Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard

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Welcome to the reliable sources noticeboard. This page is for posting questions regarding whether particular sources are reliable in context.
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Daily Mail as a source for a sexual assault stat[edit]

This statement is included in Male_rape#United_States: The Department of Justice's report (2008) leads to a conclusion that in the U.S. more men are raped than women.

The citation links to this Daily Mail story which includes this quote:

More men are raped in the U.S. than woman, according to figures that include sexual abuse in prisons. In 2008, it was estimated 216,000 inmates were sexually assaulted while serving time, according to the Department of Justice figures. That is compared to 90,479 rape cases outside of prison.

The Daily Mail sites this DOJ report, but the report doesn't say more men are raped than women. The 216,000 number in that report is the total number of sexual assaults in prison, for both genders, and no breakdown by gender is provided. The numbers for rapes outside prison appears to come from the Uniform Crime Report for 2007, but that source only includes rapes reported to police. I haven't been able to find outside verification for this stat, so is the Daily Mail alone sufficient? Nblund (talk) 14:36, 23 August 2015 (UTC)

No. The Daily Mail alone is never sufficient for anything of any importance. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 14:54, 23 August 2015 (UTC)
Agreed. VQuakr (talk) 17:24, 23 August 2015 (UTC)
Further evidence that the Daily Mail is a fundamentally unreliable source - they either didn't read the report properly, or they don't care. AndyTheGrump (talk) 21:54, 23 August 2015 (UTC)
No newspapers of any level have a good record on "celebrity news and gossip" at all, and the fact is that almost all now have no fact-checkers on staff at all either - for any news.
In fact, most newspapers rely heavily on press releases - from the Guardian on down.
What we have here is a press release almost certainly on behalf of "Study author Allen J. Beck told New York Review of Books that the work shows almost 200,000 were sexually abused in detention in 2011." who is the chief statistician for the Bureau of Justice Statistics. The pdf cited says on page 3 "Given that the monetary benefit of a 1% reduction from the baseline in the prevalence of prison rape is worth $157 million to $239 million, implementation of the standards would have to yield a 0.70-1.07% reduction from the baseline level of prison rape in any given year (i.e., from a total of 216,600 incidents to 213,689-214,488) in order for the upfront costs and the benefits to break even, without regard to the value of the nonmonetary benefits" which does, indeed, use "rape" for that figure and not "sexual assaults" but then on page 20 states "the vast majority of prison sexual assault victims are male" which does, indeed, support something on the order of "more males than women in prison are raped." Thus the Mail was not as far off as a person saying the report said nothing about relative male/female rape levels in prison.
Other BJS press releases make clear the DM was using primarily information from the press releases - [1] includes much material about the extremely common use of press releases by essentially all major newspapers requiring us to look at the contents of press releases in future and not try singling out any particular newspaper. They all do the same thing. Collect (talk) 22:31, 23 August 2015 (UTC)
Collect: the quote doesn't say "more men than women are raped in prison" it says "more men are raped in the U.S. than woman[sic]". I don't think this is supported anywhere in the BJS article or the New York Review of Books article. Nblund (talk) 23:15, 23 August 2015 (UTC)
You stated above that the report made no statement that more men than women were raped in prison - the report belies that claim. Page 20 states clearly: the vast majority of prison sexual assault victims are male, which you stated was not in the report. I suggest saying that the report on prison statistics did not address total statistics on rape is obvious - but with the headline being ambiguous at best (I can read it as referring to male and female rapes in prison quite readily - More men are raped in the US than women, figures on prison assaults reveal would seem to refer to prison assault statistics.) In short, the actual article is quite clear and conforms to the press releases from BJS. Collect (talk) 23:42, 23 August 2015 (UTC)
I don't think I did say that, and it doesn't seem like anyone else read the DM headline that way. Nblund (talk) 00:14, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
Where there is a clear error in a statement used in an rs, we should not use it. In this case the DM reporter incorrectly cites one primary source and incorrectly compares it with another. But extraordinary claims need extraordinary sources. In this case we would want a review paper that says most social scientists agree that there are more men raped in prison than women raped in society. TFD (talk) 23:09, 23 August 2015 (UTC)
The actual article accurately reflects the BJS press releases. It is clearly misused if one seeks to have it claim something it does not claim - the report only deals with prison assault rates, and the press releases are clear. Collect (talk) 23:42, 23 August 2015 (UTC)
We really need to stop dealing with this again and again and ban the Daily mail as a source for anything, ever. Time for an RfC on the subject? --Guy Macon (talk) 23:56, 23 August 2015 (UTC)
Yup. And of course the Daily Mail statistic would be meaningless anyway, even if it were only intended to refer to rapes in prison, since they take no account of the fact that only 6% or so of U.S. prison inmates are female. AndyTheGrump (talk) 00:04, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
Blame the BJS press release, Andy. The DM seems actually to have followed what the BJS itself wrote in press releases. Should newspapers use press releases that much? No. But they all do. And none do much fact-checking (see the reliable source discussion thereon) (per published studies - the biggest remaining fact-checking pub seems to be Vanity Fair (magazine)) Collect (talk) 00:21, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
If we have evidence that a newspaper is good/bad at fact checking, this can be used in our criteria of whether newspapers are RS[[2]]. I agree with User:Guy Macon that this issue is wasting a huge amount of time. If consensus is that a source is always unreliable, have done with it and publish a blacklist which editors can refer to.DrChrissy (talk) 12:33, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
The DM refers to "assault", whereas the actual figures include non-contact sexual abuse and willing sex with staff. TFD (talk) 00:10, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
  • "More men are raped in the US than woman [sic]" should be enough to disqualify the article. I wouldn't cite any news source that fails to even hire a decent proofreader. Esquivalience t 03:16, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
I suggest you read my post on 14 August[3] about reliable sources - most newspapers have zero proofreaders - thus articles about an "amphibious pitcher in baseball", etc. The New York Times long ago fired all of its proofreaders, for example. Collect (talk) 13:40, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
Saving money by not proofreading is on thing. Purposely publishing things that the newspaper knows are not true (which the Daily Mail has done repeatedly) is another. And "the DM seems actually to have followed what the BJS itself wrote in [the] press release" doesn't let the Daily Mail off the hook. It is a hallmark of bad newspapers that they give a carefully cherrypicked source when they can find one. The Weekly World News (which publishes things that the newspaper knows are not true for humor) once ran a headline that read "SCIENTISTS FOUND LIFE ON THE MOON WHEN WE GOT THERE!" supported by a NASA paper that causally mentioned that there was human life on the moon -- when we got there. Another time the headline read "BULLDOZER UNCOVERS ANCIENT UFO. PICTURES INSIDE!" and indeed they had pictures inside -- pictures of the bulldozer from the front, side, etc., all 100% authentic; "Here is the bulldozer that uncovered the UFO." The WWN does it to be funny, but the DM does it with the intent to deceive.
The Daily Mail has one and only one use for us on Wikipedia: If you see something in the Daily Mail, search for a reliable source that says the same thing and use that source. If you can't find a reliable source, assume that it is a fabrication. --Guy Macon (talk) 14:05, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
The WWN never makes things up. The most famous instance was probably the time one of their reporters called up every US Senate office, and asked whoever answered if the Senator was actually a space alien in disguise. He got a lot of hangups, a few laughs, and five staffers who admitted to the secret. The Five then posed together on Capitol Hill for the story. Choor monster (talk) 14:21, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
Whatever the press release said, it is pretty hard to interpret it the way the Daily Mail did. Anyway, statements of this kind should not be sourced to sensationalist tabloids. Kingsindian  14:29, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
Read the BJS press releases - you will find that they seem to be aimed at "can we get someone to publish this?" rather than "dry facts" as a rule. This was shown to be the practice for medical press releases - even some published by The Times et al. This is a real problem covering almost every newspaper out there now. Collect (talk) 14:54, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
Maybe this is a moot point, but I'm still not sure how you're getting that from this sentence. More men are raped in the U.S. than woman, according to figures that include sexual abuse in prisons. -- its not clear to me how you're reading that is saying "More men are raped in U.S. prisons" They even include a comparison to rapes occurring outside of prisons that comes from a completely different data source. Nblund (talk) 21:16, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
That is simply an unexplained synthesis by the Daily Mail, which has a poor record on unexplained syntheses. It's not valid. The underlying data does not support the claim, and the source (The Daily Mail) does not have the expertise to do a synthesis on the data. The underlying question is, does the higher rate of male rape in prison offset the higher rate of female rape in the outside world to the extent that more men are raped in the U.S. than women? The source asserts the answer but does not support the claim. The source's tabloid history on fact-checking does not give it the benefit of the doubt. Therefore, the source does not reliably support the claim in the article. SageRad (talk) 01:47, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
Nblund - the line "Department of Justice's report (2008) leads to a conclusion that in the U.S. more men are raped than women." is just the odd way it appears between the DOJ PREA report of 200+ thousand, overwhelmingly men, versus FBI/UCR stats of 90+ thousand rapes outside, overwhelmingly women. Reading a bit closer comes to the conclusion that the numbers of males and females raped are roughly similar and both are appalling.
  • N+1 also covered the 'more men than women' and the story of comparing different statistics got discussed at The Guardian here.
  • also discusses these here and concludes it's surprisingly close, about 38% men in the NCVS numbers.
  • MS magazine has a collected set of 25 facts about rape here with obvious talk about numbers and definition issues
  • Supporting refs are also in wiki at Prison rape and Rape by gender and Male rape
It seems that the FBI focus is (reasonably) on what they can prosecute -- which is a fraction of what the other stats having different focus 'count'. It's hard to get stats or even agreed on what acts and circumstances count (see statutory, drunk, allegation, adjusted estimates, improper touching). But it's not a contest on who gets more when counted one way or another, the general conclusion is that it's doubly appalling -- dismissive of the women and not caring about the prisoners. Markbassett (talk) 04:08, 26 August 2015 (UTC)


So again I ask, are we finally ready to do the right thing and decide that The Daily Mail is never a reliable source about anything other than what it claims about itself? If not, how many more purposely misleading stories will it take? Ten? A hundred? --Guy Macon (talk) 07:15, 31 August 2015 (UTC)

It's surely okay for some mundane things (e.g. the colour of Putin's presidential jet) but is only the foremost and most extreme among a number of British papers (including the Guardian, Independent and Express) which have increasingly resorted to pushing a narrative line rather than neutral news reportage. WP:CGTW No 21 applies: the Mail should never be used for anything non-trivial. Alexbrn (talk) 08:35, 31 August 2015 (UTC)
If the color of Putin's presidential jet is found only in The Daily Mail, we should not trust it, because we know that The Daily Mail purposely publishes false information and we don't want to be in the position of guessing whether they went to the effort of telling a lie -- or even using Photoshop -- regarding this particular detail. And if it can be confirmed with another source, we should use that source. --Guy Macon (talk) 08:50, 31 August 2015 (UTC)
I don't think they'd photoshop Putin's jet. Do we know they purposely publish false information, or is it more that they are negligent of accuracy in a way which conveniently aligns stories with the world view they wish to promulgate? Alexbrn (talk) 09:09, 31 August 2015 (UTC)
[4][5][6][7] --Guy Macon (talk) 09:38, 31 August 2015 (UTC)

