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".
While we attempt to offer a second opinion, and the consensus of several editors can generally be relied upon, answers are not official policy.
Please focus your attention on the reliability of a source. This is not the place to discuss other issues, such as editor conduct. Please see dispute resolution for issues other than reliability.
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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]

Unreliable source list[edit]

I am looking for a list of Wikipedia-recognized unreliable sources. I've seen the big 4, including cautions on YouTube, etc.. I've also seen the blacklist for spam. A while ago, I saw a list of unreliable sources. I though it was on Wikipedia, and the Help desk pointed me to RationalWiki. I have not found this list again. Question 1: Is there such a list on Wikipedia. I remember Mercola being on it. Question 2: If such a list does not exist, what about starting one, like the spam blacklist?

ThanksAlrich44 (talk) 19:22, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

Not a very sensible idea, in my opinion. Any such list could never be complete, and people might get the idea that sources not on it were reliable by default. And for much the same reasons, a list of 'reliable' sources isn't viable either. Instead, where there are questions over reliability, we expect contributors to assess the reliability of a source for a particular statement according to the criteria laid out in WP:RS, and where there is doubt, raise it at this noticeboard. AndyTheGrump (talk) 19:32, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
It would just be an invitation to pointless debate. Also, sources are reliable/unreliable for the content they are supposed to support. Mercola for example is reliable for what its authors say, but clearly does not meet WP:MEDRS guidelines, but neither do many otherwise reliable sources. TFD (talk) 23:35, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
No, there is no such list and it would be virtually impossible to create such a list since reliability heavily depends on context. A source may be reliable in one context but not in another. For example Cosmopolitan magazine might be a great source for women's fashion but a terrible source for quantum physics. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 19:11, 9 August 2014 (UTC)
I will note, however, that we have some general guidance on a very few very popular sites at WP:ELPEREN. --j⚛e deckertalk 23:13, 9 August 2014 (UTC)
Yes, but WP:RS is different from WP:EL. We have a separate noticeboard for WP:ELN issues. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 02:12, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
Yes, RS are different than EL, but you will note that ELPEREN, if you read it, provides guidance on both usages. This is spectacularly helpful at AfC, where people are struggling with the simplest principles of reliable sourcing, and I think we could go a bit farther in this direction to good effect. --j⚛e deckertalk 17:09, 10 August 2014 (UTC)

I had the same question, but how about we frame it differently: Can we make an FAQ page that addresses commonly asked questions about sources? Thinking of HuffPo and similar pages here. The goal would not be to create a complete list, just one for commonly asked questions. WP:ELPEREN could be a model. EvergreenFir (talk) Please {{re}} 00:21, 11 August 2014 (UTC)

I would very much support the idea expressed by User:EvergreenFir above. N2e (talk) 03:26, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
BTW, there is a related discussion going on right now over here, at Wikipedia_talk:Identifying_reliable_sources#Is_there_a_list_of_unreliable_sources.3F. It includes one example, with links, of a source I did not previously know was unreliable, and would therefore be quite helpful if such a list existed. Cheers. N2e (talk) 03:31, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
A while back, I did try to create a FAQ for RSN[1] but there didn't seem to be much enthusiasm for it so I abandoned the effort. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 03:35, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
@A Quest For Knowledge: It's been 3.5 years so maybe there's new support for it? I'd love to see one to be honest. I understand that adding an entry to the FAQ might take some tedious discussion, but it seems doable. EvergreenFir (talk) Please {{re}} 03:43, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
@A Quest For Knowledge:, and agreeing with User talk:EvergreenFir: As I said in a discussion over at Wikipedia_talk:Identifying_reliable_sources#Is_there_a_list_of_unreliable_sources.3F, I certainly think a repository of consensus(es) reached on some of these sources would be VERY helpful in avoiding the use of such websites for citing material in the encyclopedia. If it has been 3.5 years, then certainly another discussion and attempt to reach consensus should be attempted. N2e (talk) 18:00, 12 August 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── If anyone decides to pursue and community discussion, please invite those of us who commented on this Talk page item. Thanks. N2e (talk) 19:37, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

Ethnic cleansing[edit]

See This edit to the Ethnic cleansing article and talk:Ethnic cleansing#Jews from Arab countries.

Are the following sources reliable:

From the revert edit:
  1. Jews expelled from Arab countries accuse Arab regimes of ethnic cleansing. Jerusalem Post, Jun. 25, 2003, JENNY HAZAN AND GREER FAY CASHMAN
  2. The Forgotten Narrative: Jewish Refugees from Arab Countries
  3. Jerusalem Post - National News. (2013-06-25). Retrieved on 2013-07-18.
  4. Ran HaCohen, "Ethnic Cleansing: Some Common Reactions"
  5. The Forgotten Narrative
  6. "Ethnic Cleansing: Some Common Reactions"
    Additional sources brought to the talk page:
  7. This article from The Middle East Quarterly

The two editor to the dispute can explain their disagreement over these sources better than I, but I will quote them which will give the gist of their positions:

...However, we are lucky enough to have [2] and [3], which explain clearly the political PR campaign on this topic launched by JJAC in 2002, and mention both Irwin Cotler's statements and Ros-Lehtinen's congress bills specifically in this context. Fischbach describes the campaign as "a tactic to help the Israeli government deflect Palestinian refugee claims in any final Israeli-Palestinian peace deal."
User:TheTimesAreAChanging, please confirm that in this context, whether you still believe any of the sources supporting the text above are WP:RS, and if so, specifically which ones and why.
Oncenawhile (talk) 22:13, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
My default position is usually to assume that any sources are better than no sources. While the label of ethnic cleansing is inherently politicized, ... its worth noting that their prime targets were those Jews believed to be in "immediate danger".TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 09:04, 9 August 2014 (UTC)

-- PBS (talk) 10:13, 9 August 2014 (UTC)

