Talk:Béla H. Bánáthy

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Good article Béla H. Bánáthy has been listed as one of the Social sciences and society good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
December 15, 2008 Good article nominee Listed
Did You Know A fact from this article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page in the "Did you know?" column on September 24, 2008.


I want to fix the image of Bela, and am unsure how to replace it. Can someone give me some pointers? -- btphelps (talk) (contribs) 17:21, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

I gave it a try. -- Marcel Douwe Dekker (talk) 01:01, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
I improved the image some more, and I think it is ok now!? -- Marcel Douwe Dekker (talk) 14:46, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

The headers in the work section[edit]

I wikified the headers in the work section for the second time now to a standard phrase. This is one standard here in the more then 200 Wikipedia articles about systems scientists. I like to keep it this way. -- Marcel Douwe Dekker (talk) 11:19, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

Clarification: is there a MOS for headings? I didn't think the heading as labels (without verbs) successfully communicated his relationship to those organizations. Thanks. -- btphelps (talk) (contribs) 16:35, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
I think there are just two methods here to communicate:
  • to mention only the theme in the header, like I did (which you called "headers as labels").
  • to make an abbreviation of the chapter in a short sentence like you did ("with verbs")
Now I used my method in over 1000 related articles. And I think it is just very important to keep one standard. But I don't want to be to rigid. You used your method in the biography section also, which I didn't changed. The standard I use is initially based on the article about Albert Einstein. But over the years I developed a scheme, which in longer articles makes a split in the biography section and the work section. Now the situation here for me is a compromise. I still wonder where you got the idea to add verbs in the first place? -- Marcel Douwe Dekker (talk) 11:50, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
Ah, I was a Technical Writer for many years, which of course is task-oriented documentation, thus requiring a verb. I also prefer the style as I think the verb indicates action, draws the reader in, and makes the topic more engaging. The verb form more directly indicates to the reader what the paragraph is about, requiring them to go through fewer cognitive leaps to understand the content. Thus my preference. But since you've edited so many more of these than I have, I am certainly not dogmatic about one or the other. -- btphelps (talk) (contribs) 02:11, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

Further improvement[edit]

Hi, Btphelps. Good work here. I guess this article could maybe further be improved by start working towards a Good article nomination. I tried this once a year ago with the Debora Hammond article, but this is quit an other story. The text is much better here, but this doesn't automatically mean it is good enough for the Wikipedia readers. I received a very good review of the Debora Hammond article after I nominated it. And maybe they have some tips for you. -- Marcel Douwe Dekker (talk) 01:32, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Béla H. Bánáthy/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

This article meets the six Good Article criteria. It is well-written, with good, readable prose (though a few minor grammatical errors and/or typos have been corrected). It is well cited (although the section on 'Systems science' is without source, but the rest is pretty well covered). It covers the topic well, and is sufficiently broad in its coverage -- I can't find any significant things that are missing, although it might be nice to have more information on his recent death,...

There are no WP:NPOV issues, or edit-warring (stability). All images meet tagging requirements. The article can be listed at WP:GA. Dr. Cash (talk) 17:18, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for taking the time to review this and your comments. I added info on his final years and death. -- btphelps (talk) (contribs) 19:57, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

One impression when reading for first time...[edit]

[1]: the military section was too much about Hungary in general. How about moving some of it to another place and link to it and just focus on Bánáthy ? ----Erkan Yilmaz 11:23, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

You've got a point. I struggled to add enough info to provide context for his life vs. making the reader jump elsewhere to make sense of his actions. Much of Hungary's action in WWII is already pretty well covered elsewhere. I'll take another look at though. -- btphelps (talk) (contribs) 18:01, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

I am Bèla's Grand daughter and after hearing many of his stories and reading his writings much of this is very accurate and it is nice to see his life documented in such a way. I apperciate the author providing specifics about Hungary. On behalf of my grandfather,thank you all for your efforts. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:21, 20 December 2010 (UTC)

Edits of this date[edit]

The existence of a purely circular source relationship as the sole citation of the "Large complex systems" subsection of the "Professional life" section led me to tag this article.

That citation, to this nonindependent website, says at its base that it "uses material from the Wikipedia article 'Béla H. Bánáthy'" (more problems on that later). This results in the curious, clearly problematic issue, of that web-page reproducing the footnotes of the wikipedia page, which were to the web-page, so that the web-page cites itself. The four appearances of this problem source were replaced with [citation needed] tags in the article.

