Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard

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Welcome to the reliable sources noticeboard. This page is for posting questions regarding whether particular sources are reliable in context.
Before posting, please be sure to include the following information, if available:
  • Source. The book or web page being used as the source. For a book, include the author, title, publisher, page number, etc. For an online source, please include links. For example: [].
  • Article. The Wikipedia article(s) in which the source is being used. For example: [[Article name]].
  • Content. The exact statement(s) in the article that the source supports. Please supply a diff, or put the content inside block quotes. For example: <blockquote>text</blockquote>. Many sources are reliable for statement "X," but unreliable for statement "Y".
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The Dirty Dozen of Climate Change Denial[edit]

There is a "special repoert" from Mother Jones[ ] titled "The Dirty Dozen of Climate Change Denial" that is being used as a source on multiple pages.[1] It looks to me like an editorial opinion with no particular reason to give it any more weight than the hundreds of similar editorials on both sides of this politically charged issue. Is this a reliable source? --CypherPunkyBrewster (talk) 17:41, 26 September 2015 (UTC)

For what? It's certainly a reliable source for the opinion of its author, but most likely not for statements of fact. It's been cited/quoted by mainstream RS like this article in The Atlantic, which suggests that it carries some weight. I don't see a problem using it as long as it's attributed and makes sense to use in the context of the specific article. Fyddlestix (talk) 17:55, 26 September 2015 (UTC)
Note there's already been quite a lot of discussion about this, here, for example, and probably on the talk pages of some of the articles this source has been used in as well. Fyddlestix (talk) 17:58, 26 September 2015 (UTC)
It is reliable without question, and no reason to question it as an editorial op piece and should only be used to stress the opinion of the author or quoted individuals. Koncorde (talk) 22:29, 26 September 2015 (UTC)

The list is clearly a matter of opinion rather than one of objective fact, and should only be used where properly ascribed as opinion. It should also be noted that linking multiple persons together in any way because of inclusion on a list which is opinion might promote "guilt by association" which we must be careful not to do. (e.g. "George Gnarph and Adolf Hitler are both on Nils Garf's list of 'most hated persons'." would be an example of clear "guilt by association" synthesis, even if both of them are on Garf's list. Collect (talk) 22:46, 26 September 2015 (UTC)

It's opinion, obviously. But it's noteworthy opinion, having been cited in high-end reliable sources such as The Oxford Handbook of Climate Change and Society. Thus it can be useful if properly attributed. Whether it's appropriate for any particular article is an editorial question beyond the scope of this board. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 23:37, 26 September 2015 (UTC)

In the articles where it is used, it is referenced in text and its opinions are reported as opinions. Certainly it meets rs for that, and whether or not to use it is an issue for NPOVN, not here. Also, it is a news article, rather than opinion piece, so the facts are reliable. So for example if we mention the facts that the author uses to support his opinons, we can accept they are accurate. So we would say for example, the author said "Exxon, which is an oil company" rather than "Exxon, which the author says is an oil company." TFD (talk) 18:03, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
The above comments answered my question - it is a RS or some purposes (where properly ascribed as opinion) - and so this can be closed. Thank you for clearing this up for me. There is still an open question about whether it is NPOV that is being discussed at Wikipedia:Neutral point of view/Noticeboard#The Dirty Dozen of Climate Change Denial --CypherPunkyBrewster (talk) 17:28, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
Reliable source. The issue of climate change denial is complicated by those who wish to obscure their denial stance, so we rely on WP:SECONDARY sources such as Mother Jones to determine who is a climate denialist. The author analyzed various factors that he or she judged important, and came up with the list. This is perfectly useful for Wikipedia. Binksternet (talk) 20:32, 28 September 2015 (UTC)

Opinion article Another editor and I discussed the article here [[2]]. I would view the article as an opinion article based on some facts. It's opinion to call any organization part of "the dirty dozen". It's factual to say they supported research denying climate change, stating "the dirty dozen" is a WP:LABEL issue as well as an opinion. However, even then in most cases this article was just backing what others had said. If CNN says the same thing without the hyperbole, use it instead. To quote a bit of what I said in the above link:

