. Dlabtot (talk) 01:23, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

Without delving too much into researching what is basically a photo with some words on it, on face value it does seem to pass wp:selfpub in my opinion. I could be wrong but defer to Dlbatot if he wants to look into it.Camelbinky (talk) 01:29, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
Self-published or questionable sources may be used as sources of information about themselves, especially in articles about themselves. This is not the Wind Watch article and the subject is not Wind Watch, so no, it fails WP:SELFPUB. Dlabtot (talk) 01:48, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
But the topic IS wind power, so an argument could be made that if someone wanted the article to be neutral, and I'm sure we all do, then ALL sides pro AND CON about wind power MUST be allowed to be presented. Info from a source published by an anti-wind power environmental group would be reliable to use for THEIR position on the negatives of wind power on a section in the article about environmental groups that hate wind power, which the article should have such a section if it wants to be written in an NPOV way and not seen as a pro-wind power advocate just because it is an article ON wind power. In that instance it does pass selfpub since then it would be about themselves, selfpub does not mean to be interepted as meaning self published material can only be used on ARTICLES about themselves, but instead any article in which the publisher's views should be represented because they contribute to an understanding of the article, in this case on the cons of wind power. This is getting off topic and if you want to continue a discussion on the philosophical meaning of WP:SELFPUB we can do so on either of ours talk pages.Camelbinky (talk) 02:48, 8 May 2009 (UTC) is not a reliable source. It could be used, however, in an article about wind watch. Dlabtot (talk) 03:13, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
Neutral in the sense of WP's NPOV does not mean equal time or that critique must be included just for the sake of critique... NPOV's central requirement is WP:WEIGHT... And without any indicators to tell us the relative merit or weight of the self-published opinion on the wind watch site, which is something only secondary sources can tell us, it cannot in any way or form adhere to WP:NPOV. And the site doesn't fit under any of the exceptions to WP:SPS, and directly violates #1,#2,#4 of WP:SELFPUB.
If you want reliable sources on cons in this particular area, which aren't already covered by the article. Then i'd suggest that you look into the building codification debates and subsequent post analysis reports. Both of which, at least in Denmark, is official and part of the public record.--Kim D. Petersen (talk) 09:34, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
It's definitely not a reliable source for facts. It may be used as a reliable primary source for claims made by the advocacy group. WP:WEIGHT determines if this group is notable enough to have its opinion represented. I have some doubts, but that is a topic for another place. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 14:13, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
I vehemently disagree. For the claims of this advocacy group to merit inclusion in an article that is not about themselves, they'd have to be published in an independent source. Material from their website is clearly self-published. Dlabtot (talk) 15:52, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

If only we could harness the wind power generated by Wikipedia's many noticeboards....Jehochman Talk 14:17, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the helpful comment. Dlabtot (talk) 15:52, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

Stephen Fry's twitter

How reliable is this for sourcing statements by Fry? We know that it is Fry because he's one of the most famous people on Twitter, having made the news several times for it. The tweet in question is about when he expects the next series of QI, which he hosts and is filming today, to air. Sceptre (talk) 15:41, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

Without looking into the details, I'd say it's just as reliable as if he would make such a comment on his homepage, or blog. --Conti| 15:48, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
Which is what I thought. For context, this is the tweet and I was expecting to use it on List of QI episodes. Sceptre (talk) 16:10, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
Question... does Twitter archive old posts? In other words, will this be available for verification in, say, two month's time? Blueboar (talk) 16:42, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
I think they do, for at least two or three years. Sceptre (talk) 17:06, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
Then I think it would pass as a WP:SPS... of very limited use... reliable for a statement as to what Fry has posted on Twitter, but not for much else. Blueboar (talk) 17:15, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

Absolutely reliable and neutral source removed for no valid reason

Resolved: No dispute concerning the reliability of a source
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

User:NJGW is edit-warringly trying to whitewash the article The Mismeasure of Man by removing an absolutely neutral and non-controversial source that directly support the information as it is presented. The source is:

Elisabeth A. Lloyd (2002). "Memorium for Stephen Jay Gould". Biology and Philosophy 17 (3).

and the reason for removal is that the source is an "obit"!! Hcp7 (talk) 20:52, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

The reason for removal is that it is a throw-away remark made in an obit and used to characterize a book in the first line of the article's lead. It's a violation of wp:WEIGHT and no wp:CONSENSUS of academic opinion is demonstrated by the source. NJGW (talk) 21:16, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
Since there appears to be no dispute that the source is reliable, I'm marking this as resolved. Dlabtot (talk) 21:31, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Is a reliable source?

Is this article from the blog Charting Stocks[9] a reliable source for the article Ning? -Kangaru99 (talk) 21:03, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

That site appears to be just some run of the mill blog by no one of any importance or demonstrated knowledge. It doesn't look like a reliable source for any article, and the claims on the page you linked to are especially problematic. DreamGuy (talk) 20:54, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
Charting Stocks provides stock market news and insight. Recently, the following major media organizations have quoted or referenced the news site: Wall Street Journal, Schaeffers Research, Dow Jones News Wire, and I.N.N. World Report. Muggzzi
The media coverage of can be found here [10]. Per WP:RS, usage by other sources should be widespread and consistent, without doubts about reliability. Additionally, how reliable a source is depends on context. With this in mind, I don't think that is a reliable source on the article Ning:
Not widespread: All the media coverage comes from the same quote that "Bank of America and Citigroup won't live to see May" on 2/20/09.
Not favorable: Here is the quote from Dow Jones News Wire: "Debate over nationalization is becoming a crowded theater, and technical analysis site stepped in and shouted “Fire!” last night". Here's the quote from Schaeffers: "Dow Jones traces today’s pre-market hysteria back to, which claimed last night that “Bank of America and Citigroup won’t live to see May.” In my opinion these quotes weigh against the reliability of the site.
Not reliable in context: Ning is not a publicly traded company, so it's unclear why Charting Stocks, with the tagline "REAL Stock Market News and Insight", would be a reliable source on this subject. --Kangaru99 (talk) 23:24, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
Not to mention that it's a blog and I don't see any evidence that the authors are established experts in this fields. It doesn't seem like it's a WP:RS to me. If there are serious issues with Ning's business model, there should be reliable sources that cover it. For example, Washington Post ran a story that mentions Ning's banning of adult social networks.[11] Google's search engine tells me that CNN also ran a story on the banning of adult social networks [12] although the page is currently blank. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 01:22, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
Charting stocks is quoted all over the Internet in various news sites and discussions. A perusal of recent articles posted by Charting Stocks include these news titles, "Rising Dollar Spells Trouble for Stocks," "California Unemployment Jumps to 11.2%; Highest Since 1976," "Largest Drop in Output Since End of WWII," "New World Order With Lesser Role for U.S. - Bloomberg," "General Motors Ex-CEO Gets $23 Million Pension," "GM CEO Wagoner Agrees to Step Down," "Mainstream Media Bailout Bill Introduced," "Audit the Fed; Ron Paul’s Bill is Gaining Support," "Media Calls a Bottom as Credit Market Calls for Panic (Charts)," "Treasury to Buy Troubled Assets…Again; Stocks Jump." It is quite obvious that these are news items. You may not like the news articles published by - but your attempt to marginalize them will be seen clearly by anyone who actually peruses the site.Muggzzi
Keep in mind that discussions and comments to news articles don't count. Anyway, I just ran a Google news search and it doesn't turn up anything.[13] A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 13:35, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
Quest, Google needs the 'OR' operator capitalized, and you probably want to include the archive ( "all dates" ) in the search. Anyway the site is occasionally quoted in the Wall Street Journal.[14]. But at any rate it looks like we've visited that issue, they were quoted by several media for a report on banking troubles this February. If we were writing about the banks we could quote Chartingstocks. But we're not, and the article being debated makes some very contentious claims about the social networking site, with no information about an editorial board or who publishes it. See if you can find other sources on the issue of friend requests being able to be sent across networks and whether that's a drawback. Not RS.
"Quest, Google needs the 'OR' operator capitalized" Ah, I didn't know that. Thanks! A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 19:02, 9 May 2009 (UTC) provides news on a broad range of business and financial topical news including businesses with impact in major market areas (like the Internet and web-based business models). They are used as a regular news source by Current [15]. Clearly a legitimate news web portal reporting with expertise on issues directly related to business models, media, investments (like Ning investors), and more. Below are a few examples: 1. "California Unemployment Jumps to 11.2%; Highest Since 1976" (Friday, April 17, 2009) Reports on rise in California's unemployment rate over last 12 months. 2. "Spring Rally Has Reached Completion"; (April 14, 2009) Reports on the wile ups and down of the markets and quotes NYU Professor Nouriel Roubini on the cause for market fluctuations. 3. "New World Order With Lesser Role for U.S." (April 2, 2009) Reports in depth on the passing of an era for U.S. leadership. Quotes Robert Hormats, vice chairman of Goldman Sachs Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, and others 4. "Future Point to Another Decline; Is it really because of GM?" (March 30, 2009) Reports on the sharp down turn of stock futures and possible reasons for the drop. 5. "Mainstream Media Bailout Bill Introduced"; (March 27 2009)

Reports on the "Newspaper Revitalization Act." Quotes Senator CardinMuggzzi

Here, we need a little more than that a source covers a broad range of topics. Especially for something controversial, we'd want to see staff writers, something about the publisher, and especially an editorial board. The Chartingstocks site is kind of a mystery, it doesn't list those people. Even the WHOIS information doesnt tell the publisher. Is there another source that can tell us more about the editors of Chartingstocks? Squidfryerchef (talk) 23:26, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

Edward Gibbon and The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire


The criticisms upon his book...are nearly unanimous. In accuracy, thoroughness, lucidity, and comprehensive grasp of a vast subject, the 'History' is unsurpassable. It is the one English history which may be regarded as definitive. ...Whatever its shortcomings the book is ... historically unimpeachable ...<ref>Stephen, Sir Leslie, "Gibbon, Edward (1737-1794)," [[Dictionary of National Biography]], vol. 7, eds. Sir Leslie Stephen, Sir Sidney Lee (Oxford: 1963;1921), 1129–1135. </ref>

and The work is notable for its erratic but exhaustively documented notes and research<ref>Wikipedia article on [[The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire]]</ref>

its also 200 years old. Does this stop it being a reliable source?Anthony on Stilts (talk) 13:34, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

The book is a classic, much the same way as for instance Mommsens Römische Geschichte (and much more entertaining to read), and the work does show that Gibbon had an impressively extensive knowledge of the sources. That being said, I highly doubt any contemporary classical scholar would use it as a secondary source in research on the Roman Empire. Nowadays the book would be read only for pure literary enjoyment. I do not think it would be a good idea to use this book as a source in articles on Roman history in Wikipedia (except perhaps in the historiographical overview), as there are bound to be more recent sources on any theme imaginable within that particular subject. However it is difficult to answer your question accurately without knowing precisely what the problem is. --Saddhiyama (talk) 14:07, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
Saddhiyama has it right... It can certainly be used for historiographical information (ie in an overview of how views of Rome's history have changed over the years) but more modern scholarship should be used for factual info. Blueboar (talk) 15:46, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
It can also be used for good quotes, if something is added to indicate the age, e.g. as Gibbon said in the 1780s, .... His summations of the general nature of an era or a person remain useful, but one also must consider his known biases. Byron's comment on gibbon's treatment of christianity was, "Sapping a solemn creed with solemn sneer," and that approach has never been done better. Be aware that the DNB article you quote was itself written a century ago. The old DNB is useless for authenticating what is a reliable authority. DGG (talk) 23:46, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

Is Indiaglitz a reliable source as used in Villu (film)? -- The Red Pen of Doom 15:58, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

what was done's astrology lists

I'm operating the site what was done.

As part of this site there are extensive lists of people by astrological sign. Here one can see the list of people by astrological sign.

I want to at a link from astrology to the page but before that I would like to make sure that there are no reliability issues. I think that these lists, and actually all "people by sign" list are reliable since they are veriable. The astrological sign is determined by the birth date. Once the birth date of a person appears, one can verify that the sign is correct. One can also verify that the person was actually born at the date using wikipedia or some other source. Hence, the list is verifiable and therefore reliable.

I would like to hear what others think.

Thanks, WhatWasDone (talk) 09:07, 10 May 2009 (UTC)

What is or is not a reliable source is a question that only arises when you try to use a source to back a statement. Your site would be a reliable source for certain types of statements about the site itself, e.g. "The site claims that Gerhard Schröder, misspelled as 'Gerhard Schroder', is an Aries." But don't even dream of getting such statements into a Wikipedia article. It is probably not a reliable source for anything else; it might slip through as a reference for a birth date until a better reference is found. Anyway, what you want to do is not using the site as a reference, but linking to it from an article. The relevant policies for this are WP:External links and WP:LINKSPAM. You were directed to the wrong noticeboard. A more appropriate noticeboard might be Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Spam. Conflict of interest is not your main problem. Your site seems to fall under items 4 and 11 of WP:ELNO. Even if that were not the case, astrology is a pseudoscience and Wikipedia treats it as such. Your site makes the tacit assumption that the astrological sign is relevant. Thus even if your site were not self-published, and even if it were widely cited in mainstream newspapers or books, you would probably still face opposition and would have to convince people in a discussion at the fringe theories noticeboard. --Hans Adler (talk) 10:42, 10 May 2009 (UTC)
In short... your site is probably not going to be accepted in Wikipedia for multiple reasons. Blueboar (talk) 13:10, 10 May 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for your feedback. WhatWasDone (talk) 05:12, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

Is this site considered a reliable source? Question relating to Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/Incidents#User:Steam5. Exxolon (talk) 20:56, 10 May 2009 (UTC)

It would be a reliable source for, say, men's fashion. Anyway, it looks like this ANI has been resolved already. Something over an actress's year of birth. Multiple other sources found that agree with AskMen; some IP kept inserting a different year. I would suggest though that if her bio was formerly at to see if has it. Squidfryerchef (talk) 23:09, 10 May 2009 (UTC)

Online newsletter post attacks living persons

Are posts ([16][17]) by someone who describes herself as a freelance journalist, published in Counterpunch online newsletter, reliable sources for Reporters Without Borders article? Luis Napoles (talk) 06:48, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

First, Luis, ever thought of having the common courtesy to inform me you're referring this matter to this noticeboard - given that the dispute is between the two of us over Counterpunch? Fits in the pattern which got you blocked two days ago [18].

In favour of the source:

  1. Used extensively as a source in books published by university publishers, such as Rutgers University Press [19]
  2. It's used extensively across wikipedia as a source.
  3. Contributors come from across the political spectrum, including Paul Craig Roberts, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration, and William S. Lind of the Center for Cultural Conservatism.
  4. Barahona is a freelance journalist - so what? She's not self published. There are hundreds of freelance journalists used as sources in both wikipedia and in books. We going to start banning freelancers from being sources if they're published in a publication such as Counterpunch?

If I was a carpenter (talk) 17:14, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

All of your edits on your account have been attacking a living person (Robert Ménard) and an organization (Reporters Without Borders) using online newsletter posts as sources. Anyone can post accusations involving the United Nations and a former director in web and then insert "controversy" to the United Nations article.
WP:SPS: "Anyone can create a website or pay to have a book published, then claim to be an expert in a certain field. For that reason self-published media, whether books, newsletters, personal websites, open wikis, blogs, Internet forum postings, tweets etc., are largely not acceptable." "Self-published sources should never be used as third-party sources about living persons, even if the author is a well-known professional researcher or writer; see WP:BLP#Reliable sources."
Barahona is, according to her self-description, a librarian who posts stories to an online newsletter. Anyone can do that and therefore she does not resemble a reliable source.Luis Napoles (talk) 14:11, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
Counterpunch is not a self-published source. I strongly doubt they publish everything that is sent in, no more than an academic journal does. What we really have here is an issue of undue weight. It's okay to add sources that question why Cuba is ranked as it is in the list ( I myself have a few questions about how the UK could possibly be ranked over the USA ), but the article is spending too much space on the Cuba debates and it is not well-organized. Squidfryerchef (talk) 16:16, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
Luis, I see you've now withdrawn the WP:SPS tag from the page so I assume this discussion is closed. Btw, I notice that you changed the name of your complaint here from RWB to Online newsletter post attacks living persons - couldn't resist adding a POV even here?
Squid, thanks for your intervention - and for putting this issue to bed.If I was a carpenter (talk) 12:51, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

J-10B, a Chinese combat aircraft under development - dubious external link

An upgraded variant of a Chinese combat aircraft, the J-10B, is under development. An article from an amateur "think tank" (I believe it is really a glorified blog) speculates what kind of radar the new jet will have have and the editor Plamkii tried to use this article as a source (I recently removed its use as a source, it is now only an external link). However I have provided some evidence that the website and article may well be written by Plamkii himself. He has not denied this. The following link to the discussion will give the best explanation of the discussion (just over 1 page long): I believe that this article should also be removed from the external links section. I'd like some more input on the issue. Thank you for your time to any who reply. (I would prefer replies to be added on the J-10 article talk page). Hj108 (talk) 14:50, 10 May 2009 (UTC)

Well, the article talk page is a litte crowded, we can put opinions from uninvolved editors here. The guidelines for external links are a lower standard for reliability than for citations, but in some ways the threshold for importance of an external link to the topic is higher. But that "Dragon's New Claws" article[20] was also being used as a citation for the radar issue, and the speculation on the kind of radar was the main information that it would provide as an external link. So I'll evaluate the source as to whether it's an RS on radar. Squidfryerchef (talk) 15:09, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
The speculation on what kind of radar the plane carries is credited to a poster on the Key Publishing aviation forums.[21] Basically someone is arguing that if a radome, for a phased-array radar, was canted downward, that implied the radar was an active array, or AESA, meaning that each element has its own transmitter as well as receiver, as opposed to a Passive electronically scanned array as reported in other sources. Opinion on the forum was divided, with some editors saying the poster was overthinking the matter while others agreed with him. Furthermore there were some questions as to which planes and radars were which in the photographs, whether these were only prototypes, and it was difficult to discern the shape of the radome from the photograph. Squidfryerchef (talk) 15:09, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
I would say that while the Grandestrategy site may meet WP:V, I don't know if they have enough expertise on military radar to be able to look at a photograph of a fighter plane and some conflicting forum posts and give a definitive answer. I would say, leave it out for now. Editors who wish to further examine the possibility of it being an AESA radar should consider asking at WP:MILAIR where we may have some experts in the matter. Squidfryerchef (talk) 15:09, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

Andrey Zubov

Since no one commented previously, I'm reposting my question about this particular source.

