Wikipedia:No original research/Noticeboard/Archive 3

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Spam Issue

to whom it may concern

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Please see the detailed chronology of this matter at MediaWiki talk:Spam-blacklist#Unlist request of --A. B. (talkcontribs) 01:17, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

Map/primary source debate for Circumcision article

There is a discussion at Talk:Circumcision about the possible inclusion of a sentence describing the prevalence of circumcision in Eurasia. The sentence in question uses a World Health Organisation map showing prevalence of circumcision by country and religion data from Islam by country. The resulting sentence is: "Excluding majority Muslim countries and Israel, prevalence in Latin America[5] and Eurasia[1] is generally less than 20%[6] with the notable exceptions of..." One point of view is that this constitutes original synthesis, that this map is essentially a primary source as defined by Wikipedia, which we should not attempt to analyse, and that we should instead cite verifiable, albeit less concise interpretations from published sources instead. Another point of view is that: 1) this map, whose origin was from a larger document, is a secondary not primary source, being itself a synthesis of a large number of individual studies; 2) the sentence in question is therefore a prose rendering of secondary source information that happens to be presented in graphical form; and 3) is acceptable because there is no dispute about the accuracy of the sentence and that to the extent it may formally transgress WP:SYN this would be permissable under WP:IAR. Johncoz (talk) 00:34, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

As someone involved in the discussion (and who worked with Johncoz to prepare the above summary), I thought I'd further explain some of the issues here.
  • To clarify, there are two distinct issues:
    • The first issue is Synthesis. The question here is whether one can take data from a) the colour-coded map, and b) Wikipedia's article Islam by country, and from both create c) an assertion about the prevalence of circumcision that divides a continent into majority Muslim countries and non-majority Muslim countries. (I commented here on the difficulty in verifying this statement, and Johncoz kindly responded here, including a link to a table which he created. My concern is that we can't cite this table, since it is not published in a reliable source, and I feel very uncomfortable about bypassing the principle of verifiability.)
    • The second issue is presented as Primary vs secondary source, but would perhaps be better stated as "data" source vs "interpretation" source. In effect, the question here is at what point does a descriptive summary of a colour-coded map become interpretation or analysis? As with the synthesis issue, there are some differences of opinion here, and it would be helpful to get some more opinions.
  • Since it may be helpful to examine the text along with the sources, the sentence in question may be found in the first paragraph of "Prevalence of circumcision" here. Jakew (talk) 22:10, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
We have several problems here... first lets deal with the map... A map (or any other image) is a very poor source, and probably should not be used as a source at all. Maps and other images should illustrate what is in sources, not act as sources themselves. Since the map in question is based upon a larger document, why not cite that larger document instead? (I would assume that all the information depicted on the map is mentioned in the larger source).
Then we have to deal with using another wikipedia article as a source... One Wikipedia article is not considered a reliable source for another article (see WP:RS and WP:V).
Finally we have the syntesis issue... it is clearly OR. The statement needs to be cited to a reliable secondary source that draws the same conclusions as stated in the article. Blueboar (talk) 22:21, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
Blueboar, thank you for your response. Re the map, the larger document does summarise the map, but (apparently) the WHO decided to present detailed per-country estimates in the form of a colour-coded map rather than in a table or in prose. My belief is that we should treat it as we would a table. For example, if China is listed as <20%, we can state that, but we shouldn't interpret or try to generalise from the data as a whole. Do you think that's reasonable? Jakew (talk) 22:51, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
Can I assume you misspoke... surely the map summarizes the larger document and not the other way around. If the document states that China has <20%, I see nothing wrong with saying that in an article... but cite the larger document and not the just map. Blueboar (talk) 23:54, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
No, Jake did not misspeak – that's the problem. From the map, prevalence levels (they are in three bands), can be positively identified for 81 countries. The text only refers to about a dozen of these. The authors have synthesised many sources to deduce these prevalence levels but chose to present their results in graphical rather than textual or tabular format. Johncoz (talk) 00:29, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
Hmmm... that is strange. OK, I will take a step back here... If the map is published by the WHO, then it is not OR for us to bluntly state what is shown on the map. (note... I think there may be gounds for questioning whether the map is reliable... but that is a slightly different issue). Avoid any analysis or synthesis with other information such as the religion by country article. Blueboar (talk) 03:00, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
The kind of synthesis is not permitted, per WP:SYNTH. If a map makes straightforward statements that are simply reproduced, that's one thing, but combining it in this complex way with other sources is original research. Jayjg (talk) 02:22, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
In reply to Johncoz, I'd like to point out that while the text refers to relatively few countries, it does make a number of general statements which could be used. For example, the following is verifiable from the WHO's document: "The prevalence in low in Latin America. Circumcision is nearly universal in the Middle East and in Central Asia, but is generally low elsewhere in Asia. In Europe, circumcision is generally associated with religion or immigration." Jakew (talk) 12:13, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
I have some questions. Are the maps to be shown in the articles, in close proximity to the text? This would allow the reader see the data, provide backup in interpreting the sentence in question, and allow the reader to make his own decision, particularly if that reader can read a map (and specific reference is made to it). Is there any difference of opinion surrounding the sources of data used to make either of the maps, any areas of grey between the editors?
For the sake of transparency, I should also note that these views are from a retired map-type professional. I can read a map well and easily and consider maps, particularly in this case, the best avenue to present these facts.
If there are no disputes of the data on the maps, then there is no WP:SYN, since the presentation of data, be they words or graphics, is not trying to advance a particular position; they are only attempting to advance (state) the facts. An NPOV presentation of the facts with these two maps (individually) is relatively easy, since the two sets of facts (numbers and countries) speak for themselves if undisputed. Admittedly, there is some synthesis of data to get it into the map format, but this is not linked, blue SYN. I don’t think that this is in dispute.
The ‘prevalence’ map, imo is a secondary source and may be used because it is within a larger document and ‘nobody misspoke’, as noted above. The ‘Islamic map’ may be seen somewhat similarly, if the editors can agree that it has been sufficiently vetted with WP:V for inclusion in Wikipedia.
Another question of SYN, comes from the ‘overlay’ of these two maps (like the referenced table may have attempted to do in a different graphical way, but is (apparently) is not allowable). Again, this not a violation of SYN, since it only presents the facts (i.e. fact ‘a’ (country, number, variable ‘a’), plus fact ‘b’ (country, number, variable ‘b’), provides a data set that allows fact ‘c’ to become apparent. This is not advancing a position; it is advancing (presenting) the facts. Acceptance of this allows ‘the numbers to speak for themselves’, which is encyclopedic.
I believe the sentence in question is well stated based on the neutral facts, but also note an instance of non parallel construction. Assuming (I haven’t read the article) that the article includes Abrahamic religious references, it might be more neutral to restate the initial phrase as, ‘Excluding majority Jewish and Muslim countries….[as is]. This is based on the following facts a) Israel is the only Jewish majority country, b) it is placed in historical sequence, c) it tends to unify, not to divide and d) leaves it on religious, not political basis. Regards, CasualObserver'48 (talk) 08:04, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
Casual Observer: As the author of the sentence in question, allow me to clarify several points.
  • There is no current dispute among editors about the accuracy of sentence as a reflection of the WHO data. There had been concerns earlier of possible errors, but the WHO map was translated into tabular form and reconciled with the religious demographics of all Eurasian countries for the purpose of eliminating the possibility of error.
  • The issue therefore boils down to whether the sentence violates WP:SYN by linking two independent data sets.
  • The section in question is part of a 200-word summary in the main Circumcision article of the sub-article Prevalence of circumcision.
  • Needless to say I concur with your analysis, but am the first to admit that the situation is far from straightforward.
Johncoz (talk) 10:37, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
Let me summarise the problem, as I see it.
  1. The sources are a) a World Health Organisation map, and b) Islam by country. As Blueboar points out, the latter cannot be cited as a source, so if we consider the underlying sources we have a) the WHO map, and b) the (approx) 275 sources cited in Islam by country.
  2. From these (approx) 276 sources, we synthesise a table showing, per country, the prevalence of circumcision and the prevalence of Muslim religion. Hypothetically, we could propose to present this table as an article, and whether such an article would constitute WP:SYN is an interesting question itself. (Nobody has suggested that we do so.)
  3. We then analyse this table, stratifying by "Muslim > 50%", and make generalisations about each strata. No secondary source is cited for this interpretation.
  4. Nor can the reader verify the information from the table itself, because even if we presented it as an article, and even if we allowed ourselves to analyse the data in that table, we couldn't cite that article as a source.
To my mind, the question here is that if this doesn't violate WP:NOR and WP:V, what does? Jakew (talk) 12:36, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

While WP:SYN is an admitted issue, I do not believe WP:V is. If a reader were to take a blank map of Eurasia and some coloured pencils and use the sentence (with its link to Islam by country) they would end up with an exact replica of the WHO map, and indeed could not end up with anything else, unless they made a mistake. The point of producing the table was to prove exactly that. (The fact the Islam table is constituted from 275 sources is irrelevant; the WHO document has 191.)

As for the main issue, the principal question, it seems to me, is does the sentence distort the information in either data set, either unintentionally or to advance a position? I would argue it does not - it exactly represents the prevalence in Eurasia as graphically presented by WHO in the map. Johncoz (talk) 15:23, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

Johncoz, I'm not talking about verifying that the statement is true. I'm talking about Wikipedia's definition of verifiability: "that readers should be able to check that material added to Wikipedia has already been published by a reliable source". Hence, to my mind, the fact that a table (or colouring pencils) is needed is itself evidence of non-verifiability.
The reason why I mention the number of sources is that although the WHO map is a published document, we cannot cite Wikipedia's Islam by country article. (This would be different if a reliable source had published a global overview of Islam by country.) Hypothetically, if one were to make such a statement, we would thus have to cite the sources cited in that article instead.
I would disagree that the issue is whether the sentence distorts the information. We don't - and shouldn't - make an exception for "correct" original research, since that would require us to determine whether OR is accurate or not. We don't have any processes in place for enabling that to occur. Instead, we do not include any original research, and instead summarise statements in reliable sources. Jakew (talk) 16:02, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

Jake, if you read back over my last contribution you will see that we are singing from the same hymn book on verifiability. I identified the question as, "does the sentence distort the information in either data set?" In other words, is it an accurate representation of the info in the source, not is it accurate in the sense of being "true". (As a matter of fact, I believe the WHO is in error in relation to a number of countries, such as Slovenia and Malaysia, but that's not the issue). The test is whether the sentence is an accurate portrayal of the source, not of the real world. The coloured pencils provide a verification of this verifiability, but are not required to understand the meaning of the sentence. Johncoz (talk) 16:34, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

I think the meaning of the sentence is perfectly clear, Johncoz. The trouble lies in enabling the reader to verify it. I think that "verifiability" (in the Wikipedia sense) carries the expectation that a published source has performed the analysis, rather than that the reader could verify it by performing his own research. Put another way, verifiability means that you can verify something without performing OR (including SYN). Jakew (talk) 22:02, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
Reflecting on this discussion it now seems unlikely that a consensus can be built in favour of the current construction. I will accordingly submit a redraft of the passage to Talk:Circumcision. For the purposes of this noticeboard the matter can be considered resolved. Johncoz (talk) 09:39, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

Weird question

Here's a question for you all that seems to have arisen in some discussions with other editors. Suppose I'm reading a book and the description of a fictional character says he's 6ft tall (or maybe it says he's "about 6ft tall"). Is it original research if (for some reason) I put in the article that this fictional character is (about) 1.82m tall? (Which is approximately correct for the conversion, it's really 1.8288m.) Or how about if this is not about a fictional character, but about a real person (and I have some reliable source that says he's 6ft tall, or whatever)? Yeah, I know it's an odd question, but situations like this have really started to come up and it's claimed to be synthesis to do this. (Obviously it would be synthesis if you translated something like "he's 15 'hands' tall" into "he's 6ft tall" if there's no real-world equivalent of 'hand' and some unit of length given in the book.) --Craw-daddy | T | 23:38, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

Unit conversion and other, simple mathematical operations are not original research. Someguy1221 (talk) 23:49, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
Well, that was certainly my conclusion too, but your mileage may vary.  ;) --Craw-daddy | T | 00:30, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
To me, this sort of things seems no different than discretion over word choice or sentence structure. If a source claims that John gave X to Bob, can I say that Bob received X from John? Calling unit conversions original research is rediculous in almost all cases, with possibly a rare exception where the original unit is unusually ambiguous. Someguy1221 (talk) 06:52, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
It's not original research, but it's a dilemma, because "about 6 feet" is not the same thing as "about 1.82 meters". The former is a round number, while the latter sounds like a fairly exacting measurement. Given that anyone who reads wikipedia is theoretically educated and would know what a "foot" is, even if they don't use that in measuring, I don't see what the need would be for making such an exacting conversion. Also, consider this, that "about 6 feet" is not just about pure measurement, it's a cultural subtlety about a man's stature. That subtlety is lost in the cold and clinical metric system. (Which is just one of many reasons we Americans don't care for the metric system, but that's another story.) Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 08:51, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
I don't think you loose the cultural subtlety if you say "he was about 6 feet (1.82m) tall" Blueboar (talk) 13:29, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
How about 'about 1.8m tall' rather than 1.82.--Doug Weller (talk) 11:26, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
Or even "(just under 2m tall)"... we are giving an aproximation after all. Blueboar (talk) 14:55, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
That's not so weird. It shouldn't be a problem with original research, because you're doing a simple conversion of units. Actually neither would "hands", which is a unit of measure for the height of horses. However, you do have a problem with significant figures, going from one to three like that. Lots of people who are only 1.75m tall round up to 6 feet, you know. But I agree with the cultural subtlety about 6 feet being in the high-middle range of height and for that reason the height should be kept in English units. That song Cherry Pie by Warrant just wouldn't be as interesting in the metric system. Squidfryerchef (talk) 15:48, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

Need Help w/ "No Specialist Knowledge"

I am new to the whole Wiki thing so please bear with me. I got here from Google a few weeks ago. I am a current airline pilot. I did a little editing at 2008_Hewa_Bora_Airways_crash and one of my edits was rejected. I read the policy, support the revert, and admit that I screwed up. From there I started following the links around in the Wikipedia policies and reading, and the OR policy confuses me. If I understand it properly, it says I am not allowed to post anything that does not come from a reliable mass-media source and would not be easily apparent to a person with no specialist knowledge if they read/saw that same source. This would indicate to me that the entirety of my editing is original research, since it draws upon my specialist knowledge as a pilot. For example, the average individual does not know what a thrust reverser is, so even though I can clearly see the deployed reversers in the video cited by the article, and I know that means the crew tried to abort above V1, the average person has no clue what V1 or thrust reversers are, so I can't talk about that since the video did not specifically point that out. This by extension means the whole comment on past-V1 aborting is unsourced, and I have to put back the original comment. Did I get that right? If so, I'll go revert myself out. I hate doing it because the original statement was just plain wrong, but the rules are the rules.

-- (talk) 15:24, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

The main idea is that we're an encyclopedia, so we don't publish our own facts or opinions. However, I think that sometimes "original research" is overused in editing discussions, and sometimes the "original research" problem can be solved by phrasing something in a slightly different way. For instance, nobody would object if you were captioning a photograph of a cat and wrote the word "cat". For a thrust reverser, it might help if we had a page on thrust reversers and your caption "with thrust reverers deployed" wikilinked to it, then people could say "aha, that's what those are". While you cannot make the assertion, "because they had the thrust reversers deployed they must have been doing X", you can work on the page about thrust reversers to explain what they're used for, and interested persons can click through to it. Also if you see something that you think is false or unlikely, even if sourced, you can go to the talk page and suggest it be removed, or add qualifiers such as "the pop-culture magazine P said X". But please I would rather have more experts editing our pages, it just takes a little while to get used to the principles. Squidfryerchef (talk) 03:22, 6 May 2008 (UTC)
Also consider the fact that, as a pilot, you are quite likely to know which industry sources are reliable. See if any of these sources talk about the crash in question, and see if they mention the Thrust Reversers, V1, etc. Then you can add the information you want to add by citing it to reliable sources. Blueboar (talk) 15:01, 6 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Although you would not "have to put back the original comment" if it is also unsourced OR, as it is also not allowable. Better no statement on the crash from either perspective, than an OR comment which is also wrong. Faith (talk) 14:12, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for the help. Any major work will have to wait until I get back home and can get more reference material, but I think I should be able to clean up my mess here. (talk) 19:39, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

Internal consistency of the Bible

Resolved: listed for AfD

I'm looking for clarification and opinions regarding the majority (or at least the "meat") of Internal consistency of the Bible. The article includes two very, very large tables which make the article bloated beyond the recommended size, and seem to consist of primarily OR and WP:SYN. I've been working for several days to remove the opinions and replace them with cited quotes or paraphrases, but I think there is an overall problem with OR and SYN. Most of the questions that existed on the charts (before my edits) were uncited, biased, and leading toward a desired reader response (WP:PEACOCK) bits of OR. The compiling of verses against other verses is still OR and SYN violating. I feel it makes them impossible to reconcile and retain because they are fundamentally flawed from the foundation, beyond reasonal editing because it's like changing the paint colour on a house with a crumbling foundation. Example: If someone slaps you on the right cheek, turn and offer him your left. If a man wants to sue you for your shirt, let him have your coat as well. (Matt 5:38) vs. Whoever strikes another man and kills him must be put to death... When anyone reviles his father and his mother, he must be put to death. Since he has reviled his father and his mother, let his blood be on his own head...But when injury ensues, you are to give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn... If anyone injures and disfigures a fellow-country man, it must be done to him as he has done... You must show no mercy... Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones (Exodus 21:12 23-25; Leviticus 20:9 24:19; Deuteronomy 19:21 and Psalm 137:9 ). Uncited, it is unverifiable, and the product of various verses in the second part is an uncited SYN, making it a WP:SYN violation as well as OR. --Faith (talk) 00:51, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

  • The tables can now be found here for review, as I have been WP:BOLD and removed them for the reasons stated above. Faith (talk) 13:01, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
On first glance, the entire "Response" column has to go, as 1) It's an analysis of the relation/consistencies/inconsistencies between the other columns, 2) it's therefore Synthesis, and 3) it's not sourced to any independent, reliable source that would actually provide such an analysis. It can be verified that certain verses say certain things in certain translations, but what would the purpose of such a table be? I can see a section of prose stating something like "For example, the Sermon on the Mount is described in Matthew in a particular way, while the account found in Luke Verse such&such differs in several specific ways such as...[ref]" The critical element is that it's not an indiscriminate list, and it draws analysis from a reliable source able to provide such analysis. UltraExactZZ Claims ~ Evidence 13:09, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
I agree for unsourced responses, but not for sourced responses which specifically provide analysis for the verses highlighted in the question, e.g., John 5:31-33 v John 8:14 is specifically discussed by Scofield Reference Notes 1917 in relation to each other, or the examples on the first chart specifically addressed in the ref "Addition Does Not a Contradiction Make", so neither would be OR/SYN as they directly reference the verses. However, determination still has to be made whether the questions are OR/SYN (or if not, do they come from a WP:V and WP:RS?), and if they are OR/SYN, does that negate the chart before RS responses can even be taken into consideration (i.e., no response is needed if the question is considered invalid)? I believe they are OR/SYN, so I think we are looking at this from different angles, but in agreement in conclusion. I also agree "it's not an indiscriminate list" applies here as well. Faith (talk) 14:06, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
I find these tables extremely confusing. It is very unclear who is posing questions, and who is responding. My impression is that this is not only OR (in many cases it seems to be Wikipedians' analysis of the primary sources) but very non-NPOV treatment of criticism of the Christian Bible (presented as "questions" along with primary source material), and "answers" from a Christian perspective. If some sources criticise perceived inconsistencies and other sources reply to these criticisms, then a table may be a reasonable way to present these viewpoints, but the analysis (criticism/response) must be attributable to a secondary source. Jakew (talk) 14:31, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm puzzled with a situation in which a site such as is ok, but a secular humanist site has been removed simply because it is secular humanist and FaithF doesn't think secular humanists can be a reliable source for Biblical scholarship if I understand the edit summary made when it was removed.--Doug Weller (talk) 15:01, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
Are you are implying I think "" is an acceptable source? How did you reach that determination? Did I add the citation? No. Have I edited the section it is located in at all yet? I don't believe I have. If the article wasn't such a complete piece of crap full of policy violations, perhaps its cleanup would be an easier job, where all the garbage could be wiped out in a single pass. As it stands, I'm attempting to work from where I felt the worst examples of policy violation were located, removing uncited material & OR/SYN, then will move toward the smaller violations such as single examples of poor citations. I began with the charts, which are a complete mess (and had the secular source you mention), and also edited the introduction somewhat as it is the beginning of the article presenting the face of the discussion. I was trying to determine, firstly, if there were any redeeming qualities to the article to indicate its retention as a stand-alone article, or if after the garbage was removed, the article would wind up simply being a clearing house of bits from other articles. If you will note, I removed all manner of unsourced "Christian responses" from the charts with the same sharp knife as unsourced "Critics responses", then ultimately the charts themselves for the reasons listed (and now supported by others). A violation is a violation regardless of which side of the fence it sits. I don't like the ref either, but I have simply not gotten to that section yet. Perhaps, instead of slashing it about, you could have simply removed it if you feel so strongly about it, saving me the effort and aggravation. As for the "secular humanist site", don't attribute something to me I didn't say. My opinions on the matter can be found Talk:Internal_consistency_of_the_Bible#Is_Cline_really_a_reliable_source.3F where I discuss that particular source, asking if a secular humanist with no formal training in Theology can be a reliable source of Biblical scholarship. IMO, that source is a spam farm, no better than the Internet lists full of error and lacking any sort of fact checking or peer review that can be found in scholarly resources. YMMV. If you will note, my citations are coming from Wesley, Bible commentaries, etc., and if related to a specific denomination, from the official websites. Faith (talk) 16:35, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
I think Doug was highlighting the fact that the lookingtojesus source was judged using different criteria than the secular humanist source, and not that anyone did or did not advocate its inclusion in the article. A source is reliable and independent, or it is not - we don't get to pick and choose, which is - I hope - the point that Doug was making, though that speaks more to NPOV than OR. Faith, please calm down - we're all on the same team, here. UltraExactZZ Claims ~ Evidence 16:51, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
It's not a case of "calm down". Since I was named directly, I had the right to point out the error. Doug was not "highlighting the fact", because there was no fact to highlight; he was mistaken & I explained why he was mistaken. My subsequent removal of the source, after it was pointed out, should enforce that point. Faith (talk) 17:26, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
I know you'd removed a lot of OR 'Christian responses', but I thought, wrongly and probably carelessly you had gotten to that section. If I hadn't been guilty about taking too long a break from mowing the lawn I probably would have removed the ref you think I should have removed. But, what you wrote in your edit summary was "fix ref; is a secular humanist a reliable source of Biblical scholarship?" which did not look like a question about a specific site or person to me but a general query on a point of principle, which I think it is and to which I responded. And again in general, I do not believe you need formal training in theology to be a reliable source of Biblical scholarship.
One big gap still is that it gives the impression that there is no such thing as an 'errant Christian'. Which of course is not true. But I'm glad you've gotten rid of a lot of the chaff.--Doug Weller (talk) 18:03, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
My point was not that you should have removed it exactly, but that it would have been better to remove it rather than jumping to a conclusion of why I hadn't done so (and that it would have taken less time to remove it than to complain about it here.) As I said, it's just something I hadn't gotten to yet because there were more important things, IMO, to edit first. I have yet to attack many of the smaller sections in the middle, simply adding 'citation needed' tags in the hope someone else will get to them first. That edit summary was constrained by space, and admittedly not worded to my best point, but my full point was made at nearly the same time in Talk. Faith (talk) 18:16, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
Regarding the questions, let me ask this - who asked them? If we did, then we can't include them. But I have to believe that any independent and reliable source that does analyze the differences between verses and versions would describe the question that source answers, and the source could be used to cite the difference. The format here is misleading; instead of a question-answer format, it might be more prudent to move to prose. I'm envisioning something like a paragraph for each such discrepancy, such as "Biblical Scholar John Q. Example notes discrepancies between accounts of the Sermon on the Mount. the event is described in one gospel thus, and in a second gospel in these different ways. Dr. Example notes that, given known historical facts about the Roman Empire at the time, that the account in the second gospel is more consistant with known history. [ref]" and so on. The "questions" and "answers" both come from the same source. UltraExactZZ Claims ~ Evidence 16:57, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
Who knows who asked them? They are unsourced for the most part, unverifiable because they lack the citations (never mind misleading, out-of-context and full of errors). Despite what you "envision", we have to first deal with what is present, which do NOT in any stretch of the imagination meet the "independent and reliable source that does analyze the differences between verses and versions would describe the question that source answers, and the source could be used to cite the difference" criteria you outlined above. Faith (talk) 17:26, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
That was sort of my point; if there isn't a source attached, they should probably be removed. UltraExactZZ Claims ~ Evidence 18:11, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
Okay. I'll wait for just a few more days, and if there isn't major bitching here or on the article talk page, I'll recommend the list page for deletion. Faith (talk) 18:17, 7 May 2008 (UTC)