As well, and just as problematic, that section is otherwise unsourced, and the preceding critical section, "Systems science", despite being for a key academic and career period, contains no sources at all.

Finally, it is worth noting that the webpage whose citation was removed for the described conflict states that the Wikipedia article was "written by Brian Phelps", and the website has other pages, e.g., see here, whose authorship and copyright are assigned to this same person, suggesting a relationship between that outside organisation of the article title subject, and the writing of this Wikipedia article (that is, it raises NPOV and COI issues). This suspicion is reinforced by the overly personal and detailed content, and the promotional sense of the writing that pervades this article.

Good luck in sorting this. Tag should remain until a careful look is given the article. (Removal of the tag by any editor with apparent COI will result in referral to an admin.) Cheers, Le Prof Leprof 7272 (talk) 04:14, 26 March 2017 (UTC)

Individual reassessment[edit]

GA Reassessment[edit]

The following discussion is an archived record of a request for comment. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
The result of this discussion was that there appears to be a no consensus to support a GA reassessment ... — btphelps (talk to me) (what I've done) 04:36, 7 May 2017 (UTC)

This discussion is transcluded from Talk:Béla H. Bánáthy/GA2. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the reassessment.

The need for reassessment is clear. The original assessment missed NPOV/COI issues of a major editor of the article, @Btphelps:, who appears to have been personally involved with the title subject before his passing, and with the organisation (with which the title subject was apparently deeply involved, as indicated by several pages of their site which are in homage to the late Dr B.). As a result, this organisation's content is repeatedly cited by the WP article, such that large parts of the article content are not third party/independetly sourced.

As well, an earlier purely circular source relationship was identified as the sole citation of the "Large complex systems" subsection of the "Professional life" section, which led me to tag the article.

That web citation, an example of the non-independent sourcing of this WP article—see this page—says at its base that it "uses material from the Wikipedia article 'Béla H. Bánáthy'" (more later). This results in the curious, clearly problematic issue, of that webpage reproducing our footnotes from the Wikipedia article page (one of which was to that webpage, such that the webpage cites itself!). In short, the two webpages, our WP article, and that organisation's page, appear to have been jointly developed, leading to problems in each. (The four appearances of this problem source were therefore replaced with [citation needed] tags in our article.)

Moreover, it is worth noting that the webpage whose citation was removed for this conflict states that the Wikipedia article was "written by Brian Phelps". Then, the website has other pages, e.g., see here, whose authorship and copyright are assigned to this same person. Hence, a member of an organisation of which the title subject was a part wrote a significant part of this WP article, citing their own work at the organisation, repeatedly, as a source for the article. This appears to be a quagmire of NPOV and COI issues.

The formal evidence of non-neutrality is reinforced by an overly-detailed degree of personal content, and a somewhat promotional sense of writing that pervades this article (see more at the closing, below).

At the same time, the key professional facts of the article—the dates and precise titles of his academic appointments, etc., are missing from the relevant sections, leading to a poor professional/academic biography. This is compounded by four sections—the "Large complex systems" subsection just referred to, and the "Systems science", "International Systems Institute", and "General Evolutionary Research Group" subsections of the "Professional life" section, covering a key academic and career period, that contain no sources (two subsections) or very few valid sources (two subsections). Hence, there are repeat [citation needed] issues in these two key biographical sections, as well as in the Military Service subsection.

The overall situation with sourcing can be summarised as, [i] an over-reliance on general historical sources that make no mention of the title subject (to cover the war years and content about Hungary, perhaps a third of all sources), [ii] systematic, repeated citation of, ISI,, and other webpages for biographical content that is not independent of the title subject (he founded or led all of these orgs), [iii] no sourcing for other large tracts of content, and [iv] under-utilisation on the few good sources appearing (e.g., the Chico Enterprise Record obituary (appearing as a citation, but acceptable, as a reprint of this actual newspaper obit), and a New York Times "2 Boys" piece that appears to have been about the early years of Bánáthy. (The Jenlink journal biography is also good, but is already cited eight times.)

In terms of article scope, in part because of the COI situation, and in part due to the poor sourcing, the article is over-written in some regards (scouting, war years) and grossly underwritten in others (Career elements, and hard who-what-when-where historical fact). It may read well, but only if you are not a biographer or teacher or other person experienced at looking at such purported historical content.

