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".
While we attempt to offer a second opinion, and the consensus of several editors can generally be relied upon, answers are not official policy.
Please focus your attention on the reliability of a source. This is not the place to discuss other issues, such as editor conduct. Please see dispute resolution for issues other than reliability.
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Kissan support services Private Limited (KSSL)[edit]

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

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


Using Parlamentní as a source[edit]

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

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

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

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

Saigon Post Office[edit]

I don't know if this will be picked up, but, here goes ! Item on Saigon Post Office :- states - ".. which was built in early 20th.century..." WRONG ! I was in the building 1st.March 2015. It states there on the walls that it was built between 1886 and 1891. That's late 19th.century.

Law School Transparency Not a Reliable Source for Law School Information[edit]

Over the last two months a large number of edits have been made to dozens, possibly hundreds of articles about law schools. Almost all the edits follow the exact same format and appear to originate from a single commercial organization "Law School Transparency", inserting links to its website into specific law school articles. LST seeks to monetize data that is available for free elsewhere, and often introduces errors into the data in the process.

There are slight variations in the edits for some law schools--for example, some note the overall employment rate for law students and not just the "Full Time JD required not solo" category invented by LST. The more favorable edits appear to be for law schools who have paid LST for its services or otherwise provided financial support to the organization.

Someone (apparently from LST) has inserted LST metrics into most law school's websites without any prior discussion of whether or not LST is a reliable source of information.

Off-wikipedia coordination and undisclosed payments to an unknown number of Wikipedia editors[edit]

Law School Transparency or related parties have been paying individuals to insert links into Wikipedia pages and coordinating off Wikipedia.[1] I provided a reference to a thread on the website,, in which entry into a raffle with "fabulous prizes" was offered to individuals who would edit law school wikipedia pages by inserting links to LST's website.[2][3] Individuals also pledged to defend LST and defend the edits if anyone tried to change them.[4][5][6][7][8] Individuals from LST participated in these discussions, egging people on and providing suggestions, and thanking them for boosting traffic to LST's website.[9][10][11] LST also encouraged them to use LST visuals on Wikipedia.[12] These payments and off-wiki-coordination were not disclosed on Wikipedia at the time of the edits.

"Fabulous prizes" appears in scare quotes and is a direct quotation to the blog post on from the individuals soliciting the links in Wikipedia to LST. The phrase appears repeatedly and is emphasized, for example by appearing in all caps in large purple font. The actual prizes were raffles for $10 gift cards. I don't think the specific denominations are what matters. It demonstrates a pattern of abuse. One individual who participated in the raffle was so highly motivated he edited dozens of law school web pages.

If you look at older top-law-schools posts by the Law School Transparency individual egging people on, this person discloses that he is a recent graduate of Vanderbilt law school, which matches up with the biographies of several of the leading figures in Law School Transparency. The fellow starting the contest appears to be a recent NYU graduate living in NY, which matches up with the biography of another leading figure in Law School Transparency. If LST is this bold on a public message board that anyone can read, can you imagine what they might be doing in their private communications? Unemployed Northeastern (talk) 06:02, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

Depicting law school in the worst light possible using non-standard (non-ABA, non-Department of Labor) LST created definitions of employment and estimates of debt[edit]

On the top-law-schools message board, several individuals noticed that LST's employment figures for several schools were systematically lower than those they calculated independently from the ABA data and suggested this was an error.[13][14] They were told to ask LST for direction.[15][16] LST explained that this is because they subtract out individuals who are employed full time in JD-required jobs if they are practicing law as a solo-practitioner.[17] There is no peer-reviewed scientifically validated justification for doing this since individuals who are self employed are employed under both ABA and U.S. Government definitions--as are individuals who are employed in non-JD required or part time jobs. Someone asked if they should include more granular information and another person said no, because more detail would be "confusing" and other metrics, such as combining some employment categories with the employment category, would more simply convey LST's message that the employment figures are terrible..[18] So LST is against providing all the data--the overall employment rate using the standard definition of employment--and against providing the most granular data--all of the employment categories and subcategories. They pick and chose to try to make things look as bad as possible.

You can also see this in how debt or cost of living figures were handled. When LST and a more reliable source came up with very different numbers, the LST paid/coordinated editor went with the LST number since it was larger.[19]

For debt, they suggested using accelerated 10 year monthly payments rather than the much lower monthly payments available over common 30 year repayments or through income contingent or income based repayment over 10 to 20 years.[20]

Targeting specific law schools for abuse.[edit]

LST and its gang of coordinating/ paid editors also appear to have explicitly targeted non-elite law schools (which they call "toilets"[21][22][23] or TTT (third tier toilets),[24] leaving elite law schools wikipedia pages intact.[25] They decided to go after William and Mary specifically because it funds jobs for its students.[26] The goal does not appear to be to provide the most accurate information about law schools generally, but rather to attack specific law schools. Later in the discussion someone suggests that they should add the elite law schools just so that it doesn't look like they are targeting specific law schools, since that might lead to deletion of their comments![27]

Deleting or "neutralizing" positive material about law schools[edit]

LST coordinated/paid editors also appear to have been tempted to delete positive material about law schools, but were unsure how far they could push the envelope.[28][29][30][31]

Maximizing prominence of negative material[edit]

They also tried to place negative material about law schools in as prominent a position as possible, and described positive material as "dumb as shit"[32] or "PR crap."[33]They said their goal was to "neutralize" U.S. News specialty rankings with unflattering depictions of employment data.[34]

One of LST's editors joked that he would be right back because he was "vandalizing" UT Austin's website.[35] Another described law schools as "vultures"[36]

LST explained that their goal is to drive down law school enrollment[edit]

The individual from LST (apparently Kyle McEntee) noted that he was shopping a story to the press to try to drive down enrollment in North Carolina.[37]

Acknowledgement that ABA data is a good replacement for LST data[edit]

One of LSTs paid/coordinated editors noted that ABA data was a good replacement for LST data.[38] Another had serious doubts about whether adding links to LST added any legitimacy, since it was all based on more reliable underlying ABA data. Someone from LST responded by insisiting that links to LST and LST metrics must be included, along with their "algorithm" for inflating debt figures.[39]

Gaming the system[edit]

When disputes arose about specific pages, the LST group used the top law message board to get LST friendly voices to chime in to support LST in these disputes.[40] This happened in particular with the LST editors were called out on Wikipedia for bias.[41][42] I believe this is called gaming the system and is frowned upon under Wikipedia policy.

Using Bots[edit]

LST offered to write a script that would autogenerate text to insert in Wikipedia.[43]


Law School Transparency was founded in July 2009 by two class of 2008 law students at Vanderbilt University Law School, Kyle McEntee and Patrick J. Lynch. LST was initially funded through a Vanderbilt program to support non-profit jobs for Vanderbilt graduates who could not otherwise obtain employment.[44] When Lynch obtained a job practicing environmental law with a nongovernmental organization in South America, he reduced his involvement in LST.[45] Lynch was replaced by Derek Tokaz, a graduate of NYU Law school who blogs for the rightwing legal humor website Constitutional Daily and who pursued a Masters of Fine Arts at American University after completing law school.[46][47] From the outset, one of the greatest challenges LST faced was securing funding and resources.[48]

"Law School Transparency is a Washington, DC-based nonprofit advocacy organization. 'LST was founded by Vanderbilt Law School class of 2008 graduates Kyle McEntee and Patrick Lynch after LST's founders were unable to secure more attractive legal employment. From the outset, one of the greatest challenges LST faced was securing funding and resources.[49] LST describes its own mission as "to make entry to the legal profession more transparent, affordable, and fair."[50] LST accuses law schools of presenting misleading data and other misdeeds, and demands payment from law schools to certify that their employment information is accurate. Critics have compared this practice to extortion.[51][52]

The head of law school transparency, Kyle McEntee was quoted in the Washington Post saying “Law school is not a ticket to financial security . . . There’s just no evidence that the people starting school now are going to end up okay, and to me that’s really concerning.”[53] However, the Washington Post reported that there was substantial evidence of positive financial outcomes for most law graduates. McEntee also criticized the New York Times for positive press coverage of legal education and the legal profession,[54][55] although others have suggested that that New York Times story was factually accurate and used data appropriately.[56] LST's data clearinghouse contains numerous errors.[57]


There have been numerous critiques against LST and its founders, including unethical practices that critics say resemble extortion, inaccuracies in LST data, selective and misleading presentation of data, and anti-law school bias. LST has been criticized for a lack of transparency about its own sources and uses of funds and for alleged irregularities in its dealings with the Internal Revenue Service.


LST accuses law schools of presenting misleading data and other misdeeds, and demands payment from law schools to certify that their employment information is accurate. Critics have compared this practice to extortion.[58][59]

Anti-law School bias[edit]

The head of law school transparency, Kyle McEntee was quoted in the Washington Post saying “Law school is not a ticket to financial security . . . There’s just no evidence that the people starting school now are going to end up okay, and to me that’s really concerning.”[60] However, the Washington Post reported that there was substantial evidence of positive financial outcomes for most law graduates. McEntee also criticized the New York Times for positive press coverage of legal education and the legal profession,[61][62] although others have suggested that that New York Times story was factually accurate and used data appropriately.[63] McEntee earlier argued that law schools should cut enrollment 50 percent,[64] and explained that his goal was to drive down the price of law school.[65]

Kyle McEntee responded to peer reviewed research by professional labor economists showing that the overwhelming majority of law graduates benefit financially from their degrees and can afford to successfully repay their loans[66] by saying that the research "missed the point."[67] McEntee also accused law schools of being "immoral" and said that law students should be "frightened."[68]

Role in (dismissed) nuisance class action lawsuits[edit]

Kyle McEntee and Law school Transparency have publicly backed class action lawsuits against New York area law schools for allegedly misleading employment data.[69] These suits were dismissed on the merits by multiple New York courts as having no legal merit or basis.[70][71][72][73][74] The suits were also dismissed on appeal.[75] LST and Kyle McEntee have not disclosed the nature of their relationship, if any with the plaintiffs and plaintiffs' attorneys in these lawsuits.[76]

In other words, the courts have considered LST's claims that law school data is misleading and have rejected them. Having lost in court LST is now forum shopping to Wikipedia.Unemployed Northeastern (talk) 19:35, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

Anonymous Cyber-harassment of individual law professors[edit]

According to University of Chicago Law Professor Brian Leiter, Karl N. Llewellyn Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of Chicago's Center for Law, Philosophy, and Human Values, LST co-founder Derek Tokaz has engaged in cyber-harassment of individual law professors.[77]

Inline source, reliable source, neutral POV, this now complies with BLP policy. If Leiter's claims are disputed by Mr. Tokaz, let that be added to the entry.

Tokaz has also harassed individual law professors on his website, Constitutional Daily, referring to them as "Professor Ass Dean of Admissions", saying they "give zero fucks", accusing them of trying to raise tuition, using "extremely dubious facts", being "butt-hurt", "just making stuff up", being "the most misguided in legal education", being "wrong about everything", and suggesting they should be fired from their jobs.[78][79][80][81][82][83][84][85][86]

Factual Errors[edit]

LST's data clearinghouse contains numerous errors.[87]

Misleading claims about non-profit status[edit]

LST is not transparent about its funding sources or uses of funds, and did not file paperwork with the Internal Revenue Service that is required for its donors to receive a tax deduction until after this omission was pointed out by a critic.[88]As a result, many early donors were ineligible for tax deductions which they believed they were entitled to at the time of their donations.[89] This also raises questions about whether the founders of LST, who received a non-profit grant from Vanderbilt Law School to support their early work, violated the terms of the grant because LST was not properly incorporated at the time as a non-profit.

Commercial purpose / private benefit[edit]

The organization appears to be funded in part by individuals providing career placement services to former law students, and to operate by scaring them into thinking they won't be able to find a job without such services.[90]

Misleading Data Reporting Methodology[edit]

LST uses non-standard definitions of employment and unemployment that make law school data non-comparable to widely used employment and unemployment data from almost every other source. [91] In addition, peer reviewed studies by professional social scientists find that the starting salary data on which LST relies is not predictive of long term subsequent outcomes which are more important to the value of legal education--i.e., LST's methodology has no scientific validity.[92][93][94][95][96][97][98][99][100]

Undisclosed Paid Editing and off-Wiki Coordination[edit]

Crossposting this from the Spam Noticeboard.

Hundreds of Law School Websites have been the target of undisclosed paid editing, coordinated off-Wiki.. On July 9, 2014, on the message board, a user going by the name of BRUT (who had been a user since 2011 and has posted on more than 270 times; top-law-schools registration required to see BRUT's past posts) declared the completion of a project offering a bounty to those who would insert links to Law School Transparency's website (entry into a raffle with the potential win of $10) into the Wikipedia page of ABA accredited law schools.[101] This was a coordinated effort, with individuals stating which website they edited, and BRUT keeping track to avoid duplication of effort. This conflict of interest was not disclosed on Wikipedia when the edits were made. This violates Wikipedia's paid editing policies and policies against off-wiki coordination.

