Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard

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Walter Hickey / Business Insider[edit]

1. Source: Walter Hickey at Business Insider.

2. Article: National Rifle Association.

3. Content:

  • Article 1 ("Funnels"):

Criticism of the NRA and some of its leaders has grown since the December 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

Less than half of the NRA's income is from membership dues and program fees; the majority is from contributions, grants, royalties, and advertising.

A considerable amount [of the NRA's money] comes from the gun industry...

  • Article 2 ("Most Powerful"):

The National Rifle Association is composed of four financially interconnected organizations under common leadership.

This has been discussed at the article's TP here and here with no consensus met. Faceless Enemy (talk) 12:20, 15 April 2015 (UTC)

I feel that Walter Hickey is a clickbait writer. He has written articles such as "39 Photos That Prove Birthday Boy Vladimir Putin Is The Most Badass Leader In The World", "Here's The Season When Your Favorite TV Show Peaked", "7 Things That Are Worth More Than The Washington Post", and "MAPS: A Poll Asked Europeans Which Countries Were Drunkest, Hottest, And Had the Silliest Accents". I don't think he adds anything to the content he is double sourced on, and I don't think he's reliable for the sources he is the only source on. We should not be relying on him for this article. Faceless Enemy (talk) 12:20, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
Business Insider has come up here several times before, so I'd suggest searching the archives here using the search box provided above. I've glanced at several of the resulting hits and I think that the general conclusion is that BI is a reliable source, with this discussion summing everything up fairly well, though A Quest For Knowledge's post at 21:51, 11 December 2010, in this earlier discussion perhaps sets out the case for BI's reliability most strongly. Having said that, I'd invite you to dig through the archives yourself and you may come to a different conclusion, though I would probably come down on the side of it being reliable. As for Hickey being himself less than reliable because of being a sensationalist, we generally don't get into that kind of analysis. His profile page at BI suggests that he was a reporter at the time those articles were written, that is, not just a blogger, and we would have to presume that he was under BI's editorial oversight for any facts asserted in his articles. Regards, TransporterMan (TALK) 13:22, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
I believe that BI appears generally reliable. In this case the writer (apparently no longer at BI) seems less than reliable. It does indeed look like "click-bait" to me. Capitalismojo (talk) 18:25, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
The Business Insider disclaimer causes me to strike my previous statement. : "Business Insider publishes news, information, gossip, rumors, conjecture, opinions, and commentary. The site includes both reported and edited content and unmoderated posts and comments containing the personal opinions of readers on a wide range of topics. You should be skeptical of any information on Business Insider, because it may be wrong." this doesn't inspire much confidence in me. Capitalismojo (talk) 18:34, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
Yikes. That's a hell of a disclaimer. Faceless Enemy (talk) 02:49, 16 April 2015 (UTC)

Question: I got smacked once here for not wording my request neutrally. Could someone clear that up please? Are questions here supposed to be worded neutrally, or are they meant to influence and persuade? Lightbreather (talk) 21:33, 15 April 2015 (UTC)

You got "smacked", as I read the RSN archive, apparently because you asked about a source and gave no context for how the ref was to be used. Hence the question was not, as one editor put it, "neutrally worded". As a rule, people who bring refs here either believe strongly that a ref is or is not a RS. They want community consensus to weigh in. In order to do that properly they should provide full context of how and where a ref/source is being used, without which the community can not respond. Generally the person bringing something to RSN explains why they think a ref is or is not reliable. That opinion may or may not be persuasive. Capitalismojo (talk) 00:04, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
Capitalismojo, where did you get the, "You should be skeptical of any information on Business Insider, because it may be wrong." part? It's not on the page you linked to, nor can I find it anywhere on that site using a Google site search. Did you perhaps get your closing quotation mark in the wrong place? What I see the disclaimer saying is nothing objectionable: "Business Insider publishes news, information, analysis, opinion, and commentary. The site includes both reported and edited content and unmoderated posts and comments containing personal opinions on a wide range of topics. Business Insider does not routinely moderate, screen, or edit content contributed by readers." (Bolding added, italics as in source.) That says that it's got "reported and edited" content, on the one hand, and unmoderated stuff, on the other. There's nothing remarkable about that, most every major news source is going to have something similar. Since this author was a reporter at the time, there's no reason to suspect that his stuff didn't come under editorial supervision. Stuff from his articles should be reliable. Labeling his work as click-bait is determining its reliability by its quality and presumptions about its purpose and that's the very kind of evaluation that V is intended to avoid. Those questions may (or may not) be suitable in deciding how much weight to give stuff from his articles, but they don't determine reliability. On the other hand if their disclaimer actually says, in an official kind of way, the stuff about "you should be skeptical" I'll be the next person up on the bandwagon to say this site is not a reliable source for anything other than information about itself (and maybe not even that). Best regards, TransporterMan (TALK) 15:24, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
I followed the URL that Capitalismojo gave yesterday - - and I did see the surprising sentence in question, so I sent an email to Business Insider immediately to see what they have to say. I have not heard from them yet, but the link - which I believe s/b - does not include the sentence. I believe that URL was an old hack floating around.
As TransporterMan wrote, what shows in the disclaimer now is common on websites that accept input from readers. Lightbreather (talk) 16:44, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
No surprise, of course, but FTR, the question that I emailed to Business Insider was:
I am a Wikipedia editor and there is currently a discussion here about whether or not Business Insider is a reliable source. Would someone please comment?
The answer from CEO and editor-in-chief, Henry Blodget:
Thanks for reading.
I have also notified Walter Hickey, who now writes for FiveThirtyEight, of this discussion as a courtesy.
--Lightbreather (talk) 01:36, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
You gotta be kidding, what other answer did you expect? D'oh! --Scalhotrod (Talk) ☮ღ☺ 02:47, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
I think their CEO is going to be pretty biased as to whether Wikipedia should be linking to his site. Faceless Enemy (talk) 12:10, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
Capitalismojo if you read what it says in that archive, you missed what I originally wrote - which I modified because another editor said it should be worded neutrally. But rather than gum-up this discussion further, I will start a separate discussion on this board'd talk page. Lightbreather (talk) 17:04, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
  • I think Hickey is a clickbait, sub-standard reporter. However, I also think that BI's disclaimer about things contributed by readers is mainly referring to things placed in the comment sections. BI doesn't necessarily moderate those and their language looks like an attempt to protect themselves from anything said by a user, not as a commentary on their reliability of their actual reporters. Niteshift36 (talk) 19:11, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
@Niteshift36: the first paragraph of their website disclaimer addresses their own articles: "Business Insider publishes news, information, analysis, opinion, and commentary. The site includes both reported and edited content and unmoderated posts and comments containing personal opinions on a wide range of topics." The part about "unmoderated posts" seems to point to some writers publishing things without editorial oversight. Faceless Enemy (talk) 12:10, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
One of the biggest problems I have with using the first article ("Funnels") is that Hickey makes several factual errors:
The misspellings show he doesn't actually know the industry he's talking about, and the massive factual error is even worse. Faceless Enemy (talk) 19:23, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
Those names should've been caught by his BI editor, which is something of a ding, but not uncommon. Also, $1.3 million IS millions. Also, as the article currently shows, Hickey wasn't and isn't the only one pointing out the significant amount of money the NRA gets from the Gun Industry. Lightbreather (talk) 01:25, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
@Lightbreather: I would be fine with something minor, like "Cabellas" or an obvious typo like "Strum Ruger", but those particular (repeated) misspellings show he isn't even familiar with how the companies involved are pronounced. And $1.3 million isn't "millions" in the same way that 13 isn't "dozens." Also, that doesn't address the present tense phrasing in 2013 of a program that ended in 2012. Faceless Enemy (talk) 12:10, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
The nub of his report is supported by Robison and Crewdson (Bloomberg), Kiely (, and Sugarmann and Langley (Violence Policy Center), though the reports focus on different details, they all agree on the scope of the industry's support of the NRA. Lightbreather (talk) 02:11, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
@Lightbreather: then why bother using Hickey at all? All he's doing is (sometimes incorrectly) parroting better sources. I tracked those down and added them to the article, so it's not like we're hurting for sources. Faceless Enemy (talk) 12:10, 22 April 2015 (UTC)

Comment - Has anyone considered that this is a NON-issue? It should be no surprise that a lobbyist group receives money from the industry it represents. In this case the NRA receives money from... Wait for it... wait for it... shocking announcement to come... (spoiler alert!!!) Receives from from gun manufacturers, sporting goods manufacturers, ammunition manufacturers, sporting goods retailers, and the list goes on. OMG! This is so NOT a ground-breaking revelation.

Guess what, the National Automatic Merchandising Association, the lobbying group for the vending machine industry, receives money from Coke, Pepsico, Mars (the candy company, not the planet), and so on. I'm sure this is abhorrent to someone, but please get over it. --Scalhotrod (Talk) ☮ღ☺ 02:47, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

@Scalhotrod:, this discussion really belongs on the article TP, but the short version is that the NRA is supposed to be a gun owners lobby, not a gun manufacturers lobby. Their interests are almost always aligned (like those of the Campaign for Real Ale and the Society of Independent Brewers), but gun control advocates like to portray the NRA as a puppet of the industry. Faceless Enemy (talk) 12:10, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment Let me get this straight. We are having a discussion about the reliability of a source, Lightbreather goes to the publisher and begins communications which result in changes to the source's disclaimer to make it appear more reliable? That is crazy and not the proper way to resolve a RSN discussion. Really? Go to the source and get them involved in RSN discussions, suggest changes to make it look more reliable? COI much? I am appalled. Capitalismojo (talk) 03:04, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
The text at both of those disclaimer links appears to be identical. In particular, the sentence "You should be skeptical of any information on Business Insider, because it may be wrong" appears on neither link - it seems to have disappeared. Odd. Ca2james (talk) 04:55, 24 April 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────TransporterMan, could you make a call on this Business Insider/Walter Hickey question, or ask an admin to make a call? It's been 10 days, and I'd like to move on. Lightbreather (talk) 16:55, 24 April 2015 (UTC)

BI's own disclaimer that they publish garbage should be enough of a warning that its not a reliable source. WeldNeck (talk) 17:30, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
They have no such disclaimer. Like many other news sites they do say that they do not "routinely moderate, screen, or edit content contributed by readers" - but that is NOT about their own writers. Lightbreather (talk) 00:44, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
@Lightbreather: as mentioned above, the first paragraph of their new disclaimer addresses their own articles: "Business Insider publishes news, information, analysis, opinion, and commentary. The site includes both reported and edited content and unmoderated posts and comments containing personal opinions on a wide range of topics." The part about "unmoderated posts" seems to point to some writers publishing things without editorial oversight. Faceless Enemy (talk) 19:50, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
Hickey's work at BI fell under the "reported and edited" content. If you or I went to the BI website and posted a comment, that would fall under "unmoderated posts and comments." Lightbreather (talk) 20:04, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
Also, what are you calling the "new disclaimer"? The disclaimer at this link - "" - is the same as it was on April 15. The "disclaimer" that Capitalismojo reported on April 15[2] - "" - did change... and I still think that one was a hack. Lightbreather (talk) 20:21, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────FWIW, tiring of these guesses, I wrote to Hickey directly and asked him if his work for Business Insider was edited, and he gave three names. One now works at Vice News, one now works at The New York Times, and one now works at Bloomberg. He said all of his work went through one of these three editors.

His errors were spelling errors (for Cabela's and Ruger), which his editors should have caught. (In his reply, he didn't capitalize "the" in The New York Times, so he obviously needs an editor for spelling and style.) His BI bio says that he graduated from The College of William and Mary with a degree in Applied Mathematics, and said his interests include statistics, research and data mining. (I think, like myself and many others, he would agree that $1.3 million IS millions, even though Faceless Enemy and others may think that it's not.) Is this Pulitzer material? No. But I do not believe strong evidence has been presented that this writer is unreliable. Lightbreather (talk) 22:23, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

Taking this off my watchlist, so please ping me if necessary. Lightbreather (talk) 17:24, 26 April 2015 (UTC)

Academic Questions?[edit]

Found what may be the sole scholarly analysis of SPLC, certainly the only one I've encountered. [1] The article noted a significant inconstancy in how the organisation applies its criteria in classifying an organisation as a hate group and postulated funding might influence selection. While it appears an excellent article, if oddly placed, the majority of those commenting about its addition object to its inclusion on the grounds Academic Questions is unreliable and possible even unscholarly. I disagree, and my reading of WP:NPOV and WP:NOR is that the article should be acceptable for inclusion in the article, and definitely appropriate in the Controversy section where I believe it most appropriate. Concur/Disagree? (talk)

  1. ^ Yancey, George (January 2014). "Watching the Watchers: The Neglect of Academic Analysis of Progressive Groups". Academic Questions (Springer US) 27 (1): 65-78. doi:10.1007/s12129-014-9411-x. 
For note, it seems to satisfy WP:SCHOLARSHIP as it is indexed by EbscoHost and I'm told it's peer-reviewed. And Springer, the publisher, has a reputation for quality. I'm still leery of it tbh, but seeing it on EbscoHost makes me lean toward saying it's an RS, but perhaps one we should make sure we attribute the statements to the authors. EvergreenFir (talk) Please {{re}} 05:18, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
It's sponsored by the National Association of Scholars, a conservative advocacy group, and, according to our own article (which referents the Times Literary Supplement) "is a missionary journal, not a scholarly one". I'd treat it with extreme care. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 07:37, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
The journal is an alternative to mainstream academia which of course puts it outside the mainstream. But the IP is asking the wrong question. He wants to include the opinions expressed in the article as facts. Opinions expressed in even the best sources are never facts. The real question is whether the opinions expressed in the paper should be mentioned. While fringe opinions may be mentioned in articles, they should be sourced to secondary sources that explain who expressed them and how accepted they are. So if we decide to mention the paper we should use a secondary source, such as this article in Media Matters. TFD (talk) 15:48, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
I'm having trouble following this logic. Academic Questions is a peer-reviewed, academic journal funded by a conservative action group. Media Matters is a WP:NEWSBLOG not just funded but legally itself a progressive lobbying and action group. Why should the latter be a stronger source than the former?
Re: claims of "fringe", this is the sole academic study of the SPLC, logically it can't be fringe. If you have examples of other articles and studies published in the journal that demonstrate fringe, that's relevant, but given their legitimate peer reviewed status that's unlikely.
I agree the conclusions of the study shouldn't be presented as fact. They should be attributed per WP:SCHOLARSHIP and WP:BIASED. That's not an argument for excluding the (again) sole academic study of the group from our article about the group. José Antonio Zapato (talk) 17:06, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
WP:SCHOLARSHIP says: One can confirm that discussion of the source has entered mainstream academic discourse by checking the scholarly citations it has received in citation indexes... Care should be taken with journals that exist mainly to promote a particular point of view. A claim of peer review is not an indication that the journal is respected, or that any meaningful peer review occurs. Journals that are not peer reviewed by the wider academic community should not be considered reliable, except to show the views of the groups represented by those journals. These caveats describe how we should approach the Academic Questions piece.

As best I can tell, it has not been cited at all by other scholars in the academic literature, which suggests that we're potentially giving it undue weight. Separately, the journal in question clearly exists to promote a particular ideological point of view. In light of its ideological agenda and the lack of citations, the claim of peer review alone isn't particularly weighty.

