Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive 68

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Wikipedia:Code of conduct has been marked as a policy

Wikipedia:Code of conduct (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has recently been edited to mark it as a policy. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 2 October 2009 (UTC)

That page is a soft redirect, and the code of conduct itself is oriented towards the foundation itself (Wikimedia staff and members of the board of trustees) than to the comunity of users. The only part that may be considered as directed to us would be the part about discrimination, but we already have Wikipedia:Etiquette and policies and guidelines of behaviour about that (however, it isn't directed to us, it's directed to them, who are told not to tolerate such things).

The edit summary "if you're going to call it a policy, do so outright" does not seem correct either.

In short, this page is not a "policy", it's an internal rule of the foundation, wich is not aimed to common editors. It does not even exist here, but just as a soft redirect. And the main intention of it in a manner regular users may apply, is already covered by existing policies. I think the "policy" template should be removed inmediately. MBelgrano (talk) 03:00, 2 October 2009 (UTC)

It can't be "an English Wikipedia policy"; it's not on English Wikipedia and not under English Wikipedia's control. I agree that tagging this as policy is not a good idea. Gavia immer (talk) 03:07, 2 October 2009 (UTC)

Well that is how the Wikipedia:Privacy policy is done. And the concept of maintaining honest records, confidentiality of information, etc all would seem applicable to editors and employees alike. MBisanz talk 03:26, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
What honest records do you think I should be maintaining as an editor?--Kotniski (talk) 06:18, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
I would say an example of a dishonest record would be claiming credit for a FA one didn't write or promoting a source one knew to be false. MBisanz talk 12:06, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
That internal policies talks about Business records or similar, serious legal stuff. Getting undeserved credit for a featured article or lying with the use of references is something "wrong", but nowhere near that level of things. Lawyers working with the foundation, either for it or interacting with it, don't care about such things: they don't even care about the existence or not of a system to select featured articles, or if we host an encyclopedia or a porn site. They only care about the foundation as a legal entity MBelgrano (talk) 12:27, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
  • I've untagged for the minute. This is a WikiMedia policy which only applies to their staff. The privacy policy is slightly different as it affects Wikipedians, but that could probably be untagged, since we have a link to the actual privacy policy at the bottom of every page. I don;t think teh privacy policy needs the tag either to be honest. I'd support a special tag for these circumstances though. Something that categorises into Wikimedia policies and makes clear that while they can apply to Wikipedians, they aren't set by us, or something. They aren't Wikipedia policies though, because they don't cover the encyclopedia or the community directly. Hiding T 09:55, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
This redirect will easily create misunderstandings. Shouldn't "Wikipedia:Code of conduct" redirect to the same place that the highlighted phrase "Wikipedia has a code of conduct" links to in the often-cited WP:5P page? That's what "code of conduct" means for most of us normal mortals. Fut.Perf. 10:07, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
Makes sense to me.--Kotniski (talk) 10:26, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
Works for me. Hiding T 12:39, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
Per WP:Policy, we don't create a page and slap a policy cat on it without discussion. Both Hiding's and Fut.Perf's arguments work for me, I'll make it so. As always, feel free to revert and discuss anything I do on policy pages. - Dank (push to talk) 13:45, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
Seems like a good solution. –Juliancolton | Talk 02:48, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Code of conduct no longer marked as a policy

Wikipedia:Code of conduct (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has been edited so that it is no longer marked as a policy. It was previously marked as a policy. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

Note: the policy tag has been removed according with this other thread. If more comments arise, they should be formulated there, not here. MBelgrano (talk) 02:14, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

db-f8 vs nowcommons

I am unsure what template to use {{db-f8}} or {{nowcommons}}, they both do the same thing.And if it really doesn't matter then why have 2 templates with just surface differences.--IngerAlHaosului (talk) 10:47, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

I don't think the differences are very clear either, but that may be a matter for clarifying their texts rather than merging, I don't know. The former originally redirected to the latter, but this was changed to the current situation with the edit summary "new speedy template, for use in cases where Template:NowCommons is unnecessary or has already been applied." NowCommons seems to be the first step template to apply, to tag it for review and categorize it under Category:Wikipedia files on Wikimedia Commons and/or Category:Wikipedia files with the same name on Wikimedia Commons. Db-f8 just categorizes it in Category:Candidates for speedy deletion, but actually states the criteria for speedy deletion. I can't really pin down why they can't be merged. I've invited the contributor who separated them to give their thoughts. Postdlf (talk) 16:01, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
I think the reason I created {{db-f8}} is that I wanted a "normal" speedy deletion template for files moved to Commons, consistent with the other db-* templates, which is something {{NowCommons}} was not at the time (and still isn't entirely). In particular, besides the long list of other requirements to check, back then CSD F8 had a mandatory one week delay for files moved to Commons by someone other than their uploader; as I noted in my edit summary, I intended {{db-f8}} for the files that were either moved by their uploader or that had already passed the one-week period, and where the other requirements had already been checked.
Also, at the time CAT:NC and CAT:NCT were pretty much permanently backlogged, as indeed they still seem to be. Part of the reason for this is that people are not only allowed to but even encouraged to apply {{NowCommons}} also to images that don't yet pass all the requirements for deletion. Back then, before I created {{db-f8}}, there was no obvious way for non-admins to help clear that backlog by marking files in that category as ready for deletion. (Also, {{NoCommons}} was only created a bit later, so back then it was quite common to see files tagged with both {{NowCommons}} and {{KeepLocal}}, and there wasn't much one could do about them. Nowadays it's at least in principle possible for a bunch of hard-working admins to empty CAT:NC and CAT:NCT entirely, unlike back when I created {{db-f8}}.)
Anyway, I wouldn't really mind seeing the templates merged back together, provided that there are no technical issues and that the backlog in CAT:NC and CAT:NCT can be kept under control (which might require some form of review mechanism, e.g. a "reviewed=1" parameter to the template). One technical obstacle is that the usage conventions for the two templates are slightly different in the case where the file is transferred under a different name: {{NowCommons}} wants the file name with the "File:" prefix, while {{db-f8}} wants it without. I suppose that could be worked around with some {{#ifexists:}} trickery, though, ugly as that may be. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 17:01, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
Tx for the reply, as the {{nowcommons}} is protected for all but admins i cant really do anything about this, but if i may suggest adding CAT:NCT and CAT:NC to the {{db-f8}} and that {{#ifexists:}} and having {{nowcommons}} redirect to {{db-f8}}.As for the backlog has anyone ever considered a bot that checked: if the file is present,file hash,license tag is present and correct,and for files in CAT:NC a back link replacer wikipedia file name->commons file name, then put them in a special category where an admin can do random file check and then delete them on mass.--IngerAlHaosului (talk) 17:46, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Requests for comment/new users

Not sure whether this is a misc. or a proposal. In any case, let's get some discussion happening here. Casliber (talk · contribs) 20:39, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

Dynamic IP's editing in controversial areas

I'm wondering what people think of dynamic IP editing -- the general feeling is this is generally okay, no? Does it matter if the IPs are editing in a controversial/ARB restricted area? Does it matter further if the IPs are coming from a user who has almost certainly edited under another account or accounts? And if that did matter, would it be necessary to first establish via CU beyond any reasonable doubt that the IP was linked to a named account, or could the WP:DUCK test in some instances apply? Thanks to all for reading. IronDuke 21:47, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (adjectives) no longer marked as a guideline

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (adjectives) (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has been edited so that it is no longer marked as a guideline. It was previously marked as a guideline. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (verbs) no longer marked as a guideline

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (verbs) (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has been edited so that it is no longer marked as a guideline. It was previously marked as a guideline. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

Discussion about bibliography articles

There is a discussion about bibliography articles taking place here. Suggestions being made are of far wider significance than to the specific page in question, therefore any constructive contributions to the conversation would be greatly appreciated. Neelix (talk) 21:09, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

RfC at WP:Civil

A request for comment has been posted at WP:Civil, concerning abuse of the one-line Edit Summary. This proposal also bears upon WP:NPA and WP:EW. Please take a look and comment. Brews ohare (talk) 22:29, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

Content removal and reverting

If an user ("A") were to revert an edit by "B" because it deleted part of the article (removing text, references, etc.), and by reverting it he also removed valid content added by B in the same edit, would he be coupable of blanking himself? In other words, would A be forced to recover parts of B's edits when reverting, for not being accused of removal of content?--Ultimate Destiny (talk) 17:35, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

Sort of. Blindly rolling back everything is a bad idea; losing good content is never beneficial to the encyclopedia. Take the extra three minutes to sort out the bad from the good. → ROUX  17:38, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Roux, but this is another example of why it is good practice to make separate edits, rather than one big edit including several actions. Far easier to revert the things that need reverting without destroying (possibly by accident) good additions.SPhilbrickT 23:00, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

WP:V wording

Currently WP:V is worded to put the burden of finding a source for unsourced information solely on the editor who wants to put the information back and not on the shoulders of the editor who removed the information based on the belief that it is unsourced. I believe this needs to change and is contradicted by the sentences later in the same WP:V that state that it is good practice and preferred that editors who want to remove unsourced information first try to find a source that confirms or denies it. I know I've brought this up in many discussions, and it could even be considered a "perenial" but really something should be done. The point of "citation needed" templates is to help identify what sentences and information needs a reference, so that those who might be able to find one can put one there. If the information is just removed then those who may have an interest in the article wont know that information is out there and just needs someone to find the information. Too many times I have seen these editors who go around trawling through articles they know nothing about looking for citation needed templates and removing the offending information without checking first for five-minutes in Google and then off like Superman to the next article to delete some more information. I say they are "trawling" because just like in fishing they trawl with a big net and yes catch things they are supposed to (fish, or wrong information that could never be cited) but also they catch happy dolphins (good information that helps the article, but just needing a citation). Citation needed doesnt mean "delete the information" it means "find a citation please". IAR is not to be ignored itself! If the information, even without a citation helps explain and clarify and makes the article a better article then it should stay under IAR. IAR is not a cop-out, it is the number one rule that overturns EVERYTHING that can be recited from our "rules". WP:V needs to be written to adhere to the spirit of Wikipedia and IAR and to stop these whole-sale trawlers who's intent is to destroy information (but within the wording of our guidelines) and who do not have the intent to add to the articles or improve them.Camelbinky (talk) 21:27, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

And the current wording/interpretation of WP:V also violates WP:Preserve.Camelbinky (talk) 21:38, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
Yes there are people who abuse verifiability just as every policy can be twisted to abuse it, which is not a good reason for bowdlerizing any policy or this fundamental policy by turning it on its head. Every day WP:BURDEN is used to keep POV content, defamatory content, made up crap, fringe nonsense, urban legends, good faith and bad faith incorrect anecdotal factoids, etc. ad nauseum, out of articles. We are a tertiary source. Reversing the burden (which is what you seek) makes the writing of any content sacrosanct unless someone can disprove it. It robs WP:V of what little teeth it has to attempt to keep Wikipedia an encyclopedia. We could do nothing worse than reverse the burden. The language you identify is not at all contradictory but explanatory. What we need is to go in the opposite direction. You would eviscerate the policy. I would bolster it. The verifiability policy does not have the teeth it should or, at the very least, the way we apply is with kid gloves. I think we have dug ourselves a very, very deep hole that we are going to have a hard time climbing out of with hundreds of thousands of entirely unsourced articles sitting around. I think it's a systemic cancer on Wikipedia. Sadly, we have not been able to settle on any process to seriously enforce verifiability. What we need is something like Wikipedia:Requests for verification. We should not require the hypothetical ability to be sourced, but actual sourcing on some type of a time frame. Verifiability as presently written and interpreted can only take us so far. WP:BURDEN is so fundamental to keeping us on path to our goal I shudder to think of the encyclopedia without it.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 23:05, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Well, at some point, inaccurate information (which all unverified information potentially is) has to go or Wikipedia will look stupid and be a liar, so I don't know if shifting the burden would necessarily be a good thing to do. It is good, however, to give plausible and reasonable information a grace period for someone to find a source for it (research takes time). But contrariwise, the deletion of uncited info often spurs people into finding citations; you see some facts get removed from an article you watchlist, say "hey, that was correct and non-obscure info, I should be able to source that", and get spurred into researching (I've experienced this personally). The issue ties into the deletionist-inclusionist debate and delicate balancing is necessary for the wikicosystem. --Cybercobra (talk) 23:14, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
I agree with you. And let me clarify what I said in one way in light of your post. I do not endorse wholesale removal unless a user has a good faith basis for believing it wrong, or unsourced and POV and so on, and WP:V make that clear with all types of caveats and recommendations before removal that should result in people using it only for specific material they object to, or think sounds dubious, or controversial, rather than using it as an unfettered license to remove any unsourced material. People who do use it as an unfettered license are not keeping within the letter or spirit of the policy. My point remains that just because some subset of users misapply is not a reason to stray into baby-bathwater territory.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 23:28, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
I understand both editors posts, and I am glad Fughettaboutit clarified that the wholesale removal should not be done unless there is a believe that it is wrong, POV, etc. That is what I would like some more guidance on how to handle those "trawlers" I described for I have run into a few who dont care about whether the info is just info that needs a citation or info that is actually damaging. Is there a place such as the OR noticeboard except instead of being about Original Research it is about discussing whether or not a piece of information should/should not be taken out? At the OR noticeboard I have noticed (pun intended) that alot of the OR problems are actually whether or not a piece of information is supported by the various sources in the same paragraph or not (making it OR and/or SYNTH). Any place to bring to light these "trawlers" I have described and have an admin or consensus of the community show the editor "hey, you probably shouldnt have removed that information, let the template do its work first". I'd like to start slapping warning templates on their talk pages to wake them up to the disruption they cause, but these are the types of people who dont care about any opinion not written in policy word-for-word.Camelbinky (talk) 00:05, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
WP:V is pretty clear about giving people a chance to add sources so you might mention to them that they need to go beyond the first paragraph of the policy. In the end though, it comes down to a matter of judgment as to what is irresponsible cruft and what are facts added by a knowledgeable editor who didn't have a specific reference on hand. A few years ago Wikipedia was in need of content and the priority was to get the articles written. Now however, it's getting more and more difficult to find encyclopedic material that's not already covered and the priority has changed to improving the quality of the work rather than the quantity. Perhaps there are still places for material to be added with facts to be checked later, but those places are getting more and more rare.--RDBury (talk) 00:11, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
I don't know that it is really getting hard to find encyclopedic content that can be added. See Wikipedia:Requested articles, and e.g. Wikipedia:Requested articles/Mathematics. — Carl (CBM · talk) 01:06, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
Encyclopedic, but increasingly esoteric/obscure. --Cybercobra (talk) 02:03, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
That's what I should have said. A few years ago Circle was wide open. I still find topics to be added but I have to do a lot a research to find them and learn enough to write an article.--RDBury (talk) 12:48, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

I've mocked up a template to address the bad use discussed. It was a quick job and probably needs a copyedit for flow. See {{Uw-vremoval}}.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 00:40, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

The template is a good idea, although I would include some of your excellent first statement above (i.e. start by briefly indicating that removing nonsense is good). Johnuniq (talk) 01:00, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
I thank all of you for your insights and helpful comments and resources. I am glad there are good editors out there who understand that sometimes facts get put into an article for good reason and sometimes a handy source isnt available (that happens to me alot as I edit at work and have to save quickly before being able to add the citation part, and then forget to go back and add the citation or forget where I had found the info in teh first place). I hope those who go around "fishing" for "citations needed" templates realize there they have a purpose and to give them a chance to do their job, and on articles that need ALOT of work or dont see alot of editors this may actually mean leaving them for a year or so before someone can get to making them right. Deletion should be the last resort, not the default (unless of course the information is damaging or illegal, POV, etc as Fuhghettaboutit stated earlier). Perhaps by us having this discussion some will see the light-of-day and realize deleting might not always be the smartest thing to do to articles. I think Fuhghett's template is also heading in the right direction as it enlightens and informs instead of being a typical "warning" that admonishes and chastises. I hope more and more editors continue to comment here, or we can carry on at my talk page, their stories about run-ins with "trawlers", or solutions on how to reform them as Fughett has done with a warning template. Any help we can give each other on making Wikipedia a fact-friendly place is always good for the encyclopedia.Camelbinky (talk) 02:12, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

And how do yo expect to find and remove incorrect information? Not only deliverate hoaxes or lies, but also rumors, common misunderstandings, mistakes, outdated information, local perspectives in disregard or global ones, etc. If we work on the asumption that if a statement has reliable references then it must be "true" enough for us to say it, then the principle that false information won't be able to provide such references is just a result of formal logic. But we won't have very frequently reliable sources confirming that a "false" statement is indeed false: if it is a marginal or minority point of view with no supporters, or just an invention (deliverate or not) of some common people, reliable sources are likely to dismiss the issue completely. In fact, the cases when we would have such sources would be exceptional, not the rule.

Or to say things a little better: that a statement does not provide references does not imply it to be false, it implies that we can't be sure enough that it's true. In such cases, I support removal: if the statement was unreferenced but true, it can be easily restored once the needed sources are found and provided. MBelgrano (talk) 03:39, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

I agree that we should rather add more strength to WP:BURDEN rather than weaken WP:V even more. The problem is that if you place the burden on the editor trying to remove unsourced info, then people could put false/POV info into an article, then claim, "WP:V allows for unsourced info until you prove it wrong." Like it has been said, there are now 3,000,000 articles on WP, so we should start to focus on better quality articles. On some articles, it is harder to find sources for true statements, but I think that the vast majority of "citation needed" tags are from lazy editors who ignore that Verifiability is one of the pillars of WP. And let's be honest, if you are a veteren editor on WP, and you are adding unsourced info often, you should know better, and find sources. Besides, when I read an article that has 10 or so citation needed tags, I basically begin to question the whole article. While I agree that editors should check into info before deleting, it is a dangerous slope when you change WP:V to prevent people from removing unsourced info. And if you get angry that someone removed a great thought you added to the page, well, use that energy to find a source instead of starting an edit war. (Not aimed at anyone in particular) Angryapathy (talk) 13:26, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

Even more: if I read an exceptional claim with a reference, I know where to seek it. Perhaps it contradicts everything I thought I knew so far about some issue, but I may have been wrong all the time and with checking such a reference I may be able to correct or complete my knowledge (or keep the same opinion, but with a greater perspective). But what should I think when I read an exceptional claim without references? Should I asume it to be correct because "wikipedia says it"? Or, with my knowledge of how does Wikipedia work, should I asume it to be correct because "an editor of wikipedia who appears as just a nickname and without any guaranteed formation or scholary reputation, says it". I don't think that's a good idea. I wouldn't trust any information source that allows me to write or correct it. MBelgrano (talk) 14:01, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

Problem with Upload form and Non-Free Fair Use restrictions

I am not entirely sure that this is the right page on which to raise this issue, but I have already posted regarding the problem to two other places, in the last case decisively in light of the answer I got, and wanted to get some feedback from 'higher powers' regarding the issue. My last post on the subject can be found here, but I'll reiterate and expand.
The problem I ran into arose as a result of an attmpt to upload an image from a book on a particular illustrator for use on an article on that illustrator which I had created and been developing for a while. When I went to upload and was presented with the upload file screen, I selected the option that appeared to be appropriate to the situation - "A cover or other page from a book, DVD, newspaper, magazine, or other such source" (italics added). This then took me to the page with the upload form. This reminds me of Fair Use criteria, etc, and then guides me through the steps to upload a file. The problem arises at Step 2, where I am told to "Pick an appropriate entry from the licence selector". The problem is that upon attempting to do so, I see that the drp down list in question excludes an mention of internal images from a book. This despite the mention of such in the preceding page that led me there. The closest option is 'Book cover', which the image in question was not, and worse, choosing that option alows me to see that the Fair Use blurb beneath it stipulates that it be used to illustrate an article about the book, not it's subject.
Now, the user who has answered me on the Help Desk has told me flat out that I cannot use the image at all under Fair Use guidelines: "In short, there's no option on the menu to do what you're trying to do because it's not permissible under Wikipedia's image use rules."
My first assertion is that the upload page and form page are misleading. The upload page clearly shows an option which includes internal images from a book (covered by 'other page'), whilst the upload form page totally exlcudes any such thing, restricting itself to covers. I see no logical reason why this should be the case, for a start. Either the upload page should also exclude internal pages from a book, or the licence drop down list should be expanded to include them - but the two should not contradict one another.
Secondly, it seems rather bizarre to me that it is not possible under Fair Use to utilise an image from within a book on a particular subject to illustrate an article on the subject (eg. an artist, as in this case), rather than just to illustrate an article on the book (perhaps justifiable for book covers, as stipulated), providing, of course, the copyright for the image is owned by the subject, not the publisher (as in this case). To put it in terms of contrast, if it is Fair Use to use an image of a book cover to illustrate an article on the book, why is it not Fair Use to use an image from a book on an artist to illustrate an article on the artist, providing the artist owns the copyright to the image and the book stipulates that in any front matter?
This seems a ludicrous situation and is perhaps a principal reason that the vast majority of articles on living artists and contemporary illustrators are bare of images demonstrating their work. LSmok3 Talk 14:44, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
Without having seen your discussions elsewhere, it sounds like you're looking for Template:Non-free 2D art. Postdlf (talk) 15:32, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
Well, thanks for the reply. The template indeed seems to be a better fit, but I'm still a bit confused. Firstly, why does this template exist if there is no comparable option in the upload page? And secondly, what do I do with this template? -the template page itself is not an upload form, so how do I go about implementing this statement with the image file, and what do I do about the licensing dropdown on the upload form page, which nonetheless still excludes internal images from books or 'Non-free 2D art'? Sorry, but I've only uploaded a file once before, and only know how to do so using the Wiki upload page, which doesn't refer me to this template. . . LSmok3 Talk 15:43, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

Google search results as article references

Are such results valid inline cites? They're currently being used in Tsarist autocracy. A guideline link, if there is one, would be helpful. Novickas (talk) 16:11, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

I'd say that Google search results are not valid as article refs. On the other hand, Google Book searches are much more reliable, see WP:GOOGLE (not a policy - I don't think that's covered anywhere - but a how-to guide). PS. I find Google Books search results useful in proving that a concept is discussed in reliable sources. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 16:59, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
No, they are not. See WP:RS, I believe. Google searches return different results over time, and return different results based on your location, past searches, etc. → ROUX  17:02, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
Google results are not valid references, they are not even references at all. A google result is just an automated responde to a number and format of keywords, but no more than that. A google result is as valid as a reference as the adress of a good library. MBelgrano (talk) 17:19, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
If something about the google search itself is what is being cited (e.g. something in Googlebomb might want to do that), you'd have to get Webcite (or some similar service) to archive the search results page to ensure that the reference doesn't quickly become obsolete. Much more likely is that someone thinks that they can support some arbitrary statement by showing that Google returns results for it; in that case, the Google "reference" is simply not a reliable source.
As for a Google Books search, the actual reference in the article should be to the book, optionally with a link to the Google Books page as a convenience. That obviously doesn't apply to discussions on talk pages. Anomie 17:48, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

Deleted image

[[1]] was deleted. I was wondering if it was appropriate since I had listed a non free rationale. Wuld there be a way to use it. The image can be found here :[2]. Thanks--Die4Dixie (talk) 03:05, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

Unfortunately, photos of people are generally agreed to fail WP:NFCC #1. --Cybercobra (talk) 03:12, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
As Cybercobra says, photos such as that do not meet WP:NFCC#1. — Carl (CBM · talk) 03:13, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
(edit conflict)We can't use images of living people under a claim of fair use, so a FUR on an image of a living person is irrelevant. As to the broader issue, if you can document that the image has been released under a free license or into the public domain - not just presumed to be so - then the deletion rationale would no longer apply. Gavia immer (talk) 03:17, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

Request to stop the Vandalism

We would like to ask you to stop the vandalism actions and intervention that have been recently directed towards this page. Thus, there are numerous third party sources such as National Geographic, US Congress Documents and famous journalists' reports, quoted on the page. 10 years of teaching at the most prestigious Romanian University is a long period for anyone, as a Professor. The presence of the material is mainly justified by the role played by Professor Munteanu in the changes occurred in the Eastern Europe in 1989 - 1990. Also, the large quantity of information is justified by his international activities and presence. It is obvious that these vandalism interventions have nothing in common with the norms of an encyclopedia and we consider them as attacks originating from propagandistic areas and believe such interventions should not be allowed in a free encyclopedia. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bogdan Munteanu (talkcontribs) 08:15, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

What? There's only so much we can do about vandalism. We remove it when we find it, we block vandals when necessary, and we protect pages from editing only when completely necessary. So ummm... yeah, I don't really care about anything else. Go read this page to learn more. → ROUX  08:19, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
Directed towards which page? OrangeDog (talk • edits) 14:29, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
That would be Marian Munteanu presumably some relation. And the vandalism would be removal of copyright text and unlicensed images I would guess. Rich Farmbrough, 18:06, 7 October 2009 (UTC).

Wikipedia:WikiProject Belgium/Brussels naming conventions no longer marked as a guideline

Wikipedia:WikiProject Belgium/Brussels naming conventions (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has been edited so that it is no longer marked as a guideline. It was previously marked as a guideline. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

  • Might want some eyes on this, it's plausible a tag war may be brewing. Hiding T 10:09, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

Request for Comment on WP:Civil

An RfC has been posted here concerning recommendations for use of the one-line Edit Summary in reverting contributions. Please take a look and comment. Brews ohare (talk) 17:02, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

Say no to Linkspam: OCLC Online Computer Library

WP:LINKSPAM says that adding external links to an article or user page for the purpose of promoting a website or a product is not allowed, and is considered to be spam. I have just noticed that Cybercobra is adding hundreds of links to articles about published books that link to Online Computer Library Center, such as this link to the article Dragons of the Dwarven Depths. In theory, the link is being created to an online catalogue service. In practise, this shadowy private company, whose ownership and management seems murky to me, is acting a shop front for online booksellers, such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Should we be allow spamming of links to semi-commercial sites whose ownership and management is not transparent? Who is benefiting from this linking? Worse still, is this some sort of scam? --Gavin Collins (talk|contribs) 09:27, 27 September 2009 (UTC)

WorldCat (to which the OCLC references link) is actually very useful. I don't at all see how it is a scam. It's not just about booksellers. It also shows what libraries near you have a particular book. It's good for seeing the different versions and editions of a book. As for OCLC numbers in citations, the official line is supposed to be that there's no need for it where there is an ISBN, but if there isn't an ISBN (usually books older than about 1980) it is useful to include it. -- Alarics (talk) 10:36, 27 September 2009 (UTC)
The bot does not interact with citation templates. --Cybercobra (talk) 10:59, 27 September 2009 (UTC)
Factual accuracy note: What CobraBot (BRFA, contribs) is doing is filling in the |oclc= parameter of {{Infobox Book}} by looking up OCLC#s programmatically based on ISBNs. --Cybercobra (talk) 10:55, 27 September 2009 (UTC)
So the question is, why do we have Online Computer Library Center in the template in the first place? Why are we filling in the template without asking what is the reason for this? I don't understand why this could be of benefit to Wikipedia:
  1. Who is behind the Online Computer Library Center? How is funded? I have read the article, and frankly the level of disclosure of what this company seems to me to be deliberately vague. It says it is a "not-for-profit" company, but then who is benefiting? Is the proprietor? Is it Amazon and Barnes & Noble? Someone has to be benefitting.
  2. What is an OCLC number? Who issues it? Why is it issued and to which books? My guess is that an OCLC number is similar to an ASIN, that it is simply a product identifier? It does not impart any useful cataloguing information like a Dewy number does.
  3. How does Wikipedia benefit from the link? What information does an OCLC number impart per se? Should Wikipedia list every product and library catalogue number for every article about a book? I thought that Wikipedia is not a product catalogue.
  4. How does the reader benefit? What use is an OCLC anyway if it is not a library catalogue per se? How many libraries does OCLC feature? It seems to me that the books listed do not represent the entire catalogue of any particular library - you can't look up the books availability for instance.
I think you get the picture - I am not convinced this is useful at all, and that article about OCLC does not contain any information from a reliable secondary source to suggest this organisation is notable, nor does it cite any reliable secondary source commenting on how useful (or not) this service is. As far as I can see, OCLC is just another internet start up, with a business plan based on providing links to book sellers, while offering a very limited online library catalogue as a front to give its business the patina of respectablity. To be frank, I think we are naive to have undertaken this type of linkspamming without asking some basic questions about what this is actually achieving. --Gavin Collins (talk|contribs) 14:28, 27 September 2009 (UTC)
Your post got me interested in OCLC so I did some quick checking. Not sure why you are basing your information on the content in Wikipedia's article on the organization (or why you imply is it "deliberately vague" as if Wikipedia articles always have all the information and if they don't they must have been manipulated to be that way—the article is not far from being a stub!) There is just scads of reliable sources discussing the organization. Background on its founding is provided here and quite a bit about their governance here. Interesting. OCLC bought Forest Press in 1988, which owns the dewey decimal system ([3], [4]); who knew the Dewey Decimal System was owned? Anyway, this is just what I found on the first page of hundreds of results, but they appear to me to be a massively notable, private nonprofit "membership cooperative" made up of 46,000 libraries all over the world as cooperative participants and 10,000 libraries being members; the very opposite of "just another internet startup" that is a front for an online bookseller.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 16:12, 27 September 2009 (UTC)
P.S. I see no reason to ever link to the OCLC number when an ISBN is available (most books after 1966), and I think the OCLC link to Worldcat should always be provided for publications where an ISBN cannot be given, which fosters the goal of making cited sources as transparent to locate and access for verifiability purposes as possible.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 16:29, 27 September 2009 (UTC)
  • OCLC #s are very useful for non-books. For example, each microfish archive gets its own number which makes tracking down the one you need much easier. OCLC #s are also used by most US libraries and many world libraries, so they most certainly are not some "scam" to benefit Amazon. --ThaddeusB (talk) 16:58, 27 September 2009 (UTC)
Completely agree with above comments that 1) Links to OCLC are not spam and 2) they are not needed when there is an ISBN. olderwiser 17:05, 27 September 2009 (UTC)
(edit conflict)I don't believe OCLC is "a scam to benefit Amazon" - and I'm not sure where that comes from - but one can find various grumblings about them on the net with regard to their access policies, effective monopoly in many places, etc. Of course, one can say the same thing about ISBN numbers; in the United States, the ISBN issuing agency is a for-profit company most people haven't heard of, that charges a fee to issue ISBNs and then resells a commercial product based on their publishing industry data - not especially different in character from OCLC's policies. We should be basing our use of such identifiers on a principle of maximal utility, rather than the vague and murky penumbras of an ethical purity that doesn't exist. In my opinion, if we have an unambiguous ISBN - note that not all ISBNs are unambiguous - then we've nearly maximized the utility of such identifiers, and there's not much need for others. That doesn't mean that listing OCLCs generated from ISBNs is particularly bad, but it's probably mostly pointless most of the time. Gavia immer (talk) 17:20, 27 September 2009 (UTC)
I think you will find that membership of the International Organization for Standardization who control the International Standard Book Number is much more transparent than the OCLC, which is just one of many private Online public access catalogs. I still don't understand the benefit to Wikipedia of linking to the Worldcat site on every article; we don't do that for ISBNs by comparison. --Gavin Collins (talk|contribs) 08:24, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
  • I offer no opinion on the appropriateness of the OCLC number in an infobox versus its employment in a citation, say, but one reason to use an OCLC number in addition to an ISBN is that different editions (i.e. revised, enlarged, updated, etc.) and different formats (i.e. paperback, audio, large print, etc.) of books are each assigned different ISBNs. Following the OCLC number to their site, one can find different editions, formats, etc., not just one single format. — Bellhalla (talk) 12:15, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
Is the issue of identifying a particular edition normally addressed by a Worldcat number? I have never seen the Worldcat number cited in any book or magazine I have read. My experience is very different: to identify which edition of a particular book is being refered to, I add citations that provide details of the publisher, place of publication together with the year (and sometimes month, if available) of publication. I think if there are any changes to the text or publisher, a new ISBN is created to reflect this. So I would argue, what is the benefit of citing a Worldcat number if that sort of information is already implicit in the citation reference? And why is Wikipedia using Worldcat at all, when it is very uncommon to do so. Strangely, neither Amazon nor Barnes & Noble quote a Worldcat number on their book listings. --Gavin Collins (talk|contribs) 12:57, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
The OC[o]LC number includes various editions, not just one. It is independent of commercial publishers and retailers. This has both good and bad aspects. It makes it easier for a reader or editor to find some version of the source, but does not by itself find the exact version cited. The ISBN by contrast finds only the exact version from the exact publisher, not earlier or later editions, not large print, audio or electronic editions, and not editions published in the reader's country. Additionally, the WorldCat search allows a reader to "find in a library near me", something that the commercial enterprises will avoid for obvious reasons. Such searches give an extra tool to editors: the ability to distinguish mass circulation from boutique works is a real aid in choosing reliable sources. While it is possible to go from specific ISBN to general OCLC on the WorldCat site (or, less consistently, on Google Books) most casual users will not be aware of this possibility. In short, both have their utility in citations for recent publications. On the other hand, ISBNs have only been used by publishers in recent decades. For older works that have not been in press since the inception of ISBNs, cooperating libraries still apply an OCLC to works held in their catalogues, which other libraries then transfer to their own copies of the same work. For rare old books this is particularly valuable in that it helps solve the problem of illegible text in one copy. LeadSongDog come howl 14:27, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
WorldCat is also useful in the opposite direction, i.e. finding the right ISBN among different editions and versions of a book. I use it all the time to find ISBNs for WP citations and then, if a book doesn't have an ISBN, I put the OCLC number in the citation instead. I think Gavin Collins has got a bee in his bonnet quite unnecessarily about this. The search facility in WorldCat also works better than that of many individual libraries, so that. for instance, it is often easier to discover there that a book is in the British Library than it is on the British Library's own on-line catalogue. -- Alarics (talk) 19:38, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

Yes OCLC is good to use when ISBN fails (as are a number of others) but I think it's really good that this possible abuse was spotted and brought here. And yes I did know that Dewey is owned, it is a great shame, ISBNs are also administered by a for-profit company, which means the full information about assignment ranges costs money. Rich Farmbrough, 21:09, 28 September 2009 (UTC).

