Wikipedia:No original research/Noticeboard/Archive 13

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Tea Party movement


The following section (removed) is being continually added to this article.

A study conducted by the University of Washington found that Tea Party Movement supporters were statistically more likely to be racially resentful than the population as a whole.[1] Critics of this study suggest that while it's possible that agreement with statements like "Blacks should do the same without special favors" reflects a resentful spirit, it also could reflect a respectful one--a confidence that blacks are as capable as anyone else.[2]

The problem is that the study is not a national study. It was specifically limited to 7 states, however is being presented as a description of the movement as a whole. This study has also been strongly criticized for being very partisan and poorly worded (see second ref for example). To fully incorporate this study would require substantial qualifiers to fully explain the methodology of the study and the limitations which would very likely provide undue weight Arzel (talk) 01:18, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

You seem to have a flawed understanding of policy (on this AND in many other of your objections).
The SOURCE specifically has the words, "The data suggests that people who are Tea Party supporters have a higher probability...of being racially resentful" [late edit follows] as well as the source saying, "Surveyers asked respondents ... a series of questions that political scientists typically use to measure racial hostility. On each one, Tea Party backers expressed more resentment than the rest of the population".
The article edit says this, "A study conducted by the University of Washington found that Tea Party Movement supporters were statistically more likely to be racially resentful than the population as a whole.[72]"
Perhaps the edit could be worded differently, but to claim this text constitutes original research is quite an odd objection, IMO.
In any case, it's pretty clear to me that the actual problem here is that you believe the study's methodology ["7 states"] to be flawed, but your personal belief that the assertions in an RS are flawed is something quite apart from believing that an Wikipedia edit is violating WP:OR. It would help progress on the article if there less confusion of those two things. BigK HeX (talk) 02:11, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
(ec)"A higher probability" doesn't necessarily mean "more likely." And what's the actual population here? Are we talking about people who agree with the ideas of the tea party movement, or are we talking about actual tea party members? Because the tea party movement is about actual participation. Using the word "supporters" suggests that the researchers didn't 'study' actual tea party participants, but rather just asked a randomly selected group for their opinions. That's not a study. That's a poll.Malke2010 02:25, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
""A higher probability" doesn't necessarily mean "more likely."
Sheesh. It's kind of sad that a talk page full of objections like this are distracting editors from more important work on Wikipedia. BigK HeX (talk) 02:32, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
  • BigK HeX is right - there's no original research here. This could be brought up at WP:RS/N or WP:NPOV/N, but I think it should be included in the article, particularly since it is balanced by a rebuttal. II | (t - c) 04:49, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Yes, indeed, BigK HeX is right and Malke's understanding of OR and of social science methodology is flawed. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 06:31, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Nomoskedasticity see WP:CIVIL.Malke2010 11:06, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
....another poor application of WP guidelines. I see no civility breaches. BigK HeX (talk) 12:16, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

There is no consensus for including this study; I agree with Arzel. The study was local, but the Tea Party movement is national so their results are not statistically significant. Their methods are questionable: How did they decide which handful of states to include in the study?

Also their premise is questionable. What does "racially resentful" even mean? For example, if a white firefighter was denied a promotion or a white student was rejected from medical school, on the basis of skin color euphemistically called "affirmative action", then don't they have a legitimate basis to be "racially resentful". But does that make either of them a "racist" necessarily? So what does that have to do with the "racism" charge used by opponents against the millions of Americans participating in the Tea Party?

Furthermore, the conclusions made by the study are highly subjective. They decided that disagreeing with the statement "Blacks should do the same without special favors" reflects "racial resentment". However a number of contradictory interpretations are possible. For example, couldn't a black person who thought he deserved "special favors" based upon his skin color, be deemed to be "racially resentful"? Of course. And couldn't a white person, who thought that blacks were equal to whites, disagree that blacks somehow needed "special favors" to have a level playing field? Most certainly because Tea Party members are Conservatives who believe in individual rights and who reject group rights and identity politics.

So this study, from a handful of cherry picked states, is not statistically representative of the millions of people in the national Tea Party movement. The premise, methods, and conclusions used by those who conducted the study are highly controversial and questionable. Therefore the study is in violation of the WP:NPOV and WP:Undue policies; there is no consensus for inclusion and any mention of the study should be removed at once. Freedom Fan (talk) 16:53, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

Kinda off topic for this forum like (as least) part of the above:
Quote: "Tea Party members ... believe in individual rights and who reject group rights..." ; But they don't reject their own group, or do they??? :)
And I too concur with the statements made below made by Nomoskedasticity and others. The Magnificent Clean-keeper (talk) 19:02, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
This is textbook original research. You have critiques of the study -- fine. But your critiques as a Wikipedia editor count for precisely nothing. If you want to have an impact on this article along these lines, what you do is get your ideas published in a reliable source, and then it can be used here as a source. I might even share your critiques -- but it wouldn't matter, the point is that they have no bearing on the use of the source given Wikipedia's policy on original research. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 17:05, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
Concur with Nomoskedasticity. I'll also interject a bit of frustration that this type of blatant OR fills the article's talk page and is constantly being used to "justify" numerous deletions and reverts. I understand that the 3 editors feel strongly about their WP:TRUTH, but something is going to have to be done about the crusading. BigK HeX (talk) 17:19, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
And I'm going to concur here also. This is indeed a classical example of what we mean by original research. Neither Freedom Fan's opinion'd not mine of the study count. Wikiedia is not a debating chamber, we report what reliable sources have to say and don't try to determine ourselves if they are right or not - in fact, we don't even expect them all to agree with each other! This & related articles are a bit of a nightmare for anyone who wants to keep them encyclopedic. Dougweller (talk) 17:30, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

I agree as well, we have to follow what the secondary sources say, it is not our job to evaluate "premise, methods, and conclusions used by those who conducted the study". --Nuujinn (talk) 17:34, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

Did any of you actually read the study, or the Newsweek article compared to the actual statement in the article? I have presented a synapsis of the information on the talk page. The OR is plainly clear for anyone that wishes to see it. Arzel (talk) 03:17, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

It is not original research to mention an academic study. In fact they are the best sources available. But the expression "Critics of this study..." is weasel wording. The reference is a WSJ editorial which should be directly attributed, provided the opinion is considered sufficiently notable for inclusion. TFD (talk) 03:40, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
When did I say it was OR to mention the academic study? The OR is in the presentation of the sample population to give the impression that the study is representative of the nation as a whole. Even the Newsweek article doesn't go that far. Arzel (talk) 03:46, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

Basic Synapsis for reference:

  • This what the article currently states (section Bolded is the OR).

A study conducted by the University of Washington found that Tea Party Movement supporters were statistically more likely to be racially resentful than the population as a whole.[70] Critics of this study suggest that while it's possible that agreement with statements like "Blacks should do the same without special favors" reflects a resentful spirit, it also could reflect a respectful one--a confidence that blacks are as capable as anyone else.[71]

  • This is what Newsweek says:

Until now, that is. A new survey by the University of Washington Institute for the Study of Ethnicity, Race & Sexuality offers fresh insight into the racial attitudes of Tea Party sympathizers. "The data suggests that people who are Tea Party supporters have a higher probability"—25 percent, to be exact—"of being racially resentful than those who are not Tea Party supporters," says Christopher Parker, who directed the study. "The Tea Party is not just about politics and size of government. The data suggests it may also be about race."

  • Notice that the comparison is not between Tea Party Supporters and the rest of the population, but between Tea Party Supporters and Non-Tea Party Supporters. If you actually read the study you can see that this is a sub-sample of the population as a whole. study
  • This is what the study says about the methodology:

The survey is drawn from a probability sample of 1006 cases, stratified by state. The Multi-State Survey of Race and Politics included seven states, six of which were battleground states in 2008. It includes Georgia, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, and Ohio as the battleground states. For its diversity and its status as an uncontested state, California was also included for comparative purposes. The study, conducted by the Center for Survey Research at the University of Washington, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percent and was in the field February 8 - March 15, 2010.

  • This is what the author of the study says:

Moreover, I make no claim that the data is representative of the country. Rather, they are representative of the states that were sampled. Appropriate weights, based upon the American Community Survey, have been constructed.

The current wording is patently FALSE. We cannot say that the Tea Party Movement was compared to the population as a whole. neither the Newsweek article, or the study make that claim. If you read the study you can see that Tea Party Supporters + Non-Tea Party Supporters is a subsample of the whole population. It must also be specified that the study was limited to seven specific states. Additionally, the study did not make a statistical statement, it stated that the difference was "Suggestive". Arzel (talk) 03:58, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

I should've quoted this one to begin with, but anyways .... the current wording is a patently accurate reflection of the Newsweek article. From the article

Surveyers asked respondents in California and a half dozen battleground states (like Michigan and Ohio) a series of questions that political scientists typically use to measure racial hostility. On each one, Tea Party backers expressed more resentment than the rest of the population, even when controlling for partisanship and ideology.

While Arzel is correct that the Newsweek article describes a comparison of Tea Partiers to non-Tea Partiers, he fails to understand that there is another comparison performed in the study. So, actually, there are two comparisons from the study which get covered in the Newsweek article. As Arzel has elaborated, there is one comparison of Tea Party supporters to Tea Party non-supporters, but also another comparison is made of certain Tea Party supporters to a more complete group that is not limited to just the non-supporters. The quote above from Newsweek is a summarization of this latter comparison. And given this source, the article wording is accurate. BigK HeX (talk) 06:35, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
No, you are incorrect. The second paragraph you describe is the Newsweek explanation of the Parker quote from the previous paragraph. read the study, ALL of the comparison was between supporters and non-supporters. The author was even questioned on this and responded at Please stop trying twist the meaning of the study. Arzel (talk) 13:30, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
Since he's posting the above on the OR noticeboard, would anyone care to point out the irony that his above "defense" seems pretty clearly based on his personal assessment. After the last few weeks of this, it's getting rather tiring for me to keep pointing out that his personal research into matters does not trump verifiable text.
In any case, the bottom line is that the source CLEARLY states "Surveyers asked respondents in California and a half dozen battleground states (like Michigan and Ohio) a series of questions that political scientists typically use to measure racial hostility. On each one, Tea Party backers expressed more resentment than the rest of the population".
Compared to the wiki article edit which says, "A study conducted by the University of Washington found that Tea Party Movement supporters were statistically more likely to be racially resentful than the population as a whole.[72]"
Keep raging against the machine. Someone will eventually be impressed. BigK HeX (talk) 15:16, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
Now that you realize you are wrong you resort to Personal Attacks? Nice. Arzel (talk) 18:51, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
The choice 7 states for the research was clearly explained in the paper. It is not up to us to challenge the methodology of studies but to use reliable criticism that challenges it. TFD (talk) 01:39, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

question as to bar for WP:OR

At National_debt_by_U.S._presidential_terms there is a question as to if the table and figure represent original research (OR). On the talk page I have pointed to some possible sources that publish something similar but nobody has exactly the same thing. I am still unsure if this is or is not OR because the concept is so simple, and there are many who use the concept (increase in debt be Presidential term), but there is still no identical table.

If you answer is that the sourcing (and links I provided on the talk page) are insufficient, can you please tell me what would be sufficient? Alternately, if you think that this article/table/image do not violate OR, can you please explain how they should be cited or why this is the case? Thanks in advance for your thought! 018 (talk) 01:38, 20 April 2010 (UTC)

I am amazed that the article has been allowed to exist for so long. I haven't looked at the precise issue you mention because the whole thing is total OR and any competent POV pusher could add tables to show whatever they wanted. I agree that the simple idea is rather nice: compare the national debt at the beginning and the end of each presidential term. However, life is not so simple in practice and independent secondary sources that have worked out what each President did that resulted in an increase or decrease is required. Johnuniq (talk) 04:24, 20 April 2010 (UTC)
Observations about political affiliation and changes in US government debt has been made by several political commentators (Paul Krugman for example). This makes the introduction of this issue into Wikipedia not OR. Citations to those outside commentators would be welcome however. If I have time, I'll leave some cites on the article talk page. LK (talk) 06:40, 20 April 2010 (UTC)
Okay, these are the two ways I saw of seeing it. A third editor on the page called it a "routine calculation." I can see all three sides. This is why I posted on this noticeboard. How do we sort this out? 018 (talk) 15:17, 20 April 2010 (UTC)
The article suffers from clear OR and factual accuracy issues. As O18 points no, no source exactly replicates the table, it has been created via WP:Synthesis. Further, its making an apples-to-oranges comparison. Spending bills originate in the House, but the article implictly lays responsibility for spending in the executive branch. A table collating spending by who controlled Congress would be better (though still very problematic). The problem is that the entire article, down to the color-coding on the chart, is clearly designed to promote a particular point of view, rather than factually educating the reader. For instance, the majority of the spending increase in the 2005-2009 period happened when Obama took office in Jan 2009, but it's chalked up to Bush.
The largest problem of all is that federal fiscal years don't begin and end on presidential terms. Whenever a president is elected, they "inherit" a portion of the budet from the previous president, but can also work to make changes themselves (though as previously noted, Congress ultimately has more responsibility here). Trying to artificially align presidential terms to fiscal budgets just cannot be accurately done. Fell Gleaming(talk) 15:29, 20 April 2010 (UTC)
FellGleaming, please stick to what is not referenced for this discussion. the article already states

Louis Fisher writes, "Congress rarely appropriates more than what the President requests." In the case of Nixon, who fought fiercly with congress over the budget, he writes, "Congress was able to adhere to the President's totals while significantly altering his priorities."

The point is the President sets the spending totals and they are adhered to. 018 (talk) 15:37, 20 April 2010 (UTC)
Is that the ex-Socialist candidate for President? You're basing your argument of a remark of his made over 20 years ago? Congress regularly has and does exceed the amounts requested by the President...and that is the least of the problems in this article. The real problem is that you cannot align federal fiscal years with presidential terms. No matter how you allocate years, you're forced to tie at least some spending by a president to his successor or predecessor. Fell Gleaming(talk) 19:29, 20 April 2010 (UTC)
FellGleaming, not sure if you know this, but NPOV and verifiability apply to discussion pages too. Can you please give us some sort of reference for Louis Fisher being a socialist candidate for president, that congress exceeds the President's request, and that it matters in any year other than 2009 that the President changed office. In addition, as was pointed out on the talk page, you actually argued for the timing that is currently used in the table. 018 (talk) 01:18, 21 April 2010 (UTC)
  • While I would generally say a table is basic and doesn't need to be published elsewhere, I actually do see this article as being inappropriate. Interesting data, but overall shallow and more fit for a blog post or something than an encyclopedic article. The topic is better treated in a scientific paper about political party's contributions to the national debt. I'm awfully sympathetic to the observation that Republicans have historically contributed more to the national debt, and I do think that it is an encyclopedic topic to cover at the United States public debt article, but the way it is done is more of a political jab. II | (t - c) 06:35, 21 April 2010 (UTC)
What exactly makes you say it is a jab. I see almost zero text--mostly numbers. Can you please tell me what would help make it read as not a jab? 018 (talk) 02:02, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
I don't think is really fit for a standalone article - it would be interesting statistics to supplement an article on how much each party contributes to the national debt, but standing alone it implicitly gives off that impression with stating it. For example, Barack Obama will oversee a serious increase in the national debt, simply because he inherited a crisis which caused reduced tax revenues and required increased spending. So in this chart he will look like a big spender even though it really shouldn't be attributed to him. II | (t - c) 20:35, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

Use of data not discussed in report

The editors on the Talk:Neuro-linguistic_programming#Norcross_2006 are unsure whether it would be acceptable or not to use this source for the article on NLP given that does not actually discuss the data/results or make any conclusions in relation to NLP in that paper. It seems to me that it would be original research to make inferences from the data that the researchers themselves did not make.

In this paper there are four tables. In tables 3, Neuro-linguistic programming is listed with the results for round 1 (mean = 3.57) and for round 2 (mean = 3.87) of a survey of psychologists. A score of 4.0 is regard as "probably discredited". Another treatment which had a score of 3.5 was described as "between possibly and probably discredited". We can assume that a score between 3.0 and 4.0 is possibly discredited so NLP may be in this category.

Table 4 again lists a test of significance (p-value < .004) in which the opinions of psychologists from the CBT v. PD-HUM. The CBT group corresponds to scores averaged across cognitive and behavioral orientation and PD-HUM corresponds to the scores averaged across psychodynamic and humanistic. It shows that CBT > PD-HUM which presumably means that the mean rating by psychologists from the CBT orientations was less favourable toward NLP than the mean rating by psychologists from the PD-HUM orientations. The results of some tests were discussed in the paper but the results related to NLP were not. The tests that were discussed were ones which fell below 3.0 or were above 4.0.

There is debate on the talk page Talk:Neuro-linguistic_programming#Norcross_2006 and in recent edit history over whether including these results would constitute original research or not. One of the problems is that the results are not discussed in the paper. We can only speculate why the data from NLP was not discussed. Maybe the researchers did not deem it important enough or they thought the rating of 3.57 was in the neutral area so nothing could be concluded.

We are also interested in guidance about what sources are acceptable as reputable/reliable sources for this subject. And what would be considered original research in general for this topic. It is particularly difficult because there are no university level text books dedicated to the subject. There are peer-reviewed journal articles dedicated entirely to NLP in various disciplines. And there are books and journal articles which cite NLP literature written by the founders and by its practitioners.

Action potential discuss contribs 11:20, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

Harm reduction

I and some other editors have a problem with Minphie (talk · contribs). He have his way on many articles in the scope of Harm reduction and is "juxtaposeing" to make "valid arguments" against harm reduction that is "evidenced and factual" and "logically correct". However, looking at the sources he uses, in many cases it is evidenced that they not are critical of harm reduction. In one instance he for example uses to make an argument against de cost-effectiveness of heroine assisted treatment, but looking at the source is actually making the contrary argument, that it is cost-effective. Then he brings Sweden to that table, using a source that does not say anything about wither Sweden is have a cost-effective drug policy or is making it an alternative to heroin assisted maintenance. Another example of OR is this where he saw together an original synthesis with the same kind of selectivity shown above, not showing that the "critics" in fact used the sources in the way he did.

I would be pleased if someone took a look at the above, informed Minphie a last time about original research and then reverted his edits to Harm reduction. Steinberger (talk) 10:28, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

Steinberger has not understood the differences in formal logic between synthesis and deduction, and herein lies his misunderstanding. I have indeed cited a medical media release on the UK heroin trial as my source for the COST per participant and as my source for the ONGOING ADDITIONAL COSTS of acquisitive crime to the UK community from these same participants despite their provision of free heroin. I have then juxtaposed (not synthesized) the ongoing costs of heroin maintenance with the once-off costs of rehabilitating heroin users such that they cost the community nothing in acquisitive crime or ongoing maintenance. The deduction is clear and indubitable.
IF the heroin trial participants are still costing the UK community 15,000+ pounds p.a. in real terms (as demonstrated from my cited source)
AND a rehabilitated user, who after an initial one-off investment costs the community no pounds at all (a given)
THEN the rehabilitated user is the cheaper strategy.
This is precisely the argument of the critics of the heroin trials. There is no synthesis or original research. Straightforward deduction is not empirical research in any shape of form, where rather it is 'induction' at play. Unless Steinberger can grasp the difference between deduction and induction he may continue to make the error of thinking that deduction is original research. Others may assist him better than I. I have put a similar explanation on the Harm Reduction Talk page.

