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: [].
  • 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".
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.
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Opinions sourced to WorldNetDaily[edit]

This is both an RS and NPOV issue, but I'm bringing it here so that it can be discussed in one place. I removed opinions sourced to WND from Conservapedia [1] and Ann Coulter [2]. My concern is that although a non-rs may be used as a source of opinion in certain situations, these particular opinions do not seem to meet WP:WEIGHT because they do not appear in reliable sources. This is currently being discussed on both talk pages, and I'm coming here to get some clarity on A) when a non-rs can be used as an opinion source and B) whether it is appropriate to include these opinions per WP:NPOV. –dlthewave 01:06, 5 November 2018 (UTC)

I see this as a separate issue, since these RS questions are usually handled case-by-case and the "expert" credentials of the quoted person will vary. –dlthewave 02:14, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
I would also like this issue addressed from a general perspective, because there seems to be some inconsistency. Is an op-ed published on an otherwise non-RS site a reliable source for the author's opinion or not? WorldNetDaily is listed in Wikipedia:Identifying reliable sources/Perennial sources, as a "generally unreliable" source, with the following description (bold added for emphasis):
"WorldNetDaily is not considered a reliable source for most purposes. The website is known for promoting falsehoods and conspiracy theories.[54]"[3]
The listing has two links to where the site has been discussed on this noticeboard in the past and here are the closing remarks for those discussions:
1) "Consensus appears to be that World Net Daily is not generally acceptable as a source for factual material (as is, for example, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal etc.). While prior RS/N "Consensus" is cited evidencing WND "unreliability", individual citation(s) evidencing WND "unreliability" have not, thus far, been provided. As to whether or under what criteria/circumstance WND might be considered WP:RS, opinion is divided."[4]
2) "Resolved: Sigh, not again. It's been clearly agreed (you know, that "consensus" thing we have) before that apart from editorial opinion, if one is unable to source a supposedly factual statement without having to use WND, it probably doesn't belong in an encyclopedia article. Jake, your efforts would be far better aimed at better sourcing rather than this repeated waste of everyone's time, and it's now time to leave the equine corpse alone. There's only a certain number of times before being pointy becomes disruptive. Black Kite (t) (c) 06:56, 1 November 2010 (UTC) "[5]
If an op-ed on the site is not permissible as a source for the op-ed author's opinion, then the description in the listing should be updated so this doesn't come up here again. AmateurEditor (talk) 05:26, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
If I understand it correct, the issue is whether we are supposed to trust a person (e.g., a renown expert) or a source. When a person who is an established scholar publishes their view on some site with questionable reputation, what should we do with that?
This story reminds me a situation with publication policy of the Royal Society. In past, some established scientist were granted a permission to publish their paper in Royal Society journals, and they could publish whatever they wanted. That was an old analog of a modern peer-review procedure: instead of subjecting each paper to a peer-review procedure, Royal Society "peer-reviewed" scientists themselves: as soon as some scientist successfully passed a "peer-review", his manuscript were published without any restriction. However, later, this strategy was abandoned, and now each paper is subjected to a peer-review. (Arguably, the only exception is Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of U.S.A., which publishes manuscripts authored by members of the National Academy without peer-reviewing; as a result, everybody knows that a PNAS article authored by some academician may be of lower quality than the articles submitted by other authors).
In connection to that, the idea to trust an expert, not a source, is a step back as compared to the old publishing strategy that existed in a scientific world a 100 years ago. I don't think Wikipedia will benefit from that.
Frankly, I cannot understand the motives of Wikipedians who are advocating various questionable web sites. When some renown expert publishes their thoughts on such a web site, and the same information cannot be found in more trustworthy sources, that this expert is not totally confident in what they say: such statement may be inaccurate, provocative or questionable, and its publication in peer-reviewed of other good quality media may lead to some sort of reputational risks. In other words, publications of that sort should be considered as the expert's "hobby", and treated accordingly.
Wikipedia has a very non-uniform reputation, some say it contains a lot of bullshit. If we really want to improve it, it would be better to too rigorous than too liberal when we select sources.--Paul Siebert (talk) 06:14, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
According to WP:RS a person is a source, as is a publisher and a work, so it is not choosing between a person and a source. AmateurEditor (talk) 06:28, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
No. Not alone, who-by and where it's published matters to source evaluation. Alanscottwalker (talk) 11:13, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
Only to a considered extent in an overall evaluation, the conditions for inclusion are section 1 OR section 2 OR ... not AND. Dmcq (talk) 11:54, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
Sorry? I understand, I think, the first part of your comment, "overall evaluation", as I said it is part of the evaluation of a source, (who by, who the publisher is, where, where is it published) but I don't understand the second part, are they abbreviations(?) (eg. WP:OR? WP:AND?) and what you are trying to say there? Alanscottwalker (talk) 13:06, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
I'm saying the basic conditions for inclusion are condition 1 OR condition 2 OR condition 3 etc, not condition 1 AND condition 2 AND condition 3. AND means all conditions must be satisfied, OR means one or more must be satisfied. I capitalized them so you would have a chance of noticing them. Dmcq (talk) 17:22, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
You're comment is still cryptic, "condition for inclusion" is odd, but to the extent you are arguing that you consider things in isolation your statement makes little, even common-sense. We consider things in context, given several factors that are bound together simultaneously not in some fictitious isolation. -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 18:05, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
AmateurEditor, I really cannot understand why you are so persistent: this approach would decrease quality of Wikipedia. Imagine some serious article about, e.g. black holes, which is based on good articles from Science, Nature and PRL: will it benefit if we add there some claim from some "Flat Earth society" portal? Even if our rules do not prohibit that, a good faith user is supposed to avoid such things.
And, by the way, you interpret WP:EXPERTSOURCE incorrectly. Expert's opinion published in questionable sources is acceptable only when this statement is uncontroversial: our policy does not allow it as a support of extraordinary claims. Obviously, that means that everything written in WND should be treated with greater suspect. --Paul Siebert (talk) 15:05, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
  • WorldNetDaily is an appropriate source for uncontroversial facts about itself on the article WorldNetDaily and pretty much nothing else. Anything which is said only on WND and not repeated by reliable independent secondary sources, is WP:UNDUE pretty much by definition. Guy (Help!)

