Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard

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Welcome to the reliable sources noticeboard. This page is for posting questions regarding whether particular sources are reliable in context.
Before posting, please be sure to include the following information, if available:
  • Source. The book or web page being used as the source. For a book, include the author, title, publisher, page number, etc. For an online source, please include links. For example: [].
  • Article. The Wikipedia article(s) in which the source is being used. For example: [[Article name]].
  • Content. The exact statement(s) in the article that the source supports. Please supply a diff, or put the content inside block quotes. For example: <blockquote>text</blockquote>. Many sources are reliable for statement "X," but unreliable for statement "Y".
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Current large scale clean-up efforts[edit]

Large scale clean-ups/[edit]

Large scale clean-ups/[edit]

Large scale clean-ups/[edit]

Large scale clean-ups/[edit]

Partisan group self published source Destruction of early Islamic heritage sites in Saudi Arabia[edit]

The article [1] has a lot of citations from a single partisan self published source which reflects only a fringe standpoint of history. Many of the names of the graves mentioned are not even verified , here is the source:

It looks more like a blog presenting personal opinions on a matter and that too by a fringe group which accuses a Jewish conspiracy in the destruction.

Hence proof of the graves from reliable independent, non sectarian sources should be added. Relevant tag: WP:BIASED,WP:FTN (fringe theory).

partisan base self published source[edit]

[1]in article Mufaddal Saifuddin

However, Muffadal Saifuddin's succession has not been accepted by Khuzaima Qutbuddin, who claimed the title of the 53rd Dai of the Dawoodi Bohras Himself.[10] Khuzaima Qutbuddin claims that Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin performed nass on him 49 years ago, a ritual during which he appointed him as his successor in private, just before he was publically appointed as Mazoon, second-in-command in Bohras hierarchy.[11] After the death of Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin he claims that the succession was not done in London as Mohammad Burhanuddin suffered from a full stroke at the age of 100, that made it difficult for him to write, speak, or move.[1] Khuzaima Qutbuddin explains that he never claimed to be the rightfull successor, as per Mohammed Burhanuddin's instruction to keep it secret.[12][13] It is further claimed that former CJI upheld the validity of Khuzaima Qutbuddin as the rightful successor.

RT news and Crimean status referendum, 2014[edit]

There is a dispute at Talk:Crimean status referendum, 2014#Observers and legitimacy, whether many citations of RT news (a source biased in favor of Russian government) can be removed from the article without explaining each particular instance removal. For example, one of the statements that some editors are trying to remove completely, is this:

A day before the election, the Crimean election spokesman Mikhail Malyshev said that 135 international observers from 23 countries were registered to monitor the referendum,[1][2][3]

  1. ^ Crimean ‘referendum at gunpoint’ is a myth – intl observers — RT News
  2. ^ "135 observers from 23 countries are registered in the Crimea". News from Armenia. 2014-03-15. Retrieved 2014-04-02. 
  3. ^ "Over 130 Observers from 23 Countries to Monitor Crimea Referendum". CrimeaInform. 2014-03-15. Retrieved 2014-04-02. 

Petr Matas 20:26, 6 April 2014 (UTC)

Why do you refer to RT as biased in favour of the Russian Government? Would you say that the BBC is in favour of the British Government? How about CNN as in favour of the American Government? Look at all these sources and identify which impartially reported on the US - Iraq war and the claim of weapons of mass destruction. If you are claiming that RT's reports regarding the Crimean crisis are non-factual then provide evidence. In particular look at the activity of Volunteer Marek on the Crimea pages - removes anything which puts some balance in the article.

— equilibrado 7 April 2014

Every medium has its opinion, including CNN and BBC, and biased articles appear everywhere from time to time. It seems to me that facts reported by RT can be trusted, but their evaulations can't. But that does not really matter here. The question is, whether RT can be declared universally unreliable and your answer to that is obvious. — Petr Matas 04:38, 7 April 2014 (UTC)

There are controversial facts and there are non-controversial facts. For controversial facts RT is most certainty not a reliable source:[2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16]. It could be used for non-controversial facts (indeed on the Crimean Referendum where RT was used to cite non-controversial facts I left it alone). The thing is, if a fact really is non-controversial, then 99 times out of a 100 one can find a more solid, really reliable source. And replace.

Additionally, there's really no reason to try and include more than at most two citations to any piece of text. You know, don't do cite-padding like this "blah blah blah [1][2][3][4][5][6][7]". That just looks bad and betrays a certain kind of desperate attempt to push some POV. Hence if there's already solid, reliable sources used to cite something, an additional source such as RT is simply not necessary.Volunteer Marek (talk) 05:29, 7 April 2014 (UTC)

I agree that more than two refs can be excessive but it may be appropriate to have RT as one of them. My personal rule, not particularly for wikipedia, is that if a 'Western' source and RT agree then something is likely to be true, for everything controversial I have to choose between them. We should bear in mind that Russian sources were highlighting the involvement of Pravy Sektor for some weeks before 'Weestern' Sources really picked up on this. Sceptic1954 (talk) 06:15, 7 April 2014 (UTC)

Maybe if RT says something and others neither agree nor oppose, then we shoud write "RT says...," as their report may be unreliable, but it is surely notable: There are zillions of people who believe it. — Petr Matas 17:45, 7 April 2014 (UTC)

I'm not seeing anything controversial in the statement being removed that isn't backed up by the claim. Your not saying there was your saying he said there was. Would strongly object to anyone removing content without a valid reason provided each time. Editors shouldn't have to second guess why you feel something requires removal. Your reasons may be totally invalid. Plus more than three refs being provided as inline is def excessive, would prefer two but three max. However see no reason why can't that source be one of them. Plus we shouldn't not be using that source at all, the points they make are one sided of course and need to be used in context but that does not make the source unreliable. The Crimean side should be as equally represented in the article as others. It's all about context and I'm not seeing common sense applied here. Blethering Scot 18:24, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
If you don't see anything controversial in the statement about observers, then you're not paying attention to what the content is about.Volunteer Marek (talk) 20:46, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
I am paying attention, but your blindsided by a pov to remove it without any justification on the actual content, in fact wanted to be able to remove any mark of it without giving justification. Im sorry but the Russian, Crimea viewpoint is equally required in the article, there is nothing questionable in the statement or the source. Were not saying there was were saying this notable individual in the crisis made this notable statement. You can equally balance that out neutrally with the viewpoint of actual observers, real or western. As someone totally disinterested in the article I'm very concerned with some of your actions, which fly in the face of neutrality and also the clear edit warring involved. This is a reliable source for certain information and in this case it is not controversial at all.Blethering Scot 21:32, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
It is controversial. See below. And above. And the talk page. And you seem to misunderstand the concept of "neutrality". It most certainly does not require that we present fringe views as facts, or use controversial and non-reliable sources to present these views. That's not "balance". In fact, that's exactly POV. If the statement is uncontroversial then it should be trivial to find other, actually reliable, sources to support it. No? Volunteer Marek (talk) 21:58, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
Marek the editor below me is telling you it isn't controversial.Blethering Scot 22:14, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
The content being taken from RT - that "a Crimean official stated that international observers had arrived" - is not particularly controversial, as the official's statement is notable, but neither endorsed nor refuted by being recorded in the article. -Darouet (talk) 18:54, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
It's controversial - first the "Crimean official": anyone can claim he is a "Crimean official". Second - is "international" Political international or a mixture of accidental people coming from many countries?Xx236 (talk) 08:42, 8 April 2014 (UTC)

The most recent edition of Private Eye, arguably the best investigative journalism periodical in the UK, described RT as "Putin's propaganda channel". I don't think it can be considered to be a reliable source for anything concerning Russia or something the Russian government has a strong opinion on. Number 57 20:57, 7 April 2014 (UTC)