That is a good question. Part of what myself and several other editors felt was problematic was citing the MJ opinion/statement as something that should be noted within the consideration of WP:UNDUE. Here we have an article that is about an organization that is likely involved in many things, one being information about climate change. Criticism of their climate change positions would be reasonable. The more I read the MJ article the less I like it. The language is that of someone who is trying to demonize rather than inform. I don't think that makes for a good encyclopedic source. A Google search for the article name turns up one reference in a university press book (that's good) but I can't find how it is actually discussed in the text (that's bad). Other than pages on the MJ site the rest seems to be blogs and forums. Given that this list was published in 2009 I would say that basically no one else has picked it up as significant. The opening sentence of the page on the Heartland Inst starts with, "The Heartland Institute has a long history of shilling for corporate lepers." They did mention some information but it was very vague. "Heartland, which has received $670,000 from ExxonMobil and its foundations since 1998, views itself as a bulwark against a leftist domino effect. " I'm not sure how we could go about checking that fact or many of the others in that section. Given the difficulty in verifying the claims MJ is making and the obviously disdainful view of the reporter towards his subject I think we should look for other sources. I think it would be best to avoid a rating system. Even stating that they are "one of the worst" is still subjective. Interestingly the MJ article doesn't give any actual examples of thing THI has advocated that MJ things are factually incorrect. Given that the MJ article says they are spreading disinformation I would hope they could provide an example.
However, articles such as this one by CNN [[3]] came up when I searched for "the heartland institute climate change". I think the tone of the CNN article is more to the point. It seems quite reasonable to report that THI has advocated for ExxonMobile and the Koch brothers on the topic of climate change. I'm sure we can find other similar articles. These avoid reporting an opinion in Wikipedia's voice but do offer the source information that MJ used to create their own opinions on the subject. Would such an entry work for you? Can we focus on examples where they were proven wrong?

If the MJ article makes claims but offers nothing that can be fact checked is it reliable? Again this makes it more of an opinion article. Furthermore, as I recall when searching for other articles that cited the MJ source, it was something like 3 after what 7 or 8 years. That suggests that other sources didn't find the MJ article to be worthy of weight on this subject. In the end I would say the article is an opinion article and should be treated as such. Furthermore I would suggest it's weight is very low and thus should be removed if other more reliable sources are saying the same thing (or better sources can be found). Specific note to the comment Short Brigade Harvester Boris made, yes it was cited in The Oxford Handbook of Climate Change and Society. However, it was cited as an example of an article which made a claim. That is, the Oxford text simply says the MJ article exists and covers a subject. It does not say the content of the MJ article is correct, accurate etc. The Oxford authors were not relying on the MJ article as a factual reference. Springee (talk) 15:36, 29 September 2015 (UTC)

  • Yes, because the claims it makes are of a "sky is blue" nature. They don't need to provide 3,000 references to Monckton's climate denialism, when all you have to do is see one of the hundreds of YouTube clips. Wikipedia cannot do this, but MJ can, because MJ has an editorial board and lawyers. Guy (Help!) 16:21, 29 September 2015 (UTC)
Monckton is not the only subject of the article and the style of the article is heavy with rhetoric rather than substance. Again, for what ever proof someone wants to add to an article there are better sources, ie citing this article is a WEIGHT issue (among other issues). Springee (talk) 17:28, 29 September 2015 (UTC)
If there are better sources that can verify identical or expanded content, then use them. Meanwhile, this is reliable according to The Atlantic for identifying corporate climate-change deniers. --Ronz (talk) 18:00, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
The Atlantic said "helpful"; the parts quoted here do not imply "accurate". — Arthur Rubin (talk) 18:40, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
I think "helpful" is good enough for it being a reliable source for the identification of the entries as being involved in climate change denial. --Ronz (talk) 19:27, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
I agree with Ronz here. I think the article is reliable enough to be used as evidence that the organizations have been involved in disagreeing with human caused global warming. However the article really doesn't provide, in most cases, enough information to say in what capacity the named organizations acted. As such I think the best we can do with the article is state that MJ has identified the organization as a climate change denier (or similar language). We shouldn't include the claim of a "top 12 list" or statements that indicate the scope of the denial ("extensive", "one of the most active" etc) because those become subjective assessments of the article author. The subjective part should be left out given the opinion like nature of the list, the guilt by association concerns and the generally high level of rhetoric and limited hard facts in the article. In almost all cases it would be better to simply not cite this article and instead cite other sources indicating the organization in question has promoted research/messages/etc that are anti-global warming. Springee (talk) 21:10, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
I think part of the issue is how the source is being added, i.e. on Institute for Energy Research it was added in clear violation of a topic ban [4]. The topic-banned editor self-reverted, but then the information was re-added [5]. This seems like a rather roundabout way for a topic-banned editor to achieve their desired edits. Safehaven86 (talk) 19:33, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
Seems not only irrelevant, but an ad hominem to distract from the proper use of this noticeboard. --Ronz (talk) 21:10, 30 September 2015 (UTC)