Whether or not Worldcat is a legitimate reference to pepper Wikipedia with is debateable in my view, as it is neither a comprehensive catalogue of every book published, nor is it a comprehensive library catalogue either. I could be mistaken as to the benefit such catalogue number, but from a Wikipedia perspective it is of little or no benefit to readers, since the only use of the Worldcat number is to look up a book on the Worldcat site, which is as far as I can see is little more than an advertising billboard for Amazon and Barnes & Noble - there must be hundreds of mirror sites earning advertising from doing the same thing
However, setting that asside for a moment, I realise the real issue is still linkspamming, since it is CobraBot that is linking directly to the Worldcat site itself, which I am sure is not appropriate. Note that the link to ISDN is not made directly to the ISO site, but is made instead to Special:BookSources, where the reader can make their choice of what they do with this information. Forgive me if I seem abrasive or rude, but I have a particular dislike of spam, and I think what you are doing is to unwittingly add linkspam to Wikipedia by adding a direct link to this site, which in my view is not exempt from WP:LINKSPAM. --Gavin Collins (talk|contribs) 21:55, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
This is a joke, right? OCLC is a worldwide library consortium, and Worldcat is an excellent resource for checking whether books are available in libraries. An OCLC number is like an ISBN number, except they are assigned by libraries and therefore help identify books that predate the ISBN system ( early '70s ) as well as materials other than books. I often include an OCLC number in my cites when an ISBN is not available. And I wouldn't have any problem with a bot or template that connects those OCLC numbers to Worldcat. Squidfryerchef (talk) 22:12, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
The issue here (at least as far as I'm concerned) isn't whether Worldcat is an excellent resource—I use it several times a day—but whether there is any point in having a direct link to Worldcat when we already have a link to Special:Booksources that offers links to Worldcat and many other catalogues. OCLCs are useful when linking to books that don't have ISBNs, but when there is an ISBN this link is redundant, and this bot only provides an OCLC link when there is already an ISBN, so by definition it is providing a redundant link. Phil Bridger (talk) 22:43, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
I wouldn't object to having a Booksources-OCLC special page to funnel these through. Squidfryerchef (talk) 23:22, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
That misses the point on two grounds: 1) OCLC is a Worldcat-specific identifier, not something that other catalogues use, and 2) The bot that has caused the problem under discussion only adds OCLCs to infoboxes that already have ISBNs, which are the accepted standard (check what the "S" in ISBN stands for) and the link to the ISBN already allows the reader to link to exactly the same information that the OCLC provides. OCLCs are the best identifier we can get when there is no ISBN, but, when there is an ISBN they are very definitely second-best, and redundant. Phil Bridger (talk) 23:35, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
There's other places to look up an OCLC besides Worldcat. A future special page could include the option to look them up in the Library of Congress or other library systems. Something like what we have for geographical coordinates, where users can click through and choose a wide range of mapping tools to find them in. I'm not sure all the facts are getting through; OCLC has existed for decades and Worldcat is a recent project. OCLC is used worldwide, but it may be more common in the U.S., where -every- library uses it.
Funneling OCLC's through a special page would still provide benefits due to abstraction, even if Worldcat was the only place it linked to. Suppose one day Worldcat changes its URL format, then what? Or if someone wants to do a linksearch on Worldcat, or just so as not to have megabytes of URLs dispersed through thousands of articles.
I'm not sure why an ISBN would be preferred over an OCLC number, anyway. The OCLC is administered by librarians. As far as the bot, I don't have a position on what the bot is doing. While adding Worldcat links when there is already an ISBN and a special page does seem redundant to me, some of the bizarre things being said about OCLC above made me doubt everything said by one side of the table. Squidfryerchef (talk) 23:59, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
I was unaware that other sites than Worldcat provide OCLC links. Could you provide some examples, with links? And are there any sites that provide OCLC linking but not ISBN linking? And please don't assume that just because I may appear to be sitting on a particular side of the table that I share anyone else's views. As I said above, I believe that, in the absence of an ISBN, an OCLC is by far the best identifier for a book. If you look at my contributions you will see that when I add a reference to a book source I always include an OCLC if I can't find an ISBN - e.g. this is one I did today.
User:Gavia immer stated "note that not all ISBNs are unambiguous" - they should be unambiguous, it's one of the rules of the ISBN system that a number, once issued, may not be reallocated to a different book even if the book that the ISBN was originally created for is long out of print; further, that alternative formats and revised editions require different ISBNs. See International ISBN Agency FAQ page. By contrast, ISSNs may be ambiguous, since although they describe a particular periodical, they don't resolve it all the way to issue number, cover date, etc.
ISBNs on older books are sometimes present but disguised - the primary pre-ISBN system in the UK was the SBN, which had nine characters. To turn a SBN into a valid ten-character ISBN is dead easy - just stick a "0" in front. Many books of that period bore the SBN, but with no identifying marks - it was just a string of nine seemingly-random characters on or inside the back cover, inside the front cover, or on the copyright page. I've got one right here: it's priced 50s (shillings), which shows that it must be pre-1971; this is confirmed by page 4 which shows simply:
7155 4188 X7153 4188 X
and the printer's details. Note that "7155 4188 X" "7153 4188 X" has nine characters, and also doesn't show that it's a SBN. But check for ISBN 0 7153 4188 X, and you'll see that it's valid. --Redrose64 (talk) 23:48, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
Interesting. This might explain why I found the occasional invalid (for being too short) ISBN in my bot's logs... --Cybercobra (talk) 00:57, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
Have just spotted a typo in my section above. My bad. I've amended --Redrose64 (talk) 09:40, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

←(unindent from above)← ISBNs with dashes to delimit the internal fields (region-publisher-unit-checksum) are indeed unambiguous. Unfortunately, because the length of the publisher field (and hence the range of the unit field) can vary, ISBNs recorded without the dashes are not necessarily unambiguous. Increasingly, this is the way they are most commonly recorded, especially for ISBN-13s (since it's just an EAN with a second interpretation). For instance, Google Books nearly always only has the dashless form of the ISBN in their summary view, even when they have a copyright page available in the book text with the dashed form plainly recorded. This can be a problem, though it's a small one - ISBN + title is practically always a unique identifier even when the ISBN alone isn't. Gavia immer (talk) 01:48, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

ISBNs without dashes may still be unambiguous, even if the length of the publisher field can vary. For instance, something similar exists with credit card numbers. The length of the bank field varies. Big banks with many deposits are identified by a short number, small banks with fewer accounts are identified by a long number. Squidfryerchef (talk) 02:36, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
Though not every string of ten digits can possibly form an ISBN, it seems that any legal string can be hyphenated in only one way. (I do not see the possibility argued above that ISBNs recorded without the hyphens could ever be ambiguous). An algorithm that walks the table of ranges given at should be able to do the job of placing the hyphens, even without knowing all the 600,000-odd publisher codes. For the general idea, see International Standard Book Number#Pattern, with more detail at [5]. EdJohnston (talk) 02:51, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
The presence or absence of dashes or spaces is purely to aid human readability, and the positioning of such separators is immaterial. It's conventional to split "1901706796" as "1-901706-79-6" but forms such as "1-90170-679-6", "1-9017-0679-6", "1-901-70679-6", "1-90-170-679-6" etc. will parse as valid, and all identify exactly the same book. --Redrose64 (talk) 09:40, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
To get us back on track, I don't think the comparative merits of the ISBN compared with OCLC is the issue here, rather it is whether Wikipedia should have direct links to the Worlcat webside, as there is no direct link to the ISBN. I have made a proposal at ANI that the not only should linking to the Worldcat website cease, but that it should also be rolled back by removing all of the links that have been created to date. I am not saying that the Worldcat number should not be used or added to articles if they are of benefit; rather I am proposing that the hundreds of direct links to their site be removed. --Gavin Collins (talk|contribs) 10:33, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
The Cybercobra bot does not add links to the WorldCat site. It simply populates |oclc= in the {{Infobox Book}}. Any linking is performed automatically by {{Infobox Book}}. Therefore, all links could be removed simply by changing {{Infobox Book}}. Also, the appropriate place for any complaints about the links is on the Template's Talk page. HairyWombat (talk) 19:50, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
Nothing "simply" causes linkspam; someone had to make it happen, in this case the editor Cybercobra. I think it is down to him to put it right. Every editor has to take responsibility for their own actions, not blame the creators of the template, in the same way we cannot make the excuse that we were "simply taking orders". --Gavin Collins (talk|contribs) 21:22, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
Congratulations, Gavin. You have just proved Godwin's law. I feel privileged to have seen it in action. HairyWombat (talk) 07:09, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
Thank you for enlightening us on that, that is a fair point. However, the linkspam remains; we can't "simply" blame the bot or the template, and the responisibilty for cleanup still remains. --Gavin Collins (talk|contribs) 08:01, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
If it is desirable to unlink the OCLC# when an ISBN is present, that can be accomplished by a edit to the template. There is no need to undo the edits. --ThaddeusB (talk) 13:21, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
The Asimov's third law of robotics might be closer to the point, but even that is off topic. The link to the OCLC is a benefit to the project. It is not any kind of spam, scam, or bookmongers' ploy (if anything, it hurts the bookmongers by diverting buyers to libraries). It is a legitimate bibliographic tool. The only question is whether that benefit outweighs the tiny confusion it might cause when seen side-by-side with a linked ISBN. I contend (above) that it does. LeadSongDog come howl 14:33, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
In answer to ThaddeusB, Cybercobra knows that neither he nor myself can edit the template, in which case the linkspam remains. In response to LeadSongDog, the worthiness of Worldcat is a side issue; its still linkspam. Whether their is benefit from the Worldcat number is open to question, but mass linking to Worldcat's website is effectively making Wikipedia a feeder site to the Worldcat site. --Gavin Collins (talk|contribs) 15:47, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
I could imagine a compromise in which CyberCobra agrees not to run the bot any more. Under this plan, the OCLC numbers he has already inserted would be allowed to remain in place. The ones already inserted do not annoy me too much, since they are only in infoboxes, and there is a slight chance they may be useful there. If they were being mechanically added to *citations* I would be quite concerned. EdJohnston (talk) 16:51, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

I, or any other admin, can easily change the template if/when there is consensus to do so. --ThaddeusB (talk) 17:25, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

(edit conflict) (out) - Why would he need to stop it? Adding the OCLCs to infoboxes is quite helpful to the reader. I have no idea why this is such a big deal; for the most part, I agree with LeadSongDog (talk · contribs)'s comments above ("The link to the OCLC is a benefit to the project."). I do not think that it would cause more confusion; in fact, I think that an argument could be made that Special:BookSources—what ISBNs link too—is more confusing. This is the reason I have ISBNs and OCLCs side-by-side in such FAs or As like Brazilian battleship Minas Geraes#Bibliography or North Carolina class battleship#Bibliography. —Ed (talkcontribs) 17:36, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

But the ISBN link already gives the reader the option to go to Worldcat, so why do we need a separate, direct, link to it? I'm perfectly happy to have OCLC links when there is no ISBN, but this bot is adding them only in those cases where there already is an ISBN. A useful bot would be one that looks at articles with no ISBN or OCLC and adds one of them (with the first choice being ISBN) based on a Worldcat lookup of other parameters such as title, author, publisher and year. One thing that I do agree on is that Special:BookSources needs to be made friendlier, in particular to remove irrelevences such as the map and most of the notes from the top of the page so that the reader can see the first few links without having to scroll down, but that's a separate issue that I don't feel like getting into in depth now. Phil Bridger (talk) 18:49, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
It's not an issue of need. ISBNs may link to worldcat, but OCLCs can also be helpful by providing a direct link. What I don't understand is what is so wrong with the bot adding links. What serious detriment does it do to the project. —Ed (talkcontribs) 23:27, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
Where an ISBN link already exists, the OCLC link is redundant, as a WorldCat link is accessible through Special:BookSources. That said, characterizing adding OCLC links as linkspamming verges on the ludicrous: OCLC is a non-profit membership co-op, and the WorldCat union catalogue, the largest bibliographic database in the world, is provided free of charge to libraries. Who benefits from this scam? Uh, dunno: libraries and library users, I guess. I mean, you might find a link from Wikipedia to a book in your local library and, er, go and take it out. Shameless hucksters. --Rrburke(talk) 02:51, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

Where a correctly-formatted ISBN is already in place, adding OCLC does seem like needless clutter since a WorldCat link is accessible through Special:BookSources and Worldcat is perfectly capable of retrieving titles by ISBN. –Whitehorse1 03:24, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

Whether or not the OCLC number is needless clutter, I don't think there is consensus to remove the number itself at this point. But the way template is working, it means that when a OCLC number is added, it creates a direct link to the Worldcat site. As a result, Cobrabot has created hundreds of links to the Worldcat site. WP:LINKSPAM says that direct links should not be created which "explicitly solicit editors to use a specific external source to expand an article". By comparison, when the ISBN parameter is created, it does not create a direct link, so linkspam is not an issue.
I have understood from this discussion that some editors consider the OCLC be a useful cataloging system, but there are many others out there (Library of Congress Control Number comes to mind). Which ever numbers we choose to include in the template is a matter of consensus, but surely we don't what to add links to every book article to the sites of each and every cataloging authority? --Gavin Collins (talk|contribs) 12:49, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
A review of the archives for Template talk:Infobox Book shows that the consensus intention there was for the template to support and link ISBN, OCLC, and (some suggested) LCCN. Where unknown or unavailable "|isbn=NA" is expected. The first edition is the preferred book to list. An interesting case shown is the first edition of Anne of Green Gables, where there is no ISBN for that edition, but there is an OCLC, OCLC 367111. A distaste for blue text is no reason for interfering with linkbuilding. The OCLC link is very useful to editors and especially to translators, even when an ISBN is available. It improves WP:accessibility by making Braille, large print, and audio formats of the books, journals, and other works easier to find. These are not trivial things. LeadSongDog come howl 14:40, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
My review of the archives for Template talk:Infobox Book shows that the consensus intention there was that the OCLC parameter was introduced for cases where there is no ISBN; see Template talk:Infobox Book/Archive 2#ISBN question, Template talk:Infobox Book/Archive 3#OCLC parameter?, and the long-standing instruction in Template:Infobox Book/doc#Parameters: "Use OCLC when the book has no ISBN". The only comment that I can find supporting having both parameters specified in the same infobox is Template talk:Infobox Book/Archive 4#Translated books case study, where an editor supports this on the grounds that we can provide the best OCLC where there is more than one, but that decision can only be made by a human editor, not a bot. Phil Bridger (talk) 16:14, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
I think that Bridger has hightlighted the key to understanding the current situation:
  1. that there has never been consensus OCLC number should be used as a book identifier in every single instance; and
  2. that the effect of creating a paramenter in the Template:Infobox Book which leads to the OCLC number becoming a direct link to the Worldcat website was not anticipated when the parameter was created.
These two issues lay dormant until Cyberbot entered the scene: what appeared on the surface to be a useful addition of the OCLC number to every book article page has turned out to be an exercise in automated linkspam, and I don't mean this in the perjorative sense. Rather, I mean that the linkspam was created unintentionally (as the problems with the template had not been anticipated), in good faith (I think Cybercobra is is trying to do the right thing), in the belief that the OCLC could be used by readers as a useful publication identifier, rather than promoting the Worldcat website.
It seems to me at this point that the intervention of Cyberbot, whilst well intentioned, may not have turned out as well as expected. Because the use of the OCLC number has now been brought into question, as has the configuration of the template, I think the automated additon of the OCLC number should be rolled back. To be honest, there are better identifiers out there: for instance, the addition of the (Library of Congress Control Number to every US publication listed in Wikipedia would seem to me to be much more useful task for Cyberbot in the short term, as this is a widely used identifier (often cited in academic papers, unlike the OCLC), in the US at least. From the a long term perspective, I see great benefit from the addition of the Dewey Decimal Classification number from the perspective of categorisation within Wikipedia, but that is another project for another day. However, I see little benefit from linking to the Worldcat site itself, as the content which it contains is of limited value. --Gavin Collins (talk|contribs) 08:37, 2 October 2009 (UTC)

Notice: The issue of whether/when the Infobox should generate hyperlinks to WorldCat is now being discussed at Template_talk:Infobox_Book#Worldcat_Weblink --Cybercobra (talk) 17:27, 2 October 2009 (UTC)

Actually that page has since been archived to Template talk:Infobox book/Archive 5#Worldcat Weblink

Just a little note on ISBNs

A few fallacies, mainly understandable exist. The following should clarify.

  1. There are a lot of books. This means that "anything that can happen will happen".
  2. SBNs are 9 digits (including a possible X in the last place) ISBNs are 10(including a possible X in the last place) or 13 starting with 978 (later 979 will be used.
  3. The check digits for 10 and 13 digit numbers may or may not be the same (effictively by chance - but Springer Verlags are I think alwasy the same ?).
  4. The corect hypenenation of an ISBN provides a little more information to those versed in the arcana, but is not required for uniqueness.
  5. In theory there is a one to one relationship between ISBN and an edition of a book.
  6. In practice there exist books with 4 ISBNs and books sharing ISBNs - they are very rare though and cause no real problems.
  7. Just becasue an ISBN is printed on a book, it doesn't mean it is correct or even valid.
regards, Rich Farmbrough, 18:34, 4 October 2009 (UTC).

Should Wikipedia be used as a billboard?

I think the more important question as to why Wikipedia should be used as platform to create hundreds of links direct to the Worldcat website has been ignored, perhaps by those who do not want those links removed. There is no reason why Worldcat should be given special treatment by linking to their site in this way, as we don't do it for any other non-commecial or comercial cataloguing service. It is not appropriate to add these lists on two grounds:

  1. Wikipedia should not be used as a billboard site for Worldcat, even if the information on their site (and the related advertising) is useful;
  2. it is not appropriate for an article to link to a specific cataloguing serivce :I think the more important question as to why Wikipedia should be used as platform to create hundreds of links direct to the Worldcat website has ignored.

Wikipedia should be not be providing this service for Worldcat, as we don't do it for any other non-commecial or comercial cataloguing service. For instance, Wikipedia does not support direct links to the Library of Congress website via a LCCN, even though it is one of the largest book collections in the World. --Gavin Collins (talk|contribs) 15:01, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

I think we should use more discretion and try not to link to one particular site for any broad purpose. For example, I disagree with all the "findagrave" links we have lying around and I believe that they have much to gain, too much to gain in fact, from the way we promote them. WorldCat is a bit of a tighter situation, because it is much more academic and it fills a niche, but google books (for example) has relevant information as well. I think most of these links are useful, but the placement of links is beyond a bot's control. The issue here isn't "linkspam" per se, but whether we are willing to give unilateral preference to one site to the point where we can allow bots to link there automatically. I don't believe this is a wise solution and would support the links being encouraged but not mandated. Perhaps the issue isn't as grave as Gavin leads us to believe, but I do take issue when bots begin linking externally. ThemFromSpace 20:48, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
The thing is, the bot isn't linking externally. The bot is filling in a infobox parameter, and the infobox creates the link. If the infobox is changed, a single edit wipes out all the "linkspam" at once. If Gavin would stop forum shopping his "linkspam" claims, he might actually be able to make a point, but as long as he's screaming "LINKSPAM", "BILLBOARD", etc., in every forum he can think of, it's not going to work. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 20:58, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
For the record, you're not entirely correct about LCCNs: {{LCCN}} --Cybercobra (talk) 01:58, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
Point taken. But how many cataloging sites do we need to link to? A similar problem arises with the article Accounting: loads of organisation offering accounting services, or representing accountants have tried to put their links on the page, so I have removed them all. Bald links don't add any useful context per se, and that applies whether you add one direct link or many. I can understand citing the OCLC number in an inforbox without a direct link, but creating a direct link is without precedent. If I create citation, it is one thing to use the OCLC to uniquely identify a source, but to link every source to OCLC would be pure folly:
  • Ritter, Ron. The Oxford Style Manual, Oxford University Press, 2002 OCLC 316438829.
Incidentally, does anyone else find the Wordcat site really slow? It took almost 2 minutes for the above link to load. --Gavin Collins (talk|contribs) 19:20, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
It's just your connection I think. The page took less than a few seconds to fully load for me. (talk) 21:54, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
I don't see the folly of linking in the particular citation example you give. If the cite had also included an ISBN, I agree, there's no need to link the OCLC (or possibly even include the OCLC), but without an ISBN, the OCLC link usefully provides an easy way to locate a copy of the book but gives no Google juice to the WorldCat site. --Cybercobra (talk) 22:23, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
For some reason I wasn't seeing it before. But yes that does seem an awful lot of commercial content. We have blacklisted ISBN checking sites for simply including an affiliate link to Amazon before. And if we are going to use OCLC except in the last resort (as is the case for ASIN) and someone is going to be making a few cents off the referrals, we come back to using a WP referral code on Special:booksources. Rich Farmbrough, 17:04, 7 October 2009 (UTC).
I agree. I don't see why Wikipedia should be acting a feeder site for Worldcat, which provides advertising services to Amazon et al.--Gavin Collins (talk|contribs) 14:50, 8 October 2009 (UTC)

A separate issue: trademark policy on Wikipedia and legality

The following thread was originally listed under Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)#Should trademarked sports logos be used as icons in university infoboxes? but has since been split into its own thread

I also think we ought to treat trademarked images with the same "legal respect" that we do for copyrighted images, to further the goal of making out content as freely usable (for any purpose) as possible. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 20:01, 2 October 2009 (UTC)

  • If you want a lawyer's opinion, go ask one. But as far my non-expert reading of Wikipedia:Logos#Trademark concerns goes, it seems to be saying that use of the mark is fine as long as you're not using the mark to try to sell something (note that's not just "using the mark in something that is sold") or to try to fool people into thinking the markholder made/authorized something they didn't. Anomie 21:55, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Just to be clear, this RFC isn't discussing the legality of using a trademark. --Hammersoft (talk) 21:58, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
  • I know this, but that's my point. This Wikipedia could use trademarked images relatively widely, but Wikipedia content is re-purposed for other applications, and those applications might violate trademark law. So should we try to create content that is as free as possible (and reduce the possibility of "downstream" trademark violation), or should we only be concerned about the Wikipedia website itself? My belief is that our content is king, not this site. Others seem to believe the opposite, which is why they happily point to Wikipedia:General disclaimer#Trademarks and say our hands are clean. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 22:14, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
Even though this image is in the Public Domain, you could still run into legal trouble if you use it to sell computers or publish records.
  • To take an example from Wikipedia:Restricted materials#Non-copyright restrictions and WP:NFCC, it is illegal to print out a Wikipedia article and use it to murder someone but that doesn't make the article non-free. To take a second, see the image+caption to the right. Can you suggest a hypothetical situation in which some downstream user of one of our articles would run into legal issues from trademarks that isn't as ridiculous? Anomie 22:29, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
  • I don't think those examples are directly relevant to my concern. A more tangible threat is the use of logos on our sports results pages (to give them "color"), and our content is re-purposed by a commercial website (sports betting, perhaps) to make those historical results available on their site. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 22:45, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
  • If they take something we created, they are supposed to give credit to the source, in this case Wikipedia. If they use a trademarked image with no regard for the owner's rights, then they are guilty of violating the trademark and ignoring our disclaimers (which are explicitly mentioned on the image pages in question here); if they ignore the rules, then they are subject to applicable laws. It really is that simple. — BQZip01 — talk 23:10, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Sure. We have our general disclaimer to absolve us from wrongdoing. But I'm suggesting that we can do better than that; we can make our content as free as possible, so that the disclaimer is less likely to be invoked. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 23:27, 2 October 2009 (UTC)

We can't treat trademarks the same as copyrighted material because the legal protections for each are completely different. And we shouldn't try to anyway, because the field of trademarked content is far too vast, encompassing many words and images of common property, and regardless of whether they are presented as "logos" in specific fonts (so don't get hung up on that). As noted above, trademark protection is very context- and function-specific; you can't commit trademark infringement simply by copying a trademark with nothing more. Wikipedia content by its very nature only uses trademarks nominatively—to identify a trademarked product or service or the trademark holder. This is not trademark infringement, and in fact it is something even competing commercial companies can do legally, as in comparative advertising. The presence of those trademarks in Wikipedia content in no way makes it less free to downstream users, who would really have to go out of their way to commit trademark infringement with Wikipedia content. Postdlf (talk) 03:00, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

On Commons, the approach is to be concerned only about copyright, trademark is usually mentioned n grey cases but dismissed: if an image "seems" copyrightable but it actually isn't (like File:Google.png), it's because it's trademarked but not copyrighted, and the result is keep.

In any case, if there were strong reasons to discuss the trademark bit, I suggest to do it on commons as well. Regular user in there, even if not lawyers, generally know at least "a bit of everything" of copyright law and may provide more well-sourced answers than wikipedia users who may have expertise on other topics but not on that. MBelgrano (talk) 03:29, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

This is just ... a bad idea. Trademarked public domain images are just that - public domain. They have a couple minor restrictions on them, but none that really apply to us or anyone copying an article from us. Besides that, they're about as free as can be. Postdlf sums it up well. This is just pointless copyright trademark paranoia that would hurt content quality far more than it would improve free-ness. Mr.Z-man 04:52, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

Andrwsc, et al,
Your actions (attempting to protect Wikipedia from problems) are commendable. In the cases of trademarks, they are unnecessary. Are there issues? Certainly, but they are arrangement and aesthetic issues, not legal ones. — BQZip01 — talk 04:14, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

The one thing I throw in here in the trademark/non-free approach is that we need to seek a means of using logos in a manner than is not systematically biased. Say we have two predominate companies as articles along with numerous pages for their products, the products themselves lacking new logos. The only difference between these companies is that one employees a logo that is simply block text and completely fails the threshold of originality, while the other is highly stylized and clearly copyrightable. Now, while one could argue that it would be fine to put the free, trademarked company logo on each of the product pages, this capability is not something that can be enjoyed by the other company with its non-free logo, per our WP:NFC policy. Thus, we should discourage the use of free, trademarked logos through the reasoning of "just because they can be", and only consider the use of logos - free or otherwise, when they are truly adding something to an article. --MASEM (t) 15:26, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

Which is really an issue for the "main" discussion above and not this side thread. The policy on when logos should be used need not care whether the image itself is PD or not, and whether or not a particular logo is "free" or "non-free" doesn't depend on whether there is any sort of bias. Anomie 19:41, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
I disagree. If a company chooses to create a trademark that is also copyrightable, that is their choice. We shouldn't decided to eliminate logos froma set of articles (for example electronics manufacturers) just because one of them doesn't have a PD logo. I would like to work on a definition as to what we should/shouldn't do as the current guidance isn't adequate and is murky (for example, should we use only the trademarked logos instead of copyrightable logos in sports articles since a "free alternative is available?").
As for the rest, I agree we shouldn't just add logos because we can. However, that is a matter of aesthetics, not policy. Individual Wikiprojects can solve those dilemmas and guidance should reflect that bias. — BQZip01 — talk 20:04, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
You're still creating a systematic bias if you insist that a free logo can be used everywhere reasonably possible (outside of the one entity it represents) while the same cannot be done for a non-free logo. Companies may be a bad example, but lets take two rival universities: "University of Free Logo" (UFL) and "Non-Free Logo U." (NFLU). Per your suggestion, and technically against no policy, we can plaster UFL's logo all over articles relating to UFL. But NFLU's logo is only begin used on one page, that of the school. What will likely happen is that users that support NFLU will want to have the same equality in how their school logo is used as how UFL's is used, and will attempt to copy the logo to all the same types of places. This obviously will cause conflict with the NFC policy. As long as UFL's logo is used frequently, newer editors will try to invoke WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS and maintain that we need the NFLU's logo as many times, and that's just not acceptable. (now, imagine the case of two rival companies, and the legal power they may bring).
That's why our image and logo policies need to reflect what we can do with the lowest common denominator, in this case, the situation with non-free logos, even if this purposely restricts the use of free logos. That's removing the bias that prevents conflict in the future.
Note that I'm not saying we've resolved the sports logos on season pages issue; this is just saying that whatever policy we adapt for the use of non-free logos needs to apply exactly the same to free logos to avoid bias. --MASEM (t) 15:37, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
I concur with the basic premise of your statement (and that the situation is not resolved yet), but your thoeretical problem lacks a real-world application. Every school (and every pro team I can find) has a trademarked logo ineligible for copyright. Please look atthe list I've created. Those labeled Not done simply means I haven't looked very hard (like I just checked a couple of websites). Every school's bookstore seems to have a number of shirts with trademarked logos that are simple text; it wouldn't be that hard to use some of those for these "missing" from my list, I'm just trying to use other options first.
I must admit I do not know much about companies, but that is also a theoretical application. I'm not saying we should put the SONY label on every product page, merely that we currently can. This may introduce a bias, but most companies also have a simple trademarked logo.
If you think I am wrong, please give me a team or company and I am willing to bet you a barnstar that I can find an uncopyrightable logo for them. — BQZip01 — talk 16:17, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
This begs the question, what if a company has fancy-smancy logo A that clearly is original and copyrightable and used throughout the world on every ad, product, etc., and a plain text logo they use on internal memos or the like - what logo should we be using? I don't like the idea of, for purposes of being more "free", using the less-represented logo, primarily as the purpose of the logo in infoboxes is to identify the identity of the company to the reader, and using the logo that is rarely seen is unhelpful. Just like we use the most common English name when there's conflict, we should use the most common logo, whether free or non-free, for that entity, and then consider how that impacts possible reuse. --MASEM (t) 23:06, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
The problem here is not that there are two images, but that the non-free content criteria interfere with the ability to create a quality encyclopedia. In an ideal setting, we could use the copyrightable image under fair use as identifying the entity, but as there is a suitable replacement. WP:NFCC#1 states "Non-free content is used only where no free equivalent is available...that would serve the same encyclopedic purpose." Seeing as there are multiple logos, despite the fact that one is more popular, the freer image should be used in every instance except those discussing the actual image. For example, when talking about Nike, the swoosh logo is certainly appropriate, but the text "NIKE" logo should be used in other instances. — BQZip01 — talk 02:41, 7 October 2009 (UTC) seems to working just fine without the use of non-free images. The wiki's are primarily a verbal medium and we use images to help improve the readers' understanding, but not for decoration, free or non-free (though even moreso for non-free).
As to the "free replacement", at the level of that language, sure, a block letter logo is better than a highly stylized logo, but is it serving the same purpose? That is, I'd argue it is not "equivalent" because the block logo is not the public representation of the company while the stylized logo would be. Mind you, I'm arguing a unique case but certainly a possible case. --MASEM (t) 13:59, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
Comparing to us is disingenuous as their policies are not the same. While their wiki is a primarily verbal, ours, by choice, has more pictures and we have decided to include non-free images. Until that decision is changed, your comparison ignores some key differences.
As for the block letter vs stylized logo, I'm not advocating using something that is strictly internal, but only using something that is publicly used/known/desired to be know as part of their brand. To use the Nike example, the swoosh is appropriate for the primary Nike article, but the Nike text logo (the official one, not some artificially made one) would be appropriate for articles about individual products, if consensus to use them would be found. To use the swoosh isn't appropriate as a "free replacement" is available. While you are arguing a possible case, it is theoretical and I do not know of any organization to which this would apply. Thoughts? — BQZip01 — talk 17:59, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

Varying matters regarding trademarks

The following thread was originally listed under Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)#Should trademarked sports logos be used as icons in university infoboxes? but has since been split into its own thread

Because I am not sure how to express these opinions on various topics without forking into oblivion, I'm just going to summarize.

Trademark usage

Images that are trademarked and copyrightable fall under the protections of copyrighted images. Images that are trademarked but ineligible for copyright are PD images. They can be used and are used as PD images within Wikipedia. Trademarks are protected under the Trademark Act of 1946 and several additional amendments (U.S.C. §§ 1051-1127.1). This act provides guidance and remedies for both trademark infringement and trademark dilution.

Trademark infringement occurs when a non-owner uses another’s trademark in a way that causes actual confusion or a likelihood of confusion between the marks. It explicitly prohibits the use of marks that are "likely to cause confusion, or to cause a mistake, or to deceive." Unless someone uses a trademark with the intent to violate those explicit conditions, I can think of no use of an uncopyrightable trademark within Wikipedia which would violate these conditions.

Trademark dilution involves use of a trademark within a "commercial context." This means that the use in question must actually be in the stream of commerce and could therefore make a profit for the user or reduce the profits for the owner. Dilution occurs when someone uses a another’s mark in a commercial context in a way that lessens the power of the owner’s mark to keep its the reputation of a user and how that affects the public’s perception of the mark. Again, there is nothing short of intentional misuse of a logo that would cause problems for us.

Therefore, I think it behooves us to annotate clearly in policy that logos can be used in articles about things related to the subject and in user boxes, however, these cannot be used in any manner indicating endorsement or approval without the trademark's onwer's explicit permission. These logos being used in an informative manner with no monetary goal reflect the law's intent.

Again, we need to explicitly define this. I'll see what I can come up with and propose it here in a bit. — BQZip01 — talk 20:04, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

You're a little fuzzy on the law, but your conclusions are essentially correct. Intent isn't a requirement for trademark infringement; you don't have to intend infringement but can do so accidentally. But you do actually have to use the infringing mark in commerce—i.e., in connection with goods or services you are providing, though regardless of whether you charge for it. Infringement occurs when your mark, whether identical or similar to another trademark with superior rights over yours, does cause or is likely to cause consumers to confuse your mark with the other such that they confuse the origin of the goods or services. So you have to use the trademark as a trademark, to brand your own product, which is something Wikipedia content simply does not do when it mentions or copies trademarks.
Most trademarks are not eligible for trademark dilution protection; only the most famous and distinctive marks are. At its core, it basically functions just like a trademark infringement claim, except to remove the requirement from trademark infringement claims that the infringing use occur on competing goods when the trademark is sufficiently famous. You still have to use it as a trademark in commerce, so dilution is not a separate concern.
I'm having difficulty imagining a situation in which Wikipedia content could falsely indicate endorsement or approval by a third party, short of a statement that "Microsoft endorses this article." If that's the only risk, there are any number of other policies and guidelines that would counsel removal of such a ridiculous sentence, so I think we might just confuse people if we get into the false endorsement issue any further without concrete examples. I do agree that it might be helpful to state more expressly (somewhere) that trademark concerns are not a concern because of the very nature of Wikipedia content, if only to avoid the periodic trademark paranoia. Postdlf (talk) 21:00, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
I could have been more clear. My point is that someone using Wikipedia would have to intentionally do something on our site that is covered by about a dozen other policies (WP:V, WP:RS, etc). Certainly it could be done unintentionally. I also agree with your comments about trademark dilution, but I felt it was important to mention. — BQZip01 — talk 00:18, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
I worked on a case once where a logo of a well-known sports brand appeared in a pictorial in an adult magazine (a model was wearing apparel featuring the logo). On behalf of the owner of the logo, we developed a viable dispargement theory. Such a thing could theoretically occur in Wikipedia if we were to include a famous logo for a company claiming a "clean" image (say, Toys'R'Us) in an article on some bizarre sexual fetish. If we could legitimately connect the logo to the content of the article (citing authority for the proposition that the company in question unintentionally contributes to the fetish, for example), then the First Amendment would protect our right to report on this. A purely gratuitous placement stretches the limits of the imagination, as I can see no legitimate reason why we would run across such a situation. bd2412 T 19:12, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
How about this hypothetical scenario? Could the use of logo or mark be argued to imply official endorsement, and if an article then included outdated or incorrect information, even if cited, could that then lead to some claim of harm by the institution? CrazyPaco (talk) 19:56, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
I don't see how. A picture, within context, cannot indicate endorsement. BD2412, correct me if I am wrong. — BQZip01 — talk 22:11, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

Logos as icons

I think it does a disservice to show logos in a manner inconsistent with being displayed large enought to show appropriate detail. Accordingly, I think we should limit their degredation in size to a minimum of 100px. We also should consider fixing the overuse of logos in infoboxes with some clearer guidance. — BQZip01 — talk 20:04, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

University Standards

NOTE: SECTION DUPLICATED IN Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)#Should trademarked sports logos be used as icons in university infoboxes?