I was working on straigtening out an article on a topic which had elicited a great deal of speculation and debate, but after finishing it I think it might be original research. I've used mostly 19th century newspapers as my source, accessed through subscription databases. Oddly, I cannot find any specific mention in the policies on how newspapers are treated, but I think that they fall under primary sources. Although I've attempted to be as transparent as possible, I think that ultimately I've created original research. No published source has assembled the information in the same way I have, mostly owing to the recent increase in online searchable databases of historic newspapers. In the article I come to the conclusion that there is yet no conclusion, but that in itself seems to be a conclusion, and thus original research. Any thoughts on this? OwenSaunders (talk) 15:08, 10 May 2008 (UTC)

Oops, I just realized that I may have posted this in the wrong area. I have not received any notices about this article. The draft is residing on my user page while I figure out whether or not it should be moved over to the entry.OwenSaunders (talk) 15:31, 10 May 2008 (UTC)

There's different points of view on newspapers. One point of view is that a newspaper is automatically a secondary source. Another point of view (which I don't subscribe to) is that only "analysis" articles in a newspaper qualify as secondary sources. A third point of view is that a current newspaper article is a secondary source, but a historical newspaper article is a primary source. Anyway as far as OR, the question is, have you created any facts that only exist on the Wikipedia? That's OR. Some editors love to waste time arguing that assembling things together is OR, but that's not the policy, not unless you use them to make a deduction. There are other policies about grouping facts together, such as WP:COATRACK. Why don't you show us the article in question? Squidfryerchef (talk) 15:39, 10 May 2008 (UTC)

I'm now pretty sure that it is not the correct form for Wikipedia, but how/where would I show you the article?OwenSaunders (talk) 15:45, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

Is this the Welsh Rarebit thing? Wow, that's a lot of detail. Not sure if it's OR. Usually if someone's gone to the trouble to ask here, it's not OR. Might be too much detail for the article though (which can cause some editors to make accusations of OR). Probably the best thing to do is to go slowly, merging facts from your draft into the WP article on Welsh rarebit piece by piece, so all the editors can look them over and copyedit as they come in. Squidfryerchef (talk) 03:57, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

Ypatingasis būrys

Could uninvolved editors take look at this: Talk:Ypatingasis_būrys#Another_round_of_original_research, one party adding information, which in my view, fails to meet WP:NOR (and WP:SYN), WP:V. WP:3O provided suggestion but other party refusing to follow it. And now I am stuck, please provide your thoughts. Thanks, M.K. (talk) 09:29, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

Court opinion v. court documents

I am new to Wikipedia and am trying to understand the WP:NOR policy with respect to the use of court opinions as sources. My question is: Are court opinions primary or secondary sources? The WP:NOR article encourages the use of secondary sources, but cautions about using primary sources. It lists trial transcripts as primary sources. However, a court opinion is significantly different from a trial transcript because it is a judge's analysis and synthesis of material presented at trial. Thus, it seems to fit the WP:NOR definition of a secondary source.

For example, I added a cite to a court opinion to verify factual information about the Church of Scientology litigation against Gerry Armstrong. In the last 3 paragraphs of the Gerry Armstrong article I summarized the convoluted procedural history of the litigation based on the court's opinion. I posted the actual opinion at Wikisource [5] and linked to it for easy verification. Is this potentially raising original research issues? Taiwan prepares (talk) 20:35, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

Without touching on whether it is a primary or secondary source, I would always advise strong caution when using court opinions and documents. Legal scholars, courts, lawyers and expert writers debate about the meaning of even relatively plain cases. Every decision is impacted by a complex cocktail of case law, including (but not limited to) general tradition, legislative intent, previous cases and administrative precedent. Some cases are a bit more clear than others, as are some assertions. Generally, you want to take great care to report as plainly as possible nothing more than what the source states and similar care to ensure that the material does not advance another position by its presentation. In this case, it seems like a fairly accurate and matter-of-fact reporting of what the source states. The only concern I would raise in this instance is not one of original research, but one of proper weight. It seems like a lot of text in general, and a very large part of the current article. If no secondary sources make any note of the case, and case history, it should not receive more than a passing mention (if that). In general, I would recommend a serious injection of reliable independent sources, to avoid problems. Vassyana (talk)
As Vassyana says, a courts opinion can be many things. I examined the case, from the California Court of Appeals, and if I were citing it for the underlying facts, I'd give it as the opinion of the court only. for the use that you want to make of it, saying what the legal status is of the various proceedings, I think it's authoritative, if there's no subsequent decision. DGG (talk) 02:45, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

Sabretooth (comics), Dog Logan and original research

I was wondering if someone adept in how original research works could read the following things and tell me if this constitutes as original research.

Thanks.--CyberGhostface (talk) 18:17, 17 May 2008 (UTC)

It does seem like OR to me. In the Sabretooth article, the comparison between Dog Logan and Sabretooth's appearance would have to be sourced to a reputable third party -- it's original research to posit a resemblance and use the picture as evidence. Given that the only third-party comment in either article on this topic is the creator of Dog Logan rejecting the notion that the two characters are the same person, there's really no grounds for including the material at all. (If there were sourced conflicting views on the issue, the quote from Paul Jenkins would be relevant, but without a reputable third party making the Sabretooth = Dog Logan claim, it just seems like trivia in the Logan article.)
Similarly, if there was sourced material suggesting a connection, then the picture might be useful, but given that there's not and that it makes use of artwork that's presumably still under copyright, it also should go.Gusworld (talk) 11:36, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

Potential superpowers and Potential great powers

These two articles use an infobox that "summarizes" the material in the text. There are a myriad of other issues with these articles, but this one in particular seems like blatant original synthesis. The folks who are generally involved with the articles like them, though, and I'm not going to start an edit war by removing them without some better consensus. They are handy visual aids, but they just don't have much basis in verifiable source.Somedumbyankee (talk) 08:15, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

I agree -- there's no material in the text which would justify such precise graphing in each case, so unless someone can specifically source them (which seems unlikely on the face of it) they should go. At the very least it would need to be established that reputable academics do perform this kind of summary analysis. The maps at the top of each article are also suspect -- the bit about the US being included 'for reference' on Potential great powers is particularly dodgy, I think. Those aren't so much OR problems though. Gusworld (talk) 11:19, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

NOR concerning pseudoscientific claims

Hello everybody, I was wondering if you could have a look at the article on Turkey Mountain (Oklahoma) and the content I had put up there. On that mountain, there is a cave with a few short inscriptions ("PIA" and a few line markings), read by enthusiasts as a bilingual note in Iberian and Ogham script. The point they have made is that both inscriptions mean "white", once in "P-Celtic" and once in Punic. This claim is highly pseudoscientific, but has been printed, while no scientific publication so far has bothered to include a detailed rebuttal.
Apart from the obvious objections, including those invoking the wide gaps in time (a few centuries) and space (the Atlantic) as well as Ockam's Razor that one might consider (but which I did not raise, in order not to violate OR), there is one simple problem: If these signs were indeed Iberian and Ogham, they would have to be read completely differently. In other words, the person who "deciphered" them assigned them more or less random meanings. The two writing systems in question are common knowledge among Celticists, and the reading of the inscription would be a pretty straightforward matter.
My problem is this: As a linguist specialised in early Celtic and Germanic philology, I think it should be mentioned in the article that the person did more or less the same as someone who claims that the word "apple" would actually have to be read as "wambo", (meaning "white" in a randomly chosen language). The writing systems can easily be double-checked in the respective Wikipedia articles. If someone insisted ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ had to be read as "moose", would it violate OR to include a more correct transcription in the article page? In other words: Does the act of reading and transcribing from an alphabet other than our own constitute OR?
A wikipedia user (User:Til_Eulenspiegel) who seems to be worried about the quality of the article has repeatedly invoked SYNT and OR against a correct transcription. Before I just keep re-inserting it, I thought I'd ask you who read the notice board for your opinions. Thanks a lot, Trigaranus (talk) 23:46, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

I suspect there's an easy solution here, and it doesn't involve performing OR. It sounds as though the article may already be giving undue weight to a viewpoint that's held by a very small number (perhaps even one) of authors. Is that correct? If so, it may simply be a fringe theory that, quite simply, doesn't belong in the article. Jakew (talk) 23:57, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
To answer your direct question... it depends who is doing the "reading and transcribing from an alphabet other than our own." If it is a Wikipedia editor then, yes, it would be OR. If it is a published source then, no, it isn't OR. (not at all sure how synt comes in to play). However, I do agree with Jakew... I would say that OR may be irrelavent... if it is indeed a fringe topic, the guidelines at WP:FRINGE will come into play. ie... This may well be material that is not notable enough for inclusion. Blueboar (talk) 00:23, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
Gloria Farley(Indians are savages unless they are Christian)'s book is on a private website and she is definitely an unreliable source, however much she may be revered by others who believed that everyone discovered America (by the way, they like to call themselves diffusionists -- but every archaologist accepts diffusion, they are really hyperdiffusionists. The other link is to a blog. The article itself says that McNeil agrees with her, which he does, but that's all he does, he doesn't say he did any work on it. I agree with Bklueboard, get rid of virtually all the fringe stuff, make it an article on Turkey Mountain, with sources such as [6], [7] (ok, there are probably better), [8] etc. Doug Weller (talk) 09:04, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

Comparison of Windows Vista and Windows XP

I prod-ed this before as an essay/original research, and it's been recreated again. To me it smacks of original research and opinion; for example Vista may have been criticised in the press for DRM but would the ordinary user care? Other comparison pieces (for example Comparison of Microsoft Windows versions) are simply limited to facts. I don't want to prod it again just yet until I get some other opinions. --Blowdart | talk 18:41, 25 May 2008 (UTC)

What I'm wondering is the justification for a separate article. The differences are covered in Features new to Windows Vista and, as you say, Comparison of Microsoft Windows versions. There's definitely material in here that violates OR, but there's also a broader question of whether this material needs to be covered in a separate article at all, even if it was sourced. (By the way, I think sourced criticisms of the DRM implementation are legitimate, and not necessarily dependent on whether the ordinary user would notice or care, but this article isn't a sensible place for them to go, and there's plenty on that topic in Criticism of Windows Vista.) In short, it seems to me an unnecessary essay that doesn't add to Wikipedia and duplicates points made more appropriately elsewhere. Gusworld (talk) 21:30, 25 May 2008 (UTC)

When does adding up become original research?

I regularly edit popular music-related articles, and many editors are obsessed (there's really no other word) with adding sales totals for indiviudal singles or albums. A common tactic to source these is to take individual charts from a source such as United World Chart (each weekly chart includes a sales total for that week), add the figures together, and then include them in the article along with references to each chart.

Now, it seems to me that this violates the synthesis policy: it involves taking information from multiple sources (in this case, multiple individual charts), and combining them to advance a position (in this case, the claim that a particular record has sold X copies, when X is a figure not found in any sources). While this involves simple maths rather than drawing an inference, it still seems to fall into the domain of original research as far as I can see. Is that the correct reading of the policy? Gusworld (talk) 01:46, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

Simple arithmetic should not pose any problem. i.e. there's no "different" way to add the figures together that could result in a conclusion original to the Wikipedia. Squidfryerchef (talk) 15:20, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
If it were simple arithmetic based on a single source it might be ok (but taking account of potential pitfalls such as overlapping sales periods, etc., it might be best to err on the side of caution). However, if the calculation is based on figures from multiple sources, then I'd agree: it's original synthesis. Jakew (talk) 22:13, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
It sounds to me like this is adding the same figure from multiple issues of the same source. We should be able to do this all in one footnote, with the right notation. Put something like "Σ Jan..Dec" in the citation template. But it seems to me like this is really a concern about "cruft", not original research. Squidfryerchef (talk) 15:38, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
There's definitely a "cruft" element that comes up, but I can see a legitimate case for saying what sales an album has had in a given country or worldwide. But suppose an album stays on the chart for 15 weeks; that requires 15 URLs to be included in the footnote in order for anyone else to verify the number, and that still feels like synthesis to me. Appreciate the point about not being able to come up with a different result -- hadn't looked at it that way. Gusworld (talk) 21:49, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm not sure about that. Here's my reasoning: copies of an album sell whether it is listed in a chart or not, so unless I'm missing something, one couldn't correctly calculate the total sales in this way. At best, one could calculate the minimum total sales. If there are alternative methods (or indeed alternative charts), then there might be any number of results for the minimum sales figure, depending on the method chosen. Jakew (talk) 22:10, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
Absolutely. The only potentially viable option is to say "According to the Apparent World Chart, Hot Polka Party sold 3.1 million copies between January and May 2007", which is a more precise claim. Still leaves the question of whether this is OR or not open to debate, of course. Gusworld (talk) 22:23, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
Yes, that is a lot better, but I'd feel a bit uneasy about it because of the attribution. If I see something in an article that says "according to X, Y is true", then my expectation is that X actually says that Y is true, not that someone else has calculated Y from data in X. To be precise, I'd prefer something like "Using data from the Apparent World Chart...", but to my mind that's like waving a big flag that says "original research this way!" Jakew (talk) 22:57, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
About "cruft", what I was getting at the article might look problematic if there's 30 citations under one number, and its tempting to use the "original research" policy to fix the problem. My opinion is that it's not an "original research" problem but maybe some other kind of problem. Jakew has a point that adding up sales from a chart wouldn't include sales from before [or after] the song was popular. The Gusworld wording handles this well, and with some careful handling of the citation tag, this could be done in one footnote without cluttering the article. Squidfryerchef (talk) 03:47, 6 May 2008 (UTC)
Point well taken -- undoubtedly in many contexts where this kind of material occurs, there are bigger picture issues of relevance/focus which might mean that OR is not the biggest problem. I still can't help feeling that when we're facing a situation where somebody has added together a long sequence of numbers and presented them as a single number, we're pretty much in OR/synth territory though. Quoting the individual numbers with appropriatie citations is obviously not controversial (in an OR/citation sense, though it might well be a violation of WP:IINFO). However, when we're combining multiple pieces of information from separate sources, that looks like OR to me. I can see that it's not a clear and unambigious judgement call though. While the information can potentially be verified, that's not a trivial task for many people (a point underscored by the sometimes faulty addition that accompanies such citations). Gusworld (talk) 04:17, 6 May 2008 (UTC)
Simple arithmetic wouldn't be OR, just like conversions from feet to meters, because there's no unique "art" in the conversion that creates a fact only found on Wikipedia. Now whether this figure is good for the article is another matter, as is whether it's practical to keep updating the sales figures. Squidfryerchef (talk) 13:09, 6 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Simple arithmetic is often not so simple, as pointed out above though, where overlapping figures have to be taken into consideration. I think the important point missed here is OR violations can be avoided by notability considerations; if it's notable, some reliable source will have already done the maths, thereby solving any problem with when it can be included/excluded. Faith (talk) 14:18, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
if it's notable, some reliable source will have already done the maths. Not necessarily, especially for us who work on obscure subjects. I think our editors know how to add, and our community can debate whether the figure is helpful to the article. There's two different issues here with regard to using math. One is the addition itself; there's only one way to do it, so it does not create any original facts. The other is, does the resulting figure belong in the article? For instance, you could take the (positive) square root of the sales figure. Not an original fact, but it doesn't belong in the article either. Squidfryerchef (talk) 15:47, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
I agree that notability should definitely be a consideration as well, but in (say) a discussion of a particular album, worldwide sales would undoubtedly be notable if they could be reliably sourced. The question remains of whether combining reliable but separate sources is OR (and I'm still arguing that it is).
Re maths: my reading of the OR policy doesn't seem to make exceptions for things that are easy to calculate from multiple sources. Conversions are a slightly different case; it's applying a single calculation to a figure that itself would presumably already be sourced. In this case, multiple figures from separate sources are being synthesised, which doesn't seem like the same approach to me. If we convert (say) the height of a mountain from metres to feet, we're still expressing one fact and not contradicting our original source. If we add together six weeks' sales, we're reaching a conclusion that none of our sources actually contain. Gusworld (talk) 01:23, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
I agree, Gusworld. I tend to think that unit conversion is a form of translation, so applying the spirit of WP:VUE, it's legitimate to do so (but the original figure should be mentioned in a footnote or something). To stretch your analogy somewhat beyond breaking point, if no reliable sources estimated the volume of the mountain, it would be original research for us to calculate it on the basis of other published statistics. Jakew (talk) 11:00, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
Remember that in the original case, they weren't adding figures from different authors, which is a different matter than adding the same figure from multiple issues of the same source. Also the example about estimating the volume of a mountain is a good example about when we stray into OR. Figuring the volume of a cone is not OR because there's only one way to do it. Making an estimate of the volume of a mountain requires some judgement on the person doing the estimating and that's OR. Squidfryerchef (talk) 12:04, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
"Not necessarily, especially for us who work on obscure subjects." That opens another can of worms. If it's too obscure to be noted in a RS, then it's too obscure for WP under WP:NOTE. Editors shouldn't be performing their own SYN of the material; it boils down to OR, in that they researched figures, regardless same source or not, and compiled them to draw a new conclusion ("total sales for period x through x") not found in a RS. Where do the separate figures come from? If there is a general list of links, then linking to that list would be the better way to go than to post 30 different URLs. Faith (talk) 09:16, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
Notability is for the article as a whole, not for each fact in the article. It doesn't work to say "this album is notable but how many copies it sold is not". In this case, the separate figures came from the same source. Squidfryerchef (talk) 17:36, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

One element of original research is that wikipedia is not a news outlet, nor should be the first source to publish information. We can't say "Band X sold Y records" if there is no other source that says that. Requiring the reader to add sales figures for verification purposes is a bit much, and it assumes that we understand the intricacies of how sales figures are calculated. -Andrew c [talk] 14:56, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

The intricacies of simple addition? Squidfryerchef (talk) 17:36, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
Simple addition is the easy part. The part that requires expert knowledge is knowing whether and when it is appropriate to use simple addition. Jakew (talk) 18:17, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

Here's a concrete example to demonstrate the issue: Mariah Carey albums discography. If you check the entry for E=MC2 (the last album in the discography), you'll see it has a US sales total with six footnotes, all sourced from Billboard. The references are accurate and the numbers have been added up correctly, but I can't see how combining six separate figures isn't OR (and I've largely been responsible for maintaining this total). Other arguments about whether this is relevant information could also apply, as noted. Gusworld (talk) 23:48, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

Because they all come from the same source. It's just the same if you added up a column of numbers that were on the same page. We are allowed to summarize sources, and that is what's going on, in the most literal sense of the term. Of course all this adding and footnoting sounds like too much work, and I understand the concern that it misses the "long tail" of sales when not on the charts. I'd suggest taking this discussion to one of the music-related projects, as they probably have an opinion on the best way to handle sales data. Squidfryerchef (talk) 01:24, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
To me, the rules regarding summary and synthesis mean that you can summarise what a particular source document says, but you can't summarise multiple sources, even if they come from the same publisher. That is, adding together numbers within an individual document would be acceptable, but adding together numbers from separate documents (which is what happens here) is synthesis, as it's not summarising what one source says, but what multiple sources say. Gusworld (talk) 09:16, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
This is summarizing serial documents from the same source, not merely from the same publisher. We've probably exhausted the possibilities of being able to say "this is definitely OR", or "definitely not OR", and it's time to seek input from a different talk page. My opinion is that it isn't "original research" ( there is no unique art in saying "here are the weeks the album charted, add them up, and use that figure with a caveat" ), but it sounds like too much work to keep maintaining these totals. Is there an easier way to handle album sales? Squidfryerchef (talk) 01:43, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

A More Perfect Union: Advancing New American Rights

The first 70 pages of A More Perfect Union: Advancing New American Rights are biographical. Can I use this content for Jesse Jackson, Jr.? The book has a co-author.--TonyTheTiger (t/c/bio/WP:CHICAGO/WP:LOTM) 17:27, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

I am fairly certain that for things like the neighborhood he grew up in, the name of his elementary school and his wedding date it is O.K., but can I use it for details of his college experience and early political activities.--TonyTheTiger (t/c/bio/WP:CHICAGO/WP:LOTM) 18:32, 24 May 2008 (UTC)
An independant source would be preferred... but if one can not be found, the source is acceptable as a autobiography. Blueboar (talk) 11:04, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
Agreed, with the caveat that it would be superceded if a more independent source contradicts it. UltraExactZZ Claims ~ Evidence 14:31, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

Ghetto benches

Input of uninvolved editors regarding WP:SYN policy is strongly required in this discussion [[9]]. This a hot topic, it is about a policy of racial segregation of Jews in pre-war Poland. There a lot of emotions, and very little common sense so far. Cheers. M0RD00R (talk) 19:32, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

I can't comment on whether the "Politechnika Lwowska 1844-1945" article connects the "ghetto bench" system with the incidents of Oct. 1939 because I don't speak Polish, but another option is to move the disputed paragraph to the history section of Lviv Polytechnic. Squidfryerchef (talk) 01:52, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

Material sourced to archives, e.g. UK National Archives

Is it acceptable to use as sources information accessible only through an archive (in this case, the UK's The National Archives) that does not appear to have been otherwise published? In this case, it's an internal Royal Air Force report now accessible this way being used on Cap Arcona.

