Talk:American Scientific Affiliation

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Cited Sources[edit]

It'd be nice if the references given for ASA Highlights were not all self-referential; eg. get some independent verification. (See [1])... Valrith 02:11, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

I did a minor edit in response to "advertising" charge. I disagree that it is an "ad" tho there's a bit of that ad style tone. They describe who they are with no blatant recruiting plugs or no digs at competing organizations.Victorianezine (talk) 10:29, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

Some external information would be nice, but the advertising charge seems outright loony. Maxdwolf (talk) 20:25, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

Agreed. There's nothing here that resembles advertising.
Also, note that WP:V permits an organization's own statements (for instance, from its own web site) to be used as sources about its own positions.
I see that the editor who added the "advertising" tag (more than six months ago) has contributed just one sentence to the discussion here (and nothing in the last six months). What's more, his one sentence was not about the alleged advertising. So I'm going to remove the tag. NCdave (talk) 03:31, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

Documents Archive at Wheaton[edit]

A mention of this might be helpful. Also, when Abstract Books and Programs (or other archived materials that may be hard to locate) are referenced, this would be a place where readers could go to access the primary information.


Can we list some of the groups more notable members? I know that Owen Gingerich was involved with them, but a list with one guy is pretty weak. Jacob1207 02:57, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

Maybe an ASA member can respond with more names. There were comments on the ASA site by a man who worked on the A-bomb project but he is listed by first name only (as one possible name to list).Victorianezine (talk) 10:33, 15 December 2007 (UTC)


the text is lifted from here, which makes this at the same time a copyright violation, and a violation of WP:NPOV. --dab (𒁳) 13:39, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

The copyright holder has released the text in question into the public domain, and the email doing so has been lodged with OTRS. - Mark 16:30, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

'Highlights' section[edit]

As far as I can see, this section, beyond being inappropriately in list format, and containing a number of items of questionable noteworthiness, appears to be sourced solely to ASA publications. If there are any genuine highlights, then it would seem reasonable to expect that third party sources would have taken notice of them. I am therefore proposing removal of this section, unless/until such third party sources can be found. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 02:58, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

Merger proposal reminder[edit]

A reminder to editors (who haven't bothered to read the banner at the top of the article) that a merger affecting this page is under discussion at Talk:Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith‎#Merger proposal. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 12:48, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

Propose removal of merger tags[edit]

I fixed up the article. It had a style that was clearly giving undue weight at certain points to PSCF in order to somehow "persuade" others that the merger would be a good idea. The discussion (which has been open for several weeks) has reached no consensus on merger. This issue should be considered resolved and the merger tags removed. --Firefly322 (talk) 12:40, 4 August 2009 (UTC)

Looks to me like the consensus is for merger, as notability of the journal hasn't been established. Verbal chat 12:45, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
That Firefly322's claim of "undue weight" is completely and utterly without merit is demonstrated by the number and prominence of sources that discuss the journal in their discussion of the Affiliation -- to the extent of treating the two as almost interchangeable. Firefly322: have a WP:TROUT and go find some other windmill to tilt at -- there ain't no giants here. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 14:06, 4 August 2009 (UTC)


{{Quotefarm|section|date=July 2009}}

As an organization, the ASA does not take a position when there is honest disagreement between Christians on an issue. It is committed to providing an open forum where controversies can be discussed without fear of unjust condemnation. Legitimate differences of opinion among Christians who have studied both the Bible and science are freely expressed within the Affiliation in a context of Christian love and concern for truth.

The ASA's platform of faith has four important planks:

  • Acceptance of the divine inspiration, trustworthiness and authority of the Bible in matters of faith and conduct.
  • Confession of the Triune God affirmed in the Nicene and Apostles' creeds which we accept as brief, faithful statements of Christian doctrine based upon Scripture.
  • Believe that in creating and preserving the universe God has endowed it with contingent order and intelligibility, the basis of scientific investigation.
  • Recognition of the human responsibility, as stewards of God's creation, to use science and technology for the good of humanity and the whole world.
These four statements of faith spell out the distinctive character of the ASA, and the Affiliation strives to uphold them in every activity and publication.
— Statement of Faith of the American Scientific Affiliation[1]
The above quote needs trimming, and then actual content written for the section, before it is reintroduced. Verbal chat 08:38, 5 August 2009 (UTC)

Hmm, at least these make it clear that it consists of a religiously biased organization, despite its name and claims... I don't think that the article is too long to include the above again. An alternative would be a Criticism section, but then one should also find references for every paragraph. (talk) 03:22, 9 August 2012 (UTC)