I think the university/school articles should have the seal at the top and the school graphic at the bottom (which seems to be the norm). All other logos should be elsewhere in the article (if applicable). Given the prominence sports teams and their identies as prominent school ambassadors, the primary logo for the sports teams is optional, but appropriate, in the athletics section; This does not remove the obligation to have a proper Fair Use Rationale, if applicable. — BQZip01 — talk 20:04, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

The wording for this will have to be careful. Take the example of the University of Pennsylvania: the image at the top of the article is actually the school's arms, not the seal (see here). For wording of a guideline, such possibilities may need to be accommodated for. CrazyPaco (talk) 17:00, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
Also, how does WP:NFCC #3a impact universities that utilize seals or athletic symbols within their school graphic? Pitt would an example of seal reuse (although a simplified version of the seal), while Texas A&M would be an example of "athletic" logo reuse. CrazyPaco (talk) 17:18, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
Using the seal in the infobox context is informative in nature and is a "fair use" application no matter what the legal use of the seal is nor what the University desires. It does not indicate a legal agreement or endorsement of the page, it is simply an indication of what the University's seal is. In my humble opinion, in the case of Pitt, the seal should be used as the main image and the arms logo at the bottom to most accurately reflect the images by which the University is known. The "PITT" logo should then be used in the athletics section as it most acurately reflects the symbol by which the athletic teams are known. Showing anything else would be a disservice to the University and its symbols as not being accurately reflective the logos by which they are known. — BQZip01 — talk 17:54, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
Regarding Penn specificially, my point was only to suggest careful wording of a guideline so editors don't feel compelled to use the seal vs. the arms for the infobox, regardless of any internal university policy. In the case of Penn, the arms is infinitely more common and, in this case, and may be more appropriate for the lead image because it may be more useful as an identifying mark. This decision may be better left to editors or Wikipedia projects that best know the article topic, than to generalize a guideline to just seals. Or perhaps a guideline should just read "seals or coats of arms". I think you confused Pitt and Penn, Pitt has no such arms logo. Pitt uses a simplified version of its seal and a wordmark in Janssen55 font as it's school graphic. The seal part of this logo would apparently violate WP:NFCC #3a if it also appeared in the infobox. A question I do not know the answer for is if it makes a difference whether the version of the seal in the "school graphic" is a simplified version. Does that negate NFCC #3a? For the Texas A&M article, minimal usage of the aTm logo is complicated by its adoption as the school's graphic. This is also true with the University of Miami, West Virginia and the University of Michigan.
Despite these particularities, I still think it is useful, for identification purposes, that athletic logos such as the ones you have collected be allowed in, at least, the athletic portion of the infobox as was the case in many schools' articles prior to the wave of edits that removed them. The addition of an "athletic logo" field in template:infobox university could help standardize their placement and size. This would not prevent alternate non-free other or "mascot" logo use in the athletics portion of the text body if desired (e.g. the Pitt Panther or, in the case of Texas A&M, the T-star "Building Champions" logo or Ol' Sarge) which are often more tightly aligned with athletic programs than some of the others that have become representative symbols of the overall university. This would avoid single use per page restrictions while providing maximum information in the most visible portion of the article. I guess the issue is for me on this what is the Infobox for? In my mind, it is for quick profiling and identification of the article topic. Therefore, I believe that it is a disservice not to include such prominent identifying marks in the infobox, and this is especially true when they identify an alternative name such as "Pitt" or "Cal", but also takes on added importance when they are used outside athletic contexts and many of the logos in your collection are used in such a manner. CrazyPaco (talk) 19:08, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
I think such a proposal should go to the Wikiproject:Universities for approval before mass additions or deletions. I don't think this is a good idea, but that doesn't mean it can't be implemented. As for the duplication of images, I concur that there may be problems, but Universities typically have a host of ways their logos and typefaces should be presented. Usually there are a few dozen typeface-only options to choose from.
I agree that it seems like the University Wikiproject is the place for it. Full circle back to the discussion there? CrazyPaco (talk) 22:28, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
As for mixing up Pitt and Penn, I sheepishly admit the error of my ways, quote the mantra of WP:IAR ten times, and humbly beg forgiveness from the great and powerful Oz. — BQZip01 — talk 22:19, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
Just don't confuse Pitt or Penn with Penn State, that will really rankle some feathers! CrazyPaco (talk) 22:37, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

Athletics articles

...should use the most current logo (regardless of whether it is free or not) in the infobox. This does not remove the obligation to have a proper Fair Use Rationale, if applicable. — BQZip01 — talk 20:04, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

Sports Seasons/Games/teams/one time events/etc

...should use only PD images in the info box. It seems every sports team has at least one {{PD-textlogo}} image. I'm still working on making sure they are uploaded and properly annotated, but people are welcome to use my current list (work in progress). — BQZip01 — talk 20:04, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

There has also been an ongoing debate regarding whether the use of current team/university logos as identifying marks in the infoboxes of season articles represents inappropriate historical revisionism. See: Wikipedia talk:WikiProject College football#Logos on articles of past seasons. CrazyPaco (talk) 17:04, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
As to which logo to use, that is left to the Wikiprojects to choose (most teams have more than one). Which types of logos they are permitted to use is the matter I'm trying to discuss here. — BQZip01 — talk 17:47, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
That would be my thinking as well, that it is a discussion for the pertinent Wikiprojects. CrazyPaco (talk) 19:09, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

User boxes

...may not use copyrighted logos. Other images are left to project preferences and should be standardized as much as possible. — BQZip01 — talk 20:04, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

Company logos

Should just be used in accordance with Wikipedia:Trademarks#The_use_of_graphic_logos. No other guidance is necessary. — BQZip01 — talk 20:04, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

Neutral point of view

Could this term be changed as it is very confusing, not instantly understandable, and could mean even no opinion at all, even "an inoffensive point of view", which would be riduculous. I suggest: "encyclopedic point of view".

MacOfJesus (talk) 22:31, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

The problem, as alluded to in WP:UNENCYC, is there are so many differing conceptions of what an encyclopedia is/should be that the adjective "encyclopedic" is too vague to be useful. --Cybercobra (talk) 23:12, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
It does mean no opinion at all. The opinions of the author on the subject should have no effect on the article they are writing. OrangeDog (talk • edits) 19:25, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

In the Article page, of course, this is so. All I am saying is, "Neutral point of view" is too confusing and not instantly recognisable. I am sure there is a better term out there, somewhere. Any suggestions?

MacOfJesus (talk) 20:59, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

Neutral seems fine to me - certainly better than 'encyclopedic', but I can see where you're coming fro. How about 'detached', or 'unbiased'? DB 103245talk 09:45, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for offering a suggestion! We all have a good idea what is meant, but the term!

MacOfJesus (talk) 13:23, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

When my first History Teacher was trying to explain this to me, I was confused then and I think still am over this term.

I think "terse" would be a good concept substitute for "neutral" ?

MacOfJesus (talk) 14:32, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

I was attempting to refrain from commenting here, because it is rather silly to try and change the name for one of the longest-standing, and prevasive, policies on Wikipedia. But I think I should add my two cents. First of all, "Neutral Point of View," is just a term, and is meaningless without the entire policy that it describes. While one may have a different connotation for the word "neutral", the policy itself lays out the full meaning of the term. Secondly, neutral does in fact work very well. If a country is neutral in a war, or if someone is neutral in an argument, it means that no side has been taken, which is exactly what NPOV means: Do not side with either point of view. Third, terse means, "concise," or "brief," which does not fit at all. If you find "Neutral Point of View" confusing, read the entire policy, and if you are still confused on certain points, then ask for clarification of those points. Angryapathy (talk) 15:18, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for coming in on this point. I am aware of what neutral point of view means. Being familiar with historical discourse for many years, I think I know what the term stands for, by now. "Terse", just does'nt mean "brief". The early ancients in our ancient languages concentrated in encapulating the essence of thought in terse verse. This is true of the ancient Gaelic, the ancient Greek, in particular, and certainly of the Latin.

I feel this term is not adequite or sufficient in encapulating the essence of thought here.

Do you have a better one?

It is relatively easy to see how rediculous our arguments are, another thing completely to make a substitute suggestion.

At this stage I would want to turn to the Latin.

What do you propose? positively?

During the Second World War, for example, Ireland was Neutral during the War, but not impartial. Should the historian writing history be impartial or just neutral?

MacOfJesus (talk) 22:15, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

My proposal is to leave it the way it is. I think your example of Ireland in WWII perfectly explains neutral. Aiming for a neutral POV doesn't mean you are completely impartial. Sometimes you have to forget which POV you prefer and aim for a balance of the POV's, thus allowing the article to have a neutral point of view. Angryapathy (talk) 13:38, 8 October 2009 (UTC)

I propose it be changed, as the term is misleading.

MacOfJesus (talk) 17:32, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

Should there be guidance on the development of outlines?

See Wikipedia talk:Outlines#Failed?

The Transhumanist 17:38, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

Should outlines even exist? Nope. → ROUX  17:50, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
Why? The Transhumanist 18:28, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
And since they do exist, shouldn't there be guidance on making them good? The Transhumanist 18:29, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
Despite that excellent application of WP:IDHT you know perfectly well why, as it has been explained to you many, many times. And the section title assumes they should exist and it's just a bit of quibbling over whether how to write them. This is, of course, emphatically not the case. As for making them 'good', isn't there a saying along the lines of 'can't polish a turd'? → ROUX  18:31, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
Actually, you can polish a turd. --ThaddeusB (talk) 18:57, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
I can only remember you side-stepping the issue. Now that we are in a wider forum of discussion, please explain your reasons to this wider audience where they can be properly debated. Thank you. The Transhumanist 20:54, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
Yes, there should be guidance, and yes, they should exist. There are excellent outlines (Outline of anarchism, Outline of geography, etc) and many more incomplete outlines (like the rest of Wikipedia, it's a work in progress). They've been linked via the sidebar's WP:CONTENTS page for years now.
Roux's rudeness in all the discussions I've read this morning is unwarranted and unhelpful. Even dbachmann, who has very strong misgivings about the Outline project, recognizes that outlines can be useful constructs[6].
Yes, Transhumanist made some very over-bold & incorrect page moves recently, which he has acknowledged as mistakes.
Yes, some editors (including myself) find his "motivational" writing style to be very irritating, but some editors find it useful. He's overenthusiastic, but that's not exactly a blocking offense, as Roux keeps calling for [7], [8]
Yes, the project needs more work, but so does the whole encyclopedia, in all facets. -- Quiddity (talk) 19:02, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
My rudeness? You appear to be missing TT repeatedly calling me a liar. But, y'know, facts. Who needs 'em? → ROUX  19:05, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
Prodego appears to have deleted the false statements I was referring to. The Transhumanist 20:50, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

In my opinion, the mass of outlines created by this project in the last year or so are a disagrace - the template that is being used includes many violations of the MOS and other guidelines (such as don't include section headers that are empty, don't let templates masquerade as text, don't put redlinks for main/further reading hats, etc), and, more importantly, it appears that many of the people working on these editors are very unfamiliar with the topics. This has led to information on some of these outlines being wrong or misleading. I've been reverted when trying to clean up the areas I'm familiar with (both MOS fixes and content fixes) by some of the more overzealous members. To me, it feels like these outlines are being shoved down everyone's throat with no consensus for their existance, no consensus that if they do exist they should be structured as they are, no consensus on how they should be named, and no consensus as to what they include. For such a massive project, community consensus absolutely should have been attained first - a few large RfCs could have forestalled a lot of the complaints that keep popping up. Karanacs (talk) 20:17, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

Any and all errors in the outlines (I'm assuming you are referring to the country outlines) are fixable. The outlines are continuously improving, and there are dedicated editors working on them daily. I'm sorry that we couldn't produce a completely polished set of outlines on all of the countries of the world in just a year's time. The nature of Wikipedia is that it is a work-in-process, as are all of its pages. We've put in a great amount of work on the outlines to get them this far, it shouldn't take nearly as much work to finish them. The Transhumanist 21:13, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
Consensus for the existence of a page or group of pages is the venue of WP:AfD. There is no need to seek approval before starting a page. That's a core principle of Wikipedia's design - click and edit.
The portal project tried to set up a mandatory approval process for portals, and it was cited as the justification for an MfD nomination of a new portal which didn't go through that process. The portal proposal page was quickly shut down. See Wikipedia:Portal/Proposals, Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Thinking, and Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Portal/Proposals.
I'm very interested in reading your observations on the problems of these pages, as I'm very interested in feedback and improving these pages (and always have been).
Would you point out the problems, please? You mentioned MOS violations and content errors. Those sound like good places to start.
The Transhumanist 21:04, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
I'm primarily interested in histories, and the outlines I looked at appeared to have included lots of articles that might be in some way vaguely connected with the topic, and then organized them in ways that are misleading. In the outline for the history of Texas, links are included for areas of Mexico that scholars never considered part of "Texas"; places like El Paso are now a part of Texas, but its history (and that of the Mexican province that it belonged to) is usually ignored in the scholarly history of Texas. This means the outline is going beyond the definitions that scholars use (but since they are lists I can't tell whether this is a violation of OR or not). Many links are included that have little or no relevance to the topic (do we really need a link to the 1991 Iraq War on the history of Texas outline?). The outlines do not provide enough context to make sense to a reader unfamiliar with the topic. This, combined with the sometimes interesting choice of what redlinks to include, leads to NPOV problems. Images are jammed all over some of the outlines with little care for whether they are applicable or whether their placement is aesthetically pleasing (do we need an image of the state seal for the article on history when the state seal is never mentioned?). As for MOS issues, many of the outlines I've seen violate numerous pieces of WP:LAYOUT, hatnotes are placed at the top of the articles when the information should instead be in the See Also section, summary style is not being observed as often as it should, .... If you really want buy-in, I'd recommend that you work on "perfecting" a few of these so that you have good examples rather than ones that need tons of improvement. Karanacs (talk) 03:25, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
Good examples: The Outline of anarchism is very well developed (thanks to users Cast and Skomorokh), and Outline of forestry is getting there (thanks to user Minnecologies). I think there are about a dozen other fairly high-quality outlines.
Historical outlines: User:Buaidh made most of the "Outline of .... history" lists (and probably isn't following all these various threads), so I'd suggest contacting him for feedback on those.
MoS and other issues: This is one of the fundamental disagreements even within the OOK project. I think it should work on quality first, and seek readers/editors a distant second. TT believes we need to get participation up first, in order to have the manpower/quantity-of-experts to work on quality. (Not a direct quote at all. Hopefully I'm not misrepresenting him there.) The other major disagreement is over scope - I think we should be aiming for a few dozen outlines to begin with. TT has larger ambitions!
All of this just requires more feedback and participation. The project does welcome participants, with open arms. Even curmudgeonly critics who primarily just point out problems, like myself. -- Quiddity (talk) 18:42, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

I question the utility of these outlines and suggest that broader consensus that could be reasonably gauged via AFD/RFC/whatnot would demonstrate that aside from the very few users active in creating these outlines, they would have little to no support. I suggest that the outliners consider making their outlines either on a seperate wiki (wikiversity, I believe, would be happy to host all the outlines), or in their project namespace. I further insist that any further outline moves/redirects/whatevers be consider controversial - pages should not be Xed without positive consensus to do so. Hipocrite (talk) 18:16, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

Should there be guidance? No. Transhumanist: this is your own crusade, why would you need any external guidance? Oh yes, the old good "write content not outlines" but you've probably heard it a hundred times... NVO (talk) 19:35, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

I echo what NVO said. The argument of needing guidance is flawed, because Outline shouldn't even be there in the first place. OhanaUnitedTalk page 16:13, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
I've told TT (in yet another probably inappropriate location) that he does not have consensus outside his project that the Outline of … articles should exist under that name. So, perhaps there should be guidance here — that no such article should be created without a clear consensus of all related WikiProjects, and most should be nominated for deletion. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 16:46, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
  • They've existed since 2001 (under different names. Originally "Foo basic topics" and "List of basic foo topics").
  • There are many editors working on/interest in Outlines. Many of us disagree with each other on various issues (what name they should have, how much prose to include, what scope we should aim for, how complete they need to be before getting moved out of the "draft" area, etc etc). TT is just a vocal and active participant. Please stop stating it is his.
  • Please join the discussion of how to organize Wikipedia's navigational structures; that would be helpful. Overreaction is not helpful. - Yes there is overlap, but different systems each have their own uses and flaws. Category/Portal/Navbox/Lists of lists/Outline/Index/Glossary/etc. Help us develop and improve them, goddammit. -- Quiddity (talk) 19:07, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
I have few objections to the articles, except for some which appear to be machine-generated without checking whether the topics actually match, or which make an implicit assumption as to the nature of the underlying topic; for example, Outline of Kosovo implicitly assumed that Kosovo is a country, which may not be the case. As I pointed out, the article could not be redeemed to avoid the assumption that it either is or is not a country, so it should be deleted. But, I was shouted down by the WikiProject management, so I see no point in attempting to improve a process which appears to be fatally flawed. I do object to the creation of Outline of ... and [[Index of ...] articles from the same existing unstable List of ... article; the only credible way of doing that is as a (modified) sortable table. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 19:30, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
I have removed much of the language which made assumptions about Kosovo's statehood. A red-link to National Bank remains - it could, I suppose, just as easily read "Central bank". Rich Farmbrough, 22:14, 9 October 2009 (UTC).

Someone wondered how many editors had edited the "outlines". Members of the category "Outlines" beginning with "Outline of" (about 2/3 of them) have 2831 different editors. Rich Farmbrough, 22:14, 9 October 2009 (UTC).

Policy against duplicating text between articles?

An editor has asked me on Talk:American Pit Bull Terrier‎ for the policy that states that text shouldn't be duplicated between articles. For some reason I was under the impression that we don't allow for duplicate text, but I can't find the specific policy. Is there one in place (like in MOS) or was I incorrect in my thinking? — HelloAnnyong (say whaaat?!) 18:32, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

Perhaps you are thinking of Wikipedia:Reusing Wikipedia content. It constrains, rather than proscribes, such copying.LeadSongDog come howl 18:42, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
Maybe. But then, is it acceptable to take the text from one Wiki article and copy it more or less verbatim into another? — HelloAnnyong (say whaaat?!) 18:51, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
Absolutely, so long as you note in your edit summary (or on the talk page) that you've copied the material from the source article - that gives enough info for later researchers to trace it back to the work of the original authors. But if content in one article would be useful if plugged in as-is to another article, have at it! bd2412 T 19:01, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
Hm, alright. I think I came to believe that as a result of following the DRY principle for so long. — HelloAnnyong (say whaaat?!) 19:20, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
Generally, you shouldn't repeat yourself. If you are in a case where that might be advisable, it's probable that one of the articles should be merged (if they are of the same relative tier of importance). If you are in the case where one article is on a different tier of importance (World War II to Battle of the Bulge), one of the articles should summarize the other, but not duplicate the content exactly. Disclaimer: I say these two things as a generality and have not read the actual dispute. --Izno (talk) 20:19, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
I think when starting a new article which is already a sub-topic covered in another article it can be good to start that new article by copy/pasting the relevant information from the original article as-is to get it rolling. More research and in-depth clarification on the new article will flesh it out and hopefully make it so that there is no longer a noticeable copy-paste job between it and the original article. Example is when I created Arbor Hill, Albany I copied much of what was in Neighborhoods of Albany, New York#Arbor Hill and then did more research to make it more in-depth than the synopsis that already existed at the neighborhoods page.Camelbinky (talk) 23:17, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
If you do that, you need to be aware of copyright issues. Many editors are under the false impression that text contributed to Wikipedia is not covered by copyright.
That's incorrect — the editor who writes it retains copyright. He licenses it to everyone, via two free licenses, GFDL, and CC-BY-SA, but does not relinquish the copyright itself. Therefore you have to comply with the terms of the license(s), or you will be in violation. The terms require attribution.
So at a minimum you need to leave a note in the edit summary, saying from which article you copied the text. That allows anyone to follow the link and find out who originally wrote the content. I can't speak to whether this is legally adequate in theory; in practice I do not ever recall anyone complaining about it provided this is done. --Trovatore (talk) 00:22, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
Well in the case I gave I am the one who put the information in the original article anyways and therefore I did give myself permission to copy it without attribution. It was hard to get myself to agree to do that for me, but in the end I gave in... to myself, for you see I can be quite persuasive after I give myself wine and flatter me alot before asking myself for a favor. The fact that the information is being released TO Wikipedia (and irrevocably, as the warning you will see during edit tells you) under CC-by-SA 3.0 and GFDL, it is a legalese question whether or not that means to the Wikimedia Foundation for use in any wiki owned by them, to the Wikipedia community-at-large for any article, or specifically for that one article. I have never actually read our Terms of Use to see the restrictions and they would be the final and binding words as they would constitute a legally binding contract between any editor and the Wikimedia Foundation whenever you edit. So even if the terms of use restrict your rights MORE than copyright laws the Terms of Use win out, because by definition a contract is anytime you give up your legal rights in return for something of value (even intangibles such as the right to edit). A contract is not valid if it is payment for doing something you legally are required to do anyways (a contract where I promise to pay you for driving on the right side of the road is not legally binding you can not force me to pay, you are legally required to drive on the right side of the road). The only thing the Terms of Use can not do is require you to do something that is ILLEGAL. Wow, the things you remember from your freshman year at college over...well, lets say its been over a decade.Camelbinky (talk) 00:56, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
So maybe you'd like to take a look at the terms; they're not very long. The terms definitely do not require you to relinquish your right to be attributed when the license is exercised. This has nothing to do with whether a page is owned by the Wikimedia Foundation; even on the very same page to which you contribute the text, the text is used only by your license, and if the attribution were removed, then the page would be in violation of your copyright.
What you do explicitly agree to (though this is fairly new) is to be credited, at minimum, through a hyperlink or URL when your contributions are reused in any form. That's directly below the edit window. --Trovatore (talk) 01:18, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
After reading the terms of use, I agree with you. In order to copy/paste from one article to another you must in some way provide evidence that the information was gleamed from the first article, using the edit summary would fulfill that obligation and probably be the easiest way to do so, since many would have objections to using an inline citation to do that as citing Wikipedia itself is not allowed, though also making note of what you did in the talk page would probably suffice as well as that would also be a permanent record attached to the article, though probably not the preferred method. If I was the Wikimedia Foundation I would change the Terms of Use to make it where THEY own the rights and you relinquish any claim, that would make the information truly free for anyone to use within the confines of Wikimedia family, with outside uses requiring credit given to Wikipedia. If you are copying information you yourself put in, but someone else has copy-edited for grammar, punctuation, etc; and even added something in the middle to clarify the statement; is it truly still yours to claim, does the other person have more of a claim? What if I wanted to write a book on a topic in which I wrote an article here on Wikipedia about. What if, unknowingly I wrote in that book several sentences that were word for word the same as the sentences I wrote in Wikipedia, simply because my thought process and writing style of course does not change much. What if I intentionally wanted to use whole paragraphs from Wikipedia that I have written. Does the fact that others may have contributed minor bits of copy-edit or even irrelevant grammar or minor word order changes mean I would have to attribute it to Wikipedia. Which of course would then make my book look less reliable to many, including the academic circles, and new information that I put in the hypothetical book would then probably not be allowed into Wikipedia since it would be considered "tainted" by many because some of the rest of the book itself uses Wikipedia as a source and there are strict rules against using information sourced from Wikipedia itself.Camelbinky (talk) 02:21, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
No. You still own the copyright. Rich Farmbrough, 22:18, 9 October 2009 (UTC).

What to do when web references die? : Proposal

PROBLEM: I faced a problem when a RS web reference died. Now it is dead and thus can not be verified easily. PROPOSED SOLUTION: I came across the site Webcite. I suggest having a wikiProject or some kind of archive here to archive reliable web references when an article reaches GA, A and/or FA class. The reliability is established by the reviewers in the GA, A, FA reviews. NOTE: I thought this was the best place to discuss this. Please move to relevant Village Pump if this is not the place.--Redtigerxyz Talk 14:21, 8 October 2009 (UTC)

Also, try the internet archive? :-) . --Kim Bruning (talk) 14:29, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
My point was to make it compulsory to archive web references somewhere and why not do that on wiki itself? --Redtigerxyz Talk 14:33, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
Copyright concerns preclude archiving non-CC/GFDL text on the wiki. Hipocrite (talk) 15:00, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
Most of our references are to works that are compatible with neither the CC-BY-SA 3.0 license nor the GFDL. We can't legally do that unless they are. For those which are compatible, Wikisource or Wikimedia Commons are usually more suited to the purpose, serving all the other wikipedia languages as well. But the internet archive and webcite exist to address this problem. We don't need to duplicate their efforts. We should, however, work harder at finding ways to cooperate with them on mutual goals. LeadSongDog come howl 15:07, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
See User:WebCiteBOT. Anomie 16:45, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
If the topic is important, it most likely won't be available at a single source. The reference may be replaced by another reference (online or printed) that references the same. But in the meantime, beyond mere convenience I don't see a poblem citing sources that were available when writing the article but are no longer. Many books I read cite books out of print, books from 2 centuries ago, documents, journals and other stuff that only historians know how to get to (don't expect me to go and verify if in the transcription of the senate session of 130 years ago Sarmiento really said what X history book cites he said). In comparison, what's a dead link? MBelgrano (talk) 12:29, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
It should be verifiable in principle. Which means that it should be possible to get the text via a well stocked library. Out of print books will usually fall under that. Books from two centuries ago should not be used, although the problem here is that such books needs reinterpretation and the text can not in general be taken at face value. Dead links are simply unavailiable. Taemyr (talk) 12:34, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
Also, although not necesarily germane, if the reference is a convenience link to an online version of an offline medium, then that convenience link is not required according to WP:V. Taemyr (talk) 12:37, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

Are aggregate Google book search results valid in-line references - revisit last week's discussion

This was discussed last week - now archived at [9]. IMO the editors who commented were aware that the question pertained to Gbook search results, since P.'s post mentioning that appeared before the other editors weighed in. Piotrus restored them [10] on the grounds that last week's discussion here referred only to Google searches, not Google book searches. Comments? Novickas (talk) 14:21, 12 October 2009 (UTC)

A page of any kind of search results is almost never valid as a reference, including in this case. The reasons were given in the previous discussion. OrangeDog (talk • edits) 15:13, 12 October 2009 (UTC)
I would even go further than OrangeDog. A link to perform a dynamic query is not a reference at all, without even approaching the question of whether it's an acceptable one. Static queries or archives of dynamic queries might be acceptable. Arguments of the form "you can see for yourself that X is Y, just look at the search results" are generally original research. Gavia immer (talk) 15:26, 12 October 2009 (UTC)

It seems like over-referencing to include references for that sort of thing anyway.

  • If a term is only used by one or two books, either point out the books by name or don't mention the term at all. Mentioning every single term that has been used is likely to violate WP:NOT#UNDUE.
  • If a term is commonly used, just put a pointer to the corresponding search on the talk page. Then, if anyone asks whether the terms are actually used, point them to it. But if the term is actually widely used, few people are going to ask about it, and nobody is going to be able to challenge it once checking the search. It is perfectly appropriate to tell someone on a talk page to check a search to see that a term is commonly used.

— Carl (CBM · talk) 15:29, 12 October 2009 (UTC)

Please note those links are not used as references, but notes. Before, editors were questioning that those terms are used, despite links on talk showing that all of those terms are used in dozens if not hundreds of printed works, so I added them to the article. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 16:18, 12 October 2009 (UTC)
The solution there is to educate the people who ask about them. Hypothetically, they ask on the talk page, right? If not, they need to be educated about that as well.
More long-winded: Descriptions of terminology will always have the problem that few books are going to give a long list of all the terms used to refer to something along with explanations about how common each one is. We usually make lists of terms by simply noting which terms are commonly used in the literature, not for looking for sources about the literature. So random editors should not expect wonderful citations for terminology in most cases. We have to make do with our own knowledge of the literature, with google searches, etc. to determine which terminology is widespread and which is idiosyncratic. This requires talk page conversation. — Carl (CBM · talk) 17:13, 12 October 2009 (UTC)
I agree. So what would you do with the article in question: Tsarist autocracy. I think that the section on Alternative names is useful, and the notes are helpful. Would you disagree with me and argue it should be removed? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 17:49, 12 October 2009 (UTC)
I don't think the notes are very helpful, not in the least because the first thing anyone would do to check the article is to do some internet searches. So the notes don't actually add any new information to the article. One option is to put a detailed list of search results on the talk page, then put a comment into the source code of the article to remind editors that there was consensus to include the material.) I will skip the question of whether the section itself is helpful. — Carl (CBM · talk) 18:55, 12 October 2009 (UTC)

Policy /guideline page help needed

Note:thread moved from WP:AN

Following discussion on Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Paid editing in June of this year WP:Paid was created as a guideline/overview page of existing practices. Some editors wishing to enact a more stringent policy have, to state it diplomatically, since made efforts to replace it with a proposed policy page. We now have two pages Wikipedia:Paid editing (guideline) which attempts to overview current practice and Wikipedia:Paid editing (policy). They are very different in tone but perhaps are not mutually exclusive. First question - is it acceptable to have both a guideline and policy page? I have asked this but have not gotten a response. If it's not OK where is this stated so we can refer to that as a moving forward jump-off. If it is OK are the current page titles acceptable? If not what would be better? All help appreciated. -- Banjeboi 14:29, 12 October 2009 (UTC)

Unless there is issue with the current page and the new page is a draft being written for a proposed replacement, I don't see the merit of having two pages on the same topic, as there could potentially be contradiction. Is that the situation? As you described it, sounds like it might be. Otherwise it would seem a merge might be the ideal solution here, and then the community can decide what level (policy/guideline) it is to be.
Perhaps you should bring this up at the Village Pump, as I am not sure any administrator action is specifically needed here. Baccyak4H (Yak!) 15:41, 12 October 2009 (UTC)
Note:Moved to VPP
The current guideline page is a bit more historical and treats paid editing as something that happens and can be problematic but not as prohibited because it's not. A group that kept trying to imply paid editing was forbidden or unacceptable in most cases started what is now a proposed policy page on the subject which is much more ... stern against most forms of paid editing. I have been reading everything on Wikipedia about paid editing issues and feel the policy page is both inaccurate in tone and spirit. The community RfC was quite divided so any page needs to reflect those split opinions. I'd rather allow those interested in working on enacting a policy the latitude to develop their page using as strong as language as they wish with the understanding they wish it to be policy. Once they fell it is ready it can judged on its own merits. The guideline page meanwhile, would continue to reflect current situation of what is technically allowed/prohibited and explain some of the history and reasons for all of it. Both pages are in the development stage and neither camp seems ready to adopt the stance of either being more "soft" or "hard" on the issues. So besides that the two pages might seem contradictory is there an actual prohibition against two pages co-existing? -- Banjeboi 16:37, 12 October 2009 (UTC)

Blocks and bans "not punishment" needs clarification

At, present a common mantra is that blocks and bans are not to be used as punishment, but in order to prevent further disruption. I think this idea is in need of some clarification. One interpretation of the mantra is that it is perfectly OK for a banned user to return using a sockpuppet, as long as they continue making useful edits which benefit the encyclopedia. Even though a number of people whom I respect hold that view, I respectfully disagree with them, even though the literal wording of "only to prevent, not punish" does seem to support it.

Punishment has a number of different reasons behind it:

  1. Retaliation/retribution is the purpose I think most people agree upon that blocks and bans should not be used for. They are not used to "get even".
  2. In contrast, incapacitation is the purpose I think we all agree blocks and bans are for. Block and/or ban the user so they cannot continue to vandalize/disrupt/harass/etc.
  3. Rehabilitation, hoping that the banned user will learn from the ban and be productive at the end of it is tough. We have specifically abolished "cool-down" blocks, but having banned users contribute to other projects during the ban from English Wikipedia have in some rare instances produced positive results. Whether a user can "rehabilitate" by ban evasion is a different matter.
  4. Deterrence is in two varieties
    1. The banned person is deterred from continuing with the offensive activity after the ban expires, also called specific deterrence
    2. Everyone is deterred from offensive activity because bad behavior may result in a ban, also called general deterrence.

When we say that blocks and bans are not for punishment, I think we really mean that they are not means of revenge (retaliation/retribution). The reason I disagree with turning a blind eye to ban-evading sockpuppets is that the general deterrence factor is eroded. A ban is a severe sanction because it means you are kicked off Wikipedia. If the sanction were that "you have to make a new username to continue editing", that sanction loses most of its teeth for someone who has no intention of respecting the ban, and as a result we wind up with a de facto legitimization of the disruptive behavior that led to the ban in the first place. "Is harassing someone worth getting kicked off the website?" v. "Is harassing someone worth losing your current username?"

The blocking policy already says that deterrence is one of the purposes of blocks. I feel that the banning policy should specifically mention general deterrence of disruption as one of its purposes. It should also explain why evasion with a sockpuppet to make useful edits is prohibited.