Private Eye, is hardly a pillar of journalism and certainly not something I would look to to decide what & what isn't a reliable source. Context is key here and that source very much backs the statement. Im not saying should be used for everything but it backs the crimea view that there was observers, you then neutrally say that the west did not agree if thats the case using other sources.Blethering Scot 21:36, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
It's the biggest selling news magazine in the UK. If you're serious about it being "hardly a pillar of journalism" (I sincerely hope not given that you consider yourself to have enough of a grounding in media that you feel able to comment on RT), then I suggest you start by reading about Paul Foot. Number 57 22:04, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
Biggest selling does not mean its a pillar of journalism (It Isn't), nor should we be taking advice on reliability of a statement from a source from it. If we took a reliability of a source from our sales were in more trouble than i thought.Blethering Scot 22:07, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
If we were talking about newspapers then I'd fully agree, as they rely heavily on celebrity scandal and scantily clad ladies for their circulation figures. However, news magazines are a different kettle of fish entirely. Number 57 22:27, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
Im not disagreeing with the overall point, just the comparison to Private Eye. The source is only reliable for certain things and a statement such as the one above is one such thing, its not for us to say he's lying or wrong its for us to say the notable figure said this about this notable event and use context to balance out the claim. We cant only put the non Russian viewpoint in the article. Its our job to put in context not deny it happened or was said, which is by default censorship.Blethering Scot 22:33, 7 April 2014 (UTC)

Why would any newspaper misreport on a statement made by person X, if the newspaper is biased in favor of X? — Petr Matas 23:45, 7 April 2014 (UTC)

That's not the issue. You keep insisting on missing the point which makes the discussion very difficult. See below.Volunteer Marek (talk) 02:09, 8 April 2014 (UTC)

Ukrainian Revolution 2014[edit]

The same issues are coming up at Ukrainian Revolution with references from RT removed without consideration of context. Sceptic1954 (talk) 06:17, 7 April 2014 (UTC)

As explained right above, there is in fact "consideration of content".Volunteer Marek (talk) 06:51, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
I'm not ploughing through it in hope of finding what you refer to because I don't edit that page. You certainly haven't 'consideration of context' thus far on the Ukrainian Revolution 2014 page. Sceptic1954 (talk) 07:07, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
Looking from outside altogether I agree with Sceptic. Blethering Scot 18:31, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
"Consideration of content" is explained above. If it's simple fact and sourced to something else, then remove because it's not needed. If it's controversial remove because it's not a reliable source. If it's a simple fact and not sourced to something else, keep it for now, though we should find a better source.Volunteer Marek (talk) 20:25, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
A better source is not required, there is nothing controversial in the statement. I would strongly object to removal of that source without very good justification, although double ref listing would be fine but unnecessary.Blethering Scot 21:36, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
Yes, the statement is controversial because the nature of these "observers" is controversial. See above. The fact that there is argument about whether to put scare quotes on the word "observers" - as several sources do - itself shows that there is indeed controversy. The justification for removal is simply that a source which has been widely described as a "propaganda tool" (and similar) and which fails the criteria for WP:RS is ... not RS. "A very good justification" would be needed to USE the source.Volunteer Marek (talk) 21:54, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
No it isn't controversial at all, there is not one fact there that is. He is a notable figure making a statement about a notable event as another editor has told you above and on talk page. Its our job to balance that out with context not to dismiss altogether. It does not fail as an RS in this case whatsoever and you clearly don't want to hear that, so go ahead and continue edit warring without justification to do so, you've been warned more than once and clearly don't want to hear it. You most certainly do need a good justification to remove it and there is no reason why to sources cant match the claim if you so wish.Blethering Scot 22:00, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
Ok. I've explained it several times by now and I'm getting a bit tired and irritated with people not listening. But let me try explaining it one more time.
You're confusing the aspect of whether a particular statement is true or not, with whether it is controversial or not. It's not the same thing. A statement can be true, and it can be controversial at the same time.
Suppose I went to the article on Evolution and inserted the statement "John Smith, who holds a PhD in Biology, [an "expert", of sorts, definitely being portrayed as an "expert" in this instance] has said that "evolution is just a theory"". And sourced it to some Creationist website [let's call it]. Now. It may be exactly true that this fellah John Smith does have a PhD in Biology (there's some creationists who do), and that in fact he did say this thing. So the statement as inserted into the article is in fact true. That DOES NOT in any way make the statement "non-controversial". And it does not make that insertion/edit NPOV. In fact, that would be the essence of POV-pushing, especially when sourced to a non-reliable source. It's the same thing here.
Like I keep repeating, the main issue in regard to the sentence being discussed is actually not whether RT is a reliable source, although it's not. It's how to present any of the information about "so-and-so said this-and-that", in regard to these "observers". Funnily enough, the people arguing for inclusion here don't wish to discuss that but instead keep yelling "the statement is true, he did say that, hence it's not controversial!" and "RT is a reliable source for statements which are actually true!" (???) "therefore we MUST include it!". We must not do anything. Especially when it violates Wikipedia WP:PILLAR policies.Volunteer Marek (talk) 02:04, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
Such statement is probably true, is non-controversial, and is relevant, but is not notable, because John Smith is just one of thousands of scientists with PhD in biology. For "Mikhail Malyshev said..." it is almost the same, except for that it is notable, because Mikhail Malyshev is the Crimean election spokesman. If you feel that some important information for balancing is missing, then add it yourself, but it is not acceptable to remove one viewpoint from the article only because the other viewpoint is missing. — Petr Matas 06:24, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
[17] OSCE observers weren't allowed so the "observers" were present.Xx236 (talk) 08:35, 8 April 2014 (UTC)

Russians say the US/EU news are biased, the US/EU say the Russian news are biased. Who's correct? Its essentially like the Cold War: both sides introduce a slant to support their case. And frankly I myself have noted many instances of uniform media bias in US/EU media. The point is: its not up to us to decide which country can or can not publish sources for use on Wikipedia.

The concept that "media not directly owned by the government must be neutral" is a massive non sequitur. Even if we were to assume there was no way for governments and corporations to carrot-and-stick media outlets (which is silly), its still in the interest of the media conglomerates to support their own country/block of countries. Its in the interest of the EU to bring (as much as possible of) Ukraine into its sphere. Its ultimately in the interest of EU media corporations to support that endeavor. There's really no room for that sort of naïveté regarding either side. None of them are really THIRDPARTY.

Imo the best thing to do is to simply attribute both sides. That is to say: "Russian government or media media sources say" and "EU/US government or media sources state", etc. -- Director (talk) 18:35, 13 April 2014 (UTC)

The best thing is to attribute both sides using context, only representing one side of the story is non neutral.Blethering Scot 18:52, 13 April 2014 (UTC)

Corexit (Rico-Martinez et. al., and synergistic toxicity of oil and dispersants)[edit]

We have a disagreement over at Talk:Corexit on the use of sources that we feel warrants outside opinions. We already have article content on a study by Rico-Martinez et. al. that asserts that adding Corexit makes oil 52 times more toxic than the oil was alone. This result has been criticized in various places by scientific community due to perceived methodological shortcomings (some of the rebuttals are written by scientists with a potential COI). Two of us would like to add this additional information to put Rico-Martinez into context. The use of these sources is opposed by others on the grounds that use of multiple sources in showing that would be WP:SYNTH, picking one idea from one place, another idea, and adding them together to create a third conclusion not found in any source. I don't think that's the case. I think Rico-Martinez is somewhat disputable and that Corexit didn't necessarily create synergistic toxicity.

