Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Welcome to the reliable sources noticeboard. This page is for posting questions regarding whether particular sources are reliable in context.
Before posting, please be sure to include the following information, if available:
  • 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.
If you are looking for a copy of a specific source, please ask at the resource exchange board.
Sections older than 5 days archived by MiszaBot II.
Click here to purge this page
(For help, see Wikipedia:Purge)
Search this noticeboard & archives

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20
21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30
31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40
41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50
51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60
61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70
71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80
81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90
91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100
101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110
111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, 118, 119, 120
121, 122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130
131, 132, 133, 134, 135, 136, 137, 138, 139, 140
141, 142, 143, 144, 145, 146, 147, 148, 149, 150
151, 152, 153, 154, 155, 156, 157, 158, 159, 160
161, 162, 163, 164, 165, 166, 167, 168, 169, 170
171, 172, 173, 174, 175, 176, 177, 178, 179, 180
181, 182, 183, 184, 185, 186, 187, 188, 189, 190
191, 192, 193

Kissan support services Private Limited (KSSL)[edit]

Kissan Support Services is Private Limited Company, established in 2006 as a subsidiary of Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL), Located in Islamabad Capital of Pakistan. The purpose for establishing this subsidiary was to outsource ZTBL’s non core activities which include:  Sports  Security Services  Provision of man power (Clerical & Non-Clerical Staff)  Janitorial Services &  Canteen Maintenance

The Company Provides Services to Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]


If you want to create an article, I suggest you see Wikipedia:Articles_for_creation. Stuartyeates (talk) 20:58, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

Using Parlamentní as a source[edit]

An editor is using this source [1] for content in the synopsis section of the documentary The Weight of Chains 2. The author of the piece is 'Radim Panenka' who 'Googles' as being only a contributor to 'user-posted' sites, and who appears to be an activist in the area which the documentary covers.

Parlamentní listy has an entry on Czech WP [2], which Google translate [3] appears to suggest is a mix of monthly print output and user-posted online output. It is not clear which this article is. Some discussion of the source has taken place here Talk:The_Weight_of_Chains_2#Synopsis_..._single_source.

Whilst I appreciate that sources are not required for non-contentious claims in a documentary synopsis, sources, if used should be RS I believe, otherwise a spurious-legitimacy is being given to the content, is this a correct supposition on my part?

Parlamentní listy is used as a source in a very small number of Eng WP articles [4].

Doesn't seem particularly reliable to me. Stuartyeates (talk) 20:59, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

What criteria are used to judge newspapers as being RS?[edit]

A thread above on the Daily Mail has led to discussions about RS much broader than that single newspaper. What criteria/rules of thumb should editors use to judge whether a newspaper is RS for the edit they wish to make?DrChrissy (talk) 19:16, 15 July 2015 (UTC)

If only we had a policy on reliable sources that editors could consult, and some sort of noticeboard where they could discuss the specific application of those rules to more difficult, specific, or nuanced questions. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 19:21, 15 July 2015 (UTC) this sarcasm, perhaps?DrChrissy (talk) 20:13, 15 July 2015 (UTC)
Does the publication have a reputation for fact checking, accuracy and editorial oversight? Is its reputation in the area of discussion for these particular facts? Which other sources are reporting these facts? Which other sources are reporting contradictory facts? Is the question a matter of WP:BLP? Is the question a matter of WP:MEDRES? How old is the publication? Are there newer sources that have more up to date analysis? Does it have a reputation for scandal and rumor mongoring? Is there a conflict of interest in this particular story that weighs against other criteria? When it makes mistakes, what corrective actions does it take? When it makes mistakes do other reliable sources cover the mistake? Are they covering it because it is a rare event or because mistakes are the stock in trade of the publication?-- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 20:44, 15 July 2015 (UTC)
Which ones have this reputation, which ones don't. It feels a bit like we are asking everyone to reinvent the wheel each time. --  20:49, 15 July 2015 (UTC)
Thanks TRPoD. Now we have something we can work with. Do you think the country in which the newspaper is published is relevant - for example, might British newspapers be considered more RS for British matters?DrChrissy (talk) 21:22, 15 July 2015 (UTC)
Locality could be a factor into expertise, which is one of many considerations when it comes to reliability. Locality can also be a source of bias, which does not affect reliability but can affect how an article should frame any claims. I've written an essay at Wikipedia:Applying Reliability Guidelines that goes into more detail. Rhoark (talk) 01:06, 16 July 2015 (UTC)

Could the draft table below be used to summarize consensus on the "general" suitability of newspapers as RS compliant?

Newspaper Country Age (years) Does the source have a good or bad reputation for - Do other sources Another column
Checking facts
Editorial oversight
Reporting on this subject
Correcting its mistakes
Preferentially reporting scandal or rumours
Preferentially reporting rare events
Conflict of interest
Report contradictory facts
Report mistakes by the source
Category 1
Category 2
Daily Mail UK 65
Daily Express UK .
Daily Telegraph UK .
The Guardian UK .
Notes here

aThere is editorial oversight, but the editor is clearly biased against feminist issues

DrChrissy (talk) 22:46, 16 July 2015 (UTC)

I think you are trying to find a formulaic approach to something that simply does not lend itself to formulas. Blueboar (talk) 14:23, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
Should I call a RfC for this?DrChrissy (talk) 14:27, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
I'm not sure that would be to anyone's benefit, including yours. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 14:30, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
@User:Short Brigade Harvester Boris I'm not sure I understand your point - why would calling an RfC not be to my benefit?DrChrissy (talk) 20:59, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
@User:Short Brigade Harvester Boris. I am close to calling an RfC on this but I would like to be aware of the possible consequences. So, I am repeating my question to you - why would calling an RfC not be to my benefit?DrChrissy (talk) 19:08, 20 July 2015 (UTC)
This is the RS noticeboard. YOur post is actually a 'de-facto' RFC. Several people replied already. And going bureaucratic dose not change the fact that we cannot cast in stone what you want. Staszek Lem (talk) 16:30, 17 July 2015 (UTC)

You ar forgetting the fact that a "source" has three components, each of which can be questioned independently: (publisher, author, text). If the reliability of a reference is questioned, this must be based on specific arguments. A policy cannot simply declare "LLanvabon Monday News" reliable to unconditionally trump any doubts. Yes, each WP:RS discussion is reinventing a wheel, because each time the wheel is different. Of course, we can reject triangular wheels right away, but even a quite round wheel may be wobbly. Staszek Lem (talk) 16:30, 17 July 2015 (UTC)

Comment People seem to think there is a hidden agenda here - to set things in stone so that there is no point to this Noticeboard. There is no hidden agenda. What I am trying to achieve is some sort of general consensus which can be published as a reference guide so that editors can quickly see that a source might be challenged. Even if this is something like "Tabloid newspapers are generally considered as poor sources and better sources are almost always preferred". I don't understand the reluctance to do something like this.DrChrissy (talk) 16:37, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
@User:DrChrissy Correct me if I'm wrong but it seems like you are trying to give individual newspapers a general "grade" without regard to the content and context of a particular reference in a specific article. I'm afraid such a contextless "carte blanche" grade is basically meaningless. To make statements like "The Anyburgh Daily Blah is hereby declared to be a Reliable Source, for any and all purposes and for all time" is an excercise in futility. Each individual reference is evaluated within its specific context. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 17:41, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
I am actually more concerned about identifying non-RS. Some editors are already "carte blanche" dismissing sources by leaving edit summaries like "completely unacceptable particularly as a validation of other rumors. no no no no no", "the Daily Mail is a tabloid rarely suitable four [sic] sourcing but certainly not on an issue like this." and "Probably need something better than a HuffPo blog post for this." If these generalist concerns were available, especially to new editors, they would save editors much time and frustration, and lead to better sourced articles.DrChrissy (talk) 20:55, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
The problem with such proposed 'blacklists' is that they lead to arguments to the effect that anything not on the list can be used as a source for anything. That isn't the way it works, and we don't want to give credence to such simplistic thinking. AndyTheGrump (talk) 21:01, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
If they are identifying the Daily Mail as unreliable, they are most likely right. It is sometimes right, because even they can't be wrong all the time, but they are very frequently wrong, and deliberately so. Guy (Help!) 08:03, 20 July 2015 (UTC)

We really need a FAQ on this topic as it comes up again and again. The answer to "Is the Daily Mail as a reliable source?" is always "a reliable source for what"? I don't go out of my way to use it, and its hyperbole and ability to not worry about facts getting in the way of a good story is well known. [5] In that respect, it's actually worse than The Sun which at least is obviously a tabloid and makes no effort to pretend otherwise. However, it is the only British newspaper read more by women than men, and I am convinced it produces articles about fashion and shopping that are covered in more depth compared to other papers. In that respect, it is an important source when used with care to counteract our systemic bias. It is not surprising to me that a white, male 23-year old would find little of interest in the Mail. Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 10:24, 20 July 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for that. It is exactly that sort of information that we need to encapsulate in something like "The Daily Mail is rarely considered to be a reliable source, however, it has a more acceptable reputation when reporting on womens' fashion and shopping".DrChrissy (talk) 14:06, 20 July 2015 (UTC)
No. That violates WP:BEANS. The salient fact is that the Daily Mail is usually only reliable on things that are not worth including in Wikipedia. And if we do use them as a source for some trivia, we are attracting clicks to adjacent content which is usually either grossly unreliable or simply creepy (the phrase "all grown up" for example is a hallmark of their obsessive sexualisation of very young women). Guy (Help!) 17:22, 20 July 2015 (UTC)
Can we really "violate" what is just an essay?DrChrissy (talk) 17:41, 20 July 2015 (UTC)
I think the point is that you shouldn't have hard and fast rules about whether 'x' is a reliable source, because somebody will use it in an argument in an edit war or AfD discussion : "Of course it's a reliable source, it's 'x'". Guy, if you look at my user page, you'll see I keep tabs on BLPs cited to the Sun, the Mail and the Daily Star, which incredibly (as I write this) appears as a citation in no less than 13 BLPs. Please help reduce the backlog. Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 18:21, 20 July 2015 (UTC)
I really do see the points that are being made here and I am listening. Maybe this is an issue more about editor's behaviour. I came to this issue because I wanted to write about the numbers of dogs eaten at an annual festival in China. I found several blogs which stated 10,000 (but obviously non-RS) and then found the Daily Mail article which also stated 10,000. So, I edited the entry only to be told that The Daily Mail was not a suitable source, So, I then researched further and found The Independent also reported 10,000. So where exactly did the Daily Mail gain such a poor reputation for reporting on the numbers of dogs killed at an annual festival in China? This is the context in which the source was used but I believe a much broader brush is being used in these decisions. I really don't care whether the Daily Mail or whatever newspaper is perceived in this way, but I do care that editors should be informed somewhere of how broad this brush is.DrChrissy (talk) 18:46, 20 July 2015 (UTC)
The Daily Mail didn't get a poor reputation for reporting on the number of dogs killed at an annual festival, if has a poor reputation on everything, especially anything relating to a regime which does not match its ideal (which is somewhat more libertarian than either Thatcher or Reagan). It probably didn't fact-check the number. The Indie might have, but also is quite likely not to have done. That kind of number has a tendency to be speculative and to originate with a group with an agenda. Guy (Help!) 08:12, 23 July 2015 (UTC)