Using blocks and bans as a deterrent is a punitive measure, and we should not try to kid ourselves by saying otherwise. They are used to sanction poor behavior ("punishment"), even if they are not used to wreak vengeance ("retaliation"). Sjakkalle (Check!) 15:29, 8 October 2009 (UTC)

With regards to sockpuppetry, it is always the user themself that is banned, not their account. OrangeDog (talk • edits) 16:50, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
There's a difference between 'punitive' and 'preventative'. If it's obvious a user is going to CONTINUE vandalizing, ban. And yes, sockpuppet bans are ostensibly on the puppeteer himself, to the extent to which that can be enforced. Generally the socks are indeffed and the master account gets a week or so. --King Öomie 17:06, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
If someone comes back and is behaving, then there is nothing to be prevented. If someone is indefinitely banned, comes back under a different name and behaves perfectly, they should be allowed to continue behaving well, because for all intents and purposes, they were banned as a disruptive person. If they are no longer disruptive, why continue to apply the ban? Consider, if you will, that they will probably never be caught if they don't resume their bad behavior. Irbisgreif (talk) 17:53, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Well, some puppetmasters are indef banned. Case and point: Bambifan101 (talk+ · contribs · deleted contribs · tag · block user · block log · checkuser).--Unionhawk Talk E-mail Review 17:57, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
Special case. That user created and used 150 sockpuppets, while aware of the implications of WP:SOCK, and thus it was painfully obvious that they had no intention of stopping. --King Öomie 18:34, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
On the other hand we just had a couple of productive user accounts blocked on the basis that they were returned banned users, not on their behaviour. This does seem a shame. Rich Farmbrough, 22:51, 9 October 2009 (UTC).
Not really. Anyone who is banned can request a review of their ban, including asking for a "grace period" to edit while others observe. If they behave, the ban can be lifted. Socking to get around a ban is considered gaming the system, and sours many people on allowing the banned party to continue editing, even if they've been behaving with their sock. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 16:15, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

Collapsing topics/exchanges on article talk pages (governing policy page/section?)

NOTE: I've been around awhile, but never to the Pump ... I'm here because of the underlined text from a talk page template. Please let me know if Help desk is the more appropriate venue for this question.

I have been asked what (specific) policy is the basis which allows the collapsing of portions of talk page discussions (by administrators or others).

The general explanation I gave was:

But there was a request for specific WP policy (page/section) applicable to authorize collapsing (of anything by anyone) on an article talk page.

Any specific places in policy that specifically covers collapsing? (Again, if the wrong venue, please direct me.) Proofreader77 (talk) 19:09, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

I doubt there is even guidelines covering that. Except that it is sometimes common sense to do so. I would be more worried about people asking for policy to back that up - it indicates that there is not a lot of WP:AGF going on? We all do lots of stuff for which there is no "policy", there's no policy to ask for policy.... Rich Farmbrough, 20:12, 9 October 2009 (UTC).
Ok try WP:TALK - "Keep the layout clear", "Keep discussions focused" - Minor refactoring edits are still appropriate "When pages get too long" Summarize - refactor. Rich Farmbrough, 20:20, 9 October 2009 (UTC).
(Reply to first of your replies: Yes, what I'd think, too, just making sure.)
re WP:TALK - Thanks (also reading WP:Refactor linked to).
BUT NOTE: Still (pointless) isssue of (recently blocked pair of editors, now fussy) demanding policy (specifically) for collapsing discussions. (And removing collapsed formatting in protest to "no policy" authorizing it, etc.) Such is WP life. :) Proofreader77 (talk) 20:32, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
PS Process/forum question: If the complainants cannot be satisfied, where is the appropriate forum to address this? (e.g., Raise the question at AN/I and direct them there? etc) Proofreader77 (talk) 20:36, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
ANI is probably the most direct venture, though it should only be used if the conflict cannot be resolved through normal means. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 16:18, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

Advice needed on moving draft from mainspace

While categorizing uncategorized pages from the backlog of WP:CATP, I ran across PIRA/PIRAlededraft, which is a draft version of Provisional Irish Republican Army. It shouldn't be deleted, as there is a great deal of discussion on its talk page about a controversial subject. To where should the article and its talk page be moved? To its creator's sandbox? Many thanks in advance for all advice and pointers to policy. MuffledThud (talk) 22:17, 11 October 2009 (UTC)

Does it need to be moved? You could just link to it from a relevant talk page. OrangeDog (talk • edits) 22:22, 11 October 2009 (UTC)
Yes, see WP:Subpages#Disallowed uses. The normal case for a multi-author collaboration on rewriting an article seems to be as a subpage of the main article's talk page, or a subpage of the wikiproject if the project is coordinating (most of) the work. Anomie 00:08, 12 October 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for that. Additional questions: Should both the draft article and its talk page be moved to subpages of the main article's talk page? How should they then be distinguished? Would the redirects left behind following the move be deleted R3 as implausible typos? If so, then can they be protected somehow? Note that PIRA is now a redirect to Provisional Irish Republican Army. Thanks, MuffledThud (talk) 04:39, 12 October 2009 (UTC)
I would move to Talk:PIRA/draft and Talk:PIRA/draft-talk, and would leave a soft redirect in place. Taemyr (talk) 06:46, 12 October 2009 (UTC)
Why Talk:PIRA/draft, rather than Talk:Provisional Irish Republican Army/draft? Not criticizing, just want to understand the best way to do this. Thanks, MuffledThud (talk) 07:01, 12 October 2009 (UTC)
I'd say WP:CSD#R2 (cross-namespace redirect from article space to talk space). Also post a note on Talk:Provisional Irish Republican Army noting that the draft was moved so anyone interested can find it easily enough. Anomie 11:29, 12 October 2009 (UTC)
To clarify: PIRA/PIRAlededraft is not a subpage, as subpages are disabled in mainspace; therefore it looks like an article. It be moved to a subpage of the appropriate talk page and tagged with {{draft}}. There should be no redirect from mainspace to a talk page. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 15:02, 12 October 2009 (UTC)

I went ahead and moved it. Anomie 03:16, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

Thanks. MuffledThud (talk) 08:46, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

To compare Featured articles in other Wikipedia

Hi all, first sorry for my english, i am a french contributor. On french WP we created a page in which the purpose is to compare Featured Articles between french one is others. For instance, we have broadsheets to compare which FA on en: is not yet translate into fr:, or if it is. Thus, we can have a look on the advancement of the translations. We can also suggest to contributors good translation so as to enhance FA on our WP. Here is our main page.

My question is simple : is a sort of this project exists on english WP?

thanks a lot, --Prosopee (talk) 11:45, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

We have Wikipedia:WikiProject Echo. But have in mind that the comparison should be about broad coverage and topic detail (this is, no major information about the topic or related points of view are being omited or mentioned in a small level). Beyond that, articles on different languages about a same topic (even both ones featured) don't need to be just translations of each other. Starting from a topic, related bibliography, a medium, a number of users and a set of rules, the final shape of the article comes from daily work, it isn't predefined but in the broadest of terms.
Have in mid as well that wikipedia in english is not by default the best wikipedia at all levels. Projects in other languages may have even better articles for a certain given topic (specially the local ones), or expanded onto articles that haven't been created here yet but should be. MBelgrano (talk) 12:32, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
Sure, i don't think english WP is the best, i also seek on other languages. Thanks for your response, --Prosopee (talk) 18:28, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

Works of Art -- "Extra-contextual" Information

I have a question about whether extra-contextual (I'm sorry, I don't know if that's a real word, but bear with me) information is appropriate for inclusion in an article on a narrative such as a book or film. For example, say you're watching a movie and there's a mysterious character in the background. The movie never specifies his name or who he is. But then a novelization of the movie comes out, which specifies that the mystery man is actually an accountant named Bill. My question is, should the article on the movie refer to the guy as Bill the Accountant? My personal feeling is that the answer is no, because that's a misleading representation of the film itself; the article is, after all, about the film, not about the novelization. At most, there could be a footnote on the character, that he is specified as Bill the Accountant in the novelization, but if such a footnote is included, it should be made clear that the information is not found in the movie itself. Thoughts? Minaker (talk) 21:52, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

You're right. The film is what it is. To treat story details found outside the film as if they are really "in" the film in some mysterious way is "in universe writing"—describing fiction from the inside, as if it were true, rather than describing the works of fiction as they actually exist. This is a big problem with articles about elements from serial or franchise fiction that purportedly maintain fictional continuity across different works. See Wikipedia:Manual of Style (writing about fiction) for a longer discussion of this issue. Postdlf (talk) 01:21, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

Bad joke policy

I propose a new policy concerning jokes on wikipedia. I have come across far too many users who believe their jokes are funny. It is, I believe, a time to put a stop to this. Bad jokes only make me groan, and I groan enough in real life, so do not want this to infest wikipedia. I propose we set up a panel of bad jokes monitors to ensure this policy is adhered to. I would suggest allowing three bad jokes in a 24hr period then a block. Thank you. Jack forbes (talk) 16:26, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

Consider this your first warning then =P --King Öomie 16:35, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
I knew it was workable! :) Jack forbes (talk) 16:39, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
There already is a template. Bongomatic 16:53, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
Hmmm. That template is sitting right above my post. If I weren't so trusting I would think.....Nah, it can't be that. Jack forbes (talk) 17:04, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
I protest such a policy. No kidding. GoodDay (talk) 19:39, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
Didn't there use to be some page called "bad jokes and other deleted nonsense" or some such? And it was deleted as inappropriate? I don't know if it was the fact that the jokes were bad that people objected to, or just the fact that they were jokes. (No smiling on Wikipedia please, this is serious business...)--Kotniski (talk) 20:10, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Bad jokes and other deleted nonsense. Not presently deleted, but redirects to Wikipedia:Silly Things. superlusertc 2009 October 13, 21:27 (UTC)

Not a good idea. See past discussion on WT:CSD for why speedying hoaxes are a bad idea. The same points apply here. It might look like an article made as a joke, but determining this with surety require extensive knowledge of the relevant field. And as such requires community discussion. For articles that are obviously created in bad faith we already have a CSD. Taemyr (talk) 08:12, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

For how to handle the jokesters if they keep making repeated unserious additions, it's clearly disruptive and they can be blocked as disruptive users. Taemyr (talk) 08:14, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

I went to Wikipedia this evening, just to find this harrassing and quite disturbing thing on my user page.......

This evening, I went to Wikipedia to look up something, and I was encountered by this character assault on my user page. I need to know what steps to take.

The following was the message that this person wrote to me.

Journey "Niceness" You can "yipe yipe yipe" all day, but it won't help. Experienced editors tire of these whinings very quickly, and crave only entries from contributors with BALLS, not cherrystones. Don't be that guy who needs to be drop-kicked like an insufferable lap-dog. Try also not to be too offended by edits that may hurt your precious feelings, but simply happen to coincide with the truth...

In short: toughen up, or be prepared to cry yourself to sleep on a daily/nightly basis. This isn't for kindergarteners...

"I've got your name... I've got your ass!!!"

I didn't include the person's name. I have no idea what this person is referring to. I wrote on his user page a few minutes ago that I feel that an explanation is owed to me as to what this is all about. Will somebody please help me out on this? It is an offensive and harassing character assault that is totally uncalled for. I do not need to be greeted unexpectedly with such verbal abuse. This is highly offensive. Not only that, but I have no idea of what this person wants from me, or what he is referring to. I couldn't even begin to imagine. Not only that, but the last line was obviously meant to intimidate me. Well, he did a good job. There are creeps crawling all over the internet, but it doesn't help Wikipedia's image to have these kind of things going on. Will somebody please give me some advice as to what actions can be taken? Runt (talk) 23:48, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

It looks like it has been addressed. If not, Wikipedia:Dispute resolution would be the place to decide next actions, I think. -- JHunterJ (talk) 12:55, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

Perhaps "verifiable over truth" is not good enough anymore

Many like to throw around in arguments that Wikipedia's standards are "verifiability not truth", and while that may have worked when the Community was young, perhaps we should change that wording and clarify it a bit on our policy and guideline pages. While I do understand keeping such an idea in spirit, we should clarify the policy so it does not stand out so boldly, it is probably the number one quote bandied around that editors dont like to apply IAR and Common sense on, especially when one proposes to show that a reliable source has gotten the information wrong by showing primary sources contradict the RS. I propose that "verifiability not truth" be given less prominence and more clarification that if it can be reasonably shown that a RS has gotten something wrong then it is more important to have the truth than to have sourced false information. "Reasonably shown" meaning through other sources, even primary (which are unfairly discriminated against in Wikipedia), or through common sense that a consensus of editors have agreed on. As an example I will give a non-controversial example from my own editing experience-

  • On Capital District there is a section regarding the origin of the name, originally the section used an Albany Times Union (TU) newspaper article as a RS for the origin of the name of that region. I knew it wasnt right, so I found primary sources using the name and other sources giving earlier references to that name for the region showing the name was much older. So I changed the section to reflect what I found. Obviously the TU article was wrong about the date (by over 50 years) and on how/why.
I would love to hear any ideas on proposed rewording of WP:V and any other relevant places. I'm not looking to completely overturn the idea of verifying and am not advocating OR, I simply think our Community has evolved and matured to where we can, thanks to the RS/N and OR/N, decide for ourselves collectively using Common Sense and IAR what should and shouldnt be allowed in an article and if something is truthful or not. Having a boldly worded statement in WP:V that makes it clear that truth is not wanted here is not helpful to our image to the world, to newbies, or to editors who do want the truth in Wikipedia. We should be the most trusted word on the internet, not the place where we take the word of other sources at face value and take no responsibility for the information we disseminate. We have a responsibility to our readers. Suggestions, ideas, comments, hatred towards the proposal?Camelbinky (talk) 00:45, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

"Truth" in this context is about controversial truths. Is X political development exactly as we see it in the media, or is there a conspiracy behind it? The policy says: for Wikipedia, it's as we see it in the media (even if ultimately the media happens to be lying). When the conspiracy/real truth/whatever surfaces into the media, then and only then we can talk about it. MBelgrano (talk) 01:14, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

This is the problem: "the media" instead of reliable academic sources, and "as we see it" instead of "as described in these reliable sources". Too many steps away from truth that sits idle on your library shelf (or, as wiser people put it before me, "Randy from Boise" always wins because he always cites an online newsleaf). NVO (talk) 02:47, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
Don't loose the point by making such deep analisis of my words. "The media" is any media (any system in wich information is gathered, checked and distributed to a mass public, it can be either TV or books) and "as we see it" is, in casual terms, the opposing thing to "the real truth that the media does not want you to know..." or other such conspiracy excuses. MBelgrano (talk) 23:40, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

Camelbinky, it seems that the issue you're raising here is really about when primary sources may be reliable sources for particular statements of fact, and what to do when sources conflict. You simply claim that the primary source you have found verifies an earlier date than the secondary source another contributor had found. The whole point of insisting on what is verifiable is that we don't just want a bunch of editors arguing back and forth about what they "know" to be the truth without anything concrete to prove the point either way. Until you had found that primary source, did you have any reason to believe that the secondary source was inaccurate? It's still about what you can prove using more than just your word for it. Postdlf (talk) 01:17, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

Also wp:RS is clear that "primary or tertiary sources can be used to support specific statements" (while "the bulk of the article should rely on secondary sources"). wp:PRIMARY is clear that primary sources can be used with care. In general if i know a secondary source is incorrect, from some more primary source, i will use that primary source. I don't see the general problem. Perhaps C's energy on this relates to situations, highly irritating, where we encounter a stubborn editor insisting on keeping a sourced but incorrect statement. I think that's a problem with that editor, which is different. doncram (talk) 01:20, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
Or there may be a reasonable dispute over what exactly the primary source establishes, which is also different. Postdlf (talk) 01:24, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

The problem is that "truth" can vary from person to person. So how do we reconcile disputes when there are multiple "truths"? We could take a poll of editors, but that would be susceptible to outside influences, and people with fringe beliefs are often more vocal than the mainstream, both of which could lead to disproportionate results. So, instead, we mainly present what the mainstream sources say, but in the interests of NPOV, include other views on the "truth," giving them appropriate weight based on coverage in reliable sources. Mr.Z-man 01:29, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

Actually, that's not always the case. Some truths are controversial, but others are not under any dispute and a reliable source may say otherwise simply by making a mistake (specially if the source has to talk about a topic beyond their area of expertise). Such a mistake can be detected by using other sources, or more specialized ones (such as history books instead of a history summary at the newspaper). MBelgrano (talk) 01:39, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
  • The problem that arises with multiple conflicting sources - even when primary vs secondary - isn't really a concern for "verifiability, not truth". Generally we have to pick and choose between multiple reliable sources, so in the case above I don't necessarily (generally speaking, of course) have a problem with saying that we should go to the primary source on something, because that's the most reliable. I encounter this a lot on history articles, where later commentators have made an error, and I argue that the primary source is, in that case, more reliable, if only because later commentators didn't have access to it. (I can think of examples, but they're probably not needed). Thus I agree with MBelgrano and Doncram. You do get a problem when all the reliable sources are wrong, but that's a relatively uncommon problem; or where the situation that Doncram described arises, but, as said, that last one is a problem with the editor. That said, I share Mr.Z-man's concern as well - we have a bright line here, because it solves controversial problems. Wikipedia is not set up to rely on expertise or majority opinion, so we need to fall back on something else when faced with multiple possible truths. Verifiability is that fall back position, but I fear it only works when drawn simply and solidly. If we change it to make it easier to work with in less controversial areas, I'm worried that we kill it's value when it is really required. - Bilby (talk) 01:44, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
Yes, my first experience with an editor who loved to quote "verifiable not truth" is what first led me to this idea, but since that time (has it been over a year yet?) I have seen others in different situations quote the same bold-faced "slogan" from wp:V at the RS noticeboard but luckily there that type of quotte is not popular and disregarded often. I agree with both Postdlf and Doncram that primary sources are great and dont usually face problems if they conflict secondary sources. But as Doncram stated, it may simply be a particular editor (or editors) who demand that a secondary source explicitly states X, or "not X" and states outright that the other RS is wrong. We have the "dubious" template, which is similar to the "citation needed" one to tag uncited material. Is it common practice or acceptable to use the dubious template to tag sourced material one finds unlikely? If a RS makes a claim that just doesnt sit right and seems "extravagant" or unlikely to an editor, is there a mechanism to bring forth a challenge? And if a challenge is put on it, what should happen? Do we leave the information in the article or take it out and put it on the talk page until consensus decides? I hope Doncram, Postdlf, or others know of existing policy that could shine light on it, or perhaps we could decide on a common sense mechanism here.
Z-mans response is one I take issue with. That response is one I've seen many times, and I consider it to be a copout, and one usually espoused by those who think only what the RS material says should be put in without any commonsences applied. We can as a group come to a consensus on what is the truth. The idea we cant is wrong. I have faith in Wikipedia editors as a group. I might not comes to the conclusion that Z-man likes, but it can make the decision rationally that a certain RS is simply wrong. We do it at the RS noticeboard daily and at the OR noticeboard. The truth can be found, if not attribution to the particular sources is good enough as long as we show it is that source's opinion and not fact.Camelbinky (talk) 02:03, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
Really? Try proposing that for 9/11, or homeopathy, or one of the Eastern European debates, or Scientology; I can go on. You don't think outside groups (or inside groups) are going to try to manipulate the consensus? About a dozen or so ArbCom cases have shown that, no, there are some topics that the Wikipedia community cannot simply conclude what the truth is and stick with it. I'm not talking about individual sources, I'm talking about points of view. Sources are just paper or data, points of view are beliefs. For some people, telling them that their point of view is "wrong" is basically like telling them that their religion is wrong (and in some cases is the same thing). I have faith in most Wikipedia editors as well, however, I don't have the same faith in the entire world. We have high Google rankings and are often a first and only stop for information. Just like spammers want to get links and articles on Wikipedia, people with a POV and strong beliefs try to manipulate Wikipedia. We rely on a rough consensus of reliable sources rather than editors because reliable sources like peer-reviewed journals and mainstream media are much harder to manipulate than a talk page discussion or a straw poll. Mr.Z-man 02:21, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
First of all- we are the often the highest listing on a google search for the reason that Google's complicated and copyrighted method of ranking (which they have never released to the public) is mostly primarily based on number of hits a website has gotten. Since our articles are visited by multiple editors multiple times each day our hitcounts are inflated just by us users/editors and not by those actual readers who come here looking for information, we are a self-fulfilling prophecy of becoming the first stop for all who look for knowledge, our own work gets us higher on the list of Google and thereby the first choice by lazy people who wont look much further down, even though there may be better places. And with all do respect to 9/11 conspiracists, homeopathy believers, and Scientoligists- there is a truth regarding all of those. 9/11 has a mainstream explanation and that's why other "ideas" on what happened are called "fringe theories" even here in Wikipedia and they have restrictions on using their sources and presenting their information as "fact". Homeopathy also is not given the full authority of actual medicine even though there is some science behind it working. Scientology is a religion, its beliefs are beyond the scope of science as it is in faith, it can portray as its explanation to life and death whatever it wants and we must report that explanation as what they believe, that doesnt mean on an article about the creation of the Universe we give them equal say to that of science (or any say whatsoever). In each of those cases there is truth, and there is fringe theory, I have no idea what the issue with Eastern Europe is, please tell me on my talk page, are some saying E. Europe does not exist? There is a website that actually says that Belguim does not exist, do we portray its opinions equally to that of the CIA WorldFactbook (which is also full of mistakes)? As one who has contributed with professors as a grad student to articles in peer-reviewed journals I can tell you that the peer-review is not as strict as one thinks, though it is of all the types of RS we use the strictest overview. "Mainstream journalism" is about as strict in editing as that of Penguin Publishing on its Book of World History, its choice of RS and OR is less strict than that of Wikipedia itself. (See- Dan Rather, New York Times scandals, the entire FOX news channel cast, esp. Glenn Beck, and many more examples) I have never seen a rough consensus of reliable sources rather than editors used on the OR/N as a compelling argument that won the day. I agree with you that there may be, in contentious and partisan articles (which are articles I dont work on and have no experience with, so I am biased towards smaller issues that probably do always have truth) there may in fact be no truth or not one that is easily discerned, that is why we use attribution. "Glenn Beck says Obama is a racist" (and yes GB has said that MANY TIMES) instead of sourcing to Fox News the statement "Obama is a racist". What is the truth about Obama being a racist or not? (no he isnt a racist is the correct answer) But there will be the fringe that says he is and use Fox News as a source (and Limberger or Limbough however you spell it). So instead of portraying it as fact we attribute it to being the belief of an individual source. Do you, Z-man, believe that it is better to use attribution than to portray something as fact when it is controversial? Do you support something similar to the "dubious-discuss" template to be tagged on sourced material that may be an extraordinary claim by a RS? Our readers should be warned when something may not be the fact that we, as an encyclopedia, claim it to be. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Camelbinky (talkcontribs)

Part of what we as editors have to do is evaluate what kind of claim a source is making. Is it making an assertion of fact, which is or isn't true, or merely a characterization, which is or isn't persuasive? And we can also evaluate whether a reliable source is reliable for the statement it is being used to verify. Is it reporting or editorializing? Is it venturing outside its area of expertise? Is it internally inconsistent? Postdlf (talk) 03:38, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

Im trying to find out if there is a way to easily tag such verified statements to notify other users and make it clear to non-editors (just laypeople coming here to read) that the information may not be on the up-and-up?Camelbinky (talk) 21:32, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

It definitely needs to be modified, but for different reasons than those prevented above. There are various notable happenings that don't receive enough western attention for media verifiability. If you're trying to write an article on something a little more obscure, it's a nightmare trying to find media coverage that deals with the subject in question in more than a trivial manner. This limits the scope of wikipedia.

Forbid "text-shadow" in signatures

Please see Wikipedia talk:Signatures#Forbid "text-shadow" in signatures. Regards SoWhy 14:13, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

23 edits, 6 words actually different.

This link [11] shows the net result of 23 edits to a single page. 22 of these edits where either non-constructive edits (usually blatant vandalism) or those edits being undone. I'm not saying I have a solution but I do think that we've got a big problem when there are pages where less than 5% of the edits actually contribute to the article content.--RDBury (talk) 14:32, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

Why is that a big problem? Page protection would be the solution if it is indeed a big problem, wouldn't it? -- JHunterJ (talk) 14:44, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
It floods the article's history, making it harder to focus on edits that actually had a net effect on the article. I've proposed in the past that there be some way of highlighting constructive edits, so you can see at a glance which ones to ignore (vandalism and its reversions, at a minimum). Just a method of visually organizing the history, never to remove or hide any edits. Probably difficult to implement, but it's an idea worth exploring. Postdlf (talk) 14:57, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
I agree with RDBury and Postdlf. This is a problem for serious editors working to improve an article. When the history is heavily vandalism and reverts it is much more difficult to isolate and focus on the substantive changes. Rollback can help here somewhat, but is not widely used. N2e (talk) 15:06, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
If you want to set apart the important contributions from the minor ones, check article size of each version (mentioned at the history). If there's a big change from one to another, and no reversion after it, then that's a big contribution. A system to locate who and when wrote some part of the article is to seek big and then go small. Check if the edit was there 100 or 50 edits ago, and if it is, if it was other 100 or 50 ago, and so on. When you can set a point when the edit wasn't made yet and a point when the edit was already made, you can know that it was made somewhere in the middle. Repeat the process with lower intervals, until you have an interval you can check edit-by-edit, and that's it MBelgrano (talk) 15:35, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

Copyright issues

I have two questions I can't seem to find answers for:

1. If I have bought a painting or other original artwork am I allowed to use a photo of it (which I have taken myself) in a Wikipedia article? If there are any restrictions - what are they?

2. If I bought some photos from a photographer years ago who is now assumed to have almost certainly passed away by now, am I allowed to use them to illustrate an article? And, as above, if there are any restrictions - what are they?

Many thanks for any help you may be able to give.

Yours sincerely, John Hill (talk) 22:54, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

1. That you own the physical painting is irrelevant for copyright purposes. The copyright is most likely held by the artist. If the artist is long-dead, the painting may have entered the public domain (depending on jurisdiction, when the art was first displayed publicly (if at all), and the year the artist died). The good folks at Media copyright questions should be able to help if you can provide this information.
2. Again, that the photographer is dead is not sufficient. Whether it is in the public domain depends on the same factors as above.
If the images are in the public domain, they can be used on Wikipedia. If they are not, they almost certainly cannot (unless you can adhere to the non-free content criteria). I hope that's at least a little bit helpful. Steve Smith (talk) 23:47, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
By the way, in some countries (but not all) copyright protection for photos is shorter than that for other works of art. MBelgrano (talk) 12:10, 15 October 2009 (UTC)

Thank you both for your helpful answers. I will contact the Media copyright people for spefic answers about specific works of art and photos. Best wishes, John Hill (talk) 13:26, 15 October 2009 (UTC)

When is it time to block/ban for uploading copyrighted images?

A large percentage of Grbpradeep's uploads are problematic images: either copyrighted images that don't pass our nonfree content criteria or even claim to, or not-necessarily-copyrighted images without evidence of permission and/or evidence of authorship. Just today, I've listed three of his files at FFD, tagged several more under WP:F6, and voted in another FFD nomination that included several of his images. See his talk page for details. You'll see there that many deletion warnings have been issued, and some editors have given more specific warnings and explanations of our copyright policies, but nothing substantive has been done. When does the time come that we say, "Thanks for your helpful photographs and text, but you've violated our copyright policies too many times"? Nyttend (talk) 15:41, 15 October 2009 (UTC)

Seems to me that the process could be modified to have a system of escalating warnings; obviously dropping the same friendly copyvio notice is simply not sufficient. Personally I would say that if someone continues uploading copyvios after the "friendly" notice, they should be warned that further copyvios will result in a block. Shereth 15:46, 15 October 2009 (UTC)
Three strikes, just like we use to handle questionable vandels. That is, maybe they upload a picture and don't understand our non-free approach, which is completely fine and one warning is fair for that. A second time on their second attempt is a possible mistake, as possibly a third time. But if they aren't getting the picture after that (with reasonable expectations that they have read their talk page messages), then its time to consider a short block and a firm pointer to how we handle non-free content. --MASEM (t)
Someone uploading a copyrighted image in good faith should be treated as someone making a bad edit in good faith -- that is, don't consider it a "strike" like an obvious vandal or kid-like nonsense. Now of course repeated offenses after warnings are a different story. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 18:13, 15 October 2009 (UTC)

Underlining with dots

I don't know whether this is a technical or a policy issue, so I have posted it on both Village Pumps.

Within the last 24 hours, seemingly random underlining with dots has appeared all over Wikipedia. (Is there a name for it?) In my opinion it destroys the readability of Wikipedia articles. It makes words and phrases jump off the page. As far as I can tell, it serves no useful purpose at all, but if people really like the extra linking function there's got to be a less annoying way to mark the links. Can we revert back to yesterday on this thing? HowardMorland (talk) 17:00, 15 October 2009 (UTC)

I've not seen it. Can you provide an example article where you've seen it, or are you seeing it everywhere? It might be an issue specific to your web browser. Postdlf (talk) 17:57, 15 October 2009 (UTC)
Never mind. It seemed to go away on its own. It wasn't there the next time I logged on. Then it was again; then it wasn't. When it was happening, it would offer links to other things on the web with similar names, including Wikipedia articles. Maybe it was just my computer. I was using the Firefox browser. HowardMorland (talk) 18:02, 15 October 2009 (UTC)
Dotted underline is the default style for the <abbr> markup. Templates such as {{circa}} use it. What you've got sounds more like an adware infection though. OrangeDog (talk • edits) 18:14, 15 October 2009 (UTC)
Yes. Were I HowardMorland, I would scan my computer immediately for adware and other malware. Powers T 19:10, 15 October 2009 (UTC)

User identity

hi, i have a question about user identity. i will try to explain without using specifics. there is one article on wikipedia. (it is also a BLP). the subject of the article (call it 101) has several anti "101" websites on the internet. one of the anti-101 writers (editor A) (with his own anti 101 websites) has a wikipedia acct and he has revealed his name and websites on his user page (which i think is line with wikipedia policy). there is another editor (editor B) on wikipedia who shares the same name as one of the anti-101 writers (with several of his own anti 101 websites) but has not given any more information about himself. some of the edits by editor B seem like original research, and the topics seem similar to those he posts on his own website.
many of editor B's comments towards other editors also seem rude, patronizing and condescending. i dont want to harrass the editor and am unsure how to proceed as it is difficult to deal with these editors. (as it seems that their hostility towards subject 101 spills onto the wikipedia article and the editors involved on the page)

i was wondering what to do or how to proceed.

J929 (talk) 21:20, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

Policy on WP:OR and WP:BLP still applies to all edits and editors, regardless of who they are. For more specific guidance, WP:COI may be applicable. OrangeDog (talk • edits) 11:08, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
You might also want to check out Wikipedia:Wikiquette alerts if you have specific behavioral concerns about a user. Powers <sjectmall>T 12:51, 8 October 2009 (UTC)

i tried the COI board and it was said that unless editor A or B is pushing a product or their own websites it is not COI... and to try NPOV.
i'm under the assumption wikipedia articles are based on reliable sources, and content included in an article have to be from a reliable source (and properly referenced). As person 101 is a BLP and is the subject of the wikipedia page, editor B has been making edits about books about person 101. ie instead of discussing person 101 in the biography section, he discusses books about him/her. i asked editor B to move the info to a more suitable section as a biography should only deal with the subject of the article. These edits about books are in line with (same as) the topics he discusses on his own website, where editor B questions the sources (already deemed valid by wikipedia) and books which discuss person 101. Editor B says these sources are only catering to claims made by person 101. hence inclusion of information about books about person 101 in the biography section seems to me like speculation, arguement and a synthesis based on his own reserach and analysis...
"Wikipedia does not publish original research or original thought. This includes unpublished facts, arguments, speculation, and ideas; and any unpublished analysis or synthesis of published material that serves to advance a position. This means that Wikipedia is not the place to publish your own opinions, experiences, arguments, or conclusions."WP:OR

WP:COI says "Editors with COIs are strongly encouraged to declare their interests, both on their user pages and on the talk page of any article they edit, particularly if those edits may be contested." if editor B doesnt fully disclose his full identity (ie his anti 101 websites), is this a form of COI? how then is it determined (or can it be, in not harassing the editor) that editor B is the same person who holds anti 101 websites? (it seems more than coincidence that editor B and the person who holds the anti 101 websites share the same name -- among other similarities). on their websites editor A and B say that they are linked and have communications ie. send each other emails etcs... outside of wikipedia. does this constitute a "group" as defined in the WP:COI page?

i will also look into Wikipedia:Wikiquette alerts.

any suggestions on how to proceed is most helpful...


J929 (talk) 21:16, 8 October 2009 (UTC)

Don't get hung up on the letter of the law, and instead apply the spirit of the law. A conflict of interest arises whenever someone edits on something or references they're involved with. Only material that is verifiable in reliable sources is allowed. Explain this to them, revert violations of this, and if they don't stop, request a block. OrangeDog (talk • edits) 11:12, 9 October 2009 (UTC)


will try WP:OR. if nothing changes, i'm not sure how to proceed as theres no concrete "evidence" or facts to prove that editor B is the anti 101 writer (with the same name). will update how things progress...

J929 (talk) 21:12, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

it seems like things are the same. i was wondering is there any wikipedia body to ask to look into the identity of editor "B"? to pursue the issue myself may be harassment but if editor B doesnt fully disclose his identity then is it a violation of WP:COI? ("Editors with COIs are strongly encouraged to declare their interests, both on their user pages and on the talk page of any article they edit, particularly if those edits may be contested.")
(i do contest his edits and there is concern among other editors about his identity) not sure if this is the correct way to proceed.
any suggestions are most welcome...


