Talk:Lisa Littman

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PLOS One[edit]

@Mathglot: Thanks for your edits; I agree that the piping of PLOS One wasn't necessary. I do have some WP:NPOV concerns about the edit you made to the journal's description. In an effort to maintain NPOV, the brief description as "a peer-reviewed scientific journal" was taken from the first sentence of the lead of WP's PLOS One article. By adding "fee for publication, online-only", your edit appears to give undue weight to negative attributes that aren't similarly emphasized in WP's neutral coverage of PLOS One itself, and Brown University itself hasn't raised those attributes of PLOS One as a problem. It looks like PLOS One has published over 800 other articles by researchers affiliated with Brown (based on search of author affiliations here). PLOS One is also cited in what looks like thousands of WP articles, which seems to show a consensus that it's accepted as a reliable source per WP:MEDRS. Lwarrenwiki (talk) 02:24, 1 September 2018 (UTC)

Good point. Adjusted. Mathglot (talk) 03:39, 1 September 2018 (UTC)
An important thing to remember when citing longform articles from Science and Retraction watch is that we must cite all of their major points. It is perfectly reasonable to cite their observation that some think the study is being censored, but at the same time, both articles devote major space to covering alleged methodological flaws in the study. In fact, Reaction Watch mentions in their opening statement "serious concerns about the methodology". We can't pick and chose which parts of an article we report on, we must report all of the key points. The most significant would probably be the statement from PLOSone as to why they decided to investigate the study, which again cites alleged methodological flaws.Freepsbane (talk) 18:22, 1 September 2018 (UTC)

Biography, or article about a controversy?[edit]

This WP:BLP is perhaps 20% about its nominal subject. It was created about a WP:PROF with stub content to suggest notability. Due to recentism, it quickly became a coatrack for discussing a controversy about one study, without even an NPOV summary of what the study itself says. Administrator review would seem appropriate. Lwarrenwiki (talk) 02:55, 2 September 2018 (UTC)

Review sounds very good to me. But keep in mind there is nothing wrong with quoting what PLOSone itself says about says the study or referring to credible records sources like Retraction Watch might keep of the controversy. You helped expand the content and sources covering the controversy so I think it likely we agree on this matter as well. I don't think much can be done about the volume of content regarding the study: nearly all journalistic mention of Littman will involve the controversy, and asides from that, the subject of this article might not meet notability criteria. There are plenty of other assistant professors who publish in far higher impact factor journals like Nature routinely and they remain without a page, likely because they haven't received a flood of journalistic coverage, even if they're more cited.Freepsbane (talk) 03:22, 2 September 2018 (UTC)
Good point. There is also a possible notability issue here, because aside from the controversy, I don't see how Littman passes any one of the nine bullet items for academic notability. The current article content might be notable under a different article title, perhaps; see WP:BLP1E and WP:BIO1E. Mathglot (talk) 10:56, 2 September 2018 (UTC)
Is there consensus for a page move to Rapid-onset gender dysphoria, with appropriate revisions to the opening sections, and asking the page creator (now a new admin?) an admin to delete the resulting redirect? Otherwise, the redirect from Lisa Littman would cause the new page to become a stealth BLP of her. Lwarrenwiki (talk) 13:37, 2 September 2018 (UTC) rev. 13:43, 2 September 2018 (UTC)
Option 2 would be to change the resulting redirect back to an NPOV BLP stub, with WP:BALASP-compliant content linked to the new ROGD page. Lwarrenwiki (talk) 13:50, 2 September 2018 (UTC)
WP:MEDRES would say that's a bad idea. ROGD has zero clinical studies regarding it. A single indirect observation study in a low impact factor journal isn't sufficient to warrant a medical page, especially not when that article according to PLOSone is currently under a cloud and being investigated. If you want an article, wait till/if medical journals and secondary reviews confirm, as of now there certainly isn't sources to meet minimum WP:RSMED criteria. A much better idea is that if this article must be split, then do so the same way Mark Regnerus and his study's article were. Create an article regarding the controversy regarding the PLOSone paper or move and rename this article to a study controversy focused one if Littman doesn't otherwise meet notability criteria. This avoids trouble with WP:MEDRES as the study and it's controversy are well documented.Freepsbane (talk) 15:06, 2 September 2018 (UTC)
That said, WP:RSMED rules aside, I agree that this seems to be a likely case of WP:BLP1E and WP:BIO1E.Freepsbane (talk) 15:13, 2 September 2018 (UTC)
Agree that rename to ROGD is a bad idea for reasons stated. The problem with creating an article about the controversy would be the same, i.e., notability: whether there is enough coverage in independent, reliable, secondary sources to justify it. But if coverage continues we may be getting close to that point or perhaps we are already there, in which case the rename to a controversy-based title would be the way to go. Also: you don't need an admin to rename without redirect; I could do it if consensus supports the idea. Mathglot (talk) 19:34, 2 September 2018 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── This might help with determining notability of Rapid onset gender dysphoria:

Find sources: Google (books · news · newspapers · scholar · free images · WP refs· FENS · HighBeam · JSTOR · NYT · TWL

Mathglot (talk) 21:09, 2 September 2018 (UTC)

Wow, looks like there's plenty out there already for a controversy article. In fact, virtually every article about this topic concerns the controversy. My only concern would be that of WP:RECENTISM and WP:NOTNEWS but if those were factored in somehow and handled per guidelines, it looks like the article could be retitled and refactored appropriately. Mathglot (talk) 21:48, 2 September 2018 (UTC)
Please take note that with the exception of the Littman paper, there are no scholarly resources on ROGD. Creating a new page on a medical phenomenon when we are nowhere near satisfying the requirements of WP:RSMED should clearly not be our goal. Any article would have to be treated as a controversy article, not a medical one, and certainly that's what the news revolves around, controversy over the PLOSone study. Asides from that I agree, if this continues, it might be warranted to create an article for the PLOSone study controversy.Freepsbane (talk) 21:59, 2 September 2018 (UTC)
Yes, well aware of that. For another possible approach, see below. Mathglot (talk) 22:21, 2 September 2018 (UTC)
"Please take note that with the exception of the Littman paper, there are no scholarly resources on ROGD." That's not true. Littman, as well as many, many others in the field have pointed to earlier research as clear evidence of a phenomenon that's become prevalent. In fact, footnote number 5 in this very article actually links a popular article where this research was noted, with Ray Blanchard, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Toronto in Canada stating "“and it has been speculated that this subgroup is one reason for the predominance of adolescent females now being seen in North America and elsewhere (Aitken et al., 2015). No one can deny the clinical reality,”. You, literally, just stated a source in this very article was simultaneously valid and not valid. " Any article would have to be treated as a controversy article, not a medical one" What is going on here? Maxxx12345 (talk) 20:17, 5 September 2018 (UTC)
Maxxx12345, does that article mention ROGD? As Wikipedia editors, we would have to be careful about making assumptions about what a paper says about a topic, and not use multiple references to support an assertion in the text that follows from an interpretation of two articles, that wasn't warranted from one of the sources alone. Avoiding WP:SYNTH applies to all articles at WP, and it is even more important in med-related ones, than in others. Mathglot (talk) 22:49, 5 September 2018 (UTC)
@Mathglot: Since Littman introduced the term ROGD (at least for its first appearance in a WP:MEDRS), of course you won't find it in the previous literature. But it isn't WP:SYNTH or WP:OR to look at studies or authorities that Littman cited as relevant antecedents, and see if it makes sense to address them in a ROGD article (or section) together. Not just Blanchard; there's Kenneth Zucker, for instance. One possible place for that might be under Gender dysphoria#Epidemiology, perhaps. Lwarrenwiki (talk) 23:33, 5 September 2018 (UTC)
@Mathglot: @Lwarrenwiki:As an Addenum if we did place this controversy in a medical article such as Gender dysphoria#Epidemiology, I think it would be to prudent immediately ask WP:RSMED to assess and see if the new claims which stem from controversy belong in a medical article, I think it almost certain they don't as they overwhelmingly fall short of the strict criteria we have in WP:RSMED I would suggest reviewing guidelines before planning any medical article. They operate under a much more strict set of guidelines for what is sufficient documentation than our other articles. Freepsbane (talk) 18:50, 7 September 2018 (UTC)
The problem is both those sources are known for being controversial in themselves, Zucker in particular, and it isn't hard to find journals publishing critiques that allege he engaged in data manipulation. WP:RSMED is pretty clear that we can't just rely on a single writer or a small group of controversial writers, unless we can find reliable literature reviews in uncontroversial, high impact journals, you aren't going to meet the criteria set out by WP:MEDRES and it would certainly become the project's concern. As I said, far better to wait for PLOSone and other journals to publish review than rush a medical article that can't meet the guidelines set by the project, and would then likely hurt future attempts at documentation.Freepsbane (talk) 18:50, 7 September 2018 (UTC)

Another approach: a new article with larger scope[edit]

(edit conflict) As an alternative, or a supplement, to a controversy-based article as discussed above, another approach occurs to me: What if we included the controversy concerning this article as a subsection of a new article with larger scope, which would concern the intersection of academic publishing and social or political pressure groups? This is not the only example of this kind. The focus of the new article would be about the pressure publishers may feel, for valid scientific reasons or otherwise, to retract (or to publish) articles about topics that may be controversial in the social or political sphere and for which activist groups on one side of the social issue or another may weigh in and attempt to influence the appearance or retraction of an academic article in their area of concern.

I know I've run across news or opinion articles about other flare-ups in reaction to publishing of scientific articles or books before, and the new article might end up (if there are enough examples of this nature) as a summary style article surveying the whole issue of social or political pressure on academic publishing, with each section of the article describing one controversy, of which ROGD would be one, possibly with a {{Main article}} link in the section pointing to a stand-alone article with fuller treatment of the issue, if warranted.