Another issue that's come up there is whether a response from those who administer the UK's Freedom of Information Act that no records exist on a topic can be used or is OR (I'm inclined to the latter). Matthew Brown (Morven) (T:C) 19:24, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

I would say Yes to the material sourced to the National Archives (as anyone could go there and verify what is in the document), and No to the response from the FoIA administrator (as personal correspondence is not verifiable). Blueboar (talk) 19:36, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
"personal correspondence is not verifiable", unless it was published by a reliable source Faith (talk) 01:09, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
Surely though (to play devil's advocate) if anybody "can" visit the archives, then anybody can also personally correspond with (e.g.) the FoIA people..? ntnon (talk) 01:34, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
But anyone who visits the archives can see the same documents that were cited in the article. They can't see personal correspondence. They can have an exchange of correspondence themselves, and the material information in the reply might be identical, but no-one else would be able to verify those responses either. Gusworld (talk) 04:52, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
Personal correspondence could be the documents in question; held by the National or any university archive. The negative criteria break down at this point! MartinSFSA (talk) 15:13, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

Primal Therapy

Hello. There is a dispute on the Primal Therapy article regarding no original research. Specifically, one of the edit warriors there has created a self-published website in which he makes anonymous serious claims about 3rd parties. He then inserted quotations from himself of his opinions into the text of the wikipedia article itself.

I removed that quotation (although I didn't remove the reference to the self-published website), and I added something to the discussion in which I pointed out that the quotation violates no original research and WP:verifiability.

My change was reverted, the quotation was re-added to the page, and it was pointed out (in the discussion) that the author was an "eyewitness" so it's supposedly legitimate. I pointed out that no original research specifically forbids "eyewitness" testimony from anonymous, self-published websites; and I removed the quotation again. This time, I provided a detailed explanation on the discussion page of which policies the quotation violates and why (here, at the bottom of the section).

My change was reverted again, and the quotation was re-added, this time without discussion.

I do not wish to revert any further because I would run afoul of the 3RR rule. Furthermore, I don't wish to participate in the ferocious edit war raging there. The user in question (PsychMajor902) has made 12 consecutive reversions to various primal therapy-related pages over the last several days, and it seems probable that he will revert my changes once again. (Note that sometimes he reverts by not using the 'undo' button but by manually reverting the text).

Please note that most of the page editors are "interested parties", including myself--I underwent primal therapy many years ago and did not witness the events claimed on the author's self-published website. However what I witnessed (or didn't witness) is not really relevant; wikipedia is not the place for personal observation or opinion. I just wanted to offer a full disclosure here.

I don't believe there's any possibility of consensus, since I have pointed out (repeatedly and in great detail) the relevant wikipedia policies, but the the editors in question revert relentlessly anyway without any meaningful discussion or explanation.

I would like the page to be protected with the quotation removed, and for the relevant editor (PsychMajor902) to be limited to one reversion. Thanks.Twerges (talk) 23:17, 11 May 2008 (UTC)

Hmm. An unpublished eyewitness account should not be added to an article, but if the claim is attributed to a source, the question is whether that source is reliable. True, one can argue that if the source is unreliable then it is as good as no source, and hence OR, but I think that analysis is more complicated than it needs to be. The fundamental question, as far as I can tell, is whether this website is a reliable source (there may also be WP:COI issues involved, but this is largely a behavioural issue, not a content issue). The RS noticeboard may be the best place. Jakew (talk) 00:05, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
Jakew, the source is clearly not a reliable source according to wikipedia RS. The source is self-published, anonymous, contentious, and makes claims against 3rd parties. The WP:Reliable_sources policy claims that sources cannot be self-published in most cases, and if they are, they can't be anonymous, contentious, or make claims against 3rd parties. I could post this to the reliable sources noticeboard, but it's not the source or its citation that I object to, but rather the inclusion of the editor's personal opinions in the article itself.
The reason I brought it up here is because I'm certain the source is not reliable according to WP:Reliable_sources, but I don't wish to remove the reference to the source altogether. I don't object to the inclusion of the source; I just wish to prevent the editor from inserting quotations from himself about his own observations. Thus it seemed to me to be an original research issue.
I realize there could be WP:coi issues here as well, but I don't wish to pursue them since they're a behavioral issue. I'm not trying to get the editor in trouble. I only wish to remove the material which clearly violates policy.Twerges (talk) 00:54, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
Nevermind, I added this to the reliable sources noticeboard as per your suggestion. Thanks.
The addition of that link and quote does not violate wiki policy. There is no evidence it is original research created for or on the wikipedia site. The source is reliable and has a couple of pages on the site that relate to verifying it, one of which shows proof of years of attendance. It is clearly marked as subjective criticism and opinion. It is probably more reliable as Janov's own claims. There is no evidence that the editors disagreeing with twerges are "interested parties" or that the editors are the author of the mnaterial. This in my opinion is an attempt to remove criticism by trying to find whatever wiki policies can be found to argue the case. Aussiewikilady (talk) 05:53, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
The entire section "Debunking Primal Therapy is a website set up by a former primal therapist trainee, and addresses such issues as peer review, falsifiability, bias, justification and other social psychological effects behind primal therapy. In the section on cohort observations of the early 2000s the author writes about his admittedly non-experimental observations:" as well as the following quote is unacceptable. this is not a RS for criticism, in the absence of some specific evidence that the author is a recognized expert, and recognized as such by neutral parties. Not is it acceptable as an external link, for the same reason. And it isn't needed, there';s enough other criticism from better sources. I can';t imagine how anyone would think any of this personal experience stuff can be seriously defended as content. DGG (talk) 00:23, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
Indeed. Please see further discussion at RS/N. Jakew (talk) 11:32, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
Clearly fails Verifiability Policy's sections on "Reliable Sources" and "Self-published material".--Hu12 (talk) 14:32, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

Doctor Who

There are two debates going on, here and here. There's a fair amount of snippiness being tossed around by those in favour of the speculative info; please comment there rather than here, just so everyone's centralised. Thanks! ╟─TreasuryTag (talk contribs)─╢ 20:54, 6 June 2008 (UTC)


I've just opened a policy RfC over at Talk:Arrow_Air_Flight_1285#Image about whether a Wikipedian's "artist's impression" of an event constitutes OR. I opted for a general policy RfC over bringing it up here since there are other policy questions that have been raised as well. Input welcome! --Rlandmann (talk) 04:18, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

Advice or Opinions

Would the example below constitute original research?

Actual Source verbatim: Famine begins. Prime Minister Robert Peel orders corn and meal to be sent from the United States. A Relief Commission is set up under Edward Lucas. David Ross, Ireland: History of a Nation, Geddes & Grosset (Scotland 2006) ISBN 13: 978 1 84205 164 1 , p. 311
Actual text added to article: The British Conservative Prime Minister Robert Peel, immediately recognizing that the circumstances in Ireland meant that this crop failure could cause famine, ordered Indian corn and meal to be sent from the United States and a Relief Commission set up.

:Actual Source verbatim: Whig government falls. Lord Russell’s Tory government halts food and relief works (re-instates them by end of year). The Central Relief Committee of the Society of Friends is set up to alleviate suffering.David Ross, Ireland: History of a Nation, Geddes & Grosset (Scotland 2006) ISBN 13: 978 1 84205 164 1 , p. 311

:Actual text added to article: The new Whig administration under Lord Russell, influenced by their laissez-faire belief that the market would provide the food needed, then halted government food and relief works leaving many hundreds of thousands of people without any work, money or food. David Ross, Ireland: History of a Nation, Geddes & Grosset (Scotland 2006) ISBN 13: 978 1 84205 164 1 , p. 311

:Actual text added to article: Private initiatives such as The Central Relief Committee of the Society of Friends (Quakers) attempted to fill the gap caused by the end of government relief and eventually the government reinstated the relief works, although bureaucracy made food supplies slow to be released. David Ross, Ireland: History of a Nation, Geddes & Grosset (Scotland 2006) ISBN 13: 978 1 84205 164 1 , p. 311

If an additional source was then added to support the first, would I be right in saying that unless both sources unequivocally reach the same conclusion then the editor is engaged in original research? Thanks--Domer48 (talk) 18:35, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

I don't think this is really a case of OR... but it is a case of the source not backing the specific claim. As to your second question... As long as one of the sources backs the conclusion stated in the article, it should be fine. Blueboar (talk) 19:01, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for that, what policy do we have for a source not backing a specific claim? Under our policy of WP:OR it states that, "to demonstrate that you are not presenting original research, you must cite reliable sources that provide information directly related to the topic of the article, and that directly support the information as it is presented." The information which appears in the Source text dose not "support the information as it is presented," in the Article. If it is not WP:OR, would it be WP:SYN, or are they not the same thing? --Domer48 (talk) 19:29, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

It isn't really SYN... (that is a specific type of OR... puting two sources together and reaching a novel conclusion that is not stated in either of them, which isn't happening here). I think I should clarify my comment above ... When I said that this does not seem to be a case of OR, I am assuming that there is another source out there that could back up the statements. If there isn't such a source then we would indeed be in OR territory (for example: how do we know that the Russel government was "influenced by their laissez-faire belief"). Does that help?

Yes that helps me out alright, I'll have to think it over. --Domer48 (talk) 08:46, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

The policies aren't like legislation, and you don't have to sort out whether the problem violates some particular sub-clause as opposed to another in a legalistic sense. If the source does not say the same thing as the claim made here, the claim isn't verified. Unverified claims can't go in articles. If claims invent specific details which aren't in the source, then those specific details aren't verified, and can't go in. If I'm reading your examples correctly there has been a good deal of unverified embellishment added beyond what the source actually said. That's not allowed, perhaps it's because it's original research but then again it could be complete fiction or conjecture. If not, if it comes from broader background material from other sources, those sources should be identified and cited. Professor marginalia (talk)

Thank you very much for that. That’s exactly my reading of it, and would I be right in saying that the embellishments make it misleading if presented as stand alone statements. The reason I ask is that I can provide statements from notable sources (the source above is a general history) which contradict these statements with subject pacific books and authors.--Domer48 (talk) 17:21, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

Not sure I understand your question. From your example, a strike-thru through embellishing commentary:
  • Actual Source verbatim: Famine begins. Prime Minister Robert Peel orders corn and meal to be sent from the United States. A Relief Commission is set up under Edward Lucas. David Ross, Ireland: History of a Nation, Geddes & Grosset (Scotland 2006) ISBN 13: 978 1 84205 164 1 , p. 311
  • Actual text added to article: The British Conservative Prime Minister Robert Peel, immediately recognizing that the circumstances in Ireland meant that this crop failure could cause famine, ordered Indian corn and meal to be sent from the United States and a Relief Commission set up.
In the original, famine begins and Peel then orders corn, maybe as a consequence but certainly not as a preventive against famine following early detection from signs of crop failure. Next examples, :
  • :Actual Source verbatim: Whig government falls. Lord Russell’s Tory government halts food and relief works (re-instates them by end of year). The Central Relief Committee of the Society of Friends is set up to alleviate suffering.David Ross, Ireland: History of a Nation, Geddes & Grosset (Scotland 2006) ISBN 13: 978 1 84205 164 1 , p. 311
  • :Actual text added to article: The new Whig administration under Lord Russell, influenced by their laissez-faire belief that the market would provide the food needed, then halted government food and relief works leaving many hundreds of thousands of people without any work, money or food. David Ross, Ireland: History of a Nation, Geddes & Grosset (Scotland 2006) ISBN 13: 978 1 84205 164 1 , p. 311
  • :Actual text added to article: Private initiatives such as The Central Relief Committee of the Society of Friends (Quakers) attempted to fill the gap caused by the end of government relief and eventually the government reinstated the relief works, although bureaucracy made food supplies slow to be released. David Ross, Ireland: History of a Nation, Geddes & Grosset (Scotland 2006) ISBN 13: 978 1 84205 164 1 , p. 311
This is confused completely. In original, Whigs fail, followed by Russell, a Tory. In text added here, Russell is a Whig. The eventually is a relative term that should be replaced by a date or time period because of the sensitivity surrounding the issue.Professor marginalia (talk) 18:27, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

Thanks I thought it was just me. What I’m saying is, would it be acceptable to present the information in an Article as statements of “Fact” like here when there is ample evidence that the sources contradict the information? You have pointed to some already.

I don't think it is a case of the source contradicting the statement (with the exception of the Tory/Whig error they seem to follow the facts)... what seems to be happening is that the source is being embelished upon (for the most part the embelishments consist of attempting to give reasons for the various actions stated in the source). What is needed is a source for those embelishments. Without such a source they come across as being OR. Blueboar (talk) 20:42, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

I'm confused again. "Even with well-sourced material, however, if you use it out of context or to advance a position not directly and explicitly supported by the source you are also engaged in original research...If the sources cited do not explicitly reach the same conclusion, or if the sources cited are not directly related to the subject of the article, then the editor is engaged in original research." The information is not supported by the text, call it embelishments if you will, but is it not still WP:OR? --Domer48 (talk) 20:54, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

The parts that were struck out by Professor Marginalia might be OR (if no source can be found for them)... the parts he didn't strike out are not OR (just correct Russell's party affiliation). Blueboar (talk) 21:17, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

So I'm right in saying that the information should not have been added on an Article as it currently stands. And that the the parts that were struck out by Professor Marginalia is original research, and should not have been added to an Article. I'm also right when I say that looking for sources to back up original research is not how Articles should be written. We don't for example start of with opinion and then try to support it. Now since the text is not supported by the source, are you suggesting the editor should now cite a source to support the origional reference, or the Article text? Because the policy I quoted above states quite clearly that the sources must "explicitly reach the same conclusion." Thanks very much to both of you for your patience and considered opinions, its very much appreciated, --Domer48 (talk) 22:38, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

I think you are taking too hard a line on this. It is boarderline OR... but the way to deal with it is to request additional citations, not to complain that the information should not have been added. Assume good faith for the moment and assume that the information is based on a source... if, after a reasonable time, sources are not added... just remove the "embelishments" and keep the stuff that is in the source. Blueboar (talk) 23:17, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

Thanks Blueboar for that. I have indeed requested citations a number of times, [10], [11], [12], [13], [14], [15] and [16]. I've only put two examples up here, the first diff lists quite a number of them. Additional sources are now been added, but since I have the books I know they don't support the text. On the examples I have given here, the editors responce was [17], I said I would allow them to check it again [18] and they still insist [19]. Now they had this stuff in the WP:LEAD, and have now moved it just below it to were it is now. The discussion is now all over the place sorry about that. --Domer48 (talk) 23:42, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

Hi again Blueboar, your citation tags were removed and a Woodham-Smith reference added. I have the book, and Russell is not even in office yet in the pages used to support the sentence. Any suggestions? --Domer48 (talk) 19:48, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

Which sentence... I tagged several. Look, I don't know enough about the topic to argue this in detail. It is farily obvious that what you are really dealing with here is a NPOV dispute. Your opponent in the debate is at least trying to cite the material he wants to add, so I don't think he is intending to introduce OR. Assume good faith, and work with him to present the information accurately and neutrally. Try proposing acceptable language on the talk page, and reach a compromise. Blueboar (talk) 20:13, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

Thanks again Blueboar, the trouble with me is I do know enough about the topic to argue this in detail. I was talking about the "The new Whig administration under Lord Russell, influenced by their laissez-faire belief that the market would provide the food needed" sentence. Like I said, Russell was not even in office yet according to the source used. My opponent in the debate is trying to cite the material he wants to add, and making up references to do it. Listen, this is not your debate and I'm just imposing on you, sorry about that. Thanks for the advice, I did not mean to take up so much of your time. I'll try work something out? --Domer48 (talk) 21:56, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

This is a complex set of circumstances, and even delving through the explanation of the conflict is confused without access to the sources themselves. What's difficult for me to appreciate is why a subject like this is so reliant upon a single source, one that isn't especially accessible. It doesn't strike me as such an esoteric topic that more readily accessible sources, or at least a greater diversity of sources, aren't helpful sourcing what look to be these "embellishments". If you're describing the situation where a single source is relied upon even while its claims are discrepant to accounts in other sources, it's probably not fruitful to try to resolve it by pinning a n "original research" label on it, which would only mean a shift in emphasis to resolving it. What's always hooked me in most to digging for particular articles at WP is, what do the best and most representational sources say? That's what's fun to do, and what I think helps make WP a good resource. So if you're in this toe-to-toe between one difficult-to-verify source against other sources you're well-versed in, you need broader input in terms of assessment and verification of sources cited. And don't apologize for taking up time here. Editors do fabricate references, and misrepresent legitimate references. I know they do sometimes and I've caught some doing it, more than a few times. That's how I first encountered what a complicated labyrinth WP can be tying the right policy to the complaint or to identify what proper authority or venue to appeal to. Professor marginalia (talk) 03:55, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

It’s my view that if the source does not say the same thing as what appears in the Article, the claim isn't verified, and can't go in. If Editors concoct specific details which aren't in the source, then those details aren't verified, and can't go in. Now I have copies of the sources, and I have also provided quoted references from them to substantiate that the information is just the invention of the Editor. Now I put the exact same examples I have used here to the editor, and their response was as follows. Now they are adding additional references, which would be a good thing and advance the discussion, if only the additional references supported the information, which they do not. I have asked a number of times for them to provide quotes from the references which support the information, and all I get is the catch all answer. This is just a brief example of what I’m having to content with here.I know the issue will not be resolved here, and is simply an attempt by me to address any misunderstandings I may have on the issue. But I do feel I’m starting to take up to much of your time, on an issue I will have to contend with myself. The information I have received has been informative and useful, and I will try to use it as best I can during this testing discussion.--Domer48 (talk) 09:58, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

Trakai Voivodeship

A recent discussion about renaming a historical geographical entity - Trakai Voivodeship - (not a single source has been found to support this name) - to a referenced Troki Voivodeship has generated a stalemate on talk and an edit war in the article (since a Lithuanian webpage is being added to support the Trakai name version, despite the fact that it does not contain the English "Trakai Voivodeship"). Do note that the entity which was never named with Trakai (the historical name in official language of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth - Polish - was województwo trockie). Since Trakai is a Lithuanian name (the city of Trakai is currently in Lithuania), and Troki is a Polish name variant, Lithuanian editors prefer Trakai despite no English source supporting this name, Polish support Polish and input of neutral editors is needed to break the stalemate.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 20:28, 7 June 2008 (UTC)


There is a terrible ongoing dispute between me and User:Imbris over the actual image. It is to my personal opinion that Imbris has not deicated as much as he can to civility, politeness and constructiveness in our discussions. All started when he on 1 March 2008 changed the sourced image, and claimed the original of the flag as a source. Considering that every single person knows that the cause of that is the white growing yellowish after 150 years and that the user in question bases this solely upon his personal visual eyesight, if I am not mistaken, this should be a blatant violation of WP:NOR? The user persistently remains with his claim, despite asked to provide sources and all efforts at the talk page have turned out to be futile. Considering that every last drop has been dried out, I am forced to request a 3rd opinion. --PaxEquilibrium (talk) 10:38, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

I fail to see one single reliable source for Image:PrincedomMNEdi.PNG. How do I know you just didn't draw this in you basement? Find a verifiable source otherwise I recomend all the images be deleted. B.t.w.: I believe a flag is generally trademarked and copyrighted (In Canada anyways: See After all you just can't go waving a Canadian flag on your Russian boat. I believe the same applies for flags in the US. And, since Wikipedia follow US laws this I believe applies to all flag. So if you want to go wave a army cadet flag, or in this case wave your flag, go do it on your own website where you can be sued and not wikipedia. Reproducing the image is illegal unless you have some fair use reason (As an example, and not the precedents, this means it would be being used in an article about that regions/country's flag.). Despite all this, the image still fails to explain it's source! Please take a look at the afformentioned Canadian example. If this is not fixed in 7 days, I will nominate this image for deletion. Again, delete, unless you can find some reliable source. --CyclePat (talk) 13:56, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
The flag wasn't at all created by me in the first place, but by User:Stefke.
Yes, the flag is supposed to be an example for the List of flags (a reconstruction). --PaxEquilibrium (talk) 15:41, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
EDIT: For Stefke's version of the image, the source is book "Flags, Coats of Arms and Anthems of Montenegro" by Jovan B. Markus. --PaxEquilibrium (talk) 13:01, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

WP:ATT status questioned (again)

At the moment, WP:ATT states that it is a "Summary" of WP:NOR and WP:V. It has, for the most part, held this designation since June of last year... but always with some opposition. We now are in a huge edit war over its status and need some sort of resolution. Some feel it should be marked as Historical, others that it should be marked as an Essay, and some even arguing for promotion to Policy or Guideline status. The problem is that everyone is pointing fingers to say that the other views have no consensus and no one is actually demonstrating that their view does have consensus. So... in order to see if there is any consensus, I have started a poll (yes, I know... "Polls are evil"). Please stop by and help us resolve the debate... see: WT:Attribution#RfC - Status?, thanks Blueboar (talk) 22:36, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

John C. Huang

John C. Huang (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) has done nothing but post his OR theories about relativity. He has been warned about this several times by several people. On 3 June he was given a final warning. Since then he has twice posted his theory to User talk:Skeletor 0. —teb728 t c 22:14, 7 June 2008 (UTC) Is this the proper forum for this report? I don’t see any reports like it. —teb728 t c 22:56, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

An editor on the Help desk expressed the opinion that NOR applied only to article space. So I guess I should address that misconception here.
Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines#Maintain Wikipedia policy explicitly applies NOR to talk pages. This makes sense: Article talk pages are only for discussing improvements to articles. Inasmuch as OR is forbidden in articles, it is also out of place in article talk pages. Inasmuch as user talk pages are supposed to be Wikipedia related, OR is out of place there too.
The final warning referred to an article talk page post. The warning was posted by another user; so I am not the only one who thinks his talk page posts are unacceptable. Another user (beside myself) also left him a non-final warning about his talk page posts.
I would think nothing of it if a user posted OR once or twice on a talk page. But this particular user has posted his theories to article talk pages about 25 distinct times (not counting correctons). His edit history shows essentially nothing but posting OR. —teb728 t c 08:24, 8 June 2008 (UTC)

The user has agreed not to post his theory except on his talk page. This resolves my concern. Except: Will someone please comment on whether this page is the appropriate forum for reporting an NOR violation after a final warning. An NOR violation is not really vandalism; so WP:AIV does not seem appropriate. —teb728 t c 09:46, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

I am removing this page from my watchlist. If someone replies, please inform me on by user talk page. —teb728 t c 06:07, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

Image without references

The Respiratory Image lacks references. There are no verifiable sources and I believe it is a synthesis which should either be sourced or deleted. In fact someone has even commented that the image has a mystake. This makes for all the more reason to delete the image, however, this was not the outcome of the image deletion request. The image can not be use on english wikipedia because it fails WP:V and WP:OR. --CyclePat (talk) 19:04, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

