Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Film/Resources

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filmreference.com[edit]

I removed the section in the table listing filmresearch.com as a database that can be used. I said that it's not a reliable source (as it doesn't meet WP:RS guidelines, and when it was brought up on the Reliable Sources Noticeboard it was called unreliable there too). This removal was reverted, with the claim "not meant to be sourced from, but provides other related sources such as books". I therefore updated the "Notes and limitations" section of the table to explicitly state that filmresearch.com is not a reliable source. DreamGuy (talk) 18:53, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

I removed this again because it looks like people keep adding it as a reference for no reason. This should not be here. It is not a reliable source. If someone wants to add it they better have a full discussion here and preferably at WP:RSN to establish that it IS, in fact, reliable instead of just putting it back. DreamGuy (talk) 17:55, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
This page is not necessarily a list of reliable sources, it also includes links as a starting point to find other sources. Filmreference.com should not be used as a reliable source (feel free to add a note about it here if you believe editors have been using it as an RS), but for helping editors to find additional book sources to use in expanding an article. For example, the link for the Star Wars films includes a list of multiple books and articles that could be used for expanding the article. If used properly, this link can be very valuable to editors in expanding and sourcing articles. --Happy editing! Nehrams2020 (talkcontrib) 00:26, 1 March 2010 (UTC)
If it's not to be used as a reliable source but only for finding other links if it's mentioned on the page it needs to EXPLICITLY say that it is NOT a reliable sources. When I tried to add a note about that in the past, an editor later stealthily removed it without discussion and restored it back to the version saying we could use it as a reliable source. It needs to be removed completely at this point. There are thousands of Wikipedia articles currently trying to use it as a reliable source. Why? Partly linkfarming/spam and partly because someone keeps adding it here as a reliable source when it clearly is not. DreamGuy (talk) 19:00, 6 March 2010 (UTC)
I don't see where it says that the link is a reliable source, could you please point it out? It seems to me that where the link is located in the database section, it is for providing a repository of sources. Feel free to add a notice that says that it is not a reliable source (preferably with the related discussion), but there's no reason not to include it when it provides links to plenty of reliable sources. It should be obvious to most editors that a database is not a source, but a starting point. If there is confusion, then clarification can be provided. --Happy editing! Nehrams2020 (talkcontrib) 19:45, 6 March 2010 (UTC)
FilmReference.com was restored, and note was added about not using it as a reliable source. Erik (talk) 19:04, 9 March 2010 (UTC)

Re-structuring the page[edit]

It seems like we need to re-structure the page. I wanted to add Directors' Cuts and Contemporary Film Directors since books about directors cover their films. I'm not sure of such additions, as well as the British Film Institute's Filmstore Books & Magazines, belong in the same table as Variety and The Hollywood Reporter. I'm not quite sure what another structure could be. Perhaps by periodicals? Websites could be grouped together for a section of quick access, where print items can have "heavier" research. The page may also benefit from some prose explaining how to go about researching for film articles. Thoughts? —Erik (talkcontrib) 20:42, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

I had figured the type of topic (production, box office, music, etc.) would be helpful, but perhaps by type of medium would work better. I initially looked to other projects for developing the page, but if there is any way to make it more attractive or helpful to editors, then definitely change it as you see fit. There are likely many other sources out there that should be added to this page, and it would be beneficial if we had more members' libraries on here. Perhaps if the page is structured better, it may persuade others to consider including their libraries. --Happy editing! Nehrams2020 (talkcontrib) 20:48, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
I'm going to start a "Beginning your research" prose section. The "Members' libraries" section is great, in my opinion. I think that we could revise the tables, but I'm not quite sure how to do so yet. :) I will write the prose section, and maybe that will lead to some new ideas. —Erik (talkcontrib) 20:50, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
I'll see if I can add anything after you start an initial section. You should probably leave a message for other members to include their insights as well. --Happy editing! Nehrams2020 (talkcontrib) 20:53, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
I think I figured it out, at least for the items I was trying to add. The difference between what existed before and what I wanted to add was directness. "List of possible resources" are resources that are immediately accessible, where "Repository of resources" are off-wiki places to find possible resources. I may add a few subscription-only databases to show what editors could use. Any opinion on the new prose section? —Erik (talkcontrib) 01:30, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
Think it would be a good idea to add some sections for specialist sources? Like for larger Horror RS reviews, Disney sources, etc? -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 01:34, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
Tough to say. We can add a lot of possible resources for editors to use. I linked off-wiki to websites listing books in a series that may be relevant, but I thought to myself that it may be easier to list all the directors for which there are books. Seems like this kind of thinking can spiral out of control, though. Can you explain what you mean by reliable sources for horror film reviews? Are you thinking periodicals or books? For Disney sources, do you mean books that cover a whole bunch of Disney films? One approach we could take is to add resources to the relevant articles' talk pages and link to them from here. —Erik (talkcontrib) 01:48, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
I was thinking periodicals, books, and RS websites. Like for horror, Bloody-Disgusting.com would be one resource. Similar to what we've done at Wikipedia:WikiProject Anime and manga/Online reliable sources and Wikipedia:WikiProject Anime and manga/Reference Library. -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 01:51, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
I'm trying to envision how the page could look ideally... do you see the need for sub-pages to this end? Let's use horror as an example. I can understand listing websites like Fangoria and Bloody-Disgusting, but what about the print sources? Do you want to list horror magazines that can sometimes provide film coverage? For books, Amazon.com lists all these books for "horror film". Are you wanting to list these books or narrow down by additional criteria? Just trying to understand what you had in mind for film. —Erik (talkcontrib) 02:14, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
What, we don't have room to include a subpage for 14,000 books (for just one genre!)? It could be beneficial to list books that editors here have experience with or are generally accepted great sources for information. While obviously we can't list every book (nor should we spend all of our time just categorizing potential sources), there's no harm in listing well-known books an editor has experience with. These books would have to be on a broad topic as a whole (such as action films, films set in Chicago, films of the 20th century, etc.), as books on individual films could just be dumped on the talk page of the article. Perhaps there should be a requests section on this page for editors looking for help to find sources. Then editors here can offer assistance in locating books, journal articles, websites, etc. that are related to the film/topic they are looking for. --Happy editing! Nehrams2020 (talkcontrib) 03:59, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