Someone from Law School transparency posted specifically requesting a link to LST's website and thanking for the effort, noting that the links were helping drive traffic to LST's website. The full text from the first page of the thread is provided on the spam noticeboard.

It's unclear how many Wikipedia editors were compromised, but there are 13 pages of posts on the thread announcing the raffle. Many of the editors posting here to defend LST may have been compromised by payments from LST, Spivey Cosulting, or affiliated individuals or organizations. I would request that everyone defending LST as a reliable source disclose whether or not they have any connection whatsoever to Spivey, LST,, or related individuals or entities.

And yes, someone from LST disclosed that they were editing some of the law school websites themselves.[102]


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  44. ^ Rachel M. Zahorsky, Legal Rebels: Kyle McEntee Challenges Law Schools to Come Clean, Sept. 19, 2012
  45. ^ Rachel M. Zahorsky, Legal Rebels: Kyle McEntee Challenges Law Schools to Come Clean, Sept. 19, 2012
  46. ^ Rachel M. Zahorsky, Legal Rebels: Kyle McEntee Challenges Law Schools to Come Clean, Sept. 19, 2012
  47. ^
  48. ^ Rachel M. Zahorsky, Legal Rebels: Kyle McEntee Challenges Law Schools to Come Clean, Sept. 19, 2012
  49. ^ Rachel M. Zahorsky, Legal Rebels: Kyle McEntee Challenges Law Schools to Come Clean, Sept. 19, 2012
  50. ^ LST Mission, Law School Transparency.
  51. ^ Paul Caron, More on Law School Transparency's Certification Fee, TaxProfBlog, August 3, 2013
  52. ^ Karen Sloan, Group Offers to Certify Law Schools' Honesty: Organizers say they're promoting best practices, but critic compares it to a protection racket, National Law Journal, August 2, 2013
  53. ^ Danielle Douglas-Gabriel, Why Law Schools Are Losing Relevance — and How They’re Trying to Win It Back, The Washington Post, Apr. 20, 2015
  54. ^ Steven Davidoff Solomon, Law Schools and Industry Show Signs of Life, Despite Forecasts of Doom, The New York Times, Mar. 31, 2015
  55. ^ Kyle McEntee, Deceptive Statistics 101, Courtesy Of A Law Professor And The New York Times, Above the Law, April 2, 2015
  56. ^ Michael Simkovic, Kyle McEntee Attacks The New York Times for Using Data Honestly, Brian Leiter's Law School Reports, April 7, 2015
  57. ^ Steve Freedman, Is Law School Transparency a Reliable Source for Information?, The Faculty Lounge, January 27, 2015.
  58. ^ Paul Caron, More on Law School Transparency's Certification Fee, TaxProfBlog, August 3, 2013
  59. ^ Karen Sloan, Group Offers to Certify Law Schools' Honesty: Organizers say they're promoting best practices, but critic compares it to a protection racket, National Law Journal, August 2, 2013
  60. ^ Danielle Douglas-Gabriel, Why Law Schools Are Losing Relevance — and How They’re Trying to Win It Back, The Washington Post, Apr. 20, 2015
  61. ^ Steven Davidoff Solomon, Law Schools and Industry Show Signs of Life, Despite Forecasts of Doom, The New York Times, Mar. 31, 2015
  62. ^ Kyle McEntee, Deceptive Statistics 101, Courtesy Of A Law Professor And The New York Times, Above the Law, April 2, 2015
  63. ^ Michael Simkovic, Kyle McEntee Attacks The New York Times for Using Data Honestly, Brian Leiter's Law School Reports, April 7, 2015
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  87. ^ Steve Freedman, Is Law School Transparency a Reliable Source for Information?, The Faculty Lounge, January 27, 2015.
  88. ^ Stephen Diamond, Profits of Doom--Updated, July 30, 2013
  89. ^ Stephen Diamond, Profits of Doom--Updated, July 30, 2013
  90. ^
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  92. ^ Ronit Dinovitzer, American Bar Foundation & NALP Foundation for Law Career Research and Education, After the JD II: second results from a national study of legal careers (2009)
  93. ^ Michael Simkovic & Frank McIntyre, [The Economic Value of a Law Degree, 43 J. Legal Stud. 249(2014)
  94. ^ McIntyre & Simkovic, Timing Law School (2014)
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  96. ^ Robert Nelson et al., After the JD III: Third Results from a National Study of Legal Careers (2014),
  97. ^ Michael Simkovic & Frank McIntyre, Populist Outrage, Reckless Empirics: A Review of Failing Law Schools, 108 Northwestern U. L. Rev. Online 176 (2014).
  98. ^ Steven Davidoff Solomon, Law Schools and Industry Show Signs of Life, Despite Forecasts of Doom, The New York Times, March 31, 2015,
  99. ^ Karen Sloan, Study: Law Grads’ Earning Advantage Seems Recession-Proof, National Law Journal, March 10, 2015,
  100. ^ Debra Cassens Weiss, Why Time Law School? Value of Law Degree Drops Only $30k in Bad Vs. Good Economy, Study Says, ABA Journal, March 10, 2015,
  101. ^
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-- — Preceding unsigned comment added by Unemployed Northeastern (talkcontribs)


@Unemployed Northeastern: Thank you for raising the issue. Now, before you continue removing this source from every article in which you find it, why not let some discussion occur to evaluate your points? WikiDan61ChatMe!ReadMe!! 20:17, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
I've seen some commentary questioning LST's accuracy, but I've also seen positive commentary as well. It would have been preferable for the editor to raise the question for discussion before initiating this massive campaign of removals from dozens of articles, and use of the term "extortion" in edit summaries raises concerns as well. In any event, I agree with WikiDan61 that the question should be discussed before any more removals. I also note that our Law School Transparency article has been heavily revised today by another new editor, who has not (so far) made any other edits at Wikipedia. --Arxiloxos (talk) 20:47, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
To address one of the initial concerns in this report: it does not appear that the edits in which the LST references were added can reliably be sourced to LST themselves. The edits in question appear to come from IP address scattered all over the country. That doesn't make the source any more reliable, but it makes the addition of the source to Wikipedia much less nefarious. WikiDan61ChatMe!ReadMe!! 21:23, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
LST personnel are scattered across the country and frequently travel for presentations. The nearly identical formatting and word use show these edits are clearly coming from a single source, as does the fact that they are all closely clustered together in terms of time period. LST has also been caught using anonymizing techniques to cyberharass individual law professors and may be concealing their IP address.[1]Unemployed Northeastern (talk) 21:54, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Citing a blog for serious assertions of negative conduct isn't going to cut much weight here... AndyTheGrump (talk) 21:58, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
It depends on who the blogger is. We are talking about Brian Leiter, a highly respected law professor and philosopher at the University of Chicago. I've adjusted the source to comply with BLP policy. If Tokaz disputes Leiter's findings, let the dispute be added to the entry to maintain NPV.Unemployed Northeastern (talk) 22:22, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
That's completely false. You can't take any opinion of person z, on person z's personal blog, that "x engaged in harassment" for anything more than person z's opinion. You can't then write "x engaged in harassment." It was just an opinion. In the first place. Of an individual. Not even of an individual who is an expert in the law of harassment (the fellow's area is philosophy and jurisprudence). But even if it were the fellow's area of expertise, it would still then only be an opinion -- it would not support the blanket assertion that "x engaged in harassment." That's a BLP violation by you, and I would urge you to stop violating BLP. Epeefleche (talk) 05:35, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
@ Eppefleche The right person's opinion is a reliable source, particularly when backed by research, expertise, and reputation. That's Wikipedia's official policy on reliable sources, not a BLP violation. I would urge you to read the policy. The views of one distinguished and well published professor are more reliable than the views of many unknown our unaccomplished (but nevertheless public figure) bloggers such as the folks who run LST. "Articles should be based on reliable, third-party, published sources with a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy. This means that we publish the opinions only of reliable authors, and not the opinions of Wikipedians who have read and interpreted primary source material for themselves. . . . Many Wikipedia articles rely on scholarly material. When available, academic and peer-reviewed publications, scholarly monographs, and textbooks are usually the most reliable sources. . . . News sources often contain both factual content and opinion content. "News reporting" from well-established news outlets is generally considered to be reliable for statements of fact . . . 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. When taking information from opinion content, the identity of the author may help determine reliability. The opinions of specialists and recognized experts are more likely to be reliable and to reflect a significant viewpoint. . . . Self-published material 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. " Leiter is published in many impressive third party publications. No one at LST is. So how about we stick to the issues about LST and you quit making threats and trying to change the subject or censor relevant facts?
The extremist, hateful views expressed by Mr. Tokaz and LST's predatory business practices are relevant under Wikipedia policy to a determination of whether he and LST are reliable sources, per Wikipedia Policy: "Questionable sources are those with a poor reputation for checking the facts, or with no editorial oversight. Such sources include websites and publications expressing views that are widely acknowledged as extremist, that are promotional in nature, or which rely heavily on rumors and personal opinions. Questionable sources are generally unsuitable for citing contentious claims about third parties, which includes claims against institutions, persons living or dead, as well as more ill-defined entities. The proper uses of a questionable source are very limited. . . . Beware of sources which sound reliable but don't have the reputation for fact-checking and accuracy that WP:RS requires. The Journal of 100% Reliable Factual Information might have a reputation for "predatory" behavior, which includes questionable business practices. . . Partisan secondary sources should be viewed with suspicion as they may misquote or quote out of context. In such cases, look for neutral corroboration from another source."
Under Wikipedia policy, the extremist and hateful views expressed by Mr. Tokaz and others at LST, and their questionable business practices, are relevant to this conversation about whether LST is a reliable source. Information about Tokaz and LST should not be removed; rather more information should be gathered and submitted here for the Wikipedia community to consider in passing judgement on LST's reliability as a source. If you have evidence from a reliable source exonerating LST or Tokaz, then you may present the evidence. Unemployed Northeastern (talk) 07:48, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Leiter is an expert on philosophy (including moral philosophy), the definition of ad-homenim attacks, legal education, evidence, and the blogosphere. His scholarly work has been cited more than 3,000 times.[2] He's also technically sophisticated and his identification of Tokaz is therefore reliable, or at least sufficiently reliable that it should remain in place with Wikipedians and readers forming their own judgement about it's reliability with as much evidence available to them about Mr. Tokaz's activities. Quit trying to censor the conversation and get back to the substance. LST is clearly not a reliable source. Unemployed Northeastern (talk) 10:20, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
Leiter is by no means an expert on harassment. You've submitted no RS support for that position. And even if he were an expert -- which he is not -- you can't cite the fellow's personal blog to say another person is guilty of harassment. That's a BLP violation by you, and I would urge you to stop violating BLP.
Plus -- your assertions that Leiter is "highly respected" is at best quite questionable. Have you seen, for example, the article in Above the Law entitled "Everyone Hates This Poor Law Professor".[5] Guess who its about? Yup. Now, I'm sure he views himself as "highly respected", as does much of his close family -- but your bald assertion seems like questionable puffery. The article states that Leiter: "is used to people not liking him, but now a critical mass of his own field has turned on him. As of this second, 292 professors have signed on to a statement denouncing him and demanding he relinquish control of the internationally-recognized rankings he founded. As a professional troll, he routinely threatens critics with legal action based on theories that… well, boggle the mind.... Will he go gentle into that good night? Of course not! He’s a “fighter,” which is a dressy word for “self-absorbed narcissist.” We all knew I was talking about Brian Leiter, right? Okay, good."
The article goes on to say: "a pair of NYU professors posted a statement of concern.... Leiter’s obsession with silencing any criticism led him to gruffly put down a fellow philosopher over Twitter. And that got the big statement of denunciation going ..." It goes on.
I can understand, given your style, why you like his style so much that you personally would call him "highly respected". But when the fellow's own Advisory Board denounces him and forces him out of his position at his own blog, I can't really see how someone without a COI with Leiter himself would call him highly respected. Epeefleche (talk) 06:09, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
@ Epeefleche Leiter has been criticized for his tone on a philosophy blog, not for the quality or rigor of his work, or anything having to do with his law blog. He remains an endowed chair at an elite university who has published in highly regarded academic journals and been cited over 3,000 times. Above the Law is a tabloid blog, not a reliable source. However, you apparently removed a notice on Above the Law's wikipedia page that it was not a reliable source just before you cited to it here. In any case, many of the criticisms of LST are from sources other than Brian Leiter, even if aggregated on Leiter's blog, so your attacks on him are not doing anything to defend LST as a reliable source.Unemployed Northeastern (talk) 18:05, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
That's not true at all. Leiter was criticized -- whatever else he was criticized for -- in a letter by over 600 professors who said they would no longer cooperate with the Leiter Report if he continued to manage it, for his inappropriate conduct away from the blog. Find me another professor who had over 600 professors say: "We refuse to work with your publication, if this person is involved." He is not respected -- just the opposite. And yes, ATL is an RS. In contrast to Leiter's blog, it has an editorial staff. Plus -- have you read the coverage of Leiter's embarassing debacle, in The Chronicle of Higher Education? Another RS. You can read it here. This is the opposite of "respected". (And oh -- people are often cited because others disagree with them, but that is neither here nor there). And, finally, the central point, he is no expert on harassment. Epeefleche (talk) 07:37, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
  • As user:Stesmo points out, Unemployed is deleting far more than one source ("the deletions included removal and editing of unflattering employment or debt figures, whether from LST, USNews, law school bubble sites or the college themselves"), under the guise of "not an RS". And I see Unemployed just created his account today. And another user, making similar edits at the page of the source in question above, was just created today as well. I think our issues here go beyond LST as a source. But include the deletions by this editor of USNews, etc. And also think a checkuser is in order. Epeefleche (talk) 22:02, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
The deletions are sourced to a related blog called "Law School Tuition Bubble." Debt levels from reliable sources, such as the American Bar Association or U.S. News, were left intact (or were unintentionally deleted). LSTB is not a reliable source per wikipedia policy and has many of the same biases as LST. These ad-hominem attacks are an inappropriate distraction from the issue it hand, which is the unauthorized and unapproved editing of hundreds of wikipedia pages by LST and LSTB (which stand to commercially profit by attracting traffic to their websites) using anonymous IP addresses and whether LST is a reliable source.Unemployed Northeastern (talk) 22:10, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

The basic point is that citing LST adds nothing to the conversation, since all of the underlying data is available for free from the American Bar Association Section on Legal Education, without any advertisements or pleas for donations. LST has nothing to offer that the ABA is not providing already, and is clearly a *less* reliable source than the American Bar Association.