You listed 7 sources. Is there any one in particular you would like us to examine? (We're all just volunteers here with limited time.) A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 19:13, 9 August 2014 (UTC)
I believe there are three sources which refer to ethnic cleansing, which is the core issue at hand:
PBS quoted my position in the yellow box above - i.e. per Fischbach and other scholars, that (B) and (C) above are part of a tactical political PR campaign and have no basis in scholarly history. Surely if this really was "ethnic cleansing", such a claim would have been made in one of these these 50 scholarly works. Oncenawhile (talk) 21:17, 9 August 2014 (UTC)
That a few sources have referred to this as ethnic cleansing does not justify inclusion. We would need to show that books or articles on ethnic cleansing typically include it. Incidentally the article incorrectly defines ethnic cleansing as "removal of ethnic or religious groups." In fact it is only the removal of ethnic groups, hence the name "ethnic cleansing." TFD (talk) 03:34, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
TFD, I think you are being too restrictive in your understanding of the phrase "ethnic cleansing". See the definition section of the article (my emphasis):
The Final Report of the Commission of Experts established pursuant to Security Council Resolution 780 defined ethnic cleansing as "a purposeful policy designed by one ethnic or religious group to remove by violent and terror-inspiring means the civilian population of another ethnic or religious group from certain geographic areas."
They did this because the definitions of groups that can be subject to genocide is defined in the Genocide Convention "intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group", and were addressing themselves to the events in Bosnia were it is not necessary to decide if the Bosnian Serbs were motivated by religious hatred or ethnical hatred of Bosnian Muslims/Bosniaks, as the target group using either definition were a protected group under the meaning of the Genocide Convention. The term "ethnic cleansing" is a borrowed term in English and its meaning as per be UN and the ECHR has been expanded to mean the forcible removal of any protected group under the genocide convention. But all this is beside the point Wikipedia editors do not have to define what "ethnic cleansing" means to assess its usage in reliable sources that describe a series of evens as "ethnic cleansing". --PBS (talk) 12:32, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
Few sources use that definition. Cathie Carmichael for example in "Defining and Interpreting ethnic cleansing in Ethnic Cleansing in the Balkans: Nationalism and the Destruction of Tradition uses the a definition from the commission in 1993, "the planned deliberate removal from a specific territory, persons of a particular ethnic group, by force or intimidation, in order to render that area ethnically homogeneous."[4] In The Dark Side of Nation-States: Ethnic Cleansing in Modern Europe, Philipp Ther, referencing Carmichael's book, says, "In keeping with the United Nations (UN) and the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Hague, ethnic cleansing is defined here as the systematically organized, enforced removal, by violent means and usually permanently of a group defined by ethnicity or nationality."[5]
Of course when the term was coined, the victims of ethnic cleansing were both an ethnic and religious minority. But I do not see any literature where the term is used to refer to solely religious grounds, such as the persecution of Christians in ancient Rome, Dissenters in England, protestants in France, and heretics in Spain, Geneva, or colonial Massachusetts.
TFD (talk) 19:07, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
See Cromwellian "Ethnic cleansing" Catholic, "Bartholomew's Day Massacre" "ethnic cleansing" and "Edward I" Jews "Ethnic cleansing". Wikipedia editors do not have to define what "ethnic cleansing" means to assess its usage in reliable sources that describe a series of evens as "ethnic cleansing". -- PBS (talk) 07:26, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
What am I supposed to make of the Google search for ""Bartholomew's Day Massacre" "ethnic cleansing""? Be Good: How to Navigate the Ethics of Everything says, "European history is a chronicle of faith-based slaughter, from the Crusades through the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre to the ethnic cleansing of Bosnia."[6] Is your argument that because the same source can talk about the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre and ethnic cleansing in Bosnia that the massacre was ethnic cleansing? I can find books that talk about both Joe McCarthy and Communism - that does not prove that Joe McCarthy was a Communist. TFD (talk) 06:57, 12 August 2014 (UTC)
Of course a Google search just matches phrases and as such some/most/all of the returns may not support a hypothesis. However to cherry pick the returns to support a hypothesis ("But I do not see any literature where the term is used to refer to solely religious grounds, such as ... protestants in France") while ignoring others that refute it is I think unhelpful. You chose the second book returned in the list, yet the first the third and the fourth, fifth, sixth, all demonstrate different authors using ethic cleansing to describe religious persecutions (the remainder are not supportive for one reason or another: seventh n/a -- novel; eight uses separate terms; nine an index page; ten grouped together in a meaning for atrocity). See also talk:Ethnic cleansing#Definitions. Wikipedia editors do not have to define what "ethnic cleansing" means to assess its usage in reliable sources that describe a series of evens as "ethnic cleansing".-- PBS (talk) 09:27, 12 August 2014 (UTC)
You will find few sources that refer to the St, Bartholomew's Day massacre as ethnic cleansing. Your Google book search for ""Bartholomew's Day Massacre" "ethnic cleansing"" returns 131 hits,[7] not all of which describe the massacre as ethnic cleansing. But search "Bartholomew's Day Massacre" without "ethnic cleansing" and you get 276,000 hits.[8] Cromwell of course ethnically cleansed the Irish who were and are a distinct ethnic group. As I pointed out and sources support, few sources use the term ethnic cleansing to describe religious persecution. TFD (talk) 21:37, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
Like Bosnia it is difficult to distinguish Catholic and native Irish in the 1650 clearances, particularity as it was primarily a land confiscation from landlords and what was done the the tenants on the land varied, but the page returned by the search Cromwellian "Ethnic cleansing" Catholic (I included the term Catholic to emphasise that point) clearly show that the authors are using the term ethnic cleansing to refer to Catholics in Ireland. Take for example page 51 of the first book returned by the search which comments that "The entire tone of the document suggests that [Cromwell] would eliminate Catholicism from Ireland by any means possible". -- PBS (talk) 11:45, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
I see that you have changed your position from "But I do not see any literature" to "will find few sources"! Your search that retuned an estimated "276,000 books" includes many books published before "Ethnic cleansing" entered the English lexicon. If one searches from 1994 the earliest the term would have been used in a book the number is about 500 and by the last page of less than 10 returned includes titles like "Children of the Vampire" by Jeanne Kalogridis "The story begun in the acclaimed first novel in the trilogy...". Also I provided above a link to talk:Ethnic cleansing#Definitions which includes Shaw, Martin (2013). What is Genocide. John Wiley & Sons. p. 50. ISBN 9780745674667. (Shaw is an academic who has published a lot about genocide), that explicitly support the broader definition of ethnic cleansing in academic usage, by citing various definitions and making the claim. -- PBS (talk) 11:45, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

Is this UN document a reliable source to say the UN Security Council designated the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant as a terrorist organisation?[edit]

The statement is " The group has been officially designated as a foreign terrorist organization by the United Nations Security Council" and is sourced to [9] which doesn't mention the word terrorist. The relevant sanctions list is at [10]. Dougweller (talk) 12:31, 14 August 2014 (UTC)

I would say no. The document says that ISIL is associated with Al-Qaida. Unless there's some other U.N. document that says "when we say 'associated with Al-Qaida,' we mean 'terrorist,'" then this document does not support the statement that the U.N. has classified ISIL as a terrorist organization. Darkfrog24 (talk) 13:44, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
Agree with Darkfrog24. Kingsindian (talk) 15:23, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
It is a well known fact at the UN, that the Islamic State (and Al Qaeda before it) is regularly referred to as a terrorist organization in U.N. communiqués. One of many reliable and verifiable sources, directly from the UN website:
7 August 2014 – As Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorists continue to overrun areas of northern Iraq...
“The Secretary-General is deeply appalled at today's reports of attacks by the terrorist group Islamic State (IS) in Kirkuk,...
Worldedixor (talk) 16:49, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
I would consider the news story just posted by Worldedixor a sufficient source for a statement to the effect of, "According to the U.N., the Islamic State is a terrorist organization" or "The Islamic State is referred to as a terrorist organization by the U.N." The current wording, "officially designated," might be a little too strong, but that's easily fixed. Darkfrog24 (talk) 18:27, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
That's the problem. There is no evidence that it was "officially designated as a foreign terrorist organization by the United Nations Security Council" and the link certainly doesn't use the word terrorist. That claim should never have been made without an official source stating specifically that. We can say that the Secretary Geeneral has referrred to it as a terrorist organisation, I'm happy with that. Dougweller (talk) 21:16, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
AFAIK the UN does not maintain lists of terrorist groups and has never defined terrorism.[11] While the Secretary-General called ISIL terrorists, his description is not binding on member states. I think in order to add it to an article we need to show that his comments are significant, that a third party reliable source has commented on them. TFD (talk) 22:57, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
  • No - there's no "official designation". Need something to support the statement. Something resolved by the General Assembly and approved by the Security Council sort of thing. That's the implication, so we really need something more than a few comments by an official, no mater how highly placed. --Pete (talk) 23:30, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
It may not be good enough to back up a claim about the Security Council, but it can be attributed to the Secretary-General instead. That's perfectly legitimate content here, and certainly notable, although notability is not a requirement for content. -- Brangifer (talk) 00:41, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
Notability is about what articles should be created. But neutrality governs what content should be in articles and if something has not been mentioned in reliable sources then it lacks significance. In this case, media coverage determines what is significant and should be included. TFD (talk) 01:55, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
The idea that we'd have to wait for a fourth party to say, "And the U.N. Secretary General referred to this organization a terrorist group" seems excessive. The U.N. referred to this group as a terrorist organization in their own media outlet. That's sufficiently significant for inclusion on Wikipedia. If it were the Greenville Community Circle, then sure, wait for NYT or Guardian to deem it worthy of a mention, but this is the U.N. Darkfrog24 (talk) 16:18, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
  • If you want to solve the problem, directly quote and overtly attribute. Say "According to XXXXX, they stated "SO and so is blah blah blah" Never put opinion in Wikipedia's voice, put it in the voice of the person whose opinion it is, and when there is any fear of misattrubution or misrepresentation, there is no shame in directly quoting the source and naming the speaker next to the quote. --Jayron32 01:38, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
I wouldn't go so far as to call "ISIL is a terrorist group" an opinion. It's better described as a conclusion. But yes, say, "According to the U.N., ISIL is a terrorist organization" or "The U.N. has described ISIL as a terrorist organization in official documents." Darkfrog24 (talk) 03:25, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
No, that's not what I am saying. Don't paraphrase. Quote, and include enough of the quote to give it full context. And don't vaguely cite the organization. Say what person or body within the organization said it, what the name of the report was, etc, etc. give readers all the information and let them come to their own conclusions. Again, don't paraphrase and vaguely cite. Quote, and quote extensively enough to avoid misunderstanding, and comprehensively attribute. --Jayron32 04:20, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
I don't see "According to the U.N., ISIL is a terrorist organization" or "The U.N. has described ISIL as a terrorist organization in official documents" as all that vague. I think we've got the same principle in play, though: This article doesn't support the exact phrasing used in the document; it must be changed or removed. Darkfrog24 (talk) 16:15, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
Then use the exact phrasing, with quote marks, and directly cite the document by name. Don't interpret, report. Don't tell us what the UN described, and don't use word "official documents". Instead, provide the exact words used by the document, name that document, and put quote marks around it. It's not that hard to do, and when you do that, you avoid all accusations of misrepresentation of sources. --Jayron32 21:16, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
That's excessive. If we did that, then the whole encyclopedia would be quotes. What seems to be going on in this case, however, is that someone wants to keep "United Nations" in a chart titled "Designation as a terrorist organization." I'd say that these sources do not directly support that. I wouldn't be surprised if it were true, but the sources offered here do not support it. Darkfrog24 (talk) 19:21, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
I think User:Jayron32 is right. We obviously don't imply that "the whole encyclopedia would be quotes". Only in controversial situations, or where precision is important, do we need to provide exact quotes, and there is nothing at Wikipedia which forbids doing so. We do encourage paraphrasing, but proper writing also includes quotes when they are preferable. Fair use allows that, and when the subject is controversial or sensitive, it prevents lots of misunderstandings and edit warring to use good attribution and quotes. -- Brangifer (talk) 23:08, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
BullRangifer is correct. No, we don't quote everything. We quote when something may be controversial, contentious, or has the potential to be misunderstood or misrepresented. This has all of that. So we quote for this one thing. What we do on any other article, or any other bit of information, will be assessed on a case by case basis, as this one is. For this one, we quote. --Jayron32 00:32, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────This is the type of problem that arises when we decide what should be in articles then look for sources, instead of just reflecting what secondary sources say. We start by wanting to say that the UN considers ISIL a terrorist organization, but they do not categorize terrorists. So we turn to a quote that the media despite giving extensive coverage to the subject has failed to report. TFD (talk) 01:14, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

