Talk:Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge

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Copied material[edit]

Text copied word for word needs to be put in quotation marks or set off in block quotes. Even if the source text is public domain, it needs to be attributed properly. Indicating a source is not enough; it needs to be shown which passages are directly someone else's words. This is not a matter of copyright violation necessarily, it is a matter of proper referencing. Sincerely, doncram (talk) 21:23, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

What are you basing this on? We can do whatever we want with public domain text, legally. At best policy requires we include a note that text was used, which this article does... there are those who argue we don't even need to do that. But the way the article is set up now is "proper attribution", unless you know of some policy I don't. --W.marsh 21:34, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
If it is public domain text, then there is not a copyright violation. However, it is not proper referencing. If a quote is copied without quotation, I think most people would regard that as plagiarism, whether the quote is from public domain or not public domain. See WP:REF for general discussion of referencing. I believe it includes a link to your options for different block quote formats. doncram (talk) 00:43, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
But we're not quoting the page, we're using its content as our own main body prose - which is fine because, as you say, it's not a copyright violation. I don't buy that "most people" would regard that as plagiarism, since plagiarism is use without attribution - and there's attribution here. Furthermore, we've used text from articles in 1911 Britannica and so on since the earliest days of Wikipedia. Using public domain text this way is a longstanding tradition, and it's always been attributed as I've done in this article. There's no policy that contradicts this. I would suggest you start a conversation at village pump if you want to change this process... but it would involve rewriting thousands of articles using 1911 Britannica text. Even Wikipedia's harshest plagiarism critic (Brandt) didn't find fault with this practice, so long as it was attributed as this article is. --W.marsh 00:51, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
Actually I am having trouble finding which material exactly is copied. Can you clarify which text was copied? If all the statements are put in your words (or other wikipedia editors' words), based on source(s) that can be given, then each statement can be referenced properly and the overall statement that material is copied from a public domain site can be dropped. Can you please clarify which text is copied? doncram (talk) 01:37, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
Paragraphs 2-4 (the ones you removed, suggesting you knew this already) are copied. --W.marsh 01:41, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
At first I did assume most of the material in the page was copied, because the statement on the page suggested that it was. I tried starting fresh, putting in a short factual statement, discarding all the rest. Honestly I did not check to see which exact passages were quotes. I still am not finding exact quotes. I am seeing some material that is apparently not from the stated source. doncram (talk) 01:56, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
Okay now I found two sentences that are exactly copied. I put them into quotes. I think it would be better to rewrite the sentences, as they are not great quotes worth all the necessary referencing. However, if u copy the text, you should give credit to the source for the exact wording. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Doncram (talkcontribs) 02:18, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
Since creation, this page did give that credit. "u" may not agree with it, but it's how policy and years of practice support doing it. --W.marsh 02:20, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
I think policy and practices have changed over time. According to WP:REF it is now "generally accepted" practice to use quotes. From that source:

When you quote someone: You should always add a citation when quoting published material, and the citation should be placed directly after the quotation, which should be enclosed within double quotation marks—"like this"—or single quotation marks if it is a quote-within-a-quote—"and here is such a 'quotation' as an example." For long quotes, you may wish to use Quotation templates."

—Quoted person, Source: WP:REF

Again, the intent was never to quote the page, but to re-use its prose as our own, with attribution. This is longstanding practice that is still probably going on in thousands of articles copied from the 1911 Britannica and other sources. --W.marsh 02:34, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
I don't disagree that it was apparently done. I have seen discussion on some biology area about how the 1911 text is really unhelpful, because it complicates referencing and is out-dated anyhow. To the extent that is still going on, it is bad practice. I work mostly on articles about historic sites in the United States, where that is not general practice. Rather, wikipedia editors there strive to provide proper references from the beginning, and to avoid having to forever identify the article tagged with a statement tantamount to "This is plagiarized". doncram (talk) 02:47, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
It is not plagiarized, and it's insulting that you'd say that. It's really sad how much space you've forced to be wasted in discussing some minor hunting ground... can you just move along and split hairs on some article I don't have watchlisted? --W.marsh 02:49, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

Location of refuge[edit]

The source webpage states it is located in southeastern Indiana. The article states it is in South Indiana, as if "South Indiana" is a proper noun that is in use. Where is it located? I am uncomfortable with the material in the article because it is stated that material is copied from a public domain text, but then the text is different and the differences are not sourced.

Another difference: The only source given in the article does not state what is the nearest city. What is the source for saying that Madison is the nearest city? Does it depend on your definition of city? What are the incorporated cities in Indiana and adjacent states. doncram (talk) 01:29, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

A new source, an article in Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, from 19 April 2006, is now cited in the article. What does that article address? It is not available to me, it is beyond a pay wall. I don't understand, is this to support that the location is near to Fort Wayne or to Madison, or what? I think you could quote from the article here, as a matter of fair use, to show what the purpose of citing it is. doncram (talk) 02:00, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
It describes the location of the refuge as "near Madison in southeast Indiana". --W.marsh 02:06, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
Now the article states it is located in "Southeast Indiana". Is that a formal location, requiring a proper noun? If it is, why not link to Southeast Indiana. Shouldn't that be "southeast Indiana" or "southeastern Indiana". doncram (talk) 02:08, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
There is no link to "Southeast Indiana". If you think "southeast" should be decapitalized, fine. It's just giving a basic geographic description. --W.marsh 02:11, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
Okay, I am willing to buy "in southeast Indiana near Madison", without a separate source for that, because "near" is vague enough, and you have shown you can support it. You or I will edit to drop that source, if it really only supporting that one point, okay? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Doncram (talkcontribs) 02:25, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

Wow, the article now looks utterly unreadable due to reference clutter. This whole exercise has been very frustrating. --W.marsh 02:17, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

I somewhat agree. It could be improved by writing statements in your own words, to be able to drop the quotes and references where the exact quote is not really necessary to support a point. It would also help to get other real sources for the article, to get some photos, to write a real article. doncram (talk) 02:21, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
My enthusiasm for doing those things has been decreased by your hair-splitting over sources for whether this is in "southeast" or "Southeast" Indiana. --W.marsh 02:22, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
I agree that was hair-splitting. However, the overall tag on the article advertised that it was badly sourced, in that it was copied from a website. It is better to write your own article with proper referencing from the beginning, keeping track of which material is a quote by using quote marks, and so on. Going back later to attempt to insert proper referencing is what is painful. doncram (talk) 02:28, 13 January 2008 (UTC)