Talk:Oxford Round Table

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New Information[edit]

CSULB professor has published an online book about ORT that provides a lot of new and relevant information: It would seem to be very reliable given that it's published by a university professor and contains all of its own supporting documentation.Pokey5945 (talk) 21:34, 11 July 2013 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Pokey5945 (talkcontribs)

That's not a book. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 05:44, 12 July 2013 (UTC)
As noted under Talk:F. King Alexander, it does not appear to be a reliable source for Wikipedia purposes and does not meet the requirements of WP:BLPSPS. it was written by a person suing one of the subjects of this article. Bahooka (talk) 22:46, 30 October 2013 (UTC)
Be mindful that Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia, and its bandwidth should not be wasted on matters of rumor or misapprehension. Facts should be presented from a neutral point of view. When presenting controversial material, it should show verification from another neutral source. Absent that, it does not meet Wiki verifiability standards. An exhaustive corporate and/or non-profit history is not a worthy addition to an encyclopedia unless it is particularly noteworthy or newsworthy and not part of the day-to-day efforts of administrating a corporation or non-profit. Thanks. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Aragorn8392 (talkcontribs) 15:39, 31 October 2013 (UTC)
Please stop deleting my comment. There is nothing remotely against policy about what I wrote. Editors must have the ability to discuss sources on the talk page. Your repeated deletions of my comment are entirely inappropriate.Pokey5945 (talk) 19:02, 2 November 2013 (UTC)
Please tell me why you keep posting the same link, and exactly how the link contributes to the article. The link cannot be used as a reference. If you want to discuss the blog as a reference, move the discussion to the bottom of the page and create a new heading for it. Telling people to read a blog does not help the article, and the Talk page is only for discussion on how to improve the article. The blog is not New Information, and your continuous efforts to post about it reeks of puffery and self-promotion. --Aragorn8392 (talk) 21:55, 6 November 2013 (UTC)
I'm not sure what you mean by "posting the same link". Are you referring to my restoring your repeated deletion of my comment, which includes a link to "Thug:The Book"? If so, that's not posting the same link; that's reverting your vandalism. You don't get to dictate how Wikipedia Talk pages are organized chronologically, and you don't get to delete other editors' discussion of potential sources.Pokey5945 (talk) 22:09, 6 November 2013 (UTC)
I think your definition of 'vandalism' is different than our earth definition of vandalism. --Aragorn8392 (talk) 19:36, 8 November 2013 (UTC)
The Wikipedia definition of a number of things is different than the earth definition :). Aragorn8392, I noticed you had not been properly welcomed to Wikipedia and given links to get a better understanding of processes here. I just posted those links to your talk page. You may find them helpful while working on these articles. Regards, Bahooka (talk) 19:45, 8 November 2013 (UTC)
I am already aware of those links and their content, so there is no need to point to them. Thanks for being so overtly welcoming, I suppose. --Aragorn8392 (talk) 20:26, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

Needs a lot of Housekeeping[edit]

This page needs to be cleaned up quite a bit. There are multiple dead links in the References section. Dead links include 1, 2, 16, 17, and 18.

The are multiple instances where citations have no connection with the article. For instance: The Forum on Public Policy journal has 82 OCLC subscribers, not 11 (as given by Reference number 11; perhaps the editor was confused by the number?). However, I do not see how such information is relevant given how mutable that may be as a fact. Other Wikipedia pages for academic journals don't enumerate their OCLC subscribers.

Source number 14 does not support the first sentence under the "Company history and officers" section. I propose that the first sentence should be stricken from that section. Links 1 and 2 cite an annual corporate report to which there is no online access. I propose that the claims related to these References should be better sourced. If there are no verifying sources to be found, perhaps those claims should be deleted as well.

Claims using References numbered 16-18, which are all dead links, should be removed unless better sources can be found. If these are sources which require special access, the supporting documentation can be uploaded and hosted online (on or off Wikipedia).