Finally, the piece is not scholarly nor a "study" in any sense of the word. (I've read it, although it wasn't easy; Academic Questions is obscure enough that it was a challenge to find the piece even with access to a major university library). It has no methodology, makes no empirical claims, and supplies no hard data. It's about as scholarly as the average newspaper op-ed. Altogether, while it is perhaps reasonable to cite this piece with proper in-text attribution, I think the original poster's formulation gives excess weight to what is essentially an opinion piece in an obscure partisan publication with no apparent impact on actual academic discourse. MastCell Talk 18:29, 17 April 2015 (UTC)

If the average newspaper op-ed were legitimately peer reviewed I think political discourse in the US would be much improved! :) This guideline seems relevant : "One can confirm that discussion of the source has entered mainstream academic discourse by checking the scholarly citations it has received in citation indexes" Can someone with access investigate? While this particular study is unlikely to come up - being the sole study there are no other studies to cite it - citations of other articles in Academic Questions would establish (or not as the case may be) its reputation.
Out of curiousity: Mastcell, what kind of catalog does your university employ that makes obscure journals more difficult to find? José Antonio Zapato (talk) 19:04, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
ResearchGate has a page on it. All indices are at zero, from "5-year impact" to "Eigenfactor". The journal has been around for more than 20 years (at least Google Scholar finds articles going back to 1995), so it's not because it is too new. Talking about Google Scholar: Older papers have up to 50 citations (which is not much for the most cited articles of the journal). Restricting the search to recent articles (since 2011), none on the first two pages has been cited at all - on the 3rd page, there is one paper with 6 citations, and a few with a single citation. This is not impressive, at least notfor any of the journals in my field. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 22:51, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
I checked out Researchgate - it seems more geared towards hard sciences, no? I decided to search previous versions of RSN for "journal" (social science) and compare their cites in google scholar. After two results I found this earlier discussion on Academic Questions. It resulted in the journal (actually the article we're presently discussing) being sourced twice in the article Academic Bias, both statements either attributed to the journal or the author (Yancey) directly. I think the OP would be fine with a similar resolution. José Antonio Zapato (talk) 00:30, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
The reliability of a source is independent from whether it is biased. Most academic articles for example are written to support a specific view and news media generally have political positions. Newspapers for example usually endorse political candidates. But it is unusual for an academic journal to have a particular bias. The problem is that they reject mainstream academia and publish papers that could never be accepted in mainstream sources. But again, the real issue is how significant the opinions are. TFD (talk) 02:46, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
Just so we are clear here, the OP wrote Found what may be the sole scholarly analysis of SPLC, certainly the only one I've encountered...this doesn't mean this article is the only analysis of SPLC or that it is valid as an analysis at all. It's the only one that has seen. If it is used, it definitely shouldn't be considered the sole study of the SPLC. Liz Read! Talk! 18:49, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
Is it a reliable source for its own opinion. Yes. Should it be given weight? That is a content question best left to the article's talk page. If there is a dispute regarding content there are several ways to resolve that dispute and create consensus.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 06:34, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

Huffington Post[edit]

Is the Huffington Post an RS for the purpose of the statement that "The Huffington Post reported that, a US group that tracks dog bites, blamed pit bull breeds for 62 percent of the 325 people killed by dog attacks from 2005 to 2014."?

Discussion is here. An editor has deleted the text and ref repeatedly at dog bite (including after talk page discussion started), claiming that the Huffington Post is a "poor source", "low-quality source", and not a "high quality source", and that therefore deletion was called for. --Epeefleche (talk) 16:59, 18 April 2015 (UTC)

As the byline on the Huff Post makes clear, the original source is Associated Press - which looks to me to be a perfectly acceptable source for the statement that ", a US group that tracks dog bites, blamed pit bull breeds for 62 percent of the 325 people killed by dog attacks from 2005 to 2014". Note that neither AP nor the Huff Post are saying that the statement is true - they are instead reporting what says on the subject. Whether what has to say on the subject merits inclusion is an issue of weight, not reliability, I'd suggest. AndyTheGrump (talk)
My personal take on HuffPo in general is that it's acceptable in most cases, but needs to be used with caution on BLPs. As ATG pointed out, it's from the AP which is certainly an RS. I don't know much about the specific topic here, but I don't think there's any issues with the reliability of the source per se. EvergreenFir (talk) Please {{re}} 02:33, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
Yes, whether we attribute this to Huff Po or AP, both are reliable for the fact that stated this statistic. Of course this does NOT assess the reliability of the underlying statistic. Nor does it assess the issue of whether mentioning this statistic in the first place might give WP:UNDUE weight to a minority viewpoint (or not). Remember, reliability is not the be-all-and-end-all of inclusion. Other polices and guidelines can influence inclusion as well. Blueboar (talk) 03:34, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
Yes; the reasons given for the deletions of the text and the Huffington Post ref were "removed poor sources", and "Not a good source, please use high quality sources", and "It is a low quality source and we tend to avoid the popular press.". In the ensuing conversation, the deleting editor seems to think that only sources from pubmed (and not the Huffington Post) can be used as an RS for this statement. Epeefleche (talk) 20:23, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
I didn't see the discussion here before starting discussion on Pit Bull so I apologise. I think this is absolutely not reliable information. is a self published source which has been known to skew its statistics. It is run by a single person, Colleen Lynn, who has no professional experience in animal behavior. It is not peer reviewed. All of their dog bite statistics come from media reports, which is not a reliable way to track dog bites, and many of the dog bite fatalities attribute "Pit bull" as the breed, where the associated media article in question does not mention it is a pit bull or contain a photo of the dog. Many of its statistics and claims are contradicted by the Center for Disease control and National Canine Research Council. PearlSt82 (talk) 16:09, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
Also per WP:NEWSORG: For information about academic topics, scholarly sources and high-quality non-scholarly sources are generally better than news reports. News reports may be acceptable depending on the context. Articles which deal in depth with specific studies, as a specialized article on science, are apt to be of more value than general articles which only tangentially deal with a topic. Frequently, although not always, such articles are written by specialist writers who may be cited by name. - cited peer-reviewed literature which reviews dog bite studies, like this AVMA's 2015 literature review must be given weight over primary studies quoted by news orgs, per WP:RS. PearlSt82 (talk) 19:43, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
Also, one more, this article by the Huffington Post discusses Lynn's lack of credentials, stating Colleen Lynn is a menace; she's a web designer who was once bitten by a dog, and has been on a vicious campaign to eliminate the pit bull type ever since. Still, she makes no pretense to academic credibility.. If the same source has two conflicting views, which should we use, especially when the statistics in question are only a very small aside of the original article? Boiling down the entire article on something else (pit bulls as service dogs) to the one sentence about quoted that only seems tangentially related strikes me as WP:UNDUE in light of everything else. PearlSt82 (talk) 20:01, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Pearl - this is a board for discussing whether a source is an RS in context. The other editors and I all agree that The Huffington Post/Associated Press source above is an RS for the statement indicated.

As to your animus against the organization that the RS reflects the views of, that is your personal view. RSs in abundance, in contrast to your view, also reflect what this organization has to say. For example, The New York Times, Christian Science Monitor, USA Today (also here), Time, the Seattle Times, the Houston Chronicle, ABC, CBS, NBC, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Vancouver Sun, etc. If you have a contradictory RS-supported view that you wish to add to the article, feel free to do it. But please stop deleting this sentence (and similar sentences, as you[3] -- including in this massive deletion -- and Lovepitbullsforever[4] have been doing recently), claiming "not RS." Epeefleche (talk) 21:58, 20 April 2015 (UTC)

Thank you, I'm aware this board is about discussing whether a source is an RS in context. These issues will allow us to determine the context. I disagree that my views on is personal opinion. It is a fact is not peer reviewed. It is a fact that it is self published. It is a fact that Colleen Lynn, the sole operator of has no credentials in veterinary science, animal behavior or other related matters that would make her reliable for quoting these kinds of statistics from. It is also fact that HuffPo wrote an article which I quoted above that labels Lynn and Merritt Clifton as academic frauds. If you look at the data on Lynn's website, its mostly circular citations with Merritt Clifton.
I think one of the biggest underlying questions here is if WP:MEDRS applies to animal behavior and veterinary matters. I asked this question on the Pit Bull talk page some time ago and have not received a response either way. I would argue yes, it should. If yes, MEDRS explicitly states Ideal sources for such content includes literature reviews or systematic reviews published in reputable medical journals, academic and professional books written by experts in the relevant field and from a respected publisher, and medical guidelines or position statements from nationally or internationally recognised expert bodies. Primary sources should generally not be used for medical content. , which would make this issue a moot point as any sourcing attributed to news bodies would fail off the bat, as they are not academic publishers.
If MEDRS doesn't apply, then lets look at WP:RS and specifically the clause WP:NEWSORG. All the sources you've posted are news organizations quoting the DBO statistics. NEWSORG states: For information about academic topics, scholarly sources and high-quality non-scholarly sources are generally better than news reports. News reports may be acceptable depending on the context. - in this case, the scholarly sources include the AVMA, which I've added to the Pit Bull page (and you've since removed), which draw different conclusions than the statistics. Why would we give more weight to a news source quoting DBO than an peer-reviews academic organization which has published a comprehensive literature review of all known dog bite studies?
Furthermore, the WP:SCHOLARSHIP part of RS states that Articles should rely on secondary sources whenever possible. For example, a review article, monograph, or textbook is better than a primary research paper.. Again, why should a news organization quoting a single statistic from a single study be given more weight than a secondary peer-reviewed literature review?
And finally, I disagree in your reading of the other editors statements. They seem to be weakly in support at best, and have all chimed in before my comments. Now, if after reading my comments, they all agree with you that I'm full of BS and that this HuffPo quote is indeed RS for this article, then I'll abide by consensus and back down. But until then, I don't think you as the person who added this information to three articles and submitted the discussion on this noticeboard get to decide that consensus has been reached only two days after discussion has been started. PearlSt82 (talk) 23:08, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
One final point on the issue, please look at the Maul Talk blog run by the people, specificially the entries for science whores where they describe mainstream academics as whores, people who "Wanting to keep making money on the very lucrative dog-talk circuit, s/he sells both soul and credibility for a few dollars.", or the article for advocacy groups where they describe anyone who disagrees with them as a "nutter" and refer to Ledy VanKavage as "Bledy VanKarnage”. Is this something a legitimate academic organisation would do?PearlSt82 (talk) 00:12, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
  • You miss the point. It is the Huffington Post/Associated Press that is the RS. It is reporting on what an organization says. That organization does not in turn have to be an RS (though it may be). We as a matter of course reflect RSs reporting what organizations and individual in turn say -- though those organizations and individuals are not RSs (necessarily). And as you can see from the above dozen RSs that refer to the statements of this organization -- it is an organization that RSs see fit to report the statements of. Epeefleche (talk) 00:29, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
I understand that point quite well. In this case we have a news org quoting a fringe source for a straight statistic on veterinary science data. HuffPo has done numerous pieces on A Voice For Men, and we wouldn't add their views on domestic violence to the Domestic Violence article even through attribution. PearlSt82 (talk) 00:42, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
We would use as refs those other dozen RSs, if they were in turn quoting an organization that reports a straight statistic on deaths in, for example, the Syrian Civil War, or in a terrorist attack, or in World War II. We don't need a medical source for that. Same here.
And your POV branding of the organization, which is quoted by these RSs, as a "fringe source" is belied by the fact that the organization's statements are reported, in just the past two years, by among others: ABC, CBS, NBC, the Associated Press, The Huffington Post, The New York Times, Christian Science Monitor, USA Today, Time, the Seattle Times, the Houston Chronicle, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Vancouver Sun. Epeefleche (talk) 01:02, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
Again, those are all news orgs. Not academics. My labeling of as fringe is absolutely NOT POV. Look at the Maul Talk entry for "Science whores" I posted earlier. What organization other than a fringe one, would describe all mainstream PhD academics in that fields as "whores"? Look one step further at DBO's about page - specifically this paragraph: We champion the rights of victims through our research, education and advocacy. Our statistical data has been cited in a peer-reviewed scientific journal and well over a hundred reports from local, regional and national newspapers. Our advocacy helped move the highest court in Maryland to issue the seminal ruling, Tracey v. Solesky, declaring "pit bulls inherently dangerous" and to modify state liability law to ensure a compensation remedy for pit bull mauling victims.
Lets unpack these sentences. Our statistical data has been cited in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. "A". As in singular. They link to this journal here, which is "Mortality, Mauling, and Maiming by Vicious Dogs" from "Annals of Surgery". Annals of Surgery is a surgical science journal which deals with humans. It is not a veterinary science journal. So the only peer-reviewed article that cites their data is one from an unrelated field. Moving on to the next clause: over a hundred reports from local, regional and national newspapers - yes, you've covered these, I will give you that one. And finally: Our advocacy helped move the highest court in Maryland to issue the seminal ruling, Tracey v. Solesky, declaring "pit bulls inherently dangerous" and to modify state liability law to ensure a compensation remedy for pit bull mauling victims. This court decision has since been reversed. SO the only thing that uses their data are news organizations, an unrelated journal and a reversed court decision. On one hand we have data that no mainstream academics in the field cite, and on the other hand we have a blog where they call all the mainstream academics in the field whores. How is this not a fringe organization? PearlSt82 (talk) 01:11, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

PearlSt82, I'm not sure where you're getting that this is an academic topic. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 08:13, 22 April 2015 (UTC)

