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]


Election night 1948, when Harry S. Truman showed that the Chicago Tribune failed to pass WP:RS

See this edit. I could agree with the FrontPageMag as being not WP:RS, but I got my doubts on the National Legal and Policy Center. The center is ‘right-leaning’, but that doesn’t make it unreliable. The Wikipedia-entry doesn’t give much criticism. However, as one can see on it’s site(, it got a peculiar grudge against Al Sharpton, which is at least a bit strange. So what do you people think of it? Regards, Jeff5102 (talk) 11:04, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

Whether or not it is rs, I think that neutrality is an important issue. When news sources conduct investigative reporting, it is only signficant for inclusion if it is picked up by mainstream media. A google search for ""jane elliott" $6,000" shows lots of attention in right-wing blogs[1] but no coverage in mainstream media.[2]
A good approach if one doubts facts, even in reliable sources, is to check the footnotes. In this case, the NPLC uses a 2000 article, "Thought Reform 101 The Orwellian implications of today's college orientation" in Reason (which itself is probably not rs), to claim that Elliott "admitted that her standard fee was $6,000 per day." But I cannot find anything in the source to support that claim.
TFD (talk) 22:59, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
I don't get it. Reason was named one of the 50 best magazines in 2003 and 2004 by the Chicago Tribune. I know that the Chicago Tribune got it wrong from time to time, but I think that they would not name it as such when it was unreliable. Thus, you need some arguments to back up your argument if a news source is not reliable. That said, I still got no answer to my original question. Anyway, best regards,Jeff5102 (talk) 07:35, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Cook's Illustrated was rated the best magazine in the U.S. The difference between the Chicago Tribune and Reason is that the first has its own staff, sets standards for their work, has fact-checkers and corrects errors. Reason has freelance contributors with no supervision of their work. Had the 2000 Reason article appeared in the Chicago Tribune, it would have appeared as an opinion piece and hence would not have been considered a reliable source. TFD (talk) 16:17, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
The "Dewey Wins" headline is iconic. It is worth noting that it occurred in the early edition of one newspaper and was subsequently corrected. That is what makes a newspaper a reliable source for current events - they are usually correct as possible and correct their errors. If an editor wanted to claim that Dewey won the election because the Chicago Tribune said so, we could reply that they corrected their story to say Truman won. We cannot do that with opinion pieces in magazines and newspapers. TFD (talk) 20:30, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Self-published blogs run by Gawker Media[edit]

To my understanding:

are user-run blogs of various Gawker Media sites. They're not used too heavily in the mainspace, but I thought this should be posted here. 23W 07:15, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

Just got done through removing or tagging information citing these sources. 23W 07:50, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

Usable site?[edit]

Kind of a long story short, an IP address tried to add some information to the article Chris Alexander (editor) at this edit. The site used, La Politique Psychotronique, looks to be unusable as a site because it would be considered a blog or self-published source by Wikipedia's guidelines. The IP complained about it at Talk:Chris Alexander (editor). He's the writer of LPP (mentioning that for transparency, as this is why he mentioned it) and argued that his site should be used because he previously worked for Fangoria and would qualify as a known source. I'm just sort of leery about it being used since I don't see where he'd really qualify as an "established expert" because our bar for that is very, very high. I'm also somewhat nervous about using it given the topic (Alexander using the magazine to promote his movie under false pretenses) and because Pace has become involved with this to a small degree, as Alexander evidently posted (and then deleted) a very nasty comment about him on his Facebook site. I was able to find a Bloody Disgusting article about the review fiasco, but that's about all I could find and I can't find anything that mentions Pace's site. Sorry for the long-ish explanation, but we do need a little bit of explanation here because of everything that's going into it. We've also got to be careful since Alexander does apparently read his own page, given the talk at AfD. It's not that I think that we should post nothing but glowing stuff, but there is a somewhat higher chance of him coming in and arguing the point so I do think that we need to be very, very careful. Tokyogirl79 (。◕‿◕。) 07:52, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