In the page Shusha pogrom certain Andrei Zubov is used as a reference to support the claims of the massacre, etc. The whole article has serious neutrality issues, and most sources used are completely unreliable, such as law schools, obscure politologists, etc. However Zubov is claimed to be a historian, but the analysis of the source shows that he is absolutely clueless about what happened in the Caucasus at the time. This is the original Russian text:

Британская администрация почему-то передала населенные армянами уезды Елизаветпольской губернии под юрисдикцию Азербайджана. Британский администратор Карабаха полковник Шательворт не препятствовал притеснениям армян, чинимым татарской администрацией губернатора Салтанова. Межнациональные трения завершились страшной резней, в которой погибла большая часть армян города Шуши. Бакинский парламент отказался даже осудить свершителей Шушинской резни, и в Карабахе вспыхнула война. Англичане пытались разъединить армянские и азербайджанские войска. Когда же они ушли из региона, азербайджанская армия была в начале ноября 1919 года полностью разгромлена армянами. Только вмешательство англичан смогло предотвратить поход армянских войск на Елизаветполь и Шемаху. [22]


For some reason the British administration placed the Armenian populated uyezds of Elizavetpol gubernia under the Azerbaijani jurisdiction. The British administrator of Karabakh colonel Shuttleworth did not prevent the discrimination of Armenians by the Tatar administration of governor Sultanov. Interethnic tensions resulted in a horrible massacre, in which most Armenians in the town of Shusha perished. Baku parliament refused even to condemn the perpetrators of the Shusha massacre, and the war started in Karabakh. English tried to interfere between the Armenian and Azerbaijani troops, but when they left the region, the Azerbaijani army was completely defeated by the Armenians in early November 1919. Only the interference of the English prevented the march of the Armenian troops to Elizavetpol and Shemakha.

As one could see, this guy has no idea about what actually happened in the region, and when exactly. According to all sources, even those quoted in the article the fighting in Shusha took place in March 1920, when Azerbaijanis celebrated Novruz (precisely, on 22 - 26 March 1920). Zubov says that the fighting between Armenians and Azerbaijanis started after the "massacre" in Shusha, and as result of that the Azerbaijanis were defeated in November 1919, i.e. according to him the "massacre" in Shusha was in 1919, not in 1920. Moreover, he says that the British troops interfered to prevent the Armenian offensive towards Ganja, while in fact the British army left Azerbaijan in August 1919. See for instance these sources:

While the Italians (wisely) never got involved in the Caucasus, the continuing pressure of demobilisation and calls for British troops in other places, forced withdrawals from the region. At the end of August, Baku and the Caspian naval personnel were evacuated. By about mid-October 1919 the only troops remaining in the Caucasus were three infantry battalions at Batum.

Keith Jeffery. Field Marshal Sir Henry Wilson: a political soldier. Oxford University Press, 2006 ISBN 0198203586, 9780198203582, p 247

However, the British withdrew from Baku and Azerbaijan in August 1919, and the Soviets took over the Azerbaijan Republic in April 1920.

Andy Stern. Who won the oil wars? Collins & Brown, 2005 ISBN 1843402912, 9781843402916

As one can see, Zubov has no idea what he is talking about. He does not know the basic facts, such as the date of the events in Shusha, the date when the British army left the region, etc. In my opinion, Zubov cannot be considered a reliable source on the topic of events in Shusha in 1920. Grandmaster 10:32, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

I don't know what smoke-and-mirrors exercise is going on here (i.e. what facts Grandmaster wants removed from the article by removing the Zubov reference) - nothing is ever what it seems. However, there are not "claims of a massacre", there was a massacre (the article exists to describe the massacre), and the phrase a "certain Andrei Zubov" to characterise the source is objectionable. The translated text mentions nothing about "British troops interfering to prevent the Armenian offensive" (the "interference" could mean political pressure, such as via the Paris Peace Conference), and it does not say that British troops had not left the region by August 1919. There were also several massacres, culminating in the pogram event. The whole article is in a mess - but removing sources for POV reasons is not the way to mend it. Meowy 17:06, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
Read the source carefully. The author says that this whole thing took place in 1919, not 1920. He says that after a massacre in Shusha a war started in Karabakh, as result of which the Azerbaijani army was defeated in November 1919. In fact, the event he calls a massacre took place in March 1920, a good historian would know that. So if the "massacre" was in March 1920, how could it result in a war that ended in alleged Azerbaijani defeat in November 1919? And then he says that the British command tried to stop the war, but the British army left the region by 1920. Basically, this source is a total mess, and the author has no knowledge of the events in the region at that time. I don't think it can be considered reliable, since every sentence in that source is inaccurate, and contradicts the known facts, supported by other sources. Grandmaster 06:03, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
I have been reading the source (using google translate). In my opinion the work seems to be written entirely from a Russian viewpoint, and in many places with a strong Russian bias, sometimes laughably biased and straying into paranoia (little wonder Russian historians are not well regarded). But what content are you wanting removed from the article? You claim the source supports claims of a massacre. However, there are not "claims of a massacre" - there was a massacre, and the fact that there was is not in dispute. If all you are wanting removed is the section in the intro with the Zubov quote then why not just remove it. It seems out of place there and serves no purpose. The source seems OK for bare facts, but I don't think it will be suitable where the author is interpreting those facts, and it is not suitable for direct quotes. Meowy 16:29, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
I don't think this source should be used at all, due to its poor quality. If the author does not even know such a basic fact as the date of the event, how could it be considered reliable? Plus, it says lots of other nonsense, such as British interference in fighting after the events in Shusha, while the British army evacuated the region by that time, or Armenian offensive on Shemakha, not reported by any other source (indeed, this could have happened during the March days, when dashnaks completely destroyed the city, but not in 1919 or 1920), says that Andranik led guerrilla war in Karabakh, while Andranik never made it there. The list of mistakes in a very short paragraph is very long, so in my opinion this source is completely unreliable. If there was a massacre, there should be no problem with finding reliable third party sources to support the claim. This one is not such a source. Grandmaster 07:07, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
"If there was a massacre". So you are saying the whole article is a fake, there were no massacre, no pogrom, and the whole entry should be deleted? The smoke and mirrors are lifted. Meowy 17:24, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
I'm saying that the article lacks reliable sources. Grandmaster 11:57, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Regardless of Grandmaster's POV, the cited article is quite vague - first the Brits leave, then they reappear... still, if you want to make the public believe that there might any errors in the passage, then each should be dealt one by one, with factual evidence. There is nothing unusual in that one "defeated" army eradicates its opponent on the next day (remember what happened to Asian Greeks in 1922 and where was Greek army in 1921? good). So the question is, have there been any clashes between Armenians and Azeris in 1919? Anything? NVO (talk) 20:38, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

The clashes between Armenians and Azeris started in 1918, and never ceased until the Bolshevik takeover of the region. But the problem with this source is that the author is not much knowledgeable on the subject. The Armenian uprising in Shusha and the ensuing violence was in March 1920. All the sources agree about, including Azerbaijani and Armenian ones. Zubov says something strange. He says that Azeris massacred Armenians for no reason in Shusha, and Azerbaijani parliament refused to condemn that, after which a war started in Karabakh, British interfered to stop the war, but then they left, and after that Armenians defeated Azerbaijanis in November 1919. The author believes that the fighting in Shusha occurred in 1919, since the war in Karabakh started after Azerbaijani parliament's refusal to condemn the massacre in Shusha, and as result of that war Azerbaijani army was defeated in November 1919. But it is a general knowledge that events in Shusha took place in March 1920. And if Zubov means that the war was in 1920, then there was no British army in the region after August 1919. However according to Zubov the British interfered twice, they miraculously reappear after November 1919 to prevent the Armenian army's offensive on Shemakha. In my opinion, this source is highly unreliable. As far as I know, Zubov used to be an expert on Thailand, and he switched to the Russian history in 1990s. I don't know how good he is as a specialist in the Russian history, but he has no profound knowledge of the history of South Caucasus. Therefore I think that Zubov should not be used at all in the articles concerning the region, due to many factual mistakes that he makes and his contradiction to known facts. Grandmaster 13:34, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
Based on its tone and content, it seems more likely that Zubov is an expert at writing the kind of "history" that his audience wants (Russo-centric and nationalistic), and if he were working a generation earlier he would have been writing typical Soviet historiography. But that is not to say that everything in it should be dismissed. Meowy 19:28, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
My opinion is that we should stick to 100% reliable sources, since the topic is very sensitive. Yes, Zubov promotes the nationalistic version of the Russian history. But the main problem with him is not his nationalism, but countless number of factual mistakes he made in a very small paragraph, which makes his writing untrustworthy. All those appearing and disappearing British, the war which they prevented in 1919, after the armed clashes in Shusha, which in fact took place in 1920, etc. According to the rules, if there are no reliable third party sources on the topic, Wikipedia should not have an article on it. So it is our task to find such sources, and I think that Zubov definitely is not such a source. Grandmaster 04:47, 13 May 2009 (UTC)


For a couple of years various accounts try to add link to someone's fantasy website , first as a reference, and now as an external link, in violation of the WP:RS policy. I am tired to combat numerous accounts (possibly socks or meatpuppets) in this rather useless and hence underwatched page. Please assist. - Altenmann >t 16:08, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

Certainly isn't a reliable source and is prohibited per WP:ELNO points 4, 10, possibly 11. If it is really bad, try page protection. WLU (t) (c) Wikipedia's rules:simple/complex 21:34, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

Addition of uncited/vanity info at file sharing


Another editor seems to be inserting content about an application that I suspect he wrote (one edit in another article claimed that the 'linker' app was developed in Saskatchewan, the geoip on some ip edits by the editor leads to Edmonton, which is nearby). Somewhat unproductive messages on the talk page, has deleted comments that I've left on the article talk [23] (not an edit conflict, this was 2 hours later), etc. Keeps removing a citation from a published book (made available through google books) and adding citations to mailing lists, and they don't even mention the 'linker' application. Need some advice/help with explaining which sources are appropriate on Talk:Timeline_of_file_sharing#Prior_Work_Before_Napster. M 23:37, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

Still requesting help or second opinion. In particular, are the sources in the following:

  • 1994 - Linker34 released by Jayson Cowan first application to take file list requests and send files on a p2p network called WWIVnet with over 2000 users. First published in electronic media format by Simtel, archive distributor Walnut Creek CDROM [24] and Also published on Sourceforge [25]

reliable sources, and do they establish notability?  M  23:00, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

M seems to have an issue with people editing the only page he has contributed to, I do believe this is more to do with vanity then anything else. He guards the page more then he should. But sources were added to prove that napster was not p2p software and he keeps removing the text. Not only that he sources things which within that source say specifically that napster was not true p2p software and he interprets that very same text as saying that napster was the first p2p application. M needs a lot of help interpreting his own references. As for the addition of the information and sources provided, this has been addressed elsewhere in wiki that sources regarding BBS software and the BBS scene prior to the internet will have source information which consists of text files, usenet groups, and archived files. These are considered acceptable sources since there is very limited information about BBSing and they almost exclusively posted primary information about BBSes in USENET. Most information about this BBS time period is self posts by those who remain that remember. No other group has interest in BBSes and the BBS groups which existed. Text files also in the past from FidoNet news have been considered reliable sources for the same reasons covered above. Deathmolor (talk) 03:42, 13 May 2009 (UTC)


Just wondered; is Americans for Middle East Understanding a WP:RS? See Regards, Huldra (talk) 23:59, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

It seems you are referring to this. I wouldn't characterize it as an 'unreliable source', but it's not a reliable citation to support that sentence. The source does not say that The majority of the survivors and their descendants reside in Ramallah. Dlabtot (talk) 00:52, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
  • The American Thinker refers to it as "an innocuous-sounding group that is actually a harshly anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian organization..." bias: [26] One only needs to Google it to appreciate that it is an advocacy group for the Palestinians and a platform for anti-Zionist, anti-Israel propaganda. The relationship between bias and reliability is an issue, but if we do not use Israel advocacy groups or Zionist organisations for contentious issues in the I-P conflict area, why would we use this one? Best, Tundrabuggy (talk) 20:48, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
Accusations of bias are irrelevant. We assume all sources to have a bias. Dlabtot (talk) 21:02, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
Maybe it's just me but there's a tendency for lack of reliability among anti-Zionist advocacy groups from the Arab World. Is there a special reason to think that this group has a history for fact checking ? (sample: [27]) JaakobouChalk Talk 21:19, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
p.s. it might be worth clarifying that I have no knowledge on this group but that, best I'm aware, self-published non-experts are largely not acceptable, though may be used in limited circumstances. JaakobouChalk Talk 21:24, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
It's not self-published. It is a reliable source. Dlabtot (talk) 21:26, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
Looks like one of those cases where you cite the source in the text. CarolMooreDC (talk) 15:47, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

Is Ilan Pappe a reliable source?

Some input would be appreciated as to whether Ilan Pappe, professor of history at the University of Exeter in the UK, is a reliable source for Wikipedia on the history of the Middle East and related issues. Originally from Israel, Pappe has a PhD in Middle East history from the University of Oxford, and has written eight books on the subject. [28] Here is an article about him in The Washington Post, [29] and here in The Guardian. [30]

Pappe has been strongly criticized in Israel, including by other historians, for his academic work in supporting the Palestinian version of events. It was because of that criticism that he left his position as senior lecturer at the University of Haifa to take up an academic appointment in the UK. The criticism includes that his work contains errors, and I believe even the implication that some of it is fraudulent. He was particularly criticized for supporting an academic boycott against Israel.

As I see it, he is a reliable source within the meaning of Wikipedia:Verifiability, the policy. However, a number of editors are saying on Talk:Exodus from Lydda that there is a consensus on that page that he is not a reliable source, because of the criticism made against him, and because he is an anti-Zionist activist, and therefore he cannot be used in that article. See the discussion here. I'm bringing the issue here for further input. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 18:45, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

Unreliable, or course. Ironically, this issue arises from a disagreement regarding using him as a source at an alleged massacre. It was his support for another "massacre", later found to be a blood libel, that was the cause of his downfall and why he is considered a disgrace in the mainstream community of Isral-Palestine historians.--brewcrewer (yada, yada) 19:08, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
Can you give the names of the academics who see him as a disgrace, with cites? Also, it's not clear what you mean by his "downfall." He has a professorial chair at Exeter University. Many of us would wish for a downfall as prestigious as that. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 19:15, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
Saying Pappe had a "downfall" by being awarded a professorial chair, reminds me of a story the Northern Irish footballer George Best used to tell. A brilliant soccer player, one of the best in the world — something the Irish were very proud of — he also had a reputation for being a playboy and for not practising hard enough. He was lying in bed one evening in the Hilton Hotel in Park Lane with Miss World, and had just ordered caviar and the most expensive champagne on the winelist. Room service arrived, courtesy of a waiter who also happened to be Irish. The waiter looked at George, looked at Miss World, looked at the alcohol, shook his head sadly, and asked, "Georgie boy, where did it all go wrong"? SlimVirgin talk|contribs 19:28, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
I don't know how much useful feedback you'll get here, but you deserve credit for trying. :) It might be most useful to steer discussion toward the context in which Pappe is proposed as a citation.