Minphie (talk) 23:05, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

No, that is still an WP:Synthesis and the result you get when doing it is factually wrong. The addicts that can get heroin by prescription have failed numerous attempts at rehabilitation, including with methadone. They are the treatment-resistant worst five per cent, according to your source. The alternative to heroin as given in the source you quote is not rehabilitation, but prison and the cost for a year in prison, according to the source you quote, is 44k£.
Your argument however, can still be done. But then you have to have a source where it is made explicitly and properly attribute it to it. That is perfectly fine and in accordance with WP:OR. But that is not the case here, is it? Steinberger (talk) 08:38, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, as I read Wikipedia's policy on Original Research "straightforward deduction", as you call it, is a classic example of original research. Any logical inference from the sources, that is not explicitly stated in the sources, is Original Research. --SteveMcCluskey (talk) 22:32, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
Concur. We are documenting knowledge, not drawing and presenting further inferences and conclusions we create from it. While in academia the process described might be considered deduction, it's a pretty cut and dried synthesis/OR issue for a neutral encyclopedia. If a credible independent third party had drawn and published those same conclusions in reliable sources, that would be different. FT2 (Talk | email) 05:49, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
Nice to hear that I have understood the policy correct. Thanks both for taking your time. Steinberger (talk) 17:31, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
I am an uninvolved observer of this dispute and I am not convinced that this dispute is as clear cut as made out and I am worried about the direction this dispute is taking. It appears the accusers here allow uncited POV original research such as the following commentary, "Little anecdotal evidence supports them beyond the arguments and claims put forth by anti-harm reduction groups themselves." and "Critics furthermore reject harm reduction measures for allegedly trying to establish certain forms of drug use as acceptable in society:" minimise criticisms of harm reduction. See this article section. I am concerned that this noticeboard is being used to generate "evidence" to get a newbie editor community sanctioned from wikipedia based on comments by Steinberger on [1] and a user conduct RfC being filed Wikipedia:Requests_for_comment/Minphie. The newbie editor Minphie is concerned with the POV of the article and I can see why. Am I right in saying that the above bolded examples of uncited commentary is original research? Outside views would be welcome.--Literaturegeek | T@1k? 11:22, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

Additionally this mass revert was done on the grounds that Minphie was doing synthesis and original research but when I checked the sources, I did not see any synthesis or original research. I did not read every reference but about half of them and seemed fine and the mass revert seemed to be on flawed reasoning. Most of the sources also seemed to be ok. This is not a one sided issue.--Literaturegeek | T@1k? 12:47, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

I agree with LG. Even though I disagree with the critics of the SIS these criticisms are verifiable and thus should be included on Wikipedia. These safe injection sites have not been around very long and thus many conclusions surrounding them cannot yet be made. Well Minphie may have picked onesided passages. These should have been balanced rather than removed. And this should probably have occurred on the subpage Safe injection site to keep the main page from getting too big.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 23:55, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
Thank you for your comments. Yes a lot of areas of harm reduction is fairly common sense and not controversial, though some forms of harm reduction are controversial for a number of reasons. :)--Literaturegeek | T@1k? 17:53, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Over the mass revert, there was mainly four things:
  1. that "Critics of this intervention point to these same evaluations of safe injection sites" (four sources, were only one is in fact pointing to a evaluation that was preceding or following, namely this and it mainly summarized other findings then the ones that were following)
  2. the statement that Vancouver and Sidney are the most evaluated drug consumption facilities (novel and without citations)
  3. that "[Vancouver] cost ...$3 million per annum to operate ... [although] indicating just one life saved from fatal overdose per annum" indicating that it is cost-inefficient although the same expert review where the figures were taken from said it is cost-efficient; exactly mimicking what above is said to be a original synthesis
  4. that this partisan "review" was used without attribution (its findings contradicts the official evaluations on many points)
To make Minphies edit compliant to policies (not only NOR but also NPOV) it had to be completely rewritten. Steinberger (talk) 09:36, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

Natural law

We have an editor at this article who I and others think is inserting OR. He argues that he can use primary sources the way he is using them and his edits are not OR. As he plans to edit other articles similarly, some commments here would be very helpful. My reversion is at [2] Dougweller (talk) 14:31, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

This is pretty straight forward on first glance. WP:PRIMARY: Any interpretation of primary source material requires a reliable secondary source for that interpretation. It's like when users want to quote the bible and then state their personal interpretation. Ancient texts can be examined and interpreted in many different ways. Luckily, we have scholars who spend their lives doing that stuff, so we don't have to do it here. It shouldn't be hard to find a scholar discussing Aristotle. And if we can't find secondary sources to support those changes, then either they aren't notable, or they are novel and thus WP:NOR would apply. -Andrew c [talk] 15:17, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
I concur with Dougweller. The article already has secondary sources discussing Aristotle, and since the point of the article is not Aristotle, but natural law, it seems quite sufficient now. The editor has already said that his own forthcoming paper will address this...which is a red flag for me as well. Tb (talk) 17:10, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Perhaps a second glance is in order in this particular case. My addition was first reverted based on the false assumption (everybody makes mistakes) that I was advancing the view that Aristotle "believed" in natural law. That was NOT my intention; that has never been my view; and I thought that what I wrote made it perfectly clear that I was not advancing such a view. In other words: this whole issue arose because of another editor's unexplained misinterpretation, so I reverted the deletion.
  • It was my assumption that what I wrote was so self-evidently, even banally, mainstream that no citation was necessary. Obviously I was wrong about this, so I'll go back and provide footnotes to on-line encyclopedias to reassure everybody when I revise and re-post what I wrote. Here's what I intend to use for starters: Perhaps my choice of words inadvertently crossed some red-lines of scholarly disputation. If so, that is a matter for discussion and re-phrasing, not deletion.
  • Finally, Tb's claim that I have "already said that my own forthcoming paper will address this" is simply not correct. I earlier stated (at the Natural Law discussion page) that my forthcoming paper will address the use of "happiness" versus "property" in the Declaration of Independence; and I have been very careful not to give even a hint of my own view on that issue here at wikipedia. My forthcoming paper says absolutely nothing about Aristotle or natural law.
I think the purpose of the noticeboard is to receive third-party feedback, not for us to continue the dispute from the article's talk page (which anyone looking here can easily access). So far, the only comment from someone not involved in this dispute is Andrew c's. RJC TalkContribs 02:27, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
If you can't find secondary sources discussing some particular point about Aristotle and natural law (or really, Aristotle and anything) then it shouldn't be in an encyclopedia, because Aristotle has been done to death. The purpose of an encyclopedia is to summarize secondary sources, not primary ones. But to the question at hand, the material removed in the diff supplied above is unquestionably original research. Some of the second and third paragraphs of the current revision of the Aristotle section are as well. The third paragraph talks about "the best evidence of Aristotle's having thought there was a natural law comes from the Rhetoric..." referenced to the Rhetoric. "Aristotle notes that natural justice is a species of political justice, viz. the scheme of distributive and corrective justice that would be established under the best political community;[8] were this to take the form of law, this could be called a natural law, though Aristotle does not discuss this and suggests in the Politics that the best regime may not rule by law at all.[9]" You can't state something from a primary source—"...natural justice is a species of political justice..."—and then form conclusions—"...were this to take the form of law, this could be called a natural law". This is original synthesis. Of course this doesn't mean it any of these statements aren't true or widely accepted analyses of Aristotle. It's just saying they runs afoul of Wikipedia's original research policy. I'd suggest finding sources which support the text. If it's as mainstream as RJC says it is, this should be relatively easy. -Atmoz (talk) 23:35, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

Stereotypes of white people

A user has continually been inserting biased material which is either not supported by the given citations, or is cited with websites. This is attested to in the diff above (it represents the re-insertion of often-deleted material). I would greatly appreciate some guidance from fellow editors as to whether this material is flagrantly in breach of WP:NOR and WP:RS, or whether I am in fact totally insane for being sure that this is so. I stand ready to call a psychiatrist or revert the article depending on your answer. BillMasen (talk) 14:10, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

Note: The same issue is being discussed at WP:RSN#Stereotypes of white people. Blueboar (talk) 15:58, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

OR? or SYN? Single sentence from article PIGS (economics)

Article edit states:
"Members of the Spanish and other international economic press continue to use the term of art in its narrow and restricted economic sense as a grouping acronym like the related BRIC."
Supporting ref's include:
  1. "Those are reasons enough to trust that will arise as promising economies that will follow the BRIC group, comprising Brazil, Russia, India and China, in its ability to maintain the vigor of the global economy, a condition, then, makes reliable to international investors, in contrast to calls from the PIGS countries (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain) facing high debt ratios and fiscal deficits and have enormous difficulties in maintaining economic stability."[3]
  2. " We are in changing times, we talk about new economy, reorganization of capitalism, new economic centers, such as the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) or the PIGS (Portugal, Greece, Ireland, Italy and Spain) what position to take to those changes? "[4]
  3. "This was stated by HSBC's chief executive, Michael Geoghegan, presenting his strategy in Hong Kong. ... emerging are not the 'Bric' or 'Pigs', are a class of countries, which share a time of global economic growth, a changing patterns of wealth, changes in trade routes and share..."[5]
  4. "This uncertainty has led experts to form categories according to the common behavior of certain countries in this economic swing. Thus, while Brazil, Russia, India and China form the BRIC powerful and Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain (Spain) embed PIGS, our country has become part of civets: Colombia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Turkey and South Africa."[6]
  5. "Today we bring you full commentary.... As you can see, the article generated a lively debate on the concept of reciprocity between BRIC dwellers and the environment PIGS."[7]
  6. "The PIGS take over the BRIC"[8]
  7. "One danger is that fractures within the euro area will distract the ECB from staying on top of inflation. A particular worry is what could be called the PIGS—Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain, Europe's negative version of the fast-growing BRICs. The fear is that these countries may be in a hole they cannot easily climb out of and that the ECB will be pressed into running a looser monetary policy to save them.[9][10]Additional Ref's are available.[11][12]
Additional refs:
"UK exports: The dominant PIGS and subordinate BRICs" [13] "Do BRICs (and Germans) Eat PIGS?"[14] "Of BRICs and PIGS"[15]


Spanish economic press usage:[16][17][18][19], From Russia,[20], From China,[21], ... Ecuador,[22] etc..

Note also that the editor who objected to this individual(1.) sentence noted above has now removed 25 additional ref's from the article and questioned each and every one of them... . (talk) 20:05, 5 June 2010 (UTC)

The acronym is certainly common in the US media... but I would say it is a neologism. As such, we should probably not have an article devoted to it (it might rate a passing mention in a broader article on the economy of Europe). Suggest AfD. Blueboar (talk) 20:32, 5 June 2010 (UTC)
The question is regarding the OR or SYN of the specific sentence. It is the sentence itself that has been rejected as OR & Syn by a single editor, one who also was given the same supporting Ref's listed above. As an aside, and not relevant to the question, the article as a whole has already been before AfD. The decision was "keep". (ADD: I'm not sure if you were reflecting on the Ref's presented or adding an observation in general - but I don't believe that any of the presented Ref's are US media. . (talk) 21:00, 5 June 2010 (UTC)
Blueboar, agree. It (unfortunately) survived an AfD before. It being a newsy topic/neologism, OR and synthesis are bound to dog it. It was a proposed merge that precipitated 99.141.*.*'s rewrite. Like I described on AN/I, the issue is not simply this one sentence but the way sources are treated throughout that rewrite. --RA (talk) 10:42, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
"OR and synthesis are bound to dog it." That's why we're here. You specifically[23][24][25][26][27] object to this sentence as OR & SYN. It's now time to provide a reason and support your contention. (talk) 13:41, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
None of the references explicitly support the sentence (as with many of the references used in your rewrite). References cannot rely on an original interpretation or be combined in a fashion forwards an interoperation not found in the original sources. Please read Wikipedia:No original research. --RA (talk) 14:10, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
Question... what is the original interpretation? Blueboar (talk) 15:37, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
There's a lot mixed in (partly based on POV issues around the topic). The sentence appears in the context of discussion of criticism of the term and is apparently intended to contradict the sentence appearing immediately before it, which says the term has been criticised as being pejorative by members of the Spanish-speaking press. It is in that context that the references requires original interpretation. They are being used in discussion about criticism of the term, apparently to contradict references that discuss criticism of the term, yet none of them actually discuss criticism or otherwise of the term. Original interpretation is required to see them in that context.
(Another, issue I have is that none of them actually say that BRIC is a "related" term to PIIGS. Some of the above refs compare the BRIC economies to the PIGS economies, but none say they PIGS and BRICS are "related" terms.) --RA (talk) 16:10, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
The sentence is factually correct and has been fully supported by the ref's. PIGS and BRICS are related terms - as clearly stated, they are grouping acronyms. They group together nations which share certain economic similarities. These groups are frequently the focus of discussion in which they are compared and contrasted with each other. We could diagram the sentence, or we can replace the terms with other analogous examples, "FINABEL, NATO, ANZUS" ....etc. In which way do you gather from the boatload of evidence to the contrary - that they are not related? Do you have a supporting ref which expressly states this? --Philcha (talk) 14:19, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
As others have said, BRICS and PIGS are just acronyms that group certain nations, like "FINABEL, NATO, ANZUS". In the case of BRICS and PIGS, the two group's economies make a sharp contrast. The Spanish-speaking press criticism as "PIGS" as being pejorative press is unproductive as it draws attention to the economies and especially to these nations' addiction EU subsidies from the EU's Social Fund, which have left their economies uncompetive since the 1970s. --Philcha (talk) 08:26, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
Philcha, all that is required is a single reference that explicitly supports the sentence (and in particular in the context in which it appears) without inferring this or that from across multiple sources or reading more into them than they actually say. How do any of them relate to the "controversy" around the term? --RA (talk) 13:01, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
I can probably since sources from good economists, but can't be bothered. However, citation words the other way too - the Spanish-speaking press criticism as "PIGS" as being pejorative press needs citations. If none, rm the Spanish-speaking press criticism; if cited, they just make themselves stupid. --Philcha (talk) 14:19, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
I wholly agree. The article as it stands is a bold re-write entirely by 99.141.*.*. I've had no hand, act or part in it. Like I posted above, the problems with the rewrite is not this one sentence alone. Referencing, original thought and commentary are problem throughout.
My post at the ANI thread that led to here sums up the situation as I see it. --RA (talk) 14:41, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
What, -->exactly<--, is OR? Where is it? It's a ludicrously simple statement. What is it that you think is being said there? . (talk) 19:29, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
Which of the sources you provide discuss use of the term by the Spanish press? Where does that source say the Spanish press "continue to use the term"? Where does it say that they do so "its narrow and restricted economic sense"? Where does it say that they do so in the "sense as a grouping acronym like the related BRIC"? Original thought is required to see those quotes in these terms. References on Wikipedia need to be explicit. No original thought.
(This is not a comment on the veracity of what you have written. It is simply that on Wikipedia we are concerned only with verifiability, not truth.) --RA (talk) 20:06, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
You're wrong. You've completely misinterpreted Wikipedia policy. We have a slew of referenced Spanish Press using the term - to now demand that stil another source be quoted that the Spanish press use the term is ludicrous. The use of the term is self-evident. (talk) 21:18, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:No original research: "The only way you can show that your edit is not original research is to cite a reliable published source that contains the same material. Even with well-sourced material, if you use it out of context or to advance a position not directly and explicitly supported by the source, you are engaging in original research; ...." (Emphasis in original.)
It must be explicit. It must be in context. --RA (talk) 21:30, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
I think you've lost the plot. We say "members of the Spanish press continue to use the term" because we have ref's which show that members of the Spanish press continue to use the term. To demand a separate ref which explicitly states, "members of the Spanish press continue to use the term" is ridiculous. Your sudden personal interpretation of Wikipedia standards is not found in the policy you point to. . (talk) 21:41, 7 June 2010 (UTC)


Resolved: Per User:Anythingyouwant [28], "The objection regarding "original research" has been dropped by the editor who raised it." TheFeds 07:04, 9 June 2010 (UTC)

Okay, this is a hypothetical question related to a real editing dispute (at Family planning).

Suppose there's a Wikipedia article about the Solar system, and also suppose there are separate Wikipedia articles about each of the planets. I come across a reliable source that says Jupiter is x times bigger than Mars, but the reliable source does not explicitly mention the "solar system." Would it be okay for me to cite that reliable source for the proposition that Jupiter is x times bigger than Mars, in the Wikipedia article about the Solar system?Anythingyouwant (talk) 01:59, 9 June 2010 (UTC)

John Ritter

In March 2010, the Thoracic Aortic Disease (TAD) Coalition, in partnership with John's widow, Amy Yasbeck, and the John Ritter Foundation, announced the creation of the Ritter Rules. The purpose of Ritter Rules is to help raise awareness among the public about aortic dissection so they can reduce their risk of the same kind of tragedy that took the life of the beloved actor. Ritter Rules came out in conjunction with important new Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Patients with Thoracic Aortic Disease[9]

Reference 9 is this

I think that it is OR to imply that Ritter's death caused reference 9 to be issued. The first part of the reference says that they have put out guidelines since 1980 and have a task force to update them.

That would be like saying that Michael Jackson died and some Professor wrote an Anesthesiology book in 2010, therefore the Professor wrote it because of Michael Jackson.

Comments or disagreement? I want to learn, not argue. Suomi Finland 2009 (talk) 15:14, 9 June 2010 (UTC)

I checked the PDF as well as re-checked the reference. The reference doesn't say anything even remotely similar to what that diff does. It looks like OR to me

KoshVorlonNaluboutes,Aeria Gloris 16:44, 9 June 2010 (UTC)

Direct use of primary sources

Is it original research that the editor look up at primary sources and state: " Reference A and reference B have no accounts on X historical event"?La Mesa (talk) 12:36, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

  • Yes. But to get a better answer, please at least indicate which article your question refers to. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 12:39, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Actually the correct answer is... Perhaps Yes, Perhaps No. - We need to know more specifics as to what the primary source document is and how it is being used in the article. Blueboar (talk) 14:22, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
This is a general issue over which I would welcome more information. Geo Swan (talk) 17:14, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
It's like proving a negative...can you show that for all cases (i.e. everywhere in the book), the proposition is accurate? That fact would be difficult to cite using traditional methods (page numbers, for example). On the other hand, it is verifiable—and inconvenience isn't exactly a barrier to inclusion (for example, offline sources are allowed, even if hard to verify). I don't think it's necessarily original research, because you're advancing a proposition about the reference, and the reference is (presumably) a valid primary source about itself, for descriptive statements of simple fact. However: if one could plausibly argue against the proposition, or you need to interpret the references in some special way to draw your conclusion, then it's unfair to call it a simple fact, and the usual rules for controversial statements would apply.
Overall, I think caution is warranted here. If it's not an important statement to make in the article, just avoid it. If you must include it, just make sure that what you're saying is incontrovertibly true, and list A & B as references to that fact. TheFeds 17:02, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

Prekmurian dialect

Hello. There are several attempts to exalt this slovene dialect to a recognized language. This mainly by inserting POV to the article and repeating the same dubious sources again and again.

The link to this article was then inserted to virtually all slovenian based articles, see Special:WhatLinksHere/Prekmurian dialect.

This attempt started in July 2009 and spreads accross almost all major wikis in some 40 languages, including commons. Time enough for several webpages around the world to copy the content and now serving as sources.

(All this is done by one single user, but this is not the point right now) --R.Schuster (talk) 20:21, 12 June 2010 (UTC)

I ask the Wikipedia, that ignore the R.Schuster's method, as this is chauvinist campaign against the prekmurian.
1. R.Schuster's allegation: dubious sources a greating chauvinist assertion. Marko Jesenšek, the author of 1, 2, 3 sources is the rector of University in Maribor – recognized, appreciated personality. Likewise Marc L. Greenberg in the Kansas University (1, 2, 3, 4) authoritative source.
2. R.Schuster simply accept the sources in german language, as this sources mostly slovene, hungarian and some english. Unbelievable, that R.Schuster attempt muddy Vilko Novak, Ágoston Pável and Marko Jesenšek, that dubious sources. Vilko Novak is dead, but sure bring a suit againts R.Schuster, if you live.
3. R.Schuster and his fellow Longoso also in the german wikipedia follow this campaign. There Longoso was tell this ignoratn statement, that only the old Prekmurian have standard. What this apple souce?! The Novine between 1913 and 1945, the Kalendar Srca Jezušovoga and few book, for ex.: Hodi k oltarskomi svestvi was work to the new standard prekmurian regional language!
4. Longoso and R.Schuster vainly quest sources in the internet, as not yet every source in the internet, alone in the books in slovene and hungarian language.
5. Besides: the bosnian, croatian, slovene, hungarian, german, serbian, srebo-croatian articles is my works, vainly suspect me R.Schuster. Doncsecztalk 07:16, 13 June 2010 (UTC)
This new oppinion of Schuster: irrelevant dialect. R.Schuster is mightly ignorant and savor of the chauvinism. Reason (or desecrate) with the guidelines of wikipedia, but the guideline of the wikipedia the correct designation of the sources. And my sources is wathertights. Doncsecztalk 09:03, 13 June 2010 (UTC)
You stated on my talk-page: “I'am slavistic undergard in Szombathely University and my thesis-theme the prekmurian standard language.”
And that's exactly the reason why I filed this article here. Wikipedia:No original research: “Wikipedia does not publish original research. The term "original research" refers to material—such as facts, allegations, ideas, and stories—not already published by reliable sources. It also refers to any analysis or synthesis by Wikipedians of published material, where the analysis or synthesis advances a position not advanced by the sources.”
Further reading: Wikipedia:No personal attacks. --R.Schuster (talk) 10:00, 13 June 2010 (UTC)

Shcuster? You was wrote thesis-theme in University?! I was make census of the sources. Ca. 40-50 published books, dissertations, essay, harangue is my sources! Revolting! This desecrate with the guidelines of wikipedia! Doncsecztalk 10:12, 13 June 2010 (UTC)

Second Amendment to the United States Constitution

Presently there is an ongoing discussion about the use of book based sourcing versus original research over at Talk:Second_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution, and it might be helpful if someone here familiar with the WP:NOR policy might drop in and give there opinion. Thanks. SaltyBoatr get wet 16:52, 14 June 2010 (UTC)

Blue-tailed Skink

Could someone please do a fact check on the article? Much of the content could potentially be vandalism. -Regancy42 (talk) 00:22, 15 June 2010 (UTC)

I have found that posting on the talk page of a suitable project (see article's talk page) often gets good results, whereas it is less likely that someone here will have the necessary knowledge. The stuff you removed was clearly nonsense, but what remains is not obviously wrong. Johnuniq (talk) 00:48, 15 June 2010 (UTC)

List of poorly performing college football coaches

This is a list of coaches (of college football teams in the United States) whose teams have performed poorly under their charge, according to various criteria. Is this ok? (See Talk:List of poorly performing college football coaches.) Shreevatsa (talk) 02:15, 12 June 2010 (UTC)

Wow! Please someone AfD this page as the opposite of our role. Johnuniq (talk) 04:09, 12 June 2010 (UTC)
Agreed. Article nominated for deletion. ElKevbo (talk) 03:36, 16 June 2010 (UTC)


Could anyone please investigate the synthesis being introduced at Inedia. An editor keeps inserting a video analysis of their own, not supported by any reliable sources, just as to disprove the criticism by the Indian sceptics association. Thank you. Dr.K. λogosπraxis 02:08, 16 June 2010 (UTC)

Prahlad Jani

Same problem as Inedia: disputed video analysis. Also see article talkpage for RFC. Thank you. Dr.K. λogosπraxis 04:49, 16 June 2010 (UTC)

Historical maps made by editors

It is quite an interesting subject, I suppose. Wiki encourages editors to create images on their own and post them as there are often problems with copyright issues [[29]]. Those images are not OR if referenced. But now I have a question if maps are also included. How would a map be referenced? But the main question I am experiencing difficulties with are historical maps. For historical maps a very serious historical, geographical and topological researches have to be done. For creating a historical map by an editor seems impossible to be competent enough and I could claim any unpublished historical map made by any editor an OR or at least an Original Synthesis. Can we at all consider such made maps proper for an encyclopedia??? Thank you for your comments! Aregakn (talk) 22:49, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

The presentation of a published map is what is copyrighted; the information therein is not. So if an editor adds exactly the information from any published map to an extant map template, then that is one way to make a new map without doing OR.
There is already the precedent in many election articles applying results data to map templates demarcating the districts. In this way, a new map gets created where no map existed before; this is also not OR.
What both of these have in common is that they are relatively simple. As maps get further removed from a single original source, such as by referencing multiple sources at once (separate historical, geographical, and topological sources), then it starts to become WP:Synthesis. The line when this starts is not well defined; if you want to make maps, I would encourage you to start with a simple one then get feedback as you attempt more complex iterations. Blue Rasberry 13:07, 27 April 2010 (UTC)

This is an interesting question. I have made a number of maps by combining information from several existing maps. For example, I might start with an old map and draw on it modern features from a recent map in order to show how the region has evolved. Such maps can be very informative and enhance articles a lot, so I think we should be lenient towards them. On the other hand, maps are not exempt from the WP:OR, WP:SYNTH and WP:NPOV rules. Anyone making a map should be willing to give a source for anything on the map that is challenged, and these sources should satisfy WP:RS. Similarly, the choice of what to put on a map can be an WP:NPOV issue. However, merely combining information from several reliable maps is just the same as writing an article based on several reliable texts; usually it is not WP:SYNTH unless the combination is designed to support an original hypothesis. Zerotalk 13:30, 27 April 2010 (UTC)

I see the points of views now. I think I will have to present a specific case now to see the opinion about it. Here it is:


The map was created by a non-professional with many issues I'd claim OR or/and SYNTH, no topological consideration and I see no references to any RS [30]. It is important to evaluate it to be or not an OR because the map is used on many articles.

