Wikipedia:Peer review/Wade's Causeway/archive1

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Wade's Causeway[edit]

(more info)

This peer review discussion has been closed.
I've listed this article for peer review because I think that I have taken it about as far as I can take it without a detailed review by someone familiar with ancient/scheduled monuments or archaeology. I have no particular concerns about the article's structure, copy-editing etc, but I think it would do with a peer review by a subject expert. I have done my best to seek out all manner of published information on the structure, but I am not a historian or archaeologist. I think the article could be A/FA quality if it is given a serious review by a subject expert and reviewed particularly for anything that sticks out as questionable or which I have misinterpreted from the sources. I think this is true of several sections in particular that might require different experts/knowledge to really benefit:

  • Sections on the interpretation of the structure and the history of thought on Roman roads etc in Britain reviewed by an expert on such
  • Sections on Norse mythology and etymology reviewed by an expert on such

Thanks, PocklingtonDan (talk) 21:15, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

Comments on non-free images by J Milburn[edit]

I'm afraid I'm an expert on either of the things you mentioned- I think your best bet would be to seek out an editor specifically.J Milburn (talk) 23:13, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
OK, thank you. I have contacted one editor from the volunteers page directly, who said they may be able to review the article sometime over Christmas, so that may or may not come through, depending on whether they can free up any time. I also have been exchanging a couple of comments with a wikimedian in residence at a trust relevant to the article, and have asked if they would have time to review it too. I'll see if either of those pan out before directly approaching anyone else yet I think - PocklingtonDan (talk) 08:03, 12 November 2013 (UTC)

That said, I am a little worried about the two non-free images you use in the article- we certainly shouldn't be using a non-free image to lead the article when we have so many free images. We have images which seem to be free from 1918 and 1912; I'm not clear why we need two non-free images from the 1930s. I appreciate that it may seem ridiculous to pick up on such old images, but if they're non-free, they must be treated like any other non-free image. (It's clear that you've put an awful lot of work into this- I'd hate to see it shot down at FAC because of problems with non-free content.) J Milburn (talk) 23:13, 11 November 2013 (UTC)

Image copyright and the various rules around it are something I find very deeply confusing and struggle with. I'm happy to take your steer here on what the best approach to the use of images is within the article. I do think not being able to use images from the 1930s on an obscure monument and in a way that clearly does not deprive anyone of revenue is deeply ridiculous, but as they say "the law is an ass". Please feel free to be bold relating to the images, and perform whatever corrections you think are needed to bring the article's image use into line. - PocklingtonDan (talk) 08:03, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
I see this has now been done, thank you - PocklingtonDan (talk) 22:53, 15 November 2013 (UTC)

Comments by Nev1[edit]

I'm in the process of reading through this article and drafting some comments offline. In the meantime, I wanted to say that what I have read so far is outstanding, and that looking at the overall referencing and structure this is an excellent piece. Some of what I have been preparing was made redundant by parts further along in the article. For example when I read about a possible extension being suggested on the basis of aerial photographs, my next question was has LIDAR been used yet? That is of course covered in the future archaeological work section. Getting off topic, allow free access to their LIDAR data for non-commercial uses, though republication is strictly licensed; still a very useful resource, though I've not checked what the coverage is like for North Yorkshire. Nev1 (talk) 12:39, 13 November 2013 (UTC)

Hi, Nev. Thank you for the complimentary comments on the article. I have put a lot of effort into it, especially into the research and into the subsequent article restructuring requested at the GA review. Its somewhat of a relief to here that you do believe it is now well structured. With regard to the geomatics group, this is not a site/service that I was aware of, I'll certainly take a look at that resource this evening and see what coverage they do have available, although it might be considered Original Research to provide much commentary/interpretation on any identifiable features evident in it? - PocklingtonDan (talk) 15:23, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
Using the LIDAR yourself would be original research, so you're right. I shouldn't be complicating matters. Nev1 (talk) 17:04, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
OK, yes I thought it might be the case. If you do get time to complete the readthrough and draw up some comments, I will be happy to work through the list and try and address any concerns that you have - PocklingtonDan (talk) 22:55, 15 November 2013 (UTC)