I think a sort of report card, while not definitive, could be a valuable resource for editors. Rhoark (talk) 19:13, 20 July 2015 (UTC)

I strongly agree this would be a valuable resource and I have never understood why it doesn't exist. While we should make clear that there is no definitive list and RSes are judged on a case-by-case basis, the specific questions "Does the publication have a reputation for fact checking, accuracy and editorial oversight?" can and should be answered in a table like this. It would be an especially valuable resource to people who just stumble on a paper they are unfamiliar with, which happens all the time. How are you supposed to know if the Weekly So-and-so has a reputation for fact checking? Well, maybe someone else knows. I don't think there's a reasonable objection to making public and accessible the community's consensus on how specific newspapers generally measure up in terms of these standards. --Sammy1339 (talk) 00:03, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
It doesn't exist because it would encourage a rules-based approach that lost sight of the actual content, so unreliable content could be supported because it's in a place that's usually reliable and vice-versa. It's not as if anybody will be unaware that 90% of what the Daily Mail writes is dross, after all. Guy (Help!) 16:27, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
I'm not exactly sure where you get your statistics from, but it would be interesting to know the demographics of the survey. Are 15-yr-olds aware of this reputation - especially the ones that are directed to edit on WP as a school exercise? How many US, Chinese, French (enter any non-UK country) citizens are aware of this reputation? We need to let them know.DrChrissy (talk) 17:29, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Indeed, when I'm dealing with foreign papers, especially Indian ones, it's rarely clear what's dreck and what isn't. Even with American and British sources, there are simply so many different ones, and I never know how to find out if they fact check. Does the average person know that The Daily Beast is a quality paper? We see the Huffington Post cited all the time, and it's clear most people don't know anything about its editorial practices. What about The New York Post - it's a tabloid, but does that mean it doesn't fact-check? The answer is only obvious if you hang out at RSN. Again, there needs to be a disclaimer, and it needs to be made clear that consulting the table is not a substitute for judging whether the specific information cited is reliable in context, but information about the editorial practices of newspapers should not be kept secret. --Sammy1339 (talk) 22:25, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
The Daily Mail is almost certainly canny enough to stay on the right side of libel laws, which in the UK are largely the privilege of the rich and powerful, it being very expensive to fight a libel case. To that extent they may be reliable, the problem with them (and even more other tabloids), is the simplistic coverage. I don't see how WP could have a 'star' rating, as others have said, the context matters. A generally reliable paper like the Grauniad, consciously prints comments which are not mainstream and which are not the papers own analysis, to that extent such pieces are the opinions of the writer ONLY, as I'm sure do other notable papers. The Daily Mail would be as good a place as any for the opinion of Citizen X if that is the claim we are trying to support.Pincrete (talk) 21:37, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

Are and New York Post Reliable Sources.[edit]

A couple of editors have argued that is not a reliable source because it's "an advocacy organization" and/or "biased", and that the New York Post is "a tabloid". The context of the deletions on that basis are here and here. Looking for feedback/guidance.Mattnad (talk) 21:25, 22 July 2015 (UTC)

  • Just my opinion but : The first part -- NYPost is #6 in the List of newspapers in the United States by circulation. The second part -- is an advocacy group. The Coastal College part is just harder to find a RS for as a community college is just not going to get the attention that Stanford does. The policy tied only to it could be self-substantiated by cite to itself. A third party story about it is also at Washington Examiner story, but that seems a conservative tabloid. Markbassett (talk) 22:53, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
The story on the Costal College is pretty new, but is there a policy on whether a conservative paper is not a reliable source because it's conservative? I suppose it could matter on the slant, but the same could be said about or the NYTimes which tend to be on the left.Mattnad (talk) 00:38, 23 July 2015 (UTC)
Also the Atlantic Covered Stanford's policies [6], but there's an editor arguing it's an "editorial". My read is it's an article, but even if it were an editorial, is it a reliable source?Mattnad (talk) 02:38, 23 July 2015 (UTC)
NY Post is certainly a reliable source. But there may be special circumstances for a particular article. This is probably nearly the same for Fire. DaltonCastle (talk) 03:01, 23 July 2015 (UTC)
"Other editor" here. I think I should clarify: the question I've raised is really whether FIRE's interpretation of sexual assault standards at Stanford can be presented as fact. The claim originates with that organization, but is repeated in a New York Post opinion piece written by a FIRE affiliate. Its also quoted (again, attributed to FIRE) in an essay by Conor Friedsordorf of The Atlantic. To my mind, all three sources really originate from the same place, and none of them can be called "reliable" sources for that statement of fact because none of them actually attempt to independently verify it. Nblund (talk) 04:27, 23 July 2015 (UTC)
I'd agreed to offer attribution, but here's a point but Nblund didn't mention. Fire included a copy of the Stanford policy which says basically what they say it did. The other sources had opportunity to read that same policy themselves. It's a bit presumptuous to say that neither the NY Post or the Atlantic didn't check any facts, even when providing credit to Fire. If it's covered in Reliable Sources, are we supposed to second guess them? I read the same policy included by Fire and so did Nblund. Here's what it states, [7], "A person is legally incapable of giving consent if under age 18 years; if intoxicated by drugs and/or alcohol;". Even though Nblund read it, and the other sources had it easily available, Nblund still claims nobody checked facts.Mattnad (talk) 10:14, 23 July 2015 (UTC)
FIRE interprets this to mean that the policy "states that students cannot consent to sex—even with a spouse—if “intoxicated” to any degree.". This is an interpretation, and its one that is disputed elsewhere.
News sources, even generally reliable ones, do sometimes quote things without providing a fact check. For example: this CNN article quotes Donald Trump's Obama birthplace conspiracy beliefs without directly repudiating them. Those claims don't become reliable just because they were quoted in a reliable source. Nblund (talk) 17:27, 23 July 2015 (UTC)
Nblund - NYPost is a RS choosing to carry the content about FIRE and Stanford -- which was the question here at RS/N. It seems also carried in RS Atlantic and RS Wall Street Journal (Taranto piece on Drunkeness and Double Standard) and probably other places. This forum is just for RS/N, wording it is a different matter, more suitable for the article TALK. Markbassett (talk) 19:15, 23 July 2015 (UTC)
I have to chuckle at Nblund's use of an opinion piece in a Blog as a source we should consider, when he/she was so firm that opinion pieces are not reliable sources (double standard?), and if we're talking about bias, Amanda Marcott comes strongly from the viewpoint of victim's advocacy. However, I personally think the Slate Blog does qualify as a reliable source, even if Nblund is selective in reliable source interpretation when it suits him/her. However, I've already stated a willingness to qualify any quotes from Fire. But Nblund seems to be still arguing that any of the several sources are not permissible as fruits from a poisoned tree.Mattnad (talk) 21:34, 23 July 2015 (UTC)
There's no double standard, I think you're just misinterpreting me. Opinion sources are acceptable sources for opinions. If you're willing to qualify the quote as coming from FIRE -- clearly indicating that its an opinion from an advocacy organization, then I think we have the basis for a compromise. The other sources aren't "poisoned", but the fact that they quoted someone else's opinion doesn't render it any less of an opinion, and it shouldn't be used as a pretense to obscure the original source of that claim. Nblund (talk) 23:25, 23 July 2015 (UTC)
I'm not asking about how to word the statement, I'm questioning whether any of these sources can be used to offer FIRE's interpretation as a fact. How do you figure that the NY Post editorial page is an RS here? You mentioned circulation numbers, but I don't see that criteria anywhere in the RS policy. The policy clearly states that these determinations are context-dependent, so I don't entirely understand how you can give a blanket declaration that any of these sources are reliable.
"Carrying" content is not the same as verifying it, all three of these sources are opinion pieces which essentially just quote FIRE's interpretation of the policy. Can you explain how this is distinct from the CNN example I listed above? Nblund (talk) 19:39, 23 July 2015 (UTC)
  • high circulation does not equal reliabilty. the NYP is a tabloid. If they are the only source covering something, warning bells ringing all over. if other more reliable sources are covering it too, we would use the more reliable sources instead. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 21:20, 23 July 2015 (UTC)
WSJ and Atlantic Magazine qualify?Mattnad (talk) 21:34, 23 July 2015 (UTC)
Yes, both of those are in the higher quality realms of sources for most content. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 22:02, 23 July 2015 (UTC)
I think everyone agrees that the Atlantic and WSJ are generally reliable, but both of the articles in question are opinion pieces and neither one purports to offer independent verification of FIRE's claim -- they just repeat it. Per WP:NEWSORG: "Editorial commentary, analysis and opinion pieces, whether written by the editors of the publication (editorials) or outside authors (op-eds) are reliable primary sources for statements attributed to that editor or author, but are rarely reliable for statements of fact." Nblund (talk) 22:26, 23 July 2015 (UTC)
Nblund WP:CONTEXTMATTERS applies of the article usage is at 'criticisms of Clery act' so yes I think opinion pieces are OK. It's still RS of a third-party publisher and verifiable cite meaning WP:V of identified location for publicly available content. Just be careful wording at the article so the cite actually says what is attributed to it and author saying it not the publishers (Atlantic or FIRE or NYPost or WSJ or whoever). Whether the cite is supporting that Taranto said it, or that Taranto is summarizing something said elsewhere or that Taranto is quoting a piece elsewhere -- are three different ref formats. I don't particularly see where the article text itself would need togo into who said it where as that's not a significant part of the criticism and is part of the ref. Markbassett (talk) 17:25, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
They could possibly be used to cite opinions, but never for facts; and it would be important to determine that those opinions are noteworthy enough to include. In any case, the section in dispute previously used TheFire and the Post to state clearly-contentious facts, which is definitely not acceptable; at best, we could list those as the opinions of specific people, attributing it directly to them in-text. --Aquillion (talk) 02:33, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
  • The Atlantic is RS and this is not an opinion piece. Fire looks RS for this ref. Capitalismojo (talk) 00:48, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