In this case of disputes 1 question arose - "the created map is easier to read". Even if so, the map is not academical and violates the above mentioned rules of Wikipedia. But for this issue there was quite a lot of work performed to bring a map based on a reliable source to a "more easy to read" condition [31]. Aregakn (talk) 00:55, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

Issues to be discussed and results - achieved

  1. Does the 1st user-created map [32] contradict to the rules?
  2. Is the 2nd user-created map [33], referenced to a reliable souce, an OR or Synth? If not, is it preferable for use than the 1st?

Thank you for participation! Aregakn (talk) 00:55, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

Discussion with final conclusions (please note the latter in BOLD)

As the 1st map does not respond to correct political borders of the Roman Empire, in my opinion, it can only be used in 1 case: when describing which provinces has which type of status in the Empire. I do believe this 1st map was created only with this goal and not to have propper borders of lands etc. But of course, in any case, even this use is only possible when the info is referenced to RS(s), and yet it is not. Aregakn (talk) 00:55, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

Is there nobody willing to put an opinion about the very issue? :) Aregakn (talk) 20:49, 16 June 2010 (UTC)

James Cook Coat of Arms

A user added the following image File:James Cook Arms.svg to the article concerning James Cook, its the originator's personal interpretation of what the Coat of Arms looks like following a description. As WP:OR and WP:SYN I don't see it as an encyclopedic addition to the article but other users disagree and have added it again several times now. Is this an acceptable image? Note currently nominated for deletion by myself on commons as misleading. Justin talk 19:20, 15 June 2010 (UTC)

The deletion request in commons is closed and, obviously, the result is Kept. Allegedly being WP:OR and WP:SYN is not a valid reason to remove an image from commons. Furthermore, In heraldics, any drawing [of a CoA] corresponding to the definition is correct (as long as a herald can recognise it) or There is no such thing as an "official CoA (drawing)" in heraldics. See commons:Commons:Coats of Arms#Definition and representation --Ecemaml (talk) 10:23, 16 June 2010 (UTC)
But it doesn't correspond with the definition, thats the point. Its an approximation. Justin talk 12:06, 16 June 2010 (UTC)
How does it not, exactly? It looks good to me. Connormah (talk | contribs) 13:24, 16 June 2010 (UTC)
Justin, this is an odd argument to make. By your reasoning, all images and diagrams directly based on written material would need be removed. That would mean likely half of the coats of arms images (there are tens of thousands easily, if you are not aware of how common they are), all of diagrams or representations of elements, compounds, enzymes and pharmaceuticals would be invalid for inclusion, any diagram illustrating scientific theories such as photosynthesis, evolution, evaporation and so forth are also ineligible and also any and all random images made for the sake of nothing else but to add a little visual to an articles. As for the whole issue about if it is the coat of arms, it is. A coat fo arms is about the design, not the style nor shape of a shield. The image is based upon both a written description and a black and white image, so there is clearly no original research here since there is the original governmental grant and the follow up books recording the grant. [tk] XANDERLIPTAK 18:56, 16 June 2010 (UTC)
The problem being it didn't follow the style of the coat of arms as decribed, or the the B&W image. I have other issues with it being inaccurate for the coat of arms as awarded, due to the depiction of Antartica when it hadn't been discovered at the time. The question no one seems prepared to answer is why create a colour image that has issues, when there is a perfectly acceptable period piece that suits the article and its free? But its B&W. Justin talk 11:40, 17 June 2010 (UTC)

I am no fan of these clip art type arms, but the black and white image is rather poor quality. Style does not invalidate arms, no matter how bizarre or lacking or non-period. As for Antarctica, it is a minor issue that does not change the arms, but precedence should be given weight and the image modified to conform. However, this would not be the place for that. [tk] XANDERLIPTAK 14:48, 17 June 2010 (UTC)

Your opinion please...

Locations mentioned in the transcripts of Khirullah Khairkhwa Combatant Status Review Tribunal.

This edit removed the image I've thumbnailed here, without offering any explanation beyond an edit summary that said: "rm - original research".

I am asking for advice here because the contributor who removed this image and I have had many disagreements over what constitutes original research. I won't try to paraphrase or otherwise represent the position of my correspondent, because my good-faith attempts to do so, in order to try to verify I understand what they meant, or to offer background when I have asked for third party input, make them see red.

I am a bit frustrated that WP:OR keeps undergoing all kinds of revisions. Two months ago the WP:SYNTH section stated clearly right in that section, that careful summary of what our references say is not original research. More recently those who maintain the policy counted on other sections of the policy to make that point. In my experience WP:SYNTH is one of the wikipolicies that is most commonly cited incorrectly, over this exact issue. In my opinion it was a mistake to remove of the explicit statement that careful summaries of WP:RS are not WP:OR from WP:SYNTH. Geo Swan (talk) 17:12, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

I would think WP:OI might apply here - Original images created by a Wikipedian are not considered original research, so long as they do not illustrate or introduce unpublished ideas or arguments, the core reason behind the NOR policy. Barnabypage (talk) 17:19, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
I think i am even more frustrated by this user. He added information that are WP:OR to hundreds and hundreds of articles and cleaning up this mess is a big pain.
I have removed countless (maybe 1000!) instances of WP:OR that this user has created. Sure he did it in good faith but multiple other editors told him that many of his contributions are indeed WP:OR but he did not listen for many years and kept filibustering until just recently where he admitted that a large number of his edits are indeed based on WP:OR.
Sure we speak about thousands of instances each of them sure vary in details and specially this one vary highly from the other large number of WP:OR that this user has added against policy and that i have removed over the past months.
This single edit could have been discussed on the articles talk page and i suggest we move the discussion there over the issue if this image increases the quality of the article and therefor should or should not be included in the article. What do you think? IQinn (talk) 22:19, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
The suggestion that this issue should be discussed on the talk page of an obscure article after saying "I have removed countless (maybe 1000!) instances of WP:OR that this user has created" is very misguided. Naturally such extensive disagreement needs to be discussed on a central noticeboard and this seems the appropriate place. I am not experienced in this field (whether an image is OR), and I hope others will comment, but I will give some preliminary thoughts: The map in question seems very useful; I doubt if a suitable substitute is available; the facts should be very easy to verify, so OR would not apply; what about images like File:Turkey (orthographic projection).svg used in Turkey – should they be removed? Johnuniq (talk) 23:47, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
No i do not think we should remove File:Turkey (orthographic projection).svg as they are thousands of reliable secondary sources for the fact where Turkey is located in relation to other countries.
Did you check the source for the information presented on the image we are discussing here?
The problem is that these is a set of redacted primary sources where it is often unclear which location they really mean. IQinn (talk) 00:17, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
This is a general noticeboard so please spell out the problem. What source do you mean? What is redacted? What is unclear? (Yes, if I were commenting on the article talk, I should be expected to have read the article and to have a clue, but I think it would be helpful for this noticeboard if you were to specify clearly what the OR issue is.) Johnuniq (talk) 07:30, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
Yes, the individual(s) who use the wiki-id Iqinn have claimed that my contributions are full of WP:OR. For the record I dispute that Iqinn has removed thousands of instances of genuine WP:OR. There is no tactful way to say this -- Iqinn relies on idiosyncratic, and often indefensible interpretations of WP:OR. It seems to me when I have asked for the input of uninvolved third parties they generally have not backed up Iqinn's interpretations of policy.
Iqinn asked Johnuniq:
"Did you check the source for the information presented on the image we are discussing here?"
I regard this question as an instance of a very serious lapse from WP:AGF. Iqinn seems to have felt authorized to assume they could characterize my creation of this map was WP:OR because I created it.
I don't believe I should have to prove Khirullah Khairkhwa was reported to have had an association with the locations on this map, or that I did not distort the map by providing inaccurate locations for those cities. However, I am going to do so, in hopes that it will hammer one nail into Iqinn's largely bogus challenges to my contributions, once and for all.
  1. this link confirms KK's association with Kabul;
  2. this link confirms KK's association with Kandahar;
  3. this link confirms KK's association with Herat;
  4. this link confirms KK's association with Mazar-e-Sharif;
  5. this link confirms KK's association with Spin Buldak;
I have created over one hundred maps for the wikipedia, and its sibling projects. When I add specific geographic locations to those maps I use the latitude and longitude from our articles on those locations. Only when our articles don't state the latitude and longitude do I look elsewhere. I believe that every single geographic location I added to those hundreds of maps used reliable coordinates. Geo Swan (talk) 14:56, 19 June 2010 (UTC)
In this comment the wiki-id Iqinn wrote: "Sure he did it in good faith but multiple other editors told him that many of his contributions are indeed WP:OR but he did not listen for many years and kept filibustering until just recently where he admitted that a large number of his edits are indeed based on WP:OR."
User:Iqinn has a habit or lapsing from the convention that talk page discussions are for the discussion of the editorial content of the wikipedia, and instead makes comments on my character. I have decided that rather than respond in kind I will draft a single response to each of the personal comment they make about me, on User talk:Iqinn, and simply link to that comment each time they repeat the personal comment. I have done that here. Geo Swan (talk) 17:12, 21 June 2010 (UTC)

Please see the new discussion at Original images below. Johnuniq (talk) 23:55, 21 June 2010 (UTC)

WP:OR replacing WP:RS in lead Libertarianism

Please feel free to explain to other editors who should know better here: Talk:Libertarianism#WP:Original_research_in_the_lead why this diff which replaces WP:RS neutral info with an abstruse philosophical original research/personal opinion statement is against policy. Thanks!!! CarolMooreDC (talk) 07:51, 20 June 2010 (UTC)

heavens, that is a bit cockeyed. I'll weigh in at the discussion. --Ludwigs2 14:34, 20 June 2010 (UTC)
FYI, by the time you got there it had changed to including material and pretending the existing refs were relevant, which they really were only in small part. CarolMooreDC (talk) 19:14, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
well, ok. Libertarianism isn't exactly my forte, but I know a good bit about political theory, and I'm willing to weigh in with that as best I can. what do you think the best approach is? I can keep trying to clean stuff up from general knowledge, but until I get a chance to dig into the sources I'd do better following your lead. plus, is there a decent version of the page in the history that would be useful to examine? --Ludwigs2 19:51, 21 June 2010 (UTC)

Deepwater Horizon oil spill Ecology sub-section

Resolved: see below

There is a disagreement between two editors (myself being one of them) regarding the appropriateness of the following text in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill article;

In their environmental analysis of the proposed well BP stated that in the unlikely event of an accidental spill "water quality would be temporarily affected by the decomposed components and small droplets", but that "currents and microbial degradation would remove the oil from the water column or dilute the constituents to the background level". They saw "no adverse activities to fisheries" and no danger to endangered or threatened marine mammals and no adverse impact to birds. (ref used: [34])

The ref. used is an environmental assessment section of an initial exploration plan written by BP and submitted to the US government, thus a primary document. No secondary sources accompany the primary source and none appear to have employed the listed quotes. Furthermore, the source does not contain any footnotes to clarify whether the quoted text is is based upon the assumption of a large or small scale oil spill. In short, my view is that the context can not be definitively verified without specialist knowledge, making the issue a mixed WP:ORIGINAL / WP:PRIMARY situation. The general discussion can be seen at Talk:Deepwater_Horizon_oil_spill#Ecology. Some guidance would be appreciated.--Labattblueboy (talk) 20:13, 18 June 2010 (UTC)

I agree that using a primary source here is not appropriate. The primary source does not make clear what is meant by "spill". But their definition of "spill" is unlikely to be larger than their worst-case scenario, which according to the documents BP would be able to contain. However, their worst-case scenario has been vastly exceeded, so applying the definition of "spill" in section has no bearing on the current spill. Tying the projected spill (however large) from the initial assessment to the current spill is original research. I haven't tried, but I don't think it would be too difficult to find a secondary source that has reported on BPs environmental analysis (or lack thereof). -Atmoz (talk) 18:54, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
Are you suggesting that oil companies may use the term "spill" differently than the way it is being used by the general public or the wikipedia definition? I understand their worst-case scenario to be 162,000 barrels per day as shown under 7.1 Exploration Plan, Volumn Uncontrolled Blowout. It seems that I am not reading the document correctly? Section - Fisheries, has not been challanged - why would that BP statement be different than their water quality statement? Will others be looking at this problem, or will this be settled by just one editor? Thanks! Gandydancer (talk) 23:05, 21 June 2010 (UTC)

Resolved. Simple Google search for quoted text found secondary source. Added. Thanks Paulscrawl (talk) 17:22, 24 June 2010 (UTC)

Original heraldry images

This is following on from a discussion at Talk:Irish people#Coat of arms. An editor who may have a conflict of interest (which is being addressed separately) is producing highly decorative images of a coat of arms that bear no resemblance to any known variants published by a reliable source. This is apparently due a a coat of arms being defined by a blazon, which in this case is a right hand cut of in a straight line at the wrist painted in red. Now it strikes me that the possible number of different images that can be created from such a description is virtually limitless, and his disputed image looks nothing like ones displayed on websites such as this and this. This makes it an original image in my opinion, as it is only an editor's idea of what the coat of arms actually looked like, and there is no evidence that the image is an accurate depiction of "The Red Hand of the Uí Néill dynasty", only "Alexander Liptak's impression based on the Uí Néill dynasty blazon". While heraldry websites may encourage creation of such images, I am of the the opinion it is impossible to create a verifiable image from a description such as a right hand cut of in a straight line at the wrist painted in red without breaching content policy, and that we should only use depictions used by reliable sources. O Fenian (talk) 08:19, 24 June 2010 (UTC)

This was brought up at Irish people, O'Neill dynasty, the revert notice board, the conflict of interest notice board, the WikiProject heraldry and now here. The user is simply fishing for one notice board to side with him, being he is currently only receiving the support of the one same editor everywhere else. They're argument is basically, "I don't know anything about heraldry, but I know that can't be right." Anyways, I have suggested the WikiProject Herladry would make the best place to settle the arguments because it is the appropriate and concerned WikiProject. I would appreciate it, for sake of ease, to address all comments and questions there rather than having to go through five talk pages and notice boards. Kindly, [tk] XANDERLIPTAK 08:54, 24 June 2010 (UTC)
Oh, and O Fenian, if you look up just a bit to the James Cook posting, you will see if was discussed already that a shield's shape does not constitute original research. G'day. [tk] XANDERLIPTAK 08:56, 24 June 2010 (UTC)
Wrong. It has been brought up on one article talk page, your conflict of interest has been brought up on the conflict of interest notice board, and now the original research is being brought up in the correct place - here. The issue is whether whether the creation of original heraldry images from a blazon is at odds with Wikipedia policy. O Fenian (talk) 08:58, 24 June 2010 (UTC)

What you explain is not original research if you yourself admit it is based off a written description. If it is taken from an historical document, that is not original in any way but a faithful representation. By your argument, no user on Wikipedia could upload his own files, because it would be original. Photos that you take which are originally made, diagrams of scientific material which can not be taken from texts because of copyright issues such as cycles, atomic structures and so forth and illustrations like the images used to represent the seals, emblems and coats of arms of nations would all have to be purged from Wikipedia. This is a tried and failed argument time and time again. Please look through the history before you waste time of the notice board like this again. [tk] XANDERLIPTAK 14:06, 24 June 2010 (UTC)

Wrong. All I see is a discussion about Commons, which has no bearing on English Wikipedia policy. That heraldry has its own rules is also irrelevant, since they do not and can not override Wikipedia policy. You also appear to be quite ignorant of image licences. O Fenian (talk) 16:49, 24 June 2010 (UTC)

Antisemitism in the New Testament

The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

Editors have inserted the following material into the lead of the Antisemitism in the New Testament article:

The first Christians and authors of the New Testament were predominantly Jewish. Indeed, most authorities concur that Christianity began as a Jewish sect in Israel.[3]

The first sentence is not sourced, and the second has been challenged, with other editors asking for a quotation to show that the material is related to the topic of the article (Antisemitism), and not merely a counter-argument produced by a Wikipedia editor. The quotation provided was the following:

'Most agree that Christianity began as a Jewish sect in the land of Israel'

Now, there is no doubt that the quote backs up the material; but where is the direct connection to Antisemitism in the New Testament, the topic of the article? The person inserting insists that the book in question does indeed mention antisemitism; not, however, on page 18, where this quote is from, but in "n.16 p.228." That's a pretty long distance away. Are these two insertions, in fact, Original Research? Jayjg (talk) 20:36, 27 June 2010 (UTC)

By the way Jayjg. You write:'Editors have inserted', giving the impression that the first quote is still on the page, and ignoring the fact that I actually restored your [original research?] tag when another editor removed it, and subsequently in my edits did nothing to revert its removal. That sentence is therefore no longer under discussion. It would have been better to have written 'One editor inserted . .and now another editor, Nishidani, . .'Nishidani (talk) 17:18, 29 June 2010 (UTC)
I think there is probably a little backdoor synthesis going on here. By inserting the bit about Christianity beginning as a Jewish sect it leaves the reader to fill in the blank, which they would likely do by concluding that since they were Jewish, they couldn't have been antisemitic. However, I think the larger problem is that the statement is simply out of place. It would be like adding "The shape of the Earth is very close to that of an oblate spheroid" to the end of the lead of global warming. Yeah, they're both about the Earth, but so what? Similar to this global warming example, the sentences you brought up are only tangentially related to the article, and they should not be mentioned in the article unless a secondary source can be found that directly links the two topics. -Atmoz (talk) 22:15, 28 June 2010 (UTC)
A large number of articles on Jewish-Christian relations (as noted on the talk page) have precisely this phrasing (without however a reference). So, if someone like myself is sneaking a synthesis through the back door, tell me why (a) half a dozen wiki articles, many touching on early antisemitism, and subject to intense editing, retain this fact, which happens to be, if you read the relevant documentation, a standard meme in discussions of Antisemitism in its early Christian context, attested in most scholarly works? Nishidani (talk) 13:15, 29 June 2010 (UTC)
No, the passage under discussion is a necessary fact for understanding the current scholarly view of the subject of the article, much as understanding that the earth is round is necessary for an understanding of global warming. — goethean 13:59, 29 June 2010 (UTC)
In which case it should be entirely easy to find a reliable source connecting the dots between the religious heritage of the authors of the New Testament and the subject of antisemitism in the New Testament. We don't get to synthesize; our personal dot connections are not Wikipedia content, no matter how obvious they are. --jpgordon::==( o ) 14:34, 29 June 2010 (UTC)
Saldarini does exactly this. A one line paraphrase of a sentence, provided in the accompanying ref note, is not WP:SYNTH.
For the rest, the accompanying footnotes are all specifically from books on anti-Semitism, and make exactly the same point made by Saldarini.
Gavin I. Langmuir, Toward a Definition of Antisemitism, University of California Press, 1996, p.7
John G. Gager, Origins of anti-semitism: attitudes toward Judaism in pagan and Christian antiquity, Oxford University Press US, 1985 pp.113-14:
All three connect the dots 'the religious heritage of the authors of the New Testament and the subject of antisemitism in the New Testament.'
It is normative for books on Anti-Semitism and the New Testament to connect those dots. So what on earth is the objection? Nishidani (talk) 15:30, 29 June 2010 (UTC)
It should be noted that I myself query the first sentence, and that rather than simply elide it or flag it, I adduced a reference, first to Saldarini. My defence throughout the debate has been singularly of my edit, and my text, regarding Saldarini. I personally think that the sentence, written I do not know by whom, running: 'authors of the New Testament were predominantly Jewish' needs solid sourcing, I restored Jayjg's tag on that sentence here given the intrinsic difficulty of determining authorial identity for documents bearing 11 different author names. Linking ethnic background authorship and anti-Judaic elements, James Dunn Jews and Christians: the parting of the ways, (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1999.) in a chapter specifically entitled 'The question of Anti-semitism in the New Testament', concludes: 'Matthew, John and even Luke still see themselves within the older walls of the Judaism of Jesus' time.' (p.210) As far as pushing personal views, I find the evidence that Luke is gentile more persuasive than the academic counter-arguments. But that is neither here nor there. I haven't yet found a text to justify the formulation of sentence one. For all I care it could be dropped without a moment's hesitation. It is, I now note, no longer on the page. But Saldarini's point is a truism you'll find virtually everywhere in the academic literature specifically addressing the problem of the origins of Christian anti-semitism. Nishidani (talk) 16:07, 29 June 2010 (UTC)

This shouldnt take more than ten minutes to find a number of sources that make this connection:

  • Limor, Ora; Stroumsa, Guy (1996), Contra Iudaeos: ancient and medieval polemics between Christians and Jews, Mohr Siebeck, pp. 4–5, ISBN 9783161464829

    Understandably, many scholars have often sought to avoid speaking of Christian antisemitism while dealing with early Christian literature such as the Patristic texts and, a fortiori, the New Testament. It obviously makes little sense to speak of Christian antisemitism in the earliest stages of the new religion, since the belief in Jesus Christ was at first held within a Jewish sectarian movement.