Unreliable sources[edit]

I have removed this section as inappropriate. The reliability of sourcing should be discussed on a case by case basis on article talk pages or at WP:RSN. Dlabtot (talk) 16:13, 29 July 2010 (UTC)

Discussion was had: WT:FILM#IMDb not an reliable source. Erik (talk | contribs) 16:19, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
Wikipedia is a big project, comprised of thousands of volunteer editors, and it operates by WP:CONSENSUS. A discussion between five editors is a good thing, but it is cannot make policy. This is and will be a topic of ongoing discussion. [1] Dlabtot (talk) 16:26, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
The overwelming consensus at WP:RSN and numerous other places is that IMDB is NOT a reliable source. It is user edited and known for its errors. There is no legitimate basis to remove this section as it is fully appropriate and reflects actual reality. -- AnmaFinotera (talk ~ contribs) 16:34, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
No such overwhelming consensus exists, as you can see from the link to the RSN archives that I include above. Dlabtot (talk) 16:36, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, it does, if you actually look at the discussions, not just random people going "OMG I want to use IMDB" and if you look through all Wikipedia, and not the complete failure of Wikipedia talk:Citing IMDb (which also links to other core discussions of the issue). Nor is your summary or claim of setting policy in your tagging this disputed at all correct. The policy is already set. The section simply confirms that the consensus is that IMDB fails WP:RS and should not be used. -- AnmaFinotera (talk ~ contribs) 16:41, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
I have been a regular contributor at RSN for quite awhile. I don't recall seeing your comments there very often. I disagree with your assertions about the discussions there. There exists no consensus about citing IMDB at this time, imho. Dlabtot (talk) 16:53, 29 July 2010 (UTC)

Dlabtot, do you take issue with the section itself or the wording within? Would it be beneficial to see, "WikiProject Films discourages the treatment of Internet Movie Database as a reliable source", etc.? Erik (talk | contribs) 16:44, 29 July 2010 (UTC)