10:57, 5 November 2018 (UTC)

  • When we can't trust the publisher/editor, we can't trust what they published or how they edited it. Alanscottwalker (talk) 11:13, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
We don't need everything peer reviewed on Wikipedia. That is a daft idea. In this case we're not talking about WND as a general source but its editor as a source about conservative ideas on the Bible. The appropriate criterion to judge that by is section one of WP:NEWSORG. Dmcq (talk) 11:47, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
It's WP:SPS for that, and its editor is not a notable qualified commentator on the subject. $RANDOMBLOWHARD cited to their own website is never a good idea for Wikipedia sourcing. Guy (Help!) 12:06, 5 November 2018 (UTC)

Comment: I don't have an opinion regarding if WND is a reliable source. However, I do have concerns when I see all material cited to WND systematically removed without asking if a lower quality source is really a concern and/or if an alternative source is available. Take a case where WND is reporting the views/statements of a person who's opinion on a subject would generally have WEIGHT. Unless we think WND is actively changing/misquoting people then I would say there is ONUS to show that WND is not reliable for such basic material. That doesn't establish WEIGHT, only an assumption of a low level of reliability. If the author is someone who's opinion on the subject would generally be notable then we shouldn't exclude it just because it was published on WND. In that case I would treat it like self published material from an expert. Unlike such an opinion published in say the NYT, I wouldn't take the fact that it was published on WND as evidence that the opinon/views/facts etc in question have WEIGHT. If WND reporters are interpreting facts/events then I would say the bar is higher and it sounds like the general answer is no, not reliable. However, this does not mean any material that is sourced to WND should be automatically removed from articles especially with no effort to find an alternative source for the same material/quotes. Instead if the sourced material is factual (quotes, otherwise non-controversial statements/attributions) then an effort should either be made to find alternative sources or start a talk page discussion asking if removal is justified. Springee (talk) 14:23, 5 November 2018 (UTC)