An administrator of our project, who is opposed to the use of Mother Jones (magazine) in our project, is systematically adding the red-link author name Josh Harkinson in-text wherever this source is used, with the edit summary, "proper application of WP:ATTRIBUTEPOV." Is this a proper application of WP:ATTRIBUTEPOV? Does WP:ATTRIBUTEPOV require the author name in text? The source is a feature article, not a guest editorial. The source was subject to the editorial oversight of Mother Jones (magazine). The author name is available to curious readers in the ref. The author name in-text is unnecessary and distracting to our readers WP:RF. In-text attribution to Mother Jones (magazine) is necessary and sufficient. Thank you. Hugh (talk) 17:13, 2 October 2015 (UTC)

Given there's a parallel NPOVN discussion, and it is a NPOV issue, the questions belong there. --Ronz (talk) 17:34, 2 October 2015 (UTC)


In the article Human rights in Venezuela I gave [1] as reference for the text of an open letter by experts to the Board of Directors of Human Rights Watch. Another editor maintains the source is not reliable and, therefore, I can't use it. I have no information on any political slant of the source, but I think this is immaterial since the text is genuine. I would like to have more opinions. Againstdisinformation (talk) 17:39, 27 September 2015 (UTC)


It is reliable, there is little doubt that the letter was sent, its contents are reported accurately and the signatories signed it. What might be an issue is weight - you need to show that the letter has been widely reported. TFD (talk) 17:49, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
TFD, thank you for your help. Againstdisinformation (talk) 01:35, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
Another commentator on talk disagrees. First, what is ""? Second, this does seem undue. Volunteer Marek  02:11, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
And you're suppose to alert others involved in the discussion, like myself and User:Oscar. Volunteer Marek  03:07, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
The letter was originally published by the North American Congress on Latin America and most of the signatories would qualify as experts in the field. The reliability of is only pertinent if there's serious doubt they have correctly transcribed the letter. Here is the HRW's response to the letter[6]. The original "Decade Under Chavez" report, the open letter, and the response form a chain of successive qualifying viewpoints. Per WP:CHERRYPICKING if one of these sources is cited there is a duty to cite the successive responses. Rhoark (talk) 14:25, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
  • As follows from descripton, this is an "advocacy source". Such sources should not be generally used for criticizing their political opponents (as in this example). In essence, you are trying to use a less reliable source to discredit a more reliable source. This is not a good idea. My very best wishes (talk) 00:50, 4 October 2015 (UTC)
  • It is the wrong argument. In this instance, the source cannot be "more reliable" or "less reliable". Either the text it reproduces is genuine or it is not, and it is very clear that it is. Therefore, the fact that venezuelanalysis is or is not an "advocacy source" is irrelevant. Againstdisinformation (talk) 01:20, 4 October 2015 (UTC)
The publisher is important as noted in WP:RS. That kind of letter would probably never be published in a scientific peer reviewed journal. My very best wishes (talk) 14:56, 5 October 2015 (UTC)
Of course it wouldn't, it is not a research article. Scientific journals are not in the business of publishing open letters. This argument is irrelevant too, I am afraid. Againstdisinformation (talk) 15:29, 5 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Yes, precisely. This is not a research publication, but a letter on leftist web-site published to discredit a report by the HRW that can be reasonably viewed as research. This is like someone is trying to disprove science on political grounds. Can we trust that such letter actually exist? Yes, sure. Can we trust the claims in the letter? No. Should we use it for sourcing in this particular context? No. My very best wishes (talk) 15:53, 5 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Again, you have it all wrong. You say that the open letter would not be published in a scientific journal, which is a truism, but that the HRW report "can be reasonably viewed as research". Well, I can't think of a referee I know who would accept it for publication in a scientific journal either. As for the epithet "leftist", you use it as a brand of infamy, which only serves to make your political leanings transparent. I have never seen you complain that the Wall Street Journal is right-wing and therefore not RS. Finally, most of the signatories of the letter are renowned specialists of Latin America and work with the most prestigious American Universities. For me, this is enough to give more weight to the open letter than to your personal POV. Againstdisinformation (talk) 16:21, 5 October 2015 (UTC)
Comment on content, not on the contributor, please. My very best wishes (talk) 16:29, 5 October 2015 (UTC)
This is not a question of WP:RS but WP:WEIGHT. There is little doubt that the letter was sent. Here is the direct link to the NACLA website. And HRW has even responded to the letter, here (here is the link to HRW website which is reliable for claims about itself). The question to consider is whether it is worth including. That cannot be determined here, but should be on the talk page. Kingsindian  20:19, 5 October 2015 (UTC)

