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.
Before posting, please check the archives and list of perennial sources for prior discussions of the source. If after reviewing, you feel a new post is warranted, please be sure to include the following information, if available:
  • Links to past discussion of the source on this board.
  • Source. The book or web page being used as the source. For a book, include the author, title, publisher, page number, etc. For an online source, please include links. For example: [http://www.website.com/webpage.html].
  • Article. The Wikipedia article(s) in which the source is being used. For example: [[Article name]].
  • Content. The exact statement(s) in the article that the source supports. Please supply a diff, or put the content inside block quotes. For example: <blockquote>text</blockquote>. Many sources are reliable for statement "X," but unreliable for statement "Y".

In some cases, it can also be appropriate to start a general discussion about the likelihood that statements from a particular source are reliable or unreliable. If the discussion takes the form of a request for comment, a common format for writing the RfC question can be found here. Please be sure to include examples of editing disputes that show why you are seeking comment on the source.

While we attempt to offer a second opinion, and the consensus of several editors can generally be relied upon, answers are not official policy.
Please focus your attention on the reliability of a source. This is not the place to discuss other issues, such as editor conduct. Please see dispute resolution for issues other than reliability.
If you are looking for a copy of a specific source, please ask at the resource exchange board.
Additional notes:
Sections older than 5 days archived by lowercase sigmabot III.

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Podcasts to be used as: References or External Links?[edit]

I posted this on the talk page of Mona Lisa and have been directed to check here.

Can podcasts be used at all? If yes, is it as references or external links? I want to contribute quoting the episodes from the two widest known podcasts on Art History: ArtCurious and The Lonely Palette.

Here is an example from ArtCurious about Mona Lisa: https://www.artcuriouspodcast.com/artcuriouspodcast/1

It also has the transcript.

Please suggest! - Veera.sj — Preceding undated comment added 11:47, 6 August 2021

RfC: Business Insider culture reporting[edit]

Which of the following best describes the reliability of Insider for its original culture reporting?

Note this is section specific in efforts to try and find some narrow consensus as all previous discussions focusing on the sites as a whole have ended "no consensus".

  • Option 1: Generally reliable for factual reporting
  • Option 2: Unclear or additional considerations apply
  • Option 3: Generally unreliable for factual reporting
  • Option 4: Publishes false or fabricated information, and should be deprecated

--TheSandDoctor Talk 05:32, 28 August 2021 (UTC)[]

Survey (BI)[edit]

  • Option 1 at least anecdotally, I've used the site and found the writing to be pretty good on culture topics. That doesn't mean every article is suitable for Wikipedia per other rules and guidelines, like NOTNEWS. For example this article might be suitable in gaslighting or influencer. It's journalism that quotes academic experts. -- GreenC 06:09, 28 August 2021 (UTC)[]
    Thank you for your input, GreenC. NOTNEWS and other policies/guidelines are always a consideration, regardless of the source. --TheSandDoctor Talk 06:39, 28 August 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 1 I have yet to see anything from Business Insider Culture that would not qualify as a WP:RS. ––FormalDude talk 08:08, 28 August 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 1 but I'm willing to change my view if someone can offer a counterexample showing unreliable culture reporting. I haven't seen one yet; the reporting appears to be objective and factual, although somewhat gossipy and therefore somewhat unsuitable in my view (but then I tend to avoid pop culture articles anyway). ~Anachronist (talk) 13:14, 28 August 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 1, after going back and forth between 1 and 2 a few times. I often come across culture articles of theirs that are useful and as reliable as other sources, particularly other internet-focused sources like The Daily Dot (RSP entry) and The Daily Beast (RSP entry). I wouldn't necessarily weight them hugely for notability, and I might be careful when it comes to BLP-sensitive claims—it sometimes seems a bit sensationalist/tabloidy. However, even in articles like this, I've not really seen fact-checking concerns. I don't like that they've not addressed a correction I requested on this article that, in the first sentence, misspells the person the interview is about (it's "Thorn", not "Thorne"). However, I am yet to get a correction acknowledged by newspapers of record or indeed any source, even in cases of simple misspellings. — Bilorv (talk) 13:29, 28 August 2021 (UTC)[]
    • If it's unreliable for BLPs and not very usable for notability, surely that's an option 2 - David Gerard (talk) 20:17, 29 August 2021 (UTC)[]
      • Utility in notability is not related to reliability, whilst WP:GREL is about Generally reliable in its areas of expertise—this allows for a certain amount of areas of non-expertise (for instance, The New York Times is not a MEDRS per WP:MEDPOP) and for cases where the source is not going to be reliable even within its areas of expertise. I think it would be consistent to go for either options 1 or 2, but I opted for 1 because I don't think the issues are severe enough to lump it in with much worse "marginally reliable" listings. — Bilorv (talk) 23:08, 4 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 2 - doesn't lie that I know of, but questionable when used as evidence of notability. The considerations in the previous RFC Wikipedia:Reliable_sources/Noticeboard/Archive_324#RfC:_Business_Insider still apply - they're notorious for space-filling clickbait and churnalism. If you're looking for endorsement of BI as WP:DUE, this is not the board for that - David Gerard (talk) 19:20, 28 August 2021 (UTC)[]
    This is specifically for original reporting though, which would seemingly exclude churnalism per its definition? I am aware of WP:DUE and how this isn't the board for that and that wasn't the question asked. --TheSandDoctor Talk 19:32, 28 August 2021 (UTC)[]
    That would still be Option 2 in a guideline, because the sort of detailed and specific per-article source assessment you're looking at wouldn't be covered by a broad guideline. "Option 1" is clearly not correct, per the serious issues noted by multiple editors in the previous RFC. If you're not in fact trying for WP:DUE, then you've failed to make clear what precisely you're trying to push through here, and precisely which editing conflict you had in mind - David Gerard (talk) 22:00, 28 August 2021 (UTC)[]
    @David Gerard: What I had in mind for this was like how Fox News is split 3 ways at RSP. I figured there might be an ability to possibly gain consensus one way or the other per section, but apparently not. --TheSandDoctor Talk 00:51, 29 August 2021 (UTC)[]
    Rolling Stone was also just split this way. --TheSandDoctor Talk 03:41, 24 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 2. BI split into three different editorial teams: business, news, and lifestyle [1]. BI Culture would fall under lifestyle. In reality, I don't any evidence in RS that truly differentiates the various BI brands, so I would default to the previous RfC that showed a history of clickbait, bad editorial practices, and some factual errors. Dr. Swag Lord (talk) 22:06, 28 August 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 2 - There are a lot of churnalized clickbait. Sea Ane (talk) 20:14, 29 August 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 1. We should stay neutral regarding the issue of "clickbait", as it's subjective and not all that helpful in determining fact-checking standards. The New York Times publishes headlines that could be considered clickbait. And I see that coming up frequently as a bit of an emotional, knee-jerk reason to discredit this publication. Pyrrho the Skeptic (talk) 23:01, 30 August 2021 (UTC)[]
    • I'd add to this that headlines are not reliable, the body of articles is what we're talking about, so if "clickbait" is just in the headline then it doesn't matter much (though it would be strange to encounter, say, a publication with exceptional fact checking in its articles but lies in its headlines). — Bilorv (talk) 23:08, 4 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 1. As earlier said here, yes https://www.insider.com/culture is RS for culture - I think maybe pop culture more than respected for opinions on music or paintings. In particular the coverage seems largely delving into TikTok and other social media items, and is good reportage of current events and reasoned explanations. Items like “beaning” or breaking your schools soap dispenser are not highbrow topics, and may not be available elsewhere — and they do good coverage. They seem to have good editorial control and reporters on staff. e.g. Charlotte Colombo covered The history of Only fans. Or Madison Hall and the Insider survey the influencer index. Cheers Markbassett (talk) 01:01, 20 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 2. There's too much PR n it for it to be really reliable as a matter of course, just as most publications on popular culture. DGG ( talk ) 05:32, 20 September 2021 (UTC)[]
    @DGG: Do you have any examples or is this more of just a gut feeling? Polygon (website) is considered RS for pop culture topics, how is this signficantly different? --TheSandDoctor Talk 03:14, 24 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 2 per David Gerard.  Spy-cicle💥  Talk? 04:16, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 1. Generally okay for culture (headlines to be avoided though). Alexbrn (talk) 05:42, 24 September 2021 (UTC)[]

Discussion (BI)[edit]

  • Which???. This needs clarification - the title and link is for BusinessInsider.com but the Question is for Insider.com ? Also ‘culture reporting’ seems to mean ‘content at insider.com’ as a subsection and not ‘used as RS for facts about Culture events’. Can that be confirmed or otherwise clarified ? Cheers Markbassett (talk) 02:31, 11 September 2021 (UTC)[]
    @Markbassett: They both are effectively the same entity in that they have been changed to have the same name. I just named this section as such as editors will probably have more familiarity under that title. Regarding the second point, I am not sure that there is a difference? --TheSandDoctor Talk 14:57, 15 September 2021 (UTC)[]
User:TheSandDoctor The way it is worded asks if https://www.insider.com/culture is RS for culture - I think maybe pop culture more than respected for opinions on music or paintings. Cheers Markbassett (talk) 02:13, 19 September 2021 (UTC)[]
@Markbassett: I believe that to be implied as anything entertainment related (music, film, tv, etc.) would presumably be filed under "entertainment", but it is too late to update the question at this time as there have already been comments based on its current wording. --TheSandDoctor Talk 18:33, 19 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Moved to "discussion" as this isn't really a !vote thread. --TheSandDoctor Talk 18:35, 19 September 2021 (UTC)[]

RfC: Polish sources[edit]


A dispute has been raging in June and July about reliability of some sources in the context of Jan Żaryn, a conservative Polish politician, which spilt into WP:NPPSG, hence the scope of the request. Details will be mentioned in the "Discussion" section on the dispute, so that the RfC question fits in here.

Please evaluate the following resources in the following manner:

Thank you. Szmenderowiecki (talk) 19:22, 4 September 2021 (UTC)[]

Survey: Polityka[edit]

Webpage: [2]

  • Option 1. Volunteer Marek has referred to it as an analogue of The Nation for Poland, and that assessment is pretty much correct, with all implications arising from this assessment (RS, partisan source (left-of-center to left-wing), might need care in WP:DUE and WP:BLP issues, but reliable for facts). In other words, pretty much usable. Szmenderowiecki (talk) 19:22, 4 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Comment I'd agree with "Option 1" and Szmender's reasoning if specific mention of BLP issues is made. Volunteer Marek 19:42, 4 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 1. No idea why the article Polityka wasn't linked? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 01:46, 5 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 1, superb source.Mellow Boris (talk) 07:35, 5 September 2021 (UTC)[]

I'm posting it again as a separate remark since my previous note has been removed by Mellow Boris[3] Mellow Boris (talkcontribs) has made few or no other edits outside this topic and is a new account. - GizzyCatBella🍁 09:45, 5 September 2021 (UTC)[]

I registered on 21 May 2020, more than a year ago.Mellow Boris (talk) 09:47, 5 September 2021 (UTC)[]
You made 64 edits in total, scattered within 7 days throughout the year (not including entries you made today). The bulk was regarding the area under discussion. - GizzyCatBella🍁 10:06, 5 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 1, per Szmenderowiecki. François Robere (talk) 12:33, 7 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 1, I agree with many of the comments posted but especially to the comment made by Szmenderowiecki. Jurisdicta (talk) 03:44, 8 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 1 per Volunteer Marek above.--Darwinek (talk) 02:53, 12 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 1:Seems generaly reliable.--MyMoloboaccount (talk) 19:57, 13 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 1, blue-chip reliable source.--Astral Leap (talk) 13:25, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]

Survey: OKO.press[edit]

Webpage: [4]

  • Option 1/2. They feature a fact-checker, although users should be cautious about using "according to OKO.press fact-checker" statements, because at least one was found to be essentially an opinion piece (but it should not be excluded altogether - users should use their best judgment to determine whether the whole piece is actually about fact-checking, and only after determining that they should). On the other hand, for assertions of fact and for their investigations, I see no reasons for unreliability. Moreover, their coverage has been extensively used in scholarly works for citing factual coverage: [5], [6], [7], [8], [9], [10], [11], [12], [13], [14] etc. That said, it is partisan and disproportionately uses heavily loaded labels (such as fascist or homophobic, which should generally be avoided per MOS:RACIST) and the same caveat as with Polityka applies here. In neither the case of Polityka, nor oko.press, should this caveat be an automatic reason/excuse for suppression of information, even in light of discretionary sanctions, including BLPs. Szmenderowiecki (talk) 19:22, 4 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 3 - it would be more appropriate to say that they "have appropriated the language of fact checking". Their "fact checks" don't actually check any facts but offer opinions of a subjective nature and then they call it "fact checking". Like, anyone can CLAIM to be a "fact checker", but such a claim does't automatically make you Snopes or Politifact. In fact, by now, there's lots of hyper-partisan outlets (mostly on the right, but as in this case, sometimes on the left) who dress up their partisanship or even outright spreading of misinformation as "fact checking". Also, as Szmender notes, the overall tone of Oko's pieces is overwhelmingly hyperbolic and hysterical (a simple disagreement is presented as a "vicious attack" etc) and that's not even getting to the issue of cherry picking and selective use of context. Volunteer Marek 19:48, 4 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 1/2. IMHO they are trying to be a Polish Bellingcat, but they are much more active, not as well respected internationally, and partisan. I do actually agree with their editorial line more often than not, but they are "new". Not seeing any red flags outside that, but they do have a very obvious bias and don't pretend it to hide it. Just like there are obvious pro-government media in Poland these days, there are obvious opposition media and they are smack right there. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 01:49, 5 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 1. Superb reputation. Won Index of Censorship award in 2020 [15]. International media uses them, quotes them: [16][17][[18][19].Mellow Boris (talk) 07:41, 5 September 2021 (UTC)[]

I'm posting it again as a separate remark since my previous note has been removed by Mellow Boris[20] Mellow Boris (talkcontribs) has made few or no other edits outside this topic and is a new account. - GizzyCatBella🍁 09:45, 5 September 2021 (UTC)[]

I registered on 21 May 2020, more than a year ago.Mellow Boris (talk) 09:47, 5 September 2021 (UTC)[]
You made 64 edits in total, scattered within 7 days throughout the year (not including entries you made today). The bulk was regarding the area under discussion. - GizzyCatBella🍁 10:06, 5 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 1/2, per Szmenderowiecki. François Robere (talk) 12:37, 7 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 1, as I said in previous discussions, Oko.Press is cited by the first class Italian center-right[21] and center-left[22] newspapers. I think it is to be considered reliable.--Mhorg (talk) 12:48, 8 September 2021 (UTC)[]
And as others have already pointed out, being quoted somewhere does not establish reliability. Volunteer Marek 03:30, 11 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Not really a fact-checker but a decent source nonetheless. Option 2/3 for anything non-political. Option 3 for political coverage. Highly biased and partisan outlet that is clearly "on a mission".--Darwinek (talk) 02:49, 12 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 3: Open about being pure political attack site.Extremely hyberpolic and emotional writing aimed at pursuing political agenda.— Preceding unsigned comment added by MyMoloboaccount (talkcontribs) 19:57, 13 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 1, excellent reputation like Snopes for Poland. International awards and used by others.--Astral Leap (talk) 13:25, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]

Survey: naTemat[edit]

Webpage: [23]

  • Option 2. Pretty tabloidish in some parts of coverage, but still usable for others. [24], for example, does not mention that in fact, the video had been selectively cut (though refers to CNN, saying this is "nonsense"). That said, its news sections (Świat, Dzieje się) are OK. There are better sources than that, though. Szmenderowiecki (talk) 19:22, 4 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 2. The assessment above seems correct. I'd avoid it for anything controversial. Tabloid. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 01:51, 5 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 2, since its reporting leans towards sensational.Mellow Boris (talk) 07:42, 5 September 2021 (UTC)[]

I'm posting it again as a separate remark since my previous note has been removed by Mellow Boris[25] Mellow Boris (talkcontribs) has made few or no other edits outside this topic and is a new account. - GizzyCatBella🍁 09:45, 5 September 2021 (UTC)[]

I registered on 21 May 2020, more than a year ago.Mellow Boris (talk) 09:48, 5 September 2021 (UTC)[]
You made 64 edits in total, scattered within 7 days throughout the year (not including entries you made today). The bulk was regarding the area under discussion. - GizzyCatBella🍁 10:06, 5 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 2, per Szmenderowiecki. François Robere (talk) 12:38, 7 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 2 Not the best source but generally okay. I would avoid it for anything controversial, or where better sources exist.--Darwinek (talk) 02:13, 12 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 2--MyMoloboaccount (talk) 19:57, 13 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 2, per Szmenderowiecki.--Astral Leap (talk) 13:25, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]

Survey: gazeta.pl[edit]

Webpage: [26]

  • Option 1. Gazeta Wyborcza without the paywall, less investigative journalism than in GW and slightly less bias, because it does more routine reporting. Can't say much about kultura.gazeta.pl and kobieta.gazeta.pl for articles for Polish entertainment purposes. Szmenderowiecki (talk) 19:22, 4 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 1/2. When I looked into them a while back I got the impression that they were the GW attempt at tabloid market, as such their reporting is lower quality. But in general, still relatively good. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 01:52, 5 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 1, same reputation as the superb Gazeta Wyborcza with which they share many things but not the paywall.Mellow Boris (talk) 08:06, 5 September 2021 (UTC)[]

I'm posting it again as a separate remark since my previous note has been removed by Mellow Boris[27] Mellow Boris (talkcontribs) has made few or no other edits outside this topic and is a new account. - GizzyCatBella🍁 09:45, 5 September 2021 (UTC)[]

I registered on 21 May 2020, more than a year ago.Mellow Boris (talk) 09:48, 5 September 2021 (UTC)[]
You made 64 edits in total, scattered within 7 days throughout the year (not including entries you made today). The bulk was regarding the area under discussion. - GizzyCatBella🍁 10:06, 5 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 1, per Szmenderowiecki. Can't say about the particular sections without context. François Robere (talk) 12:39, 7 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 1 but would lean to Option 2 if the portal continues its "tabloidization".--Darwinek (talk) 02:41, 12 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 2 Generally reliable but politically engaged.--MyMoloboaccount (talk) 19:57, 13 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 2 Generally reliable but... it's really not that good. It's basically riding on the high reputation of Gazeta Wyborcza from the 90s and early 2000's. These days? It's mostly click bait garbage. Look at it: [28]. Look at the stories: Wooly mammoths are coming back! Shocking salaries of medical workers! Speeding tickets are brutal (sic - their words)! Etc. etc. etc. Volunteer Marek 01:29, 14 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 1, per Szmenderowiecki.--Astral Leap (talk) 13:25, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]

Survey: Telewizja Polska (Wiadomości on TVP1, TVP Info, etc.)[edit]

Webpage: [29]. Note. We are NOT discussing pundits or talk shows.

Option 2/leaning 1, not syndicated from PAP, pre-2015. TVP has had quite a lot of influence from whoever ruled, and indeed the news were skewed towards whoever ruled Poland, [36], [37], but it was a far smaller extent than today. A sample from protest coverage has actually shown TVP in quite a positive light [38], but it's more of a sample rather than a general assessment.
Option 1 for non-controversial non-political coverage. Sports, culture, and news reports in which the government, or the party, has not got interest, or some really trivial facts, like opening of a motorway, are not something shouldn't be able to source to them; though often this info is syndicated from PAP. Szmenderowiecki (talk) 19:22, 4 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • It's complicated, which is to say, I mostly agree with Szmenderowiecki. In fact I'd even consider Option 4 for modern "political or otherwise controversial content". It's propaganda-level - "all hail the current political party and its glorious leaders", extremely biased and simplistic. It is of course important to note that their older articles, as well as the ones on non-controversial issues, are still ok-ish. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 01:55, 5 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 3 to 4. Filled with anti-LGBT, anti-immigrant, anti-EU, and other far-right bullshit from the Polish government. It was better under previous government, but that just shows that they are independent editorially from the government.Mellow Boris (talk) 07:43, 5 September 2021 (UTC)[]

I'm posting it again as a separate remark since my previous note has been removed by Mellow Boris[39] Mellow Boris (talkcontribs) has made few or no other edits outside this topic and is a new account. - GizzyCatBella🍁 09:45, 5 September 2021 (UTC)[]

I registered on 21 May 2020, more than a year ago.Mellow Boris (talk) 09:48, 5 September 2021 (UTC)[]
You made 64 edits in total, scattered within 7 days throughout the year (not including entries you made today). The bulk was regarding the area under discussion. - GizzyCatBella🍁 10:06, 5 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 3 for anything post-2015, unless it's for something completely trivial (in the sense that it is narrow, numerical, and easy to verify) like the weather or sports scores. The opening of a motorway might seem trivial, but major infrastructure projects are often a political affair, so even that sort of coverage can be abused. I'll lean towards option 2 for anything pre-2015 if it can be shown that, despite its bias, the outlet was generally reliable pre-2015. François Robere (talk) 12:50, 7 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 1 for non-political coverage. Option 1 even for political coverage but before 2015. Option 3 for political coverage post 2015.--Darwinek (talk) 02:17, 12 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 1 Generally reliable but sometimes politically engaged.--MyMoloboaccount (talk) 19:57, 13 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 4, recent OSCE report [40][41] writes: "the public broadcaster became a campaign tool for the incumbent, while some reporting had clear xenophobic and anti-Semitic undertones".--Astral Leap (talk) 13:25, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]

Survey: Polskie Radio[edit]

Webpage: [42]

  • Same assessment as TVP. There is virtually no difference between the two. The news on the webpage have virtually the same structure and the controlling body (National Media Council, RMN) is the same, i.e. the government. Szmenderowiecki (talk) 19:22, 4 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • More or less. There are differences between programs, Polskie Radio Program III used to be very respected in culture, but recently it got mangled by the new management and like all state media, suffers from lack of quality when it comes to anything political/controversial. Again, we need to be careful not to discard it in other areas, however, it was historically reliable, and it still is on non-controversial topics.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 01:58, 5 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 3 to 4. Like TVP. Filled with anti-LGBT, anti-immigrant, anti-EU, and other far-right bullshit from the Polish government. It was better under previous government, but that just shows that they are independent editorially from the government.Mellow Boris (talk) 07:44, 5 September 2021 (UTC)[]

I'm posting it again as a separate remark since my previous note has been removed by Mellow Boris[43] Mellow Boris (talkcontribs) has made few or no other edits outside this topic and is a new account. - GizzyCatBella🍁 09:45, 5 September 2021 (UTC)[]

I registered on 21 May 2020, more than a year ago.Mellow Boris (talk) 09:48, 5 September 2021 (UTC)[]
You made 64 edits in total, scattered within 7 days throughout the year (not including entries you made today). The bulk was regarding the area under discussion. - GizzyCatBella🍁 10:06, 5 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Same as above, per Szmenderowiecki and my previous comment. François Robere (talk) 12:55, 7 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 1 Generally reliable but sometimes politically engaged.--MyMoloboaccount (talk) 19:57, 13 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 4, same issues as the public TV broadcaster.--Astral Leap (talk) 13:25, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]

Survey: TV Republika[edit]

Webpage: [44].