Something like that would be more appropriate. The WikiProject certainly can lend guidance and offer the viewpoint of its participants, as well as describe the local consensus. But it can't set policy or treat the consensus of a discussion between a few editors as a project-wide consensus set in stone. See the WP:CONLIMITED and WP:TALKEDABOUTIT sections of the consensus policy. Dlabtot (talk) 16:51, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
  • I think when we talk about citing IMDb, we need to break it down by its elements. For example, IMDb is a good go-to for main cast and crew names, but typically, that kind of information is not challenged on Wikipedia. Nobody disputes Christopher Nolan as director of Inception. If there is a reason to challenge the credits, then IMDb would not be the go-to reference to resolve the challenge. The website is too large for its staff to vet everything, so they entrust users to make changes where necessary. That's Wikipedia's issue with IMDb; while both have user-submitted content, at least on Wikipedia we know if the information is tied to a specific reference or not. My personal practice is that if a detail is mentioned on IMDb, I would verify that detail elsewhere and use that other reference. It's a starting point. It's an external link, so it's not outright unreliable, but for purposes of quality sourcing, it is insufficient. The majority of Featured Articles about films (at least, the ones in the past few years) provide solid write-ups without IMDb. Erik (talk | contribs) 17:29, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
According to IMDB, no user-submitted material is automatically added, it is all manually checked first. " We will only list information that fits our criteria and we reserve the right to reject/delete information at any time for any reason, especially if we are unable to verify it." "Any information submitted to the IMDb won't appear immediately: it has to be checked and processed by our staff first." [2] Dlabtot (talk) 17:34, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
Bottom of this: "Some sections of the database can only be modified by experienced submitters, i.e. users who have previously contributed a certain amount of data to the site." Also, I did research about this a while ago; see passages here. Erik (talk | contribs) 17:58, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
The two statements, "Any information submitted to the IMDb won't appear immediately: it has to be checked and processed by our staff first." and "Some sections of the database can only be modified by experienced submitters, i.e. users who have previously contributed a certain amount of data to the site.", do not contradict each other, and they both attest to the reliability of IMDB, not the opposite. In fact, as far as I can tell, the basis of the majority of the objections to IMDB are the unsupported and apparently untrue assertions that its content is 'user-submitted and not fact-checked'. Dlabtot (talk) 18:05, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
Actually, the majority of objections to IMDb are based on experience: there is a lack of clarity about IMDb's editorial process for user-submitted information, the site specifically warns visitors not to "rely on the information for any purposes" (which is quite different than the simple liability statement made by newspapers, professional magazines, journals, and other reliable sources), and it seems to accept direct content from film industry professional (including publicists, agents and marketing reps who may have conflict-of-interest motives for "enhancing" bios, etc.) We are all aware that there is not simply one previous discussion about IMDb with a handful of editors forming a consensus. This has been a perennial discussion which has occurred dozens of times during the past years and involves dozens of editors -- and in each case, the majority opinion has been that IMDb is useful as a research tool but should not be cited as RS and editors should seek better sourcing. If you wish to alter the language of the statement, that's fine -- but some statement about IMDb which reflects the consensus opinion should be included on the film resource page. There is too much time wasted on rehashing this same discussion. CactusWriter (talk) 19:38, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
A good illustration of what I meant. A lot of assertions about user-generated content and so forth, but these assertions don't seem to be supported by the facts once you examine them. Perhaps the editorial process at IMDB has changed since some of these unshakeable opinions were formed. Dlabtot (talk) 19:50, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
BTW, Wikipedia does not operate by "the majority opinion". To think so is a fundamental misunderstanding of WP:CONSENSUS. Dlabtot (talk) 20:19, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
Although it is not a majority !vote -- when determining consensus we do take into account whether the lone voice who is arguing against the vast majority has made a argument which sufficiently diminishes the others enough to negate them. There is no misunderstanding about consensus opinion here. Having reviewed arguments at the multiple discussions about IMDb during the past two years -- I found only a few editors (sometimes exclusively you) arguing for IMDb as a RS based on its "rigorous editorial process" despite the lack of any transparency in their process. While the majority produce typical statements to the contrary such as this one. The conclusion is to consider IMDb useful for some basic data but avoided as a reliable source until there is adequate proof of this "rigorous editorial process". CactusWriter (talk) 17:10, 30 July 2010 (UTC)
The editorial process has not changed significantly. The simplistic perception is that if the information is user-submitted, it is questionable. The reality is that user-submitted information has insufficient quality control; there is too much quantity. When CactusWriter refers to experience, he means erroneous information on IMDb discovered when editing Wikipedia. That's why obscure and upcoming films are particularly mentioned in the write-up; obscure films get minimal review, and upcoming films are speculation-ridden. If people say that it is not fact-checked, the quality control may be poor enough that people don't realize there are actually fact-checkers who just don't do a good job. IMDb isn't as interested in perfect information as it is in abundant information; it defers to the users themselves for the corrections process. I would be okay with a surgical approach to using IMDb (as was discussed at WT:CIMDB previously), but I think people just want to know yes or no if they can use it. Like I said, IMDb is a good starting point, but great articles can be written without explicitly citing it. Erik (talk | contribs) 20:44, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
While there are sources that we can reasonably say can never be used, there aren't really any sources that we can reasonably say can always be used. We use a surgical approach with all of them.
In an earlier discussion I picked a film at random: Hitori musuko. I think we can say with confidence that the running time of 87 minutes in the infobox was sourced to IMDB. Is that wrong? Should it be tagged or removed? Dlabtot (talk) 23:34, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
How do you know that? It could just as easily come from the DVD cover or a review of it. That said, someone probably did copy/paste out of IMDB considering the absolute lack of notability shown in the article. No one is even saying that is "wrong", however, that does not mean IMDB should be considered a reliable source, it should not be "cited" as the source, and any such content should be checked if it is disputed. If you think the time is wrong, then by all means, tag it. -- AnmaFinotera (talk ~ contribs) 23:44, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
So you think it can be used as a source, but it shouldn't be stated that it is used? And you think the information is right but not reliable, because... well just because, I guess. I'm done with this conversation, if that's how it could be characterized, but WP:CONLIMITED and WP:TALKEDABOUTIT remain Wikipedia policy. If people use IMDB as a source, it has to be looked at in context. The idea that you could revert someone and just point them to this absurd shortcut to a consensus of five editors goes against all our core policies. Dlabtot (talk) 00:02, 30 July 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Why do editors want to use IMDb as a source? Their biography pages is pure crap and goes against Wikipedia's WP:BLP. Their trivia section is not reliable (and most of the production tidbits can be found in real sources) and their "goofs" section is original research. Not sure why the site even wants to be cited by editors. Mike Allen 20:49, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
Absolutely no one that I am aware of is arguing trivia from IMDB or any other source be put into Wikipedia. No one is arguing that their bios should be used. No one is arguing that their 'goofs' should be used. Continually bringing up these off-topic strawmen is disruptive to the conversation. Dlabtot (talk) 23:28, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
Then what, exactly, are you arguing should be citable from IMDB? Pretty much everything else is already better cited to the film itself (credits & plot), or other far more reliable sources (awards, reception, etc). -- AnmaFinotera (talk ~ contribs) 23:44, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
Why are trivia pages considered strawmen? They have quality control like elsewhere on the website. The bottom of each trivia page says, "You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Update' button will take you through a step-by-step process." Sure, the trivia is user-submitted, but isn't it being vetted? Can you clarify what aspects of IMDb should be judged as worthwhile? Erik (talk | contribs) 23:53, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
It's a strawman because it is an argument against a position that no one has taken. That is what a strawman is. Absolutely no one that I am aware of is arguing trivia from IMDB or any other source be put into Wikipedia. As for the question of which parts are citable, that discussion is ongoing at the RSN talkpage that I linked above and I go into detail there. That page can reach a much broader consensus than this WikiProject page. Dlabtot (talk) 00:02, 30 July 2010 (UTC)
Okay, so you want a surgical approach. That's all I was wanting to hear. That was the direction WP:CIMDB was going; it only "failed" because interest in discussion wavered. I'll see what I can add to the discussion you mentioned. Erik (talk | contribs) 00:40, 30 July 2010 (UTC)
I commented at the RSN thread. Erik (talk | contribs) 15:34, 30 July 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Reliable_source_examples#Use_of_electronic_or_online_sources states:

Trivia on sites such as IMDb or FunTrivia should not be used as sources. These media do not have adequate levels of editorial oversight or author credibility and lack assured persistence.
One exception being that certain film authorship (screenwriting) credits on IMDb, specifically those which are provided by the Writer's Guild of America, can be considered to be adequately reliable.

I don't see any harm in reproducing that verbatim on the FilmProject page. Lots of people come to the FilmProject trying to find out if IMDB is suitable. Betty Logan (talk) 18:44, 30 July 2010 (UTC)

I agree that including a statement about IMDb on the film resource page is important -- precisely so we can shorten this perennial discussion and point new editors to current consensus. That was the reason I included the current statement after the go-around last month. (I would have placed it in the table with other websites but I could not because that is strictly a list of sources that have been established as reliable in the field of films per past consensus. I am going to change the current header from "Unreliable" to "Questionable") It would be fine to soften the language as you suggest -- that certain content such as that provided by the WGA is reliable -- while other portions such as Trivia, Mini-biographies and user comments are not. I also like Erik's suggestion for including language that IMDb is useful as a research tool but is discouraged as a cited reference. Feel free to work on the statement to make it clearer. Perhaps, as Erik suggests, we will someday have a complete guideline with WP:CIMDB. CactusWriter (talk) 00:22, 31 July 2010 (UTC)

Was there ever any consensus reached about this guideline? Is it agreed that it's questionable? Spanglej (talk) 22:45, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

Section break[edit]

I'm getting tired of saying this, but IMDB contains the work history of thousands of actors, actresses, and associated production crew. Amazon, its owner, can't afford to have this information be inccorect. Are their sections of the site such as the user forums that should not be considered reliable, of course. But much of the information regarding films, tv shows, and their crews is not only accurate its fact checked by paid staff.

IMDb is a credible source, WP just needs to establish a policy on which sections can be cited and which should not, plain and simple. --Scalhotrod - Just your average banjo playing, drag racing, cowboy... (talk) 00:35, 13 June 2013 (UTC)

Unfortunately, IMDb is not a reliable source. I can name two instances in the past couple of weeks where it has been wrong. When I worked on Michael Costigan (film producer), I found out that he was an executive producer for Brokeback Mountain. I confirmed this with various sources, and IMDb does not mention his role with this. Also, there was a discussion at The Enemy (1979 film) about how IMDb gives that film a release year of 1980. It fails to mention a release in 1979, which is confirmed in Google Books and with the British Film Institute. There have been various problematic instances historically, enough that the consensus is not to use IMDb as a reliable source. Like it has been said above, it is a good starting point, but everything should be verifiable elsewhere. Erik (talk | contribs) 00:41, 13 June 2013 (UTC)
Erik, through the logic and/or justification you just used to invalidate IMDb as a source, you just invalidated any number of government, financial, and private databases because they contain errors. I'll give you my own example, in the IRS database of 501c3 non-profits an organization that I belong has its name misspelled. In fact it turns out that every organization with the same word has the same misspelling in its name. I guess that database is garbage and any other one that cites it (i.e. Dun & Bradstreet, Guidestar, etc.) because its all from the same source. ANY and all databases of this size will contain errors, this does not invalidate the credibility of the entire database. Even if you could come up with over 100 examples like the one you cited, relative to the amount of data on IMDb your claim would still be statistically insignificant.
Plus have you ever considered that books can be wrong? Often times information, such as numerical data, is reported incorrectly in one instance and because its in print its then replicated over and over again without correction or oversight. Your assertion has no merit. --Scalhotrod - Just your average banjo playing, drag racing, cowboy... (talk) 17:03, 13 June 2013 (UTC)
You're right that other sources can get information wrong; I don't dispute that. However, IMDb is a user-submitted database (with its own set of controls, of course). Many editors and I do not consider it a reliable source because for us, based on our collective experiences, it does not have a reliable publication process. It is basically below the threshold of reliability. If it is the only one reporting a certain piece of information, we tend to mistrust that. It's appropriate as an external link and as a starting point for research, but not beyond that. BTW, not many people may watch this page, so you may want to have the discussion at WT:FILM or at least post a notice there pointing here. Erik (talk | contribs) 17:31, 13 June 2013 (UTC)
Fair enough, I will admit that I too am ignorant as to IMDb's paid staff's exact verification process. Since I have my own entry on the site and I am familiar with the Entertainment industry, perhaps my inside knowledge is making me somewhat biased in favor of its uses beyond being a source of trivia and entertainment itself.
It would seem that when we, as WP editors, use the term "user-submitted" we assume that the users in question are either non-professionals or non-experts on the subject matter being submitted. This is not the case on IMDb. OK, yes, any random Yahoo can submit information, but unlike Wikipedia, its not instantly live on IMDb. For the most part, representatives from Entertainment industry production companies, studios, or service providers submit the key information that I am claiming is factually accurate and reliable.
For example, when I first applied to have my credits added it took several months because, as I later found out, IMDb was waiting for confirmation from Warner Bros. that I had worked there when I said I did. IMDb is NOT LinkedIn where anyone can add whatever they want to their work history and then only be called on it if they are seeking a job and their prospective employer is checking their resume and background. IMDb is THE Entertainment industry standard for the work histories of thousands of actors. This information is checked and verified.
And thank you for the tip on WT:FILM, this same conversation is taking place in 3 or 4 other places as well currently. --Scalhotrod - Just your average banjo playing, drag racing, cowboy... (talk) 18:24, 13 June 2013 (UTC)
Wow, you weren't kidding. Why did you start discussions all over the place, though? It makes it harder to bring together opinions. Can you pick one place to direct other editors? Erik (talk | contribs) 18:40, 13 June 2013 (UTC)
Heh... it wasn't intentional... :) Apparently its a topic that comes up with some frequency and although there are clearly to camps, for and against (or 'unsure'). Its a subject that's far bigger than one editor, so I'm doing what I can to gain some traction with other editors. --Scalhotrod - Just your average banjo playing, drag racing, cowboy... (talk) 03:32, 17 June 2013 (UTC)