Yes. However, I see that this 15 August UN News Centre item says, "Expressing its 'gravest concern' that parts of Iraq and Syria are now under the control of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and Al-Nusra Front, the United Nations Security Council today placed six individuals affiliated with the terrorist groups on its Al-Qaida sanctions list and [...]." and "In its resolution, the Security Council deplored and condemned in the strongest terms 'the terrorist acts of ISIL [...].'" As I read that, an official UNSC news release referred to ISIL as a terrorist group, and explicitly said that ISIL was committing terrorist acts. However, though the news release says "In its resolution, ..." I don't see a matching UNSC resolution here. Perhaps it will show up there next week. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 03:22, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
It is SC/11520, adopted 15 August 2014,[12] after this discussion thread began. I recommend taking a story about it in mainstream media and summarizing what it says. TFD (talk) 04:03, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

Dee Monney featuring sarkodie and j-town finishline directed by David A. Nicol-sry[edit]


Are you citing the video or the text?

Ghanaian songwriter and rapper Dee Moneey has released the official music video for his track titled “Finish Line”. The song features awarding rapper Sarkodie and musician J Town. David Nicol-Sey directed the video.

What text in what article is this being used to support? Darkfrog24 (talk) 19:15, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
Article is David nicol-sey Bgwhite (talk) 07:34, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

Is MSN Entertainment a reliable source[edit]

is this as a reliable source? OSLJA (talk) 12:06, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

Per this page's header, you should specify the content in question. The article is an interview that appears to have originally been published by The Canadian Press, so it appears to be reliable. Location (talk) 16:25, 17 August 2014 (UTC)


Wreckiste includes a rather large database of wreck sites. Appears to be a largely self-published site, I would like to use some information from this article but not sure this site would be considered reliable for a cite. From what I can see, there doesn't appear to be any fact checking, though there is an extensive list of sources used. WCMemail 12:17, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

You haven't listed what claim it is intended to support. But if it's material found in a usable source, use that. If it's not also in another source, it's probably a claim involving Original Research.__ E L A Q U E A T E 13:09, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
You might want to consult WP:USERG for a site like this. There are specific circumstances under which a self-published site is acceptable, but as Elaqueate says, it does matter what content it's supporting—even more if you try to apply the USERG exception.
Wrecksite also posts a page full of its references, many of which meet Wikipedia's reliability criteria [14]. Would it be possible to source the content in question from one of those? Darkfrog24 (talk) 20:31, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

Auke Visser's International Super Tankers Suggestion[edit]

[15] Clearly a WP:SPS but wondered if the expert exception would apply here. Appears to be a source of information I can't find anywhere else. WCMemail 12:18, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

You haven't listed what claim it is intended to support. This is interesting, apparently amateur ship-spotting, but the expert exception probably requires some basic threshold evidence that an expert is involved. The web page doesn't seem to have a bio and the figures have no citations for whether they're estimated, referenced, or otherwise validated.__ E L A Q U E A T E 13:04, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

Pusoy Dos[edit]

I would like other editors to provide their opinion regarding the two websites that make up the sources for the article Pusoy Dos they are from the websites and (which is a dead link). Both appear to fall under WP:SPS. Before leaving the article un-referenced I would like to get others opinions on these potential sources.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 16:54, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

I'd leave them. Pagat has been around since forever. This sort of article doesn't need a high level of sourcing, and the links cause no harm.Two kinds of pork (talk) 18:05, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

Is Organiser by default unreliable to state about this article "Akhil Bharatiya Itihas Sankalan Yojana"?[edit]

  1. Source: Organiser
  2. Article: Akhil Bharatiya Itihas Sankalan Yojana
  3. Content: Akhil Bharatiya Itihas Sankalan Yojana has the objective of rewriting the history of India in the light of modern scientific research and new archaeological findings to present an integrated and comprehensive history highlighting the social, cultural, religious, spiritual, economic, political aspects of life.

One other editor has a belief that anything in this magazine by any author about this institute is SPS.

My opinion: To be honest, even if it is considered SPS (which it is not, it is a separate publication from the organization in question), the content states their self-defined objective which matches with the organizations objective as stated on their website. --AmritasyaPutra 14:38, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

Both the organization (Akhil Bharatiya Itihas Sankalan Yojana) and the source (Organiser) are affiliated to RSS. On the other hand, since it is talking about itself and describing its vision statement, it is not unreliable in this context. On the third hand, it is better to directly quote the organization (ABISY) about its vision statement, if possible. There might be other concerns like WP:UNDUE and so on, which are separate concerns. Kingsindian (talk) 15:41, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
The Organiser just looks like a newspaper. Is there a reason why it wouldn't be reliable? Darkfrog24 (talk) 17:50, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Darkfrog24, that is my opinion too. --AmritasyaPutra 01:58, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
The Organiser is the official organ of the RSS, an Indian Hindu Nationalist organization. It can be reliable in certain contexts. The perception of unreliability here comes from the fact that the organization (ABISY) is said to be an organization rewriting or reinterpreting history in terms of an ideology (which it shares with the RSS). However, as I mentioned above, for it's own vision statement, such a source can probably be reliable. Kingsindian (talk) 01:17, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Kingsindian, thanks. It is in line with the vision statement of ABISY as given on their website. Another newspaper article in The Hindu also gives the same vision statement. --AmritasyaPutra 01:58, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Did you really start a discussion here without notifying the involved editors? And mis-state the dispute as well, into the bargain? Unbelievable. For anybody who is still looking at this; the dispute is not about whether the Organizer is reliable enough to present the RSS view; it is whether is it reliable enough to be presented in Wikipedia's voice, without attribution. In other words, everybody involved agrees that it can be used to say "the organisation says its objective is...." while Amritasya is trying to claim that it is good enough to say "The objective of the organisation...." without mentioning who says that. In any case, there is now also a discussion at the India Noticeboard, started by myself, because I was unaware of this posting. Vanamonde93 (talk) 11:10, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Vanamonde93, calm down. I did not use this at all anywhere. And we all, including me, agreed on the article talk page discussion without this. Why are you trying to create a deliberate outrage here now? Do you forget you said, and I quote you, This is a VHP publication. WP:BURDEN says you must take it to RSN. You were wrong that it is VHP publication. You are making false claims when you say the question I posted here is, and I quote you again, whether the Organizer is reliable enough to present the RSS view, what I asked is available here and is quite specific and definitely not this. Thanks. --AmritasyaPutra 11:46, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
I agree with Vanamonde93 that the quote should be rephrased so as to say "ABISY states that its objective is..." rather than presenting in Wikipedia's voice. This is separate from using Organiser as source or not. Obviously a vision statement can be as grandiose as one chooses. It should be attributed to the organization, not stated in Wikipedia's voice as fact. Kingsindian (talk) 13:45, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