So why don't we all agree to take all of the LST references and editorializing by LST out of the articles and replace it with Neutral citations to the underlying ABA data, without any commentary, and without creating artificial categories of employment favored by LST. Just say what the overall employment rate is across categories, and then provide a breakdown of each ABA category without any attempt to group the categories together.

That is the most reasonable, fair, neutral and non-commercial approach to resolving this issue. Any debt level references should cite to ABA data or NALP data, not LST "estimates" and should include information on student loan default rates, where available, and typical monthly payments. We should not cite U.S. News--which is a commercial paid website--unless the data is not already available for free from the ABA.Unemployed Northeastern (talk) 22:33, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

So it's not just LST that should be removed, but all commercial websites like USNews? Your arguments above would seen more persuasive if you hadn't also deleted the ABA reports of the law schools in dozens of articles today while asking for ABA reports to be used instead. You've also removed references to ABAJournal and (on the ABA article!). After reviewing dozens and dozens of your edits today, this seems less like you're here to build an encyclopedia and more like you have a one-sided vendetta with LST and have decided to remove any references to it while also removing any debt / employment numbers / references that don't cast a rosy glow on graduating from law school. Including the same exact refs to ABA data you claim to want to be used instead... Stesmo (talk) 23:46, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
@Stesmo We should include the full ABA data from this website, without any editing or commentary, which will always be the most up-to-date data available, and will always be available to everyone free of charge. The deleted text presented the ABA data in a misleading light by excluding certain categories of employment and only reporting the categories that LST says count as real jobs. That's not the position of the ABA or of the U.S. Department of Labor. Check out the definition of "Employment." U.S. News is behind a paywall, and if we can provide the information for free from an equally reliable or more reliable source, like the ABA, we should do that so that everyone can see the data for themselves without having to pay U.S. News for a subscription. I thought Wikipedia was all about open access for all? I'm trying to find a sensible solution, so there's no need to accuse me of anything or discuss my motives. Let's discuss what makes the most sense going forward and focus on the substance. My proposal is that we replace all references to employment citing to LST with the following text: "The latest employment data for recent graduates 9 months after graduation is available for all ABA approved law schools from the American Bar Association.[3] The data includes both overall employment--which includes jobs other than practicing law--and a breakdown by specific categories that may be of interest. Information on tuition, fees, living expenses and scholarships is also available from the American Bar Association, free of charge.[4] Information about debt levels at graduation is available from U.S. News, but is behind a paywal." Unless trusted Wikipedia editors can confirm that the reported U.S. News data is what U.S. News actually says, we should not rely on it, since someone from LST may have inserted data that is different from what U.S. News actually says. They've made many mistakes in the past with ABA data. And with the paywall, we and other Wikipedia editors won't be able to spot the mistakes. As between LST and US News, US News is clearly the more reliable source, but it is a paid source that is basically just repackaging ABA data, so ABA is preferable. Can we get consensus behind something close to this proposal?Unemployed Northeastern (talk)
FYI, everyone should look at the edit history of this page. The substantive proposal above was deleted from this page by user Epeefleche, who seems to be very focused on attacking and censoring me rather than on resolving substantive issues about whether or not LST is an appropriate source.


... and, when I asked Unemployed if he had edited via other accounts, his response was to simply delete the query from his talk page. So, given the circumstantial evidence, a checkuser seems appropriate. Epeefleche (talk) 22:17, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
How about we run a checkuser on all of the edits that were apparently inserted by LST using anonymous IP addresses over the last two months and stay on point instead of trying to change the topic and make ad-hominem attacks against someone for pointing out problems with the sources in the articles. Focus on the argument, not on the person.
It's perfectly appropriate to share a concern about you editing via different accounts, under the circumstances. You are welcome to not respond to my question as to whether you have edited via different accounts, and simply delete the question (as you have done). Or to not respond to my question as to whether you have edited via different accounts, and instead simply seek to divert the focus to suggest that others be checked (as you have done). But your behavior does have the effect of increasing my concern that your pattern of editing, and that of the other editor of that article, both accounts of which were created today, suggest a seasoned editor editing via more than one account. And, of course, the very nature of checkuser is that it relates to the person -- and whether the person is even entitled to take part in this discussion at all, on the basis of his behavior. Epeefleche (talk) 22:46, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
By your logic, maybe we should run a checkuser on you. You just deleted wholesale the criticism section of the Law School Transparency wikipedia site, even though it was relevant, well sourced to established news outlets and university professors, and appropriate. And without any discussion on the talk page. You also claimed (falsely) that I deleted all of the debt information when I clearly left well sourced debt information from the ABA in place. So if we want to play the ad-hominem game:
Do you have any connection to law school transparency, law school tuition bubble, or other similar blogs? Have you ever edited Wikipedia under another name or an anonymous IP? Or maybe we can just focus on making the articles as good as possible with the best sources and discuss in good faith.Unemployed Northeastern (talk) 23:34, 21 May 2015 (UTC)


This has been going for a couple of days, and there don't seem to be any more substantive comments or any additional evidence presented to support LST as a reliable source. Under the circumstances, I think the consensus view can be summarized as follows:

LST does not add anything of value to Wikipedia because all of LST's hard data is available for free (and in more up to date form) from the American Bar Association
LST is a commercial website seeking to draw traffic to itself by repackaging data that is available elsewhere; Wikipedia is not meant to be used as free advertising or SEO for commercial websites
LST has introduced errors into the data in its repackaging process--the original data is more reliable
LST's groupings of employment information are not scientifically validated and in fact contradict common practice in the peer-reviewed social sciences
The founders of LST have an anti-law school bias, or at least the appearance of one, and have engaged in business practices that are controversial and arguably predatory
US News is more reliable than LST, but is also a commercial website behind a paywall and repackager of information that is available elsewhere for free; the paywall makes information cited to US News difficult to verify
The large barrage of edits with very similar wording and formatting, citations to LST's website, and use of LST's methodology, all clustered closely together in time and spread across hundreds of law school websites--are suspicious.

Therefore, no harm would be done to Wikipedia--and the integrity and reliability of Wikipedia as an Encyclopedic provider of unbiased information relying on the best and most reliable sources would be enhanced--if all citations to LST data were removed from all law school pages and replaced with a reference to the availability of the same or similar information available for free from the American Bar Association or the National Association for Law Placement. -- — Preceding unsigned comment added by Unemployed Northeastern (talkcontribs)

Uh, no. Some of the sources for your claims presented here and elsewhere seem lead back to similarly, though oppositely biased sources (someone who has a vested interest in the law school system prospering (the law schools, law professors, etc.) can also be biased, just pro-law school). Your actions show you don't even agree with your arguments here that *only* the dry data (with no discussion or analysis) submitted to the ABA (by a biased source... the law school in question) can be used as a reliable source; you've deleted the law school's ABA sheets and abaquestionnaire claims and references along with LST in your edits! With your behavior in here, Talk pages and in your mainspace edits show me that you're not not here to build an encyclopedia. Rather, you're here to aggressively remove criticisms of the law school industry, regardless of the source or validity of the claim.
Reading over non-Unemployed Northeastern comments here, I do not see there is any consensus on your points here. The biggest consensus I've seen on this subject is your behavior on Wikipedia has repeatedly overstepped what is expected from editors here, especially in violating WP:BLP. If you truly are here to build an encyclopedia, let the process continue among the other editors. Stesmo (talk) 19:40, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
  • I agree with Stesmo's comments, immediately above. Epeefleche (talk) 20:08, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

Wikipedia's policy on reliable sources sets forth a definitive hierarchy with academic and peer-reviewed sources on top, news sources below, and ecommerce and opinionated sources like LST either prohibited or on the very lowest rung of reliability. There is no special "law school" exception to this policy. Nevertheless, many of the sources critical of LST are not law professors, but rather economists, education experts, journalists and statisticians based at other organizations such as colleges or arts & sciences, independent research organizations, and business schools. Your comments about bias of all law professors everywhere are not valid under Wikipedia's reliable source policy, but they do provide useful information about your own biases and prejudices and confirm that we have reached consensus on the merits under the official Wikipedia reliable source policy.

"Many Wikipedia articles rely on scholarly material. When available, academic and peer-reviewed publications, scholarly monographs, and textbooks are usually the most reliable sources."
"Material such as an article, book, monograph, or research paper that has been vetted by the scholarly community is regarded as reliable, where the material has been published in reputable peer-reviewed sources or by well-regarded academic presses."

Under Wikipedia reliable source policy, news reports are suspect and should be replaced with academic sources whenever possible:

"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. . . . Claims sourced to initial news reports should be replaced with better-researched ones as soon as possible, especially where incorrect information was imprudently added. . . . For information about academic topics, scholarly sources and high-quality non-scholarly sources are generally better than news reports."

Wikipedia also frowns on excessive focus on recent events (such as short term outcomes for the most recent graduating class) rather than longer term historical norms (such as data available in "After the JD" or the peer reviewed academic work of Simkovic & McIntyre.

"When editing articles covering current events, also keep in mind the essay on recentism bias."

Ecommerce sources such as LST, which exist to sell the services of Spivey consulting (where McEntee and Spivey work), are not reliable sources and should not be cited except for deminimis information such as confirmation of the title of a book or movie:

"E-commerce sources
"[T]he content guidelines for External links prohibits linking to 'Individual web pages that primarily exist to sell products or services . . . ' Journalistic and academic sources are preferable, [to e-commerce] and e-commerce links should be replaced with non-commercial reliable sources if available."