I note that the image appears to be A) hosted on commons, where it was recently nominated for deletion but speedy kept due to a "Abusive DR" (deletion request) from an IP (See: Commons:Commons:Deletion requests/Image:Respiratory system complete en.svg), and B) is a featured image on both the English Wikipedia and Commons. Deletion of images on commons is impossible from the English wikipedia, or any other wiki beyond commons. If the information in the image is consistent with the information in the article, and the sources provided for the article provide confirmation of the facts presented in the image, then the information is sourced. The fact that the source is not an embedded citation in the image is immaterial. I'll have a look to see if that is the case or not. Have you contacted the image's author to see if they have a source to cite? UltraExactZZ Claims ~ Evidence 19:37, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
Hi user Ultraexactzz, I will address the issues you raise which are relevant. 1) You may look in my user contribution and notice that I have removed the image from a several articles. I read through those articles and could not find proper references for "parts" named/portrayed in the image. Here are articles names with a link to the changes I've made : Left Lung, to Right lung, to Respiratory desease, to bronkus, to Respiratory track, to Respiratory system. Some of these only included an image in a gallery making them as you say "consistent with the information in the article." However they did not meet the second part of your test which is "the sources provided for the article provide confirmation of the facts presented in the image...". I dissagree with your statement that an "embedded citation in the image is immaterial." and believe it's quite relevant to for this image. The artist must not only rely on something to potray this image (In that case, she could have done a autopsy or whatever), but to start naming the parts of the body requires some "authorative source". I for one would like to keep this image with some reliable sources but I can't find any. What bothers me the most is not the fact that this is a respiratory system (which most people with common knowlege can tell and would allow for the inclusion on Wikipedia) it's the fact that we are naming the body parts! I can imagine right now that somewhere, someone may call the right lung something (this is purely made up by me) like "lobelea righty". If that was or is the case, the we would have a POV issue which makes for all the more reason to have "references". 2) To answer your question, I have contacted the image's author on May 29th 2008, at their Wikimedia:commons user page. At the same time I also advised Wikipedia's Admin Notice Board. --CyclePat (talk) 00:20, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
Please see Wikipedia:NOR#Original images... we do not hold images to the same standards as text. Ideally, any image (be it a drawing, photo, or other) represents material that is stated in the article, and that material should be cited. Blueboar (talk) 20:39, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
Hi Blueboar. Thank you for your response. Per my above previous comment you may infer that the articles the image was used in where missing citations. In response to "holding images to the same standards as text", I would like to point out that this image has inline text. It apparently identifies the body parts with text in an authorative maner. If you may, I challenge you to try and replace within the afformentioned "changed" articles the argued image (with text) with this numbered version of the image (only numbers identifying the parts). I think it is much more convenient to have a reference with the image than to have 5 wikipedia articles (which where not even properly referenced) trying to explain one image, which should have been properly referenced in the first place! don't you? Finally, I hope you at least conceed that the numbered version may be a good replacement option? --CyclePat (talk) 00:20, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
Do you actually have a reason to believe that the labels in that image might be incorrect, or are you just trying to disrupt Wikipedia to prove a point? In any case, wouldn't it have been faster and more productive to drop a simple request for a citation at the relevant WikiProject rather than to try and get the image deleted or removed from Wikipedia? Since you apparently didn't feel like doing that, I've taken the time to do it for you. Hopefully a reference will be added shortly and we can all go back to doing more useful things. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 01:12, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
Hello Ilmari Karonen, Thank you for your response. As a well versed and long time contributor, since apparently 2005,[20] to Wikipedia you should be aware of Wikipedia rules and guidelines regarding references and Verification. In fact, in 2005, the WP:V was an official policy of wikipedia which states, somewhat as it still does today, that "One of the keys to writing good encyclopedia articles is to understand that they should refer only to facts, assertions, theories, ideas, claims, opinions, and arguments that have already been published by a reputable publisher."[21] The 2005 version further make reference to the widely accepted guidelines of Wikipedia:Cite sources and Wikipedia:Accuracy dispute. B.t.w.: I noticed from your first edit on Wikipedia that you have an interest in health and nursing. Perhaps you have a text book which could be of assistance and which could verified the claimed text "labels" of this image? As I've stated on the image's talk page, I'm quite un-knowledgeable (or as most here may believe ignorant) of the subject matter. That is why, after searching for more than 20 minutes for sources, asking the original author to submit hie/her references, I have come to what I believe is the next step for assistance. I am asking you, someone knowledgeable on the subject matter, to add a proper reference. To answer your question, I actually do have reason to believe that the labels in that image are incorrect. There are no sources, someone has actually stated that there is a mistake and I can't disprove or prove that the image is correct... let alone from some authoritative source. Fast forward to 2008 and I believe my arguments still applies with the updated aforementioned Wikipedia guidelines and rules. b.t.w.: I would like to point out that we are apparently discussing my methodology of work. I appreciate the constructive criticism in exploring the relevant WikiProject "Wikipedia:WikiProject Anatomy". I would like to explain however, that I was not under the impression when I posted this request for citation/references here that this was something I should do. In fact, at the time I hope you can understand how I felt perhaps a little despaired on what and where I should do or go next. I like your recommendation and think it should be considered as a wider policy. "Perhaps something along the lines of; If you can not find proper references try contacting the original author but also try posting on a relate Wikipedia:WikiProject page asking for advice. I do concede, this may look WP:POINT but I'm sure, now that we've honestly discussed this issues, that sometimes we just honestly do not know the answer. (And we forget or don't even know where we can go to get help before going to the next step!) Best regards. --CyclePat (talk) 16:20, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

The Hockey Theme

User:Dmgerman keeps adding original research (with his own blog as the source) to the article on The Hockey Theme. [22] [23] [24] [25]

I've reverted him three times and tried to refer him to WP:RS and WP:OR but he hasn't listened. Could someone else please come in and explain the problem to him? Reggie Perrin (talk) 00:39, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

Other than the linking to his own blog (blogs are not reliable sources), is any of the information incorrect? If correct, I think it could be pertinent. Corpx (talk) 21:15, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

When is a disambiguation page OR or POV?

In the discussion at RfD for The Queen of Bollywood, I suggested that since there were (by Google search for reliable sources, four of which I stated in the discussion) several Indian actresses and singers that were referred to by that "title" and suggested that a disambiguation page be made for the term and to retarget the redirect in question to it. Another editor did just that a few days ago: he created a dab page with about eight entries on it (per WP:MOSDAB it does not have external links, which of course the citations happen to be). Three hours later, Queen of Bollywood was improperly speedied despite not citing a single CSD category. The issue was taken to DRV, in which the editor who prompted the speedy repeated the claim that the dab page was OR, POV, and violated WP:UNDUE. Pardon me, but I cannot see how a dab page for a widely-used nickname could be any of these (I'm not too sure about the other term the "complainant" used - "fangush" - means, if anything at all). The speedy deletion was rejected by another admin; the dab page is now at AfD. Again, how can a properly formed dab page be OR, POV, or violate WP:UNDUE? (talk) 02:42, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Not sure if this is OR

Solar land area.png

Is this picture OR? Mlino76 designed it and uploaded it. Mlino76 is a certified PhD and has said the picture is used as a reference in scientific publications but I don't know of any so I haven't been able to verify that it has been peer reviewed. Here is the original website: [26] Mrshaba (talk) 05:04, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

FYI here is one place it appeared: Apteva (talk) 06:01, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
See: WP:NOR#Original images... images have a broad exemption from the NOR policy. However, there is consensus that any image must be based upon and accurately portray what is stated in the article (and that information must adhear to the NOR rules). Blueboar (talk) 11:57, 18 June 2008 (UTC)


This article Genepax appears to me to be mainly original research -- speculation on how the water-fueled car announced by this company works or rather doesn't work. I don't think Wikipedia is the place for people to do their own work in debunking hoaxes. SteveBaker disagrees and says that when something is fringe, original research is allowed -- but I don't see that on FRINGE. Would like some input. My comments are here. ImpIn | (t - c) 08:50, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

Franz Liszt spiraling out of control

Besides the fact that the current article on Franz Liszt is enormous by any reasonable standard, there are some serious issues with its current reliance on primary sources as a main source of reference. The anonymous user who has expanded this page so far, has stated that it is his intention to use these sources in order to "let the reader decide" what is right or wrong, instead of using academic (or otherwise professional) authors, which he considers biased or otherwise too tendential. Besides the article's length, I'm worried that this is starting to amount to original research. It's not the job of editors to try and make sense of primary sources, and certainly shouldn't be asked of readers. An article should ideally present the prevailing expert/academic view on its subject, whether the individual editor agrees with that view or not. I think this subject urgently requires a serious discussion. Regards. --Steerpike (talk) 22:33, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

Indigenous Oral Histories NOR or not?


I'm currently looking at the possibility of establishing a comprehensive section on Indigenous Australia that will examine the diverse cultures, history, food, famous persons and location of Australia's indigenous peoples. The dominant contributors to this section would be school students from across Australia. As you may know, indigenous cultures in Australia are incredibly diverse and predominantly oral in nature--that is, much of the culture and history is handed down orally between generations within family groups.

To provide a comprehensive view of indigenous culture and history, there will be a requirement to interview family elders and to record the detail of these conversations. Will this approach contravene Wikipedia's NOR policy, and if so, is it possible to provide a waiver for this section of Wikipedia?

Kind regards,

Scot Aldred Lecturer in Education Central Queensland University Rockhampton, Queensland Australia. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Aldreds (talkcontribs) 23:24, June 19, 2008

Yes, I'm afraid any unpublished interviews you conduct would be considered OR on Wikipedia. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 20:23, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

article about original document

have a look at Declassified documents related to the Sino-Indian war, a clearcut case of ãn article based entirely on OR in my understanding. I'm not sure how to handle such cases; csd, prod or afd? --Soman (talk) 19:22, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

article on 'the oldest religion'

Have a quick look at the article Claims to the oldest religion. Couple of editors raised the concern of this being an OR - as no source supporting such an extended list is found. Clearly an OR or WP:SYN in OR. Wikidās ॐ 10:13, 28 June 2008 (UTC)

Flag Carrier

The Flag carrier article has been fraught with problems since its creation. The basic problem with the article is the entire premise of what is a "Flag Carrier Airline", which the article tries to describe and list. The article was created back in 2006 and has yet to have a real source to the article's meaning. The interpretation used now is based on maritime laws (where a vessel is registered in a country and flies the flag). Besides this glaring problem, people keep arguing back and forth what basis certain airlines should appear on the list. The lists have been essentially compiled from people looking around at airlines formed in countries and interpreting if they are a carrier or not.

I would like to know what can be done at this point. My opinion is the list should be completely removed because it is incredibly misleading to people using Wikipedia as an information guide. Despite the OR tags that are on the article, people will still use the list as a source of information and it simply should not be on Wikipedia. The talk page is pretty much a reflection of the state of the article. I don't see any resolution in the immediate future (it has been 2 years without it happening so far) so I cannot understand why the information is allowed to remain on the article. Can anyone advise as to what should or can be done at this point? Rasadam (talk) 07:05, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

This is really tricky. The US seems to have its own definition of flag carrier, "an air carrier holding a certificate under section 401 of the Federal Aviation Act of 1958 (49 U.S.C.1371).". I agree that because of this it should be left out. There are lots of those, none in the article, and the definition if not unique seems unusual. The BBC has called Ryanair a flag carrier in a headline [27] which is silly (I hate headlines, they are usually written by 'headline writers' to be eye-catching and I sometimes think shouldn't be allowed as a source.). Here's a book on competition law [28] which I think is a source saying that you can be privately owned and legitimately called a 'flag carrier'. I have just read the talk page and the only way to go is to make sure every entry has a decent reference. If there are any you really think are wrong, you might try removing one and asking for a reference before it is returned, and slowly continue that way. But I'd also start at the top and try to find references for each.

Does synthesis forbid simple mathematics?

Hi. I've got a question regarding a source, and I'm bringing it here because I'm thinking of taking the article to FAC soon. Basically, the Doctor Who episode "The Stolen Earth" is the 750th episode. I don't have a source to confirm that fact directly, but I do have a source to confirm that the following episode, "Journey's End", is the 751st - specifically, the "Time Team" feature in Doctor Who Magazine says "Four fans, one mission: to watch all 751 episodes of Doctor Who", which includes "Journey's End". Am I allowed to subtract one to say TSE is the 750th, or is it original research? Sceptre (talk) 23:20, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

Somewhere there was a section of policy, which I thought was in WP:NOR somewhere but appears not to be, that made explicit the fact that basic calculations are fine. If memory serves, it gave the example of converting vote counts in elections to percentages, which I do often. I can't find that passage anywhere anymore, so you'll have to take my word that it exists or existed. But as far as I'm concerned, the answer to your question is that if an RS says that The Stolen Earth is immediately before Journey's End, and if an RS says that Journey's End is episode #751, it's not a WP:SYNTH violation to say that The Stolen Earth is #750. Sarcasticidealist (talk) 23:32, 4 July 2008 (UTC)
I've just had a scour of my DWM and RT backissues to check if the number "750" is mentioned. It's not, but "The Unicorn and the Wasp" (five episodes before) is explicitly called the 745th episode. Thanks anyway. Sceptre (talk) 23:35, 4 July 2008 (UTC)
Is the Unicorn and the Wasp explicitly said to be five episodes before? If so, I think you're fine performing that amount of synthesis. Incidentally, I found the passage that I was talking about, though its status as a policy seems to be disputed: Wikipedia:Attribution#What is not original research? Sarcasticidealist (talk) 23:43, 4 July 2008 (UTC)
It's a fact that The Unicorn and the Wasp is the seventh episode of the series and The Stolen Earth is the twelfth. I could cite the Radio Times for 5-11 April 2008, but I don't think that fact needs citing. Sceptre (talk) 23:46, 4 July 2008 (UTC)
I don't really ever work in television articles, so your judgment about what does or doesn't need citing is probably sounder than mine. Fundamentally, though, I think you're on completely safe ground calling the episode the 750th episode. Though you did confuse me by calling it the seventh episode of the "series", before I remembered that some people are, unlike me, British. Sarcasticidealist (talk) 23:48, 4 July 2008 (UTC)
Ah, the Atlantic, how we hate thee. Thanks anyway. Sceptre (talk) 23:52, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

Great power

This has been an ongoing discussion and has even started a few edit wars. The disagreement is if countries that are predicted to be possible future Great Powers should have different rankings on those future predictions. My argument is against that per Wikipedia:No original research, Synthesis of published material which advances a position and Wikipedia is not a crystal ball. The discussion is located at Talk:Great power#India Dispute Resolution and some input would be appreciated. Thanks -- UKPhoenix79 (talk) 09:14, 5 July 2008 (UTC)

Need help with OR

There is a section in this article that I believe constitutes Original Research. The third paragraph, primarily, where the editor has linked to an artist's comic strip, and is now interpreting the artist's intention and assigning meaning to the title of said comics strip (even though that meaning is found nowhere in the strip itself, or elsewhere on the artist's website) and going so far as to say it's a "popular internet meme" or "common criticism", with no other sources to corroborate this "fact". Nobody has been able to come up with any valid sources that explain what the meme means (which would then add credit to its otherwise unexplained use in the comic), and without other sources it seems like speculation. I've tried to remove it, but another editor continues to revert it. I'd like to get some other opinions. It doesn't seem appropriate to just say "Oh it's 'commonly known', we don't need to source it well".--Thrindel (talk) 16:18, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

Religious Myths

We have the Article Land of Israel which is just the Jewish Bible story of the Jewish g_d giving the Land of Israel (Palestine) to the Jewish People.

It is decorated by maps whomped up by enthusisiastic Zionist Wikipedians showing the free Palestinian real estate up for grabs by the Chutzpaws.

So, is Wikipedia in the business of publishing supremacist religious dogmas and racist ancestral land claims?

"The Land of Israel (Hebrew: אֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל, Eretz Yisrael,) is the region which, according to the Hebrew Bible"...Most notable concepts get into Wikipedia, even if they're religious in nature. And if that's the case, then I'm sorry to tell you, but the religious viewpoint is going to be dominantly portrayed. We have other articles for the more vetted historic material; you may want to wander over to those instead if you have too many personal feelings to discuss religious issues in a civil manner. Someguy1221 (talk) 07:38, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Reverts in topics on Ukraine

Hi, I'm bringing to your attention recent edits made in Racism and discrimination in Ukraine and in Ukrainization by Miyokan (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log):

After Viktor Yanukovych promised to make Russian an official language of Ukraine in his 2004 presidential campaign, a group of twelve Ukrainophone writers supporting Viktor Yushchenko wrote an open letter claiming that "Yanukovych promises to give the language of low-standard pop music and thieves' cant the absurd status of a 'second official language'". [(Ukrainian)][(Russian)] Later, one of the writers explained that the phrase "the language of low-standard pop music and thieves' cant" does not refer to Russian language, but rather to the slang spoken by "a certain political force". He also pointed out that they were trying to defend the rights of Russian-speaking people in Ukraine to have a "true Russian culture"[(Ukrainian)]. However, Yanukovych never mentioned any intentions to give official status to thieves' cant, so the clarification does not explain the initial statement. Viktor Yushchenko expressed his gratitude for the support and respect to the group of writers. [(Ukrainian)]

back into the "Language discrimination" section and removing source request. No word about racism or discrimination in given sources. The revert was commented as "Please look up the definition of racism and discrimination".
  • Ukrainization - edit [30] bringing "the government ... began ... Ukrainization, ..., while systematically discouraging Russian, which has been banned in various aspects of life, from ... to ..." - no sources given for "systematically" and "various aspects of life". Revert of source requests [31] with "rv tendentious editor;discouraging Russian is evidenced by the banning of Russian in various aspects, as they sources show; education-" comment. Revert [32] of consensus version [33] available in Ukraine#Language adding "systematically" and "in various aspects of life" back to the article without sources provided with "Stick to what the sources say" comment.

Can some 3rd party please comment how does it corresponds to WP:NOT and WP:OR. --windyhead (talk) 10:27, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Girija Prasad Koirala

Hailbihar (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) keeps claiming posting a section called "Nepal Royal Massacre Allegation" on the page of Girija Prasad Koirala, several users including myself have attempted to undo this operation however he keeps putting it back up claiming he is well within his rights as he has posted a link. All the links he entries written by the same author on his views about the royal massacre incident in Nepal. I believe that this is a violation of the no original research policy of Wikipedia. Any help regarding this issue is appreciated. Sharmaru (talk) 02:36, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

It's actually a BLP violation due to the inadequacy of the sources (reliable sources guideline). Although in spirit, that is much the same as an OR violation, so you're not too far off ;-) Anyway, I've reverted and left him a stern warning on his talk page. Someguy1221 (talk) 02:47, 10 July 2008 (UTC)
Some fellow users from Nepal attempted to delete a section of a politician's biography that is directly related to him. It appears that these defenders are closely associated with this notable personality. However, no matter how great a personality could be, there are some allegations, and mysteries that people find in Wikipedia. This is the only reason, Wikipekida is the biggest Encyclopedia and people are tempted to discover everything possible of any material. As for this matter, there are four sources provided, and the news have been published from four countries. Hence, the source is reliable. In addition, allegation is a term as someone charged, not convicted, as defined by the dictionary. In addition, users have posted many opinions about Nepal King Gyanendra being the planner of the conspiracy theory without any source. No single source exist for Gyandendra to be a fugitive, nevertheless, he is portrayed. Hence, the users mere assumption is rebutted.
If Wiki believes there are any further clarification needed, please contact me. I will try to rebut every presumtion made. In the meantime, I will request the users not to delete any critical piece of information for anyone.—Preceding unsigned comment added by Hailbihar (talkcontribs)

Original Research or not

I recently removed a paragraph from Warez, which I thought was completely original research. An editor reverted the removal, commenting that "Most of these methods are well known to most people, therefore it is NOT original research". Posting here to get 3rd party opinions Corpx (talk) 21:10, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

On one hand, statements of fact are supposed to be sourced. "Common knowledge" is usually not a sufficient source. On the other hand, taking this too far could get ridiculous. Does the statement, "Humans need oxygen" really need to be sourced in most cases?
A good rule of thumb is, will Wikipedia be better if this rule is enforced in this case? Will its credibility really suffer if the rule is not enforced in this case? After all, the purpose of the rules is not to be "right," but to make the encyclopedia better.
Instead of immediately going to the "nuclear option" of removing someone else's work, maybe you could work with the person to find sources. Or at the very least, discuss whether the info needs sourced and give them time to find sources before deleting their hard work. Cheers, Tragic romance (talk) 21:50, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

Sounds like common knowledge to me. That said, the right thing would be to cite a source saying the same. --Adoniscik(t, c) 21:40, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

Open Office XML

I have a question. Is this statement completely original research.

Office Open XML conforms to all four charactericstic of the European Union's definition of an open standard.[1] It is a standard created by non-profit standards organization [2] Ecma International which is publishing [3] the Office Open XML specification for free [4] and without copyright restrictions allowing reuse of the standard[5][6]and possible patents are made irrevocably available on a royalty-free basis through the Open Specification Promise.

The claim is that Office Open XML conforms, but the reference leads not to a reference that says it conforms, but to the guidelines of the European Union's definition of an open standard. This is imho original research because it calls for a conclusion not referenced by a 3rd party. In fact the whole section is full of original research as the references do not lead to articles that say that the Office Open XML standard complies with any of the claims, but to the guidelines for the claims. AlbinoFerret (talk) 03:28, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

Yes, this is a classic bait-and-switch form of false references, which may or may not be done in good faith. And you are correct, third-party sources are generally needed to make the connection. There is the rare exception when the logical deduction really is as simple as 2+2, and that's something that requires discussion, consensus, and dispute resolution as necessary in order to decide. If that's the case, however, the false references should still be removed, and leave merely the link to the other Wikipedia article so that readers can follow it and see just how unneeding of a reference the statement is. Whether that's the case here, I won't judge. Someguy1221 (talk) 03:35, 10 July 2008 (UTC)
Thanks Someguy1221, I was sure that tthe reference wasnt enough. The deduction is not that simple, its a complex list. In fact the reference isnt even to a page that lists it, but to a page that you can download a pdf that lists some of the criteria in a pamphlet form. AlbinoFerret (talk) 03:41, 10 July 2008 (UTC)
surely you should be able to find at least a professional source of established reputation that says it meets the standards. Even sourcing a definite statement in the such as "The developers claim that... " is a step forward--and might well be sufficient if it turns out to be noncontroversial. DGG (talk) 01:31, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
I looked, I placed a fact tag and then gave about 2 months and looked again. I discussed the section and asked the question here to make sure that I was reading the guidelines correctly. Since no reference could be found the claim had to be removed until a 3rd party reference could be found. AlbinoFerret (talk) 15:27, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

Giving examples

I thought I read something about this before but I can't find it right now. Is it acceptable to provide examples of mathematical procedures in scientific articles if the outcome is published in a WP:RS? (Only the intermediate steps are not documented.) --Adoniscik(t, c) 15:54, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

Could you give an example? Someguy1221 (talk) 20:50, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

Haha, nice one. For example, showing how to calculate the color rendering index of standard illuminant FL4 using the procedure outlined in the article. The result is 51, as documented in the article. --Adoniscik(t, c) 21:34, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

As long as, as in your example, the mathematical procedure you are using is accepted in the context that you are using it, it does not violate OR since you have not really introduced any new information; we can say that the result you gave is as innocuous as a graphical representation of a component equation, which is itself as innocuous as the equation itself. It doesn't become original research until you start using it in contexts for which it has not been explicitly santioned by reliable sources. Someguy1221 (talk) 23:00, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

A credible source cited vs. no sources whatsoever

Hyūga class helicopter destroyer has one and only one in-line citation and no cited reference sources. The sentence has been twice reverted and it continues under attack. I'm persuaded that the appropriate course is to dig in my heels on what seems to me a matter of fundamental Wikipedia policy.