The sources we'd like to use are:

(I believe this might be secondary, because it's a rebuttal of one paper by another group one step removed)

(I believe this is secondary because it's a review of the existing literature on the topic)

Media coverage:

Media coverage:

I'm hoping someone will better flesh out the opposing view. Geogene (talk) 23:45, 9 April 2014 (UTC)

I'm not sure I understand all the issues here. But my first thought is that the purpose of the secondary reference rule is to show some degree of mainstream acceptance of an idea. Since this is a hotly controversial subject, neither side can be considered "fringe". So it seems unsportsmanlike to take a legalistic position on the secondary source rule to keep out opposing POVs. Nor does it serve the interests of our readers.
In any case, I'd avoid any general statements about trans-species toxicity on the basis of the Rico-martinez paper. Its behind a paywall, but the study seems restricted to rotifer egg hatching. Is the population of rotifers known to be hatch-limited? Or is it usually limited by predation or competition for food? Can one draw any conclusions from the paper other than that the dispersants "might" affect rotifer populations without engaging in OR? The EPA says that the combination of Corexit-oil is not more toxic than oil alone in the species they looked at. Large interspecies differences in toxicty are commonplace. In fact, there are large interspecies differences in toxicity of pesticides to different rotifer species, as demonstrated by "Effects of an Insect Growth Regulator on Plankton and Gambusia Affinis", Aquatic Toxicology, 4 (1983), 247-269. Strictly speaking, the direct conclusions of the Rico-Martinez paper cannot be used to show toxicity to any species not tested, even other rotifer species.
Since all are living in a glass house, it seems to me that compromise is in order.Formerly 98 (talk) 01:09, 10 April 2014 (UTC)

I'll add my two cents, as I'm the other at Talk:Corexit trying to include criticism of the Rico-Martinez study.

There are four sources in discussion:

1) Rico-Martínez et al., toxicology study (cited in Wiki article)[18]
2) Coelho et al., commentary article[19]
3) Bejarano et al., review article (proposed for inclusion, with stated conflict of interest)[20]
Secondary coverage:
4) Hodson et al., toxicology study (proposed for inclusion)[21]
Secondary coverage:

1) A toxicology study by Rico-Martínez et al.[22] claiming that Corexit made oil 52x more toxic to rotifers (which GA Tech's media center turned into just 52x more toxic[23]) was widely publicized in 2013. It is cited in oil dispersants and Deepwater Horizon oil spill, including the lead paragraph of the latter. The study by Rico-Martínez was published in Environmental Pollution journal.

2) In that same journal, a commentary by Coelho, Clark, and Aurand[24] was published later in 2013 that criticized the study. From the abstract of this commentary:

"The 2013 Rico-Martínez et al. publication utilized laboratory testing approaches that severely limit our ability to reliably extrapolate such results to meaningful real-world assessments....Further, they drew real-world conclusions from static exposure tests without reporting actual exposure concentrations."

It was pointed out that Coelho, Clark, and Aurand work for HDR Ecosystem Management, a consulting firm that has worked for BP, Chevron, ExxonMobile, NOAA, EPA, the UN, and more, suggesting possible conflict of interest of Coelho. Furthermore, I agree that to use it to criticize Rico-Martínez et al. could be WP:SYNTH, as they don't obviously criticize Rico-Martínez; they just say their data isn't very useful, and they identify that Rico-Martínez et al. didn't report exposure concentrations. I'm sharing this as context.

3) A review article was written by Bejarano, Clark, and Coelho (same Clark and Coelho as 2). Again, there is conflict of interest, as Bejarano is another environmental consultant and adjunct faculty at the University of New Hampshire.

"Many believe that dispersants make oil more toxic, when in reality existing data generally do not support these claims."

In their paper, they reviewed a lot of studies which compared toxicity of Corexit-dispersed oil to toxicity of just oil:[25]

"The present review of the toxicity of oil ... that had been chemically dispersed with Corexit 9527 or Corexit 9500 (CEWAF), and oil physically or mechanically dispersed (water accommodated fraction [WAF]), reveals large discrepancies between studies reporting measured versus nominal aqueous exposure concentrations (329 WAF-CEWAF paired-data for individual species from 36 independent studies..."

"Most studies with reported measured concentrations (78% of paired-data) had CEWAF LC50|EC50 values greater than or equal to measured WAF values (lower or equal toxicity). .... By contrast, 93% of paired-data reporting nominal concentrations or loading rates had CEWAF LC50|EC50 values between 1.2 and greater than 1000-fold smaller (greater toxicity) than WAF values"

This is an important finding. Re-writing this in a simpler way for the Wikipedia article, I would like to include:

In the review of Bejarano et al., of studies that reported nominal concentrations, 93% found Corexit and oil together had synergistic toxicity; whereas of studies that reported measured concentrations, only 22% found Corexit and oil together had synergistic toxicity.

I do agree it would be WP:SYNTH to use this review to criticize Rico-Martínez directly. However, without synthesis, it makes a strong claim about synergistic toxicity between Corexit and oil - that it's probably an artifact of poor methodology. I think something like the italicized should be included in the article, along with acknowledgement of possible conflict of interest.

4) Finally, a recent study without any obvious conflict of interest, written by Canadian scientists at Queen's University.

"The chemical dispersant used to counteract the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 may not be as harmful to fish as first thought, says new research from Queen’s professor Peter Hodson and his team of researchers."

"The toxicity of dispersed oil could be attributed entirely to the effects of oil, and not to synergistic interactions between dispersant toxicity and oil toxicity," says Dr. Hodson.[26]

Use of this article was downplayed on two fronts: 1) Dr. Hodson says "could be", and 2) the university page only says "dispersant" and not "Corexit". First, I think it's clear the "could be" means "was" (i.e. they did attribute it). Use of "could be" in this way is common in scientific dialect. Second, I don't think it's WP:SYNTH to identify the "chemical dispersant used to counteract the Deepwater Horizon oil spill" as Corexit. At this point, it's pretty clear.

In case there's any doubt about the "could be", Dr. Hodson's meaning can be verified from his own article: "Contrary to Rico-Martínez et al. [6], neither experiment in the present study was consistent with synergistic toxicity of oil and dispersant in dispersed oil mixtures. Rather, the dispersant in the mixture increased the exposure of embryos to hydrocarbons, without changing or contributing to their toxicity." [27]

I think a reasonable addition is Canadian scientists at Queen's University found that Corexit increased exposure concentration of oil, but did not increase its toxicity.

Kjhuston (talk) 01:40, 10 April 2014 (UTC)