Another example of a citation which has no connection with the article is Reference 21. The sentence in the article claims that a person was a coordinator for the Oxford Round Table, yet the linked source makes absolutely no reference to the Oxford Round Table. Without better supporting documentation, that part will need to be removed as well.

Yet another example of an incorrectly used citation is number 23 in the References section. It links inexplicably to the cities of New Orleans and Allentown, PA, as well as the state of New Jersey. The first two article titles cannot be found online. The third article mentioned could be found online, but if you read the article it does not support the "controversy" that is mentioned in the last sentence of the "Criticism..." section of Oxford Round Table. Again, I would recommend finding better sources for that claim. If better citations cannot be found, I would recommend striking that last sentence all together.

Overall, there are large sections of this article that are insinuating and that do not appear to have a neutral point of view. Thus, it fails to meet certain Wikipedia standards. WP:VERIFY --Aragorn8392 (talk) 23:43, 4 November 2013 (UTC)

There are some misconceptions about Wikipedia in your post. Dead links are not necessarily problematic; the fact that a publisher of some sort takes down a link does not mean that the information was never published. Have a look at WP:DEADLINK. Also, there is no policy requiring that a source be available on-line (see WP:SOURCEACCESS). This article was the subject of a great deal of contention several years ago and each piece has been extensively vetted -- so I doubt you'll find support for removing significant portions. Also, WP:NPOV does not mean (as you appear to think) that an article cannot include criticism (i.e., when that criticism is supported by reliable sources). Nomoskedasticity (talk) 06:57, 5 November 2013 (UTC)
I was simply calling those links into question. When presenting information that is controversial and/or noteworthy, there should be some verifying sources that a normal person could research without specialized access (anything beyond access to a good library or libraries). As I mentioned, and as it says in WP:LP, contested sources can be hosted online, and doing so would enhance and strengthen the claims made in the article, if that is what you wish to do. If the links were "extensively vetted," there should be evidence of this process. Looking in the archives, I see a lot of back-and-forth about forums, message boards, and ad hominem attacks, but little helpful discussion about the verifiability of the current sources in the reference section. It is rather stupid that a page about an educational conference has attracted so much controversy, whether or not that controversy is largely fabricated by a small number of people.
Furthermore, try to preserve a decent chronology by keeping new entries in the Talk page on top. That blog link you keep reposting is not 'new information." It has been discussed again and again. The author of the blog is suing someone mentioned in the article, so the repeated posting of it makes it appear that the reposters are pushing an agenda and just trying to keep the blog on the top of the Talk page. This will get reported to admins.
I also see no objection to the other things I discussed, so I'm going to go ahead with cleaning up this article. Thanks for your feedback, Nomo. --Aragorn8392 (talk) 20:18, 5 November 2013 (UTC)
Newest entries go at the end of the talk page to keep the chronology per WP:TALK. Bahooka (talk) 20:26, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

Talk about changes and editing the article[edit]

Let's talk about problems in the article and whether or not they should be fixed. The first sentence was unnecessary rambling and just needed to state what the conference was, not all the things it was in the past. Its history can go in the appropriate history section.

I see no reason why the cost of the conference needs highlighting, as that cost varies by person and is subject to change on at least a yearly basis. Do WP pages for other conferences mention the conference cost?

Removed prices not only because they vary, but because of WP:NOPRICES. I did retain the sourced information that is used to be free and then they started charging. I understand that the price was mentioned in a third-party publication, but still do not see the relevance of the actual (or the one from 2007) price in an encyclopedia article, particularly in the lead section. Bahooka (talk) 16:41, 9 November 2013 (UTC)

The accusation of misrepresentation, in accordance with sources, happened several years ago. In order to maintain the appearance of a neutral point of view, it should be noted that the Oxford Round Table makes its affiliations with Oxford University abundantly clear in its conference literature. See: Do not delete a portion of the article that contributes to an NPOV.

