Wikipedia:Teahouse/Questions/Archive 187

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Archive 180 Archive 185 Archive 186 Archive 187 Archive 188 Archive 189 Archive 190

How to find sources

Hello, I am a brand new user who wants to contribute to the encyclopedia, but I'm a bit dim when it comes to sources. I don't know how to find sources, can you please describe this to me?Imperial Lights (talk) 21:51, 28 February 2014 (UTC)

Welcome to the Tea House. Does this page help?--ukexpat (talk) 21:53, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
That was helpful, but my main problem is actually finding sources. Is there somewhere I can locate reliable sources? Imperial Lights (talk) 22:10, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
@Imperial Lights: Hey Imperial Lights. The sort of go-to place to start for the general user is Google Books (note this citation tool!) Please be aware that a big mistake users often make is to start with a Google or other search engine web search, that does not tend to concentrate reliable sources. There's also Google Scholar. Unfortunately, Google's News archive is down and will be for months last I checked and was a wonderful resource. However there are other newspaper resources, though the only ones at all comparable (or better) are pay sites ( is amazing [though better for older material than current]).

I created a page listing major free newspaper sources at Wikipedia:Free English newspaper sources which you might check out. Note also the wonderful resource exchange request forum – if you know of a source or likely source but do not have access you can request it there. There are places to search in various nooks and crannies of the deep web (that you often won't find through a search engine), such as specific magazine and newspaper archives, but many are subscription or pay only services unfortunately, e.g., the The New Yorker, Time Magazine and so on. Best regards--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 22:47, 28 February 2014 (UTC)

Thanks a lot!Imperial Lights (talk) 22:59, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
Anytime!--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 23:16, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
If you want to go "old school", try public libraries, book stores and your own bookshelves. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 00:40, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
Thanks Fuhghettaboutit for the info about free newspaper resources. That's exactly what I've been wantingCaesarsPalaceDude (talk) 02:09, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

How do I change the email address that I registered with Wikipedia?

I'm a newbie, just registered in December 2013. Already my email address has changed, and I can't figure out how to register the change with Wikipedia. (I have no trouble logging into Wikipedia.) Kodai94 (talk) 19:55, 28 February 2014 (UTC)

Hi Kodai94, welcome to the Teahouse. You can change email and many other things at Special:Preferences. Click "Preferences" at top of any page to get there. PrimeHunter (talk) 20:05, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, PrimeHunter. Kodai94 (talk) 16:05, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

Another question: About Leads

In an opening of an article, are we supposed to take important information from the rest of it and summarize it at the top? Golden Cog Afternoon Karate Exit (talk) 19:53, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

Yes, in theory, the lead is supposed to summarize some of the overarching, main points of an article. For more information, see WP:LEAD. Sergecross73 msg me 20:22, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

Content removal without references

I asked this somewhere else, but I found this place in the helppage tab. If I see large sections in pages filled with statements that don't have a reference to verify it, do I just delete it? I am of course, not talking about obvious information that everyone and their dog knows (like 2+2=4) I mean when the information is making a claim, quoting, or taking a stance. Golden Cog Afternoon Karate Exit (talk) 19:52, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

There are several ways to handle this.
  1. One approach is to remove it outright. This can be a good approach if it seems overtly and verifiably wrong information or defamatory to a real life person.
  2. Another approach is to put a "citation needed" tag. That's a good approach if the information seems possibly/plausible/likely, but you can't or don't want to go searching for a source
  3. A third approach would be to do some research and find some sources to either back it up, or reword it to make it correct.
In general, it kind of depends on a particular situation on how to handle it, and how motivated you are to put the work in yourself. If you're unsure, you can always start a section on an article's talk page, or at a related Wikiproject to see what others have to say. Sometimes experienced users may be able to assist with fixing it up rather than deleting it all wholesale. I hope that helps. Sergecross73 msg me 20:32, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

One more major question.

So in pages where there are a lot of views that do not obey the rules to be Neutral. Or, just have a lot of information with nothing to verify it with, like references or pictures, can I re-edit most if not the whole page? If I had the reliable references to verify the changed information of course. Golden Cog Afternoon Karate Exit (talk) 20:00, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

If you're talking about a high traffic article, you may want to discuss your concerns and intentions for change before making too many radical changes. Especially if you're brand new, you'll want to take some time to familiarize yourself with what Wikipedia is, how reliable sources are defined, and Wikipedia's sometimes complicated criteria for adding images to articles. I'd personally recommend either starting slow with minor changes on non-controversial/low traffic article, and working your way up to a high traffic article. If you're deadset on working on the high traffic article right away, definitely start off by discussing your concerns on the talk page. There could be reasons why it is a certain, and/or more experienced users could greatly aid your efforts in cleaning it up. Sergecross73 msg me 20:40, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

Introduction to site

Hi, is there any kind of "welcome pack" for new starters which might help to explain some of the site processes and the "preferences" facilities? Thank you. Gnorman Gnome (talk) 20:45, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

Thanks again, Fuhgedaboutit. Gnorman Gnome (talk) 20:58, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
(e/c) @Gnorman Gnome: Hey Norman! I've left a welcome template on your talk page which has a boatload of links to explore. If I was to recommend any one to visit first I think the Wikipedia:Tutorial is a good place to start. A little tip about Wikipedia: just about anything you see or hear mentioned on the site that has a name, has an explanation/instruction/help page at whatever that thing is after "Wikipedia:". In other words, you see a the top of the page "Talk", "Watchlist", "Contributions", "Preferences", you can bet there's a helpful page at Wikipedia:Talk, Wikipedia:Watchlist, Wikipedia:Contributions, Wikipedia:Preferences (which you asked about), and so on (or they will redirect to a slightly differently named page that is relevant, and if you don't know what that means see Wikipedia:Redirect:-). I edit conflicted with you thanking me for leaving the welcome template at your talk page (that's what "(e/c)" is short for), and I can prove my rule with it again; if you didn't know what that meant, lo and behold → Wikipedia:Edit conflict. Anyway, glad you're finding that welcome template useful. It is gaudy, huh? Best regards--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 21:05, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Hello Gnorman Gnome and welcome to the Teahouse. One of the things I've been encouraging new users to try out lately that Fuhghettaboutit hasn't mentioned is The Wikipedia Adventure which is a step by step tutorial in a game like environment that some people prefer to get a feel for Wikipedia. I hope you try it out and happy editing! — {{U|Technical 13}} (tec) 21:35, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

trouble w/ procedures... asking for deletion on Commons

User:Neurofreak is trying to get some imagefiles they uploaded deleted from Commons.