To restate the issues as I parse them: We're mired in a conflict which pits someone with a sentence supported by a cited, competent source trying to push beyond what are, as articulated thus far, naught but the result of "original research" or un-"verifiable" personal opinions -- albeit well-informed, on-topic and understandable opinions.

As a foundation from which to build, it would appear that we need two point cleared up:

  • 1. Exterior links are not the scholarly equivalent of in-line citations or reference source citations. .... Yes? No?
User: Nick Dowling asserts: "I'm also not sure why you keep saying that the article is unreferenced given that it includes links to and other reliable websites. Inline citations would be better, but these are an OK minimum. (emphasis added)
  • 2. I'm trying to express myself in non-confrontational terms when I state modestly that deleting the sole citation-supported sentence is untenable a priori when no other sources are specifically cited in the article. In the absence of verifiability underlying the analysis, any and all arguments can only be understood as original research .... Yes? No?
Please see Talk:Hyūga class helicopter destroyer#A credible source cited vs. no sources whatsoever

I'd really appreciate some suggestions about how this could have been handled differently? This dispute has been going on for days. I've already invested more hours than I'd intended; and yet, we've not even managed to reach a threshold where we identify a legitimate subject about which we have good reasons to disagree. --Tenmei (talk) 04:34, 13 July 2008 (UTC)

we require verifiability. We do not require any particular way of stating it. Nonetheless it is better to convert suitable reliable sources from external links to references. Why not just fix it? DGG (talk) 23:45, 13 July 2008 (UTC)

Unsourced OR

Kunbi article seems to be completely OR or WP:SYNTH. A non-notable cast of Western India is trying to create a prominent page. No sources and no basis for an article. Possibly a list instead. Wikidās ॐ 08:40, 13 July 2008 (UTC)

I have long been thinking along similar lines for hundereds of articles in Category:Indian castes. Many of them can be merged together to form one big article.--Shahab (talk) 08:00, 14 July 2008 (UTC)
Certainly one article or WP:SS article will be less problematic. There are sources on castes in general, but hardly possible for each 'one particular' to have a notability . Wikidās ॐ 12:07, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

Comfort women

In this article, there is a section called "Korean comfort women". The section has controversial claims, but they are cited. I checked the citations and they are illigitmate.

For example, Tim Brooks, an author, was cited in the section. Here is the site below.


There is absolutely no mention whatsoever about Korean comfort women in the article. Its simply an account of the Asia-pacific theater between Japan and China. I fear all the citations are illigitamitely used.

I removed the sentence from the article, here is the diff [35]. I am wondering if this is original research because the editor interpreted the text in his own way to make bogus claims. The editor is User:Ex-oneatf and he is becoming increasingly problematic by making controversial claims left and right that are wrongly cited. thanks Good friend100 (talk) 05:15, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

Its probably worth pointing out that the link above points to a symposium whereas the references Good friend100 removed was for a book by the same individual called "Brook, Tim. Collaboration: Japanese Agents and Local Elites in Wartime China".
I have not read the book and so I cannot comment on the details but I have had a look at the discussion on the Comfort women page. Its looks like the usual Korean versus Japanese revision wars
It looks like two entirely different matters.--Lucyintheskywithdada (talk) 17:30, 20 July 2008 (UTC)

Nguyen Van Thieu - Former President S. Vietnam

I have never reported questionable information so please bear with me if mistakes are made. This comment should be reviewed by anyone who is well informed about the Vietnam War and/or political persons from this period. I am not an expert in this area. The information in question is from the page can be found on the following link:

The information in question is located under "Life in Exile" which reads:

"Thiệu fled to Taiwan, later he settled in Surrey, Great Britain. Finally he took up residence in Foxborough, Massachusetts, in the United States, where he died in 2001. Sadly, he passed away prior to completion of the New England Patriots' Gillette Stadium in 2002."

It is entirely possible the ex-president, who probably had never seen a football in his life before a life in exile, was a fan of the Patriots and their new satdium. While somewhat amusing, I seriously doubt Thieu was an avid Patriots fan although I could be wrong. Regardless, I don't see how a football stadium has anything to do with his life, or the article. There also has to be doubt surrrounding the ex-president even living in the Boston suburb when he passed away.

While the last sentence is again somewhat amusing, and likely written by a Patriots fan, it has no place in an article descibing a persons life and death. At a mimimum the last sentence should be removed. Even if he truly was excited about the new stadium (and I seriously doubt he was) the content has no place in the article. Finally, the question of whether he ever resided in Foxborough, Mass. needs to be reasearched by somone who is better informed than I.

Please accept me apologies if I either posted this incorrectly, or the wrong area. I welcome any feedback on how I can improve on this should I ever need to post again. Thank you.

I'll certainly agree it has no place in the article unless, maybe, if the media made some kind of a big deal out of that, which I doubt. Regardless, the information is of purely tangential importance to the article even if true. Someguy1221 (talk) 01:18, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

Music leaks

Do music leaks warrant original research if no significant source has provided coverage? dude527 (talk) 14:31, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

If no significant reliable source has provided coverage, neither should we. Vassyana (talk) 09:10, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Congregation Beth Israel (Lebanon, Pennsylvania)

There's an AfD discussion underway for Congregation Beth Israel (Lebanon, Pennsylvania). It's a small-town synagogue that's been in existence for about a century without attracting much attention. The issue is notability, and there's been much discussion of what sources are reliable enough to establish notability for WP:NOTE purposes. Several editors argue that churches, etc. should be held to a lower standard of notability than WP:ORG requires. There are currently 24 references, most created during the AfD, but few if any meet the "significant coverage in reliable sources that are independent of the subject" criterion of WP:NOTE. One editor asked"What reliable source(s) most clearly point out the shul's notability?", and that's perhaps the best one-line summary of the issue.

The larger issue is "church stubs" in general. There are some efforts underway to bulk-add church stubs based on directory information. Back in 2007 there was a proposal to give churches, etc. a presumption of notability (see Wikipedia:Notability (local churches and other religious congregations)), as Wikipedia does for high schools. That proposal was rejected, so the standard for churches remains WP:ORG, which some churches meet and some don't. Comments? --John Nagle (talk) 15:35, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

I don't think that's the argument they are making. By the way, which "directory information" are you referring to, and what does this all have to do with the original research noticeboard? Jayjg (talk) 00:11, 25 July 2008 (UTC)
Notability (guideline) comes under the "reliable sources" policy, although perhaps a "notability" noticeboard would be useful. --John Nagle (talk) 21:43, 25 July 2008 (UTC)

Debate on Primary vs. Secondary Sources

I moved this from Wikipedia_talk:Reliable_sources) - shows how confused I was. Anyway, the result of this discussion might be used to make the discussion on primary/secondary sources more clear. I've read it a number of times and still get a bit confused. Carol Moore 18:35, 24 July 2008 (UTC)Carolmooredc {talk}

This debate between two people is here. Summarized (hopefully correctly) the debate is:
* 1. "People who use the term 'Jewish lobby' are primary sources; people who discuss it are secondary sources". (VERSUS)
* 2. "Sources are only secondary sources if they cite verifiable primary sources... A vague accusation is not a secondary source."
I am confused and would appreciate others' opinions so we can make decisions about the article based on a better understanding. Carol Moore 15:04, 24 July 2008 (UTC)Carolmooredc {talk}

I am confused too... how does this relate to reliability? The reliability of a source has nothing to do with whether it is primary or secondary. Blueboar (talk) 16:36, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
The "primary/secondary source" issue comes from WP:OR, so this discussion probably should move to the Wikipedia:No original research/noticeboard. --John Nagle (talk) 17:39, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

Discussion on this talk page continues here...18:35, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

wow - that move tripped me up.  :-)

ok, allow me to point out the obvious. the 'Jewish Lobby' is in fact a conspiracy theory, not an established fact. there is no actual thing to be pointed to, and no academic consensus on the existence or non-existence of this entity. the only way secondary vs primary sourcing comes into this is in the use of partisan positions: sources which present partisan opinions (either by making claims about a Jewish Lobby, or by refuting claims made by others) are primary sources - they are trying to establish a point and convince others that point is true. sources which collect claims from both sides and compare them or analyze them are secondary. there may be a gray area where a someone collects claims from both sides, analyzes them, and comes to a conclusion, but generally that can be handled: sources that decide one side is wrong are primary, while sources that lay out the strengths and weaknesses of both sides and allow readers to draw their own conclusion are secondary. --Ludwigs2 19:20, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

What is a "Secondary source" in one instance may be a "primary source" in another. I do not think there is enough context given here for proper discussion. -- The Red Pen of Doom 11:42, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

new article, Depopulation of cockroach in ex-USSR countries, appears to be entirely OR

A new article created today, Depopulation of cockroach in ex-USSR countries, was created by the same editor who created its original incarnation (also today) at [36]. As far as I can determine, the entire article is original research, being a novel synthesis of a huge number of resources (all in Russian, except a single cite to a Moscow Times article in English which does not corroborate the vast majority of things in the article) which this editor has compiled into this awkwardly-titled article. I have tagged the article for proposed deletion, originally for its lack of verifiably reliable sources, but now that I see its origin, I am not sure whether its being OR makes it a candidate for speedy deletion; that does not seem to be among the listed criteria for speedy dels. The other thing is that it is equally inappropriate for it to be in the Russian Wiki, but I have no way of personally communicating this to editors/admins there. Maybe someone else can determine the best course of action for dealing with this article both here and at its source. Dyanega (talk) 23:36, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

FWIW, I think its a reasonable acceptable well sourced article. I can manage just enough Russian to tell that many of the sources are relevant, substantial, and reliable for the area.DGG (talk) 08:09, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

Original and Synth ?

Hi, in the article River Thames frost fairs, there is an argument over the extent of the Great Frost. The current sentence reads: During the Great Frost of (1683–1684), the worst ever recorded in England, the Thames was completely frozen for about two months and the ice was reported to be 11 inches (about 28 cm) thick at London

Some editors prefer the sentence: During the Great Frost of (1683–1684), one of the coldest winters recorded in the British Isles and parts of mainland Europe, and the severest winter on record based on the mean Central England temperature for December to February, the Thames was completely frozen for about two months and the ice was reported to be 11 inches (about 28 cm) thick at London.

It seems there are no references to support the claim of "British Isles". The references provided: Supporting British Isles: National Parks Authority

Supporting England or Britain (latest 3 peer reviewed journals): Andrew B. Appleby; Epidemics and Famine in the Little Ice Age; Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Vol. 10, No. 4, History and Climate: Interdisciplinary Explorations (Spring, 1980), pp. 643-663 Gordon Manley 1684: The Coldest Winter in the English Instrumental Record.Weather Journal 1975

Other online articles: Times magazine article The Great Frosts of History

I'd appreciate an outside neutral opinion on the validity of the references, especially if an opinion exists to support using the term "British Isles". Thank you. --HighKing (talk) 14:23, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

I think this is trivial. If the first version is true, then the second is also true.Calamitybrook (talk) 21:46, 3 August 2008 (UTC)

A question about fixing the Bonneville Speedway article

The description of the Bonneville Speedway is many years out-of-date. The Utah highway dept no longer prepares the "track". Each event must prepare their own. Only a few events still use the "black line", and those that do, use them as side lines because they wear out too quickly in the middle. I know this because I've worked as an official at nearly every race held there for the last 10 years, but editing the page would make my information from a primary source. Unfortunatly, I haven't been able to find any published descriptions about modern track preparations. Note that the two paragraphs that most need fixing don't site any refrences. What should I do? Jr9999 (talk) 03:40, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

if the incorrect material is unsourced then you should delete it. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 21:37, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

Perhaps it's an overly slavish devotion to rules in this case to not simply correct the misinformation. Isn't there also a rule that says "ignore all the rules?"

But it's also conceivable that by searching harder, you can find other sources, which would be far preferable. Calamitybrook (talk) 21:36, 3 August 2008 (UTC)

Furry Dance

Hi, a similar story on the article Furry Dance. A claim in the article states that it is one of the oldest customs still carried out in the British Isles. There does not appear to be any references that backs up this claim. There are many references that show it is one of the oldest customs in Cornwall/England/Britain.

The references for stating it is a custom in British Isles: A reference from an amateur Friends of Cornwall group [37] A reference from a book on teaching Physical Education [38]

"Even in the British Isles, there are still a few remnants of ancient dragon processions for good spring weather. At one time there were a great many such festivals. Most of the significance has been lost because of extreme propaganda by the church. In Britain many of the dragon figures carried in the processions have been destroyed. One of the few remaining is carried each May as part of the Helston Furry Dance." Dancing with Dragons by D. J. Conway (p176). Published 1995

The references for stating it is one of the oldest in Cornwall/England/Britain are too numerous to list, but include: Curious Survivals by George C. Williamson, Pg 148 [39] Cornwall Holiday Guide [40] Cornish customs and festivals [41] BBC Report states "oldest in the country" [42]

I'd appreciate an outside neutral opinion on the validity of the references, especially if an opinion exists to support using the term "British Isles". Thank you. --HighKing (talk) 14:23, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

The references look good. I don't understand your question about "British Isles." Isn't for example Cornwall in the British Isles?Calamitybrook (talk) 21:43, 3 August 2008 (UTC)

Thank you so much for your response. The term "British Isles" is contentious and for articles like this the general opinion of many editors is that the largest significant geographical unit that has relevance to a Cornish/English/British custom is the obviously the largest Cornish/English/British geographical unit. This is not the "British Isles" since Ireland is not British.
But leave all of that argument aside. It is not relevant. More importantly, regardless of POV of editors, and whether editors are trying to push the term into articles or remove it, this question is about references. The references against using the term "British Isles" are numerous, yet one editor regards the single "Friend of Cornwall" reference as being good. My position is that a self-published reference like this does not meet the standards, but it would be great if a more experienced editor could take a look and give their opinion. Thank you again. --HighKing (talk) 16:13, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
Regardless of which of the references are used, if this dance is only practiced in Cornwall and England, then only one island is involved, Britain, and it should say "British", not "British Isles" Squidfryerchef (talk) 00:16, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

Help me understand this

Okay, as I understand it, WP operates solely upon research, information and sources not origination from the editors here. The editors are primary sources of info, and the citable references are secondary sources - WP uses secondary sources only. For many reasons, one of them liability shielding from inaccurate or damaging information introduced without citation.
Now, using this understanding, how do we write articles so as to note these statements? Citing this notable information, and sticking to what it says (using quotation marks for specific quotes and paraphrasing elsewhere) would seem to be plagiarism at worst and derivative work at best. Can I get a range of replies? I am trying to understand this better. - (talk) 04:08, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

It isn't plagerism to quote someone, especially when you provide a citation to where you got the quote from. it is only plagerism if you try to pass someone else's words as your own.
The best advice I can give you is to look at articles on topics that are similar to the one you wish to write about. Note how they are structured and how they use citations. The next advice would be to find an experienced editor that can work with you... essentially a mentor. He/She does not need to be experts on the subject matter, just someone who writes well and is familiar with out rules and guidelines. Finally, be bold. Do the best you can and just write the article without overly worrying about the "rules". But at the same time, don't get upset if someone points out that something you wrote violates some policy or guideline ... instead take the comment as constructive criticism and a learning experience. Good luck. Blueboar (talk) 19:46, 28 July 2008 (UTC)
Per WP:PRIMARY, primary sources are sources very close to the origin of a particular topic. Wikipedia editors are very close to the origin of the article, not the particular topic. Wikipedia relies on third-party published sources per WP:SOURCES, which are secondary sources rather than tertiary sources. (OK, now I'm confused.) Third-party published sources can be summarized or quoted from, neither of which is plagerism. Derivative works are more complex, but I think you need a big chunk of the original to be in the ball park of a derivative work. Wikipedia articles are constantly being edited so if there initially was a big chunk of the original, it probably has been chipped away. Suntag (talk) 02:27, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

Schrodinger's cat

We need more opinions for a minor issue at Talk:Schrödinger's cat#Original research (August 2008). I believe that the statement in question is synthesizing a conclusion and therefore constitutes original research. The other editors believe that the statement is not a conclusion because of the words "probably" and "possibly" and therefore is not original research. I believe that the error is trivial and that it serves no purpose to point it out. The other editors believe that it is important to point out the error in order to keep readers from getting confused. If you wish to comment, please centralize the discussion on that talk page. — OranL (talk) 16:21, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

Outernet and Odyssey

The third book in the Outernet series of humorous science fiction books for children, by Steve Barlow and Steve Skidmore, is titled "Odyssey". One of the characters explicitly references Odyssey of Homer, and is inspired by it to disguise himself and his friends the same way Odysseus and his crew disguised themselves by hiding under sheep. It is clear, then, that the plot deliberately pays homage to that work.

However, there are more elements of the plot that allude to the Odyssey. The protagonists' aim is to seek an blind alien named Tiresias, presumably named after the mythological prophet of the same name. A race of aliens gives them sweetening foods and wipes their memory (cf Lotophagi), a beautiful song leads them into a trap, a monster called a silla attacks them, and they eventually fall into a black hole (cf Charybdis) after escaping the silla. To me, these seem like humorous but obvious allusions to the Odyssey, and perhaps worthy of mention in the Outernet article. But would that be considered original research, as it's not explicitly stated? (Or appropriate allusions, and I'm just being dense?)

Thank you very much. --Lkjhgfdsa (talk) 00:43, 12 July 2008 (UTC)

That would be a descriptive claim about the contents of a primary source whose applicability is easily verifiable and obvious to any reasonable, educated person without the need for specialized knowledge — and therefore not OR. Go to it :D Mr. IP Defender of Open Editing 17:15, 8 August 2008 (UTC)

Google Street View

I added the following to this article: "In Australia Google pledged to not to identify faces or number plates.[7] However, it is still possible to view both.[8][9]" Another editor claims that the second and third citations are WP:OR.[43] The links are direct links to the actual Google Street View images which are primary sources. WP:PRIMARY says "Primary sources that have been published by a reliable source may be used in Wikipedia, but only with care, because it is easy to misuse them. For that reason, anyone—without specialist knowledge—who reads the primary source should be able to verify that the Wikipedia passage agrees with the primary source." The cites I used seem to comply with that. I felt it was more appropriate to use a primary source in this case because it allows the reader to move the images around and verify, beyond all doubt, the claim themselves, in accordance with what WP:PRIMARY says.

So, my obvious question is, is this WP:OR? --AussieLegend (talk) 14:18, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

but adding However, it is still possible to view both. with just the google street view images is original research. I found Google takes a risky road with privacy which isn't original research and is a third party and is less likely to change unlike the google street view images so it's better suited to the article. Bidgee (talk) 14:34, 6 August 2008 (UTC)
Why is it original research? It's no different to writing anything in Wikipedia and using a source to support it. You find a source, you add something to an article and then use that source to support the claim. Standard practice. Interestingly, your source doesn't support the claim. Face blurring is obvious in most of the pictures in the gallery. The only face that is anything close to recognisable is the one of the Google driver and that's because he's got his head next to the camera so that one doesn't count. No number plates are readable which seems to support Google's claim that "the low resolution of images would prevent vehicle number plates from being identifiable." This is the reason why the actual images from Google Street View were used. They're more appropriate in this case. --AussieLegend (talk) 14:48, 6 August 2008 (UTC)
It's most likely that the images on Google street view will be blurred. I've seen some number plates and faces better then the once sourced and even the onces in the gallery on the new source but I will not add it since it's original research and will likely be removed or blurred making the source not vaild however the Sydney Morning Herald states whats said even if it doesn't show faces and number plates as clearly as Google itself. Why I think it's original research is that it's an image and doesn't back-up the words stated within the article.
Interestingly, your source doesn't support the claim.
"Various unblurred images of faces and number plates have been removed from Street View following complaints from users"
"Google Australia spokesman Rob Shilkin said private roads and unblurred number plates and faces were removed from Street View as soon as they were brought to Google's attention via the reporting mechanism in "Street View Help"."[44]. Bidgee (talk) 14:56, 6 August 2008 (UTC)
"It's most likely that the images on Google street view will be blurred." - That's WP:OR itself. The important point is that right now they aren't blurred. The claim in the newspaper article was "the low resolution of images would prevent vehicle number plates from being identifiable." That is clearly not true in light of the evidence which you acknowledge exists. We don't write Wikipedia articles so they'll be correct in the future. We write them so that they're correct now. If the images are blurred in the future then the citations, and possibly the claim, can be changed or deleted then but, right now, they're correct and appropriate.
"Why I think it's original research is that it's an image and doesn't back-up the words stated within the article." - How do the images not support the article? The article states "In Australia Google pledged to not to identify faces or number plates. However, it is still possible to view both." The first citation clearly identifies a face and the second identifies a number plate. Both are clear demonstrations of the statement "However, it is still possible to view both."
"Various unblurred images of faces and number plates have been removed from Street View following complaints from users" - Various images may have but it is still possible to view both faces and number plates. That's a fact. "Vaious unblurred images etc" does not support that claim.
"Google Australia spokesman Rob Shilkin said private roads and unblurred number plates and faces were removed from Street View as soon as they were brought to Google's attention via the reporting mechanism in "Street View Help" - Again, this does not support the claim that it is still possible to view both faces and number plates. The images from Google Street View do. --AussieLegend (talk) 18:12, 6 August 2008 (UTC)
""It's most likely that the images on Google street view will be blurred." - That's WP:OR itself." No its not it's a fact[45] and it's a talkpage comment not content in an article. "Vaious unblurred images etc" does support the claim and "We don't write Wikipedia articles so they'll be correct in the future. We write them so that they're correct now." Incorrect. "That is clearly not true in light of the evidence which you acknowledge exists." Think what ever you want on the other source but it's still OR. Bidgee (talk) 21:03, 6 August 2008 (UTC)
"No its not it's a fact" - No it isn't. The reference you provided says "Various unblurred images of faces and number plates have been removed from Street View following complaints from users' but the other reference[46] says "Google said last year its Street View service would not identify faces or license plates in Australia." (emphasis added) So last year Google said that faces and number plates would not be identifiable but this year, ie quite some time later, we find that Google's claim from last year doesn't match reality. That makes it notable enough to mention it in the article in the privacy section, which is a notable section itself because of the wide coverage that the privacy issue has had. If what you said was a fact, we wouldn't be having this discussion.
"Incorrect" - What do you mean incorrect? I showed exactly how the "various images etc" claim doesn't support the statement. How can "Various images have been removed" possibly support the claim that "it is still possible to view both [faces and number plates]"?
"Incorrect" - Is it your argument that we do write articles so they'll be correct in the future? If so, perhaps we should rewrite the Space Shuttle article so that it states the shuttles were retired in 2010.
"Think what ever you want on the other source but it's still OR." - No it isn't. Google Street View is a published source and the citations directly support the claim. Are you arguing that you can't see that man's face or read the number plate? --AussieLegend (talk) 08:48, 7 August 2008 (UTC)
I don't know if it's so much an "original research" issue as it is an issue of "undue weight", or even of privacy. I think the first statement, "In Australia Google pledged to not to identify faces or number plates" can be read that Google is in the process of removing those images. Even if some of those images are still out there, that doesn't contradict the first statement. Also it really isn't encyclopedic to be cherry-picking images out of possible thousands to prove a point, and the non-blurred images might be blurred at any moment in the future. Squidfryerchef (talk) 00:05, 7 August 2008 (UTC)
But the images do contradict the claim. Google promised last year (ie not recently) that faces and number plates would not be readable. The images that I linked to clearly show that the claim made by Google at least 8 months ago is not true. --AussieLegend (talk) 08:48, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

(resetting indent) Bidgee has now added a citation that actually supports the claim, ironically at the same time as I was doing the same (he got in first by a few seconds) so that side track in this is now resolved but my question still stands. Are Google Street View images WP:OR? Bidgee's arguments still haven't convinced me. --AussieLegend (talk) 16:23, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

I have to agree with you. OR policy makes clear that a photograph from a reliable source can be a primary source. GSV is a reliable source. OR policy also makes clear that if the primary source unambiguously backs up the passage written in the article — to any reader, inarguably, and without specialized knowledge — then it is acceptable for use as a source. I would say that your example meets all of these criteria. Mr. IP Defender of Open Editing 17:27, 8 August 2008 (UTC)

Synthesis question in college football article

NOTE: I've summarized the issue here. Additional discussion can be found here: Wikipedia talk:No original research#Hmmm... is this original research?.X96lee15 (talk) 16:11, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

In the Directional Michigan article, I believe the following sections should be considered synthesis:

  • "While staying competitive in their own conference and against non-BCS conference opponents, all three have traditionally been unsuccessful against BCS conference opponents."
  • "The Directional Michigan schools have lower attendance numbers than most other Division I-FBS schools. Their athletic budgets for football are smaller than larger, BCS programs; according to the Office of Postsecondary Education of the U.S. Department of Education, the budgets of the Directional Michigan programs are significantly smaller than those of the two BCS conference programs within the state of Michigan."

