User:Leprof 7272

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Plato-raphael.jpg This user has published peer-reviewed articles in academic journals.
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Reminder, Wikipedia policies/guidelines regarding source selection and web citations[edit]

Per the policy section, WP:SOURCE, we are to:

"Base articles on reliable, third-party, published sources with a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy. Source material must have been published... Unpublished materials are not considered reliable. Use sources that directly support the material presented in an article and are appropriate to the claims made. The appropriateness of any source depends on the context. The best sources have a professional structure in place for checking or analyzing facts, legal issues, evidence, and arguments. The greater the degree of scrutiny given to these issues, the more reliable the source. Be especially careful when sourcing content related to living people or medicine... If available, academic and peer-reviewed publications are usually the most reliable sources, such as in history, medicine, and science." [Italics added]

Per WP:CITE and WP:CITEVAR guidelines, it is considered helpful (aiding the quality of the article) to

"Improv[e] existing citations by adding missing information, such as by replacing bare URLs with full bibliographic citations: an improvement because it aids verifiability, and fights linkrot.

Finally, per WP:BAREURLS, see [2], we are advised, toward "Helping to prevent future link rot":

"Most importantly, do not add bare URLs to articles—always create full citations with title, author, date, publisher, etc. [Italics added]

Thank you for your kind consideration, as you do these things, and tolerate me as I push to see them done consistently, here. [Le Prof]


Draft personal opinion essay regarding plagiarism and tagging[edit]

The following was adapted via minimal editing from a response given to a reasonable and thoughtful editor and colleague here, who called attention to the active concern others have expressed over my leaving articles tagged, even heavily, at the end of editing sessions. One principle tag in this case called attention to material cut-and-pasted from a source without attribution. Here, in largest part was my response to being challenged about my tagging behaviours.

I [can only] begin to address [in this challenge to my tagging] the generally prevalent academic concern [I and others share over the paired issues of, first, unsourced, and therefore unverifiable content, and second, the very significant degree of plagiarism that infests Wikipedia together, which are at the root of much that I tag]; these are subjects far too broad for brief attention.

Suffice it to say that WP has created a perfect intellectual conundrum and morass, having:

  • (i) no easily used internal tools for plagiarism detection,
  • (ii) low [overall community standards regarding the acceptability of including unsourced and therefore unverifiable material in initial edits (leaving sourcing to later, follow-on editors), and also regarding the more egregious] cribbing of material from sources, and
  • (iii) perfect ease [established] for outsiders to replicate (mirror) its content, thus making external plagiarism checking a lifelong vocation should anyone be so foolish as to commit to it.

[The fact that Wikipedia has a policy prohibiting and responding to the use of unverifiable information (however weakly enforced), but only a guideline prohibiting and responding to plagiarism, is telling in my opinion. From the persective of one committed to "Doing..." (and teaching about doing) "Honest..." academic work, it's noteworthy that] even sources with Creative Commons status, and out of copyright status, available for free use, carry the implicit legal or ethical stipulations that the source be acknowledged where its information is re-used. One needn't look far here at Wikipedia to see these standard intellectual expectations being broadly, generally ignored.

With regard to [my] use of tags here: Editors have differing philosophies regarding tagging. The preponderant philosophy appears to be,

"We need to hide article imperfections from general readers—making an article appear 'fine' is important, regardless of the issues associated with it, large or small."

As an academic and a person devoted to openness in intellectual endeavours, and one committed to the survival of WP in its next stages of evolution, I oppose this preponderant view, and fight for articles appearing tagged, if there are clear, unequivocal reasons for tagging them. (An unsourced section is an unsourced section. A long section completely drawn from a single source is just that. URL-only citations are a clear problem. Etc., etc.)

[With regard to the overused "just fix it" mantra: In editing articles I come to, as a first interest, or those related articles to which the primary interest is linked,] I always do what I can, quickly, to fix what I see [as being problematic]. But I do not leave an article with issues that will take many tens of hours to address without tags, just because I cannot fix all myself, in one session or set of sessions. We are a community. If we are an honest one, we can endure tagged articles, for the very simple reason that they reflect the real status of the encyclopedia, rather than an impression we would wish to create in a reading, public group of WP users. (Benign and malignant growths that are present in a body need attention called to them, even if they cannot be seen by the casual, external observer—so that intervention takes place.)

Otherwise... I am always committed to seeing tags consolidated, their messages shortened, etc. The truth is, long messages in tags are sometimes the only way to quickly convey issues to a population of editors, first, [where] many are ready to revert at an impulse, and second, where even if more patient, many are fairly ready to act [editorially] without thoroughly reviewing relevant Talk sections.

The bottom line, from me: I will always take concerns of other editors seriously, and attempt to accommodate them, but I will not submit to the notion [that persistence of unverifiable material is acceptable], or that it is acceptable to overlook when information written by others is misappropriated; moreover, neither will I submit to a fundamental philosophy that says that appearance is more important than reality—that readers should be allowed to perceive an article as being without flaws, when in truth it is substantially out-of-compliance with Wikipedia's own limited standards for academic honesty and scholarly attribution, as appear in its policies and guidelines.

I will do further work on this, but it is adequate to refer to, so that I do not have to repeatedly explain and defend, as I involve myself with WP activities. Cheers. Le Prof.