Tel Rumeida sourcing[edit]

An editor, User:Settleman, has twice removed sourced information at Tel Rumeida on the grounds, declared but not argued on the talk page, that they fail WP:RS. See

  • here (17:57, 1 October 2015‎) and
  • here 13:14, 30 September 2015‎

The multiple (6) sources are

As explained on the talk page Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) and Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPI) are NGOs that monitor events on the grounds in zones where conflict between Israelis and Palestinians is intense (as does B'tselem, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International all of which are accepted as RS (as are Haaretz, The Times of Israel and Ma'an News Agency). They have a constant presence, mainly accompanying people at risk, but also documenting through interviews the subjects’ histories, personal and legal. They are often our only source for information on these obscure tragedies. I think this behavior reportable because 3 of the removed sources are unquestionably reliable sources as newspapers. No one challenges their use on Wikipedia. The two ecuemical and avowedly peaceful (not 'activist') organizations are often our only sources for much of what happens in detail in these territories, and to rule them out categorically, rather than evaluating them contextually (6 sources indicate a consonance of intelligence) is, to my mind, ideological, and an instrumental use of RS theory to exclude important data.

Could involved editors, other than of course Settleman, refrain from comment to allow external advice on this?Nishidani (talk) 21:56, 1 October 2015 (UTC)

Nishidani - Thanks got pinging me.
Whoever invest the time to help here, please be aware of the smokescreen here. The text in question is mainly During the period of the British Mandate the area of Tel Rumeida was an Islamic waqf property rented out to a Jewish association and managed by a Jewish farming family. In 1948 the land came under the control of the Jordanian government. The family of Abu Haikel, who had given sanctuary to Jews during the 1929 Hebron massacre, which was added in this edit. Sources 6,7 (on this diff) are an editorial or don't mention this info at all and source 8 (from it the info is actually copied) is a blog ran by activists. I can't see how it can be reliable for anything, not to mention be reliable for historical facts from ~85 years ago.
The touchy, feely implication the Human Right organization don't lie (or make mistakes) is a no-brainer. People have lied for worse reasons (Nishidani and me had similar interaction over similar issue where I proved an HR NGO spread lied). Settleman (talk) 22:35, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
Your incompetence is such that you erased all of the nuanced information in that edit, and rewrote according to the one Ma'an report, ignoring the fact that further down the page, your material had already been conveyed, there in correct English. You rewrote as follows:

According to Abu Haikel, he rented the land from Jordanian government's Custodian of Enemy Property. After 1967, a new lease was signed with Israeli government's Custodian of Absentee Property. In 1981 the Custodian refused to charge the lease fees but later accepted the payment. Such incident reoccured in 2001 and 2002.

Had your eye studied the section, this ungrammatical and obliquely vague rewrite would have been understood to be utterly purposeless. For below it we have,

The Israeli Custodian of Absentee Property refused to accept the Abu Haikal's rent payments in 1981, but, after an agreement was renegotiated in 2000, the back rent for 1981-2000 was reportedly paid up by the family, and fees were regularly accepted for the following 2 years, after which the land was declared a closed military zone, rent payments were rejected and the family was refused further access,

The Haaretz editorial was evidently not appropriate, I'll concede that. As for the rest it is just WP:IDONTLIKEIT and disattentiveness. Now let us wait for external third party input.Nishidani (talk) 15:41, 2 October 2015 (UTC)
What 'sources' gave information about 1929 'sanctuary' beyond EAPPI blog? Answer the question and stop your elaborating sidetracking! Settleman (talk) 16:45, 3 October 2015 (UTC)
@Nishidani: Are we done here? Settleman (talk) 08:24, 6 October 2015 (UTC)
That is up to the RS experts who so far (it is a tradition now that even they are reluctant to touch the I/P field with anything short of a 10-foot pole) have withheld comment (if they have noticed at all). If no one comments either way, it means the RS-status is undetermined, and therefore I will use those sources with attribution, and you may tag them.Nishidani (talk) 11:13, 6 October 2015 (UTC)
Can you answer to the point instead for inventing new policies? You can't use a blog for this and there is no consensus for that. Like I showed, your 'six' sources do not support what I removed, only the blog. Alternatively, you can try to represent this again in a neutral way and ask if EAPPI blog can be used for that one statement. Hopefully that won't scare the experts. Settleman (talk) 15:22, 6 October 2015 (UTC)