Unemployed Northeastern (talk) 17:33, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

  • Based on the evidence adduced in this discussion I would support removing LST as an unreliable source wherever it is used. Since these additions appear spammy, I would blacklist the URL. bd2412 T 18:01, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Reliable in context; attribution would be best practice. Based on a review of the source, and of the RS coverage of and use of the source, and the below (as well as the above), and discounting Unemployed's slavish reliance for some reason on the Brian Lampert single-person-blog (even in the wake of Lampert's recent history, and even though it is a no-oversight-personal blog), I think that LST is a reliable source for the purposes for which it has generally been cited (that I have seen -- and I've looked at a number). So I think it is proper to use it for those purposes. If, as Unemployed suggests, there is more to be told, Unemployed is welcome to add the "additional" information that is relevant. In addition, I think that best practice would be to use in-text attribution to the source, as in "LST reported that..." But that should be done by editor's simply adding the attribution. Not by editors, who seem to have dog in this fight, deleting what is not yet attributed. Epeefleche (talk) 01:51, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
@Epeefleche You have not provided any evidence that LST is reliable in context or any relevant support from within Wikipedia's established reliable source policy. The source is generally unreliable under Wikipedia's because of the commercial nature of the website, the controversial nature of the methods it uses, its biases, and allegations of predatory business tactics. Since most of these controversies relate to law schools and legal employment, the context of law schools changes nothing. With respect to the sources cited regarding LST's reliablility, they are more diverse and quite different from how you have characterized them. Instead of Brian Lampert, I believe you mean University of Chicago professor and leading philosopher Brian Leiter. You seem to know his name well, since your edit history shows (apparently retaliatory) edits of Brian Leiter and Philosophical Gourmet's wikipedia pages only a few days ago. (You've edited Brian Leiter's wikipedia page more than a dozen times alone from May 23 to May 25, adding citations to the tabloid Above the Law, which is not a reliable source). Leiter Reports is not a single person blog--there are several academics who contribute to it; Leiter is the editor and there is therefore editorial oversight. Nevertheless, there are many sources besides Leiter, and besides Leiter's blog, who are critical of LST's methodology, empirical claims, and business practices although not always naming LST (since the LST blog is too insignificant to be part of the debate)--Brian Galle, Frank McIntyre, Steven Freedman, Michael Simkovic, Steven Diamond, Jordan Weissmann, Steven Davidoff, The Washington Post, The New York Times, etc. Many of the sources showing LST's bias are LST founders in their own words. In any case, there is nothing in Wikipedia's policy that would lead us to conclude that LST is reliable in context given the commercial, non-academic and controversial nature of the organization and its founders and the availability of sources of information that are superior under Wikipedia policies.AlexiKasparo (talk) 17:29, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
@Alexi -- *Welcome to Wikipedia. You are a brand new editor. Created today. How did you happen to land here? And are you editing via any other usernames or IP addresses? This isn't a blog -- you can't come in under multiple editor names, state a position that is baseless, state in a very long screed, and expect that to be compelling. And reliance upon blogging professor Brian Leiter as a respected person -- a view shared by you and the other recently created account (Unemployed) -- seems to be somewhat mis-placed, especially since his recent embarrassing fall from grace. See "Controversial Philosopher Will Step Down as Editor of Influential Rankings", an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education. Epeefleche (talk) 00:09, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
@Epeefleche This discussion notes that many Wikipedia editors have been compromised by payments and prizes from Law School Transparency, Spivey Consulting, or related parties and off-wiki-communication. You have engaged in retaliatory edits and ad-hominem attacks (off-topic) agains sources critical of LST, and also deleted material that I have posted that was neutral in tone and suggested a consensus. Please disclose whether you have any relationship to Law School Transparency, Top Law, Spivey Consulting, or any affiliated individuals or entities if you wish to continue as part of this conversation.Unemployed Northeastern (talk) 01:03, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Reliable in context; attribution would be best practice. I support this as a proposed consensus. The framer of this discussion didn't state the vital information (or stay on topic) but the use of:
is in line with the way reputable mainstream media cite Law School Transparency as a source for these types of numbers, and after reviewing all of the arguments I see no reason to label LST an unreliable source for these purposes. LST may be a biased source, in the same way a non-profit campaigning against hunger is biased against hunger, but that does not make them an unreliable source for these two uses or similar uses in hundreds of other law school articles. Of course, nothing prevents an editor from citing additional reliable sources for these figures if they so desire. Any discussion of editor conduct or whether the content is NPOV belongs in another forum. Worldbruce (talk) 17:40, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
@ Worldbruce LST is not a non-profit campaign against hunger. It's a marketing tool for Kyle McEntee and Mike Spivey to sell consulting services to law students and "certification" services to law schools (i.e., pay us and we won't smear you). The way in which the media cites LST is not a guideline, since Wikipedia is an Encyclopedia and not a newspaper. Wikipedia's reliable source policy is the guideline. The reliable source policy is opposed to recentism bias, and LST's figures feed into that bias. The reliable source policy also clearly favors academic sources above all others, and places commercial sources like LST at the lowest rung. All of LST's scores can be derived from ABA data, without the biases and assumptions of LST built in, and without the tawrdy spammy effort to sell services, and without Wikipedia functioning as free advertising for Spivey Consulting. We should therefore remove any reference to LST or its measurements and replace it with a reference to the underlying ABA data over multiple years (to remove the recentism bias).Unemployed Northeastern (talk) 18:38, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
I agree with Worldbruce and Epeefleche. Sneekypat (talk) 19:19, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Reliable in context; attribution would be best practice. After following the conversation here, I'd have to say I do not find LST to be wholly unreliable. I find some of UN's allegations to be worrying, but I also find that UN's conduct and debate tactics causes me to wonder how much weight to give UN's claims. In the end, after reading the conversations here and thinking on this issue for a while, I believe Worldbruce's path is the way to go. Stesmo (talk) 18:45, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Additional Evidence of Spam Effort by LST and Spivey Consulting[edit]

Spammy messages about Spivey consulting started appearing on about the same time as all of the Wikipedia edits citing to Law School Transparency's website.[1]

Evidence that Law School Transparency is a reliable source[edit]

One indicator of the reliability of a source, according to Wikipedia:Identifying reliable sources, is whether accepted reliable sources cite it as a reliable source. Law School Transparency has been cited regularly in the reputable mainstream press.

  • Trachtenberg, Ben (14 May 2012). "Rethinking Pro Bono". The New York Times – via ProQuest. (subscription required (help)). the Law School Transparency Data Clearinghouse lists 67 schools (out of the 185 that were scored) with full-time legal employment rates below 55 percent. At the same time, law school tuition and student debt have skyrocketed. The average 2011 law graduate from Syracuse owes $132,993, not including any debt incurred for undergraduate education. At Pace, the figure is $139,007; at New York Law School, $146,230. 
  • Kaufman, Wendy (23 July 2012). "Job, Tuition Woes A Drain On Law Schools". Morning Edition (National Public Radio). At some schools, less than a third of their graduating class were obtaining long-term, full-time legal jobs. 
  • Anderson, Tim (7 March 2013). "University Law School Moving Forward". Deseret News – via HighBeam Research. (subscription required (help)). Law School Transparency ranked the S.J. Quinney College among the top 20 most transparent law schools for the data it publishes about its students' career placement records. 
  • Ho, Catherine (18 August 2013). "An end to tenure at law schools?". The Washington Post. In 2011, tuition for private law schools was 2.5 times what it cost in 1985, after adjusting for inflation 
  • Milne-Tyte, Ashley (28 March 2014). "Comparing Law School Rankings? Read The Fine Print". Morning Edition (National Public Radio). Students can't make an informed choice about their return on investment if they can't tell from a school's rankings how many of its jobs are permanent and how many are temporary. 
  • Keegan, Kyle (21 October 2014). "$42,000 for tuition ...but can you get a job?: Whittier Law grads among most challenged in the U.S. when it comes to finding employment.". Orange County Register. In 2012, [Law School Transparency] successfully pressured the American Bar Association to require that law schools disclose more detailed surveys about post-graduation employment ... While law schools previously informed prospective students how often graduates landed jobs, today's statistics tell applicants whether those jobs are full-time or part-time, long-term or short-term, and whether the position required passing a state bar exam. In other words, beginning in 2012, prospective students can see which law schools launched the most attorney careers within nine months of graduation. 
  • Yackee, Jason W. (30 January 2015). "Does Experiential Learning Improve JD Employment Outcomes?". Univ. of Wisconsin Legal Studies Research Paper No. 1343. 
  • Kerr, Orin (5 February 2015). "Merging law schools was smarter than closing". Star Tribune (Minneapolis). In an analysis by a publication called Law School Transparency, the law school class of 2013 was the largest ever at just under 47,000 graduates nationwide. That class was kicked out into a frigid job market that saw about 26,000 of them find full-time career path jobs in the legal profession. 
  • Schafer, Lee (1 March 2015). "Do law school clinics lead to more jobs for law school graduates?". The Volokh Conspiracy (The Washington Post). [Yackee's methodology uses the] law school’s Law School Transparency “Employment Score,” which “measures the percent of recent graduates obtaining full time employment, within nine months of graduation, for which a JD degree and bar passage are required.” 
  • Olson, Elizabeth (27 April 2015). "Law school class of 2010 struggling in job market". The Boston Globe. Overall, nearly 85 percent of law graduates have taken out student loans, according to the website Law School Transparency, and 2010 law graduates accumulated debt averaging $77,364 at public law schools and $112,007 at private ones. 

Worldbruce (talk) 11:38, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

Press coverage is NOT evidence that Law School Transparency is a reliable source[edit]

@Worldbruce LST is not cited as a reliable source of unbiased information about law schools. They are cited for a particular point of view that debt is too high and job outcomes are too low, in much the same way the press might cite Republican think tank or talking head (like Ann Coulter or Ron Paul) for the proposition that taxes are too high or a Democratic think tank (or a Comedian like Jon Stewart or John Oliver) for the proposition that they are too low. Wikipedia is not a newspaper citing biased sources for their view points, but rather an Encyclopedia. Just as we would cite to peer reviewed economic studies or unbiased historical or comparative data from a regulator or government agency in the case of taxes--rather than to a think tank making arguments based on their interpretation of the data--we should cite to underlying data from the American Bar Association or NALP or After the JD or the U.S. Census rather than LST. According to Wikipedia's policy there is a clear hierarchy of reliable sources, and LST falls very low on that list, particularly since many of its claims are contradicted and its methodologies are discredited my more reliable sources, like peer reviewed research and research by professional social scientists.[2][3][4][5]The papers you cite using LST style approaches were not subject to peer reviewed and were not written by professional social scientists, and their methodologies have been heavily criticized by those with real expertise in statistics who have published in legitimate peer reviewed publications on a broad range of topics.[6][7][8][9][10][11] Yackee himself notes problems with LST data: " I am not sure that the 2013 LST data is objectively as high-quality as we would want it to be." Mentions in the press of LST do not redeem it as a reliable source. If you look at some of the press coverage, it shows McEntee Jumping in the air wearing a red pair of sneakers with a suit in a dramatic pose--clearly a grab for attention and not someone meant to be taken seriously.
McEntee Jumps in the Air with Sneakers and suit for the ABA Journal
McEntee with Red Sneakers around his neck while wearing a suit
(I do not know how to upload files to Wikipedia so that they appear as images on this page--I'd appreciate if someone could help with that so everyone can see what I'm talking about without having to click through to the links)
If clownish antics and outrageous claims have attracted media attention, that does not mean that Wikipedia should stoop to to the level of a tabloid. The press has been heavily criticized for its biased and sloppy coverage of law schools in general and higher education in particular.[12][13][14][15]

See also the text of Wikipedia's reliable source policy on outside usage, which states that this is only a secondary indicator of reliability, other parts of the reliable source policy trump, and minority and controversial views like LST should not be given undue weight: "Usage by other sources Widespread doubts about reliability weigh against it. If outside citation is the main indicator of reliability, particular care should be taken to adhere to other guidelines and policies, and to not represent unduly contentious or minority claims. The goal is to reflect established views of sources as far as we can determine them."

The only evidence presented for reliability of LST does not have much weight under the most generous interpretation of Wikipedia policy. Unemployed Northeastern (talk) 17:42, 24 May 2015 (UTC)


  1. ^
  2. ^ Ronit Dinovitzer, American Bar Foundation & NALP Foundation for Law Career Research and Education, After the JD II: second results from a national study of legal careers (2009)
  3. ^ Michael Simkovic & Frank McIntyre, [The Economic Value of a Law Degree, 43 J. Legal Stud. 249(2014)
  4. ^ McIntyre & Simkovic, Timing Law School (2014)
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^

Unemployed Northeastern (talk) 17:08, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

@Unemployed Northeastern:This is not a comment on the reliability of the source that is being discussed. This is just a suggestion on how you've been adding links to your posts. If you're going to use the <ref>...</ref> markup, then you should also use Template:Reflist-talk so that the references don't get pushed to the bottom of this page. Just add the template before your signature or near the sources being cited. This will make it easier for others to see the sources you're referring to in a particular post and stop them from mixing together with references cited in other posts. You can also simply embed the links directly into the text using the markup [] which will make it even easier for others to follow along in my opinon. You can name these embedded links if you like using the markup [ link name]. This latter approach is quite common on talk pages because the link is right there in the text for others to look at. Also, you probably shouldn't upload those images from the ABA Journal website because of possible copyright concerns per WP:COPYOTHERS; The links you've provided are more than sufficient for this discussion and others interested in seeing the image can click the link. - Marchjuly (talk) 18:37, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

Evidence that Citations to Law School Transparency website, and defense of LST as reliable source, are originating from Law school Transparency[edit]

Look at the edit history for Law School Transparency's wikipedia page:

Many of the same names and IP addresses appearing there can be found editing articles about specific law schools or attacking specific law professors. These include many of the individuals on this page insisting that LST is a reliable source!

