Wikipedia:No original research/Noticeboard

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This page is for requesting input on possible original research. Ask for advice here regarding material that might be original research or original synthesis.
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  • "Original research" includes unpublished facts, arguments, speculation, and ideas; and any unpublished analysis or synthesis of published material that serves to advance a position. Such content is prohibited on Wikipedia.
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Space colonization series[edit]

I stumbled upon a huge area of WP:SYNTH: space colonization and daughter articles navigated by {{wpspace}} and {{Space colonization}}. The texts contain lots of plausible and referenced info: orbits, athmospheric composition, surface, minerals, etc., but often collected from various astronomical sources which do not actually discuss colonization. In my book it is all one huge synthesis to be severely pruned. I started trimming the "main" article, but I would also like some extra opinions. Staszek Lem (talk) 18:41, 27 February 2017 (UTC)

Worldwide energy supply[edit]

For a long time I try to get the article Worldwide energy supply. It contains a lot of do-it-yourself-sources, that force you to start searching for the information needed. The author User:Rwbest refuses to give proper sources. Rwbest also refuses to give page numbers for easy access of the information.

The same article is removed from the Dutch Wikipedia as Own Research, and to my opinion this article is also Own Research. As the author is now plain and clear refusing to act (see: Talk:Worldwide energy supply), I give up and ask help. These unclear sources are making the article to an essay with WP:OR as you have to search for the info yourself. Are those do-it-yourself-sources acceptable? The Banner talk 16:47, 28 February 2017 (UTC)The Banner talk 16:42, 28 February 2017 (UTC)

If I understand you correctly, your real objection is not either that (a) the sources do not support the material for which they are cited or that (b) they engage in original research, per se (i.e. "The phrase 'original research' (OR) is used on Wikipedia to refer to material—such as facts, allegations, and ideas—for which no reliable, published sources exist. This includes any analysis or synthesis of published material that serves to reach or imply a conclusion not stated by the sources."). Your objection is that the citations are not specific enough, via page or paragraph references or the like, to determine whether the sources support the material without extensive examination of the source. Is that correct? Regards, TransporterMan (TALK) 17:00, 28 February 2017 (UTC)
In fact, yes. In a number of cases you have to do your own research in the sources given to find the results RWbest claims that there are there. It gives me the idea that by making the sources as difficult as possible, he is trying to hide WP:SYNTH and WP:OR. The Banner talk 17:12, 28 February 2017 (UTC)
That may or may not be true, but without other evidence it is a failure to assume good faith. Moreover, while general references are deprecated and are ordinarily listed in a section at the bottom of an article rather than being cited inline, they are not disallowed, see WP:GENREF. Unless you have other reasons to believe that the references do not, in fact, support the material or require OR in order to support it, the lack of specific page references or other location aids is not, in itself, impermissible (and certainly is not, and cannot be implied to be, OR). Regards, TransporterMan (TALK) 17:35, 28 February 2017 (UTC)
Persistent refusal to give better sources/give them a better format? The Banner talk 21:46, 28 February 2017 (UTC)
Ow, and among others, there is this case. The source does not back up the percentages mentioned. You have to compare the numbers of 2012 and 2014 yourself. The Banner talk 21:51, 28 February 2017 (UTC)
The Banner, the discussion on the Dutch WP was polluted by nasty suspicions about my intentions and the sudden removal of the article was criticised by several people, as you know. Your suspicion here that by making the sources as difficult as possible, he is trying to hide WP:SYNTH and WP:OR. is a failure to assume good faith, to say it mildly. My intention is to indicate the source, not to detail technicalities. Let me clarify this with the source of the percentages mentioned by you.

In section 1.1 Trend growth percentages are sourced in Note 4: Compare World: Balances for 2012 and 2014. The reader can click on Balances which links to an IEA page, select region World, topic Balances and year 2012, click on Search and find Total Production 13385446 in the upper right corner. Repeating this for year 2014 gives 13805443 which is 3.1% more.

I consider this verification easy, but a non-technical reader, not familiar with energy statistics, may think otherwise and trust that numbers are checked and corrected if necessary, by more technical readers. Rwbest (talk) 10:28, 1 March 2017 (UTC)


Hello, the Airports Authority of India publishes PDFs every month with traffic statistics for the airports it manages. For example, here are the passenger statistics for January and for February. Would it violate WP:SYNTH to add statistics from different PDFs, ultimately calculating, say, an airport's passenger count for the whole year? — Sunnya343✈ (háblamemy work) 22:46, 7 March 2017 (UTC)

Possible WP:SYNTH at John F. Kennedy assassination conspiracy theories[edit]

In revising the lede of the John F. Kennedy assassination conspiracy theories article in this edit, I also corrected an obvious misrepresentation of facts concerning the fundamental findings of the HSCA report (while reiterating and even expanding on the implications of the subset of facts given). User:Canada Jack proceeded to formulate what appeared to be WP:SYNTH statement to much the same effect as before, so I reverted (with concise references in the comments to corroborate) and followed up with a brief explanation on the talk page just to clear up any confusion. This user then counter-reverted, leaving a response on the talk page without so much as addressing the points I had raised.

