Talk:Parenthetical referencing/Archive 1

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search


Is it really developed by Harvard University?

Recent edits

SE, why are you changing a Harvard reference to a footnote, and deleting that it's used all over the world? Also, they're never surrounded by square brackets, but by parentheses or round brackets. Can you explain here why you want to make these changes rather than just restoring them? Many thanks, SlimVirgin (talk) 16:08, 18 October 2005 (UTC)

Your use of the word "footnote" is ambiguous. A Harvard reference is a way to refer to a citation. I am not changing it to a numbered footnote, I am using parenthetical inline citation style ("Harvard reference" style). Over in WP:CITE it has been stated that various bracket symbols are used, and I've seen that although usually parentheses are used. (SEWilco 16:37, 18 October 2005 (UTC))
Hi SE, I still don't quite understand why you wanted the changes. You used this {{ref_harvard|Curtin|Curtin 2005|a}} which isn't a Harvard reference (don't know what it would be called). And WP:CITE shouldn't say various bracket symbols are used for Harvard referencing, because they're not. Whereabouts does it say that? SlimVirgin (talk) 16:47, 18 October 2005 (UTC)
I rephrased the bracket phrasing. {{ref_harvard}} does produce a Harvard reference, it happens at the moment to emit a reference in a small size font. Discussion on the appearance is at Wikipedia talk:Footnotes#Harvard style support. (SEWilco 17:05, 18 October 2005 (UTC))
That is not a Harvard reference. Why are you edit warring to replace Harvard references with footnotes? There is no policy requiring footnotes, this article began with Harvard referencing, and it is about Harvard referencing. There is therefore no reason whatsoever for using footnotes on this page. Also, why are you deleting that it's used all over the world?
I'm confused about your interest here. You don't seem to know what this citation system is, which suggests you haven't used it, which in turn suggests you have no publishing or research experience (my apologies if that is wrong); and so I'm confused as to why you're appearing here to impose your views without even wanting to discuss it. Can you please explain rather than continuing to change things? SlimVirgin (talk) 17:21, 18 October 2005 (UTC)
In what way is "(Harvey 1995)" not a Harvard reference? (SEWilco 17:43, 18 October 2005 (UTC))
It is. But you were reverting to (Curtin 2005) (superscripted) which isn't; you're changing the reference section to notes, and using footnotes instead of the system the article is about. Also, you keep deleting that it's used all over the world. Do you have something against this system of referencing, because I see you've removed it from at least one article? SlimVirgin (talk) 17:55, 18 October 2005 (UTC)
OK, in what way is "(Harvey 1995)" not a Harvard reference? There's nothing mentioned about the reference having to remain the same size. I'm not opposed to Harvard referencing, indeed I added support for it to WP:FOOTNOTE. I replaced two Harvard styles with numbered footnotes from Coca-Cola because that article's style uses numbered footnotes. WP:CITE suggests "Notes" as the section name for specific sources, while "References" is for sources for the whole article; it seemed the sources were supporting specific points. (SEWilco 18:03, 18 October 2005 (UTC))

I'm sorry, I have difficulty following your points. I'm not intending to be difficult; I really have problems understanding what you're saying.

First, References isn't a section header. It is for sources for the whole article. So why did you change it? Of course the sources are supporting specific points: sources always do.

Secondly, why do you want to superscript the words in a Harvard reference? Just because the sources don't say the words can't be superscripted doesn't mean you have to do it. The sources also don't say words can't be in pink, but that doesn't mean you have to make them pink. I'm genuinely confused by your attitude here. You seem to want to introduce change for the sake of change, even if it's not an improvement. SlimVirgin (talk) 18:48, 18 October 2005 (UTC)