To reliably determine breed in dog bite fatalities one must be able to reliably identify them. Most dogs involved in fatalities are mixed breed. As noted in the lede of the Pit Bull article, visual identification of breed is not accurate. As such, veterinary organizations don't compile dog bite fatalities by breed as identification is often done visually by animal control, shelter employees, media orgs or other, and their identifications will often conflict with oen another. It is only possible to conduct accurate breed identification through DNA testing. In other words, in order to reliably compile a statistic like "Pit bulls make up XXX percentage of dog bite fatalities", you need to reliably determine whether or not it is actually a pit bull before including it on the list, which can only be done through DNA and is what does not do. The Syrian Civil War analogy breaks down here. It is quite easy to tell if a dead body in the civil war is human or not. A more appropriate analogy would be "List of Ethnicities Killed in Syrian Civil War", where the list compiler tries to identify the ethnicity of the bodies just by looking at them. is a anti-Pit bull, pro-Breed Specific Legislation advocacy group. They have a vested interest in skewing statistics regarding dog bite fatalities in order to make pit bulls look more dangerous than they are noted in the veterinary and animal behavioral sources. DBO's tactics of assigning "pit bull" breed to dog bite fatalties where no breed has been identified by the media has been pointed out by quite a few people. Does this make sense? It is indeed an academic area as number studies have been done on dog bites, dog behavior and animal aggression by veterinary scientists. This 2015 literature review of such studies by the AVMA cites 66 said studies. If DBO's data was reliable and assembled with proper methodology, wouldn't it be cited by any of these studies? PearlSt82 (talk) 10:52, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
With that many citations, we need to mention what DBO says. We can also mention conflicting studies, other views, or criticims of their methods, but we would clearly be not doing our jobs if we just left out what such a prominent organization in the field has to say. --GRuban (talk) 14:00, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
Does that include attribution of raw statistical data to them? I can understand citing their positions in an article like Breed Specific Legislation where their views are currently cited as an example of what BSL proponents argue, but shouldn't we source statistics from more reliable organizations? This AVMA study on dog bite related fatalities notes that "Valid breed determination was possible for only 45 (17.6%) DBRFs" - would it really be appropriate to say in the text something like "The Huffington Post reported that, a US group that tracks dog bites, blamed pit bull breeds for 62 percent of the 325 people killed by dog attacks from 2005 to 2014, but a study by the American Veterinary Medical Association noted that valid breed determination was possible for only 17.6% of dog bite related fatalities."? PearlSt82 (talk) 14:04, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
PearlSt82, the fact that (uncited) academic studies have been done on a subject doesn't make it an academic topic. It seems pretty clear to me this is not an academic topic, just as "List of Ethnicities Killed in Syrian Civil War" isn't an academic topic. These are the types of straightforward factual inquiries that are frequently made by industry associations, NGOs, and government agencies as well as academics. Clearly, the AP thought consulting this organization was appropriate. I believe what you're really saying is that this is biased--but please review WP:BIASED. If has been reliably identified as having an anti-pit bull bias then it may be appropriate to add that information to the article. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 16:52, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
And by the way, I've briefly reviewed and agree it likely does have an anti-pit bull bias. But that doesn't change my analysis on this particular issue. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 17:00, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
I've cited two of those AVMA studies, this one which is the literature review that mentions all 66, and this one that discusses about the reliability of breed ID. Surely you don't want me to paste citations for all 66 studies here? What criteria is needed to determine that an organization is reliably biased? In their own words they call the mainstream PhDs in this field whores. Is that not enough to display evidence of their bias? PearlSt82 (talk) 17:02, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
You're missing my point and misunderstanding ignoring WP:BIASED. Fine, so is biased. That doesn't make the AP unreliable. The way to handle this is to add the source, describe's bias, and describe the conflict with other reliable sources. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 17:15, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
I read WP:BIASED which says Common sources of bias include political, financial, religious, philosophical, or other beliefs. While a source may be biased, it may be reliable in the specific context.. I just don't understand how any attribution of DBO stats is reliable in this context. Are you saying the way to go here would be the sentence I suggested above, namely: "The Huffington Post reported that, a US group that tracks dog bites, blamed pit bull breeds for 62 percent of the 325 people killed by dog attacks from 2005 to 2014, but a study by the American Veterinary Medical Association noted that valid breed determination was possible for only 17.6% of dog bite related fatalities."? PearlSt82 (talk) 17:24, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
The last sentence would be some serious SYNTH. Arkon (talk) 17:25, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
So how can we mention that DBO's data and AVMA's studies starkly contradict one another without mentioning the two studies side by side? I'm not drawing any conclusions beyond what is stated in the AVMA journal? PearlSt82 (talk) 17:28, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
Seems like stating those facts separately would be the way to go. Arkon (talk) 17:32, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
Ok, some proposed text: "The Huffington Post reported that, a US-based Breed Specific Legislation advocacy group that tracks dog bites, blamed pit bull breeds for 62 percent of the 325 people killed by dog attacks from 2005 to 2014. However, the American Veterinary Medical Association notes several problems with tracking breed in dog bite related fatalities, citing that dog bite statistics "do not give an accurate picture of dogs that bite", due to problems with accuracy in recording the breed and mixed-breeds being described as purebreds.(avma cite 1). In a 2013 study of 256 dog bite–related fatalities in the United States from 2000–2009, the AVMA determined that valid breed determination was possible for only 17.6% of dog bite related fatalities studied.(avma cite 2)". Is this closer to the mark?PearlSt82 (talk) 17:40, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
Honestly, still seems synthy, but it's beyond the scope of this board in any case. Arkon (talk) 17:58, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
PearlSt82, yes, something like that. However the attribution ("The Huffington Post reported that") can and probably should be removed. No need to include attribution for properly sourced facts--plus, it calls out HuffPo, which was only one of many newspapers that carried this AP story. I'm specifically not weighing in on neutrality issues as they're beyond the scope of this discussion. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 18:10, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
Ok - would AP attribution be more appropriate then? Am I correct in my read of previous discussions that this is only reliable because the AP posted it? If so, then wouldn't we need attribution? PearlSt82 (talk) 18:13, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
We don't need attribution to HuffPo, HuffPo, or AP, merely say that says this, which is not disputed. We do need attribution to, because what they say is disputed. It's not synthesis in this case because it's a mainstream view opposed to a fringe view, that's the heart of WP:FRINGE, we can't expect the AVMA to name each specific lady with a web site that they're rebutting, just that they are rebutting breed specific fatality studies in general. I'd write something like: ", a US-based Breed Specific Legislation advocacy group that focuses on pit bulls (ref: their about page), blamed pit bull breeds for 62 percent of the 325 people killed by dog attacks from 2005 to 2014.(ref)(ref) The American Veterinary Medical Association notes problems with tracking breed in dog bite related fatalities;(ref) in a 2013 study of 256 fatalities in the United States from 2000–2009, the AVMA determined valid breed determination possible for only 17.6% of cases.(ref)" --GRuban (talk) 18:41, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
Thanks GRuban, thats incredibly helpful. Then if noone objects, I'll add similar text to the three pages where the DBO stats were added. There were some other issues with Pit Bull that got included in the reverts, but I consider those to be separate issues and will address them on the talk page. PearlSt82 (talk) 18:44, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
If possible, I'd give at least 2 refs (AP/HuffPo, and another or two) for the statement, otherwise it's not clear that despite being a minority view, it has gotten a lot of media attention. --GRuban (talk) 18:47, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
  • I agree with the statements of nearly all of the above editors; excluding Pearl, whose above views have been non-consensus. The Huffington Post/AP are indeed RS refs for the statement set forth at the outset of this thread. The reasons giving for removing the statement -- assertions of "poor source," "Not a good source," not a "high quality source," "low quality source," "not RS", "pubmed sourced required," and "academic source required" are unfounded non-consensus views. As mentioned at the outset, properly sourced contrary views can of course be added -- note that the study mentioned covers a different timeframe, so it's not an even comparison. But of course SYNTH must be scrupulously avoided. As others have said, we don't need attribution to HuffPo or AP, though I personally don't object to it, and in a highly contentious area such as these seems to be (for at least one editor), it may perhaps serve a purpose. Epeefleche (talk) 20:31, 22 April 2015 (UTC)

This source is not needed as we have much better sources on the topic. We have a good 2015 literature review on the topic here [5]. There is no reason to use the popular press and WP:MEDRS recommends against it for medical content. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 06:16, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

This shouldn't a question about content in the article, but about the source itself. HuffPo in this case is only republishing a report initially from the Associated Press. Associated Press clearly is a reliable source. Are there "better" sources? Possibly. But is this source reliable per WP:IRS, regardless of HuffPo republishing it? I think the answer to that is clearly yes.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 06:37, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

Reliable source for net worth[edit]

I was looking to find a reliable source for net worth of individuals for the List of heads of state and government by net worth article. I have tagged some of the sources in the article since I am unsure of their reliability.

Here are some that I need advice for reliability:

Also, I would like to see if the following sources are reliable for adding the net worth of Hugo Chavez:

What the sources say is that Chávez was worth about $1-2 billion and left that money for his family after he died.--ZiaLater (talk) 07:28, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

Dailymail is not a reliable reference. Noteswork (talk) 10:50, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
On what do you base that opinion?-- Toddy1 (talk) 11:20, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
The editors of Dailymail usually stick to very critical language. Once you have read their figures and analysis and you happen to be an expert in that field, you will know that their articles have got many mistakes. Noteswork (talk) 11:22, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
I found something: User:John/Is the Daily Mail a reliable source?;;; ;;; Precisely why the Daily Mail is irredeemable shit on BoingBoing;;;;;; The World’s Most Popular Online Newspaper Might Also Be Its Worst on ... — Jeraphine Gryphon (talk) 11:33, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
Regarding Chavez's net worth... all the given sources ultimately cite a piece from the Criminal Justice International Associates for their figures, so the question is really whether the CJIA is reliable on this issue. Given that their claim is based in an accusation of theft/corruption, that the organization appears to be minor, and that the main English sources willing to carry the info are The Daily Mail and The Inquisitor, I wouldn't use its figures, especially in the "net worth" article chart because attribution can't be given.  Mbinebri  talk ← 13:28, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
Just to note, it seems the CJIA is only one person—Jerry Brewer—with a history of writing attack pieces on Chavez's government and other South American leftists. I also can't find the original CJIA piece these other sources use.  Mbinebri  talk ← 15:08, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

The list is a BLP nightmare. Three points:

  • None of the estimates should be cited without WP:Attribution
  • Mixing and matching estimates from different sources, for different years, using different (often unspecified) methodologies, with and without inflation adjustment, possibly mixing nominal and PPP numbers and placing them in a sortable table probably qualifies as OR
  • Many of the estimates are dubious, and in fact WP:REDFLAG-claims. For example see this Forbes article on the credibility of the $70 Billion claim for Mubarak; the Guardian article that is cited attributes its numbers to "anti-bribery campaigners"; a source cited for Kennedy's $1 billion net-worth, may not even be RS, and in case says "Although he never inherited his father’s fortune, the Kennedy family estate was worth nearly $1 billion dollars." etc.

Even the estimates cited to Forbes are by a Forbes Contributors, which as has been discussed on this board before, is not a reliable source. As the column by a Forbes staff member (which are considered reliable) I linked above said, "We don’t include heads of state in our annual Billionaires List valuations, and their fortunes are often impossible to pin down...". The article needs major clean-up, or should be deleted outright if it cannot be brought in compliance with WP:RS, WP:OR and WP:BLP. Abecedare (talk) 14:25, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

Abecedare is correct about most. Article is violating REDFLAG and there are also major BLP problems. Noteswork (talk) 15:13, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
I am also thinking if tables are even necessary, we need paragraphs. Noteswork (talk) 15:15, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
Who will go for AFD, deletion or merge might be an appropriate idea. Noteswork (talk) 15:47, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
I can agree with a deletion. I brought attention to this notice board because I was pretty sure the article was a mess and the net worth of these individuals is very difficult to calculate. Some even claim that Putin is worth $200 billion (the article explains why it is difficult to confirm net worth though). Thank you for your responses.--ZiaLater (talk) 22:03, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
One more thing. Since some of the information on this article may be properly referenced, can we move some of this info to appropriate articles? I just don't want to put the work of all of those who attempted to make this work to waste.--ZiaLater (talk) 22:10, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
The individual articles are indeed the right place to include the information, since it can be discussed with proper attribution, and context (although we will still need a reliable source, and keep WP:DUE and WP:BLP in mind). For example, the List of heads of state and government by net worth simply claims that Wen Jiabao's net worth is "$2.7 billion (October 2012)", which is flatly false and a misrepresentation of sources. The correct statement is In October 2012, The New York Times reported that Wen's relatives have controlled financial assets worth at least US$2.7 billion during his time as Premier., as the Wen Jiabao article already says with proper sourcing.
Further errors: Neither Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, nor Saad Hariri are current hed of government or state. And that's just on a random spot-check. Abecedare (talk) 22:34, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Note: Given the rough consensus of participant on this board, I have proposed deletion of the article. If there is an objection, it can be taken to AFD. In either case, we should have at least a week to salvage any reliably sourced data to include in the subject's article (if it is not already there). Abecedare (talk) 22:48, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
Might be cancelled anytime soon, there is backlog of proposed deletions. You should create an afd. Noteswork (talk) 05:06, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Amazing. People resort to unreliable sites in order to include unimportant information beloved of a tiny minority. That has literally never happened thousands of times before. Guy (Help!) 22:42, 22 April 2015 (UTC)


Why is not a reliable source? Overall, I fail to understand why the sources in the last section of the edit "Poor business ethics" is deleted as not reliable. Endurance International Group - diff

Some background: Legitscript assists Google, Bing, Visa, and other partners to let them know which Internet pharmacy merchants are legitimate and which are not in 19 countrie...and Yahoo. (Paragraph two). This blog background is written by the owner of Legitscript.--Nodove (talk) 13:09, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

Because a blog written by a party involved in a dispute is a primary source, not a secondary source, and we certainly don't create sections with negative titles based upon the primary-sourced arguments of one side of a dispute. It may be a reliable source for what Legitscript thinks, but whether or not we care about what Legitscript thinks is an open question. The section in question was written in a highly-accusatory and POV manner, assuming that Legitscript's arguments were all correct — a logical leap we are not permitted to make as encyclopedia editors. If there are no reliable secondary sources discussing the dispute, it is not likely to belong in an encyclopedia. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 20:06, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
Sorry for being pedantic about this, but I'd like to point out that you've got the wrong terminology here, and are citing the wrong policy. Legitscript is a verification service. It is full of (talk) 16:22, 21 April 2015 (UTC)analysis and interpretation of primary source data. Therefore it is a secondary source, not a primary source. You are objecting to it because it is involved in a dispute. That's a perfectly valid objection to make here at RSN. But what you should do is cite WP:NPOV (not WP:OR) and say that it is an unreliable secondary source. An unreliable secondary source is not the same as a primary source.
Sorry again if this sounds pedantic, but currently I'm involved in an effort to clarify the wording of the WP:OR so that editors will not make this mistake. It may be a hopeless quest, but at least I would like the policy to be worded correctly. – Margin1522 (talk) 17:37, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
Well, no. The posting in question is a self-published blog-posting written by a primary source — someone involved in an argument. A blog written by the PR person for a company involved in an argument is *not* a secondary source, not at all. A secondary source would be, for example, a newspaper or professional magazine article written *based upon* research and investigation of the primary sources. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 15:05, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
@NorthBySouthBaranof: A self-published blog "may sometimes be acceptable when its author is an established expert whose work in the relevant field has been published by reliable third-party publications"--last paragraph.Nodove (talk) 20:47, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
It "...assists Google, Bing, Visa, and other partners to let them know which Internet pharmacy merchants are legitimate 19 countrie...and Yahoo..." I'm to believe that these entities happen to all depend on this unreliable source; it's an unreliable source? The source states and all these entities accept the assistance of the analysis and interpretation as legitimate, not as being unreliable.Nodove (talk) 16:23, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
@NorthBySouthBaranof: OK, I looked at the blog post. It was about a online pharmacy in Russia that was selling unapproved drugs to Japanese consumers. The blog post considered several facts about this pharmacy – no prescription required, unapproved drugs, no pharmacy license – and concluded that this was a "rogue Internet pharmacy". The conclusion is what makes this a secondary source.
You may object that the blog post was self-published, not fact checked, not independent, and not neutral, because the author was engaged in a Twitter feud with the pharmacy operator. But none of that changes the fact that it contained analysis. See WP:ANALYSIS, which says: "Secondary sources are not necessarily independent or third-party sources." The essay Identifying and using primary and secondary sources, which we cite in WP:SECONDARY, goes further, and says: "Secondary does not mean that the source is independent, authoritative, high-quality, accurate, fact-checked, expert-approved, subject to editorial control, or published by a reputable publisher. Secondary sources can be unreliable, biased, self-serving and self-published."
All of those things may be grounds for describing legitscript as an unreliable source. You can have a discussion about that with Nodove and other people who point out that he seems to be an expert, all of his facts are verifiable, and he's authorized to file complaints on behalf of the Japanese government. Whatever. None of that changes the fact that reliable (self-published, fact-checked, independent, neutral, etc. etc.) or not, it's a secondary source. – Margin1522 (talk) 17:12, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
You're welcome to your belief. The title of the article (My Twitter Spat With a Russian Rogue Internet Pharmacy Operator) makes it very clear that it's a primary source - it's not a detached perspective, it's the perspective of a person deeply involved in a personal dispute and social media argument with someone or something else. Its "conclusion" is that of a participant in the dispute, not that of a detached observer. Whatever it is, it's staying out. Have a nice day. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 17:37, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
OK, I don't want to harass anybody here. I said it's a fairly pedantic point, namely that "primary" is the wrong word to use for "not detached". If editors insist on using the wrong word, it's a failure of the policy to explain what "primary" actually means and a failure to suggest a better word that should be used instead. – Margin1522 (talk) 21:05, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

