Template talk:Primary sources

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Primary sources and BLP[edit]

I recently made an AWB feature request to change {{Primary sources}} to {{BLP primary sources}} if the article is in Category:Living people. I'm now being asked whether it would be better to use {{Primary sources|BLP=yes}} instead, based on the template documentation. Thoughts? GoingBatty (talk) 15:56, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

If you use the parameter rather than the effective redirect, you don't get the separate whatlinkshere output. --Joy [shallot] (talk) 18:36, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
Using the wrapper seems to have benefits. -- Magioladitis (talk) 11:18, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
So should Template:Primary sources/doc be changed to reflect that it's better to use the wrapper? GoingBatty (talk) 16:38, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
I agree. Please change the documentation accordingly. -- Magioladitis (talk) 14:52, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
Since no one objected to this proposal, I have updated the documentation. Thanks! GoingBatty (talk) 15:23, 15 September 2012 (UTC)

This template does not make me happy[edit]

And I hate to be that negative, but I don't think this template knows what it wants. I read this thing, and I ask myself: which one is it? Do you want me to address a misuse of primary sources, or a misuse of affiliated sources? Others are to credit for the idea that PRIMARY DOES NOT MEAN "BAD", and that they are completely separate issues. This template implies that they are the same thing ("primary sources or sources affiliated with the subject"), or at least it does to people that don't know any better. Best I can see, the intent is to inform people about the problem of affiliated sources, because they are often unreliable. For that reason I think the template should go something like this:

And such would require renaming of the template. Assuming consensus for this were to exist, is this a change that is even possible? It's a fairly-widely used template ... which, I think, makes it all the more important to change, because it contributes badly to the muddling and conflation of the whole primary/affiliated source issue. NTox · talk 00:26, 29 September 2012 (UTC)

You're right: we have a problem. And every time we get close to fixing it, someone who believes that secondary is a fancy spelling for independent throws a monkey wrench in the works.
What you propose already exists at {{third-party sources}}. What we need at {{primary sources}} is to simply remove the mention of affiliated sources. It's also been suggested that before we change the text, that someone needs to figure out which of the many of the currently tagged articles actually need to have a tag about primary sources and which need to have a tag about affiliated sources, and which need both. WhatamIdoing (talk) 08:42, 30 September 2012 (UTC)
Surprised I missed {{third-party sources}}. But I remember it now when I click on it. What would be better for this template, may be something similar to the following. But it's a good question how many of the currently-tagged articles really have a problem with primary sources - I can see some articles about films, books, some BLPs, etc. having it, but I imagine a big of chunk of articles we'd find are simply issues with affiliated sources alone.
With 31,245 transclusions, an analysis would be a significant project, but a part of me says this is something we have to change eventually, and waiting will indeed make it harder. NTox · talk 18:30, 30 September 2012 (UTC)

Propose making the contents match the title[edit]

I think it's time to try this again. NTox links a decent proposal in the section above:

I'm sure everyone will remember that WP:Secondary does not mean independent, so if the actual problem is "primary sources", then the only possible solution is "secondary or tertiary sources", not "independent sources" (which could be primary sources) or non-self-published sources (which could be primary sources).

Are we all agreed that the title should have a significant relationship to the contents of the template? WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:28, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for re-introducing this. I remain of the opinion that this template needs an adjustment. In it, primary sources are being confused with sources that are affiliated with subjects, and as already said, they are not the same thing. IMO, this template should only be used on articles that have problems with primary sources. Right now people are applying this tag on COI/promo articles with affiliated sources, when they should be using {{third-party}} for that. And because this primary sources template is integrated in Twinkle such mis-tagging is literally occurring by the thousands. (Also: Do you think we should advertise this discussion in an RfC?) NTox · talk 02:03, 18 December 2012 (UTC)
I've nothing against an RFC, but there are 35 active editors watching this template, so perhaps if others comment then that would be enough. WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:37, 18 December 2012 (UTC)
On the grounds that the adjustment can avoid conflation, I am for this adjustment with one condition. Some descriptions on the distinction and use of {{third-party}} and {{Primary_sources}} must be drafted properly and provided accordingly first before the adjustment takes effect. --Hanteng (talk) 03:59, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
Agreed with Hanteng. Also, would it be reasonable to request that {{third-party}} also be added to Twinkle (if it's not already there), and request that the descriptions for {{primary sources}} and {{third-party}} be updated to highlight the distinction? (Disclaimer: I've never used Twinkle) Thanks! GoingBatty (talk) 04:40, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
Thanks GoingBatty for your comments. Though I have no idea how Twinkle is added (do not mind doing it by learning myself), I believe it can further help to make such distinction. --Hanteng (talk) 08:10, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
For some descriptions on the distinction and use of {{third-party}} and {{Primary_sources}}, it may be less controversial and easy by referring users to current policies, guidelines and essays, such as:

For the distinction between {{Primary_sources}} and {{third-party}} sources, please refer to WP:PRIMARY (for definitions and uses of primary sources in Wikipedia) and WP:3PARTY or WP:INDEPENDENT (for definitions and uses of third-party/independent sources in Wikipedia).