Springee, I think you are not right. Per WP:EXPERTSOURCE, a statement published in WND may be acceptable when it is made by an established expert, and it contains no extraordinary claim. Removal of materials supported by WND happens not because someone dislikes this source, but because someone considers the claim this source makes extraordinary. If that happened, the best way to restore this material is to find a better source that supports the same claim. If that was done, the material can be restored, and, probably, the WND reference can be restored too (optionally). However, per WP:BURDEN, all of that should be done by those who want to restore this material. It would be absolutely incorrect to say that "there is ONUS to show that WND is not reliable", but the opposite is correct: a proof should be presented in each case when WND is used that this particular WND article is reliable. However, if such a proof (in a form of another publication in more reputable source) has been provided that makes WND redundant.--Paul Siebert (talk) 15:26, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
I don't think we actually disagree here. The question is what counts as "extraordinary"? Consider an article statement, "Expert A said, "This is a good idea because..." ". WND is only being used to claim that Expert A made the statement. In that case are we claiming WND falsified the statement? In any case, an editor removing material from a Wiki article because it is cited to WND should make a good faith effort to see if an alternative source for the claim is available. Springee (talk) 15:57, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
That is not a big question. "Extraordinary" means "surprising or apparently important claims not covered by multiple mainstream sources". That means any surprising statement not supported by better sources can be considered extraordinary unless opposed has not been proven. Regarding "good faith efforts", that is what I usually do. However, that is not mandatory. --Paul Siebert (talk) 16:12, 5 November 2018 (UTC)

─────── Do not include spaces between replies per MOS:INDENTGAP Walter Görlitz (talk) 16:36, 5 November 2018 (UTC)

It seems wikiEd adds spaces automatically. Just in case if other users are having this problem, disabling of wikiEd resolves it. Or switch to from Firefox to Chrome...--Paul Siebert (talk) 16:54, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Same as above. Bathroom graffiti written by an eminent expert is still bathroom graffiti. If the best source someone could get published in is a totally junk publication like WND, we should probably ask ourselves "Huh, why didn't better sources publish this too?", and then use those better sources, and the things they chose to publish about the subject, instead. Seraphimblade Talk to me 17:27, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
Well better sources by our standards have said essentially the same thing there, but they are sources which one would expect to pooh ppooh some nutcase conservative idea. This is a dyed in the wool right winger and creationist that one might expect to be supportive saying the project is nutty. Dmcq (talk) 21:49, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Almost never - Basically what JzG said. Maybe an opinion about itself or one of its authors, used in the article about itself or said reporter, but basically nothing else. Too often we find something to be a terrible source, but exercise no discretion when it comes to including those sources anyway, but with attribution. If something is as poor of a source as WND, we just shouldn't be using it except in remarkable circumstances. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 01:18, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
You seem to be answering the previous discussion 'Is an article in World Net Daily reliable source?'. This one has a title phrased like that one but the question is different, it is about the editor and his competence for a particular type of opinion. Dmcq (talk) 19:24, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
No, I responded in that section, too. Perhaps I answered OP's questions a little sideways, but I'm responding to the question of, ~"let's say WND is an unreliable source; when should an opinion published in WND be considered suitable for inclusion per WP:WEIGHT". My answer is "almost never," and I would say it's generalizable. I think it's too often that we come to a consensus that a source is unreliable for statements of fact, but exercise little control over use of that source for attributed opinion as though e.g. anything published in a lousy source can be included if it's attributed. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 07:25, 7 November 2018 (UTC)
That just indicates to me you missed the point. Anyway no skin off my teeth I'm happy enough for it to go. Dmcq (talk) 23:03, 7 November 2018 (UTC)
Agree with Rhododendrites, RS discussions often end with consensus regarding statements of fact but no clear guidance for when a source may be used for opinions. It might help to have an RfC for WND as a source of opinions, since it's been coming up a lot lately. Part of the problem is that reliable sources aren't only used to determine the veracity of a statement; they also tell us how much WP:WEIGHT the viewpoint should carry. My opinion is that even if an unreliable source faithfully reproduces the words of the author, it does not contribute to its weight. As others have pointed out, the opinion would need to be repeated by reliable secondary sources to justify inclusion, so we might as well just cite those sources. We should also reject arguments that assign weight to a particular individual due to their prominence or expertise since this is not supported by policy. –dlthewave 23:38, 7 November 2018 (UTC)
Agree. -- BullRangifer (talk) PingMe 04:31, 8 November 2018 (UTC)

───────────────────────── Here's policy:

Due and undue weight

  • "Neutrality requires that each article or other page in the mainspace fairly represents all significant viewpoints that have been published by reliable sources, in proportion to the prominence of each viewpoint in the published, reliable sources."

I think that's pretty clear. We determine due weight based ONLY on what's in RS. We ignore unreliable sources. If anything, content in unreliable sources is a negative weight matter. We not only don't use it, we deprecate it and those who publish in unreliable sources.