At my suggestion on IRC, they created this request:

However, now that I look closer, that seems wrong.  :-)   Can somebody give us advice on how to get those imagefiles (in the list at the link) marked for deletion by a Commons admin? Danke. (talk) 18:21, 28 February 2014 (UTC)

Here is the link: 18:26, 28 February 2014 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Neurofreak (talkcontribs)
This seems to be all OK to me. --LukeSurl t c 18:47, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
Hey LukeSurl, thanks for the answer... so will Neuro's stuff get seen, when an admin happens along? They aren't showing up in the templates on this page, , which only goes through the 21st of February. Prolly the admins on Commons are just backlogged? (talk) 18:54, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
Commons:Deletion_requests/2014/02/28 is the page you're interested in, and it does show up. The request should end up being processed in the normal way. --LukeSurl t c 19:20, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
Thank youZocalo361 (talk) 22:13, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

Will my idea work?

I have an idea called PrePress and EasyDefine.



PrePress. You might feel annoyed sometimes when you have to press a link to find out something. Never fear, PrePress is here. When you hover over a link it will give a summary of what the page says!!!



Is wikipedia to complicated for you. Does the simple english encyclopedia not have enough information? Never fear, EasyDefine is here. Just hover over a link with the distinctive dots on it and hover over and viola! The defination is there!

NOTE: Text formatting doesn't work.

Please give me feedback. ZSpeed (talk) 17:02, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

Hi there! These ideas are definitely interesting. You may be more successful in receiving feedback on them if you present them at Wikipedia:Village pump (idea lab). Regards, Mz7 (talk) 17:10, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
Have you tried selecting "Navigation pop-ups" under Preferences / Gadgets / Browsing ? It already does your first proposal without having to type anything in - which is a chore most people simply will not do, and will do the second if the word is linked to Wiktionary. - Arjayay (talk) 17:33, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
@ZSpeed: Hi ZSpeed. Great minds think alike right? There has been a number of discussions of something like this. See here, here, here, here, here and here and I'm sure I did not capture nearly all of them since I looked only at the village pump and my results are limited to how good my search was.

Please note that the latter already exists with the template {{Abbr}}, which will also work with {{Tooltip}}, {{Define}} and {{Explain}}. For example Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. Best regards--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 17:41, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

I think it will work.

Rustdustbust (talk) 23:11, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

Stylistic Rewriting

I have recently learned that my editing is not copy editing but stylistic rewriting, whereby I so change correct writing as improve its concision and readability. I thus encounter several problems:

1 I sometimes see absent words and miss present ones, causing bizarre errors. 2 Other editors revert my edits, claiming that they subtly changed meaning. 3 Hardly anyone ever replies to my messages about either problem 1 or 2.

Almost every edit of mine, however otherwise constructive, is therefore ultimately reverted. I and the reverting editors and frustrated. Can anyone help me?

If to age is to callous over one's sympathy, then I shall remain a I child forever. (talk) 22:08, 22 February 2014 (UTC)

Welcome to the Teahouse. To put it bluntly, you do not display the necessary grasp of either English grammar or vocabulary to be undertaking extensive copy editing. You also appear to lack an eye for detail - hence the many "schoolboy" errors in your writing immediately above. Blackberry Sorbet (talkcontribs) 01:15, 23 February 2014 (UTC)
I twice erred, forgetting a "to" and writing "I" before "reverting editors".

If my copy-editing is bad, then it has only recently deteriorated: of the forty seven reversions of my over four-hundred fifty copy edits, about half were this February. Your "bluntly" saying that my grammar, vocabulary, and attention suffice not therefore hurts my feelings. Please help me understand why my recent edits are being reverted.

Duxwing (talk) 00:52, 26 February 2014 (UTC)

I am not Blackberry Sorbet, but I took a quick look at a few of your edits that were reverted. I hope you do not mind that I'm going to be blunt in my analysis.

Fermi paradox - Some of your corrections were correct, others correct-but-unnecessary, some were wrong (of which a few changed the meaning of the sentence subtly or not-so-subtly). To point out two:

  • "According to this line of thinking, the Earth should [...]" was changed by you to "The Earth therefore should". In doing so, you change a narrow claim ("according to") to a broad claim formulated as fact.
  • "Starting with Hart, a great deal of effort" was changed to "Much effort after Hart". Beyond the fact that this reads somewhat awkwardly, your change excludes Hart himself by use of after. "Starting with Hart" includes him.