Retaliation by Epeefleche and Stesmo[edit]

Epeefleche and Stesmo have apparently expressed their frustration over Law School Transparency being deemed a non-reliable source by attacking Brian Leiter's wikipedia page and the wikipedia pages of the University of Chicago, Philosophical Gourmet, The American Bar Association and Kirkland & Ellis:

This is a violation of Wikipedia's policies against retaliation. Unemployed Northeastern (talk) 18:59, 24 May 2015 (UTC) Unemployed Northeastern (talk) 18:59, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

This is the reliable sources noticeboard. Issues regarding supposed 'violation of Wikipedia's policies' are off-topic here, and raising them will achieve nothing but muddying the waters. AndyTheGrump (talk) 19:15, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Forum shopping. Unemployed's charges have been responded to here. By Ian.thomson, who wrote: "This looks like retaliatory forum shopping because consensus didn't go your way at all despite your refusal to accept that." And further, it was subsequently removed from the Edit Warring Noticeboard by another editor, as a malformed forum shop. Epeefleche (talk) 21:34, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Forum shopping redux. Unemployed has pasted a wall of text also pasted here, this time to WikiProject Spam. Moxy collapsed and closed it with the statement: "Incoherent wall of copy and pasted text".
Unemployed, however, reopened it (or parts of it) twice in response. Moxy wrote, upon re-closing it: "Sorry perhaps I was not clear...this is a post related to if the source is reliable - spam is not the problem see WP:CITESPAM. - Citation spamming is a subtle form of spam and should not be confused with legitimate good-faith additions intended". Jeraphine Gryphon finally deleted it, writing "This issue is being handled elsewhere" and "copypaste from a forum thread, possibly copyright violation". Epeefleche (talk) 13:37, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
It's worth pointing out that articles relating Wikipedia policies state that they are policies at the top of the page. The above-quoted WP:CIVIL is an example. Those that state they are "essays" are personal opinions of WP editors and have no official status as policies or guidelines, although they may offer good advice. WP:GRAPES and WP:REPEAT are examples. Catfish Jim and the soapdish 06:46, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
  • The problem here is increasing. Unemployed, who edited only (though extensively) during Memorial Day weekend, has disappeared. Concurrently, another editor, with a parallel focus and a similar devotion to Brian Leiter and his publications, has reappeared. Philosophy Junkie, editing Leiter's Philosophical Gourmet Report (get it?).

That editor has now repeatedly deleted appropriate RS-sourced edits I made (while for example including an opinion piece as an RS), the latest here. On the claimed and false and baseless assertion (in part) that I have a COI here. I have none.

And I have further concerns about the editor's possible COI, as reflected here. Epeefleche (talk) 18:47, 28 May 2015 (UTC)

  • This may be the worst case of TL:DR I've ever seen. Niteshift36 (talk) 19:09, 28 May 2015 (UTC)

UPDATE: Breitbart Global News Syndicate - Reliability Dispute[edit]

Updating The 2010 Archive 84: A Report from February 2014 - Executive Chairman of Breitbart(dotcom) News, Stephen K. Bannon's announcement of Breitbart(dotcom)'s turn from an opinion website to a Global Syndication - The Breitbart organization connects Texas & current London-based operations. The extensions to Florida & California in the US, and development in Cairo, Egypt & Jerusalem. These offices are the beginning of an expansion that would add a new regional site (roughly) every 90 days. _NYT Source

I'm taking into account this critique: "Breitbart is categorically not a RS, for very famous reasons 1, 2 regarding HIS (lack of) journalistic integrity. Sceptre 07:11, 19 December 2010 "
as well this current perspective, "Brietbart is not a reliable source because, wait for it, ...... JOURNALISTIC ETHICS!!! 3 -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 03:29, 26 May 2015"

A review of the presented "sourced materials"; 1, 2, and 3 that seek to disqualify Breitbart(dotcom). Take notice that each criticism belongs to deceased blogger Andrew Breitbart & his opinion website BigCompany, but not Breitbart(dotcom) itself ... These are inexact to BreitBart, The 2015 Global News Syndicate. Conclusively, if anyone sources the deceased journalist himself or his defunct blog, I concur, would validate "illegitimacy" - but today's Breitbart(dotcom) meets the distinctions of a reliable source.
--j0eg0d (talk) 08:20, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

The problem with Brietbart as a "reliable" news source that twists other reporting to be what they want to say, without any evidence they actually do much of their own. (Note that this request is likely GG related based on above poster and the "importance" of Brierbart to the story). Take this article on GG recently [6] which spins this story [7] about the situation of someone trying to contact the police to report harassment which had problems because the person was contacting the wrong department (and subsequently fixed), but treating it as if the police wanted nothing to do with the person. That is absolutely bad reporting, perhaps itself even itching at a BLP violation (I'm only including the link for comparison per BLPTALK) and thus the type of thing that should be avoided as a factual source. A writer's opinion, it shouldn't be a problem as long as it is clearly marked or considered as opinion, but not for factual news. It is not that there are some statements that are truthful, but the issue is separating the truth from clear exaggerations and a history of having this problem. And this is beyond the original Breitbart blogger's own work. --MASEM (t) 06:21, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
I agree with Masem. This website is polemical, not news oriented, though they certainly claim to be news. Drudge is a better news source and Drudge doesn't measure up either. Several editors on this board have recently given sourced negative assessments of and I see no compelling reason to challenge those judgements. Certainly noting in the post above does so. BusterD (talk) 06:29, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
That's a fixed interpretation when reading the Breitbart London Article; Brianna did "waste time & resources" with false accusations against a county officials through a campaign designed to draw attention before filing a report - Sourced: 1, 2, 3 each stating how Wu was trying to "shame" the attorney into action.
The headline on bizjournals continues the false narrative; Brianna Wu did not contact this person nor did she report anything to the police - but the headline still reads, "GamerGate in Columbus: City attorney's office notified of death threats". Your preferred source is in conflict, not Breitbart(dotcom). Not only did they publish a falsehood, they updated it without confirmation with the Prosecutor ... They took Brianna's word for it.
NOTE: I'm responding to your claims out of civility, but it's leaning off-topic by focusing on Brianna Wu. The issue is "reliability" and again must be noted that Breitbart Corporation is a GLOBAL NEWS SYNDICATE. A much larger more resourceful attribute than the very articles used to discredit it. You're asking to disqualify Breitbart UK, Breitbart US, Breitbart Cairo, Breitbart Egypt & Breitbart Jerusalem.
Breitbart has been lauded for it's role in the "evolution of pioneering websites" including Huffington Post & The Drudge Report. Journalists such as Nick Gillespie & Conor Friedersdorf have credited Breitbart(dotcom) with bringing new voices to debates about politics and culture. Breitbart(dotcom) websites have been both "criticized & praised" for their role in various political issues - Sourced: Atlantic,CNN, and National Journal. You're favoring the criticism while ignoring praise. That's personal bias to equate your decisions. --j0eg0d (talk) 08:20, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
In considering those three sources, they certainly praise Brietbart the person for his aggressiveness in developing websites to allow voices from outside the center view to report news and opinions, no question. But they do not praise the sites themselves beyond the fact what they exist to do. They in fact point out that the Brietbart series of websites are potentially controversial, and point to a defamation lawsuit raised to one of the sites. This doesn't reinforce any concept that these sites are reliable sources for reporting. In taking the GG story, one of the stories you linked showed that the author/site followed up with the agency in question to verify that Wu spoke with them, though they did not say if there was a case filed or not. In other words, they verified Wu's story. That's fact checking that reliable sources need to have, which Brietbart has not shown. Hence why Brietbart is only as good for its opinions for topics, but not for news. --MASEM (t) 14:05, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
For Wikipedia's aims, I am more of an inclusionist when it comes to sources. Despite whatever flaws Breitbart has, it seems to me that it is at least as newsy or newsier than The Mary Sue which is included as a reliable source for some things, so why not Breitbart for some things too? Surely they can at least be used to report quotes accurately? (talk) 15:47, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Does a differing view on the same stories detract from reliability? In this story we're currently talking about the Breitbart piece makes no assertion of its own. They reference an email from the attorney's office as the source of their information. It does appear to be a solid news piece. In fact, if you read the last 2 paragraphs, you'll see that they've taken a neutral position, saying that the threats and harassment have been from both sides. But neutral positions are generally equated as pro-gamergate positions and as such are considered unreliable.
But seriously, what does it take to be considered a RS nowadays? It seems like a paradox. The only way to become a RS is to have already been an RS in the first place.TyTyMang (talk) 16:25, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
My point is not so much on their views when they are clear and obvious op-eds - there is no reason to necessarily discount Brietbart opinions as part of significant opinions. But when it comes to factual reporting without clearly stating it is an op ed, and where we have other sources to compare against, they do a lot of spinning of the news to present it in a certain light, adding in commentary where it should not be if they want to be taken as a serious factual source. Hence why it currently fails RS for news itself. I think it's fine to use Brietbart opinions as such, but we have to avoid the news spin stories. --MASEM (t) 16:44, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
It is not impossible that Breitbart will improve in quality as a source however I would suggest that we wait a few years to see what they actually do. They are starting from a very low point and at the very least we would need to see their behavior through an election cycle before any claims to improvements could be considered credible.©Geni (talk) 16:39, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
To be honest, it's baffling that some consider Breitbart less reliable than similar quality opinion driven tabloid trash like the Guardian. The problem is not the exclusion of Breitbart, its the inclusion of the Guardian et al. (talk) 18:23, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
To be honest, it's baffling that some people think an ideology-driven website with a reputation for gross factual errors, distortions and outright falsehoods, and no reputation whatsoever for fact checking or corrections, is in any way comparable to any news gathering organisation that does fact-check and print corrections where warranted, whatever its political hue. Breitbart is less reliable than Fox News. That is quite an achievement. Guy (Help!) 16:18, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Breitbart is a fast growing news organization. From their site: "Founded in 2005 by conservative icon Andrew Breitbart, Breitbart News Network is the biggest source of breaking news and analysis, thought-leading commentary, and original reporting curated and written specifically for the new generation of independent and conservative thinkers. Known for hard hitting, no holds-barred journalism along with world-class aggregation, Breitbart News is growing rapidly. The company recently added bureaus in London, Texas, and California, and is currently in the process of launching additional bureaus and verticals." It is a professionally managed news corporation that has been around for 10 years now. I suggest the opinions are reliable for their opinions, and their reporting is as reliable as other such entities (HuffPost, etc.) Capitalismojo (talk) 18:54, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

Not as such, no. It may one day soon become as reliable as Fox News. And then, if they keep up that trajectory, they might reach the level of the New York Times shortly before the heat death of the universe. Guy (Help!) 16:19, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
Please try not to be so incendiary in your rhetoric, also the universe is just as likely, if not more so, to continue to expand. Arzel (talk) 17:21, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
This is a site that hired James Delingpole to improve its credibility. Delingpole is a widely-derided climate change denier {Redacted}. Whatever might be claimed about Breitbart's intended path to legitimacy, it continues to place itself squarely in the realm of right-wing propaganda.machinery. Any story that's covered on Breitbart that is not also covered in substantially more reliable sources, is either grossly misrepresented (per the Sherrod case), blatantly fraudulent (per the ACORN videos) or insignificant. It takes a looooooong time for any news publisher to claw its way back from that kind of depth of contempt, if it is even possible. Right now the USP seems to be that they are more Tea Party than Faux News.
Any story which has been reported in more reliable sources, should be referenced from those instead. And the reason we have this request, is in order to promote an agenda in a content dispute where there is a superabundance of polemical and unreliable sources. This is a pointless request and pretty much disruptive. Guy (Help!) 18:18, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
"is in any way comparable to any news gathering organisation that does fact-check and print corrections where warranted, whatever its political hue." So why is the Guardian a reliable source? You didn't answer the question Guy. (talk) 10:29, 28 May 2015 (UTC)

Updating The 2010 Archive 84
Proposal of a Secondary Resolution: Apologies for any facetiousness, but this begs to question ... If Breitbart(dotcom) is the "unreliable source" founded by Community Consensus; Then this conclusion must demand Wikipedia to remove every source of Brietbart(dotcom) from every WIKI page that presents it as a RELIABLE source. How many articles is that(?) Do you imagine? Masem, BusterD, TyTyMang, Geni, Capitalismojo, JzG, Arzel, &
--j0eg0d (talk) 02:28, 28 May 2015 (UTC)