Unfortunately the IP says it right there. "Nobody else will report on this controversy." If that's so, we shouldn't either. He may be an established expert, but this is affects Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons, and we can't used self-published sources there even from established experts: WP:BLPSPS. We need a non-self-published reliable publication to report on this controversy, or we can't either. --GRuban (talk) 19:54, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
I agree. Blueboar (talk) 13:47, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
If this were a horror film, then I'd say that we could let it slide. On a biography, it doesn't really matter if you've previously been published in Fangoria. WP:BLPSPS is pretty explicit about that. Not sure what the problem is, anyway. The Bloody Disgusting article covers this controversy. It's not like the article is being whitewashed, except for the last edit which did whitewash it. I reverted that. NinjaRobotPirate (talk) 21:29, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

use of Twitter, etc in Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant#Equipment[edit]

This section uses Twitter 14 times, eg[3]. It also uses a forum[4] and 3 YouTube videos, eg [5]. Then there is Vox[6] which looks like a blog and apparently "received criticism during the 2014 Israel-Gaza crisis for allegedly biased and inaccurate reporting" although the source of that may not meet RS. We also have this blog[7] and RT[8] (and Fox) and Zero Hedge[9] - maybe that's ok, but I'm not sure. This is actually a pretty important article and from what I can see needs a lot more eyes.

As does the article of its 'caliph', Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi where editors have tried to insert material from and WND (which I thought was blacklisted?). Again this needs more eyes from both the RS and NPOV angles. Dougweller (talk) 11:19, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

We should definitely remove the stuff from twitter and YouTube. Clearly unreliable. Blueboar (talk) 13:34, 19 July 2014 (UTC) has a declared bias and is not RS. But usually they cite their sources so we should use those instead. Shii (tock) 06:34, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Is this a reliable source?[edit]

Some editor tell me if IBOS is a reliable source. Because I found they have all the details of Bollywood box office collections with inflation adjusted--Enterths300000 (talk) 12:23, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

Is this a primary or a secondary source?[edit]

This source [10] that supported this information: "A 2013 peer reviewed literature review concluded that neonicotinoids in the amounts that they are typically used harm bees and that safer alternatives are urgently needed.[7]" has been removed from the article Neonicotinoid. The July 19 edit summary stated "(Removing due to previous undue weight concerns. Not the scientific consensus as previously discussed on talk page.)" Is this review a primary or a secondary source? Gandydancer (talk) 15:14, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

I'm not aware of there ever being any confusion on the source being a secondary source. The issue was giving a single review undue weight when other secondary sources are not pushing for the claims made in this specific review. This isn't really a question of the reliability of a source, but giving a single source undue weight like we've been discussing on the article talk page. Kingofaces43 (talk) 17:19, 21 July 2014 (UTC)[edit]

A new user, Fleivium, has been "fixing" deadlinks by linking to images on the website. It turns out that is a website owned by "Flavio B." and started as a "personal website to organize notes, documents and papers", but was later opened up "to allow everybody freely upload what they considered interesting for other people to read". Aside from the obvious conflict of interest, the "deadlink fixes" have often substituted images for active webpages that have simply moved (e.g., [11]). I've tried to fix a few of them, but it appears that Fleivium is on a mission and his fixes will continue unabated. Is a reliable source? Should Fleivium be allowed to continue "fixing" deadlinks with links? Can someone help check out all the "fixes" that have already been made? (talk) 17:01, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