Water treatment - The sentences you rewrote could in most cases use some rewriting. Sadly, your rewrite did not actually improve most of them. Some changes are correct (or mostly correct) but archaic. Others change the meaning of sentences. Two examples:

  • "lest bacteriological contamination during distribution occur" (should be occurs, by the way, as contamination is singular). You made a change in meaning there (the disinfectants do not prevent contamination from occurring, but rather, kill any contamination that occurs), but more importantly, although that sentence may make sense to you and me, we write an encyclopedia for the readers, and this includes minors, people speaking English as a second or even third language, people with very little formal education, etc.
  • "Municipal water worldwide is by a combination of the following processes treated." Although mostly correct, the sentence will likely make very little sense to a good amount of people by inserting "by a combination of the following processes" between is and treated. If you do that, at least add some commas. "Municipal water worldwide is, by a combination of the following processes, treated." You also need a colon at the end of that sentence, as it refers to "the following" and is followed by a list. Furthermore, by removing the word "selected", it became unclear that the combination usually does not involve all of those processes. A better change of that sentence would have been "Worldwide, municipal water is treated by a combination of some of the following processes:".

I could comb through some more of your edits and select other points that were off, but I believe that the four examples above illustrate the problem fairly well. I'd happily talk with you about it some more on your talkpage, if you want, but I'd rather not unnecessarily stretch this page. AddWittyNameHere (talk) 21:38, 28 February 2014 (UTC)

As suggested by Nimbus227, it seems that you're not so much copy-editing, or fixing basic punctuation and grammar mistakes, as stylistically re-writing the articles you are editing. As you noted on User talk:McGeddon#Copy_Editing, you have a unique writing style: "I write: [Subject] [preposition] [adverb] [indirect object] [verb] [direct object] Most people write: [Subject] [indirect object] [verb] [adverb] [direct object] [preposition]."
Thus you write phrases such as these: "I when evaluating my editing disregard unexplained reversions,"[1] "whereby I from reverting editors learn how to improve my work,"[2] and "Cadair Idris in Welsh mythology is a hunting ground."[3] Each of these statements is very difficult for readers to parse, is not easily read, and does not flow well.
On User talk:McGeddon#Copy_Editing, you also note that the order most people use in writing confuses you "because it violates the English principle of writing description before objects and jumbles the sentence's structure." There is no rule that descriptions must occur before objects. Adverbs, in particular, can be placed anywhere in the sentence.[4] English as a language is very complicated. Even when grammar rules do exist, there are many, many exceptions to those rule. The fact that you are indiscriminately applying what you believe to be a grammar rule is a sign to others that your command of the English language is weak. The fact that you do not understand how your edits change the meanings of the edited text contribute to the impression that you have much to learn about writing in the English language.
I understand that you may have received positive feedback on the stylistic changes you introduce to other pages on other sites. However, what is acceptable on those sites has no bearing on what is acceptable here. Perhaps you could familiarize yourself with Wikipedia guides on Basic copy editing and the Manual of style before making what you see as copyedit changes to more pages? Ca2james (talk) 21:12, 28 February 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for your replies! :) Is your advice to write prepositional phrases and adverbs where they best flow, not before verbs? I have to no avail read these copy-editing guides already: I posted here because I needed even more help than they could give me. Also, how will I know when consensus about my problem has been reached?

Duxwing (talk) 01:19, 1 March 2014 (UTC) PS Just to quibble: adverbs can't go anywhere because "I rode the eloquently horse while giving a speech" is nonsensical. I think you meant to say that they can either precede or follow their verbs.

It is always best to order a sentence so that it flows but there are no hard and fast grammar rules that apply in every instance. For every rule there exists an exception that breaks that rule. Perhaps you would benefit from reviewing English grammar and style guides on the internet before attempting to make changes to any more pages.
I think it's fair to say that consensus about your writing issues has already been reached. To be blunt, each editor here who has reviewed your work has concluded that there are serious problems with it. That each one of us has focused on a different problem is an indication that there is more than one issue here, not that there is a lack of agreement amongst us. Ca2james (talk) 19:51, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

Oops - I meant and should have said "before attempting to make stylistic changes " above. My sincere apologies for the oversight. Ca2james (talk) 23:57, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

Get Access to My Deleted Page

I was wondering if I can get access or the text from my deleted/removed page for Quaker Chemical Corporation that was deleted because of copyright issues. I am the content owner and web manager for Quaker and we want to have this text to pur into Word and restructure it before resubmitting.Quakerchem (talk) 20:51, 28 February 2014 (UTC)

If you work for this company it is strongly advised you don't try and edit/create its Wikipedia article. Wikipedia strives to have a neutral-point-of-view on all things and you have a conflict of interest in this matter. --LukeSurl t c 21:06, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Hello and welcome to the Teahouse! Before I address your question, I want to make you aware of a few points. Wikipedia strongly discourages writing about subjects you are professionally or otherwise closely connected with. This is because it hard to keep a neutral point of view, which is one of Wikipedia's core policies. A person that is professionally connected with a certain subject may embellish their own company too much, or write too disparagingly about their competitors. Before writing an article about the company you work for, please read Wikipedia's conflict of interest guideline. Now, if you wish to donate your copyrighted works to Wikipedia, please read Wikipedia:Donating copyrighted materials. The page explains the process and what can be donated. You must be willing to irrevocably release your work under a proper Creative Commons license and understand that there is a chance we may not even accept your work as suitable for an encyclopedia. The best advice I can give right now is to simply write something new in your own words. Chances are, the information on your website is too promotional for the purposes of an encyclopedia. Since the deleted content was a clear copyright violation, the text cannot exist on Wikipedia until the copyright holder releases it under an appropriate license. I apologize for that. If you are still confused, leave a note below and I'll be happy to clarify. Best, Mz7 (talk) 21:17, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
We want to work hard to have a neutral viewpoint. There are plenty of our related companies such as Castrol, Fuchs Petrolub, and Houghton or Henkel that have much more complex and built-out Wikipedia pages then us. There has to be a chance these were created by people related to the company. We just want a presence on Wikipedia since we are a large global company. We do not qish to give our page ammarketing skew on anything. We have closesly reviewed your terms and your policies and are taking time to construct a neutral dictionary structured and worded page for Quaker Chemical. I don't see why we should be barred from having a more complete neutral page when other companies such a Fuchs Petrolub can have very complex pages.Quakerchem (talk) 21:27, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
Your user name is also a clear breach of our user name policy and will very likely be blocked. Please create a new user name that represents you as an individual and that will be used only be you (shared accounts are not permitted). Thanks. --ukexpat (talk) 21:52, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
No company "has" a page on Wikipedia. Wikipedia has pages about subjects (including companies) which are notable in Wikipedia's special sense of the word. Quaker Chemical may well be notable, but I'm a little dubious, as a quick look does not show much information about it beyond bare listings (except in its own websites, which cannot be used to establish notability because they are not independent of the subject). The fact that you want a presence on Wikipedia, and you are mentioning the articles on other companies in your sector, suggests, to be frank, that you are here for the purpose of promotion, which is expressly against Wikipedia's policies. --ColinFine (talk) 01:10, 2 March 2014 (UTC)