  • Option 2 for non-syndicated content; option 3 for pundits A lot of what they publish is in fact syndicated from PAP, which should not be taken into account because it does not belong to TV Republika. Their own news reporting seems OK, though materials on history should not be used, unless an expert in the field actually writes/speaks to them. Materials previously published in the three sources below should not be used, either. Pundits are unreliable. Szmenderowiecki (talk) 19:22, 4 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 3 to 4. Like TVP. Filled with anti-LGBT, anti-immigrant, anti-EU, and other far-right bullshit from the Polish government. It was better under previous government, but that just shows that they are independent editorially from the government. Separating PAP from non-PAP here would be cumbersome.Mellow Boris (talk) 07:46, 5 September 2021 (UTC)[]

I'm posting it again as a separate remark since my previous note has been removed by Mellow Boris[45] Mellow Boris (talkcontribs) has made few or no other edits outside this topic and is a new account. - GizzyCatBella🍁 09:45, 5 September 2021 (UTC)[]

I registered on 21 May 2020, more than a year ago.Mellow Boris (talk) 09:49, 5 September 2021 (UTC)[]
You made 64 edits in total, scattered within 7 days throughout the year (not including entries you made today). The bulk was regarding the area under discussion. - GizzyCatBella🍁 10:06, 5 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Options 2 and 3, per Szmenderowiecki, with the caveat that syndicated pieces are usually available through several outlets, so whenever one is available that is better than TVR it should be preferred over it. François Robere (talk) 13:10, 7 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 3, as it is very biased.--Astral Leap (talk) 13:25, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]

Survey: Do Rzeczy[edit]

Webpage: [46]

  • Option 3/4. While some might argue that I am being excessively harsh towards conservative sources, the case here is essentially Washington Times or Washington Examiner, but they have a notoriously fringe position on COVID; rejecting scientific consensus altogether and spreading COVID misinformation as can be seen on prominently displayed editorials by Warzecha, Lisicki, etc., [47], [48], [49], [50] and in news coverage such as here: [51], [52]. The same goes for lockdowns and other COVID-related issues. No, mass media need not conform to WP:MEDRS standards but at least they should not spread misinformation. And yes, [53] they promote anti-immigrant discourse by essentially fear-mongering; and for them, climate science has more to do with hoaxes and religion than science. WP:ABOUTSELF statements are attributable to the website, but otherwise it merits at least the red label. Szmenderowiecki (talk) 19:22, 4 September 2021 (UTC)[]
To clarify my criteria: WSJ and The Australian also host quite a lot of climate deniers, lockdown and vaccine sceptics, and so on. The reason why they are considered reliable and Do Rzeczy (or Gazeta Polska, which in fact employs quite a lot of journalists from Do Rzeczy) is not is that the former strictly divide their opinion section from the normal reporting (which is good for WSJ and quite good for The Australian) while the latter do not. In fact, the only suggestion that it is an opinion piece is the URL of form dorzeczy.pl/opinie/* instead of dorzeczy.pl/* - they don't make it otherwise visible, and yes, not every opinion piece is under "Opinie" subsection. They quite often regurgiate debunked theories about COVID (PCR Ct (cycle threshold) number being apparently too high, vaccines overrated, I think I've even seen some mask disinfo too), or, in case of normal reporting, reporting on Geert Vanden Bossche in the first link ([54], [55], [56], [57] - quite a crank, as you can see), and, in the second link, using LifeSiteNews, which itself is deprecated. And that's not isolated to COVID, I've seen this trend for lockdowns and scientific topics in general. The same, to a slightly lesser extent (though not COVID, fortunately), concerns Gazeta Polska. At times it's better not to make any reporting than to make bad-faith reporting, as is the case here.
Even for normal news, meh. This article about the abolition of Latin in the Catholic Church is sourced from partly a blog and partly LifeSiteNews. I mean, there are certainly better outlets than that to find coverage on the same topic. For me, if you insist on right-of-center publications, it can be either Wprost (same owner, but better quality) or Rzeczpospolita, which is more centrist than right-of-center now, but still.
We don't strive for diversity of opinions at the expense of reliability.
As for superhistoria.pl, it was not impacted by the change made by VM, so I don't take it into consideration (though yes, I know it's affiliated). This might, in fact, merit a separate discussion or even RfC - history supplements to Polish newspapers, i.a. because of heightened requirements for antisemitism in Poland topics. I stick to dorzeczy.pl only. Szmenderowiecki (talk) 12:22, 5 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • I concur that their coverage on controversial or political issues is highly biased, but I am not sure they need to be totally depreciated. Articles like [58] or [59] - the first two I checked - seem fine. I'd say the source can be used on non-controversial issues, and on issues related to politics and medical topics, has to be attributed. Well, for medical, it probably should confirm to MEDRS which it doesn't, so there's that. If we really want to depreciate it from some areas, I'd like to see examples of specific controversial sentences referenced to it? In the end, the conservatives need to have their POV represented too (as long as it is clearly attributed). --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 02:10, 5 September 2021 (UTC)[]
    WP:ABOUTSELF statements can be sourced to virtually any outlet. It's an exception than a rule not to do that. Other than that, I see no legitimate uses of the source. Szmenderowiecki (talk) 10:26, 10 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 3 to 4. This is a source that criticizes the Polish government for not being sufficiently anti-LGBT, anti-immigrant, and anti-EU.Mellow Boris (talk) 07:47, 5 September 2021 (UTC)[]

I'm posting it again as a separate remark since my previous note has been removed by Mellow Boris[60] Mellow Boris (talkcontribs) has made few or no other edits outside this topic and is a new account. - GizzyCatBella🍁 09:45, 5 September 2021 (UTC)[]

I registered on 21 May 2020, more than a year ago.Mellow Boris (talk) 09:49, 5 September 2021 (UTC)[]
You made 64 edits in total, scattered within 7 days throughout the year (not including entries you made today). The bulk was regarding the area under discussion. - GizzyCatBella🍁 10:06, 5 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 4, per Szmenderowiecki. I don't see any reason to be lenient with outlets that publish that sort of nonsense. François Robere (talk) 13:13, 7 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 1 for non-political coverage like history, religion, art etc. Option 3 for political coverage (including Covid of course).--Darwinek (talk) 02:24, 12 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 1 Reliable for history, religion, art etc. Option 3 for politics.--MyMoloboaccount (talk) 19:57, 13 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 4 per Szmenderowiecki, this is a highly biased sourced that is not appropriate for use.--Astral Leap (talk) 13:25, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]

Survey: niezalezna.pl[edit]

Webpage: [61]

  • Option 4 3. Even worse than above. Instead of Washington Examiner, we deal with Polish Breitbart here. Mistaken for Najwyższy Czas. For my evaluation, see comment under Piotrus's one. Szmenderowiecki (talk) 19:22, 4 September 2021 (UTC)[]
    • You may be right, but what are your reliable sources about the bias / other problems with this source? The first two links we use are [62] and [63]. The first is on history and doesn't seem controversial, the second is on the politics and outside the general theme of stressing a controversial comment by a German politician doesn't seem to be factually wrong (it's just quoting, mostly). --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 02:25, 5 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Sorry, I've mistaken it with Najwyższy Czas!, which is quite awful. Mea culpa. Regarding niezalezna.pl, the first article you mention, the one about Dowbór-Muśnicki, is syndicated from dzieje.pl (a historical news arm of PAP), the second article is syndicated from PAP (to which they seem to have appended a clickbaity title), so in fact, we may need to evaluate syndicated content from Polish Press Agency in general for the purposes of this request for comment. It makes a big difference in this case if the reporting is syndicated. As for their own content, [64] they syndicate some content from TVP Info, which is not a good sign (in fairness, they are at least honest about it, as you can check it at the bottom of the page). They've also head some fear-mongering about immigrants reported as plain news, and use pretty much the same tactics as TVP Info does, such as exemplified here: [65], [66] (the first link also seems to be a house ad for Albicla (Parler for Poland), but I don't mind it too much, in fact). Fortunately, any more questionable articles that appear sometimes on climate change or science, vaccines and so on (and which are inadequately disclosed as such on Gazeta Polska or Do Rzeczy, are conveniently placed under "opinion" section. However, the methods of their own reporting (not syndicated content) are not what I believe to be compatible with either option 1 or 2, and often mimic the ones that TVP uses, which I have rated accordingly.
Articles for culture or history are almost entirely syndicated from PAP. Filarybiznesu.pl (niezalezna.pl's economic section) doesn't seem bad but will need attribution in most cases. Szmenderowiecki (talk) 13:20, 5 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 3 to 4. This is a source that criticizes the Polish government for not being sufficiently anti-LGBT, anti-immigrant, and anti-EU.Mellow Boris (talk) 07:48, 5 September 2021 (UTC)[]

I'm posting it again as a separate remark since my previous note has been removed by Mellow Boris[67] Mellow Boris (talkcontribs) has made few or no other edits outside this topic and is a new account. - GizzyCatBella🍁 09:45, 5 September 2021 (UTC)[]

I registered on 21 May 2020, more than a year ago.Mellow Boris (talk) 09:49, 5 September 2021 (UTC)[]
You made 64 edits in total, scattered within 7 days throughout the year (not including entries you made today). The bulk was regarding the area under discussion. - GizzyCatBella🍁 10:06, 5 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 3/4, per Szmenderowiecki. François Robere (talk) 13:15, 7 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Between Option 3 and 4, per Szmenderowiecki.--Astral Leap (talk) 13:25, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]

Survey: Gazeta Polska[edit]

Webpage: [68]

  • Option 3/4. In fact, it's the same as Do Rzeczy, minus the coronascepticism and plus the xenophobic/Germanophobic front pages and content ([69], [70], [71], [72], [73]). And yes, they like conspiracy theories about Smolensk air disaster (the other two outlets do not mention it that prominently but try to say there's some middle ground between MAK's report and the assassination theory), and [74] they aren't at good terms with climate science. Szmenderowiecki (talk) 19:22, 4 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Note. I'm commenting on post-2005 Gazeta Polska. It did have a different editor-in-chief prior to 2005 - I have not read their coverage before that, so I can't comment on it.
  • Comment - one consideration here is the vintage. The Gazeta Polska that existed before 2005 is a pretty different animal that has existed since. Volunteer Marek 19:51, 4 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 3 to 4. This is a source that criticizes the Polish government for not being sufficiently anti-LGBT, anti-immigrant, and anti-EU.Mellow Boris (talk) 07:47, 5 September 2021 (UTC)[]

I'm posting it again as a separate remark since my previous note has been removed by Mellow Boris[75] Mellow Boris (talkcontribs) has made few or no other edits outside this topic and is a new account. - GizzyCatBella🍁 09:45, 5 September 2021 (UTC)[]

I registered on 21 May 2020, more than a year ago.Mellow Boris (talk) 09:49, 5 September 2021 (UTC)[]
You made 64 edits in total, scattered within 7 days throughout the year (not including entries you made today). The bulk was regarding the area under discussion. - GizzyCatBella🍁 10:06, 5 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 3/4, per Szmenderowiecki. François Robere (talk) 13:17, 7 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Comment. I can't read Polish, so I won't attempt to affirmatively evaluate the source here, but the rationales given above are a bit concerning as far as WP:BIASEDSOURCES and WP:HEADLINE are concerned. We can't declare a source generally unreliable on the basis of its non-article cover pages, nor its political position per se. We have to evaluate the sources on the basis of their ability to conduct fact-checking, editorial independence, and editorial control. I'm not really seeing source reliability analysis here along those lines. I am, however, seeing explicit references to political positions as a reason to oppose reliability, which we should avoid. And, while some of the front pages might inspire concerns, the spirit of WP:HEADLINE would be to evaluate article content rather than things that are often not created by researchers and journalists who wrote the articles and are written to grab readers' attention quickly and briefly. Obviously, headlines and covers aren't the exact same thing, but I'd think that the same logic applies in analyzing them. — Mikehawk10 (talk) 01:59, 10 September 2021 (UTC)[]
    @Mikehawk10 You are quite correct. Please see my edits here about the flagship news program of Telewizja Polska which introduced some academic studies. Most other sources discussed here are niche enough that they are rarely mentions by scholars... Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 07:17, 12 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Between Option 3 and 4, per Szmenderowiecki.--Astral Leap (talk) 13:25, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]

Discussion[edit]

OP note[edit]

As has been said, the discussion in the article on Jan Żaryn has become a mess. Not delving into intricacies of that waste of resources and time that could have gone to the International Bureau of Weights and Measures for display (Jan Żaryn), some details that you might find useful.

OKO.press has been objected to by three editors, Volunteer Marek (VM), Lembit Staan and GizzyCatBella, on the grounds that it was too partisan and was otherwise unreliable for BLP purposes. Ultimately, one of the fact checks they have produced ([76]) has been found to be unusable as a fact-check, but the reasons for exclusion were different (unreliability, non-notability of the sentence discussed, possible differences in understanding of the words). Other articles have not been universally accepted as either prefectly usable or absolutely unusable. In a similar fashion, objections have been made to include the other three sources from the first four, though no particular determination has been made.

As for the other six resources, on 18 June at around 1:40 AM GMT, VM decided to delete, in three consecutive edits, seven sources from WP:NPPSG#Poland (a pre-RSP listing watch list), on the basis that the !voting in the previous discussions was unduly influenced. According to the edit summaries, VM said that accounts that have not been extended confirmed violated the discretionary sanctions enforced for Eastern Europe topics and antisemitism in Poland when submitting their opinion on the resources [500/30 restriction applies only to the anti-Semitism articles, not E Europe articles in general, though in particular cases, admins might institute these restrictions - my note], alleging that the voting was manipulated by sockpuppets and asserting that most of the voters who voted contrary to VM have been either WP:SPA or otherwise inexperienced users. Rosguill reverted the deletion, but changed the rating, believing that the claims were substantiated. The change went as follows:

OKO.press: rough consensus for RS -> no consensus; TVP, Polish Radio, TV Republika, Do Rzeczy, niezalezna.pl, Gazeta Polska: unreliable -> no consensus

Bob the snob was indeed blocked for sockpuppetry, and Mellow Boris was tagged throughout as a probable SPA, but otherwise no other editor has been found to be guilty of any wrongdoing as far as I'm aware. Engagement in the discussions has been minimal, so in fact, there can't be any consensus (or "no consensus") labels put on discussions with 2-3 editors, as they are not representative. The only one that solicited more attention was about Gazeta Wyborcza and OKO.press, and even there the summary was rather incorrectly changed, in my opinion.

I invite users to evaluate resources once again, and hope more opinions could be solicited based on that.

Pinging all users who were participating in the discussions on RSN that were affected by VM's edits on NPPSG and Jan Żaryn discussing reliability of any of the given resources. (except for SarahSV, my condolences): @Abcmaxx, Darwinek, MyMoloboaccount, Mellow Boris, Volunteer Marek, GizzyCatBella, François Robere, Mhorg, CPCEnjoyer, Lembit Staan, Piotrus, Buidhe, GPinkerton, Astral Leap, V.A. Obadiah, and Rosguill: Szmenderowiecki (talk) 19:22, 4 September 2021 (UTC)[]

You list four possible options but your agreement with my assessment of Polityka suggests one of the options should explicitly address BLP issues. Like "generally reliable but use with caution when it comes to BLP, particularly opinion pieces from the source" or something. Volunteer Marek 19:40, 4 September 2021 (UTC)[]
I essentially said: copy the assessment from The Nation. It has the caveat for BLPs and I believe it to be an appropriate safeguard. As I have mentioned, the caveat should not, in my opinion, mean that the source is unusable for BLPs, but we should handle it with more care. It's more of Option 1/2 for BLPs. Szmenderowiecki (talk) 19:50, 4 September 2021 (UTC)[]

Discussion proper[edit]

Rosguill reverted the deletion, but changed the rating, believing that the claims were substantiated.: minor correction. I believe that VM's complaints in themselves are enough dissent, in the absence of a wide consensus for reliability, to merit listing as "no consensus". I have not recently evaluated VM's objections and have no opinion about whether the arguments are sound. signed, Rosguill talk 21:44, 4 September 2021 (UTC)[]
@Szmenderowiecki Since you are discussing 500/30 and sockpuppetry, I have to say that you are display an amazing level of competency on intricate wiki rules and politics, given that you started editing just few months ago, effectively since April, meaning that you've been here for less than half a year. Would you mind sharing a secret on how one can go from registering an account to understanding past ArbCom cases, policies like RS, reviewing DYKs and so on in just few months? Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 02:59, 5 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Four months is plenty of time to learn the ropes on how Wikipedia works. This comment is essentially casting aspersions that Szmenderowiecki is a sock without evidence. If you think that Szmenderowiecki is a sock of Icewhiz or whoever then you should present evidence at SPI, and not casting bad-faith aspersions here. Hemiauchenia (talk) 03:15, 5 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Hemiauchenia - Where do you see the word "Icewhiz" in the above question not addressed to you? - GizzyCatBella🍁 16:15, 6 September 2021 (UTC)[]
GizzyCatBella, do you not want people not involved in your content dispute to participate here? The above question is an aspersion and anyone can point this out. In the same vein, your spamming of "new account with few edit" notes in every section above, with regards to Mellow Boris is an aspersion as well considering they were pinged here. Tayi Arajakate Talk 19:14, 6 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Look Tayi Arajakate, you are obviously not in the loop, so please be cautious with your judgments. I'm simply disappointed when people ask legitimate questions and others say "you can't make that accusation, file SPI" and then you file an SPI, but that stays open for months. --> [77] - GizzyCatBella🍁 20:18, 6 September 2021 (UTC)[]
User Mellow Boris, who is in that SPI investigation, has no evidence of sockpuppetry presented against him yet on the SPI page, and the last edit in that investigation was done by you on 19 August, and btw you filed the request on 27 July. I mean, you were discussing the potential socks for 20 days and now the discussion is dead for almost the same time. Were I a checkuser, I'd have declined the request to check users (those not mentioned in the evidence presented) in the first place for want of evidence of apparent sockpuppetry.
I don't know the case, and you were the one who filed it, so I wish you good luck to prove it and get rid of the offenders (if any), as of course less socks => more fairness & less disruption. It's surely in the interest of the community, but it's also in your particular interest as a filer to get the case done. Szmenderowiecki (talk) 13:58, 7 September 2021 (UTC)[]

@Szmenderowiecki - Regarding some of the editors you pinged:

  • The new account Mellow Boris reactivated his account after one month of inactivity[78] to come here with their view[79].
  • New account V.A. Obadiah hasn't been active since April 27, 2021,[80].
  • Newish account CPCenjoyer hasn't been active since June 29/2021.[81]

I'm speculating Mellow Boris just randomly, luckily, logged in to Wikipedia after being dormant for one month and found your message but how are the last two suppose to hear about your ping? - GizzyCatBella🍁 09:16, 5 September 2021 (UTC)[]

I got the ping message and commented with a reasoned rationale. This innuendo is unseemly.Mellow Boris (talk) 09:36, 5 September 2021 (UTC)[]
You made 64 edits in total, scattered within 7 days throughout the year (not including entries you made today). The bulk was regarding the area under discussion. - GizzyCatBella🍁 10:06, 5 September 2021 (UTC)[]
I pinged all accounts that were not blocked (or under current sanctions), which did not have a notice of WikiBreak/death/whatever excluding their possibility to edit and that participated in the discussion. If they had been inactive, they wouldn't have received a notification in the first place. If you believe the users you mentioned to be violating any policy or being WP:NOTHERE, please go ahead with an ANI/SPI complaint, and their !vote will be struck if such determination is made.
@Boris Mellow: Please do not remove the SPA tags, this makes you no good. Whether these are sound will be determined by the closer. Szmenderowiecki (talk) 11:23, 5 September 2021 (UTC)[]
@Szmenderowiecki - Inacurate - you also pinged accounts that are now blocked - GPinkerton - [82] - GizzyCatBella🍁 11:32, 5 September 2021 (UTC)[]
OK, my bad, but they won't receive the notification anyway. Szmenderowiecki (talk) 11:33, 5 September 2021 (UTC)[]
But all this means that we're back to the situation where "consensus" is constructed on the basis of input from multiple accounts that are either brand new or pretty much brand new and who don't even qualify to edit the articles under the 500/30 sanction. Volunteer Marek 21:33, 5 September 2021 (UTC)[]
@Volunteer Marek Indeed. Is there a way to bring this entire thread to the ArbCom's attention? They did discuss whether to extend 500/30 to related discussions a while ago, didn't they? Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 06:47, 6 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Well, let's begin with the fact that if you have evidence of sockpuppetry, long-term abuse or off-wiki coordination, we can always change the outcome because these votes will eventually be deemed invalid, and probably before this RfC closes. But first let's have the evidence of brand-new account/IP abuse. Not all under-500/30 accounts should be automatically suspect, just as no person who looks like a Mexican and who recently received an American passport should be automatically under increased scrutiny for voter fraud.
Secondly, as far as I am aware, there is no 500/30 limit for RfCs or for RSN discussions, unless the topic can be reasonably construed to involve a topic being under such restrictions. This is not the case here. What you seem to propose here (correct me if I'm wrong) is to give more weight to established editors (like you) and attach less weight to whoever is not an ECA, but that's really an WP:EQUAL violation. Tagging possible SPA accounts is appropriate but disregarding anyone who hasn't done X edits and been here for Y days if there is no policy or ruling mandating that is not.
However, if ArbCom has the possibility and wants to intervene here, the relevant policies are changed (or if ArbCom says the intervention is exceptional and a good reasoning is presented), why not? That said, I think this remedy should be used only in extreme cases, and so far I'm only seeing one "suspect" user vote that you propose to disregard. ArbCom should in any case generally exercise restraint. Szmenderowiecki (talk) 14:17, 7 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Szmenderowiecki I very briefly dipped my toe into this dispute some months ago, and (wisely IMO) decided to get the hell out. Unfortunately, it seems the same people are arguing the same points they were last time I checked in. Perhaps it might be wise to list this as a proper RfC to get more fresh eyes on this, instead of rehashing the same debate that has been going on for months. BSMRD (talk) 05:27, 6 September 2021 (UTC)[]

I do not want to repeat myself but essentially I would raise the point of funding for these outlets. Now state media is never truly independent, and TVP/PR has never been free from government pressure, that goes from governments of PZPR, SLD, PO and now PiS. The level of partizanship has increased drastically last few years though, not seen since the 1980s. Now the right-wing and far right in Poland are very media savvy; Do Rzeczy, Sieci, TV Republika, Gazeta Polska and a host of others are funded by either PiS backed institutes or other pro-gorvenment figures and organisations and are nothing more than cheerleaders. That's why they have a much higher output than sales because if they were to compete merely on economic terms they would be long gone, especially with the sheer amount of defamation losses in courts. They are designed to be inflammatory and controversial and it doesn't matter what they publish because they're never held to account and even if they are, it's financial collateral. Before anyone accuses me of political bias there are plenty of independent right wing publications such as Rzeczpospolita newspaper and Dziennik Gazeta Prawna and there's also the Catholic Tygodnik Powszechny; furthermore TVN has had some spectacular failures regarding neutrality and I would be careful with naTemat.pl, as it could be just Tomasz Lis' way of muscling in to vent his personal opinions and grudges. Abcmaxx (talk) 10:41, 7 September 2021 (UTC)[]


Comment: It seems to me that lists of "reliable" and "unreliable" sources should not be regarded as automatically relieving Wikipedians of an obligation to think critically and to collate information found in one source with information appearing in other sources. I have found excellent articles, by first-rate historians, in popular periodicals – and, conversely, articles of dubious value in otherwise well-regarded journals. Nihil novi (talk) 02:00, 8 September 2021 (UTC)[]

This is a general caveat for the whole RSP list, not only for Polish sources (see WP:RSPUSE, para 2). That people often tend not to read the fine print is not RSP's, nor this RfC's, problem. Szmenderowiecki (talk) 07:06, 8 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Indeed. Another side of the coin is that depreciated/lower quality sources can spread guilty by association. "This person published in bad source X so their academic articles are unreliable too". Again, not a problem with RSP... Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 07:19, 12 September 2021 (UTC)[]

Bad RFC[edit]

  • Bad RFC on all - This is a complete disaster. People who (in the main? in part?) do not understand Polish are assessing pretty much the entire Polish print/TV media landscape for general liability, seemingly based on "this is right wing", "this said good things about PiS". What is the actual content dispute you are asking people to arbitrate here? And why is the relative status of these source important? FOARP (talk) 15:45, 14 September 2021 (UTC)[]

We really can't discuss such a huge swath of sources in this way,.Slatersteven (talk) 15:49, 14 September 2021 (UTC)[]

And even if we could, we shouldn't absent any 'clear' indication of what the actual dispute is supposed to be about. We are told this has arisen out of an article about a Polish politician but clearly this is related to a particular aspect of that person - and what is it? And why are general RFCs on all these media sources needed to arbitrate it when apparently the actual thing being discussed is not general, but specific? FOARP (talk) 07:41, 15 September 2021 (UTC)[]
I believe you can adjudicate a general case coming out of a specific content dispute (which indeed took place, I just attempted to wrap it up so that you don't need to waste time reading through tons of text), or at the very least that's been quite a practice for some time. It may be wrong, but it is commonplace and seems to have become a new standard. You are certainly a person who's been here for longer - I have no benefit of remembering the olden days when the grass was greener and RfCs were topic-specific, so I can't even judge if the way the disputes were previously adjudicated were the ideal (or at least a better) way to establish quality of sources. RSP and NPPSG are apparently conducive to this type of general-grade RfCs based on specific cases of disputes.
The rationale is given in my note, which is the first post in the discussion. You can believe it not to be good enough, but I tried my best to explain why such admittedly big RfC is needed. In fact, archives 328 and 329 of RSN contain an even broader scope of Polish sources (based on which the NPPSG Polish list was initially established), the only difference being that the opener (Abcmaxx) did not call it an RfC. Additionally, the closer should reasonably exclude or diminish the weight of !votes whose rationale is only the wrong political stance when determining the close because of WP:BIASED. Szmenderowiecki (talk) 11:42, 16 September 2021 (UTC)[]

A peer-reviewed paper by Segreto and Deigin's reliability has been challenged at "Investigations into the origin of COVID-19"[edit]

Links: authors-are-not-virologists rebuttal, authors-are-not-virologists-2 rebuttal, lack-of-citations rebuttal, authors-are-not-virologists-3 rebuttal, bioessays_poor_reputation rebuttal, bioessays_poor_reputation-2 rebuttal, Talk:Investigations_into_the_origin_of_COVID-19/Archive_8#Talk_page_consensus_on_high-quality_"Lab_Leak"_sources.

Source: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/bies.202000240

Article: COVID-19 lab leak theory.

Content: The paper hypothetizes that SARS-CoV-2's cleavage site and specific RBD could result from site-directed mutagenesis, a procedure that does not leave a trace

I open this noticeboard given that in the last talk page discussion about it, some editors said that a consensus was reached to find the source unreliable for its main claim regarding COVID-19 origin, and that any further discussion would be best placed in a RS Noticeboard.