I think IMDb is a generally good source. It may contain occasional errors, but the vast majority of its information on released pictures is correct. Consider all cited references throughout Wikipedia, from large established news and information sources down to small blogs. Also consider the listed "acceptable" sources. IMDb compares favorably to the average WP source. It is preposterous to have a blanket dismissal of IMDb and a corresponding edict that referencing it is "unacceptable". IMDb should be listed along with the other valid sources, perhaps with a note to cross-check the veracity of its information when possible. In other words, I concur with Scalhotrod – Mark K Adams (talk) 01:41, 15 June 2013 (UTC)

The vast majority of information is also relatively uncontroversial. We do not require inline citations for cast and crew members. If the matter is controversial, then we'd definitely go outside IMDb because we would need context, which the database cannot provide. That means discussion ought to focus on content for which we would use inline citations. Trivia pages are a definite no-no. My experience is that for certain items, such as budgets, release dates (see The Enemy example above), and filming locations, I'd want to double-check such details elsewhere. The fact I have to do that is part of the general mistrust of the validity of such information. Erik (talk | contribs) 04:07, 15 June 2013 (UTC)
What a wonderfully clear and concise explanation of the benefits and pitfalls of IMDb. Now if we can just have it converted to a policy or a semi-official "recommendation", the debate can die down. --Scalhotrod - Just your average banjo playing, drag racing, cowboy... (talk) 03:32, 17 June 2013 (UTC)

RfC, IMDB on the Project Page[edit]

I made this edit [3] and expanded the wording to include the following:

IMDB

The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) is a database and website owned by Amazon and contains a variety of sections ranging from its listings of productions, performers, and industry crew to areas such as forums and trivia sections. The majority of the latter content is user-submitted and often subject to incorrect speculation and rumor. IMDb does have paid staff that edit and monitor some of the site's content, but the extent of the fact checking and general information oversite is unclear.

The use of the IMDb on Wikipedia for referencing is considered unacceptable and strongly discouraged. It should also be noted that its romanization of Chinese titles does not follow the standard. Reliable sourcing from established publications cannot be stressed enough. Anonymous or pseudonymous sources from online fansites are generally unacceptable.

Although citations for the cast and crew and other non-controversial or generally unchallenged information regarding various Entertainment industry productions (movies, television, videos, etc.) are generally accepted (as demonstrated by many 1000s of IMDb inline citations) on Wikipedia[4]), there is no clear guideline as to what information from this website is acceptable with one exception.

It should be further noted that there are two versions of IMDb, IMDb regular and IMDb Pro, the latter of which is a paid service with generally reliable information. Edits using this source should note it accordingly.

But it was reverted here by Hullaballoo Wolfowitz with the edit summary, "undiscussed, no consensus, discussion clearly required;"

The previous text was:

IMDb content is user-submitted and often subject to incorrect speculation and rumor. The use of the IMDb on Wikipedia for referencing is considered unacceptable and strongly discouraged. It should also be noted that its romanization of Chinese titles does not follow the standard. Reliable sourcing from established publications cannot be stressed enough. Anonymous or pseudonymous sources from online fansites are generally unacceptable.

It should be further noted that there are two versions of IMDb, IMDb regular and IMDb Pro, the latter of which is a paid service with generally reliable information. Edits using this source should note it accordingly.