Yes, there are situations where an unreliable source can be cited, and that is the source's opinions about itself and its POV, in its OWN article. It cannot be used for other opinions and POV published on the unreliable source. Find a RS which comments on it. -- BullRangifer (talk) PingMe 04:31, 8 November 2018 (UTC)

Billy Graham interview on WorldNetDaily[edit]

Apparently a direct quote from an interview" on a fringe website cannot be included. When did that start to happen? My initial concern was that the editor was removing more than just the direct quote, but that has been addressed, so now to address the direct quote. It's never been an issue with WP:PRIMARY so I'm not sure why it should be here. Walter Görlitz (talk) 18:54, 6 November 2018 (UTC)

Was the interview given by the website itself, or is it a reprint of another interview? Does the website have a reputation for accurately reporting interviews it does give, or is it known to make up fake interviews or misrepresent the content of those it interviews? I would say one would need to answer both of those questions before deciding if the quote is appropriate. For the first: If the same information (i.e. interview transcript) can be found on both a shitty, unreliable website and a good, reliable one, there's no good reason not to prefer to cite the better one. For the second question: If the interview IS original to the website, we need to use that website's own reputation for reliability as interviewers before deciding if the quote is trustworthy. --Jayron32 19:06, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
Check the interview out yourself. It's linked above. It appears to be an interview given by the site though. Walter Görlitz (talk) 20:11, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
  • WND is a fringe website. Here we have "Religious extremist says weird thing on fringe website, source, fringe website where religious extremist said weird thing". That fails every part of reliable, independent, secondary. WND is a "normally exclude" site due to its history of egregious fabrication and bias. Guy (Help!) 19:43, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Identifying reliable sources/Perennial sources#WorldNetDaily. Guy (Help!) 21:44, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
  • I imagine the quote is probably authentic: this doesn't sound all that different from what Billy Graham was saying in the 60s. The problem is that WND presents it as unprecedented because they desperately want to sell books by pushing a narrative of an impending apocalypse. In order to be useful, the quote needs context and WND is incapable for providing that context. Nblund talk 20:20, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
    • Agree that Graham was stating this in the 1960s, but had avoided the topic in recent years. Walter Görlitz (talk) 20:39, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
Oh I odn't doubt it, but in order to include it we'd need a reliable independent secondary source to establish veracity and significance. Guy (Help!) 21:45, 6 November 2018 (UTC)


  • What's so difficult about just using RS? If a pearl is found in a dungheap (like WND, Breitbart, InfoWars, Fox News, etc.), we only document it if it's ALSO found in a RS, and then we cite the RS. Is that so difficult? SMH. -- BullRangifer (talk) PingMe 20:08, 7 November 2018 (UTC)
Seems obvious to me, but it appears to be an unfashionable view these days. Everyone seems to want to point to the fountain source of crazy, either in order to promote it or in order to speedily debunk it with an equally non-RS source. Guy (Help!) 20:18, 7 November 2018 (UTC)
  • As I mentioned last time this sort of thing came up, I feel that there is an WP:RS requirement even for opinions. We rely on them to provide a degree of fact-checking and editorial control even for interview subjects. This is why WP:SELFPUBLISH has stricter requirements. I think it's logical to say that being published in a publication that utterly fails WP:RS adds nothing beyond eg. posting on your personal website or a verified Reddit AMA. Therefore, it ought to be subject to the same restrictions. --Aquillion (talk) 03:17, 10 November 2018 (UTC)

InScription: Journal of Ancient Egypt[edit]

Currently, an article from InScription: Journal of Ancient Egypt, via an article by Robert M. Schoch on Circular Times is being used to support this statement on the fringe page, Sphinx water erosion hypothesis:

Similarly, David Coxill, a geologist working independently of both Schoch and Reader, has concluded from the evidence of weathering in the enclosure that "[t]he Sphinx is at least 5,000 years old and pre-dates dynastic times [before 3100 BC]."[1]

Now, at the time, Circular Times was apparently the official website of Dowell and Schoch (one of the primary proponents of the hypothesis).[2] Ignoring that, InScription: Journal of Ancient Egypt appears to exist nowhere online, though obviously that's not a requirement for verifiability and apparently physical copies of at least some issues are held in university libraries.[3] Papyrus Publishing appears to have published six issues from 1997 to 1999,[4] (check out the URL), but "Papyrus Publishing" and the Staffordshire Egyptology Society (at least at the time) appear to simply be Paul Badham - "" is the email initially listed for it.[5] Presumably the article in question isn't a self-published source since the author is Coxill and the publisher is Badham, but it's hard not to see the journal itself as "self-published" given that Badham appears to be the publisher and editor. --tronvillain (talk) 17:34, 7 November 2018 (UTC)