Please discuss whether the source is reliable for the topic.Forich (talk) 22:29, 9 September 2021 (UTC)[]

This source was cited 42 times. A recent review mentions this source, along with Relman DA (2020) (Opinion: to stop the next pandemic, we need to unravel the origins of COVID-19. Proc Nat Acad Sci 117(47):29246–29248), as a support of the hypothesis that that SARS-CoV-2 may have been manufactured in a laboratory. Nothing in that review suggests Sergio&Deigin is not reliable. However, it seems this source: Segreto, R., Deigin, Y., McCairn, K. et al. Should we discount the laboratory origin of COVID-19?. Environ Chem Lett 19, 2743–2757 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10311-021-01211-0 should be used instead, because it is more recent, and it is authored by the same authors. --Paul Siebert (talk) 22:37, 9 September 2021 (UTC)[]
See Template:Origins of COVID-19 (current consensus) #3. I don’t think anything has changed since. It’s not an RS. ProcrastinatingReader (talk) 22:39, 9 September 2021 (UTC)[]
As a medical source, per WP:MEDRS, there are extra considerations. Keep in mind there was another study refuting their finding linked to on that same page, and also consider whether there is enough secondary source strength to warrant its use. Pyrrho the Skeptic (talk)
Is this local consensus supposed to overturn our policy? This source meets all requirements that we apply to top-quality reliable sources. WP:MEDRS is noit a policy, but just guidelines. However, it seems this source is outdated, and the more recent source (see above) should be used instead.--Paul Siebert (talk) 22:44, 9 September 2021 (UTC)[]
There is no separate standard to that applies to MEDRS that does not apply to RS. One is no less a "policy" than the other. Pyrrho the Skeptic (talk) 22:49, 9 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Anyway, here is the abstract of the 2021 paper by the same authors:
"There is a near-consensus view that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of COVID-19, has a natural zoonotic origin; however, several characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 taken together are not easily explained by a natural zoonotic origin hypothesis. These include a low rate of evolution in the early phase of transmission; the lack of evidence for recombination events; a high pre-existing binding to human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2); a novel furin cleavage site (FCS) insert; a flat ganglioside-binding domain (GBD) of the spike protein which conflicts with host evasion survival patterns exhibited by other coronaviruses; and high human and mouse peptide mimicry. Initial assumptions against a laboratory origin by contrast have remained unsubstantiated. Furthermore, over a year after the initial outbreak in Wuhan, there is still no clear evidence of zoonotic transfer from a bat or intermediate species. Given the immense social and economic impact of this pandemic, identifying the true origin of SARS-CoV-2 is fundamental to preventing future outbreaks. The search for SARS-CoV-2′s origin should include an open and unbiased inquiry into a possible laboratory origin."
--Paul Siebert (talk) 22:53, 9 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Still WP:PRIMARY, still published by non-credentialed authors who have little expertise in viruses, or virology, or especially viral genetics. BTW, that envir chem lett paper is an Editorial, meaning it is not peer-reviewed, and is thus simply the opinion of the authors themselves.
The only ways in which this should be used is in how it is cited or discussed by secondary peer-reviewed review papers published in topic-relevant journals. They must tell us how we interpret the proposed ideas and how we perceive the credibility of its authors. BTW, from examining the authors list here, this is just an editorial by all the folks who have any semblance of scientific training in DRASTIC. — Shibbolethink ( ) 22:57, 9 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Not a RS. Segretto and Deigin's qualifications have not changed. They are still bucking against the majority consensus opinion of the scientific community, and BioEssays has no relevant expert editors in virology or similar topics. This is an opinion paper at best, it is not a review, it appears to be peer reviewed (it went through one round of revision), but it is published in an essays outlet, and does not contain much, if any, original research). It should be treated as an opinion piece published in a non-topic relevant journal. And, so it becomes a question of whether the opinions of the authors are particularly relevant to the topic or notable/DUE. And I would say they are not. Deigin's highest qualification is an MBA. He has never done any work on viruses, or in biosafety. Segretto's closest work is in fungal ecology, though she does have a PhD. She has not worked in high level biosafety labs or in environmental health and safety. Not every paper that is published in a scholarly journal is useful for our purposes. Especially ones that are purely primary opinion, and are not well respected by the scientific community. The consensus has not changed, that the ideas in this paper are not likely, that any genetic engineering of the virus is extremely unlikely, etc. For all these reasons, this is not an RS. — Shibbolethink ( ) 22:54, 9 September 2021 (UTC)[]
BioEssays is a peer-reviewed journal with impact factor of 4.5 (not a top journal, but still quite decent). Why invent new rules that are not found in our policy?
According to the policy, it IS a quite reliable source. However, as I already explained, it is outdated.
For records: it is quite unlikely SARS-CoV2 was engineered.--Paul Siebert (talk) 23:07, 9 September 2021 (UTC)[]
BioEssays is not well respected, especially not in the field of virology. Citations (e.g. impact factor) are not the only way to evaluate the reliability of a scientific source. This is far from the first time the reliability or usefulness of a piece published in Bioessays has been called into question. It has a long history of publishing pieces that are pure opinion, speculation, "out there" idea, that some have described as belonging more in the lay press or in blogs than in a scientific journal. It's interesting stuff, but people would be concerned if you cited it for a statement of fact in a dissertation. Example: The journal has been accused of using milquetoast peer-review, in which the ideas of the papers published within it are given only a cursory review, and not truly critiqued or subjected to the rigorous criticism normally demanded by the scientific community. Like in this paper about declining sperm counts. [83] or this paper by Gutierrez, Beall, et al in 2015. See criticism: [84]. Or Speijer in 2020 [85]. [86]. Or this cancer paper proposing the "TOFT model" [87]. [88] or the ativastic model: [89]. I'm not saying that Bioessays doesn't sometimes publish good stuff. it does. I even really like the Evolution essays they publish sometimes. But the point is that they often publish stuff that is a little out there. And not respected by the broader community. They like to publish stuff that is on the edge. Groundbreaking, fascinating, controversial. The editors of this journal have even said as much: [90] But this is exactly the opposite of what we need for reliable sources on Wikipedia. We need stable, tried and true, endlessly vetted secondary review papers which evaluate this stuff for us. Not the primary essays which propose these novel and controversial ideas. — Shibbolethink ( ) 23:29, 9 September 2021 (UTC)[]
"It's a peer reviewed journal therefore it's default reliable" is not a good argument. Sourcing guidelines are not blunt instruments. Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology an Elsevier journal once published a paper that suggested cephalopods are aliens. Editors should always have discretion as to which sources are used. Hemiauchenia (talk) 23:34, 9 September 2021 (UTC)[]
We cannot invent ad hoc rules.
The question was quite clear: "Does this source meet RS criteria"?
The formal answer is "Yes it does" (per our policy). However,
  • The source seems outdated (another, more recent paper by the same authors should be used instead, where they concede the natural hypothesis is an almost consensus view).
  • The source may not meet NPOV criteria: despite being reliable, it may represent minority of fringe view.
That means, (i) instead of this, formally reliable source, another, more recent source should be used, and (ii) a decision about usage of this source should be made if weight issues are resolved. I believe, it will not be difficult to make a brief search to find relative weight of that source. It may be quite likely it expresses nearly fringe view.--Paul Siebert (talk) 23:44, 9 September 2021 (UTC)[]
No. See WP:SOURCE:

All three can affect reliability.

As per current consensus #3: Specifically, editors were not convinced by the credentials of the authors, and concerns were raised with the editorial oversight of the BioEssays "Problems & Paradigms" series.. i.e. bullets 2 and 3 are a fail. ProcrastinatingReader (talk) 00:04, 10 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Note: WikiProjects Medicine, Skepticism, COVID-19, Molecular Biology, and the Fringe Theories Noticeboard have been notified of this discussion.— Shibbolethink ( ) 00:02, 10 September 2021 (UTC)[]
I fundamentally disagree with this approach. Yes,
  • I agree that BioEssays is not a top journal, and its editorial board does not look impressive.
  • I agree that Environmental Chemistry Letters, where the second article was published, has no direct relevance to the topic.
  • I admit that the authors' own credentials may be not too impressive.
However, if Wikipedia editors are allowed to invent additional criteria to reject some sources, some other Wikipedians may invent some other local rules to approve some sources that normally should be rejected. That is dangerous for Wikipedia as whole.
Instead, I propose to use a more formal approach: to admit that that source meets formal RS criteria, but check how frequently this source is cited, and in which context. If majority sources ignore or openly reject this source, and I expect they are, this source should be rejected as fringe. Under this source I mean the 2021 article not the BioEssays article.--Paul Siebert (talk) 00:46, 10 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Wikipedia is supposed to be mainstream and academically conservative about scholarly topics (as any encyclopedia would). Is this paper cited by others, and if so, in which context exactly? If it's only cited by papers in dubious journals and by non-experts (read: newspapers mentions fall in this category too), it's unlikely to be an accurate reflection of the academic mainstream. Looking at the list of citations on Google Scholar, many of these are obvious examples of this (self-cites by authors; cites in Env Chem Let by some other authors; pre-prints; predatory journals). All to say, the Google Scholar count is not any useful metric. There appear to be some citations from virological.org (which is basically a place for discussion amongst virologists and a repository for unpublished papers, so not exactly peer-reviewed but not entirely unacceptable per WP:SPS - at least, I'm not planning on citing it, but the authors I'm citing below are indeed virologists and not amateur detectives), but some of them are rather dismissive:

Hence, analyses suggesting that the evolutionary origins of the RmYN02 S1/S2 cleavage site can be revealed by a simple nucleotide alignment (Segreto and Deigin, 2020) are overly simplistic. [91]

Or, more dramatically, entirely unflattering:

Proponents of theories for the unnatural origin of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) have asserted that the 12 nucleotide insert in the spike gene, which results in acquisition of a furin cleavage site in spike, may have arisen by laboratory manipulation (Relman, 2020; Segreto and Deigin, 2020; Seyran et al., 2020; Sirotkin and Sirotkin, 2020). Here, we compile evidence demonstrating that insertion/deletion (indel) events at the S1/S2 and S2’ protease cleavage sites of the spike precursors are commonly occurring natural features of coronavirus evolution. [92]

Putting all that together; you have a paper which wasn't actually cited in other peer-reviewed research, certainly not positively (so it is extremely unlikely to be representative of the mainstream view); it's from non-experts and it's in a dubious journal. So, since it fails all three criteria, not an RS. RandomCanadian (talk / contribs) 01:47, 10 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Again, that is not true.
  • A journal with impact factor of 4.5 is hardly dubious. Is is quite good.
  • Tyshkovskiy & Panchin's article [93], a direct responce to Segreto and Deigin, was published in the very same journal. If BioEssays is a dubious journal, why the two bioinformatic scientists from Misha Gelfand's institute publish their response there? The fact that they are real experts cannot be questioned by nobody in clear mind. The fact that leading experts respond to that article means it is by no means fringe.
  • The article was cited 42 times, which is pretty decent for the 2020 article.
We all agree that lab leakage is highly unlikely. However, do not modify WP rules to remove the source that you don't like. If you misinterpret our policy to reject some source, somebody else may do the same to approve some other source.--Paul Siebert (talk) 02:02, 10 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Fetishizing impact factor as an exclusive and all-encompassing way to assess the quality of journals will lead us down some very dark paths. I say this as someone who has published in many "high impact" journals (Science, Nature, Immunity). I don't regret it, but I also don't value those papers as exceptionally good, either. Examples of crappy journals with impact factors around that of BioEssays:
I could go on and on. This is a bad argument.
Saying that a quality scientist also published there does not make it a good journal. Good scientists publish in bad journals and vice versa. Andrew Wakefield's infamous MMR anti-vaxx study was published in The Lancet [94] [95]. Medical Hypotheses has published AIDS denialism (infamously [96]), but they have also published papers by V. S. Ramachandran and several nobel laureates. Doesn't make it a good journal. — Shibbolethink ( ) 02:13, 10 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Please, mind your tong. Nobody here is fetishizing anything. Impact factor does not guarantee credibility, but it is a relatively good predictor of quality. And, that was just one my argument out of several. Again, if BioEssay is bad for us, why it is not bad for Panchin? Or you reject Pancin's article as a good source too?
Look, if we reject Segreto's article (who supports a lab leakage hypothesis), we must reject Panchin's article too. But we are not going to do that, right?
--Paul Siebert (talk) 02:29, 10 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Keep in mind, I am criticizing your arguments, not you. You seem to be a very reasonable person, and I have no reason to criticize or demean you in any way, and have tried hard to avoid doing so. I would describe Panchin's article as also an opinion piece published in a low quality journal, and therefore also would not cite it. BTW, it is also WP:PRIMARY and should be avoided for that reason as well. — Shibbolethink ( ) 02:31, 10 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Well, if Wikipedians are allowed to arbitrarily decide what is an opinion piece and what is not, then its quality will deteriorate further.
Ok, I trust you that you authored several Nature papers (which means you are pretty notable person and a true expert). But what if in reality you are just a 10th grade high school student? Why your opinion on Panchin matters? What if I respond you that I personally know his supervisor, and I guarantee he is a leading expert in bioinformatics, and his opinion (as well as the opinion of people working under his supervision) is 146% reliable (no matter where it is published)? That may be true, or I may lie, who knows? And what shall we do in that situation? Vote?
Alas, that does not work like that. We either use some formal criteria, or Wikipedia will become even a greater mess.--Paul Siebert (talk) 02:39, 10 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Never said I published multiple Nature papers. I have published in the journals I referenced. The Nature article is a forthcoming topic review I have authored with my former advisor about flaviviruses. That is neither here nor there. Opinion pieces are not inherently bad. Expert opinion is often quite useful. But it depends on the person saying the opinion, as you have referenced. Sometimes, it's amazingly useful, and reliable, like in the many very great articles published in The Conversation which we cite with attribution.
The thing that makes this Deigin and Segretto paper opinion, imo, is that it makes broad sweeping statements that are not verifiable or testable. Is that subjective? Yes. Is all RS-determination of non-WP:RSP sources somewhat subjective? Also yes. This is not a court of law, it is not a mathematical equation. There is some subjectivity in our interpretations of the sources and their qualities. And that is why consensus is more than just "Does it meet the formal criteria?" And why this noticeboard exists, frankly.
The fact that this Deigin and Segretto piece is published by two people who no mainstream scientist discusses, references, or cites, is why they are fringe and would, therefore, be almost always WP:UNDUE to quote. The bad journal, non-expert authors, questionable editorial series, and WP:PRIMARY status are why this particular paper is not a WP:RS. Doesn't even particularly matter whether it's opinion for that part of the determination. As several other editors above have agreed. — Shibbolethink ( ) 02:45, 10 September 2021 (UTC)[]
All of that would be completely correct if Wikipedia were edited by professionals. The problem is, however, that that is not the case. Many people even don't understand the concept of peer-reviewing. Imagine you are discussing all of that with 10 users who are 10th grade students, and they achieved a consensus that you are not right. What will you do in that situation? That is why more formal criteria are needed. And the approach is as follows: this source formally passes WP:V, but does not pass (or marginally passes) WP:NPOV.--Paul Siebert (talk) 02:59, 10 September 2021 (UTC)[]
As WP:1AM recommends, I would either 1) put it out of my mind and accept that the encyclopedia is forever a work in progress and it being "wrong" to me in one area does not diminish its overall greatness, 2) start an RfC, or 3) escalate it to this noticeboard, as Forch has done.
Do you have a WP:PAG-based reason for circumventing consensus? Could you provide a quotation of the relevant passage? Because I am not reading that anywhere in the relevant policies. It appears to be your opinion on how Wikipedia should work, not an accurate assessment of how it does. Such opinions on altering PAGs should be placed on the talk pages of the relevant guidelines. They are not relevant here. — Shibbolethink ( ) 03:22, 10 September 2021 (UTC)[]
WP:V is if the content is verifiable to the source (reliable or not, vs WP:RS). I also see multiple claims from you that editors would be using their own special rules, when WP:PRIMARY is not that ambiguous. —PaleoNeonate – 04:55, 11 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Shibbolethink, I am rarely editing science related topics, but I know most people here are pretty reasonable. In addition, the amount and quality of scientific publications allows easy evaluation of quality and notability of each source, so these should be not much disagreement in these topics even if we approach the problem totally formally. In connection to that, I find it very dangerous when some users decide to come to consensus about reliability of certain category of sources that are not described in the policy or guidelines. It is dangerous because in some other topics, such as history or religion, many users apply lower standards to sources, and if we allow local consensus to approve or reject some certain category of sources, that may lead (and is already leading) to huge NPOV and OR problems in some topics.
Look, we both agree that this source should not be used. However, I came to that conclusion based on a letter and spirit of WP:V/NPOV, whereas you refer to some local ad hoc invented rules. Whose approach, in your opinion, is less dangerous?--Paul Siebert (talk) 15:36, 10 September 2021 (UTC)[]
The criteria we are using to judge this source are not ad hoc or invented. You are mistaken.
The policies themselves describe the metrics we are applying, as several editors above have communicated to you. Primary vs Secondary, Author, Journal, Relevant expertise, acceptance by the wider scientific community, opinion vs scientific description of findings, etc. etc. are all described as ways to judge source reliability in WP:PAGs and essays. See: WP:SOURCE, WP:SCHOLARSHIP, WP:RSPRIMARY, WP:MEDANIMAL, WP:BESTSOURCES, WP:MEDPRI (policies and guidelines) and WP:RSE, WP:SCIRS, WP:RSUW (essays).
I am not pulling these criteria out of nowhere. They come from the guidelines and essays above. We are not inventing ad hoc rules. We are applying the rules described in the above pages.
Explanatory supplements explicitly endorse the idea of using context to judge reliability, See: Wikipedia:Inaccuracy#Appendix: Reliability in the context.
You are the one who is asserting a new way to understand RSes and what counts and what does not count. If I am mistaken, please provide a quotation from a policy or guideline which describes your approach of ignoring consensus. — Shibbolethink ( ) 21:12, 10 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Shibbolethink, our disagreement does not affect the verdict about this concrete source (we both agree it should not be used). Therefore, this discussion is about the procedure in general. If you want, we may continue it, but feel free to stop at any moment.
Actually, the disagreement is only about allowing too much freedom to Wikipedians in their decision of what source is reliable. Let's check you and my approaches (and I apologize in advance if I misinterpret you)
  • Primary vs Secondary. No disagreement, except one aspect. Being an author of peer-reviewed publications, you perfectly know that the Introduction and, partially, "Discussion" sections are the summary of the current state of the field: "Introduction" is a mini-review, and "Discussion" is a discussion of own results in a context of the results of previous studies. Therefore, even research articles are, partially, secondary sources. Of course, the author's own data are, by and large, primary.
  • Author My approach: The number of citations and/or h-index is a good measure. You propose to analyze if the author is an expert in this concrete topic. You approach works fine if your opponents are reasonable and well educated people, but what if they are not familiar with a subject or are civil POV-pushers? What is they establish consensus that this particular author's qualification in this particular field is insufficient?
  • Journal My approach: if the journal is generally relevant (e.g. Organic Chemistry, Biophysics, Biochemistry, Environmental Chemistry, etc are relevant to biomedicine) and its impact factor should be at least 1. Your approach seems to include a detailed analysis of event the journal's editorial board. Again, my approach is more formal (and less strict), but it allows less freedom for misuse by poorly educated of bad faith users.
  • Relevant expertise My approach: if the source/author was cited by several other sources, and there is no wholesale criticism/rejection, then it is acceptable. Your approach seems to require a detailed analysis of the content, which, again, may be a seed of endless debates and possible edit wars.
  • opinion vs scientific description of findings Don't see any difference with secondary vs primary.
  • At that point you stop and conclude the source fails WP:V. In contrast, I continue, and ask another question: "If this source passes WP:V, should we use it per WP:FRINGE?" And the answer is, most likely, "No". If our approaches lead to the same verdict, but my approach allows less manipulations, why do you think you are right, and I am not?
I doubt my interpretation of our policy and guidelines is less correct than yours. I would say you demonstrate more creativity in policy interpretation. Actually, you are bringing the standards of scientific community into Wikipedia. Personally, I would wholeheartedly supported this approach, but it works only when all users are professionals, which is not the case (and will never be).
--Paul Siebert (talk) 22:00, 10 September 2021 (UTC)[]
...the Introduction and, partially, "Discussion" sections are the summary of the current state of the field: "Introduction" is a mini-review, and "Discussion" is a discussion of own results in a context of the results of previous studies. Therefore, even research articles are, partially, secondary sources. There is rarely any reason to cite the summary of the field from primary research article intros/discussions because, if the topic is DUE, it will have been discussed in detail in far more comprehensive secondary reviews. JoelleJay (talk) 09:02, 11 September 2021 (UTC)[]

Not sure where to jump in on this conversation so I'll add my thoughts here:

  • For scientific topics, I'd say that primary sources are fine for non-controversial statements, which this is not
  • When acting as WP editors, our opinions on whether the paper's arguments are convincing is less relevant than the consensus of the published material, which currently leans heavily towards zoonotic origins
  • Of the current 42 cites, a significant number are refutations and self-cites (totally fine, but should be omitted from assessing mainstream acceptance/support) and I can't see much independent support for the conclusions presented
  • It's cewrtainly fair to say that it's a highly minority opinion, bordering on fringe.
  • If included in the WP page, it should therefore certainly be contextualised as "A minority/niche position is that the virus could have a laboratory origin,[refs] however the mainstream consensus is that of natural origins.[refs]"
    • Conceivably the specific evidences for and against can be listed but that might be getting pretty technical.
  • I'd not be too concerned about the journal itself - the accuracy variation within journals is often greater than the variation between them and
    • In this context, impact factor isn't a great metric but more useful ones are hard or impossible to calculate e.g. was the paper rejected elsewhere and why, or what were the specific expertise of the reviewers etc.

Hope that helps somewhat with an outside opinion. T.Shafee(Evo&Evo)talk 04:23, 10 September 2021 (UTC)[]

  • This [97] is clearly a secondary RS per our policies. This is NOT an original research publication, but rather a critical review or analysis of already published information. The fact it was cited 40+ times only makes the publication more notable and deserving inclusion. This is not a medical claim and not a medical question, as has been debated to nausea. Therefore, WP:MEDRS does not apply, although one might reasonably argue that it is a WP:MEDRS source as a review/analysis article. It does not really matter that authors are not virologists, but biologists. It does not mean that the authors are right. To make it balanced include some opposing views please. My very best wishes (talk) 14:39, 10 September 2021 (UTC)[]
In other words, (a) BioEssays is generally an RS on biological subjects, and (b) I do not see anything to disqualify authors of the publications as knowledgeable biologists. This is NOT a misinformation, but a justifiable view that was widely cited and shared by a number of people. Sure, their views and analysis are disoutable, but it is important to cite BioEssays and biologists, rather than only politicians and journalists. I do not see why this needs to be censored. My very best wishes (talk) 19:49, 15 September 2021 (UTC)[]
But Deigin is not a biologist in any sense and Segreto is in an unrelated field of biology... JoelleJay (talk) 20:44, 16 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Yes, he seems to be a biotech enterpreneur by profession, but I do not think that makes their articles in Bioessays (more recently here) not RS. Most people seem to argue their views are undue on specific page, but the sources are definitely secondary RS. My very best wishes (talk) 16:36, 20 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Problems and Paradigms is not a review series. Segretto and Deigin formulate novel analyses and take primary data they themselves have generated for the publication and interpret it. That makes this publication a PRIMARY source. Not a secondary review. — Shibbolethink ( ) 21:16, 10 September 2021 (UTC)[]
    @Shibboleth, no different to the joint China-WHO report then? Aeonx (talk) 22:19, 10 September 2021 (UTC)[]
    If I were Shibboleth, I wouldn't bother replying with more than "false equivalance". Entirely ignoring the fact that most of our coverage on the topic is not even based on the WHO report anyway. RandomCanadian (talk / contribs) 04:46, 11 September 2021 (UTC)[]
    Huh? An official statement from a prominent medical body is WP:MEDRS, a very different standard. —PaleoNeonate – 04:50, 11 September 2021 (UTC)[]
    Segretto and Deigin speak only for themselves when they assert broad-based opinions. The WHO report speaks with the authority of a team of experts formally assembled by the WHO. Big difference. — Shibbolethink ( ) 19:18, 11 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • It does not matter if this is called "review". This is in fact a review/analysis article. Yes, sure, they are not speaking for the entire scientific community. No one does. I voted "RS" because such source would easily pass as an RS on a typical WP page about a biological subject, and there is nothing wrong with using it anywhere. Yes, this is apparently a minority view, but a very large minority. Personally, I am not a supporter of this view. My very best wishes (talk) 13:42, 12 September 2021 (UTC)[]
    MVBW, you have always been a very reasonable editor in our exchanges. You are being reasonable here. But I still disagree, I see only parts of this article are secondary, much like how many primary articles have introductions that are secondary. But the components where they create their own alignments, hypothesize on the significance of those alignments, etc. are primary. As are their conclusions, which are novel to this paper. — Shibbolethink ( ) 13:51, 12 September 2021 (UTC)[]
I think you are mistaken. See Wikipedia:No_original_research#Primary,_secondary_and_tertiary_sources: "A secondary source provides an author's own thinking based on primary sources...". Author's own thinking. Every good review provides an analysis by authors. A bad review is just a collection of information. I do not think that one is so great, but just mentioning what it say should not be a problem. My very best wishes (talk) 14:00, 12 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Yes, but most reviews do not include primary research investigations such as creating alignments and pointing out things about those alignments. — Shibbolethink ( ) 14:06, 12 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Some of them do. But here is my point. Would including such ref on a page would be helpful for a typical WP reader who is interested in this subject? Yes, it definitely would. My very best wishes (talk) 14:21, 12 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of relevant information. We have a duty to our readers to maintain our standards of reliability in sourced info. Reading all the screeds of the DRASTIC team would probably be interesting to a user curious about this topic, but we still don't cite them. Because they are unreliable. — Shibbolethink ( ) 15:08, 12 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Just to jump in on the primary/secondary aspect. This one's definintely a mix. However there are big chiunks that are pretty primary, e.g. the sequence analysis of the furin site is original research in that paper as far as I can see. T.Shafee(Evo&Evo)talk 00:06, 13 September 2021 (UTC)[]

Discussing the reliability of a source, without considering what article text someone proposes writing and in which article they are inserting it, can only take you a small distance along the road. Thinking that "Yes it is reliable => I can write whatever I want (about topic X) based on that source" is wrong. Arguing X is just a guideline so can be dismissed is wrong. Our guidelines are the application of policy to specific areas, and e.g. MEDRS is just the application of several policies to using sources for biomedical topics. WP:PSTS (policy) explains our dislike of primary sources and explains that a research paper is a primary source. Footnote C in that policy explains also includes "editorials, op-eds, columns, blogs, and other opinion pieces" as primary sources. Just having an opinion and getting a random journal to publish it is not sufficient on its own for Wikipedia to mention it. See WP:WEIGHT and WP:SCHOLARSHIP. Shibbolethink makes several good points about the authors and the journal that suggest both are outside of their field of expertise while also pushing an agenda. -- Colin°Talk 14:46, 10 September 2021 (UTC)[]