  1. Does anyone agree with the revert and/or edit summary?
  2. What are your thoughts on the new text?

--Scalhotrod - Just your average banjo playing, drag racing, cowboy... (Talk) ☮ღ☺ 18:42, 4 August 2014 (UTC)

Comments-Input[edit]

  • Comment While I appreciate your being Bold, I think in this instance, Hullaballoo Wolfowitz has a valid point. I feel that the earlier form of the admonition regarding imdb could be beefed up slightly, but I would disagree with your third paragraph. In particular, to say that cast and crew is non-controversial is incorrect, in my opinion. I would also drop the reference to Amazon, since it's not germane to the discussion at hand. Finally, users can also edit cast and crew (I've made a few additions myself), so I would reword that sentence to reflect that almost the entire site is open for user-editing, with the fact-checking and oversite unclear. Onel5969 (talk) 21:49, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
    If I might ask, what is controversial about the cast and crew information on IMDb? I too have made edits and have waited patiently for them to go live, some times for weeks. I assume this is because it took time to verify my edits. The same was true for my own entry on IMDb. I had to eventually submit scans of my business cards and was prepared to submit a pay-stub to show that I had worked for the studios I claimed to be a part of. My profile was finally granted, but it was not the "submit it and, voila, its live" experience that many people who have no direct knowledge of the site claim it is.
    As for the "entire site is open for user-editing", I can't say that as I don't have a source or for that matter does my personal experience confirm that either. I know that SAG/AFTRA (the actors union) depends on IMDb as a confirmation of an actor/actresses work history. Do they take it as definitive, No, but they don't automatically dismiss it because the general public can post information to certain sections of the site.--Scalhotrod - Just your average banjo playing, drag racing, cowboy... (Talk) ☮ღ☺ 18:18, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
    Morning Scalhotrod. My personal experience, and the experience of dozens of industry folk I speak with is that the info goes live immediately. imdb's policy states that they have the "right" to remove it, but not that they have either the obligation nor the will to do so. Personally, I would love to be able to use it as a source, (and have, when there is no other alternative), but I have found it to be very spotty on its accuracy, particularly with older films, which is what I mostly work on. I can't speak to casts, but regarding crew this is definitely true. I think my biggest issue is that on several occasions, edit wars have begun because imdb says something, which is contraindicated by a better source (like AFI or BFI). Having said that, those two sources are not error free, either. I guess I wouldn't be adverse as to using imdb when no other source is available to back up an assertion, but it should be made clear that other sources trump imdb when it comes to reliability. Onel5969 (talk) 12:20, 9 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment While IMDB is accurate in many cases, in many cases it is not. The fact that most of the content is user-submitted makes it unreliable. The case of IMDB pro is somewhat complicated. If the data is clearly marked as being supplied by a reputable source rather than as being user-submitted—such as writing credits supplied by the WGA—then those would be acceptable (and I would support wording to that effect), since IMDB is basically just a host for this information rather than publisher. IMDB is a great resource, especially for double-checking things etc but in most cases we have to look beyond it when sourcing content. If we can't find the content anywhere else then there are obviously WP:WEIGHT issues anyway. Betty Logan (talk) 09:58, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
    Betty, what is "The fact that most of the content is user-submitted makes it unreliable" based on? If you have a source, we can likely finally put this issue to rest, but it seems that the integrity of the site is based on impression, not actual facts. --Scalhotrod - Just your average banjo playing, drag racing, cowboy... (Talk) ☮ღ☺ 18:18, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
    The fact it is a user-edited site is not difficult to substantiate. It is covered in their Help section: [5]. Betty Logan (talk) 18:54, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
  • I already stated my opinions at WP:RSN, and I'm a bit tired of repeating myself. In short, no, it should not be changed. The IMDb is a very useful resource, but it's not reliable in the sense that Wikipedia requires. Trying to weaken the wording to make it seem more reliable is a bad idea, contentious, and frankly a bit disruptive given the current debate at RSN. Just because the page isn't permanently protected doesn't mean that people can come in and rewrite sections when they know consensus is against them. HW was quite right to revert this change. NinjaRobotPirate (talk) 15:23, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
    Thank you for you thoughts Ninja, since you're so offended by this discussion, please feel free to remove yourself from it. --Scalhotrod - Just your average banjo playing, drag racing, cowboy... (Talk) ☮ღ☺ 18:18, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
    @Scalhotrod: Yes, you're right. I'm sorry; I must have been in a rather bad mood. I still don't like the change, but my post was entirely too combative. I have struck the overly irritable portion of it, though. NinjaRobotPirate (talk) 21:53, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
  • IMDB’s content is curated, but it is all open to user contributions, and as your edit says, the extent of fact-checking and oversight is unclear. So I agree with User:Onel5969. As an encyclopedia, verifiability is key for us, so we can’t use user-generated content as a cited source of information. —174.141.182.82 (talk) 06:24, 9 August 2014 (UTC)
Fair point, but what do we do about the 70,000 or instances of citations using IMDb on Wikipedia now and what can be done for the future? --Scalhotrod - Just your average banjo playing, drag racing, cowboy... (Talk) ☮ღ☺ 19:05, 9 August 2014 (UTC)
Given limited Wikipedia resources, probably just leave current non-contentious content as-is, and continue to try to get consensus to change the wording of the guideline for the sake of new pages. Either we try to get consensus that such entries are valid, or try to get consensus to explicitly state that for new pages, such information doesn't belong on Wikipedia unless well-sourced. Rolf H Nelson (talk) 18:12, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
  • (invited by WP:FRS) Revert is valid. "as demonstrated by many 1000s of IMDb inline citations on Wikipedia" should be omitted; it does belong on this Talk page discussion as a (weak) argument for the change, but does not belong on the guideline. Would support a change if we can get consensus around a weaker wording. I like the wording on WP:BLPSELFPUB to use borderline sources only if "there is no reasonable doubt as to its authenticity". We could also add that IMDB should be used only for "routine background information, such as cast, distribution dates, and other information routinely found in an infobox". On the other hand, an alternative would be to explicitly say that if nobody cares to do the work to source the information well, it doesn't belong on Wikipedia. Maybe someone could find or make an analysis of what % of IMDB content is correct or at least matches an independent reliable source, and what % seem incorrect, due to puffery, non-obvious vandalism, or honest errors; I personally have no idea. Rolf H Nelson (talk) 18:12, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