Creation Museum[edit]

Contains a Vanity Fair ref by A. A. Gill

Are the following sources reliable for affixing the term "notorious" critic to that person's name (using quotationmark's to indicate that the term is found in the sources and is not in Wikipedia's voice) in the Creation Museum article where he is currently identified only as a "critic"?

In February 2010, Vanity Fair magazine sent British critic A. A. Gill and actor Paul Bettany (who portrayed Charles Darwin in the film Creation) to visit the museum on the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species. Gill wrote of his visit: "now seems like a good time to see what the world looks like without the benefit of science. Or spectacles... Adam comes on looking like the Hispanic bass player for a Janis Joplin backup band, with a lot of hair and a tan... And he has what looks suspiciously like a belly button."

Sources being questioned here as being reliable sources for adding "notorious" in quotes:

  1. [16] Recently, A.A. Gill (notorious baboon slayer and the restaurant critic at the Times of London) visited three New York eateries (Momofuku Bakery and Milk Bar, the Breslin, and DBGB) and came away with the impression that right now in New York, there is an infantile-regression recession.
  1. [17] Britain’s most notorious restaurant critic is one of the stars of the Auckland Writers & Readers Festival, which runs May 11-15. Nervous fellow journalists, acutely aware they are not in his league because almost no one is, are despatched to watch him toy with a croissant and catch the astringent aphorisms as they fall from lips that, in his writing, seem set in a perpetual cruel and wintry smile.
  1. [18] However, bleeding heart is not his natural vein - he is better at blistering rage. This book includes his two most notorious rants - "Hunforgiven", which led to complaints from the German ambassador, and "Mad in Japan", which takes a bovver boy's boot to Japanese culture.
  1. [19] AA Gill may be the most notorious restaurant critic in the Western hemisphere. Among the many vicious critics who fling lacerating insults at London's eateries, Gill of the Sunday Times cuts deepest. In the States, he is perhaps best known as the critic who, in Vanity Fair, compared star chef Jean-George Vongeritchen's dumplings at his New York restaurant 66 to "fishy, liver-filled condoms."
  1. [20] Gill is notorious for his acerbic, provocative style, on one occasion in 1997 damaging his career by describing the Welsh as: "loquacious dissemblers, immoral liars, stunted, bigoted, dark, ugly, pugnacious little trolls,"
  1. [21] achieved a feat few people thought possible by landing a rave review from the notorious Sunday Times scribe. Gill once infamously claimed ``you can easily travel from Cardiff to Anglesey without ever stimulating a taste bud
  1. [22] This volume is a best-of notorious British critic Gill’s restaurant reviews and general food writing
  1. [23] Vanity Fair magazine gives us the back of its white-gloved hand. For its October issue, VF unleashed notorious hitman A.A. Gill to deliver the smackdown. Gill dutifully throws every vile adjective he can think of into a bitter stew of rhetorical nastiness. Hoover Dam gets the only ounce of praise Gill can muster.
  1. [24] Further along in his notorious reportage, Mr. Gill claims that Albania is so backward, that it can be likened to "Europe in the 16th century" (!).
  1. [25] Gill is also the notorious critic for the Sunday Times, and a writer for Vanity Fair.
  1. [26] often the case when notorious critic AA Gill darkens the door of many establishments. Indeed...

Personally I think it is a trifle odd to use Gill as a mainstream source for "media criticism" considering his notoriety, but some editors seem to think he is a reliable source for how the media view the controversial museum. Thanks for any fresh opinions on whether these sources are sufficient to add the word "notorious" in quotes, and sourced to these sources. Collect (talk) 21:54, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

Why are you starting a thread here when this is already being discussed at the neutral point of view noticeboard? [27] AndyTheGrump (talk) 21:57, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
I concur with the Grump. If the issue is a single word and that word is descriptive rather than factual, then this might not be an RS issue. However, I'd agree that the sources offered here are sufficient for a full sentence, "A.A. Gil is often referred to as 'notorious' in the media." (I do not feel that just putting quotes around the word, as in "A.A. Gil, the 'notorious' this-and-that" makes it sufficiently clear that the "notorious" is the media's and not Wikipedia's.) Darkfrog24 (talk) 22:01, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
The idea was "notorious" (insert refs) critic would make it clear that the term was not in Wikipedia's voice. Collect (talk) 22:26, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Yes @Collect:, I understood that that was the proposed idea. I do not believe this idea is accurate. My take on the matter is that quotes alone are not sufficient to establish this. It would only make it look like a craven attempt to use a word without owning it. Far better to establish the word's true owner. Also, refs are very awkward when used mid-clause. EDIT: Okay, I think you're trying to say, "If we use the reference tags, they will establish that the word in quotes is from those sources." Yeah, I see where you're going with that, but a full sentence is better, both for content delivery and for writing style. Again, ref tags don't belong mid-clause. Darkfrog24 (talk) 03:31, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Has anyone used the word 'notorious' in relation to what Gill said regarding the Creation Museum? If not, I can't see the justification for Wikipedia using an out-of-context characterisation (a subjective judgement), regardless of how often it has been applied. AndyTheGrump (talk) 22:06, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
He is called "notorious" in literally hundreds of sources -- the Vanity Fair article does not call him "notorious" but I rather suspect that few magazines call their own writers "notorious" so that is a non-starter as a requirement. The NPOV discussion is a tad different in focus, though the real problem is that I suspect the article is not a fair representation of the mainstream media in the case at hand. With the multiple refs immediately following the adjective, I do not think anyone would have a problem then? Collect (talk) 22:26, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
I suggest raising this question at BLPN. We might get some interesting responses as to whether your desired edit meets the requirements of BLP. Which after all is absolute policy AFAICT. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 23:14, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Indeed it is -- though self-identification may be an issue. [28] Yesterday The Guardian will have said: AA Gill, critic and baboon-murdering bastard, 60. Collect (talk) 23:33, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Um, what? Gill suggests that the Guardian may describe him as a 'baboon-murdering bastard' and that makes it self-identification? A novel argument, but hardly a convincing one... AndyTheGrump (talk) 23:59, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
It appears to indicate that he considers himself widely criticized. That an editor may misapprise what I wrote is intriguing. Collect (talk) 12:12, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
  • The sources provided would be sufficient to mention in Gill's biography that he is "widely described as 'notorious'". But that's apparently not what Collect is after here. The question of whether Gill should be labeled "notorious" in the context of his writings about a creationist museum is outside the scope of this noticeboard. MastCell Talk 01:08, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for remarking snarkily. Cheers. Collect (talk) 12:12, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
My response wasn't meant to be snarky, and even upon re-reading it I am unsure why you interpreted it that way. You want to affix the adjective "notorious" to Gill's name in the context of his writings about a creationist museum. Even assuming that the sources supporting such an adjective are reliable, that's a matter of editorial judgement outside the scope of this board. MastCell Talk 23:28, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