  • Every critical analysis/review article expresses an opinion by authors to some degree. That does not make a source non-RS. To the contrary, consider Current Opinion (Elsevier) Their review articles are great. Although yes, an opinion to some degree, they are generally very good WP:MEDRS sources. They are not "opinion pieces" as in CNN (and even an opinion in CNN is a valid RS if written by an expert). My very best wishes (talk) 15:02, 10 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Colin, Shibbolethink is right in almost everything but one thing: this source is reliable (passes WP:V), but it, most likely, does not pass WP:NPOV. Your "Thinking that "Yes it is reliable => I can write whatever I want (about topic X) based on that source" is wrong." is WRONG. A correct statement should be as follows:
"Yes it is reliable. However, before using that source, we must make sure it represents at least a significant minority viewpoint.
Clearly, the facts presented during this discussion demonstrate that it is even not a significant minority view, and the authors themselves recognize that in their next publication.
I think, if we want to follow the WP:V spirit and letter, the formal summary should be:
Formally speaking, it is reliable, but it should not be used as an insignificant minority view.
--Paul Siebert (talk) 15:23, 10 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Paul Siebert, I don't see how your "correct statement" contradicts my statement you say is "WRONG". And that "correct statement" examines only one aspect (representing a significant minority viewpoint". That still doesn't allow anyone to cite that source and "write whatever they want based on it". WEIGHT would impact how much text to write, where to write it (lead, body, which article(s)), etc. And we still wouldn't be able to state it as fact, just as a minority opinion. And as others note, there may be more recent papers: people are allowed to change their opinions and what might have been thought important at one point may no longer be. Just saying "Yes it is reliable." is problematic. What on earth is it reliable for? Very little of it is reliable for anything more than the opinion of its authors at that point in time. My very best wishes is wrong. Merely citing other papers doesn't turn an opinion piece into a formal literature review (never mind a systematic review). -- Colin°Talk 15:43, 10 September 2021 (UTC)[]
In this case, the point of determining whether an article is an RS is moot if you anyway argue it should not be included. Szmenderowiecki (talk) 15:40, 10 September 2021 (UTC)[]
@Paul Siebert, If we want to follow Wikipedia policy to the letter, we would wait for someone to close this discussion and determine the consensus established here, and that would tell everyone whether or not this publication should be considered reliable for use in the Investigations article. And if that consensus were to establish the source as reliable, it would have to be robust enough to overturn the consensus established on the relevant talk pages, which is that these publications are not reliable. We wouldn't just follow your opinion or my opinion of what we should do. We would follow the consensus opinion. — Shibbolethink ( ) 21:22, 10 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Since both you and I have no disagreement about this concrete publication (I think it should not be used too, unless someone decides to include Panchin's article, which is a quite reliable RS; in that case it may be instrumental to mention that Panchin analyzed a possibility that RaTG13 was an ancestor of SARS-CoV2, which was proposed by Segreto), no closure is needed. The outcome of our dispute relates to the policy interpretation, not to this concrete source.--Paul Siebert (talk) 22:07, 10 September 2021 (UTC)[]
@Colin agreed. You can find the relevant discussions about how various users have intended to use the paper at the top of this discussion section. Or also in this consensus template. In brief, several users have wished to use this source to describe how the genetic engineering hypothesis of COVID-19 origins is viable, and not a conspiracy theory. — Shibbolethink ( ) 21:39, 10 September 2021 (UTC)[]
If those users wished to use this source to confirm viability of the hypothesis of artificial origin of COVID-19, then all of that is an NPOV issue, not V. Which is exactly what I said initially.--Paul Siebert (talk) 22:12, 10 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • RS; it's published in an indexed, peer-reviewed journal and widely cited in reputable sources. Except in an exceptional circumstance, no further information should be required nor investigation of the source undertaken. Any original analysis, by us, as to its content is an inferior form of peer review (done by laypersons) to that which it's already undergone. The MEDRS arguments are stretching that guideline, in my opinion, to cover any article or topic that touches in any way on biology, which is an unconvincing reach. The arguments about its conclusions not aligning with the scientific consensus are also entirely unconvincing. Consensus is what we use to make decisions on WP, not judge the merits of knowledge or purported knowledge. Our WP:UNDUE policy says that articles should represent significant viewpoints, not majoritarian viewpoints. That said, it would be appropriate to give any content cited to this source diminished weight in the article, also with respect to our DUE/UNDUE policy. Chetsford (talk) 22:24, 10 September 2021 (UTC)[]
    By your criteria, the fraudulent vaccine-autism paper by Andrew Wakefield is also an RS, since it's in an indexed, peer-reviewed journal (Lancet) and it is widely cited in reputable sources. Crucially, what your analysis misses is that it is widely cited for the wrong reasons - i.e. the only citations from actually reputable sources are as an example of fraud (the Wakefield paper). Or in our case, refutations. WP:SCHOLARSHIP is the basic summary of this guideline - i.e. works by actual scholars in their fields and not random nobodies, especially not then there's a huge WP:REDFLAG hanging all over it (something that goes against the prevailing view within the relevant scientific community [virologists], is published by non-experts, and is a primary source, is certainly not the kind of thing that satisfies any of the "high quality reliable source" bit). This, critically analysing the context and the content of a source is the kind of reflection on sources that's entirely routine in serious academic studies, and that's certainly the viewpoint Wikipedia should be written from. Not a popularity contest of which thing gets more attention in US newspapers. RandomCanadian (talk / contribs) 04:44, 11 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Correct me if I am wrong, but hadn't that paper been debunked? If yes, then the analogy is incorrect.
And, yes, fringe source if published in a good peer-reviewed journal is RS. However, if that RS is fringe, it should be treated as such, i.e., ignored. --Paul Siebert (talk) 04:57, 11 September 2021 (UTC)[]
"By your criteria, the fraudulent vaccine-autism paper by Andrew Wakefield is also an RS, since it's in an indexed, peer-reviewed journal (Lancet) and it is widely cited in reputable sources" Not at all. My standard is "... it's published in an indexed, peer-reviewed journal and widely cited in reputable sources. Except in an exceptional circumstance, no further information should be required nor investigation of the source undertaken." The example you mention, as noted by Paul Siebert, was debunked which is obviously an "exceptional circumstance" in the plain meaning of the phrase. The rest of your comment ("the only citations from actually reputable sources are as an example of fraud" is a demonstrably false statement (e.g. here [98] where it's routinely referenced in a study by the ENS virologist Erwan Sallard and the CNRS virologist Etienne Decroly in the first quartile journal Environmental Chemistry Letters) so I won't bother doing a point-by-point reply. Chetsford (talk) 02:40, 21 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Not an RS Let's see, it pertains directly to human health, so WP:MEDRS is in full force (in a way that it wouldn't be for, say, choanoflagellate mucus or sauropod vertebrae); it's evidently a primary source; the authors lack relevant expertise; the journal deliberately skews toward the provocative; impact factor is a shoddy way of telling what journals are worthwhile. Also, 42 citations is a pitifully small number for a hot topic, particularly given that they include refutations, self-citations, and MDPI. XOR'easter (talk) 01:31, 11 September 2021 (UTC)[]
I am impressed how can we arbitrarily use formal criteria (if that leads to a desirable result) and use more creative approach (when formal criteria do not work as we want). Clearly, the spirit of WP:MEDRS is: "do not use research articles, because you may misinterpret the raw data from them, and a reader may take that as a direct medical advice". In other words MEDRS warns (not prohibits, for it is just guidelines) against usage of research articles when it may cause a direct harm to reader's health. In connection to that, I am wondering what concrete health risk may be caused by the fact that the two authors assert (wrongly, imo) that SARS-CoV2 was engineered, and, concretely, RaTG13 was its direct ancestor? I cannot imagine a situation when this information may cause any harm to our readers.
Furthermore, 42 citations in less than 2 years is very good, just take a look at this list: majority of research articles in this list have even smaller number of citations.
In addition, some articles in that list (for example, this one, which is quite a secondary source and RS) cite articles published in BioEssays (including Sirotkin's article about a plausibility of the lab leakage hypothesis, which was cited without obvious criticism). I am wondering why those authors are unfamiliar with the fact that that journal is unreliable?
I am not a proponent of the lab leakage hypothesis, and of this concrete source, but we must avoid twisting our policy and guidelines to achieve our own agenda (even if it is quite noble).--Paul Siebert (talk) 02:28, 11 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Clearly, the spirit of WP:MEDRS is: "do not use research articles, because you may misinterpret the raw data from them, and a reader may take that as a direct medical advice". This is a total misreading of both the current language of and intent behind MEDRS. Here's a line from the recent close that fell strongly in favor of removing mention of medical advice from the lead:

There's a solid consensus to begin this guideline with Option 2, i.e. to remove the bit about "medical advice" from the lead sentence. Supporters of this option offered the view that MEDRS exists to help editors find reliable sources in the fraught landscape of biomedicine literature, popular writings, et al. and is not intended to support those seeking health information per se.

Furthermore, 42 citations in less than 2 years is very good, just take a look at this list: majority of research articles in this list have even smaller number of citations. The paper has only 16 citations in published journal articles. GS does not order hits by citation number so I can't see how you're able to make a comparison among similar papers unless you've looked at all the results, and anyway the search terms you use return all sorts of COVID papers from any time up to the present so it's useless for gauging relative impact.
In addition, some articles in that list (for example, this one, which is quite a secondary source and RS) cite articles published in BioEssays (including Sirotkin's article about a plausibility of the lab leakage hypothesis, which was cited without obvious criticism). The citation to the Sirotkins is followed immediately by reasoned dismissal of their hypothesis. It was most likely included because it is one of the few (and first) papers remotely entertaining the idea, despite the attention it's gotten in the lay media; there's nothing compelling authors only cite high-quality research for a topic they're just going to rebut anyway, especially if HQRS doesn't even exist for it. JoelleJay (talk) 15:23, 11 September 2021 (UTC)[]
In addition, some articles in that list (for example, this one, which is quite a secondary source and RS) cite articles published in BioEssays - This is another opinion editorial, and is explicitly labelled as such. It, therefore, is not a RS, not in the scholarly sense. It could be used with attribution of course, but should not be used for statements of fact. WP:RSOPINION. I would advise you to be more careful about what you label as obvious secondary RS. — Shibbolethink ( ) 15:49, 11 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Primary source that has been reputably published but it's certainly not HQRS, which is what this topic needs, regardless of whether you apply MEDRS to it or not. This is not a widely cited piece (citations in predatory journals, pre-prints, self cites and refutations are the predominant results on google scholar), it has not been published in a mainstream journal and the credentials of the authors are lacking. Context matters and the context is that there is no dearth of scholarly publications on this topic and that this publication in particular goes against the present scientific consensus (it admits as much). This doesn't mean it's just a minority view but one that is not a significant view among reliable sources. It'd be completely undue to include in practically any form, and if used at all needs to be based on review article(s). Tayi Arajakate Talk 02:31, 11 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • "it has not been published in a mainstream journal" Am I missing something? The journal is: (a) first quartile, [99] (b) indexed by SCOPUS and PubMed, [100] (c) published by Wiley & Sons. I must be missing something. Hopefully you can help me understand. Chetsford (talk) 03:41, 11 September 2021 (UTC)[]
    By not being mainstream, I meant not being so for the topic area, i.e the field of virology. Tayi Arajakate Talk 04:42, 11 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Alas, I presented an example of BioEssays articles that are cited by good CARS-CoV2 related publications as reliable (without any obvious criticism). If they are treated as reliable by peers, why should we treat them differently?--Paul Siebert (talk) 05:22, 11 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Non-RS, primary source. As others have already said at length here, and as I have said in the diffs linked at the top of this thread, this source fails MEDRS and our standards for the high-quality RS required to cover fringe topics. That BioEssays apparently does not vet the credentials of its "Hypothesis" series authors is a red flag but the poor reputation of the journal is by no means the only reason to reject this paper, so it's not a great use of editor time debating impact factor etc. here. JoelleJay (talk) 09:19, 11 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Overall RS, with some parts of the source being primary hypothesis After reviewing the source and many of the comments above. There appears there may be some bias and WP:PUSH by the usual suspects whom have their own pre-formed perceptions on the various lab leak theories. Ignoring all that, just looking at the source and evaluating whether this is a reliable source of information is relatively straight-forward. The source is a WP:RS for the clear reasons mentioned above, however it does contain some secondary scientific analysis of both secondary and primary data and forms a novel hypothesis; the source is reliable for it's analysis on others data, but is not reliable for the primary data and subsequent hypothesis. Aeonx (talk) 10:14, 11 September 2021 (UTC)[]
    Instead of accusing other users of attempting to push a point-of-view (which is unhelpful, borderline WP:BATTLEGROUND); you really ought to substantiate your "clear reasons mentioned above". Is it the fact this is a primary source? Is this the fact that the author's credentials are unimpressive, to say the least? Is it the fact the source is only cited by at best dubious publications, with the few instances of not dubious publications citing it being refutations? Is it the fact that it's definitively at odds with other, more reliable and more recent sources on the matter (WP:REDFLAG)? What exactly makes you think that this is an acceptable source? RandomCanadian (talk / contribs) 12:26, 11 September 2021 (UTC)[]
    The article contains both novel study data and other data, and provides analysis on both, at times independently and at times not. I believe it is possible to be more nuanced than perhaps you would like. Rather than categorise the source into primary or non-primary, how about addressing the content with more fidelity, examine which parts of the article specifically you interpret to be primary. I've already given my perspective, although you've summarily ignored that and instead launched a whataboutism argument. Which is frankly a false argument. The issue of WP:REDFLAG does not dispute a sources reliability, only it's relative weight in any given article. The reasons of why this is a [WP:RS]] are that it meets the policy criteria as detailed above by others. Me repeating that issue wasting other editors time, as indeed you appear to do. I'm concerned that given your past edits and edit warring with others that you might have an unconscious or intentional bias on this, not an accusation - just something for you to personally consider. Aeonx (talk) 23:13, 11 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Dubious first, I don't think there's any question that not everything published in what is normally a reliable publisher is a reliable source. There are plenty of examples, some here, of bad material published in good journals. If Bioessays indeed does not vet the credentials of its "Hypothesis" authors as suggested above, I agree that's clearly a red flag. Lack of author credentials alone is usually enough not to use something. It also isn't a journal with any specialism in the field of virology, another reason to be dubious about its use. Doug Weller talk 12:30, 11 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Not an RS. Has been discussed before, again and again and again, see here. Fails WP:MEDRS, WP:PRIMARY, WP:FRINGE, WP:FALSEBALANCE, WP:DEADHORSE, WP:FORUMSHOP, WP:IDHT, and probably a bunch of other such pages. I have no patience with users who think guidelines can be ignored because they are not policies; if that reasoning were valid, we should just delete all guidelines because they would never be used anyway. WP:CIR is another relevant page here: if I rarely edited science pages, I would not insist on my lay opinion for several days in the face of users who daily edit science pages contradicting me. They know what they are doing, they even explained why they are doing it several times, and there is nothing arbitrary in using the fine print of the rules in addition to their headlines. --Hob Gadling (talk) 13:24, 11 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • I made this post on the policy page, because I think this discussion is an indication of different understanding of our policy by different users.--Paul Siebert (talk) 17:54, 11 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Not an RS per Hob Gadling rationale--Ozzie10aaaa (talk) 12:26, 12 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Not RS. Not suitable for Wikipedia's purpose of reflecting accepted knowledge, WP:PROFRINGE instrument only. Alexbrn (talk) 16:27, 12 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • RS, just barely. Paul Siebert makes a good point that any paper published in any non-predatory journal fulfills the minimun requirements for WP:Primary. However, we are discussing a specific claim that requires deeper judgment, and wikipolicies allow us to to invoke the case-by-case rule here. It is done all the time in WP:RSN, that's what it is there for. Here are my two cents onto the subject of reliability
1) Authors: Deigin lacks proper scientific credentials, though Segreto is barely ok. So its not definitive what to make of a paper by them, I guess we can trust the more reliable of the two. This rule would apply to those papers with large number of coauthors in which one can be a Ph.D student or someone lacking expertise, but it should not hurt the credentials of the overall authorship group.
2) Journal: There are precedents that Bioessays is taken seriously by top journals. For example, in Martin and Koonin (2006), doi:10.1038/nature04531, they cite Poole et al (1999), published in Bioessays. So it is a non-predatory journal that, at least in one ocassion, has entered the top levels of scientific discussion.
3) The specific case of the Furin Cleavage Site claim: So, we have a claim going around in different sources saying that FCS is so peculiar and odd that it might have come from a lab instead of nature. Has this claim been repeated in News media? Yes. They tend to cite Nicholas Wade's opinion piece published at the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists as the source for it. If one reads Wade's article, he gives credit to a Deigin opinion article published in Medium as source for the FCS claim. That medium article is related to the Segreto and Deigin Bioessays paper, in my opinion, it is almost a preprint of it. Has this claim being repeated in top cientific journals? Yes. The Holmes et al (2021) review published in Cell mentions that The genesis of the polybasic (furin) cleavage site in the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 has been subject to recurrent speculation. Although the furin cleavage site is absent from the closest known relatives of SARS-CoV-2 (Andersen et al., 2020), this is unsurprising because the lineage leading to this virus is poorly sampled and the closest bat viruses have divergent spike proteins due to recombination (Boni et al., 2020; Lytras et al., 2021; Zhou et al., 2021). Furin cleavage sites are commonplace in other coronavirus spike proteins, including some feline alphacoronaviruses, MERS-CoV, most but not all strains of mouse hepatitis virus, as well as in endemic human betacoronaviruses such as HCoV-OC43 and HCoV-HKU1 (Gombold et al., 1993; de Haan et al., 2008; Kirchdoerfer et al., 2016). A near identical nucleotide sequence is found in the spike gene of the bat coronavirus HKU9-1 (Gallaher, 2020), and both SARS-CoV-2 and HKU9-1 contain short palindromic sequences immediately upstream of this sequence that are indicative of natural recombination break-points via template switching (Gallaher, 2020). Hence, simple evolutionary mechanisms can readily explain the evolution of an out-of-frame insertion of a furin cleavage site in SARS-CoV-2 (Figure 2). Here we see that Holmes et al omit citing Segreto and Deigin, or Wade. They introduce the FCS claim when they say "The genesis of the polybasic (furin) cleavage site in the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 has been subject to recurrent speculation." but with no citations there, which seems to be a mistake or at least, a failure in research protocol for a literature review to properly give credit where is due, in my opinion. It is very hard to believe that they missed the Bioessays paper during their the keyword search part of the review, I mean, just type furin cleavage site sars-cov-2 on google scholar and the Segreto and Deigin appears in the top 15 results. In conclusion, here, most of top newspapers trace the FCS assertion as Wade -> Deigin (Medium) -> Segreto and Deigin (2020, Bioessays), and the best secondary reviews omit them, so its a tie here. So, authors and journal passed the test, and specific case of analysis of the claim results in a draw, a not definitive conclusion, which means that overall its an RS, although just barely. Forich (talk) 04:39, 17 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Not convinced by pro-Deigin analyses. Clearly a WP:MEDRS standard applies here, and any such claim (as presented by Segreto/Deigin) must come through strict scrutiny. I will try to respond to what I understand to be necessary criteria before the article comes cited and mentioned
  • Is BioEssays a WP:MEDRS, as the claim is certainly within MEDRS scope? It is certainly a legitimate scientific journal, and the example Forich mentions is quite good to show that for genetics (though not exactly a related subdomain to the one being here in dispute), it is at least sometimes treated seriously. But we have more area of expertise than one touched in this question, and that is in particular virology. Shibbolethink convincingly, in my opinion, showed that the journal has a stated purpose to test new ideas, but Wikipedia is not supposed to be a dumpster of whatever new research and new ideas appear. So yes, the journal is OK, but we should bear in mind what journal does, that is, publish some really new ideas which have not yet been vetted (as is the case here). So, for the third criterion of WP:SOURCE, it's a pass grade but nothing close to spectacular. Just acceptable.
  • Are the authors qualified? The answer here, is no. Deigin has little to do with virology, biosafety, and has touched genetics only to the extent that it was concerned with aging. Not convinced about his virology skills at all. Segreto has much better credentials and her contributions to genetics, I believe, should not be disputed, but all the time she's been working with fungi, not viruses. Again, COVID or COVID-like diseases are not her domain of expertise, and there's no evidence she has received additional virology training before switching to publishing papers on COVID.
  • Is the work itself OK? Well, to begin with, we don't establish accuracy, or even prominence of a scientific (MEDRS-sense) idea using normal press. While the claim may resonate among the lay publications, it is totally irrelevant to the scientific consensus (or lack thereof) in the scientific community, which is what counts. There's one more troubling thing, though. The citations, from my review, rarely, if ever, supported their findings, and many more were in fact rebuttals. There is a good reason Holmes et al. avoided Nicholas Wade and the pair of authors discussed here. The former, who became one of the most active supporters of the theory, has published his opinion in a journal absolutely unrelated to the topic (Bulletin of Atomic Scientists), and he does not have the expertise, either (probably the least among the three of the people mentioned here). As Forich shows, the scheme is Wade -> Deigin (Medium) -> Segreto and Deigin (2020, Bioessays). But it's the Wade to Deigin transition that is by itself worrying. A person who is barely a scientist (and I'm being generous here) makes a claim based on an opinion (piece) of a non-scientist (he was merely a journalist for Nature and Science) and then passes through peer review of a journal that, by self-admission, likes to test the boundaries of science by publishing not-exactly-mainstream papers. This is all too fishy for me. As an opinion piece, provided that due weight is given, probably it could be used (though I don't even recommend doing that), but certainly not on par with other articles.
Totting up: journal is acceptable, authors are not good enough, and to say that such a paper conforms to WP:MEDRS, or even WP:RS requirements is quite a stretch. Find some better sources. I see no reasons for consensus change. Szmenderowiecki (talk) 12:46, 17 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • May be that one is better? Seems to be an RS, and it includes more authors. My very best wishes (talk) 17:11, 20 September 2021 (UTC)[]
    While the journal is again OK by itself, it's off-topic for the claims they make. Environmental Chemistry Letters does not really cover genetics, and this article is so full of them that they must have chosen a better publication (just like Wade must have chosen a better publication for his hypothesis, too). The citations reveal three papers of the Deigin/Segreto pair (actually two, because two citations actually refer to one article), one which is unpublished (Shneider) and the other articles barely getting one citation at most.
    And yes, even though there are more authors listed, the main two authors still remain Deigin and Segreto, which does not really get rid of the problem of their lack of qualifications. I think this does not pass muster, either. Szmenderowiecki (talk) 18:33, 20 September 2021 (UTC)[]
"Environmental Chemistry Letters does not really cover genetics...". I am sorry, but such argument is wrong. For example, one can use any reasonable RS for claims about proteins (for example), not only something like Proteins (journal). My very best wishes (talk) 15:45, 21 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Uh, what? It absolutely matters where a biomedical claim is published -- see the third sentence of WP:MEDSCI. Even if you don't agree that this falls under MEDRS, it should be obvious that a journal reliable in one discipline is not going to be nearly as reliable in a completely different discipline. See WP:RSCONTEXT: Information provided in passing by an otherwise reliable source that is not related to the principal topics of the publication may not be reliable; editors should cite sources focused on the topic at hand where possible. Environmental Chemistry Letters is a great journal for research in the fields its editors publish in...which categorically do not include anything remotely relevant to the Segreto paper:
Subfields of editors based on major Scopus topics and papers
  • Eric Lichtfouse: biocathodes; biosorbents; wastewater bioremediation
  • Jan Schwarzbauer: PPCP; micropollutant; carbamazepine; PAHs
  • Didier Robert: photocatalytic activity; perovskites; titanium dioxide nanoparticles
  • Rengasamy Alagarsamy: sediment contamination; trace metal; pollution load
  • Jayanta Kumar Biswas: sediment contamination; trace metal; pollution load
  • Hong Chen: perovskite solar cells; electrocatalysts; water splitting
  • Nandita Dasgupta: nanoemulsions; titanium dioxide nanoparticles; ecotoxicity
  • Shiming Ding: chelex; porewater; sediment-water interface
  • Mark Fitzsimons: PPCP; micropollutant; carbamazepine; pharmaceutical contamination
  • Sophie Fourmentin-Lamotte: cyclodextrins; complexation; soil remediation
  • Santiago Gómez-Ruiz: mesoporous silica nanoparticles; drug liberation; nanocarriers; nanocatalysts
  • Giuliana Gorrasi: nanoclays; nanotubes; agro-waste
  • Nathalie Gova: PAHs; exosomes; organophosphorus pesticides; hair analysis
  • Jie Han: chemisorption/adsorption of estrone pollution; Ti anodization; wastewater heavy metal recovery; interestingly, he published zero papers between 2017 and September 2020, when he and a couple other editors started capitalizing on COVID with a broad array of completely unrelated-to-their-expertise opportunistic hypothesis editorials published in Env Chem Lett: "Have artificial lighting and noise pollution caused zoonosis and the COVID-19 pandemic? A review", "Unflushable or missing toilet paper, the dilemma for developing communities during the COVID-19 episode", "Electrostatic fine particles emitted from laser printers as potential vectors for airborne transmission of COVID-19", "Locked on salt? Excessive consumption of high-sodium foods during COVID-19 presents an underappreciated public health risk: a review", "Unprotected mothers and infants breastfeeding in public amenities during the COVID-19 pandemic"...
  • Andrew Hursthouse: antimony; urban soils; environmental contamination
  • Inamuddin: enzymatic fuel cells; bioanodes; ultrafiltration
  • Hanzhong Jia: elemental carbon; particulate matter; soil contamination
  • Branimir Jovančićević: paleoenvironment; petroleum pollutants
  • Sunil Kumar: cyclodextrins; sludge composting; solid waste management; pig manure
  • Rock Keey Liew: bio-oil; pyrolysis; biochar
  • Cong Li: haloacetic acid removal; disinfection byproducts; wastewater treatment
  • Lingxiangyu Li: environmental nanoparticles; ecotoxicity
  • Yangxian Liu: flue gases; coal-fired power plant; denitrification
  • Yong Liu: aerosols; liquid-air interface; FTIR analysis of fluoroanions and carboxylic acid salts
  • Xingmao Ma: phytotoxicity; ZnO nanoparticle; ecotoxicity
  • Sixto Malato: microcontaminants; wastewater reclamation; micropollutants
  • Christian Mougin: soil biochemistry; cyanobacterial toxins; agricultural soil
  • Sonil Nanda: gasification of organic wastes; biochar; bioenergy
  • Dai Viet N. Vo: dry reforming methane; steam reforming; syngas; bioenergy; wastewater; biomass/waste valorization
  • Mehmet Oturan: soil washing; nonionic surfactants; electrocatalysis
  • Srinath Pashikanti: biotransformation; nuclear fuel and electronic waste treatment
  • Shivendu Ranjan: nanoemulsions; TiO2 nanoparticles; nanofibers; ecotoxicity
  • Mashallah Rezakazemi: fluid dynamics/modeling; microporous membrane systems; bioreactors
  • Claire Richard: photochemistry; photocatalytic degradation of pollutants
  • Tatiana Rusanova: Ag nanoparticles; nanofibers; immunoassay detection of contaminants/toxins; optical acidity sensors
  • Mika Sillanpaa: brown carbon; biomass burning; radiative forcing; electrochemical oxidation; soil washing; biosorbents; wastewater
  • Vasudevan Subramanyan: electrochemical oxidation; soil washing; wastewater
  • Ngoc Han Tran: micropollutant; antibiotic resistance in wastewater and rivers; wastewater treatment
  • Polonca Trebse: UV filters; oxybenzone; toxic effects of waste materials on microbes
  • Isabel Villaescusa: biosorption; heavy metal removal from wastewater
  • Stuart Wagland: waste disposal facilities; refuse-derived fuels; secondary raw material; municipal solid waste
  • Chuanyi Wang: photochemistry; biosorption; environmental pollutant removal
  • Ruiyang Xiao: micropollutant; environmental pollutant removal; radical-mediated disinfection
  • Shaocai Yu: haze; air pollution; particulate matter
  • Zhien Zhang: gas, water, solid waste treatment technology; solvent- and membrane-mediated CO2 capture; whatever this paper is: "Efficiency investigation on energy harvesting from airflows in HVAC system based on galloping of isosceles triangle sectioned bluff bodies"
As you can see, not a single one of its 47 editors has any expertise in genetics or biology in general, let alone viral genetic engineering. Publishing papers in fields well outside a journal's stated specialty is a big red flag for reliability, especially when seemingly zero effort was made to recruit editors with even minimal background in virology/epidemiology. Like Szmenderowiecki already said, numerous other journals that are actually specialized in the type of data Segreto et al produced would have been far, far more appropriate. So we have to ask why their paper wasn't published in any of those, and the easiest answer is that it couldn't have been due to quality control by the editors. JoelleJay (talk) 18:54, 21 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • @Szmenderowiecki: a journal on genetics would be the appropriate type of publication for a matter that is purely or mainly about genetics, but determining the origins of the genome cannot be solved only by looking at the genome of SARS-COV-2, just like we cannot know the origin of Cavendish bananas from looking its genome alone. We know that Cavendish bananas originate from Mauritius by way of a greenhouse in Chatsworth House where they were first cultivated and they are now fully dependent on cloning for reproduction. If we looked only at the DNA of this fruit, we wouldn’t be able to tell if it was a product of natural evolution or directed evolution, and we would rely on a genetics journal to answer this question. Also, was first published in médecine/sciences (10.1051/medsci/2020123), which even Alexbrn agreed is a reliable source. This topic area is plagued by editors with an extreme prejudice who nitpick at any little thing they can find, and there is no point in any of these discussions on these noticeboards. If you have something specific you would like to add to a specific article for the benefit of our readers, I can find multiple sources for you. Ruling out primary sources like this Segreto/Deigin paper only means that we can’t attribute the original source, as in some secondary sources they are not given credit. For example, this Reuters article quotes Fauci mentioning the Mojiang Miners, without crediting TheSeeker268 of DRASTIC. For now we can just reference the Reuters article, because no one will argue about that on this noticeboard, and when its published, we can reference Alina Chan and Matt Ridley’s to assure that TheSeeker is properly credited. --Francesco espo (talk) 00:07, 21 September 2021 (UTC)[]
    Well, first of all, I would ask you to set your "prejudiced editors" comments aside, 'cause that is not going to let you to anywhere good.
    Secondly, the Segreto/Deigin paper is reliant from A to Z on genetic evidence that they say indicates an alternative path might be a better explanation for the origins of COVID. This is not what this journal really writes about. Look at the content of the issue: [101] (or the previous issue, and point me to one article that is this deep into genetics as either of the two in question. They have simply chosen the wrong journal for that purpose. Yes, we have to compare genetic material between each other, but there are other, specialised publications. And, to finish this discussion, as I said, their work was not really cited much in respectable or influential publications, so it is unlikely they are a representation of a significant viewpoint, let alone good enough for facts when we have other publications (previous discussions have, unsurprisingly, seen similar conclusions).
    Thirdly, 10.1051/medsci/2020123 hasn't even been discussed here. Deigin et al. only cite him once (in their attempt to synthetise other papers seeking to uphold the lab leak theory), and whether Sallard et al. is admissible is another story (and it's not the same paper as Deigin's, or not even close to a translation from French), and evaluation of them is for another discussion. We stick to Deigin.
    Ruling out primary sources like this Segreto/Deigin paper only means that we can’t attribute the original source, as in some secondary sources they are not given credit. But do we need to mention them in the first place? My answer is no due to above reasons.
    For example, this Reuters article quotes Fauci mentioning the Mojiang Miners, without crediting TheSeeker268 of DRASTIC. Because Fauci's opinion is notable, unlike that of an Twitter activist aka amateur researcher; besides, Fauci needn't have consulted TheSeeker268 to get to their conclusion. Szmenderowiecki (talk) 01:19, 21 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Szmenderowiecki, all good points, but I don’t understand what you mean about Fauci consulting TheSeeker268. It was TheSeeker268 who made the discovery about the Mojiang Miners, where the WIV later admitted to collecting RaTG13 from, after obfuscating it and even outright lying about it (on NBC news [102]). I’m not sure if you’ve read this Segreto and Deigin paper or if you understand the significance of tying the virus most similar to SARS-COV-2 to a mine where people died of a SARS-like illness, but Fauci does seem to have read the paper and called for the Chinese to clarify this matter. As Colin and Tayi Arajakate say above, WP:CONTEXTMATTERS and what is missing from this discussion is any proposed context for any proposed text. I see a rough consensus not to use this paper for COVID-19 investigations, but I don’t think there would be a problem using it to explain Mojiang Miners incident in the COVID-19 lab leak and DRASTIC articles in conjunction with secondary sources. I do not see the point of this discussion if we are not focused on content. Do you agree? Tagging Forich and Paul Siebert. Francesco espo (talk) 23:26, 21 September 2021 (UTC)[]
    What I meant is that Fauci and his advisors are not likely to be following DRASTIC on Twitter, and even if they do, they reasonably took all of their findings with a grain of salt and researched it independently, ultimately replicating their ideas (btw, not aware of their Mojiang Miners scoop, could you please send a link of proof that they were indeed the first). However, few scientists would want to publicly say "I've been making COVID guidance based on DRASTIC", and that's for a good reason.
    As for Segreto and Deigin papers, I've read them both, but my reasons remain unchanged + I see no evidence Fauci started to call for Chinese to clarify their involvement because of the Deigin's paper.
    what is missing from this discussion is any proposed context for any proposed text I don't see the text (yet), but if you insist on using Deigin and the text is not in the framing of "several amateur scientists, some of whom are known to be part of DRASTIC...", then it's an automatic no because their opinion is not an expert opinion; not to mention that inclusion of the text even in this framing would be seen as inappropriate where we are describing expert investigations into COVID and not Twitter activists/mycologists looking for what seems to contradict the main narrative). If you want to explain Mojiang Miners incident, on the other hand, you actually don't need MEDRS-quality sources (but you should be extra careful: just to state that such an incident existed does not need a MEDRS, but any genetic claims of links b/w RaTG13 and SARS-CoV-2 must use MEDRS; and extraordinary claims would require extraordinary sources). Szmenderowiecki (talk) 07:12, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • RS. I agree with the comments above from Paul Siebert, Chetsford, My very best wishes and Aeonx. I see other editors here are opposed to using this paper as a source as it is a primary source, but many of its findings can be found in secondary sources. I see many articles on Wikipedia citing primary and secondary sources in conjunction with each other because it’s important to attribute findings to their authors and enable readers to check the original source for themselves.--Francesco espo (talk) 23:57, 20 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Since you pinged me, I have a feeling some clarification is needed. By saying that this source is reliable, I meant it meets WP:V standards, but that does not mean it meets WP:NOR/MPOV criteria. Numerous argumets presented during that discussion confirm it fails NOR/NPOV, which means it should not be used except in a context of its criticism.--Paul Siebert (talk) 03:49, 21 September 2021 (UTC)[]