From my perspective, he holds a professorship at a major, reputable university and publishes extensively in the scholarly literature. That said, he also appears to be widely recognized as occupying one extreme of the mainstream academic debate on the topic. Both of these elements should probably be taken into consideration. I don't think you can exclude someone with his scholarly credentials from Wikipedia - after all, all significant views that have been published by reliable sources should be described - but at the same time it probably makes sense to provide readers who (like me) have never heard of the guy with some immediately useful context. What is the proposed content that would be sourced to Pappe? MastCell Talk 19:35, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

There is no particular content at issue, MastCell. The editors on that talk page are saying Pappe shouldn't be used as a source for anything. The content that he would be used for, normally, would be about the expulsion of Palestinians from certain towns and villages during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, so his work is relevant in Exodus from Lydda. He's currently used there only as a secondary source quoting a primary one, but he will probably be used more in future, if he's allowed to be. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 20:08, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
Well, I don't see how one can make a blanket decision to exclude Pappe (or at least his work published by reputable, scholarly sources) from Wikipedia. That seems entirely inconsistent with policy. Certainly the specifics of how he is cited and contextualized would be grounds for discussion, and his position on the academic spectrum should be clear to the reader. But if there's a movement toward declaring his third-party-published, scholarly work "unreliable" across the board, then that seems wrongheaded to me. Unfortunately, by the looks of it, I doubt you're going to hear much in this thread beyond a forceful restatement of various previously expressed positions. MastCell Talk 20:21, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
(ec)Pappé on Israeli history is barely more reliable than Ward Churchill on Native Americans or Juan Cole on what Ahmadinejad really means when he says, "wipe Israel off the map." Since Pappé's notability is not in doubt, any pronouncements of his that have received independent coverage can go in WP articles, but I would never use him as a sole, or principal, source on history.--Goodmorningworld (talk) 19:38, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
Unreliable. Pappe is an anti-Israel activist who is not shy about his ideology influencing his historical writings [31]. That includes some quotes from an academic claiming Pappe fabricates, makes many mistakes and that he is not a reliable source on the IP conflict. This is also interesting, for a general feel of the guy. No More Mr Nice Guy (talk) 19:41, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
I've already said more or less the same thing on the relevant page, but - whether individual editors here assert he is "reliable" or not, right or wrong about topic X or even whether they like his politics or not is kind of beside the point. And sourcing criticism of his positions to CAMERA, or Alan Dershowitz or Efraim Karsh or whoever seems somewhat ironic, given that most of them are seen as being equally controversial or partisan by other observers, both on and off WP.
There are objective ways to measure these things, which WP rules are quite clear about - does he hold an academic position? Has his work on the topic in question been published in peer-reviewed journals, or his books by a reputable publishing house? Many academics, historians and "experts" hold political views, and are in dispute with their peers about both those views and sometimes their substantive work. That is the nature, surely, of academia and scholarship. This does not in any disqualify them from being used here (generally) as sources for information. --Nickhh (talk) 20:11, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

Reliable as one of several interpretations of available historical information by experts in this particular field. I generally agree with MastCell's take on the issue above. Pappé publishes in an area that is characterized by widespread disagreement between experts and institutions that we regard as reliable sources. These disagreements are both about facts and about their interpretation. Thus, for most of the statements where Pappé can be legitimately given as a reference, it is usually appropriate to include the views and information presented by other experts and institutions as well.  Cs32en  20:25, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

Seems reliable enough to me for most purposes, based on chair at Exeter and lack of genuine academic downfall. As MastCell points out, what he is being used for is always important, and putting his views in context may be useful. Extremeness depends on which spectrum he is being placed in. In the context of Israeli universities, yes, but if one includes Arab academics and ones considered sympathetic to "the Arab side" ; or that of formerly Israeli academics now in the UK, like Moshe Machover and Avi Shlaim, less clearly so. The most serious problem that might arise would be if he is used for an obscure or unlikely claim which looks like it should be controversial, but rebuttals cannot be found. Considering his prominence and number of detractors, and the noise and volume of the I-P debate, this is an unlikely scenario, and could be resolved by just saying "according to Ilan Pappe"..John Z (talk) 20:29, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

Much of his writing is unreliable, and none of it is among "the most reliable sources" (quote from WP:RS), for the following reasons:

  1. Much of his writing is neither peer-reviewed nor published in academic publications.
  2. He explicitly claims that his writing is not neutral and that he is proud to bring his politics into it.
  3. He is an extremist political activist who advocated boycotting his own university.
  4. Many of his peers (historians of the Arab-Israeli conflict) have written in peer-reviewed publications that he manipulates and/or falsifies evidence, and generally, that he's a hack.
  5. So far as has been shown, not one of his peers has disputed the above assessment.
  6. He endorsed, and still endorses, a student's thesis that was found by a university committee to be false and libelous. (Unsuprisingly, the thesis accords well with his extremist political views.)

Even if he were a reliable source, his writings are by his own testimony an exposition of his own POV and not an attempt to neutrally describe events. Since his POV is a fairly fringe one, we would still be required to give him little to no weight per WP:NPOV.
In addition, there is rarely, if ever, a need to use his writings. The topics he writes about are generally covered by many good historians. Jalapenos do exist (talk) 20:40, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

Jalapenos, his views may be regarded as fringe inside Israel, but they're not in the rest of the world. To address one of your other points, his peers clearly have disputed the assessment of Pappe by some Israeli historians by giving him a professorial chair in history. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 20:53, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
On the first point: Pappe is regarded as fringe (and much worse) among historians of the Arab-Israeli conflict in general, many of whom are Israeli; no reason to assume prejudice among historians based on their nationality. On the second, see Ceedjee below. Jalapenos do exist (talk) 22:25, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
I agree on the most important : Pappé is wp:rs
But not on one point. His peers didn't support him. Some of his peers and more precisely, he got the job in an University where Uri Davis was already working. Exeter University is not a reliable university for content issues relating to the I/P conflict. That is just at best a question of standards concerning the freedom of speech, at worse, a political act. Ceedjee (talk) 21:04, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
Correction and notes:
A) A review body of academic peers overturned Pappe and deemed the "massacre" thesis by Katz (Pappe's student) to be based on bogus information after the supreme court looked at the evidence and decided that the soldiers were right in posting a libel suit (Kats was forced to apologize as well if I understood the sources correctly).
More details here : Yoav Gelber, Folklore vs History: Tantura Blood Libel
B) You have to admit that there's an issue where he calls the fighting in Jenin "a massacre" and insists that the testimonies from there are supposedly all factual and that Israel and the U.S.A. conspired to hide the carnage. This thesis is easily refuted not only by the mainstream reports about the final death toll (53-56 Palestinians, 23 Israeli soldiers) and that initial promised numbers (of 500+ "massacred" Palestinians) but also by this article (scroll down) where a National Post journalist who examined a claim by a local grocer (in Jenin) that a truck was used to hide bodies and the truck ended up having food for the soldiers... no bodies (side note: I've verified that this is the genuine NP article). Everyone knows that Jenin was an impressive propaganda act so his support in that one just makes him into a conspiracy theorist and an extreme anti-Zionist.
C) I'm surprised that SlimVirgin neglected to add Norman Finkelstein to the discussion as Nickhh and Nishidani were really interested in lumping both together.
To sum things up, Pappe (as well as Norman Finklstien) is not exactly the type source I'd use for historical accounts on Israeli matters. If there are special cases where SlimVirgin or other editors think he (i.e. Pappe and/or Finklstien) should be used -- rather than in general use -- then I'd be happy to consider the value of the content in comparison to what others say about the described event.
Warm regards, JaakobouChalk Talk 21:18, 6 May 2009 (UTC) fix link 21:35, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
I think you should examine the implications of the remark 'Pappé is not exactly the type of source for historical accounts of Israeli matters'. Actually, what happens to Palestinians is not exclusively 'Israeli history' or an 'Israeli matter'. There is another party to this, namely the Palestinians. This is as much, bref, Palestinian history as Israeli history, and that is why, in NPOV, we cite sources that have a Palestinian angle here as well.Nishidani (talk) 21:54, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
Heyo Nishidani,
If all you wanted was to cite him as an example for the Palestinian perspective then why didn't you say so? JaakobouChalk Talk 23:18, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

Here are 398 references in google book to Pappé's book : "The making of the Arab-Israeli conflict". That means that book is a reference.
Ilan Pappé's writings are used as references. That's it for wikipedia.
Now, if you go into details, you will see that several things he writes in his last book The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine are exactly the contrary of what he wrote in the first one... Pappé (1992) is not Pappé (2006) but that is not possible for wikipedia to manage such issues. I don't see on what reasonnable principle we could reject Pappé, unless rejected by most of his peers, which is not the case [yet]. Ceedjee (talk) 20:58, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

Simply being cited in books does not make one reliable, either according to WP:RS or according to reality. It does make one notable, but there is no dispute that Pappe is notable, in the same sense that Malcolm X is notable. Jalapenos do exist (talk) 22:32, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

Reliable. There is no record of him promoting a blood libel, as suggested. He supported a thesis. That thesis was based on oral narratives made decades after the massacre of al-Tantura. Its author recanted, then recanted his recantation. 14 errors, in a thesis that ran to some 500 pages were discovered. Whatever the facts, citing the controversy around them cannot be used to impugn Pappé as one position within the historiography of Israeli/Palestinian history. To cite just one example, the to-date, most definitive historical work, of notable neutrality, on Palestine (3 of 4 volumes so far published), by Henri Laurens, one of France's most distinguished experts on the Arab world, of the Collège de France, runs to over 2,400 detailed pages, and in dealing with the Tantura controversy cites, as does Benny Morris, both versions, that of Morris and that of Pappé, though he himself judges that prisoners probably were shot there. (La Question de Palestine, vol.3, Fayard 2007 p.107. and note 15.p.737). If scholars of the stature of Laurens cite Morris and Pappé for alternative versions of disputed events, and leave readers to follow up or decide for themselves, I think we should trust them, and not allow diffidence over sources allowed to peons like ourselves to to fudge or prejudice an issue accepted by a good many mainstream academics.Nishidani (talk) 21:01, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

110% right. Ceedjee (talk) 21:06, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
No. Not 110% right. He is, btw, still advocating the Jenin "Massacre" blood libel (see above comment). JaakobouChalk Talk 21:30, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
Some links to how he is viewed by his peers.[32][33].--brewcrewer (yada, yada) 21:10, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
Pointless citing Morris and Karsh against Pappé, simply because the views they hold in common against him they respectively hold against each other. See Morris on Karsh and Karsh on Morris. Nishidani (talk) 21:17, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
120% right. Here is also the answer of Pappé to Morris. Ceedjee (talk) 21:19, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
7.602% right. Notice that while one is published in the New Republic the other is published in the Electronic Infitada. But regardless, they both accuse him lying in order to advance his political causes. There's nothing more that precludes someone from being considered reliable. --brewcrewer (yada, yada) 21:24, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
Benny Morris, Undeserving of a Reply, Middle East Quatterly, 1996 : "Efraim Karsh's article on the new Israeli historiography is a mélange of distortions, half-truths, and plain lies that vividly demonstrates his profound ignorance of both the source material (his piece contains more than fifty footnotes but is based almost entirely on references to and quotations from secondary works, many of them of dubious value) and the history of the Zionist-Arab conflict. It does not deserve serious attention or reply."
We just lack the interview of Morris in Ha'aretz, and we will have all the stuff.
Ceedjee (talk) 21:28, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
Morris' opinion on Karsh is a red herring. To the extent that it is relevant, it shows that these two scholars that are enemies have come together to agree that Pappe is a liar and can't be considered reliable. --brewcrewer (yada, yada) 21:33, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
Agreed. JaakobouChalk Talk 21:38, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
What you both missed is that Pappé and Karsh agree that Morris is not reliable and Morris and Pappé agrees that Karsh is not reliable. Ceedjee (talk) 21:47, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
Going along with the red herring..........Unlike the unanimous accusations faced by Pappe, Morris is not accused by Karsh of lying in order to achieve political gains and Morris is never accused by Pappe of lying in regards to the Israel-Palestine conflict. In any case, it sounds like you're backtracking from your original stance that Pappe is reliable so long as he is not "rejected by most of his peers".--brewcrewer (yada, yada) 22:01, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
The above is exactly why we don't exclude sources because someone says they're unreliable. If he's an academic historian, and he has published in the field, he's an RS for Wikipedia, no matter what some other historians say. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 22:42, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
Peer review means nothing?--brewcrewer (yada, yada) 22:59, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
  • People aren't sources. People write things, which can then be published in sources. Dlabtot (talk) 20:50, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
Ask yourself this... if he had similar credentials in some other field of study, one that did not involve religio-politics, would we question his reliability? I think not. We would probably say that his views may be controvercial, but that controversy makes them noteworthy and significant. At minimum he is reliable for attributed statements as to his opinion on middle eastern history. Blueboar (talk) 21:30, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
I don't know how the rule goes for other topics, but I gather that if someone would advocate a boycott on the university that he's teaching in and was calling sources reliable despite them being considered by the mainstream global (not just Israeli) media as "bogus" (Jenin "massacre") that it would be preferred to use mainstream and neutral sources over him. Seems like common sense. JaakobouChalk Talk 21:42, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

He's reliable. If others disagree, then include them as well per NPOV. - Peregrine Fisher (talk) (contribs) 21:44, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

Yes, a reliable source but weight should be given to opposing opinions from other Israeli academics. There may not be any consensus on the last 50 years of the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflicts, but both viewpoints should be presented in order to ensure WP:NPOV. Excluding his opinions and statements would be POV. Jezhotwells (talk) 22:03, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
Continuing with Dlabtot's comment, sources are deemed reliable by WP:RS if they are peer-reviewed or published by academic publications. Pappe has written books that are neither, and it seems to me that the question is: should those books nevertheless be considered reliable because they were written by Ilan Pappe? My opinion, as detailed above, is: no.Jalapenos do exist (talk) 22:42, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
Sources do not have to be peer-reviewed or have academic publishers; and in any event, he is an academic, so he's subject to peer review all the time. Could I ask that people actually read the policy? It's at WP:V. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 22:46, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
SV: Please see Wikipedia:Reliable sources#Scholarship.--brewcrewer (yada, yada) 23:04, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
Brew, please read the policy at WP:V. And the RS section you refer to describes what we mean by scholarship. It does not say that we may only use peer-reviewed source material. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 00:09, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
And "peer reviewed" means that the work will not be published if the peers don't think it worthy of being published. Certainly his work has been reviewed by his peers after being published, and the typical review is "Pappe sucks, big time". I also note that his books have not been published by academic presses since 2003. Jalapenos do exist (talk) 23:16, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
Agreed, but it's more then that. The vast majority - if not all - of is peers, across the political spectrum have accused him of lying in his scholarship in order to advance his political causes. There is nothing more damming to the reliability of a scholar. --brewcrewer (yada, yada) 23:19, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
The vast majority - if not all - of is peers, across the political spectrum have accused him of lying in his scholarship in order to advance his political causes. Citations please.--G-Dett (talk) 23:41, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
Dunno how fast you read, but you can start with these two. Let me know when you're done. [34][35].--brewcrewer (yada, yada) 23:50, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
Done.--G-Dett (talk) 23:55, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
Still waiting. Am I missing something? This is your evidence? On the basis of two commentaries written by political enemies of his – both published in notoriously anti-Palestinian non-peer-review magazines, one run by Marty Peretz and the other by Daniel Pipes – you've decided that the "vast majority - if not all - of is peers, across the political spectrum have accused him of lying in his scholarship in order to advance his political causes"? Criminy, brewcrewer.--G-Dett (talk) 00:12, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
How many would satisfy you? 100, 200? Benny Morris, a new-Zionist, is squarely within the left wing of the political spectrum, which was were Pappe was situated prior to supporting the blood libels in Jenin and al-Tantura, which have now been debunked by everyone outside of fringe and antisemitic cirles as hoaxes. Pappe is still holding strong with both canards. Do you have any "citations please" that they are his enemies? Are you going to dismiss new assertions that he's a liar as the rantings of his political enemies? --brewcrewer (yada, yada) 00:23, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
Seth Frantzman in MEQ also calls him a manipulater of evidence. So far that's 3 peers who say he fails elementary scholarly standards, and 0 who defend him from those charges. This is besides the committee from his own university that castigated him for endorsing a false and libelous thesis. Will the difference between 4-0 and 10-0 change anyone's mind, or is asking for more sources just a way of stalling? Jalapenos do exist (talk) 08:14, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Pappe meets our definition as a reliable source. If something that he says is disputed by someone else, the remedy is simple. State in the article "Ilan Pappe claims that .... but so-and-so counters that ...." That's how you respond to views by reliable sources that may not be universally accepted. Cla68 (talk) 00:06, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

Random break

Request. Can any of the editors that support considering Pappe reliable please state how they resolve Wikipedia:Reliable sources#Scholarship instead of just stating as a matter of fact that he's reliable? --brewcrewer (yada, yada) 00:14, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

As I said before, that section does not support what you are saying. And in any event, the policy is WP:V.
You gave two links in response to G-Dett's question above - Benny Morris and Efraim Karsh have criticized Pappe (and he has criticized them). You said all or almost all his peers have condemned him. Who else, please? SlimVirgin talk|contribs 00:22, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
I've provided two scholars from both sides of the political spectrum that say he's an opportunist liar. You can just sit back and your chair, and demand "more, Brewcrewer". Now it's your turn. Provide some mainstream scholars that say that Pappe is reliable and authoritative on I-P issues. --brewcrewer (yada, yada) 00:27, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
Even in mild disciplines like literature, academia can be bloodsport; Pappé is a scholar in a highly contentious field. It's pretty normal for scholars – especially highly politicized scholars like Morris, Pappé, and Karsh, in a highly politicized field – to be tearing each other apart. None of which makes them "unreliable" per Wikipedia standards. There are no scholars in this field who don't have things like this written about them. I'm sure Pappé was embarrassed to be caught out by Morris when he got Arafat's birthday wrong, but really, this kind of thing is normal. How you've proceeded from two negative book reviews by political opponents (one in a popular magazine and the other in a non-peer-review publication of an ideological think tank) to the conclusion that he has been discredited by "the vast majority - if not all - of his peers" is cause for wonder.
The thing to do with controversial scholars (whether they're in English literature or Middle East history or anything else) is to present relevant challenges of their specific findings, where those findings have been notably contested. The simple fact that their work has been challenged (especially in a controversial area like this) is not in itself grounds for dismissing their reliability.--G-Dett (talk) 03:12, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
It's not a joke like getting birth dates wrong. It's something fundamental that goes to heart and crux of reliability. Pappe has admitted to pushing his ideology in the face of facts pointing otherwise. No legitimate historian would dare make this assertion and would certainly be embarrassed to make such a claim. Papper neither backtracks from this scheme or is embarrassed about it.--brewcrewer (yada, yada) 03:59, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
Pappe has acknowledged that he is a political activist, as well as an academic, and sees nothing incompatible about that; indeed, it's an important part of European tradition that intellectuals speak out about matters they know and care about. But I am fairly sure he has never said that he does so "in the face of the facts pointing otherwise." Do you have a source for that? SlimVirgin talk|contribs 05:26, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
Forget what he's been accused of by mainstream scholars. From Pappe's own mouth:
  1. "I am not as interested in what happened as in how people see what's happened"
  2. "The debate between us is on one level between historians who believe they are purely objective reconstructers of the past, like Morris, and those who claim that they are subjective human beings striving to tell their own version of the past, like myself."
  3. I admit that my ideology influences my historical writings, but so what? I mean it is the case for everybody.
  4. "Indeed the struggle is about ideology, not about facts. Who knows what facts are? We try to convince as many people as we can that our interpretation of the facts is the correct one, and we do it because of ideological reasons, not because we are truthseekers."
What we're seeing here is unabashed interest in pushing an agenda over facts.--brewcrewer (yada, yada) 06:23, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
Brewcrewer, well done. Like I said, a Ward Churchill / Michael Bellesiles / Juan Cole type of figure. Caveat lector.--Goodmorningworld (talk) 06:56, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
All we have here is an illustration of a position called, I've said it often, epistemological naivity, the idea that facts are the object of historical enquiry, and the sum of facts determines narrative (it happens to be, generally, Morris's approach). This is held by virtually no one these days, and Pappé's remarks merely reflect, if rather simplistically, a fairly common opinion among historians. If you read them against the following remark, from the incipit of a very influential book on the historical imagination, you will perhaps begin to appreciate the point.