Vanity press or MEDRS-compliant source?[edit]

This topic is about as either WP:MEDRS-compliant source or vanity press, when entered as a source at Effects of pornography and Pornography addiction. The source is PubMed but not MedLine indexed.

Evidence for being predatory:

with low publishing fees paid by authors or their institutions.

Jeffrey Beall (18 February 2014), Chinese Publisher MDPI Added to List of Questionable Publishers, Scholarly Open Access: Critical analysis of scholarly open-access publishing. Tgeorgescu (talk) 22:38, 1 October 2015 (UTC)

"Fees paid by authors" is the very definition of vanity press. Tgeorgescu (talk) 09:07, 2 October 2015 (UTC)

If Beall questions it that is a huge red flag - the source should not be used (if at all) for anything other than mundane non-controversial information. Alexbrn (talk) 09:35, 2 October 2015 (UTC)
Our article MDPI does have a breakdown of issues with that source but also some positive statements. This publisher came up during a DYK review of mine because the fact of the hook I had supplied was sourced to a journal published by this group. The reviewers judged it reliable enough for that particular hook, but it was a somewhat weaker claim than what we need for medical claims (And in my case, other reliable sources were backing up the journal's statements).Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 10:07, 2 October 2015 (UTC)

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

Quoted by Tgeorgescu (talk) 18:45, 2 October 2015 (UTC)

Tgeorgescu is gaming the system on porn related Wiki pages[edit]

Tgeorgescu is gaming the system by blocking a PubMed indexed, peer-reviewed review of the literature related to the neuroscience of porn addiction. Tgeorgescu has blocked inclusion of this review based on 18 month old blog post has since been refuted by Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association. Furthermore, MDPI responded to Jeffrey Beall's allegations prior to the OASPA ruling. Since Beall had no response to MDPI, nor OASPA it must be assumed that there exists no official support for the blog post. Finally and most telling, Tgeorgescu has cited nothing specific to the Journal Behavioral Sciences, nor has Tgeorgescu refuted a single word of the review.

A simple fact - Open access journals, which accept pay, are in fact accepted as sources on Wikipedia, including MDPI. Until you can demonstrate that MDPI studies have been blocked from Wikipedia, you are gaming the system (gate-keeping).

Further evidence that Tgeorgescu is gate-keeping both Effects of pornography and Pornography addiction is that he permits Ley, et al, which is not PubMed indexed, and published by a suspect Journal, Current Sexual Health Reports. The Journal Behan publishing in 2004, went on hiatus in 2008, only to be resurrected in 2014, just in time to feature Ley et al. It's well established that the Ley et al. editor, Charles Moser, has been a long-time vocal critic of porn and sex addiction, while David Ley is the author of the Myth of Sex Addiction. Ley et al has been exposed as nothing more than a biased an unsupported piece of propaganda

It must be stated that blogger Jeffrey Beall's opinion contains no more weight than any other Internet blogger. He has no official status in any organization that governs academic publishing. Beall has been roundly criticized for being judge. jury, and executioner, while being accountable to no one. A few of the Many scholar have critiqued Beall:

1) Parting Company with Jeffrey Beall

QUOTED "Since I first became aware of Beall’s List, however, I have been following some of Beall’s work with growing unease. Here and there some (to me) distasteful political ideology peeked through (with my pragmatic mindset, any kind of ideology makes me queasy), but you don’t have to agree with somebody all the time to agree with them some of the time. But now, in a recent screed, he has crossed the line."

2) Should We Retire the Term “Predatory Publishing”?

QUOTED "Beall’s List has been controversial since its establishment for a variety of reasons, some of them obvious (no publisher, whether legitimate or not, appreciates being publicly branded a “predator”), and some of them less so. One of the more subtle reasons for the controversy around Beall’s List lies in the fact that it focuses entirely on OA publishing. Predictably, this has aroused the ire of many in the OA community, who have accused Beall of targeting these publishers out of an animus towards OA itself—a charge to which Beall provided a fair amount of ammunition when he wrote an impassioned attack on the OA movement in the journal tripleC."