Discussion[edit]

What happens if there is a dispute between The Numbers and Box Office Mojo?[edit]

Recently there has been an edit war concerning the budget of Resident Evil: Afterlife. The Numbers states $57.5mil, while Box Office Mojo states $60mil. Some are in favour of the lesser figure as it is not rounded up, but just for discussion sake I thought I'd bring it here as other sources and articles use $60mil. Help? Or should I move this to the main WikiprojectFilm talk page? --Hanaichi 07:03, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

I know that in the past, editors have cited both and just put the largest of the two. I don't think this is the correct way to go, though it seems to work for most editors. I tend to trust BOM numbers more, and they are more focused on the gross that we care about, the theatrical gross. The Numbers does both theatrical and DVD sales/rentals, which we usually don't include in articles. It may also be worth mentioning that most List articles use BOM grosses (e.g. List of highest-grossing films, 2010 in film, etc...) (You may want to at least put a notice of the discussion on the Project talk page so others know this is happening). BOVINEBOY2008 07:12, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict)I don't think there's been an "edit war" on this as far as I know. At any rate, please see (and perhaps continue the discussion) on the film's talk page. Thanks. Mike Allen 07:16, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
There was a discussion at WP:RSN about this (seen here), and I think that Box Office Mojo is more preferable as a reliable source. I would go with that instead and just use The Numbers for DVD sales (for which BOM does not provide figures). Erik (talk | contribs) 11:29, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
The-Numbers usually cites the budget source (LA Times, etc), so it's a good site to find the actually source in other reliable sources for the budget. I disagree with totally disregarding The Numbers. However, when the only source for a budget is BOM, I use that. But I wonder where they obtain the super secret production budgets... Mike Allen 04:57, 15 October 2010 (UTC)

I have found that Box Office Mojo rounds the numbers and distrust them for specific figures. I wanted to add a note to the article explaining that but checked here first and saw this discussion. I particularly noticed the issue of rounded numbers on Kick-Ass since I'd seen an interview (by Jonathan Ross) with director Vaughn where he very specifically says "$28 million" and then goes on to specify US dollars (not british pounds) and that it was 28 exactly, yet BOM still lists the budget as 430 million. After noticing it once and starting to distrust their figures I began to notice it more and more and the Resident Evil article is just yet another case where the budget figures are not at all clear.
They also quote all kinds of cost figures that the studios claim, and the numbers they give aren't necessarily the "production budget" but are sometimes the figures after taxes or other variations. That wouldn't be so bad if they explained more clearly what their figures mean but they don't. In most cases the Los Angeles Times and Variety end up getting dragged into the discussion too.
Given the nature of "Hollywood Accounting" it can all get very messy very fast. It difficult to even be sure if the stated figures are really the Production budget or if all kinds of other costs related to marketing or distribution have been hidden in there too. A large does of skepticism is needed at all times, and editors need to be very careful. -- Horkana (talk) 03:27, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

I accept that BOM are quick to update the gross figures for a film, but The Numbers is usually not far behind. I've observed perhaps a day in the diffrence and sometimes The Numbers is more up to date. Two sources are better than one to properly WP:VERIFY the information so deleting links to The Numbers is a bad idea. I was skeptical at first too but another editor asked me not to delete the extra soruce and the idea did make sense to me once I thought about it more. -- Horkana (talk) 03:27, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

Dead links[edit]

The resources project page should provide information about the importance of archiving URL's, the use of archiving services like WebCite and the Wayback Machine, and expanding the description (or adding a field to the current table) specifying which sites have expiration issues. For example, The Hollywood Reporter has known issues with link expiration, and this may be impacting our film articles. Viriditas (talk) 03:12, 17 January 2011 (UTC)

Good idea! I will provide a writeup to put here. However, The Hollywood Reporter explicitly forbids archiving, so we cannot use WebCite. I'll have to check about the Wayback Machine. WebCite can be used to archive a Variety page, though. Erik (talk | contribs) 12:25, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. Can a site forbid archiving? I've never heard of that before. Viriditas (talk) 21:32, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
WebCite's technical FAQ says, "A page may not be archived for a number of reasons. The page owner may specifically prohibit archiving of their content through no-cache / no-archive tags, or via a robot exclusion policy on their site. The content may be inaccessible from the WebCite® network (this is particularly likely if you are attempting to access subscription based content which your institution subscribes to on its users' behalf). Also, the content may be unreadable by the WebCite® archiver (complex JavaScript based pages, or ones involving browser checks sometimes cause our archive engine to fail)."
Instead of explaining the archiving here, it may be better to expand MOS:FILM#References to cover the options. We can make a brief mention on this page and link to that section once it's expanded. Erik (talk | contribs) 21:39, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
Ok, sure, a technical forbid, that I know about. So, there isn't a site that actually says, "You may not archive our web pages." Viriditas (talk) 22:06, 17 January 2011 (UTC)

dvd.copy.com[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

I'm just asking if it is or not, is it relaible or not, just want to no, thanks! [6] MayhemMario 17:10, 22 June 2011 (UTC)