I am reading this article and am in fact aware of this company. I feel the remarks above are a bit harsh from the Wikipedia community and it brings up an alarming trend I have seen regarding reviewers throwing their weight around and replying in a rude manner to contributors that may be new to the Wikipedia world and not have a full grasp on the expansive rules set forth. It seems that the contributor above was unaware that it was frowned upon or even rule-breaking, to want to create a neutral webpage for your own company. I saw the page and the stub does not seem to promote Quaker at all. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jromeo215 (talkcontribs) 14:34, 3 March 2014‎ (UTC)

Finishing an article

Hello, I just started here and was trying to start up a brand new article here > I was wondering if feedback was possible as well as instructions on how to fix, manage, and finish constructing my article for creation! Please let me know :)Wwts19 (talk) 18:08, 28 February 2014 (UTC)

Hello @Wwts19: Welcome to the Teahouse. There are few problems and I would mention them one by one with solution.
  • Firstly, The submission doesn't seem to be written in compliance with Wikipedia neutral point of view and it reads like an advertisement. Terms like, provides, offers, rise in popularity, numerous awards, etc are subjected to scrutiny and are considered peacock terms within Wikipedia meant to promote the subject. Please re-write them to be in accordance with "neutral point of view".
  • Third and the last one, The submission is improperly sourced. Please cite your sources in the body of the article. Citations help to identify the reliable sources on which an article is based. See, "Referencing for beginners"for guideline.
Fix these three issues, I do not see a reason thereafter for not inclusion of the subject within Wikipedia. Good luck! Anupmehra -Let's talk! 18:39, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
Hi, welcome to the Teahouse! Since this is an article about a living person, Wikipedia requires inline citations for information, not just a list of sources at the end. (Inline citations usually take the form of footnotes, like this:[1]) You can learn how to add these with the introduction to referencing or referencing for beginners.
You might also want to check out the external link guideline. Anon126 (talk - contribs) 18:42, 28 February 2014 (UTC)

Hello @Anon126:. Thank you very much for your time and the help! Regarding sources, I am unable to find any on the internet aside from newspaper articles and videos from a couple years ago. What do you think I should do? Thank you for your time!

@Wwts19: Add the sources! Also, note that sources do not have to be on the Internet. Anon126 (talk - contribs) 21:53, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
Hello, Wwts19. As Anon126 says, sources do not have to be on the internet: your newspaper articles are probably fine, as long as they are articles about the subject, and not just listings or mentioning him in passing. The videos are probably not acceptable as sources, unless they are somebody talking about him, and published by a reliable source. (Interviews with him might be acceptable, but they are what we call primary sources, so their use is limited to uncontroversial factual information). Videos of his performances are not acceptable as references (though if they are legally available on the internet, links to them might be appropriate for an "External links" section of the article). Of the references you currently have in the article, I am afraid that not one is acceptable: the first one looks like a reliable source, but has only one sentence about the subject; the second is to iMDB, which is not regarded as a reliable source (because much of its content is user-generated); and all the rest are promotional, not independent of the subject. --ColinFine (talk) 00:55, 2 March 2014 (UTC)

movedZocalo361 (talk) 01:18, 2 March 2014 (UTC)

Editorial review before resubmitting a revised article

Are there any editors who will provide a review and comments before resubmitting a revised article?

SpaceJace (talk) 23:21, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

I'll take a look if you'd like :-) Bali88 (talk) 05:47, 2 March 2014 (UTC)

Serial comma

When copy editing, should I edit for a serial comma? The Word Simplicity (talk) 04:23, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

  • Hi, Simplicity, and welcome to the Teahouse! The serial comma, on Wikipedia, is more of a matter of personal preference than anything. If an article consistently does not use it, I would not add it; conversely, if an article consistently does not use it, I would not add it. It will help reduce conflicts with other editors. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 04:27, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
I have amended the article giving a more academic tone. I don't agree about the referencing; the facts are the facts and those references present the facts, from outside sources, which originally come from the band, just as any review, or biography piece does. How else would a writer compile information without asking the band or people involved in it? DGT DGT65 (talk) 08:45, 2 March 2014 (UTC)

rejected article

Hi, can you please tell me how to correct the article rejected today?link: Wikipedia talk:Articles for creation/Museum Mount Making

Thank you Carlo maggiora (talk) 01:56, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

Hello and welcome to the Teahouse! The submission was rejected because it did not contain any references to reliable sources. An important principle on Wikipedia is that all subjects should be verifiable, meaning everything we write should be able to be verified by an outside reliable source. My advice would be to do research about a topic on the web before you write an article about it, and then cite the sources that you researched with as you are writing it. If you can't find any sources anywhere about the subject you want to write about, chances are the subject isn't suitable for Wikipedia. You would have to find a different topic to write about. For more information about writing an article, check out Wikipedia:Your first article. If you are still confused, I will be happy to clarify anything. Best, Mz7 (talk) 03:30, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
I too had an article rejected today for reference verification purposes. Article: Subculture (band)

