Wikipedia:Update/1/Content policy changes, July 2009 to December 2009

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
December 2009




  • Wikipedia:Verifiability
    • In the introduction, added: "Since this is the English language version of Wikipedia, English language sources are preferred, but non-English sources are allowed."


November 2009




  • Wikipedia:Verifiability
    • In WP:V#Burden of evidence, removed: [Editors might object if you remove material without giving them enough time to provide references,] "especially in an underdeveloped article." Removed footnote: "When content in Wikipedia requires direct substantiation, the established convention is to provide an inline citation to the supporting references. The rationale is that this provides the most direct means to verify whether the content is consistent with the references. Alternative conventions exist, and are acceptable if they provide clear and precise attribution for the article's assertions, but inline citations are considered 'best practice' under this rationale. For more details, please consult Wikipedia:Citing sources#How to cite sources."
    • In WP:V#Reliable sources, removed: "Care should be taken in evaluating the quality of journals, as journals created to promote a particular viewpoint may claim peer review, but have no meaningful peer review outside of adherents of the viewpoint they promote. Such journals generally represent the consensus view among such adherents, but may otherwise be considered unreliable; for instance, the prominence and notability of their views should be ascertained by using other sources. Examples include, The Creation Science Quarterly, Homeopathy, and Journal of Frontier Science (the last of which claims blog comments as its peer review process)." Added: "The appropriateness of any source depends on the context. In general, the best sources have a professional structure in place for checking or analyzing facts, legal issues, evidence, and arguments. As a rule of thumb, the greater the degree of scrutiny given to these issues, the more reliable the source. Where there is disagreement between sources, their views should be clearly attributed in the text."
    • In WP:V#Wikipedia and sources that mirror or source information from Wikipedia, added: [As an exception, Wikipedia may be cited] "as a primary source" [(with caution) for information about itself.]
    • In WP:V#Access to sources, changed: "Verifiability implies that any one can check the cited sources to verify the information stated in a Wikipedia article. This does not, however, mean that any one can do so instantaneously, without any cost or effort. For example, some on-line sources may require payment to view; and some print sources may only be accessible in specific university libraries. The ease of access does not affect the verifiability of the information taken from such sources." to: "Verifiability, in this context, means that anyone should be able to check the sources to verify that material in a Wikipedia article has already been published by a reliable source, as required by this policy and by No original research. The principle of verifiability implies nothing about ease of access to sources: some online sources may require payment, while some print sources may be available only in university libraries. WikiProject Resource Exchange may be able to assist in obtaining copies/excerpts of sources that are not easily accessible."


October 2009



  • Wikipedia:Verifiability
    • In WP:V#Self-published sources (online and paper), added: "Similarly, some self-published sources may be acceptable if substantial independent evidence for their reliability is found. For instance, widespread citations without comment by other reputable sources are a good indicator of reliability, while widespread doubts about accuracy weigh against the self-published source. 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 claims. The goal is to reflect established views of sources as far as we can determine them."
    • New section, WP:V#Access to sources


  • Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not, previous selected version
    • After the WP:NOT#Directories anchor, added: [For example, an article on a radio station should not list upcoming events, current promotions, current schedules, et cetera,] "although mention of major events, promotions or historically significant programme lists and schedules may be acceptable."
    • After the WP:NOT#PLOT anchor, changed: [A concise plot summary is] "sometimes" [appropriate as part of the larger coverage of a fictional work.] to: "usually"
September 2009





  • Wikipedia:Verifiability
    • Added to WP:V#Reliable sources: "Just because a source is reliable does not mean that it should be included." Also added: "Care should be taken in evaluating the quality of journals, as journals created to promote a particular viewpoint may claim peer review, but have no meaningful peer review outside of adherents of the viewpoint they promote. Such journals generally represent the consensus view among such adherents, but may otherwise be considered unreliable; for instance, the prominence and notability of their views should be ascertained by using other sources. Examples include, The Creation Science Quarterly, Homeopathy, and Journal of Frontier Science (the last of which claims blog comments as its peer review process)."