The references in the article show that CMU, EMU and WMU have had "traditionally unsuccessful" (ambiguous term in itself) records vs. Bowl Championship Series conference teams, that the budgets and attendance of the schools are lower than those of UM and MSU. However, none of the references that have to do with the article make mention of any of these facts that were pulled from other places. I don't believe they can be included in the article because no other references came to the same conclusion. — X96lee15 (talk) 22:40, 8 August 2008 (UTC)

Illegal immigration to the United States

There is an ongoing dispute in Illegal immigration to the United States regarding whether the current section on U.S. Code Title 8 Section 1253 is a proper summary of the code or constitutes original research. The current section states, "Under U.S. Code Title 8 Section 1253, Penalties related to removal, any alien against who is either

inadmissable, present in violation of law in violation of nonimmigrant status or condition of entry has had his conditional permanent residence terminated is guilty of smuggling is guilty of marriage fraud has not received a waiver for inadmissability and who

willfully fails or refuses to depart from the United States within a period of 90 days from the date of the final order of removal under administrative processes, or if judicial review is had, then from the date of the final order of the court willfully fails or refuses to make timely application in good faith for travel or other documents necessary to the alien's departure connives or conspires, or takes any other action, designed to prevent or hamper or with the purpose of preventing or hampering the alien's departure pursuant to such, or willfully fails or refuses to present himself or herself for removal at the time and place required by the Attorney General pursuant to such order shall be fined under title 18,Crimes and Criminal Offenses, or imprisoned for not more than four years (or ten years if the alien has been found guilty of smuggling, other criminal behavior, failure to register falsification of documents, or criminal behavior which creates a security risk) or both. In addition, they may receive civil penalties under U.S. Code Title 8 Section 1231" Is this a proper summary or is it original research? An outsider's opinion would be helpful.- (talk) 16:26, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

It reads as if it was simply quoting from the code. Not so? If so, there is no OR involved. Blueboar (talk) 18:26, 7 August 2008 (UTC)
The dispute is about whether the claim that visa overstays are a crime under section 1253 is original research. The claim is made by the anonymous editor sometimes using the handle without citing other sources than the US code, and despite other reliable sources saying that overstaying a visa is not a crime but a civil infraction. Terjen (talk) 20:15, 7 August 2008 (UTC)
The "reliable sources" Terjen is talking about are journalists and news editors. As per discussion on the Wikiproject Law discussion page, journalists and news editors are not reliable sources on immigration law. In other words, the consensus is that Terjen has no reliable sources to the contrary. The dispute is whether or not pointing out that title 8 section 1253 states, "shall be fined under title 18, or imprisoned not more than four years"[10]. Terjen insists that pointing out that section 1253 says that constitutes original research.- (talk) 20:41, 7 August 2008 (UTC)
Even merely quoting from a statute could still count as OR if the statute is convoluted enough to make it difficult to determine exactly what in the world it's trying to say. 8 USC 1253 is, in my opinion, so long and complicated that I wouldn't want to see it in the body of a Wikipedia article; and because it's so complicated, I would fear that any readable one-line summary supplied by a WP editor would probably constitute OR.
In any case, though, I think the most we can really say on the basis of a recitation of 8 USC 1253 is that some (not necessarily all, just some) activities relating to illegal immigration to (or presence in) the US do constitute criminal offenses under US federal law. This (and other sections of the Immigration and Nationality Act or its restatement in 8 USC) would contradict — or, at least, show to be an overgeneralization — a blanket claim that "illegal immigration is not a crime". However, the opposite (and equally broad) claim that illegal immigration is a crime is also not sufficiently established by these sorts of quotes from the statute books, because there may be (and, I imagine, probably are) some other activities relating to illegal immigration/presence that are not defined as crimes. Richwales (talk) 21:28, 7 August 2008 (UTC)
I agree that the extensive quoting from 8 USC 1253 is so long and convoluted that it shouldn't be in the body of the Wikipedia article. If somebody want to know what the code says, they can just follow the link. Most should talk to a lawyer instead - interpreting the law requires expertise and familiarity not only with the specialized vocabulary, but also with the ruling of previous cases. Terjen (talk) 05:05, 8 August 2008 (UTC)
The immigration laws section with the content above is not merely a quote from the US code, but also makes a point out of that the mentioned title 18 is Crimes and Criminal Offenses, inserting and emphasizing the name of this title in the text. This slight synthesis may create a false impression that illegal immigration is a crime, despite reliable secondary sources to the contrary.Terjen (talk) 22:08, 7 August 2008 (UTC)
This sounds like there is disagreement about what the code means... not what it says. Thus, I think this is more of a POV dispute than an OR issue. Blueboar (talk) 22:24, 7 August 2008 (UTC)
Wikipedia editors and other laymen are indeed not experts in interpreting the laws. That's why we have lawyers and judges to figure out what the code means. Terjen (talk) 22:34, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

List of gothic rock bands


Just a warning, this has a possibility of opening a HUGE can of worms. I came across this article while RC patrolling. From what I could tell, three editors have WP:OWNERSHIP issues. They argued and bullied with another editor about unreferenced and OR tags. I reviewed the edit history and the talk page, and it appears to me that these three editors only allow bands to be listed that they believe to belong without any citations either way. I'm curious as to whether or not this constitutes OR. I also understand this can have a ripple effect on a number of similar articles. Ndenison talk 04:38, 8 August 2008 (UTC)

Certainly if they are insisting that bands can only be included on the basis of their own judgment (specialized knowledge), instead of seeking to establish a system based on references which describe bands as gothic, that would be OR in practice. They will eventually need to rely on a system of references. Mr. IP Defender of Open Editing 17:18, 8 August 2008 (UTC)

Homosexuality in speculative fiction #Comics and Manga

Is the following, from Homosexuality in speculative fiction #Comics and Manga, original research? It looks like it to me, but given it may be a sensitive article I would like further input.

Thanks for your time. Hiding T 11:10, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

Added citation added calling him gay, and mentioning his "friend".Yobmod (talk) 16:26, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
My issues are more with the following:
  • "Roy Thomas penned thought balloons for that suggested Firebrand had been involved in a gay relationship".
  • 'Gay topics were still largely taboo in mass-circulation comic books in 1981, and words such as "confirmed bachelor" and references to a closeted identity were as close as a writer could come to actually saying that a character was gay.'
The first is speculation on the part of a wikipedia editor and the second is synthesis. Hiding T 08:31, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

I don't really see the quibble. The quoted paragraph passes the "sniff" test," for me at least, and in my view, should stand. At the same time, however, the two objections raised immediately above are reasonable on their face. I admit to being uncertain when mere common sense becomes opinion and "original research." Surely there is a difference.

The main difference is that the first statement has no sources other than uncited thought balloons, leaving the reader with no way to verify it. The second simply states that "confirmed bachelor" was used as a code phrase here, with no source to back it up. Calling it common sense doesn't really help if we aren't 100% sure of the author's intent; people have a habit of reading too much into a work. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 16:51, 9 August 2008 (UTC)

Wilderness Diarrhea Item?

In the article Wilderness Diarrhea and editor removed the following paragraph below because he said they constitute original research. I am asking here if the material is indeed "original research."

Gastrointestinal distress unrelated to microbial infection is extremely common as a result of strenuous excercise [[47]] and may potentially be confused with Wilderness Diarrhea. A study of 155 men and women who walked an average of 26 miles a day for four days, found 24% of the subjects experienced gastrointestinal symptoms. No relationship was established between symptoms and age, gender, previous training, or walking speed. [[48]]

Factors in diarrhea related to exercise may include dehydration, the diversion of blood from the bowel to the working muscles (gut ischemia), certain foods and fluids, the use of tobacco and alcohol, or medications, heat strain and heat exhaustion. [[49]][[50]]

The reverting editor's comment is "Compared to the number of cases of diarrhea from pathogens, the existence of any significant number of cases of non-infective diarrhea among people entering the wilderness has not been supported by any reference presented here so far, and appears to be only your speculative idea. You might want to pursue your idea in another setting since Wikipedia doesn't allow original research that hasn't been published elsewhere."

So, is it original research? Other problems? Synthesis? Calamitybrook (talk) 20:03, 3 August 2008 (UTC)

It seems to me that something along these lines should be included in the article, and that the sources largely back it up. However, there may be a bit of a problem with conflation of general GI symptoms and diarrhea specifically, especially in the MS&SE ref. In order to allay the concerns of the other editor and improve the article, there will also need to be some information (just a statement, probably) contextualizing the prevalence of diarrhea caused by strenuous activity relative to the prevalence of diarrhea caused by pathogens. If we can improve it along these lines, I'll be happy to help argue for its inclusion in the article. Mr. IP Defender of Open Editing 13:38, 10 August 2008 (UTC)

Ahmad ibn Ibrihim al-Ghazi

Large chunks of the Ahmad ibn Ibrihim al-Ghazi article appear to be the product of original research. Specifically, the ethnicity section speculates on the possible ethnic background of Ahmad without any of the sources it cites once directly and explicitly mentioning his ethnicity. This section of the article also contradicts the consensus among most scholars and historians that al-Ghazi was a Somali,[11][12][13][14][15][16] and according to Wiki policies, exceptional claims require exceptional sources.

Here are the offending passages:

His ethnicity is never explicitly mentioned in the Futuh al-Habasha of Sihab ad-Din Ahmad bin 'Abd al-Qader (otherwise known as 'Arab Faqih), the primary source for his conquests, possibly because it was not important or because the author assumed it was known to his readers. There are a number of clues in the Futuh worth considering.

  • Many of Imam Ahmdad's relatives are identified. His sister Fardusa is said to have been married to the chieftain Mattan, who is identified as a Somali unlike her.[17] Imam Ahmdad's brother was Muhammad bin Ibrahim, chieftain of the tribes of Shewa and Hargaya before joining the Imam against Ethiopia.[18] [19] He had a cousin Muhammad bin Ali, whose mother was the Imam's aunt; Muhammad was the Sultan of the Somali tribe of Zarba.[20] Last is his cousin Emir Zeharbui Muhammad, of whose background the Futuh has little to say.[21]
  • The Futuh mentions one Ibrahim bin Ahmad as a ruler of the Adal Sultanate for three months, whose name suggests that he may be the Imam's father. This Ibrahim is described as one of the Belew and previously having been the ruler of the town of Hubat.[22] The possible connection between the two is strengthened by the fact that Hubat is later mentioned as one of the power bases of Imam Ahmad (the other being Za'ka).[23] Today Hubat (or Hubata) is located in the district of Haramaya/Alemaya, and Ulrich Braukamper has noted that the Belew name in the region has only survived amongst the Nole Oromo.[24]
  • Then there are numerous occasions where the Futuh supplies evidence for an argument from silence. There are numerous passages in the Futuh where Imam Ahmad and the Somali people are mentioned together, and never once does 'Arab Faqih mention the ethnic connection. Further, the Somali warriors are described as having fled during the Battle of Shimbra Kure; had the Imam been Somali, would the Futuh which otherwise praises the Imam at every turn, mention this embarrassing detail?[25]
  • So far these argue against the Imam being descended from Somali ancestors (although in any case there are undeniably Somali families who can claim to be his descendants). But in favor of Imam Ahmad's having been a Somali is the fact that, after disagreeing with Sultan Umar Din over the alms tax, he retired to live amongst the Somali.[26]


  1. ^ IDABC - European eGovernment Services (2004). "European Interoperability Framework for pan-European eGovernment Services". Retrieved 2007-07-30. 
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ [2]
  4. ^ [3]
  5. ^ [4]
  6. ^ [
  7. ^ "Google unveils Street View across Australia". 2008-08-05. Retrieved 2008-08-06. 
  8. ^ "Google Earth View, Face, 18 William St, Raymond Terrace, New South Wales, Australia". Retrieved 2008-08-06. 
  9. ^ "Google Earth View, Number plate, 29 William St, Raymond Terrace, New South Wales, Australia". Retrieved 2008-08-06. 
  10. ^ US CODE: Title 8,1253. Penalties related to removal
  11. ^ Nikshoy C. Chatterji, Muddle of the Middle East, (Abhinav Publications: 1973), p.166
  12. ^ Lewis, I.M., "The Somali Conquest of Horn of Africa", Journal of African History, 12
  13. ^ Charles Fraser Beckingham, George Wynn Brereton Huntingford, Manuel de Almeida, Bahrey, Some Records of Ethiopia 1593-1646: Being Extracts from the History of High Ethiopia or Abassia By Manoel De Almeida, Together with Bahrey's History of the Galla, (Hakluyt Society: 1954), p.105
  14. ^ Charles Pelham Groves, The Planting of Christianity in Africa, (Lutterworth Press: 1964), p.110
  15. ^ Richard Stephen Whiteway, Miguel de Castanhoso, João Bermudes, Gaspar Corrêa, The Portuguese expedition to Abyssinia in 1541-1543 as narrated by Castanhoso, (Kraus Reprint: 1967), p.xxxiii
  16. ^ William Leonard Langer, Geoffrey Bruun, Encyclopedia of World History: Ancient, Medieval, and Modern, Chronologically Arranged, (Houghton Mifflin Co.: 1948), p.624
  17. ^ Sihab ad-Din Ahmad bin 'Abd al-Qader, Futuh al-Habasa: The conquest of Ethiopia, translated by Paul Lester Stenhouse with annotations by Richard Pankhurst (Hollywood: Tsehai, 2003), p. 44
  18. ^ Futuh, p. 51. Pankhurst identifies this Hargaya as a location inside modern Ethiopia, different from the modern city of Hargeisa.
  19. ^ "Islamic History and Culture in Southern Ethiopia",p.34 Braukamper states that the name itself has survived amongst the Nole Oromo.
  20. ^ Futuh, p. 44
  21. ^ First mentioned in Stenhouse's translation of the Futuh at p. 54, and occasionally afterwards.
  22. ^ Futuh, p. 8
  23. ^ Futuh, p. 14
  24. ^ "Islamic History and Culture in Southern Ethiopia",p.36
  25. ^ Futuh, p. 81
  26. ^ Recounted at Futuh, pp. 101-105.

Please note how almost all of the above statements cite the Futuh source, which, by the article's own admission, never mentions Ahmad's ethnicity. The above statements literally piece together information from the Futuh and other sources to arrive at a conclusion that none of the aforementioned sources themselves reach i.e. synthesis.

Let me know what you think. Causteau (talk) 17:20, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

It's a fairly clear example of original research. It even deviates into obvious editorial analysis , with statements such as: "Then there are numerous occasions where the Futuh supplies evidence for an argument from silence. There are numerous passages in the Futuh where Imam Ahmad and the Somali people are mentioned together, and never once does 'Arab Faqih mention the ethnic connection. Further, the Somali warriors are described as having fled during the Battle of Shimbra Kure; had the Imam been Somali, would the Futuh which otherwise praises the Imam at every turn, mention this embarrassing detail?" Vassyana (talk) 09:14, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
Just like I suspected. Thanks for the feedback, Causteau (talk) 21:55, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
Needless to say, I beg to differ. First, I wish that I had been informed of this discussion at the time, since I would have been happy to explain this material & make any necessary changes. Next, I believe it is germane to point out that it is a point of Somali nationalistic ideology to assert that Imam Ahmad Gragn was a Somali; this is why I felt it necessary to use the primary source, rather than to compile a list all of the authorities who dissent from this belief. However, I am puzzled at how this passage is considered "original research" -- as far as I can see it is simply the paraphrasing of verifiable details from a primary source, with the minimum of interpretation possible. As for the "editorial analysis", I believe this falls under the category of an obvious logical inference, that is argument from silence; not to mention this possible reading of the source would be, I feel, dishonest. (As I pointed out on the Talk page, this form of argument is the weakest that can be made -- which is why I linked to the article. Lastly, the Imam's possible non-Somali origins is not a novel or original conclusion: as the Talk page mentions, both Morin & Lewis have suggested other ethnic origins for this person. -- llywrch (talk) 18:16, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
It is not "Somali nationalistic ideology" to assert that Imam Ahmad was Somali: It is the consensus among most scholars to assert that he was Somali, as clearly indicated by the not one, not two, but six different sources cited above (note the non-Somali last names: Groves, Chatterji, Almeida, Castanhoso). I could easily produce more if space allowed it. Again, the entire passage above is original research because it speculates on the possible ethnic background of Ahmad without any of the sources it cites once directly and explicitly mentioning his ethnicity. The edit even admits point blank that "his ethnicity is never explicitly mentioned in the Futuh al-Habasha" -- it doesn't get more blatant than that. Causteau (talk) 20:13, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
Your list of experts is misleading: first compiling a list of experts is not the same as counting votes -- although listing 3 or 4 can be used to indicate what the majority opinion could be. I could compile a list of authorities who point out that his ethnic background is not known. For example Almeida is a 17th century author, who did not have direct knowledge of the Imam. While Castanhoso is another primary source, the citation in the article is to the introductory pages -- which is written by R.S. Whiteway, who writes, "Nothing is said to his nationality. He was certainly not an Arab: probably he was a Somali, for we find him closely connected with many who were Somalis." Castanhoso, in his own words, calls Ahmad Gragn "a Moor" & "the King of Zeila", which are clearly in error. The title of Groves' book is The Planting of Christianity in Africa, which suggests that he might not write authoritatively about the Imam's nationality. This leaves only Chatterji (to whom I would add the professor Said S. Samatar, who was born in Somalia) arguing that Ahmad Gragn was a Somali. -- llywrch (talk) 02:57, 7 August 2008 (UTC)
Kindly do not interpret for reading parties what the sources say; that's the exact sort of thing that started this whole mess in the first place. Here's what the above references actually state, and with no spin attached:
1)Chatterji: A Somali chief of Adel, a Muslim state on the Gulf of Aden, named Ahmed ibn Ibrahim by using the new weapon completely overthrew the Ethiopian kingdom...
2)Beckingham: Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al Ghazi, called 'the left-handed' by the Somali, (gran in Amharic), was a Somali in the service of the ruler of Zeila.
3)Groves: The leader was a Somali chief, Ahmad ibn Muhammad Gran, Muslim ruler of a border state, who with great energy and resource pressed home the invasion of Abyssinia.
4)Castanhoso: He was certainly not an Arab: probably he was a Somali, for we find him closely connected with many who were Somalis.
5)Langer: Ethiopia was overrun by the Moslem Somali chief, Ahmed Gran, who used firearms.
Please note that the I.M. Lewis source above which asserts that Imam Ahmad was a Somali was, in fact, submitted by none other than Llywrch himself almost exactly two years ago. As for the Samatar gentleman, he indeed represents the lone Somali scholar in the list of references in the article proper. However, what Llywrch yet again fails to mention is that it was he (not me) that listed Samatar among the sources. I therefore see no point in why he felt the need to mention that Samatar was "born in Somalia" -- how is Samatar's being Somali all of a sudden a problem now when it wasn't before? Causteau (talk) 18:44, 8 August 2008 (UTC)
I believe it falls under the prohibition on original research, because it goes beyond reporting the content of the source and does so in a fashion intended to put forward an argument (both of which are clear identifying characteristics of NOR violations IMO). Vassyana (talk) 19:23, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
PS to the above: I think it is relevant to point out what Causteau did with Vassyana's opinion: he deleted most of the passagediff, & made it appear that it was the unanimous opinion of the relevant experts that the Imam was of an Somali ethnic background -- despite that there are experts (who are, by no means, fringe opinions) with dissenting views. Also note this set of edits where he removed all mention of dissenting opinions concerning the Imam's ethnic origins. He even removed the passage that states the major primary source (the Futuh al-Habasha) omits all mention of his ethnicity, a fact that is pointed out in numerous secondary sources. Vassyana, would you consider these edits to be the proper way to not only to correct any possible original research, but to achieve NPOV in this article? -- llywrch (talk) 19:09, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
I do not believe that is the correct way to address the issue at all (the fashion the other editor chose). Rather, it would be best to include the dissenting opinions using reliable scholarly sources, since they exist and are relatively easy to access. Vassyana (talk) 19:23, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
I have no problem with the inclusion of dissenting opinions regarding the ethnicity of Imam Ahmad provided that they are directly and explicity supported by reliable sources, rather than being the product of one editor's speculations on what -- by his own admission -- is not once mentioned in the source he does actually cite. Causteau (talk) 20:13, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Vassyana--find the best quality secondary modern two sources on each side--and cite them, including a correct in context one sentence wquote either in the text or part or the footnote.. DGG (talk) 20:34, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
Sounds reasonable enough. Causteau (talk) 20:55, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
In that case, when I am able to gain access to my books (I am currently attending a funeral some 2400 miles away) I will provide a more full recounting of the authorities who point out that his nationality is not known, despite the claims of Somalis. -- llywrch (talk) 02:57, 7 August 2008 (UTC)
Then I suppose the scholars Nikshoy C. Chatterji, I.M. Lewis, Manuel de Almeida, Charles Pelham Groves, Miguel de Castanhoso, and William Leonard Langer cited in the footnotes above are all Somali, huh? Llywrch's consistent attempts at insinuating that Imam Ahmad was only Somali in the minds of Somalis is beyond laughable, since the overwhelming majority of the literature unreservedly identifies the man as such. Even Llywrch's Ethiopian pal Yom himself admitted as much when the latter inserted the following line into the article way back in June of 2006: Imam Ahmad has traditionally sometimes been interpreted as being an Arab in Ethiopia, though he is more often represented as Somali. Note that that line lasted a good two years without Llywrch, in his many repeat visits to the page, once feeling the need to remove or even so much as modify it. I think that, in and of itself, is very telling. Moreover, historical Christian Portuguese sources that actually fought against the Muslim Imam Ahmad also identify him as Somali: "In Portuguese sources he is called King of Adal and Emir of Zeila, and they conjecture that he was Somali" -- from Ethiopia Through Russian Eyes: Country in Transition, 1896-1898 by Alexander Bulatovich. But oh yeah; Mr. Bulatovich's testimony, like apparently that of the bulk of other scholars out there, doesn't count either since he too -- as his last name and the title of his book clearly indicate -- is Somali *eye roll*. Causteau (talk) 00:11, 8 August 2008 (UTC)