For those who misapprise readily: I was the editor who had removed "outspoken" from the article earlier as not being sourced. I suggest that "notorious" is sourced, and that the replacement of "outspoken" with "notorious" properly cited is reasonable. Again -- I was the one who had removed "outspoken" in the past. Cheers -- now please avoid snark here. Collect (talk) 12:17, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

Those "sources" provided are wildly misleading and cherry-picked. For starters, they aren't ascribing "notoriety" to the same aspect of the person, or even to the person at all. (Notorious as "baboon slayer" ! ? ! Two essays are described as "notorious", not the person.) Some of these comments are from message boards, none of them seem to speak directly to the proposed material in the article. I'm sure I could find fifteen article about Sarah Palin where the word "notorious" was used in passing, but that's hardly an argument to affix it to every use of her name in any other context. This is a clear cut case of WP:LABEL and trying to call someone a version of "controversial" without neutrality.__ E L A Q U E A T E 12:39, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

Um -- the query was about using the word "notorious" as an adjective to "critic" and not about person "notoriety" as I trust the sources make clear. Nor did I ever aver that Gill is "notorious" as a person, nor do the sources support calling him "notorious" as a person. The article initially had "outspoken" which I did not find to be reliably sourced, so that cavil seems remarkably ill-firmed. Cheers. Collect (talk) 13:47, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Pointing to anonymous message board banter like this is seriously time-wasting nonsense. And you provide this crowd-sourced review site as a reliable source about a living person? You put these on a list of "reliable sources". Anonymous comments on a message board! You also include sources where he isn't even called notorious. You should know better and you've wasted other editor's time. And it all just seems like an effort at rationalizing an implied ad hominem attack; I can't see how a good or bad reputation as a restaurant critic has anything to do with anything related to the Creation Museum.__ E L A Q U E A T E 15:55, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Um-- the source you aver is "anonymous" is by "Frank Camel", identified as a pseudonymous "travel professional". The ilxor quotes are actually found on many sites. And calling him a "notorious critic" is not exactly a level one attack on him by any means. But heck -- if a restaurant and travel critic is the best source available on the topic of museums, I would be a tad amazed. It is a tad akin to having a farmer write about nuclear physics. Collect (talk) 19:34, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Pointing to anonymous message board banter from 2006 like this is seriously time-wasting nonsense. And, of course I aver that a completely unverifiable poster using a self-described pseudonym on a open crowd-sourced review site is anonymous. Find me a single other editor who agrees with you that these anonymous comment board messages equate to "reliable sources".__ E L A Q U E A T E 20:13, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
And are untraceable pseudonyms reliable indicators of real-life identity just for these specific sites? Or do you believe pseudonymous user names on things like Yelp or Youtube comments are adequate for us to consider someone non-anonymous?__ E L A Q U E A T E 20:36, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

Properly sourcing standards documents[edit]

This discussion is intended to be general in nature not specific to any one source, article, or individual content. Please place any response below the first comment and not between paragraphs to keep the subject for discussion from fragmenting and becoming incomprehensible to new arrivals. Thanks!

I've run into a big problem in how to properly source articles on standard documents (such as national standards, international standards, industry standards, etc). They fit in this strange no-mans land of wiki policy/guidelines. They're not quite manuals, not quite journals, not quite laws, not quite primary, but not quite secondary, etc. They're obviously of import and valuable information for an encyclopedia but at the same time difficult to "fit" into any sort of existing guidance. As a result of their unique qualities sourcing of information along existing wiki policy/guidelines is proving to be difficult. The problem I'm encounter is, what I'm calling, an Intersubjective verifiability paradox meaning concepts can be accurate, reproducible, verifiable, and considered true; simultaneously they are also inaccurate, unreproducible, unverifiable, and considered false. What I mean by that, in the context of standards and sourcing, is that any secondary source which Wikipedia would normally consider reliable will always be both verifiable and unverifiable.

Because such standards documents are standardizations of concepts and not iterations of all possibilities within their scope they function in much the same way as laws do. A law which simply states "Killing is illegal" would have the common understanding that it is against the law to kill someone. It would be verifiable, accurate, etc. At the same time as it remaining verifiable, it could also be verifiable that it is not illegal to kill if by accident or duress or if the thing you killed as for food (but if not if a human), etc. The more abstract the more can be verifiable and unverifiable depending on the perspective. In law there are lawyers/judges to argue/determine what is/is not meant by the words/spirit of the law. Then there are academics who study these rulings and often provide excellent secondary sources. In the case of standards they are often more ambiguous than laws (to be more inclusive in scope), there are no rulings or objective analyses, and the academics are often the ones creating the standards not studying them.

Without the reliable secondary sources the only ones that remain are applications of a standard. These are specific to perspective, context, applications within the standard and anything verifiable to that application may also be unverifiable to another application. Any academic/industry analyses not only suffer the same problems, they are even more unreliable as sources because they have a conflict of interest. They may be influencing the development/interpretation of the subject through their analysis despite not being the only valid one (e.g. of similar: politician stating a legal analysis may intentionally or unintentionally influence a case but it's not a reliable source on the law, even if they wrote it).

The closest guidance for this type of situation that I've read to balancing view points/weighting. How does one give weight to conflicting but equally verifiable applications of a standard to be able to summarize the standard itself? Example:

  • 1 - reliable sources 1-50 say: "Minor widget maker paints widgets red to comply with international standard of colours for widgets"
  • 2 - reliable sources 51-85 say "Major widget maker paints widgets green to comply with international standard of colours for widgets"
  • 3 - reliable sources 86-100 say: "Other Major widget maker paints widgets blue to comply with international standard of colours for widgets".

From a balance perspective, all other things being equal, you can't really balance those. If you take the perspective of volume of sources, #1 is the majority view, #2 is the minority view, and #3 is not worth writing about. If you take the perspective of significance of company, #2 is the majority, #3 is the minority, and #1 isn't worth including. You can't really balance them because they may, in addition to being verifiable, also be accurate. Anything you dismiss, for any reason, would have an original research type of effect (ie: changing the meaning through editorializing) - If you find a source that says large widgets should be green with yellow dots, it will still be in the minority and could even be considered to be "fringe" regardless of the accuracy or verifiability. (or it devolves into a "synthesized truth" vs "weighted falsehood" argument)

Assuming for the moment balancing can't be accomplished, with that scenario, summarizing based on those sources can't say anything more than "International standard of colours for widgets resulted in widgets being painted red, green, and blue." You can't say why, or if it's required or just recommended, or if other colours are in the standard, or if in fact green widgets #2 makes are supposed to have yellow dots because they're large widgets not small widgets. The only method you could then use is to begin iteration of possibilities which is absurd and will likely still fail to summarize anything properly.

Even under the exceptions made in the "primary sources" policy one can't summarize the vast majority of standards without "special knowledge" or synthesis. Taking W3C standard for HTML4.01 which is a collection of hundreds of html pages that, even if treated as a single entity, specifies definitions from RFCs & ISO standards, sets definitions outside the common understanding, etc. It would be likely too massive to do as a single article on wikipedia, but if forked would require synthesis because definitions would be listed separate from individual concepts. ISO standards are nicely divided by concept, provide references as needed, etc. perfect for creating encyclopedic content. Except that they have a "directives" document to indicate what is normative/informative/etc, how to interpret words, how structure influences interpretation, so on and so forth. That special knowledge and combining of documents results in OR. Verifiability through synthesis, example: "the standard can be used for colouring widgets in 16 colours and 4 patterns, exampled by 1/2/3 widget maker articles", is ultimately OR since only interpreting the standard explains how many colours/patterns there are, when they're used, etc. Documents which do state such things in explicit enough detail to represent the standard to a reasonable degree of accuracy are similarly not reliable under wiki guidance because they are merely repeating/parroting the source.

