Wikipedia talk:Core content policies

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
This is not the page to ask for help.
Emblem-important.svg This page is for discussion of the Wikipedia:Core content policies page itself. You may be looking for one of the following pages:

See also:

WikiProject Wikipedia (Rated Project-class)
WikiProject icon This page is within the scope of WikiProject Wikipedia, a collaborative effort to improve Wikipedia's coverage of itself. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page. Please remember to avoid self-references and maintain a neutral point of view on topics relating to Wikipedia.
 Project  This page does not require a rating on the project's quality scale.
Wikipedia Help Project (Rated NA-class, Top-importance)
WikiProject icon This page is within the scope of the Wikipedia Help Project, a collaborative effort to improve Wikipedia's help documentation for readers and contributors. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks. To browse help related resources see the Help Menu or Help Directory. Or ask for help on your talk page and a volunteer will visit you there.
 NA  This page does not require a rating on the project's quality scale.
 Top  This page has been rated as Top-importance on the project's importance scale.

Page created (2003)[edit]

  • 2003/12/21 Page created by Tarquin (first edit; diff; minor edit; stable thru 2/6
  • 20034/2/7 - Scientific theory & crackpot info added (diff)
  • 2004/2/13 Edits by Reddi introduce "Wikipedia is not a primary source" (diff)
  • 2004/2/13-2004/9/14 - Minor edits ([1])
  • 2004/9/14 Minor changes (diff)
  • 2004/9/22 Chalst added "what is research" section (url, diff) diff)
  • 2004/10/07 UninvitedCompany added "official policy category" (diff)
  • 2005/1/6 Fleshing out examples & cleaning up text diff)
  • 2005/2/17 Insertion & removal of paragraph about adding facts discoverable by an ordinary person (diff)

March 2005 revisions[edit]

  • 2005/3/8 Significant revision (url) begun with edits by Slrubenstein (diff) based on "draft revision". Further edits thru 3/10 follow (diff 2/17-3/10) (Slrubenstein, SlimVirgin, Paul August, ChrisG). Edits include
    • Addition of statement, ""Original research" refers to original research by editors of Wikipedia; it does not refer to original research that is published or available elsewhere."
    • Definition of "original research" as including data and "any new interpretation, analysis, or synthesis"
    • "Original research ... produces primary or secondary sources"; defines primary & secondary
    • Defines articles that would acceptably be based entirely on primary sources (e.g., apple pie or Current events)
    • Articles usually use both PS & SS; PS should be have been published or made available; syntheses should come from SS that are available.
    • Viewpoint controversies should be addressed
    • proposing ideas is OR; content is acceptable if it has "become a permanent feature of the public landscape", e.g., "accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal" or "have become newsworthy ... have been independently reported in newspapers or news stories"
    • Publish your great ideas elsewhere first
    • List of examples for sorts of things that are okay
    • How to handle theories
    • Describing "Cite sources" policy
    • Describing what counts as a reputable publication
    • Describing "Verifiability"
    • Describing "NPOV"
    • Origins - Jimbo Wales quotes

Rest of 2005[edit]

  • 3/10 - 6/2/2005 (diff) - More rewriting of primary source/secondary source; added note about talk pages
  • 6/2 - 9/29/2005 - significant edits throughout policy (diff) - need description & possibly breakdown
  • 9/29-12/31/2005 - significant edits including addition of "original images" section (diff) - need description & possibly breakdown
  • 12/31/2005 - 1/5/2006 - minor edits (diff 12/31-1/5; diff 1/5-1/5)* 1/5/2006 - 3/31/2006 - (diff)
    • added nutshell ("Articles may not contain any unpublished theories, data, statements, concepts, arguments, or ideas; or any new analysis or synthesis of published data, statements, concepts, arguments, or ideas.");
    • copy-editing & futzing with Primary/Secondary section
    • re-write of motivation section ("why do we exclude original research");
    • changes "it introduces a synthesis of established facts in a way that builds a particular case favored by the editor, without attributing the synthesis to a reputable source." to "it introduces an analysis or synthesis of established facts, ideas, opinions, or arguments in a way that builds a particular case favored by the editor, without attributing the analysis or synthesis to a reputable source;"

April 2006-December 2007[edit]

This section includes a lot of policy churn; these are just very short sign-post diffs but do not mark particularly significant changes, yet.