No, an off-brand Scribd is not a reliable source. Ian.thomson (talk) 17:07, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
It isn't a 'reliable source' because it isn't a source at all, any more than a legitimate archiving service would be. And it isn't that either, given that it clearly contains material subject to copyright (the supposed licensing terms of the site are complete bullshit: [12] - they assert that material without an explicit copyright notice is "implicitly licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License". Yeah right... ). Given that Wikipedia doesn't permit linking to copyright-violating material, any reference or link to it anywhere on Wikipedia should be removed immediately. And the website should probably be blacklisted. 17:14, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
"And the website should probably be blacklisted." How is that accomplished? (talk) 17:22, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Actually, looking at the site again, it appears that the majority of content is genuinely under Creative Commons or similar license - though that doesn't alter the fact that they are making an untenable claim regarding 'implicit license'. It might be best to raise this at Wikipedia:Copyright problems, where someone familiar with the issues might be able to help. AndyTheGrump (talk) 17:35, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Please reread the original query. Copyright was not the issue. It's a personal, user-generated website. Are articles posted there, copyrighted or not, reliable? The website is apparently owned by the editor in question. That's a conflict of interest, isn't it? The editor is substituting links to his own website for links to active webpages or Why is that OK? (talk) 17:58, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
If it's just a repository of sorts, regardless of copyright issues, then it's not a question about the site's reliability at all, but rather whether each individual uploaded piece of information there is reliable. If it's just stuff equivalent to blog posts, random pictures, etc. you're probably seeing mostly primary sources. Other things like COI (which I'm not sure where exactly you're getting that from) is not an issue we address here but over at the COI noticeboard. Kingofaces43 (talk) 18:33, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
It's a personal website. When did personal websites become reliable sources? (talk) 18:52, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
The website isn't the source. It's the content hosted within that's the source in question. It doesn't matter who hosts the content, but who made the content in the first place. For example, when Google books hosts a book, Google is not the source, but the book itself. Google is just hosting the online source. I could go create a website and upload some high quality secondary source from elsewhere (legality issues aside) and someone could come along and cite that source and link to my website as one location where the source is found. My hosting the source has nothing to do with its reliability. Now whether we should be linking to any random repository site when citing a source is an entirely different question outside the scope of this noticeboard. Kingofaces43 (talk) 19:02, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
It does matter who hosts the content. Google,, universities, and other such sites can be relied upon to host original content that has been unaltered. Do we know that the contributors to the random content repository have faithfully reproduced the originals they're posting? No way. In this case, the site is the source. (talk) 19:13, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
It still comes down to a case by case decision of the source, not the host. Sources are (from WP:RS):
the piece of work itself (the article, book);
the creator of the work (the writer, journalist),
and the publisher of the work (for example, Random House or Cambridge University Press).
For the source, regardless of where it's hosted, it's about the content itself, who wrote it, and who published it. In this case, is not the publisher, but simply distributing the already produced material. In order for to be a source for something, it must be producing original content in some form. Otherwise, you should be able to trace the source back to where the file was first created so that it could be uploaded. The way you're trying to define a source doesn't fit WP:PSTS. If there is reason to believe a particular source has been altered, then that's an issue to take up on a case by case basis by again, going to the actual sources. I can see potential issues with WP:SPS when it comes to assessing the uploaded content that someone might have just posted on a blog or made into a Word file, but that again goes back to assessing the actual source and not the repository or mirror. At this point there really doesn't appear to be any issue when it comes to reliability of an actual source, and we can't generalize on whether all sources on a repository are reliable or not, so it seems like we're getting outside the scope of this noticeboard. More official depositories would be preferred to avoid potential copyright issues, but that's a topic for elsewhere. There could also be issues if someone was using Wikipedia to get page views and ad revenue, but that doesn't appear to be the case here either, and is again not something we deal with here. Kingofaces43 (talk) 19:57, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
" is not the publisher, but simply distributing the already produced material" - But we don't know that. The entire website is user-contributed. We have no way to know that the contributions are reliable versions of already produced content. WP shouldn't take the content of such dodgy websites as reliable. (talk) 20:18, 21 July 2014 (UTC)


Please comment on this Request for Blacklisting at The site is down, but there is a Facebook page at Please also note previous comments at Thank you. GeorgeLouis (talk) 04:10, 22 July 2014 (UTC)[edit]

Recently I chanced upon the GA I Am... Sasha Fierce where a number of music certifications were sourced to an image, uploaded on How reliable is this website for sourcing like this and is it even allowable on featured content of wikipedia? My hunch is that it should really be removed from the article else its GA status becomes shaky. —Indian:BIO · [ ChitChat ] 13:02, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Here is the image: It could conceivably be useful... if we could read the text. I don't think this is acceptable. Shii (tock) 15:23, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
@Shii:, do you think such usage should be removed from the above mentioned GA article? —Indian:BIO · [ ChitChat ] 08:59, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
I was hoping for other comments, but if it's just me, then yes, remove it. Shii (tock) 14:25, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Can we use blogs to show that a subject is discussed in cyberspace?[edit]