Thought you folks would like to know that on August 4th, Llywrch solicited input from another regular visitor to this noticeboard regarding the discussion we are presently having. Here is the question Llywrch asked and the responses he received:

Someguy, I noticed that you frequently comment on questions in WP:NOR/N. Would you kindly take a look at the thread Ahmad ibn Ibrihim al-Ghazi, & offer your opinion? Thanks. -- llywrch (talk) 19:25, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

Well the comments are already in and consensus appears to have formed, so my particpation in the discussion would probably not help much. But to place my opinion in case you still want it, the offending section violated OR because it contains an analysis that was not present in any of the cited sources. This is prohibited, in fact, by the nutshell itself: Articles may not contain any new analysis or synthesis of published material that serves to advance a position not clearly advanced by the sources. Someguy1221 (talk) 00:27, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
And if you want another opinion, I can say that it is very obvious OR, unless you can cite reliable sources that actually carry out the same analysis, in which case the issue might involve WP:UNDUE instead. --Philosophus T 00:58, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

I think a pattern is beginning to emerge here, wouldn't you say? Causteau (talk) 18:44, 8 August 2008 (UTC)


First, let me admit that I have responded to this matter with a clear amount of anger: insasmuch as I have contributed to Wikipedia for a number of years -- & receiving compliments for my work in the process -- I would hope that anyone who has a concern with one of my edits would begin with the assumption that I might have made a mistake either in my presentation, or in being out of date with the current version of a given policy. Such problems can be handled quite quickly with a discussion on the editors' Talk pages. Had Causteau raised his concerns with this passage, and explained what the problem was instead of brusquely telling me to RTFM, I would have been more than happy to have worked with him. More to the point, had he explained that I had assumed that it was obvious that the Imam's ethnic background was unclear, I would have removed the section in question until I could have completed the necessary research to show that, provably, there is doubt about this person's ethnic background amongst the experts.

Let me repeat this in brief: I know what is permitted on Wikipedia; Causteau objected to what I had written, but refused to help me understand what I had done wrong; only thru further discussion in this thread did I finally understand what the problem was, & said I would fix this.

And allow me to add that this incident made me angry enough that I seriously contemplated addressing one & all involved with some intemperate language, & definite misuse of my Admin privileges. I hope this was not what anyone intended to happen; but push anyone, no matter how experienced or patient, far enough, & they will decide "Fuck all of this shit; I don't need this hassle & pain when I'm trying hard to be a good guy. I'm outta here, & I'm going to make sure that people know why!"

End of my rant. Now to the reasoning behind my contributions to this article.

This is what the article said when I first encountered it. Note that an anonymous editor had provided an unsubstantiated claim to his ethnic background, as far as which sub-clan the Imam belonged to. Since my focus in Wikipedia is on Ethiopian topics, I obviously wanted to verify the details in this stub -- as well as improve on it. Due to difficulty in properly finding reliable sources for many details of Ethiopian (& Somali) history & culture, I tend to be permissive in what is added to these articles, & conservative in removing most of this information -- even though it is often unsourced. This is how it came to be that Imam Ahmad ibn Ibrihim al-Ghazi was asserted to be of Somali ethnicity.

About this time, I started to read Paul B. Henze's Layers of Time, wherein he wrote (rather arrogantly, IMHO): "Though some modern Somali nationalists have attempted to make him a national hero, the case is unconvincing. Somali tribes had not developed a sense of common identity in his time. they were still in the process of expanding into the territories they eventually occupied. Gragn's forces were composed of Afars, Hararis, Somalis and Arabs and were augmented by a few Turks.Their common language was Arabic and their sense of purpose lay in their loyalty to Islam." (p. 90) Not long after this, I encountered the passage from Whiteway's introduction to The Portuguese Expedition to Abyssinia in 1541-1543, which I quoted above. At this point I concluded that the Imam's ethnic background was in dispute -- although I did not take the time to thoroughly research the secondary literature to verify this conclusion.

Now I have to say that when it comes to Ethiopian history & culture, I am in the paradoxical situation where it is far easier to access the primary sources than the secondary ones, & that some of the secondary sources I have used are not reliable -- such as the work of E.A. Wallis Budge. I am constantly aware that I can at any moment slip, without knowing, into violating the original research policy. That is why a number of Ethiopia-related articles still remain stubs: I would rather wait to find a reliable secondary source to improve on a stub than to boldly work with primary sources. But there are times when I judge it safe to present the primary sources, with the minimum possible interpretation, for the reader to draw her or his own conclusions. The ethnicity of Imam Ahmad Gragn was one of these.

Lacking access to the secondary literature, I made the decision in this revision to provide a summary of the relevant information from the primary source: it is obvious that the Futuh al-Habashi does not provide the Imam's ethnic identity; I beleive this is even stated in a secondary source, which I have been unable to rediscover. If the Futuh is silent about Imam Ahmad Gragn's ethnicity, then the least unusual place to look for clues would be to look at his relatives.

I spent a large chunk of this Sunday afternoon examining reliable authorities for proof that this is a topic for which there is no consensus -- beyond, of course, the Somali nationalists Henze alludes to in the passage quoted. And the results surprised me.

First, there is the footnote in the article to the book Some Records of Ethiopia 1593-1646: Being Extracts from the History of High Ethiopia or Abassia By Manoel De Almeida, Together with Bahrey's History of the Galla, to give its complete title (which, IMHO, is unnecessarily verbose). On page 105, Almeida's text reads "the Moor Granh": while I may be again committing the crime Causteau accuses me of above -- interpreting for reading parties what the sources say -- I only think it is proper to point out that for Almeida & his contemporaries, "Moor" did not necessarily mean an inhabitant of North Africa, but a Moslem who was not of Arab or Persian ancestry; it does not prove or disprove that Almeida thought the Imam was a Somali. However in a footnote on that page, the editors/translators of that book (which is credited to both Beckingham & Huntingford) "Granh" is identified as "a Somali in the service of the ruler of Zeila". Now it can be shown that part of that statement is incorrect: Ahmad Gragn was not in anyone's service; he was a Moslem religious -- an Imam -- whom not only the Futuh, but numerous secondary sources (mentioned below) state appointed the ruler of the city of Harar, who was his puppet ruler. I regret to say this -- because in many other regards, both Beckingham & Huntingford are reliable sources -- but this does not make their claim that Ahmad Gragn was a Somali reliable.

Now for what truly surprised me: after reviewing eight reliable or authoritative sources, only one gave an ethnic origin for the Imam. These sources are as follows:

  • Richard Pankhurst, who is considered by many as the most authoritative writer on Ethiopia, while consistently calling Ahmad Gragn an Imam, only in one work provides an ethnic identity for the Imam -- belonging to Adal -- but for the most part, in his 3 books -- Ethiopian Borderlands, The Ethiopians, & The Ethiopian Royal Chronicles -- he does not supply an ethnic identity.
  • Edward Ullendorff, in his The Ethiopians, likewise identifies Ahmad Gragn as an Imam but is silent about his ethnic identity.
  • Tadesse Tamrat, professor of Ethiopian history at Addis Ababa University, in his article for the Cambridge History of Africa, and his monograph Church and State in Ethiopia, consistently calls Ahmad Gragn an Imam but avoids giving him an ethnic identity, although in his Cambridge History chapter, "Ethiopia, the Red Sea, and the Horn", he has at least one opportunity to say he was a Somali -- if he thought this were the case.
  • E. Haberland, writing an article on 16th century Ethiopia for the UNESCO series General History of Africa (vol. 3), simply states that "the brilliant Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al-Ghazi (Ahmad Grañ) who emerged from obscurity to become the charismatic leader of the djihad" (p. 712). In another passage, where he writes about origins of the Somali people & could be expected to say that Ahmad Gragn was a Somali, Haberland also fails to make this identification, or any ethnic identification -- although he, too, identifies him as an Imam.
  • J. Spencer Trimingham, in his Islam in Ethiopia, which is frequently cited as an authoritative source for its topic in the secondary literature, while calling him an "Imam" (& noting that its expression at one point -- "The Imam of the Last Days" -- could be understood as suggesting that some of his followers thought of him as the Mahdi) only states that Ahmad Gragn spent his earliest years in Habat "the region between Gildessa and Harar" (p. 85). He, too, avoids the question.

In short, all of these avoid providing an ethnic identity for Ahmad Gragn -- which I find remarkable. Had his Somali identity been uncontroversial, most if not all of them would have asserted that he was Somali.

I think it is fair to say that all of these works are reliable sources, some of which are of the highest quality: peer-reviewed, appearing under the name of prestigious publishing houses. Let me compare their statements to the quotations Causteau provides above:

  • Chatterji: "A Somali chief of Adel, a Muslim state on the Gulf of Aden, named Ahmed ibn Ibrahim by using the new weapon completely overthrew the Ethiopian kingdom..." Ahmad Gragn was not a chief, but a religious leader. Having made that mistake, can he be considered to be a reliable source about his ethnic identity?
  • Beckingham: "Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al Ghazi, called 'the left-handed' by the Somali, (gran in Amharic), was a Somali in the service of the ruler of Zeila." (Where does this quotation come from? It is not in the book cited in the article under discussion.) Refuted above as unreliable.
  • Groves: "The leader was a Somali chief, Ahmad ibn Muhammad Gran, Muslim ruler of a border state, who with great energy and resource pressed home the invasion of Abyssinia." Ahmad Gragn was not a chief, but a religious leader. Having made that mistake, can he be trusted to be a reliable source about his ethnic identity?
  • Castanhoso: "He was certainly not an Arab: probably he was a Somali, for we find him closely connected with many who were Somalis." Incomplete quotation, & out of context. See my quotation above, which shows his ethnicity was not certain to R.S. Whiteway. Castanhoso calls him "a Moor."
  • Langer: "Ethiopia was overrun by the Moslem Somali chief, Ahmed Gran, who used firearms." Ahmad Gragn was not a chief, but a religious leader. Having made that mistake, can Langer be trusted to be reliable about his ethnic identity?

I apologize for writing such a long response, & hope everyone interested in this issue was able to read my statement with a minimum of difficulty. However, Causteau's snideness in his last comment -- & his uncalled for quoting from a user's talk page -- has compelled me to defend my reputation at length. From the above, I believe it is clear that if I am guilty of promoting any novel conclusion, it is that the question of Imam Ahmad Gragn's ethnic background is still sub juridice, & not a settled issue. I hope that it is understandable to all Wikipedians who understand the goals of this project that it is better to err by assuming that there are more POVs to an issue than that there are none. -- llywrch (talk) 03:40, 11 August 2008 (UTC)

Thank you for your listing of sources and short analyses, Llywrch. I've avoided commenting on this subject for the past week due to a lack of historical sources on hand (I don't currently have access to my university library), and I did not want to make false assertions. One of the important issues here is of reliability. As Llywrch has noted, many have written about Ahmad Gragn, him being an extremely important figure in East African history, but few have done so authoritatively. You noted that you weren't sure if you had a source stating that his ethnicity has never been stated outright by the Futuh. You can find one on the talk page of the article where I cite Franz-Cristoph Muth's article on Adal in the Encyclopaedia Aethiopica. First, regarding the issue of OR, I made a comment regarding the passages added by Llywrch back when they were first added. The few passages that imply arguments from silence and the exact meaning of the connections noted in the Futuh seem to be OR to me. This does not mean the whole of his additions are OR, however. Much of the information is clear by itself, however, and does not require secondary sources stating or interpreting them (while they would certainly be appreciated, things like who his sisters married &c are pretty clear in themselves).
Going back to the reliability of certain sources, I do think Causteau has incorrectly attributed some opinions to authors that made no such claims. While Almeida is an important source for Ethiopian historiography (though he often makes clear mistakes, so he shouldn't be regarded as infallible by any means), I very much doubt he identified Ahmad as Somali. I don't have access to this source atm, so I cannot be positive in this regard, but Llywrch's citation seems to support that. Can you cite the exact passage where he makes this claim, please, Causteau? Moreover, there are a lot of modern authors who have written on Gragn who are not experts of the period that have, without analysis, adopted the interpretation that he was Somali simply on the basis that it is the most "loudly" expressed opinion. Somali nationalism has had an important influence on many authors (not because they believe in it, but because their fierce claims and traditions seem to them to be evidence that he was Somali), without there actually being significant contemporary (16th c.) evidence supporting their claims. Chatterji, Adejumobi, Groves, and Langer/Bruun clearly fall under this category, their works being general ones. Moreover, Esposito's claim that the Imam's army was mostly comprised of Somalis is, in fact, refuted by the Futuh itself (which must be his source for the claim), which, although makes clear it included many Somalis at the beginning of his activities, states clearly that very early in his conquests his army was divided three ways - 1 Somali contingent, another Harla (possibly an early Afar group, but not Somali), and another Malasai (another ambiguous Muslim group, but also unambiguously non-Somali).
Anyway, in short, while I agree that we should be careful in avoiding OR, and some of those statements do seem to do so, IMO, much of it is fine as it is. We should be just as careful in choosing our sources. There's a lot that's been written about Gragn, much of it untrue or simply unfounded. — ዮም | (Yom) | TalkcontribsEthiopia 22:02, 11 August 2008 (UTC)

Ulster Defence Regiment

The following addition has been made to the article in a section about collusion:

There are allegations of Republicans joining the UDR; one example involved William Bogle of 6 UDR who was ambushed and killed on 5th December 1972 at Killeter near the Tyrone/Donegal border. At least one book includes the allegation that he was killed by a former member of his own company possessed of strong Republican views. After the shooting the suspect moved across the border and is not known to have returned to Northern Ireland.

What the source actually says is this:

His [Willie Bogle] assassin was believed to be a former member of the Castlederg Company. He was known for his Republican views and after a year he resigned from the UDR. Following the shooting he moved across the Border into Donegal and never returned.

So while some of the facts may be correct, there are conclusions being drawn which are not in the source. The source does not say the alleged individual concerned joined the UDR in order to "collude" (ie, gather information, steal weapons or similar activities), merely that he was a former member of the UDR. Was he "colluding" while he was a UDR member, or did he merely pass on information after he had left? As the source does not say it, it should not be left up to editors to fill in the blanks to suit their own position, that is correct I assume? The source doesn't use the word "collude" or "collusion", it doesn't say he took part in any such activites while he was a UDR member, so mentioning this with regards to "collusion" is OR in my opinion. Domer48'fenian' 20:47, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

Catch 22 Synopsis section

The Catch 22 article has been listed as a B article until just recently, after I added some synopsis to the stub synopsis section. Someone decided it was original research and deleted it. i don't think it is but that is for you do decide. The Catch 22 article has long been suffering from a difficulty to sum it up. The story is told through jokes that are out of order, and nonsense happens all the time, all of which ultimately make points that are not stated by the author, but instead are shown. Because of the way Catch 22 is written, it's difficult to write a synopsis or plot outline; in order to do so, someone would have to tell the causation in the book (which requires thought to solve the order-of-events-puzzle) and a description of the plot requires an understanding of the resolution of the novel. The understanding of these stem directly from the novel and what it says. yet is it original research to understand it? If so, the Catch 22 article will remain without a synopsis that explains much of anything.

I suppose it doesn't matter either way--I'd be honored to think that what i wrote is original research, but i just think it's too obvious. here it is:

**Spoiler Alert**

- - By the time the reader gets near the end of the book s/he is able to piece together the chronology of events, and thus the causation that had been hitherto obscured by the complex structure. The pictures presented throughout the book of Yossarian's personal code of ethics are diverse, ranging from a duty-bound cadet to a devoted anti-hero. By the end of the book and perhaps not until after finishing it does the reader understand why Yossarian behaved in those ways, whose chronology reveals what he was struggling to come to terms with. At the true beginning of Yossarian's war experience, he was just like all the other soldiers: duty-bound, patriotic, and believing all the things he was told by those he was told he should believe. He was a good bombardier who cared about hitting his targets and sacrificing for his side, and he flew many missions in this mindset until the day he flew over Ferrera twice. Traumatized by the carnage of war and the death in his arms, he immediately afterwards systematically disregarded all of society's mores, ideas of morality, courage, patriotism, duty, shame and you name it--he disregarded it. He even showed up naked to receive his medal just after flying over Ferrera twice.

- - Presumably, Yossarian was so shaken, yet convinced that the tragedies of war should not be happening, that he, considering the lot of it tainted, dumped all of his previously held ideas. The ideas held by people in society curtail our ability to achieve or avoid certain outcomes, and Yossarian had concluded that the outcome and thus the ideas that enabled it, though held by everybody, were wrong. He then regarded everyone he had ever known; including family, pastors, legislators, teachers, neighbors and newspapers; as liars. The portrayal of Yossarian is one of a man dedicated to starting from scratch. The bulk of the book shows how far he has jovially gone in throwing off society's mores and ideas, to the degree of relishing behaving anti-heroically.

- - By the end of the book, Yossarian is following his own newly-built moral compass, which leads him to walk backwards in circles with his hand on his gun at his hip. This behavior precipitates his commanders to put him in the dilemma of whether to sell out the rest of the enlisted men or to suffer greatly. Heller brilliantly constructs here a subtle archetype of the prisoner's dilemma, where the rewards and the punishments for selling out and not selling out others, respectively, are each tremendous, but the collective gain to others is very slight or intangible; yet it still remains a prisoner's dilemma/moral dilemma. Yossarian can either live a life of luxury and honor, or he can continue walking backwards and refusing to fly more missions, making his commanders look foolish until he's jailed; which will nevertheless put some small pressure on the commanders to send home the enlisted men who have done their duty. He decides not to sell them out, and, opting for a dangerous third action (to run away), he thus proves himself to be the opposite of an anti-hero after all. The extreme subtleness of this prisoner's dilemma, the fact that Yossarian sees it so clearly, has so much to lose, and the fact that he recognizes all moral answers to prisoner's dilemmas to be the same basic choice, which must be chosen; together demonstrate Yossarian to be a great hero with an incredibly strong moral bearing. At the very end of the story, long after having dumped his ideas of patriotism, duty, and obeying authorities, he has apparently concluded that society's ideas of shame, cowardice, honor, and the rest of them, really should be disregarded as simplistic or worthless; and that the only valuable aspect of those societal ideas that we should actually hold on to is the choosing of the moral choice in moral/social/prisoner's dilemmas.

If I understand the problem, the book can not be summarized without analyzing it. But I find it difficult to believe that there isn't an RS anayisis of the book out there that can be cited. If the article discusses what is said by others about the book, then you avoid the NOR issue completely. Blueboar (talk) 12:08, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

Possible hoax section in Abjection article

This unsourced section on the concept of the "abject" in theory is unfamiliar to myself and another person familiar with the subject, and appears very likely to be a hoax intended to ridicule the concept or the encyclopedia. I would remove it summarily, but I am posting the matter here in order to ensure consensus beforehand. (talk) 04:23, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

On second thought, I stripped this section entirely, pending discussion here. As it appears to be a pure hoax and has no sources whatsoever, it may bring discredit to the project if it remains up. (talk) 04:30, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
And on further review, the information was added and expanded by an SPA and an anon editor whose only other contributions were either of dubious value or straight-up vandalism. This section persisted in the article from November of 2007 - wow. In light of the post-Sokal popularity of theory-based hoaxes, we should be watching these articles with extra care. (talk) 04:43, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

W. C. Fields

I'm requesting comments on the lead section of the article W. C. Fields. I've already added a section to the talk page, so please add any discussion there. I think that the lead section, while well-written, is not encyclopedic, because it is not sourced. Only one other editor has commented, so I'd like to see some more opinions on this before we go changing anything in the article. — OranL (talk) 17:49, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

[Copied from talk page] I would say that this meets the standard for working from primary sources. The Fields character is well-defined and consistent, and this characterization would be instantly understood as correct by any non-expert who were to view the source material. As numerous secondary sources can confirm the information here, we should include some, but in the meantime, any removal or rewriting of the section would impoverish the article. Mr. IP Defender of Open Editing 14:09, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

F. Henry Edwards - acceptable research plan?

Could someone have glance at this proposal at User talk:Mountdrayton re F. Henry Edwards?

It looks to be skating very close to conducting original research on grounds of unpublished personal communications, then legitimising it as a Wikipedia source by getting a correspondent to put it online.

A bit of advice would be helpful. Gordonofcartoon (talk) 20:50, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

The key to WP:NOR is that Wikipedia should not be the original point of publication for information. Information needs to be published elsewhere (in a reliable source) to be included in Wikipedia. If a Wikipedian has unpublished information on a topic (such as previously unpublished personal communications) he/she can not discuss it on Wikipedia. However, there is nothing wrong with the Wikipedian contacting someone else for publication outside of Wikipedia. Once the information is published elsewhere, it no longer is considered Original Research by our standards, as Wikipedia is no longer the original point of publication. Blueboar (talk) 12:40, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

John Lott

New to wikipedia, andI request advice:

The following is written in the article: "our analysis should show a few definite indicators" That is first personal plural and I believe it should be, at the very least, rephrased. I posted that in the discussion but noone replied. Any advice would be appreciated.