Will anyone uninvolved please close this whole discussion? Thank you. Szmenderowiecki (talk) 07:14, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]

Please, wait a little bit.--Paul Siebert (talk) 17:46, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]
I feel uncomfortable with the direction this discussion is turning into. Firstly, Siebert keeps bringin up the matter of WP:V, which I feel is out of place here. The source exists, therefore it can be safely traced to a valid not self-published source. We are not interested here in discussing if the source is verifiable, we are asking about Reliability. Second, let me express the problem more clearly out there: the relevant wikipolicy is WP:SCHOLARSHIP, which says that Material such as a... research paper that has been vetted by the scholarly community is regarded as reliable, where the material has been published in reputable peer-reviewed sources or by well-regarded academic presses.. Does Segreto and Deigin pass this test? The closing editor need to focus on that question, IMO. Now, the wikipolicy says one must follow When relying on primary sources, extreme caution is advised. Wikipedians should never interpret the content of primary sources for themselves. This means that we use what RS say of Segreto and Deigin (here the debate is whether News sources or MEDRS are required). I do not suscribe to the view that the fact that Holmes et al (2021) omit citing Segreto and Deigin proves that it is unreliable. However, we can look at interviews and tweets of the authors in Holmes et al (2021) to discuss whether they engaged in discusssion with Segreto and Deigin. I remember Kristian Andersen and Angela Rasmussen having gone back and forth with Segreto on twitter, maybe someone can help me trace back what was their judgment of her and her ideas. Finally, we have from the wikipolicy, this: One may be able to confirm that discussion of the source has entered mainstream academic discourse by checking what scholarly citations it has received in citation indexes. The closing editor need to take in consideration this, because a published paper that receives no citations is regarded as a document that simply did not entered the the mainstream academic discourse. In this citation count analysis, self citations do not count, of course. Forich (talk) 21:21, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]
IMO, the discussion isn't turning in any new direction. I asked these four questions just to make everyone's position more clear. By no means I wanted to affect the discussion's outcome, and, in my opinion, by answering these questions you will make discussion's closure easier.
My poit was to demonstrate that the question "Is this source reliable?" is actually a composite question that contains at least four different questions. Different people understand this question differently, and answer accordingly, which leads to confusion. By splitting this question on four, I made the situation simpler, and it is easy to see that there is not much disagreement among the users. However, if you believe that the questions are incorrect, or you believe they should be amended/expanded/modified, please propose your own questions.--Paul Siebert (talk) 21:45, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]
We should definitely not be using tweets or whatever to gauge how scientists judge the authors' conclusions. We don't even need to see what RS say about Segreto and Deigin at all: it is abundantly clear that someone with a doctorate in fungal ecology and someone with zero science background are wholly unqualified to write a paper on this topic, and the journals they published in are not particularly (or at all) specialized enough in the relevant fields for the content to be considered reliable. JoelleJay (talk) 22:24, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • I'm quite a bit surprised, and unpleasantly so, by the recent WP:VOTE direction that has been taken. The outcome still appeared rather clear, despite the walls of text that lead to it. Was there any good reason to do this, besides perpetuating this discussion for a bit longer?
— Preceding unsigned comment added by RandomCanadian (talkcontribs) 21:35, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]
See above.--Paul Siebert (talk) 21:45, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]
I looked at the tweets from Segreto's account and this is what I found. She repeatedly tried to engage with Andersen but he did not answer to her and blocked her. Deigin also tweeted that Andersen blocked him. Here Eddie Holmes tweeted that he blocked Segreto for "descending into personal attacks on me: that I've lied, fabricated data, or am a CCP agent". My guess is that Holmes et al (2021) did not cite Segreto and Deigin because they had this beef in social media, and (if the behavior of Segreto mentioned by Holmes is true), it is a red flag against her reliability. Forich (talk) 19:05, 23 September 2021 (UTC)[]
This is Scimago's information on Bioessays, it places the journal at the Q1 (top quarter) of the area "Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)" Forich (talk) 19:10, 23 September 2021 (UTC)[]
But do you agree that per MEDRS we cannot use it? In addition, the "primary vs secondary" question actually means that some expertise is needed for correctly interpreting S&D's data, and there is a rist to misinterpret them. And that is exactly what PSTS says: do not use a source if there is a risk to misinterpeet it. I agree that BioEssays is good per our policy, and the article was reputably published, but does it affect the overall verdict of the discussion?--Paul Siebert (talk) 19:47, 23 September 2021 (UTC)[]
I would guess Holmes didn't cite Segreto et al because neither author has any standing whatsoever in virology, epidemiology, biosafety, or genome engineering and therefore Holmes didn't consider their paper worth mentioning. Authors are not obligated to cite every paper putting forward a hypothesis, especially amateur ones. JoelleJay (talk) 21:02, 23 September 2021 (UTC)[]
@Paul Siebert:, I vote on not banning Segreto and Deigin as we are currently doing in the consensus' third bullet point. If we don't like their conclusions it suffices to impose the weight of our best MEDRS (Holmes et al (2021)): the FCS is not that odd and can perfectly arise naturally and the source of the claim that FCS looks unnatural remains unnamed, as in Holmes, until and if a new MEDRS gives them the credit of coming up with that hypothesis.Forich (talk) 23:27, 23 September 2021 (UTC)[]

Survey (Segreto and Deigin)[edit]

Szmenderowiecki, Francesco espo, JoelleJay, Alexbrn, Doug Weller, RandomCanadian, JoelleJay, Tayi Arajakate, Shibbolethink, XOR'easter, Colin, Paleo, T.Shafee(Evo&Evo), RandomCanadian, Hemiauchenia, Pyrrho the Skeptic, Forich, and other participants of that discussion (I am not sure I listed all of you), please, do me a favour and answer the following questions (just "Yes"/"No"):

  • Leaving MEDRS/NPOV/NOR considerations beyond the scope, is the Segreto and Deigin's paper reliable per WP:V only?
Answers
  • Yes --Paul Siebert (talk) 18:02, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • No[a] Szmenderowiecki (talk) 18:28, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Yes Pyrrho the Skeptic (talk) 18:36, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Depends, it satisfies WP:V for the claims/findings of its authors, not necessarily for anything else. It should be handled per guidelines on primary sources with the consideration that it's reputably published. Tayi Arajakate Talk 19:09, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • No, because WP:V is context-based, and these fail on contextual usage due to the author, journal, editorial basis which are delineated as ways to assess exceptional claims.— Shibbolethink ( ) 20:01, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Yes, Forich (talk) 20:40, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • No per shibbolethink XOR'easter (talk) 21:18, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • No WP:BURDEN (part of WP:V) requires that "burden to demonstrate verifiability lies with the editor who adds or restores material, and it is satisfied by providing an inline citation to a reliable source that directly supports the contribution." (emphasis mine) A reliable source is then described in the next section, WP:SOURCE, "The word "source" when citing sources on Wikipedia has three related meanings [...] All three can affect reliability." Per my analysis and that of others, the paper is not a reliable source, and thus cannot be used to satisfy WP:V, since verifiability requires a reliable source. RandomCanadian (talk / contribs) 21:31, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • No. Context matters, and especially for minority (at best) claims only the strongest sourcing should be used. JoelleJay (talk) 22:28, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Irrelevant Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 10:22, 23 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Yes, certainly - based on WP:Verifiability. My very best wishes (talk) 21:50, 23 September 2021 (UTC)[]
(your answer) (please, write it above this text)
  • Does the Segreto and Deigin's paper comply with the WP:MEDRS recommendations?
Answers
(your answer) (please, write it above this text)
  • Can the Segreto and Deigin's paper be considered non-fringe per WP:FRINGE, and does it pass the WP:REDFLAG filter?
Answers
  • No --Paul Siebert (talk) 18:02, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • No Szmenderowiecki (talk) 18:28, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • No Pyrrho the Skeptic (talk) 18:36, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • No Tayi Arajakate Talk 19:09, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • No — Shibbolethink ( ) 20:01, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Yes - Forich (talk) 20:46, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • No XOR'easter (talk) 21:18, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • No Many of its claims have been contradicted or directly refuted by mainstream scientific publications, and the paper does not appear to have garnered any positive (as opposed to sources which then refute it or describe it in other unflattering terms; as described in the previous discussion) citations in such mainstream publications. RandomCanadian (talk / contribs) 21:31, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • No. JoelleJay (talk) 22:28, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • No Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 10:22, 23 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Yes for the following reasons: (a) the publication express non-fringe minority views; a lot of other publications discuss the same possibility (hence this is not fringe) (b) BioEssays is a mainstream source on biological subjects, (c) the opinion/analysis in the paper just discusses well known scientific data. My very best wishes (talk) 21:50, 23 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • No I feel like I've been answering the same question for months. How much longer is this bloody article going to be shopped around by WP:PROFRINGE adherents? Alexbrn (talk) 04:24, 24 September 2021 (UTC)[]
(your answer) (please, write it above this text)
  • Can the Segreto and Deigin's paper be considered as a secondary source in this context?
Answers
  • No --Paul Siebert (talk) 18:02, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Yes[b] Szmenderowiecki (talk) 18:28, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • No Source seems like more of a database of primary research than an author's analysis in this context. Pyrrho the Skeptic (talk) 18:36, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • No Tayi Arajakate Talk 19:09, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • No/Depends on how it's used. It is secondary only for undisputed facts, and primary for most of what people want to use it for. (e.g. the sequence analyses, considerations of genetic engineering. In these it creates novel hypotheses based on novel data, and thus is primary.)— Shibbolethink ( ) 20:01, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • No. But this is not the question that we are asking. It is a primary source from within the scientific community (albeit from a low-ranked journal) that has managed to be cited in RS secondary sources (news sources, not MEDRS). Whenever a secondsary source acknowledges a primary source, the two can and should be mentioned to backup claims. Forich (talk) 20:49, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • No XOR'easter (talk) 21:18, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • No per Shibboleth. "Undisputed facts" can be cited to better sources. RandomCanadian (talk / contribs) 21:31, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • No. As has been repeatedly discussed here and elsewhere. JoelleJay (talk) 22:28, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Irrelevant Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 10:22, 23 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Yes, simply by definition: it provides analaysis and interpretation of data published in other sources. My very best wishes (talk) 21:50, 23 September 2021 (UTC)[]
(your answer) (please, write it above this text)

In my opinion, your answers will be extremely helpful for closing that discussion.

Thank you in advance. --Paul Siebert (talk) 18:02, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]

  1. ^ Per definition, "In the English Wikipedia, verifiability means other people using the encyclopedia can check that the information comes from a reliable source." Saying "yes" would mean that not only we can check the info, but that it also comes from a reliable source, which it doesn't in this particular case. WP:V is by its nature inseparable from WP:RS
  2. ^ A secondary source "contains an author's analysis, evaluation, interpretation, or synthesis of the facts, evidence, concepts, and ideas taken from primary sources." Just fits the definition of the secondary source. But it is of a low quality because it's simply a piece of correspondence, i.e. an opinion piece

Why does the reliablity of these author's matter? If someone is "investigating" the origins of sars-cov2, surely you could simply state that there are notable unreliable people with under developed resumes that are also investigating. If their opinion is not notable, then it probably doesnt need to be in wikipedia. 70.191.102.240 (talk) 21:42, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]

  • Comment. I am not involved with this discussion but I just want to note that creating sections where editors are asked to log their !votes, and only their !votes (just "Yes"/"No") is probably not compatible with WP:CON (which is a policy) and WP:VOTE. I don't want to make a big fuss about it here, but let's keep in mind that this is not the direction in which this noticeboard should go. JBchrch talk 22:13, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]
IMO, that is not a big problem, because the outcome of the discussion seems obvious even without this survey. Actually, my point was to demonstrate that the (ostensibly) singe question "Is this source reliable in a context?" is in reality a composite question that may have no binary answer.
In addition, just "Yes"/"No" is not mandatory, and, as you can see, that does not prevent those users who wanted to clarify their position from doing that. --Paul Siebert (talk) 23:13, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]

I've been away for a few days, and agree with RandomCanadian above that turning this into a vote was a bad idea. Paul above seems more interested in proving some abstract points than about using a source in an article to support a given text. I suggest an admin close this discussion and just close it without trying to describe a conclusion. Once again covid controversies prove to be a distracting timesink and a random mess of policy/guideline comments. Please, everyone has wasted too much time. The opening post saying "The paper hypothetizes ..." was all anyone needed to know: no it isn't suitable. -- Colin°Talk 09:06, 23 September 2021 (UTC)[]

I am a little bit surprised by this your post. You correctly noted that that controversy became a distracting timesink, but it seems you resist to my attempts to finish it once and forever. It seems quite clear that the discussion can already be closed, and the result is obvious: "Although there are some reasons to argue that the source was reputably published (it may pass WP:V sensu stricto), it does not meet other important criteria, and cannot be used in Wikipedia to support the lab leakage hypothesis."
It seems the only disagreement is if the source was reputably published. It seems you guys refuse to recognize the obvious: per our policy, and if we leave guidelines beyond the scope, it IS. Does it affect the outcome of the discussion? Obviously, it doesn't. Therefore, continuation of this discussion can and should be moved to the policy page, because it is not a discussion about this source, but about our vision of the policy.
IMO, I helped to show the roots of our disagreement, and that demonstrated that there is no significant disagreement about the main point: if this source can be used. I think we have already achieved consensus about that.--Paul Siebert (talk) 19:24, 23 September 2021 (UTC)[]

CounterPunch and Al Bawaba[edit]

I will bundle these two sources together because they both appear on Alex Saab’s page. An editor has placed an unreliable source tag against a number of statements sourced to CounterPunch and Al Bawaba. Counterpunch appears in the Perennial list with the description "There is no consensus regarding the reliability of CounterPunch. As a biased or opinionated source, its statements should be attributed". Al Bawaba does not appear in the Perennial list. It is used as a reference nearly 1,000 times within Wikipedia. I found one discussion about the reliability of Al Bawaba from 2015 which is not useful here.Wikipedia:Reliable_sources/Noticeboard/Archive_198 The statements that have been tagged are:

  • On 24 August, according to CounterPunch, the US asked that the period allowed for its response be extended to 7 October.
  • In August 2021, Saab's defence team asked that the site of his detention be moved from the island of Sal to Praia. It said Saab's health had deteriorated and that he needed access to specialist medical care for his cancer. On 1 September 2021, the Barlavento Court of Appeal granted Saab's request.(sourced to Al Bawaba)
  • Saab's defence team asked the Cape Verde courts to refuse Saab's extradition on the grounds that there were legal irregularities associated with his arrest. By September 2021, the request had reached the Cape Verde Constitutional Court.(sourced to Al Bawaba)

In addition, the following statement sourced to CounterPunch was removed from the page with the edit summary "Per talk page. The most important reactions, including OHCHR's, ECOWAS Court's and Russia's are already covered by other sources. If other reactions are to be included, better sources should be used ".

  • Roger Harris, a board member of the Task Force on the Americas, wrote in CounterPunch that Iran, China, Russia, the United Nations, the African Union, ECOWAS, and Venezuela had written diplomatic letters to Cape Verde asking that Saab's extradition be refused based on the "principles of immunity and inviolability of consular rights.

Relevant points here are that

  • The statements sourced to CounterPunch are attributed as required.
  • The statements are factual rather than opinion.
  • The statements do not appear to be controversial.

I did ask on Saab’s talk page why the tags were added. The response was "Mostly BobFromBrockley's comments in its respective section, I will try to give more details briefly".

Does anyone have any thoughts about the reliability of the two sources for the statements that have been tagged and the statement that has been removed from the page? Burrobert (talk) 13:20, 10 September 2021 (UTC)[]

If its uncontroversial then there is no problem to find other WP:RS especially in WP:BLP we shouldn't use sources with questionable reliability and the WP:ONUS for them was not met --Shrike (talk) 17:34, 10 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • "If its uncontroversial then there is no problem to find other WP:RS": that was not the question I asked. I asked whether the two sources are reliable for the specific statements. Whether the same information can be found elsewhere is not relevant. If another source disputed the information then that would make a difference but that has not occurred here. Are the two sources reliable for the specific statements?
  • "the WP:ONUS for them was not met": again that is not the question asked.
Burrobert (talk) 00:18, 11 September 2021 (UTC)[]
I think that CounterPunch, although it does have some very good content, has a lot of really poor content, including conspiracy theories. It shares writers with deprecated and generally unreliable sources such as GlobalResearch and Unz Review. And a lot of what it publishes is opinion rather than factual, and would rarely be due. Therefore we should both exercise extreme caution and take it on a case by case basis. In this particular case, as I suggest on the article talk page, it's hard to see why the author - a retired conservationist active in the Peace and Freedom Party, whose name and affiliation are currently red links - should be seen as authoritative. I also observed that the cited article appears to have been re-posted unchanged from Dissident Voice, which I don't think has any editorial oversight. A recent discussion of DV here reached a consensus that it is generally unreliable. The article really reads like a press release from Saab's defence campaign, concluding with a link to a petition in support of him.
I'm less familiar with Al Bawaba, but their reporting on Alex Saab seems a little off to me. As NoonIcarus notes on the talk page, their reporting in the cited article[103] seems pretty partisan. It is also almost entirely made up of quotes from the defense team, suggesting it a lot of it is copied from a press release or similar. It seems Al Bawaba has quite a large number of articles on Saab,[104] which are all basically long verbatim quotes from the defense team. The latest, "Defense Team Responds, Alex Saab, is a Victim of a Failing Judicial System in Cape Verde",[105] makes not attempt at neutral reporting. I suspect this is a case of churnalism, with the co-ordinated PR campaign using an online magazine's desire for content to seed biased opinion in the newsphere. I don't know if this is a common MO for al Bawaba, but I think it needs to be treated with extreme caution. BobFromBrockley (talk) 16:25, 14 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Firstly CounterPunch:
  • “really poor content, including conspiracy theories“ : some examples would be useful. It is such a vague statement that it is meaningless.
  • “It shares writers with deprecated and generally unreliable sources such as GlobalResearch and Unz Review”. I hope this guilt by association argument holds no weight with editors.
  • “whose name and affiliation are currently red links”: funny, because you added the red links. Generally that means you think they deserve their own articles.
  • Dissident Voice: the article was published by CounterPunch which is responsible for content on its site. CounterPunch has editorial oversight.
  • “The article really reads like a press release … “. The statement that is sourced to the article is a simple and uncontroversial factual statement: “On 24 August, according to CounterPunch, the US asked that the period allowed for its response be extended to 7 October”.
Al Bawaba:
  • “the cited article[120] seems pretty partisan”. The statements that are sourced to the article are simple and uncontroversial factual statements: “In August 2021, Saab's defence team asked that the site of his detention be moved from the island of Sal to Praia. It said Saab's health had deteriorated and that he needed access to specialist medical care for his cancer. On 1 September 2021, the Barlavento Court of Appeal granted Saab's request”. and “Saab's defence team asked the Cape Verde courts to refuse Saab's extradition on the grounds that there were legal irregularities associated with his arrest. By September 2021, the request had reached the Cape Verde Constitutional Court”.
  • the second statement sourced to Al Bawaba is verified by the next sentence in the article which reads: "On 8 September 2021 the Constitutional Tribunal of Cape Verde rejected Saab's defence appeal ... ".
Burrobert (talk) 02:05, 15 September 2021 (UTC)[]
@Burrobert:I've never heard of Al Bawbaa, so I won't comment on it without looking in a bit, but I do think that Counterpunch, although it does have some very good content, has a lot of really poor content, including conspiracy theories seems to be accurate. A list of some conspiracy and fringe theories published by the magazine are below:
  • The site has a history of publishing 9/11 conspiracy theories. A 2019 piece claimed that WTC-7 was not hit by a plane like the rest of the complex but was bombed! The bombing let to WTC-7 being destroyed from a fire that burned for 7 hours — until the building collapsed at 5:20 p.m.. A 2021 piece (here is the correct link) endorses the conspiracy theory that the CIA deliberately planted explosives in WTC 1, WTC 2, and WTC 7 in order to ensure their collapse, citing a report by Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth. Another article seems to endorse the belief that "Zionists" were responsible for 9/11, stating that In the Western World, Corporatism has become ‘subject’ to Zionism and in consequence Capitalist Democracy has been usurped by the power of a concentrated accumulation of resources – and this- no mere product of ‘happenstance’ – but rather part of a systemic scheme whereby the rich are to get richer and the poor to get poorer? \ When 2.3 Trillion Dollars can ‘go missing’ from an Economy and disappear down a ‘memory hole’ as part of a historical revisionism aka denial; when the very day after the gone missing is ‘announced’ and the Rabbi Dov Zakheim as Comptroller is not held to account because it ‘happens’ there is an attack on the Twin Towers (also WTC 7) and the Pentagon which becomes the focus of attention and a casus belli for war then something is seriously wrong – and psycho political abuse is in operation? Let us also not forget the ‘weapons grade anthrax’ – such the ‘memory hole’?. This isn't the only piece that reiterates the antisemitic canard to attempt to tie Jews to 9/11.
  • On the note of the piece holding "Zionists" responsible for 9/11, there's even more antisemitic conspiracy at this publication! This 2014 piece states that It is forbidden by the censors who channel acceptable opinion to draw parallels with the Nazis’ modus operandi. But if the shoe fits … \ There is Israel’s Mengelian experimentation on caged Gazans, apart from saturation bombing, with nerve gas, depleted uranium, white phosphorous and flechette shells. More, the model of the Reichstag fire false flag has been readily replicated, not least in the 1954 Lavon Affair and, most spectacularly, in 9/11 (whence the five dancing Israelis at Liberty Park?). Practice makes perfect with false flags. Add extra-judicial murders made to order. (For those unfamiliar with "dancing Israelis", see this ADL piece.)
  • A 2017 piece in the magazine also appears to deny the Holodomor, calling it fiction.
  • A 2018 piece appears to deny the existence of the Xinjiang internment camps, calling it a bald and barefaced accusation... made with nary a shred of supporting evidence. The piece also denies widespread abuses against Uyghurs in the region, stating that The deluge of fake news from Western corporate media since the beginning of this year seeks to demonize the Chinese government, painting it as a gross violator of human rights, when the truth is the exact opposite. Another 2018 piece described the internment of over 1 million Muslims as wild allegations. Another piece seems to recommend The Qiao Collective's Chinese state media-filled resource compilation on the topic, as well as deprecated source The Grayzone.
If the source were pseudonymous, I'd be inclined to put it in the same bucket as Zerohedge: it contains some good stuff but also conspiracy theories, and should be deprecated. However, since it's possible to attribute items to an author, I'd say that publications by the magazine are generally unreliable and not due unless referenced by a reliable secondary source. I'd be extremely hesitant to use the source in a [[WP:|BLP]]], even if it were given attribution, and I think that the source would be best avoided altogether in that context. — Mikehawk10 (talk) 05:27, 15 September 2021 (UTC) (See the RfC below for my current thoughts, which changed based off of vaccine conspiracies and an apparent jarring lack of editorial control.)[]
Re Burrobert on CounterPunch: Conspiracy theory content: who is Israel Shamir, Counterpunch's resident intelligence correspondent? Alternately known as Jöran Jermas and Adam Ermash, Shamir is a fringe writer who has devoted his professional life to exposing the supposed criminality of "Jewish power," a paranoid anti-Semite who curates a website full of links to Holocaust denial and neo-Nazi sites, defenses of blood libel myths, and references to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Ali Abunimah, Hussein Ibish, and Nigel Parry have warned their fellow Palestinian activists to avoid contact with Shamir--Reason.com 2010; Counterpunch [allowed] one of its most popular contributors, Paul Craig Roberts, to air his [9/11] Truther arguments on their website --Stephen M. E. Marmura International Journal of Communication, 2014; “It’s one that you run into time and time again,” [9/11 and now Covid truther Mark Crispin Miller] said on an October 11 episode of CounterPunch Radio. “To the point that I now believe that anyone who uses that phrase [conspiracy theory] in a pejorative sense is a witting or unwitting CIA asset.”--Observer.com, 2017; Alison Weir, Israel Shamir and Gilad Atzmon] are three crypto-antisemites who have been openly circulated in the progressive world, appearing in supposedly leftist publications like CounterPunch in particular... CounterPunch...has published antisemitic writers for many years--Spencer Sunshine, Journal of Social Justice, 2019; CounterPunch keeps citing Global Research well into 2020--Emmee Bevensee, Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right , 2020 (Sunshine lists several examples here; The left-wing magazine CounterPunch has published a significant number of articles condemning Beijing’s repression of Uyghurs in Xinjiang. However, it has also occasionally featured pieces that deny any such thing is taking place.--CodaStory, 2020. See also Jovan Byford here. This may be a small proportion of what CounterPunch publishes, and it has certainly improved since the 2000s, but it means we need to exercise extreme caution. Guilt by association: This isn't guilt by association; it's about assessing reliability on a case by case basis. An article in this publication by an author who also writes for reliable sources might be worth using; an article by an author mainly known for publishing in GlobalResearch, ZeroHedge, Unz, Infowars etc is worth avoiding. Red links: I added links on the assumption that organisations/people we consider noteworthy are likely to be notable in their own right and therefore should have articles. If they're not notable, we need to be certain they are due, so I think red links are an important part of building Wikipedia. If you think they're notable, maybe start the article. Editorial oversight: Sure, CP has editorial oversight over what it publishes, but when it is syndicating articles from sloppier sources, such as Dissident Voice, we need to exercise extra care. Uncontroversial content: I'm not saying we definitely don't want to use this, but I flagged it with "better source" because if it is indeed uncontroversial we should be able to find a better source not drive traffic to a press release from partisans in the story. BobFromBrockley (talk) 10:57, 15 September 2021 (UTC)[]