J929 (talk) 17:03, 11 October 2009 (UTC)

Checkuser exists for identifying multiple accounts being operated with similar usage patterns, however you may not request it without evidence of improper use of multiple accounts (no "fishing expeditions"). Further, Wikipedia/Wikimedia will not publicly divulge the real-world identity of any editor—if even known in the first place (it does not know the vast majority of users' identities). It is also strictly prohibited to "out" another Wikipedia user by publicly revealing their identity (the offending edits will be oversighted, and the offender sanctioned).
So while you may request that a user declare their conflict of interest, you cannot compel them to do so. It is up to them to conform with WP:COI, and up to other editors to take editorial action if a problem is perceived. If that degenerates into an editing conflict, then there are a number of dispute resolution steps available.
By the way, is the subject of this inquiry Sathya Sai Baba? Be aware that the arbitration committee (the final step of dispute resolution), has twice issued rulings on editing disputes originating from that topic. (See here and here.) Certain editors are under permanent sanction as a result of that decision, and if you're alleging that one of them has returned under an alternate user account, there may be grounds to request a checkuser. There are also some specific remedies that apply to that topic only, that can be enforced as a result of the Arbitration Committee's findings. TheFeds 21:24, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

i dont think checkuser applies as although another opinionated editor has recently appeared i dont think it is a sockpuppet issue...
other editors have expressed concern about editor B and the similarities they share with the anti 101 writer (same name being one of them...). what dispute resolutions can you can suggest?

the subject is Sathya Sai Baba. i'm not alledging that any of the users have returned. my concern is that one of the anti 101 writers has stated that all the anti 101 writers are "internationally connected", meaning they have ties outside of wikipedia and have agendas and tactics they use. (will provide links if needed) and hence the concern that wikipedia is simply being used by this group as a platform to propogate their agenda and views (and the original research they have accumulated over the years). they dont seem to edit to improve the article, only simply editing to keep their interests alive with a "foot in the door" on what they believe should be included in the article (even though one of the main edits by editor A violates BLP policy in the sources he quotes... there has been edit wars over this source even after it was decided by a univolved groupd of wikipedia editors that the source was a BLP violation)

having read the remedies about the rulings you provided, it seems that editor A has violated the remedy by using a source/website run by fellow anti 101 writer in his edits. (the remedy (via the link you provided) states "It is inappropriate for a user to insert a link to a website maintained by the user (or in which the user plays an important role)." what action can be taken against editor A for this violation?
will provde links if needed...


J929 (talk) 16:35, 16 October 2009 (UTC)

4-year attempt to extinguish Comparison of wiki farms, and the worldwide wiki farm info it provides.

Is it not bizarre that people would want to remove most of the main article about the most revolutionary, educational and participatory software ever invented?

There has been an attempt for around 4 years to delete all or nearly all (depending on the mood of the involved editor) of Comparison of wiki farms. See the 4 deletion discussions. The last 2 were for keep. They are linked from the top of Talk:Comparison of wiki farms.

As to the arbitrariness of the mood of the deleting editors see some of the latest edit summaries by Cybercobra who initiated the latest round of removal of much of Comparison of wiki farms.

The full version of the article (October 13, 2009) before the latest mass removal of most of the article:

Diffs: one. two. Edit summaries:

One: "General: prune listcruft; remove anything w/ Alexa > 1 million & no article"
Two: "General: further prune Alexa > 500,000"

Note the arbitrary value of the Alexa traffic rank number used to remove most of the article. From around 50 wiki farms to around 10 wiki farms.

Some major work was done by Michaeldsuarez recently to update all of the Alexa info. Keeping Alexa updated was the main complaint of Ronz who is the main removalist involved.

I don't have much time to spend on this, so others need to get involved. --Timeshifter (talk) 16:50, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

I see there's already a place on the article's talk page to discuss this issue, Talk:Comparison_of_wiki_farms#Removal_of_non-notable_entries. Is there a reason the discussion can't proceed there?
A more general note...I'm concerned by your choice of language. Article disputes can tend to get heated when you feel that lots of work is being lost, but you can't disparage those with whom you disagree as "removalists" motivated by an "arbitrar[y] mood." Please assume good faith and avoid using polarizing characterizations of opposing views and the people who hold them. Postdlf (talk) 17:11, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
The editors involved do almost nothing but remove stuff from articles. The terms are not disparaging. "Removalist" and "deletionist" are not disparaging. They are accurate. Many people proudly call themselves deletionist or inclusionist.
The issue has been discussed on the talk page for years. The discussion can continue there, but there needs to be additional discussion here to resolve this issue in my opinion. There are policy issues too. Even if I assume maximum good faith, the choice of the Alexa number seems completely arbitrary to me. We need a policy discussion on Alexa traffic rank numbers used for choosing the number of items in a comparison article list. I suggest a policy number be set for the number of items in such a comparison article. --Timeshifter (talk) 17:30, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
Did you even read my talkpage post? Then why are you bringing up Alexa? --Cybercobra (talk) 18:57, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
I wrote my comments here before you changed your inclusion criteria away from Alexa. Your latest version still removes nearly all of the wiki farms. From around 50 to only 12. --Timeshifter (talk) 19:04, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
Ah, my apologies for the misinterpretation. I should not have jumped to conclusions like that. --Cybercobra (talk) 19:21, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

So if I understand the dispute, those wanting to remove certain listings want to restrict the list to entries that are notable and would presumably merit their own articles, correct? What inclusion standard is urged by those wanting to keep those entries under dispute in the comparison article? Postdlf (talk) 19:13, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

I propose using a higher Alexa number as inclusion criteria. I removed all wiki farms with Alexa higher than 6 million. Since there is one wikilinked farm at 5,357,869. Seems wrong to remove years of work by removing wiki farms with lower (more web traffic) Alexa numbers that don't yet have their own articles. --Timeshifter (talk) 19:28, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
Do you disagree though that only wiki farms that merit their own articles should be included? Postdlf (talk) 19:35, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
That has been discussed for 4 years. The talk page has been fairly quiet about that issue for months. The main dispute a few months ago was how often the Alexa numbers should be updated. --Timeshifter (talk) 19:40, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
I still don't know your position on my question, so I don't understand your side of the dispute. Postdlf (talk) 20:24, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
My position is to look at the previous discussions where many people expressed their opinions, and to come to some sort of compromise. If Wikipedia is not going to set a number of allowed items in a comparison list, then we are back to people coming back from time to time to comparison articles after a year or many months, and completely disrupting things again. My suggestion is to grandfather the page at around 40 entries, and the people who want to remove all non-wikilinked items from lists can leave the page alone. Use common sense. --Timeshifter (talk) 20:41, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

Seems wrong to remove years of work - WP:EFFORT. I really don't understand the debate here. On one hand we have Note the arbitrary value of the Alexa traffic rank number used, then 6 million was chosen as a mostly arbitrary number. So what if there was one at 5,357,869? Why 6 million? Why not 5.4 million? If their traffic changes, will the 6 million number change? We do not need a policy to resolve this, and we especially don't need a policy that just picks an arbitrary number to use. The short answer is that there isn't a magic number for every article (though such a policy would only apply to a handful of articles, another reason not to have a policy for it). This is a normal content dispute that needs mediation, not a forced resolution through policy. Mr.Z-man 20:20, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

WP:PRESERVE applies. As I said this has been discussed for 4 years. User:Angela mentioned the Alexa number awhile back. See Talk:Comparison of wiki farms/Archive 2#Removals. Angela wrote: "HelpingStudents: Has an Alexa rank of 5 million. I don't think this is notable enough yet to be included." Mediation is an idea that might help. You want to mediate? --Timeshifter (talk) 20:41, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
WP:PRESERVE does not apply. WP:PRESERVE applies in the case of someone trying to remove poor quality content instead of cleaning it up. In this case quality is not the main issue - significance is - and the choice is to either keep it or remove it; no amount of cleanup will make something more significant. I don't want to mediate, no. There are however plenty of people who do. I see its been suggested on the current talk page at least twice but no one actually made the request. Mr.Z-man 20:59, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
Significance seems to depend on the number of items in the list. Back to the same problem. I thoroughly understand the reasons why some people want to remove from lists all items that don't have their own article. It is a simple rule. There have been many exceptions to the rule, though.
I propose that we keep this article as is for one year. We grandfather it, in other words. After one year we remove all wiki farms that don't have their own article. We note this at the top of the article. This way everyone is happy. There is probably some rule against that though. Is there some policy that would block such a proposal? --Timeshifter (talk) 21:11, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

The language presented by the proposer ("attempt to extinguish... Is it not bizarre..." leads me to believe that the proposer has failed to assume good faith. I suggest that until such time as the proposer can assume good faith, the article be kept in the form he does not approve of. Hipocrite (talk) 14:07, 16 October 2009 (UTC)

The article is probably going to mediation. Please see:
Talk:Comparison of wiki farms#Village Pump and mediation --Timeshifter (talk) 14:16, 16 October 2009 (UTC)

RS and Newspaper Hoaxes

There is a delicious story in the Guardian today about UK newspapers getting hoaxed with ludicrous stories that they obviously didn't even try to verify before publishing. Of course it is served up with lashings of schadenfreude as there is nothing a newspaper loves more than seeing a competitor get shafted, even so, it is a serious issue and I thought I should mention it in case it has any implications for the WP:RS policy which tends to treat newspaper coverage as reliable. Even if it doesn't, it is amusing and it is a nice object lesson on why verifiability matters. Starsuckers celebrity hoax dupes tabloids --DanielRigal (talk) 22:22, 15 October 2009 (UTC)

It has little implication towards RS policy. Generally newspapers are reliable, but we use common sense and no source or any kind is ALWAYS considered reliable and above suspicion. You may want to bring this to the RS/N to let them know of the occurance so they can be on the look out. At the RS/N we deal with newspapers all the time and sometimes they are reliable, sometimes not. That's why we apply policies and guidelines with alot of leeway and interpretation; using our commonsense to decide what is reliable and what isnt.Camelbinky (talk) 01:37, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
Side note, Wikipedia has an entry for Starsuckers. To me, it's not tabloids that are an issue with reliability, people generally already know they're not reliable. It's more the local outlets that are accurate 99% of the time but are occasionally taken in by a huckster or crackpot. There are also the stories that get repeated over and over by otherwise reliable sources without anyone knowing where the story originally came from; see [12] for the case I'm most familiar with. Thanks for pointing out the story though.--RDBury (talk) 16:48, 16 October 2009 (UTC)

TV spoilers

I don't think articles should give away plot details of future episodes of TV shows. I think there should be a spoiler policy to this effect. The current spoiler policy needs clarified. Giving details of episodes that have already aired is fine, as a reader who is reading an article when they know they aren't up-to-date in their watching should expect they might come across spoilers, but to give away plot details about future episodes means that it is never safe to read an article about a tv show even if you have seen all the latest episodes. Big Way (talk) 05:05, 17 October 2009 (UTC)

Please see Wikipedia:Spoiler. The existence of a heading such as "Plot" or "Ending" signifies that a comprehensive plot summary follows. Hence spoiler warnings are not warranted. Bongomatic 05:11, 17 October 2009 (UTC)
I did see that page, that's why I said "The current spoiler policy needs clarified.", and I didn't say anything about headings. What makes you think all such details are given in a section called Plot ? Big Way (talk) 05:13, 17 October 2009 (UTC)
See WP:WAF, which is explicitly referenced at the spoiler guideline. Bongomatic 05:19, 17 October 2009 (UTC)
Talk about empathy failure. Why do you think I brought this up here? I said I don't think articles should give away plot details of future episodes of TV shows. I said that because I saw plot details that I didn't want to see until I'd had a chance to see the episode for myself. Do you think pointing me at some other page is going to make me want to see plot details, or make me think that Wikipedia should give future details? Big Way (talk) 05:34, 17 October 2009 (UTC)
If the spoiler is given by reliable media sources, we should include it if appropriate. If it's coming from forums or other less-than-reliable sources, then no we shouldn't include it. But as noted, we don't avoid the inclusion of spoilers because what is a spoiler to one may be common sense to another and is too subjective. --MASEM (t) 05:16, 17 October 2009 (UTC)
If an article tells you what is going to happen in an episode a few weeks from now, then there is nothing ambiguous about that. It is a spoiler pure and simple. I don't understand what you mean by using the phrase "common sense" to describe plot details about a future episode. Big Way (talk) 05:22, 17 October 2009 (UTC)
If a reader doesn't wish to see plot details revealed, then he or she can elect not to read plot summaries. Bongomatic 05:26, 17 October 2009 (UTC)
I wasn't reading a plot summary. The details weren't in a plot summary. Big Way (talk) 05:34, 17 October 2009 (UTC)
Then that's clearly out of guideline. Bongomatic 05:45, 17 October 2009 (UTC)
The work itself is a reliable (primary) source for its own plot, which is not controversial. Primary sources are fine for this purpose. Bongomatic 05:19, 17 October 2009 (UTC)
How can the work be a reliable source if it hasn't been broadcast yet? Big Way (talk) 05:22, 17 October 2009 (UTC)
We're an encyclopedia not a TV guide. Spoiler warnings aren't appropriate. • Anakin (talk) 06:00, 17 October 2009 (UTC)
if only vague information on the plot is available, then that may be all that can be given, but it still should not be written in the typical manner -- e.g. "They are then confronted with a surprising menace." and stopping there is never acceptable. But the information should be updated to reflect the whole story when the material is broadcast, using either the program directly as source or a reliable review. There is no excuse for our not telling the ending when it is known. The purpose of unfinished plot summaries is for advertising the program to attract viewers, but it's pretty basic that we do not do write in a promotional manner for any type of anything. If the actual wording of the program's official trailer or other advertising is itself significant, then Masem's suggestion might be appropriate, and it should be given in addition to the full plot--this may be the case for some really major suspense programs. DGG ( talk ) 06:18, 17 October 2009 (UTC)
I think Big Way has a point about plot summaries or spoilers in articles about episodes before they air. If it's after the episode airs then the episode itself serves as a source. But if the episode hasn't aired yet then this isn't true, so where is the information coming from? Reliable sources generally don't include spoilers. If the editor putting the information in the article has a copy of the script or has seen a seek preview then the information isn't verifiable. Otherwise the editor is using rumor mills or guesswork to get the information and this isn't reliable. Studios do go to some trouble to ensure that plot details don't become common knowledge before the event and whoever is circumventing that must be doing it outside WP guidelines in one of these ways.--RDBury (talk) 13:49, 17 October 2009 (UTC)

The following information which I've hidden in a collapsible navbox appears in the House (TV series) article in a section called Main characters:

I think something should be done to avoid information like this appearing randomly in an article. Perhaps it could be put in a separate article called Upcoming events (House TV series) or some such until it has actually happened and then it can be put in the main article. Big Way (talk) 18:06, 17 October 2009 (UTC)

If it's already been reported in reliable sources that a particular actor is leaving a show in advance of that occurring within an episode that has been broadcast, it's hardly a secret that it's going to happen. Postdlf (talk) 18:10, 17 October 2009 (UTC)
Yea, you can't even google search on that particular actor and not be spoiled looking at the results. If it is being reported in mainstream press, it is not a spoiler. --MASEM (t) 18:21, 17 October 2009 (UTC)
I'm with Masem: if the fact has been reported as confirmed by reliable sources, it's fair game. Doesn't matter whether it's been seen in the show. (As distinct from speculation on future plotlines.) That spoiler box is totally unsuitable for an encylopedia article.
To RDBury: you're suggesting that only rumour mills and the like report plot details before the airdate. That's demonstrably false—reliable sources often include spoilers, for example when a script is leaked under controversial circumstances or when they're reporting on the activities taking place during location shoots. If a Wikipedia editor has a copy of the script and is leaking details, then it's probably not reliable; but if it's a member of the press who obtains the script or interviews some member of the production, it's perfectly valid. TheFeds 19:07, 17 October 2009 (UTC)
Point taken. On the other hand, leaked details, even if reported by a reliable source, are subject to change before airing. So the text in the article would have to read something like "According to information leaked to TV Guide, the entire last season of Dallas was actually a dream and never happened." Technically it's within the guidelines but it still seems inappropriate to me. On the third hand, there are the infamous lost episodes of Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles where people probably do want to know what would have happened if studio hadn't run out of money to make them. So basically now I'm just confused.--RDBury (talk) 06:31, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

Well, I have yet to watch an episode of Lost, so I'd appreciate it if y'all don't ruin my suspense until I can borrow the DVDs. Postdlf (talk) 19:24, 17 October 2009 (UTC)

Don't click me! OrangeDog (talk • edits) 12:13, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

Surprised noone mentioned this upon User:Big Way's example, but there in fact used to be spoiler warnings in WP -- however, after MUCH heated debate, as well as perhaps a bit of being extra bold, caused their loss. In other words, WP went from being warning-laden to warning-free and it's very doubtful it'll go back, all things considered. Just remember that WP documents info, in a supposedly academic way. Spoiler warnings really don't fit in with that goal. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 14:09, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Revision deletion has been marked as a policy

Wikipedia:Revision deletion (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has recently been edited to mark it as a policy. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 18 October 2009 (UTC)


Night_of_the_Pencils#The_kidnappings seems to me a clear violation of WP:NOTMEMORIAL, yet another editor insists on re-adding the non-notable names. Could I get further opinions? Who then was a gentleman? (talk) 01:47, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

Per WP criminal notability guidelines :

"Notability of criminal acts:

Criminal act includes a matter in which a crime has been established, or a matter has been deemed a likely crime by the relevant law enforcement agency or judicial authority. For example, the disappearance of a person would fall under this guideline if law enforcement agencies deemed it likely to have been caused by criminal conduct, regardless of whether a perpetrator is identified or charged.


A victim of a crime should normally only be the subject of an article where an article that satisfied notability criteria existed."

Therefore, since the crime is notable (moreover in regards to dissapearances, as WP's own example provides), then the identity of the victims is notable, and does not constitute a memorial. Losthistory (talk) 01:58, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

privileges for anon IPs

I was wondering if abilities such as undo should still be allowed for anonymous IPs. I don't know if this has been discussed or is 'heretical' to the idea of Wikipedia. We have bots to watch for vandalism, and are looking to the review of articles, do we still need to allow full access for anon IPs? Is it time to review? Alaney2k (talk) 20:52, 15 October 2009 (UTC)

Do we get lots of abuse of the undo feature? I haven't seen much, but then I don't do much vandal fighting these days. --Tango (talk) 21:06, 15 October 2009 (UTC)
I know of a case recently. By itself, one case is not much, I know. I think that a review of what an anon can do just might be in order. Maybe it has not been done in a while. On the line of trying to prevent abuse or hacks. It is not something that we have a bot to check for, and maybe we don't want to dedicate a bot to it. Alaney2k (talk) 21:17, 15 October 2009 (UTC)
There is a slippery slope between "good faith proposals to stop abuse of certain features" and "lets make it harder for IPs to edit because they are IPs". This proposal, unlike the last three we've had in a month is actually a good faith proposal. But it is still too close to that slippery slope. We do not ever discriminate against an editor just because he/she decides to edit under an IP address instead of signing in. Anyone/everyone has the right to edit under an IP. I have seen IPs undo vandalism, and yes have been surprised when I see that, but we shouldnt be surprised. There are lots of IPs that do good work here and have the same hatred of vandalism as we do. We must remember that many of the users here start as IP users, if we make it harder for IPs to edit and get addicted to Wikipedia (oh, and yes it can be an addiction!) then its not like they'll just decide to sign up. They will instead just not edit. We need more editors doing good, not restrict good editors because of possible misuse of functions. Punish those that do bad. Politely encourage good IPs to sign up.Camelbinky (talk) 21:30, 15 October 2009 (UTC)
It's hard to speak for anon IPs. Those you noticed who undid vandalism might have been editors who have not logged in. I've done that sort of thing myself. Would it be much of a hardship for anon IPs to not have undo? Probably not. I did think that since my last edit, that of course they should be able to undo their own edits. Maybe we could allow them to do undos of other anons, but not editor edits. Is that too complex? I am not trying to paint anon ips as bad. I think that anon ips would be fine without having the undo feature (of others' edits only, if that is sufficient). They could still do undos, with edits, which would be slower, and might dissuade bad behaviour. I would think becoming an editor and having the undo would be a positive reason to sign up, though, no? Not having it might not be much of a negative to new users. I think of it more like graduated licensing. Alaney2k (talk) 21:45, 15 October 2009 (UTC)
I agree that this is a good idea, and by-itself wouldnt be an undue burden on IPs, but on the flipside- what about a year from now a more restrictive proposal comes up (like the three we've had this month) in which the proposer or a supporter states "well, we already took away the undo button, why not this?". Where does it end? Perhaps looking at the flipside can help; yes taking away the undo button wont hurt, but will leaving IPs the undo button hurt us? Perhaps there isnt a large number of IPs using the undo, but is that really supporting the idea that the undo is being abused? I'm conflicted on this issue because I really dont want in the future this proposal, if it goes through, being used as justification for the continued restriction of IPs. We see signed up users vandalizing and being disruptive all the time. Since it is so easy to sign up the vandalism we see as IPs will just be transfered to vandalism by usernames. Making it harder to edit as an IP may not drive the good ones to sign up as much as you think, it may actually encourage the good ones to not show up at all and encourage the bad ones to sign up instead. Those with disruptive tendencies tend to be more dedicated to what they want to do than the good people in this world.Camelbinky (talk) 21:58, 15 October 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for putting forth the 'flipside.' I appreciate Wikipedia's open-ness. That is important to me, although what with people watching for notability, liability issues and vandalism, etc., it might be a bit of a myth already. (welcome to the 21st century! :-( ) The very idea of anon ips editing is good, very important. The implications; that's what we have to watch out for. (and the implications of the implications) And I think that will go on forever. Abuse; counter it; discuss; change maybe. Are we protecting those who are doing good well enough? It's a bit of a trade-off and we need as many minds as possible to bring forth their opinions. I do think that what you propose 'the because we did x, we can do y' argument would be shot down in and of itself. It would not be enough to get consensus, I'm sure. This is Wikipedia after all. As for the moving of the abuse to the logged on editors -that's a good point and I don't have a counter to that; I've got to think about that. (would anon ip undo controls be ineffective? etc.) And that's what this discussion is about; let's follow this thread through. Alaney2k (talk) 22:28, 15 October 2009 (UTC)
FWIW, I'm currently being stalked by a multiple IP user, whose main goal is to revert my edits (PS: it's threatened me on my userpage, which I've reverted). GoodDay (talk) 22:25, 15 October 2009 (UTC)
You must be following me around. :-) Your case is an example, you should describe it here. Alaney2k (talk) 22:28, 15 October 2009 (UTC)
Well, an anon who has used the IPs & & & (and likely more to come), has been reverting my edits thse last 2 days. GoodDay (talk) 22:33, 15 October 2009 (UTC)
WOW. I'm sorry and disheartened to hear such an incident. I hope you have brought this to ANI and some admin has been banning these IPs as they happen. I believe my issues with this proposal have been appropriately dealt with and I do now through my support behind it. Whatever the next step is for this to go ahead, go for it, I encourage it for what its worth.Camelbinky (talk) 01:34, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
Regardless of the idiot behind these IPs, I don't think removing the (undo) function from IPs is a good thing at all. In my mind, a wrongly done (undo) actually makes vandalism more obvious. Let's say that I realise that two pages have the same small error, and I fix them, but then an IP comes and reverts both: on one page, the IP simply goes into the history and reverts without leaving any edit summary (or leaving a deceitful summary), while on the other page, the IP uses the undo feature. The standard summary for an undo is much longer and thus easier to see, and when you realise that the IP hasn't reverted vandalism or another sort of unconstructive edit, the IP's edit immediately becomes suspect. However, the lack of an edit summary gives less visual reason to suspect vandalism, and the presence of a good-looking summary is even less. Let's not remove from potential vandals a way to make their damage easier to revert. Nyttend (talk) 13:11, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
It's my firm belief (and hope), that registration will become mandatory. GoodDay (talk) 13:31, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
(edit conflict) IPs abuse the Undo feature sometimes, but, it's also used for good more often. Users abuse the Undo feature more often than IPs do...--Unionhawk Talk E-mail Review 13:34, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
While I very much appreciate the legitimate arguments for this proposal, I tend to agree with Nyttend; it's easier to spot and quickly revert an illegitimate "undo" (especially one that's a bit buried in the edit history) than a vandal edit without any edit summary.--Arxiloxos (talk) 18:01, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
As someone who is not particularly fond of IPers, the abuse I've seen from them does not usually come in the form of undo's and most of the undo's I've seen are appropriate. If IPers are seen as casual editors then it's hard to think of a more casual edit that undoing random vandalism, so this ban would, imo, take away the ability to do the thing they're best at.--RDBury (talk) 16:16, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
Undo is a feature more useful for doing good edits than bad. I see a lot of undos by anonymous IPs that are legitimate reversions of vandalism inserted by other IPs. If an IP wanted to revert some content removal or replacement without undo they may decide to just remove the new offending text without putting back the old, or put back the old via copy and paste, losing wiki formatting. On the other hand, an IP trying to vandalise isn't trying to restore eloquently formatted prose, so undo is less useful to them. I also agree with Nyttend: the undo edit summaries make it easier to see what's going on in histories. For example, an IP undo of a registered user is likely to be mischief, while an IP undo of another IP is likely to be a vandalism fix. • Anakin (talk) 05:56, 17 October 2009 (UTC)

Not being interested in wiki-bureaucracy, I've kept my anonymity, despite the fact I've been on wikipedia for years, and have witnessed the perpetual bloat of rules and regulations - to the point where now, one needs not argue, they need only cite an appropriate regulation without considering the spirit. This idea's another globule of saliva in the face of the spirit of wikipedia - an encyclopedia where ANYONE can easily contribute, even if it's just correcting the grammar of a statement. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:23, 17 October 2009 (UTC)

I believe that an Wiki newbie would disagree about 'easily contribute'. I don't believe that the 'interface' for Wikipedia makes it easy for anyone. Look at the syntax for a table, or bolding or italics. It's its own language. Finding appropriate categories for an article. Look at the templates threatening removal for lack of notability. There is a link for undo, but is there an explanation? Is there a 'are you sure' interface? We should be somewhat more realistic. It's a bit daunting to edit on Wikipedia. Breaking rules you have no idea about. I could even argue that limiting undos may be helpful. Anyway, this is just speculating from anecdotal evidence.

Anyway, what I wanted people to think about, is what should be allowed from the start, and what should be allowed after 'moving up' shall we say to a named editor. I've seen software in my experience that grows with your experience. After becoming a named editor, there are a few privileges, such as revert. So the idea is not unfamiliar here on Wikipedia. I was thinking about the idea of the undo and how you could just as easily be abusive with the undo as a new user. Well maybe we should extend the idea of the controls on an anon to a newly-created user. What if we have a simpler interface for newly-created users, that makes it harder or not allow undos of other's work until you've edited a few times? Insert a few 'are you sure' prompts on the undos and we might dissuade vandals. But just a few. Only at a level that we can feel comnfortable with. And that is what my point is, are we comfortable with a small level of blockage for newbies and anons? Like putting in 'are you sure' prompts and making edit summaries mandatory?

I feel we can move in this direction. I think we can become more graduated in permissions, and as part of this be more friendly. Is that a fair trade-off? Alaney2k (talk) 23:33, 19 October 2009 (UTC)


I visited the entry for Albert Speer, which contains the following: Albert Speer (born Berthold Konrad Hermann Albert Speer[1] and pronounced /ˈʃpɛɐ/;

I understand that Wikipedia has a pronounciation policy but when I, a native English speaker, holder of a law degree _and_ a Masters in English, don't have a clue about how to pronounce "Speer" after reading the entry, there is a problem with the policy. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:41, 16 October 2009 (UTC)

What would you suggest as an alternative to IPA? Powers T 20:08, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
If someone could design a web-based pronounce-o-bot that could speak IPA, and hook it into wikipedia... --King Öomie 20:14, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
Oh, and by the way, the IPA you posted describes the British Received Pronunciation of the word "Speer". Which I suppose you could render "Spay-ah" or "Spee-ah". --King Öomie 20:19, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
Or I could be wrong and he's German. Damn. I'm pretty sure that's an 'SH' sound on the front, there. --King Öomie 20:22, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
Now, I will start this by stating that I don't have a set of standards that could replace the IPA pronounciation. However, I like linguistics, and had to learn the IPA alphabet and pronounciations while in college. I was not a linguistics major, so after that class I never had to use the IPA again. And to be honest, I remember almost none of it. Now saying that, I can guarantee that the vast majority of the population has never learned the IPA alphabet. So while this is a guess, but I would assume that 99.9% of people reading articles on WP have no clue what the IPA symbols stand for, and gives the reader no real idea how to actually pronounce the word in question. We just add it to the articles because it is the professional standard. I prefer when articles use more common ways of explaining pronounciation (for instance, I cited the pronounciation of "Chipotle" from a news article as "chi-POAT-lay"). That is more helpful, and I'd hope more articles would use phonetic pronounciations rather than relying on IPA, for the simple reason that the reader will actually understand it. Angryapathy (talk) 20:23, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
IPA pronunciations in articles are unsourced 99.99% of the time, and unsourceable 95% of the time. Plus, they disrupt the flow of the first sentence, and (as noted above) are unintelligible to the general readership. Plus, that's what dictionaries are for. Why do we include them at all? Even if it said "pronounced like 'shpair'", it would still disrupt the article. If they really need to be in the article, I'd stick them over in the infobox where possible, as: [[Wikipedia:IPA for English|IPA pronunciation]: /ˈʃpɛɐ/ so it would at least be clearer where you can go for help with IPA; right now, it isn't obvious that the pronunciation is linked. But better still, IMHO, is to nuke them. --Floquenbeam (talk) 20:29, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
The problem with directly spelling out pronunciation is that it only disambiguates non-phonetic text if the reader speaks the same language (or dialect) that you do. There's any number of ways that any number of languages can pronounce "chi-POAT-lay" and be completely correct. But under IPA, there's only one way to pronounce /chə-pōt'lā/. --King Öomie 20:33, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
And then 9 people will then know how to pronounce it correctly. Angryapathy (talk) 20:35, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
Or, we could spell it out, and only people within 50 miles of the poster will know how. There really isn't a "good" solution to the most-used international pronunciation alphabet being so underused. --King Öomie 20:44, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
I'm a big fan of WP:RESPELL, though it's not perfect either. --Cybercobra (talk) 21:08, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
It seems to me that a pronunciation guide of some kind is needed in some cases. In particular when it's a name that sounds very different from the way it would be pronounced in English. Leonhard Euler comes to mind; German has this weird rule about 'eu' so the correct pronunciation is very different that the way it appears to an English speaker. Note that the article includes BOTH the IPA and a phonetic spelling. I can see the reasons for using the IPA; it's an international standard and it's free. But in addition to the issue that it's unintelligible to most people, it doesn't allow for acceptable regional variations. So, for example, the name "Potter" could have 4 or 5 IPA spellings depending on the country and region of the speaker. My old American Heritage dictionary had a system to get around this, but they also has a long essay to explain how to use it. RESPELL looks like it's using the same idea but with any system is going to require some effort on the part of the readers if they want to make sure they are getting the correct pronunciation.--RDBury (talk) 13:23, 17 October 2009 (UTC)
The fact is that IPA is the only choice for non-ambiguous and verifiable pronunciations. If you don't understand IPA, then take the time to learn it and we'll all be better off. OrangeDog (talk • edits) 15:44, 17 October 2009 (UTC)
Technically true, perhaps, but how many dictionaries and other general reference works use IPA for their pronunciation guides? IPA is a tool for professional linguists, and using it in a general reference work is not very helpful to a reader since so few people are familiar with the conventions, and the description "Voiceless bilabial fricative" means absolutely nothing to most people. SDY (talk) 16:46, 17 October 2009 (UTC)
This is supposed to be a general purpose encyclopedia, people should not have to go out of their way to be able to use our articles fully. In an ideal world, yes, IPA is the best tool for the job; however, we live in the practical world, where 99.99% of our readers and probably most editors do not know IPA. Mr.Z-man 17:06, 17 October 2009 (UTC)
Why are multiple editors saying there are more than one way to pronounce things like someone's last name? Do alot of people have more than one pronounciation for their last name? Because I have one, no matter how many people mispronounce it there is ONE (mine) correct way, and I would assume that is the fact for everyone's last name. Many words out there have a correct way as well, though hillbillies in certain parts may mispronounce things. Out of the MANY MANY words in the English language few are pronounced differently in England, the US, Canada, Australia, etc. "About" between Canada and the US is probably the biggest difference, and even that one has been declining in recent years. Alot of the differences are differences in words themselves (lift vs elevator, lorry vs truck, chips vs french fry, potato crisp vs potato chip). We should use the most general pronounciation of a word in the dialect in which the word is generally from. There may still be problems though. Appalachia is pronounced differently by the people who live in them than by the majority of Americans; which would we use? I say the general majority, not the hillbillies who live there. Just because certain areas of the south and west of the US have not had a history of education and standard pronunciation as the rest of the English speaking world, it doesnt mean their pronunciation is "equally correct".Camelbinky (talk) 17:19, 17 October 2009 (UTC)
What about the pronunciation of "Oregon"? Powers T 18:19, 17 October 2009 (UTC)
More people probably say that one "wrong" than "right" sadly. If there are multiple accepted pronunciations of the word, there's nothing saying we can't put both. I agree with the original poster that putting IPA is about as helpful as including nothing at all, and frankly encyclopedias rarely include pronunciation anyway (this is a more fundamental problem for wikitionary). If all else fails, "let's call the whole thing off." SDY (talk) 01:09, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
I tend to agree, except I'd hate to lose things like the correct pronunciation of Euler or Sault Ste. Marie. Powers T 03:14, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
Is it feasible to put a link to the corresponding wiktionary article at the the very beginning of articles so, in essence putting the task on them to come up with the correct pronounciation. I dont know how many of our articles have corresponding articles in wiktionary, but I would assume there'd be Oregon at least, and maybe even Sault Ste. Marie (which I must admit I dont know how to pronounce though I do know WHERE it is, and since I think there are two, one in Canada and one in the US it might even have two pronounciations). Any thoughts?Camelbinky (talk) 03:40, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

(undent) Fact: There is no one system of pronunciation that works perfectly for all languages and dialects and is easy to understand. Fact: IPA is the most unambiguous system available. Given those, I think there's a case for including IPA pronunciations. If there are more than three major (regional) pronunciations, there's probably a case for some prose explaining it in its own section, or a footnote. If there are three or fewer, it's probably fair to keep it in the lead. We gain from diversity as long as we don't overdo the length (and if we can overdo the length, the footnote case is often worthwhile). I like the respelling system, and personally I'd be happy with an overlapping combination of the simple respelling and unambiguous IPA. Pronunciations probably don't need strict sourcing, though BLP might apply to some extent for names, e.g. Neil Gaiman, but names are usually much more sourceable if they're ambiguous enough to need pronunciation. I don't think this is an area where we have serious problems. {{Nihiltres|talk|edits}} 04:30, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

The example is spurious

The IPA pronunciation of Albert Speer as given above (until I correct it in a few) is factually incorrect. It is the German pronunciation, but linked to the English IPA key. It needs to either be made English, or linked to the German IPA key.