Gerontology Research Group (GRG) tables[edit]

The reliability of GRG tables for articles on supercentenarians in project World's Oldest People has been discussed here several times in the past but none of the discussions have been closed with a reliability determination.[8][9][10][11] The articles are in need of work but before that can begin, we need to determine whether the GRG tables are reliable sources to support birth/death dates and age claims for articles on supercentenarians, particularly for the "List of" articles such as List of Belgian supercentenarians, List of oldest people by nation, List of supercentenarians from the United States, List of oldest living people, and List of supercentenarians who died in 2014.

There are several tables on the GRG site and the ones most commonly used as sources on Wikipedia are Table E (verified or validated supercentenarians), Table EE (supercentenarians pending validation), and Table I (verified supercentenarians organized by death date). There are also tables listing deaths in each year that are used as sources here. I can't find the validation process on the site but I think it involves the supercentenarian (or their next of kin) providing three pieces of documentation with the person's birth date which are then researched and validated by GRG researchers. My understanding is that claims may be pending validation because either they not have provided the three pieces of documentation or the documentation has been provided but has not yet been researched or validated. I don't know how much verification goes into verifying death dates.

GRG researchers consider all GRG tables to be reliable but I'm not sure whether they are. I think Table E is probably a reliable source for birth/death dates and age because entries have been fact-checked, whereas Table EE is probably not a reliable source for the same because the entries aren't fully fact-checked and there's no way to know how far along in the process they are. I'm also concerned that the tables are constantly updated and previous versions are not available so it isn't always possible to verify that a name appeared in a previous version of a table, but I don't know whether that affects reliability.

Apologies for the length of this post, and thank you for your help. Ca2james (talk) 16:28, 14 July 2015 (UTC)

No institution is perfect, and we have no insight into the exact ins-and-outs of how every fact printed by the GRG was obtained and checked-- any more than you do for the Washington Post. But the same is true of everything printed in any "reliable source." If you don't like the GRG as a source of reliable age-of-death information, what in the world would you replace it with? The major newspapers use GRG. Robert Young, who has done the fact-checking for GRG since 1999, is also the current Senior Consultant for Gerontology for Guinness World Records since 2005, so that's where THEY get their info also. So who are you going to use, if not Young? I challenge anybody who disagrees to carefully read the GRG process, which is the background here: [12] That process is described in Young's chapter in the peer reviewed Springer publication H. Maier et al. (eds.), Supercentenarians, Demographic Research Monographs, DOI 10.1007/978-3-642-11520-2_15, © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010. SBHarris 00:38, 15 July 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for posting a link to the verification procedure. Do news organisations use GRG tables or other information from the GRG? If they use tables, which ones do they use? Note that news organisations referring to the GRG does not automatically make the GRG tables reliable according to Wikipedia guidelines. If uninvolved editors determine that some number of the GRG tables are not reliable sources, and a replacement reliable source cannot be found, the content currently supported by those GRG tables would have to be removed. But let's not get ahead of ourselves: first we need to know what uninvolved editors think about whether these tables are WP:RS. Ca2james (talk) 04:38, 15 July 2015 (UTC)
Just going to point out: The GRG has several thousand citations in Google News at the moment. Do a quick search for articles on supercentenarians such as Susannah Mushatt Jones, Sakari Momoi, Jeralean Talley, etc., and you will see that most articles reference the GRG (i.e. "according to the Gerontology Research Group"). This, this, and this are but a few examples. The GRG is the scientific organisation which does the initial work to verify people's ages. Why the debate about whether it is reliable or not is still going on I don't know.
Regarding the debate about which tables are reliable: If a list article includes pending cases, and the pending cases table is cited, what's the issue? Unverified claims are listed at List of oldest living people with news articles cited. Should they not be included? As long as it's made clear that they are not verified, what's the problem? -- Ollie231213 (talk) 14:02, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
The debate is going on because a reliable source on Wikipedia may be different than what the news considers to be reliable. Moreover, news articles are referring to the GRG, not its tables, and we're looking at the reliability of its tables here. That the GRG is considered an authority (although holding up the Daily Mail as proof of that somewhat undermines your point) does not mean that the tables the GRG generates are reliable sources according to Wikipedia. And again, if a table is found not reliable for birth/death date and age information, it can't be used as a source. If other supporting reliable sources don't exist, then that information must excluded. I wish someone other than WP:WOP members would comment on this issue; please could an uninvolved editor comment? Ca2james (talk) 00:01, 18 July 2015 (UTC)
  • I've unarchived this section as we really need some help on this issue. Please, could editors comment on whether the GRG tables - specifically, Table E (where entries are fact-checked by the GRG) and Table EE (where entries are not completely fact-checked) - are reliable sources for birth/death dates in articles on supercentenarians? Thank you. Ca2james (talk) 15:08, 23 July 2015 (UTC)
The major problem I have with this entire area is that it is dominated by cranks. Their assessment of evidence comes with a baggage of belief in things that were largely abandoned by the reality-based community decades ago. It reads like a Robert Heinlein novel (and not one of his better ones, either). Guy (Help!) 10:16, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
I'm confused. Guy, would you mind clarifying which part of the GRG or its tables reads like a Robert Heinlein novel? Thanks! Ca2james (talk) 16:59, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Please does anyone have insight into the question of whether GRG tables E and EE are reliable sources for birth/death dates of supercentenarians in "List of" articles on them? Thank you. Ca2james (talk) 00:40, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
  • I wouldn't consider them to be reliable to the standards need for BLP. Stuartyeates (talk) 23:44, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

Using a court brief to back a claim that same-sex couples shouldn't adopt[edit]

At the Alliance Defending Freedom article, a court brief held on the organisation's website[13] is being used for this edit[14] changing "ADF opposes same-sex marriage and civil unions, as well as adoption by same-sex couples based on their belief that children are best raised by a married mother and father." to " ADF opposes same-sex marriage and civil unions, as well as adoption by same-sex couples based on their scientific study-supported belief[4] that children are best raised by a married mother and father." I already reverted a change from "belief" to "knowledge" earlier today. Doug Weller (talk) 20:51, 23 July 2015 (UTC)

No way. A court brief by the organization itself cannot be used to say that it's "scientific study-supported". Especially since all major academic organizations have said otherwise. Moreover, the brief relies heavily on Regnerus' work which has been discredited by the American Sociological Association. EvergreenFir (talk) Please {{re}} 20:54, 23 July 2015 (UTC)
The ADF court brief cites scientific studies. Should those studies be cited directly instead? Of course, citing those studies would then leave out the fact that ADF cited them. I think it's pretty clear as is, especially with the hedge word "belief", what is being communicated here, but then again, I'm the one who made the most recent edit. Michaelmalak (talk) 21:02, 23 July 2015 (UTC)
No, we should cite the third parties who describe what is in the court brief. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 22:01, 23 July 2015 (UTC)
Indeed. It's the ADF's claim that these studies support their position, not a fact. That claim would need RS support.--Stephan Schulz (talk) 22:48, 23 July 2015 (UTC)
The key omission here is that those studies are themselves highly controversial and have been widely rejected by relevant scientific bodies; at best, such a source could be used to say "based on their belief that children are best raised by a married mother and father. The ADF contends that this belief is supported by scientific evidence; however, these studies have been widely rejected by the scientific community." NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 22:55, 23 July 2015 (UTC)
Agree with NBSB. EvergreenFir (talk) Please {{re}} 00:00, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
That proposed edit is tendentious and does not belong, as pointed out above. This is basically a bit of dumpster-diving being used to support a pre-existing position, it is not an honest scientific inquiry into whether the position is correct or not. Guy (Help!) 10:14, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
Ditto as stated by others above. Obviously not a good source. Primary sources hardly ever are. CorporateM (Talk) 07:19, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
That item is not ADF speaking nor someone speaking about ADF so it does not fit the article. Markbassett (talk) 16:20, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
'Sci-st-supported' seems the problem here, if the source supports their 'belief', that is not a problem. The proposed edit seems to be wanting to turn a belief into a fact, which it clearly, in this case, is not. Pincrete (talk) 21:52, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

Sourcing for Mattress Performance (Carry That Weight)[edit]

Is this source [15] from Columbia Spectator a reliable source for the following text containing direct quotation from attorney Roberta Kaplan: The defendants “do not contest that Ms. Sulkowicz did in fact become a prominent figure in the context of sexual assault on college campuses,” but they “deny that they are responsible or liable for her conduct”. The direct quotation can be verified as accurate in a letter to Judge Woods] published by The Wall Street Journal.