Is the Volokh Conspiracy a reliable source for information about legal proceedings?[edit]


Please see the discussion at Talk:Gamergate_controversy#Wa_Post_restraining_order_article. The Volokh conspiracy is a blog run by legal experts and hosted by the Washington Post (with editorial independence[8]). Can this article opinion piece[9] be used t source that a restraining order against a BLP, is in the process of being vacated? (see diff:[10]) Brustopher (talk) 23:31, 24 August 2015 (UTC)

Thank you for bringing this here, Brustopher. The one factor that you left out, and in my mind the most important factor, is that this is labelled as an opinion piece by the Washington Post. It's not a news article, but an op-ed, discussing the actions and opinions of multiple living persons. Woodroar (talk) 23:38, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
Apologies. I felt mentioning it was a blog conveyed the opinion piece aspect. Will strike and reword Brustopher (talk) 23:41, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
The fact that it's an opinion piece, that the person who's writing the piece is actively involved (filed a brief) in the case he's discussing, and the general tone of the article suggest to me that this is not a RS for facts - possibly it could be used as a RS for Volokh's own opinions and statements, but not much beyond that. Fyddlestix (talk) 02:37, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
As someone who has done both, I can tell you there is a world of difference between simply "filing a brief" in a case and being allowed to submit an amicus brief. Amici to a court case are not "directly involved" in the underlying dispute in any sense. They are experts in the issues involved (in this case, the First Amendment issues), and judges read amicus briefs to better inform their own legal analysis. Amici aren't parties to the case. Eugene Volokh is the most respected and authoritative commenter on First Amendment issues in the last 20 years. Here, Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan says she reads Volokh's blog every day. Frankly the idea that Eugene Volokh is not a reliable source on First Amendment issues is ridiculous, and it smacks of a brazen attempt to keep information unfavorable to certain editors' POVs out of the article. -Starke Hathaway (talk) 13:08, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
This appears to be removed on the basis that it is a BLP violation. What aspect of BLP is this violating? --Kyohyi (talk) 13:46, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
Because it's an opinion piece that supported a statement about the actions of another living person. There's really nothing in here that doesn't touch upon the actions or opinions of other living people. It would be different if this were factual news reporting, but it's an op-ed. Woodroar (talk) 14:15, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
Taking for granted that it is an opinion (and their brief an opinion), it is a discussion of the legalities of the original restraining order, and not making new accusations towards individuals that have not already been identified in the existing legal documents. (though there's a BLPPRIVACY aspect we must consider in terms of names). Writing legal opinions on why a previous judgement may be wrong under constitutional/case law terms is not a BLP issue, and if there is anything that is truly a BLP violation as we would call it like the BLPPRIVACY bit, we don't have to include it but be aware that that information is in the public awareness. --MASEM (t) 14:30, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
Except being an opinion piece is not a BLP violation. The only BLPPRIVACY violation I could see is if we include Zoe Quinn's former name. Which the edit that was removed did not. --Kyohyi (talk) 14:45, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
An opinion piece can easily contain BLP violations which we would not include (normally) even if we cite them to the opinion writer. If a journalist, even a respected one, said "I think John Q Smith is a murderer." out of the blue, etc. and proceeded to write several hundred words to insult this John Smith, we'd consider that a BLP violation. Yes unlikely that would be published by any respectable sources, but still a possible case. This is not to say that this specific piece here does anything like that. Quinn's real name is a part of court records, but not widely known so per our own policies we do not disclose the real name, and you're right that at the face value that appears to be the only thing that would trigger BLP. My take is that this is for all purposes a RS, with a few WP things we just need to be careful of to avoid including. (Note that I do have other issues, non-source related issues with including this, as it gets off track on the topic, but that's not an RS/N aspect). --MASEM (t) 15:23, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
Look at it this way: would we include an opinion piece from a medical expert discussing his own or other doctors' patients? How about this expert's claim that a team of surgeons violated their Hippocratic Oaths, with an additional claim that other medical experts agree with him? Because that's essentially what this opinion piece is about. Woodroar (talk) 15:52, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Reliable. I am completely uninvolved in GG or any of the ancillary articles, nor do I care to be involved. Volokh is an established expert in the legal field, especially in the free speech/First Amendment field, and his opinion that an injunction against speech will not stand is significant. There should be no hesitation at all in including it as a source. I agree completely with Starke Hathaway both as a lawyer and a WP editor. It seems to be an attempt to push a POV by omitting the information. GregJackP Boomer! 15:31, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
    • Just to comment and clarify from above, I would support the source as an RS for the reason of the weight of Volokh's reputation, I just question the need for that amount of detail on the GG page as the restraining order considering the larger picture, at the present time. --MASEM (t) 15:37, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Eugene Volokh [...] is an American law professor, the Gary T. Schwartz Professor of Law at the UCLA School of Law. So this is an opinion piece squarely within the expertise of a credentialled expert, published under the auspices of the Washington Post. As a source, this is certainly reliable. Moreover, the text at issue is a simple statement of fact, not even opinion. Guy (Help!) 15:50, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Reliable I concur that the Volokh conspiracy should be treated as a reliable source as relates to legal proceedings; certainly to Volokh and his co-writers' opinions as to said legal proceedings. Firstly, I do not believe it is self-published; it is hosted by the Washington Post and is almost certainly subject to their editorial review. Secondly, even if the blog was self published, our guideline states that "Self-published material may sometimes be acceptable when its author is an established expert whose work in the relevant field has been published by reliable third-party publications." Volokh, and his co-writers (Somin, Kontorovich, etc.) are established experts (they are academics, authors, people who have been invited to testify before congress as experts—especially regarding First Amendment issues). Thus, I think that there should be no issues using the Volokh conspiracy as a reliable source about the facts of proceedings and about the opinions of the authors for use as supporting scholarly or expert opinions in articles. -- Avi (talk) 15:53, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
    • WP:SPSBLP: these may be acceptable as sources so long as the writers are professionals and the blog is subject to the newspaper's full editorial control. Editorial independence: We are not Washington Post employees, and we have sole editorial control over the blog." I find it difficult to square the SPSBLP policy with their "Editorial Independence" statement. The writers are clearly experts and should be considered reliable for their statements and analysis of law and legal proceedings, but caution should be exercised when making claims about living people. In this particular case I don't see a problem with the original edit, but the entire thing is moot now. The article no longer talks about the order at all. — Strongjam (talk) 16:03, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Not reliable Op-eds are not reliable for facts, per policy. It does not matter whether the author is an expert. There are many experts who write partisan opinion pieces and that does not elevate their writing above that of any other. Canada's former Liberal Party leader Michael Ignatieff for example is a renowned expert on human rights and international studies. That should not mean that when he gave campaign speeches they should be given more credence than his opponents'. TFD (talk) 16:43, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
  • General comment If it ever occurs to anyone present to wonder how the Gamergate Controversy article got into its current state, it may be instructive to observe the frantic wikilawyering and WP:ALPHABETSOUPing that has taken place to ensure that Brianna Wu's "expert" opinion on video games (Wu has produced precisely one game) is retained while Eugene Volokh's expertise is kept out. -Starke Hathaway (talk) 18:17, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

This should have been at the top of the section:

...Just to help stay on topic for this noticeboard. My assessment is that the source is reliable for the content in the article (passes this noticeboard), however I would not insert it in the article for WP:UNDUE reasons (meaning: gives undue weight to one sideremark that thusfar can only be found in one reliable source). The fact that Volokh published against the restraining order is imho more important than cherry-picking half a sentence from that publication, but that is not really a topic for this noticeboard (back to article talk page, or to WP:NPOVN). --Francis Schonken (talk) 19:11, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

  • Just to clarify, Volokh did not publish against a restraining order, there was no court order directing him not to speak on the issue. The only restraining order in place is only against Eron Gjoni, preventing him from speaking on the issue. Anyone else is free to discus the matter at will. GregJackP Boomer! 00:23, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Oops, the last sentence of the third paragraph of Gamergate controversy#History ("Quinn sought and received a restraining order against Gjoni, who has since been working on a 'sequel' to his initial screed about Quinn.[1]") has been removed too ([11]) – I was of course referring to the same restraining order (there is no other restraining order in this context), and Volokh published rejecting it ("against it", not in the sense of "trespassing it"). Sorry for the perceived ambiguity in my earlier comment. --Francis Schonken (talk) 07:16, 26 August 2015 (UTC)


  1. ^ Jason, Zachary (April 28, 2015). "Game of Fear". Boston (May 2015). Retrieved April 28, 2015. 

Up-dating my wiki entry.[edit]

What is more reliable than the horse and his mouth? I could, of course, ask scholarly friends to enter information on my behalf, but I just attempted to add and update information for my own entry: David B. Axelrod.

Among the notes at the top of my entry--which threatens that it may be removed because I am not sufficiently "notable," is a request for more external links. These I provided with care, but then was told that there were too many links and that some were "promotional." I am pasting those links below.

Would someone with suitable skills and authority please vet them. I understand that you don't want self-promotional ads. I do not want to put them on the website, but am unclear what references and external links will satisfy your requirements.

Please communicate with me to guide me so that my wiki entry satisfies your requirements. Thank you.


— Preceding unsigned comment added by Axelrodthepoet (talkcontribs)

    • Mr. Axelrod, sorry, but this list is unacceptable. You can have one, for your own website. If any of the others are useful as a reference, and if they're reliable, you can bring them in as references to verify text in the article--but I don't really see that in here, it's just linkage. The warning doesn't call for external links, it calls for references to reliable sources. Please see WP:RS: there isn't a single one in the article, I'm afraid. Drmies (talk) 19:50, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
      • I suppose Drmies misunderstood the question: the question I see is that Axelrodthepoet asks assistance from this noticeboard to help sort out which of the links above can be used as reliable sources for David B. Axelrod. I don't see why that would be an inappropriate or unacceptable question. --Francis Schonken (talk) 20:04, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
        • Pay attention, Schonken. Drmies was quite clear. The listed things are unacceptable. That's what "this list is unacceptable" means. I don't see why Mr. Axelrod's question would be inappropriate either--who said it was? Let me give them a piece of my mind: they clearly can't read English. Drmies (talk) 00:25, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
Some of the links are broken, but some are relevant. Please allow Axelrod to include the live links as external links. It helps to establish notability. If notability is not found, then the page must be deleted, but Axelrod must be allowed to make his case. Allow a man to have his day. SageRad (talk) 01:24, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
Let him make his case using reliable sources. That's a much more fruitful approach, and it agrees with our policies. One would hope that actual decent sources could be found but there aren't any in this list: have a more careful look please. Drmies (talk) 04:57, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
David, this may be a more fruitful approach: It would be entirely appropriate to include those links or a well-curated subset of them in any Wikipedia discussions about the notability of the article's subject. It would not be appropriate to simply add that or any other similar list to the "External links" section of the article. However, some of the links may be appropriate to use as references for specific information that should be added to the article. Since you're the subject of the article it is probably not a good idea for you to edit the article yourself but I'm sure that everyone would welcome you making suggestions on the article's Talk page. It may be very helpful if you could make explicit suggestions about precisely how these links could be helpful in adding specific information to the article. ElKevbo (talk) 04:15, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