Starting at the top:

  • "A 2019 piece claimed that “WTC-7 was not hit by a plane like the rest of the complex but was bombed! The bombing let to WTC-7 being destroyed from a fire that burned for 7 hours — until the building collapsed at 5:20 p.m.”." I am far from being conversant with US 9/11 history (more familiar with the original 9/11 involving the CIA-engineered coup against Allende). I believe the official story is that WTC-7 was not hit by a plane like the rest of the complex but was substantially damaged by debris when the nearby North Tower of the World Trade Center collapsed. The debris ignited fires on multiple lower floors of the building, which continued to burn uncontrolled throughout the afternoon. The difference between the two versions seems to be the word “bombed” which the writer does not explain so it is hard to comment any further.
  • “A 2021 piece endorses the conspiracy theory that the CIA deliberately planted explosives in WTC 1, WTC 2, and WTC 7 in order to ensure their collapse, citing a report by Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth” I can’t see the reference to the Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth. However, the final line in the story is: Note: Yes, this is satire.

Burrobert (talk) 06:42, 15 September 2021 (UTC)[]

  • @Burrobert: My apologies for the link screw up; the piece I linked was indeed satire, but it was also not the piece I was attempting to link nor describe. I have updated my comment above to reflect the proper link, which is also located here for your convenience. Obviously, labeled satire can’t be counted against the reliability of the publication—but the 2021 9/11 conspiracy-laden report is something that Counterpunch presents as if it should be taken seriously. — Mikehawk10 (talk) 14:04, 15 September 2021 (UTC)[]
    And, to add on to the above, the website has a troubling history with the bogus vaccine-autism conspiracy theory. Granted—there is WP:MEDRS for a reason—but this doesn’t provide strong reasons for us to trust their fact checking process. — Mikehawk10 (talk) 20:58, 15 September 2021 (UTC)[]

RfC: CounterPunch[edit]

Which of the following best describes the reliability of CounterPunch?

Mikehawk10 (talk) 03:12, 19 September 2021 (UTC)[]

Discussion: RfC: CounterPunch[edit]

  • Option 4: CounterPunch has a history of publishing false and fabricated information, including numerous conspiracy theories, and should be deprecated.
    1. As I noted in my comments above, the site's history of publishing 9/11 conspiracy theories is widespread. A 2019 piece claimed that WTC-7 was not hit by a plane like the rest of the complex but was bombed! The bombing let to WTC-7 being destroyed from a fire that burned for 7 hours — until the building collapsed at 5:20 p.m.. A 2021 piece endorses the conspiracy theory that the CIA deliberately planted explosives in WTC 1, WTC 2, and WTC 7 in order to ensure their collapse, citing a report by Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth. Another article seems to endorse the belief that "Zionists" were responsible for 9/11, stating that In the Western World, Corporatism has become ‘subject’ to Zionism and in consequence Capitalist Democracy has been usurped by the power of a concentrated accumulation of resources – and this- no mere product of ‘happenstance’ – but rather part of a systemic scheme whereby the rich are to get richer and the poor to get poorer? \ When 2.3 Trillion Dollars can ‘go missing’ from an Economy and disappear down a ‘memory hole’ as part of a historical revisionism aka denial; when the very day after the gone missing is ‘announced’ and the Rabbi Dov Zakheim as Comptroller is not held to account because it ‘happens’ there is an attack on the Twin Towers (also WTC 7) and the Pentagon which becomes the focus of attention and a casus belli for war then something is seriously wrong – and psycho political abuse is in operation? Let us also not forget the ‘weapons grade anthrax’ – such the ‘memory hole’?. This isn't the only piece that reiterates the antisemitic canard to attempt to tie Jews to 9/11.
    2. On the note of the piece holding "Zionists" responsible for 9/11, there's even more antisemitic conspiracy at this publication! This 2014 piece states that It is forbidden by the censors who channel acceptable opinion to draw parallels with the Nazis’ modus operandi. But if the shoe fits … \ There is Israel’s Mengelian experimentation on caged Gazans, apart from saturation bombing, with nerve gas, depleted uranium, white phosphorous and flechette shells. More, the model of the Reichstag fire false flag has been readily replicated, not least in the 1954 Lavon Affair and, most spectacularly, in 9/11 (whence the five dancing Israelis at Liberty Park?). Practice makes perfect with false flags. Add extra-judicial murders made to order. (For those unfamiliar with "dancing Israelis", see this ADL piece.)
    3. A 2017 piece in the magazine also appears to deny the Holodomor, calling it fiction.
    4. A 2018 piece appears to deny the existence of the Xinjiang internment camps, calling it a bald and barefaced accusation... made with nary a shred of supporting evidence. The piece also denies widespread abuses against Uyghurs in the region, stating that The deluge of fake news from Western corporate media since the beginning of this year seeks to demonize the Chinese government, painting it as a gross violator of human rights, when the truth is the exact opposite. Another 2018 piece described the internment of over 1 million Muslims as wild allegations. Another piece seems to recommend The Qiao Collective's Chinese state media-filled resource compilation on the topic, as well as content from deprecated source The Grayzone.
    5. And, to add on to the above, the website has a troubled history of supporting the bogus vaccine-autism conspiracy theory.
    6. Their editorial process is also rather suspect; the magazine has failed to vet the identity of freelance journalists to the extent that it has, in recent years, published literal propaganda made by the GRU without having a clue that the person they were giving a byline to did not exist. And, on top of that, the magazine didn't know that much of the language in those propaganda pieces had been plagiarized from other sources.
Taken together, I don't think consider CounterPunch as a source to be something we can use to verify facts, except possibly in an WP:ABOUTSELF fashion. (And, even with respect to ABOUTSELF, I'd use it with caution given its issues vetting who its contributors actually are.) This publication should be deprecated as a source for facts. — Mikehawk10 (talk) 03:12, 19 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 4. Per the investigation above, they have promoted numerous conspiracy theories, including antisemitic ones. Not reliable at all and should be deprecated; anything cited to it, if not covered elsewhere, isn't worth saying. Crossroads -talk- 03:41, 19 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 4 Huh, I knew this publication had a strong POV but I wasn't aware that they routinely spread conspiracy theories. One study describes them as a "an ostensibly left magazine that has given space to white nationalists and antisemites" [106]. Conspiracy theory expert Jovan Byford describes CounterPunch as an antisemitic and conspiracist magazine [107], and a Stanford researcher included CounterPunch on a list of prominent conspiracy sites [108]. Their contributors include numerous conspiracy theorists, including Israel Shamir, 9/11 truther Paul Craig Roberts [109], Wayne Madsen [110], Mark Crispin Miller [111] and others. Scholars Stephen Zunes and John Feffer documented how false claims made by CounterPunch and similar websites about the Albert Einstein Institution ended up on Wikipedia and Sourcewatch [112]. Other nonsense claims by CounterPunch can be found in the Algemeiner [113]. The 9/11 conspiracies, vaccine conspiracies, and Uyghur genocide denialism, as described by Mikehawk, is just icing on the cake at this point. Dr. Swag Lord (talk) 09:23, 19 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • There are over 2,500 references to CounterPunch on Wikipedia. The instructions are that "Requests for comment for deprecation, or for blacklisting or classification as generally unreliable of sources that are widely used in articles, should be registered here using rfc|prop. As usual with RfCs, consensus is assessed based on the weight of policy-based argument". I suggest putting the RfC in its own section rather than as a appendage of a previous discussion. Burrobert (talk) 10:35, 19 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Seconding that request. Szmenderowiecki (talk) 23:46, 19 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 4: Regularly publishes conspiracy theories as per Mikehawk excellent analysis shouldn't be used in Wikipedia --Shrike (talk) 10:39, 19 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 4: - Very good research above, demonstrating why it can't be used. Inf-in MD (talk) 11:19, 19 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 4. The above research is both informative and alarming. If there are 2500 references to this source on Wikipedia, we should create the consensus necessary to remove them. Generalrelative (talk) 14:53, 19 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Comment. I do not know the source, so I will not really submit a vote here (though so far the deprecation case is pretty clear); but I will ask the closer to look in the 10 discussions about CounterPunch and determine in particular:
    If the print version of CounterPunch is any better (see first discussion of CounterPunch);
    Whether deprecation is needed in certain subject areas only (such as 9/11, anti-Semitism, vaccines, China) or a blanket deprecation is needed, as previous discussions have yielded mixed results (and there have been quite a lot of them). That is, are not simply the opinions of folks publishing there, but also the quality of news reporting low. So far, the only case made on this field was about being a conduit for Russian propaganda, but I don't really believe that's per se sufficient reason for deprecation, because whether that's a pattern remains to be seen (forget about PropOrNot, which is by itself dubious), but that certainly speaks much for unreliability.
    How (if to any degree) previous discussions about CounterPunch are to be reconciled with the findings of the current RfC and what seems to be an imminent deprecation.
I specifically ask to double-check these because, unlike in the case of Rolling Stone, which I recently closed, a proposed solution is to deprecate it completely, regardless of content and time frame, which seems to be quite a change given that previous (including relatively recent) discussions gave a "yeah, better avoid it because of strong bias, but ultimately it's not the worst" rating. Ultimately the result of this RfC will greatly influence RSP position of the source. Szmenderowiecki (talk) 23:46, 19 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Very good points Szmenderowiecki. Re the dissonance with previous discussions, my sense is that previously nobody bothered to provide examples of unreliability but generally voted according to political position, plus vaccine disinformation has become weightier since the pandemic and the GRU creating a fake persona to publish at CounterPunch was revealed after most of the discussions. (Possibly ironically, as to my mind CP has actually improved since the GRU op used it.) To specify the subject areas where it should be avoided: anything to do with US foreign policy, the war on terror, Russian or Chinese geopolitical interests or domestic politics, the Syria war, anything to do with Israel/Jews/the Holocaust. Vaccines should go with out saying per WP:MEDRS but worth mentioning to flag that they have been especially egregious in this area. It BobFromBrockley (talk) 10:39, 21 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 4 due to a concerning lack of editorial oversight, as well as the detail explanation above. This is particularly important given the amount of times it is used in articles. --NoonIcarus (talk) 00:18, 20 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Note added to WP:UPSD as deprecated. Will update if the close ends up different, but it's snowing. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 01:13, 20 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 4 per Mikehawk10 and Dr. Swag Lord. I think the deprecation should be a blanket one, because many of the issues are egregious and spread across many topic areas. GretLomborg (talk) 21:57, 20 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 3+. Per Mikehawk10 and Dr. Swag Lord, the site has regularly published conspiracy theories and publishes several extremely fringe writers, including antisemitic ones, so it should be rated at least generally unreliable. I have reservations about blanket deprecation, because it does publish some notable writers who we might want to cite if due, so would prefer a case by case approach but with a presumption against use. BobFromBrockley (talk) 10:39, 21 September 2021 (UTC)[]
    @Bobfrombrockley: I don't think that we could meaningfully take a scalpel and carve particular islands of (un)reliability from the remainder of the publication. I've provided the various conspiracy theories that are being published; I think the scope of those conspiracies reflects the magazine's poor reliability for politics, generally. For me, a political newsletter being deprecation-worthy in the area of politics is fatal, especially for a publication that seems to describe its content as news articles. While we could interpret the deprecation-worthy areas to be very narrow with respect to those particular conspiracies listed above, I think that the publication of these conspiracy theories reflects so poorly over the entire editorial operation that CounterPunch shouldn't be used as a source for facts in articles. After all, how can we trust content from a source that publishes that "Zionists" are responsible for 9/11? Even if the absolute most that could be done would be to consider everything as WP:SPS given a clear lack of editorial oversight and fact-checking from the CounterPunch staff, the fact that their author vetting system has failed so badly (Alice Donovan did not actually exist, but was credited with articles that were literal Russian propaganda) makes me not feel fully confident to attribute the site's content to the particular person named as the article's author. — Mikehawk10 (talk) 03:27, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 3+ or 4 it is. My very best wishes (talk) 00:59, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 4, obvious fake news and conspiracies being pushed here. 11Fox11 (talk) 09:25, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 2 obviously. Counterpunch is essentially a group blog, and it does not confer reliability by being published there. However, when an expert in their field writes something on Counterpunch it is usable for that experts view. For example here is an article by Dean Baker. Is anybody going to argue that Dean Baker cannot be cited? The specifics matter here, and the effort to deprecate a source for links that nobody would ever use (pray tell how many of the counterpunch links that are actually used on Wikipedia are in any way objectionable?) in order to remove the citations that nobody can object to on their own standing is a tad concerning. nableezy - 13:53, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]
The impression that I get is that deprecation is for sources that "[publish] false or fabricated information" (either deliberately or negligently with little effort to get things right or make corrections), and it does not matter how much accurate information is mixed in with it. WP:DEPRECATED#Acceptable_uses_of_deprecated_sources says deprecated sources can still be used in WP:ABOUTSELF cases, and I think that would apply to the article authors speaking about themselves and their own views. Also if Dean Baker is actually an established subject-matter expert, I would expect he's published elsewhere and those sources can be cited for his views instead of a deprecated one. - GretLomborg (talk) 17:36, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]
CounterPunch makes no claim to any editorial control, the only thing that matters for a site like that is the author. CounterPunch is not the source, it is a convenience link for the actual source, that being the author. For things like the Daily Mail, where the articles are written by staff members and controlled by editors, then the editorial process certainly is what should matter. CounterPunch is not that, it is essentially an op-ed repository. What matters with op-eds is the author. And of course Baker is published elsewhere, but this specific column may not be. If Baker published something on his personal blog it would be usable, so too would it be if he publishes on CounterPunch. nableezy - 20:23, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]
You say that Counterpunch is essentially a group blog, and it does not confer reliability by being published there...CounterPunch makes no claim to any editorial control. If that's the case, then this source would automatically fail WP:RS and would be considered WP:QUESTIONABLE, even if experts occasionally write for CounterPunch. However, I'm not sure it can be considered a "group blog" or an "op-ed repository" when they have a CEO, a mailing address, an editorial team, print editions of their magazines, their own radio show, their own merchandise, and their own books [114]. Not to mention, CounterPunch is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose stated mission is to help readers make informed and balanced assessments – vital for a healthy democratic society – on the public issues of the day. It does this by providing credible reporting and commentary in its magazine CounterPunch, on its website (www.counterpunch.org) and by publishing non-fiction books. [115]. I don't believe 9/11 conspiracies or genocide denial is vital for a "democratic society" and is certainly not "credible reporting." Dr. Swag Lord (talk) 21:33, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 4, I have little to add to the excellent editors above me, all of the arguments I would make have already been made and I just want to endorse them. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 19:34, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 4 - Per all of the above. It is clearly not a reliable outlet. Grayfell (talk) 23:17, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 4 Regularly publishes disinformation and should not be used on Wikipedia. Georgethedragonslayer (talk) 10:42, 23 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Option 4 - Persistent publication of disinfo. Neutralitytalk 16:33, 24 September 2021 (UTC)[]

World Socialist Web Site[edit]

How should we categorise the World Socialist Web Site, a socialist news website owned by the International Committee of the Fourth International? While they have a clear Troskyist slant and bias, they have also covered a range of international issues that have attracted international coverage including the 1619 Project (where they played a key role in rallying opposition), the Pike River Mine disaster in New Zealand and Antisemitism in the UK Labour Party. Are we allowed to cite the WSWS in articles? I did use a WSWS article in the Social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in New Zealand#Migrants section. Is is safe to use articles from them if the story is covered by other more reliable and less partisan media? Just wanted to get some clarity on the issue. Andykatib 10:30, 11 September 2021 (UTC)[]

Though they reliable for their own views per WP:ABOUTSELF. Their views are usually are WP:UNDUE and shouldn't be used unless it cited by WP:RS Shrike (talk) 10:43, 11 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • It's an opinionated reliable source, and therefore can be used (with attribution when necessary) on any relevant page. It is exceptionally widely cited in academic sources, I've checked on google scholar, and I stopped looking after the 22nd page of citation results. --Boynamedsue (talk) 12:09, 11 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Not that I necessarily disagree with that assessment, but I do vaguely recall this site having been discussed before albeit with a different conclusion. It might be worth to check the archives for older discussions.--Kmhkmh (talk) 14:21, 11 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • They don’t really draw a hard line between news and analysis/opinion so I would not use them without attribution, that being said they are seriously notable and will often be used by others as a representative Trotskyist viewpoint. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 14:33, 11 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Of course the opinions of any newsorg are not forbidden by RS and undueness is not WP:RSN's business, but the above comments about opinions are irrelevant because the cite in the article you mention, i.e. https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2021/09/07/nzim-s07.html, supports a fact and is recent. It doesn't look contentious, so if nobody disputes the fact on the relevant talk page, I'd say don't worry about it and the question here is unnecessary. Peter Gulutzan (talk) 14:48, 11 September 2021 (UTC)[]
The difference is that the opinions of most newsorgs don’t appear in their news but in editorial or opinion pieces... You might notice that the linked article makes no such pretense, it begins with "In another attack on the basic rights of migrants...” Horse Eye's Back (talk) 14:54, 11 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Reliable only for opinion. Some notable socialists post there and they are cited, but there is no indication of editorial oversight and fact checking. Free1Soul (talk) 16:50, 11 September 2021 (UTC)[]
    • Thanks everyone for the feedback. Will treat the WSWS as an opinionated source. Agree with Free1Soul's assessment to treat it as reliable only for opinion. While they do have factual content, their ideology is first and foremost. They describe certain right wing figures and groups as fascist. They also describe other left-wing groups like the Democratic Socialists of America as "pseudo-left." Within this context, fascist and pseudo-left are opinion labels rather than factual ones. Will be very careful when using WSWS. Andykatib 21:33, 11 September 2021 (UTC)[]
I absolutely advise to avoid this source for non-WP:ABOUTSELF coverage. Opinions are like assholes, so presenting a Trotskyist viewpoint might be needed somewhere, but that's patently not the case here.
For the two facts you referenced (accomodation supplement not granted for temporary visa holders and the non-renewal of NZ$1M fund), here are better sources:
Radio New Zealand - this one for accomodation supplement
Radio New Zealand, Voxy.co.nz - somewhat less convincing but still better than WSWS - related to the aid to international students Szmenderowiecki (talk) 22:49, 11 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Thanks Szmenderowiecki, will check out these sources. Andykatib 23:40, 11 September 2021 (UTC)[]
    • Just a question for everyone, would it be possible to have an entry for the World Socialist Web Site for the table on Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Perennial sources#Sources. This will provide users with clarity about the WSWS' status as an opinionated source. Perhaps once we have reached a consensus on what classification to give it? Andykatib 09:12, 12 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • The WSWS are effectively a party newspaper, so the upper bar for it would be the Morning Star's "maybe reliable". In practice, it doesn't even meet that; the ICFI are pretty tiny (so we'd run into WP:FRINGE considerations regardless), and their attitude regarding both their former intellectual leader Gerry Healy, and other leftist groups, makes them incredibly suspect. Sceptre (talk) 12:42, 13 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Possibly reliable for some niche areas such as the history of American Trotskyism, but generally a poor source and increasingly so over the years, not because of their left-wing bias, which isn't an issue, but because of their increasing amplification of conspiracy theories. BobFromBrockley (talk) 11:03, 15 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Glad I'm not the only one who's noticed the website's conspiratorial claims, such as this one. The website has also published several articles denying both the Uyghur Genocide and the internment camps.[116][117][118][119][120][121] X-Editor (talk) 21:12, 16 September 2021 (UTC)[]
In a similar vein, while they have an impressive amount of USEBYOTHERS considering their background, I was unable to find any examples of use by RS for topics other than labor news, so that would be the only topic that it would potentially be ok to use them on. My impression from reading though a few polemics is that WSWS is arguably fringe even within the context of US Trotskyism, and thus it would probably be unwise to cite them for perspectives even on that topic unless there was independent coverage suggesting that their view is significant. signed, Rosguill talk 21:27, 16 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Occasionally they might be useful on uncontroversial biographic information and cultural commentary in the arts in cases the information in the main stream media might be somewhat limited. Imho their obituaries for people in the arts and reviews of cultural works are ok, at least the ones i've seen.--Kmhkmh (talk) 14:59, 17 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Ah, that's a decent example of potentially ok coverage as well. signed, Rosguill talk 16:25, 17 September 2021 (UTC)[]
What does it mean to "deny" the "Uyghur genocide"? The claim of a genocide against the Uyghurs is an extreme viewpoint that is rejected by all sorts of people, including the US State Department's legal advisors: [122]. Making acceptance of this extreme claim into a litmus test for reliability would be absurd. -Thucydides411 (talk) 08:32, 18 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Yes though the whole issue depends on what definition/notion of genocide you use. (attempted/Inded) associations with the holocaust are obviously nonsensical however an argument for a "cultural" genocide seems somewhat reasonable. However imho some of the "denial" articles look pretty dubious in their own right, they read like classic hyperbolic cold war propaganda, where the agenda trumps any sober and somewhat neutral analysis of the facts at hand.--Kmhkmh (talk) 10:56, 18 September 2021 (UTC)[]

This is a reliable, opinionated source. Their coverage of American history has been quite prominent over the last two years, and the WSWS has actually been the primary venue in which professional historians (Gordon Wood, James McPherson, James Oakes and others) have expressed their criticism of the New York Times' 1619 Project. On American history, I think it's accurate to say that the WSWS' coverage has actually been more representative of mainstream historiography recently than that of the Times, difficult as that may be to believe. The noted historian Sean Wilentz recently wrote about this historiographical debate here: PDF link.