I agree about the journal. Here are the details for Coxill[6]. Doug Weller talk 15:41, 9 November 2018 (UTC)
I wasn't even sure it was him until I clicked "show more" on education and publications. So, not exactly an expert in the field then, in a short-lived self-published journal. --tronvillain (talk) 16:44, 9 November 2018 (UTC)


  1. ^ Coxill, David (Spring 1998). Badham, Paul, ed. "The Riddle of the Sphinx". InScription: Journal of Ancient Egypt. Papyrus Publishing (2): 13–19 – via Schoch, Robert M. (2000). "New Studies Confirm Very Old Sphinx" in Dowell, Colette M. (ed). Circular Times.
  2. ^ Dowell, Colette M. (2007). "Notice About Circular Times". Circular Times. Archived from the original on 1 September 2018.
  3. ^ Staff writer. "Record ID: 25487091". Copac. The University of Manchester.
  4. ^ Badham, Paul (1999). "InScription - Journal of Ancient Egypt". Mesdjer Sedjem. Staffordshire Egyptology Society. Archived from the original on 7 January 2005.
  5. ^ Badham, Paul (1997). "InScription: Journal of Ancient Egypt". Stafforshire Egyptology Society (S.E.S.) Home Page. Archived from the original on 6 December 1998.

Are university presses legally affiliated with the Univ. independent of the parent ORG of the University?[edit]

Are university presses WP:INDEPENDENT of the university to which they stand in a legal and financial relationship? Manchester University Press, for example has always been housed by the university (always in one of the university's treasured, historic buildings.) It is "a department of the University of Manchester", all decisions "must be approved by the Editorial Committee, which is composed of academics based at the University of Manchester.". The University of Manchester is a public university. Is it an independent source for books about British politicians? The British government? British political history? And if it is , is it different form Brigham Young University Press? In a series of AfD discussions, an editor I respect, User:NorthAmerica has argued that no publication from BYU Press can be sued to establish the notability of anyone affiliated with the LDS Church. See current discussion at: Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Yoshihiko Kikuchi. The formal wording of WP:INDEPENDENT appears to rule out a great many scholarly journals and university presses. It may be that we need ot revise the guideline. But as worded, it ought to apply equally to every publisher with any "any financial or legal relationship to the topic." E.M.Gregory (talk) 20:30, 9 November 2018 (UTC)