For what its worth, I think the level of uncertainty here is pretty high, and the debate may reflect a greater interest in the particulars on the part of the editors than the average reader. My suggestion would be: "It is unclear whether the toxicity of Corexit-petroleum mixtures is greater than that of petroleum alone" followed by a few footnotes supporting each side of the debate. Ecosystems are way too complicated to be understood in terms of experiments performed in aquaria. The risk that the mixture is overall worse for the environment is credible, but unproven. At least that's how I see it. Its an important issue, but nobody really knows the answer at this point. Formerly 98 (talk) 03:12, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
Again, fwiw, I have a response from someone working on this issue, but who is too busy to take part in Wikipedia, so I'm copying here: "Essentially the treated crude is a new animal from a chemical standpoint. One of the initial observations I made when quickly reviewing the data showed the concentration factor may be closer to -10X instead of +52X, but that is for chemical concentration versus toxicity to the biomass. Again, the problem of understanding that concentration versus toxicity is created by comparing two dissimilar characteristics.
The problem of comparisons between chemical concentration and toxicity is based on a lack of understanding of what toxicity is all about. The perfect example is the toxicity testing required by the EPA for a chemical dispersant to be listed on the NCP Approved Vendor/Product list. It uses a baseline for invertebrate and vertebrate species of small shrimp and minnows. This allows an apples to apples comparison of relative toxicity levels, but does not indicate toxicity levels that would affect humans or more complex vertebrates in the water column like large predatory fish. At lower levels of the food chain where less complex animals are affected more readily by changes in environment from anthropogenic inputs, the affect of chemicals of all sorts tend to create similar levels of toxicity with respect to concentration in the habitat of choice for those organisms." More to come, as I have asked others to weigh in. petrarchan47tc 18:25, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
Primary sources should rarely be used. Secondary sources are needed to establish their WP:WEIGHT. The review study by Bejarano, Clark, and Coelho seems fine. Conflict of interest is a problem that the publication is supposed to determine. If they think contributors are likely to falsify information for financial benefit, they are unlikely to publish them. And if they have any sort of review process they are likely to catch it before publication. And the Queen's study is a primary source. TFD (talk) 07:39, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
I agree that the Queen's study is a primary source, and its press release is not a meaningful secondary source. I do question whether a run through the science news cycle [28] and repeating of the primary source's claim by news articles is proof of validity over another study. The process seems fairly arbitrary, except that more extraordinary claims are likely to attract more news attention faster. I think the Rico-Martínez study is given undue weight by its placement in the lead paragraph of Corexit, but I'm more interested in inclusion of opposing POV in the large Corexit toxicity section that has amassed. Speaking of which, I don't understand why what's supposed to be an informative NPOV section on toxicity has a paragraph in isolation:
"During a Senate hearing on the use of dispersants, Senator Lisa Murkowski asked EPA administrator Lisa P. Jackson whether Corexit use should be banned, stating she didn't want dispersants to be 'the Agent Orange of this oil spill'."
It doesn't seem to have much information content to me, unless we're talking about fears of toxicity rather than toxicity itself. Kjhuston (talk) 21:26, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
PS Sorry, I got off-topic on that last bit. Forgot we're in reliable sources. Kjhuston (talk) 22:05, 10 April 2014 (UTC)

One of the folks over at the Fringe NB said the article might should have a look at it from the NPOV board, because it was kind of weird. But as far as how we can use sources, and since we're talking about Rico-Martinez, we have:

"In 2012, a study found that Corexit made the oil up to 52 times more toxic than oil alone,[5][6][7] and that the dispersant's emulsifying effect makes oil droplets more bio-available to plankton.[8] The Georgia Institute of Technology found that "Mixing oil with dispersant increased toxicity to ecosystems" and made the gulf oil spill worse.[9]"

This is how Rico-Martinez is presented in the article's lead. (We mention it twice, actually, in consecutive sentences.) My mention of plankton was a major compromise that went through a number of bold:revert cycles. There were accusations of greenwashing and sugar-coating just to get to this point. But it's still misleading as we have it, don't you think? Geogene (talk) 22:58, 10 April 2014 (UTC)

[edit conflict] :::We generally don't second guess why so many reliable sources cover a particular study, we simply try to reflect this coverage in our articles. The study is mentioned by Susan D. Shaw here. Again on the Australian 60 Minutes' coverage of Corexit here, and as has been expressed, in many news articles. In general, the idea of increased toxicity by the combination of oil and Corexit has been discussed by scientists from EPA's Hugh Kaufman to Wilma Subra, to Riki Ott. This finding is not fringe by any stretch. petrarchan47tc 23:13, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
Geogene, it is preferred to stick with the wording as summarized by RS, and they all state the same thing, which is what was added to the article originally. When it was changed it became too technical for general readers to understand and did not make the results of the study more clear. The body is a better place to add details of the study, which was that plankton was used in the tests. The change deviated from the title and subtitle of the study [later edit: and by this, I meant review - my mistake], and from what RS said about the study, in such a way that 'whitewashing' seemed the only motive. It came on the heels of a months' worth of similar POV editing to BP oil spill articles which has been very disruptive. The study is in the Lede because it truly is the most widely cited Corexit study to date, as there is notoriously little research on the dispersant and dispersed oil. petrarchan47tc 23:13, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
Can you name the title and "subtitle" of the study? Preferably with a link? Geogene (talk) 23:35, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
The secondary review of the study to is titled Gulf of Mexico Clean-Up Makes 2010 Spill 52-Times More Toxic with the subtitle Study shows mixing oil with dispersant increased toxicity to Gulf’s ecosystems.
Your change was to In 2012, a study found that Corexit's emulsifying effect makes oil droplets more bioavailable to planktonic animals, increasing their toxicity to plankton by up to 52 times. The longstanding version read "In 2012, a study found that Corexit increases the toxicity of oil by 52 times.", so as to stay as close to the source material as possible, understandable to laypersons, and to keep it concise for the Lede. petrarchan47tc 01:36, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
That's the title of Georgia Tech's press release, which is unfortunately the reason we now have a sentence in the Wiki article:
The Georgia Institute of Technology found that "Mixing oil with dispersant increased toxicity to ecosystems" and made the gulf oil spill worse.
Do we really want to say Georgia Tech found that adding Corexit to oil made the oil spill worse, and they figured this out based on a single experiment in a lab? Forget all those oceanographers out in the field, studying the effect of dispersed oil on the marine ecosystem. Forget all the complexity and uncertainty involved in assessing effects on the marine environment. Georgia Tech decided adding dispersant made the oil spill worse. We can shut down all the research now - our environmental policy questions are solved. I don't think we want that.
The study is titled "Synergistic toxicity of Macondo crude oil and dispersant Corexit 9500A® to the Brachionus plicatilis species complex (Rotifera)" [29].
But anyway, we may want to discuss a bigger question (not on this noticeboard), which is whether we want the Corexit article to be a hodgepodge of toxicity studies, claims and counter-claims, or if we want the more general conclusion that it is difficult to assess the damage of dispersing oil to marine environments, particularly in deep water, studies are ongoing, and that some have claimed the EPA didn't have sufficient information to decide whether dispersing oil had a net benefit over not dispersing. Kjhuston (talk) 02:56, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
Both. WP articles are generally a bit of hodgepodge, as the encyclopedia is meant to chronicle information. But the claim that a "general conclusion is difficult to assess" has RS backing it up, so it should be included as well. The issue of WP:WEIGHT is an important to look at as you learn the ropes of building a neutral article based on WP's guidelines. To argue that Georgia Tech got it wrong, besides being WP:OR, is quite fruitless given the rules here. petrarchan47tc 07:28, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
OK, I haven't followed this as closely as some. But there was an EPA study that reached the opposite conclusion. Are we then arguing that "The EPA got it Wrong"? What was the basis for concluding that the EPA is wrong and "Georgia Tech" (I doubt the entire university was involved in this study) is right? Thanks!Formerly 98 (talk) 14:44, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
The EPA may not be the most reliable source when it comes to BP oil spill science. They also lied during the 911 tragedy telling workers there was nothing harmful in the air during cleanup. They've done a similar thing during the gulf crisis, although I'm not arguing we shouldn't include their findings, but an awareness of the facts is imperative. Here is one example, and I left a list here.
For instance, whistleblower and current employee of the EPA, Hugh Kaufman: MSNBC video of interview "Some of the toxicologists who have experience and education, were trying to get [EPA] management to pay attention to the data that EPA had and has had for decades, but to no avail. 'There was a political decision made to let BP take the lead as opposed to the government being proactive'. He alleges that his agency (he was one of the founders) has known all along how toxic Corexit is, and that the EPA lied about it. He also says that the EPA has known that the toxicity is increased when oil and Corexit are combined. petrarchan47tc 19:28, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
The "52 times study" (Rico-Martinez) is in effect arguing that the EPA's toxicity studies are "wrong" in the sense that they underestimated the combined effect of oil + Corexit on small organisms, using rotifers as a model animal. From what I gather, by breaking the oil into smaller droplets, you get more surface area, there more exposure of oil to planktonic organisms. Rotifers were the model animal but I think what they're really getting at is "plankton", and some of the better media coverage emphasizes that, the article tends to de-emphasize that we're talking about plankton and emphasizes vague "damaged ecosystems" and "made the oil spill worse". Note that I may have misused the term "synergistic toxicity" at the top and this may be causing some confusion. Geogene (talk) 15:56, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