  • Craig Evans, cited in Ladres, J. Shawn; Berenbaum, Michael (2004), After the passion is gone: American religious consequences, Rowman Altamira, p. 221, ISBN 9780759108158

    It is surprising how many fail to perceive the oddness of the assumption that the New Testament and early Christianity were anti-Semitic. Should it not strike us as hard to explain how a first-century Jewish sect, centered around a revered Jewish teacher thought to be Israel's Messiah, God's Son, and the fulfillment of Israel's scriptures, within one generation of its founding could mutate into an anti-Jewish, perhaps even anti-Semitic, movement? Surely this is improbable. I suspect that scholars have unconsciously and uncritically read the New Testament through the eyes of a patristic church, which, sad to say, did give vent to anti-Semitic expressions.

  • Tomasino, Anthony (2003), Judaism before Jesus: the ideas and events that shaped the New Testament world, InterVarsity Press, p. 164, ISBN 9780830827305

    The New Testament also presents its facts from a particular point of view. Modern writers frequently accuse the Gospels of being anti-Semitic, painting a hate-filled distortion of Judaism in the time of Jesus. Someone might get that impression as they read some of the strong rhetoric in the Gospel accounts. But such charges fail to consider the context in which Christianity arose. The New Testament authors were themselves Jewish, and they directed their criticisms not against Judaism in general but against the leaders and the groups with whom they clashed most fiercely.

nableezy - 16:25, 29 June 2010 (UTC)

Nishidani's sources are obviously OR, but Nableezy's appear not to be. Perhaps we can use Nableezy's sources?--brewcrewer (yada, yada) 19:36, 29 June 2010 (UTC)
Well, everyone's entitled to an opinion, I guess. However Sources are not OR, by definition. I think you should keep that in mind. It is something editors are supposed to be informed about in the first few minutes of editing wikipedia.Nishidani (talk) 19:50, 29 June 2010 (UTC)
Is niggling productive?--brewcrewer (yada, yada) 19:54, 29 June 2010 (UTC)
I don't know. I do know that understanding a subject or a discussion thoroughly before one edits on it, is not obligatory. It's just good manners, and an exercise in conscientious responsibility to the hapless world that reads us, and to our fellow-editors. This whole charade blew up because I took the trouble to provide a source for a statement that exists unsourced on a dozen wiki pages. I.e. I documented a truism, deeply relevant to the article's subject matter, from an author who devoted a whole book to the Jewish Christian context of the New Testament, and several pages to anti-Semitism, and am being taken to account for it. Perhaps it pays more to be lazy, and just edit away. Nishidani (talk) 20:01, 29 June 2010 (UTC)
So now I don't "understand [the] subject." We moved from niggling to insulting.--brewcrewer (yada, yada) 20:09, 29 June 2010 (UTC)
There's no direct and obvious connection between the subject of the article (antisemitism in the New Testament) and whether the authors of the New Testament were Jewish or not, hence including such material is original research, even if sourced. There may be an indirect connection, in the sense that authors have linked the two, but (assuming that the topic can be discussed in the lead while giving appropriate weight) the proper approach is for Wikipedia to report on the arguments linking the two. Citing sources outside of their original context is not only OR, but also has NPOV implications since it is very easy to argue a point instead of reporting on others' arguments. Jakew (talk) 20:39, 29 June 2010 (UTC)
Do you not see the quotes above directly connecting the topic of antisemitism in the New Testament and the fact that the authors were Jewish? nableezy - 20:48, 29 June 2010 (UTC)
Yes, Nableezy, I did see them. I can't see any obvious problems with citing one or more of those instead, in an appropriate way. My comments were about the original issue brought to this noticeboard; sorry for causing any confusion. Jakew (talk) 21:22, 29 June 2010 (UTC)
Recap. Two people of vast administrative experience are arguing here that in an article dealing with Antisemitism in the New Testament, it is a WP:NOR violation to cite a statement on the ethnicity of authors of the NT, unless that statement comes from a page or in the immediate vicinity of a page where anti-semitism is discussed as well. I say 'on a page or close to' because Sandarini's whole book addresses Matthew as a Jew and examines anti-semitic interpretations, at the outset, in the conclusion, and in the notes which follow his general thesis. My 'original research' consists for both Jayjg and jpgordon in citing a statement about the Jewish ethnicity of a NT writer from a book which does not mention anti-semitism on the same page or in the vicinity of that comment, but before it and after it. It's that simple. What therefore is behind this very peculiar construction of WP:NOR is the premise that if an article deals in A+B, the sources for that page must specifically deal with A+B, and then any reference to A must occur within a page or two of a reference to B. If this is what wikipedia is about, then you may as well abolish the project. The problem, which is imaginary in my view, only arises, even were we to accept this odd construal of the rule, because given the formatting of Saldarini's book, the notes, where he mentions anti-semitism more extensively (the introduction cites it as one of the 4 major themes of Matthean studies), are located at the end. If the notes had been printed at the bottom of the page, then 2 pages after p.18 where my quote comes from, you would see a relevant note on anti-semitism. .Nishidani (talk) 21:50, 29 June 2010 (UTC)
Thanks Nableezy. Those are certainly more relevant and informative sources. Jayjg (talk) 00:19, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
Then you owe us an explanation. They fit exactly what Langmuir and Gager say, which I added to the footnote several days ago, only to meet your objections again.Nishidani (talk) 13:57, 30 June 2010 (UTC)

The person inserting insists that the book in question does indeed mention antisemitism; not, however, on page 18, where this quote is from, but in "n.16 p.228." That's a pretty long distance away.

I still would ask for a clarification by WP:NOR authorities on why page distance should be a decisive factor in determining whether one is engaged in original research or not. As it stands, the argument is that, even if one's source fulfils all requirements (New Testament+Ethnicity+Antisemitism), this is not enough: the quote on ethnicity must appear on a page that is not distant from a discussion of 'antisemitism'. The implications of this interpretation of WP:NOR strike me as enormous for all future editing if such is the case, and it becomes a precedent.Nishidani (talk) 07:29, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
It seems to me that page distance is not important by itself, but it is useful as a measure of contextual relevance. That is the key issue, after all. Let me discuss a couple of illustrative examples. At one extreme, if the source were, say, the Encyclopaedia Britannica (setting aside questions about citing tertiary sources), it would be perfectly obvious that the content of the article about bananas would have no relevance to Barbados, even if the two were on exactly the same page. On the other hand, if a chapter (or an entire book) were titled, say, "Antisemitism and the New Testament: An Analysis", then contextual relevance would be established for the entire text of that chapter/book, even if those words appeared only on the title page, perhaps dozens of pages from the relevant material.
That is exactly what I did long ago, and it did not appease Jayjg. I inserted additional evidence from Gavin I. Langmuir, Toward a Definition of Antisemitism, University of California Press, 1996, p.7, and John G. Gager, Origins of anti-semitism: attitudes toward Judaism in pagan and Christian antiquity, Oxford University Press US, 1985 pp.113-14, books on antisemitism that say exactly what Nableezy's later evidence from Guy Stroumsa Craig A. Evans and Anthony Tomasino say. It's risible that I am being challenged by Jayjg for a WP:NOR abuse for providing citations from Langmuir and Gager, experts on anti-Semitism, which are identical in statement to those provided by Nableezy, which, lo and behold, now satisfy Jayjg? The only difference is who is proposing the edit. Personal antipathies should not affect one's judgement on content, or interfere with one's interpretation of policy.Nishidani (talk) 13:52, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
Returning to this situation, it seems that the author does not make a direct, explicit connection with the subject of the article, and that is the fundamental problem. So the obvious question is, does the author provide any indicators that it might be contextually relevant? For example, what about the chapter and section heading(s) under which the words appear? What about nearby paragraphs (if the previous paragraph began "There are several reasons to reject the notion of antisemitism in the New Testament. These include...", for example, that might be evidence of relevance)? Apparently there are no such indicators, and the sheer distance between the text and the closest reference to antisemitism appears to reject any possibility of implied relevance. Jakew (talk) 09:12, 30 June 2010 (UTC)

Obviously the obvious can at times require construal. But this is not being done. So I would ask that one engage strictly, literally, with policy outlines, and not in generic impressions or suggestions about what anyone thinks policy might mean.

Jayjg in his query above uses the phrase ‘direct connection’ to refer us to that section in WP:NOR headed ‘Synthesis of published material that advances a position’ in order to challenge my almost literal paraphrase of one line from one source.

He elsewhere, alluding to the same section, insinuates I have conducted ‘original research’. He suggested (see below) that what I was doing appeared to him to be a ‘counter-argument invented by a Wikipedia editor, and the link behind this directs us to WP:SYNTH.

The section Jayjg bases his call on reads:

Do not combine material from multiple sources to reach or imply a conclusion not explicitly stated by any of the sources. If one reliable source says A, and another reliable source says B, do not join A and B together to imply a conclusion C that is not mentioned by either of the sources.

I.e. it deals with multiple sources, harvested to make a conclusion that is the editor’s and not in any source.

So this is simply inapplicable to the case, since I used only one source. Despite this, he insists I am engaged in a violation of WP:SYNTH, in lirterally paraphrasing one line from one author who deals with both the New Testament and Anti-semitism.

It is strictly a question of how to read WP:NOR, and the burden of proof lies with Jayjg to explain how that applies. So far, he has provided no evidence.

(a) He first objected, asking ‘Does the source given in the citation actually mention anything about antisemitism?'

(b) He clarifies: As it stands, it appears to be a counter-argument invented by a Wikipedia editor; we need to rely on the arguments made by reliable sources, rather than those we can think up on our own.

(c) He then adds to this: 'This article is about Antisemitism in the New Testament, not the ethnic origins of the New Testament authors, so sources will need to explicitly discuss Antisemitism.'.

(d) I assure both Jayjg and jpgordon that the author does elsewhere deal with anti-semitism, so these specifications are covered by my edit's source.

(e) Jayjg at this point comes back with a new request: ‘The quotation nowhere mentions antisemitism, though, which was the policy-based concern raised above. Can you include the part of the quotation that mentions antisemitism?

(g) From requiring that a source on the ethnicity of the authors of the New Testament also mention anti-Semitism, Jayjg, once he is satisfied on that score, shifts the goalposts and insinuates that any citation from a source on the ethnicity of authors of the NT must come from a large quotation that simultaneously mentions anti-Semitism.

In his reformulation above, he now introduces a page-distance criterion. I can find no ground in Wikipedia policy for this remarkable hermeneutic invention, and simply ask authorities on WP:NOR to cite chapter and verse, instead of flag-waving a generic link, where this criterion is ostensibly laid down. There is no synthesis, since it is one source and one proposition, not synthesized. Therefore Jayjg was wrong in adducing WP:SYNTH. He now says WP:NOR means that a text (not texts, as in the WP:NOR section on WP:SYNTH) must not only deal with A+B, but deal with A+B in referential proximity - the distance factor. This appears to be an idiosyncratic construction by Jayjg since there is nothing on the WP:NOR pages which sets forth anything even vaguely like this.

So, I repeat, where in the linked sections to policy, is this interpretation grounded?

The only point in WP:NOR relevant here is the intro remark that 'Paris is the capital of France'. That Christianity arose from a sectarian squabble among Jewish communities is a truism. The fact that I provided a source, unlike editors on several other wiki pages who have, unchallenged, made the same point, is under contention. As my extensive evidence on the talk page, further citated sources in the article, and Nableezy's sources confirm, this is something any reader knowledgeable about the subject should sight and recognize as a truism. And truisms should not be subjected to pettifogging, especially with imaginative interpretations of policy. Nishidani (talk) 12:19, 30 June 2010 (UTC)

The requirement that sources must be directly related to the subject is not limited to synthesis. To quote from the lead of WP:NOR: "To demonstrate that you are not adding original research, you must be able to cite reliable published sources that are directly related to the topic of the article, and that directly support the material as presented." (emph. as in original) The onus is on you to show that the source is directly related to the subject of antisemitism in the New Testament. If you can't, then Jayjg is absolutely correct: use of that source in that situation violates NOR. Jakew (talk) 14:33, 30 June 2010 (UTC)

you must be able to cite reliable published sources that are directly related to the topic of the article

(1)You appear to be unfamiliar with the record, even when reminded of it. To go half way to meeting what I regarded as a trivial piece of obstructive pettifogging I added two more citations, from Gager and Langmuir, 'directly related to the topic of the article' since they are specialists in Antisemitism and the early Church. They say exactly what Saldarini says, whose whole thesis is on why Matthew, as a Jew, is not to be read as an antisemitic outsider.
(2)Jayjg refused to accept them, though they say exactly what Nableezy's three sources state.
(3) There is no onus of proof on me. The only burden here is for Jayjg to supply evidence that 'page distance' forms part of WP:NOR policy. I'll put it syllogistically.
Since he (a) accepts Nableezy's evidence, and (b) Nableezy's evidence confirms Langmuir and Gager's evidence, which Jayjg rejected days ago, he (c) owes the page an explanation as to why he rejected my two authors, but now accepts three others, when they all say the same thing. He also should explain on what grounds he bases his innovation in the interpretation of policy for which there is, so far, no evidence. I don't have an onus. The burden of proof lies with whoever makes a charge that lacks any support.Nishidani (talk) 15:16, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
Since threads run on into a drift, and the effect is to forget what the original point is, and all sorts of emotions come into play, as the logic of a dispute is lost from view, I'll simplify the evidence.
(A) Not accepted by Jayjg, as violating WP:NOR
  • 'Most agree that Christianity began as a Jewish sect in the land of Israel'. Anthony J.Saldarini, Matthew's Christian-Jewish Community

  • 'Christianity had started as a Jewish sect,’ Langmuir Toward a Definition of Antisemitism.

  • The very earliest groups of those who confessed Jesus as the Christ (Messiah) are now generally seen and studied as religious movements within Judaism. Gager, Origins of anti-semitism: attitudes toward Judaism in pagan and Christian antiquity,

Two of the three book sources above deal specifically and at length with anti-semitism and early Christianity.

- - - - - - - -

(B) Accepted by Jayjg as not violating WP:NOR
  • ‘the belief in Jesus Christ was at first held within a Jewish sectarian movement.’Ora Limor, Guy Stroumsa, Contra Iudaeos: ancient and medieval polemics between Christians and Jews.

  • ‘a first-century Jewish sect, centered around a revered Jewish teacher thought to be Israel's Messiah, God's Son, and the fulfillment of Israel's scriptures.’ Craig Evans, After the passion is gone: American religious consequences.

  • ‘The New Testament authors were themselves Jewish.’ Anthony Tomasino, Judaism before Jesus.

One of the three book sources above deals specifically and at length with anti-semitism and Christianity.
Go figure.Nishidani (talk) 16:06, 30 June 2010 (UTC)

The current lead of Antisemitism in the New Testament would set off OR alarm bells in the head of any experienced editor because the "Most authorities concur that Christianity began as a Jewish sect in Israel" sentence does look like it has been pasted on to make some OR point. (BTW why is "most authorities" used? Does anyone doubt the accuracy of that rather obvious point?) It needs to be rephrased based on some of the material above so it does not look like an editor has added their synthesis (e.g. suitably worded from "It obviously makes little sense to speak of Christian antisemitism in the earliest stages of the new religion, since the belief in Jesus Christ was at first held within a Jewish sectarian movement." found by nableezy above). Johnuniq (talk) 00:16, 1 July 2010 (UTC)

The question is not about appearances. The question is about the interpretation of WP:NOR.
As to appearances, it might set off 'alarm bells' in any experienced editor. It would not set off alarm bells in any editor with an informed knowledge of the subject.
So, let's stick to the WP:NOR issue. Does that page contain a protocol which specifies that if an article has two intertwined themes (A) and (B), all references used to make edits to content must come from books where A is mentioned in close page proximity to B, or B to A. It's a very simple issue. Saldarini's remark on ethnicity comes 4 pages before a footnote which sends us to a discussion of anti-semitism in the footnotes at the end. Jayjg is saying 4 pages is not 'close enough'. Nishidani (talk) 08:23, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
The sentence in question is badly expressed: it is disjointed with no tie to the point of the article. I was trying to explain why the sentence is attracting (and forever would attract) the eye of experienced editors because it is indistinguishable from WP:SYNTH, but you can disregard that if you like. The real point is that for proper expression, the sentence needs some wording such as I outlined. Johnuniq (talk) 10:17, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
I agree: my reaction when I first read it was, "what does this have to do with the subject?". Rewriting in terms of published arguments about the subject would completely solve the problem. Jakew (talk) 10:29, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
Read the talk page. It has been provisorily written in terms of published arguments already. I was stopped in my tracks from rewriting a virtually non-existent lead (2 sentences) by Jayjg's objection. So you can hardly protest about lack of apparent continuity or relevance. Its relevance to the lead is documented by the 6 sources cited above. So your objections are to it in the lead as it lanquishes now, while we attempt to resolve the issue that has impeded me from completing the lead.
I gave a thumb-nail sketch of how a lead should look very quickly here, 3rd paragraph using 12 sources, 11 of which from scholars of early Christianity and antisemitism. If you read my one edit from Saldarini in that context, the relevance is obvious.
I haven't been able to work the page, and will not, until Jayjg's (to me unique: in 16,000 edits I have never seen anything like it) interpretation of WP:NOR in this way is endorsed officially, or dismissed. For in my understanding, no wiki article can be written if that construal of WP:NOR is allowed. It would, if permitted, provide a precedent for giving a hugely powerful instrument for subjectively motivated obstructionism to editors of all description.
If Jayjg thinks a truism underwritten by 6 authorities on the period is WP:NOR it is absolutely pointless my expanding the lead by actually editing any further until someone who is competent in wiki law, and, it would be desirable, having a minimal familiarity with the topic, which I have yet to see here, clarifies whether or not Jayjg is correct in insisting that A+B articles must have every edit sourced to A+B WP:RS, and every edit of the type A must be taken from a page in the victinity of a mention of B.
Though the answer is obvious. I am still waiting for official clarification. One can edit under difficult conditions. One cannot edit in an atmosphere where Rafferty's rules or those of Humpty-Dumpy are waved before one at every step. Nishidani (talk) 12:17, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
This board isn't the appropriate place to discuss fellow editors. It's set up to lend feedback on original research disputes. And it seems reading this those concerns have been satisfied. So why is the dispute continuing? Professor marginalia (talk) 04:34, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
I have replied exhaustively to all input, which however addresses everything but the core question. To reply to these marginal queries is not to discuss fellow editors. It is a simple courtesy to one's interlocutors.
This board was set up to clarify WP:NOR not to discuss 'concerns', 'appearances' or 'impressions'.
A new interpretation of WP:NOR has been advanced.
No independent third party with known expertise on wiki law has bothered yet to step in and clarify if that interpretation is correct or not. Everybody is keen to talk about their impressions.
The only issue which matters is, to repeat:-
It is asserted that:-
A+B articles must have every edit sourced to A+B WP:RS, and every edit of the type A must be taken from a page in the vicinity of one also mentioning B, or vice-versa.
This is a simple syllogism, proposed by Jayjg above.
So, Jakew, Professor marginalia,Johnuniq, or anyone else, clarify for us whether this simple proposition is part of WP:NOR. Nishidani (talk) 07:48, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
@Nishidani: It is clear that you have a long history of many useful edits, and they must have been good edits because you are not used to being questioned. Please relax: either someone here is a troll (very unlikely), or there is a communication problem or other relatively simple misunderstanding. Re your A+B stuff: the answer is that policies are never precise formulas where you input the facts and output the result, and there will never be wording to either confirm or deny the above proposition. This section should be closed. The issue is in the previous section, where a simple resolution has been proposed: the lead needs to be modified using wording similar to that found by nableezy so that the sourced material includes an explanation of how the words "Christianity began as a Jewish sect" relates to the topic. It does relate, and it is true, and there are reliable sources, so we just need someone to do the work of rewriting the sentence. There is no need to continue the discussion on this page; the article talk will do (I am now watching the article). Johnuniq (talk) 11:06, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
Briefly, this is a question of policy clarification. I have removed your comment here, because the section below is a request for strictly technical advice. General impressions, as your edit above, are best located here. Everything you raise here has already been exhaustively answered. My edit, its evidence, and Nableezy's further examples, say the same thing. So the question is, why is my RS denied on WP:NOR grounds, and Nableezy's RS accepted on WP:NOR grounds, when both sources say the same thing? In the article talk page, as I linked here, your proposal for rewriting the lead has already been adopted. It elicited no response.
So let us just leave the section below to purely technical advice, preferably by experienced and neutral editors with some record of tendering interpretations of WP:NOR.Nishidani (talk) 11:27, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
All sources must be "directly related" to the subject of the respective article, so where the subject of the article is "A+B", it is necessary to show that the source is directly related to "A+B". That is a simple restatement of policy. The only question is, how does one establish this direct relation without performing original analysis? It is trivial to prove that a source is directly related to "A+B" if it explicitly discusses A+B. Jakew (talk) 10:25, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
The quote on ethnicity is on p.18. Ref to 'antisemitism' is in the footnote to p.20. 2 pages later. Therefore it is 'directly related'. This has been discussed. Please keep such comments to the thread above. I am asking for expert external opinion, and there is no point in those engaged with the discussion above to weigh in, surely. Nishidani (talk) 11:29, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
Regarding whether it is "directly related", I fail to see how a footnote mentioning antisemitism on page 21 establishes that a different passage, four pages earlier, is directly related to antisemitism. I wouldn't say that it's impossible, but as a general rule, footnotes usually apply only to the text found at the location where they appear.
Regarding the RfC below, if you request comments you do not have the luxury of picking and choosing what comments are permitted. I have restored my response; do not remove it again. I would advise you to restore Johnuniq's response, too. Jakew (talk) 12:06, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
We need not jam up a simple question on policy, sought from authoritative experts external to our discussion, with repetitious opinions. To repeat the arguments already exhaustively made here below is to crowd out new imput with a blob of recycled opinions, readily available here. By the way I made a mistake citing pages from memory. note 69 p.222 refers p.20. I haven't read the book in 10 years, and relied on page markings.Nishidani (talk) 12:32, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
I have never edited the page in question, and thus constitute, by any reasonable definition, an external party regarding this issue (whether I am an authoritative expert is probably a question best answered by others. :-)). I'm sorry if you don't like what I have to say, but to start a new discussion and request that I don't participate looks unpleasantly like forum shopping. Your correction regarding page numbers is noted, thank you. Jakew (talk) 12:41, 2 July 2010 (UTC)

