Talk:Thomas Jefferson

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Former good article Thomas Jefferson was one of the History good articles, but it has been removed from the list. There are suggestions below for improving the article to meet the good article criteria. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

A couple of things[edit]

  • Can anyone explain why most of the #TJF refs lead to the generic/main Foundation webpage instead of to the individual articles - I think I counted at least 31 different #TJF references that look like they are individual references but that actually link to the main Foundation webpage. I was thinking it might have been instituted perhaps as a space-saver because of the length of the article but this method of having numbered references, that when you click on them lead the reader to the Web sources/"Thomas Jefferson Foundation". Thomas Jefferson Foundation. Retrieved January 30, 2016./"Type in title name in TJF search window to access source"... so then the reader goes to the main TJF webpage, puts in the title, a page of results comes up... this seems somewhat cumbersome to me. I am sure there's a good reason and was wondering where the discussion is in the Talk page Archives or what the consensus has been on the talk page.
  • I am not familiar with the hashtag referencing style that's used in this article (don't even know what to call it). Could someone point me to a Help or WP page that explains how to do this style? I mostly use the Cite web/book/news etc but like to be familiar with other ways of referencing around Wikipedia.

Thanks, Shearonink (talk) 03:26, 13 July 2016 (UTC)

Anyone? Bueller?... Shearonink (talk) 20:54, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
"@Gwillhickers: Shearonink, Gwillhickers may be able to help you; he spent a lot of time improving the article's citations. YoPienso (talk) 14:55, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply. I know there are some editors who seem to work on this article quite a bit (like yourself, User:Cmguy777, User:Rjensen, User:Hoppyh, etc.) Heh, I guess I thought when I posted my original query that a reply would come pretty quickly since this article has over 1100 Watchers. I just have no idea how to construct the "# references", I know they're anchored but I don't understand all the steps, etc. And then there's the linking of the multiple "#TJF" items which I am puzzled by and am wondering what the discussion was and if there are/were any other solutions. Shearonink (talk) 16:32, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
I've taken a leave of absence from this article. The only way I know how to cite is to use the <ref> format, which can be generated by clicking the bookmark icon. YoPienso (talk) 17:05, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
  • @Shearonink and Yopienso: Since there were about two dozen citations that linked to various TJF articles I instead made a common link that simply links to one entry in the bibliography with a note there to simply "Type in title name in TJF search window to access source", per citation, in an effort to keep so many individual web cite sources out of the bibliography. It's unconventional, but it seems to suffice. The alternative is to add some two dozen different urls for each and every TJF citation with a respective entry in the bibliography for each one. Whenever possible I replace a web cite source with that of a publication, but that requires a lot of searching and reading and in practical term takes a lot of time, effort and patience. If anyone is up to the effort any such replacement(s) would be welcomed. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 19:10, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
I'll try to take it on, but it really does look like such a massive job... I am concerned that there are a fair number of readers (especially younger students & non-English speakers) coming to this article being unfamiliar with Wikipedia and with finding information/sources. I think it is a good thing to make the actual references as accessible to our "customers" as we possibly can. Shearonink (talk) 20:35, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
  • Re: reference style. There are a fair number of citation styles available at WP, unfortunately this can get tacky when a single article attempts to employ different types, or simply uses none, inserting urls and other source info in the body of the text, making mark-up navigation, reading and editing very difficult at times. When I was cleaning up the citations and using one citation convention for this article I outlined the style that was used most in the article, back in January . -- Gwillhickers (talk) 19:46, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
Thanks so much for the link to where this was posted about in the talkpage archives... I did try to search for it and was unsuccessful. Just wondering, does this "anchored" or "hashtag-style" have a specific title/WP-page or is it just particular to the Jefferson article? If it is specific to this article and is basically something new, might be nice to have it written up as a WP-page of some type and get it all down for other editors.
Concerning references, a while back I adjusted User:DBigXray's talk template I found here on WP & I share it on editors' talks (especially new editors) that seem to be having issues (bare URLs, incomplete information, etc) with citations: {{subst:User:Shearonink/ref}} It's useful in that all the steps are laid-out.Shearonink (talk) 20:35, 15 July 2016 (UTC)

The citation convention used in this article is used in many other (often Featured) articles and uses the same basic syntax as the harvard style, with the exception of the anchor (ref=harv v ref=abc). From my experience, the Harvard style doesn't link up to a citation template if it is lacking a |last= parameter, and since many website sources don't provide first and last name information this can cause problems when trying to link a harv citation to a cite web template. When you designate your own anchor e.g.(ref=abc or ref=Smith, etc) the citation will link up to the template even when there is no last name parameter. The standard citation convention (for want of an official name) used here links up to all templates, regardless of any |last= parameter so long as the anchor in the citation matches the ref= parameter in the given template, be it cite web, cite book, cite journal, etc. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 21:08, 15 July 2016 (UTC)