Continental European thinkers - from Valéry and Heidegger to Sartre, Lévi-Strauss and Michel Foucault - have cast serious doubts on the value of a specifically "historical" consciousness, stressed the fictive character of historical reconstructions, and challenged history's claims to a place among the sciences. At the same time, Anglo-American phiolosophers have produced a massive body of literature on the epistemological status and cultural functions of historical thinking, a literature which, taken as a whole, justifies serious doubts about history's status as either a rigorous science or a genuine art. The effects of these two lines of inquiry has been to create the impression that the historical consciousness on which Western man has prided himself since the beginning of the nineteenth century may be little more than a theoretical basis for the ideological position from which Western civilization views its relationship not only to cultures and civilizations preceding it but also to those contemporary with it in time and contiguous with it in space. Hayden White, Metahistory,John Hopkins University Press, 1973 pp.1-2</blockoquote>

I.e., Pappé thinks all history is ideological, the area he works in subject to eurocentric ideological bias, and takes as his remit a position of phenomenological sympathy for the 'Other' excluded by this Western-ideological historical framework, namely 'the Palestinian Arabs'. You can see this work quite neatly in his studies of the 1920s, less well known, but illustrate the gains his method can produce in reading key events from the possible perspective of the community of Arab notables when told the Balfour Declaration meant Empire would sweep their world from under their feet. His position simply means that in any interpretation of an aggregation of facts constituting an historical event where two parties, of widely differing culture, background, social formation and politics are in conflict, the historian is obliged to try and re-imagine the event from a double perspective, to put himself inside, esp., the boots of the loser. Morris, notably, cannot do this for Palestinians, but he constantly exercises this right to 'sympathy' for the only historical actors he thinks important, his own group. Pappé's scandal, is that he transposes this sympathy for the vanquished, and is less intent on archival justifications. Tutto qua. Nishidani (talk) 09:12, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Reliable, because he has books published by Cambridge University Press and Routledge, which are among the very elite of academic publishing. Thus, an established expert whose work in the relevant field has previously been published by reliable third-party publications, cf. WP:SPS. Vesal (talk) 01:32, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

NOTE: The following proposed structure of the discussion does not follow the principle of NPOV Cs32en  00:10, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

I restructured it, thoguh I'm not sure it would fit your interpretation of the policy. I'd be happy to hear out where you feel there's a problem (if you still feel there is one).
Warm regards, JaakobouChalk Talk 08:16, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

Supporting points

Following notes should clarify the reasons for supporting Ilan Pappe, Norman Finkelstein and Al-Jazeera as reliable sources on I-P conflict articles and, specifically, for stories about "Israeli/Jewish/Zionist atrocities".
  1. Ilan Pappe and Norman Finkelstein are people and as such can't by definition be sources. We don't cite things to people, except in very limited circumstances as spelled out in WP:SELFPUB. Where Pappe or Finkelstein's viewpoints are published in reliable sources, they can be cited in accordance with our WP:V and WP:NPOV policies. This noticeboard can be useful for discussion of whether publications meet our criteria for reliable sources and whether citations are appropriate in context. Within an article the amount of weight to give competing views that have been published in reliable sources is an editorial judgement that should be worked out among editors on the article's talk page. Dlabtot (talk) 02:45, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
  2. Al-Jazeera is widely recognized as a reliable source. Like all sources, it does have a particular viewpoint. Unremarkable claims can be stated plainly. Remarkable claims should be explicitly attributed. e.g. "According to Al-Jazeera..."[1] Dlabtot (talk) 02:45, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
  • add your comment here.


  1. I support the usage of the above mentioned to present the Palestinian and/or Arab perspectives. They should, however, be very much avoided when used for stating historical facts and non-campaigning* sources (or at least ones that keep it "in-check") should be used instead.

    * Sample campaigning: Pappe - boycotting Israel among other anti-Zionist activity; Finkelstein - supporting Hezbollah among other antisemitic activity; Al-Jazeera - promoting "resistance" (or "Mukawama") and the perspectives of "resistance" groups... and organizing a birthday party to a child killer. JaakobouChalk Talk 06:43, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

Rebuttals to "supporting points"

  • Comments regarding #1+2:
  • Pappe or Finkelstein are fringe perspectives and, much like the 9.11 conspiracy theorists, they have promoted widely rejected theories from within the Arab World narratives (which include a lot of antisemitism). They could be reliably cited for my suggested exceptions but cannot be used as "pappe says Israel massacred the Palestinians in Jenin and that Israel is committing genocide" without some note that his view is an extreme minority and that he's, at best, a prominent anti-Zionist. Similar exceptions could be made for Finklstein and Al-Jazeera who more often than not, promote "mukawama" misinformation. Just because they replace the word "Palestine" on the middle east map with "Israel, Gaza & West Bank" when they report Israel is "massacring" Palestinians, it doesn't mean that they are a RS for the I-P conflict (thay are notable, but unreliable). Quatar's money doesn't make you reliable and Al-Jazeera, much like Al-Arabya and their follies[36] don't make for reliable reports on "Israeli atrocities" or "Gaza Holocaust" (when 20 people die in February 2009). Still, I agree that they could be cited for the Arab view. e.g. "Pappe explains the Arab view that....". JaakobouChalk Talk 07:03, 7 May 2009 (UTC) clarify a bit 07:10, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
    p.s. for the record, I think Al-Arabya are more reliable than Al-Jazeera but while both pass notability and can certainly be used for the Arab perspective, they cannot be cited for "Zionists kill children" type of information without an exception "weasel" (read: conservatively written) note about who they are. JaakobouChalk Talk 07:19, 7 May 2009 (UTC)


I've been watching things here from a distance and wanted it to stay that way, but things are quickly getting out of hand here:

  • First and foremost, the debate is getting pretty ugly and there are a lot of un-substantiated claims of Anti-semitism, Blood libel and the like which fly in the face of WP:BLP. This policy also applies to talk pages. Please refrain from attacking authors based on your own personal opinions or I will take this thread as a whole to WP:BLP/N.
  • Secondly, this is about individual sources. I don't care what anybody thinks about an author: if he/she publishes academically (i.e. as per Wikipedia:Reliable sources#Scholarship), then that's it -- it's a WP:RS. This is independent of personal opinions on the authors. Challenging this concept opens a can of worms allowing the removal of any academical WP:RS based on the existing or perceived biases of the author.
  • Thirdly and lastly, many of the editors arguing here against Ilan Pappe or Norman Finkelstein have themselves promoted sources from supposedly biased academic sources, especially when that bias matches their own POV. This type of hypocrisy and double-standards points directly to WP:POINT and WP:DISRUPT and is not in the best interests of the encyclopaedia.

So, can we put this discussion back to specific sources and away from bashing specific authors? Cheers, pedrito - talk - 07.05.2009 09:29

Comment. Agree entirely with Peditro. This entire discussion is pointless, because people are not sources, documents are. If there are concerns about particular documents authored by one controversial scholar, they can be discussed where appropriate (context matters, so an article talk page would be the starting point) with input requested here or via an RFC. The main issue would be WP:NPOV, not WP:RS - if a claim (whether controversial or not) is sourceable only to one author (controversial or not), it should be attributed explicitly (or if the claim not notable enough, omitted). Rd232 talk 01:23, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

In Pappe's own words

from A History of Modern Palestine page 11 [37]

My bias is apparent despite the desire of my peers that I stick to facts and the "truth" when reconstructing past realities. I view any such construction as vain and presumptuous. This book is written by one who admits compassion for the colonized not the colonizer; who sympathizes with the occupied not the occupiers.

  • Pappe considers the request that he stick to facts and truth when "reconstructing past realities" as vain and presumptious. His bias is acknowledged, as well as his contempt for facts and the truth. His book is considered "revisionist" and "unique" [38] as part of its praise. Just what you don't want in a historiography book in a controversial area. Tundrabuggy (talk) 15:23, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
I have to play Devil's Advocate and insert a comment here... you will note that Pappe places quotation marks around the word "truth" in the passage quoted above. To say that he has "contempt for facts and the truth" is misinterpreting what he is saying. He may have contempt for a truth... but not the truth.
Wikipedia recognizes that different people will view "Truth" differently... it is a recognition that is encapsulated in the criteria for inclusion stated at WP:V: "Verifiability, not Truth". We don't have to agree with what Pappe says, as long as it is Verifiable that he says it. There may be some validity to calling his work "Fringe"... but if so, then he is notable fringe, and his view needs to be addressed. Blueboar (talk) 16:14, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
I tend to agree with Blueboar on both the interpretation of this given text (which doesn't apply to all the others) as well as the issue of notability. As such, I believe that on occasions where his perspective on Israeli-Palestinian issues is needed to clarify the Arab perspective, he could be cited as a "prominent anti-Zionist historian Ilan Pappe" or something similar. I can't see him used though when better sources that don't ascribe to extremist propaganda (esp. with the Jenin "massacre" blood libel) exist. I figure that similar notes could be added to Norman Finkelstien in articles where he has unique expertise but I'd hate to see him used in Holocaust articles for his Holocaust denial and other such "shenanigans". As for Al-Jazeera, I'm fairly certain that they could be used on many issues, but they should be noted as "Arab perspective" when reporting "Massacres" by Israel. JaakobouChalk Talk 17:05, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
p.s. While we're on the subject of anti-Zionist (or worse) sources, I've recently noticed one of the editors involved on the promotion of Pappe and Finklstien to be using the website and I'd appreciate some perspective on the matter from this forum.
Warm regards, JaakobouChalk Talk 17:28, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
Pappé just points to the fact that there are events in history which are disputed, and he implicitly argues that presenting a single account of those events would not be warranted (because evidence is inconclusive). He also implies that he might not present all possible accounts, due to his "bias". He doesn't need to, as he's not an encyclopedia ;-) We should take these words as an encouragement to include his accounts of these events, as well as the accounts of others, in the respective articles.  Cs32en  17:13, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
That's false logic (no offense). Because a fringe source has a fringe perspective on an event, it doesn't automatically makes his anti-Zionist perspective relevant for the article. It would be better to use scholarly sources that don't ascribe to a blaming the Jews mentality. The point where he suggests Israel and the U.S.A. conspired to hide the "massacre" of Jenin (the battle that Jenin militant Zaharia Zubeidi calls a victory)... I have no objection to adding him as "Arabs and prominent anti-Zionists have described the event as a massacre" but to use him as a generic reliable source is destructive to the neutrality of the encyclopedia. Certainly when more reliable and mainstream sources exist.
Warm regards, JaakobouChalk Talk 17:34, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

─────────────────────────I can easily accept the issue of "truth" in relation to wiki. However, he clearly shows contempt for facts as well. He is a noted "revisionist" and while some may agree with his perspective, it should be presented for what it is, biased ...and his own opinion. To present his narrative as factual is to do our readers a disservice and present a biased perspective as a valid representation of history. If one insists on using his version of history, any article would need to be balanced with an equally biased perspective from the Israeli side. It would be better to present the unvarnished facts if one were sure what they were -- as closely and honestly as we can. If we can't ascertain the facts, at the very least, we should work for balance. Tundrabuggy (talk) 19:12, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

Just to throw in my two cents during a too infrequent jaunts through the WP:RSN entries: I agree that one cannot dismiss Pappé out of hand given his academic status but only challenge the factuality of specific things he asserts. Even then the challenger must have much more verifiable facts. And if not, then it becomes a matter of Pappe says this and other academics say this. CarolMooreDC (talk) 16:07, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

70 year old newspaper articles

Currently in Business Plot and related articles Smedley Butler etc. , one editor is removing "70 year old newspaper articles" as sources. His reasoning appears to be that 70 year old newspaper articles somehow cease to be reliable sources. I do not wish to be entangled with this person any more than is necessary, so can someone review the "70 year old newspaper articles" and determine if they have now ceased to be reliable? Many thanks! Collect (talk) 00:39, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

My point is not that the newspapers themselves are reliable, the point is that a congressional committe found that what they said was false. So what the newspapers said at the time, before the committe came to it's final conclusion, is irrelevant because they were disproven by history and the facts. What someone wrote about Hitler in 1934, shouldn't be seen as an accurate protrayal of him today. The sames goes for the Business Plot. annoynmous 00:51, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
Any source whose information has been superseded loses reliability. The same newspaper, reporting on information that hasn't changed, like the daily closing value of the Dow Jones or the temperature for a certain day, may be considered reliable for that material. There may be some value in contrasting earlier views with later views, in line with "In was first thought that...but later evidence showed that..."   Will Beback  talk  01:04, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
I note that annoynmous does not actually give a citation for this congressional committee report that he says superceeds the New York Times. If I have a choice between a newspaper report which I can check, and an uncited mention of a congressional committee report... I'll go with the New York Times every time. That said, if he can provide a citation to the report... then perhaps. Blueboar (talk) 01:06, 8 May 2009 (UTC) Never mind... it is cited later in the article. Blueboar (talk) 01:09, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
I completely agree with Will Beback. And a sentence to that effect "It was first thought that... but later...blah blah blah" actually would be a great addition to an article, articles should never just have what is thought today, they should delve into past thought on a topic as well. Otherwise there might not be any mention on all of Wikipedia that people once thought the world was flat!Camelbinky (talk) 01:24, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

I agree that historical perspective is important and all those old newspaper articles are in the Business Plot article. I feel they are innapropriate for the Smedley Butler article because it gives the impression that the plot was just some fringe theory of his when in fact a congressional committe confirmed most of what he said. This I feel is an attempt by certain editors to whitewash history. annoynmous 01:32, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
Or an attempt by omitting reliable sources to whitewash history. WP policy has generally been that reliable sources ought not be removed just because IDONTLIKETHEM. Collect (talk) 11:55, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
That's not the rationale given, Collect. Rationale given is that the data is no longer considered accurate. In fact, has found to be inaccurate. I fail to see why you are arguing to keep sources shown to be incorrect. Drop this, please. KillerChihuahua?!? 12:58, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
The sources have not been shown to be incorrect, as a matter of fact. And the editor who is insisting that the Congress proved the plot existed is going agaoinst current cites from hostorians <g>. Collect (talk) 13:33, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
What current historians say is surely not covered in a 70-yr-old newspaper clipping. You are now moving from RS questions to Content Dispute; this is the wrong venue for that. KillerChihuahua?!? 14:02, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
Being an RS is not temporary. An RS 70 years from now is still an RS. Some academic types will debate that if a secondary source is old enough it becomes a primary source, but both still RS. This is an article about history. Some of the souces quoted are going to be historical. Squidfryerchef (talk) 16:04, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
I have to disagree with that last comment... reliability is NOT a permanent status. A source that was once considered reliable might not be considered reliable today. And a source that is deemed reliable today may well be deemed unreliable in the future. The flip side of this is that a source does not become automatically unreliable purely for being old. Some 70 year old sources are reliable, while other 70 year old sources are no longer reliable. It depends on the source. It depends on whether subsequent scholarship has shown the old source to be flawed.
It also depends on how you are using them. A source may be reliable for a historiographical statement (what the consensus 70 years ago was), but unreliable for a statement as to current thought. Blueboar (talk) 16:30, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
Agreed with Blueboar. Something that might have been considered reliable in the past might not be considered reliable today. Subsequent research, analysis and discovery by reliable sources might invalidate old sources. A great example is the identity of Deep Throat, the person who helped leak the Watergate scandal to the Washington Post. For more than 30 years, the identity of Deep Throat was unknown. It wasn't until May 31, 2005 when Vanity Fair magazine revealed that the secret identity of Deep Throat was Mark Felt. Virtually all otherwise reliable sources published prior to May 31, 2005 would say that the identity of Deep Throat is a mystery which is no longer true. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 15:57, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
There's verifiability vs. truth, and there's sources vs. facts within the sources. The pre-2005 speculation on the identity of Deep Throat is still notable and a part of U.S. history. And we certainly wouldn't disallow everything the Washington Post wrote in the mid-1970s as a now-"unreliable" source. Squidfryerchef (talk) 21:53, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
Agreed, I was referring to the specific fact that Deep Throat's identity is unknown. I didn't mean to imply otherwise.
But in some cases, the issue can be far more broad. I would hesitate to use this particular article[39] as anything other than a primary source. Not too long ago, we had an editor who tried to argue that the Soviets weren't responsible for the Katyn massacre and they were using a 60 year-old Time Magazine article as part of their argument.[40] A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 23:13, 13 May 2009 (UTC)


While I didn't think at first that this could be a reliable source, since the staff and writers are people holding down other jobs, and it appeared to be another metal ezine, the page presented here[2] suggests that this site is well konwn and regonized as a thrust worthy source within the metal culture, and as seen here, [3] suggests that there is a somewhat professional atittude. Please get back to me ASAP. And Thanks a head of time. (talk) 00:35, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

Is this part of the neverending "which genre to list in a band's infobox" debate? Squidfryerchef (talk) 14:42, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

No, nothing like that. I noticed than another user was using it, and was curious if I should remove them.