Viable vs reliable are two different things. Reliable means we can't use it for factual claims, particularly contentious ones, but this does not mean that op-eds they publish may be useful as secondary sources for opinions as long as UNDUE/FRINGE is respected. --MASEM (t) 02:48, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
As it stands; Anyone may (and do) claim contemptibles, actualities, "fringe news" or "poor sourcing" for anything. Who decides on-the-spot definitions? - Let's pretend I didn't use the word "viable" ... You realize there's a tremendous amount of Breitbart(dotcom) sourcing throughout Wikipedia. Refusing one "reliability" as a consensus means the altering of "several" pages with "several" group & individual complaints. An educated guess foresees a long battle to conclude a totality of sources that ARE or ARE-NOT reliable; Especially considering opinion pieces from Huffington Post, Gawker, The Daily Beast, The Mary Sue, Salon, etc ... Will also be on the table for concurrent rulings. Do we want or need that? --j0eg0d (talk) 03:19, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
A quick check with AWB shows that only 97 pages on have links, and the majority of those pages are people that are connected to the site, or situations where Brietbart is a major factor in the situation (such as the ACORN videos). As such, this isn't as widespread as suggested. --MASEM (t) 04:08, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
In Content alone, there's 342 URLs and in Everything there's 846. But rather than diverting off-topic; Can we resolve the questions? --j0eg0d (talk) 04:41, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
  • There's no way it makes sense to argue this has yet gained a widespread reputation for factual accuracy and fact checking - as noted above this so far remains an all spin and no substance propaganda machine which wikipedia can well manage without. --nonsense ferret 11:01, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
Textbook questionable source, has a reputation of poor fact-checking and making inaccurate claims:
- Strongjam (talk) 21:00, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
  • has been discussed many many times... so please look in the archives before we discuss it yet again. The fact is, no news source is ever 100% reliable or 100% unreliable. Individual stories within the news source, or individual facts within a story can be challenged as being inaccurate (and thus unreliable)... but not the publication as a whole. Reliability always needs to be evaluated in context... we always need to look at how the source is being used. The same source can be completely reliable when supporting one statement, and completely unreliable when used to support a different statement. Blueboar (talk) 21:30, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes of course, its the warm feeling we get in our tummy that tells us when to use it ;) --nonsense ferret 21:35, 28 May 2015 (UTC)

Many of you are ignoring the obvious; These URL sources that refute reliability of Breitbart(dotcom) are FIRST alluding to Andrew Breitbart & his BigGovernment blog ... not Breitbart(dotcom) itself. Breitbart(dotcom) came after the BigGovernment blog - They aren't the same thing. SECONDLY the man Andrew Breitbart has been deceased for 3 years. He doesn't contribute to Breitbart(dotcom) or manage it's global syndication. My observation is recognizing political separations here; Breitbart(dotcom) certainly leans towards conservative views and it's understandable that liberal ideologies (Washington Post, NY Times, ETC) would argue "merit". Politics encourages this discourse, but it isn't Wikipedia's policy to pick sides. --j0eg0d (talk) 08:44, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

  • Breitbart has a long and sordid history of publishing falsehoods, misrepresentations and outright fabrications, as is thoroughly detailed above. It is the opposite of a reliable source, and perhaps the canonical example of such on Wikipedia. The fact that they are "conservative" is a red herring; a similarly-liberal-leaning outlet would similarly be rejected as a reliable source if it repeatedly and unrepentantly made flagrant and clearly-ideologically-motivated factual errors or fabrications targeting people or beliefs the outlet has disagreements with. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 09:13, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

Law School Transparency[edit]

Leaving aside the rather hysterical thread above, Law School Transparency actually does not appear to be a reliable source, and does appear to have been systematically added against Wikipedia guidelines. It's a campaigning website, in the end, and I'm not seeing much evidence that it is widely regarded as an authority of sufficient significance to be added to this many articles. Put simply, there is good reaosn to think that LST wants to (and does) use Wikipedia to promote its cause, and weak evidence if any at all that including its links improves our articles. Guy (Help!) 16:25, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

Hi Guy, I'm the executive director of LST. I encourage you to view our website to learn more about our organization. The coordinated effort to edit law school Wikipedia pages was not done by anybody affiliated with LST. Once I learned of it, I offered help so that they did the best job possible. Our mission, much like Wikipedia's, is to put information in people's hands. Insofar that we want our information on the site should be no surprise. Nevertheless, it was not an LST effort.
We are widely cited by the traditional and legal press. From the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and NPR to the National Law Journal and ABA Journal, our research and our policy proposals are cited because we are careful, professional, and accurate. Moreover, I encourage you to look at all of our press coverage and all of the columns and law review articles we have written. LST is a group of experts and we are clear about what issues we address and why.
One final note. We think we know who Unemployed Northeastern (on Wikipedia) is, and he is impersonating an individual who writes under that handle on many publications that cover legal education reform. Another account was also just created on Wikipedia that impersonates a well known reform advocate, Steven J Harper. sjharper_belly is the name on Wikipedia I believe, and he edited the LST Wikipedia page but it is not the real SJH. Kyle McEntee (talk) 19:21, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
@Kyle McEntee: Hi Kyle. It seems you have chosen to edit under your real name. You can do this per WP:REALNAME. Please be advised, however, discussing or commenting on the real-world identity of others like you did above is something that you should avoid doing per WP:OUTING. Since you are new, you probably were not aware of this, but continuing to do so could lead an administrator to immediately block your account. If you have COI concerns about other editors, please feel free to discuss them at WP:COIN. Just trying to make you aware of relevant policy.Face-smile.svg - Marchjuly (talk) 21:53, 27 May 2015 (UTC))
@Marchjuly: Thanks for linking me. It's not clear to me that it's a COI concern, I will have to read about that more. My concern here is that the user is impersonating a real person rather than who the impersonator is. While there likely is a COI due to who the impersonator is, I'd rather argue LST's reliability case on the merits, I hope that makes sense. I did think it was relevant to say that an impersonation is happening and that I have confirmed it to be the case. Kyle McEntee (talk) 21:59, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
As noted above by Epeefleche, LST has been treated as a reliable source for for factual propositions relating to law school employment outcomes by a number of typically reliable sources in non-opinion pieces. I'm thinking specifically of Forbes,[1] the New York Times,[2] and U.S. News.[3] I think including the employment score statistic improves articles. I am less convinced that the debt figures do. I'm open to persuasion based on something other than a editor's personal opinion (or that of any one blogger) in either direction, however.


Sneekypat (talk) 19:45, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
(@Sneekypat: Hi Sneekypat. Please use Template:Reflist-talk if you're going to use the <ref>...</ref> markup to add links to your posts. The template helps prevent the links from being pushed to the bottom of the page and being mixed in with other references cited in other (perhaps unreleated) posts. Thanks. Face-smile.svg -Marchjuly (talk) 21:39, 27 May 2015 (UTC))
Read Wikipedia:Conflict of interest. As executive director of LST, you should not be adding links to LST to Wikipedia at all - and neither should you be 'helping' others to do so. AndyTheGrump (talk) 19:50, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
@Sneekypat:, in an effort to fully explain the projected debt figures, which prospective law students find very valuable, here is a page that helps explain them: You can click a school name there to see additional debt scenarios.
@AndyTheGrump:, I recently read the policy and have avoided editing anything since that time. But let me clarify the minimal edits that I did -- I did not add any pages or content, but I did add an internal link to Law School Transparency to a handful of pages (10?). This is something the others were doing but some did not do. The "helping" I referred to was to ensure accurate numbers, but we never did that and we won't do it now that I know it's inappropriate. All of that said, I do believe the appropriateness of adding links is not relevant to whether we're a reliable source. I appreciate Wikipedia's reasonable rule there. Kyle McEntee (talk) 21:20, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
@Kyle McEntee: How would you address the primary reliability issue being raised, that being the assertion that LST provides a more positive evaluation of law schools that pay fees sought by LST? bd2412 T 14:47, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
@Bd2412: That it is patently false. We do not and have not taken money from law schools. On our website, all data are systematically presented according to a very clearly defined and explained methodology. On Wikipedia, we did not enter any data but from what I have seen people entered info just by looking at our site. I can't tell you how frustrating it is to be accused of something so unseemly and absurd. We are a nationally recognized organization for the high quality work we do and did to reform law schools behaving in unbelievably unethical manners. Nobody credible claims otherwise. If the claims were credible, I wouldn't field calls from every major news outlet on a routine basis.
@Kyle McEntee: I think the concerns are in reference to the "certification" that LST had on its website a few years back[1]. I think it would be helpful to me, and maybe others, if you spoke to that a little. Sneekypat (talk) 17:00, 29 May 2015 (UTC)


@Sneekypat: We did not end up doing the program. It's too bad though -- the program was a good idea and we had support from a number of schools. Even folks at the ABA thought it was a nice way to increase disclosure. You can read the full explanation behind the program here: As with any certification system, there are administrative costs that need to be covered. That is the norm. The comparison to extortion was humorous -- it's a legal term that several (and I mean only several) law professors could not (ironically) wrap their heads around. The typical hallmark of extortion is that the party getting paid creates the problem. But we were trying to address a problem that law schools created for the legal profession, so it was actually quite the opposite. Nevertheless, we did not end up doing the program -- so whatever the description somebody wants to make of it, it's not an active project and we will not make it active. Kyle McEntee (talk) 21:18, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
  • 2 discussions, in excess of 12,500 words (according to the word counter on Word), and I'm starting to wonder if there is any sort of light at the end of this tunnel. Niteshift36 (talk) 17:31, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

Reynolds and Reynolds[edit]


I am writing with regard to the article Reynolds and Reynolds in response to a view held by User: that a particular line in the article should be removed.

The content concerned is as follows:

A 2008 report by the employer rating site Glassdoor ranked Reynolds and Reynolds the third lowest rated company based on employee satisfaction.

The source used is [8]

His view is apparently based on the help provided at Wikipedia:Reliable_sources/Noticeboard/ which suggested that does not serve as a reliable source. My interpretation is any public-edible content on cannot be used as a reliable source. In this case, however, the source made use of a collation of content from as a large scale analysis, is published by the official team and cannot be edited by the public. The statement is also factually correct and well supported by the source. As such in this case, it should be treated as a reliable source.

As the user is unable to agree with me on this ([9]) and continue to revert my attempts of reverting his edits to remove the line ([10]), I would appreciate if somebody should offer some help with that regard.

- Andrew Y talk 16:09, 28 May 2015 (UTC)

Can't answer your question re. Glassdoor, but you might like to look at this. Quote: "At the end of 2008, published its company ratings based on employee satisfaction. (C.R. 123-29; R.R. 560-65). R & R ranked third worst with a 2.0% overall rating and Brockman had an 8% CEO approval rating." That's from a submission to the Texas Supreme Court. Doesn't make Glassdoor reliable, but lawyers acting for the relator in this case presumably had some confidence that it was reliable enough for a court to consider. QuiteUnusual (talk) 17:10, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for your input. I have forwarded the link over to the user concerned and hopefully in this case I am successfully convince the editor concerned that this is indeed in some context a reliable source. At the mean time, any definite opinion on this issue is very much welcomed. - Andrew Y talk 17:24, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
It is attributed here, and Glassdoor is definitely a reliable source for its own statements. Dental plan / lisa needs braces! 22:24, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
I disagree. That submission was from a man bringing suit against R&R, who would have an interest in including as much negative information about the company as possible. His use of that survey says nothing for its reliability. Again, the survey is something that is taken by self-selected employees or former employees, not through any scientific process. There is no vetting of the results whatsoever. (talk) 14:48, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

Bateman and NGR[edit]


I am submitting Robert Bateman's "No Gun Ri: A Military History of the Korean War Incident" for consideration. As of 2015, the book has been at the center of a very heated and prolonged debate on No Gun Ri Massacre, which has led to ban attempts and undoubtedly frightened off many editors. This book has been submitted previously here, but little input was given.

I would greatly appreciate any and all input by editors uninvolved in the NGR dispute.

GeneralizationsAreBad (talk) 20:12, 28 May 2015 (UTC)

The book is published by Stackpole Books and has been well received. Some reviews:

  • Journal of Cold War Studies
  • Professor David Sneed Despite these few minor problems, Bateman has written a book that should be a valuable resource for scholars, the media, and the general public. He reveals the pitfalls of drawing conclusions from incomplete investigations and shows how true historical research should be conducted.
  • James Irving Matray, The Journal of Military History Bateman skillfully uses photos, forensics, and numbers to make his case.
  • Airpower and Space Journal Anyone interested in military history should read this book not only to learn the facts, but also to become familiar with a primer to the genre. Bateman’s intertwining of the disciplines of military history and investigative journalism results in a decent how-to book for anyone interested in knowing how a military history is crafted. In so doing, he presents a course in critical reading of inestimable value.