I am the founding member of the band, and the reference source is the band website, also written by me - it couldn't be more reliable source wise! I have added four more independent reference sources today which will tell the same facts, via band interviews and features. I hope these new additions will "legitmize" the article!! DGT65 DGT65 (talk) 14:51, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

You appear to misunderstand Wikipedia's concept of reliable. We need reliable sources that are independent of the subject; you, the bands website, interviews you have given, press releases or statements by your management or record company etc. are clearly not independent, but there to promote the band, so do not present a neutral point of view. Similarly blogs, or other publicly editable sources, (Twitter, Facebook, Wikipedia etc.) are not reliable. You should also read our guidance on conflict of interest. - Arjayay (talk) 15:06, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
Hello DGT65, and welcome to the Teahouse! Wikipedia strongly discourages you from creating an article about yourself, your organization, or anything else you have a professional connection with. We call this having a conflict of interest. This is because it may be hard to maintain a neutral point of view while writing. A person who is too closely connected with a subject may unintentionally embellish it too much or write too disparagingly about their competitors. Before writing an article about your band, please read Wikipedia's guideline on conflicts of interest. My advice would be to choose a different topic to write about. If your band is truly notable enough to be included in an encyclopedia (meaning it has received significant coverage in reliable sources), another editor will write an article about it eventually. If you still want to improve the draft, then I recommend you use the amnesia test: Forget everything you know about your band, act like you know nothing. Now, go to Google and research information about your band and only write about what you find from reliable sources. If you find you can't write much of anything, the topic probably isn't notable enough for Wikipedia. If you are still confused, leave a note below and I'll be happy to clarify anything. Best, Mz7 (talk) 17:04, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
I have amended the article giving a more impartial, third party, academic tone. "Peacock" elements have been removed, as has the reference to the band's webpage. Those remaining references present the facts, from outside sources, which of course originally come from the band, just as any review, or biography piece does. DGT DGT65 (talk) 08:48, 2 March 2014 (UTC)

Need to know

How can i become an administrator? What are the requirements? I am a host and want to become an administrator. Rustdustbust (talk) 22:45, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

To become an administrator you need to pass a Request for Adminship. The requirements are high, however; at least a few thousand edits and a large amount of experience are recommended. Being an admin is about benefiting the project by using tools that we need trusted users for, it isn't a trophy. Samwalton9 (talk) 23:20, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
@Rustdustbust: Adminship is very much akin to being a janitor who is abused for doing the job. It requires a very serious commitment, the skin of a rhinoceros, and the tact of a saint, plus the ability to continue to learn with humility. It also requires an excellent grasp of each and every one of our policies, guidelines and protocols. Knowing all this many experienced editors, in which camp I include myself, choose not to be considered for the role. Fiddle Faddle 14:22, 2 March 2014 (UTC)

Why are primary sources so frowned upon?

I'm having a bit of confusion regarding the use of primary sources. It seems like they are really frowned upon and I can't figure out why. My use of primary sources seems to fit in with wikipedia's policy, but it seems like someone always mentions it as a problem.

For example: a few weeks ago, I wanted to include a section in a crime article about how inaccurate the arrest warrant was and how it impacted the case. That aspect of the case was well discussed in the media and was an important aspect of the defense's case and directly led to being granted a couple of appeals as well as an acquittal. The inaccuracies were so extreme that examples were used in forensic textbooks. However, when reading the news accounts of it, they would only say very general things about it like "everything on the arrest warrant was wrong". I felt like it was more encyclopedic to describe what specifically was inaccurate, so in the section, I included references to the probable cause affidavit, to trial news articles detailing the correct evidence, and to news sources describing the problem and how it affected the case. Someone reverted it saying that I shouldn't cite primary sources, only secondary ones.

When I research court cases, I find that newspaper articles are only about 80% accurate, even among reputable ones. I always compare newspaper articles with primary sources, if I can find them, to determine which ones are accurate, so it just seems kind of silly to think that a secondary source is going to be more accurate than a primary source, when I know that's not true.

Another article, African-American names, I cited research published in journal articles from peer reviewed journals and was told the article needed more secondary sources. I'm just sort of confused on why this is frowned upon. I didn't do any original research that I can tell, I just reported flat out what these researchers found on this topic. For this article, I'm actually not sure that extensive use of secondary sources is appropriate.

On the Wikipedia:No original research page, it makes it sound like taking facts from primary sources is fine as long as you aren't doing any interpreting of those facts yourself. Usually I find myself wanting to reference primary sources like appellate documents to report events and evidence accurately.

I may be overthinking this, but I'm kind of a perfectionist and if it has my name on it, I want it to be right! I think I'm using primary sources appropriately, but when people mention it so much it makes you question yourself. Could anyone shed some light on this? Thanks! Bali88 (talk) 01:30, 2 March 2014 (UTC)