WP:CITE#References_in_a_.22References.22_section prefers "References" be "References that apply to the article as a whole", such as an aluminum metallurgy book might be a reference for many general concepts about aluminum throughout an article. A book on radioactive isotopes might be a source for a specific section about aluminum isotopes, using a footnoted citation in a "Notes" section (where "footnote" might be marked by any of several reference style). I also am distinguishing style from content, as the appearance of the "(Harvey 1995)" is less important than the reference itself; the smaller font simply seemed to make reading smoother as the references are easier to identify and ignore while reading the text. (SEWilco 19:00, 18 October 2005 (UTC))
Regarding your last point, fine, but that's your own personal style; it's not Harvard referencing.
I think you may have misunderstood how the word "reference" is used on WP. A reference is an article, paper, or book that has been used to construct the text. It isn't background reading that might shed further light on the subject. That goes into the Further reading or External links section, depending on what you call it. So all references will support specific points, perhaps many, perhaps only one. SlimVirgin (talk) 20:55, 18 October 2005 (UTC)
I understand "reference" and "further reading". I said "might be" when I actually meant "might have been if the article had been written from". (SEWilco 03:21, 19 October 2005 (UTC))
Oh, I missed a question. I removed that it is used by publishers, as it tends to be used a lot by writers. The world went away with that sentence. (SEWilco 04:03, 19 October 2005 (UTC))
It's used by publishers, who tell their writers what the house style is.
Speaking of which, do you know which style this is:
  • Author, G. (2005a) Harvard Referencing, Wherever, Florida:Wikimedia Foundation. ISBN 11112222X
It seems to mix up two styles: normally with a period after the author, there would be a period after the title. I'm not saying the above isn't a recognized style: perhaps it is, but do you know for sure? SlimVirgin (talk) 16:54, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
There has been discussion about the style at Template talk:Book reference. But that's a citation style, not the style of references to citations. (SEWilco 20:10, 24 October 2005 (UTC))
Sorry, what's the difference between a citation style and the "style of references to citations"? SlimVirgin (talk) 20:12, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
A citation is a description of source material, often gathered in a list under "References" or "Works Cited". "(Author 2005)" is a reference to a citation (the citation for "Author" in year 2005). (SEWilco 21:26, 24 October 2005 (UTC))
Don't confuse the anchor with the chain to the anchor. Using a boat-chain-anchor analogy, the citation in a References section is the anchor on the bottom, the reference is where the chain is fastened to the boat, and the chain represents the implied connection between the reference and its citation. (SEWilco 21:31, 24 October 2005 (UTC))

SE, I am now assuming English is not your first language. That is okay, I will try to be more patient and clearer. You write "A citation is a description of source material, often gathered in a list under "References" or "Works Cited"." What is gathered in the "References" or "Works Cited" list at the end is not the incomplete citations (meaning, stuff like (Smith 2005)) that are "in line" in the text &mdash what is listed in the "References" or "Works Cited" list at the end is "a complete reference" that the citation is referring to, for example, Smith, John 2005 Harvard References Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Your analogy is a poor one because you do not understand that which you are attempting to illustrate using an analogy. The in-line citations are not like boats anchored to the sea floor. The in-line citations are abbreviated (meaning shortened) signifiers of much longer strings of signifiers that stand for real books or articles. In-line citations appear in context, that is, you put one everytime you quote, paraphrase, or refer to an idea from an article or book. The "References" or "Works Cited" section does two things. First, it expands the abbreviated citation (Smith 2005) into the full citation Smith, John 2005 Harvard References Cambridge: Harvard University Press. and second it takes all of those expanded citations and re-organizes them alphabetically. This is the Harvard system. Note: in this harvard system, you never use footnotes or endnotes as a means of providing a citation, whether abbreviated or full. No part of the Harvard system is ever called a footnote or an endnote. Slrubenstein | Talk 00:11, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

Maybe we'd communicate better in your native language; what is it?
  • The Harvard style reference is the "in-line citation".
    • The format of the in-line citation is defined by publication rules; usually includes author's last name and publication year.
  • The citation is the corresponding full entry in the "References" section.
  • Organizing the citations alphabetically by name makes them easier to find because the Harvard reference includes the author name. This is part of a citation rule.
  • The format of the full citation is defined by publication rules and is not part of Harvard style.