3) Beyond Beall’s List

QUOTED: Beall’s list has become a go-to tool and has even been featured in The New York Times,5 but it is not the final word on predatory publishing, partially because Beall himself has a complicated, and not entirely supportive, attitude toward OA in general. Another concerning aspect of Beall’s work is his evaluation of OA publishers from less economically developed countries. Crawford, Karen Coyle, and Jill Emery have all noted Beall’s bias against these publishers.10,11,12

4) Ethics and Access 1: The Sad Case of Jeffrey Beall.

QUOTED: I didn’t read all of Beall’s blog posts. I honestly don’t know whether the misleading items noted above are typical or special cases. As with most library folk, I was appalled when a publisher attempted to sue Beall for libel—but being sued for unfortunate reasons doesn’t automatically make the defendant a saint. As with a number of other people who’ve been involved with and writing about OA for years, I was growing increasingly nervous about Beall’s growing stridency about “predatory” OA publishers— and amazement that there never seem to be sketchy or predatory subscription publishers, even among those charging high page charges and other article fees.

5) A Response to Jeffrey Beall’s Critique of Open Access

QUOTED: Beall’s critiques of open access are not always as factual as they could be, so as an open access advocate I am concerned when his polemics are presented to an academic audience that may not know all the facts.

In summary, Tgeorgescu is basing his entire argument on a single blogger who has clear bias and who has been roundly criticized. The accusations by Beall against MDPI have been refuted or addressed by both MDPI and the OASPA. Most importantly, there exists no official Wikimedia statement banning MDPI studies. User Tgeorgescu proves his bias by accepting a review (Ley et al.) from a minor journal, which took a 6- yaer hiatus, has only publsihed for a few yaers is not PubMed indexed - yet he blocks this PubMed indexed review. The evidence is clear that Tgeorgescu is acting as the gate-keeper for porn-related Wiki pages.Gaborlewis (talk) 16:17, 3 October 2015 (UTC)

Yeah, so not in MEDLINE either, another redflag per WP:MEDRS. I think only a POV-pusher would think this source okay for anything other than mundane information. Alexbrn (talk) 18:15, 3 October 2015 (UTC)
I agree that anything published by MDPI should be viewed with suspicion. -- (talk) 15:34, 5 October 2015 (UTC)
First off, I'll note the question in the section heading ("MEDRS or vanity press"?) is a false dichotomy. MDPI journals appear to be neither. There's been a lot of publicity of their mis-steps, but there are is testimony from respected researchers and industry organization about their peer review process, revisions, and retractions. You can read the blow-by-blow here[7]. Charging a fee is fairly standard for open access and not probative at all. It does not look like they are one of the deliberate bad actors, but should still be regarded particularly critically. I've read the article in question, and there's no "there" there. It's a literature review, summarizing a lot of different papers, but the conclusions, as vague as they are, are formed out of thin air. There is no quantitative or systematic qualitative method by which they synthesize the different results they review. I would not recommend using this paper except as a secondary adjunct to validate the importance of the more substantive research they cite. Rhoark (talk) 12:41, 6 October 2015 (UTC)

Theatre/opera/concert programme booklets[edit]

I imagine this has been considered long since, but I can't find it anywhere: how do we stand on the verifiability of material sourced from programme booklets? Very often – e.g. at the Royal Opera House, National Theatre or Barbican Centre – they contain essays and articles by leading experts in the relevant field, and they obviously meet Wikipedia's definition of "made available to the public in some form". But on the whole they are sold or given out on the day of the performance and are not obtainable afterwards. The archivists of the major companies will keep copies – and in my experience have been very helpful in providing details from them – and some museums and academic institutions maintain theatre collections, but is this enough to satisfy the verifiability criterion? Grateful for guidance on this. – Tim riley talk 07:11, 3 October 2015 (UTC)