Articles in the WSWS are often opinionated, so attribution may be appropriate, but I've seen no evidence that it's less factually inaccurate than any other reliable political magazine. I would put the WSWS into the same category as magazines that cover current events, politics and history from an opinionated perspective, such as Jacobin, Reason, The Atlantic (which is probably closer to the dominant viewpoint among Wikipedia editors, and may therefore appear less opinionated), etc. -Thucydides411 (talk) 08:56, 18 September 2021 (UTC)[]

I have assembled 9 discussions of WSWS on RSN. Please see the summary in RSP and suggest any changes, if needed. The text seems to be more or less the consensus in my view. (Disclosure: I participated in the discussion in archive 341, too). Szmenderowiecki (talk) 13:43, 20 September 2021 (UTC)[]

  • No, I do not think I an not sure that "generally unreliable" summary properly summarizes the consensus. This is more like "unclear, or additional considerations apply". My very best wishes (talk) 00:57, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]
    The problem with this source is that it is usable in quite a narrow area, while a most other areas I found that the strength of the arguments (and their support) begs for redlisting, if not deprecation (as in case with China). Therefore, on balance, it is generally unreliable. Unclear would mean "folks, it's more or less 50/50". I don't see that 50/50. Propose your own summary. Szmenderowiecki (talk) 12:16, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]
I support Szmenderowiecki’s summary as well as their evaluation of consensus as it stands. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 23:01, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]
OK then, this is hard to say. My very best wishes (talk) 18:10, 23 September 2021 (UTC)[]
It seems like an inaccurate representation of this most recent discussion, but may be more appropriate if taking prior discussions (which I haven't read through) into consideration. signed, Rosguill talk 19:05, 23 September 2021 (UTC)[]
I'm a little puzzled here. The website is exceptionally widely used as a source by academics, that means we should also consider it reliable. It is no more opinionated than the Times, Telegraph or the Observer (all containing strong neoliberal biases) and we accept them. It seems that what people object to here is the nature of the bias (Trotskyist) rather than the actual reliability. Boynamedsue (talk) 06:24, 24 September 2021 (UTC)[]
That's a very uncharitable reading Boynamedsue, given that many users who suggested it was unreliable for facts specifically said they didn't object to its Trotskyist bias or that it is a notable example of Trotskyist opinion. I think the issue is the conspiracist content. Re USEBYOTHERS, my sense is that (like GlobalResearch) its longevity means it has built up citations over the years simply by coming up in search engine hits (it is listed by Google News for instance), but it is rarely if ever used as a source by reliable news outlets. BobFromBrockley (talk) 18:07, 24 September 2021 (UTC)[]
News outlets are inferior to academic sources, the World Socialist Website is cited frequently by academics publishing in peer-reviewed journals and books from academic publishers. This is a higher standard than news organisations. Here are the citations for just 5 WSW sources: 1. Hollywood enlists in Bush's war drive. 2. Zimbabwe: Mugabe’s ”Operation Murambatsvina”.. 3. HIV/Aids epidemic in Rural China 4. The US backs Ethiopia's Invasion of Somalia.. 5. Mass protests against housing shortages in South Africa.
There are hundreds of similar citations for other articles. WP:USEBYOTHERS clearly shows this is RS, even though it does not always separate comment and opinion. It is useable for facts, but care must be taken to ensure what is actually added is fact, that can be examined on a case by case basis.
As for "conspiracism", I do not see evidence of that in the links shown, though I disagree with most of the opinions it gives on Xinjiang. Boynamedsue (talk) 18:45, 24 September 2021 (UTC)[]

Circular references from The Times of India[edit]

See earlier discussions: February/March 2020 RfC, November 2020, May 2021. RSP summary at WP:TOI: The Times of India is considered to have a reliability between no consensus and generally unreliable. It tends to have a bias in favor of the Indian government.

I regularly come across TOI articles which copy content from WP articles, and which are in-turn used as citations, making WP:CIRCULAR. One such examples: Sreerama Chandra at 18:21, August 28, 2021 which was copied into TOI article [123] on 4 September 2021, about the subject and his background. The article was then sourced (thankfully only the Bigg Boss contestancy at the moment). WP:ICTF has consensus on not using TOI to source BLP details such as birthdate.

Should TOI be considered generally unreliable, or maintain the status quo of 2020 RfC outcome being "between no consensus and generally unreliable". In either cases, I'd propose extending the summary statement at WP:TOI, to include not considering for BLP details, especially when it comes to subjects related to films. Should it also include anything about circular references? — DaxServer (talk to me) 10:53, 13 September 2021 (UTC)[]

  • It's possible both pieces originated in a press release. Generally I support the status quo which permits uncontroversial content but with caveats for biographic details and politics, imv Atlantic306 (talk) 00:21, 16 September 2021 (UTC)[]
If its being pulled unattributed from a press release thats just as big an issue for us... Horse Eye's Back (talk) 15:42, 17 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Circular citations are unambiguously not reliable. Spudlace (talk) 04:26, 17 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • I'd also support not downgrading it to generally unreliable for the same reason Atlantic306 mentions, i.e, there are a lot of uncontroversial content that can be and is sourced to it. Though I think the RSP entry doesn't have an adequate summary on why it is unreliable and how to use it. It should at least mention that the paper contains undisclosed paid news and that it should not be used to establish notability or to source anything that's remotely contentious i.e, it should be removed if it's questioned in any context.
I have also left a notice regarding this discussion on the Noticeboard for India-related topics. I'd suggest notifying relevant noticeboards whenever you start a significant discussion or proposal, it informs others who might be interested and improves participation in the discussion itself. Tayi Arajakate Talk 14:43, 17 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Thanks for the notification! — DaxServer (talk to me) 14:53, 17 September 2021 (UTC)[]
@Tayi Arajakate: I would in general avoid leaving notices about RSN discussion on topic area noticeboards unless one notifies a wide range of them (for instance here there are five relevant topic areas but you’ve only notified one of them), selective notification can be a WP:CANVASSING issue. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 15:32, 17 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Horse Eye's Back, I don't know how this can be construed as canvassing but alright I have left a notice at WT:JOURNALISM as well now, not sure what the other three places would be. Tayi Arajakate Talk 17:08, 17 September 2021 (UTC)[]
I don’t personally have an issue with it, I’m just letting you know that best practice is to cast a wide net and that some will object if you don’t. India and Journalism is probably wide enough, the other topic areas noted on the talk page are media, newspapers, and brands. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 17:32, 17 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Alright, I have left notices on WikiProject Media and WikiProject Newspapers now, brands seems too tangential to me. Tayi Arajakate Talk 15:55, 18 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • I'm a little torn here. a) there's clearly serious questions about reliability. b) however, we don't exactly have a surfeit of English-language media sources in the subcontinent, and as a result low-profile topics, in particular biographies of low-profile people, are often short-changed. c) however', if there's serious concerns about a source, should we be relying on it for determining notability anyway? At the moment, I feel the optimal solution is to allow using it on a case-by-case basis, but noting at RSP that any TOI sources we use should be checked for evidence of churnalism and/or copyvio. Vanamonde (Talk) 15:13, 17 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Standards across the Times Group have been in decline for at least two decades, its sad that this is where we’re arrived but its not our fault. As much as it pains us thats what generally unreliable looks like and we’re poor editors if we let our personal feelings about the source get in the way of that acknowledgement. If they turn around and start moving back up the reliability scale (perhaps by going back to the bare minimum required of them by global editorial standards) we can reassess but I’m not seeing grounds for any finding other than generally unreliable or deprecate. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 15:36, 17 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • I would let the consensus of the previous discussion stand. If it is the weather in Delhi on 17 June 2021, say, fine, use it. It is the smog in Delhi and its relation to reduced life-spans there, not fine, forget it. Keep for easily verifiable facts; avoid for anything with even remotely political implications. I don't think you will get too many people weighing in though. It hasn't been that long since the last RSN notice. I am appearing only because I was mentioned there in the closing note. Fowler&fowler«Talk» 18:34, 17 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Agreed that It may sometimes be reliable as a source for somet specific plain fact , but it is unambiguously totally unreliable as a RS for the purposes of notability under the GNG--too much of what it publishes is slighly disguised advertising. DGG ( talk ) 06:34, 20 September 2021 (UTC)[]

CrimethInc.[edit]

  • Used in Anarchism in Brazil for the claim that anarcho-communist and anarcho-syndicalist organizations participated in the 2021 Brazilian protests
    Vandaw (August 12, 2021). "Only Revolt Can Bring Down Bolsonaro". Facção Fictícia. CrimethInc. Retrieved September 11, 2021.
  • No prior RSN discussions; prompted by WP:@ discussion
  • Special:LinkSearch/https://crimethinc.com

CrimethInc. is a decentralized anarchist collective of autonomous cells that publishes articles, zines, and books about and for the anarchist movement, per our own article, which also cites Harper's: "CrimethInc’s core function is the creation of propaganda". I've always taken it for granted that this source is unreliable for newsworthy statements of fact in an encyclopedia, having no semblance of editorial control, e.g., fact-checking policy, reputation for accuracy, or journalistic reputation/pedigree, nevertheless considering its ideological bias. But this view was contested so looking for outside opinions both on this case and the general use of this source on Wikipedia, considering its other uses.

In this case, the claim itself is relatively innocuous, but that said, if it's noteworthy that anarchists meaningfully participated in the 2021 protests, is there really no other source for this claim? The ref itself, as noted in the linked edit above, is a repost and translation of a noblogs.org blog. My stance is that it's unregulated content. I'll let the other discussants—@Blue Rasberry and Grnrchst—chime in with their own stance. czar 02:38, 14 September 2021 (UTC)[]

Is there any coverage in, say, Folha de S. Paulo or similar sources? Putting aside the questions of RSN (which I believe the source fails spectacularly by self-admission, so it might only be usable for WP:ABOUTSELF statements). Arguably that would mean CrimethInc could be used to say that these protests indeed took place, but the question here is of notability. You know, if there is a dozen of anarchists protesting near, say, Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine) with transparents reading something to the tune of "Down with the government! Down with the parliament! Down with the courts!" and really nobody cares, we shouldn't either. (I specifically chose this country as normally, if some big cheese called for such civil disobedience, such calls would have been endorsed by quite a lot of folks there, see Euromaidan, Orange Revolution). Szmenderowiecki (talk) 13:14, 14 September 2021 (UTC)[]
I agree with both Czar and Szmenderowiecki above. I happen to love many of the things that CrimethInc has put out over the years but would never dream of using them as a WP reference. If something is notable it should be possible to find a better source. Generalrelative (talk) 21:06, 14 September 2021 (UTC)[]
I think it is an OK source for this claim. Anarchism is heavily un-represented in mainstream sources and so it's often good to use anarchist sources on details of anarchist activities, and this would be one of the better anarchist sources. BobFromBrockley (talk) 11:48, 15 September 2021 (UTC)[]
We're talking about sourcing for statements of fact, not for anarchist opinions on anarchist affairs. Also on what basis is this one of the better anarchist sources when we have no indication of editorial oversight? czar 15:12, 19 September 2021 (UTC)[]
I'm not talking about anarchist opinions. I'm talking about facts about anarchism and anarchists, something that many mainstream sources struggle to do. For example, anarchist involvement in protests in Brazil (or Greece, to take a recent series of reports in the magazine) might evade the notice of some mainstream journalists for various reasons, but potentially be due in articles on said protests. I think it is one of the better such sources because it has been around for a while and earned a reputation for being more professional than many other publications in the milieu. BobFromBrockley (talk) 21:52, 19 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Just because Crimethinc is a collective doesn't mean that they have no editorial standards. And they do get some really interesting interviews sometimes which it would be a shame to discourage us from citing. More directly relevant to the question, It's Going Down, which does have published editorial standards has republished many many articles by them. Loki (talk) 17:05, 20 September 2021 (UTC)[]

Does Noah Carl writing in The Critic (British magazine) establish notability?[edit]

A review by Noah Carl, writing in The Critic (British magazine), is used in the article Russell Warne to help back up a summary of one of Warne's books. I am concerned that the Warne article may fail WP:PROF and WP:GNG, so evaluating whether this source counts as coverage in a reliable, independent source will help me decide whether to launch an AfD. There are only a few other sources which could conceivably be called coverage of this individual.

Carl and Warne are certainly both part of a tight network of fringe racial hereditarians who argue that there is a genetic basis for observed differences in IQ test performance between racial groups (if you're skeptical that this view is fringe, see this recent RfC), but I am unaware of any specific evidence that they are personally close. It's also worth noting that Carl is now an independent researcher since being sacked from his university position for "poor scholarship" and "selective use of data and unsound statistical methods which have been used to legitimise racist stereotypes".

The Critic is described as "conservatively inclined", which certainly wouldn't be a problem if the author were reliable and independent. In this case, however, I'm not sure that is the case.

Thoughts? Generalrelative (talk) 19:25, 14 September 2021 (UTC)[]

The description of The Critic in its article - and it's of extremely dubious notability - reads like euphemisms for "crank". I would say that a fringe race scientist writing about another fringe race scientist in a fringe publication of questionable notability is WP:UNDUE and verges on promotional usage of Wikipedia - David Gerard (talk) 23:23, 14 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Also, how on earth are Intelligence and Mankind Quarterly not on WP:CITEWATCH - David Gerard (talk) 23:27, 14 September 2021 (UTC)[]
@David Gerard: they are on it. Look under "Pseudo-scholarship" for Mankind Quarterly (unless there's another publication called Intelligence and Mankind Quarterly, but I haven't heard of that before). An individual listing could be made also, if there's a need for it. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 23:37, 14 September 2021 (UTC)[]
ah thank you, I keep forgetting the hidden sections :-) Intelligence probably survives by being one of Elsevier's more dubious moments - David Gerard (talk) 23:40, 14 September 2021 (UTC)[]
If you mean "Intelligence (journal)", our article writes "the "journal Intelligence is one of the most respected in its field" but has allowed its reputation "to be used to launder or legitimate racist pseudo-science"." It could be added as a borderline source. Or we could simply have add new category "Category:Race and intelligence controversy", which would act as a sort of catch-all. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 00:15, 15 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Added as a new 'unreliable field' category here. It will likely need some cleanup after the initial listing tomorrow, but give me 2-3 days and things should make sense after that. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 13:43, 15 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Thanks very much for doing that! Super helpful indeed. Generalrelative (talk) 15:30, 15 September 2021 (UTC)[]
I'm not sure it'll be that helpful, but I guess we'll see. I think the main issue will be that if it includes journals like Intelligence, the signal-to-noise (i.e. crap vs good citations) ratio will be pretty small, since Intelligence does not mainly publish bad scholarship. Do note that all the CiteWatch will do is compile publications involved in the controversy in some way, not only bad papers of dubious scholarly value involved in the controversy. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 15:56, 15 September 2021 (UTC)[]
I hear that. However I still think it will be useful to those of us who are active in keeping race pseudoscience out of less high-profile articles. It's really a constant struggle, even after the emergence of a strong consensus on the topic at the main article Race and intelligence (here's an example we happen to be dealing with right now). So any additional tools we can use to monitor the situation are very much appreciated. Generalrelative (talk) 17:02, 15 September 2021 (UTC)[]
If this new "unreliable field" category is going to be added at CiteWatch, we should be clear about what it will have to include. There are around 18 academic journals that Wikipedia editors have decided are sometimes inadmissible due to their sometimes being used "to launder or legitimate racist pseudo-science". I provided a complete list (as of about four months ago) here, along with diffs of the judgment that had been made to reject these sources in each case. I encourage others to look at the diffs provided there, and verify that this list of rejected sources is accurate. If this category is going to be added, it will have to be handled in a consistent way for all of the journals and books about which Wikipedia editors have made this judgment.
Past discussions have not made it clear whether the broader Wikipedia community supports this basis for rejecting sources that otherwise satisfy WP:RS, because all of the past noticeboard discussions about it have been shut down before they could reach any conclusion (the discussion I've linked above being one such example). But now that a new discussion has been opened about this same question, we can try discussing it again.
As should be clear from my comments in the earlier discussion, I'm opposed to this interpretation of RS policy, but either way this judgment will require a consensus of more editors than just the four of us. I'd like to hear the views of other uninvolved people. -Ferahgo the Assassin (talk) 14:31, 15 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Contrary to what Ferahgo claims, no discussions have been improperly "shut down". The RfC that Ferahgo links to was shut down by an admin because Ferahgo's RfC statement was lengthy, confusing, and tendentious, in violation of WP:RfC, which says that the RfC statement should be neutrally worded, short and simple. Ever since the 2020 RfC on race and intelligence (see [124]) reached a consensus (sustained on appeal) that the claim of genetic differences in intelligence between different races is a fringe POV, a small number of editors have been pressing to relitigate the matter. Ferahgo's malformed RfC was an example. After Ferahgo's abortive RfC, in order to resolve the matter I started a simple, neutrally worded RfC on the R&I talk-page (see [125]). It ended in a snow-close reaffirming the consensus that racial hereditarianism is a fringe POV. Both RfCs on race and intelligence had extensive participation by many editors -- about 50 in 2020 and 35 in 2021. Ferahgo's claim that the unreliability of sources that promote racial hereditarian theories of intelligence has to be relitigated is without merit. NightHeron (talk) 15:13, 15 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Agreed. I would also add that the list which Ferahgo linked to should be read with a critical eye. For instance, she appears to imply that Nature Neuroscience was deemed unreliable by some overzealous editor. When one examines the context, however, it's clear that the letter –– not a "paper" as Ferahgo stated –– was removed from the Bibliography section of Race and intelligence because it does not directly relate to the topic. Indeed, the authors of the letter make clear that they are concerned specifically with “interindividual variation” rather than between-group differences (the fallacious leap from the one to the other is a common move for racial pseudo-scientists). Implying that this letter relates to the topic of race & intelligence by including it in the Bibliography constitutes a weaselly form of WP:SYNTH. Generalrelative (talk) 15:29, 15 September 2021 (UTC)[]
In older versions of the article, the Posthuma Nature Neuroscience source had been cited as additional support for the material that was removed in this edit (as it relates directly to the point made by Hunt's book, which does specifically discuss race). Both the Hunt and Posthuma material had been in the article for about a decade, and then when the Hunt material was removed, the Posthuma source was removed a few months later. If this source had been removed in a different context, a case could be made that it was removed due to not being directly about race, but the actual context in which it was removed suggests that wasn't the reason.
Let's also please not forget the discussion here, in which a discussion was underway about opening a new RFC to examine the question of whether the removal / exclusion of all these sources was compatible with RS policy. The subsequent RFC on the article's talk page was opened with the stated intention, as explained here and here, of pre-empting the planned RFC about sourcing from occurring. (See also this summary of the issue by Stonkaments). The community has never been given the opportunity to make a decision about the sourcing question, although I don't know whether this discussion is the correct place to try to resolve it.
@Headbomb: in light of your comment above, that this category will only be a list of publications involved in the controversy in some way, do you feel this is an appropriate place to have the discussion about whether the decision to remove and exclude these sources from articles is supported by policy? I'm not seeking to derail this discussion, and if this question isn't relevant to what will be included in that category, I'll continue waiting for a time and place when this matter can be appropriately resolved. -Ferahgo the Assassin (talk) 20:20, 15 September 2021 (UTC)[]
This would be the place to discuss the removal of those sources from Wikipedia. WT:CITEWATCH would be the place to discuss removal from the listing. That said a) the results aren't even up yet b) no one is proposing anything of the sort, save for the discreted Mankind Quarterly and other similar garbage publications. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 20:23, 15 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Okay, thanks. Now we can, hopefully, finally get some opinions from uninvolved editors about the source removal issue. -Ferahgo the Assassin (talk) 23:36, 15 September 2021 (UTC)[]

Results are live at Wikipedia:WikiProject Academic Journals/Journals cited by Wikipedia/Questionable1#Race and intelligence controversy. Note that Intelligence Journal really was Intelligence Bulletin, I've cleaned up the articles, but the compilation will reflect the old dump. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 19:00, 16 September 2021 (UTC)[]

Intelligence (academic journal)[edit]

David Gerard recently made these edits at Intelligence (journal), which I reverted. Per this and this edit summary, this is inappropriate. Not only does it misrepresent at least one of the sources cited, but it is using non-academic sources, two of which have a known political bias, to condemn an academic journal. That is entirely contrary to WP:SOURCETYPES. Aren't journalistic sources banned from race and intelligence? Is it the position of editors fighting pseudoscientific racism that all study of human intelligence is illegitimate? If so, that is an extreme position that is itself WP:FRINGE and completely out of step with cognitive psychology, psychiatry, and so on. If that is what people are fighting for, then it is time for a new RfC. That previous RfC never, ever justified that. This journal overwhelmingly publishes mainstream topics. I fear that some editors have become overzealous. Crossroads -talk- 01:32, 17 September 2021 (UTC)[]

This is more suitable for WP:NPOVN than here I feel. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 01:37, 17 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Is it the position of editors fighting pseudoscientific racism that all study of human intelligence is illegitimate? I'm not aware of anyone who has made this claim. But in any case, as Headbomb has suggested, if you're concerned about WP:NPOV then WP:NPOVN would be the proper forum to raise your concerns. Generalrelative (talk) 01:42, 17 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Also, FYI, the reliability of the journal Intelligence for R&I topics was discussed explicitly at the recent RfC. If you're curious, see the exchange with Mikehawk10. Again, no one has, to my knowledge, ever advocated for anything like the kind of position which Crossroads has expressed concern over. Generalrelative (talk) 02:01, 17 September 2021 (UTC)[]
I'm glad to hear that, although I think some of what was said in that discussion goes too far based on the sourcing I've seen. Outside of that one area of race-and-intelligence that sources have commented on, I see no reason to treat it as anything other than an ordinary psychology journal. Of course, WP:PRIMARY and WP:MEDRS still apply in all cases. Even then, if they published something that was against the position that race differences in IQ test scores are genetic, like something about the Flynn effect, that should be usable, since it goes against that bias. I brought up the matter here since I think the edit was inspired by this discussion and I am concerned that both it and what was being said here may be part of an effort to condemn the journal entirely. And, Headbomb, I don't entirely understand the meaning of its listing in CITEWATCH, but being listed there is part of my concern. I understand a 'caution regarding X POV' listing, but not a 'remove on sight' listing. Crossroads -talk- 03:14, 17 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Cool, that was my understanding of the consensus among editors who discussed the journal at the RfC. I'm not sure what you saw there as going beyond what you stated, but in any case we don't disagree on the proper approach to using this source. And of course Headbomb can speak for themself, but note what they stated above: I'm not sure it'll be that helpful, but I guess we'll see. I think the main issue will be that if it includes journals like Intelligence, the signal-to-noise (i.e. crap vs good citations) ratio will be pretty small, since Intelligence does not mainly publish bad scholarship. Do note that all the CiteWatch will do is compile publications involved in the controversy in some way, not only bad papers of dubious scholarly value involved in the controversy. Generalrelative (talk) 03:27, 17 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Is it the position of editors fighting pseudoscientific racism that all study of human intelligence is illegitimate? I don't know about editors specifically making this claim, but it does seem to be a rather common sentiment on the progressive left. This article[126] provides a good overview. Economist William Darity, for example, said: "There will be no reason to pursue these types of research programs at all, and they can be rendered to the same location as Holocaust denial research." Meanwhile, philosopher Peter Singer said: "If you ignore these things that contribute to inequality, or pretend they don’t exist, you make it more difficult to achieve the kind of society that you value....There’s a politically correct left that’s still not open to these things."
Given this (well-documented) tendency to dismiss research that challenges one's views, we should be extra careful to judge sources as objectively as possible. We need to make sure we aren't selectively excluding sources simply because they align with one political view or another. Stonkaments (talk) 17:54, 17 September 2021 (UTC)[]
This is an attempt to relitigate the previous discussion. No, we don't need to add scientific racism for false balance - David Gerard (talk) 22:18, 17 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Singer has been almost universally derided for those comments... The most basic critique being that Holocaust denial research wouldn’t be the equivalent, Holocaust research would be. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 14:42, 21 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Singer didn't mention Holocaust denial as far as I know. The problem clearly meant is that some people who lean towards all-nurture viewpoints, like Darity, are making the extreme leap to the idea that any research on how biology affects how individuals develop psychologically is equivalent to Holocaust denial in fringiness. This is extreme and itself fringe; it goes against the well-established findings on how genetics impact mental development in pathological cases like schizophrenia, as well as the fact that it is a mainstream area of research, as shown in this Nature editorial. Crossroads -talk- 00:11, 23 September 2021 (UTC
At this point you're clearly not talking about Intelligence as a source, but instead appear to be attempting to relitigate the RFC by making general complaints about a field of study rather than anything that's RSN material - David Gerard (talk) 13:41, 23 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Yes, I made that edit to Intelligence (journal) because, per WP:LEDE, the lead paragraph did not adequately summarise the contents of the article and the balance of views on the subject. It is remarkable that an Elsevier journal has such fame in the wider world - as I cited to RSes, that were already in the article - for race and intelligence pseudoscience, and leaving this multiply-RS-cited remarkable fact out of the first paragraph was clearly and obviously incorrect by Wikipedia policy and practice. That Intelligence is published by a respectable scientific publisher makes it more noteworthy, not less. It is whitewashing to fail to note such an important fact about the journal right there in the lead summary.
BTW, you're supposed to ping editors when you talk about them - David Gerard (talk) 22:14, 17 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Intelligence (journal) is so short, there is no distinct "lead" that necessitates repeating that. The next paragraph was not a separate heading and makes the actual point accurately. The text you added absolutely did not "adequately summarise the contents of the article and the balance of views on the subject." All three sources were misrepresented by making it seem they think of it only as disreputable racism, even though all of them note that the journal is otherwise respected. I didn't ping you here since you are already part of this discussion. I know I dislike unnecessary pings to discussions I am already part of. Crossroads -talk- 03:27, 18 September 2021 (UTC)[]

Per the comments by Headbomb and Ferahgo in the section above, I think we should have a discussion about the broader practice of rejecting otherwise high-quality academic sources in relation to this topic. There is currently a discussion at Talk:Race and intelligence about rejecting In the Know by Russell Warne as a source, which was published by Cambridge University Press. A previous discussion at this noticeboard found Cambridge University Press to be a reliable source with respect to the topic of race and intelligence.

This edit blanked five paragraphs of text cited to mostly high-quality academic sources, including some controversial figures such as Jensen, but mostly material cited to respected figures such as James Flynn (academic), Earl B. Hunt, Ulric Neisser and Donald T. Campbell. The link posted by Ferahgo above contains a few dozen examples of edits like that, but that one was one of the more severe cases. Until now, it has never been possible to have a community-wide discussion about this practice, but maybe we can have that discussion now.