No, it does not appear to meet the reliable source criteria. If you're looking for coverage about a specific topic, let me know, and I can see what reliable sources I can find for it. Erik (talk | contribs) 16:12, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
I'm looking for Heather Chasen. Most of the sources are nto reliable and both, [7] and [8] both state she has a son though both are non-reliable. MayhemMario 17:34, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
Is this reliale? [9]MayhemMario 17:36, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
This is the company, so it seems like it. It's not a pretty website, but I assume that they're authoritative in providing these bios. I did a search engine test, and there isn't a lot of information available online. Anything about her might be mostly in print. If you can, try to search subscription-only databases for some coverage. Erik (talk | contribs) 16:42, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
Another one: [10]? Thanks for this.]MayhemMario 17:53, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
And another :) [11] MayhemMario 17:56, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
For Navy Lark, the website itself is not authoritative, but it looks like the information comes from the Navy Lark box sets. That could be something to follow up on. As for vintagebritishcomedy.co.uk, I can't find anything on the website that would suggest any kind of authority (in the author or the publisher), so probably not reliable. Erik (talk | contribs) 16:58, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
So for the Navy Lark one now, what shall I do? MayhemMario 18:01, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
You could trust the web page's content but cite the box sets directly. I think people mistrust sources like this that seem to reprint content that is valid but not normally accessible, as it may not be the same thing. I doubt that there's anything questionable about the bios, though. You could cite the box sets but explain on the talk page that you used the web page itself for the details. Erik (talk | contribs) 17:20, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
How do i do that? I new(ish) you see.MayhemMario 18:24, 22 June 2011 (UTC)

There is a {{Cite album-notes}} template. You can use the following: "Cast". The Navy Lark Collection (Booklet) (Media notes). BBC Audiobooks Ltd.  Unknown parameter |bandname= ignored (help); Erik (talk | contribs) 17:33, 22 June 2011 (UTC)

Good with images, or no any people whho are? Need to find one of Chasen. Thanks a lot.MayhemMario 21:56, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
Here is an image from Flickr. What you can do is request for the copyright holder to release it under a Creative Commons license; see WP:FILMCLIP#Locating. I did this with Alex Tse; the image came from Flickr as well. Erik (talk | contribs) 21:09, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
I know this sounds really lazy, but could you do it for me? I just think that it's better for someone who knows what there doing to do it rather than someone who knows naff all. MayhemMario 16:10, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
Just asking, can we use this image [12]?MayhemMario 16:17, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
I messaged the copyright holder of the Flickr photo. For the photo you mentioned, it is copyrighted, and we're supposed to use freely licensed photos of living persons whenever possible. The Flickr photo is one such possibility. Erik (talk | contribs) 16:43, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
So we can use [13] but we cant use [14]? MayhemMario 15:32, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
Here's another one, is this reliable and what is the publisher? [15] MayhemMario 10:45, 25 June 2011 (UTC)
With Flickr, we can request for the copyright holder of a copyrighted image to change the license to Creative Commons. For example, here under "License", it says, "Some rights reserved." If you click on that, it will point to the CC license page. So here, it says, "All Rights Reserved" when we want it to be re-licensed and say "Some rights reserved" and point to the CC license page. That Chasen image appears to be the holder's own, where I think it's likely that the millatsonning.com image probably belongs to a copyright holder outside of whoever runs the website. I've been in touch with the copyright holder of the Chasen image and explained to him how to revise the license. Still waiting for him to do that. Erik (talk | contribs) 15:02, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
Thanks a lot, keep me updated ;) So we cant use [16]? MayhemMario 16:17, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
Right, it's a copyrighted image with very little likelihood of being re-licensed. That's why we're trying for the Flickr one since it could be re-licensed. Unfortunately, it's the only one on Flickr as far as I can tell. Erik (talk | contribs) 15:21, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────

Thanks :) MayhemMario 16:32, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

DISCUSSION MOVING HERE..... User talk:MayhemMario Im moving it if it is okay, thanks a lot. ;) MayhemMario 18:39, 29 June 2011 (UTC)


The above discussion is preserved as an archive. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.


IMDb Pro[edit]

can IMDb Pro be used as a reference? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Tammy pruit 1 (talkcontribs) 00:25, 23 February 2014 (UTC)

According to the statement on the Project Page, yes Wikipedia:WikiProject_Film/Resources#IMDb. --Scalhotrod - Just your average banjo playing, drag racing, cowboy... (Talk) ☮ღ☺ 16:58, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
No. IMDB is not acceptable as a source in any capacity with only one exception to my knowledge, and that is when writing credits are supplied directly by the WGA. The section regarding IMDB pro was added unnoticed by an IP and has been susbequently reverted. Betty Logan (talk) 09:50, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for acknowledging that an IP added it last year [17], from the edit summary it seemed like you were accusing me of adding it. --Scalhotrod - Just your average banjo playing, drag racing, cowboy... (Talk) ☮ღ☺ 19:34, 9 August 2014 (UTC)