At the heart of the matter is this: HSCA issued a series of findings, which are broken down into categories (so-called "paragraphs"). Each of these furthermore detail the issues considered in reaching the conclusions of said paragraph.

- Paragraph 1.B. concludes that "scientific acoustical evidence establishes a high probability that two gunmen fired at President John F. Kennedy. Other scientific evidence does not preclude the possibility of two gunmen firing at the President. Scientific evidence negates some specific conspiracy allegations". It goes on to discuss the studies (of these "dictabelt recordings") conducted by the commission in support of that finding. Well, it turns out now that several studies have since called into question that very evidence. Fine, and this is indeed addressed amply in our article.

- Paragraph 1.C. concludes that "the committee believes, on the basis of the evidence available to it, that President John F. Kennedy was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy. The committee is unable to identify the other gunman or the extent of the conspiracy". To support that finding, many connections between Oswald and various other people and groups are drawn. Nowhere, however, in this specific finding is there any reference to the acoustical evidence.

So my contention is simply this: taken as a whole, the findings of the HSCA are only partially based on the acoustical evidence, and so our article should state as much insofar as the scope of the newer revelations regarding the validity of the committee's original assessment of the dictabelt recordings is concerned. Any attempt to coalesce these findings (as User:Canada Jack did in referencing certain comments made by dissenting members) would thus be tantamount to WP:SYNTH.

Earl of Arundel (talk) 19:20, 8 March 2017 (UTC)

Earl of Arundel has this exactly backwards. He cites no source to back his claim that the HSCA's conclusion of "conspiracy" in regards to the Kennedy assassination was "partially" driven by the acoustic evidence. It's not there in what he posted, indeed the only actual evidence cited... is the acoustic evidence. So he is the one engaged in original research - actually, not even that, as he cites no source for his claim, and what he has posted heavily implies that it was the sole driving force behind the conclusion.
The dispute here arises because I omitted "partially." In fact the conclusion was driven solely by the acoustic evidence, and I presented the reference which states exactly that. From the Report's dissent by committee member Robert Edgar:
Was there a conspiracy? I agree with the December 13, 1978, first draft of our final report which states on page 64
"The committee finds that the available scientific evidence is insufficient to find that there was a conspiracy to assassinate President Kennedy."
Up to that moment in the life of the committee, we were prepared to go to the American people with this conclusion. Only after the report of Mark R. Weiss and Ernest Aschkenasy [i.e. the dictabelt :evidence], in the 11th hour of our investigation, was the majority persuaded to vote for two gunmen and a conspiracy. I respectfully dissented.
I didn't post the following, but from the same HSCA Report, a dual dissent by Samuel Devine and Robert Edgar which buttresses my contention:
"The testimony of acoustical experts was given such weight that most committee members were persuaded that a fourth shot was fired at Kennedy." and "Based on this evidence and testimony [the acoustic evidence], a majority of the select committee concluded there was a 'high probability of a conspiracy.'" And, from Edgar's separate dissent, an even more explicit link to the evidence and the "conspiracy" conclusion: "We found no evidence to suggest a conspiracy. We found no gunmen or evidence of a gunman. We found no gun, no shells, no impact of shots from the grassy knoll. We found no entry wounds from the front into any person, including President John Kennedy and Gov. John Connally. We found no bullets or fragments of bullets that did not belong to the Oswald weapon. And we found little, if any, evidence of partnership with Lee Harvey Oswald. Few credible ear-witness accounts back up the marginal findings of our acoustics experts." Further, in asking questions about the acoustic evidence, he says this: "Do we know enough to make our judgment on conspiracy accurate? To the last question, I say no." This again underlines the fact that the acoustic evidence drove the conclusion. And... "Did we rush to a conspiratorial conclusion? I believe that exhibit "A" will clearly demonstrate a rush to conspiratorial conclusions." For Exhibit "A," see below.
Edgar in his dissent reproduced in several columns the changes in conclusions from the initial Dec 13 1978 draft.
DRAFT REPORT: "There is insufficient evidence to find that there was a conspiracy to assassinate President Kennedy."
FINAL REPORT: "Scientific acoustical evidence establishes a high probability that 2 gunmen fired at President John F. Kennedy. Other scientific evidence does not preclude the possibility of 2 gunmen firing at the President. Scientific evidence negates some specific conspiracy allegations."
The only evidence which they had been presented between the Dec 13 draft and the Dec 29 final report wa the conclusion regarding the dictabelt evidence. The witness testimony was only cited as it generally corroborated that revised conclusion - it didn't suffice on its own to warrant that conclusion as is clear from the draft report.
There is no "original research", no "synthesis" here, my point that the acoustic evidence drove the conclusion of "conspiracy" is explicitly from the Report itself, and Earl of Arundel has thus far posted nothing to back his contention that the dictabelt only partly drove the conclusion. Canada Jack (talk) 20:21, 8 March 2017 (UTC)
Resolved: A consensus was finally reached on the issue. Earl of Arundel (talk) 20:46, 10 March 2017 (UTC)