  • April significant revisions (diff)
  • May - Aug 2006 revisions; significant; edit-warring; led to page protection (diff)
  • 8/23-9/18 edits (diff 8/23-9/18 diff 9/18)
  • 9/18-12/31/2006 edits (diff)
  • 12/31/2006 - 3/28/2007 - more edits, more page protection, disputes over page protection - diff 12/31/2006-3/31/2007 * 3/28 - 8/23/2007 - 190 more edits & more disputes (diff)
  • 8/23 protected again (diff)
  • 8/23 - 9/30; protection on again, off again; 79 edits (diff)
  • 9/30-12/22 - 322 edits (diff) - more edits wars over PSTS; edits on "Sources"; removal of "Origins" and "Other options" sections; significant editing of basic statement & nutshell


Possibly the most hilarious statement ever: "Wikipedia does not use "truth" as a criterion for inclusion." (talk) 22:36, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

Well, I guess there was a purpose in such a dramatic phrasing. You may want to read an essay WP:TRUTH for the underlying reasoning. Basically, "in God we trust, but we dont't trust a wikipedian who says that God speaks through him. Staszek Lem (talk) 01:43, 20 July 2013 (UTC)

Restatement of "Primary source" (PSTS) history[edit]

Description by Blueboar taken from Talk:NOR (url):

I think part of the problem is that the section has taken on a life of its own. If you go through the history, it started when the phrase: "Wikipeida is not a primary source" was added. Soon afterwards, a (very short) definition was added to explain what a "primary source" was... followed by a definition of "secondary source" to show what Wikipedia should be. As time went on, the definitions became longer and longer. What started as a short sentence in the lead, soon became a section in its own right. Somewhere along the line, however, the phrase that started it all got lost. Someone cut the line "Wikipedia is not a primary source". From that moment on, we lost the entire reason why we were explaining the terms primary and secondary in the context of this policy.
However, the text remained useful as a policy statement in other ways. It was handy to have what amounted to a "primary sources are bad (not forbidden, but strongly cautioned against)" statement in a core policy... even if it did not directly relate to the policy itself. So, bit by bit, the definition wording was shifted from talking about what Wikipedia should not be, to talking about what types of sources we should use. Unfortunately, we now are at the state where the section is useful, but is so divorced from its original intent that people are wondering why it is there in the first place and no longer think it belongs in the policy.
Thus we are faced with several options... do we 1) break off a useful, but unrelated, policy statement into a new policy or guideline? 2) rework the discussion of primary and secondary sources so that it is referring to Wikipedia itself and not the sources we are using within wikipedia (ie return to the original intent of including the definitions)? 3) a combination of both?... or 4) none of the above. Personally, I would opt for number 3. I think PSTS should be policy... I just don't see it as being part of this policy. However, If we return to the concept of "Wikipedia should not be a primary source" then I can see a reworded section to explain what that means. Blueboar (talk) 02:16, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

Original introduction to WT:NPOV, V and OR[edit]

Page created to remove essay-like content from WP:OR that is common to (but not really needed in) all 3 core policy pages. FT2 (Talk | email) 00:20, 20 November 2007 (UTC)


This page has very little activity. It also has no categories. In the interests of pigeonholing (another example of which is being discussed heavily at WP:A), what is its status?

  • Policy: it used to be in WP:OR last year.
  • Guideline: it doesn't really have strict rules.
  • Proposal: removing it from WP:OR happened without much if any discussion.
  • Essay: it's essay-like per FT2.
  • Historical: it's actually old content and may become superseded as the other policies evolve.
  • Other: it's currently uncategorized having its own uniquely worded "notice" template.
  • Merge candidate: it might well go into, say, Wikipedia:Key policies and guidelines.
  • Userfication candidate: it reads like User:Jimbo Wales/Statement of principles.