Just adding some of the reviews. WeldNeck (talk) 20:17, 28 May 2015 (UTC)

The reviews, mostly in military periodicals, were by people, often military men, with scant knowledge of the subject (the U.S. Army’s massacre of South Korean civilians in 1950), but with a built-in bias and a mistaken assumption that the writer was operating in good faith. It was published by a low-quality, Pentagon-affiliated publisher, with a retired Army colonel as his editor. The writer is a veteran of the 7th Cavalry Regiment, the very unit responsible for the No Gun Ri Massacre, is active in the regimental association, and was quoted in the Washington Post after the news report was issued confirming the No Gun Ri Massacre in 1999 that he would “expose” the Associated Press journalists who brought disrepute upon “my regiment,” as he sometimes referred to the 7th Cav.
His book is a jaw-dropping accumulation of appalling omissions, inventions, distortions, self-contradictions, misreadings of military documents, and other serious errors and untruths, as he mounts his polemic against the AP. The multi-member AP team that spent months researching No Gun Ri, and won a Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting for their work, found more than 100 examples of such serious untruths and other problems in the book, and wrote a 10,000-word critique detailing them (available by emailing me at
In summary, however, any one of the following five salient points should disqualify this book from consideration as a reliable source:
1) Incredibly for someone claiming to do "historical research" on a mass killing, Bateman totally ignores the victims, having made no effort to contact Korean survivors and other Korean witnesses. Nor did he visit Korea and the scene of the killings. In fact, without ever speaking with them, he denigrates the Korean survivors, people whose accounts have been corroborated by U.S. Army veterans, as liars and frauds.
2) He quotes a mere four U.S. veterans who were at No Gun Ri, and quotes none on such key points as casualty estimates and fire orders. The AP team interviewed 26 ex-soldier witnesses, many of whom remembered large numbers of Korean dead and on-scene orders to fire.
3) He ignores a series of orders in writing, found at the National Archives, in which high-ranking U.S. commanders in mid-1950 ordered civilian South Korean refugees shot.
4) He conceals from readers the fact that the 7th Cavalry journal that would have recorded on-scene orders to shoot the No Gun Ri refugees is missing from the National Archives. Instead, he falsely suggests he has reviewed all relevant documents and no such orders existed.
5) He claims to have established that "two guerrillas" were among the refugees. His sole basis for that is a cited document that shows nothing of the sort, an unrelated document he hijacks for his purposes, and whose contents he carefully avoids sharing with his readers.
In connection with No. 5, WP contributors can perform a one-minute exercise to see the deception themselves, by going to the italicized passages beginning “What follows,” which explains and links to the hijacked document, here Talk:No Gun Ri Massacre#Maybe we need to set some ground rules
In addition, a concise, dispassionate, informed critique of the Bateman book was made at WP by a Ph.D. candidate who has done extensive research on No Gun Ri and similar Korean War incidents, and who details a series of severe flaws, concluding, “One of the above flaws alone ought to render any work of research seriously compromised.” His contribution begins “Speaking as a PHD candidate” at Talk:No Gun Ri Massacre/Archive 5#The other POV
Bateman's self-contradictions alone (in one chapter he’ll claim, ridiculously, the massacre didn’t happen, and two chapters later lay out his scenario, “the truth,” of how it happened, and on and on) would make this volume laughable, if it were not so tragic. This 7th Cavalry Regiment booster should never be considered a reliable source on a 7th Cavalry war crime. Thank you. Charles J. Hanley 22:44, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
With all due respect to both, I am aware of your opinions on Bateman; I am trying to seek outside opinions. GeneralizationsAreBad (talk) 23:40, 28 May 2015 (UTC)

This source was previously considered at the RS noticeboard Wikipedia:Reliable_sources/Noticeboard/Archive_153#No_Gun_Ri:_A_Military_History_of_the_Korean_War_Incident with an additional comment after archiving Wikipedia:Reliable_sources/Noticeboard/Archive_154#No_Gun_Ri.2C_Bateman_book.--Wikimedes (talk) 08:43, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

The links and "exercise" in my posting above, clearly demonstrating the book's fraudulent documentation, were posted just so "outsiders" can see for themselves that the book is grossly untrustworthy, no matter the author. But in this case the author is a 7th Cavalry Regiment veteran and regimental association member and booster who is trying to blow a smokescreen over a 7th Cavalry Regiment war crime. That glaring conflict alone (even aside from the book's outrageous falsehoods, self-contradictions etc.) disqualifies the book as anything close to reliable. The "outsiders" don't have the book on their shelves, and so must be informed in this way. Thanks. Charles J. Hanley 12:57, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── As an outside observer who had not even heard of the No Gun Ri Massacre before this moment, i just spent half an hour reading this section, some of the reviews, and much of the talk page at the article itself. I see that this is a very contentious issue about interpretation and representation of reality on Wikipedia, where the reality itself is contested. There are passionate voices on both "sides" so we have a polarized conflict here. I think it is very important to listen carefully to the different voices, and to work to depolarize as much as possible among the editors, and to use sources that are not essentially aligned with one side or the other of the contested reality. When a source that is clearly on one "side" is used, then it should be framed as a controversial and contested source, and not used on the same level as another source that is not so contested. The article itself should describe the controversy about the incident as clearly and neutrally as possible, instead of pretending that there is no controversy over what occurred, with a behind-the-scenes tug-of-war constantly going on over the content. I think it's better to admit and describe a controversy in an article, than to engage in it within Wikipedia itself, when possible. My reading on Bateman's book is that it seems to have been written with an agenda, a desired outcome, and to have the smell of a cherry-picking biased piece of work, rather than someone coming to the incident and controversy with an open mind. Mind you, this is all based on reading several reviews and googling the book and author for 10 minutes. It's my outsider's bird's-eye-view. If any specific claim must be sourced to Bateman's book, i'd assume it's because it's not reported by any other source. I'd prefer that other sources be used in the article's claims, and that anything sourced solely to Bateman's book, if anything, be clearly attributed with a note on the controversial nature of the book and the apparent conflict of interest of the author of the book in relation to the subject matter. There's definitely serious contention about what happened in reality, here, and i think it's very important for the article to embody that, so that readers get the sense of the controversy. It's important for the article not to buy into one "side" of the controversy, and also for the relative weight of differing versions to be accurately represented, so that a fringe theory does not become central to the article if that is indeed the case, but so that valid critiques are not omitted either. I know, that's a tall order from an outside observer, and maybe it won't help much. I have been in a couple of heated debates about what to include in a congtroversial article, and from this, i know the importance of good dialogue, and having fair-minded outsiders providing some help or commentary, and i hope i may have helped. SageRad (talk) 14:06, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

YouTube links in List of armed groups in the Syrian Civil War[edit]

There are quite a few YouTube links being cited as reiable sources in this article. They are not in English so I can't say for sure if they are acceptable as reliable sources per WP:RS. It's hard to tell if these are official YT news channels or simply videos uploaded by somebody connected to the groups. Some of the videos seem to have been removed from YT whicb might mean there were copyright issues. Regardless, the few I've watched seem to be statements made by various groups which might be a problem per WP:NOTSOAP. I am interested in hearing the opinions of others on this. Thanks in adavnce. - Marchjuly (talk) 22:10, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

While it might be useful to post the links that concern you in particular, I've just checked through some of the YT links used as refs for the article, and the accounts have been suspended. One, which still exists, certainly bears all the hallmarks of being an unofficial account.
Nevertheless, there in an inherent problem with such lists (and there are a number of similar lists in Wikipedia), being that WP:BIASED sources may often be the only sources we have. What this inevitably leads to is being able to confirm that these armed groups meet with verifiability. Anyone can get together with a few friends and post a video to YT (i.e., for all we know, these are a group of local librarians who borrowed weapons from some friends and shot the video). This doesn't mean that they are genuine 'players', nor does it mean that anyone outside of themselves considers them to be a significant group, meaning that such entries are misleading to readers. Unless it can be verified that they are actually considered to be significant via other sources, all we are presenting is journalism rather than an encyclopaedic list. For such purposes, I would be compelled to invoke WP:NOTRS. If there are no other sources to back up anything other than the fact that they are self-proclaimed groups, they should be removed. If users wish to reintroduce them, the WP:BURDEN lies with them. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 01:01, 30 May 2015 (UTC)[edit]

Is this article website a reliable source for the following statement made in the article for Diyarbakır.

According to a November 2006 survey by the Sur Municipality, one of Diyarbakır's metropolitan municipalities, 72% of the inhabitants of the municipality use Kurdish most often in their daily speech, followed by Turkish, with small minorities of Assyrians, Armenians and Yezidis still resident.

I am mainly interested in the accuracy of the 72% statistic as some editors are arguing that no one in Diyarbakır speaks Kurdish. A machine translation gives "What language most spoken in our daily lives we?' 72 percent of respondents to the question of Kurdish, 24 percent of Turkish" but it is difficult for me to evaluate the validity of the source as I do not speak Turkish, but I would like to know if this source is reliable. Thank you for your assistance. Winner 42 Talk to me! 02:16, 30 May 2015 (UTC)

I don't speak Turkish, either, but with regards to the publisher, (Hürriyet / Hürriyet Daily News), it would appear to be a leftist-ish and not affiliated with the Turkish government. While WP:WINARS applies to the Wikipedia articles, there are English language sources used for the latter article which would suggest that it's a WP:BIASED source that, given the discussion on the talk page of the article, there is ample evidence demonstrating that Kurdish is undoubtedly spoken in Diyarbakır. As regards the article, unless there is any indication the 'Sur Belediyesi Alan Anket Kitabı' (that is, the poll) isn't reliable. I don't see it as being a problem introducing it using WP:INLINE attribution. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 05:19, 30 May 2015 (UTC)

Help with verifying sources?[edit]

I came across the draft Draft:John Harrison Finger - Mr. Walk America, which had some issues with sourcing. There are a ton of sources, but none of them have any links. A lot of the coverage is from the 1940s through the 1980s, before the Internet really became a thing. If the sources can be verified in some format then that would help establish notability given the length of coverage over time. The article's creator, Walking High Point, is more than happy to e-mail us the articles but I don't know that this is really something that would solve the issue. Maybe they could upload them somewhere like a website? I know that sometimes we can use uploaded newspaper articles if they show the full newspaper information like this one does. I don't know if this is something WP:ORTS does, but maybe he could file a ticket with them verifying that the clippings are legit? There's got to be something we can do. Tokyogirl79 (。◕‿◕。) 03:50, 30 May 2015 (UTC)

I share the concern, Tokyo. But don't our rules require us to AgF on such sources saying what they are purported to say? Epeefleche (talk) 18:39, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
There is no requirement that sources be on-line (see: WP:SOURCEACCESS). I assume the sources that are cited in the draft are old newspaper articles? If so, they can be verified by going to any major city library (where they will be available either on micro-film, or in paper hard copy). Blueboar (talk) 19:03, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
See WP:OFFLINE on this. We should assume good faith, but I don't think it's unreasonable to ask the editor who adds them to provide more details, such as quoting relevant parts of the text. However, I don't think there's any requirement for editors to oblige such requests (especially if there are concerns about copyright). If the particular editor in this case is happy to e-mail the sources to anyone querying them, I don't see that there is a problem here. Cordless Larry (talk) 19:11, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
Added links to one article available at, and another available through ProQuest (subscription required). Worldbruce (talk) 17:19, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
  • That's good to know- I didn't think that we could verify a source just be getting them via an email. Tokyogirl79 (。◕‿◕。) 06:12, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
    • Just to reiterate my point above, I don't think the person who adds the source is in any way obliged to help you verify it by e-mail. Unless I've misunderstood the policy, it's up to anyone questioning what the sources say to verify them for themselves. For newspapers, Nexis is a very good resource, and your local library may well have a subscription to it. Cordless Larry (talk) 08:08, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
  • My understanding is the same as that of Cordless and Blueboar, above. Epeefleche (talk) 21:46, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

Tree-Ring Services[edit]

Can Tree-Ring Services be used to supplement architectural dating info provided by Historic England? The article in question is Denham, Buckinghamshire, and the text that this source is/was being used to support is "Analysis of a sample of timbers from the main building and its associated barn have found that they were felled in the winters of 1472/3 and 1473/4, indicating that the relevant parts of the building were erected in 1474 or soon after". Because this info is different to the dating given by Historic England, and because Tree-Ring Services is a commercial site that is advertising its service and I wasn't sure of its reliability, I removed the text and ref (diff). There is a brief discussion, with extra detail from another editor (Brixtonhill), here. PaleCloudedWhite (talk) 07:02, 30 May 2015 (UTC)

Both sources can be cited. Tree Ring Services appears to be a respected and professional service - see the list of research publications in scholarly journals at . The Historic England date was based on stylistic features and the tree ring date should be considered an additional, more precise, date.Martinlc (talk) 11:05, 30 May 2015 (UTC)

Is "Family Security Matters" a reliable source?[edit]

Ran into this group reading American Islamic Forum for Democracy trying to figure out who Timothy Furnish is.[11] Wondered if we had an article on it. We don't, but it's used quite a bit as a source.[12] In Muslims Against Crusades it's used as a source for statements about two living people. The source is [13] and is written by the editor. It starts "Forget notions of freedom of speech in Britain. Freedom of speech, if it does still exist in that Godforsaken country, is now subject to cultural relativism." I haven't looked any further yet, but that looks pretty dubious as a source. Doug Weller 14:30, 30 May 2015 (UTC)