As for the issue about non-free images, I think a reasonably strong fair use case could be made for File:Wade's Causeway on Wheeldale Moor, c. 1931, believed to be photographed by Oliver Butler of Judges Ltd, Sussex.jpg. The image is much clearer than anything on Commons and shows the sandstone paving mentioned in the article. I'm not sure the free alternatives are as informative. Nev1 (talk) 12:39, 13 November 2013 (UTC)

As per my comments to the earlier reviewer, I find the entire issue of photography copyright deeply confusing and often contradcitory, so I will have to leave this to other editors. You sound like you agree that the image is reasonable and disagreement with the request for deletion - if this is the case, would you mind commenting on this as per the normal deletion request process please? I don't feel confident enough in my understanding of the issues around image copyright to properly comment. Thanks! - PocklingtonDan (talk) 15:23, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
I will happily join the discussion. It may be consensus is against including the image, but either way the article is still in good condition. Nev1 (talk) 17:04, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
Thank you - PocklingtonDan (talk) 22:55, 15 November 2013 (UTC)

I like that early on the distinction between the scheduled monument and postulated course of the causeway is established. This makes things very clear. The article is excellent, so most of my suggestions are enhancements rather than major changes. I've split them into two groups, the second of which is merely areas which might be interesting to look into but which might ultimately be difficult to work into the article. Nev1 (talk) 18:52, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for the positive feedback and suggestions for improvements. I'll start working through these now - PocklingtonDan (talk) 21:55, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

Minor changes

  • "… most commonly attributing its construction to the Roman military in the first or fourth centuries AD.": this extract is from the lead and I think adding "either" so that it reads "in either the first or fourth centuries AD" would make it clearer that it is one century or the other rather than a date range. Using "either" is an approach used later in the article when discussing the date of the structure which I think works well.- Nev1 (talk) 18:52, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
 Done No objections here, done now - PocklingtonDan (talk) 21:58, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
  • It might be worth linking to culvert when the term is first used. - Nev1 (talk) 18:52, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
 Done I've wikilinked this now, cheers - PocklingtonDan (talk) 21:55, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
  • It is mentioned, with reference to Heritage Gateway, that aerial photos have been used to suggest a possible continuation of the causeway. Could it be clarified whether these photos were vertical or oblique? Nev1 (talk) 18:52, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
Heritage Gateway links to PastScape which states that the 2009 aerial photography was vertical [1], do you want me to add this information into the article or is this just for your own interest? - PocklingtonDan (talk) 21:55, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
I think it's worth including in the article (apologies for the slow reply). Nev1 (talk) 13:31, 24 November 2013 (UTC)
 Done OK, added this now as per discussion - PocklingtonDan (talk) 13:00, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