If the focus of the proposed new article is still too narrow to develop a full-enough article, we could extend the scope to all controveries about academic publishing. That would then include other, non-sociopolitical reasons for withdrawal of papers, such as ethics, or purely scientific reasons, beyond any activist pressure. For example, an article with this greater scope could contain a section on the Cold fusion controversy, and one on the Sokal affair. But it could also have a section on political or social pressure controversies (corresponding to the narrower scoped article described above) with subsections for each example. Thoughts? Mathglot (talk) 22:23, 2 September 2018 (UTC)

New Family Structures Study is probably the best model for how this has been handled in the past. A new article, could perhaps be named after the PLOSone paper. I'm not certain what would happen to the content on Littman's article, asides from this single event she likely would not meet notability criteria, just like nearly all of the other Assistant Professors she is peers with. Freepsbane (talk) 23:12, 2 September 2018 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I've been checking around, and I don't see an article in Wikipedia about social pressure brought to bear on scientific publishing. There doesn't even seem to be one on acacemic publishing controversies, more generally. Here are some related titles that might inform a new article on one level or another:
list of WP articles possibly related to academic publishing controversies
Mathglot (talk) 23:20, 2 September 2018 (UTC) updated by Mathglot (talk) 23:36, 2 September 2018 (UTC)
It seems almost like the controversy over the "New Family Structures Study", one side claims political persecution, the other side claims the study is bad because methodological flaws. Regenerus was somewhat further in his career though.Freepsbane (talk) 02:07, 3 September 2018 (UTC)
@Mathglot: This is for your collection of examples for the larger-scope article. It's written by a mathematics professor. It's very new, and certainly too recent to be written up in Wikipedia anytime soon, but I thought you may be particularly interested because of your username.
Lwarrenwiki (talk)
Noted. Thanks! Mathglot (talk) 07:21, 8 September 2018 (UTC)
Just keep in mind that if our only sources are commentary, and we don't have the secondary scholarly sources to satisfy WP:RSMED or the criteria needed for pages describing any scientific phenomenon, it can only be a controversy article. Wikipedia has successfully made articles for controversial studies, I think it best to follow their lead and not reinvent the wheel.2600:1700:8000:1950:19A5:4346:4F5D:6A23 (talk) 01:21, 9 September 2018 (UTC)
@Mathglot: I would support an article about social pressure brought to bear on scientific publishing or academic publishing. You've established that the issue is a great deal larger than this article's particular controversy. It would clearly be worthwhile to have an article that pulls together examples, starting with the ones you've listed. It's a big idea – one that will need to attract editors from many disciplines. That actually strikes me as one of the biggest potential hurdles: how would one even get the attention of editors who might be valuable contributors to an article that doesn't exist yet, one that can't easily be pigeonholed into a category or a WikiProject? Lwarrenwiki (talk) 19:18, 4 September 2018 (UTC)
@Lwarrenwiki: Have already started pulling some notes and sources together for a new article. Have to think carefully about a proper title, to satisfy WP:PRECISION and other requirements, so the content will be properly scoped. When I have something worth adding to Drafts, I'll create something there and let you know. Thanks for the encouragement; should have something stubbed in Drafts in a couple of days or so. Mathglot (talk) 00:25, 5 September 2018 (UTC)
Wouldn't this verge on original research? PLOSone in their press release said their investigation was solely concerned with alleged methodological flaws. Should we not wait till their review concludes? Nearly everyone with a controversial article claims social pressure.Freepsbane (talk) 01:28, 5 September 2018 (UTC)
@Freepsbane: You're right. I agree, that's a hazard that must be avoided. And in this case, it's easily avoidable by leaving the ROGD controversy out of the larger-scope article, just as you suggest, until the review is published (and probably until reactions to the review are also published). That still leaves dozens of other controversies that are ripe for inclusion in the larger-scope article, which is a worthwhile endeavor in its own right. Lwarrenwiki (talk) 01:57, 5 September 2018 (UTC)
That would make a great deal of sense, the problem is it is impossible to mention the PLOSone paper in her career without also mentioning the controversy, especially after PLOSone announced a review. A second problem I see is that I'm not certain if Littman meets the notability criteria. There are countless assistant professors out there, almost none of them have pages, and Littman doesn't stand out. I don't see publications in high impact journals, or repeated citations. Controversy stemming from a single event notwithstanding, there are measurably many other assistant professors with a higher impact who still don't have pages. What will we do? Do we consider notability criteria?Freepsbane (talk) 02:11, 5 September 2018 (UTC)
Yes, we have to consider notability criteria; we certainly can't ignore them. You and Mathglot have more-or-less persuaded me that an article titled ROGD won't fly, not at this time. Creating a new page about the ROGD controversy may be premature, at least for the reasons you just suggested above. Till then, this article still has WP:BLP1E issues that should be taken seriously. As an interim approach, is there an existing gender-related article where content about the ROGD study & controversy might be an appropriate addition, as a new section or subsection? I'm raising it as a possibility, but I'm also doubtful about pursuing that approach. Merging this content into any existing article would probably require a much shorter version than what we've got now. Even if there were an appropriate article to merge it into, I've got to wonder whether we'd be able to find consensus on a short version that maintains the required balance & NPOV. Lwarrenwiki (talk) 03:00, 5 September 2018 (UTC)
I think those are good ideas. But as for merger I don't think there is right now, there are medical articles that could be related but those go by WP:RSMED criteria and wouldn't be something we can merge controversy with. It might be possible to create a new article for this study alone, seeing as how it's more the study than Littman who's gathering notability, but as of right now, I feel the best thing might be to go slow until the review is concluded, then things can be done with much less uncertainty. I don't seem to be as creative as you and our other editor friends when it comes to solutions, so all I can think is taking it slow for now.Freepsbane (talk) 03:51, 5 September 2018 (UTC)
I agree with the go-slow approach insofar as a merge of ROGD content to another article (whether Med, or gender-related) where it could perhaps validly become a subsection, without the same notability requirements as for a standalone article. The reason to go slow, is partly because of WP:RECENTISM, and partly because we are in the middle of a developing story and there is no reason to attempt to keep up with events as they unfold; in fact, WP:NOTNEWS is there precisely to remind us not to do that. Mathglot (talk) 08:07, 5 September 2018 (UTC)
Well, WP:RSMED holds for all material in medical pages. Say we have a page on a drug, and an in vitro suggests a new use, it might not be allowed because it doesn't meet the threshold of resources demanded for a new premise. Before we make a new subsection, we need to ask, are there secondary resources, or even just multiple uncontroversial studies to reinforce the subsection?Freepsbane (talk) 17:14, 5 September 2018 (UTC)

POV-pushing by repetition[edit]

In this edit, which appears utterly uncontroversial to me, I consolidated duplicative content from PLOS One and trimmed repetitive content from the second quote. The trimming was reverted here, with an edit comment saying, “The statement PLOSone gave Retraction watch is newer and completely different.” On the assumption that the edit comment was made in good faith, I’ll lay out the content that struck me as obviously redundant. The content quoting the first statement is on the left, the content quoting the second statement is on the right, and redundancies are highlighted in bold.

"We are aware of the broad discussion [repeated below] around the topic of the paper
Citing "reader concerns" about the paper's content and methodology, as well as concerns raised on the study's content and methodology.
PLOS One staff posted a comment to Littman's article making the statement that the journal was following up It is our established policy to follow up on all scientific criticism brought to us about published papers. As part of this follow-up
and seeking "expert assessment on the study’s methodology and analyses." we will seek further expert assessment on the study's methodology and analyses
While we are aware of the broad discussions [repeated from above]

Providing near-identical information twice, just because the source said it again, certainly gives it WP:UNDUE weight. To insist on repeating the content gives the appearance of POV-pushing. Lwarrenwiki (talk) 03:37, 3 September 2018 (UTC)

It is not undo weight, the statement which you called replicative is PLOSone's most recent, and largest at that, regarding the controversy and what steps they plan to take, it's highly relevant to the study and controversy. I would not delete the last statement, if one of them must be removed then the earlier, shorter statement PLOSone left could be removed. Also, I would like to point out the wp:balance does not consider giving key sources relevant to a topic adequate explanation undo weight, PLOSone is the journal publishing the study in question so you can't get any more pertinent than their official statements. If we can quote a freelance historian who isn't trained in this field then we must certainly also include the quotes from the publishing journal.Freepsbane (talk) 04:51, 3 September 2018 (UTC)

Errors in rapid onset gender dysphoria study[edit]

Littman's recent study appears to misidentify symptoms of depersonalization disorder as "vague signs and symptoms called signs of GD", and she appears to be unaware of the high prevalence of depersonalization disorder in untreated gender dysphoria (more on this here: I wanted to see if anyone else considers this to be worth mentioning in the article. --ZinniaJones (talk) 03:43, 3 September 2018 (UTC)

You could do that if you want, but because this page is recent and was set up after a controversy, the addition of any content touches off controversy in here. There's even controversy over if we should be allowed to quote PLOSone's most recent and longest statement regarding the controversy! So maybe it's best to discuss here and move slowly and cautiously before making any changes.Freepsbane (talk) 04:55, 3 September 2018 (UTC)
I second that. Mathglot (talk) 06:21, 3 September 2018 (UTC)

Possible courses of action regarding this BLP[edit]

At this time, I think the article is adequately NPOV-compliant on the topic of ROGD. However, it is clearly not NPOV-compliant on the topic of Lisa Littman, the nominal subject of the page. It's still a BLP that has instead become a coatrack for a WP:RECENT controversy, resulting in serious issues including WP:BALASP.

Despite legitimate concerns about recentism and WP:NOTNEWS, I think we have a consensus that the ROGD content of this article belongs in Wikipedia, somewhere. But there's no consensus about what action should be taken.

These are the possibilities that I see, and I'm inviting a discussion under each heading. Lwarrenwiki (talk) 19:46, 7 September 2018 (UTC)

Actually, I don't think there is consensus that the ROGD material belongs anywhere. But, that is what your subsections below may determine. Mathglot (talk) 20:18, 11 September 2018 (UTC)

Please note: At the time this Rfc was created, the article was 20kb and looked like this. Editing on the article has continued while this Rfc has been open. In particular, there was a large reduction in size following the recommendation in this Rfc comment by Jytdog under alternative Keep ROGD content in the BLP, which garnered support by some of the other active editors per BLP. If you are voting or commenting in the Rfc subsections below, be aware that references to ROGD content refer to the article as it was on September 12 (diff). Mathglot (talk) 05:50, 17 September 2018 (UTC)

Delete the entire BLP[edit]

Delete the entire article on Lisa Littman, based on WP:BLP1E and lack of notability under WP:PROF:

  • Oppose: The subject is currently at least WP:NOTABLE enough to have a stub or start-class article. Lwarrenwiki (talk) 19:46, 7 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Do we actually know Littman meets notability requirements, she doesn't publish in high impact journals or get many citations. There are many thousands of assistant professors with more citations and who have Nature papers, will we be giving them all pages since they've exceeded the threshold you set? The only claim to notability right now stems from the single event.Freepsbane (talk) 20:56, 7 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Support – Article should be deleted, because the subject is not notable enough to have a stub. Fails to meet WP:BIO or WP:NACADEMIC. Show me a assistant professor who has a legitimate article on Wikipedia, and I'll show you someone who is notable for something else.[a] Too newsy, recent, and thin for its own article. I worked on the article, too, but the fact is, this article should be deleted. Mathglot (talk) 21:42, 11 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Support per Mathglot. As noted, it isn't normal for early career scientists to have pages, with many of the few that exist being unwarranted. The main notability comes from a single controversy in the news. Coverage of the Littman ROGD study could possibly violate BLP, and MEDRES as multiple editors have said. The cleanest thing to do might be to remove and make again, should the subject or the condition she says she found meet their respective requirements.Freepsbane (talk) 00:53, 12 September 2018 (UTC)
  • hm. This is arguable; asst clinical prof doesn't meet PROF, arguably. But the way to do that is AfD and if anybody wants this, they should nominate the page for deletion. There is no point discussing it here, since the AfD would need to have its own discussion. Jytdog (talk) 15:51, 14 September 2018 (UTC)
    Agreed, this option is a dead letter. Didn't want to leave it with only an "oppose" vote as if that were the only opinion about it, but you're right that this item can't be decided here and would need an Afd if it is to proceed. Mathglot (talk) 23:36, 14 September 2018 (UTC)
  • As it's not getting deleted, there's little point in a banner that threatens deletion, leading readers to think it's imminent. Besides, WP:BASIC by now, which makes satisfying PROF unnecessary. Lwarrenwiki (talk) 23:51, 18 September 2018 (UTC)
A notability tag doesn't threaten, and doesn't mean anything is imminent. Removal of the tag was premature as and there was no consensus to do so and the article fails to meet WP:NPROF. The tag has been restored. As already stated above, this is not the place to discuss deletion of the article, such decisions must come out of deletion discussions, which this is not. Mathglot (talk) 06:38, 19 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Okay, it seems I misread "this option is a dead letter". Nevertheless, I think a simple Google search establishes that she now meets WP:BASIC. And when a person has general notability, more specific notability such as WP:NPROF becomes irrelevant. Lwarrenwiki (talk) 14:44, 19 September 2018 (UTC)
Although now with the caveat that all the coverage concerns a single event. Freepsbane (talk) 21:30, 19 September 2018 (UTC)
The controversy meets BASIC, but she doesn't. If you count independent sources only as WP:BASIC requires, this discounts all but one or two current refs by my count. If the article is renamed, I wouldn't disagree with you, but as Freep says, under this title it's a clear BIO1E. But we're wasting our breath here. Mathglot (talk) 18:46, 20 September 2018 (UTC)


  1. ^ It is difficult to find legitimate examples of articles about Assistant Professors who are notable. Most of the articles that exist are about subjects who are not notable, or barely so. Many read like CVs or promotional puff pieces and should be deleted. One which is notable, is Mary Yost, who was Dean at Stanford. Others were mostly not: Edith Kuiper is president of an international association, but the article is quite weak; I tagged it for notability. Michael Wesch (very weak; prodded). Omar Wasow; (weak; questionable notability, though it is claimed he cofounded a social networking platform). Paul Musgrave (weak; puff piece, reads like a CV). Arvind Mishra, a clear case of WP:BIO1E. Ethan Kaplan (puff; CV). C. Riley Snorton, (puff; CV).

Keep ROGD content in the BLP[edit]

Keep the ROGD content as part of the Lisa Littman article, for the indefinite future:

  • Oppose: Not acceptable in a BLP. Lwarrenwiki (talk) 19:46, 7 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Support - until other researchers duplicate the results, this is the only place it can go, and it's a fairly large part of her demonstrated notability. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 13:38, 11 September 2018 (UTC)
@SarekOfVulcan: as more fully discussed at WP:BLPN#Lisa Littman, this article is a BLP1E with serious issues under NPOV, UNDUE, and NOTNEWS. I have not seen anyone trying to deny that this biographical article is a WP:COATRACK. Is it logical to dismiss those undisputed policy violations as acceptable, on the basis that "this is the only place" where the content can go? It seems to me that a BLP would be the last place in Wikipedia where we'd want to be flexible about indefensible POV content. Lwarrenwiki (talk) 20:36, 11 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose Maybe – she has no notability, per WP:BIO or WP:NPROF. Irrelevant here, and WP:UNDUE. Claiming that This is the only place it can go is not a policy-based argument; if the content doesn't belong anywhere else, and it doesn't belong here, the conclusion is, that it doesn't belong in the encyclopedia. This is a clear BLP1E. The only place the content could go, imho, is as a one- or two-sentence summary, in a long article about academic publishing controversies. And even in that case, it would have to abide by due weight in the grand scheme of other controversies, of which this case isn't even a pimple on an elephant's back. (No such article currently exists; but I'm gathering notes for one.)Mathglot (talk) 21:51, 11 September 2018 (UTC)
    Changed to "Maybe" per Jytdog below; see also my updated comment at #Delete ROGD content from the BLP. Mathglot (talk) 23:40, 14 September 2018 (UTC)
  • support but keep it tight. please see here for my view of how this could be handled. Jytdog (talk) 15:49, 14 September 2018 (UTC)

Delete ROGD content from the BLP[edit]

Promptly delete most of the ROGD content from Lisa Littman, and leave it deleted until there is consensus about where it should go:

  •  Comment: On the one hand: we've all worked to add well-sourced content here, and I don't really want it to be vanished or swept under the rug, even temporarily. On the other hand: WP:BLP, WP:COATRACK, WP:NOTNEWS, and WP:NODEADLINE. So it may be worthwhile to delete the content while some of the WP:NEWS issues settle down, and also while we work toward a consensus about where to put the deleted ROGD content. Lwarrenwiki (talk) 19:46, 7 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Support It depends – delete the ROGD per UNDUE, NOTNEWS and the other policy links you gave. (And then also delete the article, per non-notability; but that is not the question here; this "Support" !vote is about removing the ROGD content from the article.) Absolutely delete the content while waiting for things to settle, and work on the question of where to put it separately. But I'd urge you to reconsider your thoughts about not vanishing it. I do sympthasize, because a lot of effort has gone into it, and it's a human reaction not to want to see one's efforts wasted. But the amount of effort editors spend on an article is not a factor in establishing notability, and that is as it should be. Perhaps if you can look at it this way: your efforts are not wasted even if the material including your content is removed from the encyclopedia, if you and everyone has been acting in good faith to find the right disposition for this material, even if the right disposition means, "not in the encyclopedia at this time". You can always maintain a copy of the material offline, and admins can retrieve content from deleted articles, if you give a reason, like you want to mine the content for the creation of another article. So please be open to all results, and let's find the best one, based on policy and guidelines, even if it ends up ruffling our feathers a bit. Mathglot (talk) 22:03, 11 September 2018 (UTC)
    Changed to "It depends" per Jytdog's comment below. If discussed, then here. Whether to discuss anywhere is another question; but if she's notable for anything, it's the controversy; so if the BLP survives, then at least a mention here; if not, it's moot. Pinging @Freepsbane:. Mathglot (talk) 21:52, 14 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Support per Mathglot. Furthermore as mentioned by various editors, the section on the controversy might be running afoul of both BLP and MEDRES guidelines. The only concern is that if we delete the section on the controversy, the remainder of the article might not meet notability requirements.Freepsbane (talk) 00:55, 12 September 2018 (UTC)
  • nope if we are going to discuss this, it needs to be here, since we should not have a page about the condition (no MEDRS refs) or the controversy (per LASTING and SUSTAINED). Given how editors behave, we are probably going to have to discuss this, so this is the place, per ONEWAY. Additionally, even if we did have a separate page on the condition or controversy, we would have to mention it here. Jytdog (talk) 15:48, 14 September 2018 (UTC)

Split ROGD content to a new ROGD-titled article[edit]

Split ROGD content to a new article titled Rapid onset gender dysphoria:

  • Support: ROGD is not a recognized disease. And there is no possible name for this article that would be a valid name under WP:NCMED. We all agree about that, right?
It's because of those facts that I believe an article about ROGD falls outside the scope or jurisdiction of WikiProject Medicine's strict requirements under WP:MEDRES and WP:MEDRS. An article titled ROGD should exist, and the title is permissible because it isn't a medical article about a medical disease. ROGD is a cross-disciplinary topic. It is a gender-related article about a theory and the surrounding controversy. It's partly medical, and it's also partly sociology, psychology, gender studies, and politics.
Freepsbane just wrote (see above), "Well, WP:RSMED holds for all material in medical pages." That's begging the question of whether this is (or will be) a medical page. Numerous gender-related articles (see WP:WikiProject Gender Studies) apply general WP:RS standards, rather than WP:MEDRS standards. They cite reliable journalistic sources, and other reliable non-medical sources. Lwarrenwiki (talk) 19:46, 7 September 2018 (UTC)
Medical organizations are already commenting on ROGD and any new article on ROGD instead of the controversy would obviously take on a medical dimension since it's author claimed it has medical purposes and it's already being heavily commented on by scientific and medical sources. Should an article be made, it would need to be immediately refereed to WP:MEDRES to see if it is covering a scientific/medical subject which currently lacks mainstream support and adequate sources among the scientific community. It might also fall into the category of controversial theories like the EM drive as the current medical bodies such as WPATH don't consider it a known phenomenon and the sole study regarding this phenomenon is right now in question. For all these reasons, creating a ROGD medical/scientific page instead of a page on the controversy would be a poor idea, especially before PLOSone finishes it's review and such an article should be refereed to WP:MEDRES and the other projects for scientific pages to see if it meets guidelines.Freepsbane (talk) 20:54, 7 September 2018 (UTC)
  • I do not believe WP policies require everything that is claimed above. In particular, "WP:RSMED holds for all material in medical pages" is incorrect. You might want to carefully review the WP:Biomedical information guideline, which is a supplement to WP:MEDRS. It is clear that WP:MEDRS is not applied to all material in a medical or scientific page. And editors from WP:MED will be more than welcome, if they choose, to review or edit a ROGD page once it gets created.
According to WP:Biomedical information#What is not biomedical information?, most of the proposed ROGD article is not subject to the requirements of WP:MEDRS. The relatively small portion of the content that discusses the actual hypothesis of the study (e.g., social transmission of gender dysphoria) requires WP:MEDRS. The rest of the content isn't biomedical; instead, it concerns issues of academic freedom and of medical ethics, which does not require WP:MEDRS, just WP:RS. Lwarrenwiki (talk) 04:47, 9 September 2018 (UTC) rev. 05:08, 9 September 2018 (UTC)
That's rather circular isn't it? Adding content to a medical article, under a section called Epidemiology no less, is not medical, because you don't believe it counts as medical? That doesn't seem to fly with the standards set out at all. I agree whole situation should simply be assessed then by tagging and presenting the proposed section in WP:MEDRES, to see if editors agree that it should be exempt from normal standards for references. Given how regularly new sections that are backed by small case studies and animal studies are deleted from medical references though, I'm skeptical they will agree.Freepsbane (talk) 17:37, 10 September 2018 (UTC)
  • @Freepsbane: Several times, you've suggested tagging/sending this article for some sort of review in WP:MEDRES so it can "simply be assessed". Feel free to proceed. I would support that. The more eyes, the better – especially if one of them is an admin in a position to bring closure to the debate. Lwarrenwiki (talk) 20:54, 11 September 2018 (UTC)
Thank you, I agree wholeheartedly, the easiest thing for all of us it to let people who handle this help us take a look. That gets rid of the guesswork.Freepsbane (talk) 00:57, 12 September 2018 (UTC)
"WP:RSMED holds for all material in medical pages" is indeed incorrect. However, MEDRS holds for all Wikipedia:Biomedical information in all articles, no matter what the main subject of the article is. That means that if you want to write that it's a fact that the ankle bone is connected to the shin bone, then MEDRS applies, regardless of whether the article you're putting that in is about a disease, or a person, or an organization, or anything else. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:45, 12 September 2018 (UTC)
@WhatamIdoing: You picked an interesting example! You linked to "Dem Bones". The article quotes song lyrics which include the line "Ankle bone connected to the shin bone", among other anatomical lines. The article does not cite any MEDRS sources. And it should be obvious that the article doesn't need any MEDRS sources. Why not? Because, as you said, the editor did not "write that it's a fact" – the lyricist did. If this article stated that the song's lyrics are anatomically accurate, or that they're inaccurate, either statement would require a MEDRS. But this article just quotes the lyrics, accurately, without characterizing them. Wikipedia did not take a position on whether they are anatomically accurate. Therefore, no MEDRS was required. Lwarrenwiki (talk) 23:36, 12 September 2018 (UTC) rev. 23:47, 12 September 2018 (UTC)
The key point is that 'Wikipedia' isn't saying that "the ankle bone is connected to the shin bone". If we were, then we would indeed need a suitable reliable source (MEDRS would recommend an anatomy textbook). Instead, Wikipedia is saying "The lyrics for this song are..." – which is not biomedical information, no matter what the lyrics say.
To give another example, if we wrote that "Joe Film believes that coffee causes cancer", that would not require a MEDRS source (it would require a BLP source, if Joe Film were still alive), but writing "Coffee causes cancer" would. The first is a statement of what Joe Film believes. The second is a statement about biomedical information. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:05, 13 September 2018 (UTC)
Even if that could be used to avoid MEDRS guidelines, quoting non notable individuals would then fall into the problem of WP:undue, should a primary study that wasn't high impact, and is now under review by it's journal be allotted as much space as the positions of large medical organizations and literature reviews in high impact journals? I haven't seen that approach taken in anything tangential to biomedical articles with the few examples being in the biography of famous people and the statements they make. Case in point, James Watson's non mainstream biomedical claims are not mentioned in any form of medical or sociological article, they are mentioned in his biography alone.Freepsbane (talk) 19:05, 13 September 2018 (UTC)
MEDRS is about verifiability. It is not about due weight or any of the other relevant issues. I am only explaining here the application of MEDRS – not all policies and guidelines.
As for your other objections: it's impossible for anyone to say whether a study that hasn't even been published for a month is "high impact", since the slow speed of academic publishing usually means that article-level metrics often take a year or more to be worth checking; this particular Wikipedia article does appear to be a biography, so the argument that the publication shouldn't be mention except in a biography is off topic; so long as this person qualifies for an article on Wikipedia, then she's notable, so there could be no question of quoting a non-notable person (a technique that is often useful and appropriate, by the way; we may well quote more non-notable scholars and journalists in Wikipedia articles than we do "famous people"); and it is beyond my ability, or even interest, to know whether the fact that the study is "under review" says more about the possibility of flaws in the research or more about the political pressures the journal is facing. WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:46, 14 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Violation of policy — This suggestion does not roll as it violates WP:RS and WP:MEDRS. The current article also violates these policy/guideline documents and needs to be chopped. A mention of the theory and any notable controversy surrounding it is all that is viable content for Wikipedia, and without secondary sources this whole discussion is moot. Carl Fredrik talk 20:34, 10 September 2018 (UTC)
@CFCF: This article certainly violates several policies, including WP:BLP, WP:PROF, WP:UNDUE, WP:NPOV. That's why I agree with you that the page needs to be chopped. But concerning your premise that it's "without secondary sources", please take a second look. Content about the study was carefully cited to a WP:MEDRS-compliant secondary source, using inline-attributed quotes to avoid WP:SYNTH & WP:OR. The secondary source is Science (journal), which is not just a WP:MEDRS-approved source, it's named at WP:MEDRS#Biomedical journals as one of 3 "core basic science and biology journals". Lwarrenwiki (talk) 19:52, 11 September 2018 (UTC)
  • You are mistaking Science's news function for it's literature reviews, the later is what counts as a secondary source, news certainly wouldn't count. More so because in the article itself they mention the publishing journal is investigating the study. What you need is a literature review, from yes, Science, JAMA, something good, talking about the condition ROGD. Not a primary study that they say is under investigation.Freepsbane (talk) 00:48, 12 September 2018 (UTC)
  • It still falls into making claims about a medical subject, and as project med editors assume, we don't have the source requirements yet, not even a human study with ROGD cases, this is too premature right now. Give it a year or two. The Economist and Wall Street Journal are not scientific resources, they are political commentary. The WSJ said not long ago that Robert Muller must be fired for what they allege are crimes, we don't treat that as a scientific fact, we treat that as a political commentary, which is good, but not the kind of sources we need for medicine.Freepsbane (talk) 00:48, 12 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose – per CFCF and Sarek. Thanks for linking Effemimania; it should be merged or deleted. Sissyphobia is not an article, just a direct. Also, OSE, so they don't help anyway. Mathglot (talk) 22:35, 11 September 2018 (UTC)
  • nope emerging notion, and we lack MEDRS refs about this. Jytdog (talk) 15:46, 14 September 2018 (UTC)

Split ROGD content to a new ROGD controversy article[edit]

Split ROGD content to a new article titled Rapid-onset gender dysphoria controversy:

  • Oppose: The content of the proposed article would be the same, no matter whether the title includes the word "controversy" or not. But ROGD is a better, simpler title. ROGD is the WP:COMMONNAME for the subject under discussion, and it's the title readers will search for. Lwarrenwiki (talk) 19:46, 7 September 2018 (UTC)
You had mentioned being able to meet reliable sources guidelines, in fact, a study controversy page would likely be the page where we could most easily and assuredly meet the requirements. It is also the same approach wiki has taken with controversial studies, lets not reinvent the wheel. Go slow, do this first, and if we get sources that qualify for science articles and medical articles(secondary reviews in good journals), an ROGD page can be made.Freepsbane (talk) 20:54, 7 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Violation of policy – See above. Carl Fredrik talk 20:35, 10 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Not nearly enough going on to raise this to the status of "controversy". --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 13:39, 11 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Opppose – This is premature. If there were sufficient, reliable, sources over an extended period, this might be the right solution. But there aren't, at least not now, and there's no need to rush into this. That doesn't mean it couldn't happen; check back in a year or two, when the news value has died down a bit, and we can see if any other sources have covered this. But for now, this would become a stub, and likely stay that way. In all likelihood, this is just a minor hiccup that will never achieve traction, and will just fade away like most of them do. There's no hurry about this; let's wait and see. There is, however, a "controversy article" solution that might work: See #Merge to new article below. Mathglot (talk) 23:03, 11 September 2018 (UTC)
  • nope WP:LASTING, WP:SUSTAINED etc. Jytdog (talk) 15:45, 14 September 2018 (UTC)

Merge to an existing article[edit]

  • Support: It may be difficult to create a short version of the present ROGD content – including the study's findings as well as criticism and controversy – while maintaining consensus about NPOV and balance. But assuming that it can be done, I would support merging a shorter version of the ROGD content into an existing gender-related or medical article where the content is appropriate (e.g., as a section or subsection). Here are 3 possible candidates:
  1. Gender dysphoria#Epidemiology
  2. Causes of transsexuality#Psychological factors and theories
  3. Sociology of gender#Gender and socialization
I'd be OK with any of them, but each of them has its own set of existing editors with their own concerns or issues. We would certainly want to discuss a proposed merge on the target article's talk page, before taking action. Lwarrenwiki (talk) 19:46, 7 September 2018 (UTC)
Again, adding ROGD to a medical page would seem to directly contradict with WP:MEDRES guidelines and if such is done it should be run through with them to ensure we aren't dropping in something that clearly can not meet the resource requirements for a scientific or medical page. More likely than not, creating ROGD as it's own scientific/medical page or adding ROGD to an established medical article when it is currently an unconfirmed hypothesis that doesn't meet the lowest threshold of human evidence: case studies a set by wikipedia's projects, will probably just end in the deletion of those segments. It's much more productive to be slow in adding material, till there are adequate resources.Freepsbane (talk) 20:54, 7 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Violates MEDRS — The content can not be merged to those articles, as it does not abide by MEDRS. The only possibility is removal. As for mention of the theory, which is acceptable under MEDRS — it is likely WP:UNDUE. Carl Fredrik talk 20:36, 10 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Maybe – possibly you could merge to one of those articles, but imho only if you stripped out the stuff about dysphoria, and used only the material about the publishing controversy. But in that case, how relevant would the remaining material be, for any of those three articles? A better solution, imho, would be to merge only the material about the controversy, into an article specifically about publishing controversies. See #Merge to new article. Mathglot (talk) 23:13, 11 September 2018 (UTC)
  • no see WP:ONEWAY. Jytdog (talk) 15:44, 14 September 2018 (UTC)

Merge to new article[edit]

Remove everything about a medical condition, briefly summarize everything else (namely, the publishing controversy) and add the summary to an article that discusses academic or publishing controversies. (This would have to be created, as no such article currently exists .) This would leave Lisa Littman as a very brief bio stub, whose disposition could be discussed independently.