Also, is this source from The Washington Examiner a reliable source to state that the accused students genitals were depicted in drawings displayed at South Hampton Arts Center and on Columbia University campus as described in following text: they cited Sulkowicz's public display of drawings of the accused student's genitals as part of her project. Additional discussion can be found on talk:Mattress Performance (Carry That Weight) --BoboMeowCat (talk) 15:51, 24 July 2015 (UTC)

More generally, is the Columbia Spectator a reliable source for the other claims for which it is used in this article and at Ceci N'est Pas Un Viol? I have been operating under the assumption that, as a student newspaper, it should be deprecated in preference to grownup newspapers, but I'm interested in the community's opinion. --Sammy1339 (talk) 16:24, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
Sammy1339, as previously discussed on talk: Ceci N'est Pas Un Viol, it appears the Columbia Spectator is referenced with multiple additional sources for majority of citations, and currently, only text exclusively referenced to it is quote from director of video, Ted Lawson, who did an interview with Columbia Spectator. Either way, could we please try to keep focus of this discussion on Mattress Performance (Carry That Weight), specifically, on the potential use of Columbia Spectator for the above quote from attorney Roberta Kaplan, and on the potential use of The Washington Examiner for above text regarding drawings of accused student's genitalia. --BoboMeowCat (talk) 16:42, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
I'm genuinely interested in the reliability of Columbia Spectator in general for both articles. --Sammy1339 (talk) 16:51, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
Sammy1339, perhaps consider starting a separate "general discussion", but as pointed out on talk page and also on top of page here, reliability isn't judged only by source, but also by specific content source is being used to reference. That specific content is quoted above (quote from attorney and text regarding drawing of genitalia).--BoboMeowCat (talk) 17:02, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
I would be comfortable using a student paper only for very trivial, non-controversial information that couldn't be found in other, more reliable sources. Quotes are a pretty big deal, because they are often construed to suit the author's POV, are mis-quoted, or taken out of context. I don't think this is a good-enough source in this case.
As for the Washington Examiner, can I ask if there is some kind of politics angle related to this? I ask because the author has a background working for the Heritage Foundation, which I believe is a conservative lobbying group of some kind. She's listed as a "Commentary Writer", but I'm not really sure what that means. On Twitter she says she's a "liberal woman reporter". I'm trying to figure out if it's some kind of political advocacy type thing or more of a news report. The lines are very blurred these days. CorporateM (Talk) 07:18, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
There is a political angle: Sulkowicz is a prominent anti-rape activist and her story has become a lightning rod in a debate over campus sexual assault. The Washington Examiner is generally considered a conservative paper, and the author of the article has written a number of stories on the case that seem more rooted in opinion than in facts. For example: this article is headlined "Friend of mattress girl also accused [named redacted], story even less plausible", and it contains a number of statements that seem to indicate a bias against Sulkowicz. Other examples here, here and here all seem to suggest the author is giving something other that "straight" journalistic account of the story. Nblund (talk) 15:47, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
On the question of the reliability of the Spectator for this quote, I, like CorporateM, think that student-run papers are reliable for non-controversial material. My reasoning for this conclusion is that while it's clear that there is some editorial oversight and articles are updated, it isn't clear how much fact-checking goes into the articles. Since it can't be determined how much oversight goes into controversial topics (which to me includes material related to Sulkowicz, her art, and lawsuits), I don't think this paper is reliable for those topics, let alone these quotes. I apply similar reasoning to the Washington Examiner, which I don't think is reliable for these topics in general, let alone the specific fact that the accused's genitals were drawn on prints of newspaper stories. Ca2james (talk) 16:24, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
@Ca2james: Regarding the second point, you may have misunderstood the question. Whether the accused's genitals were drawn on prints of newspaper stories is not at issue: everyone agrees on that. The issue (which I think is irrelevant to whether we say these were "drawings of his genitals") is whether these drawings were "really of" the accused, or only of "stories" about him. To quote Sulkowicz exactly: “What are the functions of cartoons?” she asked. “Do they depict the people themselves (a feat which, if you’ve done enough reading on art theory, you will realize is impossible), or do they illustrate the stories that have circulated about a person?” This is from NYT. Also I agree the Washington Examiner is WP:BIASED, and used it very carefully for that reason - but it has editorial standards and I think the above question is an example of something it's perfectly adequate for. --Sammy1339 (talk) 22:44, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
I don't think everyone does agree on that, that's why we're here. Nblund (talk) 23:01, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
@Nblund: I was trying to think of a way of saying that without saying it, and couldn't. How would you express it? Maybe "depictions of the genitals of a possibly-fictionalized interpretation of the accused". --Sammy1339 (talk) 23:09, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
I don't think we can or should attempt to make a determination about what they truly depict, the current iteration works around this by ascribing the view to someone else: "public harassment", they cited Sulkowicz's public display of drawings which they said depicted the accused student's genitals as part of her project". This seems reasonable. Nblund (talk) 15:40, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
My contention is that it doesn't matter who they "truly depict." Whether they depict the accused or the myth of the accused, they are still drawings of the accused. --Sammy1339 (talk) 16:40, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
Sounds like that's more of a question of the interpretation of sources, not the reliability. Maybe this discussion belongs on the article talk page. Nblund (talk) 16:51, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

The Huffington Post[edit]

Is the website reliable to be used as a reference in Wikipedia? Please ping me when/if answered. -- Frankie talk 16:20, 25 July 2015 (UTC)

Much of that source is "opinions" which can generally be used when cited as such. Where the opinion is a contentious one about a living person, great care should be used. Straight fact reportage generally meets WP:RS, but with reasonable care, as HuffPo does not generally engage in fact-checking before publication as much as one would like (neither do any of the major news organizations, now that their staffing levels are so greatly reduced). Collect (talk) 19:00, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
As it says at the top of this noticeboard, we context to offer an opinion. What specific source is in question? In what article will it be used and in what way? ElKevbo (talk) 07:00, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
It depends. Some of the content in the Huffington Post is opinion blogs from people not otherwise affiliated with the Post, other pieces are news produced by professional journalists employed by the Post. Gamaliel (talk) 17:34, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
@FrB.TG: If the article is written by the publication's staff of professional journalists as News, then it should be ok. It has a lot of articles and op-eds written by guest authors that should not be used for anything. CorporateM (Talk) 23:41, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
Agree with CorporateM. To add, I always think HuffPo should be a last choice when dealing with BLPs as they don't have the best record for reliability when it comes to contentious individuals. EvergreenFir (talk) Please {{re}} 23:53, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
News reporting: probably yes. Blogs: Probably no (even Dana "Mr Uncredible" Ullman has a platform there, after all). Guy (Help!) 16:24, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

World Socialist Web Site[edit]

This is a website by International Committee of the Fourth International, a Trotskist organization. Here is an example of publication: [16]. It has been used on a BLP page to discredit work by historian about Trotsky diff. My very best wishes (talk) 20:02, 25 July 2015 (UTC)

I wish we had a special policy about the best citations for politics, like we do for medicine. If we had one, I would imagine it would say to avoid any sources like this that are published by an organization whose purpose is to advocate for a political agenda. I vote no on this one. CorporateM (Talk) 23:39, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
This is an advocacy source. I think such sources might be useful in some cases, however they generally should not be used to discredit their political opponents, especially in BLP context, as in this case. My very best wishes (talk) 23:59, 26 July 2015 (UTC)


Hi, I was wondering if LewdGamer is a reliable source NSFW Link. I noticed it was cited in Momiji (Ninja Gaiden), Kasumi (Dead or Alive), and Kasumi (Dead or Alive), but I did not see it listed on the lists here. I just want to make sure if it qualifies as RS or not, so I came here to get consensus from other editors. The content being sourced in the aforementioned articles is as follows (order respective of articles mentioned):

Momiji also appears in Studio FOW's unofficial CGI-animated pornographic film Kunoichi - Broken Princess.[16]


Despite warnings from Team Ninja to not do it or no more Dead or Alive games will be released for the PC, modders quickly released a topless version of Momiji in Last Round.[84]


...and one fan-made mod for DOA5 modified her training suit to remove most of the clothing.[58]


It is a CG-animated production and its full title is KUNOICHI - Broken Princess.[129]


Despite a warning from Team Ninja that no more DOA games would be released for the PC if the modding community released DOA5 mods that are not designed for "good and moral" play, nude models of Ayane were quickly created by members of the forum Lustful Illumination.[172]

--DSA510 Pls No Level Up 00:16, 26 July 2015 (UTC)

Although the site was newly formed, the About Us page looks promising: "a dedication to accuracy, a pursuit towards objectivity..." They don't appear to have any overt editorial agenda. The items it's being used as a citation for look mundane enough. I think I might lean towards it being acceptable, so long as it's not used to make an article about a video game focus unreasonably on the sexual aspects. CorporateM (Talk) 23:36, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
Alright, thank you for the answer! --DSA510 Pls No Level Up 02:17, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
  • No, this is not reliable. There is no evidence of credible editorial oversight, the site is clearly aimed at tittllation and anything which is only on that site and not in some more reliable source almost certainly has no place on Wikipedia. Guy (Help!) 16:23, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

California State University Northridge[edit]

Would this be considered a reliable source for the statement? " Some archaeologists have proposed that the Bronze Age cultures (Xia, Shang and Zhou) in fact, each developed from separate branches of the Central Plain Longshan Culture" [8, 17, 19]

I was told this source is considered "unpublished" and wanted to verify this as I am fairly new to Wikipedia. Thank you. --Easy772 (talk) 06:39, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

First, the document doesn't seem to have any information about its provenance so it's not unreasonable to cautiously assume that it's unpublished. Do you have any information about the document and where it was published? The lead author does appear to be an expert in this field and there is an indication that this document is related to a research grant but that's all I've found (and all I'm going to look for as a volunteer editor answering someone else's question!).
Second, I'm not sure why you need to cite this source at all since your original statement is merely summarizing other sources. Those other sources are the ones that you need to examine and cite if this is material that should be included. (It would be good practice, however, to also cite this document since it's where the summary originated.) ElKevbo (talk) 15:26, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
I don't have access to the summarized sources, but I suppose I could request them or go to a local library and place a hold on the material. I'm also uncertain whether the summarized sources would meet WP:SECONDARY criteria. I could also email the authors to get for information.[edit]

This link is being used in P90X to support the claim that:

Actor Chris Pratt used P90X, alongside activities such as CrossFit, to lose 60 lbs in six months for his role in Guardians of the Galaxy.

