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This article can very easily become a long list of random papers without some well-agreed criteria for inclusion. I propose, first, to have an additional "Importance:" field, right after "Description:", which explains the reason for inclusion. This can be one (or more) of the following:
* Topic creator – A publication that created a new topic
* Breakthrough – A publication that changed scientific knowledge significantly
* Introduction – A publication that is a good introduction or survey of a topic
* Influence – A publication which has significantly influenced the world
* Latest and greatest – The current most advanced result in a topic
Then, if needed, a reference can be added to justify the assertion. If it's "breakthrough", the reference should assert that this was a breakthrough paper in the field, and so on. --Robin (talk) 16:06, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
I think some kind of reference is needed always, for every publication in this list. In most cases it isn't that difficult: just refer to something like a Gödel Prize. And if it is difficult to find a reference for a publication, just remove the entry from this list. Naturally if a publication already has a Wikipedia article of its own – like A Mathematical Theory of Communication or The Art of Computer Programming – the importance is already established in the article and no further references are needed here. But for everything else, I would strongly recommend a strict policy of requiring references (WP:V). — Miym (talk) 16:50, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
And yes, making the "Importance" explicit is a good idea. It might even make sense to organise the list by this field (one section for "Topic creators", etc.). — Miym (talk) 16:52, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
Interesting, but somewhat nonstandard in layout and less readable. I also fail to see the difference between this and the science bibliography lists. After all, shouldn't a bibliography contain important publications? Viriditas (talk) 10:13, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
A perennial issue on this and similar pages is how to set criteria for the list. I have carefully considered existing guidelines and tried to craft a broad set of policies that satisfy them. I have posted it on the Science pearls talk page. I would welcome your comments. Of course, these guidelines are not intended to be binding for any particular page, but might help you choose your own selection criteria. RockMagnetist (talk) 00:58, 8 November 2011 (UTC)