— (SEWilco 01:09, 25 October 2005 (UTC))

I used (or was forced to use) the harvard referencing system for my years in university, and I do wonder if some folks above know what they are talking about. The Harvard system does not merely refer to in-line citation. It includes the way references are listed in the reference list/bibliography. Even if in doubt, there are tonnes of free sources all over the web to clarify this.--Huaiwei 17:09, 28 October 2005 (UTC)

Harvard referencing implies alphabetical sorting of the references. Specific styles, such as APA, include more detailed citation definitions. (SEWilco 18:07, 28 October 2005 (UTC))
I have no idea what you are talking about.--Huaiwei 19:06, 28 October 2005 (UTC)

Huaiwei, of course you are correct. Do you think the article does not convey this clearly? Slrubenstein | Talk 18:52, 28 October 2005 (UTC)

I happened to chance upon this page recently, and I did notice it seems to place too much emphasize on in-line references compared to reference lists (and the fact that it does not use footnotes, etc), and is woefully incomplete when comparing to APA style. I was kinda wondering if this omission was deliberate?--Huaiwei 19:06, 28 October 2005 (UTC)

Well, I am not sure but I think this is the reason: I think that this article was created by extracting a section out of the style guide Wikipedia: Cite sources (which you should go over, you may be able to help there too). That article has an entire section on "References Cited" sections, and the section on Harvard system mentions that it must include a "references" section" — see above, or whatever. In that context, the bulk of the sextion on HS was to explain how it differed from footnotes, see? SO I think this is one reason, an accident of history. Another reason is that some users were unclear on what made the Harvard system different from footnotes, so this too I think influenced the present state of the article.

These facts of history doe not mean that the article should give undue weight to the in-line part of the system. It sounds like you know what you are talking about, so edit away. If you have any qualms, here is my advice: read over the Cite Sources article, and also go over the past 2 week's edit history. A pain, I know, but it will give you all the historical context you need to know. Slrubenstein | Talk 19:30, 28 October 2005 (UTC)

Ahh....I see. I actually found the link to this page when looking through Wikipedia: Cite sources too, and found this page dissapointingly incomplete. Thanks for your overview of the situation here, and I will try to contribute as soon as I can. ;)--Huaiwei 19:44, 28 October 2005 (UTC)

Great! Slrubenstein | Talk 19:48, 28 October 2005 (UTC)

Perhaps details of citation formats should be in the articles for specific citation methods, such as the article APA style. See Category:Bibliography. (SEWilco 06:30, 29 October 2005 (UTC))

If SEWilco's point is that there is variation in the style of Harvard System used by different professions and academic disciplines, then I agree this is an important point. However, I do not think each style desrves its own page. Virtually every such profession or discipline has a webpage detailing their specific rules. I think it is enough to have an article on the Harvard system that explains what the basics are — what all variants have in common and then have links to the appropriate external sources. Slrubenstein | Talk 12:37, 29 October 2005 (UTC)

You don't have to create an article for each style, although others might. And some styles already have articles, which become places for readers to be directed to. For that matter, it looks like those other articles aren't linking to this general article. (SEWilco 21:49, 1 November 2005 (UTC))

Erm I am quite confused now. So just how much content expansion are you people expecting? I am not sure if this page should only choose to mention "significant differences" from other systems, thou obviously it is good to highlight them. Leaving this page to discuss on "differences" while allowing other systems like the APA style to appear as a full-blown article is in itself seemingly a POV issue, as thou wikipedia considers APA the prefered format?--Huaiwei 15:30, 2 November 2005 (UTC)

This article and the other citation style articles are encyclopedia articles and not Wikipedia standards. Completeness of the articles only reflects the activity of their editors. This article is summarizing a general type of referencing and associated citation requirements (the referencing implies alphabetization). The APA article can be expected to explain APA thoroughly. Category:Bibliography shows some other citation style articles. Wikipedia is not paper, and the information in the citations is considered more important than the exact format. There are new templates being used for citations, both to label the components and so the format can be adjusted as consensus develops. (SEWilco 16:41, 2 November 2005 (UTC))

citation styling

"All citations should be in the same-sized font as the text."

