Wikipedia talk:Reliable sources/Cost

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Essays
WikiProject icon This page is within the scope of WikiProject Essays, a collaborative effort to organise and monitor the impact of Wikipedia essays. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion.
 Low  This page has been rated as Low-impact on the project's impact scale.
 

Isn't this essay conflating verifiability and reliability?

Moreover, does not some aggregate cost impact usability? An extreme example: an obscure work, in a foreign language, with incomplete information on publication. Perhaps I'm simply suggesting that the more obscure and potentially more difficult a source is to access, the more incumbent it should be on the editor to provide complete publication information. But ultimately, what happens when even a source's existence is almost impossible to verify? It would seem to me that there's a lot of ground between not requiring that any particular person at any given moment be capable of verifying a source and requiring only that some person somewhere possibly be able to verify a source. Assuming that the source actually exists and supports a statement that it is purported to support. I'm not suggesting that faking references is common practice on Wikipedia, but I've encountered a few editors who have offered as support sources that they clearly had not personally consulted.

A cost-related issue is the lack of a page number. Though it appears to me that WP policy does not require one, for practical purposes, a lengthy source without a page reference is essentially unverifiable to anyone who hasn't memorized that source. Moreover, without a page number, it's difficult to reasonably assume that the editor correctly understood (or perhaps remembered) the source material (or in some cases, even consulted it).

Reliability is, of course, a different, and in my opinion, a far more difficult and subjective issue. And perhaps one for another essay. JeffConrad (talk) 05:47, 14 April 2010 (UTC)

Extremely difficult to access works[edit]

Imagine a tablet sunk to the bottom of a trench in the Pacific Rim. Only accessible by a skilled and well-moneyed expedition of mariners. No other copies. Prior to sinking, the tablet was read and used as a source by several well-known Wikipedia editors. Still verifiable? --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 22:07, 11 July 2013 (UTC)