Is it recommended that I take this matter to mediation? I haven't gotten an answer about: My idea is that the source may be used, regardless of the NorthBySouthBaranof opinion.Nodove (talk) 19:11, 22 April 2015 (UTC)

Personally I would simply ignore NBSB's objections, as most editors have learned to. Margin however makes some relevant points - it may be helpful to continue discussion with him elsewhere. (talk) 19:30, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
As several other editors have objected to the use of the phrasing and sources you propose, the path would be to discuss on the relevant article talk page. If there is no consensus for your proposed additions, they will remain out. The section in question violates WP:NPOV (the title "Poor business ethics" makes this obvious) and is additionally a clear and unambiguous example of original research and original synthesis, taking several different previously-unconnected claims and using them to create a new claim which has not appeared in any reliable secondary source. This is categorically prohibited on Wikipedia. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 19:53, 22 April 2015 (UTC)[edit]

This appears to be an ad supported blog with various stories presented as "news", but I can't find any writer/journalist credits, staff listed, or a backer/publisher of any kind. Anyone care to comment or render an opinion? --Scalhotrod (Talk) ☮ღ☺ 16:52, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

As far as I can tell it just links to stories from other sites. It would be better to link to the original sources. To give you an idea of their editorial judgment, the first article I drilled down into turned out to be taken from the Daily Mail. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 17:00, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
No. It exists primarily to monetise other people's content. Guy (Help!) 22:31, 22 April 2015 (UTC)[edit]

I'm seeing a lot of information being used in references, but the sources being used appear to be written by unknown writers (who presumably start an account and begin writing articles). Has this source ever been examined more than cursorily before? - Jack Sebastian (talk) 02:39, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

I see that it has a small editorial staff (listed on its about page) and there are at least a few folks who claim on their individual social media pages to be staff writers or other in-house writers. On the other hand, I cannot find much about it at Google News or from reliable publishers at Google Books. It seems to me that the presumption that writers can just start an account and begin writing is unlikely, since most of their articles come from a small number of writers (and since in their terms of service they clearly distinguish between edited content and contributed content). Having said that, however, I can find virtually no other evidence on which to base a conclusion that they have a reputation for fact checking and accuracy and without that they're not reliable. As always there's never any black and white here and the question is always, "Reliable for what?", but I'm not seeing much of a reason to think that they're generally reliable like, for example, most major metropolitan newspapers. Regards, TransporterMan (TALK) 16:43, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
I cam accross this topic when reading something for another article. I myself have used the site as a reference, for the claim that Bloodshot #1 had a chromium cover (not really a controversial claim as I see it, but someone tagged it, so a reference was needed) and used . With comic books it is real hard to find mainstream coverage and for non controversial facts I thought it would be ok. Was I wrong to use it? Would it be reliable for this kind of information? AlbinoFerret 20:42, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
The strict answer to your remark that "With comic books it is real hard to find mainstream coverage" is this: if reliable sourcing cannot be found the information and ultimately the article (if no reliable sourcing can be found for anything in the article) shouldn't be in Wikipedia if our highest standards are to be respected. On the other hand, IAR plays a part here: With a few exceptions involving legal issues such as slander, copyright, advocacy of child molestation, and perhaps a couple of others, if you put something in which clearly violates policy and no one removes it or objects to it then it gets to stay until someone does and that frequently happens, for long periods of time, in popular-culture articles. If someone does remove it or object to it — which is how most things come to this noticeboard — then IAR (and its running buddy consensus-by-silence) offer little support to keeping the information in the article. In that situation, the information needs to come out unless a truly reliable source can be found for it. The long and the short if it is that if you believed the source to be reliable at the time you used it you may have been objectively wrong to use it, but not morally wrong and if those references have been there for awhile without being challenged or reverted I wouldn't hurry off and remove them and the connected information but you should consider finding a better source for them. Remember: Anything which is important enough to be in Wikipedia will ordinarily have a reliable source out there somewhere; if it doesn't then, it's probably not important enough to be here. Regards, TransporterMan (TALK) 14:07, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
Thanks TransporterMan as is pointed out alot on this board, it depends what the source is used for. I did check to see that they had editorial staff and did believe that the source was reliable for its use. Im going to let it be as its really a non controversial claim. I would never use the site or another like it for anything controversial or extraordinary. AlbinoFerret 16:09, 22 April 2015 (UTC)

Is IMDb reliable for filmography credits?[edit]

The following discussion was moved from my talk page. We would like to get broader input on whether some or all of IMDB's filmography credits are citable per WP:V and WP:RS.- MrX 19:47, 12 April 2015 (UTC)

MrX, thanks for your guidance on the Hugh Elliott (editor) page. I have a question for you. I've noticed you've been removing the IMDb references from the page. After studying your comments and the Wikipedia:Identifying reliable sources page, I would like your feedback regarding the IMDb process. In my experience, certain aspects of IMDb (such as personal bios) are not vetted factually by IMDb and therefore not reliable. Whereas filmography/credits, for example, may only be recommended to IMDb. They then study, properly vet and make any approved changes internally. For this reason, I would have thought filmography credits - as opposed to biography data - to be a reliable reference, as it would not be self-published or questionable (due to IMDb's process and reputation). Any further guidance would be appreciated. 1sjjmhbt0 (talk) 15:27, 2 April 2015 (UTC)

Here is the applicable guideline: WP:USERG. if there are exceptions to this guideline, or if IMDb now has an editorial process for some content, I'm not aware of it. Here are some discussions that may help: [2][3], or this essay: WP:CITEIMDB.- MrX 21:56, 2 April 2015 (UTC)

MrX, thank you for the reply and the information. I see there is quite a debate going on re IMDb's validity as a reference with many pro and con views. All I can offer to the discussion is my personal experience. From that, I would say the reason why IMDb falls into the middle category of "Disputed" (between "Appropriate" and "Inappropriate") is that many of the IMDb categories clearly don't get fact-vetted - they are only vetted for obscenity, reasonableness, etc. But, this is not true with the Filmography Credits category. Upon submitting credits to IMDb, I have often received inquiries from them for "more reference needed", so there is editorial diligence being done on their end for this category. As a film editor, my response to such requests can only be to reference directly the actual show or episode on Amazon Instant Video, where my credit clearly appears in the end credit roll. My credits are factual, though - aside from IMDb Filmography - can only be proven through this non-standard means. Considering this, would you be amenable to the following: I do not use my IMDb Bio as a reference - I use only the Filmography Credits page as a reference? Further, a reference could be added to an actual episode on Amazon Instant Video (for instance) showing my credit in the credit roll?1sjjmhbt0 (talk) 03:30, 7 April 2015 (UTC)

Sorry for the slow reply 1sjjmhbt0. You make some interesting points that I was not aware of. Could I suggest that we continue this discussion at WP:RS/N to get more input from others? You can just copy this discussion (in whole or part) to that notice board and we can see what other editors have to say. My knowledge of IMDB editorial practices is obviously very limited.- MrX 00:45, 8 April 2015 (UTC)

Haven't we historically allowed IMDB for filmography and casting info? Unlike the trivia sections etc, the filmography isn't user contributed. It's actually placed by IMDB staff. While I've seen plenty of incorrect trivia or location information on IMDB, I can't recall ever seeing a cast list or filmography wrong. Niteshift36 (talk) 03:19, 13 April 2015 (UTC)

I've run up against this time and time again, so let me say that I think you understand the situation pretty well. Even though there are 80,000+ mentions/uses/citations of IMDB on this site, many Editors are quick to denounce it as a "user generated" site when that is only true for certain portions. The resume portion, or what everyone calls the casting and crew credits, are generally fairly accurate. Are their ANY errors in a database as massive as IMDB, YES, of course. And the same tired examples keep getting mentioned like its some shocking expose.
Anyway, one extra piece of advice I'd give you is that IMDB is fine for credits for productions that have been released or aired. If the production is in any stage other than final or maybe post production, its subject to change based on the whims of the Director or editor. If something is "filming" or "to be released", then I'd find another source like Variety or some other publication that covers the Entertainment industry. Regards, --Scalhotrod (Talk) ☮ღ☺ 14:33, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

No, the IMDB is not reliable for filmographies. I created an article recently where the IMDB had the wrong person listed as a producer. It's a good starting point for further research, but it's not a reliable source as Wikipedia defines it. For personal use, yes, it's good enough and often correct. For an encyclopedia that depends on verifiability and editorial control, no. Until WP:USERG changes, I think Wikipedia guidelines are pretty clear on the IMDB. NinjaRobotPirate (talk) 18:09, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

Question: if it is not reliable for film credits, why do we have a template and link to it from every film page? i assumed it was at least reliable for that.-- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 11:37, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
As I stated above, and as one who is a film editor in Los Angeles, my personal experience with IMDb is that there absolutely IS editing due diligence being done re Filmography Credits. I've researched other IMDb discussions on this subject, and the only dissension seems to be a single mistake discovered by a wiki editor. It seems to me that if wiki editors are to base validity upon sources that are perfect, instead of reliable, then all references must be pulled down. The New York Times itself prints retractions. There is a huge difference between perfect and reliable. Being in the film/tv industry, knowing the industry well in the this regard, having personally submitted a multitude of filmography credits to IMDb, and knowing many others who have as well, I can tell you that it is reliable, though imperfect, as is every print publication in existence, whether online or not, I would argue. So - I ask in genuine interest - how does wiki/ a wiki editor determine the line between reliable and perfect in a world where there is no perfect - Wikipedia included?1sjjmhbt0 (talk) 14:32, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
External links don't have to satisfy the criteria of WP:RS; they just have to offer useful content. The IMDb offers information that Wikipedia often deems indiscriminate, unreliable, or both. I don't think anyone would say that the IMDb is an inappropriate external link, but there is heavy resistance to its use as citation, as seen in WP:RS/IMDB and codified in WP:RS itself. I've never tried to do it myself, but I understand that it's fairly easy to insert yourself into the credits of low-profile independent films. This is why we shouldn't trust open wikis and other user-generated sources – including Wikipedia itself. It's not a matter of being perfect, it's a matter of being reliable. Nothing is perfect, but it's much easier to settle on reliable... and the IMDb is a canonical example of an unreliable, user-generated source. NinjaRobotPirate (talk) 15:58, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
In my personal experience of self-generating facts on IMDb for high-profile TV series, I can say that my submission is not usually where the vetting ends. First, I have on a number of occasions been asked to provide further information to support my submissions. Second, there is good vetting done by the industry itself. We all know who was, for instance, Director of Photography on a particular show/episode we were involved in, and if an incorrect name appears one of us will pull it. It is also very much in the poster's best interest to not post falsely, as it will be seen and known by all of those involved. This will place the false-poster in a bad light, so not only will it be corrected, but it will affect his/her reputation and possible ability to get booked again. It seems that what's making this difficult for wiki editors is the inconsistency throughout IMDb, where facts can be reliable in high-profile productions in the Filmography Credits section, yet quite unreliable in other corners. (talk) 14:04, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

In my experience, they're fairly good for film credits, but it's a slippery slope to use IMDb as a reference for anything given what it is. They've a very long way to go before they can be considered reliable, and don't have the manpower or need to do so. Personally, I'll overlook its use on a poor article when it doesn't look like there could be a BLP problem. --Ronz (talk) 16:36, 22 April 2015 (UTC)

Just a note, if you search the archives for this page, and probably other places as well, you'll see that this discussion has been had a number of times regarding IMDB. I don't recall the outcome, but it does seem to be something of a perennial question. - Wikidemon (talk) 00:21, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
Yep, Wikipedia:External_links/Perennial_websites#IMDb, though the specific question of film credits is worth this discussion imo. --Ronz (talk) 16:43, 24 April 2015 (UTC)

As stated, upon submitting my film editing credits to IMDb, I have received, in the past, requests from IMDb for further sourcing. When this happens, I can only point them to the actual series/episode on iTunes/Amazon or other streaming source where my credit clearly appears in the episode credit roll. In situations like mine where filmography credits are true/valid, yet IMDb is deemed - as a whole - an unreliable source by Wiki, might the actual streaming source of the series/episode be considered an acceptable citation? What other recourse do genuine folks like myself have to support what is true in a way that jives with wiki standards? (talk) 14:04, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

(I've not read and express no opinion about the larger question of IMDB's general reliability being discussed here, I'm only replying to's question about the series/episode being used as a source.) The actual episode or film can be used as a source under PRIMARY but you have to realize that it's tricky because PRIMARY says, "Do not analyze, synthesize, interpret, or evaluate material found in a primary source yourself; instead, refer to reliable secondary sources that do so. Do not base an entire article on primary sources, and be cautious about basing large passages on them." (Emphasis in original.) That leads to several issues in doing what you suggest: First, the episode can only be used to identify individuals who appear in the credit roll. The episode cannot be used as a PRIMARY source for uncredited appearances, even by well-known and easily-identifiable actors and actresses, because that requires analyzing, interpreting, and evaluating an image to actually be a certain person. Second — and I may be being a bit over-strict here — identifying a person named in a credit roll to be a particular individual by that name in order to link the person's name to an article or other information about that particular person seems to me to also require analysis, interpretation, evaluation, and if the link between the name in the credits and a particular person is made not only by the name but also by comparing the name to the image of the person, synthesis. (That is, to put that in English, a credit roll says that an actor named Robert Taylor was in the show; it may be a violation of PRIMARY to link the name Robert Taylor with any particular person named Robert Taylor.) Third, some media articles consist of little more than a sentence or two about the production and a long cast list. Using the video/film itself as a PRIMARY source in that case may violate the consideration about basing large passages of an article on primary sources. Regards, TransporterMan (TALK) 14:37, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
PS: And if I may editorialize for a moment, I think it's important to remember that Wikipedia is not a directory, nor is it a database. People who work on media articles sometimes lose sight of the fact that it is not a horrible failure for Wikipedia to not include a cast list or to only include those parts of a cast list which can be established through reliable sources and to omit cast lists or significant appearances merely because reliable sources cannot be found for them. We only report what can be verified, and that sometimes results in information which is, or which someone believes to be, Absolutely True and Vitally Important from being included or in information only being partially included. Regards, TransporterMan (TALK) 14:59, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
You folks are doing great work, and I appreciate it, personally. I just wish there would be more of it, because from the Wiki-layman's perspective, Wiki's practices - regardless of posted standards - can be perceived as inconsistent. I know we could each - right now - find Wiki entries with IMDb filmography credits being used as an accepted reference, for instance. I wish standards could be strictly applied across the board. The net has brewed a new generation believing that if it's online, it's true. If Wiki could be the one resource that actually deserves that assumption, how valuable that would be.1sjjmhbt0 (talk) 16:40, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
Its a Wiki. YOU can help! -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 23:30, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

RfC at Somalis in the United Kingdom[edit]

Hi. There's an RfC open about the proposed use of quotes from a number of different academic sources in the Somalis in the United Kingdom. No previously uninvolved editors have commented in several weeks, so input would be welcome! Cordless Larry (talk) 16:52, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

I have commented. VandVictory (talk) 22:08, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, User:VandVictory. It's not that complicated an issue, I don't think, so if anyone else wants to take a look, please do so. Cordless Larry (talk) 22:15, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
The one user who disagrees with the addition of the material is now suggesting that we should use government sources rather than academic ones. This perhaps requires input from more editors with experience of WP:RS. Cordless Larry (talk) 08:56, 24 April 2015 (UTC)

May Day, 1971 Civil Disobedience in Washiington DC[edit]

Although the Wikipedia report is very good some clarification is in order. The DC Park Police arrived at the West Potomac area around 6 am. They waited a long time before disbursing the campers. They used megaphones repeatedly to warn everyone to leave the park by 7 am. Many of the campers were asleep or simply ignored the warnings. At that point they were interfering with police commands. Obstructing. They paid the price. During the civil disobedience that occurred on Monday I observed many incidents of protesters who opened hoods of cars and removed and stole coil wires which completely disabled these vehicles. This was not civil disobedience. It was criminal. There was a significant amount of property damage done to public and private property. A lot of people got away with it. Many who were arrested for the right reasons never paid for their crimes. As a matter of fact, some were rewarded as part of the class action suit. It believe it was $10,00.