No but you have coedited in the past quite often with Jayjg on pages of mutual interest. But to the point. Those two people with whom I have coedited in the past, have done me the not inconsiderable courtesy of keeping their comments to an extreme minimum, in order to allow this argument to be conducted 'super partes'. what you said in the thread above, you repeat, with minor variations in the new thread specifically asking the wider community for input. Please do not clog the new section with recycled opinions. Thank you.Nishidani (talk) 12:55, 2 July 2010 (UTC)

Yes, Jayjg and I have both edited another page on an unrelated subject. To return to the subject, given that you've started a second thread about essentially the same topic, one shouldn't be surprised to find some repetition. And, speaking of repetition, the question which you asked in the new section[35] is the same that you've raised already: here, here, and here. Jakew (talk) 13:51, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
Yes because many editors have opinions on a wide variety of subjects, but I am not interested in these opinions, if they do not specifically address the question. I repeated it, and got no relevant input. So, since the issue was stuck, I called for wider community input. This is a common wiki procedure for dispute resolution. This is strictly a technical question of a rule, one of the 4 pillars of this encyclopedia, and thus I am sure some others out there with the due experience in the technicalities of wiki protocols will shed light on it. Patience, lad.Nishidani (talk) 13:58, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
Having skimmed the cited text which I believe initiated this dispute, using a claim from page 18 linked to a footnote on page 222, this was a synthesis unsupported by the cite. Antisemitism was not addressed there but a growing estrangement between Christian and Jewish sectarians. The term antisemitism simply appeared in a book title in the footnote, and that footnote did not reference the claim on page 18. Does this answer your question? Professor marginalia (talk) 17:01, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
I have the book at my elbow. The remark on ethnicity I cite is on p.18, the first of a good many footnotes on anti-semitism is on a footnote to a paragraph on p.20. Jayjg is saying that since the footnote is printed at the back, this creates a 'distance' unacceptable that turns the quotation at p.18 into a violation of WP:NOR. The book is a close philological and historical analysis of (a) Matthew as a Jew (b) Christian-Jewish and Jewish polemics (c) and as a thesis aims to challenge the anti-Semitic interpretations of the Matthean gospel, and of other contemporary Christian-Jewish texts. A large number of texts adduced here and on the talk page amply document that the citation I reference is a standard meme/truism in contemporary scholarship on anti-Semitism and early Christianity, of which the NT is a primary source. This has all been said, your point rehashes issues raised and answered. Opinions are interesting, but familiarity with a subject and its scholarly history is, I am given to believe, of a higher order of relevance for serious wikipedian editors.Nishidani (talk) 18:17, 2 July 2010 (UTC
As to your remark below-

'The A+B is to be found nowhere in the text.'

What text?

'editors should be prepared to defend their edits if they're questioned.'

I have been doing so for several days.

'It looked like OR'

I am not interested, I repeat, in personal impressions or opinions.

'it turns out there was no A+B made in the reference after all.'

The reference was Saldarini, which contains both A+B.
It is a courtesy to one's interlocutor to understand what the topic is, what the thread has said, and what the rules say, before venturing to add to the thread. Thank you.Nishidani (talk) 19:01, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
(ec) Look, the concerns have been satisfied with other sources. You insist on pressing for an answer to the original question, whether the Saldarini citation that was used for the text was sufficient to satisfy the WP:SYN policy. And you have been given an answer--it, as cited and initially defended, by you, it did not satisfy WP:SYN. And not purely due to the distance between the pages--that was suggestive that they were unconnected, and in fact they were unconnected. The citation did not satisfy WP:SYN because those two pages did not directly relate to each other. If you would like now to reframe a new justification for including the claim by citing other passages or themes from the book or other books than was originally given (pages 18 and 228), it will shed no light on the original question which you have said you'd still like answered. If it's been "asked and answered" then don't complain it's "elicited no response". I'm closing the discussion. Professor marginalia (talk) 19:22, 2 July 2010 (UTC)

Virginia State Lottery

In the course of documenting the agencies in the Virginia government and in documenting the various state lotteries, Virginia State Lottery has emerged, and I nominated it for GA. The article references both the Virginia Laws and the lottery's website a sources for the details of the agency's structure and the operation of its various games. The reviewer says that this is a violation of WP:SELFPUB and WP:OR because these are not secondary sources. It seems that most articles on state agencies and most articles on lotteries use such sources, because they are authoritative as to the rules of the games and the agency's operations. Of course, should scandals arise or lawsuits develop, secondary sources should be used. How should we source well-known facts that would not be sufficiently important to be covered by a scholarly treatise? Thank you for your guidance. Racepacket (talk) 13:37, 2 July 2010 (UTC)

As per administrative advice on my page

Resolved: Nothing else to do here. Answers have been given, rehashing it won't help. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 19:44, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

Input from experts on policy is requested for the following proposition, with regard to the interpretation of WP:NOR. Is it correct to maintain that in an article with two themes intertwined (A+B):-

A+B articles must have every edit sourced to A+B WP:RS, and every edit of the type A must be taken from a page in the vicinity of one also mentioning B, or vice-versa.

Nishidani (talk) 09:37, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
All sources must be "directly related" to the subject of the respective article, so where the subject of the article is "A+B", it is necessary to show that the source is directly related to "A+B". That is a simple restatement of policy. The only question is, how does one establish this direct relation without performing original analysis? It is trivial to prove that a source is directly related to "A+B" if it explicitly discusses A+B. Jakew (talk) 10:25, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
This is not what Jayjg said. He said A+B is satisfied (Saldarini discusses A+B) but does so on widely distant pages (That's a pretty long distance away. This is not 'a simple restatement of policy'. It is a policy innovation, in my view). That constitutes the crux of his innovation. Please do not repeat here what we have discussed exhaustively. We need outside input from neutral admins and experienced wikipedians.Nishidani (talk) 12:04, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
Are you seriously claiming that if a source mentions a subject somewhere then the entire text of the source is directly related to the subject? So, for example, if the Encyclopaedia Britannica includes an article on "titanium", then the entire text of EB is, for the purpose of NOR, directly related to titanium? That seems a rather extraordinary position to take. A far more reasonable interpretation, and I think the obvious intent of policy, is that the part(s) of the source for which it is cited are directly related to the subject. Jakew (talk) 12:23, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
Nishidani, please don't comment on what you think I've said, since it's apparently almost invariably wrong. Instead, comment only on the content issue here. Thanks. Jayjg (talk) 22:38, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
This is an absurd restriction. Imagine a passage in an article which states "John A. was convicted of crime X in 1995 in New York City. [reference to respectable newspaper] At that time and place crime X was defined as '...'" [reference to law review article]. The proposal would make such a statement unacceptable unless the law review article mentioned John A. Jc3s5h Jc3s5h (talk) 10:38, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
This misses the point. The A+B is to be found nowhere in the text. There was no "policy innovation" in the statement linked. It was an inquiry, a question--and editors should be prepared to defend their edits if they're questioned. It looked like OR, the A+B connection appeared tenuous as it was described, and upon further review it turns out there was no A+B made in the reference after all. So the editor's initial suspicions are confirmed. Professor marginalia (talk) 17:25, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
Jayjg's original complaint, in the section you have now closed as 'resolved', was that I violated WP:SYNTH. His link takes us to the following passage at WP:NOR.

Do not combine material from multiple sources to reach or imply a conclusion not explicitly stated by any of the sources. If one reliable source says A, and another reliable source says B, do not join A and B together to imply a conclusion C that is not mentioned by either of the sources. This would be a synthesis of published material to advance a new position, which is original research.[5] "A and B, therefore C" is acceptable only if a reliable source has published the same argument in relation to the topic of the article.'

You have just closed the discussion saying Jayjg's call was correct.
Please reread his link. My edit, an almost literal paraphrase of 1 source, did not 'combine material from multiple sources'. I used one reliable source, almost verbatim. It is impossible to make a synthetic statement from a literal paraphrase of one sentence from one source. The gravamen of Jayjg's complaint was that I synthesized from multiple sources. The evidence shows I paraphrased one line from source. WP:SYNTH cannot apply, and therefore the closure was improper.
So I persist in my request that outside and neutral wikipedians review the formulation above. It is an innovation in the interpretation of policy, and does require administrative oversight, precisely because there is nothing on the WP:NOR page which appears to support that interpretation. Thank you. Nishidani (talk) 21:49, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
To begin with, as has been explained to you many times, there is no "innovation in the interpretation of policy here", but rather a fairly pedestrian application of it. Next, the "gravaman of [my] complaint" was that you were engaged in WP:NOR, as the material you brought was not directly related to the topic of the article. I explained this to you at least a half dozen times. In addition, it is not just me who has explained this to you, but also Atmoz, jpgordon, brewcrewer, Jakew, Johnuniq, Professor marginalia, and Slrubenstein. Stop talking about me, and restrict your comments entirely to texts/sources and the NOR policy. Don't mention me again. Jayjg (talk) 22:38, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
I mentioned you because you made the complaint. If that is a violation of policy, it's news to me. The request you registered was in your name. It is not a personal attack to refer by name to someone who accuses you of anything. Nishidani (talk) 04:20, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
It is still unclear how I can be accused of violating, as per your original statement, WP:SYNTH when I made just one edit, paraphrasing one simple sentence in a text, before you complained of this WP:NOR problem. It may be news to you all, but it is technically impossible for an editor to 'synthesize' a sentence from two sources, when he has only paraphrased literally one sentence of a propositional kind from one source. Your original complaint mentions another sentence for which I am not responsible, and therefore I cannot be blamed for that, or for making a synthesis there either.
@Nishidani You're tuning out the feedback you're receiving from "outside and neutral wikipedians". There was no novel interpretation of the WP:SYNTH clause. If you are joining A+B in an article, A and B must be joined by a source. This joining is not sufficiently demonstrated by matching a statement A from page 18 to an unrelated footnote talking about B on page 228. The author must join them A+B in the same manner as will done in the article. The problem can be illustrated with a book I've grabbed at random from my bookshelf. In a hypothetical article named "Goethe's bone" I can't incorporate the claim "even while absent in the fossil record, scientists can inductively reconstruct the structure of teeth from the skeletal specimens from the jaw" via sourcing from this book even though Goethe's bone appears on page 284 and inductive reconstruction is referred to in a footnote on page 295. The two are unrelated to each other--they are only coincidentally in the book and used in examples the author has chosen to illustrate two separate claims. Professor marginalia (talk) 23:30, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
I don't tune out anything. Read again. I am not joining A+B in an article. It is being asserted ludicrously, that at the very outset of an attempt to provide a decent lead to an article, (a) I introduced a single sentence judgement, found in and paraphrased from a relevant source, which was extraneous to the topic. (b) proven it was an integral truism of the subject, I was then accused of a WP:SYNTH violation, and you now make out I am 'joining' two topics from widely disparate parts of one book when no such thing took place.
Both charges are impossible.
Jayjg introduced in his complain a prior sentence in the lead which someone else wrote, and was unsourced. I have no responsibility for it. I bear responsibility for my edits, and any attempt to insinuate my one edit, together with an anonymous edit made by someone else, involves synthesis, is nonsense.
Evidence amply showed by myself and, independently Nableezy that, on all wiki pages dealing with two topics, antisemitism and early Christianity, that sentence content is contained, and is a truism.
It was then asserted that according to WP:NOR any edit violates WP:SYNTH if, in dealing with a A+B article, a simple proposition is introduced which comes from a book that does not synthetically examine both A+B.
That is a policy that is being promoted. No evidence has been adduced that this has any support in the policy page on WP:SYNTH or more broadly WP:NOR as they are written. All I have seen is opinions, which, while fascinating do not address the simple issue I raised which is as stated at the head of this request.
The Goethe's bone analogy is ridiculous. ('Goethe's bone', your hypothetical article, would not be an article of the type A+B. For your information a genitival phrase (Caesar's hat/Goethe's bone etc) is not equivalent to a conjunctive construction ('and'). The former deals with one thing, the latter with two.
I made no 'inductive reconstruction.' Unlike all partipants here, I have read Saldarini, and I have not made a synthetic inferences from two parts of Saldarini. I have cited one sentence from Saldarini, and, in reply to the reasonable request, 'does Saldarini mention both antisemitism and the ethnicity of early Jews' I replied yes. p.18 for ethnicity, and a footnote to p.20 (p.228 in backnotes).By one of those weird Twilight Zone twists that make wiki discussions so dourly entertaining, in answering a request for relevance, (yes the Book has both A+B) I get copped with a different accusation ('Ah.Then you synthesized A+B in that book')
You are now suggesting I am synthesizing p.18 and p.20 (=backnote p.228)!!!!!!
I've seen a lot of weird things on wikipedia, and this takes the cake. Still, as the administrator said on my page, this request will stay up, unlike the preceding which was prematurely closed, for several days until further input comes through. Nishidani (talk) 03:55, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
I've said this before. This board isn't a venue to discuss editors. It also isn't the place to fish for the one and only opinion you need to satisfy some itch that's obviously quite separate from the original question posed here and your rationale for persistently probing after it's been settled. This isn't a shopping mall--so you can't continue to "try on" every answer brought before you until one is eventually served you that perfectly fits your agenda. Professor marginalia (talk) 04:33, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
I agree that this board is not a venue to discuss editors, which you have just done in talking about my 'fishing' to 'satisfy some itch' for some 'shopping mall'. Your view is known, as are mine and those of preceding contributors. Let's have the patience to wait for further input, this time, on the the only question I ask which hitherto no one has deigned to address. A simple yes or no answer is enough.

Namely: in wiki policy, is it maintained that

A+B articles must have every edit sourced to A+B WP:RS, and every edit of the type A must be taken from a page in the vicinity of one also mentioning B, or vice-versa.

Nishidani (talk) 04:43, 3 July 2010 (UTC)

Except for one thing: a close "proximity" of A and B in a source is not essential to satisfy WP:SYNTH however there is no reason that lack of proximity is an inadequate reason to question whether a claim is WP:SYNTH. So the "every edit must be taken from a page in the vicinity" is a red herring--the editor initiating the discussion here hasn't persisted with this argument, you have. A challenge to a source (or defense of a source) is not vis a vis an "innovation" of policy. Professor marginalia (talk) 05:21, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
The original query runs: 'The person inserting insists that the book in question does indeed mention antisemitism; not, however, on page 18, where this quote is from, but in "n.16 p.228." That's a pretty long distance away.' My formulation is not a red herring. Leave it at that. Nishidani (talk) 10:52, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
@Nishidani: This is a noticeboard that is needed for actual discussion of NOR issues. It has been clearly explained that this section is not helpful (policies are not amenable to abstract "A+B" analysis, see WP:BURO). Please let the matter drop before it becomes disruptive. I accepted your refactoring of my earlier comment, but I will revert any non-policy based attempt to remove this message. Johnuniq (talk) 05:30, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
I am following the administrative advice on my page, which did not say I was 'disruptive', advised me to open a separate section, and suggested an ample margin of time for wikipedians to notice the issue, and supply their interpretations. So, we have all had our say. Let us attend further input, without vague innuendoes about 'disruptive' behaviour when an editor simply is following an administrative suggestion. Thank you.Nishidani (talk) 10:52, 3 July 2010 (UTC)

Convention Parliament of 1399

This refers to a section of this article: Convention_Parliament_(England). Editor dispute on talk page here: Talk:Convention_Parliament_(England)#Convention_Parliament_of_1399. Dispute is between myself and editor PBS (I will notify him that dispute is being put here). After unresolved discussion on talk page I contend that "Convention Parliament of 1399" is OR.

WP I refer to:


  • Even with well-sourced material, if you use it out of context or to advance a position not directly and explicitly supported by the source, you are engaging in original research
  • Wikipedia articles should be based on reliable, published secondary sources and, to a lesser extent, on tertiary sources
  • Our policy: Wikipedia articles usually rely on material from secondary sources.


  • Tiny-minority views need not be included
  • claims that are contradicted by the prevailing view within the relevant community, or that would significantly alter mainstream assumptions
  • Exceptional claims in Wikipedia require high-quality sources

My argument that it is OR. There are two related issues:

A Whether that entity which met on 1399 to depose Richard II (hereafter just "1399") is a parliament; B whether it is a Convention Parliament (and by Convention Parliament this is understood to mean as with Ireland 1660 / England 1660 / England 1689)

A. It is my understanding of the sources that the entity which meant on 1399 was summoned as a parliament under writ of Richard II but never actually undertook the role, rather it was an "assembly of the estates of the realm". Undoubtedly in times past some people may have considered that assembly to be a parliament (as with the C.H. Parry reference given by PBS - from 1839, and note my comment below about muddle in perception) as they did not necessarily have access to the sources that modern historians have. To use a quote provided by PBS "few historians now consider that the assembly was a parliament". There seems no argument for claiming that 1399 was a Parliament - unless of course you are an editor claiming that it was a Convention Parliament

B The contention that 1399 was a Convention Parliament is based on two tertiary sources (which are also used by the editor to support A):

  • Encyclopedia of American civil liberties [36] edited by Paul Finkelman 2006 and note listing is about Glorious Revolution and not comment on the period or personages of 1399
  • The Encyclopedia Americana [37] - 1903, out of date and replaced by later editions.

These contentions do not appear in secondary sources (or other tertiary sources?), and the basis of their contention is not clear. (My own OR is that somewhere down the line they are based on a conflation of an interpretation of Lord Somers's allusion to 1399 with that of convention; this reference, ironically given by PBS, [38] 'The Deficiency of Conventions'p310- quite adequately explains difference between conventions and parliaments and how they became muddled in perception over time.)