I think the university normally has at least ultimate control. Is MUP an independent source for books about British politicians, the British government, British political history? Yes of course it is. Manchester U is no more "public" than Oxford or Cambridge. Religious university presses, and many 3rd world ones, may raise a question here. Johnbod (talk) 20:39, 9 November 2018 (UTC)
Just fyi the Manchester U Press is part of th eUniversity. Cambridge and Oxford U. presses are freestanding corporations, fiscally and legally independent oft the those universities. This is why I selected Manchester to stand for a type.E.M.Gregory (talk) 21:16, 9 November 2018 (UTC) My error.E.M.Gregory (talk) 16:58, 11 November 2018 (UTC)
That is absolute nonsense, at least as far as OUP goes. I can't be bothered to look at CUP, but I'm sure it is the same. OUP is exempt from Corporation tax, as a department of a charity (the University). Their website could not be more clear: "Structure: Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide". For any UP, look at the boards and ask yourself who the shareholders (if any) are. Just fyi! Johnbod (talk) 23:23, 10 November 2018 (UTC)
Thank you for confirming that we have a problem. Many university presses are in a very close financial and management relationship with a university. Some (Georgetown University Press, Catholic University of America Press,) are church afiliated. Man others - including Oxford and Manchester - are attacked to government-funded universities. Problem is, the rule seems to be applied only to Brigham Young University Press.E.M.Gregory (talk) 16:58, 11 November 2018 (UTC)
  • The reliability of various presses is a separate question. This is a question about what publications can be used to establish NOTABILITY at AfD. The wording at WP:INDEPENDENT doses not distinguish religious from non religious publishers.E.M.Gregory (talk) 21:16, 9 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Well, WP:IS isn't a guideline. But it's important to remember why the independence criterion exists: "We require that all articles rely primarily on "third-party" or "independent sources" so that we can write a fair and balanced article that complies with Wikipedia's neutral point of view policy and to ensure that articles are not advertising a product, service, or organization." (WP:WHYN) It's clear that many university presses routinely publish books critical of the institutions with whom they may have a legal and financial interest, which gives some indication of the impact those interests actually have on those presses in terms of their ability to produce sources that support fair, balanced, NPOV articles while not advertising their employers. Ruling those presses out based on a narrow reading of an explanatory supplement would impede the work of the encyclopedia. Bakazaka (talk) 23:31, 9 November 2018 (UTC)
  • The way these criteria are being used to try and exclude books published by BYU press and BYU studies is just out of line. Basically they claim that these organizations do not publish works critical of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and other presses publish works critical of their owners, so it is a different story. This is flawed on many counts. While BYU press, BYU studies, Deseret Book and related entities do not publish works that deny the basic truth claims of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, they most definately do publish works that are critical of specific policies of the Church, actions of members of the Church, actions of leaders of the Church, and related issues. This is even more true of the Neal A. Mawell Institute and the Mormon Studies Review, which are from all standpoints of organizational analysis just as much under the control of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are is BYU Studies. Academic journals should not be treated as unusable sources because of ownership. This is especially true of subjects that have a long history of very few balanced studies on them. This is especially the case of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The most strong and serious scholarship of the history of this organization has been conducted by professors at Brigham Young University or people published tyhrough BYU until very recently. This applies even more so to studies about the Church as a contemporary or near contemporary organization especially outside the US. The attempt to exclude from being a reliable source a work edited by Reid Neilsen, the leading academic expert on the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Japan, from consideration as a reliable source just because of the affiliations of the university that published this work is ludicrous. To take a look at other works published by BYU studies they published Ron Walkers Qualities that Count, a collection of essays on Heber J. Grant. Despite the title, the work would generally be considered a very balanced one on Grant, and it clearly shows his human side and gives deep insight into the struggles of his life. The same is true of Walker's bio on Grant's mother included in the BYU press published work Supporting Saints. Some of Walker's comments are even quoted by virulent anti-Mormons in their attacks on the policies of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I would argue that these are fed by misunderstandings of Latter-day Saint views on revelation, specfically that Latter-day Saints accept not just Joseph Smith but all his succesors as prophets, seers and revelators. They also accept that the revelation that guides and directs the Church, from its head Jesus Christ through his chosen leaders, does not need to be explicitly stated as new revelation to be binding, and that policies can and do, and in fact must change. The Latter-day Saints are inherently anti-fundementalist, they believe not in preserving some pure Church that once existed, but that Jesus Christ speaks to each time in their own language, and part of that speaking in their own language is making a Church that best meets the needs of the people and best prepares them to come unto him and receive his blessings. To me Walker's writings reinforce my faith and help me see this, and Walker if pushed would have almost certainly stated that Grant was an inspired man of God. However Walker was first and foremost a historian, who wrote balancved historical essays, and if these are not reliable sources on the life and work of Heber J. Grant none such reliable sources exist.John Pack Lambert (talk) 22:02, 10 November 2018 (UTC)
While BYU press, BYU studies, Deseret Book and related entities do not publish works that deny the basic truth claims of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Doesn't that indicate that these sources should be considered primary or at least not independent when it comes to claims about the Mormon Church? Red Rock Canyon (talk) 23:40, 10 November 2018 (UTC)
The question at the top of this section is about independence, not reliability. A source can be reliable but not independent. For example, some church publications are reliable sources for the church's position on an issue. But they are not independent, and therefore cannot be used to support notability of a subject under WP:N. Bakazaka (talk) 00:17, 12 November 2018 (UTC)
  • WP:INDEPENDENT is an "explanatory supplement to Wikipedia:Notability It clearly defines a great many university presses as not INDEPENDENT from the universities, governments and churches with which have "financial or legal relationship". But this guideline appears to be applied only to Brigham Young University Press; at AfD, scholarly books and articles about Mormons are being dismissed as sources for notability by an editor who has recently nominated dozens of articles about Mormons (some historic figures, some BLP, on the grounds that scholarly material from [[Brigham Young University Press]] is PRIMARY.E.M.Gregory (talk) 17:18, 11 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Many university presses are members of the Association of American University Presses. This is noteworthy because, historically, many university presses have been targets of their parent institutions, which have sought to shut down the presses. Banding together has helped university presses act in concert against such efforts. If we're here to exercise judgement based on practical, empirical information, then we should note, again, that the supposed financial and legal interests do not have equal implications for all institutions. Also note that presses from some religious institutions are members of this organization, including Baylor University Press and University of Notre Dame Press. BYU Press is not. Neither is Liberty University Press.[7] Bakazaka (talk) 21:26, 11 November 2018 (UTC)
  • It would have to be decided on a case-by-case basis depending on how much editorial independence is acutally given to the press. Publications funded directly by a corporation would presumably reflect the corporation's best interests and might even have a legal obligation to shareholders. Educational institutions, on the other hand, theoretically operate in the interest of furthering human knowledge and have varying levels of independence from their sponsors; even when the University has final authority over what is published, a well-run institution would use an editorial committee to assess content from an academic rather than financial/promotional perspective. Public universities often have greater degrees of academic freedom, while religious institutions are required to follow their ideology more closely. In this case, sources such as the Encyclopedia of Mormonism are meant to be independent of the Mormon church, even though BYU resources were used in its publication. It would be far-fetched to say that church officials are pressuring the University press to cast them in a positive light. –dlthewave 00:17, 12 November 2018 (UTC)