FBI Press Release and Potential Clash of Numbers

I wanted to ask if a claim on a FBI press release regarding an ethnic conflict (civil war) in another country would be considered reliable. One of the claims on the FBI press release says "4,000 people were murdered by the LTTE" (I am presuming they mean civillians) in the last two years (published Jan. 2008) [41] seems inconsistent with the numbers from the International Crissis Group. However, the International Crisis Group, claim "4,000" civillians were killed in crossfire and targeted attacks from 2006 upto 2009, January and blames both the Sri Lankan Government and the LTTE for the deaths. The International Crisis Group claimed atleast 10,000 to 15,000 have been killed in total since 2006, with abuses from both sides,including political assassinations, abductions, and targeted attacks on civilians. John harvey125 (talk) 01:56, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

under the circumstances I would tend to believe FBI if their is a discrepancy. they have more resources and likely research issues much better than not for profit NGOs. Wikireader41 (talk) 02:17, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
International Crisis Group surely is better versed in international conflicts than a Federal criminal investigative and police agency. John harvey125 (talk) 02:51, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
So far, the numbers are all compatible. Why does the FBI even publish numbers on the conflict in Sri Lanka? --Stephan Schulz (talk) 02:29, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
Here is my simplified take on this. The FBI is saying one side killed 4,000, the other is saying 4,000 was killed by both sides. I am not sure how both are compatible. I am also puzzled why FBI would publish numbers on the conflict in Sri Lanka, isn't that odd or questionable, particularly if it appears to be incompatible with other sources well versed in international conflicts. John harvey125 (talk) 02:51, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
may I remind you after 9/11 all intelligence agencies have been forced to work closely together. they even have their own version of wikipedia called Intellipedia to share info. So I am pretty sure FBI has info from CIA and all other intelligence assets of US govt and more. I really dont see what is odd with publishing the numbers. their was a huge drive in US to purge LTTE supporters and I believe some of the supporters were arrested as per this reference from the FBI website. FBI is deeply involved in counter terrorism not only in US but abroad where US citizens may be threatened. in close cooperation with CIA et alWikireader41 (talk) 03:03, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
To the contrary, there is history of different security agencies in the US having territorial agendas ("turf wars") as with other beuracracies around the globe. Its a fact a life and all that is available to the CIA is not passed onto the FBI and vise versa. I am highly skeptical of information being completely transparent from one agency to another. The onus is on you to back up your claim. John harvey125 (talk) 03:16, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
On May 4, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator said that "casualty figures that began circulating in the media ten days ago [...] were drawn from an internal working document which is based on information that cannot be fully, reliably, and independently assessed, because of limits on access to civilians in the combat zone" [42]. This is probably one of the most reliable pieces of information that exists on this issue.  Cs32en  03:23, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
No John the Onus is on YOU to back the claim. presence of Intellipedia is a well documented way of sharing info and I would be hard pressed to see FBI does not have access to better quality Data than ICG. what basis do you have to be so sceptical of these numbers ?? as said above by Cs32en I would think ICG which has no independent field staff & relies on media reports and has no access to classified info is more likely to end up with inaccurate reports. No way CIA shares info with ICG. more than likely they do with FBI.Wikireader41 (talk) 03:42, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
I honestly respect your opinion on this, but please consider this point. I have a game called minesweeper on my machine. It doesn't mean I play it or have ever played it. The point being, I agree Intellipedia exists, it still doesn't mean information is necessarily shared between the agencies that way. Does the FBI have a field office in Sri Lanka ? I think not. What we are arguing here (i.e. Was the FBI press release based on CIA info ?) can only be settled with authoritative sources. John harvey125 (talk) 04:02, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
what makes you think FBI does not have a field office in SL ?? or that they do not share info with CIA. those are just Opinions. do not try to give more weight one opinion over other. why do you think info is not being shared specifically about LTTE. they are supposed to share info and unless you can provide a solid source saying that CIA is not sharing info with FBI please do not keep on arguing in this fashion. Wikireader41 (talk) 13:17, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
The FBI is not a newspaper or a publishing house or a news organization. They are a primary source for information. Primary sources should be used sparingly and with extreme caution. It might be acceptable, for example, to say "According to the FBI, the LTTE murdered 4,000 people in the years 2006 and 2007"[4], but I don't think it would be a good idea. There's no telling what the FBI even means by the term 'murder' in this context. I'd call it an exceptional claim that would require a source that was both more solid and more transparent. Dlabtot (talk) 04:06, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
I would disagree here this info likely originated from CIA and was also verified by FBI. are you saying newspapers are more reliable than FBI on the matter of reporting casualties in Sri Lanka ?? 13:17, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
The FBI is a law enforcement agency, a branch of the United States government. It's mission is not to provide information. It is a primary source; for example, here it issued a press release that secondary sources would use in their reporting. Yes, secondary and tertiary sources such as newspaper reports or academic studies are preferred to primary sources such as press releases by government agencies. Dlabtot (talk) 17:04, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
Well actually the FBI is very much in the information business. It publishes the Law Enforcement Bulletin and a number of well-informed whitepapers, not to mention the intelligence stuff we don't get to see. Real issue here is that the article cited above is neither, it's essentially a pep talk to make police aware of LTTE. There is likely better information available from the FBI web site. Squidfryerchef (talk) 00:52, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
I would trust the FBI and the US State Department for information about travel risks abroad. I'd further argue that reports they publish for general consumption would be secondary sources as they are fact-checked and not a party to the Tigers conflict. Now of course different sources are going to have a different estimate for number of victims, but we should do the same thing we always do on Wikipedia and cite a variety of estimates. These can include newspapers, NGOs, private intelligence and risk management services, official statements from the governments of Sri Lanka and India, and foreign affairs agencies throughout the world. Squidfryerchef (talk) 14:40, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
Why not put International group's number in text and FBI's in footnote? Specificity is important and International's group's number is more specific. My guess is FBI grabbed their number and generalized it. CarolMooreDC (talk) 16:17, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
When two reliable sources disagree, people often argue as to which one is "right", or at least which one is "more reliable" ... but WP:NPOV gives us a different approach: Discuss what each source says without trying to say which one is right. This should probably be the approach here. Blueboar (talk) 17:15, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure whether we can assume that the FBI would not be "a party to the Tigers conflict". This does not mean, however, that other sources would necessarily be more reliable than the FBI.  Cs32en  01:02, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Blueboar. John was trying to imply that FBI was not a credible source and that is how this discussion got started. I feel both FBI and ICG meet WP the criteria for reliable sources. It is the job of FBI to keep tabs on Tamil Tigers (LTTE) activities ( thankfully mostly just fundraising) in the US and their mission includes arresting the supporters in USA and preventing attacks by LTTE in USA and on US citizens. As such I would not have any reason to suspect that they have access to Classified and Higher quality info than most media sources and this info is cross checked by multiple agencies. Thanx for all your contributions guys Wikireader41 (talk) 02:06, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

BBC History

Is the BBC History site a reliable source? Here is a link [43] --Jim Sweeney (talk) 09:14, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

Yes. Squidfryerchef (talk) 14:24, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

Absolutely Yes. BBC is one of most respected news organizations IMHO quality of Info on their website is generally very High and very Neutral Wikireader41 (talk) 02:12, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
Agreed. It's very reliable and meets the definition of WP:RS. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 02:14, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

Chinese source on Republic of China

I'd like to get your opinion regarding a source that has recently been added to Republic of China. The source is meant to prove that Nanking is the official capital of the ROC, which some editors contest. Here is the source: [44]. The main issue I have with it is that nobody can verify it unless they understand Chinese (I've tried using Google Translate but the automatic translation doesn't make much sense). Also the statement the source supports is controversial, so it's important it can be verified. Laurent (talk) 14:38, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

In other words, because the source is in a language you don't understand, you are concerned that you can not personally verify what it says... right now. This is an understandable, and common concern about non-english sources. However, we do not require information to be instantly (or even easily) verifiable... we only require that it be verifiable. Nor do we require that informaton be verifiable by any specific editor... as long as someone (in this case someone who can read Chinese) is able to verify it, it passes WP:V.
That said, I am not saying that the source is reliable. It may well be that the source isn't reliable for a host of other reasons, but being written in Chinese is not one of them. (see: WP:V#Non-English sources) Blueboar (talk) 15:48, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, yes that makes sense, I guess I was just impatient to know what the source says. I'm going to ask if somebody can help with the translation on the Language section of the Reference desk. Laurent (talk) 16:12, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
It seems rather hasty to me to include it until it is verified and the text is in the footnote. This is especially true in WP:BLP where there can be a lot of abuse. Does WP:V#Non-English sources need to specify which is better? CarolMooreDC (talk) 16:20, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
What do you mean by "specify which is better"? WP:V#Non-English sources reads:
  • English-language sources are preferable to sources in other languages so that readers can easily verify the content of the article. However, sources in other languages are acceptable where an English equivalent is not available. Where editors translate a direct quote, they should quote the relevant portion of the original text in a footnote or in the article. Translations published by reliable sources are preferred over translations made by Wikipedia editors.
As I read this, the bit about the footnote is talking about how to verify translations (ie if you include a translation of the original text, you should also quote it in the original language ... so that those who read the non-english original can check to see that it was translated correctly.) I don't think it is talking about simply citing the original. Blueboar (talk) 16:40, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

Reliable source on Human Rights in Bolivia (source is in Spanish)

There is a dispute on the Human Rights Foundation talk page about whether the following is a reliable source: [[45]. It is a statement made by 25 Bolivian human rights organisations, questioning the legitimacy of Human Rights Foundation and condemning their links with armed groups in the country. The website is of a network of Bolivian human rights organisations - this is from the about us section of the website:

El Capitulo Boliviano de Derechos Humanos, Democracia y Desarrollo:

Es una asociación de carácter nacional, en la que participan organizaciones no gubernamentales, que trabajan en la promoción y defensa de los derechos humanos, para su realización en un marco de justicia, equidad y participación democrática.

Formamos parte de la Plataforma Interamericana de Derechos Humanos, Democracia y Desarrollo, cuya acción está orientada a desarrollar estrategias de exigibilidad y vigilancia de los derechos humanos económicos, sociales y culturales en los ámbitos nacionales e internacionales.

I'm not sure what the grounds for disputing the source are. Pexise (talk) 16:43, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

That's a reliable source, no doubt about it. Laurent (talk) 21:49, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

Uploaded file in Tibetan with dubious translation

Hope this is the right forum, I'm puzzled where to take this... User:Sildroad recently uploaded this file. This is a photo of a document, the caption says it's a letter in Tibetan that orders the collection of human body parts for the Dalai Lama. Based on the current tension between Tibet and China, and the source of the file at a Chinese language blog, and the editor's history of similar file uploads, it looks like a pretty unreliable source. Not yet linked to an article, and the editor has been bot-notified about copyright issues, so maybe it's moot. Please let me know if I need to take this elsewhere, thanks. Chuckiesdad/Talk/Contribs 19:50, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

The document seems to belong to the Archives of the Tibet Autonomous Region (i.e. a subdivision of the PRC) [46]. The blog should not be used as a source.  Cs32en  02:13, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

Is CEPR and its articles a reliable source?

This source on RCTV in Venezuela, article by Mark Weisbrot: CEPR Venezuela and the Media: Fact and Fiction, By Robert McChesney and Mark Weisbrot, June 1, 2007 is not the same as, but one of the authors, Robert W. McChesney, can be considered an expert in the field, as Research Professor of Communications at the University of Illinois. I assume there are different opinions on the subject, so it's probably best to attribute the statements to the sources.  Cs32en  15:01, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
Looking at the about us page at the website, I would say it is reliable. Certainly for a statement of opinion, and probably for statements of fact. Blueboar (talk) 15:03, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

CEPR is a think tank in Washington with a *very* overt political bias that has tobe referred to as left-wing. I am not saying there is something wrong with that but their "facts" on subjects like Venezuela are certainly subject to questioning. I highly recommend anyone using them as a source to include the fact that they describe themselves as overtly in favor of the governments of Hugo Chavez, Evo Morales, and Rafael Correa. see this:

WP:RS does not mean "conforming with the majority opinion". How do we know that Francisco Rafael Rodríguez, the author of the paper you refer to, is unbiased and reliable?  Cs32en  02:29, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
CEPR's director Mark Weisbrot appears to spend lots of time speaking in favour of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, not only in the US Congress and US media, but in Europe (Madrid & London). In fact Weisbrot has referred to Venezuela's propaganda office in Washington as "a great source of information".Venezuela Head Polishes Image With Oil Dollars Regardless of its general principles, CEPR maintains a clearly partisan view with regards to Latin American politics, and its director lacks broadcasting credentials.Proofknow (talk) 13:13, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

American Journal of Family Therapy

Could I have an analysis of the American Journal of Family Therapy? It appears to be the primary publisher of noncritical articles about parental alienation syndrome, which is a curious pattern. WLU (t) (c) Wikipedia's rules:simple/complex 10:18, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

It has an eigenfactor of 0.13891, if that helps. WLU (t) (c) Wikipedia's rules:simple/complex 10:24, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
On first review, I don't see anything to indicate a problem with its reliability for Wikipedia. It's a peer-reviewed journal with a 37-year history, published by Routledge, with a solid editorial board [47]. --Jack-A-Roe (talk) 03:38, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
I do not agree. it is a journal of demonstrably abysmal quality. In Journal citation reports, it ranks 27th of the 30 journals in Family studies, and 85th of the 87 in clinical psychology. It is just such journals which tend to publish articles from distinctive non-central POVs. Many academics join any editorial board that asks them to; it does not necessarily involve any work. DGG (talk) 23:50, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
That's a most interesting comment from someone whose opinion I respect a lot. The article in question is Parental alienation syndrome; Jack-A-Roe's pointer to the editorial board [48] led me to observe on the talkpage that at least ten of those listed, including the editor-in-chief, are known to be "pro" PAS, with articles often published in the American Journal of Family Therapy itself. None of known the "anti" academics are on the editorial board as far as I can see, and few "pro" articles has been published elsewhere, especially recently. But what does one do about this? The journal may be of poor quality, but should it really be excluded as a reliable source? Other opinions welcomed --Slp1 (talk) 01:17, 10 May 2009 (UTC)
Peer reviewed journals are of varying degrees of reliability. the distinction reliable/non-reliable is naive. Scientists judge articles to a considerable extent by the journals in which they appear. Perhaps an article about the journal could be written for Wp -- all peer-review journals even at the bottom of the JCR list are usually considered notable eniough for that (even that list is selective--there are lower levels yet). DGG (talk) 01:21, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
Those are good points, maybe that journal should not be used in the same way as a more reputable one. But this brings up a policy question - how do editors make these decisions? If there is no other source disputing papers published in this journal, and it is peer-reviewed, what is the criteria to use for determining how to cite that content? I'm not arguing in favor of the journal, this is a more general question. If there were other references contradicting this one, then both could be shown, but how can a journal be cited with a caveat that it doesn't seem reliable because it's ranked low or publishes non-central POV articles? Again, I'm not arguing for the use of this journal, but this seems like a gray area in the policy that may need clarification. --Jack-A-Roe (talk) 04:39, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
I think I've answered my own question - after reviewing more of the other reliable sources on that topic, sources known to be solid, they are all strongly critical of the theory, and they document the lack of mainstream support for it. That provides context and support showing that the journal, though peer-reviewed, is less than reliable (at least on this particular topic). --Jack-A-Roe (talk) 06:09, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

Undent - I agree it's a very interesting policy/editor question. In the two cases where there has been reliable sources of dubious merit I've posted questions on RSN and ultimately the questions seemed to come down to, in my mind, undue weight concerns. The comments informed the discussion, but the "dubious" journals could be identified by their support of the minority position. I don't know if there is an easy, rule of thumb way of determining this (impact factors are obviously tempting, but probably inappropriate). In cases where neutral editors are simply reviewing sources it can be determined fairly readily I think, when there is a minority and majority opinion. Problems were created for me in the past when editors with strong POVs were pushing for the minority opinion to be included as if it were the majority (such as what is happening now on talk:parental alienation syndrome). I think experienced editors will probably manage to tease out the issues in cases like this, but it will certainly be time and reading-intensive work (unless the Cochrane Library is kind enough to pop out a review article the year of). Interesting questions though, and not easy answers for most of us. Thanks for your comments DGG and JAR. WLU (t) (c) Wikipedia's rules:simple/complex 13:43, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