I thereby scale down the condition a bit. Now I am for this adjustment with the condition if descriptions equivalent or similar (preferably stronger) to the above is properly provided along with both templates. --Hanteng (talk) 08:10, 29 December 2012 (UTC)

Agree that there is confusion as to what "primary sources" means, not helped (to put it mildly) by the annotation in TWINKLE which glosses {{primary sources}} as "article relies too heavily on first-hand sources, and needs third-party sources"! Twinkle does not include {{third-party}}. I've asked that it should. PamD 10:22, 1 January 2013 (UTC)

I think it's time to learn from history :p I told you over a year ago at Template talk:Primary sources/Archive 3#Secondary does not mean third-party: There are 23597 transclusions and the sources affiliated with the subject have been mentioned in the template since 2005. Sorry, I'm not removing them just because you seem to have some sort of an idea that a cleanup template's content must not deviate from its name even for a little bit. The transclusion count is now at 31735, so the same concern holds, plus another 33%. Yes, we can reduce the visible scope and the discrepancies will be fixed manually over time as editors notice, but there's not a hint of empirical proof that we're not causing a crapload of articles to become at least partly mistagged. I'll take overly broad scope over 10K badly tagged articles any day. --Joy [shallot] (talk) 12:52, 1 January 2013 (UTC)

I'm sorry about Twinkle's misunderstanding of the template: it was probably (mis)informed by the misleading text on the template itself. Would this be an improvement?
  • "primary sources": "article relies too heavily on primary sources, and needs secondary sources"
  • "third-party": "article relies too heavily on affiliated sources, and needs third-party sources"
This, that, and the other (talk) 23:14, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
I think that would be an improvement. I do not think we will be able to clearly explain the differences between primary and secondary sources in the space of a template, especially considering the many cases where the distinction is disputed, and the different uses in some subjects. The reason for the confusion is that frequently a source is both primary and not independent of the subject: for example, the subject's published diary. DGG ( talk ) 05:03, 2 January 2013 (UTC)
Yes. I totally agree that User:This, that and the other's improved wording would be better. I take that both of you agree on the basic proposal to clearly distinguish the template "primary sources" from the template "third-party". That's great! I hope we are reaching some consensus here. (I agree also with DGG that the distinction between primary and secondary sources is frequently disputed, but that issue is a separate issue from the issue at hand, right? Should we stick to the issue here as distinguishing the two templates with concise wordings (per This, that's proposal) and correct policy references (WP:PSTS vs WP:IS )--Hanteng (talk) 16:29, 2 January 2013 (UTC)
I am also happy with the change to Twinkle. Thank you for doing that. About the templates: I agree with Hanteng that there should be a better description of the difference between the two on their documentation pages. That of course starts with us making sure the templates say what we want them to say. I don't have significant issues with {{third-party}}; there the title matches the contents. But with {{primary sources}} the contents still need to sync up with the title. Do others agree that the proposal at the top of this section accomplishes that job? NTox · talk 01:38, 5 January 2013 (UTC)
I want to be sympathetic to Joy's concern about 30,000 previously tagged articles, but I'm at "stop the bleeding". It's only going to get worse. We could create {{Primary-muddle}} with text that says something like, "Somebody thought there was some kind of problem with the type of sources here, and whatever the problem was, we recommend using high-quality ones" and send a bot through to change all of them. We could decide that they're likely all wrong and send a bot through to just remove them. We could leave them alone and let editors at each article decide whether the revised, sensible text matches the problems they see there.
But the fact that some article-level cleanup will need to be done to clear up the mess created by letting this muddled message persist for so long is IMO not a valid reason to let this mess persist any longer. Not fixing the template's contents only making the article-level mess even worse. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:32, 7 January 2013 (UTC)
Comment: Agree with User:WhatamIdoing that not fixing the template's content can make the article-level mess worse. --Hanteng (talk) 02:02, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
It looks like everyone agrees that the text proposed above would be an improvement over what we've got. Shall we make this change? WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:29, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
I noticed this from the below protected edit request. Looking it over, it is clear that the language is agreed on, but not as clear that there is a consensus regarding the objection raised by Joy, regarding the current uses of the template, so I'm going to comment instead, and leave it for another admin to judge whether there is consensus afterwards. I don't seen any other way to fix the problem raised by Joy, short of doing a massive bot edit run to swap to a holding template with the old language, other then to make the change and hope that any mistagging that results is eventually fixed. I don't think a bot edit run of that magnitude would be justified here. So I suggest making the change, and dealing with the consequences. Monty845 16:14, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

Edit request[edit]

Per the discussion above, this is a request that the current template be changed from its current form to:

NTox · talk 04:30, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

Note, I updated the sandbox to include a change made to the parent template after the sandbox was drafted, the update should not effect the discussion. Monty845 16:15, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
For the record, I support making this change. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:21, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
Same here, I support the edit change. --Hanteng (talk) 01:41, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 18:17, 17 January 2013 (UTC)

Drive-by tagging[edit]

The documentation for many tags, such as {{npov}}, state that someone adding the tag should also give a reason for it. Since primary sources are not in general forbidden, shouldn't someone adding this tag also explain why it is justified? And if so, shouldn't the documentation say so? McKay (talk) 03:16, 24 July 2013 (UTC)

The tag is generally assumed to be self-explanatory. It might be more obvious if we changed the wording to say "This article relies too heavily on references to primary sources." Do you think that would help? WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:52, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
Since primary sources are not considered desirable, even though strictly speaking not forbidden, the issue is obvious enough. I don't think we should change the text of the template. Debresser (talk) 17:48, 27 July 2013 (UTC)

Template-protected edit request on 8 January 2014[edit]

Will you please change the fix section? It should be changed from:

Please add references to [[Wikipedia:No original research#Primary, secondary and tertiary sources|secondary or tertiary sources]].

to:

Please help out by adding references to [[Wikipedia:No original research#Primary, secondary and tertiary sources|secondary or tertiary sources]].

Rovio Never (talk) 13:13, 8 January 2014 (UTC)

 Additional information needed – what is it that you want to accomplish? It seems that the "help out" part is a given and should go without saying. Also, my early grammar days remind me verbs that end in "ing" show a weakness in the writing. Is there a better way to put it? – Paine Ellsworth CLIMAX! 14:17, 8 January 2014 (UTC)