In summary, there are no modern secondary sources given for 1399 being a parliament, instead they indicate an assembly, or a convention in the sense of a meeting of some sort but not that of a Convention Parliament. There are no modern secondary sources given for 1399 being a Covention Parliament. Therefore it is OR, to create or maintain an article called Convention Parliament of 1399, which creates the idea that 1399 is the same to what are commonly under stood to be Convention Parliaments (Ireland 1660 / England 1660 / England 1689), a claim which ultimately rests on two tertiary sources. --Utinomen (talk) 21:52, 4 July 2010 (UTC)

The place to discuss this in detail is at Talk:Convention Parliament (England)/Archive 1#Convention Parliament of 1399. However to answer two point raised here "1903, out of date and replaced by later editions. ... In summary, there are no modern secondary sources given for 1399 being a parliament"
I checked the current edition of The Encyclopedia of American Civil Liberties, Routledge; 1 edition (October 10, 2006), ISBN-10: 0415943426 using Amazon's web site and page 690 has in it exactly the wording as the 1903 edition. There are plenty of sources that describe the assembly as a parliament, although I agree that they tend not to be the ones that go into the case in detail for example here is one from the UK parliamentary website: Birth of the English Parliament Magna Carta (1215) to Henry IV (1399) "Parliament deposed Richard II and Henry IV's reign started", and here is another Ronald H. Fritze, Historical dictionary of late medieval England, 1272-1485 Greenwood Publishing Group, 2002 Page 164 "Aside from deposing Richard II, the PARLIAMENT of 1399".
The discussion is a technical one (similar to how many angels can dance on a pin head) and I suggest we carry it on on the talk page of the article. -- PBS (talk) 02:56, 5 July 2010 (UTC)

Climate Change Exaggeration

Although this article is only in user space at the moment (see User:Marknutley/Sandbox), I am concerned that it is getting ready to be moved into main space. The article is concerned with the topic of "Climate Change Exaggeration", a topic that does not exist outside of user space. The references consist of a hodgepodge of cherry picked editorials and outdated opinion pieces, selected in such a way as to "create" a topic where one did not previously exist in good reliable sources on the subject. The user is doing this as an attack on climate science, and I'm certain this is original research. At first glance, it looks like an actual encyclopedia article, but a closer look reveals serious editorial bias. This is nothing but a pastiche of poor sources and slanted opinion. Viriditas (talk) 21:25, 8 July 2010 (UTC)

I have added it to my watchlist. (You can do this by searching for the article, clicking to create and then clicking watch.) I do not know what else we can do at this point. I find it disturbing however than an editor can spend so much time attempting to insert fringe views into articles and now creating fringe articles. It is a waste of people's time that could be better spent creating good articles and improving existing ones. TFD (talk) 21:33, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
Unfortunately this is rather a habit for this editor. Many of the articles he's written seem to have ended up at AfD, wasting even more of everyone's time. I see there's an arbitration case ongoing in which he's been fingered; I suggest raising the issue of his bad articles there. -- ChrisO (talk) 21:55, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
The issue here isn't original research if it's sourced. The questions here are notability and NPOV. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 22:19, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
WP:SYN is OR. Viriditas (talk) 22:22, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
True. I didn't bother reading the article beyond the summary and I didn't read any of the sources. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 22:25, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
There is a difference between "has references" and "is sourced. None of the first 5 references mentions the term "climate change exaggeration". --Stephan Schulz (talk) 22:28, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
That doesn't mean much. The editor may have choosen a descriptive title. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 22:34, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
Not really. He's plainly invented the topic - there is no systematic coverage anywhere that I've seen of a topic called "climate change exaggeration". Instead, he's stitched together numerous quotations - i.e. quote mining, which is a shoddy approach - to support a novel interpretation. The original research comes in the form of the overall narrative. He asserts that when quotations A, B, C etc. are all combined they illustrate a phenomenon called "climate chance exaggeration" (which, by some odd coincidence, he seems to think all falls on one side of the debate - that shows the real agenda here). This is very much like an article I dealt with a long time ago in which an editor had mined various news sources for any mention of "apartheid" in relation to Northern Ireland to create an article on "apartheid in Northern Ireland" - a completely novel topic. Needless to say, it was deleted. -- ChrisO (talk) 22:41, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
Well, checking the first cited article, it seems to be about this topic.[39] A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 22:47, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
"Comment is free" is an opinion piece. We don't create new encyclopedia articles by collating opinion pieces from one side of an issue that promotes our personal POV. Viriditas (talk) 22:52, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
I thought you said the issue was SYN? A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 22:55, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
When an editor collates and combines material to draw conclusions that are not reflected in RS, they tend to use opinion pieces to do it. FWIW, this article is also a POV fork of global warming controversy. Viriditas (talk) 23:00, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
Every source in this wip mentions climate change exaggeration. There is no cherry picking at all, and it is not an attack on science Viriditas, it is something which happens to the science. Do you honestly believe that people do not exaggerate the effects of climate change? And that Vicky Pope is not good for her own opinion? mark nutley (talk) 22:56, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
And, every source you used is used inappropriately to draw conclusions that aren't stated in RS as a whole. SYN, POV fork, and all of it, original research to promote your POV, namely that of climate change denial. One has to wonder how you find the time to do all of this. Viriditas (talk) 23:04, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
Not at all, if all the sources used say "Climate Change Exaggeration" then were exactly is the OR? Or the Syn? if people like Vicky Pope and Mike Hulme say there is such a thing then who are you to argue it? A quote from Hulme, "Climate change is a reality, and science confirms that human activities are heavily implicated in this change. But over the last few years a new environmental phenomenon has been constructed in this country - the phenomenon of "catastrophic" climate change" This is in the article, were exactly am i pushing my POV here then? mark nutley (talk) 23:05, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
There was an edit conflict and i did not see your last sentence, One has to wonder how you find the time to do all of this. what is that supposed to mean? mark nutley (talk) 23:07, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
There are 72 sources cited by that article. You must be a fast reader. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 23:08, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
The article already exists as climate change alarmism. Move along. - (talk) 23:07, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
Please comment on the AfD for "Climate change alarmism" here. Also, here is another version of "Climate change exaggeration". TFD (talk) 05:42, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
Not that these articles are not one and the same. Not even kinda. Guettarda (talk) 06:10, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Mark has asked me on my usertalk page to review the article before he moves it into article space, which I have not yet done. This request on this board, in my opinion, is out of order and appears to be an attempt at a "preemptive strike." I ask that this discussion be tabled until I can go over the article. If I think there are Syn or RS violations in the article, I'm going to tell Mark so and tell him it isn't ready for article space. Please everyone, go work on real articles, there are plenty that need improvement. Cla68 (talk) 08:07, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
With all due respect, I think Mark would be better served by having an independent reviewer go over it. It would be great if you could find someone uninvolved in the topic area to review it. -- ChrisO (talk) 08:25, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
Already had Ravensfire look it over and he has made a few improvements to it mark nutley (talk) 09:03, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
Mark asked me to review several of the sources he's using in a section of the article. The article at that time (June 21) was smaller and did not have as many references. That said, I commented to him that I felt he was cherry picking some quotes and the entire article had a strong feeling of POV. Nearly everything in it was about exaggerations from pro-AGW supporters - almost nothing from pro-skeptic supporters. I made a change to the article [40] that put the most egregious example of cherry picking (from the sources I reviewed) in context. When an entire article is about scientists understating the dangers to avoid alarming, the one quote originally used was the exact opposite. As part of my review, I left some general comments about the article, including a feeling of it being a POV fork. Ravensfire (talk) 17:06, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

Recreation of article deleted through an AfD

See Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Climate change exaggeration. Personally I'd like a stop on creation of such articles until we have a resolution of Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Climate change. Dougweller (talk) 09:39, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

There is nothing wrong with recreating an article which got deleted, and given the amount of sources in the current WIP it is obviously a valid topic for an article mark nutley (talk) 11:09, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
The AfD had overwhelming consensus for deletion, and the most active editors voting keep are either currently blocked, banned, or proven sock puppets. That's quite interesting, don't you think? Viriditas (talk) 12:11, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
Not really, what it shows is certain editors are terrified of anything which they think will cast AGW in a bad light and will do anything to be rid of such articles, it`s quite sad really, that you guys are so sure of your consensus that you feel the need to attack anything you think might cast a shadow over it. Have you looked at the difference`s between the one which was deleted and mine? Tenner you have not even read the whole thing nor looked properly at the refs, all you saw was Climate Change Exaggeration and immediately went into defensive mode and start screaming "Attack On Science". It`s not, it`s an article of how people exaggerate stuff mark nutley (talk) 12:19, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
At the very least, any recreation would need to go through deletion review. Guettarda (talk) 16:51, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
Really? why is that then? mark nutley (talk) 17:01, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
Um...because that's the way you go about recreating an article which the AFD discussion determined should not exist. Without that, AFD would end up being a perpetual loop. Guettarda (talk) 17:38, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
How come we did not have to do that with The Gore Effect? Not being silly here btw, I honestly don`t know about this mark nutley (talk) 17:51, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

What particularly concerns me about this is that Marknutley appears to have completely ignored what was said in that previous AfD. It's not simply that the article itself was bad, but that the very concept that the article is based on was and is bad. As the closing admin said, it's a "tendentious POV fork". Problems that editors identified included: the title of the article was POV; the article was a WP:COATRACK of quotes mined from disparate sources; the article itself is a POV fork of Global warming controversy; the topic is WP:SYNTHESIS. All of these problems have been duplicated in Marknutley's draft article. He seems to have done absolutely nothing to address them, though to be honest the root problem is that the article itself is unencyclopedic. As I pointed out at the time, it doesn't matter how you dress it up; "Climate change exaggeration" is as unencyclopedic as, say, "AIDS exaggeration" or "Holocaust exaggeration" - POV topics for which there exists a substantial community of believers, but which wouldn't last a day at AfD. The criticism of this article has nothing to do with opposition to "anything that might cast AGW in a bad light", any more than an article on "Holocaust exaggeration" would fail because of opposition to "anything that might cast the Jews in a bad light". It's a bad idea for an article because it is fundamentally POV, overlaps with existing neutral articles and is based on an editor's POV-driven quote mining and synthesis. -- ChrisO (talk) 17:52, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

Not at all Chris, tell me, do you deny that there are people who exaggerate the effects of climate change? Cos Mike Hulme and Vicky Pope say there are, so does Hans Von Storch, Björn Lomborg, Patrick J. Michaels, Andrew Dessler, Jairam Ramesh, Lord Martin Rees and a fair few others all say there is such a thing. So are they all wrong and you are right? mark nutley (talk) 19:28, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
Mark, this is a perfect illustration of the original research by synthesis problem. You have taken a series of cherry-picked quotations, quite possibly out of context, and stitched them together to support a previously unpublished conclusion that a phenomenon called "climate change exaggeration" exists. Rankiri put it well in the AfD on the last version of this article - "it's like having a page on Fishing exaggeration and filling it with "Fisherman Bob Dumbell often claims that he once caught a fish THIS big"." You also haven't explained why it can't be dealt with in the Global warming controversy article. As WP:POVFORK says, "The generally accepted policy is that all facts and major points of view on a certain subject should be treated in one article." Furthermore, the article by its very nature is only going to present one side of the argument, viz. that "climate change exaggeration" exists. In short, it's not just that the current version of the article is flawed as a work of WP:SYN, but the basic concept of the article is untenable as it's a POV fork of Global warming controversy. Don't forget that the reason why the last version was deleted was because it was a blatant POV fork. This version - and any version - will suffer from the same flaw and will also end up being deleted. My advice to you is to stop working on this draft, because it will just get deleted again if it ever enters article space, and see if you can salvage any of it for inclusion in Global warming controversy. -- ChrisO (talk) 20:31, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
I do appreciate the advice Chris, however given the size of the article i do not see how it could be bunged into GWC. I was going to present both sides of the argument btw, for instance how sceptics exaggerate mistakes made by the IPCC or scientists. Also as we have an article about climate change denial then this article would be the perfect balance to it. But let me finish the article and we can see what happens, there`s no rush is there mark nutley (talk) 20:43, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
Instead of complaining about a draft article that hasn't even been decided if it will be posted to mainspace or not, why don't you guys spend time improving current articles, many of which need a lot of work? As I told Viriditas, I stand by my review of The Gore Effect, as the current article is close to the version that I approved. Cla68 (talk) 22:03, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

Determining the genre of a work of fiction

I am in a dispute with another editor at Talk:Ichiban Ushiro no Dai Maō‎ over a couple of genres listed in the infobox. Lots of times, the genre is obvious. It's a case where the genre of the work is fuzzy and I believe need to be sourced to comply with the verifiability and no original research policies. However, the other editor is stating that the work itself is its own source for the disputed genres. He has also pointed to unreliable sources, such as blogs and user edited databases, such as the Anime News Network's Encyclopedia, as proof that these genres are "common knowledge". —Farix (t | c) 18:51, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

some of this has to be by judgement and analogy, because the genre of a work is not necessarily something straightforward and unambiguous. But it does have to be a recognized genre; I see the infobox under discussion lists one of the genres as "harem"; it does need some evidence that its a recognized genre in the present context of the accepted genre of Jpanese Light Novels. Harem tales are a recognized European genre, but I don't know if that holds here also. DGG ( talk ) 04:55, 10 July 2010 (UTC)

Is this Synthesis as alledged?

The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

An editor is challenging the lead sentence in the article History of wolves in Yellowstone as synthesis [here]. My initial attempts to explain the origin of the lead failed to convince this editor that no synthesis WP:SYN was present in the lead sentence. An alternative lead was postulated as well. Since WP:NOR and SYN are all about unattributable facts and conclusions, I asked the editor to point out which facts/conclusions in the lead were unattributable to the reliable sources provided in the article. Since I have access to most of them in my personal library, knowing what specific fact or conclusion is believed to be unattributable would aid immensely in strengthening up the citations. The editor was apparently unwilling to do this. As an editor with a passionate interest in Yellowstone, I want to get this history article right, so if there is OR in it, I would appreciate any help identifying those facts and conclusions that are not attributable to reliable sources. Thanks.--Mike Cline (talk) 14:13, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

I'm curious, is there another way to describe the history? Gavin hasn't explained his objection, and until he does, I'm not seeing any OR. If it isn't a history of extirpation, absence, and re-introduction, then what is it? I could of course be wrong, but from the looks of it, it sounds like you've nicely paraphrased and summarized the topic. Viriditas (talk) 15:05, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
I'll quote the relevant part of this policy fully so there's no doubt.
"Research that consists of collecting and organizing material from existing sources within the provisions of this and other content policies is fundamental to writing an encyclopedia. The best practice is to write articles by researching the most reliable sources on the topic and summarizing what they say in your own words, with each statement in the article attributable to a source that makes that statement explicitly. Source material should be carefully summarized or rephrased without changing its meaning or implication. Take care not to go beyond what is expressed in the sources or to use them in ways inconsistent with the intent of the source, such as using material out of context. In short, stick to the sources."
This very much looks like "collecting and organizing material from existing sources" to me rather than "beyond what is expressed in the sources" and so is perfectly in line with the aims of Wikipedia. Dmcq (talk) 15:52, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
I think we would need to see the sources from which it is drawn to make that conclusion, rather than hearsay. --Gavin Collins (talk|contribs) 16:06, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
There are 31 perfectly reliable sources cited in the article. There are countless others that could be. Have you reviewed those sources? If you would identify specific facts that you believe are unattributable to a reliable source and/or a conclusion that you believe is unattributable to a reliable source then we might be able to resolve this.--Mike Cline (talk) 16:21, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
Cut the bull and cite the statements from those sources that support the leading paragraph. Then we can decide for ourselves and end this debate quickly and cleanly, in stead of beating around the bush. --Gavin Collins (talk|contribs) 16:28, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
You are reiterating your argument you had in Wikipedia_talk:Verifiability/Archive_39#Two_copies_of_a_statement_must_each_have_their_own_inline_citation.3F on whether citations need to be duplicated in the lead of an article. Please do not drag your arguments to individual articles when you don't get support on the policy talk page. It is bad enough forum shopping and dragging up arguments again and again without pestering individual articles. Dmcq (talk) 16:35, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
The issue here is whether the lead paragraph of the article History of wolves in Yellowstone is comprised of original research, synthesis or some other form of content. I have asked to see the sources that support the lead paragraph because I don't think it is likely to be supported by any source, but so far no one has responded to my request. Instead I have editors claiming that "there are reliable sources" and another editor claims that this is a "history of extirpation, absence, and re-introduction", but no one cites any sources to support these claims. Would it be possible to see some of the content on which the lead paragraph is based, or not? --Gavin Collins (talk|contribs) 21:30, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
Gavin, you have been asked repeatedly by the OP and other editors to describe the OR. For some reason, you haven't been able to do this. Recently, you said on your talk page that you will do it later today. Great, but could you please stop repeating yourself here until you can address the concerns on the article talk page? There's no need for you to continue attacking Mr. Cline. Help improve the article or don't, it's your choice. I would also like to point out, that after examining the talk page and article history, Mike Cline has gone out of his way to discuss his changes from the beginning, prior to making them, which is the very model of a modern Wikipedian. Viriditas (talk) 21:54, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
As far as I can see the question is whether having Wolves being killed time p to q(citation 1). No wolves time q ro r(citation B). Wolves reintroduced and thriving time r to now(citation 3). Can this be summarized in a lead as there were three phases wolves killed, no wolves, wolves reintroduced? I believe this is covered by organization which is encouraged rather than synthesis advancing a new position which is counted as OR. The citations have been provided in the original talk about this as well as the article. There is no need to repeat the citations every couple of line. This should never have been raised on an article talk page, it should have been raised on policy page first if you had any doubts about it. There was nothing obviously wrong with the article. As far as I can see the challenge was simply for he purpose or arguing about policy rather than because of dubious statements in the article. Dmcq (talk) 22:26, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
I realize this is getting a little off point and more into behavior, but this is a pattern that has been repeating over and over for Gavin and it is hard to assume good faith from him much anymore. The only reason Gavin's at this article is due to the article title being brought up in discussion at WP:Article Titles as a synthetic title that wasn't backed by sources (aka, there's canvassing going on here). A lot of this appears to Gavin's refusal to accept the OR-for-organization vs OR-for-content distinction, which Dmcq puts appropriately above. --MASEM (t) 22:45, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
Nothing off point here, chaps. I read a lot of opinion, but what I don't see is any sources to support those opinions. You can attack me as much as you like, but if you don't have any sources to back up the leading paragraph of this article, then they are not contributing to the discussions. Show me the sources, and this discussion can be put to an end very quickly. --Gavin Collins (talk|contribs) 01:47, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
:You've already read some sources on the talk page, please don't just waste peoples time. I have read your analysis of the two citations that were stuck onto the lead and I agree with you that they do not support the lead. The big problem is that the one with chapters giving dates split up the dates differently in a man-centric way - when the army started shooting the wolves and when a bill was passed protecting wolves in America. The lead without a citation would be a reasonable summary of the article and the question then would be whether the article is split up reasonably given the sources. However with those citations it is supported by the citations rather than the article and the citation does not support that split of phases. Either way round there is a problem and I agree given just that citation the split of the article and the lead doesn't stand up. What it really needs is a citation for the history with chapters and dates that correspond more closely with those phases or else the phases need to be split up finer so one or more sections correspond with the chapters of the book. With the citation given the lead would also mention the army starting to shoot the wolves and when the endangered animals act was passed. Dmcq (talk) 08:23, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
I've read the bit where Gavin gave a list of dates in the talk page of the article and those were just an arbitrary split of dates in the record of sightings of wolves. There is no alternative chronology there to split up the dates differently. The summary at the start is just a reasonable editors summary of a reasonable organization of the data unless something better can be brought up in a citation instead. Dmcq (talk) 08:56, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
I have also looked at the Gavin's comments and the dates, and I've started doing some research on the topic. I've concluded that Mike Cline's version of the article, while incomplete and in progress, is indeed accurate, and that Gavin's objections are altogether spurious, if not deliberately trollish. His arguments are ridiculous on the face of it, and his attempt to pick away at the date ranges isn't supported. I'm guessing that Gavin has not actually read the article, but has arrived on the talk page merely to harass Mike and continue their argument from the Article titles discussion. I would also like to point out that I politely asked Gavin not to attack Mike on the talk page, and shortly thereafter, he went ahead and attacked Mike on the talk page. I think Gavin should be banned from the article at this point. Viriditas (talk) 09:31, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
Come on, guys! The leading paragraph of the article is 24-carat original research. It does not resemble any of the sources it is supposed to be referenced from - not even remotely. If you can explain how the leading paragraph has been written in relation to any source, then lay your cards down now, and name quote those sources to support your viewpoint as I have done. I have made my views clear, and I have backed them up with citations. We can disagree on our different points of view, but the sources themselves just do not support the original research that you claim is a summary. Have a look at what Wikipedia's policy on original research says on this issue: "To demonstrate that you are not adding original research, you must be able to cite reliable published sources that are directly related to the topic of the article, and that directly support the material as presented. --Gavin Collins (talk|contribs) 01:16, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
Gavin, give it a break already. There isn't any OR in the article, and you don't seem to understand what OR is and how to recognize it. The article has plenty of reliable sources (and the number of RS on this topic alone is enormous, more so than many other topics) and there's nothing wrong with the word "extirpation". It's time for you to find another hobby; Preferably one that doesn't involve harassing other editors and disrupting their work. Viriditas (talk) 01:23, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

My thanks to those who contributed to the resolution of this matter--a resolution (including comments by the alleging editor) that essentially validated that the lead sentence in the article was not synthesis or OR. Thus I am closing this discussion as resolved and await further discussions related to article improvement on the talk page.--Mike Cline (talk) 01:39, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

That is total bull. The issue has been resolved because the OR has been removed. The lead sentence was not supported by any source. --Gavin Collins (talk|contribs) 02:23, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

Stereotypes of white people

At Stereotypes of white people an editor has repeatedly made an edit like this. I'm looking for opinions on whether the sources are adequate, or whether original research is involved. For example, at Stereotypes of white people#White normality the first paragraph on dumb blondes is essentially unchanged by recent edits, but the following paragraphs (Redneck, Valley Girl, Wigger) are new. Since no secondary source is used, I would assume the text is not justified. I'm not claiming the added text is wrong, but compiling these terms in this article looks like original research to me. Opinions? Johnuniq (talk) 11:34, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

The references seemed practically all to refer to whiteamerica and suchlike sites or youtube which aren't reliable secondary sources. Surely there is enough study of the subject without referencing what at best can be described as primary sources? There's no point allowing such an article to become a discussion forum for bunches of people with an axe to grind. Dmcq (talk) 12:21, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
Comment: This thread on the Reliable Sources noticeboard was from just a month ago. I'm in favor of reverting her edits myself, because they're almost identical to the versions she was putting up in December, but am willing to hear others' opinions. Soap 12:37, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
The editor is currently blocked as a result of this thread (not that I would take that as a license to undo her edits either). Soap 17:02, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

Prostitution in Pakistan

The current revision of the Prostitution in Pakistan article contains a photo of an identifiable woman with the caption "A Pakistani sex-worker performing as a dancing girl to avert from the illegalities of prostitution at the red-light district of Hira Mandi in Lahore, Punjab". The image does not appear to come from an RS. The photo was removed a year or so ago and has just been restored, see Talk:Prostitution_in_Pakistan#Photo_removed. Is the inclusion of this photo policy compliant or not ? Sean.hoyland - talk 10:09, 12 July 2010 (UTC)

This is the original research noticeboard which has absolutely nothing to do with that. You want the WP:BLPN to talk about images of identifiable people and even if it is something else at least it falls in their general remit. Dmcq (talk) 10:39, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
{Copied from article talk page) I thought about it but decided that OR/N was more appropriate given that a) I don't know whether the person pictured is still living and b) the decision procedure used to justify inclusion isn't policy based. Sean.hoyland - talk 15:56, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
I'll repeat myself "and even if it is something else at least it falls in their general remit" Dmcq (talk) 16:14, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I got it the first time, you have an opinion, I have an opinion. I'll wait for some more. Sean.hoyland - talk 16:34, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
Your funeral. Now that you're here perhaps you'll explain what is the original research problem that you see? is it that someone has written up about the picture rather than the picture being froma reliable source? I think people might be willing to discuss a reliable source even if it is called the original research noticeboard. Anyway would you like to expand please on the problem you see? Dmcq (talk) 20:43, 12 July 2010 (UTC)

As an aside, the image info page does not contain appropriate evidence of permission from the copyright owner and I have tagged it accordingly. – ukexpat (talk) 16:46, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

I'll try to explain why this issue caught my eye and why I posted it here rather than at BLP/N.