Where a journal is indexed is in fact not only relevant content, but one of the key factors in its notability, to show that other s consider it notable enough to include in authoritative indexes. We're usually a little selective about what we include, and include only major indexes -- as is done here--the one listed is the major index in its field. . (the information in this case is also significant in showing that the journal is about religion, not science). DGG ( talk ) 14:43, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

Your claim is both ludicrous and myopic. Journals are not notable because of where they're indexed, they're indexed because they are notable. No [Only one] other article links to Atla Religion Database ATLA Religion Database, making your 'selectivity' highly questionable. I could not find any similar information on a quick survey of a few of the most prominent journals, making Crusio's claim that it "is included in every article on an academic journal" fallacious. If you want me to take these claims seriously, then please point to articles on prominent journals for which this information is included (I don't care if they're FAs or not -- just that they're prominent, and thus have a wide range of editorial input). HrafnTalkStalk(P) 15:42, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
At the end of the day, the question has to be asked, is Wikipedia being written for the general public or for librarians? As {{Overdetailed}} states, it would seem that this indexing/abstracting information is "intricate detail that may only interest a specific audience." HrafnTalkStalk(P) 15:53, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
A similar argument could be made of landmarks and travel guides -- but we don't obsessively list what major travel guides a famous landmark is listed in (though we may refer to them in deciding, at AfD, whether a landmark is notable or not). Indexing of journals is only of interest to a "specific audience", that of those involved in the academic publishing industry -- just as travel guide listings are only of interest to the "specific audience" of the tourist industry. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 17:16, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
yes "they're indexed because they are notable." Thus, that they are indexed is the proof that they are considered notable, otherwise they wouldn't be indexed. The importance of the information in general is that it provides the information to demonstrate notability. In this particular case, it also serves as a good object demonstration of the actual subject field of the periodical. And yes, we do add it to every article on a scientific journal, although we have not gotten to all of them (and we list major services only, not every possible one that might have indexed an article or two, or that is now ceased). This is information for library users, not librarians, and they are the relevant general public. The sort of information that is not relevant to the general public is where to send manuscripts, what periodical agents handle them, their advertisement policy, the price and discounts, the names of all the editorial and business staff, and the like--this is all in Ulrichs, but in not included here. WorldCat is the version of the OCLC database intended for the general public. The basic WorldCat and other catalog card listings give this information--for the users. The record for librarians is the MARC view, and much more detailed, and not even shown on the web version of WorldCat. (to find it, look at its listing at Library of Congress & choose that option, to see all the possible detail). DGG ( talk ) 00:33, 15 October 2009 (UTC)
  1. No, "that they are indexed is the proof that they are considered notable" -- as I'm sure that the criteria for inclusion is not notability to the general public, but rather usefulness to their target audience of specialists in the field they cover.
  2. If information's only purpose for being in an article is the assertion that "it provides the information to demonstrate notability", then I would suggest that it fails in the venture. If an article is "worthy of notice" to Wikipedia's general audience, it should contain information of interest to this audience.
  3. It only "serves as a good object demonstration of the actual subject field of the periodical" to the "specific audience" that has made a study of such indexing services. It is a poor substitute for actual information on the periodical's field of coverage/interest.
  4. No, you do NOT "add it to every article on a scientific journal". You do not add it to either the majority of those journals with your project's highest (B) rating, nor (as far as I can ascertain) to articles on the most prominent scientific (or other) journals. I have the suspicion that you only add it to a WP:Walled garden of articles on obscure journals that is only viewed by your project.
  5. No, this is not "information for library users". Library users would generally be interested in a process of topic/keywords → index → journal articles, and would simply use whatever indexes they have available to them, and have little interest in this information. Also, those making such searches are not the "general public" but generally academics interested in a specific field (the "general public" would frequently find that the level of jargon and/or assumed knowledge in the contents of such publications render them unreadable).

HrafnTalkStalk(P) 03:08, 15 October 2009 (UTC)