I would favor "guideline" at first glance. I'm going to add the "proposed" template boldly just to get conversation started. I would also move this page to the title WP:Neutrality, verifiability, and nonoriginality. JJB 20:28, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

Come on, this content is not needed. This page was created because it was not needed. The non-historical part is short and repeats in many other policies/guidelines/essays. And the rest deals with history, so... "historical"? :)) --Kubanczyk (talk) 19:46, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was no move. PeterSymonds (talk) 15:43, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

Per the above, avoiding cryptic gibberish, and adding a Harvard comma. Not much links here either. Seems obvious, but wanted to get a couple other voices along first, and also want to give this underexposed page a little airing. JJB 04:52, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

I agree...though I have an immense dislike of the US serial comma. As it wasn't there before, I'd leave it out. Narson (talk) 11:19, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
While I can live with "neutrality" and "verifiability", "nonoriginality" is not only grating... it's not even a word. JPG-GR (talk) 01:56, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

Oppose as move of historical archive page is not necessary. Renaming will actually add to any purported confusion, not reduce it. The longer name will reduce access, not add to it. "Nonoriginality" is not a word; therefore the proposed title would violate WP:NEO. B.Wind (talk) 03:01, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

Oppose, the title proposed does not really describe the actual subject and content of the page. This does not outline the three policies only their history and creators' motives. --Kubanczyk (talk) 14:07, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

New proposition: Origins of the core policies[edit]

What do you think of Wikipedia:Origins of the core policies? --Kubanczyk (talk) 09:57, 8 June 2008 (UTC)

  • Originate it as a redirect page (to Wikipedia:NPOV, V and OR) instead and leave the historical archive alone. To state a cliché, it is often best to let sleeping dogs lie. B.Wind (talk) 16:45, 8 June 2008 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Status and page name[edit]

As you can see from the above, three editors favored a new name, one favored the old name, and one merely objected to an alleged neologism in one of the new names. Since the three editors did not agree on what the new name should be, in Wikiland that is translated as "no consensus default unmoved". Oh well. Let me reopen the two points that did not get answered by consensus:

  1. What is its status? I said "proposed" or "guideline", Kubanczyk changed to "historical", B.Wind hinted support for "historical", and DoubleBlue reverted all to "other" (a unique infobox). I must agree with DoubleBlue: "removing historical tag, it is an information page that is still current, not out-of-date". "Historical", per the template (with grammar I just fixed), means instead "This Wikipedia page is currently inactive .... Either the page is no longer relevant or consensus has become unclear." But I objected to an unpigeonholed unique "other" status because such an exception should have consensus. So I'll try "supplement" (not on the list above) per WP:BRD instead.
  2. Avoiding cryptic gibberish ... seems obvious. The only person to comment on this agreed with it. Since there was no consensus to retain the old name, I think Wikipedia:Origins of the core policies makes perfect sense. As to objections:
    • If cryptic gibberish is a true concern (as I believe), "move is not necessary" is falsified.
    • "Will add to confusion"? WP moves actually are net reducers of confusion. If you're confused by the short name, when you are redirected to the long name you will begin to understand what the short name refers to. If you're confused by the redirect having a different name, you would've been confused by any redirect anyway and the move will not change that.
    • "Will reduce access"? It increases the sphere of access to include an additional name, because redirects are transparent. People can still link to it by the familiar name, or any shortcuts we establish.
    • In sum, the objections seem to be boilerplate objections applicable to any move, already answered by MediaWiki software.
    • I suspect "leave the historical archive alone" refers to unstated fears of some form of destabilization. I submit that an uncategorized page is inherently unstable and my actions are stabilizing it by establishing consensus.