I added a link to the disclaimer on the ORT website. Bahooka (talk) 18:07, 9 November 2013 (UTC)

Under Publication, the source link shows 82 subscribers, not 11. That 11 number is wrong, and should be fixed. Aside from that, I do not see the relevance of providing that information, since that, too, is subject to change and has dubious notability.

I updated the number to 82 per the reference. I also do not see the value of this content, but at least it now matches the citation. Bahooka (talk) 16:15, 9 November 2013 (UTC)

The first sentence under Company history and officers about "various members of the Alexander family..." is not supported by the Reference (14). It's not especially problematic, it just needs better citations because all reliable sources point to the conference being run by Kern Alexander. Serving in an administrative capacity is not the same as organizing or running a conference.

Links 16-18 are dead. New references should be found.

Better references are always a good idea, and links can be handy, but these are acceptable per WP:SOURCEACCESS. Wikipedia:Verifiability does not require an internet link. Bahooka (talk) 18:11, 9 November 2013 (UTC)

It was not shown that F. King Alexander incorporated the Oxford Round Table. It says he served as an administrator, which is, again, not the same thing.

Is an extensive corporate history needed in reference to a conference where the conference organizer reincorporated based on his current residence? All the places mentioned are places he has taught or resided. Is that really noteworthy?

Incorporation information like that is typical of corporate history on Wikipedia and is neutral. Bahooka (talk) 17:21, 9 November 2013 (UTC)

Link 21 (about F.K. Alexander's spouse) does not mention the Oxford Round Table at all, and has nothing to do with the article. That needs deleting.

The article makes no mention of ORT at all (it's all about CSULB) and does not support the sentence, so I removed it. Bahooka (talk) 17:21, 9 November 2013 (UTC)

The second paragraph under Criticism and Litigation lacks relevant detail. What are examples of poor selection criteria? Why is that relevant? Also, "vanity conference" is completely meaningless. It is not a 'term of art' among conference-goers and attendees, and it is an odd, underhanded thing to say about conferences in general. It is not a real criticism, it is an insinuation.

The proceeding paragraph is insinuating, does not strike a neutral tone, and wastes a lot of space by quoting extensively from one source. The last paragraph which uses reference 23 is completely ridiculous. It cites the WP pages for two cities and one state as sources? Why? There is also no criticism of the Oxford Round Table in the one article in reference 23 that was available. The controversy in that article is about whether or not a school board member should receive funding to attend an ORT conference when he would be leaving the school board soon thereafter, having just lost a school board election to another candidate. There is no criticism of the Oxford Round Table. --Aragorn8392 (talk) 20:15, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

I have already responded to these points above. So, when thinking about how to edit this page, please see WP:CONSENSUS and WP:BRD. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 10:22, 9 November 2013 (UTC)
Well, can it be talked about further? For instance, the link where it uses the phrase "vanity conference" is actually quoting a forum of anonymous users, not any recognized experts on conferences or the like. Again, I am pointing out that "vanity conference," while it has an obvious meaning, is not a 'term of art' among conference goers or attendees, and seems to malign the very idea of attending an academic conference. It should be removed, because it is quoting forum posters (and forum posters are not reliable sources), and because it lays a meaningless and unprovable criticism.
Can we also discuss the proceeding paragraph and why it shouldn't be heavily editing for its insinuating tone and extensive quoting from one source? And the last paragraph, which has terrible references that don't relate to the article at all? The last paragraph should be removed if it is indefensible. --Aragorn8392 (talk) 17:09, 10 November 2013 (UTC)
The "vanity conference" passage is sourced to the Times Higher Education. This source quite obviously meets WP:RS; if you think it doesn't, you could try raising a query at WP:RSN. Since the sources for the last paragraph manifestly do relate to the ORT, I'm at a loss as to how to respond to that comment. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 17:24, 10 November 2013 (UTC)
That source, in turn, is quoting an anonymous forum poster, and the term "vanity conference" is objectionable on several levels. If I posted every single critical comment from Youtube or an online forum on a site meant to be informative online encyclopedia content, would it not be a mess of accusations and personal attacks? --Aragorn8392 (talk) 21:02, 10 November 2013 (UTC)
The difference from your hypothetical Youtube example is that this particular forum thread (incidentally: here) was covered in a widely known newspaper dealing with higher education and academics. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 21:53, 10 November 2013 (UTC)
I do not see the difference between Aragorns example and that thread, you are able to post anonymously without any sort of credibility. Just because a newspaper reports on it does not make it a good source of information. What is the difference of posting random criticism from a forum and posting random praise, because neither belong on the wiki page. Ouattwh (talk) 16:11, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
A highly respected newspaper (THE) has reported on the prevailing opinion among professional academics that ORT is a profit-oriented enterprise masquerading as an academic conference. THE published several different stories on the problems with ORT, using interviews as well as CHE forum posts. Articles from THE easily fall under WP:RS. This has all been sorted out before in these pages. Have a look through the archives from 2008 and refresh your memory.Pokey5945 (talk) 19:57, 11 November 2013 (UTC)