I see no way to determine the level of reliability of a "dubious" journal other than to take the time and energy to research it and determine its reputation. We need to find out who its editors and reviewers are, and find out about their qualifications and reputations. Certainly the fact that a journal is not cited by other scholars whould be a hint that it is less than reliable... another hint would be if the journal consistantly seems to be publishing "alternative" viewpoints (in which case we may be dealing with something that is not properly peer-reviewed, that is essentially a medium for POV self-publication). Blueboar (talk) 14:23, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
I'm finding the talk page very difficult to follow. It and the article have been in flux for the past week. For those of us who aren't too familiar with child psychology, can we get a nutshell description? Anyway there's nothing wrong with an academic journal having a point of view. And we should explain what the alternative points of view are especially because this is not purely a scientific topic where we're interested in the absolute truth, but something that comes up in child custody cases, where readers may be more interested in the debate. Squidfryerchef (talk) 15:30, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
The nutshell version is that a psychiatrist (Gardner) said that he had discovered a new syndrome in which children in conflictual divorce situations would refuse contact with one parent because the other one had "brainwashed" the child against the other, including sometimes getting the child to make claims of abuse etc. Gardner self-published his discovery (rather than submitted it to peer-review, as would be normal in the field of medicine), and also provided very limited research in support (mostly case studies etc). He claimed that despite this PAS met the criteria for use in court cases in the US, though others have vigorously disagreed. The syndrome seems to have been somewhat accepted to begin with, but more and more critical articles have appeared as time goes on, from psychologists, lawyers etc, with most textbooks of child custody evaluation, law books, saying that it does not qualify as a syndrome, and/or is not advised for use in court because of multiple issues including lack of scientific evidence that it actually exists. Other formulations, mostly dropping the "syndrome" label, have been developed instead, However, some authors continue to write acceptingly about the topic, almost always in the same journal; many of the same authors also recently collaborated on a book on the subject. Fathers' rights activists strongly support the existence of the syndrome claiming that their former wives are turning their children against them; women's rights and domestic violence activists strongly oppose it, claiming PAS is used by fathers and their lawyers to dismiss legitimate claims of child abuse made by mothers.
I wouldn't disagree that we need to give both sides of the debate. But the question is how much weight do we give to what appears to fairly clearly be the minority view, mostly published in a walled garden type journal, and other low quality sources. --Slp1 (talk) 21:05, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
To that I would add, parental alienation is something completely different - the separation and lack of affection between a parent and a child. Parental alienation is middling-well accepted as existing, but the existence of the syndrome, particularly as described by Gardner, is not well accepted and this is quite easily demonstrated through the numerous critical discussions found in many books. It's a rather textbook fringe theory in my mind. PAS does have considerable popular attention in the form of news articles and advocacy by parents, as well as a legal strategy in many courts. If this can be clearly demonstrated via sources, this should be included in the history section of the page. It is in the academic, expert and scholarly audiences that PAS has found minimal play and in my opinion should be discussed as primarily not accepted. WLU (t) (c) Wikipedia's rules:simple/complex 21:25, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
  • I don't know the details, but the journal is prima facie reliable, and given its history, publisher, and the length of its editorial board it would certainly would seem to be as or more reliable as the legal articles which are currently used for science in the article. Sounds like the journal is the area where the proponents publish. If an article from that journal says something which is obviously over the line, that statement should be attributed as an opinion or left out entirely, but in general both sides need to be presented. The fact that the lead doesn't even have sentence stating the proponents' view, when according to WLU there's a medical journal which frequently publishes articles supporting the view, suggests that the page is not currently NPOV. It makes it seem as if Gardner is the only supporter when this discussion makes it sound like there are more. The Scientific Status section doesn't cite the journal either. The article also has the annoying practice of ref-bombing. It's important to make things as factual as possible, but not to keep out content that makes things more complicated than we might like. II | (t - c) 08:53, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
II, if the medical journal you are talking about is the AJFT, I wouldn't call it a medical journal as it's about psychotherapy (making it a psychology journal I guess). The reason I asked for a comment is to get the sort of analysis that moves beyond "the journal is peer reviewed therefore reliable" - I am far from able to make the distinction easily. Because this is an undue weight issue, it's up to editors to parse the sources and figure out where the line is. Based on WP:MEDRS, the best sources to use are books, review articles and broad statements by secondary sources - those seem to indicate that PAS is not accepted (the exception being the AJFT, which seems to be the primary vehicle publishing mostly positive articles - a curious pattern that I alluded to in my opening post of the section). Refbombing is an unfortunate consequence of heavily disputed pages where it is necessary to cite everything because everything is challenged. If consensus indicates that PAS is indeed not well accepted, the page can be rewritten more elegantly, limiting the number of cites for each phrase. WLU (t) (c) Wikipedia's rules:simple/complex 15:08, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
How does 3-4 extra sources make a difference when one has a good source? Plus it suggests the sources are being used imprecisely. Anyway, the article still strikes me as lacking neutrality because it doesn't seem to allow the proponents to voice their argument -- not even a couple sentences. The article is not something that interests me right now so I'll leave it alone. When I usually respond to these sorts of RS/N questions, my first question is: what's the context? What do you want (or not want) to use the article/journal for? I haven't noticed any of that information being provided. Are you looking for ammunition to keep the source out? II | (t - c) 18:08, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
I agree with you, I'd be happy to have a maximum of two of the most reliable for each statement. However, there has been a consistent POV-push on the page (that is still going on) that PAS is a legitimate diagnosis that has been properly used in the courts and should be accepted into the DSM (see the talk page, any posts by Michael H 34) which required a steady application of a number of sources to avoid the weaselly "Critics say..." or "X person said..." rather than the acceptance that a large number of sources actually say the same thing. The reason that there are few "proponents" arguments is that most of the proponents arguments I have seen have been self-published or cited in dubious sources (for instance, the insistence on the use of newspapers in this section - the statement from Baker is from the New York Times and one from Stahl is published in the Whittier daily news). By comparison, the more reliable sources converge on the opinion that PAS has been inappropriately cited in legal cases and in fact has insufficient scientific merit to be included in the DSM. This is why I consider it fairly classic WP:FRINGE - minimal investigation in reliable sources; when there is, unrelentingly negative discussion in the most reliable sources; a small number of proponents continue to flog the idea in low impact sources after it was rejected. Previous versions read very, very poorly, (such as this version) because of the insistence on "NPOV" - being interpreted as a lack of criticisms. WLU (t) (c) Wikipedia's rules:simple/complex 20:21, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
SLP, thanks for posting the nutshell. There's no reason why we shouldn't cite the AJFT. If they tend towards a particular point of view, then see if there's an adjective that can be used to qualify the cite, i.e. "conservative". If anyone here is very interested in the AJFT then go ahead and start a WP article on them. Remember, we don't need to give undue weight to alternative views, but we don't want to wind up with a page that's entirely written by critics of PAS.
The broader issue is that we are overthinking the academic debate on whether PAS is really a "syndrome". For instance I wouldn't expect something like this to be listed in the DSM whether it was widely accepted or not. The DSM is a very general book, and it tends towards medical diagnoses. It doesn't list every possible phobia, fetish, or psychoanalytic concept. I would expect it to list Parkinson's Syndrome, but I wouldn't expect it to list Battered Women Syndrome or Stockholm Syndrome.
Whether PAS is a distinct mental phenomena is not important to most of our readers. I don't think anyone here doubts that people say all kinds of nasty things about the other spouse in a divorce case and that children are suggestible. PAS is likely more important as a legal argument than as a psychiatric diagnosis, so we should forget about WP:MEDRS and start looking at legal books, newspapers, etc. Squidfryerchef (talk) 15:21, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
You're welcome and thanks for your suggestions; I think for the most part they are very helpful. The problem is that the DSM thing is a major issue for those involved in the debate (on both sides), and supporters do claim that it is a psychiatric (ie medical) diagnosis that should be included in the manual. There are published arguments (scholarly and in the news) for and against, calls for letter-writing campaigns to the American Psychiatric Association etc by supporters etc[49]. In part this is because recognition of this sort would be a clear indication that the syndrome has the validity/reliability required to be recognized as evidence in courts of law. BTW, as a neurological condition, Parkinson's disease is not included in the DSM IV; nor are Battered Women Syndrome or Stockholm Syndrome both of which are also very controversial "diagnoses". The legal and medical issues here are inextricably linked; and I really don't think newspapers are good sources for either of these topics. However, high quality legal, child custody, psychological, and medical sources, are, I agree where we should (and have, frankly) been looking.--Slp1 (talk) 16:20, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
We should be giving appropriate emphasis on PAS as is found in reliable secondary sources. Those sources are primarily critical and point out the errors assumed and made by asserting that PAS exists and should be used in a court of law; their content is normally a brief summary of how proponents describe PAS, followed by a series of criticisms and reasons why it is generally not accepted by the relevant experts. The page is in my opinion about a fringe theory and should therefore focus more on its shortcomings and the societal/scientific/legal debates, rather than on what the proponents claim it is about. Cautious expansion of the page according to proponents could occur, but no claims of effectiveness, reality or appropriateness should be made without high-quality sources, of which the AJFT does not seem to be one. WLU (t) (c) Wikipedia's rules:simple/complex 19:14, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
The DSM seems like a polarizing side issue as far as PAS is concerned, maybe we should only spend a paragraph or two on that. It's interesting that there's a group lobbying to have PAS included but good luck with that, the DSM is for more general categories. But I doubt that not being in the DSM precludes PAS from being argued in court. I'm not an expert in these matters, but it seems to me an M.D. psychiatrist ought to be able to testify as an expert witness on someone's mental state without having to make a diagnosis out of the DSM book.
I'd have to disagree about using news media sources. We don't want to use only ivory-tower academic sources. Those are fine for theoretical underpinnings but we should also use our top-tier newspapers such as the Washington Post, New York Times, and so forth. They would have interviewed judges, experts and others and provide some context as to how commonly PAS is argued in court and what the opinion ( including the popular opinion, that's important for juries ) is on the matter.
I'd also like to comment on some problems with the bio on Gardner, which has too much of a critic's POV. Our article on Parental alienation is a stub with a number of pro-PAS external links. Likely it should be merged with a more general article on alienation in the psychological sense, except that we don't have one. And our article on alienation is a redirect to Social alienation, which is mostly about Marx and Sartre. Squidfryerchef (talk) 21:47, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
I'd suggest continuing this discussion on talk:PAS - post this message in full on the talk page and I'll have comments to make when I have time (probably not 'til Thursday night or Friday). I agree with some points but the more specific this gets about PAS, the more it should be continued on that talk page. WLU (t) (c) Wikipedia's rules:simple/complex 21:54, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
There's no way I'd be able to keep up with the debate on that talk page. Feel free to point them here though. Squidfryerchef (talk) 13:36, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

Russian scholarship from Soviet-era

There is a dispute in an article about Russian history. Two editors are claiming that the Great Soviet Encyclopedia, published by Russia's Academy of Sciences, written by Russia's top scholars, and translated by Macmillan Publishers, is not a reliable source. It should be noted that many Wikipedia articles cite this source. Wikipedia Precedent confirmed the reliability of such sources. I find allegations concerning the BSE's alleged unreliability to be baseless because all Western-based scholars have used soviet-era scholarship in their work. Kupredu (talk) 22:11, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

Since free speech is restricted in Russia, it'd be preferable to use a non-Russian source. Especially when dealing with a sensible subject like the "enemies of the Bolshevik regime". Laurent (talk) 22:41, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
The discussion has nothing to do with allegations about Russia's political system, but is solely about the reliability of Russian scholarship on Russian history.Kupredu (talk) 22:58, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

Please note that:

  • First, Kupredu is misrepresenting the nature of the discussion he or she is linking to. The discussion DOES NOT establish a "Wikipedia Precedent" that the GSE is reliable AT ALL. If anything the discussion shows that it is NOT considered a reliable source.
  • Second, if we're talking about precedents, then this [50] establishes in a pretty unequivocal manner that generally the GSE is NOT a reliable source, except in cases where it is used to illustrate what the Soviet POV at a particular time was.
  • The fact that SOME Soviet-era works on SOME subjects are considered reliable does not imply that ALL Soviet-era works on ALL subjects are also reliable, as Kupredu seems to believe. In many cases, Soviet sources are corroborated and can be verified with non Soviet sources, or have been examined by non-Soviet authors and found to be of quality - then sure, they're reliable. That's not the case with the GSE as a whole (though I'm sure its treatment of topics in natural sciences and mathematics is probably reliable, Lysenko aside).
  • The main dispute revolves around a sentence which is phrased in a POV way (and couple related statements) - basically it refers to "The People" and "The Capitalists" etc. Basically standard Marxist rhetoric. It's not much of a change to rewrite the sentence to remove this POV but Kuperdu objects.

Finally it would be nice to once and for all get a definite guideline on the GSE.radek (talk) 23:00, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

Russian sources such as GSE and other sources published by Academy of Sciences are indispensible facts, data, and interpretations of the country's history and politics. There is not a single reliable expert of Russia's history who has refused to use Soviet-era sources because of their alleged biases. In Encarta's entry about Empress Catherine by historian Nicholas Riasonovsky, for example, it emphasizes the interpretations by Soviet historians: "One group of scholars, including Soviet academics, considers her liberalism all facade and pretense. They argue that the empress's 34-year performance on the throne was a single-minded affirmation of autocracy and of the overwhelmingly dominant position of the Russian gentry." That article does not suggest that Soviet-era scholarship is unreliable.Kupredu (talk) 23:28, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
No, GSE is not an "indispensible facts, data and interpretations". They are unreliable. Again, to focus the discussion, we are talking about GSE here SPECIFICALLY, not Soviet era scholarship GENERALLY. The fact that Riasonovsky's work on Catherine is considered as quality by non-Soviet publications only shows that the words "ALL" and "SOME" have two distinct meanings.radek (talk) 23:33, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
Actually, Riasonovsky, author of the Encarta article, is a Russian-American professor at University of California, Berkely. The fact that he emphasized the work of Soviet scholars in that article means that such scholarship is reliable. And this states: "Other valuable sources for Russian and Soviet history are the magnificient translation of the third edition of the Great Soviet Encyclopedia(New York: Macmillan, 1973-83)--end of discussion.Kupredu (talk) 00:30, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
Yes, but Riasonovsky, states, per your own quote "including Soviet historians" - so fine, as far as Catherine the Great is concerned Soviet historians and Western sources can be corroborated. What does this have to do with the Great Soviet Encyclopedia, with which AFAIK Riasonovsky was not involved. As per the "valuable sources" please note that the source you provide also recommends using the GSE among other, more reliable sources (like Cambridge History of Russia). Which I'd recommend here as well. By itself, GSE, not reliable.radek (talk) 00:38, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
I agree. Great Soviet Encyclopedia is not a reliable source, because all its content has been censored along the CPSU lines, especially when it provides information about sworn political enemies of the Soviet authorities like admiral Kolchack (the debate in question).Biophys (talk) 02:18, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
It's ironic to speak of Russian scholarship being censored while at the same time basically trying to impose a policy of censosrship on Wikipedia when it concerns Russian scholarship from the Soviet-era. The fact that the GSE was written by the country's top scholars and published by the Academy of Sciences means that there is no basis for a dispute of the source's reliability. Kupredu (talk) 17:11, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
Wikipedia isn't a government run or sponsored institution. It is a private body which has certain policies. One of these policies is that we use reliable sources. That's the difference. Not that complicated.radek (talk) 17:40, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

Such sources should be used with caution. A work such as the GSE might be fine for some non-controversial facts, but when the subject is, like in this example, an anti-Bolshevik leader, editors would be remiss if they did not take into account the revisionist reputation of the Soviet regime. Dlabtot (talk) 17:51, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

I already cited a source above showing that the GSE is a "valuable source" for Russian history and politics. Any assertion to the contrary is inconsistent with the views of qualified scholars on the subject. Kupredu (talk) 18:29, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
One must simple remember that the GSE was produced by the regime which stated "History serves politics." That means it may or may not be factual on a specific historical event. Plain and simple. I've used Soviet era references, but reliability is directly related to the topic. PetersV       TALK 18:41, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
Actually, the motto "History is past Politics and Politics present History" has been prominent in the way political scientists have approached their field. It was not coined by the Soviet "regime" as you suggest. If a work of history is written by a professional scholar, then it has a place in this encyclopedia. To dismiss a source because of its bias shows that you have no understanding of scholarly research. No honest historian or political scientist dismisses a source just because it is written by a certain side of a conflict. Kupredu (talk) 19:12, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

Reliability check on TorrentFreak

TorrentFreak is used as source for articles like aXXo, in that case for 6 out of 15 references. TorrentFreak is a weblog run by an editor called Ernesto who claims to be an assistant professor without journalism experience. Are articles from TorrentFreak reliable and what should happen to the cited content on the aXXo page? - Shiftchange (talk) 13:04, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

There shouldn't be a problem with using articles from TorrentFreak on a limited basis and with limited weight. They ( looks like they have three fulltime people ) appear to have a reputation in the file-sharing community and are cited by the mainstream media.[51] Squidfryerchef (talk) 13:25, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

Rick Ross on Falun Gong

The dispute lies with the Falun Gong talk page, and the disputed statement is:

Rick Ross, an American expert on cults have described Li Hongzhi, the funder of Falun Gong as someone who "doesn’t recognize everyone’s human rights, or even their right to be 'human'"[52]

This statement was placed on the Academic reception section, and was continuously removed by Olaf Stephanos (talk · contribs) [53], Asdfg12345 (talk · contribs) [54], and HappyInGeneral (talk · contribs) [55]. Amongst the reason was that Rick Ross is an ideologue with no academic credentials, in bed with the CCP, and fails RS., and that Rick Ross is a self-employed entrepreneur and former criminal who is singlehandedly rejected by the academic community without any supporting evidence.

I oppose the removal of this section, as I feel that their consists consists of an ad hominem attacks on Ross and his views. The passage simply consists of reporting a statement by Ross, who is prominent cult critic, without giving support to his personal opinion.--PCPP (talk) 14:34, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

Ross's views are notable and so should be mentioned... however, I agree that he is not an Accademic and so is misplaced in that section. If you don't have another section for the material, I suggest broadening the scope of commentary by adding another section entitled something like "Non-accedemic reception" or "Reception in the media". Blueboar (talk) 14:50, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
Unless Ross's views are published in an RS, they are not acceptable. Self-published blogs like are only acceptable if the source is an acknowledged expert *on the subject of the article*. Ross's status as a "cult expert" is arguable, but there's no RS evidence I'm aware of to suggest Ross is widely consider an expert on the subject of the article - Falun Gong. --Insider201283 (talk) 14:59, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
We have discussed Rick Ross several times before, so please look back through the archives... Ross is definitely a controvercial source, but the consensus is that his opinions are notable, and so his blog is reliable for (attributed) statements as to his opinion (but not reliable for a blunt statement of fact, without attribution). In other words, we can say that Rick Ross believes that Falun Gong is an evil cult <and cite to Ross>, but we can not say that Falun Gong is a bad cult . Blueboar (talk) 16:35, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
Rick Ross appears to be his own self-contained cottage industry. PetersV       TALK 18:49, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
Since when did some group "consensus" somewhere trump wikipedia *policy*? WP:SPS is very clear - 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. Unless you have RS that shows Rick Ross is an established expert on Falun Gong, his self-published blog is not acceptable. If you disagree, then get the policy changed. --Insider201283 (talk) 19:48, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
You forgot to add "Self-published sources should never be used as third-party sources about living persons, even if the author is a well-known professional researcher or writer; see WP:BLP#Reliable sources.", also from WP:SPS. I don't think referencing Ross's blog meets the letter and spirit of that. Jayen466 20:05, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
BTW, there are > 4K matches on "cults" on and 13 matches on scholarly articles referring in some way to Falun Gong. There is no mention of Mr. Ross anywhere. PetersV       TALK 19:56, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
Definitely only use something from him on any topic if he's been quoted by reliable source and where relevant mention he used to be a "deprogrammer" to make his POV perfectly clear. Preferabbly where WP:RS say that that person's efforts have someone influenced the outcome of events. Being a paid professional smear artist who happens to get a lot of media should not necessarily make one a good source for an encyclopedia. CarolMooreDC (talk) 13:39, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

Is a reliable source, for stuff like this? Nightscream (talk) 03:11, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

It looks like anyone who gets a account could edit the bio. If so, no, it is not reliable. Blueboar (talk) 12:25, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
Yep, Anyone with an account can edit it. should never be used as a source since it fails reliable and verifiable source policies. Bidgee (talk) 12:28, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
Alright, Thank you. Sorry to ask this, but are there any of these that could act as RS for her date of birth? Unomi (talk) 15:10, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
No... but given that they all give the same date, and that it seems non-controvercial... I am not sure it really needs to be cited. I would simply list the date without citation unless someone challenges it (and can express why they think it might be wrong). Blueboar (talk) 15:58, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
Note that while the bios on appear to be user-editable, there is another section of that is written by staff writers and indexed by Google News.(here's a search)[56] Those generally have a URL in the form of I would imagine their TV listings are as reliable as any, too. Squidfryerchef (talk) 16:07, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

Reliable Source


Would this be considered reliable and good enough to be a reference for an article? Thanks!--gordonrox24 (talk) 14:22, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

Depends on the specific article you are using it in, and the exact wording of the statement you are use it to support. Given who they are, my initial reaction is that it is not reliable for blunt statements of fact, but would be reliable statements as to the views of their org. That said, I am offering no opinion as to whether their view is notable enough to be mentioned ... that also depends on the specific article... See: WP:NPOV. Blueboar (talk) 17:40, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
The article can be found here.--gordonrox24 (talk) 18:36, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
And what statement did you wish to cite to the source? Blueboar (talk) 19:35, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
I'm not even sure yet. I know I would have to be careful as to not use it in a statement based on POV, but more for info about functions of the game.--gordonrox24 (talk) 20:17, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

The Epoch Times

Currently, the Epoch Times is quoted as a source at Xinhua News Agency. The statement is, "The Epoch Times stated that Xinhua purposely skipped "important news" to broadcast propaganda regarding the Tiananmen Square self-immolation incident that had occurred four years earlier.[57].