Censorship by Google - SYNTH problems[edit]

A new editor is inserting a fairly large volume of unreliably sourced material on Censorship by Google, cited to references that don't mention "censorship" at all. Given the WP:SYNTH issues, I'm hoping for wider attention. (In addition to the OR problems, there's also separate reliable sources issues - the same user is using opinion pieces and self-published sources that are improper as well).

More eyeballs on the article, and comments at Talk:Censorship by Google#Unreliable sources / improper self-published sources / WP:SYNTH, would be most welcome. Neutralitytalk 19:54, 8 March 2017 (UTC)

Use of Smith & Wesson M&P15 in 2012 Aurora shooting, 2013 Los Angeles International Airport shooting, and 2015 San Bernardino attack[edit]

You are invited to join the discussion at Talk:Smith & Wesson M&P15#Request for comment: add three instances of criminal use. Issues of original research and synthesis have been raised in discussion. The content proposed by the request for comment is a concise summary over numerous reliable sources. Participation from experienced editors familiar with our original research policies is requested. Thank you in advance. (talk) 17:09, 10 March 2017 (UTC)

RfC on potential WP:ORIGINALSYN or WP:COATRACK[edit]

You are invited to join the discussion at Talk:List of scientists opposing the mainstream scientific assessment of global warming. This doesn't concern the list directly, but only a small part of the lead. Participation from experienced editors familiar with our original research policies is requested. Thank you in advance. Obsidi (talk) 22:04, 14 March 2017 (UTC)

The original RfC was withdrawn due to confusion as to the question and reissued with a clarified question. You are invited to join in the new discussion at Talk:List_of_scientists_opposing_the_mainstream_scientific_assessment_of_global_warming. Obsidi (talk) 20:51, 19 March 2017 (UTC)

Template: Specific[edit]

Please see Template talk:Specific#Wording for a suggestion on rewording this template message to make the purpose and meaning clearer, especially regarding the use of secondary sources. —Sangdeboeuf (talk) 02:06, 20 March 2017 (UTC)

Is this OR?[edit]

I was just wondering about my new article The Old Axolotl. I inserted the following claim there: "It is Dukaj's first book, and therefore longest work, translated to English as of this date." I also added the claim "The Old Axolotl is the first book of Dukaj published in English (in 2015)" to Jacek Dukaj. It is true (cue shaking of the head, I know), but I haven't found any reference stating so directly, I base this claim on the fact that the list of his works I (cited [1]) shows clearly which of his works were translated to English. There are only four, it is the only one classified under novels/novellas and the other three are classified as short stories. At what point, I wonder, do we leave WP:BLUE and enter WP:OR? Is my conclusion that this is his only book translated to English, and his longest work to be translated yet, OR, or BLUE? If you reply here, do ping me back. Cheers, --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 04:42, 22 March 2017 (UTC)

Racism in Africa[edit]

(Cross-posted from Talk:Racism in Africa) has cited this for the claim that Islam introduced racism to Africa -- even though the source doesn't really discuss race or racism.

He is also trying to add material about Islam to the rest of the article even though other sources do not discuss Islam.

Making claims that a source is not explicit about, and making claims not found in sources, is original research and needs to be removed. Ian.thomson (talk) 02:52, 26 March 2017 (UTC)

Recombining data from automotive production data source[edit]

There has been some debate as to how to handle automotive production figures. This is primarily in the article List of manufacturers by motor vehicle production (see talk page discussion here [[2]]. Related discussions have taken place on the GM [[3]] and Toyota articles [[4]]. The issue is how should the production volumes from various manufactures be combined. For example should Mazda numbers be added to Ford's (during the time of Ford control)? The agreed source of the numbers is the OICA. I believe all involved parties agree that this is a reliable source. The part in question is should the raw data from the OICA be combined. For example, here is the 2004 OICA data [[5]] and the table as presented in the article with footnotes explaining the regrouping of manufacture data[[6]]. Is it a violation of WP:NOR to take the raw data from a trusted source and regroup it in the article tables? Springee (talk) 13:15, 26 March 2017 (UTC)