This noticeboard is for the purpose of asking questions about whether or not sources are reliable sources as defined by Wikipedia. If you believe that changes are needed in the text of an article, post a request on the article's talk page, or boldly make the change yourself remembering that all information in Wikipedia must be supported by an inline citation to a reliable source. Regards, TransporterMan (TALK) 21:19, 22 April 2015 (UTC)

BBC misrepresentation of sources[edit]

I am closing this before the OP runs out of feet. Failure to reflect your POV sufficiently strongly does not amount to unreliablility, the BBC has an international reputation for journalistic quality and you'd need to show some heavyweight independent coverage of international standing to be able to assert that this use of everyday terminology amounts to bias within the programme, let alone a systemic bias at the BBC. Guy (Help!) 19:31, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

There has been a recent BBC documentary (the presenter being Peter Taylor (journalist)) on the funding of "ISIL" / "Islamic State group" in which foreign language interviewees continually used "Daesh" and "ISIL" to which the BBC added subtitles "IS" or "Islamic State". For instance a smuggler who helped the group in a trade in oil repeatedly used "daesh" and the bbc continually represented this as IS. Similar happened with comments of the General of Pershmerga forces (who was not named) who consistently referred to daesh. Abu Hajjar, a former "senior leader of IS" indicated that Abu Abdul Rahman al-Bilawi "is considered to be the number two man in daesh" yet the subtitle was presented "is considered to be the number two man in IS" (26 mins into the 59 min prog.) "Someone who risked his life monitoring ancient sites deep in the heart of IS-occupied territory" was interviewed. Perhaps sensibly the voice of this person was not presented but, following above I feel no need to trust the "TRANSLATION:IS has experts who know it was a ritual of the Romans to bury their dead with the tools of the afterlife. At 42 mins into the interview a woman who got out of Ar-Raqqah, who may well have been affected by the regime, quoted as speaking of IS with her actual voice removed.

On another topic, within the content: Bartle Bull, Middle East correspondent, commented "In Northern Syria and much of Iraq, the ISIL are bulldozing, destroying ancient sites simply to get rid of any trace of any other culture". Peter Taylor's response was "This is what IS wants the world to see" while continuing to show footage of destruction. The programme, to my viewing, presents a large content of the groups propaganda and, IMO, this is also been reflected in blog contents attached to news items that have reported on the BBC's presentation. I think also notably the BBC's news pages and related contents do not facilitate blogs.

The BBC have long been a scandal ridden organisation which, to my mind, has a habit of losing its way. I do not understand its coverage and why it does not, at least in part, consider the interpretations many relevant groups in, amongst others, British society. GregKaye 09:49, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

As far as I understand it, "IS", "ISIL", "Islamic State" and "Daesh" all refer to the same entity. I don't see a problem with the BBC translating the original to the words most likely to be understood by its audience. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 11:26, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
Stephan Schulz While the a large proportion of the Muslim world, inclusive of Sunnis, Shias and Sufis, have rejected the groups claim as being a state for all Islam and while the international community widely uses ISIL etc., the BBC makes consistent and often unqualified use of "Islamic State" or "IS". In the programme when English speaking interviewees used "ISIL" the BBC subtitles for the hard of hearing etc. naturally presents "ISIL". When an Arabic" speaking interviewee audibly says "ISIL" the fixed on screen caption presents "IS". When Daesh, which best translates as "ISIL" or "ISIS", is used by an Arabic speaking interviewee, this gets presented as "IS". Please take a look at the last move request for a view of some of the related issues. GregKaye 13:47, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
Are you serious? "Daesh" is just the Arabic acronym FOR ad-Dawlah al-Islāmiyah fīl-ʿIrāq wash-Shām, which stands for the same thing as the English acronym ISIS. All this is clearly stated in the lede to the article on Islamic State. Daesh redirects to Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Why do you think that translating from one language to another is evidence that the BBC is deceiving us in some way? About what?? "The BBC have long been a scandal ridden organisation". What tosh. Paul B (talk) 14:12, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
Paul B If you are saying that "ISIL" and "Islamic State" are carry the same political message then you are very much mistaken. If I said something in Arabic and an Arabic reporter said I had said something different I would say this was misrepresentation. GregKaye 14:22, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
They consider themselves to be Caliphate, which is why IS is sometimes used, as it implies that there are no limits to its territorial claims. It is one of the names it uses. The Nation of Islam is always called that, even though it is not the nation of Islam. It's just the name. The BBC has used various names, as the organisation has also done so. It's notoriously difficult, but creating a conspiracy over nothing will not help. Are you suggesting that this is some sort of sneaky plan by the BBC to imply that the organisation represents all of Islam? That's absurd. You could say the same of Nation of Islam. Paul B (talk) 14:29, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
I am saying that the BBC should have at least a balanced response in relation to sources. The interviewer consistently used "Islamic State" in discussion with interviewees and, without this, there is no way to know if any of them would have used anything but "ISIL" or daesh. Then, even when Arabic speakers specifically say "Isil" or "Daesh", the BBC still edits to IS. This all seems nonsensical to me. As far as scandal is concerned I presume you have heard of Jimmy Saville. Do some searching on BBC bias or similar topics. GregKaye 14:39, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
I don't see how the Jimmy Saville case reflects on the quality of the BBC news reporting. And I still don't get your point, really. Why should the BBC use several different terms for the same entity, especially when some of them are not well understood to the audience, and would likely lead to confusion? I'm reasonably educated and I follow world news, and I've not seed the term "Daesh" before this discussion. German news media fairly consistently use "IS" or "Islamischer Staat" now. If you translate from one language to the other, you have to make some choices. Why are these particular ones problematic for you? --Stephan Schulz (talk) 15:47, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
Jimmy Saville was a DJ and TV presenter who was associated with numerous businesses, charities and institutions. His sexual antics have next to nothing to do with the value of BBC coverage. This debate is degenerating rapidly into one of the silliest I've encountered on this board. It is quite normal to use consistency in translating variant terms, as the translation is to aid the reader. It happens all the time. Some subtle differences are inevitably lost, but clarity is important for effective communication. It remains entirely unclear exactly what you are complaining about and what action you are hoping for. Paul B (talk) 15:48, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

How is it neutral of the BBC to ignore the majority of what their various interviewees say and go their own sweet way and then to compound this with an actual misrepresentation of content that their interviewees have directly presented? GregKaye 18:59, 25 April 2015 (UTC)


Lots of Bollywood movie pages quote as a source for the box office results and final gross of the movie. When we have Koimoi , Bollywood Hungama , Box Office India , IMDB International Business Times and The Financial Express (India) , why this boxofficecapsule is given so much prominence. I am not able to find out who is adding it as reference. --C E (talk) 10:32, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

No, it should not be used. The box office numbers in India are notoriously not reported officially therefor all numbers of estimates and subject to immense pressure from creators and distributors, so much so that the most significant national paper dropped its box office column because it did not feel it coult accurately report [11]
Only sources with the highest reputation for fact checking and accuracy should be used, and boxofficecapsule has not met that threshold. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 23:29, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

Kennewick Man - using an unread book as a source[edit]

There's been discussion at Talk:Kennewick Man, and related discussion at Talk:Settlement of the Americas, about the use of a Smithsonian magazine article by the novelist Douglas Preston, mainly between myself and an IP editor(I'm assuming the 2 IP addresses to be the same editor). Some of this is about OR issues, but what I'm bringing here is the use of this article as a surrogate for an academic book, Kennewick Man, The Scientific Investigation of an Ancient American Skeleton, Edited by Douglas W. Owsley and Richard L. Jantz. I've argued that we should not be using the Smithsonian source, not just because the author is a novelist and unqualified, but also because the book exists. The upshot is that the IP added the book and the article in various places as a source. I pointed out that we should have page numbers, and also that if he/she was using the book either he had read it and could provide page numbers, or he/she hadn't read the book and shouldn't use it as a source (the response being that Preston's summary was a good subtitute). So, the IP has now added page number request tags, which IMHO shows that he/she hasn't read the book. My own opinion is that we shouldn't use any of the material sourced to Preston and an unread book. Comments? Dougweller (talk) 07:14, 24 April 2015 (UTC)

And nothing to do with the IP, just noticed "<ref>{{cite web|url= |title=Y-DNA-HAPLOGROUP-I-L Archives: Kennewick Man's bones provide window to past |publisher=RootsWeb |date= |accessdate=2012-10-12}}</ref><ref>{{cite web|url= |title=The Case of the 9000 Year Old Kennewick Man Revisited | |date=August 30, 2002 |accessdate=2012-10-12}}</ref>" used as sources. Not only is Viewzone a fringe site, that page has copyvio. Dougweller (talk) 10:54, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
In theory, the Smithsonian article is a secondary source, but if the author is unqualified we can't rely on any judgment he might draw form the book, so the book would be a better source as you say. should be on the bloody blacklist, it's worthless by Wikipedia standards. Guy (Help!) 22:00, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
The page contains an article from the Tri-City Herald by Anna King, dated July 23, 2006, no longer available from the webpage of that source. It contains accounts of the team that was then examining the skeleton. In it, anthropologist C. Loring Brace offers the opinion referred to in the article that Kennewick Man was related to the Jōmon - Ainu lineage. This challenge fits the pattern of frivolous claims by Mr. Weller in the interest of purging sources relating Kennewick Man to Jōmon - Ainu lineage, described below. (talk) 05:35, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
It's a copyvio link so can't be used. We can use the article as a source so long as there's enough detail to locate the article, but I think there are book sources mentioning it. I'm not trying to purge anything but bad sources and, earlier, OR. Dougweller (talk) 17:51, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
Easier than I thought, the Wayback Machine has a link to the actual newspaper article, so I've added that. Dougweller (talk) 18:02, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

yet more spurious claims by dougweller[edit]

Mr. Weller made an incorrect assumption about my access to the primary source. Here is a copy/paste of my most recent entry into that particular discussion:

"Nobody is suggesting that just leaving things flagged is acceptable. If one flags one's own contribution, one is obligated to complete the endeavor in a reasonable timeframe. However the point is moot, at least for the Owsley references, as I was able to use my occasional access to a Kindle copy to peruse the relevant articles and complete the references in conformance with standards for references to articles in multi-author compilation volumes. The standard is author-title-volume, much like journal articles. Page numbers are not part of that standard, because of different pagination systems used by different volumes. I also took the opportunity to review sections related to evidence for the life history and burial of Kennewick Man that have a deficient (now flagged) reference, Annual Editions: Archaeology, 10th Edition. The same information is in the Owsley volume articles, so I was able to add backup references in case the issues with the Annual Editions references are unable to be resolved. Having references from the Owsley volume resolves the dilemma of maintaining reference standards or losing information in that case."
"I still maintain that the Preston references should be kept as a courtesy to users of this article without access to the Owsley volume. Nothing I found indicated that Preston had mis-reported any of the findings in the Owsley volume. (talk) 01:05, 25 April 2015 (UTC)"

The regard of Preston as an "unreliable source" because he has written novels is unfounded, since with the Smithsonian article Preston was working in the capacity of a journalist for Smithsonian Magazine and not a novelist, i.e., as a category of secondary source that is accepted on WP. I opened up a heading on the talk page of Kennewick Man regarding that issue. That led to a discussion in which Mr. Weller made some interesting assertions, including that it was "evident" that the primary source (the Owsley volume) was not peer-reviewed, i.e. itself unreliable as a primary source, and he provided links to sites repeating malicious rumors to back up that claim. I knew that the assertion was nonsense because of my familiarity with the volume and its evident standards, similar to other professional compilations. The article that was the ultimate source for Mr. Weller's assertion (linked in that discussion) was actually refuted in a comment left by the curator in charge of the Kennewick Man skeleton at the Burke Museum in Seattle.

At the time, there were various assertions, speculation, and at least one unattributed quote in the KM article referenced to a Seattle Times article, that Mr. Weller apparently had no problem with. The solution (expedited by me, not by Mr. Weller) was to parse the Seattle Times article for the one piece of information from its primary source (a 2013 email) that was appropriate to use in the KM article with proper context and disclosure. Reviewing the past history of Mr. Weller's attempts to challenge article information in the talk page, and the problem issues he has not been responsive to, it is sadly evident that there is an agenda not related to the pursuit of a high standard, well-substantiated WP article. Mr. Weller has been making frivolous and unfounded claims in the talk page against any source indicating that Kennewick Man's heritage may be in coastal Asia, e.g. "Custred edits & POV?" (31 March, 2008), "Ainu and WP:UNDUE"(12, December, 2013). Mr. Weller's rationale for the Ainu claim turned out to be demonstrably wrong, and the claim advocated minimizing the work of at least three of the top physical anthropologists in the country (Brace, Powell, and Owsley), who did analyses of the KM skeleton and reached the same conclusions. Mr. Weller's campaign against anything related to the Owsley volume, which is the most intensive, complete work related to the KM skeleton to date, fits that pattern. The "no peer review" claim held no water, just like the "novelist" and "unread book" claims. (talk) 05:35, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

Most of this is not worth responding to, as it misrepresents what I've done or said. Eg, I never said the Owsley edited book wasn't peer reviewed. I've mentioned my disquiet about using the Seattle times article on the talk page. There's been no official report yet and I've said elsewhere we should normally wait before using something only briefly reported in the news. And I clearly said, at both talk pages, that we should use the Owsley book, not secondary sources. Of course we should use the book, who would doubt that? We shouldn't however I admit to disliking the use of 'Ainu' as they are a historical culture that postdate Kennewick Man by several thousand years. Why people mention Ainu is something that puzzles me. (sorry, it's when they simply say 'related to' rather than as Owsley does, mentioning the Ainu as among his closest living relatives, although I'd prefer a reference to groups contemporary with him).
I still think we need page numbers, and earlier this week I asked interlibrary loan to get me the book. Oh, and I have no stake as to where Kennewick Man's heritage was in Asia. I can't see how it matters. Dougweller (talk) 17:31, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

need help in reliability of a source[edit]

hi. I want to use an site as a source for the page of Abdul-Malik al-Houthi. any one can help me about the reliability and notability of the site:,sharaf (talk) 11:33, 24 April 2015 (UTC)