  • This is the first time that I see notability defined as "being notable for a general public". By that definition, all articles on Pokemon should be deleted (only Pokemon specialist are interested, the rest of mankind -the general public- couldn't care less) as well as all articles on, say, American-style footballers (only specialized fans -generally Americans- are interested in this sport which is unknown to >90% of the rest of mankind, the general public -remember en-WP is the "world WP"). As far as I understand WP:N, if something is notable within a certain community, that is notability. "Community" can be Liechtensteiners (there are 30-thousand something of them on the whole world), UFOlogists, homeopaths, American football fans, and even (gasp) academics. Academics are very much interested in what kind of indexes a journal is indexed. If a journal is not indexed, they will rarely submit an article to it and then only their more mediocre work, because their colleagues would not see it. --Crusio (talk) 09:55, 15 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Then you should pay closer attention to the footnotes to WP:NOTE which looks for "evidence of interest by the world at large". Pokemon characters, far from being a 'gold standard' of notability, are an example of how a determined fandom can subvert guidelines. I'm sure "American-styl footballers" (a category I personally could not give a pair of fetid dingo's kidneys about) generate more than enough third-party coverage to meet WP:GNG. If you think that "if something is notable within a certain community, that is notability" then you do not "understand WP:N". See for example WP:ORG ("Organizations whose activities are local in scope may be notable where there is verifiable information from reliable independent sources outside the organization's local area. Where coverage is only local in scope, the organization may be included as a section in an article on the organization's local area instead.") for explicit contradiction of your 'understanding'. Wikipedia IS NOT a WP:DIRECTORY for which journal to submit your latest paper to (i.e. for part of the "specific audience" of "those involved in the academic publishing industry"). Such information is {{overdetailed}} and "may only interest a specific audience". If you want such "intricate detail" then by all means go and form Bibliopaedia or Journalopaedia or whatever. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 10:39, 15 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Don't you think that you're citing a bit selectively and interpreting a bit liberally with your reference to "the world at large"? Both instances of the use of this phrase in WP:N refer to self-published sources, I don't think this means "outside of a certain community". And who ever said that Pokemon characters are a "gold standard" of notability?? There must be a policy/guideline/essay about your style of arguing here that I could wikilink to if only I were wikilawyer enough. Perhaps you know what I mean and can help me out? --Crusio (talk) 13:29, 15 October 2009 (UTC)
  • No, I don't think that I'm "citing a bit selectively and interpreting a bit liberally". Can you cite anything in the notability guidelines that supports your interpretation, which the passages I cited appear to contradict. I was only citing "selectively" to the extent that I was citing passages in the guidelines, that I knew of, that were relevant to the point at issue. Do you know of any other passages in the guidelines that shed light on this issue? HrafnTalkStalk(P) 13:48, 15 October 2009 (UTC)


Crusio states:[2]

Indexing and abstracting information is included in every article on an academic journal, so I see no reason why this one should be different.

  1. No they are not. Nature (journal), an article on one of the most prominent journals around, does not contain any more information on "indexing" than the ISSN number. Ditto Science (journal). Harvard Law Review also lists LCCN & OCLC (in the infobox), but again no information on what databases index it.
  2. If it is such common practice, then why is this page one [of only two articles on journals] linking to Atla Religion Database ATLA Religion Database?
  3. I would like to inquire WHY this information is relevant for an encyclopaedia article -- which by definition is a general overview, NOT a specialised library directory, or similar bibliographic service.

HrafnTalkStalk(P) 14:49, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

  • There are many biographies on WP that do not mention the birth date of their subject. That doesn't mean this info should not be there. There is currently not a single Good or Featured article on a journal, so you can find examples in both directions. (Science (journal) is only a C-class article, nature (journal) has a rather generous B-class rating. Among participants in the WPJournals project, there is consensus that this information is important, even crucial. --Crusio (talk) 15:18, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Your argument is WP:Complete bollocks. You might be able to argue the point if these were articles on obscure journals, with little editorial oversight & participation. But these are prominent journals, with a high level of scrutiny. Can you point to any prominent journal that contains this trivia? That the WPJournals project has been able to insert it into obscure stubs, lacking input from outside the project, doesn't impress me much. That your project considers this information to be "crucial" demonstrates how far out of touch your project is with the readership. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 15:33, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
  • In fact, a brief survey of articles-on-journals that do link to major citation indexes leads me to suspect a negative correlation between whether an article lists the indexing/abstracting services and whether the article contains anything substantive on the journal. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 16:00, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
  • In fact of the B-rated articles on journals in WP:JOURNAL, only (your own) Genes, Brain and Behavior contains this information (it also contains little but bibliographic information, leading me to suspect that few other than librarians would get much from it). HrafnTalkStalk(P) 16:07, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
  • This one, for example. Or this one and this one (and please don't tell me these articles are far from perfect, I know they are and as I said above, we have currently no good articles on scientific journals). Indexing services are not trivial. In life sciences, for instance, if a journal is not included in PubMed/MEDLINE, it will have a hell of a time attracting good papers, as most authors will shun it solely for that reason. The same goes for the Journal Citation Reports. If a journal has no impact factor (which is what the JCR is about), most authors will avoid it. The scientists who publish in these journals find this information crucial, not just a few dazed WPJournals project editors... An additional important point is that inclusion in all of these databases is far from automatic. A journal has to apply for coverage and will be scrutinized by the staff of these bibliographic databases and many journals are rejected for inclusion. --Crusio (talk) 16:04, 5 October 2009 (UTC)