Talk:List of important publications in theoretical computer science

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Inclusion criteria[edit]

This article can very easily become a long list of random papers without some well-agreed criteria for inclusion. I propose, first, to have an additional "Importance:" field, right after "Description:", which explains the reason for inclusion. This can be one (or more) of the following:

   * Topic creator – A publication that created a new topic
   * Breakthrough – A publication that changed scientific knowledge significantly
   * Introduction – A publication that is a good introduction or survey of a topic
   * Influence – A publication which has significantly influenced the world
   * Latest and greatest – The current most advanced result in a topic

Then, if needed, a reference can be added to justify the assertion. If it's "breakthrough", the reference should assert that this was a breakthrough paper in the field, and so on. --Robin (talk) 16:06, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

I think some kind of reference is needed always, for every publication in this list. In most cases it isn't that difficult: just refer to something like a Gödel Prize. And if it is difficult to find a reference for a publication, just remove the entry from this list. Naturally if a publication already has a Wikipedia article of its own – like A Mathematical Theory of Communication or The Art of Computer Programming – the importance is already established in the article and no further references are needed here. But for everything else, I would strongly recommend a strict policy of requiring references (WP:V). — Miym (talk) 16:50, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
And yes, making the "Importance" explicit is a good idea. It might even make sense to organise the list by this field (one section for "Topic creators", etc.). — Miym (talk) 16:52, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
With respect, I have to as ask "new," "Breakthrough," "good," significantly influential, "greatest"… as judge by whom? WP editor based on OR? Where does it say anywhere in our policies or guidelines that editor opinions matter a whit in defining encyclopedic content? You suggest: "Then, if needed, a reference can be added to justify the assertion." Bullocks. We are to report the preponderance of established mathematical and scientific perspective, based on solid secondary sources in each respective field, not to present our perspectives, proof texting them as we please. I applaud Miym for trying, unsuccessfully it seems, to redirect this effort toward expert perspectives ("some kind of reference is needed always"), but otherwise object strongly to these guidelines and the direction they have taken the list, see closing Talk section, added this same date. 71.239.87.100 (talk) 01:21, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
Indeed. It is not enough that an editor thinks a paper is "important" (etc.), but that there is some objective criteria which (in theory, at least) any editor could apply, and get the same result regarding inclusion. Such criteria have not been set out here. And there is at least one paper I know of that was tremendously important, yet I don't see it here. In its current state I think this article should be moved to Draft space. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 22:43, 4 February 2015 (UTC)

Layout and structure[edit]

Interesting, but somewhat nonstandard in layout and less readable. I also fail to see the difference between this and the science bibliography lists. After all, shouldn't a bibliography contain important publications? Viriditas (talk) 10:13, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

WikiProject Bibliographies[edit]

Mike Cline (talk) has been creating a draft of WikiProject Bibliographies, a project that is very relevant to this page. WikiProject Science pearls, which crafted the template for your current inclusion criteria, is now a task force in WikiProject Bibliographies. Have a look! Also have a look at Bibliography of biology, formerly List of important publications in biology, which has been edited to conform with the policies of the wikiproject. RockMagnetist (talk) 00:57, 8 November 2011 (UTC)

Proposed selection criteria[edit]

A perennial issue on this and similar pages is how to set criteria for the list. I have carefully considered existing guidelines and tried to craft a broad set of policies that satisfy them. I have posted it on the Science pearls talk page. I would welcome your comments. Of course, these guidelines are not intended to be binding for any particular page, but might help you choose your own selection criteria. RockMagnetist (talk) 00:58, 8 November 2011 (UTC)

With regard[edit]

Despite the following:

Selection criteria should be unambiguous, objective, and supported by reliable sources. In cases where the membership criteria are subjective or likely to be disputed... membership criteria should be based on reliable sources.

Wikipedia: Manual of Style, Section: Stand-alone lists, Subsection: Selection criteria, emphasis added, see [1]

there are only two sources appearing, and neither are in support of the objectivity of the items inclusion in the list. I therefore have to suggest that apart from raising the standard here to that of WIkipedia in general—that inclusion in this list is based on the the preponderance of expert opinion in the field, based on opinions expressed in reputable sources in the secondary/primary computing and maths literature—it is nothing more than an IMDB- or Amazon-sort of "likes" list, based on the opinions of editors. While I have the greatest respect for many of my fellow editor's capabilities in their respective fields, it is beyond our purview to become generators of original research and content here (per WP:OR, etc.).

So, until existence of solid sources is elevated as a criterion from an "also ran" status, to a primary one—e.g., that list items have to be accompanied by 2 reviews, or other citations in support of their content—which then can be looked to for errors, controversial content, etc., I and others will still look to reviews in the complexity literature, and to well written individual WP articles with cited reviews to broaden our reading in this area. Tagging as unsourced until this WP:policy issue is addressed. 71.239.87.100 (talk) 23:49, 1 February 2015 (UTC)

Review and sourcing added to support inclusion of old, existing Cutland entry, and for newly added Arora & Barak's and Goldreich's Computational Complexity texts. I hope these can serve as a minimal standard for what should accompany items appearing. 71.239.87.100 (talk) 01:27, 2 February 2015 (UTC)