A few misunderstandings above, made worse by this bad example. First, the IPA is used in English dictionaries, including the greatest of them all, the OED. Second, the English IPA key we use works equally well for all major English dialects, though it's missing a few distinctions of Scottish etc. It's been designed so that you don't have to speak the same dialect as the transcriber. If you do, it's been transcribed incorrectly. As for sourcing, we do have sources for many names. Sourcing problems are on a case by case basis, not a problem for the system itself.

Van Gogh is a good example of a pronunciation guide that became overly intrusive and was turned into a footnote. I agree that it is often disruptive in the lead; on the other hand, with counter-intuitive pronunciations it is often best IMO to set the record straight right away, so the reader doesn't go through the article with an incorrect pronunciation in their head. In the case of Speer, I don't see any reason for the IPA to be in the lead rather than in a footnote, but that's a decision for the people getting the article to FA status.

We have both a respelling system and an AHD-type system for use on WP, though by common consensus they're secondary to the IPA. The respelling system can even handle the Scottish fur-fir-fern distinction that our IPA convention cannot, but it has trouble with simple words like "vice". The AHD-type system is going to be gibberish to most people outside the US.

As for people, mostly Americans, whose knowledge of the IPA is on par with their comfort with the metric system, that's what we have the keys for. Click on the IPA and you'll be taken to a page that explains it to you. (Note that in order for them to be unambiguous, respellings and the AHD also need to be linked to keys.)

We've been working on & off on a pop-up to remind people of the IPA for English phonemes, but there are technical difficulties that have prevented us for doing that satisfactorily. If any of you can figure out how to fit a summary on a mouse hover-over window, that could be very useful. kwami (talk) 05:29, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

(our article on IPA) "However, most American (and some British) volumes use one of a variety of pronunciation respelling systems, intended to be more comfortable for readers of English." Dictionaries don't use IPA consistently, and for good reason: it's a bit technical. IPA is ambiguous because very few people know it. In the US, it's not part of any standard high school curriculum (unlike the metric system, which is taught in elementary school), and frankly most people I know probably associate the acronym with India Pale Ale than with the writing system. SDY (talk) 17:06, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
Having no meaning to a particular reader or set of readers ("very few people know it") is not the same as having two meanings ("ambiguous"). IPA is technical and unambiguous. -- JHunterJ (talk) 17:12, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
It ends up being ambiguous, though, because it has no meaning to most readers. Semantics aside, the question is: do we want to help our readers pronounce the topic correctly, or do we want to have an accurate technical description of the sounds used? The respelling systems generally satisfy the first, and IPA generally satisfies the second. They're both viable goals, but unless some sort of technical solution is found it's one or the other. I'm thinking the mph/kph display option in an ideal world, but the hover is also a good idea. SDY (talk) 17:17, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
Semantics (meanings) are important. It ends up being not useful enough, perhaps, because it's esoteric, but it's not ambiguous like respellings can be. -- JHunterJ (talk) 17:22, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
A difference between Langue and parole, as one person put it. What I meant by "semantics" was an overzealous application of a narrow meaning when a broader meaning was implied, which is the current popular use of the word. SDY (talk) 17:42, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
Then I think there's a second semantics problem, an overzealous application of "ambiguous". -- JHunterJ (talk) 18:06, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
I'm not using it in the linguistics sense, but should that surprise anyone given the content of my arguments? Wiktionary gives two definitions, the way I'm using it clearly adheres to the second. SDY (talk) 18:15, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
With respelling, most readers (those who do not speak the same dialect as the person who wrote the respelling) will misinterpret it, and go away with the wrong pronunciation. With IPA, many readers will not understand, and those who actually care about the pronuncation will read our IPA help chart, and thus go away with the right pronunciation, while those who don't care will not bother. It's better to provide a service that helps those people who want it than one that actively harms the understanding of most readers. Algebraist 17:24, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

I rather object to the "nobody knows it" trope. A very large number of users of the English WIkipedia are people who have learned English as a foreign language, and ALL of them made use of the IPA in their dictionaries. -- Evertype· 17:21, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

Even if that is the case, there are a substantial group of users (including the original poster for this thread) to which IPA means nothing. As for respelling systems "harming the understanding" of "most readers" I have serious doubts about that. Regardless, I think we're at the point now where we have fallen back on our expectations of who Wikipedia users are, which differ, and further argument will convince few. I strongly endorse having both systems available or a way to make IPA less ɑːbˈtuːs. SDY (talk) 17:42, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
Æbˈtuːs? IPA is what it is. Does just what it says on the tin. This is an encyclopaedia—surely the wikilink at the top of an article that says IPA is sufficient to help people who encounter it for the first time. Anyone who uses an English dictionary encounters some sort of phonetic re-spelling; the concept of re-spelling for pronunciation is not new to anybody, I think, unless they have stopped using dictionaries in US schools or something. I remember the Thorndike-Barnhardt re-spellings from when I was a kid in the early '70s. I encountered the IPA in the mid-'70s. At the end of the day I think we can expect that people who come to the Wikipedia without knowing the IPA will be capable of learning about it. That is, after all, one of the aims of an encyclopaedia. -- Evertype· 07:49, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

Wording of policy policy

How should the lead section of the policy page on policies and guidelines be worded? Opinions sought at WT:Policies and guidelines#Language getting more abstruse.--Kotniski (talk) 10:27, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

New essay

Some people confuse prominence with notability in discussing Wikipedia practice, policy, and guidelines. I try to disambiguate between the two topics. Please help, if you'd like.

Wikipedia:Notability vs. prominence

ScienceApologist (talk) 19:40, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

RF - more eyes needed please

An RfC needs policy eyes

Should the current "guideline" page be removed so it can be replaced with a proposed policy page and what weight should be given to the only community-wide request for comment?

At part of the core issue is we have a proposed "guideline" page which attempts to overview current practices and a proposed policy page which seems to want to take a more aggressive tone on the issue. Can two pages be developed in tandem? More eyes would be appreciated. -- Banjeboi 01:19, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

  vs.  (KIA)

I saw at the Gaza War and the Battle of Kosovo articles a  (KIA)-sign for muslims who were killed in action, instead of the usual †-sign. The argument given at the Battle of Kosovo was, that "muslims have their own sign." This might be true, but the old Romans at the Battle of Carrhae and the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest, the greek commander at the Battle of Marathon or the Japanese commander at the Battle of Peleliu weren't Christians either, and I guess they would have had their own signs as well. And still they got crosses or, better, daggers behind their name. Moreover, according to the Dagger-article, this sign is used in military history to be "placed next to the name of a commander who is killed in action"; it doesn't give any exclusions for it.

So my question is: should WP always use the †-sign, or should we use all kinds of symbols for every group that has another sign for people ho were "kiled in action"?Jeff5102 (talk) 12:23, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

Given that I can't see the other sign (and I have above-average unicode font coverage), I would say always use †. OrangeDog (talk • edits) 14:06, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
I'd say always use (K.I.A) since I'm not really a fan of using abstract symbols where something meaningful could be used instead. Plus, at the risk of being overly politically correct, I think it's a valid point that non-Christians may be offended by the † and it's silly to have a different symbol for every possible religious group; what would you do for Hindus, Buddhists, Atheists, even Unitarians? And making the determination isn't trivial, e.g. there are plenty of Christian Arabs. Meaningful and noncontroversial always beats cryptic and possibly offensive.--RDBury (talk) 15:09, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
Because of the possible confusion with the other use of the dagger symbol—footnotes—it should be explained if used. And because it could be misconstrued as religious, I would support an alternate form of identification that could not be mistaken as implying that the deceased was a Christian. Also, note that in German, the dagger is used to mean "died on some date" rather than "killed in action"; that's another possible avenue of confusion. TheFeds 16:42, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
Can you not just write out "killed in action"? There's no shortage of paper at Wikipedia.--Kotniski (talk) 16:46, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
Indeed. "Killed in action" or "KIA" seem like they would always be better than a dagger symbol, regardless. Gavia immer (talk) 17:00, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
This is about the marking in infoboxes, where space does matter. Appending "Killed in action" to a commander's name would add two or three lines to the infobox entry. --Carnildo (talk) 21:40, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

Hm. If they do have their own sign, what does it look like, and is it in Unicode? -- Evertype· 17:23, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

It's hard to explain, but I'm pretty sure it was something in Arabic. For some reason, it won't show up anymore. If this were still working, I would see no reason why it would not be used.--Gaius Claudius Nero (talk) 20:25, 19 October 2009 (UTC)
Because readers wouldn't understand it? If space is so short that you can't fit the words in, then at least use the abbreviation, so people have at least a chance of knowing what you mean.--Kotniski (talk) 06:32, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
It takes up no more space than the dagger. And if a reader is unsure of its meaning, all he has to do is click on the acronym and it will direct him to the KIA article, at least if it were still working.--Gaius Claudius Nero (talk) 20:59, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
I'm sure I'm not being obtuse. Please point me to an example of the symbol. -- Evertype· 22:29, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
Lol. It's just a skull and crossbones. I always thought it was something different since it popped up on all the Islamic military history articles. I don't know if it symbolizes anything but if it doesn't, it's practically useless. The dagger should be used in that case. I apologize for being so rash! (See the Turkish Wikipedia: [13])--Gaius Claudius Nero (talk) 00:56, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

Another "OOKers" vs "listers" skirmish

If interested, please see Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Mathematics#Outlines in general and List of logic topics. Is it me or is this dispute getting increasingly bitter? Can something be done to nip it in the bud before it degenerated into mindless move warring?--RDBury (talk) 22:05, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

Yes. We need to find out what the community thinks these should be named!
I've started a straw poll at Wikipedia talk:Outlines#Should articles named "Outline of x" be renamed to "List of x topics"?
The Transhumanist 04:08, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
Lee∴V has created a new thread that breaks down some of the core issues, also on Wikipedia talk:Outlines. Hopefully this will put the debate on more of a rational basis.--RDBury (talk) 13:01, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Related no longer marked as a guideline

Wikipedia:Related (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has been edited so that it is no longer marked as a guideline. It was previously marked as a guideline. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Manual of Style (Kosovo-related articles) no longer marked as a guideline

Wikipedia:Manual of Style (Kosovo-related articles) (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has been edited so that it is no longer marked as a guideline. It was previously marked as a guideline. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:WikiProject Aircraft/Naming no longer marked as a guideline

Wikipedia:WikiProject Aircraft/Naming (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has been edited so that it is no longer marked as a guideline. It was previously marked as a guideline. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

Why are these things showing up here? There have been no recent edits to change their status. (talk) 19:07, 21 October 2009 (UTC)
Wikipedia:WikiProject Aircraft/Naming transcludes Wikipedia:Naming conventions (aircraft), and that page was recently edited to put {{Wikipedia subcat guideline}} inside a , which means that Wikipedia:WikiProject Aircraft/Naming is no longer in Category:Wikipedia naming conventions. Anomie 19:29, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

Carl Mayer/Carl Meyer


I didn't know how to spell the man's name, so I decided to help others who might want to find it.

What's the proper hatnote for the top of Carl Meyer? Because there are two different disambiguation pages for two different spellings of the name.Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 21:33, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

{{distinguish|Carl Mayer (disambiguation)}}, since it is an alternative spelling rather than an ambiguous name.. Shereth 21:48, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

Done. Thanks.Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 21:57, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (UK counties) has been marked as a guideline

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (UK counties) (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has recently been edited to mark it as a guideline. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:WikiProject/Naming convention no longer marked as a guideline

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Wikipedia:Naming conventions (settlements)/Counties no longer marked as a guideline

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (settlements)/Counties (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has been edited so that it is no longer marked as a guideline. It was previously marked as a guideline. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:01, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee/CheckUser and Oversight has been marked as a policy

Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee/CheckUser and Oversight (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has recently been edited to mark it as a policy. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Deletion of articles on living persons has been marked as a policy

Wikipedia:Deletion of articles on living persons (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has recently been edited to mark it as a policy. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

And changed back as it's just an essay. Rd232 talk 11:10, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

book's table of contents useable or CV?

Is it permissible to place the table of contents of a book in an article about that book or is that a CV? RJFJR (talk) 16:15, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

If you mean is it a copyright violation (WP:CV), then I think a table of contents is a small enough portion of a work to be considered fair use. However, in my opinion, dumping a table of contents into an article strays into WP:INDISCRIMINATE. It would be better to provide a prose summary of what the book contains. --RL0919 (talk) 16:28, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

Poll regarding style of scientific name of animals with common names

I would like to gather some opinions regarding the style of the introductory sentence in articles on animals. In particular, the difference between bolding and not bolding the italicized scientific name of a species with a well-known popular name. For the purposes of this opinion poll, forget current policy and guidelines, and merely focus on which style you think looks better. For example, which do you prefer, the top or bottom version of the following introductory paragraph from the "Blue Whale" article?

The Blue Whale (Balaenoptera musculus) is a marine mammal belonging to the suborder of baleen whales (called Mysticeti). Long and slender, the Blue Whale's body can be various shades of bluish-grey dorsally and somewhat lighter underneath.[1] There are at least three distinct subspecies: B. m. musculus of the North Atlantic and North Pacific, B. m. intermedia of the Southern Ocean and B. m. brevicauda (also known as the Pygmy Blue Whale) found in the Indian Ocean and South Pacific Ocean. B. m. indica, found in the Indian Ocean, may be another subspecies. As with other baleen whales, its diet consists almost exclusively of small crustaceans known as krill.


The Blue Whale (Balaenoptera musculus) is a marine mammal belonging to the suborder of baleen whales (called Mysticeti). Long and slender, the Blue Whale's body can be various shades of bluish-grey dorsally and somewhat lighter underneath.[2] There are at least three distinct subspecies: B. m. musculus of the North Atlantic and North Pacific, B. m. intermedia of the Southern Ocean and B. m. brevicauda (also known as the Pygmy Blue Whale) found in the Indian Ocean and South Pacific Ocean. B. m. indica, found in the Indian Ocean, may be another subspecies. As with other baleen whales, its diet consists almost exclusively of small crustaceans known as krill.

You can see the changes in the context of the real article here and here and I encourage you to look at those before deciding your opinion. When you vote, a quick note why you liked the one over the other is fine but please save your longer arguments for later as this is just intended to be a quick straw poll. Jason Quinn (talk) 20:01, 12 October 2009 (UTC)

  • No Bold - I can't see any reason to use the bold. Certainly not using it is far more aesthetically pleasing to me. I admit animals aren't in my "area of interest" or anything. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 20:10, 12 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Bold. The unbolded one looks better, but as long as the scientific name is a redirect to the article as a synonym, I think the bolding is better overall for the article. (Then again, I think that animal article titles should follow "common name" capitalization too, so what do I know?) -- JHunterJ (talk) 20:16, 12 October 2009 (UTC)
    That the pages are redirected from those names shouldn't come into play here (though I full agree that all the redirects should be there, as you say below). Other pages don't bold anything extra because of redirects. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 14:09, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
    Yes, other pages bold the alternate names & synonyms of the title. See Boy George and Slaughterhouse, for examples. -- JHunterJ (talk) 17:22, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Bold per JHunterJ --ThaddeusB (talk) 21:14, 12 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Bold All synonyms/aliases of an article title in the lede paragraph should be bolded. --Cybercobra (talk) 21:48, 12 October 2009 (UTC)
Since so many are quoting policy in their answer, I want to reemphasize that the poll is not about policy, it is about aesthetics and style. I think I made this clear. Jason Quinn (talk) 18:00, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
If the poll is indeed just about looks, what's the point of the straw poll? That is, what would you do with the information gathered, except possibly inform a subsequent move to policy-ize (or guideline-ize) bolding or not bolding the scientific name? I also think the Mona Lisa looks better than Wikipedia, but I don't think we should replace Wikipedia with the Mona Lisa. -- JHunterJ (talk) 18:21, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
Inform a subsequent move to policy-ize (or guideline-ize) bolding or not bolding the scientific name. The Mona Lisa thing is a bad example. Jason Quinn (talk) 18:38, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
It's an Reductio ad absurdum example that may seem to lean counter to your goal, but that doesn't make it bad. If this poll is to inform a policy argument, then it is about policy, not looks completely ignoring policy. -- JHunterJ (talk) 19:53, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
  • No bold, per Wikipedia:LEAD#Foreign language: "Do not boldface foreign names not normally used in English." Also seems far more aesthetically pleasing to me. Would like to see the scientific name preceded by the link to the article describing it (Binomial nomenclature), i.e. the format "Blue Whale (scientific name: Balaenoptera musculus) is a marine animal...". We could use a template similar to {{lang}} templates for that. --Eleassar my talk 08:23, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
    Scientific names are in Latin, but those Latin phrases are in normal English usage -- that is, they appear in English-language reliable sources as a matter of course. The foreign-language Latin word for "Blue Whale" that should be avoided would be something on the "cetus" line, I think. -- JHunterJ (talk) 12:45, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
    Realistically, however, is anyone likely to actually be searching Wikipedia for that exact name? I wonder if the most common searches would be for the common name and as long as those who search the scientific name also are directed to the correct article if the ultimate goals are met? -- Banjeboi 12:59, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
    (edit conflict) Latin names for biological species are a result of a usage consensus of the scientific fields: the common name may vary from language to language, or even with slang used somewhere (such as "Blue Whale", "Ballena Azul", etc), but the scientific name is unique for all: scientists from anywhere in the world will read or say Balaenoptera musculus and they know exactly what are they talking about. A common name may also be applied to different species as if they were all the same, but the scientif name would not be the same one if the species are different. And yes, being a scientif convention it is likely to expect people searching by it. Technical terms should be used as little as posible (so, no saying Balaenoptera musculus when talking about the blue whale in a casual manner), but shouldn't be disregarded either. All species should have their scientific name redirecting to them, if they don't have it already MBelgrano (talk) 13:07, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Bold - both from an esthetic and a functional point of view. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 13:04, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
  • No bold. As JHunter says, it looks better, and the whole issue is about readability, usability and typography that supports them. NVO (talk) 15:26, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
    Yes, the whole issue is about usability, but that is more than looks. -- JHunterJ (talk) 17:18, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Should it matter whether the article is titled by the species' scientific name or a common name? I don't see this discussed above. Postdlf (talk) 15:38, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
    No, this question is separate from whether the species articles are titled with scientific name or not. -- JHunterJ (talk) 17:18, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
    The question is only intended for situations where the main article is a common name, not a scientific name. I think it is clear (at least in my mind) that if the scientific name is used as the main article title, then it should be both italic and bold. Jason Quinn (talk) 17:55, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Bold. We always bold alternate names. Powers T 20:24, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
  • No bold. Alternative names are generally bolded, but they're usually more separated from the title term. When you have bold name (bold italicized name), the two names appear to run together too much; it looks like a single, long, strange name, as though you should always say "Blue Whale (Balaenoptera musculus)" every time you use the term. --Trovatore (talk) 22:48, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
    • That should be handled by simply fixing the lede sentence, bold italicized name commonly called bold name. -- Banjeboi 07:11, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
      • That's not too terrible. I still feel the "bold" !voters are taking an overly rigid and formalistic approach to this — binomial names are not "alternative names" in the usual sense, but rather identifiers from a specialized context. They should not really be put on the same level as the common names; the common names are the more important ones for us, and the binomial names are just an extra little tidbit of information. Still, your proposal is much better than putting the two names side-by-side and bolding them both. --Trovatore (talk) 21:23, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Bold, as per tradition and functional use. Colds7ream (talk) 23:51, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Bold and work to establish a lede sentence format per MBelgrano, if the scientific name is universal and the common names vary then the lede should be scientific name commonly called common name and other common name is ____. In this way the bolded names don't abut one another and a common presentation allows for multiple names to be presented for our readers benefit. As we are a global encyclopedia it makes sense that we apply more weight to the universally used scientific names while still allowing for notable common names to also be used. -- Banjeboi 07:11, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
    • comment Actually, in my opinion, you have the levels of importance exactly backwards. Binomial names are terribly useful for what they do, but articles about commonly-known animals and plants are not usually primarily about biology or taxonomy. The primary importance should be placed on the common name or names; the fact that these names vary is just normal, something that we have to deal with all over the encyclopedia.
Now, it's quite a different matter when you're talking about some obscure species, or when you're talking about taxonomic levels distinct from usual non-scientific classifications. Those articles probably are primarily about biology or taxonomy, and in those cases, the whole calculation changes. --Trovatore (talk) 22:13, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
      • The importance, which is listed first, similar to what the article is named should be sorted at the article or project level. In a bigger picture sense I see little difference between this issue and whether to bold someone's stage name(s) which are in the lede. We do it, for our readers who seek information. I do agree that keeping the bolded names separate makes sense as we are adding a visual cue. Those who are more adept at sussing out any rules for which goes first have my utter respect and blessing. -- Banjeboi 18:21, 15 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Bold Reads better and is clearer for the first use. Though it is not the current issue, I think in agreement with Trovatore that we should follow the use of scientists in general and use the common name unless the taxonomy is being discussed. DGG ( talk ) 02:11, 15 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Bold Most lifeforms have no names at all, and of those that remain the majority have only scientific names. It is only by the newness of Wikipedia that most lifeforms do not have articles, but as time passes, more will have articles, and that majority will only contain scientific names with no common names. At that point, it will be much clearer that the scientific name ought to be bold along with any common ones, so we should just anticipate the future now. Blue Rasberry 23:13, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Bold Always bold when the synonym is a redirect. --mav (talk) 03:54, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

"Comparison of" articles

Recently there as been a series of "Comparison of" articles sent to WP:AFD. Now some of this seems to be a bee in the bonnet of one particular editor, but on the other hand I see these tending to fall into one of two classes:

  1. They are lists of items in a category. So far this seems to be the more common type.
  2. They are essays on two more or less related subjects.

I think it would easier on everyone's namespace to insist that the first type prefer the "List of" rather than "Comparison of" convention. We have plenty of tabular lists and I'm also seeing some probably inadvertent content forking due to the two naming possibilities.

The second type is the one that I think will be controversial, but I do think we need to deprecate this type of article. The problem I see is that these almost invariably have original research and notability issues. The first is more obvious: it seems to me that the argument is coming from the author(s) not from some external authority; they tend to read like research papers, well-cited or not. The second is a more subtle problem, but it seems to me that in most of the non-list cases I've come across it's not been all that clear that anyone beyond the author really cares about the comparison being made. I mean, you could write an article named Comparison of Beowulf and Gilgamesh, and it can be heavily cited; but what you will get is someone's term paper.

I think at least we need some sort of guideline discussion about this, similar that which one assumes has already been done for lists. Mangoe (talk) 14:31, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

I'm also very suspicious of these types of articles, as I expressed recently at Comparison of wiki farms. The solution there was to transwiki the content to some other projects which are a little less strict about OR, since the consensus was that the content was not "bad" but there wasn't much agreement about what was appropriate for wikipedia. These appear to neatly fit within the expectations of WP:NOR, and I don't think a formal guideline is necessary from a WP:CREEP standpoint, and a sensible application of existing rules is all that is needed. There are, in my mind, also WP:NPOV concerns with any "comparison" article. SDY (talk) 15:31, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
Agree on the WP:CREEP standpoint. While certainly something to note, one can imagine possibilities where comparisons should be included, specifically where that comparison has been verifiably covered. Just because something has "comparison" in the title doesn't make it bad (Comparison of video codecs and Comparison of audio codecs) and likewise a title absent "comparison" doesn't make it okay. Because there's no bright line there, I kind of like the AfD approach, since it examines each subject on its own merit. OR can be dealt with by replacing it with sourced content. ~ Amory (utc) 15:55, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
Just as a general statement, though, I'd much prefer to see these articles titled "list of" rather than "comparison of." The intent of the article is not to advise the reader on their choices, simply to inform them what the choices are. I was especially concerned about this for the wikifarm article, since the Wikimedia foundation has skin in the game and any sense that a Wikipedia article was endorsing a foundation product would be very very naughty. SDY (talk) 16:10, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
Sometimes comparisons are something "forced", when each topic is a topic on it's own right (such as comparing a president with another). But in other cases they are useful, mostly when we talk about alternative methods to achieve a same goal (wich could range from programming paradigms to government types). However, the comparison should be made at each topic's article: the comparison itself can rarely be notable on it's own right. MBelgrano (talk) 03:36, 24 October 2009 (UTC)
Eh, they're more a spin-out type of article and some are more list-y than others. Current policies are sufficient for straightening out the bad comparison articles; no need for further WP:CREEP. --Cybercobra (talk) 04:48, 24 October 2009 (UTC)

(undent) My spin on this is that the comparison should be notable in its own right before we have an article on it, otherwise the article risks WP:OR. SDY (talk) 18:55, 24 October 2009 (UTC)

The software comparison pages primarily just present the data and let the user do their own comparisons. Those should be fine (though the wiki farms one is a little borderline with its generic "features" section; something more like Comparison of wiki software would be better). However, given the subjective nature of literary analysis something like Comparison of Beowulf and Gilgamesh cannot easily be condensed into lists of factual comparisons, would almost certainly be a haven for original research, and should be avoided. Mr.Z-man 18:03, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

Exactly, the good Comparison articles are the acceptable kind of synthesis: bringing data together from many sources and presenting it in an organized fashion but without making any interpretive statements. --Cybercobra (talk) 18:24, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Copying within Wikipedia

Wikipedia currently has the process pages for Help:Merge and WP:Split, but no clear guideline in place to ensure that contributors understand the attribution requirements for reusing text within Wikipedia. It is brushed on at WP:C, but not clear, and I believe that expanding its coverage there would muddy the waters of that policy's primary purpose. I would like to propose this new guideline to govern Help:Merge and WP:Split and to which contributors may easily be pointed when they inadvertently violate copyright by failing to attribute (and this happens all the time). Feedback and assistance at that talk page in reaching consensus would be very much appreciated. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 15:09, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

It might be nice to also discuss requirements for interlanguage/interwiki copies from other Wikimedia sites. (For example, best practices for attributing translated text from another Wikipedia.) TheFeds 19:23, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
Do we really need another policy or guideline for this? And what about looking into having the Foundation (if we cant ourselves) make it part of the Terms of Use that you "irrevocably release your contribution to the Wikimedia Foundation in order to be edited, used, and redistributed throughout Wikipedia". It is already warned at the bottom of every edit screen that- "If you do not want your writing to be edited, used, and redistributed at will, then do not submit it here." So no one can say that they havent already been warned in the past, and since it does say "redistributed at will" I say we can already copy paste info from one article to another (at will means no restrictions). Terms of use are a binding legal contract, which as such they require you to do (or not do) something that you are not already legally required to do in return for some sort of "payment or service or allowance" (in this case being allowed to edit Wikipedia which is the private property of Wikimedia Foundation). Therefore we give up our legally entitled right of attribution within Wikipedia. Would it harm anyone if everyone was required to give up that right of attribution as long as it was only for redistribution within Wikipedia? For use outside attribution would still be required.Camelbinky (talk) 03:05, 24 October 2009 (UTC)
Wikipedia may be the "private property" of the wikimedia foundation, but only as such, as a website, a trademark or whatever. Contents of edits and articles do not belong to them any more than they belong to you or me. Wikipedia, the site, is a medium to generate free content, not the goal in itself. MBelgrano (talk) 03:20, 24 October 2009 (UTC)
Wikimedia can't easily do that, Camelbinky, because it has already made a binding contract with contributors, who have already submitted information under a license that requires that they be given credit (as both GFDL and CC-By-SA do). While it could alter its Terms of Use to require that contributors waive attribution for future contributions, that's not really going to help, since it would just make matters that much more complex: "Content posted after such and such a date is free for reuse without attribution within Wikipedia." :) TheFeds, that's a good point. I'll bring it up at the proposed guideline's talk page. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 11:37, 24 October 2009 (UTC)
Very wise as always TheFeds.Camelbinky (talk) 22:11, 24 October 2009 (UTC)
All right. Translations and transfers so incorporated. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 13:22, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

U.S.C. Title 18, Part I, Chapter 33, § 701 provides fines and up to six months' imprisonment for unauthorized use of US gov't insignias. The USFWS website's "Digital Rights, Copyright, Trademark, Patent Laws" notice page, citing restrictions published in the Federal Register (Vol. 49, No. 30, page 5387), says that any use without permission is prohibited and that the logo may appear only on official FWS documents (and that §701 provides for enforcement). Nevertheless, the USWFS logo is widely used on WP and other WM projects (the Commons image file page includes an explanation of the restrictions on use). Should it be?

I understand this is not a copyright issue as the Service logo is in the public domain. But Wikipedia:Logos#U.S._government_agencies states that "[u]se restrictions of such logos must be followed and permission obtained before use." Should it be removed, for example, from Commons:Template:PD-USGov-FWS and Commons:Template:FWS Image (which I created)? --Rrburke(talk) 16:25, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

If you want the One True Answer as far as Wikimedia is concerned, you'll have to ask Mike Godwin. Anomie 19:14, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
The statement "except as authorized under regulations made pursuant to law" in §701 would seem to provide an exception for such use as is explicitly permitted by other regulations. I'm curious whether the note in the Federal Register summarizes what those other regulations might be. TheFeds 20:03, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
The One True Answer turns out to be more or less what I suspected: Wikimedia has no position on the matter because it doesn't need one: the liability rests solely with the uploader or user who adds it to a template etc. Action against a user is theoretically possible but improbable. Still, maybe the risks and potential consequences -- even if they're only theoretical -- ought to be featured a little more prominently. I doubt many users have read Commons:Non-copyright restrictions, and I doubt they're aware that fines or imprisonment are possibilities, even if very unlikely ones. --Rrburke(talk) 01:01, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
Following up on the question of what the Federal Register says:

49 FR 5387

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

February 13, 1984

Official Insignia Change ACTION: Notice of Official Insignia Change.

SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service official insignia designation published in the Federal Register on September 5, 1978 (43 FR 39444), is hereby cancelled. This notice changes the official insignia of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Service insignia was changed in 1978; however, publication of this change was overlooked at the time. This action accomplishes the official designation of the insignia now in use by the Service.

EFFECTIVE DATE: February 13, 1984.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jim Gillett, Chief, Division of Refuge Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington, D.C. 20240, (202) 343-4311.

TEXT: SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The insignia depicted below is prescribed as the official insignia of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior. [See Material in original]

In making this prescription, notice is given that whoever manufactures, sells, or possesses this insignia, or any colorable imitation thereof, or photographs, prints or in any other manner makes or executes any engraving, photograph or print, or impression in the likeness of this insignia, or any colorable imitation thereof, without authorization from the United States Department of the Interior is subject to the penalty provisions of section 701 of Title 18 of the United States Code.

Dated: February 6, 1984.

Rolf Wallenstrom,

Acting Director, Fish and Wildlife Service. [FR Doc. 84-3863 Filed 2-10-84; 8:45 am]


So in other words, this is just referring to 18 U.S.C. 701 again. No help in identifying any regulation that one might use to justify encyclopedic use. TheFeds 17:01, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

Template subst'ing

When a template is subst'ed, does CC licensing not require that the name of the template be included in the comments e.g., <!-- template:test5 -->? Otherwise, the template's authors' work goes uncited, violating the attribution clause of CC. I am worried, for example, about {{RD medremoval}} and {{DRV bottom}}. As a note, it's my estimation that templates with very basic syntax (e.g., {{Hidden archive bottom}}) would be excluded. Magog the Ogre (talk) 13:48, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

It could be argued that if the template author was concerned about that, he or she would have made sure to include such a comment. =) Powers T 15:02, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
Interesting question. I see it in effect asking should the output of a computer program be covered by the same copyright as the source of the program? If the text is substantial I suppose it should but if it is just straightforward what the template should output I suppose it shouldn't. Sounds like a lawyer could make a living out of it. Dmcq (talk) 18:48, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (categories)/Usage of American no longer marked as a guideline

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (categories)/Usage of American (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has been edited so that it is no longer marked as a guideline. It was previously marked as a guideline. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Politeness Police has been marked as a policy

Wikipedia:Politeness Police (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has recently been edited to mark it as a policy. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

I un-marked it. Brand-new page and doesn't really even have the potential to be a policy. Equazcion (talk) 02:12, 1 Nov 2009 (UTC)
Am I the only one who got really really scared reading that "proposed policy"? I thought it was satire and a joke, until I got to the part where its basically psychotically telling you its not a joke and "if you think it's a joke and you're not laughing, why do you think it's a joke?". WOW. Please tell me there really isnt any "politeness police" and never will be. My worst fear. (and yes because they'll probably round me up first! Nutcases.) Freedom of expression and thought forever. No thought police on Wikipedia! Fight the man! Down with Whitey! Oops, that last one isnt quite right... (satire! and exactly why we dont need politeness police ruining our ability to joke and criticize, sometimes harshness is required)Camelbinky (talk) 02:34, 1 November 2009 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure the page is intended as humor. If you read the whole thing it gets more obvious. Equazcion (talk) 02:47, 1 Nov 2009 (UTC)
Also, check the edit summary on the edit that created the page. Anomie 02:59, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

Non-free Image license

Unresolved: Smallman12q (talk) 13:45, 22 October 2009 (UTC)
Resolved: Smallman12q (talk) 00:37, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

I'm having some difficulty resolving an image license for File:StarAirServiceIreneIrvine.jpg. Currently, it's licensed as a non-free image with an OTRS pending ticket. My question is whether the picture which is currently licensed as non-free needs to be released under a free license in order to stay on wikipedia. Does the image qualify as a non-free image?

The following is discussion from my talk page...

I have rec'd a series of emails from Permissions regarding my File:StarAirServiceIreneIrvine.jpg photo. Brief history - I obtained written permission for use of photo from owner (Univ of AK Fairbanks) & uploaded the pic to Wikipedia (NOT Commons) per your directions. ww2censor promptly marked it for removal requesting an email from owner (see my talk page). I rqst'd email from Univ of AK Fairbanks which they sent to me w/ copy to permissions. We thought this resolved the issue but then the emails from permissions to me started. If you like I can email you the complete series of emails, but following is the latest which describes the issue, which I don't know how to resolve:

[Ticket#2009101010027301] Authorization to use photo in a single Wikipedia article The email you have sent us regarding permissions reads (this is the email Univ of AK Fairbanks sent to permissions at my (OLD33) request:

"We don't have a signed agreement of use on file for you but that is standard when a photo is copied from Alaska's Digital Archive [on-line archive:], rather than being purchased from us. You checked with us before going on-line with your article, requesting permission to use the image. That permission was granted. You appropriately credit the collection and the institution, and acknowledge copyright. This meets the requirements for using photographs."

