Wikipedia talk:Comparison Articles and Original Research

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Previous AfD Decisions[edit]

AndrewRT(Talk) 22:26, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

disagree in part[edit]

A comparison involving the purely factual lineup of documented facts without an attempt to evaluate is a valid article. It is pretty clear that the decisions at AfD do not support the essay in the expansive form written-- only 2 of the 8 are delete. DGG (talk) 03:56, 28 October 2007 (UTC)


I disagree completely. Your current description includes almost all lists currently on Wikipedia. A mere listing of facts (as DGG also says) is almost the same as a comparison of facts in prose, just presented differently. It will be very hard to make this distinction. I strongly suggest not trying to make this a guideline or policy without community broad discussion. --Cpt. Morgan (Reinoutr) 21:55, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for your comments - I wrote this to start a discussion and I'm glad that's happened. I totally agree with your last point - I think we're a way from consensus yet, and hence this should remain an essay for now. However, I'd be interested to tease out the principles here - surely a comparison is explicitly or implicitly different from a list. For instance, List of Iranian Arabs simply lists notable people who are Iranian Arabs. It doesn't infer that, say, Hossein Kaebi has anything in common with Sheikh Khaz'al Khan, other than perhaps to illustrate the range of influence that famous Iranian Arabs have had.
On the other hand, Canadian and American health care systems compared states clearly that "health outcomes may be superior in patients cared for in Canada versus the United States" - clearly an assertion that goes beyond merely stating facts about Canada and the US side by side. That would seem to be the case for most comparison articles. AndrewRT(Talk) 23:22, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

I think we are more on the same line then expected. Obviously, statements like that should be supported by a source. However, generally disqualifying comparison articles in cases where no such comparison is referenced is a bad idea. There is no real difference between:

1. List of Largest cities of the European Union

  • London, United Kingdom 7,512,400 [reference 1]
  • Berlin, Germany 3,406,000 [reference 2]


2. Comparison of number of inhabitants of cities of the European Union

There are many cities in the European Union with over one million inhabitants. The largest city is London, with 7,512,400 people living in its city limits [reference 1], followed by Berlin, that has only about half this number of inhabitants (3,406,000). [reference 2]

The first is a list, the second is a comparison. No new conclusions are drawn in the comparison (there will be some additional obvious statements, but those are perfectly allowed). Yet your current proposal would disregard such a factual comparison of topics. --Cpt. Morgan (Reinoutr) 07:18, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

I think you put this well in the example above. Presumably we agree that where an article does contain a synthesis of new ideas the new synthesis must be supported by a reliable source, and that this condition is not fulfilled if the sources support only the isolated facts that are being synthesized.

Therefore, to me, the essence of the issue is the question "Does a comparison article contain a synthesis of new ideas?". The answers to this questions could be:

  1. A comparison article always contains a synthesis of new ideas
  2. A comparison article often contains a synthesis of new ideas
  3. A comparison article sometimes contains a synthesis of new ideas
  4. A comparison article never contains a synthesis of new ideas

Personally, I'm tending towards #1 or #2. If it is #1, then articles may be eligible for deletion if no sources are cited that make the comparison; if #2 or even #3, then there are unlikely to ever be grounds for deleting articles based on WP:OR, but there are grounds for cleaning up articles and removing unsupported comments. There may also be grounds for article deletion under WP:N.

Do you agree with this? AndrewRT(Talk) 19:22, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

current AfD[edit]

there's a current AfD where many of the questions being discussed here are relevant: Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Glossary of Christian, Jewish, and Messianic terms. DGG (talk) 02:20, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

About the comparison section[edit]

If an article does not only include comparison, but is on a particular fictioal work, and it has comparison on it and its adopted editions, then does this guideline-to-be apply to the article? It seems to me that this only applies to comparison articles, and not non-comparison articles with comparisons (I have this question because many fiction-related articles in Japanse Wikipedia have comparison sections, and though most Wikipedians there do not consider it violating WP:NOR, a few Wikipedias do not think so, and there were many edit wars in TV-drama related sections (see ja:Wikipedia‐ノート:ウィキプロジェクト テレビドラマ#原作(前作)との相違点の項について)). --RekishiEJ (talk) 04:53, 30 July 2008 (UTC)