It's clearly OR, I've deleted the section. Doug Weller (talk) 18:33, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
And it's been replaced, with an edit summary saying Lott is known for this -- it is still OR and I removed it again, asking the editor to explain what makes it not OR. Doug Weller (talk) 07:39, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

OR tag without explanation

Somebody put the Original Research tag on an article I wrote, but did not explain why. At Template:Original research it says: "This template should not be applied without explanation on the talk page, and should be removed if the original research is not readily apparent when no explanation is given." I have left a message on the person's talk page asking them to explain their tag on the article's talk page, but they have not responded (as of 5 days later). As the author of the article, am I now entitled to remove the OR tag in accordance with the removal policy quoted above, or do I have to ask someone else to do it? (The article is Mutants (Judge Dredd).) Thanks. Richard75 (talk) 15:04, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

You can do it, but it's nicer if someone else does it. This is a clear-cut case so I just now did it for you. Eubulides (talk) 17:57, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
Thanks! Richard75 (talk) 18:18, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

Motivation of attackers who make Acid attacks

In the article Acid attack subsection Motivation of attackers does this paragraph constitute OR (and if so what has to be changed or removed to make it non-OR) :

Islamists in South Asia, Iran[1], Afghanistan, [2] Gaza, [3] Srinagar [4][5][6] and Lebanon [7] have been accused of using or threatening to use acid to attack the faces of women in an effort to coerce them to refrain from wearing makeup or allegedly immodest dress. According to a Rand Corporation commentary by Cheryl Benard, "in Pakistan, Kashmir, and Afghanistan, hundreds of women have been blinded or maimed when acid was thrown on their unveiled faces by male fanatics who considered them improperly dressed," for failure to wear hijab. [8]

The talk page arguement is here

The sentence "Religious reasons have also been given for attacks." use to begin the paragraph but its deletion has not stilled controversy.--BoogaLouie (talk) 18:07, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

I don't see any real OR or SYN issues here. As for the list of countries where attacks have taken place, each is backed up separately by sourcing, and merely forming a list of them is not a SYN problem. The more obvious concern would be grouping them together and then drawing them as attacks by "Islamists" with "religious motivations". That could arguably be a violation of SYN — though frankly I think it would fall on the acceptable side, because there is no synthesized opinion not plainly evident in the original collected sources — but the information is backed up beyond doubt by the Rand source at the end of the paragraph, which is secondary and contains basically the same information. If someone has a problem with this article/section — which I could see, since these attacks seem to be presented as if they never occur outside of these countries — they might be better off pursuing a POV, undue weight, or {{globalize}} complaint. Mr. IP Defender of Open Editing 08:34, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

OR synthesis n a BLP problem

In the Rosalind Picard page, there is a section about a petition found here.

"Picard is one of the signatories of the Discovery Institute's A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism, a controversial petition which the intelligent design movement uses to promote intelligent design by attempting to cast doubt on evolution.[23][24] "

The two links are combined into one to connect her signature to the Discovery Institute, and then there is a claim that, unmodified, makes it appear that she supports such a group. This is later denied by sources later, if you follow the paragraph. All of the sources say that the signers did not know how the petition would be used, nor is there anything to say that the signers meant it as the other group did.

I believe this is OR synthesis by combining the fact that she signed a petition with information on a group that later used the petition to connect her to that group. Since this is a BLP, I believe this is unfair. Any advice? Ottava Rima (talk) 01:48, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

I don't know that there's an OR/SYN issue here, but the information on the usages of the petition seems unnecessary. As the petition has its own article with a long section on usage, there's no need for the second part of that sentence. It should read, simply, Picard is one of the signatories of the Discovery Institute's A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism. As for the sources used, I think they're both legit. One is primary, but it backs up WP content which is clearly a simple description of its own contents. The other is secondary and reinforces the basic facts of the first source, stating specifically that Picard is a signatory. Persons interested in further information of the uses on the petition may click the link. Seems like an easy solution. Mr. IP Defender of Open Editing 08:44, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
If you are concerned about stating her views on the matter accurately, the statement could be re-written to say: "Picard was a signatory of the Discovery Institute's A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism <cite to the current citations>, but subsequently reputiated her signature.<cite to source that disusses her reputiation>" (or something to that effect... the phrasing obviously depends on what the sources say). Blueboar (talk) 12:24, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
The problem is that there is a group of people who edit about 40 or so related pages and who refuse to allow anything to be done about the section. Ottava Rima (talk) 13:42, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
I'm unclear about just what you want gone. What from here...
Picard says that she was raised an atheist, but converted to Christianity as a young adult.[22] She is dismissive of a school of thought that science can develop anything,[clarify] and says that scientists cannot assume that nothing exists beyond what they can measure. She believes it likely that there is "still something more" to life, beyond what we have discovered, and sees DNA as too complex to have originated through "purely random processes". To her, the complexity of DNA shows "the mark of intervention," and "a much greater mind, a much greater scientist, a much greater engineer behind who we are".[22] She sees her religious beliefs as playing a role in her work in affective computing.[21]
Picard is one of the signatories of the Discovery Institute's A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism, a controversial petition which the intelligent design movement uses to promote intelligent design by attempting to cast doubt on evolution.[23] Although her view about the complexity of DNA "sounds similar to the intelligent design debate", reporter Mirko Petricevic writes, "Picard has some reservations about intelligent design, saying it isn't being sufficiently challenged by Christians and other people of faith".[22] She argues that the media has created a false dilemma by dividing everyone into two groups, supporters of intelligent design or evolution. "To simply put most of us in one camp or the other does the whole state of knowledge a huge disservice," she said.[22]
...must go? Mr. IP Defender of Open Editing 10:51, 30 August 2008 (UTC)
No. I quoted above the line - that is the first line of the second paragraph. Its not that she signed the petition. Its the explanation of the petition that seems to be OR synthesis. You take the fact that she signed, add in later fact how the signature was used, and combine it into a sentence which makes it seem that one follows the other. Ottava Rima (talk) 18:09, 30 August 2008 (UTC)
Oh, if it's still just about that one sentence, I agree w/ you that we should strip out the info about the uses of the petition and just leave the fact that she signed. As the petition has its own article, any information about its uses can be contained there, as it is far more relevant to the petition itself than to Ms. Picard. Who are the people objecting to this change, and on what grounds? Mr. IP Defender of Open Editing 03:35, 31 August 2008 (UTC)
That said, it still seems more like an UNDUE issue than a SYN issue. The second part of the sentence simply describes the uses of the petition without strongly implying that Picard supports those uses. It could be worded to make that more clear, but it's not really a SYN violation. I mostly think it should go out because the ID issue is taking up too much space, proportionally, in an article on someone whose life is not devoted to the all. There has been too much drama over this article already, most of it incomprehensible to those who do not regularly participate in ID-related WP slugfests. Mr. IP Defender of Open Editing 04:59, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

User:Jehkque and Perpetual motion machines

User:Jehkque has opened a single-purpose account to promote his (or her?) original theory that perpetual motion machines are possible. See user contributions. He has been describing this theory in some detail on Talk:Perpetual motion#Laws of Perpetual Motion (Proposed) OPEN FOR DISCUSSION and on his own user page, though not yet (to his credit) in any actual articles. He is of the opinion that by posting the ideas on a talk page and receiving "peer review" feedback from other editors, and also by citing all the individual claims that he synthesizes to form this theory, the theory will then be consistent with WP:RS. See, for example, this edit.

Anyway, I haven't spent too much time debating this editor (the debate is all on his talk page and also the article talk page), nor do I want to, but I can already see signs that the debate isn't going anywhere, and that my appeals to wikipedia policy are being ignored (or, at best, misunderstood). Can some administrator help out? Thanks! :-) --Steve (talk) 21:06, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

Unfortunately, I just can't find support in WP:FRINGE for what you're saying. Rather than giving special quarter to fringe theories, the policy actually insists on particularly good sourcing as a prerequisite for inclusion. It does allow that even theories which are demonstrably untrue (as opponents of your ideas would hold) are allowed inclusion — but if and only if their notability outside of their immediate adherents can be proven though reliable sources. If you could put together a good, sourced section on the fringe views of advocates of perpetual motion, Wikipedia might well be the richer fot it (though, given your strong opinions here, you might want to recruit someone who disagrees with you to help put together something balanced). However, trying to argue your point directly, with no sources, won't achieve much for anyone. Wikipedia in general is not the "one open avenue" to new theories seeking support. The internet as a whole may be that avenue, but Wikipedia specifically is not a proving ground for new theories. Mr. IP Defender of Open Editing 14:19, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
Jehkque you are wrong from top to bottom and have a mistaken idea what wikipedia is. Wikipedia is not the kind of forum you need for brainstorming revolutionary ideas. It's an encyclopedia, that's all, and no viable perpetual motion machine will never come to be simply by "what iffing" about subject on web pages. If you want to champion radical and sweeping advances in science you need to understand that neither you nor anyone else is allowed to engage in this at wikipedia.Professor marginalia (talk) 15:21, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
Sounds like you're really excited about the possibilities and I wish you much success with this. However, this website is only for writing the encyclopedia, and wikipedia is just an encyclopedia, not an open forum for advocating new concepts, ideas, possibilities or inventions. You've been encouraged to read wikipedia's policies and guidelines already so I won't urge you again. But if you persist in trying to talk about the future possibilities of perpetual motion machines rather about how to edit an encyclopedia other editors will likely start removing your commentary and urging you to stop the misuse of talk pages. It's important that you understand what wikipedia is not and why the goals you have expressed so far don't qualify here.Professor marginalia (talk) 17:54, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

Since you all wish to make a big issue out of my use of talk to discuss thing that some day may find their way into Wikipedia, and in the process give valuable information that can be cited on the page as it exists to improve the page. I have taken my information down. Be advised in writting, If I ever find any reference to my Laws of Perpetual motion other than what was left by me I will seek to have it removed from this site as you are expressly denied access to this infomation in public print or other wise. As you were not concerned enough to have the opportunity to have an historical record account of a discussion as to how the Laws of Perpetual Motion came into being and the data that supported their development. You lost a golden opportunity to be in possession of this information. What a value it could have been for wikipedia. No good deed goes unpunished. LOL You wish to scold me for making an attempt to improve, suffer the consequences. I did not expect for the Laws I wrote to take presidence in main stream science during my lifetime, historical record shows that is usually the case. But I could have left Wikipedia with a legacy no one else had and that was a complete discussion of them in a first hand account, which is rare and extremely valuable if they exist. That does not exist for you anymore. LOL Jehkque (talk) 20:31, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

Everything posted at wikipedia is irrevocably released under the GFDL license. However wikipedia cannot use wikipedia itself as a source either so it would be unlikely to find this website taking or using your claims or arguments left on the talk pages. I hope you find a suitable venue for sharing these ideas, best wishes. Professor marginalia (talk) 20:44, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

Thats ok, I will not seek another avenue to share them. I can already see that mankind is intent on being lead blindly into the abiss of global climate change. When the answer was right in front of them. Seriously I only wanted to improve a page here a wikipedia but I am not going to wage a war of words to make that happen. But since that war was brought to my door step just because I posted the something in talk that was not published but is most likely, (in my view because I know the extent I went through to verify every statements) I'll give you the win on the battle and let you lose the greater war with out trying to stop that loss. Good Luck LOL when the blind leads the blind they both shall fall into the ditch! You all better open your eyes, but of course your not going to so your doomed to a fate of your own making. Jehkque (talk) 22:35, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

Jehkque, we will all be happy to embrace your ideas if/when they receive validation from persons besides yourself, or find expression in new technologies, but in the mean time, we cannot include them in an encyclopedia which limits itself to things which are already known. It's nothing personal, and not meant as a condemnation of your efforts. It's just that this is not a venue for research, but rather a compendium of things which are already well-established. Best of luck, Mr. IP Defender of Open Editing 01:55, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

B.S.!!!!! I demonstrated existing technology that supports my claim!!!!! That is established and is known to work !!!!! Trouble is it is not classified as over unity for the sake that if it had been classified at its inseption as such it probably would not be in existance !!!!!! My idea did not arise out of information about them it but it directly applies to them which was clearly evident after it arose !!!!! Those are established but no one wanted to make that association and consider what I was saying that it is ture. Only IT'S IMPOSSIBLE TO GET OVER UNITY ENERGY OR PERPETUAL MOTION!!!!! IF YOU CLAIM OTHER WISE WE WON'T LISTEN!!!!!!!! If we do listen it is only to the extent to state it is impossible (bias) and post some lame excuse that it can not be and I'm not going to listen to your supporting evidence, this is preexisting, to refute my claim(refusal to give fair consideration). Their claim is always it violates the first or second law of thermodynamics, and then refuse to listen to valid evidence to the contrary !!!!!!! Do you think they were recently established? Do you think I have not already tried other avenues? Do you think I do not know what I am saying? Do you think that I can not show evidence to what I have just stated here as well???

I don't have a PH.D so I must be self taught, as such I can be ignored???? Wrong assumption, but I was labeled that by someone at this site. Who posted a comment afterwords about force not being energy which I had already posted a valid argument supported by Einstein, Motte, Newton and mathematics and pointed to each of the items to be cross referenced, but he still claimed it was not energy. This is what I have faced over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again, do you get the point? I even showed existing proof that the claim that force is energy had a practical application and was in use beyond the equation and even that was ignored!!!!! You do not have to use my Laws to see the proof of what is claimed against them is demonstrately false!!!!! There are enough instances to make the claim they are valid and even with out them the existing information which is in print can be used. If and only if people would just open their freaken eyes and have an open mind!!!!!! Which in the case of perpetual motion that is seriously suspect to occur based on past demonstrations by the scientific community and the general perception of every one else from a long history of science saying to them it is impossible oh and if we are wrong about this then every thing we know about science is wrong and would have to be rewritten and not just science but math too.

As for those that represent Wikipedia, just because I stated something NEW the rest of the information was deemed OR and thus wrong or improper even though I showed existing proof of it and pointed to that proof and most of that pointing was to things already readly accepted in articles here at wikipedia. But Because I stated perpteual motion was possible it was original research!!!!!!!! It was not stated this particular item is an Original Statement that is not in print thus we can't use this, which I can understand and would not quibble about that, but the rest is very good and usable and that can some day lead to use of your original statement that is supported by all this very good information. It all is Original Research and rejected even called unorthodox such that it could be stigmatized and rejected. B freaken S that you would publish it if it was published somewhere else. You would not even consider what I showed that is already in print and consider adjusting the page with that information only because I stated perpetual motion is possible and that is an original statement? I am not the first to claim that!!!!! I am only the first to be able to state it correctly with absolute supporting evidence!!!!!!! OOOPS we can't refute this so lets squash it!!!!!!!!!!! Make it go away so we can preserve our LIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and you fell right into the damn trap, sucker! It's not original research when you show existing proof to how the information came about!!!!!!!!!! It is only Original Interpurtation of existing information already in print and accepted as such!!!!!!!!! Interpuratation of existing data in print and showing how that inturperatation came about is not Original Research rather a valid expression of the data. But we must claim it is original research instead of looking at the interpurtation in order to squash it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Fool! Open your Eyes!!!!!!!!!!!!

Has it occured to you yet that the purpose of the talk entry was to expose the bias present by the editors of the page? If that has not occurred to you yet, consider the title of the talk section. Laws of Perpetual Motion (Proposed) OPEN FOR DISCUSSION. I identified that the Laws of Perpetual Motion were proposed and did not expect their use in the article as they are new and unsupported. But in stating them to a bunch of editors that are biased that makes them have an immediate bias towards me. That is clearly evident in the way I and the whole of the information I presented was treated. The first posting in talk was clearly Original Reasearch, I even admitted to that and urged that it be refered to an administrator with utmost urgency. It was only after I began posting proof in the discussion that could be used against their claims in the article that the complaint against original research was filed. It was not deemed so necessary to immediately make complaint even after I urged them to do so and admitted the inital portion of the talk section was Original. Yet only after I was demonstrating proof. That calls into question the motive behind the complaint. If not biased why wait until there is additional information that which can be used in the article because it is supported by references? It was a clear cut case for the very beginning and they were urged to take action. My intent was and still is to improve the page with accurate information. In order to do that I had to expose the bias of the other editors. That is why when this complaint was filed The very first sentence I wrote was a Thank you. Because the delay, until after I had posted information that was supported by reference and could call into question the information on the page, can show bias. The page is safe against the Laws of Perpetual Motion because they are Original Research, not a threat, most likely not going to be on the atricle page any time soon. Other information though that can challenge the atrice page as it currently is a different story and can't be allowed unless there is an open minded atmosphere among the editors. In waiting to make objection they lose all credibility in regards to the rules because the first objection to the rule and admission to it being Original Research should have prompted the lodging of a complaint. Not waiting until information that had acceptable supporting evidence appeared. Check the time line you will see this statement is true. The wait exposed the editors of the page to have their ethics called into question as to bias. That is the point I am trying to get across, not that I want the laws posted, just end the bias and post accurate information on the page that can be supported by outside reference. In ending the bias of the editors of that page the page can be improved. With out exposing the bias and forcing the editors to stop that bias or stop them from editing the page, the page will never reflect accurate information that is contrary to their opinion. I willing gave opportunity for them to object immediately, they chose to wait until there was something there to could challenge their article directly and immediately, not simply because it was Original Research, because of the other information that they could not keep from the article because it has acceptable supporting references. That is about all I have to say on the matter. Except I also wanted to see if the admin could pick up on the time line issue and question why there was a delay in filing the complaint when it was clear from the start and there was admission. But evidently in your review of the entire postings in all locations if you review the entire postings, you did not question the time line or did not make the connection to the urging. Reference "Jehkque(talk) 04:23 24 August (UTC)"

Then reference the time in which the complaint was filed. Personally if I had been told by someone what I said in the reference I just gave, my very first action after viewing that comment would have been to make the complaint as that would have been the proper course of action to not have any doubt as to motive. Instead there is a response at 17:51 24 August then another at 18:24 24 August (UTC) then at 21:06 the complaint was filed. These delays call into question motive! I cite this delay as pointing towards bias against the additional information that had acceptable supporting reference and not to the posting of the Laws of Perpetual Motion themselves. Motivated by the fact that the additional information could refute claims made in the article and it was the desire of the editor to protect that information against a challenge to the validity of the information in the article. Which the additional information made such a challenge possible. (talk) 06:39, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

If people have been rude or dismissive, that's unfortunate. Just remember not to reply in kind. Throwing about words like "fool" and "sucker" is unlikely to get anyone anywhere — and please keep in mind that I have not used any such words against you. Remember, also, that there is no deadline - any delays you have faced are more likely related to the fact that this is a volunteer project with limited resources than to some sort of organized effort against you. Further, it must be understood that novel interpretations of existing data are likely to run afoul of OR policy.
Who, exactly, are the editors you feel are acting unfairly here? Mr. IP Defender of Open Editing 21:58, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Read the information in talk you will see SteveB making such a reference. Also Please note that the request I made for citations were removed with out citation. This is clearly an attempt to squash my voice. I can cite that there is a particular instance of natural phenomana that is not addresses in all of the articles that detail that perpetual motion is impossible. By not having this phenomana addressed there is a valid question to validity of the statement. There must be a citation to an examination to a study of this phenomana in order to validate the claim as it is written on the page and if there is not a citation to the phenomama then the statement is original research. You applaud original research in the article as it is written but you condem me for original research that I confined to the talk pages only. Even you by not listening to my objection of the original research on the article page is prejudical against me and what i am saying.

The phenomama I am refering to is the fact that in a gravity environment, gases trapped under the surface of a liquid will raise to the surface and in such will impart energy to the liquid in which they raise in and that energy is derived from the force of gravity. Now I can cite where varied boyancy has been attempted in the past and that the idea is flawed. I would agree with that statement, but that is not the statement I made in the first sentence of theis paragraph. Second the motion energy imparted to the liquid which has the gas trapped in it can be transformed into other forms of energy, allowed by the Law of conservation of energy and thermodynamic laws. This gives a plausible opportunity to gain energy in a system and achieve over unity energy. One in which has not been specifically addressed in any attempt to refute over unity energy. Additionally, the fact that instances of microsystems in the isolated energy system of earth that can achieve over unity energy outputs is also not addressed properly.

But I can almost assure that what I just said will again fall on deaf ears and closed eyes. I would be totally astounded if it actually caused someone to actually listen and look. This is because of the fact that it has so far not been accepted as a valid argument by any person in the scientific field. Only by persons who do not have a preconceived notion based on an extensive scientific education. Also, I would like to point out, this phenomama is the only instance that I can point to that has not been explored in known and conventional energies. I have previously pointed to solar and wind and geothermal and hydropower as existing over unity devices. That also falls on deaf ears though in fact they are. They use no fuel what so ever that is directly applied to them by man. Thus for man they are over unity, simple microsystem analysis. yet you will not listen and you will not look. When will you open your eyes? Never? When will you stop keeping your mind closed and open it to something that has yet to be explored to determin if it is possible or not possible? When will you associated that microsystems can exist using energy from the envionment of the greater system surrounding it, for that is not prohibited in the laws of science. WHEN?

A last note, if you think that I am a perpetual motion person, you would be wrong. I am a supporter of what is listed on the page that was forced to reevaluate and found an instance that has yet to be explored. I can point to that one specific instance and show that my opinion as well as the opinion on the prepetual motion article page may be flawed. It is from that that I investigated further, and tried my best to get others to also explore it. Every one else has decided to refuse to explore it which is wrong. Beginning in April of 2007 is when I was tasked to prove what I stated to the board of a research orginazation or disprove my statement. I had to examine every possibility it was not my choice unless I declined to be the principle investigator of the research project and in doing I would have had to resign my position. I was surprised at what I found that would not allow me to prove the statement made on the perpetual motion page. I investigated that and that is what lead me to what I claim here. I found something that has not been explored. Excited about perpetual motion? NO!!!! I am excited that new information has been found and it needs to be explored against the theory!!!! For god's sake, explore and investigate what i said. It has not been explored by anyone other than myself as far as I know. But until someone else explores it my theory will not be show valid or invalid. Please explore it. Please listen. Please open your eyes. If you will not do that, you and every other scientist is guilty of bias and orginal research regardless of how many opinions you have and cite that say the same thing. You failed to explore all possibilities and thus formed an opinion not based on fact, ORIGINAL RESEARCH!!!! (talk) 00:23, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

Okay, I'm going to review the talk page and the article over the next few days to make sure that nothing untoward is going on, to investigate your side of the argument here, and to see if it can be improved with further citations and such. In the meantime, some notes and questions:
  • I will find this out shortly on review, but which part of the article did you ask for citations in and get refused? (If it was in the lead section, remember that information stated there which is repeated later needs no cites.)
  • Even if the statement currently in place in the article were to be invalid because it fails to refute the possibility you discuss, remember that that wouldn't make it "original research". "Original research" is not a synonym for "untrue" or "invalid" or "lacking evidence to refute all possible challenges" — "original research" simply means that the information has not previously been published by a reliable source. Is that actually true of the information in question — that, right or wrong, it has not previously been published?
  • I know you say that what you're talking about is a new area of exploration, but is there any published literature on closely-related subject, for instance? Further, how do you suggest that Wikipedia include information on this subject if nothing has been published, as we can only include information which has been previously published?
These questions are asked in good faith. I'm trying to work with you here. Mr. IP Defender of Open Editing 16:42, 1 September 2008 (UTC)