Including the image with the current caption may or may not be a BLP violation/personality rights/defamation issue but I'm not really interested in that aspect so much. The people are identifiable but they're in a public place. There's nothing intrinsically wrong with the image in terms of what it depicts. It just shows some people in a public place. It's not until someone adds an interpretation that it becomes interesting. Perhaps a 'do no harm'/'it might be defamation' approach is the default in cases like this caption/inclusion-wise but posting this at BLP/N would encourage people to focus on the BLP aspects whereas it's the interpretation of the image without RS, the identification of what is depicted and the reasoning used to justify that interpretation on the talk page that caught my interest and motivated this posting.

It's the interpretation of the image that looks like original research. But is it ? I've added images and just like the editor in this case I've identified what they depict. I imagine countless others have too. They happen to be images of fairly obscure insect and plant species in my case but it's the same process and essentially it's original research.

There's presumably a line that divides an acceptable level of original research from an unacceptable level of original research when it comes to editors identifying what is depicted by an image and using that interpretation in an article. It's not always clear where that line is and for this particular image and the interpretation provided by the editor I genuinely don't know which side of the line it falls on. The editor has identified these people as sex workers and people connected to that industry. If the image showed soldiers, policemen, nurses, other readily identifiable professions, the editor would no doubt identify them as such with an equal amount of confidence using a very similar "it's obvious to me" approach and probably no one would care. So, in this case where the interpretation involves identifying sex workers (rather than other professions) from an image without an RS, is it acceptable or unacceptable original research ? Sean.hoyland - talk 17:14, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

There should be some policy about all this. Basically the convention seems to be that if an image is not used in any way to advance a point in the article but is simply an added illustration then the content policies don't apply to the illustration. Also the illustration must support the article otherwise it may be considered as not having a neutral point of view and be changing the weight of the article. If the picture is not just an illustration in this way then it does need to be considered as content and follow all the content policies. However the main reason illustrations are removed is because they simply are bad illustrations or there is a better one.
Pictures should be properly described when uploaded and for illustrations it seems to be up to the reader to check that. There doesn't seem to be much control over what people write in the captions if it is fairly neutral with respect to the article. If you believe the illustration is wrongly described I think the only way of coming to a conclusion seems to be consensus in the talk page.
So I'd have thought that caption probably is just about okay as far as OR is concerned though it would be better if the original photo had more of a description to confirm.
If somebody knows better about all this I'd be glad to hear. WT:Images probably is a better place to find people who know better but I don't get into things about images normally. Dmcq (talk) 20:38, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
I took a look and have thought about it a bit, and I think there is an OR issue here, at least in that the caption uploaded with the photo says "who may likely also be a prostitute" while the text in the article makes a stronger claim: "A Pakistani sex-worker performing as a dancing girl to avert from the illegalities of prostitution at the red-light district of Hira Mandi in Lahore, Punjab." That statement is not sourced, and I would think that the caption in the article should not go any further than the one uploaded with the photo. Also, see [41] whence the image comes, at which the center woman is described as a dancer. So it seems as if there has been some augmentation, for lack of a better word, that I think falls into the OR category. I don't think it's sufficient to say that we can label a person a prostitute because they look like one--soldiers, policemen, nurses and the like are identifiable by virtue of the uniforms they wear. --Nuujinn (talk) 23:23, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
I'd have only thought that argument works if the interpretation was used to advance some idea in the article, otherwise we would have to check the reliability of the original description as well. That reasoning would cut out a very large proportion of current illustrations. You're asking is the woman really a prostitute?, is that man really a pimp? If the people weren't identifiable we'd just be asking if that is a reasonable interpretation rather than if it is OR. Since they are identifiable this is a BLP issue. I'll point out this discussion at WT:IMAGES for more eyes since the poster seems to want to talk about any other issues first. Dmcq (talk) 07:25, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
Taking the discussion there sounds fine, but yes, I think checking on the reliability of original descriptions is worth doing when a question is raised, and in this particular case the characterization has moved from "dancer" on the original site to "sex worker" in the article, and the only justification I've seen is from an IP who asserted that any pakistani woman who dressed like that is surely a prostitute. I would think the caption is not exempt from WP policy, the assertion is unsourced, and I don't think this is a case where we could rely on common knowledge. --Nuujinn (talk) 10:31, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
If somebody else put up a picture of a ladybird and you put in a caption saying it was a seven spot ladybird that would be perfectly okay without any reliable sourcing the way things are done at the moment. The only real question would be whether it really was a seven spot ladybird which would be decided on the basis of consensus about a reliable identification. This is as far as I'm concerned exactly the same and the only reason reliable sources comes into it is because it shows identifiable people. Dmcq (talk) 11:00, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
Hm, I think your analogy is terribly flawed, but how would you suggest we determine whether or not these people are in fact sex workers? My point is that they are not characterized as such on the photographer's site, and I see no reasonable justification for the characterization on WP. --Nuujinn (talk) 11:13, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
I agree with the above. If the faces were not recognisable there would be no BLP issue, but there would still be a want of sources to say that the dancer is a prostitute rather than a street artist or a tourist attraction. Just looking at the picture it's not in any way obvious to me. Scolaire (talk) 13:14, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
I hadn't actually looked at ladybird but when I looked there what did I see but a picture captioned Coccinella septempunctata which I translate as seven spot ladybird. The photo from the photographer just says ladybird on a leaf. The picture doesn't even show the back so I can't count the spots. It actually was a featured picture once but was demoted. I think this is a very clear parallel as far as this case is concerned. People aren't concerned about a ladybird's feelings about being wrongly labeled but otherwise what is the difference between these cases? Dmcq (talk) 13:16, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
By your analogy, I can tell from the photograph that the entities represented there are homo sapiens, commonly called "humans". I see that one is dancing, a couple are seated. I cannot tell how they make a living. Can you, and if so, how? And if we determine that, how are we not engaged in original research, since it is not apparent that there's a pimp and a prostitute in the picture? --Nuujinn (talk) 14:00, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
Who says the ladybird is a seven spotted one except somebody who knows about such things? If somebody from the area says it is obvious looking at them who are you to to argue any more than you could say the ladybird hasn't seven spots? On the balance of evidence do you think you are right and they are wrong? Balance of evidence is all we've got to go on unless you drag in BLP which is where this should have gone in the first place and where they apply more stringent criteria. Dmcq (talk) 14:09, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
By the way are you asserting that WP:RS and WP:OR applies to illustrations and their captions even if they do not contribute materially in any way to the text? If so that seven spotted ladybird picture would have to be removed. Dmcq (talk) 14:14, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

Anyway I've looked at Wikipedia:Image use policy#Privacy rights and it is pretty clear we're not allowed to use that photo without a model release for such use. We might be okay for the original description but not used in that article. Commons:Commons:Photographs of identifiable people has a fairly explicit bit about this use. So I'll go and remove it under this. Dmcq (talk) 14:33, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

Criticism of Southern Poverty Law Center

Hi I wanted to add a paragraph of criticism to the article on Southern Poverty Law Center. I believe the sources are considered primary sources. THe possible exception being the report from the CIS itself.

SPLC has been criticized for "labeling the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) a 'hate group' and, by extension, the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) and NumbersUSA."[4] Ken Silverstein of Harpers Magazine while rejecting the views of the CIS defended the organizaiton and stated the SPLC "has a habit of casually labeling organizations as hate groups."[5] Carol M. Swain stated the SPLC suffers from "mission creep" and that it "has spent far more resources hounding conservative organizations, such as the Center for Immigration Studies... than it has protecting the civil rights of American voters" [6]

Not sure what else to add. Thx. Mrdthree (talk) 20:19, 12 July 2010 (UTC)

See also his request at WP:RSN#Is a reliable source for proving opposing opinions? for a bit more background. Dougweller (talk) 20:51, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
You're allowed to put in a summary of an official response by a group to a specific accusation in a reliable source even if the reply is on its own website rather than in a reliable source so the CIS respone is probably okay by WP:ELOFFICIAL. Otherwise you need to be careful to only include straightforward reliable sources. Dmcq (talk) 21:03, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
I'm a bit worried by the 'and by extension' bit though. Exactly how close is this 'by extension', CIS would be irrelevant unless the link is extremely close and obvious. It probably isn't close enough to put in a response from it unless it was named. Did Harpers say CIS was also implicitly attacked or something like that, that would probably be enough. Dmcq (talk) 21:15, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
The Southern Poverty Law Center article, as it currently exists, makes no reference at all to FAIR. While it may be appropriate to add this paragraph as rebuttal of a specific claim cited in the article, this is not the case here. It appears the paragraph would be added at Southern Poverty Law Center#Hate group listings. This would have the effect of including language that is a general attack on the SPLC that would not otherwise stand on its own for that purpose. This may or may not be a clssic example of WP:SYNTHESIS, but it serves the same purpose.Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 21:29, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
Not sure where there is any synthesis here. The sources are clear on the criticism. I agree with NS that adding the suggested text to the Hate Group listing section would be perfectly acceptable.--Mike Cline (talk) 21:38, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
The 'and by extension' is part of a quote lifted from the cited report (2). I added the reflist-- refs 2-4 are mine. ref 1 must be from an earlier post. Mrdthree (talk) 21:25, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
  1. ^ "Are Tea Partiers Racist?". Retrieved May 10, 2010.
  2. ^ "'Racially Resentful' Dissecting the latest bogus tea-party poll by James Taranto, Wall Street Journal". Retrieved April 29, 2010.
  3. ^ Anthony J.Saldarini, Matthew's Christian-Jewish Community, University of Chicago Press< 1994 p.18.
  4. ^ Jerry Kammer (march 2010). "Immigration and the SPLC: How the Southern Poverty Law Center Invented a Smear, Served La Raza, Manipulated the Press, and Duped its Donors". Center for Immigration Studies Backgrounder. Retrieved 07-13-2010. Check date values in: |accessdate=, |date= (help)
  5. ^ Ken Silverstein (3-22-2010). "Hate, Immigration, and the SOuthern Poverty Law Center". Harpers Magazine. Retrieved 7-13-2010. Check date values in: |accessdate=, |date= (help)
  6. ^ Carol M. Swain (8-10-2009). "Mission Creep and the Southern Poverty Law Center's Misguided Focus". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 07-11-2010. Check date values in: |accessdate=, |date= (help)
Paragraph IMO not original research. LionelT (talk) 02:17, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
An article published on the Center for Immigration Studies' website is not a reliable source. I understand of course that placing FAIR on the hate list may be controversial. The best approach is to look for reliable sources that discuss this decision. TFD (talk) 03:08, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
There are two reliable sources in the Harper's magazine and Huffington Post. Both mention CIS as being attacked by SPLC. The CIS reference is marginal. It is not a reliable source but I think in this case a small comment can be put in that it has issued a refutation and put a link to the refutation under WP:ELOFFICIAL. It definitely can be put into the CIS article. The question here is whether it is a sufficiently major subject of the article Southern Poverty Law Center or an also attacked? So basically a weigh issue. I think in general for major disputes Wikipedia errs on the side of allowing links to official responses even if not noted in a reliable source, is this major? Dmcq (talk) 09:03, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
A source may be reliable for its hard news coverage but its opinion pieces do not automatically also become reliable. The paragraph is about FAIR. The Harper's article makes a general criticism of the SPLC but not any specific criticism of the SPLC's treatment of FAIR -- in fact it appears that the Harper's writer actually agrees with the SPLC's criticism of FAIR. The Huntington Post article does not even mention FAIR. It is original research and synthesis to represent that the Huntington article in any way discusses the SPLC and FAIR. Of the three sources, only the CIS actually criticizes the SPLC's treatment of FAIR and, since neither FAIR or CIS is even mentioned in the wikipedia article, a rebuttal article is irrelevant to the SPLC article.
There are 900 organizations listed by the SPLC as Hate Groups -- only one or two are actually mentioned in the wikipedia article. Should each of these organizations, unnamed in the article, be given space in the article to deny that they belong on the list?Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 12:14, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
Good question. However, if they are all complaining essentially the same thing, that can be summarized and multiple links provided in the footnotes. They should not be cut out simply because too many are complaining about being falsely smeared. --LegitimateAndEvenCompelling (talk) 12:46, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
The article already has this issue covered. It says, "Some organizations described by the SPLC as hate groups object to this characterization. The Council of Conservative Citizens (CofCC) argue that the SPLC's claim that the CofCC is tied to white supremacists is inaccurate. Adding a "For example" to the second sentence and expanding the footnotes may be a workable plan. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 12:54, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
Okay, folks, go find the best/most encyclopedic examples and add them accordingly. --LegitimateAndEvenCompelling (talk) 13:00, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
Let's first see if there is a consensus for this proposal on the article discussion page. If a consensus developes, then let's discuss which additions to the actual article are appropriate before anything is added to the article. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 13:45, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
Lets not change topics and discuss editing the article here. Because I am not in favor of having the CCC be the example, its a straw man-- you wont find any sources defending them. FAIR is different it has mainstream sources that say the decision is political. In any case, to summarize your position, LegitimateAndEvenCompelling, that the sentence is not original research? Thx. Mrdthree (talk) 16:24, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
Um, forgive me, I have not evaluated whether or not it is or is not OR. I am just saying encyclopedic material should be added in an encyclopedic fashion. For example, if what you said about CCC is true, then I would agree it is not encyclopedic as it is merely being selected for POV reasons. --LegitimateAndEvenCompelling (talk) 16:42, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
So who is going to go through the 900 listed hate groups and decide which ones are worthy of having their denials added to the SPLC wikipedia article? On one hand Mrdthree wants to have the article say that the SPLC "has a habit of casually labeling organizations as hate groups", while on the other hand preventing the mention of groups in the article that "you wont find any sources defending them." That's not very NPOV. It might be worth discussing whether we just replace CCC with FAIR in the existing sentence, add the "For example" as I suggested earlier, and call it a day on the original proposal (subject to consensus back on the article discussion board). Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 17:01, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
P.S. While looking for something else I came across this [42]. So does Ann Coulter defending the CCC count as defense by a "mainstream conservative source"? Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 17:24, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
Off hand probably not. But I do like the compromise solution if you insisted on getting rid of the quotes, I think something like 'a number of mainstream sources find the classification unfair' or a list of names, would be a reasonable substitute. Mrdthree (talk) 00:35, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

Identification of previous characters in a television series as synthesis?

In "The Lodger (Doctor Who)" there is a brief montage where several shots of past incarnations of the Doctors are shown. To anyone that has watched the show, it is obvious who both the actors and the characters are, but it is being challenged that this is original research in the form of synthesis to connect the images to either the actors or characters. (See [43]). Now, I agree there is "synthesis" of human thought needed to say "ok, this image of is of this person which is this character in the show's history", but it is not the same as synthesis defined by WP:SYNTH that we are to avoid without sources. One editor is arguing that because these are not facts that are obvious to the non-viewer of the show, they are synthesis. Keep in mind, we have a found a source that asserts who the faces are, but let's work off the assumption that no such source exists. There's also the separate issue of whether this is information that we should include in the first place. Is this type of identification improper synthesis for Wikipedia? --MASEM (t) 21:32, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

Comment: I tend to think it is. Our encyclopedia is written with the ordinary person in mind, not someone intimately familiar with the show. The first line of our synthesis policy states: "Do not combine material from multiple sources to reach or imply a conclusion not explicitly stated by any of the sources", which is precisely what is being done here. And, despite what has been stated above, there is not a source that explicitly identifies the faces as being either previous incarnations of the Doctor nor their numerical place within the 'Doctor Chain'. Therefore, two acts of synthesis are occurring: first, the strikingly unnecessary identification of these faces as begin prior incarnations of the Doctor as well as numbering them - information not imparted by any source whatsoever. What Masem is asking us to do is to accept his expert knowledge of the series. He is asking us to allow him to cite himself, so to speak. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 22:01, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
No, TT. We are seeking outside input as to a currently insoluble problem. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 22:01, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
Right. We've sought outside input. Is there any practical or moral reason why they cannot provide their outside input on the article talkpage where there is already a sizeable discussion? ╟─TreasuryTagconstablewick─╢ 22:03, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
Why yes, there is, TT; this is the place where editors interested in OR issues visit. The folk more likely to help us will be here instead of at the Who episode page discussion. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 22:05, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
But the notice is here. The link is here. A summary of the problem is here. The signpost is here. So the interested people will see it here, and if they are helpful, will not split the discussion but will go there. I'm not going to argue with you further on this point because I suspect you are simply trying to be disruptive. ╟─TreasuryTagLord Speaker─╢ 22:07, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
Think what you will, TT; if we choose to discuss the matter here before going to article discussion with a resolution, I am unsure how (or why) that terrifies you. This is pretty much how it works; please feel free to ask around if you are unclear how experienced opinion within Wikipedia is often sought. There is nothing disruptive about it at all, and I find it exceptionally bad faith to characterize my request here as such. So, take your drama elsewhere, please. Thanks in advance. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 22:16, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
"I am unsure how (or why) that terrifies you," and I am unsure how the opposite terrifies you. If you think I am acting in bad faith, who am I to disabuse of the notion? ╟─TreasuryTagdirectorate─╢ 22:32, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
I will note that I brought the issue here because there are several other issues involved on the talk page, and the specific piece that I believe Jack is wrong about and am seeking opinion on is truly an OR related issue. This has larger implications for other shows and the like, so it makes sense to seek wider audience on that point. --MASEM (t) 22:22, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
I concur with Masem that the OR issue should be sussed out here, too. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 23:45, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
Interesting issue: On the one hand having an editor state that some faces flashed on the screen belong to previous incarnations of the Doctor is clearly a form of OR because it is a statement attributable to an editor (I'm commenting on the general issue; I gather the info is actually sourced now). On the other hand, helping a reader to understand a story is exactly what an article should do, and the statement is a "good" form of OR that is verifiable by anyone who cares to compare the faces. Moreover, how could any plot description be written if we prohibit an editor from stating obviously true facts? I have written a modest plot (here), and it would all have to be deleted if sources were required. I would not favor unsourced interpretations of anything other than obviously true facts, but I believe the text under discussion is acceptable since it is verifiable and does not involve any interpretation or evaluation. Johnuniq (talk) 04:25, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
To begin with, thanks for commenting, Johnuniq. The problem we are encountering here is that info being contested is not in a plot summary; it's in a later subsection called "Continuity" (an apparent unique feature of DW episode articles), usually well-cited. Here is the paragraph in question:
"During the head-butting scene when the Doctor performs a psychic link, the faces of some of the previous Doctors are seen. These include the First, Second, Fourth, Eighth, Ninth, and Tenth Doctors.[4] The Doctor wears the number 11 football jersey as an allusion to him being the Eleventh Doctor, as well as referencing "The Lodger" as the eleventh episode of the series.[5]"
The problem here is in two parts, both of them original research issues, as neither of them are explicitly supported by citation. The citation indicated by '[5]' is a red herring; it doesn't explicitly state the details in the article. I'm assuming good faith that the editor, being a fan of the series, is mentally filling in the blanks. allowing the cite to say what they want it to say, not what it actually says.
  1. The numbering of the Doctors is entirely synthesis (not to mention unnecessary); there is no citation noting the numerical arrangement of these faces that appear over a 1.5 second interval. The other editor is arguing that he should be able to use his expertise - without supporting citation - to either identify or number the faces by their position in the Doctor chain.
  2. The editor wants to state - again, without citation - that the use of the number '11' on the football jersey is an "allusion" to his placement in the Doctor chain as well as it "referencing" the episode as the eleventh one of the season. The editor is surmising/speculating that this allusion was intended or that the reference was anything more than coincidence.
I think this is synthesis, as we currently define it. I believe that the external links at the bottom of the article afford the interested reader the opportunity to explore uncited information at the Doctor Who homepage or fan wiki; they accept that the info they are getting at a fan site doesn't meet our level of scrutiny. Again, there is also the concern of whether this information is even intrinsic to an understanding of the episode (it isn't, imo), but that is outside the purview of this noticeboard. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 05:06, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
I've provided a link to the BBC synopsis and fact file for this episode. [44] It proves two things. First, they call Matt Smith the "Eleventh Doctor", and if you follow around you can clearly see that the BBC identifies all the others as First through Tenth, respectively. [45] So there's no OR in the numbering of the Doctors, its the question of recognizition. Secondly, on the jersey, again at the fact file: "The Doctor wears the number 11 jersey when he plays for the King's Arm team - appropriate, as he's the Eleventh Doctor and The Lodger is the eleventh episode of the series." Now, this is from the BBC, so it is a decent assertion that the 11 wasn't chosen by coincidence. Sure, I'd love a better statement from Moffat or the like that asserts they had that jersey made for this purpose, but given that the BBC and nearly every other review of this episode from reliable sources calls out to it makes the statement certainly not OR. --MASEM (t) 06:06, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

It is not the case that there were originally no references for whom the faces were, rather that the sources were visual rather than textual. It is on the basis of visual reference that many images are identified in articles. An example is the lead image in Meryl Streep. There is no textual reference from a reliable source to support the assertion that it is Meryl Streep, but it is accepted on the basis that we recognise it is the same person as the the one who appears in other images, where we can verify it is her. The reference is visual. We can see there are sufficient characteristics in common to validate the usage, while this image, even if titled "Meryl Streep" would not be accepted. The identification of the Doctors can likewise be verified by any reader through a comparison visually (assuming the faces can be seen clearly in the montage). Ty 05:51, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