Source? (SEWilco 00:40, 25 October 2005 (UTC))

The article provides sources on Harvard citation. The fact that you do not know this reveals that you do not know what the Harvard system is. Slrubenstein | Talk 00:45, 25 October 2005 (UTC) Of course, if you can provide us with an example of a journal or a press that uses Harvard System but does not use the same font and size, that might be worth looking at. What journal or publishing house, that uses Harvard Style, not put in-line citations in the same font and size? Slrubenstein | Talk 00:47, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

Where do the sources in the article mention font sizes? (SEWilco 01:51, 25 October 2005 (UTC))

Since I am asking you to provide examples, it is fair for me to provide examples as well. Look here [1] and you will see that in the "text references" section it distinguishes between in-text citation and notes, and states in "manuscript form" that all text must be in the same font and size. Slrubenstein | Talk 01:13, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

I know the custom, but I'm not claiming this style mandates a font size. I know many publications and writers use a single font size although don't know if that is due to a requirement, custom, or technical limitations. (SEWilco 01:46, 25 October 2005 (UTC))
SE, this is getting silly. You're questioning things that no one who knows about citation styles would question. Please produce one source showing a Harvard reference in a superscripted font, or in any different-sized font from the main text. SlimVirgin (talk) 03:39, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
You're the one making the claim that the same size is required by Harvard referencing, so you're required to show it is so. I agree that the same font size, orientation, and weight is usually used. (SEWilco 03:51, 25 October 2005 (UTC))
The only way I could show you that every single publisher uses the same size font would be to produce a copy of every book ever published that uses Harvard referencing. Or perhaps a signed statement from every publisher. ;-) Look, if you know that sometimes they don't do this, please produce an example, or a source who talks about it. But if you're just guessing, please stop, because this has gone beyond the bounds of what's reasonable. SlimVirgin (talk) 03:59, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

Slim, he is not just guessing, he is just bullshitting. He has no idea what he is talking about, doesn't care, and is making things up as he goes along. At this point I think the only productive thing to do, for the sake of the project, is to ignore him. Slrubenstein | Talk 13:14, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

Is it possible to give a Harvard reference if you don't know the publication year?

Some websites that are useful to reference don't give publication years for their articles. What should one do in that case? Is it possible to use Harvard references at all for them? —Morven 06:08, 28 October 2005 (UTC)

Not only can you not use Harvard reference, you cannot really use any great system of reference. In this case, if the text is online provide the url link. Follow the kink -- does the text linked not provide its date? Otherwise, try doing tome gumshow work -- find out if it was published in a book or journal, and then put the full citation in the article. Slrubenstein | Talk 16:38, 28 October 2005 (UTC)
Isn't the date omitted if unknown? If the author is unknown, may the title be used? (SEWilco 06:23, 29 October 2005 (UTC))
It's so easy to find out the date if you know the author and title, and the author if the title is known, it's hard to see why anyone would need to leave it out. Also, if you've used it as a source, then presumably you'd have it to hand, or at least be familiar with it. SlimVirgin (talk) 06:26, 29 October 2005 (UTC)
I'm asking about the citations rules, not specifics. The date for an original work by Homer is not so easy to find out. Some works have unknown or collective authors. (SEWilco 21:42, 1 November 2005 (UTC))
It's the original publication date, not when written. If unsure, cite the date of the copy you're using. SlimVirgin (talk) 21:44, 1 November 2005 (UTC)
You're again confusing citations with referencing. (SEWilco 16:47, 2 November 2005 (UTC))
I've seen some Harvard referencing guides which specify that when a date is unknown (or before a certain year) the reference should omit the year. Has anyone noticed a guide for what should be used when there is no known author? (SEWilco 16:47, 2 November 2005 (UTC))

This would hold for footnotes too; sometimes people have photocopies or manuscripts with no date of publication. If this is the case, you just have no date to put in. I think the standard is to put (n.d.) meaning, no date — I will add this. As for Homer, SlimVirgin is correct. Citations, whether Harvard Style or footnotes, provide the date of publication. In some cases, people use a book that was published recently, although it was firt published a long time ago. In these cases, the typical approach is to put the original publication date in square brackets followed by the publication date of the edition the author of the article is useing. This is impotant of course because different editions may be paginated differently. Slrubenstein | Talk 17:32, 2 November 2005 (UTC)

Article or Wikipedia namespace?