Compromise OK, as my last comment on this, I'd going to say that it seems pretty clear that 1) there is a lot of controversy regarding the overall beneficial vs. negative effect of applying dispersants, and 2) this controversy exists because aquariums are woefully inadequate models for actual ecosystems. (WP:OR doesn't mean we have to assasinate our brains SYNTH is original research by synthesis, not synthesis per se. Good essay here WP:SYNNOT#SYNTH is not just any synthesis Therefore the article should reflect the uncertainty among experts on the larger point of whether the use of dispersants is overall harmful or helpful. Formerly 98 (talk) 16:09, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

So as with any article, we include all relevant opinions, findings and sides. We have studies on both sides and they will continue to be offered to the reader. We came here to see whether the Coelho opinion was RS, and it passes. We can't however use that piece to throw out the study, which has been attempted. Now the argument at the talk page is that since we just don't know yet whether dispersants hurt or helped, we should only say that and not offer the reader a look at the various findings to date. I believe this line of reasoning goes beyond "what is RS"? and verges heavily into agenda territory. petrarchan47tc 19:05, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
I'm going to retract my statement about not saying anymore about this and suggest that you carefully review WP:GF. I think it would be good to consider the idea that when people continue to try to deal with you in a constructive manner after you insult them and question their motives, its not because they find you less frustrating than you find them, but because they are behaving more graciously. Formerly 98 (talk) 02:07, 12 April 2014 (UTC)
I find it interesting that you didn't choose to comment on the more substantive issues related to this noticeboard, like the addition of Hugh Kaufman's comments above showing your fallacious assumption that the EPA is automatically reliable. I find it strange that anyone would bring an essay (promoting the allowance of some SYNTH) to a noticeboard meant to focus on guidelines. Before commenting on my behaviour, you apparently did not do much of an investigation into those you call gracious. This comment from Geogene on my talk page sounds to be written by a 12 year old, and was based on lack of understanding of WP guidelines: This is POV wording you added here [30]. Ott claims that Corexit use continued, it is not an objective fact that it did. Your tendentious editing is detrimental to these articles. If you want to write propaganda, get a blog. The SPA's first edit to WP a few weeks back, was to remove the Rico-Martinez study because it was "misleading". Then we visit this noticeboard twice, and both times it is revealed that the study has sufficient RS for inclusion, but the argument immediately switches to seemingly find another way of removing the study. In other words, it is difficult for a thinking person to see this as respectful towards WP and the time editors have spent at noticeboards assuming GF... ie, assuming that the reason we are here is to figure out and abide by the guidelines. petrarchan47tc 22:17, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

Um, certainly it's understandable if this generates no further comment, but if anyone's willing to comment or has a suggestion for another forum, we have a disagreement over two possible sentences in which we might refer to Rico-Martinez in the Lead:

"One study has shown that the addition of Corexit made the oil up to 52 times more toxic, and that the dispersant's emulsifying effect makes oil droplets more harmful to plankton."


"One study has shown that the addition of Corexit made the oil up to 52 times more toxic to plankton."

I prefer the latter, but previous "compromise" versions of the first had a "because" instead of the "and", to establish that this is only one study and it applies to plankton (though the model organisms were rotifers). That keeps getting changed to the first version above, with the "and", which is a statement with different meaning, for reasons I don't understand, but the edit summary in the last change told me to "stay closer to wording in secondary sources". So it's still a source disagreement. I think that it goes against higher principles than the primary/secondary RS guidelines to use them to include using misleading statements. I thought this had been settled but I think we put it aside to focus on other questions. Geogene (talk) 17:07, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

Are government sources RS with regard to issues about government?[edit]

Are government sources considered reliable sources regarding issues of government over their own country? At issue is whether the Russian government is a reliable source about whether Crimea and Stevastapol are considered federal subjects of Russia. Specific edit in question is here. Source in question is See Talk:Russia#Number_of_federal_subjects for context. EvergreenFir (talk) 02:18, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

This is somewhat dependent on the specific situation, but in general, I'd say a government source is generally good information concerning that government's position on the issue discussed. Newyorkbrad (talk) 02:22, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
In this specific situation, the information in the source is not about their own country. It's a primary source from a government responsible for military occupation of a foreign country. There are no secondary sources that support the claim being made by the occupying government, because there's an international dispute. USchick (talk) 04:23, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
How does that refute that it's that government's position as to the issue? --Iryna Harpy (talk) 04:50, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
I agree, as long as it is clearly stated within the article that it is the government's claim or position, and if there are other positions that are not WP:FRINGE that are sourced be given appropriate weight. Rmosler | 05:22, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

Changing the word "including" to "counting" might alleviate the slant, somewhat. Howunusual (talk) 22:20, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

Sources for pronunciation of a composer's name[edit]

There is an ongoing dispute over the pronunciation of Aram Khachaturian's name in English.

At least four sources use "AH-rahm KAH-chah-TOOR-yahn" as the pronunciation of his name:

Are these sources reliable? At least two of them (Well-tempered & Grolier) are academic.

Question: Is the pronunciation used by these sources notable/significant/relevant enough to be included in the article alongside the (apparently more common) pronunciation used by generic dictionaries? --Երևանցի talk 01:23, 12 April 2014 (UTC)

Srsly? Opinions differ, there is no one single answer. I always go with the BBC, obviously. Include both: X or Y (speaking as an admin who can name a favorite piece of Khachaturian, where most people would say "Aram who?" - and no, it's not the Adagio from Spartacus and Phrygia, though that was a prominent theme of my youth). Guy (Help!) 22:33, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
This is hardly a matter of opinion -- transcriptions are meant to be descriptive (i.e. they should transcribe the way(s) a word's commonly pronounced). It's obvious to anyone who knows the first thing about pronunciation of English that that's not only a prescriptive transcription, but it's also one that violates the phonological 'rules' of the language. — lfdder 01:15, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

Non-professional YouTube videos as sources, when linked to from professional websites[edit]

I'm interested in using this YouTube video [35] of a local singing competition, to state that Scotty McCreery's parents had him take sixth months of piano, before letting him learn guitar (discussed in the introductory remarks from around 0:42 to 0:52). I'm not sure who took the video - it could have just been someone in the audience or it could have been someone involved with the event. This seems to be the only place that the video is available online, so it might be fair to assume that it was taken by the same person that uploaded it. However, I'm not sure what to make of the characters in the top left corner.

The information presented in this video is clearly accurate, since McCreery himself appears in the video. However, since it was simply uploaded onto a personal account, by someone who doesn't seem have any established credibility, I'm not sure that the video would be acceptable as a reference under normal circumstances. However, there's one thing that makes me think that it might be okay - the video was linked to from the town government's official website [36] (Second paragraph - "Here he is on the stage of the Clayton Center").