Further information

  • Has anyone suggested where the limestone flags were quarried from? Was it a single site or multiple locations? Nev1 (talk) 18:52, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
No, this confuses me too because all sources seem to indicate that the underlying rock is limestone, but yet all but one source says the rocks are sandstone. Combined with several sources stating that epecially Roman roadbuilders made do with whatever material was to hand, I'm not clear where the rock comes from. I'm not a geologist but it just seems very odd if the rock used in the causeway was not quarried locally. I will continue to investigate and try and resolve this - PocklingtonDan (talk) 21:55, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
Not done As much as I would like to resolve this, I can find no mention in the sources of where the material was definitely or probably quarried from. If I do ever stumble upon a cite for this, I will add it - PocklingtonDan (talk) 21:41, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
  • "The name Wade appears as one of the most common surnames in a 1381 poll tax register from Suffolk,[57] and the names Wade or Wada were common in pre-medieval English history[20]": I can see why the tax register was mentioned, but is there something closer to Yorkshire than Suffolk which can be included? Nev1 (talk) 18:52, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
This bothers me too, but I can't find anything from Yorkshire yet. I'll keep looking - PocklingtonDan (talk) 21:55, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
The statistical analysis appears to have been carried out on the published data from Fenwick's The Poll Taxes of 1377, 1379, and 1381, which is published in 3 parts. Frustratingly, the Wiltshire->Yorkshire section (part 3) does not appear to be freely available online, nor can I seem to source it from my library. Since the statistical analysis in the secondary cited source was only carried out for Suffolk, statistical analysis of the Yorkshire data is not available, and carrying out such an analysis myself might classify as Original Research perhaps even if we could get hold of the source. Thoughts? -PocklingtonDan (talk) 21:17, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
I think you're right about it perhaps bordering on original research, so given your explanation I would leave it as it is. Nev1 (talk) 13:31, 24 November 2013 (UTC)
Not done OK, as discussed then, will leave this as-is - PocklingtonDan (talk) 13:00, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
  • With regards to the Roman dating of the causeway, the 1st-century option is explained well with reference to Agricola and his campaigns in northern England. It might be interesting to include a sentence about what other structures in the region are attributed to him but this isn't a necessity.
I'll see what I can do but there is little or no primary source on this, the dates are really inferences from whether he walloped the Brigantes on his way North to Scotland or bypassed them and left them weakened but unmolested til later. As far as I am aware there is no firm evidence on this. There will therefore almost certainly be no primary sources on any structures definitively linked to Agricola at all. I can perhaps see what the dating evidence for the Cawthorne and Lease Rigg camps is? - PocklingtonDan (talk) 21:55, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
 Done I simply can't find anything definite in the sources that I have access to in terms of definitive attributions of structures. With regard to Lease Rigg, Hartley states that there is "meagre dating evidence" and links it with probable construction under Agricola but is far from certain (Hartley, p162). This is probably a bit meagre to try and tie any causal link in between the causeway and Agricola in terms of construction. I'll pop a brief mention in the article that Lease Rigg was probably constructed around 80s AD, as per Hartley. I'm not sure I can state anything more fixed than this - PocklingtonDan (talk) 21:26, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
  • I think including a bit more about the military threats of the 4th century would be instructive if it can be done briefly. Nev1 (talk) 18:52, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
OK, I didn't want to drift too far off topic in the article, but I'll take a quick look at this - PocklingtonDan (talk) 21:55, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
 Done Done now, just padding out the cites for added statements now - PocklingtonDan (talk) 16:18, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Do the sources mention whether the clearing of vegetation and heather in the early 20th century accelerated the processes of erosion and this may be part of the reason the gravel surface no longer remains? Nev1 (talk) 18:52, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
I'm pretty certain that the clearing of the vegetation is thought to have accelerated the process of erosion since there is mention of this in the same source that mentions a brief campaign to re-cover the causeway to save further erosion. But I'm not sure that any source that I have seen has attempted to link this to the absence of an earlier layer of gravel on the causeway. That would be a lot of gravel to have washed off in a short space of time I think but I'll take a look in relevant sources - PocklingtonDan (talk) 21:55, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
Not done It is of course hard to prove a negative but I can find no explicitly cited statement to this effect in the sources to which I have been able to get access to, so I am unable to add a statement to this affect at this time - PocklingtonDan (talk) 21:21, 11 December 2013 (UTC)

The article is strongly referenced, and well written throughout. The sections which stand out to me are and theories on structure's origins and purpose. I think you can be really pleased with this article, and it is clearly an accurate summary of the current state of knowledge about the structure. It will be interesting to see the results of future research. Anyway, I'll keep this article on my watchlist in case it goes to WP:FAC, but if it looks like I've missed it feel free to leave a message on my talk page. Nev1 (talk) 18:52, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

Thanks again for the review and some very pertinent and interesting questions that I will try and resolve. I too can't wait for some body to get sufficient time, funding and interest to revisit the site with modern technology and try and address some of the outstanding questions. Mind you, the mystery and not knowing is half the attraction :-) - PocklingtonDan (talk) 21:55, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

Suggestions generated by an automatic JavaScript program (Josve05a)[edit]

Suggestions generated by an automatic JavaScript program, and might not be applicable for the article in question.