User:TrueChinaHistory. who clearly has strong feelings about the issue of Chinese Muslims, insists that it is ok to use blogs because "These web links have to be added because they represent the public's view towards some scholar's opinion. I gave a clear indication that these sources are from non-academic citizens." The article is Chang Yuchun and there is a dispute over whether Chang Yuchun was Muslim or not. I've got no opinion but have been trying to keep this and related articles NPOV and present both sides. The actual edit that I reverted and has been reinstated is: "This issue is also discussed on Chinese cyberspace. Some network users complain Muslim scholars' conclusion is unreliable<ref>{{cite web|title=常遇春的民族怎么不是汉族|url=|website=百度贴吧}}</ref><ref>{{cite web|title=有些扯吧,常遇春是回族人?|url=|website=天涯论坛}}</ref>, while others insist Chang was a Muslim." Dougweller (talk) 13:43, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

This comes up in fringe topics pretty often where a single person is being quoted. It's definitely slippery ground, so giving WP:USESPS a read could help. Typically blogs in the sense you are using them are primary sources, and are not preferred. The only time I've really seen blogs allowed is in the very narrow sense of saying that notable person X said Y, and only that they made the statement. That also keeps in mind that the source needs to be verifiable as coming from the person in question. This works for content about a specific person, but the unreliability factor goes up as you're talking about more general topics. So the question I'd ask is whether the primary source is reliable for the content (usually it's not). From what I see though in this example, a blog post cannot be used to "represent the public's view towards some scholar's opinion." We cannot know that the primary source actually represents the public's view (we need a secondary source to come out and say that) otherwise it would be synthesis and original research. Kingofaces43 (talk) 14:01, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
What someone says on a blog is a reliable source for what they say. However it is original research to conclude from blog postings that there individuals disagreeing with academics. You need a secondary source that draws that conclusion. TFD (talk) 18:23, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

User:DougwellerI Apologize to you if I hurt your feeling. This is my first time changing a wiki page and I'm lack of knowledge about everything. Please forgive me and tell me how to improve. In this sentence, I just want to demonstrate there are civilians disagree with scholars' conclusion. I haven't find any academic material discussing the public's reaction, but there are many Internet materials focusing on this topic. They also argue with evidence from reliable books and history facts. So I wonder if I could conserve these content, by changing expression or other ways? Please help me.(By the way, these two links are not blogs but BBS with discussion on them.)TrueChinaHistory (talk)

A Wikipedia editor isn't considered qualified to survey the content of the Internet and conclude that a significant number of people hold a particular position. We shouldn't try to say that a significant number of people hold a particular position unless we can find a reliable source that says that. Jc3s5h (talk) 12:10, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
TrueChinaHistory, I appreciate your response and assure you my feelings aren't hurt at all. But Jc3s5h is correct. We'd need a source meeting our criteria at WP:RS to make such a statement. We don't normally use blogs (except in articles about themselves, those with editorial supervision such as major newspaper blogs, etc) or forums including bulletin boards. Dougweller (talk) 12:22, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

In most circumstances, is a WP:RS?[edit]

Per agreement of all contributors here, this thread is not needed at present. – S. Rich (talk) 18:21, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

This question is based off a discussion going on at WP:NPOVN, here. It relates to the article, America (2014 film). Your input would help resolve an ongoing content dispute. Thanks in advance for your time.

In sum, In most circumstances, is a WP:RS?Casprings (talk) 05:09, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

"Most circumstances" sounds awfully vague here. RS is determined on a case by case basis and varies with what the source is being used for in the particular context. That said, I'd say that Breitbart is generally as reliable as the Huffington Post. It's certainly reliable for its own opinion, which is what's relevant to the America dispute you referenced. VictorD7 (talk) 05:27, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
This is the third forum in which this topic ( has been raised. The other two being the article talk page and the NPOVN. (Also, there are some editor-to-editor discussions.) I recommend that this discussion be closed immediately. – S. Rich (talk) 06:01, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
As OP has said they do not think this thread is helpful/necessary/whatever, I have asked Victor if he objects to closing it. When I get a response, I expect to do a quick archive on it. – S. Rich (talk) 06:13, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Agreed. VictorD7 (talk) 15:52, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
I have a hard time finding anything on that is news instead of commentary. I've never heard that the site is considered to have a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy. I'd possibly grant that an article by a named author is a RS for the opinion of that author, but that's as far as I'm willing to be dragged kicking and screaming. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 09:38, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.