What's the typical policy on using these types of videos, and how is the video's reliability effected (if at all) by it being linked to by an official website? --Jpcase (talk) 19:54, 12 April 2014 (UTC)

The policy is that such videos are not "secondary reliable sources", and a "town website" is unlikely to meet the RS criteria for any claims not specific to the town government -- we do not use them for history etc. in articles. Collect (talk) 01:36, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
Okay, thanks. So this couldn't be used as a primary source either? --Jpcase (talk) 15:08, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
If the fact is significant, it will be covered in a reliable secondary source. If it's not covered in a reliable secondary source then it's a trivium. Guy (Help!) 17:02, 13 April 2014 (UTC)

Dispute as to who Sheb Wooleys Children[edit]

Sheb Wooleys Wikipedia says that he had two daughters ; when in fact he had ONE LEGALLY ADOPTED daughter Christi Lynn Wooley who was his ONLY CHILD and a step daughter ( never legally adopted) Shauna Dotson . Wikipedia states that Sheb had two daughters ; when in fact he had one legal daughter and one step daughter

Frankfurt School conspiracy theory "extremest sources"[edit]

A new user, Bakaso, has come to the Talk:Frankfurt School conspiracy theory page and is asking that the sources be qualified as coming from Jewish Marxist scholars, extremist sources, and identifying the Southern Poverty Law Center as an extremist source. They believe that the conspiracy theory itself is a conspiracy theory by neo-Marxists to cover up their Frankfurt School roots. They believe that the entire article is opinion, and therefore falls under the WP:YESPOV opinion as facts. I disagree but would like some input as to if we should qualify the religion, ideology, and name of the sources within the text.Coffeepusher (talk) 21:29, 13 April 2014 (UTC)

The new user should not be considered a reliable source all by themselves. We repeat what is found in reliable sources, which don't currently ascribe to Bakaso's theories. No reliable source here. We shouldn't add user-generated labels not found in sources, or give weird weight to a person's religion not found in sources, based on the strong feelings of an editor who does not provide any indication of acceptance by any reliable sources. We do have reliable sources calling this line of thought a "conspiracy theory" and strongly and non-vaguely place it as unworthy of serious consideration as a way to describe this subject. The article should not give undue weight to fringe conspiracy theories and should actively describe them as reliable sources do.__ E L A Q U E A T E 22:19, 13 April 2014 (UTC)

Jens Stoltenberg[edit]

Hi, I and @Yambaram: are in conflict against users @Huldra: and @Bjerrebæk: who thinks that our edit here is fringed. The edit have more then enough sources which indicate that the former PM of Norway said an anti-semitic remark. The sources include: The Jerusalem Post, Arutz Sheva, FrontPage Magazine and According to our reliable sources policy we as Wikipedians rely on "newspapers, magazines, books, and media", to make a balanced and neutral article, and the above sources fit that bill perfectly. However, the two (and one neutral) users believe that the sources are extremist and far right. My questions is, if they are extremist and fringed why do are they not blacklisted and if they are considered to be an RS (if they do), why is the sourced material being removed over fringe and POV allegations if the material is sourced from a reliable source and not a personal blog? Or the policy to what is, and what is not considered to be a reliable source have changed over one article? I seen The Jerusalem Post being used more then on one article relating to Israeli leaders, therefore makes it an RS. Or now while JPost is an RS to Israeli-Palestinian articles it is not an RS for Norway related articles? If so, I don't see a paragraph in reliable sources policy which indicate that source should only be in native language or express the view of only (in this case) Norwegians, by using Norge language newspapers? It does said that "it is preferred" but its not mandatory. Now, to get the full picture, we have this discussion on one of the users talkpage here, on the article's talkpage here and two notice boards here and here. I hope that this confusion will soon be solved, because as of now as a new editor (in POV field), I think that I am being falsely accused of reverting removal of sourced content.--Mishae (talk) 23:18, 13 April 2014 (UTC)

Please review WP:CONTEXTMATTERS as the reliability of a source depends on the context. The White House Press Secretary is not a reliable source for what company makes the best chocolate chip cookie, NASA is not the most reliable source for Russian folk tales. Also see WP:NEWSORG where it says Whether a specific news story is reliable for a specific fact or statement in a Wikipedia article will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Also look at WP:BIASED as even if a source is generally reliable, it may be reporting an opinion that is fringe or could be given WP:UNDUE weight compared to the bulk of other reliable sources.__ E L A Q U E A T E 23:30, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
So in your opinion JPost is not an RS? Then why it is used as an RS for example at Ariel Sharon? Now, I know that NASA is not a reliable source for Russian folktales, I am not dumb. Have you read the edit that I provided? I also would like to know if by introducing criticism section in the current article, will it still be considered to be an undue weight? If so, how. As far as biased goes the claim is cited by JPost, FrontPage Magazine, Arutz Sheva and Four sources are enough to make it notable to include, don't you think? If not, how many sources do anyone need to provide so that a supposedly fringe idea be included? Like the above editors even removed not only content but also undue weight and POV templates, which according to our policies should remain till the issue is solved.--Mishae (talk) 23:52, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
Sources are considered reliable on a case-by-case basis. It depends on the claim. You are attempting to repeat the claims found in editorial opinion pieces about the meaning of a politician not saying or doing something. It seems irresponsible and undue to repeat in full quotation that an editorial writer called him personally anti-semitic because of things his government didn't do. I see no evidence that other reliable sources are treating these admitted opinion pieces as anything other than isolated and not especially notable opinions. The opinion pieces are not reliable sources by themselves for whether they are significant opinions, especially for something as BLP-harmful as accusations of personal anti-semitism on no provided evidence.__ E L A Q U E A T E 15:35, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
O.K. Kind off get the point. How do you verify what is opinion and what is not if the sources are newspapers and magazines, which considered to be a reliable source under our policies? Like, this is not a white supremacist website that I got it of. As far as opinion pieces goes, the rule states that as long as its not self published, its O.K.. Like, it's not blogs or tweets that are present, its newspapers like JPost, JNS, ADL, and others which also have a page on Wikipedia... I don't see them mentioning anywhere that its a blog or opinion corner, except for JPost.--Mishae (talk) 22:50, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
No, no, no. You say, ...the rule states that as long as its not self published, its O.K. This is not what is meant by our policies at all. Some of the sources you mention would be considered WP:QUESTIONABLE, lacking reputations for reliability and fact-checking, and you would need to make a convincing case that they could be used specifically for a deeply contentious claim about a living person. I think you are highly unlikely to convince many editors that these sources represent a mainstream and neutral view on whether someone is an anti-semite, especially as the issue seems to be what wasn't said by the subject at an event. Saying that a failure to verbally denounce a pro-Palestinian rally as being anti-Semitic is somehow actual proof that someone is personally anti-Semitic is the view of a tiny minority. If you can't find consensus that it is not being given WP:UNDUE weight or that it's free of WP:BLP concerns, it probably won't end up in the article the way you've suggested. That might be as it should be. To give undue weight to the view of a significant minority, or to include that of a tiny minority, might be misleading as to the shape of the dispute. Wikipedia aims to present competing views in proportion to their representation in reliable sources on the subject. You would need much more clearly reliable sources to assert what you were adding is a widely significant interpretation of this BLP.__ E L A Q U E A T E 23:45, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
Specifically, an editorial opinion piece in the Jerusalem Post calling someone an anti-Semite for saying they support Palestine should probably not be given undue inclusion in a WP:BLP without evidence that reliable sources consider the opinion somehow extraordinary and significant, when considered in a WP:NPOV way. It is reliable for the fact that someone somewhere holds an opinion, but not for it's own importance and significance as an opinion.__ E L A Q U E A T E 00:02, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
O.K. Will adding a criticism section and that opinion pieces is considered to be O.K. to include in a BLP? Like for example, Vladimir Putin article have that section. Or is there a difference between VP article section a possibly this one? If so, explain what the difference will be? I already proposed criticism section to be included in the article on its talkpage. Currently await consensus reply. but its almost a week and nothing.--Mishae (talk) 01:51, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
Please discuss everything here. Thanks, Yambaram (talk) 09:16, 15 April 2014 (UTC)[edit]

Are the online magazines at considered WP reliable sources. If this is not the right place, where can I find out? Hmains (talk) 02:31, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

Well the way how it is written here [37] probably not. The source in Wikipedia indicates that he was born in 1923, yet on History net it says 1922. I personally wouldn't trust it, looks more like Kids Discover to me.--Mishae (talk) 03:09, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
If you mean THESE magazines — I wouldn't hesitate to use those. Bear in mind that the key thing is to get things right, not whether the source itself has the cache of the New York Times or the Times of London or Time magazine... Carrite (talk) 16:29, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