I'd propose to continue the discussion at Talk:David B. Axelrod#Refimprove. --Francis Schonken (talk) 06:20, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

Are (the Jewish Encyclopedia) and WP:Reliable sources?[edit]

* Diff of contended content: [15]

Per the Talk:Child marriage#Recent sourcing; see WP:Reliable sources discussion (WP:Permalink for it here), I'm querying whether or not the (for example, this source) and (for example, this source) are WP:Reliable sources.The latter source was taken to this noticeboard before, and compared to the Jewish Encyclopedia; see Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard/Archive

I will also alert the relevant religion-based WikiProjects to this discussion. Flyer22 (talk) 06:03, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

I alerted the WikiProjects here, here, here, here and here. Flyer22 (talk) 06:19, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

You were wise to ask at WT:JUDAISM, because this was discussed in the past, and the consensus is that the 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia is reliable but in many respects outdated, so should be used with care.
I never saw the newadvent website before, but it looks privately published, no advisory or editorial board, something like a blog.
By the way, I am not sure if the following will be relevant, since I don't know what the stone of contention is here, but take into account that Christian sources are likely to represent Jewish subjects in the light of their own faith, which is often very different from the original Jewish understanding. Just saying. Debresser (talk) 06:49, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
I don't see the problem of newadvent being used the way it was - referencing a statement that begins "According to the Catholic tradition..." I would think it's an RS as far as "the Catholic tradition" goes. That's precisely the point at which it is reliable. StAnselm (talk) 07:21, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
Agreed - I've used both, and they are normally pretty sound on historical issues like this, and their respective traditions and groups of writers etc. The New Advent CE website merely reproduced the old book (100 yr+ now) which had editorial boards etc. Johnbod (talk) 11:02, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
Sure. As reliable as a James Bond film is as a source for Cold War. BlueSalix (talk) 08:13, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
A better comparison would be an encyclopedia on the James Bond franchise. Yes, inappropriate as a source on the Cold War, but appropriate as a source on pop culture depictions of the Cold War (i.e. Jewish and Catholic beliefs about a topic), or for plot summaries of the James Bond films (i.e. Jewish and Catholic doctrine in itself). Ian.thomson (talk) 17:54, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

The Jewish Encyclopedia is used as a source in more than 2000 articles, so we can say that quite a large number of editors have judged it as reliable. That's a very strong consensus. As always, sources reflect the state of knowledge at the time they were written, and a modern source of sufficient quality is to be preferred over one more than a century old. We should also note that the Jewish Encyclopedia reflects a particularly Jewish viewpoint that means it shouldn't be used, for example, as a source on facts about Christianity. It could be used as a source on Jewish views on Christianity, though. The Catholic Encyclopedia is somewhat similar: it is reliable for what the Catholic viewpoint was at that time. For history it is important to distinguish between documented history and earlier events which are mostly known through legends. Zerotalk 11:15, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

Reliable for what? I know it has been relentlessly refspammed into articles on Judaism, but this is not an article on Judaism. Guy (Help!) 11:24, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
It's a passage dealing with historical Jewish religious law, which is the sort of thing the JE is good at. Johnbod (talk) 11:37, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
Zero0000 (Zero), like I stated at Talk:Child marriage, "You should be well aware that references being used in many Wikipedia articles doesn't mean that the source is reliable. Various sources used in many Wikipedia articles have been WP:Blacklisted, for example." Flyer22 (talk) 04:48, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
@Flyer22: Yes, and you are still misunderstanding what I wrote. There is no objective quality of reliability. There are only some guidelines to be interpreted by community consensus. Until now the community consensus has been that it was reliable, unless you think that a large number of editors were deliberately editing against policy. If you want to work to change the consensus, that is fine and I wish you good luck. But the consensus until now is undeniable, which is the only point I was making. Zerotalk 10:01, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
Zero0000 (Zero), if I am misunderstanding you, then we are misunderstanding each other. You cannot validly state that there was community consensus to use either of these sources simply because they were and still are used in a lot of Wikipedia articles. That is exactly why I gave the WP:Blacklist example above. Furthermore, a lot of Wikipedia editors, especially the less experienced ones, are not well-versed with regard to the WP:Reliable sources guideline; that has nothing to do with "deliberately editing against policy." I brought this topic here per what I stated above, and, as we can see, the community is now extensively weighing in on it. Flyer22 (talk) 10:23, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

Both Jewish Encyclopedia and are reliable. –BoBoMisiu (talk) 13:58, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

Arbitrary Break 1[edit]

@Flyer22: the content in the diff, that cites Jewish Encyclopedia, doesn't clearly state for a 21st century reader that there is a difference between "might be given in marriage by her father" and the consummation of that marriage (that knowledge would have been part of common knowledge in late 19th century Jewish culture – like a contract with a future start date). The link to support "All marriages below the age of 7 are void" is in fact a link to the public domain Catholic Encyclopedia 1907 article "Canonical Age" reprinted on website. That page as well as most others on have complete citations to the transcription sources. The article in does not support the statement that "All marriages below the age of 7 are void". The page states: "The marriageable age is fourteen full years in males and twelve full years in females, under penalty of nullity (unless natural puberty supplies the want of years)." A search for the word "seven" on that page shows this. This separate edit is the problem – not, i.e. the Catholic Encyclopedia article reproduced on –BoBoMisiu (talk) 13:58, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

@Debresser: pages have complete citations to the transcription sources. The assertions that it is "privately published, no advisory or editorial board" is irrelevant because the pages reproduce what is in print and have complete citations to the transcription sources. It is not self published content but reproduction of previously published content. –BoBoMisiu (talk) 13:58, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

Catholic Encyclopedia is reliable for matters of Canon Law between 1917–1983, but since the Code changed drastically in 1983, nobody should be citing it for canonical matters in the Church beyond that date. Likewise for liturgical matters, as the Missal was more or less the same until 1962 and then changed drastically. Elizium23 (talk) 14:22, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

@Debresser and BoBoMisiu: The following might be highly relevant on the Jewish issue. I think I know the answer, but I'd like Debresser to back me up (or correct me) on this. Not only were "the contract" and "the consummation" separate, but in fact there are two separate marriage statuses involved.

  • Originally there is erusin, commonly translated as "betrothal". The father (or others in some situations, details unnecessary here) might create a marriage contract for his minor child, but the status at that point never goes past erusin. The consequence is that to terminate that marriage status requires a divorce. At the same time, the girl still lived with her parents, and sexual relations were not permitted. (I would point out, in parallel, that betrothal with legal teeth, as opposed to modern "engagement", was common in Europe in pre-modern and early-modern times, even outside the Jewish community.)
  • Only later is there nissuin, the "actual" wedding. Only after nissuin do the husband and wife live together and have sexual relations. This did not happen until at least puberty.

If the article implies that a full Jewish marriage can take place before puberty, it is not correct. StevenJ81 (talk) 15:59, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

+1 for what StevenJ81 said. This two-step approach to Jewish marriage, which is still done these days but with no time gap between, has often been used mischievously by antisemites to portray an invented view of traditional Judaism condoning the sexual abuse of children of pre-school age. --Dweller (talk) 17:00, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
Steven, which article implies so? I would like to look it over, as you suggested. Could you please provide me with a link? Debresser (talk) 17:07, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
@Debresser, see Child marriage#History. I was just wondering if it really said so, and was mainly making a general point here. However, the article itself is actually not very detailed on this point, and that in itself is the problem. You should probably look over there directly.
  • Part of it is speaking about marriage at a young age, post-puberty. That's a separate subject, and a valid subject of inquiry, but it's not the issue I'm really looking at here.
  • More to the point: the article mentions that while the practice was discouraged, "girls ages 3 through 12 (ketanah) might be given in marriage by her (sic) father, and the marriage was valid, necessitating a formal divorce if separation was desired." True, of course, if by "marriage" you mean erusin. But in the context of the rest of the article, the implication is of a full marriage, the way most people define that word.
— The idea that the "marriage" referred to here is erusin, and not a full marriage according to the common meaning of the word, is never mentioned in the article.
— Similarly, the idea that the full marriage cannot be completed without the girl's consent is not mentioned, either.
Therefore, I think the implication of the article is currently misleading. StevenJ81 (talk) 17:46, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
Upon reliability: depends upon their use. They are reliable for their own views and for rather uncontroversial claims, but they do not trump recent peer-reviewed academic sources. Tgeorgescu (talk) 17:41, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
I would word it even stronger: they should never be used except (1) to illustrate the historical views of something at the time they were written, , with the article making clear the fact that it is very unlikely to still be the current view, or (2) for the basic plain facts about the biography of a person or the basic description of a place or the like, with care taken to see that they have not been contradicted or basically changed by later work. Their evaluations of importance or influence are no longer reliable. And we need to re-vist every article using them as a source. It was an incredible foolish mistake showing the naïveté of the early years of WP, to ever have accepted them as the basis of WP articles . DGG ( talk ) 17:52, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
I would tend to agree with both of the above comments by Tgeorgescu and DGG. As someone who has a bit of an interest in seeing us use more PD reference sources, where appropriate, the best way to proceed would be to see what other current reference sources say on the topic in question, and, in general, to use the sources they cite in their bibliographies to source the information. For some topics, like child marriage, the article will fall into multiple disciplines, and it is certainly possible that they can be covered in a variety of encyclopedia-type sources for various topics, which may have markedly different ideas as to which content is relevant. But depending on the length of the relevant discussion in overview content directly related to the topic as a topic unto itself (as opposed to, say, from the Catholic perspective), the way to proceed would be to more or less reflect the weight and other variables in those directly relevant broad overviews; Yes, I suppose, unfortunately, we could, maybe, theoretically, ultimately have spinout articles on "Child marriage in" Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, and whatever else. For a lot of these "social" articles which have significant religious input, it might even be argued that we should. But the best way to proceed would be to find the most current reliable reference overview material on this topic and see what weight it gives the material sources from these works, and more or less try to roughly follow their lead according to our own policies and guidelines. In some, rare, cases, like some articles by Louis de la Vallee Poussin, older reference works might contain what are still considered by at least some experts the best things ever written on subjects, and we certainly should make an effort to use those sources for the content still relevant. And we definitely should try to compare the articles using them as sources to more recent reference works or overviews on the same topics and see if the material sourced from them is still considered relevant enough as per WEIGHT for inclusion today. John Carter (talk) 18:09, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
@StevenJ81 and Elizium23: I agree with both of you. The article is misleading and may not reflect 21st century understanding. Consent is also a requirement in Catholic Church – and there there are other requirements, for example, persons "who lack the sufficient use of reason" or "who suffer from a grave defect of discretion of judgment concerning the essential matrimonial rights and duties mutually to be handed over and accepted" "are incapable of contracting marriage (c. 1095)". Pastors should "dissuade youth from the celebration of marriage before the age at which a person usually enters marriage according to the accepted practices of the region (c. 1072)". In addition, a person younger than 18 year of age is a minor (c. 97 §1)". Marriage of a minor normally requires authorization of the local ordinary if it "cannot be recognized or celebrated according to the norm of civil law" or "when the parents are unaware or reasonably opposed (c. 1071 §1)". While the 1983 Code of Canon Law sets the minimum age for a valid marriage at 16 for males and 14 for females, it permits each conference of bishops "to establish a higher age for the licit celebration of marriage (c. 1083 §§1–2). Edward Peters explains that canon 1083, "authorized episcopal conferences to recognize the concrete circumstances of marriage in their own territories and to raise the ages for licit marriages within a given nation" to more than the minimum age for a valid marriage ([16]). –BoBoMisiu (talk) 18:21, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