If secondary sources are out due to the "intersubjective verifiability paradox" and primary sources are out due to original research, I can think of no way to produce quality articles on these topics. Skimming through dozens of articles already on wikipedia, not a single one was even remotely cited properly. Given the relative importance, influence, and widespread adoption of such documents and their inconsistent quality on Wikipedia I bring this to the noticeboard for proper discussion. I have a view to pursue creation of new subject based policy or guideline like WP:RSMED that applies only to sourcing for normative documents/standards. I would prefer not pursue that, rather that discussion here results in a clear approach within existing guidelines.

Notes: I am aware that my opinion of the importance/non-existence of quality sources/etc are not substantiated and as such should be assumed to be incorrect. I base this opinion on observations and personal experience researching not omniscient powers ;)

Thanks in advance for your time/thought on this. Please place comments below. Cheers JMJimmy (talk) 10:07, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

We are allowed to cite primary sources (we just have to do so with care). An article about a specific standards document would be a case where it would be appropriate to mention the key provisions contained within that document (quoting or closely paraphrasing it)... and for such statements it would be appropriate to cite the document itself (a document is the most reliable source possible for a statement as to the contents of the document). We would then turn to secondary sources for analysis and discussion of how that standard is interpreted.
In a more generalized article (say the article on Widgets), it might be appropriate to quote and cite a specific standards document... and compare it to other specific standards documents. When doing so it is best to attribute (saying something like... "According to the International Widgets Standards, published by the International Widget Makers Assoc., widgets should be painted red <cite XYZ>. ) Then this can be compared to any contrasting documents. (saying: "However, according to Standards and Practices of Widgets, published by the Widget Manufacturers of North America, widgets should be painted green.") Again, a primary document can be mentioned and cited for a statement as to the specific contents of that doucment... however, once you shift to analysis or interpretation of the document, you need a secondary source.
Finally... it helps to look deeper into why the secondary sources disagree... and that is where looking at the primary documents can help. One reason for the disagreement in secondary sources might be the fact that there are actually competing standards... However, another might be that the standards have changed over time (perhaps widget standards said "red" from 1947 to 1962... changed in 1962 to "green"... and in 2013 changed again to "blue" (which might explain why there are so few secondary sources that say "blue"... there hasn't been time for the secondary sources to catch up with reality. Blueboar (talk) 11:47, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
I responded to the bulk of your comment below, I just wanted to address time specifically because it's very true that it takes a long time to catch up to reality. A scenario I've encountered was a standard that was in place for 22 years and stated what it applied without doubt. In 2 revisions the standard removed the explicit declaration and expanded the standard to be more inclusive. 10-14 years after those changes the overwhelming majority of secondary sources have not caught up with the changes. Those few that have are personal websites with no value as wiki sources despite their extremely high quality content. Even assuming I was wrong, there were direct conflicts that require no interpretation and made said bulk unreliable (or they were members of the issuing organization). JMJimmy (talk) 20:06, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Most of this would fall under WP:INDISCRIMINATE. I think standards and manuals and such are undeniably useful and important to the wider world, but we don't necessarily need that material repeated verbatim and wholesale in the encyclopaedia, sourced to the primary material alone. And the OP is correct that an editor summarizing multiple ISO standards with their own analysis and ad hoc personal comparisons of dissimilar standards would be OR. But secondary sources are not "out". Your paradox only comes from a misunderstanding of "verifiability". We don't demand that a secondary source verify or prove its claims are truth. It just has to be clearly verifiable that a better reliable source said it, and we report that. Verifying a claim is ultimately true is often impossible, verifying the source said that claim is commonly possible. As far as your "red, green, blue" scenario, if sources make different claims in the exact way you suggested, then an article should just mention all three claims and not summarise it as if only one happened. If there's disagreement among equally reliable sources or nuance, then the summary should reflect that disagreement and nuance. In fact, if you read your own description, you were able to summarize the views and positions of the various reliable sources and widget makers quite handily yourself within two paragraphs, in your own comment! That's what an article should do.__ E L A Q U E A T E 12:15, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
I was very careful to use verifiable and accuracy as not to bring issues of truth into the discussion. Verifiable I use mean that a source directly supports the statement being made (not states word for word but does not require interpretation). Accuracy I use to mean to be reasonably faithful to the spirit of the document and not obviously contrary to it, as not promote misleading/incomplete/bad information (Jimbo's "no information is better than bad information"). To that end the desire is to create quality encyclopedic content, not every minutia of every standard. The "disagreement and nuance" could be subject to dozens or even hundreds of accurate perspectives. This is EXACTLY the problem: "you were able to summarize the views and positions of the various reliable sources and widget makers quite handily yourself". I did not summarize it at all, without using the primary source and the OR required to read it, I have no source which tells me that there are an additional 13 colours or that there are patterns at all. Any attempt to claim the 64 different possibilities (16*4) would require 64 articles of that nature each describing a different colour/pattern combination, or one which directly supports the full claim (which would have to be academic or an industry specific publication which would be unreliable for the reasons mentioned in the OP). This brings in Blueboar's comments... looking at why the sources disagree is that they will always disagree if they at all different in their application of the standard (meaning compliant with, but not subject to all parts). A simple fictional example of this is
  • Part 1: General (IX75)
  • Part 2.1: Plasma Displays
  • Part 2.2: Monitors
  • Part 2.3: LCD Displays
If you have a reliable source stating "IX75 compliant LCD displays are commonly Class 2" and another stating "IX75 compliant displays are commonly Class 1" and another stating "IX75 compliant LCDs are Class 0". All of them are accurate to the IX75 standard, verifiable and no other secondary source exists relevant to this part of the standard. What can you summarize about the standard? At most: IX75 standard specifies a Class for LCDs, displays, and LCD displays. This is bad information (summary makes no sense). What the standard actually says in this scenario is:
  • Part 1: General (IX75) - All displays in this standard are class 1 and exempt from IX007 unless otherwise specified
  • Part 2.1: Plasma Displays - Commonly "Plasma TVs" that are not monitors (2.2) shall be a minimum of 23 inches
  • Part 2.2: Monitors - Plasma monitors and LCD monitors are less than 23 inches. LCD monitors shall be Class 0
  • Part 2.3: LCD Displays - Commonly "LCD TVs" that are not monitors (2.2) shall be Class 2 when IX007 applies
A quality summary might be: "IX75 is an International Display Consortium standard for the minimum quality of monitors and displays that use Plasma, LCD, or similar technologies. The quality requirements are based on the Class standard. All displays under 23 inches are considered to be monitors while larger displays are considered to be TVs. In general, the standard requires displays be Class 1 quality, though LCDs monitors are held to a higher standard. LCD TVs that contain 007 chips are only required to be Class 2 as a result of the higher power requirements" - This, imo, is a good summary without coming across as a manual or indiscriminate information. It would require 3 primary sources and synthesis (interpretation document to tell you part 1 applies to subsequent parts, the IX75 standard, and the IX007 standard for the claims about power). Getting any set of reliable sources that could allow you to make that kind of quality summary would be near impossible. You'd have to source a minimum of 11 different claims, none of which are in the 3 sources. This is a *simple* example on a common subject but a more typical example on typically more abstract concepts like "Information processing - 7-bit coded charters for information interchange" would be all but impossible to source. JMJimmy (talk) 20:06, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
You can't eliminate the use of secondary sources when you have that many primary sources at that level of technical detail. If you're at a level of detail where absolutely no secondary source exists that covers the material? At that point you are in the forest counting individual trees per WP:INDISCRIMINATE. If you have thirty-two automobile manuals that all give a separate answer for the width of a certain brand of tire, and no secondary reliable source has ever cared to take up the issue ever, then generally it's probably some version of WP:ISNOT, possibly but not limited to WP:NOTMANUAL. On a case-by-case basis you can find a balance based on WP:WEIGHT. We aren't trying to exactly replicate the accuracy or degree of precision of any particular group of primary sources; if you can't summarize a level of detail, you should only point to where the reader can find the originals in their original context, or (where available) to a source that is better at summarizing them.__ E L A Q U E A T E 22:48, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
And we've come full circle, hence the paradox. WP:IINFO is actually where I think standards get their best support from: "Similarly, articles on works of non-fiction, including documentaries, research books and papers, religious texts, and the like, should contain more than a recap or summary of the works' contents. Such articles should be expanded to have broader coverage." So not only should it be included, but it should be more detailed - without becoming a "how to" manual. I don't think WP:NOTAMANUAL applies simply because the articles are intended to be encyclopedic and they are not a "how to comply with standard XXXX" but do include general information on the contents. Regardless, consensus has already decided such documents are desired, the point of all this is what can be considered a reliable source?
  • Conflict of interest. With extensive relationships, 100,000+ membership, 163 countries, and millions of individuals/companies who have implemented or have a vested interest in the standards it would be very difficult to determine what is reliable for the ISO, let alone any other standards organization (as many are interconnected)
  • Long term reliability - Any revision can change in a document or any of the supporting documents can change the implication rendering all prior citations unreliable until they are updated. As mentioned before, a long term standard that once said one thing and now says another is largely not addressed in reliable sources 10-14 years later, even if its actively implemented.
  • Source errors - How can one tell Patent nonsense from a quality source without a reading of the primary material? Since quality sources often cite previous sources the long term reliability issue becomes doubly problematic. Current policy would favour the bulk of material already in existence. As such, it could take a decade or more before sufficient sources to go from "fringe theory" to worthy of inclusion let alone replacing the old standard. Many are updated every 4-6 years now so wiki would be serving info at least 1-3 versions out of date.
Is there any other way of sourcing that is unaffected by these issues? JMJimmy (talk) 00:19, 21 August 2014 (UTC)[edit]