US Weekly[edit]

Is US Weekly reliable? I only saw one discussion about it in the archives Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard/Archive 112#US Weekly and People magazine - one person said that they "wouldn't count on" it, while the other person said that it would depend on the context. I'm wanting to use this article [38] to say that Scotty McCreery's first job was at a car shop (and possibly say one or two other things about him.) Would that be alright? --Jpcase (talk) 14:39, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

Specifically, that article looks like a mass of trivial information. We shouldn't add "Favourite color, favorite tree"-type material as its not especially encyclopedic. I can't see a single piece of information in those twenty-five questions that should be in anyone's Wikipedia page. For this kind of stuff it doesn't make a difference if US Weekly is a reliable source or not for the material; this is all food preferences and sports team preferences as self-reported by the subject. As a rough guideline, if it's somehow important to the subject, you should be able to find mentions of it in more than one place. US Weekly may be a reliable source for whether he uses plastic straws or once had a different haircut (actual answers) but please don't add stuff like this.__ E L A Q U E A T E 15:52, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
I completely agree with you and wasn't planning on adding any of that kind of information. The only thing that I really wanted to cite this article for was McCreery's first job - something that seems fairly significant and worth mentioning on Wikipedia. I was thinking about maybe saying something about how he played soccer for a year also. But the main thing was his first job. --Jpcase (talk) 16:06, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
I think you're making a good faith effort, so I'll just add this thought. I think you should consider bios like Elvis Presley and others, which try to include small life details only if they are significant to why the subject is notable (as shown by being taken seriously in reliable sources, not in trivia sections). I'm sure this subject's first job was significant to them, but things like playing soccer and unrelated part-time jobs sometimes make an otherwise good article look like a resume or a collection of random facts. The items may be true, but they don't always make an article better. It's usually better to have the more serious stuff alone, then mixed in with super-light stuff that happens to most people in the world, like prefering a certain sport or working a job in high school. Just a thought. Again, if the only place it shows up is deeply buried in US Weekly, it's probably going to distract from the subject's actual achievements or notability.__ E L A Q U E A T E 17:00, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

Can I use this public interest group as a source?[edit]

I made this edit at the Trans-Pacific Partnership page and it was removed apparently because the source isn't the New York Times, CNN and so forth. Can I use this article by the Republic Report since it's based on and provides links to documents and mainstream press reports?--The Best There Is 'Snikt!' (talk) 16:11, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

If it bases content on the mainstream press, cite that. AndyTheGrump (talk) 16:24, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

Is the Glottolog website a reliable source on Meroitic or Rilly's assessment of Meroitic?[edit]

1- Source: 2- Article: Meroitic language 3- Content:

It has come to my attention that one editor added the glottolog website opinion on Rilly's assessment of Meroitic. But glottolog is not a reliable source on Meroitic or on Riley's assesment of Meroitic. I tried to reverse the edit made by kwami but my edit was undone by kwami. When I tried to ask for proof and reference demonstrating the glottolog website is a reliable source on Meroitic, I was responsed with "sure it is" and "the rest of us disagree" without such proof and references ever demonstrated.

Let's recall the WP:CONTEXTMATTERS guideline stating "The reliability of a source depends on context. Each source must be carefully weighed to judge whether it is reliable for the statement being made in the Wikipedia article and is an appropriate source for that content.". There's no doubt in my mind that the glottolog website can't be considered a reliable source on Meroitic or on Riley's assesment of Meroitic as it is referenced by no other source beside Wikipedia.

I read some academic works on Meroitic and none of them mention the glottolog website. I did a google book search on glottolog and didn't see any works using glottolog as content source at all in general, much less about Meroitic and Rilly's assessment of Meroitic. In fact, I never heard of glottolog before kwami created a wikipedia article about it on the 17 of Mars 2014 and proceed to link (almost plugging) the glottolog website in many Wikipedia articles.

My main contentious is that the glottolog website is not used as a reference on Meroitic or Rily's assesment of Meroitic by any source beside Wikipedia. So the glottolog's website point of view on Meroitic shouldn't be added to the Wikipedia page. It's not a reliable source on Meroitic or on Rily's assessment of Meroitic. DrLewisphd (talk) 07:23, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

Glottolog is a 2ary/3ary source, and so is not likely to be ref'd in specialized lit. But as others have pointed out to you, it's run by a prestigious university and edited by a panel of well-respected linguists. For obscure topics like this, it's hard to find published evaluations of claims, and we use the principal editor of Glottolog, Hammarström, for evaluations of many classifications of obscure languages across WP. In this case, what I've heard by p.c. is that Rilly contains such methodological flaws that his conclusions are not supported, but the only published evaluation I'd been able to find up to now was by the author of a competing classification. That leaves open the question of COI. It's significant that someone with no stake in the issue has come to the same conclusion that she did (that Rilly translates words based on what's needed for his classification, and then bases his classification on those translations). — kwami (talk) 07:34, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
For the record, no "others" have pointed out to me before how "prestigious" the glottlog website is. You're the one doing it right now. You're the one who created the glottolog article on the 17 of Mars 2014 and you're the one plugging it in many wikipedia articles. I've never seen the glottolog website mentioned in any academic work related to Meroitic. We can't consider your personal communication as reliable source. In fact, even on a google book search, the glottolog website is rarely mentioned and never used as a reference as content source for anything, much less on Meroitic or Rilly's assessment of Meroitic. The glottolog website is not a reliable source on Meroitic and constitute original research never referenced by any other sources beside Wikipedia. DrLewisphd (talk) 08:06, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
To add to Kwami's statement, the assessment of Rilly's work on Meroitic by Glottolog is recent. Glottolog was first announced in March 2012 [39]! Of course, there will be no mention of Glottolog in academic articles concerning Meroitic before March 2012. Clause Rilly has been the most prolific publisher concerning Meroitic throughout the 2000's until now. Kirsty Rowan has published 4 articles (all before 2012, the latest in 2011). Three articles are freely available to the public and 1 (2011) is available through a journal subscription/ order (the whole 393 page journal [Lingua Aegyptica_19]...cannot get just one article). Her doctoral thesis (2006), which according to Google Books is 778 pages, is not yet available. Rilly, by comparison, has numerous published articles and one book in English (2012). Again, there will be no mention of Glottolog's assessment of Meroitic for obvious reasons in all academic articles before March 2012. Glottolog is a reliable source, that is unquestionable. - A.Tamar Chabadi (talk) 06:12, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

Great Book of Bulldogs Part 1[edit]

1. "The Great Book of Bulldogs, Bull Terrier and Molosser: Part I Bulldogs & Bull Terrier" by Zwettler, M Publisher=epubli GmbH, isbn=9783844239225 No page numbers that I can see in the Google view. A search for Leavitt Bulldog will lead to both the Olde English Bulldogge and Leavitt Bulldog section.

2. Leavitt Bulldog


It is one of several breeds developed in order to overcome the genetic problems in the English Bulldog breed

The source makes statements along these lines under the Olde English Bulldogge section, but not within the Leavitt Bulldog section. The Leavitt Bulldog section states he renamed his original breed to avoid association with "other alternative breeders" using the same name for their dogs. I think my larger question is how valid is the source in the first place? It doesn't seem to be self-published, but it is only available as an ebook and by a German publisher I have no information on aside from their website. The grammatical errors make it obvious that the writer was not a native English-speaker who had no editorial support and/or used translation software that didn't do such a good job. I have identified a couple of factual errors within the two sections of the book referenced as well.Ss 051 (talk) 13:42, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

Please verify this source and comment on the related article talk pages[edit]

Hmm... The writer's name is Hasan Celal Güzel. There is an article about him in wikipedia. Maybe it might be helpful. Yours faithfully. Lamedumal (talk) 23:10, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

Claiming "hidden agenda" as a fact[edit]


Nominated source #1:

Nominated source #2:

Article: 2013-14 Thai political crisis


a hidden agenda: the royal succession

I am having trouble dealing with one of the page I am editing. I am not sure I am heading to the right direction anymore in the talk page so I would like to seek some opinion here.