First sentence[edit]

The first sentence states that "run by a California-based educational organization, incorporated until recently as a for-profit and a not-for-profit corporation in Kentucky, and currently as a not-for-profit in Illinois." I believe the first sentence should be a statement of what it is, not what it used to be. I recommend the following wording for the first sentence: "The Oxford Round Table is a series of interdisciplinary conferences organized and run by a California-based educational organization, incorporated as a not-for-profit in Illinois.[with the citation]". Any objections? Bahooka (talk) 18:26, 9 November 2013 (UTC)

I would object to this edit on the grounds that ORT's corporate status changes frequently between for-profit and non-profit, popping up and then dissolving in one jurisdiction after another, suggesting an ongoing attempt to evade taxation. This information is no more stable than the price info. If it goes in, then the entire history should be in, not just the latest incarnation.Pokey5945 (talk) 18:58, 9 November 2013 (UTC)
While the corporate status changes should remain in the article as is typical on Wikipedia, I feel the very first sentence of the article is not the proper place for past corporate statuses. To state that the various incorporations suggest "an ongoing attempt to evade taxation" is POV and problematic. Bahooka (talk) 19:07, 9 November 2013 (UTC)
Given the instability of ORT's corporate status,perhaps it's best to leave it out of the first sentence altogether. Re the tax evasion, that's my working hypothesis. I'm open to hearing alternate hypotheses.Pokey5945 (talk) 01:24, 10 November 2013 (UTC)
I would agree to keep the corporate status out of the first sentence. As to why there have been changes in incorporation, I have no idea and for Wikipedia purposes unless there is a reliable source explaining why, I don't really care. Bahooka (talk) 01:56, 10 November 2013 (UTC)

Last sentence of lead section[edit]

The last sentence in the introduction is redundant ("It has been accused of misrepresenting...). It belongs in the 'Criticism and litigation' section, thus it should be deleted from the intro. Also, I agree that the various corporate status changes do not belong in the first sentence. It is cluttered and confusing. If the changes reflect some controversy, they belong elsewhere in the article. All that needs to be said in the intro is that it is a not-for-profit run out of Illinois, because all the rest of that stuff is already in or belongs in the Corporate history section. --Aragorn8392 (talk) 16:44, 10 November 2013 (UTC)

The last sentence of the introduction is fully in conformity with WP:LEAD; the introduction should briefly summarise the content of the sections that follow. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 17:24, 10 November 2013 (UTC)
The last sentence should be about how it is not officially affiliated and how people seem to be confused by that. It should not accuse the conference itself by saying it is misrepresenting itself. There is no proof of that, accusations should remain in the criticism section.Ouattwh (talk) 16:28, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
That sentence doesn't make any accusations; it just summarizes the critique section. That's how it's supposed to work.Pokey5945 (talk) 01:37, 12 November 2013 (UTC)