Hey Bali88! Primary sources are great sources, at most points show full accuracy. Many sources could show a different view on something or at some subject. As stated in your question, you say the newspaper articles are about 80% accurate. Remember as WP:VERIFIABILITY states When reliable sources disagree, present what the various sources say, give each side its due weight, and maintain a neutral point of view. Each source may have different weight on things. Adding secondary sources will make an article have more thought into it, as secondary sources are sources which gains primary source material. Their not frowned upon, it's that Wikipedia articles should be based on reliable, published secondary sources as stated on WP:NOR. ///EuroCarGT 02:15, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
Primary sources are wonderful things, but it isn't THAT they are used which is frowned upon, it is WHAT they are used for that is the problem. By definition, primary sources lack analysis or context by others (any source which provides greater context or deeper analysis is by definition a secondary source. Primary sources are by definition any source which provides data or information without any context, commentary, analysis or something like that). We do, and should, use primary sources all the time at Wikipedia. But what Wikipedia should never do is the job of secondary sources. Think about it this way. A primary source tells you what happened, but not what it means. A secondary source tells you what it means. A tertiary source (like Wikipedia) compiles other sources into an overall view of the topic. We need secondary sources to tell us what the primary sources mean, if you do that without citing a secondary source, that is a problem. But don't feel like you have to avoid primary sources altogether. They should be used where needed, and people who tell you you can never use them are speaking out of their asses. --Jayron32 02:35, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
Thanks! That was helpful. Btw, when i say 80% accurate, I mean, they misstate factual details, like dates or ages or the specific charges against someone. Certainly there would be no reason to compare and contrast factual details that are not up for debate :-) Bali88 (talk) 02:47, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
Indeed, usually those aren't things that need to be compared and contrasted. Similarly, if a reliable newspaper makes a typographical mistake in, say, the name of a city, that name doesn't become an alternative name for that city. Of course, there always are exceptions. For example, certain historical figures where major sources disagree on the date or year of birth, etc. Those usually happen when there either are no available primary sources mentioning that specific point (no birth certificate, or the birth certificate was lost or destroyed, etc.), or there are reasons to doubt the factuality of the primary source (such as when there is a reason to suspect a birth certificate was forged). AddWittyNameHere (talk) 18:11, 2 March 2014 (UTC)

Move requests

When there is a move request on an article's talk page, does the admin bother to look at the "discussion" part below the "survey" section before deciding?
Also, does the decision of whether to move or not rely on the number of votes or the nature of the discussion? Thanks. Fitzcarmalan (talk) 05:54, 3 March 2014 (UTC)

Hi Fitz, and welcome to the Teahouse! Nearly all discussions on Wikipedia are concluded based on the consensus of the discussion. In other words, it's not the number of votes that determines the outcome, but as you say, the nature of the discussion. The closing editor takes into account all arguments that have been proposed, all counter-arguments, and the general view of all the editors who participated to determine what the outcome is.
With that, the answer to your original question is yes, the closing admin/editor should also consider the discussion section when determining what the consensus is :) While the survey section gives a nice summary of participant views, the discussion session can definitely help the closing editor come to a conclusion. ~SuperHamster Talk Contribs 06:01, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
Alright, thanks :) Fitzcarmalan (talk) 06:07, 3 March 2014 (UTC)

adding a picture to my article ?

hi thanks a lot HostBot for the message. i just wanted to know how to add a photo to my article? thank you Records seeker eg (talk) 20:48, 2 March 2014 (UTC)

Hello Records seeker eg. I assume that you are talking about Ashraf Fahmy. The easiest thing would be if you had actually taken a photo of him yourself, and were willing to donate the photo under an appropriate Creative Commons license, and upload it to Wikimedia Commons. I do not see any photos of him on Wikimedia Commons now but you may want to try searching under his name in Arabic. If he was a living person, we would need a freely licensed photo. However, this case is different because he died in 2001. In such cases, we can use a non-free image in that one article under the standard described at WP:NFCI #10. There are photos of several different people named Ashraf Fahmy available through Google Images. Be absolutely sure you have the right person, and upload a low resolution version of it to Wikipedia using the "Upload file" option in the menu to the left. Answer all of the questions accurately, and add it to the article. It can be a bit tricky the first time, so please feel free to ask other questions. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 21:08, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
Am wondering why all my pictures are being deleted. I keep getting messages from wikipedia. the pictures are all mine, some taken by a professional, some are from my files and some sent to the press by me. Thank you. How do i keep it in wikipedia as the pictures all belong to me. thank you. racingqueen. Racingqueen (talk) 05:46, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
If a professional photographer took the photos, Racingqueen, then the photographer holds the copyrights unless they have been released in writing to you. You need to prove that in writing. If you clicked the shutter yourself, then you hold the copyright unless you sold it to someone else. This is not a casual matter. Every photo's licensing needs to be documented rigorously. Your descriptions are vague, and that doesn't fly here. There are no exceptions to accurate licensing allowed here. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 06:25, 3 March 2014 (UTC)

Is Wikipedia friends with wikihow?

This might be a weird question, but is wikipedia friends with wikihow? Rustdustbust (talk) 14:02, 2 March 2014 (UTC)

They aren't part of the Wikimedia Foundation if that's what you mean. Samwalton9 (talk) 14:05, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
I'm just asking. Is Wikipedia friends with wikihow? Rustdustbust (talk) 14:06, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
I'm not sure I understand, what do you mean by friends? Samwalton9 (talk) 14:21, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
Well WikiHow donates to Wikimedia, so we have a good relationship there. Also both websites have a similar goal: to bring information to their users. Ross HillTalk to me! 14:41, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
I don't know what you mean by friends in this context or how much you know about wikis but here is a little background. A wiki is a type of website with collaborative editing. Wikipedia is one of several wikis run by the Wikimedia Foundation. There are thousands of other wikis. Some are listed at list of wikis. wikiHow is not affiliated with the Wikimedia Foundation. They use the same MediaWiki software but so do lots of other wikis. wikiHow is a how-to guide. Wikipedia has a policy against how-to guides: Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not#Wikipedia is not a manual, guidebook, textbook, or scientific journal. wikiHow and other open wikis are not considered reliable sources by Wikipedia and should generally not be referenced in articles. I'm not aware of any general dislike or friendship between editors of Wikipedia and Wikihow or the owners of the websites. They are just different websites with different scopes and mostly different editors. PrimeHunter (talk) 15:19, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
I attended an event at the Wikimedia offices in San Francisco a few months ago, and some Wikihow editors were there and participated. They introduced themselves, and everyone smiled and exchanged pleasantries. I got a brochure and really liked one of them. But they aren't affiliated with us, and we aren't affiliated with them. But we are all "friendly" people. So what does "friendly" mean, specifically, in this context? Cullen328 Let's discuss it 06:33, 3 March 2014 (UTC)

how to keep pictures from being deleted by wikipedia

How do i keep pictures from being deleted as these pictures are from my private files and some sent to the magazines and press by me. thankyou. racingqueen Racingqueen (talk) 05:48, 3 March 2014 (UTC)