Is this really supposed to be an article? Having arrived here from the WP:MOS, I would have thought it should be in the Wikipedia: namespace like Wikipedia:Footnotes. And the article proper would have less "how to" and more history, development, etc. pfctdayelise 23:25, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

Hi, yes it's an article, Pfct. By all means feel free to add some history. SlimVirgin (talk) 23:33, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
I've created Wikipedia:Harvard referencing. SlimVirgin (talk) 23:57, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

Curtailing free thought.

Is it me or does this system of thinking amongst others thoughts actually hinder the development of individual thought, moments in the text when you cut loose and think for yourself ? It reminds me of the way microsoft word has told the world how to write English. Products devised, products sold. Freedom restricted...


This is the first time I've conributed to Wikipedia; I hope this is the right place to come for help...

I have made a few amendments to this page - largely based on Chernin's article (see Further Reading). I have 3 problems: 1, I can't format the reference in the Harvard style, as I know it (I work in a British university advising students in all disciplines, and I have a good general knowledge of referencing); 2, I can't (yet) follow the previous discussion on this page; and 3, I can't follow the link at the top of the page... I hope someone will improve the referencing in the article; and if they are good, they will teach me how to do it. Particularly, I have not ben able to deduce the system (Cite.php or Wikipedia:fotnote3 or whatever) with which the references were made in the current article. Am I right in thinking that a Harvard reference in Wikipedia has to be done 'manually', i.e. with each detail, including a List of References at the end, has to be typed in by the editor? I haven't done that, preferring s a Wiki virgin to change as little as possible in the text. MacAuslan 10:32, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

Hi MacAuslan, thanks for adding that material. I've added a couple of citation requests; we particularly need a source that says he was the first to use it. We also need one for the name some Harvard academics use for it. I've fixed the refs you added so that they show at the end of the article. To answer your question: yes, Harvard refs have to be written by hand along with a separate references section. SlimVirgin (talk) 16:31, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
Hmmm, many questions here -- but questions are good. There are many templates to help with referencing, but of course you can do it manually if you prefer. The templates can be a bit bewildering at first, mainly because you have so many different options to choose from, but you'll get the hang of it after a while. Maybe a couple things to read:
I'm not sure how the referencing in this article doesn't match your expectations; it is always best to leave the referencing style of an existing article alone until you've checked with others (on the relevant Talk page) to see if anyone disagrees with your choices.

--Ling.Nut 23:00, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

MacAuslan, you added some good info. As you yourself suggested, there are many formatting details that might need to be addressed. I did these things:
  1. I reverted this article to an earlier version, so that your info can be tidied. We can put the tidied version back in later, if that's OK with you.
  2. I copied your version and will paste it on your talk page, for comments & discussion. This may take time because I have many papers to write, but I will keep up with you & discuss things bit by bit.
--Ling.Nut 00:09, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

MERGE: Two articles, different spaces, maintenance nightmare

I just followed a link from the discussion above (made by SlimVirgin) to Wikipedia:Harvard_referencing. I say Yikes! Do we want two separate articles to cover the same info in two separate Wiki spaces? I say no, no, and no. I vote MERGE. I'm not gonna put merge tags on the articles just yet... will wait for comments. --Ling.Nut 13:43, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

We should definitely have two articles:
  1. An encyclopedic article on Harvard referencing; and
  2. Instructions on using Harvard referencing on Wikipedia - with a link back to this article.
Of course duplicate information should be avoided - and kept in the appropriate location. --Trödel 14:55, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
Two different audiences; we need the two articles. SlimVirgin (talk) 16:28, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
But the intro of both articles was identical. The "instructions" page should contain no such general info; just a link to the Main namespace page. otherwise -- crucially -- we have to duplicate changes to "general" info on both pages.
Can we do that, plus add some kind of "Other Uses" atop both pages to clarifiy this issue?

