Wikipedia talk:Verification methods

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Intentions of this article[edit]

What this article intends to achieve:

  • People learn quickest by example. This article is deliberately heavy on examples and short on rules and justifications. A good example that demonstrates a particular practice will ultimately have as much effect on articles as a carefully worded rule.
  • Consistent graphic format helps users to quickly find the information they are looking for.
  • An introduction to verification methods should be clearly organized in terms of the major choices that an editor has to make. Minor topics should not be treated with the same weight as the major choices. This article emphasizes the structure of the entire article.
  • An introduction to verification should use a summary style, because there are detailed articles on Wikipedia:Footnotes, Wikipedia:Citation templates, Wikipedia:Harvard references and WP:Verifiability. It should avoid details that are covered in these articles, because too many details makes it difficult for new users to find the basic information they need.
  • This article also tries to be descriptive, rather than proscriptive or prescriptive. It only documents the systems that are in use.

--- CharlesGillingham (talk) 10:31, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

To do[edit]

  1. Need to find examples of articles that only have general references.
  2. Need to find more examples of articles using Harvard references exclusively. Very rare.
  3. Should there be an example of embedded links? Yes check.svg Done
  4. Should there be an example of "Reference qualification in article text"?

--- CharlesGillingham (talk) 10:07, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

Possible new section[edit]

This is a section I would like to add to the article, unless it seems too controversial. ---- CharlesGillingham (talk) 10:06, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

Temporary references

It is more important to provide some kind of source than to format the source perfectly. Later editors can easily fix a badly formatted citation, but they will find it difficult or impossible to do the research necessary to find a source for a random bit of information added to an article. Newer editors may use any means necessary to provide a source for the information they bring to Wikipedia.

  • A book: add the authors name, the book's title, year of publication and the page number that the information comes from. The year is important since it establishes which edition of the book was used.
  • A website: provide the URL (in brackets) of the particular webpage on which this information appears.

These examples require almost no knowledge of Wikipedia's special characters or markup language, and no knowledge at all of proper citation formats.

Article Wikitext

This a fact that comes from a book. (John Doe, Book of Facts, 1996, page 21)

This another fact that comes from a website.[1]

This is a fact that isn't obvious, that you're sure is true, but that you haven't found a source for yet.[citation needed]

This a fact that comes from a book. (John Doe, Book of Facts, 1996, page 21)

This another fact that comes from a website.[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page]

This is a fact that isn't obvious, that you're sure is true, but that you haven't found a source
for yet.{{citation needed}}

Does anyone think the example above should be included in the essay? ---- CharlesGillingham (talk) 01:12, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done (Sometime ago) ---- CharlesGillingham (talk) 16:18, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

"This is a fact"[edit]

The example above says, "This a fact that comes from a book." No. citing the book, even quoting from the book, verifiably asserts that the book says "X". Whether or not "X" is a fact is another matter entirely. -- Boracay Bill (talk) 00:24, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

Fair enough. I guess the alternatives would be: "This is a statement made by a book" or "This is a claim made by a book." or "This idea comes from a book" or simply "This comes from a book." Do you prefer any of these?
One could argue that the schema "This is a fact"/Book of Facts represents only examples like "The moon is smaller than the earth"/The Child's Guide to the Night Sky, in which the first part is a fact, and the second part is a book.
(Forgive me for raising this discussion up to the top level in the Table of Contents. Your criticism applies to all the examples in this essay, not just the one proposed above on this talk page. And forgive me for rewriting my reply several times.)---- CharlesGillingham (talk) 01:10, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
Currently shows: "This is information that comes from a book" ... Information also means "facts, data" so I'd like to propose:
"This is material that comes from a book" ... just stating that it came from a book without any claim that the material is true, factual, or data. Any thoughts? —Iknow23 (talk) 04:16, 24 October 2009 (UTC)
If you prefer that, that's fine with me. ---- CharlesGillingham (talk) 06:03, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
Yes check.svg DoneIknow23 (talk) 21:16, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

Name change to Citation Examples[edit]

I think this essay should be named "Citation Examples", because then there will be a better chance that people will find it. Any objection to the move? ---- CharlesGillingham (talk) 23:35, 14 April 2010 (UTC)

The page basically states that statements need to be verified by including sources, then goes on to give detailed overviews of different styles. We have help pages on each in-text cite style and help pages for citation template styles that do much better jobs. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 14:58, 24 September 2011 (UTC)

Reflist-talk that keeps refs in one section?[edit]

I know there is such a thing but somehow lost the code. Couldn't find it here, only {Reflist-talk} which collects everything on the page, though in a nice box. Anyone know? Can we add it here? thanks. CarolMooreDC (talk) 14:17, 13 August 2011 (UTC)

Use {{reflist-talk|close=1}} to close the previous reference list. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 14:27, 24 September 2011 (UTC)