Location of Conferences, Lead Sentence[edit]

Why would you delete conference location information and deem that misleading/POV? Locations are essential in describing any conference, and given that it is called the Oxford Round Table, this information explicates that usage. If you are not sure of existing references as to where conferences were held: Harris Manchester College: Peter's College: and Trinity College: and Oxford Union: Exeter College: and Oriel College: and Lincoln College: and and Reverting until you can explain how location is irrelevant. Also, there seems to be a stronger consensus for cleaning up the lead sentence. Corporate history information has its own section, and Pokey5945's incarnation of describing the ORT in the lead is confusing and POV. Pokey5945 explicitly said they were trying to push a POV in including that information in the lead, which is unacceptable in an encyclopedic context. --Aragorn8392 (talk) 21:04, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

A listing of all the locations where the conferences are held does not belong in the very first sentence of the article (I didn't say anything about misleading POV.) See WP:LEADSENTENCE. Having a section in the body is probably acceptable. Bahooka (talk) 21:10, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
Sorry if I was not being clear. If you look at the edit history, Pokey5945 said they undid an edit because it was misleading/POV, and I was responding directly to that. As for the first sentence, it looks like it is not run by a California-based organization, but by a not-for-profit in the state of Illinois. Are there current sources that contradict that it is now run as an Illinois not-for-profit? --Aragorn8392 (talk) 21:17, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
Kindly stop pretending to be completely stupid. Contact information: a rented office in Long Beach, CA. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 21:23, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
On the same web site Nomoskedasticity referenced above: "The Oxford Round Table is a not-for-profit organization chartered under the laws of England and Wales as authorized by the Companies Acts of Parliament, 1985-2006. The registered office of which is located in England. A branch of the organization, the Oxford Round Table, North America, Inc., NFP, is registered with the Secretary of State of Illinois as a not-for-profit company located in Illinois, U.S.A., with communication substations in California, Kentucky and New York." Communications direction is not the same thing Nomoskedasticity might be thinking of. For instance, Microsoft is headquartered in Redmond, WA, but it has customer support based out of dozens of different countries. Kindly let me know if I need to dumb that down for you any further, Nomoskedasticity. --Aragorn8392 (talk) 21:44, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
I'm content with the notion that the place where they open their mail and receive their phone calls is the place where they are "based". We represent the legal stuff sufficiently in the "corporate history" section. I do find myself wondering whether Shenette has now moved to Louisiana and so the contact information for mail and phone calls might shift accordingly. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 21:48, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
If you go by the contact page, then, the ORT has two bases: in the UK and the US. Should that then be included in the lead sentence? I guess the conference location info would go under the Conferences heading, so I'll just include that over there. --Aragorn8392 (talk) 22:01, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
I suggest that the lead sentence location be changed to "United States", and then sort out the potentially confusing details later on in the article. I don't think there is credible evidence of any UK location, in spite of ORT's web page. The Alexanders appear to have let that registration lapse, just as they did with so many others.Pokey5945 (talk) 22:07, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
Is there any evidence of a current Illinois registration? The search results at the Illinois secretary of state include three organisations, and all three are indicated as "dissolved". On that basis, I don't think we have any credible evidence of anything except for California, so I'd prefer to leave it as is for now. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 22:18, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
You are right about that Illinois secretary of state information, Nomoskedasticity. However, I did a similar search on the California Secretary of State site and could not find Oxford Round Table as a registered entity over there either. Am I missing something, or are you judging where it is run out of by differing standards? I think the very nature of an academic conference might be a confusing factor here. The conference has facilitators in the UK and in different states in the US. That's just a part of how conferences work. As to whether the UK registration has lapsed, Pokey5945, have you attempted to call the UK-based number, or do you have any sources saying that the UK registration has lapsed? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Aragorn8392 (talkcontribs) 22:39, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
Evidence: This is why you should not trust anything on the ORT website.Pokey5945 (talk) 22:47, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────That link did not work. However, doing a search on that site indicates that, if it is the same Oxford Round Table, that it was incorporated there 21 July 2008 and dissolved 15 November 2011. Bahooka (talk) 23:05, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