--Ling.Nut 17:10, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

Forestalling a revert war


I plan to revert.

However, I am hoping to forestall a revert war. Can we hash this out?

  1. the intro should not have links to references.
  2. my version addressed all concerns by all parties.
  3. It also is just a heckuva lot more clear. Sorry to put such a fine point on it.
  4. I am wondering how to relate your revert to WP:OWN.

--Ling.Nut 17:15, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

Ling, please don't remove sources and citation requests. What do you mean "the intro should not have links to references"? SlimVirgin (talk) 17:19, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
  1. The intro should not have footnotes, Harvard notes, or external links. Links to other Wikipedia articles is a Good Thing. Links to external sources will pull readers off to some other hinterland of the Internet within five seconds of starting to read this article. That is not a Good Thing.
  2. The sources were move to the Further reading section; they were not removed.
  3. Rewriting removed the need for the {{fact}} tag. If you'll go back and re-read the History section in the former version, it was written in such a way that statements are cited (using footnotes, which I question, but that is a very minor issue).
  4. Gosh, I fixed everyone's concerns. I made a new section for History, since another contributor had strong feelings that the info was necessary. The intro I made was abot the harvard system, not about its history, and --crucially-- described it in a nutshell for the reader who only wanted a one-paragraph heads-up orientation. What's not to like? Just take a deep breath and read it again. Better yet, get a completely disinterested party -- not a wiki-friend of yours -- to read them both.--Ling.Nut 17:39, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

Two questions: (1) where does it say that intros should not contains footnotes/references? (2) How did your rewrite get round the lack of a source for the information about first use? SlimVirgin (talk) 17:43, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

  1. Good question. I've seen it bandied around several discussions regarding reviews for Good Article and Featured Article. I can try to track down a source. Do you have any friends who contribute to those processes?
The intro should contain sources, if needed, in the same way that the rest of the article should. See WP:V. I'm not sure what "Do you have any friends who contribute to those processes?" means. What "processes" are you referring to? SlimVirgin (talk) 18:30, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
  1. Regardless of "where it says that," however, the logic of intro sections is to:
    1. Give a nutshell orientation. let the reader come away knowing what we are talking about, without necessarily knowing every detail.
    2. Keep the reader on this page, or at least within Wikipedia.
  2. The "first use" question was cited. The source of whats-his-name as the original author was an article in a British medical journal, if I recall correctly.
  3. Please forgive me if this is too sharp, but I am still wondering whether WP:OWN is driving your objections. Are you certain the version that you have reverted to is superior to the one you reverted from?

--Ling.Nut 17:51, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

See WP:LEAD for what intros should do. SlimVirgin (talk) 18:30, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
PS -- If you insist on embedded links in the intro, then revert to my version, and re-insert the links. I won't alter that edit. Is that the main issue here?--Ling.Nut 18:01, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
No, you removed information, references, citation requests, and you moved the history to the end, although it should go at the start. My edit corrected all of those, not just the links. SlimVirgin (talk) 18:30, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
  1. Please re-read WP:LEAD. The history should definitely not go in the intro; it is an excessive detail ( a debate over a historical point) beyond the nutshell description. What justification do you have for saying it should be part of the summary of the article? I could buy into one very short sentence; but not the whole section.
The history isn't in the intro. SlimVirgin (talk) 20:46, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
  1. I removed opinions: "Some people think it is simpler" etc. if these are reinserted, they should be referenced with a verifiable secondary source.
I can't see any opinions in it. SlimVirgin (talk) 20:46, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
  1. I removed citation requests because the info was properly cited.
Not sure what you mean. SlimVirgin (talk) 20:46, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
  1. What I meant by "do you have friends who...?" was just that maybe you knew someone who might have seen those discussions, as I had. I was hoping we both could look for outside verification. It is a minor point, tho. Not important.
  2. Are we making progress, or is your position set in stone?--Ling.Nut 19:20, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
I'm increasingly unclear about what you mean. I don't understand your reference to friends and process; WP:LEAD is clear and this intro follows it; the history is not in the intro; and I can see no opinions in the article. I'm getting the impression we're discussing two different articles. SlimVirgin (talk) 20:46, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