The search citations can be put in the External links section of the article giving readers access to search the Thomas Jefferson Foundation. It is best to have solid references in the Thomas Jefferson article. Cmguy777 (talk) 19:00, 16 July 2016 (UTC)
Cmguy777 - I am not sure what you mean. I only want to clearly delineate the Foundation references that already exist within the article to link to the actual articles at the Foundation's website, not just to the general/home page. If there is some objection to this that I am not understanding, feel free to post here or on my talk page if you like. Shearonink (talk) 00:35, 17 July 2016 (UTC)
Shearonink - I am not objecting. I am for linking the references directly to the article. But the search part of the Thomas Jefferson article can be transfered to the External links section, so readers can freely search the website. Cmguy777 (talk) 01:33, 17 July 2016 (UTC)
Ah, ok...got it. I'll go ahead and duplicate it into that section. Shearonink (talk) 02:54, 17 July 2016 (UTC)

Code for citations (Harvard references, Harvard-style referencing[edit]

<ref>[[#abc| Author name, 2000]], p.123</ref>
{{cite book |last=Smith |first=Alex |title=book title |year=2000 |publisher=publisher name |ref=abc }}

I am placing the above example code - for the anchored/Harvard referencing-style that is in use for this article - here on the page from January 26 2016/Archive 39 so I can have it easily at hand and so that other editors can see what I am doing. This all started for me because I wanted to clearly state the exact reference/s for the sale/s of Monticello from the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, especially the initial sale from Jefferson's heirs to James Turner Barclay. Shearonink (talk) 00:35, 17 July 2016 (UTC)
Looks good. Bear in mind, inserting a url address for each and every article at the TJF isn't necessary, just as it isn't necessary to provide a link to the exact page number of a reliable source. All we need do is cite the source, publisher, page number or chapter and the general url address if available (which is not required). Of course if anyone is up to the task of getting the exact url's for all the individual TJF articles, working them into individual cite web templates, listing them in the Bibliography and providing respective citations which link to them, they will get no little objection from me. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 00:20, 20 July 2016 (UTC)
Well, that's what I'm going to be doing. Slow going because I am more familiar with the general usage/cite web/cite book/cite ref/etc. My whole thing is I just want to make the sources as transparent and accessible as possible to the general WP readership. Shearonink (talk) 03:48, 20 July 2016 (UTC)
The TJF sources are already transparent and accessible as each of the existing TJF citations will link you to the bibliography entry which in turn links you to the TJF main page/search window. All you'll really be doing here is simply sparing the few readers who follow up on the source the 'inconvenience' of having to type in the article name. We don't provide links to the exact page to any book we cite, we simply give them the author name, title and page number(s) and ultimately a link to the book when available, but again, it's not required. If you're still set on going the distance with this, well, I hope you realize the work involved and thank you for the effort. Just in case you didn't know, about a year ago I was the one who took approximately 20 TJF 'cite web' templates, removed all the redundant TJF info and urls in each template, and consolidated them all into one listing, with one url to the TJF main page. If you want to type in a separate cite web template for each TJF article cited, with links to the citations in the body of text, I only offer a passing objection inasmuch as it's really not that necessary, imo. Don't go getting cross-eyed on us now. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 09:33, 20 July 2016 (UTC)
I appreciate your previous work on the #TJF refs. Heh, and I won't go cross-eyed - I'll just keep on plugging away, adjusting a few at a time. I think it is important, in the spirit of verifiability, that our customers, the people who read Wikipedia, the people who read this article, that they have a clear path to the sources (even if it is just a few people who will follow the information to the end). I guess I am thinking that when an article only provides the general website link, it could be seen as reminiscent of providing a book cite but maybe no page numbers... I did go back and check to see where this Sfn-variant came from and you provided a linkage to it previously on this talk page, so yeah, I knew you had done the work, which is why I wanted to discuss it here on the talk page. I don't like taking on an editing change like this if it flies in the face of consensus. Shearonink (talk) 04:40, 21 July 2016 (UTC)
  • Thanks for the words, esp where the readers are concerned. Some time ago, the citations/references on this page was something of a mixed bag of nuts. There was many more website sources than there were even before I condensed the TJF sources. Whenever I could I would replace a web site source with that of a RS/publication. This would be a good time to ask that if you think you can cite something with a publication rather than a TJF reference, please do so. Sometimes simple points in the biography are cited by web site sources when they don't really need to be.
  • Making a separate subsection (not linked to TOC) for all the TJF references (that will be) in the Bibliography seems like a practical idea. I'll go ahead and do this -- don't think there's any policy that says not to, nor can I think of any reason not to. I'll move the existing TJF sources there, keeping the general TJF main page listing at the top. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 20:46, 21 July 2016 (UTC)
Yeah, I saw you did put in a separate section - makes sense to me. I am thinking I will convert all the #TJF refs to point to the actual articles at the Foundation's website and then go back and parse through them to see if the info can be sourced from some other reliable source, etc. Shearonink (talk) 21:01, 21 July 2016 (UTC)
Many of the books listed in the bibliography offer ample amounts of partial viewing, while there are many dozens in the public domain that offer full viewing (and downloading in PDF form). Our public library while having a good assortment of Washington biographies and such, unfortunately doesn't have many Jefferson biographies. One of these days I'm going to get the complete Dumas Malone biography on Jefferson. Ebay often has the complete 7 volume set, in various conditions. Almost any topic on Jefferson can be found there. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 12:03, 22 July 2016 (UTC)