Incidentally, the side issue of a merge was very straightforward, so I went ahead with it. I'll wait a bit before listing this at requested moves again, but I think Kubanczyk has made the correct move target just as obvious as the need to move. JJB 14:58, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

Yup. "Let sleeping dog lie" is perfect for paper documents or static www pages. Since this is an ever-evolving wiki environment, I see no sleeping dog here. I see a name that is: imprecise, misleading, and cryptic at the same time. Probably it was created in a hurry, and now there is time to fix the issue. --Kubanczyk (talk) 20:12, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

I have no problem with a move to WP:Origins of the core policies, though it's really only concerning the content policies. I also see little wrong with the title NPOV, V and OR (though NPOV, V, and NOR is actually better). I do have a problem with calling it an essay. It is a page that documents some of the background and development history of these policies. It is neither advice nor opinions of contributors; it is a supplemental information page. DoubleBlue (Talk) 20:59, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

Thanks guys. At some point I'll review the list of items currently tagged as "supplement" to see if stronger template wording makes sense. JJB 14:10, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
Based on all the above (and the "origins" redirect not being a simple move), I am proceeding boldly with a move to WP:Core content policies. Please state any objections below. JJB 15:50, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
(Dammit, I wonder who was the genius to create "origins" redirect?! Supposedly, people who edit in this namespace should be more than familiar with Wikipedia's guts.) The obvious objection about WP:Core content policies is that the title is far too general. This page does not cover, and will never cover, "core content policies", it will only cover their origins/history/background. This title creates an impression, that the page is replacing or summarizing WP:NPOV, WP:OR, etc. I'm not nitpicking, the situation will confuse newbies. --Kubanczyk (talk) 16:13, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
I thought about that concern, but it does summarize now, it's not only about origins now, and other sections (such as the history of WP:A when we agree on what that is) are potential adds, because history needs updating too. This page is in the same class or category as WP:5, it differs only in degree of visibility and consensus. Also, this page was once policy. The tag for the supplement category is perfectly clear. Now what is needed for the newbies is a statement in WP:PG#Essays about how if a page is not categorized as P&G it is no more automatic authority than any other essay, and/or if it's categorized as a supplement it does have some kind of street cred more than other essays. JJB 16:39, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
I don't want to discuss Template:Supplement here, this is not the place. For, the "summary" idea, very strong oppose (per WP:CREEP and KISS principle). This page is about history now so it should have appropriate title. There is absolutely zero need for any new summaries of policies (you know the issues with WP:A). --Kubanczyk (talk) 17:11, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

Neutrality Question[edit]

I’m really not sure where (or how) to address this, so I leave it here. “Neutrality” is generally interpreted to mean ideological or political neutrality. However, there are other types of biases; for example, in the sex-related crimes pages there are strong implications that men are the only perpetrators, females the only or majority victims. I’m really not sure that putting the NPOV tag on these articles is appropriate because of the stigma attached to this tag. Some guidance would be appreciated. (18:36, 28 July 2011‎ Andering J. REDDSON (talk | contribs)‎)

You may be interested in WP:Systemic bias.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  10:25, 20 September 2017 (UTC)

NOR should be a policy rule rather than a principle (can be enacted via consent for counter-claims with adding "citation needed")[edit]

  • People should be allowed to put "counter-arguments" as a defence to claims to prevent the more extreme views being left unchallenged by the consent from other editors. - This policy really shouldn't establish itself as a principle but rather a rule, it's easy to use this policy as a lope-hole to protect a well-established point of view from having a challenged perspective contradicting the fair-point-of-view principle.
  • People should be able to say; Hey, this point of view on this article seems bizarre for these reasons "lists reasons and references from original research" can I leave an alternative perspective countered to the published point of view in question to keep the article within the fair-view policy? - If people say yes on agreeing what can be said, there is no harm. If people say no, then the individual atleast had a chance to make wikipedia fair whether they were right or wrong.
  • This is simply a matter of which is more important? The fair-view policy or the No Original Research since Fair-view is left at a "lateness disadvantage" if you consider that not every point of view will be challenged the moment it is submitted and it could take years for an article to exist addressing the weaknesses of the point of view in question.

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Anonymous573462 (talkcontribs) 16:33, 7 June 2015 (UTC)