My problem is, that Epoch Times is no way a neutral third-party in criticizing Xinhua. It's politically anti-communist and sponsored by FLG, plus that the article in question if full of rhetorics and did not provide anything credible that RSF and other didn't cover.--PCPP (talk) 11:49, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

Sources do not need to be neutral... we do. That means we should report what reliable sources say in a neutral way, without inserting our own opinions as to which viewpoint is "True". The Epoch Times may or may not be reliable for other reasons, but being politically anti-communist is not one of them. Blueboar (talk) 14:00, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

From the article itself:

"Dr. Liu Kang, distinguished professor of Chinese Cultural Studies at Duke University and Associate Director of the Chinese Populations and Socioeconomic Studies Center, asserts that the paper does not adhere to basic journalistic standards of professionalism and objectivity, and is 'not viewed as an independent objective news media' by mainland Chinese." [58]

The Epoch Times also openly calls for the destruction of the PRC government and calls for people to "resign" from the CCP. [59] Hell even recently their printers tried to stop printing an Indian newspaper because one of their articles seemed to support the PRC.[60] They repesent a fringe political faction. We do not quote from KKK or Neo-Nazi websites regarding criticism of Barak Obama or the US government, and the pushing of the Epoch Times by single-purpose Falun Gong editors seemed to push WP:POINT--PCPP (talk) 14:42, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

Actually, in some situations we can quote from KKK or Neo-Nazi websites... we just have to do so appropriately (giving full attribution... discussing what they say as being their opinion and not as being accepted fact, etc.) Again, please read our WP:NPOV policy. Blueboar (talk) 00:45, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
A related issue might be how the WP:RS is using the non-WP:RS source. In other words, let's find an unreliable source to make an accusation to make everyone who says things look like that. Like when the NY Times quotes someone like David Duke about how great Ron Paul is. So it might be a case where if it was used, it might be good to have a third more WP:RS with same opinion as the unreliable source so that wikipedia is not manipulated by WP:RS. CarolMooreDC (talk) 13:24, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
I agree that another, more reliable source might be in order. By no means am I saying that the Epoch Times is universally reliable (no source is), nor am I even saying that it is reliable in this instance (I don't know enough about the situation to say Yeah or Ney). All I am saying is that having an anti-PRC bias (which is what PCCP has been focusing on) is not a valid reason to call it unreliable. Blueboar (talk) 13:42, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

Hmmmm...I'll begin by saying that I'm not familiar with the Epoch Times. After doing a little research, they have a print edition, offices around the globe (although some addresses are simply PO Boxes), I can't tell if they have an editorial staff. They are cited by the New York Times.[61] which is good. San Fanscisco Gate questions the Epoch Times credibility here.[62] which is not so good. A quick glance at some of their other articles such as the one about the current shuttle mission to service the Hubble telescope[63] appear to be on the up and up. At this point, I'm leaning towards it being a WP:RS. The particular article in which you reference is not a regular news article, it is an opinion piece. Assuming the author has some degree of notability, I would attribute it to the author, An Ni. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 14:24, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

It looks RS to me.... it should be noted that all sources have a viewpoint. When in doubt, cite with attribution. Dlabtot (talk) 15:43, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

  • Epoch Times claim that Sichuan Earthquake caused by PRC government
  • Epoch Times journalist states that their goal is to "dismantle communism in China
  • Chinese Epoch Times article claiming that the PRC will be destroyed as fortold by the Bible
  • Epoch Time website in Chinese calling members to quit the CCP

"Serious statement from Epoch Times: To all Chinese people: The Communist Party's end is coming. But this, most sinister wicked party (evil cult), of history, had committed enormous crimes against all living beings, God and Buddha. And God shall punish this evil. On the day, when God commands to punish the Communist Party, those so-called "loyal" members of this evil party will also be included. We make this serious statement: Anyone who had joined the Communist Party or other organizations under it (those who had been marked by that evil), quit now, erase the evil mark. When that some begins to punish this demonic cult, the records that stored in Epoch Times to renounce the Communist Party and its subordinating organizations can be used as evidence. The Heaven is just and ever vigilant, there is an end to your suffering and whether you'll live or die depends on yourself. Anyone who had been cheated by the most evil demonic cult in history, anyone who had received the beastly brand from the evil, seize this once in a life time opportunity!"--PCPP (talk) 07:05, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

What is your point? Dlabtot (talk) 16:19, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

Is a reliable source?

Surprisingly, I don't see this one mentioned in our WP:RSN archives. According to their About Us page[64] the site is owned by Mitchell Rubenstein[65] and Laurie Silvers[66] who previously founded the Sci-Fi Channel. They have a physical address [67]. I'm not sure what their editorial process is. They don't seem to list the names of any of their writers or editors on their site. They are cited by USA Today[68], the Washington Post[69] and many others[70]. I'm not asking about any specific article, just in general. Based on my analysis above, if this was someone else asking this question, I would probably tell them yes, but surprisingly, we don't seem to have articles on, Mitchell Rubenstein or Laurie Silvers which I find odd. Is a reliable source? A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 00:58, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

You need to check the article or review for a byline -- one reviewer is Pete Hammond who is known. Think of it as a news aggregator with some of its own content [71] one section proudly blurbs "It's meant to be 'Matt Drudge, but for Hollywood.' " which I suspect may be true of other parts. Collect (talk) 13:25, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
I think it would be OK for their opinion and non-controversial info. If it's BLP controversial info, find another source. - Peregrine Fisher (talk) (contribs) 16:06, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
Collect, yes, is owned by the same company, but can we just restrict this discussion to From the discussion above, it appears as if we're saying that is reliable with caveats (especially WP:BLP, and isn't nearly as gossipy). I know this might sound like an insane idea, but I actually do keep a list of Web sites generally believed to be reliable and I don't really have many sources for popular entertainment. I just discovered this site yesterday. Their Movie News section appears to be on the up and up.[72] A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 22:52, 17 May 2009 (UTC) states that it is part of [73] does not quite read like anything other than a purveyor of gossip, reviews and showtimes (along with ads). Collect (talk) 23:27, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I know, but I'm referring to articles specifically hosted by IOW, articles with a URL that begin with
Yes, that one is self-promotional. Obviously, some editorial judgement is required when determining if any particular article is a reliable source.
Anyway, to answer your specific objection, let me amend my original question. In the discussion about above, Squidfryerchef suggests "there is another section of that is written by staff writers and indexed by Google News. Those generally have a URL in the form of". In a similar manner, how about articles with a URL that begin with This would eliminate the article that you mentioned[74]. Honestly, it seems like it's reliable, but if other editors have a problem with it, I won't use it. I only discovered this site yesterday as it was used as a reference in a featured article in Trapped in the Closet (South Park). A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 01:59, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

Reliable Source

The source in question is a voice actor's self-run website, as far as I can tell, in which he claims to be doing the voice of a character in an upcoming video game. No other source thus far has reported him as the voice, however, and given the appearance of the site I'm dubious to its relability. This is the site -, and here's the article that is sourcing the voice actor as the voice of a character - Can it be used as a source? The Clawed One (talk) 06:25, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

New Man magazine - extremist and fringe?

We have a dispute with User:Hrafn on the use of New Man magazine to cite the following three statements in Mt. Blanco Fossil Museum.

  • The Mt. Blanco Fossil Museum is a creationist museum in Crosbyton, Texas, opened in 1998.
  • The museum also bases the Mount Blanco fossil excavation team who go on "digs" and investigate fossil evidence according to a creationist view.
  • He became interested in fossils after cleaning and preparing bones at the La Brea tar pits, and made a 10-foot-by-40-foot casting of the Waco, Texas mammoth site, now on exhibit at Baylor University. He returned to Texas in 1984, to make a living as a fossil collector and mold-maker.

Removing the source, Hrafn wrote "New Man is not RS per WP:RS#Extremist and fringe sources". I looked it up (wrote our article about it yesterday, in fact), and New Man has been around since 1994, with between 100,000 and 400,000 subscribers in all regions of the United States and in Canada, it has separate editors, writers, and publishers. It's a Christian magazine, originally affiliated with Promise Keepers, but not particularly an extreme one. The New York Times has written about it a few times, but never called it extremist.

Now Hrafn writes "... the article in question is rabidly creationist. Creationism is widely acknowledged as a WP:FRINGE viewpoint, lacking any scientific merit. Ergo Wikipedia:RS#Extremist_and_fringe_sources applies." The article in question is:

  • "God's Bone Hunter", by Terry P. Beh, May/Jun 2000, New Man.

At no point does the article affirm creationism, other than stating that is the point of view of Joe Taylor, founder of the museum. It calls him courageous and says he has a strong faith in God, but surely that's not the same as affirming his views - being courageous does not make you right. Instead, the article says "even the Christian scientific community has backed away from this evidence". I don't believe that's "rabidly creationist", and, I don't think it is either in the letter or the spirit of WP:RS#Extremist and fringe sources to forbid it as a source for the above three not particularly controversial statements.

Hrafn isn't bringing up any evidence on his side, but does keep reverting. He did, however, suggest we come here (not quite in those words :-)). So, here we are. Our discussion is on the article talk page, Talk:Mt. Blanco Fossil Museum#New Man as a source. What do you think, folks? --GRuban (talk) 14:02, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

The article is transparently pro-creationist, but that does not mean it is unreliable as a source for biographical information about the museum's founder. Paul B (talk) 14:17, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
New Man magazine is clearly Creationist. However, I agree with Paul, for these specific claims it is ok. Dougweller (talk) 14:38, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
My concern is that an article/magazine that is so blatantly & uncritically regurgitating Taylor's position is likewise unlikely to fact-check Taylor's claims about his biographical details. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 14:50, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
I hate to be the one to say it, but WP:RS are supposed to be third-party. Can't you find better sources for this content? A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 14:57, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
It is thoroughly third party. New Man is a US national (+Canada) publication, based in Florida, not affiliated with Taylor's small museum in Texas. All they share is a rather large country and a rather popular religion. While the article is nice to Taylor, it doesn't specifically advocate his views, and, as mentioned above, states that not all other Christians do either. In my research about New Man for the New Man article, I've never seen them called Creationist. The assumption here seems to be that Christian = Creationist, which isn't really so - most Americans are Christians, but relatively few are Creationists. --GRuban (talk) 15:08, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
No, the presumption would be that Biblically literalist Christian = Creationist. That Beh is taking a creationist slant is clear from his use of the term "evolutionist", his scare-quotes around "experts", "150 years of evolutionary hype", the "cone of silence" claim of censorship of creationism, his fawning eulogising of Taylor as "courageously daring to do their own primary research and are digging up, preserving and presenting fossil evidence that has evolutionists running scared." This is not legitimate or neutral journalism, it is a blatantly creationist puff-piece. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 15:37, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
Oh, my mistake. I thought he was afiliated with the magazine. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 15:23, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
Do either of these help? [75] [76] A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 15:01, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
The first one requires a subscription which I don't have, while I think you'll see the second one is already used as a source for what it covers. Thanks, though. --GRuban (talk) 15:10, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
A source that we're already using [77] states that the museum opened in 1998, Taylor is a creationist and is located in Crosbyton. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 15:15, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
Right. (I wrote the article. :-)) That first statement is easy to source, even to the museum's site if necessary. The other two, though, I think are useful to the article, and I suspect strongly will be deleted by Hrafn without it. They're simple not very controversial statements, but there are people who will do what they can to delete absolutely every statement not strictly sourced, no matter how innocuous. Here's the sort of information Hrafn deletes as unsourced: [78]. Though there are multiple other references for the Mt. Blanco Fossil Museum article, the New Man article is the longest single source. --GRuban (talk) 15:30, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
The USA Today article [79] I mentioned earlier can be used to establish that this is a creationist museum. So, can we agree the first sentence is covered?
Sure. --GRuban (talk) 15:53, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

As for the last two sentences, there's no way this [80] is a WP:RS. I wouldn't trust it for biographical information either. Hrafn's concern is well-founded. However, you can use this article for some of the biographical information [81]. It looks like has covered this quite a bit. I recommend doing a little more research and rewriting those two sentences to fit what says. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 16:28, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