  • Support – The Littman publishing controversy might rate a small H3 or H4 subsection in such an article. The proposed article doesn't exist yet, but I am gathering notes to create one. Current tentative title: Academic publishing controversies, but I'm still working on scoping it, getting content and sources, and it's possible the title could change. Mathglot (talk) 23:00, 11 September 2018 (UTC)
  • oppose we cannot make a page on the condition as there are no MEDRS refs about it. A page on "the controversy" is not NOTNEWS stuff that we don't do here. Jytdog (talk) 15:44, 14 September 2018 (UTC)

Minor talk page refactoring[edit]

@Mathglot: I hope you don't mind that I refactored to move your Notes section upward (to the bottom of their subsection), because a Notes section at the bottom of a talk page looks unusual and appears to block new sections. Template:Notelist-talk was created for just this purpose: "This keeps the footnotes associated with the appropriate section for clarity and to maintain the integrity of the discussion when archived." It can be used multiple times on a talk page, if notes are needed in other subsections. Lwarrenwiki (talk) 22:49, 12 September 2018 (UTC)

@Lwarrenwiki: Good catch; that was my intention; must've been an oversight. I've used {{Reflist-talk}}, {{Notelist-talk}} and others countless times, including adding them for others as you did for me. Thanks for this, and feel free to do this anytime I forget. Mathglot (talk) 06:21, 13 September 2018 (UTC)

Additional discussions about this page[edit]

FYI, further discussions about this page have been taking place elsewhere:

Lwarrenwiki (talk) 02:49, 13 September 2018 (UTC)

Suggested version[edit]

Jytdog's version[edit]

I did a test edit - please see here. This treats this at a much higher level, which is probably more appropriate for biomedical-related "news". I would suggest leaving it there, until the PLoS review is done at least. Jytdog (talk) 05:14, 14 September 2018 (UTC)

@Jytdog: I think you did an excellent job of reducing the length and summarizing at a higher level. I do have concerns with several points that you've expressed as facts in Wikipedia's VOICE, where that reading isn't fully supported by the cited sources. I will write those quibbles up in the near future (probably later today), so you can respond to those points. Until that discussion, let's please keep the WP:STATUSQUO for now. Thank you for your time and efforts to improve this BLP. Lwarrenwiki (talk) 17:12, 14 September 2018 (UTC) rev. 17:14, 14 September 2018 (UTC)
@Jytdog: Agreed, thanks very much for that. My preference would be to cut the article back to your version, while waiting for the Rfc to complete, unless policy discourages that. In addition, I'd remove the "Selected publications section", as well. Every professor must publish, that's the rule, not the exception. Her publications are readily available at google scholar, and I'm concerned that including them here smacks a bit of promotion. It's not like any of these publications have much import on their own, at least not according to her scientific colleagues per the citation count (and especially not the ROGD article). To the extent that the publication at the core of the controversy is important to the shortened version, it's already mentioned extensively in the running text of the article, and included as a footnote in the references. This seems enough, to me. The other publications don't seem to add anything to the article, except to fill out her CV. Of the other six assistant professors I linked in the footnote above, only one has a publications section, and he seems considerably more notable than the others, or than Littman.
As far as shortening the article now or keeping the status quo, I'm of two minds about that. Normally, I would be in favor of shortening it for all the MEDRS reasons mentioned in the sections above. OTOH, there is an open Rfc about these issues, and I'm not sure if the Rfc should run its course before making a big cut. My preference would be to cut the article back to Jytdog's version, and remove the publications section, while waiting for the Rfc to complete, unless policy discourages that. All of the material would be retrievable from history, if the Rfc decides that any of it should be kept. Mathglot (talk) 20:34, 14 September 2018 (UTC)
I am happy to have any tweaks; I don't pretend the proposal is perfect. But it should be tight, and the sources should be high quality. I was bummed to not see any coverage (like in the Science News piece) of the discussion of the abstact by the Advocate. :( I would like to see this version implemented ASAP but do not want to force it. Jytdog (talk) 22:01, 14 September 2018 (UTC) (strike brainfart; this is the ref I was actually following when I generated this. gah Jytdog (talk) 16:04, 16 September 2018 (UTC))

Mathglot's version[edit]

I tweaked Jytdog's version to make this version. A comparison of the two is here. The main differences are: added infobox, dropped list of publications. See edit history for the full change summary. Mathglot Mathglot (talk) 01:20, 15 September 2018 (UTC)

Moved to #A (potentially) nitpicky discussion examining the infobox: Moved infobox discussion, per Mathglot's suggestion that it doesn't belong here.

Lwarrenwiki (talk) 00:37, 18 September 2018 (UTC)

Infobox discussion moved below, to #A (potentially) nitpicky discussion examining the infobox. Lwarrenwiki (talk) 00:37, 18 September 2018 (UTC)

Discussion of versions[edit]

      Discuss the various suggested versions below.

I am going to start work on a third version, which will begin with Mathglot's as its base. It won't be significantly longer, or very much different. I respect Jytdog's conciseness, and I think he did an excellent job on the whole. His admonition that "it should be tight, and the sources should be high quality" is right on target.

I'll note in advance that one of my concerns is that both versions give exclusive preference to the article in The Advocate (which is, as the name implies, an advocacy magazine) as the only cited opinion piece, while not even a footnote was dropped to opinion articles in WP:RS sources such as The Economist and The Wall Street Journal. It also concerns me that the sentence The abstract was picked up and discussed by various socially conservative websites and forums. contains a genuine EASTEREGG in the piped link. It editorializes in Wikipedia's WP:VOICE by associating "socially conservative websites and forums" with politicization, while exculpating The Advocate for the same. And partly because of Jytdog's statement above about being "bummed to not see any coverage (like in the Science News piece) of the discussion of the abstact by the Advocate", I can't help but perceive some POV on Jytdog's part, which I am sure was unintended. It would be better to omit this sentence, with or without the piped link. Lwarrenwiki (talk) 02:54, 15 September 2018 (UTC)

Looking forward to your version. Have to agree with you about the sentence you identified, as far the pipled link being a case of violating the principle of least astonishment; it would be better left unpiped (and unlinked). In addition, although some (half?) of the criticism was clearly coming from socially conservative, even transphobic websites (that won't be hard to document), another portion was coming from those concerned more with the freedom of academics to publish unfettered and isolated from outside pressure of whatever stripe. So, I don't think we need to omit the sentence, because there's truth in it, I just think we need to augment it with another clause that speaks to the response of some in the scientific community. I think we'd need to be careful about sourcing, and it might need several citations for the one sentence to get it right. It would certainly be less work just to leave it out, but I think it would miss an important part of the story, because the source and reason for the opposition is crucial to understanding why this issue even became known outside the academic community at all. Mathglot (talk) 05:40, 15 September 2018 (UTC)
Larrenwiki; the advocate piece is independent, secondary coverage of the first publication (the conference abstract) and the intitial reaction to that abstract. That is why it has value. As I noted it would be useful if there were better sources. Please see your talk page. Jytdog (talk) 21:02, 15 September 2018 (UTC)
The most important thing here is to give PLOSone, the journal who published the paper it's due weight. The statements, especially their more recent should be quoted or paraphrased. Freepsbane (talk) 04:49, 16 September 2018 (UTC)
Which should be light WEIGHT; there has not been time for the relevant academic community to react. Jytdog (talk) 05:42, 16 September 2018 (UTC)

Tightened version[edit]

  • I've gone ahead and implemented mathglot's version as folks generally seem to be in agreement on tightening this down. I expect we will refine this further, for sure. Jytdog (talk) 05:45, 16 September 2018 (UTC)
    @Jytdog: That, plus the subsequent edits you made for piping, PLOS, EL, politicization of science, primarys to "Further", all look fine to me. Lwarrenwiki, are you still planning another temp version, or would it be simpler just to move forward based on this, and merge your changes into Jytdog's latest rev?
    At this point, I'd like to see a decent See also section, although tbh I'm not certain what would go in there yet; if nothing comes to mind, then there shouldn't be one. Also, in this form, the article is just about long enough to maybe have a couple of section headings ("Education", "Career", "Publishing controversy" ?) topped by a short intro paragraph as a new lead, summarizing what we have in the body so far. Probably a single, short paragraph of three sentences or so would be plenty. Mathglot (talk) 06:44, 16 September 2018 (UTC)
    Okay, as a trial, I added section headings, and also a clause in the area of transgender identity among adolescents, to modify "work" in sentence three of what is now the lead. Mathglot (talk) 07:08, 16 September 2018 (UTC)
  • @Mathglot: I approve of this group of edits and endorse them completely. Lwarrenwiki (talk) 07:16, 16 September 2018 (UTC)
  • @Jytdog: I believe that the changeover may have been premature, and if my expression of appreciation for your work was mistaken for a more general assent, then I regret not making my objections clearer. That said, I have no plans to revert it to the previous version. We'll work through BRD in good faith.
I have already identified the prominence of The Advocate's article as perhaps the main area where we have a serious good-faith dispute over how much weight is merited. Tannehill's advocacy takes an extremely contentious tone and she makes serious unproven allegations, which are wisely not repeated in the present article. I appreciate that. I would also remove the Tannehill article, which is already duly cited as a reference, from the prominence that it's accorded by inclusion in "Further reading". Lwarrenwiki (talk) 07:14, 16 September 2018 (UTC)
@Lwarrenwiki: Since you wrote, Philafrenzy has made a few edits which have improved it further. One was to move Tannehill out of Further reading, and into Lisa Littman#External links. I don't know if that reduced the prominence adequately for you, but it forced me to think about those two headings, and I think I do give a bit more creedence to what's in "Further reading", rightly or wrongly, which somehow appears to be in Wikipedia's voice, at least more so than "External links" seems like it could be any ol' damn thing. Maybe I'm wrong about those two sections, and I haven't read the policies (FR, EL) lately but now I'll go refresh my memory on that point now. If we're going to keep Tannehill, I think I prefer it in EL than FR. Mathglot (talk) 07:27, 16 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Of course we're going to keep Tannehill as a source. I have removed the EL. The difference between EL and FR exists, but doesn't matter here, in my view. Either way, this reference is being singled out for more attention from the reader than an ordinary reference. The second appearance makes an editorial statement of its importance, and calls it out in body-size type, unlike other references. I believe that matters. And it will matter increasingly more over time, as more sources are added in the natural progression of improving the article. Lwarrenwiki (talk) 12:16, 16 September 2018 (UTC)
  • The source there is Retraction Watch, and it gives significant weight to the Advocate piece. (I had forgotten about that, when I wrote above, about there not being other refs mentioning it.... (will go strike that now) Jytdog (talk) 16:02, 16 September 2018 (UTC)
  • I don't care where The Advocate piece is, in the page. I don't think we should use it as a ref, as it is "in the fray". I think it was a key piece and should be an EL or Further reading, like Littman's 2 papers are. Jytdog (talk) 16:08, 16 September 2018 (UTC)
  • @Jytdog: I definitely agree that The Advocate is "in the fray", and if cited at all, it should be cited with great care. But let's examine the source for this phrase: The abstract was picked up and discussed by various socially conservative websites and forums, .... The structure of the sentence makes it a little unclear whether we are stating the conservative discussion as a fact, or (as with the second half of the sentence) attributing it to The Advocate via a cite to RW. Either way, I believe we need to clearly attribute it to The Advocate inline. That's because RW didn't write it as their own statement – RW put it in a block quote preceded by "According the Advocate". In other words, RW was careful (like us) to take no position of its own on whether what Tannehill wrote about a conservative discussion is factual. When that happens, I think it's permissible (if not preferred) to cite both the secondary and the primary source, and I think best to clarify inline which one actually said it. Lwarrenwiki (talk) 04:01, 17 September 2018 (UTC) rev. 04:14, 17 September 2018 (UTC)
  • It was bold, sorry if that was overbold. If we are sticking with the big trimming, should we perhaps put a note on the RfC that the page looked like this when the questions were posed? Jytdog (talk) 16:08, 16 September 2018 (UTC)
    Yah, maybe a note. It was bold, sure, and normally, I'd be opposed to a big change like that as premature in the middle of an Rfc, especially as this was one of the alternatives. However, a lot of that stuff was contentious and I think the cut-back easily falls under the "remove immediately without waiting for discussion" aspect of WP:BLP. Even if we got it wrong in doing that, one errs in the direction of removal at first; it's always there available to be restored if consensus develops to do so. Mathglot (talk) 05:09, 17 September 2018 (UTC)
    I added a note; feel free to adjust as needed. Mathglot (talk) 05:54, 17 September 2018 (UTC)