I'm not sure if satisfies either WP:RS or WP:MEDRS.Autarch (talk) 01:23, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

Men's Fitness is a published magazine in the US. Since it's not making any actual medical claims, I'd probably let it go. Unrelated to the question of reliability, I'm really not a fan of "in popular culture" sections, and I don't think there's any encyclopedic value in listing every celebrity who has used P90X. But that's a discussion for the P90X talk page. NinjaRobotPirate (talk) 03:52, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
As far as WP:RS it is probably acceptable. But as far as WP:NOTADVERT and WP:UNDUE there are major issues. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 14:03, 1 August 2015 (UTC)
I removed the section. Celebrity endorsements should be left to the company's marketing campaigns. --Ronz (talk) 15:52, 1 August 2015 (UTC)

Arkaim and Aryans[edit]

The section at Arkaim#Klyosov findings is sourced only to Anatole Klyosov and not to any peer reviewed scientific journal. It's basically fringe and I can't find any discussion of it in reliable sources. Doug Weller (talk) 14:06, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

The source reliably supports the specific statement made in the article (it reliably verifies that Klyosov says what the article says he does). The question is whether the article should mention what Klyosov says in the first place. That is an issue for WP:FRINGE and WP:UNDUE WEIGHT. Verifiability (and by extension reliability) does not guarantee inclusion. Blueboar (talk) 14:38, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Ok, so you are saying even though he's not actually a geneticist it's what he says, even if he's not a reliable source for the claims. Interesting. But I do take your point about possibly being undue weight. Doug Weller (talk) 16:16, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Yes... X is always reliable for the attributed statement of opinion: "X says Y is true"... even if X would not be reliable for the unattributed statement of fact: "X is true". Whether to state X's opinion in the first place is governed by other policies and guidelines. Blueboar (talk) 02:15, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
  • The question is whether it is significant or not. The "journal" has no evident standing - in fact it is hard to find any impact factor for it. In the absence of reliable independent sources establishing the significance of this opinion, it has no place in the article. Guy (Help!) 12:50, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

Rod Steiger interview on TCM[edit]

A recent edit to Rod Steiger was completely reverted for questionable reasons. To avoid an edit war, some other opinions would be helpful. I added the following commentary based on a minute or two of an interview he gave;

"His mother, who Steiger says was beautiful, with a good singing voice, was offered a contract to act during a visit to Hollywood, but later became an alcoholic after surgery on her right leg went bad and permanently affected her walking."

  1. The cite was a TCM-related video channel which includes mainly TCM interviews with Robert Osborne;
  2. The video link went directly to the 1-minute segment of the hour-long interview;
  3. The interview is also cited on the TCM website;
  4. The only other note about the revert is that the editor claimed it had "badly worded prose," and rather than rephrase the few dozen words they chose to remove the entire cited addition as "Not good at all!!".

Feedback would be helpful. Thanks.--Light show (talk) 17:18, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

This seems to me to be a reliable source; TCM is a well-regarded mainstream television channel with clear and established editorial controls. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 17:34, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Steiger's story about his mother is also sourceable from print sources, for example this interview from a book, reprinted in the Ottawa Citizen. --Arxiloxos (talk) 21:16, 28 July 2015 (UTC)


I have found a number of sources referring to (especially this page for box office results (some editors insist on hourly updates). The prior discussion here had little to say but some say it's reliable. I see zero evidence of reliability and posting a live table page that gets constantly updated is just asking for trouble. -- Ricky81682 (talk) 22:32, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

It was discussed briefly at the Indian cinema taskforce here. -- Ricky81682 (talk) 03:04, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

Editorial board of NY Times[edit]

I would think the Editorial board of the NY times is a reliable source. But I have some disagreement here. What do you think?VictoriaGraysonTalk 01:12, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

I would say no, at least not as written... See the WP:NEWSORGS section of the Reliable Sources guideline, which states: "Editorial commentary, analysis and opinion pieces, whether written by the editors of the publication (editorials) or outside authors (op-eds) are reliable primary sources for statements attributed to that editor or author, but are rarely reliable for statements of fact." This is the case for all news sources, not just the NYT. Blueboar (talk) 02:03, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Not reliable except to describe the editorial board's opinions. They almost always draw their facts from their own news stories. Go find the news story the editorial relied on. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 05:35, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
As Blueboar and DrFleischman have said, opinion pieces and editorial board material are not Reliable Source here at wikipedia, regular news articles at he NYTimes or elsewhere would be fine. Capitalismojo (talk) 00:53, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

Psychology Tomorrow[edit] appears to be a self-published source for Stanley Siegel's articles removed or rejected from Psychology Today magazine -- this indicates serious reliability problems. See for Seigel's explanation. I don't think it's an acceptable source for anything except Seigel's opinions and his articles' rejection/removal from publication.

I'm being reverted on removing this section discussing penis size in Mr. Big (Sex and the City). The sole source is a an article "Stanley Siegel - Penis Envy: How Size Influences Self-Esteem" (archive), currently published on the Psychology Tomorrow, and not mentioning the character Mr. Big. Despite the mention of the TV show, its inclusion here makes no sense to me as placed. However, whether the POV that (I think) is being implied is true or not, Siegel's site does not seem to be a credible source for this analysis (if that is what is intended). In my inappropriately suspious tendency, I would suspect promotion, but Linksearch currently shows only one citation, so guess this usage is intended in good faith. / edg 11:55, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

It's a primary self-published source, it does not belong in that article, and is in any case redundant because the meaning of the title is blindingly obvious. Guy (Help!) 12:25, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

Well, I see Seigel has a list of roles and a degree of authority, as shown on the reference page, on the basis of an authority being to some extent self-regulatory with regards to having an objective opinion for example in his expression of (“Sex in the City,”) where attractive women vocalize their preferences for well-endowed men, it is in his (Seigel's) own interests to posit some kind of reasonable opinion, whether or not he is self-promoting.

Self-published expert sources may be considered reliable when produced by an established expert on the subject matter

so WP:SPS is not an all-encompassing directive for the exclusion of Self-published sources, and especially since he has "40 years experience" in field of psychology, and he is a notable individual, having a wikipedia page devoted to him as a subject.

With regards to the allusion to penis size with "Mr Big" being blindingly obvious or otherwise. Well firstly, it isn't, because those not familiar with the show wouldn't know of the aspect of the story-line including those kinds of topics or themes i.e. sexual preference. Someone might navigate via Mr. Big to the page under debate, to find no indication of a concrete proof of the Mr Big factor being in fact a definite reference to penis size, even though Sex is mentioned in the title, because peoples minds don't always function on cue at the time. Someone working in a different field of thought would need to see the actual info, or else they might not make the connection, since thinking is prioritized for different individuals according to their particular life-styles, and the things they routinely think about. Not everyone has the freedom of thought to make the connection, as easy as it might seem, and counter-intuitive, to think someone would not be able to see Sex in the title and Mr Big are related. Furthermore, every individuals world concept i.e. a persons understanding of the reality of the world as it is might exclude any one person from being able to perceive there is a connection between the two factors, Sex and Mr Big. People from or belonging to Islamic Cultures or more Eastern cultures, those individuals would maybe or likely, not make the connection, which otherwise is thought blindingly obvious by those (more atuned to western ways of thinking). Antrangelos (talk) 15:11, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

Antrangelos: issues not related to how reliable a source this is should go on the article's talk page.
A problem with self-published sources is that they are not peer-reviewed (as is the standard for scholarly journals). In this particular case, these are articles that were removed from publication. "40 years of experience" and a Wikipedia page does not establish a reliable source, especially for work that is rejected by a reliable publisher. / edg 15:44, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Okay having viewed the Psychology Tommorrow sites information about the site, it seems not the most academic of sites, considering the members of the editorial team and no mention of a critical process for submissions, other than through the editorial team there, I contend the source can't be verified as being relaible as is required. Antrangelos (talk) 13:17, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
Aside from the (very considerable) doubts about the reliability of this source, nowhere does it say WHY 'Mr Big' is so-named. The name could well be a triple/quadruple entendre referring to his physical stature, personality and business status as well as his 'natural endowment', (but how do we know that his name is not an ironic reference to his 'wee willie winkie'?). The use of this material is therefore OR and off-topic since no connection to the character is established at all (and the article isn't about dick-size!).Pincrete (talk) 19:43, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

Are these considered to be reliable sources?[edit]

Hello, I am heaving some issues with these sources and would like to know why, what is wrong with the following? They are relevant to support an article in Wikipedia about a food supplement. I need some help please, These are the references:

1.Yoles I, Yogev Y, Frenkel Y, Nahum R, Hirsch M, Kaplan B (2003). "Tofupill/Femarelle (DT56a): a new phyto-selective estrogen receptor modulator-like substance for the treatment of postmenopausal bone loss". Menopause 10 (6): 522–5. doi:10.1097/01.GME.0000064864.58809.77.

2.Somjen D; Katzburg S; Knoll E et al. (May 2007). "DT56a (Femarelle): a natural selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM)". J. Steroid Biochem. Mol. Biol. 104 (3–5): 252–8. doi:10.1016/j.jsbmb.2007.03.004.

3.Somjen D, Yoles I (October 2003). "DT56a stimulates creatine kinase specific activity in vascular tissues of rats". J. Endocrinol. Invest. 26 (10): 966–71. doi:10.1007/bf03348193.