The link works fine in my browser (Chrome).Pokey5945 (talk) 23:12, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
It was coming up with a time out at that web site (I also use Chrome.) You may have the results in cache. The site works, I just had to do the search again and it came up. It provided the date of incorporation and dissolution, and I added the 2011 date to the text. Bahooka (talk) 23:22, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

Last Paragraph Under Criticism and Litigation[edit]

The last paragraph from the previous revision ("The conference has also attracted controversy in at least three states over the cost of school boards’ paying for administrators to attend; in Louisiana, this led to "a successful legislative push to tighten travel rules for school board members statewide.""...) needs to be stricken from the article altogether. None of those articles actually criticize the ORT. They all mention local budget matters (not germane to the ORT) which contain no direct criticism of the ORT as a conference. Their inclusion merely attempts to insinuate some other form of criticism. Aragorn8392 (talk) 22:52, 28 January 2014 (UTC)

The passage as written is consistent with the facts. Please also note WP's policy on editors' conflict of interest.Pokey5945 (talk) 03:10, 29 January 2014 (UTC)
Agree that the passage is relevant and supported by the sources. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 07:48, 29 January 2014 (UTC)
It is creepy to accuse anyone who disagrees with you on Wikipedia of COI. Learn a new tactic, Pokey (or Brian or Donna, to use your most likely given name). Let's go over the sources cited in Reference 27:
A New Outrage in the Abbots: It is archived here and it is not an article, it is an editorial (only 12 words of which make a passing mention of the ORT). One person writing an editorial to a local newspaper is not Criticism or Litigation worthy of Wikipedia.
School Board Chief Article is archived and it says, of a school board administrator who wanted to attend the ORT, "Much of the criticism came from School Director Tom Maher, who beat Pruznick in the May primary. Because Pruznick will no longer be on the board after November, Maher questioned why the district should pay for the trip. Maher also questioned why any school director needs to attend national or international school board conferences." The criticism is of a school board member (Pruznick) who lost an election getting district money to partially pay for the conference when he would soon no longer be a school board member in that district. He could have been requesting funds for anything else and it would attract the same criticism. Does the article even criticize the ORT? No. Does it mention litigation? No. So why is it cited under "Criticism and Litigation?"
I could not find the third article cited, but I assume it is of the same degree of irrelevance as the previous two examples, unless you can show otherwise. Aragorn8392 (talk) 19:54, 29 January 2014 (UTC)
I agree with Aragorn8392 on these references now that I've read them. The criticism of the conference appears to be its location and corresponding travel costs, not the conference itself. Such criticism of conferences is pretty common when they are held in distant or exotic locations. I would recommend removing the paragraph. Bahooka (talk) 20:16, 29 January 2014 (UTC)


Information should be included that contributes to a NPOV, not just criticism. Don't delete added material without going over the points that you find objectionable and why. For instance, if there are three sections edited separately, don't revert back three edits without a reason that explicates each of the three reversions.Aragorn8392 (talk) 22:49, 26 February 2014 (UTC)

Any material you add requires a reliable source. If you don't want your edits to be reverted, don't add unsourced material. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 07:26, 28 February 2014 (UTC)

Oxford Round Table Not Defunct[edit]

The "history" of the Round Table states that it dissolved in 2011, yet it seems to have reared its controversial head once again: (talk) 14:01, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

it's not that the Round Table was dissolved -- it's that that particular corporation was dissolved. It's a bit of a mystery what the current corporation name is. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 15:23, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

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