Hello and welcome. Having them in a private file means little to nothing. They must be your own work, taken by you. IF you have already published them elsewhere you will have to OTRS proof that you are the copyright holder of the images and have the right to publish them here and release the image to the CC license.--Mark Miller (talk) 05:54, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
I would recommend that you read the messages on your user talk page. There are several useful links, including the process for Wikipedia:Donating copyrighted materials. --David Biddulph (talk) 08:09, 3 March 2014 (UTC)

Grammatical error in locked article

I believe I have found a small error in the article "Obesity" which is a locked article. Could an editor with access rights, please take a look at it. Details on the talk page Talk:Obesity CaesarsPalaceDude (talk) 01:52, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

 Done--LukeSurl t c 02:23, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
However the article is only semi-protected. This only prevents anonymous users and newly registered accounts from editing. You would have been able to make the edit yourself. --LukeSurl t c 02:25, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
Thanks LukeSurl. I also wanted a second opinion on whether it was truly an error, just to be safe.CaesarsPalaceDude (talk) 03:36, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
Hi there. For future reference, you can place the {{Edit protected}} template on a protected page's talk page (and {{Edit semi-protected}} for semi-protected pages) to attract other editors' attention to the fact that you would like a protected page edited. Best, It Is Me Here t / c 11:35, 3 March 2014 (UTC)

Copyright issues

Hi, I've recently had some of my content removed from a page due to it being 'copied directly' from a source, however this source was altered, it was very alike to the original source but in my own words. I'm assuming that I was in the wrong, therefore my question is to what extent can you reference a piece of work without breaking Wikipedia regulations? as I assumed it was okay to reword someone else's paragraph. Apologies for the wording, couldn't think or a great way to put the question. Conor Robinson (talk) 12:36, 3 March 2014 (UTC)

Hi Conor, welcome to the teahouse. There is no exact answer to this, but in general it's best to avoid starting with someone else's text and then rewording it; the structure is likely still to be the same. There is some more information about how to avoid this problem by summarising multiple sources at Wikipedia:Close paraphrasing. Arthur goes shopping (talk) 12:40, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
Hi Conor. I assume you are referring to my reversion here, which removed content that I considered too similar to the timeline entries in [5]. The extent to which one needs to put something into one's "own words" to avoid a copyright violation is somewhat tricky, but in this case this the words for each bullet point were exactly the same as in the source, so this was a clear copyvio. --LukeSurl t c 12:48, 3 March 2014 (UTC)

Why did my article Rob the Galaxy get deleted?

Drakelover3464 (talk) 17:37, 3 March 2014 (UTC)

We cannot now see the article so we can't offer very specific comments. However, as has been explained on your talk page, the reasoning given was that the text gave little or no explanation as to what the article was about. If you would like to create a draft article at your own pace in a hidden place where it is unlikely to be deleted you can do so at Draft:Rob the Galaxy. --LukeSurl t c 18:45, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
You can contact Nthep, the administrator that actually deleted it, and request that he establish a copy of the article he deleted in your userspace as a place to start. Please be advised that unless you can show that reliable, independent, secondary sources are talking about your subject, you will not be able to create an article on it. Happy editing, and thanks for stopping by the teahouse! John from Idegon (talk) 19:28, 3 March 2014 (UTC)

tutorial for creating a page

Hello, I am looking for a simple tutorial to find out how to create a new article for the first time. Vigdis.moller (talk) 16:52, 2 March 2014 (UTC)

Welcome to the Teahouse. Try reading WP:Your first article. --David Biddulph (talk) 16:55, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
Hi Vigdis, you'll want to have a read through WP:Tutorial and WP:Your First Article, then use the WP:Article Wizard to create it :) Samwalton9 (talk) 16:56, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
Another introductory essay that I like is The Primer. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 21:10, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
Also, if you want to develop your article in your own userspace before you officially create the article in the main namespace, you can use the sandbox, but be warned that it is automatically cleaned every half-an-hour, and may be overwritten by other users. However, you can use your own sandbox and play around without interference. K6ka (talk | contribs) 22:01, 3 March 2014 (UTC)

How does wikipedia prefer to deal with the N word?

I'm working on an article about a racially motivated killing and a key witness reported being called a "N--- lover" for cooperating with police. I feel like this particular quote is a key part of explaining the story and the setbacks in the case. Should I do an N and stars? Is there a precedent for how this is handled? Bali88 (talk) 18:25, 3 March 2014 (UTC)