I would imagine that this would be contingent on WP:V. If there is reasonable (define 'reasonable') distribution of programmes kept in public archives (or copies available thereof), I'd say they are. What is the likelihood of these programmes being available to editors for cite checking outside of the UK in this instance? It isn't required that publications still be in print, or that they be easily accessible, it strikes me as being a matter of just how inaccessible they are. It would also be dependent on who wrote the programmes. My experience is that, dependent on what is being staged/performed, there can be a lot of op-ed hype in these programmes. More specifically, I've encountered errors in historical content. What manner of content are you wanting to 'mine'? --Iryna Harpy (talk) 10:13, 3 October 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for that advice. There may be a few international collections that keep such material, but it will mostly, I think, be available for hands-on inspection only in the UK, at, e.g., the V&A though I suppose WP:SOURCEACCESS covers that. The material I have in mind is, e.g. Michael Kennedy on Elgar, Arthur Jacobs on Sullivan or Andrew Porter on Verdi. Such authorities have regularly contributed to programmes for British companies. Also, Covent Garden programmes include performance histories of the relevant opera or ballet, which are very informative and full of the sort of detail we want for WP articles, if the source is admissible. They can be inspected in situ at the Covent Garden archive but not (yet) online. Tim riley talk 10:48, 3 October 2015 (UTC)

Are any of these reliable sources?[edit]

See the sources added in this edit reliable? The editor has been edit-warring to keep them in the article, and has not joined the discussion at the talk page. (talk) 19:11, 3 October 2015 (UTC)


I'm seeing this website pop up increasingly as a source for articles dealing with the very touchy subjects of the conflicts in Yemen and Syria. To my eye, the website has a very obvious bias against the U.S. and Gulf states and toward the Syrian and Iranian governments (and their allies in Russia and Yemen). To wit, in this recently cited story, the use of terms like "Saudi-US aggression units" (obviously not WP:NPOV), "Yemeni national military" (the country is in a civil war between two factions claiming to be the Yemeni government, with different military units backing each), "fugitive President Abed Rabbu Mansour Hadi" (implies he is a fugitive from justice), and "Saudi-led aggression" (again, not NPOV; the Saudis claim they are responding to Hadi's request for assistance). There's also this recent story that refers to "Islamist rebel factions from the Free Syrian Army", a secular group led by defected military officers, and this story that uses phrases like "the Zionist entity" and "Zionist forces" in apparent reference to Israel. There are plenty more examples. This website does not seem like it meets Wikipedia's standards as a reliable source; for what it's worth, it also doesn't have a Wikipedia article about it, and it provides exceedingly little information on its website about who is backing it and where it is based (beyond "the Arab world"). I'm inclined to consider it propaganda in nature. Thoughts? -Kudzu1 (talk) 17:14, 4 October 2015 (UTC)

Looking at it seems no worse than other biased sources we use here and The Israel Project has this to say about it "In contrast to the vast majority of news sites in the Arab world, Al Masdar delivers a balanced and honest picture of the Jewish world, Israel, and the international scene." [8]. Many Arab news sources use euphemisms when discussing Israel so that is not a red flag in my opinion. Just because a source has a non-Western POV does not make it unreliable. I see no reason to blanket exclude this as a source - sure it contains propaganda most news sources do, we just do not notice it if it comports with our expectations and world view. Examine individual pieces for individual claims just like we do with any other source here. JbhTalk 18:04, 4 October 2015 (UTC)
Hi Kudzu1 - Looking on LexisNexis Academic, I see that Al-Masdar is referenced by middle eastern media as a Sanaa-based Yemeni news outlet. Sources that quote it include the Central Asian News Service, the Washington Post, The Guardian, The New York Times, Arutz 7 Radio in Israel, the Yemen Times, Gulf News from the UAE… I stopped searching through results at that point. LexisNexis doesn't actually collate Al-Masdar's articles so far as I can see.
I checked out the links you posted, including the reference to "aggression units" and the "zionist entity." It seems like other sources should be found to corroborate any controversial claims, but that the source could be used as a source of opinion or with attribution in certain cases, especially regarding events in the Middle East. -Darouet (talk) 18:13, 4 October 2015 (UTC)

Mark Lane[edit]

1. Source. Mark Lane (author), specifically this magazine article: Lane, Mark (November 1977). "The Mysterious Death of a Key JFK Witness" (PDF). Gallery: 41–43, 106–107, 110, 112, 114.  (Note that some images in pdf are NSFW.)
2. Article. George de Mohrenschildt
3. Content. The source is used multiple times in the article. The following are two examples:

a. At the time of the Kennedy assassination, he was attending a party when a radio broadcast the news. According to those present with him at the party, De Mohrenschildt paled and blurted out, "Could it have been Oswald? Was he involved?" As he became the center of attention, he continued, "The FBI in Dallas and the FBI in Fort Worth told me he was harmless." De Mohrenschildt had begun to talk about Oswald's possible connection to the assassination more than one hour before the rest of the world was to hear his name broadcast.
b. De Mohrenschildt told Willem Oltmans "I am very much afraid of this investigation by Jim Garrison because I believe that he is on the right track."