On what grounds do you say that, please? Notice that the two RS/N people commenting immediately before you have disagreed, so "no way" seems overly strong. What makes you not only sure, but categorical? --GRuban (talk) 17:27, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
Sure, I'd be happy to.
  • "What does this guy have to say that has evolutionists running scared?" Evolutionist is a term used by creationists and rarely used today in the scientific community.
  • "For decades these "experts" have told us that dinosaurs roamed the earth for eons" Note the use of scare quotes around the word "experts" to imply doubt in the credibility of evolutionary biologists and paleontologists.
  • "threatening long-cherished views of evolution" Threatening? Nonsense. There is no serious debate in the scientific community regarding the validity of evolutionary theory. Nor is there any kind of threat. The evidence supporting evolution is vast and overwhelming. In terms of validity, evolutionary theory is on par cellular theory and Einstein's theory of relativity. Perhaps even more so than relativity since scientists haven't been able to reconcile relativity with quantum mechanics. Anyway, see our article on Evidence of evolution.
  • "Here, at the beginning of the 21st century, after more than 150 years of evolutionary hype" So 150 years of scientific research and experimentation are being dismissed as nothing more than hype?
  • "the 'cone of silence' that has surrounded all opposing facts and ideas" Cone of silence? Is New Man Magazine honestly proposing some sort of conspiracy theory about scientists actively suppressing legitimate scientific research?
  • "is beginning to be broken by men like Joe Taylor" Which peer-reviewed, scientific journals has Taylor been published in?
  • "are digging up, preserving and presenting fossil evidence that has evolutionists running scared" The fossil record is one of the most powerful sources of evidence supporting the theory of evolution. See Evidence_of_evolution#Extent_of_the_Fossil_Record.
  • "This lack of "missing links" has been a grand puzzlement to evolutionists, and represents no small obstacle to their theory." More nonsense. There are plenty of transitional fossils. See our list of transitional fossils.
Need I go on? A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 19:23, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
Hmm. Well put. OK, I'll see if the article can live without this source. Thanks. --GRuban (talk) 19:36, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
No problem. I posted a Google search link at that article's talk page. I think you'll be able to get a lot (but maybe not all) the biographical information you want from those sources. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 19:52, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
I see the argument, I just felt those details were pretty innocuous so long as they were clearly attributed (now, that I should have said -- you write things like that saying 'the magazine' or so and so, or an article, said thus and thus). But if it had called him 'Dr', or 'archaeologist', yeah, dubious. Dougweller (talk) 19:55, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
Quest For Knowledge is mistaken that the phrase about "this lack of missing links" is nonsense. If there is a lack of missing links, that must mean that the links have been found: a view in line with mainstream science! Also, a cone of silence is a completely fictional thing. Either the New Man's author writes very confused prose, or he is subtly satirising the bias he is required to express. However, there is no doubt that the article is very very biassed, but that does not mean that the journal is not as reliable as others as a source for uncontroversial biographical information. One can find biassed, distorted reporting on politics in much mainstream journalism. Paul B (talk) 08:48, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
I see what you're saying. I think it's sloppy journalism. If you look at the rest of the sentence, it says "This lack of "missing links" has been a grand puzzlement to evolutionists, and represents no small obstacle to their theory." Subtle satire? I think that's giving them too much credit. Sloppy journalism is just another reason why this isn't a reliable source. Also, keep in mind that reliable sources are those that have a reputation for accuracy and fact-checking. Does New Man Magazine have a reputation for accuracy and fact-checking? If so, on what basis? A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 19:26, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
There's a pretty serious problem with the New Man references being replaced with citations to different newspapers. There's a couple places that are now tagged as unreferenced that were clearly backed up by the New Man article ( about the La Brea tar pits and returning to Texas ). Squidfryerchef (talk) 17:09, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
Despite bad journalism and stupidity and just plainly being scientifically incorrect the New Man journal IS reliable when it comes to the point of referencing what the museum's intention and goals and the founder's views are. Wikipedia guidelines on reliability are clear that every source is not just "reliable" or "unreliable" but instead each source must be reliable on the topic it is being used as a referenced for. As a source referencing scientific and correct thinking on evolution and geology and science it is fringe and unacceptable. As a source saying what the museum has, does, and believes it is reliable, it has no reason to lie about what the museum believes seeing as how it agrees with the museum. Reliable magazines such as Popular Science, Discover, and National Geographic are reliable on science and evolution but would probably be biased and unreliable on what that particular museum believes, I have read some very strong language in those very articles against creationists that isnt exactly neutral and unbiased. It is all subjective. If there are actual TRUE facts about the museum (not commentary on evolution) in the New Man article and other more reliable sources can not be found then wp:ignore all rules applies and it shouldnt be removed.Camelbinky (talk) 02:17, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
Upon further reflection, I'm slightly more sympathetic (but only slightly) to the idea that might qualify as a reliable source for information unrelated to science. I still have some issues with it.
First, the second sentence listed in the OP makes a claim, I believe, related to science, that the museum hosts a "fossil excavation team". Is New Man Magazine qualified to judge what constitutes a fossil excavation team?
Second, per WP:V, the burden of evidence lies with the editor who adds or restores material. If New Man Magazine is used as a source, it's up to the editor who cites them to make the case that they qualify as a reliable source.
Third, per WP:V, "Questionable sources are those with a poor reputation for fact-checking. Such sources include web sites and publications expressing views that are widely acknowledged as extremist.... Questionable sources should only be used as sources of material on themselves, especially in articles about themselves. (See below.) Questionable sources are generally unsuitable as a basis for citing contentious claims about third parties." Certainly, this is a publication that promotes an extremist fringe theory, namely creationism.
Fourth, there's still the outstanding issue of whether New Man Magazine has earned a reputation for accuracy and fact-checking. Do we have any policies, guidelines, etc. that explain how to make this determination? For the Washington Post, it's pretty easy. For example, we can look to the number of Pulitzer Prizes it has won. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 02:50, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
Is the existence of a fossil excavation team really a contentious issue? On reputation, no we don't really have a standard on what consistutes a reputation for a news source. Reputation normally comes up only for self-published experts or for the very most contentious material. Otherwise, despite what WP:V says, we tend to assume reputation is OK for widely published sources unless they get a reputation for disinformation. On the extremist issue, that's very debatable. Extremist to me means advocating political extremism, not holding what are somewhat widespread religious views in the United States. I know many on WP tend away from religious fundamentalism, but it is very appropriate to use religious sources on articles related to their religion. Squidfryerchef (talk) 13:53, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I'm concerned that readers might get the impression that they're conducting legitimate scientific research. Fringe is not defined by the number of proponents it has but by the number of reliable sources backing that theory. According to our article on Young Earth creationism, "the overwhelming scientific consensus is that YEC claims have no scientific basis. For example, a statement by 68 national and international science academies lists the following as facts, established by numerous observations and independently-derived experimental results from a multitude of scientific disciplines, without any contradiction from scientific evidence: that the Earth is approximately 4.5 billion years old and has shown continuing change; that life appeared on Earth at least 2.5 billion years ago, and has subsequently taken many forms, all of which continue to evolve; and that the genetic code of all organisms living today, including humans, clearly indicates their common primordial origin" Young Earth creationism is clearly a fringe theory and this is a source promoting a fringe theory. It's no different than a source promoting the idea that the Sun is the center of the universe or that the Earth is flat. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 02:20, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
I agree with squidfryerchef... I don't understand how having a particular religious/scientific belief makes this "fringe." There are many (although certainly not the majority) established/respected scientists who believe in Creationism. Also, using the word evolutionist doesn't make this fringe any more than evolutionists referring to people as creationists (which is common). New Man is certainly indepentent, verifiable, etc., and in no way is it fringe. This seems like a clearcut example of an editor attempting to introduce their POV into an article they don't necessarily agree with the content of. Wikiwikikid (talk) 18:52, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
I doubt that. Young Earth creationism is contradicted not only by the theory of evolution, but by just about every field of science, including geology, astronomy, biology, archeology, anthropology, physics, etc. BTW, it is entirely possible to believe in god and evolution at the same time. Even the Roman Catholic Church says evolution is compatible with the Christian view of creation.[82] A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 02:35, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
Quest, come on, you're not going to exclude a religious source on a religion article because the religious beliefs don't match up with science. Nobody is suggesting that New Man is an RS on paleontology. I am suggesting that it is an RS for basic facts about the museum such as where it is, who founded it, and how they came to be interested in running a museum. The article may reflect Creationist hopes about confirming beliefs through archaeology, but nobody is suggesting we quote those hopes as fact. Furthermore, using rhetoric such as "cone of silence" does not disqualify a source; political sources use wording much more colorful that all the time. Neither does the phrase "lack of missing links". That could be an unintentional pun, but they clearly mean that the "missing link" still hasn't been found, "missing link" being an idiomatic expression we don't parse further. If anyone seriously reads "lack" as "the missing link is no longer missing" they are way overthinking this. Squidfryerchef (talk) 03:52, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
How is this any different from a source that claims that the Earth is flat? A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 12:29, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
If it's about a flat-earth museum, then that's fine. More specifically, by your logic, we could not cite a Catholic newspaper that mentioned the transmutation of wine into the blood of Christ, for simple information on which church bought a new organ and what the name of the priest there is. Being non-RS for science does not make a source non-RS for everything. Squidfryerchef (talk) 14:45, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
No, we can't say as a statement of fact that wine turns into the blood of Christ. We can say, however, according to the Catholic religion, wine turns into the blood of Christ and cite the Catholic newspaper. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 15:03, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

Multiple questionable sources in a BLP

It looks like an author is leaning hard on some questionable sources in Shirley E. Flynn: Specifically:

  • a poorly formed citation to a "People Search, Background Check, Internet site" which is all the information we have on this citation
  • a google cache of a restricted, third-party self-published site (, incorrectly labeled "Genealogy rec ords placed on Inernet by Shirley E. Flynn" which appears to have been published by a user on that site called "vlwest" who attributes the work to a "Randall J. Handly".

At the time of this posting, these are references # 2 and 3 respectively. I don't believe that either of these meet Wp:RS. Since I've had similar conversations with this editor before without much success, I request other eyes on this and commentary please. Thanks in advance. Toddst1 (talk) 04:41, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

The "People Search" is apparently a paid report from Again, I believe this fails WP:RS as it is not WP:V. Toddst1 (talk) 17:27, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
Bellhalla (talk · contribs) appears to have addressed this in the article. Thank you. Toddst1 (talk) 08:16, 18 May 2009 (UTC) is currently used as a source in David Copperfield (illusionist). Is it a "reliable source" by its nature? Thanks! Collect (talk) 13:02, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

Regardless of any tendentious editing or stalking, I'd say that TMZ is definitely not a reliable source for anything. --Conti| 16:04, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
Why? What led you to this conclusion? Dlabtot (talk) 16:35, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
Being a "celebrity gossip" site, for starters. Have you visited the site? There are no authors (every article is by "TMZ Staff"), and the "articles" are short, sarcastic blurbs about whose butt got bigger or which celebrity got caught playing minigolf. Celebrity gossip isn't anything we want to cover here anyhow, per WP:BLP. --Conti| 17:07, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
BLP concerns are a seperate issue. I'm pretty sure that there is nothing in our RS guideline that excludes sources because of their subject matter. Dlabtot (talk) 15:15, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
Hide off topic squabbling
Collect, you're starting the same pattern of behaviour that led to the recent request for comment on your conduct at wikipedia. To other editors reading this, please note that Collect is a tendentious and aggressive editor who stalks other editors he dislikes to pages they are editing (has done it to several pages with me), then starts an edit war on whatever issue he can to provoke trouble. He's doing it again here. ► RATEL ◄ 15:59, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
(ec)Huh? This is a simple question and you seem intent on making a personal attack here. Might you note how neutrally the question is posed, AGF and have a cup of tea? As I have made no major edits on the page at issue (I changed a pound sign to a dollar sign because the source used the word "dollars" which does not really qualify as "tendentitious editing" and I only found this because of the posting on RS/N which is on my watch list in the first place) , accusations of "edit war" are likely not AGF. Thanks! Collect (talk) 16:07, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
Nobody who has had any dealing with you, or who reads your RFC, has any doubt about your motives and will know that there is no GF from your quarter. ► RATEL ◄ 16:13, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
No cup of tea? Perhaps you should now read WP:NPA and note how close you are to sanctions. Thanks! Collect (talk) 16:16, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
I won't be drawn into another squabble by you. I'll let the RfC on your typical conduct talk for me. ► RATEL ◄ 16:19, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
Based on reporting by the New York Times[83] and the Washington Post[84], I'd have to say, yes. does have a reputation for reliability. Dlabtot (talk) 16:20, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
I would place it as boarderline... it is a "gossip" site... but they are better than most when it comes to checking their facts on that gossip. I think it needs to be evaluated on a "case by case" basis... carefully examining how the statement we are using it for is worded, and what exactly the TMZ article being cited says. In other words... we can not say it is reliable "by its nature" but neither can we call it unreliable "by its nature". Blueboar (talk) 16:47, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
Just like every other RS. Dlabtot (talk) 20:28, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
Well... yes... I suppose what I was getting at is that TMZ requires even greater caution than the average RS. Blueboar (talk) 00:34, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
Might you look at its use in the article? I fear it may be used primarily for negative information to the detriment of BLP concerns, which I would not like to occur. Thanks! Collect (talk) 00:42, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
Well, then WP:BLPN might be a better place to discuss WP:BLP concerns. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 00:47, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
Oh, I see you have.[85] A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 00:52, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
And the squabbler followed, as you should note. The aim is to get the article right, I hope. Collect (talk) 12:43, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
Having looked into this, the site quite clearly takes a sensationalist view in order to make sales. Does this make it an unreliable source? In my opinion no, but it does mean that caution should be used regarding WP:BLP. The most reliable source on whether it is a reliable source would seem to say: it is being used as reliable source at least (not quite the same a being a reliable source): New York Times. The Washington Post[86] article with the sub heading "Timely Scoops Push TMZ to Top of the Gossip Heap" is less compelling. There do also seem to be a significant number of actions brought against TMZ - again this would indicate caution with regard to BLP and using it as a single cited source WP:Weight Perhaps a better loaction for the debate is the BLP notice board. In balance I think TMZ could be considered reliable, but not where it is the only source and the content is contentious. Amicaveritas (talk) 08:04, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
TMZ has been brought up before here, but I don't remember any firm decision either way. I agree with the above posters that it may be a gossip site, but being a gossip site doesn't disqualify it from RS as long as it is used carefully.
At any rate, the TMZ information used in the Copperfield article is cited by CBS News among others ( New Charges Swirl Around Copperfield, Oct 26, 2007 [87]) and strongly alluded to by People ( Truth or Illusion?, Nov 12, 2007 [88]), so even if TMZ were only a blog it would simply become a primary source.
I do question whether we should have that in the "FBI Investigation" section of our article ( someone had taken it out as of present ). Just because the media tried to draw a connection between the two doesn't mean that we should. It may be more appropriate to add in a section on "audience participation" within a section on what his magic shows are like. Squidfryerchef (talk) 14:35, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the comment, Squid. is owned by Time-Warner and run by a fully qualified lawyer who states that everything they publish is checked for accuracy. This is not a tiddlywink little personal gossip blog. The word "tabloid" has no meaning in the context of a website. The site deals in news about celebs. So what, big deal. This does not mean ipso facto all its material is junk. TMZ is a BLP source in many places on WP, e.g. Mel Gibson, Britney Spears, and many more. ► RATEL ◄ 15:03, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
"TMZ is a BLP source in many places on WP, e.g. Mel Gibson, Britney Spears, and many more" Then we should remove it from the articles! Just kidding. :) A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 16:43, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
I think that material sourced from TMZ would count as "poorly sourced" where BLP is concerned. My full opinion is at the Copperfield talk page. Mishlai (talk) 22:47, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

More data on




TMZ mentioned in wikipedia news:


40,000 TMZ references in google news: [89]

The NYT considers it as reliable source: [90]

But’s reach extends well beyond the approximately nine million people who visit the Web site each month. The site has become a reliable source for the mainstream media, which has become less self-conscious about reporting every detail of celebrity missteps, according to Hilary Estey McLoughlin, the president of Telepictures Productions, a division of Warner Brothers, which co-owns the TMZ site with AOL. Both Warner Brothers and AOL are divisions of Time Warner. ► RATEL ◄ 16:21, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

Aside from the fact that "40,000 hits" does not mean "40,000 individual news stories" we have such tidboits here as "But this represents a step from the other direction: the quality of footage from this self-styled news organization is as amateurish and bereft of news as any start-up video blog. “There is a straight line from Zapruder to all of this,” says Sreenath Sreenivasan, the dean of students and professor at Columbia Journalism School, referring to the Dallas man who was the only person to capture John F. Kennedy's assassination on film. “It’s a depressing line. But it’s still a straight line.”" "Sam, the famous Australian koala rescued by a firefighter after the deadly Victoria wildfires, has garnered a huge Facebook following and even earned a rare apology from the gossip Web site TMZ." "Wander through at any given moment and it's easy to grasp what the Web site is gleefully pushing. There are stars smooching. Stars sunning. Stars looking hot, or not. And, always, there are stars misbehaving." "Lawyers for the family of Ron Goldman and a bankruptcy trustee say celebrity gossip Internet site should be held in contempt for posting a manuscript of O.J. Simpson's If I Did It book." ""Austin Powers" actor Verne Troyer is suing TMZ for violating his rights by publishing and airing portions of his sex tape, TMZ reports." [91] "Breaking with standards widely followed by the mainstream news media, the celebrity Web site TMZ posted a story Wednesday about a 14-year-orime victim" Level of newsworthiness involved? [92] TMZ tv ... "No celebrity scandal is too risque for TMZ TV, no celebrity spat so bitter that it can't be packaged for TV insomniacs, gossip hounds and those hard-working wage earners who, at the end of a long day of paying the bills, just want to kick back and be reassured that celebrities have it just as tough as they do. The celebrity life isn't all about red carpet soirees, glitzy movie premieres, late-night talk-show appearances and swag bags -- there are perp walks, rehab stays and dust-ups with the paparazzi to deal with as well." [93] has "Hewitt, 28, who starred in the horror film I Know What You Did Last Summer, appeared beneath the headline, "We know what you ate this summer, Love, everything!" on the celebrity website But Hollywood's women have been fighting back, eliciting a rare apology from the website and sparking a new discussion about the US obsession with body image." is first and foremost a web tabloid, focussed on gossip. And the NYT cites many things which are not RS per WP standards. That something gets cited does not mean it gets pixie dust and becomes reliable. Collect (talk) 16:39, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
Not sure why you think this stuff in some way disqualifies TMZ as a reliable source. Nothing you've posted indicates that their reporting is anything but accurate. Dlabtot (talk) 17:23, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
I think it's fair comment to note that TMZ is being "used" as reliable source in many Biographies on Wikipedia. From this article New York Times it is stated that "The site has become a reliable source for the mainstream media". I think it clear it's celebrity gossip site, therefore there are concerns regarding WP:NPV including WP:Weight, so care and caution must be used when citing with regard to WP:BLP (and I think all BL should be revisted in this respect) but I don’t think it can be argued that it is an unreliable source per se. Amicaveritas (talk) 17:42, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

So basically it's sensationalist trivia, and should be excluded not because it may be unreliable, but because its stories will generally fall foul of WP:UNDUE, unless the wider significance of any particular "news" item is demonstrated, which will be with reference to more reliable sources - which can then be cited, obviating the need to cite TMZ. Basically if the need to cite TMZ for something arises (because there are no better sources), then that something should probably be excluded for WP:WEIGHT. Otherwise, cite the better sources. Rd232 talk 17:33, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

I agree that with regard to the fact there may be WP:WEIGHT, WP:UNDUE and WP:NPV concerns. I think they exist in this case. I do not believe that it can be argued they automatically exist just because the source is TMZ. Amicaveritas (talk) 17:46, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

A fan site apparently, but with an interview with the graphic designer for the film Serenity. Would the interview be acceptable as a citation? Alastairward (talk) 21:42, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

IIRC, WP:RS is pretty specific on fan sites as not being usable. Collect (talk) 13:26, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
If it really is the guy, then he's an expert on the graphic design in the film, per WP:SPS. The issue is that they could have made up the interview, or not transcribed it correctly, or something. How do you want to use the source exactly. - Peregrine Fisher (talk) (contribs) 16:04, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
It's really just a small note to add to the Forbidden Planet article. Mandel says he intended to pay homage to that film in Serenity, which he was working on. I couldn't really find anything better that that link when I googled for it. Alastairward (talk) 21:17, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

re: Stephen B. Young reliable source for biographic info

The article as it stands only has 1 source, which is the first pdf link available here: [94]. Can we consider that source reliable? Unomi (talk) 08:24, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

Reliable sources are supposed to be third-party, so no. I'm not sure he is even notable enough for an article. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 13:18, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

Armenian National Institute, Inc.

Comments on the reliability or otherwise of "Armenian National Institute, Inc." would be appreciated in the section "Talk:Recognition of the Armenian Genocide#RFC: Armenian National Institute, Inc." where it is the subject of an RFC. --PBS (talk) 08:33, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

Digiguide web itnerface


In the uk there is a software developer digiguide [] who make a piece of software that you install on your comptuer to view uk listings, which they get direct from the broadcasters. however there is a part of that software that allows for web interface within the machine its installed on, i am just wondering if i use my one wether it could be used as realible source for uk listings (however i am still to check wether it requires authisacation if a direct link is used which if it does then i couldnt use it anyway), unfortnally the company do not produce the listigns tehmself on a website.--Andrewcrawford (talk) 20:23, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

are music reviews from digital spy reliable?

I added a review from Digital Spy for the britney spears song If U Seek Amy[95] and a user removed it saying that it was not a professional review. I'm just curious if this is really the case? Showtime2009 (talk) 17:43, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

They are not in any position to deliver professional reviews of music, they mostly deal in tabloid gossip and sensationalism. This would be better brought up with the music wikiproject, since this is not so much about the reliability of digital spy, but rather, is it a suitable source for music reviews. — R2 02:36, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
Professional reviewers are listed here. — R2 02:41, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
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