Arbitrary Break 2[edit]

@Tgeorgescu, DGG, and John Carter: Both sources present a historical view of the subjects and may divide, what in the 21st century plainly should be in a single article, into several articles. I have skimmed many contemporary reference works that obviously use early 20th century, i.e. public domain, sources that I can recall reading – those contemporary works also include the incorrect information from the older sources that they repackaged. A 21st century copyright date is not a guarantee of reliability either. Also, neither Jewish Encyclopedia nor Catholic Encyclopedia are self published material, they used scholars of their time who referenced older works, i.e. the same process that is used today but over a century earlier. You may not find what you are looking for in context; what you find will likely be dated; but, it will also likely be reliable. –BoBoMisiu (talk) 19:07, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

(edit conflict)@John Carter and DGG: At minimum, one should confirm that citations from JE 1906 are still worthy. But I also think you overstate the case a bit. DGG says, "for the basic plain facts about the biography of a person or the basic description of a place or the like, with care taken to see that they have not been contradicted or basically changed by later work." That is often true of other subjects within Jewish law and tradition, as well. To me, some subjects within Judaism feel like WP:BLUE, because they're obvious and I live with them daily. But to a general audience, they're not really "BLUE", because they're not as obvious-and-well-known. So in cases like that I feel completely comfortable starting with JE 1906, if I find it accurate.
I think it's one thing to say, "Be very cautious in relying on a citation from JE1906." It's another to go as far as to say that you can't use a citation because "it is very unlikely to still be the current view." Just because it's in JE1906 doesn't mean it's wrong. StevenJ81 (talk) 19:12, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
Somewhat analogously, just because I base a statement on my own opinion doesn't mean its wrong either, but we can't use it in an article. But there's a difference--at least the JE can be used to indicate something was thought to be the casewhen it was written. DGG ( talk ) 19:18, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
(e-c) @BoBoMisiu: and @StevenJ81: It certainly can be the case that material on what is "historical views" of a topic is included in current articles on those topics. In some cases, like I suppose some practices which have become less commonly practised over time, the history section of such an article can, reasonably, constitute the bulk of the article or at least a large part of the article. And such dated sources for now-dated material are still relevant. I myself don't know enough much about the specialist sources on this topic, but there do seem to be rather a lot of sometimes comparatively recent marriage encyclopedias as per here which can probably be used to indicate what material related to this topic belongs in which article here. Like in a lot of other cases I know of, such sources will, unfortunately, support a number of spinout articles on various topics many of us would find remarkable, and, maybe, unjustifiable. But, if there is sufficient notability and content for them, and if those sources indicate that the historical material available in these older sources is still relevant, I can't see any particular objections to at least initially using them for the material which is discussed in those reference sources which can be sourced form them. John Carter (talk) 19:27, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict)@BoBoMisiu: I don't want to belabor the point, since it's a side-discussion on a page about RS. But to summarize:
  • A Jewish woman who has reached puberty is competent under Jewish religious law to enter a full marriage, or to ratify a betrothal her father made when she was a child. (The question of when she has actually "reached puberty" has its own ambiguities; for this purpose, let's just say she has done so, and leave it at that.)
  • In the real world, it would be entirely inappropriate for numerous reasons for someone under the modern age of consent to enter a marriage. Among other things, dina d'malkhuta dina ("The law of the land is the law") would apply, meaning: If the law of the land in a place you live says that a person must be 16 (say) to marry, Jewish law would also demand that that you must be 16 if you marry in that jurisdiction. No mainstream branch of Judaism would ever condone a full marriage below the secular age of consent.
  • So what happens if a young woman nevertheless enters a marriage between the age of puberty and the secular age of consent? In certain very isolated circumstances, something akin to annulment is possible under Jewish law. (It's probably easier to get an annulment from the Vatican.) Otherwise, even a marriage like that would require a divorce to dissolve, since under Jewish law the young woman is legally competent. StevenJ81 (talk) 19:36, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Not rs It is unreasonable to use sources more than one hundred years old. One should always use the best, most relevant and most up to date sources for every article. Why do schools use current textbooks, when they could just reprint books that were no longer under copyright? TFD (talk) 19:43, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
I'm with DGG and those that agree that ": they should never be used except (1) to illustrate the historical views of something at the time they were written, , with the article making clear the fact that it is very unlikely to still be the current view, or (2) for the basic plain facts about the biography of a person or the basic description of a place or the like, with care taken to see that they have not been contradicted or basically changed by later work." And that we need to revist the articles that use them. There's probably still an article that's almost all just a copy of the Jewish Encyclopedia. I didn't know that it was and started to put fact tags on it, only to be told in no uncertain terms that fact tags were not necessary as it was from a reliable source. Sadly I didn't make an issue of it. Doug Weller (talk) 20:26, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
@Doug Weller: You wouldn't remember the name of that article, would you? I can at least try to find more recent reference works which discuss the topic, and what they say. John Carter (talk) 20:42, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
A number of articles were created by copying from out-of-copyright articles. For example, the War of 1812 was created in 2001 by copying a 1910 Encyclopedia Britannica article.[17] There is an interesting article about it here. It was a good way to add a lot of important articles very quickly but certainly the project has moved beyond that. TFD (talk) 22:18, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
The project may have moved beyond that but unfortunately many thousands of our articles haven't! EB remains far more of a problem than JE or CE in my opinion, as most remaining stuff from those plays to their strengths & is on pretty obscure topics within those religions. Not so EB, which remains the main or exclusive source for most bios of old master painters, (non-English) medieval monarchs etc. Johnbod (talk) 13:53, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
Johnbod You raise an interesting point. I've been criticized (occasionally, not frequently) for using too many traditional (Hebrew/religious/etc.) sources and not enough modern (English/academic-"secular"/etc.) sources in articles. Some of these "obscure" topics actually get covered quite well in scholarly Jewish-religious sources (often in Hebrew). But I have also been criticized (not often, but occasionally) that those sources are not neutral. (I'd argue that, but not here and now.) People criticize JE for being out-of-date in a variety of ways, and it is. But at the same time, for most topics people will concede that it is scholarly, academic, and neutral.
It is also important to keep the following in mind. (1) JE1906 pre-dates just about all of the modern issues associated with the Israel/Palestine conflict. Yes, JE is a Jewish source, but it is useful as a source that inherently filters out the modern politics of that part of the world. (2) It is similarly useful as a source that filters out biases based on modern religious passions. StevenJ81 (talk) 14:42, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
It was years ago, can't recall, sory. Doug Weller (talk) 13:13, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
Steven There can be both erusin and nissuin with a halakhic minor. See Rambam, Hilchot Gerushin, 11, 3. After all, nissuin is not only bi'ah, but also by bringing her into the house e.g., or standing under a chuppah. See Rambam, Hilchot Ishut, 10. Debresser (talk) 21:49, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

David Bedein on Arutz 7[edit]

I have made the following edit on Susya article -

Several NGOs such as Rabbis for Human Rights[1] have made a claim that "There are documentary evidence of a settlement in the area dating back to 1830". According to Dr. Seth J. Frantzman, co-author of “Bedouin Settlement in Late Ottoman and British Mandatory Palestine: Influence on the Cultural and Environmental Landscape, 1870-1948" he did not 'come across' a village at Susya while he could identify other villages established in the late 19th century or early 20th century. He added that there is no evidence from records he checked at Ben Gurion University which support the existence of a village at Susya during the Ottoman Empire period or British mandate period. According to David Bedein, a request was made to advocates of Khirbat Susya to provide documentation which would support the claim Susya dates back to 1830 but "No one could provide any such evidence".[2]


The article Susya is filled with biased sources of NGOs and activists, and other editors who have no issue introducing material from blogs or text that declares it was rejected by Haaretz have decided that even after proper attribution it isn't RS because Arutz 7 as 'radical settler mouthpiece' isn't RS.

David Bedein is a journalist whose work was published by the Jerusalem Post, FrongPage magazine, JewishPress, LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL and has a blog on The Times of Israel. He is also a director of the Center for Near East Policy Research. There is no doubt the guy is biased but attribution takes care of that. Thanks. Settleman (talk) 23:13, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

A7, Times of Israel, Frontpage magazine, Jewish Press are not WP:RS because any of these is openly advocating for a given cause or are owned by people who do so. JPost is wp:rs (except when it reprots events of war involving Israel).
Talking about David Bedein, I don't know if he is WP:RS but he is notable and therefore, any sentence starting by "According to David Bedein" and followed by one of his analysis is acceptable. His reports of facts should be crosscheck to be sure. Let's not write : "according to David Bedein, the Israeli population is 7,000,000 people". Pluto2012 (talk) 18:42, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

I'm not certain I agree with all of the sources you lump together as unreliable, Pluto2012. For example, in your opinion, how is Arutz Sheva different from Al Jazeera? Both are multi-medium new disseminators with editorial oversight. The Jewish Press is a tabloid, like Arab News, the latter which I have used on Wikipedia before. Online-only works like FrontPage Magazine or The Huffington Post are more problematic, I agree. -- Avi (talk) 19:03, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