Spectrum of fringe theories[edit]

Moved from WP:BLPN#Lisa Littman: This is the better venue, as suggested by Jytdog (talk · contribs). Lwarrenwiki (talk) 17:00, 14 September 2018 (UTC)
I'm failing to see why ROGD needs its own article. If it gets one, it needs to be very clear that it lacks scientific validity, just like we do for all other fringe theory articles. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 02:47, 14 September 2018 (UTC)
Simply lacking scientific validity doesn't mean it is not an encyclopedic topic, as long as it is discussed in the manner we'd treat other WP:FRINGE topics. People will likely be searching for information on what the ROGD actually is even if we say it is not proven/scientifically sound. Only importance is that we have RSes actually "discussing" it to validate its notability; we don't cover fringe theories that have only been given attention in fringe/non-RSes. --Masem (t) 03:09, 14 September 2018 (UTC)
Masem, "lacking scientific validity [means] it is not an encyclopedic topic" is not what I argued, though. I stated that "I'm failing to see why ROGD needs its own article." WP:No page is a thing. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 03:33, 14 September 2018 (UTC)
@Masem and Flyer22 Reborn: On the WP:FRINGE#Spectrum of fringe theories, the tone of the coverage in reliable sources seems to put it squarely in the third category, "Alternative theoretical formulations from within the scientific community". The Lisa Littman article already cites a reasonable number of independent WP:RS, per WP:FRINGESOURCE. There's also this opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal, not yet cited. Lwarrenwiki (talk) 04:50, 14 September 2018 (UTC)
I'm not understanding how you came to the conclusion of it fitting category 3. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 08:32, 14 September 2018 (UTC)
  • @Flyer22 Reborn: On category 3, WP:FRINGE/PS says, "Alternative theoretical formulations generally... deal with strong, puzzling evidence—which is difficult to explain away—in an effort to create a model that better explains reality." I recommend that you take a few moments to scan Littman's study for yourself, since that's exactly what the study says it is doing. This is also supported in Science (journal), particularly by its concluding 2–3 paragraphs here.
As for categories 1 and 2, I haven't seen reliable sources making the assertions identified in WP:FRINGE/PS. The closest, I think, was an accusation of bias and "fake science" made by a non-scientist writing in The Advocate (see politicization of science). The study was published in PLOS One, a peer-reviewed journal that's normally accepted under WP:MEDRS, and that has published hundreds of articles by Littman's peers on the faculty at Brown. So the publication venue is not among the issues. PLOS One is conducting a review of the study, which they say is in response to "reader comments" (some of them anonymous or pseudonymous) about the study's methodology. The study itself acknowledged and addressed many of those questions before they were raised, so they would have been considered before publication. The journal's review hasn't been completed, and its outcome can't be prejudged; but based on the issues under consideration, even the worst-case outcome couldn't rise to the level of category 1. Lwarrenwiki (talk) 17:00, 14 September 2018 (UTC)
  • @Flyer22 Reborn: @Lwarrenwiki: The study was published in PLOSone which says it has a relaxed peer review process. The study is now under investigation by the publishing journal. I don't know if fringe is the appropriate word, but it's pretty easy to say her theory isn't mainstream and her publication is under a cloud. Undue weight must not be given to non mainstream theories. Just as important, PLOSone said their investigation had nothing to do with politics and that they'd uncovered potentially major flaws. The peer reviewed journal in question, what Lwarrenwiki calls a reliable source, refutes this supposed political suppression hypothesis. Freepsbane (talk) 20:19, 14 September 2018 (UTC)
  • @Freepsbane: I'm sorry, where did PLOS One say "that they'd uncovered potentially major flaws"? They said no such thing. Here is their first statement, and they also made statements to Retraction Watch that are quoted here and here. Please read them for yourself, @Flyer22 Reborn: none of the statements by PLOS One says (or even implies) that they have "uncovered" anything at all yet, much less "uncovered potentially major flaws."
  • @Flyer22 Reborn: @Lwarrenwiki: They mention in both press releases they might have to make corrections or changes to publication, I don't know if you have a background that would involve getting papers published, but if they're talking about making corrections, or doing something about your publication, those are pretty much the most serious steps they can take in cases of flaws. Certainly not a good sign when they hold open the possibility of forcing Littman to rewrite flaws they consider too serious or retract.Freepsbane (talk) 04:31, 16 September 2018 (UTC)
  • @Freepsbane: That's an inference from what they actually wrote; and if PLOS One does retract the publication at the end of its review, your prediction will then be proved right. If corrections or changes are made, then the result will be a corrected publication – one in which the concerns or flaws have been resolved to the journal's satisfaction. Or the review may reach some other outcome. No findings have been announced yet, and therefore the journal has uncovered no flaws yet. That could happen in the future, but Wikipedia should not be prejudging the outcome of the investigation. Lwarrenwiki (talk) 06:31, 16 September 2018 (UTC)
  • As I said we don't know how this will end, which is why making a page is premature. However the potential corrective steps they are mentioning are very serious, the same things Nature did with Benveniste. We do not know how the investigation will end but we do know they are investigating and suggested possibly serious actions. That makes it grossly premature to hold a paper under investigation by it's journal as being mainstream just because the now investigating journal published.Freepsbane (talk) 21:49, 16 September 2018 (UTC)
As for "published in PLOSone which says it has a relaxed peer review process" – well, no, they didn't say that either. They say something different. Looking at PLOS One#Publication concept and the linked statement from the journal: the admitted difference is that PLOS One does not "use the perceived importance of a paper as a criterion for acceptance or rejection". Their peer review process "verifies whether experiments and data analysis were conducted rigorously", and no relaxation of that standard is mentioned. Lwarrenwiki (talk) 00:25, 15 September 2018 (UTC)
And you conveniently ignored that same page is full of high profile retractions they have had to make including the God paper, you also forgot that the same page documents their impact factor has plummeted to bellow 3, very low for a multidisciplinary, check out what Science has. Impact factor in an active field is a measure of how much scientist trust your work. If you make too many mistakes, they stop citing your papers, which is the case here. You don't have to look far to see that biomedical scientists are often skeptical if you'll be able to reproduce everything in PLOSone.Freepsbane (talk) 04:31, 16 September 2018 (UTC)
@Freepsbane: Re: "page is full of" I see two. Lwarrenwiki (talk) 06:31, 16 September 2018 (UTC)
  • In fact, the study had zero human patients, which is something MEDRS considered necessary for making medical claims. Anecdotal evidence from surveying third parties is all the theory has to go by. That seems to be a rather textbook example of "relies on weak evidence such as anecdotal evidence or weak statistical evidence (as for example in parapsychology), or indulges a suspect theoretical premise". Given the investigation and lack of mainstream support I'd say it's a rather clear example of what they classified as "questionable". Perhaps in the future more studies will confirm Littman's theory, or instead PLOSone might determine the whole thing was too flawed to be of any use and retract. We don't know, that's why making a scientific page is grossly premature right now while everything is under a cloud.Freepsbane (talk) 20:28, 14 September 2018 (UTC)
@Flyer22 Reborn: One more factor that places it in category 3: I have seen no WP:RS that says Littman isn't "within the scientific community" (quoting WP:FRINGE/PS). She is a physician and a researcher on the faculty of an Ivy League university. She published a study in one of the many peer-reviewed venues where Brown's researchers submit papers – see above at #PLOS One (noting over 800 other articles in PLOS One by Brown researchers, based on search of author affiliations here). Whether or not the study is found (upon review) to be flawed, I can find no support for saying it came from outside the "scientific community". Lwarrenwiki (talk) 16:21, 15 September 2018 (UTC)
@Flyer22 Reborn:@Lwarrenwiki: This is again an improper appeal to authority, yes Littman is a nontenured professor in Brown, and she doesn't have a history of publishing in any high impact journals like JAMA or Nature, true so you could argue she's another middle of the road assistant professor that probably hasn't made enough achievements for notability or tenure. But that is asides from the point, the one journal that accepted her study now has it under investigation for what they say are alegedly serious methodology problems. In their own words and Brown's most senior scientist thought it was suspect, and WPATH as you noted,a medical organization dealing with the topic she covers put a statement doubting the validity of her theories. There is no mainstream acceptance. And just as importantly what PLOSone is investigating is that the study is solely composed of anecdotal evidence from third parties and might have suspect statistics. Exactly what the page lays out as examples of questionable science. Please find some more supporting studies, preferably from high impact journals if you think the study counts as class three and has strong evidence or scholarly support. As is we just have a study under investigation by a journal that's known for having relaxed standards, which really fits the "questionable" definition.Freepsbane (talk) 04:23, 16 September 2018 (UTC)
@Flyer22 Reborn:@Lwarrenwiki: Another important thing to remember when using appeal to authority based on someone's current job is that it doesn't work. Jacques Benveniste was a full professor and a director of a national research institute when he proposed his alternative theory for water memory. He was already famous for many discoveries regarding allergic responses (which were actually genuine seminal discoveries). He even got his controversial water memory paper published in Nature! Obviously he was several orders of magnitude in importance and being established over a nontenured professor who hasn't been able to get published in high impact journals. By that you could mistakenly claim he had broad support from the scientific community, (his theory never did). Of course it ended with Nature publishing corrections and commentaries disavowing his study after an investigation(somehow it wasn't actually retracted). Just that someone has been employed as an assistant professor and published other unrelated work in unremarkable journals does not by proxy mean that their new work on an alternative theory has scholarly support, the only thing we have seen so far is an investigation from the publishing journal. That seems to imply it's questionable science.Freepsbane (talk) 04:59, 16 September 2018 (UTC)
@Freepsbane: That is interesting. I didn't know about Benveniste before. You didn't say the word pseudoscience, but I will; his work on water memory was clearly pseudoscience. It should have been caught before publication, despite his standing in the scientific community. It's surprising that Nature printed it, and even more surprising that they didn't retract it. Even PLOS One has retracted two articles. Lwarrenwiki (talk) 06:31, 16 September 2018 (UTC)
Benveniste is odd, he was pretty famous beforehand for his previous accomplishments, so Nature threw him soft balls and just checked to make sure his data was generally correct. It was... asides the fact that the Benveniste lab discarded all negative results under the justification that they did the tricky technique wrong, so by unintentional statistical manipulation they only got positive results. I think they really did think they discovered water memory and tricked themselves into rationalizing every negative result. Anyways, it's possible for someone to be famous and have their previous work be seen as a bedrock, but still not have any support for their new theory. They teach him in school as a sort of cautionary tale against falling for something that seems too good, rationalizing and lab group think. Freepsbane (talk) 18:23, 16 September 2018 (UTC)
Not a category three. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 18:29, 15 September 2018 (UTC)
@Flyer22 Reborn: I respect your opinion, so I'm disappointed that my reasoning didn't convince you. If part of my response was inaccurate, I'd appreciate knowing which facts you think I got wrong, and why. Or what facts and sources you have, that you found more convincing. Lwarrenwiki (talk) 20:54, 15 September 2018 (UTC)