Images and other media are allowed only if they are under a free license (such as the above and certain other Creative Commons licenses). You can see the allowable licenses at <>. If you provide us with a clear statement that the copyright holder is releasing this content for redistribution under an allowable license, then the content may be used on Wikimedia projects. The email template at <> can be used if needed. It is essential for Wikipedia that an exact license is agreed upon by the copyright holder which in this case may be the Alaskan Digital Archives but appears to be 'verso' which the archives state is the author of the image. Any ambivalence on this point is not acceptable. We sincerely apologize for any frustration caused by this. However, Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons respects the rights of copyright holders and has very stringent measures put in place to protect their rights. Please be assured that nothing will happen to the photo as long as the OTRS pending tag is on the page. Thank you for your understanding! Please see <> for more information. Yours sincerely, Elena Salvatore

I will appreciate your help!! Old33 (talk) 15:08, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

Well, considering that the image is being used as a non-free image, a free license may not be needed. What Elana is trying to point out is that the University didn't release the image under a free license.However, the image is currently licensed as non-free so I don't see it requires a free license. I will ask at WP:VPP what to do...but from what I see, you should point out that the image is currently licensed to be non-free, and that the point is to keep the image on wikipedia without requesting more permission. I personally don't really "approve" of the tone used at the end of the email...its a bit too cold....I will help you get this resolved once and for all.Smallman12q (talk) 00:35, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

Any advice is appreciated!Smallman12q (talk) 00:40, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

Wait for the OTRS ticket to go through. Presumably it will result in explicit permission to use the image on Wikipedia. OrangeDog (τε) 13:43, 21 October 2009 (UTC)
Remember that permission for use "on Wikipedia" is still non-free, though it's certainly a more justifiable non-free than most (and the permission for Wikipedia itself can use OTRS confirmation). Images are only free if re-use elsewhere is also free. {{Nihiltres|talk|edits}} 14:57, 21 October 2009 (UTC)
Did you read the quote...OTRS responded by requesting that the image be licensed under a free license. However, I don't see a need for it to be licensed under a free license if all we need is {{non-free with permission}}.Smallman12q (talk) 13:45, 22 October 2009 (UTC)
Because "non-free with permission" is still non-free and so the usage has to satisfy WP:NFCC - which the usage at Star Air Service does not. Consequently, if the photo is not released under a free licence then it will deleted. CIreland (talk) 13:50, 22 October 2009 (UTC)
I've continued the discussion atWikipedia:Non-free content review#File:StarAirServiceIreneIrvine.jpg.Smallman12q (talk) 00:54, 24 October 2009 (UTC)
OTRS approved. So this is finally resolved.=DSmallman12q (talk) 00:37, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

Comparison of wiki policies

I was wondering if anybody had done a study of differences in the policy and guideline pages of the different wikis? It strikes me that there must be something to learn from doing such a comparison every so often and it would tend to keep them in alignment as far as best practice is concerned. I don't suppose it really matters too much if the consensus is different in some particulars everywhere if they act with some common sense but it is a slightly disturbing idea when one goes to edit in a different one. Dmcq (talk) 15:02, 25 October 2009 (UTC) By the way there seems to be a rather small and odd selection of other language equivalents to this page. Dmcq (talk) 15:07, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

That's because many non-English Wikipedias haven't split up their equivalents of the village pump, or don't have a direct equivalent of this page. Graham87 15:17, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
As I understand (based on previous discussions Ive seen and been a part of here on the Village Pump (policy) and over at the Village Pump (proposals); I'm quite active at both) all the various language Wikipedia's are completely independent and develop policies and guidelines as they wish with no overriding "bureaucracy" to keep the different wp's consistent with each other. Different wp's have different "powers" they give their equivalent of what we in en:wp call "administrators" for example. The only thing that I can think of that is imposed from one WP to another is that the terms of use (which is a legal contract between the Wikimedia Foundation and individual editors) in the English language takes precendence for legal reasons over any difference in interpretation based on translating it into a different language for use in another wp. Other than that what the Russian WP or Chinese WP decides has no bearing on us.Camelbinky (talk) 00:18, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
Please read the original question. I'm not trying to impose anything. Anyway it sounds like nobody has done any such study otherwise I guess someone would have answered. I'm rather surprised, it would be a piece of original research that might show sociological differences and it could be of benefit to wikipedia. It would also be a change from saying NOR to people which I seem to have to do rather frequently even though I lean to the inclusionist side. Dmcq (talk) 06:06, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
There have been meta-level proposals (probably some on meta, others on the foundation-l mailing list) to create some "global" policies, mainly so that some tiny wiki where 2 or 3 people make all the decisions couldn't end up totally out of line with all the others, but I don't think any of them went anywhere. There are also some wikis that created some policies by copying and translating some of the English Wikipedia ones. Mr.Z-man 06:32, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
I'm happy with them being different, I like to look at what other people do to get pointers though, copying and translating is exactly what I'd do to start with. I've taken Tom Lehrer's Lobachevsky song about 'Let no one else's work evade your eyes' to heart. Dmcq (talk) 17:58, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
I did misunderstand the original question. I do agree with Dmcq that this would be an interesting study to do, to chart the differences between the various wp's and see how each has "evolved", perhaps start with seeing how the three or four oldest wp's looked at the date of formation and how close they are in function and wording of policies today would be a good start of a study; individual case studies on different wp's would be another thing to do along with a large N study of as many wp's as can be done. Ive never been to meta, but if Dmcq wants to create an informal wikiproject here on en:wp I would join and help collect and sort data for him.Camelbinky (talk) 22:59, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (capitalization)

There was an RfC here which I closed as consensus to make this change. This closure was then questioned both by reversion and comments here. Following an ANI thread I was advised to bring it here to get an independent view. Dpmuk (talk) 16:35, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

Consensus in the RFC is obviously for option #1. It seems User:Francis Schonken is niggling over a minor issue of wording, but instead of actually discussing the matter is just reverting and making unhelpful assertions (boiling down to "You're wrong!" without any details), and expecting you to read his mind to come up with an "acceptable" wording. Perhaps a slightly better wording would be "It is possible to create two non-redirect pages with the same name but different capitalization, and generally acceptable when the pages are on different topics. If this arises, a hat note should always be placed at the top of both pages, linking either to a dedicated disambiguation page or to the other article." And if Francis doesn't like that, IMO it is up to him to make a suggestion rather than continuing to revert. Anomie 17:21, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

There are still some problems over this dispute despite more editors getting involved. I've reported the issue to AN/I to see if a there's edit warring or similar going on but it can only be useful if there are some more opinions on the issue. Dpmuk (talk) 16:58, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

Arbcom Elections 2009 - Invitation for Questions

Preparations are ongoing for the 2009 Arbitration Committee Elections, which will be held in December. The first step in the process is generating a list of General Questions that will be submitted by template to all candidates in this year's election. Questions may be broad and philisophical in nature, or may deal with a specific incident or case from the past year (or prior). General questions may not deal with an individual candidate or candidates - All editors will have a chance to ask specific questions or one or more candidates directly, once we actually have candidates.

The submission of questions is limited to editors eligible to vote in the election (You may use this utility to check your eligibility.), but all editors will be invited to discuss the candidates, once we have candidates to discuss. Questions should be submitted at The General Questions page. If you have additional questions or concerns regarding the question process, please ask here. Thank you for participating. UltraExactZZ Claims ~ Evidence 12:56, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (common names) no longer marked as a guideline

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (common names) (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has been edited so that it is no longer marked as a guideline. It was previously marked as a guideline. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

It just got merged as a section into Wikipedia:Naming conventions apparently. --Cybercobra (talk) 02:51, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

Football v. soccer (again)

I'm sure this topic has been beaten to death, but the use of the word "football" to mean "soccer" on first reference on the Main Page today is gnawing at me. Now based strictly on Wikipedia:MOS#Opportunities_for_commonality, the term used, especially on first reference, should be the term that is unambiguous and common to all varieties of English: "soccer." Now many British patrons of the sperical-ball sport cringe at that word, so the awkward compromise term "football (soccer)" was created. Editors of pointyball articles always use "American football" on first reference. The standard should be the same for soccer articles. The soccer people might say the meaning is clear from the context, but that's only the case if you're used to seeing the word football meaning the round-ball game; if you're from a pointyball-playing place, it would certainly make you do a double-take. And if we accept the argument that the meaning of "football" should be clear from the context in this case, why shouldn't pointy-ball editors use "football" by itself on first reference in one of their articles? Wikipedia style should state that either "soccer," "football (soccer)" or "American football" should always be the first-reference term. -- Mwalcoff (talk) 23:28, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

I'm American, and the code of football played by a "German football goalkeeper" seems contextually obvious to me (and is linked for the benefit of others). It certainly wouldn't be appropriate to use the term "soccer" in reference to a country in which the sport is known as "Fußball" (football). —David Levy 23:47, 22 October 2009 (UTC)
Why not? This is English-language WP; how the Germans call it is irrelevant. --Trovatore (talk) 23:51, 22 October 2009 (UTC)
This isn't the American-language WP either. In English, a German would call the sport football, not soccer. Resolute 23:58, 22 October 2009 (UTC)
How Germans speak, even in English, is irrelevant on --Trovatore (talk) 00:08, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
This is why, for example, the "strong national ties" section of WP:ENGVAR is specifically limited to "English-speaking nations". --Trovatore (talk) 00:11, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
You still haven't overcome the problem of this not being the American language Wikipedia. Also per WP:ENGVAR, we don't change usage without good reason to do so. The article is written in British English, and British English it should stay. Neverminding that his career was strongly tied to England. Resolute 00:18, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
As Mwalcoff pointed out, the American football articles say American football on first reference. There needs to be reciprocity. If there isn't, then the American football articles could also just call it football on first reference, which probably wouldn't really confuse anyone either, and would be consonant with ENGVAR, but not with the truce in the football wars. --Trovatore (talk) 00:37, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
If there is any reciprocity, I suggest "association football" rather than "soccer" or "football (soccer)". I see they've even become sane and renamed the sport's article to that title. Anomie 00:46, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
I agree; association football sounds much better than football (soccer), and has a more formal, encyclopedic tone than soccer unmodified. --Trovatore (talk) 00:50, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
I'm not citing WP:ENGVAR; I'm saying that it seems illogical to refer to the sport as "soccer" in a German context (despite the fact that "soccer" is the term most familiar to me).
I agree that "association football" would be the best means of disambiguation, but I don't see "German football goalkeeper" as ambiguous. —David Levy 01:33, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
It probably isn't, if only because association football is the only football code I know of that has goalkeepers. Just the same it would be better to say association football at first reference, as a matter of reciprocity. --Trovatore (talk) 01:46, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
As to the original complaint, as noted, even we in countries where handegg has primacy, it is very much obvious that this article refers to association football. If a TFA came up on an American/Canadian/Australian football player that was similarly worded, with "football" linking to the appropriate code, everyone would still understand what the word is referring to. Resolute 00:00, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
  • I would think it good practice to use some sort of disambiguation on first occurrence (as in done in American football articles). Us Americans can be pretty ignorant about what other countries call "soccer" (partially because we don't follow the sport all that much). While I personally am not confused by what 'German football player' means, I am quite sure that some readers will be (at least for a little while). The association football suggestion is a good one. --ThaddeusB (talk) 00:59, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
The problem with "association football" is a lot of people don't know what that means, even though it's the "official" name of the sport. It's not a term in everyday use. Our goal should be to produce clear and easy-to-read text. There are two options that fit that goal -- "soccer" or "football (soccer)." -- Mwalcoff (talk) 01:03, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
Well, a lot of people don't understand a lot of things on WP. We write, and should write, in a very high register, Britannica rather than World Book (obviously I'm not talking about the ENGVAR differences here, but rather about the eliteness). The wikilinks help readers learn the acrolect, and that's a good thing in itself. --Trovatore (talk) 01:09, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
I wholeheartedly disagree with you on that one. I think we should absolutely write in "World Book" style to make Wikipedia as accessible to as many people as possible. Readers should not be expected to go on a wild goose chase through wikilinks to understand articles. -- Mwalcoff (talk) 01:13, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
This is English Wikipedia, not Simple English Wikipedia. OrangeDog (τε) 09:00, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
False dichotomy, and one slanted considerably towards North American thinking rather than world thinking. Resolute 01:38, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
Indeed. It doesn't even begin to address the use of rounded oblate spheroids. Gavia immer (talk) 02:36, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
If there is a risk that occasionally an American English speaker would not understand an article about a footballer, surely the easiest practical response is to link either the sport or the position they play. Use of American English in an article written in another variant of the language should be restricted to direct quotations. Of course a broader solution would be to change EN Wiki so that users could choose which dialect of English they wish to view it in. ϢereSpielChequers 08:32, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
But association football is not particularly American English. (For that matter, neither is soccer, but that's arguably a colloquialism in British English and thus not suited to WP.)
It would be polite and in the interests of good relations to call it association football at first reference, given that American football articles almost always start by calling their sport American football. For the rest of the article, just football is fine. --Trovatore (talk) 10:31, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
Whether it would be "polite and in the interest of good relations" to put Association Football in football related articles,it would be a major change to our policy on varieties of English. Currently we support all varieties of English provided we are consistent within an article and don't change articles between variants, a football related article written by a Brit is not likely to refer to football as Association football. I would be happy with a change to that policy so that readers could specify what variant of the language they want displayed, so Americans would see Football displayed as Soccer and Brits would see it displayed as Football. But I would not be happy with a change to the policy along the lines of "Articles written in variants of English other than American English must use terms understandable in American English and may not use words in ways that differ from their American English meaning. ϢereSpielChequers 10:59, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
We do already have WP:ENGVAR#Opportunities for commonality, which in part states that we should avoid or gloss terminology with different meanings in different varieties of English. Anomie 11:43, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

(undent) The in-article disambiguation of "American Football" vs. "Association Football" is helpful to the reader the first time the term "football" is used, but I agree that sometimes it's painfully obvious from context (i.e. in a picture caption of a biography's subject in uniform) and need not be explained. It should probably be wiki-pipe-linked the first time it's mentioned in an article as a confusion-killer of last resort. SDY (talk) 15:53, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

In my opinion, it is useless to discuss this question. Almost every country except USA uses football as soccer. American is so proud of everything, and do not want to change. That’s fine. But everyone should respect other people’s cultures and habits. I like both American football and national football very much. So when I talk with American, I use soccer referring to national football. I just say “football” to mean national football when I talk with others. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Eeeeflying (talkcontribs) 02:17, 29 October 2009 (UTC)

The perceived cultural ineptitude of Americans is irrelevant. I thought the policy here was to use the American variant only for articles directly related to American soccer. Since the topic in question is German soccer/football, and the Germans call it football, it should remain as football. If there's something about an American soccer/football player on the front page, it should be written as "soccer."  Aar  ►  04:27, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
We aren't talking about the use of the term in the bulk of the article, just about the first time the game is mentioned in a particular article. What's unacceptable is if American football articles are expected to call it American football at first reference, but association football is just called football, even the first time it's mentioned.
In an association-football-related article using UK English, as long as association football is the first reference, I have of course no objection if the rest of the article calls it simply football, and indeed that seems logical and appropriate. --Trovatore (talk) 04:50, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
...but just the same I do want to re-iterate that, since Germany is not an English-speaking nation, how Germans refer to the sport is irrelevant. A Germany-related article can perfectly well be written in American English, if that's the original variety. --Trovatore (talk) 04:57, 29 October 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (UK stations) has been marked as a guideline

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (UK stations) (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has recently been edited to mark it as a guideline. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 24 October 2009 (UTC)

Oh wonderful... another Naming convention... just what we need... another example of instruction creep? Blueboar (talk) 15:14, 24 October 2009 (UTC)
Ditto. Why does everything have to be "standardized". I could understand worrying about standardization on titles once every concievable article is created and up to A class, because then there wouldnt be much else to worry about.Camelbinky (talk) 22:13, 24 October 2009 (UTC)
Extraordinarily creep-y. A naming convention for UK rail stations? Really? Really? I can whip up a naming convention for saltwater fishes in the Sea of Cortez, if need be ... Shereth 15:23, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

wp:article size

I would like to hear if anyone has any opinions on possibly updating or changing Wikipedia:Article size as many of its suggestions seem out-of-date and many articles are in violation of letter and/or spirit as currently written; even though the Community through practice has pretty much ignored the limit. I work mostly on municipalities and regions, so those are the examples I will give between 65 and 80- Albany, New York, Syracuse, New York, Providence, Rhode Island, Hartford, Ct, Rochester, New York, and Buffalo, New York are all more than twice the 32 kb limit that gets notification of size on the edit window; most larger cities are four or five times the 32 kb limit, (including some that are FAs]]- New York City (over 100kb even with every section having a split off, and sometimes that split off has multiple splitoffs of its own, such as the history section), Toronto, Chicago, Atlanta. If we take the wording on the wp:article size page at face value and to the letter with no common sense applied then all those articles named would need the "too long" template. Too many editors take the signal of that warning on the edit page as a reason to slap that template on the article. There is a footnote on the wp:article size page that tells you how to find the "readable prose" size, but even with that the current wording of the policy relies on alot of common sense, and as common sense is of short order around Wikipedia and IAR is not respected very much- the only result I can think of is for a rewrite, or a consensus opinion here at the VP (policy) that will give more detail on how the "too long" template should be used.Camelbinky (talk) 22:41, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

Perhaps the "article size" thing should not be about size in KB, but about level of detail. A guide on how to detect, avoid and/or correct "overdetailed articles" may be more useful. MBelgrano (talk) 00:59, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
The article size guideline is pretty clear that it is primarily concerned with the size of readable prose. Albany, New York, for example, has 25KB of readable prose, which corresponds to about 4000 words. Even New York City is below the recommended limit. Both of these articles are within acceptable limits of the guideline. Of course, common sense needs to be applied; some article simply need more words to adequately describe their topic while others should be kept smaller. --mav (talk) 03:50, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
Is anyone willing to work on a sandbox of MBelgrano's suggestion for an essay or guideline on how to "overdetailed articles"? Mav, if you have time can you post a comment on the talk page of the Albany, NY article with your result of the readable prose; there is a discussion on that page regarding a "too long" template an editor keeps slapping on the article and at least two of us disagree with it being on there, for the reason that it may discourage editors from adding needed information and that the article actually doesnt go over the "readable prose" amount as you point out and actually needs MORE information added to flesh it out.Camelbinky (talk) 22:44, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
Hm. I should have scrolled to the bottom of that article; lists are not counted by Dr PDAs page size tool. Those lists really need to be turned into prose. Once that is done though, the article will clearly be in the "may need to be divided" column, which is fine, so long as the prose is written well. Even with this realization, I don't think that a long article tag is warranted (maybe some tags nagging about the lists). --mav (talk) 03:31, 29 October 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Talk page no longer marked as a guideline

Wikipedia:Talk page (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has been edited so that it is no longer marked as a guideline. It was previously marked as a guideline. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

User:Kotniski feels that the current page is a help guide about talk pages and that the relevant guideline is WP:Talk page guidelines. A move have been requested for Wikipedia:Talk page to be moved to Help:Talk page. Discussion on the move is at Wikipedia talk:Talk_page#Requested move.
The change from guideline was proposed at Wikipedia talk:Talk page#This page and the other guidelines and carried out when after three day no one objected.Taemyr (talk) 11:37, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

Just what is the status of the 5P?!

The category of the 5P page is "policies and guidelines" but the page is not labeled as a policy nor as a guideline. I've seen people state that "policies flow from the 5 Pillars", but that cant be because WP:V and the other big major policies all predate the pillars, the 5 Pillar page was created by one editor in 2005. I understand it is put with other "principles" in a box at the bottom of all policy pages, but the second one listed in that template is itself clearly labeled as an information page. My personal opinion is that the 5P are nothing more than an information page that lists what happens to be common across all policies and that the 5P flow FROM policy instead of the other way around. I am curious what other's opinions are. I'd rather we have everyone state their opinion instead of people arguing about each other's opinions because that tends to stifle and discourage new people from coming in and stating their opinion; so while there isnt anything to "vote" on as there is no proposal I am proposing, it would be nice if we just had everyone state their own feelings on how they view the 5P without others judging or trying to say "your wrong".Camelbinky (talk) 23:49, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

One day, someone decided to write down some of Wikipedia's then-unwritten rules. So he/she did. They're just principles, generalizations, simplifications. They don't have to be funneled into the category of "policy" or "guideline". {{Nihiltres|talk|edits}} 01:43, 29 October 2009 (UTC) (iPod edit)

The way I see it (which I know is incorrect but still useful): the Five Pillars form a "constitution" of sorts, a mission statement. Policies ("laws") are written based on the authorities and principles in that document and give the practical implementation of the principles. Guidelines and the MOS ("regulations" or "standard operating procedures") are typically not directly tied to the five pillars in themselves, just established and respected interpretations of the policy and more subject to variations. By that logic, any guideline or policy should be able to be traced back to the five pillars. Again, that's just how I look at it, and given the humor targeted at corporate mission statements (set it to music!) it's probably not a big deal. SDY (talk) 03:09, 29 October 2009 (UTC)

I like to think of the Pillars as "Wikipedia's founding principles the second time around". :-) (talk) 07:12, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
The five pillars page just lists links to policy in the form of complete sentences. Anyone who says policy flows from the 5P just means that since that page is a collection of policy, it's a good way to interpret how they interact. It's just a list - people don't get their telephone numbers from a directory but they are all collected there for ease of use. Same thing as a dictionary. ~ Amory (utc) 16:04, 29 October 2009 (UTC)

User Issues

Suppose in a WP:BLP article an editor A looks suspicious - meaning his edits looks like he is working for a group trying to push its agenda in to the Wikipedia article where that group is directly involved. Lets say that the Editor A seems like a paid editor implementing the groups agenda in to a particular wikipedia BLP article - What should be done is such a scenario?. Radiantenergy (talk) 04:00, 29 October 2009 (UTC)

Report the situation to Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons/Noticeboard. Remember to asume good faith from other editors; but if you have solid reasons to believe the scenario is as you describe it, explain your reasons in detail. MBelgrano (talk) 12:48, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
In addition to the BLPN MBelgrano mentions, there's also the Wikipedia:Conflict of interest/Noticeboard (shortcut: WP:COIN). Again, assume good faith in your postings. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 13:36, 29 October 2009 (UTC)

Pages about non-affiliated projects in project space

I wanted to raise a question about whether it is appropriate to have pages in the "Wikipedia" namespace (project space) that discuss projects that use Wikipedia material but are not officially affiliated with Wikipedia/Wikimedia. Currently there is at least one such page at WP:Semapedia, and there is an open MfD for a user page that is very similar and might be moved to the project space. I want to emphasize that I am not recruiting for people to come participate in the MfD (although of course all interested editors are welcome as usual). Rather, the discussion there led me to wonder about the general issue of whether there should be pages of this type. I am not talking about pages that discuss non-Wikimedia projects in contexts that specifically relate to maintaining Wikipedia, such as WP:OUTLET and WP:FORK. I'm talking about that are dedicated to describing a single, unaffiliated project that uses Wikimedia material in some way. Should we have such pages, and if so, what types of content and inclusion criteria should there be for them? If there is an established guideline around this type of material, please point me to it. I did not see any clear mention of this concept (positive or negative) at any place I thought to look, such as WP:PRJ and WP:NS. --RL0919 (talk) 23:20, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

I can't help notice that WP:Semapedia exists in Wikipedia: space because it was moved a couple of years ago "so it doesn't get deleted for notability issues". Ouch. In general, I see no reason to have what looks like article content in Wikipedia: space. If it serves a purpose in coordinating Wikipedia work with the external project, maybe it's worth a debate. otherwise, it should live (or die) in mainspace. Rd232 talk 15:32, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
I agree. I will open an MfD on that Semapedia pseudo-article if no one else does. Powers T 16:00, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
Although I don't want to preclude an MfD for that page (or any other), my hope was to spur a broader discussion first, rather than leading with MfDs. Participation at MfD can be a bit spotty, so without a broader consensus we could get inconsistent results. --RL0919 (talk) 16:12, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
Fair enough; that's why I didn't start it immediately. Powers T 17:13, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
Regarding Semapedia, I don't quite understand why it's being viewed as a bad thing that it was moved to prevent deletion. The key point that is being missed is that it was moved out of view for readers, but kept in view for editors. I've been a participant of more than one AfD for list articles that have resulted in being moved to project space because someone thought they could use that list, such as a WikiProject.
If I felt Semapedia had no value to editors then I wouldn't have bothered moving it at all. Part of the power of GFDL/CC is that we can take content that might not belong in one place and put it in another more appropriate location. -- Ned Scott 02:11, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
I see two main concerns: First, does this type of material belong in project space? I realize that you think so, but there isn't a lot of apparent precedent so it would be nice if more people were involved (hence this thread). I have concerns about verifiability of the information about third-party projects, and also about the possibility of WP:BLP issues since the material relates to the present-day activities of living people who could potentially take action against WP for misrepresenting their projects. Moving the pages into project space does not remove these issues, so we should think carefully about whether it is a good idea to have such pages. Putting them in project space does remove notability, original research and neutrality as concerns, so it is more permissive than having them as articles, but it doesn't mean that anything goes.
Second, if these pages do belong, is there any sort approach we should take in terms of organizing it? Currently these are just former article pages floating around, not always in the same namespace. It's not clear how interested parties would even find them. Rd232's idea of a WikiProject is probably a good one if we are going to keep these pages. --RL0919 (talk) 13:57, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
I don't think that there is even a slight possible BLP issue with these situations. A page like this is allowed because it helps facilitate the activities here at Wikipedia. No precedent/approval is needed. Unless someone can actually show that it violates some kind of policy, or is some how harmful, to have small write ups about wikipedia related projects, tools, and sites, then these pages aren't going anywhere.
Real life (and just taking a break) has kept me from being as active as I once was on Wikipedia, but I don't plan on leaving the project. When I have more time I plan on expanding these kinds of pages, as they relate to WikiProject Transwiki, a project that I started to try to make a resource to help people reuse our content. Content reuse is a major goal for Wikipedia, but how we relate to the larger world, how our content is used and how it could be used, is often one of our most neglected topics on the meta side of things. -- Ned Scott 16:30, 29 October 2009 (UTC)

Thinking about the general issue some more, maybe the most constructive thing would be for those interested in these related-non-affiliated projects to start a WP:WikiProject (if there isn't one already), which can then host these description pages as sub-pages, and perhaps serve a coordination point for linking Wikipedia with these projects. Permanently living in userspace, or living in Wikipedia: space without obvious purpose, is not ideal. (Of course any projects sufficiently notable for mainspace should have articles anyway.) Rd232 talk 17:18, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

WikiProjects are in the project namespace.. I don't oppose making them subpages to a WikiProject, but all we would really need is some categorization. -- Ned Scott 16:30, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
Depends how many pages there are, whether categorization is really an issue. Anyway, I'd suggest moving these pages to subpages of Wikipedia:WikiProject Transwiki, mentioned above, which seems a relevant enough existing project, and saves the hassle/problems of creating a new one. Rd232 talk 16:34, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
Making these subpages of the Transwiki project seems reasonable to me, and should allow for easy monitoring of the pages for any of the issues I mentioned above. Just to make sure to make sure there isn't any contrary input from the project's members, I've posted a notice about this discussion at Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject Transwiki#Subpages for related but non-affliated projects. Assuming they don't object, I think we should go forward with this idea. --RL0919 (talk) 00:10, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

OCLC outside linkage to worldcat website

A discussion about whether of not the infobox books template should include outside linkage from the OCLC number is posted here. If this issue matters to you please stop by and include your comments. Thanks. -- (talk) 06:52, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

dedicated article vs. merge

Can someone point me to policy, guidelines or essay articles which help answer the question of when an topic warrants a dedicated article, vs. when it would be better as a section of a larger topic. Beyond WP:N, and WP:RS of course.--RadioFan (talk) 12:57, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

It depends. It's mostly WP:N and WP:RS though. Perhaps WP:MERGE?--Unionhawk Talk E-mail Review 13:10, 30 October 2009 (UTC)
Also Wikipedia:Content forking... WP:SPLIT should have info, but seems to only be instructions. - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 17:05, 30 October 2009 (UTC)
And WP:Article size and WP:Summary style. Depending on the topic, there may be a subject-specific notability guideline or a WikiProject organization/style guide. Flatscan (talk) 03:43, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

Question concerning people profiting from the usage of Wikipedia articles

I am not sure who I need to contact or if this is even the right place, but I recently came across a book being sold on that seems to be a collection of Wikipedia articles, some of which I created. The book is selling for $79 and it is stated it "Ships from and [is] sold by". This does not seem legal, especially since the three listed editors are profiting from my hard work. Here is the link to the book:

If you click on the editors' names, you will see a huge listing of books that are ripped directly form Wikipedia. I am obviously not the first person to notice this. See this link for instance:

What can be done about this? Some kind of legal action should be taken here a.s.a.p! --Ghostexorcist (talk) 20:10, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

Haven't followed the links, but I would point out that there is nothing wrong, per se, with people profiting from WP content, provided they abide by the terms of either the GFDL or CC-BY-SA. It seems a little unlikely that you'd be able to get people to shell out 79 bucks for a GFDL book, but not impossible, and if the customers are willing to pay it, that's their lookout. --Trovatore (talk) 20:16, 30 October 2009 (UTC)
While a Wikipedia plagiarised book maybe legally allowable (but in Western cultures ethically not accepted) the publishers cannot claim copyright in any way if this is indeed the case. So if they do in they they can be subject to legal action. Arnoutf (talk) 20:49, 30 October 2009 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but you're quite confused here. There is no question of "plagiarism" provided credit is appropriately given. Giving credit is also a requirement of the licenses, so if they don't give credit, we can stop there; at that point they are indeed in violation.
The publishers would in fact hold copyright to the derivative work, though they would be required to license that copyright under the appropriate free license. --Trovatore (talk) 21:00, 30 October 2009 (UTC)
Ah, Alphascript again. See Wikipedia:Village pump (miscellaneous)/Archive 20#The Alphascript-Amazon-Wikipedia book hoax and Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2009-08-17/News and notes#Alphascript Publishing sells free articles as expensive books. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 20:59, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

All I can tell from the covers is that it says "High quality content by Wikipedia articles." I doubt they list every single person who has ever edited the articles. Also, from reading various blogs, I get the feeling there are many people who buy the books believing them to be written by scholars. The statement about Wikipedia is very small and could easily be missed by a prospective buyer. --Ghostexorcist (talk) 21:09, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

Bear in mind, anyone can reprint Wikipedia content in compliance with our current attribution requirements simply by linking to the original article on Wikipedia. For any Wikipedia content that is available under the GFDL (most of it), they can also comply with that license by listing the five largest contributors, even if there are many more than five contributors. I don't know that they actually do this, by the way; I'm just pointing out that attribution is easier than you might think. Gavia immer (talk) 21:18, 30 October 2009 (UTC)
It can't be legal to just list someone's screen names. That is obviously not the same as their legal given name. --Ghostexorcist (talk) 22:01, 30 October 2009 (UTC)
Plagiarism is not illegal (only unethical). Any copying of any text not written by yourself is plagiarism (unless presented as a verbatim quote).
If something is presented as a quote, obviously, the publisher cannot claim any rights to that quote
So, if someone copies Wikipedia articles (which our license allows) they should make sure the text is presented in such a way that it is clear that it is a derivative work. The copyright of the publisher would only extend to content that is not verbatim derivative (i.e. if the content is a wikipedia article, the publisher cannot hold the copyright to that = For example, you can publish the (now public domain) phrase "To be or not to be" but you cannot claim copyright to that. Similar issues apply to wikipedia contentArnoutf (talk) 22:11, 30 October 2009 (UTC)
Arnoutf says: Any copying of any text not written by yourself is plagiarism (unless presented as a verbatim quote). This is outright false. Plagiarism is when you attempt to claim credit for text not written by you. added laterOr for that matter for ideas not origniated by you, even if paraphrased.end text added later As long as you correctly acknowledge the source, it is not plagiarism, whether it is a verbatim quote or not. --Trovatore (talk) 01:36, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
Copying Wikipedia is not illegal, nor is it unethical, provided that the copiers make sure that people know that Wikipedia is where it came from. Honestly, this isn't done as often as it should, but that's how it should work. The foundation does not have time to investigate every time somebody copies something from Wikipedia (including images!)--Unionhawk Talk E-mail Review 01:45, 31 October 2009 (UTC)

Related question

I have a related question perhaps some can help me with. I am local history buff of the Albany, NY area (New York's Capital District, I have started and contributed to a great deal of articles about the history, geography, etc of this area. What if I decide that I would like to write and have published a book regarding this area? I have put in alot of work finding sources and putting information on Wikipedia for free, and perhaps I would like to use that hard work in a more constructive manner for my checkbook? Obviously I wouldnt want to just take the Wikipedia articles and put them in a book, but obviously I'd use the same sources I used for those articles, and my writing style is my writing style so the book would come out to be similar to much of what I have written on WP. So would I have to put a disclaimer on my hypothetical book, which would then preclude anything I put in it from then being used by another Wikipedian even if I find something new to put in the book; the entire book would be "tainted" and not usable as an RS even if something in it was never used in Wikipedia in the first place if I have to put a disclaimer in it recognizing Wikipedia, because if even a few editors in the minority view say its tainted it will end up being tainted just as a "mirror site". If this is the case then I might as well stop all editing on Wikipedia and just work on publishing a book which I'll make money on. Why go to all the trouble and hard sweat and not have the opportunity of using it to get paid? The editors on here who do photographs for Wikipedia articles always have the opportunity to sell their photographs because they still own the photographs. Why cant I sell my knowledge and skill at finding and putting together interesting history of the region?Camelbinky (talk) 21:05, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

No, CB, I explained this to you before: You hold unencumbered copyright to all your contributions. All you have done by contributing them to WP is to license them to the rest of the world. But you are perfectly free to make a new work, using your contributions in whole or in part, and not license that work. Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer and take no responsibility for anything that happens because of your reliance on this explanation. --Trovatore (talk) 21:09, 30 October 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure that copyright is even an issue in this case. Words are subject to copyright but knowledge isn't, otherwise every editor who uses a fact taken from a book would be violating copyright and Wikipedia wouldn't exist in the first place. Writing style is similar, no one holds a patent on encyclopedic writing. So even if you were giving away your rights to your contributions, there would be nothing to prevent you from using the same sources and presenting the same facts as long as it wasn't direct copying.--RDBury (talk) 18:14, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
Copyright could be an issue: if anything which you republish was coauthored by you and someone else then you would not be able to republish it unless you did so under the same license terms as Wikipedia uses. Are you 100% sure that you would not inadvertently include a bit that someone else originated? However, as long as you are absolutely certain that you are not making this mistake you are free to republish your own work in any form you like, and with any conditions you like, except that you cannot take back the rights to reproduction which you granted when you published it on Wikipedia. One more point: it is conceivable, though I think unlikely, that difficulties could arise from the anonymous nature of Wikipedia editing; what if someone questioned whether you really did write the bit you say you did: could you prove it? JamesBWatson (talk) 19:43, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
Well, the history at any article would show diffs showing what "Camelbinky" wrote, but Im guessing you're saying how would I prove "I" am "Camelbinky"? Hmmm, that got me thinking about how I would prove it, I assume there's a way to find the IP address of usernames, and the two IPs that would show up can be linked to my job and my work...I've made comments over time regarding my educational, yea it would be hard! But of course I use "Camelbinky" for various email and other user name purposes including at work, and no one else probably uses camelbinky, so I would assume if I can show that I am the various other Camelbinkys at other websites/emails then it would stand to reason I am this one as well. I have three main concerns in my hypothetical book publishing career- one is that my hypothetical self would want to make money of the book and therefore would need to be able to publish a book and it seems we are all in agreement I could write and publish a book, we just arent all that sure what licence or copyright would apply to the book itself, right? Second concern would be- If I uncover from primary sources something novel and new, unique, whatever that I couldnt use on Wikipedia; could my book be used as a secondary source to cite and bring that information into Wikipedia; or does the fact that some of the other information in the book comes from Wikipedia (indirectly as my style of writing is unique to me and I'm using the same sources I used when writing the Wikipedia articles so of course some info will be similar in style), does it taint my book and keep it from ever being used by another Wikipedian in the future? (obviously I cant use my own book as a source in a Wikipedia article, it would be unethical at the very least) Third and final issue- do I have to source or disclaimer in my book anywhere that the material may be similar to that of Wikipeda, since I am not copying straight from Wikipedia, I am simply writing from the sources that I already used. (I think that one has been answered that I do not have to mention it) I would like to if I understand everyone so far and if there are any further enlightenments as my hypothetical book may someday become reality.Camelbinky (talk) 20:39, 31 October 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (precision) no longer marked as a guideline

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (precision) (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has been edited so that it is no longer marked as a guideline. It was previously marked as a guideline. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 31 October 2009 (UTC)

This is because it was merged into the main naming conventions policy (see WP:NC#Precision and disambiguation). A few other naming convention guidelines are going the same way (well one's already gone, and two more are proposed).--Kotniski (talk) 11:28, 31 October 2009 (UTC)

Article content templates - a need for an improved process

One of the most common questions on the help desk is of the following form: "Someone left a notice on an article indicating that it was deficient in some way (no references, lacking notability, too much advertising etc.). I made some changes to address the concern, but the notice is still there. What do I do now?" The assumption (quite a reasonable assumption, I would add) is that the person adding the notice is actively watching and will remove the tag when the deficiency is remedied. I suggest one of three options (of course, there may be more):

  1. Insist that everyone using a deficiency template add it to their watch list and remove it when the deficiency is addressed.
  2. Change the wording of the deficiency notice to indicate that the person leaving the notice is not planning to monitor the article, so anyone addressing the deficiency is allowed to removed the notice as soon as it is addressed.
  3. create two versions of each template, so that an editor willing to monitor the page can use the first type, and an editor not planning to monitor the page would use the second type.