WebArchive as a source[edit]

This source is used for German casualties in the Battle of Kursk article. Can it be considered as a reliable source? Can it be used as a source for casualties in some particular battle (it gives casualties figures for army groups, not for some particular battle)?--Paul Siebert (talk) 20:37, 9 November 2018 (UTC)

The Internet Archive, or Wayback Machine, is not a source. The question should be, was the site a reliable source? Note that if you try to access, you will be taken to a site that tries to download something to your computer. I suspect that ww2stats was somebodies blog, and therefore not acceptable as a source. - Donald Albury 22:19, 9 November 2018 (UTC)
It looks like ww2stats is not active any more: [8]. --Paul Siebert (talk) 22:56, 9 November 2018 (UTC)
The given example link to the archived website points to a wehrmacht document(series) availabe through the german Bundesarchive. Data is reliable to show officially recorded losses for specific timeframes and area/service branch. --Denniss (talk) 23:34, 9 November 2018 (UTC)
Sorry, but Bundesarchive data are a primary source, so their usage is strongly discouraged. Second, these data require a significant work (for example, I could not derive the figure of 50,000 from these data directly), so this would be an original research to provide figures that are derived from 10-days records by army (that woudl require some assumptions that are not too obvious, and are not easy to verify). Not only that is an original research, it is a poor quality original research: according to these figures, Wehrmacht sustained no losses during teh battle of Kursk after Zitadelle (50c KIA during Zitadelle and 50k total). I raised that question on the talk page, but I got no answer. Please, self-revert and find better sources and figures.--Paul Siebert (talk) 00:03, 10 November 2018 (UTC)

Major rewrite of Siege of Singara (344)[edit]

Hi, i'm currently rewriting the above article, since it's almost exclusively sourced with outdated 19th century sources. I need to know if the following sources are reliables for this topic before to cite them in the new version of the article :

Please ping me if you need additional informations. Thanks.---Wikaviani (talk) (contribs) 20:44, 9 November 2018 (UTC)

I am suspicious of these, the publisher specialises in popular history rather than scholarly works. My normal practice would be to see who added them and find out if they had any edits adding sources by other publishers, because I am a nasty suspicious bastard. Guy (Help!) 22:54, 9 November 2018 (UTC)
Hey Guy, thanks very much for your insight. Actually, these sources are not yet used in the article. This article is quite messy with numerous claims not in accordance with WP:NPOV and rather WP:OR. The sources currently cited in the article are outdated 19th century sources (mainly). I want to rewrite the whole article, remove the outdated sources and replace them with recent ones and i was wondering if i could cite the two above sources.---Wikaviani (talk) (contribs) 00:16, 10 November 2018 (UTC)
Ah, OK. Yes it's a mess. I would prefer academic sources to these, myself, they look a bit Dorling-Kindersley. Guy (Help!) 09:54, 10 November 2018 (UTC)
I would consider both books reliable, but agree with Guy that some more serious academic sources would be preferable if possible. — Frayæ (Talk/Spjall) 14:31, 10 November 2018 (UTC)
Thanks very much to both of you for your insight. Best regards.---Wikaviani (talk) (contribs) 20:52, 10 November 2018 (UTC)