Social contagion[edit]

The top of the #Publishing controversy section starts off like this:

Littman became interested in the possible role of [[social contagion]] in gender dysphoria among young people, and...

I'm wondering about two things with respect to the use of the term "social contagion" in that sentence:

  1. Although I personally agree with the fact that that is what the Littman study is implying, do we really have a source that uses those words, or otherwise sufficiently expounds on her paper in a way so as to justify the use of that term? Otherwise, it seems to be a bit OR or SYNTH.
  2. If the term is justified, should it be linked? Even if the source does use the words, are we justified in wikilinking it, especially since it's a redirect to Emotional contagion? Do we know from secondary sources, that what Littman claims to be observing is emotional contagion, rather than, say, a sense of peer group pressure, or some other mechanism which might be going on? Mathglot (talk) 07:54, 16 September 2018 (UTC)
Point 1 is moot; one of the references definitely says "social contagion" (quotes in the original); missed that the first time around. The question about point 2 remains. Mathglot (talk) 08:09, 16 September 2018 (UTC)
  • On point 2, I have seen no secondary source calling it "emotional contagion", and the target of the wikilink describes a phenomenon significantly different from the one Littman hypothesized (not claimed). Lwarrenwiki (talk) 12:22, 16 September 2018 (UTC)
It seems to be a rather blatant MDRES violation, a new theory for a well established disease being held up without adequate evidence. Consider rewording.Freepsbane (talk) 21:50, 16 September 2018 (UTC)
Are people reading the sources cited in the article? "social contagion" or variants thereof are mentioned in both of the sources used (RW and Science News). The content doesn't say that there is social contagion among these kids, but rather that this is what she was studying. Jytdog (talk) 21:56, 16 September 2018 (UTC)
Yes but we can't introduce medical claims and theories if they aren't appropriately sourced per WP:MEDRES. It's also an undue weight violation if we give non mainstream theories the same amount of weight and credibility we do well established science. We should make sure the premise is stated as an unconfirmed opinion, not as a theory with strong evidence.Freepsbane (talk) 22:11, 16 September 2018 (UTC)
a) there is no medical claim in WP's voice. b) again "social contagion" is used only to state her research question, which is not biomedical information; c) it is extremely unlikely that people will accept WP saying nothing about this. Given that (and it is being tested via the RfC above), if we have to say something, the content I have proposed, using Sciences News piece and RW to summarize her findings, attributed to Science and RW, is the best we can do. I have nothing more to say here. Jytdog (talk) 00:16, 17 September 2018 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I agree with Jytdog on this. As I said above, the source uses the exact term "social contagion" describing her research question, and so there is no reason we should not. My only concern is with whether to link it to emotional contagion, because that might be seen as SYNTH. I'll remove the link, and see how it goes from there. Another wrinkle on this question: the source uses double quotes around the term in their article, evidently quoting Littman's article. Perhaps we should both unlink the term, and double-quote it as well? Mathglot (talk) 01:34, 17 September 2018 (UTC)

Agreed. It's accurately quoted from the sources, it's not used as biomedical information, and it belongs in quotation marks. Lwarrenwiki (talk) 03:21, 17 September 2018 (UTC)

Note: I added this discussion at WT:Manual of Style regarding just the question of double-quoting expressions already double-quoted in the source. Mathglot (talk) 03:28, 17 September 2018 (UTC)

Transgender transitions vs. gender transitions[edit]

The article cites Science for this passage: Littman ... recruited from three websites where she had seen parents describe sudden transgender transitions in their adolescents...

The phrase "sudden transgender transitions" isn't exactly the wording that appears in Science, which says "sudden gender transitions". The significance, I think, is that "sudden transgender transitions" would mean the physical process of transition (see Transitioning (transgender)), and that's not the same thing as sudden cases of gender dysphoria (a DSM-5 mental condition). The latter is what I believe Science intended to describe; that would be consistent with the primary source. So I'm going to change this to the more exact words that appeared in Science. Lwarrenwiki (talk) 06:02, 17 September 2018 (UTC)

Timeline for coinage of the term ROGD[edit]

We're citing Retraction Watch for this sentence: The abstract mentioned the name Littman had coined, "rapid onset gender dysphoria", for a provisional condition or syndrome.

RW does note the coinage by Littman, but RW doesn't actually say that it was mentioned in the abstract. Science is clearer: "The paper is the first in the literature to name ROGD..."; the paper, and not the earlier abstract.

When I looked, the phrase "rapid onset gender dysphoria" did not appear in the abstract. It's close, but not quite the same. The actual wording of the abstract is slightly (but significantly) different. The abstract's title begins with "Rapid onset of gender dysphoria", and the abstract consistently includes the word "of". Including on the second page, in the phrase "websites where parents had reported rapid onsets of gender dysphoria" (see p1, p2).

I think this may point the way to an insight: the word of may be genuinely helpful in making a subtle distinction. Without the word "of", ROGD is taken to be an original coinage, a putative "provisional condition or syndrome" (although those words weren't used in RW, Science, or Littman's abstract). But the emphasis is different when the word "of" is there to break up the phrase. I think it becomes noticeably clearer that what's being studied is not a novel condition; it's just a sudden (or rapid) onset of a well-known condition. Lwarrenwiki (talk) 06:02, 17 September 2018 (UTC)

This and the thing above it are fine, as far as I am concerned. I am hopeful that now that we are ~perhaps~ agreed on WEIGHT and mentioning this at all, and just summarizing what happened at a high level, rather than being in the fray per WP:Beware of tigers, these sorts of refinements will be mostly uncontroversial.... Jytdog (talk) 14:27, 17 September 2018 (UTC)
I think they're fine, too; but I'm also starting to think we're all spending too much time on subtle differences in a stub article, and should let it sit at some point and work on more important stuff. That's mostly me talking, to myself; you may or may not agree. Mathglot (talk) 07:28, 18 September 2018 (UTC)

A (potentially) nitpicky discussion examining the infobox[edit]