In short, the claim is that the leader of the ongoing protest in Thailand is having a hidden agenda for (or against? they did not tell) the royal succession. The writer put it in in the form of factual statement and claiming that the specified source, among other sources, is a reliable source for this fact. When I opened the discussion, they nominated more sources as I specified and tell that those sources are reliable sources to support the claim.

My argument against this is those are opinion and conjecture and does not directly support the content, hence not the reliable source for the content. They are only reliable source for their opinion.

They also claim the news author cannot provide concrete evidence for that claim because of Thailand's lese majesty law, and I would object that incomplete information is incomplete no matter what the reason is.

Any opinion support or against my argument are welcome. Thank you. --Biglobster (talk) 17:57, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

Opinions from experienced editors please, Elton Mayo article[edit]

On the Elton Mayo article a recent discussion has taken place regarding a 2004 edit, here: [41] which appears quite correct, based on a number of reliable sources, that Elton Mayo was indeed a psychologist.

In fact, specifically the reliable sources say an Australian born psychologist. I cited these sources below as examples. But there are many more. However the other editor again deleted them, see here: [42] and so here we are. Australian Cultural History (1988) edited by Samuel Louis Goldberg, Francis Barrymore Smith (page 95)

A brief discussion has ensued on the Talk:Elton Mayo page, however it has got nowhere, and rather than even get close to edit warring on this issue (I have not reverted again), I'm posting it here instead to get a wider perspective from some independent editors. The other editor has instead added the terms "researcher" and "organization theorist"? without any reliable sources as far as I can tell?

Hopefully some experienced editors can take a look please, and decide on whether the placement of this "Elton Mayo (Australian born) psychologist" statement in the article lead is justified based on the reliable sources provided? I'll accept whatever outcome is decided on this RS issue. Thanks.Mrm7171 (talk) 06:45, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

Two sources indicate the Mayo earned a BA in philosophy and psychology at Adelaide. One source is Cullen, David O'Donald. A new way of statecraft: The career of Elton Mayo and the development of the social sciences in America, 1920-1940. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses; 1992; ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Full Text. The other source is Richard C. S. Trahair, Elton Mayo: The humanist temper. Transaction Publishers, US. 2005. The Trahir book indicates that Mayo was awarded an MA about 16 years after he was awarded the BA. His mentor at Adelaide did the paperwork to award the MA in view of research Mayo conducted in a Philadelphia textile plant, and after Mayo obtained a job at the Harvard Business School. Cullen noted that when people who did not know Mayo personally called him Doctor Mayo, Mayo expediently did not correct them. At HBS Mayo was a professor of industrial research, not psychology.
I write this note to take nothing away from Mayo. His research was influential. I write this note in the interest of accuracy in our encyclopedia. Just because the Britannica is wrong, does mean Wikipedia has to be wrong. I also note the Britannica hedges by calling Mayo "a leader in industrial sociology" although he was not a sociologist.
I am reminded of the old article in Nature (Giles, J. (2005). Internet encyclopedias go head to head. Nature, 438, 900-901.) that indicates that the accuracy of Wikipedia compares well with that of Britannica. I think we can do better than Britannica. And when Britannica is wrong, we don't have to repeat its errors. Iss246 (talk) 15:58, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

Above are 7 reliable sources stating Mayo was a psychologist. There are many more reliable sources which state the same thing. Have you got any reliable source(s) please iss246, actually stating that Mayo was NOT a psychologist. I am trying to assume good faith here.Mrm7171 (talk) 23:39, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

As far as i remember, we mentioned Elton Mayo as a "psychologist" in industrial and organizational psychology lecture at university. But i am going to check the notes. Maybe it helps. Lamedumal (talk) 00:09, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

Thank you Lamedumal. I also thought it was pretty standard knowledge in psychology training.Mrm7171 (talk) 02:46, 18 April 2014 (UTC)[edit]

I've been seeing efforts by various IPs and a seemingly connected user to add references or external links to (e.g. [43] [44] [45] search). Is this considered acceptable for references/external links? If not, can someone do the needful? Thank you, –xenotalk 15:06, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

  • Ditto [46]xenotalk 18:16, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Nothing on their site about editorial staff, and the handful of stories are all sourced to other news agencies with the author stripped out. It looks like a news aggregation site. This is not something we should be using in Wikipedia for anything, including an external link. If it's truly multiple IP/accounts, probably a candidate for the blacklist. Ravensfire (talk) 18:22, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
  • is a self-described social network. I don't think it's reliable and fails WP:ELNO#10. Ravensfire (talk) 18:25, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

Armenian Mitanni[edit]

Source :Mitannian (Armenian) origin

Article : Aleppo

Content : Parshatatar, king of the Hurrian Armenian kingdom of Mitanni

Case : this claim and source was discussed in the Talk:Mitanni#Regarding Petrie source in Historical Context, it was refused and the Mitanni page doesn't mention mitanni as an Armenian country, is that source reliable and enough to support the claim that Mitanni is an Armenian state , does the source mention this as a fact and does it mention specifically that mitanni is Armenian?? and if it does, is it consistence with academic consensus about mitanni ?? Thanks --Attar-Aram syria (talk) 15:53, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

(edit conflict)The issue as I see it is that Aleppo had a sentence that started "Parshatatar, king of the Hurrian Armenian kingdom of Mitanni," and was sourced to a book by Leonard William King which IMHO is not a reliable source for this claim that Mitanni was an Armenian kingdom. There has been a problem with an IP hopper recently over this so I suggested RNS not as a solution to an IP hopper but just as a check. This is a contentious area (I mean articles relating to Armenia) and we would need very good sources starting with a similar statement at Mitanni saying it was an Armenian kingdom. Note also that Parshatatar doesn't claim it was Armenian. Dougweller (talk) 16:15, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

Idolator (2)[edit]

I opened a discussion recently regarding the reliability of this website; no consensus was reached, actually. This website I'm mentioning is called Idolator (can be found here) and is published by Spin Media (to which I have mixed considerations, as they publish some decidedly reputable works and sites, such as Spin, AbsolutePunk and PopMatters however they are also the publishers of Under the Gun Review and other Kardashian websites which are considered unreliable). Relatively to the writers—95% of the articles used in my article Trouble (Natalia Kills album) are written by their associate editor Sam Lansky which also works for Time and MTV while he has also written for New York magazine and The Atlantic. Two of the sources used in my article are from that website as well but written by Mike Wass (who I believe only works at Idolator however I have no problem with his writing style). Idolator is used in a lot of GAs however people tend to remove those sources when trying to make them FAs.

Well, the problem with my article is that it addresses an album which was not recognized by the general music press (I'm talking about websites like MTV, Rolling Stone, etc.); it also had a weak commercial performance. Basically, the only reputable sources that address the album are (aside from Idolator) AllMusic (review), Digital Spy (vaguely, just an interview with Natalia Kills), Billboard (vague coverage as well) and The New Zealand Herald (review as well). In January, I promoted the article to GA-class and my goal is to have it go FA-class, however I would not be able to further promote its class without the Idolator sources as they would remove a lot of valuable information from the article. Thank you for reading and please comment. prism 14:26, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

Tributary Relations in East Asia[edit]

There are a few historical articles about dynasties in East Asia titled as "tributary states." In addition to being mentioned largely in the article, is it necessary and accurate to mention that on the description bars? Or is this misleading? Camouflaging the states as political reliant/tributary states. Academics and historical literatures, however, have described these states politically independent and the tributary relations as a form of diplomacy.

What do you guys think?