Looks to be a pretty reliable source, given the times it's been used here. That article you cited does look like an opinion editorial rather than a neutral news report, but they can still be used as sources. SpeedDemon520 (talk) 15:06, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
I can point you to plenty of unreliable sources that are used many times here, SpeedDemon520! According to this, "FSM associates often voice discredited conspiracy theories, including casting doubt on the birthplace of President Barack Obama and stoking alarm about the spread of 'sharia law' in the United States". It sounds pretty WP:FRINGE to me. Cordless Larry (talk) 15:41, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
Absolutely unreliable blog and fringe. GregJackP Boomer! 06:26, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
Looks like we may need to go through and check all the articles where it's been used. Doug Weller 08:04, 31 May 2015 (UTC) appears to be another of his blogs. I don't have a problem in using articles he has published in peer-reviewed journals, but his blogs are over the top. His book also appears to be fringe based on reviews in peer-reviewed journals. GregJackP Boomer! 14:59, 31 May 2015 (UTC)

Kirkus Reviews[edit]

I wanted to know whether Kirkus Reviews in general, and this one in particular, are considered reliable sources for the articles about the books they are reviewing (in this case, A Son Called Gabriel). Everymorning talk 17:58, 31 May 2015 (UTC)

Yes. Note that they publish "book reviews". Choor monster (talk) 18:03, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
How does one tell which ones are paid reviews on that site? --nonsense ferret 18:05, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
The paid reviews should be marked as such with the text "Kirkus Indie". (They don't always do this conspicuously so check carefully for reviews produced after 2009.) —Psychonaut (talk) 18:14, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
There are presently two kinds of reviews published by Kirkus. Traditional Kirkus reviews (which include all the reviews they published between 1933 and 2009) were produced professionally and independently of the publishers, so there is little doubt that they meet our criteria for reliability. However, in 2009 they introduced a new, parallel business model known as "Kirkus Indie" in which they offer reviews for hire. It is debatable whether or not these reviews can be considered reliable, as they are written only at the behest of the author or publisher (though Kirkus claims that this has no bearing on the actual content or opinion of the review). See Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard/Archive 180#Kirkus Reviews for further discussion.
The particular review you've linked to is from 2004. It predates the Kirkus Indie business model and so should be considered reliable. —Psychonaut (talk) 18:13, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
There is a difference between reliability and notability. The reviews are reliable, but they might be poor indicators of notability. It's like questioning whether a book was on a certain best-seller list or not, when what you meant to ask was whether there were rigged sales. Choor monster (talk) 18:21, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes, Kirkus from 2004 is reliable, and perfectly suitable for the indicated book article. Binksternet (talk) 06:38, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Siskel and Ebert[edit]

A particular user has been going on adding the link called to various film related article's EL section. While being reverted the user edit wars and in one of the article, Madonna: Truth or Dare he left this message on the talk page. Can you guys help me out with the validity of these statements? —Indian:BIO [ ChitChat ] 04:26, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

I'm not sure if we can say whether he owns the website or not. It looks like it's only being added as an external link so I'm not sure what we can do here at RSN. Perhaps a better place to discuss it would be first at Talk:Madonna: Truth or Dare as to how the link pertains specifically to that article per WP:ELBURDEN and then possibly at WP:ELN if local discussion leads nowhere. The other editor has been already warned twice about this on their talk page and a thread has been opened up about them at, so if they refuse to discuss or continue to add the link then they will eventually be blocked. - Marchjuly (talk) 05:12, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Thanks a lot for giving direction. —Indian:BIO [ ChitChat ] 05:36, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
  • The website purposely hosts copyrighted material. Their whole purpose is to copy Siskel and Ebert reviews that were aired on TV, so of course each segment is copyrighted by the producers. There's NO WAY we can link to it. Binksternet (talk) 05:51, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Thanks Binksternet for the clarification. That's pretty much the definitive answer you need IndianBio. The site cannot be linked to at all per WP:COPYLINK so I'm pretty sure all you need to do is reference that if the other editor tries to argue to the contrary. If the other editor continues to link the material despite being warned, they will eventually be blocked by an admin. - Marchjuly (talk) 06:28, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
In a discussion on my talk page, the editor in question, Firstmagnitude, acknowledges that he does not have written permission from the legal copyright holders to host these old Siskal and Ebert review videos. I have warned the editor in the clearest possible terms. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 06:38, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Please remove all links to -- thank you! Firstmagnitude — Preceding unsigned comment added by Firstmagnitude (talkcontribs) 15:44, 1 June 2015 (UTC+9)

Yes check.svg Done Cullen328 Let's discuss it 06:59, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Author Mary Cawkell[edit]

Mary Cawkell (2001). The History of the Falkland Islands. Anthony Nelson. ISBN 978-0-904614-55-8. 

Mary Cawkell (1983). The Falkland Story, 1592-1982. A. Nelson. ISBN 978-0-904614-08-4. 

M. B. R. Cawkell (1960). The Falkland Islands: By M.B.R. Cawkell, D. H. Maling and E. M. Cawkell. Macmillan. 

Mary Cawkell is a British historian who has written a number of books about the Falkland Islands.

Her first book, published in 1960 by Macmillan, [14], a publishing house noted for producing science and education texts.

Her later works, were published by Anthony Nelson, as a publisher they appear to be now defunct. However, [15] a search on AbeBooks shows mainly academic works.

Mary Cawkell died in 2001, whilst her last book was being published. Her obituary[16] noted:

She is quoted in the Bibliography of virtually every book that has been written on the Falkland Islands [17] of all nationalities. Its widely used on wikipedia Falkland Islands, History of the Falkland Islands, Luis Vernet, Matthew Brisbane, Antonina Roxa to name but a few.

As an author and published works, I have not seen any secondary source criticise her work for inaccuracy.

I now have an Argentine editor, asserting this work is unreliable. His reasons include:

1. "Her book was published with the support of the British Government, in fact Sir Rex Hunt wrote its foreword."

This is untrue, it had no support from the British Government, Sir Rex Hunt wrote the foreword as a private individual following his retirement.

2. "I realized Mary Cawkell was an amateur local historian, an therefore to be used with care."

In fact, a professional journalist, who happened to specialise on Falklands history due to a personal connection.

3. Talk:History of the Falkland Islands#Recent Revert a long and tortuous comment but basically alleging differences between her 1960 work and 2001 edition mean her work is "amateurish" and "unreliable".

The facts in both works are consistent, but whilst the 1960 edition focused on Luis Vernet the 2001 edition focused more on Lt Smith (a work in progress in my sandpit). However, it would not be unusual for a later work to included updated information based on later research and even if there were a conflict (there isn't) that is not reason to infer those conclusions.

I have to note that there is nationalist motive usually in these claims, since he is attempting to assert Mary Cawkell to be unreliable, remove cites and then declare the work to be uncited and on that basis remove certain information it seems he considers detrimental to Argentina's sovereignty claim. Example, he wishes to remove any mention of Luis Vernet's dealing with the British after 1833. See History of the Falkland Islands#British colonisation.

I am tired of this constant and endless argumentation based on criticism by speculation and the personal opinions of this editor. I would simply like to get on with the works in my sandpit. Whilst I have no wish to drag others into this but I would be grateful if any editors who feel able to comment, would confirm that by any standard applied to sources on wikipedia this is reliable. WCMemail 18:40, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

FYI I have not informed the other editor of this discussion. A) I have been asked not to post on their talk page and B) they have always found previous discussions by following my contribution history. WCMemail 19:14, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

Argentine Revisionist historical works[edit]

The Revisionismo (Revisionism) was the historiographical wing of Argentine Nacionalismo, which a political movement that appeared in Argentina in the 1920s. It was the Argentine equivalent of the authoritarian ideologies that arose during the same period, such as Nazism, Fascism and Integralism. Argentine Nationalism was an authoritarian, anti-Semitic, racist and misogynistic political movement.

A number of academics have examined Argentine revisionism and there are a number of peer reviewed works in the literature. See [18], [19], [20], [21], [22], [23] for example.

I would like to ask, as a generic discussion, whether these works are generically suitable as a WP:RS for the purposes of Wikipedia. They pose a particular problem for wikipedia, since they are published in the print media, which is normally something that we would consider reliable. We therefore have to rely upon what is published about their reliability. In general I would say they are not considered a wholly reliable source for material for Wikipedia. Below I set out why, with reference to views in academia.

Monica Rein (11 March 1998). Politics and Education in Argentina, 1946-1962. M.E. Sharpe. pp. 72–. ISBN 978-0-7656-4000-0.  Notes that revisionism is associated with Far Right groups, was essentially about rewriting historical accounts to reflect a wholly positive view of the Spanish conquest of South America and to rehabilitate Caudillos (Spanish for dictator) as true heroes, whilst denouncing Liberals as traitors who had betrayed the nation. The movement is heavily linked to Peronism and its content driven by political considerations.

Michael Goebel (2011). Argentina's Partisan Past: Nationalism and the Politics of History. Liverpool University Press. pp. 6–. ISBN 978-1-84631-238-0.  Goebel expresses a similar view and is particularly damning of the way in which revisionist historians have asserted that traditional historical works were the work of "traitors" using history as an "ideological weapon to prolong Argentina's ignominious debasement". Goebel is critical of the movement's lack of interest in scholarly standards.

Luis Alberto Romero (31 October 2013). A History of Argentina in the Twentieth Century: Updated and Revised Edition. Penn State Press. pp. 88–. ISBN 978-0-271-06410-9.  Romero notes its origins in the authoritarian and antiliberal right wing ideologies such as that of Mussolini, its growth as an anti-British and anti-establishment movement and its attempts to vindicate the reputation of the Caudillos such as Rosas. Romero also demonstrates how its origins in far right groups became accepted in left wing groups and its association with Peronism which incorporates both left and right wing elements.

Jill Hedges (15 August 2011). Argentina: A Modern History. I.B.Tauris. pp. 85–. ISBN 978-1-84885-654-7.  Hedges notes the role of rehabilitating the reputation of Rosas, is linked to the promotion of political authoritarianism and the role played by right wing groups absorbed into Peronism.

David Rock (1993). Authoritarian Argentina: The Nationalist Movement, Its History, and Its Impact. University of California Press. pp. 167–. ISBN 978-0-520-91724-8.  Rock notes that the Revisionist movement roots in anti-semitism and anti-Protestantism, with Rosas being promoted as the ideal of an authoritarian figures and the promotion of authoritarianism over liberal democracy. Quoting Palacios, one of the early figures "The primary obligation of the Argentine intelligentsia is to glorify ... the great caudillo who decided our destiny".

Nicolas Shumway (26 May 1991). The Invention of Argentina. University of California Press. pp. 220–. ISBN 978-0-520-91385-1.  Shumway notes that the movement calls for an "alternate history" and that revisionist history has become a chief rallying cry for Argentine nationalism in the 20th Century.

The Argentine revisionist movement is not a reliable source for content in general, since as Goebel notes scholastic standards are lacking and it has rejected historical orthodoxy to promote political ideologies. The main role of the revisionist movement is to rehabilitate the reputation of authoritarian leaders from Argentina's past, with the aim of promoting strong and authoritarian leadership in modern Argentina. It is not accepted as reliable in academia, since their purpose is to promote a wholly positive view of authoritarianism.

As they lack scholastic standards, their use for content is a problem for wikipedia. As they promote a political orthodoxy, their views depart radically from the mainstream academic view and in that respect they could be very much classified as WP:FRINGE. I would suggest their main use would be as sources of revisionist thought but as they lack scholastic standards, unreliable for historical fact. WCMemail 19:07, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

Brooklyn College Special Edition of 60 Minutes[edit] (12 min segment covering zeitgeist)

At first I only saw the vimeo linked segment and although it was well done, I thought this piece was a spoof. Upon further digging, I found the CUNY TV link hosting the full 1 hour special and stating:

  • "BROOKLYN COLLEGE 60 MINUTES is a production of Brooklyn College and CBS News."
  • "The special is produced by Stephanie Palewski, a veteran 60 MINUTES editor, who was invited to teach a graduate course"
  • The episode did air multiple times on CUNY TV.

It's a very unique situation produced by graduate students with apparent professional editorial oversight. I want to use it for the 12 min segment covering the zeitgeist movement and films. I'm leaning toward it being reliable now, but it is such an unusual situation. What does the community think? Thanks. OnlyInYourMindT 03:35, 3 June 2015 (UTC)

Primary vs Secondary sources[edit]

Hi, I'm a noobie here and I have a question about primary vs secondary sources. I've read the guidelines at WP:SECONDARY but I need some guidance on this question. There is an ongoing study carried out by University of Auckland called New Zealand Attitudes and Values Study. They have published results of the survey (as far as I can this was peer reviewed and carried out by highly qualified researchers), you can see on an example here [1].

1. Would you consider the link directly to University of Auckland's results to be a primary or secondary source? To my thinking, the primary source is the raw survey data and this interpretation of the data is a secondary source. Would anyone care to comment on this.

2. To cite a reference in Wikipedia, would you prefer a link to the University page (which reads more like a press release that an academic journal to me) or to a national newspaper which has largely copy/pasted what the University wrote.

Thanks for your time. (talk) 04:16, 3 June 2015 (UTC)

  1. ^