Thanks, I'll take a look at these - PocklingtonDan (talk) 10:59, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
 Done I've added a few more wikilinks to some proper nouns and more obscure or regional concepts such as "Welsh borders" and "dry-stone walls". I think any much more than this would be overkill - PocklingtonDan (talk) 21:18, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, I'll take a look at these - PocklingtonDan (talk) 10:59, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
Not done I don't think there is an issue here. I have read that particular policy, and there is no blanket polocy against includion of galleries in articles. Specifically, the article 1750–75 in Western fashion is given as a good exemplar of how to use galleries within articles and it places the gallery near the foot of the article and in order to show off a chronological progression of images. This is exactly what I have done in the gallery, to show the changing face of the causeway over time, particularly relating to its overgrowth. I will change the name of this subsection to bring it more in line with the good exemplar of this policy, by including the date range the gallery covers, but I don't see that anything else needs to be done here - PocklingtonDan (talk) 13:28, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Generally, trivia sections are looked down upon; please either remove the trivia section or incorporate any important facts into the rest of the article.[?] -(tJosve05a (c) 02:58, 24 November 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, I'll take a look at this- PocklingtonDan (talk) 10:59, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
 Question: There is no trivia section in the article, which section are you referring to please? - PocklingtonDan (talk) 21:03, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Per WP:WIAFA, this article's table of contents (ToC) may be too long – consider shrinking it down by merging short sections or using a proper system of daughter pages as per Wikipedia:Summary style.[?]
Thanks, I'll take a look at this - PocklingtonDan (talk) 10:59, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
 Done I have used the TOC template to limit the TOC to a depth of 2 to reduce the TOC comment and fix this concern. Your comment on daughter pages is addressed in your later point below and responsed to there by myself and Nev1 - PocklingtonDan (talk) 21:00, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
  • This article may need to undergo summary style, where a series of appropriate subpages are used. For example, if the article is United States, then an appropriate subpage would be History of the United States, such that a summary of the subpage exists on the mother article, while the subpage goes into more detail.[?] -(tJosve05a (c) 02:58, 24 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Excluding notes and footnotes the article i 7,200 words long. That's hefty, but I think is a case of being comprehensive rather than not summarizing things properly, so this needn't be a concern. Nev1 (talk) 13:36, 24 November 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, I'll take a look at these - PocklingtonDan (talk) 10:59, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
Not done I don't agree that the article needs splitting, for two reasons. Firstly, I don't think the article is long enough to need splitting on grounds of article length alone, because it is 51kb of readable prose (the guideline says this puts it just 1kb above "Length alone does not justify division") so it is borderline only. 7200 words does not seem excessive and is (at less than 10,000 words) within the noted "boredom threshold" for reading. Secondly, the article is on a very specific and cohesive topic. Unlike an example article such as United States, it is hard to envisage a sensible way of splitting the article, or that a reader might be looking for something more specific in content than the article's current topic as-is - PocklingtonDan (talk) 13:46, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
  • There are a few occurrences of weasel words in this article- please observe WP:AWT. Certain phrases should specify exactly who supports, considers, believes, etc., such a view. -(tJosve05a (c) 02:58, 24 November 2013 (UTC)
    • it has been
    • might be weasel words, and should be provided with proper citations (if they already do, or are not weasel terms, please strike this comment).[?]
  • Where I have encountered them in the article, they are used by necessity. Nev1 (talk) 13:36, 24 November 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, I'll take a look at these - PocklingtonDan (talk) 10:59, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
The example you state is "it has been" (ie "it has been stated" as opposed to the preferred non-weasel-word form of eg "Davis states that"with cite. I can find 3 instances of the phrase "it has been":
"English Heritage state that It has been assumed that the road is Roman, being carefully built and well-engineered. THis is a direct quote, so no weasel words
" Its original form is somewhat uncertain since it has been greatly weathered by nature and subjected to extensive damage by man". This is not weasel words.
"Beyond Julian Park, it has been conjectured that the structure originally continued to the Roman garrison fort at Lease Rigg". This is a summary sentence and the following sentence lists the names of several authorities who state specific courses for the structure towards Lease Rigg, so again no weasel words
 Done I therefore think this is done/nothing to do - PocklingtonDan (talk) 20:55, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
  • You may wish to convert your form of references to the cite.php footnote system that WP:WIAFA 1(c) highly recommends. -(tJosve05a (c) 02:58, 24 November 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, I'll take a look at this - PocklingtonDan (talk) 10:59, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
I can't find nothing in the wikipedia policy docs on a preference for this cite system over the one used. Can you clarify please? - PocklingtonDan (talk) 21:07, 11 December 2013 (UTC)