4.Oropeza MV, Orozco S, Ponce H, Campos MG (2005). "Tofupill lacks peripheral estrogen-like actions in the rat reproductive tract". Reprod. Toxicol. 20 (2): 261–6.

5.Genazzani AR et al. Brain region responsiveness to DT56a (Femarelle) administration on allopregnanolone and opioid content in ovariectomized rats. Menopause 2009; 16(5):1037-43

6.Labos G., Trakakis E. et al Efficacy and safety of DT56a (Femarelle) compared to hormone therapy in Greek postmenopausal women. J Endocrinol. Invest. 2013;36:521-526

7.Nachtigall M et al. Femarelle, a novel SERM for the treatment of menopause, did not affect the clotting time of either normal or thrombophilic postmenopausal women. Menopause 2008; 15(6):1220

8.Somjen D, Katzburg S, Lieberherr M, Hendel D, Yoles I (January 2006). "DT56a stimulates gender-specific human cultured bone cells in vitro". J. Steroid Biochem. Mol. Biol. 98 (1): 90–6. doi:10.1016/j.jsbmb.2005.08.002.

9.Somjen D, Yoles I (July 2003). "DT56a (Tofupill/Femarelle) selectively stimulates creatine kinase specific activity in skeletal tissues of rats but not in the uterus". J. Steroid Biochem. Mol. Biol. 86 (1): 93–8. doi:10.1016/S0960-0760(03)00252-8

10.Bedell S., Nachtigall M., Naftolin F. The pros and cons of plant estrogens for menopause; J. Steroid Biochem. Mol. Biol. 2014;139:225-236

Thank you. --Corin at Secure (talk) 12:01, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

This question is from an employee of Secure Pharmaceuticals who has been tasked with 'improving' the Femerelle page, and still doesn't understand what a primary source is, and probably still hasn't read WP:MEDRS. Femerelle is their biggest product. A number of editors have tried to help Corin, but so far, he is steadfastly refusing to understand. Because he is unhappy with answers from editors at the talk page and claims the article itself is innaccurate, he has nominated the page for deletion. It looks like it'll be kept at the moment. Corin, these appear to be primary sources, not acceptable. We need sources that comply with MEDRS if you want to make medical claims. -Roxy the non edible dog™ (resonate) 12:23, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
  • The answer is no, as above, but I have blocked the account for promotional editing. The user can be unblocked once we have an indication of some understanding of the relevant policies and the WMF terms of service. Guy (Help!) 12:30, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

Ralf Herrmann and[edit]

Ralf Herrmann (personal site) (author bio at foot) is well-known amongst typography geeks and has long run a useful and interesting essay site at which is (AFAIK) the major German language site for discussing such matters. Since February he has split the English language content out to a new site at

Recently the X-height article used a couple of refs by him. These were removed by JzG as "refspam" and (after prompt restoration by another editor) with "The .guru domain is blogs ans orherr such unreliable sources. feel free to cite him in a reliable source.". When re-added as an EL, JzG has now gone to the extraordinary and I think unprecedented step of blacklisting the entire *.guru TLD and then moments later removing the EL as "rm. not a WP:RS". Firstly, those familiar with typography would certainly consider Ralf Herrmann as RS on such matters (read the EL, it' a good discussion of how X-height affects usability, and far more use than the dogmatic but content-free US government ref that remains). Secondly, the rules for RS are not the applicable rules for EL. Nor is RS even a blanket ban on the use of non-RS.

Your thoughts please. I would appreciate comments on whether this URL simply meets RS, because its author does, and the domain name is just not relevant. Secondly, any comments on the unusually thorough nature of its exclusion here. Andy Dingley (talk) 15:12, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

  • This is neither extraordinary nor unprecedented. The .guru domain has been on the blacklist requests pending clearance of mainspace links for a while, I cleaned the last handful today and actioned the request. Business as usual, in fact. Feel free to cite something other than his blog (remember: blogs are not normally usable as sources and are always deprecated when any better alternative exists; where no better alternative exists, consider the possibiklity that the information is not actually significant). Guy (Help!) 15:59, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
This is not a blog, this is a substantial site. Nor are blogs from recognised authorities in the field considered to be outside RS. Andy Dingley (talk) 16:03, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Substantial or not, it is $RANDOMWEBSITE (with forums: do you think them reliable too?) that happens to be attached to a notable source. I don't cite Bad Science, even though Ben Goldacre is an authority in his field, but I would cite him from the BMJ, Guardian or some other website with independent editorial review. You do have a couple of options here, one of which is to find an independent site with editorial oversight with the content you want, the other is to ask at the spam whitelist. Guy (Help!) 17:06, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
This is not $RANDOMWEBSITE, it's the English language version of a very well established German resource on typography. The publisher and main author is well known and meets WP:RS. Yes there are forums too (as does the BBC and The Times) and although of course I don't consider those RS, nor do I consider them contagious and so "infecting" the rest of the site. Andy Dingley (talk) 18:33, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Andy, I recommend that you ask our colleagues to add this site to the whitelist by providing evidence that this site passes WP:SPS as it's written by an expert in the field. Blocking the entire guru tld may be a bit extreme but this isn't a very good venue to argue that and it's probably an uphill battle compared to making an exception for one website. ElKevbo (talk) 01:43, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
It was listed there at the same time as this (see too), but so far there has been no comment. Andy Dingley (talk) 08:52, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

Gun show loophole[edit]

The portion that has been found objectionable by some editors is in italics. It was added after the section (already in the body) was duplicated in the lead and then moved to the body. While this source doesn't speak to the GSL article's political concept (nor does it mention the term) it has been accepted as a reliable source for certain statistical figures, but denied for the 40% figure. GSL is a complex political concept that deals with more than simply "guns bought at gun shows", it also deals with gun laws involving background checks.

  • [18] (already in the body; Additional studies by the Bureau of Justice department of state prison inmates in 1991 and 1997 found that less than one percent of criminals purchased their firearms from gun shows)-(quote in question)"and nearly 40% of State inmates carrying a firearm obtained the weapon without a background check."[24]" Darknipples (talk) 16:57, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Assuming source 24 is the PDF then it is authoritative and clearly reliable, but where does it contain the quoted fact? Guy (Help!) 17:10, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
"'60% of firearms were bought via retail, hence 40% had no background check necessary (non-retail)'. This statement is blatantly incorrect, since, as the article says, '17 states and Washington, D.C. do require background checks for some or all private firearm sales'"
"What you consider 'adding balance', I consider adding possible origanal research. '60% of firearms were bought via retail, hence 40% had no background check necessary (non-retail)' (your statement of sourcing) to turn that into 'and nearly forty percent of state inmates carrying a firearm obtained the weapon without a background check' isn't necessarily true. Even taking that sort of leap, the source lists 13.9% in 91 and 20.8% in 97 (so unless I'm looking in the wrong place though it wouldn't be appropriate to tie the [different statistics] together in that manner if that's the case) the statistic you listed is incorrect. The other half ([which you attempted to add balance to)]) "Additional studies by the Bureau of Justice department of state prison inmates in 1991 and 1997 found that less than one percent of criminals purchased their firearms from gun shows" is explicitly true [from the source]."
"'Where is the quote you decided to leave in place for the reference used?' [for Additional studies by the Bureau of Justice department of state prison inmates in 1991 and 1997 found that less than one percent of criminals purchased their firearms from gun shows] While I've already explained where Mudwater's addition came from in the source, I'll do it again: It's on the first page; under the 'Highlights' section (green background and white lettering); under the section 'Source of gun' (bold lettering); It is also reiterated to the right of that in the summary paragraph, combined statitstically with flea markets."
Quotes from article's talk page in which the source is used.Godsy(TALKCONT) 17:19, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
I'll just refer everyone to pages 1, 6, 8, and 10, of the citation. See the "source of gun" charts, where the "less than one percent" figure comes from, and look right below it. My argument is that excluding this material is setting a double standard on the material used from the source. If the consensus is to reword the quotes used, to better reflect the data, I'm fine with that, but it shouldn't be excluded given it's relevance to the article. Darknipples (talk) 18:02, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
To clarify, guns obtained by "Family/Friends/Street/Illegal Sources" did/do not require a background check, as per federal law. Darknipples (talk) 21:01, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
"obtained the weapon without a background check" ≠ "'Family/Friends/Street/Illegal Sources' did/do not require a background check". See "This statement is blatantly incorrect, since, as the article says, '17 states and Washington, D.C. do require background checks for some or all private firearm sales'". "Hence it isn't 'via a double standard'". "Whether relevant data lines up with a particular side or not shouldn't really be a factor in its inclusion. If the balance is accurate and sourced, it should of course be added. That isn't the case in this instance."Godsy(TALKCONT) 21:13, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

What "17 states and Washington, D.C. do" ≠ "federal law regarding background checks". Can you list which states these inmates were in when they obtained their weapon, gun show or otherwise, according to this citation? As I stated previously, I'm fine with rewording to reflect the data more accurately, for example "and nearly 40% of State inmates carrying a firearm obtained the weapon without the need for a background check according to federal law". Excluding it simply because certain states do require background checks for private sales is a red herring in my opinion, no offense. Darknipples (talk) 22:40, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