Nishidani : FYI
Avraham : The reliability of a newspaper can be determined by its editorial line, its independence, and how it is refered among other reliable sources. It is also important but often forgotten that the reliability of the sources depends much on the topic that is covered and can be reliable for one and not for another.
For A7, we have :
  • "Israel legalises religious pirate radios". BBC News. 1999-02-24.  that says A7 is "run by Jewish settlers and religious activists" and that is acquired some official reknown using "pressure". It says also that it is the vow of "ultra-orthodox Jews"
  • "‘We Need To Put The Spirit Back Into The People’: An Interview with Arutz Sheva’s Yishai Fleisher". The Jewish Press. 10 February 2010.  is an interview from Yishai Fleisher, director of programming at A7. He says that he started Kumah whose description states it "aims to educate the public about Israel and dispel myths and stereotypes about the Middle East" (the famous propaganda credo) but the article refers to it as Neo-Zionist, "an exclusionary, nationalist, even racist, and antidemocratic political-cultural trend, striving to heighten the fence encasing Israeli identity."[1].
(nb: Jewish Press is not wp:rs but it doesn't matte here. It is the interview of a friendly figure and they talk openly of their minds and positionning.)
A7 cannot be accepted as a wp:rs source.
Al Jazeera should rather be compared to Jerusalem Post with the nuance that Israel's democracy offers higher freedom of speech than Arab world.
  • Dan Sabbagh. "Al-Jazeera's political independence questioned amid Qatar intervention". the Guardian. Retrieved 16 June 2015.  is interesting because it shows that al-Jazeera journalists are under pressure but that they protested against this pressure and fight for the freedom. It reports several incidents. eg "in September 2011, Wadah Khanfar, a Palestinian widely seen as independent, suddenly left as director-general after eight years in the post and was replaced by a member of the royal family, Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim al-Thani, a man with no background in journalism. In his resignation letter, Khanfar said, after noting that the channel had been criticised by Donald Rumsfeld and hailed by Hillary Clinton, that "al-Jazeera is still independent and its integral coverage has not changed".
Al Jazeera has no political agenda and is independent (with some restrictions). It is WP:RS in the limits of the topic that are covered. Jerusalem Post is WP:RS for the samre reasons, and maybe even more. Of course both have journalists who have their mind and who puts forward opinions. But there is no an official line or a will of advocacy. Both are wp:rs to reports news or events. The restrictions about wp:rs come when more reliable sources exist on a topic (eg, they are not wp:rs for historical events). They cannot be wp:rs for events affecting journalists strongly, such as the Royal family for al-Jazeera or a war involving Israel and lived in direct for Jerusalem Post.
Avi, the same work can be done for the other sources and your comparisons are not appropriate. Please, "do your homework" and try to analyse this by yourself and don't just listen to the rings of propaganda. I could even source, from an Israeli scholar (and not a post-zionist one) that the comparison that you make between journalistic sources, claiming for double-standards and no symetry in the treatment, is an argument used in the media war in the I-P conflict but it is in French (all the details are in fr:guerre des mots dans le conflit israélo-palestinien). Pluto2012 (talk) 01:59, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
  1. ^ Steve Chan, Anita Shapira, Derek Jonathan, Israeli Historical Revisionism: from left to right, Routledge, 2002, pp.57-58.
Pluto, you bring all kind of historical facts and interview which are interesting but hardly relevant. By now is legal and on the weekend, the printed (free) edition has more exposure than Haaretz.
Saying Al Jazeera has no political agenda is a joke of course, same for Haaretz with Haas and Levi. It is true of course for Israel HAyom and Ynet as well. The early years of the country and Mapai are probably to blame. Some places (not wikipedia) certain people argue NYTimes is "mouthpiece for Jews".
I see all kind of 'proofs' which are basically content editors don't like or mistakes found but those you can find everywhere. Some conversations took place a decade ago and might have been relevant at the time. By now, Arutz 7 isn't leaning to the right more than Haaretz leans to the left. Settleman (talk) 07:08, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
Ha'aretz is more on the left; JPost is more on the right but both remains in the level of the opinions. A7 has a political agenda and was created to defend the interest of a group : settlers. al-Jazeera is the same as JPost and Ha'aretz as stated by the source that I provided. The fact would be unlegal or not is not the issue. The issue is the promotion of an ideology and the advocacy policy.
By the way, if you cannot bring source, what you say is useless.
Pluto2012 (talk) 13:51, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

Avi. I have difficulty following you here. The Arutz Sheva article had a line apparently falsifying the facts, by distorting the source. I made this edit to fix it. Unless further fresh RS are forthcoming, it seems to be in a legal no man's land, since the Supreme Court annulled the 1999 law legalizing it.
Bedein is neither here or there, but he is citing, apparently a phone call to Seth Frantzman. Well SF's book is on-line. I provided a link to it, and asked for the book to be used because what Frantzman is reported as asserting is not true on several points. He is quoted as saying we have no map evidence of Susya in 19th century: we do, they are linked by Zero in the article. Frantzman clearly didn't see that evidence, so it's pointless citing him via Bedein, since it is outdated. SF's book is perfectly RS. If he has stuff on Susya there, anyone can read it and pull it directly into the article. Since Arutz Sheva has no reputable mainstream journalist on its books, keeps on its pages a serial plagiarist like Giulio Meotti whom mainstream newspapers in Italy and elsewhere have fired after it was demonstrated he is a plagiarist, is consistently running a rumour mills for fringe, slightly daft if not paranoid opinions, and extremist views ( Abu Khdeir was perhaps killed by an Arab homosexual, that the Muslim Brotherhood has penetrated the Obama administration or that that he is opposed to western Judeo-Christian civilization, and he perceives Israel as an outpost of that civilization in the Middle East. That is why he is indifferent to the fate of Israel. In other words it is not a reliable news organ with close oversight, but an outlet for minor journalists with a settler-ideology to push. Al Jazeera represents the Arab viewpoint, but it has far high quality journalists and standards. It was the first Arab media outlet to regularly broadcast interviews with Israelis. etc.etc. Nishidani (talk) 12:59, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
Pluto, just as an aside: "ultra-orthodox" is a specific term of art, if you will, and does not in and of itself relate to whether sources describing themselves that way should or shouldn't be considered reliable. "Ultra-orthodox" is specifically used to mean haredi, as opposed to modern Orthodox or Religious Zionist. The sense of "ultra-" as "extremely extreme", while true of some people in the community, is unquestionably not universally true. The phrase "ultra-orthodox" in English should be taken as nothing more and nothing less than a translation of the concept of haredi. StevenJ81 (talk) 13:28, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
Hi StevenJ81, thank you for the precision. Pluto2012 (talk) 13:51, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
Pluto2012, I understand you position from 1st comment as - with attribution it is OK.
All Nishidani says amount to "I really don't like these guys". The 'gay theory' is reported by The Telegraph and Jerusalem Post. The brother Muslim article says it was published in an Egyptian magazine and 'Judeo-Christian civilization' is an audio interview with someone. You have no issue with blogs such as mondoweiss which you recently added.
What happened to "it is no business of wikipedia, or wiki editors, to interfere with what RS say"? Seth Frantzman is an academic and whatever you say about him is OR and against the rules. You know nothing about what scholars use in their research and what historical material is reliable or not. On the two maps Zero found there are other 50 that show Kh. Susya as ruins. Velde, as I found today, didn't visit Susya so we don't have his testimony so leave the map interpretation to scholars and try to find one that support your 1830 theory.
Back to the main question, why isn't Bedein with attribution good enough when the article is flooded with with activists material? Settleman (talk) 14:41, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

@Nishidani: Hi. I have no opinion on the specific Bedein question, as I am ignorant of the entire situation. I was requesting clarity on what seemed to be blanket dismissals by Pluto2012, further supported by 20-year old articles. I appreciate the detail you provide; thank you, as usual. -- Avi (talk) 15:25, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

@Pluto2012: a few comments. 1) A 1999 article which has been superseded (as pointed out above) is probably not the best source to support your claim. 2)If the JP is not a reliable source, why are you using it to support your contention about Yishai Fleisher Face-smile.svg? Moreover, if you are using it as a source, as you imply in your response with Settleman, and it needs to comply to the same level we require in articles, then unless I misunderstand you, you are bringing an article about Fleisher's Kumah and stating that his remarks in that interview about Kumah reflect how he captained Arutz Sheva, which is synthesis/OR, no? 3) I never felt Al Jazeera shouldn't be a RS; although, like almost every major news outlet in the world in the past 15 years, I don't think it accurate to say that they have "no" political agenda. 4) Ultra-Orthodox is just the English for Haredi Judaism as opposed to Modern Orthodox Judaism. It has no specific political context in and of itself; it is reflective of the level of adherence to Orthodox religious rule. There are studies that indicate that Orthodox Jews in general (Modern, Haredi/Yeshivish, Hasidic, etc.) tend to be more conservative in their political leanings than their non-observant co-religionists, but I think that is true of most religions, at least the Abrahamic ones. -- Avi (talk) 15:25, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

The essence of the issue is this. There is contention over whether the Palestinians who formerly lived a good part of the year in the underground caves where the synagogue and ancient site spreads constituted a 'village' or not before 1986. Quite a few sources say it is attested since 1830. Settleman thinks that a meme. He is citing a nondescript journalist quoting a conversation of a scholar who wrote about satellite villages of Arab settlements, who said his research never turned up evidence of a village at Susya over a century ago. The nodescript journalist quoting the interview of the scholar, with no reference to any datum, but his memory or opinion, in Arutz Sheva, is not how we establish facts. We have the scholar's book, we also know his opinion is wrong, since he asserts Susya is not on maps, whereas Zero0000 pèrpoduced several of that period marking Susya as a village. So what is the point of using a dubious RS to quote a journalist quoting a scholar who merely states his memory of when he did research 5 years ago? Arutz Sheva of course would highlight this rumour or comment, but ignores that it is outdated. Nishidani (talk) 16:22, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
If that is so, we have to be careful not to state the scholar is wrong in Wikipedia's voice, as that would be OR/SYNTH, even if obvious. -- Avi (talk) 16:43, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
Of course. The idea didn't cross my mind. My view is that the source is dubious, the content dated, and wrong, and the scholar's views exist in an academic treatise readily accessible. It is pointless introducing dead material, regardless of Arutz Sheva. If Settleman wants SF's views on Susya, let him cite that book.Nishidani (talk) 22:23, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
Nishidani, for now I add Bedein without SF. Can you point me to where SF speaks of Susya? I looked through the book and searched for any spelling of Susya I could think of, but came empty handed. Settleman (talk) 08:13, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
I gave you a link to Frantzman's book. I can't search it online for some reason, so I don't know whether he writes on Susya. But in the comments quoted, it appears he is just saying he never noticed material relevant to the village. That is an off the cuff argument from silence and not useful (we know now that what he asserts is wrong - so citing him is pointless). Bedein's own views are neither here nor there. Since this is a historical question, we do best to be patient and find solid qualified sources to clear it up. It is useless adding to an article a comment that 'no one returned our requests for information' which is all Bedein was used for.Nishidani (talk) 10:53, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
SF book doesn't mention Susya as far as I can see. Bedein opinion is not about historical facts but his first hand experience trying to get info from RHR. Like I said, they did give me (useless) info but maybe with him, they wouldn't. Settleman (talk) 15:30, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
This is an encyclopedia that aims basically for factual content. We are working on difficult historical data. Bedein saying they didn't reply to him is not relevant content, unless it was meant to insinuate that he embarrassed them into silence. For all we know, someone might have thought:'why answer this guy?' I send quite a few letters to eminent scholars for clarifications. Quite a few, surprisingly, reply. A number don't, but I never jump to the conclusion that this is because my query embarrassed them. They in all probability, not knowing me from a bar of soap, just don't have time to waste, or think I should do my homework better. Bedein is out. And refrain from using Arutz Sheva as most longterm editors here don't use similar partisan source (Peace Now,If Americans Knew), Richard Silverstein, etc.etc. etc., all of which sometimes have useful insightful material, but which we do not cite on technical grounds.Nishidani (talk) 17:03, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
Putting a major media organization with some blogs (or worse) is *******. He speaks of his attempt to receive 'evidence' and failing to get it from RHR. It you fear for their name, we can leave their name out but he is completely RS for not being able to find any evidence (as were you). Funny thing about Silverstein, in his latest piece on MintPress he writes " Mavi Marmara detainees, who suffered the looting of $2 to 3.5 million...". I wondered about the number so I followed his links which eventually lead here. His 'source' is a comment on his blog. If it wasn't funny, I would cry. Settleman (talk) 20:16, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
"2)If the JP is not a reliable source, why are you using it to support your contention about Yishai Fleisher"
JP means Jewish Press. Jerusalem Post is of course (globally) a WP:RS source.
Albert Einstein is WP:RS. Well, no. Albert Einstein is a must on the relativity but is should not be considered wp:rs on the way mathematics should be taught at secondary school or on the reasons why he got divorced or on the history of Zionism. He was recognized by his pairs are was mainly quoted and praized for the 1st topic. He is personnaly involved in all the others. Whatever he says on these other topics, it has to be cross-checked and confirmed by other sources.
That's the same for the above mentionned sources. And I already said so. I don't understand why you don't take this into account.
Globally, in our context, we cannot rely on A7, JewishPress, ElectronicIntifada, ... because they are deeply involved, are advocay groups and whatever they say, it should be checked. So whatever they say, if there is no other source of information, it is useless to quote them because if they are alone to state a fact, it cannot be trusted and it would therefore be better to quote the alternative source!
That's not the case for Jerusalem Post or al-Jazeera with anyway notable exceptions, like for Einstein. JP cannot be trusted war Gaza conflicts and aJ for Gulf wars because they were deeply involved and there are good reasons to believe they are not neutral.
Now, the contrary is true also. Jewish Press is not reliable at all. But there is an exception. When Jewish Press interviews a friendly figure in order to promote him, what is said during this interview can be trusted. So, if JP says a friend is a neo-zionist, we can trust this (unless we can find arguments to reject this.)
Pluto2012 (talk) 06:22, 31 August 2015 (UTC)
So you would consider Al Jazeera a credible unbiased source regarding the conflict in Gaza? -- Avi (talk) 14:34, 31 August 2015 (UTC)

Need advice on updating sourcing information on Ono no Komachi[edit]

Not sure if this is the place for it, but this noticeboard has helped me before, so...