The source you link to [12] is a page on the Egyptian site of Al Bawaba. This appears to be a mixture of a professional news site and a blog site, and so individual pages might have to be assessed. In your case the author of the page, Ahmed Mamdouh, seems to publish regularly at the site, but not elsewhere. Use only with caution. Jonathan A Jones (talk) 20:10, 24 April 2015 (UTC)

Peanut Butter Conspiracy[edit]

Is the website of a band a reliable source? One user is saying yes [13] . Another user is saying it is not. [14]. What does the group propose? I am pretty sure that the author of the article will be following me around ranting about a conspiracy theory. [15] CrazyAces489 (talk) 14:13, 24 April 2015 (UTC)

Depends on what it is being cited for; I can't figure it out from those links, as they're all to user talk pages, and the only article link there is broken. Basically, what everyone is saying is correct, if the Yankees ... er, the band's ... official site calls the the greatest team ... er, band ... in history, we shouldn't cite that, since it's just puffery, and they are clearly biased in such an opinion. On the other hand, if the official site says the date they were founded and gives their current roster as of such a time, that would be perfectly reliable. --GRuban (talk) 15:41, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
Actually, wait. says "the unofficial web site". If it's not the actual site of the band, but just that of some fans, it's almost certainly not reliable, unless the fans have major publisher books about the band or something. --GRuban (talk) 15:44, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
  • I consider it a fan site. One editor said there was a former manager and a former band member, which makes them current fans to me. I can't see how we'd call it a RS. The initial dispute was one editor tagging the source as a SPS and the other unhappy with the tag. I was asked for my opinion and my opinion was to forget the tag and remove the site because it fails RS. Niteshift36 (talk) 16:00, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
I got the notice from Niteshift's talk page, so I just wanted to say the reference in question had been replaced. No need to continue this subject. The users who offered appreciated weigh-ins can now solve other matters. Thanks Niteshift GRuban for your positive contributions. TheGracefulSlick ( talk) 15:51, 24 April 2015
Not the official site, so not a reliable source and also not a suitable external link. Guy (Help!) 21:58, 24 April 2015 (UTC)[edit]

I see [[16]] somewhat recent discussion of this site, but it didn't come to anything and I'd like to know, since to me it's unclear if the content is solely user-generated and lacking an editorial filter-- I'm also not especially experienced with determining the reliability of a given source, since I'm still on the new side. BlusterBlasterkablooie! 23:35, 24 April 2015 (UTC)

Is this a reliable site?[edit]

or this
or this

or this

CrazyAces489 (talk) 23:43, 24 April 2015 (UTC)

  • is clearly not a RS. Badcatrecords is a guy who makes copies of vinyl records, which sounds like it's possibly illegal. In any case, no, not a RS. Some dude, with a website, and no reputation for reliability or editorial oversight. Not sure about discogs. I'm not so sure about, but I don't see anything on that link that couldn't be sourced at Allmusic or Billboard, so why use it? Niteshift36 (talk) 23:59, 24 April 2015 (UTC)

Doesn't matter anymore, all references replaced. Since I actually enjoy improving articles, it was an easy fix. TheGracefulSlick (talk)

  • I just removed the fan site one, for the second time. The discogs one is still in use too. Niteshift36 (talk) 00:46, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
Oh, I was referring to the albums by the band, not the band itself. CrazyAces was talking about that because all he has been doing is targeting my articles. You can do what you want with the band page, I trust an actual reliable editor like yourself. Try replacing the references if you can, it's much more helpful. TheGracefulSlick ( talk)
Lastfm contains reader-generated content (often, apparently, copied from Wikipedia). It may be reliable for discography, though that is better-sourced elsewhere: but otherwise, it cannot be seen as a reliable source. RolandR (talk) 10:33, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
And Discogs is user-submitted as well, so unreliable. Woodroar (talk) 13:37, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

@TheGracefulSlick: What you don't understand is that without reliable sources the articles you are creating simply wouldn't stand up to scrutiny. I went through the that problems and @Niteshift36: put me through an intensive bootcamp of what relable sources were. It annoyed me, but in the end, I understand what he was doing. I still think his tone to me was very harsh, but it helped the project. CrazyAces489 (talk) 14:09, 25 April 2015 (UTC)[edit]

Reliable source? CrazyAces489 (talk) 14:04, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

Almost certainly not. Any reason to think otherwise? What information is it being proposed to verifiy? --Ronz (talk) 14:29, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

@Ronz: To avoid an edit war, I was double checking before removal in the article The Peanut Butter Conspiracy Is Spreading . CrazyAces489 (talk) 15:01, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

Try refraining from removing the book reference "accidentally". It will be nice to see the article kept again as usual. Also, the reference in question is an interview so what is wrong with that? TheGracefulSlick (talk)

Media portrayal of the Ukrainian crisis[edit]

I've got some questions regarding reliability of a number of sources quoted in this article:

  1. Euromaidan Press, a Ukrainian ultra-radical website of questionable notability that supports the Right Sector ([17], [18]), and published some extremist editorials ([19]).
  2. Left Foot Forward and Both of them are recently established websites that are probably WP:UNDUE in comparison with sources like The Guardian, Reuters, or New York Times (besides, LFF is a political blog which falls into WP:USERGENERATED).
  3. References to Stephen F. Cohen's publications in The Nation have been removed from the article as WP:UNDUE. At the same time, the article includes extensive criticism of Cohen. If he is an RS, then the article should include some citations of him, and not only his critics. If he isn't, then such lengthy critical quotations are inappropriate as well.

Thanks! Buzz105 (talk) 14:18, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

None of these are anything like neutral. They can of course be relied upon as sources for their own views. The question then becomes whether their views are sufficiently noteworthy for inclusion. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 23:57, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
Yes, that is what concerns me about #1 and #2. #3 is noteworthy beyond doubt, but I believe it is inadequately presented in the article (almost no direct quotations by Cohen, and redundant criticism of him). Buzz105 (talk) 14:08, 26 April 2015 (UTC)


Is it acceptable to cite a columnists from the LA Times for criticisms about a company? The source is here and the discussion is here. The exact text in the article is:

Yelp also came into criticism by the Los Angeles Times in 2014 for the practice of selling competitor's ads to run on top of business listings, and allegedly offering to have the ads removed for a $75 monthly fee.[98]

So far,

  • I pointed out that the column makes it sound like Yelp is covertly offering to remove advertising from certain profiles for a fee, but this is an advertised feature of "enhanced profiles"[20]
  • @DGG: said columnists are not subject to the same editorial oversight as news articles and are intended only to represent the opinion of the author, but they can be reliable in some cases.
  • @Coretheapple: feels the source is reliable, because the author is a regular staff member of the LA Times.

With one "pro" and one "against" it being an RS, I figured I'd bring it here, especially because there are no recent discussions about columnists in the archives, so any clear consensus would help guide others doing similar searches. I have a disclosed COI on this page. CorporateM (Talk) 15:13, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

This was a reported column by a reputable journalist at a reputable newspaper. DGG is mistaken if he feels that columnists are not subject to the same editorial controls as other staff employees of newspapers. They most certainly are. However, the same article (Yelp) featured a blogger at, and the body of the blog itself stated that it was simply the opinion of the blogger, and I removed it. We need to distinguish between "citizen journalist" bloggers and reputable work by reputable journalists. However, I agree that this needs to be followed on a case-by-case basis. We do not want derogatory material in BLPs from tabloid journalists and others of shaky reputations or who are advocates. Coretheapple (talk) 15:19, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
Just as Coretheapple says, this needs to be examined on a case to case basis. In any case, the authority is the columnist, not the paper. You are trying to source "Yelp also came into criticism by the Los Angeles Times in 2014 for the practice of selling competitor's ads to run on top of business listings, and allegedly offering to have the ads removed for a $75 monthly fee. (source"/. I think we should avoid "allegedly" You should avoid it by saying "Yelp also came into criticism in 2014 by David Lazarus in his column in the Los Angeles Times for the practice of selling competitor's ads to run on top of business listings, and telling businesses they could run their own ad there instead for a fee. " (because the company admitted that.) The earlier story linked there referred to fees of $150 & $300. minimum. The $75 is the report of a single business. But if they do that as a formal business practice, you should be able to find other sources also. DGG ( talk ) 15:43, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
Quick note: The attribution in the sentence is certainly misleading, because "from the LA Times" would typically be interpreted to mean, depending upon the context, the news division of LAT or the editorial board. That is important because newspapers often intentionally invite op-ed columns opposing the POV of the editorial board just to present the other side of the argument (can dig up sources to back this up, if needed), and attributing such views to the newspaper would be a misrepresentation. And even regular opinion columnists can presnt a spectrum of opinion, none of which is attribuatable to the newspaper itself. Now in this case, the column is by a regular business columnist, so the situation is not as bad but the general principle still applies and it would be bet to attribute it along the lines of "in a column in LA Times, David Lazarus, ...".
I haven't had the time to take a look at the details of the claim itself. May be able to do so later today. Abecedare (talk) 16:05, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
I think that identifying the columnist as David Lazarus is the way to go in a situation like this. However, we need to identify him beyond his name, as "Los Angeles Times business columnist David Lazarus" or words to that effect. Note the wikilink - he is notable and clearly well-reputed. Coretheapple (talk) 16:36, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
Agreed. And to expand on earlier comment: It would be okay for the wikipedia article to simply say, "It was reported in 2014 that Yelp sometimes displayed competitors' ads on top of business listings, and then offered businesses the option to pay a fee to run their own ad there instead." w/o needing to attribute the reporting to either LAT or Lazarus, since this is a statement of fact that is not even disputed by Yelp (we may still choose to attribute in order to give credit, but that's a different issue). However, if we wish to characterize this practice, we need to necessarily attribute that opinion to the columnist. Abecedare (talk) 21:31, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
@Abecdare: I could be wrong, but I think they just remove competitor advertising, without necessarily running the business owners ads instead. A quick Google search found this source that seems to suggest that. I don't think your sentence above is representative of the source, which calls Yelp a "thug". If the source is reliable, than I think we should let it stand in a manner similar to the way it's presented in the source material, rather than watering it down so it's no longer critical like the source is. CorporateM (Talk) 23:15, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
Sorry, I was not clearer. I was simply trying to illustrate the circumstances in which attributing the columnist would be needed. Not actually suggesting that the we include only the statement of fact without noting why Lazarus thought the facts were troubling. Abecedare (talk) 00:01, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
Columnists are not subject to the same editorial controls as other staff employees of newspapers. Hence News organizations says, "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." So the only issue is weight - is the opinion significant. That depends on whether reliable secondary sources, i.e., news articles, have reported on it. TFD (talk) 17:09, 26 April 2015 (UTC)[edit]

Is this website a reliable source (the organization behind is called "African Holocaust Society")? Article in question: Arab slave trade - Cwobeel (talk) 16:51, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

Close call, but in my opinion it is not. The site states that it exists to inject a unique point of view into studies of its subject matter. While that's laudable from an academic standpoint, the stated bias of the site makes it difficult to square it with our reliable source requirements, which exist to ensure we present information from a wp:npov. Reasonable people may disagree; I hope others will chime in. Townlake (talk) 17:04, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

Absorption of Caffeine[edit]

Does this qualify for a reliable source for citing Caffeine is absorbed in stomach? Artilce is [[21]]
aGastya  ✉ Dicere Aliquid :) 17:12, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

There may be 1,000s of sources for that subject, so why to choose an unsigned article on a fitness site as a source? So, my answer is: get better sources. - Cwobeel (talk) 19:56, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
Case in point after a 2 minute search: [22] - Cwobeel (talk) 19:58, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
Thank you!

Secondary OnLive source[edit]

Does this qualify for a reliable source for citing "On August 17, 2012 the company laid off all of its employees?" Article is OnLive
Article is subject of a libel lawsuit in which the author states he is deliberately declining to fact check, per the publicly available case. Case number and paragraphs are at OnLive Talk: Cited article is dubious.

Also, this is a citation for brief sentence that already had a footnote dating from two years' prior to the addition of this second footnote which, comparing dates, was posted in October 2014 shortly after the libel lawsuit was filed. Does such a brief sentence require a second footnote? And, if so, is citation posted shortly after it becomes the subject of a libel lawsuit the best choice for a second footnote when there are many non-controversial articles available?

It seemed to me to be a no-brainer removal (or replacement), but other Wikipedia editors and an Administrator have firmly stated it should remain.

I never imagined I'd spend this much time on it, but at this point, I am actually quite curious as to what Wikipedia policy is in a situation like this. I found the citation in the wake of the Rolling Stone fact-checking scandal (Rolling Stone's author only later admitted she did not fact check after it was undeniable. This libel case is exceptional that the author bragged he was not fact-checking before he published). I think we are all a bit shell-shocked that Rolling Stone could be so remiss in fact-checking, and here we have an author who is proud of it. It is noted in the libel lawsuit that other highly credible publications (e.g., it mentions MIT Technology Review) have removed links to the article upon conducting their own fact-checking, and they have confirmed the article contains multiple false statements. I looked up both the MIT article and a copy of the article cited in the lawsuit that was made before the link was removed, and sure enough, it shows MIT indeed removed the link to this article after initially publishing it. Are Wikipedia's editorial standards for whether sources are factual lower than those of credible domain-knowledgeable sources like MIT Tech Review? I should hope not!

That said, if I misunderstood Wikipedia policy about avoiding sources that have questionable fact-checking (and as Rolling Stone has shown us, an article may have questionable fact-checking, even though it is from an otherwise credible publication), then I very much would be interested to know, and of course, fine to leave the link in place in accordance with policy. Frankly, I can't comprehend why Rolling Stone is refusing to change their editorial processes in the wake of the scandal either. Regardless, what was a minor undo has become quite the adventure.