Finally, the list of published works are incomplete with regard to the standard {{cite book content, that would allow others to actually find these works.

In short, it is hard to see that this ever was a GA, and it certainly needs to be delisted, until all the COI/NPOV material is scaled back, the fauning non-independent sources are balanced—e.g., not a single contrary source from the US Scouting controversy appears, to balance the presentation—and the whitestag, ISI, and darwin autobiographical sources are replaced (i.e., the indirectly self-published Bánáthy → Phelps → Wikipedia material is removed or substantiated with further sources).

Were this a student work, this article is so laced with Bánáthy's sense of himself as expressed through his organisations/admirer's (for Phelps relationship/neutrality, see here), I would tear it up and have the student start over. Here, other editors will have to decide what to do. Cheers, Le Prof Leprof 7272 (talk) 06:02, 26 March 2017 (UTC)

Leprof 7272 What sort of "US Scouting controversy" would you apply to this particular subject? That shoehorning makes me question your own POV.--Kintetsubuffalo (talk) 09:45, 26 March 2017 (UTC)
I have always found this article to be out of balance, and that this lemma could share more light on Bánáthy's academic career and notable role in systems science movement. I also believe it is indeed NPOV to introduce Bánáthy "as founder of the White Stag Leadership Development Program," and rearranged the lead sentences and removed the sentiments. -- Mdd (talk) 13:21, 26 March 2017 (UTC)
I only just noticed the lead was rearranged relatively recently (in 2015), see here, with the edit summary expand lede to more accurately describe his notability. I think the editor mistook his idea of notability (or the general expression the lemma gave of Bánáthy's notability) with the general idea Wikipedia uses, based on secondary sources. -- Mdd (talk) 15:09, 26 March 2017 (UTC)
Leprof 7272, I'm not clear what "fauning" sources you are referring to that contribute to your issues with NPOV. I was acquainted with Banathy, and I had a brief professional relationship with him, but I would not call it a friendship. As to link between the citations and Banathy's participation in the various organizations, his participation in at least the White Stag program after its founding was extremely limited. I may be able to find another source or two documenting his role in BSA's junior leader training initiatives and White Stag.
As to the undue weight given to his personal history in Hungary, when he was asked to describe his early life, these facts are what he reported in two summaries of his life he wrote (here and here) as significant. He apparently felt that Scouting was a pivotal part of his youth, and gave it particular emphasis when he wrote about his life. I have not found any other published information on his youth. I could interview his family and publish the results, but it appears that this might still be seen as possibly as having NPOV issues. Much of the academic sections were contributed by others.
As to your concerns about the circular trail of content, that is a mistake on my part. I wrote a biography of Banathy for, which I used as a basis for making additions to the Wikipedia article. When the Wikipedia article surpassed the quality of my original article on, I copied the later work to and replaced the former, thus creating the circular references you've detected. I'm seeking to address those issues in the article now.
Leprof 7272, like Kintetsubuffalo, I question your reference to a "US Scouting controversy", and if such controversy existed, what relevance it has to this article, and leads me to wonder what axe you have to grind on this subject. Please describe this "controversy" and your thoughts about this issue. I am also attempting to resolve some of the issues you've described, so additional time is required before a decision is make about delisting the article from GA. Thanks and regards, — btphelps (talk to me) (what I've done) 21:07, 7 April 2017 (UTC)
Leprof 7272, I removed details about WWII that were not cited and were peripheral to the article. This resolves the issue with additional references needed in the section Military service during World War II.
I think the issue of 'undue weight' given Scouting in this section merely reflects the stories he told about his life (here and here) and can be removed. You marked the same section as relying on too few sources -- there are currently three, which I believe is sufficient.
I've added some citations and updated others. Only two now still create the circular issue you identified. I'll try to fix those shortly. Meanwhile, I think some of the issues have been resolved, and you may want to evaluate whether all of the hatnotes are still accurate. — btphelps (talk to me) (what I've done) 20:45, 13 April 2017 (UTC)
Leprof 7272, as you have not responded for over a month, I'm going to close this discussion as no change to GA assessment. — btphelps (talk to me) (what I've done) 04:31, 7 May 2017 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the debate. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

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