Mark Lane has plenty of supporters, but he has also frequently been described as a conspiracy theorist, and his critics state that the assertions in his writings are based on hearsay, innuendo, and rumor; cherry-picking of facts; or just plain fabrication (e.g. [9]). His "investigative report" in Gallery does appear to rely heavily on hearsay from another conspiracy theorist, Willem Oltmans, to state that George de Mohrenschildt was going to spill the bean on the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Thoughts? - Location (talk) 19:07, 4 October 2015 (UTC)

Mark Lane's work has been proven to be full of inaccuracies and/or deliberate deceptions, including the fabrication of quotes of individuals. Gamaliel (talk) 19:40, 4 October 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict) - Not a RS - Mark Lane is a purveyor of fringe theories. He has been referred to by the New York Times as the "dean of conspiracy buffs." And this academic review of Bugliosi's Reclaiming History praises Bugliosi for exposing Lane's - and other conspiracy theorists' - "shameless lies and distortions." Those are just two examples pulled off of a quick database search - among historians it's basically common knowledge that Lane is a conspiracy theorist and that his claims aren't to be trusted. Fyddlestix (talk) 19:52, 4 October 2015 (UTC)
Oh yes, this author is famous for promoting KGB-funded conspiracy theories after meeting with Genrikh Borovik. My very best wishes (talk) 15:07, 5 October 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, Mark Lane is a theorist whose assumptions are based on rumors, etc. Comatmebro User talk:Comatmebro 23:07, 5 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Not RS Mark Lane is a patently Fringe source whose writings have been repeatedly debunked. I would treat any comment from him on almost any subject with suspicion. -Ad Orientem (talk) 18:38, 6 October 2015 (UTC)

Jayce & the Wheeled Warriors tv guide scans - posted on blog[edit]

I've been having a discussion in the Jayce & the Wheeled Warriors article regarding the reliability of a source that posted scans of a comic strip that appeared in a French tv guide during 1987.

For example [10].The exact statement is

An uncredited, unfinished comic based on the series was published in the French comic magazine Pif Gadget #922. The 13-page adventure ended on a cliffhanger as the next issue did not include the follow-up story and the conclusion to that story was never published in Pif Gadget. It included characters created specifically for the comic, such as a white-haired young sorceress called Algora who was an ally of Saw Boss. The story, entitled "Le Sortilège d'Algora" ("Algora's Spell") was later re-printed and completed in Poche Junior, a free supplement for younger readers to the French television listing magazine Télé Poche, in several installments: Poche Junior #1 (May 1987),[14] Poche Junior #2 (May 1987),[15] Poche Junior #17 (August 1987),[16] Poche Junior n° 23 (October 1987),[17] and Poche Junior n° 25 (October 1987).[18]

The links provided are of a blog that has the scans available online. The discussion is regarding the fact that this is a blog and as such unreliable. However, the scans posted are of official publications, can probably be found and bought from collectors if so desired, and as such should be considered reliable regardless of being posted on a blog. A point was made that the scans could have been altered and I would agree if it concerned just an image of the guide. However, the entire thing was scanned and posted along with publication dates. So I figure this should be considered a reliable source. Maybe not based on location, but certainly on content provided. If it isn't, how would content such as this ever be verified?JalGorda (talk) 15:26, 6 October 2015 (UTC)

Cite the material as though citing the publication directly ({{cite news}} or {{cite journal}} would work); the link to the scans can be used by you to verify what information is needed for attribution, but don't link directly to it in the article as it may involve a copyright breach. GRAPPLE X 15:50, 6 October 2015 (UTC)

Thought Catalog[edit]

Are articles on Thought Catalog considered reliable/notable for wikipedia? While many notable people publish on Thought Catalog, I am referring to content written by people who are otherwise un-notable. The website's policy for publishing articles is found here. In particular, I am wondering if the website would be considered acceptable for the relevant sentence currently in the lead at this article: Mirror Mirror (M2M song). Thanks in advance. Freikorp (talk) 01:07, 7 October 2015 (UTC)