I suspect that SpaceNews may not be a WP:RS. It appears to be largely an aggregator, with a lot of stories based on press releases and a very small staff none of whom appear to be experts in the field, though the editor would appear to be effectively a well regarded citizen journalist in the field. Guy (Help!) 22:47, 9 November 2018 (UTC)

Is a WP:RS for use in a WP:BLP?[edit]

Here's the edit that cites this website. My gut is that it's not a WP:RS. But I'd like to hear other opinions. Msnicki (talk) 02:22, 10 November 2018 (UTC)

It appears to be some sort of curated inspiration site, there is no evidence that it's RS. Guy (Help!) 09:53, 10 November 2018 (UTC)
  • It is a perfectly good site but not what I would describe as a reliable source, for BLPs particularly. Mainly due to the fact it is unclear who write their content or what their editorial process is. — Frayæ (Talk/Spjall) 14:24, 10 November 2018 (UTC)
  • I spend a lot of time working on scientists. One of the hardest things is to find sources that actually discuss the science and what people did. This site gives more detail about the actual science than most of the sites I've seen, and I find it extremely useful. I found it when looking for information about the work of Marie Maynard Daly. It actually gave some information about what she did on nucleic acids and why that was important to researchers like Watson and Crick. Mary Mark Ockerbloom (talk) 15:56, 10 November 2018 (UTC)
Furthermore, the author, Dale DeBakcsy, is clearly identified on the site, and has published books in this topic area. cf. The Illustrated Women in Science (2015), The Cartoon History of Humanism. This is a very reasonable site to be referencing, and much better than a number of others I've seen, many of which just repeat the same information without giving useful detail. Mary Mark Ockerbloom (talk) 15:56, 10 November 2018 (UTC)

Wetherby (film) location of filming is incorrect and misleading[edit]

The original text on the page "Wetherby (film)" stated that no filming took place in Wetherby itself, I edited this page to explain that scenes in the released film were filmed in Wetherby. This edit has now been deleted, and continues to state incorrectly that "Despite the name and alleged setting, none of the film was shot in Wetherby".

I saw the filming take place in Wetherby and our family house was hired by the producers for two outdoor scenes in the film. The producers and actors will be able to confirm these facts.— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) - Donald Albury 20:03, 10 November 2018 (UTC)

Your eyewitness testimony are not a valid source by Wikipedia policy. — Frayæ (Talk/Spjall) 19:58, 10 November 2018 (UTC)
Are you at all interested in the truth ?— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:10, 10 November 2018 (UTC)
If it's wrong you can always remove it. Leave this note on the article talk page and wait and see if a published reliable source can be found with the right details. — Frayæ (Talk/Spjall) 21:13, 10 November 2018 (UTC)
Please state your sources for the original statement "no filming took place in Wetherby"— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:18, 10 November 2018 (UTC)
The IMDB entry for Wetherby, given as an External link in that article, certainly includes the town as a filming location. Martinevans123 (talk) 21:22, 10 November 2018 (UTC)
It is clearly controversial and entirely unsourced. I simply removed the whole section. You can put something back if it is verifiable in line with WP:V and other policy. — Frayæ (Talk/Spjall) 21:32, 10 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Also note: the closing credits of the film itself say only: "The film was made on location in Yorkshire and London ..." (If you want to check for yourself, there is full-length 1080p BluRay x264 version on YouTube that has been there for over two years: see t=1:42:38) Martinevans123 (talk) 21:46, 10 November 2018 (UTC)
Probably best discussed further at Talk:Wetherby (film). Thanks. Martinevans123 (talk) 21:56, 10 November 2018 (UTC)

who2 Biographies[edit]

This has just been used as a reference for a date of birth. It looks to me like a collection of dates taken from other sources (like probably Wikipedia). Does anyone know anything about this website? Deb (talk) 17:48, 11 November 2018 (UTC)

They claim to write all their content themselves, double check the dates, and existed for several years before Wikipedia. The editorial staff is listed as well on about page. I think it is reliable for dates. — Frayæ (Talk/Spjall) 21:29, 11 November 2018 (UTC)
Okay, then, I'll trust it until I have reason to do otherwise. Deb (talk) 09:26, 12 November 2018 (UTC)