1. Source. Russ Baker of WhoWhatWhy, specifically

2. Article. Umbrella Man (JFK assassination) (edit|talk|history|protect|delete|links|watch|logs|views)

3. Content. Some researchers have noted a number of inconsistencies with Witt's story, however, and do not believe him to be the true "Umbrella Man."

While I have not been involved in editing the above content, I have noticed that this passage has gone in and out of the article a few times this year. Most recent removal here; most recent addition here. I am wondering how this source may be used (e.g. for statement of opinion from self or statement of fact for what another "researcher" may believe), if at all. Thanks! Location (talk) 15:40, 19 August 2014 (UTC) is no way a reliable source for anything non-trivial (and even then ...). Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 17:33, 19 August 2014 (UTC) is not a reliable or objective source. We'd need a WP:FRIND source to report what a fringe source claims. - LuckyLouie (talk) 17:51, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
I'd consider this a self-published source run by an expert, former investigative journalist Russ Baker. Remove the words "some researchers" and attribute the content directly to him. (Also, you don't need to put "Umbrella Man" in quotes like that.) Darkfrog24 (talk) 18:52, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Self-published sources can't be used for claims about living people, even if they are thought to be experts.__ E L A Q U E A T E 19:07, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

Anonymous source[edit]

I have an anonymous source by CNN (see here) "with detailed knowledge of the investigation; what he has told the police". I want to include a summary in the Shooting of Michael Brown, something like this: (I haven't written it yet.)

According to a CNN source[1][2], Wilson rolled down his window to tell Brown to stop walking in the street. When Wilson tried to get out of his cruiser, Brown first tried to push the officer back into the car, then punched him in the face and grabbed for his gun before breaking free after the gun went off once. Wilson pursued Brown, ordering him to freeze. When he turned around, Brown began taunting Wilson, saying he would not arrest them, then ran at the officer at full speed. Wilson then began shooting. The final shot was to Brown's forehead.

[1] A source with detailed knowledge of the investigation told CNN the account is "accurate," in that it matches what Wilson has told investigators.
[2] "Cite News" template for [29] reference.

CNN's source verifies the content of a call to a radio station made by a friend to Wilson's girlfriend, a three- or four- level connection from Wilson. I don't know whether there are other news organizations that have tracked down a reliable source to this account. Also look at my posts to "Police officer's version of the encounter" on the Shooting of Michael Brown talk page. --RoyGoldsmith (talk) 23:13, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

For one thing, you can't have not-clearly-attributed sentences that flatly say "Brown did this" in Wikipedia's voice, if it's actually only "Unidentified phone caller says Wilson says that Brown did this." It's a little early to summarize history in the words of an untested account from an unknown caller. I'll also point out that the CNN report has that in a section called "Duelling Narratives" it's probably inappropriate to summarize any single view from a source that gives equal space to other competing views.__ E L A Q U E A T E 00:04, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
In general, CNN is RS, but if they aren't treating the source as concrete (and that's what news orgs usually mean with their "unconfirmed" and "anonymous" and "this-just-ins") then we shouldn't either. I'd go so far as to phrase this as, "An anonymous contributor to CNN said" or "According to an anonymous CNN source," but yes I'd agree that the content itself is okay for inclusion. As Elaqueate says, given the different narratives, this is probably one time when "teach the controversy" is actually appropriate. Darkfrog24 (talk) 01:54, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
CNN is a reliable source, but that doesn't mean that the anonymous caller relating this account is reliable, or that we should include such hearsay. We're not obligated to include something in an article just because it appears in a reliable source. Unless other reliable sources are also reporting it, it probably doesn't merit inclusion. From WP:DUE: "If a viewpoint is held by an extremely small (or vastly limited) minority, it does not belong in Wikipedia regardless of whether it is true or not and regardless of whether you can prove it or not, except perhaps in some ancillary article."- MrX 03:50, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
Yes, as an unfolding story, this seems like the most thinly sourced of all accounts, and I wouldn't suggest giving it the same weight (if any) of accounts that are confirmed to have been given by actual people. It's probably just too early to elevate a possible fourth-hand account filtered through a political radio show over a more neutral summary more widely sourced to reliable sources at this point. It's a weight and OR issue.__ E L A Q U E A T E 04:00, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I'm not saying that the caller (named "Josie") is reliable. But I am saying that CNN's anonymous source is reliable, at least in CNN's opinion. So rather than saying "Unidentified phone caller says Wilson says that Brown did this", I'm saying "According to CNN's anonymous source [which they judge as reliable], Wilson says...; that is, it matches what Wilson has told investigators. I'm using the call for specific content but I'm depending entirely on CNN's anonymous source, presumably first-hand, for reliability.

I intend for this paragraph to go into a separate subsection of "Witness accounts" where it will be surrounded by other statements of what took place. Also I assume that CNN uses the two-confirmations-for-any-anonymous-source rule; that they require two anonymous sources (in addition to Josie's call) before they accept the content as "true". (I believe that the Washington Post broke several aspects on Watergate by relying on that rule to confirm what "Deep Throat" was saying.)

I am worried that CNN is the only news media running this story as confirmed. Should I wait until some other news organization also confirms the content, even if anonymously? --RoyGoldsmith (talk) 10:38, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

You can't jump to "CNN solidly believes that anonymous source knows what Wilson said," based on that article alone. They don't quite make that jump in the article you provided. If they felt it was confirmed in the way you're suggesting, then they would have written it a less roundabout way. Relying on assumptions of how certain they are is adding a layer of analysis that isn't in the source itself. I think it's stretching to say that anything about the overall accuracies if we were to remove parts of the attribution. The account may match Wilson's in broad strokes, but could still be distorted or misleadingly incomplete in unknowable ways.__ E L A Q U E A T E 11:48, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
The fact that a media outlet uses an anonymous source is not necessarily unreliable (for example, The Washington Post's use of "Deep Throat" during the Watergate Scandal). However, in this case, I agree with Elaqueat. CNN puts all sorts of hedges in their report to indicate that they are not completely trusting of what the source says.
I would also (temporarily) omit mentioning it on WP:NOTNEWS grounds.... once/if other news media start to pick up on the CNN story (reporting and commenting on what the caller has told CNN, and trying to confirm her account) then it might be appropriate for Wikipedia to discuss it. But until then, no. Blueboar (talk) 12:26, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
The NY Post, MSNBC, Washington Post and over 9600 more (Google page-count) have commented on the story about the caller to KFTK's Dana Show. They just haven't confirmed it like CNN. --RoyGoldsmith (talk) 15:28, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
Whoops. It may have been slightly less than 400 page-counts. Google reports 394 (in 0.17 secs) in one place and 9625 in another. My search is: Ferguson KFTK Wilson. --RoyGoldsmith (talk) 15:42, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

Per Anders Rudling[edit]

Time for Per Anders Rudling to be taken to the WP:RSN believes User:Iryna Harpy.