TJ External links[edit]

{copied from user talk page)

Do you think this section could be trimmed? All the various "Jefferson's Papers" linkages seem like they might be redundant...

  • The TJ Foundation is useful in that it is easily accessible both in term of content and design, plus it is often thought of one of the first sources to be consulted.
  • The Mass Historical Society information is digitized & searchable.
  • Oddly enough, I think the UVA link is not as useful as it could be for people searching online - their digital collection is only accessible to UVA students & staff.
  • National Archives is searchable, and presents the information in full.
  • The World Digital Library presents images of the pages of Jefferson's personal copy of "A Summary View" AND it is searchable.
  • The Avalon Project (Yale)...seems like it duplicates the material at the TJ Foundation/Mass Historical Society/National Archives.
  • Project Gutenberg...seems to duplicate some of the materials presented by other institutions BUT they are available for download.
  • Internet Archive...has over 2000 books listed, many of which are biographies. Doesn't seem completely necessary.
  • LibriVox seems really good, presents information in audiobooks, making the information available to those who might benefit from this type of information source.
  • LifePortrait/CSpan seems good, in the sense that it presents information in an audio & video format.

Any opinions? I feel funny thinking about deleting any of these sources but am not sure they are all really necessary. Thanks, Shearonink (talk) 21:35, 22 July 2016 (UTC)

Agree. External links should offer supplemental information and not merely offer what the Wikipedia article already covers. Sites that offer primary and secondary sources, editorials, new discoveries, etc would seem to be among the most appropriate for an external link, while those that merely link to other Jefferson biographies and such would be redundant, not only to the WP biography, but to the Bibliography where many accounts can already be found. I've removed two such links. Others might do well to be removed. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 22:32, 22 July 2016 (UTC)


Citation links[edit]

@Shearonink: Ref [313] doesn't link to the correct TJF source in the bibiliography. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 19:22, 24 July 2016 (UTC)

Yes, I know, I'm working on it. I've come across some oddly-formed references - trying to get everything working right. Will be able to get it all fixed within at most an hour or two. Shearonink (talk) 19:29, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
@Shearonink: We still have a few lingering items here:
  • Refs [158]-TJF: American Indians, [347]-TJF: Italy – Language, [348]-TJF: "Public speaking", don't link to anything (Ref [158] might need to link to same source as ref [60].)
  • Refs [347] and [348] only link to TJF main page entry .
  • Some of the TJF refs [22], [231], [236] are spelled out, (i.e.Thomas Jefferson Foundation) while most others simply use the TJF designation.. Need to make them all consistent in format. i.e.TJF -- Gwillhickers (talk) 19:45, 25 July 2016 (UTC)
Yes. I know they are all not in a finished state. I am aware that there are still some lingering issues with the #TJF refs. Some of the #TJF refs had pre-existing issues from before I started, so those had to be fixed as I went along. Am going to finish up within the next day or two and then go back for general clean-up, make everything "nice and purty". Shearonink (talk) 20:01, 25 July 2016 (UTC)
Thanx We have the Thomas Jefferson Foundation spelled out once in the bibliography which is readily seen should any reader click and hop to the biblio' to check on things, so TJF works nice, imo. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 20:16, 25 July 2016 (UTC)