@Ekpyros: @Alaexis: Both of you have been involved in the related discussion on the article's talk page, so I think you should be aware of this discussion as well. Gardenofaleph (talk) 21:46, 17 September 2021 (UTC)[]

You and a very small number of other editors have been repeatedly trying to relitigate the RfC of 2020 at FTN (reaffirmed in the RfC of 2021 at the R&I talk-page) that reached a strong consensus that racial hereditarianism is a fringe POV. Your argument about Cambridge University Press is without merit, since several otherwise reputable presses on occasion publish fringe material (also true of Elsevier). The question of reliability vs unreliability cannot be determined for an entire publishing house.
By the way, you are violating WP:CANVASS by selectively pinging two editors (Ekpyros and Alaexis) who share your POV and inviting them to join this discussion. NightHeron (talk) 22:03, 17 September 2021 (UTC)[]
BTW, Elsevier is not such an imprimatur of quality either - remember their history of pseudojournals assembled as marketing exercises - David Gerard (talk) 22:16, 17 September 2021 (UTC)[]
And Elsevier published Homeopathy for years... XOR'easter (talk) 14:22, 18 September 2021 (UTC)[]
NightHeron, I only pinged those two editors because the other two main participants in that discussion, yourself and Generalrelative, are commenting here already.
I feel that you have misled the community about what classifying the hereditarian hypothesis as a fringe theory would mean in practice. In your original RFC, Insertcleverphrase accused you of "trying to shut down sources that have a specific viewpoint, regardless of where they are from, or where they are published." In response, you denied that this was the intention of your RFC. But then after the RFC was over, you and Generalrelative went ahead and removed nearly all such sources from the articles, with the justification that "The issue of the admissibility of sources claiming a genetic link between race and intelligence was settled at the Fringe theories RfC last year." In the edit I linked in my previous comment, this even included removing sources such as Neisser and Flynn, which disagree with the hereditarian viewpoint but still include detailed discussions about it.
If the community had been told honestly that this is what the "fringe" classification would mean, instead of your denying it would mean that, would they have reached the same conclusion to classify it as a fringe theory? Who knows? Thus far you've managed to prevent the community from having a meaningful discussion about this new approach to sourcing, so we've never been able to determine the answer. Gardenofaleph (talk) 23:51, 17 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Gardenofaleph, Well, there was a second RFC which reaffirmed all that and which took place after the editing you're concerned about. Some editors may be unhappy with the results of that community wide meaningful discussion, but that doesn't mean that it didn't happen. MrOllie (talk) 00:08, 18 September 2021 (UTC)[]
@Gardenofaleph: A strong consensus came out of two RfCs and several other discussions over the last two years that racialist theories about intelligence are fringe, and therefore subject to WP:FRINGE. A small number of editors have simply refused to accept this. Per WP:FRINGE and WP:NPOV, we have to avoid FALSEBALANCE and UNDUE citation of sources that promote those fringe theories. Contrary to what you say, such sources are extensively cited in R&I, but in a context that makes it clear that their POV is rejected by scientific consensus. The current version of R&I contains many references to works by such famous proponents of racial hereditarianism as Arthur Jensen and J. Philippe Rushton, in addition to works by their less famous more recent adherents. Several editors worked on revising R&I in accordance with the consensus at the 2020 RfC; we were not censoring anything, but merely complying with WP:PROFRINGE and WP:UNDUE in removing some references or revising the text that cited them. There were continual objections from opponents of the RfC consensus, which were debated at length on the talk-page. A few of those editors have persisted since then in trying to relitigate those issues and reintroduce sources that were found, after thorough discussion, to be unreliable and/or undue. Their forum-shopping and POV-pushing around race and intelligence have turned this topic into a time sink. NightHeron (talk) 01:00, 18 September 2021 (UTC)[]
It should also be noted that the comment you quote about the [in]admissibility of sources claiming a genetic link between race and intelligence was made in the context of a discussion of sources for scientific consensus. Sources by Jensen, Rushton, Richard Lynn, and the like, despite their claims of being scientific, are unreliable for describing what mainstream science says. They are, however, reliable for describing what the authors believe and so are cited many times in Race and intelligence, Scientific racism, and related articles in order to give an accurate summary of the fringe POV. NightHeron (talk) 22:07, 19 September 2021 (UTC)[]
The summary you're giving here is simply not consistent with the pattern or removals from the articles. Quoting Generalrelative again, "Rindermann's work is seen as unreliable for any content on Wikipedia related to race and intelligence". This judgment is contrary to the existing consensus at this noticeboard, which found Rindermann to be "[an] appropriate expert in the human intelligence field." 100% of the references to sources with Rindermann as an author have been removed from the race and intelligence article. (There is one paper from him still included in the bibliography, but it is cited nowhere in the article itself.) Aside from Rindermann's book from Cambridge University Press, the removals also included a paper by Rindermann from PLOS One, which is a mainstream journal. [127]
Rushton and Jensen have been dead for nearly a decade, so while I guess it's a good thing they haven't been completely been purged from the article, they have very little relation to current research about race and intelligence. The current research about this topic is being conducted by people such as Haier, Warne, Rindermann, Nijenhuis, Woodley, etc. All of these current researchers have been completely excluded or purged from the article, regardless of how high-quality the journals or academic publishers where their work is published. Arguing about whether or not all these removals were justified or not is one thing, but we need to avoid this sort of revisionism about your edits that you've already extensively discussed and defended at the time. Gardenofaleph (talk) 03:02, 20 September 2021 (UTC)[]
@Gardenofaleph: You are confidently incorrect, as the kids say. Go back and check the diff you presented purporting to quote me. Not a huge mistake in another context, but rather ironic when you're accusing NightHeron of having misled the community. (By the way, how exactly are you alleging he misled the community? Your argument seems to be premised on the idea that the community is unaware of how WP:FRINGE works, and that NightHeron somehow hid this knowledge from everyone until it was too late. That can't be right, can it?) Now you've piled on by stating that NightHeron's summary above was simply not consistent with the pattern or removals from the articles and described it as revisionism, but failed to provide any reasons why an uninvolved observer might think so. Instead you're just repeating the same allegations over and over. I know this might sound like a radical idea, but perhaps just stop? There is clearly no appetite among the community to relitigate this in your favor. Generalrelative (talk) 04:21, 20 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Note too that, in the statement you falsely attributed to me, you left out the part where Grayfell prefaced by saying My understanding of these discussions is that... When people go out of their way to be humble or circumspect, the least you can do is acknowledge that. Generalrelative (talk) 04:25, 20 September 2021 (UTC)[]
It's interesting that my comment at Talk:Steve Sailer from February was linked. Earlier today I looked up that study again to make sure it was as bizarre as I remembered. It was. The survey ([128]) is informative.
Rindermann chose to publish a survey that extolled Steve Sailer and Anatoly Karlin (an anti-science blogger, open white ethnonationalist, and climate change denier) as reputable sources of information on science. I'm still at a loss for words about how weird this is. Rindermann even helpfully throws in editorializing about how it is "unfortunate" that another blogger on The Unz Review couldn't have also been included. That blogger is James Thompson, who is, of course, also part of the Richard Lynn/Mankind Quarterly group.[129]
That study also cites OpenPsych, Richard Lynn, an article by Boghossian about the grievance studies affair, and a 2015 tweet from Steven Pinker. It's a trip.
It's so transparently self-indulgent that I don't think anyone at Elsevier is paying any attention. Assuming they ever were. On various talk pages, I've seen some comments defending Intelligence because it is "peer reviewed". The problem here is that the pool of peers presumably includes the kind of people who would respond to a survey from a journal which has gone completely off the rails. It's the icing on the cake that they would also use that survey to share how much they trust alt-right bloggers for their science info.
It's also noteworthy that this was published in 2020, after the journal had stopped listing Lynn and Meisenberg on the editorial board. There was talk that maybe this was the journal's attempt at cleaning up it's image problem, but the proof of the pudding is in the eating, so... This "study", more than anything, killed off the benefit of the doubt I was willing to extend to Intelligence.
Presumably some legitimate scholarship will still come out of the journal, but it will be inherently less legitimate due to being folded in with fluff about "race realist" bloggers. Grayfell (talk) 05:57, 20 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Your comment included the words There are also serious red flags over David Becker and Thomas R.Coyle publishing history. Becker I understand. But what did you mean about Coyle? Sesquivalent (talk) 07:44, 21 September 2021 (UTC)[]
More than some. . Using the data on its most cited articles, [130], I see in the top 10 articles only 1 which might be related to race in the sense of being published by someone who has also published about race and intelligence. The second ten has one of the same nature, not on race, but by a person who has to some extent also published on race. That gives 90% content which there is no reason to suspect, even if one thinks that studying what are socially called racial differences is illegitimate. "Why do angry people overestimate their intelligence? Neuroticism as a suppressor of the association between Trait-Anger and subjectively assessed intelligence" -- this is supposed to be racist? and this: "Cats (Felis silvestris catus)read human gaze for referential information" ? Almost all their content is like that. DGG ( talk ) 06:37, 20 September 2021 (UTC)[]
I believe the topic of discussion here is reliability of Intelligence for topics in the race and intelligence area, which seems to be the area for which it is best known. I would have no objection to citing Intelligence in an article on cats, since as far as I'm aware the editors of the journal have no history of promoting pseudoscience about cats. NightHeron (talk) 10:16, 20 September 2021 (UTC)[]
That gives 90% content which there is no reason to suspect Any other publication discussed on RSN having 10% of its content being pseudoscientific conspiracy theories would be a slam-dunk for complete deprecation. You're not making clear why Intelligence should be any exception - David Gerard (talk) 12:52, 20 September 2021 (UTC)[]
We routinely mark various publications with a 'reliability depends on topic' note. This journal apparently published fringe/nonsense on a particular topic, on a particular subject, for a particular period of time. It's received high praised as one of the most prestigious journals in the area of intelligence research, even from its critics. That should be enough to treat it with a scalpel, not a hammer. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 13:30, 20 September 2021 (UTC)[]
I also support the scalpel approach. Addressing David Gerard's point: DGG's rough count included articles "which might be related to race", not articles which are definitively problematic. Firefangledfeathers (talk) 15:26, 20 September 2021 (UTC)[]
This study is also in the Scopus "top-10", with 20 cites. The study doesn't mention race, but does mention that being of non-Danish ethnicity correlates with having a low IQ. In another context, in another journal, I would give this study the benefit of the doubt, but this isn't another journal. Who gets to make the call that this is "definitively" problematic? This is a walled garden and the 'high score' with Scopus shows this. The study is cited multiple times times in Mankind Quarterly, once in OpenPsych, twice in Intelligence itself, and twice in Personality and Individual Differences which has a similar reputation to Intelligence.
If we're going to use the most-cited articles as representative, it needs to be done consistently. This is a walled garden, and articles doing the citing are often within this same fringe sub-group of a sub-group. Also more frequently cited than the cat behavior one is this article which sure seems to me to be definitively problematic. Does being more cited make this one a better example? If not, why mention the "most cited" thing at all? Let's not be selective. If nothing else, being highly cited is meaningless without this kind of context. Grayfell (talk) 01:36, 21 September 2021 (UTC)[]
I second Grayfell’s point about this ecosystem being a walled garden with just the veneer of academic respectability. I don’t think we need to go through and figure out which articles are "problematic," I think its safe to assume that if it was published here and not in a respected/legitimate journal then theres something "problematic" about it. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 14:36, 21 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • @Crossroads: how is it "entirely contrary" to WP:SOURCETYPES? The language used there seems to be purposefully non-absolute... Academic sources are “usually” the most reliable, not “always” the most reliable. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 14:42, 21 September 2021 (UTC)[]
    Many things, such as entertainment and current events, are not covered in academic sources. So, "usually", but not always available or uniformly better in every case. It's still pretty clearly contrary to the spirit of WP:SOURCETYPES to consider an entire academic journal unreliable just because a few news media sources say something negative. But even then, opponents of the journal can't have their cake and eat it too - all of those sources likewise call it a respected journal with the exception of race issues:
    Researchers with extreme views on race number relatively few but, having languished on the margins of their fields for many years, they are now managing to push their ideas into the mainstream, including into respectable scientific journals....Both Meisenberg and Lynn also serve on the editorial board of Intelligence, a psychology journal also published by Elsevier. The Guardian (note that since this article Lynn and Meisenberg are no longer on the editorial board - but the author is clearly calling it a respectable scientific journal)
    The ISIR is home to many great scientists, and its journal Intelligence is one of the most respected in its field....Journals and universities that allow their reputations to be used to launder or legitimate racist pseudo-science bear responsibility when that pseudo-science is used for political ends. New Statesman
    Intelligence, a more respected psychology journal that’s published by the major publishing company Elsevier, also occasionally included papers with pseudoscientific findings about intelligence differences between races. Smithsonian Magazine
    It's clear that we have no sourced basis for considering it unreliable outside of race issues. It is that topic - race and intelligence - that is the walled garden. Any claims beyond that are unsourced opinion. Crossroads -talk- 21:19, 21 September 2021 (UTC)[]
If we're going to discuss this "walled garden" allegation, we should be clear about what it includes, because this allegation has been used to reject far, far more sources than just Intelligence, Personality and Individual Difference, and poor-quality sources such as Mankind Quarterly (which fails WP:RS anyway, regardless of whether it's a walled garden). Sources rejected with this justification have included those published in Perspectives on Psychological Science, [131] Human Nature, [132] PLOS One [133], Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences [134], and at least two books from Cambridge University Press. [135] [136] I could give diffs of the rejection/removal of each of these sources, but I don't think it's controversial to say that these papers and books I've linked to have all been rejected for this reason... as one example, here is Grayfell's "walled garden" explanation for rejecting the Human Nature source, and the rejection of one of the books from Cambridge University Press has recently been discussed on the article's talk page.
As far as I know, aside from a few newspaper and magazine articles criticizing Intelligence (and aside from sources like Mankind Quarterly, which everyone agrees is unreliable), there are no sources that say these journals or academic publishers apply a lower standard of scrutiny than any other publications that meet the criteria of WP:SCHOLARSHIP. There also is no provision of RS policy, or any other policy, that supports rejecting sources for this reason. The policy linked above says, "Material such as an article, book, monograph, or research paper that has been vetted by the scholarly community is regarded as reliable, where the material has been published in reputable peer-reviewed sources or by well-regarded academic presses." WP:Walled garden is an essay about a group of Wikipedia articles that all link to one another but to none outside the group, and this essay has nothing to do with judgments about whether a source is reliable or not.
The only other time this justification for rejecting sources has been discussed at the RS noticeboard was in this discussion about books from Cambridge University Press, and in that case the broader community rejected this argument. But that discussion clearly has not stopped sources from many different journals and academic publishers continuing to be rejected for this reason, so maybe now we can have a discussion about whether this overall basis for rejecting sources is supported by policy. Gardenofaleph (talk) 22:00, 21 September 2021 (UTC)[]
The closing of the discussion that Gardenofaleph refers to did not support the indiscriminate use of any book published by Cambridge University Press. The closer wrote: The remaining concern was that the views of Rindermann and Hunt may be Fringe. The discussion indicated that there is a lack of sources supporting or opposing the notion that the views in these books are fringe, though when a viewpoint does not have wide support, we do treat it as fringe, and do not give it undue weight. That is, we can give the views of Rindermann and Hunt, sourced to their books published by the Cambridge University Press, but take care not to promote their views as widely accepted unless/until sources can be found which indicate their views are widely accepted. That closing (in February 2020) was superseded by the RfC at WP:FTN on Race and Intelligence that closed in April 2020 (and was reaffirmed by another RfC in 2021) that held unequivocally that the belief that there's evidence of genetic superiority of certain races to other races in intelligence is a fringe viewpoint, rejected by mainstream science. NightHeron (talk) 23:39, 21 September 2021 (UTC)[]
I have two specific concerns with Intelligence:
Is a source which publishes pseudoscience in one of it's main areas still trusted for overlapping topics? It seems to me that this journal's reputation is mentioned in sources as context for why it's so noteworthy that the journal publishes pseudoscience. Otherwise, why even discuss these journals at all? From this context, the journal's supposed prestige is not mentioned as a defense of the journal, instead it is an indirect critique of those academics who are either oblivious to, or choose to ignore, these serious issues. I don't find this oblique criticism to be a compelling defense of this journal's reputation.
Many articles in this journal are superficially unrelated to race, but are are still used/misused to support racist ideas. I gave one example, but many, many more can be found. If we're going to stop citing Intelligence for "race and intelligence" we also have to stop citing it for "population and intelligence" and "nation and intelligence" and "school system and intelligence" and at that point just "human intelligence". Again, the journal's name is just "intelligence" so I guess cat behavior is about all that's left. Grayfell (talk) 02:11, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]
And yet the sources speak of the journal as well-respected outside of that narrow topic. Why they do so does not change the fact that they do so. The vast majority of the journal's output is about individual intelligence, or if it does speak of group differences, is not about pushing a racial hereditarian POV. For example, is the Flynn effect pseudoscience? I certainly don't think so, and I don't think anyone else does either, since Race and intelligence speaks prominently of it to explain the observed group differences in IQ test scores as plausibly explained by environmental differences between socially constructed racial groups. Much of that research was published in Intelligence. In no way does problems about a small crop of racial hereditarian research reflect on all its human intelligence research. As for "used/misused to support racist ideas", that is very broad and can be applied to almost anything. People have misused all sorts of papers to promote racism, ones where the authors implied no such thing, so by that overly broad logic we have to deprecate every journal that published "used/misused" papers. Crossroads -talk- 03:18, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]
"And yet the sources speak of the journal as well-respected outside of that narrow topic.” can you be specific? If those sources have been shared I haven’t seen them. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 03:26, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]
See my 21:19, 21 September 2021 (UTC) comment. It was in reply to you a short distance above. I quoted 3 media sources. Crossroads -talk- 03:43, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]
I note you haven't given evidence that Intelligence is respected as a scientific source. And - as you've already had pointed out to you - its reliability as a scientific source for Wikipedia's purposes was strongly questioned in Talk:Race_and_intelligence/Archive_103#RfC_on_racial_hereditarianism. Your claim that its other articles deserve a carveout as scientific sources for Wikipedia's purposes seems not to be well founded. And, as I pointed out, any other source that was 10% pseudoscientific conspiracy theories would be a slam-dunk for deprecation, and you really haven't made a case that this one shouldn't be. We really just do not take sources with that level of unusable trash, and then say that the rest of the curate's egg is perfectly good - David Gerard (talk) 07:46, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]
The sources I quoted are specifically and clearly talking about its status in psychological science. I have no idea what you are trying to distinguish it from, but sourcs don't support that. The 10% number is not accurate as stated higher above. Regarding that RfC you linked, I already stated above that Outside of that one area of race-and-intelligence that sources have commented on, I see no reason to treat it as anything other than an ordinary psychology journal, to which Generalrelative replied about that RfC, that was my understanding of the consensus among editors who discussed the journal at the RfC. Academic publishing doesn't work like the news media - journals sometimes publish ideas or hypotheses that are marginal or fringe to show them to the wider academic community for critique, etc., plus there is academic freedom. This applies to every subject, but this one is particularly hot-button. This isn't like the Daily Mail not being trusted to report events accurately. And frankly, unless you are proposing to gut the anti-racial-hereditarian material at race and intelligence, Flynn effect, etc., much of which is cited to Intelligence, I don't see a reason to keep debating this. We don't do guilt-by-association or over-the-top "purity testing" demands beyond what sources say, nor do we cherry-pick what we want to hear from the sources on the topic. Crossroads -talk- 15:39, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]
None of the media sources you quoted in your 21:19 comment said that they were well-respected and certainly none said that it was well-respected outside of that narrow topic. Newstateman comes close, but what you’re arguing appears to go beyond what the sources are saying. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 16:02, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]

To restate my point, the three sources we have for this journal's positive reputation are also sources pointing out its problem with scientific racism. The scientific racism is not incidental to the journal. It is the only reason these three sources are talking about the journal at all. This context is not hidden or arcane, it's specifically provided by these sources. Grayfell (talk) 19:39, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]

I'm at a loss as to what to say further, to the point that it almost feels like people are not reading the sources I laid out, unlikely as that is. None of this negates what those sources say clearly about what is respected and what the journal's clearly specified problem area is. I can't make a few editors see what I clearly read in the sources. I asked earlier, "Is it the position of editors fighting pseudoscientific racism that all study of human intelligence is illegitimate?", and Generalrelative assured me that no one has made that claim; but since people seem to want to take down the official journal of the International Society for Intelligence Research, the overwhelming majority of whose papers are not about race, I remain concerned. Crossroads -talk- 00:11, 23 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Hm, I really didn't want to get involved here again but this doesn't seem quite right. First off, when you asked your question about whether anyone was arguing that all study of human intelligence was illegitimate I replied I'm not aware of anyone who has made this claim. I did not and would not assure you that no one has made the claim because I don't imagine myself to be omniscient. Now some folks have begun arguing that the official journal of the International Society for Intelligence Research is largely unreliable, making claims that go beyond the discussion at the RfC which I linked to above. That may be concerning to you but they are not in so doing necessarily attacking all research into intelligence as illegitimate. Research on intelligence continues to be published in top-tier journals like Nature, Science and the various journals of the American Psychological Association. As I stated below, I'm not willing at this time to stake out a position on how reliable a source Intelligence is beyond the narrow topic of race & intelligence, but those who are arguing for a broad unreliability are not thereby arguing that all research into human intelligence is illegitimate. If someone does want to pop in here and argue that, so be it, but I have not seen such an argument yet. Generalrelative (talk) 00:38, 23 September 2021 (UTC)[]
I didn't mean to imply you were omniscient or even 'should' know what others think, though I get that my phrasing was unusual; but my point is that concerns remain for me that there may be overzealousness on the part of some on this topic. Crossroads -talk- 00:43, 23 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Cool, thanks. And I probably shouldn't have been so defensive about it. I understand and respect your point. Generalrelative (talk) 00:46, 23 September 2021 (UTC)[]
I am discussing my problems with one journal. The question about "all study of human intelligence" doesn't seem appropriate to me, which is why I did not answer it. I could point to academic work on this topic that I think is reliable in various context, but that's not the point of this discussion, is it?
The journal's status as the official journal of the International Society for Intelligence Research doesn't inherently make it reliable. It's not the only society, nor the only journal, on psychometrics, individual difference, etc. This society is not the sole representative of its field, and as far as I know, it never has been.
To put it another way, that society is not inherently reliable just because it has some members who perform legitimate research, even if some of it is published in Intelligence. These respected members don't cancel-out the pseudoscientists. It looks like the journal treats them all the same, so why shouldn't we? Many of these pseudoscientists are still active in the field of intelligence research, and this activity isn't confined to work which is explicitly about race. Intelligence doesn't, apparently, exercise sufficient editorial oversight for race and intelligence, but it's very tricky to pin-down which articles this actually applies to. For several reasons, I think this is by design, at least partly. This behavior therefor reflects on the entire journal.
If "race" is the issue which attracts independent scrutiny, we should be willing to use that scrutiny the same as we would any other attention. To insist that this journal's failures do not reflect on any other area seems strange, and would be to Wikipedia's detriment. Grayfell (talk) 00:13, 24 September 2021 (UTC)[]
And that independent scrutiny every time has confined their negative statements to content about race, and almost always makes a positive statement about the journal outside of that. It is not at all tricky to pin down the tiny minority of articles and researchers this applies to. There is a world of difference between how sources talk about Intelligence and Mankind Quarterly, so there is no basis to treat the former as the latter (as always unreliable). Crossroads -talk- 04:23, 24 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Without staking out a position on the current debate, I'd just like to note that there is one more source I recently added to the article Intelligence (journal) stating that Intelligence serves as a vehicle for scientific racism: Andrew S. Winston, "Scientific Racism and North American Psychology", Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Psychology [137]. Here's the quote: Despite careful, scholarly criticism in every era since the early 1900s, scientific racism in psychology has proven remarkably resilient. Although Arthur Jensen and Philippe Rushton both died in 2012, a small but very active community of researchers continue to pursue questions of race in relation to intelligence, brain size, crime, sexuality, reproduction, and dysgenics, with new work appearing in Personality and Individual Differences, Intelligence, and other journals. This international community is led by Richard Lynn, who for a number of years served simultaneously on the editorial boards of Intelligence and Mankind Quarterly, and as president of the Pioneer Fund. . . . The interlacing of scientific psychology with racial politics has now lasted over 100 years. The community of race scientists had sufficient funding, access to journals, dedication, and shared understanding to carry on a project that most psychologists had considered moribund by the 1960s. Note that the source does not take a position on whether being a vehicle for scientific racism is the primary thing the journal Intelligence is known for, just that this journal is a crucial part of the story of the persistence of scientific racism in psychology through to the present day. I don't see anyone disagreeing with this assessment here but I wanted to make sure that with the discussion of sources this one too was given consideration. Generalrelative (talk) 22:58, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]
I think this has the same implications as the sources already shown; it is basically saying the same thing about this small bunch of researchers and how they got their ideas out there. Crossroads -talk- 00:14, 23 September 2021 (UTC)[]
I agree with this assessment. The only real thing it adds is that it's not a journalistic source. Not sure about the peer-review standards of the Oxford Research Encyclopedias, but at the very least it's one more ref to add to the pile. Generalrelative (talk) 00:38, 23 September 2021 (UTC)[]

Citation needed on Noah Carl[edit]

The question is loaded with tendentious uncited material that is probably false.

Carl and Warne are certainly both part of a tight network of fringe racial hereditarians -- almost certainly false.

There is no indication Carl is a hereditarian at all. He is a quantitative social scientist, not a psychometrician, behavior geneticist, psychologist or geneticist. So not from any of the fields involved in research on intelligence, its possible genetic correlates, or genetic differences by race. He has no papers on anything genetic.

I looked into him a while ago during, you guessed it, Wikipedia talk page controversies on these matters and did not see any place where he takes any position on race-and-intelligence hereditarianism except the standard academic freedom arguments that it's an open question and legitimate area of research and (even if those statements were not true) that it should not lead to vilification campaigns against those who publish about it. Well-known non- or anti-hereditarians such as Stephen Pinker, James Flynn, Stephen Ceci say much the same thing and are not classified as "fringe racial hereditarians" for it.

Carl was an editor or reviewer of one of Kirkegaard's OpenPsych journals. Must be hereditarian, right? Actually there were 3-4 such journals, and Carl was connected to the one for quantitative social science (no apparent connection to hereditarianism) and as of the time I checked his publications and (I think) reviews were not hereditarian-related. He cosigned an article with most of the OpenPsych affiliates defending the aforementioned freedom-of-research position, but there was no place online where one can discover what, if anything, he believes about race differences in intelligence.

Ah, but Carl published in MANKIND QUARTERLY! Case closed! Yeah, but just like James Flynn in the same journal, it was an anti-hereditarian paper. Carl found some data disconfirming a pet hereditarian idea that regional IQ increases with distance from the equator.

Yes, but he wrote a paper with EMIL KIRKEGAARD!!! Not on hereditarianism, though. It was a social science paper on stereotype accuracy in Denmark.

It might be fair to class Carl with people like Cofnas, Anomaly, and Winegard; social scientists who defend a similar (in fact considerably stronger) position on freedom to research hereditarianism. Some of them may have put forth an opinion on the likelihood of race differences but Carl has not.

Carl is now an independent researcher since being sacked from his university position

Carl received a large settlement when he sued the university for illegally firing him, and his independence may reflect financial independence resulting from that, not an inability to get another position. The university fired him as a virtue signal under political pressure and literally paid the price.

for "poor scholarship" and "selective use of data and unsound statistical methods which have been used to legitimise racist stereotypes"

These sound bites are conveniently quoted without a reference to any source where they can be checked. There is a long report from the university committee that investigated Carl. Having read it, my recollection is that they did not deign to name any specific problem with Carl's research (data, methods, conclusions). The sound bites may come from a shorter press release which contains general un