Wikipedia:Proposal to replace No Original Research

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Well, actually, I'm not ready to propose anything. I have looked at the Jimmy Wales references in the existing article and in all of them I think I see the thought "we aren't prepared to judge the work." If that's so then rejection of the material is proper. I'm in total agreement there.

While there surely is some "original research" that Jimmy Wales or others are unfit to judge that does not mean that they are unfit to judge all original research. As NOR is applied even the most transparent logical-conclusion-reaching is rejected. It's as if someone took "all men are mortal" from source A and "Socrates is a man" from source B and concluded "Socrates is mortal." Jimmy Wales and most other Wikipedians are capable of judging that and are capable of recognizing that they can properly judge it and see that it is valid logic. Nonetheless, synthesis, no matter how simple or how obvious, is forbidden. That seems not to be in the spirit of the original intent nor does it fall under the stigma in of being too complex to judge. (Quibbles about whether the premises are really true amount to questioning whether the cited material is true. Surely the truth of cited material can be questioned but that can be done whether or not the material is part of a synthesis or not. It's far beyond Wales' original conception to substitute "the premises may be incorrect" (that objection not being embodied in a policy for straight citation of material where it is surely just as valid) for "we can't judge this because of the complex nature of the material (or whatever impediment there is.)" "We can't judge this" is a simple admission and ought to be recognizable as a reason to exclude material for which it is true. "We hypothesize that there may be a flaw in the cited material" is an active reach for a justification for rejection. It's a bias. It's backwards: a reason is sought to reject. (In the original instance the reason exists and doesn't have to be sought.) There's a difference. That difference matters.

NOR is predicated on the notion that there can be material that flat-out cannot be understood or interpreted and that such material is not appropriate for Wikipedia. That is sensible and supportable. As the policy stands the same rejection is applied to all material, even material that can be understood or interpreted. That goes beyond the original concept. It has not been demonstrated that this is necessary. (Even for valid synthesis, were it allowed, it is not automatically true that every valid synthesis is appropriate in any particular article. There may still be valid reason for rejection of valid synthesis, but it's on a case-by-case basis and not automatic. In reality all rejection in Wikipedia is on a case-by-case basis. A less intense NOR policy would not create a huge change nor magnify the "workload.")

But I don't propose any change, having stated all the above. I don't have the stamina or will to carry this through. This is just food for thought. --Minasbeede 17:34, 1 September 2007 (UTC)