::PS -- I guess I'll wait 48 hours to see if we make progress, then RfC. I'll hold off on the revert to avoid making a point... but am not dropping the issue.--Ling.Nut 20:32, 29 September 2006 (UTC) :: ... or a Wikipedia:Third opinion instead of RfC.--Ling.Nut 20:54, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

I've been lurking over this conversation and I have to agree with SlimVirgin, the intro is the text between the title and the first named section - it follows the WP:LEAD standards, and it is logical to give the history of the subject of an article next.
I must also comment that, in my view, starting a discussion by threatening a revert ward is "bad form," and following that up with a threat to RFC without giving other editors a chance to read and comment is likeways. Be patient - find something else to edit for a bit (days not hours) so others have time to respond. Your first edit on this page was less than 24 hours ago - concensus building generally takes time --Trödel 21:26, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
Trödel, and SlimVirgin, thanks for the input.
  1. Yes, I misinterpreted remarks about the placement of the History section. I am at fault.
  2. I discussed my changes extensively on User talk:MacAuslan, but not here. I admit, that was a mistake. I am at fault again.
  3. I do agree that mentioning RfC so early was bad form. I am at fault a third time. I therefore strike those remarks.
  4. I did not plan to start a revert war; I feared one.
    1. SlimVirgin deleted a fairly large slather info; then cried wolf at me for having done the same.
    2. SlimVirgin's nontrivial changes to my version were fairly reflexive (seven minutes after I finished) and were not discussed on Talk. They were accompanied by somewhat authoritarian "do not" commands in the edit summary. Technically it was not a "revert," but it had the same effect (large changes; firm rejection; etc.)
    3. I was taken aback at SlimVirgin's forceful rejection of my edits. Since I am not the owner of this article, I did not reflexively return everything to my earlier edit within five minutes of SlimVirgin's removal of my info.
      1. I took everything to the talk page.
      2. I touched not even one punctuation mark on the article.
      3. I did my best to answer every concern s/he had. I'm afraid it simply isn't my fault if s/he didn't understand my explanations regarding removing sources or referenced material (which I did not do...), and a stray comment (later emended) about seeking input from third parties ("friends").
I disagree therefore; at least that much has been good form in every possible way.
Once again, though, I claim no ownership of this article. In fact, I retreat. I'm removing it from my watch list. Best wishes --Ling.Nut 22:31, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarification, Ling, and I apologize if I came across as too forceful. SlimVirgin (talk) 22:34, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
Very interesting for a new user to stumble across - and indeed have started! - a fight. One particular point - I've only just viewed this, as I've been trying (in a busy life) to find evidence for Harvard's non-recognition of 'the Harvard system' and so far failed. It's tough to prove a neagtaive. I can't find any reference to it on Harvard U's website; and my anonymous e-mail informant (who hasn't yet given me opermission to quote him) has only this: "Nice to hear from you. I did ask several people who dothe history of the book, and history of printing etc and they didn't know any more than I did! And hadn't been familiar with the term (Harvard system)." This was a sequel to an earlier mail: "About the Harvard refernce style question. The thesis about Prof. Mark makes sense at least in a priori terms and in terms of the author's argument. I think I will circulate some library friends and see what they think -- but my informal survey of a half-dozen local academics is consistent with my reaction. No one had ever heard of the phrase and all simply referred to it as the "social science" style as opposed to the humanities reference style. As in University of Chocago Style Manual, which is the most widely used here. More later if I can find anything out here" This of course convinces ME; but it cannot properly suffice for WikiPedia.
is there a way of asking Harvard grads/academics on the Wikipedia lists? MacAuslan 07:23, 10 October 2006 (UTC)


It would be really helpful if early in this article there were links to see Wikipedia articles that used the Harvard style. Some of us learn visually much better than by explanation. CyberAnth 01:32, 8 October 2006 (UTC)