[2]c. consistent citations: where required by criterion 1c, consistently formatted inline citations using either footnotes ([1]) or Harvard referencing (Smith 2007, p. 1)—see citing sources for suggestions on formatting references; for articles with footnotes, the meta:cite format is recommended. The use of citation templates is not required.

— Under 2c. on Wikipedia:WIAFA

-(tJosve05a (c) 21:24, 11 December 2013 (UTC)

 Question: OK, but this mentions that cite templates are not necessary, not that they may not be used or that using them is bad practice. Do you not agree that the cite system used in the article meets the main criterion in the quoted policy for "consistently formatted inline citations using either footnotes([2])"? This form is exactly what is used, albeit within the cite template system - PocklingtonDan (talk) 21:52, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
  • As done in WP:FOOTNOTE, footnotes usually are located right after a punctuation mark (as recommended by the CMS, but not mandatory), such that there is no space in between. For example, the sun is larger than the moon [2]. is usually written as the sun is larger than the moon.[2][?]
Thanks, I'll take a look at these - PocklingtonDan (talk) 10:59, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
 Done I've given the article a thorough proofread and I can find no instances of footnotes being given before punctuation marks. I'm not sure if perhaps the javascript tool you are using is buggy or if this finding is outdated? Marking as done - PocklingtonDan (talk) 13:10, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, I'll take a look at these - PocklingtonDan (talk) 10:59, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
 Done The article has been copyedited several times now during GA review and peer review, and I have had several readthroughs of it myself to iron out any awkwardness in the prose. I'll mark this as done, but if you have any specific concerns over any sentences or paragraphs, please point them out specifically, or just Be Bold and dive in and edit them - PocklingtonDan (talk) 13:18, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, I'll take a look at these - PocklingtonDan (talk) 05:52, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
 Done I'm not sure when the javascript tool to generate these was run, but these links lookt o have been disambiguated already, I think based on edits from the earlier GA review of the article. - PocklingtonDan (talk) 13:01, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

Copyediting Comments by Dank[edit]

Just some copyediting suggestions: - Dank (push to talk)

  • "which concluded that the structure was a Roman road": which also concluded ...
  • "but some examples reaching": "some examples reaching", or "but some examples reach"
  • "for the reason that": stylists generally recommend tightening this, for instance to "since"
  • "north-north-easterly": north-northeasterly, usually. - Dank (push to talk) 04:39, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, I'll take a look at these - PocklingtonDan (talk) 05:52, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
 Done All done now - PocklingtonDan (talk) 10:02, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
    • ^ Smith 2007, p. 1.
    • ^ Smith 2007, p. 1.