Talk:Jan L. A. van de Snepscheut

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Fictionalised account[edit]

Two years later this story based on his death was published in Wired Magazine.

Please review this sentence, the word "this" contains a reference but does not itself seem to refer to anything, most likely a removed paragraph refering to his death.-- (talk) 10:26, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

I have now, for the second time, removed a reference to this story in Wired magazine.[1] The story hardly bears any resemblance to the circumstances of van de Snepscheut's death, and in fact I don't see why we should assume it was based on this death. It should definitely not be re-added unless there is a reliable source stating that such a relationship exists. Lambert Meertens (talk) 22:20, 22 May 2012 (UTC)

A reliable source is someone with first-hand knowledge of the situation such as myself. I worked with Jan at Caltech and spoke to him just prior to the suicide about the threat he was under from another faculty member, specifically a threat to "burn his house down" if he "interfered with [me]". Jan was upset and frightened by the threat. He reported the threat to his colleagues in the department and to the administration. Members of the administration as well as Jan's closest student felt that the suicide was influenced by the threat. The story is fictional rather than journalistic in that it changes names and places and invents details. It should be viewed as a kind of black comedy or parody that was inspired by the suicide. It definitely belongs on this page, although how to describe it remains a bit of a puzzle since it is not a journalistic piece. It does accurately describe the circumstances around his death and the atmopshere in the department. I am a reliable source and my statement fulfills the conditions set forth above. I have tried to correspond with [User:Lambert Meertens] about this but he has not seen fit to reply to my email. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Aheirich (talkcontribs) 23:02, 29 June 2012 (UTC)

That's not what a "reliable source" means in Wikipedia. You may consider yourself reliable, under your own definition. But Wikipedia uses a different definition. Most especially for Wikipedia a primary source, like you in this case, is not a "reliable source". Until and unless you find a published account that ties the Wired article to de Snepscheut, it cannot be part of this article. RossPatterson (talk) 00:56, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for clarifying that. Does the author of the cited article count as a reliable source? Or must it be published somewhere? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Aheirich (talkcontribs) 04:43, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia strongly favors published source material. The simple reason for that preference is that claims in a Wikipedia article that are backed up by specific published sources can be verified by other editors, something we do all the time. So, for example, if Michael Meloan was quoted in an interview saying, "Yeah, that thing I wrote for Wired was based on ...", then you'd have a verifiable secondary source supporting the assertion that the Wired article is based on de Snepscheut, and what you wrote (or something similar) could be added to the article. RossPatterson (talk) 11:09, 3 July 2012 (UTC)