  1. The article Per Anders Rudling has been described as multiple issues: POV and too few opinions.
  2. A revert has been made [30]

Xx236 (talk) 06:51, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

See both the Per Anders Rudling article and discussion on the Per Anders Rudling talk page as to how a relevant historian is being used as a WP:COATRACK. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 06:59, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
But what about Volhynia? Xx236 (talk) 07:59, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
There's no need for this. I just made a few touch-ups here and there because that's how Wikipedia works. See my comment at Talk:Per Anders Rudling. Thanks, Poeticbent talk 14:24, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
  • This conversation provides an overview of Rudling's "objectivity": [31]. He's a credentialed historian but has a POV and has been caught with inaccuracies and perhaps dishonesty. He should be avoided when he makes controversial statements or claims. There are some pro-Ukrainian nationalist historians who should be treated equally carefully.Faustian (talk) 17:02, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
@Poeticbent: Yes, I appreciate that you've modified his bio a little, but I am still concerned with the use of Defending history com as a reliable source. It certainly presents as being an interest group WP:INDY. See authors, about us and even their indictment Wikipedia's article about them from when it was purely sourced from their own site information to being reworked with other sources. Their indictment of Timothy Snyder is a thinly veiled attack on his works and him, as a person.
In other words, while you've toned down the language to an extent on the Per Anders Rudling article, considering that the "Treatment of Ukrainian nationalism" section is based on information paraphrased from the Defending history page, I don't even see the section name as actually being relevant to the information it carries. Members of Canadian-Ukrainian community groups objecting to Rudling's public announcement infers (very, very strongly) that they are automatically "Nationalists" per Defending history's hysterical definition of 'nationalism', reflecting in that section as WP:LABEL. If Defending history org can be considered to be a WP:RS (which I don't believe to be the case), it should only be used with "according to" prefacing the opinion in the body of the article, not hidden in a footnote as has been done. Anything less can only be understood as being extremely misleading. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 06:08, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
I assume that at least one community group isn't nationalistic, which one?Xx236 (talk) 05:51, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
What are you talking about? Poeticbent has already addressed that issue in modifications to the article. The remaining issue is that of Defending history com (represented by the The Seventy Years Declaration article in Wikipedia) as a reliable source from which to base the major portion of an article (being the Per Anders Rudling biography) without questions of neutrality or a highly problematic imbalance in the content being raised. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 06:26, 22 August 2014 (UTC)

As an aside, I see how Rudling is Swedish, but how is he "Swedish-American"? --Hegvald (talk) 08:48, 22 August 2014 (UTC)

I have no idea as to where that came from, nor can I see any sources for it. I can see that he's was educated predominantly in Sweden and has credentials from Canada and the US (although that doesn't actually even mean that he's had to spend any time there as primary postgrad supervisors aren't even necessarily in the same country as the candidate). Being published by the University of Pittsburgh means nothing as it's simply a matter of having an honorary position for the research quantum - a byline. Cheers for pointing that out. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 10:02, 22 August 2014 (UTC)

Unpublished (but circulated) manuscripts[edit]

I have obtained a copy of an unpublished biography of former Congressman Rousseau Owen Crump and mayor from the public library in Bay City, MI (where Crump lived). It was written by his son-in-law, Victor Killick (a statistician by profession, not an historian or biographer) about 60 years after Crump's death. Although unpublished, copies of the manuscript has been circulated (the original is in the State Archives).

Since this is the only lengthy biography of Crump, it's a notable source. It passes WP:V. But would it be a reliable source in any shape or form? Guettarda (talk) 21:09, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

Since it's unpublished it's not going to be useful as a means to verify any claims in an article. If it were published it could (at least) be a reliable source as to what the author thought of the former Congressman. --Salimfadhley (talk) 00:07, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
WP:V says that Source material must have been published, the definition of which for our purposes is "made available to the public in some form", with a footnote that says "This includes material such as documents in publicly-accessible archives, inscriptions on monuments, gravestones, etc., that are available for anyone to see." So it certainly meets the minimum definition of a published source. Guettarda (talk) 03:39, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
Next question: How did you obtain a copy, and in what way was it made available to the public? Darkfrog24 (talk) 05:10, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
Bay City public library has a copy that's available in their reading room, but which does not circulate. I have a photocopy of their copy, which was either made by library staff or by my father-in-law himself (I didn't ask who actually made the photocopy). Technically, I suppose I obtained the document by picking it up from a side table in my father-in-law's house where it sat alongside a collection of Crump-related memorabilia. Guettarda (talk) 16:04, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
At best, it's WP:SPS, which means the main problems are probably arguing that there's due weight for any original material found in it. The fact that it's in an archive helps verify authorship, in the same way as a person-of-note's papers, or accounts recorded in a family bible. That article, Rousseau Owen Crump, already looks fairly well-sourced already. What material is the source being proposed as the citation for?__ E L A Q U E A T E 17:27, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, that was about my take on it as a source, but I wanted to see what other people, who think about this kind of thing more than me, had to think. I don't actually have a lot of specific information I wanted to source from the manuscript at this point in time - it's more a matter of trying to figure out what I have to work with. To begin with, I want to work through the article and add inline sources. Since Killick's manuscript is among the sources currently listed I figured I should sort out whether it was an appropriate source or not before I added inline attribution. Guettarda (talk) 18:24, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
The book itself—the actual copy in the library—is pretty cleanly along the border of "available to the public." If, as I'm assuming, the photocopy includes the title and page numbers etc. so that you can see that it really does come from this book (which would address the possibility that your father-in-law got his Bay City book photocopies mixed up with others), I'd say we can be reasonably confident that it is what it seems to be. I'd call it reliable for most non-extreme claims. When in doubt, attribute. Darkfrog24 (talk) 18:42, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
I would suggest caution to the idea you would add it to as a sole in-line citation for that existing material. It might make the material presumably taken from more reliable sources look like it was only taken from the family biography, Citations should give people greater confidence in the material, not less. If the article started looking like it was mostly backed up by the SPS, then I could see material being challenged or removed on that basis, which is the opposite of what you're intending.__ E L A Q U E A T E 19:07, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
Basically, if the existing article material came from non-self-published reliable sources, be careful not to add a mass of citations that might confuse readers about whether it was only found in that family-written self-published source.__ E L A Q U E A T E 19:12, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
Of course, I'm sorry if I was unclear. My goal is to cite material to the best source available (which obviously isn't Killick, unless there's nothing better). And if I end up citing Killick, I will make sure that it's obvious that it's "according to Killick" (in some shape or form). Guettarda (talk) 19:24, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

Long River Press[edit]

What kind of "publisher" is this? Is this just some place where anyone can get their stuff published? Print on demand?VictoriaGrayson (talk) 02:36, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

I've been unable to find much useful information on Long River Press, beyond what is clearly promotional material: "Founded in 2002, Long River Press is an independent small press publishing fiction and nonfiction on all aspects of Chinese history, culture, and society. With editorial offices located in the San Francisco Bay Area and production facilities located in China, Long River Press draws upon the best editorial and technical resources of American and Chinese publishers to produce books of enduring quality for the publishing trade, museum stores, and both a general and academic readership. With an emphasis on fiction, history, art, philosophy, and language, the goal of Long River Press is to broaden its ever-widening audience of individuals developing or cultivating an interest in China." [32] As to whether material published by them is RS, we'd need more specific information. AndyTheGrump (talk) 03:38, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
Long River Press is an established publisher and part of the Perseus Books group, specifically their academic division. They're almost certainly a reliable source where used. Thargor Orlando (talk) 20:27, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
Perseus Academic distributes some Long River Press books, specifically academic books about China.[33] Consortium Book Sales & Distribution, which is a division of Perseus, also distributes their books.[34] So I think the reliability of their books should be the same as whichever division of Perseus distributes them. TFD (talk) 23:49, 21 August 2014 (UTC)