Starkcasted (talk)

If the lawsuit is successful, and the court in question rules that the article was materially false, then I feel we would remove it. That isn't the case at this time, and your sole source for it being false is the arguments being made by one side of the case. Those arguments are inherently biased and have not yet been tested by the legal process — they amount to a primary source. If and when a court of competent jurisdiction rules that the statements in question are false and libelous, we can reconsider the issue. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 04:18, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
(Involved editor) The question isn't down to what the ref is currently used to cite. The referefence's use could be expanded in the article because it covers things that other articles haven't. Framing the question on the redundancies is the wrong thing to do. As NorthBySouthBaranof says, we have no way of knowing who is telling the truth in this dispute, The Verge has been accepted as a reliable source in the past and the only way we can pass judgement in a case like this is to wait for the court to judge it. - X201 (talk) 04:39, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
re: X201 (talk) pointing out: "The Verge has been accepted as a reliable source in the past". Nope. Not in this particular instance. The lawsuit shows that this article was published days after a prior article that the editor-in-chief recanted. I checked and the recanting is still posted here: (in the comment section), and the Verge admits they recanted all but the first 4 lines of the original article. And, you'll see the author of the citation article in question is named as a contributor to the recanted article. So, the Verge is NOT a reliable source by its own admission when it comes to OnLive. Both articles cover the same subject, common author, mere days apart.
I looked up WP:PRIMARY and read about the concerns of relying upon a primary source. Well, the article in question cites many events and facts that are cited nowhere else as far as I can find and it doesn't name sources for the these events and facts. Looks like a primary source to me. I can't find any secondary source that cites this article or the supposed events. For example, MIT Technology Review could have been a good secondary source, but they've rejected this information as unreliable. A primary source is less preferable than the many secondary sources available, for example, that cite verifiable sources or are consistent with other press, rather than a primary source with unique, anonymous and unverified information. X201 is already suggesting using the article's unique information to source more information from it for the OnLive article.
Regarding bias, doesn't the fact this article involved the same writer and was published days after another article about OnLive was recanted make the article inherently biased and a more questionable choice as to credibility?
I agree that a court has to decide whether or not the article meets the legal definition of libel, but setting aside the legal definition of libel, this seems to be a very poor choice for a source while there are many others that are not controversial. I still have not received a clear answer to a simple question, why are we fighting for THIS source when we have the option to choose from so many others? There is no question the source is controversial. The same publication recanted an article only a few days earlier. Other publications have pulled their links to the article. Why not choose any of the many other sources that are not controversial? Starkcasted (talk) 06:42, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
One might similarly ask why you are fighting against this source.
The existence of a correction to the article actually supports the idea that the source is reliable; as per WP:NEWSORG, One signal that a news organization engages in fact-checking and has a reputation for accuracy is the publication of corrections. The previous version of the article is acknowledged to have errors, and the publication has withdrawn that version and published a corrected version. That supports the argument that The Verge has an established system of editorial control, takes into account complaints about its articles and acts to quickly correct errors of fact. Unless you have evidence that the corrected version is inaccurate (and an allegation in an unresolved lawsuit is not "evidence"), it would seem that this is a reliable source. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 08:32, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
NorthBySouthBaranof A "correction" is quite different than a "rewriting". All but the introductory lines of the first article were completely replaced. The original article was completely different than the replacement. The original article made criminal allegations that were debunked by readily available public records. This is evidence of NOT fact-checking and a serious lack of a system of editorial control.Starkcasted (talk) 18:45, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
NorthBySouthBaranofNot by (I guess old-fashioned) journalistic standards. Here's an analogous situation: Rolling Stone published a very negative article about UVA citing few verifiable sources that was later discovered to be riddled with falsehoods and was obviously not fact checked. Recently, Rolling Stone's editor recanted the story, but made no editorial changes. Suppose that just a few days after the story the recanting a writer involved in the original story wrote another very negative story about UVA, again with no verifiable sources, and again, there are no other articles that corroborate the second article, and again, parties challenge the veracity of the second article. Your argument is the second article is credible because Rolling Stone recanted the original article, showing they had a system of editorial control. My argument is that once a publication is caught making false negative statements on a particular topic and admits they published false information, and only a few days later they publish another negative article by a writer involved in the first story on the same topic with anonymous sources, and the second story is not corroborated by other sources, then the second article should be considered a dubious source. I haven't seen anyone lauding Rolling Stone's editorial process where they got caught publishing a negative false article and then recanted it. In fact, many highly credible figures in the world of journalism are calling for the resignation of the writer and editor of the Rolling Stone, regardless of the fact the article was recanted. Similarly, I don't see how the Verge's editorial process should be lauded for getting caught publishing a false story and then recanting it. Quite the opposite, it should be highly suspect, particularly within a few days of the recanted article, with an involved writer on the same topic.Starkcasted (talk) 18:45, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
Let me get this straight: The author bragged about the article not being fact checked, yet despite this the publisher printed corrections? Do we know if the publisher also fact checked?Two kinds of porkMakin'Bacon 08:53, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
Two kinds of pork No, there were 2 articles on the same topic within a few days. The first article wasn't simply corrected, it was almost entirely replaced and the Verge admitted it contained false information. The second article is the one which is being questioned to be a reliable source as a second footnote to a brief sentence. It was written by a writer involved in first article on the same topic. In the court filing, the author wrote an email minutes before publishing that he won't fact check with the subject of the article, OnLive, and even though OnLive's representative responds immediately offering to fact check, the Verge still goes live with the un-fact checked article. They article is now the subject of a libel lawsuit. The question at hand is not whether the article meets the legal standard of libel, it's whether a second footnote is necessary at all for a brief sentence, and if it is, whether a non-controversial article would be a better choice.Starkcasted (talk) 18:45, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
That claim appears to be a hyperbolic overstatement which isn't supported by anything they've actually provided evidence for. On the article talk page, they have copy-pasted what they purport to be arguments from a brief in an alleged legal case involving this issue, but there are no reliable secondary sources provided, and obviously we can't simply take the arguments of one side of a legal case to be gospel truth. It would be correct, apparently, to say that whoever has filed this apparent lawsuit has alleged that the article was not fact-checked, but that is not the same in the least.
From what I can understand from the not-in-context snippets, the apparent allegation is not that the publisher didn't fact-check the article, but rather that the author of the article refused to share it with the company's PR people before publication (what the lawsuit euphemistically dubs a "fact-check.") This is standard journalistic practice, and in fact, it is widely considered unethical to let the subject of an article read it prior to publication. Given that the lawsuit has yet to be resolved and there are no apparent secondary sources for these claims, this is, at this point, nothing more than uncorroborated and one-sided allegations. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 09:26, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
NorthBySouthBaranof "This is standard journalistic practice" is not accurate. It is standard journalistic practice to seek feedback from the subject of the article, especially a highly negative article, before going to publication. Fact checking is not about allowing the subject of the article to read it before publication. It's allowing the subject of the article offer their viewpoints on the alleged facts. In a well-written article you'll see things like, "Asked about (the allegation), the subject said (some response or declined to comment)." As far as I know, it's a very serious breach of journalistic ethics for a writer to tell the subject they are affirmatively declining to accept any feedback at all, let alone conduct any fact checking. And, when that occurs only a few days after a previous article was recanted as false, then I think you have a highly questionable article.
Folks, I thought this was a no-brainer undo of a controversial second footnote to a brief sentence. What's unfolded has been a fascinating journey, and I appreciate everyone's passionate and sincere contributions. No one has supported my position in any comments, so clearly, my views on journalistic standards are very different than a wide range of Wikipedia editors. I've had little involvement with Wikipedia, but I know it is a consensus-driven publication, so I must defer to the consensus. Here is what I've learned are Wikipedia's editors' views on this matter that are contrary to my views:
1. A publication's editorial practice is to be lauded for getting caught publishing falsehoods of criminal allegations that were readily debunked by public records and being forced to recant, not considered less credible.
2. An article published days after a prior recanted article on the same topic by a writer involved in the recanted article, that cites only anonymous sources and has no comment by the subject is a credible article. In fact, it is more credible because the prior article was discovered to be false and recanted.
3. Prior to publishing a negative article, the writer has no journalistic obligation to contact the subject for fact checking or comment. In fact, it's okay that just prior to publication the writer tells the subject they won't be fact checking or allowing comment, and when the subject offers to fact check, it's okay that they ignore the offer.
4. Controversial articles are preferable as secondary footnotes for brief sentences even though many non-controversial articles available and the first footnote is non-controversial.
5. The fact that other credible publications with domain knowledge in the subject area have affirmatively removed links to a reference, does not raise concerns about the reliability of the reference.
I'm a writer myself. I go to great effort to verify my sources and when there are multiple sources, I choose the strongest source. I certainly would never prefer a controversial source over one that isn't controversial. This source is, at best, highly controversial, there are credible alternatives, and removing the source doesn't change the Wikipedia article at all other than strengthening its credibility. To me, that's a no-brainer for removal and/or replacement of the source. To me, the numbered list above is in many ways the very opposite of journalistic standards.Starkcasted (talk) 18:45, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
Starkcasted, if you had reliable secondary sources which supported these various claims you're making here, this would be a different scenario. But right now, the only source you have provided to support your argument are copy-pasted snippets of allegations made in an apparent lawsuit. We cannot base decisions about content on that kind of source. It's obviously biased and represents one side's as-yet-untested claim as to what happened. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 18:59, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
NorthBySouthBaranof, First, it's not an "apparent lawsuit". It is Civil Action No.: 10046-VCP In the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware, available publicly on the Delaware Courts website. Second, I think you are focused on the outcome of the lawsuit, assuming all information is being contested, rather than considering the verifiable information provided as background in the lawsuit. Like any lawsuit, there are allegations that are in dispute, and other statements that are confirmable, or confirmed by the other party. For example, the lawsuit states that the first article was retracted by the editor-in-chief, and if you look at the Verge website, sure enough, there is a retraction posted by the editor-in-chief. The lawsuit states that MIT Tech Review no longer has a link to the reference, but copies of the article still have the link, and sure enough, that is confirmable. So, it is easy to confirm the lawsuit exists, and there are many allegations that can be readily confirmed to be true. I'm not lawyer, but as a writer, I find even the confirmable actions appalling. I can't imagine how a publication can release a story making serious criminal allegations against a person that are readily debunked by fact checking a public website. It's up on their website where they acknowledge they made false statements and removed them. As I understand journalism, these actions alone are so serious that they immediately disqualify the Verge as a reliable source for an article published on the same topic within a few days, with the same writer involved. I don't even need to go to evaluate the second article. So, when you say "apparent lawsuit" when it is verifiably a real lawsuit and a public proceeding, and when there is a retraction of a serious allegations on the the Verge website, I don't understand what further verification can be provided.
Second, what I don't understand is why you are seeking secondary sources when on the reliable secondary sources page you point to, top and center says, "Contentious material about living persons (or, in some cases, recently deceased) that is unsourced or poorly sourced—whether the material is negative, positive, neutral, or just questionable—should be removed immediately and without waiting for discussion." This policy definitely applies to footnotes: "The policy is strictly applied to all material in the mainspace—articles, lists, and sections of articles—without exception" The footnote reference in question is specifically about a living person, OnLive's former CEO, it is unquestionably contentious, and it is not only poorly sourced, it isn't sourced at all. And, as noted, it is in the wake of a recanted article that made criminal allegations about the same living person that turned out to be fantasy. Yet, you are pointing to this very page and saying secondary sources are required, when the secondary source page says that for living persons the credibility standard is so high that secondary sources are not necessary for the reference's removal if the reference is contentious and poorly sourced, regardless of where the reference appears. How more contentious does it need to be than a libel lawsuit following a retraction of criminal allegations?
So, what standard of "second sources" must be met beyond the confirmable facts already presented to meet the "living persons" removal policy?
I cannot know what information is or is not being contested, because no reliable secondary source has reported on the lawsuit. The only evidence of the lawsuit we have comes from your selective quoting of some content from documents you say you have obtained from court records. We do not know what the entire filing says, nor do we know what other filings exist in the case, nor do we know at what stage the case is in, nor do we know what rebuttals might have been made to those quoted claims. This is precisely why Wikipedia content is primarily based upon what is reported in reliable secondary sources — we do not conduct original research and investigations based upon public records, including court cases. When and if a reliable secondary source covers the lawsuit, we might examine this matter again.
As for BLP, there is an ongoing a discussion on the article talk page and other editors do not appear to agree with you that the material violates policy or is unreliably sourced. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 23:14, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
NorthBySouthBaranof, I appreciate your patience with me as I'm learning how this all works. It's different than what is credible information for journalism. For example, if both parties in a lawsuit agree that a statement is true, then that is considered an undisputed fact that you can use. But, what you're saying is that undisputed facts from a lawsuit can't be considered by Wikipedia until a neutral party writes about it. I've seen Wikipedia articles with links to filings with other government agencies in references, so I don't quite follow why undisputed lawsuit documents are different than other public filings. But, if it's Wikipedia policy, then that it is the policy.
Working under those guidelines, there is still evidence from secondary sources that under some arguments raise questions about the credibility of the reference:
The Verge published a retraction with a rewrite for the first article covering the same topic a few days before. As you can see in the comments from the editor-in-chief, so much of the article was rewritten so extensively, the comments had to be deleted because they were no longer relevant. In my view this retraction and extensive revision undermines the credibility of an article that is (i) covering the same topic a few days later, (ii) written by a writer involved in the retracted article, (iii) cites anonymous sources and (iv) has no comment from the subject of the article (not even, "he declined to comment" or "he was unreachable"). That said, I understand that in your view (and perhaps Wikipedia's view), the first article retraction strengthens the second article's credibility.
It's also the case there is evidence that highly credible publications have removed links to the article.
So, even without relying on the lawsuit, other than it leading us to these secondary sources, there are secondary sources providing evidence that the reference is contentious and (under some arguments) unreliable.
Next, we have BLP. I didn't know anything about BLP until you introduced me to it. You said "As for BLP, there is an ongoing discussion on the article talk page…" No longer. There WAS an ongoing discussion on the talk page, but on the suggestion of one of the editors, I moved the discussion to this page. The BLP issue was never raised, so the article was not assessed from a BLP perspective. For example, here is a comment from ZnTrip on the talk page as to what purpose the article serves: "the article is only being used here as a source for one purpose: to show that "on August 17, 2012 the company laid off all of its employees." But, that fact is briefly mentioned in the reference, a very long article of which the vast majority purports to be biographical information about a living individual. The article is sensational and unsourced, and not corroborated by any other articles. And, as I've learned just today, regardless of whether a BLP source is in the main article or in a footnote, it must meet BLP standards. So, I'm very curious to see how it is evaluated on that standard.
I moved the discussion to here on the recommendation of an experienced Wikipedia editor. Do I need a similar recommendation from you or someone like you to move it to the BLP noticeboard? Or do I just start a new topic?
Regardless of the outcome, I think this would make a very interesting (non-Wikipedia) article about Wikipedia reliability standards versus journalistic reliability standards. I had tacitly assumed that an article that would be considered controversial and unreliable under journalistic standards would also be assessed similarly under Wikipedia standards. But, clearly that isn't the case here. For example, in journalism, especially in the case of investigative journalism or negative articles, fact checking includes seeking to verify facts with the subject of the article and giving them a chance to comment. It's not simply about fairness; the subject by definition has relevant information that should be sought. While evidence of fact checking is listed as important for Wikipedia article reliability, the journalistic fact checking practice of seeking facts and comments from the subject is not, and as you saw above, one of the editors even mistakenly thought it was unethical to contact the subject of an article, while just the opposite is true. I actually think Wikipedia should consider that as factor in establishing article reliability. Had Rolling Stone followed this practice, they would have discovered the allegations were contradicted by hard evidence, and their article never would have been published.
I'd like to explore the BLP forum to see what the outcome is if I am permitted. Then I can report that I've reached the end of the road. Please advise me how to proceed. Again, thank you for your patience.Starkcasted (talk) 04:08, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
I appreciate your patience in working to understand how our often-convoluted bureaucracy works. There is a separate noticeboard, the BLP noticeboard, which offers a place for editors to solicit additional comment and discussion related to BLP issues — it's frequented by a number of editors who are familiar with BLP policies, including myself — and I haven't taken a look, in detail, at the BLP-related claims, which honestly is something I should do. No recommendation or anything is necessary. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 04:12, 27 April 2015 (UTC)

Stackcasted - re: " available publicly on the Delaware Courts website.", could you provide a link to it please, I'm usually pretty good at digging up US court documents, but this one is evading me. - X201 (talk) 05:51, 27 April 2015 (UTC)

any of these reliable sources?[edit]
CrazyAces489 (talk) 06:04, 26 April 2015 (UTC)

  • badcatrecords and discogs are already being discussed above. If a site it reliable, it is generally reliable. If not, then not. No need to check each time. All Music is generally considered a reliable source. Sundazed looks like a guy who burns recordings. Nothing making it look like a RS to me. Niteshift36 (talk) 19:29, 26 April 2015 (UTC)[edit]

Is Christian Daily a relibable source? It is used to make claims about Christianity in a number of articles, including Anti-Christian sentiment and Assyrians in Syria Joseph.