I've double checked the episode and the montage - a series of fast moving scenes that lasts for maybe but 3 seconds, but each of the heat shots are clearly visible for more than half a second, and easy enough to get a freeze frame on if necessary. Might need a soft touch to pause just right but we're not talking any fancy digital manipulation tricks to get to the images. --MASEM (t) 06:06, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
Tyrenius, I understand what you are saying, but you are talking apples and oranges. We are not talking about misidentified pictures. We are talking about using our own personal knowledge and experience to identify persons in those images, and further categorizing them, all in the absence of a single citation. Despite what Masem has purported to have added, there currently exists not a single reference either explicitly naming all of the faces appearing (note that Baker et al is not mentioned), nor does there exist in the article a single reference noting these faces' position in the Doctor chain of incarnation. None. Nada. Zilch. Zero. Let me repeat that: there are no citations in the article that explicitly note that (as example) Tom Baker is in the montage, or his (or any other incarnation's) hierarchical placement in the Doctor chain. Without them, we aren't allowed to make that intuitive leap.
We do not get to add our own personal observations or conclusions to articles. Were it important to define the faces as anything more than important than noting that they are the faces of previous Doctors, there would be tons of citations that explicitly name and number them. As it is, Masem wants to take one citation, add it to another citation, and draw a conclusion based upon them. As previously noted, this is our current - and reasonable - definition of synthesis. It's the first line of the definition, actually. We do not get to "allude". We do not get to suggest that something is "referencing" something else. We need explicit citations for that. Pretty much the point of No Original Research, I think.
Also previously stated, our wiki articles tend to be concise, allowing for external links that link to far more detailed information about the subject of the article. Interested readers explore those. We don't get to force-feed them what we feel is important. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 13:57, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
The thing here is context from the primary work. The specific scene involves the Doctor , trying to maintain a low profile, telling Craig (the guest star character of the episode) to let him stay; to make his point as fast as possible, the Doctor performs two "psychic headbutts". The first, the Doctor precedes the headbutting by saying "First, general background...", and then the montage of the images in question ensue. They both reel after it, but Craig, now enlightened goes "You're the Doctor!". The Doctor then follows up by a second headbutt of "current events", which are all a montage of shots from that episode.
Now, if we only consider the context of the episode, ignoring all other mythos of the Doctor, it is still obvious that the first montage is the Doctor's history. The fact that it shows (under this assumption) 5 random men may seem confusing to the unaware reader, so strictly from this POV, there's nothing to tie the faces to any names or titles. But when you consider that the basic facts about the character of the Doctor - which can be obtained from watching the show or more simply by reading a few articles on WP about the character and the show, or even going to the BBC's website where a primer on the character is available, it is 1) understood the Doctor undergoes regeneration, we have seen 11 on screen and 2) the faces resemble that of specific incarnations of the Doctor, which we know are acted by specific people and given specific titles (eg Tom Baker plays the Fourth Doctor). I could go into the whole problem on the mythos that no one, even the BBC, has stated if the First Doctor is truly the first incarnation of the Doctor, but everyone - reliable sources and all - assert the actors and ordering as given. Again, this is information easily obtained from WP or other sources.
So the question is, we have this montage that is clearly background on the Doctor's character, and we have 5 versions of the Doctor character played by different actors that look exactly like the images shown in the montage, the jump to say that the montage is showing the previous versions of the Doctor is synthesis but not bad synthesis; it is understanding the context and making the most logical, obvious step to reach that conclusion. It is similar to making the logical jump that if I see the abbreviation "SLM" next to a number while talking about water in pipes, it likely meaning "standard liters per minute" rather than any other SLM given, as it is a common term when talking about flow even if the source doesn't explicitly say that. --MASEM (t) 15:26, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
I think the big difference between the Meryl Streep illustration and this article is that the picture of Meryl Streep was just used to illustrate the article. Here the images were analysed and information about them stuck into the article. The article about Meryl Streep did not say for instance 'Meryl Streep wears glasses (see the picture)'. Putting in a statement like that would need a reliable source, for instance if a newspaper man said 'See your favorite actresses with glasses on' and had a picture of her amongst them. Dmcq (talk) 14:24, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, can you clarify your position – are you saying that if an article were to state, "Senator Goldwater is wearing spectacles in this photograph," unacompanied by any textual references, that would be original research? ╟─TreasuryTagCounsellor of State─╢ 14:31, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
Exactly. However putting in his photo and sticking his name on it even when not from a reliable source is allowed as an illustration of an article and not original research. The most one could say about it was that it was a bad or wrong illustration. If you could find something else that said he wore glasses then it could be used as an illustration of that noticed fact. Dmcq (talk) 14:39, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
Er—can you explain why it is original research to say that in that photo he is wearing glasses? Is it because the glasses-shaped accoutrement adorning his eyes, and resting on his nose and ears, could in fact be an amphibious assault ship cunningly designed to resemble a pair of spectacles? Or perhaps they are actually a red-tailed sportive lemur employing a wily natural camouflage so as to appear to be an optical aid? Yes, I can quite see that it's original research to state that someone evidently wearing glasses is wearing glasses... </sarcasm> ╟─TreasuryTagdraftsman─╢ 14:55, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
You are straying a bit far afield, TT; straw man arguments, attempting to define an argument by skewing it to the extreme is usually transparent in the best of situations. Could you endeavor to confine your commentary to the actual matter at hand? Thanks in advance. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 15:00, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
Gosh, your resolve "to not pollute [your] Wikipedia experience" by engaging with me seems to have rather weakened in the hour or so since you announced it... ╟─TreasuryTaginternational waters─╢ 15:03, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
Straw man or not WP:OR is pretty clear "Wikipedia does not publish original research. The term "original research" refers to material—such as facts, allegations, ideas, and stories—not already published by reliable sources." If someone had thought it worth mentioning they would have mentioned it, if they hadn't we shouldn't. The illustration could probably also also be used mentioning the glasses in an article saying something like many famous people have worn glasses, but in an article about Barry Goldwater it would be pointing out something that reliable sources hadn't noticed and so would cease to be purely illustrative. Dmcq (talk) 15:07, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
So a photograph of him wearing glasses is not a reliable source that he was wearing glasses in that photograph? (I'm not speaking generally, "He wore glasses," but specifically about the moment that the camera-shutter captured his image.) That picture is unreliable? ╟─TreasuryTagconsulate─╢ 15:12, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
Why would the article talk about glasses unless they are noticed by a reliable source? A photo doesn't 'notice' anything, only the people taking a photo notice anything. Dmcq (talk) 15:23, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
Actually, there isn't a reason to note the glasses unless someone (read: reliable source) specifically commented on the glasses. Otherwise, you just show the picture and describe the picture as that of the subject, as it intrinsic to the subject.
The way that translates to this discussion is that we can say that other Doctors appear during the head-butt telepathy transfer (or whatever it's called). What we cannot do - outside of specific reference - is identify them or number them in the Doctor chain of incarnation. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 15:36, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
But see, if you believe its ok just to say "other Doctors appear in the montage" but not calling them out, would it not be OR in exactly the same manner that you are saying identification of the specific Doctors is? See my long comment above, but if we strictly bounded knowledge for this article to what happened in the episode, it is a series of 5 random people. The same intuitive, obvious, and logical jump to call them "other Doctors" is the same jump to identify them by their most common title (First Doctor, etc.) (All this of course presuming a source-less writing). --MASEM (t) 15:42, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
It certainly is more difficult for the current case. The film was written with a story in mind and they obviously meant the viewers to notice the story, so it isn't quite like noticing someone was wearing glasses. So I'd have thought the question is of how much of a story should one read from what was acted? I'm sure there must be some policy around somewhere about writing up films but not sticking in trivia which would be about this sort of thing. Dmcq (talk) 15:45, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
I think WP:FILMPLOT is the relevant guideline and the fims project would be the one to ask about guidance. Dmcq (talk) 15:51, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

Recognising actors: arbitrary break 1

Per the section on plot summary, I tend to think it's ok so long as there is consensus. Also, I'm not sure how far this applies in this particular situation, but WP:CK allows 'Plain sight observations that can be made from public property ("A tall spire sits atop the Empire State Building")', but excludes observations about which editors cannot achieve consensus, or which cannot be readily verified. Under that I think the assertion that Goldwater is wearing glasses, or that a bird is of a particular species, if from a picture that is readily accessible via the internet, is acceptable so long as it is not contested, at which point sourcing would be required. So I think if pictures of the doctors and ordering are available at the BBC, and the extent of our effort is to recognize that in this frame this image matches this doctor, so long as there is consensus on that match, does this issue not fall under that clause from WP:CK? The film plot guidelines seem similar in scope--focusing on remaining descriptive, using primary sources that are readily verifiable, etc. --Nuujinn (talk) 16:01, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

If this sentence is OR, then any part of any film or television episode's plot summary could be considered OR. When summarising the plot of a film or episode, sometimes the only source is the film or episode itself; in such cases it's entirely acceptable to simply describe what happens, as long as you don't make any assumptions or speculation that aren't in the original material. This isn't an example of that; it's entirely obvious to anyone knowledgeable about Doctor Who that the images in this episode were of previous Doctors.
On the other hand, I do think this sentence is probably unnecessary, as it seems like going into excessive detail to me. From WP:FILMPLOT: 'The plot summary is an overview of the film's main events, so avoid minutiae like dialogue, scene-by-scene breakdowns, and technical detail.' But that's a separate content issue; it may not be worth mentioning, but it's certainly not OR. Robofish (talk) 16:55, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
The sentence of question is in the article's "continuity" section, a common element of Doctor Who episode articles - though again, generally a hotbed for OR inclusion without sourcing, so there's careful issues here. In the specific case, as I've explained before to someone that has never seen DW before but watches this episode, the montage is otherwise just 5 random faces; this at least establishes they are previous incarnations of the Doctor for the uninformed reader. --MASEM (t) 17:02, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
This is why we have external links, Masem - to allow the reader interested in the nitty-gritty details to go explore on their own. Our job is to be concise and non-speculative or evaluative. In this situation, we only have your knowledge that these are the actors that correspond to those faces, or that they were previous Doctors. We cannot use you as supporting documentation; you are not citable. Find a realiably-sourced cite- within the scope of detailing the episode - that explicitly states these faces are those of previous incarnations of the Doctor, as well as their place in the Doctor chain, and we are all good. Without it, I am contending that we cannot use it.
And you are correct that other DW episodic articles are rife with unsupported and speculative (not to mention unnecessary) content. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 17:28, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
Jack, are you claiming that the faces shown in the episode were not the faces of the Doctors listed in the article? (Feel free to answer with a simple 'yes' or 'no') – ╟─TreasuryTaginternational waters─╢ 17:50, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
Again, that isn't the point, Tt; knowing who the Doctors from past doesn't equate with common knowledge. It might be common knowledge for an Elizabethan literature scholar that while actor and poet Ben Jonson equates Thomas Kyd's talents with those of Christopher Marlowe, while not so common knowledge for folk unfamiliar with the subject. Indeed, I'd be terribly surprised if one didn't have to wiki the topic to learn more. Common knowledge is really not that common.
This is why we use citations - explicit citations related to the topic. If we don't have them, we cannot use something we learned on our own. And, as I pointed out before, we do have external links to the official website and fan-sites which have all the crufty information that a Whovian (either veteran or nub) could want. Jack Sebastian (talk) 19:05, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
Getting to the core of the issue... I think it fine to say that the faces of previous incarnations of the Doctor flashed on the read out of the device... even a casual Dr. Who viewer like me recognized that fact when I saw the episode. If need be, we can cite it with a reference to past seasons: <ref>Dr. Who, Seasons 1 - 10, BBC Television</ref> or something like that. And since those seasons will have credits, I think it fine to state who played the various previous Doctors shown (again... we can cite previous seasons if need be). What isn't fine is to go much further than that basic plot factoid without a specific source. I also have to question whether this isn't simply Trivia. The fact that the machine flashed images of past Doctors was not really key plot element. It could easily be omitted from a descriptive statement as to the plot of the episode. A plot summary should not be a retelling of every petty detail... it should paint with a broad brush... it should in short summarize. Blueboar (talk) 19:42, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
I understand the point about if this is worth including; currently most other DW episodes include past references to previous Doctors and most reviews will pick this up. But because this is so short and minor - and the fact that the montage doesn't explicitly need to be mentioned to cover the plot, we could discount it. Fair enough. But again, trying to establish a baseline here: if it is necessary in the plot to note the appearance of a previous character who's identity is not explicitly stated on screen but can be implied considering the whole body of the primary work, that's acceptable as allowable synthesis and should be included. Obviously, sourcing to strength that is always good, but if every reliable source lets it fly and doesn't mention anything about that directly, using the primary source and common sense seems to be ok as I am reading this discussion. --MASEM (t) 20:22, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
My point is that while we - as editors - might be a well-versed group, it is unlikely that the readership shares our interest. We have external links for precisely this reason - those who want to know more can explore the fansites to their single-hearted content. Again, we do not write for the fans. Ever. Lastly, its synthesis, and not a good type. It allows one editor to say, hey, that looks like the Third Doctor, without any sort of supporting reference. If we allow this, its only a matter of time before some cuckoo tries to connect Star Trek: Voyager to the episode in question. It is a slippery slope, and I think we need to nip this wiggling for allowance in the bud. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 20:31, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
No, we don't write for the fan, but we also don't write for just the disinterested reader. We start from the general and move to the specific. We need to avoid synthesis and speculation - case in point, the Doctor's quip on "Please state the nature of medical emergency" is strickly just a quip but I can easily see someone claim it's a Voyager reference without stating a source; even with the sources I've seen that implicitly made that connection, it still remains fan guide speculation. I'm unconvinced that the images of the Doctors here in this episode are of the same type, but let me provide an explicit example: Say in a Dalek episode the Dalek show the Doctor video that is effectively the footage of the Fourth Doctor in "Genesis of the Daleks" preparing to blow them up and are using that to seek revenge on the Doctor as the plot device for the entire episode, but the Daleks, Doctor, and anyone else never say the version of the Doctor or the episode even though it is 100% when considering "Genesis" as part of the primary source. We can fairly state (based on how this discussion is going ) that that is the Fourth Doctor and that is "Genesis" based on the primary work, though if it is that critical to the plot there will likely be sources to assert that the "Genesis" footage was used. Key point is that this type of identification doesn't seem to be synthesis - but only the question of needing to include that identification as part of the encyclopedic article is a question that should be handled case-by-case. --MASEM (t) 20:45, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
First of all, Masem, you are wrong - the average reader (not 'disinterested') reader is exactly who we write for.
Secondly, the hypothetical example you provide would almost certainly have external sources noting the previous Doctor's incarnation as well as the episode source of the Dalek video. Therein lies the point: we don't get to decide what's important and what's being missed. If reliable sources don't say it, then neither can we - it is a strict policy in that regards. It is original research to connect what we know to another piece of information to state that the two are connected. Additionally, using your example, as the Dalek video is a significant plot point, it could even be included as such. a number of old men faces zipping by - having no other connection to the episode than special effects - is not. I hope that illustrates the issue better. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 20:59, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Jack, are you claiming that the faces shown in the episode were not the faces of the Doctors listed in the article? (Feel free to answer with a simple 'yes' or 'no') – ╟─TreasuryTaginspectorate─╢ 21:33, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
    I recall you asking this same question just a little while ago. I believe I answered you pretty conclusively. Maybe you forgot you posted the same question earlier? - Jack Sebastian (talk) 21:48, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
    No, you didn't answer the question I asked. I didn't ask, "Does it matter?" I asked, "Are you claiming...?" (I'll try again below.) ╟─TreasuryTagconstabulary─╢ 21:50, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Jack, are you claiming that the faces shown in the episode were not the faces of the Doctors listed in the article? Yes or no? ╟─TreasuryTagdraftsman─╢ 21:49, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
    I've already answered your question, TT. I am aware of your debating tactic here, and I'm not playing. It doesn't matter where the face are of the previous Doctors or not; it only matters what I - or you - can cite. Full stop. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 21:55, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
    You have not answered it. As should be obvious to even the most meagre of intellects, the answer to a question ending with the phrase, "yes or no," would be either the word 'yes' or the word 'no'. ╟─TreasuryTaghemicycle─╢ 22:14, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
I have to support Jack here... the question is irrelevant. It does not matter whether the faces were or were not the faces of the Doctors listed in the article. It does not matter whether you, he or I recognize the faces as being those of previous incarnations of the Doctor. Because there will be people who see the episode and read our article who will not know what the previous incarnations of the Doctor looked like (people who have never seen previous seasons of Doctor Who), the identity of the faces (or the actors) will not be obviously apparent to anyone without specialist knowledge. Thus, we must be able to cite something that verifies this fact. We can cite a Dr. Who website, or a reputable fan book... or even previous episodes of the show. But, we have to be able to cite something. Otherwise we are injecting OR. (the same goes for mentioning the actors who played the various incarnations shown.)
However, because this is a work of fiction, there is the question of whether we need to actually include a written citation or whether we can assume an unwritten one. The reason we do not require a written citation for purely descriptive plot summaries of works of fiction is that we assume that the work itself is the citation for the plot summary. The citation is there... it's just in unwritten form. The issue we are grappling with here is whether we can extend this concept for episodic works... what we are asking is whether it is proper, when discussing one episode that makes reference to a plot element of a previous episode, to assume an unwritten citation to that previous episode... or whether we need to provide an actual written citation in such cases. Should we, for example, allow an assumed citation to Prince Caspian in an article on The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. I am not sure... certainly it is never wrong to play it safe and write the citation out... but I think there may be a good argument for saying that it is not required. Blueboar (talk) 22:34, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
I agree that we should cite something. I guess what I would suggest is that following WP:CK and the MOS for Films, specifically Plot (which this is), so long as there is a reliable source that matches an actor's face and name with an instantiation of the good doctor, and a reliable source of timeline of instantiations, it would not violate OR to characterize the faces in the montage according to those sources so long as those matches are not contested by other editors. I do not think that the faces and names of the actors playing various Drs. Who constitute specialized knowledge. If a readily accessible and reliable source maps the face to the actor and the Dr., I think that falls under "plain sight observations that can be made from public property" (and yes, I realize that I'm suggesting that the internet is equivalent to public property, at least in terms of accessibility). And I think that the judgment required falls short of the requirements imposed by the CK guidelines on when to seek professional help. But I also think the issue of consensus is key, and the anchor on the slippery slope which Jack is correctly concerned with. WP:CK is very clear that anything for which rough consensus cannot be achieved cannot be considered common knowledge. --Nuujinn (talk) 23:30, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
It is reading more from the episode than was written. It is like the writer saying the hero mounts his horse and rides into the sunbset and saying the scene was shot in Wyoming because you recognize the mountains. Dmcq (talk) 23:58, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
Excellent example, Dmcq. I wish I'd said it first. :) - Jack Sebastian (talk) 00:01, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
I don't think so, especially since the argument depends on a reliable source that links the face to the actor/doctor. A closer analogy would be a movie that has a scene of an easily recognized mountain, say Mt. McKinley, in a movie named "Sunrise at Mt. McKinley", in which the article text refers to the mountain as Mt. McKinley, while citing a reliable source that has a picture of Mt. McKinley and text describing it. But these kind of analogies are not particularly useful. We are after all talking about the titular character in a popular series. To me the core issue is what can be both recognized by a number of editors who have consensus of what they are seeing, and what can be verified by others through reference to a readily accessible and reliable source. --Nuujinn (talk) 00:08, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
Er, i don't know what Mt.McKinley looks like. Seriously. I just went to the article for it, and it just looks like a mountain to me.
To me, the issue surrounds not just the categorizing of the faces we see by their placement (First Doctor, Fourth Doctor and so on) but whether it is necessary to even have this information, when it isn't intrinsic to the article at all. What's the point of having external links if we are going to try and cram every little bit about the article, uncited or otherwise, into the article. The only reason any real citations have even been added to the article regarding this matter is because of the increased scrutiny it is receiving. I can accept that it might be reasonable to identify the actors from their images flashing on the screen. I do not accept that they are being numbered without citation. That is synthesis, and not the "good" kind. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 00:27, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
To your first point, yes, and there's a reason for that--humans are built to recognize faces much more readily than other things, if you're interested in the topic please google Prosopagnosia. I think your other points have much value--I'm not concerned in this discussion about whether the content is appropriate to the article, as I think that discussion of that question belongs on the article's talk page. I'm just trying to weigh the issues related to whether simple identification against a readily accessible reliable source constitutes OR. FWIW, I agree that if there is no reliable source that can be used to verify the ordering of Drs. Who, or to map a face to an actor/instance of Dr. Who, we should not use it. To be clear, I'm just dealing with this issue as an abstract question, and haven't looked for or at any particular sources. And again, FWIW, I recognize that your concern about this being a potentially slippery slope is quite valid and needs consideration. The question is not trivial. --Nuujinn (talk) 00:40, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

So let me summarize what I think the general trend is here: In a case where a past character (and by extension, any clear visual element that has been established by other parts of the series the work belongs in), it is either 1) likely that the identification is necessary to the plot and thus will have been sourced as to its identity through a reliable source, or 2) is likely in the realm of trivia or detail not needed for Wikipedia and likely is not needed (even if it is sourced). I would argue this likely covers 99% of the cases where this comes up, but in that 1% case where - say, a notable work that doesn't get a detailed plot recap in RS but needed for completion - such identification of clear visual elements is not the type of synthesis that is bad, since it can be implicitly sourced to the primary work as a whole. However, any case where this may seem like the situation should probably be re-evaluated in the first two points given to simply avoid the question (either by sourcing or removal). --MASEM (t) 05:24, 16 July 2010 (UTC)