The article currently includes several citations of "Keene 1999, citing Katagiri 1975".

"Katagiri 1975" is very old and expensive/hard-to-find, but today I bought a copy of the 2015 reprint of the 1993 updated edition. ("Keene 1999" is a reprint, and actually predates the 1993 edition of Katagiri.) I plan on expanding the article with information from Katagiri 2015, so its (completely different) bibliographical details will need to be added to the bibliography on top of the 1975 version. Should I include them as separate entries?

I haven't checked whether the pagination of Katagiri 2015 matches up with Katagiri 1975. I doubt it, but even if it did, would it be better to replace "citing Katagiri 1975" with "citing Katagiri 2015", which would look anachronistic? Should I try to match it up to Katagiri 2015 and add the Katagiri 2015 reference in parentheses, so that every Katagiri reference can be found in the 2015 edition?

I could probably replace just about every citation of Keene with a direct citation of Katagiri 2015, but I think Keene's being an English-language source and Keene's work being more widely accepted in the "canon" of Japanese literary scholarship even in Japan makes it arguably a better source than Katagiri, even when it is being cited as a tertiary source as it is here.

Any ideas?

Hijiri 88 (やや) 11:26, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

  • WP:RSUE is the applicable policy, which means:
    • Cite Keene (or any other reliable English-language source) for whatever content that is available in an English-language source.
    • Comply to WP:RSUE when adding content to the encyclopedia based on a source for which no English-language counterpart exists.
Apart from that, common sense:
  • Don't mess with references to "Keene 1999, citing Katagiri 1975". If it's that edition of Katgiri used in that edition of Keene, don't mess with editions and page numbers. The reference is to Keene, don't make Keene 1999 say things he didn't say. One doesn't need Katagiri 1975 to check the reference.
  • For content that can "only" be referenced to Katagiri 2015 it needs to be relevant: maybe Katagiri 2015 contradicts content now based on older sources... in that case I suppose the content based on Keene should stay in the article, with an addition of the alternative version referenced to Katagiri 2015. Has there been a notable development in the research on the subject "only" reported by Katagiri 2015... well maybe not such notable development in the research on the subject if it's mentioned nowhere else. For adding more detail that can not be found in English-language sources: Wikipedia summarizes, and quite possibly such detail would be excessive... maybe best to discuss on the article's talk page first?
--Francis Schonken (talk) 12:22, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

Online "Eurodance Encyclopaedia" by Karine Sanche[edit]

The online Eurodance Encyclopaedia was started in 2000 by Karine Sanche, and is effectively a self-published source. (Sanche is also a web designer.) The Eurodance Encyclopaedia website has been cited a handful of times on Wikipedia:

How reliable should we gauge this source? Note that the source is not mentioned at the guideline Wikipedia:WikiProject Albums/Sources. However, the guideline states that self-published sources are not reliable, giving as examples Piero Scaruffi and The Needle Drop. To me, Eurodance Encyclopaedia appears to be the same thing. Binksternet (talk) 20:31, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

Self-published: "I am the ONE AND ONLY person responsible for the updates, graphics and coding..." [18] Not RS. AndyTheGrump (talk) 20:37, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
I would say not RS. She appears to be a veterinarian, not any sort of music expert. It's self published. She has done an impressive amount of work and built an impressive resource, but not one Wikipedia should be citing. ~ ONUnicorn(Talk|Contribs)problem solving 20:40, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
I would agree that it doesn't meet our standards. It is self-published and she is not a recognized expert in the field. -- Avi (talk) 21:12, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

Okay, thanks for the confirmation, folks. I have removed the website as a reference from multiple articles but I have kept it as an external link at the Eurodance article. Binksternet (talk) 19:34, 30 August 2015 (UTC)[edit]

Khazir River lists Britannica as a reference. I'm not sure if that's okay or not. Jerod Lycett (talk) 06:31, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

Seems OK by me. Looking at WP:WPNOTRS, that mentions citing encyclopedias so long as it isn't Wikipedia citing to itself. Markbassett (talk) 06:25, 30 August 2015 (UTC)[edit]

1. Source., specifically
2. Article. Ned Touchstone
3. Content. The link is provided as a general reference, but I assume it applies to the vary last section in the article that discusses Touchstone's ancestors.

The author of the material is a university professor in an unrelated field: Thanks! - Location (talk) 06:34, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

This does not look like a RS to me. The web is full of history websites written up by hobbyists, local history buffs, and genealogists, they're often inaccurate or have a strong POV. This is miles away from a published, reliable source. Fyddlestix (talk) 20:28, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Not reliable. Although Wallace L. McKeehan is a TAMU professor, the websites are his personal hobby, well outside of his academic field. Without more, it cannot be reliable. GregJackP Boomer! 00:23, 31 August 2015 (UTC)

MDPI journals[edit]

Are articles published in MDPI journals reliable for scientific subjects? I ask because Jeffrey Beall added them to his list of questionable publishers last year. [19] Everymorning (talk) 18:05, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

Reliability of a source can only be determined in respect of some content sourced to it. If Beall has questioned these journals then that is a big WP:REDFLAG for any great claims they might make, though for mundane stuff they might be okay. We'd need to have specific examples to decide a case. Alexbrn (talk) 18:18, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
That publisher is a redflag but isn't definitive - would need specifics. Jytdog (talk) 18:57, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
I decided to start this discussion because I noticed the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health just published a review article about electronic cigarettes [20] and I was thinking about adding it to the e-cig article (although I haven't checked to see if it's already there or not). Everymorning (talk) 19:07, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
Well, what content? Without looking at specifics I'd counsel caution, since e-cigs is an extremely controversial area where it would be wise to steer clear of potentially dubious claims in potentially dubious sources. Alexbrn (talk) 20:22, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
What Alex said. "Steer(ing) clear of potentially dubious claims in potentially dubious sources" is sound advice in all cases, not just this instance. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 01:20, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

Blogs as reliable sources[edit]

Are these blog posts reliable sources? [21], [22], [23]

I deleted them from several articles because they seemed to violate WP:RS, but another editor reinstated them with no explanation as to why: [24], [25], [26], [27], [28], [29], [30], [31], [32], [33], [34], [35], [36], [37], [38], [39] .

So should these blog posts be used as sources, or not? (talk) 22:04, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

I would add that it appears to be WP:SELFCITE / COI as well based on their username and the username of the blogspot page. --Dual Freq (talk) 01:11, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

The blogger looks, by his self-provided credentials, to be more than just random some guy with a blog, but I don't think I would go so far as to call him "an established expert" as described in WP:SPS. I agree that it looks like the blogger in question is edit warring to maintain the citations to his blog. It'd be nice to see some kind of discussion on why he thinks he's a reliable source rather than rollback abuse. NinjaRobotPirate (talk) 07:24, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
'Blog' seems an inappropriate characterization here, since it's citing to a webpage with substantial amount of serious content. I also do not see any COI. And I don't object really to someone thinking they're expert or posting here to raise their profile and gain fame if they're making worthwhile edits. The issue seems basically WP:SELFCITE, a verifiability issue that his support for his WP words are his words at the other website, a circular support trail. I'll suggest leading TALK to the positive goals there and expect an expert with well-researched material can provide the third-party published item that part of his webpage drew from, and see if he'll list some of those, pointing out that to show his webpage as the ONLY cite which says such things, or gets listed umpteen times on the same article .. makes it look like the content (at both sites) is unprofessionally researched and just opinion that maybe invalid. Markbassett (talk) 06:16, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

It's self-published, and I find no evidence that the author has had work published by a third party other than some freelance photography and graphic design. It's not acceptable for Wikipedia. Rhoark (talk) 13:08, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

I can not find him in any of the academic databases I have access to nor in GScholar although I do not have access to any Art History specific databases. I can find no indication he is known and respected within the Art History community. The material he has written may or may not be good but there is no way for a non-expert to tell - that is what peer review is all about. TL/DR No. It's a blog. JbhTalk 15:04, 30 August 2015 (UTC)[edit]

Source: Global Security
Articles: BZhRK Barguzin and 3M-51 Alfa.
Content: A new user has been going around making new articles on what seem to be random missles which at first glance seem to not pass WP:GNG but the external links section which seems to be meant as a reference section links to the above site which I would like to have feedback on whether it is reliable enough to help towards notability.- McMatter (talk)/(contrib) 03:35, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

The site's staff has strong credentials; it has a good reputation and use by others. Rhoark (talk) 13:18, 30 August 2015 (UTC) is mostly a aggregator and reference site. They are well known and respected as such and a great source of information. Because they try to be comprehensive something being mentioned on their site does not, in my opinion, contribute to its notability. In the specific cases you refer to you should check with Wikipedia:WikiProject_Military_history since they will have experience with the notability of weapon systems. JbhTalk 14:45, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
I have found is not reliable for historical content (see here). It is a tertiary source that clearly includes information from other sources but only sometimes names them and should be tagged with {{Tertiary}}. Why not cite a standard work like a Jane's weapons directory? Or even this by Federation of American Scientists which is tertiary but names its sources (but it looks like its index is not maintained). –BoBoMisiu (talk) 16:58, 31 August 2015 (UTC)

Use of Russian news sources (RT & VoR) to source an incident in the Syrian Civil War[edit]

Article: Use of chemical weapons in the Syrian civil war


Date Location Governorate Impact points Civilian victims Soldier/militias victims CW-agent Main article Notes
Time of day Coordinates Controlled by Deaths Non-fatal Deaths Non-fatal Unit
29 October 2013 Ras al-Ayn Al-Hasakah Kurdish forces Ref. Al-Mayadeen.[1][2]


Note that the table lists reported attacks and that a statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry, (according to the Voice of Russia article), says that the attack "must be thoroughly verified and investigated".

Are the two references given above sufficient to include the record in the table that lists reported chemical weapons attacks in the Syrian civil war?