  • The source in question does not say 40% were purchased without back ground checks. To claim so is WP:OR. Many stats related to firearms are easy to misrepresent and thus great care should be taken. In this case I believe the stat can not be reliably assumed from the source provided. Springee (talk) 00:59, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
    @Springee: Here is a direct quote from page 1 of the citation. "In 1997 among State inmates possessing a gun, fewer than 2% bought their firearm at a flea market or gun show, about 12% from a retail store or pawnshop, and 80% from family, friends, a street buy, or an illegal source." Wouldn't it be prudent to at least include the entire context of the quote, rather than excluding or cherry-picking the data used? The relevance is that retail purchases imply background checks, while private purchases do not. Darknipples (talk) 01:29, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
  • I would question the use of the data in that article as dated. The NICS went into effect in 1998. The laws governing transfers in the early to mid 90s are different than those of today. I would generally caution against any use of that data without making it clear that it is old and that many background check laws have changed since that study was conducted. Consider a study citing use of the internet based on data from 1998. That said, including the entire context of any of these stats is important. It would seem that most inmates probably didn't have a personal background check before getting a gun. I believe the 40% claim is the one referred to in these articles that were critical of the president for using it.[[19]]. This case illustrates the point that stats can be misleading even when you try to give them full context. Regardless, if the number is at all synthesized it should not be included and given the age of the study and the legal changes since bit's probably misleading to include it at all or at least without a large disclaimer to put the data in historic context. Springee (talk) 02:20, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

The section the cite in question is in, is entitled "Early efforts". The date the report was published is in the quote. I feel a good resolution here is to just include the entire context of the quote, like so..."In 1997 among State inmates possessing a gun, fewer than 2% bought their firearm at a flea market or gun show, about 12% from a retail store or pawnshop, and 80% from family, friends, a street buy, or an illegal source." Any objections to this, other than age of the report? Darknipples (talk) 23:13, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

Statement by the board of the AAAS[edit]

In 2012, the board of the American Association for the Advancement of Science put out a statement on the genetically modified food. We are working on developing a statement about the relative safety of currently marketed food from GMOs. This is a bit complicated, as the content and its full sourcing are each under development and this is one source among several being proposed for use

The currently proposed content and the source are as follows. Other sources are being brought as well - the question here is just whether this one source - the AAAS board statement - is reliable for this, or if we should not give a lot of authority to it. Not looking for definitive affirmation of the content at this point - just what weight we should give this source. I hope that makes sense. The statement of the scientific consensus appears in several articles; the current discussion is on the talk page of Genetically modified food.

  • "The scientific consensus holds that eating currently marketed GM food poses no greater health risk than does eating conventional food."[1]


  1. ^ American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Board of Directors (2012). Legally Mandating GM Food Labels Could Mislead and Falsely Alarm Consumers. Quote: "The World Health Organization, the American Medical Association, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the British Royal Society, and every other respected organization that has examined the evidence has come to the same conclusion: consuming foods containing ingredients derived from GM crops is no riskier than consuming the same foods containing ingredients from crop plants modified by conventional plant improvement techniques."

Thanks. Jytdog (talk) 12:13, 31 July 2015 (UTC) (added relevant article, per request below Jytdog (talk) 17:01, 31 July 2015 (UTC))

  • initial comment: For those who don't know it, the AAAS is the most important non-governmental scientific society in the US and the publisher of Science, one of the most important scientific journals in the world. This statement - this source - is being questioned as just being a mouthpiece of Monsanto, or as the statement of an "advocacy group" on par with say ENSSER (external link), a small group of scientists who advocate for the view that GM food is dangerous. In my view, the AAAS source is very authoritative and we can use it to support the proposed content. It is also useful because it summarizes what other major scientific bodies say. Jytdog (talk) 12:17, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
I broadly agree but I have a question: Was this statement produced solely by the board of directors or was it an item put to a vote by the entire membership or a representative body of the organization? I honestly don't even know if AAAS produces material - ethical guidelines, policy statements, etc. - that are purported to represent the entire organization or at least a broad consensus of its members but if so then it would carry even more weight. ElKevbo (talk) 16:42, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Where is it for? - need to see the article context to determine if it's WP:RS for it. Otherwise all I can say is that this would be better described as citing a 'community' statement, not a 'consensus' statement, as it's showing Board of Directors speaking rather than showing a process of reaching decision. (In particular it is not showing a process of jointly arriving at this which included the scientists who advocate for the view that GM food is dangerous.) I also echo that Board of Directors position is not the same as Members vote count -- AMA having more pointed examples of such dichotomy. Markbassett (talk) 16:50, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
It was a statement produced by the board. There was a subsequent Pew Survey of AAAS scientist members found that 88% of them agreed.Jytdog (talk) 17:04, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────It is a statement from a few members of the Board in an anti-GMO labeling position paper. So if it is used, this should be made clear. Wording such as Tsavage suggested would be good: "in a statement opposing mandatory GMO labeling, the AAS concluded..." We just had an extensive RfC about this and other sources, please see Tsavage's breakdown of the AAAS source and why it cannot be considered independent (see third comment down - numbered points).

There are further problems with the paper, however. GRIST does a fabulous job so I won't attempt reproduce their work here, you can read it. Two points I will highlight: in their position paper, the AAAS misrepresents the WHO, which doesn't actually claim eating GM foods is safe, but rather, GM foods and their safety should be assessed on a case-by-case basis and that it is not possible to make general statements on the safety of all GM foods. GRIST also notes that the AAAS misrepresents the EU study as well. Michael Hansen is quoted in GRIST as saying "If you actually look at the “study” it’s just a review of all the EU-funded biotech work for a ten year period. Most of the studies were about developing test methodologies to use in investigating genetic engineering (GE), not GE safety studies themselves. In fact, only three of the studies could be considered GE feeding trials and they all did find effects."

WP:MEDRS is required for statements concerning human health, and this source doesn't meet that standard. It is not a scientific paper, is not peer reviewed, is not neutral. As Groupuscule noted in the RfC, "A press release from the American Association for the Advancement of Science—with exactly two footnotes!—does not begin to fulfill the requirements for a reliable source in this case." petrarchan47คุ 17:35, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

  • AAAS is one of the most prestigious scientific institutions in the US, and is certainly a reliable source for contextual discussion of whether there is a consensus on a scientific issue. That a survey of AAAS members found 88% of members in agreement appears to be icing on that cake. Yobol (talk) 17:47, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

Box office collections for Bajrangi Bhaijaan[edit]

I've noticed BoxOfficeIndia is the quoted source for box office collections for a number of hindi movies(including PK). Why are their numbers for Bajrangi Bhaijaan not being considered authentic then ? Is there an exhaustive list of trusted sources for box office collections for Indian movies ? Sbhowmik89 (talk) 14:08, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

This has been discussed once before, so that discussion might come in handy now. —SpacemanSpiff 14:18, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
I'd say none of the issues put forth then have been resolved. The consensus there seems like it was not a reliable source but either "include it because it's the best we got" or "don't because it's not." In this case, we have an actual (somewhat) reliable source so I don't think we should replace a reliable source with one we know is not reliable under the basis that it's "better". I'll make a mention of this at the Indian cinema taskforce and hopefully we get some more insight from them. -- Ricky81682 (talk) 23:00, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

I'm going to flesh this out quite a bit. The current discussion is about its use at Bajrangi Bhaijaan. Currently that page refers to this source for a 400 crore box office draw (probably a week or more behind). As discussed back in 2008, and still true today, we have zero information about the background of who is behind Box Office India nor any information about their methodology or how they calculate their box office results or any of their general reporting (other than their FAQ statement that they have "sources" which are allegedly more true to actual figures that other alleged "producer figures"). The Box Office India article still has zero information (and little other than crazy inflated numbers about their revenues from terrible sources). Even halfway regular blogs would have some name somewhere attached to them.

The discussion in 2008 was first, whether we should assume that it is reliable and is an expert in the relevant field because it is being used as a source (of box office returns) by various newspapers and other reliable sources or does Wikipedia need something more to determine that a source is considered an expert in the relevant field than its use as a reference. I disagree on the first premise and believe that without some evidence of reliability independently ascertainable, we cannot presume that a source is a reliable source.

Second, the past discussion had numerous individuals who acknowledged that the source does not qualify under our WP:RS guidelines but argued that it should be used because it was being extensively used and/or under the belief that nothing reliable existed and this was the best option. I'd say that the use of a source incorrectly (like we did with IMDb) does not grandfather that source from the RS requirements. Further, in this particular case, we have a current RS (namely the article citing 400 crore) which is probably outdated and not totally reliable but it is a better source than a three-paragraph posting from "Box Office India Trade Network" with no evidence of who that is. I say we wait a few more days until one of the newspapers and more reliable sources provide box office results rather than go around with the daily figures of alleged box offices returns. -- Ricky81682 (talk) 07:52, 1 August 2015 (UTC)

      • Support Ricky81682 and the analysis. We need to use only sources that have actually demonstrated a reputation for reliability, accuracy, fact checking and editorial oversight. particularly in the area of Indian box office where one of the top national news agencies gave up attempting to maintain a regular box office column because they could not sustain an accurate representation.[20]. these fly by night websites surely need more to be posted on the web to be considered reliable sources. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 14:01, 1 August 2015 (UTC)
As discussed at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Box Office India (2nd nomination), there is a, which is a legitimate trade magazine, so it may just be intentional confusion here. -- Ricky81682 (talk) 11:04, 1 August 2015 (UTC)

RfC update: sourcing of 2012 Koch-organized funding of Americans for Prosperity[edit]

You are invited to join the discussion at Talk:Americans for Prosperity#Request for comment: $44M of $140M raised by Americans for Prosperity in 2012 election cycle from Koch-related funds. This is an update setting a time for the discussion to end as per WP:Discussion notices and a request for wider participation. This request for comment will most likely close Thursday 6 August 2015. The RfC proposes a one-sentence addition to the "Funding" section of Americans for Prosperity. The main source for the proposed content is a pair of reports in The Washington Post, supported by and the National Journal. Issues in the appropriate application of our sourcing policies and guidelines remain in the discussion. Attention from editors with some previous experience the appropriate application of our sourcing policies and guidelines is respectfully requested. Generous excerpts from the sources are provided in the statement of the RfC question for your convenience. Please help with this important request for comment. Thank you in advance for your time and attention. Hugh (talk) 16:58, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

How To Teach Physics to Your Dog[edit]