I'm open to alternatives, but I'll re-emphasize that the newbie expectation is plausible, so we should either meet it or correct it. Implementing any of these options should receive a fair amount of consensus before proceeding—WP:Bold is not the right option. I prefer options 2 or 3 because I think option one is like holding back the tide, but I'm not about to create a few dozen templates and rewrite the usage guidelines without broad support.--SPhilbrickT 17:53, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

I think a note in small type to the effect of "Once this is fixed, this notice may be removed" or something of that nature would be a good idea. The first option is implausible at WP, and the third one is just a bit silly. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 19:08, 1 November 2009 (UTC)
I made a similar proposal a while back. Each cleanup template should have clear links to the applicable policies and guidelines, and a link to a help page with instructions on removing the tag after the issues are resolved. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 19:22, 1 November 2009 (UTC)
The problem I see is that it shouldnt be up to the person who puts the tag on in the first place to "decide" that the reason for the tag has indeed been sufficiently addressed. Too many editors go "patrolling" to articles they have no clue about, and without reading up on the topic or reading the talk page they slap (in good faith) templates on. Well, a member of an appropriate wikiproject watching the article, or a regular contributor to the article sees this and rectifies a problem (if there is one) or removes the tag as unnecessary. The original editor who put the tag in should not have an overriding say that the template can stay or when it can be removed. Why do we need "instruction creep" on telling us how to remove templates? Here's your instructions- go to the edit window, highlight the words, and delete, and save your edit. There you go, template removed. If the tagger thinks it still needs to be, then instead of just putting it back, they should go to the talk page and it can be resolved there, if no one answers there or it looks like no one is likely to, take it to the talk page of the most relevant or most active wikiproject involved with that article.Camelbinky (talk) 19:36, 1 November 2009 (UTC)
  • I would support adding a small notice to say a tag may be removed once the issue has been addressed. --ThaddeusB (talk) 21:07, 1 November 2009 (UTC)
    • "once the issue has been addressed, or if it's not clear why it was added in the first place." Rd232 talk 21:26, 1 November 2009 (UTC)
Camelbinky, I agree that option 1 is a bad option. I was simply trying to make an exhaustive list of options. However, I assure you that new editors presume that there is someone in charge, and while they can address a problem, they think they aren't entitled to remove the warning. This isn't an unjustified expectation - in fact we do not want the original editor of an article to remove a CSD tag. It is asking too much of a new editor to simply know which tags they can remove and which they cannot. I see two supports for a small notice—my only request is that it say "by anyone" lest a new editor presume it doesn't mean the "establishment" You and I know that doesn't exist, but many new editors presume something like that exists.--SPhilbrickT 21:27, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

Tags could point to the Content Noticeboard, or suggest people ask at the appropriate wikiproject, but that would probably bloat them too much. Maybe a single WP: page on the issue could be a short link in the tag, and clarify. Compare the link in {{userspace draft}}. Rd232 talk 21:28, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

I like Sphilbrick's idea that the small notice should indeed use the term "by anyone" so that the confusion he mentions regarding new editors can be avoided. I like that idea and you can count my support.Camelbinky (talk) 22:42, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

Speedy deletion criteria

As some of our longer serving editors will know, I have spent much of the 2.5 years since achieving admin rights working in WP:CSD. And a lesser time in other areas. Now I know pefectly well this proposal is not going to run, but I make it just as a way of letting off steam. I have absolutely no problem with the CSD categories which currently exist. But I would truly love to see an additional category added to the list, which we perhaps might shortcut as WP:RST. This would expand as WP:REALLY STUPID. Anyone out there care to humour a long-serving editor on this one? --Anthony.bradbury"talk" 21:21, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

G3? Rd232 talk 21:24, 1 November 2009 (UTC)
I'd prefer to shortcut it as WP:RFS, which would expand to WP:Really Stupid. See who gets it. (Yes, I realize WP:RFS exists, but I doubt it is needed).--SPhilbrickT 21:32, 1 November 2009 (UTC)
G3 is vandalism which is more or less appropriate. But I, and I am sure other admins, see edits which are more than simple intentional vandalism, and give rise to the pained cry of " why the f*** did you type that??? .--Anthony.bradbury"talk" 21:45, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

Finish with "allmusic" and other "professional reviews" on all wikipedia album pages.

Dear Wikkid crew,

I know this is a long shot but could we finish with the so called "professional reviews" section on all music album entries (for example those of "allmusic", "blender", "rolling stone" et al.) The verdicts one gets from this lot are usually UTTERLY useless, worse, they are inanely bad in many cases. I get the impression that they are either pretentious and/or gutless in just following fashions. I know one can quite easily learn to ignore them but they still mis-lead many people. In general no one else's opinion on an album is worth damn to anyone else.

By the way all my LURRVE to the entire community that have worked so hard to keep Wikipedia a reliable and interesting source of information, the only one on many subjects in fact!!!

Keep up the good work lads and lassies!!

James. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Apeonurback (talkcontribs) 22:59, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

In general no one else's opinion on an album is worth damn to anyone else. -- if this were true, then reviews wouldn't exist in the first place. Allmusic is generally considered a pretty decent source of reviews (from all I've seen. Certainly I know they tend to be pretty fair on ones noticed), and others can vouch for other sites and mags. How an album is recived is a important part of its existence, and not having any reviews pretty much doesn't help this. Now maybe you're looking for much more comprehensive and analytical reviews as opposed to the short blurbs that most of the time get sourced, in which case you should say this instead of bluntly saying how useless what IS added is. Because, and this may shock you, when one considers the number of people that DO add them, many people obviously don't find them useless at all. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 23:12, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

Should trademarked sports logos be used as icons in university infoboxes?

I want to start this off by making it very, very, very clear that this issue isn't about our non-free content guidelines. Recent conversations on this point have been blurring this distinction and muddling the picture. The non-free content guidelines here are largely irrelevant. With that out of the way...

Starting much earlier this year, but especially in the last month, I've been removing sport logo icons from the infoboxes of university articles, doing so per the last paragraph of WP:MOSLOGO which states "Use of company logos, sports team crests and other copyright protected or trademarked images in articles can usually only be done on a fair use basis (generally as an illustration of the primary subject - eg the IBM logo on the IBM article). Use of such images as icons is nearly always prohibited (see Wikipedia:Non-free use rationale guideline and Wikipedia:Logos)." It is my belief that this guideline is pretty unequivocal with regards to the use of trademark images. Note that the guideline says "or" not "and" for the 12th word. This is an important distinction.

The concern regarding the use of trademark icons first entered into the WP:MOSLOGO guideline in September of 2008 [14]. It's been evolving since. A version from May of this year [15] shows the intent. This was later reworded to what we have now.

I feel the use of trademark sports logo icons in university infoboxes is inappropriate because:

  • Most importantly, the sports logo of a university represents one department of a university. A sports department, if successful, frequently receives media attention. The same applies to other successful departments of universities. When you think of Harvard, most non-Harvard people immediately think of their law school, which is usually ranked either 1st or 2nd in the U.S. The law school has a different crest/logo than the university itself. Since Harvard is so notable for its law school, should we therefore include the law school crest in the infobox as well? Instead, we include only the university's mascot logo. That doesn't make sense.
  • We should be including the main crest/seal/logo of a university in its infobox only, as that mark represents the entire university, not just one part of it.
  • If we are to include the university's sports logo, we should be including every departmental logo. There's no valid reason to treat these other departments as less than a sports department.
  • Reduction of a logo can be lossy. In many of these iconization attempts, the reduction is greater than 75% of the original pixel coverage of the image as used elsewhere on the project.
  • It conveys an inaccurate meaning; the university isn't just its sports department any more than Coca-Cola is only Sprite.
  • It clutters the infobox.

In particular, this RfC asks:

  1. Should icons of trademarks be permitted in infoboxes or should they only be displayed in their full size? (not to be confused with standards on the use of non-trademark flag icons and note definition of icon from the guideline: "For the purposes of this guideline, icons are any small images, including logos, crests, coats of arms, seals and flags.")
  2. Should trademarks of a subsidiary organization of a parent organization be displayed in the infobox of a parent organization's article? I.e., should the Sprite logo appear in the infobox on Coca-Cola, or the Marlboro logo appear on the Altria article, or sports logos of university teams appear in the infoboxes of university articles.

Your input welcome. Thanks, --Hammersoft (talk) 15:02, 2 October 2009 (UTC)

When you say trademarked sports logos, do you mean non-free images that also have a trademark or all images with a trademark. In your example, the IBM logo is a free image, so I don't see why it would matter if included in the infobox. MBisanz talk 15:12, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
  • See the first paragraph of this section. This is irrespective of whether it is fair use or not. Trademarks do exist in full size on many articles. For example, Chevrolet though that example is fair use. The question is, should the Chevrolet trademark appear on the General Motors article as an icon in its infobox? --Hammersoft (talk) 15:21, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
  • I think it's possible we could discuss the validity of the style of iconization of trademarks in infoboxes in the context of non-free images. I'm just concerned it would fracture the discussion. Where that discussion, if it happened, could go is; since we wouldn't permit a fair use icon in an infobox for failing WP:NFCC #8, yet allow free logos as icons, we create a style dichotomy. --Hammersoft (talk) 15:24, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Hmm, ok, I would support including sports logos on the theory that many colleges have two primary brands that they promote, the school brand and the athletic brand (of the three major institutions I attended, two operated in this manner and the third didn't have a major sports program). And with the Harvard example, including the sports team in the Harvard article seems like a good idea for presentation purposes since it would be consistent with my general experience at most universities and I can live with the style dichotomy in light of WP's free mission and the asthetical benefit provided by including free logos where possible. MBisanz talk 15:27, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
  • So we should include trademark logos as icons even if it incurs lossiness? I'd rather see the full size logo used. --Hammersoft (talk) 15:31, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
  • And, to keep this focused on the abstract concept, should we also include trademark logos on parent organization articles such as Altria, General Motors and Procter & Gamble? If not, then why are universities a special case exemption from this? Parent organizations spend huge sums of money marketing their brands, and frequently very little on the parent brand. They're more notable and recognizable for their brands than for their parent organization. Ask 50 people what Altria is, they'll look at you cross-eyed. Ask 50 people what Marlboro is, and most will say a cigarette company. --Hammersoft (talk) 15:33, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
I think when an organization has a primary and secondary identifier that are recognized by the company and associated with it as such, then it would be appropriate to include both, so for GM I don' think we should include all four brands, but for Chrysler we would want to include both the pentastar and ribbon. Same for Altria where we probably want to include the Phillip Morris crest, but for P&G we wouldn't need to include ever brand logo. MBisanz talk 15:36, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
  • That creates a pretty fuzzy line. So for some organizations we include subsidiary organization icons in the infobox, but not for others? On what clear criteria? --Hammersoft (talk) 16:06, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
I wouldn't have any problem with an article on Altria or GM that had a "brands" section with logos of their major brands. It's definitely within our fair-use guidelines and it adds encyclopedic value, and would be necessary if we're going to allow merged articles. I smell a holy war comng on... Squidfryerchef (talk) 16:24, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
  • I think a university logo belongs in a university infobox, and a sports logo belongs in a sports infobox. If the university's athletics are notable enough to warrant their own article, that's an easy decision. If the university's athletics are not notable enough for their own article, then there should be an athletics section with its own infobox. Squidfryerchef (talk) 16:18, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
  • My take on the matter: The current wording of WP:MOSLOGO is inaccurate, as it implies that all logos are copyrighted (or that "trademarked" comes with the exact same NFCC restrictions). As with so much of the MOS, I'm sure this was done as part of someone's effort to give themselves a bigger hammer to justify removing the things. WP:MOSLOGO should be reverted to either of the mentioned versions (September 2008 or May 2009), or rewritten to the same effect. I have no opinion on the question of whether the logos should be used in the particular context under discussion here. Anomie 16:37, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
  • I would say most emphatically not! This is not fair use, since the articles in question are about the universities, not the sports operations. I know it is popular to deride certain institutions as sports franchises with glorified high schools attached for legal purposes, but such partisanship aside, the sports team is not the purpose of the school or the article. Such use may be arguably fair use on the separate article (if any) about the sports operation; but not on the school's main page. --Orange Mike | Talk 16:57, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
However, logos used for athletics are often used to represent the entire university in academic contexts and other non-athletic contexts. This is true many institutions including at Texas A&M, Michigan, Miami, etc. They are valuable marketing identities for their respective institutions, and often, the icon most immediately recognizable to the general public. Therefore, IMHO, their use in the university infoboxes not only useful, but important. Whether it right for a school to do so is not the debate, but the fact is that the culture and identity of many institutions are inexplicably intertwined with their athletics. This does not, by default, make them jock factories. An example on the other end of the spectrum would be Cal-Berkley. In my experience there are some individuals, living outside of Western United States, who believe that "Cal" and "Berkley" are different institutions. Having the script "Cal" logo (a tm PD-text logo) in the infobox actually aids the reader in identifying the institution, and IMO, makes the article better. There seems to be no policy, fair-use or not, against inclusion of both, specifically in the section of the university infobox dealing with athletics. CrazyPaco (talk) 00:00, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Just to be clear, we're not talking about fair use images (though there are fair use images involved in this). We're talking about the use of trademarked icons of organizations in the infobox of their parent organizations. --Hammersoft (talk) 19:43, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Comment What is missing is a clear policy about the use of trademarked logos in general, which I suppose is more than the scope of this RFC question. We have lots of policy about copyrighted images, but are lacking when it comes to trademarks. Frankly, Wikipedia:Logos#Trademark concerns doesn't offer clear, tangible guidelines for editors. It says U.S. law protects the right of non-owners to use trademarks for purposes of criticism and commentary, but that says nothing about decorative and/or identification usage? The opinion of some editors seems to be "hey, that's not Wikipedia's problem" (perhaps because they feel the Wikipedia:General disclaimer#Trademarks gives them an "out") but shouldn't we be striving to make this encyclopedia's content as freely usable as possible? We also have many images tagged with {{PD-textlogo}} because they are deemed to be not copyrightable because they fail the threshold of originality, but those decisions are made by non-experts in this area of law. We have great inconsistency for how these images are used; restraint is evident for File:Sony logo.svg, which only appears on one mainspace article (and not in every article in Category:Sony and its subcategories!) but we seem to allow widespread usage for university team logos, some television shows, etc. I would prefer to see a stronger policy about the use of trademarked images. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 19:21, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
    I concur with your general assessment. I'd be happy to contribute to a discussion on the use of trademark policy development. But, in the absence of that policy, what is your stance vis-a-vis the use of trademark icons (not full size logos) of organizations in the infobox of their parent organizations? --Hammersoft (talk) 19:43, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
    I disagree with the general assessment here. The Sony logo isn't used by choice, not because of restraint. No one wants to use it for every Sony product with an article on Wikipedia. "...those decisions are made by non-experts in this area of law." is a misleading statement as almost every decision on Wikipedia is made by non-experts in the law; that doesn't mean we just stop doing everything or making decisions on what to use/not use. My opinion is not exclusively based upon the general disclaimers of Wikipedia, but on copyright laws, legal outcomes, precedent, and our policies and guidelines. While we have inconsistency in how these PD images are used, that doesn't mean they are necessarily wrong or that they even need to be standardized. Individual projects can decide how best to use them as long as they abide by our policies and the law. Can we provide better guidance? Sure. So let's work on that guidance. — BQZip01 — talk 23:20, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
    I'd also like to throw in Wikipedia:Trademarks#The_use_of_graphic_logos which states that a logo like Sony's mentioned above can be used once in each infobox. — BQZip01 — talk 04:38, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
    No, it does not say this. A product logo is fine in an info box, but not the reuse of the company's logo in each of its products' infoboxes is not allowed by that. --MASEM (t) 04:47, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
    "Product logos and corporate logos...whether copyrighted or not, may be used once in the infobox or corner of articles about the related product, service, company, or entity." Don't see how that can't be more clear. — BQZip01 — talk 12:53, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
    The word "once" says exactly how many times a logo gets a free uncontested use on WP. That's not to say that a logo can't be reused elsewhere if it represented multiple entities, but it does say that it cannot be used for pages that are even one-step removed from that entity. --MASEM (t) 13:01, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
    It mentions nothing about "uncontested use" or "it cannot be used for pages that are even one-step removed from that entity." Where am I missing this? — BQZip01 — talk 20:09, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
    "may be used once" (with the rest of the language implies we use a given logo as little as possible, one time being appropriate and undisputed. This also goes along with WP:NFCC#3a about minimal use of non-free works, and as I point out below, the difficulties of systematic bias when you have free vs non-free logos for equivalent institutions. --MASEM (t) 13:27, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
    Yes, but it states it "...may be used once in the infobox or corner of articles..." I read that as it may be used in more than one article, but only once within each article. I think the plural status of this noun is important to note. How do you interpret that? — BQZip01 — talk 16:32, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
    The full sentence (as out of context can lead to the trouble) is Product logos and corporate logos, such as the stylized rendition of the word Dell used by Dell, Inc., whether copyrighted or not, may be used once in the infobox or corner of articles about the related product, service, company, or entity. We have multiple logos and we are talking about multiple articles, so it's not the case necessarily of a single logo on multiple articles. Of course, we're not a beuararcy and shouldn't be reading to the exacting letter but consider how the policy is applied through WP, and clearly the case is to limit the use of a logo image to the single entity it is representing, or if it represents multiple entities, there too, but not on related entities. --MASEM (t) 23:11, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
    To ignore the wording and go by something else ignores the wording of the guideline in question. I believe you are making this your personal interpretation of policy because nowhere in our policies or guidelines does it state "...the case is to limit the use of a logo image to the single entity it is representing, or if it represents multiple entities, there too, but not on related entities.". Again, I believe your motives to be sincere and pure, but I think you are projecting your interpretation into this and ignoring the wording that was chosen. — BQZip01 — talk 16:43, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
    Ok, sure. I think that any logo (regardless of trademark and/or copyright status) should certainly be shown on the single article for which it is most appropriate. That means that for a university, I would think the university seal belongs on the top level article (only!) for that university, and the sports team logo belongs (only!) on the top-level article for the sports team. For example, File:PittPanthers.png ought to appear only on the Pittsburgh Panthers article, and File:UofPittsburgh Seal.svg should only be on the University of Pittsburgh article. I think the trademarked sports logo should not be used as a substitute for the copyrighted seal just to get around WP:NFCC so that we have some image on all Pitt articles. Similarly, I think the current usage of the Sony logo is the most appropriate. I fully support the fair-use of copyrighted logos for identification purposes on the single article that the logo is associated with. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 20:01, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
    I would not assume that these are necessarily "sub-level" articles? Would they not have their own notability to exist on their own to begin with? Sports teams and universities share the same logos, that doesn't necessarily make Notre Dame Fighting Irish football more of a sub article of Notre Dame University than it makes the New England Patriots a sub-article of the National Football League. Because Notre Dame Football, and Basketball, and Ice Hockey and the University share the same PD-textlogo, doesn't mean it reduces the utility in that logo representing those entities in their own stand alone articles. It also doesn't mean universities don't use multiple logos to represent themselves, which is already understood and accommodated by the presence of multiple image fields in the University Infobox.CrazyPaco (talk) 00:00, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
    Each article in Wikipedia is supposed to be a standalone article. The logos may be associated with more than one article, not just a main article. — BQZip01 — talk 04:14, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

Note: I anticipated having a hard time keeping this discussion focused on the two questions outlined above. I just didn't anticipate it would fork in the way it did :) I've refactored some comments in an attempt to keep elements of the discussion focused in appropriate places. --Hammersoft (talk) 22:50, 2 October 2009 (UTC)

  • Comment regarding the first point "Most importantly, the sports logo of a university represents one department of a university...". This is simply not always the case. "Popular" or "athletic" logos are often used to represent the university and its community as a whole. This would be exemplified by use of the "popular" or "athletic" in this photo of student shuttle busses on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh. The "arched block PITT" logo, in this particular case, is used in a completely non-athletic context. Academic use of other "athletic/popular" logos occurs at many schools, including the University of Miami, which has used both their split "U" and Ibis logo in many academic contexts for many years. Logos and mascots can represent the universities as a whole, and this is often evidenced by the appearance of mascots at non-athletic functions. I also disagree with the analogy that most people think of Harvard Law when the first hear of Harvard. No one is advocating the use of logos restricted to representation of sub-entities, individual colleges, or programs, but to claim that popular/athletic logos are also so restricted in their representation is simply not the case in many instances. CrazyPaco (talk) 23:13, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
  • My take: in the infobox only, only the school-wide logo should be used. Articles about schools are about the school itself, not its athletic program or any other specific academic program. Importantly, not every school has an athletic program, and furthermore, relating more to how college athletics are run, it detracts from the academic nature of the institution which is first and foremost what the article should be covering. Now, this doesn't supercede the possible inclusion of a logo on a section about the school's athletic program that will likely be summarized in the body of the article (with the high probability that a separate article will be there for the school's athletic program). Just that in the infobox, it is distracting and misleading and creates a bias towards triple-AAA schools over smaller institutions and also non-American schools where such athletic programs don't exist in the same manner. --MASEM (t) 23:31, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
Should the information fields dealing with athletics also then be removed from University infoboxes? Who is to judge that athletics distracts from the academic nature of a university, and furthermore, what logos do and do not represent universities as a whole? This varies by institution, and certainly does not seem to have a one-size-fits-all answer. I believe the first question should be, are the logos providing useful information to the reader for identification purposes? However, I agree that inclusion of athletic-specific logos (if you can define that) in the body of the text of the athletic section could be warranted in place of the infobox. However, the editor responsible for the wave of edits that removed these logos from the infoboxes is also removing them athletic sections within the body of the article citing, I believe incorrectly, Wikipedia:NFC#Images_2 point 5. CrazyPaco (talk) 00:26, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
I've no problem with wikilink fields for the school's athletic (and/or schoolwide) program/mascot/etc, as well as to any other significantly important academic programs, omitting these when they don't apply. Text is free and also less an eye-drawing piece of information. Logos potentially are non-free , and any guidance that allows for some logos outside of the main school logo in the infobox is either going to bias against some schools and biased towards athletic programs, or will significant increase the amount of non-free imagery used. --MASEM (t) 05:28, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
  • I agree with Masem. While we should prefer a free image, we should prefer being correct on top of that. If the athletic logo is not the same as the school's logo, we should not be using it in place of the real logo. Mr.Z-man 00:04, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
The question isn't using it in place of, but rather in addition to, and often in conjunction with the fields in the infobox dealing with athletics (see Harvard University). Or, if it can indeed have broader application across a university, should it still be prohibited? How do you then define "athletic-specific" logos? CrazyPaco (talk) 00:26, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
They can be included, as long as they aren't presented as the main logo, ie, in the main position near the top of the infobox. As for your other questions, neither of those matter. All that matters is that the primary logo in the infobox is the primary logo of the school, not the logo of some specific department or section. Mr.Z-man 04:45, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
  • No athletic logo Infoboxes are meant to be a quick pull of salient, common, information. They also happen to be a handy place to throw salient common graphics - a crest, small photo, image or map. So far so good. And good enough, the tendency to add more and more to the infobox dilutes its usefulness. If the sporting side of an institution is important enough to merit its own article or a substantial section, then it can have its own infobox. I can think of lots of cruft trivia data stuff that could go in that. Furthermore if it is a company logo, I would imagine these things are transient, and WP is not an advertising service, so I would be inclined to have a field "sponsor = Farmbrough Sportswear" rather than "sponsor logo = Farmbrough Sportswear.png". Rich Farmbrough, 17:18, 7 October 2009 (UTC).
I also believe that in an article about a school or university that only the school-wide or university-wide logo should be used, if one is available for use. No single department logo should be used, whether athletic dept. or other well-known or relatively-unknown logo. I would support such a proposal if one is later made. (By the way, the organization of this RfC makes it a bit difficult to know where one should leave comment if one wants to comment on the original question and not get involved in all the meta-discussion.) Cheers. N2e (talk) 12:46, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
I agree that infoboxes should be kept compact and only contain the most inportant information. The sports logo (trademarked or not) should not be in the infobox of an article about university. If there is a sports section in the article, the sports logo can be put there. (But I think there should not be another infobox in the sports section, just put the plain image there.) --PauliKL (talk) 09:56, 30 October 2009 (UTC)
  • I see no problem with allowing this decision to be made at the local (article) level. Put another way, I've seen no reason to prohibit the use of these logos in infoboxes. It is, IMO, likely that we shouldn't have them in the vast majority of cases. But Michigan and other large schools where the logo is very very commonly used to represent the university as a whole should have them. So yes, allow them and hope they are used wisely. :-) Hobit (talk) 03:36, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

keep alive edit intended to keep thread from being archived before RfC has run for 30 days --Hammersoft (talk) 22:26, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

my attempt at the same — BQZip01 — talk 13:42, 2 November 2009 (UTC)

keep alive edit intended to keep thread from being archived before RfC has run for 30 days --Hammersoft (talk) 17:08, 29 October 2009 (UTC)

After more than 30+ days, I see few people objecting to the removal of iconized sports logos, and most people expressing support for removal. Any disagree with that assessment? --Hammersoft (talk) 13:26, 2 November 2009 (UTC)

Hammer, I'd agree to that and I don't think there are any objections (we've all been patient enough on that one). — BQZip01 — talk 22:41, 2 November 2009 (UTC)

University Standards

I think the university/school articles should have the seal at the top and the school graphic at the bottom (which seems to be the norm). All other logos should be elsewhere in the article (if applicable). Given the prominence sports teams and their identies as prominent school ambassadors, the primary logo for the sports teams is optional, but appropriate, in the athletics section; This does not remove the obligation to have a proper Fair Use Rationale, if applicable. — BQZip01 — talk 20:04, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

The wording for this will have to be careful. Take the example of the University of Pennsylvania: the image at the top of the article is actually the school's arms, not the seal (see here). For wording of a guideline, such possibilities may need to be accommodated for. CrazyPaco (talk) 17:00, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
Also, how does WP:NFCC #3a impact universities that utilize seals or athletic symbols within their school graphic? Pitt would an example of seal reuse (although a simplified version of the seal), while Texas A&M would be an example of "athletic" logo reuse. CrazyPaco (talk) 17:18, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
Using the seal in the infobox context is informative in nature and is a "fair use" application no matter what the legal use of the seal is nor what the University desires. It does not indicate a legal agreement or endorsement of the page, it is simply an indication of what the University's seal is. In my humble opinion, in the case of Pitt, the seal should be used as the main image and the arms logo at the bottom to most accurately reflect the images by which the University is known. The "PITT" logo should then be used in the athletics section as it most acurately reflects the symbol by which the athletic teams are known. Showing anything else would be a disservice to the University and its symbols as not being accurately reflective the logos by which they are known. — BQZip01 — talk 17:54, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
Regarding Penn specificially, my point was only to suggest careful wording of a guideline so editors don't feel compelled to use the seal vs. the arms for the infobox, regardless of any internal university policy. In the case of Penn, the arms is infinitely more common and, in this case, and may be more appropriate for the lead image because it may be more useful as an identifying mark. This decision may be better left to editors or Wikipedia projects that best know the article topic, than to generalize a guideline to just seals. Or perhaps a guideline should just read "seals or coats of arms". I think you confused Pitt and Penn, Pitt has no such arms logo. Pitt uses a simplified version of its seal and a wordmark in Janssen55 font as it's school graphic. The seal part of this logo would apparently violate WP:NFCC #3a if it also appeared in the infobox. A question I do not know the answer for is if it makes a difference whether the version of the seal in the "school graphic" is a simplified version. Does that negate NFCC #3a? For the Texas A&M article, minimal usage of the aTm logo is complicated by its adoption as the school's graphic. This is also true with the University of Miami, West Virginia and the University of Michigan.
Despite these particularities, I still think it is useful, for identification purposes, that athletic logos such as the ones you have collected be allowed in, at least, the athletic portion of the infobox as was the case in many schools' articles prior to the wave of edits that removed them. The addition of an "athletic logo" field in template:infobox university could help standardize their placement and size. This would not prevent alternate non-free other or "mascot" logo use in the athletics portion of the text body if desired (e.g. the Pitt Panther or, in the case of Texas A&M, the T-star "Building Champions" logo or Ol' Sarge) which are often more tightly aligned with athletic programs than some of the others that have become representative symbols of the overall university. This would avoid single use per page restrictions while providing maximum information in the most visible portion of the article. I guess the issue is for me on this what is the Infobox for? In my mind, it is for quick profiling and identification of the article topic. Therefore, I believe that it is a disservice not to include such prominent identifying marks in the infobox, and this is especially true when they identify an alternative name such as "Pitt" or "Cal", but also takes on added importance when they are used outside athletic contexts and many of the logos in your collection are used in such a manner. CrazyPaco (talk) 19:08, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
I think such a proposal should go to the Wikiproject:Universities for approval before mass additions or deletions. I don't think this is a good idea, but that doesn't mean it can't be implemented. As for the duplication of images, I concur that there may be problems, but Universities typically have a host of ways their logos and typefaces should be presented. Usually there are a few dozen typeface-only options to choose from.
I agree that it seems like the University Wikiproject is the place for it. Full circle back to the discussion there? CrazyPaco (talk) 22:28, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
As for mixing up Pitt and Penn, I sheepishly admit the error of my ways, quote the mantra of WP:IAR ten times, and humbly beg forgiveness from the great and powerful Oz. — BQZip01 — talk 22:19, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
Just don't confuse Pitt or Penn with Penn State, that will really rankle some feathers! CrazyPaco (talk) 22:37, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
  • I also agree that this should be discussed at Wikiproject Universities and that I am against incorporating athletic logos in the university article infoboxes. We need to keep separate the athletic department and its trademarks and marketing from the university as a whole. Racepacket (talk) 01:56, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
If a university has a dedicated article on its athletics, the logo belongs there, not in the main article on the university itself. The purpose of including logos in any wikipedia article and the reason it enjoys fair use is that they are identifying marks for that organization, product, etc. Overuse of a logo violates at least the spirit of that free use and could be confusing. As for lossy images, we should always use the largest (to allow click through), best quality image that is available. If all that is available is a pixelated gif, then so be it. The article is going to be better with a poor image than with no image. The sizing of those logos should be dictated by convention within Wikipedia, not the detail of the image. Users can click through to see detail if necessary. As for which image to use in a university article, the one most commonly associated with the university should be used in infobox and and others (including historic ones if available) should be in a gallery. I agree that while a good guideline to use, Wikipedia is not bound by any individual university policy when convention dictates otherwise. --RadioFan (talk) 13:10, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

Other discussions

Other discussions exist on this subject. They are listed below. This RfC is another attempt to centralize discussion in a single, appropriate place that applies to the entire abstract concept being dealt with here.

Related Village Pump (policy) discussions

The following subthreads were originally listed along with this discussion but have since been split into their own thread:

Wikipedia:Village_pump_(policy)/Archive_68#Varying matters regarding trademarks