Moved from #Mathglot's version: Moved from above. Lwarrenwiki (talk) 00:37, 18 September 2018 (UTC)
  • @Mathglot: How would you feel about ditching the infobox? Per WP:INFOBOXUSE, MOS is neutral on whether to have one, and per WP:INFOBOXPURPOSE, its purpose is "to summarize... key facts that appear in the article". I don't believe such a short article really needs an infobox to summarize key facts.
My larger concern is that this entire article is already essentially a summary of the longer article that it used to be, and there are still good faith disputes about the weight that should be given to some facts, and good faith disputes about which facts are "key facts". I hope we're seeing this the same way. I'll go into more detail if you wish, but I imagine that nobody here (definitely including me) actually wants to have a nitpicky discussion examining {{Infobox scientist}} field-by-field. :) Lwarrenwiki (talk) 20:31, 17 September 2018 (UTC)
@Lwarrenwiki: Seems like this ought to go in the section #Tightened version, but since you placed it here, I'll respond here.
I'd prefer to keep the Infobox. It's a question of efficiency and time-saving. We already know that a large percentage, perhaps the majority of page viewers read only the lead of an article. But even that takes time. When I click on a link that takes me to an article, I want to assess, in a short a time as possible, whether I even want to spend time on the lead, let alone read the article. An infobox is perfect for this. It's structured, the information is always in the same place, and I have details about who they are, when they lived (or living), where they're from, what their occupation is, and what they are most known for. A glance of two to three seconds is sufficient to take all that in, and by then, I know if I want to go any further or not. The infobox in this article is quite compact, and gives you all that at a glance.
Do you hae a specific objection to having an infobox, that would satisfy the concerns of people who scan articles the way I do? I've not seen too many nitpicky discussions about infoboxes, and I don't expect one here. (I do remember one, where they tried to decide if a particular battle was "decisive" or not, but with or without that word, the rest of the infobox was still very helpful to assess what the article was about.) Do you find that having an Infobox detracts from the value of the article in some way? Mathglot (talk) 23:01, 17 September 2018 (UTC)
@Mathglot: Infobox discussion moved from #Mathglot's version. Lwarrenwiki (talk) 00:37, 18 September 2018 (UTC)
It seems fairly representative, Littman hasn't published in any high impact journals thus far, nor have any of her academic publications ever been widely cited. I don't see other articles give a lot of weight to middling publications like that. The only thing that meets our notability guidelines is not her scientific career or other publications, but controversy over a single event.Freepsbane (talk) 03:59, 18 September 2018 (UTC)
@Mathglot: Just as you say, a lot of readers will look at nothing but the infobox, if one is present. Why facilitate that? We've struggled with the content. We've struggled with the lead. We are likely to continue doing so, all in good faith and with the goal of improving the article. There are complex and conflicting issues involved, and sound arguments to be considered from all sides... because in the bigger picture (i.e., not focused on Littman's work!), every person of good faith wants to promote transgender health, and every person of good faith wants to defend academic freedom.
At best, this infobox is an extreme oversimplification, a summary of a summary. The problem that must be avoided – and it's hard to avoid, wherever there's an infobox! – is making editorial statements by what goes into the infobox, and what is left out of the infobox.
These are some examples of infobox content that I consider problematic. The first two omissions were probably inadvertent; and in all cases, I believe that every editor here is editing in good faith. I don't expect all of us to share identical good faith opinions about anything (and especially not about matters of WP policy). Here goes:
  • The infobox omits her degrees from the Education section.
  • The infobox lists only two institutions in the Education section, and omits her third. (At Icahn/Mount Sinai School of Medicine, she did a second residency and earned a master's degree in public health.)
  • The infobox lists Littman's fields as "Abortion risk, reproductive health". I recognize that space limitations in an infobox make it necessary to exclude some of the professional fields that appear, or can be inferred, from her Brown profile page. And I'm not asking you to defend those particular two choices, but only to consider that by choosing some and omitting others, Wikipedia is making an editorial decision. The omission of other fields (including ones that are actually mentioned in the lead) could be taken as an implicit statement in Wikipedia's WP:VOICE that she has less expertise, or no expertise worth mentioning, in those other fields.
  • The phrase "Abortion risk" doesn't appear in her Brown profile in those words. (The closest match is way down in her fifth publication, which has "abortion risks" in the title, with an "s".) The phrase "abortion risk" could be easily misunderstood, especially by some readers who will bring their own biases. Will some readers look at those oversimplified words, and see support for a picture of Littman as a right-winger who wants to stop abortion by calling it risky? That would be an entirely incorrect reading, because the primary sources show years of substantial close work with and in support of abortion providers, e.g., to help some populations of women overcome misinformation about the risks of abortion. But it requires a deep dive to see what is meant by "abortion risks"! I think it's a phrase that is probably better avoided.
And I haven't even gotten to the problematic content of the "Known for" field yet. Lwarrenwiki (talk) 05:32, 18 September 2018 (UTC) rev. 07:08, 18 September 2018 (UTC)
(edit conflict)
You seem to be addressing two separate questions here, but in a fashion which treats them as if they were one. I will try to tease the two apart, and address them separately. The two issues I see you asking about, at a high level, are:
  1. This infobox – Are the entries in the infobox the best they can be, or can they be improved? There may be problems of incompleteness (degrees not mentioned, omission of fields of interest), and terms which are loaded in the larger culture which may mislead (abortion risk).
  2. Infoboxes, generally – Are infoboxes useful at all in a short article? They're "an extreme oversimplification". They're "a summary of a summary". And deciding what to include or exclude is a problem that's "hard to avoid, wherever there's an infobox!".
I'd like to address the second one, first. Point #2 seems to be questioning the merit of infoboxes in general, whether any infobox can ever surmount the failings you list, rather than discussing particular failings in the infobox in this article. As such, that discussion does not belong here, it belongs at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Infoboxes. I'll just mention, however, that given that {{Infobox person}} is transcluded on over 300k pages and {{Infobox}} on 3.1 million, there is plenty of support for using it. So I won't address the "extreme oversimplfication" issue here, but only add that I agree with you: Infoboxes are an extreme oversimplification.[a] If you think that's bad, or doesn't improve the articles in which it appears, you should open a discussion at WT:MOSIBOX about it.
In point #1, I summarized at a high level what I believe to be your opinion of various failings of this particular infobox. (Pardon me if I got it wrong.) Issues about problems in the infobox and how to improve it, are appropriate to discuss here. My first reaction is, SOFIXIT. You're free to address any of those issues, if you wish to; I don't own the article. Or I could do it; or anyone could. I think some, or all, of the issues you pointed out are valid, and the infobox should be changed to deal with the issues you have identified. By their nature, Infoboxes are a compromise between brevity ("extreme" brevity perhaps, in your conception) and having enough information not to mislead. To address some of your specific points:
  • I don't see any need to mention lots of degrees; she teaches at an Ivy League University, and advanced degrees will be assumed. I see that "M.D." is right up there at the top on a line of is own, so if you think it's important to add more degrees, they are only a few characters long, I see no harm in adding them there.
  • Missing educational institutions: k, let's add them.
  • Abbreviated "known for" list. There's really only one thing she's known for; only one thing that might get this bio past an Afd discussion, and we all know what it is. That said, I see nothing wrong with adding another item or two.
  • Questionable use of term abortion risk. That term comes straight out of two of her publications, but if you think it's too short and might hook into preexisting culture war battlegrounds, we could say something like "misinformation among patients about abortion and follow-up" or some such. (I believe that what is really meant here, the more precise word to use, would be misconceptions about abortion, but because of the nature of abortion and conception, the author probably felt obliged to avoid use of that word as too loaded in this context. Misinformation is a second-best choice here as far as strict accuracy, imho, but it's what they use—for understandable reasons—and therefore so must we.)
I hope this addresses some of your concerns. Feel free to take a crack at fixing them. I'll probably do so if you don't, since I think you raise some valid issues. Mathglot (talk) 07:21, 18 September 2018 (UTC)


  1. ^ Remember what else it says at WP:INFOBOXPURPOSE: keep in mind the purpose of an infobox: to summarize (and not supplant) key facts that appear in the article (an article should remain complete with its summary infobox ignored). The less information it contains, the more effectively it serves that purpose,allowing readers to identify key facts at a glance.
  • @Mathglot: You've summarized my points both well and fairly. And by doing so, you made me see that in #2, I expressed myself with way too much hyperbole when I wrote "wherever there's an infobox!" I'm sorry, I didn't mean what I wrote. I really should have ratcheted that down to "whenever there's an infobox in a controversial article with disputed content". (My hyperbole was a poorly-written attempt to express WP:AGF in terms something like "anyone could make a good faith mistake".)
So I've got no broad complaint that I'd want to take elsewhere. I acknowledge that in the vast majority of articles, infoboxes are harmless and can be helpful. For myself, I tend to ignore them completely when reading, except to look at a picture. That's because they almost never include information I'm looking for (even to make a quick snapshot assessment), while the lead usually does. I know that I'm not like most people in this. :)
SOFIXIT? SOIWILL. I don't think that you're assenting to deletion of the infobox (which I consider the best way to fix it), so okay, I'll try to fix it constructively. That might require me to refer to content that was cut earlier, and to restore support in the body at a later time. I'll see what I can do in small steps. Lwarrenwiki (talk) 15:05, 18 September 2018 (UTC)
  • ugh infoboxes. I rarely add them or remove them. When I deal with them, it is generally to remove unsourced content that people feel compelled to stick in them.
In general, in my view infoboxes can be helpful:
to present a lot of data that is hard to present or silly to present in a narrative, like in BRCA1 or Aspirin, and
to provide a summary-at-a-glance in a long article like Charles Darwin.
It is hard for me to see how an infobox adds value in a short article like this one. That's all I have to say on this.Jytdog (talk) 15:23, 18 September 2018 (UTC)
@Jytdog: @Lwarrenwiki: "Notable works" seems to be a misnomer, the PLOSone study was published in a journal with a low impact factor, and is under review by the journal itself. From a scholarly standpoint, exactly what that infobox is, it isn't academically notable. Consider changing or removing the section, every other scientist infobox that uses "Notable works" refers to one or more seminal studies in high impact journals with countless cites. This is giving something that meets none of those criteria the same weight. @Jytdog: @Lwarrenwiki:
As a side, I don't even know if an info box is warranted in this case when there was solid consensus that the article subject doesn't meet academic notability guidelines. Should her studies actually be summarized here when they were all published in journals with impact factors ranging between 0.25 and 3.25 and have few cites themselves? We might be giving undue weight to nonotable content, and turning it into a puff piece to direct traffic to studies that didn't meet the criteria for mention.Freepsbane (talk) 21:27, 19 September 2018 (UTC)
  • @Freepsbane: Thanks for checking impact factors. You stated "every other scientist infobox that uses "Notable works" refers to one or more seminal studies in high impact journals with countless cites." That got my attention! You may be right. So I'd be interested in knowing how one might determine that as a fact with such high confidence. I was unable to come up with any Wikipedia search that lists every article that uses the "Notable works" infobox parameter, or any easy way that one could cross-reference the results against the impact numbers of their journals. That seems especially difficult because the "Notable works" parameter isn't supposed to even list the journal, only the title and year.
I looked for the page where "those criteria" were established, but I wasn't able to find it. I also can't find the place where "Notable works" in an infobox is defined in terms of impact factors, or a required minimum impact factor. And I couldn't locate the WP policy that says notable works refers only to "seminal studies". Lwarrenwiki (talk) 04:47, 20 September 2018 (UTC)
@Jytdog: @Lwarrenwiki: was a good place to start, as expected, Littman isn't in the list. In fact, WP:NPROF gives us clear guidelines for who's supposed to be added under the academic category. As of now, none of the criteria are met. It probably is undue weight that we are giving the same box for notability, especially a section under notable research, as people on the short list for the Nobel prize. Freepsbane (talk) 16:56, 20 September 2018 (UTC)
I've said my piece above. I don't see how the infobox adds value. I'll add that is for sure going to add drama and I don't see the value-add as worth any drama. Jytdog (talk) 21:51, 19 September 2018 (UTC)
@Jytdog, Lwarrenwiki, and Freepsbane: I've said my piece about the usefulness and scan-economy of Infoboxes at the outset, but it's not an overriding aspect, and my feeling at this point is that we're just spending way too many words on lots of nitpicky aspects of this article, when there are more important issues elsewhere in the article, not to mention wasting a disproportionate amount of time of a number of good and thoughtful editors that I'd prefer to see freed up to work on more important things. I've removed the Infobox. If someone wants to take it up later, be my guest. Mathglot (talk) 18:11, 20 September 2018 (UTC)
  • @Mathglot: I asked if you would consent to deleting the infobox. Rather than assenting, you asked me to fix it. I accommodated that request, thereby "wasting a disproportionate amount of time", just as you say. On that phrase, and that phrase alone, I agree. Your deletion of my good faith response to your request has certainly given me much to think about. Lwarrenwiki (talk) 18:45, 20 September 2018 (UTC)
@Lwarrenwiki: Be bold. Thanks for you effort in fixing it. Following other responses, although I didn't really change my mind about the usefulness of the Infobox, I saw the balance of opinion shifting more strongly against it and judged that consensus was not in favor. You're free to revert the removal and continue to work on it, leave it as is, or however you prefer it. P.S. Since this is a section that has "nitpicky" in the title, I'm just wondering why you use bullet points in your talk responses where no LIST is involved; it can make following up your comments with the correct indentation level a bit tricky. See WP:THREAD. Mathglot (talk) 19:03, 20 September 2018 (UTC)