Yes, the two references are sufficient

  1. Erlbaeko (talk) 14:30, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

No, the two references are not sufficient

  1. Time and time again RT/VoR are brought to this page. They are not reliable for content in Wikipedia's voice about anything controversial. Something very mundane in Wikipedia's voice, sure. Not this sort of thing. You could use it to support a claim that the Russian government said X but I would question the WEIGHT to give it (if any) if there are no independent, reliable sources discussing the incident. Jytdog (talk) 16:00, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
  2. Don't include in list without further references. I have long opposed efforts to remove RT or other Russian sources because they are aligned with the Russian government's foreign policy, and it is certainly true that like Russian media, Western media are for the most part aligned with the foreign policies of their own national governments. That said, I agree with Jytdog and Volunteer Marek that the mere mention in two articles, by RT and VoR, that these attacks may have occurred is very weak grounds for adding them to such a list. At the very most, I would agree with Jytdog that this might, somewhere, be listed as an event mentioned/reported by Russian media/officials, and that such an inclusion would be contingent upon weight. -Darouet (talk) 17:47, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
The BBC did reprint this story as reported by Izvestiya, however (see below). -Darouet (talk) 18:08, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
Izvestia I guess. Thanks. Erlbaeko (talk) 19:15, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Additional corroboration needed I am disinclined to use these as uncorroborated sources and would, at the best, consider the material 'single source reporting'. Russian state media, particularly in English, is, in my opinion, more focused on promoting Russian foreign policy than on vetting stories and multiple outlets are used to push a preferred narrative ie multiple sources amplify rather than support one another. Is the original Al-Mayadeen broadcast or a transcript of it available? That is what RT is using to back up their story. JbhTalk 19:04, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
The original is available here, I believe. The text below the video mention Ras al-Ayn (Arabic: رأس العين‎) and the date is correct, but I don't understand the language. Maybe someone here can verify it? Erlbaeko (talk) 09:38, 31 August 2015 (UTC)
FWIW, there was also a Tweet and a Facebook post. Erlbaeko (talk) 10:35, 31 August 2015 (UTC)
@Erlbaeko: Thank you for the links. Based on machine translation the Al Mayadeen site does not mention a chemical attack in the text of the page. Maybe an Arabic speaker can listen to the audio and get something out of it. The Facebook and Twitter links, while not RS, actually do help a lot. They both say "Syria: Kurdish source: yellow smoke accompanied the explosion of a shell landed on a police station in Ras al-Hasakah and registration of cases of vomiting" (Machine translation) There is no direct claim of chemical attack, it is simply an initial report. While it could be a chemical attack it could also result from riot munitions from inside the police station or something else entirely. There is a lot of stuff that can look weird in the aftermath of a shelling and reports of 'vomiting' do not make me first go to chemical attack without more information. (Shock, concussion, normal residue from HE detonation and particulates from the target are all things that can make people vomit/have bouts of vomiting after being shelled.)

I am disinclined to stretch a report of 'colored smoke' + 'vomiting' to 'chemical attack' particularly when there are no reports of number of casualties, no statements from medical personnel or, especially, no follow-up reports actually claiming it was a chemical attack. It looks to me like the Russian media took an initial report and assumed it was a chemical attack for whatever reasons. Based on what I can see this would even fail the, very lax, inclusion criteria set for this table because the original source did not claim it was a chemical attack and it would be WP:OR for us to do so. JbhTalk 13:43, 31 August 2015 (UTC)

Jbhunley, thank you for your reply, but I believe you stretch the importance of that Tweet a little too long. Are you saying that you believe RT, Voice of Russia, ITAR-TASS and Interfax, to name some, base their reporting of a chemical attack on a tweet and a Facebook post?
Both the RT-article and the VoR-article says the Lebanese TV channel Al-Mayadeen reported that Syrian rebel fighters used chemical weapons against Kurdish militias in that attack, and the article below provided by Interfax quotes the Russian Foreign Ministry in saying that the "information certainly calls for careful verification and inquiry". Erlbaeko (talk) 15:11, 31 August 2015 (UTC)
What I am saying is that, based on the information available, Al-Mayadeen did not report it as a chemical attack. The post and tweet were from Al-Mayadeen and are, so far, the best information we have for the original report. The whole point of this thread at RSN is to determine if there is consensus that RT/VOR are good at fact checking on this kind of issue. The consensus seems to be they are not and going back to the original source on this tends to support that. Based on the comment below Al-Mayadeen might even be a questionable source. All in all I would not classify the information much better than 'repeated rumor'. At the very least there needs to be two sources which are independent of each other or some follow-up reporting giving better details than 'yellow smoke and vomiting'. Likely the reason this incident was not picked up by other news services is that it could not be verified and if Al-Mayadeen did not follow-up on it they could not verify it either. JbhTalk 16:57, 31 August 2015 (UTC)
Ok, so if a tweet and a Facebook post from the news organization they refer to don't include the whole story, then RT & VoR must be bad in fact checking on this kind of issue. Is that your brilliant logic? Erlbaeko (talk) 20:50, 31 August 2015 (UTC)

No, the two references are not sufficient ... because they both rely upon a report by Al Mayadeen, a news source who call the rebels "terrorists" and to government action against the terrorists as "cleansing" as their de facto news standard, and are therefore proven to be biased and therefore not a reliable source on this topic. SageRad (talk) 02:10, 31 August 2015 (UTC)

Ok, so lets say that the BBC reports that "al-Mayadeen said 80% of Khalidiya was now under the control of government forces", then I guess we agree that we can't state that "80% of Khalidiya is under government forces control", but can we state that "al-Mayadeen reported that 80% of Khalidiya is under government forces control" and use the BBC-article[40] as the RS? According to Biased or opinionated sources I believe we can. Erlbaeko (talk) 08:58, 31 August 2015 (UTC)

Other sources that reported the attack

    • None of these exactly inspire confidence. The berliner-umschau for example is a website associated with neo-Nazis.Volunteer Marek (talk) 20:12, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
      • Regardless of these sites' quality or lack thereof, all of the articles are based on the single Al-Mayadeen broadcast. There was no follow up reporting and no second source confirmation. JbhTalk 20:20, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
That would be a good argument if the table listed "attacks" or "confirmed attacks". However, it lists "reported attacks". The claim is also attributed to Al-Mayadeen in the "Notes" column. Erlbaeko (talk) 20:45, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
Btw, the Russia Beyond the Headlines article is provided by the Interfax news agency. It says "Moscow is alarmed by new reports", and do not mention Al-Mayadeen at all. Erlbaeko (talk) 21:06, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
That article simply has an unattributed statement of "reportedly used". As to the table, as it is it is, in my opinion, poor. It just springs out of 2.1 Other related incidents there is nothing in the section that defines what the inclusion criteria is. That is really the most important thing to get nailed down before starting to talk about incidents and sources. That, however, is a discussion for the article talk page but it is one that should have been had before bringing this up at RSN because the inclusion criteria effect whether the source is adequate. If all you want to document is "someone claimed there was an attack" sure someone claimed there was an attack. There are lots of claims so that would be a poor inclusion criteria. If the table is intended to document actual or probable attacks, which would make it useful, then the sources presented are not sufficient for that. JbhTalk 22:10, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
I was pointing out "that the table lists reported attacks" in the initial question, but I agree that the article could have stated that more clearly. I have added a heading and moved the statement that clarify that part. Ref. Reported chemical weapons attacks Erlbaeko (talk) 06:45, 31 August 2015 (UTC)


Since I am the editor that Erlbaeko is disputing this with, they should have notified me. Anyway. In addition to RT and VoR the only other sources which Erlbaeko could muster were:

  • A Vietnamese website,, which I could not find ANY information on. As a result it's impossible to assess the reliability of this source. Two things we do know however is that, 1) this is not the official press agency of Vietnam, 2) Vietnam, despite all the reforms of the past 15 years still ranks as one of the lowest countries in terms of press freedom and independence.
  • A web page, Berliner-Umshau [41], which is run by an Austrian conspiracy theorist with close ties to the neo-Nazi movement.

I searched for an actual reliable source to back this info (which is what Erlbaeko should have done), and found that in addition to RT and VoR this particular story was reported pretty much only in... far-right/conspiracy theory part of the internet, like the Berliner-Umshau above. This of course raises huge red flags. If there was any legitimacy to the info then you'd figure there'd be at least one or two sources whose reliability is well established. There ain't. It's RT, Voice of Russia, and a bunch of crazy far right folks (that actually sort of puts any question about RT's reliability to rest).

When I pointed this out to Erlabeko they responded with some kind of mutter about "Western media conspiracy" or such.Volunteer Marek (talk) 17:34, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

Sorry for not notifying you. I can notify My very best wishes since he was involved too. Btw, I did search. Erlbaeko (talk) 19:21, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

Note that the BBC reprinted this story verbatim, with attribution, on BBC Monitoring Former Soviet Union. "Text of report by the website of pro-government Russian newspaper Izvestiya on 1 November. Konstantin Volkov report: "The Kurds Have Accused Syrian Islamists of a Chemical Attack. Assad's Positions Ahead of Geneva 2 Are Gradually Improving." Syria's Kurds have said that anti-Assad Islamist insurgents from the Daash force employed chemical weapons against them. The incident occurred in a district of the city of Al-Hasakah in northeast Syria, not far from the border with Turkey. Eyewitnesses among the Kurds say that during an engagement with radicals caustic smoke was emitted from a burst shell, and several persons felt ill…" -Darouet (talk) 18:07, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

Do you have a link? Volunteer Marek (talk) 20:12, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
Sorry Marek, it's LexisNexus Academic, and I'm not sure where these BBC monitoring reprints are published. -Darouet (talk) 20:18, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
Ok, I can AGF it. But that's still only BBC Monitoring reprinting it. If I understand correctly BBC Monitoring was started during WW2 to reprint radio reports issued by... the axis.Volunteer Marek (talk) 00:42, 31 August 2015 (UTC)
Not sure this would somehow place Russia in "the Axis" (they lost 30 million people fighting against the Axis for the Allies in WWII), but yeah, it's still just a reprint from Izvestiya. -Darouet (talk) 01:44, 31 August 2015 (UTC)
Oh, I wasn't trying to say or insinuate that this meant Russia was part of the Axis. Just that at least the original purpose of BBC Monitoring was to provide access to any kind of media, of whatever reliability.Volunteer Marek (talk) 02:15, 31 August 2015 (UTC)
  • I already commented about this on article talk page. Here is the problem. While I think such sources (including "Izvestia") may be useful to source the official opinion by Russian government, they should not be used to de facto argue in favor of a conspiracy theory supported only by the Russian government rather than by other, more reliable sources. So, in this particular context, I believe the removal of the statement and sources by VM was correct. My very best wishes (talk) 00:58, 31 August 2015 (UTC)
MVBW, I don't see where "conspiracy theory" is coming in here - could you explain that statement? -Darouet (talk) 01:44, 31 August 2015 (UTC)
Sure. Here is the diff. I mean a theory that rebels used chemical weapons to poison themselves. My very best wishes (talk) 03:15, 31 August 2015 (UTC)
Fyi, the "conspiracy theory" that the rebels use chemical weapons to poison themselves have lately been reported by The Washington Post Erlbaeko (talk) 07:07, 31 August 2015 (UTC)
MVBW's comment still doesn't follow - what would some rebel faction attacking Kurdish forces they're fighting with chemical weapons have to do with "rebels gassing themselves?" -Darouet (talk) 14:13, 31 August 2015 (UTC)