August 2009
  • Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons
    • Added subsection, WP:BLP#Images: "Images of living persons should not be used out of context to present a person in a false light. This is particularly important in the case of police booking photos ("mugshots"), which can carry additional connotations beyond the record of an arrest."
    • New section heading, but no new material: WP:BLP#Other considerations



  • Wikipedia:Neutral point of view
    • In the nutshell, changed "Each Wikipedia article and other content must be written ..." to "Articles must be written ..."
    • In the introduction, removed: "Core content policy pages may only be edited to improve the application and explanation of the principles."
    • In WP:NPOV#Neutral point of view, changed "The neutral point of view is a means of dealing with the conflicting verifiable perspectives on a topic found in reliable sources. The policy requires that where multiple or conflicting perspectives exist within a topic, each must be presented fairly. None of the views should be given undue weight or asserted to be "the truth". Instead, all of the various significant published viewpoints are made accessible to the reader, and not just the most popular. An article should not assert that the most popular view is the correct one, nor should this be implied by mentioning some views only pejoratively. Readers should be allowed to form their own opinions." to "The neutral point of view is a means of dealing with conflicting perspectives on a topic as evidenced by reliable sources. It requires that where multiple perspectives on a topic have been published by reliable sources, all majority- and significant-minority views must be presented fairly, in a disinterested tone, and in rough proportion to their prevalence within the source material."
    • Made substantial changes to WP:NPOV#Neutrality disputes and handling from the July 31 version
    • In NPOV#Pseudoscience and related fringe theories, changed "While an alternative theoretical formulation may be looked on with derision, it is still published in reasonably respectable scientific journals, and negative responses will usually attack it for failure to explain some aspect of reality, which researchers into the alternative theoretical formulation will attempt to correct. For instance, the theory of continental drift had quite a lot of evidence, but was heavily criticised because there was no known mechanism for continents to move, and thus such evidence was dismissed. When such a mechanism was discovered, it became mainstream as plate tectonics. However, pseudoscience usually requires rewriting basic, well-tested laws of science for it to work, without any evidence other than anecdotal evidence or weak statistical evidence at just above the level of detection (Examples: parapsychology and homeopathy)." to "Such theoretical formulations may fail to explain some aspect of reality, but, should they succeed in doing so, will usually be rapidly accepted. For instance, the theory of continental drift had quite a lot of evidence, but was heavily criticised because there was no known mechanism for continents to move, and thus such evidence was dismissed. When such a mechanism was discovered, it became mainstream as plate tectonics. To determine whether something falls into the category of pseudoscience or merely an alternative theoretical formulation, consider this: Alternative theoretical formulations generally tweak things on the frontiers of science, or deal with strong, puzzling evidence which it is difficult to explain away, in an effort to create a model that better explains reality. Pseudoscience generally proposes changes in basic scientific laws or reality in order to allow some phenomenon which the supporters want to believe occurs, but lack the strong scientific evidence that would justify such major changes. Pseudoscience usually relies mainly on weak evidence, such as anecdotal evidence or weak statistical evidence at just above the level of detection, though it may have a few papers with positive results, for example: parapsychology and homeopathy."




  • Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not
    • In WP:NOT#Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information, removed at the end: "The above list, like all lists of examples here, is not exhaustive, merely illustrative." Shortened "Coverage of a work of fiction and elements of such works should not solely be a plot summary, but instead should include the real world context of the work (such as its development, legacy, critical reception, and any sourced literary analysis) alongside a reasonably concise description of the work's plot, characters and setting. Articles on fictional works containing little more than a plot summary should be improved to provide more balanced coverage that includes real-world context." to "Wikipedia treats fiction in an encyclopedic manner, discussing the reception, impact, and significance of notable works. A plot summary is appropriate as part of the larger coverage of a fictional work."
    • In WP:NOT#Wikipedia is not a bureaucracy, changed "Instruction creep should be avoided. Wikipedia's policies and guidelines are descriptive, not prescriptive. They represent an evolving community consensus for how to improve the encyclopedia and are not a code of law." to "Written rules do not themselves set accepted practice, but rather document already existing community consensus regarding what should be accepted and what should be rejected. When instruction creep is found to have occurred, it should be removed. While Wikipedia's written policies and guidelines should be taken seriously, they can be misused."
July 2009





  • Wikipedia:Verifiability
    • In WP:V#Burden of evidence, changed [Any material lacking a reliable source may be removed, but] "editors might object if you remove material without giving them sufficient time to provide references, and it has always been good practice, and expected behavior of Wikipedia editors (in line with our editing policy), to make reasonable efforts to find sources ..." to "how quickly this should happen depends on the material in question and the overall state of the article. Editors might object if you remove material without giving them enough time to provide references, especially in an underdeveloped article. It has always been good practice to make reasonable efforts to find sources ..."
    • Added to WP:V#Reliable sources: [Reliable sources are needed to substantiate material within articles, and] "citations directing the reader to those sources are needed" [to give credit to authors and publishers ...]. Also added links: university presses, publishing houses.
    • Added to WP:V#Questionable sources: [Questionable sources are those with a poor reputation for fact-checking,] "or with no editorial oversight."
    • Added to WP:V#See also: Wikipedia:Accuracy dispute, Wikipedia:List of sources