Hello, Bali88. This is a good question, because neither answer can seem right. The basic principle that applies is Wikipedia is not censored; so nothing should be removed solely because somebody takes offence at it or might do. On the other hand, inserting offensive material for no good reason (where it doesn't contribute to the quality of the article) is obviously a bad idea. In this case, it may still depend on what part this plays in the article, but from what you have said I would expect the article to use the word, making it clear that it is quoting from the witness (as reported in a reliable source). --ColinFine (talk) 19:02, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
Fully agree:- to use the word willfully - to shock or grab attention, or repeated use for no good reason - is entirely inappropriate, but if the use is an integral part of a court case, then to not use it, or censor it, is equally unacceptable. AFAIK because of our policy Wikipedia is not censored we do not use asterisks, or other blanks, in any articles, unless they were already being used in quotations being cited. We have an article on Nigger and it is an important aspect of (in)human history, that should not be sanitized, or Bowdlerized. Arjayay (talk) 19:17, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
Not so fast! This question is about quoting a source. The quote must be given exactly as it appears in the source, so if the news article used "n-word" or a similar euphemism then you must quote it accurately. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 19:33, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
In the name of full disclosure, I'll say flat out, I'm hoping someone will give me permission to use stars. I am not comfortable having my name on something that contains the word. In response to Dodger, I am quoting a news source, which of course used stars or dashes inside the quote to replace those letters. But of course, I'm not quoting the journalist or the newspaper, I'm quote the person the journalist is interviewing and I think we can assume that she didn't literally say "N-star-star-star" and she probably isn't quoting someone who said that either. lol. Bali88 (talk) 19:40, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
Many people give Dodger67's advice (it even showed up in guidelines for a while), but it's overly simplistic to the point of being wrong. If the Uptight News Daily writes "Mary said 'I don't have any d*mn idea what's wrong', then it's correct to say "Mary said 'I don't have any damn idea what's wrong'" and use the Uptight News Daily as a source. It would be wrong, however, to say "The Uptight News Daily wrote that Mary didn't have any damn idea what was wrong", because it didn't use the word. There is, however, no doubt that Mary, like the rest of us, is unable to pronounce a "*".—Kww(talk) 22:42, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
Lol, thanks for that. The "uptight news daily" made me lol Bali88 (talk) 01:45, 4 March 2014 (UTC)

Drum corps articles


It is clear that many of the existing articles on drum corps are in severe need of cleanup. Nearly all of them are written in an unencyclopedic tone, and some contain excessively detailed histories. Most of them are tagged with some kind of cleanup template. I would really like to see these articles improved, but I'm not sure how to start. Should I start right away with cutting down the extra information? Is there a guideline for deciding on how to format these articles? How could I get editors who are knowledgeable in this subject together to discuss the articles?

Thanks, Gamma Metroid (talk) 23:38, 3 March 2014 (UTC)

Hey @Gamma Metroid:, and welcome to the Teahouse! Great questions - as always, you are free to be bold and do the right thing when it comes to editing the tagged articles. When it comes to stylizing and writing articles, there are quite a few guidelines. Each tag you see at the tops of articles should have links to their respective policies and guidelines. For example, Wikipedia:Neutral point of view describes writing from a neutral point of view. Wikipedia:Writing better articles provides great advice for general article writing, and includes a brief overview of tone. While many articles can contain excessive details, be careful about cutting down; being long is not always a bad thing. Sometimes the better option may be re-wording to make the article flow better, or condensing what is already written. Beyond that:
  • Take a look at featured articles similar to the one you are working on, for an idea of what the ideal article looks like. Example: Fightin' Texas Aggie Band
  • Use the Wikipedia Manual of Style for all questions related to grammar, wording, formatting, etc.
  • Almost all pages fall under a WikiProject, which are collaborations of editors working together on certain topics. There is a WikiProject Drum Corps, but unfortunately, the page and its members are inactive. The next best thing would be to look at related WikiProjects, such as WikiProject Music or WikiProject Marching Band. Projects may oftentimes have useful links specific to their subject, and if the project is active enough, hopefully you can ask and get help there (for example, WikiProject Music has both a talk page and a noticeboard). Note that it's not always easy getting help from other users, especially in the less active WikiProjects.
The best advice I can give is look at examples of other articles and brush up on policies for guidance, and if something's not clear, feel free to ask more specific questions here or at the help desk. ~SuperHamster Talk Contribs 02:20, 4 March 2014 (UTC)

Does *everything* need an online reference?!


I'm trying to make a page for a scientist whose CV and biographical details I obtained directly from her family. I have been told by the reviewer I need references for everything. Since almost all of those details aren't in the public domain (except for awards that made into press etc), does that mean the whole thing (bar those two items) needs to be scrubbed? How do I prove where she got her degree, the names of her children etc? Thanks!Katejeffery (talk) 21:53, 3 March 2014 (UTC)

Hello and welcome to the Teahouse! Wikipedia has a very strict policy on how we write about living people. It's called the biographies of living people policy, and it requires all editors to cite everything that has even the possibility of being controversial. This is because we need to get the article absolutely correct. Incorrect material about living people may do personal harm to their subjects, and that is something we want to avoid. (Common sense stuff doesn't have to be cited, though.) Another core policy we have is no original research. This means that you cannot write about things that are not documented in reliable sources, because if you could do so, then anyone can deliberately add incorrect information by simply saying that they know so or got it "directly from the subject's family". Note that your sources do not necessarily have to be in the public domain, they just need to be reliable. This means newspaper sources, reputable websites, books, scholarly papers, etc. If you need help with referencing, you can check out the Wikipedia:Referencing for beginners guide. It's very important that these policies are followed so we avoid posting potentially incorrect information. I hope this helps. Best, Mz7 (talk) 22:11, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
That does help, thanks. This person is no longer living as it happens but I assume the rules are the same Katejeffery (talk) 22:28, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
Also just to clarify, there is no preference for a source to be online. It just needs to be published, reliable, and available for others to find, such as at a library. Online sources are fine, but so are purely print sources, so long as they meet the same standards for reliability. --Jayron32 23:43, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
Jayron32 is correct that using printed reliable sources unavailable online is acceptable, but please be sure to cite the source fully. This applies to situations where high quality online sources are not available. But when a wide range of excellent sources are available about a topic, some online and some not, then selecting online sources is preferred, to facilitate additional research by interested readers. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 03:00, 4 March 2014 (UTC)