Currently this book, written by Chad Orzel, assistant professor in the department of physics & astronomy at Union College, [21] is being used in Homeopathy to support the claim that "The use of quantum entanglement to explain homeopathy's purported effects is "patent nonsense", as entanglement is a delicate state which rarely lasts longer than a fraction of a second." and also "While entanglement may result in certain aspects of individual subatomic particles acquiring linked quantum states, this does not mean the particles will mirror or duplicate each other, nor cause health-improving transformations." I am concerned that this source does not meet MEDRS as it is a popular science book, not a medical textbook, and am seeking further input on whether this source is reliable and if so how much weight it should be given. Everymorning talk 18:06, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

Anyone wanting to suggest that the latest buzzword (such as quantum entanglement) might be useful in the description of a claimed medical treatment needs a WP:MEDRS. Anyone wanting to point out that the claim is nonsense needs only WP:REDFLAG. Johnuniq (talk) 07:01, 1 August 2015 (UTC)
As always when the righteousness of a potential source is requested, the answer should be "what do you want to say using this source?" -Roxy the dog™ (Talk to the dog who doesn't know when her owner is coming home) 07:15, 1 August 2015 (UTC)

Atheist, agnostics, and freethinkers[edit]

articles affected:

This is more for entertainment than action, but I have to record a wonderful abuse of reliable sources (diff): From 1901–2000, atheists, agnostics, and freethinkers won 7.1% of the Nobel prizes in chemistry, 8.9% in medicine, and 4.7% in physics. Christians won 72.5% of the prizes in chemistry, 65.3% in physics, 62% in medicine and Jews won 17.3% in chemistry, 26.2% in medicine, and 25.9% in physics. I'm sure the statistics are impecable, but the conclusion is obvious nonsense. Here are the numbers again:

Group Chemistry Medicine Physics
Atheists, agnostics, and freethinkers 7.1% 8.9% 4.7%
Christians and Jews 89.8% 88.2% 91.2%

Johnuniq (talk) 07:17, 1 August 2015 (UTC)

Hi Johnuniq. Not sure what the issue would be since the numbers are from the source directly. Where is the abuse? The source has a table on p. 60 and these numbers were extracted from there or added up since Christianity has many categories (split by many denominations), "Jewish" was one category, and there was an "atheist and agnostic" category and a separate "freethinker" category. Here is a direct extract of the table part of the table from the source p.60 for the years 1901-2000  :
Group Chemistry Medicine Physics
Atheist & Agnostic 6.3% 8.3% 2.0%
Freethinkers 0.8% 0.6% 2.7%
Jewish 17.3% 26.2% 25.9%
By the way,even other studies have shown similar numbers too for Christians and Jews so the numbers are corroborated in other resources. For example, according to a study that was done by University of Nebraska–Lincoln in 1998, 60% of from 1901 to 1990 had a Christian background. Nobel prize winners in physics from 1901 to 1990 and for Jews, we have many sources saying they make up about 20% on average of the Nobel prizes in the sciences [22], [23], and of course others are in the Jewish Nobel prize page.Mayan1990 (talk) 08:27, 1 August 2015 (UTC)
I await with interest attempts to compare skirt lengths to the price of gold. -Roxy the dog™ (Talk to the dog who doesn't know when her owner is coming home) 07:58, 1 August 2015 (UTC)
The source in question is Baruch Aba Shalev's 100 Years of Nobel Prizes. I think it's a totally unreliable source. It has no information about the author's information-gathering; it contains kooky stuff like analysis of Nobel winners' astrological signs; it underwent no peer review-- etc, etc. PepperBeast (talk) 08:23, 1 August 2015 (UTC)
The book of course has a bibliography at the end. It helps to read the actual source (there is an updated 4th edition now) as it is a statistical analysis and all the info and data is there for anyone to see. The author is a well established geneticist with +200 research publications, and his study even has endorsements from two Nobel laureates such as Henry Kissinger and Shimon Peres. On top of that the numbers in the book do reflect similar findings to other sources already cited above. Looks like WP:IDONTLIKEIT.Mayan1990 (talk) 08:42, 1 August 2015 (UTC)
All your hand waving doesn't elevate this book to the level of a reliable source. Does it tell us how many of the alleged christian winners were male, circumcised and of the gemini persuasion? Enquiring minds want to know? -Roxy the dog™ (Talk to the dog who doesn't know when her owner is coming home) 08:46, 1 August 2015 (UTC)
Roxy, as amusing as I find that, you're not exactly helping.
Mayan: the fact that he's a respected geneticist might mean something if this were a book on genetics; it isn't. The fact that he does statistical analysis doesn't mean much without any explanation on how he got his data. Endorsements don't mean anything. PepperBeast (talk) 08:53, 1 August 2015 (UTC)
Appreciate that Pepperblast. Anyways, the details are in the book of course. Where else would it be? His analysis is his analysis. All that is needed is attribution. We as editors can only reflect what the sources bring to us. We are not given the task of being detectives beyond what the sources provide us. Statistical analysis is not hard to do especially with readily available biographies and such. You can check it out yourself. It is of course interesting that his findings are consistent with other findings already above. Also looking at the original publisher: Atlantic Publishers, they write "Atlantic Publishers and Distributors Pvt Ltd, established in 1977, is known for quality academic, professional and general publishing. It is also India’s leading distributor of books from across the globe, partnering world's leading publishers in Science & Technology, Management, Humanities and Social Sciences." Good enough for me. Mayan1990 (talk) 09:08, 1 August 2015 (UTC)
Why isn't it helping. I'm just pointing out the absurdity of Ramos' source, you know, the one Ramos is edit-warring to keep in the article. See? -Roxy the dog™ (Talk to the dog who doesn't know when her owner is coming home) 09:13, 1 August 2015 (UTC)
I want a nobel prize, so I'm going to move north, to the Faroe Islands. Does anybody else not know the difference between correlation and causation? -Roxy the dog™ (Talk to the dog who doesn't know when her owner is coming home) 11:25, 1 August 2015 (UTC)

One question... are these categories really mutually exclusive? Can't someone be an agnostic Christian, or an agnostic Jew? Blueboar (talk) 13:23, 1 August 2015 (UTC)

Agnostic Jew certainly. Agnostic Christian if you include cultural Christians like Richard Dawkins in that category. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 15:12, 1 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Ramos1990 is edit warring this source and content from it into several articles; I've listed them above. Ramos1990 I strongly suggest you back off the edit warring until this discussion is finished and you have consensus to use this source. Right now you do not. Jytdog (talk) 13:55, 1 August 2015 (UTC)

Something else that would add context to the statistics would be to normalize them according to what percent of people self-identified as each religion (or no religion) at the time the awards were given. Nobel prizes have been given out since around the turn of the 20th century, when it was much less common for people to self-identify as not belonging to a religion. For example, Gallup surveys about religious identification only go back to 1948, but at that point the number that answered that they had no religious affiliation was 2% (vs. 16% in 2014). I'm not saying we should use Gallup for these purposes, especially because I think it only surveyed people in the US, but it further questions just how meaningful the data is. Normalized, it may be that the proportionality (which seems like the likely motivation for including the data in the first place) is significantly different. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 15:59, 1 August 2015 (UTC)

Jytdog, I am not edit warring. Originally, Pepperblast deleted the source without proper justification. Since he was removing it and I had told him to discuss first since it was a reliable source, the correct procedure was to leave the source in all the articles and discuss it like we have over here and then make a decision. Now, no one here has provided a correct justification for removal of the source. The source provides actual numbers and the original publisher Atlantic Publisher and Distributors is not an issue. On their site they say: Atlantic Publishers and Distributors Pvt Ltd, established in 1977, is known for quality academic, professional and general publishing. It is also India’s leading distributor of books from across the globe, partnering world's leading publishers in Science & Technology, Management, Humanities and Social Sciences. At any point of time, Atlantic has more than 50,000 titles on its shelves in varying subjects. It has a strong network of channel partners consisting of sub-distributors, booksellers and library vendors spread across the country. Atlantic is a regular supplier of books to libraries of leading universities, IITs, NITs and institutions in India." Just like any study, attribution should be given. There is every reason to keep the book since the author on top of it is a well stablished scientiist too and even 2 Nobel Laureates endorsed the study. Simply put there is no basis for removal.Mayan1990 (talk) 18:05, 1 August 2015 (UTC)
It took me a second to figure out that you are Ramos1990. You are the only one arguing that this source is OK. If you think you are not edit warring, please continue, and you will end up at 3RR and very likely blocked. You will do as you will. Jytdog (talk) 18:06, 1 August 2015 (UTC)
Appreciate you concern, but everyone was already calmed down and following the correct procedure since me and Pepperblast were already en route to resolving the issue while leaving the articles as they were before changing them. In any case, there is not basis for the removal, I am afraid. Most of the issue here has been WP:IDONTLIKEIT, but this is not really a good reason for removing it. The issue looks resolved already. If no one provides a solid reason for objecting, then will re-add the source eventually. Mayan1990 (talk) 18:14, 1 August 2015 (UTC)
No one here finds this a reasonable reference to use, in the way you have been using. Can you not see that? The correlation is ridiculous and adding content about it is UNDUE. Jytdog (talk) 18:34, 1 August 2015 (UTC)
?? Ok fair enough, then since you said in the way I have been using it, how would you use it? The book clearly mentions numbers like any other statistical study and the way is was cited was in those numbers only. What is the issue? In none of those articles was anyone saying that Nobel Prizes cause people to be Christians or Jews, it merely showed the distribution according to the source and was pretty straight forward and flat. Now Rhododendrites has mentioned the Gallup study. A general way of using any statistical study is to merely put in the numbers in terms of demographic distribution as found in the sources. Probably the safest approach to these things. The ref was used in a straight forward and neutral fashion as far as I can see. Your issue and others as well, is WP:IDONTLIKEIT but this is not a good reason. Attribution should resolve any issue, considering that there is no issue except what people supposedly don't like. Mayan1990 (talk) 18:50, 1 August 2015 (UTC)