Russian sources in light of the current Russian propaganda initiatives are not reliable. Fortunately sites such as document many stories that are completely fictitious and many stories that blend truth with fiction. A Google search for russian "troll factory" show one such disinformation manufacturing operation that is flooding the internet with propaganda. The propaganda is also in print – for example a Russian government book with cover photo exposed as fake. I would use other sources. Nevertheless, sources that state the story must be verified are in effect saying the story may not be reliable. –BoBoMisiu (talk) 14:50, 31 August 2015 (UTC)

Are you saying that Russian sources in general are not reliable? And you back that up by a Google search and a activists web-site[42] started a year ago by a group of Ukraininan journalists? Is that web-site even a WP:RS? Erlbaeko (talk) 16:38, 31 August 2015 (UTC)
@Erlbaeko: yes, I am saying that many Russian sources are not reliable because of potential disinformation injected into legitimate stories. This is well documented especially in the media of states that were once controlled by the Soviet Union. You are shifting the argument to whether sites that document instances of Russian propaganda are reliable – those sites document what is happening now. That that site was started a year ago is a straw man argument. –BoBoMisiu (talk) 17:11, 31 August 2015 (UTC)
Well, if you want to discuss potential disinformation injected into Russian sources in general, you may want to start a new discussion. This discussion is about the sourcing of a reported chemical weapons attack on Kurdish forces on 29 October 2013 in Ras al-Ayn, al-Hasakah Governorate, Syria. Erlbaeko (talk) 17:55, 31 August 2015 (UTC)

Can a youtube video be used as a source for controversial claim?[edit]

A youtube video is being used to source controversial claim regarding War in Ukraine [43] Is it a reliable source. The Youtube channel is named Ukraine News One, and the link to its supposedly official page(in about section) only goes to a site called, which seems somewhat an amateur community site judging by its description [44]

In view of this, is this a reliable source?--MyMoloboaccount (talk) 23:53, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

Of course youtube videos can be reliable sources. Just type " wikipedia" into the Search box to find that - surprise surprise! - there are literally millions of instances of youtube videos being used as sources. What matters is not whether it's on youtube (what is this, 2003?) but what is the nature of the source.
If you want to discuss whether Ukraine Channel One is a reliable source that's a different question. But to argue that something cannot be used as source because "it's youtube", as you and Tobby72 have been doing on the talk page, is just ridiculous.Volunteer Marek (talk) 23:59, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

As asked above this is just a youtube channel name Ukraine News One whose official page goes to site called The source seems amateur webpage aggravating community news, it doesn't seeme to be any official news agency.--MyMoloboaccount (talk) 00:03, 31 August 2015 (UTC)

That involves a different question than the one you posed.Volunteer Marek (talk) 00:10, 31 August 2015 (UTC)
He linked to a specific video and asked a general question. It's obvious what he means. I don't understand why you're giving him such a hard time. The YouTube channel in question seems to be Jewish News One, about which we have an article. Apparently, they changed their name from Jewish News One to Ukraine News One. Are they reliable? I don't know. Variety reported about them here, and they seem to indicate that it's a satellite television network "with a propaganda slant" (Variety‍ '​s wording). So, treat it as you would any biased news source, I guess. NinjaRobotPirate (talk) 02:24, 31 August 2015 (UTC)[edit]

[], used as citation for InnoSpark: I think this might be intentionally confusing itself with Korea Herald, but everything is in Korean which I can't really read. — Brianhe (talk) 06:06, 31 August 2015 (UTC)

I've notified the relevant WikiProject. Best, FoCuS contribs; talk to me! 16:54, 31 August 2015 (UTC)
Korea herald is newpaper published by Herald Corp. and they are also releasing Korean localized news on itself goes to, which lists the company's information. — regards, Revi 17:09, 31 August 2015 (UTC)

Science Media Centre[edit]

Is the Science Media Centre considered a reliable source? There seems to be close ties to corporations and their funding. The Director Fox mentioned in 2013 Monsanto as funder, and here this edit on a related GMO article appears thus very much COI/POV. The SMC has been described as a lobby group. "A science lobby group, backed by major pharmaceutical and chemical companies, was yesterday accused of orchestrating a secret campaign aimed at discrediting Fields of Gold, a controversial BBC thriller about genetically modified crops." prokaryotes (talk) 07:42, 31 August 2015 (UTC)

The sentence and source that is being contested by Prokaryotes is the following from Séralini affair. The "republication" mentioned is the publication of Seralini's "rat cancer" paper in a 2nd journal after the 1st journal unilaterally retracted it.

The republication renewed the controversy, but now with additional controversy over the behavior of the editors of both journals.[1]


  1. ^ Science Media Centre. June 25th, 2014. Controversial GM study republished – experts respond]
In my view the source very adequately supports the content, which is itself very neutral. If you actually read the statements provided by the SMC (which is what they do - provide statements from experts on science-related news events), you will see that there is a range of views presented there. It is not one voice.
btw the Center's funding is described here in general. The Guardian article from 2002 noted that the Center criticized a "GMOs scare" thriller film co-written by a Guardian reporter and it attributes the "shill" claim, to the the person who said it (someone connected with the movie). Jytdog (talk) 08:07, 31 August 2015 (UTC)
You misunderstood The Guardian piece, also Nature had this to say about the SMC Perhaps the biggest criticism of Fox and the SMC is that they push science too aggressively — acting more as a PR agency than as a source of accurate science information. Here is another article which highlights the issues with this source. UK’s Science Media Centre lambasted for pushing corporate science prokaryotes (talk) 09:22, 31 August 2015 (UTC)
That Nature piece is great! Advocates for science. Jytdog (talk) 09:56, 31 August 2015 (UTC)
And again, you apparently haven't read the actual source. There are voices there that opposed the initial retraction. I have no idea what you are objecting to. Jytdog (talk) 09:57, 31 August 2015 (UTC)
Notice from via WP:QUESTIONABLE, Questionable sources are generally unsuitable for citing contentious claims about third parties, which includes claims against institutions, persons living or dead, as well as more ill-defined entities. There are now several arguments and examples, add our guidelines witch show that an aggressive PR source is not considered reliable. According to Independent Science News - in regards to the article addition discussed here, "The Science Media Centre has a long history of quelling GMO controversies and its funders include numerous companies that produce GMOs and pesticides." prokaryotes (talk) 10:13, 31 August 2015 (UTC)
Independent Science News is a joke and a tool of two longterm anti GMO advocates, Jonathan R. Latham and Claire Robinson; they have used that site to publicize FRINGE ideas like "the hidden viral gene in GMO crops" (which created so much hysteria on sites like NaturalNews that the EFSA issues an FAQ debunking it and this despicable "hit" piece on Pamela Ronald, who discovered that her lab goofed and voluntarily withdrew a paper and was widely praised for doing so. ( see this from Retraction Watch). the quality of sources you are bringing against this source is absymal. And you still have not given any indication you have read the source you are contesting. Jytdog (talk) 10:41, 31 August 2015 (UTC)
(The given source appears to be SMC New Zealand, an independent organisation. However the information originates from a number of SMCs, including the UK one Prokaryotes cites issues with.) Cited work is predominantly verbatim quotes from several reputable scientists. In the absence of questions concerning the accuracy of SMC in reporting their words, or claims that SMC seeks to distort what they say, it is hard to see why would be considered an unreliable source here. We don't exclude sources simply because they hold a particular position on a matter. As for the suggestion that they are GMO industry shills or some such thing, whilst it is true that the largest proportion of their funding comes from industry and trade bodies, it's more than balanced by other funding (71%). I wish more sources were that open, to be honest. shellac (talk) 11:19, 31 August 2015 (UTC)

Proper use of witness testimonies in Billy Meier case[edit]

What is the right way of using written witness testimonies from individuals that are identified and named in the following publication: “Zeugenbuch” (book of witnesses)

The book in German language contains statements from 100+ individuals, some associated with Meier's FIGU, others not. The audience is diverse, ranging from Swiss pilots of the air force to investigators from the USA. Those testimonies dating post-1975 are from nationals of Switzerland, Germany, Cambodia, India, Netherlands, USA, Austria, Serbia, Canada, Italy, Sweden and Japan. The book contains mostly untouched descriptions from the witnesses (often one person, writing on behalf of a whole group of people that had faced a situation) plus a number of scanned letters and accompanying photos.

Does the fact of this book appearing in the Wassermannzeit-Verlag, owned by FIGU automatically disqualify all or parts of its content? Zutt (talk) 13:34, 31 August 2015 (UTC)

The Andes: A Guide for Climbers[edit]

I have a question regarding the usability of The Andes: A Guide for Climbers by John Biggar as a source for mountaineering information. I've seen it used on a number of Andean articles, for such things as climbing routes etc. Is it a reliable source? Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 15:11, 31 August 2015 (UTC)

Seems to be self-published through his own website, The Rough Guide to First-Time Latin America, published by Penguin Books, calls it "an excellent, comprehensive climbing guide to the region". So I guess it's got that going for it. NinjaRobotPirate (talk) 22:14, 31 August 2015 (UTC)

Wanted to confirm sources not found in the WP:VGRS list[edit]

Not sure if I should be asking WP:VG first about this, but I'm hoarding sources for an article on an indie series called LISA. I want to know RSN's opinion on these guys (articles on subject provided for context):

I can't look at these sites in detail yet because I'm at work and site blockers stink, but I'd love if someone could give me an indication of whether I should strike these off the list from the get-go. Thanks, ping me if you respond! BLUSTER⌉⌊BLASTER 15:13, 31 August 2015 (UTC)

Oops, turns out ctrl+F was just slow on picking up on a few-- Niche Gamer wasn't considered RS last time around, and Technology Tell is. That leaves Killscreen Daily and Game Skinny to look into. BLUSTER⌉⌊BLASTER 15:45, 31 August 2015 (UTC)

If a person links to his IMDB entry, does this make it reliable regarding his filmography?[edit]

I've recently created the Wesley Chu page. Here he provides a link on his publisher's page to his (first) IMDB entry. (Side remark: Wesley Chu I and Wesley Chu II are the same person.) At the moment, there is no Filmography section. Based on his publisher's web page, I feel confident at adding Fred Claus, although I note our entry didn't bother listing him in the cast. I notice that since his writing debut he doesn't seem to mention any film or TV roles anymore, so it's borderline UNDUE anyway. Choor monster (talk) 18:09, 31 August 2015 (UTC)

It's usually not very difficult to validate a filmography without going to the IMDB. For example, this interview, this filmography listing at The New York Times‍ '​ database, this cast list at TV Guide, etc. Just do a Google search. There are also lots of sources listed at WP:FILM/R. NinjaRobotPirate (talk) 22:25, 31 August 2015 (UTC)


Is [45] from Stanford a reliable source as to the title of a dissertation, its author, and the date of the PhD? Is [46] in a Routledge book a reliable source for the title of a dissertation and its author? Is [47] from the Ho Center at Stanford a reliable source for those claims? I was told actual Stanford sources are "SPS" in this instance at the AfD, and hesitate not to go to noticeboards lest I be taken to the dramaboards again. Collect (talk) 23:27, 31 August 2015 (UTC)