It does have an editorial board and a paid staff of reporters (although I note that many of its stories are reprints from Reuters and other outlets). So I would say it qualifies as a legitimate news outlet (with all the usual caveats that go along with that) and is not a SPS. Whether it is reliable for a specific statement, made in a specific article is another question. Even the most respectable news outlet can be used inappropriately. so... Could you provide such specifics? Blueboar (talk) 13:07, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
On their website, I see no specifics about an editorial board. Can you give a link? It is not a mainstream news source. If they reprint Reuters articles, then we should cite from the Reuters article. The reprinting could possibly be illegitimate. the source was used in Anti-Christian sentiment and Assyrians in Syria (I'm not disputing the content itself, but the source used, which should be mainstream acaedmic or mainstream, news sources, not fringe religious sources.) Joseph.
They list two editors on their About Us page. I make no judgement whether two is enough for a "board". -Nat Gertler (talk) 13:54, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
On a side note, after a cursory examination, much of the Anti-Christian sentiment article appears to be original research conducted by Wikipedia editors by cobbling together a series of unrelated primary sources (i.e. news reports} and concluding that the content of these sources constitute "anti-Christian sentiment" even if the sources never say such a thing. This might be one of those cases where it's easier to fix the article by starting over from scratch, rather than try to fix it piecemeal. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 14:43, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
No. None of the stories in the paper are picked up by other news sources and none of the board write for other publications and I can find no mention of any of them. While religious publications may be acceptable, the wording of their "Statement of Faith" is extreme. TFD (talk) 17:00, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
On a related note, what about the christian post? The Christian Post seems to belong to the same "Christian Media Corporation Company" [23], has the same "Statement of Faith" as the Christian Daily [24] and is a Global Partner of the World Evangelical Alliance.
The Christian Post seems at least to have a larger editorial board than it's sister website "Christian Daily", but should such a religious source be used on wikipedia to make claims about Christianity? It is used in many wikipedia articles. Joseph. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 17:21, 26 April 2015‎
The deletion on the talkpage was unintentional. Wikipedia did it maybe because I edited the article, not the section. Joseph.
  • Christian Daily looks like a RS to me. The claim that nobody on the board writes for other publications....when did that become a requirement? Not sure about whether they get picked up by other publications, but my local paper doesn't get picked up by others very often either. Still a reliable source. Google News does index them routinely. Yes, I know that doesn't make them reliable, but it's as much an indicator as the absence of writers writing elsewhere. As for the Christian Post, it's as much a RS as most news outlets are. Niteshift36 (talk) 19:37, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
It is not a mainstream news source. Every third rate news website can get indexed at Google News. Questionable sources include websites and publications expressing views that are extreme (see the comment above: "the wording of their "Statement of Faith" is extreme") or that are promotional in nature (they are part of the World Evangelical Alliance).
I cannot see how Christian Daily should be used, when the same information is available from reliable news sources like Reuters. Joseph.
  • Please look at what I said. I was plenty clear when I said that being indexed by Google news " doesn't make them reliable". Second, Christian Post is fairly mainstream, but being mainstream isn't a criteria for judging reliability at all, so again, no impact on what I said. Their statement of faith isn't extreme and having one doesn't disqualify them. Lastly, calling it "promotional" is unrealistic and not how that phrase "promotional in nature" was intended. And Joseph, please sign your responses properly, with the 4 ~'s Niteshift36 (talk) 20:59, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
I would consider the Christian Daily and the Christian Post to effectively be the same publication, since they're part of the same company. They're certainly not in competition. Unlike the Christian Science Monitor, I would not recommend citing them for general news stories or to establish notability. They probably are reliable for claims that:
  • do not conflict with more reliable sources,
  • are given full attribution ("According to a writer at the Christian Daily,"),
  • are about Christians, treatment of Christians, Christianity, and perception of it
  • are not self-serving and do not promote any particular sect.
@The Four Deuces: how is their statement of faith extreme? While it's not exactly a statement of faith I'd subscribe to, it is pretty typical of common evangelical protestant belief (especially the sort that would create a newspaper focused on Christians) and it is absent of any particular politics. The only reason L'Osservatore Romano doesn't have a similar statement of belief is because they're so obviously attached to the Vatican and only the Vatican. Despite this, the Christian Daily's coverage is not exactly ideological. They referred to a transgendered individual by his preferred gender (if dumbed down the explanation and explained Southern Baptist Convention's thoughts on it), and demonstrated that many Christians disagree with Franklin Graham's anti-LGBT rhetoric. Their sections on persecution and justice (or rather, injustice) are completely absent of conspiracy theories about Shariah law in the West, schools confiscating Bibles, the ACLU sending in jack-booted lawyers after Christians who pray at home, or other such nonsense. If they're pushing any particular ideology, it looks to be a fairly moderate one.
I could be wrong about it being a reliable source under the right circumstance, but the statement of faith by itself is no reason to dismiss it. Ian.thomson (talk) 20:50, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
  • The notion that merely having a statement of faith disqualifies a source is absurd. Niteshift36 (talk) 20:59, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
Niteshift, you said your local paper does not get stories picked up very often. But local papers' stories do get picked up when they are of significance outside their areas. Anyway, we should not assume that the source is reliable when no evidence has been presented that it is seen as reliable by third parties. Ian thomson, the statement, "The unrighteous will be consigned to Hell, the place of everlasting punishment" is extreme for a news source. Compare it with the Christian Science Monitor[25] or that of any other reliable source supported by a church. TFD (talk) 21:02, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
The Catholic church has comparable teachings about hell, but no one would doubt that L'Osservatore Romano would be reliable for the statement about Catholics, Catholicism, and even Vatican city and Christianity in general. While their views on hell are the biggest issue I have a problem with in their statement of faith, doubting their reliability over that is like doubting a Buddhist newspaper because they affirm a belief in reincarnation. It has absolutely nothing to do with their coverage. If they said "we believe the earth is 6000 years old and created in 6 days," that would show that they have problems with science (if not common logic). "We believe in hell" is irrelevant. If it was young earth creationism or anti-vaxxerism, it'd totally be relevant. What happens after one dies is not.
Does their attitude toward hell disgust me? Yes. Does that have anything to do with whether or not they're reliable? No. Ian.thomson (talk) 21:45, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Yes, there is a local paper that is rarely picked up by other sources. That fact doesn't make them less of a reliable source. You've shown nothing to indicate that the Christian Post or Christian Daily lack editorial oversight. You've shown no evidence that there is a lack of accuracy or a reputation of inaccuracy. You seem to be hanging your hat on the statement of faith. While your personal opinion might be that the statement sounds extreme, my opinion is that it's not extreme. More importantly here, is Wikipedia guidelines. WP:BIASED says "...reliable sources are not required to be neutral, unbiased, or objective." and "While a source may be biased, it may be reliable in the specific context. When dealing with a potentially biased source, editors should consider whether the source meets the normal requirements for reliable sources, such as editorial control and a reputation for fact-checking." So I ask you, do you have any evidence that there is a lack of editorial control or evidence that the source lacks a reputation for fact checking? Niteshift36 (talk) 21:18, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
Your argument is that we should trust anything posted on the internet unless someone provides conclusive proof that it is unreliable. The only proof I can offer is a negative one - that no reliable sources rely on them. And if nothing they report is ever picked up by anyone, there is no reason why we should. TFD (talk) 21:32, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
  • I said no such thing and you know that I didn't. Stop being absurd. There is evidence of editorial oversight. Do you have evidence that there is none? You've still provided nothing to call into question their accuracy or show any RS that has questioned their accuracy. Your opposition sounds more like WP:IDONTLIKEIT than a policy based opposition. Niteshift36 (talk) 21:48, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
  • BTW, I personally put little stock in the religious holdings of the CSM, and they downplay their own faith input. However, they are owned by the Christian Science church. Their teachings aren't drastically different [26] in many regards. I did look at some other Christian News outlets with statements of faith. CBN isn't much different [27]. Christianity Today (which is both online and print) is also similar [28] except that instead of Hell, they use the verbiage "...the wicked shall be condemned to eternal death." Niteshift36 (talk) 21:48, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
  • So TFD, you said "nothing they report is ever picked up by anyone". It didn't take too long to find this [29], Christianity Today citing the Christian Post. So we can show that your statement is not accurate. Niteshift36 (talk) 22:00, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Also citing the Christian Post is the Latino Post [30], [31]. Oh, also came across a Fox News site running an OP-ED piece from the Christian Post. [32] Niteshift36 (talk) 22:10, 26 April 2015 (UTC)

When I went to their web site to check this out, I couldn't help but notice the ads for testosterone boosters and "a seduction technique women can't resist." Hmm... Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 21:34, 26 April 2015 (UTC)

  • You see those same sort of ads on the websites for Gannett papers, Entertainment Weekly, the NY Daily News and any number of reliable sources. The fact that they sold the advertising part to a third party has zero to do with editorial oversight or accuracy. Niteshift36 (talk) 21:48, 26 April 2015 (UTC)

I'd say, "use with caution", and fully attribute the POV expressed by this website. - Cwobeel (talk) 21:50, 26 April 2015 (UTC)

Niteshift36, those are not examples of other publications "picking up stories". When Toronto mayor Rob Ford was in the news last year, news articles published in Canadian news media were also published in U.S. news media, probably including your own local paper, because unless you live in Toronto, it probably does not have a Toronto correspondent. Of course they would only choose to reprint stories from reputable news sources. Can you point to any example where a reputable U.S. publication has decided to reprint an article on a piece of religious news that the Christian Daily originally reported on? Incidentally, your argument that we should just have faith they are reliable unless there is third party evidence they are not is not a good approach. TFD (talk) 13:48, 27 April 2015 (UTC)

Written by Ph.D. student, published by ABC-CLIO[edit]

I have little experience applying WP:SCHOLARSHIP. which appears to be the relevant guideline. The author was a Ph.D. student in communications and contributed a chapter to this book edited by a communications professor. (Perhaps her advisor?) It was published by ABC-CLIO, an academic publisher whose reputation I know not. I have serious doubts about the reliability of a communication grad student's assessment of the political orientation of an organization. And I suspect that an academic publisher like ABC-CLIO would grant wide leeway to its authors on these sorts of assessments. I'd think a newspaper would be much more reliable in this context, as newspapers have to make these sorts of editorial decisions every day. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 16:51, 27 April 2015 (UTC)

The term "grad student" covers a wide range of qualifications, from fresh bachelor to just before a doctorate. In my field, a significant amount of research is done and published by what would be termed "grad student" in the US. If the work is accepted by a reliable publisher, it should be ok. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 16:57, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
I've changed my post to make clear she's a Ph.D. student. And I found this bio. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 17:03, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
She has a masters degree from a decent university. I would say that makes her much more of an expert than the average newspaper reporter. The publisher will give the editor (Clarke Rountree, who is Chair of the Department of Communication Arts at UAH ) leeway. But typically, such book contributions are reviewed by the editor and/or a second reader or even peer reviewer. The Acknowledgements section of the book describes the authors "quick and gracious responses to [the editor's] notes on their scholarship", so there seems to have been a reasonable level of editorial oversight. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 17:28, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
The fact that the article was written by a doctoral candidate (as opposed to say a professor), doesn't really effect the assessment of its reliability as many (or even most, in some fields) scholarly articles are authored/co-authored by such students. And an article written in an edited volume published by ABC-CLIO, a well-reputed academic publisher, is certainly a far superior source than a newspaper article on the topic. That said, it would be advisable to rephrase the sentence so that it does not claim in wikipedia's voice that SIOA "is" an extreme right-wing group, instead of it having been described as such. Abecedare (talk) 17:13, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
Are you referring to WP:ATTRIBUTEPOV? Does this mean the attribution should identify the source, e.g. "SIOA has been described as an extreme right-wing group by Mina Ivanova, a Communications Ph.D. candidate at George State University."? That seems excessive, but otherwise we run into WP:WEASEL. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 17:33, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
I think "has been described" with the footnote is good enough - the footnote makes the source clear. That said, we also have WP:YESPOV - do we have significant reliable sources that disagree with the assessment? --Stephan Schulz (talk) 17:48, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
There are multiple reliable sources calling the organization conservative, but AFAIK this is the only reliable source describing it "extreme" right-wing or the like. I don't know if that would be considered as rising to the level of "conflicting assertions about a matter." --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 17:58, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
It doesn't, I already gave a second academic source below and on top of that there is the categorization by British authorities.--Kmhkmh (talk) 18:01, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
(after ec) Just like Stephan said, "'has been described' with the footnote" was what I was suggesting too, although the exact phrasing, position, and due-weight considerations are best discussed on the article talk page. See also, the second paragraph of WP:WEASEL, and remember that that is part of the MOS, which is meant to guide us on best writing practices; objecting to "has been described" and using a declarative "is" instead because one thinks the source is not strong enough makes no sense at all. Abecedare (talk) 18:03, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
At least at first glance that looks like reliable/reputable it is written by a working academic and ABC-CLIO is a well known/well regarded academic publisher. Reasonable personal doubt on the content in question might be starting point, but is not enough on its own. If you want to make an acceptable case for the source not being used, you would need to show that it received overall rather bad reviews and/or that it clearly contradicted the (large) majority of other reputable sources on the subject. However aside from common sense already suggesting a high likelihood for an organisation with such a name to be extreme right wing, it is rather easy to google other reputable sources confirming that assessment. In the UK for instance it is classified as a hate group by the authorities and Geller was banned from entering the country. See also [33].--Kmhkmh (talk) 17:47, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
Please remember the goal here is verifiability, not truth. If we're going to use strong language such as "extreme right-wing" then that must be supported by reliable sourcing. And the reliability of the source has little to do with whether "common sense" suggests to you a high likelihood that the statement is true, or with the fact that an affiliated but separate group has been given a different label. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 18:05, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
What are you talking about? We have 2 independent reputable academic sources calling it explicitly "(extreme) right-wing" and/or "hate group". The common sense argument has nothing to do with that nor do we write content simply based on common sense. However when doubting content and sources as you apparently do in this case, it doesn't harm to apply a little common sense on those doubts and it that regard there are plenty of indicators suggesting that the description is accurate. In other words I fail to see what your doubt is actually based on.--Kmhkmh (talk) 18:36, 27 April 2015 (UTC)

Press releases as third party sources[edit]

If Company A issues a press release in which it details a deal or relationship with Company B, is the press release an acceptable independent source for the article about company B? Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 17:34, 27 April 2015 (UTC)

As the notes at the top of this page make clear we need to know which source is being cited for what content. Context always matters. AndyTheGrump (talk) 17:41, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
You'd have to provide the specifics to be sure, but probably not. Press releases are generally self-published and it sounds like WP:ABOUTSELF doesn't apply because it would be used to describe another organization. And the source probably isn't independent because of the deal or relationship. Companies will frequently issue press-releases promoting their business partners either to benefit from their goodwill, or as part of an agreement or joint promotion. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 17:44, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
So in general it would be a reliable source, but not independent, thanks.
Now for the specifics: I'm busy expanding a new stub BraunAbility. Would you folks mind doing a quick "sanity check" for the usability of these sources:
Press releases
I've also found a few "blogs" and similar "soft news" sources
Thanks Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 18:25, 27 April 2015 (UTC)